Life goes on… What happens after God puts a call on your life? Well, LIFE CHANGES. No time for twiddling my thumbs anymore…..
The axis shifted while I was away on the Florida coastline. I was busy soaking up the sun, doing some much needed fishing, and eating all the seafood one can handle – and I didn’t even realize that time was up. First of all, announcement #1 is that I am happily remarried. Thank God! This one is the final one. This one, it the right one. The love of my lifetime. We enjoyed a great wedding on the beach and a honeymoon beachfront condo packed with all the family (literally, every one of them). It was perfect. We had just gotten back to Texas, and we were so busy unpacking, moving, and catching up at work that we missed the fact that I had missed something. Several weeks have gone by now, and I decided I needed to check on it.
Ready for announcement #2?
When I found out, I almost fell out on the floor. I made the doctor test me 3 different ways “just to be sure”. And sure enough, it was true. I think I am still in shock. I wasn’t “ready” for that news. Then again, was I ready for any of the news I got last year? Nope. So here we go! I guess Trinity Grace is in the processing plant, and we have about 8 months to prepare. EEkkk!! My husband is bouncing off the walls, cleaning, storing, nesting – if you will. Me? Well, I am sleeping. Sleeping A LOT. This baby making thing takes a lot out of you. I’m recognizing the use of a good power nap, I’m peeing 50 times a day, and I wake up in the middle of the night parched, realizing this baby eats everything including the taste in my mouth. It’s definitely new for me.
I’ve been anointed for his purpose. So I guess I was equipped with the skills to see it through. I am holding tight to Jeremiah 29:11 ya’ll!
HERE WE GO!
Well ya’ll… It’s been FAR too long since I have taken the time to sit down and blog. But today, I blog. Let’s just say that I had an experience earlier in the week that was worth writing about. On this blog I have spared no expense sharing my heart. You all know that I am a sinner. The whole reason I came back around to Christ was because my life was headed in the wrong direction, and filled with sin and suffering. I am not too self-righteous to admit this. However, I want to share with you – there are a lot of people who are. I feel bad for those. My heart reaches out for those who appear to themselves “on a high horse”, and some of them – I am finding – are “Christians”. That’s not the way it was intended to be. We are called to BE THE GOOD in the world. When we see someone who has overcome sin, hurdles, and obstacles in life, it’s not up to us to judge or condemn.
I ran into a person in a restaurant the other day. To say the least, it was an unpleasant meeting. She called me by name as I was walking out, I responded and walked over, then she asked: “you’re a Christian blogger right?” To which I replied “yes.” Then the fun began! (sarcasm). Sheer attack is what I was faced with. She began yelling, pointing, causing a scene, name calling, and just downright being rude. Contrary to what I thought my reaction would be (ahem-slam her head into the wall behind her ) I was gentle, calm, and began trying to make sense of her madness, even to offer a ‘conversation’ (to no avail). I quoted scripture in rebuttal. (To which I was impressed, I didn’t even know that was in there!) This Cherish, The one who has been overtaken with the mercy and grace of God, has changed my heart of stone to a very soft ball of flesh.
It made me realize that all the things I have been saying is true. I am a changed person. God has done something INCREDIBLE through little ole me. As I left, I wondered who told her she could throw stones? When I walked away from that mess of a person, I was somewhat proud of that event that occurred. Even though it was a bash to my “ego”, I realized that I have lost my ego. I realized I have lost my “pride”(which was too big to begin with) and became solely dependent on God to fight my battles for me. It was truly amazing to walk away feeling on top of it. I had nothing to feel ashamed about – though she did. (Though probably too self-righteous to admit it.) The bible warns against this here: Romans 12:16- Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Afterall, Matt 7 says: Judge not lest ye be judged.
That experience in itself made me ponder. A hypocrite like that is the reason people don’t go to church. The reason some are afraid to go to church, and who’ don’t lik’e to go to church. It’s because a “Christian” like that is on the pew behind them! It’s Christians who call themselves Christians on Sundays and get into brawls and fits of rage that cause problems.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. If you live by those guidelines you realize everyone starts somewhere.
