Throwback Thursday: A Super-Quick Post on How to Have Your Spirits Lifted

I was looking through some old posts when the title of this one caught my eye.  Oh, what a blessing it was to read again and be reminded of this KEY to a lifted countenance!!!  I’m smiling after being watered by this Word, and trust that the Lord will use it to rain down a refreshing encouragement on some parched soul out there.

You, dear one, are loved by Him, and He has NOT forgotten you, your situation, or your needs.  Today, He is reminding you of the secret for a lifted heart in the midst of the earthly turmoil… and I’m praying that your spirit is buoyed by acting on the Name of our Savior as you read it today.

Throwback Thursday. The best of SmellingCoffee.com

This was my Name of God/Jesus for today & I wanted to pass it along. If you need a lift to your countenance today – begin to praise & thank the Lord.

We praise Him for Who He is (whether or not we have personally experienced Him as such), and we thank Him for those things He has done for us, given us, and for the ways in which He has taken care of us.  

Doing this is how we can put hope in God.  Doing this is how we remember that whatever it is that is weighing us down is NO MATCH for The Lord, His Might, His Plan, or His Purposes.  He is greater than our needs today.  Praise the Lord!

He alone is the lifter of our countenance. Psalm 42:11 May you know & experience Him as this today. 🙂

“Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my countenance, and my God.”  Psalm 42:11 (Amplified)

(A note I had written in the margin of my Bible: “In times of discouragement, walk in faith and use your mouth to praise God, and He will lift your spirits.”) 🙂

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How to Handle Father’s Day – And the Many Emotions it Brings

How to Handle Father's Day and the Many Emotions it Brings. SmellingCoffee.com
First of all, I want to wish my dear husband and the father of our children, James Walker, a Happy Father’s Day!  He and Abigail are in Africa on a mission trip right now, and are loving it!

In fact, come to think of it, in the 19 years that James has been a dad, I can literally count on one hand the number of Father’s Days that he has been home with our children and me.  In the early years James traveled a lot in his ministry job and was usually gone during Father’s Day weekend.  And for the past four Father’s Days he has been in Africa.

This will seem selfish, but I’ll admit that with my dad being in heaven and my husband being gone, I’ve fought the temptation to feel a bit sorry for myself on these Father’s Day Sundays sitting with my kids alone at church.  It “seems” like everyone else leaves the service with their families, parents, etc, going to a happy lunch to celebrate the fathers in their lives, and we would always go home alone.  I’ve left many a Father’s Day Sunday services in tears.

UNTIL… The Lord reminded me of something I had completely forgotten… I still have a Daddy here, and my children still have a Daddy present, and He is a Good Daddy who is with us always, and is everything we need a Daddy to be!

Read some of His beautiful names listed in the Word:

Abba – Romans 8:15
Father – Isaiah 9:6
Father of Compassion – 2 Corinthians 1:3
Father of Our Spirits – Hebrews 12:9
Father of the Heavenly Lights – James 1:17
Father to the Fatherless – Psalm 68:5
God of all Comfort – 2 Corinthians 1:3
God of the Living – Matthew 22:32
God our Father – Colossians 1:2
Helper of the Fatherless – Psalm 10:14
Holy Father – John 17:11
Keeper – Isaiah 27:3
My Benefactor – Psalm 71:6
My Support – 2 Samuel 22:19
Righteous Father – John 17:25
The Glorious Father – Ephesians 1:17
My Intercessor – Hebrews 7:25
Shield – Psalm 28:7
Source of Life – Acts 3:15
Wonderful Counselor – Isaiah 9:6
The One Who Speaks – Hebrews 12:25
Spirit of Sonship (Adoption) – Romans 8:15

It’s such a gift to be reminded of this.  What a wonderful Abba we all have! I love Him so!!!

Because my dad was such a wise, unselfish, patient, and loving father, it has been easy for me to believe that God the Father is wise, unselfish, patient, and loving.  But I realize that many didn’t have a dad like mine, which makes intimacy with and trust in our Heavenly Father a little more difficult to accept.

Whether we had the best or the worst earthly dad, or whether our dads are present or not, we all have a Father we can celebrate this weekend. Our Heavenly Daddy. He loves us, provides for us, walks with us, laughs and cries with us, rejoices over us, carries our burdens for us, and He even laid down His life for ours.

He keeps His promises, and He will NEVER leave us… no matter what! He is the Father to the fatherless. He is the Daddy we all dream of having.

As great as our earthly dads are, they are still human. None of them are perfect. But God the Father is.  And friends, we need to release God from being bound in our minds and hearts by the faults and failures of our earthly dads.  God is NOT like man.  Man will fail us.  God will not.

