Tag Archives: prayer

Love is seek and find

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Love is seek and find

I had this funny thing happen the other day. I wanted to spend time with the Lord, but my son and husband were having a “camp out” in the living room where my Bible, devotionals, and journal were. I lay in my bed wandering if I could try something new instead of being stuck in my box of “this is how I do my quiet time.” Upon which the Lord reminded me that I had noticed an old journal and some pens in one of my bathroom drawers. What was is doing there you might ask? I have no idea. Since it was so out of place I remembered it, so I grabbed it and purposed to journal there. As I opened it, I saw prayer request from 2013, and I spent some time in awe of God’s hand as I could see specifically now each one had been answered abundantly. I praise and rejoiced and my faith was once again stirred. Next I noticed that I had written a challenge to myself- get outside more. Funny, that is still, in 2017, the same challenge. Here is what I am learning, to love myself well, which consequently aligns me to love others more, I have to honor what makes me come alive, and one of those things for me is the outdoors. I am making a choice to be intentional about getting outside and doing some outdoor activity multiple times a week.

As I am slowing down to focus on loving myself and others well, I thought it would be a good idea to read the Song of Solomon. It is a book in the Old Testament filled with love poetry between and woman and a man who are deeply and madly in love with each other. However, the book is full of seeking each other out, finding each other, and then having to seek once again. Sometimes, when one would find where other was, the other one wasn’t ready to be found. The book ends with them seeking for each other once again, not the ‘happily ever after skipping down jolly lane’ we expect from a great love story.

At first I thought this was strange but I sought the Lord to teach me something new. He began to show me how love is never finding the one you love and then staying in that blissful place forever. Love is being committed to seek and find, forever. We are always changing and growing and becoming. Along the different parts of that journey, different types of love will be required. I believe this could be a true piece to every relationship, even with myself and with God. As life flies at us, we have to continue finding new facets of God which in turn unveils new pieces of ourselves. Sometimes we find something new and amazing and sometimes we uncover something hard to process. We can choose to show up and love if we choose to invite Jesus into it all. Apart from Him, I think the notion of this eternal game of seek and find would be overwhelmingly exhausting.

I’m just beginning to embrace this notion and trying to live it out. It definitely feels less ‘wrapped up in a neat box with a bow’ than I want it to. But I can tell this type of perspective on love is more genuine than I previously expected and yet tremendously less likely to set me up to be deeply disappointed than what I’ve understood before.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about love or how you plan to love yourself well this year!

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The Mind of Christ

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The ocean seems to be a place of rest for my soul. It seems while I walk upon the shore, feel the sand all round my feet, and hear the constant melody of the waves breaking, I can really exhale. I can release the pressure from the day-to-day, clear my whole self, and just be.

In this place of emptying out, I often find myself being filled. It seems as though when I release all of the yuck from the faster-than-the-speed-of-light life stuff, and I loosen my grip on everything I’m inevitably trying to maintain, that I can really receive.

The last time I was in such a position, what I found myself asking for, was for God to take my thoughts and transform them into His thoughts. I was intrigued by hearing myself ask for this. I just wanted to think about the things He was, and to see them through His heart, His perspective. I began to encounter His presence as I asked, and what I understood was that I was asking for the Mind of Christ.

I knew this wasn’t a one time prayer, and I determined to ask and keep asking. This has become quite honestly one of the deepest desires of my heart. But what I didn’t fully expect was how this prayer would begin to change everything about my life. I want to share 2 examples that have marked transformation to me personally.

One morning within a matter of moments, our air conditioner broke, our toilet overflowed, and our vehicle wouldn’t start. The thought arose, “Does this stuff happen to everyone?” And then immediately the truth came, “No! It doesn’t! The majority of people living on the earth do not have air conditioning, indoor plumbing, or their own vehicle. They aren’t lucky enough to have enjoyed these gifts in the first place to have to endure them needing to be repaired.” As my husband and I spoke of these truths, instead of growing overwhelmed, irritated, or frustrated, we began to give thanks to God in the midst of it for all that He has so freely given to us. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! As  I asked the Lord why were we able to have such a different experience than has been our norm, He showed me that it was an answer to the prayer to have the mind of Christ.

