Thursday, May 3, 2018

Handling Disappointment

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT

If you’ve been alive for any amount of time, you have felt disappointment. Disappointment can hit on a small scale, like wishing the weather was something different; to a large scale like being betrayed by someone you love. No one is immune.
My Pastor taught an amazing message Sunday and I wanted to share my notes with you. I am currently dealing with a huge disappointment in my life, so this message was timely.
A lot of times in life, our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations. When things happen, we tend to abandon our relationship with God, instead of turning to Him for comfort.
There are 2 people paths to take when something disappoints us:
  1. Blame God. Many people do this, and part of the reason we do is because we have one mind set that is not really accurate. God is amazing, He is every where, all the time. He is in CHARGE. But He is not always in CONTROL.
Let me explain: Say you are a teacher in a classroom with 25 kids. You are in charge, right? You are the adult. But each one of those 25 kids has free will and can make choices to misbehave or not. So, 10 of them get rowdy and start acting up. Are you in control? No. They are doing their own thing. You are, however, still in charge.
It’s the same with us. God gave us FREE WILL. But He is a gentleman. He will not over ride that freedom.
Some of our disappointments come from choices we make that had nothing to do with God. Maybe we were doing things our way, and not His.  He is NOT to blame for every disappointment we face.
2. Embrace the goodness of God. Psalm 119:38 Some people take disappointments, and see the good in it. They don’t blame God because they understand the truth behind who He is. My Pastor has coined a phrase for our church, “If it’s not good, it’s not God.” God is LOVE and Goodness. It’s not what He does, it’s WHO HE IS. Bad things happen to us, yes. But God is always good and nothing can stop Him from it.
So, I can hear you now, “Well, if God is so good, why do bad things happen to good people?” I’m glad you asked.
The Bible says that we live in a fallen, sinful world. There is a “ruler’ of this world, and he is always planning things against us. God will allow us to make decisions with our free will, then we have to face the consequences. He’s a good Father. He can’t always get us out of our mess. Sometimes we have to walk through things to learn lessons and grow.
3 more things we need to embrace are: Mystery, our purpose, and worship.
In our “Google It” society, we want to know the answers to everything. We are not comfortable with mystery, but sometimes, that is how God works. He does not tell us everything we will face. He does not give us a laid out plan for our future. He wants us to trust Him, even when we don’t know what’s going to happen.
God has given us all a purpose. You are not here just to pay bills until you die. God has something He has gifted you with that He wants you to use for His glory.
We have to worship Him, even in the hard times. It sucks. Believe me, I know…but man, when we worship Him in the storm anyway, what a huge difference it makes. Your burdens lift, and you feel light. We need to worship our way through disappointment.
Listen, this is a season. It will not always be this way. Ok? I promise.
And by all means, remember the verse I posted above. God is a promise maker, and promise keeper. If He says He will turn it around for your good, He will.
God bless you today and always!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

15 Ways To Live By The Holy Spirit

We are made up of 3 parts, body, soul, and spirit. Our body is self explanatory, our soul is your emotions and will, your spirit is what will live forever.
When we give our life to Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. But first, let’s see what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.” (John 14:26)
So, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to teach us everything and make us remember what He has told us.
Because we have free will, we are still going to sin. However, like I have talked about before, that doesn’t make you a sinNER anymore. It also does not give you free reign to think you can go around sinning the rest of your life and still get into Heaven.
The thing about it is, if you surrender your life AND your will to Christ, you will not want to sin anymore. You will want to be different. Living by the Spirit is what helps us.
I made this list from Colossians 3. I was reading it the other day and decided to study it, meditate on it, and make a list of how to live by the Holy Spirit.
  1. Keep your sights on Heaven. verse 1
  2. Think of Heavenly things-not earthly things. verse 2
  3. Real life is in Christ, you’ve died to your old life. verse3
  4. When Christ is revealed, you share in His GLORY. verse 4
  5. Put to death sinful things – sexual immorality, impurity, lust & evil desires – don’t be greedy either! verse 5
  6. Get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, & dirty language verse 8
  7. DO NOT LIE! verse 9 (Sorry, big pet peeve of mine. LOL)
  8. Use your new nature to be renewed as you learn to know your Creator & become like Him. verse 10
  9. Race/ skin color doesn’t matter- all that matters is that Christ is in you. He lives in us. verse 11
  10. Clothe yourself in tender hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, & patience. verse 12
  11. Forgive people’s faults & always forgive. verse 13
  12. Clothe yourself in love too! verse 14
  13. Let Christ’s peace rule your heart, and always be thankful. verse 15
  14. Let Christ’s rich message fill your life. Teach & counsel each other in wisdom. Sing worship songs with thankful hearts. verse 16
  15. WHATEVER you do, realize that you REPRESENT Jesus! verse 17
Please know that I am not trying to guilt anyone here. Nor am I trying to make it seem like you have to be perfect to get to Heaven.
I believe that God wants us to live like this because it is good for us. He already knows we aren’t perfect. He knows we will sin and make mistakes daily, but He wants us to yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform our lives.
Part of why I decided to write this is because in our day and age, with social media, we are NOT representing Jesus like we should. Having access, literally, to the entire world should be a positive thing. We should be using it to tell people about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
We don’t. We fight with people. We argue over stupid stuff. And we judge people.
Do you read in these 15 things anywhere that we are to judge or fight with others?
I pray that you will take this list and meditate on it yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. But if you try and live like this, you will change and the people around you will notice.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Do You Know Who God Is?

