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Sunday, November 3, 2013

We all can hear the Lord =)

The following is just a cool testimonial to how easy and simple it is to listen to the Lord...
My husband I were doing the Jesus Calling Devotional for Kids last night and we got to talking about Moses and the Israelites.  It was a really nice discussion and that was that, or so I thought, lol.  Tonight we did the devotional and before we began my 5 yr old was telling my husband to read 3 and handed him the bible.  My hubs looked down and saw Numbers 3 and asked my 5 yr old if he wanted him to read Numbers 3, my lil' guy said "no, Heboos 3".  So we turned to Hebrews and my husband looked and asked "All of it?" and my lil' guy said "yes".  So my husband obliged our lil' one and started reading chapter 3 of Hebrews.
The cool part is that it was on exactly what we were discussing last night!!!  I absolutely LOVE how the Lord is involved with everything as we seek Him and teach our children to seek Him.  I don't care at all for the desert places and wilderness He leads me through in order to teach me to trust Him, but He's been faithful to bring me through most of it, and I know He's bringing me through all of it, I just haven't walked that far yet.  I just can't get over how simple it would have been to ignore my 5 yr old's request and have totally missed out on this blessing!  What a sweet way to let my 5 yr old know that he hears God's voice too; that still and beautiful quiet voice that leads us into His will for our lives =)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pride. Struggle Much?

Pride is the hardest thing to kill.  It is multi-faceted and springs up in a multitude of ways because of that.  It can be easy to recognize or hidden, but as always it's far easier to see it in someone else rather than in yourself.  Thank the Lord for His Spirit which searches the hearts of His children and reveals what would much rather lay hidden in the dark recesses of our hearts.

Have you ever read what someone has wrote and immediately make what you believe to be a righteous and informed judgment on them or at least that one aspect of their hearts?

Do you ever feel like if people would listen to what you had to offer them, they wouldn't struggle anymore with their issue?

Have you been prideful at seeing someone's 'wrong' view of Christianity ?  What about if that person was a Christian themselves?

Have you dismissed people that are brothers and sisters in Christ, not choosing to love them as you do yourself, and justified it?

Have you judged someones sins and then put them on your metaphorical 'poop' list?

Oh my how the list could go on and on.  What's worse is that I am guilty of each and every one of these question and continually inviting the Lord into my heart to convict me of these and more, and transform my heart into His.  I love feeling that conviction and submitting, no matter how painful it is.  Some say that I'm an extremest and it's not healthy for me to love seeing what's wrong with me, but I'm beyond caring what others think anymore, lol.  I want His Spirit to illuminate everything in me that hinders love, and pride is a big problem in all of us.

I'm not big fan of Rick Joyner, but I absolutely love his book The "Final Quest".  I think his description of pride in that just wows. I've spoke of humility before, and how the Lord is spending this whole season in my life just working this out in me.  I'm rereading Andrew Murray's book entitled "Humility: The Journey to Holiness" and am so grateful for those who've already chosen the way of humbling themselves before God.  We can learn so much from one another.  

Unity in the body of Christ is absolutely possible if we can just get this aspect of Christ's humility manifested in us worked out.  It really is pride that's at the root of our dissentions with one another.    I refuse to allow pride to continue to take up residence in my heart, and am willing to submit to the Lord in everything He brings to my attention.  Lord Jesus help me to make that true if it's not.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Precious to me

Children are known for being able to just completely touch our hearts and move us in profound ways.  Last night at church, my 6 yr old was filling out a prayer request card and asked me if he could go put it in the prayer box.  I asked him if I could see it first, and he handed it to me.  I went ahead and wrote below his writing what he wrote in case it was hard to make out, but oh my, how it moved my heart.


Then after I told him how precious that was to me, I asked him if there was any way that I could keep it, b/c I wanted it forever.  He, of course, smiled and said yes.  I have the three greatest blessings in the entire world in my sons, and I am aware of it, and grateful for it.  What was so astounding about this was that he chose to describe me in a way that we don't even talk.  No one in our house speaks that way, yet he did.  It was as if the Lord spoke to my son, to write down about me what He sees as He watches me.  My sweet lil' boy was just a willing vessel.  My heart is completely wrecked in such a beautiful and broken way over it because I don't even see myself in that way.  I am one of the greatest failures in mothering, yet I am loved.  I will receive this note and own it as being true, even if it's something I am walking out in my day to day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Constant Affirmation in Growth

I found myself praying last week quite the humbling prayer, of which I didn't even plan on praying, it kind of just spoke itself through my mouth.  I don't know if or how that's possible, but that sure is what it seemed like to me.

