The Answer

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4

The answer to all of life’s questions and concerns can be found in one person and place and no other. That person is Jesus and that place is His Word.

“The words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are Life.” -John 6:63

 Your hope, healing, purpose and future can’t be found in self-help books, seminars, 12 step programs or spas. Alcohol and drugs (prescription or otherwise) only numbs the pain, giving you a temporary reprieve. None of these things can give you the lasting results you need. They don’t provide you with the key to unraveling the thoughts that you wrestle with daily. They don’t release you from the lies, hurts and fears that you constantly struggle with. None are truly capable of freeing you completely from your addictions.  Jesus Can! HE is the answer and the freedom you so desperately seek.  The One who can take your brokenness and make you whole. Jesus is the lover, author and perfecter of your life.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” -John 14:6

When you feel like your trapped in a maze, Jesus says: I’m going to make a way for you. When the world and the ones you love reject you and your heart and mind is bombarded with lies, Jesus says: I’m your truth and I know the truth concerning you. When all hope is lost and you struggle to believe that your life has worth or purpose, Jesus says: I am a restorer of life. Your life is in my hands. Your life is linked to Mine and it is an abundant life filled with beauty, great plans, hope and a future.

Friend, it may seem like you’re in an impossible situation but for God nothing is impossible. His best overrides the enemy’s worst and know that it is the one whom So Loved You, fighting for you.

“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. ” -Psalms 91:15

A Prayer For You


“May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you… May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.” -Psalm 20: 1-4

In Jesus name Amen.

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God Is With You

IMG_0489It’s been over a year since my Dad passed away to be with Christ. When your parent gets up there in age, you begin to prepare yourself for that day. In spite of your best efforts, you’re never really prepared for that moment when you realize that they’re gone. No more laughter, or advice you really didn’t want. Just silence.

In the beginning everyone is so understanding with words of comfort. When days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months and years your encouragers begin to wonder sometimes out loud, Will you get over it already! They don’t mean to be cruel but I guess people’s tolerance for grief is limited. So in an effort to not be a buzz-kill, you lie when they ask you how you’re doing. You put on your best smile and fake it for as long as you can and when you can’t fake it anymore you isolate yourself. In the back of your mind you hope that someone would notice that you haven’t texted or called; that they barely see you anymore. My guess and I could be wrong is that your distance is a bit of a relief to them. You’re clearly depressed in their eyes and who wants to be around someone like that.

I believe sadness is often misinterpreted as depression. What I feel is a great amount of sadness but because of my Dad’s salvation I have hope. For some, losing a parent is like losing a part of you. It’s like your childhood just disappeared. You’re no longer someone’s little girl/boy anymore. If you’re close to that parent you miss just being able to pick up the phone and talk to them. You miss the relationship.

I share this to share what God did for me in the midst of my trouble. The word says that God draws near to the broken-hearted.  Not only did He draw near, He kept showing up as a Father. The first time was while visiting my sister in-law’s church. The church joined hands in a prayer circle; everyone got a chance to speak. I lifted up my Dad’s salvation to the Lord, (my Dad was unconscious in the ICU at the time,)  it’s been my prayer for him for years. My mouth repeated my petition but my heart was screaming, “God I wish you could just come down and give me a hug!” I didn’t say that out loud, this was an intercessory moment. It wasn’t about me.

The Pastor dropped her hands and looked me straight in my eyes. She said, “God told me to give His Daughter a hug.” She walked over to me and gave me the biggest, warmest hug I’ve ever received. She began to pray over me in a heavenly tongue while she held me. I don’t know what she said but I felt the arms of God wrapped around me and I was so touched and humbled that He called me His Daughter before a group of people.

Whenever I write in my prayer journal to God I would close with, “Love, your daughter” I was never certain if I had the right to call myself daughter. That day He permanently evicted the doubts in my heart and mind when I heard Him say, “I AM Your Father and I AM With You and For You, Wherever You Go.”

It didn’t matter to God that I was still feeling the loss even after a year. It didn’t matter that I struggled to smile. I don’t have to pretend or hide my emotions from Him. He promised that He would be with me wherever I go. If I’m in despair, He’s right there collecting every tear. If I’m angry, He’s there without judgment. No matter where I am or what stage of grief that I’m in. Good, Bad or Worst Day of my life, God, my Father is with me. 

He shows up like a Father does every time. He makes me laugh in a way only a Dad can. He imparts wisdom to me when I need Fatherly advice. He listens to me when I just need someone to talk to. He repeats Himself, like any good parent, and reminds me of who I am and the plans He has for me. The Father is with me.

