29 January 2011

if nothing changes ...

My friend sent me an email devotional this week which was entitled ‘Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes’. In it, the writer spoke of our individual need to get sin out of our lives, to remove ourselves from unhealthy relationships and to pick-up healthy practices which grow and not destroy our spirit. It was powerful!

Then it got me thinking about the faithful saints: the ones who have taken diligent steps to maintain a spirit of humility and repentance. They so love the LORD. They examine themselves daily against His Word and what He is speaking to their spirit.  And they make changes so that they do not grieve their LORD, so that they do not walk in sin.

They love people, both their friends and those who would consider them enemies. They give generously. They cannot help it because they are made in the image of their Father. They serve God’s house and others faithfully, without complaint or an attitude of religious superiority. They model Christ.

They are the people who often get overlooked. But they don’t mind. They are content to rise every day and do exactly what it is that they feel the LORD has placed upon their hearts. His approval is the only one they seek.

So what happens when the circumstances which try these faithful soldiers goes unchanged?

What is the explanation when they cling to God’s Word, recognizing that certain things only go out by prayer and fasting – and they pray and fast – and nothing changes – or things appear to worsen?

How is it reconciled when the fact that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ has been so ingrained into their spirit that they give, and give, and give? Yet they face financial reversals – the same reversals as those who refuse to honor God’s principles.

How is it reasoned when the healing does not manifest? When the marriage fails? When the job ends? When the aloneness persists? When the ministry does not increase? When the child ends up on drugs? When the child dies? When the weeping endures longer than a night? And, although the joy comes in the morning, it is within the context of the present reality and in light of the fact that the prayer was not answered exactly the way it was hoped or desired. Where is the comfort?

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

If nothing about the circumstance changes, take comfort.
Nothing about the character of God changes.

He is still Omni-potent, the all powerful One who is able to stop anything and everything – but who allows situations and circumstances for reasons which we know not. The situation is not too great for Him to be able to impact it. And perhaps He allows the situations to persist to let each of us know that the matter is not too great to impact us.

He is still Omniscient, the all knowing One who has not let a single detail of what is happening in your life to escape His attention. Nothing has caught Him by surprise. There is not a single instance where He sits in heaven and says to Himself, ‘Wow! I didn’t see that coming.’

He is still Omni-present, the all present One who cannot help but to be present in your circumstance – because He is everywhere. He will never leave you nor forsake you – because He can’t, because He promised.

Nothing changes if nothing changes

If nothing changes in the circumstances and nothing changes with God, where does the change take place? The change occurs within each one of us. Nothing changes if nothing changes - except us.

If nothing changes and the healing does not manifest –
We change as we realize that we can have a quality life despite the illness.

If nothing changes and the marriage fails –
We change as we learn that there is life after divorce, and not just any life, one of joy, peace and fulfillment.

If nothing changes and the job ends –
We change as we lean upon and trust God for provision in a way that we have never had to do before.

If nothing changes and the aloneness persists –
We change as we rejoice in the presence of God, even if it means that we must live outside of the company of man.

If nothing changes and the ministry is not as impactful as we hoped –
We change as we despise not the day of small beginnings and do all things joyfully unto the LORD.

If nothing changes and the child ends up on drugs –
We change as we trust God to take care of and protect and rescue and redeem that child in a way that we are unable.

If nothing changes and the child dies –
We grieve. And then, eventually, we change as we are transformed into beacons of hope for others. I heard someone say earlier this week, ‘When someone loses a husband, you call her a widow; when someone loses a parent, you call them an orphan; when someone loses a child, you don’t call them anything – because it is so unimaginable, so painful and so grievous that there is not a word to describe it. Yet there is hope and love in Jesus. And as we change, we understand the grace and strength of God to keep us in one of the most horrific circumstances which could occur. You learn this whether you have lost a child or not – for when you love others as yourself, their pain becomes real to you in a way that I cannot explain.

If nothing changes and the weeping endures longer than a night, if nothing changes and the joy that comes in the morning is within the context of the present reality and the fact that the prayer was not answered exactly the way it was hoped or desired –
We change as we keep on believing, trusting and clinging to the unmoving and unchanging hand of God.