I've always referred to myself as a "toddler in Christ", meaning that my spirit is saved by blood of Jesus but my life, actions, thoughts, and heart motives aren't yet in alignment with where my spirit is.   Funny enough, here is the blog I wrote on that (Toddler In Christ, June 2011).  Guess He wasn't saying that's where I was, but rather where I was heading towards!

I've been keenly aware of maturing in Christ and making decisions that do put my life in alignment with His word, as He directs me, and increasing it that.  Last week as I was talking to Him, I had a picture in my head of my current state of maturity in Him and I was NOT a toddler I was a 10 mo old baby.  As I saw this short movie clip playing out in my head, I was praying to the Lord what was going on in it.  I saw these hands coming down and holding me up as I was learning to walk, and encouraging me, and just loving me and enjoying seeing me as I was trying to learn something new.  Then I saw me giving up and crawling over to an electrical outlet to play with that instead.  So I was praying that I needed the Lord's constant encouragement and affirmation, that I needed Him to continually lift me up as I was learning how to walk in Him or else I was certain that I would go and instead busy myself with something that would lead to my spiritual death.

I'm not sure how much sense that makes to anyone reading it, but it was an eye opener to me.  I was considering myself to be more than what I actually was.  It was very humbling, but also encouraging.  If that's the picture I was seeing, than my Father is telling me that is what I am needing from Him and to ask and expect to receive it.  The Lord never shows us things that He's not ready to deal with in our lives and pour out His grace for us to overcome them.

There's been multiple ways that He's been doing exactly what I prayed for Him to do.  He's highlighted patience, being still before Him, having faith and increasing in it, choosing others over myself, and listening immediately to what He says.

This Sunday at church I was listening to someone pray over the Pastor before He gave His sermon.  He was almost done and I had the unction that I should lean over and put something in the bible I saw in front of me.  I hesitated because that just seemed really strange and I didn't want to, and I told the Lord that I couldn't because the prayer was almost over.  I felt such conviction that I wasn't listening to Him and I apologized and told Him to make a way for be to be obedient and I would.  Well, wouldn't you know it, the person finished their prayer and gave the microphone to someone else to pray, so I did choose to listen.  Strangely enough, I opened their bible to the beginning of 2 Peter when I slipped in their surprise, so I wrote that down b/c I wasn't sure whether that was for me or for them, or both.  I felt perfect peace afterwards which is a wonderful indication that I was following in the way in which I should.  My ears were now especially open to anything that would come from 2 Peter and I thanked Him for allowing me the opportunity to partner with Him, and repented for not listening immediately.

Now b/c I've asked Him to constantly affirm things to me, He did.  This is the part that wows me.  The Pastor began to teach on various scriptures and lo and behold 2 Peter 1:21 came up.

2 Peter 1:21  21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

This verse spoke volumes to me.  It's hard to put it all into words as the last 3 yrs have a lot to do with it, but I will do my best.  For anyone who wants a better understanding of what prophecy is, check out http://www.christcenteredmall.com/teachings/gifts/prophecy.htm

Now what I had done in listening to the Lord's promptings was not a prophetic act, but the same discernment in listening was still required.  I heard the Lord's still and quiet voice and acted, and this verse brought that to the forefront for me.  I have been practicing hearing from the Lord for others and speaking His heart to them (aka prophecy) for the last 3 yrs.  I find it's much easier to hear for someone else than it is yourself, and the less you know them, the easier it is!  However, this Sunday morning, I heard for myself, and did what He asked, and He affirmed me in that both in providing an extended opportunity to be obedient and in the Pastor talking about the above verse.   After church I went up for prayer and once again the Lord highlight one specific verse for me that I just keep struggling to come into, and then another one which is on the same exact thing.   This also blesses me immensely because He is keeping His finger on this one issue which is causing me distance from Him and He wants to walk me through it.  Nevermind that I'm on my 3rd year of hearing this one scripture!  I'm choosing to believe that this incredibly slow victory I'm obtaining in this one area just means this victory can never be taken from me because I will be well established in it, lol.

It's so difficult to write about things that affect the spirit b/c spiritual things can not be understood in the flesh, but I wanted so badly to try and give Him the glory for what He's doing in my life.  If you have made it this far in my bumbling testimony, PRAISE THE LORD!  I pray that you were in some way touched and your flame for God is burning even brighter as is my prayer for myself and the rest of His body.

