Friday, September 26, 2014

What Do Your Words Say About You?

"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:38
My words come quickly. My tongue unleashes with a biting sting. This has been my struggle. This is my daily prayer. "Your Words not mine, Lord." Use what I say to uplift, not tear down. My ever constant plea.

When I was younger, I learned the importance of words and the effect they had on people. It was my defense mechanism. A sure fire way to keep people at a distance. I honed my skill through life struggles of raising three boys alone for several years. I was always standing guard. My mouth a willing sword.

Due to years of practice, my mouth seemed to take on a mind of it's own. Where once I'd only lash out at someone I felt was attacking me or my family, soon became anyone or anything that made me upset or angry. This weapon was hurtful. 

As my life continued to spiral out of control, one hurt and disappointment after another, I knew I needed a drastic change. My life and my family's had become unmanageable, chaotic, I knew the answer. I'd been running from the truth for years. I couldn't understand how my life had traveled so far off track. I needed more of Jesus and less of me.

We started going back to church. I prayed for help in all areas of my life, especially my mouth. I started reading scriptures first thing in the morning before getting out of bed; before the hectic day sucked every last minute away.  I turned my radio to a Christian station while driving. The upbeat worship music calmed my aggressive mind and mouth. I began to speak kinder. I had more control over what I said. I felt a need to encourage others with words instead of tearing down. Jesus was filling me up with His love and truth; mending old habits and scars.

My words...my lifelong struggle...they were being used for good. For the purpose and will of God. Words that brought hope, pointing people to the Healer, Jesus Christ. My scripture and prayer time  was actually the most healing gift I'd ever been given. I laid my struggles, hurt and weakness at the foot of the cross each morning. Jesus met me in that place. He carried my pain. He encouraged me, "Write and speak My words; words that edify and lift up, leading the lost hurting and broken to their Healer, Jesus Christ."

Today, lay your troubles at the feet of Jesus. Let Him heal you and use you. He has a great and glorious plan for your life. He makes ALL things new; turning even weaknesses into your greatest strengths. Call out to Him. He is near to the downcast and broken-hearted.

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." James 4:10


"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

Thursday, September 25, 2014

URGENT PRAYER VIGIL-SAVE SAEED

I wanted to share and ask for your prayers for Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been held captive in an Iranian prison for his faith in Jesus Christ. Please join us in prayer (several sites worldwide-see link below) or if you're unable to attend an event, please remember to still pray for him tomorrow. 

BE HEARD! IT'S HAPPENING TOMORROW...BE SURE TO JOIN US!
WHAT: WORLDWIDE PASTOR SAEED ABEDINI PRAYER VIGIL ‪#‎SAVESAEED‬
WHEN: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014
PLACE: NEWPORT BEACH CITY HALL
100 CIVIC CENTER DR.
NEWPORT BEACH
TIME: 12:00-12:35 p.m.
***If you are not in the Orange County, CA area please find a WORLDWIDE Prayer Vigil site near you:
http://beheardproject.com/prayer-vigil/saeed

FROM ACLJ: 
"Tomorrow marks two years of wrongful imprisonment for American Pastor Saeed Abedini. For two years, this U.S. citizen has undergone beatings, faced death threats, and been withheld medical care. For two years, he’s stood steadfast in his Christian faith. But right now is a critical moment. Iran’s President is headed to America to speak to the United Nations. Now's the time to send a clear message. Now's the time to bring Pastor Saeed home. We just once again raised his case at the U.N. and are fighting around the clock for his freedom. As thousands around the world gather – starting tonight in Washington, DC, and throughout the day tomorrow – to pray for this persecuted pastor’s freedom, join with them.
Pray and make your voice heard for Pastor Saeed. Take action with us and demand Iran release him today."
Jay Sekulow
ACLJ Chief Counsel

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sitting at the Waters Edge of Life...



