Sunday, October 30, 2011
I felt they were something that I had to do...
Now, they are something I desperately want to do.
Now, they are something I live and love and don't think twice about
This weeks to do list:
1. make hot chocolate for my boys
2. snuggle with them
3. buy Christmas Cards and more hats for the homeless
4. visit gran
5. write letter to a friend in need of encouragement
6. help out a dear lady who is going thru a very rough time
7. Talk to Him, (hey, which I do everyday anyway)
The truth is that I have celebrated Halloween every year.
Until this one.
I used to love the holiday. I actually considered it one of my favorites at one point in my life.
But a lot has happened during the course of a year to change my mind.
Some people say that Halloween is rooted in Christian tradition. But if you study the history and what actually happens on Halloween...the truth is very frightening.
It is day when children dress up as witches and demons.
It is a day when modesty is not honored and Christ is not revered.
I have seen the supernatural. I have seen that demonic forces are real, and I know that there are real witches and Satanists out there that use Halloween to celebrate.
I remember as a teenager...I would cringe when people would start talking about the evils of Halloween. I felt as if they were trying to ruin my fun and rain on my parade.
But now I can see thier concern. I never really hated the things of darkness until I truly walked in the Light of Christ.
So while my children and I will not participate, I can still love all the people who do.
I can pray for thier safety and I can spread my light to them.
We don't have to agree on things, but we can still act in the spirit and love of Christ.
So whoever is reading, I love you. Our convictions may not be the same, but that's ok.
I still wish you the best and I hope you wish the best for me.
What will I be doing on October 31?
It will be a day like any other. I will visit my grandmother who has been very ill and I will love on my children. My situation is not perfect but my God is...and on that day I will thank Him and love Him just like every other day. And maybe some hot cocoa would be nice too.
Please read the following link regarding the History of Halloween...
I didn't have a chance to check out the site..so I can't say whether or not I support it...
On another note, at first I was a little reluctant to post this...I know that there will scores of people who disagree with me...but then I remembered the phrase. "Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything."
My goal for this life isn't to force a religion down someone's throat..but to represent the love of Christ in the best possible way I can.
other blog posts from different people around the states with similiar views...check them out :)
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
She spoke of the infamous "rug."
Each of us has a rug placed under our feets and I think that, at some point, we wait for it to be ripped out from under us. I think we all silently fear our rugs.
I guess our rugs could be likened to the sequence of peaceful days. So often our days go by, uneventful. Our rugs collect dust.
But when they are ripped out from under us, all the dirt seems to go flying.
The dust may get in our eyes and blind us temporarily.
Our rugs..are our comfort....but when fate shifts them, even ever so slightly......
we often tend to fall apart....
This past week, my rug was shaken...It was taken from under my feet and shaken pretty hard. Dust flew. I got a few specks in my eyes.
But I am still standing. For that, I am grateful.
Let's be so deeply rooted in Christ, such that, even when our rugs fly, our resolve to follow Him won't.
Every day I learn something new. I have learned that things go wrong. Deeply wrong. But through it all, God is still faithful and good. I know that He holds those that are suffering. I know that His plan is larger than I can imagine, and I know that He hears our prayers.
This past week...my rug came crashing down when I was told that my grandmother has only a few weeks to live. And then I had another rug pulled out from under me when I found out that I am being decieved by someone I care about. Two rugs. One week.
I was driving to work one day and I truly wondered how I was going to handle the storm. Sometimes, I dream of tornados. In my dreams, they swirl down....dozens at a time.......
they are fierce...
They are threats to my peace...and they call into question the security of my rug.
....I could see the tornados in my situation.
I could see them by the thousands if I looked hard enough at the situation....
But one day I had a vision. I could see myself walking on a very thin wire.....Below me were the things of danger. Below me were the storms...and the wind that threatens the rug...
But I could see that if I kept my eyes upon my God...then I would make it to the other side unscathed...
No wind would harm me. Everything beautiful would fall into place.
Gratitude. How do we keep our eyes on our maker in the midst of adversity? How?
The doctors tell me that someone very important to me is dying. A permanent fixture from my life will be gone......
But then I remember that I had the chance to tell her goodbye. I had the chance to cry in her arms and tell her I love her. And for that, I am grateful.
I am grateful that there is a Heaven and I am grateful that God hears my prayers.
Because I asked Him to see her again someday..and I know that He will hear me.
I am grateful. Even though there are people in my life who find it acceptable to decieve me...there are others that are there to pick me up when I fall. I won't spend my time worrying about the ones that hurt me, but thanking God for the ones that He sent to love me.
Life is too short to worry. I would've missed out on some amazing moments if I had allowed worry to consume me. The other day I was swinging baby Brendan in the swing. He laughed such an innocent and beautiful laugh.
It is during those moments, that I truly understand Heaven...
It will be perfect innocence, perfect laughter, and no fear.
When our roots go deep, our rugs can't be misplaced.
How do we find our roots? By seeking, by calling upon His name, by trusting...by
getting rid of the garbage in our lives and looking up...
by calling on the name of the Creator and not giving in any time a little wind blows our way...
There is more, my friends. There is more.
My life is a compass that continually points to the way of the Cross. I have seen and I have experienced a Divine Love...There is more. He Loves You. There is more.
What if everyone believed in Hell. What if people could taste, even for a moment what it would be like? What would those lives look like, if for a second they truly believed in anything other than what we can see with our eyes?
People would cease to lie. People would cease to hurt one another. People would call out to thier God, get on their knees and find Him. They would search at all costs because they would understand that there is more than what we see. They would see that eternity is the reality...this life is only temporary...they would know that all that we see and our purposes here on earth are for something more and something greater.
Right now, there happens to be no shortage of movies about the supernatural at the box office.
Paranormal Activity. When I first saw Paranormal Activity, I was disturbed. I could see people laughing and joking around and carrying on.....
