Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Where is your determination? How long does it last? Have you taken on the mentality to do anything necessary to get the job done?

To push the forces of hell out of the way, you have to be more determined than hell itself. You have to be willing to do anything necessary to get the job done. The vision before you must be more important than your own personal pleasure. When you adopt this mentality for you life, you will always push through hard times and take significant territory for the Kingdom of God. -Sparkling Gems

You all know by now that I struggle with procrastination, inconsistency, indiscipline and out and out laziness at times.  My prayer over the last few months has been for God to really help me in this area. As we have been going through the prayer journey, one of my biggest requests of God is that He give me a PASSION for His will, being the woman HE wants me to be.

I read this amazing devotional in "Sparkling Gems" by Rick Renner. It really made me think. How determined am I? To be more determined than hell itself is a HUGE call to action and responsibility. I know I am SELDOM really willing to do ANYTHING necessary to get the job done in ANY situation. I do it till it hurts... but once it hurts, I am ready for the recliner, a bubble bath and a good back rub.

I so want to fulfill God's call on my life, yet I am not doing a very good job at pushing through the tough times. It is time to change my mentality and start taking significant territory for the Kingdom of God! If you ever struggle with the same areas, let's join in the prayer together... Thy Kingdom come... THY WILL BE DONE... and PUSH all the way there!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Do you continuously deal with temptations? Are you feeling overcome by evil? Join us as we take a deeper look into this passage of The Lord's Prayer.

Friday, October 8, 2010

There Is A God...Proof

This video puts it so simply. Do you question God? Take a minute to take in His beautiful creation today! What more proof do you need?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who's Your Witness?

My teenage son asked me a question last night. It was one of those questions that you know the answer in your heart, but can't seem to put it into words. It was one of those questions you secretly hope no one asks, especially your children. He said, "Mom, why do you believe what you believe?"

You have to understand a little about my son. He is a highly intelligent kid, mature beyond his years in many things- yet he has an inquisitive and quite argumentative spirit about him. He likes things PROVED! I think it is his scientific brain (which obviously comes from his father). He loves learning, but often struggles with the things he is taught in public school. Why? Because he sees the reason behind it, but knows it is so far from what I have taught him in our Christian home.

WOW!!! How do you answer that? Many people use the Bible to support their answers and would rattle off a scripturally accurate account of "because Christ dies for us" or the Bible says that "all have sinned and fall short"... you know the answers I am talking about. But I know that one thing I have learned with anyone who thinks as logically and scientifically as my son.. using the Bible which "I" know is God's infallible Word is not going to work because you have to believe that it IS His Word before you use it as evidence for your argument.

My answer to him came from my personal experience with God. The ways I have seen my life change because of His presence and guiding in my life. The joy that I have from ONLY His touch in my life. And the list goes on...

As I was thinking about the conversation, I was reminded of a scripture from Romans. I have recently been studying Romans and have been amazed at just how little snippets mean so much. In Romans 1:9, Paul says, "For God is my witness.." Think about the value and importance of those 5 little words. He is writing the Romans, and educated bunch for sure. I can imagine they probably wanted proof of all the things Paul had to say. His simple words, "for God is my witness."

Why do I believe what I believe? For God is my witness! Simply said! Who is your witness?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Expanding Your Light

Do you feel insignificant in your abilities to witness to others? Have you ever wished you had a way to encourage someone in their walk with God? Many times we feel like a portion of that song saying, "this little light of mine." But instead of realizing how much we CAN do with our light, we may not "hide it under a bushel" but we let it get covered up by the business of life, or even our own insecurities.

Each and every Christian has a light that can shine for others to find a way out of darkness, no doubt!  Sometimes we don't realize that by being a small part of something, actually expands our own light. Today, however, I want you to think about another way that you can let your little light shine WAY beyond your personal sphere of influence. By supporting a ministry, outreach, christian radio station, we can take that little light and help fan the flame of an already growing ministry.

This week our local Christian radio station, 106.9 The Light, is having their annual shareathon. As I was thinking about the importance of this event for the station, I was also reminded of the importance Christian radio has played in my own life. I cannot tell you how many times I have been discouraged while driving to work, praying for God to answer a prayer or encourage me and IMMEDIATELY a song came on that changed my whole perspective on the day. The ability to freely receive teaching through programming that focuses on Christian living and spiritual growth is such a privilege!

I recently came across some statistics about Christian radio that blew me away. My quotes may not be exact, but the expanse of difference is what I want you to see. For every 2 million hours of Christian radio programming in the United States, there are only 200 hours available outside the US. We are so "spoiled" to the availability of encouraging words of song and spiritually educational programming, that we just overlook even the cost of what we are receiving. And broadcasting is not cheap!

What am I getting at? You can expand your influence by simply supporting something with a broader reach. Christian radio reaches millions every day. You can support it by not only financially supporting your local station, but by keeping the station itself lifted up in prayer. Pray for the DJ's to play the songs that God leads them to. Timing is so crucial to the influence this type of ministry has. God can use your little light in an amazing way if you just take an opportunity to expand your light a little.

If you would like to take action on this little challenge, I would love for you to click on the link at the top of the page and help out one of my favorite stations. I have been so impressed with this station that is part of the Billy Graham network. They have ministered to my heart over and over again.

Again, I challenge you. Expand your light today. You never know whose life your little spark may fan a flame into.

Proud Mama Moment

Don't you just LOVE it when you see that your kids are "getting it"? Especially when you see them soaking up God!

This morning as I was about to make my post to SHINE, I looked over in my blog list to see that my ten year old had made a post to her blog. Clicking over to read I was so impressed with what she had written. I helped her start the blog a month or so ago as a challenge for her to share what she was learning about God. I was hoping to help spark a little light in her to teach her how to SHINE as well.

If you could see my face now! I am just beaming to know that she not only "got it" when she heard the lesson at her friend's church, but that she decided to share it as well. Sometimes we don't realize what our kids are taking in. Cat has not shared one bit of what she wrote in her blog with me, but... she still learned it and is obviously taking it to heart.

Encourage your kids. Invest into their spiritual growth. Challenge them to be a light as well. It doesn't matter whether you are a spark or a flame, it still puts light on darkness somewhere. Check out her post and join me in my praise to God for creating a hunger in her life as well.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ooops! Forgive me!

 Do you ever forget something and remember when it is too late? Do you have every intention of staying consistent and somehow end up failing without even realizing it? Guess what?!?! You aren't alone. Well, you may have felt alone if you showed up for the SHINE PJ Party tonight!

I am soooo sorry if I let any of you down tonight. I am being real and honest, because that is part of what SHINE is all about. We are here to be REAL with one another and the reality of the situation is that I just became distracted with my day and forgot about the post until now! I had not even made the video yet! And honestly, I feel horrible!

