Monday, December 14, 2015

Fear, Terror and Doubt

Fear. Doubt. Unknown. These three feelings can tear down and remove truth. The things I *know* to be true. I find myself entering theaters, stores, etc. looking for escape routes, imaging how I would react in a life or death situation. But you see, preparing is not the problem, fixating on it *is*. When I look too long at the "what ifs", I've allowed myself to look away from "what IS".
JESUS.

He goes before us. Each and every one of us will leave this earth one day. The how, when and why should never be our fixation. As the world grows darker, evil all around, our eyes should continually be looking to The LORD, seeking to do all HE'S called us to do in the short amount of time we're here, leading lost, hurting and broken souls to CHRIST. My main focus should *always* be to walk out steps of Faith in Love. Praying...looking to be HIS Hands and Feet to all I meet. No matter what! Never shrinking back, trusting daily in where HE is leading. And if I'm called home under tragic circumstances, I will be at rest in the Presence of my LORD and SAVIOR. 

My heart aches for all the family members of those lost in the San Bernardino shooting. Having experienced the loss of loved ones under different, yet tragic circumstances, I can relate to the pain and heartache. I continually pray for them. I lay them at The LORD'S feet daily and ask HIM to flood them with Comfort. 

Join me in Praying. Join me in choosing to be fearless in showing/sharing *The Love of CHRIST* over all else. The *Knowledge of Truth* over anything and everything that comes our way! 

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"~John 1:29

Monday, November 23, 2015

Trusting GOD In the Waiting...

I've been praying for something for a while. I truly try to dig in deeper when worry or doubt threaten to overtake. Then the other day, I received words from someone who was in a position to help move things along. Nothing has *actually* changed. My prayer still hasn't been answered, however all of a sudden I haven't been as hyper-focused on it. 
After doing my Scripture Study/Praying this morning...I was filled with this thought, "Why was I so eager to trust the word of man over the things The LORD has already put on my heart regarding this situation? Why was I continually picking up the burden? Why did I let someone's words speak stronger to my heart than GOD'S Word?
Today I'm thankful for reminders of areas I still need growth in...Faith, Trust, and Patience. I want to wait on JESUS, constantly believing in *HIS* Word over *every area* of my life and my family's no matter how things appear in the moment. I want to be so strong in my trust that no matter how long I have to wait, no matter what others may say or not say, no matter the outcome (prayers answered specifically to my request or not answered at all) I'll know that The LORD'S Hand was on it/in it/around it/through it, and it's *exactly* how it's *supposed* to be.  

Friends, join me in praying for increased Trust and Faith in The LORD in the midst of it all. May *HIS* Word bring Truth and Light to every area of your life.
"Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 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 4:13-14

Do you see the heart formed by the shadows of the leaves on the water?

Friday, November 13, 2015

When You Mess Up...


•"Holding on number _____!" 
The ref announced over the microphone letting the players on the field, coaches, fans in the stands & watching by TV know who'd just messed up. 
•"Pass interference on number _____!" 
•"Offsides on number _____!" 
"Personal foul on number _____!"
Everyone's mistakes shouted loud and clear for all to hear; teammates shook their heads at the cost of the mistake...loss of yardage/farther away from the goal for offensive fouls or closer to the goal line they're defending for defensive fouls. The guilty party pleading their case with the ref, hoping no one had really seen the mistake.

Today, I'm thankful life isn't like that! 
•Lie just told by ______!
•Worst decision ever made by______!
•Arguing/causing trouble by______!
•Gossiping/hurtful words shared by______!
You get the picture. 
As a Christian I'm thankful for the knowledge that my mistakes can be forgiven when I take them to The LORD. I'm thankful that JESUS Loved me/you/us enough to nail them to the cross, giving *newness* of life/a fresh start, found only in and through HIM. 

"having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."~Colossians 2:14

Whew! 

How amazing & awesome is that?! It's no longer by the letter of the law (trying to be good enough in our own ability), JESUS took care of that!

