Friday, December 28, 2012

2013, A Year Things that Have Been Hidden Will Be Seen

 

 

           

I try very hard not to be one of those prophetic individuals that are always trying to come up with rhyming catch phrases. I really try not to hear what others are hearing from God about a situation until I know what He is saying to me. When reflecting and praying some months ago about the upcoming New Year I kept hearing “2013, A year things that have been hidden will become seen.”

 

Mark 4:22 (ESV) For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.

            

I believe that 2013 will mark as a year of things that have been happening under cover will be made manifest. I believe this is a year will things will become evident.

           

Of course as I hear this there are two sides to this coin. I believe that in our own personal lives things that God has been doing under the surface for years will be suddenly beginning to happen and will be popping out of the ground. This is an exciting thing if you think about it. God often works in the unseen realm and sometimes it can feel like forever before it comes to the seen realm. I believe this is a year for the seen. I believe there will be an uncovering of His plans, and suddenly what has been baffeling before will begin to make sense.

           

However the other side of this coin is an exposing thing. I believe that there will be public figures in politics, ministry, media, and others that what has been going on under the surface will be brought to light. I believe this year will be a year of things that maybe wasn’t the greatest and there will be an exposing of that. It’s a year of exposing on a positive level, and on a negative level.

           

As we enter into the last few days of 2012, may you find times that you begin to pray for the upcoming year. May you pray that His will comes forth, and may you get ready for some suddenlies in your own life. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Church Unity 12/12/12



I have spoken about God Day on these blogs before now. But as I am sitting here typing this only two days away from the biggest most beautiful display of Church Unity and Compassion that I have ever seen. I am so excited to be a part of this movement. Over 100 churches have joined the movement to see 12,000 pairs of shoes put on fatherless children’s feet in downtown Orlando. In those 100 churches from all over the US, there are non-denominational churches, Spanish churches, Russian churches, Korean churches, Baptist churches, etc. On Wednesday not only will the shoes be given but there will be 12 hours of praise and prayer coming from the large arena at Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando. The current best guesstimate of people will be at least 52,000 people there. At the end of the day shofars will blast and a corporate worship service that will be held in several languages will echo through the streets of Orlando. I believe those echoes will also echo through the nation and onto the world. God Day and Shoes for Kids won’t stop here but has plans to go to various cities in the future.

Psalm 133:1 (ESV) Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

I have sat on planning meanings, I have prayed, donated shoes, and written various projects to help the movement. I am only a small part of the event, but I can’t help but sit back and see what God is doing and be almost overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of one of the biggest moves in modern church history. I write and preach on unity regularly and to see what has been happening with God Day has been epic.

Being so close to the day, I know there is still need for everything to come together. I want to ask you to pray and/or donate towards the shoes. http://shoes4kidscfl.com/ www.GodDay.com We know that God will provide, but if you are able consider going on the website and you can donate a pair of shoes. I realize especially this time of the year charities are always trying to make you donate. However, I’ve seen this ministry in action. I know the impact its making and I believe the ripple effect is greater than we have yet to realize.

Please pray about it. :-)

*Now as usual my family and I will be traveling over Christmas and I will be taking some time off from blogging between now and then. However before the New Year I will write a blog about what God is already speaking to me about 2013, “For 2013 will be a year of things manifesting that have yet to be seen”. Have a very happy and safe holiday season. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

But There Is A New Bottle Under the Sink!



While I’m not the queen mother at having a stock pile of extra items around the house, there are certain things that I do typically have a couple extra waiting to be used under the sink. My grandmother was the queen mother. True story after she passed away my grandfather didn’t have to buy toilet paper for at least 18 months. (LOL!)

What typically happens in my family though is I have these new items waiting under the sink that I know we’ll need and I’ll pick up when their on sale or I have a coupon, and no one but me seems to realize the new one is waiting when the old one is used. So when we run out of an item like toothpaste, mouthwash, or toilet paper most of them come running to me telling me where out or simply they just think we’re out. I try to smile sweetly as I open the cabinet under the sink and find the brand new item just waiting to be used. I know we’re not out. I know the new thing has been waiting.

I began to think about this today. Don’t we do the same thing to God? We start whining that we’ve finished one goal or assignment that He’s given us, and “Where God is the new assignment?” Or maybe we are just frustrated because we can’t see what He’s doing. But all the while the new thing is waiting. He’s had it there all along. He’s just waiting on the timing. He’s waiting on the finishing of one thing to bring out the new one. We find ourselves whining to Him, but really it’s already done.

The story of Joseph in the Old Testaments is one of my favorites. He’s sold into slavery, falsely imprisoned, and in his mind I’m sure he struggled. But all the while God had a plan that he couldn’t see. God was setting him up for supernatural breakthrough. One day he’s in the pit of prison, and the next day he’s living in the palace.

There will be a time all the things God has been up to under the surface will be brought to light. You have to trust Him.

Romans 8:28
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.

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get Excited!

Monday, December 3, 2012

MOM! The Tea is Frozen!


Last week when I went grocery shopping I bought some apple cinnamon tea. Last night Dan and I decided to break open the seal and try it. Usually this kind of things are right up to our liking, but neither of were a fan of this particular brand. The cinnamon came on way too strong for our tastes. The tea smelled really good and my youngest wanted to try it.

“Let it cool off then go for it kiddo.” I responded as I set my cup down. She waited and waited and after tasting it, I don’t think she liked it either but she had an idea. She wanted to try to freeze it to see what it would look and taste like after spending a night in the freezer. So we did.

This morning I woke up to, “Mom! Mom! MOM! The tea is frozen! The tea is frozen!”

“Yes dear.” I mumbled and went about my morning.

“MOM!” She was so excited and beside herself to discover the tea was frozen, and from what she could tell it no longer had a taste. We had to then put it in the microwave to see what it would do.

I was thinking ‘big whoop’ it’s a frozen, liquid, gas conversation…and she thought it was the coolest thing ever.

It’s funny how life can do that do you. It’s not that as adults you stop caring about childish things, but maybe you can get a little jaded. Life can become less of a wonderment and more of a ‘yup, been there done that and wore the T-shirt”.

Matthew 18:3
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

God isn’t expecting us to be children, but He is expecting us to shake off the jadedness that can easily happen in life. It’s the same kind of cynical burned-out lackluster fatigue that can creep up on us while paying bills, running around the same mountain, and forgetting to smell the roses.

I want to challenge you this holiday season, in all the hustle and chaos, to find your childlike enthusiasm. I want to encourage you to take a moment and get excited over what seems like the small things. I want to encourage you to shake off the world-weariness, and try to look at life like a child again. Don’t just go through the motions of life, but really live it. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making a Three-Wick Candle



As I have mentioned in blogs past, I inherited my grandmother’s Christmas decorations. In those decorations were these three large candles. The problem was these three candles weren’t meant for Florida heat. They were stored in the attic and every year kept getting more and more deformed. So last year I had a grand moment of inspiration and decided to melt the three candles down. I used the same wick to turn the wax into a large three wick candle. It was a bit of a mess, but what I ended up with was and is semi functional.

This year when we pulled the Christmas decorations out of the attic I was curious to see how the infamous candle creation had fared. I wondered if I would find a large pile of wax because I know that attic can get very hot. Surprisingly it looks exactly like it did when I put it up there last year.

When things or people unite together it just makes the whole stronger.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Perhaps the enemy knows this concept to, because it seems that unity in the church/family/and business seems to be what is attacked first. Jesus understood this too.

Luke 11:17
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.

