Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rest in the Lord for He is good...

Good morning my sisters-

I woke up early here in the US with nothing in particular on my mind.  I have been fighting one infection or the other for the last couple of weeks so once I'm up, I'm up.  However, I have found it quite refreshing because I begin with thanking Jesus for all He's done and will do.  It's a great way to start your day along with that first sip of coffee, which for me is essential even at 4:45 am CST.

You probably are wondering where I'm going with all my babble. Lately, I have come through a great battle and through that battle I realized I needed to wake up and go to sleep every night thanking God for His goodness, seeking Him and asking Him to guide my every step and every word.  I have carried that on in the last three weeks and believe I will carry it for the rest of my  life.  I want to anyway.  I want to always remember mornings when I didn't think I could go through one more battle, one more harsh word or one more bad attitude.  And yet, I got through them all with more love in my heart, prayer for my enemies and a realization that we all fall short so forgiveness for others was as important as our need to be forgiven.  The world is not easy but God is looking for a few good men and women to believe He's enough, He's bigger than our circumstances and that He deserves our focus.  So here I am praising Him, worshipping Him, meditating on His word and being called, what a great morning!

Through my faith journey I have learned to be quiet, stay in His presence, ask for His precious peace and draw closer to my Savior.  What I realized last night at Bible study is I don't know how to rest in Him.  I know how to sleep so don't get me wrong there. The minute my head hits the pillow, I fall asleep, even during my trial I could fall asleep easily.  I'm talking about rest.  This is the kind of rest that means relax, unwind, clear your mind, let peace envelope every fiber of your body and let go!  Okay, now that's the hard one.  How do you let go?  How do you let go to a career, success, money, insurance and well everything?  I haven't mastered it yet or I wouldn't be writing about it, obviously.  However, I am learning that for me, it's a day to day journey, a moment by moment capturing my thoughts, feelings and stories.  You know what I'm talking about.  It's the reel that you play that says, "You've got this, your in control, drive that bus."  Girls at this point you have to be resonating with me.  It's really an epidemic problem today.  People, in particular women, are hanging on their accomplishments and like Wonder Woman fighting all the bad guys and winning.  Well I wish life were like that but eventually you will wear out, grow weary and lose.

We grow weary because "We've got this!"  I can't remember reading in Scripture where anyone "got this" on their own.  As a matter of fact, no one, not even Jesus.  For Jesus went to the mountain to be alone, He sought comfort and direction from His father in His darkest hour and His father sent an angel to take care of Him.  He was the Son of God and even He couldn't do it alone. Even though I've read those passages hundreds of times along with Isaiah 40, I still struggle with growing weary because I don't rest.  I am always trying to find the angle and often, there is no angle, there's only me praying for God to direct my path and me moving.  That's where I'm at this morning.  I'm at the juncture of either resting or growing weary.  I'm either going to enjoy the time He has given me to be creative, write, help at church, minister to others and be here for my husband and boys or I'm not.  It's that simple.  Many of us waste precious  moments because we want to get it.  What are we exactly getting anyway?  If God doesn't want it in our life, He will move it.  If we seek Him and find Him and then say, "God I have this!"  What do you think He's going to do?  I know what I would do, I would say go ahead and try it and when you hit the wall your about to crash into, come see me.  And for the most part, that's what He does, He lets us squiggle, wallow and crash and then, He picks us up, dusts us off and says, "Peace be with You, My peace I give to you."  And if that's not enough, He says, "Rest in me all those that are weary and heavy laden." 

Are you weary, overly tired, wondering how you can make it another hour, get up and call on Jesus.  I know it's not easy to ask for help.  I know that you feel down and out and that a lighter load is what you want.  I get it and I understand but at the same time what if He's just asking you to turn from the old into the new and with that 30 degree turn, you could see the promise of your future, the purpose you were put here for and the love of your Savior.  What if all of your weariness was for you to say, "Jesus I know you have this, take me out of the equation and insert You."  Take a moment to meditate on that.  I know I am and that's why I'm praying that I will rest in my Savior.  He has gone before me and He is behind me.  He has fought armies bigger than any trial we will have gone through, faced death to give eternal life and watched His people deny Him, walk away from Him and persecute Him.  He still is and He loves us anyway. God is faithful, He is good and He wants us to rest in Him, not for Him but for us. 

Needless to say, it's not easy.  I get it believe me!  The call isn't to be perfect the first time we rest, it's to continue to pursue God so that someday we will rest in Him in all things.  No one knows the future and no one can predict when and how they will be stretched but if I know one thing, I know our God loves us and is waiting for us to give Him the wheel.  Just think, if we let Him have the wheel there might not be a reason to hit the wall after all.

