Monday, March 31, 2008

You Mean, Even Me?

"Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..." Ephesians 3:20

"As it is written, 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him..." 1 Corinthians 2:9

I went to an awesome conference this weekend that was so uplifting, exciting and Spirit-filled. One of the speakers said something that I pray I will never forget. She said, "When you make a decision, God will move the universe." Those are powerful words that I have not been able to let go of. They have been working in my spirit all weekend.

Now, I know what God's Word says about His love for me, but would He really move the universe for me? God, when You look at me, do You light up inside? Are You filled with joy when You gaze upon me?

Last night I made some business decisions and took up the courage to ask God, "Would You even move the universe for me?" His answer was, "I have been waiting for you to ask so I could do just that!" Our God is waiting for us to ask Him for the dreams in our hearts. He placed them there. He is the vision giver, the dream giver. Everything that He has shown us and promised us is what is to come. He is just waiting for us to ask.

As I reflect on what this speaker said, I gain a better understanding of the love of God for His children and how badly He wants to give us our hearts' desires. I understand a little bit more about Who He is - a loving, generous Father. We are more blessed than we may ever know. Can you imagine what your life could be like if you asked God to pour out everything He has for you? If I dare to believe, am strong and courageous enough to trust, what would my Lord and Savior have for me?

If you are wondering if God has your desires in store for you, ask Him. Be bold enough or courageous enough to ask. He will answer your prayers.

Heavenly Father, I just love You so. You give me such hope and fill me with such love. Thank Your for choosing me and being forever present in my life. I pray that You will continue to show me how high, how deep, how long and how wide Your love is. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Shall We Dance?

For fifteen years, I trained as a ballet dancer and often took classes in partnering where you learn to trust your partner to lead. There is a good lesson in this and a hard one for me. When you are used to dancing solo or as part of a group, it is hard to lean on someone else trusting that they will take you where you are supposed to go. Letting go can be difficult. Even though I knew the choreography and the end result, I still had to rely on and work with someone else to help get us to the finale.

It is the same way in a life with God. At some point, we have to let go of the controls so that His visions can come to pass. We may not understand the way He is taking us and may even hate it, but the vision will come because He ordained it. The vision comes when we take His lead.

Lord, change my mindset to one of reliance on You. Help me to trust You with the plans You have for my life. Help me relax and let go and instead of encountering fear, find joy and wonder at every turn. I accept Your invitation to dance Lord and know that we will have an amazing finish. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Help

"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm 121:1-2

How badly we need the Lord. To live each day, we need His power and grace to handle every moment we live.

Yesterday, I received news that someone I knew lost a loved one. I cannot imagine the heartache and pain that this person feels for her loss. The grace is that her loved one knew the Lord and had been baptized.

God, help us see past ourselves! Like the Apostle Paul, help us be who we need to be that we might save some. You have given us dominion and authority to overcome our circumstances and to press on to Your high calling. Give us constant reminders that our lives are not about ourselves but about loving You and others. Give us wisdom and discernment in knowing when someone is in need and the ways to help them overcome. Move us to step out in love and faith just as Jesus did every day. Help us get over what's in it for me and instead be blessings to others.

People are hungry for You Lord and are in such need. You are our help and strength at all times. You have promised to never leave us nor forsake us and gave us Psalm 31:24 which says, "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." Help us to tell others that You are our hope, our strength and the Answer to our prayers. Help us live lives of faith, belief and blessed assurance. Let us rejoice so that we can say Psalm 16:9, "Therefore, my heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope."

May we find rest and peace in You Lord, the peace that You promised shall surpass all understanding.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Living My "Someday"

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

"Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'" Luke 9:62 (NIV)

I love to dream! I love to imagine what my life will be like when I achieve this goal or am blessed with this dream. Many of us say, "Someday, I am going to take that trip!" or "Someday, I am going to answer God's call on my life!" or "Someday, my life is going to be better!"

For many years, I prayed that God would give me my "someday." I prayed and recited affirmations and worked as hard as I could to achieve the dreams and goals I had wanted. But, then I got tired. I became so worn out that I couldn't believe any more. A bit of hope still remained, but the strength to keep asking, believing and praying was fading. I had worked so hard because I had believed so hard in God's promises. When I had believed and prayed for so many years and saw little to nothing happening, I wondered if maybe those dreams and goals weren't for me. Maybe what I heard as my calling was really a call for someone else. Maybe what I was believing and striving for was for someone else to do. Maybe believing wasn't worth all that I had been doing.

God finally had to get me to a place where I knew that He was in charge and that all things happen by His power. He brought me to a point where I had to let go of my old beliefs, my old ways of doing things, striving, stressing and straining. He had to renew my mind so that I was living and learning His way. Instead of believing, "If it's meant to be, it's up to me," I had to start believing, "If it's meant to be, it's up to God!"