It amazes me the amount of strive and division that seems to go on in families over the holidays. I want to encourage you this holiday season no matter who it is in your life that drives you bonkers, to pursue peace. Many of you are saying, “But you don’t know my story.” You’re right I don’t. But don’t let small strife’s suck out the joy of this season. Enjoy those people. Life is too short. Put on a smile, and pray for them.

Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Twas the Night before Thanksgiving



I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend. We were a tad on the rough side at our house. I hardly ever get sick. I mean when I was a kid I got sick at every little thing, but when I was in college someone gave me a prophetic word that God was protecting me in the area of my health and from then on maybe I’ve gotten a cold a year, minus the health issues I had after my youngest was born. However the flu from HELL came through my house this last week like a tornado. Dan got it first, and then I did. I am praying the kids don’t get it. After a week of this junk, I’m much better though I probably need a few more naps. We keep standing on 1Peter 2:24 and Romans 8:11.

My ‘Night before Thanksgiving’ consisted of me: hacking most of the night trying not to wake up the kids, trying to pray at 4 am when I couldn’t sleep, and boiling hot tea and settling down to drink it only to accidently dump it on my chest and burn myself in the early hours of the morning. While my family had visions of turkey and apple pie dancing in their heads I may have broken out into an all-out pity party at myself.

Perhaps I’m overly dramatic, and I will admit to it, but no matter how crappy I’ve ever felt it’s beautiful that God is with me even in the pits. Even as tired and in pain as I was in the night before Thanksgiving, God was right there with me.

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter where you are today, God sees you where you’re at. He knows where you are, and He loves you. He wants to get you out of your pits of despair and set you up on higher ground. You just have to trust Him to lead you through. He is faithful!

Remember, God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm Thankful for Mango's, Rainbow's, Avocado's, and Tomatoes



Yesterday while in prayer I felt the Lord impress upon me to do a family activity. I thought I’d share the experience in light of Thanksgiving being Thursday. I cut five stripes of construction paper for each person and we all had to write on it five things we were thankful for and then share it with the family. As we went around the circle and shared the things we were thankful for, I took each strip of paper and added another link to a paper chain. Each thing we shared created awesome dialogue in the family of things we were grateful for, and our chain continued to grow. What I had felt the Lord saying to me is that this was a reminder that every time we are thankful about something it extends our reach out from just ourselves and into the world. When we start listing the things we are thankful for we stop focusing on the things that are frustrating us, and we can begin to focus outside of our own little bubbles.

Jeremiah 30:19 (NIV)
From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.

Wherever you are celebrating Thanksgiving this week: if you are one of my American readers, or for Canada your Thanksgiving was last month, or if you are living around the world and don’t have a Thanksgiving, spend some time today counting the blessings God has truly given you. Life is too short to live it selfish and downtrodden. Put your eyes on Jesus and begin to see all the good things He has done in your life. I’m sure that as you do that, you’ll realized how blessed you really are. Remember He does have awesome plans for your life. Get Excited!



Monday, November 19, 2012

A Hair tie, A Penny, A Popcorn Kernel and a Broken Pencil



Yesterday Dan and I decided we needed to vacuum under our couch. So in a wave of ambition he started taking apart the sectional, and trying to move it so I could reach in those places that haven’t been reached in too long. It doesn’t matter who you are, we have all had an assorted collection of stuff that collects under our couch that you can’t help but look at it and wonder, “How did that get there?”, or “ Huh? I didn’t know that was there?”, and the “Eww really, KIDS!”

I would have never guessed all that junk was under the couch. It certainly didn’t look like it from the outside, but never the less all of that was hidden from my view.

As people we live our lives like this. We think that all is well. We spend a lot of time making sure we look good, and truthfully there can be a lot of things going on in the inside. Underneath those smiles, teeth whiteners, and lipstick can be something that isn’t as pretty.

We have to learn to have an attitude that we are open for correction. We all have to be humble enough to pray that God would show us the areas in our lives that may be collecting junk.

I make it a habit to try to deal with things right away, but I’ll admit I’m not perfect. The Bible is very clear about needing to have a correctable attitude because quite frankly things can be exposed. We can’t think we are above God and that we can do things hidden and keep piling things on top of those junky areas. Just like the dirt and junk under my couch eventually those areas will come out.

Luke 8:17 (ESV) “ For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”

You need to have the attitude that you are open to God to reveal those hidden places. He sees and knows what is under your “couch” more than you do. He knows those hidden places in your life and you need to give them to Him. In order for you to get to where He’s called you to get you have to let go of the hidden junk. It’ll just weigh you down.

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get Excited.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Twelfth Year...



Every year I look forward to giving the testimony of how Dan and I moved to Florida. It seems like such a long time ago yet I can’t believe it’s already been 12 years. Twelve years ago on Monday (Veteran’s Day, God so has a sense of humor) Dan and I piled into the car from my parents’ house in Ohio. I puked all the way here because I was pregnant for our oldest daughter and I hear stress makes morning sickness worse. We had our futon mattress rolled up in the back seat. All we knew is that Central Florida is where we felt God was leading us, so we left. We got to Florida on that Tuesday and on that Wednesday 12 years ago today, God lead us to our church Freedom Life (then Tabernacle) Church and our dear late spiritual mentor and friend got up on the platform and begin to prophesy to us that we were right on time. Through all the craziness we were right where God had called us to be at that season of our lives. It’s funny, when we moved here I expected to only be here for five years, and yet here we are on year 12.

This year though the number twelve began to take on new meaning for me, as I’ve found myself in the midst of the God Day Movement. God Day was a mandate that was placed on Dr. Joshua Fowler back in ‘99, that there would be a day that we would: Restore Honor to God, and Father the Fatherless. So on December 12, only a few weeks away (12/12/12) there is a mass meeting in Downtown Orlando at Lake Eola. As this mass meeting approaches over 100 churches have already partnered with the movement. It’s like witnessing history in the making. We are all coming together for 12 hours of praise and worship out in the open. There are 12,000 pairs of shoes being given away for the fatherless children of Central Florida. There will be praise and worship as a corporate body of Christ meets out to publically declare an awakening. Being part of this movement is beyond exciting. I’ve personally got to witness church leaders coming together from many different denominations and ministries. Its church unity unlike I have ever seen before. The picture above is of some of the shoes that have been brought in. (www.GodDay.com http://shoes4kidscfl.com/ ) *Please visit the websites or email me to see how you and your church can get involved. There is still a lot that needs to happen, both in a financial aspect and in volunteers. God Day is a movement that will not just end at 12/12/12 but this is a launching pad for other city God Day events. It’s already got momentum to go to many other cities around the globe.*

The number 12 in Bible terms is typically the number of perfected governmental things. There were 12 tribes of Israel. There were 12 apostles that Jesus appointed. There are 12 stones on the breastplate of the priests. Jesus was 12 when he visited the temple and he got separated from his parents. According to http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/12.html The list of the significance of 12 could go on and on.

I’m excited about all these 12’s in my life right now. I have a lot of thoughts as to what God could possibly be up too, but I also know from serving him all these years that He has the ability to surprise me. Whatever happens in this year, I know that God is doing something. These 12 years have taught me so much. They’ve taught me that God is faithful even in the midst of circumstance. They’ve taught me He has good plans, and that His ways are much higher than my ways. These last twelve years for me has been like spiritual boot camp and special forces training. While I don’t feel perfected in any means, I do feel I have been prepared for such a time as this.

Whatever He is doing in your life today, remember that He is faithful to you. These are awesome days that we live in. Remember He DOES have awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Happened to My Country?