Today I leave you with some Scriptures that God has given me in the last year.  They have helped minister to me and I was reminded of them again in my devotional this morning.  O, how he has to mold me daily.  So if you have a minute reflect on why you're not resting and what you need to pray to be in His presence, perfect peace and rest.  I know I will be all day.  Be well my sisters and thanks for reading.  I have found my way again and it feels amazing!

John 20:19-23 NIV

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV

28Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Psalm 116:7 (NIV) Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

O, dear Jesus, Your peace we pray for, your heart we seek, your mighty rest we rely on.  Your servants are like ants, scurrying from one thing to another and we need to stop, pray and receive.  You are the maker of heavens and earth and you rested, so help us find our rest in you.  Give us a heart to surrender the things that matter to us most and replace it with a spirit filled journey where what matters to us most is You.  We ask that we surrender to the desires of your heart and not our own.  You are an amazing God, full of heart, graceful in Your forgiveness and giving in Your mighty strength.  We lean on You today as we praise You for Your everlasting goodness.  I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen! PS.  Please protect those in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and all of the Middle East who worship You and call You Lord.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pray for our boys....

Good morning all-

It's time to get down and dirty this morning on a subject that has been on my mind a lot.  It really isn't just for boys, girls are struggling too but it's about leadership, drive to provide and a willingness to lay down their lives for someone.  It's about being the man God called them to be and it's about the deception that is wreaking havoc on this generation.

Many of you may say that what I'm describing is to severe for the drug everyone believes will be legal in the US within a few years.  I'm talking about Marijuana.  And you may be wondering why I even care.  I care because I have someone close that is using this drug and thinks there's absolutely nothing wrong with it but then again this same boy doesn't want to get a job, doesn't want to really go to school and would rather sit in a basement alone.

This is just one of the many temptations for our boys/men today.  They are being desensitized to pornography, hatred, religious war, devious behavior, criminal intent, rape, battering and abuse.  All around them lies consequences and they are willing to take those consequences for whatever drug of choice they choose.  The drug could be as simple as a video game, a lack of direction, or the sense of numbness that this generation is fighting against.  Whatever the poison, it is poison in the waters and I think it's time we as women took a stand and stood in the gap.  Our Christian leaders and  men are already praying about this, so I think we need to join them in raising up our boys, teenagers and young men to God and asking Him alone to open their eyes, release them from the temptation and provide a Holy direction.

Life is about choices and we can't make them for them.  They are in control of their minds, hearts and souls.  However, we have the ability to stand in the gap, fight the darkness and ask God to do a miracle in their hearts.  Eventually, they will be at a crossroads and I want my prayers to be heard so that if God so chooses He chooses to save the men around me and around the world.

Fighting the darkness is worth it to see one boy come out of the grips of temptation.  And believing that Jesus is faithful is worth it always.  So let's ask the best role model in the world to guide our boys and men to Him.  Let's pray for them and ask God to open their eyes, hearts and minds to Him.  Let's believe that the power of this world can be overtaken by faith, perseverance and love.  I know that the dark is tempting but the light is freeing.  May the God of my heart heal the hearts of boys and men all over the world and may His light shine brightly as the women of the world pray for them!

1 Timothy 6:9 (NIV)
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Luke 22:46 (NIV)
“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Jesus Arrested

Matthew 6:13 (NIV)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

O, Lord my God you are faithful in all ways.  I and others are coming to You today to ask for a revival in the hearts of our boys and young men. As I pray, I am asking You to turn them away from sluggish behavior and damaging temptations.  Please cover them and give them courage to step away from the darkness and all the temptation in the world.  Give them eyes to see their lives through new glasses and help them become men of You.  In the midst of these unknown soldiers are great leaders for You.  I realize that they may have to find themselves out of the dark but please deliver them so that they can bring forth more boys and men into the fold.  Their souls are crying out but their minds are going toward the temptation of hate, drugs, pornography, laziness and unrest.  Please give them rest in Your wings, perseverance in their souls and a fire for You that burns stronger than any temptation.  I come to You believing that You will do a mighty work in this generation and that You will bring forth great leaders that will fight the good fight and spread the gospel all over the world.  And to the one that is close to me, I pray for a miracle on His life, a change in direction and a path full of hope, promise and You!  In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Are the Martyrs crying out?

Good morning all-

As I woke this morning, I began to praise the Lord for all that He has done.  My first thoughts after that were about my new business and ministry opportunities.  I'm asking Him questions like, "What are you going to do?"  I know that I am starting this new business but I don't know what it means.  I know that I am helping my husband with his business and so far God has truly blessed that endeavor.  But all my thoughts were on the path my life is could take until I looked at my phone this morning and saw that a Catholic priest was crucified on Easter and Catholic sisters were killed in Yemen.  Wow!  All my thoughts were on my provision until that one moment.

