I must bring them also…

Posted January 15th, 2012 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

I lay down my life for the sheep.

And I have other sheep that are not in this fold.

I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.

So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.  

John 10:14-16

I stepped out of Heaven, relinquished all, and willingly laid down my life for you. I did this out of my infinite love for all my sheep, especially you. Many have done exceptionally lovely things for you, but I chose the ultimate display of true love. I sacrificed my life that you might have real life…a beautiful abundant life, full of peace overflowing with joy. Don’t think for one minute that I don’t hear your cries in the night for those you love. Keep praying! I, too, love those you desire to enter the safety of our fold. I am the Creator who formed everyone in my image and likeness. And from the beginning, planted deep within the recesses of each soul is a knowing, a recognition of the Shepherd’s voice. Keep praying, for the yearnings of your heart are a precious and fragrant offering I never ignore.  Will you trust me as I make room for grace? Will you trust me as I let my love flow through you pure and unhindered? You can trust me completely. I must bring the others in too…   love Jesus.

I am the oldest. The care-taker, the one who wants to fix everything and everyone so pain and discomfort are avoided. But that’s not God’s way. If we never experienced deep sadness, how would we ever know the extreme joy that comes in the morning? Jesus willingly embraces all the ugliness left from the firey trials of life, and does what only the Savior can do, create amazing beauty from our ash heaps. But it’s so hard to watch those I love stumble and fall headlong into a pit because of poor and irrational decisions…then I remember I once was lost and alone too. It’s only through prayer and the empowering of the Holy Spirit that I can step back, and out of my old role, so Grace can step in. It’s only when I remember that God works everything in every life for good and ultimately His glory. Yes, Jesus is making room for grace in my family and I must trust him.

How about your family…is Jesus making room for grace?  I pray, you pray we pray!

xoxo

leah

HAPPY 2012…an Ephesians 3:20 kind of year!

Posted December 31st, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

Hello sweet friends!  I pray your Christmas was meaningful and joyful, full of the Prince of Peace.

2011 proved to be an amazing adventure for Jim and me. Yesterday I sat down and read through my journal, and like I said…2011 was an amazingly adventurous year! God’s steadfast love and faithfulness was the overriding theme. My heart truly overflows with thanksgiving! Another thing that popped out and continually amazes me is how Jesus is so steadfast in his love for me and His faithfulness to His Word, even when my love and faithfulness lack love and faithfulness! Grace…pure and simple.

I sent my good friend, Pastor Parris Bailey of Victory Fellowship Church in New Orleans, a note a few days ago with an Ephesians 3:20 blessing for 2012.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…

She wrote back saying that she and Pastor Frank were hearing the word, “over and above”, for 2012 and referred to Psalm 78:15.

He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.

I read and pondered Psalm 78, which recounts God’s faithfulness to his people…even when they disbelieved. It is a Psalm that encourages us to tell the coming generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord and the wonders He has done in our lives. It encourages us TO BELIEVE…to believe in the miraculous.

God performed amazing miracles to free his people from Egypt’s bondage. Although not in the same way, I remember very personal miracles He performed to free me.  But I can also relate, unfortunately, to the Israelite’s continuous whining, complaining and doubting that God COULD REALLY…

part the Red Sea

provide fresh streams of water from rocks

rain down manna daily like grain from Heaven

rain down winged birds like the sand of the seas

lead me safely in the wilderness like a shepherd, and

destroy every adversary.

Despite their disbelief…He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

God faithfully and miraculously meets the physical and spiritual needs of His people. Living water gushed and flowed in abundance! God will spread a table in any wilderness we are encountering, but we must,

we must,

we must believe He is God and there is not other. 2012 brings a new year…will we stop limiting what God can do in our lives? Stop putting limitations on His power to provide exceedingly abundantly above all we can even imagine…

They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer. verse 35

And in His compassion, God remembers that we are but flesh. By the power of the Holy Spirit, 2012 can be a year of denying our flesh and living in the supernatural ways of the Lord. Drinking abundantly from the depths of God.

What may appear small in your life, with faith, grows into abundance. The harvest comes from the seed planted in good soil, nurtured and watered.

SMALLNESS..a place to begin, start…growing into provision for you and others.

That still small voice…to hearing the Trumpet of God sound one Day.

The tiniest mustard seed…grows into the largest tree in your garden.

That little sack lunch…fed multitudes.

The little crumbs and remnants from that little lunch…filled 12 baskets full.

A small seed of hope in Mary’s womb…birthed Jesus, savior for all mankind.

One young shepherd tending his flock…anointed King of Israel in the linage of the true King.

