Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Let. It. Go.




I have never viewed myself as a "control freak".  I am not one to be out in front trying to run the show or tell everyone what to do.  I am phlegmatic by nature.  Strong choleric "take charge" personalities make me,...well,...uncomfortable.   So, when Melissa Taylor announced the next Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study was going to be Let. It. Go.-How to Stop Running the Show and Start Living By Faith by Karen Ehman, I thought,

"I am not sure I need it.  After all, I don't have control issues."

I know God gets a kick out of me at times.  I am sure He just laughs when I try to tell Him what I do or don't need.  Hmmm....maybe I do need this study.



If you would like to join me and about 6,000 other women who are doing Let. It. Go. with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies with Melissa Taylor, you can click here to register. 

The study starts this Sunday, February 3rd!!  

If you would like to participate in the small group I am leading, please post a comment or contact me on facebook to let me know.  Space is limited in the private facebook small groups.   

I am excited to see all God will do in this study for the 6,000+ ladies who are doing it!  And I am excited to see what God will reveal to me.  If I do have anything to let go of, I want to know and I want to Let. It. Go.!






Friday, January 25, 2013

Follow the Staff

"The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.  
He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; 
He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
He refreshes and restores my life (my self); 
He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake.  
Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, For You are with me; 
Your rod and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me."  Psalms 23:1-4 (Amplified Bible)

While reading this verse, I envisioned the Lord with His staff in hand, out in front, leading and guiding His sheep.  


We are His sheep.  

A shepherd is responsible for his sheep.  He is responsible to provide for them, to feed them.   A shepherd will do anything to protect his flock; he shields them from harmA shepherd leads and guides his sheep and they follow him.  

He leads us to the best pastures.
  
He leads us to rest when we are weary so we can be refreshed and restored.
   
He leads us in the paths of righteousness.  We have been made righteous through the blood of the Jesus.  We are made righteous by Him, not by anything we have done. 

He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death safely.   This world can appear dark and dismal at times. but thought there may be evil all around us, He is with us. His rod and staff comfort us.  A shepherd would use his rod and staff to fight off any enemy that would come to harm his sheep.    We can take comfort in knowing we have a God who will fight for us, protect us, and lead us to safety.
 

Are you facing a decision today?  Do you need God to lead you and guide you safely to the right path?  He promises He will.  All we need to do is follow.    

Father, which direction should I go?  Which path should I take?   

He responds kindly, "Come this way, my child, follow me."  

He leads us with staff in hand.  Follow the staff.  

 
 





Monday, January 21, 2013

White Crosses

Engraved in my memory is a vision forever imprinted in my mind...  White crosses. 

I was nineteen, a sophomore in college at the University of Illinois.  Wounded. Broken. Depressed. Hopeless.  I was angry at myself.  Angry at life.  Angry at people.  Angry at God.

The dogwood trees were blooming, shouting new life for all who passed.  The white blossoms sprinkled the blanket of emerald grass.  Squirrels scurried up and down the trees gathering nuts.  Spring bursted with life.

However, all I saw was death.

I saw the crosses from a distance and as I passed by I read a sign.  The sign said,

"Each cross represents the death of 1 million babies aborted."  

There was a sweet college student by the white crosses handing out brochures.  She was only doing what she felt was best.  She was only taking a stand for life.  She didn't know I was wounded, broken, depressed, and hopeless.   Those crosses imprinted in my mind, burned a hole in my wounded heart that day.  HOW DARE THEY!  

How dare they put up those crosses!  How dare they make a marker for a grave that was never dug!  How dare they make this statement that with abortion there would be one dead, in need of a tombstone, in need of a white cross. Don't they know!  Don't they know the pain this causes?  Don't they care?  They don't know what I have been through.  They don't understand my pain. 

Lord, forgive me.  I am sure that sweet little girl by the crosses didn't know what hit her.  I spewed out all my hurt, all my pain, all my anger on that poor sweet innocent girl.  Then, I ran and cried all the way back to my dorm.  Broken. Wounded.  Depressed. Hopeless.  

Unleashing my anger on that girl didn't stop the bleeding.  It didn't heal my pain.  I was hemorrhaging on the inside, bruised by my own affliction.  Those white crosses on that field of green revealed the deadness in me and my need for the Cross of Jesus, the only one who could heal my wounds and free me from the tormenting chains of shame, guilt, and anger.  

Yesterday, January 20th was Sanctity of Life Sunday.  Perhaps you passed by some white crosses yesterday. 

Anytime abortion is addressed, it can cause people to get defensive or squirmy or angry.  Abortion is a polarizing topic.  My intent is not to polarize, but inform from the view of one who has had an abortion.

Women who have had abortions can often feel stuck in the middle of two groups.  Pro-choicers do not want to hear about post-abortive women's heartache and hurt due to their abortion.   Pro-lifers can be well-intended, although non-empathetic at times, disregarding the feelings of women who have had an abortion.  This is not true of everyone in either group, but rather a generality.  

Yes, there is a baby involved here too.  And people should be educated and informed about the truth regarding life and abortion.  With today's technology, we know life begins at conception.  We know that a baby's heart beats by day 22.  We know babies have hands, feet, fingers, and toes at 10 weeks (many abortions occur at 10 weeks).  All this is true and there are many more scientific facts to support that a fetus is indeed a human being.  

