Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I hear voices!

"If left to defend ourselves from self-condemnation or the condemnation of others, we’d be defeated every time. Thankfully, we have the greatest defender in God and His Word. His truths re-build the confidence that condemnation breaks down."

So many women beat themselves up over past choices, past mistakes, past regrets (myself included).  We hear the lies of satan and accept them as truth.  But, those of us who are believers should be claiming God's Truths.  We should be hiding scripture in our hearts so that when satan's voice starts whispering doubts and condemnation for our past, we can SMACK HIM DOWN with TRUTH!  Others will say things to throw our past in our face.  Same action applies - holding scripture in our hearts, allowing it to help us respond the way Jesus would, NOT the way we want to!

I think that when we allow the condemnation of our past to continually control us and weigh us down, it's a slap in Jesus' face.  It's like we are saying that His death on the cross wasn't enough to take away our particular sins.  Now, of course, we would NEVER say that out loud or even really think that! (I hope!)  But, seriously, contemplate it...when we allow the past to have that power over us - especially when the Bible tells us "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36), isn't that what we are doing?!? Sin from the past, satan's lies, our doubts - they make us slaves and we are NOT SLAVES!  Jesus' death on the cross  was not "half-hearted"!  He covered ALL SINS, so...we are free!!!  No condemnation!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1

I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.  Psalm 119:11

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Choose wisely

I have this friend.  She is a spit fire!  She has been called the little energizer bunny because she keeps going when everything and everyone else has run out of steam!  She's wide open and says what she thinks.  She talks a mile a minute and as she puts it "has the attention span of a moth"!
Let me tell you about her though...she has the most incredible heart.  The tenderness and kindness she feels when others are in pain - it's a supernatural gift from God.  She jokes that there are people from her past that would argue whether she even has a heart, but I believe that she mistakes hurt for lack of heart.  On several occasions, she has gone out of her way to show me just how special and cherished I am to Jesus! 

I have another friend.  She is as fiery and spirited as her reddish hair!  She's opinionated, bossy, a control freak about most things.  But, she has this HUGE capacity to just listen and encourage others around her!  She has this amazing ability to see past the surface hurt and what people "say" and hear what they actually "mean"!  Her heart truly desires to give comfort and encouragement to those she comes in contact with.  She struggles with hurts of her own, but she never allows those to overshadow the people she is loving on. 

I have yet another friend. (I know, I'm blessed!)  She is strong willed.  She doesn't want to rely on anyone.  She was raised to "suck it up" and deal with the things that life throws at you.  She doesn't hand out sympathy easily.  But, she does have a great deal of compassion.  She gives that out in wheelbarrow loads!  She is the one that people just feel at ease talking to - because they know she will listen and give them the ear they need, but she will, in no uncertain terms, give them a swift kick in the behind to get them moving back in the right direction!  Those around her ALWAYS know where she stands and she is unwavering in what she believes!

I was blessed with this friend!  She has always been a little bit "mousy".  Growing up, she was so quiet - some might even say shy.  She didn't give her thoughts or opinions easily.  She kept a close couple of friends, but didn't let just anyone get too close to her.  Well, this friend has been a ROCK!  She has been through so many heartbreaks in her life, but through it all, she has maintained that sweet kind attitude.  Now, she will tell you that she's become more outspoken.  But, she always has wise counsel for me.  Even though we are hundreds of miles apart, she is still one of the first people I want to share my joys and my sorrows with.  The impact she made on my life will stay with me til the day I die.
There are other friends that have been an influence in my life!  I have been very blessed!

Proverbs 18:24
Proverbs 17:17
Proverbs 19:4
Proverbs 27:6
Proverbs 27:17

CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY!  Surround yourself with those that God can use to keep you moving on the right path!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Battle fatigue

"A tired warrior of Jesus need not burn out for lack of grateful praying friends."   ~ Anonymous ~

When people grow tired they need the support of sensitive friends. Their fatigue may flow from trials and tribulations out of their control. They may be worn down over ongoing financial challenges. Fatigue can weaken faith.

When we extend a little bit of encouragement, it can be a lifeline that leads someone back to the Lord. Well-timed encouragement is internal "chicken soup for the soul"!   Each day, life can drain courage from a hurting heart, but when we are there to give back courage with a kind word, a little cash, or a heavy duty faith-filled prayer, it can change lives.  Few people complain of receiving too much loving support!

A tired heart is especially in need of spiritual encouragement... I've been the tired heart that fought doubt in God.  I've been the emotionally exhausted soul that just couldn't find any courage left inside myself.    But, close sensitive friends poured out spiritual love and encouragement on me!  They prayed for me non-stop.  They held out their hands and sat with me and cried with me. 

