Monday, June 29, 2009

Look What God Can Do!

When I was a kid my mom drove this red Pinto with red interior. The center of the front seats had this carpeted hump where dust used to settle. I remember her telling me a story how once she transported some kids in her car for a field trip and the kid started to get the biggest excitement out of hitting that center hump so that the dust would fly up and swirl around like swells of smoke. He giggled for minutes going, “Look what I can do!” hit hit hit, “Look what I can do!”

That story still makes me laugh but I was thinking about this the yesterday, and I began to get some awesome revelation that I wanted to share. Sometimes we walk through things in life where we feel like things and circumstances are swelling up all around us. It can make us frustrated and get fearful if we let it.

But God loves to show off!! He doesn’t bring on disease or demonic circumstances so don’t misunderstand me here. . But there are things that are settling on your “hump“ or lives. All of the issues and things going on, are these circumstances that weigh you down and try to keep you down. God is like that little kid who loves to show off. He loves to hit things just so what is of Him can rise to the surface. He loves to show up on scenes that appear to be hopeless and show off for the world. He loves to turn what the devil meant for evil to His glory for those that love Him.

Romans 8:28 says, “[ More Than Conquerors ] And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Sometimes it seems that God timing seems to take a long time.

But Habakkuk 2:2 says, [ Full of Self, but Soul-Empty ] And then God answered: "Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time.”

I feel that there are many waiting for God to hit the circumstances in their lives and say, “Look what I can do!” I want to remind you all this day that He will. He is right on time in your lives. He will hit those circumstances and you will see Him show off mightily in your life. You will see the promises of God and know that they are good. Keep trusting in Him to show off! Because He loves to show the world what He can do! And He loves to show you!

Are you acting like David or Elijah?

I have a confession to make. . . Sometimes I can be a bit of a drama queen and overly freak over situations. It’s an issue that I’m working on, and I totally admit to.

Over the course of the last few weeks a situation occur and I had several freak out moments. I realize from where the attack came from and now I’ve understood I have to stand my ground. I’ve realized there have been many times in my life I’ve done the same thing. I’ve freaked out at first, and then was able to stand my ground. I can laugh at myself now about it because I realize that God has got it all under control, and I didn’t respond with the maturity I should have however, I can learn from my mistake.

Elijah and David were two mighty men of God in the Bible. Both of them faced a challenge in their lives, and both of them reacted differently. I want to take a few moments discussing their situations and how we can apply it to our lives.

In 1Kings 18 Elijah experiences one of his biggest triumphs in ministry. This is the story where the prophets of Baal all try to get their god to consume the wood, and they try to do all sorts of incantations and Elijah laughs at them, then he prays that God would consume it after he soaks it in water, and God does. He’s coming off a ministry high here. . Jezebel gets all ticked off at him and threatens him and he goes running off into the wilderness. God still sustains him in the wilderness so that he’s fed by a raven, but nevertheless he freaks out and runs.

David on the other hand is different. Here’s a guy with a great revelation of who God is. He’s anointed to be king as a kid. In 1 Samuel 17 he faces Goliath. He knows he’s not dieing that day. He knows that no matter what happens God is going to see him to be king one day. So he boldly begins to prophesy to Goliath and tell him he’s going down, and he does. David is bold before the enemy. He doesn’t freak out and run. Right away he rises up to the occasion and declares who God is over the situation.

In David’s own words Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” That firm place is on the rock of Christ Jesus.I have a lot to learn from David. It’s an area I’m still working on. We all can learn from him. We also have to realize not to condemn ourselves for ever missing it. We all do, and we all have. A mighty woman of God I knew used to say, if you find yourself in that moment, don’t stay in it, but rise above it. Jesus says, in Luke 10:19“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” And in the words used by Pastor Greg recently, “Don’t be a wuss, stand your ground and fight!”

We have that same authority in Christ Jesus. We all have the ability to look at the enemy and declare that we’ve come too far to give up now. We all can speak the word of God over a situation and watch it change. Remember who your God is! He is good, and He can take care of all circumstances around your life!

Be Like Linoleum

Some years back I felt the Lord very clearly say to me that he wanted me to be like linoleum. . I’d really thought I’d missed it on that occasion. Right after that I got a vision of me running in socks like used to when I was a kid. I would run and slide across the linoleum floor. Then in the next vision I saw the same thing but I found a spot on the linoleum that was sticky and unpolished. Instead of gliding across the floor I fell on my
face. Instantly I knew what God was saying to me. I had been ticked off about a situation. I don’t remember who it was I was mad at, and God was trying to tell me to let it go.

We’ve all heard the phrase “like water off a ducks back.” So we need to be when someone ticks us off, or hurts us, or offends us. We need to let it roll off of us. I’m not saying there isn’t times when you need to tell the person they upset you, but then, no matter what their reaction, you let it go.

I have a hard time when a situation happened that after it, I want to constantly chew the person out in my head. I want to replay the scene over and over again analyzing it seeing if I could have handled it better. But doing that, just keeps the anger going, and I’m not being like linoleum. I’m falling on my face. You have to stop yourself from continuing to think about it and just let it go.

How do you do that?? You constantly choose to.

Proverbs 17:9 says, “Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a
slight and—good-bye, friend!” and says, Colossians 3:12 “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick
to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”People and situations will always come in life and try to hurt you and offend you. It doesn’t make you less of a person or Christian when they do. They happen. But we can choose to believe the best in our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We can choose to love them unconditionally. We can choose to be like linoleum and keep ourselves polished.

So I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go put on some socks and slide across my floor now. It looks like fun, and there are a few things I have to make sure aren’t sticking to my floor.

I'm rubber and you're glue

“I’m rubber and your glue. What ever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!” When I was around six or seven my sister, who is six years older, and I were arguing over this phrase. We agreed that for an entire year I would be glue and she would be rubber, and after that year we would switch. Why I agreed to this I will never know. I always have been a bit na├»ve. But we agreed. I suppose my sister probably assumed that I would never remember when the year was up. But I did. I plotted for an entire year. I remember coming up with all the names I could call her and she couldn’t say anything. I’m not sure if you call that persistent or seeking revenge but either way I was sure I was going to make sure that I got even. I can still remember the day that the year was up. We were piling into my mom’s dusty red Pinto. My sister was in the front passenger seat and I the back. I had been plotting my announcement all morning and it seemed to me that it was a perfect time. Right before my mother started the car I practically sang, “The year is up! It’s my turn to be rubber!” To which my sister replied quickly without even batting an eyelash, “I’m not playing any more!” If rage can sweep through an eight year old. It did to me that day. I lunged at her from the back seat ready to charge her there in the idling car.

Many times in your Christian life it’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged and think that all you’ve been working for is in vain. Often times I’ve seen ones who feel that God has simply “stopped playing” so their anger towards Him begins to fester.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Luke 14:28-29 says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,”
God is pretty big on finishing what He begins! In fact Jesus’ last words on the earth before he died on the cross were, “It’s finished.” God finishes what He begins. He does not quit or change. He’s not out to frustrated and annoy His kids. What kind of loving father would do that? God wants you to hold on and know that He will finish
what He has started.

There is a rumbling frustration that I have felt deep in many a believer and myself at times. It’s the frustration of “why things don’t seem to be happening when you thing they should.” Sometimes I’ve seen that frustration turn to anger at God. But what does God say? Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Do not loose heart! Do not grow frustrated and angry at God. I promise you. . .He didn’t quit playing. So you shouldn’t either. What has He spoken to you. Continue to stand and believe Him. For He has such good plans for you. Trust in Him! Hold on, help is on the way!

But I don't wanna look like a dork!!!

When I was younger I had this prayer I used to pray whenever the Lord asked me to do something that stretched me out of my comfort zone. I used to ask the Lord, “Please don’t let me look like a dork, because if I look like a dork, then I’m going to make you look like a dork.” Frankly after reading various things God had the prophets do in the Old Testament, I suppose my little stretches were nothing in comparison.

