Friday, February 29, 2008

The Power of One

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8, NIV)

The Power of One is an amazing concept. We are practicing this concept in our Mary Kay unit this month and learning how one more step can change a person's life. One more step takes faith and belief. If we take one more step towards our dreams, if we take one more step towards our Lord, if we take one more step to do an act of love and kindness what changes would be made in our lives and in our world?

There is a song that was written years ago called "One is the Loneliest Number" (or something like that) and I always thought that was a sad way to look at things. Now that I am older, I see what the power of one can do. The power of the One and only God can move mountains, cast out demons, raise the dead and heal the sick. The power of One can give hope and cause us to praise in the midst of our circumstances. The power of One can strengthen the weary and give power to the weak. He can renew our strength enabling us to soar on wings like eagles. The power of One saved us from sin and death. The power of One teaches us how to live for eternal life. The power of One teaches us what true love is. The power of One loves us enough to give us the Holy Spirit to be a witness to Him and to all the world.

When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you were given the power of One. You were given the Holy Spirit, an everlasting power to be a witness to Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, we will do greater things than He did because He gave us the power of the Holy Spirit. This power doesn't have to be forceful or be used in a demonstrative way. Simple acts of kindness come from this power. Stopping to love, listen and do for someone else comes from this power. Doing something nice for someone you don't like or find repulsive for whatever reason comes from this power. Doing what you don't want to do comes from this power. Faith, belief, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and passion come from this power. Being humbled, surrendered and faithful comes from this power. The boldness to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes from the power of One. Actually, all that you are, all that you do and all that you have comes from the power of One.

Are you being transformed daily by the power of One? Does it have dominion over your life? Is it giving you strength? Is it moving you to live your life for Jesus Christ? Is it moving you to be broken bread and poured out wine for our Lord and Saviour? If not, ask God to fill you once again and lean on this power, the greatest gift you will ever have and watch the Lord transform you into someone He can use for His glory.

Be blessed. Be the power of one.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

From a Place of Courage

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:7-9, NIV)

"Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid." (Matthew 14:27, NIV)

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines courage as the "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, difficulty." It also states that, "courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty."

As I write these definitions, I look at my own life and wonder where courage fits in. It pretty much needs to live everywhere within me. Courage takes faith and surrender. It requires complete trust in God and His promises. It requires us to lay down everything and let Him teach and love on us. It takes waiting on Him, wisdom and knowledge. It requires something, Someone much greater than ourselves. I know I don't have all that it takes to be strong and courageous.

Last night I went through the Bible searching for Scripture focused on God's promises. That pretty much sums up the whole Book! I found such hope and comfort in my search. As God has promised in Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart." Knowing that I cannot do what God has called me to do on my own and knowing that in my own strength I cannot remain surrendered, I find comfort in His Word and Presence. Spending time in His Word, spending time in His Presence, loving on Him and letting Him love on me fills me with courage to do what I cannot do. My hope is that He will find a faithful servant and warrior in me.

Choosing to live the life He has destined for me and leaving father, mother, sister, brother and even myself, takes greater courage and greater faith. As I lay down my life, I find that God fills me with more hope, more belief, more faith and more courage to live each day. Learning to let go of even the things I don't want in my life takes a courage that can only come from the Lord. I know I don't have it and living for God will require Him to fill every inch of my being with all that He is. God is going to have to take over my life in order to make His plans happen.

Surrender is the hardest part of Christian life because it requires us to relinquish all that we are to be available for what we don't know. Each step of this journey with Him, requires us to surrender even more than our last moment on the altar. As we grow, He shows us what else He needs for His purposes. There is stuff He wants us to give up including our plans and expectations as to how we are to live this predestined life. Sometimes I feel that all I can do is sit, watch, wait and listen because I don't see anything in front of me to do. You hear so many people say that we can't just sit around and wait on God to move, but that we must do something every day for His kingdom. I have to say that we as humans are always busy doing something because we believe that that is what He wants from us all the time. My heart says He wants us to spend more time being still, praying, reading and meditating on His Word which is one of the greatest acts we can perform for His Kingdom. Then, when He is ready to move, we will be ready as well. We will then have sufficient courage to serve and fight for His kingdom because we will be full of Him.

Today I encourage you to be strong and courageous enough to be still and live in His sufficiency. When we are obedient in this, we will see that the mighty hand of God has moved mountains, strongholds and giants and is more able than we could ever be on our own.

Monday, February 25, 2008

There's a Solution to Your Agitated Funk!

