Archive for January, 2010

January 30th – A Second Opinion

January 30, 2010

I’m reading through Genesis right now and finding so many treasures that I never saw before. And here is one of those things.

In Genesis 41 it talks about Pharoah had a dream, well, he actually had 2 dreams. At this time, Joseph was in his prison. When Pharoah heard that Joseph could interpret dreams, he sent for him. So they cleaned Joseph up to present him to the king. So Joseph was able to interpret the dreams. Both said the same thing. That there would be 7 years of abundance, and then 7 years of famine. And suggested they stock up during the 7 years of abundance to have during the 7 years of famine. So Joseph was put as second in command to Egypt! Wow… he went from being sold into slavery, accused of rape, all lies… but the honored at the end, as even saving a country! Including his own family.  But, that’s not what I wanted to get at here.

See, Pharoah had 2 dreams. The scripture then said, “Because he had 2 dreams saying the same thing that is was surely from God.” I believe that is where we get “needing confirmation.” Let’s say we have an idea, and we “think” it’s from God. So we ask others about it, and one person said, “Hey, I heard that as well.” So that gives you, “your confirmation” about what you were thinking. The problems start when we keep looking for more confirmation.

I heard Joyce Meyer say that sometimes we look for 4 trumpet blasts by angels, 3 words from others, etc. When at the most really, we only need one other.

My husband calls it, “A second opinion.” There are times when Tom and I would talk about a specific thing and he would tell me his opinion. I would tuck it away, and then talk to someone about it. They would say the exact same thing that Tom said. I would then say to him, “Guess what, so-in-so said the exact same thing you did.” He would say, “You needed a second opinion?” And now I know why I do that. It’s scriptural. It’s built in us to “confirm” what we heard to be true or not. We need to get an “amen” or “second opinion.”

So it’s okay to ask for another person’s insight and input when you think you heard from God. Because if you are anything like me, you only want to do what God wants you to do. But if we keep asking for other’s inputs, that’s when we need to stop, and just “do” what we know to do. Do you know how many people are still waiting for “opinions?” I’ve known people who are now well into their 60’s and 70’s still “waiting” on God. Well, frankly, they got their marching orders, but they didn’t march! They needed those 4 trumpet blasts, and 5 amens…  All we need to is 2. One initially, and another. Either from our own heart’s conviction, or from someone we trust with our lives.

It’s not about pleasing people or doing what they say. It’s about pleasing God and doing what He says. He said, “Among many counselors there is safety.” So it’s okay to ask for help in making decisions, etc., having people pray for you. But then follow up with your faith and actions. Stop doubting yourself. Stop letting fear keep you from living your dream or vision. Say “No” to Satan and his lies that you are worthless and can’t do “it.” You can, you can, you can!! That my dear, is your second opinion!


January 29 – Puzzles

January 29, 2010

I started working on puzzles, never really did many in my life, but started finding them interesting. First of all, I never had time to do them, not that I have time now, but I am making time to do some things that I can enjoy. After all, Jesus came to give us life to enjoy, not work all the time. So I had to – on purpose – take a break for myself, as I live and breath ministry.

So this morning as I was writing this blog, I went into the kitchen where I had started a 1000 piece puzzle. I have never done a 1000 piece puzzle before, it was so overwhelming! I remember a few weeks before pouring the pieces out on the table, began to lay them out, then I said, “This is too hard,” then gathered the pieces back up and put them back in the box. It wasn’t until now that I decided to take another shot at it. What was different this time? I decided to take another approach, not look at this as an impossible overwhelming task, but to take the same approach I used what I shared in a blog I did a few days ago about being overwhelmed. So I decided to take one step at a time, gather my thoughts, and see how to accomplish this. After all the box said ages 13 and up! Well, I am up! So if a 13 year old can do it, so can I.

With that, I started with the edge. That’s something I think we all learned when we started doing puzzles, to make the edge first. So I gathered all the straight edge pieces, and then placed them by design and color. I referenced the box cover as I went. Well, in this puzzle the edge is a picture frame so the pieces all look alike. So I took one piece at a time and laid them out by design, etc. It took several hours, but I got them together. That was step one, isolating those pieces. Now on to step 2 – put like colors together, and step 3- to put those pieces together and make clumps of puzzle, and step 4 – put them together as a whole.