So what can we gain from this spiritually? Hmmm... isn't it interesting that our next portion of The Lord's Prayer is, "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." So, I could simply ask you to forgive me and remind you that if you want God to ever forgive you, you have to forgive me. But, I don't think that is what Jesus was wanting us to get from that part of the prayer.

Matthew 7:12 says, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." I think this goes hand in hand with this section of the prayer. It is almost like a reverse request... as you forgive us Lord, help us remember how we should forgive others.

How many times am I quick to judge someone's intensions? How often do I hold something against someone who has irritated me, got under my skin, or maybe hurt me (intentionally or not)?

Yes, I hope you all will forgive me for not posting our video tonight. But, I know my wonderful Heavenly Father already has. HE IS SO GOOD! I figure you all were sick of seeing my face every Saturday night anyway.. you probably needed the break! See, GOD IS SO GOOD!! :O)

Here is a thought, someone shouldn't have to ask for your forgiveness in order for you to forgive them. The Lord's Prayer was a daily prayer. We should be daily forgiving the trespasses of those around us as an action of love and gratefulness for the forgiveness God has given us.

So, here I am being REAL with you... don't feel so bad if you mess up... just remember to be as gracious with those around you as God is with you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is it Relationship or Religion? What about Responsibility?

I saw this article this morning and was deeply convicted, not only for myself but for the Christian community in general. Then later today, there was a post on the 106.9 The Light Facebook page. I read the comments and was shocked that everyone seemed to have the idea the article was a debate over relationship vs. religion. I think we are missing the point. The issue with this article isn't about the debate of relationship or religion. z
We need to look deeper. Don't we need to KNOW what we believe in? YES, our walk and salvation is about a relationship with Christ... but then what? Aren't we called to share the gospel? How can we share what we do not know? How can we be CHRIST-LIKE if we aren't studying CHRIST. Why do you believe what you believe?
Another point, how can we be in battle if we don't know the enemy? The first rule of warfare is to know the enemy. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (man), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"- Ephesians 6:12. We are in spiritual warfare! Our battle isn't against the OTHER religions, it is about the Satan who is confusing the lost with their teachings.
The prior verse says, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." We SHOULD know the facts... and not just basic facts like were in the survey in this article. How can we reach the lost if we don't know the facts and history behind our own belief? The study showed that the highest scores were among atheists, agnostics, and even mormons. Why do you think so many people are turning to these beliefs? Because they can support why they believe what they believe!
I am passionate about this. God convicted my heart deeply today when I read this study. And, I was deeply saddened by the undertone established with the statement that agnostics and atheists did best and the study showed the more educated you were, the better you did. Christians should not be ignorant (uninformed). It seemed to me to  lead that if you are educated you should know better than believing in God. I know it didn't say that... but think about it.
Guys, this isn't a debate about relationship or religion... it is about responsibility! Christ entrusted us with His calling to preach the gospel to the world so that none may perish. We need to KNOW the Word and we need to KNOW the enemy. 

It needs to start with me. God help me be the woman He needs me to be. Help me to study and write the Word of God on my heart and help me KNOW what I believe!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Give Us This Day.. Our Daily Bread

What is your daily bread? Are you asking God to provide your food and shelter? What about the bread of life? Listen as we talk about a new way to look at this portion of the Lord's Prayer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Am

Who is God in your life? He is the I am. Bringing me back to the names of God. Watch this and be blessed at the knowledge of who God really is!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

PJ Party: Your WIll Be Done

When you pray, do you approach prayer with seeking God's will? Jesus gave us the example of the Lord's prayer for a reason. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done..... Are you seeking God's will in your prayers? Or maybe your own? Join us as we share about this principle in our prayer lives.

Trying it a different way tonight... YouTube just isn't processing it right. Hope it works!

Technical Difficulties...

Ok PJ Partiers... we are having some technical difficulties... stay tuned for the SHINE PJ party! Sorry for the delay!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

PJ Party: Names of God

Ah... I am late getting to the party!! Nothing unusual! You would think that I could do better virtually. Learn how knowing the names of God can enhance your prayer life. I hope you all will share how knowing specific names of God help you in your prayer life as well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OMG...New Thoughts on Old Habits

In this age of BRB, TTYL, and OMG we like to shorten any phrase we can to make it quicker and easier to express what we are truly wanting to say. But are we even thinking about what we are really saying with even our abbreviations? This week in our Prayer Journey we are talking about the first line of The Lord's Prayer... "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name."

Hallowed. We talked earlier that "hallowed" means to honor as holy, to be greatly revered or respected. As I was praying this morning, God nudged my heart about an old habit of mine and gave me some new thoughts on it. I am a computer buff! I love to IM, Facebok, and text to communicate with friends. I am quick to type BRB, TTYL and yes, OMG! But is OMG keeping God's name hollowed? Am I honoring God as holy by spitting out OMG, saying "gosh", or even "gee wiz"?

I have to say I never really gave much thought to those sayings, because I knew in my heart I wasn't trying to "take God's name in vain." But today, God really pricked my heart as to whether or not I was keeping His name hallowed.

You know we hear the verse I quoted all the time in reference to God's name. But I found a new verse today that set in the conviction of my old habit in an entirely new way. Psalm 139:20 says, "For they speak against You wickedly;Your enemies take Your name in vain." Oh my! I do not want to be an enemy of God. Do you?

Here is my thought for today as we learn more about prayer and learning who God is. If I am saying OMG.. even in texts, am I really and truly holding God's name as hallowed? And if using God's name in vain makes me an "enemy" of God... then how effective are my prayers? Ouch!

This is not going to be an easy habit to break, but I want to honor God and keep His name hallowed not just with my speech, but with my texting, IMing, and messaging as well. Our Father which art in heaven, help us keep your name hallowed today!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hallowed Be Thy Name

"Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed by thy name." What does hallowed mean and how does it apply to our relationship to God. Let's start off the week learning about God and His holiness. Hallowed means to honor as holy, greatly revered or respected. Are you honoring God as holy? Is He greatly revered and respected? What are you doing to show Him your reverence? Are you holy?

In Leviticus 20:7-8, the Lord says: "Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy." To consecrate means to dedicate formally to a divine purpose. Do you realize you have a divine purpose? The only way to accomplish that purpose is to be holy (morally and spiritually excellent).

How in the world can we as mere humans be excellent? Lord knows as hard as I try I miserably fail at being excellent, especially when it comes to the battle between the flesh and the spirit. So how can this be accomplished? Go back to that verse and read it again. "Keep my decrees and follow them." The first step to holiness is obedience. Are you being obedient?

Even with obedience, we all struggle with the feeling of being LESS than holy. I know "HOLY" is not a word I would ever use to describe myself. No matter how hard I try, I just seem to fall short in that category. There are times I just kill myself working so hard at being "morally and spiritually excellent". I ware myself out trying.

