Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Season of Redefining and Realigning




As most of you realize I absolutely do flow in the prophetic, but not a lot in this blog.  There is an occasional one here and there.  This blog is typically for teaching stories etc.  However this morning as I was getting around I felt the Lord clearly impressing upon me, “It’s the season of Redefining and Realigning.”  I questioned posting this publicly.  As many of you know Dan and I are seeking the Lord in some areas right now, and I never want to prophesy out of my own issues.  However I continue to feel a heavenly nudge that this word is not only something for my family, but it is a corprate word over the body in this season of time.
Before I begin to dive into what I believe God is saying here let me put out here that God speaks to His children corporately on a regular basis.  We are one in the spirit and often I find that when one of us is going through situations many of us are as well.  That doesn’t mean the situation is exactly the same for everyone.  Some of you may not identify with this.  However I believe there are many that will. 
I believe that for many they are going through a redefinition of who God is in their life, a redefinition of what their destiny is on this earth, and a redefinition of God’s purpose in that.  There is an internal seeking going on in the kingdom.  I believe that things are happening around you that is forcing you to look upwards to heaven because you have no other choice but to do so.  This redefinition is a good thing.  Many of you have struggled with it wondering if the questioning is bad, but it isn’t.  God is putting you in a place where something deep on the inside of you is clicking, and you are maturing spiritually in ways you haven’t noticed before.  Allow yourself to go through this process.  I encourage you to spend sometime with God and reaffirm your commitment to Him, His process, and the destiny on your life.  Allow Him to speak to you about certain situations, and allow Him to bring about the redefinition.  You have to have time where you hear from God.  Many would say, “Yup, I know that’s true.” But then never listen for what God is saying.  Allow Him to speak to you. 

Then I believe the other half of this word will begin to come to pass.  We’ve been crying out for a reallignment in our life.  Not that there is anything wrong with where we are now, but never in your life do you want to get stale and stagnant. There are times and season where you will face when it’s as if you’ve outgrown the shoes you were once wearing. When God is leading you to a place of change it isn’t a bad thing.  But you have to allow God to do it.  He knows the right people and places you need to be around to get you where your going.God often allows us to go through circumstances that seem impossible.  He allows this to happen because it brings you to a whole new level in faith, and it brings the people around you to see His working in your life.  I’ve been reading a lot about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Their situation looked impossible, but God took them through the fire and the supernatural power of heaven was seen.

I believe we are in a place of realignment.  God is putting his people in places that He has designed for them.  You have to allow God to do this.  You have to move when He says move.  You have to stop fighting Him.  The other side of this too is you have to stop telling him He’s not moving quickly enough for you.  He’s realigning you, trust in that!

I thank God and trust Him for a season of “Redefining and Realigning” in my life.  You can thank and trust Him for the one in yours too.

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

$25 Craigslist Washer




I have become a believer in the Dugger family motto of “Buy Used and Save the Difference.”  I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey and living within you can and using credit as the last possible option.  It doesn’t mean we never use it, it just means you have to be wise.  Honestly even if I had a million dollars tomorrow I probably would still adhere to this idea.  Don’t get me wrong it’s okay to splurge every now and again if you have it, it’s just I believe in being wise with what you have financially.  Of course that wisdom is at all levels of funds, and it’s relative of what you have. . .   God talks a lot about this in the Bible. 

Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
             
I could preach on all of that, but I’m not going to for the sake of this blog…It just explains where I’m coming from when on Tuesdays my washer spun it’s last spun and washed it’s last load.  It was kaput.  I confess I started to panic a tad.  I knew Dan would.  Sometimes appliances have the ability to break at the worst possible moment.  I kept saying, “I refuse to freak out.  Someway God is going to do something.”  I’d lie to you if I told you the temptation wasn’t there to just rush out and buy one new on a credit card, but we weren’t going to do that.  So we went to one of my favorite online places on the planet, Craigslist.  (Disclaimer:  As much as I love Craigslist use it wisely…there are a shlew of weirdo’s out there.)
           
 At first we found one, it was a good price (about $75 I think), it was around the block, and we went to the bank to get the money to go pick it up.  But the lady called us on the way to pick it up to tell us that she was selling it to someone else.  Sigh.  Fine.  That’s when I think more frustration started to set in.  I went back to Craigslist saying, “God I know you’ll supply our need.”  I was resolved to be in faith over the matter, but I the temptation to get annoyed was very real.
             