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do... For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." (Romans 7:15-20, NIV)

Back and forth and back and forth. Do I take this path or should I follow this one? Should I be still or do what I know to do? Maybe I should pray. I don't even know what to pray for! Oh, how the enemy must be beside himself with glee. But thank God for God! I know I say this at least once a day, but God knows who and what we need right when we need them.

I was in such a funk today. Frustrated, confused with no idea what to pray for. I was so agitated I had to ask the Holy Spirit to pray for me! I couldn't even find words to share on this blog. By the time I got home from work, I was reciting the "I Am Sick and Tired of..." list over and over again.

Normally when this happens, I go through some one's fast food drive-thru and order grease with a large Coca Cola chaser followed by ice cream, preferably heavy on the chocolate. This is followed by frustration and more agitation because I then beat myself up for eating the "comfort" food instead of something healthy. But this time, I walked passed my freezer and went to my women's fellowship meeting.

I am usually not one to talk about my issues, needs and desires with a group of women because I have always felt that my issues are not as big or important as their issues and the issues of this world. This time was different. My precious sisters in Christ comforted me, guided me and encouraged me in such a way that by the time I left the meeting, the agitated funk was gone. I felt a release during our prayer time and God spoke so clearly to me about some things I needed to let go of. My sisters shared Scripture, sage advise and wisdom. On the ride home, I felt joy in my spirit and believed once again, that all things are possible to him that believes.

God has huge plans for each of us and He is working those plans every moment of every day. We may not be able to see the details or the strategy, but we do have to get to the end of ourselves and surrender. The battle for control is a draining battle that we are not going to win. God is in control despite what the enemy whispers in our ear. God has His own paths that make no sense to us. We have to stop fighting Him and discipline ourselves to be faithful, trusting and obedient.

My sisters made many things clear to me tonight. When speaking out my future, speak out God's Word because that is my future. Be true to myself and let go of what no longer brings me joy. Call or email each other for comfort and edification. Don't negate the positive and precious moments in life. Yield to what is happening in my life and ask God for the wisdom and discernment needed for each day.

I am so sorry if you are in a funky place today, especially if there is not chocolate in sight! Know that the Lord really does love you. Rest in the knowledge that He knows where you are and what you are feeling. Call on your sisters and/or brothers in Christ for prayer. If there is no one in your life to call, ask the Lord to bring people into your life who can walk with you on your journey. He will answer that prayer, I promise. He answered mine!

Friday, February 22, 2008

BIDIA (But I Did It Anyway!)

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)

Don't just sit there, move! Do something, anything! How many times have we come to a point in our lives when we are not sure if we have heard from God? How many times have you asked yourself, "Should I stay or should I go?" (reminds me of a song!) when you are at a crossroads?

I have such a difficult time when these moments occur. I know what God has called me to do with my life and I think I know what is needed in order to accomplish the vision, at least from a human standpoint. But I often wrestle with the how because most of what I know how to do costs money that I don't physically have right now. Yes, I am believing God is my Source for all things and that He would not give me a vision without the tools and resources to do it. What I struggle with is the waiting until the resources come. Do I move forward with what I do know how to do or do I wait until He comes with the resources?

Waiting is not one of my favorite tasks in life. Like most humans, patience is a virtue that will probably take all of my life to master! While I wait for Him to drop the next motherload of resources, I must continue to abide in Him or drive myself crazy. The only thing I know how to do well is set goals. What I also seem to be good at is waiting for the motherload instead of moving forward with what I do have. How I wish for once He would just drop down the money needed to do what I think needs to be done. Obviously, He has a different plan for accomplishing His vision. Sometimes I think His "withholding" is a test of my faithfulness and trust in Him. Do you think He knows His children or what?!

So, I decided that I was going to apply the BIDIA strategy which is, But I Did It Anyway. This weekend, I am going to review and implement those goals one more time and revise that business plan, make those phone calls, schedule and hold those appointments. And like Moses, I will stand before whomever I need to be in front of and remember that I AM WHO I AM sent me to do His will. He did command me to be a witness to Him and I did respond with, "Here I am. Send me!" I guess I had better get a move on!

Even if you can't see how God is going to make your dreams happen, take a step of faith. And if you have taken lots of steps in faith and still don't see your vision ahead of you, take one more. Do what you have to do anyway. Sometimes God opens doors as wide as airplane hangars that lead to unimagineable blessings and fulfillment. What's on the other side of your door?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Being Of Any Use to God

"She has done a good work for me." (Mark 14:6)

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21)

"I believe that if God finds a person more useless than me, He will do even greater things through her because this work is His." Mother Teresa, No Greater Love

My soul longs to spend every waking moment serving the Lord. I believe He has called me to touch the lives of women and children through love, compassion and hope. I don't know exactly how He will use me, but I know this is the work He has called me to do. Where I am now in my life is merely a stepping stone to the next level of service for Him.