I’m still in horror and shock from last night’s vote. I woke up with a huge headache and realized it wasn’t a nightmare. Please do not start political fights with me today. I’m a little raw and I think I may need to take a social media fast for the next few days.

This election was more to me than two candidates whom neither were ideal choices. I sat watching the elections results roll in and it was like mourning the death of what my country once was. I realize that process has been a slow one coming over the last several decades but I feel as if I’m mourning something that was once so great. Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said,"The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation Will be the philosophy of the government of the next" As the Lyrics of Carmen’s God in America, so truthfully point out, “So when you eliminate the Word of God from the classroom and politics You eliminate the nation that Word protects.” The truth of that became very real to me last night. I wept for my country.

This nation was founded on the Bible. It was at one point something worth singing songs about and pledging our allegiance too, but I realized she’s not the same nation anymore. I watched ABC news make jokes last night about how our nation isn’t as “religious” as it once was as if that was a good thing? I’ve heard the same thing happened on FOX. America been violated into a sea of wishy washyness. But it’s okay because in two states we can now go and smoke dope about it, and we still get our Big Bird.

To many who want to say, “Well O just must be God’s will.” Really? The American people choose Him. God is not going to go against his Word. The blood of millions of innocent babies is crying out from our land (Gen 4:10), and America is continuing to condone it. Israel wanted a king they got Saul. Germany wanted a leader they got Hitler. I’m not saying O is Saul or Hitler, but you get my point. Again I do not believe he is at fault for every American evil, but is certainly being a catalyst to get us further from the gospel. What is on the head of a people, country, business, or church flows down.

While many keep trying to make this election to be one about race for me that was the furthest thing from the truth. It was about morality. It was about standing with Israel. It was about marriage and life being sacred in the nation. It was about freedom of speech and freedom for small business owners. It was about our nation being a democracy versus a socialistic society. I’ve decided to start a trend of Condelezza Rice for 2016.

What is our solution? I’ve heard some like Donald Trump is trying to get people to start to riot the White House. I’ve heard many want to begin another Civil War. The phrase “Give me liberty or give me death,” has popped into my mind a few times. I’m willing if that is what it comes to, but it’s not something I want. Honestly most people aren’t passionate enough to care, they have been lulled to sleep by freebies and promises of more bailouts printed on borrowed money. I’m not ready to declare a civil war. It’s something that must be avoided at all cost. I may not like O, but I’m going to choose to pray for him. (1Tim 2:1-8) I’m going to choose to continue to pray for this nation. (2 Chronicles 7:14) I’m going to pray that it would turn from its wicked ways.  I’m going to ask whether you agree with me or not, that you would do the same. Pray for this nation. Maybe I’m Pollyanna enough to believe that all hope is not lost and that God can take what looks to be an impossible situation and turn it around. (Matt 19:26) I’m choosing to believe that God can turn it all around, some way, some shape, and some form.

It’s time for the church to come together like it never has before now. Pray people. Our nation needs it.

Remember God does have awesome plans for your life. Get excited.



Monday, November 5, 2012

PRAY, VOTE, PRAY



The American elections are tomorrow and I am going to address my fellow American’s today for the blog. If you are one of the many blog readers of mine that are outside of the US, I love you all and I want to encourage you all to be praying for our elections tomorrow. Our nation needs it.

To those of you who may read this blog and not agree with me, realize I still love you and we can still be friends. :-) This is my opinion. However God has given me a platform, and I need to use it the way God wants me to or I will be accountable one day before Him. While so many don’t speak out due to fear of losing one’s non-profit status, the Constitution already put in motion that churches and ministries would be tax exempt regardless.

To my fellow Americans,

For far too long we have held on to some misguided notion that believers didn’t need to be involved in our political process. We like to cling tightly to the notion of separation of church in state when really that was a phrase coined to not force people to go to church. It wasn’t meant to force the churches out of the government, but was meant to stop the government from forcing the church. I can give you specifics as to how our founding fathers were men of God, and quoted the Bible in the Declaration of Independence and in the Mayflower Compact. I could also give you a historical account of how a Bible was once published by congress. However you don’t read my blogs for a history paper so if you want the specifics let me know and I’ll find them for you. I recommend you watch the film Monumental with Kirk Cameron.

I realize that our founding fathers weren’t perfect individuals. There have been atrocities done in this nation, and sadly much of it’s been done in the name of the idea of supremacy. But just because there were a few bad apples doesn’t mean we can throw out the whole bunch.

As the child of a Vietnam Vet I was raised to be passionate about my country. I was raised to not take for granted the beauty and the fragility of freedom. Early on I was encouraged to form my own political views. It wasn’t an uncommon fight around the extended dinner table for my family to end up in a political debate about Nixon.

I do not vote based on a party. But I do believe that it is my God given right to vote based on the Bible and what the Bible has to say about certain issues. God has blessed America for so many years because of its foundation and I believe we are to steward what God has given to us.

I have never been silent of my dislike of the current administration. I felt cheated in the 2008 election. For years I thought it was past time for America to vote for a non-white old guy, and when that happened I was so grieved that O was our choice. Voting for someone based on their race is just as racist as not voting for someone based on their race. But having sit for the last four years I can overwhelmingly begin to list many reasons why the current administration isn’t good for our country.

1. Their support of abortion. I am tired of this being thrown out as solely a woman’s issue. The Bible has a lot to say about it too. (Genesis 4:10, Jer 1:5)

2. The definition of Marriage (Genesis 1)

3. The redistribution of taxes and wealth (Matt 25)

4. Debt (Proverbs 22:7)

5. Relations with Israel (Gen 12:3)

My list can go on. I’m disgusted about comments I have heard out of the mouth of this administration around the globe talking against America. I am shocked at some of the things I’ve heard and I can’t believe that people are actually fighting to put this administration back in the office. He didn’t have enough experience the first time he was elected and even in the private sector as a CEO he would have been fired by now. He stubbornly dug his heels in the ground and is leaving this nation in a very vulnerable spiritual place right now. Yet this person wants to weaken our military. It’s as if he’s purposely tried to weaken everything about us and what this nation stands for on the earth. The Bible says to pray for our leaders. I do pray for him. I don’t think he’s solely responsible for every wrong in the nation. That would be idiotic, but if we see what he’s done, it would be just as idiotic to let him continue to do it!

Now, I have heard many in certain Christian circles say they can’t vote for the Republican ticket due to the fact he’s a Mormon. Well I hear their point. He wasn’t my first choice either. However, He goes to the debates and quotes scripture. His views are for the most part lining up with the Bible, and while he is still a politician and isn’t perfect, I do think he’s better than the current administration. He is a business man and at this point I don’t understand why cutting ‘Big Bird’ or not should really be a debate. Is ‘Big Bird’ so sacred that we’ll live off unemployment and food stamps but as long as we have Sesame Street it’s okay? Something has to give people! We can’t continue on the course that we are on as a nation. Many have said they would vote for a write in. But I can’t swallow that. That to me is a vote for the current administration and in my mind it’s got to go.

However you choose to vote it’ll be between you and God. You need to be able to look in the eyes of your children and know you did what is best for their legacy. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” ~Ronald Reagan

Vote people, if you haven’t already voted! Pray people! There have been rumors of false voting all over. Pray God’s will, not your own. Pray that this nation would be healed and return to the foundation our forefathers began.



