The LORD Is Blessing And Keeping You!

Blessed Savior, how hard life here can be and yet even in the driest of places You come with Your Holy Spirit and cause us to bloom forth Your love and way. We are nothing without You! We cannot survive but for Your help. Thank You for never leaving us of forsaking us, for caring for us and causing us to be fruitful for You until that day You call us home. In Jesus' name, Amen
Blessed Savior, how hard life here can be and yet even in the driest of places You come with Your Holy Spirit and cause us to bloom forth Your love and way. We are nothing without You! We cannot survive but for Your help. Thank You for never leaving us of forsaking us, for caring for us and causing us to be fruitful for You until that day You call us home. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro ©2014

The end of June 2014 I was on my way to The King’s University Spirit-Filled Worship Conference in the Los Angeles area.  As I began the ascent into the Tehachapi Mountains which separate the more northern parts of California from the Los Angeles Basin and below, the Lord began to fill me with words. I grabbed the empty notebook off the passenger seat and began to scribble “by feel” as I drove without ever looking at the paper.  The “download” continued as I continued through the Angeles (Spanish for “angels”) National Forest, while songs from the Resurrection Joy worship CD (original music the Lord had me compose, record and release) filled the car about the Way of our Savior, our great current need for the Holy Spirit and our inheritance in the Kingdom of God .  Below is what was scribbled from Him that evening.  It has been slightly edited to improve flow.  May it bless us to realize He is blessing us now and will continue doing so through all circumstances until He calls us home.

We are born with seeking hearts. At first we don’t know what we are seeking. We subconsciously sense—even know—that we are somehow incomplete no matter how much our practicality tells us we may have everything we would seem to need.

Yet no matter how fully our physical and emotional needs are met, in our hearts—at the core of our being—we still know better than we know almost anything, that that which gives core meaning and significance to us and our brief existence is lacking. This is because we are more than physical and emotional beings. At our core (essence) we are spiritual. We were created for relationship with God and until we find ourselves in a growing relationship with Him, nothing else is of but momentary (thus not of lasting) significance.

Once we make the leap of faith that God is indeed real, this invisible God with whom we cannot connect in the way we are used to—we are not done seeking. In fact, our journey has only begun.

God created us for relationship with Him. Our ancestors decided to go it on their own and walked away. Like the prodigal son, they discovered just as every generation of their heirs, that life without God is not so simple. Existence this side of heaven is hard!

Yet like the story told by Jesus of the son who walked away, the Father is waiting for us to turn and seek to return home to our true inheritance and family. And so we seek and keep on seeking. The Holy Spirit is our Guide.  To some a euphemistic wisp that cannot be grasped–He is the third Person in the three-in-one Godhead, the Spirit of the Living God, the Spirit of Jesus filled with the Wisdom of God.

He is God With Us NOW—Emmanuel!!! The Spirit was given to us by the Father as Jesus promised He would because after Jesus ascended to the Father, He asked the Father to send the Spirit to us. This Spirit comes to dwell with us and in us when we become believers. He is waiting to speak to us, teach us straight from Father’s heart, and lead us practically day by day in the Father’s specific will for us if we will but believe and seek and listen.

Jesus promises His sheep hear His voice. The Father declares—call to me and I will answer you (!) and tell you deep and unsearchable things you do not know.  Jesus promises the Spirit will teach us all these things. Deep calls to deep. The Spirit searches the very heart of God and reveals these things to us.  They are secrets of the heart of God–jewels greater in value than the greatest earthly (natural) riches.  This is our inheritance when we become children of God.

We are beginning to understand our destiny.  The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! The Lord is dwelling place and refuge and underneath are the everlasting wings. In heaven God sits upon His throne, the Lamb who was slain at His right hand still interceding for us. The saints are singing, the angels are singing, the prayers of the saints are being offered upon the altar of God in a golden bowl with incense by an angel.  Then after the prayers have risen as incense to our Lord,  while heavenly praise and worship of God continues without ceasing, the angel uses the golden bowl to scoop up some of the power of God from His alter and hurl it upon the earth.  This is part of the picture of heaven St. John paints for us in the Book of Revelation.

