Saturday, June 23, 2018

God is waiting...

Good morning my warrior sisters-

One of my greatest joys is reading the Bible and all the Bible plans they have on the Bible app. It's a joy to be immersed into a five day journey with so many talented and gifted writers and followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Today, I spent time and read and found myself wondering when I quit imagining, when I stopped believing in miracles and in things unexplained. I used to have the greatest imagination. I wanted to be a detective, a forensic scientist, and a writer. I had dreams of being a princess, an executive, a mother and a lover. I believed that I could do anything. That is until life happened.

Life gets hard and you begin to get jaded. Over time, I became very jaded. Life was hard. Failing, struggling and not being very good at math dashed many of my dreams. Having a family and going to work, didn't leave a lot of time to dream of being a princess, especially when I was working, caring for kids, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, cooking and doing laundry. The joy of imagining just swept away with responsibility and reality.

I quit believing that God could whisper into my heart. I didn't feel the Holy Spirit rolling so I entrenched myself in reality. Life was going to be hard. I believed that God loved me and that He was with me but all the things I once dreamed of were gone and so was my purpose. That is until recently. I had experienced a moment where I felt the pull of the Holy Spirit. It happened in a time where my purpose was being rocked. I was listening to podcasts just to get through the day. I had to read the word, hear the word and immerse myself in everything Holy because I could barely get out of bed. It was a dangerously low time in my life and then I began to hear words. Biblical words which would ultimately save me and pull me out of my pit of despair. It was as if my purpose came to the forefront and I knew what was next.  That is, before the fear and all the stresses of life.

I am an ever changing creature. One day, I'm feeling creative and the next I'm under a pile of minutia and that beautiful creative creature is far beneath the sea. As I've said, I'm a realist. However, I'm starting to wonder if I let that all go, what could God do with me and through me? The Bible talks about people like me, on shifting sand. One minute I believe I will be on stage talking about Jesus and the next day, I can't even write one page. How am I supposed to spread the Word of God if I am sinking like sand?

Which leads me to this morning where I was reading from Rick Warren's study on Imagination and in my heart I heard, "you have purpose, just start."  And I realized that God continues to have patience and He is waiting for me to imagine what it will be like to spread His words to the nations. He is so patient. He waits for His sheep to come to Him. We are like the puppy that chases his tail and then when you call, looks up and comes running. God is whispering to all of us. In His word, He has called us to be courageous, to believe that He will rescue us in the flames and that like those that have gone before us, we must forge on and help the lost find Him.  I might be like sand. I might lose my imagination and forget the power behind me but God never forgets. He made us for this time. He made YOU for this time. We are very lucky, our God is waiting for us to pick up our pen, our phones, our Bibles and forge ahead, into the wilderness to find the lost and make HIM KNOWN.

He's waiting, are you ready to MOVE? It just takes one step at a time. How do I know that? Because that's what I'm doing. I'm drawing close to God and walking in faith. I'm opening my mind to imagine the purpose He has for me. I'm stepping not striding and every day I'm giving Him my heart and asking Him to educate me and immerse me into His purpose, not mine.

Hebrews 11:31-35 NIV

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.11:31 Or unbelieving
32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.

Lord, thank you for being patient with your sheep.  Help all of us to find You today and to immerse ourselves in your word. You never change! We love you and thank you that You are always faithful.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mine or His...

Good morning my warrior sisters-

This morning I'm sitting outside a Holiday Inn in the beautiful state of Virginia listening to the birds and watching an ant as it walks all over my book by Sharon Jaynes, "enough."  I love to spend time with God every morning but the last couple of days have been especially wonderful. I've been surrounded by nature, great temperatures and beautiful trees. It has reminded me of times on the lake with my mom and dad, which is especially endearing on Father's Day.

This week has been important for another reason, I've come to a place where it must be His over mine. Are you confused? I am a bit too. I promised myself I would take 30 days to stand still and really try to listen to what God wants in my life and as always I've been answered.

