22 November 2010

one divine moment ... ON HOLD!

Well, it appears that there are quite a few people that are anxiously awaiting their 'One Divine Moment’ – with many needing one divine moment in several areas of their lives. So what do you do when you feel like the one divine moment that you are waiting for has been delayed or PLACED ON HOLD?

Why would God do that if He really has good plans for my life, plans to prosper me and not to harm me? (Jer. 29:11)

Unfortunately, the answer might be closer than we think – as close as the mirror in front of our face.

I had a discussion with my oldest son recently. He was a little miffed when he went to register for his spring college classes – only to find a ‘HOLD STATUS'on his account.
• Unable to register for new classes
• Denied access to knowledge which will help him in his future
• Blocked from moving one step closer to achieving his goal

Why would a young man, so full of promise and doing so well in school, be denied the ability to move forward?

I’ll tell you why –
He failed to make the scheduled appointment with his advisor – something which is mandatory at his university.

Now, this situation is not earth shattering. He made the appointment and once he has the meeting, the 'HOLD' will be removed and he will be able to move forward. However, it is a great lesson in the pitfalls of procrastination and the woes of trying to circumvent process.

There is an order to things, whether we like it or not,whether we feel it is quality investment of time or not.

Processes are put in place for a reason.
And when we operate outside of the parameters of that process, we have to bear the consequences.

You might ask – ‘What consequences?’
Well, for my son, he might not be able to get the schedule he desires or, even the classes.

Is it worth it?
No it isn’t, not really.
It especially is not worth it for something as simple as having a discussion with your advisor.

That’s when I felt the press to write again -

Many are feeling like their one divine moment has been delayed – that it has been PLACED ON HOLD. And, in many instances, it may not be perception – it could be reality.

If you are feeling stuck today – like your forward motion is being hindered – it could be that you have been PLACED ON HOLD.


Failure to meet with the Almighty Advisor – with the Creative, Caring, Comforting Counselor

His thoughts are higher than ours (Is. 55:8-9)
He is the Wisdom of God and the Way (I Cor. 1:24 & Jn. 14:6)
He alone knows the plans that He has prepared of us (Jer. 29:11)
He knows the roads we travel, teaches us wisdom and He leads us in right paths (Deut. 2:7 & Prov. 4:11)

So why would we delay or avoid a counseling session with Him?

There are multitudes of reasons but, we will only look at three today (two which are closely linked):
WE THINK WE KNOW BETTER – ‘Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts (Pr. 21:2).’ Proverbs 16:9 says, ‘A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.’ It goes on to say in Proverbs 19:21, ‘There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel – that will stand.’ We must understand that even the wisdom of man is foolishness to God (I Cor. 3:19). It lacks eternal perspective. God knows the desires that He has planted in our hearts and the plans that are needed to reach that goal. And He will place us on hold until we seek His wisdom.

DISOBEDIENCE – Sadly, in our generation, it seems the surest way to get most people to do something is to tell them that they cannot. People hate to do what they should and love to do what they should not. It is part of human nature – fallen, sinful nature. But those who are of Christ have been made new and we are no longer slaves to sin. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation (II Cor. 5:17). Further, we have the Holy Spirit which enables us, reminding us that it is God who works in us both to want His good pleasure and to equip us to do it (Phil. 2:13).

WE HAVE NOT DONE WHAT WE SHOULD – Lastly, there is often condemnation for not doing the last thing He told us. But there is a simple solution. REPENT – turn from sin and toward God and ask for wisdom and guidance. And refuse to live under the weight of guilt. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom. 8:1).’ But, we must first stop walking according to the flesh.


His calendar is open from now through eternity – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

But, don’t wait that long. Talk to Him today!

While He is eternal, our time on this earth is not. And it would be a shame to be unable to move forward and accomplish all that He has purposed for us, simply because we refuse to meet with our Advisor. With one prayer we can get right back on track.


19 November 2010

One Divine Moment ...

So, I felt a press to write today and the topic that came to mind is divine moments – specifically the difference that one divine moment makes.

I had a meeting with a publisher this week and, although I cannot go into details, it was a great meeting. It was a moment, one divine moment, where you move one step closer to the manifestation of the dreams and desires and destiny that God has planted in your heart.