Like me you are probably thanking God for what He's doing in your life.  You probably are wondering your direction and purpose and your probably are just getting through today to see what tomorrow will bring but this Easter as we were gathering in churches, many for the first time in a year, a faithful servant of the Lord was being crucified and tortured.  This one act was to remind all of us that God is not powerful but God is so powerful.  In my readings last night, I was back in the New Testament reading about Judas and the money he gave back to the Pharisees.  Before that passage though, it spoke about Pilot giving Christ and washing his hands of what the people decided to do.  He could have stopped the crucifixion of Jesus.  Jesus could have stopped it by denying all charges and speaking.  Instead He remained silent.  Can you imagine His fear and trepidation knowing that He would be crucified?  Can you imagine Fr. Tom's trepidation on following in His Saviors footsteps?  The act of crucifixion is barbaric and if the world turns it's eyes away, as they did then, more of this will happen.  We live in a modern time and yet, people are using torture tactics that go back thousand of years.  We are in a religious war but no one sees the signs.  It's really not about religion at all, it's about evil over good and it's about Jesus over the world. 

In our every day lives it's easy to forget that people are dying for the cross.  When we become Christians we're told we will bear hard times but no one really knows what that looks like.  This is the third event this last week where Christians were targeted by people that hate them.  It's time we opened our eyes to a war that will not be fought by bombings and troops.  This war is purely spiritual and it's calling us to do something more than we can imagine, believe that Jesus will have victory just like He did so many years ago when the curtains were torn, the earth shook and the stone moved away from the tomb.  This war is purely spiritual and whether we like it or not really doesn't matter.  It's here and it's going to take every one of us repenting of our sins, crying out for mercy and asking the Lord of light to reveal himself to the men that have been deceived.  These militants against the cross have been there since the beginning.  They started in Egypt and later were the Amorites, the Philistines, the Romans, and so on through the centuries to extremists today.  And yet, for thousands of years lives have been lost for the cross and Jesus has been revealed as the Savior.  The God of Abraham had two sons, one that left and one that stayed, dividing the Christians from those that follow Islam.  We do worship one God in the Holy Trinity but many believe we blasphemy the Lord our God because we believe in the Son.

Many throughout time have been deceived and we are being called to pray for them, ask for forgiveness on their behalf and listen to the cry of the Martyrs.  They reside in Heaven with God our Father and they are crying out for redemption.  In Revelations, it talks about the Martyrs and their cries.  We must hear them too.  I know it's easy to stay in our own world and wish these events weren't occurring but they are.  Like John who saw the revelation, we must be saddened, repent and ask our Father to heal the broken, restore faith among His people and provide the Gospel to every corner of the world.  We must pray for our missionaries and ask God to protect them from evil.  They are the heroes because they gave their lives for their belief.  May we all be brave enough to do that if asked. 

Time is ticking and the enemy knows his time is close.  How close no one knows but we know one thing for sure, just like in Jesus' day the veil will be torn and all will see the glory of the Lord.  The enemy may look like their winning by killing men and women that believe in Jesus but one thing is sure, the truth will be revealed and one day every knee will bow.

Please pray for the men and women that are serving in other countries.  Please pray for the underground churches all over the world and if you live in a country where you have religious freedom, please don't waste it.  You are empowered with the ability to read your Bible, go to church, minister to others and speak the name of Jesus.  You are blessed no matter your circumstances because there are people all over the world that can't even mention His name.  We are blessed my sisters because we can and we should.  These men who are taking lives believe that they are right.  These are the same men that were born to women just like us.  They don't know they are doing anything wrong. We must pray that the deception would be revealed and that they would become powerful fighters for the cross as Paul did so many years ago.  Paul went from ordering torture to receiving it all in the name of Jesus. 

We must be faithful, we must ask Jesus to be received in the hearts of men and women and we must pray for those that are being persecuted for their faith.  We must believe that Jesus is the reason, not by simply confessing it but believing it and we must proclaim daily that we live for Him not ourselves.  That's hard to do I know but I'm going to start practicing it daily.  We are being called to love our brothers and sisters all over the world through prayer and petition.  I can't see my friends in Russia, Germany, Peru, England, Belgium or even in the US but I see you getting on this blog and I'm praying for you.  Whether you are Catholic or not does not matter, FR. Tom died for what we believe in, please pray that his death would be a blessing to all that serve our Lord and Savior.

Revelation 6:9-11 NIV

9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.  

1 Samuel 2:1 (NIV)
Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.

Do you delight in His deliverance?  Do you believe that He is present in the fallen world?  Do you seek Him for yourself and your enemies?  Are you turning your head instead of lifting your horn high and saying," I rejoice in You Lord?" We all fall short, that's the truth but how I desire to be faithful, to love Jesus with all my heart and to pray for those that don't know Him.  It's easy to hate.  It takes perseverance, repentance and a love for the Word to love your enemy and to pray for them.  Jesus knew that and was constantly reminding us how to pray.  Will you pray with me today for all our brothers and sisters that have gone before us?

