Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Memorizing Scripture...

Good morning all-

I only have a few minutes today.  I just wanted to share a little about my commitment to memorize Scripture this year through the Siestas of Living Proof Ministries blog.lproof.org.  Beth Moore has been one of my very favorite Bible teachers, even though I often couldn't spend the time in her studies.  This year, I felt God prompting me to memorize Scripture.  It's one of those things I've said I would love to do but God wants us to do it.  So, I committed and here we are.

I was having trouble with Scripture number six.  Not because it was complicated but because I just didn't have time this last two weeks.  That's more of an excuse really, so I asked the Lord yesterday to help me memorize it before today, so that I could pick another one.  I am a procrastinator at heart.  And glory to God, I woke up this morning and could say it.  I remembered where it was; I just couldn't remember the verse.  So, today I leave you with the words God wrote on my heart.  Here it goes:

The Lord is the strength of His people, the fortress of salvation for His anointed one.  Psalm 28:8 NIV

I need this verse.  I'm going into battle today and I need to remember that only my salvation matters.  It was His life for mine and no matter what, that's what I'm called to remember.  I am so thankful to God for giving me this verse.  It was down to the wire but I've got it and will have it for all eternity.  His word lives and it will live in me if I commit the time to memorize and think upon it.  I needed this verse more than you know.  I challenge you to pick a verse and think about it.  You don't have to commit to a number but commit to learn His word.  It's more powerful than you know!

Until tomorrow, remember Your God is with You.  He is powerful, mighty and worth our praise and supplication!  We are His by His blood and we will be for all eternity!  AMEN

Monday, March 30, 2015

News Flash...Jesus is coming to Jerusalem

Good morning all-

I hope you are like me and thinking of Jesus today.  Always during the week of Easter, Jesus is forefront on my mind.  I'm in church and He is there.  I'm driving and He is with me and when I lay my head down, I'm thinking about Him.  This week reminds me why I am a Christian and that the road is not full of flowers and treasures.

The reason I decided to make this a News Flash is to remind all of us what it was like for the people of Jesus' day.  They loved Him, followed Him and wanted to see and hear everything He was doing.  He had stayed out of Jerusalem for some time, so word spread far and wide that He was coming.  His day was near but no one realized it but Him.  So as He got on the donkey and the crowds were shouting for Him, Jesus knew His time was near.

The people were so excited and so ready to hear from this wonderful man but the days events would change and instead of blessing and glorifying Him, people would turn against Him, they would run from Him and the truth of the gospel and they would choose to slay an innocent man.  The news would be very different at that point because Jesus would become a heretic.

I know that many of us,that love the Lord, wish we could have been there with Him.  At least I do.  I would have loved to sit by Him and hear the words that are now written.  As we all know, some things would have been forgotten, little details I would treasure.  But the word is true, so therefore, we must stand on what we have.  The desire of my heart to be with Him during that time is true and yet, would I have been Peter, betraying the one man I loved.

We think that if we follow Jesus we are righteous and often just.  Are we really?  Where is our compassion, our need to feed the hungry, our heart to set the captive free?  I often wonder if I even measure up enough to sit at the foot of the cross.  And of course, I don't.  But that's why Jesus came and took that fateful journey to Jerusalem.  He knew that His hour had come and yet, He rode on that donkey in front of a crowd of people.  That same crowd that adored Him would turn on Him and crucify Him.  Where were the faithful?  I ask that to myself every day.  Where am I on the faith scale?  Would I be able to say I follow Jesus in the face of the enemy or would I hide and run like the disciples did? The only ones that were faithful through every aspect of that journey were His mother and Mary Magdelene. That's it, two women, abiding in Him.

The disciples would learn from that day and the days to come.  They would prepare themselves for the same hour Jesus faced.  They would spread the word up to the day they died and they would be remembered for it.  The same goes for the men that ISIS chose to behead.  I will never forget that news flash because I know that Jesus was with them and even in that Jesus will be glorified.

Easter isn't about eggs, colors or pretty dresses; it's about a God that kept a covenant with His people.  A teacher, brought from Heaven, to help us in our day to day lives and to give us eternal life.  We are not just dust.  We are His children who were lucky enough to have a Savior.  If you don't know Jesus and you want to, now is the time.  You didn't find this blog out of coincidence.  You found it because you have been chosen into the most disfunctional family of all time.  We are murderers, prostitutes, liers, adulterers.  We are sinners that needed a Savior.  There is no sin greater, they are all the same.  So hear the call, come forth and give your life for a Savior that never leaves His sheep.  The Pharisees tried to kill the disciples and Jesus to save the Jewish religion, even though Jesus came for them.  Let's spread the word, the word where this God is real, present and faithful.  He is not an idol or a fanatic.  He is the Son of God, who came to this earth to give His life for us.  AMEN

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why was Jesus tempted in the wilderness?

Good morning all-

Have you ever asked yourself why Jesus had to be tested?  I think about it often.  That's why everyone is always trying to make Him just a man.  If He was just a fallible man then He was not the son of God.  He then would have been just a prophet and that's what all the times of temptation and trials were about.  As you read the New Testament, you will see many verses that say, "It was not His time yet."  In some versions it may be hour.  The Bible is very specific about how many days He was tempted.  Forty days.  Many other religions in the world fast for this amount of time, at least until sundown but Jesus ate nothing, He was sustained by the angels sent from God.  How could a man sustain in the wilderness?   Because He had divine intervention.

