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!

~~~

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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

But really the dress fits me!

Yesterday my youngest daughter insisted I let her wear a dress that is a hand me down from her sister. I took one look at it and knew it was way too big for her. She pleaded and pestered.

Finally I said “Ok, just try it on and then we’ll talk.” In my head this little inch of giving in was going to prove to her that it was way too big for her. In her mind it was just an excuse to pester further. I wasn’t about to let her in public looking like that. The dress was at least four sizes too big. I could see the frustration bubble up inside of her. “Hunny it really doesn’t fit you.” I could see it sagging on top of her clothes.

“But when will it fit me?” She whined.

“Maybe in a year?” Really I was exaggerating. Maybe in a few years is more like it.

“So next week?” She pleaded.

“No dear. Maybe in a year.”

“So maybe by my birthday?”

I watched her pleading with me. She wanted to be big enough to wear the dress. But she just isn’t yet. Then something like a light switch went off in my head. How many times do we do the same thing to God?

“God I’m ready to do what you called me to do. I’m ready now.”

“Soon.” He replies.

“Ok next week?”

He sees us there like a parent to a child. We look cute wearing our father’s jacket and its way too long and doesn’t fit. He sees out frustration but knows we’re just going to have to wait. All our begging and pleading gets us nowhere but frustrated.

The truth is we’ll grow into that calling or gifting when it’s time. It’s in our DNA. God put it there. One day it will be time. It’s inevitable if we keep doing what we’re supposed to be doing, and no amount of wanting to be larger or more grown up will get us there any faster. We can’t skip over the process.

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart

Due season is coming. The right clothing will fit, but we can’t lose our focus. Enjoy the season of life that you’re in. Life is too short to spend it frustrated. He does have awesome plans for your life. Get Excited!

Monday, August 6, 2012

C'est Moi!

I confess that I have a love of musicals and certain ones I could sing out loud from memory down to the overtures. Camelot is one of those musicals. I found myself the other day singing this song http://youtu.be/TdrEmZ35fxc through the house. It’s C’est Moi. Lancelot sings it. In English it means “It’s Me!” If you’re familiar with the story he thinks he’s the most perfect man on the planet and more until he falls into an adulterous affair with Guinevere and it all comes crashing down around him. It’s like the scripture in Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)”Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Have you ever been around people like this? The ones where you can’t get a word in, and they spend the entire conversation focusing on how perfect and wonderful their lives are at the moment, how much they are so better than you, and you find yourself wanting to cry at their arrogance it’s so annoying. I had a conversation with someone like that sometime ago (IF you’re a person that talks to me often don’t sit there are question if it was you, I can guarantee you it wasn’t), and as a result I wrote this on my Facebook wall. “Do not engage in a "Spiritual Peeing" contest...you'll just end up looking stupid and get "pee" all over you. We are not in a competition! Run the race God has before you, when your "brother" has a victory so do you...when your "brother" has a defeat so do you!!!!!!” While I may not be able to change this particular individual other than to pray for him, I can guard myself from this kind of attitude. It reminded me to try to go out of my way from sounding like that. Sometimes it can be easy to get so caught up in your own world that you ooze pride. However I assure you that it’s God in you that makes you the person you are today. There is a difference between confidence in Him, and arrogance in you! You have to guard yourself from it! While I left that conversation wanting to smack the individual, I had to question myself. “Do I ever treat others like that? Please God; I don’t want to ever sound like that.” You have to always remember “It’s Not YOU!” It’s Him in you! God does have awesome plans for your life. So humble yourself, and get excited!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-Fil-A & The Kiss-In

This isn’t a typical blog today, but I am just sharing my thoughts. Take them or leave them. Many of you may or may not be aware of the controversy that has spurred off of the Chick-Fil-A stores. In short, someone asked the founder of the Chick-Fil-A what his opinion was on marriage and he said, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.” Thus it spurred a bunch of media controversy and debate. The next thing you know you have officials trying to block a Chick-Fil-A from ever coming to their cities and others trying to boycott the franchise as a whole. So as a result August 1st became “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” and people lined up all over the US, for waffle fries and a chicken sandwich. On a personal level I agree 100% with their stance, and I admire them in a time of a bunch of wishy washy “I’m ok you’re ok” mentalities. They stood up for what I believe is the truth. On a political level no one got in anyone’s faces and yelled… a bunch of people just showed their support. Yes there were some picketing but for the most part, all was peaceful and it seems to me that the support was heard. It was not an “in your face” kind of statement. It was saying “We support you Chick-Fil-a!” It was more to me than just supporting their views, but it was about freedom of speech. America was founded on things like freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It