Just a heads up>>> I’ve moved to a self-hosted site so that means if you are following via email – you’ll need to visit my new site and enter your email again. Bummer, I know. (Posts will still show up in WP reader)
I know I’ve been quiet for awhile. I’ve been writing so much for other people that I kept putting my personal stuff on the back burner…that happens.
I’ve also made a goal to write my first book by Jan. 31.2017 (whoa!) Could use your encouragement and cheers along the way.
Here is my latest post that didn’t show up in your email: Personal Pursuit. Kind of a heavy one, but was writing out of some frustration.
I’m getting ready to start a new series about the common phrases we hear, so I’d love to have you continue to give me input and follow along.
I’ve been thinking about dreams a lot lately. You know how intense my dreams are and always have been. Sometimes I dread going to sleep. I don’t usually remember much in the morning, but enough to remember the theme is nearly always the same: Running from danger, fighting through a disaster, or trying to rescue my son or other people from harm, including myself. Every night, I fight the lonely battles that are never won, or I’m running and running, but never getting away. My earliest memories are dreams about running from danger.
Why? 40 years of running, battles, and rescues (except mine) and I’m tired.
I think what bothers me most is that in all these dreams not once has anyone been around to be my hero. I’m always alone, trying to protect myself in addition to other people. No matter the dream, I am under some type of attack. But I still wonder at the need to feel like I need to be the rescuer in my own dreams. I never expect to be rescued.
I’m tired of running. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of being a hero.
The dreams always end before there is a resolution. I’ve never rescued my son, I’ve never saved my life or the lives of anyone else because I wake up first.
I suppose that’s why I have a natural inclination to want to be a “tough girl.” My motives for joining the women’s shooting club, taking self-defense courses, active shooter training, and joining the local Emergency Response Team, must stem from my deep need to be a “hero”. I never thought of it that way before, but it’s starting to make sense.
Somehow, I have the need to prove that I can make a difference, and seeing myself as a hero is an attempt to satisfy my conscience; but in reality it’s not resolving anything. Why do I feel like I need to be a hero?
Tonight as I thought about what dreams might be awaiting me, I decided I don’t want to be a hero anymore.
I just want to be me.
I want a Sweet Dream – anything besides the exhausting nightly ritual of running from danger. If there is running, let it be for fun and joined with laughter. I want to feel safe and secure. I want to be rescued by You.
Let me dream of pleasant times, beautiful views, sweet smells, and good friends. Life has enough daily stress, let me have a taste of heaven and give my mind a rest.
And when I’m not dreaming, open my eyes to see the blessing I bring every day to people in my life and the blessing they are to me. I want to love like You love. If I am going to be exceptional in anything, let it be in love. I don’t want to be anyone’s hero – that’s Your job.
Father, it’s time for my subconscious mind to realize that…
Motivation is a funny thing. We all have areas in our life that need improvement, whether it is a skill or personal growth. As a parent, I think of ways to motivate my son to stay on task when it comes to homework. Discipline is appropriate at times when learning right from wrong, but is it always necessary for maturity? I can try to motivate him with consequences, and constantly remind him of why he should do something.
However, the best motivation is love.
I can motivate my son much easier when I tell him all the time how much I love him and am proud of him. When he makes a mistake – and knows it – I have learned to walk up to him, hug him in that tough moment, and tell him that I love him and am proud of him. No need to rehash what has happened. He is an amazing person and, at his young age, is motivated to do what is right because he loves my love. I love him the same, even when he isn’t perfect, but my love instead of reproach in those times, is a far better motivator to continue on doing good.
Why don’t we believe that God deals with us in the same way?
I’m not the most loving person by nature. It’s been a long process of learning what love means and I still have a long way to go. However, this week I received a lesson – a revelation – that opened a door to me of incredible understanding.
I have a circumstance in my life that is very difficult. So much so, that not long ago I was begging God to take me, as life was so overwhelming. I couldn’t see a way out. Every day I was taking hit after hit. After years of this, I had become so focused on the situation and the pain, that it was the only thing I could see. I was becoming angry and bitter and hopeless. I hated the situation. I despised those involved. I saw no end in sight.
