Friday, March 27, 2015

Think like a "sower"

Life..........let's see, God will have you to spread the gifts that He has put in you, far and wide.  But they go forth as seeds.  The bible says that God gives seed to the sower.  I think it's important to know that they go forth as seeds, so you don't expect this immediate return.  Seeds need to be watered and they don't sprout right away.  You have to keep watering them and after some time they begin to sprout.  The reason I say this is because when we remember that  God gives us gifts to spread forth, far and wide in the form of seeds, we allow our patience to grow with joy.

The mindset of the "sower" is a challenge in the "microwave" culture we live in.  It is especially hard when you are at the helms of a new endeavor.  It's much easier to jump on somebody else's boat, then it is to drive your own and I think that's the reason why some of us shy away from some of the things that are on our hearts to do.  When something doesn't have a physical form yet, it can be very discouraging to get started building what God wants you to build.  It is much easier to find something that has already been built and try to work through that.  I don't think there is anything wrong with starting there.  Sometimes the main thing is, to just start.  However, many times you will continue to get pointed back to something bigger that God has in you.

There are "vehicles" that will help you to learn more about what God is calling you to do.  Don't be nervous about getting in somebody else's vehicle when it comes to ministry or business, before you begin building your own "vehicle".  Sometimes practicing your gifts and talent's in somebody else's vehicle will clarify what you want your "own" vehicle to look like and how you want to drive it.  Even when you are practicing your gifts and talents through somebody else's vehicle you are still spreading those "seeds" that God has given you.

But many of us are like "I don't have time to wait for seeds to sprout, I need something to happen now!".  Be careful about saying what you don't have, even when it comes to "time".  Don't speak lack over your life even in terms of time.  Try to get far away from thinking you need to produce something "now".  Stay away from the "spirit of desperation".  Remember God does not lead you in a endeaver because He needs that ministry, business, or opportunity to provide for you.  God doesn't need any of that to provide for you.  He leads His people in these types of endeavers because He has deposited His gifts in us, to spread to the world.  In your mind, begin to separate what you are pursuing, from God's provision in your life.  His provision for your life depends on Him, and Him alone.  When you begin to focus on the fact, that whatever God has you doing, it is specifically to spread your gifts to the world;  your product will reach further and wider than you could ever imagine. Check my sidebar for my "Additional services" to help you grow and build, added daily. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The "waves" of life.....

Life happens in waves,  I think, just like a surfer we have to learn how to ride those waves.  Waves are how the water responds to the "wind".  In the bible there is a picture of how God wants us to respond to the waves of life:

Jesus Walks on the Sea

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[b] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

There are a few key points in this passage of scripture that can help us ride out the waves of life, on God's grace.  
1.  This incident happened while Jesus was praying
2.  The wind was "contrary".  Many times when it's on  our hearts to do something, there are things or people in our lives that can play a "contrary" role to that which we are trying to do.  It can make us feel very "tossed" to and fro.  You don't feel stable.  
3. What was Peter's response to the waves when He looked at Jesus?  He wanted to walk on the water like Jesus, so he asked Jesus to call him to walk on water to.  Maybe that is what we need to pray, when we feel tossed to and fro by the waves of life, maybe we need to ask Jesus to command us to walk on the water.  Maybe Peter's request of Jesus was what is defined for us as "prayer".  If You have waves, pray for Jesus to command you to walk on water.  Because at His command, just like Peter, you to can walk on top of the the waves of life.  
4.  The waves of life are opportunities for Jesus to perform a miracle in your life and for you to do something that nobody has ever done before.  That's another prayer:  "Jesus, use these waves to cause me to do something that has never been done before"  This is a biblical prayer.  It lines up with God's word.  
5.  When you start walking on water, don't take your eyes of Jesus or you will sink.  The waves are not going to cease just because you are walking on water.  Matter-a-fact they might get more boisterous.  The wind ceased when they were back in the boat.  I think we have to decide if we want to live life walking on water, with the wind blowing every which way;  or in the safety of the boat. 

