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My heart’s anthem

Hello blog readers,
I want to share one of my journal entries with you. A few nights ago, I sat in my room, wanting to spend time with God. The most comforting thoughts came to me from the Holy Spirit. I wrote them down, and re-read them today. They are so comforting to me still, and I pray these words fill you with hope.

“I am with God. You are bathed and clothed in righteousness. You are loved beyond your understanding. You are loved beyond your own comprehension. You are blessed and favored. I am with God, and you are given favor by Him that made the earth. You have taken back the enemy’s turf. The way to God is through him that died for your sins. He is able to do things you cannot. Be free in God’s Son. Be free in Jesus. I am God’s spirit. I have plans to give you hope and a future.

Sincere appreciation for God’s spirit will result in many things. Good things. Many good things belong to those who love God and obey the word of God… who look to Him for provision, and worry not about things on their own mind. Give matters to God. He will give back peace of mind and offer abilities that no man can offer. Give Him your heart, and He will give back more than you can imagine. It’s the best decision one can make — to give himself/herself to God for the purpose of eternal salvation. Hope is given. Repair is expected. Blessed are all who wait on the Lord.

Let this be your heart’s anthem: God LOVES me!”

 

 

Be well nourished

Hello blog readers!
It’s Friday morning, and I just got home from a jog. It didn’t go the way I intended. Over the course of some weeks, I’ve been incorporating running into my workouts. The first time I ran, my body let me know quickly that my legs were weak, my breathing technique was weak, my endurance was weak. I’ve noticed that as my body becomes physically stronger, God reveals to me parts of my spiritual life that are spiritually weak. By God physically showing me that time, patience, and endurance is required to become physically strong – I’m more encouraged about the process of growth in my spiritual life.

Yesterday morning, I ran a 3.6 mile course that I set a goal to finish. I was PUMPED when I completed the run! I couldn’t believe it. It didn’t take nearly as long to build up the endurance and strength to finish as I thought. So, I got up this morning, and set out to do it again. But today,  I got halfway down my street, and noticed a difference in the way I felt. Mentally, I was dreading the thought of only being at the starting point of the trail. I had 3.5 miles to go. Physically, I wanted to stop and go home… but I kept going, telling myself, “You did this yesterday, you can do it today”.

I struggled to run half the course before I had to stop. Not just stop and walk — but stop and call someone to come get me! I was burned out and slightly embarrassed. My mother brought me home and immediately went into the kitchen and made me a smoothie – packed with all sorts of good nutrition. She brought it to me and said, “Drink this, it should make you feel better.” As I sipped it, I realized that I hadn’t properly nourished my body for that type of exercise. Last night, I ate a light meal  that consisted mainly of vegetables and no meat. Good, yes — but not what I needed to run 3.6 miles for the second day in a row.

After my body physically felt better, I thought about how many times I’ve nourished my spirit lately. What’s that diet looking like? I suppose I’ve had a few spiritual veggies (prayer and worship music).. but I have not dived into the meat of God’s word and searched His heart for wisdom lately.  That’s what I need to be well nourished spiritually.  I’m thankful for His reminders.  I burned out today on the running trail… But in that, He revealed His wisdom. He is God, and Perfect in all His ways.

The gift I didn’t give

Hello blog readers,
Today I dropped the ball — and God found another way to handle His business. Right now, I’m sitting back — thankful for Him allowing me to witness His sovereignty — and also disappointed that I wasn’t obedient to what I was being led to do.

I had a birthday about 2 weeks ago, and I was given a gift certificate to a restaurant. For the past couple weeks, I’ve been thinking about this new savings plan I’m contributing to. I set a goal to save more – and I’m pretty excited to meet the goal. When my son and I got inside the restaurant, I saw two of my former high school classmates sitting together. I gave them both hugs and greeted them before being seated at my table. Before the waitress came to take our order, a thought came to mind, “I should call their waiter over and tell her to bring me their bill.”  It was a quick, subtle thought. It wasn’t pressing. It didn’t weigh heavily on my heart. It would have been really kind.