2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Remember he has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Check out this video that was sent to me by one of my Pastor’s this morning. It’s so worth checking out!

http://youtu.be/jHsb17MRAj8





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Boxing Match with a Hot Water Heater



If you follow me on Facebook then you’ve probably heard about Dan and my recent adventure with the water heater. Really it was more Dan’s adventure. It amazes me when you own your own home how much your thrust at learning some skills you wouldn’t have learned before like plumbing and carpentry. Our house is 24 years old and the hot water heater had never been replaced. Dan was cleaning out the garage a few weeks ago and suddenly saw that our old one was leaking. He was right we needed to replace it, but really I find that such an adult purchase neither of us wanted to purchase. I would have much rather opted for some sparkly shoes and a new dress, but we had to so we did.

When we went to Lowe’s to investigate we learned that it would cost us $400 just to have it installed. Really? $400? The water heater didn’t cost $400. Dan took one look at it, and figured he could probably do it. So we had to rent a truck to get the new one here, only to find out someone had seemingly dropped the new one because it was smashed. Then we had to exchange the new smashed one for a new non smashed one. I had hoped that was the end of the hot water heater drama, but then we needed to get it installed.

I have to give my husband credit. He was doing everything he knew to do, and I appreciate the people that were praying for us last week as Dan started to box/wrestle with the new hot water heater. It’s amazing how God sends help when you need it. The house next door has been empty for two years and the woman who just bought it had her friends up from Miami helping her with the move. The friends are in ministry and just so happen to have looked at Dan struggle and the one offered his help. While it still took both of them two days really to get it working. That man’s help was a God Sent thing. Dan needed the help.

I am very happy to say I have a new installed water heater now. That I really did want Dan to paint it pink and sparkly but I don’t seem doing that any time soon. It’s amazing to me that when you know you need to do something bigger than what you can do; God always provides the extra umph to get you over that. Dan wasn’t sure how he was going to do this, but after about a dozen trips to Lowe’s and getting the extra help, it got done.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

In ALL situations He will never leave you. That scripture is truth. Whether it’s putting in a hot water heater, or taking a test, or trying to pay off a bill. He is faithful to you no matter where you are today. Trust in Him! He’s sending you more reinforcements than you may realize. He’s got awesome plans for your life. Get Excited.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Sorry to tell you that Your Diamond is Fake



Several years ago I worked in a jewelry sales job, and learned quite a bit about diamonds. I will never forget the day when this customer came in wanting to know the value of a men’s ring. Now I wasn’t allowed to give people values but I was allowed to give them a guesstimate, and I happily went about my work to do so. I love looking at older estate jewelry and the woman seemed like a nice woman.

As her story unfolded it seemed the ring she wanted me to look at had been in the family for over 50 years and it had belonged to her father. Sadly her father had just passed away, and she’d wanted to see what this family heirloom was worth. As I began talking to her I developed a pretty good exchange with her, and I wanted desperately to be able to give her a good amount for her heirloom. She seemed like a nice woman and I felt bad that she’d just lost her father.

The ring initially appeared to be a diamond that I could easily guess at a 1 to a 1.3 carat round set in a yellow gold setting. The first thing I did was to diamond test the piece. You see diamonds are made out of carbon. Carbon puts off heat and you can buy a diamond tester to see if it’s the right temperature for a diamond. Most jewelry stores have them. Moissanite which is a fake diamond will and can also test like one but it’s the first test to start weeding out fakes. It’s not rocket science. My first issue with her diamond is it didn’t test like a diamond.

I looked at her apologetic. “I’m sorry ma’am sometimes this diamond tester has issues. Let me try something else.” She nodded at me. I could tell by her body language our good exchange was heading in the wrong direction. She was beginning to get a little edgy with me. Her body language began to grow tense and she started drumming her fingertips on my counter. Trying to ignore her aggravation, I took the ring and put it under a microscope. Then I noticed there were huge problems with this stone. There was a gash on the top of it, and when I rotated it the cutlet on the bottom was broken. This wasn’t a real stone. It is possible to break diamonds, but it has to be a really hard hit along the planes within the stone. There wouldn’t be a gash in the top, and it would be virtually impossible in a mounted ring that the cutlet would be chipped like it was on this stone.

Not wanting to make eye contact with her, I placed the ring back in her hand, “I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t think this stone is real.” I went on to explain to her why, but she didn’t want to believe me. I can understand if it was an heirloom suddenly being told it wasn’t real would not be the answer you wanted to hear. “Please go ask someone else, and don’t just take my word for it.” I kept trying to add as she began to get very upset with me. I knew it wasn’t real, and I knew any other jewelry person would tell her the same thing, but I didn’t want a scene in the middle of the store.

Many people are like that with their beliefs and their worldviews. They cling onto what they believe to be true. They believe what their generations have told them and when faced with the facts that it isn’t truth or maybe they have been deceived they start to get a little uncomfortable and agitated. They don’t want you to preach the truth because they might find out they were wrong. People want to shy away from absolutes, but they are real. A person will absolutely either go to Heaven or Hell after they die. These are real places and there is no purgatory in between.

This happened in Jesus’ day too. He preached and a lot of people got ticked off. The Pharisees were so convinced they were right, and hearing Him preach truth made them so mad they had him killed. So it really isn’t a surprise if you find yourself in situations where people start attacking you personally because they don’t like you speaking truth.

John 15:18-20 (esv) 18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours”

Some people don’t want to put themselves out there and tell the truth because they don’t want the persecution. I get that argument. I also get there is a way to say something in love instead of acting like a crazy screaming picketing weirdo. Most people don’t know that in my private life I don’t like making waves and I’m not as bold and opinionated as people think…most of the time. But let me ask this to that argument. In the story with the woman believing her diamond was real, don’t you think it was time someone told her the truth. She needed to know. I couldn’t just keep lying to her like every else obviously had. The truth needed to be told.

I don’t enjoy persecution. It stinks! But I also know that I have to give an account for my life one day in front of the thrown of Jesus. We will all have to do that. If I keep lying to people though I know the truth I am going to have to give an answer to God one day about that. If I have to choose between getting persecuted on the earth or having to try to give God some tired measly excuse that won’t hold any weight in heaven, I’d rather opt for the persecution on the earth. Life is too short to live a lie. This isn’t about earning a spot in heaven, Jesus did that for us on the cross, but this is about living a life realizing there is a lost and dying world out there and just because you might be saved doesn’t mean the rest are saved. People need to speak up and start speaking the truth in love! At the end of the day I have to answer to God for the life I lived. His opinion means more to me than the people on the earth.

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wrestling in the Garage with a Purple Plastic Toy Bin



Dan and I discovered on Sunday that our hot water heater was about to breath its last breath and we needed to replace it. As a result we’d moved all the things out from the old one so that we could see if any amount of TLC or CPR could get the old one to work, but realistically the thing is 24 years old and it is getting replaced. We have this big plastic purple plastic toy bin that got moved into my path in all the poking and prodding of the old water heater.

So late Sunday night not thinking that the purple plastic toy bin had been moved in my way to get to the washer and dryer, I made my way out to the washing machine with a pile of dirty laundry. I wasn’t paying any attention. I was caught up in my own little world, and I had an impromptu wrestling match with the toy bin. Dirty laundry went flying, my feet went airborne, and I’d like to think that it was me that one that match. However if we count scratches I may have to concede that it was the toy bin. I had scratches and scuff marks up and down both my legs when all was said and done. I felt like a dork for not watching where I was going, and I found I had a husband who was trying his best to be supportive and not laugh.

