Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Undivided Heart

Psalm 86:11-13

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.  I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.  For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

I wrote the following poem October 27, 2005 after reading these verses in Psalms.  Find that quiet time to be alone with the Lord and you will be amazed at how your creativity will flow forth.  Have a wonderful day!
Love, Nan

An Undivided Heart

Lord, as I picked up the Bible
and didn't know where to turn
You brought me to a special place
taught me a lesson I needed to learn
it comes from the book of Psalms
here was the place I needed to start
the more I read, the more I learned
Lord, only you can give me an undivided heart
all emotions, thoughts and attitudes
flow from it's center
good, bad or indifferent thoughts
let only goodness enter
I return to you from whence I came
Lord, ready and willing to praise Your name

Friday, January 28, 2011

Precious Promises

2 Peter 1:3-11

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

First, remember that salvation is God's work.  It is not our work.  I can't remember not having faith in my life.  Faith is believing in something good I can't see in front of me at that moment I believe.  I can remember from times long ago, I have always wanted to be good and to do good.  Mine is a continual hunger for knowledge of the Lord.  I have a highlighter especially made for highlighting words in the Bible.  I highlight passages when they jump off the page at me and cause the beat of my heart to quicken.  I know I will need those passages again.  Yes, the verses I've shared with you today are highlighted.  They were already highlighted when I opened my Bible a few minutes ago.  It's a mystery how long ago I highlighted them. 
We can only exercise self-control in a situation that would influence us otherwise.  We  persevere when we are going through a difficult time and feel like giving in or giving up.  We can change our feelings if we don't like the way we feel about something or someone.  We will get through; we must get through; we persevere; we believe this difficult time is temporary and we will overcome what ever is holding us back.  It is a daily endeavor to be more godly; something we have to put into practice each and every day.  Spending quality time in solitude with the nose in the Bible, learning and applying God's plan and the very nature of God trains us to be more godly in our words and our actions.  You are my sisters and brothers, one and all.  Every kindness I extend is because of the love of God in my heart and because of my love for you.  Love.  It is more than romantic.  It is more than sensual emotions.  It is more than a pretty card and gift on Valentine's Day.  Love is an action word.  We have 365 days to express our love and countless ways to show it.   I believe "Lord" and "love" appear in the Bible more than any other words printed therein. God is love and love is of God.  I want to be an effective and productive disciple of God.  It's easier than one might think.  Keep the desire alive and burning in your heart. Take care and keep smiling.  Love, Nan

A bell is no bell 'til you ring it
a song is no song 'til you sing it
and love in your heart
wasn't put there to stay
love isn't love 'til you give it away
(lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Room For Doubt

Mark 12:28-34

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.  Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is that 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 'The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
"Well said, teacher," the man replied, "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.  To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God," and from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

There are mysteries in the Bible, such as the one associated with the last part of this passage "and from then on no one dared ask him any more questions." I wonder why they didn't dare to ask more questions of Jesus.  It's a mystery, but I don't doubt Jesus' motive at all for the way he responded to the teacher.  That's the bottom line for me....I don't doubt Jesus period.

I wrote the following poem July 2008 and want to share it with you. Have a wonderful day and take care of you for me.  Love, Nan

No Room For Doubt

in my life, there's no room for doubt
my Savior, Jesus Christ, has ultimate clout
developing my faith has taken a lifetime
for years I was silent as a mime
buried so deep inside, words I couldn't express
life was a complete and utter mess
I've fought my battles, that's for sure
each time, I turned to Jesus, holy and pure
through all my trials, I've learned
embers of faith always burned
yes, faith - ultimate and absolute
stronger now - my thoughts, Satan can't pollute
I don't worry and doubt what God can do
with Him, nothing is impossible for me and you
through Him, I'm saved - of that, I truly believe
He gave me power to tell Satan to leave
God has given me a voice to speak
I'm here to encourage - at times, we're all weak
to doubt my God, I'm not inclined
I won't allow negative thoughts to linger in my mind
in my life, there's no room for doubt
all I have to do is tell Satan to get out
he's a thief, a liar and a mocker
from a worldly view, he's no debaucher
to God, I submit a prayer of supplication
lead, guide and direct our great nation
though Satan has his day
close to me he will not stay
Jesus is mine - He's my all in all
He catches me each time I start to fall
in my life, there's no room for doubt
Jesus, my Savior, has ultimate clout

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peace and Joy

What wonderful peace and joy come into our heart and soul when we know Jesus has made us whole.

