A Blessing in the Storm

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

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro ©2017

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

Andrea’s Song

 

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

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Tell everyone. Tell EVERYONE! TELL EVERYONE!

“I am free.  I am FREE! I AM FREE!”

And then it was over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANDREA’S SONG (The LORD is Great)

words and music by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

“I will not die but live

And proclaim the works of the Lord.”

This is the verse she prayed

So the Lord would heal her

But the illness could not be stopped

The day came she died

Then came her voice as a whisper

She’s alive

CHORUS

The Lord is great. It’s beautiful here

Tell everyone, I am free

The Lord is great. It’s beautiful here

Tell everyone, I am free

BRIDGE

She wanted the world to know her Savior

She wanted the world to choose Him too

She wanted Him to heal, He healed forever

Now she proclaims from heaven she’s alive

CHORUS

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

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

The End

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

Prayer for the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

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

 


As the Moon Reflects the Sun

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

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

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

Put Down Your Fear. I AM!

Lord, there are hard things. You know. Speak. I am listening. Help me to be in this space. As Guide and Love I know You will show me the way forward. One true God, Savior and Lord all trust is in You. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening. In Jesus' name, Amen
Lord, there are hard things. You know. Speak. I am listening. Help me to be in this space. As Guide and Love I know You will show me the way forward. One true God, Savior and Lord all trust is in You. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening. In Jesus’ name, Amen

This is what is called a prophetic word.  I hear it as if the words are being spoken into my mind and write it down as I “hear” it.  Please always pray before and as you read.  By definition I am human and imperfect.  In addition, when the Holy Spirit “downloads” a word, it will either resonate with you or it will not and that’s okay.  No one prophetic word is for every person.  And this is my prayer for you: ”LORD, please lead each reader perfectly and cause them to receive and remember, only that which is from You for them.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.” ~ Elizabeth

Humbly written out as “heard” January 9, 2016 Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

Put it down. Put it down. Put it down. You picked it up again and it is too heavy for you. I am all that you want or need. I see. I know. I have not forgotten. I have not been overwhelmed or overcome. I am still here and have not changed. I know. I am not finished. I have not left. I am still about my business. Look to Me.

Where you are there is danger. You have correctly discerned. This can destroy you or through it I can make you stronger in Me (for Me and by Me). The choice is yours. I desire to make you stronger for with Me you will overcome. Will you let Me?

I know what you are facing is difficult. I am well aware you have neither been this way before nor is it a way you would have chosen for yourself. Even though that which you face seems so much larger than any obstacle or enemy faced in the past—even though you know it is not within your control—it is I who am with you always even to the end of the age. I have not left. My arm and reign remain supreme. NOTHING changes that. Nothing—not even that which causes such fear in you now.

This fear is not from Me. No fear is from Me. I am the One to be feared—the only One. This is not because I will harm you, but because I am Supreme, above all, the Most High! Everything else is less. Everything. I am Creator. I am the only Creator. I laugh at every other entity which seeks to exalt its own power for it shall not be. I am to be revered in My place. Fear of anything else is not from Me and cripples. Do not allow it to have this power. Look to Me and rely on Me instead. Trust ME. There is no other one trustworthy and I am faithful.

You realize you are not in control. You know that which comes against you is greater than you are. Indeed! It is! Yet I AM Greatest! This is not large to Me. It is as nothing. I already know what I will do with it. More importantly, I already know what I will do through it. Nothing thwarts My purposes. Nothing. Never. Ever. Nothing. I AM GOD. Remember this. Engrave it on your mind and heart. Look to Me and don’t look away and I Myself will do the engraving and you will be able to stand strong.

Even though suddenly this is before you, it is not new to Me. I have known. I have the plan and I remain the same. I AM Emmanuel, God With Us, so God with you now and even now. I have not changed. My power continues to be almighty. I remain Conqueror. I am ever Victor. Even in this. Especially through this.

You cannot see the way forward, but I can. Do the same as I have always asked of You: look to Me, worship, listen and obey with complete abandon. You are right. This is out of Your control, but it is not out of Mine. You have never been in control. Any sense of control which you thought you had was really illusion. I have always been in control. Surely the adversary acts as if he can, but in the end I win for My people, always and eternally because of My zeal for every person, because of My love.

Set down your need to know and understand. This is critical if you are to receive My peace in this place. There will be much in this season which you will not know in advance. I am the One Who knows. That is all that is required. Look to Me and let go of your fear. You fear because you know you have no power in this. You can make nothing happen. Your fear is unhelpful for you and it is an obstacle between you and Me and all I want to do for you and those you love.

