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:)
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Do You Fall Prey To Crashing Emotions?

It was hard to swallow. Something wasn't right. I felt achy, tired and couldn't breathe. I knew my body was trying to fight off an impending attack. I began to load up on extra vitamins...trying to offer a counterattack to boost the unseen battle raging within. 

But what of the unseen daily battles of emotional attacks? Worry. Fear. Stress. Anxiety. Doubt. Depression. Pain. 

Why am I slow in defending against these often dibilitating emotions?

I know immediately when I get that sinking feeling...when something's just not right. Why do I not run as quickly to what I know will offer an immediate counterattack? I know what's lacking. 

Life has a way of throwing unexpected trials at me. Too often I let the emotions fester. They begin to overtake and the issue/problem becomes larger than I can bear. I fall prey to my crashing emotions.

The cure is swifter than any vitamins I may take for a physical illness. The affect of The LORD'S truth over my emotions is miraculous; all encompassing, unending in it's healing power.

So why do I wait to call to Him?

To Pray?

To read the Bible?

Why do I choose to sit alone and wallow in it?

Lord, today please help me to look to YOU First; spending time alone in YOUR Presence as YOU reveal truth to my soul...my heart...my emotions. Draw me close to YOU as YOU guide my way. Let my heart be filled with the knowledge of YOUR Truth & Light. Do not let me sit in the lies of crashing emotions. "YOUR rod and YOUR staff they comfort me." I say these things, in the name of my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, Amen. 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
Psalm 23:4

"For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” 
Jeremiah 31:25

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?"
Jeremiah 32:27

"Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth."
Jeremiah 33:6

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WHEN CHANGE HURTS...

Ouch! I looked down and noticed my Hawaiian wooden bracelet with the beaded flowers was too tight. I pushed it further up and began rubbing the sore area. That's when I noticed the beautiful floral design had made a perfect imprint on my wrist. It looked very cool.

For hours it had been digging in, forming, shaping and molding it's image. I was unaware at first because it took time to wear it's way in. As it worked into the deeper layers, leaving it's mark, the pain increased, eventually drawing my attention to the area.

Often when the Lord is trying to work on areas in your life, it may feel the same way. When you first asked Jesus to come into your heart, changing, molding and shaping your life into His good and perfect image; you felt a joy and peace that may have brought you to tears. As time passed, the Lord slowly began to work from the inside; into the deep recesses of your hidden areas. The areas that needed to be healed, restored and renewed. Painful things may begin to arise. Jesus lovingly coaxes you to keep looking toward Him. Pray...read the Scriptures, sing/listen to songs of Praise; FILL UP...more of Him and less of you, right smack in the middle of it.

He is trying to bring you out of the bondage sin has placed on you, calling attention to certain areas. Right in the center of that pain, He is reshaping, reforming your life; removing all things that He has already suffered and died for. Jesus is reminding you to call on Him, allowing Him to take it out of you. The sting may feel unbearable at times. It's in that very moment that He reminds you to look toward His healing love...an all consuming refiners fire. The "old" you being made brand new. The person God created you to be.

In the midst of your trials, call on Jesus. Look to Him as though you search a dry, parched land for water. He is the living water. 
Jesus said: "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 
"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14

Do not shrink back in the difficulties. Don't push away from the Lord...draw near to Him. Allow Jesus to change you. Cry out, "Lord, Jesus, come into my heart and make me more like You!" Right in the middle of your mess...He will bring healing, wisdom and peace as you yield to the Masters hand. He is doing a great and mighty work in you. Let Jesus imprint HIS IMAGE on your heart and soul. Call on HIM. 
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Galatians 6:9

He is the Savior of the world and loves you with an everlasting eternal love. Let Go. God has great plans for you. 
"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Will vs. God's Will


The call came in. I've been putting off the very thing the Lord is telling me to do. My procrastination isn't for a lack of want on my part. Change is just plain scary. Change and commitment to forever leaves me feeling nervous. I don't know why. I know it's right. I knew it the minute we began to walk down this journey. God's will. God's purpose. God's timing. But I drag my feet in weariness. Sometimes I want things my way. My will. My timing. So I stop. I wait until I feel emotionally ready to move.

But what if in the waiting, I'm not being faithful?

What if, instead, I choose to say, "Okay Lord, it doesn't feel like I can do this right now, but I will trust YOU!" Isn't that what faith is...a trust when it looks to be too much? Faith in God...who's plans, will and way are opened in the impossible. If I wait for my timing; for things to be just perfect; for my emotions to be perfectly ready...is that faith?

Am I trying to control the very thing the Lord is asking me to give to Him? Can I lay it down completely and let Him take over?

My will vs. God's Will.

The ever present battle.

My prayer today is that I let go. I hand it over to Jesus and walk out the steps of faith, no matter how shaky, feeble or weak I may feel. I know my safety is found in Him and nothing else.

Lord, help me to trust You more and give You complete control over every area, every scary situation, every unsure step. For it is in the letting go that You are found. An ever present pillar. A light in the darkness. A hope to the hopeless. Thank you Lord. I sit in the loving embrace of Your arms as You carry me to my final destination, wherever that may be and whatever that may look like. Your perfect will be done in and through me.

"So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God." Mark 11:22

"My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways." Proverbs 23:26

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment." Mark 12:30

"The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace." Psalm 29:11

"He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He." Deuteronomy 32:4