Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Out on a Limb"

"The angel said to her, “Don't be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus." Luke 1:30-31 GNT

Today is the day after for me. The day after I was out on a limb. Oh boy! Was it a little crazy. Not really because God was making it crazy or because it was even a crazy situation. It was crazy (for lack of a better word) because I was feeling all crazy inside. I was being placed in an area that I really wasn't comfortable. I knew I wasn't in my gift mix and I was very insecure about my ability of this job that placed in my lap and my old people pleasing patterns of course decided to pop in their ugly little heads all over the place. But it was a job that needed to be done and God gave it to me to do. And last night after the job was completed, I knew why. And I share this with you to encourage.

God used this time to grow me. To show me that in my weaknesses--my not strong gifts areas--He can and will still use me. That He will never and has never forsaken me because of those weaknesses. That when we allow Him to use us all the time--not just when we want or feel comfortable--that mighty and glorious things will happen.

He allowed this time to let me draw upon the growth I have made through Him--with the people pleasing patterns--so that next time I'm in one of those places, I will have the memory of this time to draw strength & courage from. To keep me on my knees, keep me drawing upon His strength and my faith in that strength. And then when it was over, just to feel and see the mighty work He did--well, it was SO very awesome! 

This morning, right before I began writing this blog, He brought to me the above verse and many other incidents in the Bible of people that He has--through the many, many years--taken out on a limb to do mighty and glorious things. People, if they hadn't been willing, trusting and faithful, that in their unwillingness would have changed the world we know.

What if Mary had said no? What if Peter hadn't walked on the water? What if Zacchaeus didn't climb the tree? What if Noah hadn't built the ark? What if Jesus had a change of heart? What if I hadn't been willing to do my task yesterday? What if you hadn't been willing to _______________? (you fill in the blank.)

Our God is SO much bigger and greater and gracious than we can and will ever give Him credit for. What's so amazing is that even though He is a perfect God, He doesn't expect perfection from us in order for Him to use us or to want us as His children. All He truly wants is an open heart and spirit that is willing to serve Him however He chooses--not when we choose. Do you receive that?

So now it's your turn. What limb has God been asking you to go out on and you have held back? What fear, pride, lie, do you have to reject, to put upon God's alter and get freedom from?

Imagine this is what God is saying to you, "Be willing to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be." Why is that? You are correct if your response is because that is where HE is.

"Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: 'Papa, Father, you can—can’t you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do YOU want?'” Mark 14:35-36 MSG

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Day After After

"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Israel,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever."

1 Chronicles 16:8-13, 23-25 & 34 NIV

Happy Day after Thanksgiving! Why am I wishing you a "Happy Day after Thanksgiving" wish? A little late am I? Well, I did this on purpose. Yes, seriously!

You see, we need to be thankful EVERY day for God and His mercies. We need to thank Him for all the good, for all the blessings and yes, even for all the heartaches, for all the sorrow--for all the all.

Our God is our God--always. We need to be His grateful children--always. It's easy when life is good and everything is going right --not so easy when not good or not nice things are happening. But I have discovered that some of my biggest and most powerful life and faith lessons are during those times. I don't know about you, but I totally do not like them--I avoid them like the plague. And when I was young, not only in age but in faith--I use to think that I was being punished for something bad that I had done. Kinda like Job's friends thought about him and his life. (If you haven't, you should read the Book of Job in the Old Testament. It can be a little overwhelming, but if you pray over your reading before you read it--God will show you some AWESOME truths about suffering, unconditional faith, redemption, hope and love.) But that so not true! 

Seriously, when bad or unpleasant happens, I have had to say to myself and those around me--if I believe, truly believe--that my God is in control of my life and everything that happens in it, then I need to believe, have faith & hope that He has a purpose for it and it is for my greater--not to harm me. And I need to praise Him. Do you understand that?

What is it in your life that you have had trouble to release into His very capable hands and then praise Him for? Good. Now that you have named it--do it! I know that I may be asking a great big faith step from you but you truly need to do this. Give it or them (in case you have more than one thing, which is totally fine)--to your Heavenly Father and praise Him--genuinely praise Him--through the tears, through the hugest lump in your throat that you've ever experience, through the anger, disappointment, gut-wrenching pain. Praise Him! For not only trusting you with a hurt, a sadness, a not nice--whatever it is-- but helping you through it and, if you let Him--showing you or even taking care of it Himself. Your Heavenly Father loves you SO deeply--can you receive that? 

So, Happy Day after Thanksgiving, today, tomorrow and the day after! Praise Him! Hey, please do me a favor and pass it on--it's a great way to share the good news with people!

"Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7 GN

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All that is Required--A Perfect Heart

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9 KJ21 

Question--Do you think that you have to be perfect in order for the Lord to use you, to love you or to be a Christian? Seriously take a moment and be honest with yourself. Do you think perfection is the main ingredient in order to be wanted by God?

If your answer is yes--don't feel alone. I feel pretty confident to say that you are a part of a very large crowd. But you are also wrong.

Perfect, perfection--at times I so dislike that word. To me personally, at times, it seems like a curse. I don't know about you, but I have strived to be perfect since the moment I discovered that when you are perfect, people seem to like you--in my case my father. If I was perfect, my dad seemed to not mind my presence in the home. But if I made a mistake, oh, he would get that look of displeasure--even telling me at times to get out of his sight until he could stand to look at me. And believe me, even though I tried very hard, I was more unperfect than perfect. 

So, when I became a Christian, I brought that thought process into my new Father/daughter relationship. Have you done the same thing? Brought the false idea that your Heavenly Father only wants a relationship with you if you are perfect, all the time? And that the moment you're not He wants to give you the boot?

