Surrounded on all sides…

Today’s Tuesday at Ten prompt word – SURROUND…
I had a couple different angles to write on – and thought of several verses to include…
But perhaps my most immediate thought was a picture I saw years ago – an image that burned a forever memory in my mind…
A picture that to me defines the word SURROUND…
Now, according to Merriam-Webster, the word SURROUNsurrounded-by-angels2D is defined as: to be on every side of (someone or something): to move close to (someone or something) on all sides often in order to stop a person from escaping.
Sounds good, right?
Unless of course you are claustrophobic…then being encompassed on every side tends to be a might close…yeah, been there…
But how about another thought? Do you realize God is surrounding you? Guarding you? Protecting you?
Have you ever stopped and envisioned His armies of angels making camp around you?
No? Go ahead. Close your eyes. Yep, right where you are. Now imagine a host of heavenly angels “circling up”, and spreading out around you.
Wow…
My mind just can’t take that in…
Psalm 125:2 tells us “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”
Did you get that? The Lord. Surrounds His people. From the time of the writing of Psalms. Forward. And forever…
It doesn’t end friends. We can’t get away!
I don’t know much about geography around Jerusalem so I did a little research – Google is good for that
And here’s what I found…jerusalem_aerial_from_se1
Now I’m not an expert on mountains and cities, but I’d say that the city in the middle of the pic? Well that looks surrounded by mountains to me…
According to Dr. John DeLancey, “Quite literally, the ancient City of David known as Jerusalem, lies hundreds of feet lower in elevation than the eastern range known as Olivet.  The northern hills also provide a vantage point that looks down to Old City.  To the west, the area known today as Mt. Zion, is also higher than the city captured by David from the Jebusites.  Even the hill to the south is several hundred feet higher than even the walls of Jerusalem below.”
And so God surrounds us…
And cares for us…
With His unending Love…
And how about these incredible verses from 2 Kings 6:15-17?
And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Surrounded.
By the army of God.
I don’t know about you, but I need to be like Elisha and see that army.angel-armies
I need to pray for God to open eyes to also see that army.
And yes, sometimes I need to be like the servant who is prayed for to see that army.
So, what do you see today? Do you see an army surrounding you? Yes?
Ah, but is it God’s army?
Living With Eyz2God,
Dianna

Trust Me…I Know What I’m Doing…

trust meTrust Me

What a hard thing to do…especially when your past trust and confidence placed in people has been trampled on…leaving you broken…and battered…and bruised…and you have projected that broken trust onto everyone else you meet…

But then there’s God…

The Faithful One…The One who is Trustworthy…The One who never fails – never gives up – always has my back…

So why do I have such a hard time trusting Him? I don’t mean for my every day living – I have learned to lean on Him as my Provider…and trusting Him for others? oh, yeah…I’ve got that one down!

I mean really trusting Him? Like with my life? My dreams? My future?

My husband and I just put our house on the market this week-end and are planning a move from DE to FL…yeah, I know, wow! right? What a great opportunity! Warm(er) weather – the beach – sunny days – warm water – adventure – – – –

But I’m scared.

I’m scared that I won’t find a house like the one we built and love here. Or a good church. Or friends. Or that I will miss my family and my friends in DE.aware

I’m scared of the unknown.

Bottom line?

I’m plain having a hard time Trusting God right now because of my fear.

But we all know where fear comes from right? Definitely not from my Faithful God.

So I’m thinking that maybe the doubts and fears that are creeping into my thinking are coming from the enemy himself – because maybe, just maybe he knows what blessings are waiting for me – for us – for those we meet…

But really? Maybe my trust is misplaced…

God tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

I’m not quite sure how sound my mind is these days – especially with getting the house prepared to sell…planning a trip to FL to look for a new home…packing up…clearing out…and waiting…

But this I am sure of…

I can continue to (mis)place my trust in man (myself included here) and remain fearful, be diTrust Godsappointed, and miss out on the blessings God has waiting for me because I am hiding under the covers with my eyes closed…

Or…

I can (re)place, or reposition my trust in God, look for joy in the journey and reap the full benefits of all His blessings just waiting for me…

I guess the choice is mine, isn’t it?

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

I AM…{{Here}}…

here

“Here I am!”… A response to the question, “Where are you?”

“I’m here! I’m here!”…A child’s excited giveaway in a game of hide-and-seek…

“It’s okay, I’m here”… A mothers reassuring whisper to a child, awakened by their fears…

That word…”Here”… Indicating a presence… A closeness… A definitive location..

But have you ever thought about what that word means to you when Jesus says it?

“Here I am!”…”I’m Here!”…”It’s okay, I’m Here”…

“I AM Here”.

