Guilty!!!

I’m guilty. I don’t just mean in the past, but lately. I’ve been guilty of frustration. Guilty of impatience. We do know that patience isn’t waiting right? We’re going to wait regardless when it comes to what only God can release. Patience is actually waiting with the right attitude. We can murmur, complain and pout while we wait, or we can trust, praise and rejoice in the promise that is on the other end of our wait.

I became frustrated, because I couldn’t understand the point. I couldn’t understand why He has revealed some of the things He has, if CLEARLY some of the things aren’t coming to pass any time soon. Sometimes, when hope hurts, you’d just rather not know. Ignorance can be bliss at times. But when He reveals His plan and purpose you have to deal with the burden of conforming to His divine schedule. So I ask questions like… why did you show me if I was just going to remain irritated by the process? Why did I even have to know?

He had a talk with me today to remind me that it isn’t about my conveniences, but His purpose. And He also reminded me that cooperating with Him during the process is the same as cooperating with Him for the plan itself. A sous chef doesn’t get the credit, but certainly has responsibilities and must take orders and execute as the meal is prepared. The longer a sous chef works beside an executive chef, the more they learn, and the better they become.

So AGAIN, my heart has been restored. I needed it restored AGAIN. And I told Him tonight, that I commit to his purpose AND His schedule (ARRRGGGGHHHH it’s KILLING ME…. I guess that’s the point). I desire to execute my role in His plan with complete synchronicity, virtue and excellence. I am walking this out WITH Him. It’s His plan., so it will be accomplished in HIS time. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale….. Exhale…

Psalm 119:133 is my anthem right now. No iniquity!!! No iniquity tied to doubt, fear, frustration, impatience, bitterness, intolerance, pride….. NO INIQUITY!!! (If you read the scripture you’ll get what I’m saying)

We should feel honored to have a role at all!

Perspective is key….Selah

Jesus IS the middle….

The truth for a Christian, whether you’re ready or not, whether you like it or not, is that Jesus IS the ministry of reconciliation. He is SUPPOSED to be the CENTER of EVERY relationship you have, whether it’s marital, friendship, parental, sibling or otherwise. He will allow EVERY relationship you have to suffer and fall apart, just so that He can reconcile it and be the center of it. No, not to be mean, but because only through Him….only by Him being at the CENTER of the relationship, can you experience the FULLNESS of the blessing the relationship is intended to be. He HAS to be the center!!! I’ve been ruminating this revelation for about three months.
Here’s an example:
Isaac was a promise for Abraham. Sometimes we desire a promise so much and wait so long that when it manifests, we idolize the promise. We serve it and have a greater affection for it than we do God. Sound familiar? God desired to be the CENTER of Abraham and Isaac’s relationship. He has to be the middle, the reconciler. And when Abraham lifted the knife, he proved his faithfulness to God. He chose God over his son, therefore God gave his son back to him (provided a ram in the bush). At that point God became the mediator, the CENTER of the relationship, His rightful place. With order established, every future blessing God intended for Abraham to have through Isaac, could be given. He HAS to be the CENTER!!! Make Him the center so that He doesn’t have to SHOW you He’s the one keeping it together!!! (One of the many things I’ve learned from Bonhoeffer ❤️)

Doggy Tales of the Enemy’s Strategy

I want to share something about “false threats”.
I have a 5lb. chihuahua named Christian and boy does he think he’s hot stuff. I think the lion (hair) cut he sports has him really believing he’s Mufasa. Even one of my neighbors who happens to have a large dog that is afraid of Christian, commented to me once that my dog is the “king of the complex”. At five pounds, that is far from true, but what makes it so convincing is that he believes it and, therefore, projects it!
 
Lately, as many of God’s children are awaiting instruction and marching orders, the enemy has been creating smoke screens and whispering threats of failure, “trouble hearing”, and missed opportunities. If we aren’t careful, the bark of the enemy can cause us to become disoriented and disillusioned, but fortunately, it is a bark much bigger than his bite when he has been denied access to your life and territory.
 
