Tag Archives: faith

Love Poured +Faith = Hope

Matthew 21:21
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.

“Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.” Amos 5:14-15 NLT

Had another awesome Saturday night at church.  It seems when many choose to go and party on the weekends, I end up at the Fathers house and find much going on.  Tonight was kinda spectacular.  Let me set the scene for a typical Saturday at church.  We come in and just listen to the music which is playing for about an hour, during this time I journal, read the Bible or just sit and soak.  Then there is a teaching time followed by prayer if anyone needs it.  Sometimes things do not go as “we” plan but rather the Holy Spirit changes the line-up.  Tonight I felt compelled to draw a bit and hence came the drawing above.  This also sparked a few things in my thinking and I came away well refreshed and seeking God even more.

My life, as with any Christian should be, is built upon faith.  During the recent revival I learned many things about faith.  I discovered I really did not have much until about three years ago when God pulled me out of the mess I was in and began to set my life apart from the destruction it had previously known.  My finances were looking better, I was writing more than ever, I was healing and I was beginning to finally believe God for things in my life.  Through this faith I acquired a good running van, kept my job, learned how to budget my money and recently getting my teeth fixed.  Faith is that thing which we cannot see and that is where the difficulty lies.

Take getting this house I want for instance.  People are telling me it is just not possible.  My credit rating says it will difficult to get an interest rate I can afford.  My flesh is telling me I am going for the impossible, yet all the while my faith is letting me pursue this dream.  If you read my blog Deer in the Front Yard, then you already understand just how perfect this house is and how much of a God thing it is for both parties involved.  I am acting on faith as I begin to search out my options for purchasing this home.  I have even begun a work in my current trailer to set things in motion.

As I sat in church tonight, journaling to God, I begin to see a different side of faith like I had not know before.  As the music was playing I began to see this pitcher as it was being filled with water and it was overflowing.  Now I am a writer and drawing is not my expertise, however I began to draw out what I was seeing.  I now have my vision for 2012 which is centered around hope and God just took it a few steps farther for me.  As indicated in the picture, water is flowing from above and this represents the Father’s love for us.  As it pours into the pitcher, which represents us, it mixes with our faith.  It is then when we begin to pour into the lives of others that it turns into Hope.

Another angle too is that when God is pouring love into our lives and we are filled with faith then the hope just begins to pour out as in a continuous stream from above. Just like Peter we must activate our faith if we want things to happen.  Once we are walking by faith on the water before us we must then keep our eyes on Jesus so as not see the circumstances below our feet for surely we will falter. So my focus in 2012 is to be filled up with Jesus so that my faith will remain activated.  By allowing this to happen, faith can arise and be seen causing others to have hope for their lives as well.

Nothing is too big for God and even when others in our lives say we cannot attain our goals, we know when we are operating out of faith, nothing is impossible.  We need to daily renew our minds so that our focus will remain on Jesus and our faith will grow stronger.  I have seen God do so many things already in my life, I find it hard not to have faith.  As I have grown stronger, knowing God is in control, I am able to press forward into other venues of life knowing that if God desires it for my life than it shall be.  As I am finishing the very last chapter of my book, I look forward to taking it to an editor and beginning the process of getting it published with the faith that God is in control.

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Blowing In the Wind

Matthew 8:26
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

It has gotten very windy here in Michigan as a winter storm looms ahead of us and as I saw this tree rolling in the wind down the street it gave me pause to reflect upon how I was feeling last night as I looked through all the news-feed statuses on Facebook. I saw every range of emotion from happy to sad, ecstatic to depressed and laughter to pure anger at the world.  So many different views of the year ahead of us and of the one left behind.  For those of who are dwelling in Christ, we know that a new year brings new challenges but also new blessings.  As I look forward to moving into a new home, I know the only way I will obtain it is through faith in God.  Nothing is too big for God and even though I cannot see a way right at the moment, surely Daddy has a plan.  The main thing I felt as I read through some of the statements and knowing who had written them, I sighed, knowing how much more God has for them if they would only lay it all down and call out to Him in faith.

