Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 29, 2012

The definition of surrender is:  to yield (something) to the possession or power of another;deliver up possession of on demand or under duress.  

Have you ever been asked to surrender something dear to you?  It might have been a possession, a person or a body part.  When we are asked to give something up that we deem precious, do we give it up easy or do we hold on so tight?  Or worse does it becomes our idol?

I know of people that believe that their possessions make them.  I also have known people that could lose every possession but their idol is far more personal.  It could be their uterus, having a baby or maybe their hair.  These are personal items, part of us, that we have an incredibly hard time giving up.  Why?  Because when you want to have a baby, you want one now and when a doctor walks in and says, "We have to take your uterus."  Your mind screams no way, not that.  Or how about the patient that finds out they have breast cancer and both breasts have to be removed?  None of these situations would be easy to surrender.  And yet, women do all the time.  How do they do it?  What allows one woman to openly surrender and another to hold so tight their fists hurt?

I believe that it's the ability to surrender unto Jesus Christ everything on this earth.  The women that come through great trials have held something tight and then released it to our God.  They may have held it for awhile, cried, become depressed but in the end they surrender.  Why?  Because at some point we will come to the end of ourselves, our flesh will die and Christ will arise and when He does, we surrender all.  Surrendering is an act of obedience.  It's a belief that Jesus is enough and that He does have a plan for every moment of our lives.  We might not like where we are today but there is a reason. I realize that's not very comforting when you are in a situation that makes you want to tighten those fists and cry, "Why me?"  I've been there, believe me.  But holding tight won't get us what we want, as a matter of fact, we will lose it.  If we hold anything too tight, it becomes an idol.  And what does God say about idols?  You know.  There can be no other God than Him.  He is a jealous God and rightfully so.  We can't place our husbands, children, parents or any possession before Him.  He must be the center of our hearts and we must believe that any plan He has set us on, is the right course.

Personally, I'm tired of worrying about tomorrow.  Aren't you?  He has a perfect plan and in it we are going to have victory.  I have a friend that has lost her hair for over a year.  She is one of the most Godly women I know.  She has Scripture verses all over her mirror.  Every time she looks in that mirror more hair falls out.  She has been in crisis and she is weary.  Do you know why she is so weary?  She's weary because she wants her hair to be restored to its full glory.  She doesn't want it just to stop falling out, she wants the whole thing.  And guess what, she is depressed and lost.  She has been on an emotional roller coaster ever since we started this journey together and yesterday, she met God again.  She is at the end of herself and she is turning the corner.  I do believe that all her hair will be restored but before He can, she has to surrender it to Him.  He has to be more important than her hair.  She has to surrender every strand, cast it to the sea and say to Him, "You're enough!"

You might be thinking, oh, its just hair.  Well don't ever say that.  It's not just hair, it's a Spiritual battle of mighty proportions. I have watched this woman, who happens to be so incredibly light, humorous and bright pour herself out until she is desolate, sad and weary.  She has nothing left to give to herself, her husband or their six children.  She is a domino that got hit hard and has been down, fighting to see God in every step of this journey.  For her, her hair was her idol and she didn't even know it.  She doesn't even know how beautiful she really is.  All she knows is that her hair was beautiful and she wants it restored to its full glory.

So if you're facing a similar situation, where you are at the end of yourself and you need Jesus to restore you, surrender all to Him.  It won't be easy.  I, personally, have had to surrender things I didn't want to. I have held onto things mightily and then had to give them to Him.  It's never easy to give up the things we most desire.  They become a part of us and we want them.  We are like the two year old, that says, "Mine."  But nothing is mine.  Everything is His.  And if you're weary it's because you won't surrender and wait upon Him.  Stand up with me today ladies and surrender all!  Promise to love your sisters in Christ.  Listen to them when they are weary and lift them in prayer.  Pour out His love by being His hands and feet.  Don't be of the world, be of Him.  It's hard to surrender things we love dearly.  But we must cast our idols out, so that we can do His work.  There is no other God than Him.  He is jealous and He wants us to give up everything so that He will be enough. 

I'm not saying that He won't restore some of the things you most desire.  I don't know that.   Unfortunately, I'm not a prophet.  However, I do know that when called, He asked His disciples to surrender all and follow Him.  For women that means, possessions, security, children and worry.  We hold all of it too close.  We must open our hands to Him, wide-open, and say, "take this cup from me, and pour it out for Your glory."  I know it won't be easy but I will be doing it too.  And I will be lifting women all over the world up to surrender all!  I love you all and I pray that the Lord of our lives will restore us to be the women He desires.  May the Lord light Your path today and may He bless you for surrendering everything to Him!

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV:

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Deuteronomy 5:9 NKJV:

     you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.  For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.

James 4: 15 NKJV:

     Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

Romans 8:36 NKJV:

     As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

Matthew 26:42 NKJV:

     Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

My prayer today:

Often, I have come to a cross roads, waiting for you to take my burdens to the sea.  And more often, I have had to wait for Your will to be fulfilled.  I am impatient in a world that needs more patience.  I walk around like the Israelites demanding deliverance and then putting false idols in my way.  I am not alone, many women follow me and we wander waiting and crying out to You.  Why Lord?  How long? And when will there be relief?   The journey is moment by moment and I have come to realize that I must surrender all.  Everything under the sun must be surrendered to You, even when I want to hold it close.  Nothing on this earth is mine, its all Yours.  So, today, I surrender all Lord.  Make me aware of the things I idol and in their place, please reign.  I love You with all my heart and I want to die to my flesh to become Your woman.  Its not easy being me and I'm sure it's not easy for the women reading this blog.  See our hearts, O, Lord and carry us from ourselves to You.  We desire to have more faith, to be more brave, and to love You more deeply.  Give us patience to wait on You and provide us a glimpse into the journey ahead.  We need You daily, so today, we come before You, broken sheep, needing a shepherd.  Be our shepherd today!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012

As I was driving today, I spent some time reflecting on my youth and all the challenges I faced.  During the teen years and moving through our twenties, women begin to question who they are?  We have so many challenges.  I think our biggest challenge is to just be ourselves.  It's crazy to think that we want to be like the girl next door, the latest model, or just someone different than who we were meant to be.  What's wrong with just being who we were made to be?  Where does that fit in?

Often, it takes years for us to find ourselves.  The girls that do the best are the ones that know who they are and what God created them to be, early.  Those of us that had to hit a few walls have a much tougher time and it takes us longer to realize that we are who we are because God made us that way.  We don't have to be the best at everything or even the strongest; we just have to be ourselves.

I'm not saying that life doesn't throw curve balls and that we won't hit some walls but why do we put up towers?  For years, I wondered why life was so hard for me.  Why didn't people like me?  Why wasn't I popular and why didn't I fit in?  Guess what?  I did fit in.  I fit in with what God had in store for my life.  I wasn't meant to be the most popular or to be loved by all.  I had a greater purpose and I needed to recognize that by not fitting in, I did fit in.

See, we are all part of God's plan. Therefore, we have different characteristics, which will someday make a beautiful tapestry.  The key is to be a thread instead of wanting to be the tapestry.  Being the thread means that we are holding up a part, our part of God's kingdom.  He holds the tapestry.  But in order to become that thread we have to release insecurities, worries, and the need to be what people want us to be.  The only person you ever have to be is Christ's woman.  He made you and He will put you into His tapestry.  Your talents and gifts are His and the color He chooses for your life is pure.  We don't have to change it and mold it into what the world wants.  We just need to be the color He chose.  Each color will come together to form a picture and that picture will bring glory to our Lord.