Entitlement is not just about one generation, it's really about individuals. I can say that often I've felt entitled. I've worked hard all my life and worked to make companies grow and because of my ability I felt like I should be in a different place in my life today. And yet, I am not. I think that has been swirling around in my mind and heart for the last three years. Which is why I've been seeking the mighty revelation of our savior and I've come to a realization, IT'S NOT ABOUT ME.

How many times must we read the parables in order to come to a profound revelation? For me, probably one hundred times and during this week as I read it one more time, God revealed that it is His way not mine.

One of my character flaws is that I am stubborn and it's also one of my biggest strengths. I believe strongly, I live stubbornly and I love fiercely. In contrast, I die to myself slowly. God knows this so He waited and I've finally heard.

My goal this year was to be back in the saddle in sales, fulfilling my destiny and being great once again. That was my plan and with it was a bit of entitlement.   Seventeen days into my journey of gratitude and rest, I've come to the conclusion that I must and will surrender to the calling I have been given --which starts with spreading His word through WORDS.

If you've been feeling lost and maybe a little angry at the events in your life, take time to thank God for the lessons you have learned.  Gratitude is what gives us the ability to see His will over ours. As we thank Him for the small things, surrender the desires of our heart and embrace the brokenness of lost things, paths and people, God creates in us a new heart.

I don't want to be at His feet with my life flashing by me to see that I didn't plant the seed and use the tools He provided. I want to walk over to Him, fall to my knees and say I ran the race just as you asked me to. Moses didn't take up his staff until he was in his 70's, David began fulfilling his shoes in his teens and Jesus sacrificed His life for us in His 30's. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, you have gifts and so do I and we need to shed the fear and walk into the fire. At least this fire will bear fruit and not destroy.

Wishing you a great day as you walk through the fire.

Lord, we have but this one life and many of us are running around with our heads cut off. We are Yours and we desire to be Your warrior soldiers. Protect us and keep us safe as we walk into the unknown. We need You and every gift You have foretold to become women that walk with You and spread the gospel. We were breathed into life for this time. Take our hands and lead us to our paths. May we bring glory and honor to YOU every single day of our lives.  In Jesus Name, AMEN!

Matthew 25:11-13 NIV

"Later the others also came. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door for us!' "But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.' "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Provision and Freedom...

Good morning my sister warriors-

This week has been an adventure. I'm in the beautiful state of Virginia at the Shell Super Rigs event and like all my adventures I've met wonderful people.  God reminded me this week that we often forget those that sacrifice for our well being.

Travel is never easy.  You have to  leave your family and there are always delays. This week really wasn't different except for my joyful attitude. Years ago the trials of Wednesday would have impacted my attitude in a very negative manner. Now, after years of travel, I find joy in the derailment.

The first person I met was a sales representative that was wondering if she should jump or stay at her current company. After talking, she said, "You have a lot of experience and should write a book." I told her that might be down the road but I have to finish the one I keep promising God first.

The second gentleman was a former soldier and does private stints in areas of the world that are dangerous. He was a believer and you could tell. He was strong in spirit and loved this country and the freedoms we have. I told him the story of the little blue soldier I retrieved on Memorial Day in Leavenworth, Kansas. On the box, it said take one of these soldiers and put it where you will remember the sacrifices these men and women make for our country, so I did. I have a good friend that is overseas and I pray for him whenever he pops into my mind. He loved the story but when I said I would pray for him to he said thank you, we all need the prayers.

That brings me to yesterday as I talked to truckers alone, away from their families and some with dogs as companions. They came in all shapes and sizes but they all had one thing in common, they were providing the goods we use every day.

We are very lucky in the US. We have men and women that drive trucks so we can have the comforts of life and there are those that leave their families to go to foreign, often dangerous places, so that we can have our freedoms. Not every country has what we have and it's so common here we forget the sacrifices of others for us.

