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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Who's Leading You?

We recently got a new puppy. Rachel my youngest daughter got him as a birthday present. She named him Tux. She has done an incredible job taking care of him. Her name means motherly and she has really taken on that roll with this pup.  He is in the stage of wanting to chew on everything and play non stop  She is at school all day so guess who gets the roll of saying "NO" ummm that would be me.  One of the biggest struggles I had growing up was saying no. I would morph into whoever others wanted me to be. From dressing like others, to going places outside of my mom's rules. I participated because saying no was to hard. We can't see the big picture and only strive to satisfy the desire we currently have. 

Galatians 5:22/23 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!  

I have found myself really trying to be conscious of my words and how I respond in all areas of my life including waiting on God to respond to my prayers and dreams.  I am learning every day that Satan's plan is to distract believers, to confuse and to ultimately lead them away from God’s heart.   I look at magazines in line at stores and they are all consumed with outward beauty.  They push girls to lose weight and also encourage girls to show more skin and to do it well.  I talk to teenage girls a lot and their pain is so deep that it causes them to cut, smoke weed and drown themselves in music and relationships that are toxic.  I see women of all ages desperate for attention from their husbands and they are crying out with all they have and they feel hopeless numb and praying for a miracle.  I know men who are working with all they have to just pay the bills and yet their wives still want more at the end of the day.  Men consume their eyes  with porn addiction and yet they have no idea how or what it looks like to pursue the daughters of the King.  Satan wants your attention and he will stop at nothing to get it.  Struggles often become normalcy and then before long you no longer try to kill the addiction but try and live with it as a crutch.   In Galatians I also noticed something that has never stuck out before.  In verse 16 it says this.. Galatians 5:16 So I say, let the Holy spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  Let the Holy Spirit lead our lives… How does this happen? I believe that the main instrument that God uses to connect His people to His heart is His word and yet we often miss His leading because of distractions.  God wants to lead us away from those sinful cravings and lead us into freedom, forgiveness and a life filled with hope.  Who has your heart has your time, money and relationships. If God is leading you then you can’t sit in front of a computer screen and look at His daughters with lustful thoughts. If God is leading you then you will pursue your wives like Christ pursues His church.  If God is leading you then you will not nag and push your husband away but embrace His love and leadership and allow him to lead NO MATTER what.  IF God is leading you sweet girl you will look in the mirror and see a reflection of a masterpiece starring back at you. God’s says you are His and He wants your heart protected within His.   We are His and He has purposed us to live a life that is often not easy and sometimes overwhelming but when pushed in the corner satan doesn’t get the glory it’s our fruit that blooms and people get to see a glimpse of hope in us.  Is God waiting on your return, your willingness to go deeper, your step of obedience, your heart to position?  He wants you to be filled with new life.  Which word will you start with Today? Will it be Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Get ready to bloom….

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Go ahead and jump into the lions den-

Today was a full day. I left first thing this morning and didn't stop except for a quick breakfast and lunch. By the time I got home I was literally sweating. I had to carry this heavy bin from work filled with products down three flights of stairs. I was so glad to finally get that thing into my car. I wrote a good bit yesterday about some things that are close to my heart and also have weighed me down in the past.  When you write through the lens of transparency it opens yourself up for Gods healing.  There are things we like to keep tucked away with the hopes of it never surfacing to the top of our hearts simply out of fear of going back to that place or what God might show you about yourself.  When addicts open up about their addictions they will often say I am one choice away from falling back Into it.  You see sin is something so many believers are afraid to talk about yet it's the very thing that separates us from feeling the presence of God.  At the end of the day isn't that what we long to feel in our lives.  There are days I am so mad or frustrated about something and I can turn on worship music and suddenly the very thing that ticked me off fades to the back of my mind.  It's His presence that pushes us through the fears, the shame and the disconnect you feel from being who you were created to be. It's not about us and until we really get that and really walk in that we will forever chase the things that leads us into a place of mediocrity and numbness. Daniel in the lions den is one of my favorite bible stories.  Daniel displayed whole hearted devotion to the Creator. I would love to say if I was forced into a Lion eating party, I would show such intense faith as Daniel did. God calls us out of mediocrity because there is nothing about following Him that should ever take us to a place of complacency or numbness.  Satan's entire plan is to constantly derail you by keeping your eyes on anything but the goodness and faithfulness of God.  If he can make you feel as if you have no one around you supporting or cheering you on then he can make you feel as if you are NOT in the midst of Gods will or even more you aren't making a difference and before long you begin slacking off or over doing  it to gain approval and then you suddenly experience "burn out". I feel like I am constantly in the wrestling ring with my thoughts. The enemy's plan is to push my thoughts into action. My mind has to be protected therefore I must be in the word so I can saturate my mind and heart in truth.  Our modern day lions come in all sorts of sizes for some its an addiction to approval, a drug of choice or the weight on the scales.  For some your lion maybe be your past mistakes that seem to roar loudly into your ears. We allow our mistakes to cover us in shame and keep us from walking in the confidence of Gods grace.  Satan wants you to remember who you use to be and so when you see certain things or even smell things a memory is triggered because it takes you back to a time you aren't proud of and often ashamed of your disobedience. We think because we remember that brings about God's disappointment. WRONG!!!  When you surrender fully Gods unfailing love sets in and you are covered in His forgiveness and grace. He makes ALL things new.   It is important for you to know that God tosses your sin into the sea of forgetfulness and remembers no more. Stop asking for forgiveness for things, addictions and disobedience that you have already been freed from.  Don't live as though you are still enslaved to it because that cripples your thoughts, actions and the way you love with all your mind soul and strength.  When satan throws the dart of who you once were remember that you were created with a purpose and you are loved beyond what you can even fathom!!! You are a NEW creation.

