Tuesday, December 31, 2013

who i am in the Great I AM...

It took very little time to choose my word for 2014. Matter of fact all it took was stopping to think of what I desired to conquer in the coming year. The word that immediately came to mind & resonated deeply within was Authentic. I above all desire to be authentically happy, authentic in joy, and authentic when I love, authentic in worship, authentic in prayer. I want to conquer being distracted away from what truly matters. I have a mind that goes a hundred miles a minute. Constantly thinking. I want my mind to rest. To rest in simply being who God made me to be in all it's simplicity. I desire to be a powerhouse full of the Holy Spirit in 2014. I desire to be true to His will for my life. I refuse to focus on anything the world is selling & set my eyes alone on HIM. I want more revelation, visions, dreams, and intimacy with my Savior in 2014. This quote from Henry Ward Beecher really speaks to my heart right now& embodies much of how I'm feeling. I'm looking towards heaven & spreading JESUS to the world. May I be a sweet fragrance that lingers everywhere I've been. May my words be seasoned with love leaving a indelible mark. I want to focus on the glorious future of the Saints of God. I refuse to be melancholy, anxious, or impatient about what God has in store for me. I believe we are entering into the greatest time in history for the church! I am digging deeper in preparation and I can't wait.

"There are apartments in the soul which have a glorious outlook, from those windows you can see across the river of death into the shining city beyond. But how often are those neglected for the lower ones, which have earthward looking windows."Henry Ward Beecher

 "But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?" 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Sunday, December 1, 2013

when it all changed...

I feel compelled to write, lots to say. December has made it's way back to my life once again. I remember the roller coaster of my daddy's battle with cancer was nearing it's end this time two years ago. I learned a lot about myself & about God that year leading up to now. I'm not jaded at all, I've had the privilege to see the heart of God because of the despair I faced in his untimely death. To be honest when we all got news of his terminal illness I was pretty confident that God could & would heal my dad on this earth. I fasted because at that time I thought my fasting(going without food, just drinking juice & water)would somehow move God to answer my prayers for my daddy. Bare with me here. I also thought if I could give a big enough offering($$$) that God would honor my gift. I prayed, I cried, I prayed, then i cried some more but most of all I was changed.

I don't want to come across the wrong way at all with what I'm saying but I'm saying is that God is God and for a time I thought that He could be moved by what I did. I really wanted to believe it too, I did nothing short of beg Him. With everything in me, I begged. I would have done whatever He asked me to but you know what? He didn't ask.  I can tell you what He did do. Despite all my "doings" for the Lord. He came & He literally walked beside me. When I cried, He cried. When I was devastated He sat & He held me. He was a not genie in a bottle & He didn't make my trial magically "go away"but He did "come" and He "dwelled" with me, He still does.

What my heart is crying out is this. We can not earn, work, perform, achieve, perfect, etc. enough good deeds to reach Him. He's not waiting for you & I to do anything but to turn our hearts towards Him. Grace hit me square in the face when this all took place. It hit me so hard in fact that every ounce of religion that had been planted for years since my birth was rattled, shaken, turned on it's head. You see man made religion has done a number on who God is & what He wants. To be quite honest I think they've really done a pretty good job of running off those whose life don't have a lot of "good" in them. Had God not been so persistent in loving me & faithfully pursuing me, I may have been another number. I remember hearing well if your faith was big enough. That stung me to the core. Cause trust me I had mustered all the faith I could find at that point & it wasn't enough. Losing my daddy has been the single most devastating thing I've lived through up until now. I experienced more than I had anticipated and because of it December will never be the same for me.
I see the sacredness & beauty of Christmas, of the celebration of Jesus coming into a graceless world. Of fighting to shake things up & to dismantle the law. He alone threw grace on the scene & it took me until my adulthood to grasp the magnitude of the simplicity of what He had done.  I have very little care for the gifts, the frill, the commercialization of it all. I remember that Christmas Eve, I remember saying our last goodbyes that morning when he took his last breath and strangely going home that evening(at the suggestion of family) to try and make Christmas as normal as possible for my children(what a joke). I think I still have issues with us all going home to handle losing daddy, alone. But I wasn't alone. HE was there, He has always been there. I just had to choose to rest in faith that He loved me & had me in the palm of His hand.

I write this to tell you the law was abolished because a baby was born in a manger, grew to be a man, and full of innocence died not just for my sin but to reconcile me fully to God. No more separation, the veil was torn from the top down to prove NO MAN could have obtained what Jesus did. That's grace. That's why it's eludes most of us because we can't make sense of it. It's undeserved. The harder you work for it the more disillusioned you become. God doesn't require your money, your service, your words, your sweat to bless you. It makes little to no sense to me when I hear people make big deals out of money,trust me God doesn't need your money, He simply desires that you not serve it, He longs for us to be generous & to give when He says give. Whether it be paying for groceries at the grocery store for a momma who has her hands full, or paying for someones gas at the quick stop, you get the drift. God wants us to be generous & Spirit led. Most of the church may disagree with me but that's what I learned. I know also that grace is for EVERYONE. God sees hearts. It's that simple.
Don't let anyone convince you that you must do anything other than trusting God in faith that He alone by way of Jesus can save you. Don't let anyone convince you that you have to "work" a single second for your salvation because it's simply not true. In losing my daddy I gained a greater understanding of God's unconditional love & grace. I spent years thinking I had to "do" to get to Him when all along He wanted me to just "be" and rest in Him. I hope this holiday season you do too…

With love,

Monday, November 11, 2013

when Deep calls unto deep...