Most recently, there was a public attack against my character and as my husband presented it to me, the words that came out of my mouth were victory and love, even though I was not experiencing that emotionally. There was so much power in my response of truth that it totally diffused the anger that was trying to entangle us into being offended. As I later processed through what had taken place, the Lord showed me that again, I was equipped to have this response as an answer to praying for the Mind of Christ.

I share this testimony not to boast about myself, but to encourage you to join me. The reason these were notable is because for the past 30 years I have responded to similar circumstances in much different ways. This is a miracle to me to have reactions that do not devastate myself or those involved. It is growth that I mark personally as miraculous and give God all glory, honor, and praise for.

There have been victories in my life recently that I have never even believed to be possible. In fact, most areas that God is dealing with right now, I have for years just believed it was my lot in life. But as He is growing my vision and perspective to be united with His, I am beginning to really believe everything is possible with Him.

Will you join me? What areas in your life have you just settled into defeat about? Is there anything you aren’t willing to talk about with God and give Him the authority to be Lord of in your life? I want so deeply to continue to grow in His love, His truth, and His purpose for my life. It is so refreshing to actually believe that is possible! Praise God!

 

Together is the answer

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Yesterday was a day where my phone was blowing up with prayer requests. It is my absolute delight and honor to lift my brothers and sisters up in prayer before the Throne of Grace. I LOVE TO PRAY! I love to be with God, asking Him for wisdom and if He would share His heart and perspective with me. I LOVE being a part of the miraculous taking place on the Earth. I love people, and especially when they are first hand experiencing God caring about them and the details of their lives. I love watching the prayer requests transform over time as the person has experienced God and is sure of His love for them. What an honor to be a part of that journey. It is not a burden. No, not at all. It is one of the greatest joys, thrills of my lifetime.

Two people in particular who had requested prayer in the early hours yesterday has received an answer by the end of the day. What is better in the whole world than rejoicing in the Lord together? Nothing I can think of. So I spent my morning just before the Lord here and there as I went about the duties of my day as a wife, mother, housekeeper, writer, coach , and other things I have been laying my hands to. And as the answers poured in throughout the day, I got to spend my evening rejoicing. I thought, “this is living! THIS IS REALLY LIVING!’ The joy of seeking, waiting, believing, and then rejoicing and/or growing together when the answer isn’t what we wanted is life to me.

Together wasn’t always on my list of desires or even in my opinion, my needs. I was going to take the world by storm, and increase the Kingdom of God, ALONE! I didn’t want to need anyone else, I only wanted to be needed. But now, as I have journeyed through the process of laying my life down daily, and saying the hard yes when He bid me to come closer and leave more and more behind, and actually through doing that finding myself, as I was originally created to be, I am ever aware not only of my increasing need for others to be able really live, but of my desire. What joy there is in relationship, communion, and fellowship. Now I recognize this as the gift it is, and I have actually placed great value on true, genuine, real and raw relationship. THANK YOU JESUS! This is one small facet, for me, through which He is teaching me to love, and to keep loving, and in that way I am being transformed more and more into His image, which is actually the greatest reward!

As I was thanking Him for allowing me the honor of serving His children by praying for them, my heart was moved towards the little girls in the nations on the world who do not value females. I began contemplating how they probably have no notion that they are an individual, that they were created in the image of God, that it is ok to dream. They probably can’t fathom being given a voice, or even an education. Furthermore, do they even know that they can pray to a loving God and find hope in how BIG, ABLE, and WILLING He is? Will they ever know true friendship with no agenda other than love? Even harder to consider, do they or have they ever known love?

I know for a fact that most of the girls and women in the world are treated as objects to be used. The majority of women in the world are oppressed, and kept down by the lies of their culture. Most women are seen as workers and bearers of sons. But if they cannot do either of these things, they are worthless. They also are treated as a means to an end for the fervent sexual appetite of the men surrounding them. Used as you would use a power tool, and then put away on a shelf until the next time, which even more abhorrently, isn’t likely a long break in between being used. Work, work, work. There is no joy, no laughter, no value, no peace. Turmoil, pain, and shame day in and day out.

