Monday, September 30, 2013

After A Struggle, 18th book rough draft is done


As most of you know the story, when God put it on my heart to write my first book I honestly thought He’d gotten the wrong person. I was a kid who though has always had a gifting for creativity sorely lacks in grammatical correctness.  Ask me to diagram a sentence I might break down in tears.  (I have improved over the years.) In my heart I am a story teller, and being subjected to the laws of punctuation is a challenge.  I really cannot spell without spellcheck, and I’ve decided the boundaries of syntax in my work are subject to change.   I doubted me writing one book.  When that book initially didn’t go where I know it one day will.  God put it on my heart to write another and another, and another.  It gets to the point now where I typically have about four in my head at once while I’m working on one.  Though I have had some victories in the publishing industry I know that I will one day have more.  I do not believe in writers block.  I think it’s just an excuse.

I do not remember when the idea for book number #18 came to me.  It was probably about a year ago.  It was immediately slated in my mind for me to write, and got pushed back for a different project first.  I received a prophetic word from a well-known man of God about it months after I knew I would write it.  I knew it was for this particular book.

However, I hit some rocky areas personally and professionally some months back.  I hit a disappointment wall, and a lot of mental mind games.  Honestly I didn’t want to write the book. Many were telling me just to wait because of what I’d walked through, and I was like, “No, I can’t because the man of God who knew nothing of the situation gave me a Rhema word and I don’t have time to wait.” Sure I have always gone through about a month of procrastination before I start a project.  I work on that time being less and less, but this time it was like I’d been hit upside the head with a 2X4.  So I tried in my own ability to make myself do this project.  Writing it was like trying to drive 90 mph on a road full of speed bumps.  It just wasn’t going well.

Finally after the bruising on my forehead from hitting my head against the wall subsided, I took it to prayer.  I started to pray, and I asked my circle of people around me for prayer.  I was determined to push through the mental block to get this book done. 

The day the wall came down I sat at my computer and wept.  God finally put the pieces to my story line in a picture in front of me.  There was such an overwhelming grace for the project, and honestly after writing 18 books, this one probably came together faster than any other work of fiction that I’ve ever completed.  Sure it’s in a first draft stage, and I do need to take a break for a week and then go back to the ‘flushing it out’ and ‘cringe’ editing  parts.  But it’s there. 

James 5: 16-18 16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

We often like to quote the above scripture, but rarely do we actually do the above scripture.  We know that our prayers are powerful, but we usually just say we are going to pray, but really we don’t pray.  We mutter a few “praise Jesus’” like a Hail Mary, then wonder why things are not moving and shifting the way we know they are supposed to go. 

If we want to see the plan of God flow in our lives, one of the things we must do is begin to pray.  I knew it was God’s will I write this book.  But my head was blocking it from coming forth.  In this case it was a lot of prayer in persistence that broke down the walls.  So now, I will have to go back to his book believing I am graced to edit, and it will be graced to get in the hands of the right people.  But, surely I know one thing I will be doing about this book, is I will definitely be praying His will comes to pass.

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




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff!


Last weekend my family and I felt the need to start purging some things in the house.  We started the piles of: “Things we are keeping”, “Things we are selling”, “and Things that are getting thrown out”.  Dan took on the role of helping the kids while I started listing things on Craigslist.  It’s amazing when you go through your home once in a while the piles of stuff you find.  It’s amazing all the little doodad’s and trinkets that once seemed so valuable suddenly don’t. 

Sometimes we can so worry about gaining all the stuff:  Like are these the right color for my couch, or did I get it on sale and could have gotten more off, or what if I give so and so another Christmas present they don’t like.  We get so caught up in collecting our Stuff that we forget; we can’t take this stuff into eternity with us.  One day on this earth all that will be left of us on the earth is the stuff of our lives.  I’m not about to say having stuff is wrong.  God doesn’t want us to go live naked on a deserted island.  But what I am saying is that many start to let their stuff become mini idols to them.  Some of you need to go purge a few closets and get rid of some stuff.  All this stuff in boxes can’t be the sum total on your life.  It will all pass away eventually.  What kind of legacy are you leaving behind?

Matthew 6:19-34 (ESV)

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.[f]

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

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


Monday, September 23, 2013

Workplace Jealousy


Several years ago I worked at a large department store for a few months part-time back in their information/help desk.  All in all it wasn’t a bad job and the only reason I left was because unbeknownst to me they couldn’t give me some time off for a trip that I already had plane tickets purchased.  I left on good terms. 