Instead of me calling the waiter over, I thought about my savings plan. How was I going to meet that goal if I don’t save, save, save? I was using a gift card, so technically I wasn’t spending anything to eat out. I tried to dismiss the thought of paying for their meal. Besides, I didn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. How spiritually immature of me to talk myself out of doing a kind and loving thing for someone.

After paying my bill, there were about 10 dollars remaining on the gift card. Again, I got another thought, “Give them the remaining balance on the gift card.”  And again, I talked myself out of it thinking, “I don’t have cash for a tip. So if, I give the waiter a tip from the balance, that will only leave about 4 dollars on the card — and I’ll feel silly giving them $4 towards their food..” So I told the waitress she could have whatever was left on the card. I waved goodbye to both of them as my son and I left. Neither one knew that twice in that restaurant, God tried to get me to give them something. I wanted to believe they were my own thoughts. I could set MY thoughts aside, because they weren’t in line with my “savings plan”.

When I got home, I saw on social media that one of the women posted on Facebook about her dinner experience. She posted pictures with a caption saying that while she was at dinner, she bumped into a former faculty member from high school. After a conversation, the faculty member reached into her purse and gave my classmate money to pay for their meal. She ended the post by telling her cousin — the woman she was dining with — to keep fighting. According to her cousin’s Facebook page, she is being treated for breast cancer.  How spiritually immature of me to talk myself out of doing a kind and loving thing for someone.

God’s blessing for those women was not stopped because I didn’t obey. He used someone else. I’m not ok about it. I’m very ok with Gd blessing my classmates. I’m not ok about not listening to that whisper. I was supposed to do something, and I didn’t. I put myself before His desire for me to give. I don’t know what God is up to.. but I want to be in the center of His will. I ask Him for forgiveness. Those women have a gift card for dinner coming their way.

If you have the smallest, faintest impulse to do something kind, loving, good – do it.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil 2:13

With love

 

Wisdom says this

Hello blog readers,
I want to share something with you that has really blessed me. God has been ministering to me about wisdom lately. I was recently working to memorize the first chapter of Ephesians — which is a beautiful reminder of God’s gifts of forgiveness, redemption & His precious Holy Spirit to us — when my heart became drawn to scripture about wisdom. Everyday, I listen to Proverbs 8 and 9 on audio bible. I can’t get enough of hearing about the attributes of wisdom, as found  in those chapters. The more I hear, the more I desire His wisdom.  One evening, I sat quietly, waiting for God to reveal to me what I can do now to have His wisdom. He began to minister to my heart.. and I began to write:

“Wisdom says this: Whoever eats this meat I have prepared will live. I make my place in the heart of God’s servant. To worship Him is the beginning of wisdom. To fear Him is where worship begins. Adoring, admiring, looking to for sound judgment, appreciating Him, loving Him with all your heart is where it begins. I, wisdom, am new to nothing. I’ve been around since before the earth was formed. I love the children of man. If you love me, I give back more than you can imagine. I waste nothing. Time nor money can compare to what I bring forth. I waste nothing. Time nor money can bring you  peace of mind, but I can resolve anything. I have an answer for every situation. I am worth the wait. I am worth the wait. I am worth the wait. I will bless you immensely. I will give you more than you ask for. Your face will shine in the presence of God’s love. My child, you will hear me say, well done. You are loved. Amen.”

Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

You are loved, child of God. You are well prepared for more than you realize. You are well prepared for growth. Get wisdom.

*Read Proverb 8 & 9, Isaiah 11:2

 

You are destined for more

Hello blog readers,
This morning I woke up hearing the Holy Spirit say “You are destined for more”. The words caused me to become curious about what the “more” is. I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote, “Does it mean I’ll have more? or experience more? or know more? or see/hear more? Yes? Either way, it’s good. It’s all good.”

Soon after I woke up, I remembered a dream. I know the dream was from God, because I felt total peace, even though I was observing a very serious situation. It was a news article I came across online that triggered me to remember that I had the dream. Once I remembered it, I got a little nervous – thinking that my son might be in some kind of potential danger.

