Extreme Faith

Admittedly, I am a person given to extremes.  My husband can attest to that.   He has had to endure many of my, “I am not going to ever again,”   “this is the best thing ever,”   “I will always” speeches.  God bless his patient soul.  If I find something new, I take it and run with it.  I mean sprint.  I remember when I first learned of all the gross things they are doing to our foods, especially our meats.  I made up my mind that I would never again purchase meats that aren’t pasture fed, grass fed, etc.  Then the inevitable moments came.  I saw our bank account and remembered the power of praying, “Lord bless this food and remove all impurities; antibiotics, hormones & all.  In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!”   Money in the bank, food in my tummy! He did it for Elijah and the poisonous pot of stew in 2 Kings 4:38-41 and I am confident that He will do it for me.

Yes I have had to soften my stance and back down on many of my extreme statements BUT there are some EXTREMES I still hold to.

  • Jesus is still the only way.  I mean ONLY! (John 14:6).
  • Holiness is still a command, not an option! (1 Peter 1:16).
  • God is still good, even when things don’t turn out the way I want them to and I hurt (Job 13:15).
  • He still perform miracles, not just paying my light bill miracle.  I am talking about dead coming back to life miracle!  (Hebrews 13:8)

I am amazed and even disheartened at how compromise has seeped into the church because we avoid being too extreme in our faith. Remind me again, did Jesus not die an extreme death?  We don’t want to be considered politically incorrect.  We worry too much about offending people so we bite our tongues when we have opportunities to share.  We want to fit in.  We want to be liked.  We have become sophisticated cowards.   But let me remind you, the gospel is offensive and it cuts, no way around it.

Do you currently have any areas of compromise in your life?  In what ways have you strayed from the extreme truth of the gospel?  I encourage you to repent and ask God to give you the grace to WALK IN ALL OF THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD!  No matter how Extreme!

Romans 12:2 NLT

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Hebrews 4:12-12 NLT

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

 

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Feeling Restricted by God?

I am expecting great things from God. However, I realize that there are certain restrictions that I have to adhere to in order for me to give birth to these promises.  If I am honest (and remember honest is good) some days I struggle with being restricted.  There are specific things that I know God has told me not to do.  And oh my me, do I struggle with this.  These restrictions are not evil or sinful BUT they are off limits to me. 

What makes it worst is when I see other Jesus loving people having the freedom to do the very thing that God has told me not do. There are things explicitly stated in scripture for ALL believers to follow.  However, there are specific instructions that God gives to the individual.    I cannot focus on another’s freedom and deliberately ignore God’s instructions TO ME. James 4:17 says, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”  OUCH! God’s word is so straightforward and that sword sometimes hurt.  Willful disobedience is SIN…a key ingredient to aborting the promises of God. 

 

This morning I read the story of Samson in Judges Chapters 13-16.  Samson’s mother was given specific dietary restrictions by the angel of God.  She was also told that Samson should never cut his hair, the source of his strength. God intended to use Samson as a deliver for His people, and Samson’s strength was key.  These specific instructions were not given to every Israelite woman.  Samson’s mother could have easily ignored these instructions or try to make a case as to why it was not fair that she had to follow such strict rules.  But you see she was barren and desperately desired to give birth.  Desperation is a great motivator for obedience. As you read on, we see that Samson’s end was tragic, He was not careful to follow all of God’s instructions and the source of His strength was revealed to the enemy. They were eventually able to take Samson captive.

I don’t want to be careless and insult God. I want to fully live out my God intended purpose, so today I pray for grace to do all He has called me to do, no excuses!  How about you?

 

 

 

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Paleo dinner recipes for the week

 It has been my desire to include more recipes on my blog.   At the end of each week, I plan to post what I cooked.  Pray for me that I will be consistent…PLEASE and THANK YOU!  Here we go!

Slow cooked ribs (these are a huge hit in our house)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven or tabletop roaster to 250.

2.  Season the ribs with salt and pepper or seasoning of choice.

3.  Put ribs in baking dish, meat side down.

4. Use aluminum foil to cover dish before placing in oven.  Use roaster cover if you are using tabletop roaster.

5.  Check ribs after 4 hours, they should be tender. 

6.  Drain drippings, flip ribs over and coat with barbecue sauce.  You can make your own if you are feeling ambitious.  When I don’t have the time, I use the trader Joe’s brand.

7.  Enjoy!

I have tried cooking ribs on the grill and they always turn out chewy.  They are ALWAYS tender and delicious when I use this slow cooked method.

I served the ribs with roasted cauliflower, sautéed green beans and onions and oven baked sweet potatoes with coconut oil.

I used this beef shank recipe and served it with roasted mini potatoes.

I also made this chicken breast recipe suggested by a good friend.  It was super easy and delicious.  To continue with the theme of easy, I just cut the chicken up and put it on top of a bed of premade salad mix from Costco.

What delicious recipes did you make this week?  Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips to help you become more comfortable with praying in front of others

The church I attend host a prayer call every Tuesday at 8PM.  We call in and bombard heaven with our different request, determined to flow in our God given purpose.  For those that desire to pray, the opportunity is granted.  However, for some, praying out loud in a group setting can be terrifying.  Below are some things to consider when praying out loud that will help to ease some of the anxiousness.

1.  Spend time in personal prayer.  Simply put, praying to God in private makes it easier to pray to Him in public.  Spend time by yourself with the Lord in prayer.    Pour your heart out to Him.  Learn to become comfortable in His presence, and give Him a chance to speak back to you.  Private prayer helps to train your ear to hear His voice.

