Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31, 2013

Good  morning all-

This morning as we woke up something special should have crossed your mind.  He is risen!  That should have been your first thought and hopefully, it's a thought that crosses your mind more than just today.  I know that for me, it has become a staple of my life.  I have tried to keep it at the forefront of my mind, especially when I'm getting in my own way.

Easter Sunday has so many good memories for me.  Although I know my mom believed in Jesus, we didn't go to church.  We were allowed to go to whatever church we wanted to and no one kept us from exploring our faith.  I was blessed in that because I didn't just go to church because it's what my parents did, it was because I sought it.  During my youth, my mom had beautiful traditions of coloring Easter eggs together, getting up on Sunday morning and getting our baskets and I can still remember the joy of that day.  She wanted us to remember that Jesus was the reason and give us memories that would last a lifetime.  I hold them dear.  My three brothers and I would pick up our baskets and go through them with a fine tooth comb.  We were not wealthy and so every piece of candy was a treasure.

Today, my focus is more on what is holy.  I did all the same things my mom did over the years and my sons loved Easter, they still do.  The difference is I want them to know that Jesus is the reason.  He bore our stripes and our sins with His life and He gave us life without anything in return.  People are talking about the instruments that were used in the crucifixion and as you know, they were barbaric.  The torture was profuse and it was intended to scare those from doing bad.  I'm sure it did.  Prison is a palace compared to what they went through back then and yet, our Lord, who was innocent, took the punishment and gave His life.

I am always humbled during this time of year.  As I watch the flowers pop up from the earth, the grass become green and the birds begin to flutter from tree to tree, it reminds me that this beauty was given and we get to be apart of it.  Our lives have turmoil.  We also experience profound loss, anguish, anxiety and instability but through it all, our lives are easy compared to one man's sacrifice for us.  There will always be beauty and there will always be pain but in the end there will be victory.  Why?  Because Jesus took the cup, drank it and died for it.  He stood between us and death and He won.  Wars will come, famines will flourish and the land will be dry until the day that our Lord comes back and takes His seat, eliminating evil for eternity.

Until then, we must stay faithful.  We must walk and pray and repent.  We must teach our children and others about the power of the cross and we must remain, not in our own strength, but in His.  I can only imagine the horror that took place on that fateful day.  It must have felt like a complete and utter loss.  And then, miraculously, two woman went to the tomb to find no body.  Imagine it?  An angel comes to them and awakens them with the power of the cross.  He is risen!

I have found joy in many things in my life but none compare to the day I found Jesus!  I am humbled to be in His army.  Believe me, I don't deserve it and I will never be perfect but I am His and He is mine and together we are one.  Life holds no meaning if we don't believe that He was resurrected after death.  If you don't believe it, you don't believe in the story of the cross.  But to date, no one has ever found the body, there is no burial tomb and we all know there never will be.  He is in Heaven, one with His Father and we are His, forever!

I hope today is full of great memories, stories of Easter egg hunts and dinners full of family.  But if none of those are available and you feel lonely, remember that Christ is with you.  He died for you and you are His.  I'm grateful for family but I'm more grateful for Him!

Luke 24:6 NKJV:

     He is not here, but is risen!  Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

My prayer today:

O, Lord, My Father, How Great thou are!  I come before You today with gladness and joy in my heart, not for the blessing you have bestowed on my house but for the sacrifice You made thousands of years ago.  We are in Your debt for what You did for us and we are kneeling before You asking You to bring forth people unto Your kingdom.  The world is crazy right now and the future is unknown but You are real, You were here, You bore the world's sins and You died for each one of us.  You rose again and we are healed through the stripes that You wore for us.  We are far from perfect and come today asking You to take our sins, hold us accountable and bring forth renewal to our hearts and souls.  We are Yours, You are ours and together we are part of History.  I pray that many would come to church today and find the love that is there.  I pray that strangers would be kind and that Jesus would be seen all over the world.  You are our King and today we thank You for being our lamb.  May God walk with His people today giving them wisdom to do the right things and to love randomly.  Be with me today and help my husband and my sons to see You the way I do.  May You continue to guide us toward Heaven and away from our own selfishness.  Give us a message today that resonates and help the pastors all over the world feed Your people.  I pray for the lost and lonely and believe that You are near.  Forever and ever You are my King.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013

Good morning all-

The Lord is with us!  Have you thought about that lately?  In the US the History channel has been airing the Bible.  It is a historical recount of the Old and New Testament and everyone is saying that the scenes of Jesus being beaten and on the cross are violent and not for children's eyes.  I find it interesting one, that they have even been advertising on television and two, that people are seeing from a historical perspective that Jesus was persecuted, beaten and hung on a cross.