Praying that God will bless you abundantly, that He will touch all of the issues of life that touch you, the places that only you and He know about.

With the love and compassion of our LORD Jesus Christ ...

26 January 2011

Held by God

Know that God is holding you today – no matter what you are experiencing.
He doesn’t always keep us from the flames – but He is always with us in them.
‘Behold I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands’
Isaiah 49:16

Two beautiful songs by Natalie Grant
'Held' and 'Our Hope Endures'

I would have despaired
unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living
Psalm 27:13NASB

God is With Us

El Shaddai
All Sufficient One

Jesus Christ is our Hope of Glory!

JOURNEY 201¦1 Unpacking

Hope you all had a wonderful week with God!

I have had so much fun over the past week, getting in His presence, time with family and friends and celebrating my birthday. However, all that joy was impacted by thoughts about several friends who are going through some difficult times.

They want to journey with God, but they keep finding themselves ‘stuck’ – stuck in mindsets, stuck in situations and circumstances, stuck in their relationship with God. It is easier to end up ‘there’ than you might think. However, it is just a simple to move away from the loop of discouragement and disappointment - which brought me to this week's journey message.


While preparing to take a journey in the natural, we take time to pack all of the items that we desire to take with us. However, as we prepare and participate in a spiritual journey, we find that is often necessary to UNPACK some things. And one of the biggest things that we need to remove from our travel case is offense.

When traveling, there is nothing worse than being stuck in a car, on an hours-long road trip, with someone that you can’t stand. There is tension, impatience, strained conversation and even complete silence. It makes for a terribly miserable journey.

Spiritually, it is the same way. Offense creates a most unpleasant traveling atmosphere and can make it impossible to move forward at all. The offenses that are held create a prison which locks up the offended, while the offenders continue on with their lives. They have no idea that they have caused an offense or simply do not care. And the offended, when refusing to let go of the offense, sentences and imprisons him/herself. They waste days, months and even years of their lives being offended and waiting for an apology that might not ever manifest.

Understand that we must forgive – for our own sakes.

Corrie Ten Boom (a Dutch Christian holocaust survivor) is quoted as saying, Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.’ She is also noted as saying that, ‘Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.

Sadly many have become imprisoned by harmful words and dreadful actions, spoken and committed against them. Yet the Bible tells us, ‘Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ Colossians 3:13

The Word also conveys the benefits of such forgiveness, ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’ Matthew 6:14-16

So, what does it mean to forgive?

Well, a search of the internet (Wikipedia) notes the following: ‘Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.’ That means we must bring an end to the resentment which has grabbed hold of our heart and spirit due to the words, actions or inactions of another.

But what do you do when the offense is against God?

Offended by God. Some may not admit it or even realize it. Yet that is exactly what is being communicated in many of the conversations that I am having with Christians. They are displeased and upset with God because of circumstances.
- The healing did not manifest
- The home got foreclosed
- The car got repossessed
- The marriage failed
- The finacial reversal came (despite their giving)
- The child ended up in prison
- Worse, the child ended up in the morgue
- The prayer went unanswered (in their assessment)
- The need went unmet (based upon their perception)

They are offended. And the only one who can help them move past the offense is God. However, they are faced with a dilemma. My friend has a similiar challenge. She is having trouble communicating with God and embracing the reality of who He is. And as we talked, she questioned: ‘How do you talk to someone when they are the one that you have a problem with?’ My response was to liken the situation to a marriage. You don’t talk to the person down the street to fix problems in your home. You have to talk to your spouse - that is if you truly want reconciliation to take place.

Likewise, if you have an offense with God, you need to talk to Him about those concerns. He can handle it. He knows exactly where you are. He will answer you through His Word. But understand that you may have to deal with some ugly issues and truths about yourself in the process. It will definitely cause you to gain a broader perspective and to rearrange, if necessary, your focus and priorities.

I just started reading a book by Max Lucado titled, Next Door Savior and I was taken by something that He said in the first chapter: ‘The cache of Christianity is Christ. Not money in the bank or a car in the garage or a healthy body or a better self-image … the Fort Knox of faith is Christ. Fellowship with Him. Walking with Him. Pondering Him. Exploring Him. The heart-stopping realization that in Him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable, and unfathomable.’

