Words For Courageous Living



Hungry For His Presence

Mrs. Nancy Carlson

A number of years ago, after being a Christian since I was nine, I heard myself crying out, "Lord, there's got to be more to life than THIS. Return to me the joy of your salvation."

THIS to me was a beautiful family of 5 children, a loving husband and a prospering church which my husband pastored in a small community of caring people. Sounds strange, doesn't it? What more could I want. I was truly blessed.

That cry started a change in my life that has brought and is still bringing to me more than I ever dreamed possible.

The Lord began teaching me and showing me through all the happenings of my life how real He was and how much He wanted to be a LIVING reality in my life. David said in Psalm 23, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in His House (His presence) forever."

Little did I realize how much I was "hungering after righteousness" - - I had everything. Everything, however, was the temporal things about me - and the "works" I was doing for the Lord. I was a good mother, wife and pastor's wife at that! There was more - that more was IN Him, FOR Him and THROUGH Him.

I found what my heart was crying in Psalm 51:10-12; 16-17

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me."

"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it. you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart O God you will not despise."

What I created or what I thought He wanted had to be torn down so He could bring forth that "new creation" He purposed and paid the price for me to be. Some renovating had to be done in my "heart house" He didn't need my good works or plans (my "sacrifice") He wanted my heart.

I was going to have etched on my heart:

In His steps I will abide

Deep in the heart of His love subside

Into His chasm of deep inner faith

Will I remain, by His grace, abase

. I need Him. I had to stay in His presence. The very thing I was hungry for.

One day, as I was taking my 5 month old daughter to the physician for shots, I heard the Spirit of God say to me: "Just as you are taking this child in to get a shot that will hurt and she will not understand, but will return to your arms of love - - I will be taking you the same way with me."


1 Peter 4:12,13 says:

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed

I had to learn to trust my Heavenly Father the way and how He chose to take me in the everyday happenings of life. He was there and would never leave me. He knew something I didn't but I would learn to trust the Master Craftsman in what He was doing.

Proverbs 3:5-7

"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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil."

For me He was saying - You need me in everything you do. You can't go in your own strength nor even in your own way. I want to be in everything, every hour of every day. I want to do a new thing

. James 4:6-10

"He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say: 'God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.' So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. DRAW CLOSE TO GOD, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, HE WILL LIFT YOU UP AND GIVE YOU HONOR."

+ 1 Peter 5:6-7

"So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you."


AUDIO words regarding how I found treasure when in a prison of darkness.

Nancy's husband delivered a sermon: IRON ENTERING THE SOULMay, 2006.It dealt with while we are in a "prison" of darkness, suffering and distress we can be met with strength. He asked her to relate how she personally found strength in the darkness of her prison.

Listen here:

Hungry for His Presence
Part 2

Nothing in our lives goes unnoticed by our loving Heavenly Father - nothing! I don't care how much we don't understand or how much our minds question things, He is there creating a miracle in our lives. No matter how difficult the struggle we may be facing, He is greater still and through it all He is making something good.

Romans 8:28

".....every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." The Message

God has a perfect plan, a deliberate plan, a design for each of us and He is faithful to fulfill it no matter what the circumstances are in our lives. In fact, He uses those happenings to make perfect and complete His plans. My part is to place myself unreservedly into His Hands as He faithfully fulfills that purpose He has for me in His time.

Unreservedly - entire, unqualified

He is the potter! I am the clay!

In giving myself unreservedly, I had to learn to come to His throne boldly.

Luke 11:5-10

"Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

The persistence this man showed would be translated - importunity, over boldness or shamelessness. Praise God, we can do just that because of the righteousness we have through the blood of Jesus Christ. He has made us worthy to enter that throne room with full assurance He will hear and answer.

The coming before Him in that way is for my sake. I have need of that because of the strongholds in my life. I am still clothed or wrapped in unbelief, fear or poor self worth - whatever it may be. He is eagerly waiting to hear from us and answer. Praise His Name! I acknowledge - I need Him! He is my only answer and I surrender my hold on the problem and the way I think it can be best solved. Only He can make everything whole and complete.

Strange as it seems, I am then able to be more of what He created me to be. I am able to share from the depths of my heart the love of my Lord. I am able to have more compassion for those about me who may not have the same struggles I have but I understand more clearly because of the struggles I've been through and triumphed through in Jesus.

II Cor. 1:3-4

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

comfort - calling along side to help, to give encouragement strengthening presence, one who upholds those appealing for assistance.

Hebrews 2:17-18

"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sons of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."

It was necessary for Jesus to become like us so He could show us mercy

Hebrews 4:14-16 " Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

This is calling us to draw near and cling to God with confidence believing He understands our suffering or weakness Enter in His Presence with confidence

Jesus was there for us, He is asking the same thing of us for others. We are called to live for Him, by Him, in Him.

Our greatest desire should be to be all He created us to be which is to express Him and show His love to others. It has become no surprise to me that I am being broken from my way of loving to His way. Praise God for His faithfulness to complete that good work He has begun through all the circumstance and struggles in my life, May I remain sensitive to what His Spirit is doing.