As I watched the clip that they were showing, I thought of the stripes and the nails.  Every time I think I'm getting a stripe, it just can't compare to Jesus and the stripes he bore for me.  Many of my stripes are self-inflicted, maybe even deserved but His stripes were for our sins, not His.  Humbling!

I hope as we enter into the last days before Easter, we all will take some time and reflect on what Jesus did for us.  We really didn't deserve Him and yet, He fulfilled the promise by sacrificing Himself for those He loved.  It's easy to sacrifice for good people.  We do it all the time but He sacrificed for the murderer, the adulterer, the liar, the cheat and the prostitute.  He didn't need them to be perfect, He knew they weren't and yet, He gave His life anyway.

Jesus is my Savior and I want to shout it from the rooftops!  Are you?  That's a question we must ask ourselves every day.  People all over the world need us to speak of a Father that gave His life for the sinner.  We have to take care of our commission and remember that those stripes are part of a covenant, one we must participate in to further the kingdom.  If you can't travel the world, then find something near you and work to do His work.  As I write, I wonder who is coming to this site.  Who reads it and sees the hand of God.  For every time I write, the Holy Ghost is with me and I am so very humbled.  He knows my faults, my sins and my circumstances and yet, my fingers type so fast I can hardly remember what I wrote from one paragraph to another.  Why?  Because He is my Maker and I give Him all the credit.  I am only a servant, no glory should come my way, for it's His sacrifice that allows me to be in His presence and it's His stripes that gave me life.

I hope this day finds you well and I pray that the lost will see Jesus on Easter.  I am praying that God would move people and that a revival would take hold.  I'm praying for my country and yours that God would place His hand on our land and guide us and bless us.  We must trust that He will do so.  So with that, I pray for you and ask God to bless you today.  May you be strong in Him my sisters.

Isaiah 53:5 NKJV:

      But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, as I think upon the stripes your back carried for me, I am in awe.  I don't deserve You and I definitely didn't deserve You hanging on a cross for my sins and yet, You did.  You are mighty in my eyes, with all authority and majesty.  When I think about You I see a great angel with a beauty beyond my imagination.  The mighty will fall before You and every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess You are Lord.  Come before us today and prepare our hearts for Easter.  Give us the desire to hear from You and to minister to Your people.  I pray that thousands will open their eyes to You and confess with their mouths that Jesus is!  I have family that still don't know You and as I think upon that I'm asking You to take the blinders off and reveal Yourself to them.   I love You Lord and I thank You for Your sacrifice.  I know it wasn't easy and often we disappoint, but thank You anyway.  Forgive us of our sins and right our paths as we seek You daily.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26 2013

Good morning all-

Well I am back from a cruise, rested and ready for new adventures.  I have often liked taking on challenges and now I'm embarking on a whole new one.  I will be leaving my current business to help run a very small start up company.  With the Lord's will and direction, I will help mentor people to be great workers and better leaders.  I'm looking forward to the challenge and thank God for the opportunity at hand.

During my vacation adventures, I went to the small island of Routan, it's off of Honduras.  Like all small islands, there is quite a bit of poverty.  My eye's were open once again to how very fortunate we are to live in homes with all the benefits we have in commercialized countries.  Don't get me wrong, they have cars and homes but many of the people don't have the creature comforts we complain about like dishwashers, dryers and washing machines.  It made me once again realize how God works in the hearts of men.  Traveling opens your eyes to where you are and the hardships of those around you.  I met a wonderful woman who had 9 kids and was now a widow.  Her spirit was amazing.  She loved people and we loved her.  God picks some angels and she's one of them.  I hope that in our brief time with her, she saw mine as well.

The weeks have gone by and here we are about to celebrate an event that changed people.  On Sunday, we will celebrate Easter and the meaning of it far outweighs the Easter bunny.  Jesus gave His life so that we could have eternity.  I often think that we don't think upon this enough.  His scars are our reward.  Sad isn't it.  That one man, Son of God, gave His life for us the sinners.  I'm glad He did because Christ knows how fallible we all are and I'm in there right with you.