Let’s See What the Bible Really Says About Judging:
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Prov 31:9)
“Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt show her all her abominations.” (Ezek 22:2)
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Cor 2:15)
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (1 Cor 6:2)
I have decided that I will stand for what God wants from me in this lifetime. Though it doesn’t make worldly “sense” to me, I trust God – and my measure of faith is all I have, and it’s sufficient. 1 Corin 2:10 “But God has revealed them to us through is spirit. For the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows, the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. EVERYONE is a sinner. But it is in honestly, sincerely, wholeheartedly asking God to forgive you of it – that makes you new and forgiven.
I am forgiven.
Proverbs 18:19- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
So I thought back about what happened in the restaurant, and God led me to this. Galatians 5:19-26
Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dessentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; Of which I told you in a time past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. IF WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
So, to the lady at the restaurant… I will advise you (as a Christian) read Galations 5:19-26. As I read it, I suffer the condemnation of the flesh. (As do you.) It seems to me that you and I are just alike in Christ’s eyes. However, I walked away and WALKED IN THE SPIRIT in the face of attack.
Every Knee will bow, and every eye will close.
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
We humans place a lot of stock in our own reasoning and understanding. We think that because we don’t “see” it, or can’t “imagine” it, that the probability is non-existent. I’ve learned a lot of things recently. One of those things is never doubt God or his promises to you, no matter how unworldly, or ridiculous they may seem.
I am completely different than I was. My life is completely different than it was just one year ago.
Sometimes, I just sit and think about where I was in life, who I was in life, and I see why God decided to knock me off my high horse and take me off the road to mediocrity. I write this blog post this morning with a thankful, indebted heart.
This past year has proven to me that there is something bigger and better, higher and greater than I had ever expected. I have seemingly always believed in God. As a child, I would talk to him, pray to him, ask him things. Now, looking back – I believe he was answering me – I just didn’t realize it then. I was headed in the wrong direction as an adult. I didn’t see it because I was so blinded by the business of life and all the things the world had on it’s shelf for me. Now, I crave the peace and quiet. I would rather sit alone in a coffee shop and be at peace inside, watching the world pass by in their daily routes in a tizzy. I was there. I am much calmer now. Much more sure of what life will be, and what God wants from me.
I tried to lean on my own understanding for years. I was so beat down in my circumstances and tied that I never even tried to escape them. I never even prayed for escape. I prayed for love.
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Love came to me. However, not in the form I had imagined it would. Actually, far from what my prayers intended. Nonetheless, my life was filled with love, and my cup overflowed. I do not claim to undestand. In fact, I still don’t understand what has happened to my life, or the “me” that used to live in it. I no longer desire this world or the things of it – it all seems so superficial, and dim compared to what I have known and seen.
Be careful what you pray for.
I often think that I don’t recognize anything about my life anymore. But I find a peace and happiness in knowing that I am firmly placed in God’s hand. For the first time in my life, I stopped running away from my will, my duty, my path. I fought God, but ultimately he won. Now I am ashamed to think that I even put up the fight. I will never understand God’s love fully. I can’t wrap my human brain around his mercy, forgiveness, and faithfulness. However, I do know that he has given me all those things.
It is well with my soul.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
At some point, you guys are going to start thinking I’m making these stories up. However I warn you before I go any further – these are real. Tonight another really amazing thing happened to me and I can’t wait to share it!
Yesterday I had an hour to kill in between appointments so I decided to take a stroll in a department store browsing. I had been looking for a wedding dress for months, and not just any dress would do. LET ME TAKE A MINUTE TO EXPLAIN WHY
Remember I mentioned the visions I had been seeing? One of which was my wedding. My soon-to-be had seen the exact same vision, however where I only saw him, he only saw me. He explained the dress he saw to a very specific detail, he drew that dress on a napkin for me a couple months ago, and I have been obsessed with finding it every since. I knew it existed somewhere because God showed it to him, and it was burned so vividly in his mind.