That is what JOURNEY 201¦1 is all about!
It is about knowing God, moving with Him and experiencing everything He has for you.

But if there is hurt, if there is offense, if you are unable to unpack those unhealthy emotions – it will make for an unpleasant and unproductive journey.

You may have to wrestle with some of the disappointments and unrealized expectations. You may have to wrangle with them on more than one occasion. Know that just because you unpack an offense, it does not prevent the enemy from coming back ‘at an opportune time’ to whisper it in your ear and try to get you to embrace those toxic emotions all over again. It is a process – one which will require determination, honesty, surrender, commitment and persistence, one which requires the inward dwelling of His Holy Spirit which graces us with the ability to ‘unpack offenses’ and, as we mature, to avoid ‘packing on’ the offense to begin with.

We must get to a place where we truly believe God and His Word and not just recite scriptures that we heard at a conference or have learned through repititious attendance at church services for the past twenty years.

As relates to others: I will not pick up the offense if I truly believe and understand Ephesians 6:12 which states, ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ I will understand that the forces of darkness are always at work and I will not lash out at people.

As relates to God: I will not ‘pack on the offense’ if I believe God and truly know His heart.

Trust His words. 'I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.’ Jer. 29:11

Be comforted by His promise. ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).’ Jer. 33:3

Let peace prevail. ‘We are assured and know that God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.’ Rom. 8:28

Be confident. ‘For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.’ Jn. 3:16

Talk to God, repent for being offended, read His Word.
Unpack the offense, unpack the hurt, unpack the pain –
And be free!

Then JOURNEY in joy and in peace with God

23 January 2011

40 Years ... and counting

I am celebrating my 40th birthday!

It is almost 2AM. But, the celebration actually started on Thursday when my siblings threw me a surprise birthday party – my first ever! Everything was purple and black – it was beautiful!

Black is my favorite color and purple – well I like to think that it speaks to the regal lineage I was adopted into when I accepted Christ. It is also reflective of the fact that I was named after a queen – a warrior queen. My name also means 'Father's Ornament', like a beautiful amethyst set in a crown.

My two sisters – who went shopping at different stores, at different times managed to get me the exact same card ... It was wonderful!!!!!

Right now, I am sitting here in my living room, praising and praying and thanking God – thanking God that He is in my life, thanking Him that He has kept me all this time. His love makes everything worth it!

I can hardly believe that it has been forty years. It has gone so quickly. Yet I have no regrets or fears of getting old. I’ve been forty since I was fifteen … always had an ‘old soul’ as a teenager. Now it just feels like everything ‘fits’. I can’t really explain it in words – which is really rare for me since I am a 'word-girl'.

I marvel at the fact that I have two adult sons – one is eighteen and the other will be twenty in two weeks. And I can’t forget my youngest son who is almost a man himself at sixteen. My aunt once told me, 'There is a special place in heaven for a mother of three sons'. She likely said it because she has three sons herself. But, it is a special privilege. God has blessed me with the opportunity to pour into their lives, to raise godly young men who will be godly husbands and fathers one day.

As teenagers, my three sons have seen more of the world then I had seen when I was their age. A couple of years ago, the two eldest traveled through Europe as Student Ambassadors. Between them, they traveled to eleven countries. They were able to see places that I have only dreamed of visiting. But God has allowed me to go to many of those places through the internet. Through this blog, He has given me the opportunity to reach people across the globe with the hope of His gospel.

I love that – at forty – I am truly doing what I love to do! I am reaching out to and encouraging God’s people – all of His people. I speak to those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior AND to those who have yet to make that choice. We are all His. He made each and every one of us with care and love. Jesus gave His life so that each one of us could be reconciled to the Father. For many of the last forty years, He has allowed me to carry that message of grace and hope and love - to benefit from it. I am thankful for that!

I am thankful for and excited about what lies ahead! I will continue to pour into my children’s lives – as long as they permit me. I am thrilled about this site and will continue to reach out to anyone who visits this blog – three new countries this week! I am excited about the book being released this year and I am praying that His anointing will go with every copy, directing it into the right hands and giving the reader the strength to keep pushing forward through the storms of life. I eagerly pursue and anticipate the complete manifestation of everything that God has placed on my heart.

