Today we should share with others what we are hoping to find, complish, restore and create during this season of Lent and Easter.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3 NLT
For other inspiration messages from Therese go to http://www.theresemarszalek.com/InspirationalMsgs.html
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
I am spending the day outside in nature. I write this in advance in the hopes that you to can get outside in this winter weather and see where you hear HIM while enjoying what HE created!
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I am certain that God, who began the good word within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Phil 1:6 NLT
I know that even when I am not working on me, HE is. The reminder, the touches, the hints. Why are they so hard to hear some days? What is in your way and mine?
Today, I will spend time with myself to listen and work on who HE wants me to be.
While starting to use the 40 Days book, I realized I don’t reflect or mediate or just spend time with God each day. Do you?
Therese says, “Daily, I will respond when Jesus says, “Come.””
WOW, powerful! I think I usually say something like hold on a minute, I just need to finish XYZ. Today I will stop when He calls.
I try to come up with 1-something to give up 2-something to start new and 3-something to change.
My family loves that every other year I give up french fries OR diet coke. They would much prefer that I DON’T give anything up for Lent. They are sometimes the beneficiaries of the other two options. Sometimes it is writing a note in their lunch boxes or cleaning out the toy closet for them. Or spending some quality time with my husband each and every day. It is amazing how much time can go by where you and your hubby act as ground control in your home. “Off to take X here” or “You are needed for vocabulary testing in Y’s room”.
Well this year, I am going to do all three in one. I am going to give up some of my personal reading time to DEVOUR the book 40 Days. I assume working the assignment will help me change many of the things I do today and help me create new and better habits.
Would you consider joining me on this JOURNEY?
While listening to a recent message by Jack Hayford on the “Spirit Formed” broadcast, I heard him describe Easter in this way…
The whole message of Easter is not that there was an event. The whole message of Easter is that Easter released a power that guarantees to everyone who will come to Him that there is a force that will reverse any situation that looks like its been a set up for a put down…to reverse everything in our lives that looks dead. But there is no promise of a schedule, of a schedule that will suit us.
Easter released a power into our lives that is available to us every day. Jesus is ever-present with us and He’s given us the Holy Spirit to forever abide in us. He is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). When we believe in Him, life is present ALL THE TIME. There is a constant release of divine life and grace that’s always there for us.
We need to not only be conscious that it is there, that HE is there, but we need to RECEIVE this power so it can work in our lives. God will never force His will upon us, but His will for us is always for life and health and fulfillment.
If there is any area of your life that seems “dead” as we celebrate Easter this year, look to Jesus and receive His life-giving power for that situation. Receive His wisdom as your answer. Receive His strength to continue on the journey. Receive His deliverance.
There is no promise that it will happen on OUR schedule, but there is a promise that it WILL happen. Hold fast to that promise and you will see it realized!
Simply say, “Thank You, Jesus, for Your resurrection power that is available me to today to breathe Your divine life into my situation. I receive from You this free gift of power and declare that it will infuse my situation with life. Thank You for reversing anything that looks like a put-down in my life, for promising to turn it around for my good, and for using it to bring glory to the Father. I trust You and look to You as the source of the answer for every problem I am facing. In Your Precious Name, Amen.”
Go WHERE the Lord says go. Go WHEN the Lord says go. These are both statements that as believers, we would like to be able to say we would do. Sometimes the WHEN and the WHERE are very clear, but the WHY may remain a mystery. Are we willing to go with no real explanation of WHY, but simply in obedience to the voice of God that says WHERE and WHEN? How do we deal with ambiguity concerning the call of God? Let me tell you how it all unfolded for me…
Late last year, the Lord impressed upon my heart that I was to go back to Northern Ireland in February 2012. It would be my seventh time visiting this lovely country, so I could easily conjure up a long list of WHYs on my own. But the truth was, God had told me WHERE and WHEN, but He’d left out many of the specifics as to WHY. The WHERE was a no-brainer for me… of course I would go back to visit a land and a people I love! The WHEN… well, February is not the ideal time of year, but hey, they have warmer winters than we have in Minnesota, so that didn’t take much convincing either. As to the WHY… I knew God had a reason, albeit one that I knew not of, and so I decided to fully and completely trust His timing and pack my bags and go.
