Friday, September 22, 2017

Dead or Alive????

One day, when I was cleaning the kitchen, I had a bunch of stuff in my hand.  Some stuff was trash, that I wanted to throw away, and some stuff was not trash.  Would you believe that I went to the trashcan and tried to throw away trash, while trying to hold on to stuff that wasn't trash, in the same hand.  Who does that?.  When I threw my trash away, immediately I was like "Wait, did I throw something away that wasn't trash?".  Honestly, I didn't know.  Because it all felt the same in that one hand. 

I realized that when you are holding onto too much stuff at one time, everything in your hand begins to feel so natural, that it's hard to tell the difference between what you are suppose to be letting go of and what you are suppose to be holding onto.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Matthew 16:25-26

Many of us are trying to save one thing or another.  We are trying to save money.  We are trying to save our kids.  We are trying to save face, in front of others. We are trying to save others, especially in light of the recent natural disasters.  We are trying to save relationships.  In some cases, we are trying to save things that are "dead" in our lives.  

Jesus flipped "dead" on it's back calling what seemed "dead, alive. And calling what seemed "alive", dead.  We have to see things with spiritual eyes, that can only come from a relationship with God, in Christ.  Even though I struggle like everybody else.  I see things that others don't see, I hear things that others don't hear.   The Holy Spirit can change the way you see, the way you hear, and the way you walk through this life.  I have a long way to go, but as a result of a crisis my husband and I went through, God was able to really transform me in many ways.  The testing of our faith is such an amazing tool for our growth.  

"Dead" doesn't mean what we think it means, nor does "life" mean what we think it means.   I hear the voice of God most clearly when I live a lean life.  Meaning that I don't fill my life up with too many things to do.  It seems that the faster my pace, the less I hear God's voice.  The slower my pace, the more I hear of God's voice.  Something to ponder........................

Monday, September 18, 2017

What is in a name?

To those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children
Of God John 1:12

I keep wondering about this statement "believed in his name".  What does it mean to believe in Jesus's name?  I always hear this statement with something in the middle.  Like "I believe I'm healed in Jesus's name".  What does it mean to believe "anything" in His name?
John 16:23-24 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 

The scripture above really caught my attention.  I have read this scripture quite a few times.  But this time some specific words jumped out to me:
"in My name".  

You the past, when I have prayed.  I would say "in Jesus name" almost as more of a way you are suppose to close out a prayer like a Jesus stamp.  INSTEAD, I feel like God is showing me something more about what Jesus really meant.  I feel like He is saying that "Whenever we ask something that is contained in His name, we will have it.  Like

"I pray for peace in Jesus's name"
"I pray for strength in Jesus's name"
"I pray for healing in Jesus's name"
"I pray for joy in Jesus's name"

All these things are contained in the "name of Jesus Christ".  And there is so much more in that name.  "In Jesus's name" is not a stamp you place on any old prayer just to get it up to God.  That's not what He meant.  He wasn't saying that you have to say "in Jesus's name" to get God to hear your prayer.  He was saying that if you ask for whatever is contained in my name, you can have it.  

I'm saying this to you because, until recently, I thought "In Jesus's name" was just a stamp to get my prayer up to God.  I believe this revelation will guide our prayer life to begin to pray according to the heart of God.  It has definitely changed the way I approach my prayer life. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A glimpse of light in darkness

 One of the most important parts of the morning is my coffee mug.  As I rise early and it's still dark,  I creep downstairs and I know I don't need any other light except the blue light on my Keurig .  I quietly fumble around in my cabinets for a coffee mug.  Then a get my creamer out of the fridge.  As a look at my Keurig, I see the water level is low, but it looks like there just might be enough water for one cup.  I take a chance, risking the disappointment of those flashing words on the screen "needs more water".  But my risk pays off and it turns out I have just enough to meet my need at that moment.  What I blessing it is!!  With pure delight, I run upstairs to my room, quietly as not to wake anyone.  My alone time with God is so important. Still without any lights on, I open one of my blinds.  So I can bring in the daylight thinking about God.  I know that in the morning if I get up and seek Him.  He gives me exactly what I need for that day.  I am praying that as I reach out to you, you will find hope, peace, encouragement, and connection.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Love & Crisis

I am bursting with stuff to share, but really haven't known if it's the time to share it.  Or even if this is the platform.  There have been some foundational lessons that God has been teaching me.  Gosh, I haven't blogged so long.  I don't know where to start.  I long to connect with my readers on  a more personal level.