But... maybe what I need to do (maybe you as well), is take a look at this verse in Leviticus. Read the very last section of that scripture. "I am the Lord, WHO MAKES YOU HOLY." You see, holiness is not something we attain on our own. Yes, we are to be obedient. Yes, we are to revere and respect God. But HOLINESS comes straight from God. It isn't an accomplishment we can attain on our own. It is a GIFT from God. HE makes ME (and you) holy!! Isn't that just exciting?

Let's put the first part of our study on prayer to work today. "Our Father, which art in heaven, HALLOWED be they name." Respect and revere God today by letting Him have His place and CONTROL in your life today. Be obedient and let HIM make you holy today. The way to let Him make you holy is to let Him have His way.

Our first step in prayer, is complete surrender to God. Are you letting God take control of your life today? Lord, I respect and honor you. The best way for me to honor you today is to let you control my life. Make me holy, make me morally and spiritually excellent today.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time for a PJ Party!!!

Ok Ladies (and Gents if you are watching)...it is time for our Saturday Night PJ Party! Join us over the next few weeks as we go on our Prayer Journey: PJ! Be sure to leave comments, share insights, as we grow closer to each other and God. We can't wait to hear from you as we party together on this prayer journey.

Getting to the Root

Who would have thought that pulling one little tooth could have caused this much pain?!?! It kind of reminds me of one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel. What are the rotten areas lingering in your life? Do you have decay in just one "little" area? Be careful, it can infect your entire being...

As embarrassing as it is to admit, I had a tooth that broke off cause it was so decayed. The dentist had to go in and remove it, even cut pieces away from the bone. Why? Because the tooth had begun to fuse with the bone and be part of it. There was so much blood and decay, he had to go in 2 days later and remove the hidden leftovers. There is still one piece he didn't get... not because he couldn't, but because it was so close to my sinuses, there was risk of putting a hole in my sinuses if he tried to get it out. And that, would take much longer and be much more painful to heal. Man, this one little tooth has messed with my whole body.

You see. My bad tooth was a result of braces left on too long and unattended. I had neglected regular visits to the dentist because of finances. Eventually what was supposed to shape and retrain my teeth, ended up being a place for remaining particles of the junk I ate, to congregate. By the time I removed my braces, (yes I removed them), the damage was done. My tooth was already on its way to decay. Years went by, I left the decay unattended. The tooth eventually became too weak. It was annoying! I could feel the sharp edges where the rotten parts were eating away the smooth tooth and creating sharp edges.

Once the tooth broke, it was too late for there to be a clean removal. I tried my hardest to remove the tooth myself to avoid the expense of a dentist... but it was too late. I had to go have the dentist remove the roots. My roots had grown to my jaw bone. He had to drill the tooth away from the bone. As I said before, one piece was so deep it had to be left. There was so much blood and decay, there was no way to see all the pieces until after I had a little time to heal. Then I had to go back, open the wound and have the remaining pieces, the additional decay removed...talking about pain!!!

Let's think of that from a spiritual perspective. I wonder if I even need to explain. Are you seeing it already? When we neglect the things in life that are supposed to be helpful, we are like that bracket that instead of shaping and correcting the problem, created a place for the bad particles to collect. Then, hmm.. we try to take things into our own hands. Let's see... we haven't been having our prayer and study time, someone hurts us.. and instead of going to God, we try to ignore it. The more we ignore it, the more it builds up. Then, we try to take care of it ourselves. Remove it.

Are there things building up in your life? Have you neglected your spiritual life so long, you are starting to decay spiritually? Have you tried to fix things on your own, only to find that there is still a root of sin or bitterness left causing infection to the rest of your body? Are there pieces of hurt, resentment, so deep that digging them out would put a hole in something that would take so much longer to heal? Maybe you have just been in one place so long, you are starting to fuse with it? Even if you aren't supposed to? Are you getting to the root?

Let God be your spiritual dentist. Let Him remove the decay from your life. God is a caring "dentist" he knows that you may not be able for Him to dig it all out at once. He knows that the pain, the the blood from the wound, makes it hard to remove everything at once. He has an open door policy, once He starts a work, He is always willing to finish it... AS LONG AS YOU LET HIM!

Here is the thing... don't be like I was with my tooth. Don't wait too long! Don't let other things take precedence. Don't wait till the decay effects other parts of your body. See.. if I had been to the dentist when this first started, he could have cleaned out the cavity and filled it. I wouldn't have had to lose my tooth. What are your spiritual "cavities" today? Let the Dentist scrape away the empty cavities of your life and become your "filling".  Be proactive spiritually. Make regular visits to the Dentist. Brush your life with daily cleaning, floss the crevices to get the hidden particles that can damage you, rinse your mouth with the control of the Holy Spirit. Don't let your roots decay! I can tell you, the pain is much worse when you let things go, rather than handing them over to God and letting Him fill your life.

Brush up with God today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's in Your Mouth?

What's in your mouth? Are you chewing on the right things today? Who are you letting feed you today? Read on as we share about letting God be the one to fill our mouths with His best...

I was praying about what God wanted me to post today. Honestly, I don't FEEL like being much of an encouragement today. I don't even FEEL very "Christian" today. I just want to gripe, complain, and pull the covers over my head so I don't see the things that need to be done. I am late for work, my mouth hurts from a dental procedure I had... OOPS! See?!?! There I go with the complaining!

While praying, God asked me, "What do YOU need today?" Now that is a thought, if I am in need of something from God today, maybe someone else might need that exact same thing today. My answer, "I just need some encouragement God!"

HE IS SO FAITHFUL! While praying over words to share today, God directed me to open my Bible. Right there, highlighted in yellow were these words in Jeremiah 1:5-9:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."

 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.

All we have to do is just ask God to place His words in our mouth. I look over even this morning and the words I used with my kids. Were they edifying? Did they build up? What am I professing? Is it victory? Or is it complaints?

What's in your mouth today? Are you claiming the power in being set apart by God before you were even formed in your mother's womb? There is power in words! Let that power be directly placed in your mouth by God today!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change Just Means You Aren't Running Around With a Flat Tire

We don't seem to be creatures who welcome change. I don't know what it is about us, but we tend to like the predictability of the normal, expected, the usual. It is easier to plan when you know the routine. There is security in knowing what will come next. Even when things are always going wrong, there is stability in things remaining that way... cause it is familiar.

I started writing this post to talk about some of the changes that I hope to implement for SHINE and all the sudden, God started turning in the direction of speaking o this matter of change. You see, I know from experience how easy it is to get into a rut and run around on a "flat." Some call it "victim mentality" other's call it a "string of bad luck" and then there is the one popular in my family, "family curse." No matter what you call it, so many of us have this tendency to get comfortable in our negative circumstances that we can't make the changes necessary to bring success back into our lives.

I know, I know... many of you may argue that what I am saying is insane. There is no way that anyone in their right mind would want to run around with the proverbial "flat".. or is there? Sometimes the attention that comes from staying in the same rut, is more satisfying than the upheaval of making the needed change. Running around with a flat brings much more attention than a vehicle with a new set of tires... and it gets more sympathy too.