It’s all too often that we go through life like this. We aren’t paying attention to what is going on around us. We assume that our pathways are clear, and we’re walking with a giant pile of dirty laundry in front of us. We get lost in our own world and the next thing we know we’re wrestling things that if we would have just paid attention to we could have avoided.

1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


Now I’m not saying it was some demonic plan for me to crash in the garage. That was my own doing. But what I’m saying is things in life happen that way. The devil will try to throw things in your path to trip you up. We have to be in prayer. We have to be alert so that if anything is in our path we can’t see we can hear God tell us to take two steps to the right.

Isaiah 45:2 (KJV)

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron

We must be alert to move when God says to move. God does have awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting Back to Your Roots



My oldest daughter is working on a history fair project and she had to pick a turning place in history and do a project on it. I jumped at the chance to get her to do a project on Vietnam. As many of you know my dad was a grunt soldier in the war and essentially it’s my dad’s story that God used to get me writing.



Watching her interview my dad and me has opened up some great dialogue in my house. It’s reminded me yet again why I am so passionate about talking about my father’s story and one day getting my book about him published. I want the next generation to know what happened. It’s something deeply rooted within me. It’s also making me want to dust off my first book again and see if I can generate any interest in it in the world of publishing.It can be easy when you go through life to get so caught up in the current project that you lose sight of the foundational things that are within you. But you need to take moments to reevaluate in life where you are and where you are going. You need to remember the points in life when you knew that you knew God had spoken to you and stay on course to those things.



In the Old Testament there are many times when they are making monuments to something happening so that they can remember God’s faithfulness. (Genesis 31:46-47, Joshua 4, 2 Sam 8) We all have monuments in our own life. I want to encourage you today to remember God’s faithfulness in your life, and remember your destiny. Don’t veer off course, but go forward in what you know He has said. Trust in Him. He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When Lightning Struck My House



When Lightning Struck My House

I’ve probably told this story before, but I was reminded of it again this morning and some stories are just worth repeating. When my husband and I bought our home we spent more than we wanted. The very first time I walked into my master bathroom I had the biggest desire to start remodeling it. Of course when you buy a new home you think of all the projects you want to do and can’t. We knew it may be awhile until we got to the bathroom remodel.

About six months after we purchased the home, we found ourselves at church one night listening to our pastor preach about “praising the Lord in the midst of all circumstances.” Sure that sermon sounded nice and happy, but we didn’t know what was waiting for us at home. Central Florida is one of the top lightning strike capitals of the world, and our home that night was a target. The strike went through my water pipes, and busted them out so that when we got home water was filling my master bathroom. It blew out the phone, our TV, our washer, our stove, and sent burn marks up a mirror. The strike was so bad one of our neighbors was at home and found the tires on his car melted to his driveway.

Sure when we got home I panicked. I’m a bit on the dramatic side. I wanted to scream and think about all we lost and how were we going to pay for all of this. In a moment of desperation I remember the words my pastor had preached. My family choose to praise God, knowing that somehow God would make all of it work out.

In the end the house insurance paid for my bathroom remodel, the ripping of all the water pipes in my home, and when all was said in done God was able to use what seemed like a tragedy and turn it into a blessing.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

So often we like to quote this scripture but my question is deep down when we’re seeing water shoot outs of our walls, our kids acting wacky, or our bills piling up do we really believe that scripture. I’ve seen God take the worst situations and turn them into testimonies. That doesn’t mean he makes bad things happen. Nope. But he can take the bad stuff and turn them to good. Trust Him today, no matter what you’re dealing with or what you’re facing. God can turn it all around. Here is a song that I’ve been listening to lately. I’m a huge Misty Edwards fan, and I think it sums it all best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIjV0xTf8nM

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Laundry Chute



My grandparent’s house growing up had a laundry chute. I can remember thinking that this was one of the coolest inventions ever. You could put the clothes in the chute and they went down to the basement where the washer and dryer was kept. I realize this seems like such a small thing, but it amazed me as a child. The chute was a straight shot to where the clothing had to go. My grandmother used to joke and call it the “magic chute” because the clothes when down dirty but came back clean.

Grandma’s laundry chute was a way to have a straight shot to where the clothes needed to go. Likewise prayer is the same way with God. It’s all too often we whine and complain because we want and need the guidance from God and we just don’t seem to be getting it the way we think we need. But to address that question, how’s your “laundry chute” to God these days? Are you seeking his face in the matter or merely complaining about it? Is your chute a two way street or are you merely throwing all the dirty laundry in it and slamming the door?

Jesus taught us how to pray in the Bible.

Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.[a]

10 Your kingdom come,

your will be done,[b]

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]

12 and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.[d]

Prayer is fellowship with God. It’s communion with God. It’s talking to Him like you would a friend and expecting a response. It’s not a bunch of thee’s and thou’s.

So check your laundry chute today. Is it full of dirty laundry, and might need cleaned out, or is it an open line of communication? Remember God has awesome plans for your life. You need Him to help you get there! You need Him in your life! Get excited!



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Silver Haired Socialite



Once while I was in New York City I happened to walk by this woman who I could easily assume she was some kind of heiress or socialite. Her hair was perfectly styled and cut. It was the prettiest shade of grayish silver. Somehow she’d managed to find a fur coat that was the exact shade of her hair. She wore it with a grace as she walked down Broadway. But she didn’t stop there. Her high heeled designer shoes were the exact same color as the coat and her hair, and if that wasn’t enough the dog she was walking was the exact same shade of silver. I couldn’t help but take a moment to look at her. I had to wonder did she go to get that dog on purpose to be the exact shade or was his hair dyed to match. It was an impressive sight walking down New York City for this country girl. On the outside she seemed every bit of a classy woman. This incident was probably 14 years ago, and it’s weird to me that I still remember it.

We are a society that looks towards the outside. We assume just because someone looks well put together then they must be on the inside. We worship beauty, fashion, and style and make our assumptions all the time in our minds. While yes, it is important to look nice, and put your best foot forward you have to remember while society may do that God looks on the inside.

MATTHEW 33: 25-27 (KJV)

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

I don’t know where that silver haired socialite was with God. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter how well put together she looked, God knows what is behind all of that, and He sees her heart. We have to try to remember that in our lives. We have to try to remember that just because a man wears a suit and tie doesn’t mean that underneath all of that pompous business attitude there may be a man that desperately needs a touch from God. We have to remember the cashier who always seems frazzled at the supermarket may just need a word from the Lord. We are to be God’s hands and feet upon the earth. We have to remember that it’s not just about what’s on the outside. We have to discern what God is saying and not just what we see on the outside. God has a way of pushing back the smokescreens, and allowing His truth to be revealed.

God does have awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hurry it UP!!



It was a rough morning in the Aquino household today. Last night I had preached in Lake Mary and probably left a little too late, and my kids got to sleep and hour and a half past their bedtime. Though I do think they napped in the car ride home. I felt sympathy for them, so I let them sleep in 30 minutes later than usual thinking they could hurry up and get ready for school. Maybe for one of my kiddo’s that would have worked, but the other one was having issues. It got down to the wire, and I was yelling. We had 12 minutes to go, and I the youngest still hadn’t gotten ready. So I started to help her, and exactly at the last minute we pulled out the drive.

I am not of fan of last minute, rushing, freaking out, and getting ready chaos. I like all of my ducks in a row, and I like to have everything ready to go so that when it’s time for something to happen the transition is smooth. While God is NOT a God of chaos and disorder, He does sometimes wait until what you feel is the last minute. He’s quite notorious on waiting until the “midnight hour”. It’s not that God is messing with you or playing mind games on you, but consider it a lesson in faith. God is always on His timing. He is never late. He wants you to know that you can trust Him, and all will be well.