All I could say was, ‘Wow!’
And, of course, ‘Thank You’, ‘Praise You’ and ‘Hallelujah’

I thought about the many people in the bible who have been called to wait on the LORD, to endure the process of promise:
• Hannah waiting for Samuel
• Zacharias and Elizabeth waiting for John the Baptist
• Rahab waiting to be rescued
• Joseph waiting for the dream to manifest
• David waiting for the throne
• Esther waiting for words of deliverance from the king
• Peter waiting for God’s hand to move in the prison
• Jonah waiting to be released from his watery pit
• Israel waiting to occupy their promised land

What did that one divine moment feel like? What did they do the next day? How did they feel? There are so many wonderful tales in the Old and New Testaments.

Yet there are so many dreams TODAY that are still in the incubation process –
There are so many dreamers at various stages in their journey

So the press to write today was simply to say –
Keep Hoping, Keep Believing, Keep Trusting!

Against all hope – acknowledging but not valuing the aged bodies of he and his wife – Abraham esteemed God’s promise greater than what he saw and Abraham hoped in God. (Romans 4:18)

Now, you may say, 'I have been hoping and believing for a long time’.
You are in good company!

I say that not to discount what you feel but to affirm that your longsuffering may be an indication that the process is working exactly as it should.

Understandably, no one desires to just hope forever – and we cannot. The Word says in Romans 4:18 NKJV, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.’ The Message Version of that same verse says, ‘Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.’

And the beautiful thing is this:
When that one divine moment occurs – the moment that you have been praying and hoping for - it gives life and hope to you AND others.

There will be times when times when you feel like you simply do not have the strength to hold onto faith. But, take comfort because that is when faith holds onto you. It tells you to hope again, to trust again, to believe again and to move forward again. Then you rise and face another day ... with God ... in victory!

You keep moving forward with the understanding that nothing comes your way without the Father’s knowledge or permission. Luke 22:31-32 Message Version records these words from Jesus, ‘Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from Me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I've prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.’

He was letting him know that despite challenges, he would come out on the other side – not because of his skill, not because of his strength, but because of who was on his side, because Jesus prayed for him that his faith would not fail.

He offers that prayer to each of us today. He wants you to know that He has His hands on you. He will see you through. Just keep trusting Him and talking to Him – even if the journey feels too long. Having done all you can to stand, keep right on standing (Eph. 6:13).

‘Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.’ Romans 8:26 MSG

Dream the Dream, Pursue the Dream, Stay in the Process, Walk by Faith, Keep on Hoping!

‘He who has begun a good work in you will complete it …’ Philippians 1:6 NKJV

‘God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and will he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and will he not make it good?’ Numbers 23:19 ASV

‘The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise …’ II Peter 3:9 NKJV

What He said He would do, He does –
And He does it in one divine moment

Understand, however, that while the one divine moment can be refreshing, exciting and destiny changing – it may not immediately change the experience of your circumstances.

For all intents and purposes, my life is the same now as it was before that one divine moment:
- I am still unemployed
- I still need to manage kids and household responsibilities
- My back still aches from my tumble down the stairs a few weeks ago

But, the change is this –
There is a light at the end of this tunnel,and it is not that of an oncoming train

It is the dawning of a new day, a brand new season!
- Same journey, different stretch
- Same God, different day
- Still in the process, now with increased intensity and acceleration

Praise God!
Whether you have been waiting for 3 days or 30 years there is a moment –
One divinely appointed moment that truly changes things,
And it is on its way!

Dear God,

I pray for every person reading this entry. Breathe on them afresh with the overwhelming power and presence of Your Spirit. For those who have abandoned the desires that You planted in their hearts, ignite a flame which causes old dreams and longings to blaze again. For those who are actively pursuing your plans and purpose, gird them with strength, surround them with spiritual cheerleaders who will expand and facilitate the dream that you have planted on the inside of them. For those that are within leadership within Your Kingdom, cause a supernatural unity to well up universally. Surround these leaders with godly people who will make deposits into their lives and not just withdrawals. Grant them an ability to hear what you are saying. May we all hunger for and devour Your Word and may we communicate to those who are growing in grace as well as to those who are lost in darkness. May we do all things in love, focused on Your Kingdom and building Your name recognition throughout the world – that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is LORD!

In The Matchless Name of Jesus I Pray … Amen!

08 November 2010

How Attractive Are You?

How attractive are you?
And, no, I am not talking about your physical looks.
Do you attract or repel?

I ask because I got a call early this morning.

The person on the line was talking about how tough it has been – that they have had to work for seven days straight and how exhausted they were. I acknowledged how difficult that must be but then added, ‘It is always better to have a job than to not have one.’

