Monday, April 25, 2011

Born Hated

As I drove along the freeway a few days back, I couldn't help but stare at the sticker on the rear window of the truck in front of me.


I thought to myself, "that's a sad sticker." 
(I don't like being unliked!)

But then quickly a thought came to mind. That sticker WAS applicable to me!
The Lord brought scripture after scripture to mind; reminding me of the truth that at my first birth I was hated. I had an enemy who wanted nothing more than to take me out and thwart God's wonderful plans for my life. 

Genesis 3:14-15
"The Lord God said to the snake, 
    "Because you did this, 
       a curse will be put on you. 
       You will be cursed as no other animal, tame or wild, will ever be. 
    You will crawl on your stomach, 
       and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
  I will make you and the woman 
       enemies to each other. 
    Your descendants and her descendants 
       will be enemies. 
    One of her descendants will crush your head,
and you will bite his heel."

The enemy did have his way in my life for quite some time!

But God...( I love those two words together!) But God took ahold of me and I finally received His truth and His promises! 

With that being said, how much more hated was I at my second birth? 
Jesus said repeatedly in the gospels that we would be hated! Click on the scriptures below...
Matthew 10:22
Mark 13:13
Luke 21:17
John 15:18

This really spoke to me about my attitude where pleasing people comes before pleasing God. I do have an enemy, and he loves to use my weaknesses against me! But the scriptures are also FILLED to the brim with promises of an Almighty God who loves me and has my very best intentions in mind! He loves me!!

I was born hated! But I am also loved and planned in advance; I am loved eternally by the one whom matters the MOST! The Bible talks about over and over how much God loves us. {loves me :) }
That gives me hope!

Romans 8:15-17 says "This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!"

I love this reminder that although I will be hated in this world, it's not the worst thing that could happen. I need to expect it and push past that. I have an inheritance that can not be taken away. (Oh, and I can love the unlovable! It's a choice!) 

So I leave you with this truth:
1 John 4:19
We love Him, because He first loved us

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Beauty of Crossing Over

“I’m willing to leave the familiar, I’m willing to leave what I know if you go with me. I’m willing to go where you lead me, I’m willing to do what you say, if you stay with me. Crossing over, leaving all I know behind, crossing over and not knowing what I’ll find. Crossing over leaving all I know behind, crossing over knowing it’s You I’ll find.”
lyrics by Kathi Wilson 

The other day I read a blog by Sarah Mae, entitled "Following the Wind". I found these lyrics there. 
You can read her post here.

Her writing just spoke to my heart in a way that I can not even explain! I am so thankful that the Lord uses others words and their obedience to meet me in places they may never even know about. Oh how our obedience is so much bigger than us, it reaches out and touches the masses...

I have been struggling for the past couple of months with a decision that I had a really hard time making. I knew that the Lord was inviting me to follow him into new territory. Into a land I could not see; in a direction He would not reveal to me until I took the first step. 

But for a couple of months I just sat. Allowing fear to debilitate me and paralyze me to stay in the comfy and the familiar. I finally took that step and it was not easy. That first day I struggled. 
Torn, sad, afraid
Excited, glad, relieved

Now, I have this peace that surpasses all understanding!

Phillipians 4:6-7

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Don't know where it is taking me; but I have an expectation of God's faithfulness in my life! Dreams, plans, desires that I thought were dead being awakened! Praise the Lord for resurrection! 

May you see the Lord in a brand new way, and experience His love in ways you never thought possible this Easter Sunday and in 2011!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What do you do when it's not?

There are a lot of sermons and books filled with stories of those who have stepped out in faith to do something that God has called them to do. Stories of dreams that He had put in their hearts with a desire and motivation that drove them to look fear in the face and overcome. They witness the miraculous...and their faith is strengthened! They knew what their "calling" in life was and they awaited the promise! Praise God for those stories!!!

But what do you do when God calls you out?  Out of where you are comfortable and productive? Out of where you are being used and you know you found your niche? Out of a place that you were passionate about? Out of the place you KNOW He had called you to? When you don't know why, or where you are going? Do you trust when your season is over?

What if He starts to open up doors to opportunities to grow and to serve Him elsewhere? What if He is calling you out because this was only a part of your story? Never meant to be the end all!  What if what He asks you to do, well... they aren't your dreams?

My dreams!!?? 

Do I even know what that is? Aren't I the girl who didn't have dreams growing up? Believing that I wasn't worthy or good enough to rise above and choose a different path.


However, one of the "perks" of coming to Christ was learning that God had a PURPOSE for my life.

