Christmas Worship

Lord, You are the gift. There is no greater gift - no greater love. We look to You, bow to You and adore You with all the angels in heaven and those who have gone before.

Dear “Nuggets of God’s Wisdom” Readers,

We have entered the time of year traditionally known as Advent where we “prepare our hearts” for Christmas and the annual commemoration of Christ’s birth. This is less about celebrating His birth than remembering what this birth represented to us – how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ changed our future, making physical death into the door of reunification with God in heaven instead of an end to hope.  In His birth, life and death He gives us the path back to God.  He shows us the way. He shows us how we can expect life to be and how God is ever-faithful.  He will use all things for good in light of eternity.

With the release of the CHRISTMAS WORSHIP music CD November 2010, our Lord laid on my heart to have a special blog dedicated to restoring Christ to the heart of Christmas. This is a blog where posts from November through December help us press deeper into the heart of God and understand His way in a manner we can implement into our own lives and better be His sheep following Jesus, our Shepherd.

Through Christmas there will continue to be periodic posts here in “Nuggets of God’s Wisdom”, but my priority will be pressing into God for how He wants to speak to us this Christmas season.  Please join me! 

Here is the link to Christmas Worship:  www.christmasworship.wordpress.com   As usual, you can choose to receive these emails automatically by subscribing by email.  Please let others know about this blog and the Christmas Worship CD.  Can you imagine how our world would change if the focus became Jesus once again and He were truly worshipped for who He is at the center of all things this year at Christmas and beyond.

May God continue to pour the abundance of the riches of the wisdom of His way into you and through you for His glory.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Merry Christmas!

~ Elizabeth

Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro         www.holyspiritpress.org    www.eaglesnestfoundation.org  

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas. Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.   It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or  itunes or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

The Door From Here to Eternity

Jesus, You are the Door to the eternity with the Father, for which we were created. How we long to hear "well done" as You have spoken to "Chachi" Corral. Lord, we no longer fear death, but embrace Your live, trusting in You completely until You take us home for eternity.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro      www.holyspiritpress.org     www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

There is a funeral to be attended tomorrow.  It is for the son of a friend.  Those of us who knew him and know the family are grief-stricken.  He is a fallen warrior.  But he is more.  He was and is an adopted son of the Most High God.  We mourn for him here.  And yet, he lives in God and with God, in His intimate heavenly presence.  We are assured we will see him again, for he knew who God was and had asked Him to be his Savior and Lord through the sacrifice on the cross of Jesus Christ.  He has simply gone on before the rest of us.

Mourning will always be when someone we love suddenly disappears out of our lives.  The Bible tells us even God is well-acquainted with grief.  It is He who created us with an emotional make-up, which would need to grieve when there was loss.  He also  knew grieving would not be easy.  But simultaneously He knew our separation from these loved ones would be temporary, for He sent Jesus and knows that death is not the end, but a door to the eternity to come.

We need to change our attitude toward physical death. This is key to walking in the freedom God has for us both now and forever.   Grief will remain, but we no longer need to walk in fear of death or structure everything we can so as to avoid it (or pretend physical death is not eventually coming for each of us).

Before Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again, there was no hope.  Now we live in hope.  We do not have to structure our lives with a view of dread toward death, but in the peace and joy of a view toward eternal life.  Indeed, physical death is a door we will each pass through.  How we long to stay with those we love here!  But God is waiting to embrace us even closer when God draws us from this life to life with Him in heaven.  The separation will be for the blink of an eye.

Lord, comfort those who mourn.  Lift all of our eyes to You.  Help us see our lives from Your viewpoint from here to eternity.  By Your Spirit encourage us to live in the hope which You alone offer us day by day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Cor. 15:54,57  (NIV)

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”… 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Tim. 4:6-8 (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

The above devotion is written with highest regard and gratitude to LCpl Joshua “Chachi” Corral who gave his life defending our freedom in Afghanistan on November 18, 2011.  May the seeds of faith he planted while here for his Lord and Savior bear mighty fruit which brings a huge harvest into the Kingdom of God.  May the testimony of his faith and the difference it made in his life here and forever cause many come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord through his life and death.  May the story God wrote with his life, go on to produce more good fruit.  We wait for the day we will see him again in eternity.  We ask God to comfort his family. Well done, warrior.  We salute you.  We miss you.  We will never forget. ~ Elizabeth

Ascending in Worship ~ Sunday, November 27, 2011

LORD,You are our strength and our song! In You we have life and have it to the full! We join creation to sing, worship & declare Your glory!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

Sunday is a divine pause to worship our King and reflect upon His majesty.  Our worship is our gift to Him for we turn focus from us and onto God.  And yet we are the ones blessed in the process for as we worship He writes His Truth upon our hearts, which fills us with His peace, hope and joy and causes us to be able to stand strong in all circumstances because we have learned who He is.  The Israelites used to sing Psalms as they ascended the mountain to go and worship God as He instructed.  We still ascend when we worship, but now spiritually by the power of His Spirit entering His throne room every time we choose to worship and praise Him.  As a result, He fills us with His presence and power, thereby strengthening us for the battles which invariably come.  It is God who is our strength;  He is our shield.  We only need to worship, seek to hear His voice and obey, then watch how He will use all things for eventual good.  What a mighty God we serve!  ~ Elizabeth

PSALM 111 (Amplified)

 1PRAISE THE Lord! (Hallelujah!) I will praise and give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart in the council of the upright and in the congregation.

