When there is nothing left but…now what?

When there is nothing left but…now what?

This season has been the hardest yet. It seems that I have lost so much, made so many mistakes, hurt so much, and am looking at what appears to be not much left at all.

You don’t realize what it takes to walk this faith road until you are stopped in your tracks. If you would have asked me anytime before the last two weeks, do you have faith? Or is your faith strong? ABSOLUTELY! would have been my answer. I love my God above all things. All I want is to do what He has for me to do. I have come to learn: that.. is.. not.. faith. When your faith is put to the test and challenged… what it is rooted in will show it’s strengths and weaknesses.

I have learned faith is not my love for God. It is also not about my obedience. You see, just because I love God and obey Him may not mean I trust Him confidently. If you had asked me if I trusted God I would have immediately answered, Yes 100% but how do you know until it’s tested with action and not just words? And how deeply does it run?

Faith comes down to this: how do you relate with God when you feel like you have lost everything? everyone? Do you believe or trust that He is there with you in it all and through it all? Can you or WILL you rely on him in those times? Or just lie in your place of darkness? Stuck in the mess that you can’t get yourself out of?

Our faith must be tested for it to grow. The root of where MY faith lies must be tested to be strengthened.

When it all comes down to the nitty gritty…. after I weeded through all the limbs that had been cut off or blown down… sitting lifelessly at my feet… in the midst of all that appeared loss… I had ask… now what?

All this appears to be and FEELS like death. I would be lying if the thought of walking away didn’t cross my mind. Actually the thought didn’t just cross my mind, it camped out a little while and stayed for a short vacation. Looking at the wreckage piled at my feet I said to myself, it’s too much…I just can’t, and I’m not even sure if I want to. So now what? 

Now what? …when I asked HIM... was followed by such a sweet peace kind of answers.

Lord, I know you forgive me, but what if they won’t? They will because they love Me… 

Lord, I am hurting and can’t make it stop. I have hurt relationships and can’t fix it…  Now what? I can, if you will let Me? Trust Me with them.

….but Lord, I don’t trust them. Do you trust Me? 

Did I really trust Him? Did I have faith that believes He holds it all, sees it all, and wants to make the best of it all? …In the middle of all the PAIN … FOR ME? Like right now…in this situation…do I trust that HE WANTS to do this for me and WITHOUT ME? Does my belief in HIM withstand the pain I am in? And the pain that I have caused? Do I trust and believe that He is faithful and just in it all? And for ALL THOSE INVOLVED?

You see, it wasn’t my LOVE or OBEDIENCE that was tested.

It was my BELIEF and TRUST in HIM towards ME that was being tested!

My belief that HE WILL do what HE said He would do, even when I am unworthy and have made a mess. MY trust that HE would WANT to lift me up out of the miry clay I was stuck in and WANT to set me feet on His solid rock. My belief that He is who He said He is…and would do what He said he would FOR ME and in spite of me.

For FAITH is the confidence…the foundation….the actual existence of something or someone being real in your life and circumstances. Are you allowing Him to be real in your life and circumstances? Faith is the steadfastness of mind, courage and resolution of firm trust and confidence IN HIM.

Confidence that says, He is in it all, and wants to be. I didn’t drag Him in or beg Him in. He is here because He wants to be. He loves me because of who I am, not because of what I have done.

This is my now what… My Faith.

 

Altered Reality or Unaltered Reality

Altered Reality or Unaltered Reality

truth as I see itLet me propose a question to you. Would you alter someones reality and life if you could? Let me explain. Think of someone you love dearly, someone who has a part of your heart that you love unconditionally. Perhaps they have made not to great life choices. Perhaps they have experienced some pain you could not help them avoid. Perhaps they are in a relationship with someone that you think isn’t good for them or you are not not fond of. Perhaps it’s all of this and much more. Would you, if given the opportunity, alter their reality and their life for the better if given the chance? Say they suddenly had amnesia and couldn’t remember certain things from the past, and when asked you could change how they viewed things….in their life…in their relationships for “the better”. Would you do it? Would you tell them the truth and let the chips fall as they may?

