Friday, December 4, 2009

Kloster "Sunrise Devotion" — Our Perfect High Priest

The following devotion by Deneen Kloster is reprinted with her permission. Deneen's husband, John, received a very serious cancer diagnosis in October. To follow Deneen's "Sunrise Devotions," go tohttp://www.caringbridge.org/visit/johnkloster. Pray for miracles and God's glory revealed!
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HEBREWS 5:7-9 "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be High Priest in the order of Melchizedek."

What a model we have in Christ, fully human, fully God, submitting to God's will in all circumstances. He has the full ability to take His cup of suffering (Matt 26:42) and dash it to pieces. Instead, in loving submission, with complete trust and obedience He participates in His Father's perfect plan.

That doesn't mean the fully man Jesus doesn't cry out and shed tears for His own life and that of the people. He is our fully empathetic and feeling Savior who hates sin and death more than we do. He created us and calls us by name. He adopted us as His children of faith. He will not stop interceeding and crying out on our behalf (Heb 7:25).

Lacking faith and fearing the worst is meant to be, I hesitate to fully cry out for myself and my husband. I fear disappointment in the outcome and of appearing to be a disobedient or greedy child, not submitting to the Father's will. I am wrong. I need to follow Jesus' example and fully go to the loving Father with all my loud cries and tears.

In what area of your life are you fearing the worst, so you hesitate to go fully to God for your need...finances, health, broken relationships...will you join me today by following Christ's example as our Perfect High Priest and "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Heb 4:16)?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are We Living the "Good" Life?

ROMANS 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Has this verse ever challenged you as it has me? I can see logic there — if we are living within the will of God who is perfect, pure, and holy, then things will work out for our good. But what does "good" really mean if life clearly doesn't always bring health, prosperity, happiness, comfort, or pleasure?

One thing I know for sure — it's not possible for God to be cruel. So the key lies in having an eternal Kingdom perspective of things. God's idea of "good" is different than mine BUT BETTER. God's ultimate purpose is to refine us in relationship to Himself. Our ultimate good involves being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. My life, like yours, isn't always smooth sailing but I am seeing profound examples proving that God brings beauty out of ashes because my heart is inclined toward Him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DISCUSSION GUIDE Released!

It's a crazy busy week here getting ready for the launch of the "Finding Glory in the Thorns: GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDE" next week!

Here is what a friend of ours from Canada wrote on Amazon recently:
"I have watched Larry and Lisa journey through the trials and triumphs of raising a child with Angelman Syndrome. God has truly transformed them and the community of people who have supported them along the way. Their story is powerful, but more than that, their transparency as they reflect on how God led and taught them through many difficult decisions is truly inspirational. Each of us at one time or another find ourselves living in the thorns, but the Jamiesons show us how we can live in the power of a loving God despite the challenges we face. I started reading this book, believing I knew their story. I had read their weekly prayer updates for years as they worked with their daughter Carly. I was wrong. The spiritual truths with which they frame their story challenged and inspired me beyond all expectations. Their honesty brought me to tears. Ultimately, their story equips each reader to face life's challenges confident in the power of a loving God."

I hope this will inspire you to READ and TELL OTHERS about the original book as well as the new Bible Study which releases on Monday for $6.99!

You can also refer people to this link which shows highlights from a national television interview Larry and I did on Canada's "100 Huntley Street" last year. The highlight link below is only six and a half minutes long. Easy! (The complete original live interview is also on YouTube in two parts totaling about 25 minutes.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnArTDQ0nrs&feature=related

PLEASE pray with us that hearts are softened by the Holy Spirit, encouraged in Christ, and drawn into intimate personal relationship with God through these resources!

Somebody Hit "RESET!"

Today has been “one of those days” for me. I’m sure you know what I mean: got a bit of a cold, feeling run down, bombarded with reminders of my insufficiency, and overwhelmed with decisions to be made. By the time I started preparing dinner this afternoon, my emotions were on the raw side. I found myself remembering the scripture verse Carly was given this morning at her therapeutic horseback riding lesson:

PROVERBS 4:20-22 (NLT) Pay attention, my child, to what I say. Listen carefully. Don’t lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning.

I’m so thankful to know the healing power of God’s Word but some days I must dwell longer in it — be still with it in my hands and on my mind — so that it’s power to heal and restore penetrates deeply. My temptation is to press through these stubborn moments but this afternoon I took an extra "Time Out" in Proverbs and let dinner preparations simmer.

Okay, I’m not “radiant” by a long stretch but I’ll go finish the meal now with reassurance that God’s Word has given me better perspective — kind of like hitting the "RESET" button on my soul.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Where Faith Meets Obedience

JOSHUA 3:15 "Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing."

Are you facing a decision or needing to take action on something that will require you to go where things are uncertain, even scary? If the direction you are headed is aligned with God's purposes, He will certainly make a way just as He parted the waters for His people over 3,200 years ago. Not once but twice God made a way where the route seemed impassable (the Red Sea and the Jordan River). At the Jordan, God's power to move the raging, flooded river was not released until the Israelites took that first step of faith-filled obedience. What "first step" is He asking you to take today?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Comfort Zone...or UNcomfortable Zone?