2The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all those who have delight in them.

     3His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever.

     4He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, merciful, and full of loving compassion.

     5He has given food and provision to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever and imprint it [on His mind].

     6He has declared and shown to His people the power of His works in giving them the heritage of the nations [of Canaan].

     7The works of His hands are [absolute] truth and justice [faithful and right]; and all His decrees and precepts are sure (fixed, established, and trustworthy).

     8They stand fast and are established forever and ever and are done in [absolute] truth and uprightness.

     9He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant to be forever; holy is His name, inspiring awe, reverence, and godly fear.

     10The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of [a]Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]. Their praise of Him endures forever. [Job. 28:28; Prov. 1:7; Matt. 22:37, 38; Rev. 14:7.]

WORSHIP SONG

I WILL REJOICE ~song & lyrics by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2007                 from the WALK ON WATER worship CD

1) I will praise Your name, I will rejoice

I will praise Your name, I will rejoice

I will praise Your name to the heavens every day.

I will rejoice!

Chorus

For You are God; yes, You are God

You are the only One who can.

For You are God; yes, You are God.

You are the only One who can.

2) I will lift my hands, I will rejoice

I will lift my hands, I will rejoice

Lay my burdens down and dance before Your throne

I will rejoice!

3) I will shout Your names, I will rejoice

I will shout Your names, I will rejoice

Redeemer and King, You set the captives free

I will rejoice!

“I WILL REJOICE” is available on the WALK ON WATER CD on itunes, at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and at www.holyspiritpress.org/store 

WORSHIP PRAYER ~ when we address God, focusing on Him and adoring Him, our prayers and proclamations become declarations of worship which honor our King.  According to His promises, He responds to our authentic worship with release of His sovereign power into our circumstances in the way He deems best.  

Holy God, we praise Your name.  All of heaven above adores You.  Sometimes in the rush and press of our daily lives, we succumb to fear that we won’t have enough or that you have forgotten us.  And yet, when we forcefully pause and reflect on Sundays, we remember You are.  You are always with us, always providing, always enabling exactly what we need at the proper time.  You never fail, are always faithful and cannot lie for You are truth.  You give us the work of our hands and promise to use all for good.  You speak to us in a way we can hear if we are seeking to listen.  You lead us in the way we should go, forgive us all shortcomings when we repent and love us infinitely now, exactly as we are.  How blessed are we to be under the sovereignty and dominion of You, the One true God.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

END
Note to ASCENDING IN WORSHIP on Sundays: I have always loved music and worship music, but have not always understood worship.  For many years it was just a word used to describe church service or a type of music.  But that changed radically in Feb. 2004 when friends prayed over me to start hearing (thus composing) new songs from heaven.  (Since their prayers I have composed over 350 worship songs and recorded more than 60.)  Then in Feb. 2005 the Lord gave me a vision which implied worship changes things.  I needed to understand what the vision meant.  I needed to understand His way.  After months spent in Scripture studying everything I could find about worship, it became clear that indeed God promises to respond to our worship with a release of His power, which changes things.  Thus worship is not a song, service, drum beat or lifting of hands (though all of these things with a worshipful mindset can be worship).  Worship is an attitude of heart which adores God in the majesty and sovereignty of who He is in our lives at all times.  Worship is the ultimate expression of our trust in Him, because we choose to spend precious time contemplating the awesome wonder of all He is, without the need to ask Him for anything.  It expresses to God we can abandon ourselves to worship Him because we trust He already has everything else handled – that which we can see and which we can’t. 

Worship is not a Sunday activity, but a lifestyle.  However, Sunday is the traditional day within most Christian circles to take a pause from our work which helps refresh us and honors God as our ultimate provider and protector from whom all good things come.  Worship honors Him and strengthens us in Him.

On Sundays, to facilitate this “pause” before God, NUGGETS OF GOD’S WISDOM features Scripture and song lyrics to assist in laying down everything that burdens us and constrains the mind, to enter into blissful, restorative worship of the only One who can which writes His promises on our hearts. 

To God be the glory forever and ever!

~ Elizabeth

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.   There is nothing like it…..Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  So I asked Him what songs He wanted released.  The result is CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project. It is available for purchase at:

May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season!

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Christmas is Coming! Before Spending, Pray

We remember the profound, miraculous gift of Your birth.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011    www.holyspiritpress.org      www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Christmas is coming.  Before we spend, we need to pray.

In our culture there is a beautiful tradition of giving each other gifts at Christmas as an expression of love and caring.  But too often if not handled correctly, this can put undo financial pressure on households which potentially causes ongoing discord and unrest long after the annual “holy”-day festivities are past.   To stay in the peace God intends for us, we must avoid the cultural landmines of too many commitments and too much spending.  Our focus today is “holy”-day finances.

It is still November, yet already permeating the airwaves, cyberspace and written media is a plethora of messages encouraging you to focus on spending.  Either you will be “merry” if you give the right gifts or you will be “merry” if you finally get what you want.

When did a gift ever bring lasting inner peace and happiness?  It is not possible, because that is not what God ordains as the source of true inner peace and joy – He is.

Now you may say – let’s be practical. I have to give gifts.  It’s expected!

