Worship

Stop Everything and Praise the Lord

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The world is exhausting. We have access to any amount of information that we want, and plenty that we do not need. This evil world is broken, and getting sicker by the minute. Now add to all of that our own every day trials and responsibilities, and you’ve got the perfect formula for hopelessness. 

We have hope because of Jesus. We may not always feel it, but it’s always there. No matter how crazy the world gets, or how crazy our lives are, we always, always have hope. One really simple way to get our hope and joy back in seemingly uncertain times is to turn our hearts toward the Lord. Praise is a powerful weapon in our spiritual arsenal. 

I’m talking about singing and praising God. Absolutely no talent is required, just an honest heart worshipping God. Our voices sound like angels in God’s ears when it’s sincere. That’s just my opinion since God is concerned about the condition of our hearts above anything else. Sing even louder if you are in deep pain. Praise to God is so powerful in our trials. 

Praising the Lord takes our eyes off our circumstances and fixes them on Him.

Do you need to put the brakes on the insanity of our world? I know I do. It’s just too much. We are not designed to bear heavy burdens, only Jesus’ burdens are meant for us. Those are the light ones. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Step one is to turn off social media, news, emails, and pretty much everything that makes noise. If you’ve got young children you may need to be creative and use nap times, or just have them join in the praise. Those little ones, and big ones, will learn so much from some sweet worship at home. 

Step two is to turn up the worship music. Whether you have a piano or another instrument, and can play, by all means play. Use cd’s, Spotify, Youtube, or whatever format you get your music from, and play only worship music. A cappella is lovely too, if you’re up for that. There are hymns, and modern worship music, and everything else in between. 

Step three is to sing out loud and praise God. This is the best part. Fill your mind and heart with the greatness of God, and let Him know it. You can even dance around the house if you feel comfortable doing that. Just go for it, and give God full praise right in your kitchen, or bedroom, or anywhere. 

David danced before the Lord. 

Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 2 Samuel 6:14 NKJV 

Dancing is not required, but it may spontaneously erupt out of sheer joy from the Lord. David is such a beautiful example of uninhibited adoration and worship of God. No wonder he’s called “a man after God’s own heart”. 

Something so amazing will start to happen as you lift your voice to the King of Kings. You will get your hope back, you will remember who is in control. Burdens will lift. You will see just how big and awesome God is. Our omnipotent God is still on the throne no matter what government’s do, no matter what the news says, no matter how pervasive evil is. God will never be dethroned. And justice is coming.

Praise Him today. Praise Him everyday. Take a break from all the crazy and give God your best praise and worship. It will fill your heart and give you joy knowing that no matter what you are facing God will help you. Let’s praise the Lord for He alone is worthy of our praise.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7, NKJV 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

If you need prayer send your request to meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

fear

Fear Not!

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I went to clean out the pool skimmer basket and jumped back. This terrifying looking snake was waiting for me. I quickly realized it was not alive. Phew. I was safe but still freaked out knowing a snake had been in our pool. The same pool we swim in freely. Now I was questioning if I should ever swim in the pool again.

There is an epidemic running rampant these days. No, it’s not that one. Fear is out of control. We are told in hundreds, if not thousands of ways, every single day to “be afraid”. Fear the virus, fear the new variants, fear getting the vaccine, fear not getting the vaccine, fear inflation, fear the potential food shortages, fear losing your livelihood if you disagree with someone, fear natural disasters, fear the rise in crime, fear the government, fear your neighbors, fear travel, fear pollution, fear standing up for your convictions.

These fears are based on potential outcomes that are legitimate. I call these, “What if’s”. It’s the worst case scenario that runs through our mind. It does not mean any of it will happen, but it could possibly happen, so we need to operate in fear, right? Wrong.

All of this fear comes from the enemy. The devil is real, and he loves to spread fear by lying. He’s very good at it. Jesus does not mince words when talking about the enemy.

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44, NASB

As followers of Jesus we are to be wise and discerning. Don’t let fear motivate your decisions. Make decisions based on Godly wisdom and discernment. How do you do that?

