THIS DAY

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Give us THIS DAY our daily bread.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

We all get caught up in what we will do tomorrow.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:13-14

My grandfather who I absolutely adored worked for Ford Motor Company in River Rouge Michigan.  He was just a year away from retirement.  He had planned to move to Tennessee where he could spend his last years fishing on the banks of the Tennessee River.  Our family loved to go camping in Jackson Michigan every weekend we had available, and Father’s day weekend in 1995 was the last one we would spend together as a family.   I remember looking at my grandfather leaning against our screen-house struggling to breathe and something inside of me told me that he was very ill.  Just 2 short months later on August 25th, my grandfather took his last breath on this earth to enter his Heavenly home.  He never got the opportunity to go fishing on the banks of the Tennessee River, but I believe he now fishes on the banks of the Heavenly Jordan

We are not promised tomorrow…..

Two weeks ago on Good Friday morning, I received a phone call at work.  My cousin who I was extremely close to as a child passed away in her sleep.  She had gone to work the previous day, stopped at the store to buy special items for her Easter celebration, came home to eat dinner with her husband, mother, and three daughters.  She went to bed and never woke up.   A woman just 43 years old, in the prime of her life, gone in one breath.  As I have thought about her lately I wondered what things she stressed about that never happened.  What dreams did she dream that never had time to come true?

We are not promised tomorrow…..

I was reminded of the Israelites after they were free from bondage on their way to the promised land.  God fed them manna fresh each morning with the warning to not try to gather any for the next day (except for the Sabbath).  When Jesus gave us an example of  how to pray, He said, “Give us this day our DAILY bread.”  God has food for us both physically and spiritually fresh every single day.  He doesn’t want us to get ahead of Him or behind him.  He wants us to walk hand in hand with him every single day.

The best-made plans may never happen.  We need to focus on this day.  What can we do for Jesus today?  What can we do to serve others this day?  What can we learn and be fed by our Heavenly Father this day?

If we can take our eyes off of the past, and off of the future, how much can we gain?  Let us live THIS DAY for Jesus allowing Him to be all that sustains us.

(c) Angie Counter *2018 All Rights Reserved*

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A Little Different Holiday

I am so very thankful for Jesus.  I am so thankful that because he died on the cross I have the precious gift of opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven with Him.  I sit here writing with a very thankful heart but also an aching heart.  On good Friday my youngest cousin, the only other girl on my mother’s side went to that eternal home.  She was a little over 2 years younger than I am, with three precious girls and a husband who adored her.  She had a mother who as a mother should,  believed her daughter hung the moon and a brother who shared a bond with her like no one else.  Even when we were small children those two were like twins.  They shared a connection that amazed me, but I weaved my way in to share some of the best childhood memories. We were like siblings.  It’s funny how when I tell a story from when I was small, it always begins with, “Me, Chad and Chasidy.”  We don’t understand why a woman at 42 can be gone when just in the prime of her life.  Our Heavenly Father knows.  That has to be enough for me.

Today I celebrate what this day means to me, but so much has changed in my heart in just three short days.  I realize that my cousin gained her crown, because of what Jesus sacrificed on the cross.  Before that sacrifice, there was no hope of eternity.  We are going to lose loved ones that is a fact. Life is fragile.  As the bible says, “It is but a vapour.”

This is why we have to cling to what that old rugged cross represents.  Hold on to it with everything that is within us, so that one day we can spend eternity with the one that gave his life on that cross because he loves us so passionately.

Happy Ressurection Day Dear Friends.  May the Lord bless you with more of His presence in your heart and life. Meeting your needs, and blessing your families.  In Jesus Name.

~Angie

A Shift In The Atmosphere

Seven months have passed.  Seven months since my grandmother has gone home to be with Jesus.  I feel the void.  I have felt it since the day she took her last breath.  I miss her so much, and I miss her prayers.  As I have taken some time to just focus on my daily devotions, I have missed writing.  Just sitting here in thought, allowing God to minister to my heart.  This morning I hear him saying, “There is a shift in the atmosphere.”  There is a change that is taking place, as the time of His return is drawing closer.  Pure grief kept me from sharing much of the last 24 hours of my precious grandmother’s life, but today I write.  Because something shifted, and it’s time to allow God to manifest the fruit of the shift.