Perhaps it is expected, but this is where our faith should give us strength and courage.  The Bible is clear that we are not to worry about what others think of us, but only about what God thinks.  So before you shop, PRAY!  God knows your financial circumstances.  He knows where you are now, where you’ve been and what’s coming up.  He is the One who enables us to have all that we have.  He is the One to whom everything we have belongs.  We are mere stewards, which means it is our job to put the money He provides to work the way He ordains.  To whom we give what is part of this.  God knows how He wants money spent.  We are obliged to seek His will even in this and not succumb to any social pressure or pressure within families.

Sound hard?  Might be.  On the other hand you might find it quite freeing!  That’s the way God intended it to be.

Cultural pressure is to spend lavishly on others so they know they are loved and yet, no gift should be a prerequisite to love.  If there is a threat you will lose someone’s love or friendship if the gift isn’t “good” enough, then perhaps this friend’s love or friendship was never authentic.  Love can never be measured by how much money is thrown at it.  Love is separate from money.

As Christians we are blessed!  Our Christmas focus is the Gift of Jesus,  not the gifts.  We can stop and pray when the pressure to buy sneaks in and do a double check with God to see what He thinks.  In this way, we can avoid spending more than perhaps we can afford.

So make your list.  Check it twice.  Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you exactly what to do to cause each person you cherish to feel valued – but within your budget.

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

Note: I have another blog called: THRIVING ~  NOT JUST SURVIVING ~ MONEY BLOG (live purposely, live responsibly, live well) where I will begin posting more practical money management tips.  I encourage those who want to become better stewards to subscribe.  You are also welcome to submit money questions.   We are to live in the world, not of the world, but we must know how to handle what God provides rightly.  However, it is not taught.  Thus the blog:  http://thrivingstudentmoneyblog.wordpress.com/.    May God guide our every step! ~ Elizabeth

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas. Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.   It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or  itunes or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Thanks-Giving for Thanksgiving

Thanks be to You, Lord from whom all things come. Your love overwhelms us. We bow in awe, continual thanks upon our lips.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011  www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

PSALM 100:4-5 (NKJV)

 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. 
         Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, 
         And His truth endures to all generations.

In the United States we have entered the season of Thanksgiving.  Over the years this has become a time to celebrate friends and family.  This is good, and yet Thanksgiving is so much more. Consider the name, “Thanks-giving”.  Giving thanks….Give thanks to whom? Of course, Christians know.  Not just general thanks, but thanks to the One who is in control and from whom all things come: the One true God who is LORD.

When we give thanks to God it is an expression of our trust in Him – that we believe He is who He says, and will fulfill what He promises.  Our thanks is an outward representation of our fear of the Lord above all else.  We are not afraid of Him, but we have a reverential awe before Him.  We understand it is His approval we need –  no other.  We know it is His power which will have highest effect – no other.  We know our life is in Him and He is the One who enables us to have all we have.

When we give thanks to God it brings us into the intimacy of His Dwelling Place and it helps us enter the REST He offers us in all circumstances.  We receive His gifts of peace and joy.

Giving thanks is not hard.  We tend to worry (which He cautions against) and as soon as God answers one prayer we are  quick to send up another. We tend to be unnecessarily consumed with our needs (expressed in worry) instead of resting in how God promises to answer them.  Stopping to give thanks is powerful.

To get started pause and consider the many prayers He already has answered. Make a written list.  Include both those things which seem small (like His opening traffic-filled roads to get us somewhere on time) to those which seemed larger (getting us through illnesses or unemployment.)  Funny thing is, to Him all our prayer requests are the same size.  Next consider and make a list of all God promises through Jesus.

And so we give thanks and God is honored, but we are the ones who are blessed.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Selah! [Pause and calmly think of that!]

END

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.  Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.  It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Ascending in Worship ~ (Worship for Difficult Times)

Unto You, O Lord, do we lift our eyes. Our hope is in You all day long. We do not understand, but choose trust. Be our Helper. Be our Comforter. We know it is You we need

Sunday, November 20, 2011

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

As many who follow this blog know, on Sundays posts pause from regular devotions and prophetic words to purely lift up the Lord and worship Him using His Word, lyrics from worship music and prayer.  To help us along, usually there are introductory remarks about worship.

On Friday, the Marine son of a friend and  her dear family who was deployed to Afghanistan was killed in action.  Two weeks ago, I already had written, and scheduled publication of the Ascending In Worship post for today. I could not let it publish in light of this news and have moved it to another Sunday.

Today, I could not simply cheerfully praise the Lord – which could come across as uncompassionate, ignorant, and even flippant.  There is pain in this world.  There are times when worshipping God does not come easy because the hard things in life overwhelm us and threaten to overtake us.  Certainly God calls us to worship Him still because He knows who He is, what He plans and how He will use all things for eventual good. But in the moment, with only what we can see, the worship comes hard. There are times where in the moment God’s hand – though we trust He was and is there (because it is what He promises)  – is not immediately evident.   At these times our choice to attempt to worship in spite of pain is a sacrifice of praise.  And our words change.  Certainly we still adore Him, but we adore Him as we wait for Him to wipe our tears away.  In honor of LCpl Joshua Corral and out of respect for his family, today Ascending In Worship is dedicated to those who grieve, mourn and are suffering.