Yet God in all His fierce power, because His essence is Love, when the Lord releases His power always and ultimately about His redeeming purposes–it is about His ongoing rescue plan.  He is calling ever calling all people to Himself. He is working through our lives and circumstances by the power of His Spirit to reveal Himself as real to a hungry, dying, desperate, hurting world of which we were a part.

Now His ambassadors, no longer of the world, but in the world to be the lamps through which He shines His light, He provides for us now through eternity.  We will be okay.  He is our ever-present Helper.  Thus as Father, He had Jesus exhort us not to worry.  We no longer have to be consumed with how we will survive. The need to fear or dread death has been removed because it has become a threshold we must cross in order to come into our true destiny with Him, complete, content and filled with unspeakable joy forever. Through seasons of abundance and lack, there will be enough to get us through as our Master Shepherd leads us home.

His promise of provision does not mean we will not have to work.  We will!  This is earth, not heaven! But He calls us simply to do the work He enables for our provision and to focus on other things, greater things–eternally-significant, God-focused things.

He calls us to trust in Him by looking for Him, seeing Him more and in so doing putting ourselves increasingly under His protection (covering).  We can be at rest in Him at all times, no matter what. He exhorts us to become as children where He is the parent if we are to enter the Kingdom of heaven.

Nowhere in this does God promise He will take all our pain and problems away now—this remains earth not heaven. But He promises He is with us,helping, strengthening, encouraging, saving, reconciling, guiding, enabling, comforting, using all things for great purpose, giving us value and significance and purpose each day, every hour, no matter what we are going through until HE calls us home to eternity.  There He waits upon His throne even now to wipe every tear away. God Most High, forgiving, reconciling, restoring, redeeming, calling, caring, providing and protecting, and then ushering us home.

22 The LORD spoke…23…”Thus shall you bless the people…; you shall say to them,           24 ‘The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.’ 27 So shall they put my name upon the people…and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:22-27 ESV)

As you read this now, may you receive this blessing and may He respond according to His promise to put His name upon you and bless you MORE, as He offers you His peace (and even joy) now through forever.

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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 and on itunes.

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  

 

Walk on Water Worship

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Magnificent God with eyes filled with unfathomable love. You are the all-powerful One, and You see all that is going on in this world. You did not promise life would be easy here. But You promised to be with us. And so we lift up our thoughts so we can see only You, believe in Your Word and step forward knowing You are there and will not let us drown. You are the only One with the power to save now and forever. All things are in Your hands and we choose to rest in You in all the rocky, difficult places. Thank You for Your constant love and care. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

When you are in a hard place or having a difficult time, choose to worship God and let Him meet you in that place.  By persevering to worship when it doesn’t seem as if one could, we are reminded of who God is, the height, depth, majesty and infiniteness of His nature, the eternal unending expanse of His love, and the glorious manifesting of His care and power which come into our circumstances and are for us and never against us no matter what this temporal world throws at us.

The manner of worship does not have to be weighty, complicated or fancy. God cares nothing for that.  He is about the heart. He is always about the heart.  Simple worship in difficult and even desperate times is an expression of faith. It is an outworking of trusting in Him with our whole heart and leaning not on our own understanding. It is a commitment to follow Him wherever He leads knowing only He will make our paths straight.

And isn’t this what our Lord asks of us?  When we choose to trust our invisible, almighty, all-knowing, all-good God in spite of contrary thoughts running rampant in our minds, when we choose to rely on God by determined self-will when all seems wrong and nothing seems right, we are demonstrating we have the “fear of the Lord”, which He requests from us in order to be in right relationship with Him.

