Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stay In The Moment!

I awoke to a whole houseful of my grown boys...oops I mean men. It was one of those heart swelling, overflowing moments. But then I found myself counting how many days I had before Jullien goes back to New York (4) and Elijah heads back to school in Missouri (5). Then I thought, "Why do I do that? Why do I jump ahead instead of staying in the joy of the moment? I have them here right now and I'm dampening my mood by focusing on next week already."

Today, I'm thankful for recognizing a habit that I all too frequently fall into. I'm thankful that in the noticing I can "take captive every thought", submitting it to The LORD in prayer, asking for HIS help to keep me right where HE has me. A time of over-abundant blessings, happiness, love, and heart-filled joy with my boys...men (I have a hard time thinking of them that way😬). So today I will soak it in. I will let it pour over me. I will stay right here and enjoy the day I've been given. 

Friends, join me in remembering that right here and now is a gift from The LORD. It may be a gift of overflowing, growing, learning, resting or even trials that teach the importance of drawing closer to JESUS...your Helper, Savior and Redeemer.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."~2 Corinthians 10:5

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Do You Need A Heart Transformation?

We were late when I asked my hubby to pull over so I could run in and grab a quick treat at a gas station mini-mart. As I went to pay, swiping my debit card, the machine completely froze. The cashier told me to swipe my card again. While we waited to see if it'd work, we began talking about Christmas. I found out he had to work on that day. He stopped mid-sentence to tell me to try to swipe my card again, and then picked up where we left off. He told me he didn't mind working on the 25th because he is from Egypt and they celebrate Christmas on January 7th. Then he went on to say in very broken English..."Our days of celebrating JESUS may be different but one thing I've noticed, people often celebrate Jesus outwardly but not in their hearts. Do you know what I mean?"
He pointed again to the frozen machine...try again please. I swiped as I replied, "I know exactly what you mean. There needs to be a transformation of the heart, allowing JESUS to change us from the inside out."
"Exactly!" He said with a smile. "There is not enough of that going on in the world today."

My card finally went through. We said our goodbye's and I thanked him for the reminder. 
As I got in the car I told my hubby, "Sorry it took so long but The LORD had a special appointment waiting for me inside with an Egyptian Christian man. My card wouldn't work until our conversation was done!"

Friends, I'm thankful for GOD'S appointments and reminders. I pray my encounter will remind you also that today is a brand new *fresh* start. Day 1 of the New Year. I pray you and I will grow in this coming year allowing a deeper and more meaningful *relationship with JESUS*...a complete and total transformation of the heart. 
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."~2 Corinthians 5:17

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Do You Ever Feel a Christmas Let Down?

After all the rushing to get just the right things, Christmas Day is upon us. I don't know about you but the hours and weeks I put into the preparation sometimes leaves me feeling a little let down. Within a few short minutes presents are ripped open and the day is complete. It's a weird feeling. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the joy the gifts bring, but I guess I just want it to last longer. But then I'm reminded of the gift of this day that is endless! Today is the day that Love came down...GOD became man. HE sent HIS Son, JESUS CHRIST as a Love offering. A gift of such incredible greatness, to lead the way. HE came to show us how to walk through this life. HE was sent to take away our sin and shame; to wipe every tear and lift every burden. JESUS taught with words that astonished; forgive, show love and compassion, care for the lost, hurting and broken around you. HE performed miracles that caused the sick, hopeless and destitute to be healed. HE rose people from death to life. And in the end, HE surrendered all in HIS final and greatest act of Love, Sacrificed upon the shameful cross, beaten and bloodied...to Rise on the third day appearing in newness of life. "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"~1 Corinthians 15:5 ringing throughout Eternity. 
Love has won. 
The Risen King is Victorious. 

Friends, we often forget to accept GOD'S gift. We push aside the opening of HIS Love. We make it about us...are we good enough, deserving, worthwhile/worthy of such a gift? The answer is...no, not one of us is worthy of such an incredible sacrifice. But the beauty of the greatest present GOD could bestow upon us, JESUS CHRIST, is that HE gave HIS Son to each of us just as we are, in our imperfect state, so that in and through CHRIST, we are made whole. HIS Grace is enough. HIS Love transforms. 

Oh friends, I'm so thankful for a Love that is enough for my lacking. I'm thankful for the day of my SAVIOR'S birth. The greatest day in history. 
Will you join in a daily choice, continually unwrapping the gift of JESUS CHRIST? 
I pray we accept HIS Grace, Mercy, Love, and Forgiveness, each and every day. May we know that JESUS has conquered anything we face; Love was born to save us all...a gift of unending joy. "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."~Isaiah 9:6
Merry Christmas+

Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you oh thankful for?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Is It Time To Get Out Of GOD'S Way?

Have you ever had a situation arise where you found yourself upset and wanting things to be different? Well I had that happen on my Birthday. An unexpected issue arose before we were set to leave for my Birthday dream trip which had me very stressed. I almost didn't want to go. In the middle of it all I found myself alone in my car...I broke down. I began to sob and pray. I asked The LORD, (well more like begged and pleaded with HIM) to fix and completely heal the situation. 

I left on my trip and continued to pray about it. I read my Scriptures on the plane and wrote in my journal, trying to come to terms with what to do. Then JESUS filled me with Peace to just leave it alone and enjoy my trip. There was truly nothing I could do except give it to GOD. When we arrived home very late last night, I had a change of heart. This morning, after reading my Scriptures and Praying, I asked The LORD, "Please give me YOUR Words, Wisdom and Guidance on what to say and how to handle what YOU'VE placed in front of me...all of YOU and none of me. In JESUS' Name, Amen. I went downstairs and was flooded with words, tears, stories of my past mistakes and GOD'S Mercy, Love, Forgiveness, Grace, and Healing. So I continued to share how JESUS made the impossible possible. I listened. I prayed. I hugged. I allowed JESUS to show up and move hearts. 