I am in awe once again of how God fulfills His promise to all of us.  He is our comfort and our joy.  He leads us when times are tough and holds us in our joy.  He walks and talks with us through our tears and He carries us when we suffer.  He knows our hearts and our  minds and ministers to each one of us.  He gives us life when we should die.  I love the Lord and I hope as you come to this blog you share with me in His power of love.  May today bring you joy and may God be with you wherever you live.  Please pray for the soles that don't have as much as you do and give, not just with your money but with your heart.

Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV:

     You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, if I do just one thing right I want to love You with all my heart and love Your people too.  It was an honor to be able to travel to different destinations and to show my children Your love.  They heard of poverty and corruption and looked upon a pastor's house that was grand and the orphanage below that was in ruins.  They looked upon children with torn clothes and dirty feet and knew something different than how they live today.  They were inspired by the Oceans You created and admired the beauty of the animals, the colors of brilliant flowers and uniqueness of each country.  You are God and we are Yours.  May the word be true and may workers fulfill their great commission.  You created every person, every country and every living thing.  We are under Your authority and are glad for it!  Be with us today as we go about our daily lives and as we approach Easter inspire us all through the Holy Spirit to love the lost, pray for the hurting and to breathe the word into peoples lives.  You are our God, there is no other!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

Good morning all-

Well today will probably be my last post until Spring Break is over.  I will be with my family without cell phones and little Internet access.  We are going on what probably will be our last family vacation together and I am so excited.  I love being with my boys and watching them laugh.  The time has gone so fast and soon I will be without them but these times have been some of the best in my life and I'm going to enjoy every moment before they leave me.  It's a shame that they must go but then, God has a season for them too.

As I wrote the date today, I realized that it's March 15th, tomorrow my mother would have celebrated her 70th birthday.  She was a very special lady and often, I think about her and wonder if she would think I got this parenting thing all right.  I know I haven't gotten everything right but then again, who does?  She taught me to think for myself, to be strong in adversity and to love people.  She believed in being a force and has taught me to be one too.  She persevered through many medical issues with a smile on her face and rarely did I ever see the facade crack.  Only in those last couple of months, before she died, did I realize she wasn't that strong.  She told me on numerous occasions leading up to her death that I was the strong one, I just didn't realize it yet.  I'm not sure how strong I am.  I know that I believe Jesus is my Savior and all strength comes from Him.  I know that He has walked with me through numerous challenges and He continues to today.  I know that without Him, I would be nothing.  And if that makes me strong, then I am so grateful.

Strength doesn't come from muscle, it comes from endurance.  Hunter had the opportunity to try out for a competitive basketball team yesterday and he made it.  The coach is 26 years older than him but on the court he crushed Hunter's endurance but not his passion.  As a matter of fact, Hunter's passion has come back with a flourish and he's excited about the opportunity.  The coach told him that he doesn't need to be big, he needs to be resilient and run the court effortlessly.  Interesting?  When the world wants you to be a hulk, this coach wants you to run the race well.

That's like our journey with Jesus.  I love the Christians that are so passionate but once challenged they fall on their faces without even a thought.  The Christians that do the best are the ones that slowly and lovingly learn about Jesus, not necessarily the Bible but the ones that really run the race with endurance.  That's a step by step conditioning of being in His presence, loving Him and always looking for where He wants you to be.  That's not always easy but those that have endured have seen the hand of God, watched miracles and been part of our History.  They set the stage for freedom for the African-American community, knocked down the walls of Berlin and made America free.  They were the soldiers that prayed Psalm 91 while thousands died around them and they are the  men and women today that love people!  They found passion in Christ and as the passion seeped in they did something great with it and although we all can't be heroes, we can be warriors for Jesus.

So if we could develop ourselves, I would say we should develop our endurance for Jesus.  We should condition our minds to look for Him, seek Him and pray to Him.  We should read our Bibles and teach those younger than ourselves the meaning of God in His total authority.  We should represent what love looks like and we should be humble and without pride.  We need to be the kind of warriors that don't run out in a battle but our fueled by it.

I miss my mom terribly and often I find myself wanting to call her up and just spill my guts.  She's not here anymore because Jesus took her and she is at rest in Him.  Thank goodness that my race is not run to it's fullest capacity and when I call, He is near.  I have spilled my guts to Him a million times in the last couple of weeks and He has given me strength to endure.  I have found that although I thought I was invincible, I'm not.  No surprise really but through my cries, He gave me strength and I know He is near.  I am not a perfect person and I have many failings but like Paul, I want to run the race well.  I want to have endurance until my final curtain and I want to know that I loved, I lived and I gave as much as my Savior did for me.