As in the last two things I needed to move through in my life, getting my smile remodeled and getting a new home, I had to go through a period of letting God know how I felt and then letting it go.  Yes I screamed into the darkness.  I lost my temper and just let it all out.  I begged and pleaded.  I did everything but bargain with God (I know that is not how it works) and now in the moment where I am just letting things go and my focus in only on God in my life, things are happening.  Know how I did it?  Once I stopped complaining, God could hear my true pleas.  I was living under my circumstances and not above,  I seemed to have just assumed my position as the victim and accepted my surroundings.  Um, excuse me?  Who was I fooling?  I am a child of the King and He wants the best for me but if I keep SPEAKING myself into this pit, this is where I will stay.

I am not sure where I am going with this blog at the moment, as it has taken a turn from where I thought I was going, must be a God thing.  We have all lost hope at some point or another and allowed ourselves to just blow along with the wind.  We play the “woe is me” game everyday and begin to speak “unlife” into our situations.  Gee, every time I go to get gas they raise the prices.” Every time I check my bank account there is less money than I think.”  “The gas bill will be too much to pay.”  “Every time I go to the store I don’t have enough money.”  “I get sick every time I go to that restaurant.”  ON and ON, day after day, we speak life right out of our lives.  Aren’t you tired of that?  Am I speaking to anyone?

Okay, true example of a lesson I learned about speaking the “every time” phrase, well actually two of them.  One was at work concerning the computer.  When our boss would go out of town the first thing out of our mouths would be, “there goes our computer” and I am not kidding, something major would happen.  As soon as I learned the principal of not speaking such things, our computer has been fine. My other life example concerned our cars.  The first time my husband totaled one of our cars was just after we had filled the tank completely full.  Not having a lot of money we never filled the tank to full. Well, the next time he crashed, guess what?  It was just after we filled the tank to full.  After that we NEVER filled any of our cars to full.  I lived under this “curse” until I separated from my husband when I had run out of gas because I was too afraid to put a full tank in. I learned to rise above this and have since been filling my gas tanks without hesitation because I have learned how not to speak such things into existence.

I am praying for a change of some minds in 2012.  Nothing is impossible even though the world would like you to believe so.  I challenge you this year to speak LIFE where once you were cursing your life.  Stop yourself the next time you begin to say, “Every time…..” and evaluate what you are about to speak into your life.  As for me and my family, we ARE moving this year.  We WILL be turning our finances around.  We WILL be healthy.  We WILL have enough of everything because God will provide just as He promises in the Bible.  Will you choose to live above your circumstances or stay blowing in the wind?  Now I am not promising you a bed of rose or an easy road, but I know for sure God wants you to have abundant life in Him and the only way it will happen is if you start to speak life not death in your very existence.

Start today.  Don’t know how to start? A friend of mine had a very good idea of starting a Thanksgiving Journal.  Begin to write down the things you are thankful for.  Be basic.  Your car, your house, your wife, your clothes, your food….anything God has provided for you.  Do this everyday.  Today the pastors wife shared she is writing on the calendar each day “Today is a Good Day”, this is a great way to start claiming life!  Whatever you choose to do, do it with prayer.  Begin to rebuild your relationship with God.  I know you will see a difference in your life in a very short period of time.  Just keep in mind it will take discipline to accomplish this and that’s where it all begins.  Faith leads to renewed hope and I have enough faith that those who need to read this blog are reading it right now and God is stirring up some emotions and desires to change.  I pray each of you find something in every moment of life to be thankful for.

 

Day 25: The REAL Meaning of Christmas

Matthew 12:21
And his name will be the hope of all the world.”

John 1:14
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Here we are!  It is Christmas and I will now share what I believe to be the real meaning of Christmas.  Now I assure you this is my own opinion and after having traveled the road to the manger with me, I hope you will come to your own conclusion of what the real meaning of Christmas is in your lives.  I feel on this day, Hope was born.  Now we have discovered that our Father has not given us any specific date for celebration and this brings me to a place where I have decided this truth for my current journey of faith:  The birth of the Jesus is a cause for celebration but then also of equal importance is His death.  Since a date for neither is provided, should we not celebrate DAILY the manger and the cross? The birth and the death?

Every day we should wake up and thank God for Jesus and this means the birth and the death for without either, we would be in quite a predicament.  If we were to celebrate each day this awesome Gift, it would be open to all religions and there would not be a need for all the disagreements of how it should be celebrated.  If we took the time to celebrate every day, gift giving or giving of ourselves would be a daily occurrence.  We could surprise someone with a love gift and not have to say, “tis the season”, it would just be the right moment.  Can you imagine for a moment what it would be like to have “Christmas” or “Easter” every day?  It would remove the stress and the planning and make the moment of giving so much more rewarding because the gift would be spontaneous and not planned out.

