Happy Mother’s Day

 

37BFED18-F174-4E8E-8429-3EEF9F247CF0Whether you are a parent or not,  you are givers of life. Whether you are birthing a new business idea, a ministry, a career, a new hobby or a little bundle of joy. Within you lies the ability to receive, conceive, nurture and bring forth new dreams, hopes, innovative ideas, great adventures and beautiful little ones.

Give a woman a shack and she’ll turn it into a beautiful home. Give a woman an idea and successful businesses are formed, books are written, songs are sung. Give her a call from God and new ministries are born. Give her a child and she will groom the next leader and world changer. Give her a husband and she’ll turn that frog into a prince  🙂 .

 Woman of God you represent the productive side of God; the creative side of Him. You are highly favored by Him, trusted with one of God’s greatest gifts, the gift of life. Trusted to carry and birth His very heart, His Son Jesus Christ.

There is nothing ordinary about you. You are loved, blessed and very much-needed in this world. You’re strong, beautiful and simply extraordinary! You are royalty, you are God’s Woman and His smile and favor is upon you.

 Happy Mother’s Day Mighty Women of God!

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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.

A Prayer Imagined

Imagine if every Believer were to pray and intercede for their families, friends and loved ones salvation…

Multiple generations would be saved.

Imagine if we were obedient to Jesus’ call for us to pray for our enemies…

The whole world would probably be saved! 🙂


Know the Father’s Will: Pray for Salvation

7D55B32C-9A68-4AF9-A7D6-655BB86CEA18God is so faithful. I’ve witnessed my family, one by one, come to know Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus cracked even the “tough nuts” in my life. As much as you love them, God loves them more. He desires their salvation even more than you do.

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” –1Timothy 2:3-4

Sometimes you may wonder, why me Lord? I’m not a pastor or a church elder. Perhaps God chose you to be a shepherd amongst your family members, friends and co-workers because He trusts you to carry His message. Perhaps He can count on you to faithfully intercede on their behalf. You may just have the right ingredients within you that would draw those God placed before you to Christ. To borrow an illustration from my husband, see yourself as the hand of God extended to that loved one and yes, your bitter enemies.

Jesus encourages us to pray for our enemies, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.” –Matthew 5:44-45

Choose to be God’s firefighter. You know what’s coming; we have this one short life to choose Christ and our eternal destination. Save lives by snatching people out of the fire (Jude 2:3). It is God’s desire to see that none perish; as children of God we share in that desire. And when you pray know that, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

No matter how bad it looks, it may seem like your prayers are having no effect…don’t give up, don’t stop praying! Do not be dismayed by what you see or hear. Be like the persistent widow in Luke 18 and know that our God is a Righteous Judge. Hold on to the fact that HE Who Promised Is Faithful!

A Dark World

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Whoever follows Me (Jesus) will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. -John 8:12

Once again it’s Hallows Eve. Soon our fall leaf-covered streets will be filled with costumed ghosts, goblins, pint-sized monsters and superheroes. It will be a night where fear will dwell in the atmosphere.

 

Our Hallelujah-Ween tradition is to bake Holy Ghost cookies. Gospel music is often blasting in the background; mixing spoons serve as our microphones. We go to the museum and watch the mad scientists perform creepy, slime-filled experiments. Then we go home and watch The Great pumpkin Charlie Brown and other cartoons and end the night with prayer.

While everyone’s asleep I usually watch a movie that would give me a good fright. These days though the images captured by the news and social media rivals if not exceed the terror of even the worst movie villain. A friend in Christ said to me awhile back, “The world is getting darker and darker.”  I responded with what the Holy Spirit placed on my heart, “The believer does not have to fear the dark. When sin abounds, Grace super abounds.”

I see the darkness as a call to Believers and we should respond as a Fireman who hears the firehouse alarm. According to the word of God we are the light of the world, ministers of God, a royal Priesthood. As the body of Christ we are commissioned to snatch others out of the fire. My husband likes to say, that the doors of the Ark are still open, we can compel others into the Ark of Christ. I strongly believe that the darkness is our wake up call; a call to be a light in this dark world. Now is the time for ministry.

As Christ says the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Ministry is not limited to four church walls, this whole world is our pulpit and the Spirit of God dwelling in us is our license to practice.

The world is crying out for a Superhero and we have one, His name is Jesus Christ. The world needs that gift that is stirring up inside of you. It needs the Believer to Be the light in this Dark World.


