September 18, 2012

False.Evidence.Appearing.Real

This posting may be hard for some to hear.  It was for me. Worry can consume us all at times.  What we fear most is typically what we value most.  If we value our children, typically we are fearful that something might happen to them.  That being said, whatever we fear the most, is where we trust God the least.  Ouch!
Worry is a matter of perspective.  What we worry about are those things that we tend to say God cannot take care of right now.  We do not trust Him enough to hand over those things that we worry most about because truthfully, we feel, we need to be in complete control of those things. It is not true.  It is a lie.  The enemy does not want us to turn those things over to God because the longer we hold tight to whatever it is that has us worried or afraid, the longer we keep God from having the control from doing just what it is He has planned.

Paul tells us in Philippians to Rejoice in the Lord…because the Lord is near.   God holds all things together.  We do not have to worry, be anxious or fearful when we know who ultimately is in control.  We do not have to worry about the how when we have the Who in our life.  At times, we feel like our lives are lacking certain things.  We want to be married or to have children and it just is not happening.  We ask why.  We worry about the when.  Our life becomes consumed with anxious feelings and we lose sight of just Who it is that is in charge of it all.  He has a plan!  It may not be the plan that we want but He has a purpose for the why.  He is just waiting for us to turn every piece of it over to Him.  It is only then that He can begin to do His work.  When we finally reach a place where we can say we trust Him, let go of the worry and seek His face then our perspective will change. We begin to trust God with those things that we cannot do and we will begin to see Him do amazing things we never knew possible. 

What are you worried about?  What has you afraid?  What are holding too tightly to that you need to let go?  I promise you, the tighter your grip, the longer you are going to wait.  He has a plan.  Something amazing He wants to do but your fear is keeping Him from accomplishing His work.  Let it go!!   He is faithful!

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.

Psalm 37:3-5

September 17, 2012

YOU ARE GOOD!



September 17, 2012.  I turned 37 years old today and believe that I did in fact celebrate the most amazing year of my life.  I believe that this birthday served as the official start to a new chapter in my life.  My life has forever been changed by a series of circumstances that unless you are me, you will never understand. 

On September 18, 2009, I received a letter in the mail that changed my life forever.  It caused me to doubt my faith, to question God, give up on my marriage and turn inward.  I became depressed and withdrawn because everything I ever knew to be true changed in an instant. 

Fast forward to September 17, 2010.  I had made it through one of the darkest years of my life.  There were days that I truly believed that I would never see the sun again.  Then, I found Journey.  This is the church that saved me and turned my world upside down.  This church introduced me to a God I had never known. I finally found hope.  I understood who Christ was in my life.  I finally realized that I mattered.  I had begun a part time job in which after twelve years of being a stay at home mom full time, I received my first paycheck and knew, I CAN do this.  To celebrate my 35th birthday, I took my children to The Cheesecake Factory.  Things were still hard but I had found hope in Christ.  The healing had begun.

Move ahead now to September 17, 2011 in which I was now at place where I was free from my past and moving toward my future.  God was healing my heart and restoring all that had been broken.  I had finally found a place to live where someone was willing to give me a chance even though my credit had been destroyed.  God was working.  He was moving.  There was hope all around.  I celebrated my 36th birthday with my children at home.  It was not drama free but it was good.  I had hope.

And here we are on September 17,  2012. The celebration today was not one I would have ever thought possible.  It was truly the most incredible birthday ever.  There were no extravagant presents. No fusses made but instead genuine love shown from people who truly love me and know me.  People who have watched me go through incredible heartache and come out on the other side stronger.   This past year has been amazing.  I became a part of a church plant just when I needed it the most.  God brought someone back into my life. He has given us something special that words cannot describe. It has been a truly remarkable year.  It is one I will never forget.  This day was perfect.

I do not know what tomorrow holds but I do know this…God truly gives us the desires of our heart when we seek and trust Him.  He heals the brokenhearted!  He gives beauty for ashes!  He is beyond faithful and has blessed me more than I deserve.  Thank you God for giving me another year of life and for more than making up for the many years lost.  YOU ARE GOOD!