His Word promises:

“You are the helper of the fatherless.” Psalm 10:14 (NIV)

“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” Psalm 27:10 (NLT)

“Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house.”  Psalm 68:5 (Msg)

You, LORD, are our Father. We are nothing but clay, but you are the potter who molded us. Isaiah 64:8 (CEV)


If this is a sad or difficult day for you
, may the Father, our Abba Daddy, remind you of who you have in Him.  So whether you get to say it to anyone else in your life, you can lift up your eyes with a smile and tell your Perfect Daddy – the One who will never leave nor forsake you, “Happy Father’s Day!”  🙂


If you are far away from your Heavenly Father
and are wondering if you’ve gone too far for Him to welcome you home, read this short FB post from Franklin Graham:

We celebrate ‪#‎FathersDay‬ this weekend. I look forward to going to see my father Billy Graham at his home tomorrow, and am thankful to still have him with us.

Jesus told a parable about a father who was loving and forgiving in spite of his son’s many mistakes. The son was only interested in getting his inheritance early, then squandered it all away on partying. When he had nothing left and was forced to eat with the pigs, he decided to go home.
The Bible says, “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24).

This story is a picture of not only a loving earthly father, but it’s a picture of our compassionate Heavenly Father who will forgive when you turn to Him in repentance. He loves you, wants the best for you, and celebrates when His children come home. If you’ve wandered away from God, this would be a great day to return to Him. I urge you to call out to Him today—He’s waiting to embrace you.

And one more thing to share: This blog post was written last year by a special young woman, a child of my heart that I’ve loved and watched grow since she was six years old.  Trust me when I say that she has had to learn at a tender age to let God step in and be her Abba, Daddy – and He (and Annie’s mom) have done the most incredible job raising her (and her brother!)  It’s called “Do You Know My Daddy?”  I know you’ll be blessed.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone!  Today and everyday, we celebrate and give thanks to God, our Father, for all He has done for us, His beloved children.

 
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The Orlando Shooting and What I Had to Confess

The Orlando Shooting and My Confession. SmellingCoffee.com

I’m deeply sorry that this was true of me, but feel very strongly that the Lord is leading me to bear it out on this blog, so I’m going to open up my ugly… trusting that God will use it to help someone else process through theirs.

When I heard about the terrible shooting in Orlando, I was “sorry”… but I found myself saying and feeling it with a distant and hard heart. It kind of puzzled me. But then, I was tired. It was not local. It didn’t immediately affect me. I didn’t know the details, and hadn’t yet put “people” on the other end of those bullets. I thought that explained my distance of concern over the shooting. That, and the fact that so many terrible things are going on all of the time…

My friend, Amy, lives right outside of Orlando, and this is what she shared on her FB feed yesterday afternoon, though I didn’t see it until today:

A few thoughts before my Sunday afternoon slumber…I am blessed today because….I am alive, I have a bed, clean water, ate lunch, I have a family, I have health, and the list could go on for days!!!!! We often forget to count our blessings. We complain about little inconveniences, the heat, the rain, traffic, waiting in a line, loud music , soft music, not being able to see from your seat at Church, bad service at a restaurant, all the while God must just shake his head. Then on a normal day like today we mourn the loss of life of 50 innocent people and it gives me and you a huge dose of reality. I am called to be different, but am I? Do I complain, do I whine when I am inconvenienced, do I love without strings attached, how will the world ever see Christ if they don’t see him in me and you? A new president or more gun control will not change a thing. The gospel of Jesus is our only hope. Today I am blessed and oh so very convicted.(AF)

She is SO right, isn’t she?

This morning God showed me that my lack of mercy for these victims wasn’t the fact that I was tired or uninformed… {I’m about to be shamefully gut-wrenchingly, honest with you… } When every “acceptable reason” was stripped away for my hard-heartedness, what He revealed to me was that if this had happened in any other “night club,” I would be showing more mercy in my thoughts and prayers. Ouch!

So in my most vulnerable state ever, here are the three things God is dealing with me that I am to humbly pass along to you:

1. I like to think of myself as loving everyone as the same… but obviously I have a far way to go. And I’m sorry for that. And I’m working on that. Right now.

The truth is: That club was full of people God loves and Jesus died for… just as He loves and died for me. Period. “All have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for US.” Romans 5:8. (emphasis, mine) “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world, that He even gave His One and Only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him as Savior shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

This is not a debate about what is and isn’t a sin… ALL of us have a sin problem. And that nightclub was filled with sinners, just as it would have been if you and I and all of our “church friends” were in it! The lives of PEOPLE loved and created in the image of God were taken, and that’s not taken lightly by their Creator… and it shouldn’t be taken lightly by me {us} either.

This is a FB post from a local pastor, Bro. Tim Starnes, that I read this morning, as God was continuing to convict me:

I find it strange that some posts are encouraging conservative Christians not to speak to this issue, almost indicating it was their fault. Some of the responses to Christian leader who did express sympathy are vulgar and profane. Christians of all stripes should mourn over this tragedy, and pray for God’s comfort on the family and friends Of the victims. Please don’t drink from the stream of hate at a time like this, it can not quench your anger.

Thank you, Bro. Tim!

2. I was hard hearted because I was fearful that this will turn into another “gay rights” issue. These were Americans.  And I’m wondering that if a group of Christians were shot at a Christian event, would there be this kind of outrage and defense? There, as bad as that sounds… I said it, because that’s honestly what was in my darkened heart.