My hearts been heavy. God has been pulling me closer, taking me deeper. Teaching me about quiet time & prayer. I've been praying the scriptures. I let it take me into worship and recount the scriptures back out loud with worship laced into the Word. It's changing my life. I'm hearing clearer than before. I felt lead to share about it today. As I prayed Isaiah 64 and repeated verse one and asked God to rend the heavens, tear open the heavens and come down. Make Yourself known to us. As I was expressing all that God has been to me, I was especially touched as I kept reading into Isaiah 65. That's when He began to speak through the scriptures saying

"I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said 'Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call my name. I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good following their own thoughts."Isaiah 65:1-2

Then I began to have a vision. I heard Him say you are a grace dealer, I will show you now. I see myself eagerly & urgently running towards the crowd of people. I see myself handing something out, looks like balloons. Grace is written on them, I am giving them to everyone who will take it. Many are resistant. They look at me with reservation. They think who is this stranger? I don't want that silly balloon. They see it as useless, unneeded. There are so many people, I am getting lost in the crowd. I see above the crowd now, I am seeing far above the crowd. I am the only one handing out these grace covered balloons. People are too busy to stop. I am aware that I am a tiny piece of a much larger puzzle. I am looking around in circles handing out these balloons...no one sees me.

This is what I hear next. My people reject Me. I am right before their eyes yet they can't see Me. I see the fires, the battles, the trials that seem they might be the end of them. And I wait, with wide open arms I wait. Help Me gather them together. Tell them of My great love for them. How I long to give them rest, How I desire above all to walk with them. To give them abundant life. I want them to make a decision. To stop trying to marry Me up with the world. I don't share. I am a jealous God. I want entire hearts not just small portions. I want a full time commitment not part time, every now & then visits. Am I Your everything as you say? Show Me. Spend time with Me. Let Me be the lead. Come NOW to Me, dwell amongst Me. I will be Your God and you will be My people...

I encourage you to read the entirety of Isaiah 64 & 65.

Spoken as it was given to me. I don't take what He says lightly. Crazy as it may seem. I write what I hear from His heart to yours.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

oh, the webs we weave...

Today I want to address secrets. You know the things we pray no one ever finds out. I'm no stranger to secret keeping. Matter of fact I've experienced tormenting dreams of being found out, dysfunctional coping mechanisms, and down right fear of shame or embarrassment in my past. What I find relieving & full of hope is confession. You see once I confessed my "secrets" the enemy of my soul no longer had an avenue to get to me. He functions only out of darkness & keeping a deep, hidden secret is exactly that...darkness. What I find very interesting in scripture is the instruction to "confess your sins to one another" in James 5:16...

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.~James 5:16

Here we find the solution for many of the things that hinder us & ultimately make many of us sick. Physically, emotionally, or mentally sick. Secrets kill & rob us from living a life full of freedom. Let me explain how. Something happens in our life either from poor choices or things outside our control. The enemy first will guilt us & fear us into thinking that if we are "found out" we will suffer rejection, embarrassment and shame. That we are alone, weird, and worthless. All things none of us want to experience for any amount of time. We were made for acceptance & love not rejection & hate. So first we become guilty. Then over time we become tormented & reminded of that secret by the enemy because he is an accuser of the brethren, the one standing day & night before the Father bringing all our faults to mind. So now we become complacent. This secret begins to manifest itself in our behaviors & we often begin to build a wall around that place in our heart, that way the secret stays hidden safe from being discovered. But in the mean time we have lost apart of our trust and vulnerability and that my friends is the end place of bondage. We become prisoners of our own mistakes. And because we are prisoners we ultimately become slaves. Slaves to our past, to our hurts, and to the wickedness of the enemy. Chances are because you are a slave you attempt to enslave those around you by judging, accusing, and labeling them. It's simply because you are a slave & are subject to a slave mentality. Freedom is far from your heart & mind and you are stuck.

BUT there is HOPE!!! Here's where it gets good friends. Confession seems intimidating to most & unnecessary to some. But the truth is as long as we're holding on to something that needs to come out it will do more harm than good. I don't suggest just telling anyone. Matter of fact I would pray & ask God to lead you to someone you can trust. Someone who will support you, speak truth, and pray for you. Be careful who you entrust with such tender issues. Releasing the burden of holding secrets inside is a healing all it's own. Healing comes from confession. It's that simple. God can't invade a place with walls unless you let Him in. What, if anything is hiding inside & needs to be confessed to someone who can love you & point you to Jesus?  I personally have been completely released & freed when I finally told someone I trusted something I had kept secret from everyone around me. My husband is that person. It not only freed be but opened up a door for him to release things he may had been afraid to tell too. It allowed God to come right in the middle of our marriage & draw us closer to one another. For you it may be a counselor, a mentor, or a friend. I'm not talking about dredging up the past and sharing things that are unnecessary. I'm talking about the things that keep you up at night. That alter your vulnerability & trust with others. Release anything the enemy routinely uses against you to bring you shame or unworthiness and then pray with one another. We are in this together! We need each other. The prayers of the righteous are powerful & effective! Prayer works. Confession is precious when done with a fellow believer who will lift you up by praying. Expect results!

