Thursday, December 30, 2010

FEARLESS - My Word For 2011

Fear can be crippling.

And, if you let it, it can steal your destiny.

This plundering thief, if given the power, has the potential to disable your spiritual authority,  take your vision, prevent you from speaking/writing/singing or whatever it is that you are supposed to be doing, and bind your feet together, prohibiting any progression toward fulfilling your purpose.

Scripture assures us that fear does not come from God.

For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

and the same scripture in the Amplified Bible:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

So if not from God, then from the enemy of our soul.  From the one who hates every fiber of our being and wants nothing more than to prevent us from doing our part to further or increase the Kingdom of Heaven.

It's the voice that says you can't do it.  The voice lurking in your thoughts trying to convince you that you aren't good enough and God isn't big enough.  The voice that says if you try, you will fail.  The voice that laughs and says you'll never make it, they won't accept you, you're not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, you will only get hurt ...

Truth is, some of those things may be true, but they do not matter.

Ever heard the phrase "Do it afraid"?

All throughout scripture we find many examples of ordinary people, like ourselves, who were called to do extraordinary things.  Just like us, they had a destiny, a little (or sometimes a lot of) fear, and a choice.

Open the pages of your bible and listen as God encourages Abram over and over to be not afraid.  Walk with Joshua and hear the Lord say "Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid..."  "Do not fear them..." "Do not be afraid"  over and over and over....

These mighty men needed to be encouraged and reassured that they needed not be afraid because the Lord their God would be with them.  This tells me that they were afraid.  And more than once they pushed through the wall of fear and stepped into the freedom of trust and fearlessness to obtain the victory that was already theirs.

They didn't wait until they were not afraid.  They stepped out with knees knocking and trusted that God would do what He said He would do.  And He did.

We are not offered the luxury of unending days, but with each new dawn we are are drawn closer to the end of our seasons on this earth.  Life as we know it, is short.  There is not enough time to wait until we are not afraid to do that thing which God has been telling us to do.

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom."  Psalm 90:12 NLT

 As I write this, I gain strength and can feel courage rising from inside.  By faith, I declare that I will FEAR NOT.  For my God is with me.  I have a destiny and I choose to move forward, not waiting but pushing through whatever fear may try to hold me back.  I am behind because I have allowed fear of man, fear of failure, fear that all my messy places will show - because they will -  to keep me stationary and render me immobile.  But man's opinion is of no value to me.  Without the risk of failure, there can be no success.  And God can and wants to work even in my messy places. 

So for the New Year, 2011, my word is FEARLESS.  God has given me a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. And I chose to walk in it.

And even when fear is present, I will do it afraid and trust and watch God do what He said He would do.

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9 ESV

I pray that you will find the courage to step out and answer the call that you have heard, probably more than once.   And hear God whisper to your soul, "Do not be afraid.   For I am with you."

FEARLESS.  That's my word.  And that is how I will take one step at a time closer to my destiny this year, hand in hand with my Father.

What is your word for 2011?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruin is the Road to Transformation

In my subconscious quest to find meaning in most everything, unravel the mysteries of why/why not, or capture a lesson in living, I often hear a word or phrase that kidnaps my thoughts and holds them hostage for a time.

Tonight, my captor existed in 6 words:

"Ruin is the road to transformation."
(from the book and movie Eat, Pray, Love)

And I couldn't resist the urge to study out some of the words a bit further.

*Definition - situation of devastation
*Synonyms - bankruptcy, breakdown, collapse, confusion, crumbling, failure, the end, undoing, decay
*Antonyms - growth, development, building

*Definition - complete change
*Synonyms - about-face, conversion, renewal, radical change, revolution, shift, flip-flop
*Antonyms - preservation, sameness, stagnation



Holding these 6 words together is the hope that somehow something beautiful, something good, will arise from the ashes of destruction in one's life.  That out of confusion, out of our undoing or yet another failure, we might become stronger, more courageous, more....

With 2010 ending and the New Year approaching, it is not unusual for me (and I would guess most of you) to evaluate the past twelve months and imagine what the future holds. I find myself asking what can I do to improve or make better myself and the circumstances that surround me.  What did or didn't work and what can I do differently?

And of course, always at the forefront of my wondering is how can I draw closer to God and step toward fulfilling my destiny.  Because without Him, my life has no meaning and I have no purpose, no hope.

With all of this swimming around in my mind, the above mentioned phrase seemed to pounce on me the instant I heard it.

What things in my life currently lay in ruin? 

Where is there confusion, crumbling, failure, undoing?  In what areas am I lacking growth?

Although 2010 has had it's challenges for me, there has been nothing tragic or catastrophic to alter my course.    My faith has been stretched and I have had to trust God in areas where I was still trusting myself or my husband.  I am still learning to let go of control.  He is prying one finger loose at a time.  Can you see my white knuckles? :)

There are places, though, where my growth has been stagnant or unchanging.  And there are always areas I need renewal.

