Friday, November 21, 2008


We have all experienced a little bit of unforgiveness towards someone in our life. At one point or another. Maybe even some of us have leaned toward the threshholds of hatred. I know for me I have strongly disliked someone before due to something they have done to me or maybe they did nothing at all. But most recently I have allowed severe bitterness and literal hatred come into my heart toward a person. I can't stand to hear their name, to see think about them, or even see their face. My insides churn and my blood pressure starts rising. Maybe some of you can relate. I have noticed that allowing that hatred to enter in my heart has opened doors to other things. Bitterness in general. I started resenting other people for their success. Before you all go into shock just relax. I'm being open to hopefully bring some freedom to you.

I noticed that now more than ever this hatred consumes my life. This person controls me. And they have no idea. I held on to what they did to me and now I am holding onto this person and letting them control my emotions and feelings. When you have something like this that you carry around with you your life is not complete and full. It steals from you. You can't fully enjoy a day.

It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore. I hated that I hated. That wasn't me. It wasn't who I was. But I justified it by what they did to me. But I was slowing dying on the inside. I was being eaten up with bitterness. I wanted free from it. It came to the day where I was sitting at work listening to music and not thinking about a thing when they popped into my head. I got that overwhelming sense of anxiety and my stomach jumped into my throat. I knew I had to let go and start forgiving in my heart. After all, forgiveness is a heart decision, not just an "I forgive you." So I said, "Lord, bless them," just as Gary Carpenter once told the story of his road to forgiveness. Even as I said it, I knew I didn't mean it but I said, "Lord, I hate this. I can't do this and I don't want this to control me anymore." I heard as clear as ever, "I love them too. They are my child just as much as you are." I felt tears well up inside of me. As much as I was hurt by this person, my God loves them.

So where ever pain finds you right now. Where ever bitterness or hurt finds you. Realize, you have got to let it go. It isn't worth wasting your life. This person is controlling you and they aren't even losing sleep over it at night. God loves them too. Grasp that reality. It might change the way you see them. Where I am now, I know I haven't made it free and clear of hatred, but it's a process. Everytime they pop into my head I'm going to ask the Lord to bless them. Eventually, I will get there and learn to love that person. Maybe you need to forgive yourself for something. It's just the same. Life is too short to waste on hate.

don't worry about it.

I beat myself up. Every single day. I listen and bow to the thoughts that I'm not doing enough. No matter what I do it isn't good enough. No matter how hard I try, I fail. Everyday I listen and bow to these thoughts. Everyday I think about how things could be better. What can I do to make ME better? Then the hope disappears from clouded visions of being too far away from my chance at being rescued.

We all must take responsibility for our lives. The decision is ours. Every single day. We have choices to make. Why then does it seem so difficult to make the right ones sometimes. Why does it seem like no matter what you do you fail. No matter what direction you turn there is opposition to succeed. We all want things out of life. We all have dreams and desires. We all have special talents and gifts. It's easy to get swept away with the rythym of this world and accept things the way they are.

In my years of life, I have learned something time and time again. We control our life. We control which direction it takes. Sure, circumstances can be out of our reach, but it's how we react to them that makes us who we are. I know I reiterate all the time about choices and decisions, but really, thats the bottom line of our life. People who blame God or blame the devil for their life is a mistake. There is going to be a voice you follow. There is going to be a road you travel. There is going to be a thousand directions your life can take, but you choose. No one else can do it for you. Not even a higher power.

I am where I am right now because of the choices I have made. Maybe some people don't agree with my life and maybe some people would judge me in their hearts. But let me tell you something.. you don't know. You don't know what the person next to you has to deal with every day. You don't know what has happened to that person to cause them to make a decision they have made. You don't know a persons heart. Regardless of their actions, their heart might be crying out for something different. So don't judge someone else for where they are. Are you so much better? But we are all here to encourage one another. Don't confuse encouragement and judgement. I'm guilty of judging in the past. But I have to realize that I don't know the whole story about people sometimes. Even people who look fantastic and like they've got it all together, could be dying inside. So, my point is, you never know. Just something for us all to think about.

Just be encouraged. Make the right choices to go where you want to go. Even if you make a wrong decision, it's no mistake. It's something to learn from. But don't give up. Keep trying. Keep going

what's your choice?

It is such a joy to know that you are on the path God has laid out for you. I can honestly say nothing feels better. There are times when things get tough. That's for sure. But when you keep your eye on the prize and grasp hold of your vision and never let go, there is a godly hope that can't be destroyed.

I have a friend who always asks another friend of mine, "what has God been teaching you?" She always gets frustrated with that question because it becomes repetitious, but if you think about it, it's a fantastic question to ask. If you don't have an answer, it's because you aren't listening. If we push out the noise of this world, and tune our ears to the voice of God, we will learn that He is waiting to teach us something everyday. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He is waiting. He has nothing better to do than teach us. So how terrible that for most of our lives we never give Him the chance.

As I have been stating lately, God has been teaching me the realty of how much of God we can have. All my life, being raised in church, you tend to go with the motions at times. You do what you do because you know it's right. It's what you've been taught. Have you ever stood back, out of religion, and thought of this whole walk is merely a relationship? It's not a religion. Christianity is NOT a religion. It is a relationship. So how do you obtain a relationship with someone? You learn of them, spend time with them, until you know them so well you know what they are thinking, what they are feeling. How to please them, make them happy, and know their heart. That's Christianity. A relationship with the God-head. Our Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. There is no formula on how to spend time with Him either. Some might say, read the Bible for an hour a day, worship in private for 30 minutes, and prayer for an hour. Ok, that's great. At least you have a schedule, but that's a formula.

God is not a formula. And I am learning that more and more. He has said, and I have heard for many years but am just now coming to the "knowing", that you can have as much of God as you want. That means, anytime of the day, any amount of time, anywhere you are, God is there. You can have Him. Whatever you need and want. You can seek Him and learn of Him and get to know Him better and better and more and more. Every single day.There is no limit. The best part about it, is it's our choice. We choose. I like how my pastor puts it when he explains free will. He says God didn't make us like robots to say, "I love you." It would be like hearing His self on a recording saying "I love you" over and over. He takes pleasure in our own choice to worship Him.

He has made Himself available to us. We just have to go after Him. But when we go after Him, He comes after us just the same. When we seek Him, He rescues us. When we praise Him, He wraps us in His arms. When we ask Him questions, He reveals Himself. When we love Him, He pours mountains of love on us. There is no secret to our Father. None the less, He is satisfied with however much of Him we want. Because He just loves us. And wants us to choose. If we choose to marry Tom and He wants us to marry Bob, He will bless us with whatever He can. It wasn't His perfect will. But it comes back down to choosing. If we choose to go into the children's ministry but He called us to missions, He will bless what He can. Even if we give a cold cup of water in His name He will reward us.

So with all that said, it boils down to choice. Once again. It IS our life. We can choose. We have that freedom. But I think we can all say we want to choose right. We want to have the best life available. But in choice, there is sacrifice. Always. To follow God completley, we have to lay down our lives. If we follow our own desires, we are laying down God's. So either way, choice involves sacrifice. Think about it. What is your choice?

when and how?..rescued.