Crazy as it may seems to the world, God looks at our hearts. He wants a perfect heart--not perfect acts. Do you understand? Lets look at the Pharisees  Remember in Matthew 23:27, Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. You see, these people were perfect outwardly--they followed the rules, they dressed accordingly, they prayed loud and long prayers in the synagogues--and they were very proud. So, they were acting perfectly on the outside, but on the inside--their hearts--they had a judgmental spirit, they didn't walk in love and they didn't show mercy to anyone. And it made God angry because their hearts were not right.

You see, our Heavenly Father is a Father of the heart. He knows each and everyone of us and cares more about the attitude of your heart than your outwardly acts. And no, we will not always be perfect in our heart, but as long as He sees that you are trying, that you are striving to be close to Him--it pleases Him. And what is a perfect heart? It is a heart that desires more than anything to please Him, a heart that is grieved when sin has happened, and a heart that has committed itself to Him and His sovereignty over forgiveness and restoration.

The opening verse above shows how important the perfect heart is to God. And this is even before Jesus had died for us. That He was wanting to show Himself not to the ones that were performing perfect acts, but those who were harboring a perfect heart.

So take heart and remember--God only desires three things from you--truth, faith and a pure heart. Truth in the way you handle life in your spirit and worship--He despises it when you 'fake it', when you pretend church. Faith in your relationship with the trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit). Pure heart,which is a perfect heart.

I will ask you the question again, do you think you have to be perfect in order to have your Heavenly Father want to love you? 

"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 HCSB

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


"Then he sent out a dove, to see if the water was gone from the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, so she returned to him in the boat. For the water was still over the earth. So Noah put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the boat with him. He waited another seven days, and sent the dove from the boat again. The dove returned to him in the evening. In her mouth was an olive leaf that had just been picked. So Noah knew that the water had gone from the earth."  Genesis 8:8-11 NLV

We have all heard the story of Noah's ark. And it is a great story in itself. But this past weekend I heard the above verses presented in a way that makes it personal--at least to me--and so I want to share it with you.

God loves us so very much. and He has a plan for each of our lives. And there are times when He will send us out to test us. Just like Noah and this dove, God will give you a task and send you out to do it. 

So imagine Noah is God and you are this dove You know that you the task you need to do, but as you flying around, looking into the horizon, there is not a tree to be found. But there must be a tree, God sent you to get just a little leaf. So you keep flying and flying. All the while, the ark, your place of security, is getting farther and farther away. You look below you and all you see is churning, angry water. Thoughts start flooding your mind--"Oh no, what should I do? I can't fail. What will my God think? He will be so disappointed in me. But I have to turn around, my arms are burning, they ache so badly and there is no place to rest. I hate to do it, but I just have to turn around. 

So, there you are flying back toward the ark. As you get closer and closer, new thoughts are attacking you--Oh, what will all the other animals think of me? They will say, "You sorry little dove, God should have sent out the condor or the eagle. They wouldn't have come back empty handed." Then just at the right time, as if He knew, God opens the door and holds out His hand, palm up, so that you would have a sturdy place to land--and then gently pulls you close to His chest. Does He scold you? Does He shame you in front of all the other animals? No. In fact, when you start stammering out an apology, "Oh my God, I am so sorry. I tried, I truly tried, but I just couldn't complete the mission." What does He say? He pulls you even closer to Him, looks you square in the eyes and says, "My child, my child, you did not fail Me. I knew that you wouldn't find the branch. I was just testing you to see how much you trusted Me. If you trusted our relationship enough to come back. And you did. Thank you. Now you rest with Me. You will have another chance."

At the end of seven days, God comes to you and wakes you from a deep slumber with a whisper. "Little one, are you ready? I need you to go and finish the task I have given you." He gently gathers you from your warm bed and opens the door and He gives you a little upwards toss. Before you know it, you are again soaring. This time is different. What do you see? You see olive trees! Oh, how gleeful you are! Your heart is just swelling with the sense of thankfulness! You swoop down, grab a leave and head back to the ark. Oh, how pleased my God will be with me! You can't help but think. Again, just as you get to the ark, God opens the window to receive you with a warm embrace. And He says, “You are my child, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” Luke 3:22 CEB

Are you at this place? Are you fearful to step out in faith to do something that God has been prompting you to do? Are you worried about what others will think? Or maybe you've tried to step out, felt like you haven't accomplished what you were suppose to. That your failure is too big for your God to receive you back. To have Him want to use you again. 

Release all of those negative thoughts. All of those chains. If you are getting a sense that your Heavenly Father is wanting something out of you, if He is wanting to give you a mission--you must do it. That He knows your heart and spirit and as long as He knows that you gave Him your best--He will use you. He will be your strength and your guide. Trust in Him. He will set you free! As with the dove, He will be the wind beneath your wings.

"Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired." Isaiah 40:31 GW

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Me? Idolatry? Seriously?

"'You must not make any idols. Don’t make any statues or pictures of anything up in the sky or of anything on the earth or of anything down in the water. Don’t worship or serve idols of any kind, because I, the Lord, am your God. I hate my people worshiping other gods.'" Exodus 20:4-5 ERV

Recently, the Lord has revealed something to me. It was very disturbing to my spirit but I had to own it. I'm going to share it with you because I have found, and maybe you have too, that usually when God is working a truth on you, that there is almost always someone else that needs the same gleaning or word of encouragement that we are getting and we need to share. So, here we go.

I am a people pleaser--I have shared that before. I worry very much about how others are perceiving me or what or how I 'think' others are perceiving me. In that worry, I have allowed myself to do or not do things that I am not proud of. I am constantly comparing myself, degrading myself and allowing myself to be talked out of doing something that the Lord may be telling me to do--with my self talk. I tell myself that I am stupid, ugly, fat and how in the world could Jesus really use someone like me? That people will not receive my words that I know the Lord has told me because, "Why, they think I am stupid and God wouldn't use someone like me."

