Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Why? Oh, Why did I stop when I came home? I fell right back into my routine of waking up at the last possible moment~ quickly thanking Him for my day and moving on. NOT making sure I started off my day fellowshipping with Him. NOT making sure I sang praises to Him at night before I went to bed. NOT thanking Him for His awesomeness, grace & love.
I recently read in a Daily Bible Devotional (which I was behind in reading) , "God longs for us just to want to be with Him." ~ From Faith to Faith. What if we stopped constantly going to Him with our cares and worries~ don't get me wrong, there IS a time and place for that.
But, what if...
We actually took the time to wake up 30 minutes earlier to spend time with our Heavenly Daddy. We talked to Him about what is going on in our lives and then listened to Him in return. We let the Living Word of God wash over us and wash us anew. We fellowshipped with him throughout the day~ giving Him thanks & praise. We didn't fall asleep at night without counting our blessings~ even if the only one we could think of for that day is that He loves us and died for us.
We were able to turn our worries into praises. When troubles come (and they do come) we took our mind off of them and put our mind on the Author and Creator of this amazing Universe. I am not saying our troubles will "magically" vanish. What I am saying is that when we cast our cares upon Him, when we stop to think of His mercy in our lives when we soooo don't deserve it, that our troubles seem to vanish and our hearts are mended.
I have been too guilty of not waking up to spend time with Him and not talking to Him throughout my day. I have noticed in moments of distress and pain, I have yet to go to my Lord and Savior. When I do, I am at peace. Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord Our Peace! Have you been guilty of this as well?
As I write this, I am encouraged! I am encouraged because I know that when I run to Jesus, He is there with open and loving arms. He will not turn His back to me! When I wake up to spend time with Him tomorrow morning (and the rest of my mornings) and as I fellowship with Him throughout my day (and the rest of my days) and end my evening (and the rest of my evenings) singing Him praise, I look forward to getting to know my Savior more! Will you, too, get to know our precious God?!?!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Recently I received some INCREDIBLE news! Truly a dream come true. I was chosen to be on the next set of TurboFire DVDs that are coming out sometime next year. I have worked very hard to get my body in the shape that allows me to feel confident and comfortable. A whole different conversation could be written about how we need to be pleased with the way God made us... that is for another time. This conversation is about the fact that even though I was chosen to be one of 20 out of over 275 people, the fact that even though my body is now in the best shape it has ever been in and I feel more energetic and strong, I still have insecurities! I look at the photographs of the other 19 people who were chosen and I wonder how I even fit into the same category~ they look amazing and are in amazing shape. Am I really like them?
In the Bible, Exodus 4:10 gives us a similar picture... "But Moses pleaded with the LORD, "O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled." Moses did not believe in Himself, but God believed in Him and used him and his brother, Aaron, to lead the entire Israeli people out of Egypt.
While listening to a radio interview of Rebecca St. James, an amazing Christian singer, she talked about how one night she had a cold and didn't think that she would be able to perform the way she really wanted to. She went on to perform and had an amazing time full of God's touch and His presence. This was the scripture she remembered, " But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Cor. 12:9
What does God say about you?!?! He says in Deut. 28:13, "If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom."
Monday, August 22, 2011
The message that day was about how we, as believers of Jesus, can go out and tell people and show people how much Jesus loves them. Sadly, I have not been doing that lately. I have been consumed with issues w/ finances and health that are going on at home. I have not at all been focusing on where God wanted me to go and who He wanted to me help, but how He could help me. Don't get me wrong... there is nothing wrong w/ crying out to Jesus for help~ David did it all the time!
Mine was a heart issue.
Compared to many, I have much. I looked in my closet the other day not having worn all of my summer clothing as of yet, and loving each piece too much to even think about putting it in the "donation pile"~ let alone the "give to a friend who needs it" pile. I have been too consumed with what my needs were to see what others needs were and how I could help. We may not have a lot of money to give right now, but I can give of my time. I can give of my labor. In some capacity, I can give. I can always give.
Just as God has always done in my life when He is trying to teach me something, He uses every avenue possible to get His point across... this time he used a blog posted by a friend on facebook. It wasn't even her blog, but one posted by her friend who along w/ her husband, ministers to those trapped in prostitution in Bolivia. This is what Andrea wrote...
"A couple nights a week, we can expect a visit from our friend Martin, a homeless man who regularly stops by the house and asks for something to eat. Since we moved to La Paz, I'm further away from those with less and I'm honored to serve Martin a hot plate of food when he visits. Usually he prefers the fried chicken from across the street though.
So tonight, the doorbell rang at its usual time and I went to the door. As we've been pinching pennies ourselves these days, I had to explain, "I'm sorry, I don't have money to buy chicken tonight, but I do have some food if you'd like." Martin agreed and I went to prepare him a plate.
Martin has on occasion been a little agressive at times, so this evening as Andy was not home, I knew I needed to be careful. I handed him some dinner and carefully started to close the door. But Martin pushed and said, "I have bread." I kindly explained that we didn't need any bread and started to close the door again. But Martin insisted, "Pero tengo demas!" "But I have extra!"