How did they respond?
‘I know, really I know, I guess I was just vomiting a little.’
Point taken – they had read my blog ‘Think I’m Gonna Throw-Up’.

What followed was a conversation on that message and on the church – believers and their interactions with each other and some members of the church body and their interactions with the world. We also discussed the importance of staying in touch with the Holy Spirit daily to ensure that we understand God’s heart on a particular matter and that we are speaking from His heart of love as we talk to others.

This person shared how they had simply ‘been there’ for someone – one who needed a listening ear, a caring heart and someone to give them godly feedback [whether that is what they knew they needed when they called or not]. They also talked about the appreciation which was expressed by the person who needed the help.

Then, this person [the one who called me] said something that was so simple but that I found so profound: ‘Right actions are a magnet for right reactions’

Right actions are a magnet
They attract and draw in right reactions

So, you might ask [as I did], 'Why do so many people with good intentions find their words and actions met with seemingly [and sometimes actual] hostile reactions?’

When I worked in the corporate environment, relational challenges often came up as a topic of discussion with some of the people I mentored. Whether it was a problem they had with a supervisor or peer, their feedback to me would often be, ‘No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get along with that person.’ In response, I would ask them to share everything positive about that person that they could think up. If they struggled significantly or could not come up with anything at all, I knew we were fighting a near-impossible battle.

You see – if someone does not respect or appreciate ANYTHING about a person, they can say all the right things and it still will not yield a right result. The words and actions cannot be heard over the screams of all the ‘yuck’ inside which mucks up the conversation or interaction.

Know that no amount of behavior modification can conceal or mask a heart which lacks true love, compassion and respect for another as one of God’s fearfully and wonderfully made creations. If someone has a heart full of self-righteousness, judgment and condemnation – it will not matter that they say, ‘I love you with the love of the LORD.’ The person still will not come to church or Jesus because they sense the insincerity.

From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks [with tones and inflections]; even if the words are correct. And, if there are inconsistencies between the words and the heart, it will be felt and it can cause an offense.

How many times have you witnessed this scenario?
Someone says something to someone and it is met with an offended spirit. Then, the person who made the initial comment, rather than apologizing, will boldly proclaim, ‘God knows my heart.’

And what happens?
It often results in a bad reaction.

Now, please do not misunderstand my point. There will be times when you say and do the right thing, with the right intention and it still gets confronted by a wrong reaction.

Jesus, who said all things are possible with God (Mk. 10:27), said it is IMPOSSIBLE that offenses would not come. After all, we are all imperfect human beings dealing with other imperfect people – A RECIPE FOR OFFENSE. Yet Jesus adds a disclaimer of woe to the person through whom those offenses come.

And I must consider whether too many believers are taking the easy way out.

It is certainly easier to assume that – with respect to our actions or deeds- the recipient resides in the camp of offense. It is easier, and a lot more comfortable, than examining our own hearts to see if we might be the cause of the offense.

Gandhi is quoted as saying, ‘I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.’ Tough words indeed yet, they are not words to which we should take offense. Rather they should be cause for us to examine our hearts daily. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to, ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.’

Understand that God does indeed know our hearts.
Yet, if we are operating in love, our hearts ought to be evident to somebody other than God.

• When He saw the multitudes, He [Jesus] was moved with compassion (Mt. 9:35)
• And Jesus went forth … and was moved with compassion (Mt. 14:14)
• So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes (Mt. 20:34)
• And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand (Mk. 1:41)
• And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said (Lk. 7:13)

Jesus’ actions and speech sprang forth from His compassion, from His pure intentions, from His heart for the people. And as Christians, we are called to be like Him.

Not too unreasonable is it?

I love the song ‘I Will Follow’ by Chris Tomlin and I especially love when it says:
‘Who You love, I'll love’
‘How You serve, I'll serve’
‘If this life I lose, I will follow You’
‘I will follow You’

And isn’t that what being a Christian is all about?
Being like Christ –
Serving like Christ –
Dying to self like Christ -
Loving like Christ –

‘If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.’ I Corinthians 13:1-3 MSG

Do we truly love the people of God – ALL THE PEOPLE OF GOD – those who have received His call AND those who have not yet received the call?

Do we really want to see souls saved, lives transformed, communities regenerated, nations empowered, destinies influenced and eternity impacted?

If we will love people, truly love people and do everything out of that love –
If we will scrutinize ourselves, ensuring we are driven by right heart attitudes and intentions –

Those right actions will indeed be a magnet for right reactions.