I will not soon forget the faces I've seen as those mighty trucks came in and out of a very busy truck stop. I won't forget how one man told me he rescued a dog that rescued him. I won't forget that soldiers face or our conversation and I hope God reminds me to pray for all of them.

God has provided for all of us in the same way. He sacrificed something so dear so that we could have peace, joy, relationship and eternal life. Similar to the men and women that left there homes for their jobs, Jesus came to earth to provide a FREE way.

Take a moment to look around you and to pray for the semi that goes past you or a soldier, they need our prayers for they are doing God's work in providing for us.

As always my warrior sisters pray for those that need to know Jesus and if you are one of Him, He's ready to accept you to the family.  There's always room at God's table for one more, are you next?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Behind the mask

Good morning my sister warriors-

Today, I'm going to talk about a topic that is close to my heart, suicide. Unfortunately, this tremendously sad and lonely act has hit my family twice and when I was young almost got me too. This is very personal for many reasons but so important to discuss on a public forum.

This week two very successful, public figures died at their own hand. One strangled herself and the other was found in his hotel room in France. They both seemed to have it all.  Money, fame, and adoration surrounded their earthly lives but it wasn't enough. Lurking somewhere deep within them was failure, loss, loneliness and a lack of hope for tomorrow.  These are the symptoms of suicide and often they aren't seen.

Since the 90's childhood suicide is up 30%, 1% would be bad and yet, we are up 30% in the US. Our masks have gotten better, more beautiful and far less revealing than what's really happening inside our minds.

You might not know Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain. You might not have had suicide hit your family and you may never have experienced the thoughts that run through your mind. I pray you haven't. Statistics, however, are indicating that it's possibly 3 out of 10 people who are experiencing the thoughts that lead to this horrible act. Not only is it sudden, raw and devastating it leaves those that knew them, loved them and needed them;feeling guilty, lost, confused and defeated. The questions survivors ask themselves are: Why didn't I see the signs?, Why couldn't they have asked for help?, Wasn't I enough to keep them here?, Why didn't they want to stay?, Didn't they love me?, and the biggest one, WHY?

The children left behind will feel abandoned and like they weren't enough and the adults will rattle this around in their minds for the rest of their lives. Because we all feel like we can save people from the feelings and acts that are negative and destructive. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of power only Christ does.

Depression, addiction, loneliness and turmoil lead to this line of thinking. The more a person can hide behind the mask the deeper the devil has a chance to churn those dark thoughts. The Bible calls it the pit of despair and boy is it. If you live on this earth, there is a chance you have felt lost, lonely and depressed. Many factors go into the deceptor and his ways. It starts small, maybe it's striving to be a success or making more money.  It could be the failure of your marriage or a loss of a child. It might be the fact that you've looked for that partner forever and you're still alone or maybe you are a child that's being bullied, being abused, or worse has been raped. These are all areas where people can fall down.

People contemplating suicide can hide these inner thoughts well. They can put on a smile and play along with the world as if everything is alright. To the outside world they are normal. Inside their minds these negative thoughts are causing lost sleep, the need to medicate or to run so fast everyone thinks they are supermen and women. These masks are the disruptors finest art. The better the mask the more people begin to feel like life isn't worth living and no one needs them anyway and this is the biggest LIE. You were born for a God-given purpose and every human on this earth was placed by a loving God who is near.

The destroyer taints what God has created. He is like a lion waiting to destroy you with one swipe and if he can get you isolated in your mind and with your flesh, he will pursue you. That's why the Bible talks about the full armor of God. There is a reason we must become one with Jesus in Spirit and in truth. The Word and the Spirit are powerful and will fill you with light, sometimes it's just a glimmer but a glimmer of the Holy light is all we need to weather tremendous storms. It's when the light is lost that suicide happens and that's what we must be aware of and pray against.