Here is the most amazing 11 min video on the gospel I have ever watched:


Monday, January 14, 2013

Why God?

Let me preface this by saying I do not believe that everything that happens is the will of God.   Feel free to ask questions and I'll address them to the best of my ability, but for right now my understanding is that the Lord uses ALL THINGS for His glory but doesn't necessarily orchestrate those things.  That said, He does have the power to stop things from occurring.  As much as we might sometimes despise it,  he chooses to allow self-will to have its reign in our lives, for better or for worse.  I know of very few Christians who haven't held some kind of grudge against the Lord at some point in time because He allowed a certain tragedy to completely darken their lives that they felt they should have been spared.  My prayer is that we would all search our hearts and give Him that pain so that we can be healed from the things that are brought into our lives from that unforgiveness in our hearts.

After coming to believe that Jesus was in fact the Son of God and not only that, but that He also chose to take my sin upon Himself and be crucified for me, and then resurrected to one day judge the living and the dead, I had a certain peace about my life that was secure.  Fast forward through my incredibly slow walk of faith to about 3 yrs ago when my faith was shaken and I had to come to terms with a God who allowed something to happen that hurt someone very dear to me.  I had rationalized all the other hurt I went through before I started praying (aka talking to Him daily) as what happens when one doesn't know the love of God.  I had now found if I was to continue to believe in a God who was always love, then I needed to have Him address this certain situation and show me how I could still trust Him with all those I held dear and prayed for.  Thankfully, the Lord did provide me a way to see through the pain of the situation, and see that He had also done things that I hadn't recognized at that time as being from Him, but He was trying to minimize the pain that would occur.  As asinine as it sounds, I had to forgive God for not doing what I thought He should have (and forgive myself for missing His leadings), and then trust Him with the ability to use the situation for the good of His kingdom.

I've encountered many situations since then where I've been blessed to see the Lord intervene in them.  There's been times where His intervention was heeded and others where He wasn't.  The results of not recognizing His hand can range from small to devastating.  I wonder how many times the Lord has prompted me to see something that I've just completely ignored not realizing that it was the mercy of God that I was shrugging off.  I want to walk into every blessing He has for me and walk through as little tumultuous pain as possible.  I no longer want to be flippant about listening to His powerful love that desires to guide me into His best.  I guess the purpose of me writing this is to give Him glory for all that He wants to do in me, and thank Him for doing it even though He knows how much of it will just fall by the wayside b/c I won't listen to Him.  I want to thank Him for loving me and not giving up on me, for being loving to me even when I was ignorant or callous towards Him and what He wanted to do.  My prayer is to continue to grow in my awareness of His still and quiet voice that leads me to still waters where I can be refreshed and trust Him, and to ask Him to not allow me to unknowingly ignore His attempts to keep me or my loved ones from harm whether it be emotionally, physically or spiritually.  Although I know that whether I choose to listen or not, or whether life happens and there was nothing said for me to act on, He will be there to comfort me through the ordeal.  He doesn't love like I do with conditions and walls.  He loves without measure and the more I seek Him, the more I find Him.  God is love and I desire to know that love in His fullness, and to love like Him.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blessings in disguise

I am part of a couple online boards that have managed, for the most part, to defy the odds of understanding and have actually been a source of great comfort to me.  We encourage one another, hold one another accountable in love, offer an understanding heart, and encounter many different viewpoints/personalities/personal faiths to help broaden our ability to relate and empathize with one another.

We've have endured the pain together through the loss of jobs and babies, encouraging those in hard marriages, broken family relationships, betrayal of friends, etc...  We have come to know each other, respect one another, and develop a bond through all kinds of situations.

Recently one of our friends has gotten into a ridiculously hard situation with jobs, house selling, house buying, trying to find a new job, and trying to be optimistic and a supportive wife and mother for her family.  We got together to try and figure out how we could bless her, and just let her know that no matter how screwed up things get, that she is blessed and can trust that it will all work out.  They say it's always darkest before the dawn.  My personal feeling is that sometimes the dire things we go through are the only ways we could have developed a closer relationship with our Lord b/c we're desperate for Him in the situation when we've exhausted ourselves trying to make it work and are more in tune with His voice.  His timing in never ours, but it does always come together no matter how messed up it seems.  Anyways, we decided to go in together and get her a gift certificate for her and her husband to each get an hour long massage.  Since they don't do couples massages, we also got her a pedicure to bide her time while she waits for the hubby to get done.  YES, YES, YES, my sweet friend, you did just read that right.  Go to Haar Friseure Spa and Salon and give them your name and cell phone # to pick up your gift certificate, OR you can just make an appt b/c they have your gift card already registered in their computer system under your name ;)