I share this all while fighting a losing battle with my tears just to tell you that your Heavenly Father is with you. He knows what you are going through, He understands more than you’ll ever know. He’s not just there during the Happy, everything is perfect days. He’s also there in the dirty, smelly trenches with you. Jesus has paved the way for you to have an amazing relationship with the Father. He truly cares for you and loves you sons and daughters with an unwavering and unfailing Love. God’s words aren’t just mere words; it’s the Truth. His promises are real and alive and you can hold on to them and Him!

-Be Encouraged God’s Beloved because that is who you are in Jesus Christ. God is with you! #JesusIs

A Priestly Blessing

panoramic-3227810_960_720The Bible is filled with so many precious gems. Promises, deep revelations and endless gifts and blessings from our Heavenly Father. I stumbled across this gem during a time in my life when I was feeling really discouraged. As Israel’s high priest, Aaron, the brother of Moses, was commanded by God to speak this priestly blessing over the children of Israel.

The Priestly Blessing

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites, (that’s you in Christ) {Insert your name here}. Say to them:

“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ”’ “So they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 NIV

To be face to face with God the Father and have His light, grace, peace and blessings to fall upon you. Better yet to share His name… what a gift! According to God’s word this blessing is yours, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promiseGalatians 3:26-29 

Today Jesus stands as our High Priest and unlike His predecessors He knows your walk, He gets our struggle. The word says, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15

Our High Priest who lives and reigns forever is for us and not against us. He is for our freedom, for our victory, for our health, wellness joy and peace. This Priestly blessing is but a fraction of the blessings of God that Jesus Christ speaks over you today.

In all things, Be encouraged Beloved Child of God, the best yet to come.

 


 

Accepted in Christ

The Father said to me the other day, “The validation that you seek can not be found in a worship-2721716_960_720man, woman or child. Your parents can’t give it you; your children can’t fill that need. Your worth can’t be found in the things you do, the success you’ve had or the places you’ve been. These things can’t validate you. The validation you seek can only be found in Me, only I can do that for you.” Said the LORD.

We tend to look outside of ourselves for our self-worth but our worth could never be found in anything this world has to offer. Our worth dwells on the inside, where God’s Spirit dwells. For the Kingdom of God is with you and in you. What you seek is in your heart, the place where Jesus chose to make His home. “He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

Our worth is wrapped up like the perfect gift it is in the body of Jesus Christ. It’s seated in Heavenly places, seated at the right hand of the Father. Simply put you’re Christ workmanship created in Him to do good works Eph. 2:10 better yet as Christ is, so are you on this Earth. His love makes you complete. 1John 4:17

I’ve come to realize that I can’t measure myself by the world’s ever-changing standards nor can I compare my achievements or lack there of with another. All I have, all I am and all I am to become can be found in no other but Jesus. I am the one He laid down His life for; conquered death and the grave for. My name is engraved in the palms of His hands Isaiah 49:16. I am the object of His mercy and love. That is my net worth!

I am the object of His mercy and love. That is my net worth!

You may be struggling today with the feeling of not being loved, accepted and appreciated by your friends, colleagues and loved ones. Honestly you may never receive that validation that you desire from them. Nevertheless, you don’t have to live life feeling rejected. According to your Vindicator and Redeemer. There is a great light in you, a love unfailing and unwavering dwelling on the inside of you. There is resurrection power inside of you. Your worth can’t be measured by degrees and scales; your worth can only be measured through the eyes and heart of an Infinite God. For God so loved the world <insert your name> that He gave His only Begotten Son. This is what an infinite God thinks about you, everything else that you heard is a lie.

You are accepted into the Beloved Eph 1:6. Forget the haters/naysayers your Heavenly Father speaks a better word that overrides every negative word or act done to you. You’re accepted in Christ. God’s Beloved pray to the Father and let Him make known to you His heart and thoughts towards you.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”-Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

-Amen


 

The Father’s Plan For You


“For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

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God Has a Great Plan For You.

Many of us know this promise well. It’s our personal hope, our life-preserver. The rock we stand on when life throws its worst at us. Every time you hear this promise your confidence quickens because, this is your promise. God is personally talking to you. If you’re anything like me you’ve studied this verse inside and out. You’ve read other translations. You’ve written it on post-its and stuck it on your wall, computer, fridge, mirror…everywhere! Have you noticed that God says the word “plans” three times? For those of you who’ve studied the Hebrew language the number three is said to represent “completeness”.