Be encouraged that God desires us to love without limits. Say a prayer tonight, meditate on God's Word, and begin to make the steps to be freed from the prison that secrets have built around you. The only thing stopping you now...is you!

Blessings sweet readers! So thankful to pour out my heart in hopes it will help someone else!

Monday, July 22, 2013

the last place you thought you'd be ask to die...

Let me just start out by saying this is not addressed to shame or scold anyone. I'm only addressing women in marriage & not men because I can only speak from what God has brought me through as a woman. I've battled dissatisfaction in my marriage more than once. This isn't my first marriage(so I know all about failure). But what I've found in my search for God's answer in my desire for more from marriage is pretty crazy & to many down right offensive but if you know me for any length of time you know I tell it like I hear it straight from the heart of God. What I hope to do in writing this is to paint a picture of God & His beloved bride…accurately & with love.

When we first meet & date the "one" we hold onto every word. The very words we often times eventually resent. You look at them in all their perfection just to one day be married & grow to a place that someones looks become meaningless. At one point all their idiosyncrasies made you feel all warm inside & now you've grown to a place of pure annoyance. Maybe you don't feel all these at once but on occasion my guess is you've most certainly felt them. Hollywood has done a number on painting a pretty stinkin beautiful picture of LOVE. BUT…Here in lie the problem & the ever increasing divorce rate in the world & the church. It's pretty darn obvious that the world began influencing the church (not the other way around) when we began to have the same chance of divorce as the unsaved world did. You may wonder OK what are you trying to say? Follow me here.

When I married my husband it was because I genuinely loved him. Everything about him. I still do. But somehow along the way I began to expect him to fulfill these romantic expectations that he had no idea I had created. So 7 years later & many times of frustration God has revealed to me something that as a child of God & one who so desperately desires more of Him, was a really surprising answer.

Can you imagine a human being fulfilling every single desire you ever had? I thought this existed. I really did. Until God proved to me otherwise. It's been over 4 years since I decided to relentlessly pursue God and all He was. In doing so I have encountered more pain than I ever expected. Pain? You may wonder. Yes pain and as a dear friend of mine so clearly stated not long ago "Precious in His sight is the death of His Saints"~Psalm 116:15. Most refer to that as an actual death but have you considered at any point in time that "dying to self" is death. Marriage is such an intimate connection with another that when you are flared by something they may have done you immediately begin taking score against them. But have you considered that the very thing that flared you is not the problem but the flare inside you is. What is it inside you that needs to die? Why is it easier to believe that everything that happens to us is someone else's fault? I learned a while back that if I wanted to grow into the woman God had called me to be that it would take a lot of self inspection then addressing many times being pruned by God to become more like His Son. How was I behaving, speaking, and carrying myself? Was this reflective of who I belonged to? Could others see Jesus in me?

 Let me tell you my marriage has been a reflection of myself more than I liked. God gave me a strong-willed man that was as stubborn at believing he was right as I did. I thank God for that now. Because I was unable to push my way around & demand my own way parts of Katie had no other choice but to die. And DYING to self HURTS. Something fierce. But God is so faithful & has rewarded that obedience time & time again. I've learned that my husband is my ministry and loving him is apart of my purpose here on earth. Holding his mistakes against him is voluntarily participating in the enemy's will for his life but forgiving & serving him is apart of God's will. The fact I could have been a willing participant in anything satan wanted to do makes me sick & even more determined but I'm guilty as charged. That's what opened my eyes to truth & freedom in my marriage. I'm still learning. No where near perfection I hold on to hope that God is not done with him yet. I choose daily to believe that I am apart of something much bigger than I can see & that is my husband's success for the Kingdom. I am no longer concerned with what he can do for me but what can I do to advance the Kingdom in my home & in the lives of those around me. How can I honor God better but by honoring my husband in word & deed. How can I worship God any more purely but by encouraging & speaking life into my marriage. The Bible is full of scriptures about love, submission, and honor…and for good reason. It's God's order of things. It's the apart of the path of righteousness, it's a stop on the path to be living blessed & favored.

My selfishness serves eternity nothing of purpose. That's how I choose to live, with eternity in mind. God is most glorified when we surrender our way & choose His way even when we have every right to give up. Which I'm totally guilty of in the past but I will fight until I'm gone to make sure my husband is supported, loved, and edified trusting God that He will finish & perfect the work He began in my man. Looking back we started out unequally yoked. (He was saved after years of praying & actively forgiving and loving) But I can tell you there isn't a bone in my body that regrets a tear, a hurt feeling, or frustration because in being the imperfect human being he is (we all are) he drove me to the feet of Christ. It pushed me with so much force that I wasn't backing down from moving forward. I meet the love of my life(Jesus) & will never be the same so in part I owe my husband my life…my soul. He loves his family & I well, he provides, he is loyal, always home, an attentive father, and my best friend. There's no way my demand for more of what the world tells me is love will stop me from finding the true answer to love in the Bible then gracefully and abundantly giving it to my husband. He is the most beautiful person I've met, His heart leaves me stunned. God has great big plans for him & if I had forsaken the call to be his wife & love him no matter what then he'll tell you himself, he never would have made it this far. There isn't a devil in hell that will rob me of giving of myself & knowing when I do so, God will restore me to overflow. Really, it all lay in the connection to Christ because without Jesus leading me we'd already had been a statistic and that's... real.