But there is hope. I believe with all of my heart that HOPE is alive in the blood that was shed for me, for the world. Every time I close my eyes I see their faces. The beautiful shades of brown skin, yellow skin, redskin, white skin, deep ebony skin, and my heart overflows with His heart, His love for each and every person on the face of the Earth. He shows me that we are called to be His hands and feet on the Earth, and Jesus never turned away any who came to Him. I see these faces and I see Jesus and I know that nothing is too hard or too big for Him.

I have a birthday coming, and I have a dream. I have a dream of giving my birthday away and allowing the celebration of my life to pour forth into the world. My dream is to rescue 30 girls for my 30th. I have sweet friends who run an alliance mission where they fund missionaries who are ministering in their own nations, in others words, native missionaries where the majority of the population is unreached by the gospel of Jesus. They have orphanages, and just need proceeds to be able to support the children who need rescued from the painful lives which until now is all they have ever known. For only $25 a month we can rescue a girl from being raped every night and give her the opportunity to know love, to know Jesus, to know friendship, to get an education and be raised up as a missionary for the coming generations. Want to help me help them change the world?

Please visit their website or check out my video to find out more! I really believe the answer is in the together. It is only together that we can change this world! I need you and you need me. And by the way, can I pray for you?

Secure/Rescue

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A while ago I was reading something and on the page was the word ‘secure,’ but my eyes saw the word RESCUE- however it didn’t fit within the context of the sentence, so I re-read it and comprehended that I saw a different word than was actually printed on the page. I asked the Lord if that was Him- and indeed, He had a message for me- that I now have been working through and working out and living- and just now- a moment ago- He nudged me to share this with you.

Rescue- Secure- The same letters make up these two words with very different meanings, and yet, strongly linked!

As I sought the Lord, He began to show me how when I feel insecure- I run to what I think will rescue me- and inversely- when I perceive the need to be rescued- I run to what makes me “feel” secure. As I have been asking Him to highlight this to me- some of these cycles are constructive and pleasing to Him, and some are not.

One day I was feeling really low about some truly hard bumps I was hitting and I found the urge to run to something I normally would turn to to make me “feel” secure- and the Lord highlighted this destructive cycle to me, and I had the thought, ” I could deny my flesh right now and run to Jesus and start to break this cycle.” Unfortunately that day- I chose to continue in my quest to satisfy my desperate need for security- a quick fix, if you will.

Shortly after, as I was spending time in His presence, He showed me this. He also began to show me the negative effects these cycles have had on my life and how far reaching the outcomes are when we choose anything other than Him for our security. How when we buy into false comfort or security in one area of our life- it slowly seeps in undetected to all the other facets of who we are. With this wisdom before me, I repented and asked Him to help me break the cycles that keep me temporarily satisfied and quickly depleted- when I could be filled to overflowing with no lack. I asked Him to come alongside of me and help me in becoming a woman who would settle for nothing less than His best for me- and to be willing to wait upon, yearn for, and rest in Him alone.

Am I still struggling? Sure. Am I making progress? You betchya! Me and Jesus are celebrating this new season of breaking through yuck that I have just been accepting for a long time.

So, I am sharing this with you and I wonder what are you settling for? Is there anything in your life you are leaning on for security that is really sinking sand? Is there anything you expect to rescue you which could leave you stranded? He alone is our source and if we place our trust and faith in anything apart from Him- we will be disappointed. But God- our Almighty God- is faithful and we can trust with Him as our foundation we are firmly placed.

Hebrews 6:13-20The Message (MSG)

God Gave His Word
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.

Be patient and pray……

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Morning:
New Scripture to memorize: Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Romans 12:12-16 NLT)

Today’s Focus: Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

The other day I woke up so weary, so heavy-laden, and downtrodden about some current circumstances in my life. I woke up trying to think of how I could fix it, what could be a possible solution, what could I do to cause the others to see the truth? In trying to figure it out on my own, I quickly felt hopeless and defeated. And then the Lord gave me this (see above) scripture. I was to first of all rejoice in Jesus- which took my focus off of me and my understanding. The next step was to be patient.

Is this hard for anyone but me? I want to see things resolved. I want to see a resolution reached and everyone come into agreement somehow and be able to move forward in harmony. I do not LIKE having situations that are not figured out and filed away. YUCK! But the Lord was saying to me- it’s not the time or the season- you have to be patient.