Do you ever find yourself doing something where you say, "that's not me." Or, "why did I just do that? It's like I had no control." I find myself getting caught up on those moments very often lately. It's as if I let one thing sway me until one day I stop and look back and wonder how I got so far. It's like dipping your foot in the ocean and testing the waters to see how much more you can handle until finally you become less distracted by what is drawing you further in, and pay attention to why you have been drawn in. That is when you look behind you and realize you are a hundred feet from shore and stuck in the deep end with no floatie!
That is a tactic of the devil. Progressive. A little here and a little there until BAM! There you are. The enemy has no power to make us do anything. All he can do is put thoughts into our minds. If we yield to those thoughts and give into temptation then that is when we get into a mess. He entices us with the things we want, desire, or lust after. If we aren't prepared then we can be swept away and not even realize it. We stay focused on what we want; what looks good, and not on what is right; or where we need to be going.
So many people waste literally years of their lives because of one small harmless enticement they engaged in. Giving in once with no or little consequence only makes it easier to give in again. When you have a heart to do the right thing and follow where God leads, then you can only travel down this "lusts of the flesh" road for so long before it literally begins to eat at you. Weigh you down. Make you miserable. And show you what you are truely missing out on.
As humans we need to be entertained. We need to do things we enjoy and things to make us happy and keep us going. There are a million things thrown at us everyday that appears to be "just what you need" according to society and media. This world has so much to offer... to our flesh. BUT.. the Kingdom of God has more to offer than any earthly thing could fulfill. It's really hard sometimes to stay focused on what lies ahead for us. The important things. God gave us life for a chance to live on this earth and freely do as we please. Make our own choices. Enjoy life! But it is what we do here, or, don't do here, that determines our reward in heaven!
So today, just be encouraged. It's ok to have desires for earthen things. We all do. And if you give in to them, watch out--don't get religous on me-- but that's ok too. That's what grace is there for. God knooooows that we can't do stuff right on our own. We have the adamic nature--the first man Adam. So that is why God provides grace; to substitute our weakness for His strength. The supernatural ability to do what is right and necessary to succeed. And He is willingly waiting every single day to apply more grace to our lives if we ask Him.
I noticed that I was beginning to have false humility or even a portion of pride when it came to that area. I would think, "what's the point of asking for more grace if I know I'm gonna mess up again AND that I even want to mess up again." It doesn't matter. Grace is always there to be activated no matter what! Even if we don't feel worthy or think it's pointless. OR if we think we can fix it on our own. I sometimes feel embarrassed and think that somehow if I try to fix it on my own then I am showing God that I really can do this. Like I'm trying to prove something to Him. Even still, I end up failing. And find myself hurt, confused, and like a failure. Swallow the pride and eat the false humility and just accept that you are nothing without Him and His grace is the only thing that will get you through. After all, we were destined to fail until we became rescued by Jesus and now we have been born again to win!

Is it worth it?

Being a disciple must have been the greatest thing on Earth! To follow Jesus. To be chosen to walk around and be known as a follower of the Christ. Go with Him everywhere, see His miracles, hear His teachings, and be front and center in the action! They even got to walk in His power and see miracles from their own hands. Their life seemed amazing. Easy. Walking with the Lord and trusting Him everyday. Leaning on His strength and not worrying about a thing. Not that perfect. They all had their doubts and fears like we do. But walking side by side with the Lord in flesh seemed like nothing else was as perfect.

The Bible says MANY are called but FEW are chosen. Who calls? God. Who chooses? Us. We choose if we walk the narrow path that we have been called to. It goes along with free will. If you notice, there were very few disciples. Ever wonder why that is? The sacrifice. They paid a price to walk with the Lord. They left their jobs, their families, their hobbies, their animals, and some even lost their names, identities. They chose that life. They gave up everything. Literally, everything, to follow Jesus. Wow. To think about it, it's like I don't even know what else to say at this point.

They gave up their identity and their lives. You know what, God is requiring the same from us if we want to be his disciples, or followers. What we hold dear to us, we must lay it down. Our life as we know it will be turned upside down if we follow Him. Our life is not our own any longer and we become "dead to this world and alive unto God." But we don't have to!! It's our choice how far into we God we go. But there are levels, and the highest level is the highest price. The best thing is, what we give up in this world is all temporary and it will all vanish and turn into nothing. We gain everything when we follow God with our lives.

Let me tell you from experience. This giving up thing is not easy. It's so hard. So hard. Certain areas in all of our lives, God will ask us to give something up that won't be too hard. Then there will be those things that feels like you are ripping in to pieces. Although we aren't flesh walking with Jesus like the disciples did, and it seemed like it might have been easier for them, it's just the same if not easier for us. We have the Holy Spirit. We have a new nature. We can walk with the same exact power, and do miracles and mighty things that Jesus never even got to do on this Earth! So rejoice!

So if you feel like I did not so long ago, and you think it isn't worth it, let me tell you. It is so worth it. When you lay down your life and become an open vessel and humble servant to Lord and make it known your life is His now and not your own, then you will began changing and become transformed. The grace to succeed that comes with obedience will mesmorize you! And when you are standing before a blind 5 year old little girl and you watch God heal her with your hands, you will look back at what seemed like unbearable pain and suffering now, and say, "It was all worth it." I want to be that person. Will you join me in the race? Lay down your life, pick up your cross, and run, don't walk, RUN after Jesus!

In disgust..

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing. I attend a few church services a week. Enough to feel ok about myself and my life. Even lately, I haven't been going to church as much as I used to, or even as much as I should. We've heard it for years. The whole analogy, just because you go to McDonalds doesn't make you a hamburger, and just because you live in a garage doesn't make you a car. So just because you go to church doesn't make you a Christian. You can sit in a presence of God filled service and get the goosebumps, be content with a few tears of joy you got from a prayer line. Then go home and go back to your old ways. We all know about it. We all have suffered from being guilty of this very thing at least once in our life. If you deny it you are lying. We're human.

Years and years of teaching. Years of gained knowledge from being in church, reading the Word, and even the small amounts of time spent with God alone. We gain something. Then we become what is known as a "fat christian." We do nothing with what we have. We sit in our own waste and get fat. We are accountable for everything we know. But we do nothing about it. I'm not trying to point fingers. I'm actually pointing it at myself. I'm mostly having us all examine our lives. American Christianity is so spoiled. We know more than most and more than we realize. So no one has an excuse not to do what has been asked of us. We all have ministries. In the workplace, at the grocery store, the gas station, and the swimming pool! There are hurting people everywhere! Look around you for crying out loud! Let people see the Jesus in you and take every moment as an opportunity to bring healing to someone's life. Stop making excuses. Being selfish and too busy and wrapped up in your own life. What's the point. Nothing here matters. It's all temporal. The only thing eternal is life.

I sit here looking at pictures of my pastor ministering in Brazil right now. A young girl had a disease where she had a growth problem. My pastor prayed for her, and in the next few services, or days, I can't remember exactly, she was in pain. Her bones were growing and she grew 3 inches. Everyone at the church could witness because they knew her. So you can't tell me that isn't God. But what makes me sick is that I am living in my own little confined life worrying about what shoes to buy or how my hair looks, or what I should eat today for the 10th time, when my pastor sits in his closet for hours and prays and seeks God, and doesn't eat for days from fasting to kill his flesh so that he can go to Brazil and have God use him and such miracles. Um, I feel pretty low right now. Not in condemnation because God sees us all where we are at. But in motivation and disgust to do something different. Seriously. We don't have to stay the way we are in our ugly selves. Mostly, there are hurting and dying people out there that God loves sooo incredibly much and He is counting on us to reach out to them. It's the greatest call on a life. And we are all called to it. So I hope this kicked you into gear a little bit like the sight of those pictures of Brazil did me.

It troubles me..

I am very troubled in my spirit. I think we can all agree that music is powerful. We can hear a song with a catchy tune and be humming it for days. We can sing lyrics that if we really think about it, they make no sense. But it sticks. We as humans were made that way. What's funny to me is that satan, when he was an angel, was in charge of Heavens glorious music. That was his "speciality" if you will. He knew what pleasure it brought God and all who worshipped Him.