JOHN 15:2 "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

After Carly was born with many challenges and our days became so complicated, a lot of things got squeezed out of our lives. Comfortable routines were thrown into chaos and we dropped into bed each night wondering WHAT NEXT? Life-altering circumstances can be tremendously painful yet they are often a doorway to new perspectives and realities that are better for us and for others when considered within God's eternal perspective.

How might your unexpected or uncomfortable life changes be opportunities for Christ to grow more abundant fruit in your life? Is God reshaping your vision for the future by removing something you had your hopes set on?

This new season (and school year) present opportunities to courageously adjust our priorities and prune our schedules so Christ is predominant and His fruit more abundant.

So what does this look like for you?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is Okay to BRAG?

1 CORINTHIANS 1:30-31 "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

Is God doing something great in your life? Share it. Put God's presence and power on display. Often it is the encouragement we get from each other that reassures us that God is living, active, and intimately concerned about our lives. Talk about who God is in your life around the "water cooler" of your circle of influence so that others might see Him more clearly.

Celebrate and inspire someone by writing a short Glory Story and post it at http://www.findingglory.com/glorystories.html .

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Let's PRAY for friends who suffer!

My family carries a certain burden of "suffering" every day as it relates to caring for Carly and managing Larry's chronic health concerns. Really, we all carry certain burdens of regular hardship. But the nature of this ministry means that I connect with people on a daily basis who are really in some overwhelming times with very very heavy burdens — marriages crumbling, often admist horrific sin...individuals bent low by severe and chronic pain...parents enduring the slow agony of watching their child dying...brain-injured children who will require 24/7 care for the rest of their lives. Just this morning I am faced with praying for several close friends in very difficult circumstances and then came to Facebook and found that another close friend broke her pelvis in three places yesterday while biking.

Wrapping our minds around the purposes of suffering is one of the greatest challenges of life — a greater challenge, often, than enduring the burden itself. Our sense of helplessness is fueled when we can't help "fix" or bring comfort to others who are suffering so deeply. The enemy would lead us to believe that prayers alone are not enough. Prayer, in fact, is THE FIRST thing! Certainly it should not be the LAST thing we do, but it most certainly must be the FIRST thing.

Today, as I remain in constant prayer for many hurting friends, my mind and heart have come to rest on these three things:

PSALM 18 ——which reminds me our God is a vicious warrior, roaring like thunder through the heavenlies on our behalf

1 PETER 1:16 ——the challenge to "Be holy because I am holy" along with this quote from My Utmost for His Highest" which says: "Never tolerate, because of sympathy for yourself or for others, any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God."

THE OLD HYMN: IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL [let's sing it together throughout this day]
And if you don't know the story of why and how this hymn was written out of suffering, listen to this YouTube version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8_EfDqF7YI

Will you join with me today in making the Blog (and Facebook Discussion Board) a tool in God's hand for us to be in prayerful communion for those who are hurting?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Eager-Hearted New Year

I am coming into this new year more committed than ever to spending time with God through prayer and reading His Word. I just keep thinking, "Lisa, if you REALLY BELIEVE that God is alive today, both available and passionate about developing a personal relationship with you, then you will be willing to spend time with Him, quietly and still, every single day as early in your morning as possible." I am trusting through experience that the measure of blessing and fruit coming out of that commitment will be unmistakable and transformational!

I am eager to make new discoveries about the Truth this year ...to have my heart and mind transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. He does that! Are you ready for that? Are you eager for that?

Remember the eagerness with which you prepared for your graduation? What about how eager you were for your wedding day to arrive? Can you remember the eagerness in your mind and in your heart as you walked down the aisle and were whisked off to the wedding reception? (Don’t read these questions too fast. Slow down and really chew on what it means to be EAGER.) How eager is my husband for March Madness and the Final Four? Ladies, what about the eagerness you had each time your body swelled with a child? How eager we were during those last weeks, days, and then hours!

God waits for us to run to Him with greater eagerness than any we can imagine? He wants us to come running to him with hunger and anticipation because he stands ready to lavish His love on us! If you don’t have that sense of eagerness, I hope you’ll just stop what you’re doing right now and ask Him for it. Make a list of some things you are truly grateful for. Then sing one or two of your favorite worship tunes. STOP. Resist your urge to check another thing off your list, schedule another appointment, start more laundry, tidy up, run an errand, make another phone call, read another email, post on another blog. Just stop. Make RIGHT NOW a moment to practice your eagerness before God and see what He plants in your soul when you dwell with Him. If you have a small child at home who needs your attention, won’t you bring him/her up into your arms right now and explain that he/she and mommy or daddy are going to take 10 minutes just to be with Jesus?

I want to be eager to be still and KNOW that HE IS GOD. I've been reading in Hebrews and love chapter 10. Verses that inspired me today included Hebrews 10:19-25. Phrases that are challenging me include "let us draw near to God with sincere heart and full assurance of faith," and "let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful," and "let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Now that just makes me want to eagerly dive in for more!

Lisa

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