Monthly Archives: August 2012

Nothing to be afraid of!

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Recently I went through the Lord asking me to surrender my business back to Him. At first I felt a little sad, but then relief set in, which led to guilt. Why did I feel relieved from doing what I felt God was asking me to? He is sooooo good, because the book I was reading at the time was all about being, “pruned”.

John 15 (NLT)

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

There was a chart which describes how we know the difference between being pruned and disciplined. At the emotional level on this chart, the author described the emotion directly related to being pruned at relief. As soon I read this, I knew that I was bearing fruit, but God has more fruit in mind. With this truth now in front of me I went from guilt and feeling like a failure, to excitement to see what God has in store.

I’m sharing this to show you just how much we cannot trust our feelings alone. God did create us with feelings and they shouldn’t be ignored, however, we must check them according to the truth of His word! Sometimes our feelings are out of our flesh, and if we “follow our heart” instead of striving to be “in step with the Holy Spirit,” we will end up way out of the will of God for our lives.

Galatians 5:25 (NLT)

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

He has good plans for each of us. It may not always make sense to us at the time, but we know that He loves us and is for us. We also know He is trustworthy and faithful. He gave up everything for us before we ever even thought about sacrificing anything for Him. This is a love that is worth following and investing in.

I also just want to touch on “fear of failure.” One thing I did ask of the Lord when He asked me to surrender my business, was to walk me through every memory and teach me every lesson I could possibly learn out of this experience. I made many mistakes being this was my first time trying, and I wanted them to be beneficial to everything else I will be called to do in my lifetime on Earth.

Before embarking in this business, I suffered terribly with “fear of failure.” The Lord spoke to me through the account in Numbers 13-14 where the Israelites were about to take the Promised Land, and Moses sent spies into the land to scout it out. The reports came back where all but two spies cried out in fear, “There are giants in the Land, we will surely die!” But two spies said, “There are giants in the Land, but GOD has promised us this Land so we should enter into it!” After hearing this account, the Lord spoke to me and said, ” Right now you echo in perfect harmony with the majority, but I think you are one of the two!” Just knowing God believed in me, made me want to believe in myself, that together with Him nothing is impossible, so really what is there to be afraid of?

Matthew 19:26 (MSG)

  26Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

1 John 4:18 (MSG)

 17-18God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
So once He dealt with my fear of failure, I was more open to His leading. And now, I am leaving this business which I can plainly tell you there have been parts of that I failed at. And guess what? I’m failing forward! I’m in process, and I’m learning. Failing is NOTHING to be afraid of because in fact it makes you smarter and stronger. It definitely has not destroyed me, which is what I always thought it would do! If this would be the only lesson I received out of this business venture I would feel satisfied, but it’s not, there have been so many more!
Can I encourage you today, if you are dealing with the paralyzing fear of failure, read the account of the spies. Then seek the Lord and ask Him to identify the root of the fear.  Write out what you are really afraid of and then seek the scriptures to find truth to override the authority of your feelings. God planted greatness in the very core of you when He knit you together in your mother’s womb. Please do not allow a fake giant of fear to keep your greatness, your unique expression of Christ in you, from being illuminated to this world. Face your giants, and if you have to, do it afraid!

Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)

 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Colossians 1:27 (NLT)

 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

 6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
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He Makes it ALL worth it!

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Today I can’t help but think about this scripture out of Romans.

Romans 8:28 NLT

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I keep finding myself saying a breath prayer of, “Thank You, thank you…” for this promise. Have you ever taken a moment to consider how inclusive the word “everything” is. That is an amazing promise. This means that even when the suffering is great, it will still be worked together for good, and that means we never have to suffer in vain. I’m not sure about you but I believe this promise is a key to how we could even consider the command found in James 1.

James 1:2-4 NLT

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

I believe they only way we can consider trials as an opportunity for joy is when we know the truth that even the suffering will be worked together for good. For me, it makes the trial, though difficult and painful at times, a blessing  because I can consider that on the other side of this I will be stronger,and have more testimony to share which is what makes us OVERCOMERS!

Revelation 12:11 (AMP)

11 And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony

I am really learning this year that to be positioned as an overcomer in Christ, it is absolutely imperative that I trust the Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

He has really shown me that when I lay my understanding down at His feet and I seek Him for what He is up to, that is when I will be in step with the Holy Spirit with my very thoughts and actions in agreement with the Father’s Heart. It is in this place I can ask and receive according to His will. It is in this place I will find that all things are possible.

When we have surrendered our understanding and placed all of our trust in Him,  admitting our total dependance upon Him, we are positioned to take authority and start overcoming as a co-laborer with Christ anything that is holding us or our loved ones back from everything God created us for!