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."  Jeremiah 1:5 

However, I want to be a voice not only for the babies but for the women who grieve over them.  Many women were deceived into believing it was only a choice.  Many women bought the lie it was only a glob of tissue or cells.  

If you know anything about my story, you know I have had an abortion and I am now pro-life. If you do not know my story, you can read it here.   

However, I have to tell you, I still flinch at the site of white crosses.  I know well-intended pro-lifers are just  making a stand for life with a visual to represent the 54 million babies aborted since Roe Vs Wade.  They don't realize that cross is a stake driven into the already wounded heart of a post-abortive woman.  As much as their baby is in need of a white cross, they need the Cross.  Women need to know that the sprinkling of Jesus's blood covers this sin and makes them as white as the Dogwood blossoms sprinkling the ground that day.

"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."  Isaiah 1:18

Jesus loves you.  He forgives you.  Forgive yourself.  Receive His forgiveness.  Receive His love.  Trade in the white cross symbolizing death for THE CROSS knowing that He gives you NEW LIFE in Him. 

If you are a woman who has had an abortion, I want to encourage you to go to www.godeeperstill.org and find complete healing in the arms of our Savior Jesus.  There are groups of people who care about your healing.  You are also welcome to contact me.  I would love to pray with you and minister to you.  

With much love,



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Open My Eyes

"Lord, I pray, open [my] eyes that [I] may see."  2 Kings 6:17

There are constantly things all around us we are not able to see.  God is at work and we often are unaware of the unseen forces armed up for battle on our behalf.  

In Second Kings chapter six, the king of Syria was wondering how in the world Israel kept knowing his battle plans.  This is para-phrasing, but the king basically asks, "Is there a mole?  Is there a spy in my camp telling the Isralites what we are gong to do next?"  No.  

"And one of his servants said, 'None, my lord, O king, but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.'"  2 Kings 6:12

Notice, Elisha wasn't at the king's door with his ear up against a cup!  He was in Israel!  Elisha knew things he could not have possibly known any other way except by the power of God.  

Not only could Elisha hear things supernaturally, he saw things supernaturally as well.  

Once the king of Syria realized the problem was Elisha, he sent an army out to stop him.  

"And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots.  And his servant said to him, 'Alas, master!  What shall we do?'"  2 Kings 6:15

His servant seems somewhat alarmedWho wouldn't be with an army surrounding you?  Elisha, that's who.

"So he answered, 'Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.'"  2 Kings 6:16 

I wonder what the servant thought when Elisha said the above.  Umm....I know my math might be rusty, but there are only 2 of us and they have an army!?

Elisha saw what his servant and the army could not see.  He saw the army of the Lord around Him.  He saw God's heavenly angelic forces standing in a battle stance prepared to fight.  

Elisha saw through heavenly eyes.  

"And Elisha prayed, and said, 'Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw.  And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."  2 King 6:17

Then, Elisha asked the Lord to strike the Syrians with blindness.  When the Syrians came down to Elisha, he spoke in Jedi Knight fashion, "'This is not the way, nor is this the city.  Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.But he led them to Samaria.

Somehow, I just cannot help but picture Elisha with a hood over his head and waving his hand in front of the Syrians eyes when he says "This is not the way, nor is this the city."  I am not the man you are looking for. 

I am sorry, that picture just makes me laugh!  {smile}  God is so funny!  

Elisha had the power of God on the inside of Him.  This power gave him incredible insight to see the unseen and know the unknown.  WE HAVE THAT SAME POWER on the inside of us!!!  

When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of you.  The Holy Spirit is God inside of us! (2 Peter 1: 3-4, Acts 1:8)

In Ephesians 1: 17-23, Paul instructs us to pray:

 "The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 

 the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints

and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

far above any principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come, 

and He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."

WOW!  I am overcome right now with His Holy presence.  If you truly read this and soak in the Words written, you will be amazed at what God is saying.  We have the same power inside of us and available to us that raised Jesus from the dead

The power of the Holy Spirit inside of us is more powerful than any adversary you are facing.  The power inside of us is more powerful than any enemy.  The powers of darkness are no match for our God! 

"He put all things under His feet."  It is all under His feet, and we are His body.  He fills us with Him.  It is under our feet.  Elisha knew what we need to know.  We are not alone.  We have a heavenly army ready at a moments notice to fight for us! 

What is surrounding you today?  Cancer.  Sickness.  Disease.  Broken relationships.  Marriage issues.  Rebellious children.  Money issues.  Debt.  Work place drama.  Alcohol and drug addiction. Unemployment. Depression.

Or perhaps your battle is more internal?  Self-doubt. Insecurity.  Fear.  Fear of failure. Fear of success.  

His power is available to you for you to overcome any enemy.   

Elisha was just a man like any other man.  Pray for your spiritual eyes to be opened.   Pray for the eyes of your understanding to be enlightenedGod promises to answer.  He will reveal to you what you need to know.  He will show you things unseen and make them seen. 

There is a heavenly army just waiting to come to your aid and fight for you!   You are not alone and the battle is not yours, but God's. 

Oh Lord, open our eyes that we may see.    

    
Related posts:  My Bubble, Foggy Sunglasses
   

 



 
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