Recognizing the Good

There is no other One who is love. You made us–all of us–in Your image and You desire to use us as Your Body through whom You flow to touch the world from here through eternity. Here will never be the extraordinary perfect goodness of heaven. Here there will always be tears. Yet You allow us to be put in position to be present to one another as conduits of Your goodness and care in the most unfortunate circumstances. Thank You, Lord. We are awe-filled and grateful. Thank You. Use us more. In Your might, precious name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2017

It has been a hard week for so many with the disaster of Hurricane Harvey. Much has already been written. Yet, to me not enough can be said about our true humanity, which has been witnessed in the response to the disaster.  The reality is that the majority does not hate, criticize, demean and bring harm, but reaches out with compassion, love, prayer and real tangible help.  This is what we have in common. This is what unites instead of dividing. We have no desire to sacrifice each other, but unbidden offer the sacrifice of self.

This is the America I have known since birth and of which I am blessed to be a part. But it is not just America–it is humanity at its core–it is international and universal.  Yes, we can choose to hate, but that is not what feeds us. We were made by God to find fulfillment when we offer ourselves to each other with care in that moment and in that way which it is most needed. When we give. Not when we take.

My husband always says that news is the exception not the norm.  Consider the word, “news”. It word means that which is “new” (out of the ordinary and unusual).  Compassion and caring for one another as a normal part of our co-existence–that is what 99 percent of us choose to do every day. It’s not talked about. It remains mostly unpublicized. It doesn’t have to be because it’s not the rare exception, which needs to be given notice. It’s simply who we are.

Oh, I am not exalting us as people because we each remain so imperfect! Often we hurt each other out of our own hurt without even intending it!  But I believe at our core 99% want what is good and right and best for others and that we do aim to take others into consideration. Houston’s disaster and the people’s response reminded us.

None of us can save the world.  Our culture’s concept of hero has been skewed. A hero is not someone with greater physical prowess or who happens for the moment to have attained some measure of celebrity or notoriety.  A hero is someone who in the moment wherever they are steps into the work which is before them which puts them at risk for the good of others and sometimes the world.  Heroes exist unseen doing unrecognized work more than they are visible.

If we each do our seemingly tiny, often seemingly insignificant part, God weaves together His tapestry through it of His love reaching through us His way to touch the world, usher in His compassion, begin His healing, stop injustice, come against evil and administer kindness.  In 2011 the Lord had me compose and record a song about this in honor of the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks.  I had asked Him for His message 10 years later. It was the message of our standing up each to do our part helping each other in the face of horror and terrible circumstances. Of being present to one another in the seemingly ordinary every day as well as in the seemingly large. Seen in this light, there are so many more heroes in this world than villains.

Remember, you make a difference and it’s good! May God continue to work through us all….May God bless you!

 

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.

This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time.  http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com 
 
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and Financial Fitness Coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.   

 

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Memorial Day Is To Remember

gold star prayer

Lord, thank You for each of those who has served. We sorrow for those who have fallen. We honor their sacrifice.  We remember their names and the lives they left behind in our service. Please continue to comfort and help all those that have loved them. In Your name, Amen.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2017

In the United States of America since 1868 the final Monday in May is called “Memorial Day”. It is not the first weekend of summer.  Summer solstice is June 21st. The definition of the word, “memorial”, should give us our direction. Appearing in any other context we would have no doubt. We would know a day of memorial is a day to remember.

This is not a day of random remembrance. It is a day created nationally after the Civil War to honor those who have fallen.  In the cause of attaining and preserving freedom through every generation there have been those who have lost their lives–have given their lives–for the sake of all of us.

Fathom this for a moment. Their lives ended so that yours can continue in the relaxed, easy manner which you have come to expect.  For most of us in the United States, it has never crossed our minds that to live in the fear we might someday be overrun by a foreign power is even a possibility.  This is no accident. It is because of those who serve–who do the work of holding the line so that our boundaries remain secure.

Did you worry about whether or not your home would be there when you returned from shopping or work or visiting family? Were you concerned about snipers, IED’s in your streets or suicide bombers in your driveway or at the market? True–with terrorism one can never be completely sure where they will strike next. However, for the most part, for most of us, we live unconcerned because the risk is so small. This is because of those who serve and have served.

