Archive | May 2012

The Journey Continues

Today I am packing and preparing for my journey toward a deeper look at myself. I will be gone for a week and God has told me that the dam is going to break. I am filled with excitement and fear at the same time. Excitement because I know that at the end of this experience I will experience another level of freedom from strongholds that have plagued me for most of my life. Fear because the cost of this freedom is losing things that have allowed me to be comfortable to continue to accept mediocrity in my life. There will be no more excuses, no one and nothing else to blame when I fail. It will set the stage to live life big and not shrink back from the responsibilities God has given me.

I’m afraid and the enemy of my soul seems to be taunting me with lie after lie. You’re not good enough, you’re being selfish, you don’t have what it takes, you will fail, you will not have what you need, your family will suffer because you are leaving, etc.

I’m afraid but God is for me. I’m going to do it afraid and I will not fail because God tells me that He is preparing me to stand up and lead so others have permission to do the same. God has given me the desire to lead by example and impact as many lives as possible. I want others to know who they are in Christ and that they have authority over this world. I want them to know that they have permission to step up and step out.

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.”

What challenge are you facing today? What is God saying to you?

Struggling Again!

Today I find myself struggling with my unbelief again. The book that God urged me to write has just been published and the struggle has begun again! God softly whispers and reminds me that I have not arrived, in fact; I will never arrive until Jesus comes back or I go to be with Him.

He reminds me of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham had just witnessed the salvation of Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the very next chapter, Genesis 20, we see that he feared for his life and told Sarah to lie about who she was. He told Sarah to tell everyone that she was his sister so that his life might be spared. What God does next fills me with awe. He warns Abimelech not to touch Sarah because she is Abraham’s wife. He saves Abraham from his unbelief!

In Genesis 26 we see that God tells Isaac to stay in Gerar and not to go down to Egypt during the famine. Isaac obeys God, but he also fears for his life and tells everyone that Rebekah is his sister. God saves him from his unbelief! What patience our Father has!

God reminds me that He often saves me from myself when I continue to trust in Him. He is faithful even when I am not! The truth is if I believe God will not bless me when I fail than I believe a lie. I can never do anything to deserve His blessing. God’s blessing is a gift I receive when I surrender myself to Him. He doesn’t bless my plan, but He does bless me to walk in His plan.

Circumstances sometimes appear to be anything but a blessing. I have learned that when I look past my circumstances and tell God that I trust Him and I know He is working for my good the breakthrough is usually not far behind.

Psalm 18:2 – The Lord is my Rock. He is solid and does not change. He is my Fortress, surrounding me with protection. He is my Deliverer, always making a way for me. My God, my Refuge!

Psalm 56:13 – The Lord delivers my soul from death and my feet from stumbling so that I can walk before Him in the light of Life!

If God is for me, who can be against me! What are you struggling with today?

Please feel free to share.

This entry was posted on May 18, 2012. 2 Comments

Different Paths continued…

If we are tempted to speak out against another teaching we need to make sure that we understand the teaching we are speaking out against. So many times I have heard someone speak out against a teaching and when I listened to it myself, realized that the person speaking out had not understood the entire message. Sometimes we hear one thing we disagree with and then anything else that person says is wrong in our eyes.

We need to test the teaching we are receiving by digging in the word of God for ourselves, so that we can understand and know what God is telling us. We need to remain open and ask God to reveal what we need to hear. It’s amazing what we can learn from someone when we stop needing to be right.

We need to start looking at ourselves as part of the Kingdom of God and understand that God has given us all different visions and different people to reach. We are not in competition with each other; we are all a part of the bigger picture. We will disagree with others doctrines from time to time, but before we speak out we need to be careful that we are not speaking out of pride.

This has been a struggle for me many times as God has been shifting my thinking. He has been revealing some things to me that are contrary to what I have believed most of my life. The temptation is to speak out against others that are seemingly teaching things that I used to believe. What God has said to me is that there are some that are not ready to hear the message He has revealed to me and that’s ok. God will reveal what they need to hear when they are ready, because He knows how we think and when we are ready for more.

1 Corinthians 9:19–23  19“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. 20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. 23 And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

In this scripture Paul talks about meeting people where they are. Isn’t that what God does for us?