Choosing to worship in the storm means we are choosing to believe He is who He says and will do what He has promised when there is as yet no visible, tangible evidence. It shows we know He is most powerful and still in control when everything seems to be falling apart. Worship when the waves are high and it seems certain we will go under and never rise again is a sacrifice of praise the Lord meets with the kiss of His power released in ways beyond anything we could anticipate into the circumstances which have been weighing us down.  And by it, He will cause us to walk on top of the waves because by worship our eyes are kept necessarily on Him (unlike Peter who looked down).

You may not be able to tell how great His power is within you enabling and sustaining until the crisis has passed, but He is there–ever faithful–to help those who look to Him to get through the difficulties in this hard life which will be.

What do I mean by “worship”?  Contemplate His majesty. Bring to mind the many names by which He is called for in each one is a beautiful aspect of who He is.  Extol Him for His promises such as that He will meet our needs.  Thank Him for what He has done–remembering and listing it out–and expressing our gratitude now before the prayer we have uttered is answered for what we know He will do because He has promised He will get us through until that day when He personally calls us out of this hard life and takes us home.

Until then we worship on earth as in heaven, worshiping in song when we can, for angels, elders, living creatures and those who have gone before are singing forth their adoration of our Lord ongoing in heaven, just as our Lord sings over us. But in the absence of song, the singing of our hearts adoring Him in thought, word and deed honors Him as well.

When we make this difficult choice to worship in the hard places, our Lord is honored and glorified more than almost any other way, for it takes a conscious choice to believe He is who He says in order to do this. It is “Walk On Water” worship for our choice to have faith and trust in what we can neither see nor prove causes our eyes to stay on Him and He blesses us by ensuring we do not drown.  We do not pretend we understand. But we acknowledge that through it all, He remains unchanging God.  As a result of our choice to let Him be who He is, He draws near and answers, strengthens us and uses all, all, all, all, all things for good in light of His eternal, all-good, rescuing plan.

Selah! (Pause and calmly think of that!)

Below are lyrics to several worship songs I have recorded which are for use when you are trying to keep your eyes on Him in life’s storms so indeed He by your worship He can enable you to walk on water.

Walk on Water

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2007, recorded on the WALK ON WATER CD

1 The way, the Truth and the Life the only Light in a darkened world. Word made flesh and crucified. Yes, that is who You are.

2 Redeemer, Savior, Lamb of God, the only perfect Sacrifice. Merciful Father, Spirit of Truth. Yes, that is who You are.

Chorus: Walk on water, straight into You arms, You will keep me safe no matter what the storm. Walk on water, eyes on Your gaze. I will trust in You for who You are.

3 Peace, peace, when waves come, when storms roar, when mountains fall down.  Peace, peace, you reign in my heart, in I AM I rest secure.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.  (Ps. 46:1-2)

Lion and Lamb

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2009, recorded on the RESTORE CD

1 Lamb of God, You have won. Lion of Judah, You reign. All You have said, You have done. We rejoice.

Chorus: Lion of Judah, Lion of Judah. Lamb of God, Lamb of God. King of heaven, our Redeemer. You reign; You reign.

2 Lion of Judah on the throne. Lamb of God, You were slain. Every battle You have won. We rejoice.

Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob. He displays his glory in Israel. (Isa. 44:23)

 

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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 and on itunes.

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  

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.  (Ps. 46:1-2)

 

 

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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 and on itunes.

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  

 

 

The Lord’s Perfect Timing

Lord God, how You amaze us ongoing with Your majesty and Your magnificent all-loving ways. We can dance like children before You rejoicing for all things truly are in Your hands at all times. Thank You for caring for us so much. In Jesus' name, amen.
Lord God, how You amaze us ongoing with Your majesty and Your magnificent all-loving ways. We can dance like children before You rejoicing for all things truly are in Your hands at all times. Thank You for caring for us so much. In Jesus’ name, amen.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

I turned in my keys this past week at the financial advisory firm where I have been employed part-time since January 2013.  It was somewhat sad for me, because I enjoyed working with and supporting such good people and God had so divinely orchestrated how I had come to have the job in the first place.  And yet, I also had felt led to pray for months that God would send the right person to take my place, because even before the cancer, I knew eventually I would be leaving.  The financial advisor for whom I worked, Rob, and I had even discussed where he would look to find another assistant when it was time for me to go.