Satan was given free reign to tempt Him.  We can imagine what those were.  A man is a man and women, power and wealth are the greatest temptations and He sustained them all.  When Jesus said, "My Father is in me and me in Him."  It was so we could understand that they are one.  That's what the Pharisees could not understand.  They thought He was a heretic.  Jesus warned of false teachings but Jesus did not teach against the commandments, He symbolized them.  Now, He did teach against laws because men took God's words and made them strict and binding laws.  Laws will always be broken but a covenant can sustain for centuries.  No one can deny that the Ten Commandments are truth like no other.  For if we could abide by them, we would be free.

The problem with the Commandments is that people couldn't even sustain why Moses was on the mountain.  They were building idols.  So, how did Jesus survive the intense days of temptation?  There is only one way, He was God, come to earth as man, to save the world.  Not one of us could do that.  John was sad as God revealed Revelation because there was not one that could be counted as faithful.  That makes me so sad too.  I think I know what He meant.  We are all swayed.  We must be tested, over and over again to be faithful.  Today, we could receive a miracle but three months from now if God doesn't answer our prayer, we are skeptical and think we aren't worthy.  Really?  Yes, even me, tried, true and tested has moments of great worry.  Worry is not of God.  It shows that I don't have the faith that He can move a mountain and yet, I fight it because I know He can!  Jesus had to battle Satan, He was war tested.  Why is that important to us?  Because no one could sustain that kind of barrage, except for the Son of God.  He healed the blind, woke up the dead, and saved the world.  He was not a prophet; He was the Savior.  People can say, "He was a prophet."  They can make fun of Him and us for believing that God made everything on earth.  They can say we are praying to nothing but everyone of us that has been delivered out of the desert knows, He is God!

Our Savior was tried, tested and in the end gave up all worldly glory for heavenly glory.  He fulfilled the words of the prophets to save Israel.  Now, many turned away because the law blinded them.  Money, power and control were more important than grace, forgiveness and eternal life.  Why?  Because man still believes they have all the answers.  We don't.  Only God in His infinite wisdom has all the answers.  We might believe that the desert has come to our lives but have we come out of it more faithful.  Jesus did.  He was more directed, more faithful and died for us, never caring of Himself but trusting in the power of God's will.

Jesus wanted us all to know that He had gone through many situations.  He was tempted and tried. He saw wealth and power.  It all could have been His.  He could have had the most beautiful wife, many children, pots full of gold and friends from one end of the earth to the other.  Instead, He died to His wants and desires and fulfilled the covenant God had made.  He saved His people.  If you're reading this now and don't know Jesus, I ask you to investigate Him.  Examine a life that could have been great.  He was followed by the multitudes and yet, He died on a cross for healing, loving and restoring.  He wasn't a criminal.  He never murdered or stole from anyone.  He died because He was our Savior.  Disciples were killed after that, much like what we see with ISIS today.  Some were hung, others stoned and Peter hung upside down on a cross.  They died for Him.  Tell me one person you would be willing to die for.  I would die for my family but not for others.  He died for us.  He sacrificed everything the world holds dear to save one.  If that one is you today, I am rejoicing and if your faith has been rocked, I'm praising Jesus that you are still seeking Him. He is near.  He hasn't left us.  He lived through the temptation to deliver us from evil!  My sisters we must spread the word of His great faith.  We are His and we are blessed!  Take up the cross, reach out and praise Him!

and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. (‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭13‬ NIV)

His Father never left Him.  Jesus was attended by angels.  And the multitudes said, "Holy Holy is the Lamb who was slain for our sins.  AMEN

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Don't you wish you could see, hear and speak to Him?

Good morning all-

I was in Houston this week going from business to business.  It was a great week full of good friends, great dinners and I think a sale!  Now that would be a blessing.  I spent five hours training a new group on Public Awareness in the pipeline industry and I used old school techniques to get them off their phones.  They paid attention too.

This week also had several major challenges at work.  I'm not at liberty to express them on a social media forum but I can tell you I was tested, worried, angry and basically every kind of emotion not of the Lord.  At one point, I felt like my world could change in a drastic way and all I could think of was to go to Jesus.  Now, I have been faithfully reading the Bible and I have been in Deuteronomy, which basically is a summary of Leviticus in some ways but I know why.  The Israelites just didn't get all those commands.  And even when you jump over to Matthew and Mark, people weren't getting Jesus either.  It seems the Israelites were to remain in the desert for centuries and in some ways so are we.

Do you ever wonder why you haven't really received word on a prayer?  Or maybe when you didn't see the blessing you asked for, you got angry at God?  Oh, we have all been there. Now, I have never built a gold cow or put up a foreign object as my idol, but I have had idols.  I have looked at other peoples marriages and wanted them.   I have looked upon what others have and wanted that and I would love to have millions in my 401K.  Over time, when I actually looked at my hearts desire, I corrected my train of thought but it was through a lot of prayer.  And even now as I would love to go into ministry, I must wait until God says, "Move forward."  Waiting is not what I do.  I am an action oriented person that makes decisions on the fly, builds strategies in minutes and pushes forward no matter what.  That's who I am, but often, I must wait on the Lord.