 I don't know how many of you are married.  But statistically marriages will go through a crisis about every 10 years.  It could be health, financial, loss of a loved one, parenting issues, etc.  My husband and I went through our first crisis last year, and guess what?  Last year was our 10th year of marriage.  Ours was financial.  Honestly, it went on for about 2 years but reached the worst of it last year.  We were in danger of losing our home.  The only reason we are in our home today is because God used our family and our church to help us.  But it was rough for awhile and it truly tested our marriage.  We had the worst arguments of our marriage during this time.  But we had decided we were going to let this make our marriage stronger not weaker.  There were times, we were ready to give up.............. but you never let a temporary situation cause you to make a permanent decision that you will regret.  So many great things have happened as a result of our crisis.  It has forced me to let go and trust God more, it has humbled me.  It is still humbling me.  We are doing better but we have alot to dig out of.  As a result of this crisis, I got a job after being a stay at home mom for 9 years.  I got a job at my kids' school with an amazing staff that has become like a family to me.  God gave me a purpose at my kids' school. It wasn't just to be there working, His timing and His purposes were evident.  Now one of my new daily prayers is "God whatever you do, do it in a way that keeps me humble"  Life is better when I'm trusting God.  It takes away the stress and anxiety.  Even now I have to remind myself of that, as of late I have been anxious about a couple changes with my work

I have stopped being so overprotective of my kids.  God has shown me, with Jesus, that the reason why Jesus died on the cross for us, is because God knew, at the beginning, that we were going to forsake Him.  That His creation would fall into sin.  As a loving Father, instead of trying to stop us and control us, He provided a way to help us rise up again.  That's what good parents do.  We don't try to control our kids, we provide a way for them to rise up again when they fail.  Just like us, they will fail over and over again.  Just like we don't have to be afraid to fail and we can take comfort in knowing that God already has a way to lift us back up, we don't have to be afraid of failure for our kids and they don't have to be afraid either.  We want our kids to live boldly and God wants us to live boldly. 

So, if you are like me and you are asking the question "How could God let this happen?"  It's because He is a loving Father, who doesn't want to control us. That wouldn't be love.  Love does not control.

         "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is no puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil........................."(1 Corintheans 13:4,5)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Let it all go and fall

In the last week, I have come across 2 scenarios that have encouraged me in a "free falling" posture.  One scenario I saw on TV.  It was a special, documenting people's lives.  There was a guy, who climbed this mountain and he ended up slipping, and as he fell through the air, his arms and feet hustled to gain his ground back, but only for a few seconds and then he stoped fighting, relaxes his body and rests into the fall.  He knew he wasn't going to survive the fall and he didn't fight what was coming.
Then, there was another scenario, I read about in a book called "Discovering Your Soul Signature".  This was a true story as well.  There was a young women who was driving her "Mini Cooper" down the street and she was rear ended by a school bus that was going about 50 miles per hour.  Her car wrecked, but she opened the door and got out the car with no injuries, and she said "that at the moment of impact, her body went limp. She just completely … let go.”

I have never tried this posture of letting go and "free falling". But I'm sensing that there are times and seasons where we need to take on this posture.  Stop scratching and clawing and just open your hands, let go and fall into whatever awaits us.  I'm sure it's good, because God says he has good plans for us:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

Many of us think we can't let go.  We are scared to let go.  We are scared of the unknown.  We are scared of not trying to control outcomes.  But I believe that in "letting go" the adventure of your life will truly begin.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Crazy, sexy me?

