A different lens: Perception

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I recounted a story that changed my perception years ago, at Shaey Anthony on YouTube.
If you are interested, give it a view as it places this blog in a fuller context.

Identity​

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NO END TO HIS LOVE- Redwoods 2018

 

 

There was one who wanted me to never be born.

There was one who loved me, but I was not their own.

The one who loved me left me with words, “she wasn’t mine anyways as he walked out the door.”

Always waiting for the next person to leave.

Always feeling as if I wasn’t enough.

Hurting heart, depressed mind. Listening to lies of the accuser.

Then the one that knows me from before the womb, holds his hands out to me and says, I have every part that you need.

I always want you.

I always love you.

I will never leave or forsake you.

I know you are enough because I crafted you so.

I am your Father, Friend, Savior, Healer, Comforter, Confidence and IDENTITY.

The peace has settled, for there is no limit to what He holds for me.

 

 

Isaiah 64:8- But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

A Song for my soul:
Your a GOOD GOOD FATHER  –   

 

On my way…Bethel Music Worship School

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Proverbs 3:6 –
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The Lord amazes me, how he cares for every desire of our heart. For years I have wanted to visit the Bethel church and learn from some of the most talented people out there.

We had been told about this year’s Bethel Music Worship School pretty close to sign up deadline. We went ahead and applied but when we were excepted to the school, we only had just enough deposit and first payment for one of us that had come in unexpectedly at just the right time. We had the heart that if we were meant to go it would be excess of our normal budget as I no longer was working.

My husband had so much to learn on workshops and a desire to be a better teacher, I had said, “well the school is for you this year and I will wait until next year.”  I thought I had missed the deadline so I began to make plans of my own. But at every turn, those doors would close. Just as I was not sure what in the world I would do with myself for two weeks in Redding, I got a notice from the school that I could still go.  But now there was the matter of the cost. So I began to pray and had remembered a correction I had gotten a few weeks back, ” Why did you not ask! We would have been happy to support you in that and felt lead, but you said you had other plans.” It was a reminder you have not because you ask not! So, I went ahead and asked them to pray if it was still in their hearts I would like to go.

NOW I am going. We leave for the adventure of my life today. Here I have felt so ill the last six months I have done nothing, to be healed and ready for the amazing! He gives me strength just as I need it. Obedience brings LIFE and I am ready to live it. My best life. His best plans!!!

Never have I been away from home for two weeks, let alone left the house and my kitty to my adult children for two weeks. Never have I stayed with people I hardly know for two weeks. Never have I been in such a busy atmosphere for TWO WEEKS…with SO many awesome people. But my introvert mind is asking God…. “Are you sure?”

I truly am excited to be stretched in this new way and to see what the Lord downloads into me and the dreams and passions being cultivated to new heights. I am so excited and overwhelmingly blessed that my Heavenly Father and earthly Dad have made this possible.

My plans may have faded away, but the Lord lays the path straight!
Keep your eye out for updates. It is going to be an epic ride, I do believe.

One of my favorite Bethel Worship Songs … a song deep in my soul cries out for such a time as this. Anxiety and fear have me no more! I am taking my mantle.

Two Voices

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This is a NEW day. I KNOW my call. I will HEAR his voice. I will SPEAK life to myself and walk in VICTORY all the days of my life.

There is a voice of TRUTH and the voice of a lie.

There is the Father’s TRUTH and there is the enemies lies.

What we speak over ourselves has value.
What we believe about ourselves has value.

Are you putting positive into your spirit or are you running on a deficit?

I am what He says I am.
I can do what He says I can do.

The key, getting into that word and seeing what He is saying ABOUT YOU.

Speak joy
Speak your dreams and desires
Speak love
Speak peace
Speak LIFE

It is time to start walking in the positive flow rather than a deficit in our hearts my friends.
God is a God of plenty. There is always more to fill your heart with!!

I will hear the VOICE OF MY FATHER GOD and I will speak His truth.

Inspired by THIS VIDEO today!

 

Green eggs and ham… literally

My father was very active in my life growing up. He took me to Blue Birds, trick or treating and allowed me to dance o his toes. One Saturday morning he made our breakfast like he often did, and he set the plate before me.

He had a huge grin on his face as he waited expectantly for my glee. I looked at that plate and cried. My father in his creative genius and love for me, made me green eggs and ham. I hated the color green and as I looked at the green glob of eggs on my plate, my emotions overwhelmed me, not at his love but the thought that I was hungry and how could I eat these green things.

I look back now as a parent and think with great joy what an awesome father I had to take the time to make something special for me. He knew I loved the story of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.

