Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do nothing in vain conceit.....

Good morning all-

I'm once again at the airport and ready to go home.  I spent most of yesterday working, thinking and praying.  I was washing myself clean and taking emotion out of life and replacing it with God's wisdom, power and glory.  I was inundated with Scripture yesterday as I sought God in my circumstances and because of that this Scripture popped out at me today.  I waited to pick my 9th verse for Beth Moore's siesta group.  This one needed to impact my life, not just today but for my future endeavors.

Like you, I struggle with wanting to be valued, getting recognition for a job well done and then there is always that stupid need to be liked.  The last has to go if I am ever going to succeed in God's plan for my life.  People could potentially hate me for what I believe and I just need to care less about me and move forward in love.  Like you, I'm a work in progress, so we will see as God molds me like clay.  For now, I am open to it.

I am often on the go with not much alone time.  I took it yesterday as a sign He wanted my attention and Christ got it.  I asked Him to remove emotion to help me see and He did.  I asked Him for me not to take my pride and crush others and yes, you guessed it, I was given this Scripture to memorize.  I don't know about you but sometimes what I ask for is irritating but so what I needed at that moment.  I am in a time of reflection and reflection will help me grow and prosper through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So today I leave you with my memory verse.  It hits home like an arrow to the heart.  It is pointed, sharp and refining.  I hope that I spend many hours thinking about it and how it will help me lead women to Christ.  My other hope is that God will give me reflection time, love for His people and the spirit to lead with courage, hope and direction.  I'm His to mold even if it's painful.  Please join me in praying this Scripture and giving selfish ambition and vain conceit to Him because we all carry it and it needs to go.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

Lord, I pray with all my heart that I will not only memorize this Scripture but that I will learn to live like this.  Give me wisdom to seek You, courage to go in Your direction and a heart for your people above my own.  In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

When everything you read has an encouraging word....

Good evening everyone-

I am currently sitting on my bed in Savannah, Georgia thinking about God and His gift of hope.  Every day life faces you.  Yesterday, our church lost a man that loved God's children. His life was difficult but he turned it around and gave back.  Through his life, he showed many children unconditional love.  Many of those children were hard to love, lost and lonely.  Flash to the baby found in the rubble after a deadly earthquake.  Five thousand dead and yet one, four month old cries and rescuers find him untouched.  Then fly to Antarctica  where a red substance comes out of a white iceberg.  Scientists found that due to the saltiness and other things, it turns the water to a blood color.  If that's not enough, someone captures a quadruple rainbow.  And today, as I felt sad, mad and lonely, God shows me Scripture after Scripture of encouragement.

Great leaders die to themselves and they give.  Our words of encouragement are carried through one man's blood, one man's convictions and one man's belief in His Father.  Christ will give you a ray of hope in your sadness, in your madness, and in your loneliness.  He gives it freely.  Take a moment, an hour or a day and really think about Jesus.  I can't thank Him enough for every encouraging word today.  I can't lead if I don't know what the greatest teacher in the world believed.  He believed every day that the words of His Father would carry to every nation and every people group.  One ray of hope changes your attitude, your outlook and your destiny.  Can you dream big?  Can you believe big?  Well, we can't dream big enough or believe enough in our God.  He saved a baby in pounds of rubble.  He saved a young man after four days of being buried.  He saves, He is and He always will be.  Be encouraged today, live your life for God and know He is, He was and He will be again!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NIV)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Leaving a legacy of love...

Good morning all-

I'm getting ready to go to church but before I left; I just had to write to you.  Yesterday, I put on a wedding shower for my daughter-in-law to be.  I have watched her grow over the last six years and have loved every minute of it.  As it is with brides and mothers-in-laws, I have to learn my place in my kids lives but I'm learning and my prayer is that we will continue to have great respect and love for one another.