As I was doing this, and looking at those 1000 pieces on the table, what chaos! Then I realized that is what it looks like to God in our lives. A huge mess, lots of different pieces to fit together, but He does! He takes our messes, our stuff and turns it into something beautiful. Just as I am putting this puzzle together, once it’s done, it will be something beautiful. And another thought. What if one piece was missing? No matter if I did 999 pieces, that one piece will ruin the whole thing if it’s not there. That tells me a bit about God’s heart with us. There is a story in the Bible where a shepherd at 100 sheep, but one was missing. He left the 99 to go after that one. Are YOU the one? Are YOU missing from His shepherding?

I had just read a passage of scripture about Jacob and Leah and Rachel. How Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel, but Laban, the dad, deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead to wed. Then he ended up working another 7 years for Rachel too. So now he had 2 wives. It said that Jacob hated Leah, yet she kept having kids… Hmmm…  Leah thought that Jacob would love her if she had children, so she kept having them. Once she couldn’t have any more, she gave Jacob her handmaiden. He married her, and now has 3 wives, and she gave him kids too. Then Rachel said, “wait a minute.” And since she was barren at the time, gave her handmaiden to Jacob as well, and she had kids. Then of course, in the end, Rachel had Joseph, and Benjamin. What a MESS!!!  But God spoke to me and said, “I worked all things for good.” He took chaos and turned it into something beautiful, because out of those children are the 12 tribes of Israel! That is truly amazing to me.

I believe this gives us hope. That He can take our mess, our lives, the choices we made, and turn them into something beautiful. He can take our government, the nations that are causing terror, choices that officials are making, our bosses, etc., and trust God is going to turn it into something beautiful.

That my dear, gives me hope! As I shared yesterday, I spoke on hope, but we can never get enough of it…  It seems that in the past month or two, God is having me focus on Hope. I’m learning so much about it, and hopefully you are being blessed as God reveals things to me.

January 27 – Got Hope?

January 27, 2010

As I awoke just pondering on stuff, I began thinking about hope. First it is one of the armors God has given us… The Helmet of Salvation is really having hope. Hope begins in our thinking. Hope is our anchor. I have studying this word for several days now, and getting more and more insights about it.

I used to say, “Live like there is no tomorrow.” And what I was saying was to live to the fullest each and every day. But that isn’t right either. If I live like there is no tomorrow, where is the hope? Thinking like that produces fear. Because as Christians, there IS a tomorrow, because when we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are promised eternal life. So now I say, “Live like there IS a tomorrow.” Boy just saying that breaths peace into my spirit, and gives hope.

Now I have hope for a tomorrow. We aren’t to fear about tomorrow, we are to hope about tomorrow. The Bible says to take no thought for tomorrow. It doesn’t mean not to hope, it means not to worry about it, otherwise we aren’t trusting God.

Hope is something we have that keeps us going forward, not staying stuck in the same place. Hope is like faith. You need faith so that we can live each day believing God is able to take care of us. Hope is the same way. By hoping in God we are exercising our faith to believe.

Years ago I used to teach a Bible study to kids in the juvenile system. I recall one of the kids saying, “I really don’t care what I do, they are going to blow us up anyway.”  He had no hope. Of course, before leaving that night, I was able to correct his thinking that he does have a future and a HOPE. That’s what the Bible says, right? And it also says that this world is a world without end! Who are we going to believe? The world or God, the one who created the world or the ones living in the world?

So I just had to leave this with you. To focus on tomorrow differently, not fearing it, but having hope of a future, in His presence. First while on earth, then hoping for the life after. And don’t forget, we are getting a new Heaven and new Earth when all is said and done.

So live as there IS a tomorrow, and hope in God to bring it all to pass, working all for good.

January 25th – Jesus Wept

January 25, 2010

I think that this may be one of the shortest verses in the Bible, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). So what did he weep for? I don’t think he wept for himself, but for people. This verse said: .