Let's be honest, we're all a *big* work in progress and blow it frequently, (but getting better day by day.)

So today, join me in taking those *less than perfect moments* to The LORD, asking for forgiveness/help to do better, to become more loving, kind, thoughtful, caring, forgiving, wise in actions & words. Let's shine bright today, soaring above it, lifting up and encouraging...stopping to pray before we act/speak. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Don't Miss Your Opportunity!

Today I witnessed something pretty amazing! The two teams gathered around their coaches on opposite sides of the field for the usual after game lectures. But something different and out of the ordinary happened right in front of me. A very true picture of what it's really *always* about! 

One of the players from our team had stepped up for an injured player from the opposing team. He had taken him aside and was praying for him!!! He was doing The LORD'S Will. He put the game loss aside (his feelings/hopes/frustrations) and looked to be a Blessing in someone's life.

WOAH! 

Now you don't see that too often. 
Today I'm thankful for this amazing picture and reminder. We are given opportunities to touch people's lives, no matter where we are, what we're doing, or what we may be going through...we should always be looking to be a Light for CHRIST. 

How powerful is this picture?! He did not care what anyone thought of him. He did not care that he was supposed to be over listening to the after-game talk. This injured player needed prayer for healing. He chose to pay attention to what JESUS had placed in front of him and answered the call without hesitation. 

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men"~1 Timothy 2:1

Be looking for the opportunity to shine CHRIST'S Love today friends, it's always placed right in front of you! 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Are You Looking For Your True Purpose? Start Here!

Why does my to-do list always try to steal my joy? I was feeling rushed and discouraged as I walked up to the school to purchase a large number of Bell Game (big football rivalry game) tickets. A bus load of special needs kids were being helped out. "Okay, perfect," I thought..."I'll pray for all these kids whose life struggles are no where near anything I *ever* have to deal with." I silently said a quick prayer as I heard one of teachers struggling to get a girl off the bus. I didn't think much of it and hurried to the ticket window. 

The grocery store was next, when I realized I needed one more ticket. I quickly shopped (about 20 min) and headed back to the school. I ran up to get the additional ticket. On the way back a beautiful young down syndrome girl was getting off the bus, head down, wiping tears as her caregiver reprimanded her. It had taken 30 minutes for her to find the courage to exit. She was having a difficult day. I slowed as she passed and prayed for her. 

Three more stops led me to three beautiful, warriors, women who'd lost their hair as they courageously charged the silent enemy inside...cancer. More opportunities to offer prayers for the very people The LORD had placed in front of me. 

I'm thankful for the reminder that people are truly going through incredible difficulties & I have the opportunity each and everyday to stand in the gap and pray for them. What a Blessing and wonderful responsibility/honor The LORD gives us. There's always someone struggling who needs to be lifted up to our HEALER. Pay attention friends...you may be the only person praying for them. 
Who is in front of you today? 
It's time to pray!!!

*Pray for All Men*~"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men"~1 Timothy 2:1

Jump on the "Thankful Train"...keep your eyes up and look for opportunities. What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 23, 2015

WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT...HE WAITED!

He swiftly flew in. The white, gray and black coloring stood out against the dark tide pool rocks. I had food...he wanted it. As people walked by, he'd move a short distance away only to return again. He was patient. I tossed some crumbs in his direction.
After a short time, another seagull flew in. He was smaller in size and a dull, dingy gray in color, blending perfectly with the backdrop. I was partial to the first seagull who came to share my day, giving him all the food as the smaller bird stood back and watched in hopeful expectation. I finally relented, throwing some remnants in his direction also. I finished eating, crumpled my trash and put it in my bag.
The first seagull realized his food was gone and quickly flew away to find the next meal further up the beach. The grey bird remained by my side. There was no reason for him to. As people passed, setting up camp, he made himself comfortable in the shadow of my chair. I soon found myself wanting to reward him. He seemed extraordinarily dedicated to me. I reached into my bag, opening the ball of trash, looking for something to give him. I found a few slivers of tomatoes, lettuce and bread crumbs. I set the food down very close to me as he bravely came to get it. After another 20 minutes passed, I shuffled through my trash, wanting to find something...anything. 
His perseverance and faithfulness at remaining by my side touched me. I wanted to feed him. "What a strange feeling," I thought, "it's just a seagull...who isn't even much to look at for that matter."
Then it hit me, the similarity of how I must appear when I come to The LORD; some days I show up, wait a short time to be filled and then go about my day. 
However, on the days when I feel extra needy, I slow. I sit patiently waiting for HIM. I am dedicated, determined, unwavering and faithful in drawing closer, waiting for the full abundance of HIS Love and Blessings to pour over on me.