2 Thessalonians 1:12 says, “We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Meaning when you shine. . .you allow God to shine through you!

We have the ability as God’s children to either bring Him honor or dishonor. When you are a parent there is nothing your kids can do to make you love them more, or love them less. However there is a feeling that wells up inside of you when your children bring you honor. It’s like, “Yup that’s my baby.” A few weeks back I met with my oldest daughters school teacher. She wanted to meet with the parents before the year ended. That blessed woman looked at me and said, “You’ve done a wonderful job with her, and she will do great things in her life.” When that teacher said that to me, I was so proud of my girl. We had quite the ordeal with her behavior as a preschooler, and to hear a teacher say that to me. . . It brought me, my husband, and my God whose told us how to raise her honor.

You have a choice folks to bring honor to God or dishonor. Is he looking at you from heaven today saying, “That’s my kiddo.” Or is He having one of those parent moments when tears of frustration are beginning to well up on the inside of Him because He knows there is so much for you, and you’re still fighting Him. Bringing God dishonor will not only frustrate Him, but it’ll frustrate you. Constantly fighting against God is tiring, and trust me it’s easier to just give in.
If your bringing him dishonor start today by spending sometime with Him, and ask Him, “How can I please you today daddy?” “What can I do to bring You glory on the earth?” If He tells you to do something and you’re worried about what you might look like? Kim Clement always used to have a saying in regard to taking risks in referring to

Peter walking on the water, “You’re never going to know unless you get out of the boat.” Meaning you’d be surprised what God can accomplish once you allow him to move you out of your comfort zone. . . So choose to bring Him honor today! Choose to give him reason to say, “That’s my kid, in whom I am well pleased!”

A Time of Completion

This Saturday I had the honor to go and see Kim Clement,, at The Master’s Touch here in Central Florida. Before we left to go to the church I arose up from a nap (Naps are good we all should try them sometime) and I felt the Lord unction that this was a Time of Completion. Then once we were at the meeting Kim kept prophesying about this summer being a season of fulfillment and he continued to sing about this summer, and expecting God to rock in your world this summer. I wanted to take a moment to encourage all of you this morning with the knowledge that God is doing something mighty in the body of Christ these days.

God wants to bring about completion in your life, just as much as your ready for it. Jeremiah 29:11, “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.”
It’s easy to get frustrated when you see those plans and you’re seeing the
circumstances of different plans. It’s easy to question where God is in the midst of your circumstance, and it’s easy to grow weary.Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Church let us choose to walk in trusting the Lord and not in our own frustrations.

Do not let the devil steal the joy that you have inside of you. John 10:10 talks about the sheep knowing His voice. If you are a child of God, you know His voice, and deep down on the inside of you though you are weary you know that you are standing on the precipice of change. You know that after all you have labored God is on your side and He is not against you. You know that despite your circumstances God is turning things around. All these circumstances are just a smoke screen. It’s to cloud your judgment and get you to worn down. You know the truth, so don’t give up now. Don’t quit fighting, for the truth shall set you free. Stand firm church today, because God is a God of plans and purposes. He knows what He is doing and he will finish what He has started. He is not a quitter! The time of completion is at hand.

Excuse me but your boat is rocking

I have tried in writing these blogs to be very open about my own shortcomings and this blog will be no different. Most of you know that these last ten years of my life have been ones of endurance and trusting in the Lord. That no matter what the circumstances I have continued to press through by the grace of God. That has taught me a lot.

Living a prophetic lifestyle can be challenging. It’s all too often that we can see
ourselves into what we know God wants us to do with our lives, but it can be really frustrating not being there. We must learn how to press toward the goal, but still be okay with where we are today. We must remember that God has timings and seasons for our lives. I think many times we’ve gotten too religious about this principle. We think “if I’m not where I’m supposed to be. . .in my destiny. . .it must be something I’m not doing.” Sometimes that may be the case, but not always. It could just be because God has to get you to His timing. I went through many years of getting very frustrated with my faith. I have told you all how I felt

God speak to me when I was 16 about my destiny in Him. How he called me into ministry when I was 12. But when things didn’t begin happening when I thought they should I got grumpy!!! I said I was in faith over my life, but I have a confession. .. It wasn’t really faith. Because when it didn’t happen again, or another agent turned me down, or someone else told me I was following a pipe dream. . .when the circumstances didn’t change then I would spiral into an emotional tail spin.

Faith is stable regardless of the circumstance! Faith is stable no matter what anyone has said. Faith is stable. It’s consistent and its constant. Going up and down on emotions is like an emotionally charged roller coaster. It’s tiring and in the end you feel

James 1:6-8 says, “ But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man supposed that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.Philippians 4:11-13 “ Not that I speak in regard to need for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I have news for you folks. You cannot do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you until you learn how to be stable in HIM!!! Because it takes faith to do ALL things. It takes the faith of someone who truly trusts and believes God despite of what the doctors are telling them. It takes faith to believe God over what the mortgage company might say. It takes faith to look at an empty frig, and realize that even if I have
to eat pasta for a month, I thank God for what I have because it’s food. :-) It takes faith to remain consistent. No matter what, God is still God and I choose to trust Him.

How do you become content??? That was what I asked someone once. I told her
I didn’t know how. She responded you just make the choice. She was right. Sometimes it’s a constant choice, but it’s a choice.

Years ago I was in the midst of a downward pit moment when I pushed through a crowd to a mighty woman of God. She looked at me and said, “You’re too mature in Him to be acting like this. Joshua 1:5-10!” and then she walked away. Her words cut deep, and despite my annoyance. . . She was right. Joshua 1:5-10 to abbreviate, this is in my words, but be bold in courageous because when you’re on God’s side He promised you success!!

Is your boat rocking today??? Are you going up and down and all around being tossed like a wave? It’s emotionally tiring isn’t it? You don’t have to live like that. You can choose to hold on to the rock of Christ Jesus. You can choose to be stable and trust Him! You can chose to ask Jesus into your life, and to teach you how to be stable. Because I promise you, He wants you to have good success too! He wants you to hold onto Him! He wants you to speak to your circumstances and command that they be still.

How is your faith today??

All I ever learned about making empanadas I learned from Jose

If you ever hang around Freedom Life Church in Kissimmee, Florida long enough ( you’ll find out that amongst the deacons in our church we have a mighty man of God whose name is Jose. In the years Dan and I have had a privilege to learn many things from him one of them is how to make an empanada. I don’t pretend to be able to make them as good as him or come anywhere close. But I think in every department he’s ever been in they’ll have an empanada fund raiser, and those things sell like hotcakes. Jose is an awesome man of God.

As you all know I grew up in the heart of Ohio, and before coming down to Florida I had never really had Spanish food. I would have told you that Spanish and Mexican have to be the same in their food choices. I had never heard of an empanada or what I’ve called them for years is a meat whoohee.

Many of you are probably wondering where I’m going at with this. But I promise you I do have a point.

All too often I’ve seen the body of Christ as segregated as it can get. Really did we get out of high school because there are cliques all around? I’m not saying it’s wrong to have a few good friends, but I am saying that you have to explore out of your circle. Jesus is coming back for one bride. He’s coming back to a united body. We have to stop looking at race, color, and denomination. We must realize that within every life there is a wealth of knowledge and if you allow yourself you could be amazed at what those around you can teach you.
Philippians 1:27 in the Message Bible it says, “Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest
before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they're up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There's far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There's also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You're involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.”

We must focus on bringing unity to the Church.

In one of my books, yet to be published, I made an analogy that had to have been by the Holy Ghost because I’ve used it often when talking to people. But the analogy is that people in your life is like a patchwork quilt. We each give each other a piece and take someone else a piece. It makes up your quilt of who you are. Sometimes people give you a piece that you think may be too small or too big. Sometimes you may not like the piece. But it’s beautiful how God brings all those quilt pieces together and makes it into what is you. He forms it and fashions it. You have to be okay with what it looks like because somehow someway it all goes together.1 Corinthians 12:12 in the Message Bible it says, “You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you're still one body. It's exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.)

Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We
need something larger, more comprehensive.”

Church we have to begin to value one another in the body. We all have unique giftings, abilities, callings, and talents. We need each other to get all the work done we need to get done. One of us doesn’t have all the answers, but when we’re united working for the kingdom, we’re working for the ONE that does. So though I don’t speak Spanish (though many people think I do because of my last name. . . it’s Italian, no habla espanol), though my culture is much different from Jose’s.

I can still learn from him. He‘s taught me a lot in the years I‘ve been here, and he does make a darn good empanada.

Who Are You?

When I was in the fourth grade I started to cheer. By the time I was in high school I was training to cheer for The Ohio State University. My parents had hired me a trainer and just about every day after school I was either training with her or with my squad. Real cheerleading can be very athletic and competitive. I was ranked as an individual in the nation, and competed individually in competitions. At one point I even considered a career in sports medicine because of everything I’d put my body through. While preparing for try-outs one year in high school I was convinced I could get my standing back tuck. So I set up a video camera and proceeded to try several on a carpeted concrete floor. I still have that VHS tape somewhere around here. It’s proof of the end of my cheerleading career. I faulted on the back tuck several times, and clipped my wrist. Not only did I break the bone but because of all the over use to the joints from tumbling I’d really messed my wrists up. I have a metal plate six screws and a pin in my wrist as a result.

When the dust settled and I realized I would never cheer for OSU, I remember that I went through one of the hardest identity crisis’ of my life. I no longer knew how to define myself. To me I was always Anna the cheerleader. That was how my definition of me went. Finally after a lot of soul searching God revealed to me that what I did was not
what defined me as a person. I had not just been Anna the cheerleader. But I was Anna, a child of God. His title upon me what first and foremost.

So often we define ourselves by what our titles are and who we perceive ourselves to be on this earth. I am a lot of roles: daughter, wife, mother, writer, and friend. But we as children of God have to realize that these role titles are not what define us, but God is who defines us. By definition we are children of God!

Romans 8:15 in the Message Bible says, “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!”1 Peter 2:9 in the Message Bible says, “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's
instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”

In the years that I’ve been a stay-at-home mom I’ve struggled with this very issue. I knew that I was in the plan of God but God had something else on my heart. He has been preparing me for destiny, and that destiny does not include that label. For years I would correct anyone who asked me what I did for a living. I would tell them I was a writer who is currently staying at home to raise my children. Then they would smile at me kind of sad like I was deranged or something.

There is power in your words. God formed the world by speaking. (Genesis 1) You must realize that first you are a child of God, and second even if your not where God has destined for you to be yet, He’s still called you to be there. You must begin to rise up to the label God has placed on you. You must see yourself past the place of where the world sees you, and tap into what God calls you.

In order to fulfill the call of God on your life you must see pass where you are
now. You must know what God calls you. You must realize that before all of this the label upon you is Child of the Most High God and brother or sister to Christ Jesus. Take the lid off the box of your own self today. Get with God, and allow him to show you what is on the side of Here. Because your getting there and here cannot stay. Over there there is plans and fulfillment for a new day. You may be living here now, but your getting there!

Whose your daddy?

In counseling and talking to people one on one over the years I get amazed at how few people really have a revelation of who God the father is, and His heart towards his children. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some similar mindsets too, but I wanted to dedicate this blog to exposing a few of them.

Many people have the mindset that God is some big guy upstairs ready to drop a piano on their head if they mess up. That kind of religious mindset is completely unscriptural and sad. God is not like that. John 3 :16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life.” God loves you. He does not jump all over you when you mess up. Repent and move on. That’s the whole point of the cross.

Another misconception I’ve heard all too often, is that God is too busy to hear you or to help you.Matthew 19:14 says, “Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." If we are born again we are all the “children” of God. But to take it one step further, is if you’re not born again God is crying out for you to be one of His kids. He loves you so much! God loves for His kids to crawl up and talk to Him. You are never a burden to Him. By talking to Him you’re not taking away from someone else to talk to Him. God’s ability to multi task astounds me. God is able to do more than one thing at once.

One misconception I’ve heard a lot in my years as a charismatic is the very idea that these things and callings upon your life or unobtainable. It’s like we get this mindset that God is keeping them just out of your reach. When I was a girl we had a cat, and we used to play with the cat by making him jump for a ball on a string, and then snatch it from him right as he got it.

So often times I hear people think the same from God. We think that our destiny is being shaken in front of us through prophesy and it’s like we fall
too short. My dear people, that is not God. Don’t you know he put those things inside of you for a purpose and it’s His desire even more than you to see them fulfilled. You’re callings and giftings were put inside of you for a time and season. I’ll be the first one to
say that the waiting time stinks! But, God is going to get the glory out of you fulfilling those things on your life. He wants to see you fulfill His purposes and plans.
God’s heart towards his children is good and pure. It’s so sad the religion that man has created around what God has desired. Luke 12:7 says, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” He loves and cares for us.

If any of you have not read the book, The Shack by William P. Young I want to take the time to recommend it. This book had to have come from some divine revelation the writer had to have had. In it the main character gets mad at God for tragedy in his life and ends up having a major God encounter. What is so beautiful about this book is the heart of the father towards his children.

People take the time today to think about your relationship with the Father. Do you have religious mindsets that are not scriptural? Do you see God separated from you? It’s God’s desire to be in a relationship with you. It’s His desire that you would trust Him, beyond what you can see. That’s called faith. When God’s kids have faith in Him,
it makes Him excited!

Get on over to the other side

As many of you know it will be 15 years this July that God first put it on my heart to write my first book. Five of those years are what I refer to as preparation for the waiting season. So really it’s been 10 years I’ve actively been really trying. I have had just about every door shut in my face. I’ve been mocked from others about it, and I’ve been to the point were many a day I considered giving up.

I was speaking to my pastor the other day, and I said to him, “It’s like I’ve been in the season of preparation for so long I don’t know how to walk on the other side of this.” To which he responded very wise and said to me, “Just take it a day at a time.”

The Israelites in the Bible were faced with having to learn how to change their thinking. In Deuteronomy 1 the Israelites get to their promised land and refuse to walk in out of fear. The spies tell them there are giants in the land, and it’s only Caleb and Joshua that try to argue God would still be with them. Fear kept the Israelites out of their promised land. When God hears all this with just cause He gets annoyed. God had brought the Israelites through so much, and now they were questioning Him again!!! As a result that generation of Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the old generation died out, and it was only Caleb and Joshua as old men that got to set foot into the promised land.

Fear can be a nasty thing if you let it. Fear is defined as a feeling of anxiety.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The Israelites were so consumed with fear. The let what they thought rule them instead of trusting in God. These were people that had walked through
amazing things: they’d seen God deliver them from slavery and Egypt, they’d walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, and continually they’d seen God perform signs and wonders on their behalf. Yet, they still didn’t trust the Lord. Because if they did. . . They wouldn’t have questioned going into the promised land when they heard reports of giants. They would have gone right in. Fear will stop you and keep you grounded. It’ll keep you from where you have to go.
Now if you haven’t gone into certain situations because you were afraid don’t get all condemned today. Repent and move on, we live in the new covenant which we can as Jesus to forgive us, and God and can do in us what he needs. You might have to go through a bit more first, but I would say it probably won’t be 40years like the Israelites.

I’m saying all of this to say what??? I believe prophetically we have stepped into a new day. There are plans and purposes that God is revealing to His children in this hour. Dear people, do not get scared to live on the other side of these things you’ve been believing God. God has prepared you for such a time as this, and you’re crossing over. Your coming to the other side and with all boldness God’s empowered you with to get

Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall
meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” You’re way is prosperous. You will have good success! Just trust in Him!

