I’m thankful for healing.

I woke up this morning so expectant during my time with the Lord.  I regularly sit with Bible open studying the priceless pages of scripture begging God to speak to me. I need Him. This morning He spoke as usual a word that blew me away.

These past few years have been trying. I am not just speaking personally, but for the countless that have lost jobs, lost loved ones, dealt with sickness, are wondering how to put Christmas presents under the tree, felt the sting of sin, and felt the desertion of those that presented as friends.  We are a wounded generation.  The spiritually tried and wounded lay on this battleground we call faith waiting for a medic. Our souls are searching for salve to calm our anxious spirits and our bleeding emotions.

I know the pain that runs so deep emotionally your body aches. In my history, I have laid limp on the floor of my love-extinct house destitute of strength.  However, that is when I found Strength….the Strength that is eternal, the strength that is never weak. The word tired is NOT ONE of God’s attributes.  Some of you have been searching for hope.  You present as strong on the outside, you look good, but when you get in your car or are alone in your dorm or house, tears flow.

Today–I am thankful for healing.

Psalm 71 was the passage of scripture God brought me back to today.  This passage of scripture I clung to more than a decade ago.  Specifically, Psalm 71:20-21, You who have shown me many troubles and distresses WILL REVIVE ME AGAIN, and you will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. May you increase my greatness and turn to comfort me.

I read this passage this morning recounting the past decade of my life.  Abuse, rejection, isolation, divorce, court battles, layoffs, being broke, sickness, have been just a few things that have plagued my decade, BUT HE HAS REVIVED ME AGAIN.

As I studied this passage God brought me to Hosea 6:1

Come, let us return to the Lord. FOR HE HAS TORN US, but HE WILL HEAL US, HE HAS WOUNDED US, BUT HE WILL BANDAGE US.

He is the Bandage.  His bandage not only covers the wound, but it renews the soul.

Here me, He desperately loves you.  I sat in tears this morning reading the tear stained Bible I cannot live without and looked up at my husband and said, “God loves me.”  Your  wound is never too deep or never too secret.

Many of you may be asking, “I know I need God healing from my past, but how do I do that?”  Luke 8:50b, Do not be afraid any longer, ONLY BELIEVE, and she will be made well.  The answer is not some super deep secret that no one can understand but pastors and theologians, the answer is simple.  God loves us so much that He made His way so simple.  We think His way is so difficult and we have to have a degree in ministry to know spiritual truths.  For someone that has been to bible college, let me say this, that is a lie.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BIBLE COLLEGE!!!!  However, you don’t need a degree to experience God’s truth.  You need a willing and surrendered spirit.

Practically, get alone with God and ask Him to speak.  Even if you have never tried it, tell Him your hurts, open the Bible and ask Him to begin the healing process through His word.  That’s how I started and it has changed my life.  Just one verse of practical truth that is personal to you will change your thought processes.

If God has healed you today from your history, take some time to thank Him. In this week where we focus on thankfulness and what God has given us thank Him for the tangible gift of healing. I never want to be like the leper that didn’t return to Jesus to thank Him for His healing power. His healing power for my past sin drives me every day to reach someone that needs it. I cannot live my life without be intentional about sharing the hope found in Jesus.  It would be tragic if I was healed and didn’t share with someone else where the healing came from.  I have been asked several times, “Where does your passion come from?”  My answer, if you have truly experienced a touch from the Savior YOU CAN NEVER BE THE SAME.

 

Thank you so much for supporting The Blush Network and myself.  You will never know what it means to me.

Sacrifice, obedience or both?

Psalm 51:16

For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;

You are not pleased with burnt offering.

17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

 

True joy that endures the test of time comes from audacious obedience.  Obedience that defies logic, circumstance, and practicality is often a requirement to grow in intimacy with our Father.  But, when you throw around the word “obey”, people begin to get a little squirmy in their seat.  Our humanity doesn’t like to be told as an adult to obey God.  We internalize thoughts such as, “I’m grown; I know what’s right for me,” or “I’m smart and that just doesn’t make sense.”  Not obeying is normally justified by rebellion.  However, not obeying what God has clearly asked of you always brings misery, frustration, and confusion.

