Heaven’s Lens

Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. –Romans 12:2

Many of us have been programmed to think and see the worst in people, circumstances and ourselves. Professional Fault-Finders; often wired from childhood to think and prepare for the worst. We are also best known as our own personal worst critic.  Even in the midst of praise for your attributes and accomplishments you can’t help but to find something wrong.

Then along came Jesus preaching, “Repent!” Change the way you think.  What a bold request; a request that goes against every fiber of your natural being. To abandon the way you’re wired and see yourself not as a “Hot Mess” but through Heaven’s lens…Faultless, Forgiven, Perfected and Loved. That’s challenging for some of us.

I suppose Heaven’s view would look like this:

I am not past, my addictions or pain.

I am a New Creation, the old me is dead and gone, the new me is here to stay.

I am not my sins.

I am Forgiven. My sins, (past, present and future) are Nailed To The Cross.

Forgiven and Forgotten.

There is no more condemnation for me. Sin has No Dominion over me anymore.

I am not weak, a victim or a failure.

I am More Than A Conqueror. I can do All Things Through Christ who strengthens me.

I am a Co-heir with Christ, created to do good works.  I am Destined to Reign and Succeed.

Enough about who I was, this is who I am: Chosen By God, Justified By Faith, Glorified in Christ and at Peace with God. No longer conformed to the patterns of this world but conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I am the Righteousness of God in Christ. No longer a Fault Finder but a Faith Seeker. I am light and salt to this Earth. I am the Apple of God’s Eyes, the one whom the Father So Loved. I’m wired in Christ now and as Christ is, So Am I.  My Friend that is how Heaven sees you.

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The One

person at crossI was waiting patiently in the waiting room. It was an hour past my appointment time and I was not happy. I came to the early morning appointment without having coffee or bringing a book, tablet or phone. I thought I’d be in and out of there in thirty minutes top. I was so wrong. So I said, “Okay LORD, it is You who plans my day. If you’re going to leave me without coffee or iPad; who do you want me to minister too?” Moments later, I found myself spiritually sparring with another believer. That exchange lead to a mother asking me to pray for her daughter. We prayed and you can imagine my delight when I heard a few “Amens” from those listening.

Then there was, The One. It had been three hours past my appointment time. I could have rescheduled but I felt compelled to stay. There were only two of us left in the waiting area. This college student had heard and saw my interactions so he wasn’t surprised when I asked him if he believed in Jesus.

“Not anymore”, he said, “ I was ex-communicated out of my church because I asked too many questions.” He replied quietly.

“You weren’t in God’s church, Friend.” I replied. “You see whom the Father gives to the Son cannot be snatched out of His hands.  You can’t be ex-communicated out of His presence. Once you become His child, He vows to never leave or forsake you. As for asking questions, our Father says, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ Our God doesn’t run away from questions. He loves when you have questions about Him that means you want to get to know Him. The Father desires to unveil His heart to us.”

What the young man said next almost blew me out of my seat. “Am I supposed to believe that God who created this vast universe and filled this one planet with billions of people could care about someone as insignificant as me.”

“Yes!!!!” I yelled so loud that I even startled myself.  I started to say, “You’re the One…” Then the door to the examination rooms opened. They called my name.

I didn’t know what to do; I wanted to finish this conversation but what was on my heart to say I felt it needed to be said in private.  Even though I said to the attendant, that I’d be right there, she chose to stand there and wait for me. Sadly the flesh kicked in, I started to feel the burden from the long wait.  I looked back at the young man and smiled awkwardly at him. He smiled back, waved goodbye and I left.

What I wanted to say is this:

You are The One the scriptures spoke about. The One that God So Loved and gave Heaven’s Best, His Beloved Son for. God cares for you and loves you with an unfailing and unwavering love.  According to the Creator of this vast universe and planet filled with billions, YOU are The One worth fighting for and dying for and that’s exactly what He did For You on The Cross. You’re not insignificant to Him; you are the Apple of God’s Eye.

I have to be honest I felt like I missed a moment; like I failed God. Then the Father reminded me that it was Him who orchestrated this moment. It was Him who prompted the prayer I prayed later on for this young man. Everything went according to God’s plan. The Father assured me that I planted the seed and watered it.  Now it’s His job to make it grow. With loving-kindness God will draw him.

Remember its God who orders our steps. What may seem like a bad day may very well be God preparing “A Moment” for you to share the love of Jesus with That One.