My hopelessness was so severe that for about 4 months, all I could do to keep my sanity was to whisper and pray in my head, over and over, “Jesus help me. Jesus help me. Jesus help me.” No kidding. Behind my smiles and daily interactions, I was screaming, “Jesus help me!”.
Over time, He has pulled me up and out by taking my face in His hands, like a tender Father, and simply speaking, “keep looking at Me!” He could have chided me for having a bad attitude, for despising people I was supposed to love. God could have rebuked me for being unforgiving, but instead He just loved me.
In His love, I saw how wrong I was to wish I could end my life as He still has purpose for me here. My life is precious to Him, but He didn’t have to get mad at me and tell me I was wrong, I saw it in His love for me.
In loving me I saw how He loved others, even if I had a hard time loving them. So I asked Him to teach me to love them the way He loves them.
In loving me, I saw how I can be happy in any situation as long as I “seek first His Kingdom”.
In loving me, I realized it didn’t matter what other people said or did because in loving Him, I was living for an audience of One.
His love didn’t remove difficult situations or people. I still have them. However, what has changed is the view.
In loving me, He is teaching me to love others. (Love as I have loved you. Jn 13:34)
Softening a heart and loving difficult people in difficult situations takes a daily dose of Him (“give us today our daily bread”). It has been a very long process, but I have seen more permanent progress during the last year-and-a-half than I have experienced in my entire life!
Like the “wax on, wax off” lesson of the Karate Kid, I had no idea the extent of what God was teaching me until recently when I faced, again, my opponent from nearly 2 years ago, despair and discouragement. A well-meaning “word of knowledge” was given that opened the door for my old foe to stand boldly before me.
The word of correction given to me wasn’t necessarily wrong, it was just not the right time (and it taught me a lesson about speaking into other’s lives – that’s another post). That “word” did not motivate me to want to continue in my lesson of love. Instead, it felt like I had done a mountain of progress, only to have someone come by and say, “you missed a spot”.
I confess I started to wonder if all the work of deliberately changing my focus from circumstances to Jesus over the last 18 months was worth it. If the progress I had already made still wasn’t good enough, then what was the point?
As Peter did, I took my gaze off of the Father and looked at my situation, and I sank in hopelessness – disheartened and bruised.
However, my precious Father, my Papa, reminded me to look at Him again. I would have preferred to have received a “word” about how proud God is of my progress in this particular area, like a Fatherly pat-on-the-back, but today I am declaring, in faith, that I know, that I know, that I know >>>
God is proud of my progress. He is holding my face in His hands. He sees me. He sees the difficult circumstances, and He has taught me how to love, live, and thrive in the midst of pain. Also, that in loving Me, I can love back.
When I see God’s love for me, I am more motivated than ever to continue forward.
Do I have a long way to go? You bet. However, my gaze is on my prize: my Papa.
Note: Whenever God is doing a work in you, there will always be an attack or accusation. For most of us, we prepare for something major to de-rail us, but in reality, it is almost always the insignificant and unsuspecting words, actions, circumstances that catch us off-guard. Don’t stay down. Don’t blame others. Remember, it is the enemy, Satan and his demons, who are the accusers. Stand up, declare the truth, be OK with being misunderstood, realize that no one else probably sees the situation like you do, and move forward. My situation that I referred to was completely harmless on the outside. The person speaking to me was not wrong, it was spoken with grace and love, I have no ill-will. However, the enemy knows about battles that others do not and he is an opportunist. Satan took full advantage of a seemingly minor incident, knowing it would result in a major hit. I was sucker-punched. But what Satan meant to harm and discourage me, God has used to teach me multiple lessons that will propel me to greater understanding of love! Amen.
How many times, when it seems like God isn’t answering a prayer, have you thought to yourself, “I guess He just isn’t willing to do this for me”?