We do not need to attempt to hide our sorrow and pain from Him when we come before Him in such circumstances.  He knows our innermost thoughts.  He created us to “feel” as we do.  He Himself is well-acquainted with sorrow.  He gave His Son.  He watched Him die so that those who loved Him and those who hated Him would both have the opportunity to accept life eternal through Him.  We do not have to (nor should we) pretend everything is all right, when it is not.

So today this post is dedicated to lifting up a sacrifice of praise on behalf of all who may be hurting.  If today, all is well with you and yours, give praise and mighty thanks to God and print this off or “bookmark” it for when you may need it. 

We will all face sorrows and hard times.  This is earth, not heaven. 

Lord, help us come alongside those who hurt in the way they need most…In Jesus’ name, Amen

Now let us praise Him in a way we can when we hurt bitterly, deeply and when things are not how we wanted and they do not make sense.  ~ Elizabeth

PSALM  (42:1-8 Amplified)

1AS THE hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.

     2My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?

     3My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, Where is your God?

     4These things I [earnestly] remember and pour myself out within me: how I went slowly before the throng and led them in procession to the house of God [like a bandmaster before his band, timing the steps to the sound of music and the chant of song], with the voice of shouting and praise, a throng keeping festival.

     5Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.

     6O my God, my life is cast down upon me [and I find the burden more than I can bear]; therefore will I [earnestly] remember You from the land of the Jordan [River] and the [summits of Mount] Hermon, from the little mountain Mizar.

     7[Roaring] deep calls to [roaring] deep at the thunder of Your waterspouts; all Your breakers and Your rolling waves have gone over me.

     8Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

WORSHIP SONG

THE ANSWER WAS NO ~song & lyrics by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2007   from the WALK ON WATER worship CD

1) I have prayed till my knees are aching; I have prayed for what I thought best.

Persevering and travailing; giving Your throne no rest.

Now I have Your answer.  Father God, it’s not what I sought.

Yet I know You are sovereign; You must know something I do not.

Chorus

The answer was no, still I worship.

The answer was no, lift my hands to You.

The answer was now yet, I still trust in You.

I cry and praise You anyway.

Give me strength, Lord, for I trust in You.

2) I will trust without understanding; I will trust for You are God

Oh, it hurts so I lean on You, Lord; and Your promise to restore

For now I have Your answer.  Father God, it’s not what I sought.

Yet I know You are sovereign; You know something I do not.

“The Answer Was No” is available on the WALK ON WATER CD on itunes, at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and at www.holyspiritpress.org/store 

WORSHIP PRAYER ~ when we address God, focusing on Him and adoring Him, our prayers and proclamations become declarations of worship which honor our King.  According to His promises, He responds to our authentic worship with release of His sovereign power into our circumstances in the way He deems best.  

Lord, You are the only God.  There is no other God, but You.  All things are in Your hands and in You all things live, move and have their being.  You are LIFE.  There is no life besides in You and through You.  You have the plan for each of us to eternity. You ordain the times of birth and the times of death for each one of us.  All of our days are numbered in Your book before they began.  You created us to love for You are love.  You created us to love children and family because we are Your children and together we are family.  It is Your Way.  Lord God, we do not understand and yet we bow. We do not understand and yet we choose to praise You. We do not understand and yet we consciously choose to say once again You are God and pledge allegiance to you from this place of hurt, confusion and questioning.  Lord, send Your angels of comfort.  Lord, wrap those who hurt in Your arms of love in a way they can feel.  Re-engrave Your promises on the hearts of those for whom these promises momentarily seem de-void of meaning.  Send other people to come alongside those who are hurting in exactly Your way to be Your arms and words of love.  Holy Spirit come powerfully and lift those who are hurting up and help them walk hour by hour into the new day.  Remind them of Your promises that they might never lose grasp of Your hope.  Help them to choose to trust You.  Help them to rest in You.  Lord, it is not easy.  But You are the only answer.  We cannot make it through this without You.  Speak to us; we are listening.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

END
Note to ASCENDING IN WORSHIP on Sundays: I have always loved music and worship music, but have not always understood worship.  For many years it was just a word used to describe church service or a type of music.  But that changed radically in Feb. 2004 when friends prayed over me to start hearing (thus composing) new songs from heaven.  (Since their prayers I have composed over 350 worship songs and recorded more than 60.)  Then in Feb. 2005 the Lord gave me a vision which implied worship changes things.  I needed to understand what the vision meant.  I needed to understand His way.  After months spent in Scripture studying everything I could find about worship, it became clear that indeed God promises to respond to our worship with a release of His power, which changes things.  Thus worship is not a song, service, drum beat or lifting of hands (though all of these things with a worshipful mindset can be worship).  Worship is an attitude of heart which adores God in the majesty and sovereignty of who He is in our lives at all times.  Worship is the ultimate expression of our trust in Him, because we choose to spend precious time contemplating the awesome wonder of all He is, without the need to ask Him for anything.  It expresses to God we can abandon ourselves to worship Him because we trust He already has everything else handled – that which we can see and which we can’t. 

Worship is not a Sunday activity, but a lifestyle.  However, Sunday is the traditional day within most Christian circles to take a pause from our work which helps refresh us and honors God as our ultimate provider and protector from whom all good things come.  Worship honors Him and strengthens us in Him.

On Sundays, to facilitate this “pause” before God, NUGGETS OF GOD’S WISDOM features Scripture and song lyrics to assist in laying down everything that burdens us and constrains the mind, to enter into blissful, restorative worship of the only One who can which writes His promises on our hearts. 

