Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Do you want to do something great for God?





How many times have you thought...I want to do something great for God?  I have...I remember many years ago.  The Promise Keeper movement had started.  I met with a friend.  The secretary of my Pastor, at the time.  We were living in Arkansas.  My family and I attended a mega church.  They did and do great things for God.

When the invitation came, one Sunday night.  My co-writer, Martha and I went down to the alter.  We dedicated ourselves to ministry.  It has been amazing how God brought that about, as Martha and I have been writing for Whispers and Desperate Delight together for years.  I would not be writing this blog today without her.

During the meeting with my other friend.  The pastors secretary.  We talked about doing a Promise Keeper for women.  I was so on fire for Jesus.  I wanted to tell the world about the gospel.  We did have a great gathering during that time.  People repented and the gospel was preached.  But I was wanting something greater.

Thinking back.  I wanted a stadium full of women.  With different lady christian speakers.  I hoped for a grand movement all across the country.  We frequently prayed for revival at our church.  Our pastor was awesome.  I learned to think big and to pray in faith, while attending that great church. This is a good thing.  I am not discouraging great things for God but to encourage you, right where you are.  You can be used by God today.

The meeting did not turn out as we expected.  My pastors secretary and I realized it was not the time for us to have such a ministry.

That did not stop my zeal or my vision.  I bought it to South Carolina with me.  I have had thoughts of doing great things for God with  my girls.  That we would write a book.  It seems everyone wants to write a book.  Lots and lots of people have written books.

In my dreams, my girls and I would give our stories of Gods faithfulness to our family.  I did write a small devotional book.  Do some public speaking.  But neither of these visions have come true.  I realized I could keep waiting to do something big for God.  But tomorrow, may never come.






Understanding the heart of the gospel is not, what I can do for God, but what God, in Christ, has done for me.  I  have rest in the finished work of Christ for me, more and more.  This life is a struggle and a rest.  A struggle and a rest.  Paul compares it to giving childbirth.  Waiting for our redemption.   It is in this realization ...I just cannot be quiet about Jesus.

Don't wait to be the perfect christian...there are none
Don't wait until there are no struggles
Don't wait for there to be this great opportunity knocking at your door.
Don't wait for you circumstances to be what you think they should be.
Don't wait for tomorrow.
Enjoy God in the process!


Speak truth, wait on Jesus to work, feel compassion, encourage and look for the opportunity you have today.  Look for how you can meet the need of the person you are with at the moment.

God will bring into your life today.  Go into this world, any way you can and pray for God to send who He will for you to encourage and guide.  For you to speak life to them.  A dying, busy, preoccupied, worried, anxious world.  I remember a time I could not get out.  God brought people to mind.  I wrote emails, cards, made phone calls.  Seek to be bold and adventurous.  Be creative and ask Jesus to be creative through you.  To love the  unloveable in such a way.  Others will know something is different.  They will ask you, "what is your hope" in many different ways.  Be ready to give an answer.  Christ.








A couple of months ago, I began to surrender my days to Jesus.  I would ask Him and the Father for surprises.  I began to see the stress of peoples lives in their faces.  I wanted to encourage them.

I remember talking to a young girl, as she checked out my purchase, in a local store.  She had such a sad look on her face.  I began a conversation with her.  Telling her how much I appreciated what she did.  How long would it be before she got off work.   Whether she was having a long day or not.  Then I looked into her eyes.  It was as though I knew she loved Jesus.  I ask her.  Do you love Jesus?   She said, yes.

The young girl remarked.  I am just here waiting for Jesus to use me.  To show me, what He wants me to do.  I was so excited to tell her, " you are doing it".  Don't wait for that big opportunity to be used by God.  God is using you right where you are.  As you give a smile, great service and the love of Christ to those, right now, right here.  You are doing something great for Jesus.

I still remember the smile on her face and the tears that came to her eyes.  She gave me and a hug and  said really?