This rant is just to boldly encourage Christ followers to reach out and GENUINELY support each other.  That support is evidence that God is at work!  Listen and discern when the Holy Spirit is prompting you and then DO SOMETHING!  Call someone you know that is struggling.  Send them a card.  Give them a small gift of money or a gift card.  Do coffee with them and allow them to "lay down" their heavy burdens.  Don't allow a fellow warrior to die from battle fatigue...

“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11).

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)

Monday, September 16, 2013

The throne or the cross

"Every person has a throne and a cross in their heart.  If you are on the throne, then Jesus is on the cross.  If Jesus is on the throne, then you are on the cross - you must die to self."   ~ JD Greear ~

I struggle EVERY DAY with giving up the throne of my heart to Jesus.  I know it's human nature, but sometimes I think I was given an extra dose of stubborn, pig-headed, control freak.  My human nature is against giving up control.  Some folks just naturally "go with the flow".  Me - not so much!  Now, I know that God created me to use these "character traits" for His glory!  I just want to do so much better than I am doing right now!!!  I want to be at a place where I can say without thinking "It's all Yours, Lord.  Take it, I trust You!".  He makes a better ruler than I do.  He has a better picture of things than I do.  He has a better plan than I do.
I have days where I do better than others.  But, my heart's desire is to remove myself completely from the throne and to engrave Jesus' name on the seat! 

"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fresh Air!

Yesterday in church, the pastor was talking about the place where the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere meet.  In this place, the air is still.  So still, in fact that if sailboats get caught in this area, without help they will be stranded and eventually will die.  WOW!!!   Scary thought - no air!

The series he started is about fresh air and the need for it in order to revive our souls.  I gotta tell you, I felt like he was speaking directly to me.  I sat there thinking "Yep, I do that.  Yea, I've felt that. Oh yea, I've done that to get through."   Well, I don't want to just "get through".  I want to breathe FRESH AIR again!!!  I want the Lord to fill me up!  I want to be so in love with Jesus. I want to obey Him out of desire and not duty (1 John 5:2-3).  So...
A couple of things I need to do:
  • Stop faking it!  Yes, the smile you see on my face is not ALWAYS how I am inside.  God is Faithful though!  He WILL restore to me the joy of my salvation!!! (Psalm 51:12)
  • Fall in love with Jesus again.  I remember what it was like when Claude and I first fell in love!  I would do anything to make him happy.  I WANT that with Jesus!!!  I will pursue Him and fall in love with Him again!!
  • DIG UP ROOTS OF BITTERNESS.  This one will be my biggest challenge.  Unfortunately, I have allowed bitterness to take root in my heart.  I have allowed satan to use that to hurt me and my testimony (Hebrews 12:15).  NOT ANYMORE!  It will take alot of prayer, courage, and strength but I will dig out those weeds, all the way down to the roots!!!  
  • Forgive myself and others.  Hurt is inevitable in life.  People are human and they will let me down.  I have no choice but to give the same grace and mercy that Jesus gave to me.  I will also forgive myself.  I am human too!  I do things that I don't want to do, but my flesh does it anyway (Romans 7:15-18).  Thank God I am forgiven!!!

Time to breathe in that FRESH AIR!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I use to be!

Growing up, I know I must've given my mother and father such a challenging life!  I know that I was headstrong (big surprise!), stubborn (again, DUH!), tenacious (yes, even as a child!), and fearless.  What?!?  I was fearless???  NO WAY!

I mean, I know I am STILL headstrong, stubborn, and tenacious, but I don't see myself as fearless anymore.  In fact, if I were completely honest, I would say I've somehow become a scared-y cat.  Just yesterday, we went to this wonderful swimming hole, Green Springs!  It's alot of fun and yet for the life of me, I can't get past the "dark water" part of it.  I don't like jumping in to the water because I can't see what's down there.  I sit on the "ropes" and literally try to keep my legs and feet up near the surface because I don't want them dangling so far under the water (I know, pathetic!).  One of the girls that went out there with us yesterday was dealing with the fear too.  She wanted so badly to jump into the water.  She stood there and stared down into the water.  Her boyfriend even waited in the water for quite a while coaxing and encouraging her to jump in towards him and he would be right there to get her.  But, she didn't...all because of fear.

Now, I know that some folks who know my personality would probably say that I am fearless.  They "wish they could speak their mind" like I do.  They wish that they could just push through and DO things, be a "go-getter" like me.  Well, to me that is not fearlessness.  That's just part of the way God made me. Fearless, to me, is feeling in your heart the desire to do something so bold that you don't stop and look at the circumstances or surroundings telling you "don't do it".  You simply listen to what your heart is saying and jump-feet first! 

I am not a fearless girl.