Mother Teresa's book, No Greater Love gives us a wonderful glimpse into a life lived in humility and devotion. She loved the Lord so much that she laid down her life for Him. As I study her life, the life of the Apostle Paul and our sweet Savior, Jesus Christ, I realize that surrender and devotion are the only way to live a life of service and humility. We get so caught up in this world trying to meet the expectations of others. We will never measure up to the world's standards of living and we will never fix the wrongs of this world without God. So much time is spent trying to fit in and make people and situations fit into boxes that we miss the wonder and beauty of living; we miss the simplicity of a life with Christ.

As I live, I want to be transformed. I want to be the servant that God can look to and say, "She has done a good work for me." I want to represent Him well. I want to be used up, "broken bread and poured out wine," not when someone says I can, but right when God needs me. My life is to be lived for Him and His good pleasure, not on someone else's terms and time tables. I want to be free for God which entails complete surrender in every moment because I don't know who will need me or where I will need to go. As it is written in Isaiah 6:8, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" I want to be able to say, "Here am I. Send me."

Lord, keep me surrendered and available for Your battles. Live and love through me so that my spirit resonates Your Presence and grace. May all that people see is You. This I pray in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sufficient Grace for Tough Decisions

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Answering God's call can be a daunting experience for it requires humility, sacrifice, patience, devotion and trust. He gives us visions that we have no idea how to accomplish and allows challenges that confound us to our wits end. Have you heard God's call on your life and accepted it? Has He given you glorious visions that you can't wait to live out? Are you in a place right now where you have no idea how to begin and feel stuck with where you are? I completely understand your situation.

Last night was spent in prayer with regards to an issue I have been struggling with for almost a year. I have no idea what to do except follow my heart. Obedience seems to cause God to open doors and bestow unexpected blessings and today I must make known His calling to someone I love dearly. I am fearful of this person's response because they have their own expectations of me, ones that I cannot follow. I have to go where God leads and for the first time, I know the end result but have no idea how I am to get there.

My prayers to the Lord have been for provision, wisdom and faith in this new journey. He has done that and more. He continually opens doors with blessings waiting on the other side and He always leaves me in awe. The step I need to take today is a big one and the only way I am going to be able to take it is with Him by my side. I continually think about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and His prayer to the Father asking that the cup of sacrifice be passed from Him. But Jesus, out of devotion to the Father, bravely and humbly accepted His commission. The step I need to take must also be done out of devotion and obedience to the Lord. I have taken a similar step before and the wrath and pain that followed was heartbreaking. I don't want to relive that experience, but I must be faithful to our heavenly Father. What I really want is the freedom to live for my Savior, but I know that sometimes that freedom comes from doing things we have no desire to do.

So many times I have asked the Lord to help me enjoy the situation I am in and to see it from a different perspective, but that has not come. I have tried to enjoy the opportunity but have no interest in it whatsoever. This makes it more difficult because I know the time spent working on something that I don't enjoy could be spent doing something I know I am called to do.

What do you do in a situation that you don't see a way out of? How can you stay in the situation until the time comes for you to walk out your calling? It has to be by God's grace which He promises is sufficient for all times. Despite outcomes and circumstances, each day is for the Lord, not for me and that all I do must be for His glory. God promises to never leave me nor forsake me and out of love for Him, I must keep my eyes on the prize.

I pray that despite my fear Lord, You will be able to do great things through me for all honor and praise. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Constant Surrender

"And He said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but thou wilt.'" (Mark 14:36, KJV)

"Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this." Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Could you say those words to God? Could you lay down your life in pure devotion to Him? I look at those words and realize that I don't know if I could do it His way. In all those times I have told the Lord I loved Him and would serve Him, rarely do I consider that those moments of devotion would ever take me to such a place of sacrifice. Could I really allow God to make me "broken bread and poured out wine" as Oswald Chambers says? My soul longs to do that and there is a hunger in my spirit that wants to reach the masses of unloved, hungry children of the Lord. Yet could I give up my comfort zone to step into the enemy's war zone? I search within me to see if the words "no greater love" are part of my being.