In the dream, I watched my son sleeping. My son is currently 9-years-old, but in the dream, he was a baby, probably around 1 year old. He was sleeping inside a car as I watched… a hot car. I saw his face turning red as he slept. He wasn’t fussy. He just slept. He even looked comfortable. I recall the thought “it is illegal for him to be there, asleep in a hot car” going through my mind in the dream – But I was calmly observing, and knew that I would remove him before he was harmed. Then I observed myself, pick him up, and take him out of the car. I watched myself coddle him, and rock him in my arms, and love him. He remained quiet as I held him. He was safe when I woke up.

I prayed, asking God to reveal what the dream meant. As I continued to search for the meaning, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “The child was you.” He revealed to me that before I turned away from my sinful ways, and gave my life to Him, I was resting in a lifestyle that would eventually lead to death. I was sleeping through life, unaware of the potential danger that I had placed myself in. He revealed that my body, was not designed to rest in that harmful atmosphere. He revealed that unless I was removed from that confined place, my life was at risk. The hot car represented my lifestyle of sin.  And just as the thought came to mind in the dream: “it is illegal for him to be there, asleep in a hot car” — we must understand that it is against God’s spiritual law for us to remain resting in sin. It’s like sleeping in a hot car. As long as I remain in that hot car, I’m in danger.

No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 1 John 3:6-7

He revealed that when I picked my child up in the dream, he didn’t resist me. He willingly rested in my arms and allowed me to love him. He didn’t kick and scream and cry because I interrupted his sleep.  If you’ve ever interrupted a sleeping child, you might know how it can cause a bit of an attitude.

As God’s children, we must allow Him to interrupt us, and pick us up from harmful situations. Rest in His arms.  You were never designed to rest in sin. Resting in sin causes our spiritual health to suffer. You are destined for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More wisdom, please.

Hello blog readers,
It’s been a little over two weeks since I’ve written, and God happens to have spoken to me about the same thing: wisdom. It actually makes my heart for Him grow, because in the days following my last blog, I haven’t been acting wisely. I found myself allowing irritations with others to grow. In some instances it’s led to gossip. It’s also led to me keeping score of how many times people have offended me — which led to grudges and unforgiveness. I know, a mess. But God is so loving, and faithful – that He’s taken my area of weakness, and demonstrated His strength.

I had a really good conversation with a group of Christian leaders this evening. We shared a meal, and studied some material on leadership. During our discussion, I made a date with God. I silently prayed, telling Him I wanted to spend time alone with Him tonight, to elaborate on some of the things we touched on during our discussion. I came home and prayed, and ended up talking about things I didn’t expect to talk about with God. As I sat quietly, listening for His response, His Holy Spirit began speaking about wisdom. I wrote in my journal, as I sat in His peaceful presence. This is what was given:

“Wisdom is God’s gift to anyone who diligently and earnestly follows His Son. His gift of wisdom refreshes the spirit of the one receiving it. May God bless you with wisdom today. The gift of wisdom is better than wealth. It keeps better than foolish wisdom. There is a difference. This wisdom is better than man’s wisdom. It is better than interesting debate. It is kept in tact by the Holy Spirit, and distributed according to His Will. Favor is not wisdom. Wisdom is highly favored.

It is wisdom that brings out the best in you. Wisdom keeps you in line when you want to destroy friendships over emotional outbursts. Wisdom is in the waiting. Searching the Father’s heart through meditation of His Word is the way to wisdom. Searching God’s heart through worship is where we find wisdom. Wisdom is given in time, and over time. In time, meaning, it comes when needed. And over time, meaning, we receive what we need through seeking the heart of God, spending time daily in His presence, and searching the Word of God. His Holy Spirit reminds us of His faithfulness and commitment toward us.

