Oh, stop your complaining!

The other day I was laying my 3 year old down for a nap and she wasn’t quite in the mood to lay down without complaint.  She mumbled and grumbled, complained and argued, and continue to give me many excuses as to why she felt she didn’t need a nap.  And with every mumble and grumble I calmly gave her a reason why I wanted her to take a nap. To my surprise, after about 30 minutes of the mumbling and grumbling she finally surrendered her will and laid down and said “Okay, mommy, I’ll lay down and take a nap.”

I laid there thinking immediately of my own Christian walk with the Lord and the many times He asked me to do things and I mumbled and grumbled, complained and argued, and continued to give him excuses as to why I think I shouldn’t do it or how I think it should be done.  Each time I complained or gave an excuse, He was still there calmly giving me the reason why I should do what He has asked me to do….it mostly revolved around just plain and simple obedience, but it also had a lot to do with surrendering my own will. This whole scenario reminded me of Matthew 21:28 when Jesus spoke of the two sons who their father asked to go and work in the vineyard. The first son first, complained, but did what the father asked him to do.  The second son told the father he would go, but didn’t.  Many of our struggle through this life has much to do with whose will we want to see manifest in our lives…His or ours. We can talk the talk all day long like the son in Matthew 21, but if we don’t surrender to the Father’s will & do what He has asked us to do our talk is meaningless and our lives are nothing but a lie.

What is the Father asking you to do? Share your faith? Forgive someone who has wronged you? Have more of a submissive heart towards your husband? Be more of a godly leader and husband in your home? Whatever it may be, perhaps it is time to stop the grumbling, complaining, and excuses and just be obedient to what He has called you to do 🙂

Philippians 2:13-15 “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,…”

Show me da money!!!

The Lord has really been speaking to me ever since we sold our restaurant about simplifying materialistic things in my life. I have come to the conclusion that the restaurant was actually a bit of a hinderance when it came to my trust and faith in God.  Since selling the restaurant I have had to learn a whole new way of budgeting and living.  Something I am and have been learning is the principle of tithing.  Now, I know what you are thinking, “Uh oh, she is talking about money and what the Bible says about it…gonna make me feel guilty about the whole 10% thing.” Honestly, tithing is between you and God and no one else.  I just wanted to share what I feel He has really deposited with my spirit lately about how I spend money.  The principle of tithing though, is much deeper than just the concept of 10%.  This principle has everything to do with your DAILY relationship with God, plain and simple.  Romans 8:5-8 states:

 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

Back in the day when my mind was completely flesh driven I spent my money on frivolous, temporary, fading secular things and the more my mind is being renewed as I spend time in prayer and in the word, the Spirit is driving the way I spent His money..my perception of how to budget and spend His money has really began to change and I am seeing my “secular” view take a back seat.

For example, a little over 2 months ago we moved into a new home where the only things we were able to spend money on was painting the walls and on curtains in our master bedroom so my youngest could take naps.  Every time I have gotten the “I wants,” which unfortunately is frequent, He keeps reminding me of His calling He has placed on Jerry’s and my life into children’s ministry and to the mission field…that His money needs to be spent on kingdom work and that all those “I wants” will be taken care of in their own way.

Recently the Lord has called me to go to Brazil in October and I was sharing this with my mom.  She asked about the details and the costs and she had said “You know you could take that same amount money and time and get the things you need for your house and get your house in order before you start going on all these mission trips.” I know she means well, as all moms do, and she is right according to how the world sees the stewardship of money.  I could spend paycheck after paycheck making sure I am keeping up with the Jone’s and building myself a nice “pad”, but that is not what God has called me to. He has called me to a level of trust and faith I have never known.