My grandmother was a warrior.  One of those old fashioned, on her knees every single morning, dedicated and powerful warriors.  I spent a lot of time with her as a little girl.  She was a second mother to me.  She nurtured me and taught me about Jesus.  She fed me the word of God even before I could speak, and planted a warriors heart inside of me so that I would know how to fight when the battle grew fierce.  She taught me to praise, and sing, and love Jesus with a passion like no other.  I knew if I needed prayer I could go to her, and she would pray.  She always reminded me that she was praying for me EVERY SINGLE DAY before I even awoke I was covered.  Oh, how I miss her prayers.

The afternoon after her surgery, while she lay on that bed in critical condition.  The news was grim, and her pain was evident.  I stood beside her bed, stroking her hair as she had done mine so many times as a child.  I caressed her and told her how much I loved her, and I PRAYED!  I prayed for her with my whole heart.  Reminding her of the power of Jesus, and praying for peace in the name of Jesus.  I lovingly prayed for my prayer warrior who had prayed for me for over forty-four years.  I looked up and the room was empty.  I don’t know where everyone had gone, but I knew God had given me this time alone with her.  He had orchestrated this final time just for me, and now that I am able to I share this amazing gift with you.   After I prayed over her, I sat down in the corner, alone, and prayed for her.  I thanked God for her.  I just soaked in this time as the gift that it was.  A few minutes later my family came back in, and the nurses were getting her situated.  My mother was worried that I’d not eaten, so we all decided to go downstairs to get a bite while they did their tending to her.  Something prompted me to look back as I was walking out the door.  Grandma was sitting up in the bed, more alert than she had been, and she was looking at me.  I said, “Grandma I love you!” and even with the tube to the ventilator in her mouth, she said, “I love you too!” and the pure love radiating from her eyes will be a constant memory for the rest of my days.  She loved me fiercely, and was my BIGGEST HERO! I wish I would have told her more.  We never think we are going to lose our loved ones.  But as an example of how fast it goes, grandma went in 24 hours without us even being prepared that she was going to die.  She thought she had arthritis in her leg, but it was cancer, and 24 hours after finding out she went home to be with Jesus.

I went into the funeral parlor where they had her shell.  Her spirit was already with Jesus, but the image of who I’d known all of my life lay there so beautiful and still.  I caressed her cold forehead and told her how much I loved her.  She wasn’t there, but I prayed Jesus would let her hear.  I promised her I’d take her mantle.  I’d pray for our family, and be the woman of God she taught me to be.  I’d make her proud of me. But there was a shift in the atmosphere.  The older generation is leaving this earth, and sin is growing stronger and more accepted.  There aren’t as many prayer warriors who arise every morning to pray for their families, who fast and seek God to see mountains move.  Grandma was amazing.  She was the truest example of who I long to be.  I am growing stronger but yet I still grieve.  I am coming out of the haze that grief causes, and am determined to be all that I promised her I’d be.  Not just to make her proud.  But because I am in love with the one she introduced me to so many many years ago.  She gave me the greatest gift and left me with such a strong legacy.  I now have a lot to live up to, but oh what a joy to work toward being just like her. I want to be an old fashioned prayer warrior, and so I strive…. as I cling to the hand of the one who is created it all.

 

(c) Angie Counter 2017  “It’s Okay….”

It’s Not Always Easy

Being a follower of Christ isn’t always easy.  There are times when it seems like you fade right into another battle without even finishing the one you are in.  You get tired, and you want to lay down.  You get weak, and you want to just throw up your hands and say “Enough!”  I know this all too well.  I was sitting at a red light one morning, and the battle was raging strong all around me.  I was so exhausted, I cried out to God.  I said, “God I can’t fight this battle anymore!”  As I sat there waiting for the light to change, I heard him ask me, “Angie, who fights the battles?”  I was shocked that he asked me this question.  I didn’t answer.  Then He began telling me, “You don’t fight the battles, I do.  When David stood before Goliath, it wasn’t him that was fighting, it was me.  Not his strength, but mine.  Not his might, but mine.”  All at once the songwriter in me began writing a song entitled, “Who fights the battles.”  I still sing this song quite often as a reminder that I am not fighting these battles, God is.  The giant may look to big to take down, but it isn’t my power or might that will bring it down in defeat, but God, and God alone.

We are going to face hard battles that leave us feeling the strong need to lie down.  We are going to have difficult days, facing difficult people and situations.  When we truly grasp hold of God’s hand, He then takes over.  God takes the helm, and we need only let Him guide us through what we are facing, as he defeats the enemy along the way.  That isn’t always easy, because the enemy will do whatever he has to do to keep us from truly connecting to God.  He will try to distract us with his lies, causing us to feel defeated.  This is when we have to take those thoughts captive, so that we can trust God enough to allow Him to fight for us.

