Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dr. Nasir Saddiki Confrence

This weekend (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) I had the awesome privilege to set in a conference at our church and listen to Dr. Saddiki teach. This conference was life changing. I feel like I have been a sponge trying to soak all this revelation in. If you know me, I have no problem shamelessly promoting people that I think are awesome. If you’ve never heard of this mighty man of God go check out his website at I confess until about a month ago when I just happen to catch him on the TV show Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural I had never heard of him. But God is doing awesome things through his life and ministry and I recommend the Jesus in him.

One of the many things that really stuck out in these days of teaching that I want to mention is the revelation he brought forth on:
Mark 11:23 (NIV) “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

I have always quoted this scripture. It’s one of my life mantra‘s. I have for years gone around and said things like “I’m believ-ing for this or believ-ing for that.” What Dr. Saddiki taught blew my mindset of this scripture out of the water…..The word believe in that text when translated from the actual Hebrew is NOT to believe for something. Or believing like a future or present tense. That Hebrew word is actually believed…its past tense. To take it a step further Dr. Saddiki jokes it’s believed-duh.

In context this Mark 11:23 scripture is Jesus trying to speak to the disciples in regards of faith because their getting all excited that Jesus cursed the fig tree and it dried up but they didn’t get all excited until after they saw it withered. They should have gotten all excited when Jesus spoke, and circumstance or not it already happened. Because if they believed-duh they would have realized it already took place. Faith is the substance hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Translation, when you pray you believed-duh it already takes place, so anything after that, you are to give thanksgiving to God because He has already answered your prayers!

This revelation shifted some mindsets in my mind. It was one of many I will take away with me this weekend, and is life changing. I wanted to bring this out in this blog because so many of my readers weren‘t in this conference, and I think you need to hear this! It is a powerful revelation that all believers need to hear. We need to be on the victory side, because it has already happened-duh!

So now as I go reading over my notes for the last three days. I am so excited for what God is orchestrating in the body of Christ. He has awesome plans for your life. So get excited-duh!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Posing for the camera

Posing for the camera?

I’ve mentioned before about my love of the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. I was thinking about the other day how we used to go up there at least once a summer. When my friends and I were older we would frequent the Magnum ride. At the time it held many a world record for longest and highest coaster around. If you’re a coaster lover it is a coaster of coasters. I’m sure it’s records aren’t still holding but it is an awesome ride. I remember how it was probably one of the first ones that had the cameras in the ride that would take your picture during it. I know now that concept is pretty standard, but then it wasn’t. My friends and I would figure out where the cameras were so while we were on the ride we’d pose for the camera. We’d rush down to the bottom to see our pictures on the screen. I remember seeing some funny pictures of all of us. We never bought them but had fun posing for the camera. The thing is, we were so busy posing that, for me the riding of the coaster wasn’t as fun. It became all about the posing.

It’s funny that life can be like this sometimes. You can get so caught up in posing for the “camera” that you stop enjoying your life as much as you could. Are you caught up enjoying the gift of life God gave you or are just making pictures to proudly display on your facebook wall so others can think your enjoying life. I’m talking about just putting on a display and being fake. It’s not that you can’t put memories on your facebook wall. But are you so busy being fake that you’re not really enjoying your life?

God wants us to be real with others and real with Him.

Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV)
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Matthew 6:1 (Msg)
[ The World Is Not a Stage ] "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.

What I am trying to say is simply this. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy your life. You don’t have to get caught up in the image. Get caught up in Him. Get caught up in doing what He has told you to do. Posing for the cameras may be fun at first but at the end of your life are you going to think , ‘Gee I wish I had a picture of such and such’ or are you going to wish you enjoyed your life more? Get real! He has awesome plans for your life. So get excited!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You Prepared?

When I was a kid growing up in Central Ohio, I can remember this ride. I don’t know if it was at Cedar Point (which I have to say is one of the best amusement parks ever) or if it was at a carnival. I’m thinking it was at Cedar Point. Anyway this particular ride was in a circle. You got on the ride and everyone put their backs to the circle facing inwards. As the ride would start it would spin really fast. I remember thinking I would hurl at one point. It would raise you up while it spun. Eventually as you keep spinning the floor drops out. Because you’re spinning so fast your body is stuck to the back of the circle and you don’t move. You become a living science experiment on inertia and gravity.