Friends, I always talk about "no coincidences", but I need to remember that it also applies to areas that may not be ideal. There are lessons to learn, things to lay down, situations that The LORD is teaching to trust in HIM, call on HIM; allowing JESUS to move mountains of impossible. I may need to get out of HIS way, remembering that GOD is bigger than anything I face. 

So let me ask you, are you struggling with something? Are difficulties showing up out of no where? Join me in asking The LORD, "What do you want me to learn and how do you want to use me in this situation? Give me YOUR Wisdom to see, say and act the way YOU want me to, in JESUS' Name, Amen. I'm thankful for this bigger picture. I can often shrink GOD's plans down to my minimal understanding of what HE'S trying to do!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."~Isaiah 55:8-9

Jump on the #ThankfulTrain...what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Are You Wandering?

While sitting on the beach a group of monks walked past me. It reminded me of life's wandering and searching. The quest to quench a deep seeded thirst for truth. A life journey to fill an empty space. I remember all the things I'd try to fill my emptiness with before I truly accepted JESUS into my heart and life. Some things would temporarily cover the hole for a short time, but slowly, I knew deep within, I was missing something truly important in my life. Eventually, sadness and longing for more crept into my every day routine; something meaningful, healing, restoring. I wandered in search of the next thing to plug the hole, only to find the same end result. 

One day, after a dark, despair filled night, I decided to go back to church and take my whole family with me. I'd tried everything else and realized that it was time to give JESUS a try. My approach was different in that I chose to make it more than a Sunday sermon affair. I decided if I was really going to seek HIM, I needed to get into GOD'S Word and read it for myself...daily. How can you get to know someone without doing your part to get closer?  As I made a commitment to read the Bible ten minutes a day every morning, something began to happen, the truth of GOD'S words began to heal the hole in my heart. It began to heal the hurt in my soul. It began to heal my thoughts, changing my attitude, reminding me that I was loved and made for a purpose. 

I'm thankful JESUS CHRIST found me in my wandering. I'm thankful HE pulled me close. 

Friends, if you're in the wandering stage of life and still feel emptiness at your very core, I want to challenge you to seek JESUS. Don't take my word for it or anyone else's, go straight to The LORD in prayer. Ask HIM to reveal HIMSELF to you. Open up the Holy Bible and read GOD'S Words, love letters written specifically for you and I. A guide to true healing in every single area. GOD created an open place in each of our hearts that only HE can fill. 
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."~John 14:6

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Does GOD Have A Plan Even In Difficult Circumstances?

It was an amazing day at church where a new friend, Ben, whom Anthony and I met while he was in the hospital joined us, along with his neighbor Tina. It was their first time ever going to church and it just so happened to be Baptism week! They were able to witness tons of people giving their lives to CHRIST, accepting the freedom our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST brings. It was an incredible day of joy and celebration! 

After church we gathered together to visit, took some pictures and introduced them to some of my amazing friends/church family, who unbeknownst to them have been praying for them. I'm so thankful for the Power of Prayer and the Blessing of The LORD'S answers. I'm thankful for the opportunity JESUS places in front of us no matter where we are or what is going on, as the reminder that I met these amazing people during a difficult time, (Anthony's long hospital stay/ordeal). You see friends, GOD has a plan even during trials, a bigger picture. Join me in praying that we see people, situations and opportunity to pray for others wherever The LORD has placed us in the moment. You and I were made for more than we so often settle for. I pray we see people through the Eyes of CHRIST, allowing HIM to help us reach out to people in need. In JESUS' Name, Amen. 

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."~John 13:7

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Keep Praying...GOD is Moving!

You know that thing you've been praying about? Keep praying...GOD is moving! It's true. It happened to me just the other night. Now before you go and think that I was praying some kind of super, bolder than most, faith as big as a mountain kind of prayer...I wasn't. My prayers were mustard seed size prayers. And here's how it went down:
You remember my story the other day about my new friend, Ben, whom Anthony and I met while he was in the hospital? He came to church last Sunday and brought his friend/neighbor, Tina, with him. Well I invited Tina to our Wednesday night Women's Bible study, because c'mon...we are stocked full of some of the most awesome, kind, loving and caring women who love JESUS. 
Well I never heard anything else from Ben or Tina during the week. So on the way to Bible Study I told my friend, Tricia, to join me in continuing to pray for them. I said, in my mustard seed size faith request, "Well, I haven't heard from my new friends, maybe GOD just wanted us to plant a seed in their hearts and HE will have someone else water it. Let's keep praying that JESUS moves in their lives and hearts wherever that may be."

So here's where it gets good! We headed into church and right in the middle of singing, I heard someone call my name. As I turned around one of the leaders had Tina with her and said she'd looking for me! Seriously GOD? You answered my small little prayers in such a big and mighty way! Oh and there just so happened to be only 4 of us sitting in a row with 5 chairs...one spot perfectly waiting, open and available for Tina to join us. 

I'm so thankful for answered prayers! I'm thankful that even small, mustard seed size prayers are answered mightily! Friends, keep persevering in prayer...you never know when that "empty chair" will be filled. 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”~Matthew 17:20

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?