So, a couple of weeks go by and guess who cleans out her house and begins to provide all the things my home needs?  My mom! My hairdryer broke and guess who brought me one that she had bought for a trip and never used? My mom!  Lately my youngest daughter has been growing so quickly and the Lord spoke to me to just be patient and get the full use of all her clothes before going out and spending money on new ones. Guess who went out and bought her clothes while I patiently waited? My mom! I also received a bag of clothes out of the blue from a friend whose daughter had grown out of her clothes as well. Our lawn mower broke and as my husband was out attempting to fix it, our neighbor who had just got back in town from living in Canada half the year, came over and they began to talk and introduce themselves.  My husband told of his dilemma with the lawn mower.  My neighbor said his farewells and then came right back with a lawn mower and gave it to us and quoted Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Also, a friend of ours called my husband out of the blue, who partnered with him for his trip to Africa, last week and said, “Whatever you guys are doing with missions, I want to partner with you financially and prayerfully.” That is just plain God!! God is using my mom along with many others to confirm His call on our lives into ministry and to continue growing my faith and trust in Him.

As God continues to call my husband and I onto the mission field and into children’s ministry, He has been giving me this unique perception of waiting on spending things for our lives on this earth. My home will always need “things”, my wardrobe will always need “updating”, my transportation will always need “style”, my guitar will always need strings, but the need to reach the lost is NOW, here and in other nations.  I realized when my husband went to Africa the money spent sending him and the money we tithe at our church does greater things in this community than my money could ever do at Wal-Mart, Wallstreet, a car dealership, the movie theatre, and eating out.  To me the real principle of tithing is being so aligned with the will of God in your life that you begin to see going without “things” is really no big deal so that someone else doesn’t have to go without eternity! Your money, talent, and treasure given to God gives better returns than any worldly value can equal!

I want to encourage you if you have had a hard time tithing or giving to people in need to really look at the way you spend you money.  It will show you what your “treasure” is.  Ask God to help you align yourself with His will for your life and His “economy.”  I promise once you do that all other things will seem pretty meaningless and you will start to perceive things the way He sees things and be interested in the people Jesus was interested in…Jesus was interested in three kinds of people: the least, the last and the lost. Which ones are you interested in?

supply every need

Burger King…Having it your way, huh?

Not many of us, especially if you are a woman like to hear the word submit or submission.  At least in my generation we were taught to think for ourselves, a woman can do any job a man can do, and we don’t need a man to take care of us.  The word submit carries such a negative tone in our culture that many look at you funny when you even bring up the topic. The definition of this “taboo” word is: the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.

As a woman who desires, yearns, and seeks, the will of the Father, submit is at the very heart of it. In my early years of marriage, I never really gave the word submit much thought but as I continue to grow in the Lord I realize just how important this word means.  There was a time I had fought, resisted, and even down right rebelled against that word for many years. It wasn’t the word that bothered me so or even the act of submitting, so I thought.  I mean, if my husband wanted me to make him dinner, I would, besides I had to eat too.  Or, if my mom asked me to get her something at the store, I would go, I had to get something for myself anyways….that’s submission, right? Little did I know, I had no idea what submit truly meant, especially what it meant in my walk with the Lord.

I was in for a rude awakening when I was hit with this huge truth, almost like a meteor coming through the starlit sky with my name on it.  Of course I was okay with the word, because I really didn’t know what it really meant until the Lord kept hitting me with things He wanted out of my life.  He kept asking me to give this up and that up and I kept holding on to them, not submitting, as if they were priceless jewels and that my life would be better with them.  The Lord made it almost impossible to live with myself. It was as if this very scripture had taken siege of my life “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.” Job 21:22 It was an almost daily look in the mirror of the things I knew I was holding back, clinging to and not submitting to Him.  I don’t really know how it happened, perhaps it was time spent in the Word or praying, but I began to trust God, letting these things go in my life that He repeatedly kept gently asking me to let go.  The more I let go, submitting to His will, the more I began to feel freer and the more His blessings of peace, love, and joy began to fill my life.  My relationship with my husband went to a whole new level.  As I submitted to God, I began to submit more to my husband. I began to see a change within myself that honestly, really shocked me.  The things I had normally fought my husband on or disagreed with were now a non-issue.  I felt I had finally understood the meaning of submission! It wasn’t compromising as I told myself over the years, submission was not having my way all the time….and you know what? The world actually didn’t end when I didn’t get my way 🙂

I remember reading in 1 Peter 3:1-5 “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.” That last sentence just struck me as awesome! Those women adorned themselves with a submitting heart, a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight! I know that contradicts our world, but we are not of this world 🙂

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean wives are to lay down and be walked on or be forced to submit…not at all! Submitting to someone else should not be something that’s forced on someone. It must be their choice to willingly yield to another out of love. If you are forcing yourself to submit the blessing will not come.  It is almost like the joyful giver that the Lord loves so much.  He wants someone to submit willingly, not out of duty or with hidden motives. In Ephesians 5:21 the Bible says “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Biblical submission is all about love. That is what Christ did for us on the cross.  He willingly gave himself, submitted His will to the Father’s will.  If we are to be like Jesus, then His example is exactly what we should follow!

