Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ARE YOU EVER SATISFIED?

Are you ever satisfied? I ask this question first to myself and then to you. When you're blessed with something you've been hoping and praying for…is it enough? Do you find yourself chasing and hoping for the next thing on your wish list? Are you a victim of consumerism? 

Human nature is stated very clearly in the Bible found in Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon (son of King David and considered one of the wisest men to ever live besides Jesus.) He chased after worldly things, attaining it all, only to say it was, "grasping for the wind." He mentions it over and over again...no less than nine times. Accumulation. More stuff. Never enough. We rent storages to hold things that we will probably never use again and yet we keep it. MINE. I speak to me first!


"GRASPING FOR THE WIND."


The true chasing you should be doing each day is chasing after the Lord's heart. JESUS. HIS will. Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you towards the things that you truly need. Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—" John 14:16 More time praying. More time reading the Scriptures. More time sharing the unconditional love of Christ. Where's your heart? I ask myself first and then you. The Lord has blessed each one of us with so much materialistically and continues to do so. But the true question is…do you care where others will be spending eternity? 


As you seek Jesus and He fills you up…this should start to become a priority, if you truly let Him transform you into HIS image; removing the things that so easily trap and entangle you. Look around, wherever you are…is there someone you can pray for? You have so many opportunities placed in front of you each day. At work, praying quietly at your desk for the people in your office to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, in the store, in the gym, in the movie theatre…so many opportunities to pray for people. The Bible plainly states that the ONLY WAY to the Father is through His Son, Jesus Christ. All paths do not lead to Heaven. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6


Where's your heart? I ask myself and then you. Are you too busy trying to devise a plan to get more things? It's all, "grasping for the wind." It will not bring you true happiness or fill the empty void in your soul. 


Don't get me wrong…we all need provisions now and for the future, but what I'm talking about is the never ending excess that consumes our thoughts and time…more…more…more. Maybe it's time to pray for the things the Lord wants for your life. As a "Christ"ian you should care more about the Lord's will than your own…"grasping for the wind." There are too many people who need a Savior, Jesus Christ; too many people who are struggling with pain, addiction, loneliness, and heartache. Do you care? Step up and seek more of the Lord's will and less of yours. In this you will find true happiness for all that you've been searching for. I speak to me first, then you. Trust Him with ALL of you. Allow Him to use you mightily each day and watch the burdens begin to fall away. Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life". What was Christ doing here on earth? He came to save. He was here to bring the lost, hurting , misled and broken people back to the loving embrace of their Heavenly Father. Stop "grasping for the wind," and cling to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of your faith.


"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meet the Unforgettable Lorraine

"It's broke! What am I going to do now! He threw me out onto the street!' Her voice echoed loudly throughout the store. We stopped in our tracks to see what was happening. Every person in the surrounding aisles were also staring. I looked at my husband and said, "Go help her." "Look, the manager already is," he replied in relief.

The store manager had finally made his way toward her. "Can you fix it? That stupid man broke it!" She continued to yell. Her voice defied her appearance. She was frail, gray haired and leaning on her walker...reaching toward a strap that was flapping on the ground. The manager calmly bent down to put it into place only to flinch as she screamed in his ear, "That's not right…it doesn't go like that! What's the matter with you...are you stupid?" We continued to watch as he tried to help her, only to be met with anger and ridicule. 

Everyone went back to their shopping, satisfying their curiosity with the obvious conclusion that she was crazy. But I was transfixed, my heart was being pulled to do something to help her. We got in line to pay. The store manager quickly got on the phone as she yelled to him, "Make sure you get one that takes credit cards so they don't throw me out onto the street again!" She sat down, sharing a bench with an oversized stuffed bear, leaning her head on it in exhaustion as she waited.

I asked my husband to go give her cash for the cab. He said, "I don't have any." I was trying to get him to meet her need when the Lord had clearly put her on my heart and was prompting me to act. The people in line were laughing at her and said to the manager,"We'll go throw her out of the store for you."

I cautiously made my way to where she sat and quietly asked, "Are you okay?" "NO I'M NOT OKAY!" she screamed. Then continued on loudly…"I'm 88 years old, and was recently released from the hospital. I'm being kept alive by fusions." She then began to scream at the top of her lungs again, "AND THAT IDIOT CAB DRIVER THREW ME OUT BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE CASH! HE BROKE MY WALKER TOO! Her eyes piercing with anger as she stared at me. Gulp. I wanted to pray with her but was afraid. I took a deep breathe and boldly said, "Can I pray for you?" She snapped, "Go ahead, but do it at home. God's forgotten about me, just like my kids and everyone else. My past three husbands all died. I'm alone!"

Just then my husband said, "Can we give you a ride?" Whew…I'm sure he took pity on not only her but me too. She seemed surprised and said yes. She began to angrily yell about the cab driver again. We loaded her into the car while she shouted at my husband the whole time. She gave us directions…screaming at him as we drove, "That's not the right way! There's too much traffic that way! What are you stupid or something?" She continued to repeat the cab story. It was obvious she had Dementia or Alzheimer's.  

