Thursday, February 25, 2010

There is Still Hope

Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, "We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. Ezra 10:2

I read this verse this morning before leaving for work and the last part of it really touched my heart - but in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. There is still hope for me is what I read.

Things will happen, jobs will come and go, friends will move on, but God is ALWAYS.

I know that no matter what, I am never to lose hope. Despite my sinful nature, despite past choices, despite success, despite me - there IS still Hope!

God is good. That is without a doubt. He is good.

I do not always like the view I have, I may not like the weather, but I am always thankful for the journey I am on with my Lord and Savior.

Father, thank you that hope does not have an expiration date. Thank you that despite the circumstances, I can accept that there is hope. Your Word promises that you do have a plan for me. You did not promise an easy road, or even one that I would always like, but You have promised that You will always be beside me. Thank You. I love You. Amen

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chocolate Milk Fear

Have you ever had a fear that you would consider unreasonable? You know the kind I'm talking about - spiders, snakes, heights - that kind of fear. The kind that petrifies you when you are faced with it; the spider crawling across the floor, a snake in a pet store - you know what I mean.

I know that for many people, this kind of fear is irritating at the least and life interrupting at the most. I have never had to face the terror of snakes or spiders or heights - they just do not do anything to me. I have four brothers and a daredevil personality. Nothing...nada! I am A-OK with these things.

What I did have was a living fear. When I say that, it does not mean that I was afraid of life. Actually, it was the exact opposite. I was afraid of death, and more specifically, afraid of dying of colon cancer. And the living fear part - it just means that I had accepted this fear as a normal part of living...that this niggling feeling with thoughts and emotions attached...was normal. As normal as having chocolate milk in the fridge.

I never addressed it, or went forward for prayer for it or even talked about it with my husband. It was just one of those private things that popped in and out of my head and would sometimes keep me awake at night with a little bit of worry but not enough to ask for help - or so I thought.

Last night, I clearly felt God nudge me with this question, "What are you going to do about this fear of colon cancer?" My first response of course was, "What fear? I'm not afraid!" ...and then I realized that yes I was, and not only that, but I was terrified of getting colon cancer and dying. I realized that I was constantly watching for "signs" and dreading finding out the truth (I have canceled 2 colonoscopy appointments).

The hows and whys of this are not important. The important thing is that God, the Creator of the universe, loves me enough to stop me and point out something in me that He can take care of. I went to my husband and talked to him about this fear and he prayed for me. God took the fear away. Amazing, wonderful, freedom.

God wants and promises that we can have an abundant life - and fear robs us of that. If there is something that you fear but you figure is as normal to have as "chocolate milk in the fridge", maybe it isn't normal. Just maybe, God has a different plan for you.

As for me, now that I have acknowledged this fear to God, I know it will be gone for good. I also know that with my husband knowing, he will hold me accountable and pray for me. Praise God for His faithfulness.

Father, thank You that Your plans for our life are so much more than we can even imagine, and that those plans include having a life apart from fear. Thank you for removing the fear I had and instead replacing it with peace. In Jesus name, Amen!

Monday, February 22, 2010


This is my shake can.

This is my testimony of the Power of God in my life.

I am a born again believer. I became a born again believer on November 16, 1988 when I acknowledged my sinfulness and realized my need for Jesus - the One Who died for me and arose from the grave 3 days later and is alive yet today. That event of salvation marked the beginning of my walk in sanctification - a daily walk growing closer to the One Who saved me. He saves!

I am a Spirit filled believer. On the day I was born again, I did receive the Holy Spirit - the same as every person born again. It wasn't until 14 years later that I obeyed God's stirring in me, a longing for more of Him, a need to reach out and receive more of Him. I asked and received an amazing gift of the overflow of the Holy Spirit in my life. I speak in tongues. He still fills us up today. Just ask and receive. 

I have seen God's miracles. I am a witness to the truth that He still does miracles today.

I have known a man who had so many tumors in his brain that the Dr.s gave his family no hope...yet when they did one more scan before surgery, there was not even one tumor. God still heals.

I have a friend who on a Friday had stage 2 colon cancer. She went to the healing rooms of a church to be prayed for over the weekend. On Monday, she returned to her Dr. to start her new treatment. The Dr. tested her one last time before her new series and there was no cancer. God still heals.

I have shared the Gospel with a family of seven...and everyone of them accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior... yet only three of them spoke English and I did not speak their language...yet we fully conversed. They heard me in Tagalog and I heard them in English. God still sends the Holy Spirit to give utterances in each person's own language.