Oh how I want to be like the second seagull...always waiting in hopeful expectation. I want to never lose sight of JESUS' Love and all that HE has to share as I sit at HIS Feet, drawing closer in expectancy. I want to be steadfast in faith as HIS Mighty Hand reaches low to feed, help, guide, direct, forgive and save me.
"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

Join me in persevering friends. Don't wander. Don't chase after the next thing that will never fill the emptiness. Let GOD'S Love envelope you. Be like this steadfast bird who in his faithful persistence, caused me to reach in again and again looking to bless him. 

In your seeking...you will find HIM.  "Be of good courage." HE will "strengthen your heart" and reward your faithfulness with HIS Love.,,"Wait, I say, on The LORD." 

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!~Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bring It To The Light!


So yesterday I had a plan for my day today. I was going to spend the day cleaning and writing (forcing myself to stay in -no adventures- and get some things accomplished). But it's weird, I've just had this sadness that's creeped in from nowhere that I can't shake, so I'm just laying here in bed with zero accomplished. It seems like whenever I'm determined to dig deeper, get closer in my walk with The LORD, do what HE'S calling me to do...the enemy fills me with all kinds of depressing thoughts.

So today I'm determined to push past these lies and negative thoughts, setting my mind on Truth and Praying that whatever this sadness/hurt thing is that's pouring over me goes away, in JESUS' Name. This Christian walk is never smooth, it's a day in and day out steadfastness in seeking my SAVIOR. So here's the truth...as a Christian, I still struggle. I'm not perfect. But I can look to The ONE who is. I can sit at HIS Feet in all my messiness and let HIM Heal me. Because when I say, "Have YOUR way in me JESUS," there's always going to be some ugliness deep in there that comes to the surface...things that need to be brought to The Light of CHRIST. 

Today I'm thankful for the reminder...the negative thoughts and feelings are not Truth. They are just *feelings*. So when I take them to The LORD in Faith, asking for HIS Wisdom, I'm throwing them into The LIGHT of HIS Love and Truth. 

"But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”~Ephesians 5:13-14

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Would You Stand Up?

 
Today I'm going to tackle the emotions that have had me really thinking ever since the terrible tragedy in Oregon. 

Would you stand up? 

To think that after witnessing the first person being shot for their faith in CHRIST...the call from the gunman came for *all* CHRISTians to stand up. 

Would I stand up?

My immediate answer, sitting safely locked behind my door, tucked away in bed, with my family surrounding me and all the comforts that money can buy at my disposal, "Of course I would stand!" 

But then putting myself in that classroom, alone, fear flooding my senses, my family coming to mind, would I truly be ready to leave it all behind and stand? My answer becomes, "I would hope that my *faith* was strong enough to stand." 

I want to be unshakable, immovable, no matter what is thrown at me when my time to stand comes. I get glimpses of where my faith-walk is through every day trials and my on-going cancer scares. Some days are good and other days have me wavering in trusting. 

I want my Faith to be bold enough to *step out of the security of the boat and walk on water* keeping my eyes so securely fixed on JESUS that I go/do/say/follow/trust wherever HE leads. 

"And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus."~Matthew 14:28-29

So today I'm thankful for the reminders of the Faithful Servants of CHRIST who Boldly Stood Up proclaiming their Faith and Trust in JESUS, laying their lives down for HIM. 

