Thursday, December 5, 2013

Two Days - Fly, Run, Walk or Crawl

Tuesday night I was thinking about choices... Thinking over my past and choices of people around me... Paths they didn't take, how life would be different had those paths been chosen. Life may not have turned out any better I don't know but I found myself wondering if there are regrets.

I guess the past doesn't really matter anyway, Martin Luther made a statement there were only two days on his calendar, "this day and that day..." The day when we meet Christ and either spend eternity in His presence or in darkness, alone. And I suppose he's right, nothing in between really takes weight from either of those two days. Your past is unchangeable, even knowing you've made bad decisions can't change them but they can e forgiven by God! And if you haven't thought about it and asked Him to forgive you for your mistakes or willing wrong ways then I encourage you to ask! he promised He is faithful and will forgive you if you just recognize your error and ask for forgiveness and strength to make better choices in your future.

Future... A day not promised to any of us... Here today gone tomorrow. It can be a scary thought, but it is truth and we need to remember that. Not only in asking forgiveness now, in the moments we have but in making the right choices now and not hoping for the "perfect moment." The "perfect moment" doesn't exist even if you have thousands of days in your future... It doesn't exist because in order for there to be a perfect moment all the surrounding circumstances would have to be perfect, the people around you, the place, the weather, your income, your life plan and let's face it, there's always going to be at least one thing that won't be exactly ideal... That's life. There is one more time I've not mentioned yet... The only other time, too late... Don't spend all your time waiting for that "perfect moment" only to be too late. You may not think it is perfect at all, maybe not even close but that's the thing, we never know it was the right time until we either take the chance or let it pass by and find ourselves too late... There are only two days "this day and that day."

So if the past us unchangeable, the future not guaranteed and there will never be that "perfect moment" I've been waiting for and only two days matter "this day and that day" then what do I do? You do whatever it is you've been thinking about, you do something you've been procrastinating, you fess up, you proclaim your love, you forgive, you ask forgiveness, you take a leap of faith into the unknown but still knowing you will only regret the chances you didn't take.

Blessed is that slave whom the master finds at work when he comes. Matthew 24:46 (NET)

I don't know what that thing is in your life or what's holding you back but if all you have is "this day an that day" then you need to do something, anything. It's better to be taking steps and making mistakes along the way than it is to stand still and forfeit all success. The guideline? There is only one, if it changes the outcome of "that day" is it for better or worse, if it makes you question whether you will be with Him or In darkness then it's the wrong step, simple. He have you a will so you could make choices and a brain so you could use it, He's most likely going to leave the decision up to you because He wants to see you grow, he will look passed one thousand mistakes if it means you will ultimately make the right choice in the end. So get out there into life, make decisions, take steps, speak up, tell someone you love them, even make mistakes, just be taking part, don't watch time slip by until it's too late.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas & a Leap of Faith

Hi lovelies... Happy Thanksgiving to all of my wonderful American friends, family & readers! Can you believe Sunday is December 1st!?  I am so not ready for Christmas, but it's coming anyway... And even though I have much shopping to do and no list made I am loving the season. The trees (yes, trees... 4 actually but not full sized! Don't judge, hah!) are up, Christmas music in the office and Christmas movies galore. There is something so cozy about it all that I can't resist! 

One of the movies I watched this week was called "Trading Christmas" it was a house swap story, typical everyone falls in love in the end, heart-warming Christmas theme... But there was something that struck me about it.  There were two people (soon to be couple) who had very different stories but both with the same result... One was a teacher, she loved to read about places to travel but never traveled... She and her, now deceased, husband always planned to travel during retirement but he never made it that far... And a man who traveled frequently to beautiful places for work but never took any time to experience the beauty of the place he was in... Blah, blah, blah... They both decided it was time to experience life and took a step forward. Great! Yay, good for them! Now, it may not be in travel but we all need to look at the areas in our lives we want to experience and then make a plan, take the necessary steps and EXPERIENCE THEM! Stop wasting time! Get to it!
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life!
Tiptoe if you have to but take the step! - Unknown

I know it can be a scary thing to let go of what is familiar and comfortable for you... Trust me, I know that better than most, but like a child if we never let go we will never find out if we can take a step.  Don't allow hurt to restrain your dreams, hurt is meant to teach us, it's meant to create something new, something soft and kind within us. "I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born. Says The Lord." - Isaiah 66:9 (NIV).  I saw a quote a while ago that I think can mean a few things but it can apply here "Never let your feelings get in the way of seeing things as they truly are." - Unknown. On the surface this quote is most likely speaking of not allowing your heart to cloud your head when it's time to let someone go but your heart may also cloud your mind and stop you from moving forward... Don't allow that to happen, don't let fear (which is just a feeling by the way) get in the way of you taking a step forward into a better future! 

If you never go after what you want you'll never have it. 
If you do not ask, the answer will always be no.
If you never take a step you will always be in the same place. - Unknown.

So here is my proposal, since it will officially be the Holiday Season starting Sunday take December and relish it! Be with family and friends, be cozy and comfortable, love, relax, be thankful and thoughtful... And take some time for yourself, take time to think of the things in your life that have been great this year, think about your achievements, your happiness... Take time to think about the hurt you've overcome, the people who are no longer part of your life and the footprints they've left behind. Once you've pondered the year past, think about what you want to change this year, what you can do this year coming to make it better than the last, what you can do to make yourself a better person in the year to come... Think about the chances you didn't take in the past and take them this year. Yes, use Christmas as a comfort and find your joy but also use it as a spring board into a fabulous future! 

                                               - Margaret Shepard

Thursday, November 21, 2013

'Tis the Season... Be Care Full

Hey guys, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write to you about today... I had an idea earlier in the week and I think that's what I'll stick to, give some other thoughts a while to settle?  Anyway, as you are aware I frequently write about helping others, about reaching to the people around you, caring for people you see with random acts of kindness... Tell someone you love that you care, make sure they know! 

Something you may or may not know of me is that I'm quite hard on myself... My thoughts are often along the "you could have done much better with that situation" or "why didn't you think to say..." even "well you're a disappointment.." and I actually can find humor in it... But I was listening to the radio the other day and realized I was listening to someone else encourage me but David encouraged  himself in the Lord... So I've been doing something wrong all along...

Helping others is very important and will remain at the forefront of my thoughts (and I hope yours as well, especially throughout the Holiday season... Yes, we are there.) but I must also help myself... Help myself by looking at some of the things I do well. I muse encourage myself on a bad day.  I need to be keeping my thoughts positive, not only about the people around me but about myself... And I am assuming by now you know you must do the same and I am not speaking to myself only.  I know there seems to be a fine line and no one wants to be considered selfish or self-centered or cocky... But the line isn't really that thin at all... In fact, there may not be a line, maybe it's just something we've made up and the true guide is only to both care for others and yourself.

If you're always pouring yourself out into others and making their lives better while you continually think you're not enough, then you can't be... You will never become enough in your eyes and therefor not in the eyes of anyone else if you're always pointing out your own shortcomings and never considering the things you're awesome for!  It's okay, and I would venture to say healthy to be self aware enough to notice some things that could use improvement but if you're always dwelling on the negative you'll end up wondering you would even try to improve such a mess... And that's just crazy! There are not many people any of us would relegate to the "non reformable" (yes, I just made up a word!) pile but somehow we land our own self image there easily. I guess all I'm saying is give yourself the same benefit you would give anyone else and lighten up, you're not that bad!