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing. In fact, the Father will show Him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.” John 5:19-20

I started reading a new book by Bill Johnson. I have been wanting to learn and grow in God’s Word and His gifts.
The Christian life is about a relationship. It’s not about getting saved just to get your “Get out of Hell FREE” card.
Last Sunday, my Pastor started a message series called “I AM”. It’s about Jesus telling who He is in His own words.
This first message was from John Chapter 15 where Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches.
Josh said that we CAN NOT possibly do and be like Jesus on our own. We MUST abide in Him. To abide means “to continue to be present, to be connected.”
He gave an example we can all relate to. Think of a baby growing in it’s mother’s womb.
That baby can not survive without it’s mom. They are connected by the umbilical cord. The baby gets everything it needs through that cord from the mom.
It’s the same way with Jesus. We get what we need through Him.
You have a testimony. And it is NOT just how you came to Christ. Your testimony is what God is doing right now in your life too.
In Revelation 12:11 we read, “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”
The context of this Scripture is in a battle with the enemy. We defeat the enemy with the Blood of the Lamb, which is Jesus’s sacrifice, and the WORD of our testimony.
When we tell people what God is doing in our lives, it gives them hope that He will do the same thing or something else in their lives. It’s the word of our testimony.
Now, let me show you this paragraph that just totally hit me from this book this morning:
“The testimonies of God are the key to walking in power because, in unveiling who God IS, they teach believers to pursue a relationship with Him MORE than gifts or answers to prayer. God is longing for His people to love Him along with His gifts. He is longing for them to encounter His incredible love so they will be motivated by passion more than duty. Then He can trust them with His power in unprecedented measure.”
So, getting to know God, helps us with what Jesus said here in John 14:12, ““I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I AM going to be with the Father.”
Do you know God? I don’t mean “are you saved”! I mean, are you reading His Word and listening? Are you getting to know His character and how He does things?
Because that is the only way to get through life and receive all that He has for you.
Is life perfect? NOPE. Never will be.
But man! I wouldn’t want to live ANY other way!
Feel free to post comments. I would love to discuss this further.
God bless you today and always.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

How To Silence The Voices

But in that coming day
    no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
    raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
    their vindication will come from me.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!” Isaiah 54:17 NLT

We are known for quoting only part of this Scripture. It’s become a saying in the Christian world. “No weapon formed against me will prosper.”
That is true, but check out the next line.
“You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.”
At the risk of sounding crazy, I will admit to those other voices taunting me.
“You are too fat. You are too ugly. You are not smart enough. No one will ever love you. You are not disciplined enough.” The statements go on and on. It makes me feel like I’m too much of this, and not enough of that. It’s time for it to stop!
I can silence those voices by telling them who I am in Christ and letting GOD be my vindicator.
You can too!
Being a Christian does not mean you have to live this poverty, beat down, feeling bad about yourself life.
Heck, Jesus even said He came to give us life to the FULL!
Let me show you that one verse in different versions: John 10:10
NLT, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
KJV, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
AMP, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”
NIV, “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Satisfying life, have life more abundantly, in abundance, to the full…. it’s all GOOD.
And JESUS Himself said this, that was His purpose in coming. He’s the opposite of the enemy.
The enemy is the one who tells us those lies about ourselves. He and sometimes our own thoughts, cause us to think the wrong things.
Who are you in Christ? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are God’s masterpiece created for GOOD works. And that’s just a small example of who you are.
Replace those voices, silence them with who GOD says you are! Renew your mind, because you are what you listen to! Quote Scripture out loud.
Let’s say you have a thought of, “You are ugly.” Out loud say, “Nope. God says I”m His masterpiece.” That’s how you will silence those voices and renew your mind with the truth.  Romans 12:1-2 is where God tells us to renew our mind and don’t conform to the world.
The world says you have to be skin and bones thin to be accepted. God doesn’t!
This song just came to mind, Hello My Name Is, check it out if you need a reminder of who God says you are.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How To Shake Off The Attacks