I had this presented to me and I had to really think, what would I do? We all want the best for those we love. We want them to be happy, healthy, and in great relationships with awesome people, right? Would I tell them the truth as I see it? Even if it is painful to them and would destroy the reality of what they have now and how they view life and the people in it? Would I tell them what I thought they needed to hear to have what I would consider a better situation and relationship or would I tell them what they needed to hear to keep their reality as it is. If I tell them “the truth”(according to me) then their life certainly would change. The opinion they had of this person, or that situation would certainly be different then what I thought. OR would I tell them what I knew they felt and thought to be in the reality and life they now have. Tough one. You wouldn’t think it would be, but it is.

prideThis one challenge made me think deep and hard, how prideful am I to think that my opinion matters so much that I have the RIGHT to change the reality of the ones I love so much? Even if I can see it is harmful, or that they deserve “more”, the truth is they have the right to live the life they have chosen and made, regardless of my opinion of it. AND IF there is a relationship involved, I don’t have the right to harm it or change it with my word or opinions(even if in my view it is the truth and right). Can we truly say we love someone without asking ourself, “God, what do they need to hear? What is best for them” before we speak? Can we set our flesh, our opinions, our desire for that person aside and trust the Father to answer what they need vs. standing on our own accord to state and speaking what we think they need?

It’s not my place to change someones reality and life, it’s God’s. So, if I truly love you, I will seek Him first to answer and love you they way HE know you need it, not simply the way I may think you need it. Humility produces for others, while pride destroys.

Toilet Plunger and DustPan Christians

Toilet Plunger and DustPan Christians

If you don’t know, I am a straight forward, cut to the chase kind of person. I like things presented to me in a “no ruffles” kind on way. I have however noticed that in the church we tend to fluff things up a bit to make them a little “easier to swallow” or a little “more palatable” for the general public. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the Biblical truths stay just that, truths. I just happen to be the kind that prefers an in your face approach. Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge writes just like that. A clear cut, no frills approach to an intimate growth with God. It is not a read for the easily offended, but for those who are willing to hear real truths and do whatever it takes to grow a more intimate relationship with God. This book is awesome.

In his book Bob gives direct, easy to read, and short ways to become closer to God. This is not a salvation issue, but a growth plan. I encourage you to look into this book. I just finished Chapt. 5 The Secret to Rapid Repentance. I know what your thinking, I repent daily! DO YOU? After you have been a Christian while you learn the “what not to do’s.”

You learn to “kill the flesh” as the church world would say. You don’t sin. No lying, stealing, fornication, pornography, hatred,drunkenness, or not tithing(yes that’s a sin). Those sins are so obvious that you don’t even need the conviction of the Holy Spirit to know your in disobedience. So your a “good Christian”, trying hard to please the Father in all you do, and don’t do. However, have you ever thought of repenting of your iniquities? Do you even know what that is? Bob, explained it the best way I have heard in this chapter.

“I’m not talking about obvious sins; I am talking about repenting of our iniquities. Iniquities are the hidden faults that we don’t see, the wicked residue of our fallen nature that discolors the fabric of our thoughts, motives, feelings, responses, and desires. Iniquities are wrapped up in much more subtle area of sinfulness, such as pride, rebellion, unbelief, envy, selfishness, ambition, and covetousness.”

OUCH! We have to learn to become a good repenter is we want to move forward in God. “If pride hinders you from repenting, get over it. You’re a wretch. You need mercy so badly, it’s scary. Wise up and master the art of repentance. Call your sin its worst possible terms. Grovel. Eat Dust.” I told this book didn’t mince words and wasn’t for the easily offended. He continues to write, “We all have hidden pockets of iniquities, and we all need God’s help to see them. You can’t repent of something you don’t see, so God will help you see them. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:19-21, that the Christian life is founded on two powerful realities: We are known by Christ, and we depart from iniquity when we see it.”

“When we repent quickly of those thing God’s word is revealing, we experience the pleasure of the Father in a palatable way…A consistent pattern of rapid repentance will cause us to become a vessel of gold or silver, refined by the fire, useful for the Masters noble services. Those who resist repentance do not necessarily lose their salvation, it’s just they do not progress beyond a vessel of wood or clay. They are useful to the Master only for dishonorable purposes(in the great house there is a need even for a toilet plunger and dust pans.)” OUCH!

“The assurance of the above passage is clear: Rapid repentance from iniquity will cause us to progress forward to a more noble purpose in God’s great house and will deepen our knowing relationship with Him.

Enough said, Selah.

 

Hidden Infestation

Hidden Infestation

I must say, I am not easily offended. As a matter of fact, I jokingly tell people that you can try to offend me and I probably won’t even notice. To say I’m thick skinned in that area is an understatement (like a rhinoceros!). However, I am learning that sometimes unforgiveness and offense can sneak in like an unwanted cock roach and begin to nest in a busy life.