Sometimes I am so envious of the Israelites and of the disciples.  I want to see Jesus, hear Jesus and sit next to Jesus.  I wish I could have been Mary Magdalene sitting on the mountain, soaking in every single word and yet, all of that had a price.  The men and women that God led out of Egypt never entered the promise land.  The disciples that sat next to Jesus all paid a price for sitting with Him.  They would have to give their lives for Jesus and they did because of the times they sat with Him.  His resurrection and them seeing Him is what changed them from cowards to seed planters.

So as I struggled with all the issues at work, all I could think about was Jesus.  I needed peace but there wasn't any.  I needed the problems to go away but they weren't and in the back of my mind I knew the ONLY solution was Jesus.  Like the disciples I can sometimes be a coward and I wasn't sure my strategy was right.  I prayed that the Lord would bring me wise counsel and that I would do the right thing and in the end that's exactly what we will do.  But as I walked and thought and prayed, something miraculous happened that I have to share with you.  Now, I've already told you I pay attention to the signs I am given.  It could be a bloom, a rainbow, a bird.  I never know but this was truly amazing and maybe only I will appreciate it but I think you will too.

As I prayed for wisdom, direction and peace, I could feel the worry rise up in me like a giant wave on the ocean.  You know what I'm talking about.  You know when the pressure in your chest gets heavy and you have to sigh just to release it.  That was me, but I believe in Jesus.  So as I was walking out the door of my hotel room, on the phone with the President of my company, I said in my head, "Jesus, I need Your peace and I am going to trust everything into Your hands because You are the only thing I can count on."  Now that's powerful stuff, right?  Well it's nothing compared to what happened.  My head was down and as I said my last word, I looked up and across the street from my hotel was a stain glass window with Jesus hanging on the cross.  I have stayed at that hotel the last three or four times and never have I seen that window.  The sun was shining on His hands and feet and I wanted to fall down on the ground and cry.  By the way, I'm not a crier so you know it was powerful.  That's our Jesus.  In the midst of our storms, when we call upon Him, He is there.  Do I wish I could see Him and talk to Him?  Absolutely, but the beauty of our relationship is that He does hear us, He does bring people in that can sit with us and love us and  He is real, present and active in our lives.  Surely, there was someone more in need than me this week but He showed up anyway.  That's our God, that's who we bow down too and that's who died for us.

The Israelites put God in a box. The Pharisees put Jesus in a box.  We put the Holy Spirit in a box.  Three in one.  Jesus said, "My Father is in me and I am in Him."  He told us that He would leave the counselor with us to sustain us all our days through the Holy Spirit.  They are one.  We can choose to believe Him for the words He left for us or we can choose to see Him in every corner of our lives.  I choose to believe.  Look for Him in every aspect of your life.  He is present.  He cries with you, feels your pain and when you are at the brink, He lifts you up and gives you hope.  We must testify that in our trials, we saw Jesus!

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭7-18‬ NIV)


Sunday, March 22, 2015

When the headlines make you sick...

Good morning all-

As I'm getting ready for the day, I decided to peak at the news.  Why?  I'm asking myself the same question.  In twenty minutes, I read about a depressed Playboy bunny, a cheating man, an African-American found hanging in a tree and a young mentally ill women burned and beaten in Afghanistan.  WOW!

I can't seem to get away from the headlines.  In just twenty minutes I have summarized the world.  These are the headlines we are reading today.  In the past, some read about war, famine and mass destruction.  Some feared nuclear crisis with Cuba and others watched as the military came home from Vietnam.  Every generation sees death and destruction.  Ours is just a time of massive social media and the reports are dark, deep and completely depressing.  The news shows a world in chaos, struggling to find love, grace and forgiveness.

That's the world we live in today, one where the bad news is displayed twenty to one.  And if I let it, I could become very depressed.  Instead I choose to look at Christ and ask how I can pray for His people.  At the end of the day, we are all descendents of Abraham and Sarah and if they were faithful, it's my job to be too.  In every bad situation, God can arise and give us a rainbow.  I believe it with all my heart.  How you might say?  I can't answer that but I can tell you in my darkest hour I have always seen something majestic.  About a month ago, life was super hard and when I looked up I saw a white dove with seven black birds.  I could have walked by that and thought nothing of it but instead I saw the hand of God. When my brother died, I was walking outside my house and a bush that only blooms in the spring had one red flower on it.  It would have been easy to walk by that too because my sadness was overwhelming.  Instead, I chose to see it as a sign from God that He was with me.  And today, as I read how the world is so chaotic, a little bird is chirping outside my window. Life goes on, even when destruction is occurring.