Lord Jesus we know You alone are in control of our circumstances.  The world is being tormented by evil.  Men are being deceived and are choosing to hurt those that serve You well.  Lord, I come before you today asking you to protect those that are crying out to You.  You are the redeemer and even though the world is chaotic, You alone stand strong.  We come to You asking You to guide Your people to You through prayer, petition, the Word and repentance.  We know we are in a fallen world and that we are fallen people.  Lord hear our cries for those that have lost their lives for You and deliver Your people from harms way by protecting them from the evil one.  We know You exist and that even when You're silent, You are making history.  We call on You to deliver us, to grow our faith and to believe that we are here to serve You not ourselves.  Forgive us for making our lives more important than Your call and love us through our iniquities.  Just like in Your day, we struggle to remain faithful, to pray for our enemies and to love our neighbors more than ourselves.  Mostly, we forget to put You first in all things, to ask for Your peace that transcends all understanding and to stand in the gap for those that know not what they do.  In the end, You cried, "It is finished!"  One day we will hear that cry again and know that are faith was for something so much more than we could envision it to be.  We stand on that faith today and ask You to deliver Your people all over the world.  In Jesus name we pray, AMEN!!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Beaten, battered and risen!

Happy Easter!

Good morning all.  Before I left for church this morning I wanted to take a few minutes to recant an event that happened last night and that had me thoroughly thinking about Jesus.  As I was preparing to watch our niece and nephew, the Bible was playing on the television.  When I walked by, I saw Moses watching a slave be beaten and battered with a whip.  The flesh was tearing off the man's back.  It was something to behold.  However, I've never seen flesh open.  History shares with us that many of the weapons used to beat someone had glass shards to tear and rip the skin.  Jesus was beaten with such a weapon.  And then last night, my glass table broke and I actually saw how glass rips apart flesh.

When the table broke it fell onto my leg and within seconds my leg had been split apart.  It fell once not twenty or thirty times and my flesh was cut with such ease that it opened immediately and began to bleed.  At first, I felt nothing and then the sting was so intense.  As I looked at the gash in my leg all I could think about was Jesus and the sting he must have felt after being lashed hundreds of times. It made me feel so intensely appreciative of what He had done for my life.  Jesus suffered for my sins and that is what today represents.  His suffering and our reward of eternal life, a picture of complete selflessness.  He died for us without asking for anything in return.

I hope I never forget this beautiful representation of Christ's love for me.  My wound will heal but His never did.  Each mark was for me and I  need to appreciate all that he has done for me.  If you don't know Jesus ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  He will and once He does your life will be changed forever.  Many blessings my sisters.  Be well and know that Jesus died for you!

Friday, March 25, 2016

At the feet of Jesus?

Happy Good Friday!

As millions of Americans are off today, I wonder how many are thinking what this day means.  Even for Christians, Easter and Christmas have become just another day.  Except maybe, those that know of Christ and have decided to go to church this Sunday or mass tonight because Easter is an important Holy day.  Easter is so much more than that and it's time we all recognized it.

This morning I woke up to thoughts of my new business, which quickly turned to spending time with Christ and then watching Beth Moore on my Living Proof app.  I love catching the TBN television specials on my app.  This morning she talked about the Marys and the faithfulness of women at the cross.  I have noticed them many times and have been drawn to the passages where women almost seemed stronger then the men that followed Jesus.  I don't think that's the point of the authors of the gospels but they all definitely highlight the importance of these women and their acts of faithfulness to Jesus.  We must understand the importance of what the gospels are saying when it comes to women because it's the cornerstone of us understanding our role, our stature and our purpose for the kingdom of God.  Women were much more ignored in Jesus' time.  I would guess their roles were very similar to the Middle East women today.  So every reference of a woman in Scripture is to be noticed as a significant event.

I think that's why them being at the cross and the tomb are so very significant.  Scripture states that Mary and Mary Magdalene walked together to the tomb.  Now both of these women watched Jesus being hung on a cross.  Can you imagine the brutality of that, not to mention He was beaten so badly that His face was unrecognizable?  I can't even imagine.  When my brother fell off a mountain to his death, I had to speak to the coroner.  During his medical assessment of how my brother looked, I had a decision to make, let my parents see his marred face or have him cremated before he came to Kansas.  I knew my mother would not make it seeing him in that state, so I chose the latter course of action.  Why?  To protect a mother from seeing her son scarred.  And yet, at the feet of Jesus was His mother watching her son, bloody, beaten and hung on a cross for all to see.  What courage, what fortitude, what a glorious picture of womanhood.  If we could all be like her, right?

I wish I could say I was that courageous but I can't.  I have been blessed up to this point in my life but I have a vivid imagination and I can picture the scene at the cross as if I was sitting there, watching every moment.  I can see her tears running down her face and hear her whisper to the God of Abraham, please take Him.  You know that's what she was saying.  She was crying out in prayer that He would not have to sustain any more pain, hardship or suffering.  Isn't that what all mothers would do?  Of course it is.  We don't want to see our children suffer and yet, she was so brave that she sat, waited, watched, prayed and remained until the very last.  She did not run and hide.  She was there fighting with Him and giving Him a mother's strength.  That's the definition of courageous, don't you think?

