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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

His Name is Jesus

I have recently started a new study by Beth Moore- the title is Jesus. It is a 90 day study and it is taking me through His entire life.  I decided to look up the definition and Webster defines His name as this; the Jewish religious teacher whose life, death, and resurrection as reported by the Evangelists are the basis of the Christian message of salvation —called also Jesus Christ. It says the basis of the Christian message of salvation. His name is the reason I am covered in grace and redemption.  It's crazy how much we love celebrity names and even more celebrity blended names. Just yesterday the news was reporting about "Kimye" which is Kim and Kenye west.  Rebekah and I laughed out loud because number one why do we care so much and number two we knew that name would  stick and that it will be all over magazine covers today.  We also allow our identity to be defined by the names that have been said about us.  For me growing up I had a lot of bad names spoken over me and about me. Some I deserved and others I didn't but because the weight of words are so heavy I carried it. I looked in the mirror and I saw those names.  It wasn't until I really embraced the name of Jesus that my view of myself began to change.  Remember the story of the woman at the well? She encountered Jesus and she never was the same. In fact she ran into the village where people knew who she was and what she had done.  She needed for others to know.  I remember running into a girl I went to school with growing up at the fair last year. I was so eager to talk to her because I needed her to know that Jesus had changed my life.  She had bullied me a good bit and she was also quick to apologize and let me know Jesus had changed her.  We tend to look at people and automatically remember their sin and yet Jesus looks and sees us covered in His beautiful grace.  The lady who checks you out at the grocery store without a smile may have come from an abusive home before she entered to work and she has no smile left.  The man behind the wheel whose driving so slow and seems not to care may be avoiding going home because he has no food or money to give his family. We seem to take things at face value and make our presumptions and then respond accordingly. Our complaints, attitudes and responses look nothing like the name we choose to carry as the basis of our salvation.  What about you and me? On our worst days we crave grace from others.  I had a rough few months adjusting to a new job and Jesus reached in showed me areas of change and yet all the while He reminded me of who I am in Him not who I use to be.  My worth has nothing do to with how unorganized, how overweight or How all together I am.  My worth is defined by a name that changed  history, a name that took who I use to be and made me brand new.  A name that is so powerful that demons have to flee and yet brings freedom to those who embrace it. That name is Jesus and today He wants you to know that He loves you more than anything. How would you define the name of Jesus today? For me... Jesus means - My ENOUGH. 

Psalm 8:9 Oh Lord, oh Lord how majestic is your NAME in all the earth. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hold Your Banner High

This week I was reading in Psalms and I came across this verse in chapter 20 verse 5 "May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!" The main word that jumped out at me was "banner" which led me to Webster dictionary.  I began to visualize people holding huge poles with a thick piece of cloth tied between the poles with a symbol or a word that declared where their allegiance stood.  The banners signified how deeply committed to something or someone they were.  Another picture that came to mind was  the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The unity that walked behind each flag brought such excitement to whatever country you were represented by.  As I thought back over my life and the things I have declared I realized my loyalty would follow many things that kept me from experiencing victory. I would declare that my body was ugly and I followed that with all I had with fat jokes, to speaking such harsh things over myself and my loyalty to that banner is how I lived my life.  For a season I walked with defeat as my banner and my dreams, my friendships, my passion, the way I mothered my kids followed this banner. Never being being good enough in any area.  You see, the lies we attach our hearts to will be followed by the things that fill our lives.  Today God wants you to hold your banner high with words like masterpiece, worthy, beautiful, peace, trust, purpose and the list goes on. We choose to believe the truths of Gods word and fully walk in freedom or we simply choose to deny it and walk fully in bondage. The last part of that verse says "May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!" The word fulfill means "to make full."  Many of you are so empty and need to be filled.  He hears the cries of your hearts.  Today life up your banner in the name of God and embrace the truth of who God has created and purposed you to be!  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Today I am that woman who looks as if she stayed up all night with a newborn. The bags under my eyes would also make you think I was going on a permanent vacation. However I am doing neither. I am not a night owl like Richard is. He wants me to sit up and watch tv with him or like last night stand out in the front yard at 11 o'clock and take pictures of a ginormous raccoon in our tree.  Honestly I just want to go to bed and sleep so I can rise early and be the morning person I am.  Our lives are so busy with commitments and responsibilities that we don't get to have the weekly date nights right now. My lunch dates with him and TV watching on the couch means so much to me that I have to put myself to the side and soak up his sweet smile, laughter and shenanigans.  I would love to say it gets easier to stay up but yesterday I went to the doctor about my stomach and she took caffeine from my diet and even though everything she said was true I am struggling today. I want the biggest cup of coffee I can find. I want to go to sleep. I want peanut butter. I want veggies and I want some Greek yogurt and yet for the next four weeks I can't have any of those things because she is cleansing my stomach.  I really almost pulled into a store and got me the biggest monster I could find. Isn't that how we are with other things in our lives? We know that freedom comes from surrender and yet we hold on to the things that keep us in the dark and we walk in compete bondage. We allow sin to become our guide rather than a reference point for us to see the redemption of Gods beautiful grace. I was talking to one of the girls I work with and she said "I want to do good but I just can't seem to make good choices" how profound from a girl who is young and still trying to walk through healing. She gets it.  Today my prayer is that you see the big picture and walk in what is to come. Freedom is around the corner.  Healing is coming to my stomach I just have to push through the withdrawal of what I want versus what my body needs to heal. What is it that you need to do today? Do some of your friendships need to be let go of? Do you need to surrender & stop running? May you need to Listen with the intent to move? Or today maybe you just need to repent.  That is a churchy word and we often zoom over it because we equate it with someone beating their bible and shouting it loudly but honestly it is the very thing brings back the intimacy between you and the Creator. It's what restores and heals your brokenness. To me it's like Richard desiring me to stay up a little linger and the feeling I know he gets when I do. God desires our whole hearts In Matthew 3:8 it says this "Bear Fruit in keeping with repentance". I don't give up sleep to just sit, instead I stay up so my relationship with my man will bloom even more and is!!! Be encouraged today! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Little Nap Works Wonders!