Just today, my mother’s neighbor came to her door and her dog was on a leash. Of course my ill behaved chihuahua runs through my legs and out of the door. I watched, prayed and yelled as the older lady fought to keep her balance as her (rather large) dog jumped and howled in an effort to start a mad dash. I was baffled. It reminded me of the time we were at a pet store and Christian (I know, I know, sometimes he doesn’t live up to his name) began tormenting a full grown german shepherd. Eventually, the owner got my attention and asked me to pull Christian closer to me, because her dog was extremely frightened and was becoming unmanageable. I was BAFFLED that time as well. Christian could literally fit in the german shepherd’s stomach, but because the dog didn’t know her own strength, she was intimidated by a dog who had no ability to harm her.
 
German Shepherds are trained watch dogs, elite in the sense that they are chosen for police work, and here was one who had no clue about her lineage and ability. Sound familiar?
 
Many of us need to get back into the Word, become reacquainted with who God says we are and shut the enemy DOWN!!! When you live in obedience to what God has spoken, you have the authority to speak peace, protection and provision.
 
Here are two more doggy stories that will preach:
 
One day I was walking Christian on the bay trail and there were some children playing on the grass with their new [baby] chihuahua puppy. When they saw Christian, they became excited (as most children do) and Christian began to bask in the attention while staying very close to the puppy (he’s very protective). Soon a large dog approached with its owners who were walking him. Christian sprung into action, growling and barking and before I knew it, had jumped on the dog’s back and was trying to bite his neck. Guess what the dog did? NOTHING! Obviously, the dog knew Christian posed no real threat and being secure in what he was, remained unfazed as I YANKED Christian away for fear he would be eaten alive. What I want you to pay attention to is the fact that Christian was on a leash and was pulled off of the dog. Satan is on a leash too (please hold, while I get up and dance).
 
Okay, I’m back. On a sad note, here’s the last story. My father used to have a Boerboel. These dogs look a lot like Bull Mastiffs. After adopting Christian, I brought him to my parents’ home for the first time and we all went into the backyard to make the introduction. I made my dad come with me in case his dog tried to kill mine. Christian barked and growled, but Marley just stared at him like he was a little peon. Christian came closer and finally enough was enough! Next thing I knew, I heard myself screaming, because Christian was in Marley’s mouth. My father commanded, “Oh, put him down!” Marley flung Christian across the patio and when Christian finished sliding, I noticed his shirt was torn and everything. I was livid and began to scold Marley (from behind my dad of course) and before I knew it Christian was right back in Marley’s face snapping and barking. Christian’s anger was at an entirely new level. My dad just shook his head and said, “That’s one dumb dog.” I grabbed Christian and ran in the house. My point, Marley knew her territory and the rights she had within it. There was only so much yapping she was going to tolerate.
 
Now for the sad part. After my dad’s passing, Marley tailspun into grief. The dog who picked up my dog with her mouth, literally slapped Christian around with her paw anytime Christian got out of line, had suddenly forgotten who she was and who’s she was. Her territory didn’t matter anymore and Christian took full advantage. For the rest of Marley’s days, I had to stop Christian from terrorizing her. All Christian could do was bite her legs and jump up to bite her stomach and she would let him. She had no more fight in her.
 
You want the moral of the doggy post? I want to remind you that you have a Master who will NEVER leave you. You will always have the companionship of the One you serve. As long as you authentically represent Him, you will always have His backing. No matter what or who comes and goes, He will always be the author and the finisher of your faith, so no devil can place a period where God intends for there to be a comma. Often times, because of stress or emotional despair, the enemy’s bark becomes disorienting and we just want God to silence it. We must realize that often times, God just wants us to become unfazed by it, and be able to tune it out and work around and despite it, knowing that no matter how loud it is, it just better stay over THERE.
 
Pray this prayer with me: Father help me. I yield as I ask you to infuse me with strength. I am adopting complete confidence in your ability to protect and provide for me. I no longer want to be intimidated by a bark whose bite has no power to harm me. Reveal to me what you have placed in me. I KNOW WHOSE I AM! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Thirsty for Mercy….

Jonah 1 & 2

“I will pay that which I have vowed…”

We’ve all done it-  we have experienced the glory of God and His loving presence has rested on us, and we’ve responded…”reveal your will for my life”…”make me, mold me”…”have your way with me”….”Lord just send me and I’ll go”. How.many.times.have.we.said.these.things?