May God bless you my sisters and please pray for the lost.  The battles are raging and there is much to do.  Please take the time you need to prepare yourself for the long haul.  Our prayer life will sustain us but our Bible feeds us.  Get together with someone this week and make a difference in their life and yours and always, love one another.

Hebrews 10:36 NKJV:

     For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise;

Colossians 1:11 NKJV:

     strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy.

Matthew 24:13 NKJV:

     But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, my prayer today is simple.  I want to run the race with endurance.  I am in training still, watching and waiting for my direction but until you provide it, help me to practice what I preach.  Give me time to prepare with You and to be Your warrior here on earth.  When challenges come, give us time so that we can seek You first before we lose ourselves.  We need to be reminded of Your greatness in our weakness.  I can't thank You enough for listening to my cries these last two weeks and for getting me back on track and writing this blog again.  I missed sitting down and seeing what You had in store for Your people.  Please bless the men and women that are committed to You and give them the food they need to endure and speak Your name.  Help us be great lovers of You and of the words You have provided.  Let us look back on our forefathers and see that what was once a great event was orchestrated by Your hand and let us have the faith of Abraham who believed in trusting in You.  Your blood is our blood and although we don't deserve You; You are and will always be our Savior.  Help us to run the race as Paul did with passion, perseverance and strength, not in himself, but in You.  Forgive us of our sins and bring forth those things we need to change in order to be better soldiers in Your army.  We love You Lord and we praise You for Your sacrifice and for running the race with more endurance than any of us have.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013

Good morning all-

Have you noticed all the changes happening?  The Catholic church just got a new Pope, the seasons are changing and life is always full of battles.  I, for one, love change.  I thrive on it and believe that it's the one thing that has kept me going.  Change renews, stretches and provides many new beginnings.  It gives us stamina to pursue our goals and dreams, leap over buildings and persevere rough waters.  It is the instrument of growth and destruction but always it is good.

As I've told you on numerous blogs, I'm not a risk taker.  I really like to know what's ahead, which is funny because I love change.  I guess I've learned that you have to take a few risks to see your dreams come true, so I have jumped a few buildings in my adult life.

Yesterday, I found out that my son's basketball coach resigned.  It was the worst season in city league.  We had zero wins!  I watched as a group of under talented, over passionate boys began to fade, loss after loss.  They really needed a champion but the champion was defeated too.  Their coach took a big risk taking over a program after their new coach got fired in July.  They had spent all summer with him only to have a minor technicality take him out and put this new man in.  He just wasn't up to the challenge and the boys knew it.  I am not doubting teens anymore.  They really know when you invest and when you give up and the boys knew long before the parents that this coach was biding his time.

It got me thinking back to Hunter's excitement when the season started and how he didn't even want to talk about basketball by the end.  He, as well as his fellow players, were defeated and not just on the court.  So, going into his Senior year, Hunter will have had 6 basketball coaches in 4 years.  Amazing!  He will have moved schools, gained diversity and persevered one of the toughest schools in the league. He will have had to prove himself once again and this time it means the difference between him going to college on a scholarship or not.  He will have to trust God in a way that I had to when we made this decision and he will have to change with the new regime.

What defeats us is not our circumstances, it's us.  I have often conquered my circumstances only to fall at the smallest thing.  I have let change rule me and then prayed about it and I embraced change.  I have wandered in the desert to find that coming out of it was for my own good and I have been on my knees asking for guidance because the change was too great.  My house shifts when I don't go with the change.  It always has, maybe that's why I like to change now.  I feel like if I change then the wind can't possibly blow me down.

Christ knew this lesson well.  Can you imagine how his life changed in weeks?  He went from being a prince to heritic. Interesting?  He was being haled by the crowds, women were pushing babies at him and men were pleading to be healed.  Fast forward and Jesus was being tried by the people He came to save, beaten and placed on a cross.  His change was great and yet, He bore the humiliated, persecution and death for us.  I wonder if we could do the same.  We're upset when we find out we have to change our diets, exercise more or take a pill.  We get mad when everything in our world isn't bliss and we get angry at our Savior because life just isn't fair.  And yet, He knew us and gave up His pride, His prestige and Himself.  I can't think of any other event in History with more change and greater passion, can you?