Confession. The Bible says simply, "you get what you say." Words are seeds. If you constantly confess sickness over your life, you therefore will end up sick. If you constantly confess prosperity, then you will be financially blessed. It's basic principals I think we have all been taught.

Take those two things and add them together. Confession IN music. I was in the car on the way back to work from my lunch break. I had the radio station playing that does the "lunch time cardio jams" and I was driving along chillin. This song came on and immediately the music caught my ear. The guitar gave me chills, then the words started. Immediately I began crying. It grieved my spirit. It was a song I had heard once before and it got caught in my head for the whole day. I refused to listen to it anytime it ever played again....

A girl sings it. Here is a taste of the lyrics, "I kissed a girl and I liked it, the taste of her cherry chap stick. I kissed a girl just to try it, I hope my boyfriend don't mind it. It felt so wrong, it felt so right." The whole songs speaks about confusion but enjoyment. As I said.. I was grieved!!! It has such a catchy tune that you find yourself singing it. Um, confession? Go around singing that all day long and loving it, find yourself buying the c.d. just for that song. Listen to it 20 times a day, then tell me you don't start having lesbain desires!

This is just a song you might say. I say this is serious. Satan knows how music works. And we are being brainwashed. Subliminal messages if you will. So many young girls, at the age of exploring and confusion will buy this song and love it. Have it as a ringtone. And we sit back and wonder why our world is so messed up!! I still refuse to listen to that song. It's catchy and I refuse to sing those words. It truely breaks my heart. I realize now more than ever why God tells us to be careful what we hear. Now, more than ever, as the times change and society changes, we really have to be careful what we let in.

I think as christians, it's important that we keep our guard up and that we allow ourselves to become intercessors for this generation. "My heart isn't for the youth" you might say. Well you might as well just get over that grandma! Things are different than when you were growing up and the bad music you listened to was the Beach Boys. Today is evil. And our children, our teens, our youth, are being tossed around the atmosphere and bounced back and forth with what society tells them is "hot"! They are our next leaders. These children that are "kissing girls just to try it" will be senators, doctors, and huge corporation owners someday. Your future is in their hands. And I hate to tell you, but things are only going to get worse from here. So stop judging them! For crying out loud. Stop judging our youth and use the authority you have been given for crying out loud and pray for them! They need you. Don't judge. Pray. And be careful what you allow in your hearts.

Free will. Blessing or curse?

Sometimes I think it isn't fair to have a free will. It's like it's almost punishment. I would rather be made to do something than have the option to make the wrong decision. The idea that path of my life and the direction it takes is scarey. One thing I am learning though is when you live for God that He will bless whatever you put your hand to. The Bible says if even you give a cup of cold water in His name you will have a reward. And people live that kind of life all the time.

It's what the Bible means when it says there is God's good, acceptable, and perfect will. I used to overlook that until I found out the true meaning of it. We have the right to chose where our life goes. God will bless it either way. You can live in His good will, His acceptable will, or His perfect will. I like to think that His perfect will is that path very few people take. It's where they die to themselves completely. They die to their dreams and desires and live every single day to hear God's voice in everything they do. I would also think that the average Christian lives in the good will. They go to church, are good people, have families and good jobs. They love God and live for Him, but within their own comforts and agenda's. Enough to ease their conscience that they are "Christians." And then there is the acceptable will folks. They're the ones that are doing something for God. Maybe they thought because one time they spoke at a youth function and everyone loved it so much they thought they should preach. So they build this whole ministry on a foundation of talent to speak in front of a group of people. They are doing the work of the Lord and reaching many people for His kingdom. But they were never called to preach. They were called to be a minister in the workplace! (for the sake of an example.)

So you might be kinda lost right now. But my whole point is to make you squirm a little and figure out what category you fit in. You know what, what brings God pleasure most is our obedience. We can worship Him and pray all day long, feel better about ourselves for spending "quality time" with Him, but if there is something He has been wanting us to do and we have still failed to do it, would He enjoy our "I love you's" more or our obedience of what He asked. Any parent could probably answer that question! Now, of course God loves our worship and petitions and He will accept that anyway. He loves us where we are and He always will. It is our choice how far in God we go. It is our choice how obedient we become. It is our choice to live the good, acceptable, or perfect will of God. Either way, He will still love us the same. He will still bless what we do for Him. If all we ever do is love Him and live the simple Christian life, He will love us even then. It isn't about what works we do for Him, how much recognition we recieve, how much fame we achieve. It's about our fellowship with Him. Obedience to His word. You have to take one step at a time to get where you are going. If you try to take too many you will trip over your feet and fall.

Not to go down a rabbit trail, but just remember. Bottom line. He loves us. He meets us where we are. All He wants is us. But we choose. How much we want of Him. Don't seek the gifts. Don't seek the fame and satisfaction in ministry. Seek Him. Every day, every day. Whatever life you choose for yourself, know that He is still there to bless it. So, is free will such a bad thing after all?

The waves are crashing.

I feel completely jaded. Carried away with the waves and washed up on shore. Over and over again. I leap into the ocean and find myself being tossed onto shored along with the jelly fish and seashells. All they do is exist and lay there. Probably from exaustion. Trying to resist the natural currents pushing them out of their water onto dryer land. I'm tired of being tossled in the waves, I want to ride them. I want to be in sync with the rapid motions of whistful serenity. That's what life is all about...

My life has been just very that lately. My heart feels as if it continually gets trampled on. My mistake is where I've been placing my heart to begin with. After so many years, so many heartaches, and so many bad decisions, one would think they would keep their heart in an iron box with a lock on it. I suppose I do in a sense. I keep the wrong part in the box and let the sensitive vulnerable side have the side of the box with the breathing hole.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm tired of jumping in with all I am and all that I have just to turn around and be washed up again, broken hearted and bruised from the crashing waves. Guard your heart. Protect it as much as you can. I understand more and more why the Bible clearly tells us that. There's obviously things we can't avoid from happening but we can hide ourselves under the wings of the Almighty loving and wonderful God. I want to ride the waves, not be carried away by them.

I laugh in the face of emotions!

Everything was going wrong. I woke up late. I scurried to the bathroom and stumbled into the shower. I scribbled my makeup on and ratted my hair. I slapped some toothpaste on my teeth and jerked a bottle of water out of the fridge. I ran down the stairs frantically to make it to work on time when I missed the last step and landed right on my back side, breaking my shoe. I was emabarrassed, irritated and frustrated! I walked at a very fast pace to my car and quickly sped out of the parking lot before anyone could see me. I hit every red light, I got behind every slow car, and I got stuck in the gas station parking lot while trying to grab some fruit and call it breakfast. I was late for work and this was not a good morning. Could the day possibly get any worse?

Well it could actually. All that really wasn't that bad. What was bad was the way my emotions reacted to everything. I was irritated, flustered and frustrated. But why do we have to let a bad morning set the course for our entire day? Believe it or not, people do it every single day. They let one small inconvenience and the way it makes them feel, tell them, this is how you are going to feel today. Hmm, I call that being controlled by your emotions. Which is not good. The Bible talks about not being moved by what we see or feel. When we are led by our emotions and not by our spirit that's when we get in trouble.

So I decided to put my emotions in check and not be controlled by them. I will not let a small inconvenience steal my peace and joy today! The Bible speaks of a joy that no one can take away. Because of our free will we choose each day how or day will go and how we let things affect us. If we are not moved by feelings, which goes in concordance to our faith, then why will we let something change our mood? In all things give thanks. So it's a fabulous thing to know that we can have such peace and joy in Christ that we don't have to let anything affect us. The storms can be raging around us and all hell in our lives can be breaking lose, but we still make that decision of how we will react. When we know that unshakeable peace that is available to us through His grace then of course we will pick the good day!! So have a good day and tell your emotions who's boss! :D

I laugh in the face of emotions.