 

For example, we live in a world today that WILL be quick to sacrifice. I see people giving money to amazing organizations or spending countless amounts of hours volunteering for churches and ministries.  We see commercials on how to care for abandoned pets or feed children and we are very quick to do so.  Our emotion muscle gets flexed and we sacrifice for things where we believe we can make a difference.  However, we forget that in the middle of doing great things, the best thing for us to do is what God tells us to do.  For instance, is God pleased if you sacrifice to go on a missions trip, but are sexually active with your boyfriend before you go and after you come back? OUCH, I know that hit a nerve. Some of us fight the call of ministering on our lives and justify it by saying God’s call is just for preachers, when the Bible clearly tells us in Matthew 28:19 to go and make disciples.  I ask you — when was the last time you told someone about Jesus?  God is pleased with our sacrifice ONLY when we are obedient. Sacrifice without obedience is self-serving and self-promoting.

 

I, myself, have been one of the biggest offenders on this very subject.  Fourteen years ago, I was super sacrificial.  I was at church in all the plays and living what looked like a life that was sold out for the Lord, but when God told me to break off the engagement to the man I was going to marry, I ignored it.  God kept sending me ways and reasons to break off the engagement, but I didn’t do it.  My rebellion justified my actions for moving forward with the wedding and it got me divorced not three years later.  If I would have stopped busying myself with the “sacrificial” things I was doing for the Lord and solely focused on my relationship with Him, I would never have had to endure the corrupt things in my past.

When God speaks, it’s because He loves us.  I get so mad at people thinking that God is sitting and waiting for you to screw up to bring judgment on you!  God ADORES YOU!!!!  He desperately wants the best for you. He is your biggest Cheerleader and your strongest Advocate!  When He asks you to do something, know for sure He knows what is best.  I challenge you to trust Him.  His way is easy and burden so light.  Trust Him, sweet reader.

Stop holding yourself back.

I sat outside on our back patio this morning and sipped my coffee as the dew burned off the grass.  My four year old son peeked his head out the back door and asked if he could swing on the play structure in our backyard.  I love to watch my children play.  I love the wonder and imagination as they dream up games and distant worlds that they are conquering.  I told him yes, and watched him walk down the yard to swing.  As he was walking he was singing, Rejoice in the Lord, Rejoice in the Lord, Rejoice in the Lord, Always.

I couldn’t have resonated with the song more.  My Lord Jesus was speaking through my sweet boy.  I sat and thanked God for the victory of The Blush Network’s first ever Latina conference.  Last December, I distinctly felt the Lord place the beautiful Latina’s on my heart.  I had heard of the need to reach the girls and wanted to do everything in my power to accomplish God’s prompting on my heart.  I knew it was God’s prompting and not mine because I am not Latina and I do not speak Spanish.  However, the more I learn about my God, the more I know that that is exactly who He chooses to use.  The seemingly inadequate from a physical standpoint God often has equipped adequately for the supernatural. I was not going to allow a cultural barrier to steal the joy of ministering!  God distinctly told me to do it and I was going to obey no matter what.  My appearance God was going to take care of if in fact it was His plan.  The planning went off well.  We were prepped and ready just like for every other conference and event we do.  Throughout the weekend the girls commented on my appearance to be sure, one girl even saying, “you are white.”  I laughed and said, “I am?”  Every session I was impressed with the sweet ladies that attended.  I saw the passion from them and the raw desire to walk in the way of the cross.  My heart was heavy before the last session of the conference….I sat backstage and prayed that God would use the last session for His glory.  After I spoke and we praised the Lord so many girls made life decisions for Christ.  When I was getting ready to close in prayer the conference I felt someone grab my hand and begin to pray.  It was one of the most precious women you could meet.  I had two women praying for me on either side of me.  They were asking God to bless our ministry and myself.  By the end of the prayer, I was almost overcome with emotion. The lady to my right said, “Look up.”  I looked up and saw a huge crowd of beautiful women gathered around me with their hands raised.  In that one act, God had confirmed the small voice in my spirit to do a latina event the December before.  He was glorified by the obedience of my team.

