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What Great Love!

Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.'” The Lord’s love is everlasting. In 1 John 4:7 we read, “God is love.” We cannot separate the two. Therefore, before creation was spoken into existence, love was present. Before it was know or seen, His love existed. Even before you or I existed, His love was present, and directed with regard concerning each of us. Matthew 18:20 says, “Whenever two or three are gathering in his name, he is in the midst of them.” He is in the midst of us, even now, friends. Hebrews 13:3 declares. “I will never leave you or forsake you” His love will forever remain; He has willed and continues to love you with His everlasting love. Selah, pause.

His heart yearns to be ministered to by our love. In all of His creation, we are the only creatures who can express our love back to Him.

Action: Take the time today and express your gratitude to God for the love He has lavished upon you!

John 3:16 ” For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten [unique] Son, so that whoever believes in [trust in, clings to, relies on] Him shall not perish [come to destruction, be lost] but have eternal [everlasting] life.”

This passage from John indicates the relationship of the Father’s love to the work of Christ and of both to the life of believers. John, Jesus’ beloved, is the same disciple who wrote the 4th Gospel, as well as the Epistles of 1 John. The first Epistle of John relates to fellowship and faith as John was writing, looking back, giving an account of his daily fellowship with Jesus. It’s an account with a distinctive quality worth meditating on as well as to gain an understanding of love. John’s writings provide one third of the references to love in the bible.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes love as a “more excellent way” than tongues or even preaching. Wow- love above preaching. We don’t even have to leave our homes to practice the highest regard of the gospel. Paul uses the greek word “agape” to describe love in this verse meaning charity, affection, and good will. This is a sacrificial expression that is voluntary in nature, yet it becomes supreme as we weigh the price of Christ’s divine sacrifice.

When we learn more of love we learn more of God. We cannot separate the two.

Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Showing Love

Listen: set aside time daily without distractions and look eye to eye when speaking.

Communicate: (a) Don’t make another guess what you are thinking or feeling. (b) Verbally express your love (women like to hear it). (c) Shamelessly brag of her/his good qualities.

Learn to Forgive: forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel and the heart of every meaningful relationship. Past, present, and future.

Showing Respect

Honor Wishes and Take Advice: giving weight to wishes and advice shows importance and priority.

Emphasize Good Points: focus on qualities you most admire.

Don’t: Complain, interrupt, nag, argue, correct– shhhh

Learn to be: Thankful and Content.

Smile: it creates contagious happiness.

It’s Time

Now is your time as we enter afresh into 2016.

One of my continued prayers for the New Year is found in Ephesians 1:15-18
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. (emphasis added)”

I mention this verse with the emphasis on the eyes of your understanding being enlightened in order that I might share a brief illustration that I would liken to this verse.
Most of you may know I pray weekly with another intercessor, Elaine, who also happens to be one of the UHM board members. I am blessed by her prayers & faithfulness of nearly 14 years as a prayer partner. A few months ago during our weekly time in prayer, the Lord dropped a friend’s name in my heart. As I began to intercede, the Lord gave me prayers to pray and then a picture of a moon and of what I felt was a word from the Lord. A couple of days later I began to ponder the prayer out of the blue, as it just seemed to be dropped in my thoughts. I resigned it was the Holy Spirit, as it was gentle & prompting me to a call of action to share with my friend that we had been praying for her that week. This was not something I had thought about doing at the time of the prayer or at the time the thought was illuminated to me. Our friend was grateful for the prayers and accepting of the word, but didn’t initially connect it to her present day life. She said with courtesy that she would keep it in mind when with the Lord. A few days later, she called me back stating the Lord had given her a dream regarding the word I shared with her. I was amazed – and she was amazed! It’s fascinating how the Lord speaks!

1 Corinthians 13:9
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part.”

Since the time of the prayer, the picture of the moon seems to be repeating and pulling on my attention enough so as to draw me to search out the matter.
You may have seen on Facebook a video clip from the Weather Channel announcing this past December that it would be the first full moon on Christmas day since 1977. This won’t happen again until 2034. One report I read refers to it as rare “cosmic gift for the holidays.” The last time a full moon appeared on Christmas was 38 years ago! Certainly, this is no coincidence that the Light of World who is celebrated on Christmas Day and the alignment of the Light of Moon being at its fullest on the same day. You see, this natural occurrence is evidence in part of the very word the Lord spoke during the time I was praying for my friend. A portion of that word given included that the Light of the Moon would be bright enough to lead you even in the darkness. In hindsight, I wish I would have written the word down as soon as I had an opportunity to do so (I’m still learning).

My most recent occurrence with moon, if you will, was when I was at Urgent Care for my daughter a few weeks ago as she received relief from a bronchitis infection. While in the lobby, I picked up a YC magazine and there it was- a picture with caption of the moon phases. January 9 begins a New Moon.

At this point, I decided to dig deeper and through that discovery process I included what the Bible has to say about the New Moon? There are many references to the moon in Bible (more than I expected). It speaks of the moon as being created by God; its light; its influence; its seasons (months), as in Joesph’s dream, and the moon standing still. I’ll bet you thought that just referred to the sun- well it includes the moon as well (Joshua 10:12). It’s forbidden to worship the moon and “there will be no need for it in heaven, as the Lamb is the Light.” Revelation 21:23.