I think what I loved about yesterday the most was the memories we made.  The fruit butterfly reminded me of my mom, the tulips reminded me of spring and the friendship and chatter of young women reminded me that we all go through seasons.  Life changes day to day and year to year but there is one thing that always remains in any season, we are loved.  We may not feel it from our family, friends and co-workers but we are so loved.  I held the shower for Saras because her family lives far away and I wanted to remind her that she has two families that she can count on.  However, she actually has three: Jesus, hers and ours.  Jesus loved us so much and left a legacy of that love.  He didn't make a fruit butterfly, He made the butterfly and the flowers, birds, bees and all the creatures that remind us that life comes and goes in seasons.

My legacy will hopefully be similar to my moms.  I want to leave a footprint on my boys, their wives and their children that love conquers all and that Jesus is the reason we live.  That's my goal for myself and for those that read this blog.  Jesus called us to love in every season so we must abide by that and show the world that love conquers all!

I normally leave Scripture but today, I want you to send a Scripture that means something to you.  I have a friend that is about to be divorced and she feels crushed on every side.  It's hard to just say, "I love you."  I have to show her through God's word.  So I sent her Psalm 91 and 2 Corinthians 4:8.  She feels crushed but through Jesus she doesn't have too.  Scripture is the most powerful way to show our friends, family and strangers what true love is.  Man made love is fallible, fickle and often crushing.  God's love is powerful and continues to leave a legacy full of love and sacrifice.  Please take a moment to encourage someone and show them that they are not alone.

With that, be well my beautiful sisters and start sharing with me the power Jesus has in your life.  Don't be scared!  I want to hear from you and know how God is working in your lives.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Two Scriptures I've lived by..........

Good morning all-

I woke this morning with the anticipation of the wedding shower I'm about to give.  In six weeks my son will be married and his life will change forever.  But before I could even get out of bed, sadness overwhelmed me and I wished so much that my parents could be here celebrating this day with me.  They loved him so.

In life, we don't get to choose what happens to us.  We don't get to miss any of the steps as my mom used to say.  There is life and there is death and that's a fact.  We will fail and we will succeed.  We will be sad and we will be happy.  We will worry and we will hope.  These are the truths in life.  So how does this woman get through all those things, she prays and lives by two very important Scriptures.  I think I must speak this at least once a month or so much so that my sister-in-law is giving my son a plaque that has Jeremiah 29:11 on it.  I wrote him a letter for high school graduation in 2008 and she remembed it and is giving it to him today.

The other Scripture is 1 Corinthians 13 which I received in a plaque form as a wedding gift from my bestfriend in college.  It has been on my wall for over 25 years.  I love this verse because love is all those things and in marriage it is hard to remember to love like that.  Let's be real, it's hard anytime.  I am called to love, so when I'm not loving correctly; it's above my sink to remind me that Christ loves me that way.

These two Scriptures along with Psalm 91 have carried me through my trials.  They have reminded me that I should not fear, God has a purpose for my life and I must love with patience and kindness.  Often, I miss the mark.  I'm sure you do too.  But it's in these moments that I realize how awesome God truly is.  These Scriptures are given to all of us, it just so happens they have taken me through half my life and molded me into the woman I am today.

I was reminded today of the legacy my parents left behind.  They loved one another, were devoted to one another and when one went, the other wanted to follow.  It's hard to believe they have been gone so long.  Spring is a constant reminder to me of their love and here I am in April preparing my son to cleave to his wife.  Time has come and gone but one thing remains true, Jesus has a purpose for us all!

I pray that today finds you well and that the two Scriptures that have guided me through rough waters will minister to your hearts today.  Oh and I'm going to throw in the third because it has brought me through some horrible things and made me stronger every time I have prayed it out loud.  If you have a Scripture that has moved you and that you have lived by, please share it on this blog.  I would love to hear from you and I know it would encourage others.  So with that being said, I am off to make a fruit butterfly!

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭10-14‬ NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-8‬ NIV)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭1-16‬ NIV)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Don't you ever wish you could hear from Jesus?