But what most people don't understand is that demons and demonic forces are real. They are real! How do I know this? What qualifies me to speak about them?
By the way, I have abandoned scary movies altogether. I used to love them..but the more my eyes are open to God and His Light..the less I want to do with the things of darkness and fear.
Well, I'm going to tell it...I have had had my own supernatual experiences.
What's strange is that I have had a very real fear of talking about them for some time. What will people think? Will anyone believe me?
I have delayed sharing this post for a very long time for multiple reasons. I guess one reason has been fear. Fear that others simply won't believe my story. The thing that happened to me aren't something that many people are familiar with.
I have often wondered why. Why, have I been allowed to experience the supernatural? I have often wondered why God would allow me to seen and experience the unseen realm that He speaks of in His word.
I think I know the answer. It's quite simple.
So that I can tell others. So that I can tell others that there is a hell based on my experiences.
But not only that...I can tell them also, that, based upon my experiences there is a wonderful, caring and loving God. He has shown me so many amazing thing through each and every one of my experiences. He has shown me His love, His Power, His sovereignty, and the Truth of His Word.
Secondly, I want people to know that I do not lie. In my blog, I admit to things that were hard to talk about. I talk about the hard things. Since I have come to know Christ, I can see the extreme danger of lies. Lies are in opposition to His very nature. My God is Truth.
My prayer is that when you read about my experiences, you begin to see that there is a world that you can't see. We all have choices in this life. It is important to know that EACH and EVERY choice we make does have eternal consequences..whether good or bad....My prayer for you, reader, is that you begin to make the right ones. No matter how many times you have failed, He is still there loving you. Accept His love. Seek His guidance. You don't have to be perfect to fall into His arms, You simply just have to fall into them. Let Him do the rest. Don't spend too much time seeking advice from "man". Listen to the voice of you Father. He loves you.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
The decision to have a child
The past week has been a little hectic. We went to a wedding out of state.
I took my oldest son to boyscouts. I dedicated a portion of my week to small mission projects that I'm working on, which included preparing teddy bears to be taken to the pediatric burn center in Baton Rouge and buying blankets, hats, and socks to be distributed at a local food bank.
One day in particular was rather frustrating. I took both boys into town to buy some things for the homeless. We also went to the Boy Scouts of America store. As I was checking out, Little Brendan was determined to leave the store in a chaotic mess. I had my hands full and he, seeing that I was busy, decided to leave a trail of destruction in the store. In a matter of seconds, he de-shelved an entire haven of stuffed animals.
The day was stressful.
However, when we returned home, I was pushing my baby boy in the stroller down the road.
Immediately, a profound sense of peace came over me and I couldn't help but think...
"This is where I am meant to be..."
pushing this baby...in this stroller....at this moment....
I was filled with gratitude for the honor of taking care of two of the most beautiful boys in the world.
There are times when things seem so stressful. Sometimes trying to balance work and motherhood seems to be a very difficult task. There are days when I truly wish I had the privaledge of being a full time mom. Simply, because I realize that the job and task of being a mother is one handed down by God Himself, and the job is no small task. And I miss my kids while I am at work. I am missing out.
Motherhood is a true gift.
One that I have often felt that I don't deserve. There was a time in my life when I walked in a fog of deep depression. I guess I never felt worthy of the precious gift that was bestowed upon my life.
But, since then, I have learned of Grace.
My first son was born out of wedlock. I guess a part of me has always felt guilty for that. I have always felt "undeserving."
But....I have seen God's grace. I have seen how beautiful things grow in the desert. I have seen how God allows beautiful things into the lives of the undeserving.
It's called Grace.
Grace is the most beautiful of gifts. To be a mother, is such a gift.
IT is no small task. God says to train our children in His ways and when they are older they shall not depart from it.
As mothers, it is our job is to provide examples of grace to our children.
I think of my own mother. She has never really worked outside of the home, and I admire her for that. She was and is...always busy, nonetheless.
Her hands are always working. Preparing food, raising animals for her family.
She sews. She fixes things. She washes, she plants, she grows,
Her hands are hands that care for things. She takes care of her own mother, and she helps me to care for my children when I am at work.
Rarely, if ever, do I hear her speaking negatively about someone else. She is not one to gossip. She is not one to slander or curse. And she does not lie.
She is an example.
I guess the purpose of this post is to let all of the mothers out there know that there purpose is huge.
To care for a child is such an amazing purpose and one that should not be taken lightly. You have such a gift.
Raise your child in the way that he should go. Surely he will not depart from it. Raise your children with honor and integrity.
Delight in the gift bestowed upon you.
You are worthy...there is a gift I discovered, called Grace...It is yours. You are a Creation of the Most High and you were created to care for the little ones He gave you. Relish your duty. Breathe it...love your job as mother.
Oh, and thanks mom..for all that you do. I love you. You are wonderful and my children are blessed to have one of the best grandmothers in the world.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I love my grandmother. We have always been very close. She has been steadfast in my life, someone who has been there for me at all times and in every situation. She has loved me despite my flaws. She has believed in me and prayed for me when I chose my own wayward, dark paths. God, I love my grandmother.
I guess when people get old, we begin to prepare for thier death. But are we ever really prepared? Actually, I thought I was prepared for the possibile passing of my grandmother. But now that death is staring me in the face, I have come to realize that this is going to be much more difficult and trying than I thought it would be.
Time has only increased my love for my grandmother.
I think it's hard to completely and totally trust God while staring in the face of death. It's hard because we see the suffering. We see with our eyes, the body as it ceases to exist,,, as it stops living...
But, the one thing I have learned and can attest to with every fiber of my being...is this:
There is more than what we see.
There is a God, and He is good.
His Word is true.
My experiences have taught me this.
So what will heaven be like?
I have read books on heaven. I have delved into the lives of strangers who claimed to have seen Heaven....