When God Whispers

person-1245959_960_720The prophet Elijah was having a rough day. He was a wanted man; all of the priests of God had been murdered. The temple was destroyed and now the queen wanted him dead. Depressed, defeated and afraid. Things were so bad for Elijah that he prayed that God would take his life. He went to the mountain to wait on the Lord. First there was a powerful wind, followed by an earthquake and fire but the LORD was not in either of these. When The LORD came to Elijah He came as a gentle whisper. See Elijah’s Story.

I asked the Father, “Why is the enemy’s voice so loud and Your voice so quiet?” He responded, “Don’t you have to be really close to someone to hear them whisper? The devil is on the outside; I dwell on the inside of you. I don’t have to shout.” Said the Lord.  This revelation changed my life.  If you can hear God’s whisper then you’re not alone or defeated. His quiet voice is evidence that God is not far off, He’s with you and for you. If the enemies voice is a loud shout, then he’s far off and has no authority over you.

The thing about the “whisper” is that only you and the one who whispered heard what was said. This is where your walk gets real. Are you going to listen to the ones outside of you or are you going to hold on to the whisper?  God said this to Abraham, “A son coming from your own body will be your heir…look up at the heavens and count the stars if indeed you can count them, …so shall your offspring be.” Genesis 15

This is how Abraham held on to God’s whisper, “Abraham, even though he was past age and Sarah herself was barren-was enabled to become a father because he considered Him faithful who made the promise.” Hebrews11

Your job isn’t to convince anyone of God’s promise to you. You have to be persuaded that God is who He says He is. Confident that no matter what the circumstances look like, things will work out for your good. Your Hope is that His whisper is greater than the shouts outside of you and your Heavenly Father is able and willing to do what He promised.


“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower. And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

Your Joseph Moments

IMG_0161Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob. His son by His true love Rachel, and He treated Joseph as such. He was set apart from his brothers even His robe, a gift from his father, was finely woven and made of many colors. He was hated by his brothers and one day betrayed by them and sold into slavery for twenty shekels. Then he was sold again to an Egyptian captain named Potiphar. Scripture records for us that while Joseph lived as a slave in Potiphar’s house that the LORD was with Joseph and He prospered him.  Later Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned. While in prison the Holy Spirit records, the LORD was with him and He gave him success in whatever he did. You know how the story ends; God took Joseph from Prisoner –to- Right-hand Man to Pharaoh. Through Joseph’s promotion both the Gentile nations and his brothers were saved from famine and death. Joseph’s life served as a snapshot of our Savior Jesus Christ. Read full story of Joseph.

I think we’ve all experienced a “Joseph moment” at one point in our lives. One minute your up and everything is going well and then something earth shattering happens and your down in the dirt. Like Joseph, God’s intent is always to take you to the next level, to lift you higher. From fruit -to more fruit -to much fruit. Jesus will always meet you where you are but don’t expect to stay there. Expect Him to take you from glory to glory.

Wherever you are in life, know that this is a part of the process it’s not the final outcome. Set your eyes on the outcome not the twist and turns in between. HE Who Promised Is Faithful. God told you that He has a plan for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you but to give you hope and a future. Just because you’re shipwrecked in a storm it doesn’t mean He’s changed His mind about you. See the bumpy roads and the shipwrecks as the tools that will sharpen you for the purpose that God created you for and the message He cultivated in you to impact this world and fulfill your destiny for Jesus Christ.

Just because you’re shipwrecked in a storm it doesn’t mean God’s plans for you have changed!

When We Touch Jesus’ Hem

sky-2667455_960_720-2“A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak.  She said to herself, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:20-22

Jesus was moved by her thoughts of Him. Her thoughts drew power from Him. Another translation testifies that virtue and had gone out from Him. Her faith in Him caught Jesus’ attention. Jesus sought out the one who touched Him and when He looked at her He called her “Daughter”. Faith brought this Social Outcast into Sonship. It took her from Sickness to Sonship in mere seconds. Jesus also points out that it was her faith in Him, not His robe that made her well.  Scripture says that those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Her faith made her a beneficiary of God’s Promise.

Who do you say Jesus is? What are your thoughts about Him? This woman once thought that her healing was in the hands of physicians and for 12 years she bore the consequences of her thoughts, she didn’t get better she got worse.  Then one day she heard about JESUS and it changed the way she thought.

Her thoughts drove her to go to places she wouldn’t have dared to go, it took her where the world said she didn’t belong. She dared to seek out and reach for what she heard and believed and that faith transformed her life. In a crowd of many only one touched Jesus. Are you that one? Is your faith driving you to pursue the plans God has for you. To be a Light in the World for Him.  In His eyes …YOU ARE.

