Sunday, March 22, 2015

WHEN ALL LOOKS IMPOSSIBLE

“PRAY-I Am making a way in the desert, My Way, YAHWEH. Pray through impossible in worldly eyes but possible in and through Me. Pray. Bold. Blind Faith. Moving. Right here. Right now. MY WAY opening before you. 

You are loved. Be bold. Speak My words. Share My words. Captives are being set free. Blind eyes will be opened. MY Truth, Spirit, Glory, revealed. Walk in the ways I’m leading you. A place where impossible gives way to possible. I Am your Savior, Jesus Christ. I have given all for you because I love you. Share Me with the lost…the people roaming the lands without a Shepherd.” 

“This battle is not yours but Mine,” says the Lord. “Is anything too hard for Me? My Hand is outstretched. Grab Hold. Do not let go. I Am Mighty to Save. You are mine and I Am yours. Go Forth. Proclaim My Name. I will provide.”
"Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert."~ Isaiah 43:19 

"You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious."~Ezekiel 2:7

"But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd."~Matthew 9:36  

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."~Matthew 16:15-17

And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s."~2 Chronicles 20:15

"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”~Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UNDESERVED

I sat in the waiting room trying to stay busy and pray for my son, Josh who was in surgery for an extensive ankle break from a recent motorcycle accident.

There were two girls sitting to my left, also waiting for a loved one. A doctor, still in his operating scrubs came directly up to the two women. He began to talk to them about the surgery, his voice lowering to a whisper in the crowded waiting room. He stayed and talked to them for quite a while. Once he left, the younger girl leaned into the older one's arms and began to cry. I started praying for them, assuming they'd received bad news. 

After a few minutes she lifted her head and said very loudly, "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus!" Her tears had been tears of joy. The surgery was a success and she knew exactly WHO to thank. 

How many prayers has the Lord answered for you? How many times have you been blessed throughout your life? Are there too many to count...too many to recall? Do you remember to cry out and thank Jesus each and every time? Does your everyday life reflect your gratitude?

These are all questions I need to ask myself. I don't ever want to get into a place of complacency; a place where I don't thank my Lord for His many blessings. But if I'm honest, sometimes I do. I expect and receive. In my haste and rush I may forget to say, "Thank you Lord." I mean really..how many times throughout the day do I feel His love, His comfort, His peace and His guidance? They are all blessings...not to mention the specific requests answered.

I need to remember to always stay in a constant state of gratitude. The Lord has been good to me. Undeserved Blessings. Undeserved Love. Undeserved Forgiveness. Thank you Jesus for Your unending, over-flowing showers of grace and mercy. May I take my thankful heart and point people to You. Offering them the same undeserved, forgiving, redeeming, restoring love of You, Jesus. May I daily cry out, "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus!"
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”~Matthew 19:26

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.~2 Corinthians 12:9

Jesus said to him, It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”~Matthew 26:64

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ARE FOGGY DAYS SURROUNDING YOU?

The fog was thick. I walked farther hoping it would lift and provide the view I'd come for. Unfortunately, it grew thicker with each step. I stopped and decided to make the best of the moment. I knew that although the conditions weren't ideal, there was still beauty in it. I may have to look a little harder, focus on something other than easy, because simple was hidden.

I lifted my phone to  snap a picture of the fog bank over the ocean, when a seagull flew right towards me. Startled, I jumped back, regaining composure just in time to get the bird in flight, close enough not to be blurred by the fog.
I scanned the pier. A lone boy fishing, skateboard layed aside. A row of fishing poles perfectly lied up. Telescopes empty...unusable in the present conditions. 

Click. Click. Click.  

All beautiful. All right in front of me...close enough to see when I actually decided to focus on it; when I no longer tried to scan the distant blurred ocean landscape.

Life can often be like this foggy day. You may always be focussing too intently on the blurred future, missing the very things Jesus is placing right in front of you at the moment.

Are you forgetting to slow down, to stop, to look around? Where you're at right now may not be easy. What you're going through can seem dreary and dim. But it's right where the Lord has you. This very second you can ask Him to show you what He wants you to see. 

Things may not be ideal, but the Lord's beauty can still be found in the foggy days of life. Ask Him to reveal truth to you. Ask for His joy, peace, comfort and direction. He will show you the way. The beautiful things right here...right now...slow down. Focus on the Lord for a minute. He's close enough not to be blurred by life's fog. Stay in the moment as He gently reminds you...