As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. Acts 28: 3 & 4

We were blessed with a guest speaker on Sunday at church named Tim Bittle. He is a Pastor who just planted a church in San Francisco! He has spoken at church and our youth camps before. We really like him.
This Sunday’s message was so ON POINT for things that me and my friends have been dealing with in life.
Tim talked about shaking off the attack of the enemy. In the Scripture I posted above, we see a snake attack Paul, but he just shook it off. This was just after the ship he was in shipwrecked into this island after 2 weeks of nothing but storms.
During the storms, God told him that he was going to Rome to preach. So, Paul had confidence that he would not die in that storm.
That same confidence caused him to shake off the snake when it bit him.
Tim’s 3 points for how to shake off a storm/ attack are:
  1. Stay hot. You see the snake didn’t come out of the fire until it was too hot. As lukewarm Christians, the enemy isn’t concerned with us. If we are hot, he will attack, but being hot is the best way to fight. It means we are on fire for God and willing to fight!
  2. Remember Rome. Paul knew in his heart that God told him he would preach in Rome, Since that had not happened yet, he wasn’t worried about anything taking him out. He KNEW God’s plans, he believed it, and kept moving forward.n God has a plan for you too. So focused on it, and know that the end result is worth going through the storm for.
  3. Greater is HE that is in you, than he that is in the world. The enemy can not be every where all the time. He recycles his schemes. He can not create and he can not do anything new. Therefore, remember the authority and power in you. You have the Holy Spirit in you! You can command and declare things to leave in Jesus name.
I’m just here to tell you, going through storms SUCKS! It is not fun by any stretch of the imagination….
We serve an amazing, loving, honest Father who has plans for us. He does not cause the attacks and He is always there as we go through them.
I know my storms have caused me to be a stronger person. Sometimes, even Spiritual gifts are activated during storms.
God promises in Romans  8:28 to turn all the bad around for our good for those who love Him. He keeps His promises!
Shake off whatever storm or attack you are currently experiencing. Keep moving forward.
God’s got you!
God bless you today and always!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Does God Chase Us Down?

 There is a new worship song out that I like. It’s called Reckless Love by Bethel Worship, Corey Ashbury. Here is a video if you’d like to hear it :
In the lyrics, he says that God’s love chases me down, fights til I’m found, leaves the 99.
Recently, I’ve heard someone say that God doesn’t chase us down.
I decided to research this. Because, I have also had someone tell me, “He chased me down, even in a bar.”
I have said it before, I believe God is a gentleman. He will NOT force Himself on you, but I kind of think He will chase us down. He loves us so much.
In Luke 19, we see Jesus going to Zacchaeus house for dinner. Just being around Jesus changed Zaccaeus heart. In verse 8 it says, Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus response in verses 9 and 10 were amazing, “Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
If Jesus says He came to seek and save those who are lost, then I guess God does chase us down, in a way.
Now, I am reminded of the prodigal son story Jesus told. The dad DID NOT chase his son and try to keep him home.
BUT… he did RUN to him when he saw him from afar, because he was looking for him.
Jesus also told the story of the shepherd who will leave the 99 sheep to go after the 1, which of course is referenced in this worship song. That was His way of telling people that God will go after them too.
So, I think, in certain circumstances, God will chase us down. He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to be saved and live for Him for the rest of our lives. He will not MAKE a person chose Him, but He chooses us daily.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them.
God bless you today and always.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"Yet even now" - says The LORD- "Turn back to Me with all your hearts, and with fasting, weeping, and lamenting." Rend your hearts rather than your garments. And turn back to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, and renouncing punishment." Joel 2: 12-13 Jewish Bible

This was my Scripture writing for today. When I was writing it, I felt like God was saying, "Your heart is your will."
The whole reason God wants us to surrender our heart to Him, is because it's our will as well. It's a combo! Two for one! LOL

A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that we need to surrender our will to God when we surrender our life. I know that might sound weird, so keep reading if you will.

Many people surrender their lives to God daily. They surrender by believing that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, that He was buried and rose again on the 3rd day defeating death. This is sometimes presented as the way to heaven, and they want to go there, so they surrender their lives.


They keep doing a lot of the stuff they did before they surrendered their lives.

Therefore, I think, we are to surrender our WILL to God as well.

You see, that's what started this fallen sinful stuff, Adam and Eve using their free will that God gave them.

I know, I know... you are wondering, "Why did God do that? If He wanted a perfect world with no sin, why give free will?"

Because, like this Scripture says, He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness.

He did not want little robots to just do what He said. He wanted us to choose to love Him.

He wants EVERYONE to choose to love Him... but alas, some do not.

It's not easy to surrender to WILL to someone. Especially to someone you can't SEE!

That's when other Christians need to step in and tell you all that God has done in their lives.

If I were to type up all of the negative things that happened to me over the past 5 years, you'd think, "That poor girl." These are not small little things either. They are big LIFE CHANGING things.

However, as Elton sings, "I'm still standing, better than I've ever been. Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid."

I am God's daughter. I am His masterpiece created for GOOD works. He has a purpose and a plan for my life, and I will not turn away from that for anything.

This reminds me of Joseph in the Bible. He wasn't really doing anything wrong either, except after a dream, he got a little mouthy. (I understand that, I am currently on a journey learning how to keep my mouth shut. LOL)

Joseph had WAY worse things happen to him than I have. After all, I think being sold into slavery by your brothers tops anything I've been through. Then, they told his dad he was dead. Joseph also spent years in jail for things he did not do.


Since Joseph had surrendered his life and will to God, he ended up second in command in Egypt! Who does that?

GOD my friends! GOD!

When you decide to live for God, SELL OUT! Give Him your life, your heart, and your will.

You will not regret it!

God bless you today and always!