Maybe your ruins are a bit more extreme.  Maybe you have walked through the fire this year. 

Maybe you are there now.


Allow God to take you from that place of ruin and raise up something good.  Don't let it be the end of you, let it be the beginning of a transformation in your life, a drawing closer to your Savior, a way to minister to and help others, even in your pain.

Some struggles or trials that we go through are intended to harm us, meant for evil.  But God can turn them around and use them for good  (Genesis 50:20-21).  During these times, our character can be proven or exposed.  Layers of pride that keep us from experiencing God's best can be peeled away.  And a way, where there seems to be no way, can be paved for God to do the miraculous on our behalf, showing forth His glory in our lives.

I am expecting good things in 2011.  I am expecting victory in areas where I need victory and strength to overcome obstacles that have blocked or hindered forward progress.  I know that I can't make things happen apart from God nor would I want to, but I also know that I can and must play a part.  Like my last blog post, I must find my place near Him.  I pray that the areas of my spiritual life that have been stagnant or unchanging this past year would be awakened and renewed.  I pray that where there has been confusion, God will bring clarity and give me the courage to step forward into the plans He has for me.

And I pray for you...that whatever it is that lay ruin in your life will be the road to transformation in 2011.  Set aside some time to seek the heart of God and His will, His plans and His purposes for your life.  He knew you before you were even in your mother's womb  (Jeremiah 1:5). And His plans for you are not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope!  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Join with me in looking ahead with great expectation for 2011!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Place Near Him (reposted)

(Reposted from earlier this year...)

One of my favorite passages of scripture in the bible is found in Exodus 33. Moses tells God that if His presence does not go with him, then he does not want to go. He then asks the Lord to show him His glory.

v. 18 And he (Moses) said, "Please, show me Your glory."

v. 19a ....Then He (God) said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you....."

v. 21 And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock."

God said there is a place near Him....

In verse 21, the word place in Hebrew is MAQOWN, which means: standing place, post, station, city, land, region, place of human abode, etc. MAQOWN originated from the Hebrew word QUWN, which means: to arise, become powerful, to be established, to be fixed, to be valid, to be proven, to be fulfilled, to persist, etc.
I believe there is a place for each of us where we are more near God than anywhere else. A specific place. And when we are in that place, He will establish us there, causing His plans and purposes to persist in and through us.

Also in verse 21, is the word stand. The Hebrew word is NATSAB, which means: to stand, take one's stand, stand upright, be set (over), establish, be stationed, be appointed.

This word is a verb, which conveys an action or a state of being. In that place, we will stand (we must take action, DO something, and BE that which God has called us to be).

v. 22 "So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by."

In that place, the glory of the Lord is so great that we, in our current state, cannot handle it. So much so, that God will have to protect us, lest we be destroyed. He told Moses He would make all His goodness to pass before Him and that He would proclaim the name of the Lord before Him. In that place, God's goodness is revealed! And His name is proclaimed so that all who see it will know that it is Him!

I believe that place has been created by God and is reserved for each of us. In it, is our destiny, our purpose. There, His grace is abundant to do that which He has ordained us to do. There, His goodness is undeniable. There, His glory is all consuming. It is there, in His presence, in that place that we are so near Him, that we are changed, made whole, healed, and set free! It is there, that we are able to give out what He has placed within us.

If His presence does not go with me, I do not want to go.

I pray that the glory of the Lord will be revealed in my life, that I might be near Him and know that which I was created for, that He might establish me in His plans and purposes (not my own) and so that others can see His grace and His goodness through me. That I might find that place....

I pray, today, that you might find that place and that His glory is revealed through you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Thankful

Soft white lights, dancing to an unknown rhythm, casting shadows across the walls of my living room.  My Christmas tree stands proud, up a week early, spreading excitement and the want to give.  Decorated not with the shiny new ornaments bought just last year, but instead with glittery paper candy canes, broken pine cones, Christmas tree cutouts, construction paper crafts, half painted wooden stars, all with the names of my children scribbled on the back. 

You see, while searching for my shiny new ornaments (to make my tree picture perfect), my five year old found a bag of these keepsakes, exclaiming "I made that!" and "Look what I did!" and "Mom!  Remember that?" 

I found myself discouraging him from hanging them on the tree.  "Wait, let's find the new ones."  You know, so our tree could look like the one on the cover of the magazine that came in the mail this week.  "Wait, those are broken."  "Wait, those are too close together, hang them like this....."

And then I stopped.

I started handing him the ornaments from the bag that had been stored away in the bottom of our Christmas box.  And I watched as our tree became filled once again with memories of years gone by.  Picture perfect?  Probably not.  But perfect.  A beautiful, perfect mess.  And now, a day later, as I sit staring at our tree, my heart is full.

I am thankful for memories that never fade, and simple reminders like broken pine cones hanging from pieces of yarn.

I am thankful for empty stockings hung, my children's names embroidered across the top, soon to be filled with favorite candy, fuzzy socks and little surprises.