What am I saying? Sometimes change is good. Sometimes it is the needed accountability to make a difference in life. If you are running around with a flat tire, then you have an excuse for not completing your journey, but when you have new tires, full or air, then there are NO excuses for not getting to your destination.

So, it is time for some changes. No more excuses for not trying! It's time to fill up our tires and get moving on this journey. God doesn't get any glory from those of us sitting on the side of the road looking for someone to "pump us up". His glory comes when we let HIM be the air in our tires and wheels to our journey.

And oh, about those changes. Guess I will save that for another post. Enjoy the journey today my dear sisters!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Do You Need a Talking To?

Don't you just love it when God give you a spiritual "talking to"? It's kind of like when a teacher would call you out in front of the class and point out something you were doing that you weren't supposed to? Or is it?

My God is so tender and loving. When He admonishes me, it is so direct (cause He knows that is the kind of girl I am), yet so loving and kind! This morning as I was praying about my day and some areas where I have really been struggling to accept the actions of other people, He once again, gently spoke to remap my thinking.

"Do you know the plans I have for ___________? Could it be that you are secretly wanting them to fail?"

"OH NO GOD! That isn't what I meant at all. It's just that why do things work out for those that seem to constantly be doing wrong or messing up? It just doesn't seem fair!" (Do you detect my little bit of whining there? I didn't until I just typed it!)

"My baby girl! Was it fair that I let you come back to me after the things YOU did? Is it fair that I am making a ministry out of YOUR failed life? You do not know the scheme of my plans. You do not know how I am going to gain glory. You don't know that I have planted you here for a VERY SPECIFIC purpose. Sometimes the gain of those who don't deserve it can be the gain of those who do."



Sometimes God has us planted in places we don't understand. I think of a plant I have sitting in my kitchen window. You know I haven't even really planted it yet. It is sitting in a mason jar of water. I can't tell you HOW long it has been there. But I have left it in that jar, partly because I am ADD. But the other reason is that I am looking for JUST THE RIGHT pot to put it in. I want to keep it in the window. I want to see it every day as I wake up. But, I want to find just the right pot that is made especially for THAT plant.

The roots on that plant have grown, just as my roots have been growing...but... it isn't root bound yet. There is still room to grow.

Are you looking at other people and thinking it isn't fair that they seem to keep screwing up and STILL reaping rewards? Is there someone you know who is really making some BAD spiritual choices, and deep down, it "gets your goat" to see those choices seem to somehow pay off for them? Or maybe you feel like you are ready for your pot?

Remember, Isaiah 58:8 says, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways my ways,' declares the Lord." He has a bigger plan. We have no idea the scheme of things in His plan.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Boldly Love On God at the Next SHINE Event!

Hello ladies! Where in the world does time go? Man, how did this month fly by and I haven't even sent out an update about the next SHINE get-together! I know with this late notice, many of you may not be able to make it... but "consistency" is the area God is working on in my personal life.

So get ready to have a great time with our wonderful sisters and SHINE!!!

This month we are going to meet at my house... GOD HELP ME!!! Or maybe I should say, "GOD HELP THEM!!!" My house is ... well it is my house, my mother would probably flip her lid if she thought I was going to invite company into it. And to be honest, a few of you may think, "What was she thinking!?!" when you come. BUT...............life is life and this is me and I am trying to do better and it takes time... yadda, yadda, yadda! No more worries, just do what God is wanting me to do!

Ok, now that that is out of the way:O)  This month we are going to learn how to BLOG: Boldly Love On God!!! And yes, that is going to be the lesson; but.... I am also going to be giving a little Blogging 101 lesson as well. For our activity this month I am going to help any of you that want to, set up your very own BLOG!!! What better way to Boldly Love On God than to share your testimony!! A blog is the perfect way to practice.

There is so much I want to tell you all, but this isa crazy busy week! So, I will leave it at that! I will have at least 3 computers available and any of you who have laptops, PLEASE bring them. I have wifi and you can get online and get those creative juices running! The event will be Saturday the 28th at 5 pm at my house. If you have to work or can't make it right at 5, don't let that stop you. There will be so much going on, you can drop in whenever you want.

There will be some LIGHT snacks. Don't know what yet, this is one of those can't wait till payday kind of weeks, so I am going to be creative! It may be bologna sandwiches or it could be something fancy. I just haven't decided yet! Just come expecting to have a good time and enjoy the presence of good, godly fun!

I love you all! If you POSSIBLY can, it is always nice to know who is and isn't coming. It just helps me plan a bit. So.. RSVP's are great, but if you don't get to it, don't EVER let that keep you from coming on and joining us!

God bless you.. remember to BOLDLY LOVE ON GOD this week!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What to Wear? The Daily Saga

It doesn't matter how full my closet is, it seems like every morning I enter the same saga...WHAT TO WEAR? Maybe part of the problem is that I have too many blouses hanging in my closet, or not enough pants to have variety. It might be because I feel too fat, or look too slouchy. Whatever the reason, it seems the "what to wear" dilemma  faces me most every morning.

How many mornings have you left out the door with a pile of clothes on the end of your bed that you spent 30 minutes putting on and taking off only to find you have NOTHING to wear? I know you all aren't like that. Some of you are decisive and can rattle off your entire wardrobe "menu", and others of you, one I can think of in particular (smiles, cause you know who you are), that will pull out whatever is clean and hanging in front of your eyes. No matter what, our wardrobe in generally important to us all. From the jewelry we wear to the shoes on our feet... we take great care to look good. I don't know many ladies who don't WANT to look good.

I received a promise verse at the She Speaks training that I went to a few weeks ago. My goal is to memorize it, and you would think I would have/ could have done that by now.. but anyway. I have been chewing on this verse for a while now and it just hit me tonight how much I spend on my physical wardrobe in comparison to my spiritual one.

The verse was Colossians 3:11-12, "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others."

What am I wearing? Mercy? Kindness? Humility? Gentleness? Patience? Forgiveness? I must say, I don't look in the mirror every morning looking to see if those things are in the right place like I do my wardrobe. Are they looking good on me? Or a little sloppy? Am I accessorizing kindness by handing the  lady at the drive-thru an extra $5 so she can buy her lunch? Am I adorning my hands with gentleness by tenderly kissing my sleeping children on the foreheads? Am I sliding my feet into humility as I let the man behind me in the grocery store go first because he looks like he has had a bad day? Am I throwing forgiveness over my shoulder and stuffing all the hurt into God's designer bag to carry for me?

If only, I made it a habit to spend the same amount of time, put the same amount of care, invest the same amount of money into putting on these spiritual clothes!

