Friday, November 20, 2015

My year of YES!

Good morning all-

I have just finished a really good book.  It's called, "Year of Yes" by Shonda Rhimes.  Now I need to preface this with the fact that I didn't even know who she was until Sunday night.  Some of you may be saying, what?  I know but I just don't watch a lot of television.  I'm too busy.  I have a house to take care of, a job and my husband's company to run.  I don't have time to veg by the television Thursday night to watch the trio written by Shonda and that's why my channel searching and falling  onto the OWN channel just as she was answering Oprah's question is so incredibly awesome.

I have been working on taking care of myself.  I am eating smaller portions, working smarter, traveling better and working out.  I'm trying to remember that if I don't give something to myself, I won't be anything to anyone else and people depend on me to sell, take care of the house, cook and do the books.  People need things from me but I need to do something for myself because this year has flown by and I don't have anything to show for it really. So as I began to get on my husband's bike to go four boring miles(you all know what I'm saying), I turned the television on and I hear Soul Sunday, so I stop, watch it for a second and start riding and everything in my life started to change.  One minute, one bike, one channel and then light.

Jesus is my reason to live so if you read her book and start disagreeing, just take a moment and put her journey into the story of Jesus.  She wants to love, she needs to love and she hasn't ever loved herself until her year of yes.  I saw Jesus all over it.  Now if you buy the book and I suggest you do, you may judge me but I can honestly say that every page I turned, I saw Jesus transforming, creating and lifting up.  I saw redemption and joy.

This life isn't easy and great women that become warriors aren't great because they were born with a silver spoon, never had hard times or walked in grace all their lives.  Great women overcome challenges, scale tall walls and endure hard circumstances.  They learn to give of themselves to survive and what drives them is their insecurity and drive to be the best in a world that constantly will knock you down.  So yes, I  loved the book and yes, I saw Jesus and yes, I believe He alone brought me to OWN for that moment.  It's not about the universe or a higher power; It's God!

If you've read this blog you've been part of my challenging year.  I have fought and won.  I have found peace or what I thought was peace in the storm and I have sought to challenge myself in the face of much adversity.  I have not failed this year.  I have learned and with every lesson comes enlightenment and right now reading Shonda's book may have opened my eyes in a way I never thought possible.  In some ways she and I share commonalities.  We both love to read, to create and to dream.  And just like her, I held in everything I thought and felt.  I closeted my eating to help me with the stresses of life and I succumbed to sitting at home, going to bed early and sleeping rather than living.  I hid and hid and hid.  I even hid behind this keyboard.  It's so easy to write out what I think but it's much harder for me to share these same feelings one on one.  I'm a lion behind the keyboard but a mouse in my personal life.  Well I'm shedding that and every other thing I've carried in my life.  I was made for this time and I'm going to hit it head on.

I love to work.  I was made to work.  The greater the challenge the more I want to conquer it.  If you don't like me, I will work to make you like me.  If you think I'm a failure, I'll show you I'm not.  If you think I can't do something, I will because I learned very young no one was going to lift me up, wipe me off and look into my blue eyes and say, "Lisa, I'm your savior."  No one, that is, except for Jesus.  And once again, I'm in a room by myself and Jesus appears.  I'm a thinker.  I think about everything.  I stifle my emotions, have a hard time telling someone they made me angry and hate to be mad because when I'm mad, I have no sense.  So I learned young, as the popular people were picking on me, making fun of me and even the nerds excluded me, to stifle all emotion.  I pushed it down.  I worked at having a shell of pride and I never let anyone tell me I couldn't do it but through the years I have also let fear and worry creep into my life, my dreams and my hope.  Jesus is not worry, He's freedom.  And yet the bondage of my youth has crept into every part of me and as I finished this wonderful book I realized this was my year of yes.