I am thankful for Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Family gathered.  A feast prepared.  A time to remember why we are thankful, and give the One from Whom all good gifts come.

I am thankful for laundry to fold and dishes to wash.  For toys out of place and socks on the floor.  For a house that's too small, because it's full.

I am thankful for a God Who loves me unconditionally.  Even when I mess up.  Because I do.

For a Savior Who died on the cross for me.  And forgives.

I am thankful for friends who have come and gone at just the right times.  And for those who've stayed.

I am thankful for my family.  All of them.  They are mine.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who read my blog.  To those I know, and those I don't.  I am thankful for you. 


Monday, November 22, 2010

Truth or Tradition?

I read the following paragraph in the book I can't seem to get away from "The Soul of C.S. Lewis"....not in his words, but the authors of the book (Martindale, Root, and Washington):

"We are often too quick to dismiss those whose ideas are different from our own.  Perhaps we lack the life skills necessary to listen patiently to the ideas of others.  Perhaps we have not yet learned to treat all who are made in the image of God with the dignity that is due them....An inability to hear and engage well with dissenting voices will guarantee that we stay stuck in our prejudices.....It is in honest debate, rather than name calling, that we measure the strength of our beliefs." (pg. 10).

This one lone paragraph could preach many different messages.  But tonight, one.

Are we living, serving, worshiping, following, preaching....TRUTH or TRADITION?

Do we know why we believe what we believe?

How many of the things we do are done because of what we have been taught by man or passed down by our grandparents? 

Do we do what we do just because that's the way we've always done it?

A couple of definitions of tradition from

  • the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice
  • a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting
Have we inherited the way we have church?  Five or so worship songs, offering, sit down and listen to a sermon for 30 minutes, altar call, dismissal.

Why does the "modern church" have "church" the way it does?  

Remember, this is a blog....I'm thinking out loud.  

This post is in no way to encourage you to seek out other religions or listen to anything that is contrary to the Word of God.  I believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God, true in it's entirety. 

I'm challenging you (and myself) to ask why do I do the things I do and the way I do them?  If another Christian says something that challenges me or the way I think, do I immediately close them off, or can I listen to what they have to say?  

Is my perception of God based on what I have learned of Him through seeking His face, searching His Word, spending time in prayer and worship, lingering in His presence?  Or is it based on what others have told me or shown me?

If another Christian receives revelation that we have not, how do we know if it's true?  Do we take their word for it or do we seek God for our own?  Does it line up with the Word?  Can it be backed by scripture?

Is it right or wrong because someone told me it was, or because it's truth I found in the Word?

A.W. Tozer said it like this: "Among the gifts of the Spirit scarcely one is of greater practical usefulness than the gift of discernment. This gift should be highly valued and frankly sought as being almost indispensable in these critical times. This gift will enable us to distinguish the chaff from the wheat and to divide the manifestations of the flesh from the operations of the Spirit."

The Bible asks:

 Luke 12:57 (NIV) "Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?"

and warns us....
Hosea 4:6 (NIV) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge

and instructs us...

Proverbs 4:1 HEAR, MY sons, the instruction of a father, and pay attention in order to gain and to know intelligent discernment, comprehension, and interpretation [of spiritual matters].

We should pray....Psalm 119:66   Teach me good judgment, wise and right discernment, and knowledge, for I have believed (trusted, relied on, and clung to) Your commandments

We have to be wise to know when something false presents itself to us, as the Word tells us there are false teachers and false prophets among us (2 Peter 2:1).  But we should also be sensitive not to resist change or transition or "a different way of doing things" if God is leading.

God is such a big God that there is no way we could ever know everything about Him.  And we are never right 100% of the time.  (Again....I'm not talking about our core beliefs or doctrine, the central message of the Bible...the gospel of Jesus Christ which never changes).

God is bigger and better than our biggest and best thoughts about Him!

Again from "The Soul of C.S. Lewis":  After hearing a sermon or reading a book or after deep conversations with friends, we may understand something about God we did not understand before.  Pieces of the puzzle come together and our vision of God may expand significantly."

"Images we have of God, if held onto too tightly compete against our having a growing, expanding understanding of God.....Welcome those experiences in life that would help you see things as they are rather than how you would have them be......If our estimation of Him does not grow, it will not be long before we will be worshiping a God of our own making and severing fellowship with all who fail to see things our way. Furthermore, we will paint "Thus Saith the Lord" across all our own opinions as we drift toward idolatry."

We should be ever increasing in our knowledge of Him and His ways, not holding on to one scripture and building a religious wall around it alone.  Don't be afraid to experience God in a new way.  Don't be afraid if He reveals Himself in a way that is different from yesterday.  Maybe yesterday you knew Him as Jehovah Rohi, the Lord your Shepherd,  but today He wants to reveal Himself to you as Jehovah Ropheka, The Lord your Healer....challenging your traditions that He no longer heals.

Don't be alarmed if you begin to have dreams and visions when you thought God no longer spoke that way. 

