On Sunday Dec 3rd, during worship I saw myself standing at a staircase. It lead right up to the Father on His throne.
Lately, the Father has been shining a flashlight on my heart little by little to reveal to me what needs some extra attention. It is like pealing a band aide off my arm hair very slowly. It can be painful at times. I know if is a time of growth but why does my time of growing have to involve hurting others in the process? This is very hard for me. I would much rather be hurt than to hurt others. Just being real.
I started the day off yesterday by diving into editing photos of a wedding and two senior sessions. But I also started to choose to listen to the convincing voice saying I was not a good person and how depressing my life was because I had all of this stuff that the Father opened my eyes to.
So, I took a break to walk the dog. I went to get the leash and smelled something odd. I got closer to our dog, Lickerish and realized she had rolled in poop. Yes, I am embarrassed to admit that she did this. It is not something that she normally does. She hasn’t done this since she was a puppy. She is now 11 and almost 12. I was very frustrated as it would take even more time away from my editing to give her a bath after taking her for a walk.
We come back from the longish walk. I pulled her into the bathroom as she was putting on the breaks as soon as we got closer to the bathroom door. I put her into a bath and started to scrub her. I was getting so frustrated with her for doing something so stupid and gross. Like she WANTED to roll in crap. After getting her all scrubbed and clean I washed her collar. I want to paint this picture to make a point so I am sorry for the details. The collar had poop in it. Yes, in the collar. It made me gag, literally.
I was thinking how disgusting this was and then I heard it. His voice saying, THIS is how it is when you CHOOSE to get depressed and in hopelessness when I bring to light the things that I see that need to be cleaned up in your life. It is like you are rolling in your own crap (that is not the word I heard Him say). You are CHOOSING to roll in the lies that steal your joy. You cover yourself in crap.
Wow, it snapped me out of the downward spiral of negativity that I started to go into. Yes, I have some things in my heart that need to be dealt with but I don’t have to speak negative and get depressed about it. He has forgiven me and He will help me. I don’t need all the false humility crap to roll in. It isn’t necessary. He is calling me to maturity not immaturity. To dig in deep and take hold of the hard stuff He brings to the surface so He can shine more brightly through me. Even if it feels like a pressure cooker.
If we let go of our comfortable and TRUST Him to do the work and finish the work He started in us we will be at rest and peace in our heart. With all of the natural disasters that have been going on lately it was easy for people to quickly react out of fear. I felt like it was not only an awakening for people who don’t know Him but also for us. Are we quick to react out of fear? I will admit I did too at first. Then, it turned into crying out for His mercy and grace and protection. But then, it turned into Thank you Father for being their protector, their provider, their peace, their love, strength, health. I prayed this before I saw it instead of coming into prayer with a desperate cry. It was a place of knowing my Father would provide what they needed. He is so much bigger than our storms! He is using all that is going on for our good, for His good in us.
We choose to TRUST you Father! You are a good Daddy. We thank you for all that you are doing. Even through the pain of it we know this is for good!
I am so thankful for the WHO family who extends grace and looks into us to find who we really are even when we are not acting like it. Love you all!
I woke up Sunday August 13th with a man saying to me Luke 14, pride. I immediately woke with a desire to look this scripture up and see what the Father would show me.
Luke 14 starts by talking about how Jesus was desiring to heal someone on the Sabbath. He purposely asked the Pharisees if this was ok. Then proceeded to heal the man and ask them who would not heal their son or ox if they were stuck in a well.
They could say nothing.
What came to mind was what is my focus. What is my main motivation or pull to do or say things. What is it that tugs at my heart? Is it that I want to impress someone? Am I acting in fear of man? Is it to be seen? Jesus was not focused on the law or what was right or wrong to do on the Sabbath but what was in His heart and to see that person healed. He had compassion and love towards them. The Pharisees were too into the norm. Their mind set was, this is what is always done so this is how it should be.
Sunday AM I was thankful to have this brought to my mind before going to church. It prepared me to come with a different perspective. One of, God is my first. What I focus on has to be lead by Him not my fleshly motivations. I was constantly checking my heart. Now some may think this can be exhausting. Maybe for some it is. Right now I am at a place of desiring to make changes for the better. Taking in the discipline of the Father so I can see with His eyes freely. Sure, it doesn’t feel very good but actually it really does. It is like exercising. Going through the pain knowing that a better result is coming. Yes He accepts me and loves me just the way I am but there is such a hunger in me to clean those closets in my heart that I have left alone for too long. I have allowed the cobwebs of, “I will deal with that another day,” or “it hurts too much to have His love touch that right now,” to get comfortable in my heart.