You have to always trust God that He will come through.

Isaiah 55 8:11 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

I did finally get my kids to school today, and we ended up laughing in the car. I suppose the memories of me threatening to send them to school without their shoes on if they don’t hurry up and get them on may cause for some good comedy relief when they get older. I know I shouldn’t threaten….and no I wouldn’t send them to school shoeless.

Trust the Lord, it will all work out. He will come through, even if it feels like it’s at the last minute. It will be well. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Skype Interview

Thought I'd send this out to all of you. This interview worked out well, I think.




http://youtu.be/XCHK6RnO_2s


Have a super awesome rest of your week, and remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.



Monday, October 1, 2012

So Much Junk


Yesterday it became apparent that it was past time for us to go through my youngest daughter’s toy bins. Like many children you can easily find an enormous collection of junk. It isn’t usable toys. It’s pieces of broken toys, random art projects, lost crayons, and Barbie Doll shoes. From two toy bins we took out three garbage bags of trash. On a very positive note we were able to combine the two bins into one and did go through a collection of junk where my youngest found long lost items she’d forgotten about and we put a few good items on craigslist.

As I plowed through piles of junk I began to think about how these toy bins are so much like our own lives. We can get caught up on doing things in life and forget about all the broken places. We can just start avoiding those random things and push them aside. We can forget to continue to “clean” out our emotional and spiritual closets until there is so much junk that we have no choice because the junk is running over.

I remember singing this Psalm over and over again as a little Lutheran girl in Waldo OH.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

We need to continue to cry out that God would clean out our heart. We need to continue to check in our lives places that we may have allowed the junk to overflow. We need to be aware that procrastinating on getting the junk out just makes the task appears to be all the more overwhelming.

As we cry out for God to create in us a clean heart, He will show us the areas that need to get worked on. We just have to listen. Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

See You At The Pole



This morning when I took the girls to school, I heard on the radio that tomorrow Sept 26th, is “See you at the Pole”. If you’re not familiar with the movement, it’s when they encourage students to meet at the flagpole of the school and pray for their friends and school.

As soon as I heard that I was immediately transported in my head with my experiences of “See you at the Pole”. Unless you are a person that has known me for years most have a hard time believing that I was ever timid or shy. The bold girl I am today is a result of the Holy Spirit and years of training me to step out of my comfort zone. But I was not always like this. I didn’t want to stand out in school, and often I was too scared to ever find my voice. I can remember though I got to school early every year for “See you at the Pole,” I was too afraid to ever be a part of the movement. I didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want to be different. I laugh hysterically now that I was every like that, but I was. When asked to go, I’d just shake my head. The funny part about all of that my last two years of high school I was a leader in an after school Bible Study and I went from the kid that refused to go pray around the pole to the one that led the group my final year.

It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit can do to a person. God did similar things in Peter’s life too in the Bible. He went from being timid, to getting filled with the Holy Spirit and preaching to thousands in the book of Acts. The spirit of God has the habit of making you bolder than you though possible if you let Him.

Be encouraged that the greater one lives on the inside of you, and He can turn everything in your life around. He can make you bold where you’ve been timid.

1 John 4:4 (NIV)You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

I want to encourage you to pray for “See you at the Pole” tomorrow. If you have children school age encourage them to go be a part of the movement. If you are a teacher, I encourage those around you. Our schools desperately need the prayer, and our children desperately need a touch from God.

Remember He has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!



Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Morning Car Dancing



This morning my whole family was dragging a bit. The “Monday, Monday’s” can sometimes get to everyone. One kid didn’t want to wake up and stayed in her pj’s until the last possible moment. I’ll admit I felt the same way, and it appeared we all needed something to get us going. I opted to drive the girls to school this morning and had a “Mom you’re so silly” moment. I started car dancing to the morning radio while driving in the car line in front of the school. Before I knew it the girls were laughing hysterically at me, and I suppose a few bystanders were too. But it got us all awake and in a much better mood. It’s too bad the dash board blocked my renditions of the “RunningMan” and the “Tootsie-Roll”!

Sometimes you just have to have a silly moment. It’s all too often we go throughout out life being so serious. We can’t be so religiously serious all the time that we forget laughter and smiling is a good thing.

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

So take a moment this Monday morning to giggle, laugh, chuckle, and grin at. Life is too short to always be so serious. He does have awesome plans for your life. Get excited.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faith Shopping

For quite some time now I’ve known that a very mighty man of God has been trying his best to get me on TBN (In which again I want to say the Jesus in Him totally rocks).  I’d heard snippets of possible times and it was getting a tad frustrating.  I knew that it was going to work out to be a God thing, but it had been taking a bit to come together.  It wasn’t the fault of TBN, just the all-around communication of the situation.  Well one of the days came that I knew was a possibility of me going over there, and he was going into the interview but I was still slated for a possible later date.  I’ll admit I had a moment.  I cried for about a second, took the phone call telling me such, and then decided I was going shopping.  Maybe it sounds funny to you, but I knew eventually all of this would work out.  In faith I went out and purchased a dress to wear when it would work out.

     The next day, while I was working out, I got called to get over to TBN for a meeting with the station manager.  The meeting, though I’ll admit I was a little intimidating, went really well.  It was one of those times where I just stepped into something knowing it was a God thing.  I have a tentative taped interview for the end of October, in which I’ll wear my dress I bought in faith.  (I’ll give y’all exact air dates when I get them, PLEASE BE PRAYING WITH ME THAT ALL WORKS OUT WITH THIS)  The point in telling y’all all of this is simply, sometime we have to get ready in faith.  You have to be prepared in and out of season.  You have to sometimes do things knowing what God said is true, and those circumstances will eventually change. 

     It’s also a little known fact that I carry teaching notes in my Bible of several messages.  Because you never know what will happen and I could need them at a moment’s notice.  There have been times I have needed those notes, and have gotten a call to preach hours before I was supposed to.  You have to be prepared for the things God has told you to break forth at any moment…..

2 Timothy 4:2a

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season
         
       In college I remember hearing a story about a girl who was crying on a park bench.  She was a scenic designer looking for a job and was frustrated about her prospects.  Long story short a man sat down on the bench and happened to start talking to her.  After he heard her story he asked to see her resume.  She had it on hand.  He hired her on the spot.  He had been trying to find a set designer for a well-known traveling musical.  That “chance” encounter launched her career.  But what would have happened has she not had her resume on hand.
      
   
You have to prepare for the breakthroughs in your life.  You have to be ready for the unexpected.  You have to be prepared in and out of season.  In order to live a life of faith, you have to sometimes go shopping before you have an interview date.  You have to get ready in faith, so be prepared.  Remember God has awesome plans for your life.   Get ready, and get excited!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where is my order?


 We were blessed on Sunday to get to go out to lunch with some pastor friends of ours, and anytime you have kids at a restaurant it can be an adventure. My youngest kept interrupting me talking because she wanted a drink refill. Ok, so thanks for the reminder we really need to work on interrupting. We informed the waitress and I never saw it come. About ten minutes later my youngest starts whining. We mention it to the waitress again, and to our knowledge nothing happens. About another ten minutes later my six year old starts whining. She wants that refill and I’m offering her my drink. About another ten minutes she’s really upset, and that is when I look down and somewhere in all of this the waitress did bring the drink and it was right in front of her.

