Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trusting that tomorrow the sun will rise...

Good morning my sisters-

The sun is rising on Kansas this morning as I enjoy my first cup of coffee.  The dogs are eating their food as fast as they can and I hear the rumblings of my husband getting up.  It's morning on the Plains and as I sip my coffee the word trust swirls in the air.

Trust is not an easy word.  And in many ways, its an extremely hard thing to do. As little children, we trust that adults will take care of us but for some that's not the case.  As adults,we trust that we can take care of ourselves and so it goes.  Trust is hard.  It takes a strong heart to trust again when you've been betrayed or not taken care of.  Trusting in the unknown is even more difficult.  How do you possibly trust in something you can't see, hear or smell?  That's my question for today and I'm sure for those of you that have hit this blog, it's your question too.

In order for most people to trust there has to be a strategic repetition of actions.  Words don't count because most of the time someone has lied to you or been deceitful; so we look for actions to meet thewords and the first sign that they don't, trust wanes and with it comes fear and unrest.

I believe our journey with Jesus is just like that. It takes an extraordinary experience for us to believe in Him and then a supernatural experience to trust in Him.  It takes us giving Him our lives, admitting our sins and getting washed by the blood to understand that we are loved for who we are, not what we do or say.  Humans, by nature, have become wary of our friends, co-workers, family members and strangers.  People are stumbling all because of trust.  How can you trust that there is a God?  How can you trust that Jesus exists and how can you trust Christians when they let you down?

The questions surrounding Jesus have been the exact same for centuries.  Some trusted that what He said was true, others doubted and rejected His existence as the Son of God.  Even after you have accepted Him, you look for people to do the right thing and that just isn't always the case.  Like you, they let people down and regret it.  Jesus never let any of us down.  He predicted His death.  He knew the hour was going to be difficult. He knew that His own disciples would reject Him and that His mother would watch Him suffer.  He knew that as much as I love Him, I would let people down too.

The world is a dark place.  It is full of treachery, greed, pain, confusion, evil, fear, frustration, addiction and false teachings.  Included with all those words is a lack of trust in our fellow man.  People have figured out that you can't always trust someone that looks trustworthy.  Well we are human so who do we trust then? We must trust in Jesus.

I have spent the better part of my life trusting people that weren't trustworthy.  I have this inane sense to see inside your heart and always I see a ray of light there.  Even in the darkest soul, there is a light of good and if they seek it, they will find it.  My problem is that  I don't test my insight.  Over the last couple of years, I've learned to ask for discernment, which has given me insight into the light and the nature of the person.

So in the world we must use Godly discernment but with God we should trust without reserve.  That's what the disciples did after they saw Jesus resurrected from death.  They trusted that what He said was true.  They took that with them to their deaths and it's documented for all of us.  Moses, Abraham, David, Job, Isaac and Isaiah all trusted that God would deliver man from their sins so they walked the earth with trust in their hearts for a God they could not see.  Today, we walk more in the seen than the unseen.  If we can't touch it or feel it we can't trust it.  We are wrong.  We need to be like Paul who heard from Christ and began preaching the word without asking anyone. He just did.  One minute he was blind and the next he was preaching the Word of God.

Often, I struggle with trust because of my experiences.  Over time, though, I am learning to believe and trust in the God I can't see.  To believe He was born of a virgin and that he was beaten and killed for my sins.  As I have grown closer to the Spirit, I have walked out of my comfort zone and trusted Him who knows all.  I am not the smartest person on the earth and I'm definitely not the wisest but I am the child of  the God who promised to keep me always and that's exactly who I want to trust in.  I am His and He is mine.  My experiences have taught caution in the world, which I think is fine as long as I put my heart and mind in Christ's hands.  He is the reason I breathe and therefore, I owe Him all my trust.

Before I go, I want to say one more thing.  Trusting Him doesn't mean I will have all the money I want, all the friends I need, all the comfort I desire or all the success and awards I desire.  Trusting in Jesus means that I have a relationship I can depend on, period!  If you're looking for a relationship that never fails, ask Jesus into your heart today.  He is trustworthy.

Lord Jesus I pray that those that hit this blog will begin to ask you for supernatural eyes and supernatural trust.  I pray they will die to themselves and as they do, You will reveal yourself as you have throughout the centuries.  You are trustworthy and I believe that You will never leave us or forsake us.  May we be trustworthy with the gifts that you have given us and the message that must be spread throughout the nations.  Spread Your word and Your love to those that trust the least!  In Jesus Name we pray!!!!

Psalm 9:10 NIV

10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Patience...Do you have it?