Honestly, I don't think living one way is superior to another, when it comes to something like this, but I do think you have to get to a place of decision because you reach points in your life where not being decided on this creates inner conflict.  This decision will guide your actions and if you don't eventually come to a decision about this, your actions might be all over the place.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Stay away from "desperation

You can't make money when you think you "need" money.  You can't create out of desperation.  You have to have a mindset where you know "God" provides for your every need.  Oddly enough, God doesn't want you to pursue business because you "need" money, but rather because it's where He is leading you.  When you are in a desperate place, financially, the worst thing you can do is to turn to business "first", you have to turn to God first.  He will take care of the money.

Let me tell you why God doesn't want you to create anything out of desperation:
1.  It impairs your judgement.
2.  You rush through your learning process.  You go from being excited about learning something to being in a rush to produce something.
3. You are looking to something other than God to be your source.
4.  Desperation impedes the creative process

This can actually apply to any area of life, whether it's parenting, business, marriage, homemaking......................any area.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Starting again..........................

"Starting again"'s something many of us have to do at some point or another in our lives. For some people it's a new marriage after pouring your life into a previous marriage and watching it fall apart. For others, it might be finding out you are pregnant when your other children have gotten older and you weren't planning A new business, after you poured your life into a previous business that no longer exists. For others it might be starting all over again at a new church, building new relationships and finding your way around new ministries and figuring out, all over again, where you fit in.

I was never one who looked forward to "starting again".  But it's time for a "mindset adjustment" for me.  I want to enjoy my life; and "starting again" is a part of the life cycle.  It is something that God has integrated into the natural flow of life and we should flow with it.  But since this is part of life, it's even more important that we be intentional about choosing things that we are passionate about to pour ourselves into.  Because if we don't, we will always struggle when "Starting again" circles around. I am currently "starting again" in an area of my life and I hit a wall of discouragement yesterday that really made me realize that this time around whatever I do, it has to be done in ways that I enjoy!!!!  I think this applies to any area of life.  Many of us are scared of starting things again because of the way we did it the first time around.  I am learning that in the big areas of life you have to be yourself and do things in a way that best suits who God made you to be.  We need to learn to enjoy the areas of life that are most important.  Marriage, parenting, your career, building a business, serving in ministry, your relationship with God, your personal recreation,  and your life at home.  I have found that there is alot of pressure in these areas, much of this pressure can cause us to compare ourselves to others, to measure our own success by what others are doing, and to try to please others.  These prisons keep us from being ourselves in these very important areas of life where "starting again"  will happen in one form or another.  Who wants to start anything over again if you don't enjoy it the first time around.  Although this life is not the end, and there is another life to come, this life is still very important and I believe that we need to get really good at "being ourselves"  so when the time comes to "start again" in any area we are excited about it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Freedom, to die for

"Freedom" has been on my mind a lot for the past 2 to 3 weeks.  I am starting to understand why it was so important for my ancestors to fight so hard for freedom.  History tells us that "freedom" is worth dying for and God's word confirms the same, in that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our freedom.  It is for the sake of "freedom" that Christ died to set us free.  Bringing that into the perspective of our daily lives, we have become experts on removing our own choices.  When you allow anyone or anything in this life to dictate your choices, you have given over some of your freedom to that thing or person.  It is so important that we walk in liberty (freedom) in all things.

In my life I realize I have placed limitations on myself, whereby limiting my choices in many areas of life.  Nobody else limited my choices but me.  I have told myself the "lie" that many others have told themselves:  "I just don't have time to pursue certain things, right now, in my life".  I have placed on hold, so many things in my life, because I told myself I had to wait until my children were older.  I have been under these perceptions as a wife and mother that certain things were just off limits to me, right now in my life.  But God is showing me otherwise.  He is showing me that I have to take back my freedom of choice in terms of what I do with my time and how much time I spend on certain tasks.  He has shown me that I have to line up my priorities with what is most meaningful to me and either "outsource", "minimize", or just "don't pay attention" to anything else that is not a meaningful pursuit to me. 

