Tag Archives: change

Diamonds Need Creators

Romans 12:2 [Full Chapter]

[ Place Your Life Before God ] So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
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Diamonds can be a girls best friend but usually this only happens after they have been created into a masterpiece by someone who knows a thing or two about making an uncut diamond from the rough into a glistening, desirable fashion statement.  In this same way God does the same thing with us.  He picks us up, dusts us off and begins to shape us with His love into something marvelous.
The problem with this process however is that it hurts to be cut and fashioned into something different.  When God is dealing with us it can hurt sometimes.   We have to be willing to let go of some things and allow Him to touch the deepest hurts we have.   We never really get to see the finished product so it takes some faith on our part to trust that God knows what He is doing to us.  We need to be able to rest in His love so that He can make the necessary cuts to change who we are.
A diamond cannot change its’ own appearance and in the same aspect we as humans can not change ourselves.  Only God can create desires to change.  Only God has the blueprint for our lives.  Only God knows what He created us to be in the first place.  In a sense we have no other choice but to believe God will shape and mold us into that perfectly cut diamond more closely suited for this life.  More closely resembling the image of Jesus Himself.
Are you a diamond in the rough?  Perhaps God has just picked you up.  Maybe the dust hasn’t even had time to settle yet.  However, God is ready to do a marvelous work in you if you allow Him.  We cannot change ourselves but we do have to allow God to change us from the inside out.
 Choose today that you no longer want to be that diamond in the rough,  just another ordinary stone.  Decide right now that you will allow God to shape you and create a masterpiece so that as a polished, sparkling diamond you will be a shinning testimony of God’s masterful work.
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Everyday is New Year’s day!

Lamentations 3:22-24 (msg)

22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

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I will be upfront and personal:  Brenda does not make New Years resolutions or is not very good at setting goals.  With that said, is it time for a new direction?  Perhaps the New Year is a chance to just change something in ones life.  What if January 1st is just another ordinary day?  Every day in life is a chance to change.  Every morning offers a new opportunity to make a difference in your life.  Every day we awake, His mercies are new so why can’t it be New Years Day everyday?
If we want to be different in personality or reactions, where do we start?  What if we fail? (over and over and over and over again) Life is short but the connections we make here on earth are forever.  I have read testimonies of those who have gone to heaven and come back about all the people they recognized.  What we do here on earth matters.  So how do we transition to this new creation if the old-self wants to butt in all the time?  Not easy for sure. Let me share a little story from my past.
A few years ago a prophetess came into town and spoke a word of knowledge deep into my soul.  It was a simple message and one that I understood immediately. “If you don’t start loving my people, I cannot move you forward.”  Well, not the easiest thing to receive especially in front of a group of Christian people, but I certainly knew I had room for improvement in this area of my life.  Yes, I was one of those people everyone loved at church but in the workplace I was not the nicest person.  I was often sarcastic.  I had no tolerance for stupidity.  I had very little patience when things were not done my way.  How did I change this? Carpet time and choosing to make a change.
I began seeking God every chance I had in services asking Him to change me from the inside out.  Once I made the choice to change and asked God for help, things became easier because He began to show me the hearts of other people.  He started giving me a heart of compassion like I had never known before.  I began to see how people’s pasts played an important role on how they react to things now.   I have learned to respond and not react to situations for the most part.  Yes, there are times when I lose it and have to start over but I am not giving up.
So what do you want to change this year?  Do you want to start today or is your New Years Day January 10th? Or March 3rd? Or August 14th?  You get to choose because changing begins with you and God.  Choosing to change means you are ready to take a step in a new direction and only you can determine when you want something different for your life.  As for me, I am not sure yet what my New Years Date will be, I am not sure what I am ready to change at this point.  Perhaps choosing to love more or having more compassion.  All I know is that I have to be ready to make a change in my life because I am the one who will have to go through the process.  So Happy New Years to those who are moving forward today and Happy New Years whenever to those who are not quite ready.  Just remember, every day is a chance to change….you get to choose!