I have looked back and tried to figure out just where I stopped being that fearless child.  When did I stop believing that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to?  The only answer I come up with is this - When I stopped believing that in Jesus I can do anything.  When I take inventory of myself, I realize that I rely quite a bit on myself and I forget that Jesus and His power over death is the one thing that gives me ALL the power I need to be fearless.  His Word tells us over and over that we don't need to be fearful.  So, why do we still fear the unknown?  Perhaps it's because we don't fully understand just how powerful our God is.  The only remedy for that is to drown ourselves in His Word and in prayer asking God to reveal Himself boldly! Ask Him to show His power to us daily in our lives.  I believe that God can AND WILL do this for us, if we ask out of a trusting heart - knowing He will do these things.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.  ~ Philippians 4:13

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart..  ~ Psalm 31:24a

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  ~ Philippians 4:6

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.  ~ Psalm 27:14

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  ~ Romans 8:38-39

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What it means to be held

There have been times, more so in the recent months, where I felt like God was far away from me.  It felt like He has had more important things to handle; so the struggles going on in my life would need to take a backseat for awhile.  I have felt lost.  I have felt discouraged.  I have felt betrayed.  I have felt frustrated.  I have felt angry.  I even got to a point where I was so mad at God for allowing circumstances to happen that (and I'm embarrassed to admit this) I didn't WANT to talk to God anymore.  It felt like what was the point.  After all, for my entire life, I've been told that He knows my heart.  He knows what I'm am going through and He sees the tears that I cry.  So, why do I need to tell Him yet again...?

So, why does a God that knows my hurt and brokenness, why, does He allow it to happen? 

I don't know the "Sunday school" answer.  But, I do know what I am learning.
When my heart starts to hurt and the tears start to pool up in my eyes, I have found myself running to Him like a little girl begging her Daddy to pick her up, hold her, and let her cry on His shoulder.

I think about my nieces...the way they run to my brother and cry to him when they are hurt.  He picks them up and wraps his arms around them.  He nestles their hair with his face and just holds them tight.  He doesn't make the hurt go away.  He just holds them.  He holds them...

God, through so many circumstances in my life you have held me.  You have pulled me up close to You and held me.  You didn't change the situations. You didn't need to - because You just held me.  Thank you for being my Daddy and letting me run to You. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  ~ Isaiah 41:10 ~


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting for_____________!

Waiting is NOT something I am good at.  I am a go-getter.  I am a doer.  I am a mover and shaker...LOL!!  I just don't like sitting still and waiting.  As a kid, I had several teachers who used "progressive" means of encouraging me to stay in my seat and sit still.  I was HORRIBLE at waiting.  As I got older, this waiting thing did NOT get any better!  In fact, it would be safe to say it got worse - if that's possible!  Now, I know that God made me as a go-getter kinda person.  This can be used in very good ways.  But, when you are waiting on God to shine a light on the next step of your life's journey...let's just say the go-getter aspect can be a big fat pain in the you-know-what!  
So, I start praying and asking God to show something.  Reveal something.  Open something.  


So many verses in scripture tell me to wait, be patient.  Huh!  Like it's that easy!  Seriously, if the authors of scripture knew me, they would go into more detail of HOW!!  LOL!
So, I am waiting...waiting...waiting.  God WILL move when His time is right.  I will wait!  

"The vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."  ~ Habakkuk 2:3 ~

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
~ Psalm 27:14 ~

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.  ~ Psalm 130:5 ~

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  ~ Isaiah 40:31 ~

Be still, and know that I am God...  ~ Psalm 46:10a ~  (I hear my Mom saying this verse to me!)

Monday, August 26, 2013


Yesterday at church,  I was, yet again, reminded that I do NOT know everything and I am NOT in control but my prayers are to a Sovereign God who DOES know everything and IS in control! 

Habakkuk 1 starts off by crying out to God for His help but blatantly stating that God does not hear him.  He cries out to God for rescue from his circumstances, but then states that God will not save him. 
He goes on to say in verse 4 that, basically, justice is on the downslide and life is just not fair...
Hmm...!!!  That sounds alot like how I pray to God!  I know I find myself crying to Him because I am hurting or out of control of my circumstances and I just want God to remove me from the situation (or better yet remove the situations!).  But, I then think to myself that it's not going to do any good.
Habakkuk felt like God wasn't listening.  He may have even questioned if he was praying the right way or if he needed to say things differently so that God would hear him. (been there, done that!)

What I realized through the message preached was that God's sovereignty GIVES Him the right to answer our prayers the way He deems best.  Now, I know that is something I have heard and known practically all my life.  But, when I stopped and thought about prayer and how it should intertwine with God's sovereinty...!!!  WOW! 