Brothers and sisters, that is wrong! God brought to my heart and spirit the revelation that I need to beware of trying to see myself through other peoples eyes. That I am making what I 'think' others are seeing and thinking the truth over what I know that my God is seeing and thinking  And when I am doing that, I am making them my idol. I am committing idolatry!

Oh, how that sadden and grieved my soul. I had to totally get on my knees and confess my sin and ask for forgiveness. For you see, God doesn't see me as I see me or how I 'think' others are seeing me. God has never said that I was ugly or fat or stupid--never! God has never said that He would never use me--no, completely the opposite. So why am I allowing what I think--(observe the 'think')--others are thinking and saying to control my life? Ridiculous! My God has always told me how much He loves me--in fact He treasures me, and how glad He is that I am His daughter and that as long as I have a willing spirit, He will use me. 

So there--all my yuck is out there on the table. I'm not proud of it but I did it to hopefully get you to thinking--Do I do that? Am I making something that is not god, my God? It doesn't have to be like me, emotions. Your's may be money, fears, outward appearances, superb spirituality--the list could go on. I encourage you to do a self-check. Pray to your Father and ask Him if there is anything that He sees that you are making an idol--to point out. Then receive it. Seriously, it doesn't make you a bad person or a failure or anything else that the devil may be trying to whisper in your ear to make you stay in your own muck. Jesus wants to set you free from all of that.

You know, once I confessed and received forgiveness--I have had such a peace! I can truly love and serve and be and not get all wrapped up with the "what if's"! And of course, I need to say that, in my life, it is a daily battle. But now I am aware so when I feel or hear those thoughts, my spirit tells me it's poison and I then give them back to my God and He rescues me--and He will you! 

What has also helped is having accountability people in my life that I have given permission to speak into my life if they see me going down the old familiar path again. These are people that I trust, that are grounded in the Word and that the Lord has told me to ask. You may think of that too.

Our God is such an awesome Father! Praise Him for ALL things!Even growing pains! 

"A voice came from heaven and said, 'You are my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with you.'” Mark 1:11 ERV

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Modern Day Moses Moment

"In your unfailing love you will lead
    the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
   to your holy dwelling." Exodus 15:17 NIV

The scene leading up to this is that Moses and the Israelites had just escaped Egypt. With God's power, Moses had parted the Red Sea, the Israelites all got across and then Moses closed the sea and the Egyptians soldiers, their chariots and their horses all drowned. Can you imagine what that scene was like? The sights, sounds and emotions? Talk about drama!

Afterwards, when everything had calmed down, Moses and the Israelites sang this song of praise--Exodus 15--to the Lord. At that moment, they were so thankful to their God for all He had done for them. Their world would never be the same.

What about your world? Is your world full of chaos? Are you like the Israelites, enslaved to the Egypt in your life? Or maybe your life is in the transition of changing and you are walking on the floor of the Red Sea, half way from the old and bad shore behind you with your focus on the new and good shore in front of you. Or maybe you have totally come across and now you can rejoice over your recovery from the old life that has been drowned out with the Lord's love and strength.

Gather strength from this chapter of Exodus. I particularly love the verse above because it speaks of our God's unfailing love. His unfailing love for me--for you. In a world where there is so much failure. Where there is so many strings attached--the fact that God's love for me is unfailing. Wow! What a much needed truth to receive.

Is it hard for you to totally accept that truth?  Be honest with yourself. Is it? We are so trained that we need to do or be--in order to be loved and that just isn't so with God. I have to be honest and say when I am asked, I say, Oh, I know that my God loves me and its just because He loves me. But then I find myself trying to earn that love. I find myself trying to be or do the perfect whatever I think He wants or try to not be or do whatever. But I do it subconsciously. Is that where you are?

Our God loves us no matter what. There is nothing that will ever separate us from that love--ever! That is what unfailing means--not giving way; not falling short of expectation; completely dependable. His book, the Bible is full of love verses for us. It's like a giant love letter--and it was written just for you. Receive that love. And for those moments that you find yourself--like I do--caught in the trap of bad thinkin'--grab that Love book and find those verses. Better yet, as you are reading each day (and I know you are reading each day), have your highlighter with you and highlight those verses that you come across and write them in your prayer journal to have close at hand. And pray. He loves it when you humbly come to Him, share your thoughts and feelings, stop to listen to what He has to say, and praise Him for His awesomeness.

"Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture...None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us." Romans 35-36 MSG

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tag! You're It!

'"Sing, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your judgments,
He has cast out your enemy.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
You shall see disaster no more.'" Zephaniah 3:14-15 NKJV

I don't know if you have ever experienced this or not, but there are times when the Lord directs me to a verse and I read it and then sit there thinking, "O.K. Lord, and the reason is for...."

Well, to be honest, today is one of those days, I prayed and was lead to this verse. Actually, I was also lead to a closing verse which you'll see in a minute.

You know, sometimes we are not always suppose to have everything explained to us. Sometimes the Lord wants someone to point out something to us, but then the responsibility is upon us to read and ponder and sit with Him and talk to Him about it--and I think that today is that day for you.

I'll get the ball rolling with what I received and then it's your turn. What I personally receive from this passage is this--that my Jesus, my God, is here. He has died and wiped out all my sins, all my shortcomings--'all' means the past, present & future--and I need to rejoice! I need to praise Him and thank Him for ALL things! With my complete heart--not half-heartedly. That I need not to get stuck in the feelings of failure, of unworthiness, of falling short. That He has taken care of all that and more. He is in my life and He is my life and while everything is not going to be perfect while I am here in this earth--with Him, I can rejoice! He's got it covered! What a relief!