I am madly deeply in love with my Lord, but as I begin to understand the true cost of discipleship I realize I am no where near ready to let go of my comforts. I don't know that I could lift a dying human out of a literal gutter and clean the worms off his body like Mother Teresa did. And there are even days when I don't want to serve within my safe comfort zone. But my heart and soul long to love. There are so many safe ways that we can serve our Lord, but the hunger and need for Him in this world is greater than our comfort zones. The question to ask is, "Do I love You enough Lord to feed Your sheep regardless of who and where they are just as You have commanded?"

There is no way for me to live my life fully surrendered and available without the power and grace of God. Who I am to serve and love is up to Him. True surrender isn't allowing God to use me, but letting go of my self knowing that God will use me in situations that I would not choose and with people that I may not be comfortable with. A choice must be made every day; do I serve Him or do I run? If I have my way, I may run, but as a chosen child of God, I have to trust Him in all things at all times. If I run, I run from the One Who allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to die a slow death out of love for me.

Keep me surrendered Lord. Help me live Your greatest commandment. Change me from within so that I am available for You to use when and wherever You choose. Help me remember that my life is not for me but for You. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Monday, February 18, 2008


"For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)

Just the other day I took the Strengthsfinder 2.0 "test" to determine what my strengths were. A friend had recommended the book several times so I thought I would buy it. The results were interesting and quite true and even one was a bit of a surprise. What I thought was most interesting about this process was that its purpose is to help you discover your strengths and focus less on your weaknesses.

As I finished the process, I wondered what my weaknesses were and realized that I had been so focused on what I knew I could and wanted to do that I didn't think of specific acts that were weaknesses. I do not think that I am perfect at all, but I do believe that my entire life is lived to arrive at perfection through the power of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I realized that my weaknesses really do not matter because what I think is a weakness is based on human beliefs and standards, not God's. I have learned that the glory of living is that I learn to surrender my all to God so that He can use my strengths and weaknesses if, when and where He chooses.

Weaknesses are just as good and as necessary as strengths. My life is not to be lived for myself but for God and others He brings into my life. Weaknesses give others hope. They keep us surrendered to the Lord. The purpose for living is for God's glory, not ours. We must decrease that He may increase.

I am nothing without God and cannot fulfill His plans without His strength, power and might. The authority, dominion, power and greatness that is within me comes from the Holy Spirit Who lives in me. "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me," because, "greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

I encourage you to take what you believe your weaknesses are and turn them over to the Lord along with what you believe are your strengths. Who you are and all that you have are for and from the Lord. Regardless of your beliefs, God can use every bit of you for His purpose. Yield all to Him and watch Him use you to touch someone else.

In His Name, Amen.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Cost of Vision

"You shall be witnesses to me..." (Acts 1:8, NIV)

"Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall..." (2 Peter 1:10, NIV)

Pursuing the vision God has given us may cost us the love and support of family and friends. When we make the decision to stand and serve the Lord we find opposition where we least expect it. Those you would expect to agree with you and help you achieve your vision oftentimes are the ones who question your sanity and ability.

Taking up my cross and following Jesus comes with a cost that I do not fully understand until I take that first step of faith. I may be a little to a lot fearful in the endeavor, but out of devotion and love for my Lord, I have to answer His call. The shock, heartache and pain that comes from our loved ones' responses to our endeavors can cause us to stumble. Our only hope is in the Lord.

When I think about my journey with the Lord and the process of preparation that He is taking me through, I try to remember the Apostle Paul. He went through much more than I have and yet he persevered. He loved the Lord so much and was so grateful for his salvation that he did not allow anything or anyone to sway him. As Oswald Chambers says in his book, My Utmost For His Highest, "Nothing other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God." Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the only way to achieve the vision given to us.

Dr. Myles Munroe wrote The Principles and Power of Vision. It is a great book that clarifies what it takes to pursue God's call on our lives and helps to map out a plan to achieve the vision. He asked questions that made me laugh because I know myself well enough to know what my answers would be if I were not madly, deeply in love with the Lord. For example, if you knew beforehand what being a witness for Jesus meant would you do it? Would you press on if you knew that it may cost you the love of family and friends? If you knew God was going to take you through dark and lonely places, would you step out or would you run in the opposite direction? These are good questions to ponder and I can say that having gone through dark and lonely places, living through family ridicule and falling often I will still press on for the love of God. The unspeakable joy of His Presence and His love for me far outway what I have been through.

In my walk, I have learned that even though God has given me a vision of greatness, I cannot run ahead of Him and make it happen. Oswald Chambers says that after God gives us His vision, He then has to take us into the valley to mold and shape us into that vision. Our trials, tribulations, and darkness are times of preparation and the building of a solid foundation in the Lord. This is the time where God wants us to get to know Him and Him alone. This is the time where we consistently read His Word, pray without ceasing, delight in His Presence and learn to walk by faith, not by sight. This is when His Word comes alive. It becomes a part of us until the day we realize that we have been living the vision all along. What God wants us to see is that the vision cannot be accomplished without Him. We can't run ahead of Him, but we can run beside Him. So holding us back, making us wait and even allowing us to fail teach us that we are nothing without Him.