Memorial Day is a memorial. It is a remembrance–not to all who have served, but a memorial. Think about it. A memorial is to honor and remember those who have died. This is no different. Memorial Day is to honor and remember those who died serving us–they died for us. They died on our behalf.

How could we forget? How could we just focus on potentially three days with no work or getting the boat into the lake, camping or backyard barbecues?

We need to say thank you. We need to remember. We need to take the time to learn their names–to learn who they were. They were more than Sailors, Marines, Coasties, Soldiers and Airmen. They were men and women who had hoped they had years in front of them to pursue their dreams. They were brothers, mothers, husbands, daughters, fathers, sons, and sisters. They were beloved by family, friends and colleagues. They were essential parts of their communities both at home and within the units where they served.

Memorial Day. Memory. Remember. Memorialize. Never forget.

There has always been a price paid for freedom.

Say a prayer for those who have loved them and for whom every day is now Memorial Day. Say the names of the ones no longer with us who have left holes in their lives which will remain until reunion in heaven. Remember them. Make it a beautiful, reflective, true MEMORIAL Day this year and always. They deserve our honor and remembrance.

NOTE: in 2007, I composed and recorded a worship song for those who grieve dedicated to families and loved ones of the fallen.  In 2011 it was uploaded to youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI45j-eR2Wc with a simple slide show of powerful photos of several warriors who gave all. The photos were supplied by their families.  The comment section of this song is to honor as many of those who have given their lives in war as possible.  Please submit comments to be added including names and pertinent information using some of the comments already there as examples.  One of the ways we can honor the fallen most is by remembering their names…This is one small way to help do just that. God–bless the families and those who have loved our fallen.

#honorthefallenmemorialday #memorialday #neverforget

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.

This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time.  http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.   

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A Blessing in the Storm

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Lord, You are my hope and my song. Through all things You are there working out Your good, eternal purposes and my trust remains in You.  You are unstoppable. Your plan never fails. Thank You for Your great, great love for each one. In Your blessed name, I pray. Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro ©2017

 

Yesterday was a watershed day for us. For the first time in over a year there was a relief from some of the difficult challenges which we have faced. Up until then it has seemed as each new thing or worsening thing has just piled up on what was already there. Yes, I do have thyroid cancer again—or perhaps still. (The semantics here are unimportant.) The cancer simply is and we have been in the process since Monday of working with professionals to design and move forward with the best course of action. However, it has been more a bit more complicated than that because for seemingly unrelated symptoms right before Christmas an abdomen CT scan was also ordered and its results were also given to us on Monday. There were two unexpected items which showed up on the scan for which additional scans were recommended. One could indicate the thyroid cancer has spread to my lungs. The other could indicate an additional whole new cancer in another area of the body.

Reports like this when initially received tend to temporarily make it hard to breathe. We have to pause and take stock, remember nothing is a surprise to God and decide how to move forward.

For me the only option is to trust in God. I had my years when I didn’t believe in God and thought I had to figure it all out myself. To live without faith is to live dependent on the hope of random luck in the midst of unavoidable injustice and unfairness. It is to live in a hope which is based on nothing solid and which eventually fails.

My husband and I have been in a fierce and unrelenting storm since Christmas 2015. Some of what we have experienced includes, lies, manipulation and betrayal from someone very close to us and loved by us who has had an extreme change in personal ethics and character, my father’s death, my mother’s sudden serious health challenges, our home broken into (door literally broken down) and robbed. Simple things like having to replace a refrigerator and dishwasher were not simple. Once purchased, they took a solid month and lots of phone calls to get installed. Then between Thanksgiving week and Christmas came the trifecta,  Revelation of the much greater extent of the lies and degree to which we had been used by the person we had trusted (which hurt the most), my husband was let go unexpectedly from his job of 11 years and I was told that my annual ultrasound showed abnormal lymph nodes, meaning a likely resurgence of thyroid cancer.

Through all of this God has been with us. We have been very aware of His provision and care.

There can be a mistaken notion that the existence and presence of God guarantees heaven on earth, but that simply isn’t true. Jesus is our example. He is the Way, Truth and Life and no other. Jesus in His singular pursuit of Father’s will ended up persecuted, tortured, mocked and executed. (And He was God’s only begotten Son!) As believers, we have an obligation to consider our expectations and make sure they are in alignment with the will of God.

