Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dress for Battle

Over the course of the last month or so, it seems that so many of my friends and loved ones are going through some sort of battle in their lives.

I have friends who are struggling financially.  They work hard and do the best they can, but living paycheck to paycheck is their battle.

I have friends who are struggling in their marriage.  They know the Bible and what God says about the covenant of marriage, but betrayal, lies, neglect, harsh words, and life has beaten up their marriage to the point where they just want to give up.

I have friends who are struggling with raising their children.  They love their kids more than anything and want God's very best for them, but they are anxious that they don't do enough and that they fail miserably at being a good parent.  They feel like they are doing this battle alone.

I have friends who are struggling with loneliness.  They know that God loves them and is there for them, but sometimes they just feel like no one knows how alone they are and how much they wish someone would give them a friendly call or text just to let them know that they are important to someone.

My heart hurts for my friends...
I've been praying asking God to help each of them...to show me what I can do to help them...what I can say to encourage them...HIS REPLY was through a book I purchased months ago but have yet to read until today!  From the book, His Princess Warrior" by Sheri Rose Shepherd:

"Dress for Battle"

My Princess,
It is time to get dressed for battle, My beloved.  You are more than just a Princess; you are My Princess Warrior!
I am going with you onto the battlefield, and in those times you feel as if there is no fight left inside of you, My Spirit will rise up inside your soul and My strength will become your strength.
My mighty armor will guard your heart from the fiery arrows of the enemy.  In the power of My Holy Spirit, you will find the passion and power to step out in faith and face any spiritual giant that comes against you.
Your battles won for My kingdom will become a blessing to all generations!

Your King Who fights for you
Ephesians 6:13-17

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is God trying to teach me

For the last couple of weeks, there have been quite a few "obstacles" to get through for me personally. A couple were emotional/mental, some were financial. The most recent obstacles have been physical issues that have limited me quite a bit.

 Anyone that knows a little bit of the real me knows I HATE BEING LIMITED! When I have things on my "to do" list and I can't do them for physical reasons, well...that just annoys the poo out of me! I am a doer not a bystander!

But, God is trying to get through to me! He is trying to make me let go and allow Him to renew me and "restore to me the joy of my salvation"! Now, what I am going to tell you may sound weird, but I promise it's true! I actually hear God in my head...I asked Him what I was suppose to be learning through all of this stuff and He led me to 2 Corinthians 4:16!

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

 My physical self may be messed up and "wasting away", but my spirit is being renewed everyday!!!! I gotta tell ya, that just made my day! To know that no matter what is going on on the outside, the inside is constantly being renewed by Jesus! Now, if that doesn't excite you as a Christian, than I'm not sure what could! Thank you Lord, for renewing me from the inside out!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Hmmm...Puzzled by something I read this morning and I want to "investigate"!

In Psalm 51:11, David begs God not to "take Your Holy Spirit from me".
Curious what He meant since the Holy Spirit technically wasn't given to us until Jesus was about to leave the earth...Hmmm!!!
Gonna check some commentaries, but this is intriguing to me!
I've always been taught that David was a man after God's heart, but is it possible that perhaps David had a unique bond/gift/closesness with God to where he had a sense of the Lord's Spirit even those many years before?

I just started thinking...!  SCARY I KNOW!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Even in the Darkness

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, i
t is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul."
Horatio G. Spafford

"In the black of night, the Lord tirelessly worked on behalf of His children to deliver them, just as He had promised." Wendy Blight

I have always known that God "is there" for me even when I don't recognize it...
Right now, I am more aware of that than ever before.

He promises that ALL things will work together for His glory.
He promises that He has a plan for us that will give us hope and a future.
He promises that He will provide all our needs.
He promises that He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds are fixed on Him.
He promises that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart.

In the dark, we have two choices. We can take matters into our own hands...or we can look to God. We can open His Word, knowing He guarantees healing and wholeness.

When I am in the darkness; when my circumstances are threatening to consume me; when I feel utterly defeated… I will seek the Lord.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Real Love

First, I need to say I learned about enduring love from my wonderful parents, Howard & Darell Buck. 

This August, they will celebrate FIFTY YEARS of marriage.  I can tell you I've seen joy, sorrow, laughter, crying, pain, exhilaration...No...their marriage has not been perfect and all chocolate and roses, but it's been a REAL LOVE marriage.  Through children, miscarriages, brain tumors, breast cancer, work layoffs, financial strain, living paycheck to paycheck, grandkids, kids moving away, getting old and physically realizing it...They have shown me what I strive for in my marriage...A GOD CENTERED MARRIAGE COVENANT!  There will never be enough words to tell them how much I love, admire, respect, and appreciate ALL they have given (and given up) for me.  Thank you Mom & Dad...
Thank you!  I love you.

Second, to some very special ladies in my life, I have learned about true friend love from them:

Jean Cahoon,
You have been the answer to my prayers that God would send someone who would "get me"!  Someone who would understand me (even when I didn't understand myself!) and who would give me the type of friendly loving I needed...a sweet loving encouraging word, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or a good hard kick to the butt!  I don't know where I'd be without you in my life!  I thank God for the answer to pray when He put you in my life!  I love you, my friend!

Sara Bailey,
I laugh when I think about you and me because you are what I would love to be more like!  You are just as feisty, sarcastic, blunt, and odd as I am; but you come in this little sweet package so you have everyone fooled!!!  LOL!  I love you Sara for your encouraging heart!  You have just the right way of saying things to put them into perspective!  When I get your texts in the morning, they make me smile and thank God for the friendship I have with you!  I love you!