Are you having trouble figuring out what to wear spiritually? It shouldn't be a saga, it should be a delight. You know, I think every little girl wants to be a model at some point in her life, but very few of us have the ability (or the beauty) to do so.. but we can all still be models. Be a model for God. Walk down the runway of life with your head held high and strutting the beautiful clothing from the ultimate designer. Talking about BRAND NAME!!!

When you wake up in the morning, clothe yourself with more than just those trendy, or comfy clothes hanging in your closet. Put on your tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. Then, look in the mirror and see the shining star God has made you to be. Strut your stuff girl! God is watching, and so is someone who needs to see Him through you!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Progress..Where Does It Need to Be?

Progress! It is a good thing. Yet, so often we are so down on ourselves that we are blinded to our own progress. Do you think maybe it is because we are striving so badly for perfection instead? Do you think that we are looking so deeply for perfection that the progress just becomes oversight?

Let me just give you an example. I have been so discouraged that my posts to SHINE haven't been more frequent. I know I have a busy schedule, etc., but I just feel so inconsistent. I want to do it ALL right. So as I was looking around on the blog to make some the changes that need to be made, I realized that I have made 65 posts since 2008. That doesn't seem like much, but the cool part of it was that the number has increased. It hasn't been a lot... but it has been more each year.
2008= 20 posts
2009= 24 posts
2010= 25 posts... and the year isn't over yet.

You see, God so generously showed me that I AM MAKING PROGRESS!

Now, there are a million things that I need to grow in. I need to be more disciplined. I need better motivation. I need more energy. I need to be better organized. Oh yes, I have made progress in each of those areas, I see now... but I haven't attained a level I where am content yet. And, each of those areas spill over into my spiritual life.

Here is something God showed me the other day. We get so busy trying to do EVERYTHING that we never focus on one thing long enough to master it. We are all so should I say, "spiritually ADD," that we hop from one area to another without ever finding victory in any.

The one area I think God wants me to work on is consistency... isn't that funny considering my worries with this blog! However, I prayed that God would show me the one area that needs work where all the other areas will fall into place... and CONSISTENCY was it for me.

So, here is my request as well as a challenge for you. Please lift me up in this area. THE REQUEST: When you think of me, see me, see a post, see the word SHINE anywhere... lift up a prayer that God will help me find consistency. THE CHALLENGE: Ask God what the one area is that you need to focus on. Then, when you figure it out, post it here so that we can keep each other lifted up in prayer.

I would love for us all to look back at this post at the end of the year and be able to use it as a measuring tool of the progress God has done in our lives! What is your need? Let's lift each other up and remember that it isn't about perfection, it's about the progress!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Trying to Get There

I never thought I would be someone who enjoys quiet time so much. Usually I can't stand it, because I like having someone to talk to. Imagine that! Me a talker! (Smiles and snickers!) But today I felt an unusual drawing to just really focus on my quiet time with God. I have grown to love this alone time; because I do have someone to talk to... and He talks back!

As I was talking to God this morning, I poured out my heart of the things I know I need to work on. Certain areas of my life just seem to get in the way of being the woman I want to be. Un-organization, un-discipline, impulsivity... the list goes on. As I was praying about where and who I needed to be in Christ, I said to Him, "I'm trying to get there Lord. I'm working on it!"

Do you ever feel like that? Wondering why you can't get there? Why you have to work so hard at it? Do you feel like in order to receive God's blessings, to have the "rite" of passage into the desires of your heart, there is some huge thing you have to work to do to get there?

I so often feel like that. I feel like I will never "get there". There are so many things in my life that need perfecting. How can God use me like I am? How can He influence others for good when so many things about me are so bad? If I just had a little more motivation, discipline, passion! Why would God bless me with the things I need or want when I can't take care of the things I have now? I have to act right and be right for Him to give me the things in life I need.

God whispered...

That's right, I got quiet and He whispered to my heart. This is what He said, "Baby girl! Have you not learned this by now? It's not about what you do, it's about who you are. When I put Adam and Eve in the garden, what did I ask of them? I placed them where I wanted them, took care of them, walked with them, loved on them... not because of anything they did; not because they were trying to do anything."

It's amazing how clear things can be when GOD speaks them. I pondered for a while on that this morning. Here is what God is showing me. The only thing that kept Adam and Eve from God's blessings, provision, and ability to walk closely with Him... was their sin and disobedience. It wasn't the things they did to work hard at being His children. WE DON'T HAVE TO WORK AT BEING GOD'S CHILDREN... we already ARE. (Those who have accepted and repented of course.)

The only thing God wants me to do, is keep sin out of my life and be obedient. His blessings don't hinge on if I got my house cleaned up this weekend, or if I agreed to do that Bible study, or even if I went to church this morning. I CANNOT work for His blessings. Just as He did with Adam and Eve.. they are part of the package. He WANTS to take care of me. He wants to bless me.

Yes, God wants us to keep sin out of our lives. He wants us to be obedient. But even when Adam and Eve directly disobeyed God, He still took care of them. He still provided for them. For goodness sakes, He made them clothes! Where there new obstacles to overcome after their disobedience? YES! But what I believe God wanted me to see this morning is that MY WORK is not what is going to make or break His blessings on me. My obedience on the other hand, and sin in my life... that is a different story.

So, is my house being a mess a sin? No, it is a direct result of my un-organization. Should I think God isn't going to bless me and help me with the leaky faucet just because I have clothes piled up on my bed? Of course not!

So what is my point? Maybe we waste time trying to get there and forget about the actual journey itself. Do I need to learn to keep a better house? Yes of course. But is it going to keep me from being God's child and Him providing for me? No.

I am using my own personal example of things that bother me most; but each of you has that one thing that makes you sit and think, "Oh God will never help me with this until I do...." God wants to pour His blessings out on His children. He wants to take care of us. He wants us to grow in Him. But, He doesn't want us so busy with getting there, that we forget who He is and how much He loves us.

I don't know if this has helped anyone or not today. Sometimes when God speaks to me, I feel it so internally that it is hard to put an external explanation on it. But, I know God wanted me to share... and it's all about obedience, right?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Next Shine Event

Hey Ladies.... I am veering off the normal "inspirational" post to try to get some feedback. I am in the process of planning the next SHINE event. Originally I had intended on having another large event like in May, but I know this is a busy time with school starting and all. So I was hoping you all would help me brainstorm a bit on what you think would be some good ideas for the next few meetings.

What would you like to do, learn, talk about? Blogging has become such a trend, I was thinking about having an internet cafe type meeting and maybe show you all some tips on how to comment on blogs as well as maybe even start your own.

We of course will have our usual fellowship and devotional, but I think we all enjoy doing some type of activity as well... OTHER THAN EATING!!! LOL Any ideas or suggestions would be great! Just leave your comments below. The tentative date will be August 28th or 29th. You can leave suggestions on which day works best as well.

I love you guys and can't wait to see you. For those of you who only follow the blog and can't attend the meetings.. be patient... there are some cool things to come in the near future!