He promised! 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So...will I trust Him? Trust Him that He will bring all of the pieces of my life together and work them out for good? Trust that where He has taken me will serve as a foundation to wherever He is taking me to next? Trust Him to equip me with the skills, and the wisdom to accomplish what He is calling me to do? I know I can! He has proven Himself trustworthy in the past!!


Always the but! The doubts creep in! The LIES bombard the already fragile and vulnerable heart...

"There are many others out there who 
are much better at this than you are! 
You should leave it up to them! "

"Who are you? You aren't good enough to do this!"

"This wasn't your "dream", so that must mean you can't do it." 

BUT.... (the other but...)

What if it could be? What if I heard exactly right and I am moving into a new place where God wants me despite what I feel or want? What if the joy will be multiplied? What if I have only begun to unwrap the gift that the Lord has planted in me? What if I trust the Lord enough to follow Him even when He will not show me where I am going? What if I hand over whatever plans I had for my own life, (even if those plans are no plans!) and trust that God knows best?

Am I ready for Him to accomplish something great in my life? Maybe, something great through me??
When all of the things on the surface do not make sense, will I follow blindly and trust like a child??

I don't have the answers. I don't know where I am going, or why! All I do know, is that the Lord has been so faithful to me in the past. I don't have a choice but to trust Him! This is a new chapter for me and I will stay focused on Him as I learn to live out this truth!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

    In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Did you say something?

I am by no means a "sports-fanatic". However, my husband is a big Lakers fan and because of that I have come to appreciate and enjoy watching basketball with him. If any of you follow the sport, you have probably heard of the $100,000.00 fine that Kobe Bryant incurred after making a comment that was...well, let's say "controversial". There has been so much commotion about this incident; on Facebook alone there were 3,218 comments (the last time I checked). People were outraged that Kobe Bryant was being fined for a comment that he had made. Outraged that they would make him pay that amount of money for a slip of the mouth in the heat of the moment.

All of this got me thinking....

The Bible clearly states that there will be a day when we will all have to stand before the Most Holy God and answer for every idle word we have spoken.

Matthew 12:36 says  "But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking)word they speak."

What will it be like? To stand before God Almighty and have to answer for all of the stupid things we let slip out of our mouths in the heat of the moment? Or when we are bored? Or judgmental? And the list goes on and on...

I have a list of Bible verses in a small notebook that I keep in my purse, all having to deal with "the mouth". I think I will work on being more intentional about the words that I speak!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Authentic Trash

I am cleaning the wood floors of our home, and I hear the murmuring of my youngest child. I couldn't quite hear what she was saying but as she followed me around the downstairs of our home, I tuned in.

I realized she was saying, "Please mom, can you share the trash?" I had been so wrapped up in my own thoughts I failed to realize my daughter was asking me a question...

"What sweetheart?" 
"I want to help you mama. Can you please share the trash?" 

At that moment the Holy Spirit whacked me upside the head with questions of His own. 
Has anyone else been asking you to share their trash and you haven't been tuning in?
Who have you asked to share the trash with recently? 
Do you stay by the side of other women when they are trying to clean up the trash in their lives and ask if you can share in it with them?
Do you offer them hope?
Where is your sacrifice of praise by sharing how I have cleaned up the trash in your life?

I handed my daughter the little dust pan and broom and pondered...
(a lil' frustrated and overwhelmed at the questions)

Who was it in my life that had trash? 
Well... that seems like a silly question because the answer to that is everyone

Whom have I asked to share it with? I have trash in my life. I have things that I struggle with, and yet there are a lot of things that I have overcome. Why am I not sharing? Why do I protect myself against allowing others to share with me? Why am I so afraid of exposing my mess? Or, getting into someone else's mess? Or is it that I am not so much afraid as I am lazy and selfish??

In a meeting with Pastor Georgie Baxter, she made a statement that really stuck with me. She said, "The women who follow you will follow because of your successes, but they will connect with you in your weaknesses."

Man, that was so enlightening to me. Even though I knew it was true in my OWN life! I knew that was how my brain operated, and that is how I viewed women I admire. BUT, to think that there are women or people who may be looking and watching ME?? Whoa, that was heavy! I was not prepared...

Yet, I am prepared.
Aren't I?

According to the Bible, I have everything that I need in order to do whatever it is the Lord has asked me to do. So, if there is someone in my life that has an issue or a need, and Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, logic tells me that I have something to offer this person. I am NOT their savior. (Nor would I want to, or pretend to be) But, the Lord reveals if we ask. Each person, each scenario differs. That is where tuning into Him and prayer come in. But I have something to offer! My authenticity, my story of Christ-led victory, my arms of compassion, a listening ear, a meal, a bag of clothes, the list goes on!

We all have trash.

 I'll share mines, if you'll share yours! 

2 Corinthians 9:8 "God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done." (MSG)