I don't know how to differentiate between what is fact or fiction, but many people from many different walks of life describe striking similarities about thier experiences.
They say that there will be many children in heaven. Many of our loved ones will greet us. Our children, if they have passed, will greet us.
They say that the colors are brilliant and that the colors are like none that can be seen anywhere on this earth. They say the music is so beautiful that any music on earth is just clanging noise in comparison.
They say that there are flowers that, when you walk upon them, do not die beneath your feet.
They say that each of us has our own mansion. They say that, in Heaven, we can do many of the things that we liked to do on earth....swim, cook, dance, sing, ....
They say that in heaven, there is gratitude.
That is what people are saying about Heaven.
Those things sound true, but I can only speak of what I have experienced of Heaven.
so this is what I have to say about heaven......
One night, about a year ago, I had a dream. Jesus told me that if I would sell some specific belongings and give the money to help others, then He would give me knowledge.....
So I committed to doing that....
that night I had a dream...
I dreamt that Jesus was standing next to a very brilliant ball of Light. It was white and gold and it seemed as if it were alive. In the presence of this very small Light, there was more peace and more joy than I have ever experienced in my entire life...
When I woke up, I asked Jesus what the dream meant,
He reminded me that God is often described as a Light. He said that, as Christians, each of us has that Light within us and that it is our duty to share it with others....He then reminded me of the immense joy and peace I felt in the presence of such a small light.
He said, Multiply that feeling by millions and that is the feeling of heaven.
I know that this dream may sound strange to many people...but if you take nothing else from it, at least know this:
Heaven will be a place of complete joy, complete serenity, and a very surreal sense of peace. I don't think that our human minds can even begin to comprehend the immense mysteries and vastness of heaven.
There are days when I remember what it felt like to be in the prescense of that Light, and all I can say is that....I long for it...to be in that Light is to be embraced in complete serenity, complete safety, and complete love.
Heaven will be all of those things.
My aunt told me about a dream she had. She dreamt that my grandmother was wearing a white gown ...she was dancing in a field of flowers...the flowers would change colors..there was no need for words...only thoughts...thoughts would change the colors of the flowers.
Sometimes, as I pray...I feel as if Jesus gives me very small glimpes of Heaven.
Once, I could see a vision of flowers that did not die.
Another time, I simply saw women dancing...they were dancing in a very pure and graceful way.....they were dancing a dance of gratitude to thier Creator...
And sometimes, Jesus shows me heaven in another way. He has shown me what certain people would look like in Heaven. People that rarely smile. I can see thier heads titled back and they are laughing. A very pure and a very real laugh...
In heaven, there will be laughter. A very real and a very sincere laughter.
What does the Bible say about Heaven?
It says there will be no sickness, no Death...
It says that He has prepared many rooms for us.
"eyes has not seen, nor ear heard, nor can any heart comprehend the things that God has planned for those that love Him."
so while I am very sad about the prospect of my grandmother dying,
I believe in Heaven. I believe in Jesus.
And something tells me that everything will be alright.
There is one verse that I cling to:
Set your eyes on things above and not on things below.....
The things above are the the things that we cannot see,
God, and Heaven...
But just because we cannot see them, doesn't mean that they aren't there...
The world of the unseen is more real to me than ever...
because I have experienced the supernatural...
Because I know God...
I know that there is a Heaven.
Chances are....if you are reading this...I'll see you there someday.
Because I pray for you nightly.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Message to those struggling with addictions..drugs, food, gambling, pornography, alcohol..please read if you are struggling..this may help you..
Although I can't remember his name, his message still resonates in my heart.
He spoke of how he was once a meth addict. Everyday his grandmother would tell him,
"Son, you are a great man of God."
He scratched his head in wonder...Me? A great man of God?
He laughed. He thought, I could never be a great man of God...
But as his grandmother persisted in her love and encouragement, he began to see the light. He gave up his addiction with God's help.
Today, he is leaving a legacy of love. He goes around the world doing mission work and telling others of this great hope and love that he has found in Christ.
He is a great man of God.
I was humbled by the story in so many ways. Sometimes people with addictions only need someone to believe in them. Sometimes they only need to hear that they are great and wonderful in the eyes of our God.
So if you are reading this, You are a great man of God. You are a great woman of God.
You are so beautiful in His eyes.
Addiction comes in so many forms. It is a snake with many heads, each bearing a different name. It is a snake that longs to tear flesh from bone. Addiction seeks to carve out souls. It leaves one hollow, seeking the sources of Death for fulfillment.
It has many names: Drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, possibly even too much television..
Addiction is something that steals our love of Christ.
It leads us into false places of fulfillment. It holds us as a vice. It is deadly. It is playing around with fire.
IT squeezes out our joy like pulp and reduces our purpose to nothing.
Addictions attempt to rob us of Jesus and steal our hope. They provide a false comfort.
I was once prescribed Xanex for a short time. During this time, I felt as if I "needed" to have it in order to function. I became addicted to it for a very short while. After my doctor stopped prescribing it, I began to wonder..."what am I going to do?" I began to panic.
It was then that I realized that I had a problem. I realized that my life would become a downhill spiral if I continued walking in the darkness of addiction. So I gave it up.
It wasn't too terribly hard for me, but I know that there are many out there who genuinely struggle with addiction.
I don't judge the addict. I sympathize. I reach my hand of hope to you. I tell you with kindness,
"You are more than that which binds."
Jesus has a message for you.
You don't have to be perfect to fall into the arms of Christ...You just have to fall into them. Let Him do the rest.
I was deeply moved by her compassion, and thankful that she had received recognition for her service and sacrifice. All too often, evil is rewarded over good.
The story mentioned how she handed out over a thousand blankets in her community to men, women, and children that are forced to live in horrible conditions.
Her name is Kris Bridgman. Her name will be remembered by many. She is weaving a legacy of love.