If you are questioning your abilities and decision to serve the Lord, I encourage you to take a deep breath and embrace the vision burning in your heart. It is your gift from God, your birthright. Just because others don't see what you see doesn't mean it will not come to pass. Stay focused on the vision and the One Who created it. Trust and believe that it will happen just as you have been shown. Our God doesn't tease us with dreams, but faithfully gives us all things for His purposes.

Be encouraged, strong and courageous. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You can do this. As a matter of fact, you already are!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

True Love

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV)

"Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV)

What a perfect time for God's children to demonstrate true love! He has chosen each of us to be a light to the world and this could not be a better time for us to shine for Him. God proved His love for us in that He sacrificed His Son so that we could be free of sin. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13, NIV) Take time to love on Him today and let Him renew your heart. Fall in love with Him all over again and nestle in His embrace.

Slow down and take a moment to show kindness and love today. Listen to someone who oftentimes gets on your nerves. Stop long enough to open a door for someone. Buy lunch or a treat for someone who may be struggling financially. Give someone a genuine smile or hug. Tell a loved one that you are proud of them and love them very much.

God is love and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. We have love on the inside of us and we may be the first taste of true love to someone today. Let God work the above Scripture through you today and every day so that you may be a blessing to others wherever you go. Be a gift of love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who Are You, Jesus?

"I am the way and the truth and the life." (John 14:6, NIV)

I wanted to write about Jesus today since that is the purpose of this blog. I asked Him what He wanted us to know and wondered what I didn't know. The Bible tells us about the love of God for us, the coming of the Messiah to save us from sin, all of the prophets and faithful warriors of the Lord, Jesus' ministry while He was here on earth and what will happen when He returns. So in all this, who is Jesus? How much time have I spent getting to know Him?

Do you think the disciples really grasped Who Jesus was while they were with Him? Can you imagine spending 1095 days (equivalent of three years) with the Son of God?! The awe and wonder of Him! Every one of those days was spent with the Source of all wisdom, love, power, grace and mercy. That Source became human form for you and me.

A prayer came into my heart as I was thinking and writing this today. I know Jesus and have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, but I want to know more. I hope you do too!

Jesus, teach me like You taught the disciples. Open my eyes and ears to Who You are. I want to know You, Jesus. I know what You did and why and now I want to really know You. You came so that we could and would turn back to the Father and Your Word says that if we know You then we know Him. Show me more of You, Your character and grace. My life is spent living to become like You. Who are You, Jesus? Sit with me. Speak to me just as You spoke to Your disciples. Reveal to me all that You are. In Your sweet, holy Name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In Spite of Loss

"I'm gonna lift up holy hands in the Presence of the Lord."

My dear friend lost her husband this morning and the only thing I know to do is lift up holy hands to the Lord. Her husband accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior, reconciled with his estranged daughters and married my friend all in three weeks time. How glorious, magnificient, wonderful, marvelous and mighty is our Lord!

As I got ready for work this morning, I realized how important it is for us to love those God has brought into our lives despite differences, quirks and beliefs and how much we need to lean on God to do this. In spite of our circumstances, frustrations and sorrow, we must trust the Lord to guide us through. He has plans for us and we must press on in pursuit of our passions and the dreams that have been placed in our hearts. We have no idea what God's full plan is for our lives or how long we have to live, but He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. By trusting in Him, He will order our steps.

I don't know what you may be going through today, but I pray that you will take time to lay everything before the Lord and ask Him for strength one more time. Ask Him for peace, wisdom, understanding and the love of friends and family. And in spite of your trials and tribulations, I pray you will use the strength you have to lift up holy hands in the Presence of the Lord.

Be blessed.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Promises Are Coming!

"Therefore, my brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Words of strength, words of faith. The Lord knew when He created us that we would need words of encouragement to keep us pressing on and into what we believe. These past few months and even years have been tough for myself and many of those whom I love. We have watched the enemy mess with our loved ones and the dreams we have held on to for so long. I believe in this new year, the enemy will be knocked way back because the Lord is moving through His children.

