Pray for others

I have a friend and every time I greet her and am embraced in one of her hugs, I just get a wonderful sense of peace. She can calm my fears with a simple prayer and encourage my heart when she shares Gods truth.

A few weeks ago, as she gave me a hello hug, I saw a picture for her. This picture stuck with me for a while, and when we had the prophetic paint night I painted it real quick for her.

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I saw clearly that as my friend covered all of her hurting and broken loved ones in prayer, the spirit of God bubbles forth within her and He brings about victory to those that are surrounded by seas of sorrow.
They turn from dead and dying to life full of the Spirit.
While my friend may feel many times her prayers are not answered, God says “they are not answered yet, but I know they are there! I hear your prayers. In my time you wills see the overflowing waters of life. Keep praying.”

So as you are praying for victory over a loved ones situation or life. Rest assured the Father hears! He knows your heart as you come to the throne room on behalf of others.

Recently I was woken from a dream that someone very dear to me was in danger. I had no other knowledge or thought on this path as I laid to sleep the night before. But God woke me,and I knew I was called to pray. I don’t know the outcome yet, but I can rest in the knowledge that God heard my cries and already He has begun a work protecting those loved ones.

Don’t give up. Keep pushing on faithful one. Pray for others.

 Colossians 1: 9-13

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously read more.
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

 

Ephesians 3: 14-21  

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Don’t let the Dream Die

 

So many of us have dreams of succeeding by pursuing and exploring something born within us. For myself my dreams are to write my children’s books, to finish a work I have begun with friends and to open my own shop one day just to name a few.

My husband has shared his dreams with me over the years as well as my friends and family. The interesting thing about dreams, there is an ebb and flow to them while you wait for the fruition. There are times that your dream is on fire, burning within you and you take steps towards achieving your hearts desire. Then life happens, distractions may come, or in my case illness arises and then your dream goes dormant for a while. The embers are still burning but the dream is not being stoked and tended to for a season. If left for too long and forgotten the dream may even die.

However, the interesting thing with dreams the second you take time to acknowledge them, and get other things out-of-the-way, that fire ignites again and burns even brighter.

I find these seasons of dormancy give me a clearer picture of how to obtain the reality of my dream. I gain more direction, I reflect on what worked or did not work and I research more once the light is reignited. Sometimes when we have worked for our dreams and we don’t see the immediate results we will lay it down again. Rather than getting discouraged that I laid down those dreams, I am going to reflect on the fact that I am at this moment closer to obtaining my dream than I have ever have been in history. Why? Because I have learned much and today is a new day. I will not let go of what has been promised to me. I will WORK towards that goal. A dream that is part of our life plan should never be allowed to die completely. Take the time to reflect on those dreams that would spark such passion and excitement in you.  For once a dreamer always a dreamer you will be. You just have to begin again.

 

A scripture the Lord gave me years ago, regarding some dreams on my heart that had been left to die….
Jeremiah 33:3-  ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

 

I have GROWN UP :)

 So I do know there are many many areas that I am childish and need extra help. But today I am going to focus on my victories.  I must admit that this last year of trials has left me growing in great ways and I would not trade the lessons learned for anything.

 As I turn to the words of Jesus and learn HIS character I find that I stand stronger and am unmovable in new ways.

 The other day, something that would have bothered me to distraction and would have affected my mood, tried to rise up. This is an old haunt that has had control over me before. Yet I have chosen to renew my mind and focus on what the WORD says about me and these situations. I have chosen to focus my mind on what is GOOD, what is RIGHT and what brings HONOR to HIS name.

 So when these little darts started flying at my mind, and I began to get anxious, I pulled out my sword (the word of God) and dispelled those fiery darts! You know what ? IT WORKED! After just a few moments praying and focusing on the Lord and what HE says, my emotions and feelings were put in the right position.

Now these darts came at me a few times that day, and each time they needed to be addressed with the TRUTH of God’s word. If I would have excepted them as they shot at me, my whole day would have been different and the atmosphere around me rather soured.

We all have our battles and our areas we need to grow. But there is something so special about that moment when you realized, ” I have GROWN UP, and I have arrived in this area and it doesn’t own me!”

I feel like the child that has taken the first steps on their own, then it is time for a bicycle with no training wheels, then it is time for my drivers license. There is ALWAYS something new to learn but that doesn’t mean each time I grow a little more, that it is any less exciting. 

I remember the milestones of my children, they have ALL been special and continue to be so.