During this season of buying, giving, smiling, hugging and loving, don't forget to do the same for yourself... Get a hot chocolate, give yourself some time, smile on the inside and learn to love yourself for who you are instead of hating yourself for who you've not yet become.

... David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Royals... You can call me Queen Bee (Lady Secrets)

And we'll never be royals (royals)... It don't run in our blood, that kind of lux just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz...  Let me be your ruler (ruler).  You can call me queen Bee and baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule. Let me live that fantasy... *record scratching to a stop sound*  Wait a minute... Yes, I like the song I hear at work almost everyday but I'm still an "old fashioned' kind of lady...

I'm strong, I'm stable, I've got my own career and money, I've got my own home, my own vehicle, puppy & kitty, I'm involved in my church within a few different ministries with dreams of much more... I've done pretty well at "ruling" my own life with direction from God but there's one thing I don't want... To be your ruler! I mean, don't get me wrong, I will not be ruled by you either. I want you to listen to what I have to say, you better listen... I want you to be strong, stable, have your own career & money, home - or at least pay rent, no furniture box living thank you,- vehicle - okay, if you're totally into it for the health benefits bicycle, ha! - pet(s) - this one actually isn't required but it will make me like you more, - relationship with God and involvement in your local church - if not, you're never going to understand me, - dreams... And I want to pile all of mine and your's together but I don't want to rule you, whoever you are.

Yes, call me "queen bee" if you want to, even treat me like your queen but don't expect me to rule... It's a partnership, and not of two, of three. You, me and Jesus. You see, I'm capable of ruling, that's not the issue, but I do not desire to rule you.  I can be a leader in a home when you need me, but please, you be the primary leader.  I do have my own relationship with God but I want your relationship with Him to inspire me into closer relationship, I want you to read scripture with me, pray with me and fast with me. 

Listen, this isn't just for my future man, I've had many discussions this fall with other ladies who feel the same way... Yes, we like equality, we like the vote, we are independent but we still want a man, not a child.  We are not going to chase one down; really, if we have to do the chasing that pretty much tells us you can't be the man we are looking for anyway.  No matter how much we think there is potential, no matter how hot we think you are, we are most likely not going to approach you... Yes, we will find every person we know and chat with them before we leave hoping you will come to us but if you don't we will just walk out and not look up... Even when we talk ourselves up before seeing you "okay, I'm going to make eye contact and hold it and flash my prettiest smile this time... I can do this... It's nothing... I can..." we usually won't follow through, after all, we don't need a man and we must not look desperate, because no matter how liberated we are, we still get talked about if we go after a man.  So, between the fear of being talked about, the old fashioned dreams of a guy actually walking up to us to talk (how unimaginable that a free woman would still want that, right?) and the knowledge that if a man can't buck up and approach us first he's probably not a man yet anyway, we just act shy... Funny? Yes. Sad? yes. Reality of really great ladies? Definitely.

Listen, insecurities plague us all but let me give you one more inside scoop to help you out... We don't want the whole world... Women know our own flaws and don't expect perfection from men. I know some people say we do because our expectations are driven up by fairy tales, romance novels and movies but that's not entirely true... We know we don't have a fairy godmother, we know you're most likely not going to look like Fabio with your shirt off (and you better not have the same hair do) and we understand there's not really going to be an angel choir following us around every time we see you... But we do expect the same respect as we see and read, we do want to be loved by you and we do want you to have confidence enough to show us you like us... What are we really looking for in a man? Goodness, that's really what matters, if you're nice to people (even the incompetent waiter...) if you care for your family and if you help a stranger... It's not a lot, it's not difficult and ANYONE can be what we are looking for... Most women aren't specifically looking so much at the package the good heart comes in, they're just after the heart.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this really, I suppose partially hoping my future buck will read it and approach me but mostly because now I know that there are lots of amazing ladies out there just like me that deserve some of you amazing Christian men to put your big boy pants on and say "hello..." I mean seriously, it's not that difficult guys, it only takes one sentence to start... I know it can be scary, no one, not even a big, strong man wants to face rejection, but this isn't junior high anymore either, and if a girl snubs you or laughs with her friends when you walk away, she's just that a girl stuck in junior high actions and you want a lady anyway, right?  And if you're confused on that answer it was rhetorical anyway, you do want a lady, you want someone who is kind, who can support you when you need someone, who can encourage you and help you go after your dreams... Trust me, I was a girl for a long time before becoming a woman... You want a lady and if you're stumped, ask me, I know lots of wonderful ladies in a lot of places who are ready to meet a good man! ha!

I know this is not my usual type of post but sometimes I really think this sort of thing is necessary and this is one of those times. So back to normal next week (maybe! ha!) and in the meantime share this with any man you know who is single, trust me, he needs it <3 br="">

Thursday, November 7, 2013

So you had a bad day?

Hi honeys,  I keep not writing what I have planned for you all since being in Louisiana and today is no exception... Just a little bite of reality for today I think. Sometimes I'm guilty of faking it, you know, " how are you today?" Ummm, honestly? Nah... "Oh fab! And you." Meanwhile it's all I can do not to yell "today is sucky," go home, get in my pjs, cuddle with the pup and eat a whole pizza, ha.

Usually it's good to fake it when you're having a bad day... Not everyone needs to know, not even everyone on Facebook, ha! The thing is, we sometimes, while faking it, forget that it's okay to be honest with ourselves and God.  He knows anyway right, but here's the thing, when you're in a relationship where you actually care for someone you want them to share the good and the bad, as much as you don't want a complainer 24/7 you do want them to trust you enough and to trust your love enough to let you know when they're unhappy and what's made them that way... Even if you can't help. And the plus about God, he can always help!

Somehow we've bought into the lie that if we've had a bad day we are just not a mature Christian... Seriously? I mean yes, we should try our best to keep a positive outlook and keep both our eyes and chin up... Up to where our help comes from... Don't forget the simple lesson we teach children as soon as we can, "you can't be positive and happy if you bottle all the bad feelings inside." Yes, there's a time and place but what better time and place that with God and ourselves? You're not a bad Christian, even the bible says you can be angry but just without wrath... Don't take it out on everyone round you but it's natural to be mad, sad, annoyed and glad, just don't camp in the bad spots.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help! Psalm 121:1

So, you had a bad day? We'll join the club and talk to Jesus. It may not melt all the bad away but it will give you something else to think about, you'll find comfort and perspective. Listen, we all have those days we'd rather forget, whether it's our mistakes that lead us down the path or not, we have them... Again, just don't camp there. And one last thing to remember, Jesus saw so much value in you that he gave everything for you and he would do it again in a second so you can't be that bad... You're awesome, bad day or not!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goody, goody, two shoes!

Goody, goody, two shoes.. That's a phrase I heard a lot when I was a kid... Not so much anymore, thankfully most people grow up past that stage shortly after middle school, ha! What does it even mean anyway?... Okay, sorry back from google, but for those of you who, like me, want to know the meaning I've posted the link at the bottom of this post. Ha!