To God be the glory forever and ever!

~ Elizabeth  

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Mindset of Listening for God’s Voice

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.  (Ps. 24:1)

We have heard it before and re-visit the theme again to help us re-gain and/or retain our focus: the world is the Lord’s and everything in it.  Everything we have is His.  It comes from Him and is going back to Him.  Our finances are not ours.  They are merely provided for us to steward  – not in the way we decide is best, but according to what He says is His will.  Not even our time is our own.  It also belongs to God.  It is He who numbers our days and has known the fullness of them before we were ever born.

When we became Christians we received the gift of adoption by the Father and citizenship in His Kingdom for eternity. We gave up our right to our own life, our way and realized that we never were really in control at all, choosing instead to embrace God’s plan.  We committed our lives to following Jesus in exchange for His gift.

Sometimes we forget that we were bought at a price and are no longer our own!  We are God’s for Him to do with as He sees fit!  Since everything we are and have is His, our responsibility is not to come up with our own good ideas, but to discern and implement His.

How do we know what He wants us to do?  We listen for His voice.  We actively become His sheep and let the Shepherd lead.  We do what we believe He is asking regardless of any potential (feared) personal cost or sacrifice.  We do this not just by reading His Word and following the concept of His precepts, but by His Spirit who is speaking to us constantly His will for the moment in all things, which is in perfect alignment with His Word (for as Truth, He cannot contradict Himself).

Pre-requisite to the ability to follow Jesus not just in concept, but in daily, minute-by-minute, itemized detail is the belief that He speaks to us in a way that can be heard, so we can listen for and follow His instructions. The second pre-requisite is a mindset which seeks to hear what He is saying.

It sounds so easy to have the mindset of listening for God.   And it is!  Yet, in reality sometimes we aren’t sure we want to hear what He has to say.  We are afraid.  What if He asks us to do something we don’t want to do?

Therefore, the listening mindset is not always easy, but always essential.  It assumes a choice to trust in God, which is founded on a belief that He is who He says and will do as He promises.  In other words, we trust whatever He wants from us will be right and for the greater good.

Once we have committed ourselves to listen, we must train to recognize His voice.  Sometimes it comes as a whisper.  Often it comes like a seemingly random (but definitely specific) thought.  The thoughts can come when we are reading His Word or when we are worshipping, in the shower or on a walk.  Sometimes His voice is like thunder.  Less frequently His voice might be audible.  He can speak through others near us (who may or may not be aware He is speaking to us through them).  Or He may communicate with us through what He shows us in His creation.  God relates one thing to another in new and revelatory ways.  The Lord is infinite and threfore infinitely creative. We can expect His ways of communicating will not be confined to a few and may vary widely.

Common to every way we hear from God is that He will never ask us to do anything which is contrary to His Word (for He cannot contradict His character).  What He speaks to us will be accompannied by His peace, especially when that which He tells us to do doesn’t seem to make sense at that moment.  (Remember, so long as what He is asking doesn’t contradict His Word, it often will not make complete sense for His ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, that’s how much higher and better His thoughts are above ours.  If everything He said made sense, then His thoughts would be no greater than ours.  But He is God!

Listening for God’s voice must be practiced.  The increasing ability to hear from Him corresponds with our heart-felt desire to hear more and seeking to have Him teach us how.  If we seek, He will give us the answer.  It’s His promise (and He cannot lie).

God is not angry if we “mis”-hear Him.  He knows we are children who cannot comprehend fully everything He says with perfect accuracy, just as human parents know especially their young children will not be able to fully comprehend everything we are telling them.  For God it is now and always has been about the heart.  Did we want to hear Him accurately?  Were we seeking to understand and follow? (Or were we purposely ignoring Him, willfully disobeying, or intent on rebelliousness?)

Jesus tells us only if we become as children will we inherit the Kingdom of God.  Just as the human parent of a toddler, child-proofs all doors behind which danger lurks for the child, before sending the child forth, God “child-proofs” doors which we may try to open after we think we have heard Him.  He loves us more than any human parent can love their children.  If our hearts are right and we are seeking to obey, He will not punish us for not understanding completely, but grab us by the hand and gently, firmly lead us in His proper direction.

When we choose to listen for God’s voice and follow we are blessed on a multitude of levels. First, we are in the will of God.  There is no better place to live!  Secondly, He begins to use us in ways to reveal the reality of Who He is to those around us.  In other words, suddenly we find that His supernatural is regularly invading our natural in a way others cannot help but notice.  This is not for our sake, but for His and theirs – that they might recognize Him as Savior and Lord, and choose Him for eternity.  The unexpected miraculous in large and small begins to manifest where He has asked us to be (and we have obediently followed).  There is wonder in the eyes of those aorund us and joy bursting through our hearts as we recognize He is using us when we obey His voice to be His true representatives (ambassadors) to the world.  Life is sweet.  Life is good.  Even when life is bad, we can see and sense He is good.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it!  All praise to You, Lord God, that we do not have to figure out how to properly steward all this that You have given us.  Praise be to You, Lord God, for You have always had the perfect plan.  Praise be to You, Spirit of the Living God.  You lead us in the way we should go and we, for our part, commit to follow.  Use us for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas. Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.   It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or  itunes or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Calling All Worshippers ~ part three

Lord, You are the only Truth & Way. Teach us to fear You alone, bowed down & worshipping You in thought word & deed with reverential awe for our lives are in You.