I have GROWN UP and in  areas of victory, they are true treasures. I am no longer a babe crying over the loss, but rejoicing in what I have gained 🙂

 

Challenge this day my friend: Keep pulling out that sword in your battles, keep growing and when you have realized you have accomplished a goal in your steps… REJOICE for the LORD IS GOOD!

Ephesians 4:14-15

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ

Lepers are everywhere

At church today a group was telling us about their experience in India and how blessed they were to have been a blessing. The reaction of the leprous community to touch and respect was heart-moving. The contact with an outsider, meant SO much to them. The man went on to say that even if we can not all travel around the world, there are ‘lepers’ all over our communities, you know the unlovelies… and it got me to thinking.

How many times have I passed by the harried mother that was just screaming at her child because she is so frustrated with her situation, without taking the moment to encourage her? How many children have crossed my path that I have hurried along as they try to talk with me, because I need to be somewhere?

Just recently outside a restaurant a man asked for change and being in a society where a debit card is always used, I truly didn’t have any. Also even if I did I would have hesitated pulling open my purse with a stranger in the dark at ten o clock at night. I went in with my friend to the restaurant and  we had a meal. It wasn’t until laying down to sleep that the thought struck me, I NEED TO KEEP MY MIND and HEART OPEN to opportunities… I could have said, “no I have no change, but are you hungry or thirsty, come and sit with us at the table.” THAT would have taken nothing from me truly, and I would have gained SO much.

There are people in our communities all around us, that we could be giving them the only opportunity of light, and joy that they will see for a LONG time. If I pass them by, how many other people walk on by too?

I can feel completely alone in my community of family, friends, and co workers, how much so would a person that is truly alone? We see them every day; in the grocery store, holding a sign on the corner, at the library, or laying in the grass at the park.

I see how quickly it all can fade away, how quickly people come and go in our lives and our situations can change in an instant. This has happened in my own life, we were set up pretty good  and then went from much to little, how broken one could become when they didn’t have much to begin with and then lose all that they had? They need us, they need encouragement, joy, and someone to CARE.

Challenge this day my friend: Be aware of the needs around us, both emotional and physical. Can we pay that grocery tab of the single woman in line in front of us? Can we grab the cart and return it for the weary? Can we smile and give a bless you with eye contact and wave rather than walk by with our eyes to the ground? Maybe, handing out water to the sign holder and a protein bar  is an option.

It is time to reach out to the Lepers. They are precious in His sight!

Matthew 35: 37-40

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

FULLNESS has arrived

I have begun my journey of blogging to encourage others to find joy, as well as my own pursuit of the fullness of joy of the Lord.

I am so gloriously happy to report that while things may get me down for a moment I do not stay there. I am no longer operating in fear or circumstances. It has been a rough journey and while I do not think the things that kept going wrong one after another were God’s doing, I do believe He used them to do a work in me. All things that are meant to harm us are used for the glory of God, for those who love Him.
I dug deeper into His word, I drew closer to Him, I sang out His praises when I did not feel like it and He used those opportunities to grow me. I never knew how much growing I needed to do, until I had true testing in my life. And test after test came, week after week.

I realized fresh that my fullness of joy was finally here, when I got devastating news about my moms health. While for a moment I was stunned and even saddened. I did not stay there. I know God already knows the plans He has for us and I know His promises for us.

Also in a matter of days I discovered my teen son was very seriously playing and toying with the idea of suicide. When I discovered this I was away from home and fear and panic could have taken hold of me a few months ago. But not this time, I laughed and declared, MY SON HAS A PURPOSE and nothing will deter that! I was concerned from time to time while I was away, and that prompted prayers of protection and covering over my sons heart as well as lots of texts to stay in touch…. but it did not lead me into a pattern of being frozen or overly consumed with it. I do not fear it! I have joy despite the circumstances around me.

Are home is to be listed for sale in a matter of months and we have NOTHING set aside for moving, and my husband still does not have a job, our credit score is horrid now and technically renting can be darn near impossible, but I do not care what ‘technically is’ God is bigger and  I am NOT letting that rob my joy.

Joy does NOT need to be based on our circumstances. It is a gift to us. The son has set us free from the bondage of worry, depression, fear and doubt. In my pursuit of Joy I decided to be a joy spreader, putting it out there all that I could. What happened then? BLESSED was the joy maker!

I will not walk in darkness but rather the light of the truth of what is MINE. Fullness of joy is mine!