God Almighty, the Great I AM – is Omnipresent, all places at all times…

I don’t know about you, but that is so very reassuring…

When I question His Presence, His closeness, where He is…

To know He Is Here…walking with me. beside me. Behind me. leading me…

Whispering His gentle reassurance in my fearful nights…

Look again at those 2 words, I AM…

Now, say them out loud…

Did you hear yourself ? Do you get the meaning?

Saying “I am” indicates a present being…

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Rev. 1:8

But being I AM indicates an all-present Being and an always and all ways present Being…

God is Here.

When you question the presence of God, listen for His whisper.I AM HERE

God is Here.

Reach out to touch His hand.

God is Here.

I AM is Here.

Living with Eyz2God,

Dianna

 

 

Shine on…

imageI’m going through withdrawal right now.

From Vitamin D.

See, it has been cloudy, rainy, warm then cool, foggy, and downright nasty the past several weeks.

And I miss the sun. I mean I really miss the sun. And dealing  with Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn’t help…

I miss the sun’s warmth. I miss it’s brightness. I miss how it makes me feel. (Somewhat) full of energy. (Somewhat) motivated….but definitely happy…joyful…positive…

I know, it could be worse, right? We could be having frigid temps and snow…but then again, snow does make things “brighter”…

For the past several years, after some prayer,  I’ve chosen a “word”  to focus on throughout the year – a word which God has given to me, for His reasons.

It could be a word to deepen my walk with Him, or a word for self reflection…for growing in my relationship with Him, or with others.

Whatever the word may be, it’s always apropos to my life…Who knew, huh?lighthouse lstwk5

Lately, I’ve been noticing  one specific word appearing in my news feed
over and over, from FB friends and on other posts.

So I’m guessing it’s “my” word for 2016.

And it does seem to fit my life, not only right now, but for the coming year. A year of change. A year of new beginnings.

A year to Shine…

A year to Be the Moon and Reflect the Son…

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works, and praise your Father in Heaven.”

We are to Shine, my friend…to reflect Jesus…and to praise God…

Using our gifts and our talents that He has given us…as a means to honor and glorify God…

Being obedient to His calling…willing to commit to Him…

One way I’ve committed to Shine brighter this next year is to #Write365 with hundreds of others who share a love for words…

To write something…anything…every day…for 365 days (366 cause it’s a leap year)…

And share these words God gives to me…to reflect Jesus…and to praise my Father…

Soimage…What will you do to Shine for Him in 2016?

Do you have a word that He has given to you? An opportunity to serve Him? A special mission?

Remember…All He wants is your willing heart…He’ll do the rest…

Shine on my friend…Shine on…

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna

 

A Returned Gift…

Have you ever returned a gift someone gave to you? (shhhh… I won’t tell..)

Have you ever had a gift returned that you gave to someone? (No Way! GASP!!)

Now that Christmas is past, stores will be busy with returns, exchanges, offering gift cards in exchange for receipt less merchandise…

And the gift giver will be none-the-wiser, usually unaware their “just-for-you” gift was returned…

Unless of course that gift somehow makes its way back to the original giver…like mine did…this morning…

You see,  I have a friend who loves owls. And mugs. And scripture. So one day a few months ago when she was going through a rough patch in her life, I sent her a gift. A mug. With an owl on it. With a Scripture verse printed on the inside of the rim. owl

It was really cute. And special. And loved not only by me but also by my friend when she received it.

And this morning…

She sent it back.

Well, not the actual mug, but the Scripture.

She was drinking her coffee from the mug, thinking about me, and the Scripture on the rim of the cup caught her eye. And Gods voice caught her ear.

See, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately, with the daunting task of moving staring me in the face. Not just a local move mind you, but a move from Delaware to Florida. 18 hours away from my family, my friends, my church, and my safety net of all I’ve known for 50(+) years.

A move that requires de cluttering , listing, and selling not (1) but (2) houses. Packing away, giving away, or throwing away, a house full of memories, all during the holidays, the winter, all while dealing with Chronic pain. Yeah, a little much right?

But God…

Those 2 little words…that somehow make things…so right…

So my friend sends me a picture of the mug along with a message, telling me that God spoke to her as she read that verse, but added a few words to the end. Okay…

She knew right away who He was speaking about through that very Scripture I sent to her. To encourage her.

And now she returned my gift. To me. To encourage me.

This. Is the verse.child bridge

“Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

And these were the “added” words…from God…to my friend…

“Even Florida “.

Yeah. But God.

You see friends, God knows in our humanness we are fearful. He knows when we need encouragement. He knows who will hear His voice. And He knows who will be obedient to share that encouraging word.

Even if it is shared through a returned gift.

Gods Words never return void. You can count on it.

His Words to me…shared through this precious friend who was obedient to the Voice of her Abba Daddy?

“Be strong and courageous, Dianna…For the Lord YOUR God will be with YOU wherever you go, even Florida.” Joshua 1:9

Yeah…I believe I’ll take those words with me.