My spirit tells me that God is moving and getting things in order. His children have suffered long enough in the wilderness and it is time for them to have every promise He has made and then some. His children have prayed, cried out, fasted, studied, prayed and cried out even more. He has heard every prayer, caught every tear and steered His children in the directions they needed to go. It is time to take back what was stolen and the enemy is going to pay!

I am believing God for miracles beginning this year! My spirit tells me that He is going to do things and move in ways that only He can do. He is going to leave His children running, jumping, dancing, singing, and falling out on the floor with His mighty works. Unbelievers are going to know there is a God and a mighty One Who will answer every prayer of His children. We have suffered enough and God is tired of seeing His children in pain.

For those of you who have suffered, are suffering or know of someone who is, press in to the Lord. Let Him hear your cries and your prayers until He moves in your lives. We go through our trials and tribulations so that God can move, show Himself and give others hope. Be prepared, He is about to show up! Know your Word. Know your Lord. Surrender to His commands and let Him continue grooming you for His works. Choose to believe! Decide to be faithful! He has great plans that He promised to fulfill. Whatever heart desires you have, know that God gave them to you before you were born. You are not crazy, but created to do a mighty work by the grace of God.

Step out in faith and put plans together for what God has laid on your heart. Take what steps you know how to take after spending time in prayer with the Lord. Remember that He gave you the dream or desires and the abilities to achieve them, but also remember that even though you have written down plans, be flexible. You may want to go right, but the Lord may be leading you left. Whatever you do, go left and trust the Lord. He knows what He is doing! Dare to believe Him! Dare to take a step of faith! Dare to press pass circumstances because of the power that is within you. Don't let anyone tell you you can't be the dream that God has given you. You don't get to leave this life until you fulfill the purpose God has for you.

Press on, P.U.S.H. (pray until something happens) and watch God move!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Perfection in His Time

"God has begun a good work in me, and He is well able to bring it to full completion." (Philippians 1:6, NIV)

Whew! The pressure is off! My life as a Christian is not accomplished solely by my efforts. Once I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, God was able to move a bit more freely in my life. As I learn more about Him and what He has done for all who have sinned against Him, I am able to do more of my part - prayer, worship, praise, surrender and love. He is then able to change me even more, keeping me humble and turning me more into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Many people have the wrong impression about Christians. We are expected to be perfect and often come across as overly righteous. So many of us have a rules and regulations or tit-for-tat mentality, believing we have to do certain things in order to be a Christian. We often make mistakes and hurt people because we are still human. That is our nature. To date, Jesus is the only One who ever walked this earth in perfection and our hope is to be in Him.

A relationship with Jesus is a Christian's way of life. Through study of His Word, prayer, worship, praise and just listening to Him, we learn how to live the life He wants us to live. He guides us to those who can help us in our walk as Christians and shows us that we are a work in progress. He gets to decide when we are complete, but we have to decide if this is what we want. Do we want a better life? Do we want joy, peace, prosperity and abundance? Do we want to know more of Him and what He has in store for us?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then be comforted to know that He will work with you and through you to achieve perfection His way. He loves each one of us too much to leave us hanging in this lifestyle of faith and perseverance. Continue to seek Him and trust Him. He will show Himself in ways that you would never expect. The awe and wonder of our Lord is priceless!

If you do not know the Lord or have been away from Him for some time, ask Him to come into your heart and forgive you for your sins. Ask Him to love you in the way only He can. Trust that He will lead you to where you need to be and to those who can help you live the life of a Christian. Change takes time and will cause some heartache and pain. The work does not have to be finished at a certain time, it just has to be done. Choosing to live with and for Him can be a bit scary, but I promise your life will be sweeter.

Won't you ask Him today?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Sweet Sweet Sound

"I called, You answered. And You came to my rescue and I wanna be where You are."

What beautiful lyrics! This song just keeps playing in my head and on my lips. There is such a truth to the words. We have an awesome worship team at my church and there is a woman who always seems to reach my heart. When she opens her mouth, her soul just sings and it is a sweet sweet sound. I hear her voice when I think of this song and it just puts me in such a place of comfort and peace.

Now, I do not have the best voice in the world and it is best heard in a vehicle moving at a high rate of speed with the windows up! But, the Lord gave me a voice for His pleasure. What is meant to come out of my mouth is a sweetness that gives Him glory and joy. It is a voice that lovingly worships Him out of humility and gratitude.

How excited He must get when we drop all that concerns us and praise Him for Who He is, what He has done and for what He is doing. Glory to the Lord for He is worthy of all honor and praise!

