Regarding the funny kitty video – The Battle belongs to the Lord

Earlier today I posted a video about a cautious kitty and the outcome of keeping his focus ahead.

This video stirred up some thoughts in my mind about how the enemy often works.

He uses an obstacle placed before you. He then allows that trouble to completely consume you. He just hopes that your eyes will remain on your obstacle. Often the trial is not as big as you fear it is, but it consumes your mind, thought, energy and resources.

Then…. Whammo ! Just when your guard is down and you have reached the end of your rope with exhaustion and efforts ahead of you, that is when you get it!

If you have not heeded the word of God, you are blindsided and facing a full on attack!

What is the word of God in this? How can you apply the word to the trials and troubles before you?

There is the scripture : Psalm 121:2

My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth. 

 Or how about  :   Isaiah 41:10 

  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. :

But what really stands out at me at this moment Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

We DO have a battle. There is an enemy waiting to attack us. We must put on the armor of God and walk with our eyes focused on the Lord.

The enemy will rob our joy if we hand the battles over to him willingly. Fight for the Joy and gifts that are YOURS

There is a song that sums up the truth of God’s victory so nicely.

Blessings this day my friends ~

Why Joy?

 

To begin with I am in no way against medication for depression that a doctor may have prescribed. I tried medication and the side effects were unbearable physically for me, but I do know that there are people that have success with medication when clinically depressed.

In my darkest hours of my life, I tried doctors, I tried shaking myself up, I tried snapping out of it… to no avail I had become depressed, suicidal depressed!

 I was completely miserable in my fibro pain and fog. I was depressed over various life issues and loss.  Challenges and burdens kept increasing one by one rather than lifting. I was not doing anything different in my life. I was seeking the Lord, praising Him, serving Him, but there was something wrong. I was lacking His joy and my circumstances were dictating my ‘feelings’. 
 

 So as I cried out to God it my greatest time of need, He revealed to me that I needed to seek Joy. Not joy in the sense of happiness but His fullness of Joy, the gift of abundance that He had for me.
I began writing this blog to work my way through depression and seek joy. Why do I find it important to have joy?

It is important that we do not live a life of despair. Jesus came that we may have life to the full.

I honestly have learned over time, that there is a difference between being joyful (feelings) and having a fullness of joy (heart condition). A deep seeded joy that can rise up at any time in any circumstance is a fullness of joy. Not letting your circumstances dictate your joy, is having a fullness of joy. There will be weeping for a night, but your joy can come in the morning. There is a season of grief, but depression has no place in our life. 

The word says that Jesus came so that we may have life and have it to the full. I do not believe that means we will have everything handed to us, never face any trials or that we will be covered in great wealth. God has a different plan for each and every life and each person’s ‘full’ will be different.  What I do know is that the word also says the joy of the Lord is our strength. 

The Joy of the Lord is something that our Father offers us, and we have the right to take that treasure. But how do we do that in the midst of illness, loss, burdens, sadness, despair, financial crisis, broken relationships and lack of self worth?

As I prayed and sought the Lord, He revealed areas in my life and in others lives that may be preventing us from living life full of His joy. It is my desire, to take what the enemy meant to harm me, grow stronger and walk in FULLNESS of JOY and share the glimpses of revelation that the Lord had blessed me with in the midst of trial and storms.

Take this journey to joy with me! Let us share our burdens with one another, lift each other up and have FULLNESS of Joy. 

John 15:10-11

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

(ESV)

He gives and takes away

Let me state right now, that this is my honest opinion on revelation for my own life. I am not finger pointing, but this post is based on my experience and what I feel has been revealed to me. Maybe this will bless others, or not, but definitely is necessary for me on my journey of joy.

In the bible Job was taken through the ringer. God allowed Satan to test Job. Satan was allowed to take from Job, but not allowed to have Job’s life.  Job continued to serve the Lord.

In the bible there was a rich man that would not enter the kingdom of heaven because he would not lay all his worldly riches down for the Lord.

In the bible  Jesus used two fish to feed the multitudes.

Do I believe the bible? Yes. Have I seen over and over in my own life the difference that the Holy Spirit makes? Yes. Do I believe God is more than capable to sweep in and use His hand to change my circumstances? Yes. Yet sometimes even though He is capable, He does not move the way I expected. Whether it be a trial and testing season, or sin in the heart that needs to be dealt with, or just life in general, we go through pain and it hurts.

That being said, today I realized how incredibly shallow I have been over the years and had to repent.