When I become offended or upset with someone I tend to immediately address it because I know the mess it can quickly become! Like when you see that first sign of little roaches, you exterminate immediately because they can multiply overnight! But what happens if you don’t know you have it? If it’s hidden and shielded behind something? I didn’t know I had unforgiveness or offense. As a matter of fact, I would have never known it had this one phrase not been said. “Your speech will betray you.”.

grace-scripture-2I had to really think about that. My mouth has been an ongoing refining and revamping process for YEARS! and still is if I’m being truthful. I have to intentionally watch and take a hold of my tongue and tone all the time! However, over the past 6 months it has definitely become a losing battle. I could see my impatience rearing it’s ugly head and my exhaustion showing up through my sharp words and tone. I could see the “old me” trying to take over the healed me, yet I couldn’t pin point the source. I knew the pressure and stress level in my life was higher then ever before due to circumstances beyond my control, but that was no excuse. At this point in my life I have learned to deal with stress, unpleasant, and hard life issues. This should be routine right? or not!

When those words were spoken, “your speech will betray you” it made me perk up and listen. Our pastor went on to explain. Whatever you are speaking of, is what your heart is consumed with (good or bad). That hit me like a 2×4 between the eyes. You see I had noticed that the majority of my conversations were about how hard this was, or what this was like. I could see my speech changing but I didn’t know how to stop it, or reverse it. I would do my best to veer the subject somewhere else, but it always ended back up there. This last Sunday I realized, my speech had betrayed me to unforgiveness and offense.

matt 6Unknown to me I had become bitter, hurt, and angry over the heaviness of the load I was carrying and it revealed itself through my speech. My outside handled it ok(not good, you can ask anyone in my house that! but ok) however my insides were becoming infested with all that grossness of bitterness and resentment and I didn’t even know it. You see offense and unforgiveness doesn’t just come when someone says or does something hurtful or mean. That’s the obvious ones to see. Offense can creep in when someone doesn’t do something and you are left holding the ball. It can come in by humans just being flawed and making mistakes, and you bare the brunt of it. It can so quietly sneak in with words that are not said. You must be careful…offense is a sneaky little sucker that breeds unforgiveness in masses and quickly!

IMG_0384So I urge you, this season, before this year ends, shine the light on your speech and see what scatters! Do a check and balance of what you are talking about in your down time. Who are you talking about? What does it sound like?(tone is everything you know) and Could there be something hidden and nesting in your heart and mind causing offense and unforgiveness and you not even know it? If you don’t address it, it will grow and multiply.

Freedom comes in forgiveness and we are called to be free! We are also called to love, and to do so we must consistently evaluate our hearts, our minds, and our speech to make sure the light is piercing the darkness and love is what is driving our lives!

Life Source

Life Source

As most of you know I run a non profit called Beauty Will Rise, We were promoting a community wide education event that we have coming up this weekend at a friend of ours church. As we were listening to the evening’s study given, this word and scripture just seemed to blow up inside of me and reminded me of where I have come from. I remember this place all to well, even though it was years ago, the remnants of the miracle will never fully fade away. The Holy Spirit just began to freshly remind me of the true extent of what He has done and what He wants to do for all those that feel like they are losing life.

what-have-i-been-asking-for-18-638Mark 5: 25-34 25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

I was that woman. I had an issue. 

You see the woman mentioned in this verse, had in “issue”. An issue that was draining her of her life source. Blood is THE life source to our body. It is what gives life to things, heals things, and gives energy to the body to do what it needs to do. If you have ever had a low blood count or been anemic, you know what I mean.
life issuesThis “issue” was literally killing her from the inside out and she knew it. Her life source was being lost out of her, every moment of every day. Life was not flowing like it should be. Her heart wasn’t getting what it needed. Her mind wasn’t getting the life it needed to work as it should. Her feet weren’t getting the life source it needed, therefore she was weak and weary. Her reproductive organs weren’t getting life as they should and so she was unable to produced little, if any. This “issue” had drained her entire being FOR YEARS, and was killing her. 

And it’s not like she didn’t try! She tried to understand WHAT was draining her. She spent ALL she had! Time, effort, and money trying to diagnose the problem to make it stop! She wanted it to stop, she needed it to stop, before it killed her. How many of us are like that? I know I was. I knew my life was dying. I knew my mind was in a constant state of chaos and confusion. I knew my heart was hurt and weak. My walk everyday was exhausting and a struggle. My life was hemorrhaging, yet I didn’t know why. I didn’t know what was causing or how to fix it! Good news. Neither did she.

I had tried church and doing all that I was suppose to do. I tried being the good wife and mother. I tried filling my heart with what I had hoped would make me feel full. I tried distractions, time filling activities, and outside help to try and remedy this inside turmoil that was killing me.

Yet, none of it work. Here is where desperation will make you do desperate things. Could it really be as easy as touching His garment? After looking, searching, researching, spending all she had finically, could simply be as easy as pushing through? Pushing through the things and people that were in her way keeping  her from Jesus and her healing answer? It was her last resort.It was HER decision to make, no matter what anyone said. She was so tired of her life being taken from her that going after Jesus was her last resort or the “issue” would kill her and she knew it.