If we spent more time just sharing love instead of planning for these holidays, we could reach so many more hearts.  For some, these holidays are the ONLY time they spend with Jesus.  For others, it is the ONLY time spent with certain family members and sometimes that is only because it is “required” because of the “Holidays”.  I mean no offense by this blog, I am simply showing a side that even I have not really seen before now.  I think sometimes our focus is so far off base we cannot see the real meaning of the birth or the death.  Everyday is a gift from God, why should we not be of the same attitude towards others?  I love the idea of the holidays, do not get me wrong but at the heart of today, there was love.  I spent time with family and enjoyed just being with them.  I gave gifts to my children and I did this out of love, not obligation.  I feel as though I would like to spend more of these days together.

Jesus was born to give us Hope and if we are following in faith, the love God intended can emerge into this fallen world but it will be difficult if we continue to focus on these things only twice a year.  Jesus needs to be an everyday of presenting ourselves to be used by God so that the Gift of His son will have relevance in the lives of those who do not yet know Him as their savior.  As we followed the star and listened to the shepherds, saw the wise men in search of a King, our faith was ignited that hope was laying in a manger.  We finally had a moment to hold onto, a place in time where life could begin to make sense.  This birth of Hope is eternal and so is the death.

I pray all will find peace on earth as they seek Jesus first in their lives.  I Hope your Merry Christmas will be bright as you follow the star in faith.  May your Season Greetings become , “How can I help you today?”.  Perhaps your Happy Holidays will turn into days of celebration.  Hopefully Tis the Season will fashion itself into days of thanksgiving and a willingness to give to others.  Let’s make Christmas and Easter a part of everyday for as a very wise teacher taught me once upon a time, it is always today.  Today is the day Jesus is born.  Today is the day Jesus died. Today is the day when all things are possible.  Why not make today count so God may be glorified, today.

So as I conclude this 25 day blog on the REAL meaning of Christmas, I hope I have inspired some changes in the perspective of why we celebrate the way we do.  Maybe this is a moment in time where we can all just take a few moments and reflect upon what it all means in our lives.  Being a believer in Jesus means we are here to deliver hope to the hopeless and love to the lost.  We are to be about the Fathers’ business everyday of our lives.  Surely Santa was a grand idea, but a fairy tale for sure.  Some say Jesus is a fairy tale too, but I beg to differ.  The Happy Ending I am seeking is in heaven, a place of peace and tranquility, the purpose of my journey as a Christian, a daughter of the King.  May your heart be touched forever by the hope found in the manger, because when all that has been prophesied is said and done, will we be in our mansions in heaven or left behind?  The choice is up to each of us.  Who will receive your utmost attention?  Jesus or worldly traditions?  Use your faith to choose.  Be Blessed!

Days 17 & 18: What IS the Real Meaning?

Christmas Cookies and Cards

Proverbs 15:30
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.

I find it funny the Lord brings me to these two items today as we are continuing our journey to discover the real reason we celebrate Christmas, especially with the verse He led me to post.  Sorry I missed posting yesterday but with work and some things I needed to do, I simply ran out of time.  Anyway, cookies and cards are very important ways to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I personally love getting cards in the mail and well, I have never a met a cookie I could say no to.  I have for the past several years made card lists and bought cards to give to my friends and family.  I make a unique angel ornament every year also to attach to the cards, however, this year I have done neither.  Not sure why, perhaps too busy and then this digging deeper into the real meaning of Christmas has just brought me to a place of resting in Him and not getting over worked with the tediousness of the holiday season.  But just as I am NOT making angel type gifts, God gave me one yesterday.

A friend of mine has been inviting me to a live nativity which her church puts on every year and I always seem to have to work.  I went this year and it took my daughter and I down a journey much like the path Mary and Joesph would have traveled so many years ago.  The tour highlighted so many of things I have already discovered through this blog.  Of course the tour ended at the stable with Mary and the baby.  Tears filled my eyes as I reflected on that wonderful birth and as we made our way to leave they handed us each a card and a gift.  As I unwrapped my gift I discovered an angel ornament wrapped inside.  Mine said Faith and my daughters said Hope.  How appropriate God would give us such gifts?