So I decided that I wanted to live my dreams which are the visions God gave me. I decided that I wanted them bad enough to achieve them His way. Once I made that decision, I began living my "someday." I didn't have to focus on past successes and methods of doing things. I now could keep my eyes on the prize in front of me and press towards the mark - His call. I could follow His Word and live my someday all day long.

Now living my someday requires me to get my feet wet, big time! I have to swing both feet over, step into unsure waters and actually pry my fingers off my boat of comfort. Unfortunately for me, my boat of comfort is still tethered to the dock with so many knots that it ain't going anywhere! So if I am going to be the woman God has called me to be, I have to step off the boat and let go every day just as John Ortberg wrote in his book, "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat."

Now what does my someday look like? It looks like all the visions God has given me. It looks exceeding abundantly above all I could ask or think. It looks like the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. It's a someday with every nook and cranny filled with God and all that He is. My someday is me actually living the call He has placed on my life in ways that I could not even imagine. What a someday!

If you could live your "someday" what would it look like? What would you be doing? Where would you be? Who would you be with? What would you need to do to live it right now? Who and what would you need to let go of? Could you get out of the boat and let go? Could you or would you answer Jesus' call, "Come," and walk towards His outstretched hands? Why not try?! Why not swing your feet over the side? Why not dip your big toe into the water and then get your feet wet?! Why not reach out one arm to Jesus and then the other? Why not take a step towards Him, your Someday?

Dear Jesus, reach for me. Wrap your arms around me and show me more of my "someday." Help me keep my eyes on You, my Prize, my Someday. Help me live today as my someday so full of Your grace and Presence. May You be glorified, honored and praised. In Your precious Name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Soooooo Big!

"Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us..." Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

"God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM..." Exodus 3:14 (NIV)

Have you ever read the book, "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat?" I just finished reading it and found it funny, thought-provoking and in some ways, spot-on. The last chapter of the book talks about how big your God is and starts out with an exercise or game we play with toddlers. We often ask them how big they are and their response is to raise their arms over their heads to show how big they are.

The author of this book, John Ortberg asks a question in the last chapter that left me somewhat speechless. His question was, "If your God truly is a big God and you could ask Him to do any one thing in your life, what would it be?" This question brought tears to my eyes because the things I ask of God aren't big enough for Him. It doesn't mean that I think He can't give me what I want or that my desires are insignificant. God is so much bigger than what I want! Could this be what Jesus meant when He said, "in that day you will ask Me nothing?" Could I be at a point that all of the material things I want in life aren't meaningful enough to ask for? Am I at a point in my walk with God where I know what He wants is much greater than anything I could ask or even think?

What then do we ask of God? What does He even want us to ask for? Material things, good health, wealth, peace, safekeeping, the ability to serve Him. C'mon! What else?! He's bigger than those things! When you put all of those things aside, what do you have left to ask for? Once I listed everything I wanted and put them aside, I saw a huge wide open space before me. Its vastness made me think of God Himself. He is even bigger than what I saw. All I could think of to ask at that point was for God Himself. At that point I realized He was all I needed to ask for in the first place!

How big is God to you? How big do you allow Him to be in your life? Will you let Him be sooooo big?

Dear Lord, please help my unbelief. Please increase my faith. Help me to know You and all that You are. Help me put my trust in You and You alone. I know the desires of my heart are important to You because I am important to You, but God, may Your will be done! Today, I am taking the lid off my little box of desires and dreams. Be soooooo big Lord!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pleasing to God

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who currently handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1 (NIV)

Holy and pleasing to God. Am I a sweet sweet fragrance to the Lord? Do I represent Him well? Does He delight in me when I delight in Him? Is He glad when I love His children? Does He rejoice when I receive a revelation that changes my life?

I was chatting with a friend yesterday and shared that I believe God has called me to reach the masses in some way for Him. I have no idea how to do that, but I do know that I must step out in faith to answer His call. Living His call will take courage and faith as well as trust in my Heavenly Father. I have learned that in doing His will I must rely on His power and strength as God does not give us visions to accomplish on our own abilities.

Whatever steps I take, I want them to be steps that are pleasing to God. I am learning that living my life His way means that His work in me permeates my being and every area of my life. I must be a faithful and grateful steward of all that He gives me knowing that what I have is for His purpose and glory. Every resource, gifting and blessing is to be used in service to Him. My actions and words must be a representation of His grace, love, mercy, joy, and wisdom.

My whole life has been spent waiting to hear, "I am so proud of you!" from my earthly father. I can count on one hand how many times I have heard that from him, but have lost track as to how many times my heavenly Father has said those words. I have decided that at the end of my life, all I want to hear is, "Well done my good and faithful servant. Come share in your Master's happiness!" Those words from the Lord will have more meaning than anything else I have ever received or earned. Those words will be more precious than gold. All I want to do is what is pleasing to my Lord and Savior.