I hope you take some time today to sing a melody to the Lord. You don't have to have the best voice in the world, you just have to open your mouth. Lift up your voice and your heart and sing Him a sweet sweet sound.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Goodness of the Lord

"O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." (Psalm 34:8 KJV)

Hallelujah! God is good! He answers the prayers of His children just as He promises. How faithful is our God!

We received wonderful news about my uncle today. He is able to move his limbs, talk and turn from side to side. Only God can take bad situations and turn them into miracles. When given the chance He will show Himself in a mighty way.

God longs for us to pray and cry out to Him. He desperately wants us to ask Him for things, changes in situations and His Presence in our lives. He created us so He could give us all things out of devotion to Him. I look at what He has done in my life - all the times He has brought me out of darkness; the moments of joy in each day; His love through Himself and others; answering prayers before they finish on my lips; moments where He uses me to bless someone else; and most importantly, sacrificing His Son so that I may live sin-free. How blessed could anyone be and how could I not be devoted to Him?

How do you thank God when He blesses you with your heart's desires? How do you thank Him for the little surprises throughout the day? How do you express the joy He brings in any moment? I can't help but love You Lord! You are my joy. I am truly grateful that You use me to touch Your children. I don't need anything in return because the joy of blessing fills me up. How You must feel when You give to us.

Years ago, the Lord placed a longing in my heart to do and say things that would make people happy and give them hope. He has filled me with such a strong sense of compassion and discernment that I am often overwhelmed. My sincerest desire is that all of those I encounter each day will see the glory of the Lord. I gladly decrease that He may increase. I gladly tell of how the Lord has blessed, healed and freed those that I know and countless others in the past. I gladly tell the goodness of the Lord so that others may know Him.

Lord, thank you for using me so that Your children may know You. I ask that You live through every inch of my life so that others may know Your touch. Bless me in order that others may be blessed as I know that is the purpose for my life. Keep me surrendered, bold, strong and courageous so that others will know for sure Your goodness. All that I am and all that I have is to simply show who You are. May You and You alone be glorified. In Jesus' sweet holy Name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Suit Up!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil... Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:10, 13)

The dreaded phone call came. My uncle had been in a serious car accident and his neck may be broken. No one likes to hear bad news and a child of God knows when it is time to go to war. I called a prayer warrior and we lifted my uncle up to the Lord. By the time we were done praying I was pissed. Yes, I used the p-word! The enemy had gone too far and I was done. He had messed with the wrong girl and touched the wrong family for the last time.

I got suited up last night and wore down the living room carpet one more time. (I've been thinking about buying new furniture, but now realize it would cover the path of prayer in my house.) Yes, I called on the Name of Jesus and asked Him to show Himself; to rain down on my uncle, the rest of my family, friends and myself. I asked Him to cover us with His Presence, His grace and His love. It was time for battle. I don't know about you, but I am ready to escort the enemy back to the pit of hell with no ice!

All of us go through times that leave us so heavy and burdened, worn out and weary. For the first time in my life I know joy through the love of God and I am not about to let the enemy take it away. God wants His children to know Him, His love and every promise He has made. It's time to take back, receive and give God glory for all that He is and has promised.

The war is on. If the enemy is on your doorstep, then suit up my friend. Be strong and courageous; it's time to fight. It's time for you to know the joy of the Lord. It's time to take back what the enemy has stolen. It's time to claim your victory in Jesus. It's time to remind the enemy that the battle has been won and he needs to back up and back off! It's time to let him know that he has messed with the wrong men, women and children. He doesn't get us or them because we have Jesus and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!

If you have no idea how to suit up or you have been suited up for so long your armor is worn, then find a friend, sister or brother in Christ to help you fight. If they are not available then it's time for you to muster what strength you have and stand in the Lord. If all you know is "The Our Father," then say it. If you only know one verse of Scripture say it. If you only know a few words to a hymn, sing it. If you don't know any Scripture, grab the Bible and read it out loud. If you can't get ahold of a Bible then repeat the Name that is above all Names - Jesus. Keep saying it, keep singing it until you can't speak, take a breath and start all over again. This is the last thing the enemy wants us to do and the most important thing we can do for ourselves and each other.

Today, put on the armor of God. Throw on the garment of praise. Be strong and courageous and when you have done all you can, be still and know that God can and will move your mountains for His glory and His children.

Suit up!

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Cost of Discipleship #2

During my prayer time yesterday, I asked God to enlarge my territory and as He has been doing lately, He answered my prayer before it left my lips. The phone rang and my immediate response was, "God, You answered that prayer a little too quickly for me!" I didn't recognize the phone number and was afraid to answer the call because I might be asked to do something I didn't want to do. Then I remembered Paul's words about doing what he didn't want to do versus doing what he ought to do. So much for an enlarged territory!