12 uneducated, simple fishermen…leave an international legacy as faithful disciples of Jesus.

To what or where is God calling you to begin in 2012? God has amazing plans! Plans that exceed our expectation! Provision, physically and spiritually, from the most unusual places…gushing, flowing like a river, filling every need. But don’t despise humble beginnings.

That first baby step into the water parts the sea, making a way where you saw no way. God is ready. He is waiting for that first small step of radical obedience to unfold His design for your unique journey in 2012.

STRIKE THE ROCK, FOR THAT ROCK IS CHRIST JESUS, WHO IS ABLE TO PROVIDE EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY, OVER AND ABOVE, BY THE POWER OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT THAT WORKS WITHIN US.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Maybe that first step is to open your Bible…starting with Psalm 78, remembering God’s faithfulness in your life. I believe God. I believe He has an amazing year planned. I look forward to taking the Holy Spirit’s hand and praying for each of you that our Lord will act on your behalf in Ephesian 3:20 ways!

Jesus love you!  me too!

xo   leah

A Holy Christmas

Posted December 9th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

Good Morning!

You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,

Beautiful inside and out!

God be with you.

 the Message Bible

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to a poor, young Jewish woman whose name was Mary, with the above greeting. She was betrothed to Joseph, and I imagine, excited about becoming his wife. Purity is important to God, and purity was important to Mary, so she had never slept with a man. But, one day, in her little village of Nazareth, she received startling news that she had been chosen by God to give birth to the Son of God, the Messiah. She was to call his name Jesus.

“But how” was all she could utter. Have you been there? Have you uttered to God…But how? None of us have been asked to do what God had chosen Mary to do, but maybe He has asked you to do a really hard thing too. Mary’s “but how” was not out of fear or doubt, but too often mine is.  It’s when the Holy Spirit reminds me what I know…

with His Holy Presence in my life,

 like Mary,

I can respond…Ok God, I’m yours.

But let’s go back to Mary’s question, which oftentimes is our question too…but how God?

The angel answered,

the Holy Spirit will come upon you,

the power of the Highest hover over you;

Therefore, the child you bring to birth

will be called Holy, Son of God.  

The Message Bible

It’s only when we allow the Holy Spirit to hover…overshadow, overwhelm, eclipse, cover, dwell, superimpose the ways and character of Jesus on our lives that we can partner with God to do this thing he has asked.  Many of us are struggling today. God wants you to know if you will surrender completely to the Holy Spirit…together you can do this thing, this journey called life, this marriage, this work, this illness, this everyday thing you are struggling with.

Be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit.  I found this exact word, overshadowed, 3 other in the Bible, according to Strong’s concordance.

Genesis 1:2  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters…

Acts 5:12,15  Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on them…and they were all healed.

Luke 9:34-35  (the Transfiguration) As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One, listen to him!

When the Holy Spirit overshadows our lives…

Something beautiful, even miracles, can be created out of what appears dark and hopeless.

Healing happens, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

God will speak directly into our lives, that still small voice of encouragement, direction and hope, if we will but be still and listen to him.

Like Mary, our lives will give birth to something of Christ Jesus, for Christ Jesus and through Christ Jesus.

Nothing is impossible with our God! Find alone time with God today and ask the Holy Spirit to overshadow you in every way. We have this all surpassing power of God in these earthly vessels, ask the Lord to fill you up with His presence and power to the point that Jesus has completely eclipsed your life, and release such willingness that we, too, will say…Ok God, I’m yours.

Let this Christmas be Holy in every way…come Holy Spirit and bless each reader with your transforming power. We desire to be a beautiful and holy vessel for the display of your glory.

xo

leah

If you are in the area

Posted December 4th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries

Please join me!

Today’s vision

Posted November 14th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His feet were hurt with fetters; and his neck was put in a collar of iron; until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free; he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure and to teach his elders wisdom.  

Psalm 105:16-22

We all know the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. His brothers sold him into slavery for they were jealous and tired of hearing about his dream of them bowing before him. Joseph went from the pit, to Potiphar’s house to prison to Pharaoh’s number one man...a circuitous path!

That dream in your heart was placed there for a reason by God…don’t give up!  What the devil means for evil, God has plans for good, really good.

Today, look back at all your troubles with the eye of faith.  God sent Joseph ahead of his family for he knew the future famine. God has sent you ahead for something he has already planned. Look at all the tests and trials and troubles with the eye of faith.

Can we be trusted not to give up, to persevere in the really tough times? God is equipping us for the future famine.