And we mean it until what He requires of us rests on the outside of our comfort zone. We want to serve God, but we don’t want to seem “odd”, be embarrassed or go against the grain in comparison to the other christians we know.

Too often, our unspoken sentiment is- “I want to serve God, but I don’t want it to require that I do stuff I don’t like to do.” HOW HUMAN OF US!!! 🙂

I see this story now very differently than I used to. Before, I perceived the belly of the big fish as punishment for Jonah’s disobedience. Now I perceive it as a manifestation of God’s love and grace. Not just for Jonah, but the people attached to His assignment.

He could’ve died…

After being thrown overboard, he could have drowned. He could have been eaten by a shark. He could have had his lungs poked and punctured by a swordfish. He could have gotten tired of fighting the currents and simply given in to the sea.

BUT….

God PREPARED a big fish to keep him safe and give him time to come to himself.

The fish didn’t digest him, but held him in its dark, dank, putrid stomach long enough for Jonah to cry out.

Gosh, he sounded like David.

Gosh, he sounded like me.

He remembered…there was a time he vowed his life- and in his repentant state and right mind, he determined again to pay the vow he made.

He’s the God of  “another chance”…..

He repented, God commanded, the fish spit, and land was there. So often we think we are the ones waiting for our “next”. How interesting is the notion that everything is lined up where and how it is supposed to be and is waiting for us, our thoughts, our actions…. our obedience.. to… LINE UP with THE agenda that will save the very lives we are guarding?

I’m thirsting to be more like Him. Let that be our prayer today sisters- that He will show us every way we work against His plan for us.

#shereadstruth

Come Quickly God- I’m Thirsty for Relief ~ Kelsi Marie

I have a wonderful band of sisters that I study with. We are called the She Reads Truth community. Talk about hearts that ooze with love! Each member was invited to write and share a devotional for the Friday scriptures during Lent. I love my sisters and I am so excited that we are sharing our hearts with one another.

My Devotional for the 38th Psalm:

O-wa

M-ma

G-eeeee

Have you ever felt so low, so regretful, so remorseful, so scorned, so NOT supported, so abandoned and so depressed that even death seemed like a kinder fate?

It can get that bad. It may not for everyone, but I’m grateful for a psalm that can reach that low and comfort anyone who can relate. What I appreciate here is that David acknowledges he is not innocent. Yet he makes it clear that his “foolishness” has landed him in a spot where he is way over his head. He is hurting. God’s anger is hurting him, the weight of his iniquities is hurting him, the abandonment he feels is hurting him, the circumstances, the sickness, the mourning, the suffering….

He’s Hurting.

He’s DESPERATE.

Only God can quench his thirst for relief. Relief from his burning insides, the fiery darts of his family and friends and the scorching plots for his demise. Sometimes we sink so low that the only words we want to hear are God’s. I’ve been in a place where I didn’t want to hear another “positive thought”, well intentioned opinion, or “let’s get you cheered up” speech. It wouldn’t surprise me if I even told someone from my emotional abyss “if God didn’t tell you, then don’t say it, PLEASE”. I have been so desperate for HIM that I only wanted to hear what HE had to say. Sisters, sometimes we are so fragile that we thirst for the word that CANNOT fail. The thought of another [financial, relational, mental, emotional or physiological] “failure” seems like too much to bear. In those moments we whisper, “I just need God”.

From that drought, you begin to feel the “only God can help me” appreciation for His strength. ALL honor and glory rightfully belong to a God more than powerful enough to overturn and reverse the despair that makes one feel more dead than alive. He can turn it !

He can turn ANYTHING.

We won’t move until He comes, because only His way do we want to go.

Come God- COME QUICKLY!

Parched is an understatement- a feeling of being dried up and nearly blowing away into emotional oblivion is more like it.

But God…

He can change ANYTHING.

Come God, COME QUICKLY.

I’m waiting- thirsty for you.

Sisters, today, let’s pause and pray that God “comes quickly” for any and every one of us that is in despair and is waiting in an emotional wildnerness for God to CHANGE EVERYTHING.

My Faith is on Trial……

During the past few weeks my sleep pattern has been irregular. I notice this happens when I feel various burdens, am keeping watch and interceding for others. Quite a few of my very close friends are weathering storms, enduring trials and fighting to believe that God is the same Father and Author of their previous seasons of rejoicing. 

