God is not only ABLE, but He is always WILLING!!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
God is not only ABLE, but He is always WILLING!!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Is my heart pliable? well, finding that pliable meant; flexible, easily persuaded or controlled... I would have to say my immediate reaction was of course it is!
Then other questions followed.... I felt like his sweet spirit began to press further into my heart as He asked questions like... ~when I bring change to your life is it a time of celebration or do you cringe at the first sight of it? ~when my spirit convicts your heart is it something that is dealt with immediatly by a desire to reflect me, or is it something that is drawn out into a tiresome process that tends to dim my light in you for a season? (and here's the kicker for me) ~when I whisper the precious word "surrender" to you, do you first think of a "tug-of-war" game or a time of sweet embrace?
Then God's Message came to me: "Can't I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?" God's Decree! "Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel"
~Jeremiah 18:5 (msg)
My heart is but clay in my Heavenly Father's hands... He is the potter and His will is to shape me into the very image of His Son Jesus Christ. When the potter must shape the clay there is an amount of pressure that has to come, but when our hearts are pliable, we can trust that the end result will be the beautiful artwork He had in mind.
My desire is to be completely yielded to my Maker...
here are 3 things I feel like are helping me develop a heart that is pliable to His working...
1. Learn to say the simply phrase of "Yes Lord" even in the small things. A pliable heart is a heart that is truly submitted to Him in everything. Obedience is a beautiful thing. A pliable heart responds out of submission to everything, trusting that His ways really are perfect!
2. Practice Self-Denial with the people I am surrounded with. Denying myself and what I may want or think I need has not only helped in the relationships that surround me, but it has helped me truly come to a place where my heart can say no matter what the circumstance, "Not my will, but yours be done"
3. Make time to leave your heart in His hands. Intimacy is key. Knowing Him and experiencing His love for you is the surest way to having a heart that is pliable. Through intimacy with Him are hearts become one with Him, united with His will, not parting in any opinions.
Just wanted to share a little bit from where I have been with the Lord this week... Hope it blesses you! :)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
2.NOT under obligation- a life where every action is done from a love/desire that exist rather than done based on a rule or duty.
3.NOT afffected by circumstances or condition- a life where joy, peace, and love remain despite the troubles and trials faced.
4.NOT being occupied or used- a life where availability is regarded with upmost importance.
Through this time of reflection I caught a glimpse of life- the abundant and fulfilled life- as God intended us to live- completely and totally free in Him.
Remember: True freedom is a celebration, and it starts at the point of complete surrender unto a Holy God.
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
[Sir Francis Drake]
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Yesterday I was catching up on some blogs from over the weekend and my thoughts and attention were captured by what I found on Marianne from Haven and Home post from Sunday.
This beautiful young woman pictured below (Katie and her 13 daughters) is making such an impact for eternity through her selfless heart to love people right into the kingdom of God. Katie is a prime example on how one person, no matter the age, really can make a difference in the world! My heart reaches out to this newly discovered sister of mine... I believe in, pray, and support everything she is doing! Check out her blog @ kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com
Here's a small piece of her story found on one of her blogs from August: It has truly blessed my life beyond measure!
Friday, August 14, 2009
"It is my 16th Birthday and I am eating sushi at my favorite restaurant with my parents when I tell them that I would like to explore the possibility of taking a year in between high school and college to do mission work. This is unheard of in my family and they say they are not sure and will think about it. I am nervous, but somehow I know it is right. He changes their hearts.
I have just turned 18 and find an orphanage online. I beg my parents to let me visit over break, just three weeks. A month later I am on a plane. I am so excited. I am so scared of being, but I know He is going with me. I fall in love.I graduate high school having made the commitment to teach Kindergarten for a year at a school in The Middle of Nowhere, Uganda.
In August I get on the plane. I’m apprehensive and I cry most of the way because I miss my Mommy and my boyfriend. I am eager, but so uncertain. I trust Him. I teach 138 children how to speak English and to love Jesus.
It is October and I am just not sure I can do it anymore. I live in the smallest room I have ever seen in the back of a pastor’s house. I am more uncomfortable than I had bargained for. No one understands, not people here, not people at home. I am tired. But I am prideful and I am not going to quit. I don’t like this. But I know He has a plan. I learn, I grow, He is there.
It is December and God has spoken very clearly about opening a ministry that sponsors 40 of the orphaned children in the village where I am working. This involves moving into a different house, ALONE. It is big and I cannot imagine how God will fill it up. I am lonely and I am anxious. But I am still trusting. He fills the house, and we now have 400 children sponsored.