He had made a few contacts, but they had not panned out.  When I originally had contacted him and his wife, Carolyn, in December 2012 in response to their ad which the Lord had brought to my attention, he had been searching for a while for the right assistant with almost no viable (qualified) candidates amongst the plethora of ad responses. He really needed someone with industry experience (which would include understanding of the terminology and systems) and a heart for his particular practice style (with strong ethics and personalized customer care) in a quiet office environment.

On Tuesday, September 16th following the ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist initial appointment and 2nd post operation appointment with the surgeon I forwarded Rob and Carolyn a detailed update which explained why I still could not come back to work.  In it I also felt led very specifically to release them to find someone else if they did not want to wait.  I knew Rob’s business. I knew how essential it was to have an assistant if he was going to get his job done as a financial advisor!  So I wrote the following at the end of my report:

“If you and Carolyn decide it is no longer workable for you to wait for what now looks like could be as long as mid to late October and that you need to implement other sales support, I understand that as well.  It is troubling to me, to have left the two of you unexpectedly in the lurch like this.”

When I had left the office at end of day August 11th after my final day of work before the August 13th surgery, I had had only one fleeting inkling I would not be returning to work there—ever.  As I was packing up to go that Monday afternoon, the Lord whispered “take the mug with you”.  On the office desk I shared with Rob’s wife, Carolyn, I kept a mug for periodic cups of tea. The mug had been a birthday gift one year from my friend, Lori Duffy. However, the thought to take the mug with me had been so fleeting, I had neglected to grab hold of it and had walked out the door forgetting to take the mug with me.

I fully expected to be back at work by the beginning of September.  At my pre-op appointment, I had asked the surgeon precisely this question. How long would recovery be—until one could resume normal activity?  He had told me 2 weeks.  Okay then. This seemed short, but he must know. So that is what I had arranged with Rob and Carolyn. Then at the first post-op appointment the recovery time had expanded to four to six weeks for the body to recover.  Yes, in two weeks one was no longer as couch-bound, but recovery was indeed longer (which only made sense). 

However, in all the pre-op preparations, though there had been mention of the risk of losing the ability to sing or speak completely, no mention was made of the potential lengthier recovery period for vocal ability.  First, when I saw the ENT specialist and had my second post-op appointments back to back in mid-September, had both surgeon and ENT finally confirmed it was normal to still have pain when speaking at this point and that vocal recovery could take any number of months. Each person was different.  This was in addition to the pending at-some-soon-to-come-but-as-yet-undefined point there would need to be time set aside for the radioactive iodine treatment(s) to be completed to kill any residual cancer cells in the thyroid area of the neck.

The indeterminate length of time for vocal recovery added onto the still pending further cancer treatment changed everything and caused the Lord’s word to me from late May or early June that there was something coming which would cause me to be unable to work full-time for a while, to be more clear. Right after diagnosis my dear friend, Amy Knight, had given me a word from the Lord, that this was to be a special season where instead of forging ahead step by step as the Lord instructed, walking with Him by my side, I was to be at rest with my head on His shoulder, not forging ahead, but letting Him go ahead and do the work while I simply remained at rest in Him.  As the surgery approached already in my heart I felt the confirmation that the Lord through this was giving me a divine pause. This would be for His purposes. He would take me during the quiet without so much of the everyday rushing around into a deeper understanding of Him and He would give me time to write more of Him for others, so that more would come to know Him as God (Savior and Lord of all). 