James 4:10 NLT

10 When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

See all of this came by simply thinking upon one promise in His Word that I have hidden in my heart. This is the kind of rabbit-trail I’m thankful for! Would you please consider joining me in memorizing scripture verses so we all can be having more of these divinely inspired rabbit-trailing thought patterns? I would love to hear yours!

Psalm 119:11 NLT

11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.

Lord Jesus, I love you! Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for your Love and how constant everything about You is. I know I can trust You. So I declare right now, I trust You with my life: my present, my past, and my future. Lord, thank You that You will work everything together for good.  Thank You that I can overcome anything with You. Thank You for continuing to expand my testimony of Your goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and gentleness upon me. You are worthy of ALL glory, honor, and praise FOREVER! I love You Lord! It is in Jesus’ name I pray! Amen!

Misunderstand….ing?

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One day not too long ago, the Lord began speaking to me about being misunderstood. He said, “Do not worry if others misunderstand who you are, or why you do and say the things you do. You are in good company with me, because most of my creation will never understand me.” His tone was loving with a hint of sadness. I pressed in for more. He continued, “Especially Holy Spirit, most of my bride will never fully accept Him. Jesus wasn’t even received when He came in your form, and how We are the Trinity, most people accept but never understand how beautiful that is.”

This got me thinking about how much it hurts when you just want people to “get” you, and you  can’t seem to find anyone on the same page. There are a lot of people who accept others, but I know for me there is a deep desire to find others who will invest in understanding me, getting me, loving me. Could it be that the Lord feels the same? We accept Jesus as our Savior, but does it stop there? Do we invest in Him, getting to know Him, figuring out why He works, acts, speaks the way He does? We accept that the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts, but again are we inviting Him to be intimately involved in our every moment or are we basically ignoring His presence? Do we ever consider the mystery of the Trinity? Three in one, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, working together in perfect relationship to love us flawlessly, this is incredible!

As I looked up scripture on this very topic, I discovered an interesting twist as to how we act on our misunderstanding, but first the scripture and then I will share the revelation.

John 8:43

43 Why do you misunderstand what I say? It is because you are unable to hear what I am saying. [You cannot bear to listen to My message; your ears are shut to My teaching.]

This is Jesus speaking on how we would listen to what He said, but not hear Him.

Matthew 5:17

Teaching about the Law ] “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.
This is Jesus speaking on how we could not even understand His purpose for leaving Heaven and humbly coming to Earth to save us.
Matthew 12:31-32
 31-32“There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.
This is the one I would like to expand on. When I looked up other versions, the misunderstanding which leads to rejection is put into the word, blasphemy.

Blasphemy:

blas’-fe-mi (blasphemia): In classical Greek meant primarily “defamation” or “evil-speaking” in general; “a word of evil omen,” hence, “impious, and irreverent speech against God.”

Then the Lord began to speak  about how when we simply misunderstand something, anything, for any reason, our normal reaction is to reject it and then speak out against whatever that is. We often do this to each other with we have a disagreement, we often call it a “misunderstanding”. So I began to ponder some areas in my life where I have some pretty strong opinions but not a whole  lot of facts. Could it be that I simply do not have an understanding, and to protect myself I have an opinion, completely unfounded? Could it be there are things about the Lord which I do not have an understanding for, so I manipulate scriptures to make Him understand’able’ to me, and tell everyone else they are wrong if they don’t agree with my understanding? Or how about others who think, look, and act differently than I do? Could it be that somehow I think only my way is right and until they conform to what I understand to be right they will remain ‘misunderstood’ in relation to me? Is that how Jesus loved? I believe Jesus loves each of us for how different we are. I do not remember  ever reading about Him trying to fit any square pegs into round holes. =)
So I urge you today to ponder if you are in a misunderstand…ing with anyone, including God in all of His uniqueness. Ask Him to open your heart to a deeper understanding of others and of Himself. I believe we will find freedom and more than likely, stumble upon a few more people who will end up ‘getting’ us. Be blessed today Friend.
Father, Your love is amazing. Your acceptance of us is incomprehensible. But the desire you have to be in relationship with us is what continually blows my mind. Lord would you bring to my attention any area where I have built a wall, a prejudice, a rejection that is against you or anyone you love. I ask Lord for you to soften my heart and help me have a teachable spirit. I do not want to hold on to anything that doesn’t encourage or uplift. Lord, more than anything teach me more about You. I want to be more and more like You! I love you Holy Spirit. I love you Father God. I love you Jesus. I love you my Triune God!

Coming up Higher!