I have known a man who had one leg 2" shorter than the other and who lived in constant pain. One night in response to an alter call for healing, he came forward. I saw with my own eyes his leg grow. He no longer walks with a limp or is in pain. God still heals.

I have seen a demon flee at the name of Jesus and watched as God delivered people who were tormented be set free. God still delivers and sets the captives free.

I have woken up with the Word of God on my lips and watched as not only that day, but the next year be walked out with encouragement that God was in control. He still calms the sea.

I have seen so much more as God heals the ill and broken hearted, delivers the oppressed, and manifests Himself still. The miracles of the Gospels and book of Acts are still happening today in America and around the world. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

If you are a believer who has wondered about being filled with the Holy Spirit to is very simple. You do not need hype and drama - in the quiet of your living room talk to God. Out loud, tell Him how much you love Him. Praise and Worship Him. Don't think about anything else, don't wonder when "it" will happen, just think about God. At some point you will "feel" (no better word) a stirring in you - press on through - do not examine it or think about it. When your words that you are speaking "feel full" in your mouth, just keep speaking. You will speak in words you do not understand. You can stop when you want and you can start up again when you want. Speaking in tongues is not an out of control thing that takes over - you are fully able to speak when you want. This is God's gift to you and is amazing.

If you are to this point and realize that you have never spoken with Jesus, that you have never met Him and are lost without Him. Very simply - acknowledge and confess that you are a sinner and that you need God's forgiveness. Just call out to Him and believe that He died on the cross for your sins and was raised from the dead and is alive today and confess, receive, that He is your Lord and Savior. Pray this simple prayer, "Lord Jesus, I confess that I have lived a life without You, doing my own thing and I need You. I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that You died for me on the Cross and want to ask You to be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me and loving me.  Amen

This is the testimony of the Power of God in my life.

Is this your shake can today? If it is, testify! Share what Jesus has done for you. It's always a good day for a new testimony. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Olympian

I have been watching the Olympics for a long time. I can remember as a kid watching them on the large black and white TV we had - bad reception that included rolling screens, snowy views and total loss of the picture.

One of the things I remember was some of the things that the commentators would say as the athletes would get up to compete. I remember hearing them talk about seeing the 4 minute mile record achieved and how today (1960's), new records were being set. I saw feats accomplished in gymnastics, figure skating, track and field, skiing - you name it. The amazing thing that makes me smile is that once someone does something that no one thought could ever be achieved by any human, it opens up the field of opportunity for the same feat to be repeated over and over by other athletes. This year the feat in ice skating is the quadruple; in snowboarding is the 1260 Double McTwist; and the list goes on.

Tonight, I was reminded of an even more amazing feat accomplished 2000 years ago - the One who conquered death so that every person who ever lives could benefit. One sacrifice given for all to have freedom, healing, forgiveness. One Life to pay for our penalties.

He ran our race and gave us the prize.

I have realized that for far too long I have been trying to run a race that He has already won. I have nothing to prove to God - He knows me inside out - after all He created me. Just let Him direct me and not worry about the where or the when or even the why. The race is His and it has already been completed.

My job - I get to cheer Him on and give Him all praise. Hallelujah and Amen!

Monday, February 15, 2010

He Set the Captive Free

Now before I write this - a reminder...this is my shake can. I use it to work out things that I am walking through and facing or ideas that are just bumbling around in my head and need to be put to rest. You may not may not even like it...but this is not about or aimed at anyone else.

Okay - that being said...

I had a revelation last night during service - an uncomfortable one - but one I know is true.

I realized that so many of the major decisions in my life were made due to fear.
Fear of rejection...
Fear of poverty...
Fear of change...
Fear of people...
Fear of fear...

How many times have I postponed a decision and then hid in indecision? How many blessings have I missed by not stepping forward when I knew the Holy Spirit was prompting me?

Now - this is not about me planting the huge "finger V" on my forehead (for those going huh - Victim). But I have been. It has been easy to point to "generational curses", circumstances beyond my control, the economy, the weather, my birth order, my sex, my size, the style of my get the general idea. As a victim I have pointed my finger at everything there is so that I can safely hide in indecision because I was too afraid of making a decision.


I WANT CHANGE! I want God controlled, God ordained CHANGE. I am no longer content to passively wait for the elusive something to happen so that I can say, "Well, I tried> I guess I will just have to wait on God."

I look in His Word and I see where Jesus gave the command and the person who received the blessing had to choose obedience in order to receive it.
Come follow Me...
Get up and walk...
Your faith has saved you, go in peace...
Return to your own house and tell what great things God has done for you...
Little girl, arise...
Lazarus, come forth...

