by Tammy Phillips (really just encouraging with the words of King David) July 18, 2021
Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE THE LORD. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:1-6 NKJV)
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens; Old men and children.
LET THEM PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD, FOR HIS NAME ALONE IS EXALTED; His glory [is] above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints– Of the children of Israel, A people near to Him. PRAISE THE LORD! (Psalm 148:1-14 NKJV)
I enCOURAGE you to praise the Lord. If there was every any question, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” (Psalm 145:3 NIV) If you are not praising, you are not raising the name of the Lord. Praise Him! Raise Him up!
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 KJV)
In general, I am a relatively quiet person, but not always. Various times, my mouth has unlocked and led me through the gates of trouble, when silence would have kept the portals closed. Did Paul overhear one of those “various times” that inspired him to direct all the Thessalonians, and us, to “study to be quiet?” Did he hear some Thessalonians talking about some Philippians? Did he eavesdrop on Timothy and Silas talking about Barnabas and John Mark?
When I think of studying, I think of meditating, setting my mind or thoughts upon something specific and learning about it. When Paul used the words, study to be quiet, he was implying much more. By the words he chose, he was really saying:
Be eager to hold your peace.
Strive to be at rest.
Aspire to keep still.
Be ambitious to stay settled.
Aim to keep your seat.
Do whatever it takes to remain undisturbed
Make it a goal to be steadfast and immovable
Paul implied more than studying in present day terminology. He was in essence telling us to compete, to not get stirred up, to be quiet and to let nothing move us. Now, you know, that is easier said than done.
Paul continued by saying, “do your own business,” which literally means, mind your own business.
Thank you, Paul, for your encouraging and inspired words: Be quiet. Don’t get upset and “you do you.”
I enCOURAGE you not to shoot the messenger. I do not know why the Lord wanted me to share this verse, nor encourage YOU in this way. Let me guess! It’s really a lesson for ME and not the whole class. You do not have a problem being quiet and minding your own business. I just got to share it with y’all because the Lord did not want to call me out. Did the Holy Spirit just want to send me a little text message to remind me once again to watch MY mouth, be quiet, not get upset and mind my own business? Probably! Thanks for reading MY text message to the end since I mistakenly sent it to you.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter….” (John 14:16)
Do you have a wedding coming up, a court date, job interview, appointment with a doctor, or difficult decision to make? Are you caring for your elderly parents, a teenager, or a new born child? Are you fighting for your marriage, going through a divorce or looking for your soulmate? Are you mourning? Do you feel all alone or overwhelmed? Need some help? Our God is God of allComfort. He sent Jesus to save us, then gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter. He is “Called Alongside” to partner and do life with us. The Comforter is on every side of us to comfort us. He is always with us. There is no place we can go that He is not with us. There is no turn we can take that He is not with us. There is no decision we make that He is not with us.
The Comforter is our Helper to navigate us through every obstacle of life. The Comforter is our Advocate and Counsel for defense who pleads our cause. The Comforter is our Intercessor who ever mediates and reconciles us back to God. The Comforter is our Aid in every circumstance. The Comforter is our Assistant. Yes, the Lord God thought we all needed an assistant to do life. He did not send us just any assistant, but the Assistant of all assistants. We just have to ask for His help. Holy Spirit will empower, lead, guide, direct, and instruct us what to do and where to go every step along the way. Remember, He is alongside. It is not like we can leave Him behind. The Comforter is our Consoler who cheers our mind, gives refreshment to our spirits, who relieves us from our pain. The Comforter comforts, strengthens, supports and encourages us in distress, difficulty, danger, and sickness. The Comforter is our Standby. He is always on standby on every side, surrounding us. He is ready, willing, and eager to help at our call.
I enCOURAGE you to call on the Comforter. He is waiting. It does not matter how big or small. You might have lost a golf ball, an earring, or a friend. He wants to help you, to it and through it, but you have to ask. You also have to believe He is big enough to handle your need. The Comforter is your partner. Don’t do life without Him. He is standing by waiting to help.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5 NKJV)
Before there was Google there was googol and before there was googol there was God. However, there would be no googol nor Google, if there was no God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3 NKJV)
Oddly, Google was first called BackRub. The founders wisely rebranded the company and its name which is derived from the number googol, which is 10100 or 1 with 100 zeroes or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. This word number was selected to signify the large quantities of information the search engine would provide. Although there are a googol of answers Google provides. Its resources are not infinite. Only God can claim infinity ∞ and it’s not really a number. God cannot be defined nor put in a box. He is not limited by time, space, nor a number. God is so much bigger than 10100.Google or any search engine has made it much easier to find the answers we look for. We can “google” part of a verse, a phrase or a word and the search engine will assist us in finding the scripture we are looking for. I thank God for search engines. They make it easier for us to learn about Him. They put unlimited resources at our fingertips to help us find and understand God.