Misty Powers,
I have learned so much from you!  You have taken the struggles in your life and you have learned from them.  You continue to be a light to others while learning to find God's will for you.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love seeing you!  When you walk into the room, your smile just warms my heart!  You truly know how to love a friend with your words and your actions!  Thank you for "calling me out" when I need an attitude adjustment!  It takes a strong loving person to be able to do that with someone as bullheaeded as me!  I just love and admire you so much!

Laci Strickland,
We seem to be polar opposites, but I know that you struggle with some of the very same things I struggle with!  I love your sweet kind heart and the way you love people with such openness!  You allow yourself to be vulnerable and people are drawn to you because of that vulnerability!  I admire the way you give yourself completely to the life God has called you to.  You are such a beautiful mom to Ella and Noah!  They are such wonderful examples of how you show them God's love everyday.  Thank you so much for being my friend and for being open to me.  I know I am not as open and I don't easily allow vulnerability in my life, but you accept me anyway and that says SO MUCH of the kind of Godly lady that you are! I love you!

Lora Ebeling, 
What can I say?  You are more of a friend than I will ever come close to deserving!  I can't count how many times I have NOT deserved your friendship!  We ARE complete opposites!  You are kind, sweet, gracious, loving, open, caring.  I feel so unworthy of your friendship.  Thank you for being you!  Thank you for showing me true grace and friendship!  Thank you for looking into my heart and seeing the good in me (even when I can't see it for myself)!  Thank you for being such a beautiful example of a Godly woman!  You are the epitome of grace and beauty in a Godly lady!  I love you!

There are other ladies I admire and appreciate, but it would take too long to list all of them!  These are the ladies in my life that show me everyday REAL LOVE!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Opportunity Knocks!

In the past few months, God has been giving me more opportunities to "spread my wings".  I have had more opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.  I have had more opportunities to do things I wouldn't have really chosen to do.
It's as if God is prepping me for the next phase of my life.  I am nervous and weirded out about what that may be!

When we moved from Florida, I was so scared and anxious.  I was leaving everything and everyone that I loved and following my husband to go and minister in a new place to new people with new challenges.  I had peace, but I was scared.  I had never been what you would call a "gentle, meek" wife!  I was in no way what I would consider a "pastor's wife" should be!  But, when we got here, my sweet friend, Lora, made me understand that God doesn't call each of us to be in this cookie cutter mold of a Christian!  He could and would use me the way I am as long as I was willing to surrender my will to Him and allow Him to use me!

So, now, I am at a different crossroad in my life.  When I look around me, the youth are getting younger and I am getting older!  I see a new generation of leadership coming up to work with and guide these kids.  This generation of 20ish year olds have so much to offer.  But I see myself "phasing out".  I gotta be honest, it scares me.  I love working with the teenagers.  I love them like they were my own!  But I know I can't be and do everything for them...and God doesn't want me to!!!  So, the opportunity that God is setting before now is to be a mentor to the Young Adult Leaders and allow them to be the role models for the youth.  THIS IS SO SCARY!  I keep thinking that God must be joking.  He doesn't know what He is asking.  I don't know how to mentor anyone over the age of 18!!!  I still feel like a Young Adult myself (most of the time!).  What do I have to offer...?

I have the Lord leading me and guiding me!  I have the wisdom and experience from mistakes and choices I've made!  I have friends who encourage and remind me of how God uses me daily (THANK YOU CMHCMM FRIENDS!)!  I have family who supports and prays for me!  I have a Godly husband who loves me, supports me, accepts me (and my flaws!) and prays for me!

So, when the next opportunity comes my way, I'm not gonna say that I will not be scared or nervous because that would just be an downright lie!!!  But, I will be ok with it as long as God leads me!

Jeremiah 29:11

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.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Being Bold

I called, You answered me;, You made me bold and stouthearted!
Psalm 138:3

I have been a Christian nearly my entire life.  I was born into a Godly Christian home and I was saved when I was 5 years old.  I grew up with wonderful Godly parents who did their best to not only teach me right from wrong, but they also taught me WHY things were right/wrong.
When I became an adult, I seriously thought I had it all together...HA!  Was I ever WRONG!!!  I knew alot, but I also realized that I had been sheltered somewhat to "real" problems.

I have so many people that I care about who are struggling with things right now.  I have friends who are facing a marriage breaking up.  I have friends who are facing true financial hardships.  I have friends who are facing life threatening illness.  I have friends who are so deeply hurt from past failures that they seem trapped by satan's lies of unforgiveness.

As a younger person, I wouldn't have known firsthand how to help them.  I would've been there for them, listened to them, encouraged them.  But, in my "older, wiser" years, I have learned that the ONLY GUARANTEED WAY to help them is to BOLD PRAY FOR THEM!  Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that being there for them, listening to them, and encouraging them does no good.  I am simply saying that God is teaching me everyday that I HAVE NO CONTROL over the things that are happening around me.  But, I can rest so calmly and safely in the sweet precious truth that MY GOD HAS IT ALL UNDER CONTROL!!!  So, I know that I can BOLDLY bring my heart's desires, hurts, longings, and cares to Him and He will gladly take them and use them to bring Glory to Himself!

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for not only allowing me, but encouraging me to BOLDLY come to You with my life's burdens.  You know the number of hairs on my head (although as fast as they fall out, I don't know how You keep up!).  You see the tiniest bird that falls from the sky.  You care so much!  Thank You!  Give me the passion  and strength to help others with their burdens by bringing them to You too!