As part of this job, the company wanted us to do the voiceovers/announcements for the store at regular intervals.  To all the rest of the staff in our tiny corner of the store this was like a punishment or pulling teeth to get them to do it.  There are times that my theatrical background kicks in and in this case it was like handing me candy.  I love to do voiceovers and I gladly took on the responsibility whenever I was there.  Immediately people who worked for the company starting to call up to our desk, or walk up to us, and ask who was doing the voiceovers.  It began to happen so much so that the departments specifically were asking that I and only I be the one to do them.  The manager herself who was there with a district manager happened to hear me and personally came up to thank me for such an excellent job.

One would think that because the other staff at the help desk no longer had to do it when I was around they would be happy, but that wasn’t the case.  One of the ladies, who was a Christian, started to subtly try to knock me any time I did a voice over.  I knew what she was doing.  She was quick to criticize and was trying to get into my head.  Then one night she declared it wasn’t my job but in all of our job description and manipulated me to let her do them.  Really?  Was I suddenly back in high school?  I think she expected me to fight her on it, but I didn’t.  I started to get annoyed but quickly decided it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  If she wanted to do it then she could go for it.  I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit to getting a little smile out of the fact her voiceover was really bad and no one could hear it.  I realize that’s caddy but I’m being honest.  The whole thing was just juvenile. 

It’s so sad that similar scenes like this get acted out all too often.  Competition, Envy, and Jealousy need to have no place in the life of a believer.  We all have a race to run.  We are accountable for how we run our races.  God has given me certain abilities that you may not have, but guess what?  You have abilities that I don’t have.  It’s not about who is the best and greatest at everything.  It’s about what you do with the gifts and abilities you have.  All of these manipulative-mind-game-who-can-I-knock-down-to-make-myself-feel-better is simply ridiculous.  It just goes to show where someone’s maturity in Christ is like a huge flag.  God made you special.  Embrace that uniqueness!

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

Paul knew how much all of this stuff seeps in the body of Christ and he knew how silly it all was.  There should be no place for it.  Don’t give it room.  If you start to feel those things about another person than make yourself stop!  We all have our own race to run.  Focus on your race!

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


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Biscuits The Dog Wouldn't Even Eat


I do not remember how young I was when this story happened.  I would guess I was probably somewhere between 10-14, but I’m not sure.  I have a bit of a flare for baking.  It’s not that I’m great at it, but give me a recipe and let me go.  Sometimes I enjoy it.  Yes, I confess I can be a ninja mom. 

However for some reason on this particular day I decided I would make biscuits and I flatly refused to follow a recipe.  My dear sweet mother attempted to steer me in the right direction as I randomly grabbed cooking items off the shelf. Flour billowed in the kitchen with whatever else looked or smelled like it should go in the batch.  Surely I didn’t need any recipe.  I could do this on my own.

What resulted that day was something my family and I still laugh hysterically about.  When the “biscuits” came out of the oven they were bad, really bad.  I started to cry.  My mother in feeling sympathy tried to eat one herself and couldn’t do it.  God bless her for trying.  So I cried harder.  Then we attempted to give the rock hard dough blobs to our dog, who would eat anything, and even he turned his nose up at them.  I bawled because no one liked my ‘creative genius’.  Obviously I got over the drama, but needless to say I learned to follow a recipe.

Many people approach life like this in regards to the word of God.  They might know enough of the Bible that they think something should go in the mix, but they aren’t following a ‘recipe’ per se.  They grab at this teaching and that one over there because it sounds like it should work, but in the end they come up with their own version of a gospel that’s completely miss matched.  The recipe book, or Bible/The Word of God, is there for a reason.  God has seen the end from the beginning and He knows what will work.  You can’t make biscuits to come out right and completely ignore some of the main ingredients.  You don’t get to pick and choose what you want to eliminate because just like my biscuit creation, it just won’t work. 

Revelations 22:18-19 (The MSG)  I give fair warning to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this book: If you add to the words of this prophecy, God will add to your life the disasters written in this book; if you subtract from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will subtract your part from the Tree of Life and the Holy City that are written in this book.

God doesn’t say these things because He is on some kind of power trip.  He says these things because it’s just like a recipe.  Because I choose to follow my own will, without having NO real experience as a chef and didn’t understand how things worked, my way didn’t work.  It is important that you know the word of God.  It’s important that you understand what it says, and not just what you want it to say.  It’s important that you study to show yourself approved.