I can see God beaming with joy as He watches this woman, sacrificing her own comfort for the needs of the less fortunate.
She inspired me. Isn't that what we all need in some way?
Someone to inspire us towards the things of Christ. Christ is inspiring and it is beautiful to see His will, as it gracefully plays out in the lives of others.
We gain courage from seeing courageous people.
Since I read the story of Kris Bridgman, I have decided to donate blankets to our local homeless shelter or food bank. Last week, I inquired on facebook as to whether anyone else would like to participate.
I got an overwhelming zero responses.
I couldn't help but become a bit disappointed. I wondered whether or not people are taking God's commands seriously?
Clothe the naked. I know that blankets arent' clothes, but they do provide warmth.
Are people "christians" literally so wrapped up in themselves that they can't find the time from "thier" busy schedules to show the love of Christ to someone in need?
To me, there is no greater joy than acting out in faith, knowing that a seed has been planted in someone's heart.
To the people that are doing absolutely nothing, but still play church. Don't you realize that He will pick you up when you fall, but He expects you to be His arms here on earth.
He gave you hands for working and for planting. It should be done with joy and thanksgiving. It is His command and it should not be taken lightly.
He doesn't force us to help others. He doesn't force His name from our lips. But if He is truly in our hearts, then we will delight in speaking about Him.
We are called to be bold. I remember when I first became a Christian, I truly thought I was acting in boldness when I reposted a facebook message saying that I wasn't ashamed of Christ.
I think it is beautiful when people share thier faith and love on facebook.
But our God expects more from us.
On judgement day, He isn't going to care how many facebook messages we "repost". He is going to judge us by our works and our true acts of courage and boldness.
He is going to judge us based on whether or not we obeyed His commands.
But I am thankful for many of those messages. They show me that there are people out there with hearts for Christ. It shows me that there are people still seeking.
What makes me sad, however, is when I see "Christians" posting their messages and speaking of Christ when thier lives are littered with lies and curses pour from thier lips.
We are called to me more by being less.
Let us leave legacies of love.
Let's not walk in the futile footsteps of self, but climb the ladder of faith that leads to love.
Let our names be remembered by our acts of kindness to others.
Better yet, let His name be glorified through our acts of kindness to others.
Let's do more than play church. If every church in America burned to the ground, Christ is still King and God is still God.
Let's not play church. Let's live Christ.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
The hourglass represented two realities. The sands at the bottom represented the natural world. The world that we see.
Everything else, represented the world of the unseen. The world of the spirit.
In the dream, I was no longer walking upon the sands.
I was completely in the Spirit...
There is an unseen realm of God that hold amazing and miraculous things. When Jesus died, He sent His Holy Spirit to lead us into Truth. I am finding that as I seek, serve, and become more obedient, His Holy Spirit operates in greater ways within.
There have been nights when He has sent me dreams. They are always accompanied by this very real light. In the presence of this light, is an immeasurable peace and joy. There is nothing in this natural world that could even compare.
There are days when I find that I can feel His light shining upon me. I find that it is when I sacrifice the most, that His presence is the most felt. Sacrifice can come in so many forms.
We can sacrifice our time.
We should sacrifice relationships that pull us into other directions. This is hard. I have done it. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But following His voice has led me into peace and truth that I couldn't have found otherwise.
We can sacrifice our excess. There is a very real world out there that is suffering.
Children are dying of hunger. People go cold while we have warm beds, in which to sleep.
Jesus showed me something today. There are days when I long to help others around the world with my family. But He showed me that the mission starts where we stand. Reach out to those around you. The people at work, family, friends, the people that you encounter on a day to day basis. At least, this is the case for me.
In another part of the dream,
I could see the sands of the hourglass pouring out of the glass itself....
I thought about this and I could only come to one conclusion.
Time is running out. I have my guesses as to what this means, but will keep that to myself, unless you decide you want my thoughts...
But also, If we think about our short lives, we must all be aware of the passing of time.
Each moment, brings us closer to the day when we will part ways with the realm of the natural world and enter into the other realm, heaven or hell.
Our time on earth is short. Death will come to each of us, whether we want it to or not.
We all would like to imagine that we will be here until we are old.
But, life is a very fine thread that could break at any moment.
Prepare for your eternity now.
Back to my thoughts on walking in His Spirtit...
through Christ, we aren't confined to the natural. We can operate in His Spirit even while walking in the natural world. In His Spirit, is the place where miracles are performed, lives are transformed, and relationships and lives are healed.
We should all desire to walk in His realm.
I believe that it comes first through fervent prayer and seeking. Through listening to His voice. His true voice will not lead us into wealth and self satisfaction, but will take us into places of humility and sacrifice. Obedience to His word and voice are key to walking in this realm.
'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17
This is a miracle.
I have been separated for over a year. Throughout this year, I have struggled in so many ways. I have struggled and waltzed back and forth between anger and forgiveness. Anger and forgiveness.
But though this whole entire process, Jesus has revealed His very nature to me.
He has pushed me to forgive, even when it was easier not to.
He has led me into places of love that I never thought possible.
He has given me a genuine concern for the very person that has hurt me the most.
There are still days of struggle. There are days when I tell God I want to be done with everything related to this situation.
But He instills a new love in me, each time I ask Him for the strength to move forward.
Lately, He has whispered something in my ear. "Build him up."
But Lord, he hurt me. He has hurt me in so many ways.
Build him up, anyway.
Jesus showed me that while I don't have to put up with certain behavior, I can still walk in unconditional love.
He is teaching me to build up when it would be easier and convenient to tear down.
We can use our past hurts as excuses to cut into the hearts and souls of people, or we can walk in His unconditional love and build them up anyway.
Jesus showed me something very valuable. Each person is so unique and beautiful. Sometimes the ones that hurt us are the ones that need to be built up the most.