Good morning all-

It's been too long since I sat down to write.  Life has been catching me by the tail and I must confess, it's good to be back.  I don't have a lot of time today but I wanted to reach out and ask you an important question.  Don't you ever wish you could hear from Jesus?  I don't just mean through Scripture but really see Him, touch Him, be on the mountain with Him?

When I am in a dry season and don't really feel the rolling of the Holy Spirit, I often wish Jesus would talk to me, walk with me and share some profound truth to me.  I wish I could know my future steps and if what I believe He wants me to do is in His will.  Oh, how I wish to see the angels surround Him and hear them sing to Him and in the quiet I wish I could sit at His feet and listen to Him.  But it's a dry season and all I hear is crickets.  In those moments, I have a choice.  I can believe that the God of Israel sent His son to earth and that He raised Him up again!  I can believe that I was born for a purpose mightier than my wants and desires on earth!  And I can believe that Jesus will someday come and bring His bride and while I wait He is spreading His word among every people group in every nation.

The time is now.  I am in that dry season where I can't feel Him.  So I rely on the one thing I know to be true, Jesus is the reason I live and when He is ready; He will reveal to me His purpose for my life. I hope you find comfort in these words and remember it is through faith that we are saved and it is by His blood that we will have eternal life.  Hold onto these truths in darkness and during your desert moments.  Those that believed stepped over the threshold to Israel and those that fell away never got to see the promise land.  I may be in the desert now but I believe that He will bring me through and light my path and one day, I will be delivered.  Remember that Jesus is hope and that at the end of this life, we will hear from Him, see Him and be in awe of all the things He did for us on earth.  May today be filled with God moments and may you find hope in the King of glory.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭27‬ NIV)

To all my sisters around the world I pray this Scripture for you.  We are not in the desert; we are daughters of Jesus Christ and we remain in Him through faith and His blood.  Be aware that all things come through Him, by Him, to you for a greater purpose.  You are worthy because He died for You.  May the God of Abraham and Isaac give us strength and courage to walk with Him all our days and may we have faith through the desert so that one day we will see the promise land!  AMEN

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

The Lord has risen!  That sums up what we believe.  We believe that He sits at the right hand of His Father and there is One God!  May the Lord reveal to the world His power.  As He was asked by the Pharisees if He was King, His kingdom was not of this earth.  We know that because the disciples died for Him.  They watched this incredible event, spoke with Him and went on to proclaim His existence and the truth.  Don't be persuaded to think anything less.  He is our God, we were made for this time and He will use each one of us to spread the word.  No one will ever be able to wipe out the name of Jesus Christ.  He was real.  He was not a prophet with magic at His finger tips.  He was our God in man form, come to earth to save His people and in the end, every knee will bow.  Please take every moment to proclaim His existence in love.

Be strong in what you believe and know that without a doubt, He is Lord!  May the God of hearts open eyes today as we sit in churches all over the world proclaiming, He is Lord of all!  Pray for our brothers and sisters in other countries that have to hide to love Him.  Pray for the men that are trying to destroy a faith they know nothing about.  Pray for our enemies that are no different than Paul.  Pray that they will see the hand of our God.  I pray this in Jesus name.  Let's never forget what the disciples knew about Jesus.  He was our Savior!  Glory be to God in the highest, who was and is and is to come!  Bring forth the Holy Spirit and proclaim that Jesus has risen.  In Jesus name, I pray this with all my heart.  AMEN

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Revelation 6:7-11...This is for all those killed in the name of Christ

My sisters-

As I have been meditating this morning, I asked the Lord to show me where it talks about the martyrs in Revelation and at 7:03 am it was revealed to me through the Holy Spirit. I believe that God is calling us to read this and to meditate on it this weekend.   The pictures of the 147 killed on Thursday are devestating but when I get a Scripture and it's exactly what I was trying to find; I believe God has revealed it so that we can understand His power and majesty. Please read these words and know He is God.  The first to die on Thursday were those that confessed Jesus was Lord and Savior. May the Lord move His people to have the same kind of faith in the face of evil and may we triumph against evil, while the truth is revealed!