MINI SCRIPTURE SOAKING BIBLE STUDY ~ Part Three

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

We are re-considering the importance of an authentic attitude of worship, which reflects an understanding that God is in control and worthy of all trust by reading through one of the stories of Jehoshaphat.  We are focusing here in order to consider the importance of an attitude of worship in our own lives in response to God’s presence, remind ourselves of worship’s place in our day and how we can expect God to respond.  We are recalling, why we worship!

In Part One (https://ascendinworship.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/calling-all-worshippers), we read that when Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, he knew there was only one God.  He understood God’s sovereignty in all circumstances and  God’s promise to protect and provide for those who honored Him for His rightful position as supernatural, Supreme King over all.  Jehoshaphat immediately set about ensuring as much as he could that Judah was a “nation under God”.  Jehoshaphat knew that many others before him had declared Judah a nation under God because God had made promises to Judah.  But those promises were contingent on the people fulfilling one promise: to put God first in their lives, worshipping no other God but God.  Many of his predecessors had honored God in word only.  Jehoshaphat was different.  His reverence of God was more that words.  It was faith declared in word and manifested by action in every regard.  Jehoshaphat used his authority to have all altars to other gods torn down.  Next, understanding he could not expect the people who didn’t know God to revere Him (and knowing God did not want a forced reverence, but a turning of individual hearts toward Him whose reverence to Him was a free will offering, not because of a law), Jehoshaphat send those who knew God into every village to teach the people about Him.

In Part Two (https://ascendinworship.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/calling-all-worshippers-part-two/ ) we  learned that when faced with impossible odds, because they knew God, the people of Judah followed Jehoshaphat to worship God in their crisis.

We continue our study to see how God answered, so we can better understand how God promises to respond when we choose to worship God in all circumstances.

Remember where we stopped.  Jehoshaphat had reminded God of the circumstances where they found themselves.  They did not know what to do. They needed God, His answer and His power to fulfill it. The people waited.

 2 CHRONICLES 20 (Amplified)

     14Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.

Who delivered the message to Jahaziel to speak? (2 Chron 20:14)

It is important to recognize Jahaziel did not speak out his own ideas.  He spoke what follows only because the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and filled him with this message:

     15He said, Hearken, all Judah, you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

     16Tomorrow go down to them. Behold, they will come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the ravine before the Wilderness of Jeruel.

     17You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.

Read the message God gave all those in Judah again through the Jahaziel after the Spirit of the Lord came on him (in direct response to their worship).  What did the Lord say to King Jehoshaphat and all in Judah? (2 Chron. 20:15-17)

When God speaks, what He states is not a “maybe”, but a promise.  Everything which the Spirit of the Lord spoke through Jahaziel was God’s promise to Judah.  How impossible it all sounds!

Therefore, write it out again.  What did God instruct Judah to do and what did He promise He would do?  (2 Chronicles 20:16-17)

     18And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping Him.

     19And some Levites of the Kohathites and Korahites stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

What did Jehoshaphat do when Jahaziel had finished delivering God’s message to Judah?  (2 Chron 20:18)

What did the Levites do when Jahaziel had finished delivering God’s message to Judah? (2 Chron 20:19)

Consider for a moment the impossible odds Judah faced concerning these three armies coming against them. What faith the people had!  First, when news came the enemy was coming against them, they did not run and hide.   When their king called them to gather to worship the Lord they came. This was because of the preparatory work Jehoshaphat had done beforehand, making sure all the people had been taught enough about God to know He was their answer in times of trouble.   If Jehoshaphat had not taught them who God was ahead of time, the people would never have gone to worship God during such a crisis.  It is likely they would have panicked and not worshipped.  They may not even have believed God could provide them with a strategy.  Even if a small remnant had understood and worshipped and God had chosen to respond with release of His strategy as He did through Jahaziel, it is probably the people would not have believed and may even have mocked those who brought the message.   It is highly doubtful they would have had faith to follow the seemingly ridiculous strategy Jahaziel expressed, even though it came from God.  But instead they believed this seemingly ridiculous strategy that they did not have to worry or fight was from God and even thanked Him for it.

     20And they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God and you shall be established; believe and remain steadfast to His prophets and you shall prosper.

What did Jehoshaphat tell the people as they went out into the Wilderness to encounter the armies who were coming against them?  (2 Chron 20:20)

     21When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy [priestly] garments as they went out before the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!

Who did Jehoshaphat send in front of the army into the battle?  (2 Chron 20:21)

What were they to do? (2 Chron 20:21)

Not only did Jehoshaphat believe what God had spoken through Jahaziel (though the strategy sounded ridiculou when considered with human wisdom), as a sign of faith in what God had promised to do, Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise God (to WORSHIP HIM) in their holy garments (not wearing armor or any protection against the enemy) and had them precede the army into battle. AND THOSE APPOINTED DID IT!  If God didn’t show up as He had promised, they would surely die!  But God fulfills His promises.  Read on!

     22And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered;

     23For [suspecting betrayal] the men of Ammon and Moab rose against those of Mount Seir, utterly destroying them. And when they had made an end of the men of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.

     24And when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked at the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none had escaped!