Katie Ramirez

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I find myself with longing for clarity or the a sign of hope in certain situations that currently reside in my life. I also find myself searching in all the wrong places, specifically people, for my answers. What never fails is the sweet Holy Spirit faithfully whispering to look up. I wonder how I've made it this far sometimes but I know…Jesus. I'm not sure why at this point I turn to people to find the fulfillment I so desperately need. I know it's alone in Christ but I type this because I believe most of us are guilty of this. We label it a blah day or a day from hell when it actuality it's us allowing our minds to be directed away from the place of rest in God. It's when I ignorantly put pressure on those around me to fill me up instead of first going to my Daddy God. I had an affectionate daddy who encouraged & doted over me. His shoes have been impossible to fill. I am so much like him with the gift of encouragement but what does the encourager do when there is no one who encourages them? They allow God to be their encourager. They dig deeper to seek His face because the gift that lay on the inside of them requires close connection with the Father for daily filling. If you spend your days pouring out and never getting filled back up you have a deficit that leaves you in the negative. But there are no negatives in God's Kingdom only overflow. Therefore as servants of Christ we must run daily to sit in His presence. Not just temporarily but a permanent place that we "dwell" meaning live, to stay. I have battled my heart, mind, and emotions much of my life. What I have found is that His presence changes my perspective immediately every. single. time. If I journey to sit in His love I win because of His victory achieved through Jesus on the Cross. It's the blood that screams love. It's the blood that screams freedom. And it's the blood that I must see myself covered by that brings about the most intimate, sacred love story ever known to man…

2 Corinthians 1:6

If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
James 1:2-4
Testing of Your Faith Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Timothy 6:11

Fight the Good Fight of Faith But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

Monday, May 27, 2013

trusting completely...

I've been jotting down for months various different truths that the Holy Spirit brings to my mind about the makings of a warrior. Here is an excerpt from a chapter I am currently working on for my book in regards to truly trusting God…

Once we believe we are righteous before God because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we will begin to behave righteously as a by-product. Apart from Christ no number of right actions will ever make us "right" with God.

God ever so precisely orders our footsteps. Despite our mistakes or our poor choices we are welcome at any point to return to the path He has laid before us. You see the road is narrow and wide is the gate that leads to destruction. Because of the narrowness of this road the journey gets bumpy and tight. To move forward on this pathway it is necessary to lighten our load. Meaning anything that would cause you to look back must be left behind so that you can continue. It will require laying down old habits & any ways that are not beneficial to your journey(Anger, control, gossip, bitterness, rage, doubt, unbelief). On this path it will require new thinking, a renewed mind, you will find it vital to be fueled directly by the scriptures which will quickly become your map.  You will be required to lean not on your own understanding but solely on God Himself. You will no longer look with your physical eyes but with eyes that see supernaturally. You discover this path is an adventure that not only challenges you but satisfies you in every way you ever thought possible. "You make known to me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy at your right hand pleasures for evermore." This satisfaction in Christ alone frees you up to love others without condition & helps you see from God's perspective instead of your own. Your journey was predestined before time began. God knew exactly when you would surrender and heed the call on your life to follow Him. He delights that you have chosen what is good in following Him. Don't hesitate to proceed on this pathway. So much greatness will come through the struggles. Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world. You my friend were created to not lay down without a fight. If you have chosen to read these words in this book then I believe they are for you. True freedom is here . Freedom to be all you have been created to be…a warrior

Sunday, May 12, 2013

pure enjoyment...

This is the place I've longed for. The ability to live my life one day at a time & fully embrace it. To enjoy my husband's company & the many facets that come with being a hands on mom. To not feel like I was laboring in vein when washing dishes, sweeping, or cooking but finding delight in being a woman who takes care of her husband, children, and home just like it speaks of in Proverbs 31:13 "and works with her hands in delight(willingly)." I don't guess I realized that the very habits that kept me idle & docile also robbed me of being rewarded with a quiet, gentle spirit. It wasn't that God was holding back but that I was standing in His way. His path for me is God-led not Katie led. As hard as we may try our way is built & thought up by our own human minds. The bible is clear that God's ways are higher than ours yet we still think we know best. It's quite obvious to me now that I don't. Not without staying close to His side. I have been a Christian since a small child & a fully committed to seeking Him since 2008 yet 2013 has finally been the year of complete surrender to everything. The year I found what "rest" meant.  I've battled my mind for much of my life. Never enjoying the now because I was always contemplating the future or wishing something was different instead of letting it be the way it was & simply praying with faith that God would change what needed changing. I'm finally enjoying letting life flow & following God where He leads. I'm enjoying cherishing my life as simple & boring at times as it may seem...I reflect back on this day & smile because I felt the tangible experience of being found excellent in God's eyes & worth more than jewels and He did it through my husband & sons...

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her [a]hands [b]in delight.
Proverbs 31:10-13

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

obedience requires surrender...