Tag! You're it! Now it's your turn to share. I challenge you to read these verses and sit, pray, ponder on what God wants you to receive--then listen. Let Him tell you what He has planned for you. Then praise Him. Praise Him for loving you SO much. For having a special message for you. For caring. For even wanting to have an interactive relationship with you. That He's not just sitting up there, bossing us around. He loves and cherishes you so deeply. And if you feel so led--share with someone He brings to mind.

"'The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.'” Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV


My dear Father God, I praise You for loving me. I must admit, that it is hard to comprehend at times that You are actually rejoicing over me! But Your words above tell me so and so I receive that. I ask that You will please use me to share that love--that rejoicing--to the world that You have placed me in. I am gratefully and humbly Your child. Thank you. In Your precious name I pray this. Amen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


"'For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.'” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NASB

King Jehoshaphat prayed this prayer as the larger nations surrounding around him were coming to attack his little nation of Judah. We don't know a lot about this king, but one thing is obvious--he was wise in the spirit because he knew the first thing to do when he heard of this attack approaching was to pray and fast--"Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah." 2 Chronicles 20:3 NASB

When I read this passage, the Lord spoke to me about the correlation of that time and that prayer to our lives today. What to you do when you feel you are being attacked? Do you just put on thicker skin? Do you retaliate by getting revenge? Do you try to pull in others so that you have enforcement?

While those would seem to be the natural responses--in Christ they are the wrong ones. In Christ, you need to become powerless to be powerful. You need to have the wisdom to know that you are outnumbered, outpowered and maybe even outwitted--and be OK with it. Because once you can receive one or all of characteristics of your situation--your battle--you will be able to humble yourself and turn to the One that will really help you win whatever the battle is that you are about to be engaged in or are already in the heat of.

Jehoshaphat was a king and even as king, he didn't try to fool his people by telling them that he had it all together and that everything was under control. No. This man stood in the midst of his people and proclaimed through out the land that everyone needed to fast and pray for the events on the horizon.

Brothers and sisters, we have an enemy that is just as powerful, if not more, than the nations of Israel. We have Satan and his team and they are relentless. They will fight and try to trip you up--and deceive you--until the very end. And you cannot win it alone. You cannot win that battle with him on your own power, wisdom or even a team. Oh, don't get me wrong, it is important to have a team to help support you, but it needs to be a praying team. A team that is grounded in the word. Not a team that will just go in with their bare fists. But to cover it all, you need to seek the Lord first and let Him do what he does best--and that is to take care and protect you.

Do you feel like you have an army of trouble coming your way? Or has the multitude already come and you are in the midst of fighting a battle right now? Don't be afraid--all you have to do is get on your knees, admit you are powerless and ask your Heavenly Father for help--He will send it in the form of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Praise be our God!

"When the enemy comes like a raging flood tide, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight." Isaiah 59:19 NASB

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Promise Keeper

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. Psalms 121 ESV

We are living in very epic and challenging times. The world around us seems to be a "thin crust" ready to explode or implode. On a world wide scale we see social, economic, religious, environmental,criminal, and political unrest.

In these days it would be easy to give into despair, fear, self reliance, and maybe even denial. The scriptures point us to the One who gives us strength for today and hope for tomorrow, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms 121 gives us promises and hope in the Promise Keeper. The word "keep" and "keeper" are used six times in eight short verses. the word " keep" in the Hebrew means;  to guard, watch over, and attend to carefully.

Just think, the One who is the creator of all things offers to keep you in His care. He offers to help, keep, protect, and preserve you. In fact He promises to do so. How can you begin to live in this reality? You start by receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus said,

"'My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.'” John 10:27-30 ESV

Daily we are challenged in our faith. Daily we have a choice to believe and receive the grace that Jesus gives. Daily, indeed forever, Jesus is the one constant in an ever changing and challenging world. He gives us the confidence in times of trials. He is the Promise Keeper.

Who or what are you putting your confidence in? What about Jesus?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


"The Lord is my strength,
the reason for my song,
because he has saved me.
I praise and honor the Lord—
he is my God
and the God
of my ancestors."
Exodus 15:2 CEV

The Lord brought me to this verse a couple of days ago and I love it.

When I first discovered it, it was in the NIV version, which is great of course. But today, He brought me to this version which is the Contemporary English version. Please read the first two lines--what does it state? "The Lord is my strength, the REASON for my song." I love that--don't you?! He is the reason for my song, for your song. That is how it should be. The reason isn't whether we have a lot of material possessions, the reason isn't because of our circumstances, the reason isn't because of whom we are married to or whom our children are or aren't. No! HE is the reason.

And why is He the reason? It's the third line, "because He has saved me." He has saved me! Me--a sinner from before I was conceived. Me--with all my hurts, habits and hangups. Me--whom the world may label as ditsy or unworthy or not important. He came down from His throne in Heaven, became a humble baby, grew up to only be ridiculed and tortured and then died on a cross for me--for YOU.

How can we not, how do we dare not do the forth line, "I praise and honor the Lord". People, we need to stop whining to Him like the Israelites in the desert. Whining about having to leave a life of slavery. Whining about not having enough variety in our food. Whining that we are bored with life and with Him, so we will start worshiping other gods.

Our God is an AWESOME God and we need to sing from the mountain tops. Other nations are doing with other gods, we diffidently should be doing it for our God--your God, my God--and we need to SING!

"And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise." Romans 5:2 MSG

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh My Goodness!

Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live[a] in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.
Psalm 23:6 CEB

The Goodness of the Lord--we hear of it all the time from the pulpit, when we read His word, when we sing the songs in worship--but do you feel it? Be honest--with yourself and your Lord--do you truly feel it? Or do you just mimic what you hear because you think, "Hey I'm a Christian. I have to say God is good, and His goodness I feel because if I don't I'm being disloyal to Him or will be judged."