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, “Where have ye laid him?” They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.

I don’t believe he was weeping for himself, but he felt the pain of those who had lost a loved one. He groaned in His spirit too.

As I pondered on this small scripture, what came to me was so amazing, and this thought came to me: Jesus wept – over my life. This felt amazing to me. He wept over all my pain, all my fears, and my junk. He wept over my situation, those things that caused me discomfort. He simply wept over my life.

As I even say that, it is healing to me. I feel Him pouring himself over and into my life. His tears rolling down and into every part of my being. Drinking this in and allowing His tears to wash me. As the woman who cried on Jesus’ feet and washed them with her tears and hair, so Jesus washes me.

January 23 – Being Overwhelmed

January 23, 2010

The title of this speaks volumes. I believe we have all felt overwhelmed at times. So let me help you as the Lord helped me this morning so that being “overwhelmed” won’t cause stress. Because things will pile up at times, and we just need to learn how to take things one step at a time. This is how the Lord helped me.

Tom bought a rolling metal cabinet, in a box! It had been sitting in the garage for over 6 months. He never had the time to put it together so I said I would. He brought it into the living room, opened the box and pulled out the pieces. We couldn’t believe how many pieces there were. A huge bag of screws, metal pieces galore! It was overwhelming. So for the next 4 days I stepped over those pieces, which happened to be lying around in the living room. Well, last night I decided to take a jab at it. It was so overwhelming to look at, and that’s one of the reasons it took me so long to get to it.

So then I got the directions and started with step one. I stopped “looking” at the whole messy project, and started with step one. To my surprise, it wasn’t hard at all. I had been stepping all around it for days, avoiding it, etc., only to realize it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I systematically went through the steps, and twa-la, got it done! I see a finished product. I no longer have to step over the pieces, running into them, having it yell at me that “I can’t do it.” It’s been conquered and the feeling of being overwhelmed went from heaviness to victory! And it was even fun doing it.

What the Lord showed me through this was obvious. The reason we get overwhelmed is that we look at the whole kitten-kabootle at once, and not one step at a time. And, when we do take one step at a time, with  “good instructions” things turn out. If our instructions are vague or we are guessing, we will get into trouble, and become even more overwhelmed. And I like to relate things in the spirit, and so in this situation, my “good instructions” are from the Lord and His Truth. Are we getting good instructions, bad instructions or vague instructions when we have something looming ahead of us?

I would like to apply this to my life every day. When I start feeling “overwhelmed” again (because I’m sure it will try to come again), to stop and organize my thoughts so they are linear not all at once! Sometimes that includes making a list in order of importance. That has always helped me in the past. But I’m stepping it up a bit now, not only organizing thoughts but then “doing” them. We get overwhelmed when we don’t complete the task at hand, and they pile up. It’s called procrastination. But don’t fall into drivenness of doing a bunch of stuff on  your list either! You know who you are. We are only expected to complete things that we can do something about. How about your messy house? Do you overlook it, run from it, feel awful because it’s messy? Or are you going to do something about it?

If some of those things that overwhelm us are not things we can do anything about, that’s when we are to bundle them up – in our thoughts – and set them aside – and turn them over to the Lord in prayer. Then we are no longer overwhelmed by them! We need to get off that treadmill, purposefully, and our peace will come. And what I find is that I was all caught up in things that I had no business in anyway…  I was trying to figure things out myself (without clear instructions) or trying to do something for someone else when it was their responsibility to do it not mine! So when I organized my thoughts, only focusing on those things I can do something about, or what is vital for the moment, things became clear and peace came, and on top of it, with the ability to “do” it.

A side note: The word Frustration also comes to mind. I’ll put it this way. When you get frustrated you are trying to be God! You are trying to do what only He can do in your life or someone else’s, and my dear, that is idolatry. Ouch!