Sometimes I get asked why I live th way I do... Why I don't go to bars, why I don't swear, why I dress modestly, etc. there are plenty of answers I could give, one I like to use often is "if I had a boyfriend who liked me in blue you would see me in blue a lot more often, my personal style might not change but I would want to wear what appeals to my man... And if I would do that for a guy, your better believe I would do that for God!" Another is just out of a thankful heart, if he even hints in his Word toward something that displeases him I'm going to stay away, if he hints toward something he likes I'll do more of it. Lastly, guardrails... I don't go some places, not necessarily because it's sin to attend but because I'm protecting myself from temptation.

A few people think we do things to get saved... But that's not it.. We do these things because we are saved and want to please the saviour. Just like parents have rules we have to follow when we are living under their roof, we do the things we know God would be proud of when we are living with him.  And it not only stretches to our lifestyle but should completely change our giving style, our friendship style, our thoughtfulness style and more. We should notice the needs of others like never before and we should do whatever we can to help them!

As I was reading the Bible last night I came across something I've never noticed in this way before... "Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which god hath before ordained that we should walk in them."  Ephesians 2:9-10 (KJV) in other words, we are not saved through what we do but once we are saved we are to do more good works than before. We are saved "unto" good works! We should persist to walk in good works until it's so natural it becomes a part of who we are. So that's all it is, if you're saved, do good, love people, love yourself... You know what, just notice people, be aware of them, their feelings, their needs and do what you can to help... It may not be much in your eyes but you know as well as I do that when you're in need even someone acknowledging they notice the need is enough to touch your heart. And isn't touching the hearts of others exactly what we are supposed to be doing in the first place?

Love God. Be good. Do good.

Goody Two Shoes
Cinderella, who knew! And I'm always compared to Cinderella, ha!

Oh, and happy halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Not Enough?

Hi bunnies!  (Okay, maybe I should have said foxes for fall?..) Ahyhoo... As you know I've taken a couple of weeks off... Not intentionally, I forgot two weeks ago because I was busy packing for a trip to Louisiana and last week I was in Louisiana and got too busy, I had planned to sit on the porch drinking coffee, enjoying the sun and write my little heart out for you! Sorry! But, I have to say, the break did me good and now I have 3 topics in the waiting to be written.
This post however was inspired last night while I was reading just before drifting off to la-la land (hoping my family isn't the only one who called sleeping by that phrase, otherwise I've already lost half of you! ha) I read a passage and the thought just jumped out at me... I've heard it before but I've not really given it much consideration... I'm not sure I thought it to actually be true or if I just thought it was some speaker's personal opinion going a little overboard... Not that either way there would be a problem, it's not a bad thought, just... I don't know... Small?
I am the type of person who likes to be involved, I like to have a lot of things on my plate.  Don't get me wrong here, I like to have personal time and am not lacking in that area but I find even when I am volunteering in more than one capacity I feel like I'm just not doing enough, like I'm not fulfilling my potential, there's more to be done and I need to find a way to get involved in it.. I never feel like I'm doing enough, and if I'm not doing what I deem to be enough I often feel as if I'm not doing anything for God... But I realized last night, it's not about how many aspects I am involved in - although that should not become an excuse for lack of involvement - it doesn't matter how many titles or positions I hold, there's really only one thing of need, only one calling...
While on my break, my mother and I were reminiscing over my grandparents and some others in our family... How blessed our family is to have such a heritage and to be given the privilege to be so closely knit together.  While thinking about my grandparents I realized they weren't what some would call "great" they were humble, and although at one time my grandfather was a prominent businessman he somehow fell off track and drank most of his influence away for years. Luckily, or I should say graciously my grandfather turned his life over to Jesus and was miraculously delivered from alcoholism and changed in a moment... Grampie witnessed to those around him about the saving grace of The Lord but being from a small community and before the time of a telephone being in every home let alone the internet his audience wasn't impressive by any stretch of the imagination..  My grammie was loving, strong and caring but her husband died when the youngest of her nineteen children was only seven years of age, she worked hard and provided all the necessities but she didn't have her own "19 Kids and Counting" reality show and wasn't known by anyone much outside of her hometown.  In the eyes of anyone by today's standards, my grandparents were not rich, they did not have a huge realm of influence and no regal status proceeding their entrance or exit. The thing is, my grandparents were both known by God... No they didn't have their names in lights, they never walked onto a big stage to be the "main event," you wouldn't recognize them as being any different than anyone else walking past you, but my grandparents fulfilled exactly what they were called to do. Five of those children because preachers and thousands of lives have been changed because of their ministries, there have been healings and miracles and lives changed by the power of Jesus!  Now there are grandchildren following those footsteps and who knows where or if the reach of my grandparents will stop! 
Like my grandparents, you may not see much of a stage for your break-out performance.. People may not know your name.. Your talents may never get the chance to shine in the way you think they should.  Life is not about the stage anyway, it's not about being known or seen, it's not about what you have to offer, it's only about one thing: who you can lead into closer relationship with Christ!  The last words from Jesus before ascending into heaven were "go into the world, preach, reach, change, I'll be with you!" (Suzie paraphrase ;)) You may not be a preacher and that's okay, be a friend! You may not be able to travel throughout the world but you can change the world of your children.  You may not have the money to reach every homeless soul you see but you can share a sandwich or even a kind word.  Listen, Jesus said he came to "seek" and to "save" that which is lost... So that's all we are here for... We need to make ourselves aware of the people around us, seek out their needs and save them from an eternity without God by allowing them to know Him through us!  Be the bridge, create a connection!
"As thou hast sent me into the world even so have I sent them into the world" John 17:18 (KJV)
All that Jesus did on earth, the teachings, the healings, miracles, friendships, they were all "about the father's business," all for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, all for one calling to save.  So there it is, no matter what we are involved in, whether we feel it is enough or not we need to remember it's all for the calling.  Everything we are is for one purpose, salvation, and everything we do can be made to effect salvation so even if you're not able to accomplish all the ministries you wish, accomplish your life with the purpose of the salvation calling, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Be quiet!

Hi guys! Sorry I'm late tonight, I was busy at lunch today (went out with me daddy) and just got home from errands a little while ago. I'M SOOOO TIRED. 

I had a conversation with a friend this week and I thought just maybe we could all stand to hear it.  Basically a friend asked me to pray for him, he didn't tell me what exactly the request was but God knows... Anyway, one night this week I was praying and thinking about how impatient I can be when I'm waiting on God.  How sometimes I just want to hear him speak but he stays silent in the business of my life... It's frustrating but it's all part of the process we call life and there's nothing wrong with waiting.  Yes, yes, work on what you can do in the meantime but it's okay to wait.

I've always heard it said that God is a perfect gentleman and He will never force a person to do anything they don't want to do... He will never force His plan into your life even if He knows it's what is best for you, you have to reach for it, you have to work for it and you have to want it... But it's more than wanting, it's in the asking, the trying the seeking. Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

Then there's the whole listening part... You know, that being still God asks us for...  Psalm 46:10-11 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. I'm not so good at that part. And in prayer it never feels quite okay to just be quiet but I don't have any friends who talk non-stop without pausing to hear my thoughts in return,and I don't think God is that different.. If He is a perfect gentleman -and He is - then He's most likely not going to interrupt us mid-sentence to get His point across... We have to show Him we want to hear what He has to say to us, we must listen for what He has to speak over us. There are no "prayer police" trolling the floor ready to strap our knuckles the moment we pause for a breath, it's not about how many words per minute we can get out; rather, it's about connection with Him and you can't build a connection if the hearing is all one sided, it's okay to be quiet! It's always the friends we can just do anything (or nothing with) that become our best friends, people who get when we just don't feel like chatting or talking about our day and who are satisfied just to be with us... Well, it's the same with Him.