Want to know what the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart as I was reading through Romans 12?

That is not my concern. How others react to this should not affect my response of mercy and concern for the hurting. God is holding ME accountable for what I do. Not for what others do. I must answer to Him for my reaction when tragedy strikes and people are hurting. “Weep with those who weep – share other’s grief.” Romans 12:15.

Then the Lord led me to go through all of Romans 12, highlighting again how God wants us to ACT and to REACT in every circumstance. (I’ve posted it below if you want to read it for yourself. It’s good!!!)

3. How Christians (those of us who claim to follow Christ) react to this tragedy and to the people who are grieving may/WILL BE a determining factor in one or many a hurting person’s life – showing them whether this God we claim to serve really is LOVE or not. Our actions and reactions, and mercy or lack thereof, will have eternal repercussions.

Jesus knew this, and told us how important it was that we show love and mercy over hardheartedness and selfishness.

“I am giving you a new commandment,
that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
so you too are to love one another.

By this everyone will know
that you are My disciples,
if you have love
and unselfish concern
for one another.”
John 13:34-35

The beauty of the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and our ability to confess and repent, is forgiveness and a clean heart!

“If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude ourselves and the truth is not in us. [His word does not live in our hearts.]

If we freely admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1 John 1:8-9

My friends, I have freely admitted to the Lord that I have sinned in my attitudes and reactions, and our God, my Savior, Father, Teacher, and Friend has been so faithful to forgive and cleanse me of that.  Thank you, Jesus!!!

My heart is now at peace joy with Him and I am genuinely praying for these dear ones in Orlando, looking forward to watching how God will take even this tragedy and work His Romans 8:28 promise on it.

Is God dealing with you in any way today? Don’t delay your response to Him.

Need to confess? Go to Him right now and lay it out before Him. (He knows it anyway.) He is faithful and loves you so much… His arms are waiting to bring you back into the fold.

Not sure what you need? Read through Romans 12 (below) and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you, then respond as necessary.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

I’m praying with you, my friends~

 

Romans 12 (Amplified Bible, 2015 Edition)

Dedicated Service
12 [a]Therefore I urge you, [b]brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [c]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

3 For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. 4 For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, 5 so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other]. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; 7 if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; 8 or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, [d]with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness.

9 Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; 11 never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; 12 constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], 13 contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. 17 Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap [e]burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Footnotes:
a Romans 12:1 Paul now begins outlining for the believer the practical application of the theological truths taught in chs 1-11.
b Romans 12:1 Lit brethren.
c Romans 12:2 From the Greek word meaning “metamorphosis.” Refers to the process that leads to an outward, permanent change.
d Romans 12:8 Or without ulterior motives.
Romans 12:20 This may refer to an ancient Egyptian custom in which a penitent person carried a bowl of burning embers on his head to show his shame and guilt. By analogy, being kind to an enemy may lead him to shame and repentance.

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A Few Favorite Finds: Some Super {& FREE} Online Resources

Favorite Finds - things worth passing along. SmellingCoffee.com

Hi everyone~  How are YOU???  In Walker world, it’s now considered “Summer.”  Yay!! 😉  We are all breathing a little easier now that the emotional days of the past month have waned. I have something to confess.  And please – I’m not saying this for you to feel sorry for me – just so that […]

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Going out with JOY… and a few other emotions too. ;-)

Abigail and Zoe.  SmellingCoffee.com

Well… it’s been silent a while around here, hasn’t it?  If we’re friends through the Smelling Coffee Blog and TV Facebook page, or on Twitter, (I’m @SmellingCoffee, btw) or on Instagram (where I’m @JenniferCrawfordWalker)  {and I hope we are!… if we aren’t, will you please go out there and friend me now???}  you’ll have seen pictures of why. […]

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When Mother’s Day is Hard

A Mother's Love. SmellingCoffee.com

Ok – I’ll just admit it right now… I’m having a tough time.  Tears are already streaming down my face, and I haven’t written anything but a Facebook Post to my mom and the title of this blog post.  And it’s not because I don’t have a wonderful mom or that my kids are in […]

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A MUST HAVE Book for moms, grandmas, parents and caregivers of kids in all ages and stages of life!!!

How to Win Your Child's Heart for Life. MelanieRedd.com SmellingCoffee.com

You know how I love a good book… Right?  Well, my friend, Melanie Redd (whom you have met before on this blog here, and through the Smelling Coffee TV show here) has written an excellent parenting/grand parenting resource that I think is going to be one of those books you’ll read, and re-read through each […]

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To Boycott or Not – What to do with Target? – and 6 Guiding Principles to Consider

To Boycott or Not. SmellingCoffee.com What to do with Target?

I’m sure you’ve seen and read and heard it all… and those who are believers in Jesus Christ are finding themselves on both sides of this “Targeted” issue. Before I share what God has given me, if you aren’t caught up, read these two short articles: Read this article from the American Family Association – […]

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