So, I recommit myself and all that I have to the Lord. Today I want to know more of His Word and have more of Him. Today I want Him to have His way with my life. May I speak and move in ways that are well pleasing to Him. I want to hear His voice and know what brings Him joy. I want to do what He wants me to do today.

Move through me Lord so that Your will may be done. Do what You have to do for Your light to shine through me. Speak to me. Speak through me. All I want is for You to be known and loved. I will be Your broken bread and poured out wine today if You will let me. Please give me the will to do for Your good pleasure. May all that is said and done be for Your glory, honor and praise. In Jesus' sweet and holy Name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Best for His Glory

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite books. When I first purchased the book in 1994, the devotionals were so over my head. I had no clue as to what Chambers was talking about most of the time, but I persevered and asked God to take me into a deeper understanding of Himself. Now, my copy of My Utmost... is highlighted on every page and the middle pages are falling out, but I also now have the deeper relationship I prayed for.

As I read Chambers' devotional for today, I wondered what is my utmost for God's highest? What is my best? Is what I think the best even good enough for the Lord? I know I was made in His image and likeness and that every day I become more like His Son Jesus Christ, but in all my doing and being, is it the best for His glory?

Today God, I ask You to stretch me to be the best for You. Move me to do and be for Your glory. Open my eyes to see and my ears to hear You. May every word spoken and action performed be a reflection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. May others be drawn to You and may they fall in love with all that You are. This I pray in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Missing You

Man, I miss talking to You Lord! I miss Your Presence and Your voice. I have been really busy these past two weeks and I miss our time together. I thank You for the opportunities that have been keeping me busy and pray that You will continue to bring more my way. But most of all, I want You by my side. You are the best companion I could ever have and Your love is the greatest treasure.

Let's make up for lost time today. Sit with me, walk with me. Tell me Your heart's desires. Show me what You see. Share Your secrets and surprises. Let me do something to bless You today. When I am focused elsewhere, be in what I see and hear. Open my eyes and ears again to Your glory.

As I write this message, I feel Your loving arms around me. Oh, how I have missed You! Thank you for being with me. Thank you for Your promise to never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you for the gift of Your love.

If You and I get to do only one thing today, let us hold each other near for I have really missed You.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Bestest Friend

"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15, NIV)

This has been an awesome and busy week for me. God has loaded this week with opportunities and blessings that have kept me flying high with joy. For this I am truly grateful. It's funny, for three years I have prayed and longed to do the will of the Lord. It was at that time that He revealed to me what was needed in order to fulfill His vision for my life. I have spent the last three years working through stuff to get to this point and now He is opening doors to beauty, joy, grace, friendship and love. I love being busy doing what the Lord has called me to do. It is always an amazing time of giving and receiving, learning and growing.

Serving the Lord is an honor, but being with Him is an even greater priviledge. This morning I told Him that I miss when we are not close. I just love when He speaks to me and shares His love and grace. I know He is right here with me which is what prompted me to write today's message. He is the bestest friend I have ever had! If you have a close relationship with Him then you know what I mean. Who else could always take you as you are? Who else could love you no matter what? Who else could give you hope when you are at your wits end? Who could give you strength and lift you up at your darkest hour? And Who could sit with you 24/7 just for the sake of sitting with you?

We are blessed to have such a friend in Jesus. He was courageous enough to teach us Who our Heavenly Father is and to die for us so that we may be free from sin and death. He reaffirmed everything we needed to know to live a life of freedom and His death tore the veil that kept us from reaching our Heavenly Father. Now, we can go to Him at anytime. How many friends do you have that you can call on at anytime and they will always be there to listen and help? There is no greater love than this!

Thank you Jesus for being my friend! Thank you for Your faithfulness to the Father and for Your precious love. Help me to be Your friend and a true friend to others. May You receive all the glory, honor and praise. In Your sweet and holy Name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


"Well done my good and faithful servant!... Come and share your Master's happiness." (Matthew 25:21, NIV)

Last night, I had an awesome time with friends from my women's fellowship group and my Mary Kay Director. I have become an independent consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics because I believe and now know for sure that God has called me to educate, edify and encourage women. This company offers a great opportunity for women to grow personally, spiritually, financially and socially. This is my ministry; this is my calling. As we were sharing last night, my director noted that one of the reasons women become independent consultants with Mary Kay Cosmetics is because of recognition. This company is faith based and rewards its consultants in more ways than you can imagine. In the past, I have told myself that I did not need recognition and that I was comfortable in the background going about my day. I know now that all of us hunger for recognition and can do greater things when we have support and belief behind us.