The wind whipped the sand. I turned my back to keep it from my eyes. I could scoot back, away from the oceans edge, but getting closer to God’s amazing beauty is why I came to the beach. The same can often be true in life, it may not always be easy or the ideal conditions to seek God. Some day’s you’re weary; soul parched. The last thing on your mind is getting closer to God; the day’s drag on, one blurring into another. But the Lord patiently calls out…"Draw near to Me. Let Me fill you up."
The sand continues to pelt my back. I sit. I write. I listen. The waves crash up to the edge of the shoreline, all power and strength, only to recede from whence it came. My leg dangling, the ledge recently created by the recent swell of hurricanes far off. I cannot see what’s happening underneath to raise the water up. But I know the water is hitting sand bars deep below, forming incredible, glorious, sometimes monstrous waves.
Most of us try to avoid life’s storms, crumbling as they relentlessly pound despite our best efforts…no visible end in sight. During these times it’s important to not lose sight of the ALWAYS PRESENT STRENGTH OF THE LORD.
“The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.” Psalm 29:8

He can raise up great and majestic beauty in your life if you will call on Him. Cling to Him as a lifeline. Learn to trust fully in Him. As each wave hits the sandbar of your heart, call on Jesus. Ask for wisdom and guidance. He will not let you drowned. Don’t turn your back on Him any longer. It’s time to go deeper. Let Him bring beauty out of the storm, carrying you safely into the light…a rainbow shining brightly where once there was only darkness.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

I turn, I face the wind. The sand no longer hits my face. Nothing has changed other than I chose to face it head on.  The water closes in, spraying my face, and glasses. Refreshing salt mist has replaced hard sand pelts.

Things do not always stay the same. You may be in a difficult season right now. Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Don’t lose faith.
“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


Turn your face to Jesus. He is waiting for you; interceding for you. He loves you. You are never alone. Look to Him!
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;” Luke 22:31-32


Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:7-9

"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?" Matthew 6:26

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do You Feel Trapped?


I walked up to get a closer look and see if I could save it. The brilliant colors drew me in. A half circle around it was all I needed to know it couldn't be saved. I was too late. The allure of false light had trapped him. The candle was encased in a trap. This beauty who had known the crawl, endured the transformation, to finally soar, had been sucked in. Drawn to the light, it's warmth and comfort a facade. It's outward appearance still looked the same, however the life was gone. I sat back down as the music played, filling the air, my eyes drawn back to the encased, lifeless butterfly. Now a beautiful decoration.

I know in my own life, too often I've been drawn to the allure of false light. Chasing after things that I thought would bring me happiness, only to get trapped and encased in the lie.

The light of the candle was false...not the comforting warmth of the sun. The false allure of this world and the things in it are not the one true, life-giving, life-sustaining, and life-transforming light of Jesus Christ. Everything you're chasing after will never fill the one true void in your heart. You need Jesus. He fills up, transforms, renews and makes ALL things new.

Do not continue down the empty road you've been on for far too long. The true Light that has come into the world, Jesus Christ, is easy to find. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Accept Him as your Lord and Savior over every area of your life, even those deep, hidden, dark places. He will bring life back in...no matter how far you've wandered or how deep you've fallen. He is the Life-Giver, Restorer, and Healer. The Savior of the world that makes all things new. Call out to Him today. His Light is life!

"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12


"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10


"I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind." Ecclesiastes 1:14

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:7




Monday, September 8, 2014

BE BOLD!

I put off writing, staying busy in other things. I know the Lord wants me to write and yet, I hold back. I shrink back. I let the enemy fill my mind and days with busyness...emptiness; things not of the Lord. And yet He calls me. He gently encourages me...

"Speak My Words, Write My Words. I Am the Holy One. The Creator of this world and everything in it. Stand in awe. Proclaim my name to the world. Let Me always be on your mind, in your heart and on your tongue. A Beacon of Light to the lost and broken. I will give you increased strength for this journey I'm taking you on. My good and perfect will guiding your every step, your every word, your every action. Spend more quality time with Me. I have much to tell you. You are Mine and I am yours. 

Do not continue to shrink back in mindless activities. You will never get those precious minutes back again. Be edified in the renewing of your mind. Let My Words wash away doubt, worry and fear. Be bold. Stand. Go forth in My Name for I am your God and you are the children of my pasture, the sheep within my care. 

Therefore, be ye Holy in all thy endeavors, that it may go well for you. I have not called you to shrink back but to be bold in and through Jesus Christ. Allow Me to fill you up to overflowing, for out of My unending love, you will be restored. Focus on Me. Meditate on My words, morning, noon and night, that they will always be on your tongue and sweet to the taste. Be mindful of sound doctrine and do not be carried away by deceptive words. Test everything you read and hear against My written truth. For in this, "The truth will set you free." Do not waste time and do not shrink back. You are armed with the breastplate of righteousness in your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Be Bold! Pray! Seek Me often, for in this you will find the glorious treasures that is found in nothing else. I Am yours and you are mine. BE BOLD!"