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The other day the Lord spoke to me about something which seemed to come out of nowhere because it was not something I was particularly dealing with or thinking about. Then it dawned on me, it’s not all about me. =) LIGHTBULB…..It is good to remember that He speaks to us not just for us, but often times to share with others. To add to that thought, what usually ends up happening, is something the Lord speaks to me for someone else, I usually end up needing soon thereafter. What can I say? It’s a process, so keep track and pay attention to everything you hear from Him.

I’m also being taught not to add anything to what God has spoken. Lately, He has been renewing my mind by showing me how I had made assumptions to what He shared with me. He is teaching me how those assumptions led to expectations I have placed upon myself which have actually been distracting me from His Will. He has even been showing me how we all tend to read His Word from our perspective instead of His, which then makes it hard to believe and even recognize it manifest in our reality. We tend to be looking for the wrong thing because we are expecting God to show up in the way we understood the written or spoken word.

I would like to share a revelation I had a few years ago with you to further illustrate what He is still trying to teach me. =)

Ephesians 2:4-6 NLT 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

A few years ago I read this scripture and the word, “seated” was like jumping off of the page to me. Seated, as in present tense??? I was so confused and a little angry. I began asking the Lord,  “How in the world am I suppose to believe I am presently seated in the heavenly realms when I am SO OBVIOUSLY here on earth!!!!!!!!!!” I told Him, “I believe your Word is true and that you selected EVERY WORD carefully. I cannot see that the tense of this verb could be a mistake, but I have never experienced Heaven even though I am in Christ!” I begged Him, “Lord, please teach me how this is true. Please show me how I can be in two places at once.”

After I had finished my passionate ranting, the Lord quieted my spirit and asked me, “Are you finished?” I was and finally he showed me a giraffe. A giraffe? That’s all He had to say???? “Lord, can you please explain?”

Finally, I got the revelation that the way we can be in two places at once, on earth and in heaven simultaneously, is that our minds are to be in heavenly places ( think of the giraffe’s long neck and mind way up high) while our bodies are on earth(the giraffe’s feet are on the ground). So I started to seek Him as to how our minds can be in heaven. How do we enter that place?
Psalms 100:4 MSG

4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.

This is what I am still learning. When we come before the Lord, we first praise and thank Him. We do this because of who He has been to us, which means we do this by remembering His faithfulness. As we remember His faithfulness, our faith begins to swell. We are making an exchange. A transaction of worry for faith, fear for trust, hopelessness for peace, is taking place when we choose to magnify the Lord over anything else.

Once we have spent time worshipping Him for who He is, we have been lifted up higher. It is beautiful. We come to a higher place in His presence, where we see from His perspective. We can see what He sees, what He is up to, and then supernaturally we can come into agreement with His plans and purposes even though we still may not understand them.

Can I encourage you today to spend time praising and worshipping the Lord? Spend some time remembering His faithfulness, goodness, kindness, and LOVE upon you. Rejoice over answered prayers of days past and miracles that have no other explanation than God. Ask Him to bring you up higher, to show you His perspective. He will usher you into an intimate place and lavish you with Himself. If you then choose to open your Bible, you will see things you have never seen before. If you choose to open your spiritual ears, you will hear things you have never heard before.  You will never be the same.

(P.S. I would strongly encourage you to have a pad of paper and pen in hand so if He has anything to share with you, so you are prepared so you can remember later, ask Him more about it, and check it according to scripture.)

 

 

Want what you can’t have?

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 Lust – a passionate or overmastering desire or craving. 

I am currently doing a juicing fast, where I have surrendered my beloved companion, coffee, and all other food. I am only drinking water, hot tea(decaf), and juice made from fruits and vegetables. My main goal in this juice it to cleanse my body, and in doing so hopefully acquiring a taste for healthier food. Let’s just say, my first choice isn’t always a veggie. =)

With the absence of food prep and eating, I found a lot of time on my hands, much of which I’m trying to chose to spend with the Lord. It was in one of these sweet, tender times, I started thinking about lust in general.

The definition above talk about this craving and/or desire that is overmastering. I have been realizing that this applies to ANYTHING we want and we can’t have. ANYTHING we want and can’t afford. ANYTHING we want and is bad for us. ANYTHING we want which is outside of God’s will for our lives.

Thinking of food right now, I can clearly see how I have lusted after cupcakes, ice cream,and chocolate in general. I have had desires for these things often, and given into them. Here is the funny thing, once you are eating that cupcake, it tastes good, but only for a minute. The satisfaction is only temporary, however the results are permanent. My weight has continued to increase because I simply chose to give into temptation, instead of operating in self-control. 