I said yes, absolutely.
Don't wait until tomorrow.

Give Jesus to the people you come in contact with today,
right where you are,
right here,
right now,
today.









Saturday, January 20, 2018

God knocks down walls...to rescue you and me



RELINQUISHING OUR RIGHTS AS CHRISTIANS...

GODS OWN CHILD





Gods ways are not our ways...

Have you heard the word before, surrender?  Wondering what it truly meant?

Have you thought...God is on my side.  I know He wants what I want?

Have you wanted a good marriage?  Obedient children?  To be rid of a sin you couldn't quiet get under control.  No matter how hard you tried?  A good job and an orderly home?

Have you wanted good health but yet the pain persisted?

Have you felt all alone in your struggles?

Have you wanted to know God more but yet He seemed unreachable in your present circumstances.

Have you prayed to be a good wife and mother?  Knowing all the while you were failing?

Have you yearned to be the best christian you could be?  But saw nothing but failure?


I HAVE!

God is not only there for you when you are victorious but HE IS THERE FOR THE STRUGGLER!

THERE ARE NO WALLS HE WON'T KNOCK DOWN...TO RESUCE YOU AND ME!  NOTHING CAN STOP HIM!




I remember learning to surrender. But honestly I thought God wanted what I wanted.   I really did not understand that Gods ways were not my ways.  He was not as interested in me having the things I desired as much as the process of trusting Him, right where I was.  That what I need to do was to relinquish my rights...no matter how good they seemed.

Paul ask three times that the thorn in his flesh be removed.  God was not moved.  He told Paul His grace was sufficient.  God used many things, including Paul's suffering to the point of death.  For Paul to trust in Jesus and not Himself.

People, even the disciples were looking for a Savior.  They thought it was in Jesus until, he suffered and died on the cross.  Things did not happen as they expect.  Gods ways are not our ways.

Jesus left His comfort, joy and delight in the completely satisfying intimacy with the Father and Spirit for a great joy and a calling.  To come and rescue you and me from Satan's hold on us and from our flesh.  The selfish desires we have.

Although my desires were good.  They were all about me.  My motives for wanting a good thing, that God perhaps even wanted, were wrong.  All wrong.  God has given me my desires but in His timing and in His ways.  I love my husband and have a great family.


I have learned to relinquish my rights.  My rights to have things, even good things, my way.  God has given me the desires of my heart.  But I had wrong motives for wanting good things.  My trust is in Jesus now not in myself.  I had to be willing to surrender to my loving Father and accept His will for me.

Jesus did this as He prayed not my will but yours oh Father.


Suppose God is more interested in the process than giving you what you think you need.  I was finding my identity in these things I have listed above.  It was about my glory and not His.  I wanted God and others to think well of me.  As a public figure I wanted to stand for God.  Not realizing that it was a reputation I could not fill on my own.


We are told that the day of evil will come.  We are being freed from these selfish, even good, desires into a life of trusting God.  Living by faith.  Satan has blinded us.  The Spirit has come as our helper.  Jesus said He must go to send us the Spirit.

When we sin, we are going into a direction of our own. Trusting in ourselves and our works.  Not the finished work of Jesus.  Repentance is a turning from going to us as god of our lives,  until we confess these acts and thought of pride to God.  He draws us and brings us to repentance.  We cannot bring ourselves to this broken place of trust in God.  But we do cooperate with what God is doing.  We can ask for the gift of repentance.

WE ARE NOT ORPHANS BUT CHILDREN OF GOD.  WE CRY OUT "ABBA".


God tore down the walls between heaven and earth.  The curtain was torn that separates us from God.  The Father delivered His most precious gift to earth to tare down our walls of separation from Him and ultimately others. He broke through Satan's hold on us to free us to have intimacy with Him.  We protect ourselves by building walls of self protection from Him and the people in our lives.  Jesus was truthful, vulnerable and humble.  We are able to go to that place of beauty with Him and a dying world.  To tell of His greatness and wonder.  To open our hearts to His Spirit.  To let others see our weakness and His strength.  To give them the hope that we have in Jesus.