Who knew that finally obeying that sweet little whisper to step away from my biggest distraction (facebook) would be so monumental to my level of peace. Who knew what faith & trust would begin to be built in the first few days after making the commitment to obey what He asks of me. I've put this off for months now.What I have immediately begun to notice & experience is His overwhelming peace. The thought comes "Why in the world did you wait so long?" This is exactly what I needed but didn't see. A time of resting, healing, and strengthening. The time to experience His peace that surpasses all understanding. Phil. 4:7 in the NASB uses the word comprehension in place of understanding. I believe that accurately sums up how I would explain what is occurring. A plethora of old hurts have started to  surface and faithfully He is healing each one. I'm certain there will be much more to come. Boy, distractions really divert us from seeing what lay beneath the surface of our hearts. What I'm understanding is that trusting God is outside of my human understanding. Alone I am unable to fully trust Him but when I obey in faith and do things outside of my comfort zone He is quick & faithful to reward that obedience with His peace. A peace so immeasurable that I can't even comprehend it's depths nor its abundant supply to me when I trust God completely. What stepping away from something I enjoyed yet spent entirely too much time occupied with has discovered is opened eyes & heart to hear Him speak. It's allowed my mind & heart to rest in Him and not be entangled in the affairs of others. In resting & quieting my spirit I'm finding strength. Strength in knowing that God is my All & All, my best friend, the lover of my soul. How had I not experienced this before you may ask. I did to a certain degree but then I felt a holding pattern begin to form. I had reached a plateau in my encounter with God because my failure to love something by spending more time occupied with it, than my Creator proved it. No matter what excuse I may have offered, my heart revealed the truth with my actions & my time commitment to something other than Him. It's not the same for all of us but we all have something that may be standing in the way of a deeper relationship with God. For me it was time to quit pretending that I hadn't heard Him ask me to step away. It was time to kill what had demanded my attention for far too long. It was time to remove any & all distractions in the way of what God had waiting for me. TRUST is key. I know by August I will have so much more to glean back on. We serve a faithful God who loves His children. So much so that He won't compete with anything or anyone. I just encourage you to ask of yourself...Is there anything & I mean anything holding you back? What needs to be put in it's proper place so that you can SOAR to new heights in Christ???

This scripture especially jumped out at me tonight & I felt so loved by my Daddy God. That's what I've notice too in these last few days...His tangible expression of love towards me through the scriptures...I stand amazed because tonight & in the days to come I'm entrusting my soul to a FAITHFUL Creator by doing what He has asked of me.

 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.~1 Peter 4:19

Sunday, April 28, 2013


“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

I've loved that quote since I can remember. I've wanted to be little since the year I hit right over 5'11. I remember very vividly hitting 5'11 3/4 my sophomore year in high school. I know exactly how much because I father measured me on the wooden frame of our dining room french doors. I held onto that measurement because nothing in me wanted the taunting I was already receiving  for being so tall already. I was asked repeatedly by boys if I was 6'2 or 6'3 because in their  5'9 frame they desperately wanted to be 6 feet. I would learn that much later. Instead of embracing what made me different I allowed it along with other things to become what I would build as a wall of defense against the teasing. I've been fierce since I was a child. I remember being in trouble frequently for my mouth, God knows it was fierce, and my fiery little attitude. I was the middle child & only girl. I would say a tough fit between an older brother & the little brother who was just 16 months my Jr. I had no clue how to properly handle my fierceness so it was quite the problem for me growing up. I think even now at times that because of my height people assume I'm some form of fierce,  the word I hear most is intimidating. Can you imagine what that feels like? To have something about yourself stand out so much that it causes a variety of  words to be attached to your persona? Well, I think it's safe to say that every single word that was repeated to me as far as describing me I once allowed to become my identity. I remember loving as a young girl that my friends would come to me to "handle business" and to defend them with words. No body messed with my friends. I don't know that, that was ever me. I have a tender heart and care deeply about others and for years on end what they thought of me. I became whatever anyone needed me to be even if it meant intimidating because at least I was accepted or so I thought. 

Fast forward to my adulthood & this is what I've come to understand. Everyone has something to offer. We all have something that labeled us in our past that makes us feel less than. Thanks to God & His redeeming power I am able to embrace my height and refuse the labels that I once embraced as apart of who I was. I am not perfect but I am redeemed & that's enough for me & for you. Let's look at Jesus for a moment. You know the Savior of the world who hung around the sinners & tax collectors.(See Mark chapter 2) It all makes sense as a grown up to me. He didn't surround Himself with those who thought they were better than He was. No He sat right in the middle of brokenness & loved them. I think that's been a valuable lesson I've learned too. It doesn't represent Christianity well when we voluntarily keep hanging around with those who deliberately hurt us or tear us down. Have you ever noticed how accepting those are with little? They will share the last piece of bread with you. No questions asked. That's what I see Jesus doing. That's who I want to be & who I want to be around. He kept moving from town to town only keeping those close who as much as they could supported Him, defended Him and followed Him. 
Never let those who do not appreciate you, talk harshly about you, and pick out all the bad stuff stick around. My "fierce" hasn't left it's strong & active but now it looks a lot more like love than insecurity. I don't take defeat, stand up for what's right(I'm working on softening this), and cheer others on to victory in Christ. I choose to see the good & struggle when others sell themselves short of God's promises.

I may not be little...but I'm fierce!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sorry not sorry...joy!

Have you ever noticed that when someone is happy that there's always a negative Nancy hiding in the background ready to steal any form of joy there is to be had? I'm speaking of what I have watched become a very active part of life as freedom in Christ became the foundation in which I stood. It's apparent in social media, groups of people, churches, etc. It's not something I would blame entirely upon people but I would most definitely attribute it to a combination of satan & the wickedness of the flesh. I think what bothers me most is the journey I traveled through hell to find freedom. The process of working through my misinformed mind & way of thinking. The mountains of self-hate I conquered & the day after day effort to become what God asked me to be and still am. When He called me to live His way it included the daily pursuit of obedience & the desire for holiness. I took it as a personal command when He told me "Be holy for I am holy" . I actually love the entirety of 1 Peter 1:13-16 "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."Holiness isn't perfection & it isn't labeled by men. It's a pursuit to live after God's heart. It's a way of life. I haven't "arrived" by any means to being all God has called me to be but I've come a long way.