Moreover, what I found is that, we too can extract the principles [listed below] regarding the time of the New Moon for they are relevant and applicable for us today!

The Feast of New Moon
*Resources are taken from Torrey New Topical Textbook. Basically it was a time of sacrificially offering and celebration; it was a season of the following:

  • Inquiring of God’s Messengers
    2 Kings 4:23 “So he said, ‘Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.’” this verse comes from the story of the Shunammite women who gave birth after Elisha spoke a word, (vs 16) “about this time next year you shall embrace a son.” in short, (vs 24) She was searching for the Man of God, Elisha, after the boy died. Verse 27 states, “her soul was in deep distress.” If you haven’t read this story, you would be blessed to do so.

Today: Search and Inquire of the Lord, now is the time!

  • Worship in God’s House
    Ez. 46:1 “Thus says the Lord God: ‘The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shake be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.'”

Isaiah 66:23 “‘And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the Lord.”

Today: Assemble and Worship; the Gate shall be opened!

  • Entertainments
    This is by no means a reference to carnal entertainments. The reference was to the feast at the new moon. These verses share Jonathan’s loyalty to David. 1 Samuel 20:5 says, “and David said to Jonathan, ‘indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat.'” Please read verses 5-18 for the full reference (as it’s too lengthy to share here). Jonathan was protecting David. Verse 11 states the Lord God of Israel is witness! There is much to glean from this story….

Today: I sense a vindication will take place and is in order, Wait for it!

In conclusion, as I look at the literal word ‘phase’ as its defined in the dictionary this stood out to me, as we consider the New Moon; any of the major appearances or aspects in which a thing of varying modes or conditions manifest itself to the eye or mind. I would say, an article with the expressed titled, “Cosmic Gift for Christmas” is such. …

Also, a state of synchronous operation.

Yes, it is a state of synchronous operation, to Him. May we phase out what is not needed in-order to draw near to Him in the new phase that has manifested itself in light and truth. First, let us, seek and inquire of Him in all things both in the living will of God and for those things in which need restoration. Seek the promise(s) of His Word; both in the logos (written word) as well as the rhema (spoken word) Secondly, we must worship in spirit and in truth. Worship is defined as reverent honor and homage paid to God; adoring reference or regard. Let me encourage you to turn to Him in worship this way. Heaven will open and angels will join you as you worship the Lamb who is worthy. Lastly, according to our reference in 1 Samuel 20. I glean the Lord is preparing to bring about vindication, a defense, a justification, that is needed and He will provide it, as you cover yourself in humility under His blood, in faithfulness, pressing through and in obedience.

In His watchful care,
Deborah Somjak

Christmas Joy

The Christmas season is fast underway! I hope you are able to take some time and recognize the rhythm of His grace and enjoy all He has given to you, to each one of us.

As I was preparing things in my home for the season, the Lord showed me the word “joy” three times. I felt He wanted to me to know more on this word and to share it here with you. To be perfectly honestly, I was a bit hesitant to pursue and speak on joy – I mean, I watch the news and hear the daily devastation and great personal loss that our communities are contending with locally and across the globe. We are in a unique time in history, in which joy is not commonly found. Yet, when I open the Word of God, specifically to the book of Luke, there is different news for me, for us. A declaration of joy! In fact, a declaration of great joy that has come. So, let us too come and see what the Lord has done together and hear what he might say regarding Joy.

Luke 2:10,11
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy with will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Hebrew definition for joy: glee, exceeding gladness, mirth, pleasure, rejoice.
The Greek definition states: calm delight, gladness.

Joy is given by God. It is established in our hearts along with the confidence of hope. It is the fruit of the Holy Sprit, an evidence He is with us. It’s not just a simple smile or laugh based on our surroundings or on a successful outcome of our own performance. Joy is something that is deep within and doesn’t leave quickly. God wants us to have joy. We can learn more in His Word [see below] that its Christlikeness within.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Let me ask you, who do you know that exhibits these kingdom traits? Maybe for you, you’d list three different people, one for each trait: righteousness, peace, and joy. As I ponder this question myself, I desire to see an increase in genuine joy, gladness, and a calm delight. These will only be fulfilled as we yearn to seek the one who possesses and eagerly dispenses these heavenly traits in earthly vessels. Yearn, friends, for Jesus to fill you and your household, that the whole counsel of God might be fulfilled in the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

There’s a classic acronym for joy you may have heard.
Jesus, Others, Yourself. While this is a well noted phrase to follow.

 

I’d like to introduce a new acronym for a new discovery of the fruit of joy in this unique season.


J,
for Jesus, He remains first-rightfully so!

O, is for Our, He is ours personally & intimately. We belong to Him.

Y, is for Yearning; yearning is to desire strongly or persistently.
How we need Him! How we need to get back to Yearning for Our Jesus as only He can turn things around for the kingdom’s cause in this unique season expectant for good news and JOY.
Jesus Our Yearning.