Where have I ever told you to fear what you see in the world? Where have I told you the enemy is worthy of being feared? You are giving glory and credit to him which belongs only to Me. I am the One to be feared with a reverential awe and awareness for nothing is greater! I am the One with all power. I am the One who can change all things in a moment in ways you cannot anticipate. I am the One who knows what I am about and what I will accomplish through this. Yes, the enemy is evil and has reared his head. And I am greater or I am not God. Do you believe in Me? Then put down your fear of the unknown which lies before you. The enemy is indeed crouching near, lying in wait and whispering lies that he is more powerful and will win. Why do you listen? Stop listening. Do you believe in Me? Then believe in My power and My promises. Put down your fear of what you cannot control. I AM. Lift your eyes to Me and remember. Worship Me. Choose to receive My peace where it does not make sense (it is there for you) and I will guide you and those you love through this.

I will be glorified. I am victorious. I will be exalted in the earth. People will see and know I am God because of what I will do through this and through it all and it will be great. Fear Me alone.

PRAYER:  Lord, You are right. This is too heavy. I cannot carry it and am breaking under it. Trying to hold this up before You is even causing me to be sick. I am so thankful that this is not Your will for me. Thank You for inviting me to be Your child where I can simply sit at Your feet and play until You tell me what to do next. Thank You that I don’t have to figure this out, but only have to trust You and Your sovereignty over all things. The growing awareness of Your dominion helps me to receive Your peace. How thankful I am for your kingdom. I choose to seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness understanding that when I do, I need fear for nothing else for there You are with me and those I love even to the end of the age. It doesn’t matter how the adversary rears his ugly head or the threats or whispers of lies made. You are the only One with Supreme power, ever-Victor, Savior and Lord. You are the only One whose plans are not thwarted and can see the best and the good and the right not just for the moment but from here to eternity. How I love You! Thank You for this freedom which I have in You. You are my hope. You are my shield. You are my Mighty Warrior. You are just. Your Way is Supreme. You are love. I will take up my rest in You again today. You beckon me and I am thankful. I am thankful Lord. I am thankful for this place for You are in it. Thank You, Lord that You ever and forever are. In Jesus’ name, Amen

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Carrying Christmas in Our Hearts into the New Year

Heavenly One, with eyes for all that goes on in this life, we know You see all that is not right and all that could be other than it already is. You lived in this world and understand it. We are here now too and it effects us sometimes in ways which simply press down and discourage. Heavenly One, our trust is in You and you are our hope. We choose to believe that according to Your promises You are using us through all things--both good and bad--to be Your love and reveal Your kingdom, to represent You so that together we can rejoice and individually more and more can find their way home. Lord, continue to encourage our hearts by Your Spirit. Illuminate the dark places and help us to be Your love. Lead us oh, Good Shepherd in the way we are to go and through it all we will praise Your name now and forever. Thank You for the privilege of being Your child. Thank You that You came. Thank You for the cross. Thank You for the hope of heaven and good, God-work now. We are Yours and celebrate Your majesty with the angels with resounding joy. In Jesus' name, Amen
Heavenly One, with eyes for all that goes on in this life, we know You see all that is not right and all that could be other than it already is. You lived in this world and understand it. We are here now too and it effects us sometimes in ways which simply press down and discourage. Heavenly One, our trust is in You and you are our hope. We choose to believe that according to Your promises You are using us through all things–both good and bad–to be Your love and reveal Your kingdom, to represent You so that together we can rejoice and individually more and more can find their way home. Lord, continue to encourage our hearts by Your Spirit. Illuminate the dark places and help us to be Your love. Lead us oh, Good Shepherd in the way we are to go and through it all we will praise Your name now and forever. Thank You for the privilege of being Your child. Thank You that You came. Thank You for the cross. Thank You for the hope of heaven and good, God-work now. We are Yours and celebrate Your majesty with the angels with resounding joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2016

The light from the Christmas tree is waning. This is not because the ability of the little colored bulbs to illuminate is fading but because a season is coming to an end. The season of Christmas in the part of the world where we live coincides with the time of year when light is least and darkness seemingly ever-increasing. More than a day when we give each other gifts or a week when we endeavor to spread kindness, Christmas is a season of remembering, contemplating, reflecting to grasp the deeper, temporal significance and eternal meaning, of quieting ourselves within during days which are darker and generally colder inviting us to be more inside than out. Personally it is also a time when I seek to take time off from jobs other preoccupations and simply look inward. Still before Him, He continues to reveal ever more layers of beauty—the beauty He is and the magnificence of His way.