Down deep, many of us think that God’s blessings and healing are for other people, but He just isn’t willing to do it for us.
I confess I thought that way most of my life. I always questioned whether God WANTED to bless me with good relationships, understanding, financial stability, authority. I believed He didn’t want to use me because….well, there was something in me that caused Him to overlook me.
For that last year or so I have experienced such freedom as God has taught me otherwise. Still, old habits die hard and occasionally something happens that sends me into a full-on pity party and I question God’s willingness to use me.
A few days ago, my pity party was well under way, complete with tears and whining and yelling at God. It wasn’t a fun party so I grabbed my Bible and threw it open – not caring what I read, I just needed to shift my thinking.
It wasn’t expecting much in my time reading, but it didn’t take long before I came across three words that stopped me in my tracks: I Am Willing. I grabbed my pen and started writing…
And behold, a leper came and worshipped Him, saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Matt 8:2-3. Emphasis mine.)
This man’s cry was more than a request to be healed of a disease. Jesus could have easily spoken the words “be cleansed”, went on His way, and the man would have been healed of his disease. However, Jesus did two things before healing him:
Jesus Touched Him
No one had touched this man since he contracted the disease! Imagine no one wanting to touch you. I’m sure the homeless feel this way…rarely feeling a tender or caring touch. Jesus didn’t have to touch this man. In fact, to do so would make him unclean according to the Jewish Law. A tender touch can melt away hard hearts, years of pain, and erase bitterness – especially a touch from Jesus.
This touch went above what the man expected. How much do we realize that God is a good Father and wants to exceed our expectations? He wants to touch us. Look up and see the amazing attention the Father gives!
Jesus Stated He Was Willing
Jesus said, “I am willing”. The biggest question this man had was, “Are you willing to take time to notice me and heal me?”
Isn’t that what we all want to know?
Lepers were outcasts, unclean, untouchable, rejected by society, friends, and family. Many of us struggle with feeling rejected and even unusable. As a Christian, we may know we are saved, but remain in the shadows because we can’t seem to fit in anywhere. Our past may render us “unworthy” in the eyes of the church, other believers – especially ourselves. All of us have a strong desire to be relevant.
We long for our parents, pastors, bosses, leaders, friends, spouses to see gifts, talents and potential in us. Yet, so many experience situation where they are not even noticed. You may even feel like no one would notice or miss you if you stopped attending church or work.
Whatever it is, there are many people who feel unlovable, forgettable, unnoticed, unusable, or have a hard time that God Himself would be willing to use “someone like me”.
That’s what this story is about. The man with leprosy wanted to be healed, but even more, he wanted to know if Jesus was willing. Did Jesus see him as a person? Would Jesus want to give him time and attention? Jesus went above and beyond because He saw the real need. This man wanted to be loved, valued, and noticed – as a person – not as a leper.
Hear me: God SEES you. He LOVES you. God IS willing to bless you and heal you! Meditate on these verses and let God Himself tell you how much you mean to Him!
By the time Jesus spoke, “be cleansed”, I think the man realized that being healed of leprosy was nothing compared to the attention of the Son of God.
Father, thank you for Your attention. Thank you for Your love. I realize that You see me. I am important to You. Praise you for Your gentle touch and Your patience in my moments of doubt, unbelief, and self-pity. Glorious are you Lord! You are a good, good Father.
I suppose you could say tonight’s post is a bit of a vent. It was actually a journal entry, but as I was writing in response to a challenging day and many months and months of frustration and hitting walls, I thought someone might relate???
It seems like most Christians do not believe the Word of God outside of the four walls of church or the security of a Bible study. Instead, they are addicted to talking eagerly about the Bible…but not living it out. Continue reading →
Ever so often I find myself crying before God and apologizing for my numerous mistakes I’ve made in the past. There are days that I wonder if I will ever shake those painful years. I still live in the shadow of some of those decisions, which is why I get frustrated at times and wish I still wasn’t seeing the impact of past sin.
