Out of Darkness Into Your Light

John 15:7-8

“ If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Good morning Abba Father,

I give you praise and glory for this wonderful day you have set before me because I truly trust in your guidance and direction for my day. Lead me out of the darkness I am in, into the light of your gracious love, mercy, and grace.

I realize that many times I have asked you for different things in my life. Sometimes they have been granted to me and at other times I have come away empty handed. Why is this, I have asked myself.

I know your word tells me in Matthew 7:7 to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” And again in Matthew 21:22 scripture says “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” So what is wrong here? I have asked but it has not been granted to me. I also believe your word but have not received. Maybe there is something else that is going on or happening in my life. Has it been a one-sided conversation, me asking for things but not really listening to you or acting on your words. Have I been asking and asking but not giving you the glory for the things I have been given?

Father you love all of us and do not want any of us to be lost or harmed or without the things we need. We were placed on this earth for your purpose, to love you, bring glory to you, and to bring others to Christ through our testimonies of your love and grace in our lives.

It is so easy to ask for the things we think we need or want in life but, but do we take action and do the things you want us to do to remain in you? Do we give you all the glory or do we think that because we believe and have asked you that we should receive what we want? Do we love you enough to truly walk through this life as your disciples.? Do your words and our actions line up and demonstrate to others the love, mercy and grace you long to give each one of us? Or, are we only thinking of ourselves, our wants and desires? Are we fully bringing glory to you? These may be some of the reasons I am not receiving what I ask for – I have strayed away from you, I am letting my own ego guide me and I am asking for things not according to your plan for my life.

Forgive me Father when I am walking away from you and letting my own ego blind me to what you truly want from me. Awaken within me the desire to remain faithful to your words, to love ALL people and to be your disciple in the world today. May my words always bring glory to you as I bear fruit for you each day.

Thanks be to God for bringing me out of darkness and into the glorious light of your love for me.

Your grateful daughter.

Pro 8:17

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved

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Self – Doubt is Our Enemy

Self-Doubt is Our Enemy

Hebrews 12:2

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Abba Father,

In looking back over my early childhood, I remember many times when I was full of doubt and fear.  I was always the cautious one, afraid to do things that were new, that I did not understand or feel comfortable with.  I realized that in the past, during my childhood, I was told many times that I couldn’t do something because I would fail, or I was compared to others and I didn’t measure up to them.  My life was full of doubt about myself.  Thankfully God did not abandon me!  He graciously walked beside me each day and through each moment of my life, whether negative or positive, sad or joyous, full of doubt or confidence.   He has always been with me and will continue to call me into his loving arms.  It is now up to me to take actions to heal and move on from this.  I must move forward so that I can accomplish the goals he has set out for me to accomplish. 

Doubts come to all of us throughout our lives.  It is in times of doubting that we can grow closer to God.  It is when we are stretched and molded that we are changed and shaped into the person God desires for us to be.  God does not cause us to doubt things in our lives, this is from the enemy in this world.  God does use the conditions of doubt we find ourselves in to help us grow stronger and closer to him.

In searching the scriptures, we can find many examples of God using the doubts of people to grow their faith in themselves and in God.  I am comforted when I read about Abraham, Moses, David, Paul and others, even “people after God’s own heart” had periods of doubt and their faith was challenged.  The best example for us is Jesus Christ.   We need to look to him as our model on how to live.  Jesus was face with many opportunities to be doubtful.  In the wilderness he was tempted by the devil who tried to create doubt in his mind that God was truthful, faithful, and would protect him.  But he did not sin.  He was scorned, called a liar, made fun of, and many more degrading things. But even in times when his faith was under the sharpest attacks, he never gave up, never lost heart and never showed doubt or fear.  He remained obedient to God and stood firm.  He learned obedience by his suffering.  In the garden of Gethsemane, as he was facing his death he was under the deepest time of agony for what he knew he had to faced.  Even though he asked for God to remove the trials he had to face, he remained faithful by saying in Matthew 26:39 “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” And in Matthew 26: 42 “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 

Our past experiences can either breed failure or success.  It is in our thoughts and actions that we can overcome our failures.  When asked about his failures, Thomas Edison said “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Look at all the things we have today because he did not give into his failures and overcame his own doubts and fears.  I heard a pastor once say that when things are “difficult” in my eyes it is because God is preparing me for something so much better than what I have now.  We need to remember this.  Always look to God for answers, trust in his faithfulness, and his plans for your life.  It is in remaining in God’s presence through prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures that we can deflect and overcome the darts thrown at us by our adversary and our enemy, Satan. 

Thanks be to God for always walking with me and surrounding me with his love and protection.  Your loving Daughter

Jude 22

“Be merciful to those who doubt.”