I think with the cards and cookies we give during the holiday season, we can open the doors to faith and hope.  With every Christmas card sent out or handed to someone, there is faith in God that we are giving hope to someone else.  I know the cards and cookies cannot be traced back to the birth, however it is a fitting gesture in a modern day senario.  God wants us to share our faith so that hope can begin to rise up and conquer the fears which have plagued this world.  What if we all sent out one or two extra cards this year to random people that maybe we picked out of a phone book?  Possible it could make a difference?  Reaching out is something we should be doing as Christians and I can almost bet you if I was not a Christian and received a card from someone, I would pay attention.

Not sure if I will get to any cards this year for my regular list, however I think I will make time to send a card or two out to someone God leads me to.  So as you are baking your special cookies and sealing the cards this year, remember to add a little faith and hope to all you do.  As we get closer to the end of our journey towards the real meaning of Christmas I think these will be very important aspects.

Day 2: What IS Christmas Really About?

Luke 2:1-5

1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

So on this, day two of my journey towards what Christmas means, I have felt an urge to speak on the donkey.  My original thought process on this was imagining Mary very pregnant riding on a donkey all the way to Bethlehem.  What an uncomfortable ride it must have been.  I was contemplating how much we complain about our modes of transportation and how our cars break down; the costs involved with keeping up with the maintenance of the vehicles.  When in all reality we should be so grateful for what we have considering the ways of the past.

Well, as I was looking up the story of how Mary and Joseph and looking for the verse that describes how they rode into town on a donkey, I could not find such words.  This makes me think we as a society just made the interpretation of the riding on a donkey part, which is fine, it was the main mode of transportation of the day, but it somehow took out some of the magic for me.  What if they just walked the whole distance?  What if they rode a horse or a camel?  Does that mess with anyone else’s vision of the journey?

Also as I was searching for donkey in the New Testament the first mention of a donkey is when the disciples were sent to get the one tied up in a nearby village.  Then a donkey was used to carry the man the Samaritan rescued.  The final mention of the splendid animal was when one carried Jesus into Jerusalem right before His crucifixion.  After studying this a bit I found it ironic that Jesus started out in Jerusalem, perhaps by riding on a donkey while in Mary’s womb and thus also ending up on a donkey towards the end of His lifetime here on earth.  Coincidence?  I fear not.

God uses the unlikely sometimes to make His point known.  He loves us all the same, it matters not what we look like or what car we drive or if we own a big fancy home.  He often uses the broken and the avoidable people to make His greatest testimonies.  Most would view the donkey as a low animal in the scheme of things, but it is the one animal which carried a King.  Whether or not Mary rode on a donkey is not the question, it is the journey that really is what is important.  The whole trip to Bethlehem had to be a journey of faith.  Even though they were decreed to go on this trip, somehow I just feel Mary and Joseph had an inkling of what would happen when they got there, after all they were bringing the Son of God into the world, I am sure the Father would keep them informed.

Day 1: What IS Christmas Really About?

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!]29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israelforever; his Kingdom will never end!”34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Definition of ANGEL

1a : a spiritual being superior to humans in power and intelligence; especially : one in the lowest rank in the celestial hierarchy

Definition of CELESTIAL HIERARCHY

: a traditional hierarchy of angels ranked from lowest to highest into the following nine orders: angels, archangels, principalities, powers, virtues, dominions, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim
So, I have been hemming and hawing about how to start this magical journey to find out what Christmas truly means to me.  I decided to begin from the start and choose an angel as my first picture.  Can you imagine Mary when this awesome angel from God came to visit her in the middle of the night?  I personally have never seen an angel, but what a great sight it must have been.  As I was looking trough a quick search of how many times angels appeared in the Bible I noticed they appear quite frequently.  God uses these wonders to help guide and protect us.  He uses them to protect His people from wrong decisions.  He guides them in end times to show the signs of what will come.  In my eyes angels are pretty essential to our walking it out with the Lord.
As I turn my attention to Christmas, angels are prominent to me in the respect of having the right attitude.  Here is Mary now having to face her family and friends with the news that she is pregnant.  Now imagine if you will having to trust an angel and God that all will be okay, that she will not be persecuted or looked down upon.  Instead she simply states that she is a servant of God and moves forward in faith.  Why can we not be more like that when things arise in our lives?  We lose our jobs and freak out about bills and then Christmas arrives and we have not money.  Do you think this is walking in faith as a servant of the King?  Do we not trust God enough to take care of our every need just as the sparrow?