It is the most awesome feeling in the world to know that I am, indeed, whole. It wasn't always so. I remember a long time ago, before I met Allen, I lived through a time in my life when I was just a shell of a person. With Allen's love and encouragement, I began to grow and blossom. Mr. Bob was the angel from God who helped me through my growth spurts. A number of years ago, I realized that my spirit had finally healed and I had grown enough in my faith to the point of being whole again. I love Allen with all my heart and soul. He and his wonderful family are a blessing from God. None of the good things in my life would have been possible without Jesus abiding in my heart.

Yes, there will be trials in life that lead us to the point of feeling empty inside if we dwell on the negative aspect of the trials long enough. I know some of you are hurting inside and may feel the void in your life that nothing else has been able to fill. It is the deliberate development of an intimate relationship with Jesus for which you've been searching. You may not have even realized it at the time. Satan will try to cover your ears from hearing the truth. This is why I tell you the importance of being among a body of believers on a continual basis. Jesus and your church family, collectively, will help to strengthen you more than you can imagine.

I can't say that I am always happy, but I do have peace and joy in my heart. Happiness is fleeting, but joy clings to the spirit. Take care, dear friends. I pray for peace and joy in your heart and soul. Love, Nan

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love and Prayers of Intercession

Love comes out of Heaven, unasked and unsought. Pearl Buck

Just as love comes out of Heaven, unasked and unsought, so to are these daily messages of love and encouragement coming your way. This is the same way it is with blessings from God when He surprises us with an unexpected delight. The greatest gift of all is when we realize it came from Him and we thank Him for it.
Some of you are very new to Nan's Calendar, while others have received my love notes regularly since God called me to share them with you in 2007.  With each comment you send my way, I am also encouraged and uplifted; yes, for myself, though not in a selfish way. Rather, the encouragement you channel my way is turned around and sent to someone else. What goes around comes around. We are making a difference in the world, one person at a time. I don't expect that you would forward all these messages to others in your address book, but when you do, God is glorified and others are encouraged. I am so humbled to know God is using me to lift up another person, regardless of how insignificant one may perceive it to be. Your quality of life is important to me. I do pray for you and I do want you to live in peace.
I am including for you a comment  regarding yesterday's message.  I am so thankful to hear from this dear lady and to share her peace with you.  She and I live on opposite sides of the country and have never met in person.  I surely do consider her a sister in Christ.  We have grown together spiritually since we met on the internet several years ago.  I am also including her prayer request for a friend of hers.  May God bless Sharon in ways we can not even imagine at this moment.  Believe in miracles.  Expect miracles.  God is in the business of performing miracles.  The dominant thought wins.  Make yours a positive one today.
Take care and know you are all in my thoughts and prayers. 
Love, Nan

Thank you for sending me this Calendar. It has so much meaning to me. After many years of difficulties and challenges, I am now in a place where I feel comfortable, calm, and peaceful. And while situations still upset me, I go to the Lord more quickly than I did in the past. This verse from Proverbs has echoed in my heart - especially the last two verses - countless times through the years.
I sent this day's Calendar on to a friend of mine, Sharon, who needs prayer. She needs a hysterectomy, is facing foreclosure, and doesn't know how she will survive financially after getting the surgery since she is self-employed and feels she can't get any kind of disability. Please pray for her. If you could send this prayer request on to others, I'd appreciate it. Thank you. Rose

Monday, January 24, 2011

Love and Faithfulness

Proverbs 3:3-6
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I think this passage is so important to us today. There are so many mysteries of life we don't understand. God wants us to acknowledge him and trust him with every fiber of our being. When we give him the honor and glory he so richly deserves, our lives will be richer and fuller than we can even imagine. If you think your life is full to the brim right now, just wait, it gets better! When you think life can't get better than this, it will.

