Can My Heart Ever Really See God’s Wondrous Glory?

Can My Heart Ever Really See God’s Wondrous Glory?

This journey of life has taken me through dark and treacherous valleys at times. So, often I have searched to find the heart of God; desiring to know and understand His will. Sorrows, pains, trials come and toss me about on this sea of life. Each time I am tossed by the storms,  I find myself trusting more firmly in the only anchor that can hold me fast in the midst of the storms. I find myself searching and seeking to know God more. I search to see His Glory, His Love, and His Joy. I find that out of the darkness: I become filled with Joy in the midst of sorrow, love in the midst of broken heartedness, and that hope arises out of despair. It is in those dark valleys that God’s Glory shines brightest. Quite the opposite of what my heart would have thought it desired. I really would prefer that His Glory present itself toward me in prosperity. Yet, in my own humanity; my thoughts turn away from God and toward me when all is going well. As though an all righteous, just God would be so pleased with my own accomplishments of righteousness. Yet, God’s Glorious attributes include His perfect Love as well as His perfect Justice.  Both are blended into His Splendor.  He knows what is best for me.  He knows all that is needed in my heart to prepare me for the greatest pleasure in Him and in His Glory.

 

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Could I understand His power and might were it not for the storms in my life?  Would I even search for God, were there no storms?  God’s heart breaks with mine every time mine is broken. Yet, He knows that unless mine is broken; I can never feel the depth of His love. I would never be able to truly love anything or anyone; had my heart never been broken.  In that broken state, I found God’s love which filled me to overflowing.  Only then could I learn the truth of love.  If I had never known sorrow; could I really know the depth of Joy I have found in God?

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Poetry Sunday—Because I See Thy Gift of Grace

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Because I See thy Gift of Grace

By Effie Darlene Barba

A pilgrim’s journey through this land

Through meadow’s soft and desert sand

Beside the gentle bubbling streams

With flowers kissed by sunlit beams

Or rushing, roaring water falls

Whose beauty gasps and danger calls

Twinkling stars in the dark of night

That guide my way and shed their light

The gentle breeze across my face

Whispering words of God’s sweet Grace

Creator Lord with all You do

Whom else on earth could I pursue

For all I have and all I am

Is due to You—My precious lamb

Who chose to die and pay my price

In You I find my paradise

And now I see through different eyes

This course on earth no more disguise

Its beauties shine, your glory clear

I feel your breath, your warmth so near

To warm the chill within my soul

Like fireplace lit in winter’s snow

You blessed my life with love’s sweet kiss

That hope and joy arise amidst

The darkest trials I may face

Because I see thy Gift of Grace

Let me each and every day grow to love Him more, seek Him as my greatest treasure, never lose the awe of His creation, and run to fall before His throne of Grace to be near Him.  Dear Father, transform this heart to desire only you. 

Do you have a poem that you would like to share?  Click here to leave your comment or to share your poems. 

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header and who designed my logo is Ronald Barba.    Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

Photograph used by permission ©123ref/ Chee-Onn Leong

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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How can it be that God so Loved Me?

It is God’s Amazing Love and Grace that saved me.  I so want to learn to love Him with all my heart, to seek Him with all my being and to follow Him.

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Lord, let me lay aside all else that I might follow you.  Let me sit at your feet until I want nothing more than I desire you.  You, who so willingly love me, who has taken all my brokenness that I might be made whole.  Fill me with your joy, your love until there is none other than your Glory left to reflect back to you.  And  when my faith doth fail me, Lord be my faith that I may not stray from your dear presence.

artwork by Ronald Barba and used by permission for information go to http://www.barba-art.com

Today I wanted to share with you this amazing hymn written by Charles Wesley.

AND CAN IT BE THAT I SHOULD GAIN

by Charles Wesley (1738)

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

It has been God’s Grace that endured such evil with great longsuffering so that I might see His Glory, be embraced by His Love, and be overwhelmed by His joy. Lord, take all of me, all my desires and mold them to thy will. 

And Can it Be – Dan Bos – Lyrics

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header and who designed my logo is Ronald Barba.    Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

© 2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Can I Absolutely Seek God With All My Heart?

Can I Absolutely Seek God With All My Heart?