I want to encourage you if the Lord has been speaking to you about things that you need to rid your life of, or things He has specifically been asking you to do, submit! The blessing of submission far out weighs having your way all the time! Trust in His will, obey His Word, and submit to the One who holds your future!

The silence of God that speaks volumes!

Many a times in my walk with the Lord I have found myself wondering where God was in my times of trouble because I could not hear Him lead me into still waters.  There was no burning bush or beam of light pointing in the direction I should go. There was a quote I remember seeing a while ago that read “When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is remember the teacher is always silent during a test.” That maybe true, but what about the times things are going good? Is He silent or have we just placed Him on the back burner because things are well? Do you seek Him only during times of trouble or is your seeking of His goodness on a daily basis?

I am a firm believer in the whole “daily seeking Him” phenomenon, so you can imagine my surprise when my husband and I had a pretty big decision to make and things became pretty quiet.  Weeks went by and I had heard nothing, nada, zilch, from God.  Don’t get me wrong, He showed up in praise and worship and His peace was fully within me, but no word, no deep revelation for this decision.  I was a little unnerved by His quietness.  It had seemed like it to me that most of the times He was ever quiet with me was when I was being disobedient, off doing my own thing. Eventually I would get a good ol’ butt kicking by His Word and get my head screwed on straight again, but this time it just seemed different.

It wasn’t till an amazing mentor of mine shared with me from their own experience how sometimes God seeming to be “quiet” has nothing to do with your calling or decision. Sometimes, it seems He is waiting for us as much as we are waiting for him! It dawned on me after that bit of truth how so many times I thought He was quiet, but in all actuality He was just waiting for me….waiting for me to get aligned with His will or waiting for me to take that first step of faith.  Another thing that dawned on me was sometimes there are things in our lives that hinder us from hearing Him speak and sometimes there is just too much “noise” in our lives to be able to hear Him.

I have learned on a number of occasions if you lower the “noise” from around you and truly seek Him, He never disappoints! He may not speak, but you will feel His presence and that is more than enough for me.  Jeremiah 29:13 says “Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.”

So if you have had a decision to make or going through something and you haven’t heard from God let me encourage you to lower the “noise” within your own life.  Sometimes that may mean saying no to some obligations, turning off your technology and social media for a week or so, or even fasting for a couple days.  Your faithfulness will not go unseen.  For He has promised that when we seek Him and search for Him with all our heart, we will find Him. Happy searching 🙂

Married women do what?

I have written before about this subject and have even posted something on social media that I thought would be met with opposition, but was welcomed more than I had hoped.  Seeing this issue welcomed the way it was, I came to the conclusion this is a greater problem than I had realized.  I pray you take my words seriously as I share from my own experiences.

There is a sickness among married women that is destroying the very foundation of today’s marriages. This sickness can infest all marriages, not just Christian ones…it is a lie and deceitful tactic orchestrated from the pit of hell itself that makes these women think it is time to spread their wings, fly the coup for a bit, letting the husband pick up the slack, hang with a younger crowd, drink away the feeling of unworthiness, and dance the night away….let me tell you, you are being deceived by an enemy only wanting to destroy, not just your marriage, but the next generation of kids….only you can stop it!
How do I know? Cause I once had this sickness and it almost destroyed everything I held dear in my life.  As a follower of Christ it started because I thought I could run my life better than the One who created it.  I believed if I took my focus off the “main thing” which was my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and divided between myself and Jesus, all would be fine. I quickly came to the conclusion there is a reason why it is stated in the Bible in Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” In my case the money was me wanting to fulfill my wants and needs before God’s. You cannot serve both! Let me say that again….You cannot serve both. Galatians 5:16-17 says “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.”  It is a constant battle that in the end if you do not have Jesus as the “main thing” in your life you will lose the battle horribly!