After the first 2 weeks of recovery, when the surgeon’s initial answer to my question meant I should have been ready to return to work, I was neither ready physically, vocally or emotionally. I was just beginning to be upright almost all day and able to amble around.  It didn’t feel as if the season of “divine pause” was supposed to be over yet. The surgery was over but it did not feel as if there had been enough time for it to be used yet in the way He had laid on my heart.

Indeed I still had to remain removed from most activities including work.  And now He began to do the things in my heart and through enabling more writing which I had sensed were the purposes of this season beyond eradicating cancer.  His peace overcame me. He was orchestrating the recovery. He was even delaying vocal improvement and removal of pain in order to slow me down. He wanted this time with me. I wanted it with Him and He had ordained it.

Our Lord was doing a bit of re-arranging. It was the time for new seasons for a few of us. 

Rob responded to my September 16th email the following day.  It was just as the Lord had been impressing upon me. Rob embraced the confirmation he might need to find someone new, because he needed the support.  A financial advisor cannot study client finances and make good, clear recommendations nor monitor economic and client conditions for updates when time is consumed with office administrative functions.  However, when there is no administrative support, the advisor must cover these activities first (which eliminates the advisor’s ability to do the actual advisory job).  He asked me to stay in touch. This blessed me because I have enjoyed my affiliation with the practice and the friendship with Rob and Carolyn.  I would miss being a part of the practice and each other’s lives.

I received Rob’s September 17th response while at our El Dorado County home where there is as yet no internet. Thus all email communication must be typed into my cell phone which can be time-consuming and cumbersome—two fingers at  a time, with a well-intended auto-correct function which continually corrects the words I type on purpose to other words which can completely change the meaning of that which is being communicated.  For these reasons though I wanted to send Rob a prompt response re-iterating I understood and wishing him all the best, I delayed. The plan was to send an email reply when I returned to where I had internet availability and could reply via laptop.   However, I kept getting distracted from writing and by Saturday or Sunday, the Lord was letting me know that instead of just an email He wanted me to send a dish filled with little plants which would not die immediately, but continue to grow along with a card of well-wishes for my response.  I knew exactly which florist business I was to patronize and looked for opportunities all weekend to drop by.  I wanted the delivery for Monday! I wanted Rob to know I appreciated his email and understood and supported his decision to look for other help.

However, it was very late Tuesday morning, September 23rd before I realized I could order the planter online from this florist because dropping by was not working.  I was quite disappointed to see that the earliest possible delivery was Wednesday. This meant almost a week from the date of his email until Rob had my response.  This seemed horribly unprofessional and rude.  Oh well, this was what the Lord was leading me to do at the florist business with whom He had led me to place the order.  So many times in the past there had always been a reason (and a good one) for His timing. Invariably I wanted things done faster than He enabled, and yet, as God (duh!) His timing was always perfect. I placed the order and requested a card be sent.  I asked the Lord what to request written on the card. The following is how I felt led. It was concise enough to fit and seemed to say it all.

Rob & Carolyn, thank you for the privilege of being part of your God-ordained practice. I am praying for the Lord’s just-right person to assist further. God bless you! Elizabeth

I had no idea that in that week while I was silent, Rob and Carolyn had already begun their search for a new assistant. To both their surprise, Carolyn had run across a resume for a woman with 10 years’ experience supporting an independent financial advisor in a similar office set up.  She was even familiar with the same software Rob used in his practice. Contact was made and an interview scheduled.  When Monica came in Carolyn interviewed her at length and then Rob interviewed her too.  She had been working for an advisor who had sold his business. The advisor who took over ran it in a different style which was causing clients to leave, resulting in an income cut. She also found the style difference so great that she was not comfortable working with the new advisor.  She was searching for a new, “safe” place (with a style match in how the advisor worked with his or her clients) where she could put her skills to work and truly make a difference caring for clients and providing critical administrative support to an advisor as she was accustomed (and trained!) to do.

