Saturday, June 8, 2019

You were made to Shine!

Hello dear friends,

You were designed with a purpose from God.   Did you know that before you were even born, God knew your name and had a special story to write about you?  What we need to remember each and every day is that our lives are unique and precious to God. Stop and think about where you and I would be at this very moment had God not allowed us to be born and we did not have a chance to live out this adventure called "life."  Wow, the very thought is tremendous and it affirms the powerful reality that we are here for a Reason! 

I want to simply challenge you today to ask God to help you realize your individual purpose.  It may take some endearing commitments or sacrifices, but when the revelation comes, you will begin to soar to newer and higher heights in the Kingdom of Heaven.  All of the heavenly hosts will rejoice with you as you begin to seek God's ways and eagerly pursue the plan of destiny He has prepared for you.  Do you ever stop and really think about the special qualities and abilities you have, that make you "you"?  It's fascinating and wonderful at the same time, that you and I have been designed and created for great and marvelous things.  All for the Glory of God, of course, and with that knowledge comes the willingness to serve others and to make God's Love known to all. 

With every turning point, there is refreshing change and growth.  It may sting a little or alot to leave the "past" behind.  It's so worth it!  Good or bad memories can keep us stuck in what used to be.  We have to raise the bar continuously, and say "Lord, I am pressing forward to the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus."  We can do what it takes to hear and obey God's leading in our lives.  Often it will mean learning to filter out the barrage of opinions and advice, as great as that is at times, because too much advice is just as bad as receiving none at all.  Let's decide today, to allow the Holy Spirit to sharpen our hearing and awaken the plan of heaven upon our lives.  The future begins with a step in the right direction today!  In the Bible, there is a verse that says...."in his heart a man plans his course, but it is the Lord who directs his steps."  Dear friend, you were made to Shine!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

"No Shortage of Mockers"

"Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that sinful nature will reap destruction, the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."  Galatians 6:7-8.

It is no surprise that we are living in days of confusion and deception.  When good things are called evil, and awful things are labeled "good" it is a clear indication of danger ahead!  How long must God endure such unthinkable levels of mockery against holiness, righteousness and the people of faith in our modern society.  Often, my heart aches for the lost souls who repeatedly wage battle against religious freedom and anything or anyone who preaches the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Bible says clearly, that we should know the truth and the truth shall make us free.  Yet, for so many, truth is just relative.  In fact, it is simply anything that can be intellectually taught by someone who looks knowledgeable and articulates with passion and purpose.  Truth has been taken captive, and altered if not watered down completely by the minds of young and old alike.  God's Word is Truth.  But let not any man or woman promote this hate speech or intolerance, as they say.  There are no shortage of mockers out there, no shortage of people who absolutely hate what God stands for and the truth that the Gospel of Jesus Christ represents.

Maybe there will come a time when there is a holy unity among God's people when it comes to advancing the message of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom principles.  Until then, we will undoubtedly face obstacles and absolute ridicule from people inside and outside of the church.  When Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and Peter, they were both struck dead.  (Acts 5:1-11)  When Lot's wife disobeyed and turned back to gaze upon the city, she was turned to a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:26)  When the crowds jeered and mocked Noah as he was constructing the ark of safety, they were closing their opportunity to live through the great flood and missed their chance of survival. All were drowned. (Gen. 6-9)... There are many more stories in the Bible of mockers ultimately facing their final destiny.  Do not be alarmed or frightened by the intimidation tactics and evil schemes of mockers. Some are unaware of the damage they do, while others are very purposeful and strategic in their wicked ways.  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be ever vigilant and wise in dealing with every person we minister to.  Some are truly sent to us by God for deliverance and healing, while others are sharpened tools in the clutches of the enemy to bring destruction and chaos into the camp.  If you have studied scripture and biblical history at all, you would agree that this is nothing new.

As we enter into a new year, I am anticipating the Glory of God to be intensifying and increasing among the people of God worldwide.  Just as when Solomon finished praying as he was dedicating the temple,  a sudden fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. (II Chron. 7:1) It's such an amazing story, that even the priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.  When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, "He is good; his love endures forever." (II Chron.7:2-3)

Are you ready for moments like this?  I want to encourage you to believe God at His word and to press through past the mockers and insults.  Lets find truth and joy on our journey with Him. The Lord is Good and His Love endures forever.  Happy New Year!  The best is yet to come.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"God wants you to finish well!"

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

God wants you, my friend, to finish well in life!  Are we learning to develop patience through the hard times?  Do we allow our faith to be strengthened throughout the trials and tests we encounter?  God promises us that if we faint not and continue to trust Him, He will reward us with a "crown of life."  I think of a runner in a race who competes for the prize and wins!  His diligence and training and perseverance of not giving up when its tough, or when he's trailing in the back, proves of great profit when the race continues and he ends up at the finish line.  The reward for the runner is a medal of honor, or public recognition or simply the fulfillment of his hard work paying off in the form of winning/finishing the race.  So it is with our walk with God.  "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;  perplexed, but not in despair."  2 Cor. 4:8.  God is surely a rewarder of those who diligently and sincerely seek Him!  You are destined to finish well, and you will finish strong!  Amen.


