Friday, April 12, 2013

Concerns about FB posts and pictures about God

Am I the only person who notices that alot of quotes that people post about God are sort of right, but sort of not, even ones from people who should know what they are saying? Some quotes deceptively state in essence that God has no problem with what you do, you don't have to answer to anyone but Him, everything you want do is God's will and His goal is to bless you not matter if your actions go against His word? Does that makes sense? They sound good, but might not actually be right. There is enough truth to them that they could pass by anyone who doesn't know scripture. Yet, I could post scriptures that actually goes against the things I've seen stated. If I did I would probably be jumped on for making people feel bad.

These FB quotes that feed the "Its all about me nature in each of us" certainly make you FEEL good, but something is a bit off. The Bible says "The heart is a very deceitful thing." Jer. 17:9 and "There is a way that seems right to man, but leads to death." Prov. 14:12. Does that mean instantly your drop dead? No. Does it mean that every door will shut and bad things will happen? Probably not! Actually, sometimes you can be doing everything wrong and still appear to be blessed. Anyone????

People find the quotes that make them feel good about where they are or what they are doing even if its false comfort. For instance, somebody may say God's answers you, but all of them make Him sound like a grandpa or genie in a bottle working on getting our wishes fulfilled. Sometimes God's answer is NO. N-O. But that doesn't feel good to hear so nobody likes those quotes. What of the person that leaves his spouse for an affair and remarries? Can God restore?!? ABSOLUTELY! Will God redeem? YES!!! Can they go on and have a good life?!? By God's grace yes! BUT, to say it must have been God's will because God graciously allowed you to move forward is hardly truthful. Actually, anyone who have ever truly repented of such things would be all the more cautious to steer clear of anything that would make them appear to take the shed blood of Jesus for granted or as no big thing. If you have ever had His blood wash you of heartbreaking sin, you know His blood is too precious to trample upon. I don't think most people truly understand how their decisions and choices affect other people. It's no doubt the reason Jesus cried, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do!".

We all make choices, good and bad, and many times because of His goodness, God turns the situation around. NOT because we necessarily DID right, but because HIS end goal is righteousness and His word states that His goodness leads us to repentance. Not sure this makes sense, but sometimes it's disheartening to read posts from people that are gravitating towards what tickles their ears or should I say "eyes" on FB. It just makes me sad. I've seen people borrow money and not pay it back and then when the lender pardoned them of their theft, they praise God as if they were innocent all along. Not so. It was that lender's goodness and not the guilty party's righteousness that reaped the reward. I've seen people leave jobs and bash their former employers and things seem bright at their new job, but only because they haven't shown their true selves yet. I've seen people abandon children and go on to have more and feel like they must be ok with God, even after having no thought of the children they left behind. I've seen people lie on applications and get picked and they praise God as if their lies were acceptable. I've seen people shout "God is love!". AND THAT IS TRUE! But that does not mean He would support same sex marriage when He calls that type of relationship sin, so if you post a picture alluding to that its deception. It might be your right, but that doesn't make you right. See? Not popular, but it's truth.

As one who has broken God's heart more times that I would like to admit, I can never justify my choices, but I can humble myself and be justified through His grace. I can choose to make better choices. Ones that line up with His word and I can expect to begin to see changes in my life because His word if TRUE! God, in His awesome way, works all things out for the good of all who love Him, but that doesn't mean it was because we are good, but because HE IS! God's grace allows us to grow wise and more Christ-like. So yes, hopefully we are ALL better every day we serve Him.

Now in all fairness....there are ALOT of great quotes, posts and picture messages that are true to the word, nature and principles of God. Many of them minister encouragement and hope! Many of them speak a timely word or remind us of our proper focus. This is not a word of correction, but a word of caution. We must all guard out heart and minds. We must all seek to give proper attention to motives of our hearts....because God does. It's like a heard someone say recently, "I want to check my heart that the reason I have relationship with them is for real love and not just to manipulate them." What wisdom my friend has! What beauty that they would seek to be pure in ALL things. God is looking for such hearts. He is searching to and fro. May everything thing we do from family, to friends, to church, to job, to social media and so on, be pure in motive and for His glory!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Judas, Peter & the New Year

I haven't blogged in a LONG time....but I think I need to start doing it again more regularly.  I will eventually share thoughts and pics from my trip to Africa.  As I look at the New Year ahead, I find myself thinking ALOT.  I'm thinking about what I want for my life and what God expects from me.  I'm weighing what was of value in 2011 and what would be of benefit in 2012.