So, there it is, just a little encouragement that it's okay if you're in the waiting, it's okay to listen, it's even okay to just not feel like talking, still seek Him... Still work on what you can do... Spend time with Him in the quiet, push away the business of life to do nothing with Him. It will surprise you how much can be said by your heart and how much you hear when your lips are still.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brave Roar

brave - adjective \ˈbrāv\: feeling or showing no fear: not afraid
1: having or showing courage
a brave soldier / a brave smile
2:  making a fine show :  colorful 
brave banners flying in the wind
3excellent, splendid 
brave fire I soon had going — J. F. Dobie
So the question is... Are we brave?  That question can be applied to so many life situations... Should I take the chance on a career shift? Should I let them in? Should I move? Should I ask? Should I tell him/her how I feel? We already know the answer to all of these questions the majority of the time is "yes!" The true question is are we brave enough to do it!?
Last evening we had missionaries from Brazil at our church for an interview (Bennie & Theresa DeMerchant). I don't necessarily feel a calling to a missionary field but I do feel a calling to something greater... And if you think about it we all have that calling to do more for God. I began thinking about my current life situation, it's comfortable, I have a career in my field of study, I make enough money, I get my own corner office, I get pretty good vacation, I live in one of the most beautiful cities I could imagine, my family is amazing and though I don't have a ton of close friends I love them very much... So, what if God drops something into my lap that moves me, challenges me, takes me in a new direction and scares me?  Will I be brave enough to follow his lead?
I've had lots of time to consider getting married and having a family, whether or not I would be willing to move out of my City, whether or not I would be willing to quit my job and uproot my life, sell my house and go for love... And not just whether or not I am willing but I'm a sickie, I fret over things, could I do it without being ill for months? Am I brave enough? To that end I've decided whether I am homesick or not, for love, I would go.  But, to my shame, I've not thought as much about what if God calls me... I suppose it's crossed my mind but I've not thought it all through... All my fears, thoughts and feelings would be the same and when it comes down to it, I would still be doing it for love. I also have to consider how could I do something for myself and another human being and not be willing to do the same, at least, for God?  So I can be brave for human emotion but what about for the Spirit of God?
When I looked up the definition of brave I noticed the usually meaning that I've spoken about above but what about the less common of the meanings?  Would I be brave for God in those ways?  Would I "make a fine show" of my life, have I "made a fine show" of a Christian example?  And if not yet, am I brave enough to begin to "make a fine show" of my life from this point forward no matter what others say about the change?
Of course, we know intellectually all of the answers to these questions should be yes, but I think we have to make it more than intellectual... Pie-in-the-sky, "IF He ever asks, I will... But He's not asked yet..." giving ourselves excuse for non-commitment and lack of action on our own part. We must make the decision to say "yes" to God no matter the question... And once we've made that decision firm within our own minds and are confident so as not to be swayed by the negative opinions of others (if they should arise) we need to be quiet! That's right, I know it's not always comfortable in such a busy environment to silence ourselves but we must... I know when you're in prayer you feel like it's almost disrespectful not to be speaking all the time, like some "prayer police" are walking around rapping the knuckles of anyone not making a grand noise... But that's not the case. I don't have any friends who won't listen to me speak... Nor whom I refuse to listen to when they speak and God doesn't either. Listen, He will speak and He will call you.
Once God has called and you've gone for love there will be a "brave" fire inside! It will be excellent and splendid and it will warm all those who come in contact with you!  You will have a life lived with a brave roar instead of a quiet question.

Lastly I would like to leave you with a few lyrics that seem to fit today's theme... The two songs, along with the Demerchant interview were the start of these thoughts and will remain challenging me, and I hope you!

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down by the enemy.  Fallen for the fear, and done some disappearing, bow down to the mighty.   Don’t run, stop holding your tongue, maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live, maybe one of these days you can let the light in. Show me how big your brave is!
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath, scared to rock the boat and make a mess. So I sat quietly, agreed politely, I guess that I forgot I had a choice...  I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything. 
And since your history of silence won’t do you any good, did you think it would?  Let your words be anything but empty!.. Honestly I wanna see you be brave!
(Brave - Sara Bareilles. Roar - Katy Perry)
This post is dedicated to my BFF
& one of the bravest people I know, Teri-Lyn.
Much love!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

That's What I Like! Ask Anyway

Last weekend we had special guest, Stan Cook, at our church... He used to travel around singing with the McGruders (there's a link of one of their old songs.) Brace yourselves for this confession, I still like the music! Haha! Sunday, Stan spoke about a miracle that took place in the bible and how we can learn what it takes to get miracles in our own lives, it was awesome and I wanted to share it with you... Of course, as always, I'll add my own opinion! Ha.

First, the story: basically Jesus and his friends were invited to a wedding and whether it was cost, poor planning or some other reason, the hosts of the wedding ran out of wine.  Jesus' mother found out and ran to Jesus, unlike the others she knew who He was and that He could make ANYTHING happen. (Jesus had not yet performed any miracles.) When Mary told Jesus the wine was gone she got quite an unexpected response, Jesus had always been the most respectful and loving boy to his parents and wouldn't dream of disobeying... There was that one time they thought He was lost but He just assumed His parents would know He would be in the temple and He came home without question or whimper when His parents asked... This time, however, Jesus told His mother no, he wasn't ready to "go public" shall we say.  I'm not sure if it was Mary knowing He would not refuse her or if she was just full of faith but she seemed to completely ignore Jesus' apprehension and told the wedding servants to "do whatever He tells you." So, Jesus told the servants to get all the empty water jars in the place, fill them with water and bring them to Him. The servants did what they were told, although I'm sure it wasn't easy, those pots were heavy on their own and they had to be carried to the well, water drawn up from a deep well, poured into the pots and carried back, still, the servants completed the task. So, when all the pots were filled Jesus prayed and alakazam the water was turned to wine, not just wine, but according to the officials who were there, the best wine of the night! (John 2)

Rev. Cook told us his favorite parts of the story and how we can apply the steps to our own needs. First, Jesus was invited to the wedding... So we need to invite Jesus into every day and situation in our lives, just like the water would not have been wine if Jesus wasn't at the wedding we will not get our miracle if we haven't invited Jesus into our situation. Second, do what He says, when Jesus asked the servants to fill the pots they knew it wouldn't be easy, it didn't even make sense, no one wanted water, they wanted wine... But we don't read that they even questioned, there was no "why?!" Or "awe, but it's hot out, I don't want to drag a pot all the way to the well and back twice as heavy with water!" They just trusted and did what they were asked... We need to just trust God, do what we know He has asked of us and trust He will change out obedience into open doors of miracle! Stan also made the point of Jesus using water pots not wine skins, he thought the reason was most likely just because the pots were empty, available and close by... Jesus uses things -and people - that are close to Him so we must stay as close as we can to Him if we desire to see His work... The empty pots also remind me of a story of a woman with one pot of oil and a preacher who passed through he town told her to collect empty pots from all her neighbours, no specifications on size, cleanliness, color just empty pots and she would have oil to fill them all and to continue to fill them when they were used again.. The woman obeyed and they were filled, but you need an empty pot before it can be filled - much like people - we must empty ourselves of our own will and agenda in order to be filled with His Spirit!