If you're trying to fit yourself into someone's image, stop!  Personally, I love who I am now and I wouldn't change a thing.  Well, unless we are talking about my stubbornness, that's a work in progress.  But what I mean is that I am a vibrant thread, with talents that were given to me specifically for God's greater purpose.  I don't have to change that color, make it bolder, or try to fit myself into any tapestry but His.

You're unique for a reason.  Love yourself because God made you exactly the size, shape, personality and temperament you are today.  You may have to work on elements of the flesh but the whole is Christ's.  He knew you in the beginning.  You were made by design.  It has taken me years to look into the mirror and see God looking back.  Don't take years, look now and see the love that was woven into every fiber of your being.  You were designed for a purpose.  Don't fit yourself into the world's fleshy mold, fit into God's beautiful tapestry, made with love.

We are loved, not because we are the most beautiful creature in the world.  We are loved because God made our heart, he fastened it with His spirit and He filled us with His sacrifice.  Our beauty will fade and so goes popularity but the one thing that remains constant is our Father.  We are made in His image and it is good.

Don't take my word for it, search His.  He knows what He's doing or there wouldn't be so many different people that make up this planet.  You are part of a great tapestry, let your guard down and watch what Jesus does with you.

Psalm 139:14 NKJV:

     I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
     Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows well.

Jeremiah1:5 NKJV:
      "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
        Before you were born I sanctified you;
        I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

We were made and then we were sanctified.  We can't know love or love others until we believe that God created us for His purpose!  Praise Him for your life, for your talents and for your purpose.  He deserves our praise.  Trust that you are made wonderfully!  I do.

My prayer today:

      O, Lord, we are so careless with Your creation.  We don't love ourselves, we work to change ourselves in others likenesses and we miss out on the greatest gift of all.  Our gift is that each of us is made uniquely with love and care.  You fastened us to be part of Your glory and by design You made us to be unique.  Please reveal to us Your purpose and help us to have eyes to see that we are made for Your purpose.  You don't make mistakes.  We do, by not believing in ourselves or in Your creation.  We look at our flesh and we want to change who we were made to be.  Help us, O, Lord and give us strength to find ourselves through you.  We desire to be women that love You more than ourselves.  You are the only one we need and through You we will be part of Your great tapestry.  Weave us together and unite us in You.  We need You today and every day.  We believe in You and thank You for making us uniquely and wonderfully made!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 28, 2012

Are you feeling encouraged or discouraged today? One way or the other, it stems from our hearts and I want to encourage all of you to trust that Jesus can cast out your burdens and rejoice with you in your victories.  He holds all the keys.  All we ever need to do is run to Him.

You may be asking yourself why are we up one minute and down the next? Do you ever feel like you're on a roller coaster ride? It's hard to be stable in life, right? Emotions, obstacles, relationships and children can change an encouraging moment into a discouraging within about ten seconds. Gosh, are we really that fickle?  We are.

Read the Bible and you will see many stories where the disciples were, Sarah and Abraham were and we are now. I don't have a good explanation for our sinful wishy washy behavior but I do know where I need to go when it begins. Of course, I go to Jesus.  He can take me from discouraged to encouraged.  All  I have to do is to be smart enough to cast my burdens on Him.

I love control and I guarantee many of you love it too.  You know the planners of this world, they just love to plan, right?  Wrong.  They love control.  And of course, there's those of us that believe we can fix outcomes if we just try harder.  Can we plan enough or try hard enough?  You know the answer already, no we can't.  Of course, if we're in a situation where Jesus has asked us to do something, then do it.  Then let go!

I know you're all out there going; I can't do that.  Yes you can.  You may have to give it to Jesus 100 times that day but it can be cast.  So like the mighty fishermen, cast that net into the sea and let Jesus do the rest.

It sounds easy doesn't it.  My words always sound great on paper until of course, I am tested.  However, no matter how I approach the subject the answer is the same.  My life belongs to Christ.  He gets to do with it what He wants.  And if He wants to deliver me, He will.  My encouragement must always come through Him and my discouragement must be cast out to the sea.  And when I do, I hope I am on my knees asking God to guide me and hold me and remind me that this life isn't forever and someday I will always be encouraged.

I hope your heart is on the encouragement dial but if its not, just breathe and then cast your load upon the Lord.  If He fed 5,000, He can feed you today.  Be vigilant my sisters and remember this life is for His glory and we're along for the ride.

Psalm 42:11 NKJV:

      Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 55:22 NKJV:

      Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Please know that I am just like you and life has wonderful and discouraging moments.  I like to look for rainbows and I normally find them.  That doesn't mean that I never get discouraged; I just try to find Jesus somewhere in my day.  So if you love nail polish and really want to smile, try a little snowflake from Sally Hanson, it made my day yesterday!  I hope all my sisters are feeling the Holy Spirit today and I pray that every day you read this, you feel Jesus.  Have a beautiful day!

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I am so grateful that I can come before you and cast my burdens on You.  Fixing things is my specialty, at least until I hit a snag.  Luckily for me, You don't hit snags.  You are with us even when we don't know it.  You provide so many beautiful things to look at like the stars, the sun, and even nail polish.  You are my God and I bow down to You.  You are what makes me, me and I am so indebted to You.  Let these words be Yours and give them to the nations for my desire is to love Your people, not just in the US but all over the world.  I have never deserved a Father like You but I have one and I pray that I can fulfill my destiny through You.  Give us divine wisdom to know that You are near and that when we cast our burdens, You shoulder them for us.  Your gift to us was Your life and I pray that I will continue to lay my life down, year after year, for Your will.  Grant us eyes to see You in all that we do and unite us so that when we do have a discouraging moment, there's someone human sharing our burdens and praying for them to be lifted.  You are my heart, thank You for believing in me and for letting me write to all Your people.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012

I woke up singing, "This is the day that the Lord hath made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it!"  Are you rejoicing today?  Do you feel the spirit of our Lord this morning?  Or in the midst of life, have you lost that feeling that He is right there next to you?

Songs remind us that the Lord is worthy.  When we praise the Lord with all our hearts, we connect with Him in a way that sometimes prayer doesn't.  Prayer is petition.  Songs are worship.  In Revelation, it talks about the angels singing.  I imagine that in heaven, there is the most beautiful choir praising God in all His glory.  Can you imagine?  I know how I feel when we worship for 20 minutes.  In heaven, they are worshiping all the time because they know that they have been saved.

I love to worship, especially when I'm down.  Last week, on Father's Day, we were praising and signing and tears started flowing down my face.  I never was a cryer.  I would see people crying and wonder, why do they do that?  I held most of my feelings in.  It was easier than explaining what was wrong.  But after you have faced a few major losses, the tears come so much easier.  Really, it's a cleansing of our souls.  We cry out to the Lord and He washes us through those tears.  Sorrow is part of life but we don't have to drown in it.  We can praise Him with everything we have and bring forth His Spirit.  We can see Him through song, hear Him more clearly and love Him more dearly, when we praise His name.

David knew that.  And as I think about it, so does Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, and Jeremy Camp.  They write songs to praise God and show that He is present today.  Music is the fabric by which we are ministered too.  Even those of us that don't have a beautiful voice want to belt out the latest praise and worship song because we want to praise His name.

I may not always want to sing with joy in my heart.  That's not realistic but when I do sing; I want my Father to know I mean it.  That I am concentrating on Him and all His glory and at the end of my life, I hope I'm still praising Him for the wonderful maker He is.

Hopefully, one day I can travel the world and hear song in different languages.  I desire to hear God being cried to in many languages.  Wouldn't it be great to hear one person from every nation singing the same song.  That's what God hears.  People all over the world praising His name in many different tongues, amazing if you think about it.  Sometimes, when I sit still, I can imagine what He hears and instead of everything being about me, I think about Him and smile.