Moral of the story:  Read the links people send you, lolololol.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Can we hear directly from God

YES!!!!  In fact, it's God's intention that we hear directly from Him.  It's because He loves us with such a zealous love, He wants us to depend on Him and not ourselves.  He created us to be one with Him through His Son.  Our current misunderstanding of trying to live a "good life" while He's up there somewhere in Heaven watching, tallying our deeds, blowing off our failures, and waiting to fulfill His purpose in creating us until we die and get up there, could NOT be more wrong.   We are to bring Heaven to Earth now; forgive so He forgives us, treat others as better than ourselves.  He desires to be personally involved in every aspect of our lives, and the more time we spend with Him, the more we recognize Him.  Or as I like to say, our eyes are opened where we were once blind.

Now that's not to say that I hear from Him on everything, b/c I don't.  Actually, there are many things in my life where I don't, but yet I can hear for other people and what He wants to tell them.  I think part of that is spiritual maturity (I've got a ways to go to be what He told us to be made into in His word) and the other part is that the Lord wants us to rely on His body (the followers of Jesus Christ aka the church) and not get into spiritual pride thinking we don't need anyone but Him.  Let me give two examples of someone hearing from the Lord (aka prophecy)... and then one where I did.

Last week I was blessed beyond words by a man Steve and I do not know very well coming up to us and speaking some words that God had placed on his heart for us.  He addressed three areas of which he had zero knowledge, but Steve and I knew exactly what he was talking about.  I was so excited that the Lord, in His love, did such a wonderful thing for us.  I'd love to go into more detail, but since it involves someone besides me, I'll wait for the go ahead ;)

Then tonight at church, I had my heart touched in a way that surprised even me with the Lord's heart for me.  I was at the front of the church (my normal place, lol) and was just praising the Lord while the Worship Team was singing.  After a while, the Pastor asked anyone who wanted prayer to come up, and for the prayer ministry team to come and pray for whoever they feel led to (there are flexible guidelines in place as far as praying for others goes).  One of the women on the worship team came over, gently placing her hand on me, and started softly singing 'Lord she just wants to know You'  Then she heard directly from Him, allowing her voice to give utterance to His heart, she continued singing 'I want her to know Me...', which led to her singing over really private and intimate cries of my heart, allowing me to hear that my Daddy sees those places, and His desire is for me to know Him in all of those ways also.  I can't explain to you how it felt to have her verbally say what He sees in my house, where I'm literally standing as I'm talking to Him, what I'm asking in those rooms of my house, the secret 'acceptable' sin of my heart, the insecurity that hides stealthily deep in my soul, and then His promise that I will see what I desire to have.  I wish that I had the writing skills that I see in my friends blogs b/c I know that I'm not even coming close to doing this beautiful gift the Lord has given us justice.  It has changed my life.

Last Wednesday at church, they had the prophecy team come up to the front of the church and just ask the Lord if there was anything He wanted to say to anyone.  I got a few bible verses and a few things impressed on my heart to share with a woman I didn't know, and I was VERY hesitant to do it.  I finally decided that God was bigger than me, and if I screwed it up, He can fix it.    I spoke forth what I felt has been given to me to say and there was no reaction that I could see from this woman, but that was okay b/c I knew that I was just trying to listen to the Lord, and regardless everything would be alright.  Then on Sat, I got confirmation that I nailed it, and the girl was completely blown away by what I had said.  Even better though, tonight as I was leaving, she just happened to be there for her 2nd time at our church, and came up to me to tell me how the bible verses I gave her addressed the 3 things on her heart, and how the words I spoke to her encouraged her so much b/c she was really struggling in those areas.

I was already in such a place of awe b/c of how the Lord had spoken to me through someone, and now I got to be even more awed that He would be so specific through me to address the concerns of her heart.  I am a mess.  I have so many flaws. I trust, lean on, and believe in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (note that the Lord is not just Savior, but also Lord), and He works through me in spite of my problems, b/c that's who He is.  God is love, and He'll work through anyone who will yield themselves to Him.

I can honestly say that I can't believe that I believe what I do, but there isn't a possibility that anyone could convince me otherwise now.  How does one turn back and deny the Holy Spirit once they've tasted and seen how good God is?  How can people expect me to not shout it from the rooftops when it's literally changed my life and who I am for the better?  His gifts are free, we might as well utilize them.