I was thinking about this ride the other day thinking about how if it wasn’t spinning very fast before the floor fell out what would happen? You’d fall to the ground. It reminds me of a tribal African professor that I had in college telling the story of when he first went on an amusement ride. In his thick accent he used to say, “There is no amusement in that amusement ride.” No, falling to the ground doesn’t sound amusing to me. The truth is that ride needs to start spinning really fast before the floor drops out.

How do we relate this to the things of God? There is preparation that needs to happen before you step into the promises of God. There are things that God has to teach you and situations you have to walk through before you can stay in the place He wants you to be in life. Preparation is a good thing. It’s a God thing. It can be so easy to get frustrated in this season. It can be so easy to think, “God I’ve been around this too many times to count by now. Aren’t we there yet?” I’ve cried out to God in similar fashion many times.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

You have to let God prepare you and make you ready for what He is about to do. You have to go through the process. No, the process isn’t always easy. But it’s worth it. Keep trusting in Him. He has awesome plans for your life. So get excited.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I don't want to be bitter and jaded, but....

On Friday, I had some events happen that I thought I'd share. I finished my 14th book! It was a bit of a stretch for me, and it's still in rough draft form, but I finished the draft. I still need to go back and proofread. I'd like to add about another 4,ooo words but I got the draft done. I have about another 6 books roaming in my head right now. I can be a real workaholic if I let myself. Then, about an hour later, I went to check my mailbox. The timing couldn't have been worse. Sitting in my box was a turndown from a publishing house on my 13th book. I had been waiting to hear from them on this since June. (many of you are thinking I thought she had a publisher? I do, for my non-fiction. However I'm believing God for a fiction publisher. Books are published on an individual contract basis...) The turndown was not because these people didn't lik me. It wasn't because they disliked the manuscript. However, it was because the book didn't fit into the specific 'formula' that this house wants in a manuscript. It was frustrating.

I have noticed that if you get a bunch of writers in a room, unless they are very successful ones usually you'll hear a lot of bitter and jaded people talking. I can still remember when I spoke with one woman about my first book. She smiled pretentiously and told me that I was naive to think it would ever get published. That her first manuscript still sets in a drawer. I don't receive those words. I have always joked that publishing an writing is not for the faint of heart.

It can become a big temptation when you've been turned down as much as I have to turn bitter and jaded. It can be a constant battle. Maybe you're not trying to win the next Pulitzer Prize but have found yourself in the same boat. You've found yourself being faced over and over again with turndowns and rejection.

How then do you choose to keep going forward? You CHOOSE TO! You have to know that you know God called you to do a thing, and eventually in His timing, it will be established.

In a message last week, Pastor Greg Squires of Freedom Life Church reminded us all that we have to stop being anxious and cast our cares on God. While I knew this, I needed a reminder.

1Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares fo you.

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

One thing he preached that really stuck with me was when he said, "Frustration occures when you need a new revelation of how much God loves you. Because He wants you to get your breakthrough more than you do. He created you for it." I had heard this before but I did need the reminder.

So I'll admit I took about 5 minutes and felt a little bummed about this turndown, but in all the years I've been doing this I have to say I've noticed I've gotten better. I am not bitter. I wasn't depressed for days, I didn't have a crying pity party, and I was constant in knowing just because this was a door that didn't open doesn't mean it won't. It's just not this one with this book right now.

It may be easy to allow yourself to get bitter and jaded, but it's your choice. You can't blame rejection on your bitterness. You have to pick yourself up from the dust. Shake off and keep moving forward. Life is too short to get stuck on these little things. You're open door just as mine can be just around the corner, so don't allow your foot to get stuck in the door that shut. Find another door, and keep trusting God! God has awesome plans for your life. So get excited!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cables, Wires, and Mice Oh My!

Last weekend I found myselfat my girls' school doing volunteer hours. Their school requires that every family put in a set amount of hours every year so that their children will get a spot for the next academic year. In the years we've had kids at the school, I have done various things for my parenting hours like: weeding outside, gone to PTO meetings, colored at home, and guest taught, etc.