This is exactly what Rob needed!  Both he and Carolyn sensed Monica might be who God wanted.  In fact she seemed almost as if sent by God because she seemed such an unbelievably perfect fit.  Initially, they had planned to go through quite a screening process to make sure they had the right person. However, they both had God’s peace that she was the one, so Rob called Monica on Wednesday, September 24th and made her an offer to work full-time at the practice.  This was a big commitment. I had been part-time. But Rob and Carolyn were stepping out in faith in the way they truly believed God was leading.  Monica accepted the offer and Rob hung up the phone. 

Within seconds (not even one minute had passed) there was a florist standing in the foyer of the practice with a planter to deliver. No one had ever sent Rob anything before, so he thought the delivery must be for one of the other businesses in the building.  Nope. Carolyn told him the delivery was for him.  Rob couldn’t imagine who it could be from. He opened and read the card. It was the planter I had sent.  The following words on the card jumped out at him, “I am praying for the Lord’s just-right person to assist further.”  He was stunned and overcome. Both he and Carolyn were.  God had timed the arrival of the planter with the message for which He had given me the words, to be at the precise moment He knew would confirm and make clear that hiring Monica had been the right thing to do because it was indeed His plan. It was His perfect will for all of us, for through it He also confirmed for me, that my season working there was truly done.

What blessing! What care from our Lord, that He would delay the sending of the planter with the message, so that He could orchestrate its perfect arrival.  Yes, our Lord is in what we define as big, but He is also in what we misinterpret as small. He cares about it all because He always cares for all of us. Amen? Amen!

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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 and on itunes.

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  

 

Choosing To Give Thanks In All Things

Magnificent One, to You alone do we lift our eyes in all circumstances. Our trust is in You alone. And so to You in every storm, we give You thanks for the answers You will sovereignly bring to our prayers, for we know You are all good and love us and love those we love more than we ever will. Thank You for being our God. Thank You for loving us. We remain in prostrated awe. In Jesus' name, amen.
Magnificent One, to You alone do we lift our eyes in all circumstances. Our trust is in You alone. And so to You in every storm, we give You thanks for the answers You will sovereignly bring to our prayers, for we know You are all good and love us and love those we love more than we ever will. Thank You for being our God. Thank You for loving us. We remain in prostrated awe. In Jesus’ name, amen.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

When we choose by walk by faith not by sight (which is what God asks of us), then it is because we choose to believe in God and what He says in His Word. This means we believe Him when He says that the visible was made out of the invisible and the invisible is greater.

1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see…3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

When we choose to walk by faith and not by sight it means we believe our destiny is not this life, but the fullness of the life to come.

31…If God is for us, who can be against us?…35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31b,35,37-39)

And nothing, nothing, nothing can steal our eternal destiny from us.

In addition, even now God as all powerful Father, He promises to hear our prayers and answer when we are seeking to follow Him—trying to listen, discern and obey Him moment by moment to the best of our childlike abilities like Jesus did.

Most of our prayers either concern requests related to prolonging our natural life or the lives of others and or minimizing the suffering (poverty, hunger, persecution, slavery, physical abuse, illness, etc.) which are part and parcel of this life on earth (which is not and will never be heaven.) These prayers are good! He responds! And yet injustice and suffering remain.

Our Shepherd is ever faithful to His promise to lead us through the shadow of the valley of death. He promises we do not have to worry—He will provide for us perfectly, and He will use all for good in light of eternity.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. It not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:15-27,31-33 NIV)

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 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. (Ps. 23 NIV)

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16 NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Yet, our Lord does not always answer our prayers our way. In His sovereign omnipotence and omniscience, His supreme, all-encompassing view does not always match our childlike, limited one.

Consider Jesus. He sets the example and this example included the cross.

Sometimes it seems as if for us the cross may have lost some of its original impact. The horror of it can seem as if gilded because through it Jesus made possible our reconciliation with Father, adoption as sons and daughters and return to Him for eternity. Yet the cross was a heinous, inhumane tool of torture used to murder the Son of God. The time of our Lord’s passion was nothing but ugly.

