Hitting the floor and dropping the weight in 2015

It is the start of a new year and many including myself have health goals. Most have a few extra pounds to loose and a desire to be more toned.  While I have put together an action plan to meet my goals, I have another method to drop a different kind of weight.  This year I am gonna hit the floor more… on my knees in prayer to drop all the weight that is not mine to carry.

Before I go pulling out my violin and telling you all that’s wrong

Before I run to the pantry for a treat to calm my nerve and give me temporary relief

Before I get all worked up trying to explain and convince my husband of my point of view

Before I say yes when the answer should be no but I am looking for your approval

Before I start feeling discouraged that I have entered another year and I still have not seen the manifestation of hair growth that I desparately desire

Before I get burderened down with your situation and feel bad that I cant fix it and make it all better

BEFORE I DO ANY OF THAT…I am gonna drop to the floor and unload that weight in prayer.

Prayer is so POWERFUL when coupled with Faith.

It moves mountains.

It heals the sick.

It changes my perspective causing me to praise instead of complain, bringing peace to the storm.

It helps me to rejoice in ALL Things, even the bad.

It fuels my faith to speak those things that are not as though they were and then I stand back and watch GOD WORK IT OUT!

It gives me the inside scoop on God’s will for my life, and I come off my knees with such confidence and fierce faith!

Prayer is free therapy and you can rest assure that the therapist understand what you are going through, He’s been there and came out victorious. It is always convenient to pray, as a matter of fact we are told to pray at all times. God’s ears are always open to our cry.    And when you earnestly pray, it produces great results.  So… are you ready to hit the floor in prayer with me this year?  Leave a comment below to let me know.

 

 

Dear God Please Undo What I Have Done

She was not sleepy, I just got her her up 30 minutes prior.  She was not hungry she just gobbled down breakfast AND NO she was not wet. I changed her diaper right before she ate.  But there was princess tugging at my leg demanding that I pick her up.  Why?  She is spoiled, very spoiled.  All I could do was whisper in desperation, “Dear Lord please undo what we have done. ” You see Faith has a story and when God answered our prayers, we were overjoyed.  We brought our miracle home and spoiled her… real good.  Tyrone and I were not the only culprits.  Her siblings stayed in her face.  If she cried, there were six other pair of hands ready to rescue her, it was a team effort.  And today we are dealing with the results.

 

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How many other times have I prayed that same prayer when I felt the consequences of MY poor choices.

When I yell at my children in anger and unleash misdirected frustration at them. I see them deflate right before my eyes.  I feel ashamed.

When I speak negatively of others and I later hear my children with the same critical tone.  I am forced to look in the mirror.

When I have had one too many “deserved” treats and I am left  feeling sluggish, cranky and quite round.

All of the above situations leave me asking the Lord to undo what I have done. I have learned that God won’t go back in time and undo my mess.  However, all is not lost. When you have a surrendered heart, He provides the tools to move forward and the wisdom to make choices aligned with His will.  My life testifies to the fact that repentance invites the Lord to masterfully redeem self inflicted pain.

So here we are at the close of 2014 and it is so easy to focus on all the mistakes, all your shortcomings, all the ” I knew better why did I?”  Perhaps you are currently dealing with the painful consequences of choices that you made in 2014 that were out of God’s will. There is no sense of hope for the new year only regret for what’s behind.

If you have not done so already, Jesus is lovingly inviting you to come to Him.  Repentance is liberating and His forgiveness is the sweetest medicine I have tasted.  While others may condemn and remind you of your mistakes, it’s not so with my  Jesus…this is my testimony.  So with all the New Years resolution, won’t you put a yes to Jesus at the top of the list and watch Him redeem in 2015!

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 NLT

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

 

 

Adoration leads to loud praise

Oh come all Ye faithful.  Have you been found faithful?  Come let us adore him..for He alone is worthy, Christ The Lord.

My adoration for Him manifest in praise.  LOUD. PRAISE.

It is not a cultural thing. It’s a I have been redeemed  and forgiven of my sins fact.

He left the splendor of heaven to be born in a stinky stable. He came on a mission to save me.  That same baby grew to be the man Jesus…from Bethlehem to the cross.  That was a LOUD statement of adoration, I am honored.

He didn’t die a quiet death.  He was openly humiliated for sins he knew I would commit.  The insults they spoke. The false accusations.  The nails they pierced through his hands.  The crown of thorns placed on his head.  The blood that He shed. They were all LOUD.  Very LOUD!