You make sense to God

I remember years ago I had a habit of asking people in conversation if “that makes sense to them.” I was in prayer talking to the Lord, and I asked Him “If that made sense to Him.” To which I vividly remember feeling him chuckle and reply, “Anna, I created your mind. Of course you make sense to me.”

I have noticed in life that people seem to be on a quest for others to “get them” or understand them. We as people want someone to be able to look at us in the eye and
know that we make sense to them. I love my husband and he usually understands me more than most people, however not as much as God. Isaiah 44:2a says, “This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you”God created your mind. He created how you would think and how you uniquely process things. He knows you. He knows what you think about. He knows the talents and plans that you can uniquely fit because He made you in your mother’s womb.

For years I struggled with God as to why He choose me to fulfill the specific call that is on my life. I used to argue that He could have found a much better person for it. Finally He dropped into my spirit, that it wasn’t that He choose me for it, but He made me for that specific purpose in mind.
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
he created him; male and female he created them.” We are all made in the very image of God. We all have a very specific purpose and plan that God has in us to fulfill.

You must begin to truly trust what God is doing in your life. You must allow Him to do in you what He has to. You must realize that He knows you and understands you more than anyone will upon this earth. There is a “God-shaped hole” in all of us, and until we realize that we will constantly be disappointed that no one or thing can fill that hole. You have to come to the end of yourself, and realize that the only God knows you so completely. Only God can uniquely guide you to where you need to be in life. Only God can take your mess and make it right again, and only God can fill the hole in your life. Only God can make you complete.

Do You Have Real or Plastic Hair?

There is something I have noticed about doll hair over the years. That is when the doll is first purchased the hair looks pretty and well placed. If the doll goes to a child that loves to brush out her hair and fix it up, it doesn’t take long for it to get disgusting. Plastic hair just doesn’t brush well. The more it goes through the more ratted and messy it gets. But the more brushed real hair gets, it begins to shine and become even more radiant.

As many of you know I have insanely naturally curly hair. My flat iron gets a work out when I use it. When I was a kid my mom would braid my hair in a long thick braid and when I would go swimming, getting it wet, it would make it curl up and get all tangled. Which resulted in an hour of her brushing and me screaming. But when it was over, I had gorgeous hair again.

So what is my point? Well are you real or plastic before the Lord. Let me define
the difference between being real before the Lord or plastic. Real people admit when their wrong and do the best to move on. Plastic people put on a front, they look good and are always trying to appear that way but deep down their not being honest with themselves. The last I check none of us are perfect. Are you being you, or are you playing a part? Do you look pretty on the outside but inside the more God’s been trying to work on you the more you‘ve been tangling up? Do you want to plastic before Him? Sometimes in life you will go through things, but when you accept that and allow yourself to be changed you’ll look gorgeous on the other side of this situation. Luke 6:48 says “He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”

How are your roots doing? Are you well built on the rock of Christ Jesus, or are you like plastic doll hair that is so ratted up, your beginning to reflect Liono from the Thundercats on the inside. Maybe you are all ratted up, but I got promise you, allow God to spend the time to untangle you. If you’ve been plastic before God repent and move on. God can help you be real. Trust Him enough to put you on the path that He has for you. Proverbs 3:6 says “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”
It may hurt when God has to set you aside for a period of time to straighten you out, I promise you it’s worth it. God truly does know what is best. Allow Him to take what ever time He needs to get you looking great again!

Let me just suck on the coffee grounds. . . .

When I was pregnant for my youngest daughter the Lord laid on my heart to stop drinking caffeinated coffee. That decaf was okay, but not caffeinated. So I laid down my coffee. But I love coffee! I love flavored coffee, I love mocha, espresso, I confess I could even eat the chocolate covered coffee beans. I didn’t think I over indulged, but it’s what God wanted. It was a bit of a struggle, but I had to trust God that when he asked me to do something. It was for my own good. I’m not going to say that drinking caffeine is a sin, it was what God laid on my heart for me. There are many things God will show you and warn you about your health later down the line if you’ll just listen to him. I did have an attack in my health a few months after to this and caffeine is one of the many things that can be linked to some symptoms I’d faced. (My youngest can be a bit hyper and I’ve often joked laying down coffee will help stabilizing her!) So I drink my decaf, miss my Pepsi, and only once in awhile do I really miss it.
I woke up to go to church yesterday, and I thought “I really want real coffee!” I mean not just a little bit, I craved it. Saying that there are times that the Lord asking this of me hasn’t been a struggle would be lying.

It’s all too often when God asks us to lay something down we fight him? Come on, I’ve done it on various things. We all have. We justify well what if I go to half caff? Or maybe I’ll have a Pepsi once in awhile? But what has God said? I am not saying this to get religious or ritualistic, but be real people.

God doesn’t want us to have any gods before him? Gee wasn’t that the first commandment. But yet we put things before him all the time? I certainly didn’t think I ever did that with coffee but if I don’t lay something down that God told me to, then that’s what I’m doing. There was an intern many years ago at the Lutheran church I grew up in that once taught a sermon entitled “Hail to the lawn gods!” That sermon has always stayed with me. The point was many don’t come to church on Sunday morning because it’s the perfect time to do lawn work, and really their putting their lawn over God. That phrase has become a joke between my mom and I over the years. What are you hailing today? Are you preferring TV, or the internet over God? What gods have you created in your life?

The answer is no, you can’t just “suck on the coffee grounds”. You can’t stay where God told you to leave and expect God to bless you. You can’t keep continuing to do what God
has asked you to stop and continue to experience Him like you want. You must move forward. You must do away with the gods in your life and cling to the one and only true God.

One day when I go home to be with the Lord, I do not want “She really liked coffee” on my tombstone. I want “She did her best to serve the Lord.”

Morals in the Media?

I have a confession to make, last night my husband and I were flipping through the channels on TV and we watched “My Three Sons”. I confess I don’t watch much retro TV. But we as a family sat down to watch an episode. I laughed hysterically when the middle son wanted to ask out a girl and her grandmother wouldn’t let her date until she was 16. So he rented a horse and buggy to woo her and change her grandmother’s decision. Eventually he ended up spending an evening at the grandmother’s house where they pulled taffy only to have the uncle come and get his tie stuck in the taffy. Eventually he was able to take this girl out. As I watched this show I couldn’t help but think of how pure and beautiful the story line was.

It’s amazing that as I watched this with my two daughters ages, 7 ½ and 2 ½ I didn’t have to say , “That’s not and okay word.” or her clothes aren’t okay. If the same story line
would have occurred on today’s TV it wouldn’t have been considered edgy enough unless the boy cussed at the grandmother, the girl he liked told the grandma to mind her own business while using four letter words and wouldn’t have been wearing anything appropriate when she left for the party. The uncle would have cursed when he got his tie
stuck in the taffy pull and, those two kids would have been doing a little more in that buggy then merely riding to a party.

Has our society changed so much in the last 50 years that we’ve allowed Hollywood and the media dictate to us what is okay? If media is just a reflection of what’s going on in the world then what does that say about our morals in this country over the last 50 years. Of course I have to say here that I don't support cheesy drama either, you have to be real with people, but there is a balance. I realize that I’m on my own soap box by saying all of this. But many of you who know me, know my heart in this area. I am praying more than ever before that God would send His children to raise up a standard once again in the media. I encourage all of you who are reading this who are people of prayer to begin to do the same. We as a people of believers must see the importance of the media in this society, and the call of God upon many in this hour to see the will of God fulfilled in this industry.

Faith is a Verb

A dear friend of ours is in process of making some faith choices in order to go forward in his life to do what he knows God is telling him to do. He was on the phone with me yesterday asking for some wisdom and there were a few things about that conversation that got me thinking and I wanted to share. One of the things that I kept telling him about faith is that you need to quit thinking about it so much. So often we’ve made decisions in our lives that if we really set to think about it in our head, we wouldn’t make those decisions. Faith is not being stupid, but about knowing what God has said. Often times these choices will not make sense in our own minds. IF they did, then that wouldn’t be faith. That’s the point of faith that you cannot see it. Often times you can’t see in the natural what God is telling you in the supernatural. Hebrews 11:1 [ By Faith We Understand ] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

So it’s not always going to make sense in your head. So why is it there are some decisions that
we labor over so long and try to make sense of it in our heads. We need to use Godly wisdom. But I am convinced that many people talk themselves out of stepping in faith.
When Dan and I moved to Florida 8+ years ago we had all sorts of people try to talk us out of it. When I married Dan because of how everything happened I had many try to talk me out of it.