He is the only one we should worship.  He deserves our undivided attention.  Let's be His choir today.  As we go to church or are in our homes, let's take the time to sing Holy, Holy is the Lamb!  He is our lamb, come to this earth, to save many and to inspire us all to be better than we ever could be without Him!  He is worthy to be praised!

I hope you all go out today and praise the name of Jesus!  I hope you sing loud and clear and at the end of the day, you look back and smile because you know who is king of your heart.  May today the Lord of our lives bless you and keep you.  Share Him with someone today and believe that He is worthy!

Isaiah 27: 13 NKJV:

     So it shall be in that day:
     The great trumpet will be blown;
     They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria,
     And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt,
     And shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Matthew 15:25 NKJV:

      Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"

Psalm 150:6 NKJV:

      Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord!

Psalm 99:9 NKJV:

      Exalt the Lord our God, 
      And worship at His holy hill;
      For the Lord our God is holy.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I come before you singing, "This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.  This is the day.  This is the day that the Lord hath made!"  As with every day, I have no idea what will happen, how events will change or if things will stay calm.  What I do know this morning is that You are worthy to be praised, morning until night and that You are what gets me through.  There is no greater feeling than when we wake to song.  I think You know that and You just want us to be reminded to praise You always.  You deserve our praise, our conviction and our longing for You.  Please displace the world and in its place, bring Your glory.  We need to concentrate on the eternal daily so that when we hit a spot where life is tough, we are ready to fight with prayer and song.  Thank You for providing Your word which is full of praise.  They are songs unto You and the words speak to us about a wonderful God.  Be the light of the world today and help all of us light one lamp.  People need You, O, Lord.  Guide our feet with prayer and praise all our days.  Give us a heart for You that goes beyond understanding and help us to share Your Spirit with every woman, in every nation.  You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  We bow down to You in praise and worship.  For You are the slain lamb, who was and is to come!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012

So, if you've read this blog for awhile, you know the first thing I do is make coffee every morning.  It's the best part of my day.  That first sip just rejuvenates me and fills me with joy.  The next thing I do is give my dogs water.  As I was filling their bowls today, I looked up and there was a picture of my mom hugging my sons.  And for a moment, I was back in time when my mom was ordering me around, buying my kids everything they wanted, and feeling secure because she took care of everything.

I'm not sure why I even thought about all of that.  It was a second and memories came flooding back to me.  I'm one of the lucky ones.  I had two parents that were together until death, loved their children and provided avenues for us all to be successful.  They gave my kids more patience, love and devotion than any child could hope for and they taught me that sacrifice was worth it.  They weren't the most spiritual people and often, I wondered if either one of them knew God.  At the same time, they never told us we couldn't go to church, join a church camp, or find God.  They were all for it.  They were the best.

Memories have a way of creeping up on us when we least expect it.  I didn't intend to look at that photograph today and go back in time.  I didn't really think about it at all but there I was laughing and sharing everything with my mom.  Today, I wish I could share that her grandson is 6'7" tall and that he could have carried her anywhere she wanted to go.  And that her eldest grandchild is making a way for himself in spite of many challenges. They were her life and I hope that someday I can tell her all about the driving lessons, Austin's first date and the many times we laughed and reminisced about how wonderful they both were.  For me, I miss the shopping expeditions because she loved to shop and I'm such a guy that I went into JCPenney's yesterday and bought both of them clothes for the summer in 20 minutes.  Most of you won't be able to relate but for those of us that hate spending money, that's the way we do it.  At least it gets done! She was the shopper, the baker, the counselor and the heart of this family.  I've taken her place and I have to tell you, they are big shoes to fill.  My goal now is to steer women, not just in the arts of being productive women but in being great champions for Jesus Christ.

Of course, I would love women to nurture, cook, and be great helpmates.  That's all part of our roles.  However, as we go out into the world, we really need to be praying and ministering to the women of the world.  Looking back, our memories should not just be of our families, they should be about investing in Jesus and through Him, helping women to know Him more.  We need to carry the light unto the world and be present so that we can be used.  As I look back, my parents gave me security, stability and a place to run when life got tough.  They're gone now, so where do I run?  I run into the arms of Jesus.  Probably more now than ever.  He is my comforter, my counselor and my light.  He provides purpose in every step and gives me the fortitude to move forward.  Every step of  my day has an element of Jesus, from my first sip of coffee, to writing this blog.  He is present in my life and without Him, I would be lost.

We are made for a great purpose.  My mom would always tell me that but of course, I never believed her.  I know now, that through Jesus Christ, I do have a great purpose.  I am to worship Him by reading my Bible, investing in women through prayer, and writing this blog.  Funny, but this has become such a vital part of my every day life.  I started to write it because I thought I could reach more women all over the world and instead its become my own Bible study every morning.  I look back at my words and ask myself, "Did you really write that?"  The words flow through me like a river running down hill.  I know the Holy Spirit is at work because how does one person have so much to say?  Today is my 135 blog.  It's unbelievable to realize how much I have learned in a 135 days and my hope is that it's blessing you too.

I realize that not everyone reading this blog understands the power of unconditional love.  I also realize that not every person understands what it means to have a father that loves them.  I'm asking all of you to open your hearts to a Father that lasts long after we are gone.  A Father that holds us in the quiet when no one knows what we are thinking or feeling.  You can go to Him with everything and He will never think you're stupid, weak, or unworthy.  He died for you so that you could have eternal life.  Every memory I have since the day I confessed has had Jesus in it.  And when I realized much of what I loved was lost, He filled me with His presence.  See, I haven't really lost anything because this life will end but through Jesus Christ I have eternity.

Be a person that gives their life to the one that understands.  He has known you since the womb and continues to invest in you, even when you aren't investing in Him.  Delight in the Lord and everything else won't matter as much.  He is the reason for every season.  Let's celebrate His life, His death and His resurrection.  Unite with me today and praise Him for all the wonderful memories you have and ask Him into your heart today.  The greatest gift I ever received was being able to walk with Jesus.  Walk with us today and gain purpose, understanding and power through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is totally worth it!

And by all means, go make beautiful memories with your families and friends today.  Invest in someone, you will gain as much as they will.  Be kind to your fellow man and always remember that Jesus is just a phone call away.  Blessings to all!

Isaiah 32:17 NKJV:

    The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

Luke 22:42-43 NKJV:

     Saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.    Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

John 12:27-28 NKJV:

     "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'?  But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name."  Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again."

Let's glorify Him today by taking up the cross!  You might be thinking that Jesus has enough workers but the truth is, there aren't enough to feed the nations.  If you're being called, heed it and realize that this life was never meant for your glory, it's meant for His!

My prayer today:

I am humbled by You today Lord.  I worship You more and more.  With prayer and petition, I come before You today a changed woman.  There isn't a candle that has burned greater in my life than You.  You have provided for me here on earth and in heaven and I am so grateful for Your love.  Bring women unto You from every nation with a need to spread Your word.  Give us courage to carry Your cross and to light the paths for many.  At the end of this life, I hope the memories we have created are not just are own but that our bank is full of memories made for You.  Help us to invest in people and to be good stewards of the talents You have given to all of us.  Give us strength in the darkness and lead us by still waters.  Encourage us to speak out for You and to be Yours, not just in this moment but for all time.  We want to glorify You in all things.  Provide the tools to be Your workers and guide us along our individual paths.  You are the spring in our step and the joy that propels us forward.  Your children need You Lord.  Teach us to walk with You and to be obedient to the word.  You are the way, the truth, the light.  Light up the world and bring women, men and children from every nation into Your Holy temple!  Be with us today as we go out into this crazy world and remind us that every thought must be of You.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012

Every day before I sit down to write this blog, I ask the Lord to speak to me.  And every day, I have something to write.  Yesterday, while waiting for some of my customers to show up, I took a few minutes to look at my Bible application on my iPhone.  I love it.  Anyway, I was praying for the meeting to be successful and that I would be contented in the moment.