He patiently drove and as we approached her home, he prayed for her in the car...out loud...despite her request to pray to ourselves. After we prayed, she changed.  Immediately. She softened. She apologized saying, "I'm sorry, I'm not normally like this. I'm tired and need my medicine." I helped her as she struggled to get out of the car. She weerily said, "God has forgotten about me." I stopped, looking directly at her I said, "He hasn't forgotten you Lorraine. He prompted us to step in and help you tonight."

My husband said, "Can we come visit you Lorraine?" Her eyes lit up, "Oh, yes please!" She gave us her number as we walked her to the entrance of the senior citizen apartment complex. We hugged her. As we walked away, she smiled and waved shouting, "Don't forget about me!" 

Hope.

Jesus' love breaking through. An offer to the hopeless, heartbroken, lonely and sick. A simple offer and yet it was huge to her.

Jesus wants to use you every day. He puts opportunities directly in your path and asks you to share the gift that He so freely gave to you. Hope. FaithLove. Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy. Let your actions shine through the darkness. Spend time in His Word and in Prayer. Allow His love to shine through you. BE AVAILABLE. Share love with those who are hard to love. Jesus in you, the hope of glory. 

 "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

“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." Luke 6:32



Monday, March 17, 2014

BROKENNESS

Three men...two self inflicted with the pain of addiction. The third, a small, handicapped man...warmly greeting me.

Encounters everyday. What am I doing with these encounters? Pray. Always pray. There is not one single person on this earth who does not need prayer; powerful, heart felt prayers, not quick mutterings, or empty promises of prayer. Brokenness all around us each day. Drowning people. Waves of life billowing up. Swallowing. Reject shallowness. Let go of appearances. Go deeper. Walk the walk of Christ. Steps that lead to Him. Always Him. Our Healer. Our Life-Guard.  Our Savior. There is power in the name of Jesus. The whole world stirs at the mention of His name. Let the Love of Jesus flood the brokenness. Pray.

"For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us," 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 

"Pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

 "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Phillipians 4:13

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

STOP WASTING YOUR TIME...

God wants you to know"Stay in this place of worship with Me. Do all that I'm asking you to do and it will go well for you. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 I am leading you down a path of My making. I'm making a way in the desert, to reach the lost, hurting and broken. My way is easy and My load is light. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 Do not shrink back in fear. Do not worry about what others may think of you. When you worry about others views, you hinder My Holy Spirit from working in your life. Hold My hand as I guide you to the people that I want to touch; people who are lost in the darkness through the lies and deception of the enemy. They need hope. They need love. They need understanding. They need Me, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." 1 Corinthians 1:27

Do not continue to waste your time on trivial things. Stay focussed on Me and allow My will to permeate and radiate in and through you. Your purpose is to do My Will and then go home. Do not allow other things to steal you away from your one true calling. My servant. My ambassador. My mouthpiece to spread the unconditional, saving love of Jesus Christ to a lost and broken people. People who have lost hope. People who have lost their way. People who are grasping at so many worthless things. Lead them to Me. Point them in My healing and restoring direction. They need a Savior. They need hope of a new beginning. A new life that no longer hinders and binds them in chains. "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 am God. I have created you for more. More than this limited life shows you. More than you ever dreamed possible. My peace and love will overcome any and all obstacles. Look to Me. See Me. I'm right here. I never leave you. "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 Do not distance yourself from Me. I love you. I am for you. I am not against you. Stop running. Stop looking for other things to fulfill you. It is Me and Me alone that you are searching for. 

Stand and behold my work. Stand and see that I am making a new way…a new life…a life overflowing with streams of milk and honey. Walk this way. Do not turn to the right or left. "Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil." Proverbs 4:27 In all things pray to Me for wisdom and guidance. I will lead you safely home. Finish My work. Do not be afraid. I am God and I will fill you. It is not by your power, will or might, but Mine. Am I not capable of making all things possible? 

Do not fear. The enemy roars around like a lion waiting to devour. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8 I will not let him harm you. You are mine. Walk in the knowledge of this truth. Many things will vie for your attention. Keep your eyes completely focussed on Me. My words are water to your soul. They will flow into the parched, cracked areas, renewing and refreshing your spirit. They will lift you up and carry you through all that I'm asking you to do. Read My Word. Fill up and be nourished each day. Walk forward as a mighty warrior of God. My army encompasses you. You need to know that you are never alone. You are safe in My arms. Allow this knowledge to move you. Move out into all that is waiting for you. There are people who need My Love. People who have gone astray. No longer worry about your appearance, or people's perception. This is not of Me. You need to be bold. Walk in boldness. Your Savior has redeemed you. You are a new creation in Christ. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17  You are being asked to bring others to this knowledge…JESUS; a relationship with a Faithful Savior and loving Father. Go forth and do MY WILL."  
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23

Monday, March 3, 2014

THE $1.00 SALE MOUTH!