So as we embark on a new season full of blossoms, leaves and green grass, let's take some time to reflect on change.  Look back over the last 6 months and see what changed, how you handled it and where you're going now because of it.  Ask the Lord to reveal to you the things you need to learn and how to use them in the coming months.  Be grateful in this season because your still here and you have much to do.  As is the case with my son, his future is before him, what will Jesus do?  That's the question of the hour for all of us to consider.  Where is the purpose and when will He reveal it?

Stay true to your maker today and be kind to those around you.  You never know when a stranger is going through change and may just need a kind word of encouragement from you.  We are not alone for God has given us many brothers and sisters that love Him.  I encourage you to sit down and write some things that have changed and what changed in you.  I think you'll find it interesting.  As always, thank you for reading this blog.  I thank God mostly for bringing you to this site and I give Him all the glory for every word.  Have a beautiful day!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV:

     To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven;

My prayer today:

O, Lord, You are my God and I worship You today.  Throughout History there has always been great change, whether it was parting the red sea, drowning the land or someone finding out that the world was round.  Great discoveries lay ahead on our journey with many changes.  Make those changes count for You and help us grow through every change.  Help us to be warriors instead of cowards and give us the strength to abide in You and for You all our days.  We embrace change today because we know there will be.  We ask that in the change we will have wisdom and a path straight toward You.  I can not see the future but I know with every day comes change, so hear me today, bring change to Your people and help us all be better at loving and caring.  We need You in our lives.  We need to feel Your Holy presence and we bow down to You, for Your life but more importantly, for Your sacrifice.  We are Yours!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013

Good morning all-

Well I think Spring is actually going to come.  In the  last week, I have seen rain and snow flurries. Our temperatures have gone from 55 to 19 and the wind has been come to horrific.  In other words, God is doing amazing things and we just have to see what's next.  I'm not going to complain about the rain or moisture because our ground and all living creatures need it!

My point in today's message is really to get you to think about what you idol.  Is it the weather, worry, love, possessions, money?  We can idol about anything.  As a matter of fact the United States idols a  lot and gives very little credit to God for anything.  Now don't get me wrong, there are those that are faithful and that thank God for everything they have but there's always that nagging little voice that says, "Are you sure He will provide?  Does He love me?  Why haven't you changed anything yet?"  You know the voice.  It wakes you up in the middle of the night because we have so much control over tomorrow.  Of course, I'm being sarcastic because we don't have any control and yet, we try so hard, which in essence is another idol.

Christ has been working on me from what I like to call A to Z.  It's really a whole body, mind and spirit workout and believe me it does have some pitfalls.  I hate when something ugly comes out and I have to repent.  Most of the time I do it with class but this last couple of weeks you would have thought I was a two year old.  I wanted to stomp my feet, scream and possibly just rant until I couldn't anymore.  Instead, I spent time by myself recounting the promises of God.  Praying without ceasing and reminding myself daily that Christ carried a cross for me, so whatever He has in store for me is better than that.

He also has shown me things that I idol and don't give up easy.  I am driven to perform, to take care of my family financially and rarely have I been lazy unless it was with housework. (I hate housework!) But like everything in life, I do it, with a grudge of course, but it gets done.  My family is a little different and it takes a Sargent to get them moving.  Some of that could be my fault, which is why I continue to push until they think I'm a nag.  Funny, because I'm nothing like my mom, who did a white glove test in each room.

You can't make people be something they aren't, right?  I tend to disagree.  We can't make people be what we want but God can.  He can mold us and show us what we idol and He can wheedle out of us our insecurities, falsehoods and idols.  He has the means and knowledge to bend us and stretch us and for those of us that call Him Father, He will.  I have been a party to being stretched but none as much as now.  In essence, I followed a path of strength, which became my idol.  I worshipped it just like some people worship being smart, or making money.  It's all in the same category, right?  Well, it has been flushed out of my soul this last week and I have surrendered.  Only God can change my heart, with a blessing from me of course, which I do freely.  For my goal in this life is not to be me, but to be like Him.

If you had asked me a couple weeks ago what my idol was, I would have said worry, which Christ has continued to work on and I have continued to surrender.  Two weeks ago, it all changed and became my health.  If I believe that Christ carried a cross for me, then I must believe that this life is not my own and the challenges that I face will only help me be a better servant to Him.  So, I once again died to myself and to my foolishness, thank goodness I didn't make a gold statue, and became a woman trusting in her God again.

I hope that in your daily walk with God, you examine things you idol.  It can be odd things, things you don't even recognize.  Ask Him to cleanse them from your heart so that you don't have to walk the journey that I have the last couple of weeks.  Surrendering quickly is the easiest way to see His glory!