This is a fairly new concept to me.  As a wife and mom, I have always thought there were certain things I had to get done, no matter how much time it took on a daily/weekly basis.  That type of thinking took away my freedom of choice in terms of what I poured myself into and it has kept me from building a more meaningful life for myself and my family.  But that is in the process of changing.  Because God has shown me that I have a "right" to conduct my life, in such a way, where the things that are most meaningful to me, concerning myself and my family, get top priority and most of my time and energy.  This is my "right" that I have allowed to be taken away from me by the expectations of others, by the messages that come from the media, and by comparing myself to others.  But God has restored to me my "right" to choose how I conduct my life and where I spend my time.  Yes, folks "time" is the most important raw material by which God has given us with which to build our lives.  What kind of life you build for yourself and/or family depends upon where you spend your "time".  I have decided to cut back on the time I spend on areas in my life that are necessary but not meaningful to me, meaning that they don't nurture my soul nor the souls of my family.  I don't want to spend any more then  1 - 2hrs/day on tasks that must get done but are not meaningful to me. This is one small step I am taking towards building a more meaningful life.  Who wants to spend any more than 14 hrs/ week on any tasks that is not contributing to building a meaningful life for you and your family.   I am hoping that I can begin to evaluate every area of my  life, to line it up with my values, core beliefs, and top priorities.  I really hope this post will challenge you to reconsider what you "can" and "can't " do in your life and what you "have time" for or "don't have time" for.  I hope you will have "more time" for the meaningful things and "less time" for things that are not nurturing to you or your family.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Who are you really???

When you first realize who you are...........  There were certain books that I would not read.  When I saw books on "How Successful women juggle it all".  Or just books on success,  I would say to myself "That book is not for me".  It's funny because the books were for successful people and in saying "This book is not for me", I was ultimately vocalizing that I didn't see myself as a "successful person".  Even though I felt I was a great stay-at-home mom and wife, " I didn't feel like these books were written for me or my life".  I now realize that I felt this way because of an internal belief about myself and, my path.  Well,  God has changed that.  I was drawn to this book recently called "What the most successful people do before breakfast".  For the first time ever, I heard within myself "Your a successful person, so you need to find out what other successful people do." I had never heard that within myself before. Seeing yourself in a different light, than you ever have before, will change how you feel about your days and your value.

Women need to know that they have a contribution to make to the world outside their own family.  I use to think that I'm called to my family and that was the only place God wants me to focus.  I believed that my only ministry was my ministry to them and when my husband and I decided to have children, I thought that meant that my only focus was to be my kids and my husband.  Even more so, I didn't realize how debilitating that mindset can be a for a woman.  Somehow, our essence, as women, requires that we value our contribution, not only to our families, but to the world.  We actually need our "contribution" to the world.  Our families need our contribution to the world.  It is in the area of our lives where we go beyond our immediate family roles, that we find our faith is stretched.  It is really in that that we become to discover our "essence" as a child of God.

Because this is so new to me,  I have to allow God to re-train me in terms of how I go about my days, what I focus on, and how I balance it all out?  He has to help me replace old ways of thinking with new ways of thinking.  As you grow in revelation about yourself, it always requires you to replace old mindsets about yourself with new mindsets.  God can't put new wine into old wineskins or else the wineskins break and the wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined.  But He puts new wine into new wineskins and both are preserved.(Matt 9:17)  The same is true, as God grows us in revelation about ourselves and our destiny, it means a new way of thinking about yourself, and a new way of doing things.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Breaking strongholds.