I would like to believe in a God who gives me everything I want when I think I need it and Who protects me from everything which is uncomfortable and unpleasant. It’s nice to have these wishes, but they are not based on the reality in which we find ourselves. This is not how God, who is fully and always fathomless, infinite Love, created reality to be.

There will be storms. There will be an end for each of us to these temporary temporal lives. Through it all the Lord cries to our hearts, “Peace. Be still. Do not be afraid.”

Thus in spite of such a hard year, we have been crushed, but He has been our resiliency. By an understanding of who He is, what He promises and the divine, eternal purpose He is working through all things, we have been strengthened to stay upright and keep moving forward one step at a time into whatever is His will for us.  He has been and remains our only solid ground.

This is a critical piece of the understanding needed. To trust God is not to pretend He will answer prayers our way or that we suddenly will experience only what we perceive as good, just and right from here to eternity.

We are following Jesus. Our Master All-Good Shepherd has gone before us to show the Way. Now He leads us from where we are to the brink where He Himself will serve as our bridge from all that has been into all which will be. There and only there will all tears be washed away (by God the Father Himself). For now we follow.

 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23)

He will lead us to walk our own paths of pain through dark valleys, carrying our own unique crosses for here is not the perfection of heaven. As the enemy tries to crush, kill and destroy, the Lord uses all this to draw us closer to Himself, to prune us to be more like Him and more fruitful for Him, to restore and heal us from all that wounds us, equip us to be better ambassadors for His kingdom, and flow through us (when we let Him) to reveal Himself to others for His heart is for them to be with Him forever as well as us. This is His focus. This is His vision—to use all things in this fallen realm through which to do His work of revealing the reality of who He is, what Christ did and the gift of the Spirit now so that others can choose to be in His flock and be led home as well. The Lord is always and through all things about this work.

We can choose to come to rest in His promises from here to eternity (which is to be with us and use us through hard things, not to keep us from these) and walk through them sensing His presence, comfort, provision and work through them, or we can choose worry, fear and despair. It does require a choice just as choosing to believe in Him so we can become His adopted children eligible for His eternal inheritance requires a choice. The choice is not one-time. It is ongoing. The choice is not easy. It would often seem nice if we didn’t have to choose and all could simply be easy and lovely. Again—that’s not how it is.

Thus my husband and I though feeling very pressed down upon by all that has been going on have not been destroyed by it. We understand all this is part of this life. Our prayer has been and remains that the Lord would work His immeasurable good through it, similar to what He did through Jesus’ obedience and submission to the difficulties of His earthly life which eventually led to a horrific death on the cross: Lord, not our will but Yours. Lord, we trust in You and that You will enable us to get through whatever comes. Use us wherever this takes us to expand Your kingdom. Flow through us that people would encounter You more. Do not let one hardship go to waste. We offer these to you to use as is best for the coming to faith and deepening of faith of all the world. None of this is by our strength or goodness, but by Yours. Use us as Your vessels and we know and acknowledge eventually our work and offering will be done here and You will call us home. (Bliss!)

Yet, in the midst of the ongoing storm, He has given us a gift. Yes, I have thyroid cancer again. Yes, it may have spread and that needs to be evaluated. It should be treatable. (Praise You and thank You, Lord.) Yesterday, we received two gifts which instead of causing us to have to choose faith even though we were being pressed down upon more, lifted some of the weighty happenings in our lives. One day after being told I need to be prepared to consult Stanford or UCSF to get an interdisciplinary team together to help me deal with a potentially complex cancer situation, we were informed that the likelihood of a second, different cancer is remote. In addition, my husband was offered a job. God willing, he will get the firm offer sometime this afternoon and be able to wait to begin until after my surgery.

God continues to bless us. He has been with us through the fierce storm of the past year. This storm in many regards is not over—including my pending cancer surgery in late February and further diagnosis, and in regards to the one we love who for now has forgotten who he is. But how thankful we are for relief of a bit of the pressure. Though we have been praising and worshiping Him throughout, it does make it easier to dance before His throne. We are grateful

Thank you to each of you who have prayed for us.  We appreciate you beyond words for He is about the business of answering and doing so gloriously.  Please continue to partner with us in prayer as we will also partner with you in your journey that through ALL things, He will be made known and visible in the way He knows is best and that daily beyond what we can see He will cause there to be eternal good effect in someone’s life because we chose to walk the path before us trusting Him.  To our Lord be ALL glory!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your  own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Prov. 3:5-6)

The End

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time.  http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.   