I am reflecting on this gift and wondering… how many times do I look at the gifts the Lord has set before me with disdain or sadness rather than the gratitude and joy that should be in my heart.

How often does He place gifts and I don’t even recognize them for what the are?

I still do this today with my own husband. He will go out of his way to do things for me and I just take them for granted or do not appreciate the way he does them. Instead I am looking at the way  I would do it, or he should do it. What kind of gifts am I throwing away every day?

In the bible, often God would give His people gifts and they would complain, or not see them as they were.

Some of the gifts I have overlooked from the Lord are:

The gift of time: Instead of rejoicing that our basic need was met in layoff time for my husband, I fretted and worried about where the next job would be. Instead of enjoying each moment with my boys I focused on their tomorrows far too often than I should have. Rather than enjoying my moment with loved ones I fretted about their leaving more than just enjoying the moment.

The gift of peace: I overlook the peace in my life often. I have to remind myself that the Lord grants peace to my heart and that anxiety or worry leads to depression. I have to not overlook this gift He has given to me. He causes the calmness in the sea of life that only He can provide.

The gift of needs: Often when I look at our life situation, I have focused on all my wants and they seem to fall short. Yet, when I look at my needs, He truly does meet them. Not in a way I think they should line up but He meets my need nonetheless.

I am so truly thankful that God is a Father that bestows gifts to His children. I want to keep my heart and eyes wide open in thankfulness as I see the work of His hands for what they are. He desires to give me gifts, to do the work ahead of me so that I may  enjoy great things. I do not wish to complain or look at those gifts with disappointment because of my immaturity in Him,  but rather with grown up insight.

These are just a few simple areas that I overlook and I am sure there are so so many more! What gift can you be thankful for that maybe you overlooked?

Liar Liar house on FIRE

So this past week I had a mile long lists of things going wrong. Every which way I turned was a new mountain to climb. I even wrote a song about mountains getting out of my way, to bare my heart to God that with Him I can overcome these things.

Well one of the most significant happenings, was when miss fixit ( I am not) tried to tighten screws on her dryer and caused a house fire in the process.

Immediately I knew to pull out the fire extinguisher. The mess from the fire extinguisher pushed me out of the room ( because I was too close and the powder went in my face).

I noticed there was still a spark and called the fire department.

We immediately went outside and sat watching the smoke come from the laundry room. It was not a lot of smoke yet, I knew we took all the steps we could and trusted.

Well the fire department Got the fire out. I returned to the laundry room, and thank God there was only some scorching, a ruined dryer and clothes that needed a good washing (or two).

However, this experience was scary. The fire chief told me if I had touched the dryer, because of the way the dryer had severed the electrical with my mad fixit skills,  I could have been electrocuted to death.

Still, with this experience, I had joy. I had great joy seeing how God had his hand in our protection. Also, a great joy that He could use this situation to speak to my heart new things, or rather old things in a deeper way.

Let us look at a small house fire like sin.

I began to see sin as fire. Which is convenient since I believe that is exactly where a life without Jesus leads.

There are many variety of sins. Sin is sin in God’s eyes, yet, depending on the bondage of sin that I am in, the consequences and mess to follow varies.

Just like a small house fire, the smoke can push me out, but I got right back into the house. We did not need to go to great lengths to restore.  However, while that fire was smoldering and cooking, we could not go in.

When we have even small areas of sin in our life, sin that is not a stronghold but a ‘moment’. We are still pushed back from the father. There is still a blockage in our way of obtaining all that He has for us.

When we have strongholds in our lives. Sin that we live in day to day, with no thought that it has consumed us and become our very being. This sin is like a raging house fire. A fire so huge that there needs to be an overhaul before we can be back in fellowship with the Lord. A laying down and sacrifice and turning away, not just from the sin but the lifestyle as well.

Sin is sin in the Father’s eyes. But the consequences vary. If I have a raging house fire there is no way I can touch all the gifts inside my home that the Lord had waiting for me.

But all sin, pushes us back away from the Good things of the Father.  I have so many Christian friends that daily walk in their habits and ways with no thought of how they may be missing out on the many things the Lord has for them.

I have seen in my own life, the fires that I have had to extinguish in order for the Lord to take me deeper in my walk with Him. I had to allow the path to be clear to take those steps to move forward.

I daily struggle, but my eyes have been opened in a new way.

I am truly am aware of the fires now, not allowing them to hide and smoldering in the background, but gaining victory before all is destroyed.

This brings me joy.

Face to Face

I had never spent more than a few months away from my dad, my entire life.