I wonder today, what is God telling you to do that you don’t think equipped to do.  I am confident that God speaks to us regularly and if we submit to what He says we will be blown away by the reward.  Some of you God has told you to quit your job and go into the ministry.  Some of you need to break up with your boyfriends.  Some of you need to share Christ with your neighbor, some of you need to lead a small group.  Some of you need to start to tithe.  He has spoken and you cannot shake the blatant call of the Creator.  You can try, but you won’t win.  I encourage you with this, when you push the normal aside and do the uncomfortable for Christ He promises to bless.  If we hadn’t gone to Phoenix last week to minister to the latina girls, I would have missed out on a huge blessing!!  Girls lives were changed and I had a front row seat to see God’s glory.

Rather than being blinded by your seeming insufficiency, be encouraged when God calls because He sees that you are sufficient.

1 Samuel 16:7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as many sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Opportunist

My husband and I were presented rather unexpectedly with an opportunity last week that caught us so off guard I sit baffled days later.  We sat stunned in the car as the person on the other end of the phone was explaining the opportunity and was on speaker phone.  Sharing looks back and forth that only couples that have been married many years understand, we ended up having an entire conversation without even saying a word.  I hung up the phone and for a couple of moments couldn’t say a word.

The door of opportunity was wide open in our favor and we walked through the door.

 

The next day Eddie and I were talking about the phone call that we had had just a day earlier.  The words ringing in our ears almost too good to be true. Eddie joked and said, “You are an opportunist.”  To which I replied, “Thank you.”  Although in our culture the term opportunist has become stigmatized because of unethical ways that people go about things, in the Christian world open doors and opportunity is the way that God leads us to our next chapter in life.

 

Ephesians 5:15-16

 

15 Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Paul clearly tells us in this passage to MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY.  He is challenging us to walk through those open doors, because he himself has seen the amazing things the Lord had done in his life because he had done just that. Sometimes I see Christians that want to do something and God opens the door for that very thing and they begin to doubt because the opportunity requires risk on their part. Doubt mutilates opportunities to work for the King– It is the silent killer of faith.  I, myself, used to be a big ole scaredy cat.  God opened up many opportunities for one particular event that I completely ignored, knowing it was from the Lord.  I have often wondered what would of happened had I had enough courage and enough faith to walk through those doors no matter what the outcome looked like.

It is not a negative thing to grab hold of God’s promises that manifest as practical opportunities.  Don’t let someone look down on you for walking through the doors that could bring about God’s call on your life. Complacency results from anyone not willing to stick their neck out for the Lord.  I love the saying, “When opportunity knocks, it’s too late to prepare.” In order for our faith to grow and our relationship with God to increase we must continually exercise it.

Colossians 4:5 says:

5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

We must, however, use wisdom.  God has given us the Holy Spirit. We have the privilege of using the Holy Spirit to guide us in the way we should go.  When presented with an opportunity be sure seek the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to make the way clear. Use the spiritual power at work inside of you to be your compass and your guide. Don’t factor His presence out of any situation. Trust me, He will let you know when to move forward and when to stop.  I often ask the Lord to shut the door if it isn’t His will for my life.  This has kept me from major mistakes and trials.  When God speaks to my heart and I listen it is always proved later to be the best way. It’s when I don’t that I regret it.

One word of encouragement–be aware.  In order to know that an open door exists you must be watching for it.  Walk with your heart expecting the opportunities from the Lord. He will send them, but it’s up to you to accept them.

God’s got amazing things for you!  His way defy’s our human logic and surpasses our fleeting circumstances!  Trust Him as he leads and live a life full of the impossible!!