Challenge this day my friend: Keep pursuing your victory over the concerns of the world. Keep pursuing the fullness of Joy. Get into the word, spend time in prayer and speak out against the things that want to pull you into the trap. Fullness of joy is ours to have in His presence, His presence dwells in the spirit of the believer, we need to practice walking in it 🙂
JOY is yours in the morning!

Acts 2: 25-28

David said about him:

“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

I AM all this and more!

 My in-laws passed down some valuable lessons to my husband during prayer time when he was a child. My husband then passed these very true facts down to our children and I over heard and learned as well.

 I still to this day need to make an effort to remember what my position is, what I have, and who I am in Christ.

 I AM above and not beneath.

I AM a winner not a loser.

I AM a believer not a doubter.

I AM blessed coming in and blessed going out.

I AM able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I AM the head and not the tail.

I AM what God says I am and I can DO what God says I can do.

I AM filled with love, power and a sound mind not a spirit of fear! I have the mind of Christ.

 When I stop and remember the truth rather than what my moment would have me believe it is then that I know I blessed. I see my atmosphere around me change. It is very hard to walk around in depression when I am speaking life over my home, children, husband, loved ones and self. It is not hard to have hope when I focus on HIM and the fact He is always faithful.

 It has taken a long time for me to believe these truths about myself. But truths they are and I will not forget them. 

 ALL situations will work out of for the good of those who love Him. I KNOW the Lord will work all things out for my good, because I love Him.

 I look at all the ways there has been grace in my life and all the way things already have worked out for good. I can trust that it will continue. I am one blessed gal.

 

 Challenge this day my friend: Even if you do not believe that YOU ARE, speak these truths, until the truth becomes alive in you. Speak the truth I AM until you ARE. We can do EVERYTHING He created us to do!

 Ephesians 2:10- 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 (NIV)

 

Grace in your face

 

Tonight was a whirlwind for my husband. Our friends were visiting from Idaho. They moved away five months ago and we were SO blessed to have a real hug in person, to visit and to sit at a meal together.

There was sharing and laughter and good eats. Then the guys decided to take our friends Subaru for a drive. Our friend had bought it six months ago, just before his move. My boys LOVE Subaru’s and everyone was excited to check it out. The first ride was a run with my sons in the car. They took it to back roads and on a gravel road did some showing off.

Then the guys brought the boys back and went out by themselves. Dan was driving our friends car. There was a little playing with the car on a straight away back road, but Dan had slowed down and was driving normal when a curve was coming up, that he knew was there.

Dan had not driven a stick in ages and this car had power. Dan slowed down before the curve and somewhere somehow,  that is when things changed quickly. He describes the moment as slow motion. The car left the road and rolled. There was no guard rail, there was no skidding, there was no wreckless driving, just a ditch to meet and it totalled the car.

The men were trapped, upside down. They unbuckled and dropped and had to break out the window to get out of the car. There is so much that was happening in their minds and in the process, I was not there, so I can not fully comprehend or relay the experience. But what I can relay is the reaction of a Godly friend.

Dan was panicked in that car. He is claustrophobic in normal situations, there was a moment he was trapped. The car had smoke coming in, our friend had a bloody nose, the airbags had went off, they were buckled in and it took breaking a window to get out of the car.

Our friend talked Dan through the panic and kept a level head.

Dan was beside himself to have destroyed a friends beautiful car. Our friend assured him  over and over that this possession was not more important than Dan. He was thankful to be with Dan. He was full of grace and kindness and forgiveness. There was nothing but assurance and an example of love.

This reminds me how the Lord is with His children. He is full of grace, full of love, full of assurance. He knows His children’s hearts and when we come to Him with a contrite heart, asking for forgiveness, our God offers it. Just in this way. No strings attached.

God also showed favor and grace in another way. Our finances are a mess. But we have enough set aside for the deductible of the accident. We were saving it for moving when the home is taken away, but we know that there will be a different provision if and when that time comes. Our God IS a supplier and full of mercy and grace.

There was no ticket, the police officer found no fault with Dan’s spotless driving record, and stated. ” usually, there would be a ticket, but I see no sign of reckless driving and a ticket will not help your situation so I am not going to give you one.” Again this is a sign of how unmerited grace works. We did not deserve that favor, it was just given.

Our friend Don  (Best friends dad) was over for dinner as well and  happened to not go on that drive .  He received the call and went to them. He did not give us women details to worry us, he went with a calm. He was saved from the experience of the wreck and I am so thankful for that. He was there to be a calm and a hand to aid the guys at the site. He was an encouraging and solid voice and I am SO blessed he was there. Another example of God’s grace!