So I paused and then graciously received his gift.
I came in the house a bit teary-eyed and told the boys what happened. "That's cool," one said, "Martin blessed us." My 5-year old said, "Martin learned to be helpful!"
I smiled. Actually, Martin taught us a lesson: when you have extra, you share."
Those last words hit home...
When you have extra, you share.
I realize how much I have in my Earthly home and how all of it will be dust eventually. I have so much more than others and absolutely want to give in whatever way the Lord asks of me... He has always taken care of us and even if I were to give away our last bit of "whatever" for His kingdom's glory, He will not let us go~ He will always provide!
Who/what is the "Martin" you need to give to, to help minister to them and have them minister to you as well?
Friday, April 29, 2011
Decisions are all over the place~ what to have for all of our meals. When to run our errands. When to workout. When to spend time with the Lord. Sometimes the decisions are painful~ what flight to take to make sure I make it to FL before my mom passes away. A phone call to make a confrontation you are dreading. There was a time in my life that I had to make a decision about my health. I have four children. After the first three, I lost all of my weight fairly quickly. Man~ that was fabulous! After my fourth child, I didn't! Could it have been that I was in my 30s? Could it have been that I didn't consistently workout during my pregnancy? Or, could it have been that I hated the thought of eating salad/veggies my entire pregnancy and only wanted to eat ice cream, jelly beans, etc? Not sure! ;) I got to a point where I just thought~ this is how I am going to look for the rest of my life. Was I happy about that~ NO!!! But I had not made a decision to make any change in my life. I was up one morning and saw an infomercial for Turbo Jam. I watched the infomercial for a number of days before I made the decision to buy it and dedicate my time to actually working out and eating healthier.
Once I made the decision to buy my new workout, I had to decide to commit to it. I had to put in the time and energy it would take to follow the meal plan, and kick my butt in the exercises. I had to commit to not eating things that were unhealthy for me. I often asked myself~ "IIWI" (Is It Worth It?) Is this piece of pizza worth the extra calories and workout I am going to have to do~ sometimes it was a "no" & sometimes it was a "yes!" :)
Succeed~ exclamation point! :)
The decision paid off! The commitment paid off! In 10 days I had lost 8 pounds!!! It was such an amazing feeling to know that I felt better, looked better and was happier!
I think that "Decide. Commit. Succeed." applies to all areas of our lives. Decide to wake up in the morning and spend your first moments with the Lord in prayer and reflection about the day ahead, committing to Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you. Decide to eat healthy and workout. Decide to spend more time with your family and love on 'em. When you ask yourself "IIWI"~ I would venture to say YES!!!! Yes, my friends, it is. :)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Isaiah 12: 4-6 breaks it down for us!
v4 Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name!
I am the first to admit that there are times where there is nothing resembling "thanks" coming from my lips. Life can be hard! I know that all too well. But, I will also be the first to say that if all we can do is Thank Him for saving us from our lives of sin and emptiness, isn't that enough!?!? I mean, WOW! Thank you, Lord for that alone!!!
v4 make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.
I love looking back on my life and remembering all of the amazing ways that Jesus has moved~ for little 'ole me! Sometimes it is awesome writing it down in a journal or even posting it in on your fridge or mirror to remember that GOD MOVES and will continue to move. So, when we have that ever before us, it makes us excited to tell people what God has done in our lives!!!!!! Share your testimony~ do not be afraid or ashamed. Be Bold!!! He did it for you~ Praise Him!!
v5 Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world!
Worship. Worship the Lord for the amazing things He has done in your life~ that only He could do!!! Think about all the times you sing around your home, or in the car... take time to sing to Jesus! Psalm 22 says He inhabits the praises of His people!!! Praise Him, friends, for all He has done in your life! :)
v6 Shout aloud and sing for JOY people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you!
When we take our mind off of what is going on in our life and focus on Him (by worshiping Him)~ everything becomes peaceful! He is a God of peace!!! Shout for Him my friends!!! 1 John 4:4 says, "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world!!!" Shout for the one that is GREATER!!!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Do I really surrender all?
Me~ a borderline control freak~ can I really surrender ALL?
When I tell the Lord~ I surrender all~ I really do mean it, as hard as that is! But, I will admit to you, there are many times that I try it my way first... why can't I learn the first time that my way is NOT the best. There have been some very NOT SO FUN moments lately in my life that I have had no control over. Oh, believe me, I wanted to take control, but it was futile. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." He has our best interests at heart. If that means that I have to go through some not so fun times to stay on His path for me, then I accept. Sometimes I get scared, but I realize that my hope is in Him and Him alone~ all these other things will fail me and fade away, but He is always there! Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I encourage you, my friends, to surrender the things in your life that you really have no control over anyway. Trust in the Lord who loves you and wants amazing things for your life! I think that most people only quote Jeremiah 29:11, but there's so much more to it... starting from 11: "11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD...