FAITH:  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.   Romans 10:17

FAITH:  …for we walk by faith, not by sight.     2 Corinthians 5:7

FAITH:  “Daughter, your faith has made you well;     Mark 5:34

 

Today, let’s look at everything that has happened in our lives with the eye of faith.

xo

leah

 

If you are in the area, please

Posted October 20th, 2011 by Leah and filed in Interior Wisdom, LR Ministries

join me in Bainbridge, Georgia for an evening of beauty and holiness as I share a message to PREPARE OUR HEARTS AND HOMES FOR CHIRSTMAS.

Last year, a precious group of women from Fellowship Baptist Church purchased INTERIOR WISDOM and used it as a Bible Study. Now I am honored to join them in bringing the love of Christ Jesus to their community.

As always, I appreciate your prayers…may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart bring glory and honor to our Savior.

Have a wonderful weekend

xo

leah

You are safe…

Posted September 8th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

In Sarah Young’s devotional, Jesus Calling, I read these words…

In closeness to me, you are safe.

I stopped

lingered

prayed and

pondered the word

safe.

My mind reeled with the fullness of this promise- I am safe.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

Too many children don’t grow up in safe homes…too many spouses don’t live in safe homes…and too many seniors don’t live in safe places.

I am smaller than most middle schoolers, and I continually pray for the Lord to keep me safe from bodily harm.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

But when our home, or even our work place, is a hostile environment, not only is our physical wellbeing threatened, but our thoughts, dreams and desires are not safe either. It’s not safe emotionally, intellectually… so we disguise, hide and mask in the hope of being safe.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

What does it mean to you to know that you are safe?

You are a hiding place for me

You preserve me from trouble.

You surround me with shouts of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

Terrorist attacks, Congressional craziness, financial markets resembling roller coasters, weather gone wild, sex trafficking of our precious children…the world unraveling on a global, national and personal level moment by moment yet God desires us to know…

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord who made Heaven and Earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2
Nothing comes as a surprise to our Creator God, for he is our help.  HELP: to aid, protect, succour and surround…to keep us safe.

Lord, today we run into the safety and shelter of your faithfulness, for we long to be safe. Keep, guard and defend us in every way from the evil of this day.  We look to you alone, for man, money nor government can provide permanent {eternal} solutions.  Keep us safe in the shadow of your presence.  Holy Spirit walk with us through this day ever so close…so close that we say “us”, not “I”.  Make us so sensitive, so keenly aware of the reality {the realness} of your presence that we pray in hope and confidence about the days ahead, not shrinking back into fear, worry and doubt. Let our spoken words of hope shatter the unsafe by spilling light-filled words into the darkness.  Keep us safe according to your Word. Keep our children safe. Keep our seniors safe. Thank you for this promise.

In closeness to me {Jesus}, you are safe.

The Lord will keep you from all evil,

he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and coming in

from this time forth

and forevermore.

Psalm 121: 7-8

xo

Leah

P.S….Lord Jesus, keep the secret prayers of this online community “safe” in you.

The time of singing has come…

Posted July 28th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

Arise, my beautiful one,

and come away,

for behold the winter is past;

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth,

the time of singing has come…

for our vineyard is in blossom.

My beloved is mine, and I am His.

Song of Solomon 2:10-12,16

While 2446 is under renovation, which means lot and lots, and lots more, dust and mess, I keep my

sanity

poise

patience

positive attitude

energy to keep going

and faith

that I did hear the Holy Spirit correctly by closing my eyes and picturing the beautiful end result. Sometimes when we are in the thick of things, it’s wise to pull ourselves away…Jesus says, “Come away with me and I will give you some much needed rest.”

Arise, my beautiful one and come away…the time of singing has come…

This word singing, in Hebrew, also means pruning. We thoughtfully prune the garden so it will bear more.  And the joy in pruning surfaces when we look into our basket to behold its range of beauty.

Jesus longs for those who willingly prune and cut the flowers, enjoying their beauty and fragrance, arranging them in carefully selected vessels.  Listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings…enjoy all provided in this season of singing…pruning.  As surely as summer’s bounty follows winter’s bareness, your harvest will come. Don’t grow weary and tired in sowing through the difficult times for you will reap the better portion, beautiful flowers you have sown into the lives of others, if you just won’t give up.

Jesus says,

Arise, my beautiful one, and open your hands, heart and life to the Heavens for they anxiously wait to pour forth in abundance. Enjoy and delight yourself in me, your beloved, for I am gracious and compassionate, patient with steadfast love for you, my beautiful one.  Set your heart and thoughts on me today.  Run after me today; for I have chosen you, my beautiful one…come away with me. Don’t be afraid of the the time of singing, for the vineyard is in blossom. You are my beloved and I long to be yours.