My husband and our friend…. WALKED from the car. The fireman said they were extremely lucky to have no injuries. Again, this is a sign of grace.

Dan was angry at his fault at wrecking a friends car, he was furious, he felt bad, he felt foolish, we have a thousand different ways we would have rather this day have gone, but we have experienced grace in a way we never had before.

This friend, never once raised his voice or blamed Dan in the situation, but assured him and encouraged him instead. The wife (my best friend) was with me when we got the news and she was teary eyed, not over the vehicle or the disappointing concerns of what to do to fix it all, but she was teary eyed over knowing how bad my husband would feel. She was concerned for us and our finances. She was concerned for us and not themselves.

What have I learned from this example? Think twice where I would find fault with another, even if fault is theirs, I can find that as an opportunity to extend grace!  I can show love regardless of a situation. There are far more important things than what my small mind may see.

Thank you dear friends for being a living example on being a child of God that gives unmerited favor to others…. grace is an amazing gift to receive!!!

Challenge this day friends: Recognize areas in your life where you have experienced grace. Extend grace in new ways to others in your life. Be a living example of Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16-

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(NIV)

Thank you Lord for keeping your children safe in their time of need!!!!

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Heritage

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I look at my father and grandmother together and my heart swells with joy. My father respects his mother. He holds her in high regard. He would never chose to hurt her with his words or dishonor her.

I know along the way, my grandmother must have made mistakes. I am a mother of three and I have made plenty of them. It is only normal that we wouldn’t get everything perfect. But no matter whether we make mistakes or not my grandmother has a son that honors her, and I have three sons that honor me. 

My grandmother has passed on traditions to her children. She has passed on characteristics and traits as well as her families culture.

She has learned new things her whole lifetime and shared those experiences of joys, pains, struggles, triumphs, heartache and love with me during late night conversations when I was a young lady. I treasure each moment that we have spent having those talks and prayer times. 

My most recent visit left me cherishing those moments passed even more. As my grandmother’s memory fades from that it once was, I am left with the reminder that we are human and time is precious. 

My father raised me with care and love and shared his wisdom and kindness and has taught me how to forgive. These things I am certain he had learned from his mother. Even if  mother and son were not aware that she was passing traits to him, she did, and in turn he passed them to me.

This is what heritage is about. Passing down to the next generation. Passing down your most valuable treasure. Isn’t love one of those most precious treasures of all?

I am aware not all parents are great benefactors. There are many traits you may wish you did not experience or learn. Even the best intentions can leave scarred, hurting children. My father made mistakes, I make mistakes with my children, but our Heavenly father will not hurt us or forsake us!

My father has adopted me. He is not my biological father. My biological father never wanted me. There was nothing from him. I was held for the first time by my adopted father, never my biological father. I was taught to ride a bike by my adoptive father, I was taught to laugh, blow bubbles, fish and be silly by my adoptive father. I have learned what it means to have love from someone that CHOSE to love me. 

This is what Christ can do. He chooses us. God knew us from the very beginning and He wants to be your father.

I look at this earthly relationship of a father that loved and raised me and a grandmother that loved and raised him and am reminded how much more so should I honor my heavenly father. 

He can be the love that you have not had, or the comfort you have not had, or the joy you have not had. He can be everything you may have wished your earthly father was.

I am reminded of what I should do concerning my heavenly father!

All the things that the Lord promises me, all His attributes can be passed on to me, because I AM His child. I should honor Him, respect Him and give Him my devotion.

I am an heir to the very heritage of the almighty God. I am His and I must honor Him with my life. He has chosen to adopt me into the Kingdom. THAT is something to have JOY in!!!!

 

Challenge this day my friend: Allow the LORD to be your Benefactor. Allow Him to be your parent. To shower you with His love, gifts, treasures and joy.

Ephesians 1:3-6

  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,   even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,   to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 

(English Standard Version) 

Removing the mask

Today was a hard one for me. I hate to cry in front of people and had a whole audience this time (5 people!) The tears were contagious and others had cried as well.

Through  this heartbreak, I am reminded that I must walk in joy daily and choose joy for my life, but I do not need to walk around as if troubles never come my way.

If I walk around always saying I am fine when I am not, then I am putting on a mask and it is not healthy. Joy is mine because I choose it, it is inside me and Christ provides it, but I will face trials as will everyone else.