May God love you today as I do and may He walk with you all of your days.  For those that are struggling, I'm praying and believe me, I understand.  Struggling is not bad as long as we learn and grow from it and of course, kneel at the foot of the cross.  For it is there we will find peace, prosperity and redemption.

1 John 5: 21 NKJV:

     Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen

1 Chronicles 16:26 NKJV:

    For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord make the heavens.

My prayer today:

O, Lord as we come before you today we cast out our idols to You.  We know that in our sins we must confess the things we hold higher than You.  I, like my sisters, are saddened by our weakness but You will make us strong as we see them, they are revealed, and we repent.  You are a merciful and just God and You carried a cross so that we would know Your love.  Help us to see our idols and to give them up to You.  I would never have thought that I would have made a health an idol, but I have.  Thank You for loving me enough to reveal it and for me to see You in every moment of the last couple of weeks.  Forgive me Lord for my unwillingness to see easily but thank You for pursuing me and cleansing my soul.  I don't deserve You but I'm so tremendously glad I have You.  You are my rock and it is You I will stand on.  Thank You for my sisters who love You too and that relinquish their idols at Your feet.  For You are a good and Holy Father.  May You bless Your people as they look for You! In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

March 9, 2013

Good morning all-

I am sorry for the long delays between blogs.  A lot is going on right now and I have not been able to write as much.  By the end of the month, things will slow down and I will once again write daily.  Until then, I will try to write as much as possible.  There could be a lag during March 18-25th because I will be enjoying my family during spring break but I promise I will be back again.

Although I haven't been writing, God has been working on my heart in numerous ways.  I've found that even when I don't spend time writing, I am meditating on Him in the car.  For the first time in a long time, I turned Pandora on to Christian music.  I often drive hours without any noise in my car and because my son is worried about my sanity, I thought I better try it for a while.  I love to think but I'm wondering if all that thinking is what made my blood pressure go up, so I sat and listened about my Lord and contemplated Him in a whole new way.

The Lord is so brilliant and when my life is dull, it's easy for me to be in awe.  Even in my busy hours, I can think upon a Scripture, hear a word or see a hurting person and think about God.  Lately, I have wondered why so many people go from good health to bad.  I am in doctor's offices all day long and I see the young to the very old and I'm always amazed at the failing body.  It's especially hard when I see a young mother with her hair gone, knowing that she has cancer, and fighting as hard as she can to stay alive.  It's even harder for me to see the elderly come in with canes, walkers and in wheelchairs.  It makes me sad to think their once vital bodies are deteriorating and realize that could be me some day.  Getting a diagnosis that goes with your family history will make you think like this.  Again, maybe that's why my blood pressure is up.  But the more I've thought about it and the more I've contemplated God, I have come to the conclusion that we can't escape death.  That should be a no brainer, right?  What I think I'm trying to say is that we can't escape dying to ourselves and finding our Father right in front of us.  If I could control my destiny, I would be healthy forever.  I would never struggle as my mother or father did.  Both of my parents smoked and both had consequences for those actions.  However, there are millions today that have lived a life like mine, that deal with numerous physical ailments and have to go on even though they have them.

So, God and I have been chatting about me not being self-absorbed, fretting or worrying about things that aren't in my control.  I've been diagnosing my lack of trust for the last two weeks and realize I need a healer.  Can you guess who that is?  I have come to the end of me and have decided if this is God's will for my life then I will live with it graciously and I will love Him more during it.  Haven't you wondered why some people that carry an incurable disease or simply bad health can be so joyous? I have and I think I know how they do it now.  They accept that although they have not been beaten and they will never hang on a cross, this is there journey and Jesus is with them all the way.  If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would have found myself feeling sorry for myself, I would have answered, "No way." I don't have time to be sad or to even contemplate much about myself.  I have so much going on that I rarely think about me until my head crashes and I'm out for the night.  But over the last couple of weeks, I have really been angry.  Luckily, I have a God that loves me and knows my heart.  He has worked on my heart and has given me strength when I just didn't have any to give.  So many times I wanted to call my mom up and cry on her shoulder and say, "I'm scared."  She was so good at calming me down and making me look at the positives of life.  After all she had faced many frightful things and had come out of each one of them.  Unfortunately, I have no where to turn.  So, I turned toward Christ and He gave me strength to conquer my fears, to walk in faith and to see the beauty that He's laid before me.   What a wonderful Savior!