But it is hard. There are days when I am tempted to lash out in anger...but He bids me to reach out in love. That confounds the enemy. There is a darkness that longs to see every marriage destroyed. There is a darkness that longs to see children grow up without the love of a mother or a father. There is a darkness that longs to create divisions. There is a darkness that breeds and feeds on hatred. By acting out in the unconditional love of Christ, the enemy is confounded.
Darkness cannot live inside the light of love. It will smother. It will die. Love suffocates the darkness. While darkness is the cord that chokes, love is the thread that pulls things together.
He showed me that no matter what a person appears to be on the outside, there is something inside them waiting for a great unconditional love.
My husband doesn't know Jesus. But I think he is beginning to see Jesus in me. and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
The other day we were talking. We are becoming closer friends. He told me that I was his hero.
He told me that he was proud of me. He sees me doing what I can to help various people.
Things aren't perfect. But God's love is...His love has the power to thread together every broken cord in relationships where two people are willing to let that light stitch things together.
It takes two. But sometimes it has to start with one. All it takes is one person of great faith and great love to build up what what was once broken.
On the days I have wanted to give up...I asked Jesus, Why,why won't you just let me give up?
But Jesus subtly reminded me that He never gives up. He never quits. He is there waiting for us with unconditional love.
His love is patient. It is kind. It hopes and endures all things.
He is the power behind the force that threads things together. He hears our prayers and is faithful to answer us.
I know that Jesus has a true love for all those that have experienced divorce. But I see that it is so easy to just quit. Too easy, almost. Above all, He wants peace.
I ordered the book, The Love Dare and I am going to try it out. I am going to keep this in God's hands and build up even when it is difficult.
Please pray for me during this process.
While some people have given up on my husband, through all of this, Jesus has shown me that He doesn't give up on anybody.
It's so easy to slander or lash out the people that have caused us grief. Don't we often think and act as if our grief gives a license to say whatever we want?
After all, it is fact, isn't it?
But Jesus showed me that sometimes situations or people are never truly what they seem to be. ...rather, they are who or what they have the potential of becoming. He wants us to see others as He sees them..and then let our words reflect that truth.
God's love has the abiltiy to transform. Even at this very moment, His hand is at work changing me into someone that looks more like Himself. Sometimes, we are simply to build up and believe that God's love will transform.
It's easy to talk about people. It's easy to spew the poison of hatred into others lives. But we are Christians. We aren't called to look like everyone else. We called to be different. We live humbly now, building up, so that one day, we can walk in the Kingdom of God.
Only in loving the unloveable, do we ever truly learn to love.
Christ loved us even when we were unloveable.
"A wise woman builds her house, while the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands" Proverbs 14:1
One night I felt Jesus urging me to give up my benadryl.
But Jesus, how will ever get to sleep?
Trust in Me.
This is going to be hard, I have taken this medicine for years, why would you ask me to give up benadryl, that sounds silly, Lord.
Trust in Me.
So I gave up my benadryl.
And i slept like a baby.
Through this, Jesus showed me that He wasn't anti benadryl....He simply wanted me to rely on Him for my rest. He simply used this as one way of showing me that He can be trusted.
And that He will provide for our needs when we step out in faith by doing something that is hard and doesn't necessarily make sense.
It may seem trite to some people ..the giving up of benadryl...but through it...Jesus showed me that He is faithful to keep His promises. But I never would have learned the lesson if I hadn't done what He asked.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Lately, Jesus has shown me so many things. These past few weeks have been almost overwheming. I have experiened so much. The miracle with my grandmother, and many things that took place on my trip to the grand canyon. I have had dreams. I have seen visions. I have been fought and attacked. I have experienced darkness in unimaginable ways....but through it all I know that His hand is upon me. He is my guide. He is my rest and my peace.
This is all rather new to me. He truly began doing a work in me a little over a year ago. The purpose of this blog is to show many of the things that He has done in my life....He is so real. I wish people could wrap their minds around that because it would cause them to seek. And in the seeking, there is finding....and in the finding..is Truth...
In the finding is this undeniable, unquestionable Truth. Everything else is the illusion. Once you see the very hand of God, everything else seems strange and alien almost.
I don't expect many people to understand this blog, but I felt led to share some things He laid on my heart. I wish that this was a "feel good" message meant to inspire others. I have several of them on this blog, but this isn't one of them.
Lately, I have dedicated myself to prayer. Fervent prayer and seeking. I seek Him on my way to work, I seek Him at home, I seek Him so much throughout the day. He is my source of peace, of rest, and of Truth.
He has shown me the importance of turning down the noise, and sitting in the silence. I think that is the reason why He has shown me so many things. Simply because I am willing to give Him my time.
Not only that, He knows that I would give Him anything He asks. Anything.
Because I trust Him. Because I have heard His voice, and I have seen how He keeps His promises. Because when He speaks to me, I am often faithful to answer. Not always. I have failed in some cases, but I am just so happy that He speaks to me. "My sheep know my voice, I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
I have become one of His sheep and more than anything else, I long to see other sheep come into his flock. I long to see the lost, come to know Him. I long to see Him glorified.
He has given me a very deep, deep concern for others. It is unimaginable and, at times, it is often overwhelming.
One thing that I have learned is this: This Christian walk is not easy. It wasn't meant to be easy. It's easy to follow candy coated living, while quoting a few scriptures, but to truly do what Jesus asks is hard. It's hard to take a stand when no one wants to listen. It's hard when He asks you to give up some of your things so that others can have a chance at something. It's hard telling people about your experiences with the supernatural, knowing that you may be ridiculed. It's hard because He asks you to work harder when you would rather sit.
There have been nights when He has asked me to get out of bed and pray for people. I didn't want to, I was tired and my body longed for sleep and rest... But I did it anyway. It is hard. It is sacrifice. But He is our strength and our provider. He is our rest.