Something very weird happened to me this year.  I turned 40.  But I also turned a page in my life and thinking.  I'm not quite sure when it happened exactly.  All I know is it did.  I'm not always sure how to describe it, but I can sense and see it in different circumstances. God has given me assurances about certain things and unfortunately for some that makes me a little more secure.  By default it makes me just a little bit less of a people pleaser and one more step closer to being one whose sole purpose is to please the heart of God!  Praise God!  I have so  much to change to be more like Christ.  What I have noticed though is that often people think we need to change to be more like THEM to be considered more like Christ.  I am my own worst enemy in that sense.  I spent the majority of my early walk with God trying to be like the people in my life because surely they knew more about being "christian like" than I did.  Often times they did!  BUT while there are certain Biblical, foundational things that are for purity, honesty, holiness, etc.....there are other things that are meant to be different in each of us because we are different parts of the body.

You can be quiet, while I'm loud and that's ok.  But we still BOTH have to be loving.  You can be all about the details, while I am about the general idea and that's ok, but we both have to put God first.  Not sure if that makes sense.

Let me share this.  I used to work with someone that was very shy.....very shy.  She was insecure about talking to people and not confident in who she was.  I'm outgoing and can talk to anyone.  There was a point where I was challenging her to step outside of her shell and she thought I was asking her to be like me, which was not true at all.  In fact, I wanted her to finally be herself, not fearful of people or what they might think.  I was trying to teach her about sharing her faith openly and she wanted to say that it was an assignment she wasn't capable of because of her personality.  The only problem is that it wasn't a man made assignment.  It was a God command!  Go and make disciples!  After working with her for a long time, turns out that she was very judgmental.  Her fear came from the fact that she felt that people would judge her as harshly as she knew she secretly judged others.  Let me say here that this was an awesome person.  She was not mean or cruel or bad.  She was everything kind and wonderful, but God was doing something great in her heart.  As she began to challenge her fears and push herself to grow,  a miraculous thing happened!  She became less shy and more secure when talking to people!  She began to deal with the issues of her heart and grew in intimacy with God.  She is no where near as outgoing as I am but she is also not judgmental either.  She is a great woman of God with grace and beauty to share.

I say all this to challenge you to evaluate the relationships in your life as you go into the New Year.  I spend hours talking to people that would have less drama, pain and confusion if they would walk away from unhealthy relationships or set boundaries for others.  Lest you think I'm speaking just to you, let me say here that I'm speaking of myself as well.  I've been really going over my relationships.  There are some that I allow too much from and others that I don't require enough from.  I, too, plan on making changes in the new year.

God moves us in and out of situations and brings people in and out of our lives. Whenever possible, don't stay where you are tolerated. Go where you are celebrated! Life is too short to spend time where you can't trust.  As you go into the new year, check the people in your life.  There are some you can't separate from, but why pull an unhealthy relationship into another year?  If someone will talk behind your back, they are not a real friend.  If they will lie about you, they will lie to you.  Period.  There was a distinct difference between Judas and Peter. Peter messed up a lot!  He failed to understand and be who he was supposed to be at times.  He even denied affiliation with Christ! But it was all done out front so he was easy to criticize and ultimately correct. I submit that it was Judas who was most dangerous because everything he did, he did in secret, behind closed doors.  He put up a front publicly, never outwardly messing up as much as Peter.

Our natural tendency is to draw close to the Judases because outwardly they "have the look", "say the right things", "have the appearance of respectability".  Remember Judas carried the money bag!  We tend to shun or grow tired of the Peter's because they are so rough on the outside and often do the things that would be socially unacceptable.  Yet, to Judas, Jesus said "Whatever you must do, do quickly", to Peter, Jesus said "Upon this rock I will build my church".  That says a lot!

If God has allowed a Judas in your life, I pray grace for you. But don't hang onto one when you don't have to.  Learn to know the difference between a Peter and a Judas and go into the New Year blessed and free!  Let's work on that together, shall we?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Calling all rocks!!! It's time to roll!

I've been silent for a couple of weeks and I appreciate those that have asked when my next blog was coming out.  I was silent because it was time to be, but there is coming a time when I will be silent no more!  One word can bind, but likewise, one word, can set someone free.  I hope that my words hold that kind of power...the power to liberate, emancipate and activate people towards their destiny.  I may seem insignificant to some, but God knows what I hold in my hands.

Speaking of small, insignificant, seemingly unimportant things... I was thinking about rocks.  You know lifeless, motionless, plain old stones,  So insignificant that most of us don't notice them unless we HAVE to, like when they get caught in our shoe or pop up and crack our windshield on the Expressway!  One chip can spider web and cause you to have to replace the entire windshield.  Amazing how something so small can have such a huge impact!  "But its just a stupid little rock!!!!!"