Good morning my sisters-

It's another great morning here in the state of Kansas.  We finally received the gift of rain and it's February.  Lately the ground has turned to dust and as the wind has picked up so has the soil.  The Lord is mighty though and saw the need of His people and the animals by providing a thunderstorm that washed over the earth.  The bounty of rain is one of the most needed elements on the earth and as the earth waited patiently the Lord provided and now the fields are full of much needed moisture, the birds have much needed water and our water supply is growing.  All in good time.

Have you ever sat down and contemplated how patience is one of the keys to being satisfied? Whether you're waiting on a spouse, a child, a job or a need, patience is the key to living a joyful existence but if you're like me, you probably run out after a long hike up a tremendously steep mountain, right?  We grow weary waiting and waiting never feels good.

Last week I had my first breast exam in over 17 years.  Before you say it, I KNOW!  It took me that long to make time for it.  I'm just too busy to go to the doctor, the dentist, well really anything that gets in the way of work.  It's not an excuse really because that's who I am.  However, in the back of my mind, I'd been thinking it was time to do the test, so I did.  And then, I got that call. " Lisa, the doctor would like you to have further tests this week."  Okay, now what?  Great attitude I know but that was the attitude with not a lot of patience.  I was already thinking, "What if?" 

Time ticked away for three days and then the test.  As I sat waiting with three other women all I could think about was the hundreds of women that had sat in the same waiting room and I was humbled and a little scared.  They came back that the doctor would like to do a sonogram on my left breast and my mind began racing to what would I do if they said, "You have cancer."

In my mind, I thought two things patience and trust.  Wait for the outcome my mind shouted and then the song "I will trust" came in my mind and as I came out of my in-depth thinking I was humming it, right in the waiting room. The diagnosis was good and nothing came of the hour that I spent waiting patiently to find out if I had cancer except a clearer understanding of what waiting means to someone that has cancer.

I learned a lot last week, mostly that someone on a daily basis faces the diagnosis of cancer.  They face wondering what it will be like to lose their hair, their eyelashes and eyebrows.  As they wonder how they will tell their family or how will they get through or the fact that they will be facing surgery and even the loss of their breasts. And if all of that isn't bad enough what about departing this world.  Believe me  when I say this, all of those thoughts ran through my mind in less than three minutes. Your mind races like a sports car going over a hundred and then when you say, "I trust in You," things begin to become clear.  You realize that you must practice patience in the face of adversity and in all things you must trust that you have reached this crossroads because God put you there.

Many have faced a different outcome than I and many more will face it.  For those of you that have sat in that waiting room wondering what tomorrow will bring, I get it.  I don't understand past that though and would never want to say that I do.  I also get one more thing, I get that Jesus is the only way I could have faced such a diagnosis, period.  If you are going for more tests, wondering what tomorrow will bring you, remember one thing, Jesus knows the answers, rest in Him and He will help in times where you grow weary, when you think life is not fair or when you just feel like your patience has run out and the outcome is not good. He is with you always!

I thank Jesus for this epiphany and for reminding me that many women have gone before me and faced this courageous battle.  Please pray for women all over the world that have just sat through those moments and were handed a very different diagnosis than I was.  Please pray that they will be patient, that they will not grow weary and that God will give them peace to face the race, one day at a time.

Isaiah 40:30-31New International Version (NIV)

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but 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.

May the God, our Father, always walk with us in hope and faithfulness even if the answer is not what we wish to hear.  I praise You Lord for giving me a sensitivity to what others have heard.  The path of this journey is not always easy, as You proclaimed so long ago.  We ask that You would continue to guide us and provide us with great faith to be patient and to trust in times of hardship and in times of joy.  In Jesus Name. AMEN

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day from God..

Good evening-

On the day that everybody celebrates love with cards, flowers, elaborate dinners, jewels, and everything worldly, let's remember one thin,g there are many that don't have someone to share today. So on this Valentine's Day, here is a message that means more than diamonds and gold.

The message:

Your Father chose You for such a time as this.  He alone can complete you.  He gave you life and freedom to love Him, not for just one day but for every day of the year.  We are to LOVE God first and then our neighbor.  Love is patient, love is kind, love does not boast, so today we proclaim that the greatest gift we could ever receive is the love of a Father that forgives and who saves.

To all of you that are sitting by yourself  know this one thing, You are loved!  You may never get diamonds or flowers but you have the choice to choose life, so choose Jesus.

On this Valentine's day I give my heart to the Holy Trinity.  I have been saved by the life of Jesus and I am His, forever.  That's the greatest gift and all I need today.  Feel love from our God and know He is near, always!

1 Corinthians 13
John 3:16
Genesis 1
Acts 26

We give you all the glory!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Being a bastard...