However, God is the only One who knows the number of grains of sand in and by the seas. He knows the number of galaxies in the universe. “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” (Psalm 147:4 NKJV) He knows when we sit down and when we stand up. He knows the number of hairs on our head. My mind is blown. How about yours? I mean the hairs on my head could literally change, minute by minute. My husband finds them everywhere. How amazing it is that God knows when they fell out and where they fell.
A googol is big, but our God is bigger. He is innumerable, incalculable, immeasurable, limitless, everlasting and eternal.
I enCOURAGE you to use the googol of Google and get to know our God even better. Use any search engine to assist you in seeking God. I like the search engine “Duck, Duck, Go” for its name alone. It makes me smile. Our Lord God has made it so easy to find Him. We have so many resources at our fingertips. While you are spending endless hours on the phone, iPad, or computer searching social media, news media, sports media, Pinterest and Amazon, why not read a Bible app, listen to a podcast or “google” God. He doesn’t care how you find Him. He just wants to be found by you. GO GOOGLE GOD!
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3 NIV)
Instead, his delight is in the LORD’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. (Psalm 1:2 CSB)
Read the instructions. Follow the directions. These are requests of the most, simplest form. As I have said before, God will use anything and everything to speak to us. He used a child’s game earlier to talk to me about following directions. Last night, He used the game of baseball to remind me that His way is perfect. He also used the Wheel of Fortune’s bonus round puzzle to remind me to “read the instructions,” and reiterated, follow the directions. I could only laugh when the answer to the puzzle appeared. I hear you God.
Have you ever tried to put anything together without reading the instructions? A basketball goal? A Lego structure? A shelving unit from Ikea? Have you ever tried to make a recipe without reading the directions? How about making homemade ice cream? Ever taken medicine without reading the doctors orders? Why in the world would we try to do life without reading and following the instructions that our Creator left us? Simply, this is what our Life Manual, the Bible, tells us…
“Give attention to reading.” (1 Timothy 4:13 NKJV)
“Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. … 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she [is] your life!” (Proverbs 4:5, 13 NKJV)
I enCOURAGE you to read His word, delight in His instruction and follow His direction.
“All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV)
[As for] God, His way [is] perfect; The word of the LORD [is] proven; He [is] a shield to all who trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22:31 NKJV)
Have you ever wondered what is God doing? What is happening in this world? Why did this happen? Isaiah says that His ways are not our ways. Really now, Isaiah? This is where faith comes in. We must trust His word when He says…
His way is perfect. His road is full. His course is upright. His journey is sound. His direction is complete.
His word is proven. His utterance is tried. His speech is founded. His command is refined. His promise is purged. His direction is tested.
He is a shield. He is a buckler. He is a defense. He is a protector. He is a cover. He is a hedge of protection.
To all who trust Him To all who seek refuge in Him To all who have hope in Him To all who flee to Him
He [is] my strength [and] power, And He makes my way perfect. (2 Samuel 22:33 NKJV)
He is my strength and power. He is my fortress He is my protection and might. He is my means of safety. He is my place of security and Man of Valor.
He makes my way perfect, whole, healed and complete.
I enCOURAGE you to trust in the Lord. His way is perfect, and He makes your way perfect, too. It might not seem like it, but He looks at things a bit differently and sees the whole picture of your life. He has proven repeatedly that His word is tried and true. He can be trusted to work all things together for the good to those who love Him. Trust Him in the journey.
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14 NKJV)
Last night, I watched the season finale of the Chosen where Jesus told Matthew that he was leaving them “directions to follow.’ I awoke this morning to a text from mom. It was a devotion about “following directions.” Funny, I had already prayed and asked the Lord what “direction” He wanted the encouragement to go today. I guess I had my answer.
The word direction does not really appear in the King James version of the Bible. However, other synonyms of direction like, guide, instruct, lead, order, charge, path, way, and commandment appear often. The Lord is a God of order and will always show us the way.