I wonder if that's what Goliath though when young David stood in from of him with his little stone?  Did the disciples have any real understanding of what taking that first small step toward a life following Christ would mean for  them down the road? Or did the soldier who drove the nail in Jesus hand pay any attention to the first small drop of blood? Small things....huge impact!

There's an old song that goes like this, "Ain't no rock, gonna cry in my place!  As long as I'm alive to glorify His holy name".  It's based on the following scripture:

When he (Jesus) came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”  “I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”  Luke 19:37-40 (emphasis mine)

A small rock played a big part in ending a war between Israel and the Philistines and was what brought the mighty Goliath down!  David's stone cried out "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!"

"So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him." 1 Samuel 17:50 (emphasis mine)

What small thing is in your hands today?  What little, seemingly insignificant, lifeless rock is just waiting to be used by you to have a huge impact on your world?  Is it that $5 of change that floats around your purse that if deposited in a savings weekly could reap huge rewards down the road?  Could it be that old clunker of yours that if given to a needy family could be the difference between keeping a job and losing it, while for you it's  just collecting weeds?  What about the phone call you are always too busy to make or the one snack that you could cut back on?   You just never know the impact the "rocks" in your life hold.  Surrender them to God.  Use them wisely.  YOU have more power than you think to change the world around you.  

Take one thing today and surrender it to God  Decide you are no longer gong to de-value what could very well be the key to your future.  I challenge you with this list of ideas:  
  1. Ask someone for help. Maybe this time the help will work! 
  2. Take that walk, even if it's only once a week. It's a start!
  3. Say "hi" to the office weirdo :) They could end up being your best friend
  4. Put that cigarette down....20 times if you have to until you don't pick it up again.
  5. Give that hug...yes, they'll think you are weird, but think the of spider web effect...small step, huge impact
  6. Let go of that job that is destroying your family
  7. Say good bye to that toxic will open you up for a healthy one
  8. Come home an hour early and take your kids small hour, one huge impact on your kids heart
  9. Write that check, someone may need it more than you
  10. Read your Bible/Go to church. I promise the roof won't collapse and you might actually find hope, love and peace.
I wonder what lifeless, motionless thing you have in your hand that could knock the wind out of the giant that is attacking someone elses life? OK, so your marriage failed. Could you use your wisdom to help other marriages stay together?  OK, so you have children from 2 different fathers?  Could you start volunteering to teach young women to not do the same?  OK, you only have a GED.  Could you sign up for one class and show your kids it's never too late to take back your life? So maybe you broke the law and now have a record.  Could you do alot of "right" things and build a NEW record?  What you do with the rocks in your life is all up to you! 

All you have is all you have, right?  But all you have, once entrusted to God becomes alot.  

I'll end with this quote I posted on Facebook:

Anyone can tell how many seeds are in an apple, but only God can tell how many apples are in one seed.~ Unknown 

Never underestimate the power of one small rock, one step of faith, one act of generosity, one word of kindness, or one small person fully surrendered to God. In God's hands what may seem insignificant, may really be a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Goliath about David and that little ole slingshot of his!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

AIN'T TO PROUD TO BEG! (Swallowing Pride)

I recently came across some great quotes about swallow pride.  Here's my  quote, combining all the points, and adding some.  

"No one ever choked to death, got indigestion or gained weight swallowing their pride.  In fact, many have been able to live longer, fulfilled lives, having peace at their core and with lightness that comes from unloading the burden that the sin of pride creates"

I started writing this post yesterday, but put it aside for "family time".  At church this morning, the message Pastor Dave Hill preached was on the exact subject of this blog so I know this is the "word for today".  

I had an incident happen this week where I had to call a business I had given money to make something.  They were supposed to have it about a month ago and not only did they not get it done, but couldn't tell when or even IF they could. I was told by the person who ordered for us that they wouldn't refund either.  This was a time sensitive situation, after a certain date I wouldn't need the item anymore.  I told the man I wanted my money back, he argued a bit, but then said he would let me know by Monday.  After hanging up, I felt bad because I think the guy thought I was rude.  It bothered me so I tried to call him back immediately to apologize.  I didn't get ahold of him for a couple of hours and during that time, my mind went through the usual arguments.  Do I really need to apologize?  After all, HE was being wrong and had attitude.  So on and so forth. But I really felt like God would be pleased and it was the right thing to do.  I finally got through and was able to apologize and he seemed shocked and thankful.

It was really easy for me to apologize, because being right with God and at peace with myself mattered most.  I have been thinking alot about this subject lately and how it pertains to my life.