"I'm with them!" he quickly shouted. "He's not with us!" I shot back as the lady let us in and stopped the man and his girlfriend behind us.

Before I'd left in the morning I quickly prayed for patience, love and to be an example of Christ in a very hectic environment...a clothing store $1.00 sale. In my hurried state...I read scriptures, my mind wandering as I glanced at the clock, not wanting to be too late. I was reading but not truly getting filled up... preoccupation flooded my focus. Heading out I was left vulnerable...not truly ready for the day ahead and very quickly there I was for all to see...my mouth on display. A lifetime battle that rears its ugly head just when I begin to feel I've almost conquered this hurdle.

I'd arrived 15 minutes later than I said I would. I happily walked up to my friends who were already in line, cutting in with a cheerful smile, "I made it." The man and girl behind them didn't say a word as several other friends arrived to pile in front of them also. The line was long and I was grateful my friends were there on time. The doors opened and people piled in, running to the tables. As our group got to the front they let two of the girls in and then stopped the rest of us. The lady realized we were all together and said, "Oh, you're with them?"

*Flashback to the man saying he's also with us. After my reply, one of the girls with us looked at me and said, "That was mean."

Ugh. What happened? Where was my Christ like nature? I mean really, let's be honest, I cut in front of them and if I hadn't they'd already be in.

I was bothered at me! What kind of example was I setting? I was more worried our group would be too big with them included and we wouldn't be let in. Is that how I'm supposed to act...me first? I deserve to get in before you? Is that how Christ wants me to be?

I fall short. My old nature creeps in and slaps me in the head. I have work to do. I need more of Jesus and less of me. The only way this is possible is by spending quality time with Him daily. Food for my soul; pulling out the weeds, (my old nature) that threatens to overtake, overgrow...develop roots. My nature is selfish, looking to get, have and keep the best for me; me first - others last.

It's in these moments, times of less than I want to be that I'm thankful Jesus is always there. He's showing me, a bright neon light flashing in the darkness, the areas I need to pray about. He brings attention to my shortcomings, not to defeat me, but to help me rise above it; to pray more in that area of personal weakness. Read the Word more on the subject. Truth. More Light to drown out the darkness.

What areas do you struggle with? Thank the Lord for highlighting them for you. It's an opportunity to allow Him to pull up roots of lies, deception, wickedness, shame, anger and regret. Replacing it with truth, wisdom, goodness, honor, strength, faith, peace and love.

Today, thank the Lord for loving you enough to show you areas in your life that need HIS help. Let His light shine in and through you as He fills you to overflowing with Jesus' incredible love.

"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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW…

 
God wants you to know…

"My Presence is more than enough. Allow Me to seep into your whole being. I will fill you up. I will carry you through. I will anoint you to do My will, as you listen to Me, as you seek Me, as you enjoy My Love and Presence in your life. I Am more than enough. Return to Me and I will return to you (read Zechariah 1:3). I Am your Father and you are my child. Let go. Let Me. I Am standing at the crossroads saying, "This is the way…walk in it." (read Jeremiah 6:16). My grace is made perfect in weakness. Surrender yourself completely to Me and watch Me work in your life. I love you with an everlasting love. You are Mine and I Am yours, 

Bask in the glory of My Presence. Hear Me roar. (read Hosea 11:10) Hear Me thunder. (read Job 40:9) Be mindful of Me. Return to Me with childlike faith. I Am more than enough. Allow Me to be your everything...your all...your strength and your guide. I love you! I never leave you. I am right beside you always.

Let My Light fill any darkness. As the sun gives light to the earth, so do I give Light to your soul. Open the door and let me in. I have come to redeem you, to restore you, to make you mine and mine alone. The waves may crash around you but you are safe in My Arms. "…if it were not so, I would have told you." (read John 14:2) 

I Am ALWAYS with you. Do not shrink back. Walk out in complete faith. You are My child and can let go...collapsing into the safety of My Arms. I Am your's and you are Mine." 

"But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine." Isaiah 43:1

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." Jeremiah 31:3

"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." Corinthians 12:9

"Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19 

"So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Is Life's Bokeh Stealing Your Attention?


Lord, open my eyes to see You more clearly. To see the blessings. To see the love. To see You in the midst of trials, weariness, worry, anxiety...always to see You first. Let all other things fade, become less clear, like the bokeh on my new camera lens. Bokeh: a word mentioned often in photography. Something to strive to achieve in pictures. Bokeh, "the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the image; the out of focus areas in an image around the subject."

When I look to You Lord, You are teaching me to achieve the aesthetic quality of life. To blur out all struggles and strife around me and focus on You. First. Always first. Then and only then can I see the truth of Your life giving, life guiding, life saving love. I can be sure that You are taking care of the blurry areas of my life by focusing on Your clear image of love for me. Thank You Lord, in Jesus' name, Amen.

"Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!" Psalm 105:4

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 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? 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:25-26 & 33