The moment the earth quaked and the veil of the temple was torn in half, giving me free access to come  boldly before the throne of grace . Now His grace flows through every aspect of my life in a very LOUD way.

He didn’t silently heal my babies. Yes, I am talking about that again because you weren’t there when this mother cried very LOUD tears begging Jesus for a miracle.  LOUDLY petitioning him to reverse the prognosis.   And he did.    Perfectly and LOUDLY.

When I silently reflect on all he has done for me, the quiet reflections manifest in LOUD praise.  It’s not that I can’t contain myself, it’s that I choose not. After all, he chose not to withhold his blessings from me.

Please don’t get annoyed when I praise.  It was not meant for you, only for an audience of one…the one I adore.

 

 

I am not going to hold on to my gifts

Here I am operating in my gift of teaching earlier  this year at church.  Thank you Elder Ron for using your gift of photography to capture this moment.

 When I get a gift, I gladly receive it for myself.  However this Christmas, I am left to think about my spiritual gifts and why God gave them to me.  1 Corinthians 12:7  clearly spells out that we are all given gifts to be used to build up the body of Christ. Period.  He gave us these gifts so that we can give them away so to speak.  Give them to build up His body.  It is a beautiful  thing to watch others purely operate in their gifts.  It blesses me.  I have grown so much and have been radically transformed as a result of the many gifts that flow through my pastor and his wife.  Our praise and worship leader has been gifted with the ability to sing you right into the presence of  God, lifting  burdens.  My good friend is a passionate intercessor and has a husband that is going forward in his gift of teaching. While I have my own gifts, I am not gifted in every way.  As a member of the body of Christ, I need all of their gifts.  They benefit me and has helped to encourage me to stay on the straight and narrow.  We are not independent of each other, when you don’t operate in your gift, it affects me. Don’t be a weak link by not using your gift.

I don’t have to be jealous of your gift nor do you have to be jealous of mine.  We are not competing, we compliment each other.  All of our gifts are valued and needed for the building up of the church.

Don’t let timidity hold you back from flowing in your gift.  Get over yourself.  Remember this is not about you.  And whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of comparing your gifts to others. Use what God has given you in the way He has given it to you, then and only then will it be effective.  You don’t have to be anyone’s carbon copy, that was never God’s intention when He created and gifted you.  I am catching a hold of  this revelation and let me tell you it’s so liberating. I am seeing God’s power manifest in me at a grater level and in turn others are blessed.

At all cost avoid getting caught up in using your gift to try to show how special and deep you are, again this is not about you.  It is not a performance. Don’t let pride pollute and hinder your gift.  On the other hand when others make mention of your gift don’t try to dumb it down in an effort to appear humble.  I love reading Paul’s epistles because he confidently speaks of how God has gifted him and he gives God all the glory.  He doesn’t brag on himself, he brags on God, how about that for a different perspective.  Be confident, be bold!

Take time to perfect the  gifts God has given you. The best way to do this is by spending time in prayer and the word.  Reading other spiritual resources grounded in biblical principles can be helpful but make sure it’s not taking away from you reading the most important book, the bible.  In the same vein, speaking to others who have similar gifts is good but don’t let that take the place of speaking to the giver of the gift in prayer.

One of my gifts is teaching. While I have had formal training to be a teacher.  More training came in the school of surrender and trials; these two schools have caused my gift to be perfected!  When I get up to speak or when I write I am confident that I have something worth hearing.  Why? I have made up my mind to be a student of the greatest teacher and submit to His will, even the less than glamorous parts.

You can find a list of some of the gifts in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. What are your gifts?  Don’t know?  Ask God, He really is not trying to keep it a secret from you.  If you do know your gifts, don’t hold on to them, remember they are not for you.  Be Blessed!

 

Decorating my heart for Christmas part 2

Before I begin with part two of this series I have to share that the highlight of decorating my home this year for Christmas was spray paint.  Yes spray paint!  I was impressed by this blog and all the things she spray painted.  I decided to give it a try and I was pleasantly surprised.

I was able to transform my Goodwill stocking hangers from this to the pictures below!

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In part one of this series, I mentioned ways to decorate our hearts for Christmas.  Today I pick up where I left off.  Joseph did not reason he responded…with IMMEDIATE OBEDIENCE.   Mathew 1:24 says when Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of The Lord commanded.  He brought Mary home to be his wife.   There is much to be said about immediate obedience.  If I think on something too long, the crazier it seems, and the less likely I am to respond  in obedience.  If you know God is speaking to your heart, just do it.  A lack of response shows our inability to trust God.  How can we really serve Him if we don’t trust Him?