My prayers sometime include asking God "why?" and most times I'm left with very few answers as to why people want to steal joy, or discourage others, or for just plain meanness. But I'm reminded I was once that way too and still can be if I'm not seeking God consistently. I'm encouraged when I read that I am apart of the body of Christ that is cheered on by Heaven to let our light shine! You see it's the flesh that creates a jealousy when we see others standing out & shining. The enemy would love nothing more than to create false thoughts in our minds about those we see enjoying life with simplicity. I guess I'm finally on the enjoying side of life and I refuse to allow anyone to assign me judgement. I love pictures & love capturing myself & kids as often as possible. One day I'll be old & gray and I'll take a picture of my smiling face then too. I'll keep sharing joy everywhere I go and posting encouragement for all to see.You see when you look at someone & "assume" you know their heart without getting to really know them you sell yourself short, not the other way around. We serve the world & the Kingdom of God absolutely no purpose when we don't embrace life & truly live it. So think the next time you want to complain or murmur about someone that is being themselves. Instead of finding something about them that bothers you try staring back at yourself and finding a way to be done with the negativity and purpose to start to shine too. STOP being an active participant that focuses on labeling flaws that God sees as delightful. Here's to shining & being apart of the light in the darkness with a smile on my face. If that bothers you here's a prayer that God's brilliance rubs off on you & you soon start to shine too!

Thank you Father for showing me love and in doing so teaching me how love is done. Help me to always realign my thinking with Yours. Create in me a pure heart with pure motives and help me to be a beacon of light that spotlights the darkness so that others can find their way to You. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Redemption at it's finest...

Easter serves as the reminder that I wasn't good enough, worthy enough, or beautiful enough to make it back to God. It's the day I'm reminded that because of Jesus I am now, all of the above. Not on my on merit or by my own righteousness but because of Him! I stood in this mornings worship service & couldn't keep the tears from streaming(not that they don't frequently during worship) but this morning was different. Easter serves as a time of such deep reflection & thankfulness for me. That He is who He said He is. That because of Him all my ugliness is redeemed & made beautiful. I've felt waves of His love & peace wash over me today. Mostly because I feel very humbly thankful. I woke up made a big breakfast and when I was tempted to feel overwhelmed by the time crunch & the fact I was doing it all by myself, His victory gently reminded me to say "Thank you that I have this family & the ability to cook for them." Again at lunch something similar. I find it encouraging to live life aware of what knowing Him awards me. We have the mind of Christ therefore we can choose to love, think the best, be thankful, and enjoy what we have instead of the alternative murmuring & dissatisfaction. What I feel most today is the priceless gift we've been given on the Cross. I refuse to ever down play it's importance or glorify it into the Easter Bunny's day. When I sing the words "Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me." I will continue to probably get choked up because it's true. In all it's simplicity, I'm overwhelmed with a cup that overruns with His grace. The grace He so willingly offered for us all on the Cross & so valiantly displayed when He said "It is finished" Today is the 2,000th plus celebration of our redemption! Now that's something to shout, dance, and praise about!  Be blessed today!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

When God reveals your inner warrior...

What I'm about to share with you may click inside your spirit or completely weird you out. Either way I want to share of what has happened because it's been confirmed too many times to blow off as happenstance. A few weeks ago the Lord gave me a vision. It was me, I was reminded instantly of Katniss from the Hunger Games. I was standing in a off white dress. It was fitting but not tight so that it still identified my femininity, a gold belt accentuated my waist. I was immediately drawn to several things.

1.) I was muscular. It was obvious I was strong & agile. Able to defend myself easily from any outside attack  2.) My hair was down & rolled back, my head was adorned with a head band, I loved that. 3.) I was carrying a bow & arrow on my shoulder. It was my weapon & I was always aware of it's presence on my body 4.) I was looking around. I appeared to be on guard waiting for what mission I would be given next.

The picture was quick but my spirit hasn't stopped thinking about it for weeks now. I've shared it with close friends & had an interpretation but tonight after speaking to a friend via facebook I was confirmed again that the vision I saw was indeed from God. I don't feel like He was showing me so much what I physically looked like although my physical strength was emphasized. It was who I was to Him, in His eyes. It was who He saw when He looked upon me as His daughter. I believe this is how we should all begin to see ourselves as warriors ready for battle. 

Psalm 18:34 says "He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze." vs 39 goes on to say, "For Thou has girded me with strength for battle…" I want to accurately portray this so that you feel it too. I want you to see that we are living in times that require our diligent training so we will be fully prepared for whats to come. We must be girded with the TRUTH of the WORD. We must be solid about what the bible says and to be leaders to those around us. We must walk in love but never compromise what Jesus died for. God has asked of us holiness. 1 Peter 1:16 says "Be holy as I am holy." Friends we must take the assignment to endure & fight the good fight.(1 Timothy 6:12)
What I hope you feel inspired to do after reading this is to dig in to God. Seek Him out & let Him show you what it is He would have you do to prepare. 1 Corinthians 9:25 speaks of this training. "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." A crown that lasts forever!! Let us be strong, passionate, uncompromisable warriors! We are entering into a new season. Get excited & get prepared. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Consider this...