I am so thankfully reminded that I don’t NEED to know what’s draining my heart. I don’t need to know what is confusing or tormenting my mind. I don’t need to understand what my “issue” is that causing me to lose my Life-Source. All I need to know is WHO can heal my Life source. She knew that He could make her whole, if she could just touch a remnant of Him. Do you know that? If you can just get with Him and touch Him in worship, in prayer, in relationship, you can then exchange your hemorrhaging life source…that feeds you heart, your mind, your body, and soul…. for His healing life source that makes you whole. rev 21

 

Spiritual Warfare…a stones throw away…

Spiritual Warfare…a stones throw away…

Bare with me through this first part…I promise you it will help you see things in a differently light in the end. I woke up this morning with Matthew 5:25 swirling in my head, the location that is, not the scripture(I had to look it up).“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

I thought Ok Lord what are you trying to show me, knowing that He had already told me to address some things and bring peace and unity to situations in my family. Then I began to do my morning reading in Mark chapt 4&5. I read where he delivered the demon possessed man from a legion of demons and into swine. I remember highlighting Mark 5:10….the demons asked to NOT be sent out of the territory. I thought ….ok? why?

Then a friend sent over the link to share….yes, ALL of this starting this morning mind you…she didn’t know what I was hearing or reading this morning. If you get a chance listen to it…it will bless you.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uqXLbhX6g8U Also, I only got through the first 30 min. before I stopped to write this.

So, what do all these “random” things have to do with one another? Matthew 5:25, Mark 5: 10, and TD Jakes video? First off NOTHING is “random”. When the Father is trying to lead and guide you into a certain direction, you have to perk up and listen to ALL He is bringing your way.

I have for a day or so felt the need to apologize to a person that, to be honest, I have NO desire to apologize to. I did not feel as though I did anything wrong. However, the scriptures right before Matthew 5:25, verses 23&24 says…matt 5-23

It doesn’t say if I have a grievance or if I did anything “wrong” but IF THEY have something against me that I am to go to them and reconcile! THEM not me… The holy spirit has been showing me that even though I did the best I could at the time..that it may have still hurt the person. I know it did. The entire situation was painful for all involved. Even though my intentions and actions were prayerful and I was trying, I still could have possibly handled the situation better. I see now looking back, how this is true. What I couldn’t see in the midst of it all, He is showing me now.

My question to the Father was why apologize? I did the best at the time that I knew to do? I prayed about things and handled well(or so I thought). It was a tricky and complex situation…I was upright and honest before God and man! I didn’t viciously or intentionally hurt them. However, the family has felt the consequences of the entire situation… there has been division and discord since then. It may or may not have been avoidable, I do not know. But I do know that I had a part to play in what is now…a lack of peace, division, and mistrust. So, how do I remedy that? I how to I regain the territory in my family of peace, unity, and faith in one another?

eph 6-12I attack not a person that i feel may be causing the “issues” (whether that be me or someone else). I wage war in the spirit…I can talk ALL day long about who did what, who was right, who was wrong. Who played what role and reason it ALL out; dividing the pie of guilt and responsibility up among all those involved. We would all have a piece or two but still the fact remains…we have allowed the enemy to creep in. I allowed him to creep in. He has been able to kill relationships, steal our peace, and attempt to destroy my family. So, what am I going to do about it? Call a family meeting? No. Call a counselor? No. Now I’m not saying those aren’t needed at times and that we should bypass them, but FIRST i’m going to war in the spiritual places to regain my territory. My family, our peace, and bring unity to a divided situation.

How? Start slinging oil..rebuking things and wail in tongues? Uh NO! The Holy Spirit has much more efficient and effective ways of doing things.

I’m going to start slinging rocks. When David went after Goliath to defeat the giant and gain victory…he didn’t do hand to hand combat. He didn’t sling oil, he slung rocks! Sounds crazy…but we all know the story…it worked. Quickly and efficiently. So, here is my question…What stones are you going to throw at the giant in your life to regain your ground? David strategically CHOSE his rocks! They weren’t random…they were smooth, refined, intentionally picked rocks to be used for a purpose! To defeat the enemy.rocks

So today I am going to strategically aiming and releasing peace into a situation. I am throwing in faith, believing that the Holy spirit will lead these weapons of warfare to land directly where they need to land to defeat the enemy. I am CHOOSING to allow LOVE to override my pride. I am doing intentional spiritual warfare, with one word, one stone, and one action at a time. Strategically set up and implemented to dismantel the enemy and regain the territory he stole. For I wrestle against no man, and no weapon formed against me will stand. For Love covers all. Now I ask again….what stones are you going to throw, to regain the territory the enemy has stolen?