Not only did Joseph respond with immediate obedience but the scripture says that Mary remained a virgin until her son was born.  As a husband,  Joseph sacrificed his rights for sexual intimacy in order for God’ plan to be fulfilled.  He was willing to wait and did not insist on his rights.  Sacrifice is such a foreign concept in today’s culture.  It is all about our rights.  We worship at the alter of, “Me myself and I.”  The idea of sacrifice is scoffed at,  our will is glorified…hence the great chaos in our lives and this world.  If you have chosen the way of the cross, sacrifice is mandatory.  But no need to mourn because when you sacrifice for Jesus it is always redemptive.  Always!  It was necessary for Jesus to be born to a virgin and his birth set in motion God’s redemptive plan mentioned in Genesis 3:15, how awesome is that?

Finally after the child is born Joseph named him Jesus  just as he was instructed to d0 in Mathew 1:25.  Joseph said yes and stuck to the plan from start to finish, down to the very name.  Sometimes we start our journey with Jesus having a complete yes but as time goes on we get creative.  We begin to do what God has called us to do in our own way, our own strength, we put our own twist to His plan.  There is no such thing as partial obedience.  Carefully follow All of God’s commands.  Have you deviated from the plans God has given you?  Repent, ask for mercy and get on track.

My prayer is that we will have a desire for more than beautifully decorated homes this Christmas.  A heart decorated with obedience is sure to shine bright!  Be blessed!

Decorating my heart for Christmas

It’s Christmas time again at the Jones’.  I get just as excited as the children at the thought of decorating our home for the Christmas season.  However, I know that it is even more important for me to “decorate” my heart with the truth of God’s word.  With that in mind, I went back to read the Christmas story from the book of Mathew and ditched the mindset of “I have read this so many times and I already know what happens.”

 

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In Mathew 1:18-19 we learn that Joseph was engaged to be married to Mary and she was a virgin; not an exception in those days but the expectation.  However Mary ends up pregnant and it was not by Joseph!  It is certain Joseph was hurt and felt betrayed but even in his pain he purposed not to humiliate her.  He instead decided to break it off privately.  It was heavy on his heart and  he went to bed thinking about this thing.  Ever been there, weighed down with concerns as you go to bed…I have. The Lord saw his heart, saw his pain and provided an answer of peace while Joseph was sleeping.   Mathew 1:20 says as he considered this, he fell asleep and the angel of The Lord appeared to Him.  The angel of the Lord brought clarity to his situation.

Here it is Joseph was in a major life altering dilemma.  It is almost certain that he was hurt by Mary’s seemingly betrayal, but he opted not to put her on blast.  Wow!  What is your first response when you think you have been wronged by someone?  Do you look for every listening ear to broadcast the offense, only causing the wound to go deeper?  Do you immediately go on a revenge mission seeking to inflict the same pain you are feeling?

The explanation given to Joseph and his response blesses and convicts me all at the same time.  The angel of The Lord tells Joseph that the child Mary is carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Now let’s just be honest here, the explanation just did not make sense, it was foolish…at least in the natural. A virgin getting pregnant by the Holy Spirit?  What?    Who has ever heard of such a thing?  But Joseph didn’t question the explanation, he knew it was from God and that was enough.   He did not go asking for a second opinion. When God tells you to do something, do you wait for it to make sense before you act.  I have learned that I have to be ok with not understanding all of God’s directives, I have to trust that He is God and He knows best.  We often want to wrap our mind around all God is saying before we sign on the dotted line, give up on that method, it is pretty ineffective.  Truth be told, we often won’t understand it all because the plan is always so much bigger than we can comprehend.  Humble yourself, trust God and say Yes!

Joseph didn’t even know what he had stepped into, here God takes this ordinary boy and makes him one of the key characters in the greatest story ever!  In Mathew 1:21-23 the angel tells Joseph that the baby is going to be a boy, name him Jesus and oh yeah, he is going to save his people from their sins.  Then the angel of the Lord tells Joseph all of this is a fulfillment of the prophecies  that were given about the savior.  I  mean can you imagine, receiving all this news in one night.  Jesus simply means “The Lord Saves.”  So in other words, Joseph’s yes brought salvation to the world!  How can your yes to the seemingly impossible bring salvation to others?  Or consider this, how can your no hinder the salvation of others. Your disobedience does not only affect you.  Don’t hinder the flow, play your part and say yes.

My prayer is that you will be  encouraged to decorate your heart with obedience this Christmas.  Stay tuned for part two of this post.  Be blessed!