Bio and Booking Information

Monday, September 30, 2013

pass or fail?

I have never really like taking test except for the ones I knew the answers to.  I would come into the classroom with such readiness and confidence to show off my knowledge to the teacher.  I would finish in record time and walk with a smile on my face to the front of the class while those who had not studied or didn't know a thing would look at me with such envy.  However I have also been in their seats before. I didn't study or understand and I would stay up half the night preparing (more like cramming) and yet still I would walk in the classroom with my head hung in shame.  I would take the entire time needed for the test and then I would walk to the front of the classroom at the very last second because I couldn't have the teacher or professor grading it in front of me.  Examining my heart has been no different. God’s word highlights the good the bad and ugly of our hearts and it causes us to change.  The word test means; critical examination or evaluation and the word examine means; to test the condition to inspect closely. We don’t want anyone that close to our hearts.

Lamentations 2:41/42 Let us test and examine our ways and return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

To examine our ways may mean that the bitterness that is hiding behind that fake smile may be exposed or that secret sin or insecurities that we often hide behind “church work” may also be exposed.  We hide behind so many things including religion and addictions and we miss such an intimate relationship with the Creator in fear of what He may expose. We often view God as a punisher therefore we never really embrace His pure and unfailing love.  His word doesn't expose to embarrass or bring shame that is what the enemy does. God makes you new and exposes those areas to bring change in you as He molds you to look like Him. He wants your heart no matter the condition and that includes those dirty areas that you think are hidden. He wants you to see Him as your Father who never is disappointed in you.  Last week I received about 5 messages from ladies requesting prayer regarding their marriages because they are hanging on by a thread and it seems as if there is no hope but I refuse to believe that lie. God is the God of restoration, reconciliation and passion. In this verse it says “return to the Lord” and return means to go back in thought or practice or condition. For husbands go back to the Lord and love her like Christ loves the church. That means pursue her heart. Give her flowers, leave her a note, take her on a date and let her know she is the only one for you. For wives put your husband in front YES in front of the kids. He is yours to place yourself under for protection and direction. He can’t lead you if you won’t follow.  Encourage him, pray for him and stop nagging him.  Let him know that he is the only one for you.  When we return to the Lord we are returning to the ways of our Creator.  Showing grace, walking in forgiveness, serving with our whole hearts and walking in the truth of His word without fear.  It is seeing yourself the way God sees you and its walking away from addictions and not looking back.  Fully seeking His presence no matter the outcome of our prayers will push out those fears that led you into bondage to begin with. Let God examine you today not with a grade in mind with a pass or fail mentality.  Let Him remove all those regrets that led you to shame, or those thoughts that have or will turn to disobedience. God wants to redeem you and allow you to walk in the fullness of Him.  The last part of that verse is my favorite because it is the sign of surrender. It says in 42 “Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.”  Whether it is your marriage, addiction, finances, insecurities or some secret sin you are trying to overcome you will not be able to do it.  Its time to lift up your hands in complete surrender and position your heart for examination and know the change which leads to freedom will come.  Galatians 5:1 It is for FREEDOM that Christ set us FREE.  This is an open book test so to speak.. open God’s word and open your heart and let change begin!! Be encouraged and walk in freedom today!  

Monday, September 9, 2013

don't prepare for defeat....

Colossians 3:3
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ with God.

How many of you love to play hide and seek? I think there is a rush of energy you get when you are hiding and you don’t want to be found.  However, secretly I personally think we all hope someone finds us but it’s not until the very end when the finder is yelling "OK I give up" and then you start making noises or yelling hints.  My husband is the ultimate hider. He always finds the best spots and never gets found.  When my girls were younger their hiding spots were always so predictable because it was usually the same spot over and over so in order to keep the game going Richard and I would look everywhere but that same spot and then all of sudden they would start giggling or making a loud beeping noise so we would find them.  You see I believe that as believers we often do the very same thing. We play this game of hiding from the Creator. We think that addictions and relationships are great places to hide our pain, depression, fears and past mistakes because we feel so lonely and ashamed or need some type of instant relief.  But after a long time in the darkness you eventually need to be found. In Colossians 3:3 it says this; For you have died, and your life is HIDDEN with Christ in God.  When I gave my life to Christ my life should no longer be visible because my identity as I knew it is no more and I take on the identity of Christ which means His character.  My actions, my thoughts, my responses, my love, relationships, friendships etc should no longer look like me at all.  How can we prepare ourselves for a reflection of a God that is perfect in every way? A God that stands strong in the midst of battles and never fails to love people fully? This seems out of reach and almost impossible for us to walk in.  As women we spend so much time getting ready for our days. We make coffee, breakfast, pack lunches, pick out multiple outfits, put our make up on, and change our outfits depending on our moods and so on.  We are creatures of habit and routine.  I often wonder why I start my day with defeating thoughts & then before I know it I am walking in that defeat.  I wasn't prepared for battle.  In Ephesians chapter 6:10-18 God gives us a beautiful picture of how to stand firm without faltering to the ways of the enemy. We aren't called to be perfect but hide in the One who is.  His truth is what sustains us in the middle of an attack and His truth is what carries us to His perfect peace.  Think about those who go to battle. They don’t stand at the battle line unarmed or without some type of protective gear and weapons. They would be unprotected and vulnerable when the enemy attacked. Then why do we walk around unprotected when we have been told in the word that satan is on the prowl waiting to attack at any moment.  If we know our addictions, weaknesses and vulnerabilities are the very things that keep us away from the presence of God we have to stop clothing ourselves in those things and be ready to take those thoughts that lead us astray captive beat them until they are unrecognizable and apply truth in its place.  We don’t get up in the mornings and actually put on war gear so to speak and put swords on our belts or in our purses but we do fix our hair, apply make up, and get dressed and put shoes on. Let those every day things be our constant reminders of God’s protection.  I am going to really start preparing my day with these truths in mind.  God help us to fully prepare for our days by fully dressing ourselves in You. Let us be so hidden in you that we walk in your love wholeheartedly and no one notices who we are they just see YOU! Be encouraged today and let whatever your outfit of choice is be a reminder that you are wearing the WHOLE armor of God. 

