There are parts of me that are fragile. Scarred from past hurts. I love God. I do. But sometimes I don’t look like He wants me to. He has been showing me things. About me. Ugly things that I have been carrying. Things I need to let go of to go to the next level. To be promoted. Things that I didn’t want to let go of…until now. Yes I have prayed about it before, but I still held on because I felt justified. But I recently found myself crying and confiding in God, “I don’t know how to let it go God, but I want to. I really do. It is too heavy. I don’t know how to let go of the pain, the offense, the hurt, the pride, false expectations, the jealously.” But then He whispered, ” you don’t have to let go in your own strength you just have to desire to be purged of these things, your desire for freedom invites me in to do my job….deliver.”
So I wept real hot tears. Tears of freedom. I felt the weight lifting, and I am being transformed…again. Always another level to go to but promotion always starts from the inside. It is freeing to surrender these insecurities and scars to God. No judgment, no condemnation from Him. Only pure love from my daddy. He is always gently confirming that He is worthy of my love.
So today I share my heart with you, not to glorify my weaknesses but to glorify a God who strengthens the weak. A God who understands the complexities of our past but challenges us to live beyond that because the blood of His son made it right. Made me new. I am making the choice to let go and move on.
My heart is troubled, my spirit is vexed and I cant hold my peace. Where are the people of God? Not those just naming the name of Christ while choosing to sin… abusing grace. I mean the real bonafied saints who long to see the kingdom of God come on this earth. The saints who recognize that holiness is NEVER an option, it is a command. The ones who embrace being peculiar and recognize they can’t take part in any and everything because they have been called out…they are royalty. The saints who pray and demons flee becaue there is an undeniable connection to God.
Sin is rampant and the church is scared to to talk about it. Some who are claiming to be followers of Christ are taking part in the same sins God speaks against in His word. And if we are not actively doing it, we plant ourselves right in front of the TV watching shows that glorify some of the very sins God detest. The very ones that will keep us out of heaven. Whose standards are we trying to live up to? Who sets the bar, when were we given permision to change God’s word and His standards… how arrogrant. I am certain it pains the heart of God. We are caught up in unfruitful conversations instead of assuming a posture of repentance and prayer and demonstrating the power of God.
We should not name the name of Christ if we are not willing to
Embrace His identity… imitating Him.
Embrace his holiness.
Embrace being in this world but not of it.
Embrace a surrender that leaves you with no other option but picking up your cross and following
him… never looking back.
Embrace being persecuted and not be afraid of loosing relationships because you refuse to deny Christ with your words and ACTIONS.
Embrace truth and call sin S.I.N. and ditch every attempt to be politically correct in an effort to be LIKED on facebook and beyond.
Embrace ministering to the sinner with grace and love, not afraid to speak the truth because you live in a constant awareness that hell is real.
I used to be a SINNER and by God’s grace I am now saved. I am now a saint of the most high God, and I am called to live up to His standards. He didnt save me for me to keep on with the same mess I used to be in, flirting with sin. I have to choose EVERYDAY to embrace my new identity in Christ and walk according to the spirit and not the flesh. This is not true for only me but for every saint…we were saved to be a light. So come on church, let us stand up and stand out by HIS grace and do so without apology.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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!