If you suddenly begin to speak in other tongues or have a word of knowledge or prophecy for someone, don't dismiss it because a denomination told you it was wrong.  What does God's Word say?

If you feel God leading you to worship in a new way, ask for the courage to step out in obedience.

Seek Him and you will find Him  (Prov. 8:17).

Call to Him and He will show you great and unsearchable things (Jer. 33:3).

There is so much to know about God.  We will never, ever, know it all until we are perfect and in His presence for eternity.  But we can seek Him while we are here, and know that He will be found.  We can draw near to Him and know that He will draw near to us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Can't. Stop. Here.

The humming of the fan, distant voices coming from the T.V. in the next room, a continual pecking of the keyboard, the sound of a 5 year old rummanging through an overcrowded keeps moving.  Time does not stand still.  Not even for a moment.

Hidden in the cracks and crevices of our soul, lie glimpses of days gone by.  Reaching back into time, pulling memories from mental files and folders tucked away in the depths of our being.  Played back, again and again like a worn out VHS tape. 

Trying to move forward while remembering....and wondering.....and regretting...and dwelling. 




Missed opportunities?  Probably.

Mistakes?  Plenty.

Grace?  Oh... sweet grace.

Mercy?  New every morning.

Hope?  It's in Him.

Love?  Unconditional.

Forgiveness?  More than we will ever deserve.

In our search for meaning, purpose and what's next, often we turn around and trudge back through the what ifs, the could've beens and the why's.  It is easy to get stuck there.  But we must not.

Let us put our hand to the plow and not look back (Luke 9:62).

Let us move forward. 

Let us run the race that is set before us.

I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.  Acts 20:24

"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. Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sometimes I'm a MESS

I began to think a little more about my last post, "Crowned World's Greatest Mother."  The post itself is not as the title might seem to suggest.  And this post is proof of, in fact, the contrary.

As I meditated on the diverse moods, actions, temper tantrums, sweet moments (and everything in between) of my five year old, I wondered how often I must appear as such to God.

Temper tantrums.

Mood swings.

Emotional outbursts.




And I'm not talking about Logan anymore.

When last months bills still need to be paid and this months bills are knocking on my door, it is easy to lose focus and forget that TODAY my needs are met. 

TODAY, I am cancer free.

TODAY, my husband and I both have a new job.

TODAY, my children are all healthy.

TODAY, I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, food to eat, a car to drive and the freedom to worship my God, privately and publicly.

My God shall supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory! Phil. 4:19

When my teenager is defiant, rude and uncooperative, pushing me to my absolute and outermost limits, it is easy to lose my temper and react in a way that completely destroys any credibility I had recently earned or gained with them.  How do they know just the right buttons to push?  Seriously, sometimes I just want to scream (and sometimes I do).  Tonight, though, I wanted to throw something. 

I'm thankful that I do still have a little bit of self control.

What do you do when your teenager grows horns and starts snorting and pawing at the ground with their right hoof, uh...I mean... foot?

Isn't life supposed to be perfect and easy when you're a Christian?


Aren't we supposed to have it altogether, never messing up, and always living up to the title of my last post "World's Greatest Mother?"


Truthfully, sometimes I'm a MESS.

And honestly, I NEVER have it ALL together. 

In those moments when I feel like everything is closing in and it's hard to breathe.....when nothing seems to go right.....when the fear of failure laughs at me and tells me "I told you so!".....when I make a complete mess of's in those times I have to choose to rise up and start over.  When I fall down, I get back up.  I wipe away thoughts unworthy to entertain.  I remind myself of Who God is and who He says I am.

The impossible, possible.

That which isn't, is.

When my steps become heavy, I put one foot in front of the other. 

One at a time.

And that's ok.

Because even when I mess up and my imperfection becomes more than obvious, God still loves me.

Just like I love my children through all of their junk.

He still loves me.

And it's because of Him, His mercy, His grace, that I strive to become more like Jesus.  It's because of Him I can get up when I fall down.  It's because of Him that I want to.

It's because of Him that I don't have to stay stuck in that place.

For great is Thy mercy toward me...Ps 86:13.

Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, I pray that you be encouraged today.  Know that God loves you and He wants you to succeed.  If you fall down, get back up. 




Even if (for the moment) it's only one step at a time.

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:24

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crowned Greatest Mother! :)

Sorry ladies.  I'm the greatest mom. 

Logan said so, and he's one smart 5 year old.  ;)

What on earth did I do to deserve this noble award, you might ask?

I simply made pancakes for breakfast and provided some warm comfy jogging pants for him to wear on this cold, rainy morning.   

Not every morning can be this storybook perfect, though.

Some mornings, it seems that no matter what I do, I cannot please him.  Getting up at 5:30 a.m. is not always easy for a 5 year old (or a thirty-something year old!!).  On mornings like these I quickly find that I am in desperate need of an extra shot of grace with my coffee and a side of patience with my breakfast.

Why is it that even though I make breakfast every morning and have never sent him to school naked, my similar efforts are met with such different attitudes on any given morning?