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[f]

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Save the drama for your mama

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints- 1 Corinthians 14:33

One of the things that women desire most is peace. We want to know that things are going to workout, that our dreams are going to come true, addictions will be no more, our bodies look good, and that we are going to get the job of our dreams. The list could go on and on.  Peace actually means; quietness, internal calm and my favorite definition of peace is this;  freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.  We are emotional and we all know it. We respond in fear, panic and sometimes if we are being honest drama queens. We want the world to know how big our problems are. We need for people to understand that we aren't over dramatizing because to us its our reality.   After reading this verse I looked deeper into two words that caught my eye. Author and confusion.  The word author means creator of. Confusion means to bring ruin; to make embarrassed; and to disturb in mind or purpose.  God is not the creator of unfiltered emotions, negative thoughts and emotions that often bring about actions that inevitably lead us into ruin that result in shame and yes embarrassment? wow! Our thoughts always lead us into choices. We choose to walk in the direction of our beliefs regardless of whether or not they line up with truth. Because we desire peace this internal calm we chase outside temporary reliefs. In my own life I have been faced with circumstances & situations that have knocked me down and instead of looking to the author of peace I chose to move into an emotional downward spiral  and allowed food to be something that I truly believed would instantly bring me a moment of peace.  I would feel full for only a moment and then I would  be filled with guilt and embarrassment. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR of CONFUSION.  Satan intends for you to live a life of ruin through panic and drama. He knows if he can keep you constantly in a state of  CONFUSION  and emotional chaos you will never be able to fully live out your purpose. Remember confusion means to disturb in MIND or PURPOSE. He is out to derail you! God is however the author of your peace.  He intends for you to live your life with an internal calm trusting that He is in control and fully FOR YOU. He wants you to be free of oppression and He no longer wants your emotions to dictate your destination. Today look at your "go to" things.  Anything that replaces God is an idol and those things need to come down in the areas of your heart and your follow through. Know that the enemy takes every shot at you  to surface your weaknesses and then he goes beyond the line of attack to make sure you are suddenly immobile for Christ. Our emotions WILL keep us from seeing God and experiencing His plans for our lives.  Christ however takes your weaknesses and the things that keep you up at night and on your face before Him and transforms them and weaves them into His power so we can live victoriously for Him and in Him. Today is a new day know that your Creator wants to calm that raging war within you and bring calmness to your weary soul. Believe that!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fish out of water

More than anything I want girls and women to discover who they are in Christ. I want them to chase dreams that seem so out of reach.  I also want that for myself.  When you set out to find yourself you will always come up short because you compare, try and fix and step in the danger of envy and jealousy.  I heard a beautiful truth this weekend from Lisa Allen at the True Beauties revival. She said “comparison gives the other permission to determine your worth”.  What an incredibly true statement.  As women we often recognize all that we don’t have and all that others do and we begin chasing those things in full pursuit of becoming who they are.  God not only hand crafted you in the image of Him and called you His masterpiece, He also designed you with a specific purpose.  I can’t walk in the fullness of singing I sound like a dying chicken but I can encourage, motivate and lead people.  A few weeks ago my family along with some friends made a trip to the beach.  A friend of mine was fishing at night and when he caught a fish he brought it over for all of us to see. It was gasping for air, jerking back and forth so hard that he dropped it and after floundering about in the sand he grabbed it took it back and through it in the ocean.  I suddenly realized that is me trying to live my life my way. That is me falling into food addiction. That is me falling into the comparison trap.  That is me trying to find purpose. That is me chasing dreams alone.  But just as Paul threw that fish back into the ocean to live again, to heal from the wound of that hook God cast us into a massive sea of grace that covers, restores and heals us as we see our need for Him. What a beautiful picture of redemption.  John chapter 4 is the passage about the women at the well. It is about an encounter that forever changed this woman’s life.  The word moment means: a: a minute portion; b: a comparatively brief period of time and the word encounter means: to engage in conflict with; to come upon face-to-face to; come upon or experience especially unexpectedly.  After reading both definitions I realize that I no longer want just a moment with God I want to encounter Him so much that it shakes me up and moves me out to run and tell others about His goodness and power.  This women didn’t just have a brief moment with him she encountered Him and because of that a conflict surfaced (her past/present) and she experienced Jesus face to face and He unexpectedly but completely changed the course of her day and most importantly her life. WOW!  We get so afraid to be ourselves in the presence of God because change hurts, healing often stings and because we strive to have it together we would rather just come into God’s presence on our own terms.  Ladies that’s just a moment! When you stand before God just as you are that moves the hand of God to transform your thoughts, unlock truth and ignites dreams within you.  Just like that Samaritan woman you no longer see your past you just see God and you want everyone around you to know it and to taste the hope you have been given. I love verse 22-24 in the message version of John 4;

23-24 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply andhonestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

Are you living moment by moment in desperation of mountain top experiences with the Creator? You will never be satisfied. Encounters bring about change, conflict often surfaces but victory always will follow because you are no longer focused on reaching the mountain tops are getting out of the valley it’s a relentless pursuit of just being you in the presence of a Holy God and leaving the results, dreams, healing and redemption to Him. Get lost in Him and you will never be the same. It’s time you encounter Him!!