Moving along…  I remember in times past when I would put something together, the instructions were very vague, leaving you trying to figure things out for yourself. Sometimes I would refer to the picture to be sure it’s looking like it’s supposed to. So when this job was set before me, my past “fears” surfaced, so when I saw all those pieces, fear gripped me that it was going to be “hard.”And as I shared, it wasn’t hard at all, it was even fun!

As I apply this principle to the spirit realm, the Bible is my “clear instructions” and love, combats fear which produces clarity in mind, peace, and power (2 Timothy 1:7) to be able to do what I want or need to do.

It’s the enemy’s job to trip you up! And he does it quite nicely starting in our thoughts. If he can get you overwhelmed by what you “see” he can distract you from what God wants you to “see”. When we are overwhelmed, we can fall into fear, we stop doing something because of feeling overwhelmed. We run from things, we avoid them, we hide. But, when we stop and think in that moment, that this is the enemy wanting to cause us to be burdened, we can do something about it. We have just started the ball rolling in getting free! By taking those thoughts captive, organize those things that are true, getting rid of those things that are false, we will find our peace and even get lots of things done for the Kingdom. We have just dis-armed the enemy!

January 22nd – Manipulation anyone?

January 22, 2010

Hello world: Well, I missed a couple of days due to no electricity! We had some bad weather here in No. California and so that’s why I wasn’t able to share the past few days. I spent the night at a friends house because she had power, and when I awoke, the words “Manipulation and Control” flooded my  mind. I began seeing how easy it is to manipulate and control people to get them to do what we want. And it could be ever so subtle. As a matter of fact, many reading this is probably saying, “I don’t do that.” Well, I thought I didn’t either until God opened my eyes and showed me what it really is.

Let me share by giving some examples. Let’s say you need something, but instead of asking you say, “Boy, I sure would like to go to the store.” That is manipulation. Not saying what you want, but hinting… We all do this! But it is not good. We need to simply say what we mean and mean what we say, anything else is simply manipulation.

I have a friend who needed a ride. We had specific stores to go to, but instead of saying, “Can we add this other store too?” She said, “Oh, I really need to get some more cat food.” Well, where we were going, there was no cat food. What she wanted from me was this,  “So, you wanna go to a cat store?” And that is what they are “fishing” for. It seems harmless doesn’t it? Or is it? Any form of manipulation practiced over and over can become very harmful and open us up to all kinds of spiritual things that can taint our walk with the Lord. Did you know that when we do this we are actually  lying? We need to just be honest with each other and ask. Even God said, “ask me and I will give it to you.” He didn’t say, beat around the bush or whine about it, he said ask! We need to show the same courtesies to each other, and ask, me included!

Here’s another thought: Have you ever heard someone say, “Boy they manipulated the whole conversation.” What does that mean? It means the person talked and talked and talked, doesn’t matter what it was about, but it simply means they “controlled” the whole conversation. What do we do to control our environment. Do we give glances of disapproval. Do we take deep a deep breath and let out a sigh? Do we tighten our jaws and squench our mouth? You know what I mean. What are we doing to get others to do something we want them to do?

Let’s just start asking or speaking what we mean and stop all these games. Life will be a whole lot more peaceful. Because you won’t be “wondering” about anything, you will know so that you can make proper decisions. Sometimes we don’t ask because we don’t want them to say no. But it’s better to understand what they are willing to do then get resentful toward them for not figuring out what you needed? Let’s follow after peace. And we do that by being honest, with salt! That means, be nice and understanding when you speak your mind.

So this morning, I had to repent because I saw that I did these things too! So now when I see others manipulating me, I don’t fall into it any more. Sometimes I just say, “Just ask me what you want to ask me.” And it clears up all mis-communication so we can go on with our life.

January 19th – encounter with God

January 19, 2010

I was wondering if I would have enough stuff to say each day, but with each waking day I am flooded with awesome things from the Lord. He seems to talk to me when my mind hasn’t been clouded from the things of the day, so mornings are best if he wants to get my attention. This morning I woke at 4:30 am. I said, “This is too early, I want some more sleep.” And as I laid my head back down I said, “God I am listening.” So for an hour, since I couldn’t go back to sleep, I listened. And do you know what He said? Nothing. But what He did do was give me His peace. There were no lists to do, no one to call, no books to write, just dwelling in His presence, waiting for Him to speak, yet He spoke without words by giving me “sweet release.”