Good morning my sisters-

I heard an incredible story of a Korean women who was given up at 4 years old.  Her mother chose to marry and be protected over taking care of her half-breed daughter.  She was abandoned, lonely and had experiences in her youth, that many adults have not had to endure.  She fed herself bugs, slept in fox holes and was abused by others of her same race because she was half as much as them.  She wasn't just a bastard in Korea she was a Toogie. 

Our pastor shared her story out of Lee Strobel's book," The Case for Grace."  Her name is Stephanie and today she ministers to orphans in Korea and leads many to Christ.  During his sermon, he discussed how even after she was adopted by an American couple she never felt good enough.  They loved her but still she had to be the best, because in her heart she was still that little street urchin that was a Toogie.  I, for one, could relate to a very small part of the story.  I am a bastard just like her, however, our stories are very different.  I was from a middle class family and I learned of my birth status when I was 12 years old.  I had continued to have a re-occurring nightmare, always on Halloween.  I was Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz and something very evil was chasing me.  The ironic part of my story is I lived in New York and now I live in Kansas.  I guess that the dream was partially right anyway. Back to my point though, in the book it denotes how she did not cry, kept everything deeply bottled up inside and worked for image and perfection and that's where we are exactly alike.  It took a major situation in my professional life to unbundle and free years of anger, frustration and a sense of lacking more than being.  Maybe that's why I chose sales. In sales, you are only as good as your last sale.  No one cares about what you did yesterday, you have to keep going, be better, run faster and make more money.  You are never enough and for years I have chased that thought.  I am not enough.  Maybe you can relate.  This world has a way of making you feel like you are Dorothy running from the evil witch and you just keep running wondering when all the chaos will stop and you will just be enough.

Stephanie reached that point and so did I.  The challenges, thoughts and confusion are what make us  depend on God.  As we seek Him, we find him and how I have sought His guidance, His light and His will.  Bastard to me is one of the worst words ever until today.  Until my pastor said that Stephanie's father told her a story of a boy who was a bastard, who grew to be a man that had laid in straw, was severely abused, tortured and gave His life.  That boy was Jesus.  His father was not Joseph. Joseph was His earth father but God was His Father and all of  the sudden I felt a quiet in my heart, a sense of being and an understanding what the last couple of years were for me.  They have been about casting my image, anger, abandonment, and perfectionism to Christ and saying, "I am weak but You are strong."

Words hurt and emotions that are bottled up to the point of storing our tears  aren't what make us strong.  We may have overcome them but none of that matters without Jesus.  My first thought every time I write is that I hope you like reading my words and I hope they are meaningful to you but that's not what matters anymore.  What matters is the fact that I know I'm weak and through Jesus His Grace is sufficient.  How I was conceived and who had a part in that conception doesn't matter.  What matters is that God said, "You are mine."

Fame and fortune are what the world is about.  The image we create is just that, void of substance and lacking of our purpose and call.  Jesus called us to spread the word to the nations.  He prayed and prayed to remain in His Father and until His very last breath He did.  You may be dealing with many circumstances that are out of your control and praying for deliverance.  I get that, I've done that. He hears you and when we can say that we are grateful for all the bumps, lumps, molding and pruning, we will begin to see our full potential.  It has taken 51 years for me to feel the kind of peace I felt today.  To sit in church and realize there is no shame in what or who I came from.  I am not unclean because by GRACE I was saved!  I did absolutely nothing to achieve it and really don't deserve it. And yet, He gave it to me anyway.

If the following words resonate with you today, understand one thing. God is grace.  So here are just a few  that I want you to pray about with me.  They are:

Abandonment, shame, bastard, unworthy, awkward, ugly, babbling, idiot, sad, emotional, angry, image, perfectionist, driven, controlling, unemotional, saintly, judgmental, broken, abused, tyrant, smart, stupid, dirty, gross, unclean, wreck, killer, excuse ridden, co-dependent, coveting, touchy, bigot, argumentative, addict, sexually promiscuous, orphan, confused and broken. 

These words describe many who have come to love Jesus Christ.  In their hearts, they were unworthy to wash His feet but by Grace we are saved.  He didn't come for the one who believes themselves to be mighty, He came for the broken, bruised, and repentant.  He came for you!

Once again, my Lord and Savior meets me on the road of my own thoughts and beliefs.  Once again, I am washed with a picture that reminds me that He has gone through everything I might possibly face in this world.  I am His, which makes me wonder why He would want to love a wretch like me.  And then again, this story and the many in the Bible  remind me of why I love Him so.  With all my faults, confusion and constant berating, He hits me with this story.  I am enough because His grace is sufficient for me. Please pray that God would reveal His grace in our every day lives.  My prayer is that these words would because a harmony of God's great song of Grace.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NIV:

1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.