I feel the lesson to be learned here for me on day one of this journey is simply this, if I am calling myself a servant of the Lord then I must act like one.  I need to cast out all fear and doubt and simply know God is working on my behalf.  I need to further accept that I am a carrier of the Presence of God where ever I go, just like Mary as she carried Jesus in her womb.  How do I get to this point in my life?  Well, for the most part I think I have a good grasp on this concept, I just need to apply it to ALL areas of my life, not just the places where I think I can fit God into.  God should be active and involved in all aspects of my life and it is up to me to choose this for my lifestyle.

So to wrap up lesson one, I will concentrate to see where I need to improve on listening to the voice of God and let Him show me where I need to seek Him more.  I will begin to have more faith in both the little and the small and this faith will go with me to every situation I encounter.  I feel the angel was sent as a great sign to Mary that she will be rewarded for her faith.  We know that we all need more faith because what would happen if an angel appeared to you tonight and spoke into your life something that they outside world would never understand. How would we actually react?  “Okay God, as your servant, I will accept and follow” or “Um I need some time to pray and think this over?”  God is calling each of us to have the faith of Mary and to become great carriers of the presence of Jesus.

 

Pick Me Up, Daddy

Proverbs 2:8
He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

How many times have you needed faith in your life?  What have you centered your faith in?  Was it God?  Perhaps it was yourself or a friend?  Maybe a television commercial for a product or a church that promised it all.  Where was your faith in your darkest trials?  Was it in self-reliance that you could get yourself through any thing because you had lived a hard life and were tough enough to handle it?  God is the only thing we should have faith in.  Not man.  Not ourselves.  Not systems.  God.  God alone is our Provider, Healer and Shelter in the storms.  He is our way out of situations we have gotten ourselves into and He is truly the One who keeps us from falling on our face too many times.

When I was in the midst of my marriage, I felt that I was in control and had faith in God, but not enough.  There still was the guilt of not making the right choices in life and the fact of not feeling worthy enough as a person.  I believed in God but until I was left powerless with no where to turn, God could not work in my life.  He was waiting for me to throw my hands up toward heaven and say, “Why me Lord?  Where do I go from here?”  Faith is knowing that no matter what circumstance you have somehow gotten yourself into, God already has a way out in mind.  Take for instance when they brought my husband to the emergency room, I was sitting there powerless when all of a sudden I go the nerve to let the nurse know exactly what was going on.  I was able to spill my 18 years of living with a drug addict story to her even though I feared what my husband would do if he found out I told all of his secrets.  It was that moment of having enough faith left in me that God still loved me and I was able to step up and take a leap of faith.

It is faith which has brought me this far.  I was tired of wandering around in the desert with no purpose and carrying all my baggage.  It was time for me to set my baggage down on the conveyor belt to God, knowing without a doubt He would pick it up, sort it out and send me where I needed to go.  It truly was faith that allowed me to go to the court house and get an order of protection so that I would not just continue on with the life I was living.  It also was the journey of faith that within six months of separating from my husband, I bought  a new van, got the gas turned back on in my trailer and received all my appliances that I was missing.  Faith is what brings you closer to God.  It pulls you to your knees and makes your heart cry out for God to rescue you.

Now I have more faith than ever that God will take care of me.  He is providing a way for my teeth to be fixed and surely a plan for a new home is already in the works.  My life would be meaningless at this point if I did not have enough faith in God that He will do a  good work in me so that He may be glorified and others will come to know His Son just because I choose to let it go and give Him total control in my life.  I have the faith that moves mountains, but it took what seems like forever to get to this point in my life.  It took a long time for me to realize that God really wants us to have the faith of a child and to be 100% sure we will be taken care of.  “Pick me up Daddy!  I am in need of rescue and You are the only answer!”  This is what He longs to hear.  It does not matter to Him how you got where you are, be it addictions, mistrust, disbelief or whatever inhibited you from having a true relationship with God; He loves you enough to save you.