Happy Birthday to Me!
The Party Does Indeed Continue …Praise God!

19 January 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 Believe It!

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’ It is a powerful quote and one that has stayed with me from the first time that I heard it. To me, it speaks to a need to operate within the boundaries of reality.

Too often though, we ignore the truthful obvious in exchange for a lie. I’m not sure why this happens. Perhaps we have been conditioned, as part of the fallen nature of man to gravitate towards what is false. Perhaps we have just gotten too busy with life, technology and religious practice to be observant. Perhaps our lenses through which we view the world have been permanently tainted by life experiences. Whatever the cause, it seems to happen quite frequently that we convince ourselves that what we see and have been told is not the truth – both positively and negatively.

There is a story of a woman in an unhealthy relationship. She is belittled, demeaned and abused – verbally, physically and emotionally. She is terrified and miserable. Yet, one day she escapes that prison. And after much time, another man enters her life, a gentle man. He respects and honors her; he protects her and encourages her. He does everything she ever dreamed that God-sent man would do. But she does not believe what he says or what he does. Why? She still looks at life, and him, through the lens of hurt and disappointment. Rather than enjoying the reality of what is before her and the joy-filled vision of what could be, she embraces fear and uncertainty; she rejects him and chooses aloneness – while she keeps waiting for the future that she has dreamed of: the future that was standing right before her eyes and which just walked away from her presence because she said, ‘No thanks.’

Sounds a bit unbelievable doesn’t it?

Yet it is a reality for many women (and men) out there.
Sadly, it is also a reality for many Christians.

How difficult was the vision exercise last week? I would imagine, for some, it was a trying experience – if you dared to do it at all.

You see, we can be just like that woman I described.

Some of us have been so damaged by the past, by relationships, by hurtful words, by damaging actions and by ungodly voices that said we would never amount to anything. We have been so injured that we have a hard time seeing anything other than what we have previously experienced.

Although we have a Gentleman standing in our presence telling us that He chose us (I Peter 2:9), that we are lovely (I Peter 2:1-5), that He will protect and defend to the death and that He has already (John 3:16) – we question that truth which is right before our eyes. At times, we elect to ignore it altogether.

As we read Luke 1:28-29, we gain some insight from reading the story of a young lady receiving a vision or revelation from the Lord. Mary, a young virgin, engaged to be married, was visited by a celestial being on assignment from the very throne room of heaven. The account reads, ‘And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.’

It seems like a wonderful greeting to receive from an angel.
How many of us would love to hear an angel tell us that we are highly favored and that the Lord is with us? Yet she was troubled at his saying. And, he had not even revealed to her the total sum of God’s plan for her to carry the Messiah. He merely told her that she was highly favored, blessed and in the company of the Lord.

I am not sure what Mary’s life had been like up to that point.
I am not certain what your life has been like up to this point. I am, however, well-acquainted with what my life has been like up to this point. And if I am honest, there have been times when my response was just like Mary’s when God showed me what He had in store for me.

Yet, He responds to me just like the angel responded to Mary, ‘Do not be afraid … for you have found favor with God.’ (Lk. 1:30)

The same message is delivered to you today:
Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God!

Since God has shown you who He is, believe Him!
When God shows you who you are and what He has for you,
Believe Him !

If we are not careful, we can get caught in a cycle where, we look at the bad and try to convince ourselves that it is good. We look at the good and are convinced that it must be false. Or that if it is true, it could not possibly apply to our lives.

Often times we are taken aback when we hear what God thinks of us because our self view is not aligned with His God view. It can be intimidating once we realize who God says we are because, once we know, we must rise to the call or walk in disobedience. A new revelation of who God says He is and who He says you are will always require action on your part.

You will have to push past fear, intellect and experience –
and believe.

You cannot let fear prevent you from journeying with God – whether it is fear of an unknown future or fear induced by a living knowledge of past disappointments. You must be intentional about drawing near to God, finding out who He is, finding out who He says you are and what His plans are – despite your fears or insecurities and without consideration of what it will cost you. No price is too great to walk with God.