2.  Spend time studying His word so that you can pray His will.  I cannot go wrong praying scripture.  I can be sure that I am praying on point when I pray scripture because it is God’s will.  1 John 5:15 tells me that God hears me when I pray His will and I can be confident that He will grant my request. Don’t neglect the studying of His word as this helps to improve your prayer life, and when you pray in front of others, they in turn are blessed!

3.  I am praying to God not the individuals who are listening.  Keeping this at the forefront of my mind helps me to pray from a sincere heart.  There are times when I pray and I may misquote a scripture, mix up my tenses, or mispronounce a word.  God is not concerned about that.  He is not sitting in heaven going, “oh I can’t answer that prayer because she said ‘is’ instead of ‘are.'”  Thinking too hard about how I “sound” and making sure I say the right phrases causes me to miss the true purpose of prayer.  My prayer then becomes a performance instead of a sincere offering.  Yes, others are listening as I pray out loud but I am not focused on how they will grade my prayer.  I am more interested in moving the heart of God.  So take a deep breath and relax.  Don’t be anxious, just let your words flow from your heart.  This is your daddy you are talking to, no need to be afraid.

4. Close your eyes.  I find that when I close my eyes especially when praying in front of others this helps me to tune everyone out and focus in on God.  When my eyes are closed, it helps me to get in a prayer zone.

5.  Don’t hold back.   Don’t be concerned about looking composed when praying in front of others. Real prayer requires real vulnerability.  If the tears begin to flow as you pour out your heart, let them flow.  I know there are times when I am praying out loud and I am determined not to get loud and before I know it, my volume goes from 2 to 15.  I am learning to be ok with that, just as long as it is not a work of the flesh.  Additionally don’t try to censor every word that comes out of your mouth. Make room for God to use you prophetically as you pray.  I have gone into prayer with a “script” in mind and then I feel God leading me to pray something else.  I used to struggle with going off script only because it was so uncomfortable and a loss of control.    I have prayed before and feel God leading me to pray something that seems to have nothing to do with the subject at hand.  However when I am done I have had people come and say that I prayed exactly what they needed to hear.  Let your hair down and PRAY!

Do you struggle with praying in front of others?  What are some things you have done to help you become more comfortable with praying out loud?

 

Praying from a humble heart

Praying from a humble heart

In Luke 18:9-14 Jesus tells the story of two men who went to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a dishonest tax collector. The Pharisee was so full of himself. He proceeded to pray the “perfect” prayer, telling God how wonderful he (the Pharisee) was. He was sure to point out to God that he was not like everyone else. He drank his own Kool-Aid through the entire prayer. He gave God his spiritual resume if you will. I don’t sin, I don’t cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I fast not once but twice a week and to top it all off God, I tithe!  Aren’t I wonderful?

In contrast, the dishonest tax collector recognized his brokenness. He prayed from such a humble heart. He acknowledged that he was a sinner and begged God to have mercy on Him. His prayer was not filled with platitudes. Instead it was filled with humility. That pleased the Father.

If we are going to be honest (and honest is good); we can admit that we have been guilty of praying like the Pharisee. Telling God how wonderful we are in prayer and reminding Him of all we have done can be an avoidance strategy. We somehow feel that focusing on our “spiritual” accomplishments, keep the spotlight off of all that we are not doing. We may give our money but do we give the gift of forgiveness to the one that hurt us? We don’t cheat on our taxes but do we cheat God by not giving Him our time in prayer and the study of His word? Instead we waste our time on social media and unfruitful activities. Checked boxes on our spiritual to do list does not address the issues of our hearts.

It is also easy to compare ourselves to others in prayer. The question should never be, “how am I doing in comparison to others?” Instead we should ask, “how am doing in comparison to God’s righteous standards?”  An honest answer to this question sets the stage for a posture of humility in prayer. It reminds us of our DAILY need for God’s mercy.

Is it easy for you to admit your need for God in prayer? Which one are you most like in prayer, the Pharisee or the tax collector?

 

 

Prayer Is My Superpower

Prayer is my superpower!

I cannot fly or leap over tall buildings but I have another superpower…PRAYER!

When I pray the prayer of repentance from a sincere heart.  I am promised eternal life.  I live forever, I NEVER DIE!  Now that’s superpower!

I am in a war with unseen forces.  With prayer I can stop the forces of darkness, speak against generational curses and command them to be broken; I can change the course of my life!  I can speak life to dead situations. Don’t believe me?  Ask Lazarus who was brought back to life after being dead for three days!  That is superpower!

I can pray for the sick to be healed.  Don’t believe me? Ask the woman who constantly bled for 12 years. She spent all of her money going to doctors but they could not heal her.  However, after touching the hem of Jesus’ garment she was immediately healed.  I also have my own personal testimonies from my last two children Isaiah and Faith.  They were both in need of healing, we prayed and Jesus answered.  That is superpower!

Prayer coupled with praise can free us from the prison the devil tries to put us in.  Don’t believe me? Ask Paul and Silas. They did not complain or hold a pity party when they were imprisoned for the sake of  Christ.  They PRAYED and PRAISED which broke their chains and set them free!  That is superpower!

Prayer allows me to transcend my natural circumstance and enter a state of contentment and true joy. I never have to worry about anything.  When I pray according to God’s will there is an overflow of confidence that He hears me and it is done.

If all of the above is not super enough.  In prayer the one who created the universe, speaks to me PERSONALLY!  He tells me His heart and His will.  Don’t believe me?  Ask Abraham.  The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were great and God shared His intentions to destroy these cities with Abraham.  In this dialogue, Abraham is given the opportunity to intercede for Lot and his family.  That is superpower!

Is prayer your super power?  What miraculous things have happened in your life as a result of prayer?