Have you ever played follow the leader? The rules are simple and easy to understand. The object of the game is to try and follow everything the leader does. Children line up in a line and do everything the leader of the line does. If you don’t follow the leader, you are out until the next game. The last one standing wins, and then becomes a leader. There is even a song to make it more fun, “We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader …. We’re following the leader wherever He may go.”
Can you hear Jesus calling us, “Let’s play follow the leader? I am going to make this as simple as possible!” We all line up behind Him and He says, “You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14 NKJV) We start singing, “We’re following the leader wherever He may go.” Then He gives one uncomplicated, straightforward direction, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NKJV)
LOVE. STAND. WIN.
I enCOURAGE you to follow our Leader. Follow His one direction…love like He loves. Be love because He is love. Love encompasses and covers it all.
Prayer: “Lord, I hear you, but this is so much easier said than done. We will follow You wherever You go. We will say whatever You say and do whatever You do. Most of all we will love well like You do. In Jesus name, we pray! AMEN!
“Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2 NKJV)
“My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 “My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of My Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29 NKJV)
Hear My voice
Attend to My voice
Consider My voice
Understand My voice
Learn My Voice
Learned in My voice
Give an audience to My voice
I know them…
Join Me as My attendant
Unite with Me on the road Accompany Me
Side with Me
Are in the same way with Me
Are in time with Me
Become my disciples
Cleave steadfastly to ME
I give My sheep…
Without ending vigor
Never ceasing breathe
Forever enjoying reality
Endless living water
My sheep shall never…
Put to and end
Be blotted out
Delivered to eternal misery.
Neither shall anyone…
…My sheep out of My hand.
My Father, who has given My sheep to Me is GREATER …
The whole thing
and no one nor nothing is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29 KJV)
I wanted to boast on the Greatest of them all, the Good Shepherd! He absolutely amazes me. He is so kind. I am blessed thankful to be counted as one known by Him.
I enCOURAGE you to boast on our Good Shepherd. He is still missing a few sheep and chasing after them. Let’s help Him and share his goodness with all because He is the Greatest.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. … 14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My [sheep] and am known by My own. (John 10:11, 14 NKJV)
“So, then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
Many people think God does not speak to them. I know the Lord speaks. I hear Him. In fact, I expect that He is always speaking and loving us back to Him. You may get tired of me voicing my opinion that He will use everything and anything to reach out to us. He wants a relationship with us. The best place to start is His written word. He took the time to write it down, the very least we could do is honor Him by listening to Him.
Honestly, I have never heard the audible, thundering voice of God Almighty. I think if I did it would shake the foundation of our home and raise the roof. However, over the last nine days, you might not have realized it, but I have shared nine different ways that the Lord will whisper to your heart or boldly proclaim the word you need to hear from Him. I did not even realize that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about speaking to you about Him speaking until about four days in. In nine days, look at the many ways God spoke to me through:
Life events: July 1, “A TRUE STORY OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD”
Television: July 2, “A CONVERSATION WITH JESUS”
People: July 3, “BREAK UP TO BREAK THROUGH”
Songs: July 4, “SUNDAY IN THE SAND”
The Bible: July 5, “WHAT A WORD THIS IS”
Prophets, Pastors, & Prayers: July 6, “PROPHETS, PRAYERS, AND PASTORS”
Technology: July 7, “TECHNOLOGY TO REACH THE WORLD”
Creation: July 8, “CREATION IS POURING OUT”
Arts: July 9, “PAINTING THAT SPOKE A THOUSAND WORDS”
Do you see what I mean? When you read the post, d id you hear the voice of God in each post?
I enCOURAGE you to purpose in your heart to hear from God. First, spend some time with Him reading the Bible. If you can read this post, you can get your hands on a Bible. Load an app to your phone. You can carry multiple versions of His word in your hand, thanks to technology. Pay attention to all the ways God speaks to you today. I would love for you to come back to this post and share how and what God spoke to you. Have a great day!
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27 NKJV)
I was born a creative person. It is part of my DNA and one of my gifts. I love all things creative. I love the fine arts that include painting, drawing, sculpting, photography, lettering, architecture, furniture and interior design, writing, reading, music, theatre and definitely, the culinary arts.