My life consists of 2 huge parts - BEFORE I became a Christian (birth thru freshman/sophmore year in college) and AFTER I became a Christian (then until now).  I will address both.

BEFORE CHRIST - I didn't know better.  Truth is I'm sure I hurt, offended and angered people.  I don't think I ever intended to, but I was selfish, young and careless.  As a parent, I see how cruel words, actions and attitudes can be during junior high and high school.  I wonder if there are former classmates that are still holding something against me.  I remember being 15 and literally thinking I knew everything.  I didn't.  I wonder now, did I do something to someone that altered or hindered their ability to live a good life.  Yes, I was young, but still, some things linger and if it's at all with in our power, we should do what we can to make it right.

AFTER CHRIST -  I can say the first 5 years were about trying "not backslide", then growing, learning and working through learned behavior that didn't line up with God's word.  I know in this season I hurt alot of people because I had the title "christian", but my behavior didn't always line up.  Sometimes it was because I was struggling to obey God and other times it was my heart to show people Christ, but my lack of know how got in the way.  Either way, I am a different Christian today than I was then.  Let me say, I'm not the type to INTENTIONALLY hurt people.  There are many who are and I will address that later.  Regardless, once the damage is done, I can either wash my hands like Pilate because I don't want to deal with it  (you will know this is you because you hide behind scripture like "There is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1) or do my best to make it right so that everyone involved can have a chance at peace.  

My nature is and has always been to deal with it, whether big or small.  I know people who hurt people intentionally and then want to walk away using a twisted version of scripture to never be accountable for their actions.  God is not mocked and justice comes.  I would rather be one who swallows pride and shows the power of Jesus through humility and forgiveness, no matter what it takes.

MY LIFE AS A LEADER:  I can say with a clear conscience that I have never set out to hurt anyone.  I fear God too much to misuse His pulpit or His people.  But the nature of what I do has often put me in situations where I have to tell people things they don't want to hear, like when someone asked me to pray for their dead family member to be saved.  I had to tell that grieving person that I couldn't pray for the dead.  Or when I had to tell a woman she couldn't remain a leader once I found out that she was not married to the man she called her husband, but both were in fact married to other people!  Each of these people I'm sure felt a measure of hurt and for that I'm sorry, but my heart was not to HURT them.

There may  be others that feel like I hurt them and I might not even be aware of it.  I recently reconnected with someone like this.  Thank God she gave me a chance to explain, answer some questions and ask for forgiveness. While what I did was unintentional ( I was trying to help her), it did in fact deeply wound her.  Now, years later, God gave me the beautiful opportunity to make it right.....and I did.  She graciously forgave me and I thank God for that.  

I WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE:  I will never apologize for the Word of God or for wisdom and truth that could set someone free.  I have sat in front of people, given them flat out scripture, and been told God would never say that because it hurt them.  God loved them so much that He was trying to warn them that their sin was going to catch up with them and they rejected it because it didn't make them feel good to hear it.  For this, His word, for speaking up and trying to save someone from judgment....I will never apologize.

Psalm 10:4
In his 
pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  (God, may I always seek and leave room for You!)

Proverbs 29:23
Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (God, I humble myself before you.)

I would like to end with this.....If I have ever hurt or offended you, I want to say "I'm sorry".  If it is something that you want to tell me more about, then please feel free to write me at  Whether you are a part of the BEFORE or AFTER I became a Christian years, I would love to hear from you.  I'm not too proud to answer for my actions or to make it right if at all possible.  I beg you, give me a chance to make things right.  As I stated before, there are some things I will never apologize for, but what does it cost me to make peace with someone else if its within my power?  I want to go into this next season of my life knowing I hold only the debt of love.  


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The difference between Good will versus God's will

My first blog post. Momentous.  Historical.  World Changing! Ok, that's a  bit much.  How about New Adventure, Step of Faith,  Liberating!  I have thought of this for a while, but now that I actually have the opportunity to do it, it's amazing how my thoughts disappear.  Suddenly the girl who ALWAYS has something to say is at a loss for words! So I thought I would begin with a story.  This is long, but it's my first blog.....give me a break! ;)

This past weekend we had a very interesting thing happen to us.  My family and I traveled to the Austin area to check it out and visit family.  While there, we made a pit stop into one of my new favorite stores - The Goodwill!  Now before you turn up  your nose the way I did when my sister used to mention 2nd hand stores, let me say this.  The Goodwill's in this area are clean, more organized than my closet, or purse for that matter, and are full of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered.   It doesn't hurt that the proceeds go towards helping people get training and education to enter the workforce.  I have found many brand new items for a really good price and I am not ashamed to say so.  But I digress.....back to my story.