seems to me that there is a bunch of people today that wants to take those freedoms away. It is not a hate crime for me to preach what the Bible says. However, there are bills that are being put in motion that would consider it such. Just because I disagree with choices a person may make does not mean I don’t love them. I disagree with abortion, but bombing abortion clinics is wrong. Just because I am a Christian that does not make me a backwards, judgmental, or a rage filled individual. That kind of thought is just as backwards as thinking every Muslim is part of Jihad, or that every white person is racist. There have been extremes, but the extremes cannot set the standard. Hmm I guess this nation does still believe in freedom but it seems to me that our society wants to change that. I can love the person; just not agree with their choices. But telling me that I can’t voice my opinion is pecking away at the American Constitution. The last I checked that Constitution still is honored in this nation. I have a right to voice what the Bible says and my opinion just as much as the LGBT does. I refuse to be silenced. The LGBT community would like to stage a “Kiss-In” tomorrow at Chick-Fil-A’s. I see what their trying to do. Their going for the “take that” and “in your face” approach. I find this concept offensive, and it’s not just cause I believe homosexual marriage isn’t Biblical. Why do I find this such an immature solution? Well Chick-Fil-A is a family establishment. If I was making out with my husband in public in the middle of a fast food chain people would get offended. Kids don’t need to order a chicken sandwich with a side of sucking face and groping fries. It just seems like a classless approach to me. It's just in poor taste. People are spouting because I’m a minister then I shouldn’t be political. But I don’t understand that. The Bible isn’t just a dusty book that sets on my shelf. It’s alive, and part of the way I look at the world. To me this whole controversy over a chicken franchise isn’t just a political one or a religious one, but it is testing the American voice. It’s not about who is right or who is wrong. It’s about we all have thoughts and opinions, and the moment it becomes illegal to share them is the moment we’ve lost the beauty of what this nation is on the earth. It’s the moment you might as well call the Nazi’s or the KGB and take me away. I am a Christian leader in this nation that will not be silent. I will not allow the fear of public opinion to put duct tape over my mouth. I will tell you in love what the Bible says, and if you don’t like that about me then said in my sweetest voice, “I am sorry to hear that.” You’re issue probably isn’t with me, but it is with God. I’m not going to get in your face and argue that with you. I am going to make the choice to love you regardless. America, we cannot continue to set back and allow our freedoms taken from us. It’s time we wake up and find our voices! I AM A CHRISTIAN! I AM AN AMERICAN! I AM THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING! I AM THE DAUGHTER OF A VETERAN! And I WILL NOT BE SILENCED!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Bills That Weren't

Yesterday I got two bills in the mail, and I confess I started to get a tiny bit upset. Last year when I took my girls to their yearly visit to the doctor, I was assured that my insurance company covered all copays for it. Then three months later I got a bill, for which I paid. So this year we went to the dr’s appointment and was again assured I wouldn’t have to pay for the copay, and yesterday I got a bill. I was annoyed and upset. I’ll admit I was starting to get a tad snarky. It wasn’t just about the money, but it was also just the aggravation that is the healthcare rat race. At first I was just going to go ahead and pay for the bills, but hesitantly I opted to call the doctor’s office and voice my irritation. After I explained to them the issue, they emphatically told me that my insurance company doesn’t charge us copays for that service and I shouldn’t be charged, but instead of it being taken care of I had to call the insurance company. Calling any insurance company and getting caught up in the automated phone system is never good for a peace gauge. After trying twice, getting in the wrong place in their answering system, and finally reaching a live person that spoke English, I pleaded my case. At first she tried to tell me it was the dr’s office fault, but then she looked at our file. It was the insurance companies fault, and to add to the shocker on this I am getting a credit because the same mistake was made last year. I was irritated about the whole situation. But am very glad it turned around and has been figured out. Many of you know that my copy of Charles Capps, “God’s Creative Power” is one of my favorite books on the planet next to the Bible. I’m of the feeling that every Christian needs a copy. Almost every day I speak the ‘success’ scriptures/phrases and one of those got me thinking during my insurance ordeal. “My mind is renewed by the Word of God; I forbid thoughts of failure and defeat to inhabit my mind.” (Eph 4:23) This is something I’ve meditated a lot on in the last few months. It’s so easy for our brains to go to the worst case scenarios in situations, and think the worst can happen. But as Joyce Meyer says, “The battlefield is really in the mind.” You have to continue to program your mind for success. You have to continue to speak the word of God over situations, and you have to refuse to believe the fact that God has set you up for defeat. He loves you. Just as Jeremiah 29:11 says, He has good plans for your life. Sure my ordeal with the insurance company was minor. But even in major situations, if you’ve committed your life to be in God’s hands, trust Him that it’ll all work out. Remember, He does have awesome plans for your life. Get excited!