So as I write this today, I'm feeling the presence of God.  I'm imagining the mothers all around the world that are sitting by their children's beds, writing to their sons in prison, praying for their lost children that have chosen drugs over life and knowing that women all over the world are praying for peace so that the destruction of men would not come upon their house.  We are mighty warriors.  And I believe with all my heart that men are to lead us but we are here to provide support and battle where they can not.  We are here to minister to them, guide them and pray against the spiritual forces that turn them to evil. 

If you don't think our sons are watching, they are.  Jesus saw His mother sitting there.  He knew that Mary Magdalene was by her side and He knew that they would be faithful to the end.  For it was written long before any of them were born.  And guess what?  They were faithful and when they went to the tomb they were the first to bear witness that He had risen!

Often women think they have no power.  In the world today there is trafficking, abuse, rape, and murder.  Women have been abused and tortured for religious beliefs and now as I sit here, women are being killed for believing in Jesus.  I think for me this Easter is more significant than in any other time in my life.  This Easter I will have come through a powerful trial that I thought would destroy me, only to find freedom in Jesus.  Man can not hurt what God has consecrated.  Are you aware of that?  If not, get into your Bibles and read.  We are special to God.  We are His chosen generation and we have the keys to the supernatural.  Through our study, prayer and petition, God hears us and as He calls us we must follow.  This year, I have held out all that I possess to know what it feels like to truly be at the feet of Jesus.  So as I sit and write today, I am thinking about all that He gave up for me.  I'm thinking about how badly he was beaten.  And I know that He alone has bore all ours sins so we can have eternal life.  What a picture of faithfulness and who was sitting there watching this amazing sacrifice?  Women, that's who.  Women were unwilling to leave their Savior.  Think about that as you enter into Easter.  Very powerful stuff!

Today I just really want to thank God for being with me this last 15 months and for loving me.  I want to thank Him for the countless prayers I've sent up and for making me His woman.  I mostly want to thank Him for giving me the peace that has transcended all understanding and for believing in me, when I couldn't.  And finally, I want to ask our precious Lord to bring women all over the world to the cross this Easter.  I am praying for a Holy awakening in women so that we can send prayers up for our men.  They need us to intercede, to fuel the heavens with our prayers for them and to once again restore what's been lost.  Women are the help mates and if we are storming the heavens with our prayers, can you imagine the power in that and the glory we would be sending up.  So I challenge you today to come to the cross, to sit at the feet of Jesus and to love Him for everything He was and everything He is.  May God come upon you this season and deliver you as He has done for me.  O, Lord bring about a revival so intense that the heavens cry out HOLY, HOLY IS THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN!!!  I pray this with my whole heart.  In Jesus name we pray, AMEN

Luke 23: 47-49 NIV

47Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When the battle is over, do you still believe?

Good morning my sisters-

I've been thinking a lot about battles, spiritual and worldly.  You know what I mean.  A custody battle, a divorce, a horrible work environment or just an argument with your child.  Battles come and we either win them or lose them.  My mom always used to say to me that I should pick my battles with my kids because the important ones must be won.  I often have thought of that in the last months of this year.  Why did she say that so often? Probably because my mom and I fought so much at least from 16-20 and then I woke up and realized she did have a brain and she was right most of the time.  Our battles were intense and I fought tooth and nail because I wanted to win.  As I grew up, I held myself back and would rather have peace over anger any day.  When I get angry, watch out!  It takes a lot for me to get angry anymore but that doesn't mean I've alluded battles.  In reality, I have battled more in the last year than probably in all those years with my mom.

Spiritual battles are tough because no one sees them but you.  You are fighting a silent and often deadly enemy.  You know he's around but no one else can see him.  Obstacles are put in your way that seem impossible to climb.  Trying only gets you more frustrated and no matter how hard you try you can't right the wrong done by you.  In those moments, you have a choice.  You can choose to sit and crumble or you can become a warrior.  I've never been one to sit and crumble so the fighter in me will always take over.  That doesn't mean I don't feel distress, stress, fear or worry because I do with every fiber of my being.  I just won't let you know it and I will fight in the corner, on my bed and in my car.  How do I fight?  Through mighty intercessory prayer.  I call on God and my friends.  And I pray that God will move my mountain.