For years, I have fought the end to this always-too-brief time of year. I want to continue to be at rest in Him, before Him and with Him, contemplating the solemnity of Christmas in abject awe—this commemoration which must be accompanied by grand celebration. I want to remain in the stillness with heart soaring upward in song and reverence, considering how it must have been for those who were there and what it means and how it is for those of us now. Christ-mas. Celebration of Christ. Feast of Christ (the meaning of the word ending “mas” in the English word Christmas).

However, even as we return more to the activity of our every-day which fills the rest of our year and the festival abates yet again for a while, we continue to carry Christmas forward in our hearts. Jesus was born. The angels declared it, the star announced it, the shepherds believed in the angels and their message and came to adore the Baby (who in that moment looked very un-kingly and showed no sign of any ability or authority to do anything for them). The men from the East came far at likely large personal expense to pay homage in faith.

Then they all went home. To their ordinary, everyday lives. It would be decades before the King of kings would reveal the Kingdom which He had brought with Him for all of us. They may have completed their lives here before there was any additional related news. Joseph and Mary of necessity became caught up in the everyday activity of raising the Son and obeying the Lord to protect and provide for Him, even not long thereafter fleeing into exile because to stay in their homeland was no longer safe for Him. Joseph and Mary did what was necessary day in and day out to provide a home for their family and to make sure there was shelter, food and clothing. It was work. It could have been considered monotonous. It was normal. It was blessed. They went back to the work of living in this world where there will always be work which must be done in order to survive and thrive. It is normal for us. It remains blessed.

The shepherds, wise men and Holy Family carried the hope of Christmas in their hearts. The Savior had been born. God would fulfill His promises.

That said, even the shepherds and wise men probably misunderstood God’s message. For generations they had prayed for the redemption of Israel. They sought to be a free self-governing people again—a nation under God. Even the prophets had declared what they understood was the promise the Lord would answer this prayer and restore the nation.

However, what the Lord God brought was so much more. Beyond their ability to recognize and understand, He was indeed that hope. However, instead of bringing temporary, faulty independent governments, He ushered in His government where we are to live by His Way (not because of laws but because of love, comprehension of Him and devotion to Him) and where death has been conquered.

The image of the grim reaper remains true. Life here continues to be temporary with no assurance of what our last day in this worldly existence for each of us will be. But death is no longer the end, but a door into the eternal existence with the Lord God for which He created us.

This is the reason He was and is our hope. We cannot change the nature of our current existence in terms of its temporal nature and the hardship, injustice and eventual death which are part of it. We can choose to let Him use us to have a good God-effect in the way He wants, when He wants on those around us. We can be a positive influence, a lamp shining His light of hope and an instrument of His love improving the circumstances during the time we are here, even while we keep in mind that this world and how it runs will not be permanently fixed by us. Here is not our destination. Here is merely where we are for such a time as this.

Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and wise men all had their time here—their season where they could choose to believe and follow Him to have His effect, to fulfill His God-purposes for them or not. Now it is our turn. Like each of them, we do not know how much time we will have.

Oh, the joy and never-ending celebration of heaven await! Yet, we do not want our time here to have been for naught.

We re-enter the season of ordinary everyday as we move past the season of Christmas for another 11 months. We carry Christmas in our hearts. God-willing our understanding of Him and relationship with Him is deeper than it was before we entered this special season just a few short weeks ago.

It is in the ordinary, everyday where Jesus did His best work. It is where He desires to use us.   He was the King of kings, born into virtual obscurity except for the few to whom the Father chose to reveal Him. He lived and walked and was known for such a short period of time by such a few people relative to the world population and yet, the power of His life!

Our lives will never match that of Jesus. That is neither the purpose nor the goal. Obedience is the goal. God made manifest in this world is the purpose so that more may find their way home for eternity. He loves each personal equally and desires each one to have the opportunity to know Him, choose Him and be built up by Him for His use for such a time as this and to be with Him in that place for which He created us forever. He wants to use you—where you are at this moment, in what may seem the monotony of your every-day as well as in those places in your life which are as yet still to come.

Do not lose sight of the Savior who lived in the everyday of His time just as you do. Continue to follow the Shepherd and you will be amazed as He reaches through you to touch the world. Receive His peace for He is with you and His purposes are greater than what the majority see or recognize. Live in His joy that in this life you will have many troubles, but the promise of the Faithful One whose initial coming we celebrate on Christmas day has also promised, “I have overcome the world.”