Rev. Cook said his favorite part of the story wasn't that we can see steps on how to see miracles come to pass in our own lives, however, it was that Jesus said it wasn't time, but because his mother insisted and the people obeyed He made it time and gave them a miracle anyway! So that tells us that sometimes, even if timing is off, when we are persistent, we obey and trust, He will give us a miracle! I must admit, that's a pretty good point, I even get excited at the thought that we don't have to just accept bad timing, miracles can happen anytime; still, it's not my favorite part of the story... My favorite part of this story is that the miracle wasn't even a need and Jesus still came through! I mean, really, think about it, what's the worst that would have happened if Jesus had done nothing? The hosts who didn't plan things well enough would have been a bit embarrassed? Someone couldn't have had their fourth glass of wine? They would have had to drink the water? Oh no! Hah! The fact that Jesus performed a miracle that wasn't need-based once again confirms that He cares so much for us. He understands that sometimes even though we know our current situation doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, even though we know how unimportant it is, we understand this current inconvenience won't be remembered even by us in five years from now but it's still a concern presently for us and because of that He makes it a concern for Him.  The fact that Jesus performed this miracle proves that it's okay to ask Him for help with any concern of ours, even if its not an eternal one, even if its not earth shaking or even that important to others... It proves that we should talk to Him and ask for His help about and in every situation! Hey, if it was good enough for Mary, it's good enough for me!

So hey, what is it that's on your mind but you've refused to "bother Jesus with?" Tell Him! Ask for His input and Help... An if you don't get an answer right away, just obey and ask again, you never know, you may just be an empty jar away from your miracle!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How do I know? - The Calling

I read a blog post from (in) a friend posted a link to the other day and I loved it...  It was about God calling you... I found interest in it mostly because it applied to things I've been feeling lately, things I felt God may be doing in my life and fears I've been experiencing... Yes, I fear sometimes, SHOCKER! Anyway, I've been able to talk myself out of most of my fears but I am the kind of person who doesn't like making mistakes -when I was a toddler my mother would sit me down to colour and at the first and slightest mistake outside the lines would ruin the picture for me, I would grab the crayon as tightly as I could, press it to the paper as hard as I could and scribble all over the page - carried over into adulthood (that whole "adult" thing still seems strange when I put myself in that context) I like to try my best to "know" before I "follow" through.  I like to "know" something is God's leading not just my hoping... I like to "know" I can handle the responsibility before making the decision...  But I think the "knowing" part has been the most difficult for me... And if I can't "know" for sure then I'm afraid.
So, as of late, I've been getting the impression that God is starting something new for me, opening up some doors and setting me up for a new season... It's all exciting and I'm thankful, it's been a long time coming but fear tempers all of my excitement and I find myself wishing I was one of those care-free "let's go" sort of people.  Here's the thing, I'm not, God didn't make me that way and even if he had I'm not sure the circumstances of my life would have left me that way and when it really comes down to it, I like the way I am... I like that I am analytical and can usually figure things out and make good choices (usually.) It's just those times when I want God to be the one making the choice with no input from me, none of my own wishes getting in the way of me "hearing" what He wants, I often think "wouldn't it be nice if He just said it out loud..." Then again, that would be terrifying in itself, and would I even know or would I assume I was going insane? I'm always left with the question "without the audible voice of God how do we know He is calling?" Well, I think, and not on my own, I've found the (or at leas an) answer.
PAY ATTENTION!! God speaks softly, we all want a roar - maybe because that's what we are used to from our families, bosses and media - but that's just not how He chooses to speak... "...a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle..." 1 Kings 19:11-13
So if we can't hear His roar how do we tell His voice... First, we have to be quiet... Not just ourselves, but turn off some of the other voices, whether people or media or music, turn off anything that will take your attention away from listening for the whisper.  Second, be patient... God probably isn't going to speak the first time you've ever listened for Him, I mean He may and if He so chooses that's great but usually He makes sure you're sincere about listening and not necessarily because He doesn't know but sometimes to make sure it's as important to us as we think, the Bible instructs us to daily bring our concerns to Him, to keep knocking and He will answer, to pray effectually and fervently and it will avail something. Third, God will never speak in conflict with His Word (the Bible) so if something is leading you away from Him in any way, you can be sure He's not saying "Yeh, right there, that's the road I want you to take!" and sometimes fear is a good time, the Bible says in many places we should do things in fear and/or reverence, that's because it makes you careful... And when you're careful you're less likely to make huge mistakes with your life!  So if you're still not sure, wait, no rush, if God is calling you, He will keep on calling you in the same direction, He will give you confirmations and make you confident in His voice, He does know all of this is a learning process and He wants you to grow so He will teach you!  I'm still learning too, that's why I was so happy in reading that (in)courage blog post I mentioned earlier, it was God confirming He was speaking... That why last night in Bible Study I was so happy to hear my pastor teach (which I am using below) how to know when God is calling... It was confirmation.  God is so willing and patient with us, we just have to return the favour. 
Once you've heard the whisper you must make sure it's Him... And it's quite simple actually, the Bible says His sheep will hear His voice... Not maybe, they will... And how do you know you're His sheep? Well, the "PAY ATTENTION" paragraph is a start... But you love Him, it's not love like we think of today it's deeper... The Bible says we can tell those who love Him because they do his commands John 14:15. So if you are following His word, praying and listening, you will "hear" His voice. The Bible goes on in the same scripture to say He "knows" us and that's not "know" as in "yeh, they look familiar" but as in "I love him/her, we are like brothers/sisters, I can tell him/her anything, we're so close, we have a relationship." So because you're His sheep, you've spent time building a relationship and He knows you, and in return He allows you to know Him.  If you spend enough time with Him you will get to "know" his voice. Lastly that scripture says and they follow me. He will speak when he "knows" you enough to trust you will follow Him; you will "hear" his voice when you have spent enough time with Him to "know" Him. 

Listen, Time, Consistence, Love, Careful, Bible, Know, Follow

Thursday, August 29, 2013

No Matter What

So... I read an article on a so-called new "Christian Religion" being an "all-inclusive, no matter what, all roads lead to heaven" sort of outlook that's spreading quite fast in Texas where the "founder's" church is located... The founder has stated the Apostle Peter, John & Paul are misguided, incorrect and need rebuking for their stance on sin keeping people out of heaven. And that God will allow everyone into heaven no matter what... Here's the thing, that outlook is nothing new at all, it's been around since bible times. But here's the other thing, it's not truthful. I get it, we all wish this thing was easy sometimes but truthfully, it isn't easy, that's why His "power [strength] is made perfect in our weakness."  We need His power to save us. We need his strength to get into heaven.  If someone gives you a road map to get home would you burn it and wander aimlessly, hoping that sometime you will stumble upon the right home and you will be welcomed in? Of course not! That would be senseless, at best you would arrive after the door of welcome had been shut, at worst you would starve yourself and those travelling with you on your journey. In any situation we can get help, we take it, if we have to work hard for years to reach a goal, we do it... Why not work hard to be with God, with his strength and his word we can do this!