As with all my entries, they seem to have a pattern.  Recently, it's contentment and happiness in the moment.   Not because I'm just floundering in the wind.  Actually, I think it's because I haven't taken any time off in the last 6 months and everything in my life has changed so dramatically.  In the last six months, I have buried my dad, sold the house he and my mom lived in, got rid of all their possessions, and began to teach my youngest son how to drive.  On top of all of that, I have dealt with attorneys, learned that the system isn't fair and survived a layoff.  I now travel half of Kansas.  Unbelievable and I did all this without even breathing.  Can you imagine?

That's the way I do things.  I think sometimes I just barrel through until something stops me and I say, "breathe."  In that moment, Christ ministers to me most.  Why?  Because I'm still and He waits patiently until I stop and see Him.  He's always right and mostly I'm wrong but then I take comfort that He's that way for everyone.

So when is enough, enough?  Can we do all things apart from Christ?  Can we run, like sheep in the field, out of breathe forever?  Or must we sit still and realize, He is enough?  I believe that I must sit still.  So, instead of driving 6 hours today, I'm staying home and enjoying a day off.  I'm planning on going to breakfast with my husband, getting my son out the door for driving lessons, cleaning my house and praying for all of you.  It was time to be still, not in the sense of doing nothing, but in the sense that I need to concentrate on Christ and breathe.

Maybe you are experiencing the same kind of change today.  Is Christ enough?  Can you praise Him, love Him and stay still for Him?  I hope you can.  It's not easy running around not being able to breathe.  However, I think most of us run our lives like that.  We keep going until something happens that makes us stop and say, "You are sufficient for me today."

I'm glad I took today off and that I will have time to enjoy my family and my maker.  At the end of the day, God and my family have to come first.  But if I don't breathe, sit still and let Christ be my portion, I won't be good to anyone.  I pray today that you take a few moments to breathe and to see God in a mighty way today.  Change will always happen, we just need to sit still and let Him minister to our souls, so that we have the energy to move forward.

Psalm 61 NKJV:

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust,
O my soul, you have said to the Lord, "You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You."
As for the saints who are on the earth,"They are the excellent ones, in whom is my delight."
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names on my lips.
O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance.
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.  
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

My prayer today:

Lord, I pray this psalm to You.  I thank You for David's beautiful words.  I can picture You at my right hand and I trust that as we all take a breath today, You are here.  You are the king of my heart.  Every portion of You is gladness in my soul.  My flesh does rest in hope and I offer my life into Your hands.  You are everything that is good and pleasing.  You minister to us, You guide us and You show us our path.  May we come before You today, thanking You for the beauty You give us and the joy that resides in our hearts.  Let us not question if this person or that person finds us worthy.  We must rest in the fact that although we are not worthy; You love us anyway.  Be our portion today and bless us as we follow You all of our days.  Unite us as one and let the women of the world know, I am praying for them.  For all those I don't know, may God come before You, may You see Him today as being enough and may You praise Him with everything You have.  He's worthy!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

What makes a woman a woman?  I've often pondered this thought.  I think because I had to go to work early on and really didn't get the opportunity to raise my kids, be a great homemaker or just put my husband at the top of the list.  So, in essence, I put my career before all the things that were important.

When a man goes to work, he is working to provide.  His duties are to go to work, make the money and come home.  For a woman, we are pulled in every direction.  And I believe we lose ourselves in the journey.  Why?  Because we strive to be like men and guess what?  We aren't.

Our roles have changed through the years.  I'm not saying it's a bad thing in some respects.  But did we truly win with women's lib?  I doubt it.  Yes, we get to have great jobs and use our brains but we have suffered in our course to find true success.  Men aren't men anymore and we are confused, stressed and often sad because we aren't great at anything.

I heard my boys talking about my sister-in-law at the dinner table last night.  They were saying how her cooking had greatly improved and her desserts were to die for.  If I have an hour to throw something together, I'm lucky.  I made a commitment to cook every night so that my family would have what I had growing up.  Of course, my mom had hours to prepare it and I have minutes.  You try to make a wholesome meal in an hour, especially when your crew doesn't like casseroles!

As I sat there, I started to feel a little bad because I'm not doing everything she can.  I had to stop myself and realize that my path isn't her path.  God put me on this road for a reason and I need to do the best I can with the time I have.  I wonder if any of you are feeling the pressure?  Do you ever feel lost between your career and your family?  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  And then of course, there's the stay-at-home mom that wishes she could escape for a few minutes and be an adult.

Each path will be defined by what we have to do in this life.  If you are making the sacrifice to stay home, every minute that you are, you are giving someone the chance to develop normally.  You are giving them the opportunity to come home to someone that loves them and you will reap the reward some day.  If you're in my shoes and are working for a living, realize that you can still be there for your family and work hard.  Paths are different but it's how we handle our path that will matter in the end.

I have learned that I can't covet what I don't have.  I often daydream about what it would have been like to be at home with my boys and what I wouldn't have lost if I could have been there.  But then I take a step back and realize, my mom and dad helped me raise them and teach them more things than I could of anyway.  I love my husband and my boys with all my heart.  I can't go back; I simply must go forward.

Whatever road you have to walk, I hope you stay contented.  God provides in the most mysterious ways.  I have learned that if I will just take the time to look for Him, He's there.  We might not be the picture of the family I had in my head but we are a family because of Him.  I owe God many things, provision, grace, love and commitment.  I didn't deserve to have Him walk me down my path but He has and for that, I will ever be thankful.

So, no matter what you're doing today, thank Jesus for being with you.  I can't change my past but I can be thankful for it.  My boys are growing up and they are doing well.  I hope when they look back they will see I did my very best and that although I couldn't always be there; I gave them all I could.

I just want to take a moment to honor every woman, whether you are a grandmother, mother or young woman.  You are the fabric of this society.  I lift you up in prayer and ask Jesus to help you be contented wherever you are.

Job 14:17 NKJV:

     My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You cover my iniquity.

Psalm 27:1 NKJV:

    The Lord is my light and my salvation;

Ephesians 5:13 NKJV:

     But all things that are exposed are made manifests by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

1 Corinthians 7:20 NKJV:

     Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.

My prayer today:

Lord, thank You for always helping me look forward.  The past is gone and in its place is You.  I am thankful that when I begin to feel less significant, You cover me and make me whole.  I'm not perfect and I have sinned many times over but when I ask for forgiveness, You forgive.  I pray for every woman, in every nation, and ask that You would cover them today.  You know the thoughts of women everywhere.  Give us a heart that will fulfill Your commission and help us raise the next generation.  Correct our thoughts and make them Yours and always help us do the right thing.  We need You in our lives, correcting us, loving us and covering us.  We are nothing without You.  Our future success lies in Your hands, whether it's with our families, friends, or careers, we need You to light our way.  You are the beacon in the night and we cling to You.  Thank You for calling us, we worship You!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012

Do you ever wake up with something on your mind and it just won't go away? There are things that really bother me, like children starving, abuse, divorce, and death of young people.  At every corner, during every hour of the day, tragedy erupts.  Not everything in this world will be resolved especially if Christ doesn't want it to be.  The key is that we trust in Him to do His will and walk beside those that need Him the most.