Friday, August 6, 2010

How Can I Get Where You Are?

Someone sent me a FLOORING message on Facebook.
The thing that was so flooring is that this person saw me so much differently than I see myself. But, the questions that were posed hit me deeply and I really feel it may help to share the discussion with you all. OF COURSE, I am not going to betray who sent me the message... but I want to share it because I think we all need to see what sphere of influence we have, sometimes without even
knowing it.

Here is what I was asked:
How can I get where you are? I mean, how can I get that feeling of total love and trust from God? Is it something you work at? Is it reading the Bible often and talking to God? Or is it a gift from God? I've always been close to God but I've yet to get that feeling that so many people I know gets....I want to be so much more like you but I just don't know how.

So here was my answer:
I am floored! I struggle EVERY day! My first thought is the verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." There are some key words in that... ALL your heart, OWN understanding, in ALL they ways, ACKNOWLEDGE Him. Honestly.. some days, it is just self talk. It is a daily choice and I have to proclaim it over and over again. So I have increased that proclamation by praising and acknowledging Him on FB as well as as much as comes out of my mouth as possible.

There are days that I want to post the most negative things on here. Like, how can so and so claim to be a Christian and drag me down with their insane hypocrisy; or how I feel like a horrible mother cause my house is a mess and my kids have smart mouths; or how I would just like to strangle ...(that part was left out to protect the NOT SO innocent). BELIEVE ME... I am so far from THERE... whatever that is.

I have spent the past 4 years finding my happiness and value from one man to the next, giving myself over to "slipping" in the moment and wallowing in guilt for the next two weeks until the moment hits again. And then living the space in between each relationship, spending my nights bawling and screaming out to God wanting someone just to hold me. Does that sound like a feeling of total love and trust to you?

BUT... God has brought me SOOOO far over the past few years. I feel like I hit rock bottom and am slowly climbing back where God wants me to be.. but HE is SOOOO gracious. When I think I am at my worst... as long as I am willing, He seems to use me in the craziest ways.

I know I am babbling maybe.. but it is so hard to explain... cause as much as I love God, I fail Him over and over. But, you asked me about that feeling of total love and trust. I think that part of that has come from just spending time in Bible Study.. I don't mean "devotions" I mean taking even one verse and looking at the meaning of each word. That has helped me so much. I am seeing how LOVING God is more and more.

The other thing I do, is really imagine God as my DADDY.. not my Father, but my daddy. When I can't go anywhere else I literally imagine myself as a little girl and climbing up in His lap and letting Him just put His arms around me and hold me tight, rock me, or just lift me up above His head and twirl me around. I know that sounds a little silly, but somehow, when I think of God that way... which He REALLY is that way... it teaches me to trust Him and love Him more. The other thing I do is imagine dancing with God. I imagine stepping on His toes and dancing with Him. I imagine literally dancing with God.. carefree. It actually helps me release those things that are holding me down.

That may sound so silly to you... but all I know is that THIS imperfect, insecure, impatient, impulsive woman would not be able to face each day without the love of my "DADDY" and knowing that I would just be a screw up without HIS plan for my life.

I struggle with the battle between the FLESH and the SPIRIT. It is so hard on the days I feel bad to FEEL like I am a "worthy" Christian. Some days I feel like SUPER-SPIRITUAL WOMAN and other days I FEEL like I am the biggest screw up on the face of the earth.. .the key is FEEL. I have to make myself move beyond FEEL to KNOW. And I know that Jesus bought me with a price, He CHOSE me, and He cared enough about ME.. ME.. this crazy insane "fat" girl... to plan my future before I was even a thought in my mother's little girl desires to be a mommy one day.

I don't know if this has helped you or not. But.. .it is my heart. Remember, what you see on the outside and THINK people are feeling... may not be what it seems. I have found that some of the most "seemingly" secure Christians struggle with doubt and insecurity. Not one of us are perfect... if we were, we wouldn't need HIM!

I can't tell you how much I appreciate you thinking of me. God is opening up my world in such a REAL way. If I can do nothing else, I want to be REAL with others so that they can be prompted.. or comfortable to be REAL with God and each other. We have enough fakes in this world.

My friend told me this yesterday when we were talking about comparing ourselves to other Christians who seemed to GET what we don't... and this is what she said:

"The only comparing you should do is the person that you are now and the person you know God wants you to be."

It isn't what Suzie Homemaker is, or Connie Corporate, or Anna Amazing-mom, or Christina Christian... You see what I mean? Just be YOU... be the YOU that God made you to be! FIND THE YOU in YOU! FIND YOUR PLACE IN GOD!

I am only posting because there is no way for anyone to really know who it is. But... I really feel it is important for us all to remember that it is our EVERY DAY LIFE that is making impressions on others... good or bad. I just had a discussion today with someone who was so disappointed in some of the posts that were showing up from "Christians" on Facebook. But you know... even "Christians" are human and FB seems to be the place we vent without thinking about the effects.

Even as I read over my response, I think, "Maybe I didn't use enough scripture to back up my views like so and so would have." You see... it is like I heard this weekend from Lysa TerKeurst ...when Satan wants to discourage you by what someone else has that you don't... personality, skill, influence.. etc....YOU have to take authority and say to him, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" Don't let him discourage you like that. It is a matter of the mind and it is crucial that you let Jesus have control of your mind!

Sometimes I ramble.. but in it all, I hope you get the idea. BE YOU!!! That is who God made you to be. And, find security in YOUR DADDY! Climb up in His lap and enjoy His love and protection today!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Please don't sigh! I know when many hear the word "Revelations" they think of the last book of the Bible that is so difficult for many to understand. It has been said that it is the most difficult book to decipher. This may be true, but I want to look at the word "revelation" and what it means. While doing this, it may actually give you some insight on howto actually understand the book of "Revelations" as well.

Our N-house cell group at church has been studying the book of Galatians. I am so enjoying Bible study and not only relishing the new insights God is giving me, but the wisdom of my brothers and sisters in Christ as they read as well.

One of the ways God has been helping me to dig deeper into His Word is to actually go back to the Greek and Hebrew to discover the true meanings of various words and how they are used. This has been so interesting. So many things have a totally different intention, or at least broader meaning than we gather by quickly reading through the scripture.

These are the verses that struck me: "I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." -Galatians 1:11-12

How did Paul know the TRUE gospel? By revelation!

Now if you are like me, you probably read this and think like I did. Ok, so Paul knows that it is a true gospel cause Jesus showed it to him... he revealed it to him. God was like, "OK man... I want you to get it straight. Here is the true gospel... it is right here. I am showing it to you. I revealed it, it had nothing to do with you."

Let me share with you what I found by doing my digging:

The word "revelation" is the Greek word apokalupsis . It's actual definition means : appearing, an uncovering, revealed. It is from the word apokaluptó which means: to reveal, to uncover. Do you see that there isn't one definition to this word? It is a two fold meaning.