Saturday after spending two hours wedding in the front I was led to the Media Room. I was only explained my next job would be one of organization. Really if it got me out from the outside and into the air conditioning, I didn't care what I would be doing. Boxes waited for me. Hidden and shoved in what seemed to be every nook and cranny of the room were boxes and boxes of cords, wires, cables, computer mice, and telephone jacks that had been thrown together for years. They were a tangled mangled crazy mess. Every time I thought, There could be no other boxes full of them, I found more. The new maitenance man obviously decided the formers system of storing them was not working and he needed some unsuspecting parents to come in and make it organized. While organization has never been one of my strengths (I am more of a creative piles kina gal), I kept thinking I could do this. Thirty minutes into sorting through piles, I vowed never to complain a bout my drawer full of battery chargers and wires again because mine paled in comparison to the mounds before me. A few other parents eventually joined me, and by the time I left we had goteen it somewhat separated nto smaller piles and the cords bound by zip ties.

Often times in our Christian walk when we stumble upon a "mess" in our lives it can be easy to get overwhelmed and think 'nothing good can come of this' or 'this project is just too big for me to handle'. We can start focusing on our own inablity, instead of focusing on His ability through us. We focus on the problem instead of focusing on our solution.

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

God has a way to turn anything and everything into something that can be used for His glory for those that love Him. I have seen it happen time and time again. Things that in the natural just look like piles and piles of mess eventually get worked out. I have seen many a ministry or mighty miracle come from what looked like a big mess.

So do not focus on the mess. Focus on Him. Focus on Him usuing you for the Glory of God. Focus on His goodness. Because no matter whose fault the mess is, or what it is all about it will work out eventually.

Many have heard me say that I believe a mature walk with God boils down to the simplest terms of 'Just trusting Him.' No matter what the mess may look like, the circumstance may appear, or the ugliness of the people around you, you have to just trust Him. Keep trusting Him despite of what it may look like! Keep trusting Him despite of how you feel. Keep trusting Him despite what others may tell you. Keep Trusting Him!

God has awesome plans for your life. So get excited!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What God? I can't hear you!

When I was in college I worked in the set construction department at The Ohio State University. There was a particular student that had liked me. I knew he did. He ws a nice guy, but I was just coming out of a very complicated relationship, and for a lot of reasons I knew this man wouldn't be a good idea for me to date.

Inevitably the day happened when he and I were talking while we were cleaning our paint brushes from fauz wood graining the base boards for an upcoming set. He smiled and looked back at me. He paused in reflection and in the moment as he asked me out, someone on the other side of the shop started to use the table saw. I'll admit I lied. "What? I can't hear you!" I responded. Soon the table saw stopped. I knew what he'd asked me, and I felt bad for lying. I was trying to come up with a reasonable excuse in my head for when he repeated the invite, but he never asked again. Consequently I met Dan a few weeks later but that's another story.

I was thinking about this story last night relating it to how we treat God sometimes. WE can be so hypocritical as people. We cry out to God that we want His direction, His plan, and His perfect will. But too often when He's trying to talk to us we pretend like we can't hear Him. We avoid what he's saying. We turn up our TV's, internet, and internal monologue in our heads. Really what we're doing is deceiving ourselves. We can become like little kids with our fingers in our ears screaming, "la la la! I can't hear you God!" Yet in the same breath we grow frustrated at God becaue we don't seem to be hearing the words we want to hear.

John 10:27 (KJV)
"My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me."

The Bible is pretty clear that you, as a child of God...if you're HIS sheep, you can hear His voice. You have the ability to hear it. Please don't misunderstand me here. God rarely is speaking to you in an audible voice, but it's a nudging, a gentle leading or prodding to go somewhere or do something.

You have to put all distractions aside and start getting real with yourself. Are you really not hearing from God on a certain matter or are you just lying to yourself? I assure you God may not be giving you the answer that you want, but it's the answer you need. You may not think you need it now, but God knows your days and He knows what is best for you.

So stop lying to yourself and be real with God. Take the time to pt away all distractions and really hear His leading on the matter. Even if it's to be honest and say, "God I don't like that answer. Can you help me to have peace or a right heart about that?"

God has equipped you to run the race before you. You CAN do what He is telling you to do. You just have to accept it. From personal experience I've learned that it takes a lot of energy and effort to wrestle against God's leading. You end up frustrated and annoyed. Just accept what He's telling you and run with it. He really does know better.