Friday, December 7, 2018

"Simply Devoted"

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."  Colossians 4:2-6

When you find yourself in situations that require wisdom, discernment and faith; our God is able.  When we don't even know what we need, He is there ready to comfort, care and correct.  He is an on-time God!  Wherever you are and whatever you need, simply trust Him to open doors and lead you through the next season of your life. 

God has blessed us with four beautiful, healthy children.  Throughout the years of raising them, there have been numerous situations that have developed a solid faith, loving devotion and trust in God.  If you have kids, you know all too well that there is almost a daily test of unexpected situations and reasons to worry, panic or fear. And on the other hand, so very many reasons to rejoice and declare God's faithfulness and victory when prayers are answered and miracles happen!  When our second son was born, he had to remain hospitalized for two weeks due to a condition in his body.  My husband and I declared the healing scriptures over his life and we resisted the temptation to get dragged down in a spirit of fear.  Every day for more than two weeks we would lay hands gently on his little head as he lay in the incubator to stay warm, and we prayed and blessed him and continued to speak healing over his body.  My mom even made a little scripture banner over his hospital crib that read, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" Phil. 4:13.  That verse ministered in itself to so many doctors and nurses that would routinely check on him.  It also became a life verse for our son as he has continually proven that scripture to be true over his life!  I love God's Word!  It brings hope, peace and promise in every single situation we can find ourselves in.   Our Loving Heavenly Father is devoted to our well-being and we are devoted to praying in faith believing that all things work together for good for God's people and in this case with our son, that yes everything was going to be fine! 

Our Father God is so caring and thoughtful towards us and wants us to succeed and be happy in life. He is also like a loving, devoted parent.  He gently leads, prepares and speaks life over us.  He comforts and cares for us in our desperate times of need.   Living a life that is devoted to prayer is of great benefit to us as well as our loved ones and family and friends.  As we commit our ways to God, and allow Him to lead us and direct us as we pray;  we can rest assured that the opportunities and experiences that we go through will directly strengthen our walk of faith!  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  We must keep our mind and thoughts centered around God's Word and the promises of safety, healing, provision, protection and everything else that is noble and true and of good report.  No doubt, life presents plenty of reasons to live in bitterness, fear and anger.  But we must learn to let it go and be simply devoted to God and prayer.  Life and life more abundantly is yours if you will just believe God and take Him at His word.  At one time, we all were lost, and then we were found.  Just as my little son was healed in the very first days of his life, so you and I were in need of healing and God has remained faithful... What a good God we serve. We love Him and Adore Him, because He is God. We are simply devoted, and enjoying the journey!   Be encouraged, God is devoted to you and will do whatever it takes to remind you that you are Loved, Healed, Delivered and Set Apart for Great Things!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

"A Different Perspective"

"I know that you can do all things;  no plan of Yours can be thwarted.  You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."  Job 42:2-3

When things in your life appear to be falling apart, and you can't seem to make any sense of the obstacles and challenges before you, it may be time for you do reach for a different perspective.  Job, obviously, had no choice but to cry out to God in his times of desperation.  But we don't have to wait until our lives become absolute chaos to reach out for heaven's perspective.  Every single one of us will encounter "surprise attacks", setbacks and tests during our walk with God.   In these shift seasons,  we can either choose to speak life and move forward in faith...or we can camp out and settle into our suffering.  I must admit, it can be very tempting to just stop in our moment of pain and just stay there.  But oh how this is not God's plan for you and I.  No!  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are obligated to TRUST Him no matter what life throws at us.  It is totally unrealistic to know exactly what to be prepared for when you are thrust suddenly into situations similar to Daniel's lions den experience or Joseph's pit predicament.  However, if you are seriously developing your walk of faith by consistent prayer, fellowship and meditation on the Holy Word of God;  when your season of testing comes, by God's abundant grace you will come through.

Life is a wonderful, sweet journey as we continue to draw closer and closer to the One who is the Lover of our Soul.  Our Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ, the One and only Lord, will never give us more than what we can endure.  Trust Him,  even when its the toughest because these are the moments that your flesh is being subdued by the active power of the Spirit of God living inside of you!  II Cor. 12:8-10, Jesus says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (NKJV)

A different perspective may be all that you need to propel you into the next exciting season God has prepared for you!  Don't allow your friends or your situation steal the promise of breakthrough that  God's Word has promised.  Sometimes we have to walk the separate road.  The road that is often lonely, but never without our Faithful God.  We have to learn to say "no" to the unbelief of our modern culture and say "Yes" to the Victory and Power that awaits every single child of God.  Are you willing to live a supernatural life?  Are you desperate for a different perspective?  My dear friend, this is your day!  The next step is looking up, and opening your heart to God's Heart...He has been waiting all along, what will you do?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"Taking back what belongs to you!"