Even to Florida.

Living with Eyz2God,

Dianna

I Hope…My Hope…

lighthouse2Growing up in a Baptist church gave me a great love for old hymns…and the words from one hymn in particular – “My Hope is Built”, describes “my hope”…our Tuesday at Ten prompt phrase for this week…{{I hope}}

My Hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

It’s amazing when you read the history behind some of the great hymns of old – words that were penned during times of oppression, times of deep agony and pain…nevertheless…times of trust and times of a deep hope…in God…

And so these beautiful words are a great reminder to me to trust in God…to place my hope in the One who gives Hope…in the good times…in the not-so-good times…He is still God…He is still my Hope…

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every dark and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

Those times He seems silent? I need to Trust Him…Those times I stumble in the darkness? I need to Trust Him…

He never changes my friend…He never leaves…

Like a ship whose anchor holds fast in the raging storms of the sea, a life that is anchored in the solid Rock of Christ will also hold fast in the raging storms of life…

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.

Though the world around us may crumble and fall away…our foundation built on Christ is firm…and we will stand…red rocks2

Though the world around us struggles with fear and doubt…our foundation on Christ is sure…and we have Hope…

Are there times I struggle with fear and doubt? oh yes I do…Are there times my world around me crumbles? Oh yes it has, and most likely will again…

But that’s the beauty of anchoring on the Rock of Jesus Christ…He is never changing…always full of grace…

And when I struggle with fear…or my world falls apart…no matter where I am…or how far away from Him I may be…I can call to Him and He will hear me…He will lead me (back) to that Rock that is Higher than I…

A Rock that is unmovable…

I have a friend who loves mountain climbing…In order to climb safely, he absolutely needs to anchor himself and his climbing partners securely into a solid, sure, and unmovable part of the rock all the way. If he doesn’t, they all face deadly consequences.

So it is with all of us…

In order for us to scale the mountains we climb throughout life…we absolutely need to anchor ourselves securely to a solid and unmovable source…or we will face the ultimate of deadly consequences…

HopeThrough all the storms of life I have faced, my hope has been in Christ. Like Peter, yes, I have wavered at times when I took my eyes off of Him and looked around – but my anchor was secure in Him – and He kept me from sinking…

I honestly do not know where I would be today without Jesus Christ as my Hope – I have met many people who have no hope – because they face each day trying to do it on their own.

But here’s the best part…He is not only my day to day hope, but He is my future Hope of eternal life.

How awesome is that? A Hope that gets me through life on earth…and a Hope that gives me eternity…

Really…who wouldn’t want that?

Living with Eyz2God,

Dianna

 

If you are not sure about where your hope is and would like to find out how you too can have this Hope today and for eternity, leave a comment! I would love nothing more than to introduce you to Jesus <3 Blessings!

 

 

 

Words I live by…{{Lord Willing}}…

…And What That Means to Me…

lord willing3Growing up in church I had the privilege of having many older saints around me who shared their knowledge of God’s Word…childhood memories…and wisdom of life…solicited or not…

However…many constantly used the phrase “Lord willing” when talking about making plans…whether they were centered around church or family…

And I never quite understood why those words meant so much to them…

Because I never quite understood that these golden saints lived their lives following God’s Will…following after His steps…

Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” 

And that’s exactly what they did…many immigrating from other countries to the U.S…most growing up or living through the Depression Years…

Times when man’s plans were almost never guaranteed…

Times when trusting in God’s direction was something they needed to do…

And this is what they passed on to a young girl attending Sunday School…listening to grown ups talking at pot luck suppers and church picnics…making plans, but always keeping God’s direction in the forefront…

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13,15

So now that I am older in years…and wiser in my own walk with the Lord…I get it…I do…

Because honestly? Don’t we (still) live in times when man’s plans are almost never guaranteed…

Times when trusting in God’s direction is something we need to do…

Living in the center of God’s Will is the safest place to be…110

Just think about it for a moment…

Where else do you have complete assurance that everything that happens will turn out for your best? Everything.

And where else can you have complete peace that no matter what happens you will be okay? No matter what.

So I now understand a bit better why those precious saints always ended their sentences with “Lord willing” when they spoke of their tomorrows…

They were giving up their tomorrows…into the hands of their Creator…if their plans happened, they happened…if they didn’t, it wasn’t a big deal to them…They knew God had better plans…

Our tomorrows are not guaranteed to us here on earth my friend…so when we entrust our tomorrows into the Hands of the One who is already there…

We can “lie down in perfect peace”…without worries or cares about all the “what if’s” about tomorrow…

And now? I’m married to a man who uses that phrase all the time…

Can’t get away from it, can I?

So I’ll make my plans for tomorrow Lord willing…

Living With Eyz2God,

Dianna