Monday, November 29, 2010

Is the Real You in Hiding?

Is the Real You In Hiding?

I have often found myself talking about how when I reached a certain age I had a shifting in the way I viewed others and myself. I had always been the type of person that never wanted to upset people. I was a constant “peacemaker” that was trying to keep the waters smooth at the detriment of myself at times. I remember one silly instance when I did not want to confess that I hated donuts. I mean really that’s a food that is revered in the junk food culture there must be something wrong with me I thought so I’ll keep telling myself that I like them. It did not work. I still hate donuts. Finally, one day I stopped trying to hide who I was. It had gotten old, and all I felt was cheated out of being me. The experience was very freeing to me. Being empowered to be who you are in Christ is a gift.

Psalm 139:13 (Message)
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

God knows you. He formed you. He created you to be you. When you keep being too scared to be who you are in Him, you’re not only cheating yourself out of freedom but your cheating God out of getting to see you take the place He created for you.

However sometimes people justify their sin as being “who they are” and that’s not Biblical. God didn’t create you to have sin in your life. However, He created you to be whole in Him.

Galatians 5:13 (NIV)
[ Life by the Spirit ] You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Finding that freedom in Christ can never be a justification for sin or fleshly desires.

Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
[ The Year of the LORD’s Favor ] The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

If you feel yourself in bondage, there is freedom for you. Jesus came to set the captives free. Be true to who God called you to be in this life. Stop being afraid to be who God has made you on the earth. Be free to be yourself in Him!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Be Thankful!

This is the week that we always talk about being thankful. We should talk about having an attitude of Thanksgiving, but our attitude of being grateful in our lives doesn’t need to always just be in November every year. WE should always have an attitude of thanksgiving. I won’t keep you long this morning, many of you if you live in the US are going to be traveling today, baking pies and visiting family in preparation of the Thanksgiving holiday.

I wanted though to encourage you all to make a list whether it is mental or physical. Write down all the things for which you’re thankful. Sometimes it can be easy to focus in life on the few things that annoy you, but when you begin to list off all the things you can see in your life, you realize you have been blessed. Keep an attitude of thanksgiving. Let it not just be empty words that you recite because it’s that time of the year, but let it bubble up on the inside of you. You are blessed.

1 Chronicles 16:34Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Ezra 3:11With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Psalm 7:17I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.

Psalm 100:4Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stepping Into The Doorway of Destiny

Many of you have heard the story about how I starting writing. I’d been 16 and I watched the movie Forrest Gump. I saw those scenes with him in Vietnam and I couldn’t shake them. I wanted to tell my dad’s story about his tour. Little by little I began to realize that it was my God given destiny to tell stories. I didn’t really start writing until six years later.

In the ten years since I started trying to get published I’d write a book, and send it out only to be turned down over and over again. God has taught me a lot in these years. While patience is something that I constantly have to work on, I’ve realized what the phrase, “The ark wasn’t built overnight” really means. The words patience and perseverance have become words tattooed in the fabric of my spirit.

Back in the spring of last year I had a vision. This vision had a lot of parts to it that I’m not going to publicly share but at the end, I was led to walk through two doors back to back. I have just stepped through the second door and I wanted to share. The first door was when Dan and I officially launched Doveagle Ministries. It had been something for years we’d planned for, prayed for, and expected. I walked through that second door today. I’m very excited to finally announce that I have my first official full book deal. Destiny Image Publishers will be publishing “Exposing the spirit of Balaam.” It is due out in book stores March 2013. It’s a non fiction teaching book about the spirit of Balaam and how it’s at work in the church.

I am so very humbled by all of this. As I had a book signing this weekend it was such an honor to get to talk with the people. I’m now stepping in areas that I’ve known for years I would one day. I know God has opened those doors and He is faithful. He is able to bring all of this to pass, and I’m excited for the other doors that lay ahead. I’m also nervous, but I know He is faithful. There were so many time, and so many turn downs that I can remember just wanting to quit. God used many of you encouraged me to keep going. Thank you for not letting me quit.

I want to encourage all of you today. God is no respector of persons. There is destiny and purpose on each of your lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 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.

I don’t want you to read this and think, “Well good for her, what about me?” I want to encourage you all that God has not forgotten you. I am not special. I’ve just done what he told me to do, and refused to give up. I want each and everyone one of you to know there is greatness on the inside of you. One day if you don’t quit you’ll see the breakthrough.

I leave you today with one of my favorite passages. Hope it encourages you. Trust in Him. He’s able to bring to pass what He said He would!

Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Motivates You Forward?