I'm sure you think I'm crazy.  How does a book make you say, "YES?"  Well how did six words from a sister change Shonda's life, you'll have to read the book because it really is very special.  For me, it was as simple as saying, she's just like you.  She loves to work.  She loves her kids.  She wants to be the best mother and the best working woman.  She needs to be creative as much as she needs to breathe and she loves control.  Guess what? If this was an algebraic equation, it would equal me.  And all of the sudden, I heard that inner voice that really is an introvert, reformed nerd, say, "Why can't I say Yes?"  One moment, one thought, could it mean true transformation?  My answer is YES.  This has been a year of challenge, growth, opportunity and Jesus.  Without Him none of this would matter.  I don't matter if He's not driving. So yes, I need to do the things that scare me to death.  I need to worry less, ride that bike more and revel in the fact that I get to spread the Word of God.  I get to, that's just crazy.  How does a reformed introvert who is more nerd than anything else, get to?  I'm anointed that's how and I'm His and this is my year of yes.

To commemorate this very special moment in my life, I took a note.  I'm a goal-oriented person.  I put a goal on something and I will meet that goal.  I will work for it with verve.  I just love that word.  So it's on my list.  There are fifteen very specific things I am going to say YES to this year and I'm going to look at them every morning after I've read my Bible and have asked God to lead me.  It's time to be the butterfly and not the caterpillar.  It's time to experience the blessings God has bestowed on me and those I tell everyone else to celebrate.  It's time for me to be one with Jesus and transform into an all believing, all seeking soldier with all the wounds befitting to a great warrior. My wounds are His reward.  I need to embrace that, you need to embrace it and you need to say YES to your fears.  It's time that the women of God stand up in faith and believe we are strong because of Jesus.  We are not faint, we don't need to stand on the sidelines, we need to embrace the power of the cross and live!

Lord make us mighty warriors for you in every way, not just in this moment but for generations to come.  Please bless my year of YES and gather me unto You as I face my fears, surrender my worries and look up!  Your the only reason I need to live and Lord I want to live with my whole heart. IN JESUS NAME I ASK THIS, AMEN

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pray for the World....

Good morning-

I just wanted to reach out today and encourage you all to pray for your countries, this world and Israel. Strange things are taking place and I think the one thing God is calling us to do is to repent and to look for Him.  We continue to have food supplies wiped out by drought, storms and disease.  The earth is growling and in Kansas this last week on the 7th day of November there were 7 earthquakes in 7 hours, strange you might say but it's definitely something to think about.

On top of those things, Israel is facing huge challenges.  North Korea, Russia and ISIS would love to destroy other countries and people groups and with all that chaos we are losing another generation to laziness, drugs and a sense of apathy for God.

So this morning, I prayed for the hills of Mount Zion to protect Israel.  I prayed a crown of thorns around my family and especially my kids and I prayed at lunch that God would protect all of us as we repent and look for Him.  It's a shame that it takes the rumors of wars, famine, floods and fire to make us look toward Him.  It's a shame that God needs to shake us up so that we quit being apathetic and we move toward Him.  I'm in prayer not about all the situations that are happening but about repentance, mine and everyone else's sin.  I need Jesus to envelope me and to make me see the power of the cross and so do you.

Instead of second guessing what's to come or looking for signs, which God promises will be there, let's just get down on our knees and pray for mercy.  That's what I'm doing and so should you.

Remember to pray:

  • Nations bow down to Jesus
  • People repent of their sin
  • God would protect our families by the crown of thorns He wore on the cross
  • Pray that all nations would be under God, invisible!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What would happen if we got our way?

Good morning all-

Have you ever wondered what would happen if God just granted our every desire?  I'm not sure why I've been thinking about that one question so much but I have.  Recently, I picked up one of Beth Moore's studies and I'm going through the Psalms of Ascent.  It's eye opening in the sense that I've been through a time where God needed to change me and make me new and so I think the passage makes so more sense then it did before I went through that trial.