Often I have had Christians complain to me that they don’t feel like anyone wants them to be ‘real’. They feel that it is necessary to plaster a smile on their face all the time because nobody really wants to know what may be uncomfortable to look at. They hide their sin, they hide their pain, they hide their fears, and trials. They paste on a  smile and act like everything is wonderful.

There is a difference between sharing your heart and being a whiner, pity me party type person. Our hurts, our scars and our pain are REAL and we must deal with them.

I am not saying it is okay to run through life complaining all the time to everyone you meet about everything you are dealing with at every given opportunity. It is important to know who we can turn to with all of us, the good and the not so great. This allows people to share your burdens and be able to lift one another up in our times of trial.  When your testimony arrives, these friends, pastors or whoever it is that you had shared the full truth with, will be able to rejoice when you have welcomed the complete victory!

I am learning the balance between who I share with and who I do not, as well as spilling everything and keeping everything in. I will say it so important to not be a gloomy gus with everyone, everywhere you go. But when asked if you are okay, if you are not, do not lie, be truthful and say how you are. REJOICE that the Lord will turn your situation around for good, while being real.

I can allow friends and family to see my tears or know my hurts and frustrations, and I can still obtain joy in the midst of it. I can share it ALL with Jesus.

He knows my coming and going, I can shout out LORD I AM UNHAPPY AT THIS MOMENT! (most often that is when His peace will rush me ).

Sometimes the root to having joy, is to allow ourselves to be who we are with no strings attached. We are to grow and walk with Jesus daily and when we do that we shine with the glory of the Lord. We do not need to wear a mask covering up who we are.

Challenge this day my friends: Remove the mask you have hidden behind… Allow others to know you, to pray with you, to encourage you. Allow Jesus to remove your hurt and burdens. It is time to be free and allow those things to be revealed so we do not continue to harbor them!

2 Corinthians 3:16

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

God shoes

I was reading past posts on an old blog site when I came across a blog that reminded me HOW MUCH my Lord cares for me and every detail of my person. He created me uniquely and I am only called to do that which he has before me.
( From my old blog site ) I am a worshiper at heart. You could never remove my awe and attachment to the Lord. I am in utter adoration of His awesomeness. I had begun expressing worship to Him in dance timidly; a tap here, a clap there.
Now hands in the air, spinning, jumping, feet moving in pure joy I understand the complete unabashed freedom in worshiping the Lord as David. However I try to stay fully clothed only the shoes coming off on the very wild occasions unlike David who danced naked in the streets.
This brings me the importance to my special shoes the Lord hand crafted for me to have.
One night I had a dream, in this dream God called me to dance and I had on special shoes. They were unique and so vivid in my dream I wanted those shoes when I woke up.
Alas these were not shoes I had ever seen before or could pick up at the local shoe store.
That very day my mother in law and I went shopping in the downtown stores. When I entered the clearance section of  a store I had never entered before, there were THE shoes. Now pay attention to this, they were not similar shoes, they were identical. They were unique, never like anything I had seen besides my dream and there was only ONE pair on the shelf and in MY size. They were ballet type flats, teal, with shiny sequences on them. They were the very same shoe as my dream and I had the exact cash for them from Red Berry Boutique.
I do not wear these shoes often even though I love the uniqueness of them and that the Lord revealed them to me before I ever laid eyes on them. I do not want to ruin them.
But in finding these shoes when I wasn’t really even looking, God was doing something in me. Showing me that I am valued, that I am loved, that He recognizes my heart for worship and is calling me to dance. It was like a physical, hand-picked gift from God.
Since this time I have been told many times to dance for the Lord as I struggle in life issues. The joy always bubbles forth as I take the time and worship the Lord in this way.
Fullness of joy is His plan for our lives and dancing is a tool that I intend to use. I will not worry about opinion of man, or how foolish I may look. I will dance, and I will sing and I will be thankful for the shoes the Lord has placed on my feet, stepping in to my position as His worshiper.
As I read thold blog;  I was reminded today that God can reach His children personally. He desires the relationship with us and has things for us as individuals. We don’t have to ‘work’ for our relationship with Him. We only have to trust and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior. Like any relationship it will grow as you spend time with Him. He cares about every detail, even the little things!
How He loves us is not measurable by mere words. It is simply GOD. He wants us to wear the shoes He has for us and for us to walk boldly in His path! Confident that HE has equipped us!
Challenge this day friend: Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in new ways. Do not be so wrapped up in the events of your day and the world around us that we forget to spend time with the one that created and loves us! Place your feet in your GOD shoes and pursue His passions for you.
Psalm 42:1-
As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul pants after you, God
(World English Bible)