We’ve all done that in life before. We get really frustrated as to why something isn’t happening the way we want it to, and start getting crabby. When all along God says he’s already given us what we need already.


2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Sometimes we just need to wait for the right timing, but we have what we need in life. God’s already given it to us. Jesus died on the cross for it.


Reflect on the Parable of the Prodigal Son for a moment found in Luke 15:11-32. The oldest was mad about how that prodigal brother of his was treated like a king when he got home. The father’s response was that everything he had was already the oldest son’s as well. We think all too often so small compared to what God has already done for us, and what has already been freely given. Remember God has awesome plans for our life. He gave you what you need to accomplish what He sent you on the earth to do! Get excited! 

It's Monumental

On Saturday evening I had the awesome privilege to go view the new film with Kirk Cameron called, “Monumental”.  They were having a free viewing at Cornerstone in St. Cloud.  This film had immediately intrigued me.  It’s basically a discovery tour where Kirk Cameron pursues what was the motivation of the pilgrims and what they went through in order to found the United States.  I learned a lot just by watching it. I was never aware that although certain individuals love to quote the whole separation of church and state, Congress actually once printed a Bible and put it into schools.  It’s a beautiful film.  That was very well done.

If you know me you’d know that this was so up my alley.  I love God and I love my country.  I have become more and more upset at where I see our country headed and the choices it seems to be making.  I have felt like I’ve been mourning the nation of what God intended us to be, in the last several years. I have found myself clinging to this scripture.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I feel that everyone no matter what your religious beliefs should view this film.  If you get the Inspiration Channel I did see a preview of it on there as well.

http://www.monumentalmovie.com/

While I was watching the film I found myself jotting down a few quotes I thought I’d share.

“A nation who tries to build a foundation outside of God will ultimately self-destruct”

“We need to be more sensitive to the moves of God in our history because it gives us optimism for the future.”

“The solution to the crisis is not to blame, but the solution is in my hands.  The solution doesn’t begin at the White House.  It begins at your house.”

We must begin to stand up for righteousness people.  We must begin to pray, and vote for righteousness.  God has awesome plans for your life and for this nation, so get excited.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Forced Flexibility

When I was young, I spent a lot of time taking gymnastics lessons. I wasn't going to be the next Gabby Douglas, but I spent my time in a gym. When I went to cheer leading all the floor work benifited me. I can remember the gym I trained at had these trainers who used to push us down lower into our stretches. We'd be stretching minding our own business and they'd come over and push us further in the splits. Laugh if you want, but that is painful! Then they'd hold us down in the stretch until a substantial amount time had passed. While it was easy to get irritated when they would do that, today I'm still pretty flexible for a woman in my 30's. Their pushing me to push myself further may have hurt at the time, but made me better in the long run. We all need people like that in our lives. The kinds of people that see more potential inside of you than you see in yourself. We need the kind of leaders that refuse to let you quit, and make you be more flexible than you realized possible. We all need the kind of voices that while you might want to throw a shoe at them, deep down you know their right.
God puts those kinds of people in your life.  While you may not realize it, they are forcing you to be better, push further, and do more than you ever thought possible.  What happens a lot in life is that you recognize these people, and instead of allowing them to push you further, you are still at the wanting to smack them stage.

The Bible says that He is the potter and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8).  Perhaps its time that we begin to remind ourselves of that.  Perhaps we need to realize that if there are ones around us pushing us further then that is a good thing, and we need to learn to appriciateand recognize the God given authority in our lives.Perhaps we need to come to the conclusion that without pressure diamonds are never formed.  Perhaps it's time we all accept without divine connections we'll never get to our destiny because we are not islands.  We need each other! Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Frustrated vs. Thankfulness

I've had a few moments recently. I'm not going to start whining. Dan and I are praying about a lot of things, and are trusting the Lord to make a way where we have yet to see one. Sometimes when you get caught up in the rut of rehearsing all your own issues, you can find yourself very frustrated. Have you ever had those days when you are suddenly reminded of the fact your cars need replaced, your boss is annoying you, and your house has something go wrong all in the same day? Its the kicking you when your down days that you often can really feel. If you don't stop yourself from entering into a "woe is me" attitude the next thing you know you'll be in an all-out funk. Sunday Dan and I were talking and all of a sudden I started to say, "Well, so what we're frustrated about x, y, and z at least we have a roof over our head and food in our stomachs. Yes, I complain about wanting to lose weight but we're not on a forced fast.". We began to take a moment to see outside of our frustrations and started to find that we had a lot; more to be thankful for than we realized. We take so much for granted in our lives. 1 Chronicles 16:34, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Thank Him for what He has given you. Thank Him for who He is, and Thank Him for His goodness. Perhaps a few moments without your eyes stuck on your problems might just help you see your life in perspective. Remember you are in a season, and this too shall pass. You are blessed. Remember He does have awesome plans for your life. Be thankful, and be excited!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Messages from a Freaked out Beta Fish

Dan and the girls brought a few more fish into our family this weekend. There was a small cat fish, a freshwater angel fish, and a beta fish that was added to our gold fish. I never knew you could add beta fish to a general population, but I guess as long as the other fish are non-aggressive you can. However, when they were going to buy them it was discovered that the cat fish was way too aggressive, and they would have to put the beta in something else. Long story short it was discovered that the cat fish was so aggressive they had to sequester it and put the beta in the regular fish tank. So this beta fish that has since been named 'Unique' that has spent the majority of its life in a tiny plastic container is now in my 20 gallon fish tank. 'Unique' was a tad freaked out to say the least. What is interesting is many fish grow to the size the fish tank will allow. We've had some of the smallest puniest gold fish grow fairly big in out tank. That happens a lot of time in life doesn't it? The larger of the situation God puts you in, the more you'll grow? Sometimes it means God will take you out of a place because you've outgrown it, and put you in someplace bigger because the time has come. Sometimes like 'Unique' you're so used to being in such a tiny place, at first the larger one can freak you out. You have to realize that you need to trust God no matter how big the place, or how small the place your in may feel to you. Isaiah 54:2-3. (NIV) "Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendents shall inherit the nations, And make desolate cities inhabited." To many of you reading this, I believe this will just come as confirmation, but there is a season of enlarging the place of your tent that is fast coming to you. I'm not saying to go buy a bigger house, if you think that you've missed the point. What I am saying is that its time for you to think outside the limitations you've put on yourself. Its time to swim with the bigger fish, and its time for you to go past your freaked out moments. Renew your mind to the fact that God is faithful and He is God. Transition is never easy, but in order for you to grow to the next level you have to be put in a bigger tank. Think on that for a time, to some of you I believe God is going to speak to you regarding this. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Clearing off the Stepping Stones

I’ve been working very hard on a project that has a very quick coming deadline, and I’ll confess to be working so hard I’ve spent a lot of time at my desk away from daylight. I might have forgotten for a few moments what the outside might look like. Dan and I have been praying about several things regarding our life and ministry and have been seeking His will for our future.

While I was waiting to head over to get the girls from school, I stepped away from my desk this afternoon. I looked down to the stepping stone that is right beside our entry way to our home. It’s has a block O on it from The Ohio State University. I remember when my grandmother gave it to me. I think it may have been the year I graduated from OSU, but I don’t know. It was a Christmas present.

However my stepping stone hadn’t been tended to in a while. The Florida grass had begun to grow over it and I could barely tell there was even a stepping stone there. It was still there but hidden and away under a lot of dirt and weeds.