He wants to be found by us!!! Put your trust, put your "ALL" in the creator of this universe b/c He has grafted you in His MIGHTY hands!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
There are times that I have had to call some of my friends to make sure that I am not being too sensitive b/c I definitely can be~ ugh! There are times when the anger is boiling inside that it's hard to contain, and there are times that the love and joy are overflowing!
I have witnessed feelings on so many levels just by observing my children. Watching my oldest daughter sing and dance around the house because we are going to the store to use her birthday money. And then the very next hour, having her grumble and complain about having to do her schoolwork. My son complain about not wanting to go to the zoo and watching his feelings change when we get there and are able to feed the giraffes for free!
I have found that this can even have an impact on the one area of my life that should stay consistent~ my walk with the Lord. When I am upset because I forgot to pay a bill and now have a late fee or the house is a mess and I am desperately trying to get it under control or my kids are having some "moments" I would much rather them not be having, I often find myself feeling far away from the one person who is always near~ Jesus!
Does this mean that He is indeed far away? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!
The way that I feel has no impact on whether the Lord is walking with me. The Bible says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. It says in 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP) "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." Often times when I look back on situations, I have found that He was carrying me... my mother dieing and my friend dieing are two instances where I was confused and unsure and my faith waivered. It was the hardest time in my life. I talked with God, but barely... I was angry and sad and hard! I am so thankful that I stayed consistent in talking to Him, because, looking back, I can see Jesus was carrying me!
It is amazing how many feelings bombard our day... the one thing that absolutely helps me is when I am having a moment~ happy, sad, angry, etc... I sing to Jesus... I thank Him for all that He has done in my life, even when it feels like nothing good has been done... there is always the fact that He chose me, He loves me, He never leaves me, He died for me, He forgives me... It says in Colossians 3:2 " Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." When I take my mind off of what is going on in my life and focus on Him~ the creator of my life~ my feelings are then FILLED with His awesomeness and power!
I encourage you, my friends, that whenever you are feeling happy, sad, angry, loved~ sing to Jesus, talk to Jesus~ stay focused on Him!!! It is amazing how quickly our feelings will change into one of thankfulness, love, joy and peace!
Monday, February 14, 2011
My friends~ I will tell you! :)
I was at the grocery store today and was walking down the toilet paper isle trying to find cheap toilet paper for a game I was going to do at a Valentine's Day Party. As I was walking, I saw a woman from our church at the other end of the isle. I was about 90% sure it was her and for some reason did not want to have to deal with chatting with someone that I don't really know, but should definitely stop to say "Hello" to~ pathetic... I know!
So what did I do... I did something that anyone would have done...
I turned around and went the other way... again~ pathetic!
Well, as you could have guessed, the next isle I was in, there she was. I laughed to myself and went to say hello. As I was approaching and we happened to look at each other at the same time, I noticed the TONS of toilet paper she had in her basket. I think she noticed my eyes' direction because she started talking about it. Apparently there is a website you can go to that lets you know all sorts of deals that are going on and different coupons you can print out. This toilet paper~ the good kind, not the paper thin kind~ was only on sale for the day and did not even have a sign posted to recognize the sale.
That's when it hit me~
MY GOD WILL CHASE ME DOWN TO BLESS ME! :)
At first I was not really wanting to chat with the woman, but God put her in my path again, and because of that, I also bought a ton of toilet paper~ which we needed~ on an amazing sale. I wasn't looking for a great deal and would not have found it either because there was no sign for it, but God knew about it and wanted to bless me.
That same day, my husband went to Caribou Coffee totally unaware of the "buy one get one coupon" that was out there. When he arrived, the woman in front of him told him that she wanted to bless him and use her coupon to get him a coffee. Apparently she came into the store with the intention of whoever was behind her in line would receive this blessing. My husband started to order something small, but the woman said, "Come on, you can do better than that~ order anything you want!"
Isn't that like our God~ He wants to bless us HUGE!!! Not just with a small amount that could satisfy our craving, but an OVERFLOWING that knocks our socks off!
I have no doubt that our God wants to bless us with what I like to call "His little hugs". It says in His Word in Philippians 4:19~ " My God will supply all of my needs according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus!"
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
In my last post, my mom was healed of cancer. Such a precious gift to have for that time. I have read about so many other families that get the CLEAR sign and are so thankful for that added time they have with their loved one while they are feeling well again! I can't even begin to express to you how greatly I want for my mom to still be healed HERE on this Earth. We had 2 1/2 years more with my mom~ truly a gift that I know not everyone gets. I had wonderful visits and conversations with her, but I YEARN for more. I miss her more than I can even explain.
With things like my mom's death, my friend's death the year before, and heart wrenching other stories about people losing spouses, children, grandparents, friends I have come to realize one thing... life can be short.
We hear that enough don't we?
But, what I am getting at is this... I am not doing exactly what I know I am supposed to be doing with my life and it starts NOW. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am to tell people about Jesus! Even as I write this, the Spirit inside of me is EXCITED for the journey we are about to go on. I repent to the Lord that it has taken me this long, Father forgive me.
I want to be a woman that the devil says as I wake up in the morning, "Oh crap, she's up!!!"
AWAY WE GO...
and remember~ Jesus Love You! :)