Arms of Love

gaillovesgodspoetry

Bound by the Arms of Love,
My insecurities secure.
Those Arms of Love comfort me,
And help me to endure.
Wrapped in the Arms of God’s Love,
I long to linger with Him.
When it’s hard to face my realities,
He says, “We’ll deal with them.”
The Arms of Love embrace me,
And strengthen me when I’m weak.
I find my voice in the Arms of Love,
And find the courage to speak.
“Oh, Arms of Love, how grateful I am
That You would lift and hold me.
Being in Your Arms of Love
Has been the character to mold me.
Laying my head to rest in Your Arms of Love
Brings peace deep within.
I love being in Your Arms of Love
Again and again and again!”

7-27-2019 Saturday
Written by Gail Brookshire

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Rachel & Leah Bible Study: Night 1 of 6

Father God, How delightful You are to me time and time again! Day after day! And this last Thursday (3.7.19), You poured such love and attention to my soul… a Ketiha Bible Study!!! 🙂

Rachel & Leah: What Two Sisters Teach Us About Combating Comparison.
Written by Nicki Koziarz. 
RLLBS2019.22I was excited from the moment Keitha announced it.

RLLBS.2019.20I am grateful You allowed me to sign up and make the first night.
After getting signed in, I found my badge.

got my book, was given my schedule, a poster of all of the images with the theme and verse for each week, and a ticket for door prizes.

It was so nice to say hey to Keitha and the ladies. It’s always so good to hear the busy hum of so many voices just talking away all over the room.  We were give a small piece of purple paper for any prayer requests we had.
(I mentioned my cervical nerve blocks coming up on Monday 3.11.19)RLLBS.2019.23

We were given a white index card to think on what we think You might be preparing to talk about with each of us individually as we spend the next few weeks studying Rachel & Leah, and the struggle of comparison. I think I dropped mine while leaving because I don’t have it to take a picture to share. 😦

We were given another but smaller piece of purple sticky note, but I missed why. I stuck it in the front of my book to keep up with it.RLLBS.2019.9

We went around the table doing introductions. We gave our names, our churches we attend, and how we came to hear about the study, as well as answered if there was anything we struggled with in comparing with others. Oh and of course all while having a bite with the snacks provided… taco chips, shredded cheese, lettuce, hamburger meat cooked taco style, grape tomatoes, (all in a little plastic bowl made a nice taco salad), water, and desert. My desert was some kind of foreign named banana bread that started with b. I can’t get remember if it was Belgium or Bovarin, but I know what starts with g… good! 🙂 With my spoonful of meat having a little bit of a bite itself, I was grateful for the bread to calm the heat.

After a little discussions on the background story of Rachel, Leah and Jacob, and a few personal testimonies on struggling with comparing, we gathered all our things and went into the sanctuary to watch the brief video on the study created by Nicki Koziarz.
I wasn’t familiar with her name, but she was nice and desired to keep it as focused on You and Your Holy word as much as possible.RLLBS.2019.14It was introduction week/week one and the theme for the night was
Truth One: You Need to Be Honest.
The supporting text was from Psalm 139:1
“Lord, you have searched me and known me.”RLLBS.2019.10

Nicki gave three main points to take with us through the week.RLLBS.2019.121. Just Go! Go and study Psalm 139:23 KJV
“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts” 

2. Wrestle with God (referring to Jacob’s wrestle with You).
3. Be honest. (Admit to the struggle of comparison)

She also suggested to Dismiss Denial and Embrace Transparency.
Lastly, she suggested memorizing Psalm 139:1
“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.”
(I use King James Version to study and memorize. It helps.)

Afterwards, we discussed the video and the material. We were told to use our white index cards to write down what we thought You would be talking to us individually for through the study. She asked us to think on if it was the same as what we had thought on at first, and then told us to keep the card to compare as we grow. It may be that we change our thinking on it, or that it might not be anywhere near what we thought it was going to be.

As I said earlier, I think I dropped mine somewhere,  but I wrote that I struggle with comparison of my physical health. I don’t begrudge anyone good health, but I do miss being able to swim, bike, dance, run, and as of lately I had been walking better than I had in years. But now these new kind of headaches and recurring cervical issues sometimes feel like I am going backwards.  😦

But I pray, I do my therapy appointments, nerve blocks, and whatever my doctors tell me. I’m following You first. That way I know it’s You in whomever You bless me with.

We were then split into groups to switch prayer requests and pray. RLLBS.2019.6I was blessed to pray with Jerrie, Vicki, and Latricia. Between us, we prayed over finances, health, family, ministry, the ladies, the study, and Keitha. Keitha then said a prayer aloud for all the ladies and our prayers.