Thursday, January 11, 2018

THE SPIRAL AFTER THE NEW YEAR, CHRISTMAS









This year has been a special year, as my husband had been honored and chosen for the National Coaches Award.  This was such a fun and yet humbling experience as we were hosted in New York, Atlanta and at Clemson.   We meet some of the greatest winning coaches and players.  We met many of their wives.  It was one event after another since Thanksgiving.

I predecided I would enjoy these events and all that they offered before even going.  It was a grace thing that gave me the faith to do this.

Remembering the past years of Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas... they were followed by a downward spiral.  A depression even.  These holidays required such energy and excitement and then BOOM things were over just as quick as the New Year that followed.

I wonder if we press ourselves into New Years resolutions...into being and having a better year in the coming year.  Just to help dig ourselves out of the let down that sometimes follow Christmas.

By chance have you had a let down after the holidays?  The friends and family are gone and life is back to normal.  Eventhough I had a temptation for this pattern to follow this year and the wonderful times we had...I realized that by the grace of God.  I could not only experience them with great joy.  But I could maintain joy in my life in the afterwards.

Every morning I wake and I give my day to the Lord.  I ask for His heart, mind, Spirit and surrender.  I ask Him for surprises and guess what!  I get them.  Sometimes faster than I can keep up physically, really.

I have seen that Christmas is not just once a year, but that our Lord loves to keep giving good gifts.  If He would give us His Spirit what good thing would He keep from us, His children.
It seems to me the world is starving for Jesus and encouragement.  I love to give it.  So I have great expectancy that God will bring people in my life for me to encourage and build up in the faith.

I don't plan my day, apart from Him, and fight when there is interruptions.  I have come to know that Jesus is the one interrupting and it is for living the life He has promised.

It is such a joy to come in contact with people through out my day.  I remember a young lady at the dollar store.  I greeted her with how are you.  I appreciate what you do.  I said your smile makes me wonder if you love Jesus.  She said yes I do.  I have waited so long for Him to show me what He wants me to do.  I replied sweetheart, you are doing it.  Give Jesus to others right where you are.  I told her of my prayer and I said you are one of those surprises today.

She teared up and said really?  I said absolutely.  Don't wait for something big to happen.  Live today, in the moments that Jesus gives you.

I use to think writing a book, a blog or speaking to a stadium of women was my calling.  I have learned Jesus was interested more in individuals.  He spoke to the multitudes but even then, He was interested in the person.  Learning to live in the place Jesus has me today has been eye opening for me.  I don't wait for great opportunities to come along some day.  I am having the time of my life living and enjoying others and Jesus today.

We are told whether we eat or drink or whatever we do to do it for the glory of God.  I think of the mother with a house full of little ones.  Maybe the everyday chores seem to have beaten her down.  Does she see that she gives God glory in serving her family.  That there is an eternal glory being given and will be given for Jesus and the Father? That she will share not only in the eternal glory of Jesus but find joy in her present circumstances.  There is nothing too small to be done for Jesus.   I want to encourage her to keep her eyes on Jesus and ask for His strength and joy.

I want to tell women, to serve their husband as unto the Lord.  To love others with the love of Jesus. In investing in your children or the children of others, you are building the kingdom.   Expect great surprises from Jesus as we surrender our Lord of Lords.  I want to even speak to the single woman...Take a nap.  Sit at the feet of Jesus and receive the love God has for you and give it away.  Serve widows and love the poor but remember it is Jesus our hearts long for.  Don't be afraid to ask for more of His Spirit and to give Him more of you, your heart.  Only then can you give it away with great joy!

This is how Christmas does not stop, but we, like Jesus, we move into the lives and hearts of others.