Again your feedback is welcomed. Thank you for all your support.

Different Paths continued…

Finally I have an opportunity to continue the subject I started last week.

It is so easy to criticize other people’s beliefs when they are different from what we were raised to believe. When I made a decision to really become a disciple of Christ, the church that appealed most to me was a non-denominational church. It still seemed there was an attitude of competition with other churches even there.

As I began to study the Bible for myself, I stumbled across this passage of scripture. Phillipians 1:15-18 15  “It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.”

This scripture reveals to me that if someone is preaching the message of salvation that is what is most important.  I started to realize that maybe some of the things we were fighting about weren’t worth the battle. It seemed we were losing more than we were gaining. I can now say that I have finally become a member of a church that seeks to connect with other churches in the community and doesn’t work to compete with them. This has made a much bigger impact on the community and I am looking forward to seeing more people come to change their views on what God is all about.

As always your feedback is welcomed. I will continue on this subject in the coming days. Thank you for all your support.

Different Paths

We were all created with a unique personality and set of skills and talents. God meets us all where we are, so why is it so difficult to understand that different people relate to different teaching. Some of us are given the ability to evangelize and bring people to salvation, while others are blessed with the ability to build up, edify and challenge those who are already saved. Now I’m not implying that we can’t do both, but some people are really gifted at reaching the unsaved, others are teachers, and still others have servants hearts. We all have a part to play and we are at our best when we move in the areas we are gifted in.

We need to lay down our need to be right and realize that God has designed different churches to reach different people. Have you noticed that there seems to be so much competition among churches and different denominations? It seems that some people spend more time telling people why other churches aren’t doing things the way that they should be done and less time just speaking the truth that God has revealed to them.

The world is watching us and I believe that we are turning people who want to believe away by criticizing others way of doing things. We are called to be different than the rest of the world and I believe when people see us arguing and tearing each other down they can’t see any difference between us and the rest of the world. We need to examine our motives when we point out what we believe others are doing wrong.

If we look to Jesus as our example we see that He spent most of His time in His ministry sharing the truth in love. Yes there were those times when He confronted the religious leaders, but He did it in full view of them and the public. We need to make sure before we speak out against another that God is truly guiding our words and it’s not out of our own pride.

I Corinthians 12:12-14 “Just as a body, though one has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.”

These verses speak to me about the kingdom of God and not just a specific church. This subject is too big for one short blog, so I will continue to delve into what God has been revealing to me in the coming days. Please feel free to share your feelings.

This entry was posted on May 11, 2012. 2 Comments

A New Perspective

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

My husband, Rick and I were married by a justice of the peace and he read this scripture during the ceremony. It freaked me out, because up until that point I had only heard this read at funerals, and honestly I was thinking my wedding was a funeral of sorts. In my mind it was the death of myself and the death of my freedom or so I thought. Little did I know that God would use this marriage to lead me along the path He had chosen for me.

This week it comes back to me in a fresh new light. It really speaks to me about the journey God has me on right now. Recently coming out of a wilderness period in my life, this scripture continues to provide comfort to me as I step out in faith to follow God’s plan for my life. It helps me to boldly declare His plans for me regardless of what others think. It speaks to me about the abundant life God has for me, here and now, not just in heaven.

What images does this scripture invoke in you?

Seeking Approval

Writing my book and writing this blog are things that I feel led to do. This week God has been dealing with me on my pride once again. He has asked me to share my story and share things He is laying on my heart. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him. I found myself this week looking at my stats, and waiting to hear comments from people reading my blog. No comments came and then God whispered softly to me, “Why are you writing? Is it to get man’s approval or mine?” Completely humbled once again I say you’re right Lord, please forgive me.

The fact is that it is none of my business how people receive the message God is giving me. The only thing of any importance is that I obey Him when He tells me to write. We don’t always get to see the fruit of our service. The truth is that if I always got to see the impact the words I write have on others it would be very easy to become prideful and then I stop God from being able to use me. I must humbly serve Him.

My book and this blog come out of what God is doing in me right now. When I take ownership of that it ceases to be about God and loses the power to speak to others. I’m so grateful that God is choosing to use me.

I want to hear the words, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.” How about you?

Whose approval are you seeking today?

This entry was posted on May 9, 2012. 2 Comments