When I first saw the Kenmore Front Loader High Efficiency Washer posted on Craigslist for $25 I didn’t respond.  Honestly I’m not too picky with what I wanted; I just wanted it to work. I thought, that is too good to be true, and something isn’t right.  But it started to nag me, and pretty soon I had emailed, texted and called.  Yes, the price and machine were legit, and yes it worked.  Though the woman had people already calling her and beating down her door, she agreed to sell it to me.  I’ll admit I had my doubts.  But the machine works great.  It does shake a tad, but you can’t beat that for $25.
             
However, the story gets better.  2nd hand appliance dealers are always looking for used appliances on Craigslist that they can fix and resell.  I sold the old one for $25 to a dealer that came and picked it up the next day.  In essence I got a FREE washer upgrade making this one of the best Craigslist deals I have had in all of my deals. 
             
My point to all of this?  While Dan and I started to have some freak-out moments, we choose to stay in faith.  It worked out better than I could have planned it.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
           
 God loves to give favor and uncommon blessing to His children.  You have to believe He will meet your need.  You have to trust Him. 
             
Remember, God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

You Can't Manipulate God...




We as children of God, and mostly in the charismatic church, have perpetuated a lie.  We have taught and believed that we could do things and it would get God to move.   Some of you just about started to throw things at my computer so let me try to explain this better.  I have found myself in seasons of frustration, so badly where I really wanted to bang my head against a wall and cry out to God, “What are you thinking?”  So when my situation and circumstance doesn’t change I think, “I have to do something?  I know I’ll go on a fast.”  So I try to fast, and because God didn’t tell me to fast there is no grace on it.  I just end up getting really hungry and more frustrated. 
         
 The lie we’ve perpetuated is if our circumstances aren’t lining up with what God has said then somehow it’s our fault and we have to “do” something to fix it.  So we try to fast, we try to pray harder, we try to give more, and we just continue on that spiral of frustration.  I believe in fasting, praying, giving, and doing what God tells you to do…but I don’t believe in it as a way to try to justify attempting to manipulate God.  Trying to fast in our own ability is like a three-year-old child refusing to eat until they get their way.  God is NOT moved by this!  This kind of thinking just causes bondage and more frustration because you keep thinking there is something wrong with you and it’s your fault things are moving. It’s not God’s fault either.  It may be a timing issue.   
             
One of my favorite things to preach on is Rachel in Genesis 30.  I don’t have time to go into all the details of this, but earlier in the chapter she does the exact same thing.  She is throwing a fit at her husband…but in essence she’s throwing a fit at God.  In verse 1 she yells, “Give me a child lest I die!”  She’s saying I’m going to die if you don’t move right now God.  It’s my husband’s fault and everyone’s fault around me.  Why oh why God have you left me here?   So later she is so desperate to MAKE the will of God happen that she asks her sister in verse 14 for mandrakes.  What is a mandrake?  It’s a root, but the significance of this is that it’s also considered witchcraft of the day.  They would hang it in their tent.  It had something to do with fertility.  What she’s saying is “Since God hasn’t come through for me; I’m going to take control and make it happen!”  In order to pay for the mandrake her and Leah strike a deal that Leah gets to sleep with their shared husband.  Ummmm am I the only one that finds this odd.  She’s trading the very thing that will make her pregnant for the thing that won’t because she wants the control.  We don’t know how long this bright idea lasts but it says her sister has 4 more kids…duh!  It’s not until verse 22 that it says, “God remembered Rachel”.  I looked up that remembered and it literally means that He made her ready.  Then she has Joseph and later Benjamin. 
             
Rachel’s issue wasn’t solved by her fit!  It wasn’t solved because of a mandrake.  Her situation was solved because she stopped fighting God, she stopped trying to manipulate Him, and she allowed herself to be MADE READY.
 
God is moved by faith yes, but he is not moved by self-imposed restrictions, fit throwing, or holding your breath until you turn blue.   There is a timing issue involved in this process.  God has order and plans lined up for your life.  When you hook up with what He is saying, He promises those things will manifest.  They may not manifest tomorrow.  It may not be for months or years.  When it’s the kairos time.  It will manifest. 

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
 
Due season is the divine time.  You have got to be free from thinking you are going to make the will of God happen.  Yes, you have to do your part, but you also need to trust God to do His.  He doesn’t look at you struggling in your circumstance and laughs at you.  He wants to bring you into your destiny.  He wants you to see fulfillment in your life.  Throwing a temper tantrum because things aren’t going your way just exposes your maturity.  I don’t mean to sound all ‘holier than thou’ on this topic.  I can preach this because I’ve found myself falling into this pattern.  I’ve tried stopping my feet at God, and you know what…it doesn’t work.  You have to stop fighting Him, and start trusting Him.  