It's hard pointing out things to people that you think are wrong when you know that they may become offended....It's hard! ....That is why they call this the narrow path....
So why do it? Because it is real! Because there is Beauty and peace and wonder. There is a reality that consumes every part of your being. It pushes you forward and it gives you strength.
Already, I can see relationships restoring, and lives being healed. I can see things that He will do even though He hasn't even done them yet. That is called faith, and it is a powerful force.
But, when you have seen the face of darkness and been wrapped in the arms of Light, then you Know that there is only one way to move...and that is forward. You Know that once you have experienced what it is to actually be in that Light....there is nothing else. Nothing else in the world that matters. Because you know that the Light is eternal. You Know!
Today and on occassion I feel a sense of warning. I feel like God is trying to warn His people of something. But I feel as if many people aren't listening. Many people are playing church, but aren't really seeking His true face.
When is the last time, you got down on your knees and spent time with Him. Not five minutes. Not ten minutes. But when is the last time, you have really just sought Him..wholeheartedly...
turned down the radio, even the praise music, and just sought Him.
I feel as if He is trying to tell us something. I'm not a doomsday prophet by any means, but sometimes I wonder what the future holds. I feel like I keep being led to verses in the Bible that I really don't even like to read. The hard verses. The verses that people don't talk about.
The verses that say calamity is coming. The verses that say to pray because those times will be horrific. Those verses are there whether we want them to be or not.
I don't know when we will see them, but I do know this....
He wants people to be ready. To be prepared. As Christians, we are warriors. He is our strength. He is our teacher. He is our refuge.
Things are going to happen in this world whether we believe on Him or don't believe on Him...but one thing I know for certain is this...
If and when something does happen, i can rejoice knowing in the fact that I was faithful through the good times. I can rest in the fact that I did what He asked and that my prayers are heard.
He wants us all to get to that point. Don't look to the things below. Set your eyes on the things above. Don't worry. Just seek. Seek like never before.
The Bible is a book of action. Never in the Bible does it say, be content just going to church. Be content watching television. Be content with a little here and little there.
The Bible tells us to do! It is an instruction manual. It doesn't always guarantee our safety, but it does lead us into His Truth.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you....
Added unto you, that phrase keeps resonating in my mind. He is our provider. He gives. His blessing don't always equate to world wealth. He has shown me that He is more than that. There are days when I feel I could walk around with nothing more than the clothes on my back and the shoes on my feet, why? Because He is more. He is not our cars. Or our houses. He is not any of those things. He is so much more than people realize or even give Him credit for.
Let Him take you into the places of Truth. It is a journey. Once you have walked in His Truth, then you will sit amazed at the magnitude and wonder of it all!
Tonight, there is a very real part of me that would rather be doing something else. Something that didn't require so much of myself, but here I am...because of the greatest thing of all.
His Love. His love is so huge and so magnanimous that it drove Him to a Cross.
His Love is so huge that He urges us to move forward and He gives the greatest strength and the greatest force of all -LOVE.
Today, so much of what I am seeing in Christianity in general is sugarcoated. It is displayed like roses without thorns. But Christianity, to be Christ like, is about the thorns. The very real thorns that were thrust into the head of a Saviour. There is no Christ without the thorns a very real Cross.
Is He speaking to you? Really, speaking? If not, then ask who it is you are listening to?
His voice is undeniable and it will lead us into the thorns. But even in the midst of all the thorns is a peace that surpasses all understanding and a love that encompasses and embraces so much.
So you are here reading this...Do you think this is by accident?
No, you are reading this because there is a love for you that is so great and so huge that your mind can't even fathom it right now.
I feel as if every breath that I have taken has led me to this one moment. This moment when I can pray for you and tell you of a the love your Creator. He loves you more than you will ever, ever imagine. Jesus is not dead. He is alive and He is real. He is the greatest source of love that you will ever know.
On my way back from the Grand Canyon, I had a vision. There were a thousand people walking in the dark. They were walking in a line, single file. Each person had a lit lantern. The flames lit up the dark and shined upon the treacherous terrain. Jesus spoke to me and said, "Rachelle, it only takes one." It only takes one person to light a thousand lanterns. One person. And then that person could light a thousand more. And a thousand more, and so on and so forth.
Know this. You may not feel like much. You may have failed. You may be like I was, dead, lifeless, hopeless, and weak...you may be at your wits and and on your last leg. But He longs to set you on fire. You could be the spark that lights a thousand flames. You don't have to be popular or well liked. You don't have to be rich or beautiful. You don't have to have status or be a member of a particular church. You don't have to have job or status. He picked you. The one who is reading this, He picked you.
You have it within you to take light to people that would otherwise suffer in darkness. All you have to do is ask. Ask Him in your life if He is not there. Seek Him. Spend time with Him. He will help you when you are weak and in places that you repeatedly fail.
Your time. He wants your time. He will show you things that you never imagined, if you only trust. But it is hard. It requires sacrifice. Sacrifing sin and self in such a way that you are willing to walk into the thorns. But He is our strength, our rest, and our provider.
Trust in Him, Lean on Him...Seek Him...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths
But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. John 16:13
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
this is a post about one of those moments when you can see God's handprint in your life.
There are days when I can feel the attacks of the enemy. Sometimes I feel the attacks so strongly that I fast. One of the things that I have given up is my coffee. I love my coffee.
I consider it a blessing. At one point, I felt that I should give it up permanently.
But I didn't realize that the enemy will try to steal even those things that we enjoy.
I know that many people won't understand this post. That's ok. At least take one thing from it.
God hears our prayers.
I was in the middle of Arizona about a week and a half ago. I could feel darkness everywhere I turned. I was in Sedona, Arizona. I asked Jesus, Lord, I will do whatever it is you want. If fasting from coffee for the rest of my life is what you want, then I will do it for you. But, Lord. I love my coffee. Please speak to me in some way.