I snapped a picture of a dress I saw at this department store and picture messaged him on his cell phone. I continued looking, because I didn’t think it was quite the right dress. He got back to me 30 minutes later and said “thats it” in caps. After I got the text message my phone blew up with phone calls from him. Well… I had already left the store. Matter of fact, I was 10 mintutes away so I popped a U-turn in the street and went back to get that dress (which they only had one of by the way.)
I pulled in, ran into the store like a mad-woman and went to the spot I found it. GONE! I panicked. I walked every isle thinking someone put it down somewhere else (after all it had only been 30 mins!) I even went so far as to see if anyone else was holding my dress – and I had decided I was going to buy them out to have that dress! I peeled every dress one-by-one until I was sure that it was gone. I asked every person on the floor about that dress and insisted they check in the stockroom, because I wasn’t leaving without that dress! Unfortunately, the dress was, in fact, gone – with no others to replace it.
I WAS DISHEARTENED. I made the phone call, and told him..
That night he got home from work and insisted we go back to the store. I insisted that I didn’t want to go back because I knew it wasn’t there- nor was there anymore coming. He was adament. So I digressed and went along preparing for yet another disappointment.
We got to the parking lot, and he prayed. In his prayer he said “Let us find the right dress, the one you showed me, and put it in my hand Lord, Amen”. I looked over at him, and smirked. We walked in. We went to the dresses.
BAM! There was that dress. Not just one, but four of them in each size.
I had an Oh my God! moment just then. My eyes were the size of golf balls when I said “those dresses were NOT there, I checked!”
I grabbed the dresses, rushed to the fitting room, and tried it on. I found one that fit, walked out, and I knew. His face said it all. After 10 minutes he uttered “That’s it!”
So I believe that dress was meant to be. He saw it, God provided it. If I had found it earlier in the day, it wouldn’t have been this great testimony to what God can do with a little faith and prayer. I now own the wedding dress that my hubby saw in his vision months back. How amazing is that story?! It is almost too surreal to believe. However, if God is for us who can stand against us?
I was driving today and started thinking about all the things I am grateful for. What better way to start off the day than to make a list and show gratitude on Grati-Tuesday!
I am grateful for my 2nd chance in Christ. I was saved at 18 years old in my grandmothers church. Though I had heard Gods call on my life- I ignored it for years. I am grateful that he grabbed me on the collar and made me walk a straighter line. With that, I am grateful for the newness within me and the love of Christ that I never truly experienced before.
I want to show gratitude for my sweetie also. To the man that wakes up every morning with a smile on his face and a song on his lips for me. The man who makes the worlds best cup of coffee and hands it to me with a hug and a kiss and a simple “I love you”. Coffee will never taste the same if it’s not prepared by that man.
I am grateful for family. Thankful that they will stand by you and beside you when need be. Extremely grateful to still have my family still with me on this Earth. I can still call mom and dad, my sisters and niece, and hear their voices and laughter on the other line.
I am grateful for the heart of flesh within me. I had been so hardened for so many years, I now understand the difference. I cry when I see things wrong, I have empathy and compassion where there was none. I feel extremely, uncontrollably, human again – and that is a dying breed here.
I am grateful for work. Just to have a job in this downed economy would be enough, but God gave me a job that I love, where I can really make a difference and feel fulfilled.
I am grateful for friends. Not just the many acquaintances I have come to know through work, but true friends. The friends that I would trust my life with. Im thankful to the friends I get to share my walk with God with. Those friends that knew me before and after, and who understand and appreciate who I am today.
I am thankful and grateful that my priority list was assigned and designated by God. That I have marching orders and if I obey, I have the promise of Gods blessing on my life. I am so grateful to be where I am at this point in my life. I feel as though I am a rocketship on a landing pad just waiting for blastoff!