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. (‭Revelation‬ ‭6‬:‭7-11‬ NIV)

Please pray for Nigeria on Easter Sunday

Good morning all-

Tomorrow we will celebrate Easter.  For a Christian, this is the pinnacle of being a Christian.  If Jesus was not an innocent man and He did not die on a cross then Christianity is for nothing.  But more importantly, if Jesus never was seen after death, then we just worship a man.  However, as the story goes, Jesus died as an innocent man, on a cross and rose again!  We all know the story but how does that impact us today?

For months, I have been praying for Nigeria, Syria and Egypt.  God called me out of sleep one night to pray for them.  The women of countries I don't know.  And then over the last six months as the militant islamist groups have waged war on Jews and Christians I have prayed.  This morning was no different.  I woke with that same kind of passion for a people group I don't even know.  The Lord wants us to pray for our enemies.  We are called to love them, even if we don't believe in what they are doing.  You probably are saying, no way.  I challenge you to remember who Paul was to the Jews. You know the story, he was their persecutor.  He held the robes of those that killed many Christians and yet, God destined this horrible man to become one of the greatest teachers in the Bible.  He was not worthy to speak the Lord's name and yet, he was given authority by Jesus to spread His word far and wide.

In my mind, I picture our enemies. They are in every country and every city from the US to the Red Sea.  There are no boundaries and there are no walls that contain these men and women who hate what we believe in.  No surprise really.  Christians have been marked since Jesus' day.  Why?  Because the evil one wants us to believe there is no hope, no joy and no eternal life.  We know different, right?  Why do women and men have to be killed for their faith?  I don't have any answers. I wish I did but sometimes I think it's to remind us that the enemy lurks everywhere and that Jesus, time after time tried to tell us to prepare for this day.

Now is the time that we must pray for the deceived.  When men run into a University, while young people are in prayer and massacre them shouting about God, we must pray harder and more often for the evil we can not see.  We must ask Jesus to come to these men in dreams and help them see His mighty power.  Evil is lurking but God is ever present and there is no better time to pray then on Easter.  I believe, as one body, we can pray and a course can be changed.  I believe as one body, evil can be overcome and I believe as one voice, praising the name of Jesus, change can happen in the lives of men and women.  We have to stand in unison tomorrow and take a moment to pray for our brothers and sisters all over the world.  We must believe that Jesus died for us, loved us, rose again and in 2015, He can spread His kingdom from one end of the earth to the other.  Jesus can impact a life and we have the power to pray that this will happen.

Israelites were warned about their enemies and they could not go into the promise land until they had enough faith.  There fathers did not step over because they saw God's power and had no faith.  God warned them that trials would come their way and so they have for centuries.  Does it mean God is not real because Christians are getting slaughtered?  No.  It means He lives even more.  If God and Satan didn't exist there would be no need for one religion to be over another or for men to hate from it.  This is an evil world we live in but the grace of God is flowing.

I would challenge you tomorrow to really look at the blood that was shed on the cross and for the blood that is being shed in the Middle East.  These are our brothers and sisters.  We must also praise Jesus for the commitment of the young men and women that step away from fear and love Jesus anyway.  More importantly, we must pray for our enemies and ask Jesus to penetrate their hearts.  That's my prayer today.

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. (‭Revelation‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬ NIV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭43-48‬ NIV)

My Prayer:

O, Jesus, you are more mighty than ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Queda.  You are more loving and caring than any person on this earth.  You reveal to us in Scritpure that Your love will never fail.  I believe that with all my mind.  You are a God that will save the Jews and have revenge for your beloved people.  We cry out in one voice today, saying,"Worthy, Worthy, is the Lamb that was slain for us."  You are King of our hearts.  A mighty warrior to the weak.  And when we call, You hear our cries.  Be with Your children in Nigeria, Israel, Syria, Egypt and all over the world.  Let Your power be seen and felt in every corner of the world as we honor the day You rose again!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When fear creeps in, what will you do?