A rainbow was God's covenant to His people and I believe He gives us signs along our journey that are as beautiful as that picture.  We must look for Him, believe in Him and never stop praying for our countries, our cities and people.  If we want change then we must be prayer warriors.  We must believe that all things are possible through Jesus Christ and that He came to show love, grace and forgiveness.  It surely doesn't look like that today.  However, I can guarantee someone finds Him today in the midst of their despair.  Someone walks into a church, up to a person, or sits in their house and prays, "Lord Jesus I believe in you.  I believe You died on a cross for me and that my sins are washed away."  Someone today proclaims in the midst of their storm that He is who He said He was and they are washed clean.  I believe it.  And I know that in places all over the world, God is calling His warriors, without the help of the Bible but through dreams.  My heart believes in a God that can't be put in a box.  Our God is mighty and He is here in every situation.  The world my beautiful sisters is evil but He is good.  Pray for people to hear His call and to know Him!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28-30‬ NIV)

My Prayer:

O, Lord my God, come upon Your people.  We ask that You will send signs to Your people and give them hope in their despair. You are with us even in the midst of this chaos.  We believe in You and only You.  You are the God of Jacob and we know that You sent Your only Son to be our sacrifice.  May the Lamb of God reign down on this broken and turbulent world.  We come before You broken, desperate and in wonder.  Deliver Your people all over the world and lead them not into temptation but deliver them from evil!  We believe! In Jesus Name, AMEN

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Let me know how I can pray for you..

I just wanted to take a moment and ask you all to send me your prayers.  Recently, I found out someone received my blog and was blessed.  This blog is for Jesus and what it made me realize is I don't ask for your comments or prayer requests enough.  If you have a need, please send me a note letting me know you need prayer.  As I have stated often, prayer is our tool to gain knowledge, understanding, wisdom and power.  There is no greater power than prayer.  Jesus revealed that to us time and time again.  My only goal in this is to unite with you and watch what Christ does in our midst.  Be well my sisters, be open to His power and know that even though I can't see you, I'm praying!

Through the Valley to the Mountain...

Good morning all-

Yesterday I took a much needed day off and I really didn't do much.  I went to Target and Hobby Lobby and then came home to clean and relax.  The sun was out and the air was crisp.  It was a beautiful day.  I have been thinking a lot about life, how we go from being in the valley of despair to climbing to the top of the mountain.  You know what I'm talking about, darkness seems to be everywhere and then all at once; you've been delivered and you know it!

Lately,  I have had a health issue that is making me take stock in my life.  My family dies young and so I really need to pray for protection.  I don't always do everything I need for myself.  I would rather do for others but there is something to say about taking time away.  Often in my life, I have felt guilty for doing this.  My first reaction is to run when I'm in the valley and don't look back.  As I am getting older, I see the merit in climbing from the valley to the mountain.  Jesus left everyone to go sit on a mountain with His father.  Have you ever wondered why?  I have many times.  This life is so busy and often, He would go off by Himself just to be with His Father.  For some, that would seem selfish. On the contrary, those times were when Jesus prepared Himself for the task ahead.  He knew that His fame and glory in this world would be fleeting.  He was aware that every moment that slipped by was a moment closer to the cross and yet, instead of staying in the valley of despair, He moved toward the top of the mountain.  What did He find there?  In all the darkness, what propelled Him to go higher and be alone, God did. He was being called for greater things than this world could offer and yet, I wonder how He felt after all He was still a man.

We all have moments of being in the valley.  I was with a couple last night that got news that their granddaughter has a rare disease that forms tumors in her major organs.  She had tears in her eyes and all I could think about was, "Go to the Mountain and He will meet you there."  Didn't I just write about that?  If you've ever seen a valley it can be beautiful but if you've ever flown over the mountains then you know they whisper majestic.  Mountains are awe inspiring and I have never been near one that I haven't felt God at the precipice.  Can he deliver us from the valley?  Yes, He can. Think back to the woman in Luke Chapter 13. I was just listening to a tape from the Women of Faith ministry on this very thing.  She had been ill for over eighteen years and while she was in the midst of the crowd surrounding Jesus, He called her.  Eighteen years with bad health, I think she was definitely in the valley, don't you?  For most people during that time, I bet they thought she was unclean, lacked belief or held sin in her life.  Whatever her circumstance, God was bigger than life that day and released her from her infirmity.  He knew how she suffered.  He was in the valley with her and then, He was on the mountain.  She was healed and through that healing she couldn't quit praising.  Why? Because God so loved her, He took her from the back of the crowd and healed her.  She didn't speak then but today, she is the silent hero.  She teaches us that in our iniquity He is always with us.  We may be deep in that valley but someday He will deliver us.

I've been in great valleys and I have been delivered on a mountain.  I have watched as everyone around me is full of joy and the smile you see, the laughter you hear from me is fake.  I am good at hiding behind that smile and not letting anyone in.  Jesus knows that about me, so on occassion He gives me a wake up call and says, "Come to the Mountain, be still, I am your God."  Yesterday was just such a moment.  I know that I am being prepared for ministry.  I can feel it in my bones but if I don't have the tools to sustain; I will live in the valley.  We need to take our instruction from the Lord.  When the world is going too fast, when we feel like we are running and hiding; it's time for us to take a breath and climb to the heights of the mountain.  There we must wait, watch and pray.  He is waiting for us to recognize that we have no strength but in Him all things are possible.

