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He opens His heart up time and again

One of my favorite things about Jesus is that He keeps His heart open to people. Even when He was on this earth He fully loved people and told them the truth and there was no contradiction in that. He knew that He was going to be despised and rejected and yet over and over again He would chose to love and serve.

In this day and age we find it hard to keep our hearts open to people especially if there is an indication of difficulty or pain involved. If we think there could be rejection or separation on the horizon we would rather get out before we get hurt. How opposite to Jesus.

Jesus died for people who hated Him (like us). He washed the feet of men who were going to deny even knowing Him.

I have a feeling it’s because firstly, He is love, and secondly He was so confident in the love of the Father and the Father was the one He lived to please, so even if people rejected His love He knew His Father delighted in Him.

I really want to be like Jesus!

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Paying the Price

I find myself in an interesting place. God asked me to do something. I wasn’t His first choice. I know that and others know that. His first choice said “NO!” for very good reasons they answered that way. I know I was second maybe third choice here. I may have originally been no choice at all. Originally I was perhaps just someone that wanted to participate in a ministry. Only God knows that but no matter what and even still, He asked me. I know His voice. So I said “yes!” One of my friends told me up front to stay out of it because they also sensed God’s first choice. Doublebind for a moment but if you have a choice between God’s voice and a friend’s opinion, even though they are wise counsel…what are you supposed to do? How can you say “no” to God?

I have lost friends over this. Since the day I said yes to God and I am baffled. Should I be? Is this normal I wonder. Why does anyone really care what I am doing for God? When I clean toilets they could care less. Is it their own conviction? Maybe so, maybe they were actually second choice….hmmmm. If a job needs to be done and you know someone else is called does that mean you let it go undone? I don’t think so. God uses the willing. He calls us all. Many don’t answer but the work remains the same. I don’t know. Maybe I am speaking from hurt. But I lost a friend and with her I have obviously lost a couple of others that were connected through her. They don’t even have to tell me…I can see and feel what has happened. It is a loss to me and I find myself in grief. But if someone chooses to distance themselves from you and suddenly seems to want little to do with you when they were such a close part of your life, what can you do? My circle gets smaller and smaller.

I get what some of the mothers of our faith have told me about paying the price just a little bit better now.

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“Yield” ~ God

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Pray also that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling. Ephesians 1:18

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

If you look at me too closely me right now, you”ll probably run farther from me than some already have. I feel like I am here cut down the middle and all of the darkness and light within this heart and mind is exposed. I prayed the prayer of Ephesians 1:18 last week. I had something very different in mind…isn’t that God’s way? Answered prayer I guess. God defnitely opened the eyes of my understanding and heart and has allowed me to see ME! It is a painful, bloody thing but I see with my understanding also beauty in a distance and don’t ask me how but I am thankful that it was set into motion through my prayer and then with the preaching of the Word this past Sunday morning. I know it is all part of His greater plan. I hope that in the coming days I can remember that because many things are being exposed and dealt with. To get to the place with the Lord that I am seeking some of the hidden things of my heart – the competition; the jealousies (which God hates); the pride; the control; so many things have to be dealt with. I can see it. He wants to change it. God is doing a work in my life and it is good but not all that glamorous.

God spoke one Word very clearly to me last night during prayer meeting and then reinforced during Bible Study – “YIELD!” (exclamation definitely was there)

I love to study words. Haven’t had the time to delve in too deeply yet but I found the meaning of this word very interesting and fairly deep itself.

Pronunciation: ˈyēld

Function: verb

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English gieldan; akin to Old High German geltan to pay

Date: before 12th century

Resultstransitive verb before 12th century

1. 1archaic recompense reward

2. 2to give or render as fitting, rightfully owed, or required

3. 3 : to give up possession of on claim or demand: asa. ato give up (as one’s breath) and so dieb. bto surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another : hand over possession ofc. cto surrender or submit (oneself) to anotherd. dto give (oneself) up to an inclination, temptation, or habite. eto relinquish one’s possession of (as a position of advantage or point of superiority) – ∼ precedence

4 a. 4 ato bear or bring forth as a natural product especially as a result of cultivation – the tree always ∼s good fruitb. bto produce or furnish as return – this soil should ∼ good cropsc (1). c (1)to produce as return from an expenditure or investment : furnish as profit or interest – a bond that ∼s 12 percent(2). (2)to produce as revenue : bring in – the tax is expected to ∼ millions

5. 5to give up (as a hit or run) in baseball – ∼ed two runs in the third inningintransitive verb

intransitive verb

1. 1to be fruitful or productive : bear produce

2. 2to give up and cease resistance or contention : submit succumb – facing an enemy who would not ∼ – ∼ing to temptation

3. 3to give way to pressure or influence : submit to urging, persuasion, or entreaty

4. 4to give way under physical force (as bending, stretching, or breaking)

5 a. 5 ato give place or precedence : acknowledge the superiority of someone elseb. bto be inferior – our dictionary ∼s to nonec. cto give way to or become succeeded by someone or something else

6. 6to relinquish the floor of a legislative assembly

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary copyright © 2010 by Merriam-Webster, incorporated

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John Wesley’s Accountability Questions

John Wesley developed this set of questions for his circle-those that were accountable to him and that he was also accountable to.