In the life of a married woman who is not a follower of Christ it starts mostly because you begin to take your spouse for granted and begin to listen to lies within your own head.  Lies like “He really doesn’t appreciate you…look at all you do,” or “Your children don’t appreciate anything you do for them,” or “You see how unworthy he makes you feel?” or “You really need to have a girls night out more often,” or “You would be happier with someone else,” and my favorite, “All you need is just a couple drinks to take your mind of everything.” Once you temporarily medicate yourself on a daily basis with alcohol it is a slow spiral downward until you are left asking God to just take you out of this world.

It is a dark and very lonely place to be and most of it is because we have persuaded ourselves to think we have stayed at home long enough and it is time for us to join the rest of the world, but it is not the world that needs you…your husband and your children do!  I don’t know where you are in your marriage or even if you have a relationship with Jesus.  The one thing I do know is as many steps as I took away from Jesus, He was only one step from me and all I had to do was call out to Him, turn from my ways, and place Him at the throne of my life! And yes, it is that easy…painful, but easy! No one likes to look themselves in the mirror, but what you are doing will impact, not just yourself and family, but generations to come.

I pray that you seriously take my words as a warning. If you are finding yourself in this type of mindset bury your pride, humble yourself before God, and ask for His help! Only you can make the decision…I pray it is the right one!
satan a liar

So you say you have trusting issues?

I use to think I knew what it meant to trust God, I really thought I did. I always prayed when things started looking a little dimmer. I prayed even during the good times, thanking Him for His provision in my life. I even thought when Steven was almost hit by a car that my trust was placed in the right place and still do.
It wasn’t until recently I realized my trusting in the Lord was only a fraction of what I thought it was. It has dawned on me that I really haven’t had to “trust in the Lord” as much as I thought. As I look back in the last three years, the only thing that I myself couldn’t provide was my protection and the protection of my children…and that is a whole other blog post.
I am amazed as I look back and think of my lifestyle while owning a restaurant and I have come to the conclusion that my restaurant hindered my faith when it came to trusting in the Lord. I wanted for nothing owning that kind of business. Everything was provided for my family, except one thing…the abundant life I live now. Huh, Cis? I don’t get that, I thought you just said you wanted for nothing…sounds kinda abundant to me!
It was abundant in worldly standards, but I was as poor as one could be on the inside! When the Lord asked us to sell our restaurant I didn’t really understand a lot of what He was asking us other than being called into full-time ministry and even that I didn’t know where, how, or when. All I knew is that He had called us and I knew better not to obey that call. Some may say that was trust, but I just call that obedience…I guess they both go hand in hand, really. I knew enough about my walk with the Lord and the Bible to obey what He calls us to do…just look at the book of Jonah 🙂
The kind of trust I am talking about is the everyday, provision of my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs…not just when all other things have failed. For example, having the cash flow of a restaurant I really didn’t have to trust in the Lord for my bills, but just the thankfulness of His provision. Now, He is revealing to me how He desires me to trust Him for every single dime. Some may think that is easy, but it is one thing to just say you trust in the Lord for your finances for a family of 6 living on one income and another to complete believe what you say in your heart that you have an abundant joy and peace because of that trust! Another example is having physical ailments and heading to the medicine cabinet instead of going to the “Great Physician” first, then the medicine cabinet. With all these things He desires us to seek and trust Him first and foremost!
I want to challenge you to start heading to the One who desires to meet your needs and yearns for you to trust Him with anything because He is your everything! 1 Corinthians 1:25 says “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” Once we realize that we will never turn to anything else for our needs 🙂
Don’t take my word for it take His Word:
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 “And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”

Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

I wanted to share an article I found that just really touched me 🙂 I pray it encourages you and gives you a peace about your “calling.” Enjoy!

A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”

She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It’s Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.

Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.

The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

The Question Is How

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?

It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.

Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.

Hands Full of Good Things

When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”

Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.

Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.

byRachel Jankovic

The Most Powerful Book Known to Man

There sure are a lot of defeated Christians walking around these days as if they don’t know who lives in them.  I’m astonished at times listening to a friend explain situations in their lives that with their own words and attitude have already defeated themselves.  When I say these things, I am not judging, for I was in the same shoes and believed the same lies the enemy told me many times…”How many times you gonna pray that? God can’t hear you with the way you are living!” “Why even pick up that Bible, you don’t even understand half of what is in it! It can’t help you anyways!” If I had a dollar for every time I heard those lies throughout my walk with the Lord, and the countless others he spews forth out of his lying mouth, I could have helped finance the streets of gold.  I am finding more and more, after each battle of the mind, once I put forth the Word of God, the enemy flees and I love it!!

Isaiah 55:11 states “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  The Word of God will not return back to you void, it will accomplish what you say it will as when you declare “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” in James 4:7. For that which is said will be done.  I dare you to try it one day when you are being tempted to visit your past sins or put someone in their place for being rude to you. Declare James 4:7 and just watch the enemy flee…it actually is entertaining to say the least.  Now, I am not trying to make light using the Word of God for defensive purposes, but to show you first how very simple it is and most importantly just how extremely powerful the inerrant Word of God is.

What exactly would it take for you to know just how powerful the book you take to church with you everyday is? Do you need to see a burst of light come shooting through it? Or do you need to see blind eyes receive sight, a lame person begin to walk? Or how about someone full of hopelessness, and despair, on their way to hell, receive the gift of eternal life, replacing that hopelessness and despair with a love that knows no bounds and a peace beyond compare? Are you waiting on a miracle to finally believe the power you hold in your hand from just 65 small chapters is true? John 20:29 says “Then Jesus told him,”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Your transformed life from what you were to who you are now is that miracle! The words found in the Bible and your believing heart is what changed you!

Now take that same formula, the Word of God and your faith in that Word, and put it on display within your own life and begin to watch your battles become victories one after another! It really is that simple! Stop the excuses of “Well I can’t memorize scripture or I really don’t have that kind of time to get into the Word.” Turn off television, your iPod, iPad, the computer and open up that Bible and begin living victoriously again!! Time is short and it is time to stop being lazy in the Word, put on that armor, and get to uplifting, encouraging, rebuking, declaring, loving, and quoting through the Word of God!

I want to encourage you to understand that you do not have to ever live in defeat again.  You have the power in that small little book we call the Bible to not just know how to live abundantly, but to take down every high imagination that presents itself against the knowledge of God.  Believe me, satan wants  nothing more than to make you think you have no power when it comes to opening the Bible and quoting scripture, but I want to assure you with everything that is inside of me, there is power in the Word of God, there is power in the blood, and it is the same blood shed that covers everything you did, everything you do and everything that you will do!  Don’t just sit there anymore living in defeat! Pick up that Bible, start writing life-giving, butt kicking, scriptures down on index cards, carry them with you where ever you go and when you begin to feel the mind game start, put forth that word that goes out from your mouth: It will not return to you empty, but will accomplish what you desire and achieve the purpose for which you sent it. Hallelujah, glory to God forever and ever, Amen!

If you need some scriptures to start with please do not hesitate to ask me 🙂 God Bless!

Quick, hold this beer, I need to go witness to him…….

I seem to still take for granted certain ideologies that I feel others hold are the same as mine and I find myself completely at a loss of words when I find they do not.  I know..pretty ignorant and niave of me.  I cannot imagine choices made by those that go through this life thinking there will be no consequences for their actions.  I know where I once walked in darkness, I knew there would be consequences of my actions, but tried to live in denial thinking if I could just bury that truth “under the rug” then it would eventually disappear.  Boy did I wake up in a huge heap of reality when I looked around at the collateral damage of my sinful lifestyle. Fortunately, I was also overwhelmed when I felt and was suffocated by God’s mercy and grace when I surrendered and repented of that lifestyle as stated in Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of
refreshing may come from the Lord.”