On Monday I was setting down with Dan watching Sid Roth’s show “It’s Supernatural.” I confess I love that show, and suddenly I felt the spirit of God ask me a question.

“Why do you want to go forward in your destiny so much?”

My first response to this question was to get a little annoyed. I mean the Holy Spirit has asked me that question at various times throughout my walk and I thought immediately, “Haven’t we been through checking my motives several times before? How am I off?”

“Why do you want to go forward?” I felt I heard it again.

“Ok, fine. God I want to go forward because I just want to fulfill what you’ve called me to do.” Easy answer. . . However what the Lord began to download to me will change the way I view things forever. I will not be able to give you the word for word conversation, but I do feel led to download the just of what the Lord began to show me.

Our motivation to move forward cannot include our own comfort. It can’t be all about us. What the Lord began to download to me is that there are many He’s called me to minister too, and to say the only reason I want to move forward is about fulfilling the call of God on my life is a wrong way of looking at it. We have to realize that there is a lost and hurting world out there that we’re called to minister to, and the reason why we run with a passion can’t be just about us and God. It must also be about them. It must also be about the people that need to hear the message which God has entrusted to you.

I’ve begun to reflect on Jesus and His walk. It is a mystery how much he really knew at what stages of development what his destiny was on this earth, but it’s without a doubt he knew at the Garden of Gethsemane what was before Him. His motivation was yes, to fulfill his purpose on the earth. However I believe as Jesus endured torture, torment, and a brutal death that it wasn’t just about fulfilling his purpose, but it was about you. It was about me. It was about the people who needed what his blood purchased.

Romans 8:5 (MSG)
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

We have to start focusing on God more than ourselves. We have to focus on His people. It matters not how comfortable we are, but that his will is accomplished. Our lives are so fleeting on this earth. Choose to go forward because God is beckoning you. Choose to go forward because there are people that need to hear your story. It may only be one person and it may be 50 million. But God is calling you to push forward. Move forward today, you’ll be glad you did.

*** For those of you in the Central FL area, there is a book signing for the latest book I’m in. “Heavenly Humor For A Cat Lover’s Soul” I will be at the Books-A-Million in the Loop in Kissimmee FL at 12:30 on Saturday the 20th. It’s free to meet and greet me, the book sells for $7.99 I look forward to the event and hope you can make it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Don't Let Impatience Destroy. . .

Dan and I have been married for over 10 years now, and in all the years we’ve never really decorated for Christmas. We had a small couple foot tree that we bought our first year in FL but it was hardly what one would call a tree, but resembled more of the Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. For various reasons that I won’t go into publicly we just never really got into the habit of decorating. But this year is different. I inherited my grandmother’s tree and many of her Christmas decorations and this year we decided we were going to decorate. Many of these items are very sentimental to me because the ornaments are like bits of my childhood. I can remember my grandmother painting several of them. We’d agreed that we were going to take the time Saturday to decorate.

I’m not a person that likes to set around waiting for things. In fact, I get a little claustrophobic. I sometimes feel like a Mexican jumping bean in a two inch by inch hole. I want to do what has to be done, and I hate waiting on people to start things.

On Friday afternoon, I decided that I would get the Christmas tree and decorations out of the attic. I justified it in my head. My husband has been very busy between work and school and I didn’t want him to have to do one more thing. Why should I wait around for his help when I could just do it myself? When I poked my head into the attic on the rickety ladder to find that the boxes were further back than I planed logic and maybe some prophetic intuition hinted at me that I should wait for him. When I managed to shimmy up on the top step of the ladder to lever the boxes closer to the entrance reasonability should have won out. But why stop I’d already gotten them closer to the opening? I shimmied the tree out, pulled down a couple of boxes with poinsettias, and then realized how heavy the last two boxes that were left. Again, this is were patience and wisdom were saying, “Just wait for Dan to get home.” Instead, I pressed onward. The next box wedged itself in the opening between my head and the ladder. Finally, inch by inch, I brought it down, and then I slipped. At the last moment the box started to rip my fingernail, I flinched and the box went crashing down to the garage floor. I could hear the ceramic shattering and truthfully, I was afraid to look.

After I got the last box down, I made myself asses the damage. I‘d broken a large nativity. The only pieces salvageable was a Mary and Jesus that I had to glue a leg back on, and the three wise men that came from another set. What I broke wasn‘t sentimental, she‘d probably gotten in a few years ago, and I‘m fortunate I didn‘t break more. However, I felt horrible. I’d known that I needed to wait for my husband to help me, and as a result, I broke several pieces. My impatience destroyed some beautiful items. I knew if my grandmother would still be alive, she’d yelled at me for being so upset over a few pieces but the fact remained that if I would have just waited everything would have been fine.