I'm going to post something that may not be the "popular" thing to hear or say but I was born with boldness coursing through my veins so I'm prepared for whatever persecution may follow.  I'm addressing what needs to be said at least what my spirit hears resounding loudly right now so here it goes. For far too long we've addressed stereotypical sins. We've put faces on them & in the process segregated those guilty, therefore kicking being Christ-like out the window with our actions. I wonder how many hearts we're guilty of causing to stumble because the way we acted didn't match what we were saying on Sunday's. I'm not here to say I support marriage equality because I believe exactly what the Bible says about marriage and that settles it. I don't have an "opinion" because I choose to follow what God has instructed as Truth. I don't have to lay out my beliefs for you to know where I stand because my guide for life isn't man made but Spirit breathed. I love God & I love ALL His creation. I don't get the privilege to pick & choose who is lovable or worthy to be judged because the plank in my eye is taking entirely much too long to get out. The religious spirit that rests upon some men may immediately take offense but newsflash if it's not done in love please step away from the podium. We aren't gonna win souls by slamming people to the ground and shaming them but you know what does attract others to Jesus? The undeniable feeling of acceptance when they feel completely undeserving, I've been there. God didn't come to me and remind me of all the horribly embarrassing decisions I had made. No, He came to offer me new life & that became my mission from that moment on. To introduce people to a God that was as strong as He was tender. His very presence in my life commanded I deal severely with my choices & make changes. It wasn't a man who did it. Only God has that kind of power, to change the heart of a man. Thank you Jesus for the sacrifice that made reconciliation possible.
You want to know where we've gone terribly wrong? By not addressing the multiple brazen sins secretly being committed & many done in public arrogantly then exploited all over America as normal. By sitting idly by while our children go fatherless because of divorce & accepting it as part of life. God hates divorce. That's a pretty strong word yet it's exactly what's said in Malachi 2:16. While we're pointing out sin let's address fornication before marriage, lying, and pride. All strongly addressed in the scriptures as things that God detests or hates. 
The list is endless & it's birthed in our own desires which lead to sin. While we're busy building cases against the specific sins that make us uncomfortable why don't we address all sin which means then we'll address the fall of man and maybe just maybe we can deal with the issue of the heart. It's the heart of men that conjure up imaginations big enough to explore way past what's safe or healthy in any of our lives. It's men who allow sin to run rampant in their lives & it's sin that has become categorized by it's severity. Not by God but by you guessed it, man. We want to talk about homosexuality like it's the only sin spoken so harshly of in the Bible. How about we address adultery & how it rips apart families every day, or better yet let's talk about gluttony which is just as frowned upon in God's eyes. 
What I'm trying to say is look at the whole picture. Not just the parts that you don't agree with because you think it's "wrong". We as a nation need to address the root of ALL our sin & then, maybe then we'll have revival in the heart of men. I pray that hearts are awakened not to what's up for decision in the Supreme Court but what sin are you allowing in your everyday life. What's your backyard look like? Stop for 5 seconds & realize just because you don't agree with someones lifestyle doesn't mean you have to argue hatefully with them and just because you love someone that does things you don't agree with doesn't mean you "support" what they choose to do with their own lives. 
I pray that God makes us all sick with our sin and that from that compassion is birthed for others. I pray that the desire to pray & love others begins to far outweigh the need to be right or feel justified and this goes for everyone who picks & chooses whats right or wrong without first consulting God & His Holy Word…

2 Corinthians 5:14-21

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one [a]according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ [b]according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [c]he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and [d]He has [e]committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Monday, March 25, 2013

God wants His daughters back...

This blog comes from deep within my heart. Not for the purpose of shaming anyone or to put them down. I just want to address this because it's the "new" tone being pushed amongst today's women. It's what we are teaching our daughters & what we ourselves are participating in on a daily basis most times without second thought of how destructive a cycle it may be. At some point in the your life, if you are like me, you have thought something negative about yourself. Maybe it's thoughts about your self image, abilities, or worth. Perhaps the thought you could be sexier, have better clothes, or the newest goodies from Sephora. Frankly, I have a wish list that keeps growing because I don't have the time nor the finances to purchase my wants without going into major debt.(We have 4 boys to raise!) The truth is I'm a wife, a mother, a full time nurse, and heavily involved in women's ministry. I think too much about what I look like, dress like, and often times measure myself up to the fit chick standing next to me in the grocery isle(being fit isn't bad, me measuring myself up to her then feeling like a failure is). I let my mind drift & wonder to places God never intended for it to go. The bible is clear about what God says about us being "fearfully & wonderfully made" it also goes on to say that our soul knows it full well. So what I want to remind us all is that we are enough & deep within us lay our God-given DNA that marks us as His creation. God sets the standard & I for one want to rise up to meet His not the thousand around me commanding my attention. We set ourselves up for failure & feelings of inadequacy every time we try to conform to becoming copies of the women in magazines or the beauties in Hollywood. Because guess what? No one can meet them all completely without losing a part of who they really are. Be strong. Be You. Be smart. Be wise. But please do it for His glory. Don't be apart for one more second of the self-destructive decisions being pushed by money hungry companies who will exploit innocent women in the name of "beauty". 