Ben said something that just rang so clear in my head.   "Anything after the cross of Jesus Christ is a bonus in your life!"  So the things I pray for, after my salvation in the blood of Jesus Christ, is all extra benefits given to me from a Sovereign God.  I am NOT guaranteed a good job.  I am NOT guaranteed a good marriage.  I am NOT guaranteed good friends.  I am NOT guaranteed children.  ANYTHING AFTER THE CROSS OF JESUS IS A BONUS!  

So, my hope and challenge for myself is to remember and apply these lessons to my daily prayer life.  Trusting God and knowing that He is sovereign.  His plans are so much higher than mine.  

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.  ~ Habakkuk 1:2-4 ~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Who we are in Jesus

"I wish a guy can come up to me say ur cute like they mean it and tlk to me and give me their number and ask me out but ik tht never will happen to me."
This was a facebook post from a young girl I know.
It makes me sad.

She is a sweet funny kind friendly girl.  Most importantly, she is a daughter of the King of kings.  She is a cherished princess of the Most High God.  Her value and worth is NOT in a guy and his words.  Her beauty is NOT in what he thinks or says to her.  Her importance on this earth is NOT based on whether she is asked out by a guy.   
When did we stop teaching our girls their heritage?  When did we stop passing on the legacy to them of who they are in Jesus???  Parents, please please PLEASE!!!  Love your daughters enough to instill in them their value and worth in Jesus' eyes!  Make sure you tell them everyday that they are daughters of the KING!  They are cherished by the God of the universe!  They are loved by the One who put the stars in the sky!  

If you don't tell them, they will search out someone who will tell them...


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Can a broken heart be fixed?

Everybody has had their heart broken in some way.  People let us down.  They disappoint us.  They walk away.  They say things that hurt us.  They stop coming around.  We are human and our hearts-our emotions-they can be trampled and crushed by others.  It is, unfortunately, a part of this life we live.  No one is immune or can escape it.  We do our very best to protect ourselves against this because once the heart is broken, it seems that, even put back together, it's not completely whole anymore.
The Bible says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”... so, HOW does He do that?!?   I believe He can save us by giving us a "heart transplant"! 
So, I believe what God is trying to get through my head is this:
  • when your heart is guilty, I will give you a heart that has been forgiven
  • when your heart is resentful, I will give you a heart filled with peace
  • when your heart is anxious, I will give you a heart that is confident
  • when your heart is lonely, I will give you a heart filled with My Love
  • when your heart is bitter and angry, I will give you a heart that is forgiving, loving and generous.

Psalm 119:32 says, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”

I have no idea what God has planned for my life, but I really need to stop limiting God!!  He can take care of my heart.  He can transplant it and give me a new heart - NOT a replacement, but a BRAND NEW heart!  

YAY for me and HALLELUJAH for a God that can do all that!! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Have you ever...?

Have you ever read a scripture verse that you've read dozens of times and for some reason it just makes you question things?
I was reading a passage from Proverbs 3, I am sure everyone has heard it before:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.
I read this and I stopped and thought "How do I trust with ALL my heart?"  "How do I know that my WHOLE heart is trusting?"  I mean, I think I am.  I say I am.  I do my best to live like I am.  But, there are days when I am really not sure that I AM trusting with all my heart.   I continually hear God talking to me and I am so sure that He gets frustrated with me!  It's like the parent that continually tells their child something and then watches their child do the opposite...that's what I feel like when it comes to trusting.  So, how do I know for sure that I am trusting God?  
Each time I find myself questioning Him, His voice speaks in some way, whether a verse of scripture, a text from a sweet friend, a post on facebook, or a song on the radio.  I hear His voice prompting me to trust Him.  I don't always understand or know what the outcome will be.  I don't have to. Why?  Because I trust God!

In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. what can man do to me?  
~ Psalm 56:11 ~

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My struggle this morning

A friend told me not too long ago that I was going through a "grieving process".  I was talking with her about how one day I'm fine, handling this new 'adventure' with excitement and confidence that God is leading us (even if we don't know where!).  But then the next day (or next hour) my heart is hurting and I am crying out to God asking Him why He's allowed things to happen the way they've happened. 
My friend said it's all part of the "grieving process". 
As I thought about it, I realized she was right.  When you love people, you care about them and they become an intregal part of your life, there's a real sense of loss when they are no longer there in your life.  Whether by choice or not, people come and go from your life and if you've become vulnerable enough to allow them to get close to you, it hurts when they are not there anymore. 
I know I am not alone in feeling this way from time to time.  I know there are folks that have felt this way or gone through these emotions.
I can only hope that there is growth that comes from this.  I don't believe God would allow us to walk through these things without it being for His glory and to bring us closer to Him.