I have always joked that there is reason patience is a fruit of the spirit, because it doesn’t occur naturally and easily and you constantly have to choose it! Patience is a part of being at peace in situations.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I get just as impatient as the next person does, but you have to choose to be anxious about nothing. Choose peace. Choose patience. Choose to wait even if you have to.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Now that our Christmas tree is out and our decorations aglow my four year old has been running around like a kid on Christmas morning going, “Mom! Mom! Mom! Is it Christmas yet? Mom!” This makes me think, “Kid, just wait!” It’s funny it’s so much easier to see impatience in others than it is to see it in yourself.

We are in a season in the body of Christ that I believe is exciting. So much shifting, blessing, and destiny is beginning to be unfolded and as prophetic people sometimes we can become like that little kid running around the house saying, “What do you mean it’s not Christmas yet? I see the tree!!! That’s not fair! I want it NOW!”

Be at peace. God is bringing what He said to pass. It will happen. Choose to be patient and before you know it, it’ll be Christmas morning. You don’t need to break the nativity. He’ll bring it down for you. If you choose to wait God will bring it about in His time, and all will be well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sometimes, I just want to be normal

There are days I just want to be normal!

There are days that I look at my life and the accomplishments of those around me and think, “Why can’t I just be normal maybe be just the type of person that would blend into the world around me?” Why didn’t I do x, y and z with my life instead of what I chose? I mean x, y and z isn’t a normal ambition for those people, but why would it have been for me?

I remember in Sunday School class in my tween years. I would usually know the answer to the teacher’s question and wanted not only to answer the question but also to then get in a discussion as to the Biblical foundation of it. I can remember constantly holding myself back from speaking because I didn’t want to be “that girl” in the class. I just wanted to be normal.

While I still have these moments, somewhere in past I realized something very important. God created me for a plan and purpose and I am who I am because God created me to be like that.

Psalm 139:13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

We are precious in the eyes of God. He loves us even when it feels like the world around us doesn’t understand us. Will you be a slave to what you think others think of you, or be brought into freedom by what God says about you?

1 Corinthians 7:23 (AMP)
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]; then do not yield yourselves up to become [in your own estimation] slaves to men [but consider yourselves slaves to Christ].

Really? What is normal anyway? Normal is relative to whom you’re talking to, and the people you’re around. In the word, God says you’re not normal. That you’ll be an “alien” on the earth because you’re not of the world. You’re of God’s kingdom.

Romans 2:14 (MSG)
When outsiders who have never heard of God's law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God's law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God's yes, no, right, and wrong. Their response to God's yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences.

Deep on the inside of you, there is the fabric of God woven from the creation of your very being. You are doing yourself and the world around you a disservice if you are more concerned about blending in than you are about doing the destiny on your life. There is freedom in being who you were created to be in this life. There is a freedom of purpose and destiny. You have to fear God more than you fear the world around you.

So while I’ll admit I have my moments of wondering why God didn’t just create me to blend in and be normal. . . .it’s okay. Because we all need to grab tightly to what our destiny is, and even if there are moments of feeling a little uncomfortable, it’ll all be worth it in the end. Choose God’s way over feeling normal. . .because to you normal would just end up being boring.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ten Years Ago. . .

If you have read my blogs and/or have known me for any length of time, you have probably heard this story. Somehow it never gets old to me, though you cannot live spiritually off the things you did in the past, always have my own way of remembrance of this day in our lives.

Ten years ago, we choose to step out in faith even when it seemed crazy. Ten years ago, we choose to leave everything known and familiar to step out on the water. In the spring of 2000, we had been living in Pittsburgh PA and God spoke to me that we were going to move to Central FL and Dan was going to work for one particular company. However, that company was not hiring. So we moved briefly back to Ohio to stay with my parents that summer until we figured out what we were doing. We we had only been married a few months. We began looking and praying about jobs all over the countries. Options would begin to materialize at the last moment only for a door to shut. We were frustrated and did not know what to do. Days merged to weeks, and about three months later, we found out that we were expecting our oldest daughter.

There was one job that we knew would be temporary that manifested in Central FL. So out of desperation we packed everything we could in the car while I puked from morning sickness all the way to Florida. We left Ohio on Monday. It was Veterans Day, and on Tuesday we were in FL. That Wednesday morning I called a few churches in the area and Freedom was the first one to call me back. We arrived on the doorstep of Freedom Life Church on Wednesday. Pastor Arthur got up on the platform and began to prophesy that we were right on time. Though ones told us that if we moved to FL we would never make it, God was saying this was right where we needed to be. We have been part of the Freedom family ever since.