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?

4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work , or habits?

5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

6. Did the Bible live in me today?

7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?

8. Am I enjoying prayer?

9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?

10. Do I pray about the money I spend?

11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

12. Do I disobey God in anything?

13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?

14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?

16. How do I spend my spare time?

17. Am I proud?

18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?

19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?

20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?

21. Is Christ real to me?

hmmmmm….convicting

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I’m Waiting

Just a quick thought-

If those who wait on the Lord are never put to shame…

If God avenges those who wait…

If He acts on behalf of those who wait…

…then there is power in the waiting.

Waiting on the Lord, as weak and as foolish as it may look or feel, is maybe the most effective, powerful thing we can do. I mean, seriously, in light of the list above, I can’t think of anything that would wreak more havoc against the kingdom of darkness than a bunch of believers waiting on God.

By waiting I don’t mean inaction. I think you can only “wait” if you expect something to happen. “Waiting” in line means I expect to get to the cash register at some point. “Waiting” on a friend at church indicates that I’m planning on them actually showing up. Waiting implies hope for something yet to come. Sitting around, doing and thinking nothing, isn’t waiting. If I’m not aware of or interested in something happening, then I can’t be said to be waiting for it.

Waiting is not passive. Waiting is not stoic. It is an active thing- having faith in who the Lord is and what He says He’s going to do. It encourages our hearts to keep asking, seeking, and knocking. It keeps hope alive in our hearts that there’s more to our life than what our eyes see. And God actually says that He responds with full zeal to those who will wait for Him. Waiting — the way we carry our hearts in delay — is perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do.

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Failures in the Wilderness

Interesting week. Full of victories and failures. The victory came despite me for sure. I am one who has the gift of perseverance and I do have to believe it is a gift. It is a gift or an issue that I want to finish what I begin.

This week I have been tempted in some great ways in a very cunning scheme (to which I very easily fell) to assert authority that was not really mine. Or was it? I was asked to speak but when I did apparently, I spoke harsh and unkind words and shed darkness instead of light. To be confronted with that at the end of a day of such victory is an interesting twist. I should rejoice but I can only cry tonight. I have failed and been corrected. I know it is important to receive it, ask for forgiveness and move on. How do you fail and then show back up to face your failure? Holy Spirit has to help me here because I have no one to ask this to. I understand Peter a little…yeah, my mouth is a wicked thing and I am sometimes too quick to run it….then I justify it but there really is none.

This week, I have been encouraged and criticized all for the same thing. How do you know who to trust? There being no human that has my greatest and best interest at heart I have to try here to rely on the Lord. Rejecting the criticism is a hard one for me. Make one choice and I may lose a friend. Make the other and…well, that isn’t an option.

This week, I have felt such abandonment. Don’t know what else to say about that now. I do wonder in the wilderness what Jesus felt beyond the temptations.

I am in the most confusing state I have ever been in and I mostly just want to curl up in the bed and not get up for a while. I want to be like Jesus but am so far away from looking like Him.

Interesting to note this is a week of fasting…

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I’d Rather Have Jesus

In a prophecy I was told to study the lives of Paul and of the early revivalists. Tonight I study Aimee Semple McPherrson. I was very touched at her feelings of loneliness…though there were great crowds of people around. I sometimes look at my life and wonder how I can know so many people and now have the ability to say “hello” and relate fairly well and have so few friends. I wonder what I am doing wrong. Even the friends I have are mostly in different stages of life so that they can’t relate to my particular struggles. It is a lonely place and some days I think I might die of it. Yet, I know I have Jesus and I cling to HIM. He is the only reason I am still here on this earth afterall. I am amazed at how He uses even my past bondages to help me through this particular place. I know how to occupy myself in these times with a couple of improvements, praise God…now instead of pacifying myself with TV, it is the Word. Instead of satisfying my pain with food it is fasting and prayer. I have faith that allows me to sit tight knowing that He has a plan for me and it will be revealed in His timing and it will be better than anything I can imagine tonight. I am reminded of that song “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and it is my heart’s cry.