About an hour later, I am walking in Red Rock State Park. I am in the visitor's center. I look down and I see a postcard. Coffeepot rock. In the middle of Arizona, there is a rock that is shaped like a coffee pot. Imagine that, A rock, formed by the hands of God, into coffee.
I couldn't help but feel that God put that rock for me. I couldn't help but feel that God was saying, Rachelle, I love you. Enjoy life. Rest in me. Rachelle, just relax and enjoy your coffee. Rachelle, I got this. Rest.
Don't even worry about the enemy,Rachelle, I got that that too.
God put that rock there for me.
On another note...and I am writing this part over a year later..
God isn't calling the Christian to rest. He calls the Christian to live an active life of faith and love.
I recently read a book by Corrie Ten Boom called, "Tramp for the Lord." She went all over the world telling others about God's love and how He sustained her while she was in a Jewish Concentration Camp in Germany. When she was in her eighties, there were days when she was tempted to quit. She wanted rest. But God spoke to her through the Word.
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in HIm of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
She then wrote, "I refuse to spend the rest of my life in a pasture when there are so many fields to harvest. I hope to die in harness."
Monday, October 3, 2011
There were a few days in particular when I was in tears. I couldn't stop crying. I was experiencing things that many people wouldn't understand.
I have experienced forces of darkness in a very real and tangible way. Sadly, many people don't believe in hell or if they do, they don't take it seriously.
But I can tell you with every core of my being that it is real and it will be horrendous. I have seen things and experienced things that would amaze and confound many people.
But through all of my experiences, I have learned the true power of God.
This week He showed me some amazing things. He showed me how to put on His armour.
It seems that during the past six months or so, I have known the God of Love...but this past week, I learned of His Soverignty and Power.
One night I was lying in bed, restless from the many things that were going on in my life. Restless from the vicious attacks. But Jesus spoke something into my spirit...
"confound the enemy.."
What does that mean, Lord? He showed me that it means this:
When you are tired, Dance!
When you are frustrated and want to give up, Praise and thank Him anyway,
When it seems that there is no way, put on the boots of peace and go!
Cast all of your cares upon me, and wear your armor like a fighter.
When you are tempted towards anger, reach out in love! Confound the enemy.
When your words move toward tearing down, build up instead.
Confound the enemy. Give him no room to breathe, otherwise, he will suffocate.
We are called to be humble, yet we are called to be warriors, as well.
Laugh in the face of adversity. Know and rest in the fact that we serve the God of Power and Deliverance.
Wear the helmet of salvation. Keep your life pure, by wearing the breastplate righteousness. Wear the boots of peace by going and doing the works that he has called you to do. Know His word, let it be your shield of faith. Seek the Holy Spirit, it is the Truth that holds us together.
I wish I could express the things that God has done for me this past week. I feel as if He is taking me to a whole new level.
My flesh wants to fight it. The enemy senses that and knows my weakness. He knows each of our weaknesses. He will try to steal and exploit. He will try to infiltrate our minds with lies. He will try to steal our joy...But we must become warriors. Otherwise, we will never be full. We will always be victims, robbed of an Amazing Truth..
Yesterday, I fought a mild depression. I was listening to the lies.....
So what did I do? The Bible tells us to overcome evil with good. So I danced in the rain.
I went to a local store. My son and I stopped by the fishtank. There were two dead fish floating in the tank. A young man came to talk to us. This may sound strange, but I felt like I was meant to speak to this young man. He casually spoke about the fish and about how the tank wasn't working properly. He told us that the fish weren't getting enough oxygen and many of them would probably die. I was sad for the fish. They were hovering toward the top of the tank, seeking oxygen....longing to breathe, longing to live.
I had some roses in my cart. I often like to pass out roses to random strangers. Or leave them on cars with notes of encouragement and love. As I was parting ways with the young man, I felt Jesus bidding me to give him a rose. So I did. I told him that was married and wasn't flirting.
I simply said, "Jesus asked me to give you a rose." So I did. I could see that he was visibly moved.
I could've let that mild depression keep me from acting on God's word, but I chose instead to confound the enemy.
To go anyway.
Isn't that the only way to go - forward. I think that if I were to stand still, I would be overtaken.
I would be the fish that is struggling for its last breath of air. God is my oxygen. He shows me life. I need Him!
Otherwise, I know that I would surely die.
Confound the enemy!
Lately, I have felt Him well up inside my spirit. It is almost overwhelming at times. My flesh longs for the natural. My flesh longs for normalcy.
But my spirit. My spirit longs for God. My spirit longs for more!
Some days I feel that if I'm not talking about Him or what He is doing in my life, I am wasting. I am denying something deep within me.
Today I went to visit a dear lady. I walked into her home and immediately I wanted to share His love with her. All too often we say we believe, but we get caught up in superficial conversation.
I am sick of superficial conversation. I crave God. I crave the things of God.
As we were speaking about everyday life, I began to cry. I couldn't help it. God let me feel a great love for this woman and I had to tell her.
As i was in tears, she asked me what was wrong. I replied, "Nothing is wrong. Jesus is allowing me to see His Great Love for you. It is overwhelming."
She didn't freak out. She smiled. I could see that she was touched. She told me thank you and that she was happy to hear that.
Why are afraid of Jesus? Why are we so afraid to speak of Him? He is life. He is good.
The Bible says, Out of the heart the mouth speaks......
So I think we should take a long, hard look at the things we speak about. Are we speaking love?
Are we speaking Jesus?
I'm not talking about talking about church. Or pastors, or preachers. I'm talking about Jesus.
If Jesus is in our hearts, dwelling deep within us, then shouldn't His name flow freely from our lips.
My flesh wants to fight this. He isn't something that is talked about. Church is talked about. Works are talked about. Beliefs and differences are talked about, But when is the last time you have had a true conversation with someone about Jesus? Just, Jesus.