The basis of the article I read was since all have fallen short, no one can be holy and no one can be sinless then God must allow everyone, no matter how they live, into heaven... Okay, I don't even know how to respond to this... Ummm, no, but God is not now, nor has he ever looked for perfection from his creation (us) but if we think and study the Word it's clear God has made us in His image... And since I'm pretty sure God doesn't look in his mirror and see my mug in the morning it must be the one thing every human has in common... And there is something... We all search to be loved, that's exactly what God is searching for, people who love him... And if you love someone you do what you need to do in order to be with them... If they are allergic to peanuts you usually wouldn't smother your lips in peanut butter before they come over because it would not be acceptable to the relationship... And like that kind of relationship requires some changing, so does a relationship with our creator.
Secondly, that premise presented is that God loves everyone in spite of their sin and will welcome every person into heaven, regardless of whether they are reveling in sin or not... Because all sin is the same in the eyes of God and no one is without sin so God just basically has to take what he can get, and since we can't be perfect he has removed all requirement to strive for bettering ourselves. YES, all sin is the same in His eyes, NO none of us can ever be perfect and YES God loves us in spite of sin!! That's why Jesus died on the cross and rose again, triumphant, to pardon our sins... But just like there is no pardon from conviction in our court systems without some action on our part there is no pardon for sin without some action on our part.  God and sin cannot dwell together so we must repent from sin (which is more than a feeling, it's an action... When a sergeant shouts "repent" to his soldiers they turn around and go forward in the opposite direction) we must also be washed of our sins (Baptism - by emersion in Jesus name, just like Jesus baptized) and then we are empty of sin and God can fill us with his Spirit giving us the power we need to change! Lack of action on our part, continuing to live in sin day after day when we know to do better is not respecting what God gave us in the Cross of Calvary and the Resurrection. Kind of like saying "It's nice that you love me God, but I'm going to continue doing all the things I know displease you and if you really love me you'll just overlook it..." Your mother would probably be able to fill you in on what the response to a statement like this would be if you don't already know :) While Jesus does love us, he does not just make everything easy on us... There are requirements if we are to live under his roof, just like a parent doesn't allow their child to live rule-less because they know they cannot possibly live perfectly, neither does God allow his children to live "rule-less." Just like a parent will correct their child when they are seen making a mistake that could harm them, so does Christ with us. So while I agree that God loves all of us no matter what, that cannot mean he will allow us - with all of our sin - into heaven without having followed the plan of salvation (repentance, baptism & infilling of his spirit) to get us there, it's His spirit in us that will give us our ticket into the Holy City! 
As far as proving this person wrong, the Bible does that adequately... Jesus, in his own words, did that many times, and if this "Christian Religion" pays no attention to the words of the Christ I'm pretty sure that would make it a non-CHRISTian religion in the first place. Anyhoo.... Here's how I think we need to "deal with it" instead of concentrating on "proving it wrong" we need to concentrate on being the church Christ instructed us to be! REACH, spread the Gospel as Christ taught it, speak from the Word only, don't add to it, don't subtract from it. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, so let's just buck up and not get our eyes on non-sense, keep them looking up!  God's spirit will take care of any situation, he will bless those who follow His Word so don't worry about the rest!

Also see: Sin Permit

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's the Small Things

I had a fabulous lunch with an old friend, Adam Clark, last Saturday :) Actually, he did most of the eating but the chat was the best part anyway!  It's funny how true friends never seem like they've been gone for long, you just pick up where you left off. We talked about God and ministry, things we feel God is leading us to etc.

During one part of the conversation I was talking about what all I am involved in (ministry wise) and made the statement "my favorite parts are the small things like..." What caught my attention was after I was finished listing the "small things" Adam's response was "how do you know they are the small things, that doesn't sound small at all to me!"  The reason his comment caught me was because it's the second time someone has said that to me recently... Last month after I posted Big or Small I got a message from the lady I was writing about asking how I know what I am doing right now for God is "small?" 
Adam and I started talking about the "small things" and how they most likely aren't small at all to God. You see, we look at so much in such a different light from what Christ sees them in... Remember he said he would leave ninety nine to find one, and we think of the love of it, ninety nine seems much more significant than one but in his sight the one isn't small at all.  Adam brought up a point that the smallest seed turns into the biggest plant, remember "if you should have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed!" 
Our faith, no matter how small it is now, is meant to grow... And God has given each person the measure of faith so we all have it, it's just how we nurture it. Faith that is considered small in our eyes is seen by God for everything it can grow into, much like we view children, we don't see them only as they are but for the future they represent!  We look at some things and consider them inferior because of their maturity when we should see what can be made of them, we look at some things as small when in fact, to God, they are the big things... Much like in a relationship when describing what makes it good we often say "it's the small things really" in relationship with God the important things to him are often seen as "small."
I don't know where you are in life, what your faith level may be, if your ministry seems insignificant but I do know, if you nurture your faith and ministry they have an amazing future to be lived!  Besides, how do you know either is small in the sight of God!? 
There are two scriptures I would like you to think on:

Zechariah 4:10
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..!" 
Job 8:7
"And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Can't get no Satisfaction

Hey guys, I had a blog post all ready for you all but something happened that I just had to share!  It's not the normal Suzie-K post but it's a life event I wanted you all to know happened!  First, all of my friends are having babies right now... Apparently the weddings are over and they are all on to the next stage of life and I'm left behind both grades...  Most times the single life is fantastic but I have to admit every once-in-a-happening I have a moment of "why you before me?"  But not anymore! 
And you must watch the video of how it happened!! Yes it's 13 minutes but you can do it! Please!?

So clearly this isn't me... In class last night another line caught my attention, paraphrasing it would be "What do your needs in other relationships teach you about your need in your relationship with God?" and it was explained as if you're unsatisfied in a relationship with someone it's probably mirroring the spiritual need... It really took me back to think of things in that way.  I am quite proud of where I am, how far I've come, in general I am satisfied in life, there's just that one thing... Someone to share it with.  The thing is, I had forgotten I already have someone to share it with... And if I am still unsatisfied because I only have fur babies to be a mommy to maybe it's because I've not invited any guests nor conceived babies with Him!? Maybe I'm not satisfied in my love life because I have shifted my gaze in an other's direction... You know they say "the grass is greener where you water it" and maybe I haven't been allowing myself to soak in the water of His love. Maybe I've forgotten the proposal.

Jesus is my life partner but sometimes I forget, sometimes I try things my own way, sometimes I make mistakes and get dirty and sometimes I need reminded who's I am and so do you.  So here it is, if you've already accepted the proposal this is your reminder to get back to your first love, if you're unsatisfied in any area of your life think about how it may be mirroring the spiritual and do something about it!  If you've not yet made up your mind and said "YES!" allow me to be your friend pushing you toward the greatest love of your life.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Skinned Knees and Change

What's going on!? It feels like forever since I've written anything for you guys... I know, in reality it was just last week... I think it must be the business of summer :o)  Oh why can't we have summer all year round!?  Ha!
Little update on me: I've been taking another course... Last summer photography (which I've pretty much let go by the wayside, I did learn and apply those tips but I just don't think I'm a picture taker in general.  I actually am not sure what I was looking for from this course, actually, all I knew about it was that it is called "Unglued." It's a course just for women (haha, men, haha!) and I guess I was thinking along the lines of becoming "unglued for God" not in the mad sort of way but rather in the letting nothing hold you back sort of way, you know, girl power for Jesus!  Nope... Well, I suppose we may get to that, I've only gone to our first class... And even what we are learning about ourselves will help us with relationship with Christ.  The first thing Kathy (our teacher) said was "this is going to be a thinking class... Lots of deep thoughts required" and I know reading this you may think that was sarcasm but far from it... All I could think - after working all day, not taking lunch and adding almost an hour and a half at the end of my shift, running home to change and go without supper - was "this is NOT what I signed up for..." We even have homework!
During the class - in spite of my, shall we say, dampened spirits - I learned a lot about myself... Nothing I didn't know but the knowledge was somewhere under the surface.  But what I learned of myself isn't what I want to share with you at this point... Rather, a question that caught my attention.