I trust in Jesus with all my heart and yet, I worry about people.  I have a heart for strangers and a love for the lost.  I was lost and someone took the time to pick me up and take me to an evangelist meeting.  My life changed that day and I hope that in my lifetime I will see many lost people come to Christ.  However, I realize that there are problems in my life and in others that I can't fix.  I want to, believe me.  I just don't have the power or authority to do so.  Luckily, I have a God that can.  That doesn't mean He is going to fix all the turmoil we see today in society or in peoples lives.  However, if it His will it will be done.

Often, I catch us all putting Jesus in a box.  We don't pray about a marital problem, an issue with a friend or the direction for our lives because we think we are in control.  It's really the opposite.  We have no control.  Our control comes through prayer, forgiveness and grace, which are all provided by God to His people.  I'm no more special than you.  I may have some talents that are worthy but in the end, we are all part of a tapestry and we must use those talents to further the kingdom of God.

If I have learned one lesson these last couple of years, it's that God fixes things much better than me.  I may think I can fix it but whenever I have gotten on my knees and really prayed about a difficult situation, He has granted a far better solution.  I also have come to the understanding that He will not fix everything.  Hard but true.  Or if He does fix them, it might not look like I envisioned it.  That's part of sacrificing our wants and desires unto our Lord and letting His will be done.

I encourage all of us to find a prayer partner this month.  Someone you trust.  Someone you feel you can share your heart and no one will know. Each of you should sit down and discuss the issues that have you worried, keep you up at night, or something you want to change in your heart.  We all have issues.  I would also encourage you to pray for the lost in your community, in the US and all over the world.  Women need to unite and become one with God.  We need to teach that Jesus is bigger than life and He's worth dying to our flesh to be saved.  I realize that we all have burdens.  No one escapes those.  However, if we take the time to share our load, pray for one another, and let Jesus do His will, we will all be happier and more contented individuals.

I know because I practice what I preach, at least on this one.  I have several friends that call me for prayer and I pray for them too.  I lift up women in every nation and ask God to have His hand on them.  I desire for every woman and man to know the love of Christ and I want to teach the word so that when the iron is hot, we can be cool in the heat of any battle.  Wisdom and perseverance come with time and trust.  You must trust that the Bible is a living document.  That it is God breathed and that everything you need to know is in its contents.  You must also believe that Jesus died on the cross, was innocent, and was resurrected for you and me.  We will all face challenges.  That's just a fact of life but having Jesus in my life means I don't have to be alone.

I hope wherever you are today, you feel the power of our Lord.  That you take a moment and thank Him for loving You right where you are and I hope that you let His grace and mercy rain down on you today.  Just sitting and spending time with Him every morning makes me forget what I woke up worrying about.  He has the plan.  I just need to be patient, pray and let His will be done!

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV:

     For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3 NKJV:

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

Psalm 73 NKJV:

      But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I am glad that I don't have to carry the burden of fixing everyone's lives.  I can come to you, pray with others and ask for Your will to be done.  I might think I know best but time and time again, You have revealed to me that You know exactly what you're doing.  All I have to do is be obedient, love the lost, have a heart for You and share the Gospel.  Sometimes in the dark, I worry and the only way to wash my burdens is to come before You and ask that You would grant Your will on my life.  When I rest in You, I find comfort, grace, mercy and love.  I also believe that You have my best interests at heart and that You will provide the way.  I pray for all the women out there that are lonely, lost, broken, and tired.  I ask that You would be a force in their lives.  Please bring women that they can trust and give them encouragement.  Help us all to have wisdom and discernment and give us a passion for the Word and Your people.  I never really knew what love was until I found You.  Thank You for guiding me to Your feet and giving me a heart for women everywhere.  May You bless us all today and give us the ability to be Your warriors.  You are my heart.  I pray that millions of women will see You in everything I do and grant us Your presence today.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012

Don't you love when your words come back to bite you!  Well, I don't.  After my eloquent words of turning the other cheek, diffusing our anger and moving through arguments, I get in a fight with my husband over potato salad.  Are you laughing?  I'm finding some humor in it myself.  Of course that's after I fuel the fire for a minute and then exclaim, "Okay Lord, I get it."

Potato salad, really?  Yes, I fell for a conversation over whether we should buy it or make it.  My husband loves to plan vacations, right down to the meals, however, I'm rarely in them.  Some of that could be my own fault because he begins to talk about these trips months before we have to go.  So, maybe during the meals portion, I zoned out a little and look what happens; we fight over store bought potato salad.  Hilarious!

Two major things come to light immediately.  One, I need to listen more and two, I need to say, "Yes dear."  Oh, you think I would have learned after all these years but I guess I still have something to learn.  And once again, I am humbled by my maker.  Obviously, He would like me to practice what I preach.  AMEN!

So, if you and someone you love got into a fight today, let it go and have a good laugh.  I'm sure it was as important as my argument with my husband.  I'm almost ashamed to admit it to you all.  But the truth is the truth and if I'm going to share my wisdom, Christ is going to test it.  At the end of the day, we must let go of our pride, concede to agree to disagree and move on.  I can't harbor ill feelings if I contributed to that nonsense and either should you.

Be aware that the silliest of things can make grown adults seem like two year olds.  As a matter of fact, I'm sure my kids were more adult than us.  Anyway, die to your flesh and laugh at the situation.  I am and it's not easy for me to let go but I am.  I hope Christ is laughing with me as He looks down and shakes His head.  He must think we are the dumbest sheep ever.

If you're in my pen today, I hope you get out with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.  Most arguments are really silly and hardly have the bite it takes to expend the energy.  If you're like me, you would rather have peace anyway.  Tonight, I will pray over the words and laugh all the way to my pillow.  I don't mind being a wayward sheep if I learn a valuable lesson.

Thank goodness our Lord loves us. I just wish He would warn me before He tests me.  Unfortunately, I get to experience the same trials and tribulations that you do and if I pass, there probably won't be anything to write about tomorrow.  So for now, I lean on the grace of our Lord and thank Him for His compassion and forgiveness.  Now, if I can just get my husband to forgive me.  I don't think he's laughing as much as I am.

Proverbs 27:3 NKJV:

     A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, But a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 NKJV:

     Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Proverbs 16:32 NKJV:

      He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

I was definitely in the bosom of fools last night.  I'm so grateful that I can repent and be done with it.  Let's practice what we preach.  Be slow to anger and love those around us.  I'm sure this won't be the last time I fail this test but I hope I have learned something from it.  Ridiculous!  Take heart my sisters and wash it from your back, move on and ask Christ to love You through it.  I'm okay if I'm just a dumb sheep for a day but I don't want to remain that way.  Have a great day and remember be slow to anger!

My prayer today:

O, Lord, thank You for being a God of humor.  Forgiving us when we sin and making us laugh at ourselves.  We are like wayward sheep always trying to jump that fence and with great care, You put us in our place.  As you know, we are of flesh and sometimes over very stupid things, we go the wrong direction.  I hope today for healing and understanding over everyone that has had an argument this week.  We fight because our pride gets in the way.  We know that in order to be used well by You; we must die to our pride and let Your light shine in.  Forgive us for our sins and lift us up.  Protect us from ourselves and make us more like You.  The days grow short when anger is in them.  We want to be a light, not a darkness in someones life.  You are the key to our success and the light under our wings.  We thank You for knowing exactly what we need, when we need it.  Give us a heart for others and tie our tongues, so that we have nothing to regret in the morning.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012

Why do we sabotage relationships?  Have you ever thought about it?  It's so present in our flesh and yet, we just don't diagnose it until it's too late.  It really is unfortunate that we let our mouths get away from us too quickly or even our actions.  Women are infamous for putting their feet into their mouths.  We get angry about inconsequential things, we gossip, and we just plain don't think about what we say.