I actually have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the University of Georgia. When I was in college, my dream was to design furniture in High Point, North Carolina. I allowed fear and insecurity to hold me back. I have always used my artistic abilities, but have not practiced design. Art was my thing; I did not know writing was. I was not a fan of English at all throughout my education. However, over the last ten years, I have found freedom and grown in knowledge through journaling. It is from pain, journaling, and the leading of the Holy Spirit that this blog was born. Artistic expression is my way of caring and sharing with others.
I am so excited to share this encouragement. Because of my love of the arts, on March 20, 2021, Kris and I attended the Marvin Posey Jr. Scholarship Art Exhibit at Austin Peay, where the proceeds benefited his endowment. Marvin was a world-renowned performance artist who painted to jazz music. His art was fluid and colorful. At the exhibit, there was a silent auction of a few pieces of his art.
Initially, a large 3’x4’ painting, had no takers. I was drawn to its muted magenta colors. After consulting with my husband, we made the first bid. The museum curator in our town placed the next bid. I waited to the last minutes of the auction to make our best and final bid. Thankfully, the curator conceded.
The masterpiece found a temporary home in our dining room where I sit at the feet of Jesus and learn. It sat there in silence for four days. On the fifth day, it began to speak, and I was amazed. Words paint pictures and pictures paint words. Every day, my hope is to paint you a picture with words. Below are the words that the painting spoke to me as it came alive, as well as partner scriptural inspiration that the Lord has been pouring into me over the last five years.
The woman is obviously walking, and she is clothed in the color of my journal. My journal represents my journey and the directives of the Lord as I walk through life.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalm 32:8 NKJV)
She is standing on a rock in the middle of the water. The rock is her salvation and help to get her though the water and safely to the other side.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Ps. 40:1-2 NIV)
“He only is my rock and my salvation; [He is] my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” (Psalm 62:2 NKJV)
She is standing in a pool of blue, signifying a river to me. One of my guiding scriptures:
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.” (Isaiah 43:2 NLT)
The trees are upright and planted beside the water in the artwork. The woman is also planted upright and resolutely by the water. When I moved to Clarksville, I had a dream/vision that I was a Cottonwood tree planted by the Cumberland River. Oddly enough, there are Cottonwood trees literally planted by the river downtown.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly… 2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD, And in His law, he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)
“Blessed [is] the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV)
We receive the living water of the Lord and pray that our fruit and leaves are food and medicine to others.
“Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all [kinds of] trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:12 NKJV)
THE HILLS AND VALLEYS
The hills represent the upward journey toward completion in Him. The valleys are the obstacles and detours along the way. Our help and instruction come from hills. Abundance flows from the valleys and the hills of life.
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills–From whence comes my help. 2 My help [comes] from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV)
“You shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;” (Deuteronomy 8:6-7 NKJV)
“Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD…He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” (Isaiah 2:3 NKJV)
“Delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth;” (Isaiah 58:14 NKJV)
HE SURROUNDS AND HOLDS US UP
The woman is symbolic of the love of God, and we are the baby held secure in His loving arms. Like the baby, we are held up by His right hand and, in His embrace, He holds our right hand. We are surrounded by Him.
“You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:5, 10 NKJV)
Fear not, for I [am] with you; Be not dismayed, for I [am] your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand; 13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you; Fear not, I will help you;” (Isaiah 41:10, 13 NKJV)
THE BROKEN HEARTS AND LIVES
See the fragmented pieces of color throughout the painting. They represent the broken pieces of our lives that the Lord miraculously picks up, heals, and mends back together.
“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NKJV)
THE RESOLUTELY ALIGNED
The woman is fearlessly standing, upright, plumb, and completely aligned. She is walking into her responsibility and her destiny. She is not alone the Lord is with her as well as other trees of righteousness. She is doing what she is called to do.
“Arise, for [this] matter [is] your [responsibility]. We also [are] with you. Be of good courage and do [it].” (Ezra 10:4 NKJV)
I enCOURAGE you to meditate on the word of God that the art spoke to me because it is as much for you as it was for me. The painting so beautifully illustrates the life the Lord has gloriously provided for us. So, Arise. Abide. Stand. Continue. Endure. Go forward. Be Upright. Be established. Be fixed. Be RESOLUTE. Flourish. Persevere. Grow Up. Be a woman! Be a man! This matter is your responsibility. We are in this together. Be of good courage. Be strong. Be brave. Do whatever He has called you to do.
*I have since learned that Marvin Posey name the painting, “Autumn Stroll” which I love, too. Love his interpretation of autumn.