"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 
1 Peter 1:13-16
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God," 
1 John 4:1-2
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 
John 8:32
"Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness,"
Ephesians 6:14
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 
Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This Homeless Man Breaks Down During Praise Song!

So I have to share a very cool story. During the US Open there was a homeless guy who was acting really crazy because some kids were tormenting him. I hadn't noticed him because he was next to my husband and I was turned talking to lil J. My hubby was getting freaked out by him because he had a large stick with a sharp end and was waving it around. Anthony tapped me and said, "This guy's stressing me out." I replied, "Are you praying for him?" He said, "Ya," So I just started to pray for him quietly at first and then out loud, but only my hubby could hear me, the guy was too far away. Right as I closed my prayer with, "In Jesus' Name, Amen." The guy stopped his ranting, ran his hands down his chest and said, "Thank you Jesus, I feel better." WOAH! We both looked at each other like, "WOW!!!" 

Then the man came and sat closer to Anthony. He was rubbing his hurt leg (the stick was used as a cane.) I asked him if he wanted my hubby to pray for him? Anthony gave me that look like, "What are you doing?" LOL! The homeless man said, "Wait let me see your eyes first." Anthony took off his glasses. The guy got right in his face and just stared at him for like a minute. Then said, "You can pray for me...you've got heart." He reached out and put a death grip on Anthony's shoulder & Anthony put his arm on his. He prayed an awesome prayer for him. Then the man prayed one for us, it was for blessing and protection over our family. My hubby was leery about letting him at first but after praying, felt like the Holy Spirit was moving in the entire situation and knew it would be okay.

After that, he played a song for us on his harmonica, "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire." When he was done I asked if he could play along with music. I busted out my music player and started playing, "Oh Praise Him," by David Crowder. He started to play along and then the music started to touch him. He broke down. He was struggling. He made one last, "Argh." noise and then lifted his hands in praise. I had my hubby start his GoPro and record some of it...having no idea how powerful the video would end up being. It was seriously so amazing to see. The song finished  abruptly because my battery ran out. He sat down below us and said he wanted to play us another song. Anthony said, "That's okay you already played for us." He said, "Not this one." Then he began to play, "O PRAISE HIM!" 

SERIOUSLY...Talk about having a moment! So incredible. 
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Are You Prepared?

Our Hike Last Year "The Narrows" at Zion National Park
I'm preparing, training, working towards an upcoming goal. This is not going to be easy and I need to be ready for the big hike (Mt. Timpanogos.) The steep elevation and lack of oxygen is something that I worry about. I've had altitude sickness before which put me in bed for a week with severe flu-like symptoms. Now that  I'm aware of it, I know what I need to do to prepare. I'm not only training my muscles and doing cardio, (lifting weights, riding my bike, stair stepper and yoga), I'm also hydrating. I'm ready to counteract the lack of oxygen this, sea-level living girl, normally receives. I'm also allowing several days of acclimation adjustment before embarking on this memorial hike to honor my dad.

The key to any journey in life is preparation. Being ready for the expected as well as the unexpected (as much as possible) that which "may" or "could" happen. If my body is in tip top shape when the unexpected arises, I will be strong enough to endure it.

Your daily life requires preparation for the trials and tragedies that may come upon you. This however requires a different type of training. You will need to train your mind and spirit. It requires seeking your Creator. The One who knows the obstacles on your road, "before" they come upon you. Building your faith and trust in The Lord through prayer, daily scripture study and quiet time. Spending time with Jesus allows you to grow stronger inside, as He reveals truth and hope right there in the middle of the storm. A peace found in nothing else. Daily spiritual training sets captives free. The Lord renews strength when you feel unable to go on. He lifts you up. He puts your feet back on solid ground. A beacon of light shining brightly in the darkness.

Don't go through this life unprepared; hopeless, lost or alone. Seek a "relationship" with Jesus Christ and allow Him to be your life guide. Your trainer. Your hope. Your Savior.

"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

"For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8