Everyday Holiness    xoxo   leah

Living the NOW!

Posted July 25th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

There is therefore NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

Freedom in living in the NOW…  You will never have this block of time, this moment, this day again.  So what your thinking and doing right NOW?

Free your mind from worldly woes and cares, for the list is long, and purposely set your mind on the Spiritual.

Paul goes on to tell us the benefits of living in the NOW in verses 5 and 6.

For those who live according to the flesh

set their minds on the things of the flesh,

but those who live according to the Spirit

set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death,

but to set the mind on the Spirit is

life and peace.

That is the NOW of living in the Spirit, living in the freedom Jesus died to give us…LIFE & PEACE.

For me this is a constant battle.  I fall prey to fear far to easily, which enslaves my

mind

thoughts

actions

and

tongue.

I must purposely capture those nagging worrisome thoughts that cause fear to rise up, and turn them into thanksgiving…living in the NOW.  No condemnation because of my relationship with Jesus.  I am free.  You are free.  We are free!!

It’s hard.  It’s hard to say “thank you” for the hard places, sharp edges and rough times, but the NOW of freedom will overwhelm your entire being and the Holy Spirit will impart LIFE & PEACE…life…peace…real life…real peace…LIFE & PEACE.

The reality of NOW is that only in Jesus do we have peace with God.  Only through life in the Spirit will we experience and enjoy this security of the NOW.  The NOW of no condemnation, the NOW of LIFE & PEACE.

You are not guilty, not condemned- You have been set free!  Live today, for you will never pass this way again, in the freedom that Jesus died to give you.  Ask the Holy Spirit to rise up right NOW and impart LIFE & PEACE in Jesus as you set your mind on things above.

NOW think on these things…

Finally brothers (and sisters),

whatever is TRUE,

whatever is HONORABLE,

whatever is JUST,

whatever is PURE,

whatever is LOVELY,

whatever is COMMENDABLE,

if there is any EXCELLENCE,

if there is anything WORTHY OF PRAISE,

think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Practice these things right NOW and the Holy Spirit will uproot those condemning thoughts and the God of  peace will be with you.

Let us both purpose today, right NOW, to live the THEREFORE THERE IS NOW NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST JESUS!!

Have a beautiful week!   xoxo  leah

DETAILS…DETAILS…DETAILS…

Posted July 15th, 2011 by Leah and filed in LR Ministries, Word of Encouragement

Detail upon detail…if one could peak inside my head, I feel certain it looks like a swarming bee hive while my desk has become queen of “sticky notes”!!  Completion of a large job in Louisiana and smack in the middle of my personal renovation…my mind reels with details.  I firmly believe that

The difference is in the details!

Designing takes so much longer than you are led to believe by HGTV!  The one hour played out on your television has taken numerous hours of designing, planning, phone calls, redesigning, coordination, redesigning again due to obstacles in price increases, availability, lead times, freight costs…on and on and on.  It is like this gianormous puzzle and every piece must connect.  Every detail connects to the next detail creating this beautiful picture I have dreamed in my head with faith.

The difference in a well-designed interior is in the myriad of details.

Is your work like this too?

Sometimes when my bee-hive head feels like exploding from “detail coordination”, I stop, pick up my Bible buried on my desk, (which by the way is filled with sticky notes too!!), and read at random.  Not once has this failed to calm my mind, help me refocus and still the buzzing.  What seemed insurmountable, now makes sense as the Holy Spirit imparts wisdom, knowledge, ability, strength and courage to keep going with joy!


I found this verse in John 17 the Message Bible when Jesus prays for His followers and asks the Father…


And this is the real and eternal life:

That they know you,

The one and only true God,

and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

I glorified you on earth by

COMPLETING DOWN TO THE LAST DETAIL

WHAT YOU ASSIGNED ME TO DO.

Wow!  That’s my prayer too!  May my life glorify the Lord by completing down to the LAST DETAIL what He has assigned me to do!

Do you keep a Bible close at hand?

on  your desk,

in your desk drawer,

by your bed,

in your car?

It is good to be near the Lord

and His Word!

What has the King of the Universe, the One in charge of life itself assigned you to do for Him while you briefly walk this earth?

This weekend remember my friend…

You are the Head

not “de-tail”

so leave the

details of your life

in God’s capable

loving hands.

He will reveal everything you need to complete your assignment…

down to the final detail.

May we have the honor of standing before your throne one day Lord and say…I glorified you on the earth by completely down to the LAST DETAIL what you assigned me to do.  Holy Spirit come for apart from you this is surely impossible, but with Jesus all things can be accomplished.

xoxo   Leah