When we live in a constant state of want, it forces our minds away from what really matters. When I focus solely on how I look or what I want I am looking at myself and that my friends is selfish. I'm guilty. Guilty of wanting then sabotaging myself with thoughts of failure. That seems to be the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches us. We are up to our eyeballs in self absorption. An amazing truth at the end of the day is that your worth does NOT come from a set of six pack abs, a Louis Vuitton purse, or a beamer in your driveway. You are more than the shallow things this world has manipulatively disguised as desirable. I'm sick to death of "wanting". I want to be so busy giving to others that I have no time to want. I'm not saying getting new things, working out, or shopping is all together bad but when it is the drive & focus of the majority of our lives, it begins to serve as a distraction. Beauty is fleeting ladies. We have limited years that what we look like is valuable according to the world's standards. You want to know what I desire? I long for God to know me by name. I cling to promises like this one in 1 Corinthians 8:3 and I long to lead women in this pursuit first & foremost before anything else in their lives.

I want it to be clear what it means to be His. To be known by God. We must be willing to put priorities in our life. It's vital to keep God first. To follow Him in our journey as a wife, a mother, a friend, and a employee. To be keenly aware of how we present ourselves to the lost & dying world. To be held accountable for the way we dress, behave, and speak. 

"But flee from these things, you (wo)man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness."~1 Timothy 6:11 

You may feel that this is overboard but I'm here to prove to you it's the sure path to a life of peace & soaring high above our circumstances. We aren't perfect but that's no excuse to not follow what He's given us in the scriptures as a pathway for life. Do you know how much He loves you? How much He longs to be intimately acquainted with you & to fulfill all of your needs. The hole that remains in your life will be open until it is filled with Him. I can promise you there is no real, lasting satisfaction apart from Him. He desperately wants to show you how wonderful He truly is. I believe ultimately He wants His daughters back. He wants to claim you back from the adulteress world that serves to only make you more unhappy & miserable. There isn't an amount of attention from men from your sexiness, or beauty that could give you value & love the way God can. He is the author of love. He created you. He knows what makes you tick & what will fill you to overflow. He knows things about you that you don't even know about yourself yet! Come back to your first Love. To the One who longs to spend a little time with you & has nothing but your best in mind. It's a narrow road, few will follow. But it leads to life...a decision you won't soon regret!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Your King comes to you...

Today marks the beginning of what most call Holy Week. I believe it's a great time to reflect on what Jesus did for us. How grave the sacrifice. How seriously He took fulfilling His purpose according to the Father's will. I'm taken aback when I think about His arrival on the back of a donkey into Jerusalem. It is marked in the Bible as a triumphal entry. The people praised Him & sang Hosanna in the Highest! They believed He was there to become their King. The King of the Jews! What they missed was that He didn't come to be their earthly King but to join us all back together with God, to be our Heavenly King. What they didn't understand was that God has a plan that far outweighs what our human minds can wrap around. He sent His Son-the perfect lamb to bear the entire weight of humanity's sin & all they could think about is what they would gain from His arrival. The moment He rode in on the back of a donkey was the beginning of what Jesus already knew was His end on this earth. He knew that the very ones who praised Him would turn on Him when they realized He wasn't there to fulfill the purpose they so desired. What makes me even sadder is that I've been that person too. When things didn't work out the way I expected I questioned God's love for me. When unexpected hardships came & God didn't answer the way I prayed I've gotten a little jaded about His perfect will in my life. We've all had our part at some point in praising God when it's good but turning away when it's not what we anticipated. Lord, forgive us. 

For me the most powerful of all the scriptures is Mark 14:32-38, while Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane. I imagine what it looked like for Him to be very distressed and troubled. Frankly, it makes me sick. Jesus says His soul was deeply grieved to the point of death and requested His disciples(those closest to Him) to stay by His side and keep watch. I imagine what it must of felt like to know what horror He would experience by way of the Cross. Luke records it like this  "And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:44 NASB). Think of how horrific He must have felt to literally sweat blood. Then to come from praying multiple times to check on your friends just to find each time they repeatedly fell asleep. Never realizing what was to come, He wanted them to pray & warned them to wake up! To be on guard least they be tempted.  I imagine Him falling to His knees, in prayer to His Father, alone. With no support, forced to face this alone, just He & God. Friends, Jesus was God in flesh. He felt emotion just like we do so that He could identify with every bit of the reality of what we face in this life. With that being said I believe He was scared. He knew what was coming & He even prayed Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me.~Mark 14:36 A heart-felt, fervent appeal to His beloved Father. And just like the obedient son He was Jesus immediately, no matter how distressing the situation, guaranteed His obedience. This has served as such a reminder over the years for me. That obedience, if done the way Jesus did, is accomplished by choosing God's way over our own. Not because of our comforts but because of our devotion to God. To His will, His power, His glory. So today I encourage you to look deeply into the story leading up to the Crucifixion of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Learn what exactly He walked through. Find out who Jesus was & discover now who He is in your life. We were on His mind when He went to the Cross. He knew His blood was required to give us our inheritance. We didn't deserve it but He did it anyway. That's worth praising God about when all else seems to have gone wrong. He carried the weight of my sin, your sin and did it from a heart that desired to please His Father more than to satisfy His flesh...let this be said of us too.

With thoughts of Him,
Katie Ramirez

32 They *came to a place named Gethsemane; and He *said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” 33 And He *took with Him Peter and [a]James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. 34 And He *said to them, My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might [b]pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He *came and *found them sleeping, and *said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”~Mark 14:32-38