My family blessed us by driving a U-haul down weeks later after we had secured an apartment to bring what other items we had. At that time to our knowledge we had no health insurance. We knew deep down the job Dan had was temporary, eventually God spoke to us that I should not work. Eventually the doors opened and Dan ended up working for the company God told me he would and insurance and everything we needed was eventually worked out.

Sometimes it is easy to look at your life and be frustrated about how slow things seem to have taken, but I look back on where Dan and I were to where we are today and I can only marvel at everything God has done. To me these last ten years have been like a Holy Ghost boot camp and specialized training all in one. As I write this I feel that again it is the finishing of one chapter in our lives and beginning of a new one. As many of you know two weeks ago we launched out in Doveagle Ministries, and we are also seeking God’s timing on some other things that will be launching of destiny.

I want to encourage all of you today. That God’s plan is always bigger than what we can see. When we moved here 10 years ago, there were so many ‘what if’s’ that roamed in our minds. However, I can truly say we choose to step out on the water, and God has met us every step of the way. It has not always been easy. But I am so glad we choose to be in God’s plan for our lives.

Isaiah 55:8-11 (MSG)

8-11"I don't think the way you think.
The way you work isn't the way I work."
God's Decree.
"For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They'll do the work I sent them to do,
they'll complete the assignment I gave them.


God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t play favorites (Acts 10:34). God is just looking for people to trust Him. You have to put your faith in His ability to do in your life what He said He would do!

I encourage you today to go forward in what He has said. Go forward to step out of the comfort and safety of what you know. Go forward in His plans!

I’ll end this with a great verse that Pastor Greg just preached. I needed to hear this verse and I believe it’ll encourage you too.

Jer 1:12 (MSG) “And God said, "Good eyes! I'm sticking with you.
I'll make every word I give you come true."  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't Spit On A Roller Coaster

When I was a kid in Ohio, Cedar Point in Sandusky was the place to go. This amusement park nestled beside Lake Erie is world renown for its rides. When I was in school, we probably traveled there once to twice a summer. There was one ride that I do not know if it’s even still there called the “Corkscrew”. Complete with several upside down twists and turns it made good on it’s name. One year I was up there with a bunch of friends and someone had told me that if one spit at the height of the upside down loop then it was supposed to hit you when you hit the bottom. I don’t know what I was thinking. Strangely I justified trying this in my mind. Therefore, when me and a bunch of friends boarded the ride that day, I had a plan. I tried it. However, nothing happened to my knowledge.

When my friends and I gathered after the ride one friend of mine who’d been setting directly behind me says, “It must be starting to rain. I felt a drop while we were on the ride.” I looked up to the clear blue sky and tried not to laugh hilariously. Maybe this was the point I should have confessed it wasn’t rain that hit him. However I never did. I don’t think he’s one of my readers. . .

We have this concept in life that what we do or say doesn’t affect the world around us, but that idea isn’t true. I realize what I did was stupid but it never occurred to me that I’d spit in my friends face. We have to wake up and realize that we’re all on this earth together. We’re all in the body of Christ together and our choices whether bad or good can have an affect on the people our lives will touch.

In the book of Job, Job’s wife and friends all tried to get him to ‘give up’ by ‘cursing God and dying’. I’m sure their constant cajoling to him wasn’t helpful to him in times of trouble. He was going through torment. He didn’t need ‘their words of advice’. He needed there encouragement. Yes, eventually he did make it through, but it wasn’t because of their wisdom.

Adam sinned in the Garden because of allowing himself to listen to Eve.

Abraham fathered Ishmael because of Sarah’s convincing.

While people are accountable for their own actions we have to realize as people, we have the ability to influence for the good or the bad.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV)
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Proverbs 22:24 (MSG)
[ 2 ] Don't hang out with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious— don't get infected.

Psalm 141:3 (MSG)
Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips. Don't let me so much as dream of evil or thoughtlessly fall into bad company. And these people who only do wrong— don't let them lure me with their sweet talk! May the Just One set me straight, may the Kind One correct me, Don't let sin anoint my head. I'm praying hard against their evil ways! Oh, let their leaders be pushed off a high rock cliff; make them face the music. Like a rock pulverized by a maul, let their bones be scattered at the gates of hell.

Whether you like the concept or not we’re all in this together and our actions will and do affect those around you. Choose to affect them for good. Because accidentally spitting on a friends face may make for a funny story, I’m sure if the friend knew the truth he wouldn’t think it was nearly as comical.