Those who loved Jesus could see nothing beautiful, wonderful or good His death. It was unjust, did not make sense and seemed the end to all their hope.

Some of his disciples had recognized Jesus rightly as the Messiah.   At the time of the Savior’s coming Israel was under cruel Roman persecution and rule. How the people longed to be free under their own rulers again. Oh, to be their own sovereign, independent nation! The understanding was the Messiah (which means God’s anointed—chosen—One) was to come and save them, to re-establish a kingdom, which in their limited childlike view they took to mean Israel’s independence as a kingdom on earth.

Of course, we know the end of the story. God had something greatly superior planned. Through Jesus He planned to offer everyone—not just the Israelites—entry into His eternal kingdom, which is not of this world.

At the crucifixion however, this was still not apparent. It did not enter their disciples’ minds that His death was the key to His resurrection, which was the key to the Door of heaven opening for all of us. From all they could understand, the crucifixion looked like the end, not like a beginning.

What they saw in the moment was something completely different and incomprehensible. Jesus was betrayed by one on the inner circle. When Jesus was arrested the other apostles must have felt as if something was horribly wrong—and it was. Evil was in the air. And by all accounts it looked like evil was winning. Jesus did not stand up for Himself. He didn’t reveal miraculous power to defend or save Himself. The people at large turned against Him in a seemingly impossible, preposterous way—asking for the life of a known criminal to be spared instead of Jesus.

Everything was the opposite of what it should be. Where was justice? Where was God? And all too quickly the situation spiraled out of control even more. After being tortured almost to death, Jesus had to carry his cross up the hill, where He was disrespectfully stripped, mocked, and hands and feet hammered to the cross with nails, so that he could hang on it for hours until death.

The Messiah was dead. Rome still ruled. Nothing had changed except now it was worse. The long-awaited Messiah had come and come and gone.

This was the most horrendous evil act perpetrated by Satan of all time. This adversary of God worked through God’s own people to kill His Son.

And yet, God was not done. In fact, as horrific as this act was, Satan had played directly in God’s hands. The Father knew what the adversary would do. He knew what the people would choose and so He chose before time began to weave together His plan to use that which the enemy definitely used for evil for the supreme good of all humanity. It’s almost as if the Lord could be heard, “Watch what I’m going to do with this, Lucifer! Through your own plan, I am going to remove all who will choose it from under your wrong dominion. I will restore them to My kingdom—the kingdom for which they were created. Yes, through your heinous act, I’m going to redeem the world.”

Thus, indeed, through it all, our Lord reigned (and reigns)! The way the Lord answered the prayers at the time did not look good! And yet, when we now consider what God has done, we recognize that His way was supremely good.

Thus we cannot expect our Lord’s answers to prayer always will look like it seems they should either. We are also His creation and not the Creator. Like any young child’s view in comparison to the parent, our children-of-God eyes have limited comprehension. We are not (and never will be) God.

This does not mean God the Father is glad for injustice, or doesn’t care when we suffer, or is ambivalent when evil seems to have his way. God is love! This place into which we are born was not His original and best plan for us. It was our ancestors’ choice because they choice their own will (and followed Satan’s leadership), instead of trusting in and submitting to God. We are born into exile. Jesus was sent to rescue us, providing the way out and home……(All praise to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, forever and ever, amen!)

Our Lord waits in the eternal Kingdom to which He calls us to wipe every tear away.

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”…6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” (Rev.21:1-5a,6-7 NIV)

If this is all true, then Jesus is already our Victor. It means every battle we are currently in He has already plans to overcome and use for good which cannot be thwarted—even by supernatural evil—for the adversary is less than God’s infinite more. If we have lost those we love from this world, His promise is that we will see them again. If they seem to have left without knowing and choosing Him, we must remember we do not know what went on in their minds and hearts in those final moments. We must lean on the truth that God loves us and every person more than we do and keep our eyes on Him. Only He knows.