Well, today, you are given the freedom to be truly honest--to say that you don't always feel the goodness of the Lord. It's an honest feeling. God wants you to be honest, to be vulernable with Him. He already knows. He already knows that you are feeling these feelings. Maybe it's because of the situation you are in in your life right now. Maybe it's because someone or something has hurt you. Maybe it's because you are in a depression and it's hard to see goodness in anything, let alone your God. Be honest. Be respectfully honest.

Until you give Him your true feelings, you are living a lie. And when you are living a lie, the goodness button gets harder to find. Harder to recognize. But the moment that you lay on His lap--the confusion, the hurt, the betrayal, whatever it is that is keeping you from truly seeing, feeling and receiving His goodness--He can deal with it. Once you release it into His capable hands, you will be amazed at how light the yoke will feel in your heart, in your spirit.

Your Heavenly Father wants to give you His goodness and He does, whether you recognize it or not. But you see, your spirital walk is not a walk that you take alone. You need the buddy system, and ultimately, He is your buddy. You have to be communicating with Him and allowing Him to communicate with you in order for the walk to be successful and safe. If you go alone, you will be attack by all kinds of creatures, you will get lost and in the end, you will die.

"'I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28:20 MSC

So today, take this very important step in your walk--be honest and share your heart with your Heavenly Father. Get all the crud out and then I know you will be amazed of how much room you will find for the true meaning of goodness to fill your spirit and when you say the words, God is good, you will truly mean it. Praise Jesus!

My dear Father in Heaven, I pray for my past feelings of not really thinking that the events of my life was covered by Your goodness. I humbly ask for forgivenss when I have just gone along with the crowd and not by being honest with You or myself. I pray that You would help me to be able to voice to You my true feelings repectfully and honestly. I pray for the wisdom to be still before You so that I can receive Your word and know that You are God--my God. Thank you so much for loving me, and for Your faithfulness and grace that You show me every single second of our journey together. I so truly love You and praise You. Amen

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who's Truly Watching Your Back?

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding."
Proverbs 3:5 NLT

In an age of being, at times, overwhelmed with information, you may read this verse and just push it aside. "What? I am not to figure it out myself? I have to trust someone else, Someone that I can't even see? No way! That is just plain silly!"

We are a society that is addicted to reasoning and with reasoning, control. We need control, we need to know the outcome--in everything.

God doesn't want that. Sure, He wants us to use our intellect, our brains, but not to the point that we push Him out or over ride Him. He is our power source. Our great "Wizard"--(for those of you who have seen The Wizard of Oz.) He wants us to turn to Him for everything. And give Him all the control.

And do you know why? Is it because He is a control freak Himself? NO! Of course not. The reason that He wants to have the control of your life is for the simple reason that He created you. He knew you before you were even created in your mother's womb. He knows every hair on your head, and He knows you even better than you think you know yourself. He has your best interest at heart--His heart. He has no hidden agendas, no favorites, no reason on earth or in Heaven, to wish you harm. What better Person to have watch over you, to take care of you--don't you think?

Do you realize that we can reason/control ourselves right into a corner that we don't want to be in. That without praying and listening to our Heavenly Father, we are just asking for trouble. Look at all the prophets--whenever they were faithful and keeping a very close walk and conversations (prayer life) with the Lord, they were fine--even if they were in prison, or being martyred.

But the moment that they started having little private conversations with themselves, their friends, whatever or whomever, that was not under the coverage of God's wisdom, they started floundering. Their decisions were bad, their walk started faltering--then they were really in a disaster.

What is the biblical definition of faith?--Believing and trusting in God: knowing that God is real, even though we can't see Him.

"For we live by believing and not by seeing." 2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1 NLT

So, today, if you are one of those that has to be in control of every aspect of your day, if you feel lost or fearful at just the thought of giving your day, your life over to Someone you can't even see--give it up.

Is knowing, is doing what you have been doing, given you any joy? Are you any less stressed out? Do you just want a day of peace? Give it Jesus. It sounds too simple I know, but it is what you need to do. The opening verse is only two lines--reread them and then ponder upon them. God will reveal Himself and His plan for your day, your life--in His timing. But you have to humbly ask, (pray), humbly receive (listen) and humbly obey (then praise Him with thanksgiving.)

Heavenly Father, thank You for being so patient with me and people like me who feel we must have all the answers before we can act or trust. In the name of Jesus, help me to simply trust in You, knowing that You will give me what is best for me and my life. Amen

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Change Up or Go With the Flow

"When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. And the Philistines left their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.

And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer."
2 Samuel 5:17-25 ESV

How do you feel about change? Are you open and willing to change, or do you fear and resist change?

David is known as a man after God's own heart. He and the Lord were very close. David's writing speaks not only of a reverence for God, but friendship with God.

There are so many things that we can learn from this passage, but today I want to just look at a few.

Even though David knew the Lord he did not presume. He asked for God's direction. He asked in faith. And then he obeyed. He acted on what God told him, and was successful.

Next, he was open to change. God gave David victory both times. However, the strategies were different each time. David experienced victory in life at the hand of the Lord of breakthroughs.

What about you? What area of your life are you seeking breakthrough? Ask, believe, and act, with obedience to God. Oh yes, and be open to change!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A War Story

"to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."Luke 1:79 NIV

I have a funny story to tell. A couple of nights ago, we had to pick up our older son at the local Civil War Reenactment. It was just at dusk so it was kind of hard to see. We were driving slowly down this old dirt path with our head lights on and the lights of the muskets and cannons going off were in front of us. Well, we are driving--trying to locate our son in the darkening landscape--and mind you, people are looking at us, yet no one is stopping us. We get about 3/4 the way through this huge field when we come upon this covered wagon. The driver of the covered wagon jumps down and comes to my window and tells me to cut the lights and get off the field--there's a battle going on! So, I cut the lights and am trying to get off the field by driving in the dark without lights, on a path I wasn't at all familiar with--when this cannon ball exploded in the path in front of us! Goodness! That came out of nowhere! Long story short, we finally made it to the other side--only to be confronted by good meaning people asking us, "Didn't you know that you were driving through a Civil War night battle? And didn't you know that there was some live ammo being used? Do you know that you are lucky that you didn't get hurt?"