We’ve had many try to pull us out of the will of God so often. Because in the natural these decisions haven’t made sense. That’s why it so important you are careful about who you lend your ear too. Many doubters will try to talk you out of doing the will of God. Often times I’m sure their well meaning people, but look at Joseph. His brothers heard what God had planned for him, and that just made them more mad at him and they made fun of him. Even his own father questioned him. Be careful who you share your heart with. One thing our friend brought up yesterday that I keep thinking about is a quote by Jesse Duplantis. He says that “faith is a risk.” That’s true. Faith has an action. It has movement, and requires something on our part.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

I always think of Peter who got out of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus. Kim Clement used to always say, “You’re never going to know unless you step out of the boat.” That statement is true. And when you do step out of the boat how do you react? My spiritual father

Apostle Lee says it best. There was a situation where he had to walk in a lot of faith and stand for some things when it seemed everyone around him doubted. Someone came up to ask him if he had a plan B. “Plan B? He said, there is no plan B in faith.” That’s true. There isn’t a plan B. If you think there is one, I question if you’re truly in faith about that situation.In the years that

I’ve been serving the Lord, 21 years now to be exact. I’ve had to make a lot of choices Some that were in faith and some that weren’t. I’ve had to make a choice to either walk with the crowd of the masses or go it by the way of the Lord. There has not been one time though that I’ve made a choice to step out of the boat that God has not supernaturally met me on the
water. Faith is a verb. It’s an action. It’s a lifestyle of choosing to go by the way of the Lord even if it’s not always easy. It is these moments in life that define who we are. It’s when we’ve made these choices and we see God miraculously show up on the scene. SO when something happens again, or a friend calls because he needs council we can say I know God, and I know if He’s called you to do this thing it will work for your good. I know God works all things out for those that love the Lord.

In the days we live I want to encourage you to seek God today. What is he asking you to do? What do you know in your heart you must do? What are you spending so much time trying to talk yourself out of doing. Just go with the flow of God. He’ll meet you there on the water. He’ll wrap his arms around you, and make sure you don’t sink.

I’ll trade you two fake smiles for a pretentious, “I’m praying for you.”

While Jesus was on the earth he spoke a lot about hypocrites. Similar to hypocrites there is a mindset that as penetrated the church at large. It’s what I call “fake Christians.” These are ones who pretend they have your back. They’ll smile at you and be social when all the while you’re expecting them to gossip about you behind your back. They’ll look at you in the eyes and tell you their praying for you, but really deep down they don’t care about you. If you try to talk to them they always have a way with making you feel small and insignificant. These are ones who put on a show for everyone, but deep inside there are issues. I personally believe that many, including myself sometimes, have gotten so caught up in our own lives that we’ve lost all compassion and caring for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Jesus was moved by compassion. Matthew 9:36 “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Jesus later goes on and many were healed that day. We must wake up from our selfishness and self-centeredness church. We must start looking past ourselves if we are ever going to be an influence for the kingdom of God.

The world has had it with “fake Christians”. They want to see real people with real struggles. They want to see people that aren’t perfect and everything isn’t hunkey doorey. They need to see Christ in us, not a fake persona that once you come to Christ you’ll never go through anything. People in the world need to see a real Jesus!

What if God were to be fake with us? Matthew 18:18 The Message Bible"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there." What if God were to say things to us and put up a front but deep down He didn’t
mean it? He wouldn’t do that. Why? Because God is truth. He cannot lie. When God says something it will happen. God doesn’t put up a front for us, so why then do we do it with each other.

It’s been my ongoing joke for years pointing out the differences between how men and women deal with things. Men will have a disagreement and just punch each other
and that will be the end of it. Women are a lot different. I always say we argue in subtext. It’s when they say something but really it wasn’t what they said it was the paragraph of words behind it that was implied. It time church we put the subtext down and just be real with people.

We do what we’re going to say, and we say what we mean.2 Corinthians 1:17 NKJ, “Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No?”

The fear of a nation brought thousands into slavery, but the faith of one woman put that same nation on the path to freedom.

I teach a weekly group of tweens at our church. In this unit we’re talking about the Passover, and are actually doing a messianic Passover with them. I was teaching last night on the Children of Israel and how they got into slavery, and as I was God began to show me some things in the story I never saw before. I thought I’d share them in a blog today.

God brought the children of Israel to Egypt to bring them provision. There was a
horrible time of famine in the land and it just so “happened” that Joseph was 2nd in command next to pharaoh. It was not God’s will that they generations later become slaves to the Egyptians. It says in Genesis 47 That Pharaoh showed them favor. They were a blessed bunch of people.

But as we know, the story goes on generations pass and there comes a pharaoh on the scene in Exodus 1:8-10 that didn’t know Joseph. In says in verse 9 that the pharaoh says, “There are way too many of the Israelites for us to handle. We’ve got to do something. Let’s devise a plan to contain them, lest if there’s a war they should join our enemies or just walk off and leave us.” So from that the Egyptians put the Israelites as slaves. I want you all to notice something here. The Egyptians put the Israelites in slavery because their afraid of them. The Bible talks about how prosperous they were, how they flourished in Egypt. The Egyptians were afraid of the Israelites so they put them as slaves. Did you ever think what would have happened if the Israelites would have decided once they saw the evil intent of the Egyptians to just move? Why didn’t they just leave? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but if I had to venture an opinion it would be that they got too comfortable in Egypt and didn’t want to leave. They were too afraid to leave where they knew God had sent them before to move on to what He wanted for them

That’s an easy place to find yourself in some times. You know God called you somewhere so you hold on tight with everything you have. But later God wants to move you forward and you struggle with it. The old way is safe. You’ve grown comfortable there. The old way brought you provision before. You argue with God. You argue with yourself. Eventually before you know it you’re in bondage and that was never God’s will. God moves you from glory to glory. If you feel yourself growing stagnant maybe you need to take a long look at yourself, and ask God what’s going on.

Moses’ mother is an awesome woman of God and the older in the Lord I’m getting the more respect I’m learning for her. It was her faith that set her people onto a road of freedom. It was through her the deliverer was birthed. The Bible says in Exodus 2 :1-3 that she hides Moses for three months because the Egyptians were killing all the male babies. It’s so easy to think about that, and think, “awe how sad.” But we’re thinking of a cartoonized version that we can emotionally detach ourselves from. Think
about that for a moment. The Egyptians are afraid of the numbers of Israelites so their ordering all the male babies be murdered. It’s their population control. So their ripping these children from the womb and murdering them. Piercing screams of mothers tattoo
the sky and the ground drips with blood. Innocent lives are wasted. But not Moses. His momma hid him for three months. Did you ever think about how you would hide a three month old? She had wisdom. I’m sure there were those around them that knew of Moses. Aaron and Miriam knew about their brother. I’d guess somewhere there was a father in this that knew. I’d bet neighbors heard Moses’ cries at night. I would guess some threatened even to turn her in. What would her punishment be for hiding her son, her own death? But she didn’t care.
She chose to make a basket and hide Moses in it and put him in the Nile. The Nile is full of crocodiles and other animals. She had to trust that her son was in the hands of the Almighty. Sometimes in life, the very things you know your called to do, you must let go of so God can do what he must with it. Supernaturally God’s hand was on that basket and got it with precision into the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter. Then not having anyone to nurse the baby, long story short, she hires Moses’ mom to raise her own son.

