Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!