Everything was going wrong. I woke up late. I scurried to the bathroom and stumbled into the shower. I scribbled my makeup on and ratted my hair. I slapped some toothpaste on my teeth and jerked a bottle of water out of the fridge. I ran down the stairs frantically to make it to work on time when I missed the last step and landed right on my back side, breaking my shoe. I was emabarrassed, irritated and frustrated! I walked at a very fast pace to my car and quickly sped out of the parking lot before anyone could see me. I hit every red light, I got behind every slow car, and I got stuck in the gas station parking lot while trying to grab some fruit and call it breakfast. I was late for work and this was not a good morning. Could the day possibly get any worse?

Well it could actually. All that really wasn't that bad. What was bad was the way my emotions reacted to everything. I was irritated, flustered and frustrated. But why do we have to let a bad morning set the course for our entire day? Believe it or not, people do it every single day. They let one small inconvenience and the way it makes them feel, tell them, this is how you are going to feel today. Hmm, I call that being controlled by your emotions. Which is not good. The Bible talks about not being moved by what we see or feel. When we are led by our emotions and not by our spirit that's when we get in trouble.

So I decided to put my emotions in check and not be controlled by them. I will not let a small inconvenience steal my peace and joy today! The Bible speaks of a joy that no one can take away. Because of our free will we choose each day how or day will go and how we let things affect us. If we are not moved by feelings, which goes in concordance to our faith, then why will we let something change our mood? In all things give thanks. So it's a fabulous thing to know that we can have such peace and joy in Christ that we don't have to let anything affect us. The storms can be raging around us and all hell in our lives can be breaking lose, but we still make that decision of how we will react. When we know that unshakeable peace that is available to us through His grace then of course we will pick the good day!! So have a good day and tell your emotions who's boss! :D

What we desire.

To let something die means to cut off it's life. Not to bring it back. When there are things in your life that you need to get rid of, like what I discussed previously, then you just have to let it die. There is nothing but consequences in bringing them back to life.

The other day when I was contemplating playing around with the things I cut out of my life, a scripture passage popped into my mind very strongly. I was thinking about it for a few days. It goes back to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot and his family in the book of Genesis.

The people from the town demanded to sleep with the angels visiting Lots home; while instead he offered them his daughters. The angels took care of the evil men pressuring Lot. They told Lot to gather his entire family for they would take them out of the city. They were sent on assignment to destroy the city. It was such a horrible, sinful place. So Lot gathered his family and was sent to flee the city by dawn or they too would be punished and destroyed. The Lord was merciful to them and told them to flee to the mountains and never look back. Key words.

Genesis 19:24-26 says, "24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." It's funny to me how verse 26 is short and to the point then it moves on to something else and you can completely overlook the most important verse in this passage. "But Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt" is the verse that came so vibrantly to my mind. And that's when I fully understood...

She looked back because she desired what was there. That is why she turned into a pillar of salt. She was destroyed. Yes, physically she left the place, but her heart still desired it and that is what destroyed her. So all that to say this. With those sinful desires in your life, or those imperfections that we strive to rise above and move beyond, we can still be destroyed by them if we look back to see what we're missing. We're not missing anything. So we shouldn't long for something we let go of. We should move forward and never EVER look back. There is only greatness in God. There is absolutely nothing this world could offer that is better than what God has to offer. So, once you let go of whatever it is you know you need to let go of, don't look back. We have enough seasoning in this world. We don't need anymore salt! haha

I want, I need, so I ask.

I was shopping after work yesterday and was extremely bummed that I couldn't find anything cute, cheap, and something that fit. What is this world coming to!!! I was walking down an aisle in between the skirts and the half a piece of fabric they call shirts, when i heard it. A mother speaking very loudly, more than likely embarrassing her daughter because I know I was embarrassed for her. She said, "no, I'm not going to buy you something from Abercrombie when you're going to grow out of it in a week!" I looked over as the girl quickly dropped her stare to the floor in utter disappointment. "I'm not made of money you know," her mother continued. As I got a better look they were both not the most attractive I've seen, and the girl's clothes were ratty and didn't match. My heart was broken.

I remember growing up when I would hear that phrase time after time, "I'm not made of money", or "money doesn't grow on trees." I used to get so upset at my parents. I couldn't understand the concept of not getting what I wanted. I mean, all my friends did, so why not me? There was one time I remember I wanted a certain brand so badly but we couldn't afford it so my mom played a makeshift fashion designer and sewed on a label. I know my parents always wanted to give me the best, but they gave me the best they could. As a parent, I know you would love to give your children everything they wanted and anything to make them happy. Reality is, you can't afford to do that most of the time, and if they always got what they wanted they wouldn't learn to appreciate anything.

Matthew 7:11 says, " So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." Much like the mother in the store, I'm sure she wanted to give her daughter a credit card to go to Abercrombie so her daughter could look better than all the kids and they would think, man I wish I had her parents. But she couldn't afford to do it so she reacted in anger towards her daughter probably in frustration of knowing she has late bills, 5 kids who need clothes, and a dead end job. For benefit of telling a story. But Matthew tells us above, "those who ask him." Whether we be the child or the parent in this situation, we are still God's child. He will give good gifts to whoever asks Him.

People have grown up in religion thinking that God is the kind that wants the slash a whip and tell you to get back in line when you mess up. That He is sitting up there debating if you "deserve" something that you are asking for, and all He is doing is teaching you a lesson. WHAT? Really? Not even close. Come on people. GOD IS LOVE. Really, if that was the only thing you ever heard then you are doing good. If you can focus on just that then maybe that will blow your theologies out of the water that God is a God of wrath! He is a Father. If even the sinful dad's on this earth can go out and buy Abercrombie for their kids then don't you think a loving, wonderful, and perfect Father can do even more than that!?

This isn't about buying clothes or even just material gifts, but it is to show that we don't rely on our boss to provide for us. We don't need to rely on our spouse to provide for us. We don't need to rely on our parents to provide for us. God is our only provider. The Bible also says in Mark 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." All you have to do is ask and believe. It's your's. Learn to believe that God loves you and only wants the best for you. Not only will He provide the things you need, but the things that you want according to His will. So you have no need to worry and don't you dare take credit for what you have. It's by His generous hand that you are blessed.

Leave it in the past.

You can't help but wonder sometimes where you might be if you had made some different decisions in the past. One simple decision that you think nothing of can change the whole course of your life. Who would have thought a job that I took 3 years ago, and quit 2 years ago would still be affecting my life? I can't help but wonder if I could have saved myself several years of heartache just by choosing to work somewhere else. But who would have known the outcome?

You can't ever worry about what might have been. You can't use your if's, and's or but's. Those are not aloud in life. Life is only present and future. The past is forever gone and there is nothing you can do to change it. Granted, your present is a result of your past. Therefore your future shall be a result of your present. So why worry about the past when what you should worry about is your future inevitably making your present extremely important. What are you doing with you're "right now?" How many wasted days do we let go by in saying, "Oh I will just do it tomorrow." NOW is the time for change. For NOW the Kingdom is at hand. Everything you need is available to you NOW. Healing, forgiveness, freedom, blessings, and love. It's all available to you now. It doesn't matter what you did 5 minutes ago much less 5 years ago. Let go. Move on. It's a new day. It's a new minute. You can't undo what you did an hour ago. But you can start anew this hour.