02 November 2010

Think I'm Gonna Throw-Up!

Sunday morning, I started the day full of energy – thanking God for another day, ready to get up and get going. And as I sat in my bed, I heard the door downstairs. My mom was getting ready to leave for church. When she leaves, I’m usually asleep and when she gets back, I’m gone. So, I popped up out of bed to go tell her ‘good morning and have an awesome time at church’.

I got to the top of the stairs, took one step and – my feet decided to do something different.

Down I went, stair by stair on my tailbone and back until I reached two or three stairs from the bottom.


It knocked the wind right out of me and it hurt – BADLY!

I think mom almost had a heart attack. She helped me to the living room chair and declared she was staying home. I told her that was not needed since I was not going to be home. I was going to church.

I shook it off, limped back upstairs, took my shower and got ready for church. It wasn’t too bad – still hurt a little but I thought, ‘thank God it wasn’t worse.’ By the end of church it was hurting more. By the time I got home and got dinner started – worse. By the time dinner was served – EXCRUCIATING!

Mom was attentive, the kids were attentive. And I, well I was just in pain – LOTS OF PAIN. Monday was just as bad, except now the legs, back, shoulders and arms were hurting in addition to my bruised tailbone.

It made it hard to sleep, hard to eat [not necessarily a bad thing since I need to lose weight] and, at one point yesterday, the pain was so great it made me nauseous. I can’t recall pain so great that it made me feel like throwing up.

Out of my pain, I found myself praying for people who experience physical pain on a regular basis. And later, as I listened to a preacher talk about people whose minds are tired, I thought about the people who are hurting emotionally. It was 3AM and I could not stop thinking about the hurting people who say to themselves daily, ‘I think I’m gonna throw-up!’

Only thing is, they can’t throw-up. Some are just nauseous from all that life has thrown their way – emotional wounds caused by divorce, unemployment, insecurity, sickness, child troubles, financial devastation and bondages of sin – just to name a few.

They would like to get rid of all that stuff that is turning their stomachs but it is hard. I feel for them. I mean, I would rather throw-up and be done with it than to feel like I’m going to throw-up all day long.

When my kids were little and one of them would get sick, they would feel better after they threw-up. Now, sometimes they had to throw-up three or four times before they got it all out – but they did and eventually they felt better. It created a mess at times, got on me sometimes and caused all of us some sleepless nights. But, it was all worth it to see them made well.

That is NOT how it is with church folks.

It’s not that we’re not compassionate. For the most part, if we see someone struggling physically, we empathize. We pray for them, we understand their pain and we do what we can to assist – like my fall down the stairs, the subsequent pain and the help/attention from friends and family.

Where the church seems to miss the mark is with the emotional illness that people struggle with – so many, IN THE CHURCH, are sick in their soul and spirit.

They have been wounded.
They have faced disappointments.
They are concerned and confused.
And many are suffering in silence.

They keep rehearsing the words in their mind:
‘I think I’m gonna throw-up’
‘I think I’m gonna throw-up’
‘I think I’m gonna throw-up’
‘I wish I could just go ahead and throw-up, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll feel better’


WHY? Why can’t they throw-up?

Because every time they try, some other well-intentioned believer shoves a scripture down their throat and all the emotional vomit with it. They unintentionally, but emphatically tell them to reject the reality of the feelings they are experiencing.

Ludicrous thought?

Maybe the answer is ‘yes’ and maybe ‘no’. But, how ridiculous would it have been for me to tell my then three year old son not to throw up? Fruitless – although even I have to admit that there were times when I tried to get my son to ‘hold it’ as I ran, carrying him to the bathroom. Let me tell you, one time of that – and the awful trail left on the carpet from the bedroom to the bathroom – quickly taught me to place a waste basket beside the bed. Because, once it starts, you really cannot stop it until it’s done.

And that is the reason – I believe – that so many Christians have selected avoidance as the preferred coping mechanism. We don’t want to deal with the ‘emotional upchuck’ of others – it is messy, it might get on me, I might start getting sick myself [because I’m really not as strong as I pretend to be] and once it gets going, who knows when it will stop. Ever notice how when you really go through something, many of the associates [and some of the friends] disappear? They don’t know what to do or what to say and they know it could get messy. So they avoid you.