My frustration starts a circle of remembering, regret, blaming myself, repenting (again), self-pity, and other forms of emotional battery that I lay upon myself.
I was bemoaning to God a few days ago about how useless I felt, again, and acknowledged that I am where I am in life because of choices I made – aka “seeds” that I’ve planted. As I was moved to tears for myself, my brilliant mind realized that I am not useless; somehow my own thinking has disqualified myself from my idea of an effective Christian.
Basically, I’ve been keeping myself a prisoner of my past.
Even so, my little outburst was different than ones I had before. It’s like I was bemoaning my pitiful woes out of habit rather than conviction – and that was a good thing! The chains of regret no longer had the strength it used to. All glory to God. My time reading and speaking God’s truth over me was releasing the hook of past regrets.
What started out as a little pity party turned into a realization that I was being set free. And a little smile finally transformed my pouty lips…
Renewing our mind means taking time to fill our thoughts with the truth of God’s Word. Sometimes we get a dramatic revelation that changes our thinking immediately, other times it’s like pulling back thin layers one at time until one day we realize that old, destructive thoughts no longer have the power that they used to. Praise God!
I picked up my Bible and started reading in I Kings and my eyes caught these words:
“As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress…”(italics mine)
Whoa. I re-read it and the words popped off the page: who has redeemed my life from every distress.
This is David speaking. DAVID.
I’m assuming you know about David’s life if you are reading this blog…but just to summarize his life…
He was the youngest son and the least important in his family.
He was anointed king by a prophet when he was a teenager.
He didn’t become king until a LONG time later and not before the existing king tried to murder him several times.
When he became popular he disregarded his kingly duties…
This led him to commit adultery because he wasn’t with his army like he was supposed to be, instead he stayed home and invited his commanding officer’s wife over for a night cap.
He knocked up someone else’s wife.
He murder said woman’s husband.
He tried to hide his sin.
Parenting wasn’t his strong point, in fact he was a terrible father.
He had lots of wives and lots of kids, and the kids hated each other, raped and killed each other.
David doesn’t exactly get the “parent of the year”, “husband of the year”, or “king of the year” awards by our standards. YET…
God called David his friend. He loved David and made him great promises because “he was a man after God’s own heart”.
Because David had a soft, tender, repentant heart even though he made some horrible choices that caused several people their life: Uriah the Hittite, his newborn son, his son Absalom, his daughter Tamar, his son Adonijah, to name a few. These people lost everything as a direct result of David’s choices. I made some choices that have dramatically impacted many people’s lives in addition to mine. Who knows how that will play out in the years to come?
In spite of this huge mess, David RESTED in the comfort of knowing his life was redeemed. David experienced the power of TRUE repentance. He EMBRACED God’s forgiveness.
The difference between David and myself?
He believed God.
David believed God forgave him so he was able to move on with his life as if his sin never happened. David was the one who penned:
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:11-13)
Wow! Wow. Wow! I finally got it.
After I repented the first time God forgot all about it.
What do you regret most in your life? Visualize that regret. Feel the pain of it. Humble yourself before God and repent of your sin. Then wad that filth up into a ball and throw it out!! If you need to do something like that literally then do so. Don’t hold on to it. It’s trash. Who wants to carry around trash?
Now, bask in the immense lovingkindness of our marvelous God and move forward in the calling and blessings of God, which are so abundant!
The perfect segue from this revelation is found in Ephesians 2:10. Paul tells us that each of us was handcrafted by God through Jesus to do His good works. Think of it…God planned good things for me – and you – long before we were born and He wants us to walk that good path.
God has good things waiting for you and for me! The only thing holding either of us back is holding on to that which we have already repented of.
Are you ready to let go and move on into good things? I am!
For the last two weeks I have been fairly useless around the house and in my business. That’s because I found myself sitting at the feet of Jesus.
I can’t get enough. I am taking in so much that my head and heart feel like it is going to explode. Yet, I desperately needed this time. More than I realized. I didn’t plan it – He just called and I sat down.