I think it starts at puberty when the popular people become popular and the nerds emerge.  We are all trying to be powerful in our own way.  The problem is that we destroy the good that we do when we work to be the best, the most beautiful, or the most popular.  Young girls don't often get this but we should.

Women have the ability to raise leaders, humanitarians, ministers, missionaries and presidents.  From the time a child is born, we have no way to know what he or she might do.  And yet, we gossip behind peoples backs, we sabotage good relationships because we fear and we worry about what people think about us.  Why?  Because we want power.  The power we have through Jesus has nothing to do with any of those things.  It has to do with the ability to allow the Holy Spirit in and to really be a prayer warrior for those that can't pray. We can unite and become one, which helps others to have courage in their storms, fire under their feet, and a sense of oneness that we all desire.  We don't do it; Jesus does.

In order for us to fulfill our purpose we must desire to be in relationship without asking for anything in return.  We must move through our hurts and pains and work toward being the kind of women Jesus wants.  We must strike at fear, frustration and anger and replace it with love, trust, faith and peace.  Basically, we must die to our flesh so that we can reap the full benefits of Jesus Christ.

I have sabotaged many relationships.  Especially when it came to the male persuasion.   And because I lacked faith in women, I really didn't have much in the way of friends either.  It was only when I began to look at myself that I realized I feared getting hurt.  When you fear hurt, you will not invest.  If you don't invest, you will miss out.   I understand the need to protect yourself but I also know the blessings we miss out on when we protect too much.  Jesus will protect us.  Our flesh won't.

People need people.  Look around.  We need each other and God made it that way.  If you're scared today to be in relationship with someone, I beg of you to ask Jesus to heal that part of you that wants isolation.  The greatest events in History have come from people uniting for a common cause.  Just look at the Susan B Komen organization.

People will and can hurt us.  The key is if we are willing to stand up, walk away from our fear, and fight for each other.  I have corrected a lot of my lifetime fears through Jesus Christ.  I am now able not to look at the end but approach everything as if it's the beginning.  How did I do that?  Through a lot of prayer.  I needed God to diagnose and heal me.  Every event begins with me, I'm the only common denominator in my relationships.  I'm the only one that can see the fear and hurt and I'm the only one, with Jesus, that can fix it.

Whether you are challenged by your relationships with women or men, please take some time with our maker.  Ask Him to diagnose and to reveal your fears, hurts, and frustrations.  Start small and invest in one person.  Don't look toward the end of the relationship, walk daily.  We need to approach relationships in a healthier way.  Christ did.  All would fail Him and yet, He came to save us all!

Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV:

     Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Psalm 73:26 NKJV:

     My flesh and my heart fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

If your desire is to have a truly meaningful relationship with a male or female, then you must be right with Jesus.  Our flesh will let us down, Jesus won't.  Take heart and know that many of us fail this particular test.  The winners ask for help, persevere and die to their flesh.  Today, I am able to be in community with many different women.  It didn't happen by chance; it happened through Jesus.  There are still times I fail this test but I always walk back to Jesus and ask Him to fix me.  I'm not perfect but I have a God that is.  Walk with Him daily, so that You can walk with those He chooses to bring into your life.  The reward is great!

My prayer today:

Lord, we love you so much and yet, we let our flesh do the talking for us.  I pray that we would die to our flesh so that You can use us.  Although I have failed myself and others, I pray that I will not fail You now.  I come before You asking for You to restore in me a new heart.  I want a heart that yearns for others and that will love them through the test of time.  I pray that all women everywhere will throw off their hurts, frustrations and anger and in there place will be love, peace, trust and faith, that You are the key to every relationship.  I grow weary of my own failures but I have You to lift me up, mold me and to make me Yours.  In all things, I pray that we would all see Your mighty hand on our lives.  That we would invest in one, so that many can know Your name.  We ask that we would die to ourselves and that You would be our every focus.  For as long as You are the king of our hearts, we will succeed in every battle.  We need You to reveal to us our weaknesses so that they can be replaced with Your strength.  Thank You for never turning Your back on this broken generation, for loving us when we are unloveable and for making us Yours!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012

Today is Father's day and it brings me great sorrow and much joy.  The sorrow comes from losing my hero and the great joy comes from knowing that my Father in heaven is with me.  As I write, I realize there may be women out there that didn't grow up with a father, or their father was abusive, hurtful or absent.  Unfortunately, not every one is a good parent and for that I have great sorrow in my heart. But I am encouraged by God, because in the absence of a father, He is all we need.

My father was a wonderful man.  He made leaf piles for us to dive into and gave us ski lessons, swimming lessons, and life lessons.  He loved us and showed us every day that he was committed to his family and my mother.  He sacrificed much, so that all of our needs would be met, no matter how many hours he had to work.  For most of my life, he worked seven days a week and would come home and play with us, do homework or just sit and listen to us.

He was an unbelievable role model, not just for the four of us but for the nine grandchildren he left behind.  He instilled in my brothers to cherish their wives and to make time for their children.  He taught me what a man looks like and acts like.  He cared for our mother with passion and remained by her side until she died.  He was everything and yet, I still have a great Father.  I can't see Him but I feel Him, I read about Him and I pray to Him.

No longer do I have a physical man to be my father but I do have Christ.  I hope to see my dad one day.    And I am so thankful for the care, consideration and respect he gave me.  The loss is great but if I didn't have Christ, the loss would be shattering.  If I have learned one thing in the last six years, it's to really depend upon Jesus Christ.  I don't know what people do without Him and I'm glad I never have to find out.  He is my crutch.  And although I miss my father horribly, I have a Father still guiding me through life's challenges, holding my hand when I get hurt and guiding my feet through the fire.  I can't see Him but I know He is near.  Even when I disappoint Him, I know He stands beside me.

I am encouraged that all of us have the power to feel what I feel.  To know, that even though our earthly fathers are gone, God is near.  If you don't know that kind of love because you haven't asked Christ into your heart, I pray that you will today.  A father represents many things here on earth.  But God represents something so much more.  He is love.  People can let us down, abuse us, neglect us and throw us away, but God never does.  He is essential to us.  We need Him and He loves us.

My hope is that you have all experienced a wonderful earthly father.  However, if life hasn't offered you that, please go to a Father that never leaves us.  He is with us.  We don't have to have a father to experience the full love and grace of Jesus Christ.  We just have to receive Him and He does the rest.

If your father is still here, make sure you thank him for the love and guidance he has brought to your life.  They are human like us and many times feel as if they have failed us.  At the end, when my dad was not feeling very well, he shared with me his deepest regrets.  He thought that he had failed all of us.  As he laid dying in that hospital, I assured him that he never let us down.  Why?  Because he never did.  He gave his all, loved his family and worked to provide our every need.  I am the mother I am to today due to him and my mother.  Possessions will never bring us happiness but investing in someone always will.  I thank God that He brought my father into my mother's life and that He delivered Him with great peace and grace.

I loved my father will all my heart.  I will always remember the joy he provided to my children, how he sat on numerous benches watching my son play, how he guided my sons and showed them how a man should be.  He was a great man but with all that being said, Christ has been more.  Christ represents the best of my dad without all the baggage.  I can go to Him when I am weak and He knows exactly what I need.  His love is sufficient and although my loss is great, He covers me.