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Andrea’s Song

 

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Andrea O’Brien and Elizabeth Fulgaro following 2nd annual Carols At The Capitol – Sacramento, CA      12/13/14

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. (Ps. 118:17 NKJV)

Andrea O’Brien was my close friend and prayer partner for over 15 years. Andrea O’Brien lived large.  She wanted everyone to know her reason for living: Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. He was the centermost focus of her life.  Oh, she fervently loved her husband, daughters and son with a fiery, unstoppable love, but the center of her life was Jesus.

Following her January 14, 2014 colon cancer diagnosis, she felt as if the Lord Himself (via the Holy Spirit) had highlighted several specific Scripture to hang onto and help bolster her faith to trust God for healing during her illness.

In particular there was Psalm 118:17: “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.”  She made sure it was prayed over her daily, often by her son.

Andrea knew her God. He was Supreme. He was Creator and Almighty. He conquered every one of the adversary’s schemes.  He was eternal Victor. He was also good because He was Love. He could do whatever He wanted. He had raised from the dead. He answered prayer. Ask and the door would be opened. Seek and we would find.  Illness was as nothing to Him.  He was Divine Restorer and Healer.

Her cancer was not from Him. It did not exist in heaven.  It was part of this fallen world in which we live. It was from the pit of hell.

Andrea knew God could do anything. Her focus was to keep living. She had a family she fiercely loved and believed she had work still to do for the Lord. She wasn’t ready to pass from our present into eternal life.

Often she said she could not believe that to die of cancer was God’s best for her.  Certainly her Lord could would heal her if she just believed firmly enough and did not doubt. If she had faith in what the doctors said was impossible, the Lord Himself would heal her.  Then she would proclaim His works—how the doctors had said she would die, but when she didn’t the world would know God was real because of the miracle He had done for her.  It would be glorious!

Helping others learn that God was real, to be believed in, trusted, chosen as Lord and followed was a main objective in her life. She wanted to shout it from rooftops and mountaintops (and tried whenever she could) that if they did not choose to believe, then they would not have eternal life with Him. We needed to not just believe but follow Him—to be activated in our faith and wield the Word of God as the sword of His love and truth to introduce more to live for His kingdom from now through eternity.  Andrea was bold in her faith, speaking about the need for Jesus in order to receive the promised life to come, wherever there was opportunity and sometimes creating opportunity where she initially saw none.

But despite strong faith and best efforts, the illness progressed.  On Tuesday, June 2, 2015 she succumbed to her illness. Brave, resolute, strong Andrea O’Brien’s physical body failed. She died.

Two days later, on Thursday, June 4th I had the most amazing experience.  It was mid-afternoon. I was busy flitting around our Placerville, California home getting ready to head out on a trip, when I unmistakably heard Andrea call my name.  No one forgot how her voice sounded when Andrea called a person’s name like this. This was her firm, turn-and-listen, pay-attention-to-me voice.

I thought I was imagining things, yet I deep down I knew I wasn’t.  My attention was always turned to listening for the Holy Spirit. I did not give any effort to trying to hear any spiritual voice but God’s. None.  I didn’t want to hear anyone or anything besides God!  Yes, I understood that after death if we believed in Him we are with Him and more alive than ever, but it was from God alone I sought knowledge, not the souls of those who had gone before.

She called my name a total of three times in the same tone. It was faint, but insistent like a whisper floating on the breeze. It was unmistakable.  I busied myself with my tasks.  If I was imagining this, my busy-ness would likely overwhelm what my imagination was conjuring.  If it was real—if it was Andrea trying to let me know something—then, well, nothing would stop it.

Her message continued.  Each phrase stated three times to make sure I heard it before moving to the next.

“The Lord is great. The LORD is great! The LORD is GREAT!

“It is beautiful here.  It is beautiful HERE! It is BEAUTIFUL HERE!

“Tell everyone. Tell EVERYONE! TELL EVERYONE!

“I am free.  I am FREE! I AM FREE!”

And then it was over.

I sobbed.  Dear beautiful Andrea who had fought death so valiantly and worked so hard to remain in this life. Feisty, adamant, faith-filled Andrea who trusted, even demanded her Lord heal her so she could continue to stay with her husband and children, who didn’t want talk of death around her so she could stay strong in faith (and fired hospice nurses for talking too much about death).  Now her good report. She had not wanted to die, yet following this physical death could proclaim the greatness of our God.  She was not mad at Him for not healing her. She was proclaiming the wonder and beauty of heaven and the gift of true, real freedom through eternal life with Him.  She was joy-filled!