Now, we’ll never admit that. It sounds too selfish and superficial. And we are too spiritual. We view it as a sign of weakness and spiritual immaturity if someone [a believer] has the audacity to say something actually hurts when pain is inflicted. We say, ‘no weapon formed against you shall prosper.’ And, while the weapon will not ultimately prosper against me, TODAY IT HURTS.

We have adopted as an anthem, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ [by Frankie not Fergie]

Now, please do not misunderstand my intent.

I am not in any way suggesting that we do not encourage or admonish one another with the Word of God. We are supposed to ‘speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs’ and we should. (Col. 3:16)

I am also not suggesting that we are to create a co-dependent atmosphere with our brothers and sisters in Christ where we wallow in our sorrows and have prolonged pity parties.

Much to the contrary – when I have had the privilege of providing spiritual mentoring to dear female friends, I have [on occasion] been known to tell them, ‘This is no time for diapers or pull-ups. Put on your big girl panties and handle your business.’ I’m not picking on the ladies (this feedback is for every believer) but the majority of my interactions are with other women. Further, those who have received this somewhat stern, but focusing admonition know that it emanates from a deep well of love and true friendship which refuses to let them stagnate in their spiritual development.

However, there are times when tough spiritual love is not the prescription for the malady.

There are times when God tells me,
‘Let them cry’
‘Let them yell’
‘Let them curl up’
‘Give them a hug’ – something which takes me out of my comfort zone – WAY OUT

But I do it – not because it is comfortable – but because it is what is needed at the time. And, He has commanded me to 'rejoice with those who are rejoicing and TO WEEP WITH THOSE WHO WEEP'. (Rom. 12:15)

Jesus wept! (Jn. 11:35)

He identified with the pain of His friends and He demonstrated love and compassion in response to their heartache. He gave them permission, by His actions – as One fully enveloped by the Spirit of God – He gave them permission to grieve.

He gave them permission to throw-up.

In essence, He let them know that He could handle their pain. He could FEEL their pain. He didn’t mind if it got messy. He didn’t mind the odor. He didn’t mind the crying. He could even handle the disappointment and anger – because He knew that healing and wholeness follows the purging of those painful emotions. He doesn’t ask that we ignore our emotions. After all, He did give them to us. But He does require that we not be overrun and controlled by emotion.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see the practice of putting sick people [those with leprosy and issues of blood] out of the camp. Even in the New Testament, we see those with spiritual/emotional problems living outside of the city limits. The goal in each case was to ensure that the entire town does not become impacted by the illness, natural or spiritual.

That, however, was before we had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus could deal directly with the sick and hurting and dying because He was filled with the Spirit of the living God – They are One! And where God is, all His attributes are. He is the Healer so, healing is available. We don’t have to put sick people out of the camp because we have the Holy Spirit on the inside which anoints us like Jesus to, 'to preach good news to the poor … to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve … to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.’ (Is. 61:1-3)

Now you may say, ‘but we all have the same Holy Spirit if we are believers’. And we do – however, based upon where we may be spiritually at any given time, we may not all be granting Him full access to freely and fully operate in our lives.

If we were expected to function at 100% all of the time, He would not have reminded us of our need for relationships: ‘And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken' (Eph. 4:12 HCSB)

It’s after 4AM on Tuesday.
And, my back still hurts – A LOT!
But that is OK.

It does not make me less spiritual for acknowledging that it hurts.

It does not make me less spiritual that I have to go through the process of healing instead of experiencing immediate and miraculous healing the moment I prayed.

It also does not make me less spiritual that I was not able to avoid the fall in the first place. Now there are times in life when sin causes a fall – and that needs to be addressed with a heart of conviction, with prayer, confession and repentance. But, there are times when falls just happen, simply because we live in a fallen world.

I am a godly being [spirit], with a mind, will and emotions [soul], having a physical experience [body].

When I fell,
My body was injured and bruised
My soul chronicled the event and recorded the pain
My spirit knows God as the Healer and it trust and hopes and rejoices despite the circumstance

When emotional battles strike,
The body gets nauseous, and may even throw-up
The soul notates the situation and the associated pain
The spirit knows God as Almighty and it trusts and hopes and rejoices despite the circumstance

Think you’re gonna throw-up?

Go right ahead! Get it all out!

Trust that He can handle the mess and thank Him for the godly people He places in your life who can also handle the mess.

THEN BE MADE WELL– understanding that you may have to pull night duty for someone else. Peter's mother-in-law immediately began to serve once she was made well (Mk. 1:30-31). You can only serve well out of the wellness that is in you.

Be Blessed!