But what is awesome about this verse is we see scripturally that being patient is NOT a passive stance- we are called to be patient AND keep on praying. So I chose His way yet again. I laid down my sense of urgency- I decided to trust in Him and His timing and keep praying for the perfect will of God to be done in this set of circumstances.

You know what? I didn’t get what I wanted out of that process- I wanted resolve- but I got MORE- I found Jesus, and His ways, and another portion of His love for me.

Today will you join me? Will you ask Him to show you where you are trying to hasten His pace? Will you choose Him and His ways? Will you keep praying and choose not to try to FORCE your agenda to happen? It will go well for you if you wait upon the Lord!

Jesus, waiting and waiting patiently is something we cannot do without YOU! Lord, I want to experience every last drop of what You created me for- and I praise You for intercepting my destructive cycles with Your word and Your instruction which brings life. I choose to go Your way and live on Your path. I need more of You Jesus- I need more of You. I love you Lord and today I choose to freely receive all of Your love, protection, blessings, and goodness into my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

The Lion is not afraid

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This is a season of acceleration in learning. Learning comes mostly by experience. He is teaching me so much in this awesome hands on course we call life.

A few months ago, I was chatting with my mentor, and she brought a word to me from the Lord. She began teaching me the difference of intervention(which is what happens once it all falls apart), and interception (which is stopping it before it gets to far.) She taught me how the Holy Spirit, who is alive in me, wants to intercept the plans of my enemy for which the purpose is to destroy and/or  distract me from walking in the fullness of who God created me to be and fulfilling my Kingdom assignment on the Earth.

She went further to help me understand how I need to tune my spiritual ears in and ask Him about everything. By asking Him to help me intentionally listen more carefully, He is revealing truth ahead of time,and by choosing to obey even though I didn’t understand fully, He has kept from a few disasters. The sole purpose of my enemy is to kill me, BUT I have Christ in me….and He came to give me ABUNDANT life. This means as I listen, I am learning( learning-just learning-I don’t always get it right-but in process) to say no to bad things, and good things, and yes only to God things.

What do I mean by God things? I mean when I ask Him, “Is this what you have for me right now?” If He gives a green light, I continue to walk forward, Yellow I wait, Red I stop. There are so many good opportunities to do good, but God has specific opportunities for each of us always, which align us with the right people, put us in the right direction, and fulfill our purpose.

The next thing ( and I believe these are linked), is all about identity. I am learning how important it is to know who God says we are because when an attack on your identity comes, and you know what is true, you will not be defeated, destroyed, or devastated. When I am agreeing with lies, then the enemy can find agreement in me and tackle me all of a sudden.But when I ask Jesus consistently, Who do you say that I am? Who am I in you? And I allow Him to build me up in my core, my foundation is stronger when the storm comes. I will be found standing on my Rock, who CANNOT BE SHAKEN!

And finally the Lord  revealed Himself to me on Sunday as the most majestic, most powerful, most fierce Lion I have ever seen. He laid in front of me and said, “I AM the highest. No one preys on Me. And I have you. You are in Me. You have nothing to be afraid of. I have you covered in protection.”

The very next night, this Monday, I find myself in an emergency room watching my husband crash. His blood pressure and oxygen levels were dangerously low. The nurse had a crash cart placed right outside of his room just in case. For a split second, the attack came. I saw Brendon and I with no Troy, my eyes filled up with tears, and devastation was about to take a seat in my spirit.

BUT……

Because of being aware of interception- I heard the Holy Spirit say- THAT IS NOT TRUE! Think on only what is true-look Troy is alive right in front of you.

The Lord just the day before promised me as I was in Him, He has me covered in protection. Because I was fully confident in the truth of that aspect of my identity, the LIE of death and fear of the unknown could NOT find agreement in my spirit and was KICKED OUT before destruction,devastation, and defeat could get comfortable ruling my emotions.

Instead, I was able to stay calm and peaceful. I was able to pray and be strong for my husband in his moment of need. All of the fruits of the Holy Spirit were abounding in the midst of chaos. IT WAS AMAZING! And the only reason I’m sharing this is because as this is becoming my new normal response to the surprises of life, I am left AMAZED because I know it is only by the grace of God that I have authority to step into being an OVERCOMER. It is only because of the love of God, and the very real presence of the Holy Spirit living in me, that I have been blessed to have dominion over my emotions and allow the Truth to lead me instead of how I feel. This is not shared so you can think I’m some amazing, spiritual person. I simply want you to know this is available to all of us. I want to share the goodness of God, so you can be spared from unnecessary attacks and defeat in your lives. I’m sharing this so we all can step into our Christ given authority and identity as OVERCOMERS so our children and their children would know how to stand up and believe in who God says they are!