Several months later I had a meeting with one of her daughters regarding carrying on Carols At The Capitol which Andrea had founded in 2013 in obedience to the Lord’s request.  We spoke about Andrea’s unexpected message. Alanna looked at me squarely. Well, the verse she prayed has gone into fulfillment, hasn’t it.

“I will not die but live and proclaim the works of the Lord.”

Through this brief, supernatural experience, Andrea had fulfilled the Scripture she had prayed for so many months, but in a manner far more profound than she had ever expected.  She had hoped to declare a physical healing which revealed the miraculous power of her God. But every person who experiences a miraculous physical healing will still eventually die. That is, except for those who as followers of Jesus enter into their eternal inheritance of living with Him and the saints who have gone before forever in His presence in the eternal Kingdom of God.

Instead the Lord had Andrea proclaim His victory over death through faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord and following Him.

Andrea was not dead. She lived. And now from heaven she proclaimed His greatest work. There was life after death. The Lord God was faithful to fulfill His promises. There was profound, unspeakable grief for those left behind and there would be reunion.  To all who would hear, God was real.  Death was not the end.  Heaven was real.  It was all worth it.  Glorious!!!

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matt. 11:27-29 NKJV)

God would provide.  For Andrea the evangelist, this proclamation of the victory of His gift of life beyond death was her greatest and most lasting message.

A few months later while driving a song with melody and lyrics to convey her message dropped into my mind from the Holy Spirit.  In 2016 working with Michael Everett at The Creation Lab, and with the additional talents of Mark Davis and Brandon Davis, it was recorded it and placed  on my brand new “My Dwelling Place” worship album.  It is entitled, “Andrea’s Song”. It is to tell her story. It is to make sure as many as possible hear her faithful declaration which fulfills the Scripture.

ANDREA’S SONG (The LORD is Great)

words and music by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

“I will not die but live

And proclaim the works of the Lord.”

This is the verse she prayed

So the Lord would heal her

But the illness could not be stopped

The day came she died

Then came her voice as a whisper

She’s alive

CHORUS

The Lord is great. It’s beautiful here

Tell everyone, I am free

The Lord is great. It’s beautiful here

Tell everyone, I am free

BRIDGE

She wanted the world to know her Savior

She wanted the world to choose Him too

She wanted Him to heal, He healed forever

Now she proclaims from heaven she’s alive

CHORUS

Like Andrea, we place our hope on the Lord and His promises until it is our turn to cross over into the fullness of His presence.  For now Andrea presence’s here with us during this temporal life is still missed. She is deeply missed by all know knew and loved her.  Yet, there will be reunion.  The promise is real.  Andrea, thank you for reminding us.  PRAISE TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST!

(Note: link for Andrea’s Song will be posted here as soon as available.)

The End

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time.  http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.   

Posted in Devotion, from Elizabeth, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Decorating My Heart With His Joy

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Holy Baby, come to set us free. In love descending, in love never-ending Your care for souls from here to eternity.  We are awestruck at Your majesty and how You love and come to rest today and every day in You.

 

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

Outside cold rain pouring down. Certainly in the mountains it is snowing. Unusual rain. Unusual temperatures. Actually a sense of autumn. I love the rain and its coolness and wish it could be thus every year.

Normally in our part of Northern California, October is hot and dry (long after we are ready for autumn rain and cooler temperatures) and November is temperate, often still too warm to feel like autumn completely dry. It is not common to have lots of rain in autumn or for the temperatures to feel like fall. Our autumn is usually one of bold and bronze colors but not of the cooler temperatures usually associated with how   one imagines the season should be.

This year we have autumn. Unusual rains and cooler temperatures in October and now a rainy, cold Thanksgiving. And the Holy Spirit is reminding me of His message in the rain and storms.

Oh, Lord, thank You for autumn and with the faith of being Your child, I say thank You, Lord, for storms which bring Your water into the spiritual deserts of hurting, dry hearts so seeds long thought dead can finally sprout and Your new life can come forth!

We received devastating news about someone we love the day before Thanksgiving.