So let’s get this straight, Moses’ mother trusts the Lord, and she not only gets to raise her
son, but she gets paid to do it.

So which camp are you in? Are you so afraid to let God move you on in your life that you’re holding onto the old? Are you seeing the Egyptians in your life to come and
enslave you, but you still won’t let go? Or are you like Moses’ momma whose faith brought her and an entire nation into freedom? If you see yourself more as the nation of Israel have a talk with God today. Ask Him what He wants you to do, and just do it. For He loves you so very much. And yes, He can get you out of your slavery, but He doesn’t want you there in the first place. Talk to him today. Talk to Him just like you would talk to your best friend. He and only He can bring you life.

We don’t know what happened to Moses’ mother. The Bible doesn’t even give her a name. But her mark is forever left onto history. Her steadfast trusting in the Lord is something we can all learn from.

Loving and Being the You God Created

So several weeks back there was a situation that occurred that turned a bit ugly and I had to tell the person that they were wrong in love. After it was all said and done I got a bit grumpy. Why does it seem I’m always the one God uses to speak up and say something. Can’t for once in my life I just be quiet and blend in? Well no, As
someone who has been called to have a prophetic voice it’s rare that I do get to just blend in.

When I was a kid I remember I used to pretend to like donuts just because everyone else did. My sister tells of the stories of how I ‘d get one and rarely eat it. Truthfully I didn’t want to confess I hate them because people would think I was weird. It was the same with cream of mushroom soup. And then, something happened in me where I began to accept who I was, and stopped trying to change the things that made me who God made me.

My mother asked me as a child the standard if I would jump off a cliff would I follow my friends line, and without batting and eyelash I once told her yes I would. To those that know me now they would probably laugh at that. They know I’m the kind of person that marches to the beat of my own drummer and they couldn’t imagine me ever saying that. I wasted years of my life trying to fit in, and denied the person God created me to be. I finally just woke up one day and said enough is enough.

I tell my daughter who is in the 2nd grade all the time the best way to deal with people. You were created the way God wanted you to be. If a situation arises and you’ve messed up then repent and move on. But is someone has a problem with you
then it’s their problem, not yours. Don’t make it yours by holding onto it. Don’t get me wrong, God wants to perfect you into His image and continue to work on you, but there is a difference between that, and not being who God created you to be.

We’re all different and that’s a good thing. My dear grandmother used to always look at me and tell me I was weird. I don’t think she meant that as an insult but I always took it as a compliment. John 8:23But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” We’re not always going to fit in with the world. And that’s OK, so stop trying.God created you for such a special plan and purpose. It was not to be like everyone else. Or to look like everyone else. It was to simply be you. You are bringing honor and glory to God by doing this. By you fulfilling your purpose it is a sweet fragrance unto God.
I encourage you to be true to the uniqueness that God created you for today.
When you do this you’ll find the freedom of truly living in Jesus Christ.

Know your target and hit it!!!

Many of you have heard me say over and over again how God laid it on my heart when I was 16 to write my first book. In my head at the time, I was planning on being a
missionary or a Lutheran pastor, but God had other plans. I couldn’t write, and I thought that the idea of me doing so was hilarious. I had been made fun of, and still am often, for my lack of editing professionalism. So I yielded to God’s plan, and I thought after college I would write this book, and it would easily get picked up. I remember my first turn down. I bawled. I was stunned I figured if God told you to do something it would just happen. I remember Dan telling me that getting turned down would just make me appreciate it more when it did happen. He was right, but with all due respect I wanted to smack him at the time.

Today is nearing the 15 year mark when God laid it on my heart to write my first book. I’m 8+ years after my first turndown. Though there is so much more in my heart that God has for me on this earth. I want to tell you that yesterday, I saw the beginnings of fulfillment. Yesterday I got the book in the mail of the anthology I’m in. I’ve seen my name in print before, but this is different. This is a professional book. This is a short story about my dad which is a commercial for my first book. I held that book in my hands and I wept. It as a very emotional moment for me. I’ve spent the last week emailing two different agents back and forth, who are both considering taking me on as a writer. I’ve learned by now that you can’t put too much stock in one connection in this business. That you have to keep praying that God opens the doors that no man can open and closes the ones that no man can close.

So why do I say all this? It’s certainly not to toot my own horn. I know this has been a God thing. But it’s to encourage all of you. So many times in the body of Christ I have found many who have no idea what God put them on this earth to do. So many times I see a body who completely lacks Godly vision for their lives. An arrow must have a target to hit. Or else it will just shoot in the air, and land wherever. That doesn’t mean you’ll know what you’re supposed to do for the rest of your life right now. But you must get a vision before you. You must get a target. You must get with the Lord and find out what that target is. Keep that vision before you. You are an arrow for the kingdom of God, and as that arrow you must know where your going.

Today I was reading the word and this is the scripture God brought me to.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 in the Message Bible says, “And then God answered: ‘Write this. Write
what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on it’s way. It will
come right on time.’”

We’ll all go through things in life. Sometimes it will feel like a battle beyond your capability. There were many days I seriously considered giving up. There were days I cried tears of frustration and wondered what was God doing up there? God’s grace is sufficient for you. Though things don’t seem to be breaking forth, they are under the surface. We must be confident that the word of God does not lie. He called you to whatever target to hit and if you keep going forward and push through it you‘ll hit that mark. God has a calling, purpose and destiny on each of your lives. Today God wants you to be assured of that and know that He will fulfill the promises on your lives. Do not faint to know worry, for God is faithful. Continue to say that to yourselves today. He is faithful.

I’m just weird

My mother can testify that while I was growing up I was one of those kids that was so desperate to fit in with everyone. I just wanted to be normal. But somewhere in
the stages of maturity I began to realize some things about myself. I began to realize that I like to be unusual. I like to be the kind of person that fits in, but yet is just slightly walking at the rate of their own beat. Gradually I stopped trying to fit in with everyone else and began to embrace the person God created me to be. Jeremiah 1:5“ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

God created you for you to be you. That doesn’t mean I’m giving everyone the right to go and sin and you can say “oh but this is me.” That’s not what I’m saying. God didn’t create you to be in sin. I am saying God created you for specific tasks and characteristics and by you being yourself. you’re bringing glory to His name. A friend (Jeff Ferguson, for those that know him) says that the Lord spoke to him once and said that the trees were bringing praise unto the Lord’s name because they were fulfilling what God put them on the earth to do. By being yourself, and the person God created you to be. . .you’re being a praise to God.

1 Corinthians 12:14
I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

I know it’s easy to just blend into the crowds and pretend that your something your not. But it is so liberating to realize what you’re called to do in the body of Christ and just do it. We can’t all be the same.

One of the things that really annoys me is when people try to shove me into a mold of their making. I realize many have good intentions, and accepting wise council is a good thing, however to be true to the person God created you to be we can’t keep trying to
force each other in the body into mold we think they ought to fit. God created us all unique. When we try to force each other to be other wise, it’s like making someone wear pants that are way too tight, eventually that seam is going to rip, and it won’t be pretty when it does. You have to learn how to love yourself, be yourself, and embrace your individuality, and if someone doesn’t like that don’t make that your problem. Pray for them and move on.

My dear late grandmother and I had an ongoing conversation. She used to always tell me, “You’re weird.” To which I would always respond, “Thank you.” On Saturday I’m getting a strip of hair dyed hot pink. Some have asked if it was a middle age crises and some have just awkwardly laughed thinking I was silly. I am who I am, and though I’m
not perfect I’ve learned to embrace who God made me. It’s liberating to be able to accept that. I have my moments, but who doesn’t. Be comfortable enough in yourselves dear friends that if you don’t fit in with the world realize that’s not a bad thing. Simply say “thank you.”

Is Your Land Feeling Dry?

Twice in the Bible God parts the waters before the Israelites. Once is in Exodus 13 when the Egyptians are chasing the Israelites so God parts the Red Sea, and in Deuteronomy 3 when he parts the Jordan river in order for the Israelites to go into the promise land. In both accounts the people of Israel or “crossing over.” In both accounts the word of God says that not only the waters were parted but in both accounts it also says that they crossed on dry land.