This is revolutionizing my life- will you join me? for your sake and for all of those who will come after you?

 

He does not disappoint!

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I have a desire in my heart. I get spoken to by someone who does not know this desire that the Lord wants to bring this forth. Faith is stirred up. Then I see the Lord doing a few things, boom, boom, boom. Confirmation. Hope is swelling. Then, WOW, this MUST be God because x,y, and z are all seeming to fall into place. I give testimony as to how God is moving, and BAM the momentum is halted and consequently I am left wondering why I ever allowed hope to take over the contentment I had with what I had.

Has this ever happened to you? You felt stirred up and excited about something the Lord began speaking to you about, only to be left wondering why He didn’t just leave you alone? I have to ask myself is what I was experiencing previously really contentment? Or was is complacency? Am I being honest with myself if what I thought I was content with was void of hope for a brighter future? Is it really being content or settling because I got tired of being disappointed? And if I was so tired of being disappointed- how did I get there? How did I arrive at the corner of “You have enough to be thankful for,” and “You probably can’t handle anymore than what you have to do already,” at such a young age.

I had to get real with the Lord and ask Him what was the purpose of allowing me to experience this cycle once again. He began to  remind me that my goal for the year is to move forward. I am moving forward by replacing destructive cycles with constructive cycles. This particular cycle is very destructive. This is the cycle that causes me to lose hope. When the enemy can steal our hope, our faith tends to diminish, and Hebrews 11:6 teaches us that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. This is a VERY IMPORTANT LESSON TO LEARN!

I am beginning to see what the major problem is, when God speaks to me, I start trying to figure out how what He said could become possible. Now let me tell you He only spoke to the desire of my heart, but didn’t say as to how He was going to bring that forth. Yet in my desperate attempt to be in some sort of control I begin grasping onto anything I can find to see how this could work. When those theories I have crafted fall short, remember this is NOT what God had said, is when devastation and/or a deep disappointment collide with my once soaring hope and hope plummets out of the sky and lies on the ground slowly dying.

Here is how I can mature. I can mature by staying the course He has spoken to me about. I can mature by not running with vain imaginations and becoming fixed on how I think “it” will work out. I can mature by NOT putting my faith in circumstances, results, or outcomes. My God does not disappoint. He never leaves me and He always works everything together for my good. If that is not what I am experiencing, I am learning that means I am the one with a huge misunderstanding. I am learning that when He speaks to stir up my faith and remind me of the desires of my hearts, the one which maybe my little heart got weary in the waiting but He still cares about and still wants to bless me with, I can listen to what He has to say and not add to it a deadline. I can choose not be in a rush for that desire to manifest in my life. I can trust that if He is the one reminding me of something I tried to forget about because in my weariness I deemed it “impossible” that I do not need to take the reins and then try to make it happen. The One who reminded me, will take care of the details. I was reminded this week that my only focus needs to be, “Seek first the Kingdom of God….and all things will be added unto you.”

I have chosen this week that I can stop compartmentalizing contentment and hope. Somehow, as a coping tool or maybe a self-declared limit, I had determined I needed to choose one of the following, 1) being thankful for what I have or 2) hoping for more. But as a conclusion to the ride I have been on this week, I have determined something new. I am choosing to enjoy what I have on the way to where I am going. Already there is an elevated joy and peace. The limits are off and the manipulation of my future has lessened. There is expectancy for God to be God and joy in the waiting because I already have so much to enjoy. What an awesome God we serve. He loves me enough to undo every knot that is binding me when I was not aware I was being bound. He has yet again set me free. He is so worthy of praise.

Dream BIG- don’t settle, and enjoy the journey. This life we have is a gift to be fully enjoyed, not a deadline or rush just to arrive, and where are we hoping to arrive? I just want to see Jesus, and share Jesus, and love love love….and I already have everything I need to live in that reality-everything He chooses to bless me with beyond that is a surprise and I give thanks!