Joshua 1:8 (ESV) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

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


Monday, September 16, 2013

I Nailed My Hand To A Theatre Set


In all my years of writing the blogs I do not remember if I’ve shared this story before or not, but as I was seeking God about what to write on today I kept thinking about this one. 

When I was in college at The Ohio State University, I spent a lot of time in the Scenic Studio.  I was one of the few women I believe they actually ever hired up to that point.  It was probably because few girls wanted to work there, but I enjoyed it.  I got to help build the sets for the theatre shows and work with power tools so it was a win win for me.  It was my senior year and this freshman boy showed up to assist in the studio who obviously thought what I was doing was no place for a woman.  He’d pretty much said that to me.  The guy irritated me.  I shouldn’t have let it get to my head, but it did.  I wanted to prove to him that I could read a blueprint and wield an air powered nail gun with the rest of them.  I had used one countless times.

That day I went to work building the small corner of the back of a stage.  Retrospectively I could list off the things I could have done better here.  I should have gotten vice grips to hold the two pieces of wood together.  I should have realized that perhaps the nail gun was a tad too heavy and tried to use my brain more than my brawn.  But that little freshman watched intently what I was doing and somehow in that moment I was fighting for girls everywhere.  I grit my teeth, put my hand on the other side of the wood, and angled the nail gun.  Unfortunately in pulling the trigger I moved my angle on the gun.  Unfortunately as the nail pierced the wood at 90 lbs. of pressure my hand just happened to be in its path.  Unfortunately, I had a Jesus like moment in my stupidity and nailed my left hand to the platform.  We’re supposed to be like Jesus but I assure you that is NOT what God means.  Also unfortunately the freshman was watching me as I did it.  His eyes got real wide, as he stood there staring. 

“Go get the TA!”  I yelled at him.  I was the one that was supposed to be in charge in the shop at the moment, and the closest TA was out on the stage getting the flats together.  Unfortunately I didn’t drive a nail home for girls in construction everywhere that day.  I made a fool out of myself as the TA ran to me to physically put all of his might in to pull my hand off the nail.  He was right; I couldn’t go to the emergency room attached to a wooden set.  I’ve been a kid that’s had a lot of accidents, but never before have I almost blacked out until or since this day.

Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)18 Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

            We’ve all had our moments when we didn’t make the best of choices.  In this case I was trying to be all super woman and prove a point, and sadly I didn’t do much for the cause of women that day.  My pride in trying to prove a point made me make a bad decision that could have cost me a finger.  Miraculously the two inches of nail that went into my hand, followed my left ring finger parallel so that it never touched the bone.  I still have a scar.  It was one of those one in a million shots, and my sweet Jewish hand doctor always declared me a walking miracle.  (It was the same surgeon who operated on my right wrist several years prior to this but that’s another story)

            In the moments in our life where we recognize perhaps we’re being a tad bit prideful, may my story remind you to humble yourself and slow down.  As much as I know I can wield power tools, the next time I used a vice grip.  As much as I felt I needed to prove a point to him, my own pride blinded me for a moment.  I never saw that kid again. 

God will give us grace for our moments, but learn to recognize the moment.  Humble yourself.  It saves you from a lot of embarrassment.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Since 9/11


Twelve years ago my parents, my oldest daughter (then an infant) and I were in a hotel room in Cocoa Beach, FL.  My mom and I had walked down to get breakfast, and when the spunky petite waitress announced that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.   It hadn’t occurred to me that America and our world was forever changed.  Honestly we didn’t understand the severity of what happened.  My mom and I finished out breakfast, and found my dad outside.  Together we made our way back to the room, and stayed there glued to the TV starring in horror for the better part of the day.  I was watching Tom Browkaw try to hold it together as the first tower fell, and then the second.  I watched in horror as we realized the Pentagon had been flown into and as the plane on the field was discovered.  Being there in that moment only minutes down the road from an Air Force Base, with my father who was a grunt soldier in Vietnam, watching our world change seemed like a mournful surreal out-of-body experience.  There was something poetic happening and shifting that I didn’t know how to put into words.

Many of you know that I have felt for years that my central focus in what I feel God called me to is to be a prophetic voice to this nation.  For years I battled with that.  I wanted to go overseas to missions.  In my mind it would be easier.  Americans for years have just seemed to be a bit harder to reach.  Maybe it’s our ‘seen it all done it all’ attitude.  But God kept telling me the work He had for me for the most part was here on this soil. 