March of 2012, he moved over 2,000 miles away to Tennessee. I was heartbroken. I had no income at our disposal to go visit any time soon, and often in those ten months, I longed for his hug and his laugh in person. I talked to him on the phone, but both my dad and I am not phone personalities. We chat, but our humor and ‘self’ does not shine on the phone. Daily I was reminded, how short time on this earth is, and fear would try to latch on to my days. I had to consciously remind myself, that the Lord knows our plans and I do not need to fear, I would one day see my dad face to face. 

For Christmas, my dad surprised my children, by coming for a visit! Two glorious weeks of hugs and laughter and while we are still in visiting mode, I am fervently trying not to think about his return to the airport, and our goodbyes. 

One thing that has been pressing on my heart these last 15 days of his visit, is the moment of his homecoming.

I could not sleep for two days out of excitement. I longed to see my father face to face. When I arrived at the airport, I was shaking, and tearing up at the same time. To wrap my arms around him, there were tears for us both.

This absolute joy reminded me of my longing for the return of the Lord. 

My children’s reaction was by far greater. They whooped and shouted. They jumped from their seats when we surprised them with my dad coming through the door. They had never gone their whole lives more than a few weeks without seeing him. There was definitely a measure of return of joy to our home, the minute my dad walked into the room!

The more time I spend in the word and seeking after His presence, the more I long for that face to face hug. That moment of saying… “HE HAS ARRIVED!” 

I am reminded of the song, I can only imagine by Mercy Me.

How will I respond? Will I dance? Will I shout and sing? I think I will cry. I am definitely a crier when overwhelmed with joy. 

I long for that moment, for that opportunity to see my heavenly father face to face. There will be a day, there will be a time and in that moment, I will be fully complete. 

I see the difference having a face to face encounter with my earthly daddy, oh the joy that will come with a moment with my heavenly father. I get a glimpse daily, an opportunity to be in the presence, but it is nothing compared to that moment in His glory, face to face!

 

Challenge this day: My friend, these times are tough, we can feel overwhelmed and even fear. I encourage you to remember press into the Lord now with your time on this earth and greatly look forward to that day you will stand in His presence, face to face. What will your reaction be?

Mark 14:62– “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

 

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) 

Chocolate’s anyone?

When the boys were small they loved to play with play dough. I had been keeping them busy with a brand new color while Dan and a friend played a very intense Grand Turismo game session on the Playstation.

Our boys had come into the living room with their latest creation on a plate.
“You want some chocolate?” They asked Dan. Dan grabbed a piece and pretended to eat it.

They went over to our friend Mark. ” You want a chocolate?” they asked. Mark picked up a piece of play dough that resembled a piece of chocolate quite perfectly and popped it in his mouth, all the while his eyes never leaving the game. That is until the flavor of what he just put in his mouth began to sink into his brain.

The boys were as shocked as Mark when they realized that he ate their play dough.

How often do we take something in our lives that we think is going to be sweet and good and all that yumminess, only to find out it is bland and lifeless and leads to an upset stomach.

There are many counterfeits to the word of God. There are many ways we try to fill ourselves up to try and get a smidgen of joy. But even if I forget for a moment, I am brought back around that the only way to have the fullness of joy that leaves me daily stronger and healed, is through the Word of God. Knowing the Father through the Son. Tasting and seeing that the LORD  is good and taking refuge in Him.

Challenge this day my friend : Evaluate what you are tasting, even if it looks good, is it the real deal?

Pslam 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him. ( New Living Translation )

Go to the right source

Often when my boys were young, they would cry and get angry because their brother(s) had picked on them or offended them.

They would let that anger brew and fester until there was a full on war going on in their young hearts. They very rarely looked at the option of going to mom and dad.

With mom and dad they could have brain stormed, had their voice heard, or just gotten a good hug and perspective.

As I go through my own attacks in life I see exactly where my boys had gotten their brooding, tantrum throwing nature. Sadly, my first flesh reaction can be to throw a big ol’ fit!

During life’s frustrations my gut reaction may be to scream, kick and stomp and pull out my hair. But upon reflection, this does not accomplish anything productive just makes me bald.

I need to remember to stop and turn to the right source. Yes my friends will sympathise and possibly have some great wisdom. But I can not neglect turning to my heavenly father. The one that will give me the hug and lend an ear, and if I let Him, He will whisper into mine and let me know where to go next.

Forgiveness is usually that very first step He leads me in. But no matter what I can take a breath and know… He has me and all is good!

Challenge this day my friend, step back and consider going to the Father with those things that are brooding in your heart. Let go of that tantrum throwing nature and allow peace, and joy to bubble forth.