One of my most favorite things in college was naps.  I took one almost everyday.  My step dad also loves his Sunday afternoon naps. The word nap means 1 : to sleep briefly especially during the day 
2 : to be off guard.  You see naps are meant for the day. They are meant for you to doze off.  Your body is caught off guard because it becomes still and then you are off in dream land. People fall asleep in church a lot because that usually is the one time during the week their bodies are still and they fall fast asleep.  Movies, laying out in the sun are also moments where we don't intentionally mean to fall asleep but often do.  I remember once I was picking up Rachel last year and I got in line 30 minutes before the bell rang. My goal was to read and pray and little did I know the vice principal would wake me up by banging on my window and horns would be blowing for me to move forward.  Isn't that how our lives often look. We set things in motion and the minute we are caught off guard all heck breaks loose. The past few weeks and weekends have been jam packed full with stuff to do.  From work, to church to wedding stuff to speaking has forced me to be so busy everyday.  Today is my day of rest and usually that means that I clean up a little but mostly read, write some and catch a few episodes of cupcake wars. However today I woke up and took Rachel to school came back ironed Richards clothes and decided to take a brief nap but instead I woke up at 11:30.  My first reaction was guilt because I have dishes in the sink, clothes to wash and floors to sweep and mop. But as I laid in my bed I found myself shifting my thoughts from guilt to thankfulness.  I believe that we often resort back to guilt because somewhere along the way the world has decided that if you take time out for yourself in any capacity you are some how lazy.  As I got up I felt so much better and energized to do the to-do list.  Remember the Mary and Martha story in the bible. One had the longing to have everything perfect and the other just wanted to sit and soak up the presence of the Creator. Our lives have become so full and if I leave my schedule unprotected and my thoughts unprotected you better believe I will find myself in a place of exhaustion and defeat. In 1 Chronicles 15 it says this "7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”  To take courage simply means : mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.  We aren't out there fighting lions and tigers and bears (oh my). But I know many of you are emotionally withstanding verbal abuse from your spouses and you need to hear me say take courage! For some it's battling your addiction and you need to hear someone say take courage. I am not sure where you stand today and how bad or good things are. But I do know that God is never caught off guard, never taking a nap or startled by the circumstances of our life. Richard said this past weekend that "our circumstances never dethrone God" and that has stuck with me.  Brittany and I have a friendship like no other and she not only knows me inside and out but she also pushes me to take care of my body. Today she cooked me lunch and loved on me and it meant the absolute world.  My body needed more than a day of rest it needed sleep, friendship, and a cup of coffee.  Our words can often be the game changer in someone stepping out and embracing courage.  As you finish out this day let the last part of that verse resonate in you "for your work shall be rewarded.”  Press on! Rest!  Lean in to the heart of your Creator! Love your friends and leave the results to Him. I believe today I am suffering not only from lack of rest but also a spiritual hangover. God has and continues to rock my world in ways I never imagined. Dream bigger than your captivity today.  Ephesians 3:20 - Freedom is a beautiful thing!