Tag Archives: faith

Brace Yourself

Job 11:13

“If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
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What do we do in preparation for a storm?  We close the windows, seek shelter and make sure our families are all accounted for.  Then we wait out the storm process until the clouds lift and it appears safe to return to whatever we were doing.  Sometimes if the storm is bad enough, repairs need to be done right away while the milder storms just remind us that we need to stay alert.  Is this not how it is concerning our spiritual walks?
I feel that when God wants to change something in us He will send a storm.  First a small one to get our attention and if the changes don’t occur then the storm gets bigger.  Now mind you these storms are not meant to harm but to heal.  God needs our foundations to be stirred sometimes so that we can awaken to a whole new process or way of thinking.  Everything we go through once we commit ourselves to Christ is meant for glorifying God and creating in us clean, pure hearts.  If we never go through the storms, then we will remain just as we are….safe but unchanged.
I welcome storms in my life because I know it will bring  me ever closer to Jesus and the way I need to live.  Storms come in many forms and intensities and so does the changing on the inside.  Sometimes there is a drastic change of character while other times just a gradual steady rain of rearranging our thought processes until they come inline with Jesus.
All in all if we never experience storms in our life, we will never know how to stretch our faith.  The stretching of our faith comes when we know God is tugging at something in our life and we have to be willing to trust that God’s ways are always better than ours.  We have to have the faith that He will see us through the storms and that we will be better for having gone through them.  We  need to stop burying our heads in the sand and waiting for the storms to pass without change.
Are you ready for a storm?  Is God preparing to change something in your heart?  Well, then brace yourself all the while knowing God is in control and you will become a new creation with every storm.  Your faith will grow and your character will ever change into a more Christlike form. And that my friends is a good thing!
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Little Girl Faith

Luke 18:15-17

Jesus Blesses the Children

          One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

???????????????????????????????With open arms Jesus stands waiting for us to enter into His love, why are we so stand offish?  It says for us to come unto Him as little children, what exactly does this mean?  Well the answer is simpler than you think.  It means running towards love and embracing it  with no fear, no judgement, no wondering if we will be rejected and in complete trust that the arms will stay open until we are safely in them.  That is how simple His love is, so why do we make it so complicated?

My husband and I went to a local church tonight to watch an Easter play.  It basically began at Genesis and ended at Revelation and showed the love of God from beginning to end, things I have already learned and seen in my walk yet one part in particular just grabbed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.  I could hardly see the scene at times through the tears which flowed as I watched Jesus pick up this little lame girl, heal her and set her back down.  He had healed her.  What joy flooded my soul!  Later in the same scene He is dancing with her and enjoying her company…let me get real with you and tell you what this did to my spirit…..

This scene first took me to a place of complete rest in Jesus.  As I saw Him take that little girl from her fathers arms I could see that little girl was me.  As He held me close to His chest and prayed over me I was brought back to the many times where I had resided in the arms of Jesus just receiving my healing.  Secondly when they were dancing I felt so much joy and it showed me just how easy it is to accept Jesus and His love for us.  If only we could humble ourselves enough to run to open arms of Jesus everyday.

I encourage you to close your eyes after reading this and begin to imagine what it feels like to be held in the arms of Jesus.  Even if you feel you do not deserve it, press in.  Even if you feel you don’t have enough faith, start running.  When you see Jesus standing before you, know that He is real and means no harm.  It is safe there in His arms.  Run to Him, He is patiently waiting your arrival.

Got Love?

“For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT

valentine

Tomorrow is Valentines Day and all I heard today was sad stories about people having no Valentine…..how has this day become such a tragedy for so many people?  Why do we get so bound up about a silly holiday in the first place?  Yes I will admit I am happy to be sharing my first Valentines Day with my new hubby tomorrow, yet my heart is saddened by the amount of people who will be hurting because they have no one in their lives to share this day of love with.

My deepest desire as I am on this earth is to touch hearts for Jesus.  I wish I could show people how Jesus could be their Valentine.  My heart breaks for the ones who have arrived upon this season in their lives without any hope of every finding love.  My heart longs to show them that Jesus is the only true love to begin with and it is from His Father that we even have an understanding of what love is all about.

Love is simple.  God created it and we just took it to a whole other level.  He, the One who made love, IS love.  If we could only wrap our minds around this simple concept.  We were created solely for a relationship with God and through the love of the Father pouring into us we are able to love others as it is written in the Bible.  God never intended for us to create a day which would leave so many people hurting and hopeless.

Valentines Day should be a day when we share the love we have with others who are hurting. I am challenging anyone reading this whether you are married, single, divorced or separated or perhaps not even having a clue what real love is, to step out and show the love of Jesus to someone.  My prayer in doing this is that we will touch someone with the love of Jesus. John and I made Valentines on one of our date nights and we are taking them to a nursing home tomorrow as part of our Valentines Day.  I am excited to see what God will do with some simple paper Valentines.