God has a purpose for asking us to do the things He asks us to do. What can seem insignificant, or silly, or even crazy to us is all a part of God’s divine plan. His divine plan to reach others through us – both saved and unsaved, and also to reach us through other people. Just as the Word of God says, He is delighted in our decisions to obey Him. Especially when we don’t have all the information.
“So Samuel said: ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.’” 1 Samuel 15:22 NJKV
During the three weeks I spent in Northern Ireland, God moved in such a variety of ways! It would take pages and pages for me to describe all the wonderful things He did in and through me! Here are just a few:
I saw Him touch the relative of a friend of mine, just by sitting down and having tea with her. We were just supposed to stop and pick something up and be on our way, but if you’ve ever been to Northern Ireland, you know it’s practically impossible to get out the door without having a “wee cup of tea”. I had never met her before, so we began to talk and she asked me what I was doing in Northern Ireland. I began to share with her my story as to how God connected me with Northern Ireland many years ago, and had called me back there seven times – six of the times being in the past three years. The words I spoke seemed so simple and conversational, and yet she was visibly moved by my testimony and it was clear God was touching her heart. What had seemed like a “delay” to our plans in the natural was really an open opportunity to minister to someone God desperately wanted to reach.
I had the humble honor and privilege of witnessing relationships being repaired and restored that had once been broken. God in His love and mercy had orchestrated this divine restoration, and quite frankly, the only real part I played in it all was just BEING THERE to bring these people in to the same room together. I had no idea what was going to happen before I was standing in the midst of it happening. But in that moment, the Lord said – that”s WHY you needed to be here NOW. It reminded me that we are oftentimes just “divine facilitators”, used by God to bring people into a position where He can minister to them. Whether that involves bringing someone to a PHYSICAL location, or bringing them to a place emotionally where they are open to receive from Him, offering our lives to Him to use as He wills is amazing and rewarding.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
I had the opportunity to share and lead prayer at a house prayer meeting. We spent time in prayer for the nation of Ireland. The Lord also ministered specific words to people that touched their hearts deeply. God will prompt you to speak certain things to certain people, whether it’s during an “official” time of ministry or just in casual conversation with them. Be open to His promptings and quick to obey, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. It may be a word or phrase you don’t normally use, but it may have very significant meaning to the one hearing it. This can be categorized as a word of wisdom, word of knowledge or prophecy, but when it comes right down to it, no matter what you call it, it’s the Holy Spirit prompting you to reach someone on the Lord’s behalf.
I was also able to minister in a small church I had visited last year – to bring them the NOW Word from the Lord, a word of encouragement. I love going in to the small places that guest ministers may not often, if ever, visit. All of God’s people are important to Him, and this little congregation warms my heart.
In addition, I was able to bring a helping hand to a ministry that’s been launching out into new territory – to come alongside them and do whatever needed to be done to help them realize the vision God has placed in their hearts. I helped make fliers announcing upcoming events, set up ministry resource tables, served tea and biscuits, updated Facebook pages, and other computer-related items – anything practical that I could do to assist them. It’s just as much of a joy to be able to use natural skills and abilities for His Kingdom. I was not only involved on a practical level with this ministry, but on a spiritual level as well, through prayer and sharing the Word.
Now, God did not ask me to go there to give out without the intention of putting something back in! He used many people to speak very specific words to me regarding certain facets of my future, and plans and purposes He has prepared for my life. He gave me many wonderful times of fun and fellowship with dear friends, and added some new ones to the mix! He opened a door for me in the near future to go to an area in the Republic of Ireland that has been on my heart for nearly a year and a half. All I had to do was SHOW UP at the right time in the right place and He brought the right person across my path to make that happen!