The way we seek God reflects our heart for wisdom. If we ask for wisdom and never seek God, we ask in vain… for it is only God’s spirit who can impart Himself unto others. No one can speak for God. His hand is over every part of your life. If you believe this, you will be given life in union with authority, affection for God, and knowledge of fortunate intimacy with God. Amen.”

I’m so thankful that God is patient, and merciful, and forgiving. The importance of staying connected to Him is critical for every believer. I know when I need to spend more time in His presence. My attitude tells on me. My lack of empathy tells on me. My emotional outbursts tell on me. My lack of wisdom tells on me.

Lord, you are awesome and amazing. Thank you for nurturing me in a way that only you can. When I fail, you pick me up and show me how to do things your way. Your love is unfailing. Thank you for a wonderful date. The meal was amazing. Amen.

**Read Proverbs Chapters 8 and 9.**

Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs 9:10-12 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

Get Wisdom

Hello blog readers,
So much has happened within the last few months, and I want to devote more time to sharing those things with you. I am excited to be going on my first mission trip this summer to Ghana, Africa! I will be sure to update you on that, and blog about the experience. For now, I want to share what God is sharing with me about wisdom. He wants us to ask for it! A lot of it! Last night during my prayer time, the Holy Spirit began to lead me in prayer. I began to write as He spoke. This is what He said:

“Ask for wisdom and it will be given. Ask for wisdom. It will be given. Ask for nothing else in the days ahead, except for wisdom, and it will be given in measure unimaginable. Ask for more wisdom. Do not accept no for an answer. Wisdom is the best thing you can ask for. Wisdom is freedom from sin. Wisdom is wealth in spirit. Wisdom is giving to others freely because it comes back a thousand fold. Wisdom is fragrant in the realm of eternity. Wisdom is found in Jesus. Hidden in Jesus. The wisdom of the world is foolish to Him. He is Almighty El Shaddai. Everlasting power belongs to Him. The saints come to Him for more wisdom.”

Lord, I thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for loving me so much, that you would share your wisdom with me. I need your wisdom for everything I do… from responding to an uncomfortable request from a co-worker, to effectively disciplining my son, to admitting when I forgot to respond to a text, to not laughing at workplace gossip, to knowing where to invest my time and money, and the list goes on and on. Thank you. I know you are here for me.

This prayer is what the Holy Spirit asked me to repeat:
“I will receive wisdom, upon wisdom, upon wisdom in the days ahead. I will receive no more than I can bear to handle, in Jesus’ name. Amen”

Proverbs 4:6-7 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

The prayer that changed me

Hello blog readers,
Each morning after I drop my son off at school, I sit inside my car, in the garage.. and spend a few moments with God. It’s amazing what He can do in a few moments. I look forward to this time of quiet rest before I go inside to get ready for work. This morning He reminded me of a prayer I prayed that changed the course of my life. At the time, I was only asking for a temporary accommodation. But He gave me something much bigger and better. He gave me the boldness and desire to worship Him.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

A little over a year ago, I visited a church in Douglasville, Georgia called RainFire Church. I will always have a special place in my heart for RainFire, and for pastor Joanne Condrey. It’s the first church I ever joined — even though I live nearly 5 hours away. I first learned about RainFire through the internet. I did a google search for the Pastor’s name, because I kept hearing songs on Pandora that she sang, and I really liked them. I had no idea she was a pastor. I started watching — and thoroughly enjoying the sermons that she posted on youtube. One of the things I noticed was the worship atmosphere. There was no holding back, and even through the computer screen, I could feel something wonderful as I worshiped from home. I wanted to experience being in that church during worship, so I planned a trip to Georgia for a special 2-day service with Joanne’s father, Pastor Nahum Rosario. I was so excited to attend this service. When I got to the church, I prayed in the parking lot — because I never felt comfortable worshiping in front of anyone. I was self-conscious about looking awkward, or being judged by others. So I asked God, to help me to worship Him unashamed during the church service. I had driven 5 hours to participate, and I didn’t want to miss out on experiencing true worship, unashamed with a house full of people who did the same. I asked for boldness to worship Him, no matter what anyone thought of me. I asked Him to help me break through my fear so that I could honor Him with worship from my heart. And then.. I went inside.