God has proven His character. He has told you and shown you who He is. He has done the same thing for me. He is a good God (Num. 23:19), who has good plans for each of us (Jer. 29:11), who looks for opportunities to show Himself strong on our behalf (II Ch. 16:9), who is working all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28), who will do exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or think – if we will only let the power of His Holy Spirit work in us and through us (Eph. 3:20).

We can trust what He has revealed. And, when we do, we will experience God and all that He has for us. Further, we will hear others testify of our faith, just like Mary did when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth: ‘Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Luke 1:45

Blessed are those who BELIEVE, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told them from the Lord. Hallelujah!

I am praying for you …
Praying that you will experience God’s presence, like never before; praying that you will know Him; praying that you will believe Him; praying that you will experience all He has for you. I pray that you will have a blessed week! Sending much love your way ...
God Almighty who plants into our hearts His heavenly hopes and visions,
will not fail us when we press forward to possess them.

17 January 2011

quick thought ...

If I learn compassion, it matters not if the instruction comes from a pastor, a life coach, a homeless guy or a five year old; what matters is that the learning takes place. Too many have missed vital life lessons focusing too intently on the teacher. Humility and true wisdom enables one to learn something from everyone.

15 January 2011

Power ... In The Name of Jesus

Just wanted to share this video that I saw today:
The song is 'Break Every Chain' by United Pursuit Band

When you get a chance, check out 'The Story of  a Young Lady ...' on http://chuckbalsamo.com/
 Powerful testimonies ... powerful song!

Be Blessed!

12 January 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 See It!

Greetings Friends!
I pray that everyone's week went well.

I pray that God was able to show you some areas where He is pleased and also where there might be some room for improvement. Don’t worry, you do not have to share what He showed you. You just need to be committed to doing something about it.

He showed me that I need to work on patience and self-control. I do great most of the time - except when I get in the car. I also am working on self-control in the area of relationship management. There comes a point in life where you realize that you do not have to attend every discussion or debate that you are invited to. God pointed this out to me in 2010 - but I sill have some work to do. So, please keep me in your prayers in both of these areas.

Enough for last week -
This week we will be focusing on vision
JOURNEY 201¦1   See It!

When I was working in the corporate arena, I would plan trips for my family. We traveled to Luray Caverns in Virginia; went up north to Boston where I was born; went to Washington D.C.; traveled to Panama to see their dad's side of the family and took a cruise to Mexico just to name a few.

With each trip, the process was different: the time required for pre-planning, the necessary finances and even the accommodations for my MinPin Chico. Yet with each trip, there was one major similarity: I had to decide where we were going before we could do anything else. I had to get a vision, if you will, of what I wanted us to experience with each journey.

Well, much like a natural journey, we must take time in our spiritual journey to identify where we are going. Unlike the natural journey, however, we do not determine the destination - GOD DOES. He also determines what resources will be needed and who gets to along for the trip. His adventures never disappoint - the process perhaps - but never the final destination. Yet, that is a discussion for another day.

Today we are on a specific mission:
First, we'll look at why it is important to get a vision.
Next, we'll have our assignment just like we did last week.
And finally, I will share some examples so you know how the assignment should work.

Why is it important to get a vision?
You need to know what God desires of you. He may give you a dream, a vision or a simple instruction. Whatever method He uses, He let’s you know where He wants you, where He doesn’t want you, where you’re going and, at times, the process He will use to get you to that end state.

See some of the following biblical examples of how God reveals His vision:
  • Made a covenant promise, told Noah what was to come and how to build the ark (Gen. 6:13-22)
  • Promised Abram He would make him a great nation (Gen. 12:1-4)
  • Promised Jacob He would give him the land and make him a great nation (Gen. 28:11-15)
  • Gave Joseph dreams letting him know he would lead (Gen. 37:5-11)
  • Chose Moses as deliver and spoke of the promised land (Ex. 3:7-10)
  • Declared Gideon a ‘mighty man of valor’ before he was (Jud. 6:12)
  • Anointed David while he was still a young man shepherding sheep   (I Sam. 16:11-13)
  • Opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to let him know the victory was sure (II Kings 6:16-17)
  • Called Jeremiah at a young age, letting him know he was ordained a prophet (Jer. 1:4-10)
  • Changed Simon's name to Peter, indicating a future character transformation (John 1:41-43)
Once you have an instruction from God, you can move with confidence even if you do not fully understand where you are going or why. We can trust His character, knowing that the plans He has for us are good plans; plans to prosper us and not to harm us; designed to carry us through the process of destiny and to the end that He has prepared for us. (Jer. 29:11)