Confound the enemy. Talk about Him anyway. Kill your flesh and let your spirit breathe in the life, the oxygen that comes from Him and Him alone.
He is real. He is alive!
Take a moment to look at the words that are coming out your mouth. Because they will reveal the things in your heart. Are you speaking Jesus? If not, seek Him. Seek Him like never before.
He wants our hearts. He wants to flow like life giving water from our lips.
There is a sad world out there that needs Him. So speak Him. Plant the seed of life in someone's heart. Trust Him to water it. Confound the enemy.
Jesus, plant yourself so deep within me, that I speak you. I am not ashamed of you Lord. Walk with me. Give me courage and fill my heart so completly, that you come out of my mouth. Let my words, be words of healing...of hope....of gratitude......Of Love.
Confound the enemy.
I was going to end this post there, but I really want to speak more on how many of us has seemingly mastered the art of superficial conversation.
So often, it seems we speak of things that don't matter. Sometimes after conversations with people, I am left unfullfilled. Our talk is empty on many occassions. Do we ever really speak about what is really inside us? How often do we speak about our dreams, our fears, our hopes, our concerns, our worries? How often do we start a conversation with, I'm lonely. I need something in my life.
We don't. We hide. We hide in shells that look like televisions. We hide, and yet there is something within us that is left unsatisfied. We look for answers because I think we often find that conversations and people can leave us grossly disappointed.
I'm ready for dialogue.
But, since I know that many people aren't going to become openly extroverted simply upon reading this message, Know this:
God hears you. Jesus hears you. You don't have to be superficial. You can speak to Him about everything and all that is within you. He will hear you. He will fill you, so long as you allow Him to do a work within you.
Let's start talking about the things that matter.
Confound the enemy.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I asked you to read my blog today. I want you to find healing and hope in your life.
I know that things have been difficult, but I am praying for you.
Jesus loves you and so do I. I hope you find answers as you sift through the pages of my blog. There is so much waiting for you that you even realize. I want the very best for you and your family. I have over 200 posts, but I hope that you will come back and read them often.
I love you,
You are a great woman of God!
I know that if you seek answers and God, He will give it to you. Don't give up. There is so much more for you..
Life is too short! Live, make memories. Do things that matter.
Go to the beach, learn something new, make cookies with your kids, knit something for an elderly person, pray, learn about your Creator....
I can see the allure of television. I have often turned to it when I am depressed. It has the effect of an anthestetic. It numbs. Don't get me wrong, it can be grossly entertaining. I have often been lured into the lives of others...
But it hurts when I can see relationships that need mending ....and people choose television over people in thier lives.
It doesn't fill. It is empty. It is numbing. And the things that numb us , are the things that dumb us...
Today, choose to live. Turn off the t.v.
Get close to God. Hug the person next to you. Have a water balloon fight. Fly a kite or camp in the yard.
Just please, turn off the television.
It seems that lately, my heart and mind have been so wrapped in God and the amazing truths that He reveals to me... I feel as if my reality has completely changed. I feel like I am thrust into a wonderous world...but when I turn on the televison...I am thrust back into a world where God does not exist.
I love the show 24. But God doesn not exist on 24. There are many shows that I find genuinely entertaining, but I am finding the reality of God to be much better. I am finding that I would rather be in places where He is welcome, rather than in places that He doesn't exist.
Don't take this the wrong way. God exists. He is the reality. Televison is the illusion. Anything else is the illusion. God exists whether the t.v. is on or not.
all i'm trying to say is that it is easy to forget about God while the t.v is on, because He is not usually a topic of television shows. or at least not in a true, positive light...
Today is Sunday. There are days when I inevitably have to work on Sundays. Today, I woke up and thanked Him for His Special Day of Rest. I asked Him how I could honor Him today.
He whispered something personal in my ear..... and He told me something else, "Rest in Me."
I was driving to work and a small bit of worry came over me. He has given me a heart to pray for the people at my job. He has given me a heart that longs to see them happy and whole. Occassionally, I worry about how they will recieve the love of Christ. I can see that many are resistant to opening themselves to His Love.
I said a prayer, "Lord, let your love flow from me in such a way...that is comes as natural as a breath."
Rest in Me. Cast all of your cares upon me.
As I began to truly rest in Him, I began to feel His Love. I can see how that rest can let the waters of love flow more naturally.
Sometimes I try to force things. I try to do and do and do....but sometimes, all we need to do is rest. Rest in Him. He will do the rest.
Today, I saw some amazing video footage of the bioluminescent tides that are gracing the shores of southern California. The tides look as if they are glowing. There are shades of the purest blue, rolling with the waves. I could see the work of His hand.
I watched a video of the Northern Lights. I can see the the most dazzling of lights flashing across the purest sky. The air is cold. I can smell hot chocolate. I can paint of a picture in my mind of my family there. Laughing, amazed at the wonder of the working of Hands.
Rest in me. I pray that one day He shows me these wonders.
Please say some prayers for the lost today. Honor Him today. Today is His day. Rest in Him. Let His presence fill your soul. You will be satisfied. Love will flow freely and effortlessly.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
It is both challenging and beautiful.
The book touches on the subject of lukewarm Christians. God said that if we are lukewarm, then He will spit us out of His mouth. It is better to be hot or cold.
Francis Chan points out that there are many Christians that just blend in. It's hard to tell they are even Christian, except for the fact that they grace the church pew every week.
A true Christian should be madly and deeply in love with God. In this brilliant book, Francis shows us what that kind of Crazy Love looks like.
I think every Christian should read this book. Every non Christian should read this book. There are few true living examples out there of what Christianity is supposed to look like.
This book is convicting because it causes us to look at our lives and seeing if they match up to God's word.
If anybody wants to borrow my copy, message me....
I love this book, and highly recommend reading it...
I love the people that inspire and Chan is one to inspire