So go buy a box of Valentines or some candy and find yourself out in public on Valentines Day and go where God leads you.  You will be surprised at what He can show you.  Search out the lost and the hurting.  Look for the down and out.  Sometimes all someone needs is a smile, a hug or a simple hello.  Are you willing to make a difference this Valentines Day?  Are you ready to do something about being sad this year?  It is time for us to get our of our comfort zones and see what God has in store for us as we step out in faith.

Not Understanding, but Knowing

Mark 9:49-50

“Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames. Be preservatives yourselves. Preserve the peace.”

Philippians 4:10-14

The Message (MSG)

Content Whatever the Circumstances

10-14 I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

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Ever look into the mirror and wonder how you have gotten to where you are without crashing and burning completely?  How can you even look at the face in the reflection and have peace?  Why are you not screaming towards heaven when it all looks so dim around you?  Where does this peace come from?  Well for me it comes from faith and walking in the knowledge that God has already ordered my steps.  I often do not have an ounce of understanding about what is going on around me, yet I just know I am safe and whatever happens, God has the plans in His hands!
Just recently I had something happen in my life that should have knocked me off my foundation.  I could have found myself angry at God and the people around me. I could have become bitter and thrown a temper-tantrum for sure, yet I had peace.  I understand things will be a little tighter in the future concerning some finances, yet I have peace.  I do not understand how God can provide so much grace sometimes, yet I know He does.
Similar to Paul in the Bible, over the years I have learned to be content in what has been set before me.  I have been poor, I have been broken, I have lived in some unrealistic conditions and I have been treated unfairly in some circumstances, yet I know God provided in those moments of time.  It is from that provision that I gained the faith I have now that He will provide all things I have need of.  I have full confidence in the Lord to provide even if my wallet looks a bit dusty or I just cannot see how He will provide in the coming days.
Do you understand that God loves you right where you are and He has a plan?  He had that plan set before you even before you breathed your first breath on earth.  That is how amazing our God is. I challenge you to look in the mirror right now.  What do you see?  I can tell you what I see in you and I don’t even know most of you on a personal level…..I see a righteous child of God.  I see someone whom God loves enough to provide for your every need.  I see someone worthy of being loved.  Don’t try to understand it, just know it to be truth.

Protecting the Heart

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

I have been dealing with picking up the pieces of a shattered heart for a long time.  Piece by piece, shard by shard.  The more I tried to put the pieces back together by myself the less sense they made.  Finally I came to a place of surrender where I just let God start putting me back together.  It has been in that mode of surrender that I have been loved back together in such a way I cannot deny it was all God.

While I was separated from my husband I had sworn off men.  I was going to just stay married and if nothing came of it then I would just do it all on my own.  Being alone wasn’t so bad, I did know how to take care of myself.  I made enough money so I could live on one income.  My kids were almost out of the house, I could do this living on my own thing.  I have been a very determined person from the get go and nothing was about to change.  It’s funny though how God works.  As I mentioned in yesterdays blog, God often gives us what we need before giving us what we want.

In the process of picking up my shattered heart, I realized a small part was missing and I feel we all have this little, tiny piece of our hearts hidden so deep somewhere that no one is ever going to get a hold of it or even see it.  We hide this piece from everyone, even God because we feel it is the one thing we can lock away and protect so that we will never be completely violated or broken.  A part taken apart from the whole heart.  Why do we lock this part of us away?  Because we get hurt over and over again by circumstances and people in our lives and we go into protection mode.  We want a little piece of us to remain untouched, unmutilated, unbroken or exposed to any sort of pain.

When God started to bring John into my life, I thought nothing of it.  He was a friend, a man after God just like me.  We only saw each other a handful of times in the span of year as we attended church together.  It blew me away as I stood there and watched God just work our hearts together.  I did not understand at first and we kept giving God our relationship until He finally got through to us that we were meant to be.  Now, we have gone through some pretty hefty trials in a short span of three months and tonight was a really eye opener for us both.

While pouring ourselves out to each other, we decided to unlock, unwrap and let loose that tiny, little piece of our hearts that we had been protecting.  We are both finally at a point in our relationship where nothing else matters but what God is about to do in our lives.  Was it hard to open that lock?  You betcha!  What did it take?  Complete, full trust in God.  Not trust in John, but God.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, God is the reason for me even standing here 54 days away from marrying a man again.  I can assure you I did not want a man in my life, yet God knew what I needed and now that He has given me the man of God I did not even know I needed, I want John to be forever in my life, serving God and ministering with me.

Are you ready to unlock that hidden piece in you?  Do you trust God enough to give it to Him?  Do you have enough faith in God’s protection to share it with your spouse?  It could be the one thing that changes your very relationship.