Psalm 30:5b

“weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

All scripture is from the NIV version

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved

Priceless

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I Peter 2:9

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

Abba Father,

In my reading about the life of C. S Lewis, the famous author of The Chronicles of Narnia series, I became fascinated with the life-long struggle he faced to believe in God.   In his childhood, he had a vision of something bigger and more spacious than the world he was living in.   Later, in his adolescence and early adult life, he actually dismissed any religious experience he had experienced in this vision.  In fact, he walked away from anything Christian that he had been brought up to believe in.   He kept being fascinated with his original vision and again longed for and sought joy and peace beyond the world he was living in.   He began looking for a divine reality that was continually calling to him.

Isn’t this like all of us?  We search for something that will make us happy and be full of joy.  We search for things of this world that we think have the answer for us.  We sometimes search for something more priceless than gold or silver like homes, cars, money, etc.  But all these things do not fill us with the happiness and joy we need.  They are the things of this world, destructible and worthless in the long run.  Our hearts and souls are longing and searching for something not in this world.   We are searching for something like Lewis saw in his vision – something bigger and more spacious than we have in this world, something eternal.

As I was meditating on the scripture from I Peter 2:9,  I came to realize that this scripture is the answer to all of our longings and desires.  God created us to desire him.  He chose us from the beginning of time to be his priceless possessions, his masterpieces.  Not all masterpieces are the same.  Looking at different works of art,  we see many different styles of paintings that are considered masterpieces.  They do not all contain the same subjects, have the same colors or are liked by everyone.  But, even though they  are different, they are all masterpieces and serve as examples for others to follow.  Each one of us has a different contribution to make in this world. We are extremely valuable simply because he made us!   And, best of all, Jesus died for us and the Holy Spirit lives within us.  Actually, doubting our value or worth is actually unbelief in his Word.

Jesus has chosen those who believe in his holy name to be his priceless works of art, unlike each other.  We are to be his lights in this world to dispel the  darkness all around us.  We are his Holy people made to bring continual praises to him.   We are not valuable because of the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, the cars we drive, or all the money and possessions we may have.  These things are not valuable to him.   What is valuable to him is our obedience to him and the praises we sing in his name.    Doing good deeds and making good choices are like searching for riches.  They do not make us valuable to God.  What matters to him is doing good things because God made you to do these things that only you can do.

What if you don’t know what God wants you to do?  Start with what you do know.  Look again at the scripture in 1 Peter, 2:9.  Ask him to show you the good things you were made to do.  You are his masterpiece, made by him, and he will always lead and guide you in the direction you were designed to travel in.  Only you can make the contribution to this world that God has uniquely and wonderfully made for you to do.

Thanks be to God for his continual calling to each one of us.  Your Grateful Daughter.

All scripture is from the NIV version.

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved

Hope Revealed

Hebrews 6:19

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”

Good morning Abba Father,

I give you thanks for this past weekend of renewed hope revealed to me. I have always thought about hope as being something I wished for or longed for. If I desired something hard enough I could get it. But you showed me through scriptures in the Bible and through actions this weekend that hope is actually a confident expectation of God’s promises being faithfully fulfilled in my faithfulness to you!

The past weekend was a time spent in fellowship, communion and love for my families: my Charis Family, my earthly family and my heavenly church family. You were faithful in being with me all the way. I should never be concerned with anything I have to do because as the scripture in Hebrews says, I do not have to wait expecting for something good to happen or that you will be walking with me, I already have these things through my belief and faith in Jesus Christ. I already have this hope, I just need to claim it, believe it, and take actions on it! As I allowed you to be the anchor for my soul, you revealed numerous ways you are strengthening me with your hope.

There are always obstacles in life. Just having a desire for things does not mean that I can have them or that they will go away if I don’t like them. I need to be getting closer to you and have the mind-set of Christ living in my heart. This means I must have an optimistic frame of mind based on the expectations and promises you have given us in your word. Believing the scripture in Romans 8:32 that God did not spare his only son Jesus Christ, that Christ willingly died on a cross for my sins, and that because God raised Christ from the dead, I know that I will also be raised to be with my Heavenly Father. This is the hope that I can stand on. To renew my hope, I need to look to his word, the Bible, for what Christ has done for me and build on this. I must look away from the circumstances that confront me, look to Christ, look to the promises given to me in the Bible, and hold on fast to them. Hope comes from the promises of God rooted in the work of Christ.

Through being with my Charis companions and “my earthly family”, I was filled with the renewed knowledge that your presence has always been with me and will continue to be there. True Love and Compassion were demonstrated the whole time we were with each other. We could share all our feelings, dreams, and desires with each other and were lovingly accepted for who we are in Christ.

As each one being a different member of the body of Christ, we encouraged each other to grow in their own knowledge and acceptance of Christ Jesus and each other.

This was a huge demonstration of your hope anchoring our souls firmly to you. I came away from the weekend with renewed love, joy and strength to remain anchored to your Word!

Thanks be to God that I can now affirm that life is good and it is unfolding in miraculous ways. Your Grateful Daughter

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

1Pe 2:17  

“Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved.

What You See Is What You Get

Ephesians 1:18

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”

Good Morning Abba Father,

Yesterday was a glorious day spent with you in your revealing truth, your beauty in communion, and your gracious love for us all. I relished the time I spent with you in church as we worshiped you and shared your Holy Communion with other faithful believers.