I, once thought there was no hope. I felt abandoned, my mom and I weren't getting along, college wasn't going well and I had gone through a series of bad relationships. All I wanted was to be loved and there was no love, no great friends, really no one. I went to school and work with a mask on. People thought I was so happy, that is, most people. My boss was a Christian and for some reason he just knew I needed Jesus. I was working at a Walmart pharmacy and I was lucky enough to work for a man that lived what he believed. Somehow God gave him a glimpse of what was behind my mask and before I knew it, I was accepting an invitation to a revival.

I was proud that no one knew I hated myself, that I felt unworthy and unloved. I had everyone fooled except my Savior. He was watching over me, whispering to a man I worked for. Larry asked me to go and I did and it was at this meeting, I found Jesus. I wish I could say that I never put on another mask but I have. I know how to hide when needed. Like all of us, I have times I feel unworthy and not enough but they don't last long because Jesus is my reason to live and through His word I can fight off the destroyer and carry Him in my heart, spirit and flesh. We are conquerors when the light fills us in our darkest times.

I tell you my story so that you understand that normal, everyday people go through times where they get deep into the pit of despair and as much as I believe in counselling and talking to people, in order to fight a dark spiritual battle, you need more, you need Jesus. The Bible says, He is the light of the world. We need the light, our children need the light and we must seek His wisdom daily to gain that light.

The destroyer hates light. He loves images and masks. He is the great deceptor spinning his evil dark thoughts and if allowed he will destroy. DON'T LOSE HOPE. God is near, He has been since He created the moon and the stars. He made us in His own image. He is our lamp unto our feet. The war between dark and light will go on until Jesus comes once again. That is a fact. Another fact is we will suffer from depression, conflict, turmoil and tribulations but there is one that holds you close and that's Jesus. No one comes to the Father unless they confess Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. The first step in getting those suicidal thoughts out of your head is to be covered by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Jesus can unveil the mask, cast off the deception and bring light into your darkened mind and soul. He paid the price of ALL sin and He knows what you're facing. He spent 40 days and nights being tempted by the evil one. And through it all, He said man does not eat bread alone but every word of God. Why words? Because the Bible is the lamp unto our feet. It is the sword that allows us to conquer those dark thoughts and it's the truth. Those other thoughts, negative, penetrating dark thoughts are not of a loving maker, they are of a destroyer.

If you are in the midst of feeling like the world is against you, that you don't want to wake up another day on this earth, please walk into a church, find a pastor, talk to someone and ask about Jesus. If you are afraid to do that, then right where you are ask Jesus to show you the LIGHT. The Bible says, when we seek Him we will find Him. Get online and Google Bible, there are free resources like the Bible app. Jesus is at your fingertips. He will make Himself known I promise.

The event I describe here happened when I was 19 years old. I can tell you that if Larry hadn't been the man he was, I'm not sure I would be here today. The God of all understanding knew who needed to invite me, when to invite me and opened my heart to receive Him. Thirty-three years later I have fought many battles with the destroyer and it has taken the Word to be my sword and My Savior to fight the good fight. Due to my trials, I pray for people, I understand and have empathy for the lost and lonely and I know that with Jesus we can and will stand for our God-given purpose in this life with hope and the security of knowing that we have a God that loves us in all our mess.

I believe that suicide is a spiritual battle and we must fight it with the only thing we have, the Words of God. We must pray and condition our minds, hearts and spirits to hear from our Lord and Savior. We must pray over schools, mental health clinics, daycares and mansions. If you have believed that you aren't meant to live another day, please go to someone and tell them. There is nothing sexy about suicide, it devastates those left behind. Notes don't help. Only you will fill the need your family has for you to be here. And if you want someone anonymous reach out to me. I will pray for you and if you're willing I will lead you to Jesus for He is the great counselor. You are valued and needed, please just reach out.

I pray my story and these words bring you hope for the future. Hope resides in Jesus.

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

For God gave us a Spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

The God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20 NIV