The service was wonderful. During worship, I felt awkward but I said to myself, “You’re going to do this. Lift your arms, and God will meet you there.” So I lifted my arms, and sang praises. It wasn’t easy for me to not be concerned with what I must have looked like — but the longer my arms were raised, the easier it became. By the time I left that night, I couldn’t imagine ever *not* worshiping God again. I fell in love with worshiping Him. He gave me a new spirit — one that adores Him, and loves to sing His praises. I came home a new person. Now on Sunday mornings, I’m wondering if I’m distracting other people when I worship. I know, I shouldn’t even think about that — but sometimes I do. Because I can’t sit through worship without singing loud, praising.. sometimes crying, loving, adoring, thanking, and giving all my heart to my Father. I was invited to join the church choir, a platform used to lead others in their worship. That amazes me. God took a woman scared to worship – and transformed me before placing me in a position to lead others in worship. And as I grow, I can feel how my heart and life is changing. Worship makes my faith stronger. There a connection made during worship. We pour out to God, and He pours into us. He blesses my soul. He strengthens my spirit when I worship. He reminds me of His love for me, and His faithfulness when I worship — which makes me love and adore Him more.

Satan knows the power of worship more than many can ever imagine — because he was in charge of worship in heaven before the fall of man. The enemy knows that if he can hinder your worship, you won’t experience the level of intimacy with God that is possible while you’re still here on Earth. I don’t know about you, but I could always use more God in my life. I need His love, wisdom, faith, healing, guidance every minute of every day. I’m so thankful to know Him. Worshiping Him has brought me closer to Him than I’ve ever felt in my life. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you Father, for blessing me with a new heart and a new spirit that adores you, and loves to worship your Holy Name.

Less than best

Dear Father,
I’m sorry.
Sorry for not being obedient, and giving excuses for staying away.

You deserve my best, and I’ve given you less. You finish what you start, and I’ve taken a break.  I have no words, except I’m sorry. And I care. It hurts to know I’m not obeying. You matter to me. Why can’t I get it together?

Your child.

a beautiful truth

Hello blog readers,

I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful high school program recently, hosted by the schools performing arts department. Singing, acting, dancing, script reading… I was so proud of all the students who worked so hard. Their efforts paid off in an outstanding production. I was nearly brought to tears by some of the performances… which might support this quote by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy: “Art is the activity by which a person, having experienced an emotion, intentionally transmits it to others.”

If the work of hard-working high school students had such an effect on me, I can only imagine the emotion I might experience if I witnessed a masterpiece by a skilled artist. Have you ever seen, in person, a true masterpiece?  How do you know if you’ve seen one?

Webster‘s defines masterpiece as a “supreme intellectual or artistic achievement.” It’s also defined as “a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship”  … “an artist’s or craftsman’s best piece of work.”

People who have witnessed an authentic masterpiece say the experience never leaves you. Philanthropist Paul Mellon once said, “There is no intellectual or emotional substitute for the authentic, the original, the unique masterpiece.”  

Let me encourage you with a beautiful truth. You absolutely have seen a masterpiece in your lifetime. According to God’s word, it’s you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Not only did He make you His masterpiece — He gave you purpose. Your life is important, and you have a specific work to do. That should make anyone smile. God can’t lie…. it’s impossible. He called you His masterpiece, so it has to be true. What a gift!  It’s who you are… and He prepared a good work for you long ago.

Trying to figure out what your work is might feel overwhelming, but God gives us direction on how to do it: Delight yourself in Him.

Psalm 37:23
(NIV) The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
(NLT) The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
(NAS) The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;

Delight yourself in the Lord. Be happy to spend time with Him, seek Him, get to know Him. If you need help doing that, pray for Him to be the desire of your heart. Pray asking Him to help you love Him more. As you live your life loving Him, and treasuring your relationship with Him, He will work all things for your good. He does that for all who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. My prayer for you is that you know the plans He has for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

 

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