And I had to tell them--and truthfully so-that I was clueless. Yes, I knew I was entering the Civil War settlement, but no, I didn't know that I wasn't suppose to driving through it--I didn't even know there was an actual battle going on--I truly thought it was just for demonstration--to give people a good time. They should of had a sign up, or people manning the road or a rope, something! And I didn't know that live ammo was being used--I thought is was something like fireworks. And yes, I am glad that we weren't hurt.

Well, after recovering from being be fumbled--I had to laugh. I thought, God is so funny! Here I was, just driving along, war is all about us, and I am clueless to the seriousness of the environment around me. I had no fear. Until I was told I should and then I was finding myself being a little like Peter when he was walking on the water. I was thinking of all the could have happened but through the grace of Jesus, we were fine.

Is this something that you have ever experienced? Are you living it now? Our lives are a battlefield--constantly. We have all sources of ammo flying--some as big as cannon balls and some as small of musket shells. But it affects us all the same. Those are the times that we need to have our arsenal full of God's words to kill the enemy. To save the land--your life.

You need to be totally aware of where your path is going or where you are on it. There is no room for complacity--for being caught off guard. For that is when you will be attached the greatest. Why? Because that is when you are the weakest--no matter how long you have been a Christian. Being grounded in the Word, having accountability partners and being in communion with your Heavenly Father is the best way to have this happened.

Start today!

Monday, April 16, 2012


"Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work." Colossians 3:22-24 MSG

The other day, a young man came and asked for prayer. He wanted prayer for his attitude with his dad. He is the only son in his family so when his dad is gone a lot, he ends up doing the "man stuff" around the house. But then, when his dad does come home, he feels like his dad doesn't appreciate all that he has done because instead of complimenting him on what is done, the dad says things such as: "You need to do this," or "Have you done that?" So this son is becoming resentful and disheartened.

Do you relate to this young man? Do you have someone in your life that you strive to please and at times, it seems that this person will never be pleased? That no matter what you would do, it is never good enough? Do you find yourself feeling resentful?

The reason that I love these verses is that it releases you from the burden of people pleasing. I have a tendency to fall into that trap and believe me, it is a trap. Sure we want to to our best for those we love. Yes, as Christians, we should do our best for those that we work for. But what we must be careful of is not to get so wrapped up in the need to please that person, that it steals the joy of us doing for that person. Does that make sense? Simply put--people are people right? No matter how much we love them or don't love them. No matter if they are a stranger to us or our best friend--they are people And people will not always respond to what we do, the way we need or want or think them should.

Does that make them "bad" people? No. It just needs to be recognize that this is a fact. Have you ever thought that maybe you also have hurt or discouraged someone because of the way you have reacted to them? Does this make you a "bad" person? Of course not. It just means that this is one of those facts of life that we must know is just going to be and you have to rise above.

That is why we need to go the next level and not do it for necessarily for the person that is standing in front of you, but offer it up to God. You see, God is the same yesterday, today or tomorrow. He is not swayed by emotions, circumstances or a "bad day". He will treat you with the wisdom of someone that is secure and above His circumstances.

Because in the end, isn't that Who we need to please anyway?

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27 NIV

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Rocky Situation

"Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God." 1 Peter 2:4-5 CEV

I don't know if any of you are gardeners or just like to build things with your hands. But I do. I've built these rock walls around my flower beds. Well, you know, you can't just use any old rock. No, you get this big pile of rocks and then you shift through them, picking out just the right rock for that particular spot. This is how the wall stays strong and solid and beautiful. I have to admit, there have been times that--in my searching for the "perfect" rock--I have overlooked or rejected the rock that I really needed to have in that spot it was created for. And then I have to go and try to find it again.

So, when I read this verse, I think of those times. I think of when I thought that I had found the perfect rock for that spot in the wall and in my mind's eye, my wall was going to be so beautiful. But in reality, when I stepped back to check the affect and progress of my work, the rock that I thought was perfect, was the wrong rock for where I had placed it. And of course, it is never the rock on top, the easy one to get to. No, it usually is a foundation rock that I have to tear down a section, take out the wrong rock, find the rock that I had first rejected and use it. And guess what? Yup! Once I rebuilt that section of the wall and stepped back, the wall was now beautiful and perfect.

How about you? Do you realize that you have a very valuable role in this thing call life. Our God has created each and every one of us for a purpose and He needs all of us to make His life plan come true.

Your God is the Master rock wall builder. He lovingly has created each one of us as individuals. Individual in our personalities and our gifts. Yes, He created us to be individuals yet at the same time, needing each other to build a strong wall. Can you imagine how strong a wall would be with only one rock? Can one rock keep the dirt and water in and the weeds out? Can one rock keep the plants protected by keeping the dogs out? No.God needs us and we need our God. Always. Every second of every day.

If you have ever rejected Him--turn back. Was it because you didn't understand something that He did, or because you got mad at Him or because He didn't respond to a situation like you thought He should? Release it! Seriously--just turn around and ask for forgiveness. Be humble and truthful enough to admit that you have rejected the wrong rock--the wrong person. You NEED Him in your life. You may think that your rock wall is beautiful and perfect, but your spirit knows differently.

It takes only a moment to fix a lifetime!