This morning I was praised to the highest degree...crowned world's greatest mother and clothed in gratitude and appreciation! 

Other times, not so much.

Sometimes my efforts, provision and love go unnoticed.  There is no appreciation, no thanksgiving and definitely no crown to be found.  Instead, I am met with all the reasons why he doesn't want to go to school, whining and complaining about how early it is and sometimes I even get a little feet stomping with arms crossed and lips pouting! ;)

I guess he sometimes forgets that I am the greatest mother.

How often do we - like our children with us - take for granted that God is going to provide for us and meet our every need?  Or forgive us?  Or heal us? 

Do we just expect that His mercy is new every morning and think it's no big deal?

Has He become "common" and familiar to us?

Have we replaced praise, thanksgiving and gratitude with grumbling, complaining and whining?

Let us get up tomorrow with praise on our lips and thanksgiving in our heart for the One who is truly the greatest!  Let us recognize His goodness and mercy in our life and remember that it really is a big deal. :)

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name, For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations." Psalm 100:4-5 

**To read more posts on Gratitude and Thanksgiving, be sure to visit Rachel's Olsen's Devotional Carnival!**

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today I Celebrate

Tonight the house is quiet except for the last load of laundry tumbling in the dryer.  My thoughts wander and then stop at a window of time from six years ago.

Six years ago this month I was in my last trimester of my pregnancy with my youngest, Logan, who was to be born December 13.  It was also this month six years ago that I had surgery to remove melanoma from my right shoulder.  And on this very day, six years ago I was at my sister's wedding. (Happy Anniversary, sis.)

I remember sitting on a porch swing at the resort where the wedding was to be held.  I could feel God holding me.  Praise music and earphones to my ears and also on my belly, my unborn baby and I praised Him together that all would be well. 

My unborn baby... who was a complete surprise and not in our plans.  

But God's plans are so much greater than ours.

I remember the doctor saying that because of the pregnancy hormones in my body, the spot on my shoulder changed more rapidly and the cancer grew more aggressively,making it easier to recognize that something was wrong, prompting the removal and biopsy.  In a sense, me being pregnant saved me.  I'm so glad His plans are greater than mine.

And I knew God had a special plan for Logan.

For many months of my pregnancy, Logan - while still in my womb - praised God with me.  Morning after morning we would pray, praise and listen together.  I remember after he was born how the same praise music would soothe him, because he remembered and was comforted in God's presence.

He still worships today and will declare to anyone who is interested that he is a worshipper.  I watch him dance and wave flags on Sunday mornings, declaring that Jesus is Lord.  I listen as he prays and talks to God as a close friend.  He is five.

This week we were at my moms and he walked on the porch with his left arm hanging limp and peering down as if looking at something.  My mom asked what he was doing and he said "God is holding my hand." 

I believe He was.

Just as He held me on the porch swing six years ago, and many times since then.  He now holds my child.

Oh God, Let me not forgot.  Let me not get too busy.

How many times during the day is God wanting to hold our hand but we are in too big of a hurry to notice?

Oh, that we could be as children.  That we could walk and know that God is holding our hand...That He is with us.

It is His presence that sustains me.

On this day, though my life is far from perfect, I have so much to be thankful for.  I pray that my heart remains sensitive and that I remain pliable in His hands.  That I might be molded for His plans and purposes that are so much greater than mine.

Today I celebrate.

I celebrate life and second chances.

I celebrate my children and God's plans and purposes.

I celebrate my family and friends.

And I celebrate my God, my Savior, my Healer, my Redeemer, my Deliverer.

King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Worthy to be praised.

A Holy God who loves me...and you.

Won't you celebrate Him with me today?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Announcements :)

I am on a quest to becoming FRUGAL!  My desire is that I become a better steward over what God places in my hands....I want to be a wise woman in every area of my life.  I have a long way to go.    Follow me on my latest journey at Let's Get Frugal! :)

I also published my first article at Blissfully Domestic this week. Find me there if you'd like.   And comments would be greatly appreciated, as I am the newbie beauty columnist! LOL...  Show me some love! :)

Today on my Facebook status, I offered up some advice along with my friend, Dr. Seuss......

In the words of Dr Seuss..."On you will go, though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl...Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak." Whatever you are going through today...keep going! And remember, God is on your side!

Happy Thursday, y'all! ;)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Out of These Ashes

A jumbled mess.

A pile of rubbish.

A collection of worthless things.

An array of oddments confronted with ruin.

Set to flame.

Intense heat rising.


Take all that is in me that is not of You, O my God.

Burn away that which separates and hinders.

In the midst of fire, still, this is my prayer.

Reveal Your beauty.

Make Your glory known.

"To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord,
that He may be glorified"
Isaiah 61:3

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Joy is the Serious Business of Heaven (C.S. Lewis)

(This entire post is taken from The Soul of C.S. Lewis by Martindale, Root, and Washington, pg. 134)

(Read my book review on this book).