I was raised to love this country.  My dad would spend after dinner’s filling my young mind with stories of war and honor.  My first book, though to this date not published, is my dad’s story.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never believed America was perfect.  However my love for God and country has almost seemed as if it was woven in the same tapestry and so very closely intertwined to unravel one would seem to unravel the very fabric of who God created me.  No matter how hard liberals try they will never be able to rewrite the truth of the foundation of this nation. Though they are trying to rewrite the text books, the truth will always stay the truth. America has been so blessed as a people because we were founded on the Bible.  Our founding fathers were not perfect but were men of God who felt like they were fulfilling their mission in life by forming America.  Our laws, our culture, and our policies for years were based on the Bible.  The only reason why the term separation of church and state were ever coined was because people believed the government of America didn’t have the right to dictate what a person believed.  It was never to kick God out of the government but to ensure freedom from being forced by the government.

While the integrity of this nation has been attacked for years and we’ve slowly compromised more and more on the very foundation, it’s as if in the last 12 years I’ve watched us sway further and further from its core.  Freedom of speech is being thrown out the window. When is it that a bakery owned by Christians who do not believe in homosexual marriage should be forced by the government to either go out of business or to bake a cake?  How is that democracy?  People have a right to choose in their business who to serve or not.   When it’s legal to threaten the lives of the business owners, but illegal to state your opinion? This is a failure and travesty to our Constitution.  When our news programs and Media have gotten so bias to their left winged agenda’s we’ve lost freedom of the press. People who speak and unbiased world view are being forced out of the business.  Where is it okay to murder innocent children in the womb without people caring?  When our children go to school, and they are forced to learn every other faith but Christianity, where is the freedom in that?  When people in our military are now being demoted for their faith in God, where is the freedom in that?  When the question of the 2nd Amendment keeps getting played out, and more and more laws are inhibiting people to have a handgun, because of a few crazy people, where is that the freedom my forefathers fought for in this nation? In what crazy mind does it make sense to go step into another country’s war that in doing so we’d be helping terrorist groups and essential they very people that bombed us on 9/11? When is it democratic to force me to have a particular type of healthcare?  Yes our healthcare system is broken and needs fixed, but forcing someone to do what you want isn’t democratic.  It’s socialistic. 

We have forgotten in this country that the politicians, educations system, and media technically work for us.  We’ve become so politically correct that we’ve allowed ourselves to be bulldozed by an agenda that doesn’t reflect the masses in this country but a small percentage.  We’ve been lulled to sleep by comfort, and have forgotten that something are things in life worth fighting for and holding up to a higher standard.

As I write this blog, I write it in tears.  I have been mourning my nation for some time now.  Sure I’ll probably get a few hate emails for this.  That is not my intention.  But to say I no longer can see myself as a Christian and an American in the same breath.  The line in the sand has been drawn so to speak, and I have to establish in my mind which comes first.  I am a Christian.  We Christians in America can no longer sit back and watch the foundation that so many have given up their lives to establish erode by the waves of an ocean of godlessness and unrighteousness.

So what can we do?  Begin to pray.  Pray Christian American’s like you never have before.  Intercede for this country!  Stop fighting amongst ourselves and let’s start rallying to unity.  We are so caught up in our petty churchy arguments while the unrighteous in this nation unites against us.  It’s no wonder their agendas are being heard.  Speak UP!  Email and call your congressmen and senators.  I realize that this seems like a long shot but if many of us do it our voices can be heard.  I don’t recommend turning into terrorists, do not go and start shooting or bombing anything. .. But the tongue is a sword (Psalms 64:3).  Get educated on the matters.  Stop voting for unrighteous people just because of their gender, race, ethnicity, or the color of their tie.  Get out from behind your living room TV’s and WAKE UP!  America is at a crossing point, and I for one will not give up the Constitution without a fight. 

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.

It’s time we wake up as a nation, and shake off the dust of immorality and the fear that has kept the church gag ordered sitting in a corner.  If we all do our part, change can and will happen.  Attached is a link to one of my favorite songs.  Michael W. Smith is singing about America “There She Stands.”

God has awesome plans for your life and the nations of the earth.  Get excited.




Monday, September 9, 2013

False Advertising?