What are some words that come to mind when you think about "CHANGE?"

I have someone in my life that may be making some decisions very soon that will cause big changes for her... It's a situation that is sort of sprung on her and not her decisions that put it all in motion... I'm sure she will consider what's best for her in many ways and most importantly what God wants.  Of course, I put myself in her shoes and although making the decisions she is about to make and experiencing the changes that seem to be coming her way seems like a great idea to me as an objective person in the situation, if it were me I would likely be ill! No, really, haha! Big changes are something I need to think about for a long time and then one day, without planning the day or time just do.  This situation allows no time for planning really and things will change in a big way no matter what it's just which direction she wants things to go... So, of course the word I thought of last night and think of with regards to this situation is F-E-A-R!  Change is (or at least can be) scary!
 So, now a question I want to pose to us all:  "should fear stop us?"  And of course we all know the obvious answer is "no" but just take some time to think it through with me... Yes, you fear the unknown, I mean what if it doesn't work out the way I think? What if have to go back to the way things were after realizing the change wasn't 'for me?' What if although I can list all the reasons I should make a change, God is staying quite silent and leaving this decision up to me? What if I make the wrong decision and take a step in the wrong direction?  Well.... Go back.  See, here's the thing, God is trying to grow-us-up just like any parent with their children, although he can give us all the answers it wouldn't benefit us in the long run... Yes, sometimes children make a wrong choice, sometimes they take a step too far and fall down and skin their little legs but if the parent is watching - like God watches us - the child is never in actual danger...  Sometimes God wants us to have skinned knees so that we learn a lesson.  Can you imagine, God wanting us to skin our knees!?  Well, better a skinned knee than a broken leg (I'm sure some parent has said that at some point) and I think we need to allow ourselves the same room God does... I understand that fear and that want for perfection but we need to be realists, and perfection only belongs to God. Sometimes we will get skinned knees but sometimes we can only step into our true destiny by stepping over fear first!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shake Off the Dust

Hi bunnies,  last night I heard something in a context I've never before been aware of and I wanted to share it will you all! You know, because sometimes we all get just a tired of letting our little light shine especially when the people around us act like it hurts their eyes... It can be difficult to keep on keeping on with sharing God's love with all the haters.... We don't always get the results we expect, furthermore we don't always get great reactions. So should we just shut-up? Should we just wait for people to ask for us to say something about God, sort of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy?  What about our lifestyle? Should we just give up on living our life to respect God because others aren't always comfortable seeing a difference in us?

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

I've always heard Matthew 10:14 in a sort of "curse to them" way of shaking even the very dust off your feet of those who won't hear the word God's given you to speak... But what if that's not it? Or at the least, what if that's part of it but not all there is?  I'm not the type of person who is comfortable with the cursing sort of shaking dust off my shoes, I just wouldn't want that sort of guilt on my mind, I could just not be that final decision with regards to someone else being brought down, I don't have it in me. Thankfully, the way I heard it explained last night totally makes sense and means so much more to me, it becomes a scripture that applies to me and I think it will apply to you as well! 

There's another scripture in Ephesians 6 that while explaining how to be a prepared Christian, it states in verse 15 to have "your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace..." And this is where you can start to see a new meaning in shaking the dust off... See your feet are what takes you places, they are essentially your travel... So these words are interpreted in their basic form to say "be prepared everywhere you go, have the gospel ready to share, take it with you, in your heart, be ready!"  So if your feet are your transportation of sharing the gospel and someone rejects your sharing, it does hurt, it may knock you down in the dirt or cause you to trip but shake the dirt off and try again! 

Listen, we would never tell a boy never to take a chance on asking someone out ever again after their first no. We would never tell a girl to never bake again after her first cake fell in the middle. We would never tell someone never to sing again after one flat note! Why would we tell ourselves never to reach to another person trying to connect them with God after one no!? Why would we stop showing God's love to a person who couldn't accept it the first time? If someone says they won't be coming to church this Sunday why would we not invite them next Sunday!? Don't give up! Connecting people with God is the base of every ministry, it is the only one true calling of God so shake the dust off people and keep moving the Word!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Big or Small?

I was just thinking of a friend... At least I think she'll allow me to deem her as a friend! ha!  She is a, let's say, pastor's wife (but really much, much more) ministry position far away from my little City but she was passing through not that long ago and got a chance to speak honestly ... She was just thanking people really and expressing her appreciation for notes she received etc. and she was saying how much those little things help get her through a rough patch or hard day... And she was honest to say, even in ministry, there are lots of those rough times and bad days she was also quick to encourage herself and us in the power of the AWESOME God we serve!  Still, there were tears in her eyes and a tired expression on her face, and not just "jet lag" tired...

The reason I was thinking of her recently was because of how little I think she knows she is appreciated!  I know I've never expressed my thoughts toward her and how sad is that!  Allow me to just tell you, this woman is so inspirational... Like me, she comes from humble beginnings but she has done so much for God's kingdom with her life!  She has accomplished a degree in a career she uses for God!  She is a beautiful person inside and out, seriously, I know people say that a lot but she is!  She is a great mama... She always worships through the bad time, and let me tell you, seeing that from someone you know just a little of their life difficulties is so inspirational!  She is real and not afraid to laugh and have fun, you know a Christian who is still human, haha! (I'll admit it, I love to be silly so I really appreciate that last characteristic!) She based her life around allowing room for God to use her and I love that!  I love it because it allows me to see that is still okay to do in a world that pushes us toward only caring about ourselves every day... I love it because it gives me hope that I will end up actually doing something amazing for God someday and that's really all I've ever wanted..

I love seeing someone used of God in such a great capacity is still "human" and still used by God because that means I can be too. I love that in spite of tears and weariness she cares enough for others to try to lift them up because isn't that what life is about anyway!? And we can and should all learn to follow her example... Which sounds an awful lot like what I was trying to say in last week's post and many others..  I love that part of her "big ministry" is still to just be kind and encourage others because really, isn't that "big" too? Can we really do anything for God if we are not kind and encouraging to EVERYONE who comes in contact with us!?  I'll help you out here, NO! Love God, love people! It's the second commandment, to love others! And Jesus said the most important commandment is to love Him but that second is like it, meaning just as important! In fact, in another scripture says if you don't love the people you can see you cannot love a God you can't see! How's that for convicting!? (It is for me!) And in that love for other please express your gratitude and appreciation for the people who pour into you, even without knowing they do... Those people may even be the best ones to appreciate!

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  
A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 
The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)
If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister,
thinking nothing of it, he is a liar.
If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?
The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:20-21 (MSG)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summertime & Passing on Some Sunshine!