I am so thankful to the dear Sister for sharing her heart Thursday about how she used to wish she was born a boy because it would easier to deal with her vision and calling as a male than a female. But then she shared how God used her as a woman minister in so many ways. He knew. I thank God for paving a way through her life and so many others. Pastor Sammy said Sunday that if you were given a vision from God you knew it. I know mine for sure…I know the leap in my belly that I feel when certain things are mentioned in passing even, but it is not a call or a vision that is accepted in my extended family at all. They are a tough crowd because they are strong in their beliefs and so knowledgeable in defending them. I don’t know the Bible as well. I only know my Master’s voice in this. I sit here tonight and say “I’d rather have Jesus” but I count the costs and wonder in the long term, can I live it? I love my family so. I pray the Holy Spirit opens their hearts and minds to some changes. I have always wanted so much not to cause them further pain in my actions. But there is that voice tugging at me always. I’d rather have Jesus and I pray that I can be found faithful.

and then there is my age….haha…. I came across this verse the other day from Colossians 4:5 -Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Love it.

Time definitely needs to be redeemed here….otherwise this makes no sense as I am quickly heading into the next decade.

.

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Stoplight Visitation

One day not long ago I was driving to church singing to the top of my lungs, as I am accustomed to doing, when God stopped me at a stoplight. I felt Him say to me (in my spirit), “You don’t know how close you were to dying.” I quickly said, “Yes Lord, I know.” He said, “NO!!! STOP!!! LISTEN!!! You don’t understand. You don’t know how close you were to dying and going to HELL.” It might sound odd but at that moment I could “feel” His tears because of my lack of revelation and my nonchalent attitude toward the price He paid.

See while I kind of knew this in my head, I had never really put His sacrifice of Hiimself into my heart. When it went into my heart, it ripped me open. I got it…that I was only at this stoplight, heading to church because HE had SAVED my life. He didn’t have to, but He loved me that much. I should be burning in eternal flames. I should have nails driven through my hand. I should have my flesh ripped off. It should have been me…forever thirsty and in a place I can’t even imagine. I cannot tell you how this filled me with such a mixture of sadness, gladness, joy and sorrow. I felt it deeply and I sat there in those few minutes and repented of my lack of desire to honestly and really KNOW HIM and honor Him and reverence Him. In those minutes I said, “Lord, thank you for your mercy to me! What do I do now? What today would please you Lord?” He said, “Worship ME!”

That day I went to my seat determined to worship Him with all of my heart and as I worshipped I closed my eyes to avoid those corporate distractions and when I came to my place of encounter with Him during that time, all I could do was cry. I cried as I remembered His love and the cross. I cried as all that filled my eyes was His blood – the sacrifice of it and yet the power in it. I cried when I had revelation of the abadonment from the Father that He took for me so that I would never have to feel that. I cried as I viewed the resurrection of Jesus that was even my own resurrection.

God knew where I was when He rescued me. I would be dead for eternity. I was so close to it. Instead I am alive and alive only for one purpose….to Glorify my Lord, Savior and Father. Alive to Glorify and do the works on this earth commanded by Him, even as He Himself did. It has become all I want to do. His love and His command is all that drives me to pray; all that drives me to love; all that drives me to live. I have no other purpose.

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Dreamer

I am a dreamer

I dream of a new world emerging on our planet

A world where love rules instead of fear
A world where generosity replaces greed
A world where good replaces evil
A world where community replaces isolation
A world where redeemed humanity reflects God’s nature
A world where sickness and disease are overcome
A world where people know God, not just know about Him
A world where people hear God, not just hear about Him

I dream

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Obedience is Worship

It always bothers me a bit when people try to define what is and is not praise and worship…or who is or is not praising and worshipping. I had an experience recently that I would like to share.

During the praise and worship time at my church the choir stood to sing this beautiful song and the Lord said to my spirit “open your Bible and read Psam 27.” I said, “Lord they will think I am bored or not really worshiping and it means so much to them when people get into what they are singing.” God said to me, “Who are you worshiping? You have made an idol of what they think.”

I was stunned but also convicted and knew to obey and so I took out my Bible and while they sang their praises I read this Psalm. God was pleased and He let me know that because I had an amazing time during my reading.

That day all across our church people had their own amazing times in the Lord and I know for sure that the Glory of the Lord was with us that morning. We worshipped. Some through song; some through flags; some through prayer; some through ministering to the little ones; some through reading the Word.

Anyone who observed me would assume I was bored but I was so engaged that I could do nothing except what was being asked of me. It was a beautiful time for me and something I hope I never forget. I have heard it said that annointing invigorates but the Glory of God incapacitates. That is how I felt that day. I believe true worship and the highest worship is obedience to whatever God asks.

I love the Word of God. Here is what He asked me to read that day- Psalm 27:

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.

3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.

4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.

5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

9 Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!