Ephesian 2:10

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Phil. 1:6

"..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I like this saying which I have posted on my refrigerator:

God created me as I am to use me as He planned. Thank you God for reminding me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Please give me the grace to rejoice in who I am and surrender myself just as I am to you. Amen

We trust you Almighty God. We love you and we are learning everyday just how great your love is for us. You're in the midst of everything in our lives. Great is your love. Great are you Lord to make something incredibly beautiful in our lives for your glory, honor and praise.


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Quite a few years ago, approximately 20 to be exact, God spoke to me in a dream. It is as real today as it was then.

In this dream I saw an appointment desk with a quill pen which wasn't like any other quill pen. Where the quill should have been there was a crystal like quill which had a little fat pig etched on it. I chose that pen rather than the black ball point pen that was there. I was to sign my name on a roll of cashier like paper on which had been written the words, "I love you" over and over again. These words I knew were words I had spoken to my Heavenly Father and they were recorded.

After I signed, I entered a door behind the desk and found myself in a corridor covered with gold. I walked down the corridor and entered a room. When I entered that room I found myself in the Presence of Almighty God. I wanted desperately to find a pad of paper so I could write down everything He would say. But He assured me I would remember. (Those words would be etched on my heart.)

As I stood before Him, I felt a tingling sensation in my body and watched as the flesh melted off my body. I walked out of the room down the corridor. People were there and I was naked but unashamed. They were awed at what they were beholding.

I awoke from the dream and felt my body. I thought I had experienced it that moment. I asked the Lord what all this meant and He gave me some understanding.

The little fat pig on the desk was the pen of acceptance. He wanted me to accept myself as I was. The words on the paper were words I expressed to Him as we walked this road of acceptance and whatever else I had to experience. The appointment desk meant there was an appointed time when I would experience the transformation. The nakedness represented to me the righteousness of God. I could stand naked and unashamed. No matter what, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ; only forgiveness, unconditional love, and acceptance.

Many of us experience circumstances in our lives that we don't understand. I want you to know that our precious Lord and Saviour is in the midst of them. He has never left you nor will He ever. In fact, He is working out His plan for your life right in the midst of your situation.

Ephesians 1: 11 - 14 "In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory."

I would like to explain a little about my circumstance. I have always had a problem with being over weight. I took great pride in that I could put myself on a program and lose it. The trouble was, I found myself always on some program. Then there came a time when I couldn't lose it anymore on my own and I became obese.

My activity was limited a great deal and I found myself sitting alone with my Heavenly Father crying out in desperation. It was at this time I learned about acceptance and many other things that He had longed to teach me. I had to be stripped of me in order that He could be seen.

I not only learned to accept myself, I found I had more compassion for other people and their problems. They didn't have to be like my problem. I knew I couldn't pass judgment on anyone's problem no matter what it was.

The Lord wants to be our strength and shield. He not only wants to be the Saviour of our lives but He wants to be Lord. He is interested in every area and aspect in our lives. He wants us dependent on Him and not on our own resources.

Acts 15:11 says that God knows all things from the beginning of the world - He has a plan for you and for me. That plan involves everything that happens - He's working out His will for you. (Ephesians 1:11-14) More than just knowing the plan, He controls it. Psalm 135:6; "The Lord does whatever pleases Him......."

I'm not implying that He causes them. God is the author of good. Much of what happens in the world is the result of the depravity of man and the work of Satan's forces. Regardless of that God knows all about it, and somehow will ultimately bring everything together into His glorious plan. God's plan will continue on His schedule.

God's plan is coming into fruition for me now. I am losing the weight and it is obvious that it is His Hand that is doing it. Other situations have arisen at this time and through them He has taught me some tremendous truths. They are being etched on my heart through the various circumstances He requires me to walk through. His strength and protection is always there. I'm more dependent on Him. In fact, I've had to humble myself and let others help as well.

Matthew 18:4 " ....whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" I like being that small child sitting on His knees receiving all the comfort, protection and strength He has for me. I praise Him for the circumstances that keep me there.

1 Peter 5:6 "Humble yourselves , therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Your being lifted up will be in God's timing. My time will not be your time, nor your time will not be mine. How perfect are His ways with us and we will learn we can and will trust Him.

Job 42:2 says "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted."

No matter what you are going through, His plan for you cannot be thwarted. Nothing is too difficult for Him no matter how the circumstances look. You can trust His appointed time for you are the works of His Hands. You were bought with a price and you belong to Him. How wondrous is His love for you and His knowledge of you.

How do we get through this time of waiting for His plan to be fulfilled? Psalm 135 tells us to "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant."

You can always think of ways the Lord has been good to you. Give thanks to Him for those things. Think about break throughs you've had in your life. Also, live a sacrificial life where you're helping someone else,

Right now I'm working on expecting - expecting something good to happen for suddenly your circumstances can change and you can experience the victory. In Acts 16:26 the word says "Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose." Whatever circumstance may be keeping you in bondage, suddenly it can change.

Romans 30:18 says it all. "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!"

The other son in the parable of the lost son was told in Luke15:31 "My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours." We need to search the Word and find out what our inheritance is in Him.

Remind yourself that .... God is waiting to be good to me! He's looking for an opportunity to be good to me!



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