I Can Hear the Rain, Even in the Drought

1 Kings 18:44

Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”
provision
Ever feel like it’s never going to happen?  Like life will never get better. Things will just always be like they are right now.  You cannot see any hope.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel.  Then, God shows you something you cannot deny and you are filled with joy and expectancy.  It’s funny how one little tiny glimmer of hope can spark a whole new lease on your life.
Here in Muskegon, Michigan we have been looking for revival since 2009.  We had a 54 day revival at the end of 2009 beginning of 2010 and then it simmered down to just a few of us.  Then a man came in sent by God from Australia and we saw that glimmer of hope once again, yet we are still few in numbers.  Recently we have been studying 1 Kings and the cloud the size of a mans first.  This story portraits a time of drought and famine.  A moment in the lives of people where there seemed to be no provision for three years.
I don’t know about you, but three years seems like a long time of waiting for the rain.  What excitement it must have been to see the hope of rain coming to the land.  This is how it is with so many of us.  We are in drought times in our lives and we just cannot see how it will  ever get any better.  All we are focused on is what is right in front of us and we are not looking for our cloud in the distance.  When we are staring drought right in the face we cannot  hear the rain in the distance.
I encourage each of us to look for our own personal cloud.  It’s there. God promises us His provision.  Let us learn how to seek His face in our drought seasons.  I know for me when I was separated for a time from any source of a spouse I was hoping for a change but never saw God working in the distance.  He was connecting all of the dots from the moment He created me, it just took me a season of drought for Him to bring me to a place of abundance in this area of my life.
Can you see your cloud?  Surely it is there in the distance.  Begin rejoicing and thanking God for the coming rain.  Be excited for the things God is going to do in just a short while.  As you find yourself rejoicing and praising God, you will become uncontrollably happy and begin to expect good things to come your way.  This is a challenge to change your thinking, if you dwell on drought then drought it will be, however if you lift your eyes and see the cloud of provision, it will come.

Open the Window!

John 1:5

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Time to break some boxes WIDE open!  For those who have accepted Jesus as their savior He now resides in their heart, right?  Well, if this be truth and He is the light of the world, then we also are the light of this world….right?  So, can anyone explain to me why so many of us Christians are like darkened vessels?  Why are we so caught up in our own darkness that we cannot see that we actually have the light that can make all of that disappear by the mere mention of a name….Jesus?
Several Christians right now walking this earth are of no help to anyone lost person simply because they have not chosen to open the windows of their hearts to let the light shine out.  They are so consumed in what’s wrong in their lives that they are hopeless and searching for someone to give them some light on the subject while all along they had the one tool they needed right in their own possession.  What a marvelous feeling to be saved, however even more remarkable is the wonderful feeling of the darkness being removed from the depression, self-conflict, self-doubt, consuming sins, lack of self-confidence, loss of identity and all the other lies of the enemy.  Freedom is in the light, open the window.
 When we choose to open the window we do two things at the same time, we allow Jesus to begin a healing work in ourselves and we are able to let the light of Jesus shine out to those around us.  When we submit ourselves to the light we no longer dwell in darkness which opens up our window of opportunity to pour into the lives around us who also need to have their darkness evaporated.  What joy can arise from the light when the window is finally opened.
I encourage each of you to pry open that window you have been keeping closed.  Allow Jesus to flood you with the light and let Him change you from the inside so that you can shine to the outside world.  I understand it may seem like the last thing you want to do, yet it will be the best move you ever made.  Opening the window does come with a warning….be ready to be changed and renewed by the light.  You life will never be the same but I assure it will be so much better!
.  We have but to love one another and share the Gospel where ever we go and if we walk in darkness all the time we will be unable to complete our task while we are here on earth.  There is freedom in the light, choose to open the window, let the Son Shine In so you can let His Light Shine Out through you.