As in everyday there is a choice to be made. Is God truly God or is He not? In my twenties I lived ten years in the place where I didn’t see how God could be real. Yet during those years when I chose to be absent from Him, I was dying without Him. No joy. No true peace. I was floundering to figure things out on my own and to make sense of it all even while I tried to stand resolute, firm and brave. But I was on a faulty foundation.

I returned 25+ years ago to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (the perfect representation of Father and the One who requested the Holy Spirit for us). This means by definition of faith, I do not have HIM all figured out. Yet, I have been witness to repeating, increasing evidence of God at work especially through what seem to be the worst circumstances. He never fails to work through all things to bring for the breakthrough, life and LIFE.

We are broken, imperfect humans, living broken, imperfect lives where we often make unwise choices which can lead to horrible consequences for us and those around us.

And though with us providing His blessing through all things, God’s greatest gifts are eternal in nature and He uses what we consider life’s worst to get others as well as us in position to receive His eternal blessings (which begin now).

The unusual rain is impetus to keep listening for what God wants. In addition, also in this unusual rain I sense His promise. It is His promise of restoration, increased life and LIFE if we will stay the course and seek to walk in His specific will.

When we first became aware of the direction things had actually taken for the one we love, it was Christmas Eve 2015 for me. The Lord nudged me that this revelation was part of my Christmas gift. At first, this just seemed cruel and unlike God. That is, until we recognize once again that it’s often through these things which seem so awful, that He is bringing His gifts. Through the storm, He is answering prayers and growing our spiritual muscle. We receive the gift of increased intimacy with Him while He is about the deep work of answering our prayers. This is because often when we have prayed for someone, only He has down the depth and expanse of what is needed to answer these prayers.

I have prayed what I call, “The Ugly Prayer” for those I love:

“Lord, take the ones I love wherever they need to go in life in order to come into the fullness of what you have for them and so they can walk out the God-given assignments You have for them.”

I meant it when I prayed this prayer even though I was completely aware that what I was praying for would not be answered by everything being easy and positive for those I loved. It would mean pitfalls and exposed weak spots which He would then lovingly tend to and shore up on Him the Rock and right foundation.

I could not pray the other prayer which was always so tempting: “Lord, protect the ones I love from everything which could harm them and let nothing bad happen in their lives.” This was not a prayer the Lord could answer the same way. Here remains earth and not heaven. There will be no escape from difficulties. Answer to this prayer would not bring us into the potential richness God had for us–into those blessed places where we must choose to let Him be God and grow us or not.

We live in a broken, fallen world with broken, faulty people who will affect themselves and others in ways which are not always right or good. Here will never be heaven. Ever. Human wisdom and way fails over and over through all generations.

So now in the midst of a raging storm, am I going to cower in fear, cry out in panic or give up in despair and become crippled by it? Has God changed? Is He still King over all on His throne? Have any of His promises been nullified?

No, God remains God and faithful. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Therefore, I will remain in Him, gazing at Him, singing His praises. He always has been and remains my singular hope. It is on His strength, power, wisdom, way and promises which I rely. His joy is my strength and in who He is and what He promises is my ongoing joy in spite of what I can see. I will sing His praises through it all and never stop, for I know who He is:

My Lord, You are Victor. You are never done. My Lord, You are Creator and Father who loves those I love even more than I do. My Lord, You are sovereign and nothing thwarts Your purposes. My Lord, Your purpose is eternal union with You because You are love. Heavenly One, Your love is unstoppable and supreme beyond defining. You are always Victor, my Savior and King. You, Lord, are the Shepherd who tends to very sheep. Because You are love, Your searching does not cease. You came to a manger, to show us the Father. Your love never ending, our Lamb and High Priest.

I either believe in Him or I don’t and He has shown me too much evidence of who He is and how He works not to believe. The enemy brings storms to destroy. God uses the storms to usher in His Living Water—Life comes forth through the storms.

So what am I to do? Will I crumble in the face of what I see for these waves are dangerously high? Or will I choose to continue to walk on water as He calls me, with eyes only for Him because my Lord calls me out. When He is resting in my boat will I panic, thinking He doesn’t notice the storm or rely on Him to know and bring it to cease and be still at His proper time (after His objectives have been accomplished).

My goal is to be in His will. My goal is to remain in Him receiving His joy and peace. This means I will choose to rejoice, give Him glory and rely on Him in this place.