Sometimes He moves my mountain quickly and other times it can take weeks, months or years.  Of course I love when He moves it quickly, who doesn't?  The longer battles, those are the toughest ones because you have to wait, pray until you feel like you can't say one more thing to Jesus and wait some more. You go to bed in prayer and you wake up just thanking Him for getting you through another day and then the cycle repeats itself.  It's not easy to sit and wait and it's not easy when every hour you are praying God release me.  These are the moments that make you a warrior and although we wish we could skip them our God will not allow that to happen.  He needs warriors not wimps.  He needs fighters that can fight what they can't see and He needs us to battle evil so that we can deliver His people.  The fight has been going on for centuries and many have endured death to fight for the cross.

Recently, in the Middle East Wycliff translators were killed for their faith.  The writer of the article asked all of us to pray for the families of the translators that died for Christ and for the perpetrators.  Does that sound right?  Not in this world.  Vengeance is mine but in God's world vengeance is His and we are to pray for our enemies because He has a plan for them too.

His plan is not always our plan.  And yes, He does let us go through trials so that we may be sifted like sand.  His goal is not our goal.  Our goal is to be loved by all, praised and possibly even worshipped by the world.  His goal has nothing to do with the world, it has everything to do with eternity and turning hearts toward Him.  So if you're in a battle, praise Him.  If your thinking I'm crazy, I am crazy for God just set me free of one of the toughest battles in my life.  I'm not through yet but I am more mature in Him, I have more understanding and as I continue on this journey, I'm going to continue to ask Him to lead me.  In leading me, I must wash my eyes of the world and remember the supernatural.  It's in the unseen that our battles are won and lost.  We may not win every battle but we will win the ones God is moving us to win.  He is the maker of heaven and earth and we must understand that to be His warriors.  We are to love our neighbor greater than ourselves and that means everyone, not just the people that look good.  We are to pray for our enemies and ask for their salvation and we are to sing praises to the Lord our Father every day. 

Easter is approaching and the story of Jesus has lived for centuries.  As we approach Friday, we need to remember how Jesus was followed night and day and then persecuted by the same people He touched.  We are just like them.  We don't trust enough, we don't listen enough, we don't praise enough and we believe just enough for a minute.  The battles are going to get tougher, longer and wider but in the supernatural we can fight.  How are we going to do it?  With prayer, asking for peace and praying the power of Scripture.  There is no greater protector then every word in the Bible.  It will help us in the spiritual realm and in the world.  It is our power, here on earth.  I hope you plan to use it because I definitely am.

Intercede for someone this week.  Praise God this week. Thank Jesus for sifting you like sand and then thank Him some more.  My path is wide open and I don't have many answers but the one answer I do have is Jesus. He loves me and you.  Why not give Him your heart today?  He's just one prayer away.

John 3:16 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Does He really have plans for us?

Good morning my sisters-

Well I've just completed my reading, given all my woes to God, drank a cup of coffee and now I'm writing to you.  I read today in 2 Samuel and Psalms and then watched a video about tragedy to triumph.  Thank you Jesus!

You probably are saying, what is she talking about?  I'm talking about all the things that happen in this life, both good and bad.  I love my first cup of coffee and I'm blessed that I can afford it.  I love reading my Bible and I'm blessed because I have a mobile phone with the Bible app and a hard copy Bible.  But mostly, I'm grateful for sitting still and allowing Jesus to come into my heart and soul and to minister to me right where I am.

When hard times fall on us we have two directions we can take, we can give up or we can persevere.  I've never been a quitter, well that's not totally true, I did quit college for a short period of time but I righted that course with a husband and baby on my hip.  I persevered feedings, long nights and numerous papers and when it was all said and done, I got my degree the hard way, with perseverance.  Really, I have never been one to take the easy way.  My mom used to say that I would rather hit a brick wall then go around it.  And I guess if I'm honest, that would characterize my youth. So when I've had a challenge in my life, I've just said, "I got this!"  And for the most part, I always have been able to move through my circumstances. 

Understanding God in some respects was easy for me.  I knew He existed and I knew that He loved me but that didn't mean I always believed it.  I was one of those that thought that He punished me and was mad at me, at least when I was younger.  It wasn't until I grew up that I understood His patience, grace and mercy on my life.  And really, for the most part what it meant to believe in Him for every facet of my life.  As a matter of fact, I think I'm just now learning that lesson. 

Understanding who God is and then living in this world can cause ultimate confusion.  There is no way for us to fully understand His ways and there is no way for us to know what our future holds.  Those are hard concepts for me.  I'm a type A personality that plans, executes and makes things happen.  I'm decisive to a fault and before I make any decision, I weigh out every option, that is until this week. This week God asked me to be obedient and to believe only in Him.  My mind wanted to go in all different directions and still does, if I'm truthful, but one thing remained clear; He has a plan for me.