The afternoon and evening were spent in your truthful words in the Bible. The message proclaimed at church and the studies I did in your Word led me to the scripture in Ephesians 1:18. I focused on the “eyes of your heart” wondering what this truly meant for me. I know from scriptures like Proverbs 4:23 “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” That everything I do and say shows where my heart truly is.

I came to the conclusion that the eyes of our heart are the ways we see things around us. Two people can be looking at the same situation and have completely different visions of what is before them. One sees all the good possibilities happening around them; the other sees only the evil things happening around them. What we think and focus on is what we will see with the “eyes of our heart.” In other words, as someone said, ” we can either put our energy into NOT falling OR we can focus on the Walk before us – what God’s Love can do for us.

How do we change our vision?

It means we will no longer look at the problems around us but will focus on God’s promises of a glorious future. We will become enthralled with the beauty around us and focus on God’s great love for us. We will gladly accept the tasks God has laid out for us and work to fulfill them with “joy in our hearts”. We will only keep our eyes focused on God who is the Light! Thanks be to God that we can receive and feel the Healing touch of the Lord our God, and that our eyes will only see the beauty that surrounds us. Your Grateful Daughter.

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved.

Baby Steps

Proverbs 22:6

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Abba Father

“Start where you are” is a phrase I have heard a lot from you in my life. It has taken on several different forms throughout my life. But, to me it has always meant to start where you are in life and proceed from there.

Sometimes when we want to change things in our lives, we want them to change immediately! But this is not your way. We can’t rush things!

When I had my children, I enjoyed every moment of my time with them. I looked forward to every new adventure they went on and every new accomplishment they made. I remember my daughter wanting to grow up so fast and be big like the other kids. She wanted to do the things the older girls were doing. I remember having many disagreements with her over what clothes to wear, whether she was old enough to drive herself and a group of girls to a camp two states away from home, etc. To me she was growing up too fast. Yet to her, it was not fast enough. Is this the way we think about our prayers and desires being answered by our Father, God. Does he feel the same way I did as a parent and want me to slow down? Does he want me to start with baby steps! Actually he does. He wants us to all slow down and listen to him.

God loves us unconditionally. No matter what we do or how far we move away from him, he will welcome us home when we ask for forgiveness and want to change. It takes time for him to heal us when we are sick. It takes time for him to give us what we desire, and sometimes we have to wait a long time for the time to be right for his answer to us. Will he answer us? Yes, he will but sometimes the answer will be “No”. He can see the whole picture and we can’t. He knows when something we are asking for is impossible for us, harmful to us, or not what he wants (what he has planned) for our lives. We need to trust him with our whole heart and believe his will is best.

Life is difficult sometimes, because of our own feelings, desires and wants. We need to center ourselves around our loving father, pray and listen to Him, and then start where we are. We can and will make changes in our lives as he directs us to do. Our job is to have faith that he will answer and then to wait patiently for him to tell us to move. Then we are to proceed to do what he tells us to do.

Thanks be to God for his grace flowing through us in every moment of our lives. Your Grateful Daughter.

I Peter 2:21

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved.

Grace in Your Sufferings

2 Corinthians 12:8-9

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is # sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Abba Father,

So many people I know today are sick, feeling depressed and are lost. They do not know which way to go or what to do. They have tried to fix their situations or help themselves to become better and have failed. They simply can’t do it by themselves. So what can they do? Where or Who do they turn to for solutions to their problems? Many have even questioned, “Is there an answer to this problem or am I in a hopeless situation?

The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that in all things God works for the good of those that love him and have been called according to his purpose. We are to have hope, turn to him in prayer and look to him for the solutions we need. Only he can reveal to us what his plans are in our sufferings. There is a purpose for everything he created and for everything that happens to us. Our life is not to be lived for ourselves but for him. He is our creator, helper, the rock on which we can stand, our Savior and he alone is the only Almighty one!

God sent his Holy Spirit to dwell in those that believe in His son Jesus Christ. As we believe in him, that he died on a cross, was raised from the grave on the third day into glory and sits on the right Hand of God, we will receive his gift of his Holy Spirit. Because of God’s graceful sacrifice of his only son, his spirit lives in us. We renew our faith in Him and call him our Lord.

Many times we say we don’t know how to pray or ask God to help us. This is when we can rely on his Holy Spirit within us.

Romans 8:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness. It will intercede (act on our behalf) for us and pray for us in wordless groans. Jesus lovingly reaches down to touch us, heal us, and fill us with the strength we need to trust in his faithfulness. We have nothing to fear, even our present sufferings, because he is in us helping us at all times. As we believe in him from the depths of our hearts, he becomes our true Shepherd and our Savior. What more do we need? We may have felt lost in this world we live in because our true home is eternal with him.

Thanks be to God for his continual calling to come to Him in whatever situations we find ourselves in. Your Grateful Daughter.

Romans 8:18

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Copyright 2019, Kay Brightwell, All Rights Reserved.