Hebrews 10:17 then he adds,“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Daniel 6:16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared[a] to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 

Matthew 22:37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." 

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A lot can change in a week-

 As we approach Easter Sunday I thought about the journey Jesus made to the cross. I realized that a lot can happen happen within a week. Jesus rode triumphantly in on a donkey with people of all ages singing Hosanna and waving palm branches in honor of Him and then just one week later those very same people were yelling crucify Him.  Easter stirs all different types of emotions in people. For some it’s a call to return to your first love and truly surrender and move forward in following God with ALL you have. For others it’s a call to give your life to Him for the very first time and others it’s a trip to church in a new outfit and the routine of just going.   Looking back over my own life I have played the part of frantically looking for the perfect Easter dress and showing up with a huge smile on my face as my girls walked in looking like they stepped out of a magazine and then after Sunday passed I missed the moment to worship my Creator. I have also been moved to tears from songs that were played and video clips that pierced my heart to experiencing Jesus in a new way through incredible sermons.  This year I am praying for an awakening to happen all over my city. For churches to move past their Easter outfits, families to get beyond family dinners and egg hunts and for children of all ages to see something greater than Easter baskets.  God sent His son flawless, and perfect in every way to experience a beating that left Him so unrecognizable for you and me to walk in freedom.   How can we truly ever get over that?  Today as we move closer to Easter Sunday think about the triumphant entry Jesus made at the beginning of the week and parallel that with the moment you encountered Him for the first time in your life and what does that look like now? Do you still feel the same way?  As I read through the account in Luke I was moved by this verse in chapter 19  41 As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it…WOW!   I am praying for a daily renewal this week for pastors! Your churches WILL be packed and you have the opportunity to share Jesus in a way that will leave their hearts desiring more.  God MOVE the hearts of your people to an awakening like never before! Let us see our cities the way Jesus did that day! Let us experience you like NEVER before! The Easter countdown has begun… let’s ready ourselves for a DAY we will never forget!  Join me at Revolution church at 10:30 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I know!!!!

These past few months have been very hard for me. Adjusting to my dream job while really pushing through some things within me.  I have learned what it means to truly rest and I have been forced to depend fully on God to meet my every need. I was reading in 2 Samuel chapter 5 and this verse gave me such hope. 

"And David KNEW that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel". (2 Samuel 5:12 ESV)

As soon as I saw that I underlined the words "David knew that the Lord". David had experienced death of a close friend, adversity, battles that resulted in massive bloodshed and still after all that waiting he KNEW that the fulfillment of his purpose was finally happening. He didn't look past that moment or back on what had happened he literally just rested in that moment of what he knew about God. I sometimes can't seem to see past my days and the writing of this book is grueling and I often want to say forget it, ministry is def my passion but takes up a lot of time, raising girls to understand and know their worth is mind boggling and keeps me on my face a lot. I could sit here and honestly list out every fear, dream, and frustration and get no where. But when I choose to list out what I know to be true about my Creator all my junk suddenly seems to be just that JUNK. Psalm 144:2 says this "He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. " When we speak out in the midst of pain freedom sets in and you can literally feel yourself moving past the circumstance and out of bondage. In the past I have been bound to time and restraints and "what ifs" and that only has left me questioning. These past few weeks have pushed me deeper into Gods word and the chains are rattling & falling off my heart as I walk in the hope of what I know. My God provides! He loves me with a relentless unfailing unconditional kinda love, He redeems and He has gifted me and purposed me and chosen me! I have regained some energy from my only sufficient source of strength and I am pressing in, resting and readying myself for what's coming next. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I wish I could kinda juggle

Everyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love birthday parties. Because my love language is gifts of course I want to create the perfect scenario for gifts to flow. Some of my favorite parties for my kids growing up were the ones we all dressed up as something that matched the theme. Rebekah loved wizard of oz when she was 3 and so we had the yellow brick road the dress and the shoes. For Rachel we had a princess party and all the little girls came dressed as if they lived in a castle and talked and waved as if they were royalty. No matter when or who we dress like we tend to take on their mannerisms, and their speech.  If you are are dressed like a pirate you immediately go into arrrrrgh mode. It just happens. The reality of wearing mask is that we lose sight of who we are. Some of you wear the mask of approval addiction and you spend majority of your time, thoughts and actions running yourself ragged trying to get people to like you and approve of what your doing. For some of you it's the mask of shame and guilt and you walk in constant defeat.  For others it's the mask of regret. The what if, should have could have plagues your mind and affects you moving forward in the things you know God has called you to today.  For others it's the mask of perfection. You are exhausted trying to maintain this persona that you somehow have it all together and at the end of the day your mind races with all that you did wrong.  For some men it could be the mask of porn. Your marriage and families are failing apart because you refuse to see that the mask you wear is sin and addiction. For those of you who have daughters remember that those images are also someone's daughter.  The mask of pride will deafen the very voice of God because it feeds the ME desire. Everything about your fear of rejection, approval not measuring up all go back to self and that is pride. I remember a circus theme party we had for Rebekah when she was 8. We hired a clown and she did animal balloons, face painting and juggling. The juggling always fascinates me because we only have 2 hands yet somehow they are able to have 5-6 objects floating at one time.  The problem with us trying to juggle so many mask at one time is that we never get a true picture of who God is and what His power can do in us and through us. Our eyes are locked on the circumstances that drown us, the fear that resonates within us. But Just like at the end of a party you eventually take the mask off and begin to clean up from the very environment you created. I believe today is the day you take that mask off. It's time to drop the juggling act let the mask fall from your grip and embrace these truths. You are forgiven. You are chosen. You are beautiful and created with a purpose and God only wants YOU to carry it out. You could never sin beyond the grace of God. In one moment of repentance and surrender you are free and you are made new. The cleaning up part is a process of Jesus making you look more like Him not you trying to make yourself look holy.   Stop trying to measure up to the measuring stick established by the enemy. You are a masterpiece and God has BIG things for you to accomplish so take the mask off and JUST BE YOU! 

Psalm 45:11 the King is enthralled by your beauty honor Him for He is your Lord.

Galatians 5:1 it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set you Free. Stand firm then and do NOT let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery- 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

get up and walk!

A few nights ago I had a nightmare about human trafficking. I was in time square and I could hear the horns of the taxis blowing. I remember all the lights all over the buildings and I remember seeing this image coming at me and suddenly I was so afraid because I was trying to protect this girl from being noticed. When I woke up I turned on the bathroom light to make me feel a little safer.  I don’t understand why those details are sticking out in my mind nor do I want that dream to ever come true. I  I am pretty sure I dreamed about it because I was talking about New York to a friend and we discussed human trafficking. I am not a detailed oriented person when it comes to daily task but I am working on it and trying to be more intentional. Just this week the smallest things have jumped out at me.  For instance I usually hurry out the door and into my car trying to get from point A to point B.  I decided to take my time and because of that I noticed 3 huge bumble bees zooming around my back yard. It was as if they were playing a game and their colors were so vibrant.  I also love to hear details of people’s lives. Details are important because it’s the who, what, when, where and why of stories.  Details allow people to emotionally connect with what you are trying to convey.  When I can visually take someone to that place they tend to listen a little harder.  I love to visualize the stories of the bible.  This week I read in Mark chapter 2 the story of the paralytic and it came alive to me.  From the Pharisees watching with the hope of Jesus doing something outside the law.  To the kids playing in the streets stopping and looking on as a group of men carried this man on top of a roof.  Or imagine the sweet little lady cleaning outside her house and suddenly a crowd is forming and she leans in and sees this man who she had watched for many years not being able to walk suddenly walk out of this house.  To the man who couldn’t walk and in a moment of stepping out quite literally and getting up and walking with a new sense of appreciation. Jesus could have healed him simply by saying “be healed” and yet He called him to do something on his end. In verse 5 it says that Jesus saw their faith.  He sees when we get knocked down and desperately need for him to move and yet sometimes He needs to see our faith being exercised.  It’s our faith that moves His hand to action. It’s our faith that deepens our intimacy with Him. It’s our faith that allows others watching to see the God that we serve. It is our faith that pushes us to step out and pursue the dreams within us.  It was his faith that healed him.   Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?  Of course it would have been easier but imagine the faces of those in that room. I bet their hands covered their mouths out of shock, I can hear the gasp in the room and see the tears flowing and others suddenly believing for the very first time.  Tonight God is calling you to get up and walk. Maybe your marriage needs healing. Maybe it’s pride, or bitterness.  I don’t know what your mat is tonight but I know that Jesus is calling you to GET UP.  Let others see the God you serve by allowing them to see you exercise a faith that can move mountains! Be encouraged!