 

Seeing Jesus

1 Corinthians 13:13

New Living Translation (NLT)

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

As strange as it may sound, I am at a loss for words tonight.  God has had me go through every emotion possible today.  I will just tell you this much, sometimes things are not as they seem, yet they are.  We can never pretend to even begin to know what God is up to or why some things happen in our lives.   When we try to wrap our minds around what God is doing, we fail to understand, but when we look through the eyes of Love, it is all so clear. If you read my blog on Ridge Walking, I stated I was dealing with loneliness and God took over my mindset and showed me I was never alone.  Today He filled me with peace, then joy, then remembrance, followed by bittersweet memories, then onto grief and finally resting on love. His love.  His greatest power for without love we cannot overcome anything.

 

As I am standing surrendered to God concerning my marriage, I begin to long for what once was.  My family.  My 2 kids and a husband.  My household that once may have seemed whole but never really was.  I wonder how I ever thought I was fooling anyone.  The guilt and shame washed over me briefly today but was gone in an instance with one reminder it was all done at the cross and in alone in Christ I stand.  While my heart aches for my family, I also know that God’s timing is not mine.  I wait in impatience sometimes when I cannot seem to see Him at work.

 

Tonight was pretty heavy hearted.  As I transitioned through emotions it was like God was giving me the joy first so that I could handle the pain.  It was as if He was preparing me to hear some things and He wanted me to be in the right frame of mind.  He was trying to get me to a place with Him where the things spoken to me would make sense.  As I stood wrapped in the arms of a dear friend tonight crying my eyes out, she spoke wisdom into me and told me the heart of the Father, only to discover a few hours later that God wanted me to hear these same words again but this time by divine appointment.  For you see, when we open ourselves to the heart of God, we will always reap what we sow.  Tonight as another friend reached out to a man in restaurant, this man in return, spoke almost word for word what I needed to hear to confirm the first encounter I had that night.

 

Friends I share this to tell you this:  God loves you right where you are at and you are so special that He knows how to send the right people to the right place at the right time.  For instance, tonight I was at a Christian music festival in Muskegon.  First God used the teens that were to show me acceptance.  Then He sent my friend in who filled me with joy.  Then another friend who showed me compassion.  After this a person all the way from Washington to perform two songs which just spoke to the very core of me. After which came the friend who held me as I cried and finally a man of God whom we reached out to.  God orchestrated my entire evening and even though I was expecting to just attend a concert, I received so much more than I could have ever expected.

 

In the end as I prepare to rest for the night, I am thankful to God for sending me one friend in particular.  The one who is showing me how to trust again; the one who believes in me and can be brutally honest with me without letting me have any doubts.  This person is showing me Jesus like I have ever seen Him before and he is so humble about it every step of the way.  God knows my broken places and as I prayed for someone to come into my life, God provided, but not how I thought it would happen.  I long to be whole again.  I long to trust again.  I long for love again, perfect Jesus love.  My heart is so in love with Jesus and when God sent me His Son to die on a cross for my sins, He was asking me to trust in Him for ALL things, even real, genuine, conquers it all…..LOVE, I now I feel as though I can hope again as my faith increases.

Joy is in the Giving Up

Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Do you see the shadows in the photo above?  Can you make a guess and be almost 100% sure that they are shadows from a tree?  Does your mind confirm this deduction?  Well as I pondered this picture, I looked at it from a faith stand point, and based on some amazing recent events, I think I can wrap my brain around this point I am trying to make.  If you were to see this photo in a museum you would just take it for granted that is a shadow picture and perhaps not think any more about it, but let’s look at it from a Christain stand point for a moment.

We know that God exists.  We know He does great wonders and healings.  We trust Him to work in our lives, yet we do not see Him.  At times we can feel His presence or witness Him working among us, but not a physical appearance of God.  This is how we should see God, like the shadows.  Even though we cannot see the tree in this photo, we know there is a tree, why cannot we not apply this more often to they way God is?

If we acknowledge there is a God that we cannot see, then why sometimes can we not believe in Him when it just the shadows we see.  If we see the shadows (the healings, the blessings, the miracles) then why do we not fully believe God for all things?  No matter what God is doing, He leaves His shadow so that He may be glorified.  As Christians we should be walking in His shadow knowing that He is right in front of us all along.  This was confirmed to me just yesterday, when it should have been with me all along.

I have two books waiting to be published, yet I have been waiting on God for the provision to get them started.  As I have been waiting, I began to feel as if it never was going to happen.  I also thought the funds would come from somewhere else and I had this all planned out for God.  Last night a man handed me $600 to publish my books and another man from across the world is covering the rest of the expenses.  I really thought the funds would come from my new position at work and the possibility of bonuses, which just did not seem to be happening.  It was if I walked outside of the shadow of God and was trying to  do things on my own.

Just like my dentures, it took me stepping out in faith and right back into the shadow of God for God to move.  I cannot tell you how often my blessings have come when I have surrendered it all, grabbed the hand of God and walked in His shadow, letting Him do all the provision.  So now, I am counting on God again for transportation (my poor van is old) and I am just letting it go.  As before I would fret because my credit is bad and how was I going to afford it, now instead I eagerly await car shopping with my dad tomorrow, knowing the God has already provided for me as I stand in His shadow.