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

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Hatfield's and The McCoy's


      A few years ago I began mulling the idea about writing a book regarding the infamous feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s in the 1800’s.  After mentioning this to my parents, they told me that a new miniseries had been filmed about the feud and suggested I watch it.  Truthfully I’d forgotten about the whole thing.  Other projects have come and gone, and the verdict is still out if I’ll ever write a book on the subject.  However when I saw that Netflix had the miniseries starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton the historian-junkie-curiosity in me was piqued.  I again will add here how much I love what I do.  Part historian, part writer, part minister, yes, God knew what he was doing when he called me to this field.

     As I took the last few days to watch this miniseries, that is very violent and has some language in it, I was so saddened at this story.  I will confess to yelling at the TV a few times.  Culturally while I always joke that my ethnicity is Ohio Redneck, really my lineage was Irish/Scottish settlers to the Appalachian Mountains.  My ethnicity is Appalachian, and it was only a few generations ago that my family isn’t what you would call mountain people.  So I understood a lot of the cultural side to this drama.  While I wasn’t raised in Appalachia, I understood the “who’s the king of the mountain, and if you cross me you’re forever off my list of people” mentality.  This film and the true historical account, centers around two families who essentially go to war with each other.  It is a prime example of where vengeance, revenge, and jealousy will lead.  One murder, one questionable stealing of a pig and a Romeo and Juliet esk story continues to snow ball and both families end up trying to one up each other.  The outcome just continued to get worse and worse.

     I read a quote once that choosing not to forgive someone is like the person handing you a cup of poison and you drinking it.  That is so true, and this story is prime example of that.  As the atrocities done kept getting worse and worse the families grew more and more bitter. You can choose not to drink the poison.  It’s your choice.

Romans 12:19(ESV) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

 

      While the people in this historical account had every reason to become angry, but holding onto it just made it escalate.  They needed to have trusted that God would handle the situations.  They needed to move forward with their lives, instead of seeking revenge.  While some people in today’s society might call it karma the concept of reaping the things you’ve sown is a Biblical and started there.  I’ve seen play out time and time again.  When people sow evil, in some way shape or form they will reap evil.  However it isn’t to you to make that happen.  When someone sows evil to you it’s up to you to forgive them, let it go, and trust God knows what happened.  Let Him deal with the situation.  While it might be easy to want to seek revenge, it won’t solve the problem.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  It just makes things worse. 

      There have been times in my life that I didn’t know how to forgive someone.  Just the mere look of them made me want to go smack them.  In those times I have cried out to God saying “I don’t want to hold onto this.  I give it to you.  Help me to forgive them.”  When trying to forgive time has a way with putting things in perspective. 

       God has so many plans for your life.  But holding on to anger, bitterness, and jealousy is like allowing you to be tied to rubber bands.  Every time you try to move past a situation you get snapped back to the evil that’s been done.  You have to choose to cut those bands.  You have to choose to be free from the wrongs you’ve done.  Even Jesus hung on the cross saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boa? What Boa, I Didn't Do Anything...




           
 Sunday we got home from church to find our darling-loves-to-chew-puppy-Mojo had gotten into my youngest room and attacked a hot pink play feather boa.  Granted it could have been a lot worse; I only found a handful of loose hot pink feathers scattered on the floor.  However he knew he was busted.  Instead he saw us wagged his tail and was like, “Boa, What Boa, I didn’t do anything.  I am cute do not look at the feathers look at me.  Rub my belly.  I am cute!” 
             
We’ve all done the same thing in a sense.  While the reaction may be a tad different we all know when we’re in trouble.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they hid (Genesis 3:8).  It’s not uncommon to want to hide our sin and pretend it didn’t happen, but the Bible offers up another suggestion. 
             
As a little Lutheran girl we repeated this scripture as part of our worship weekly, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 8-10
             
God doesn’t expect us to be perfect.  He knows we’ll mess up.  Instead of avoiding repentance embrace it.  Be humble enough to go to God and say, “Yes I confess.”   I think the longer you wait the harder it gets.  Don’t avoid truth.  Wisdom recognizes when it was wrong, repents and moves forward.  The longer you wait the more you open a door for pride and deception.  Don’t waste the time lying to yourself.  Face it, and move on!
           
 Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.