There are so many things I've dreamed of in my life.  I wanted a faithful husband and I have one.  I wanted to be a princess and instead I'm a working girl.  I wanted a daughter and instead I got two beautiful sons.  I wanted to take care of my parents financially but they both died before I could do that.  I wanted to be a manager of people which I achieved but with some hard knocks along the way.

There are always things people have in their hearts.  We want to run before we can walk, that's the nature of the sin in our heart.  God called us to walk first, right?  Otherwise we would have a million 10-12 month olds running before they walked and we would never keep up.  There is order in everything and yet, most think they know what's best for their lives, when in reality only God knows.

It took me the last nine months to realize that God was before me.  It also took me that long to realize that I like who I am and I'm not going to change it.  And finally, it took me that long to realize that it was best for God to get His way over my way.  He had the answer, the timing and the direction all along. Thank you Jesus for not letting me have my way!

David has always been one of my most favorite people in the Bible because I recognize him as a Hero, a King, an Adulterer and a man after God's own heart.  Take a moment and read those words again, do you see the painted picture?  He had it all and then committed sin and then became a man after God's own heart.  When I read the words in the Psalms, I get the picture of a man who knew how to be on His knees.  I get his struggles, his need to seek wisdom and His unbelievable knack to cry out to God, not just when he needed Him but every time he needed God.  I know I don't always do that and there are religions that teach you not to do that. They call it selfish, right?  Well then tell me how a man after God's own heart was selfish in doing so, I don't think our Father would agree.

It's when we are on our knees thinking about the Scripture and one with Jesus that I believe He shows us why we didn't get what we wanted.  I think it's in the silence when no one knows what we're doing that we find the answers to the perplexity of this life.  I believe there is a holy battle over your life and your either going to let God go before you with all the answers or your going to choose the path that makes you run before you walk, which is not the way God intended.  Countries will eventually be crushed if they don't turn toward God, floods of great magnitude will wipe out generations if we don't turn to God, financial empires will be crushed if we don't turn to God and unfortunately for us, when we want to be spoiled and secure in the world we won't see God's hand guiding us through the rough waters and the spiritual battles.

I'm done being my own direction driver.  It hasn't done much for me.  Oh, I have achieved what the world sees as good but I would rather receive the lesson I learned this year because my eyes are focused on something far greater than myself.  I'm glad He didn't deliver everything to me I asked for because I needed to be tested, tried and put into a situation where He was the only foundation I needed.  I've learned many things through this trial but what I've learned most of all is being humble, setting my feet firmly in Scripture and repentance which is more important than being the greatest mom, the top salesman, the greatest accountant or the best manager, those are worldly things.  Don't get me wrong, I'm always going to strive for those things because that's who God made me.  And yet, I hope I've learned a lesson that I will take to my grave.  I hope that I've learned that God will make me walk when I want to run.  He will make me quiet when I want to defend.  He will give me wisdom when I want to commit folly and He will build my house.  All I have to do is submit.

Rejoice if God has not given you your way.  It might be the one lesson that propels you to greatness.  In those dark moments I wasn't rejoicing I can promise you that but then I remembered David and I'm sure he had many dark moments seeking our Father in Heaven.  It's in the Psalms that we find a man after God's own heart and if I had to fight an inner battle between flesh and God, it was worth not getting my way.  I don't have to worry about the battle because God fights for me.  He is for me!  Do you realize what that means?  If He's for this sinner, He's for you too.  Take a moment to think about all the things He has done, were they worthy?  Did He change your heart, your mind, your direction? I think if we really look at the impact of what He has shown us along the way, we will see that our direction or really our desires were important to us but not important to His plan.

God delivers us even when we aren't seeing.  That's my comfort and that's why I've rejoiced in giving up my direction to walk instead of run.  His plan is PERFECT, ours never is.

May God bless you with these words and may you see what He's trying to show you today.  These words are mine but His will can take them and make them into someone's lifeline.  I hope He does that for you today as He has for me this year.

Psalm 124 KJV

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.