The Sweet Water Life

efa1a-33318602_2050060551948021_8403795983611199488_nWhen we look back at our past, the mistakes we’ve made, the loss, heartbreak, regrets, betrayals and disappointments we’ve had… its hard not to feel bitter about it. Yet God has a way of taking the bitter taste of your past and hurt and turning it into sweet waters. Look at Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery. He was falsely excused, imprisoned and forgotten but God used it to position him for greatness. At the appointed time he was exalted to the right hand of the most powerful man in Egypt. Those same brothers who betrayed him, he was able to save. He became a great blessing to many including his own father.

It is recorded for our benefit so that we may be encouraged that God was with Joseph in the lowest points of his life. The Lord was with Joseph when he was sold into slavery and God prospered him. He was with Joseph when he was falsely accused and thrown into prison and God showed Him favor, kindness and granted him success. This is such a beautiful revelation from our Heavenly Father. You could be having the worst day of your life but unlike those lost in the world you have this Hope that your Father is with you. His favor, grace and success is abounding towards you. Jesus is working on your behalf. Even in your weakness, when all you see is lack, you are more than a conqueror and a success because of Him who is with you and for you.

God’s math is different from ours. God has a way of taking what the world has subtracted from you and multiplying it two to five-fold back to you. (See Exodus 22, Job and Joel 2:25-27) You are in a unique position child of God; you are in Christ.  That’s why we count it all joy in times of trouble because we know that all things, not some things but ALL THINGS will work out for our good, its His promise to us. So hold on to this hope; the One who loves you with an unfailing love will make the bitter waters in your life sweet.

 

 

 

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.

God’s Spirit In You

fullsizeoutput_132The Spirit that was there in the beginning, the Spirit of God that hovered above the waters and carried out the command of the Father that said, “Let there be light… Let us make Man in Our image and likeness… Male and Female He created them.”

That Creative, Life-giving Spirit dwells inside of you!

That Power of God that came down from Heaven like a dove and descended upon God’s Beloved Son Jesus. A Power that healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and speech to the mute, that power is in You. That great power that commanded the winds and the waves and provided for the multitudes; that authority is in you. The Power of God that restored lepers and casted out demons out of bound men, women and children by a word.  That great gift belongs to you child of God.

Inside of you lies that Spirit that defeated Death, Hell and the Grave. That same Spirit that raised our crucified Savior Jesus Christ back to life. That Love and Mercy that brings salvation, hope and eternal life to whosoever believes in the One who laid down His life. The only One qualified to shed His blood, take our place and our sinfulness and give us His Righteousness. That Life-Changing, Mountain Moving, Resurrection Love is in you.

That Word that was in the beginning, that shaped the cosmos and walked this earth with healing in His wings. That force that fought died and rose because of love. That Unfailing Love that made its home in the hearts of those who belong to Him, transforming them into New Creations. That Power, Force and Transforming Spirit, His Wisdom and Grace Lives and Breathes in You.

Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Greatness is in you Child of God. The Father’s Love, Favor and goodness is in you “For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you’.” (Jeremiah 30:11) God your Father is with you and for you, so who or what can be against you. Be encouraged, you are more than a conqueror.

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 Father Who Listens

dad-909510_960_720My family and I were just hanging out at home one day. It was one of those days where everyone had a joke or funny story to tell. All of the sudden my seven-year old went stomping out of the room. I called after him but he didn’t respond.  So I went after him and found him curled up on my bed with a pillow over his head. I asked him what was wrong, he sighed  and said, “Nothing.”

I lifted the pillow off of his head and wiped away the tear that rolled down his cinnamon colored cheek. He got up and sat beside me. “Nobody ever listens to me, they won’t let me talk.”, he said.  Sadly, that often happens to the youngest in the household. I put my arm around his little shoulders and said, “I’m listening.” He looked up and said, “Thanks Mom.” What followed was a tale of an action packed, yet funny dream he had the night before.

This moment taught me something about our relationship with God.  The beauty in knowing that our Heavenly Father is listening. Even in the midst of a crowd, He hears you. His ear is tuned in to the voice of His children. How amazing is that! You have the ear of the Lord of Lords, the King of glory, the omnipotent, omnipresent, the Life Giver and Creator of all. He listens to you.  He even hears your unspoken prayers, your incoherent prayers. He hears your cries; your pain-filled, heart-wrenching sobs. God the Father hears YOU.

Don’t take my word for it, hear Him for yourself:

“You will call upon Me and go 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.” Jeremiah 29:12-14

See the Father’s Love for you in action:

2 Kings 20:2-5

“Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” “

Thanks to the finished work of Jesus Christ, We have a Father who listens, so talk to Him.

 – Be encouraged God’s Beloved.