FIND JOY

FIND JESUS

SING THE SONG OF THE GOSPEL

REMEMBER YOU ARE LOVED, FORGIVEN.  GOD IS WITH YOU AND WILL NEVER EVER LEAVE.

IN THE HERE AND NOW!








Sunday, December 31, 2017

Man's Best Friend?



Jesus promises to be closer than a brother.  He promises to be our friend.





I want a dog. I love that animal...mans best friend. But I am amazed at how it seems we trade real relationships for media and now everyone has to have their therapy dog. I am not against social media or having a pet. As I said I want one too. But as I inquired about having one of these type dogs, they are hundreds of dollars. I hope to get one through my dr.  Will you pray this happens.  People will not go anywhere without their dog. They were all over New York and Atlanta as we went to have my husband honored at these event.  We were at beautiful hotels and these people carried and and leached their little fellows.

 I even think of security blankets. I have a blanket that reminds me of the righteousness of Christ. I guess it does comfort me.  I saw a lady with her pillow and blanket.  I have friends who take their blankets everywhere they go overnight.  Not a bad Idea I thought.  I love my blanket.

As I have been at these wonderful events honoring my husband, family and Clemson I have been so prompted to speak to people who come into my path a word of encouragement. It is amazing the blank look people have as they are focused on getting where they have to go.  Once I speak and am interested in the person and what they are doing.  I see amazing things happen to these people.  The love of Christ comes to them from me and such joy and smiles come over their faces.
I think we all are looking to this world for the things Jesus was meant to give us, like comfort, security, identity, love. Once again I say these are not bad things. 
I was even talking to a coaches wife last night at diner. We were discussing how women look for their husbands to meet their need of identity. Only Jesus can give us these things offered to us in the gospel. I shared with my  new friend,  how doing this sucks the life out of your husband and your marriage.   To look to your spouse and expect him or her to meet the deepest need you are trying to fill will only leave you desiring more.

I think of the woman at the well.  Jesus knew all about her.  She was trying to meet her need for love and identity in having a husband.  Jesus told her that if she drank the water He offered she would thrust no more.  We all long to be known and to be loved.  This woman was told by Jesus to tell others.  He knows me and you completely.  He is our living water and so is His WORD.  He is the WORD.  We can have intimacy in our relationships, but we are too busy and too protected to let others into our struggles and our stories where it relationship is found.

Love, acceptance, comfort, security, identity  are to be received by us from Christ, by His Spirit. As the 2018 year approaches I want to allow more room in my heart to experience and receive more of Christ in my heart. To return to my first Love. Our children nor our husbands, nor our families are meant to be first. Jesus tells us that we are to love him more than our father and mother.
Only when we can find out true identity in Christ and allow Him to more and more fill the spaces of our heart can we love others selfishly. When we find personal relationship, acceptance and love that we long for in Jesus is when...Only then, can we begin to love God with our whole heart and others as ourselves.
We are told not to love the creation more than the Creator. We love because He first loved us. I pray for His life and love and surrender to be mine.  For His Holy Spirit to continue to make His home my heart.

Who is your best friend?








Wednesday, December 27, 2017

SELF TALK...


Why are you downcast oh my soul?  My Hope is in God...David, a man after Gods own heart, self talked.  God drew David to Himself.  David turned.  The Spirit brought the fruit as an apple grows to the tree.  His roots were going deeper into the very heart of God.






HOW WAS YOUR CHRISTMAS.  OURS WAS A REALLY SWEET PEACEFUL TIME BUT... THAT HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN THE CASE.  SO I UNDERSTAND NO MATTER WHERE YOU WERE THIS YEAR IT COULD BE HARD FOR YOU ALSO.

A FEW WEEKS AGO, AS I GRADUALLY BEGAN TO DECORATE.  FUNNY THING I WENT TO A GAS STATION TO GET THE GREENERY I WANTED.  THE YOUNG GIRL SAID, '' OF COURSE YOU CAN HAVE THOSE LEAVES IT IS JUST A TREE''.  THERE WERE SEVERAL MAGNOLIA TREES.