I pray that this example touches each and every one of us, prompting us to truly look at where we are in our *Faith-walk* with JESUS. Let's go deeper friends. Seek HIM more. 
Let's pray for the families who've lost their loved ones. Let's walk out in Faith and Love, giving more and expecting less. Join me in praying for greater Faith.
#IAmAChristian 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

It's A Prayer Thing!


It's been a long, hard week. Sometimes the roller coaster ride of emotions can leave you tired and frazzled. I'm *choosing* to stay focused on The LORD, for when I do, my weakness is covered in HIS strength. And if we're honest...the days can be a struggle when we're trying to go it alone. So join me today in remembering that whenever we're facing anything, let that be a *prayer trigger*, right where you're at. Call on the Name of JESUS, and watch HIS Peace immediately flood over the entire situation. 

I'm thankful that my help is but a Prayer away! What an awesome reminder as we head into the weekend. 

"Peace I leave with you, MY Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."~John 14:27

Friday, September 25, 2015

GOD'S BLESSING


...and at just the right moment, as my finger pressed down freezing the view, he flew in, blurred wings, flight in motion, flared tail speed reduction and a boat called, "God's Blessing."

It was all too perfect. "God's Blessing." This old fishing boat that didn't appear to be much by today's standards of bigger, better, newer...provided a living, food; valuable in sustaining. 

I'm thankful for the reminder that The LORD'S Blessings, the very things HE'S given us are exactly what we need, *valuable in sustaining*...financially/physically/emotionally. HE'S Blessed each one of us, but all too often we're sitting in a place of discontentment, wanting, coveting, complaining...unable/unwilling/forgetting to focus on all we *do* have.

Today friends, pause, look around. Look at all that The LORD *has* Blessed you with. Take a moment to be grateful and Thank HIM. This small act will transform your day!

"For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON, that whoever believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life."~John 3:16

Monday, September 14, 2015

Is It Time For A TRANSFORMATION?


Transformation. Yes, that is what I'm thankful for today. 
I look back on so many years of trying to be "good enough" for myself/my husband/my kids. I continually tried to keep up the "appearances" of having it all together, when deep inside, I felt like a failure at so many things. 

I was relying on *me* and always falling short; a perpetual cycle. I became good at masking my hurt, pain, failures, and shortcomings behind a mask of aggressive words/actions that kept people at a safe distance (no one's going to get close enough to hurt me ever again). But what I didn't realize at the time was my wall of protection was keeping me locked in a prison of my own making. I was hardening my heart. 

Then one day when everything was crumbling around me and my family, I said "JESUS, please help me. Please fix this mess. Fix me." I began to allow HIM to work on the things deep inside my scarred, broken heart. I laid it all at HIS Feet every day. And to my surprise, HE did the work that I never could. I felt HIS Peace, Joy, Happiness, Comfort and most importantly Loved and Forgiven. Transformed. 

Friends, if you too are in that place of feeling "not good enough"..."wandering", call out to JESUS, ask HIM into your heart and life today. Let HIM take over.

"Therefore HE is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to GOD through HIM, since HE always lives to make Intercession for them."~Hebrews 7:25

Friday, September 11, 2015

In The Waiting...

I

I sat waiting for just the right shot. I knew exactly what I wanted to capture. The mounting waves crashed one by one on the shore, but it wasn't until a powerful surge forced its way through the cave opening that I knew it was the *one* I'd been hoping for. 

How many times do we sit waiting for something to happen, anticipating, unsure but hopeful? 

Life often has us in a state of limbo. We hope and pray for certain outcomes, as tides of emotions; hopes, dreams, fears, tears, flood in. 

Today I'm thankful that right in the middle of these crashing waves of emotions which often seem to surge right to the very core, JESUS meets us. HE is the  Calm in our storm. HE is the Safety in ever changing tides. HE is the Hope in times of struggle. HE is the Love that floods through. 