One evening, we went to hear a minister from England speak who had experienced revival in his church many years ago. He and his wife literally lived in the manifest Presence of God for six months. From the start of the service, the atmosphere was different from any service I’ve ever been in. He shared out of 2 Kings 6:1-7 NKJV:
“And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, ‘See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.’ So he answered, ‘Go.’ Then one said, ‘Please consent to go with your servants.’ And he answered, ‘I will go.’ So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, ‘Alas, master! For it was borrowed.’ So the man of God said, ‘Where did it fall?’ And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. Therefore he said, ‘Pick it up for yourself.‘ So he reached out his hand and took it.”
Many truths were shared from this passage, but one thing in particular that I want to share with you. Regarding the ax head – it is like a dream that the Lord has given us that has, for one reason or another, sunk to the bottom of the river. God wants to raise those dreams and plans back to the surface… but when He does, we have to reach out and take them. Otherwise, they will float by and someone else down the river will pick them up.
This very thing he was saying was mirroring something a pastor-friend of mine had said the day before when we met for lunch. She said God has a plan He wants to accomplish in the earth, especially in these ends times, and if we aren’t obedient to the call, He will just skip over us and find someone else.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be skipped over or let my dreams go floating by for someone else to grab. Our quick obedience to the Lord in every area will not only prove to Him that He can trust us and use us in any way He desires, but it will bring to pass the most fulfilled life we could ever imagine living!
God knows the WHY even when we don’t. Sometimes He will let us in on it in advance, but sometimes He needs us to trust Him so He can orchestrate things exactly how He has planned… we just need to be willing to show up and be a part of it! It is in that place of obedience that we will be the biggest blessing possible to others, and also receive a blessing in return.
The Urbino Bible, commissioned by Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, in the late 15th Century, is a stunning work of art in its own right. The Urbino Bible is one of the rare examples of artistic collaboration in Florence during this time period.
This splendid manuscript, without a doubt a Florentine miniature masterpiece of the Renaissance, was commissioned by Federico at the working studio of Vespasiano da Bisticci, the renowned Florentine bookseller who was the primary provider of manuscripts for the Urbino library.
The original Urbino Bible is divided into two books. The volumes are particularly important for the richness of their illustrations. Hugo de Cominellis or Hugues de Comminellis de Mazieres, who was also responsible for other books commissioned by Federico, has been identified as the scribe of these volumes. The copy is a transcription of the canonic text of the Vulgate.
Scholars have identified the hands of a number of different artists who cooperated in decorating these volumes, among them, panel painters, fresco painters and miniature painters. The artists involved in these splendid decorations include Attavante, the Master of the Hamilton Xenophon, Francesco Rosselli, the brother of the most famous Cosimo, Francesco d’Antonio del Chierico, to whom we owe the greatest number of the illustrations, Biagio d’Antonio, Bartolomeo di Giovanni and David and Domenico Ghirlandaio.
Federico, nicknamed “the Light of Italy”, is a landmark figure in the history of the Italian Renaissance. He imposed justice and stability on his tiny state. He engaged the best copyists and editors in his private scriptorium to produce the most comprehensive library outside of the Vatican. He was a staunch supporter in the development of fine artists, including the early training of the young painter Raphael.
Despite his privileged rank, Federico always remained interested in the average citizen. He took care of soldiers who might be killed or wounded, providing, for example, dowries for their daughters. He often strolled the streets of Urbino unarmed and unattended, inquiring in shops and businesses as to the well-being of the citizens. He held to the belief that all citizens, regardless of rank, were equal under the law.
Celebrate Your Faith is proud to offer a very limited number of this rare Bible for sale. Additionally, the painstaking reproduction of this masterpiece is adorned and jeweled on the exterior cover to create an exclusive version not found anywhere else. The brilliant gemstones and meticulous detailing add a truly remarkable quality to this extraordinary find. Reserve your copy today!
To learn more about Federico da Montefeltro, visit Federico da Montefeltro on Wikipedia
To read about and see excerpts from treasures of the Vatican Library, including the Urbino Bible, visit The European Library
See some of the amazing work in this Bible below. Click on any of the images to see a larger one.
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I have a DREAM that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: / we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a DREAM that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a DREAM that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
– Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.
(I have a DREAM wasn’t part of his written speech. He strayed from his written speech and reacted to a cheer from the crowd asking him about his dream.)