Here is what God showed me in this study. A revelation is two fold. #1 Appearing which was an act done by God and #2 an uncovering which was Paul’s searching for. Even the root word is two fold: uncover (I must do) and reveal (God must do).

When God truly reveals Himself to you, or when He reveals something about His word...you will get the most revelation from it when you have actually be searching for the answer. When I dig deep and try to uncover the true meaning behind the scripture, then God reveals what He really wants me to see and know.

Are you asking God for revelation on some area of your life today? Are you reading the Bible, let's just say maybe Revelations, and need to understand it better? Do you need "Revelations" in your life today?

Maybe it is time to stop waiting on God to just "magically" appear and reveal while you sit around and wait. Maybe what God is wanting you to do today is look deeper, uncover a few things for yourself so that when He does reveal something to you, you will know it is truly a revelation from Him.

It is amazing what can be revealed to you when you join forces with God and really make an effort at uncovering His Word and His will for your life!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Apple of God's Eye

You're the apple of my eye! You've heard it before. And if you have grown up in church I know you have been told that you are the apple of God's eye as well. But what does that really mean? We al know from the context of how the phrase has been used over and over again that it represents favor. But why?

If you were able to attend the last SHINE event, you already have some insight on this phrase. We were amazed the more and more we learned about this old phrase as it gave us a new meaning to God's love for us. Let me just share...

Moses talks to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 32:10 as he tells them how God has cared for them. Then, in Psalm 17:8 David asks God to keep him as the "apple of the eye" and guard him. And in Proverbs 7:2 we are told to keep God's commandments as the apple of our own eyes.

So what exactly is the apple of the eye? The Greek word used for "apple" is actually the same word for pupil. So when God tells us to guard his commandments like the apple of our eye, that means as we would protect our pupil.

Let's look and see what is so important about the pupil and why we need to protect it. Look at these interesting facts and spiritual symbolisms for the pupil.
  • The pupil gets wider in the dark, but narrower in the light.
  • When we are walking in the light (of Jesus) our path becomes narrower, but when we are walking in darkness... the way is wide.

  • The larger the pupil, the more light can enter.
  • The "larger" we grow in Christ, the more His light is able to enter.

  • The pupil of the eye is the hole or the opening of the iris, through which the rays of light pass, and falling upon the retina, there depict every object in its natural color, as upon a piece of white paper.
  • The more we allow God's light to shine on our life, the more we are able to see things as they really are (in their natural color).

  • The pupil allows light to the retina where the image of the visual world is. The retina is like a film camera.
  • What is showing on the films of your life? How much of God's light are you letting in?

  • The pupil dilates in response to extreme emotional situations like fear and pain.
  • Isn't it easy to shrink in our faith/confidence in God when we are dealing with extreme emotional situations as well?

There are many other facts that we discovered and shared about the pupil, but the one most interesting fact was found after our event. It is so interesting and such an example of God's love for us, that I have to share it.

The original Hebrew for this idiom was 'iyshown 'ayin (אישון עין), and can be literally translated as "Little Man of the Eye." This is a reference to the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in other people's pupils.

[You are the Apple of God's Eye:
You are the Little Man(or Woman) of His Eye]

When God Looks at You, He Sees the reflection of himself! That was His plan. That is what it means when you hear that you are the apple of His eye. Now here is the hard question... ARE YOU? Can He see His reflection on your life? Are you mirroring Jesus?

God loves us so much. We are the apples of His eye.. but He also wants us to hold His commands as the apple of our eyes as well. Let's think about the wonderful love God has for us and learn to have a love relationship with Him. He promises to love and protect us as the apple of His eye, and we must love right back by protecting His commands as the apple of ours.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last Minute Changes

I have been so behind on posts, but hope to get better ONE DAY! :O)

The SHINE event for today has been canceled, but for those of you who would still like to get together...Hot dogs and fellowship at my house today at 5. We will still talk about being the apple of God's eye and maybe even get a taste of some kind of apple dessert.

My house is a mess, and I am not prepared for company, but isn't that what SHINE is all about... being real?!?! Well, if you want to see reality at its finest, come and hang out! See you all there!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking Back

Hello everyone. It has been quite sometime since my last post and I have REALLY been struggling with knowing what to post. Part of the problem, I am sure, is because I have personally been going through some trials. Today has especially been a hard day for me. I have just been in prayer all day for God to remind me of what it is HE wants for me. You know when you are down, that is when Satan just wants to kick you in the stomach and keep you there. Whatever it is that Satan is trying to use for defeat in your life right now, God is ready to use for victory!

So, in the neat way God works, I stumbled over an old blog I wrote. I forgot I even had it. I have copied and pasted what I wrote back in July of 2008. For some reason I felt like it wasn't only something I needed today, but maybe you can benefit from it as well... God bless!

Late Night Temptations

God has really been working in my life. He has given me strength to overcome and mercy when I have not been successful. Lately I have been so excited about the misitry God is putting together through me that I can hardly stand it.

It is really neat to think that this ministry isn't a hand-me-down. It isn't something handed over to me from someone who didn't want it. It isn't something I would rather not accept. It isn't something to hide in the corner. It is something that God made.. brand new... just for me to use to serve Him. As each piece to the puzzle comes together, I seem to grow more and more in strength. The temptations that used to cause my emotions to knock me down and control me are not nearly as "tempting" as they used to be.

Don't get me wrong. Temptation is just as strong. The difference is that I am becoming more aware. I am seeing the better side of doing what God wants rather than what I want. I am seeing the benefits of waiting on His timing rather than my own. I am growing.

I was so proud of myself last night over a very wise decision I had made. It was a choice to avoid the opportunity for temptation. It was a choice that I didn't necessarily want to make, but knew there was a better reason for it. Some things are worth waiting for. I was able to put away Satan's offer to entice and put me in a situation where I may weak. I know that really BITES for him! LOL

You know, if Satan can't defeat you while you are fully awake when you are at your best, he tried to catch you off guard. Nothing like a late night phone call to get the temptations rising. Satan is smart and sneaks up on you. In my half asleep state, normally I would have fallen right into the temptation... willingly. But God gave me stregnth! Not only was I able to avoid temptation, but I used the time of interrupted sleep to spend some extra time with God.

What Satan wanted to use for defeat, God turned into victory! What can be better than that!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Do You Feel?

How do you feel? Do you feel like a Christian? I woke up this morning and I don't really "feel" like a Christian. What is a Christian supposed to feel like? I guess that is a pretty good question. Shouldn't a Christian "feel" happy and joyful? Maybe a Christian should "feel" successful, animated, ready to tackle the world? Is it ok for a Christian to "feel" tired and lifeless? Can a Christian "feel" depressed? What's wrong with me if I am having those feelings? What's wrong with you if you are having those "feelings"? Does it really even mean something IS wrong?