"Peace I leave with you, MY Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."~John 14:27

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Come Out Of The Shadows!

Sometimes, when you've been walking in the shadows of your past, it's time to stop looking back and turn your gaze towards the LIGHT. You are not your mistakes. You are not your short-comings. You are not your failures. You are not your weaknesses. You are not a disappointment. You *are* a brand new creation in CHRIST JESUS. Let go. Look to HIM. You've been set free from the chains of bondage. Lift your head weary friend...turn towards the TRUTH of who you truly *are*...a beautiful, loved, restored, renewed, forgiven, redeemed child of GOD!

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."~2 Corinthians 3:18 

"Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."~2 Peter:1:1-4

Saturday, August 22, 2015

You Are Not Going To Take What's Mine!

Yesterday I captured this image. I LOVED it! The way the little boy stared down this hungry pelican looking for a free meal. It was as if the boy was letting him know, "You are not going to take what is mine."

I'm thankful for this reminder... when the enemy threatens to attack, flooding me with worry, fear and discouragement I can say, "You are not going to steal what is mine in CHRIST today." 

He is already defeated. Don't grow weary friends for in due season you will reap a reward. We know how this story ends. Stand on the strength, hope, faith, trust and love of JESUS today. HE'S got this!

"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

"And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."~Romans 16:20

Friday, August 14, 2015

Just A Little Farther...

The water splashed all around as the board gracefully glided through. The kids frolicked, water at the center of their fun. But just a few feet in front of them was the clean ocean water. They stopped too soon. They were sitting in the middle of the drainage/run off water. Unbeknownst to them, it wasn't the best place for them to stop. They needed to continue to walk forward, out of the dirty water and into the crashing, clean waves in front of them where the tide disperses any contamination into hundreds and thousands of miles of ocean, cleaning it. 
I'm always puzzled by this. I want to run down and say, "Get out of there! Don't let your kids play in that water."

Isn't that just what our Heavenly Father thinks as we sit in the "contaminated" things in our life? Isn't HE calling us to come out of it? Why do we all too often sit in the very places that is toxic to our souls?
The enemy's deception is slow and steady. One step here, a little step there until one day you're frolicking in a mess of destructive behavior and choices.

Here's some truth friends...
You NEVER have to stay there and continue to "sit" in it. JESUS is right in front of you. Do you not hear HIM tugging at your heart? One right decision at a time, prompting you to take a step in HIS direction as HE grabs hold of you hand. You do not have to walk alone.

Today, stop. PRAY. Ask JESUS to help you move towards HIM. Ask HIM to pull you out of the muck and the mire of wrong choices. You're never too far. Your never beyond HIS reach. Let the Redeeming Blood of JESUS clean you up and set you free!

Lord, I ask YOU to come into my heart and life. Remove anything that is not of YOU. Set me free from the chains and bondage of sin that has held me captive for far too long. I ask you to come into my life JESUS, making all things new. Forgive me and help me to forgive myself. 
I say these things in YOUR Mighty and Powerful Name JESUS, Amen.

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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 1:5-7 

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Called To Him...

I kneeled, softening my voice I coaxed him near to me. He responded. No hesitation. He sensed my hope. He stood right next to me, standing at attention...waiting. Suddenly fear took over. Unsure. Did I do the right thing calling him to me? Did I really think he would come? 
He just waited. Still. Motionless. 
I had his full attention, and yet *I* began to waiver. 

How similar this situation is to our walk with JESUS? We call HIM near to us in hopeful expectation and then we waiver. Doubt. Fear. Uncertainty. 
Is HE really going to answer?  
Is HE going to draw near to me in this moment? 

Often times we slowly back away, while HE waits attentively, patiently, lovingly, for the next moment you seek HIM hoping you'll *still* long enough, to allow HIM to fill you, guide you, give you peace, love, comfort and direction. 

Today, do not move away but call JESUS closer. Give HIM access to *every* area that "so easily entangles." For it is in the letting go, putting all faith and trust in The LORD that HE is able to move. 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on JESUS, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Are You In The Middle Of Life's Steep Climb?