Therefore, if we truly trust God, then we can already now thank Him for that which is to come. We can thank Him now in faith and trust which means confidence for what He will do for every prayer request which is on our heart. This is not because His answer will look like we expect, but because His answer will always be extremely, eternally God’s.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? …34… Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-32,34b-35,37-39 NIV)

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ..15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:1,15-20 NIV)

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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 and on itunes.

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  

Prayer to the LORD, Our Peace

Your love reaches to the heavens and down to us. Your love is everywhere and Your peace emanates from everything You have created. How we wait in expectant hope for how You will manifest yet again in that which human experts say is hopeless so that all will know without doubt that You alone are God. We trust in You and revel in the wonder that You are. In Jesus' name, Amen
Your love reaches to the heavens and down to us. Your love is everywhere and Your peace emanates from everything You have created. How we wait in expectant hope for how You will manifest yet again in that which human experts say is hopeless so that all will know without doubt that You alone are God. We trust in You and revel in the wonder that You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2014

Sometimes when the news circulating is dire, it is good to pause and focus on the Lord for He is our Peace.  Simply because of who He is and what He promises, we have nothing to fear. We can contemplate the wonder of the God we are blessed to know and serve and just focus on the blessings of this moment and His presence in our circumstances.  This is worship–eyes on Him, extoling Him in light of who He is and His promises. Worship is our offering to Him–an expression of our trust.  And by it, we are strengthened for the next moment of what is unknown but to all but our Lord. In addition, He responds to our worship with an outpouring of His power into our circumstances beyond what we ever could have imagined. What a mighty God, we serve!  Oh, Lord, we can receive Your peace, for our Peace is who You are! Let us pray.  ~ Elizabeth

Wonderful Savior, magnificent Lord, You reign. As far as the heavens are above the earth stretches Your authority. Nothing is outside Your span of ultimate control. You allow evil to exist and this is anything which chooses to follow self-rule over Yours—pretending that by our choice we can actually have authority over ourselves to lead good lives.

But there is no goodness outside You. And what the enemy means for evil, You do use for ultimate eternal good. You see that which treats us in ways and causes us to have hard experiences which never would have been Your will for us. Your right hand prepares a response and Your infinite compassionate loving heart—while Comforter even now—longs to wipe every tear away.  And this you will do when once our battle and choices here are done and evermore we are in Your presence.

There we will be ever in Your love where there is nothing but Your love. With You finally forever, all that is not of You will have lost its temporary hold and power and have fallen away where it is no more.

Majesty, Majesty, Majesty, You are. How great You are with Your ways beyond our understanding!

We are so thankful to You that You are not leaving us to find our own way out of this exile for You know we cannot. It’s how you created us! You have a rescue plan of restoration and reconciliation to relationship with You so we can receive once again that life for which you created us.

Awesome God, how wonderful You are! There are no words in the languages You have enabled us to develop—based on what we see, know and understand with our human, God-made capacity–to express how thankful we are for You, only You. Majesty, how we love You!  How we adore You!

Your plans are from eternity to eternity and You are never finished using all plots with which the enemy strategizes to destroy in order to bring Your eternal good to Your many children. So thank You, Lord for this day. Thank You for the beauty You have placed in it beyond all the enemy’s schemes. Thank You for the stunningly exquisite work You are constantly about taking what looks to be damaged goods and knitting them into something beautiful.

The tapestry You weave together of all our lives is magnificent beyond description in the eyes of all those who choose to look to You.  Therefore once again today, we rejoice that You are the Master Designer as we wait with childlike giddy anticipation and expectation for the unveiling of each new piece of Your awe-inspiring, intricate perfect design, which with our human sensibilities we cannot possibly imagine.  You surprise us and fill us with great joy!

Personally, I thank You for Your design so far in my life, in the lives of all I love and all those for whom I am blessed to intercede. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Holy, holy, holy are You! Thank You for Your eternal, conquering, infinitely victorious reign!

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
 

   

Contributions for Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

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 and on itunes.

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