Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Close your eyes and see the power of God...

Good morning all-

I woke up at 4:30 with tons on my mind but my very first thought was to pray.  What am I praying about?  My son and his future wife, my other son and my husband.  I'm praying for the parents that lost their marine son in Katmandu while trying to help starving and homeless people.  I'm praying that the world will see our God in all His glory.  Those are just some of my prayers.  With all of that, there is just one common denominator, Jesus Christ.

Why did God let His son die in such a violent way?  Why did His disciples, men that walked with Him, die for Him?  Why when we are scared, hurt or afraid, do we go to Him and why do we need Him?  I'm sure you have asked yourself these questions a million times and my answer, "We need Him!"  We need Him in every way.  He was the only messenger that ever delivered the power of God and He took the cross for it.

So as I woke this morning, I closed my eyes and imagined the power of our Lord and Savior.  People don't believe and horrible things are happening around the world and we just look at it and for a second feel bad, sad and hopeless.  And then, of course, our day begins and all of that thoughtfulness is washed with a blink of our eye.  There are other things to worry about, like feeding your family, taking care of your husband, children or friends.  We live in a world where life flies by and we forget to do the one thing we were called to do, worship our mighty God.

Lately, life has been full of  momentous changes.  My oldest son is getting married in just two weeks and I feel lost already.  He was my calm in every storm, my companion and over the last year we have become friends.  It's wonderful to see them grow up but in the same moment, so very painful.  You realize that you can't keep them from falling, pick them up when they are down or just sit with them in the quiet.  Your talks will be with someone else in the room and your moments of laughing will only be heard occassionally, when he comes to visit.  Life changes and the road and path is rocky for every one of us.  We must have something that reminds us that with every curve there is a blessing on the other side.

So this morning, I closed my eyes and was reminded of God's true power.  It's in every word He spoke and in every person He touched.  Mostly, it's in the cross where He sacrificed Himself for us.  His cousin knew he was the messenger before the Messiah.  He was preparing the way to the One that mattered the most.  He knew that His mission was to spread the Word and look for Him and then one day, when Jesus was ready, He came to be baptized and no longer was John His messenger because the Messiah had come to teach the world.

Precious is every morning when God comes first.  Precious are the souls that He brings near.  Precious is our time in prayer where we can see His power.  Precious is knowing and loving Him.  Sometimes I think I may be a messenger.  I'm just an average person with a love for God that I have carried since I was little.  I can remember being five and asking Him to help me.  I can remember being scared in the dark and asking Him to help me and I am presently asking Him to give my son courage to be a good husband and someday father.  I am trusting that the man I have raised will do his duty and that He will be God's hands in this unruly world.  I also am praying that my youngest son would truly find Him and know Him the way I do.  And if that's not enough, I'm praying for you too.  I believe the words that He spoke to His children so many years ago and when I close my eyes I see His power and majesty.  The world may believe that it has all the power but there is only one with the power of the cross and that's Jesus.

May the God of my heart come down and rain on His children.  May the Holy Spirit be cast far and wide like the great oceans.  May the lost come to the cross with abandonment and may we all make way for our Lord and Savior.

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭3-5‬ NIV)

Be well today and know that God is near.  Pray for someone that needs to be encouraged, uplifted or just needs our Savior.

I leave you with Isaiah 40:3-

Sunday, May 10, 2015

To Mother's around the world....

Good morning all-

I'll keep this message brief today.  I just wanted to depart something my mother said over and over that has been continued on even so many years after her death.  She always left with, "I love you more!"  Not everyone in this world gets to hear those words, which really is a shame.  There are mothers that aren't great, they love themselves more than the children they created and even some to death.  Today is not a day to judge but a day to encourage you to reach out to the motherless.  There are children all over the world that need to know they are loved.  A hug, a gift, a smile can mean so much to someone that doesn't have a mother or does, but they weren't very good.

Today, we celebrate Mother's Day and with that we must thank God for every good mother on this earth.  You know the one.  The woman that would throw her baby in a trash can trying to save them, or maybe lay on them during a tornado.  It's the woman that would give her own life for her child.  And then, there's the woman that teaches her children to love the Lord our God with all their hearts.  These are the women we celebrate and that we pray for daily.  We pray that women would be encouraged to be the mother God intended.  He left us with Mary who loved unto death and showed how love could fill all voids.

Around the world, children are dying, women are hurting and love is lost through war, poverty and nature.  We must stand together on Mother's Day and ask our Lord to heal the hurt and honor those that are honoring Him.  May we find favor in our Savior's arms.  I love you ladies and my prayer today is that God will help us build an army that loves the generations so that we leave a legacy of love.  Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Facing the giants in my life...

Good morning all-

Oh how beautiful God has made today.  After three days of no sleep, I slept like the dead.  You know what I'm talking about, peaceful sleep provided only by my Savior.  I am blessed!  Today, I want to talk about facing our giants.  I just listened to James McDonald on his message of God's "eternality."  We don't know everything about God.  If you get a chance it's on: youtube/jorZVfisw-w and it was beautiful.  He talked about Moses, Miriam, and Aaron and the promise land.  Mighty are His workers but we still sin, have regrets and yes, make peace with our God.

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I have faced some giants in the last week.  I spoke truth and it came back to bite me.  I knew it when I did it because the person I did it to is powerful and has the ability to crush me, which he did.  So much so, that I lost confidence in who I am and what my purpose is.  Through prayer and a God that loves me, I found myself again at 7:15 am yesterday.  I found courage, a fighting spirit and a direction only Christ could give.  He painted the picture of Paul in my mind and his journey.  Paul had regrets because of the moments he spent crucifying the people group he would eventually help to save.  He killed people, that he would later lead to Christ and he died for Christ because of the power he experienced here on earth.