After playing my version of Indiana Jones at the Goodwill I found myself at the checkout counter with a stack of brand new children's books, some bibles and a cute fold out chair for the boys.  Feeling quite accomplished, I was paying for my purchases when my daughter walked up and said, "Mom, do you have my phone?" Now for all you mom's out KNOW there are moments when your kids ask you something they already know the answer to, but it's there way of trying to ease into the real announcement.  "Mom, I can't find my phone.  It was in my pocket and now it's gone"

What followed were multiple calls to her number that went immediately to voicemail (which means someone had the phone) and frantic searching throughout the store.  Of course, no phone turned up.  We left our number should anyone turn it in, but we was gone.  The irony?  My child's phone was stolen at a place called GOOD WILL!?!?!?!?  HELLO!?!?

We loaded up our family and I was mad, partly at my child for not being responsible, but mostly at the nerve of people to feel like they can take whatever they want, even if it's not theirs.  When I find something, I turn it in to lost & found.  That's not just being a christian, but a decent human being.  Where we live, there is alot of stealing.  I have never seen so much stolen from us, and from friends, as I have while living in the Valley.  It's the truth.

I sat there thinking of the injustice of it and feeling stirred with a righteous anger.  We are tither's, givers, children of God and it's not OK!  Suddenly, I felt moved to send a text and so I did.  I sent two texts to my daughter's phone telling the thief to return the phone and letting them know that they had no idea what they were bringing on themselves by stealing from us.  I reminded them they were inviting a curse into their lives that comes from doing a child of God wrong......for a stupid phone!  Now, let me stop here.  I can already hear some of you saying that doesn't sound very christian like, but read on.

I sent the texts.  My husband put the line on hold and we went about the day.  Several hours later we received a phone call from a manager of a Sprint store about 4 miles away from the Goodwill.  He said a woman had come in and turned my daughter's phone in, in perfect condition.  Interesting, don't you think?  If she had really just "found it" she could have turned it into the store, but several hours later she walks into a store, miles away, and turns it in.

Here's my point. Many people (myself included) would have just counted it as a loss.  Some have even said when you are stolen from, declare that you have sowed it and expect a bigger return.  That's not scriptural and I certainly didn't feel in my spirit to bless a cowardly act.  While God loves people, even in their sin, He does not love their sin.  And neither should we.  So I did what most Christians nowadays are afraid to do.  I stood up to that spirit and reminded it of the consequences of coming against God and His children.  Perhaps, just maybe, the woman actually "found" it, but my prayer and declaration put the devil on notice.  Some would say that as children of God we should TURN the other cheek.  I submit that as children of God we must know when it is time to TURN OVER tables like Christ did.

You may argue - Wasn't that releasing a curse on them?  No.  I merely stated the facts.  Their OWN actions invited the consequences.  The devil likes to twist the truth so that we stop fighting.  I have seen people do wicked things and outside people put pressure on the victims saying "If you expose this it will hurt people."  That is a trick of the devil to keep sin covered up and to keep christians feeling responsible for being "nice", even if being "nice" according to some people's standards allows for sin and it's consequences to grow.   Is it love to let the phone thief walk away with a sense of "getting away with it" or is it more loving to let them know their choices could wreak havoc on their lives and their is hope for change?  I wasn't going to do anything to them.  That would be up to God.  I simply reminded them that we reap what we sow.

How many of you have allowed satan or someone to rob from you?  I can think of times when I have stayed quiet when I should have spoken up, times when I let things slide when I should have fought harder.   Enough is enough!  We must stand up and stand on God's word and His promises!  No the devil can't have your child to drugs!  No the that person can't lie about you anymore! No the enemy can't destroy your marriage, your finances, your health, your peace of mind!

We must walk in love, wisdom and discernment.  It's hard to turn the other cheek for sure, but it often necessary, to fulfill the will of God.  But order to really be like Jesus... we must be willing to turn over the tables of injustice and say "Enough, is enough".  It might mean confronting an issue, or praying a different way, or telling the truth to expose a lie, or voting for the right candidate.  The world, and even many christians nowadays will want you to turn your they can hit the other side.  HA!HA!   Seriously though, its hard to turn over tables.  It was for Jesus.  People didn't like him, didn't understand him and even wanted him dead. And yet....He was right with God.  Amazing!  God is it your time to TURN the other cheek or to TURN over tables?  Both have their place.  Either way, proceed with love, prayer and the grace of God....and take back what the devil has stolen from you!