2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.

3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—

4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.

5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.

6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,

7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

To HIm Be the Glory!

Good morning my sisters-

It's been some time since I last wrote.  Days go by and I think, "You should really write."  That thought  is fleeting  as I assess the day or just wonder is it worth it.  Time is precious and then my mind wanders and wonders, do I write for me or for Him?  That's been really what I've been contemplating over the last months and days since last I posted.

Thoughts like "Am I good enough" or "Will anyone read this" are what penetrate my mind day and night. So with those thoughts comes the ability for days to go by with no words to my Maker.  This blog was initiated out of pain and a need to spread the word to women all over the world. I sat for days thinking and dreaming about the what ifs of life.  I wanted the perfect title to the blog that was going to reach millions.  But like many things in life, year after year, the dream died more and more as the blog didn't reach millions of women and I thought, "What's the point?"

There are many places to hear God's word and who was I to think that God would use this blog for His glory anyway.  So through trials and tribulations and many negative thoughts, I just stopped writing.  I gave up on the dream, sat at home reading my Bible and leaving the writing to women like Anne Graham Lotz and Beth Moore. God didn't need another one of them when they were doing such a great job already.  And that's exactly what I did my sisters these last months, I left it to everyone else.  My posts became infrequent at best and I believed I was doing the right thing.  After all, there are millions of women that can probably write better than me.  And then, something happened this week and I remembered my initial vision of what God had spoken to my heart.  I was to carry the message of Jesus to millions.  Now that's a mighty task, right?  Well, it was the first vision and then all the sudden reading Paul's testimony to King Agrippa and Festus, it came back like the tide washing to the shore, with majesty and power. 

All I could think about as I read Acts 26 was that my faith had never been like that.  I haven't been persecuted for what I believe, no one has tried to make me blasphemy God and I have been free every day to sit down and write to women all over the world and tell them of the power and majesty of Jesus Christ.  And yet, I didn't.  I sat for months thinking what's the point and let others carry the good news.  So the fault lies in me, in my need to make a difference and in a dream that, to date, hasn't come to fruition. I'm the football player that sat on the sidelines as others were making touchdowns.  I had a dream to be the star player but no ambition or what I believed to be talent.

Well, Acts 26 has done a number on me because I can't get it out of my mind.  I actually was cleaning my office when I found the poem I wrote in November.  I serve the Great and Wonderful Savior and I have sat around feeling like I don't make a difference because what I believed to be a calling just isn't. I'm like Sarah laughing at God and not believing she would have a son and I feel repentant. 

Somewhere through my life I stopped dreaming.  I stopped believing in the impossible.  I sometimes find myself dreaming but it's for others.  Dreaming is believing.  If you can dream it you can make it a reality.  Just look at the dreams of Henry Ford or the Wright brothers.  They dreamed it, it was absolutely out there and people didn't believe them but it was true and because of them we now drive cars and fly airplanes.  And if we go back to Paul's time, who would have thought that a normal trip to Damascus could make a man blinded, see a vision and believe in a Savior, so easily and so powerfully. "Saul, Saul, why have you forsaken me?"  That one sentence changed a man's life, brought him hardship and persecution and yet, he stands in front of a King, boldly stating that he is only doing what He envisioned.

Power is in the dreams of men, coming from the Holy Spirit.  Passion is the drive that the Spirit uses to fulfill the dream and God oversees it all, for all power lies in His will.  I don't know what the months and years will bring and I have no idea if I will be standing before thousands of women telling them about my King but I do know this, I must get out of the way, not worry about fame or making a difference, and write today, for it was the Spirit that placed the dream in my heart and I must be obedient to the Spirit.  It doesn't matter how many people hit this blog as long as the one that does understands that Jesus has given me life, he has freed me from Sin and He loves me with all my little dents and stains.  He forgives, the world does not.  The world will remain more and more corrupt, hate filled and lost but Jesus is the way.  He loves you, so stop fighting Him and come into the fold.  He's waiting!

Acts 26:15-18 (NIV)
15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

So today My Lord I ask You to come to us and spread Your wings over all those that need You.  I pray that I would be faithful to the calling you placed on my heart.  I pray that I would not seek fame or fortune but only You and when I pray, I would pray for the millions of women that need You today.  My hope and dream is that millions will find You and that they will speak Your name.  I am but one women who loves You with all her heart.  I come before You repentant for my apathy and ask that You would give me a heart like my forefathers, a heart that beats only for Your voice.  Please father help me in this year, 2017, to be bold for You. In Jesus Name I pray.