So many cares of this world that draw us aside and pull at our hearts. So many distractions that cause us to seek after comforts and desires. We rush about our lives with so much on our minds; yet, the one true source of love, hope and joy is pushed aside into a small moment or time. We chase after careers, success, money, love, and things as though they will fulfill the desires of our hearts. Oh, certainly we must go about our days making a living, caring for our family, and our health. Yet, the question that we must consider is “what holds center stage in our hearts?” Have all these things become our first loves and thereby our idols? Or do we seek God first and let Him add that which we need? “33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6).

seek the Lord

I truly want to know that in my life. I want to know how to love Him more, desire Him more, and fully abide in Him. Perhaps if I were to forsake everything and live in a tent in the woods away from the world, I could be alone with Him. Yet, then I would be unable to present Him to a world in need of God’s love. To love God fully with all my heart means I must love the world that He was willing to allow His son to die for. So, how do I live surrounded by the world and still seek God with all my heart?

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30 Days That Really Promises Victory, Joy, and Hope

30 Days That Really Promises Victory, Joy, and Hope

There have been so many challenges over the last 30 days. Challenges that pushed and pulled at my heart. There came a moment when all of life seemed to crash in around me. Suddenly overwhelmed with tears, I cried. I cried for struggles my daughter was facing, I cried for the suffering and death of a woman I knew by name only, I cried for the struggles a son was facing, I cried for a husband’s loss of his life partner, I cried for mom, and I cried for all the suffering of the world. So, did all of this matter? Do all of these prayers make a difference? Yes, a resounding yes!! We live in a broken world.  We will face sorrows and trials; but, that is even more why Prayer Matters and must be an important part of our daily lives as sojourners here.  I could never face the chaos of this world were it not for a heavenly Father’s loving arms to run to!!

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© Kevin Carden/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

 It is there where He restores me, cleanses me, and renews my hope.  He provides me with His guidance for today and the future before me.

I began this 30 day prayer challenge with you. This was an additional challenge to myself. Before this I believed I prayed a lot; but, I had not set aside a time specific to pray with no interruptions 30 minutes each day. At the same time, I promised you that I would post every day for all thirty days. God is so good and so gracious. Many mornings I awoke with no idea of what to write. By the time the 30 minutes of prayer ended; I had clarity to write for the day.

What are the benefits of such a prayer life?

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How to Really Discern God’s Will for Your Life

How to Really Discern God’s Will for Your Life

How do I really know what God’s will for my life is? That is a question we often ask in our lifetime. We ask it about our relationships, about our careers, and about where to live. How can I know with certainty that the choices I make are the ones God desires for me? It must begin with prayer. We are on day 29 of this prayer challenge. The only way to know God’s will for your life is to spend time alone with God. There in the quiet hours with him, he will guide you through the help of the Holy Spirit.

40399546_mRemember what Christ said in Luke 11:” 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Look very closely here. He did not say that whatever you ask, you will be given. He did say that “God will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”

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Poetry Sunday-I Was There By God’s Grace

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I Was There by God’s Grace

By Effie Darlene Barba

 

Across the room I saw her there

Seated in that chemo chair

I knew too well that empty stare

For I was there, yes, I was there

 

 

portrait used with permission 123rf.com

I crossed the room with gentle smile

To hold her hand, a little while

God’s love was all I had to share

For I was there, yes, I was there

 

She found Christ that day through me

While angels sung in Jubilee

And then I sat my chemo chair

As I was there, yes, I was there

 

Chorus

Would I lift up this cross?

And face all this loss

Would I willingly face all this pain?

Would I love you the same?

Though I don’t know your name

If I knew that my loss was your gain

 

Let God’s joy fill my heart

While His love I impart

Til I see your salvation is won

Let me show you His face

His love and His Grace

Let me point you to Christ, God’s dear son

The last two days we have been looking at grief, pain, and sorrow through a bigger lens.  My question has been, “is there any sorrow to great to bear for the salvation of one soul?”  If my trials, tribulations and sorrows are used by God to bring even one person to Christ; wouldn’t it be worth every tear I have shed?  If my entire lifetime is but a split second in time compared to eternity; why wouldn’t I be willing to suffer a lifetime, if need be, so that one person might spend an eternity in the presence of God being showered with love, joy and glory?   If I see my trials as God’s means to spread Grace to a world in need; wouldn’t I face trials differently?  Are my trials an act of God’s Grace and Love to me and to the world?  If I know that; then, why a gloomy face?  Shouldn’t that knowledge fill my heart with joy, hope, compassion, and love? Yes, indeed; and that I learned through many tears and sorrows.  God is my greatest treasure and my joy!!  We are at day 28 of this 30 day prayer challenge.  How have you been doing?  I will return to my 3 day a week posting this week; but, I do encourage you to spend time alone with God every day.