Have a safe, Light-filled Halloween. Happy Hallelujah-Ween!

Live Fearless

hands-1926414_1280I no longer live in fear of my sins and mistakes! God says, “I will forgive their iniquity and their sins I will remember no more.” Jer 31:34

I’m no longer haunted by my past, my pain and addictions! “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2CO 5:17

I don’t live in fear of death because of Jesus Christ who overcame death!  “O death where is your sting?” 1CO 15:55

I’m not afraid of the dark anymore. I am a child of light and Jesus Christ is that Light. A Light the darkness can’t comprehend. He is the Light of the world!

I can live this life fearless ! Forgetting what is behind me and strain toward what is ahead of me. I can press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Phil 3:13-14

God’s beloved, we can live this life without fear because perfect Love drives out fear. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior, and Lover of your soul…He Loved You Perfectly! 1John 4:18


As we like to say in our house, Happy Hallelujah-ween!!! 🙂

A Man Named Jesus

person at crossI was walking down a road called self-destruction, when I encountered a Man who was and is like no other. His name was Jesus Christ. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word. He knew everything there was to know about me; He knew me better than I knew myself. He knew the good; the bad and the ugly yet He never condemned me or made me feel ashamed of the bad choices I made. He Loved me…anyway.

The more time I spent with Him, the more I saw how deep and wide His love was for me. A Love unfailing, unwavering and everlasting. I’ve never felt this loved before. There was so much He wanted to give me, so much He had planned for me. Salvation, healing, peace, joy through His righteousness. He offered me freedom from my past and my pain. Forgiveness and the courage to forgive.

This Jesus took my heavy luggage, that contained all of my burdens and hurts and He handed me His. Surprisingly it was so light and easy. This was just a fraction of the gifts He offered me. There was so much more, more than my heart and mind can contain. I had nothing to offer Him except for a believing heart and a mouth that confesses and shares with others that He is who He says He is! Savior and Lover of our souls. This was more than enough for Him.

A Man named Jesus. A Man without spot or wrinkle who shed His righteous blood for the redemption of all of our sins, sickness and diseases. The only One who was willing and worthy to fulfill the will of the Almighty God. A Man like no other. He met me in my fallen state; touched me and transformed me into His image from glory to glory…to glory. Would you like to meet this Man named Jesus?

A Salvation Prayer


Then pray with me. Father God in Heaven, thank you for loving me so much that you willingly gave up your Beloved Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. He took all of my sins, death and punishment into His own body and nailed it all to the cross. Better yet, He rose conquering death and the grave with salvation and complete healing in His wings. He did this so that I may become a son/daughter of the Almighty God, the righteousness of God in Christ. Today I receive Your Son Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and I receive You as my Father and my God. Come into my heart; fill me with your Holy Spirit. I say goodbye to the old me and embrace the new creation that I am in Jesus. In Jesus name. Amen.

Welcome child of God, to Jesus’ Beloved Family 🙂

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.

 

 

Who Does Jesus Say You Are?

The world is all about labeling you. In some instances you’re just a number or a category. Make a medical appointment and the first thing they ask you for is your date of birth. If you bank by phone they don’t ask for your name they ask you for the last four digits of your social security number. After a few minutes they say, “I found you. What can I do for you today?”

How about those forms where you’re forced to categorize yourself by age, sex, income and race. Then there’s that blank box that says “Other”, that barely gives you enough space to describe yourself. I’m often tempted to write, Wonder Woman. My kids would get a kick out of that. As a believer though, I’ve always wanted to write “Child of God.” I may do that next time. 🙂

The sad truth is we’re guilty of labeling ourselves. I’ve had complete strangers and acquaintances compliment me and even point out my strengths but whenever I look at myself all I could see are my flaws. My husband calls me beautiful and I launch into an argument to try to convince him otherwise. He often accuses me of not being able to take a compliment. Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s right.

One day, while I was verbally beating myself up, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “That’s not who you are.” I stopped and thought, What am I doing? This isn’t how the Father sees me.

If we could see ourselves through Heaven’s lens, imagine what we would see.

Who does Jesus say you are? Jesus says:

You are a Friend of God

A Co-heir with Christ

You’re the light of the world

The salt of the earth

Trees of Righteousness

The Apple of God’s eye

Heirs to the Promise

A Royal Priesthood

Valued by God

Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters

You are as Christ

Blessed

Saved

Redeemed

Forgiven

A Child of God

You are The One God so Loved

The One worth dying for and fighting for

Simply put, You are His!