The past 4 months have been filled with so many battles, emotionally, physically and spiritually. All bringing me to this place of total surrender. When we surrender, when we release all these things to Him, when we stop trying to figure everything out and doing everything, when we get off the treadmill we seem to be running on, and just stop and listen to Him speak, that’s when we have finally entered into His rest. This morning was exactly that. I cannot tell you what my husband and I went through lately, but it was all for a good cause, and we even said we are glad it happened to us because it made us stronger, more alert, and filled with more discernment, wisdom and understanding. We are not the victims any longer, though we were victimized. We are not needing justification, though we wanted justice. God has seen everything that has happened, he saw it before it happened and he sees every detail and not once let up His grip from it. Knowing this has increased my faith, that He delivered my family from impending doom, but kept us safe! And realizing that, I finally released all the stuff that was continually dragging me down. I decided to stop being a victim, but a victor! I have decided to be an overcomer, forgiver, lover, and peacemaker. To walk as Jesus did, full of power and might to defeat the enemy when he comes to torment.

It’s not my job to keep up my reputation (if there was one in the first place!), It’s not my job to fix those around me. Those are His job. Mine is to cast all my cares upon Him because He cares for me. To release it all. To Let go and Let God. This morning I repented for trying to carry the burden, when it’s not mine to carry. “Cast your care upon Him for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7) Praise you Father for Your truth that sets us free!

January 18 – Calmness

January 18, 2010

There is a calm peace within me today. Though yesterday was a battle in my heart due to some relationship issues, peace remained. I was able to forgive from my heart those that caused me grief. I was able to love those that caused me grief. I was able to repent to the Lord for anything that I harbored. I am free.

As I was reading in Genesis this morning, something really ministered to me that helped me in dealing with difficult people.  As Christians, we believe we have to be subject to wrongs and abuses. But that is not true. In Genesis 13:7-9 – Where Abram and his brother Lot’s men had strife with one another, they decided to “separate” themselves from each other so to restore peace. It wasn’t that they didn’t love each other any more, it’s that they just couldn’t live together peacefully any more, so many dynamics in that relationship. I had asked the Lord for help this morning on what to do about my situation. And when I came across this passage, it was clear. I am to love and forgive, but also separate myself from the strife. There is also another passage in the New Testament that says basically the same thing, to “withdraw” yourself from them. (1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6).

My desire as a believer is to live as a believer – to believe God. To do what He has asked, and to walk in peace with all men. That is all we are to do. The rest will come. Provision, healing, direction, wisdom and understanding, etc. But first things first.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and then love others as you love yourself. If we do these very things, we have fulfilled all the laws and principles written in the Bible. (Matthew 22:37-40).

January 17th – What Happens When a Father Doesn’t Love?

January 17, 2010

This morning I awoke with a neighbor on my mind. This family was destroyed from the inside out and no one is left but the mother. Her 4 children and her husband are in the “system” leaving her alone at home. As I thought about what I observed the last several years, and asked for wisdom and truth, the Lord showed it to me this morning. When a husband/father doesn’t fill his position of head of the house, then the woman tries to fill in. Or when a husband tries filling his position as head of the house in a way that is not loving and kind, the woman again tries to compensate. However, the woman wasn’t made for this position which then opens the door for all kinds of havoc. That’s exactly what happened here. The husband didn’t love and nurture his wife, he was more interested in ministering outside the home in a church or ministry setting. He didn’t take any active participation in raising 4 children, two of which they adopted. I recall several conversations with the mother who had a concern that her husband wasn’t helping. She was in pain about it. She was alone, sad and depressed. When she did “do” something, it was out of a controlling nature because that’s what happens when a woman tries to do the man’s job. It turns into control. Now the whole family is gone, each one now has to deal with their own issues, including mom. So why am I telling you this? Because perhaps there are those reading this who see this pattern in their own home. That the husband just sits with a clicker in his hand watching TV, or a work-aholic, or doing things outside the home, and not really IN the home  as a lead. If you are a Christian or not (and I’m basing this on Christian principles) and do not take your responsibility seriously, you will have serious problems.