Real Success


Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  
Philippians 2:2-5


Success is what the world chases after but truly never finds.  Everyone wants their moment of fame and to be loved by all.  That is how the world views success.  Empty living is what I call it.  I heard John Maxwell once say “success is when those who know you best, love and respect you most.”  To me, that is real success.  Again, it comes back to perspective and what you see as being important. 

How you think determines what you become.  If you want to be rich, chances are you will become greedy in order to get there.  If you want to be powerful, chances are you will take down anyone you have to in order to accomplish your agenda to get that power.  Your thoughts lead to your actions and ultimately those actions will determine who you are.  It is about your attitude.  It is about your true character. It is a mind set. Those who think like Jesus thought typically live a life as He lived.  If we want to please God then we choose to walk like His son.  Pleasing God is not about self-promotion but instead self-abandonment.  It is understanding that our life is not our own when we have chosen to follow Christ.  It is realizing that “serving is not what I do but instead a servant is who I am.”  We cannot serve when we are focused on pursuing the world’s idea of success.

Everyone goes through some form of heartache and pain in life.  It serves a purpose.  It is an event that has happened so that the gospel can be enhanced.  These events happen so that our faith may grow and our joy increase as we experience the abundance of grace and joy that comes from living as Christ lived.  Joy should not be based on what happens to us but instead what God is doing in and through us.  That is when you will find the most joy and be most content.  

September 16, 2012

Tis Gar Plen? (Greek:So What?)


Perspective is an interesting thing.  The thing about perspective is that you and I will never view things in the same way because perspective is determined by what we see.  Just as I have never walked in your shoes, you have never walked in mine which means that when an event arises in life, you are not properly equipped to make choices or decisions for me as you have not been where I have been.  The same would serve true looked at the other way.  We can share our thoughts with one another but in the end, that is all it amounts to, our thoughts. 

We all have “whats” that happen in our life where we are left wondering the "whys" of it all.  The storm ripped the roof right off of my house, I have no money to pay for the damages and I just do not understand why.  We all experience those moments. We just wish we could understand the whys of it all.

Throughout the years, I‘ve learned that understanding the whys are not important as long as I trust God with "the what" of it all.  Realizing that whatever is taking place right now has a purpose. God always has a why behind the what and though I may not understand the why, I can trust God completely with my what and ask "now what?" What do you want me to learn from this?  When obstacles appear in my path I see them as divine opportunities, in which God will show Himself not just to me but to those around me as well.  When the setbacks come, I see them as setups for God to be glorified in my life.  God wants to use me to make a difference.  The (spiritual) prison in which I lived for many years has now become my pulpit.  The misery that I suffered is now being turned into my ministry. God has a plan.  No matter how horrible or evil the circumstances that surround us, whatever Satan intended for harm, God will use for His glory and it will be made right. It is all about perspective. It is a mind shift.

So when life throws a curve ball, instead of freaking out about it, you can say “SO what! (Tis Gar Plen!)”  (Philippians 1:12-18)  What does it matter? In the end, whatever crap we are dealt, we can be certain God has a purpose.  He has a plan.  He is in control.  In the end, everything is going to be ok!

September 14, 2012

Curve Balls


Life is good.  I could not be happier.  August was definitely my month.  In a matter of a two-week span, I had three different job offers and a proposal.  I accepted a new job and said a big ol' yes to that proposal.  God has most definitely blessed me.  

It is amazing to see God work.  To feel His presence and experience His blessing.  I have been through a lot over the past couple of years but now I am experiencing the other side of that trial.  I am living out the abundance of His grace and the joy of living under His faithfulness.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from someone I had not heard from in a very long time.  The email was rigid and cold, sad really.  I did not see it coming.  I was not prepared for the battle it would cause but as I realized the timing of it all, I became aware of what was happening.  It came right after my job offers and my proposal. A time when I was on top of  the mountain singing and praising God for His faithfulness.  It was a time when my faith was strong but then suddenly BAM, the enemy tried to knock me down.  He was trying hard to discourage me.  He was trying to keep me from experiencing the joy that had overtaken my life. His feeble attempts were almost successful until I spent some one on one time with the One who holds my life in His hands. What the enemy used to try to discourage in turn caused my faith to grow even more. 