No matter what you are facing, God is in control.  I want to remind you, as I remind myself, God is fighting the battles in our life, and we just have to hold on tightly to His hand, and allow Him to fight.

(c) Angie Counter 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Extreme Makeover

     There are some days where I feel frumpy. No matter how I try to do my hair, or put on a little extra make up to cover the dark circles, I still feel like I’m a mess. After being sick for a few days, I returned to work. I walked into the restroom, took a quick look into the mirror that hangs above the sink. My eyes were dark. My hair poking out wildly from my quickly set up-do, and I thought to myself how on this day especially, I need a makeover.
      This morning a comment by a fellow writer caught my eye, she said, “God loves makeovers just as much as I do.” Wow! How many days do I wake up a mess? Struggling with the turmoil of life, and struggling to put myself even slightly together. I can just see my soul man all haphazardly put together, and I can’t help but chuckle, even though it is quite serious. When I need a makeover in my flesh, there is such a high price to pay. It isn’t cheap to go pamper oneself, but when we go to God for a makeover, it doesn’t cost a thing. His makeover is free. He can transform our spirit man touch by touch, and word by word. It only takes resting in His presence, as we allow the transformation process to take place. I can’t tell you how much this touches my heart. I know that there are times when I am a complete mess. I know that I need to rest in His transforming presence quite often. Sometimes I feel it more than others, and I know you feel that way too. We all struggle with keeping ourselves together, but this is the awesome part of living for God. He is a God of extreme makeovers. Moment by moment spent in his presence, He transforms us from a mess into a message. what a wonderful God we serve. I pray this blesses you as much as it has blessed me this morning. I know that sometime today I will look into the mirror at work and chuckle to myself. I know that I will see that mess looking back at me, but I will take a moment, raise my hand, and thank God that he is transforming me, and for that I have to give him the praise He is so worthy of.
(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*

Be Careful What You Say

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I felt the presence of the Lord so intensely yesterday.  It started with a conversation with a friend, then my husband, and ending with another close friend.  It was a day where even though I wasn’t feeling well in my flesh, I was feeling stronger in my spirit.  During the conversation with my friend in the latter part of the afternoon, I shared something that had been bothering me spiritually, as I could see clearly how the enemy had stolen so much from me.  A couple of hours passed, and what happened?  The enemy used someone I once admired greatly to say something that he knew would hurt me deeply.  It worked for a little while, but only reinforced my desire to move onward from where I once was.  If I had any apprehension,  the last thread that held me there, was broken by her words.  I don’t think her intent was to push me further away, but what I saw in her words was an answer to the prayer in my heart.  I have been seeking direction, and while I’d spent the entire day allowing God to minister to my heart, this is the answer I was given.

Sometimes we have to be careful what we say to others.  There are words that can push people further away, when our intention is to draw them closer.

I have had a passionate desire to break out of the box that has held me captive for such a very long time.  I’ve seen more of God outside of this box, then I did in all the years I’d been inside.  The burning desire to reach out to others who have been where I’ve been, and are trying to find their way into the restoring arms of Jesus, I was never given the opportunity to do.  I had an awesome woman of God tell me that just as Jesus had to do, I had to leave my own country, because I’d never be accepted there, and so I am now moving onward.  With the power of God to lead me, and the mighty arm of God to uphold me.  As the prayer of St. Patrick says, “Christ above me, and Christ beneath me.  Christ at my right, and Christ at my left.”  Christ is my driving force that pushes me forward. As painful as it was to feel the last strand of chord break for me last night, I feel a freedom I’ve not felt before.  I have the freedom now to share all that Christ has done, and will do… outside of the box.

(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*

 

 

Divided We Stand

I hate  to turn on the television, or read anything on social media.  The news is grim.  People are divided, and evil is running ferociously in the streets of America. I have watched as generation by generation, sin has gained more control of not only our young people, but many of the older generation as well.  Things that God said was wrong, little by little, has become more acceptable, covered over by a label of love.  Even though God said that He never changes, man has changed Him so that their sin can be acceptable.

Now we stand looking at a very broken America.  One where now that sin is being confronted head on, the evil screams with anger, lashing out to destroy anyone who dares say it is wrong.  We the body of Christ need to cry out to God like we never have before.  It is time we fight this war on our knees, for our families, for our children, for our fellow believers.  God we stand, even among this divided nation, we stand for you!

 

 

(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*