Both accounts in the lives of the children of Israel are significant. In both accounts they are symbolic of a transition in their lives. In the first account the people are leaving the season of slavery to go into freedom. Later they have to stay roaming in the wilderness for 40 years because of rebellion. But when they cross over the Jordan River it is again significant because their leaving the wilderness to go to the Promise Land. The
Bible says that once they crossed the Jordan River the manna stopped, and they once again had to find food on their own.

They crossed on dry land. Why is this so important? Well what if God would have parted either of the waters and not made the land dry. The people would have gotten stuck in the transition. They wouldn’t have been able to cross over to what God had planned. They would have sunk down in the Sea or river bed. They would have never made it to the other side. God’s mind never ceases to astound me. He thinks ahead. He knows what He’s doing.

Transition can be hard. Trust me, I know. There have been many times in my life where I have felt dryness in the land. I have made the following statement more than once, “I feel like I’m about to step into some shoes that I still think are a little too big for me. And sometimes you have to realize that the shoes your currently in are too small or you won’t step into the new ones.” Transition isn’t easy. You have leave the comforts of what you know, and press forward into what you know to be God. Sometimes it can be very frustrating. Because the land can be uncomfortable for you and dry. God can see you one month from now. He can see you ten years from now. You have to trust what He’s doing, to be for your good. He would never do something to hurt you, but He wants to bring you out, and bring you up.

I know it’s annoying to feel like you could be in a dry land, but if you stop in the middle of the transition where does that leave you? God has to get you to the other side!!! If you give up in the middle of the transition then you might drown later.
Philippians 3:12 [ Pressing Toward the Goal ] Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Keep pressing forward today. It doesn’t matter how dry the ground feels. It doesn’t matter that your not sure if you can see the other side. Keep pressing forward because your promise land is waiting on the other side. God has a plan and a purpose, and it shall be fulfilled!

God Has A Destiny and Purpose for Your Life!

When I was just over two my mom, two cousins, pregnant aunt, and myself were in a horrible car accident. I remember two scenes from that night. I remember picking my cousin up from my grandparents, and I remember crawling up in my grandmother’s arms later that night. So the story I relate is what I know through second hand information.

My mom ran a stop sign driving. That was before car seats and my one cousin and myself who are only a month a part in age were riding in the back of the station wagon. The car began to spin, and the back hatch popped open. I was thrown out of the car, and landed upside down in a cornfield across the road. When everything settled they didn’t know where I was. My aunt says she saw angles telling her where to find me. When they finally did, I was wedged up against a fence post. There were dirt in my little tights, but not a scratch on me. The tights weren’t even snagged.

Later at the hospital when my cousin and I sat side by side my mom kept trying to tell the doctor to really check me because I was thrown. The doctor didn’t believe her. The doctor was like, “There is no way this little girl was thrown from a car. She’s fine.”
Years later while in a Driver’s Ed class I found out that only .1% who are ever thrown from a vehicle survive without a permanent injury. That’s .1% without a permanent injury. That is 1/10 of one percentage point. I didn’t even have one injury. No scratches, no bruises, not a mark could have been found on me.

A few years ago I found out my uncle who was a pastor at the time went into heavy intercession that night.

This story has always stayed with me. Because quite frankly I know there is no
reason I should be alive. I know that God has a destiny and a purpose for my life. There has been times I’ve defiantly questioned it, but I’ve always known it was there.

So I tell you today, that God is no respecter of persons. You were beautifully and wonderfully made by our creator. He has a destiny and purpose for your life too. Think about it. Even if you’ve never survived a major event like a car accident, what is the odds that your parents got together, and then you’re grandparents, and your great-grandparents and so on. Even if you were conceived out of sin, God takes hold of your life, and destined you to be a great thing, out of something that wasn’t so great. He takes what the devil meant for evil and turns it for His glory.

You were designed and purposed to live right now. What is your destiny? Are you seeking to find it, or are you merely floating in life being tossed every which way. God wants to point you in the right direction. He wants you to fulfill your purpose just as much as you want to fulfill it. Are you asking him? Are you seeking him for it? Or has
he told you and your running from it. It gets lonely running from the Lord. While it may be okay for a season deep down you’re not doing what your destined for and deep down you’ll be miserable.

Some people have a misguided view of God. He doesn’t set up in heaven and
dangle your destiny in front of you only for you to get close to it and then move it. God is not like that. God wants to be able to talk to your clearly. God wants you to slow down and allow him to communicate with you. Be still and know that He is God. God has such a specific plan and purpose for your life, and only you can fill it.

One day we’ll all have to stand before God and give an account for our lives. We’ll have to give an account with what we did with the giftings and callings that He gave us. I’ve always said that I want to be able to look at him, and say, “I tried. I wasn’t always perfect but I tried to live a life that made you smile.”

So I leave that with you today. Would God be smiling at your life? Are you seeking to fulfill your destiny?

God, I love you and I just want to serve you!

I have shared this story numerous times when speaking with people, and twice yesterday it came up. I felt that I should do a blog on it. I hope that it helps anyone who reads it:
When I was a senior in High School I was a feature twirler for our marching band. I went every week to take baton twirling lessons. The teacher gave lessons in the basement of a Methodist Church in Waldo, Ohio. There was one particular evening that I was early to my lesson. I’d been in and out of this church growing up a lot given it was right next to the Lutheran one I grew up in, and the two are the only churches in Waldo.

I remember peeking into the sanctuary. The moonlight shone through the stained glass windows making colors dance across the carpeted aisle way. Something about the scene drew me to walk inside the deserted sanctuary. Looking around to see if anyone was there, I silently tip toed down the path and knelt before the aged wooden cross at the alter. The presence of God was all around me. There alone in that Methodist church I recommitted my life to the Lord. I remember distinctly saying to the Lord, “I love you,
and I just want to serve you.”

The divine beauty and simplicity of the moment has always stayed with me. There are times in life that are hard. They seem to blind your vision with confusion, and mar the awesomeness of God. We’ve all been through seasons when we’ve questioned God. We’ve wondered where He was in all of the mess. But He has never left you. We must find a precious moment with God. We must get back to the simplicity of “God I love you, and I just want to serve you.” I encourage everyone reading this, to stop for a moment and have a time that you say that, and mean that to God. Life is not about cars, toys, worldly success. It is not broken dreams and unfulfilled words. Take a moment to allow the sea of circumstances to part over your heart, and recommit you’re life to Him!

Do I offend you?

My dear late grandmother used to always say, “Don’t expect intelligent answers out of unintelligent people.” There have been many times in life I’ve heard her quote that, and often months now after she’s left this earth to go home to be with Jesus I can still hear her say it. I’ve taken that to another level and added the two statements, “Don’t expect mature answers out of immature people,” and “Don’t expect saved and righteous answers out of unrighteous people.”

People will tick you off. It happens, and it will continue. The church is no different. I remember years ago when Dan and I had only been in our church for a few months. Here I was, moved across country from my family, I had very few friends at the church, I was doing the best I knew to raise my first daughter and I was fighting depression. Someone well meaning in the church asked Dan and I if we owned a clothes iron because they’d noticed that sometimes our clothes were a little wrinkly. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t believe of all the nerve. Truthfully though she ticked me off, I had to learn to let it go. Accept that yes, I could make a better effort of using the iron. I couldn’t hold on to my annoyance. Acts 24:16 says, “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”

I am convinced that once you take on an offense from someone, it’s really easy for that person to offend you. It’s like once you’ve tasted chocolate you always have a taste for it. It’s the same with offense. Once you’ve taken on being ticked off at someone it doesn’t matter what they do, you’ll find something they’ve done to you to offend you. Suddenly just the sight of them will tick you off.