I patiently waited, LORD,
for you to hear my prayer.
You listened and pulled me
from a lonely pit
full of mud and mire.
You let me stand on a rock
with my feet firm,
and you gave me a new song,
a song of praise to you.
Many will see this,
and they will honor
and trust
you, the LORD God.
Psalm 40:1-3 CEV

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Less Grumbling, More Joy!

"Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!" Hebrews 12:28-29 MSG

God has blessed me with two wonderful sons. Peter is 14 and Joey is 11. We are not overly rich as far as finances go--but God makes sure that our needs are covered. So, there are times that the boys will ask for something that is really out of our budget. And even though I would love to be able to get it for them, I have to tell them that we just cannot afford it at this time. And then at times, that causes them to grumble. "So and so, they are able to get it." "It would be so cool to have it."

While these grumblings don't happen all the time, when they do, I feel led to remind them that while we may not have the funds to be able to buy material things, we have the things that truly matter--a solid, God-fearing family, parents who love each other & them, a warm, secure home, faithful and grounded friends and a good home church. These things are not to be taken for granted. These things some kids would give up all their toys and material things for.

So, when I read this passage, I can relate with my Heavenly Father. I know how when my children grumble to me or about me, how I feel. How much more intense is it when I do the same with my Heavenly Father? This is the Father that created Heaven & earth for me. This is the Father that sacrificed His only and beloved Son for me--just so I would have a Bridge that covered my sin in order that I would be able to be with Him forever.

Please, let's remember that we need to have a grateful heart. We need to keep our focus on Him and His desires for us. We need to keep Him as the one and only Desire of our heart. That is the only way that we will ever have complete peace in our life.

Your Heavenly Father has blessed you with so much and He loves you more that you can and will ever be able to comprehend. Let go of the grumblings! Seriously, life is too short! Does it make you feel better when you grumble? Does it produce anything that is positive? No. It only leads to more dissatisfaction. More unhappiness with your life and your situation. Live daily, moment by moment with a grateful heart and spirit.

How do you keep yourself from those grumbling moments that we all experience from time to time? How do you keep a grateful heart? By having daily talks with your Father. By spending time in His word. By Spending time in His presence--daily.

Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Him and fills you with joy--His joy!

"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!" Philippians 4:4 MSG

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Walk

"Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, 'Lord, who is it that will hand you over?') When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus,'Lord, what about him?'

Jesus answered, 'Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!'”
John 21:20-22 ERV

This conversation was between the apostle Peter and Jesus. It was in fact the last conversation that he and Jesus had in the book of John.

What I found interesting was that--like today--there was that comparing one thing against another issue going on. That even though Peter was one of Jesus' closest companions, he was still comparing his walk with his friend, John's. Was it jealousy? Was it insecurity? A little of both? After all, he had just denied Jesus three times to the those in the high priest's courtyard. But Jesus had also just entrusted Peter with "His lambs".

How did Jesus handle this? Jesus rebuked him by basically saying, you don't need to worry about John's walk with Me. You need to only worry about your own. You take care of your walk, your relationship with Me. John's and Mine relationship is between us.

How many times do we do that? How many times do we compare our walk with those we observe around us? We see someone that looks like they have it all together with their Master and then we look at ourselves and think, "Wow, I wish that my walk was like that person's". Or it could go the opposite. You observe someone that looks as though they have messed up everything and you think, "I'm so glad that I'm not in that person's shoes. They are really messed up." And in reality, they are not.

I think that there is a double-edged sword to this "keeping up with the Jones" in the spiritual walk category. On one hand, it can inspire you to go the distance. To check and make sure that you are where you should be. It could be used to challenge you. But the down side is that we tend to think that if our walk doesn't seem as secure as the other person's, that ours didn't take. That we have been abandoned by our Heavenly Father. That there is something wrong with us and we haven't made the grade.

Nothing could be farthest from the truth! Our Heavenly Father has a very special walk that is just between you and Him. It is like no other. So, no, you can't and shouldn't compare your walk with anyone else's. For yours is one of a kind. The treasure of a lifetime. You are unique and so is your walk.

So, yes, be constantly making sure that you are in His will. Be looking for ways to be closer to Him and bringing your walk closer. But also, be able to recognize and embrace your uniqueness and the uniqueness of your walk with the Lord.

How do we do that? Get into the Word and prayer. Quiet times with Him in prayer and word daily are more valuable as time go on. As the world gets crazier, those quiet times get more and more precious. My advice--don't slack on them.

Our God is an AWESOME God!

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day."

Psalm 139:13-14 MSG

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Joy Gift

"You are sad now. I will see you again and then your hearts will be full of joy. No one can take your joy from you." John 16:22 NLV

Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever been there? You wake up, your day is going just fine, you're humming along, things feel good and then all of a sudden, something or someone does something and BAM--the joy that you had been enjoying all morning long is suddenly not so joyful--in fact, depending on what happened or what state of mind you are in--the whole joy feeling is just plain gone.

Well, sometimes I do let that happen. And I get so upset with myself because I don't want to let someone or something have that much control over me. I know where my joy comes from and I shouldn't let anything or anyone take it away from me and neither should you. That joy gift--that is from our Father and only He should be the one that has the power to take it away if He wants to do that--which of course--He wouldn't. He's not that kind of Father.

So, I just wanted to encourage those of us that are going through this, don't give up! Don't get down on yourself for allowing this to happen. I do. But then I have a special godly sister that reminds me that it took me a long time to learn how to let others or life circumstances steal that joy, it'll take a little time to unlearn that trait and replace it with God's strength, grace and wisdom.

Ah, the joy gift is so valuable. Let's protect and treasure it with prayer and His words from His Book.

"'I have told you these things so you may have peace in Me. In the world you will have much trouble. But take hope! I have power over the world!'”
John 16:33 NLV

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knock It Off!