To those that had to hear me vent about loosing my house, the incredibly tight income, the repossession of my car, while your heart was breaking, I sincerely repent!

Reflecting today, I truly do see the Lord’s hand in removing those things from my life. I don’t blame the enemy. The Lord knows me better than I know myself and those things were taking precedence. I was more concerned about making  the next house payment than I was the condition of my neighbors heart ( these neighbors in particular were ones you loved because the Lord says you should, but I didn’t like them much).

I didn’t like my neighbor, I liked my bills being paid.

I don’t say this lightly. I am thankful that I have been given much and had much taken. I never trusted the Lord so much in my life, than I do right now. Waiting day to day for the next bill to be paid.

I have grumbled and complained over material things and feel truly chastised for it.

But with the Lord’s correction comes love and grace, when I repent and turn away from my rebellion and wrong doing.

Just like if I saw my own children, being ungrateful and self absorbed I would step in, for their benefit, so my heavenly father has loved me enough to step into my life and remove the things that were not of Him.

Now I am not saying a home and a nice car can’t be from the Lord, but I do know they were things I had been chasing, and that is not His plan. It isn’t about whether I own a home or not, it is an issue with the condition of my heart.

It was time to stop and evaluate this week, what else does the Lord need to take away. I walk this journey, lighter, and blessed greatly that He cares enough to instruct and speak to me on the matters of the heart.

The correction left me humble. I sincerely thought chasing that dream was okay. It is not okay when material possessions consume your time and energy.

The enemy would try to condemn me, but the Lord convicted and I repented, I don’t need to hold onto my past sin, but look forward to what He has next now that it has been dealt with.

Hebrews 12:5-6

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Hope

The definition of HOPE-  A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

So often when we have a battle before us, we hesitate to declare boldly our expectation and desire for the end results. We are concerned that declaring boldly that the Lord will do as we ask and expect, He will look bad if that outcome is not as we were declaring, desiring, expecting, or hoping for.

The thing is we have a great gift, in the ability to walk in a feeling of expectation and desire for the things on our heart.  We get to experience that expectation bubble up inside of us. We have a vision and direction for what we wish to see.

God offers us the gift of hope in His word. We do not hurt his feelings if we are hoping for something that may or may not be His will. We have the right as His children, to declare the hopes and desires within our heart. He is that good of a father, that He wants to know and most often He is the one that placed that very hope there in the first place.

I look at my husband as an example of how declaring our hope works. As a young couple, he declared to me that he expected and desired a future with me. He declared and expected we would have a family. He was bold in these statements. God knew I desired a man that would be bold in his plans for our future. What if Dan never declared his love, his desire, his hope, his expectancy ? What if he was silent? Would the results of our future been the same? I highly doubt it.

Boldly petition and declare what you are desiring and expecting. No regrets, no apologies. He is good, no matter the plan and He is good enough to allow us to share our hearts.

Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Jeremiah 29:11

 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.

His love NEVER fails!!!!  This is a link to an awesome song! Click it 🙂 Blessings

Old Habits Die Hard

I started my job, worked for two months and then quit my job. I went in feeling strong, but each day tore me down physically more. I wanted to push through the fatigue and pain, I wanted to be the marathon runner that reached the end of the race. I felt like a failure to have quit.

It has been two weeks now and I have noticed, those two months working really were a training time. I now have even more energy at home in my days  than before I started the job.  I have stepped away from the job making me ill and harming my body and my strength is returning and pain filled days are lessening. I now am in pursuit of writing and photography, as well as a part-time job. There is reason to hope for my future!

I see so much that I had learned in that very short time frame. I would never replace my meeting the co workers  or my experience with the kids creating laughter and joy filled moments. The long drive to work in the AM listening to focus on the family on the radio had developed some extra wisdom and very healing God moments for me.

However even with a hope,  there is one problem amidst all my revelation that I am called to not work full-time right now, there is no money at the end of the month. We are making ‘exactly’ our bills and not a penny more. While I should be thankful for that and I am , I am finding myself wanting to worry about the ‘needs’. The needs list is never-ending; Explorer needs fixed, the kids need school fees, we are thousands behind from the layoff and on and on the list goes. Oh, and did I mention groceries that are needed for 3 teen boys?

I find myself wanting to pick up worry, stress, doubt, depression, anger, frustration, self loathing and despair. I try to figure it all out in my own head, but there is truly no earthly answer.