I can honestly tell you that I don't know the answer to most of those questions. GASP!!! I know someone in ministry that doesn't know the answer to the questions we have. (Feel my sarcasm there.) As I was praying over that question, I decided to do a search on the word "feel" in the Bible. I checked my trusty BibleGateway and searched for the word "feel" or derivatives of it in the NIV. Do you know I only found the word "feel" 26 times? And the amazing thing about it is, I checked the word "know" as well... it was listed 1161 times!!

So what does that have to do with anything? I think it is something for us to think about. We get so hung up on "feeling" like a Christian.. or NOT feeling like a Christian, that we forget it isn't about how we feel, but what we know. 2 Timothy 1:12 puts it all in perspective for us. It says:

"...I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day."

Are you feeling BLAH today? Are you questioning your salvation because Satan is sitting there lying to you? Are you hearing a whisper in your ear that says, "A Christian shouldn't be THAT tired!" or "A Christian wouldn't be depressed."? WHAT DOES A CHRISTIAN FEEL LIKE? Quit worrying about how you should feel and bank on what you KNOW! If you have asked God to forgive you for your sins; if you believe in Him and that Jesus died on the cross for you; if you want to hand your life over to the control of the Holy Spirit... then just rest in KNOWING that you are a Christian. KNOW in whom you BELIEVE and be CONVINCED that HE is able to GUARD what you have entrusted to HIM. You may feel bad, but you can KNOW He is in control of your life today! Don't rest in what you FEEL, rest in what you KNOW!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Intricacies of God

Can I just start out by saying how wonderful God is?!?!? I have been so blessed over the past few weekends to allow God use me at the SHINE event and then speaking at my home church in WV's mother/daughter banquet. Now I am having my cup filled up at the Women of Joy Conference in Charleston, SC. WHAT A BLESSING!!!

We so easily forget the way God works when we have stopped letting Him have full control and try to take things into our own hands. But... my, oh my how wonderful it is to watch Him remind us of the power He has to work in the most unexpected ways! I still can't figure out why I am so amazed when God does something miraculous. Isn't that the mere essence of who He is?

This morning was a beautiful, wonderful service. Travis Cottrill (forgive me if I spelled it wrong) has been leading the worship services and he will just blow you away with his voice. But the coolest thing about this man hasn't been his musical abilities, it has been his openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit and his obedience as the Spirit moves.

Today we had an altar call mid-service and it was beautiful!!! He challenged us to be REAL before God and just bring the burdens to the feet of Jesus. I have been so lucky to sit in the second row. (I will post pictures when I get home.) I was honored and privileged to have a lady and her mother stand right beside me in the aisle and kneel in prayer. I just was moved to kneel and pray with her as well.

Guys, when God tells you to do something DO IT! God spoke and directed for me to just lay my hands on this complete stranger and pray. I share this with you only as a testimony to the intricacies of God, because that is all it is about, not me. (I just wanted to emphasize that!) Anyway, God's Spirit was so thick at that place it was just amazing! Hundreds of women kneeling at the feet of Jesus... and I saw God directly answer this young ladies request! As we were praying her phone went off, she raised it in tears and showed her mother what it said. They cried, let me rephrase that, they wept together. I of course had NO idea what was going on, but felt it had something to do with her husband as God had been directing me how to pray.

As we went to stand up, the girl hugged me and told me that her husband was in Afghanistan and had texted her mid prayer, "I love you!" Yes ladies! I am bawling as I write this. I knew her pain.. I could relate to her, out of the thousands of women in that coliseum, God had me pray with her. I quickly gave her a few details of how I could relate and hugged her deeply with a few words from a "been there, done that" stand point and just encouraged her to let God love her in her husband's absence.

Isn't that how God works? He plans where we are supposed to be so that HE can use us how HE wants... all we have to do is listen and be obedient!

Another little example of God working this weekend is that our scheduled speaker got stuck with no plane service in Texas. The speaker that was able to fill in for her was actually the original speaker they wanted for this weekend, but she was supposed to be in South Africa today. To say the least plans left her in the states today and she was able to drive all night to get here and fill in for the speaker on the schedule. And let me tell you, GOD WANTED HER HERE. So, HE worked out all the intricacies that had stood in the way before.

You have heard, "Don't sweat the small stuff!" Well, that is it, don't sweat it. God is in control! Just be obedient to Him today. You might miss a great blessing if you don't!

Love you sisters!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Fervent Prayer

I woke up with God speaking these words to me..."A fervent prayer availeth much." I have heard those words for years. But have I really listened to and discovered what they mean?

As always I went to the dictionary. "Fervent" means having or displaying a passionate intensity. "Passionate" means showing or caused by strong belief. "Intensity" means highly concentrated. "Concentrated" means wholly directed to one thing. "Avail" means to take advantage of an opportunity or available resource. So let's paraphrase this verse...

"A wholly directed prayer of highly strong belief takes advantage of many opportunities and resources."

Boy.. now that makes you think...right? First thing this tells me is that there are many opportunities and resources available to me. Isn't that true with God? He has so many resources available to us, yet so many times we just don't even open our eyes wide enough to see them... or maybe we are just too busy or even lazy to take advantage of them.

The second thing that shows me is that our prayers need to be wholly (entirely, fully) directed. So many times our prayers are whispered as we run out the door, drive to work, sit in the waiting room, finish a phone call. But are our prayers "wholly" directed? Do we put full attention to the prayers we are offering up? Or, are we thinking about what to fix for supper and where we are going to find the money to pay the next bill? I am so guilty of not having "wholly directed" prayers.

The third thing God showed me is the part about it being a prayer of "strong belief." One definition of strong is "of, relating to, or denoting the strongest of the known kinds of force." And "belief" means "an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists." So in other words, a prayer we believe strongly in is a prayer that we know is true, that we know exists and it isn't just knowing a little.. it isn't just having hope it will happen or might exist...it is knowing with the strongest kind of force that it is true and the resources ARE there and they ARE available to us.

How many of us are really praying with that kind of power? Girls, a fervent prayer availeth much!!!! Maybe we need to start taking advantage of our prayer lives more and calling out the power and believing more so that we can take full advantage of what is already provided for us.

You know the coolest thing about this verse other than it's full meaning?.... It is the second part of James 5:16, the foundational verse of SHINE. "Confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed." And right after that is where the fervent prayer comes in. We need to start being passionate about what we are doing, how we are praying and what we are believing. If we can take up this challenge, I think we will see HUGE changes in our life.

I think the thing that is resonating with me is BELIEVING. My prayers don't carry much belief sometimes. Why waste time saying a prayer and finishing it up by making a statement to a friend that the issues "will never change"? You know what I am talking about..."It will always be this way." "He will never change." "That's just the way it is."

Girls... let's start believing! Let's start praying! Let's start taking advantage of the resources already given to us! A fervent prayer availeth much!!!