I hope today blesses you and that you find Jesus right where you are.  Please continue to pray for women in other countries, for our leaders and for Jesus to reign all over the world.  The issues around the globe continue to be perilous in other countries and we must intercede for the weak, the lost and the destitute.  We were called to be a body, let's not leave anyone behind and let's continue to pray for strength, mercy and grace, which of course our Lord gives freely.

2 Corinthians 5:1 NKJV:

     For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV:

     For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, forgive me for not writing in many days.  My struggles with myself have encompassed many of my mornings.  And although I am a failed creature, You are God and I have seen You daily.  You have been in my ear, on my tongue and in my mind.  The Scriptures and songs have rolled through my mind so often that I wake up praising Your name.  I'm sure I will continue to fight with myself but I have come to a place of rest, in Your arms, knowing You are God.  I have found that facing a storm with You is so much easier than facing it myself.  I am very blessed in so many aspects of my life that I feel ashamed for my behavior these last few weeks.  Out of it, I have been stretched and I believe that in my struggle, You have walked with me and have placed my feet on the right path.  I have found strength in Your arms and when I am lost all I have to do is call Your name.  I hear Your words and know that You are God.  Please heal the turbulent world and bring peace to the countries that only want death and destruction.  Calm our leaders and help them to die to their pride.  Every one needs a Savior and I call on You today to lead nations, change lives and bring Your people to You.  For me and for those that read these words, I pray that no matter the situation, we will turn toward You all our days, that we would worship You in our darkest hour and that we would know the power of the cross.  You did not die in vain and You continue to unravel the sins of this world.  Make us known among the nations and bring forth fruit as we pray for one another.  Like Abraham, our faithfulness could lead people to You and I pray we each do that today and forever.  Our lives maybe short but the time is now to sing Your praises and to preach of a God that died for His people.  Thank You for always being there when no one else can.  We believe that You can move mountains, that You can part the sea and that You and only You can save us.  You are a wonderful Savior, a mighty Lord and the King above all nations.  Come to us today and be with us as we walk through this life.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Good morning all-

Yesterday, I went to church and once again heard about Hosea.  Isn't it interesting to hear about the prophets, the men of God that walked the earth.  They were chosen to bring good will toward men, hard messages of destruction and suffering and to trust that God would deliver.  They were just like us but they were chosen to lead nations, conquer enemies and have faith that God would come through.

As I listened, I thought about the hardship Hosea had with his wife.  A man that loves a woman can not and will not let her be adulterous and yet, Hosea knew that she would be and took her for his wife anyway.  And when she got caught into prostitution, he paid for her and told her that she was his. A courageous story of one man believing and trusting in God in the worst circumstances.  It got me thinking about God's grace and how many times I fail Him and He comes to me saying, "You're mine."  I definitely don't deserve Him but I'm so glad He is near.

After a wonderful sermon, my family watched the Bible show on the History channel.  Although you could tell that some embellishment was happening, for the most part it was exactly like the story.  As I watched Abraham come to life with all the human emotions of man, it took me a little bit by surprise.  When you read his story all you see is blind faith but when put to pictures you see a man pining for a son.  You see him saying trust in the Lord no matter what and you see his own nephew walk away from him.  How was he to be the father of all nations?  He asks the question and because we know the end, we don't question it.  But seeing the man for who he was, you begin to get a true picture of the turmoil raging inside of him.  He was just a man and yet through his faithfulness, God rewarded him by being the father of all of us.

During the story of Abraham, you also saw the angels of God fighting in Gomorrah.  It gets you thinking about angels walking among us.  When was the last time a stranger asked you for a hand?  Were you willing to give help, provide money or just listen?  I had to think about it myself because the truth is that God's angels are full of power and they were there to destroy what was sinful.  And still God had mercy on Abraham's family and brought them out.

Being obedient to God, having faith that He will do great things is hard when our sinful nature takes over.  I struggle with it myself.  I want peace and when peace is not there I want to run.  God calls me to stay, so I must with a great heart attitude.  Whether we look at Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah or Abraham, it really doesn't matter for they were all men sent to earth for God's purpose.  They would suffer, find themselves challenged and eventually do great things through God.  I hate to think what our lives would have been like if they didn't.

I would encourage you to watch the show.  They go through the Bible quickly but I think it gives a powerful testimony to the God we serve.  My prayer is that many will watch and think about how God loves His people.  Please pray that the unsaved would come to the History channel and watch as the living word is revealed.