I am grateful for every breathe I take. I pray I never forget how precious the breathe of life really is.
What difference did you make in someone’s life today?
So many Christians believe that they have to do something groundbreaking, enormous, and vastly substantial to make a difference. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God uses each of us together to make the big things happen. Have you ever watched a group tug of war competition? Picture watching the two teams battle, but only half of the first teams group is doing the work. Guess who won? It’s easy to see that every little bit that is done helps. Do not discount your “little bit”.
I remember when I was a child, I was working outside with my dad. We were digging a ditch to put in a swimming pool. Gosh, I remember that hole having to be extremely deep and wide, and no matter how much dirt I shoveled, it never seemed to get any deeper. When I was looking drained and exhausted from ditch digging, I remember dad looking at me and saying “every little bit you do, is a little less that I have to do”. I guess my “little bit” meant a little more to him than it did to me.
Another story I am reminded of as I write this. I was given 3 large print bibles by a friend of mine. (their “little bit”). I kept them in my car, just in case the opportunity to minister to someone might arise. One afternoon I was sitting at a Wendy’s eating lunch. I saw an elderly woman with a palm sized bible and what seemed like bottle cap glasses, trying to examine that book in front of her. At first, I laughed at its hilarity, but then I was immediately reprimanded and reminded that I had the solution to her problem not 5 feet away. I put down my hamburger, walked to my car, and pulled out a large print bible I had been saving. I walked in, handed it to her, and said” I think this is yours.” (“my little bit”) She was elated. She smiled, had me put my name and her name in that bible together, and said she would put it on her bedside table and read it every night.
See how small that was? It was a “little bit” of effort, a “little bit” of caring, and a “little bit” of compassion.
Are you ready to start sharing your little bit?
I want to hear your stories like this.
For those of you who don’t know what Brookshires is – it is a grocery chain here in Texas, like a Publix, Winn Dixie, or Food Lion would be. The Blog You Rang, God? reminded me about this story that has yet to be told. I used to believe that God only showed up on Sundays. I thought you could only touch God through being in church. Boy, was I mistaken.
One evening I went to Brookshires to pick up three simple items: Pepsi, Advil, Little Debbie snack cakes. My trip inside wasn’t going to take that long, so I didnt even bother getting a cart. I picked up item #1, gathered item #2, but when I got to isle 10 to pick up item #3… my knees buckled. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and he laughed at me as my legs wiggled beneath me and said I must’ve been so blown away by him my knees buckled. I laughed, and said “No buddy, but I know what this feeling is and I must get out of this store!” I grabbed my item, rushed to the check out, and went straight to the car. There I felt the wind of the spirit come over me and I began to shake uncontrollably.
Now in retrospect this part of the story is funny, but then it was just wild… He walks out to the car and sees me shaking like a leaf and almost convulsing in the driver seat (I was parked..btw, you can’t drive while in a full on holy ghost fit). Anyways, he was ready to call 911 and hospitalize me. Poor thing, he didn’t understand. To be honest, I can’t say that I did either. I just told him to go away, that God and I had some business to tend to. Needless to say he didn’t leave so what ended up happening was this….
I got the holy ghost, touched his hand, then he got the holy ghost. So here we both are, in the middle of Brookshires parking lot, fully lit, cars driving by, security camera fixed on us.. and I am convulsing inside the car, he is shaking outside the drivers side door, and we are both looking mighty silly looking like clucking chickens.
He ended up falling out on the concrete before God let go of him. Once that happened, I got the spirit of laughter, and couldn’t quit. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed..Oh, It was quite a sight to see. When I die, I’m gonna ask for God to replay that for me. I think I will get a kick out of that.
What I didn’t know, was he had never experienced the holy ghost before. He also never spoke in tongues. Well, those two things changed that night. God is definitely real. Tongues is real. Holy laughter is real. God will show up on Sunday in church, and on a Monday in a grocery store.
Oh what a life!