Let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.  Spread Your protection over them that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.
Psalm 5:11

Do we take joy seriously?  How many of us stood in vacation Bible school in younger years, clapping and singing, "The joy of the Lord is my strength," feeling anything but joyful and just wanting to get to the good part - the snack?  Many of us were not taught to take joy seriously as children, and we take it no more seriously as adults.

One problem is that we don't have a good idea what joy really means.  We think joy is something we're supposed to have when we aren't happy but are expected to have a good attitude anyhow.  For most of us, joy seems more like a martyr complex than like the wild celebrations described in the Bible.  People danced uncontrollably with joy, wept with joy, made music, and had feasts.  Joy is not meant to be a grin-and-bear-it situation. It is exuberant and free and more than happy - not less than.  And joy, says Lewis, is the serious business of heaven.

What a crazy thought!  Isn't the serious business of heaven...serious?  Like chanting in Latin or serenely playing a harp - everyone calm, no one really happy.  If that's what we think, how much we have missed!  We often imagine heaven to be like an exercise in spiritual discipline, but we forget that one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines is celebration, which is directly linked to joy.  If the serious business of heaven is joy, then imagine the levity and the laughter we have to look forward to: heads thrown back and dancing with an exhilarating kind of joy.  Perhaps we can take a cue from David (and others in the Bible), as well as from Lewis, to begin practicing now for this most serious business of heaven. Why not be daring and begin today?  With laughter, celebration, thanksgiving, and praise, we can join the host of heaven in the delightful practice of joy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Season of New Authority - Power in Submission to the King

(The following post was taken from a card sent out by Chuck Pierce)

We are entering into a season of unbridled power.  Only by understanding, walking in, and aligning properly with the King can that power be channeled to overcome and transform a society.  The real question becomes: "Will I run with the wild herd or allow the discipline of the King to bring me into a new level of strategic power? "

Psalm 32:6-9 summarizes the year ahead, "For this (forgiveness) let everyone who is godly pray - pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely when the great waters (of trial) overflow, they shall not reach (the spirit in) him.  You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord,  preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah (pause, and calmly think of that)! I (the Lord) will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Be not like the horse or the mule, which lack understanding, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you." (AMP)

The Ark of the Covenant is advancing and the Glory of God is increasing. However, we must operate in skilled wisdom and authority.  Who will master you as you worship?  Think of David as he brought the Ark into Jerusalem.  He had to realign and bring in God's glory in a new way.  In this season, a new foundation for apostolic/prophetic worship is developing.

Here are some key points for the year ahead: Let us GO UP! We begin a new spiritual ascent to the high places.  The Spirit of God will allow the glory to be administered by those who have been allowing their circumstances to discipline and prepare them for increase.  Multiplication will occur when ONE CAN BECOME ONE THOUSAND.  Many will be making a change in physical positions, out of necessity.  This can work for your advantage.  You will become very sharp as you worship and allow joy to transform you.  Many matters that have weighed heavily on you will now become full, and you will understand the "whys" of a matter.  The Body of Christ will resound with a hearty "AMEN" throughout the year as many blessings draw into reality.

~Chuck Pierce

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Review: The Soul of C.S. Lewis


Author Jerry Root
Produced by . Livingstone
Author Wayne Martindale
Author Linda Washington 


Release:August 2010

The words of C.S. Lewis always seem to speak directly to my soul.  His ideas and beliefs and the magical way he shares them awaken creativity, imagination and life from the center of my being.  I cannot read enough of his thoughts.

This compilation of quotes from twenty-six of Lewis's works was a brilliant idea.  The authors  masterfully expound on some of Lewis's best ideas taken from the books represented.  Written like a devotional, its is easy to pick from any page and start reading, as each page offers treasures of its own.

The Soul of C.S. Lewis was meant for "the seasoned Lewis enthusiast, for those who want to be introduced to Lewis, or for anyone looking for personal growth." The reader, no matter which category he finds himself in, will surely benefit from this book and have a hard time closing its pages.  It is one that will quickly become a favorite to its readers and added to their home libraries to be read over and over again.

(This review is on behalf of Tyndale House Publishers who has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.)

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Hang on to Your Baby Teeth

(yet another lesson from mothering....)

With kindergarten comes many "firsts."

My little man has his first loose tooth. :)

We were in church last night when he made the discovey.

He was terrified.

With some apprehension, he confessed that his tooth was loose and fearfully exclaimed,


I assured him that it was normal and that he would be fine. 

I then explained that the reason the baby tooth was falling out was because there was a much larger tooth ready to take it's place.

Then I googled.  (Don't ya just LOVE to google?!)

Some information I found on the internet about baby teeth:
  • otherwise known as temporary teeth

  • the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans

  • usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years

  • considered essential in the development of the oral cavity

  • the roots of the temporary teeth provide an opening for the permanent teeth to erupt
And if the baby teeth don't come out, guess what?  The permanent teeth can come in crooked and you will most likely experience some painful tension in your jaw.