Pray. Ask God for wisdom and clarity on those things which cause you fear. He will show you what is really going on. He will give you peace and comfort. He will also help you know how to respond.

Trust God fully. You can stand firmly on The Rock, even when you cannot see. He sees all. He knows all. He loves you.

Stay in The Word. God’s word is the truth. With the bombardment of lies we must go to the truth.

Worship. Turn up the worship music and turn off the news, social media, and all the other stuff that fills our minds. Praise God simply for who He is.

Fear is a spiritual battle so we must use our spiritual weapons.

When you feel afraid let that be a reminder to take your fear to Jesus. If you have to take your fear to Jesus a thousand times in one day then do it. He is always available and able to help you.

We are in a fearful time in history. There are plenty of very real things to be afraid of. As Christ followers we are not to live in fear. Sounds easy. It’s not always easy, but it is possible to stand our ground in faith without fear. You can guarantee the scary stuff will come. It’s our response to it that makes all the difference.

You belong to God.

For you are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26, NASB

Jesus intercedes for you.

Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:34, NASB

Jesus is always with you.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20, NKJV

The Holy Spirit will help you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. John 14:26, NASB

God will never forsake you.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

The Lord is your helper.

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6, NKJV

Things are not always as they seem. Remember my creepy snake? It was actually just a baby snake. Discernment is essential when there is so much deception.

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Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Praise Your holy name. Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness. I lift up every person who is gripped with fear. Give them peace, comfort, and wisdom. Help them to see with their spiritual eyes the truth of Your soverignty. May they experience Your incredible presence in new ways. Lift their heads and their eyes towards You. Give us all wisdom and discernment to know truth from lies. Let us hear Your voice above all the noise of this world. Shine Your light through us to a dark and hurting world.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Food

Caprese Skewers

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This delicious appetizer is super easy to make. All you’re doing is assembling a few simple ingredients. No cooking, no heating up the oven. You can make these ahead of time and add the balsamic vinegar right before serving.

If you like Caprese salad which uses sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil then you will love Caprese skewers. It’s the same thing just bite-sized. These little skewers make a great snack, appetizer, or side dish.

I keep mine very simple and only sprinkle salt and fresh ground black pepper. You can easily add dried herbs if that’s what you like. Make them as small or large as you want. I have made them with regular sized toothpicks or larger like the ones pictured.

Happy Eating!

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Caprese Skewers

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 8oz. container mini mozzarella balls

large sprig of fresh basil (cut basil leaves in half)

balsamic vinegar

salt

fresh ground black pepper

toothpicks or bamboo skewers

Directions

  1. Slide a tomato, then half of a basil leaf, then fresh mozzarella on a skewer. Repeat until there are two of each item on your skewer. If you are using toothpicks just add one of each item.
  2. Lay the skewers on a platter. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over everything. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Cut bamboo skewers in half to make larger appetizers.
  • The basil wilts once it’s in the refrigerator but it still tastes good.
  • If you can’t find mini mozzarella balls just cut up small pieces of fresh mozzarella.
Faith, Prayer, Uncategorized

Suddenly

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I planted morning glories for the first time about three years ago. It was early spring and those tiny seeds went into the ground, and were forgotten until the first signs of life appeared weeks later. Little heart shaped leaves sprouted from the soil.

It feels like a leap of faith when I plant some seeds. The pretty picture on the seed packet shows me what I will eventually have. Hope is sown in my heart as I cover small seeds with dirt.

Sometimes there are crop failures. Seeds never sprout. Or, the seedlings only have short lives. A rain storm, heat, wind, or lack of sun can destroy what’s been planted. Precious seeds are fragile, vulnerable. But they are also packed with everything they need to grow into full-sized plants.

Heart shaped vines covered the wrought iron fence that summer. I waited anxiously for the first purple flower to appear. Day after day I watered and watched. Nothing happened. I watered some more and watched. Still nothing. June came and went, no flowers. July passed, then August. Still no flowers. Oh sure, I had a beautiful vine, but that’s not what I wanted. Blueish purple flowers is what I wanted.