This promise has often been the topic of many intimate conversations between the Father and I. What are your plans for me? Am I on the right path? This hope and future you speak of Father God, is it in this life or the eternal one?

The other day I read the verse again and was about to close the book when I heard Him say, “Keep reading, that’s only part of the promise.” So I read verse 12-14 and I had what I could only explain as a jaw-dropping moment. We all know Jeremiah 29:11 but how many of us know/remembers the second half of that promise.

Allow me to share:

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”

When I read this I heard Him say:

I have a plan for you, plans that will touch and enrich every area of your life. Whenever you call on Me and pray to Me, says the LORD, know that I’m listening to you. You have my ear and my full attention. One call from you and I’m right there.

How beautiful is that!

It would be a big deal to some if you were to have a direct line to the Governor, the President, a powerful King or Queen of a wealthy nation but you, child of God, you have the ear of the Creator of ALL. God the Father listens to you! He shows up just for you! That’s our hope and future.

The one who listens says; I don’t make a promise that I can’t keep. I will never leave you or forsake you; I will be with you wherever you go. I am with you in the valley, on the mountaintop and everywhere in between. I fight for you. You are my heir and every promise to you is a ‘yes’. My love for you is unwavering, unfailing and it never gives up.

Your future and hope is in Him that is able. The one who loved you so much that He died on the cross just for you. Got questions about your future, the things you wrestle with at night? Just ask; He’ll give you the answers you seek. Whether you’re a Gideon who needs a little more convincing or a Paul who’s ready to go as soon as the scales have been lifted from your eyes. God will meet you right where you are.

He who began the good work He started in you, He will see it to completion. That’s the plans, hope and future we have to look forward to.

 

 

God’s Divine Exchange

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I have an investment tip for you, one with no risk and huge rewards. Your investment can be as small as a mustard seed but I can assure you that your return will exceed your wildest expectation. Here’s my life investment tip, For God so loved the world {that’s you} that He {willingly} gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16 emphasis mine.

Belief, that’s your investment and God’s Divine Exchange, is your reward. Here’s a quick snapshot of our investors, aka the Believers, portfolio.

Your Sins and Iniquities = For Christ’s Righteousness

Death and Separation = Eternal Life

Ashes and Despair = Beauty and Joy

Your Sorrow and Pain = Jesus’ Peace That Surpasses Understanding

Your Poverty and Lack = God’s Riches and Grace

Your Brokenness = Jesus’ Health and Complete Wholeness

I’m one of these investors and I can testify that this life-changing investment worked for me. I was once lost in this world. A prisoner to my past, mistakes and pain, until I met my Investment Holder, Jesus Christ, the Son of the one and only God. He pulled me out of the miry pit and showed me a Love I didn’t deserve and didn’t think existed. Then I learned that Jesus loved me, even while I was still in sin and invested in me when He laid His life down on the cross. If I were an investor, I wouldn’t have invested in me but from the Father’s view I was worthy. So I sowed my mustard seed of faith believing Yes, Jesus loves me and by His grace I was saved and set free. By His stripes I am healed.

Today I serve as one of Jesus’ partners with an investment tip I hope to share with as many souls He drops into my path. My hope is to find other investors willing to take a leap of faith on God’s Divine Exchange. An investment that is open to all. No experience needed to invest the only requirements are belief and an open heart.


Father Keep Me Encouraged

I was wrapping up my morning prayer when I said, “Father, keep me encouraged today.” I gasped as soon as the words left my mouth. I couldn’t believe I just said that. I’ve been saved for almost half my life; these words shouldn’t be coming out of my mouth. I felt ashamed. God has performed miracle upon miracle in my life. He’s made the impossible, possible so many times. My entire household is blessed beyond measure. I have more than enough to be encouraged about. If King David could encourage himself after losing his wives and kids and the family’s of his men to the enemy. Surely I can muster up enough encouragement for myself. Looking back at all the Lord had done for me only made me feel worse. Besides, things were good. There was no reason for me to make such a request. I felt so ungrateful and selfish.

That’s when I heard the Lord say, “If your child were to ask you for help and it was within your power to help them, would you ever deny them? I thought… No.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wouldn’t matter how many times I’ve helped my kids in the past. It wouldn’t matter how great or small the need was; if they need me, I’m there. I don’t keep a tally. I would never say, “Sorry kid you’ve hit your limit, or you’re an adult now, you’re on your own.” To be honest I take pleasure in helping them, even with the things I know they can do themselves. I love being there for them. I like to think that the love I have for my children is but a fraction of the Love God has for us. If it pleases me to encourage my children then I have to believe that it pleases God to keep me encouraged.