It takes a lot to reach a place of assurance in God's love.  I could go on and on about how much I love Him but truth be told, it could never come close to the love He has for me.  I am saddened for those who lack the knowledge of His grace and who fail to understand the love He has for us. I am saddened for those who have unresolved issues in their life and instead of dealing with it head on, project the guilt of their own issues, whatever they may be, on to others in order to hide.  It is a life lived in chains.  I know because I was once there. It is a sad and lonely existence but it just does not have to be that way. 

Life is good.  I am blessed.  I have an awesome God, amazing kids, a fiancĂ© who loves me with a love I have never known,  a church family like I've never experienced, a home that in my eyes is my perfect home and a job I adore.  I could not be any happier and I want that for everyone.  Life is not perfect by any means but because the Creator of this universe has lavished His love upon me, I am beyond content.   

Safe in someones mouth?

Love Is...
By Suzie Eller

"No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you ..." Isaiah 62:4a (NIV)

Several children were asked to define love. One said that love was when her mother was pregnant and her daddy painted her mother's toenails. Another said that love was when her daddy walked in after work smelly and sweaty and her mom said he looked handsome.

But one child said this, "I think that love is when your name is safe in someone's mouth."

Makes me think about Candy. One day she showed up at school. Her morning was like every other. She got up early, fixed her siblings breakfast, and got them all out the door to school. She had picked up her jeans off the floor and put them on in a hurry. Candy's mother was addicted, and her daddy wasn't in the picture, and sometimes laundry just didn't get done.

She arrived at school and a mother of one of the students confronted her, asking, "Why are you always so dirty?"

All she could do was bow her head in shame. There was no way she could share her secrets with this condemning woman.

In Isaiah 62, a nation was marked by shame. Through the prophet Isaiah, God let the nation know that He was willing to come down into the trenches beside them. Yes, He saw their situation, but He also saw them for who they were to Him.

Shame can teach us many lessons, like:

Stay low.

What you have to offer isn't enough.

Keep your secrets to yourself.

But when God marks your life, there are new words to redefine you, like: Beloved. Mine. Beautifully and wonderfully created.

As a teen Candy became a Christian. She knew little about faith, but what she did know is that for the first time in her life her name was safe in Someone's mouth.

As time passed Candy handed her shame to a Heavenly Father who took it willingly because each of us is precious to Him, and shame was never a burden God desired that we bear.

Perhaps you, like Candy, define yourself through the words of someone else. Or see yourself through the past. Or the actions of someone who was supposed to love you and failed.

When shame encounters the love of God, something powerful takes place. That love lifts the receiver up and over shame to a place of value set apart by God. Your burden is shifted to God's broad shoulders and He is now free to complete the "good work began in you" (Philippians 1:6).

As God's girl, shame has no place in your life or heart. Your name is safe in His mouth because you are beautiful. You are loved. You are His.

Dear Lord, that past incident or those words from the past, they do not define me. Your words and Your love define me. From this day forward I choose to see myself as You do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

September 6, 2012

He brings us rest

So incredibly beautiful and full of truth.

“Believer, you are not exempt from trials, but you have sufficient grace for any trouble. God’s choicest love letters are sent in black-edged envelopes. The envelope frightens us, but if we know how to break the seal we will find riches for our soul. Great trials are the clouds from which God showers great mercies. Frequently, when the Lord has an extraordinary mercy to send, He employs His rough and grizzle horses to drag it to our door. The smooth rivers of ease are usually navigated by little vessels filled with common commodities, but a huge ship loaded with treasure crosses deep seas…in all things pray. Prayer is the universal remedy subduing every disease. Prayer unlocks the treasure of God…prayer extinguishes the violence of flames and closes the mouths of lions. Prayer overcomes heaven and bends omnipotence to its will. Just pray, believer, and, in the name of the Well-Beloved, answers of peace must be given.” In the words of Jesus, “Come unto me and I will give you rest.”

Charles H. Spurgeon