2 Corinthians 2:4 NKJV:

     Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

John 3:16 NKJV:

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

My prayer today:

Thank You Lord, for being our Father.  For taking the time to listen to us, love us and be with us, no matter where we are.  I pray today that if someone doesn't know You, that they will come before You and confess that You did die on a cross for our sins.  I pray that You would show them what You have shown all of us.  That a life without You is empty but a life with You is full.  You are my Father and I am so grateful for Your compassion and grace.  Please lead women to You, through all of us.  Bless this blog and give women an understanding of what You mean to me and so many more.   I lift up the women in other countries that might not have the freedom we have today and ask You to come into their lives.  Freedom comes from You and although we all live in different circumstances; You are the light of the world.  My heart goes out to every woman that didn't have a great earthly father.  I pray today that they receive something better, a heavenly Father.  You are sufficient for me today and I want to honor You always.  So on this Father's day, I honor You and thank You for my life.  May it be a blessing to You always.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16, 2012

All I can think about today is how life is a battlefield.  And, I wonder, will I win.  I'm not talking about winning in a way many of us do.  Many times we consider victory when it's personal, like winning a race, getting promoted or seeing a situation rectified.  I'm talking about winning for Jesus.

Whenever I'm struggling and feel lost, I think of the Israelites.  I can tell you that I've been in that mode a lot in my life.  I find comfort in their lack of understanding, complaining and overall sense of defeat.  I know that sounds weird but if you look at their story and the promise God made to Abraham, the battle was long but the victory came.

I think we love to grumble in the battle. We stomp our feet and say, "why me."  We forget the provisions that God has brought us and we only look at today.  Our faith waves like wheat in the wind and still, He delivers us.  I wonder how many out there are just like that.  You're going along, everything is going your way and bam, you hit a wall and forget about every provision, every gift, every victory through Jesus.  I'm sure there are many but I want us to begin to look at provision in a different way.  I want us to realize that daily we have manna but often, we just don't use it.

The difference between us and the Israelites are two things:  they only had Moses and Jesus wasn't even born yet.  Why does that matter?  Because their promise was delivered by a man and most of the time they wanted to stone him.  And through Jesus, we received the Holy Spirit and the living word.  All those poor Israelites had was the 10 commandments and you know how often we all break those.  So, I guess when you sit still and really think about it, God could have chosen to let those wandering sheep despair forever.  Was that His choice?  No.  At the end of the journey, when He believed they were ready, He delivered them into Israel.

That took 40 years.  Now, for many of us our tribulation might last a week, a month or a year.  Depending on our choices, it might last for many years.  I can think about several people I know where they fought cancer over years and then were finally delivered to Him.  I love to say that life just isn't fair but Jesus is.  Sometimes we must wander in the desert to understand the power of the victory.  For me, wandering in the desert has always heightened my faith.  Why?  Because I look back and even though I don't understand what God is doing; I know He's doing it for His glory.

I want to challenge us to face our fears and instead of asking "why," let's have faith that He is in the middle of our situation and sit still.  Not easy, I know.  I have worked on sitting still all week and I can say, I've failed many times.  But today, I'm sitting still asking God to go before me.  I hope that every day, even if I do win a personal victory, I stay in the race for Jesus.  Really nothing in this life is worth it, if Jesus is not on the battlefield with me.

So, release your fears, quit asking why and start asking Christ, "where do you want me today?" We do have the tools to win a victory for Him.  He laid it all out.  It won't be easy and we won't understand but we can grow our faith and see His hand.  As I continue to say, read your Bible, pray for forgiveness and pray that women all over the world will unite for one cause, Jesus!

1 Peter 5:8-11 NKJV:

     Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen

Psalm 46: 10 NKJV:

     Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

John 6:31 NKJV:

     Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

Even the Israelites knew the grace of God.  They were angry complainers but God always provided.  He provides many of the same things to us today that He gave them.  Before we can experience His grace, we must be still.  God calls us to be vigilant.  Evil does roam this earth and only when we have faith enough to believe, will we really understand the grace we are under.  I hope today, you see the grace of God and have faith, through being still.  I don't think any of us wants to wander for 40 years, do you?

My prayer today:

O, mighty Lord, grant us the wisdom to be wiser and smarter than the Israelites.  Like them, we are human and our flesh gets in front of our Spirit.  However, we have a desire to know You in all circumstances.  Life isn't fair and we will have trials.  All we ask is that when we do face them, You will help lift us up and give us a great faith.  You are the King of our hearts and the power behind the cross.  We worship You, not just in the good times, but in the bad.  None of us want to wander for 40 years, our prayer is that Your will be done and that we complete the race.  Thank You for Your grace, Your wisdom, Your power and Your word.  We would be nothing in this life without You.  Help us be determined to sit before You daily, so that when we do face a bump in the road, we know who to turn too.  You are our manna in the morning, our sun at dawn and our moon in the evening.  Please help us to become mighty women of You and provide us with the strength to fight whatever comes our way, with our Spirits, instead of our flesh.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 15, 2012

I have a heavy heart today because like all mothers; I would like to keep the trials of this world away from my sons but as we all know, this is impossible.  When a person attacks your own, you want to attack them too.  It's part of human nature.  But are we right to go at someone in anger?

We are never right to do anything in anger.  The Bible is clear on that.  God is slow to anger and I thank Him repeatedly and work very hard to do the same.   I am approaching a very difficult time in my son's journey and I need to protect him.  In some ways I feel as though my husband and I let an adult verbally abuse him and we stood by and told him that he had to take it.

We never have to take abuse.  Abuse is power.  And most people don't handle power over others well.  It's a way for them to control the weak and defenseless and we have an obligation to protect the weak.  With that being said, I have had several days to pray about how to handle a very delicate situation concerning an adult and my son.  If you are reading this, please pray that I handle this situation with wisdom and with God's grace.

My main concern is for my son and a friend of his.  I want the abuse to stop and I am praying that how my husband and I handle the situation will help to correct the situation.  My mind has gone in a thousand different directions and I finally have come to the conclusion that I must forgive and leave my anger behind.  Why?  Because that's what I get every day from Christ.  He forgives me even when I fail Him and I must show the same kind of compassion and grace towards my fellow man, even if I believe them to be wrong.

Forgiveness is a big part of our overall maturity.  When we are able to forgive, we can receive grace.  If we hold that bitterness in our hearts, the light of Christ will not be able to penetrate our hearts.  I want to always be able to forgive and have grace.  So, today as I go to meet with the administration of my son's school, I hope that I will approach this situation fairly and amicably.  All I want is that my son be left alone.  I realize I can't control the situation but I can speak out for the weak and hopefully, every one in this situation will be better for the experience.

It's not easy to stand up for what you believe in.  And it's definitely not easy to face hard situations.  But in the end, when I look at all the hardships I have faced, I have become a better person because of them.  I hope that today I show my son that love means standing up for the weak.  I hope he will remember this trial and it will remind him that we must have forgiveness and grace.  But mostly, I hope that he feels protected by his Father.  For God goes before us.   Vengeance is not ours; its Gods.  So if your dealing with a great hurt, facing a person you consider your enemy, or facing a difficult confrontation, remember that God will take care of it for you.  Conduct yourself with love and let God take care of the rest.

Psalm 145:8 NKJV:

     The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.

Proverbs 19  NKJV:

     The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger.  And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

My prayer today:

Lord, please go before us.  Be our strength in trials, hurts and confrontations.  Provide the love and grace we need for our fellow man and help us lift them up in prayer.  Place on our hearts the need to forgive so, that we may be forgiven.  We owe You so much.  I am extremely grateful that You are slow to anger and that You fight for the weak.  We need to always remember that You have grace and we did nothing for it.  Personally, I pray that I would handle this situation with poise, dignity, grace, and love.  If I could ask one thing, it would be that You would help women release their anger and unite women all over the world to pray for one another.  Please forgive us for our sins and make us Yours.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

June 14,2012

If I learned one thing this week, it's to invest in people.  I had a wonderful time during my training, learning new things but if I have one takeaway from my meeting and my travels home yesterday; it's that people matter.  We can isolate ourselves or we can challenge ourselves to grow, by meeting people right where they are and investing in them.