But there is hope. Choose today to talk with the family. Ask for forgiveness for not fulfilling your role as husband/father or even wife/mother, etc. Have a family meeting and “start over” incorporating these things with the help of God who wants to help do this. Don’t leave Him out, He designed the family unit to work like this. It will only produce peace and joy in the home! If you need help in this area, we are ministers that can help. Just submit a comment and we will respond.

February 13 – A Successful Marriage

January 16, 2010

Just the other day I spent some time with a dear friend. He is newly married and offered a few tips that he could use to help his marriage become better and stronger every day. Thought you would enjoy reading them too, that’s if you want a successful marriage too. Oh, the reason I know these work is that they have been working for me for the past 20 years of marriage!!

1) Don’t try to change the other person. You married them, you (sorta) knew what you were getting, so get that person off your potter’s wheel. You are NOT the potter. My husband is an awesome example. He knew I had so many issues, he never told me any of them, he went to the Lord and prayed for me. It was the Lord who changed me, and later he would tell me that he prayed in that area. So how was he during the time I had to “get a clue?” He was long-suffering, patient, kind, and nurturing to me. Oh, but that’s too hard. I’ll tell you why. Because people who say this is that they aren’t loving their spouse. Because when you truly love something (or someone) you take real good care of it. A man who doesn’t love their wife, doesn’t love himself (scriptures say). If this is you, then it’s important to take these things to the Lord and get restored in your heart so that you can be free from feeling like you have to fix everyone else. Do you know why we try to fix others? So our lives will be easier, it’s selfish motives. Think about it.

2) Be honest with each other. Those who truly love one another can say anything to each other without fear of retaliation or anger. If you cannot, then there is some love lacking in your relationship. This is another area to take to the Lord and ask Him to help you love your spouse. I remember telling my husband something that was very hard, it was ugly, and I didn’t like it in my heart concerning him. But I knew I needed to be honest, and I told him. Once I spoke it out, the bad feelings left!  I was free. When we expose those thoughts, we are setting ourselves free. But as long as I kept them and kept dwelling on them, I was not very happy, and had no peace. Yes, it was a hard thing to say, but once it was out and got past it, our lives have been even better than before I said anything. We can’t be afraid to be honest! Fear will prevent you, take authority over that part of your life now, and go be honest!

3) It’s not your responsibility to make the other person happy (or even friends or family members for that matter). Sometimes we marry people thinking we are going to get everything we need to be happy, only to find out they are as needy as we are! Or perhaps you are a person who said, “I can’t wait to make them happy.” Only to find out they don’t appreciate you.  It’s not your job to fix others!  That’s called false burden bearing. The only one who can truly carry all our burdens is Jesus. So we have to repent and confess that we have been trying to be “Jesus” in other people’s lives. Our responsibility to others it to love them where they are, share truths, encourage them, speak life into them, help them with their stuff, pray with and for them, but not carry their stuff, which equates to their pain. Jesus carried all the pain. We need to confess our heart to the Lord in this area and increase in believing that God is able to fix them or me! Just as my husband prayed for me, so you must pray for each other.

4) Forgive daily. A couple’s job is to love and forgive, not judge or condemn. We need to overlook each others junk, and forgive. That is how my husband was able to live with me in my messy state of existence, because he forgave me every day. He didn’t carry that offense with him into the next day. When we forgive, we release that junk from our lives and it remains int he past… dead and gone! When we don’t forgive, 7 x 70 a day, (As the bible says to do) we will be a spiritual bag lady and remember every single hurt the other did and bring it up over and over. This person isn’t free, and is only hurting others and themselves. So when Tom kept forgiving me, one day, I changed! Yes, he did too, it’s not all one sided, but I did carry in a lot of baggage into our marriage.

By just living by these simple truths, they will give you a life worth living with your spouse. And be sure to include God (Jesus) into your daily lives, as He has everything you need.