I DECIDED I WOULD NOT BE IN A HURRY IN TAKING THE DECORATIONS DOWN. I EVEN PUT A FEW ON THE TREE TODAY.  YES TWO DAYS AFTER CHRISTMAS.  MY DAUGHTER HAD BOUGHT ME A FEW RED BIRDS.  WHEN I SEE A CARDINAL IT IS A WHISPER FROM GOD THAT THINGS ARE GOING TO BE OK.  THAT WHAT MATTERS HE HAS TAKEN FULL CONTROL OF.



AS I BEGIN THINKING ABOUT THE NEW YEAR APPROACHING, THANKING GOD FOR THE PAST YEAR.  I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS HE HAS TAUGHT ME IS HOW TO SELF TALK OVER THE YEARS...

I WANT TO ASK YOU WHEN NEGATIVE THOUGHTS COME INTO YOUR MIND.  HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THEM.

1.  SEARCH YOUR HEART
2.  DETERMINE WHO THEY ARE FROM.  SHAM AND FALSE GUILT ARE NOT GODS.
3.  REFUSE THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS THAT ARE NOT FROM GOD.
4.  KEEP YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS THAT ARE ETERNAL
5.  ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED KNOWING YOU ALREADY HAVE IT

SO I SELF TALK THE GOSPEL TO MYSELF...

1.  I AM HIS
2.  HE IS GOOD
3.  I AM IN HIM AND HE IS IN ME.
4.  ABIDE IN HIM BY HIS WORD WRITTEN ON MY HEART AND STUDING
5.  REMEMBER I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST
6.  THAT HE IS FAITHFUL
7.  I AM CHIEF SINNER BUT ADORED AND ADOPTED CHILD OF GOD.
8.  I AM BEAUTIFUL AS HE IS CREATING ME IN HIS IMAGE
9.  THERE IS A WAR BUT JESUS NOT ONLY PRAYS FOR US BUT FIGHTS FOR US.
10. I HAVE DIED WITH HIM AND I WILL BE RAISED WITH HIM.  NOT JUST IN PHYSICAL DEATH BUT THE DIEING OF THE FLESH.

FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE BAD THOUGHTS OR NEGATIVE ONES...I SIMPLY, TURN FROM THEM AND THINK ON SOMETHING GOOD. THE WORLD CALLS IT OCD.  (This practice may help).  SHAME AND GUILT ARE NOT FROM THE SPIRIT.  HE IS GENTLE AND KIND IN BRINGING US TO REPENTANCE.  TAKE THE FIRST STEP OF FAITH AND DON'T LOOK BACK AS SARAH.

THE THINGS THAT WE DO, WE DO TO THE GLORY OF GOD.  THE BIBLE SAYS WE PUT OFF THE OLD MAN AND WALK IN THE NEWNESS OF LIFE.  IT SAYS WE TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF GOD.  REPENTANCE IS SIMPLY A TURNING FROM GOING ONE WAY TOWARD GOD.  TAKE YOUR SIN TO HIM AND TRUST HIM FOR THE RESCUE.  YOU CAN'T DO IT ON YOUR OWN.  YOU WERE NOT MEANT TO.

THE SAME POWER THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD, LIVES IN US.  DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP.  PAUL ASK 3 TIMES THAT THE THORN BE REMOVED.  TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE.  NO GOOD WORK MAKES YOU MORE OF A CHRISTIAN OR LOVED MORE.  IT IS SIMPLY A DEEP WORK OF THE LOVE OF GOD IN MAN PLANTED BY HIS SPIRIT.  IT HAS TO BE PRACTICED.

IT IS HARD WORK THAT BECOMES A GOOD HABIT.  PUT OFF, PUT ON.  LIVING OUT OF THE GOSPEL AND ACTING ON IT IS A COOPERATION WITH THE SPIRIT.  IN DOING THE WILL OF GOD IN HIS TIME.

THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE THINGS I TELL MYSELF ABOUT ME AND WHO GOD IS.

I REMEMBER THAT I AM IN CHRIST.  THAT I HAVE DIED WITH HIM.  THAT I AM ALSO RAISED WITH HIN IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.


CHRIST HAS RENEWED MY MIND.















Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Love Hate Relationship...


A Time to Remember...



In reading others post it seems extreme to say, but to a degree, we have a love/hate relationship with the holidays.

Searching my own heart...I wonder what is Christmas to me or what should it be in preparing for the time with family and friends?

I miss my father and mother and unborn child.  Does this mean I don't like or enjoy Christmas.  Sure it brings memories to mind that may grieve me over their loss but does Jesus leave me there?

Decorating in the past has been fun at times and a chore at others?  What is the difference in my heart toward Christmas?

Loving giving is not a bad thing.  The wise men brought wonderful gifts to Jesus.  Jesus loves giving us gifts.  Of course, He is the greatest gift of all Himself.  I love giving gifts, as well.

In thinking on these things I wonder what I can give this Christmas to Jesus and others that is lasting and meaningful.

Jesus came to get our hearts?  This is at the heart of Christmas.  I wonder...Do we give the Lord our whole heart in this life?  Or is it a continuing giving Him our heart over and over again until we see Him face to face.

I ask myself what holds my heart.  The world will tell us do not taste, do not touch.  Jesus tells us we are in Him and He is in us.  That all wisdom is in trusting in Him alone.  That the Father can and does turn the heart of man.







The stronger our faith, the warmer our love and the greater our comfort.  Matthew Henri.  The faith he spoke of was trusting in Jesus.

We are not to be of this world but be transformed of the renewing of our minds.

The more our minds are fixed on Jesus and our salvation the more we are transformed in our living, loving others.  This brings comfort to us. Jesus said doing the will of the Father is real food.  Nothing like a comfort food, right!  Paul said the way you began the christian life to continue in it.  Being Justified and trusting in Jesus alone transforms us.  

We are free to love in radical ways.  In ways of leaving this world and its desires behind that promise a false gospel.  Only in Him do we have true wisdom and comfort.  Only  Jesus can give us true peace and contentment no matter what our circumstances.  It would be wonderful if we could stay at this place all the time.  Or would it?  Jesus is interested in our continual coming to Him.  In personal relationship.  I shared with a grand mom raising 3 children today that Jesus want her to come to Him and share her worries and anxieties with Him.  

The problem comes when we try to have a loving heart without going to Jesus to provide for us, what we need.

Paul was content in having much or little.  He did not come to this place in his life easy.  He suffered at a time to the point of death.  He had a thorn God saw it best to not remove.  He dealt with real pride as we all do.  He did the things he hated and hated the things he did.  He was real.  Real about his struggles.  Real about trusting in Christ alone after trusting in himself but failing.  This is where he found peace.  In his forgiveness of sins and fixing his eyes on Jesus.  On looking toward heaven and the glory to be found in Christ.

So I give the Lord the things that have captured my heart.  He has broken down the walls of pretending to be strong and good apart from Him.  The walls of protection and the fear of man.

Sometimes I shudder when speaking to God.   He is so holy.  But am confronted with the Love so tender and kind, yet so mighty and strong I am silenced.

The most wonderful gift I can give is a heart opening up to Him, to receive the gift given to me... The love of the Father in Jesus and give it and Jesus away...Not only to my family but to those. who I come in contact with in my every day.  I had no idea how a life with the Spirit, Jesus and Father could bring such joy.  I had no idea how our world is starved for encouragement.  Now I  know Jesus can love others through me.

So rejoice and again I say rejoice!...Your King has come.  I pray we are content this Christmas and find comfort in knowing it is Jesus we trust in and not our works nor our present circumstances that will make this a Christmas, a time to remember.