I can't express it enough.  Jesus is faithful.  I still can't answer the hard questions.  I can't tell you why young people die or why the babies we loved turn to murder or criminal activity.  I can't explain why men use children for their own gratification or why women are killing the children they helped to create.  I don't have the wisdom or understanding on any of this.  I must stand on the rock of my faith, with my roots planted deep within the earth, so that I can see Jesus coming into your lives and mine.  I must carry my cross.  I'm still trying to figure out what that is but I know without a doubt, as I open my mouth to proclaim Him; He will use me.

The valley has taught me that Jesus is real, sustaining and true.  He is faithful when I am not.  He guides my path and gives me rest when I call upon His name.  And in the end, when I come to Him needing guidance, He is with me.  Everyone will see a valley in their lives.  More than likely, you will see many.  You must decide to go to the mountain and let Him restore you.  Our journey is decided, where do you want to be?

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. (‭Luke‬ ‭13‬:‭10-17‬ NIV)

Go to the mountain my sisters, repent and know your God.  He is faithful.  Never question His love. Jesus showed us every day that we were important.

My prayer today:

O, my God, lead me to the cross.  Prepare our way as You love us.  Take us out of the valley and up on the mountain with You.  Keep us from being the Pharisees. Show us Your ways and make all things new in our sight.  Help us to love those that are hurting, in despair and in the valley.  Bring forth Your workers and build us up to knowing and loving You more.  May our minds and hearts yearn for You!  In Jesus Name, I pray. AMEN

Friday, March 20, 2015

When someone needs us, will we know what to say?

Good morning all-

Well this week has been full of interesting moments.  If you had asked me several years ago if I would ever be kneeling on the floor praying for an employee, my answer would have been, "NO!" My faith, although strong for myself, wasn't strong enough to come outside that box.  Would I share about Christ?  Sometimes, if I felt like no one would be upset.  Today, I wash all of that fear away and stand by the promise I made when my dad died.  I promised that I would never be silent again.

Being silent worked for me. I loved the Lord in silence.  You know exactly what I'm talking about.  If you love the Lord in silence, no one can judge you or think you have to be perfect, just because you are a Christian.  I knew that I was someone that could make mistakes so walking around spreading the Gospel was about the furthest from my mind.  Besides, I tried that when I first got saved and my family thought I had been abducted by aliens.  You learn early not to be zealous because people don't respond very well.  Especially, those that aren't sure that God even exists.

I have to say that being bold about Christ has its upside.  I don't have to hide anymore and I don't have to worry about myself as much.  My faith is my faith but He is my Savior and I must do what I was called to do.  I'm a people pleaser by nature.  I want people to feel respected, loved and honored.  I want people to like me but not everyone is going to like me and I had to face that fact long ago.

Facing that God is putting you in a position far outside your comfort zone is the first step in helping others find Him.  Those last moments of my dad's life I wondered if I had really screwed up.  I had more regrets than you can even imagine.  My son was the one that tried to talk to my dad about Christ and every time, he would shut him down.  Austin's frustration was so bad he came to me and told me that Dean and I weren't doing enough.  He was right.  So over the next couple of months, I would bring it up.  There were times I thought I was getting through but then he fell ill and there was no  more time.  Standing at someone's death bed is not the time to wonder if you have done enough.  So during those hours I went to my Bible and prayed like I have never prayed before.  I prayed that God would call Him and that He would unite with Him in heaven.  That day is so vivid in my mind, even three years later.  So, I stand by my promise.  I'm not silent and I speak the truth about the God I so love.

Fast forward to this week,  a beautiful young girl faced death of a parent this week.  And as she watched her father not be able to talk, she had regrets.  This man has not been an upstanding father.  He has judged more than loved and yet, his daughter went to him anyway.  As she walked into my office and burst out into tears, there was nothing I could do but hug her and without thought, I got on my knees beside her and said, "I'm going to pray for you."  It was in the moment.  I don't even recall thinking about it.  And kneeling next to me is my Director of Operations and I still didn't think about it.  I didn't have the right words and I definitely didn't know what to say.  She was hurting and her father might never talk again.  But in the back of my mind, I had to let her know that Jesus was standing right beside her.  She was angry and didn't understand why this had to happen. I understood and in that moment all I could do was go to Jesus!

We don't have to have all the words.  We don't even have to know what to do.  We just need to let the Holy Spirit pour out of us and go to Jesus.  Her father is coming back after 72 hours and he is talking.  The road will be long for him but more importantly, she knows Jesus was with her in those moments.  She has a wonderful man by her side and she has friends that care about her.  She was surrounded by the most powerful love of all, Jesus'.  So if you're ever in a situation where you don't understand what to do, go to your knees and ask the Father.  He knows exactly what to do, what to say and how to love.

Be blessed today as you go about your day.  And if someone needs you, go before the Lamb, He has all the answers!

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.  Lord my God, I will praise you forever.  Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV)   AND THEY ALL SAID AMEN!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shout to the Lord!