As you draw near to God, to the One who designed your purpose, He will reveal His plans to you. However, without an intimate relationship with Him and revelation from Him, life is meaningless.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people perish … (NKJV)
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint … (NIV)
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild … (NLT)
Where there is not prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint … (ESV)
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. (MSG)

Without the written Word of God and without the revealed purpose of God, the people have no boundaries in their lives. They make decisions which run contrary to His expressed will because they have not taken the time to draw near to Him and find out what His will is.

In studying, we find that the Hebrew word for 'perish' is 'para', which means, among other things: to take the lead; to be out of control, to promote wickedness:- uncover, make naked. When we operate outside of God's vision for our lives, we let Him know that we are taking control, taking the lead and trusting our own ability more than His. When we do this, we expose ourselves, leave ourselves naked and bare, outside of His covering and protection.

But, when we seek Him, He reveals His vision which:
Provides focus
Giving a specific goal and minimizing the effects of distractions

Creates boundaries
Influencing and guiding actions

Strengthens faith
Letting us know He has an individual purpose and good plan for each of us

Centers and anchors
Providing understanding that His vision is His will and causing us to stand firm

Gives insight
Enabling us to develop a keen awareness between good decisions and God decisions
Get a visionif you do not already have one
Pray to God - find out who He would have you become,
what He would have you do
Once you get the vision/instruction, find and image to represent it
Keep the image before you throughout the year
Respond in faith to all that the Father reveals
To give you and idea of what I am saying,
I have provided a few of the images that I am keeping before me:

Souls being saved,
Lives being changed

The fruit of the Spirit
Everything Jesus modeled
Everything I must become

My book -
While not the final cover,
this is the image that I have had before me for a year now –
long before the publishing company ever agreed to do my book.
It is the image I will keep before me until it is published.

This is an image of a spine – a straight spine.
Doctor’s have told me that it is all but inevitable...
that my son will have to undergo back surgery.
Yet, I know a Great Physician!
And I keep the image of his straightened back before me as I pray.
Every vertebrate brought into perfect alignment the way God designed it.
It reinforces my faith while I await the manifestation of that healing.
It keep me focused on doing what I can in the process, which is making him wear his brace.

What is this you might ask?
This is a picture of a blueprint.
My church has purchased land and we are going to see buildings on that land.
This image reminds me why I give every month.
It shapes my prayers and helps me to stay focused in giving and serving.

The last I will share,
But certainly not the last there is:

I hold an image of all of you.
I don’t know what many of you look like.
But I have an imprint of you on my heart –
a vision of you journeying into His presence like never before,
an image of you becoming all that God desires,
a picture of you possessing and occupying all that He is providing.

This vision phase is so important!
I would like to pray for you personally.
If you need prayer, please leave a message.
Comments are moderated prior to being published.
Therefore, if you do not wish for it to be published on the blog, just type the word 'PRIVATE' at the top of your comment. I won't publish it, but I will pray.

I am already praying that God will bless you abundantly ... 

Have a Victorious and God-Centered Week!

08 January 2011

only believe ...

‘Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’
Matthew 17:20 NKJV

Over a year ago, I read this verse and was filled with guilt and condemnation. Looking at my situations and circumstances, my declaration at that time was, ‘God, I must be really bad because none of my mountains seem to be moving. I don’t even have ‘mustard seed faith’.

But that is when God responded, ‘Oh, but you do. Though nothing is bearing fruit, though all that you experience is running contrary to what you have read in My Word, though everything around you is telling you to abandon your faith and give up – still you come to Me praying, and trusting and BELIEVING that I will respond. THAT is mustard seed faith. Moving the mountain was never your job to begin with. Moving the mountain is My job – your job is to BELIEVE.’

Well, I was led to read this same verse this past Tuesday –
And, God brought it back to me again on Thursday,
Through a conversation with a friend and again later through a book.