The last few years I have decorated for Christmas less and more slowly. It has seemed like something which could easily get out of hand and in our exuberance—actually distract from focus on Jesus who came without worldly decorations or fanfare (even as heaven rejoiced).

But this year, in this excruciatingly hard place, I will walk by faith and as an expression of trust in Him, I will let nothing steal His gift of joy. Therefore as a symbolic expression of trust and commitment to be engaged in the party, I will decorate already today and enter into the celebration of my current and coming King, in thanksgiving for Who He has always been, is and will be.

#ocomeletusadoreHim #decoratingmyheartwithhisjoy #worshipHismajesty #trustintheLordwithallyourheart

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time.  http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Financial Counselor and financial coach with a heart for helping people understand their money and steward it God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro  please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.   

Posted in Christmas Worship, Devotion, from Elizabeth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Prayer for the World

As the darkness around us seems to increase, we rely on Your light. We trust in Your sovereignty from here through eternity, which has manifested through the darkest times of history to bring Your resolution, victory and deep inner healing. We will not make it without You and so we look to You for You promise to be our Light in this darkness and Son who is not just rising, but risen. Hallelu Yahweh! All praise be to You---the One in whom we place all hope. In Jesus' name Amen

As the darkness around us seems to increase, we rely on Your light. We trust in Your sovereignty from here through eternity, which has manifested through the darkest times of history to bring Your resolution, victory and deep inner healing. We will not make it without You and so we look to You for You promise to be our Light in this darkness and Son who is not just rising, but risen. Hallelu Yahweh! All praise be to You—the One in whom we place all hope. In Jesus’ name Amen

Lord, our hearts are sorrowing, ever sorrowing in these days which seem so dark. You made us to understand the difference between good and evil and to long for the good!–Your good. You are love, not hate. The spirits of death and rage unleashed around the world right now make our hearts ache. And so since we know who You are, we come to You.

We cannot come to terms with how things are right now. We need Your peace within to help us to stay calm in the midst of this great, great storm. Would You come now? Would You fill us with more of You. Great One, who is also Comforter, would You bring that comfort which cannot be explained for it is in the midst of so much horror which is senseless, and help us?

Part of why this hurts so much is that You made us to have compassion—to feel for what others are experiencing. Lord, the immense grief which continues to result from the senseless rage and murder! The rage and murder are momentary, but the effects last for as long as we are on this earth in this hard, temporal life. Lord, we hurt for those who hurt and cry, help them! Help them, Lord!

Lord, dispatch multitudes of angels to protect Your people–those You have created–both those who know You and those who don’t yet. Let the massacres stop.

We know we are not worthy. We understand the ways as humanity we have taken it upon ourselves to decide how life should be lived instead of looking for Your way. Those of us who understand have bowed and kept bowing seeking Your mercy. We know You are merciful. We know we need more of You. We are repenting. We are worshiping. We are praying.

We are praying for the whole world. We are praying for those who are injured, for those newly grieving and for those walking out the long journey of mourning. We are praying for the atmosphere of hate and rage, anger and murder, suicide and death to be replaced by an atmosphere filled more with Your Spirit and way–where we can live side by side and accept one another, leaning on You for whatever transformations You eventually need to make in each of us to help us be more like You.

Your Spirit brings Your power and Your way of love. We have so much to learn. Will You help us? We know this is Your heart. We will continue to repent–turning with intention toward You and calling on Your mercy and asking for Your help.

We will wait in joyful hope and expectant thanksgiving for the outpouring of Your grace and the turning one by one of hearts. We will look to You and You will not fail, to pour out Your comfort, to dispatch angels of protection to push back evil in the spiritual before it manifests so heinously in the natural. We will trust in You as the singular Source for our answers, the power beyond all other powers and the victorious One who never stops working in the hearts of all.

We do not ask You to bring the end to existence here. Instead we call, hurry, Lord Jesus. Send forth Your Spirit and renew the face of the earth–for the great, needed deep healing of hearts and the expansion of Your eternal Kingdom. Your kingdom come. Oh Lord, please Your will be done on earth as in heaven. For You alone are our Father.