"5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT

What's keeping you from truly knowing your God? Is it pride? Is it distrust? Is it past hurts or hangups? Fear? Seriously, have you ever just sat and thought about it? What is keeping you from the only one true good thing that you can always--and I mean always--depend on?

If you would only allow yourself a moment to truly see your God the way He wants you to see Him--it would be worth it's weight in gold. "Just wait a minute!" you may be saying. "Only a moment? It surely would take more than a moment and I don't have the time or energy to spare!"

I have to ask you--do you NOT have a moment to spare? Are you happy with the life you are experiencing now, this very minute? When you wake up in the morning, are you dreading your day? Do you have any joy or happiness? Do you have what I call the "Eeyore" approach--"Oh well, it's going to be a bad day anyway." "Oh, well, if something is to go wrong today, it will be with me."--to life?

Excuse my bluntness, but knock it off! Your God is just a moment away and He wants to bless you so badly. He is just waiting for you to ask Him. You need to capture those negative thoughts, thoughts that say, "God doesn't really care. If He did, He would have taken care of this already." "I'm a lost cause." "It'll hurt too much." "I will have to give up too many of the things I love." "My life is too full now, I just don't have the time." These are just excuses. These are the lies of the wicked one who wants to keep you in bondage with him. He doesn't want you to be set free. He doesn't want you to have a live, warm, growing relationship with your Heavenly Father. No! He wants you to shrivel up and become dead--break it! In the power of God's holy and blessed Name--break the chains so that you can be set free to be the beautiful creation that God has already designed you to be.

"11 And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail."
Isaiah 58:11 ESV

Our God is not dead--He is ALIVE! He wants you to be alive IN & with Him. Are you ready for the journey of a lifetime? Just turn around and cry out to Him--He will be there in an INSTANT! And then just praise Him. You're going to have a blessed day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Battle Lines

5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5 NIV

Consecrate. That's not a word you hear much today. But back in the days of Joshua, consecrate was used frequently, usually with reference to faith.

What does it mean? Well, what it means is to set aside. To make clean--holy. To purify.

So when Joshua told the people that, what did they do? They went home, took off their clothes and washed them and then bathed themselves. For you see, in those days, they didn't wash their clothes or themselves everyday. Water was hard to come by--a precious commodity. And what water they had was used for drinking. They may go weeks without washing. So, to go home and do that was a form of honoring. It was also a form of sacrifice. Because in order to do the washing, they would have had to give up their drinking water. And then they would abstain from everything that would take their focus--their thoughts--off of their God.

How this verse spoke to me today was this--I--we--need to consecrate ourselves every day to be ready for our Lord. Every day we should spiritually clean ourselves, set ourselves apart for the glory of God--to be ready for His return. We allow so much to contaminate our bodies, spirit, heart and mind. We need to set ourselves apart from this world. People should be able to look at us and even if they don't know us, know that we are different. Know that there is something about us that is not of this world. That it makes them want to come up to us and say, "Hey, whatever it is that you have, I want it. Please share it with me."

Joshua was instructing his people the above verse right before they were going to go into battle. We need to prepare ourselves to go into our battle. Every day. Every day we are battling for our consecration. For our purity. For our holiness. The world--Satan--loves to take it from us. But we can't let him. Time is too short. We don't know when Jesus is coming back, but we need to be ready. We need to be ready so when that day, that hour, comes, we can say, "Welcome Lord! Hallelujah! I've been waiting for this day forever!" Instead of saying, "Please Lord, not today. I've been dreading this day. I'm totally not ready."

Every day is an amazing day. Every day is a gift from the Lord. Use it and treat it as such. If someone gave you a gift, would you leave it out in a place that it would get dirty or broken, or forgotten? No, if you truly treasured it, you would place it somewhere where it would be protected, a place of honor. Doesn't God deserve the same?

Will there be some sacrifice in doing this? Yes, there will be. But my prayer for you today is that you assume the heart and spirit of the people of Joshua. That you will not let fear to take away your birthright. That no matter what, you will keep yourself holy and pure. That the fear of the Lord, is greater than the fear of this world.Our God is a mighty General! A fortress that no evil can EVER topple.

"13 Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'” Exodus 14:13-14 NIV

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rope Tugging

"Nothing, you see, is impossible with God." Luke 1:37 MSG

Do you recognize this verse? I discovered it again this morning in my devotional time. The angel was sharing with Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus and of course she had voiced her reasons why that wasn't possible and then the angel told her that her cousin Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy even in her old age because, "Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."

I don't know about you, but I have read and heard that story so many times. And it is a beautiful story of stepping out and up in faith. But what hit me this morning though was the fact that with my God, nothing, NOTHING is impossible. Do you notice that the angel didn't say, "Some things, you see, are impossible with God," or "Hardly anything, you see, is impossible with God."? No, he stated that "NOTHING".

Wow! What a powerful God you, I serve. What a powerful God that loves you, me. What a powerful God that wants to have a relationship with you, me. What a powerful God that receives you, me so unconditionally.

So please have hope. Know that no matter what the circumstances are that you are in, your God is greater. No matter what lie Satan is telling you, your God is greater. No matter how long you've been under attack, your God is greater.

All you have to do is remember to cling to Him. Cling to His word. If you can visualize this, His word is like a really thick velvet rope, kinda like they use to have in the castles, that when the king or queen needed a servant, they would tug on this huge rope and the bell would ring somewhere and all of a sudden, there was the servant.

Well, when you need to have the Lord come to you--for praises or groanings--all you have to do is tug on that rope that connects you to Him, and He will come. He will come in person, or in Spirit, or with His holy Word, in visions, in dreams--oh, He has many forms. Just know He will come. Nothing is impossible. He is the God of the POSSIBLE. And then, remember, to PRAISE Him.

What's keeping you from tugging on the rope?

"1 Don't think that the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help!" Isaiah 59:1 GN