 Keitha then took a group picture, and dismissed us.RLLBS.2019.21

Just before I left, You blessed me with Keitha hugs ❤ , and three attempts at a picture with her.  🙂 Two attempts on my little smart phone that is so challenging trying to get a selfie of any kind because I have to turn the phone around and try to feel for the snap button… on a very sensitive touch screen. LOL

The first picture is actually pretty cool because is shows how easily and sincerely Keitha listens with her heart. That’s You in her face… in her heart. ❤
The second picture is awesome in showing her love for life. That’s still You… the life she loves to see through Your eyes! 🙂

Keitha was so very wise to ask someone else to take the picture for us.RLLBS.2019.5In the third picture, though I wish the picture would have gotten more of Keitha’s smiling face, I will absolutely praise Your Holy name for what You gave! And I will praise You that Keitha was very patient and merciful to try again. ❤

I thought long and hard on the way home. Like a lot of the other ladies, I first thought I don’t struggle with comparison because I don’t envy or begrudge anyone. But comparison is also about how we see ourselves. How we see ourselves determines our thinking regarding the image we are made… in You. It determines how we love our neighbors, regardless of the denial we hide behind.

Dying to self does not mean killing the life You have given us, nor beating up on the child that You died for in each of us. It doesn’t mean blowing off the value of a reputation because we compare having one to some popularity contest. Our character is just as valuable as our faith, our salvation, and the Creator we represent. Failing to fight for that character can unknowingly cause us to compare and compete for who can be the most unworthy. Fighting for our independence more than we fight for the responsibility to assemble together can rob us of fellowship, bearing one another’s burden, and putting Your kingdom above our petty pity parties.

We are to lift one another up. We are to cheer each other on. We are to ask for help when our war is raging fierce against our strength. We are not to compete, instead we are to love one another as ourselves. Not any more… on some pedestal. Not any less… wallering in ourselves. We are to love one another with the comfort that You have comforted us with. We are to love one another as You have loved us. We are not to drag the name of Christ (Your precious Son and our Savior) through the mud.

We need to be honest… with ourselves… and one another.RLLBS.2019.11

I eagerly look forward to next week, Lord. I pray You will allow me to come. I am so in love with all that You do in my life! Thank You for continuing this theme in the message that Pastor Tim gave Sunday morning using Psalm 37. Another reminder to keep our trust in You regardless of how much greener the grass seems on the other side, especially when it’s really our strength that is waning in the fight.

Pastor Tim told us…

When you feel like evil is coming at you,
getting ahead of you… and God,
even in their wrong doing.
..
read Psalm 37.

I am so glad I read it! ❤

Pastor Tim also said to remember…

David was a giant killer,
but even a giant killer needed God.

Lastly, I thank You for the song You have given with all of this… Building My Life by Pat Barrett.  I’ve fallen so in love with it because I have simply fallen even more in love with You! It is so fitting because we are to build our lives on You, not on the examples and things of others, and not on the skewed view in our own eyes. As the song says…

“Holy there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me.”

Help me to build my life on You, Jesus! You are the man that we are to mark as the perfect example that lived the life we are striving for. And help me to remember that I am living the life that You gave me to live. I can not compare to Your perfection either, but I can absolutely put my trust in You!

“I can do all thing through Christ, who strengtheneth me.”
– Philippians 4:13 KJV

Lead me in Your love to those around You so I may tell them…

God loves you! ❤

 

Gifts 2017 #11 Compassion

Christmas Countdown: Compassion is such a GIFT: Sometimes forgiveness can be such a hard thing, or at least a needed repeat to achieve, especially where others have done such harm, with no remorse, and no concern. It is at times like these that compassion can be so much easier than forgiveness… in realizing how much that person is hurting themselves more than anyone, and there is nothing you can do but forgive… have compassion. Thank you, Lord, for your genuine compassion and willingness to forgive… ME! ❤

Gifts 2017 #10 God Time

Christmas Countdown: God Time is a GIFT: Time in God’s word, in prayer, worshiping Him in hymns and spiritual songs are all such a gift. Oh how marvelous when just spending that quality time with Him when doing absolutely nothing but meditating upon my bed, within my heart, on Him… with Him. What a peace and joy that passes all understanding! How I wish I could help you to feel that peace and joy! Thank you, God, for wanting to spend such alone time with me. I cherish every moment! ❤

Gifts 2017 #4 Family, Heaven, Technology

Christmas Countdown: Family is a gift. As we have lost so many, it makes each one still here a gift. I thank God for my sister Sandra, my son Anthoni, my brother Nathan Brookshire, my brother-in-law Tim, my stepdad Bobby, my uncles, my aunts, and of all my cousins, and that includes adopted, foster, and in-laws. I will be tagging you each that I can on FB. The most important thing we learn from family is we do not choose them. God does. God wants us to know it’s ALL about being His children, and trusting in God the Father, His precious Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We are ALL family in Him. THANK YOU, GOD ❤ for family!!