Wild Fires

Exodus 3:2

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
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Fire is hot.  Fire can burn.  Fire can destroy.  Fire can consume.  Fire can take away a home.  Fire can provide heat.  Fire can make you visible.  Fire can make a way.  Fire can clear land.  Fire can help you dry out.  Fire can be a tool.  Fire can help cook a meal.  Fire can be a source of light.  Fire can shape you.  Fire can began a change.
Last night for date night, John and I did oil paintings.  The instructions were to paint a picture of what we thought God was trying to show the other person.  I never thought that my husband would show me a picture with fire in it and it took me by surprise for a moment until I looked at it with a heart that was willing to change.  I gazed at the portrait with a heart open to receive what God wanted me to see.  He wanted to me to see that not all fire is destructive, that sometimes it is necessary for purging.
There are times in our lives when fire is needed.  Often when we are unwilling to give things up, God begins a slow burn in us to show us what needs to change.  As He feeds this fire, it begins to consume all the icky stuff we have hidden in ourselves….all those issues we pushed way down inside of us hoping they would go away.  All those times we were hurt by others.  Every little pain.  Even the guilt we put on ourselves.  Often we are not even ready to deal with these things yet God knows we need to so that He can move us into the next level of living a life of freedom.
So what are wild fires?  Those fires not started by God.  Those fires we think are maybe changing who we are yet they are making us feel worse.  Like that burn that comes when we continually beat ourselves up over things which are out of our control.  Things which makes us angry all the time.  These are not God fires, these are fires set out by Satan to distract us from what God wants to do in our lives.  When we become so busy putting out all of the wild fires we don’t have time to focus on the things God meant for our lives.
Drinking, drugs, partying, depression and wrong relationships are some of these fires.  When we allow these things to consume our lives we get farther and farther away from God and we just burn until we burn out.  When we come to know Jesus and ask Him to reside in us then our hearts are set ablaze with a fire that will never die out.  It is a fire which continually burns out the dead stuff in our hearts and prepares a place for new growth.
The fire that is burning in me right now is one of renewal.  A fire that is purging me of self doubt and making room for a life of freedom in what God has set out for me to do.  I am willing to be consumed in His fire.  I am willing to be changed.  I am willing for new ground to be prepared in my heart.  I am done with the past and the hurts.  Eyes on Jesus and not looking back, with arms in surrender mode, I stand on burning ground knowing full well that I am consumed in fire……a Fire that is bringing me back to Life.

Maneuvered by Love

2 Corinthians 3:18
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.

Change is all around us.  Changes in the atmosphere.  Changes in attitudes.  Changes in appearances.  Change in jobs.  Change in friends.  Change of style.  Change of location. Change of mind.  Change of direction.  Change of seasons.  Change, change, change, change…..it’s enough to drive the normal person insane.  Perhaps we should look at it from a different angle, God’s view.  As there is a theme of change in the earth, so is there with our Heavenly Father.

God changes hearts, mindset, directions, attitudes, atmospheres and locations in our very lives.  He has the power to set change in motion, often without our even being aware of it happening.  Suddenly we find ourselves far from what we had originally set out for, yet we feel at peace because God decided the change for us.  God is determined that none shall perish and so daily He seeks to change the hearts of those who know Him not.  He often changes us and where we are headed to accomplish this.  Does that make any sense?

Maybe we were set out for a really nice dinner and we had a destination in mind only to arrive to find it closed, relocated or being renovated.  We instantly become disappointed and perhaps a little angry, but if we change our mindset, we will anticipate what God really has in store for us.  He may send us to several locations before we reach our final destination, yet when we are secure in Him and surrender our wills, a blessing will happen.