I felt releaved once the phone stopped ringing and no message was left by the caller. Then I beat myself up for walking away from God. Jesus called me to be a witness to Him and I panicked. How could I be a disciple, broken bread and poured out wine while running in the opposite direction? Just call me Jonah!

Sweet Jesus, are You laughing at me or crying? When I accepted You as my Lord and Savior, I didn't realize until now how much my life is not about me and discipleship on my terms. Being Your witness is about doing, living and being what You need, not always about what makes me feel good. Discipleship is no longer hiding in my comfort zone, but being used by You to give someone hope or meet someone's need. It means going places and being with people that I am not comfortable with. It requires me to roll up my sleeves, skin my knees, ruin my manicure and work up a sweat. It's doing things or going places that are inconvenient to me and will require me to learn things I am not interested in learning.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says we are to have no aim, no purpose and no plans once we are called to be witnesses. I have said this so many times over the past few days and it must be something that God needs to keep bringing to my rememberance - I am not my own. I AM WHO I AM sends me. Those words are much easier to write than to live.

As chosen ones of God, we must be willing to take up our cross at all costs, trusting in Him to guide us through each encounter. It isn't us who love, encourage and care for His children, but Him moving through us to accomplish His will. We were bought at a price and have no choice but to lay down our lives for Jesus. Whether He sends us to dark desolate places or beautiful places of abundance, we must be obedient to His commands.

Sweet Jesus, the thought of stepping out of my comfort zone scares me. I have been here for so long. But, I love You so much and know You have a call on my life to encourage, edify and love Your children. It is obvious that I cannot do this by myself, so move me to do for Your good pleasure and glory. Remove the fear and replace it with faith and courage. In Your sweet holy Name. Amen.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Okay, so I have this amazing opportunity to win a scholarship to the She Speaks Conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries. I faithfully read the daily devotionals and blogs and have been blessed by the writers and speakers in this ministry. This conference is an amazing opportunity for all women who have been called by God to write, speak or be ministry leaders in their church. There will be professional speakers and editors at this conference who will kindly and gently critique your work so that you can walk out the call of God. Lysa Terkeurst, one of the leaders of Proverbs 31 Ministries listed the contest on her blog. You should see all of the women who want to win this contest!

Our Lord has laid a call in my heart to edify and encourage women. I have had this deep desire for 25 years and know that my years spent as an image consultant and retail manager have all been preparation for such a time as this. More than enough time has been spent in the Wasteland. It is time to enter my Promised Land and encourage women through speaking engagements, seminars, workshops, journals and books on beauty God's way. His beauty through us will draw others near and give us an opportunity to share His life-saving message of redemption. How glorious will it be to see more women walking in His grace, confidence and beauty?! I want to be a speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries teaching just like Shari Braendel and am hoping to be a part of what we call the P31 Beauty Team.

So, today I speak to my future and claim that God will provide the means (preferably a scholarship!) to the She Speaks Conference for 2008. I know that through training and coaching I will be able to continue my calling as an encouraging mentor to women and coach them in becoming who God created them to be. I believe this conference will provide strength to the foundation God has laid in my life and that it will be an opportunity for fellowship and edification for all those who attend.

If you believe God has placed a call in your life to speak, write or lead, in other words be His voice, I encourage you to check out the Proverbs 31 Ministries website ( I have had the pleasure of chatting via email with Lysa Terkeurst and Shari Braendel on several occasions. These women are such an inspiration to me. They call themselves ordinary women, but they bring joy and comfort to those of us who visit with them each day.

May all those who enter this contest be blessed. What an amazing time we will have doing the Lord's work!

Blessings to all.

I Just Want to Thank You!

"Rejoice in the Lord always!" (Philippians 4:4, NIV)

"Gotcha!" God did it again! He is so good about giving me aha moments. I just love the surprises and the moments of revelation. What joy can be found in Him!

So today I just want to say, "Thank You, Lord!"

Thank You for: Your Presence in my life.
Your mercy and grace.
Your amazing love for me.
Blessing upon blessing.
Your moments of surprise.
Forgiveness of my sins.
The love of my family and friends.
For dreams come true.
Your Holy Word and its promises.
Unspeakable joy.
Another day to live for You.
For meeting my needs.
For chances to worship You.
The opportunity to love You.

Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross so that I may have life. You have set me free from the enemy's grip and I am forever grateful.

I pray that all of you who read this blog will take some time to thank the Lord for His faithfulness and love. He is worthy of all our praise and so much more.

Be blessed!