Then I found myself meditating on ‘mustard seed faith’ all over again. I found myself questioning, ‘Why a mustard seed?’ A mustard seed is so very, very small.

And this is the thought that came:

you either believe or you don’t.

It is much like a pregnancy –
You cannot be a ‘little’ pregnant …
you either are or you are not.

Likewise, you cannot believe a little ... you either do or you do not ... it is all or nothing

If there is any doubt – true belief is not present 
The light of Who God is pushes out the darkness of doubt and insecurity.

If you have a little faith – you have GREAT FAITH,
Because there is a belief and trust IN HIM

Likewise, if you have a little doubt – you have GREAT DOUBT,
For your disbelief has nullified the Person of Jesus Christ, the Power of Jesus Christ, the Promise of Jesus Christ, the Words of Jesus Christ and the Word Who is Jesus Christ.

The Message Version of Matthew 17:20 says, “When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked, "Why couldn't we throw it out?" "Because you're not yet taking God seriously," said Jesus. "The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, 'Move!' and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn't be able to tackle."

Consider this …

There is a faith that believes what Jesus said and did. However, it is overshadowed by a faith that believes WHO Jesus IS. There will ALWAYS come a day when what you see and experience runs so contrary to what you read in His Word that you will question what you believe. WHO you believe will ALWAYS influence and guard what you believe.

Have faith IN GOD – not in feelings, not in dreams, not in angels, not in healings or in miracles. The devil quotes scripture, demons masquerade as angels of light and the magicians performed many of the same wonders that Moses did under the anointing of God. Believe God ...

Only Believe …

05 January 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 You Are Here

Today we begin ...


I am so excited!
It is similar to when you get ready for a trip –
So full of anticipation and eager to get going.

Yet, while we often will plan for a natural journey, there is the tendency to do little or nothing to prepare for a spiritual journey. Therefore, our focus for January will be in getting prepared for the remainder of this year.

When I worked as a manager, I would start to prepare for the next year at the end of September. It was good to start planning a few months before the start of a new year so that we could collectively ‘hit the ground running’. That was the ideal. That, however, is not our situation. No worries though.

When you do not have ideal circumstances, you deal with the real situation.

You have to start where you are. And here we are at the beginning of the year. But, before we can chart the course for where we are going [and it will be different for each of us since He created us uniquely] – we will have to take time to figure out and be honest about exactly where we are.

A sort of spiritual ‘You Are Here’ exercise.

Over the next week, I want us to take a look at the following verse:
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 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.’ Galatians 5:22-25

Read it, re-read it, read it out loud, meditate on it, take notes, and PRAY. Pray that God would show you where you are and where you need to grow. It will help to look at Galatians 5:19-21. But, really meditate upon Galatians 5:22-25.

Take time to be honest with yourself ...

But do not get locked into a cycle of condemnation. Remember Romans 8:1 which states, ‘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.’

You will find throughout the year that I will not meditate upon and talk about sin a great deal. It is not because it is not important. It is vitally important.

Yet I believe ... if we will live in God’s Word and His Word in us; if we will focus on becoming what He desires – which is to be like Christ; if we will focus on and consistently do the things that please Him, we will have neither the desire nor the time to pursue the ungodly things that break His heart.

When Jesus spoke healing to people who had been trapped in a cycle of sickness, oppression or social condemnation, He quickly addressed the matter and moved forward.
  • ‘… Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”' John 8:11
  • ‘Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”' John 5:14
  • “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven …” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:47, 50

 If there is sin, admit it. (see Gal. 5:16-21 and Eph. 5:1-7)
Then repent of those things and move forward with God in Christ.

We can spend so much time thinking and talking about how we got ‘here’ that we become immobilized. And this is exactly what the enemy desires – for us to be stuck.

We rehearse the failures and recite the disappointments.
Could have, should have, would have, what if, might have, if only –

Whatever has happened or did not happen to bring you to your ‘here’ has happened. It is in the past. You cannot change it no matter how many times you play that tape over in your head. You cannot alter what happened five years ago any more than you can impact what happened five minutes ago or five seconds ago. LET IT GO!

I do not say that to minimize your situation but to make sure that you keep moving forward. There have been times when I have asked someone for directions and they will respond, ‘You can’t get there from here.’