This week, I realized what is meant when someone says "stronghold".  You hear that mentioned a lot among Christians.  A strong hold is when something in your life has a hold on you that is so strong, that no matter what you try, you can't get free.  It can be a pattern of behavior, a pattern of thinking in certain areas, or even a toxic relationship.  I have experienced strongholds in all of those areas.  I think relationships are the strongest visual of the anatomy of a "stronghold".  I had one relationship in my life sometime ago that I just couldn't get out of.  No matter how hard I tried, no matter how many times I left, I always ended up back in that relationship.  It lasted for years.  I just couldn't break free.  It's like I would get a little bit free and then end up right back.  That's what happens with "strongholds" in our lives.  We will make a little process but always end up right back where we were, we can never seem to get completely free.  Have you ever had that in your life.  Where no matter how hard you try to break free of something that is bad for you, you always end up right back?  It's like a real, strong man has you tied up.  What about a thought pattern in a particular area that you can't break free of?  It's like a loop that repeats in your life over and over again.  Do you ever feel like you keep hitting a wall in certain areas of life. It's a wall that's been there for awhile?

I believe there is a special life hidden on the inside of each believer.  I believe that life is suppose to manifest.  I believe that life is custom fit for you and your family.  I believe that we live in a culture, even within he Body of Christ, where others do not support a "custom" fit lifestyle that is unique to each family.  I find that "the church" especially is very afraid of "uniqueness".  It reminds me of a family where the parents want all the kids to act alike and fit into one specific mold and the parents never let the kids variate from that "mold".  I believe that the reason for these fears in the church is because of  the possibility of not being able to have as much control over other believers, I also believe that there is a fear of sin and people falling away from the church.  While these are valid concerns, I believe the church sometimes hinders our uniqueness as believers because of these fears.  I believe we as parents can be guilty of this concerning our kids as well.

I believe "freedom" is the biggest area of lack in the lives of believers.  It is the very reason Christ died for us.  It doesn't surprise that the devil attacks the area of "freedom" in the lives of believers more than any other areas.  Back to "strongholds".   A stronghold is when something, other then Jesus, has a hold on you.  We all have them in our lives. We all have areas where something, other than Jesus, has a hold on us.  I mean,, we are human.  But there are also times when God wants to deliver us from specific strongholds because it is getting in the way of us fulfilling our purpose on this earth.

How do we cooperate with the deliverance that God has for us?  I think it's important to pay attention to the impressions that God has placed on your heart.  I can only share what I have experienced to help you understand what these "impressions" are and how to recognize them.   For myself,  I recognize "Godly impressions" on my heart when something has been on my heart for a very long time.  A lot of times, I keep hearing the same thing over and over again concerning my life over an extended period of time.  It is not audible, it is an impression inside of me, that echos inside.  It's gentle but persistent.  It lines up with the bible.  Those are some things to look for.  These impressions help you recognize what God wants to do in your life in a particular season so you can focus on that.  Since we can't do it all,  it's important that we are in tune to what God wants to do during particular times in our lives.  Once you start paying attention to what's God is placing on your heart.  Make a list of how to prioritize the things that are on your heart.  It doesn't mean you ignore everything else, it just means that put God first by prioritizing certain things above others.  I'll give you some examples:
1. More quiet time with God - Prioritize it by getting up earlier on some days and designating a space in your home, but also trying to keep that space inviting for yourself.  Prioritizing the "maintenance" of that space above other spaces in your home. 
2.  Nourishment and nutrition - A simple start is to make changes in your kitchen to make meal preparation more inviting.  That could mean keeping it cleaner so it's always prepared to make meals.  That could mean that other areas in your home might remain messy more often because they are not a priority right now.
3.  More focus on your children - That could mean, focus less on keeping your house in physical order and focus more on nourishing the souls of your children, to help them have inner order in the hearts and souls.

It's different for everyone, sometimes it is about outward order and sometimes it's more about inward peace and nourishment.  Try to work on paying attention to the "Godly Impressions" on your heart and make a list of them and pray about ways to prioritize them in your life.

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