It is January and I am looking at a little girl, crushed under a brick wall with no one to care for her or her younger siblings. I offer to take the three home with me until we find them a better placement. I am not really sure what to do with them, but I know they are God’s children. They stay.
It is three days later and the littlest looks at me and calls me mommy. My heart might break in two. Something clicks. I am even more scared than I was the day I stepped on that plane, but I KNOW. Today I have 13.
I have to deliver a baby, give a boy stitches, pull a tooth, give and injection. I am petrified. But no one will do it if I do not. He is present, He holds my hand, they are all fine.
It is August and I must get on a plane back to America to go to college, as I have promised my father. I do not remember how to be a teenager or what it is to be normal Brentwood, Tennessee. I will have to leave my babies. I will have to make new friends. I am sad and I am terrified. He wraps His arms around me. He puts just the right people in just the right places, and they help me and they make me feel at home.
First semester is over and He speaks clearly to me that I cannot serve two masters. “Go HOME,” He says, “and stay.” I am uncertain, but I want to be obedient. He squeezes tighter. I am thankful.
I have to look at my loving parents who have given me everything and tell them that I will not go to college right now, because I feel God wants me to be in Uganda. I know how disappointed and how angry they will be. I am more scared than I was when I got on the plane and more scared than I was when I took my first children. But I know that this IS the Plan. They love me anyway.
It is February and my daughter’s biological father comes to take her away. My heart breaks in half, and I am not sure I will ever be able to get out of my bed again, let alone foster another child. I am more than devastated, but I want what is best for her, what He wants for her. She comes back and her biological father learns about Jesus.
It is March and a lame little girl is brought to my gate. She is undoubtedly mine, but I am still anxious. What if I can’t do it? I don’t know what to do with a special needs child, especially as my 13th child. I am criticized and ridiculed. I wonder. I trust and praise God for her sweet little life. She starts to walk.
I find myself in a village full of starving people that for some reason seem to want to kill me. God says to serve them anyway. I am not sure how it is going to work, or if it is safe. I can’t figure it out, but I know He can. 1,200 Karamajongs, the poorest of Uganda’s poor, are now served hot meals daily.We keep taking in more children until there are 400 in our program. There is no way we will raise enough funds, but by now I have stopped worrying. He has always provided. Blessings rain from the sky, and all 400 children go to school.
I am 20 years old and have 13 children and 400 more who all depend on me for their care. Who are all learning to love Jesus and be responsible adults and looking up to me. The reality of it all can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, it is always pure joy.
There is a common misconception that I am courageous. I will be the first to tell you that this is not actually true. Most of the time, I am not brave. I just believe in a God who will use me even though I am not. Most mornings, before I even get out of bed I am overwhelmed with His goodness, with His plan for my life; I stand in awe of the fact that He could entrust me with so much. Most days, I don’t have much of a plan. I don’t always know where this is going. I can’t see the end of the road, but here is the great part: Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter, getting out of the boat. I do not know my five year plan; even tomorrow will probably not go as I have planned. I am thrilled and I am terrified, in a good way. So some call it courage, some call it foolish, I call it Faith. I choose to get out of the boat. To take the next step. Sometimes I walk straight into His arms. More often, I get scared and look down and stumble. Sometimes I almost completely drown. And through it all, He never lets go of my hand. "
Monday, September 28, 2009
This morning I went to our middle school ministry (Redeemed) service; something I do most every Monday morning... but this morning was different. As I greeted each of the young students I didn't just give high fives and say the normal "Hey! How are ya!?!" without waiting for a reply. This morning God's grace gave me eyes to really see them.... and the results... well... one girl just lost a family member, she deserately needed someone to notice, and to hold her through the grieving pain she felt. My heart was overwhelmed as she clung to me like I was the first person to ever hug her; another young girl looks at me with weary eyes and says "Everyone in my family is fighting. They don't stop. It's all the time..." this one, even though she was opening up and reaching out, can't even seem to look me in the eye... she looks lost and alone... I long for her to know the love, joy, and peace that I have found in Christ; and still another crying comes out from behind me and grabs me around my waist... tears overflowing.... she just wants to be held.... she has stress at home, her mom is remarrying, she's moving away from all her friends... and she just needed someone to tell it's gonna be ok and hug her with the reassurance that God was there to comfort and hold her through the tough times.
May the Lord continue to give us "eyes to see the things that make His heart cry"
"Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the Lord" Proverbs 20:12 NLT
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This nail polish...