Good morning all-

It's been a beautiful spring week in Kansas, so wherever you live, I hope you're enjoying the budding of the leaves, the flowering of the plants and the bees buzzing by.  God provides such a beautiful canvas if we just look for it.

Beyond the beauty of the weather, lies the dark decisions people make in life.  Decisions form who we are and often times, who we will be.  During Jesus' time, the Pharisees made horrible decisions.  They persecuted a man that was sent to this earth for them.  They were the religious teachers but they were so blinded by laws, that they forgot about the Scripture itself.  What did the prophets say?  Today, we are also blinded by what we believe is true.  We have a Constitution but no one is really following it.  We have the ability to worship anywhere we want but most don't.  We have the ability to reach out and help someone but we turn away.  These are all truths and in business, I face all these truths everyday.  I have fifteen people counting on me to lead them in the right direction.

What I've learned in business is that your faith can be rocked by circumstances and if you let it, you can lose yourself.  These are the times I pray the most.  Because I know that fear can lead to anger, lies and compromises.  I am not perfect and this business is how I provide for my family but I have a responsibility to uphold all the principles God has taught me.  So when temptation begins, I pray.  I must be a manager and partner that listens and trusts in the Lord.  I will never have all the answers and either will you but you do have Jesus.

Jesus is my counselor.  He gives me wisdom when I have none.  He surrounds me with people that are wise and that are willing to give me wise advise and I listen.  Why?  Because that's what all the disciples did.  They listened for hours to Jesus.  They took in every word and watched as He represented His Father.  They learned of His faithfulness.  So when they were full of fear and fled from Him, they would return with wisdom, truth and courage.  Jesus knew how they would all react but He never left them.  He rose from His tomb and sent messengers with the good news and then, He appeared for one last time to be with them.  He told them that He was sending a mighty counselor and that they would have Him for eternity.  That counselor sits on my shoulders and last week when I was so full of fear; He used people to provide wisdom in my fear.  I take that wisdom and thank Him for it all the time.  I'm not prideful when it comes to my role under Him.  He is an authority, larger than our leaders, for He is God.

I don't like to be tested.  It stinks.  But often, I see the wisdom in His tests.  It shows me that I must remember that He is my shield and that truth is always pure.  Again, through my imperfection, He will someday make me perfect and I hold onto that truth.  In my flaws, He is molding me and this is my time, my hour, my destiny to do His will and watch Him in my midst.

I can't say that I always do the right thing, that would be a lie but I really try to stay on course and make decisions based upon what He has taught me.  I confess that I have to go to Him often for wise counseling and that I use wise advisors to state their opinions, so that I can make a well thought out decision. If you are facing a difficult road right now, I suggest that you seek wise counsel.  I also suggest that you stand up for Jesus and go to Him.  Think how different the Pharisees lives would have been if they had listened and practiced Jesus' words.  I don't want to be them, do you?  I want to hold onto the truth of Jesus and spread His word and I want Him to counsel me on every turn.

Scripture is true, it's wisdom in a book and we must utilize the tools God has for us.  A good relationship is not based only on you; it's based on listening, learning and seeking the other person's wisdom.  So today, I seek Jesus in all His glory.  I trust that He will right my path and that He will do the same for you.  If you found this post, this is for you.  Take it to heart and praise Jesus for being a God that loves you just as you are.  Take your lesson today from the Spring.  Look at the beauty and splendor before you and praise Jesus for making you new.  We are His creations and He infuses us with the power of the cross.  Be well my sisters and know I am near!

Blessed be the name of the Lord.....

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭6‬ NIV)

My prayer:

O, Lord give me wisdom all my days and carry my burdens as I seek Your face.  You are mighty and worthy of praise.  Be with me today and help me hold onto all the lessons you have taught so long ago.  Keep my path straight and lead me not into temptation.  I love you Lord and know that you are near!