Reading the scripture Sunday AM awoke me to my own slumber and helped me want to take steps to not perfection but to do well and a pull to shine Him better.
I read on in Luke and it talks about taking the last place with pleasure. Allow those who have been invited to the place of honor at the table to have that place and your heart is of joy and rest. Then, those who invite the guests to invite those who are of need.
Jesus talks about how there was a man who told his servant to go and invite a bunch of people for dinner but they had other things that were more important to do. So the man told the servant to go and invite the poor and needy. They all came.
I felt like He was showing me that when we allow pride – this will impress this person, my fear is bigger than God today or I need to be seen to validate who I am, is our way of saying to Jesus, I don’t have time today. My way is more important.
I have been and will be taking some time each day to search my heart in what is my focus. What makes me want to go forth and do or say something. If it isn’t about HIM, Jesus, the Almighty. Then, it is in the flesh. It isn’t about Jesus at all. He is not my focus. I would be just like those that would say, I need to do before I can be with you. They weren’t trusting Him. They turned to what was familiar and comfortable.
Father help me to make sure that you are my focus. That whether I am at World Harvest Outreach or out at the store or at work, you are my focus in my actions, thoughts and words.
Help me to not allow the idols of comfort to lead me but to allow your heart to be my heart and direct me straight to you and your desires!
I was late to church on Sunday. When I got there I was praying about what was going on in worship. I was getting Isaiah 55. Now I am not as experienced with the meaning of scriptures as I would like to be but I have been seeing differently lately as He has been showing me things I have never seen before. I knew in my heart He was showing me something. That we have been focused on the things that we don’t have or on the things that are happening in our life at that time instead of on His love. I was experiencing that His love is enough. That regardless of what was happening. Look at what He did for us. His love truly covers ALL. As Mark would say, ” What does it cover?” ALL! So we don’t have to focus on those things. Only on His love for us. Because He knows our needs. His love IS enough!
Then, I was hearing others saying the same things. I have been in a time of encouragement with the Lord that I do hear from God just like everyone does. I have been so paranoid of misrepresenting God that I tend to doubt what I am hearing. I also know there is a price to speaking as I need to make sure my heart is taking what He is showing me. So, I first need to speak it to me. Timing is tricky and I am still learning this also. I know sharing this blog that there is a cost. I will probably be tested on this. Even though I hesitate, I know He knows my heart and I am willing to take the risk.
Anyway, back to Isaiah 55…
Jesus is calling us to come to Him and freely take part of His amazing goodness. His beautiful bounty. His ever lasting love. He already took care of the cost for us. No matter what we have done or have not done. No matter what we are in right now. His goodness, love, mercy, grace, abundance is free! Draw near to Him because He doesn’t see anything but your heart!
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
I don’t think He is talking about food here. I think He is talking about why do we take part in things that are not of Him. Why do we fill our heads with things that are not true. Worry about things that are of no need to worry about. Believe lies. Focus on what we don’t have. Eat of the things that bring death. (Take part in filling our minds with false truth) He is full of abundance waiting to give it to us. Focus on His abundance. He is life. He knows our needs. He knows our situations. He is for us. Let all other things go and enjoy Him! If he has made an everlasting covenant with us according to the faithful mercies shown to David then why do we choose to worry and be afraid?
“Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
A leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
And a nation which knows you not will run to you,
Because of the LORD your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”
Amanda Wong was talking about how people will come to you because they hunger for what you have which is Jesus. They will want what you delight in. They will run to you because they see Jesus in you.
For me I need to daily renew my mind to His truth. I so often allow my thoughts to go negative and into the victim mentality. What a way to allow satan to keep us from fulfilling what Jesus put us here for. As long as we are focused on ourselves we won’t partake of all that He has for us which is to draw others to Jesus. Just by fully being who we are in Him is all we need to do!
“Seek the LORD while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the LORD,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”
I take this as a time to repent for allowing ourselves to think other than what Jesus fully intended us to think. He will abundantly forgive! Father forgive me where I have clung to what is familiar and comfortable. To things that are not risky and complaisant. Help me to watch what I think and correct it in that moment so I can go and take part of your goodness and draw others to do the same.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;”
Our thoughts are not His thoughts. I can’t even imagine the thoughts He has about us. Full of life, encouragement, excitement, being proud, love, grace, forgiveness, gentleness. Let us tune our ears to hearing His voice. It says it will rain and snow from heaven and will water the Earth, make it sprout and will provide. He will provide all of our needs. We may not understand why things are happening the way they are but He does. We can trust the one who Loves us more than anyone. Who wants only the best for us.