     25When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil, they found among them much cattle, goods, garments, and precious things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry away, so much they were three days in gathering the spoil.

What did God do when the appointed worshippers began to sing and praise leading Judah into battle? (2 Chron. 20:22)

What happened to three armies bent on destroying Judah? (2 Chron 20:22-24)

What was all that remained for Judah to do?  (2 Chron 20:25)

Recall the seemingly ludicrous strategy God had delivered in response to worship by His Spirit through Jahaziel.  What was it?  (2 Chron. 20:15-17)

Did God fulfill His promise in response to their worship (due to their understanding of who He was and His superiority over all their circumstances)?  (2 Chron. 20:22-25)

     26On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah. There they blessed the Lord. So the name of the place is still called the Valley of Beracah [blessing].

     27Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat leading them, to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies.

     28They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets to the house of the Lord.

     29And the fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.

     30So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest round about.

On the way back from the battlefield Judah worshipped again.  To whom did Judah give credit for the victory?  (2 Chron 20:27-28)

What additional gift did God give Jehoshaphat and the kingdom of Judah in response to their faithfulness to fear Him alone, go to Him as their answer, and worship Him before battle, during and after as a sign of their complete trust in Him?  (2 Chron 20:29-30)

This story of Jehoshaphat shows how God responds to worship with release of His supernatural, sovereign, victorious power in ways beyond what we can imagine.  It shows He will do what He has said He will do.  It also demonstrates the principle that before people can go up and worship Him trusting He is the answer to every circumstance, they must know who He is.  Therefore the people must be taught about God if we expect for the people to put themselves and their nation under Him.

Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]

END

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.  Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.  It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Ascending in Worship ~ Sunday, November 13, 2011

LORD,You are our strength and our song! In You we have life and have it to the full! We join creation to sing, worship & declare Your glory!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org 

Sunday is a divine pause to worship our King and reflect upon His majesty.  Our worship is our gift to Him for we turn focus from us and onto God.  And yet we are the ones blessed in the process for as we worship He writes His Truth upon our hearts, which fills us with His peace, hope and joy and causes us to be able to stand strong in all circumstances because we have learned who He is.  The Israelites used to sing Psalms as they ascended the mountain to go and worship God as He instructed.  We still ascend when we worship, but now spiritually by the power of His Spirit entering His throne room every time we choose to worship and praise Him.  As a result, He fills us with His presence and power, thereby strengthening us for the battles which invariably come.  It is God who is our strength;  He is our shield.  We only need to worship, seek to hear His voice and obey, then watch how He will use all things for eventual good.  What a mighty God we serve!  ~ Elizabeth

PSALM 138 (Amplified)

 1I WILL confess and praise You [O God] with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praises to You.

     2I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness; for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name!

     3In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self.

     4All the kings of the land shall give You credit and praise You, O Lord, for they have heard of the promises of Your mouth [which were fulfilled].

     5Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord and joyfully celebrate His mighty acts, for great is the glory of the Lord.

     6For though the Lord is high, yet has He respect to the lowly [bringing them into fellowship with Him]; but the proud and haughty He knows and recognizes [only] at a distance.

     7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.

     8The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endure forever–forsake not the works of Your own hands.

WORSHIP SONG

AT REST IN YOU ~song & lyrics by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2009                 from the RESTORE CD

1) Holy, holy, holy

You are holy, holy Lord.

Worthy, worthy, worthy.

You are love; You are  Lord.

2) Mercy, mercy, mercy

You wash away my sins.

Mercy, mercy, mercy

You are love; You are Lord.

Chorus

You’re my peace, You’re my joy.

I place my trust in You.

You protect, You provide

I am at rest in You.

“At Rest in You” is available on the RESTORE CD on itunes, at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and at www.holyspiritpress.org/store 

WORSHIP PRAYER ~ when we address God, focusing on Him and adoring Him, our prayers and proclamations become declarations of worship which honor our King.  According to His promises, He responds to our authentic worship with release of His sovereign power into our circumstances in the way He deems best.  

Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. You are our all in all and everything and in You all things (all things!) live and move and have their being.  We lay all burdens at Your feet and lift up our hands, free to worship You because You are.  You take all our burdens upon You shoulders.  You promise we can worship instead of worry for You are faithful to provide perfectly for all those who love You – who seek Your kingdom first.  Lord God, You are not a God who hides, but a God who is there, ready to be encountered at every moment.  You seek relationship with us – not to distance Yourself but to draw nearer.  Lord, once again today we declare our trust in You.  We declare our faith in You. We choose to rejoice in You and embrace Your will for our delight and Your glory. Speak, Lord, Your servants are listening.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

END
Note to ASCENDING IN WORSHIP on Sundays: I have always loved music and worship music, but have not always understood worship.  For many years it was just a word used to describe church service or a type of music.  But that changed radically in Feb. 2004 when friends prayed over me to start hearing (thus composing) new songs from heaven.  (Since their prayers I have composed over 350 worship songs and recorded more than 60.)  Then in Feb. 2005 the Lord gave me a vision which implied worship changes things.  I needed to understand what the vision meant.  I needed to understand His way.  After months spent in Scripture studying everything I could find about worship, it became clear that indeed God promises to respond to our worship with a release of His power, which changes things.  Thus worship is not a song, service, drum beat or lifting of hands (though all of these things with a worshipful mindset can be worship).  Worship is an attitude of heart which adores God in the majesty and sovereignty of who He is in our lives at all times.  Worship is the ultimate expression of our trust in Him, because we choose to spend precious time contemplating the awesome wonder of all He is, without the need to ask Him for anything.  It expresses to God we can abandon ourselves to worship Him because we trust He already has everything else handled – that which we can see and which we can’t. 