On the flip side, if you are somewhere on the bottom, between a rock and a hard place, keep that flicker of hope burning inside your heart. Help is on the way! When we are on the bottom, there's only one way to go and that way is up! Believe me, I know what I am talking about. I've been on the bottom! Look where God has brought me! I'm just an ordinary person God is using to help others. With God, nothing is impossible! Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. He will bring you up out of the pit of despair! Take care and know you are loved by a God who loves you beyond anything you can imagine! Love, Nan

Friday, January 21, 2011

Heavenly Escort

This poem is dedicated to those who grieve

your escort's arm now take hold
yes, this story must be told
he is ever by your side
trusted friend and worthy guide
in the good times and bad
times when you're happy and sad
through victory or sorrow
he's with you today and tomorrow
when your heart's heavy and burdened with grief
only he and no other can give you relief
Jesus Christ is your heavenly escort
your source of comfort and support
always there to hold your hand
when you stumble, he'll help you to stand
through your long night of tears and pain
remember the victory is yours to gain
he's beside you through rain and shine
even if your faith would be supine
he'll take your weakness and give you strength
Jesus goes the extra distance, whatever the length
you're in my thoughts, you're in my prayers
trust your escort to relieve you of your cares
In Jesus' name I pray
today and alway

written by Nan Forehand
Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feed Your Faith

Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.
author unknown

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay.  But my righteous one will live by faith and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed; but of those who believe and are saved.
Hebrews 10:35-39

The author of Hebrews is not known, but there are those who think Paul, while some think it may have been Luke, Apollos or Barnabas who wrote the book of Hebrews.  In the time of the writings in Hebrews, between A.D. 60 and 70, early Jewish believers were being strongly pulled toward ideas of going back to the Old Testament way of life because of hard times and persecutions.  The writer of the book of Hebrews determined to sound a warning to them.

God still sounds warnings to us today.  We will do well to listen and heed accordingly.
Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.
Have a good day and keep smiling  :)
Love, Nan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A clarification and an apology

A comment was made yesterday regarding two particular quotes from the message of the 17th to which I spent a good deal of time and energy last night through email, addressing the concerns, if you will, of the reader, for whom I have a great deal of respect.  At this time, I will focus on the quotes, rather than the specifics of the comment. 
The first quote in question refered to the inner spirit being always beautiful and lovable. I searched the entire chapter for more information so as to shed light on the subject in greater detail.  To my surprise I found no direct material to support the quote.
I can tell you what I believe and why I believe own thoughts.... I believe God created our inner spirit (as well as everything else) and that he saw beauty in the spirit at the time of creation.  I believe he continues to see that same beauty in his creation.  At times, we may not see the true beauty of our inner spirit because of particular human thoughts obscuring the true beauty.  God sees all clearly all the time.  At times, we may not feel lovable.  Again, I believe this has to do with human thoughts.  Parents may not love something a child has done, but know the child is still lovable.  Just because the child acted in an unlovable way doesn't mean his or her inner spirit is not lovable.
Regarding the quote about "declaring something as if it were already true makes it so", again, I searched the entire chapter where the quote was written and found nothing to substantiate the quote.  Again, surprised at this and disappointed.  I had not read the book from cover to cover before sending yesterday's message.  To that end, I will not continue with more quotes from the book.
What I can say about the second quote in question comes from my Bible and is found in Matthew 11:22-26 and I'll quote from my NIV version, "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins."
The side notes printed in my Bible regarding this passage are as follows and entitled How much can faith do?and I quote, "Faith in God is all-powerful because God is omnipotent. The one who prays correctly will leave room for God's will to overrule any request (Matt. 6:10). In this case, Jesus may have had the Mount of Olives in mind. Christ's return will upset the mountain, splitting it in two when he descends from heaven. See Will the Mount of Olives be split literally in two? (Zech. 14:4).
For the sake of accuracy, I have printed in italics and bold print exactly how it is printed in my Bible. I hope and pray I haven't taken anything out of context.  I underlined the sentence I think is very important to remember which addresses our desire as compared to the will of God.

I take Nan's Calendar messages to heart and I want only to encourage others.  If I have offended anyone, please accept my sincere apology.  It is my deepest desire to lift others up and to glorify God.  If anyone should lose sight of who this is really about, that one being God, not myself, it will be the end of Nan's Calendar for that person, because in their eyes, I will have lost all credibility.  I don't hold a degree of any kind so it's easy to tell I'm not a Bible scholar or formally educated writer.  I am simply one who loves the Lord with all my heart and feel God called me to write Nan's Calendar three years ago to share his love, his mercy and grace with the world at large in the capacity I am able to do so.
Have a wonderful day.
Your sister in Christ,

Monday, January 17, 2011

What is going on

We want to know what is going on inside us, so we can know what to let go.  Instead of hiding our pain, we can release it totally.  Louise L. Hay from her book entitled The Power is Within You

I want to share with you some of the thoughts Louise points out in the book to which I refer today.  I think they are all very important and if you haven't read the book, this will give you a taste that may leave you wanting more.