On my bike ride home from the gym today I had several hills to climb. I felt weak having just lifted weights and my muscles were screaming. 

As I approached a particularly steep one, a favorite song began to play over my bike speaker (the hubby got me a good loud one that plays from my iPhone). The words poured over everything I've been carrying around lately during what seems to be a time of transition in my life. 

"GREAT PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU!"

As I struggled up the hill, the words propelled me. I reached the top and was overcome with relief as I coasted down the steep hill. 

I'm thankful that during steep climbs, The LORD is ever present. HE encourages me as I spend time in prayer. HIS written Word propels me to the top of whatever difficulty is in front of me each day. HE helps me to reach the top and find relief as I coast in HIS Love and Peace. 

This journey is not a sprint, it's a marathon. I need to stay connected to my Savior JESUS CHRIST, allowing HIM to give me strength along the way. 


“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


"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."~Hebrews 12:1-2

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."~Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

THE FIGHT

I sat in front of the pier, a group of homeless men of varying ages...early 20's to late 60's sat to my left. I silently prayed over them as my worship music loudly played. Another older homeless man with long gray, straggly hair pulled up on his bike, a worn cart attached to the back with a dog inside. He began screaming at a one of the younger homeless men...who in turn responded by yelling and charging towards him. They seemed to know each other and have some kind of long standing rift. Their anger began to escalate as they stood face to face just a few inches apart, taunting each other to throw the first punch while name calling.

I've never been one to just sit back and let things happen around me without trying to intervene. I quickly turned my bike around and pulled up next to them and shouted, " Stop it! Knock it off!" I repeated it several times, my music continue to blare, as I prayed that it would not escalate. They were oblivious to me or anything I was saying to them. But I continued to try, "Stop it! Calm down...don't do this!"

Finally a friend of the younger homeless man stepped in and pulled him away before either man threw a punch.

ANGER.

It can grip so hard and drag us in past the point of reason.

As I road away I thought about all the times in my life I've let anger get me to a point of really hurting people. I've said terrible things. I've lashed out trying to hurt people who I felt wronged me or my family. But then JESUS stepped into my life and filled my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I still get angry, but my reactions are much more controlled than before. I know how to diffuse it by running to The LORD. The enemy can use anger to control people. He hardens hearts and blinds eyes. He breaks up families and friendships.

Today if you find yourself held in angers grip, steal away to a quiet place, pray, ask The LORD to reveal truth, peace and His love over the situation. Never forget that JESUS makes ALL things new. Don't be deceived, don't stay captive in anger. JESUS has called you and I for more. Let His love seep into those hardened, hurting places. Let go. 
"Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry,
for anger rests in the bosom of fools."~Ecclesiastes 7:9


"So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."~James 1:19-20

"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." Romans 12:3

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meet Mo...A Man Searching For Inspiration

I captured the above shot after "Mo" (in the turquoise shirt) had walked away & met up w/his friends.
I hope he's sharing JESUS w/them now!
Yesterday I met a man named "Mo" on the pier. He approached me and asked what I was writing? I told him, "An inspirational Christian story for my blog." He said he was a writer, (historical history) and it peaked his interest to know what I was writing about. Then he said, "Inspire me!"

Woah, that caught me off guard...spur of the moment inspiration?

The first thing that came to mind is how JESUS changed, softened, guided and directed our hearts to bring lil' Josh (our foster son/soon to be adopted son) into our family. So I shared our story...which all started with a simple decision to spend time with THE LORD *daily* in prayer and scripture study. It changed everything about our old selfish lives...replacing it with HIS Heart, Love, and Will. A transformation that only happened as we *chose* to seek JESUS daily. 

He listened intently. And at the end said, "Thank you for inspiring me today! What parting words would you leave me with? 

I said, "SEEK JESUS."

He smiled, leaned in to give me a hug and said, "Thank you!"