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the LORD,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
His words will go forth and accomplish all that He desires. When we choose to think the way Jesus thinks we will receive joy, peace, favor, encouragement. He comes forth from us. Life comes forth from us.
This is an everlasting sign that will never be taken away.
At WHO on Sunday, Ben asked for those who were struggling with waiting for a thing that they had been praying for to come up front for prayer. So many responded to this including me. I didn’t want to. I wanted to pray for those that were up there and I was, in my heart, but I knew there was something that the Father was tugging at me to get prayer for. I walked in with it that morning. I was discouraged, frustrated, feeling like is this prayer ever going to be answered.
I am definitely not a scholar in the scriptures but I will share with you what the Father was showing me. I welcome you to share your thoughts also!!
This morning I was praying about what scripture the Father would have me study. He brought me to Hebrews 11. I backed up to Hebrews 10 and read Heb 10:37, 38 and 39:
37″For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay, 38But My righteous one shall live by Faith; And if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.
39But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving (possession or charge) of the soul.”
This I believe is explaining that Jesus is coming to help us but there is a time period that we have to practice Faith. (But my righteous shall live by faith) To put in motion the Faith that He has put in us to trust Him for what is happening or what we are waiting for.
If we shrink back and be stagnant we miss the opportunity to exercise faith and James 2:14. We need to have the works of believing for His will to be done and trust Him in the waiting.
Back to Hebrews 11:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction (or evidence) of things not seen. 2For by it the men of old gained approval.”
Does this mean that we gain approval from the Father by having faith?
3″By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
Then it lists a lot of people who went forth in believing God for what they hoped for. Some died without seeing it fully come forth. But they died in faith that it would. This was pleasing and favorable to God.
One that stood out to me was Sarah. She wanting a baby and couldn’t conceive. She had Hagar conceive with Abraham and had Ishmael to try to fulfill this want and it just made her jealous of Hagar. She tried to bring forth a promise in the flesh and it didn’t work. Making things happen won’t work. Also, when Abraham told Sarah she was going to have a baby she laughed. In both of these examples, to me that doesn’t sound like she was having faith, yet in Hebrews 11:11 It says by FAITH she received the ability to conceive. God still sees our heart even when we are struggling to believe. When we make mistakes, He is so faithful and sees our heart and desire to want to have faith.
Now God could have just miraculously given her the baby. She was very old. 100 years to be exact. She still had to birth that baby! God could have saved her that pain and risk but instead gave her the beautiful ability to conceive with Abraham. Experience the pregnancy. The worries, the fears and joys and excitement of being pregnant. Then, she birthed Isaac who then they would be tested to give up later.
We still have to birth the thing He puts inside of us to have faith for and we do that by having that time of faith. Like back in Hebrews 10:37.
If you need some refreshers on those who practiced faith read Hebrews 11. But, in Hebrews 12:1 and 2 it says:
1″Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, (people are watching us and what we do or say), let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Is not having faith a sin? I would say yes because He gave it to us to use. Let us lay aside our disbelief, our frustration of not seeing that thing come to pass and pick up trust and run with it! What if the thing that Mark Durniak was talking about with putting something down and picking something up was as simple as putting down our own disbeliefs and picking up FAITH and TRUST and going forth and running with it?
Oh my goodness there is so much to say about this subject. I am learning as I write this.
It is 1:40am and I photographed a wedding technically yesterday. It was a 10 hour day and when I came home I won’t lie, I felt like crying I was so exhausted. But, there was an amazing thing that happened at this wedding. The Groom washed his bride’s feet.
This triggered me to look into why Jesus washed His disciples feet. In John 13 it starts by talking about just before the Passover Feast. Well then I had to look at the Passover Feast. It was a celebration of being free of captivity. It is a national celebration of freedom through God’s intervention and deliverance.