When we expand our thinking and beliefs, our love flows freely.  When we contract, we shut ourselves off.

The more you connect to the Power within you, the more you can be free in all areas of your life.

The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives.

Every day declare for yourself what you want in life.  Declare it as though you have it!

Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is.  Concentrate on the fact that you are willing to learn.  Absolute miracles will happen.

Chronic patterns of self-hate, guilt, and self-criticism raise the body's stress levels and weaken the immune system.

A tragedy can turn out to be our greatest good if we approach it in ways from which we can grow.

We are far more than our bodies and personalities.  The inner spirit is always beautiful and lovable, no matter how our outer appearances may change.

I want to give you food for thought.  That is why I share these tidbits with you today.  Tomorrow I will bring more positive seeds to sow in your mind.  It is up to you to have the desire for them to germinate and grow into positive actions.  Take care and have a wonderful day and love your neighbor as yourself.  To do this, you must love yourself first.  Love, Nan

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The order of the day

Lord, grant us wisdom and discernment to keep our lives in order according to your will. Amen

The dominant thought wins.  It is best to begin each day with quiet time of praise and worship.  How the early hours of our day are spent plays a major part on how the rest of the day unfolds.
We need to keep our thoughts in check and make sure to ask God to renew our hearts daily, to search our hearts and our thoughts to keep us from all impurity.  Sometimes, we fall short and when we realize our shortcomings, go before God and repent.  Then we are able to accept forgiveness and give thanks to God for not punishing us, for bestowing upon us his mercy and grace.
With each new day, we live more at peace when we recommit our lives to the Lord as we walk in God-confidence rather than self-confidence.
Confident trust in the Lord is vital regardless of the present trials that come our way.  Through our patient endurance we will receive all that God has promised us.
Remember, it's not about us.  It is about God and not simply about our own good.  As we daily lift up others in prayer, lifting them up spiritually, physically and emotionally, we are, in fact, praising God and trusting him with their lives.  As much as we love our immediate family members and extended family God loves them more.
Pray coninually and give thanks in all circumstances.
Enjoy this beautiful day God has given you and use it to honor and glorify his holy name.
Love, Nan

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Soulful Retreat

A quote from Miriam Rockness (Keep These Things, Ponder Them in Your Heart) as printed in the book by Sheila Walsh entitled (Bring Back the Joy)
I am depleted.....The well has run dry!....
I know what has gone wrong.  I have continued to give out without renewing my inner resources.  Can one breathe out without breathing in?  I need to draw apart from everyone, everything, and nourish my soul.  I've told myself solitude is a luxury I can't afford.  But my poverty of spirit declares solitude as necessary for my soul as food is for the body.  Solitude.   A time to remove myself from distraction.  To order my day.  My week.  My life.  To get in touch with myself. With my Maker.

When I have been away from my computer of late, it has been for numerous reasons, of which I will spare you the details.  Suffice it to say, I live each day doing the best I can to obey God in my prayer I pray...."Lord, lead me, guide me, and direct me in all I say and do so that my words and my actions are pleasing unto you."  Sometimes, that means I am to say less when God directs me accordingly in order to hear more clearly.  Allen's grandfather used to say "if you keep your mouth shut and your ears open, you just might learn something."  I can relate his quote to my Nan's Calendar ministry.  Sometimes, I have to be still and quiet and that means being away from the computer, being away from distractions in order to draw closer to God.
God gives me strength, comfort, peace.  All of these are intangibles that are priceless.  Because I talk much of the day with patients on the phone and in the office, sometimes I am mentally drained by the time I get home in the evening.  I'm on the computer much of the day scheduling appointments and I appeciate being away from the computer in the evenings.  Sometimes I have to step away from the computer and draw inward to meet God on a deeper level. 
Have you had a soulful retreat lately to nourish your spirit?  I have.  I am refreshed and renewed.
Take care and whatever time of day or evening it is where you are now, have a good day; have a good evening; have strength, comfort and peace.
Love, Nan