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

"This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."~Psalm 118:24

Monday, January 26, 2015

911-Should I Make The Call?

The song ended. It was quiet as the Pastor prompted us to keep our eyes closed; to stay in the moment; to pray for the things on our hearts.

As I started to think of all that needed to be lifted up to the Lord, sirens sounded. First one and then others joined in, very loud, demanding my attention. There was an emergency. Something had happened. Someone needed immediate help.

911 - a call to action. A call to hope in desperation. We all know it and are grateful it's there, sure of the fact that trained professionals are always ready and waiting to spring into action at your call.

The sound faded off into the distance and I was able to once again focus. Pray. Calling on the Lord in time of need.

Then it hit me, each of our prayers is exactly like that 911 call. We are calling out to the Creator of the Universe...the Heavens...the Earth; asking Him to help you, to help others who may be on your heart. Think about that for a minute. The Lord is waiting. Sitting patiently, ready to answer you...His child's call.

Just like the sirens sounding, signaling help is on the way...your prayers let the Lord know that you're ready for Him to come to your rescue. You're ready to say, "YOU LORD, are the only one equipped to handle this mess, hurt, problem, sin, addiction, crisis, pain, loss...I need you Lord."

At that very moment...that second, He begins to move, to help, to save, to restore. Just like the emergency responders are trained to approach/treat a crisis situation; God knows exactly what you need. You need to let the Expert decide what's best for you. He may feel your prayer needs immediate attention and help/answers/healing arrives immediately, or He may think it's best to wait. He will fill you with His peace in the waiting, His comfort and His strength for a bigger plan He has down the road, (He knows what's best for you.) He may feel this prayer requires no treatment at all and wants you to learn to have faith and trust in Him, even if you're not getting your way. (He knows what's best for you.) He is the Expert. He sees the big picture and knows exactly what you need...when you need it.

What an incredible gift. To know that your prayers are heard, answered...from the Holy of Holies. Your every cry is to a faithful Lord, who wants nothing but the best for you.

So He waits. He waits on you. He waits on me. He wants us to learn to talk to Him in or out of crisis. His love surrounds. His love abounds. His love moves deep into your heart and soul when you're willing to talk to Him. So today, take a minute and pray. Put in a 911 call to the Lord. Put in a call of thanks. Put in a call of love. Whatever you're going through or whatever is happening...PRAY!

“When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple." Jonah 2:7


"I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble. 
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
They have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul. 
I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;
The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.”~Psalm 142:1-7

JESUS TEACHING ON PRAYER
So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”~Luke 11:2-4

Friday, January 23, 2015

PART II-BAD BEHAVIOR CONCLUSION



We entered in, moving quickly to arrive first. As we secured our spots...Mandy came in. I placed my mat farther back leaving room for her, but my son Elijah must not have remembered and put his mat down right where I'd promised Mandy (during my last week's "Bad Behavior-Part I Episode.") I asked him to move to the outside spot so I could keep my word. He gladly pulled his mat over. She was so happy to see that we were looking out for her. She joined in on our conversations and after class happily said, "See you all next week!"

We have a new friend!

It was a much different scenario than last week. I felt better. I kept my word and took the spot behind her. Less of me and more Christ-like love showing up in my everyday life.

I LOVE the best and I'm bold enough to push to the front to secure what "I want." But at what cost? I never used to ponder these things. How do my actions make others feel? When I decide to bulldoze into a position at any cost...it affects others. They see "me" in all my selfishness. If I'm truly letting the Lord change me, renew, restore and make "all" things new in my life, then my everyday actions should reflect this. When I feel that pang of guilt, the truth being revealed about my actions, am I willing to do something about it? Do I ask the Lord to help me make better choices...better decisions? I want more of Jesus in my life and less of myself. I've proven over and over again that I make poor choices when left to my own devices. I need my Savior to step into each and every area of my life. No holding back. No keeping certain areas for me to try to handle alone.

Being a Christian doesn't make me perfect. Being a Christian is my profession that I am broken and need a Savior, Jesus Christ, in my life. He is changing my heart and mind daily. He began with the big obvious areas and as He cleaned house, He moved toward the nooks and cranny's that aren't as obvious; always with love; always with gentleness. He wants more for me and my life...a true reflection of His heart in my everyday. 