Mojo our dog and I have struck up a bit of a battle.  I try to buy him a toy here and there, and I think he tries to see how quickly he can destroy it.  So far I have found only one toy he has yet to completely annihilate in under a day.  Yesterday I bought the toy he’s destroying here.  My oldest and I were at Wal-Mart.  The bin of Dog toys advertised a particular brand and how durable and indestructible their brand of dog toys was.  We looked deciding what he possibly couldn’t destroy and settled on one.  Mojo was excited when I brought it home.  He knew he had a new toy.  I think he had it torn to pieces in less than two hours.  I’ve already worded a nicely worded email to the company that if my 13 pound mini dauschaund can destroy their toy in less than two hours than perhaps it’s not as durable as they advertised.  Really Mojo is a good dog; for the most part he only does this to his own toys.
Isn’t it irritating when something is advertised as being one thing, and makes all these claims, then you find out what you buy isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be?  False advertising is annoying and sometimes you feel as if you’ve just given into a snake oil salesman.
I have found that our culture as a result as gotten very skeptical regarding just about everything as a result.  Our church recently had a gas station built next to it.  So as a result our church gave away free $5 gift cars for an outreach this past week.  My family and I along with Mojo, and many others in our church went out to give away the gift cards.  It was an awesome outreach where I heard two people gave their lives to Christ, but as I stood out on the street trying to get traffic to pull into the church parking lot most people wanted to know what the ‘catch’ was.  Many wouldn’t stop to get the free gas because they were so skeptical of what we were doing.
While there are many in the world that would try to lead you with false advertising, God isn’t like that.  He’s not giving you a “wait if you act now we’ll include an extra non-stick set of knives too’ kind of God.  His word is simple.  If you act now, and live for him He’s promising you eternal life in heaven.  You’re going to spend it somewhere, and I have news for you I’d so much rather spend it in heaven than the alternative.  Hell isn’t pretty.  You don’t have to be skeptical on the gift Jesus gave you at the cross.  He did it for you.  It’s that simple.  He’s not trying to sell you a load of false goods.  He’s clear about his intentions in the Bible.  You don’t need to be skeptical of Him.  He advertises that He LOVES YOU…and he means it!
Remembers God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What's In Your Prop's Warehouse?


When I was in college at The Ohio State University, I spent a lot of time in the scene shop.  I got into props mastery and while I got my degree, that’s where most of my time, was spent.  Around Drake Union across from the infamous Horseshoe are these two decrepit and creepy looking buildings.  They’re not attached to the theatre department, but really just sit there separated and look kind of out of place.  Until I had to go through them I always thought they were some sort of electrical building.  I’m not sure their original purpose but now they are used as a prop’s warehouse for the theatre departments.  Piled to the brim in the buildings are left over large props and scenic pieces that have been left over from years’ worth of shows and performances.  Perhaps they’ve been cleaned out a bit in the 13 years since I saw them, but when I was there that’s was their purpose. 

Going into these buildings were creepy!  I am not one prone to get freaked out at going into old places, but this place was just yucky.  There was an old stuffed wolf that had been hung from the rafters to “guard” the door.  There were props just placed randomly in every nook and cranny. I remember spotting a large throne from an Egyptian show and then some rustic large chair from what could have been something for the Old West.  One could barely get through a slightly cleared pathway without tripping.  Dust and cobwebs danced in the air.  It was not a place one would really want to go to just hang out. 

If our lives had left over prop’s warehouse’s what would people think about our left over prop’s?  Perhaps one would find left over angst from a relationship gone bad in one corner.  Maybe you could see just a little bitterness and unforgiveness in the other.  Would it be a place people would feel peace, or would it be a place that people wouldn’t want to spend any time on the inside? 

As I was mentally preparing to write this blog I began taking inventory of what I knew would be on the inside of mine.  To me there aren’t surprises.  There are a couple issues I’ll confess I’m still working on sweeping out of the storage.  But I know they are there and I admit that sometimes forgiveness can be a process.  They might linger at the moment but I’m working on getting them out more and more every day. 

Often people get really condemned when they just can’t seem to ‘forgive and forget’.  I used to get very annoyed at that phrase.  ‘I mean really God, I’m human how am I supposed to forget a situation happened’.   Finally after years of seeking God about this I realized that phrase isn’t Biblical.  We are still going to have the things in our ‘prop’s warehouse’ so to speak, but real forgiveness means that we forget the emotions that surrounded it.  It means that our prop’s are in order, we don’t cry when we see them, and without a doubt we can look at a situation that happened in our past and truly see it ‘almost’ as if it happened to someone else.  The story is there but the feelings are not.  To truly move onward we’ve left the pain, the angst, and the bitter ness in the past.  We have become survivors.  The prop is no long creepy, but in a sense becomes a badge of honor where when people hear our stories they can move forward.