I have spent too many months and even years punishing myself for the mistakes I have made. Why am I punishing me when God doesn't even punish me? God see's us differently than we see ourself and you should see yourself the way God see's you. I want to always walk with a repentive heart but I also know I am human and will fail every now and then. But that is where God's grace comes in to pick me up and give me the extra that I need to keep moving in what He wants for me.

So I am bringing another challenge to the table today. I'm sure there are things in every one of our lives that we wish we could change. There are probably still things that some of us are holding on to that we need to let go of. Some unforgiveness for ourselves. Like I said, you can't change the past but you can pave the way for your future. So start new today. Let go of some things. I pray that the Lord shows you things throughout the day that you need to let go of. There are higher levels He wants to take you and you are the only one keeping it from happening. Romans 8:27 says, "And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God." In other words, let the Holy Spirit search your heart and show you. His searching lines up with the will of God and the mind of Christ. So what better person to have search the crevices of your heart than part of the God head?!

Your strength, or His?

There is another part to what God spoke to me the other night. There is a place in Him where you don't have to feel beaten up and condemned for your failures and your mess ups. We all do stupid things everyday. Some of us have our outgoing image or our happy face that we put on everyday for the world to see. Inside though, we are crying and kicking and screaming. Some of us are dealing with hidden sin, insecurities and strongholds that we can't rid ourselves of.

For the past few years I have let my behind be kicked time and time again by the same thing. I would come around the mountain and it would pop up in my face again. Everytime I felt like I would kick it, it would kick me! When I thought I had once and for all gotten rid of it, it would rear its ugly face again! When you hate something so much and its in your face for 3 years straight, and you feel like you are doing all you can but nothing is stopping it, you might start feeling like a failure. You can't do anything right. Why can't you beat this thing?

Well if anyone knows about feeling like a piece of dirt in that area it's me. But one thing I finally realized, or should I just say, God revealed to me, is the truth of doing things in your own strength. For years I have heard, "you are doing it in your own strenght!" I would get so frustrated because I would think but how? How do you know when you are and how do you not?! I couldn't fully understand that. Even now I still have more I would like to learn in that area. I understand the concept of not taking the care of a problem, giving it to God, and letting Him handle it. But in practical application how do you do it? Well I got it! ....

You admit that you are nothing. You can't do it on your own. You are a screw up. BUT, because of the cross God's grace is there to sustain you. To hold you up. To fight your battles for you. There is nothing you can do without God anyway. So laying in my bathtub crying because I wanted rid of this problem, God's love calmed me down and let me see that He is not afraid of my mess up's. He see's my heart. He knows I want to change and that is all that He needs to do the work. When I take the care of the problem; feeling guilty, beating myself up, feeling like I can't do it, then I have just taken God's ability to do it for me. I have no faith in myself that I can do it. But I have faith that God can do it. He already did. Everything I need was provided at the cross. So my measly little problem is nothing He hasn't seen before and nothing He won't see again. He knows how to take care of it. I just have to trust Him.

Before I would get all fired up and get that I CAN attitude. Then I would fall right back into my mess and feel like a failure all over again. This time, I will press in, seek God's face and if I mess up then I will cover it with the Blood, move on and keep going. You've heard it many times; the analogy of falling of the horse, but brush yourself off and keep going. That's what it is. But by giving it to God and not doing it in your strength is when you say, I can't do this, I probably will mess up, but I trust you God. The more I seek you, the more I love you, the easier it will be and less of a desire for other things I will have. Don't make excuses to sin, that's not what I'm saying. But if you are sincerely trying, God see's that and honors an honest heart. Let Him be your everything. Don't worry about fixing your life. That's His job. Just seek His face, His ways, His smile, and His desires and everything else will be taken care of!

He really does love us!

I had a really delightful weekend. I decided to take a nice long, hot bath. Thinking about the weekend and some other random things; I was minding my own business. All of a sudden I felt God. He came. He showed up. I began to cry and He began to speak to me. He reached down and touched my heart in the sweetest way. He spoke personal things over me and also something I wanted to share with all of you because what He spoke to me personally, He is saying to every one of us.

He loves us. He really, really loves us. You are his child. His baby. His pride and joy. You were kidnapped by someone so evil and God the Father sent His son. His only son to come down to a sinful world to rescue you. To bring you back home to the family. He weighed all of his options and even factored in the possibility of you not ever accepting Him and recieving His love, but He came anyway. He gave up everything. He sacrificed His very life to save you. To rescue you. To bring you home because His Father loves you, and He loves you.

All He wants is you. You are the most important thing to Him. He waited thousands of years for your existance. Can't you see His excitement to your birth. He delights Himself in you. He knows every little detail about you. And He loves it all. Your weaknesses and your strengths; they don't scare Him. He's God. He made the sunset, the mountains, the rivers and the flowers all for your enjoyment. He made YOU to love Him and to be loved by Him. He made the earth we live on for our enjoyment. What brings us pleasure brings Him so much joy.

He wants to know you here. Here on earth. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus now. Not just a ticket to heaven and an escape from the pits of hell. The whole reason Jesus died was to not only save you from hell's grasp, but to save you and bring you back to the family from which you come from. What if you were a baby and a horrible killer kidnapped you from your family. You were rescued and someone paid the ultimate price to bring you home and you were so grateful. You cried and rejoiced and was so thankful to be home to the family that loves you. Then, you left and never talked to your family unless you needed something. You would remember every now and then what was done to rescue you, but you would quickly forget and think on other things that were "more important." All along, your dad is sitting in his rocking chair, (for benefit of a visual) and waiting. Waiting for you to come sit on his lap and let him be your dad. Everyone tells him it's hopeless. You aren't going to come home. But He doesn't give up on you. He doesn't care. He's not giving up. And he will wait for years with open arms until you come home and kiss him on the cheek.....

.....That is our God. Our heavenly Father. That is how He is. And even more loving than we can even grasp the concept of. So many of us worry about the gifts and talents we were given. We focus so much on being in the ministry or being used of God and thinking that will fulfill us and that will take the place of God. No way. Not true. Those callings on our lives are a gift for us. God is giving us an opportunity to be used by Him. But it should never replace our personal relationship with Him. If you seek after the gifts and not God then you shall surely fail. Because like I said, our calling is just a gift, not the relationship. All He cares about is you. Only you. He only wants you.

I really hope that you took that and grasped what was said. That was God speaking to me. I had a tiny revelation of His love last night and I pray that you too will have your own experience with Him. =)

Hey you! Be you!

"That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong."---William J.H. Boetcker

This is my new quote! It is very true. We should never compromise our beliefs and what we stand for to make another person happy. We should never hide behind who we are out of fear of what others might think of us. When we don't let the person we are shine, we become miserable. Maybe some of us don't really know who we are because we let everyone else our whole lives tell us. Maybe we don't know what we want because other people have made decisions for us. Maybe we don't know what to do because other people have told us what to do.

What about those of us who DO know who we are, what we want, and where we're going? Will we still be intimidated by the world and back down? You should surround yourself with people you bring out the best in you. Not the worst. Yes there are people along the way that aren't going to like everything you do, or even like everything about you, but that doesn't mean you should stop being who you are.

I was in a relationship a few years back. I would say it was pretty serious. But from the fact that I was really young and believed anything a guy said, at that point I didn't really know how to be agressive. As the relationship increased I decreased. Who I was quickly faded into who he was. We had nothing in common in every area imaginable. Our interests, our taste in music, the foods we enjoyed, the places we liked, the friends we had were all completely different. You might think, then why were you with him? I'd like to know the answer to that myself! Anyway, my point is I sacrificed everything I liked and everything I was for him. Until I was transformed into his ways. I was completely miserable but overlooked it. I tried to convince myself I was happy. But who I was on the inside was screaming to be let out of this tiny box it was shoved into. When we finally broke up and I could be myself again without feeling guilty, I could finally breathe!