Good morning all-

I'm up and getting ready for another thunderous day at work.  I'm preparing to leave once again and as I do so, one thing is loud and clear, I must proclaim the name of Jesus.  In this moment, on this very day, I remember the promises I have made.  They are:

  • Be faithful to the Lord
  • To teach His word even when I don't feel I'm good enough
  • To love those He gives me to love
As we approach Easter, my thoughts have been on the Lord who makes me whole.  He has given me more than I could ever thank Him for.  When I have been low, someone thinks about me and prays for me.  When I have struggled in my personal life, He has given me a rainbow.  When I have called on Him to surround His people, He has and when I sit in the quiet, He fills me with strength, courage and wisdom.  I am not perfect, really I am more flawed then most but it's in His perfect will I live.

There are many that are struggling with horrible things right now.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  I don't have the answer but as I have prayed for others this week the picture of Jesus at the last supper has come to mind.  Men that walked with Him doubted, fought, betrayed and lacked courage.  They knew Him personally and most of them truly loved Him.  But Jesus, who was perfect, who gave all His time to others, who spread the word to many people groups, died for what?  He was a great person, far greater then any of us and yet, He had to die on a cross.  Why?  He was the lamb, spread out on the alter.  The priests used to sprinkle blood on the alter; His blood was spilled on the ground, in front of His mother and His followers.  He was the greatest sacrifice.  We forget that because our foundation is on rock and not rooted into the earth.  

Arise my sisters and wash away the doubt, the sadness, the defeat.  We have bad things that happen, whether you are Christian or not.  Evil is in the world.  It tempts us to do wrong and it makes us do things that are against the will of Christ.  God knew this and loved us anyway.  He chose His Son to be faithful to a fallen people.  He sent Him to teach grace, love and forgiveness.  He was love!

There are women all over the world that need to hear the call of Jesus.  Who better to share that call then those of us living for Him.  It is an honor to be chosen as a teacher of His word.  It is an honor to be chosen to serve His church.  It is an honor to be given the freedom and wisdom to love His people.  It is an honor to read His word.  It is an honor to know Him.  Don't sit with your hands behind your back, shout to the Lord and He will find favor with you.  You are His and He hears our cries.  Be willing to be His hands and feet.  We are called for this moment and we must be faithful with what He has given us.  I am in love with Jesus.  He is my world and I am His child.  Being silent is not an option so once again, I proclaim His glory on this blog and thank Him for all the gifts He has given me.  Mostly, I thank Him for the blood He spilled on the cross, that wipes away my sins and gives me courage to face another day.  For all my sisters in nations that are being persecuted, I am calling on God to deliver you.  You are on my heart daily.  And for all of you that are struggling with failed marriages, addiction, depression and hurt, I believe that when we call on Him, He is there.  

We are His chosen and it is our job to walk by faith.  My prayer is that you will see Him today and that you will know Him!  May your day be blessed and may this blog bring Jesus all the glory as I shout to the Lord!

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. (‭Psalm‬ ‭95‬:‭1‬ NIV)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How Mighty is He?

Good morning all-

I have been working a ton and not on here as much as I would like.  With that being said, God has been teaching me anyway.  In the last couple of weeks, my favorite aunt had a heart attack, strike five for that side of the family and a co-worker's dad had a stroke.  Meanwhile, I have been feeling the effects of travel and the stress of working and trying to be everything to everyone.  There are days I wish I had a mountain to climb and be quiet on, don't you?

With all that and more, I have spent some time in Numbers.  Now it's not a chapter I recommend to those that don't like to delve into the facts.  It has more than you would ever want to know but more importantly, it speaks of the great loss the Israelites' faced because they didn't believe in the mightiness of God.  I think what caught me by surprise was the multiple times the people rebelled.  I know the stories but when you are taking in several chapters a day, you begin to see the picture in a whole new light.  God's chosen were rebelling and not just any segment of His chosen but the Levites, who were to be His high priests.  Their rebellion caused families to be swallowed up and death to come among them.  Crazy!  What makes us forget this kind of power?  I think it comes back to our pride and our belief in ourselves, instead of Him.

Well, that's all I can think about.  I can only think about God and how mighty He is.  In all this chaos I call my life, one thing is shining through, HIM!  It really doesn't matter if I have climbed the corporate ladder or if my family is on the right path.  The only thing that matters is that I revere Him.  Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before Him.  I don't even crawl out of my bed to pray to Him.

I am in awe and wonder at my lack of faithfulness and in their lack of faithfulness.  We should never forget who we worship.  The Pharisees didn't believe He was the Son of God.  They wanted the law over the Savior.  I don't want that for the world.  I want to remember that I was saved because He died and I want to remember that God has all authority over the heavens and the earth.  We are not on this earth to give ourselves glory; we are here solely for His purpose.

As you pray today, remember those that have gone before you.  Take time to read Numbers and to see how their rebellion affected God's people.  Be aware that forgiveness is not earned but it was given because He loves us so.  We have faults but we are His.  Practice love above all other things and remember that His hand is mighty!  Be well my sisters.

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.  Psalm 29:1-2 NIV

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How does Jesus renew our hearts and minds?

Good morning all-

I have a lot on my mind today so I decided to sit and write instead of clean.  I'm not sure my actions are going to help at all today but I'm counting on Jesus to multiply my time.  Being with Him is far more important than vacuuming, don't you think?  Anyway, How does Jesus renew our hearts and minds?  Dumb question you might say, however, I think it's crucial for us to think about.