He has already called me and calls me his own. He has set me free from the penalty of my sin and helps me from being overpowered by my leanings to continue to sin. I know that someday I will be forever away from the presence of sin. That in itself is great. But He has also promised me an abundant life full of joy and peace. I have had and tasted glimpses of that... touched it in the midst of worship or when I step into pray for someone else...but has seemed to be elusive when it came to me. I now realize why.

I was afraid.

With Holy Spirit revelation and my acknowledgment comes freedom.

With Jesus, it is completed. I am set free.

Jesus, thank you that I am your child with the full privileges of one born in your house. Thank you for pointing out the dark places in my heart and soul that prevent me from fully partaking in all of your blessings. I know that that aside from You, I can do nothing, but that with You, all things are possible. Thank you for removing the fear that has gripped me for so long and release me to serve you fully and freely. Amen

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Isaiah 61:1

Friday, February 12, 2010

Two Tales of Love

Two books of the Bible keep resonating in my heart. Now the odd thing is, that at first appearance they are complete opposites. They are Song of Songs and Hosea. One is about the wonderful love affair between a groom and his bride. The other is about a prophet who is told by God to marry a prostitute and love her.

You ask me, "Why??"

Because, both books are about God's pursuit of us.

In Song of Songs, He is the groom passionately pursuing His bride, the church who is passionately loving Him back. And as you know, we are the church - any believer who has been justified by the blood and is living a sanctified life. Please note: if you have been justified, you are sanctified no matter where you are in your walk - walking in wonder and Praise of your Lord and Savior or you may just be skipping down the wrong path at this moment.

If skipping is where you are, then this brings us to second book, Hosea. In this book, God is pursuing the unfaithful wife who is worshiping idols. In other words, anyone who has turned their backs on Him and doing their own thing. In the book of Hosea, God instructs Hosea to marry a common prostitute and have children with her. This woman knew nothing about love, but Hosea loves her. This story is a lived out parable of how God loves each of us, at our worst in the midst of the stink of our bad choices and lifestyles. How He takes us even in the midst of this and teaches us little by little how to really love.

In the society in which we live, we have cheapened the word LOVE. I hear people say (me included), "I love ...peanut butter, Chihuahuas, The Saints, The Colts, chocolate, my turtle, my car, my whatever - you get the point! We use it indiscriminately to describe a powerful LIKE for anything that makes us feel good. No wonder we have problems understanding when God says things like, "I have LOVED you with an everlasting Love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness."

I am not anti-Valentines Day. I really like (I almost said love) receiving candy and flowers and stuff when the budget will allow. I do like the way we have a reason, commercial that it may be, to bestow gifts on the people we love (appropriate here) and care about.

This Valentines Day, really look at what real Love is. A Love so amazing, so absolutely divine that He would sacrifice His life His all for everyone of us. He, God, Loves us. He loves you, He loves me, He loves us. Let that resonate in your heart and soul.

So, whether you are passionately pursing a love relationship with God as His bride or you are skipping down red light district doing your own thing - know this...God loves YOU! Where you are. He loves you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

High Places

I woke up one morning and was sitting straight up in bed. I had tears running down my cheeks and these words were on my lips; "I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help come from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth." I knew two things the moment I opened my eyes and realized I was awake and not dreaming - one, God was with me and two, He was letting me know that He had everything planned out, that no matter what happened that day, He had it and me.

I called out to Doug and he and our daughter came into the room. Told them what had just happened and we all three prayed. I knew that what ever was coming was going to affect them as well and they needed to know that God is in control.

I won't tell you about that day right now, I am just not ready to put this into the printed word. Suffice it to know that it truly was a day that I needed God. He was with me the entire day. His peace surrounded me, His love overcame fear and overflowed and allowed me to minister to others. He opened doors and provision was given. He was with Doug and Elizabeth and gave them clear minds and hearts. And He provided peace for the long journey that was ahead of us.

One thing that comes to mind now is this: where does my help come from? The verse that was on my lips is Psalm 121. The very first words are, "I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from?" I have had time to meditate on this and I know this; too often we look "up" to others to be our help. We look to our spouses, to our jobs, to our reputation. We look to our Pastors and teachers and mentors. We look to our friends and other family members. I know that before this day, I did all of that.

The Psalmist was not saying to look to the mountains because they remind us of God, but rather "I look to the high places, the old alters of my life and I know that my help is not going to come from those things. It is God, my Lord, the Creator of all things seen and unseen who will be my help." (my translation). In the time that this was written, idol worshipers built their alters on mountain tops, the high places. We still have high places in our lives today.