I was led to the book of Romans and with 7 words God replaced that shame that crept into my heart with love and a boldness that set me free. This is what I read: “…The God who gives endurance and encouragement…” Romans 15:15 NIV. I didn’t even finish the rest of the verse and I didn’t need to. All I needed was these few words, that He is the God who gives endurance and encouragement. Never again will I ever hesitate to ask my Heavenly Father to keep me encouraged. The greatest trick of the enemy is to keep us too ashamed to come to the Father with our needs. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us, “to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “

I was feeling a bit burnt out that day. I needed a “pick me up”. I thought because of my “maturity in Christ” that I was beyond asking God for the little things. If God cares to count the hairs on our head surely He cares about the little things that goes on in our lives.

I want to plant this verse in you. “ May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” -(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) May this seed of truth take root in your heart today. 🙂

Be encouraged Child of God and don’t ever hesitate to cast your cares upon our Father who cares about you and loves you with an unfailing love.

Be That One

I think at some point we’ve all experienced the loss of a loved one. Every time I learn of the passing of someone I know, I replay my conversations with him or her. When it’s someone I loved deeply, I ask myself, when was the last time I said I love you? Did we leave things on a good note? Did they know God, if not did I share Christ with them?

A Greater tragedy has been on my heart lately… suicide. There was a suicide story that made national news that really grabbed me. A teenage girl hung herself. I did an Internet search for her and what I saw broke my heart. There were touching tribute pages to her but what really startled me was the hours of video footage she posted of her crying out for help. How is it that our kids are more willing to bare their souls on the Internet yet unwilling to trust the contents of their heart with the adults in their lives?

A greater burden for me as a believer is this, where were the believers in her life? Was there not one friend, teacher, counselor, coach, neighbor, youth leader, was there not one in her life that knew the Lord. To let her know that she is loved and valued by A Savior whose love is unfailing, unwavering and endures. Was there not one praying for her?

No child or adult should have to end their life or suppress their pain through drugs, sex and alcohol in search of peace. Especially when peace can be found in abundant supply through Christ our Savior. He suffered and died so that we don’t have to. The bible says, “a body I require.” I know God was calling forth Christ to be the sacrificial lamb when He said this but I believe this call is also for the sons and daughters of God.

I think God is calling His children out of our comfort zones and into ministry and Christ has shown us through His own earthly ministry that ministry is not limited to a church building. It can happen anywhere. Jesus ministered by the lakeside, near a well, at the dinner table, on a mountain climb, wherever He went, He brought life and truth. This whole world is a pulpit and there are billions of people crying out for a Savior.  If one man’s prayer can cause a national drought, (See Elijah’s story) imagine what one seed of hope planted for Christ can do when you decide to be that One. Your prayer can save a life.

We  have access to the Father of Hope. Prayer, Testimonies, Sharing Christ written or verbal. These are our weapons. These are the tools we’ve been equipped with to save a life for Christ. Now is not the time to sit and wait for Christ return, now is the time to make sure when He does return we’ve got a whole lot of invites ready to come with us. Are you willing to be that One?

Embrace the Season

Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time and a season for everything and there is a purpose to it all. Your season may be Fall. There are a lot of changes taking place in your life. In Some areas, it’s all falling apart. In others you’re holding strong.

Perhaps you’re in a dry season. You’ve been stripped of everything you’ve worked hard for. Like winter; every area of your life seems bare, it’s going nowhere. Everything seems fruitless and pointless. What makes matters worse is when everyone around you seems to be growing and flourishing and you, you’re standing still. Like someone hit the pause button on your life.

I’ve had seasons where I thought I wouldn’t make it. Some time ago my life had just blew apart. I was on the bathroom floor crying and screaming, Why God? Why?

I heard God say, Wrong question.

 I sat up angry and confused and said, What do you mean wrong question, I’m the one doing the asking!

Then He said, It’s not why you should be asking, it’s Who! Who is in control?

That’s a good question, I thought. Who is in control? Just because I’m having the worst day of my life, it doesn’t mean that God stopped being Alpha and Omega of my life. He said He would never leave me or forsake me. As far as I know, never means never. Good or bad day, He’ll never leave my side. He doesn’t take sick days, or pop out for a lunch break. My bad day isn’t the result of God being out on vacation. So as bad as things may be, I’m not in this alone, God is with me and He can get me through this!