Renewing our hearts and minds is not easy.  We are known to be stubborn, hard headed and have opinions that are not easily changed.  We get hurt easily and don't get over it instantly.  If you just said to yourself, "That's not me."  Good for you but I haven't met too many women that aren't like this. Oh, and then there is the worry, fear, and expectations of not measuring up.  You know those nasty thoughts that come into your head.  "I wish I was skinnier."  "Couldn't God have given me better hair, personality or intelligence?" It's all there ladies, let's not kid ourselves.  We don't always dress for our man, most times we are dressing for the ladies, they are the one's that notice.  So in a world full of distractions, how do we renew our most valuable assets?  The answer:  We go to Jesus!

Scripture has always helped me with my thought life.  I can visualize something I have read and it comforts me but lately, the changing of my mind is coming through memorizing Scripture.  As a kid, I could memorize about anything.  It was my strongest asset.  And then as I got older, life got busier and I said, "I can't do that, I don't have time."  Did you just pause and feel convicted?  I know, me too.  That didn't make me do it though.  What has been revolutionary in my walk this past couple of years is my need for Jesus.  I don't have parents to run to anymore an although I have wonderful friends you can't tell them all your nasty thoughts, so where do you go?  Exactly and that's how I made my decision to join the Siestas this year.  There are three women that have made a huge impact on my life in the last years and Beth Moore is one of them.  She is so cute and so wise.  She loves the Lord with all her heart and she is real. She feels, she fails and she repents.  She is no different then any of us but she does have something I want and that's a mind that is renewed by memorization of verses.  

Her last post was a video on encouragement.  It was wonderful but what I liked about it most is how she said the Word must become personal.  Hmm.  You have to ponder that for a moment, dont' you?  Have you heard that before?  Jesus is relational, your walk with Him is personal, your purpose is His to direct and on and on and on.  Right?  She said that the most important part of remembering the Word was to thank Jesus!  So, this week, I just couldn't remember my verse.  I even spoke to Jesus and said, "I want to remember Your words."  So I read my blog again that had Romans 14:8 and how that Scripture has impacted my thought life, so why can't I remember it?  Oh, how beautiful our Lord is.  This morning I woke up and recited the whole thing!  Praise Jesus.

My mind is being renewed and as I read and pray; He will renew my heart.  The Scripture has to impact those stubborn brains of ours so that our heart can open up to the possibilities of change.  We are imperfect but boy do we have a beautiful Savior.  I'm praising Him today for all the times He's helped me change.  I have a long way to go but twice a month I feel challenged to change.  Thank you Beth for hearing God's call and challenging the women that follow Him.  If you've never participated, I challenge you.  There are so many small Scriptures.  You don't have to memorize a chapter, you just need to memorize something that will renew you.  Be well my sisters and feel the Holy Spirit guiding you towards Him and remember, spend time with Him!  All the work we have to do is not as important as the minutes we spend with Him.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. (‭Psalms‬ ‭57‬:‭7‬ KJV)

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭6‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

O, Lord, thank You for Your abundance.  We come to You today confessing our failures and our lack of desire, time and commitment.  We know what we should be doing but life carries us into the storm and we are led far from you.  We commit to needing You and if it is in You will, helping us renew our minds and hearts with the small quantities of time we have.  You are a God that loves devotion so as I write I am praying for my sisters all over the world.  Help them Jesus and give them the resources to come You.  We want to renew our hearts and minds through You!  In Jesus name, AMEN

Sharing a meal...

Good morning all-

Last night my family went to dinner with our soon to be daughter-in-law.  It was a lot of fun.  We picked the meal for the rehearsal dinner, Austin and Saras cuddled and Hunter talked about fishing in Alaska.  It was a great night.  As Mark and I toasted us being together, I realized this is one of few moments to come.  So I stored it in my heart and thanked God for every second and for every meal.  Mealtime has always been special but lately, everyone is running to different things and when I'm home, I'm trying to get dinner done quickly so they can go do those things.  I see why God put such ceremony into the sacrifices as well as the last supper.  Eating together is more important then we know.  It's a time of fellowship and every meal may mean the last.  Jesus used the last supper as the last time to impart the important things to His disciples.  We can all learn a lesson from that.

Last night, I felt the storm of change.  It's time and I know it but it doesn't make it easier.  I wonder if that's how Jesus felt at the last supper.  Was He scared?  I'm sure He was but once again it wasn't about Him, it was about His people.  It would be the moment that He would proclaim the prophesy of old and He chose to do it breaking bread with His disciples.

I wonder, have we lost that tradition? You know what I'm talking about, with all the kids sports, busy work schedules and fast food.  Have we forgotten the importance of the meal?  Some days I do because I'm rushing from work to home to gather ingredients so that everyone can eat by 7 PM.  It's important to them to eat and it's important to me to get the food on the table.  That's why yesterday was so special.  It was the five of us sitting, relaxing, laughing, and sharing and in my heart I smiled.