Gosh guys, I have no idea what to write today... I'm so tired (for no reason at all!) I think it must be that our air conditioning at work has been out of service and even with eating a fair quota of Freezies that's not good. I am happy though and I have some good news to share with you: my aunt, Mildred, just received some medical results back from a lung biopsy and there is no cancer! Yaay for Jesus!

It seems like it must finally be summer here, it's been a long time coming!  And why not make it even better!? I know, we all love the BBQs, fishing, bonfires, park dates, picnics, warm evening walks, the sun and the sand but there's something else about summer, people just seem a bit happier... And we need to add all we can to that! So I'm going to harp on the same-ole, same-ole for a bit!  Do something nice for someone who can't offer you anything in return!  Pay for someone's coffee at Starbucks and get the cashier to tell them once you've left, pay for the dinner of the new parents sitting next to you that have dealt with crying baby far longer than you have at the restaurant, put some money in someone's parking meter, leave an encouraging note for the retail attendant letting he or she know they did a great job, better yet ask for their name so you can put in a compliment instead of a complaint for them on-line!  Introduce yourself to someone new in town and actually extend the introduction into friendship... My personal favorite, pay for someone's frozen yogurt ahead of you in line! ha!

Seriously people, we all know it's the little things that bring a smile in our own life! Just yesterday I was in Wal-Mart picking up hair supplies and I dropped my shampoo while reaching for gum... I was taking my time in picking it up but it wouldn't have been a problem at all for me to grab and move on, just as I was about to bend a man stepped out of the line next to me and got it for me, it made my evening just a little brighter, I let some people out in front of me in traffic and everything (another one of my personal favorite "pass-it-ons" because it rarely happens anymore.)

So that's it, no biggie, you can do something nice even if it costs you nothing but a second!  Be happy and PASS IT ON!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big Dreams Into Tiny Pieces

Hi guys, sorry for last week's pause in writing... I actually just did not have the time, I left home at around 8:00 am and never returned until around 11:00 pm! I hope you all picked an older post and read it!

Lately I've realized something about myself... I've lost my dreams. Not in the "I've given up" sort of sense but in the "just not being purposeful," "not thinking about it" sense...  The problem with not being purposeful and not thinking about things is you can actually forget why you believed in something so strongly.. Another problem with not being purposeful is most dreams don't come true without effort.  That's right, I'm going there again, it takes work, anything in life worthwhile takes effort, work and some of the dreaded discipline.  So if I've forgotten my dreams or placed them in the back corner of my mind nothing grows but cobwebs and dust; I don't want that, I must shake myself and remember. Remember the promises, the hopes and the plans; and you must as well!

The thing that caught my attention was not that I had forgotten, it was the doubts that crept into the unoccupied crevices of my forgetfulness... How I seemed to, without noticing, slip into "maybe it wasn't really true" train of thoughts.  Don't get me wrong here, I've been fighting those thoughts and getting myself out of that corner; still, I'm not exempt and none of us are. 

I was reading the story of Joseph - you know, the coat of many colors guy - the other night and noticed something I've missed so many times before... I've always heard and thought Joseph's jealous brothers lied to their father making him believe Joseph died, they ripped their own fathers dreams as they ripped Joseph's coat and broke Jacob's heart with a lie!  Actually, they didn't tell him a lie at all... Yes, the ripped a coat and dipped it in blood and gave it to Jacob but Jacob let go of his own dream.
Genesis 37:32-33 And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father;
and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no?
And he [Jacob] knew it, and said, It is my son's coat;
an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent into pieces! 
But Joseph hadn't been rent into pieces, he was not devoured, Jacob's dream was still alive!  Jacob didn't even question the evidence, like many of us, Jacob jumped to the negative conclusion and gave up on his dream... And before you go wagging your finger or tisking with your tongue, think about the things you may have given up on just because what you saw told you it would never happen... We've all done it because it's part of human nature to draw conclusion without complete fact being presented.

Sometimes I don't understand God or his timing... Sometimes I just want part of what he's promised me now... Sometimes we argue and I whine over why, sometimes I doubt how... Sometimes I doubt my own capacity and ability to step into the dreams and promises God's given me... But all those sometimes really stem from me seeing the evidence, or actually the lack of evidence, without remembrance of the power of the God who spoke the promises in the first place.  I once heard that the power to fulfill the promise is immediate with the spoken word... Think about it "let there be light, and there was..." The power for the fulfillment was in the word, the time table was just shorter.  I don't know what your dreams are, I don't know the plans God has for you or the promises he's made but I do know that he will fulfill them! I do know that no matter what has happened or hasn't happened, no matter the evidence to the contrary or the lack of support, he is able to bring it to pass... And if I know that for you, I know it for me. So what are we doing? It's time to push what we see aside and have a little faith! It's time to live it out people!
2 Corinthians 5:7 (The Voice version) The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.
Habakkuk 2:3 (The Message) This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming.  It aches for the coming - it can hardly wait!  And it doesn't lie.  If it seems slow in coming, wait.  It's on its way. It will come right on time.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Quit

Okay, so this post might not be what you normally get from me... Sometimes you just have to vent...  Yesterday at work I made a mistake, a big one... I mean, if I were my boss I would definitely fire and possibly sue me, it seemed that bad! I was so embarrasses and scared to fess-up that I decided to just write a note at the end of the day and quit.

I awoke this morning and started to get ready like every other day but then I remembered the mistake... I could have made it in before anyone saw my noted and truth be told, although there would be consequences and a lot of work to get past the mistake I realize my boss probably would have forgiven me and we could have worked through it.  I just couldn't bring myself to face it. My boss has tried to call me but there's no way I can answer, I mean who knows what he will say and I really can't take any anger right now... 

Of course, quitting is not a great thing to do and now I realize I've wasted so much... I will have no money past tomorrow, the people I work with will have horrible opinion of me now, I would just get another job but everyone will know I quit this one so I will have to switch professions completely.  I know, I probably should have just swallowed my pride and faced the music of my mistake but it's so hard and now it's too late! Right...?

I know you're all reading this wanting to scream at me and come shake some sense into me... And that's valid... Of course, my story is not.  I didn't actually make a huge mistake (at least not that I'm aware of) or quit my job yesterday.. But just like we all know quitting my career over one mistake - no matter how bad it seemed - would be completely irrational quitting relationship with God, or not starting relationship with God, over a mistake - no matter how bad it seemed - is irrational.  In the same way I should have just confessed to my boss, dealt with the consequences and worked it out with my job had this story been true, we should be doing the same in relationship with Christ. 
I know that somehow we separate our idea of how to work on and deal with relationship with God but we shouldn't! No, a relationship with God isn't the exact same as that of work, or with a spouse, friend or family member but much of the capabilities we gain from those relationships and the lessons we learn can and must be applied to spiritual relationship. God gets it, he knows we aren't perfect - in fact, he made us that way - he will work with you and forgive you if you just don't quit on him!  I know it would be easier if we just knew how to be perfect and could see what we should do in every situation so we no longer made mistakes - and God knows that too - but God made us with our free will and mind to make choices so that when we choose him it means something to him... He made us fallible because he can deal with that, he died to cover our mistakes with mercy and we could turn back to him and choose him all over again in spite of our errors.
Don't quit God, he has mercy waiting for you!