September came and went, then October too. Nothing. I had accepted the fact that flowers were not coming. Morning glories were not meant for me. Other people got to experience their beauty, but not me.

Suddenly, one day in November I noticed something. There was a sliver of purple on the vine. Could it be? Did the morning glory finally bloom? Yes indeed! Oh happy day! My first morning glory appeared. It opened its beautiful purple self to the sun and smiled at me. I know flowers don’t actually smile, but this one did.

God spoke to me through that lone morning glory. He said, “I love you. I showed up right on time. This flower is just for you. I never forgot you.”

God has not forgotten you. Are you waiting on Him for an answer? For a miracle?

Did you plant your seed of faith? You watered it, and waited, and watched. Yet nothing happened. At least it appeared that way. There is a lot happening in that soil that we cannot see. It takes dirt, darkness, sun, rain, and time for things to grow. Conditions have to be just right for plants to produce flowers.

This last spring, morning glory seeds were put in the ground. I waited again in anticipation. This time I had to wait longer. Blooms didn’t show up until December. This year I had more faith, more hope as I waited. Even though it took longer to get those gorgeous purple flowers, I knew they were coming. Why? Because God had proven Himself faithful to me before. He would do it again.

Now when I get that first morning glory bloom it speaks right to my heart. My hope is restored that God indeed has a plan. His plan and His timing.

When we ask God for what He has placed on our hearts we can give up when it doesn’t happen right away. We’re impatient. We want it now. God rarely works that way. He’s always working on our hearts and our faith. Working out much bigger things than we can imagine.

Do we trust Him enough to wait on His timing? Do we trust Him with whatever the answer is, even if it’s not what we would choose? Is He truly Lord or just a Santa Claus? If God is my Savior and King, then He knows what’s best for me.

What do I want more? His blessings? Or Him?

Be encouraged today that God is a God of suddenly. When things look bleak, when we think it’s over, He will surprise us. Ask again, today. Believe again, today. God loves you!

 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Love you all,

Meghan

Faith, Trials, Uncategorized

Count Your Blessings

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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

 

We all have Christmas traditions. One of ours is to play the movie White Christmas while the tree is being decorated. I love all the music from that classic movie. Of course the iconic “White Christmas” song by Irving Berlin is one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time. And I do love that song. But there’s another song from the movie that I love. “Count Your Blessings” was also written by Irving Berlin. He wrote it during a time he was suffering from insomnia brought on by stress. A doctor suggested to count his blessings instead. Good advice.

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings
when my bankroll is getting small I think of when I had none at all
and I fall asleep counting my blessings.

 

I think about a nursery,
and I picture curly heads,
and one by one I count them
as they slumber in their beds.

If you’re worried and you cant sleep,
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.

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Worry and stress are exasperated during this “Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. While it should be one of the happiest times, for many it can be one of the hardest. I think of this song often throughout the year when I feel stressed. When I stop and count all of my many blessings it gives me perspective. The problems will always come, but the gifts from our Heavenly Father will come too. So let’s thank Him for all He has given us, for all He has done and continues to do.
The Word of God is clear about what we are to do with our worry. Give it all over to Jesus. Here are just a few verses:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV) 
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
No matter what you are facing today, stop and take a few moments to thank God for everything He has blessed you with. Write these blessings down and look at them daily to remember how faithful God is. Let’s count our blessings! Our lists should be so long that we run out of paper. If you are in a painful place, at least write a few blessings down. There is always something to be thankful for. Your list will grow as you begin to think about all the good God has done.
Here is a big blessing to start you off. Jesus came into this world as a tiny baby to save us. Thank you Jesus for the blessing and miracle of Christmas.
When we thank God for His many blessings something happens. We stop focusing on the problems and stress and start focusing on God. That changes our mood and our attitude. Our faith grows, and our praise gets stronger. That’s powerful!
May your load be a little lighter today. May God give you fresh joy and perspective when you think on all He has done.
Love you all,
Meghan
P.S. If you need prayer leave your request in the comments or on my contact page.
Images by monicore from Pixabay