We all work so hard every day for just a little bit of recognition from family, friends, coworkers and bosses and most of the time we live each day without it. Many of you may read this message and think you don't need recognition because you are fine by yourself and know you can be who you want to be without it. I believed that for a long time. I believe in a good work ethic and for years I worked at jobs with all that I had because of that work ethic. I worked late, came in early, rearranged my personal plans and helped other people succeed because I believed that is what we are supposed to do in life - go the extra mile. Most of the time there was very little to no recognition and even when there was, it lasted a minute and wasn't worth a cent the next day. It is hard to strive for a prize and miss it. It is hard to be recognized for failure versus success and it is hard to have someone tell you that after all you have done and all of the years you have worked, you will make a great whatever someday.

I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father, because He recognizes me daily through blessings, answers to prayers, surprises, love from Him and others, teachings, forgiveness and grace. He knows more than anyone else how desperately we need to be recognized for our efforts and promises that no matter what we do, whether we fall short of the goal or rise above our achievements, He will never leave us nor forsake us.

With all the recognition He gives us, how much time do we spend recognizing Him? Do we begin our day with prayer and thanksgiving? Do we surrender the day into His hands so that His will may be done? Do we recognize that all we have and all we are is because of Him? As we plan our days and our lives do we seek His wisdom and guidance first? Do we thank Him and praise Him when the blessings come and when the blessings pass us by? Do we tell Him we love Him no matter where He leads? Do we just sit with Him and ask what He wants us to know and do for Him? Do we even just sit with Him and enjoy His Presence?

As you seek recognition today from those around you, send up a prayer of gratitude to God. Instead of asking Him why something isn't going your way or when He plans to move your mountains, ask Him what He wants for today. Enjoy Him. Love on Him. Recognize our Almighty God and acknowledge Him for all that He is.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Not My Own

"You are not your own, you were bought at a price." (1 Corinthians 6:19, NIV)

Simple Godly commands versus human nature = the reason for Jesus.

Every day, I want to be more like Christ. Every day I want to be broken bread, poured out wine and used up by my Lord and Saviour. And every day, my self gets in the way. My soul longs to love and nurture people all day long, give them hope and help them know Jesus. I want to live my life as the Apostle Paul and Mother Teresa did, totally devoted to the Lord, knowing nothing else but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. But I also want my comforts of clothing, shelter, food (especially ice cream and chocolate!), nice furnishings, a new car, the bills paid and all of my dreams my way.

Daily I commit my all to serving the Lord and every day, my self gets in the way. Thoughts pop into my head that center around my needs, wants and desires and I begin to fret because I am not where I want to be or don't have what I think I need. The previous sentence reflects that. Look at how many "I's" are in that sentence! Yikes! Me, me, me, me, me! God must really love me to save me and give me a calling and a hope. Look, there I am again!

Thank God, the Lord loves me enough to save me from myself! My human nature always seems to be begging for attention. God tells me not to worry, not to be anxious and to seek His kingdom and its righteousness for every day living. His Word is full of commands for living that I read, yet still seem to struggle with.

Lord, keep me surrendered. Remind me that I am not my own, but Yours to use in whatever ways You see fit. Have Your way and move me to do for Your kingdom and Your purposes. May Your will be done this day and may You and only You receive all the glory, honor and praise! In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Staying Plugged In

"Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." (John 15:4 NIV)

What do you do to stay motivated, excited, enthusiastic or pumped up to do what God has called you to do? Do you read the Bible or motivational books, listen to music or motivational CD's, recite affirmations or fellowship with other Christians?

As I write this message, I think of all that it takes to keep me motivated for the day. I start with prayer, a devotional and Scripture and sometimes I just sing what precious song comes to my heart at that moment. Throughout the day, I send up prayers to God and always ask Him what He needs me to do or how He wants me to handle a situation. I often check in with several friends throughout the day so that we can lift each other up if and when needed. At the end of my day, I read and meditate on God's Word and ask Him to make Himself plain.

In order for me to live my life I have to stay connected to my Lord and Saviour. Even though I do the actions listed above, there are days when I still struggle to stay fired up. Those days, I know it will take Almighty God to get me through. As I write this message, I hear Jesus saying, "Abide in Me and I in you." The more I want to live the calling God has placed on my life, the more I need to stay plugged in to a Source greater than myself.

God does know who and what we need right when we need them. He has provided the greatest Source we will ever need to live our lives fully for Him. His Holy Word is full of guidance, encouragement, edification and hope. He knew with our waywardness we would need a mighty tool in order to achieve our crown. The love and grace of God is revealed in every page of the Bible, a Book that is as relevant today as it was when each page was first written.

Thank you Lord for knowing Your children so well. Thank you for providing the greatest, most valuable tool we could ever need for success. Teach us to read, study, meditate on and speak Your Word as You wish it to be applied. Help us to follow Your command as it is written in Joshua 1:7-8, "Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."