After reading this information, I was reminded of how we often get fearful when exiting a season or letting go of something old to make room for the new.

Sometimes, we tend to hang on just a little too long. 

Ever had tension (stress) when you know you are supposed to let go or move on but you just can't find the courage?

When I refer back to my internet findings above, I find many parallels:
  • Like baby teeth, we go through seasons in our lives that are temporary. 

  • In these varying seasons, we grow, develop and prepare for our next season.

  • Although we can remain somewhat functional in our old season for a while, the anointing on our life wanes, new revelation is minimal, and our ability to hear God decreases because of disobedience and lack of faith. 
**Matthew 9:17 says, "Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins." If we try to bring in part of the new that God is wanting to do while clinging to some of the old, it just won't work. When you pour new wine into old wineskins, "the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined." **

  • Many times we question why we are in a particular season or what is its purpose.  Just as baby teeth are "essential in the development of the oral cavity," certain seasons we go through are also essential to the development of our character, faith, strength, patience and many other requirements for a successful and effective next season.
**  In Acts 1:7, Jesus said, "..It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority."  God sets timetables for the different seasons/times in our lives.  When we wait for His timing, we go in the power of the Holy Spirit instead of our own strength and ability. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth" (v. 8). **

  • Our past or current season will help guide us into the new and provide an opening for God's plans and purposes to erupt or burst forth in His perfect timing.
"There is a time for everthing, and a season for every activity under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Seasons can refer to our job, church, city, or simply our way of thinking or method of doing things, such as programs, schedules, curriculum, the way we worship or any other change that takes place corporately or personally.

Don't rush out of your current season, even if you don't know why you're there.   Know that God has a purpose.

But, also, don't stay too long when your season is up.  You know what happens when you keep things past their expiration date....

Trust that His timing is perfect.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Friday, September 10, 2010

Do You Ever Forget?

Do you ever forget?

Forget to put the clothes in the dryer?

Forget that you were supposed to call _________  right back?

Forget that you were boiling something on the stove?

Forget what exactly it was that you were supposed to remember? :)

Do you ever forget what God has spoken to you?

I was reading through some of my earlier posts from this year (from our book study by Paula Rinehart) and couldn't believe how some of them were directly related to my latest posts! 

Totally spoke to my heart...  AGAIN.

We should remind ourselves not only what God has done for us, but also what He has spoken to us.  Make sure you're keeping a journal of some sort so that you can go back and re-read His words to you.

So if these two of my latest posts (Don't Get Dis-Appointed and Misplaced Hope) spoke to your heart, I think these may as well..........

Losing Heart

Pain: The Crossroads of the Heart

It's good to review....and be reminded.  God's Word is alive and continues to speak if we (I) will only listen!

I think I may be doing some reviewing and reminding of my own this weekend! 

But for now.....Got my Netflix in the mail....I'm watching a movie tonight!  Woohooo! :)

Have a blessed weekend, my friends!!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Misplaced Hope?

I was working on another post, but God would not let me go to sleep without sharing these scriptures.  Someone (besides me) needs to hear them......

In what (or whom) have you put your hope?

Your job

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:5

In your own strength?

No king is saved by the size of his army;

no warrior escapes by his great strength.

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,

to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 33:16-19

We must put our hope in the One who is the same, yesterday, today and forever....
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope
Psalm 130:5
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
Psalm 146:5-6
I pray that today, whatever you are going through, that you will put your hope in Him.  Know that He loves you and He knows exactly where you are.  Your circumstances may have changed, but His plans for you have not.  Allow Him to use whatever you are going through for His glory.  Watch and see what the Lord will do!

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Soul Longs For You

All morning my spirit sang "My soul longs for soul longs for You..."  Over and over again.

I could feel an invitation.  It was an appointed time for me to fellowship with my Father, and I could find no words other than the five I had recited a hundred times already...

My soul longs for You...

With each breath I spoke these words came an increase in their depth and meaning. 

My soul longs for You...

I spoke them until I could speak no more.  I was captivated and captured by His holy presence and my words failed me. 

From deep within, my spirit uttered words outside of my understanding and beyond my human comprehension.  There were no words in my vocabulary appropriate or adequate for this moment...

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!"

Wonderfully amazing.

Indescribably good.

Like nothing on earth.

There is a yearning on the inside of each of us.  A longing only our Creator can satisfy.  No matter how or what we try to substitute, there is nothing or no one worthy to fill the place that cries out for Him.

My soul DOES long for Him....

And sometimes, whether in times of visitation, worship, repentance, brokenness or desperation,  often our words fail us.

I am reminded of the song by Amy Grant, "Better Than a Hallelujah."

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody

Beautiful the mess we are
the honest cries of breaking hearts...

...the silence when the words don't come...

...better than a hallelujah sometimes... 

It's not in the eloquence of our speech, the perfection in our posture, impressive vocabulary, or any righteousness we think we might have, but in the beauty of our brokenness, coming to God just as we are...