Today if the Lord is revealing truth to areas of your life that need change...don't close the door. Fling it open. Say, "Here's my mess LORD, come inside and help me. I can't do it without YOU anymore." Let Jesus enter in and make ALL things new today. It's a simple prayer of letting go and asking your Savior Jesus Christ to enter in.

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”~Revelations 21:5

"Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert."~Isaiah 43:19


"So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."~Matthew 21:21-22

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Smacked In The Face-My Bad Behavior


I raced up the stairs. I was late. Nothing new for me. The colors were everywhere, purple, pink, orange, green; all tightly bound...ready to be released in a fury. A sigh escaped as I moved in tightly. More colors arrived, pushing into the crowded half circle; glares, stares and chatter filled the air. The door opened signaling the beginning of the battle. A stampede pushing in. I joined them. My aggressive personality always serving me well to get what I want, when I want it. I raced to the corner, unwinding the bind, laying down one mat and then another beside it. A loud "UHHH!" filled the air as I ignored it and rolled out.

Last week the same person who said, "UHHH!" had busted in on my spot and literally dropped her mat directly on top of mine. I was the one angry and making unpleasant noises. I was determined to "win" this week. My competitive nature and temperament kicking in. "Oh no you didn't!"


But as I laid on my mat, preparing for the always overcrowded class to begin, something began to tug at my heart, to whisper, "I have called you to be a servant, to show Christ-like love in any and ALL circumstances. There it was, the correcting of my bad behavior. Throughout the class I tried to justify it in my mind but couldn't shake the truth. As the class was winding down a CRAZY thought entered my mind, "Apologize to her." What? She did it to me last week! I won this week.

Again, "Apologize, you aren't showing Christ-like love." UGH...conviction.

Let's get one thing straight, I struggle not only with always wanting to win, but also apologizing. I'm a justifier (yes, more areas for Jesus to work on and repair.)

It was unshakeable and I knew what I had to do. The claps signaled the class was over. Time to show up and show how Jesus is working in my heart , mind and life. I got up and walked over to the lady who had set up directly behind me during the class. I leaned in...boom...boom...boom, my heart was pounding in my ears. Can she hear it too?


"I need to apologize to you for busting in on the spot you wanted. It wasn't very Christ-like of me. She smiled cordially and said, "That's okay." "No, really, I am sorry. I knew you wanted that spot and I pushed my way in. It was not Christ-like. Next week I'll make sure I'm behind you." She grinned, her aging eyes crinkling at the corners (yes, she was an older woman). Could it get any worse for me and my bad behavior? She graciously said, "This class is really crowded and I call myself a wall flower...I do like to be up against the side wall." Smiling I replied, "Well next week it's yours!" She giggled and thanked me. She stood up, rolled up her mat and stood there lingering a bit. I think she was a little surprised and caught off guard. I gathered my things and took the opportunity to introduce myself. She held out her hand and said, "I'm Mandy." "Nice to meet you Mandy...next week I won't be so aggressive," I replied. She laughed out loud as we said our goodbyes.


My son Elijah was there witnessing my behavior and my apology. I want to be a true example of who Jesus is; what He does when He enters the heart. I'm grateful for the reminders. The correction, for it's in those moments that the Teacher is teaching and the student is learning. 


Lord, today please help me to be a true reflection of You. Help me to overcome my weaknesses. I need You to continually remind me of where I'm falling short; renewing my brokenness with Your healing touch. I say these things in your Mighty and Holy Name, Jesus, Amen.

"You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."~John 13:13-17

I will bring the one–third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.”~Zechariah 13:9

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Can You Be Thankful Right Smack In The Thick of It?

 

Today I'm thankful for some quiet time to just sit in my car before work and watch birds gathering food from the leftover fruit hanging on changing trees. A reminder...they are still provided for in bare seasons.

My life always has changing seasons...I need to remember that there's always fruit in change. It may not seem like it during the process, but it comes. In the midst of it I'm reminded of one of my favorite Scriptures:
 

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your HEAVENLY FATHER FEEDS THEM. ARE YOU NOT OF MORE VALUE THAN THEY? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"~Matthew 6:26-27.

I keep my mind, thoughts and focus on Jesus instead of issues, struggles or problems. He loves me and He is for me. What an awesome reminder today! 

Jump on today's THANKFUL TRAIN...tell me what you have to be thankful for? It doesn't have to be big, just something to remind yourself that you ARE blessed no matter what's going on at the moment:)