Monday, September 21, 2009
Grace is typically defined as "getting something you don't deserve" Though this is true, left with that definition alone leaves me asking the question "Well, if that's true, what did I get?" :)
I think a lot of times we look to grace as a covering... which it MOST DEFINITELY IS! But I also believe there is another part to grace that we tend to forget. You are not only covered and clothed by the grace of God once you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, but you also are ENABLED and EMPOWERED by the grace of God to live out the life He has destined for you!
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." NIV
So God himself created us as His workmanship to do good works... and How are we to complete those works?
BY HIS GRACE!
It's only by His grace that we can do anything! His grace is what paves a way for the purposes on our life to be fulfilled!
Philippians 2:13 says;
"[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." AMP
I love the amplified version of this verse, because the very first thing Paul reassures this church is that it is NOT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH! Praise Jesus! If I were to try and please God and do all that He has called me to do out of my own strength I would surely fail!
I can gladly say this, because I know that I am an imperfect woman living in a fallen world. Which is exactly why His grace is so needed! I am in desperate need to be totally dependent upon His grace daily!
Paul continues expressing our need for God's grace in our lives through 2 Corinthians 12:
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me......For when I am weak, then I am strong." NLT
Does that just bring a smile on your face to know that not only is it by God's grace that we are saved, but he also continually pours out His grace upon our lives to complete everything He's called us to do.... and EVEN WHEN WE ARE WEAK (dry, down, sick, tired, hurt, etc..) His GRACE is still there to be STRONG! In fact, it's ALL THE MORE STRONGER!
Thank you Jesus for your "Amazing Hands of Grace That Hold Me!"
Thursday, September 17, 2009
That's right my beautiful best friend is engaged to this awesome man of God! Their love story is one that will definitely make your heart skip a few!
They met our freshman year of college and the chemistry was there! It was then Paul and Amy began a friendship that would have it's definite ups and downs through the years. :) Throughout our years of college it was back and forth for these two... both desiring to be in the perfect will of God while dealing with the circumstances that this fallen world brings us. After college Paul went on to pursue his dreams of eventually being a pastor, while Amy stayed in Birmingham to continue raising her son, Nate, and become a teacher.
They now are mentoring young adults through their small group and continually seeking God on the next steps to take in life! I'm so honored to be apart of this amazing couples union in March! I know God has HUGE plans in store for them together! (along with little Nate!)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"There is a stirring, a gathering, and an awakening
happening around the world. Women are rising to
take their place, find their voice, and connect for
strength and destiny. It is our season to flourish.
To see this happen, Nurture, the language of the
feminine heart, must be spoken by women of
every age group. This book will position you to
take your place as part of the company of women
arising to change their world!"
Monday, September 14, 2009
God thank you that we can rest in assurance that you are in control!
A David Psalm 1-6
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
This week I've been reading in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and as I read it I'm a bit envious of Paul's enthusiasm and determination through the toughest times.
He writes in verses 8-10: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body"
WOW!!! What Faith!! What Assurance!! What Confidence!!
This was a man who understood what a life truly surrendered really looked like and was driven by a solid passion that screamed "Not my will God, But YOURS be done!"
So I guess what I'm trying to say is:
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all! So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." vs. 14-18
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires."
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an UNDIVIDED heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me;"
Undivided can be defined as "not parted by conflict of opinion."
Sometimes.... well... a lot of times... even more honestly... MOST of the time there is a conflict in my heart. It's one that rages against what I desire and understand to be and what God desires and is! It's a battle against truth and lies. One against what is and what only appears to be. I so often forget that God's love is perfect, his truth is faultless, and his ways are far above mine. I forget that I don't know it all. I can't see the whole picture, only God can. He sees what's ahead and everything He allows to unfold in my life (no matter how much I don't agree sometimes) is really out of His love, protection, faithfulness, and His desire that all things will work out for my GOOD!
My prayer is that my opinion and idea of what is "good" would go and I would come into agreement with anything and everything His heart desires, trusting in His unfailing love toward me, and not limiting Him and His goodness!!!
"I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord."
1 Corinthians 7:35
~May we all live with UNDIVIDED devotion to our Lord!!!
"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God." Ezekiel 11:19-20
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Do I really care about the people that are around me, let alone the people that are not around...
Do I really care about the souls that are lost and have no knowledge of the unconditional love that my Savior has for them...
Do I really care about children around the world who are being taken and abused, who have lost all sense of their childhood innocence...
Do I really care about the prostitute who has given everything she has away not realizing how valuable she really is...
Do I really care about the drunk homeless man lying on the street whom some look to as a waste but whom God declared was made in HIS image with a purpose....
Do I really care?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Psalm 84 (Amplified Bible)
To the Chief Musician; set to a Philistine lute, or [possibly] a particular Gittite tune. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1HOW LOVELY are Your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
2My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God.