It has dawned on me that my old fleshy habits have not died and yet here I was so very thankful just a few weeks ago. I now bring these things to attention, because I do not want to stay in my habits. Because I see them for what they are; fleshy old yucky habits, they have been exposed and I do not have to stay wallowing in them.

The awesome thing about failures as a human being. We can give them over to the Lord and He will perfect His work in us. His presence is enough to calm the frustrated heart, to give strength, to leave peace where worry once dwelt.

Whenever the enemy wants to come back at me with how my situation looks, I can remind Him what the word of God says. My God is enough, He supplies all my need, I do not need to fear or doubt but trust. I have victory over those past habits and even though they want to rise up, I don’t need to let them.

As hard as it can be at times and I want to pick up that old habit, I need to kill it and make sure it stays dead. I am a new creation! That joy has bubbled forth in me once and I don’t want to let the first trials coming along take it away. My joy is not dependant on the what if’s. My joy is in him. That is a habit I want daily! The habit of joy!

Challenge this day my friend: Be aware of your habits. Be aware of picking up wrong thinking or sinning again and address it. Take it to the one that can give you strength to develop the RIGHT habits.

Ephesians 4:22- 24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I am ALIVE RIGHT NOW

A dear friend of ours has been told that he only pumps ten percent of oxygen into his blood that his body needs. He is going through the process of discussing life options with hospice, planning where he wants to be when he dies.

I LOVE his heart and attitude. He knows that even though He is not technically well, that GOD has a plan for him and our friend knows he WILL LIVE every one of those days the Lord has planned.

Our friend has taught me to be a life-giver to those around me, to bring joy into the worlds depressing situations. He reminds me anew that the situation around us does not matter.

He always has a smile to greet us, his words to me a few days ago ministered to me deeply,

” I am not dying tomorrow, and I am alive right now!”

He was not spending our whole visit focusing on his death, or that one day he will die, maybe even soon…. he wants to live in his life in the moment of NOW.

He knows he is ready  to die, whenever the time may come, and he may flesh out and have a moment of doubt and frustration, but he doesn’t STAY there.

Fear is NOT an option. We have so much before us that if we stand and live in fear of our death or our health or our ‘what ifs’ we will be miserable!

I walked away from that moment of my technically dying friend, BLESSED!

He has decided NOT to live in a pity party, oh he has his moments but is not living in fret, working at not being angry, but to rejoice, and just love on the ones he has opportunity to love on all the days he has left. What a wonderful way to LIVE!

Challenge this day my friend: No matter what we are going through, we can rejoice that there is LIFE in us. The LIVING GOD has breathed new life into His children. We are not the old, we are not the same, we can have FULL victory over death and the darkness. Say to yourself… ” I AM ALIVE RIGHT NOW!”

Colossians 2:13

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.

Can I have a do over???

Image I remember playing games when I was younger. There were times that the dice didn’t roll the way I wanted it to or a play didn’t quite go the way that was planned, and I would ask, “Can I have a do over?”

I don’t know how many times in the last twenty years I had asked God that question. My prayers have often included, ” Lord if only I could take that back!” or ” Please let me try that again, I will do better next time.”  After the question leaves my mind or lips, I always had to face the  reality that there was no do over.

All those opportunities that I either had taken for granted or thrown away, I can not grab those same opportunities back. I find that no matter how big my regret of my mistakes, and the mess that they made, I can not erase the consequences of something I did.

One thing I can do, is pursue from this moment on a life full of joy and promise. I would rather have a life filled with joy and a hope for my future than looking back and always wishing I could have done things differently.

Living a life full of joy is an action involved journey. I can not live in joy if I am constantly walking in regret. I can take those moments that I messed up and say, “Well, I hope not to do THAT again!”  and move on.

There is a season of growing and learning from these past wrong doings, mistakes, or foolishness, but I am not to allow it to hold me down or hold me back. When I have repented and done what I can do to make a situation right in His eyes, the Lord forgives us from our sins and our past mistakes, the slate is wiped clean. I do not have to keep rewriting the mess out over and over again. I too can let it go as the Lord has.

When I am walking in the question, “Can I have a do over…..PLEASE!” I am walking in condemnation. I am not walking in victory. If I have taken my issues to the Lord and asked for forgiveness, then I am forgiven. The Lord does not want us bogged down by regret and shame, constantly looking back at, “what if” and “if only I had”.

If I have missed an opportunity because of foolishness, I can trust my God is good enough to bring new opportunities my way. It is important I learn, grow and then let go.