Romans 16:17 says, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” Sometimes there will be individuals that chaos and fights follow them wherever they go. You need to love these people and pray for them, but be aware they enjoy stirring up trouble. Years
ago there was a situation where this one particular gentleman and myself were constantly striving. It got so bad that he and Dan almost got into a physical confrontation over it. (He doesn’t go to our church anymore so those of you who do stop trying to figure out who it is, stop.)

God taught me a lot through all that mess. Eventually I had to confront him, and tell him I thought he was flakey. What do you do with people like that? You keep praying for them, even when you want to smack them. You try to look at them through the eyes of God. But you can’t let yourself constantly be in offense with them. You have to choose to forgive them.How can you forgive someone whose hurt you so bad? You choose to. There have been many times in my life when I’ve cried out to God because as hard as I tried to forgive them I couldn’t. I’ve said God you have to show me how. He always has. He always has. If Jesus can forgive those who mutilated Him on a cross I have no excuse to hold on to my offenses. If you hold unforgiveness in your heart the Bible says, He can’t forgive you.

When someone hurts you, you’re flesh wants to hold onto it. You want to conjure time and time again what they did to you and relive it. We’ve all heard the phase to
“forgive and forget.” I remember asking the Lord about that once. How was I suppose to forget, and here’s the revelation He gave me. We will never ‘forget’ the instance. But we must forget the emotions around it. We have to be able to look at the situation and forget the pain, hurt and anger. We must forget the offense the person caused us.
Many times I hear the phrase, “Well it’s easy for you to say, but you don’t know what this person has done to me.” It’s true I don’t, and memories are always sacred to the person who lived them. However, recently I was watching one of the extras in “The Hiding Place.” This movie is based off of Corrie Ten Boom’s life. She was a woman whose family helped many Jews escape during WWII and eventually she and her family were imprisoned in a concentration camp. She was essentially the only one that lived and in her latter years she was an evangelist to many. I’ve seen the extras when she’s talking about preaching only to see in the audience one of the nurses that used to abuse her and her sister in the camp. At first she was angry when she saw her and the anger began to rise. Then she prayed that God would show her how to love this nurse. Long story short Corrie was able to lead this woman to the Lord. It is not by our own ability that we can forgive such monstrosity. But we need the help of Jesus. Are you holding on to something today? Are you saying there is no way you can forgive someone. Ask the Lord to help you let it go. God isn’t saying you must be the person’s best friend after, but He is saying you have to let go of the offense. Choose to forgive them, so that you might
be free. So that you can walk free from offense and bitterness. Choose to let go.

Because Sometimes It's not all about me!

There are times in life where God instructs you to do things, and there are other times where you merely fall into His perfect will. God’s plan always amazes me and I wanted to share my latest adventure in Him.

Dan and I decided it was time we do some updating to our youngest daughters room. She’ll be turning three in a few months and she didn’t have much in the way of furniture. So since my first response to buying a large purchase anymore is online, I began searching the internet to show him different options. We then started going to stores all over town. To which one of the times my youngest daughter, who we’re working on potty training, used up all my diapers and we were across down and she needed to be changed. By the way if your ever in that predicament IKEA has free diapers in their bathrooms. I never knew that then, but I do now. Whoever thought of that deserves a promotion!!

Anyway we looked and looked but nothing felt right. We’d become very
indecisive and we questioned if it was really time to make this purchase. So, turning back to the internet I began scouring Craigslist. I found a good deal about an hour drive. It was exactly what we’d been looking for. They were the exact bunk and loft beds we kept
liking. The finish was not exactly what I wanted, but they were including the mattress’ so it was a great deal.

Last night we drove the hour to Palm Bay to pick them up. As we drove there I have to confess I was a bit nervous. I mean I was driving to some random persons house. But as we got there all tension seemed to vanish like vapor. I asked the Lord while I watched Dan and this man take the set apart and fit it in the SUV. Do they know you? To which I heard the Lord say yes, but give them a card to your church. So I did, and as I did their story began coming out. His father had been a pastor, his brother now one, he’d actually been a missionary for a period of time, but they’d moved down to FL from the North and never had found a church. For six years he and his family had been churchless, and in his eyes I could see he was desperate for an encounter with God. Then his wife began to talk. Her children miss church, she’s afraid to go somewhere where she doesn’t know anyone, and their story went on.

As I stood in their drive watching Dan and this man use every ounce of space in
and on top of the SUV they possibly could to pack these beds in. I realized while yes, my daughter had needed a bed, but this whole adventure in finding one had nothing to do with my family. But it had everything to do with this family we had just met. God’s love for His children is so big that sometimes God puts us all in these kind of divine appointments. We just need to stay open to them. Because we’re having a friends and family day at church coming up, and I’d been praying that God put me in someone’s path that needed to come so I could invite them. And all the hours of frustration trying to find a bed, taking a poopy kid through IKEA now meant nothing but a funny story. God worked it all out, according to His plan and purpose. I’ve been serving the Lord for a long time now, and I’ve seen him do similar stories in my life and many others. If you’ll keep you’re life open to Him, He’ll use it. I pray for that family. I’ll be sending them directions via email to my church today. I pray that wherever God wants them to be, that they’ll be in His perfect will. Every time I see my daughter’s new bed I’ll be reminded that God’s plan is always bigger than what I can see, and it’s not all about me. It’s about Him.

Romans 8:28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I'm the Rubber Band Girl

I’m the Rubber band Girl
Years ago I was in the midst of complaining to the Lord about being stretched in certain areas. As much as I tell this story I don’t remember now what I was complaining about or what the Lord was stretching me in. It was probably speaking before people. As much as I know I’m called to do it, and make myself do it regularly it still freaks me out. I just make myself do it. Anyway I was cleaning out an old junk drawer at my parents house and in the back of the drawer there was an old and crusty rubber band. It’s funny that God uses the simplest things sometimes to teach us lessons. I started to play with the rubber band. It only took a few stretches and that rubber band stung me across the hand. It broke because it had been sitting in the back of the drawer for too long. That’s when I felt the Lord drop into my spirit, “See, if I don’t stretch you and use you on occasion you’ll become like that old crusty rubber band and break when I need to use you.” Ouch! Which stung more, where the rubber band stung me or the fact that I’d been whining to the Lord about being stretched?
We as a people are so funny. We complain to God for not using us. We complain to Him for wanting to get to our destiny in life. We complain about the weather. We complain about our finances. We complain and complain. When God tries to do anything about it, like use us and that stretches us more than we want to be stretched we complain about that too. The Bible says in
Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing. That’s a whole lot easier said than done. I know.
But we have to realize as God’s people that He knows what He is doing. When we look at our lives we see such a small part. But God looks at our lives from the finish line. He sees the whole picture.
In order to be yielded to God we must quit fighting him every step of the way. When I was first learning to swim my mom tells the story of my swim instructor. He was trying his hardest to teach me to swim at the local Y, and instead of letting him teach me, I proceed to beat him up with my fists. Sure I can laugh about it now, but I don’t think it was funny to him at the time. I’m sure in the first few lessons we didn’t get much accomplished. I was so caught up in fighting him every step of the way, I couldn’t focus on swimming. We do the same to God. We’re so stubborn to His leading that we start arguing and fighting Him. I have news for you, you’ll get a lot more accomplished in the Kingdom of God and in your life if you stop fighting Him. When two people work together in unity a lot more can get done. As much as I tried to fight that swim instructor eventually I learned how to swim. It was a waste of his time and my effort to fight as hard as I did.
People, we do the same to God. Fighting Him and running from Him is exhausting. You can’t get done everything you need to, and your frustration will start to wear you down. Stop fighting Him. God has never given up on you. His callings and plans for your life are there for you to fulfill. What have you been fighting with the Lord about? He formed you in the womb, and created you for a purpose (Jeremiah 1:5). Let him show you, and direct you to that purpose.
There is freedom in that. There is freedom from fighting Him. There is freedom to trust Him. There is freedom to find who you really were made to be in this world. In Him there is freedom.