It has been a life-altering 2 weeks and I don’t know where to start in sharing what God has been downloading. I admit that it has been rough … and fabulous at the same time.
This week I am going to sit down and start unpacking and meditating on what He was saying and I can’t wait to share it with you. This is His final call.
The main points that I heard very clearly were:
LOVE: The Father is desperate to get us to understand His Love for us! We don’t have a clue the intensity of His Love.
LOVE2 – People have forgotten how to love each other. We need to repent and ask the Father to teach us to love again.
BRIDE OF CHRIST IS UNPREPARED – The Holy Spirit clearly showed me that Jesus has delayed His coming out of mercy because His Bride (the church) is in shambles. We are not ready. My heart grieved so much when I saw what condition the body of Christ was in – and I am part of that. We are not doing His will and we are not holy.
HELL: Hell is far worse than any evil on this earth. Many “Christians” are on a path that leads to hell. The Father is delaying His coming back because so many are perishing and His heart is grieved. So many Christians are oblivious that they are perishing because they are not doing His will and not repenting. He is desperate for more to come to love and obey Jesus! (This has been the hardest message for me to hear, and I saw myself on that path and didn’t even know it. God is merciful! He doesn’t want anyone to perish!)
HEAVEN: Is far greater that we can imagine, yet Believers are clueless as to how we live our lives on earth are impacting eternity. We have been so careless.
HOLY SPIRIT: There is already a HUGE outpouring of healing and miracles through the Holy Spirit and He wants Christians to stop being afraid of the Holy Spirit and minister healing to each other and to the nations.
HE IS COMING SO, SO SOON! The Spirit of God is shouting: “Hurry! Tell everyone about Jesus! Hurry!!!”
I am eager to write out and share what God is speaking. Like Jacob, I have been wrestling with God because even though I have been a Christian for over 40 years – I see how wrong I have been in much of my understanding. I am holding on to Him and crying out for His blessing!
I have spent time repenting (oh I have so much to repent of!) and crying and giving thanks. There’s been a realization of the depth of my religion and self-righteousness and “spiritual” knowledge, yet missing love. True love. Agape love. I thought I knew love, but I didn’t. The precious Father has taken my face tenderly, but firmly, in His hands and is pulling my gaze into Him. It has been profound and life-altering.
I hope you stay with me as I share from each of the above points – what God revealed to me in hopes that it blesses you and draws you closer to the Father through Jesus.
Blessings on your day and may you take time to sit at the feet of Jesus!
Good morning my precious friends! I have a quick word for you today…
The Lord God, our Good Father, is speaking. He is always speaking. But right now He is almost SHOUTING to His church!
So many wonderful things, but also words of direction and correction.
Do not wait for God to come to you….the Word says to “SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND, KNOCK AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED”. This is a directive to those who already call themselves Christians. This is not speaking to unbelievers. Why would our good Father tell Christians to “seek” and “knock”?
Because He has something to say….and He wants you to come looking for it, to train your ears to hear.
Starting a little over a year ago I started pressing in to know the Father and the works of the Holy Spirit better and since then He has continued to deepen His revelations to me at increasing speed. Every day I hear His voice a little clearer, to the point I wonder if I ever heard it before. It is like the book, Hinds Feet On High Places. He keeps drawing me further up and further in.
Yesterday was an explosion of understanding and I am trying to unpack it all so that I can express what He is saying.
But today I wanted to URGE you…PRESS IN, SEEK, KNOCK because God is speaking so much to this generation through His spirit, through prophets, through understanding of the Word…YOU MUST, MUST, MUST BE IN THE SCRIPTURES YOURSELF DAILY! IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD FOR YOUR BODY!!
I hear Him calling His church to learn, again, the disciplines of fasting and prayer (by the way, fasting isn’t just for tough times to get God to move…it’s for us to TUNE our ears to His voice).
Press in and listen because the good Father has so much He wants to speak to YOU.
Grace and Peace and Wisdom and Understanding to you my brothers and sisters. Amen!
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