The Lord has given me much but I think I'm most grateful for the word pictures He puts in my mind.  They carry me through my darkest hours and guide me right toward the cross.  I see Him in a meal out with my family, in my car driving by a homeless person and every time the sun sets and rises.  He is with me.  The images of Him are in my mind because of the word pictures all over the Bible.  Even the breaking of bread.  Every time I'm slicing open Italian bread; I think of Him.  Every time I eat a cracker, I think of Him and wonder, what must it have been like for them?  Why?  Because food was not plentiful in Jesus' time but you never read that they were without.  He provided.

I've stored many memories throughout the years.  I remember how my mom would make me eat all my peas as I stuffed them in my napkin and prayed I wouldn't get caught.  I remember having to eat grits in the South because my mom didn't care if we didn't like them.  I remember feeding my babies and watching them gorge themselves with milk and I will forever remember yesterday evening.  So as we prepare for Easter, we must remember the words of our Father.  They came true, didn't they?  He did die for us and He chose His last supper to depart the picture of the coming days.  A common meal has become the most painted and talked about supper event for centuries.  As we approach the day of His death and resurrection, let's remember the memories and the words He imparted to His people.  It wasn't just a meal, it was the fulfilling of a covenant!

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “You have said so.” While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (‭Matthew‬ ‭26‬:‭17-30‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

O, Lord my God, bring forth Your provision as we read the words you left behind.  Your prediction of your death was proclaimed during a meal and we are grateful for the word picture.  Help us to remember that every meal is unto You.  You are the provider of our needs and our soul.  Help us remember that daily and may we glorify You as we tell the story of Your sacrifice.  May the Lord of generations spread His word to the far corners of this land and throughout the world.  We proclaim Jesus!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I have no courage...

Good morning all-

If you have been reading this blog lately, courage has come up.  I think my heart is seeking it.  You know when you feel like everything is against you, life is changing and you can't stop it and the enemy is on every side, that's truly when we seek courage, right?  This last few months has been a dance between fear and courage and I know that courage has won the fight.  How you might ask?  Because Jesus and I have come to a place of understanding, I have zero courage and He will provide it 100%!

Courage is something I have rarely had in my life.  I have been propeled more by fear than courage.  How did I get through the first years of marriage? Fear of divorce.  How did I get through college?  Fear of failure.  How did I succeed in my career?  Fear of being poor.  There has always been a great amount of fear in my life.  I know what you're thinking, fear is not of our Lord.  I know that and still I have struggled with fear all my life.  Even my fear of God has helped me move through life.  I know fear far better than peace.  Even this blog came out of fear.  I knew I was supposed to write but I was afraid that people would criticize me, tell me I had no talent, or worse, no one would read it.  I still did it but it was in fear, not in confidence or courage.

As I have repented of this fear, I have watched Jesus wipe it away.  I have to go to Him daily with it but peace has been restored in my heart, time and time again.  You know what else He has provided?  Courage.  I am full of it. Not for me but for Him.  He has a plan for my life and if I don't step out on faith; He can't use me.  What a shame and a waste that would be?  I am here for a reason and if I spend all my time in fear then I have wasted an opportunity for His kingdom.  Writing is not easy because every word I write exposes me to many people.  I have made this blog public by placing it on Facebook and Twitter.  Anyone can get on it and see my words, my grammar and my heart.  Why this venue?  Because I was called and in one moment, I found courage through my Savior to write and to believe that He would use it for His glory.

People believe they have courage on their own but that's a lie.  True courage comes from seeking and knowing our Lord.  David would have been a coward without God.  He struggled many times as he sat in the cave grumbling and scared.  However, deep down as he would speak to the Lord, he would go from frightened to a man of courage.  Your probably wondering how that was accomplished.  Only through meditation, prayer and repentence can we find Godly courage.  It doesn't come from inside us.  That's fake and won't last long.  True courage comes from trusting in Jesus, giving Him our hearts and seeking Him daily.  When I even miss a day of doing that, my courage goes from high to low.  We are like cars needing gasoline.  If we drive with confidence but never fill up, we will eventually run out of gas.  When that happens, we are calling someone frantically to help us, right?  Exactly my point, we can run but we can't hide from the God who knew us in the womb.  There's a reason we are in a relationship and not robots to our God.

I'm glad I can say; I have no courage.  Because in truth, my courage becomes stronger when I know it takes my Savior to provide it.  I don't need to worry about pumping myself up.  I just need to get on my knees, read my Bible and ask the Lord to give me courage, release me from my fear and propel me towards Him.  See I can fake courage but I would rather have it.  Wouldn't you?

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

O, Lord, as I read of the Syrian fighters and of all the Christians that are fighting for their lives, it brings me back to courage.  You must provide their courage to stay strong in the midst of evil.  Women all over the world are being caught in horrible situations, their men are dying and possessions are lost.  I'm sure in every country there are people fighting to have courage on their own but they will fail without You.  Please bring people forth that can encourage them and help them see that when they say, "I have no courage," that's the first step in receiving it.  You are the only God that can provide peace, confidence and courage.  Because You died on the cross, You gave us all the confidence and courage that You are a God that leads His people.  Circumstances will happen that are not good but our faith stands on  asking You for courage and receiving it.  In Jesus Name, AMEN