The artist that drew the picture “A Broken and Contrite Heart” featured on my header    Please go to his website ( http://www.barba-art.com) for information regarding obtaining copies or to commission him to create a masterpiece for you.  Feel free to email him at Ron@Barba-Art.com to discuss any art projects.

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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Is The Salvation Of One Valuable Enough To Me To Suffer?

Is The Salvation Of One Valuable Enough To Me To Suffer?

I left off with a question yesterday. What if our suffering was a means God uses to bring another person’s salvation; would we see suffering differently?

In Psalms 22, as David prayed in great anguish to God, David presented a picture of Christ. Was David aware that thousands of years later, we would see Christ? Could someone reading those words, followed by Psalms 23 and 24 open their heart to Christ and be saved? If indeed our moments of greatest anguish could be the catalyst that caused one person to alter their eternal destiny, would we be willing to embrace the suffering?

Pete

 

 

 

 

In Memory of Pedro Barba Arroyo (1/15/42 to 7/23/1994)  A life transformed through suffering and pain—Salvation’s story of mercy and grace.  One soul saved to an eternity of joy, love and glory in God’s presence.

 

Portrait of Pedro Barba Arroyo as done by Ronald Barba

 

 

 It certainly was for Christ. I have learned it is for me.

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3 Psalms Proclaiming Hope, Joy and Grace to the World

3 Psalms Proclaiming Hope, Joy and Grace to the World

David’s life with all the ups and downs, the great victories and the moments of failure is a portrait of our Christians lives. Each step of the way, David was drawn toward an ever increasing passionate love for God. David had moments of great joy and seasons of deep sorrow. His Songs to God reflect these very emotions. Yet if we look a little closer we also see the gospel of grace being portrayed. How amazing it is that David’s moments of conflict were used to portray Christ’s crucifixion is Psalm 22. Then raised from the dead the shepherd cares for the sheep in Psalm 23. And finally the chief Shepherd appears as King of glory to own and reward the sheep in Psalm 24. A trilogy of Psalms portraying the Gospel. Look a little closer.

THE CRUCIFIXION PORTRAYED

jesus christ picturePsalm 22:(NIV) “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?” Are these not the same cries that we hear from the cross of Christ? Is this not the good shepherd who gave his life for the people?   Then we see the foreshadowing of Christ again  as  they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.” Are these not the same cries of the people against Christ in Matthew 27:43.
picture used with permission of Ronald Barba  for information about his artwork go to  http://barba-art.com         

   Then we see the picture of the cross itself. ” I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint.  My  heart has turned to wax; it has melted within   15 My mouth[d]is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.” This  is a picture of crucifixion. The joints being pulled out of place, the blood and water poured forth, the intense perspiration, the parched lips, the intense strain upon the heart and the death. Then we even see the “18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” David with great detail gave us the picture of Christ to come. Was he aware of that? Or did God use David’s moments of conflict to form the words that would point to Christ? A question we must ponder as we look at our own moments of conflict. Are they a means to portray Christ to the world?

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When Agonizing Prayers of the Heart Persist In Silence?

When Agonizing Prayers of the Heart Persist In Silence?

We have all been there at some point in our prayer life. The most agonizing prayers of our heart seem to be screams into the darkness with only silence as our response. We take a deep breath and say, “Well, it must not have been God’s will. I will trust Him.” Sadly, we lay down the prayer; afraid to pick it up again. Sorrow fills our heart and instead of trust doubt fills our minds. So what do we do then?

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© Phil McKay/Licensed from GoodSalt.com

Let us look at some of the agonizing prayers of the Bible and see what God’s response has been.

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