I have been discouraged lately. The job hunt has not been going well. God just reminded me this morning that I can not rely on what I know, all of my experience and expertise, the connections I have and my ability to network. My help will come from Him and Him alone. He may move a person to offer a job - but He is doing the moving and not me. I need to trust Him in this and to trust that He loves me and will provide.

The end of the story above is victory. I know that without a doubt - it has been promised.

As for the rest of the Psalm, it is wonderful. May it give you the peace that it gives me.

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Father, thank You for reminding me of who I am and who You are. I do so often get ahead of You. You are my Savior and King and I praise You. Forgive me for putting trust in other things. I pull down any idol in my life that I have trusted more than you. I submit every area of my work experience to You and say, have Your way. I love you. Amen

Monday, February 8, 2010

Even When I Fall

I was reminded last night of a sight that I saw years ago.

As my husband and I were leaving church one Sunday, we were walking behind a couple who was letting their little one practice his walking. I watched as he tottered and fell time and time again. Each time he would boost his little bottom up in the air and get up and go. His Mom and Dad were right beside him, encouraging him, hands hovering close behind but always letting him learn how to get up and go.

I was touched then and now by that scene. It gave me a picture of how my God walks with me. Encouraging me, allowing me to fall, but always just a heart beat beside me, always with me. Letting me learn how to walk, learn from mistakes, but right there.

It made me look a little closer at how often when we fall do we feel that God is far away? We ask questions and strike out from our hearts wondering why He didn't stop us from stumbling. Why didn't God keep me from getting hurt?

I have no easy answers. I can however look back at the places and times I have stumbled and fell and know that by the Grace of God, I was strengthened by them. I would love it if I did not EVER fall, did not ever sin... and there is a promise that someday I will be able to be forever away from the presence of sin, forever in the presence of the ONE who is worthy of all Praise and Adoration. Until that time, I, like that little one, am walking forward.

I am on a life walk with the one who is my King, my Lord, my All. Yes, there was a day that I did bow my head and bend my knee and say "YES" to Him. But just like I once said said "yes" to my husband many years ago, I did not stay at the marriage alter and wave as he moved on and aged. I am walking with Jesus, today, yesterday, and am promised forever. I also know that because I am still a sinner, I will stumble and fall, and Jesus will still be there. He calls me His own, His beloved. I, like that child, have full trust in the One who guides me, loves me and is always here.

If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;

though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
Psalm 37:23-24

Father, thank you for this wonderful journey that we are on together. I am ever filled with joy and love. Thank you that your forgiveness is complete and true, but that there is more than just that. I get to know You more and have Your peace surround me. Thank you...Amen

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dust in the Corners and Closets

This time of the year I start thinking about Spring cleaning. Winter is still going strong, but there is this want to be able to throw open the windows and let a fresh breeze sweep through my home and freshen it up. Not that my house smells (I don't think it does??), but it starts getting, you know, stuffy.

It is amazing how much stuff can collect when you are not intentionally throwing it out or putting it where it belongs. You know the stuff I'm talking about - junk mail, old projects, empty containers, worn out socks or ones with no mates, lots of dust "bunnies"...that kind of stuff. It feels soooo good when it is all put into order.

But I am not just speaking of the physical world - I'm talking about my Spiritual Spring cleaning and I know that I can do that anytime. You see, I know that spiritually speaking I do the following:
*Junk mail - stuff from outside home that I do not want - other people's feelings, fears and baggage that I pick up and carry around; old ideology and idolatry that keep coming back; the world's value system as it creeps into my life.
*Old projects - those things that God is working on in me that I am avoiding cause I am a bit sore and vulnerable; vows and promises I have made and are not keeping.
*Empty, broken containers - that's me when I do not fill up daily with the ONE who can do it. I am a broken container and can still be used by God.
*Worn out socks - holding onto old promises spoken into my life but not pursuing God to find His new ones for my life.
*Dust in the corners - old memories that dust up the corners of my mind and clutter up the closets of my heart. They need to go too.

See what I mean?? These things can get in and take up space. Time for a fresh wind.

So what does the Word say? Take a look at this;

Psalm 51:7 says
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Hebrews 10:22 says,
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

You see, I do know that my "Spring breeze" comes not from what I do but what He does. The good news is that I can allow God to sweep out that old stuff right now.


Father, You know me inside out. I need your Spirit to wash through me, to cleanse me from the inner most part of who I am. Forgive me for ignoring Your call to me to be filled - I truly have been foolish and acknowledge that as sin. I love You and praise You. Thank You for being ever loving and kind and good. Thank you. Amen.