Each of us are in our own battle. Each of us are in need of a custom made breakthrough. Just lift your hands and say, “Do it Lord!!!” We all have an “it”. What I am in need of and desire God to do is likely completely different than yours, but we have a craving, a desire, a passion to see it done that is all the same. BUT, at THIS moment we are asking that He removes everything from us that is hindering us from being our BEST. DO IT LORD!!! Do or allow whatever is necessary to get me where I need to be in YOU! Lord, I want YOU to be pleased!

I want to encourage you today not to stop. Your suffering isn’t in vain. He is a God of purpose- nothing He allows is without purpose. We must cooperate so that He can get the glory in the end. We MUST!!! While you’re in this struggle waiting for things to “work out”, rejoice that this struggle (if you’re being faithful) is working some things out of you. Maybe this is where you have FINALLY come to the realization that after having all of the self-confidence in the world, you [now] understand that you don’t have the power, authority or skill set to get THIS done. If you did, it would be completed already. He wants you to know without a shadow of a doubt when it is all over,  the victory belongs to Him. Too often we will brag about the bright idea we had, the talent, the “gift”, etc. when a goal is accomplished; when in fact, God is the inspiration for ANY GOOD thing we do!  We just can’t help ourselves most of the time. The pride in us wants the glory! But THIS…. Well, we’re growing increasingly aware that our way isn’t working, and that it has to be God who gets THIS done! NOW He has your attention. In the end, you will know that had you relied solely on your education, reputation, intellect, work experience, husband, wife, mama, daddy, friend, sister or brother, you’d STILL be broke, unemployed, heart broken, in foreclosure, frustrated, lonely, sick, angry, homeless, disgusted, lost, …..and the list goes on. 

The wonderful news is that He’s contending for you! Everything inside of you that would  sabotage your blessing or contaminate your promise, is being worked out of you. Some stuff at work on the inside of you cannot come along to the next place, so it has to be WORKED OUT of you now. 

You cannot earn what God has in store for you. It is a bi-product of your FAITH. What has been contaminating your faith???  Now, right here in what feels like an emotional, spiritual, mental or financial gutter, is where you get to prove that you in FACT, have the FAITH in God and the LOVE for God that you have bragged about all along. There is no prior script or journal entry to run to. What worked before isn’t working now, because you’ve never been through THIS before. You’ve never been this age before. This is your first time at this particular place. The only way out of THIS is UP! And the only script that can help is the Holy one!

In the first chapter of 2 Thessalonians, Paul (along with Silas and Timothy) expresses His appreciation and pleasure with the believers. The Amplified version reads that he was proud of their “unflinching endurance and patience” and “firm faith in the midst of their persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions”. That type of “unflinching endurance and patience” and “firm faith….” is said in the following verse to be positive proof of the just and right judgment of God that you are deserving of His kingdom. C’mon, you MUST endure this to PROVE your faith. Prove that it wasn’t all talk just because things were going the way you wanted! In the fifth chapter of Romans, it reads that  endurance develops maturity in character (APPROVED FAITH and TRIED INTEGRITY). When we’re mature in CHARACTER, it is MOST important to us that we glorify God than satisfy the flesh. When the mature Christian feels like quitting, they don’t. When the mature Christian is tempted to stop believing, they won’t. The mature Christian will give when what they really want is to “receive”. The mature Christian will take the exit route BEFORE being overwhelmed by sexual temptation, and tell a bitter truth before lying (even what the world calls “a white lie”). A mature Christian yields to God (kicking and screaming if necessary), before succumbing to the dictates of the flesh. 

In this trial, whether you have paid attention or not, some things about you have been revealed and brought to the surface. Under pressure, the REAL you has shown up. Use this time wisely and let your focus be to yield EVERYTHING within you that is not pleasing to Him.   Get cleaned up on the inside so that he can polish you off and put you to use the way HE wants to. 

He’s contending for you!!! He wants to show you off. He wants to reveal a person who has “APPROVED FAITH” and “TRIED INTEGRITY”. It is that character – (that brother, that sister), that is mature enough to handle the promise! Character/integrity is what you do, how you behave and what you succumb to when no one but God is looking! 

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