The world has taught me to look at all the angles, prepare and execute.  God has taught me to sit still, call upon the Holy Spirit for His peace and trust in Him. There is no "I" in my relationship with Jesus.  It's all about Him!  Very different perspectives but we all know that Jesus' way is best.  So as I have spent countless hours this week wondering what the next move will be, I've sat quietly asking Him to show me something and as I looked on Facebook, Our Daily Bread came up and I watched a beautiful video on loss, grief, transformation and God's ultimate challenge to all of us, which is to surrender what we know and live with Him.  Oh and on top of this beautiful story, my life verse was posted, Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11 has gotten me through tough times in my marriage, in raising my children, in losing my brother and parents and through many rough financial times.  It has taken me from the pit of despair and reminded me always that God had a plan for my life.  As I've sat and pondered tomorrow God has constantly reminded me that He knows what my life is for and that although I have a plan, His is so much better.  So was today a coincidence?  Absolutely not.  Today was affirmation that He has me just where He wants me.  He is making Scripture and His truth a reality in my life and He's reminding me just as Moses did to the Israelites that His way is worth waiting for.  I may still face big obstacles, I may have moments of doubt, worry and anxiety but if I hold onto Him with my whole heart, He will deliver me into His plan and in His timing.

My prayer has been show me my way, O, Lord and make me your woman.  I have had a dream of becoming a leader to women all over the world and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.  I never knew how, when or where it would come to fruition.  I still don't know.  But I know one thing, I am His to do with as He wishes and as I learn to be obedient, trust and surrender all, He will show me my way.  It doesn't matter what my resume says or who I work for and it surely doesn't matter how much money I make or what possessions I own, if Jesus isn't in it, it's just not worth it.  Trials come so that He can fulfill Jeremiah 29:11 in our lives.  Without them, we would remain in the world and not in Him.  His goal is our eternal life.  I've come to realize that He may bless us with money to help those less fortunate or He may not.  Remember, we see Jesus in the homeless, the adulterer, the murderer and in the lost, confused, angry and sinful.  He didn't come for the righteous, He came for each of us.

So as I end this post, I'm thinking about all the blessings He bestowed on me as He transformed my heart and made it new.  I'm thinking and anticipating His abounding love and His plan over mine.  I'm thinking that I'm the luckiest girl in the world because Jesus cared enough for me that He saved me and I'm putting my trust that He knows the plans He has for me!

He knows yours too!  Trust in Him and lean not on your own understanding but in everything you do pray and petition Him and above all let Him lead you into your promise land.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

O, Lord we wait on You as You proclaim Your promise on our lives.  Give us patience as You mold us and make us new.  Prepare a table for all the women that are looking for You and praying Jeremiah 29:11.  We know that we will be sifted like sand as You make our paths straight and our hearts pure.  We will take each moment and declare You as our Savior and we will bind all negative thoughts as they creep in.  Our goal is to trust You in all our circumstances. We pray this in Jesus Name, AMEN!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Stepping out on faith and remaining in today!

Good morning my sisters-

I hope your all doing well this morning.  As you can tell by the title of this blog, I'm stepping out on faith.  I can't say I've ever jumped out of a boat or thrown my net down into the vast waters to catch fish or even scaled a tall mountain but in this moment and on this day, I have stepped out mightily.

I have always believed that Jesus was my Savior. I have prayed the Lord's prayer thousands of times.  I have asked for forgiveness more times than I can count and I have looked in the mirror a thousand times in the last months.  I have fought emotions I never thought I had and have had to rely on Jesus every step of the way.

You hear about faith walks from those that have gone before you.  You realize that holocaust victims did make a life after tragedy and of course the Israelites did get to the promise land even if all of them didn't step into it, so there is life after immense tragedy.  Losing something that means so much to you and believing that something better will come is the cornerstone of the Bible.  Many people lost significant things like their families, their jobs and their lives.  They gave it all for something more powerful than possessions, esteem or worldly pleasures.  They gave it all for Jesus.

I have always wondered how people leave all the worldly things for ministry.  I have watched countless college students and young adults leave the security of the US to go to countries that lack resources, aren't full of churches and don't have tons of avenues to meet Christians.  They are so sure of themselves.  They have prayed and so they leave with the hope and promise of spreading God's word to the nations. 

So here I sit, writing this blog, wondering where God will take this woman who has wanted to give her life to teach women faith all over the world.  Years ago, I was sitting on a couch mourning my mother when I opened up a computer and started this blog.  Faithfulness for women was created out of my sadness and has become an intricate part of who I am.  I have prayed many times over the years that God would help me lead women to Him and that I would become His woman.  Little did I know that I would have to journey through rough waters, drown in deep caverns and spend countless hours crying out to Him to achieve the goal he had set before me. 

He wanted me to trust with no worry of the future.  He wanted me to believe that he held the keys to my provision and He wanted me to see that like David, He goes before me and that when He does the chains are broken, the curtain is torn and the world I believed was my saving grace was just dust under His feet.  These are the lessons I have learned in the last 15 months and I hopefully will never forget them.  I'm His warrior and through my battles I have relinquished my dreams, my hopes, my successes, my failures, my need to be needed and mostly, my control.  Control in the world is false.  You have none.  All you have is a perception that you are in control and that you know what the future holds.  None of us knows what tomorrow will bring and yet we cling to what we know.  Jesus has taught me to cling to the Supernatural and allow Him to move mountains.