God is a Promise Keeper. When I got saved He made a promise to me. He said that He has a plan for me. The situations in my life may change but God’s plans for me will never change. Things may rock me, but they won’t harm me. Things may be rough right now but according to His word I will succeed, I have hope and a great future ahead of me.

I made up my mind that day. Whether it’s the worst day or the best day of my life, I’m going to hold on to God’s promise like my life depends on it. No matter how it looks, I’m going to judge Him who promised faithful and If I struggle with unbelief. He’s going to give me the encouragement I need to overcome my unbelief. I’m not alone in this I can and will lean on Him.

What did God promise you?

Your fall and winters are just seasons, they’re temporary. Some falls and winters are worse than others. Yet we are encouraged by our Father who loves us and sent His beloved Son to die for us to count it All joy!

I have to be honest with you, I don’t enjoy these seasons but I can’t deny that these were the seasons that refined me. Where faith was built up and hope renewed. I learned how to tune into God’s voice in the midst of the lies and accusations of the enemy during these seasons. It drew me closer to God and I saw a Love for me that is beyond words.

There is a purpose to your lack, droughts and afflictions. According to His promise your pain will not be in vain. I’ve come to see the low points in my life as the fertilizer that prepares me for the fruit that’s about to come. The vehicle that carries me into my Spring and Summers. You may not be in that place where you can celebrate in the midst of your trials yet, but you can have rest and peace in them knowing that God is with you and for you.

Whatever season you’re in, I want to encourage you to embrace it. While you’re in it I want you to hold on to something that’s proven and true, He Who Promised Is Faithful! Embrace the Season. 🙂

No More Resolutions part deux

post-itA few years ago I told myself, “no more resolutions!” With every New Year I vowed to do more of this and less of that. You know the list. You start off really strong, by February the momentum tapers off, but its okay, you’ll make it back up next month. March arrives and your resolution is non- existent. You do the walk of resolution shame around your house as you take down all of those colorful post-it notes and pics you stuck up to keep you motivated.

So Instead of resolving to make changes in myself, I asked God to give me a revelation instead. Reveal to me Your will and heart. Teach me more about You Father. Guess what, I saw change, real change in me.

It began with me seeing Christ in the scriptures. I’m not talking about the books where He’s visible or the prophecies that announced Him. I’m not talking about the places where He’s hidden in Symbols, Snapshots and Shadows. I saw Him as Noah’s Ark, an Ark that invited me in and kept me hidden in Him in the midst of the storm.

I saw Jesus in the life of Joseph. Deeply loved by His Father, given a robe that set Him apart, betrayed by His brothers. Falsely accused and imprisoned and then promoted to the right hand of power where He was able to offer salvation to His family and the nations around Him.

I saw Him in Samson who stretched His arms wide in the midst of the enemy and accomplished more in His death than He did in His life. Then I began to see Him in my life. I had favor in areas where I shouldn’t have, confirmations in unlikely places. God would move in my forgotten prayers and unspoken prayers. Whenever I cried and said, Father help me, He’d show up in magnificent and extraordinary ways. He always went above and beyond my prayers.

The more I saw Jesus unveiled in people, symbols and shadows throughout the bible,  the more I saw the extent of His Love and the great lengths He went through just to save me. For God so loved me He gave His only beloved Son. God did all of this just for me. Seeing His Love in action transformed my heart and mind. I found myself in Him. Not broken and defeated but a conqueror made whole. Through this unveiling God taught me what it means to be an image bearer of Christ because that is who we are. The word says as Christ is so are we on this earth therefore if the Spirit of God was upon Him to proclaim liberty and set the captive free then that same Spirit is upon us and we’re called to do the very same thing.

We can take up His cross  and adopt His life because we know the end; we’ve seen the victory.This is how I view it, if trials are my prison, then I know the palace is my outcome. If death can produce more than life, then I can die to myself daily. I can put whatever is going on with me aside for a moment to tell that one God placed before me all about my Jesus and save a life. I’m in the ark of Christ, I’m safe, sound and heaven bound, even on those days  I’m not feeling it. No matter what comes our way, all things will work out for our good. We will be victorious like Christ because we are seated with Him and He sits victoriously on the right hand of the Father.

No more resolutions, let Christ be the change, let Him be revealed in you. Let your life be a snapshot of Him. With this knowledge comes a lasting transformation and a confidence about who you are and where you’re headed. Old to New. Pit to Palace. Death to Life Lived More Abundantly.

Happy New Year God’s Beloved!