That is one example, but I really feel like a lot of us deal with that same feeling in many different circumstances. There is nothing wrong with the way you are. I might have to say it again. There is, nothing, wrong, with the way you are! Don't be afraid to be yourself!!!! If you are in a relationship where you feel like you are in a box, then it's not right. If you are around people that don't encourage your talents or participate in your interests, then get around new people. If you have to stoop so low that you are ashamed of what you like and what you believe and what you do, then re-examine why you subject yourself to that!

Read this again and have a great weekend!

Shake the rug.

Sometimes it's really hard to make the right decision. You factor in how it will affect other people and how it will change your life. Even simple decisions will affect lives. A lot of the time doing the right thing is a lot harder than doing the wrong thing. The wrong thing is easy but it can make you feel miserable. Doing the right thing brings you freedom but it can also come with pain.

In my life, I was battling back and forth with making a certain decision. I knew I had to do it, and once I did it things would only go up from there. But at the same time it was one of the hardest things I had to do. I made it hard. It was one of those things that you decide to do, then you go back to it, thus making it harder to let go of again. I did this about 3 times. Said I was done but then I really wasn't. Finally something inside of me clicked that said, "I don't want this in my life forever so it's now or never."

I think that each of us have things in our life just lingering around. We think it's not causing too big of a problem and it's a lot easier not to deal with it. It's like shaking a dusty rug. When a rug is dirty it all clings to the material. When we shake it out to clean it dust goes flying everywhere. You might cough and get some in your eyes for a second, but when it all calms down you are glad you did because now it's clean. That works like cleaning the "dust" out of our lives. Like I said, we all have things in our "closets" that we need to clean and get rid of. It's those little things that we think are acceptable and can be overlooked that we really need to deal with.

For me, if I had kept on going with this certain, one thing, it would continue forming a pattern in my life. Even though it was one simple thing, it roots back to one big problem. Until you get sick and tired of dealing with it, it will always be there. In your face. Not to sound repetitive on a few emails back, but I really feel like right now God is wanting to do a big thing in each of our lives. In order for Him to do that there are things He wants us to deal with. He wants us to shake our rugs and rid ourselves of the dirt that has been collecting over the years. Will you let Him do that? Lets clean some house!

Love is.

Everyone wants to feel loved. We crave it. We crave love, attention and acceptance. If a baby is born and is not touched and is completely ignored, it will die. Die from the lack of feeling loved. Love is what we cry out for in our actions, our words, our clothing, and our music. We sing about it, we watch movies and cry about it, and we put ourselves in compromising relationships to feel love.

The words, I wanna know what love is... or, looking for love in all the wrong places... It's showing us that not only does our world need love, it's crying out to know where it is and what it is. You can try to find acceptance from a group of friends by doing something impressive. You live on a high for a bit but that doesn't fulfill you completely. You never got the love you thought you needed from your parents, so you spend your years in and out of unhealthy relationships giving everything you have until there is nothing left. You turn to alcohol to take your mind off of things because you don't want to deal with it. Getting drunk is fun and you're happy. You take drugs to calm it all down so you can function in everyday life. You over indulge in food because you are so depressed that you are overweight, but you keep eating more because you find comfort in it.

Love is not complicated. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not rude. Love does not get jealous. Love does not brag or is arrogant. Love is not selfish or quick tempered. Love doesn't keep count of wrongs that others do. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusting. Love never fails.

Do you want the kind of love that makes you feel like the only person in the world? Someone that knows everything about you. Someone that smiles in adoration at your every move. A pure love that can never ever stop loving you no matter what you do. No matter what you've done. And knowing that you might really screw up in the future. They still love you. They ache so badly with love for you. They're crazy, madly, and unconditionally in love. With you. They would even sit there, reaching out to you for the rest of your life, taking a chance that you might never ever give them the time of day. They would still love you just as much. The would jump at your every request. They would show you the beauty of nature and say it was all for you. They would even die for you. And they did. His name is Jesus. He is the most romantic, the most caring, understanding, and perfect one.

The reason the world is searching and searching for love and can't ever be completely fulfilled is because they look for it everywhere other than where it really is. It can only be found in Jesus. I know this from experience. I have ran many times to different avenues. Alcohol, guys, food, and acting out for attention. We as humans will only keep running until we stop. Turn around. And look at this beautiful person holding out their nail scarred hands, their kind and gentle eyes, and their accepting smile, and take hold. Take hold of his hands. He will never stop loving you, never let you down, and never let you go.

Contentment is underestimated.

I have curly hair and I wish it were straight. I have a new car but I want a newer one. I have a diamond ring but it's not as big as my friend's. I got a new cell phone but it's not as cool as the more expensive ones. I like my house but the one down the street is nicer. I love my man but what if there is a better one. Are any of these thoughts that cross through your mind every now and then? Some would call that being not content with what you have. You can never be satisfied with what you have no matter what it is.

Granted, there are goals to work towards and seeing yourself in the same place as you are now 5 years ahead is depressing. Make goals and something to work towards, but don't dismiss what you have now. Yes everyone else has something we wish we had and maybe we can turn bitter towards them for having what we would like. Why? Be happy for them. And be happy with who you are. God made you so individual that no one ever created within the thousands of years of life has ever been like you. You have something to offer that no one else does. So stop wishing you were someone else and be who you are.

Each one of us has a gift and a talent that is our own. Each one of us was made to look the way we are for a reason. We were created beautiful in our own way. The things that you have you should be thankful for. No matter what they are. Don't feel insecure because you are excited over something that you have that someone else might look down upon. The pressures of inferiority is sickening.

Before you can gather up better things in life you have to be happy with what you have or those other things will be insignificant. Enjoy who you are as a person before you let someone else in your life. People need to respect theirselves more and realize it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks about you. So what, you're weird! Awesome! So am I. But I love who I am and for so many years I let other people's opinions define who I am. I dance pretty heavily in my car to music that is blaring when no one else is around. I really don't care! I am who I am. I may dress differently than you, but does that make me better or you better? No way. Just different. So embrace who you are, what you have, what you want, where you've been, and where you want to go. Stop for nothing and be ambitious. But don't overlook the small people on the way.

Today's challenge to examine the things in your life that you are thankful for. The things that are tangible and are not. Look at your life and the things you don't like, see how you can change them so you're not in the same place next year. Only you have control of the direction your life takes. Enjoy the day!

Hurry. Busy. Fast.

Yesterday I talked about how important it is to step back and appreciate life. It's shorter than we like to think. But more importantly than enjoying your family there is another level to reach.

I was sitting at the stop light the other day in the turning lane. The weather was fantasticly springy. The wind was blowing just enough to capture the small pieces of hair around my face with my half cracked window. I was listening to some mellow music and just enjoying that moment immensly. I zoomed out of the moment like in a movie when the character has a flashback. I watched every person driving by and almost all of them were on their cell phones. Of course it's modern day technology and everyone is doing it.... but what did it used to be like?

There were days even in my lifetime when cell phones weren't around. People survived believe it or not. It's like now people are in way too big of a hurry to enjoy life. By life I don't mean the turbo speed that we live. Everything has a quicker way of doing things. People aren't as friendly. I mean seriously, when did we become so busy? Is that even neccesary? I really don't think so. It reminds me of a scene from Sweet Home Alabama when the teller says they don't have an ATM machine on "account of losing personal contact with the customers." That proves a good point. Everything is done now where you practically don't even have to deal with people. Calling a customer service hotline you talk to a stupid operator the whole time! What's that about?