I'm a better person then I was in 2015, I'm stronger, more resilient and more at peace.  How did I get there?  I got to this place through prayer, petition, and walking in the Word that was left for all of us.  Faith is not just a word, its a practice.  We can't have faith if we don't get down and dirty with Christ.  And having faith does not come without a price.  In order to have faith, you must wash away your worldly view and take on a Christ centered, Holy Ghost view.  Your mind can't conceive the power of Christ until you surrender all.  This week I surrendered all and am waiting with anticipation to see what the God of Abraham will do.  I'm near my promise land and so I must be faithful, watch for Jesus and believe that He will deliver me into it with His timing.

I'm praying for you all my sisters.  Be well and be vigilant.  Jesus is calling us to be His faithful servants and that means surrendering all. 

Please read Psalm 84 today or go to @lbrogers23 on twitter and see my image.  Follow me if you like.  I have been posting Scripture almost daily.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Have faith for its more precious than gold!

Good morning my sisters-

The headline today is have faith for its more precious than gold. In the last year, I have realized what a treasure it is to walk in faith and not by sight.  If you know me personally, you wouldn't believe I could even do that.  I monitor risk, weigh all my options and play it safe most of the time but in the last two weeks I've come to realize that I don't have to know what's up the stairs, in the next room or ahead of me.  I've come to a place of peace where I don't know anything and my only hope is to trust in the plans of my maker.

We all say things like, "I trust God."  Do you really?  Do you trust Him for others only?  That was me.  I said it, I thought I walked it but in reality I only trusted Him for other people.  I would see my prayers being answered and I could easily say, "Trust in Him."  Over the last 15 months, I have been on a monumental walk in faith.  I have encountered rough waters, scaled high mountains and have seen the lowest of valleys.  I have embraced reading Scripture daily, asking for God to steer my path and waiting.  When I say waiting, I mean waiting and not always patiently.  But in my hours and hours of prayer, I have felt peace I don't understand, have become strengthened in my weakness and have finally begun to see the woman God has called me to be.  I have spent time asking for forgiveness, especially when it comes to providing and my love for money and I have had to pray for people, forgive people and love those that I didn't want to love.

It has been a journey I will never forget.  I know without a doubt that through it my faith is stronger and I can truly praise God daily for making my faith stronger and me more faithful.  God is always faithful but I can't necessarily say I've been faithful.  It's ironic because I never wanted to be like the Israelites and yet, I was.  I so was.  I grumbled, got angry and lost site of Jesus.  I wandered my own desert, it just was in the US and I wasn't grateful for the trial.  That is until I got really sick two weeks ago.  Getting an illness and sitting in bed gives you a ton of time to evaluate you.  And to be honest, it gives you time to really talk to Jesus.  As I sat in a bed, not hardly moving I realized two things.  I was stronger in my faith and when I said, "I trust you Lord," I meant it.

It's been 15 months since the beginning of this trial and today I can say it was well worth it.  Faith is truly more precious than gold. Leaving behind the old and becoming new is so beautiful. I am astonished that God cared enough to sift my heart and to show me that faith was more important then money, honor or possessions.  Faith does move mountains!

David knew that and even in all his sin, he knew God would be faithful.  How many times did he cry out and ask God not to leave him or hide from him?  How many times did he walk up to a giant and watch it be crushed?  How many enemies followed and hunted him only to be destroyed?  The answer is many.  Many times David faced giants and God went before him and today, He goes before a woman who was propelled by fear and has replaced it with faith. He goes before all that follow Him!

Faith comes from getting on your knees, spending time in the Bible and asking God to change you.  Faith really is a change movement.  Recently, I saw a quote on LinkedIn by Martin Luther King, JR. that said and I paraphrase, sometimes you have to take a step up the staircase without knowing what's up it.  How do you come to a place in this world by stepping out on faith?  You really spend time with Jesus. That's what I'm doing this week.  I'm stepping out in faith and I look forward to the adventure ahead.  I'm not scared of the dark staircase because I know that Jesus has gone before me.  I'm thankful for every minute of this trial because it made me realize that faith was more precious then money!  What a gift to know that.  I'm a work in process but for today, at least, I have more faith, more security, more wealth in Jesus.

Treasure faith over the world.  Treasure Jesus over money.  Treasure your journey with Him over anything and realize that we are all a work in progress.  Take care my sisters!  He is so very near.

Mark 10:21 (KJV)
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me

Jesus go before us and be our guide.  Make us stronger in faith and mold us to be your women.  Hold us, guide us and change us so that we may follow you, not just today but to our death.  In Jesus name we pray, AMEN!