As for all of us, I think we need to continue to dedicate ourselves to the call and to facing our giants as they come.  Every biblical figure faced many mountains, swam many seas, all to come to the foot of the cross.  We must be willing to do the same.

Hosea 6:3 NKJV:

     Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.  His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.

My prayer today:

O, Lord, I come before You a woman that seeks her Maker.  You are a mighty leader, powerful and merciful.  You bring Your flock to the cross and there You heal, provide grace, and restore for eternity. You revive us with Your Spirit and give us life beyond the one we have on earth.  You seek us and when we accept, You take our hands and walk with us through the challenges we face.  We can look upon You as our forefathers did before us because we know that You are trustworthy.  We have fickle hearts Lord, so I come before You and ask that You would provide our daily bread.  And as You do, we would trust in You as Abraham did.  He was just a man and yet, he believed in a God that was mighty and powerful.  Thank You for bringing the Bible to life with all the human emotions we face.  It gives us a new perspective on Your people and the generations that went before us.  Please bring You people to a place where they trust in You and give us the courage to stay the course.  We need You Lord every day to keep us on the right path.  Forgive us our sins and help us be the women You want us to be.  In Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013

Good morning all-

I hope you're shouting that today is a glorious day.  God has been reminding me of how precious every minute is and how we should rejoice in the time he has given us.  Today is the beginning of days that will get warmer and snow that will melt.  It's a renewal of the earth where animals will begin to frolic and trees will bud.  Young flowers have begun to pierce the earth and everything will begin to bloom, soon Spring will be here.

We are walking towards the resurrection of Jesus.  The Catholics are in lent and the rest of the world is bowing to the Lord.  I, myself, have been facing personal challenges and have realized that I need Jesus more than ever.  Over the last week, I have been constantly reminded of the stripes He wore for me.  I go to bed thinking about them and I wake up thinking about them.

It's been good for me to meditate on trusting in Him in all circumstances.  I have reminded myself at least 20 times that He is there for me and that He knows exactly where my mind is.  I have to say there have been times this week I have walked in fear.  I'm not proud of it but I did anyway.  You know the kind, where your heart beats too fast and it feels like its coming out of your chest and then your mind can't shut down because all you can think about is that fear.  Yuk!  I hate myself for it but I have to say I kept running back to Jesus and asking Him to help me.  I prayed over and over that He would bring peace in me and that I would accept that peace.  Guess what?  He gave it to me and then of course I would lose it for a moment.  You know the cycle.  It's really a cycle of fearfulness and no trust.  So back again, I would ask Him to bring me peace and He would.  Thank You Jesus!

His stripes were for our iniquities, His death was to save us and His life is a living, breathing testimony of love.  I may not be able to trust in man but I can surely trust in God.  I waver like You but my experiences have been the more I seek Him the greater I find Him.

I'm sorry I haven't written this week but my mind was full of fear and I really didn't want that on this blog.  I want to show my fears after God has corrected them and my mind has once again trusted in Him. I'm glad that I can be transparent but I want every one to realize I'm human too.  And believe me, if you're walking a path of fear, I get it!  But Please go to the Lord and surrender.

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV:

      Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

My prayer today:

I love you, Lord, with all my heart and all my soul.  My fears of this life sometimes control what I know to be true. I preach to others Your love and Your Spirit but sometimes I even fall to my humanness.  I am sorry for my failings but grateful for You.  You have guided me by great storms and taken me by still waters.  You have rushed in and saved me, way before I was born.  You have known me and made me and now You mold me unto You.  I am imperfect but because of You; I have the chance to be a courageous warrior.  My goal is to preach the gospel and my mission is to seek You in all things.  I have wandered many deserts, climbed many mountains and rested by still waters to find You.  I have let You down often but You have always been there to pick me up.  I am in Your house, watching You work and I am so glad that You saved me.  Continue Your work through my life and help me be the woman You want me to be.  There are women all over the world that are suffering.  We still have men that beat and torture.  We live where children are pursued by the worst addicts and we continue to be in countries where women are not to be seen or heard.  You are a God that knows all these things and even in our failings, You love us.  I'm asking that many would come to know You through my life and that I would continue to grow and trust in You.  I have loved You so long but it is great to know You as my Father and my friend.  Help all of us to be glad for the days that we have and to live them with a passion that You did.  Thank You for sacrificing Yourself so that I could know the love of my God.  For all You are and all You will be, thank You for loving us and giving us You!  Om Jesus name, AMEN

Until tomorrow...