What if the next person who needed Jesus was at the new place you arrived at to eat?  You did not have any idea there was someone who needed some compassion, however, God did and He made a way for you to bring Light into that persons life.  How amazing is that?  I know, not many of us like change especially when we think we have it all together.  We get frustrated when things don’t quite go as planned, but this is where the changing of the mindset comes in.  Do all things as if we were honoring the King.  Think and react as a child of God on a mission to accomplish His true desire, saving the lost.

Embracing change is never easy.  We get comfortable where we are at and begin to become set in our ways, refusing to see things at times any differently.  Friends, I tell you this, we are not here for us.  We are here because God wants a relationship with each and everyone of us that He has created and His desire is to change us from the inside out so that we can lead others to Him.  What an honor it should be to serve the King. What a privileged to win souls for the Kingdom of Heaven.  We are empowered by a God who loves us so much He sent His own Son to a cross to die for us.

So surrendered I will remain.  Let God change my plans.  Let God move me.  Let God change EVERYTHING in me that does not represent Him.  I want to be a light for the lost.  I want to be maneuvered by the love of God Yes, I am embracing change.  Change is good. Change is wonderful.  Change is what I have been longing for all this time.

What is next?

“[A psalm of David.] Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:1-2 NLT

Well, the Christmas season is gone, and next it is New Years. A time of setting goals and making resolutions.  Perhaps the precise moment in time to change a few bad habits in our lives like smoking or over-eating.  A chance for new beginnings to start in our lives.  Maybe we plan to marry someone this coming year, big things to plan there.  Or we want to get fit and healthy so we can live a little longer.  What if we looked at the coming year a bit differently than usual?  Why not take the focus off from us and place it onto someone else?  Hmmmm……some food for thought huh?

The last blog I wrote about the real meaning of Christmas had to do with hope and one of my readers commented with this simple thing:  Helping Ordinary People Everywhere = H.O.P.E.  What a brilliant idea for a resolution for 2012!  If I know God is taking care of my every need and He is in control, does that not open me up to help others?  If I am trusting God then I need not worry about me, I can focus on being of the Father’s business instead, just like Jesus.  What a novel idea!

In today’s society we are so wrapped up in worry we fail to see past it all.  We can never seem to get ahead and are always wondering where the next big corruption in our life is going to happen.  Well with the H.O.P.E. plan in place, whala, no more worry because we will have taken the focus off from our own circumstances and begin to see the needs of others around us.  I know, it will not be as easy as I seem to make it look, but we can pray on it.  We can ask God to show us how it can be accomplished.

So many things can be done with this new focus.  We can grow in our relationship not only with God but with the people will be interacting with along the way.  I am so excited to be going to Grand Rapids tomorrow with my fellow managers to visit a Ronald McDonald House.  We will be preparing dinner and visiting with the children and parents who are currently there.  What a joy it will be to just help out in this small way.  When we stop staring at ourselves in the mirror long enough to see that there are others hurting out there too, perhaps we can begin to make a difference.

I know when I was in the midst of my marriage I was very broken and as I have shared was stuck in a rut of depression that I couldn’t even see.  I thought I was the only one going through what I was and that no one could possibly have it as bad as I did.  Now that I am on the other side of the circumstance, I can clearly see I did not have it as bad as the battered wife or the ones living in complete poverty without a roof over their head.  I am grateful for what God did to change my life and now I am ready to help change some others around me.  I am excited for the completion of my book to be right around the corner for I know since it has been inspired by God, it will touch the lives of others who need to be pulled up and set upon safe ground.

So in conclusion, I am going to leave me behind and begin to look for opportunities to help those who need it.  I find myself not much of a servant style person even though I like helping others.  I will start looking for simple ways to brighten someones day, perhaps starting the greeting card company with my daughter will happen this year too.  I don’t really know where this will take me but I am ready for a journey with God.  I know He will lead me and send me down the right avenues if only I open myself up to be used by Him.  May your hearts be touched as well to maybe go outside the box a little this year and try to make a difference in the lives of those around you.  Be creative.  Share your ideas.  Just go and love His people!