I may just be rambling on about something that I can't change, but in our own lives we can do something about it. Take a lesson from the old days. People never got in a hurry. I guarantee that's a main reason you see the elderly driving 25 in a 50. It isn't entirely because they are frightened, it's because they don't have a need to get in a hurry. We could all use a good slap in the face sometimes.

I challenge you. Go one day. Just one day. No Blackberry email updates. No text messaging. You go from a busy day at work, to the radio in your car, to texting and checking your email via cell phone internet. You get home, pop in a frozen dinner, watch a little TV then go to bed. You ignore your spouse because you are too tired. What? Really? How bout you turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Turn off your cell phone. Talk. The old fashion way. Enjoy the company of your living partner. Take your dog for a walk and enjoy outside. Have some family time. Have some quiet time even. Read a book. Talk to God. Sew a pillow. Whatever. I guarantee you will have a panic attack. It's like you are disconnected from the outside world. You don't know what to do with yourself. Good. Live like they did a few years back. Everyone was happier, nicer, and more trusting. But more importantly, they understood what it was like to really live.

So that's your challenge. Do it. Take technology away for a day. Of course work has to be a compromise. But when you clock out of your 8 hours for the day, enjoy yourself, your family and nature.


I spent the whole weekend conjuring up how I was going to fit my whole weekend experience in one small writing. Through many instances I could think of pages to write on one simple topic. I came to the conclusion of "time".

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning. Way too early for my only sleep in day of the week, but I felt much opportunity for that day with it being so early. I thought maybe I could pack since I'm moving in a week but that sounded like work, not fun. So the thought popped into my head to travel back home and surprise my family. I couldn't have made a better decision. It would be a good 5 hour drive or so to clear my mind and give a great opportunity to get out of town. I would also get to enjoy the reactions from my family to my appearance. But little did I know it would be a great learning experiece for me by mere observation.

After being a city girl for nearly 5 years now, going back to my roots and trying to muster up memories of living there for my whole life was hard to imagine. I couldn't even believe I lived in a place that was an hour to the nearest mall or McDonalds. I couldn't believe I drove at least 20 minutes each time I wanted to go anywhere. Not to sound "city girl is better than you," but I realized how we can forget where we come from sometimes. We can get soooo wrapped up in our lives and our huge minor problems and not respect or appreciate how we got where we are.

I got to spend time with a big portion of my family this weekend. I sat and watched. I listened. I put myself in everyone of their shoes. Looking at their lives. How they live. What they do in their small towns. Their jobs. Their families. Their happiness. And their ages. Up to this point I never thought I would grow up. I couldn't reach the next years age fast enough in my mind. Now that I am at a decent age where I can appreciate life more something struck me this weekend. No one is getting any younger, and time isn't slowing down. I saw the beauty of my grandma. She's such a radiant woman and has had a long life. Life is short. I think we like to live like we have so much time. We take life for granted and we take advantage of the privilage to live.

It's a scarey thought to think of life ending. No one likes to think about it and I'm not trying to put a damper on things. What I am trying to do is maybe let us all take a look at our lives. Step back and appreciate your family. Spend some time if you can just watching them. Taking in everything. A good 80-90 years of life sounds like a long time but it really isn't. Don't get so caught up in yourself where you can't learn something from someone older or even younger than you. Everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach. Enjoy the company of someone else. Compromise your interests for someone elses for a minute. If you like rap music but your mom likes country, then endure it to make her happy. Buy your uncle lunch one day. Wash your grandma's car. Time is too short to waste it on yourself.

So for me, taking a road trip on a whim was just what I needed to get out of town, refocus on my life, appreciate nature's beauty and the bond of a family. Don't waste time on the superficial things

Storms. Not so bad.

I was harshly awakaned to the sound of pounding rain and roaring winds at 2 a.m. I stumbled around half asleep for my remote and turned on the news. The steady sound of the weather man's voice arrived in my room before the picture appeared. My tired eyes slowly adjusted to the bright light as my heart pounded at the rise of the winds. I looked at the TV and saw a red line across the area I live. No tornadoes but heavy winds. As the weather man barely got out the word 'hail', I heard it begin hammering away on my roof like nails. From the combination of being tired and reassured by Mr. Weather man, I turned off the TV and went back to sleep feeling indifferent. I said a silent prayer of protection and drifted back to dreamland.

So speaking of rain and water and wetness, I walked out to my car this morning and got my feet soaked from the rain a few hours before. I stand reminded today of how similar last night's storm is to the storms of life. You might be coasting along happy and content, or well rested, when all of a sudden a storm wakes you out of your rest and your heart starts racing from anxiety. Normally I take the care of storms and let myself get frightened. I think if I stay up and listen to it or watch the weather that will somehow soothe me. Although it doesn't stop the storm, and I'm not fixing anything by worrying about it, I still stay up and lose sleep. Last night I chose to trust God. I prayed a simple prayer, "God, please protect me. You always have and there is no reason you won't do it now. So thank your for peace and protection, and I'm going back to sleep now."

A simple prayer is really all it takes. We get in the mind set that everything has to be so complex to get across to God. You have to get on your knees, cross your hands, bow your head, spin around 3 times... anyway, it's not hard. In life when storms come your way, all you have to do is thank Him. Thank Him for protecting you, keeping you, and giving you peace. You can't really do anything about it anyway. Sure you can stay up and worry all night, but it does no good because nothing can be done in your own strength very long without failing.

So that old saying, "Let go and let God" is just very true. God created us in such a beautiful way. We were given a free will to choose how we want to live. We have choices. But the funny thing is, He made it impossible to live without Him. I mean, truly live. Life. When you give your life to Christ and you dive into the ocean of His love and forgiveness and choose to follow Him, then your life is no longer your own. So that must mean your battles and storms are not yours to fight. Do your part and thats to pray and trust God that He will take care of you. Think of a time when He didn't? You might say, "well that one time when this happened and I got.. well, where was God then?" He was right there. Did you cry out to Him? Did you grab His reaching out hands? Never blame God for bad. He isn't capable of it. He is love. And He also can't love you more than He already does. And He loves you with the same love He loves Jesus. So that must be pretty good.

So, when lifes storms wake you up in a panic in the middle of the night, remember that you are not alone, and God will move mountains for you. You just have to give Him the authority to do it. Thats done through faith. Faith is obtained through hearing the Word of God. Go grab yourself some faith today!

Don't leave too soon.

I had a dream last night that I was going on a trip with 2 of my close friends. I remember the it was getting dark outside and we weren't supposed to leave until the next day, but I really wanted to leave that night. My mom warned me to wait but I was too stubborn to listen and knew we would be just fine to leave the night before. In result of that we got in a wreck. Although in my dream it was a minor thing like hitting a median and barely scratching my car and no one was hurt, but waking up this morning I sensed the meaning of the dream.

Too many times we get in a hurry about things. Either decisions we feel we need to make right away, or promises for the future that we want to make happen right now! Travis Klingeman said the other night at our young adults group, that he follows 2 guidelines of making a decision. Never do it out of opportunity or frustration. Sometimes a better offer looks good and its obvious what we should pick. But sometimes God has other plans and an attractive easy way can be sent by the enemy. Also, frustration can cause us to make a rash decision out of emotion.

The best thing to do is wait. Be patient. Stand still. Don't move. There is a reason the Bible says that patience is a virtue. We all have the ants in my pants mentality sometimes and want to go go go right now! That is our culture. It's a microwave society. But learn from my grandma who still cooks her soup on the stove and boils water for tea. She refuses to use a microwave. Thats saying two things. She is from the old school and does it the way she always has, and she also thinks, why get in a hurry? The same reason she takes hours to get ready and leave for work just to give herself plenty of time. We should learn from that. There really is no reason to hurry.