As I found myself cleaning it up, I began to reflect on this. We all have things in our lives that are part of who we are on the earth. We all have situations and stories that God has used to shape us, and has helped put us on the course He has for us. They are like stepping stones in our lives. But often those divine encounters have a tendency to get lost in the time and weeds of life. They have a tendency to get hidden from view, and suddenly you find yourself on a path where they seem only like distant memories.

As I began to pull off the weeds off my stepping stone, I began to think of the situations in my life that have been stepping stones for me. I began to remember times where I knew God had directed me to go and do certain things. I began to see the bigger picture and how God had always been faithful to us. There are times in your life where reflection, or dusting off your stepping stones, helps encourage you in the things of God.

Isaiah 46:9 (NKJV) Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,

Sometimes when you remember those things that were the foundations, and the stepping stones of your life, it helps you put your next steps in perspective. It helps you realize that God has never left your side, and He is a good and might Abba Father for you. So take some time in reflection. Dust off your stepping stones. Find out what God is saying now for your life. Remember He does have awesome plans for you. Get excited!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Pity Party Moment

I had a moment yesterday. Call it what you want…a moment, a pity party, a funk, a crying and letting irrational thoughts run wild, or just a need to renew my mind moment. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I have them. I’m a creative dramatic female so sometimes I need to guard my emotions probably more than most. I’m doing better not to have them often like I used to, but I had a moment. I had a really wise woman once tell me once, “that everyone has a moment here and there but the true measure of a person is if they stay in that moment or get out of it and start to renew their mind to the word.”

I found myself out in the garage bawling my eyes out over something that was that was really very minor, but because my wheels in my mind were already churning…one thought led to another and another, and before I stopped myself I was crying.
Many a times my prayer closet, when my family is home tends to be my garage. Usually it’s the one place I can go where I won’t get interrupted.

After I sat in a white plastic chair bawling my eyes out, I sat and waited for God to speak to me on the matter. Dr. John Watson who passed away 2 years ago was a mentor to me in the faith. I can remember he used to always say that if you have a moment with God, you needed to wait and listen to His response. That so often in prayer it’s like people pick up the telephone, have a one sided conversation, but we needed to wait for God to respond.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

You can hear the voice of God! After my moment I heard His voice on a few matters. As much as my wave of tears had subsided God’s voice can calm the storms that can rage in our lives. One word from God can change everything. It can get easy to get caught up in the waves and circumstances that seem to rage against us in life. However, hear from God and hear God’s word on the matter. Let Him calm the storm.

I’m okay now. Sure the circumstances are still there, but I’m okay because God told me it was going to be okay. Listen for God’s voice. He will speak to you too in the midst of your situations. Sometimes things happen that we don’t understand, but circumstances cannot dictate your destiny. Your circumstances must change. Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Did Jesus Have Regrets?

Very little is known about Jesus’ early and adolescent years. Many often wonder did he always know what his destiny was, or when did he figure it out? I have always joked that being one of Jesus’ siblings wouldn’t have been easy. I wonder if they ever heard, “You should act just like your older brother?” It makes you wonder what he was like as a teenager, and like many boys he grew up with the goal he wanted to be just like is His Father. As he spent his early adult life as a carpenter and while the Bible isn’t clear on specifics we know that he was a man and like every man he was a man with human emotions. He wasn’t a robot.

Jesus was sent to the earth with a purpose and He had purpose. Despite whatever he went through in life, we know through His ministry He never lost sight of that. He always kept his vision focused. If you think about it, whatever the measure He knew His future, His destiny was to die for the sins of the world. But I bet the death & burial part wasn’t what His focus was on. I would bet His focus was the resurrection. His focus on what He was doing for humanity. When He hung on that cross He wasn’t thinking evil of all the people that hurt Him and offended them. He was praying for them. He was giving it to His Father in Heaven. He was saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus’ eyes were fixed on the whole picture and not the wrongs that were done.

I heard a story about a woman recently who is so filled with bitterness; it sadly appears like she’s walking backwards in her life. I am praying for her. I wrote this on my Facebook wall the other day, and I think it bears repeating.

Spending your life being stuck in who offended you and focusing on the little things they did doesn't prove anything to those people. It'll just turn you bitter and bound. Let your haters be your motivators...let those situation catapult you forward! You can't fly when you’re stuck to the ground!

To put that into Biblical terms: Philippians 3:14 (NIV) “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

To break that all down, if you are carrying the weight of everybody who ever wronged you and their family, if you are carrying all those past hurts and “what might have been’s”, if your regrets are have become like suitcases that you’re bringing into ever situation in life…then how are you going to grab hold of your destiny? You can’t. You’re hands are too full. Jesus fulfilled his destiny because he kept his eyes heavenward. You need to drop the baggage and keep your eyes focused. Let the past hurts go. Let all the ways you feel you’re justified to hold onto your anger down, and look upward. God has awesome plans for your life. Stay focused and get excited!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dude, that's not my car!

Before I get into the blog for today, I am very glad that I FINALLY get to post this link. http://youtu.be/OlNZWbmO5i0 This was a TV interview I did in Ohio back in June. I know it took us forever to get it online…sigh, I could go into all the technical pitfalls and the 8 hours it took to upload just today, but Thank you Jesus its up!

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On Friday, I went to do my typical grocery shopping. My kids are still out of school and I had a friend of mine’s son as well for a few days. Grocery shopping with three kids is a challenge. But I have this thing where I go to a different fruit & vegetable store, a different meat store, and Wal-Mart. Add to that my stack of coupons and this wall of crazy Florida heat and it can all be a tad stressful. When I got to my first store I was trying to watch the kids in the parking lot and ran the shopping car over my toe and bruised my toe. The heat was already getting to me.

Then I went to Wal-Mart and they didn’t have any 2% milk in gallons, our brand of popcorn, and some other items I wanted. So I had to reason that I’d go to another store.

As it turned out I had to run home, unload all my groceries, make a quick errand and then go to another Wal-Mart. They didn’t have the right brand of popcorn, but at least I got my milk and opted for a different brand. By this point the kids were restless. They were fighting and irritable and I couldn’t blame them because I had turned pretty irritable myself.

I was pulling the mother approach. “You stand in that square, and you on that spot and no one touch each other or so help me when we get home you’re all going to have to set in time out!”

As I stepped into the outside and was hit almost losing by balance to the Florida heat, I walked over to a car. I was tired and wanted to go home. It looked like my car. I started to try to pop the trunk with the key remote. It wasn’t working. The kids started trying to open the doors. It seemed my remote wasn’t working. I was about to cry. What was wrong with this day? Was everything against me? I couldn’t believe that my car remote dying was just going to be the cherry on top of the crazy morning. Why God? Why? I wanted to scream into the burning air and cry…that’s when I noticed the windows in this car were a little darker than mine. Wait a minute…it wasn’t my car! Have I said this crazy heat can make me a little loopy?! I found my car about three stalls down, and the car remote still works! The kids and I spent out trek home laughing hysterically and enjoying the air conditioning.

It can be so easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong, but I began to think about all of this. Maybe I was frustrated about the lack of 2% milk, but at least I found it. At least I had the money to buy it. I may so loathe the heat in Florida, but at least my car has air conditioning. I may have hurt my big toe but at least, it’s doing well now. I may want to scream at my kids for their whining, but at least their healthy. I sat in my car and started to count my blessings. I started to find things I could be thankful for now.

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Developing an attitude of being thankful will bring you to peace. It will remind you that life isn’t all about your own comforts, and underneath all that aggravation…God has really blessed you. So when you find yourself in the place like I was on Friday, remember to be thankful for what you do have. God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!