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:31

Did you know that self pity is a sin?  Yes, it is a self-destructive attitude that paralyzes and prevents us from making any progress in life.  It may feel good temporarily, but it is actually debilitating.  Do you know anyone who is miserable, and they seem to not be satisfied until you are miserable too?  Don't open the door to self pity and misery mindedness, if you want to be filled with righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!  Light and dark cannot coexist.  So many people waste so much of their life feeling sorry for themselves.  They are not happy with their life, and they think its up to somebody else to make them happy.  Well, the bad news is, nobody can ever fill the emptiness or void you have and the only one who can do something about your unhappiness is you!  The good news is that you already have everything you need to do something about it right now.  God is available 24/7 and his phone is never busy!  You can call on Him, and He will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you know not.  I love what the Bible says about trusting in the Lord...It describes our walk with God as that of an eagle soaring high in the sky.  As we hope and trust and develop our faith in Jesus Christ, the Living God, we will be strengthened, made whole, and eventually rise to our full potential in life.   If you love adventure, this is it!  Life with a Heavenly minded purpose, has eternal and daily benefits... most of all it is the greatest adventure of all. 

Through the lens of "faith" established in the power of the Holy Spirit and the refreshing meditation of the Holy Word of God, our life is meant to be powerful, exciting, victorious and joyful.  We need to choose carefully what we allow our eyes to read, our ears to hear and our minds to accept.  This present day culture we are living in, wants to distract us completely away from Kingdom Living.  However, this is no surprise to Almighty God!  Thats why He has already provided a way for us to live free from despair, self pity and depressing attitudes.  Why don't more of us realize that we are just wasting our time when we gratify our flesh and its self driven nature.  Spend time building up your inner man or inner woman, and find out who you are in Christ.  Then, start taking it to the next level by speaking God's Word over every temptation, over every problem and learn how to get the victory in Christ through small baby steps.  We all have to learn to be content.  It is the base human nature to always want more and more, and never be satisfied.  But the Bible clearly states that contentment with God, is great gain. (I Tim. 6:6-10)  Finding satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ is the first step in gaining the victory over self pity.  You will learn how to see your life and yourself as God sees you.  You are Loved, you are healed, you are an overcomer, and you can be content no matter what your circumstance! 

"Adventure....going through the tough times in life and rising above it all."  Let the adventure of your life begin today.  After all,  you are the only one who can allow God to remove the roadblocks of self pity, and its time! Time to move out of pitiful and into powerful. (Gal. 2:20)  Why not take back what belongs to you, and start living the great adventure of God's amazing grace today!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

"Hills and Valleys"

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."  Psalm 23:4

Isn't it interesting that it is in the toughest times of life that our faith is strengthened and character is built.   There have been so many lessons learned through painful and difficult seasons of our lives, and we know that if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.  One particular moment comes to mind, a while back when my husband and I just began our journey together.  We were in the middle of central Africa working for God's Kingdom sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, loving people and living life so full of love and joy as happily married newlyweds.  After driving for many miles on the pot-holed and distressed roads of Africa, we happened upon a quaint and cozy place to stop and refresh with a short walk to a small lake.  Hand in hand we walked down the dusty lane to see this beautiful, quiet water in what seemed like an unusual place.  Arriving at the waters edge, we decided to just sit and bask in the solitude and beauty of our surroundings.  Somehow, oddly enough, we were abruptly just ready to go.  It wasn't typical of us to be in such a rush, and there was certainly no reason at all for us to leave this relaxing place so quickly.  As we stood up and started to walk back to our vehicle, we were met with the sounds of several youngsters feet running towards us as they were loudly conversing with one another, in somewhat of a panic to get a message to us fast!  When we were able to interpret what they had come so urgently to explain to us, we realized that we had left the lake area in just enough time to not find out what their stories were to reveal!  That particular quiet and solitary place we had chosen to find temporary rest at, happened to also be the location that several people had been recently eaten up by one or more crocodile! To say that our hair stood up and our eyes popped wide, would be an understatement. But by the look on their faces and the tones in their young voices, we knew what they were saying to be true.  Thank God we made it out of that area alive! 

Psalm 23 is a reminder that God is our shepherd and we are His sheep.  He has promised to keep us and protect us from all evil, and we know throughout the challenges and danger we have faced from time to time, that He is our Comforter.  Not only does He prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies, but He also makes "our cup" run over, because of His great mercies and love for us in giving us the Holy Spirit as a daily source of strength.  His Presence refreshes us, just as a beautiful waterfall flows down, so does heaven fall on us because of God's Great Love for you and I, His people.  We belong to Him, and nothing can ever separate us from His unending, unfailing Love.  Be Encouraged and remember that goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever.  Listen to the song by Tauren Wells; He is the God of the Hills and Valleys, and I am not alone!  Amen.