We know You hear us. We know You will answer. We are bowed in allegiance to You, united in prayer. Your supreme power and way are our answer. Give us the work of Your hands for today and come Holy Spirit, come with more. You are welcome here! Thank You!  In Jesus’ name Amen #prayfortheworld

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email elizabeth@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

 


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As the Moon Reflects the Sun

Light in our darkness, Everlasting Hope, which does not disappoint. Our eyes are focused unceasingly on You. Give us our steps, assure us of Your love in this dark place and flow through us by Your Wisdom, in Your plan, by Your grace as ushered by Your Spirit. You will not fail. Our trust is fully and completely in You. In Jesus' name, Amen

Light in our darkness, Everlasting Hope, which does not disappoint. Our eyes are focused unceasingly on You. Give us our steps, assure us of Your love in this dark place and flow through us by Your Wisdom, in Your plan, by Your grace as ushered by Your Spirit. You will not fail. Our trust is fully and completely in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

Note: stunningly the Lord had me speak this into an audio file while driving home just days BEFORE the most recent incomprehensible violence in the USA. In our deep sorrow may we realize He is with us and will guide us if we will but look to Him, listen and walk out His steps.  Lord, please bless us!

Sometimes we have to look beyond what we can see in order to see the One who holds all things. That which is directly before us may be discouraging. It may look like an obstacle. It may look like the end and yet there is God ever-present in the midst of it, still ever-flowing in and through everything at all times. He is not done. On this we rely.

Yet, from here to eternity life here was never promised to be easy. Consider Jesus who is our example. He was born into a manger and died on a cross. He was mocked seriously. He was tortured, accused, set aside and not acknowledged by leadership.

There is no promise for life to be different for us because he is the example. In fact, instead He tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him.

Therefore because we are His followers when bad things and suffering happen it does not mean God does not love us. All evil, hardship, injustice and suffering are part of this fallen world in which we find ourselves. We remember here is exile.

He sent Jesus because He knows this is not the best for us. It is Jesus Who offers the way to rescue and freedom now through eternity.

We are free because we know our destiny. We are free of the world standards, expectations and how the world values us because we know how He is and to the extent we grab hold of these God concepts—these Kingdom concepts—we will live free in the midst of times which can be joyful here and sometimes filled with misery.

This world, this place of exile from the fullness for which God created us, is unjust; it is unfair; it is a place where it seems like evil sometimes wins. But it is all temporary and God is eternal.

This does not mean we flee from this place as soon as we can. Because God has work for us to do here. Jesus did not flee from this place because it was hard. And consider how hard it was for God to become man and live in our midst with the limitations that we find ourselves. The Divine contained in the human. Jesus remained here and braced the suffering in the will of Father until the will of Father released Him from it. Jesus’ suffering was due to the enemy’s strategy and it was simultaneously something God could work through to bring His ultimate goodness, freedom, joy and victory into the lives of all those who would choose to see and follow.

Currently—for such a time as this—we are His ambassadors. Our job is to gaze at Him and by His grace, in His Spirit serve as reflections of His life to a dark and lost world, where the people do not know they are dark or lost. Much like the moon when positioned as if gazing at the sun reflects that light into the dark of night partially illuminating it so people can begin to find their way, our job is to be in His Spirit and in His perfect will as an extension of God the Father like Jesus was. In this place from this space we are to let Him flow through us to touch the world His way with love and healing and restoration now and forever even (and perhaps especially) as we are in the midst of all which is not of God and seeks to stop all which is of Him.

For such a time as this. Yes, Lord, for such a time as this. You foreknew. You have the plan. Even in this hard place. We are Yours.

Oh Lord to be as a moon reflecting Your Son in this darkened world. This is that to which You call us and which we cannot do ourselves. Lord, by Your grace and with Your help we turn to You in this dark place and gaze at You more. By Your grace and in Your Spirit, listening to You moment by moment and with eyes only for You, we wait upon Your Word. What would You have us do? How would You have… us re-present You? How would you have us be Your love while standing up for Your justice and righteousness, too? We are lost without You. We cannot find our way. It is dark and getting darker. Light up the pathway back to You more brightly according to Your promises. Lead us individually in a way that then becomes corporate back to You one by one. Assuage the pain, remove the anger, pour into us Your forgiveness and guide us in the same. As we absorb Your love and are healed by Your love, pour through us more to be Your healing and reconciliation to others. Lord, it is so dark, but You are the so bright we will have no need for any other Light. Holy One, we need You. Invade our hearts; invade our atmosphere; lead us in the way we are to go, to represent You now…until You take us home forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Wisdom is more precious than gold.
This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. 
http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
 

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit  www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.

Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss.    For information email elizabeth@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

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