That picture was so clear that now I know the true path I am to take.  I am God's woman.  I have been chosen for this time, not to be liked, adored and lifted up.  I have been chosen to lead women all over the world to know Him, to follow Him and to lead their families to His cross.  That is a huge giant!  Ask me how I'm going to do it, I have no idea.  Ask me if I think I'm talented enough to do it, probably not.  Ask me if I'm brave enough, strong enough, un-selfish enough, faithful enough and my answer:  doubtful but I'm willing to give it all I have.

He has been preparing me for my time.  See I care so much about what you think.  I care about what  my neighbor thinks, my co-workers, my family but in God's mission field there is only one thing I can care about and that's the cross.  For years, I have walked with the Lord and I have made grave mistakes.  I said all the things young women are thinking today including that, "The Bible was written in a different time, therefore, some of the things it says don't apply today."  Wrong.  Every word of the Bible is meant for our journey today.  Aren't are men being killed for crazy leaders?  Doesn't ISIS believe that Christians should be desecrated?  Don't people believe that our beliefs are old school and don't exist in this world?  And finally, aren't children turning on their parents with disrespect and hate.  That's what the world believes but we must believe that the words that were written thousands of years ago stand today.  Can anyone dispute the fact that if we lived like the Ten Commandments, we wouldn't be doing all the wrong things? Can anyone dispute if we love our neighbor greater than ourselves, the world wouldn't be a better place?  Can anyone dispute if we keep ourselves pure for our spouses our lives wouldn't be filled with less pain, regret and shame? Can anyone dispute that forgiveness heals?  I can't.

I have made mistakes believe me.  I have walked in the path of sin, walked away from Christ and chosen to live my way.  I have kept my mouth shut when I should have spoken truth and I have walked away from my giants to save myself.  No longer.  I must walk in the face of adversity with a sure foot and a path etched in my heart.  I must believe that Jesus can do anything He wants to do.  He can even use a weak person who loves to be loved and use her to bring change into thousands of women's lives.  I don't know how but I know He will and I'm holding on to that.  There isn't one single thing in my life that matters more than seeing His chosen brought to the cross.  God is calling women all over the world to be faithful and to spread the gospel.   We are in a confused generation where young women believe the wrong things.  They are dominant, forthright and really confused.  We live in a generation that has forgotten the power of Jesus Christ.  Some may say, what is she talking about?  Others may say, it's easy to sit behind a computer and write.  I say to them, it takes more to write than any other thing I could do because I'm exposing my thoughts, failures and faith moments.  If you read this blog, you have a very good picture of who I am as a person and as a woman.  I have failed, I have succeeded, and I have walked away from God.  I know what it is to rest in His arms after being unfaithful.  God is my Father and He is yours.  Let's face our giants and walk toward the path He has set for each one of His!

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.” Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear. Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭8-47‬ NIV)

I am not going to bold this today because it is very long but read the words of a young boy and see how his faith brought down a giant.  Don't you think Christ can do the same for all of us.  Be well and know He is God!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Troubled waters...

Good morning all-

Have you ever wondered how Paul forgave himself and how he forged ahead to bring people to Jesus?  Recently, I made a very bad judgement call and it has bitten me harder than I can say.  I was right in protecting the weak and trying to get someone to see the truth but that doesn't matter.  Now, I'm facing my consequences with regret and worry.  I haven't been able to sleep for several nights, even though I've tried to give it to God.  Scripture has flooded my mind.  God is so mighty even when we are being so very stupid.  I am in awe that He could even get through my obsessive, worried thoughts and yet, He has.  I asked Him to go before me and I pray that He will because I have just set into motion something I can't go back on.  Luckily, I really thought about it this time.

Paul believed he was right when he was killing the Christians until the day He was struck blind by Jesus.  I doubt one person could have told him he was wrong.  He even held the robes of those that killed Stephen.  He was a man on a mission and right, meant death for religious reasons.  But on that road, he was blinded and then a light revealed to him the power of Jesus and all at once, what was right was wrong.  His destiny was set, he would become a great man for God but I can't even imagine the shame he felt.

I live by conviction, even in troubled waters.  When I believe I'm right, I don't back down but today; I'm choosing to back down because I know that God will go before me, all I need is time.  I think that's how Paul got through his troubled waters.  I'm sure he felt remorse but his mission was so much greater, so he forged ahead and proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ.

My journey is just beginning.  I believe I've been given a true path and I need to follow it.  I have been released to follow it and I'm going to do just that.  The waters are troubled for sure and yet, my God is stronger than the sun, wind and rain combined. I will trust in Him and He will help lighten my burden.  I can't go back and either could Paul but we can forgive ourselves and move forward.  I worship a God that forgives.  I worship a God that takes bad things and makes them gold and I worship a God that loves His people, even when they have muddied the waters.  Oh, how I hate troubled waters.  Then again, I love them because if change is to occur, only God can change it.  I'm hurt, I'm worried, I'm sad, I'm mad, I'm broken, I'm loved, I'm His!  Paul went on to build the church.  Through his troubled waters, he left a legacy.  He believed that Jesus was who He said He was and gave His life for that very cause.  His shame humbled Him to the very cross he denied.  And when all was said and done, we all reap the benefits of the day he was blinded and the Son was revealed.

I, for one, will live with my troubled waters if Jesus reveals Himself to me. Be well my sisters and know that through the rain always comes the rainbow.

who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭4‬ NIV)

Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. (‭Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭17‬ NIV)