3Yes, the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young--even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
4Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who dwell in Your house and Your presence; they will be singing Your praises all the day long. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
5Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills [the pools] with blessings.
7They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power]; each of them appears before God in Zion.
8O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
9Behold our shield [the king as Your agent], O God, and look upon the face of Your anointed!
10For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [anywhere else]; I would rather be a doorkeeper and stand at the threshold in the house of my God than to dwell [at ease] in the tents of wickedness.
11For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12O Lord of hosts, blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, and that without fear or misgiving]!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
and publish [the news] are a great host."
It is an awesome and beautiful thing when women come together in unity to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ! May we all seek to live lives that reflect a Proverbs 31 woman. Together lets encourage one another to be women of faith, excellence, purity, wisdom, strength, and confidence!
To quote Lisa Bevere, "You are an ANSWER, not a problem!"
Be someone's answer of HOPE today!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I have a deep genuine love for people, but I have struggled with really letting that be seen. The past few months God has just wrecked me with an overwhelming since of compassion and love for people. He has given me such a desire to build relationships and meet people where they are. But what does that mean and how does that look in my everyday life?
The bible gives such a clear description of what our lives should look like when we are truly loving people with a selfless love in one of the most memorized and quoted scriptures of all times. John 3:16 says:"for God SO LOVED the world that HE GAVE..." God loved us so much He simply gave... He gave up everything... He freely gave up His life because He was so moved with compassion and love for you and for me!! How beautiful and sweet is that!!!
I have been asking the Lord to give me practical ways to REALLY love people in my life and all I ever feel like He tells me to do is: "Give freely and love unconditionally" After a few weeks of trying all kinds of tactics to make those words a reality in my life, I realized this simply phrase just had to become the driving force behind all my actions. The Lord was simply trying to show me all I have to do is generously give of myself... everything... my time, belongings, finances... everything! My life really isn't my own and knowing that brings freedom to my heart!
My home has become, once again, an open door to house anyone and everyone; stranger or friend, my possessions are merely items to bless others with and bring smiles to their faces, my time is valuable and is spent for purposes that build the kingdom not simply to satisfy my wants. This journey of life is amazing!!
Yesterday as I was doing some reading before I went to work the Lord gave me a verse that encouraged me as I'm learning all of this: Proverbs 11:25 says "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
I look at that and I'm encouraged to know that as I waste my life giving of myself I really am being refreshed and filled. It's the most rewarding feeling to know you are impacting someone's life for eternity!
I want to encourage you try living your life for others.... giving freely of yourself and watch how it refreshes you. As crazy as it sounds it really is more blessed to give than receive.
Don't think to hard about it... the best place to start is simply loving the person right in front of you.
Iwant to leave you with this passage of scripture from Luke 6 that encouraged me this morning... This is REAL love!
27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I felt an urgency in me that right now there is a lack of daughters who are moving in the fullness of God's power and might that He has for them. Instead of standing, they are being held down by lies and feelings of unworthiness. There is a lack of confidence that we so often see in the women written about in the Word of God. So, where has that confidence been hidden? Where do we find the confidence to stand in the midst of adversity, trial, pain, and heartache?
To stand for something it takes boldness, confidence. To know who you are, and who you were created for. The Word of God says, "BY Him and FOR Him all things were created" Knowing that I was created by God Almighty for His purposes brings strength to my frail body. If He brought me to this place for HIS working then I should have no problem in living confidently in this time, no matter what the season of life brings my way.
Daughters of God, my sisters, DO NOT be silenced by any earthly weakness, but Arise and Stand! Live out loud the plan God has created for you and only you!
Check out whosoeverwomen.blogspot.com to find out more information on how you can get connected with these awesome girls!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Anywho... with that said I am just going to take out a small portion of it that has rocked me today!
Looking at the scripture in Matthew 25 where Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Chan poses the question: "How would my life change if I actually thought of each person I came into contact with as Christ- the person driving painfully slow in front of me, the checker at the grocery store who seems more interested in chatting that ringing up my items, the member of my own family with whom I can't seem to have a conversation and not get annoyed?"
He says, "that if we believe that, as Jesus said, the two greatest commandments are to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.' Then God is forming a connection here; by loving "the least of these" we are loving God Himself.
Jesus is trying to show us that we show tangible love for God in how we care for the poor and those who are suffering. He expects us to treat them as if they are Christ Himself. "
Look around today and look for Christ in your co-workers, your friends, your family members... I bet it won't be near as hard to love them then! :) Let's let everything we do today be unto our loving Father! Let's live out some Crazy Love for Jesus!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Remember the Lord is Jealous for you!