Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nuggets of Wisdom

I just want to take a few minutes and reflect over some of the Godly wisdom that has come my way this week during services that I have attended.

First of all, I am always amazed when two different people (unknowingly) end up speaking about the same thing. Sunday morning, our Pastor talked about the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel chapter 3. Tonight I was blessed to be able to go with our State Women's Ministry Director (and friend) to a service she was preaching at. She also talked some about this same story. I want to share some of the things they shared.

One of the most encouraging things to me about this story is that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not alone when they were in the fire. When the heat was on, they stood their ground and the Lord stood with them.

There are three nuggets of wisdom to remember from this story:
1. My circumstances don't change who God is.
2. My circumstances don't change God's power.
3. My circumstances don't change the final outcome.

In the end, the King decided that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's God was the real God, not the golden idol he had built.

The other thing that I was sincerely blessed by tonight was parts of Psalm 46.

Psalm 46
Amplified Bible (AMP)
1. GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.
2. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,
3. Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
4. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
5. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].
6. The nations raged, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our Fortress and High Tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
8. Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.
9. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire.
10. Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!
11. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Verse 5 blessed me. Although I realize that this verse is referring to a river and not a human, I am so blessed to see a verse like this that I can stand on. I can claim that God is in my midst and I will not be moved!!!

The last thing that truly blessed me goes right along with the same message. God is our refuge and our Strength... He is there for us all the time. One statement that was made tonight was that God told our Women's leader "Let me hold your worries while you take your stand". That blessed me so much. The Lord is here for us and wants to help us as we stand for Him.

I know this post has some randomness to it, but I pray that some part of it will help you in your journey this week. Stand for Christ and know that he has your back!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In your pain, you find your purpose!

My husband and I were watching Joel Osteen earlier tonight. If you have ever watched him on television, you know that his preaching style is definitely to motivate people and uplift them in whatever they are going through in life. His messages are full of catchy phrases which hold much truth, but I think are also designed to help people remember what he has to say.

One of the things he said tonight was "In your pain, you find your purpose". I instantly had an ah ha moment when I heard this. My life over the last year or so has been a series of ups and downs. I have been trying to figure out how to explain exactly what has happened in my life during this time. While there are many things I could tell you about this time in my life, this phrase I heard tonight, sums it up.

I feel like my life has a purpose now that I never saw before. While I don't know where this will lead me, I do know that this new direction is a direct result of the path I've been down. The things I have been through have led me to where I am.

My life about a year ago was spinning out of control. I was put in a place that I never thought I would ever be in. I was going through something that I didn't want to talk about with other people. Partly because I didn't want to believe that it was happening and partly because I was afraid of what other people would think. So the only thing I knew to do was go to Church.

Jesus was the only thing I knew that was never going to change in my life. He was the only one I knew I could count on. He was the only person who I knew would never hurt me. But what I didn't consider at the time was how much He could change my circumstances. How much better my life could be by trusting Him to handle my situation. Before I realized this, I was spending countless hours trying to change my situation on my own. I was praying about my situation, but I wasn't praying in a healthy way. I was praying for the Lord to change the other people involved. I was begging God daily to change someone else so that my life would settle down.

In January, I went to a sectional women's meeting with a good friend of mine. It was an amazing women's meeting and the Holy Spirit was definitely moving. During that meeting, I heard from the Lord in a way that I never have before. It was such a clear message and I felt like someone was standing in front of me talking directly to me. I felt the Lord telling me that He was in control and that no matter what happened in my situation, He would take care of me. From that moment on, my prayers changed. I stopped trying to change my circumstances and the people around me and just trusted God that He would take care of things. From that night on (literally) things began to change. When I gave up control and let the Lord handle things, my life started getting better. Things were changing for the better.

Earlier this month, the Lord began showing me something else. I believe that the Lord is calling me to begin sharing my story. Although, I have not been incredibly detailed in this blog post, I really don't need to be at this point. My life was spinning out of control because of ______________. Just fill in the blank. Whatever it is for you, insert issue here... The Lord is able to change your circumstances no matter what they are.

Back to Joel Osteen. I have a calling on my life that I would not have ever realized if it had not been for my pain. If I had not gone through what I have, I would have missed my purpose in life. Look for your purpose in your pain. Satan would love nothing more than to make you miserable. Don't let him win. Take the pain of life and turn it into something with purpose!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Fear!

There are fearful moments in each of our lives. Some are more scary than others, but no one can say that mine is more scary than yours. Each person at each stage of life has a different view of fear and what scares them. I remember a couple of times when I was little where I felt pure fear. Now, looking back, they weren't particularly fearful situations, but at the time, they were the scariest things I had ever been through.