Share the J.O.Y

Merry Christmas,
Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

May this song by Lauren Daigle minister to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9B-81mZV5E

Thanksgiving

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

— Philippians 1

I’ve been pondering love as John and I were preparing to celebrated our anniversary. As I was attempting to fathom God’s lavished love, and how He freely offers this love, I found myself thanking Him! During this same time, I happened to come across an old journal entry I made a few years back. I recall writing this entry after hearing Ephesians 3:17-19 “…being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Soon after, I began to sing a worship song on the same verse. As I was singing “how deep/how wide” is the love of God, I had a gentle and sudden unction from the Holy Spirit, as if to nudge me saying, “so, are you asking Me?” Immediately I knew He wanted to answer the very question I was singing, and I certainly didn’t want to miss it. I rushed to find pen & paper in order to capture His reply. We know the heart-care of God that when he speaks to one sheep, He often times will speak the same encouraging words to another. When you see my name below you can [insert your name].

Lord, how deep is your love?
My love has gone willingly to the depths of the earth, swallowed up by earth, a place you do not know or have known, a place in which I would not send, require or hope for you to ever know. I went before you so you wouldn’t have to – Yes, I paid the debt, [Debbie] I love you, I love you, I love you – more then you could ever comprehend this side of eternity – – – I am for you, I am with you, now and forever more! Take my yoke and follow after Me, as you serve, lead and love in My Name.

How high is your love, Lord?
It’s the Highest Love it reaches to the Highest Heaven. Its the most wonder-full, glorious, radiant love that could ever be experienced. When you come to Me, you are able to reach this place with Me. Then you carry it on your face, heart, and hands as I lead your steps to bring an expression of the most Holy Love to earth and to those who yet long to reach the highest heaven.

You know of this place! You know, [Debbie], full well how to reach and touch my heart. You fill me when you come to me, even in your desperation and deepest need – you honor My Name, when you cast your cares upon me – – –

I love my time with you, I enjoy how you hide away with me. You hide My word, My ways, your plans, and longings – even your plans of when you will come and you bring all things before Me.

I am watchful over you – My eye, My heart, My ways to protect and preserve you – you are mine, you are mine, you are mine.

You have learned of Me – you truly love Me!
I delight in the process in which you seek to please Me and are un-moveable in your devotion to Me.

 

By: Deborah Somjak ~ 4 Unfolded Hearts

Day of Prayer and Fasting ~ Nov. 4th

Behold, he prayeth.
—Acts 9:11
Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of heaven. “Thou puttest my tears into thy bottle,” implies that they are caught as they flow. The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but “prayer is the falling of a tear.” Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with “the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high.” Think not that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Jacob’s ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb its starry rounds. Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it. “He forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” True, He regards not high looks and lofty words; He cares not for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He listens not to the swell of martial music; He regards not the triumph and pride of man; but wherever there is a heart big with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open; He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom.

“Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise,
Our Priest is in His holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.”

Charles Spurgeon

The VOICE of Parenting

Parenting is not for the faint of heart; join us, on Unfolded Hearts -Talk (listen at link below) for an encouraging word on parenting as we use VOICE as an acronym to help highlight our role as parent(s) along with some personal illustrations – not becuase we think we have it all together but know WITH GOD we have it all.

Ron Luce from Teen Mania: “Our job as parents is not just ot fight the culture but also to teach our kids to see through its shallowness and motives of those who shape it”

“But the lovingkindess of the Lord is from everlasitng to everlasting on those who [reverently] fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who honor and keep His coverant, and remember to do His commandments [imprinting His word on their hearts] Psalm 103:17-18

Book Suggestions:

Gary Smalley – The Key to Your Child’s Heart

Gary Chapman – The 5 Love Languages of Children

James Dobson – The Strong-Willed Child

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/debbie-somjak/2015/10/22/the-voice-of-parenting

My thoughts on the “New” in the Year 2014

My thoughts on the “New” in the Year 2014.
As I searched the Word for the word ‘new’ in scripture I find it appears 173x throughout the Old & New Testaments. Staying with the theme of the ‘new’ year    I choose the N.T. Greek word;  kaivoc (kainos) which occurs 44x.

Reading over the verses I see the word “new” being issued over such things as “New” creature, moon, song, wine, wineskin, thing, spirit, covenant, commandment, tongues, man, heaven and earth, Jerusalem.

The very definition in the Strong’s dictionary refers to both New as in form and substance meaning = recently made, fresh, unused, of a new kind, unprecedented, and unheard of.

May I ask, “What are you hoping for in the New?” May you see as you look with the eyes of faith that the hand and heart of God is for you! I declare & proclaim over 2014 that in God’s creative nature He gives both form and substance to the very thing(s) in which you’re asking. May this Year be a New – kind of unprecedented, unheard of, uncommon place in which you reside with Him.

Rev 21:5 reads; then He who sat on the Throne said, “Behold, I make all things new, and He said to me, “write, for these words are True and Faithful”.

Whatever it is you hear the Lord saying, write, write it down, even now.

By: Deborah Somjak ~ 4 Unfolded Hearts

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