Heaven is a gift. Heaven is not just a place that awaits us, but it holds some of the people whom we love and miss so dearly! We have family, friends, church family, and so many more safely in the arms of the One Christmas is all about. We will meet that special Someone some day, and His Dad! And just think… all of those He used US to either lead to salvation or encourage in some way will be there too! Then one final Christmas day, WE will receive our gift of entering Heaven, and taking up residence in the home He went away to prepare for us! ❤

Technology is a GIFT: It may seem trivial to say this, but by the grace of God there is so much that can be done through technology: listening to audio-bibles, sermons, hymns, Christian radio, Christian Christmas music, encouraging others, praying for others, watching a plane fly across the country to keep up with loved ones making it safely home, using Google maps to help someone lost while on cellphone, and so much more, including this moment of being able to praise my Lord before the world! ❤ Love you, Father! ❤ Love you, Jesus! ❤ Love you, Holy Ghost! ❤

It’s Snowy Around Here

Lord, I was going to call this 1st Snow 2017, but many could debate that as there has been “some” snow here and there. It is the 1st “big” snow. Everyone has been posting their pics. I am 3 days late, but it was a big enough snow to leave plenty laying around, as you can see from the neighbor’s snow man. Anthoni and Sandra (son and sister) were so excited about that snowman.

There was snow out back everywhere too. 😉

I then ventured out front… well to the porch anyway.
As you can see the steps were a bit snowy too. 🙂

I took a picture of the car, but the sun made such a glare. At first I was going to delete it, but thought, “That is exactly what it’s like trying to look at everything when not in the shade. Let them see just how blinding it is.

The same thing happened with the wishing well.
(which is leaning now) 😦

Even the bushes were still holding snow pretty good. And considering where they were near the house, that would explain why we lost satellite service. We were very blessed, Lord, to have only been without Satellite. I pray for our family and friends who were (and some still are) without power, water, or heat.

But from the looks of the tree closest to the house not having as much now, that would explain why the satellite came back on yesterday afternoon. 🙂1stsnow.10

Yep, it was pretty snowy around here, and still is. But with Your help, I will get that snow off the car, and get to my therapy tomorrow. For while I am praying to You for my therapists to get their cars, driveways, and steps cleared safely as well, I am also reminded of the stanza from Amazing Grace that sings,

“The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.”

May we be ready for that day, Lord.

 

Thankful 2017.3 Fellowship

Lord, today as I am thankful for many things, I want to thank you and praise you for fellowship. Especially among the brethren. You allowed a sweet fellowship with a long time church family. A church family that was my son’s first church family for the first 12 years of his life. You used this church to draw my son’s heart closer to God every day. How blessed I was to see my 3 year old doing songs and skits, dressed in the most adorable costumes all for the love of Christ! You used this love to bring my family to come see him in his plays, which got my entire family back into church, and traditions that included a vast number of family friends.
Today you allowed a sweet fellowship in the Thanksgiving Dinner. Even during services there is this lingering time of genuine fellowship that is not hurried, resented, or looked down on. It is so refreshing. I was blessed to sit right in front of Robin, who had little Desmond right beside her. Desmond is Pastor Andrew and Rebecca’s new arrival as of November 4th. He slept the whole time. What a joy it was in service, the message, the music that ministered to me, and the sweet fellowship.
You allowed that fellowship to continue through a John Deere tricycle, countless hugs from long time friends and beloved strangers who are new friends, and food that I heard a voice say, “That was so good. It has to be illegal!” 😉 These souls have also been long time friends of my stepdad’s as Bobby has been a member there for over 50 years. It is such a blessing to see how they care for him, love him so, and genuinely miss him when he’s not there for even one day. And the cards that his Pastor sends him… the words that are so personal and genuine! Love is in this fellowship every time I come.
And on a day when pain became such an unwelcome enemy right in the middle of this fellowship, you had me sit right beside someone who has been where I have been physically, but is so further along in the experience of what the doctor’s tell me are next steps or even the worst. She was able to give me such encouragement and hope. My shame for having physical problems was comforted by souls that you personally sent to fellowship with me when I had been under the impression that you had encouraged me to fellowship with them. How valuable your word and your promises are.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 KJV

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7 KJV