Answer Him when He calls.

Open the door when He knocks.

Say yes to His invitation.

Let Him be the One to satisfy the longing that only He can.

O God, You are my God,
Early will I seek You,
My soul thirsts for You,
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

Friday, September 3, 2010

Don't Get "Dis-Appointed!"

The past couple of days have proved to be a little.....well.....out of the ordinary for me.  I am, by nature, a very positive upbeat person.  But, I let my guard down.  Ever done that?

And I THINK I just used this scripture in my last post....

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
~Proverbs 4:23.

How quickly I got my eyes off of God's promises and onto my circumstances.  And I moped around all day, unmotivated and unproductive.  REALLY, I know better.

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
 ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Luckily, for me, it didn't last long.

My mom gave me an article to read yesterday, so as I was sitting in the pick-up line at Logan's school, I opened it up.  And, as usual, God began to speak to me and show me the error of my ways. 

I'm so thankful He loves me (and you!) enough to do that.

Apparently, I had allowed unfulfilled expectations and our temporarily less than perfect circumstances to cause disappointment - which I then allowed to come in and set up camp for a bit.

Not good.

The article said..."Disappointment is not just a sad, emotional state of mind; deep disappointment can actually sever our hearts from faith.  It is the enemy's work.  Demonically manipulated disappointment can actually "dis-appoint" a person from God's destiny for their lives" (Francis Frangipane).

It's naive to think that we will never get disappointed.  That is, unfortunately, a part of life that we can't escape.  It's in those times that we have to grab hold of our faith like never before, keeping discouragement, unforgiveness, and/or bitterness from taking up residence!  It's also in those times that God can do a work in us beyond our comprehension - a work sure to benefit and increase our preparedness for a future season.

Anything and everything that tries to bring us down or halt our forward movement is such a lesser thing when compared to the King of Kings!  We just need the right perspective. And we have to stay alert and aware.

I began to wonder....if this happened to me so quickly, how many other people who are going through trying times are stuck in this place?  How many people have sunk even further and allowed deep disappointment to come in and sever their hearts from their faith?

Are you there? 

Has disappointment found its way into a secret chamber of your heart, robbing you and keeping you from God's plans and purposes for your life? 

Maybe you just got there. 

Maybe you've been there for a while.

Or maybe you didn't even know you were there.

F.F. also said that disappointment cuts us off from our vision, and without vision a people perish.

Have you lost your vision?  Is it hard for you to remember the dreams and promises that God once gave you?

Don't accept the power of disappointment in your life. Recognize it when it comes, and tell it to hit the road, Jack!!

Remind yourself how good God is! 

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable! Ps. 145:3

Decide TODAY, right now, to renounce disappointment. Forgive, repent, or do whatever you need to do to return to your Redeemer! Be set free and move forward into your destiny!

Don't allow disappointment to "dis-appoint" you!!

God has great plans!!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Search Me, O God, and Know my Heart

(Let's Talk! Tuesday has been suspended for an indefinite period of time. I am being obedient and trying to refocus on the purpose of this blog.  Sorry Vicki and Starla!  They have been so faithful in posting...You can go check out their blogs anyway!)

It seems that most people I have talked to this week and some things I've read have been about the heart. 

I think God is speaking. :)

The simple word, heart, brings to mind a palette of pretty pinks and reds, Valentine's Day, cupid and his arrow, first love, and just....pure.... sweetness.  Awwww..... :)

But our heart can prove to be just the opposite.

Our heart is a very important, vital organ in our physical body.  It also has a huge part in our spiritual well being.  In our heart, we can love to the fullest or we can hate with a vengeance.  In our heart, we can hide secret sins and unforgiveness or we can expose our weaknesses and be healed.  In our heart, we can form intimate relationships with our closest friends or we can build a wall to keep everyone out.  In our heart, we can KNOW God, or we can say NO to God.

The bible tells us that God "searches every heart and understands every motive."   It also tells us in Proverbs to guard our heart above all things!  Why?  Why above all things?  Because it is the wellspring of life.  It is where we first become intimate with God.  It is where we first hear Him.  But it can also be the place we harbor sin and evil.  Jeremiah 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things..."  Sin is a matter of the heart.  Since birth, our hearts have been inclined toward sin.  We must willfully and purposely choose what is right and good, not forgetting or forsaking God.

God can see through everything, to the very center of who we really are and He still loves us completely!  Right where we are at this very moment!  We don't have to pretend to be something we are not.....when we do we are bringing that which is false before Him.  Be honest about where you are so that He can have the freedom to move in your life and continue the process of molding you into His image.  Are you angry?  Do you have unforgiveness?  What are you harboring today in your heart?  

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.  Ps. 139:23-24

It's time for the church - not the church building or organization - but the CHURCH - the PEOPLE of God -to RISE UP and take our place!  It is time to CROSS THE LINE.  We can't do it dragging our JUNK behind us or hiding it within us, pretending to be holy.  Let's get rid of it and watch God move!!