Walking in a life with Jesus, I don’t have to ask ” Can I have a do over?”, because He already finished the game and gave the victory to me ! I just need to stop and remember to accept it.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

( NIV)

Ex-pec-ta-tion

In my lowest times of depression I had no feelings of expectations. Everything I had hoped for or believed for seemed to be crumbling down around me. With those crushed in the moment dreams I was was fearful to dream again. But then I realized I was sinking deeper because I was not expecting anything better for my life. I began to EXPECT joy and to EXPECT blessings. I started EXPECTING  the things I believed in once, would happen eventually. I EXPECTED Gods favor!

What happened was a transformation in me and my life. I began to see fruit from the things expected. I began experiencing joy because there was no other option in my mind. I began seeing our needs cared for, relationships healed, and God moving in wonderful ways. Because I expected it, I hoped for it, and when you expect something or hope in something, you begin to move forward in that hope.

Websters definition of  Expectation :

1. A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

2. A belief that someone will or should achieve something.

A life without an expectation or with a goal in mind for yourself is not a very hopeful life. You must have hope for your future and actively pursue it. Through prayer and confirming in the word that your expectations line up with with God’s plan in your life, NOTHING can stop you!

God plans for us to be productive, joyful, and abundantly blessed.

Challenge this day friends: Expect a change, Expect better, Expect joy, Expect your goals to come to pass and Expect an end to your frustrations. Don’t walk through life without the knowledge that you CAN achieve that which God puts before you!

Proverbs 23:18-

For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

(KJV)

The Breath of Life

I have been hurt so many times in my life in so many ways. People will come and go and when I think I have a good set of support systems in my life, things get shaken up again. People that I never thought would choose to walk away, are walking away.

When I look at other peoples circumstances, my life is extremely blessed, and I shouldn’t feel neglected as a grown child of God. But I am human and there are times my flesh wants to rise up and battle what I know to be truth. The truth is I am loved! The truth is there are seasons for everything and everyone. The truth is God is my all. The truth is when I am tense and holding my breath it is then that I need to let it all out and breathe!

In the seasons of feeling like my very  breath has been taken away from me with a new and harsh blow from the reality of life, I need to remember to breathe in the breath of LIFE.

So many times the human has failed me again and again. I hold people up to a standard that I set for myself and if I see them walking away when I never would,  I want to grab on to their ankles and scream “WAIT YOU CAN’T DO THIS!” But it is not my place to do so.

We all have a will that we may choose to follow even if it does not line up with what God intends for our lives. If I see someone running head on into traffic and I am blocked from grasping them, I am going to say something, but if they choose to run for it anyway there is nothing I can do to stop it.

It is times when I feel helpless that I need to remember, God has all things under control in my life. If I am left hurting, He will heal me. If I am alone, He will comfort me. If my world around me appears to be crumbling, He will hold me up. I just need to stop and breathe in His breath of life. Take a moment and remember He is God of all seen and unseen things.

Challenge this day my friends: Take a moment in the craziness and the hurt to just stop, pause and breathe Him in.

Job 33:4-

The spirit of God has made me, and the breathe of the almighty gives me life.

(New American Standard Bible)

It is time to make things tasty

I am working on controlling my tongue, anger, lonliness, self and depression. I am working on changing myself for the benefit of the Kingdom and those around me. I desire to walk in blessing rather than the curse of selfishness. In these character transformation moments, there are times I try to stamp down something that is ingrained in me.

I am finding in self discovery that there are areas in my personality that at times I want to stifle or erase from my being because I find it embarrassing or less than perfect. Very characteristics that God himself has placed inside of me that I am to cultivate, not disintegrate.

We are called to be the salt of the earth. I am to flavor the earth in just the way that GOd created me to. I have shared with a friend in the past that a thought struck me, there are many kinds of salt; sea salt, garlic salt, iodized salt, seasoning salt, or rock salt just to name a few.

We are to be flavorful and to season this earth with goodness. We are to not lose our flavor. But we can be original to our own design. He creates many flavors and personalities for His purpose. While I encourage myself to change for the Kingdom glory, I need to be mindful to not change the flavor he has made me. It is time I make the world around me tasty in the only way that I was created to do. I will NOT lose my saltiness.

Challenge this day my friend:  Discover your own original gifts and share them with the world, not losing your flavor but sprinkling all you come in contact with the Lords goodness. Do not stamp out what He has placed in you that is unique only to you.

Matthew 5:13-

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt looses it’s saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

(NIV)