God has awesome plans for your life, so get excited!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup Christianty

It is quite concerning if you start watching some of the recent documentaries that has been done about our food supply. Fillers and high gructose corn syrup is being put into our foods at an alarming rate. High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener that has been known to make you gain more weight, and raise triglyceride levels that can lead to a higher risk of a heart attack. Really, it is just a sweetener and has no nutritional value what so ever. It fills you up so you do not desire the nutrients. On the surface, it might make something taste good but on the inside, the value is questionable.

Many in the kingdom can begin to be like 'High Fructose Corn Syrup Christians' if their not careful. Sure, they might look good. They might play the role of a Christian on Sundays, but deep down there is no real depth to them. There is no real value to the kingdom because it's all surface. It's like the fillers in processed meat. It just fills you up, and isn't the real thing. Jesus warned us of this in the Bible.

Matthew 23:27 (NIV) "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean."

I think it is often that people start out wanting to serve God. However what happens is sadly people begin to loose their first love and start playing a part versus actually loving God. The ritual of life can choke out passion and desire, and soon if one is not careful, everything becomes a performance. It is like slowly there is no depth to the soil. It all can become surface like high fructose corn syrup.

Matthew 6:1-3 (MSG) "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding. When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure-'playactors' I call them- treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. Tey get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it-quitely unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out."

So where does that leave us all? It's quite simple. Return to your first love. Return to the place where it was simple and i was all aabout what He wanted.

Revelation 2:4 (NIV) "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had first."

If you find your playing the part more than living the life, then return to God. It doesn't have to be some miracle, dign or wonder for you to repent in your heart for surface Christianity. Earnestly seek to be real before God and people. The world is tired of high fructose corn syrup Christianity. Their tired of seeing a bunch of surface fakers and need to see a real and loving God. They need to see that Christians aren't perfect. They make mistakes and they go through life. But the differenece is they have a peace and a knowing that Gid is for them and not against them. They need to see that there is a God that is directing their paths. They need to see the hope of eternity, and the peace for the present. This generation has had enough with fake Christianity. They need the real thing. They need Jesus Christ.

Shake off fake filler Christianity, and seek God. For He loves you. He has so much He wants to share with you. Don't be a 'high fructose corn syrup Chrisitian.' Return to your first love, and let Him be the Lord of your life. God has awesome plans for you, so get excited!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Outside My Own Facebook Page

Several months ago I was having a moment. I was sad because some changes were happening in out lives: we had some friends move, I was getting frustrated and annoyed at some different events, and I'll confess my attitude wasn't the greatest. I was so busy focusing on my own drama that I couldn't see past the wall of self-pity that I was building around me. I know I'm not the only person that has had these moments. I am just being honest.

So I had a random epiphany moment where I realized I should start leaving comments on other people's facebook pages. I know my solution sounds simple but as I began to do that, I got so excited. I looked at my page and my list of friends and thought who else can I compliment? Doing that helped me knock down my wall of self-pity and made me start to look at those around me. Most of those individuals I did that to responded in such a way where I made their day. They had really needed to hear a kind word in that moment, and my little one line encouragment fueled their fire.

Life can get to you like this. You can think all about your own problems until you pretty much wall yourself inside your own world. You set around and think all about you. That 'woe is me and everyone has left me' moment, isn't healthy. How do you think you're ever going to make an impact in the kingdom of God if you can't see past yourself? Life isn't all about you. It's about something bigger than you. It's about doing your role in the kingdom so that His plan can be established on the earth. God's heart is for people to know Him.

Jesus had every right to have a few of these moments if you think about it. He knew how his life was going to end. But He didn't. In His last breaths he was not thinking about how He was unfairly accused. His last breaths were of the knowledge of what He was doing for mankind. He was thinking about others. I am not saying we all have to do everything for others, or that we can't have any fun. But what I am saying is somehow I think in our own selfishness of our culture we've forgotten the simple rule of "Doing unto others as we would have others do to us."

Life is short. Take some time to stop wallowing in your own self pity and see who your could bless around you. It coud be as simple as buying the homeless guy on the corner a cup of coffee, or leaving random compliments on facebook, or even a smile to the guy who annoys your at work. God loves His creation. Do you?