So for one thing, be patient. God sees exactly where you are. He hasn't lost sight of you and He knows what you can handle. Also, don't be hastey in decision making. Follow peace. We face decisions to make every single day. Try this little game next time. Give it some time and think before you act. Search for God's voice in all of it. No matter how simple or complex, test your hearing God's voice abilities. I guarantee that His way is much better than anything you could decide!

Who knew?

Just you in a such a huge world could make you feel slightly insignificant. I know for me that when I get in the grind of my daily activities and routines I sometimes overlook people around me, or the way I present myself. You never realize just how important your interaction with people are.

I was in a hurry and on my lunch break yesterday and had to run somewhere and pick something up! As I was getting off the elevator I kept my determined stare at my destination and paid no mind to the people around me. Almost like, well I don't know them so it doesn't really matter if I acknowledge them with a smile or a hello. They won't know the difference. As I was getting off and oblivious to everything around me, I heard a, "hello how are you?" I looked up and it was the person that interviewed me for the job I have now. Of course I returned her salutations with an empty American response. "Good, how are you?" And went on my way. The point of telling that story is to remind us of how important every impression that we give off is. You never know who you might run into or how your simple smile might change a person's life that day.

Walk proudly with your head held high and a smile always on your face. Today, getting on the elevator for lunch again, I ended up with 2 older gentleman. Sometimes we might think it as a curtosy to keep quiet and not bother your fellow elevator rider, but I decided to break that rule for once and test my abilities. We talked about the crack in the floor and how one man assumed it was from the ladies stilletos. I chimed in with my two cents and we had a merry conversation from the fifth to the first floor. If any impression at all was left on my end, I hope it to be a, "Wow, what a friendly young lady. Not one of those snooty young people."

Finally, with my job, I am the first person you see when you walk in the office, and the first person you talk to on the phone. There is nothing I hate more than unfriendly voices and faces in positions such as mine. So I make it a point to impress! One of our maintenace crew for our properties came in the other day and said, "Hey there smiley! What happened? My friend came in and said you didn't smile and I thought man, she always smiles!" So the one time that I didn't smile, so she thought, I made an impression. I would have never thought of it again had she not mentioned it. So we don't realize how much of an impression we have on people. Whether good or bad, we leave an impression!

So I will challenge you today, before you get too wrapped up in your own life and agenda, play a game that only you know about. See how many lives you can touch by just being a little friendlier. Besides, smiling will even make you feel better about yourself!! Try it! :D

He who knows what we need.

It's funny. As humans we feel like we need to control our lives and figure everything out right now! What am I going to wear tomorrow? What should I fix for dinner this week? Where am I going to be in 2 months let alone 2 years? It's so great to plan and have a vision for your life, but at the same time, the Bible says in Matthew 6:25-27, " 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" So pretty much, don't worry about it. God knows what you need, where you will be and what will happen.

I was sitting at work the other day down and out thinking about where my life has ended up. I never thought I would be where I am now and it scared me for the future. I thought I had it all planned out. If this threw me off, then where would I be in the future? But the funny thing is, life never turns out the way WE plan for it too. Granted, we always have a plan. But God's plan is never that of our own.

I was so thankful to get the job that I have now when I got it. Little did I know I would be doing nothing but waiting for the phone to ring for 8 hours a day. At first I was offended that I wasn't given more work to do. But as I remained faithful in the little task I was given, and made sure I overexceeded my expectancy, I found that I was beginning to get more responsibilty. I was shown that is how God does it! He works things out for us in ways we don't understand. And when we remain faithful and He sees that you can handle more, He will throw it out there! Gary Carpenter once told a story about a man that really begged God to use Him and when He finally did he said, "Use you? He'll work you to death!" hah. I find that funny.

So, my dad always taught me growing up to be faithful in the small things and He will make you ruler over much. To serve with the best of your ability and do it unto Christ. It's starting to pay off in my life. So if your life has winded down a path you never thought it would take, and you've eaten some bad apples or drank some stagnant water, don't worry. Be faithful. See what God won't bring you. Be thankful. See how things will start to change. And ask Him. What do you want? He already knows, but He just likes to hear it from you! :)

Lifes Train.

If the betterment of your life was dependant on one decision, then why would it be so difficult to make it? That is the question wandering in the corridors of my mind these past few weeks. When a way out has been made available to you why not catch the train leaving misery town? Well for me that answer is simply complex. I know, that if, the train makes it to its destination I will have freedom! But if i doesn't, because of a crash, a detour, or it runs out of gas, then I will never make it out of the tunnel and I my next stop will be a worse land of misery. It's fear. Fear of trust. The lack of trust. The pain of trusting in the past and being let down.

Every person in life has let us down in one way or another. Why? Because we aren't perfect. So why not trust the conductor of this train instead of another passenger? He knows where its going and knows where you need to get off. So when you are faced with a decision that will better your life, then don't avoid it because of fear of the unknown. Make it. Jump on the train! It's going fast so be prepared. Once you get on things will never be the same.

In my life, the path has been laid out for me. My boarding ticket is in my hand, my bags are packed, and the train is patiently waiting for me to step on in trust that it will lead me in the right direction. Its all a matter of that one decision. At this point, things have never been made easier for me to board. Life in misery town is becoming less thrilling to me and I want to get out and smell fresh air and see new scenery. My conductor is reaching out his hand and saying, "Take my hand and follow me. You can trust me. I will never lead you astray. I only have the best for you."

Are you living in a misery town? Are there things in your life you know don't need to be there? Are there things that God has told you that you are putting on the top shelf and saving for later, or shoving in the closet to pull out never! Deal with these issues. Make that decision. Life is very very short and I realized it the other day. Don't waste it. It's never too late to start where you are. So join me in jumping on the train of change! Trust. Anything is better than where you are now. And even if you have to take a pit stop and window shop for awhile.. at least you're one step closer to where you wanna be. I'm moving. I'm making my decision. The conductor of my life is Jesus and no longer myself!

Who you really are.

Today I got reminded a little bit of who I am. Sometimes we get lost in our insecurites or flaws and live everyday with that as the image of who we are. It isn't true. Those are simply what they are; flaws. Everyone has them. But that doesn't make you who you are. And I can't stress that enough.

I was talking to a friend about something that I wanted but didn't think I could get it. Maybe that I couldn't afford it, or I wasn't good enough to get it. But a chord struck inside of me when they said, "You have the capacity to get anything you could ever want." I thought that was a pretty bold statement coming from someone who "didn't really know me!" Then I had to ask, how do YOU know I have that capacity? And they said, "Because you are driven, intelligent, and beautiful and that is a viscious combination!" Although it sounds very witty, it really did do something inside of me. If someone else that doesn't know me as well as I know me, can say that, then there is something wrong with the image of myself!

Maybe you need to step back and look at yourself. Look through the mirror into your soul. What are some of the promises that God gave you many years ago. What has He called you to do? What greatness has He given you to fulfill in His kingdom that no one else in the history of man was ever called to do. Just you. You are unique. If you don't do it, then it will never get done. So that right there should be enough to make you feel special and important. What does God's word say about you? That you are "fearfully and wonderfully made..."

So when you are feeling pretty low about yourself. Like a loser. A failure. Not good enough. Maybe, its too late for you. You are too old or too far down the wrong path, it is never ever too late. Never! So this weekend when you are sipping your early Saturday morning coffee, think about this email. Think about who you really are.