So I know my title is kind of "off the beaten path",  but lately God has been taking me off the beaten path.  I have a story about me.  When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, words cannot describe the joy that I felt, and I was glad to be in the house of God every chance I could.  I loved my church home.  Some things started to happen that I didn't pay much attention to, but they had a traumatic impact on me in the long run.  When I began my Christian journey I was totally myself, basking in the joy of my Savior. However, over time I started to cover-up more and more of who I really was, little by little; until I didn't look like myself at all anymore.  I remember the first time one of the women, in the church, gave me something to cover my legs because I had on a skirt.  I want to add that my skirt was knee length.  It's funny because I didn't know why they kept handing me this, I don't know what it was, a cloth to cover up.  This was during the sermon so I would quietly say "No, I'm fine".  I thought that maybe it was a courtesy in case I was cold.  I didn't really grow up in the church so I wasn't familiar with church protocol regarding the matter of covering up, if you had a skirt on.  But after some days I figured out what they were trying to do, and I was kind of offended and I don't know why.  But I just decided I would not sit that close to the front of the sanctuary anymore, if I was wearing a skirt.  That was only the beginning.  I started to also find that I was drawing alot of attention to myself, but it was not on purpose.  It was not my purpose at all, but it was happening so I got very self conscious about how I was dressing.  I started to only wear baggy clothes, I stopped keeping my hair done, and I stopped wearing makeup.  I just really started to try to play down my beauty.  I think I was use to that attention when I was in other places, but I was so naive, because I didn't think I would draw that type of attention in church.  It caught me off guard and I thought it was the right thing to do, to start to cover up.  During that time, I had a discussion with a very close friend who had a strong walk with God and he began to ask me why I was dressing like I was, why was everything so baggy?  And I told him why; and he told me that I didn't have to cover up myself, he told me I should not be afraid of my own beauty.  He told me that I should not feel like I have to play down my beauty because of other people.  I eventually lost some of my pizazz in all that cover-up.  Now I'm on a journey back to my pizazz!!  Back to my crazy, sexy, me.  While I know, as a Christian, that this post might offend some other Christians who feel that the word "sexy" and the word "Christian" should not be used in the same sentence.  But I strongly disagree.  To me, the word sexy means attractive, appealing to the senses in a pleasurable way.  To me, God is very attractive, very appealing, and very pleasurable.  I think that the people you meet, who are really on fire for God, would probably agree with me.  Every Christian I have ever met, with a vibrant relationship with the Lord comes off as very attractive.  Jesus is attractive, He is intriguing, He is provocative.  God made us, so we are attracted to certain attributes for a reason.  God embodies many of the characteristics that attract us, as human beings, because we are made in His likeness.     You have to get to know Him outside of "religion".  Because "religion" can sometimes play it safe, dress it up, cover it up, make it look safe.  Religion sometimes does not introduce us to a provocative, intriguing, exciting, adventurous, intimate God.  Religion introduces us to a safe, rule-giving, boring, condemning God.  That is so far from the truth about God.  God is in fact very sexy, very attractive, super cool, and very provocative.  To be Christlike means not being safe.  It means being provocative.  Since Jesus is very attractive, He makes you very attractive when you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.    For those that doubt in terms of what I stated here, you should read the Songs of Solomon.  If that's not "sexy" I don't know what is.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Start fresh by forgiving yourself

Did you know that every morning you wake up with new baby nerve cells, in your brain, that have been born while you were sleeping; and that these are at your disposal to be used in tearing down toxic thoughts and rebuilding healthy thoughts.  According to the book, "Switch on Your Brain", the birth of these new baby nerve cells is called neurogenesis, which brings to mind the following scripture:
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

"They are new every morning".  To understand that God produces something tangible to carryout His word in our lives is just amazing!!!

Many times when I fall off the wagon, concerning anything that I'm suppose to be doing in life, I get discouraged and beat myself up and that just keeps me from getting back on the path that I need to be on.  What I am learning to do now is to remember that I get a "fresh start".  Remember that God has destined us for "fresh starts".  A "fresh start" is a part of your destiny and my destiny.  Even if you messed up royalty today, you can leave that behind and know that you can still be great tomorrow.  Don't allow the guilt that results from messing up, to hold you back from the greatness that God has placed in you.   You have to forgive yourself, just as God forgave you in Christ.  God wants us to make forgiving ourselves such a lifestyle, that our mess ups don't shake us anymore.   He wants you to be free from your mistakes. He doesn't want the mistakes that you make to control and guide your future behavior; and the only way that can happen is to forgive yourself everyday.  In God's mercy we get to start with a fresh slate everyday, as long as we don't continue to remember our mistakes in such a way that they hold us hostage.  I have been held hostage to my own mistakes in the past; and that really held me back.  I just realized that I have to allow myself to be free from the mistakes I make on a daily basis.  I can't let them define me and I can't let them lead me to believe that somehow I have gotten off coarse.  The only way that your mistakes can take you off the right path, is if you let them.  The only way you can let them, is by not forgiving yourself.  When you forgive yourself, daily, of every mistake that you have made, you are free to keep moving forward in your life.  If you don't, you might find yourself standing still in some areas.  Choose a "fresh slate".  Forgive yourself daily.

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