Today I'm thankful for *appointments* GOD has for us. Each day is a new adventure. We need to make sure we're always available and ready to make time for HIS plans in our day!

Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared."~Exodus 23:20

"Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near."~Isaiah 55:6

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."~John 15:1-5

Monday, June 22, 2015

Help...I'm Stuck!

I went outside to take my picture for my morning devotional post and thought the cactus shot was perfect. But truly, one small detail was even better...a single tree fruit had fallen from above. It landed directly onto a cactus prong poking right through while other fruit made it safely to the ground below.

Somedays I can feel like this...landing in the wrong place at the wrong time. But here's what I've learned. Every seemingly "wrong" place in my life has a purpose. Whether it's a lesson/learning experience/growth opportunity, a chance to ask/receive forgiveness, a detour because there's people I need to meet down this path, or just a difficult road teaching me perseverance, faith and trust...I'm never alone in the midst of it. The Lord is right there with me when I *choose* to stop feeling sorry for myself and say, "Okay, I don't understand what You're doing here right now Lord, but Thank You for what YOU ARE doing. Help me to seek You in the midst of this. 

That one small thankful prayer re-adjusts everything. I'm flooded with a feeling of love and peace...EVERY SINGLE TIME! Now the trick is to pray before I complain!
I'm a work in progress but I'm thankful the key word is *progress*! Today I'm thankful for difficulties that produce growth! Thank You JESUS!

"Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day."~Psalm 25:4-5

"Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate."~Hebrews 13:12

"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."~Hebrews 13:15

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SHOULD I JUMP? OVERCOMING FEAR

I've always been afraid of heights. For years I had dreams of falling. As a young girl I tried to overcome it by climbing the ladder to the high dive at the Elk's Lodge on summer vacation. Slowly inching my way up behind the line of brave kids, hands gripping tightly to the sides of the ladder. I took one shaky step at a time, glancing back every so often to see how high I was. 

One by one they reached the top, walking boldly to the ledge, fearlessly jumping or diving. As my turn approached, I looked down for an escape route, I was met by black, brown, blonde, and red hair...a road block. Kids were lined up below me on every step, extending from the ladder to the ground and around the pool. I could only move forward. My heart was pounding. I carefully walked out onto the shaky board, leaning slowly over to look at the water far below.

"GO! JUMP! HURRY UP!" The kids behind me were growing impatient.

I backed up, hoping to run and just do it. But I froze, fear kept me firmly planted, unable to move forward or jump. Peer pressure behind me, the unknown in front of me. So what did I do?

I walked straight at the kids and yelled..."Everyone's going to have to climb down because I'm not going to jump!"

I was met with anger and yelling. I sat down on the diving board, letting them know I was serious. One by one they began to scream at the kids behind them to climb down. 

Fear had won that day.

It was a lesson I've never forgotten. Fear can lead you backwards. It can keep you from all that God has for your life. There's all kinds of fear: fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of decisions, fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of judgement...it's never ending. 

As WE CHOOSE to seek THE LORD daily, allowing HIS truth to permeate into every fiber of our being, fear gives way to trust. We're able to take steps forward down the path HE'S leading, calling, guiding, clearing, opening...for us. Each day as WE CHOOSE to spend time not only praying and reading the Scriptures, but actually sitting QUIETLY, LISTENING, THE LORD meets and fills the emptiness in the quiet. HE reveals HIS LOVE. HE restores all that this world has tried to weigh us down with. TRUTH. JESUS CHRIST has come to set captives free. Once feeble steps in HIS direction give way to bolder, stronger, fearless steps of Faith. HE has come to give us more!

Today, stop talking, slow down, listen. In the quiet HE will meet you. Dispelling all worry and fear. Today, choose more of HIM and less of the noise and lies of this world. JESUS has a good and perfect plan for you. Seek HIM in the quiet, HE'S waiting. 

"Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!"~ Psalm 27:17


"Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lordbut the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, butthe Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."~1 Kings 19:11-12

JESUS SETS AN EXAMPLE
"Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”~Mark 1:35-36