Judas who we all know as the one who betrayed Jesus was there amongst them. Jesus put on a towel and was getting ready to do a foot washing of the disciples. Peter said for Him to never wash His feet. He didn’t want to have Jesus be doing such lowly things. Jesus’ reply to him was that if Peter didn’t let Him wash his feet that he couldn’t be a part of Him. In the message it says:
Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”
Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”
Peter then said for Him to wash all of him as he of course wanted to be apart of what Jesus was doing. The disciples thought so highly of Him that they couldn’t stand to see Him wash their feet. As He explains later that even though He is seen as a Master and Teacher He still put Himself as a servant and washed their feet. He then says for them to also allow for washing of each others feet. He set an example. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him and that Peter would deny Him. Yet He still washed their feet.
Let me stop right here for a moment.
First of all the Passover Feast was about to happen. One of celebrating deliverance of captivity because of God’s Devine intervention. But, Jesus shows His love and forgiveness to them knowing what was about to happen. He was already showing to them personally how to become free of captivity. Wash each others feet. Put others first knowing they will deny you and betray you. It doesn’t matter if they will. We are to wash their feet. Of course you can do this naturally but in your heart see them as one who you will serve. Yes your enemies and ones you don’t know and you do know will deny you and betray you. A heart of true love towards them. (Jesus help me to do this!)
I also saw that during the wedding today when I saw the groom wash his bride’s feet that this was a prophetic picture of what Jesus is doing right now to His bride if you allow Him to. He wants to come and wash you. He is calling those to come and follow Him but He wants to wash you. Allow Him to wash you so you can fully be used by Him. I know it isn’t easy or without pain but man I truly want to be used by Jesus FULLY! I am not saying that Jesus can’t use you if you don’t allow this to happen but I think Jesus won’t have every area of your heart if you don’t which in turn won’t allow you to be used fully. Be all in with Jesus!! Allow Him to show you His love and forgiveness for you in every area of your life.
I have heard from others that when you “teach” about something expect to be tested on it so I write this with hesitation. I don’t want to be denied or betrayed but it will happen as the scripture says don’t be surprised when these things happen because it happened to Jesus.
Jesus thank you for your amazing example of humility, love and forgiveness. Truly seeing everyone with the eyes of love and wanting them to come into their fullness. I am excited and so very thankful that you are calling us up higher to serve others even those who will deny or betray or hurt us. Jesus help us to see how you see. Let our hearts NOW see others with your love and forgiveness.
Love you all!
One of the hardest things as parents is letting your child go through the tough hard things. The Mamma and Pappa bear want to shield and protect and keep our kids or family or friends from the painful hard things. Its a struggle to even say this but we have to let them go through it so they see how to problem solve, see how much those that care about them love them and to see Jesus in themselves and in the situation. Let your kids, friends and family go through the hard stuff. When they do you will see the fruit of your labor come forth and you will sit back in awe of what Jesus has done in your kids, family or friendship through the years. Its painful for us to see but it is necessary for their growth and relationship with the Father. Jesus does it with us, we need to do it with our children, family and friends too.
I was watching Kinzy during worship one Sunday. She was walking around freely full of joy on the stage. She had stepped off the stage and fell a little. Chris was watching the whole time. When she fell he remained steady not flinching and confident she was ok. She had gotten up totally fine and was continuing her confident and joyful walk. Then, she started to walk too far and Chris went after her brought her back and held her. She wanted to get down. He kept holding her tight. She was squirming and cried to get down. He pulled her closer and held her tight. She eventually relaxed and rested in Chris’ arms.
I thought this was a wonderful picture of how The Father is with us. He is watching us and over us and if we fall a little and he knows we will be ok and He doesn’t move. He remains confident in what we are doing. (I think if He did move and come and comfort us we would rely too much on our feelings). Then, if we start walking away too far He will come and find us and bring us back and hold us tight even if we don’t want to be held and just cover us with His love. At first we kick and scream but then we surrender and accept the love and rest in Him.
If you are going through a time that feels like why is God allowing me to go through this hard time. Where is He? I don’t understand why He isn’t making this hard thing go away. If you are feeling this please know He is with you. He has a purpose for the hard things. Go to someone and tell them what is going on. Have an open heart toward the Lord to show you what is in the hard stuff. He is always faithful. Or do you have someone you know or a loved one who is going through it? Protect them with prayer and support by talking with them. Watch what the Lord will do. Obviously if the situation is not safe or healthy intervene. Otherwise, allow for them to go through it. If they don’t this time, another time will come so they can learn what needs to be learned.
I ask that God’s love surrounds you and brings you peace. Allow Him to cover you in His love. Don’t allow walls of bitterness to come up towards Him. Even If you do he will just come find you and hold you until you kick and scream and then surrender to His love and rest.