Many people though don’t do that.  They store their old prop’s locked in a tight room, only to take them out once in a while and relive the hurt over and over again.  They keep the cobwebs and the dust around, and if they were asked about a person or situation they conjure up the old hatred and pain.

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

            Forgiveness is a beautiful thing.  One of my favorite phrases about unforgiveness is by Joyce Meyer "Unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping that the other person dies."

            Take some time to clean out your ‘prop’s warehouse’ in your mind today.  Are there things that you need to let go.  Are there things that need to be cleaned out and rearranged?  Ask the Lord to show you.  While forgiveness may be a process, choose to go through that process. In the end you’ll feel a lot better, and you’ll be glad you can walk through life without tripping over the past.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Heading Straight For The Gator


I hope everyone had an awesome Labor Day weekend.  This weekend my family and a friend of my girls’ got to go out to Weikwa Springs, Florida.  I love Weikwa Springs.  We swam in the very cold water, went canoeing, and my oldest daughter and I went for a couple mile hike.  We had a great time.  I love canoeing, but as many of you know about me by now I really don’t like alligators; or any large animal with massive amounts of teeth.  Canoeing at Weikwa or anywhere in Florida for that matter requires a level of peace with nature.  There are gators out in those waters and if you are in them you have to accept that fact.  Having lived in Florida for almost 13 years now, I’m at the point where I am semi okay with them as long as I’m in the boat and they are not.  Call it out of sight out of mind.  I like to keep my distance.

When we went canoeing we all agreed Dan would take the two younger girls in his canoe and my oldest and I would go in the other canoe.  The day was picturesque.  It was everything I love about canoeing.  The turtles were sunning themselves, the sun was streaming, and I was singing a few praise songs (Sorry to all the people who heard me.  We call it a joyful noise).  My oldest daughter and I were slowly getting the hang of getting the boat where we wanted it.  I probably could write a parenting blog hear about communication.  It was a process and we were getting better.  Up until this point we hadn’t spotted any gators.

In a brief moment I looked to my right and sunning itself on a log in the middle of the river was a three foot alligator.  Granted it wasn’t a big one, but as I mentioned before, I don’t like gators.

“Look there is a gator.”  I pointed to my oldest trying not to cause alarm.  I thought if the younger girls heard me they might get a little nervous, and the last thing anyone needed to do is tip the boats. 

“Where mom?”  She asked.  Her curiosity was piqued.

“There!”  I pointed again.  My daughter became so caught up in looking at the gator that instead of steering away from the scaly thing she brought our boat right too it.  I was okay with the gator until I looked up and I was only 8-10 feet away from it, and my daughter had pulled us right next to the log it was lying on.  Suddenly visions of the series ‘Swamp People’ came to mind, and I kept thinking if I this ninja mom has to turn ‘gator wrestler’ for the day I hope I’d be able to take the thing down.

“Pay attention!  Hey! Turn the boat!”  My oldest could hear the panic in my voice. We’d gotten our boat stuck on several underground logs before and suddenly the idea of jumping into the water to get us unstuck didn’t seem like a good idea. 

My daughter started to laugh at me.  She knew I was about to hit the terror button.  Fortunately we weren’t stuck on the log and we easily got away from the gator. 

While all worked out well, and we had a beautiful day, I thought about this incident later.  Honestly my oldest hadn’t meant to steer us right next to the thing I feared, but automatically she did because that’s where her eyes were fixed.  Life is a lot like that.

What you’re eyes are fixed upon will be the direction that your canoe or life turns.  Many just like us in this situation fix their eyes on what they enemy is doing instead of God, and so instead of pulling out of a situation they just end up ‘right beside it’.  You have to have the determination in this walk on the earth that no matter what is going on around you; your eyes are fixed upon the prize.  You’re eyes need to stay fixed on God!

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV) 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

          Remember that what your eyes are fixed upon….is where your boat will go.  There is no need in the storms of life to spend too much time looking at the alligators around you.  Fix your eyes to heaven and row towards His plan and His purpose.  You’ll find that even the underwater logs just don’t hold you don’t like they once did.  Fix your eyes upon Jesus, and the things of this earth will go strangely dim!

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