That is simply one example. Let’s talk about others. How about extra-marital affairs? Sure, it seems like someone new is soooo much better, but it’s always like the cupcake. The satisfaction from that person will only be temporary but the consequences permanent. A similar scenario is a shopping addiction, which most of us call ‘Retail Therapy’. It may feel good in the moment, but then we have debt, or too much stuff, or not enough money to give and help others or maybe even to pay our bills. 

So, I’ve been asking the Lord why this is stirring in my spirit, and here is what I believe He wants to put fresh in our hearts. In His Word, He gives us ways to live that bring life to our souls and to others. He also shares warning as to what we need to stay far from because those thing breed death to our souls and to others. He also clearly states that in EVERY temptation He has already provided a way out. We need to remember, that for those of us in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and one fruit of His presence in our lives is self-control. Any aspect of our lives where we need more of it, we just need to ask. His word says, if you ask according to His will, you will receive. 

If you are struggling with any of the specific areas I have mentioned above, please know I am praying specifically for you. There are many other areas where many of us deal with lust. Please please please remember, no matter how good that ‘forbidden fruit’ looks now, once you indulge your flesh you may feel some satisfaction, but the consequences will far outweigh the pleasure. It will not end well. Please choose to turn to the Lord, ask Him where He is, ask Him to deliver you. Get in His Word. Get to know Him. He has overcome this world! There is NOTHING too hard for Him. Please remember that the reason He gave us guidelines to live by is because He loves us. He is for you!

1 Corinthians 10:13

New Living Translation (NLT)

 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Galatians 5:20-24

The Message (MSG)

 19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

   This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

 22-23But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

 23-24Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

Lord, I thank you for speaking to me about lust. Thank you for showing me that was my relationship to food. Thank you that when You bring things into the light, we can be set free. I ask for my friends reading this Lord, that You send Your Spirit to convict our hearts of other areas of lust we are struggling with. Lord, I sense we all have areas that are new, and we are toying with fresh thoughts of something, it isn’t consuming us yet, its small. I ask that you bring those seemingly small things into the light before they have a chance to take root and become a stronghold. Lord, I know Your desire is for us to be set free, I ask according to that, Lord, set us free! We love you Lord, praise You, and give you ALL glory and honor! It is in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

He cares for you!

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This morning, I can’t help but think about how much I love the Lord. I can’t help but think of all the wonderful ways He has personally ministered to me. He has give me hope when I felt hopeless, love when I felt alone, joy in the midst of sorrow, peace when chaos was all to be found. I am especially thankful for His Word, because satan is the father of lies, and he is exposed every time I choose to open the Bible. But more than all these ways He has loved me, I am so thankful for the time the Lord has spent with me. Every time I set aside time for Him, He is faithful to show up. He comes and speaks through His Word, renews my mind, fills me of Himself, and encourages me in who He says I am. There is nothing as precious as the personal love I have received from the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Creator of all the Universe. To be seen, acknowledged, desired, valued, and loved by Him is what I live for. His love endures forever, and He cares for me! Wow! Amazing!

Guess what? He loves you as much as he loves me. If you are in Christ, we have the same Holy Spirit living in our hearts. His Word is alive for you too! You are the apple of His eye, and His desire is for you. His love for you is deeper, longer, wider than you could ever come to fully understand. Have you been desiring more of Him personally in your life? Can I just encourage you to tell Him the desire of your heart? Set aside time to spend with Him. Choose to open the Word and get scripture in your heart. He promises to be found if we seek Him.

Proverbs 8:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

17 “I love all who love me.

    Those who search will surely find me.

Hebrews 4:12

New Living Translation (NLT)

12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Psalm 17:8

New International Version (NIV)

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings

1 Peter 5:7

New International Version (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Ephesians 3:18-19

New International Version (NIV)

18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

All trust, no fear

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Yesterday I was the beach playing with Brendon in the waves. When I heard a wave coming that I knew would be too strong for him and would knock him down, I held him tighter or lifted him up higher. He couldn’t do those things for himself, and he didn’t even see it coming because right now he doesn’t know fear. He only knows trust. He trusts me to keep him from danger. I realized this is how God loves us. He sees the big waves coming, and sometimes they do crash over us and that’s when He holds us tightly so we don’t drown. But then there are times when He lifts us up so we are above the circumstance. I want to learn to trust in God’s love and protection, so I have no fear, like my son trusts me. How great the Father’s Love for us!
Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t panic. I’m with you.There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Lord, how I thank you for Your love and protection. Thank you for constantly showing me new ways to understand the depths of Your great love. I know I’ve only scratched the surface and I’m amazed! Thank you for loving me. I trust You! I love you! In Jesus’ name I pray! Amen!