As you all know my passion is women in their early twenties.  This is largely due to the fact that I believe we make a lot of choices in those years that can hurt us.  We don't realize how many choices we face that will have an effect on us later.  Those choices will shape us and if we make too many bad choices they can have an overall impact that can be devastating.

Because I opened myself up yesterday and invested in others, I met a beautiful woman last night in Atlanta.  I would really like to thank her for talking with me through the hours we waited to get to Kansas.  She is a wonderful woman with a very interesting past.  You know ladies, we all have pasts.  I hope you can look back and your closet isn't full with them.  But for most of us, we will regret one or more of our choices.  They cling to us like a bad suit and yet, are we to feel the shame of these mistakes? The Bible is clear; God washes us of our sins, when we come to Him and confess them.  Our consequences we must pay but the shame and hurt we feel must be released.

I'm not perfect and I never will be.  I finally have come to a place in my life where I'm okay with that.  I am being perfected, however and I'm willing to continue that process as long as Christ sees fit.  We are one in a journey of many choices.  Life is like a puzzle.  One piece fits perfectly.  If you have made some choices you regret, like you didn't finish college or maybe you have been married several times, please don't choose to define yourself by those choices.  Go to Jesus for wisdom and ask Him to put your feet on the right path.  He will.  I can't change the bad choices I've made in my past but I can make better future decisions through prayer and seeking Christ.

I was honored as God brought two very special women into my life yesterday.  I always pray that God will bring women to me and it was a mighty blessing to honor Him.  I hope they get on this blog today and realize that although strangers; we are one body.  It will take all of us to fight the wars of life.  If I had one takeaway from this week, it's to invest in people.   After this week, I may end up being more successful in my job, due to the training I received, but my greater hope is that I was a blessing to others.

May God be with you today.  May He come to you and show you how much He loves you and may you, in turn serve someone else.  I am so thankful I didn't put my head in that book yesterday.   If you are both reading this blog today, you know who you are.  I pray that God would bless you both on your new journey's and if you took anything from yesterday; I hope you realize God was right there, leading our discussion and investing in all of us.

Ephesians 4:30-32 NKJV:

     And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

I hope that as you go along today; you will receive the forgiveness that Christ gave to all of us.  The Holy Spirit is in us, to remind us, of the love and forgiveness God has for His people.  If you dare to receive it, you will find many past burdens lifted off your shoulders.  Healing from sin begins with us but ends with Christ!

My prayer today:

Thank you Lord, for bringing two very wonderful women into my life yesterday.  It was a blessing to me and hopefully, I was a blessing to them.  We all make mistakes that cause us to be angry with ourselves but at the end of the day; we must lay them at Your feet and let You wash them away.  I am constantly reminded of Your mercy and Your immense grace for those You love.  Help us to unite and love all those You love.  I wish that we didn't have to sin, but we all fall short.  Thank you for washing those mistakes away and covering us.  Until the day we bow at Your feet, I pray that we would become women of You.  Help us to be bold in this journey and surround us with people that will lift us up, so that we can move through our pasts and put all hurts, bitterness and shame away.  You are the greatest Father a girl could ever have and I just want to praise You and thank You for your constant commitment to Your chosen people.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 11-13

Hello all.  I will be out of town for the next few days and probably won't have time to write.  I will be back in action the morning of the 14th.  I just wanted to wish you all a very blessed week and remember although I am not writing, God's word is nearby.

June 10, 2012

This weekend my son was invited to play in a basketball tournament.  It's always interesting when your trying to get your house in order because you have to leave on a business trip and you get a text that says, "I need to be at the gym by 6:30 tonight."  Of course my whole life must stop, drop and take him to the court.  And like most moms, I did.

As I was sitting in 100 degree gym, which by the way, I am not a person that loves heat.  I swell easy and need to be cool, but nevertheless, I sat there. I thought about what it was taking for those boys to run up and down the court.  They were sweating, tired and trying to win a tournament.  I thought to myself; I hope they give up so we can go home.  What a horrible thought?  But I still smile when I think about it.  All in all, they did lose and had to be back in an hour to play another game.  

You would have thought these 15-16 year old boys would have quit.  That just wasn't the case.  They came out fighting, like the team that had played the previous day.  I don't know if it was the food, or just the anger from losing, but they all came out fighting to win and did.

They were undefeated up to their loss.  Everything was going their way and then, they began to forget they were a team.  Every one of them was doing their own thing and they weren't playing together and I watched this team fall apart.  Because at the end of the day, to be a good basketball player, you have to be a team member.  There is no "I" in team.  In many ways, I correlate that to God's kingdom.  He made us to be individuals, with different talents and different paths, but we are all on one team, His!  He decided the day we would be born, the day we would come to Him, the day we would fulfill our purpose and the day we will see Him again.  It's all in His hands.  The only thing that is truly in our hands is to pray for one another and build His team.  

Often in sales, you begin to think the "I" way.  You are only as good as you were yesterday and it pushes you to win.  Only in the last couple of years have I equated success with Christ.  I will only be successful in my profession if God desires it.  I still have to work hard but at the end of the day, it's for His glory not mine.  So, today, I am going to pray with  my son and his two friends before they go into that game.  I am going to pray for his team.  I want my son to always remember what team he plays for and for me and him too, it's Jesus's team.  

I know there are very talented people that are hugely successful that don't have Christ.  But in my world, the only team that will every truly bring fulfillment is Christ's.  That's why I am so thankful that He is with me on every road, on every sales call and sitting in that gym with 20 sweaty boys.  Wherever we are, if we have Him in us, He is with us.  And even when we don't know Him, He still pursues us.  We are His team and our job is to spread the word, to every country around the world.

If you are successful in anything today, thank Jesus Christ.  It's not you; it's Him.  At the end of the day, whether it's a basketball game or a major project for your job, it's all His.  They are stepping stones into Heaven.  So let's always try to remember that everything under the sun belongs to Him, including you.  He deserves our praise in the morning and our prayers of thanksgiving at night.  He is the maker of the universe and the tower of peace.  He provides our manna and asks us only to be faithful.  Look up today and thank Jesus for your life.  He deserves our undivided attention.  And without a doubt, let's form a union, a team for Jesus.  If we would unite around the world, amazing things would begin to happen. People would find Jesus and at the end of the day, that's how we all win.

Ecclesiastes 9:10-11 NKJV:

     Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or devise or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.  I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.  

Isaiah 45: 6 NKJV:

     That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me.  I am the Lord, and there is no other;

There are so many great and wonderful teams in the world.  It's wonderful to be part of a team and make a difference in peoples lives.  So, let's contribute to a team that will make a life changing difference in a woman's life.  I love to give to world vision, juvenile diabetes and the many other great charities but my time needs to go to the sharing of the gospel.  If one person is saved from a debilitating disease but doesn't know Jesus, have I really done anything?  I'm sure that I have put food in someone's mouth or possibly helped to find a cure, but at the end of the day, my team goal is to bring women to the foot of the cross and sing, Glory, Glory to the King!  Have a beautiful day my sisters.  I love all of you.
My prayer today:

Lord, you are so amazing.  Thank you for always providing a word picture for me.  So often, we look to ourselves for success.  We believe that if we work hard, fight to the end, we will win.  That's just not the case.  We must remember that every success comes from you, whether it's our boyfriends, husbands, children or careers; You are the source of success.  We bow down to You today and thank You for reminding us all that there is no "I" in team and that we all have to look for You in every thing we do.  You are the maker and developer of every living creature and we thank You for including us in Your team.  I pray today that women would come to You, seeking answers and committing their lives to You.  Help us be one with You for Your glory and be here with us today and provide opportunities to share Your love.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...