Well, that simply is not true. With God all things are possible. You can always get ‘there’ – wherever it is that God desires for you to be – from ‘here’.

You just can’t stay 'here' and get ‘there’!

Do not think so long on ‘the what’ that got you ‘here’ that, at the end of the year, all you have done is thought about how you got ‘here’ without ever having moved from ‘here’.

My pastor said something very important this past Sunday.
He shared a quote that he had heard which said:
'The kingdom of God does not rest on destiny – but DECISIONS’.

Understand that while you are traveling a road of destiny, your success in the journey is completely dependent upon the choices you make.

Make a decision to find out where you are, where God wants you to be, and then take action to do things differently from this point forward. Take some time this week to figure out where you are - spiritually, financially, emotionally and physically.
  • Commit to prayer
  • Read God’s Word daily
  • Apply the Word to your life
  • Ask the Holy Spirit for instruction
  • Reject negative thinking and sinful living
  • Take steps every day to move forward with God
What are the areas where you need to grow? Character development is crucial. It is vitally important in taking hold of what God has for you.

Are you honoring God in every area of your life? What you treasure indicates what you value and where your heart truly is.

Are there past hurts that you need to forgive or address? Being unwilling to forgive and holding onto a spirit of offense will keep you from moving forward with God.

What is the condition of your body, the temple of God? Understand that no matter how great the promise of God and no matter how great the anointing upon your life, when the earthly vessel fails and dies, the spirit must depart and any unrealized promises will be just that – unrealized.

Determine to stay in God’s Word this year. Ps. 119:30
Use it as a mirror to check and change your life. James 1:23-25
Receive instructions for the next leg of the journey. II Tim. 3:16-17
His Word is a lamp to our feet and light for our path. Ps. 119:105

Be honest!
You hurt yourself and many others if you lie to yourself at this stage.

You are here –
You cannot change what got you here.
You can change what you do from here.
You do not have to stay here, and you will not –
You can do all things through Christ. (Phil. 4:13)
Commit to doing what you must to move forward with God.

Praying that God will bless you abundantly,

Have a Victorious Week!

03 January 2011


Good Morning!

Praying that your week is off to a wonderful start!
I just wanted to touch base with all of you – my friends.

This year, there will be a slight change in things here at Revive!

As I prayed and planned for this coming year,
The following image was impressed upon my heart:


The thought that gripped me?
2011 was going to be a road of destiny,
That the true journey was just beginning,
Taking possession and occupying every promise God has made.
Yet I do not believe that this word of assurance was just for me.
I believe this same promise is available to every believer.

Therefore, throughout 2011
We will be taking a journey together 


I will continue with regular blog posts, as God lays things on my heart,
There will also be a special post every Wednesday
Each entry will be titled

These messages will speak to important information
which will aid us in our journey this year.
Some of the information will be new,
Some will simply be refreshers.
All will assist us in taking hold of the promises of God,
as we move one step further,
into the plan and purpose and timing that He has for our lives.

As much as possible, I would love this to be interactive –
I would like to hear your thoughts during this journey,
even as I share my own.
Together we will experience victory on every front!

We will echo the sentiments found in Revelation 12:11
‘And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony’

The victory is through the blood of Jesus
coupled with our words
We all overcome through each other’s testimony –
Living, loving, sharing, growing
We become who God has called us to be,
We accomplish all that He has purposed for us to do.

I am so excited about this year!
I know great things are in store,
things that will exceed our expectations!
It is not hyped-up hope, meaningless memorizations or religious rhetoric
No, I have it on trusted authoritythe Word of God

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.
Ephesians 3:20-21 AMP

Our job is to let the power, His Holy Spirit, work within us

As we yield our will to His will,
As we pursue His heart by studying His Word,
As we put into action everything He reveals to us through Scripture,
As we share with one another victories and challenges,
As we reach out to a world that needs to know Jesus as Lord and Savior,
We will experience
the manifested,
supernatural workings of the Lord God Almighty!

I am praying for you today –
Praying that God will bless you abundantly!

I can hardly wait for our first message on Wednesday

But, don't just wait for Wednesdays
Feel free to check in periodically,
To get some encouragement – and to leave some

Be Blessed!

Let the journey begin …