One particular instance I recall involved a sock drawer full of socks and a little grey mouse. I was getting some socks out of the drawer and when I opened the drawer there was this little mouse staring up at me. I screamed bloody murder! My parents ran into my room to see what was wrong and I was just standing there screaming. Dad had to save the day and get rid of the mouse.

Another instance was one night I had a dream about a scary guy at the food of my bed in my room. I woke up screaming and crying. I remember telling my mom that it was so real. I really thought there was a man in my room. It was not like a dream! My mom helped me calm down and I went back to bed.

Looking back at both of these times in my life, there are a few things that I realize about them.
  1. In both cases I was genuinely fearful.
  2. In both cases my parents came to my rescue.
  3. In both cases I was able to calm down and move past them.
These are just fears that I recall from early in life, but since then, the things that scare me have been bigger, harder issues to deal with. But remembering my previous trials and the fact that I made it through them gives me strength and confidence to face the trials of tomorrow.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

In facing future fears, I will remember:
  1. I may be genuinely fearful
  2. But my Father (my Jesus) will come to my rescue
  3. and I will be able to calm down and move past it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hold Me Fast!

Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

I have to admit, at times I can be a bit of a smart alac. I didn't used to be that way, but the more I go through in life, the more I struggle with this. People say things that are just plain dumb and it takes everything within me not to make a comment. I sometimes roll my eyes and grin but try to bite my tongue. Other times, things just slip out.

Back in January, the Lord started moving in my life in ways He never has before. I will talk more about all that later, but ever since then, He has been molding me and shaping me. Now, when things go wrong or even if I'm just annoyed by someone, I literally feel the Lord holding my tongue. I physically have a harder time responding than before. I have also noticed lately that if something has to come out, it won't be words, it will be tears. Now, trust me, there are times and places where that is extremely awkward.

Slowly, I am coming to realize how important it is to hold your tongue. The verses below show this.
  • Proverbs 13:3 - He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. 
  • Proverbs 15:28 - The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.  
  • Psalm 34:14 - Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.  
  • Proverbs 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Back to Psalm 139, no matter where I am at, the Lord's hand is guiding me and holding me fast! Thank goodness, because the Lord knows I can't do it alone. I tend to be too sarcastic on my own.

Thank you Jesus for keeping my tongue! Keep on guiding and directing my words so that they will be a reflection of You.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Growing up I never had many friends. I can probably count on one hand the number of true friends I had as a kid and still think about to this day. Honestly I was not a normal kid I don't think. The majority of the people that I considered friends were not peers. The people that I was closest to growing up were adults. I'm not sure why, but that just seemed to be how it worked out.

Recently God has blessed me with a new friend. Someone who is a fabulous Women of God. What makes this friendship different? First of all, for reasons I don't understand, I do believe that the Lord placed this person in my life. I say for reasons I don't understand because I still have a hard time believing that someone can actually care about me and that I am not annoying them when I call or cry on their shoulder! :) But that is a personal flaw that the Lord is working through with me.

Proverbs 13:20 says: "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm".

Proverbs 27:9 says: "The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense."

Having someone who has a heart for the Lord to talk to and pray with has changed my life. She is wise beyond her years and is always willing to give heartfelt counsel.

I say all of this to encourage each of you to find someone who is Godly cousel and wise to be a part of your life. The prayers of friends can change your life. I know they have changed mine. Matthew 18:19 says: "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." God can hear and answer the prayers of a single person, but the stereo sound of two in prayer together really get's His attention.

Who are your friends and what impact are they having on your life?

In the Beginning...

I can't begin to blog without talking about beginnings. There is so much on my heart that I want to share, but if you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, none of what I will say in the future will mean anything. Life is a journey and what matters in life is who is leading you as you walk along your path.

Everything has a beginning. The natural life of every human being begins at conception, but when does life really begin? When do we start living and loving the way we were created to? Is it as a child with loving affection toward parents? Is it as a teenager when we have our first true crush? Is it when we walk down the isle and say "I do"? Where does the journey begin? All of those moments in life are beginnings of phases of life. All important milestones but none are the real beginning of life.

Life begins with Jesus!

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Isn't that fabulous news? No matter what has happened between the time you were conceived in your mother's womb to the present time, you have a second chance! No matter what hardships life has thrown at you, Jesus is there to pick you up and brush you off and give you hope for a future. Even better, you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother! He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Believe in Him and let him carry you through life's journey.