Worship is not a Sunday activity, but a lifestyle.  However, Sunday is the traditional day within most Christian circles to take a pause from our work which helps refresh us and honors God as our ultimate provider and protector from whom all good things come.  Worship honors Him and strengthens us in Him.

On Sundays, to facilitate this “pause” before God, NUGGETS OF GOD’S WISDOM features Scripture and song lyrics to assist in laying down everything that burdens us and constrains the mind, to enter into blissful, restorative worship of the only One who can which writes His promises on our hearts. 

To God be the glory forever and ever!

~ Elizabeth

Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.   There is nothing like it…..Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  So I asked Him what songs He wanted released.  The result is CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project. It is available for purchase at:

May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season!

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

 

We Do Everything for the LORD and No Other

LORD, we stand for You in every regard. In You alone do we put our trust. Our eyes are on You because only Your approval matters. Use us as You will for Your glory

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c)  2011     www.holyspiritpress.org    www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

This devotion consists primarily of Scripture with a brief message at the end.  To many all of these Scriptures will be familiar.  But please read them one after another after another for there is such power when God gives us a message and then affirms and confirms it with other Scripture (often broadening the message along the way). 

Please do not be discouraged by the words which follow. Consider your life.  Have you ever once been able to please all of the people all of the time?  It is not possible because we are each fallable, dealing with other fallable human beings.  God is perfect.  There is great freedom, inner peace and even joy in living for Him with right expectations and mindsets.  May this reminder of His way and how we can expect our lives in His service to be, strengthen us all!  ~  Elizabeth

Note: all Scripture taken from Amplified translation unless otherwise noted.

1 JOHN 3:1,13

1SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.

13Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren, that the world detests and pursues you with hatred.

  JOHN 15:16-19

16You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.

     17This is what I command you: that you love one another.

     18If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.

     19If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.

MATT. 5:4-45a

43You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;

     44But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

     45To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven;

MATT 5:10-12

10Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

     11Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous–with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

     12Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you. [II Chron. 36:16.]

ROMANS 12:14 

14Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.

 1 COR. 4:12-13,20

12And we still toil unto weariness [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When men revile us [wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it.

     13When we are slandered and defamed, we [try to] answer softly and bring comfort. We have been made and are now the rubbish and filth of the world [the offscouring of all things, the scum of the earth].

     20For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul).

COL. 3:12-17,23-24

     12Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

     13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

     14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

     15And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

     16Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

     17And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.

   23Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,

     24Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).

1 PETER 3:14-17 

14But even in case you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, [you are] blessed (happy, to be envied). Do not dread or be afraid of their threats, nor be disturbed [by their opposition].

     15But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.

     16[And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives].

     17For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong.

1 PETER 4:1-2,12-16

 1SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],

     2So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.

12Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.

13But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].

     14If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you–happy, fortunate, [h]to be envied, [i]with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

     15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or any sort of criminal, or as a mischief-maker (a meddler) in the affairs of others [infringing on their rights].

     16But if [one is ill-treated and suffers] as a Christian [which he is contemptuously called], let him not be ashamed, but give glory to God that he is [deemed worthy to suffer] in this name.

We have wrong expectations and this can give us a wrong focus.  What is the motive of what we do for Christ?  Are we looking for accolades and acknowledgement from our fellow humanity in order to feel successful and valued?  If so, our motives are wrong and will hinder us in our service to our true King.

Because of our humanity, which is born wanting to be known and loved because we fear being rejected, condemned, overlooked and ignored, it is easy to fall into the trap of looking to others for acceptance and confirmation that we are in the will of God. But our job is not to chase approval from others who are incapable of consistently giving us the approval we need.  Our job is to be so in love with God, so in awe of Him and all His attributes and promises that we look nowhere else for approval, but to Him. (And often His is the only approval we will get!)

If the world does not know, recognize and acknowledge Christ and we are following Him, how can we expect people to know, recognize and acknowledge us.

In fact, Jesus is clear.  If they know and acknowledge us, there is a risk we may be more of the world and less Kingdom-of-God focused than we thought!

If we are seeking acknowledgments and pats on the back from others, to be known and visible and expressly appreciated, we also might not choose to follow Jesus into the forgotten dark places where He wants to bring us as His singular light to show the way out and into freedom for those who dwell there.  If we need to be visible to others in a way that we feel appreciated, we may not stay in the dark places, where we feel invisible to the world and useless, but are infinitely loved and used with eternal purpose by God.

We need to change our expectations and stop seeking to have our work for Him become visible and known in this life.  We need to embrace the hiddenness in which He may bless us to be.

Selah! [Pause and calmly think of that!]

END

Christmas is coming.  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result in December 2009 I was in the studio beginning to record CHRISTMAS WORSHIP, which includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project.  Please consider giving the gift of CHRISTMAS WORSHIP this Christmas.  It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2  or CDbaby.com  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.  Music clips can be heard at the CD Baby or amazon.com links.  May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season.

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 books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.