Tuesday, June 14, 2011

15 Things I Don't Do Anymore...

  1. Think everything is about me. (its not, and it never has been.)
  2. Throw tantrums to get my way. (this only made me look childish)
  3. Put my friends before my family. (family is very sacred to me.)
  4. Question God's plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  5. Have 'friends' that bring me down and only bring negative into my life. (they were never friends anyway.)
  6. Think clothing labels define me as a person. (if I shop, its yardsales, goodwill and ross.)
  7. Compromise my morals and what I know is right for "love" (song of solomon 8:5.)
  8. Never apologize when I'm wrong. (I hurt when I know I've hurt people.)
  9. Listen to music that glorifies things of this world. (positive, uplifting music changes your attitude.)
  10. Depend on money for my happiness. (a garden hose is just as much fun on a hot summer day as shopping.)
  11. Think the dishes are more important than storytime. (they can wait.)
  12. Think that manual, hard work is beneath me. (having no husband, I do things myself or they aren't done at all.)
  13. Hate cats. (I love Chloe.)
  14. Think any situation is hopeless. (With God, all things are possible.)
  15. Hold onto a grudge. (Let it fly, release, and forgive.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We're not so different after all...

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10

The way it should be.

But the way it is leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A bitter taste. Metallic like rust, stinging like venom entering my bloodstream. Why does so much discourse exist within the realm of Christians when there is spiritual warfare raging all around us? Are there not enough weapons being aimed at us without being hit by 'friendly fire'?

Do you realize the potential here, my brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you realize the potential to make a city for our God, our Redeemer? To be the hands of feet of the One, Alpha and Omega? Matthew 5:14 tells us, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." 'You' doesn't mean me. 'You' doesn't mean you. You, in context, means us. We people, mighty and brave for God's Word, His truth. God's people, the Grace-granters, the Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We people, us people.

Me and you, and him and her. And them, there. All of us. Across the street in a mighty brick building, across the street in a rental property. With ties and suits, with jeans with mud. Arriving on a motorcycles, arriving in a Lexus. On a pulpit, on Welfare. We are called to be the people of God, united.

I pray, the enemy doesn't find place in our discriminations, our comforts of our four walls held together by cement or brick and mortar. I pray, the enemy doesn't find place in judgments over electric guitars versus organs. I pray, we never dare to give the enemy place to let us judge a body of Christ without sitting in the seats, feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit running throughout. We may not look alike, but don't we seek the same?

Why are your hands clinched tight into fists?

I think, God has given us each a spiritually fingerprint. I am different from you. Our pasts don't match. My testimony includes storms God has blessed me with. Your testimony includes battles that I may never have fought. But the end of our stories are the same, Christ redeemed us. We came to Him dirty, ragged messes of people and He has made us new and beautiful in His sight. He loves us!
 And these fingerprints are no mistake. Because as our identities and stories will never match completely, there are parts that will correlate with other lost people, and they will see how God has redeemed even us, the sinners that we are. And there is the relationship. The bridge that crosses boundaries to start a conversation about the Grace of God, the gift we've never deserved.
I'm a single mother with a heart desperate for God. A hard road to travel. And this storm God has given me allows me to reach others, to help when I can because we've been in similar places. We've asked God why and held babies alone crying in the dead of night. And that makes us kindred spirits. And there's the stepping stone that God's placed between us.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God" 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God has given us preferences for the Glory of His Kingdom, to unite these bonds between Grace-filled and the world. Use these gifts for good! Do not let the Devil use them for his purposes.  An internet broadcast of a sermon reaches people that a Sunday morning message may not. A man dressed in Goodwill donations may solicit more trust from the homeless than a man in a freshly dry-cleaned suit. What I am saying is these preferences, these things that we prefer, are gifts and you can either use them as a tool to serve God with or you can let them break this bond that we should have as believers. Its our choice, brothers and sisters. Our choice.

Let's unite and look Satan in the face for our Lord. 
Let's bring a revolution to this city for His Glory, in His name. 
We can start this one by one, but oh, how much stronger we will be standing together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I've come into habit to expect the stones that make me stumble while walking my path of faith. I've come to expect targets being drawn on my back as I worship the one Creator of the Universe. I've come to expect the world to be cruel because this is not my home.

Because not all enemies carry swords and arrows, some just carry a grudge.

Romans tells us, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;"...

Think about that with your Americanized mind for a moment, rejoice in sufferings??? Really, God? Seriously? You have got to be kidding me...

My reaction was just that a few years ago as I felt persecution, as I felt the Devil having a field-day with my family, my life. He was celebrating our misery. Celebrating our shortcomings. And I knelt over and let him dance right upon my back, pushing my face further into the mud of this world.

And suffering has come knocking again. The shortcomings have come calling.
Financial burdens, friendships put under stress, work related agonies all here. Building an army to destroy my castle in the sand.
But, I think the Devil missed the memo that I've been made new...I have the King of Kings on my side, the Rock of Ages standing strong.

Take the castle in the sand, Satan. 

"Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go. I'm telling you 'Don't panic, I'm right here to help you.'" Isaiah 41:13 (The Message)

 God has GREAT things in store for my life for His glory, not my own. 
And I will REJOICE in these shortcomings. I will REJOICE in these burdens. I will REJOICE in the Lord, our God, who loves me at my lowest of lows and my highest of highs. I am a child of the KING and no target on my back can ever take that away from me!
So if you're feeling the troubles that come along with this life, know you aren't alone. God is for you! He delights in making us new,  restoring us for His glory. Don't believe the lie the enemy whispers in your ear. You are NOT alone. You have brothers and sisters here on this earth willing to pray for you, to lift you up. And you are in God's hands. He is faithful. He is good. And He will never abandon you.
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