Be of strong and cheerful heart as we move into this New Year for by the presence and activity of His most Holy Spirit, at all times through all circumstances until we each are home with Him forever, Jesus remains Emmanuel, which means “God With Us”

Blessed 9th Day of Christmas and Happy New Year!

END

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

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

The Deer on the Hill (and Carols At The Capitol)

Lord, we come to adore You
Lord, we come to adore You, Victor Savior and King.  Heavenly host declared Your coming.  We gather today to sing.  We declare who You are. Every promise is true. We rejoice in what You have said, in who You have been and will always be. Heavenly King, we adore You. Yes, forever.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2015

The date was Saturday, December 14, 2013: the first Carols At The Capitol gathering. I had spent the night at our Placerville home to be closer to the state capitol, Sacramento. The Lord called me out on a walk shortly after dawn. The air was cold, frost covered the little valley like a light blanket of snow. It was spectacular. The path crunched under my feet. Ice decorated the leaves on nearby blackberry vines like lace. I watched as the flock of swans rose from the reservoir on their daily flight around the area, the newly risen sun tinging their wings with cream-colored gold. At the conclusion of the walk just before I went back inside, the Lord prompted me to turn around one last time at the back garden gate. He nudged me to point my camera up the adjacent hill. I thought it was to be positioned to take a photo of the still rising sun through the trees. However, at the moment my camera was in place, a doe came forward on the slope above and into view. Her warm breath condensed into puffs like steam as it came forth from her nostrils. We stood staring at each other.

In that moment I realized that though December 14, 2013 was Carols At The Capitol to me, to the Lord’s creation it was just another day—and this was a good thing, it was a God-thing. We place varying degrees of importance and value on different days. To the Lord they are all of equal important—of great importance. Each is to be savored and simply lived trusting Him and thus in His peace.

There was some nervousness which accompanied the first Carols At The Capitol. All we wanted was the Lord’s will and we had worked so hard to create what we hoped He wanted. Would anyone come? Would it be what He had wanted? Had we heard Him correctly?

The deer on the hill. The swans in morning flight. Blackberry leaves frosted with frozen lace. An inner sigh.

There was no pressure in this day. There was to be no pressure in any day. It didn’t matter if anyone else came. It was His will for us to be there. And so we would be. Period. We would make our imperfect, childlike offering of Christmas worship on the steps of the state capitol. To our Lord this would be like any other day. He was simply looking if we would obey.

He had asked for us to simply come and offer Christmas carols as worship—to come seeking Him like the Wise Men. No more. No less. Simply….Simply that. Simply worship. Simply joy. Simply peace. All from Him as we did it for Him.

There was no concern or pressure necessary. It was simply our task for the day.  His task. It was to be bliss, not worry in every regard.

If we just came and offered the Christmas carols as worship, as He had seemed to be asking, He would bless it according to His promises. As He had promised my friend (and Founder of Carols At The Capitol), Andrea, if we would worship Him with Christmas carols at the seat of human government, entering the gate into the courts of the highest place in the state, then He would bring us a righteous leader. Was it righteous leader or was it the Righteous One as our Leader?

Recently, in discussion with Andrea’s daughter, Alanna, it has seemed clear He meant if we would simply go seeking Him like the Wise Men and make our offering of Christmas worship, then He would inhabit our land with more of Himself because by our worship we would be welcoming Him (inviting Him to have His way with us no matter who was in government).

Today, we gather again at state capitols to sing Christmas carols as worship to Him with one voice–not only in California, but in other states as well. Andrea worships from heaven, already in the presence of our King. We come seeking this true King, whose Kingdom is not of this world. We come to adore Him, to acknowledge Him as our true Leader, to give Him our hearts and our lives, pledging allegiance to Him by acknowledging what He has done and will do. Christmas carols. Christmas worship. Simply. Our hearts full and overflowing with joy because He came, lived, died, rose and is coming again.

Christmas was the beginning of the fulfillment of all His promises. We begin with Christmas worship to invite Him to be the Righteous Leader over all of us again, and to sovereignly influence the minds of those who govern to rule His way in love, fairness and justice.

All creation is constantly declaring His glory. All the time. Every day.  No matter what.

We join creation and sing. Christmas worship. We declare Him with hearts filled with joy. And we thank Him for another day to declare Him and live in His perfect provision and care until our days here are done and He takes us home.

NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOM

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

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

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

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

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