I watch many go through life the way I did.  They think because they carry the name of a Christian, that is a free ticket to say and do anything their flesh desires as long as at the end of the day, they repent.  That line of reasoning is so far from the Christian life that it saddens me to think that is exactly what most think! Do what you want, repent later, because, hey, God is a forgiving God, right? Yes, He is forgiving and He is a very extravagant loving God, but He also is a very just and holy God where sin cannot be where He is. That would be like trying to get water and oil to mix…it is just not going to happen! We are living in a day and age where doing what “feels good” is rampant and where doing what “feels right and holy” isn’t the norm and we are slowly being looked down for that kind of thinking. We are no way being persecuted as Paul or Stephen was, but the days are getting closer and I have definitely felt the heat rising as people everywhere are beginning to believe the lies of hate and discord spewed by the enemy regarding those of us who are true followers of Jesus.

Are you a true follower of Jesus?  Does it show in your words….in your actions?  In Matthew 7:13-14 the Word says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” It also states in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” What a sobering thought….many who claim the name Christian will be turned away from the Lord.  Only God knows those who claim the name and walk the Way!

I want to encourage you to examine what you call yourself and how you live your life.  To me, it would be better to not claim the name and just live your life as usual, than claim the name, not live the way and cause someone to stumble. I apologize for the bluntness of this post, but I find the final destination of everyone’s souls more important than walking on someone’s toes and if you know me, you know this as all the rest are written in complete love!  Also, as Charles Spurgeon once wrote “Time is short. Eternity is long.  It is only reasonable that this short life be lived in the light of eternity.” What light are you living in?

The grass is greener where you water it!

Walking out of the house this morning to take the kids to school I noticed a spot in our yard where oil had spilt from some car repairs we had performed a couple of months ago and realized the grass had not grown there still.  As I drove away I pondered the effects the oil spill had on that specific spot on my lawn as the rest of it seemed to grow green and beautiful.

So many things in our life are hindered from growing because of the crud we pour into it. We complain our kids don’t listen and are unruly, yet we spend no quality time with them; instead, we waste our time on social media or glued to the television and telephone.  We complain our marriage has lost that “loving feeling,” yet we ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit to go to our spouse and daily pray with them; instead we let past offenses simmer in our minds and hearts til we convince ourselves the marriage is no longer worth saving or you are no longer compatable.  We complain our husband doesn’t do this or doesn’t do that, yet we ignore his simple needs of a tidy home or a loving and respectful wife to come home to; instead we gripe to our friends how our needs are not being met in the relationship. We complain our walk with the Lord isn’t what it use to be, yet we spend no or little time in His Word or in prayer, instead we use our time busying ourselves with mundane things that bring no fruit to our lives. We complain our job is just a means to a paycheck and can’t wait to find another, but spend no time investing in the people we have worked with for years; instead, we find everything wrong with our work, our boss, and our pay. There are so many areas in our life that we complain about and yet we continue to pour the same crud into those things preventing anything from being fruitful in those areas.

As the famous saying goes “The grass is greener where you water it!”  Proverbs 11:24-25 states “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Just as the filth and crud from the oil that was spilt on our once green lawn brought an area of no growth, if you pour unfruitful, flesh driven things into every area of your life, you will see no growth in those areas.  Watch this though, what happens to oil that has been refined? It becomes useful again and even prosperous if placed in the proper hands.  So, if you change or refine what you spill into your life it can become fruitful and if you place areas in your life that you know to be a struggle in the “Potter’s hands” He can make it fruitful and prosperous again.

I don’t know where you are in your life.  I sure do see a lot of hurt due to people pouring the wrong things into areas in their lives that desperately are in need of the “refiners fire” or the “potter’s hand”.  I want to challenge you instead of complaining or pointing fingers, to look at what YOU are pouring into those areas of your life that are not bearing fruit or not growing? If you are in the same place you were six months ago or even a year ago I would like to bet the only common denominator is yourself and it is time to take a long look in the mirror and stop pouring crud, flesh driven things into those areas of no growth.  I know I am no farmer, but I do know the simple concept of watering and fertilizing and when you are using tainted water and cheap fertilizer the crops in your field will suffer greatly.  Choosing wisely the things you pour into your life not only make a good farmer, but a happy and prosperous life 🙂