Saturday, January 26, 2013

the call to fast...

FAST (fast), (fast'-ing) (tsum; `innah nephesh, "afflict soul or self," i.e. practice self-denial; (from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

but I [a]discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.~ 1 Corinthians 9:27(NasB)

I've been feeling the Holy Spirit gently call me to fast for some time now. I finally listened this past week & it's been nothing short of wonderful. I know what you're thinking. Wonderful? Yes, I say that because this fast has been unlike any I've done. I chose liquids only from the time I woke up until I was off work. I didn't want this particular fast to affect my family or my ability to cook and enjoy dinner with them. NOT that one can not do that victoriously. I just felt drawn to the way I did it. I didn't get all "religious" about what I was drinking but only allowed myself one cup of coffee in the morning & juice or water the rest of the day. Many choose the Daniel Fast which consists of no meats, no sweets, no breads & is based on the fast Daniel did in the Bible for 21 days, see link for details. My friend Justin Hampton over at Understanding Fasting practices a pretty routine lifestyle of fasting. He has written very interesting articles related to fasting & I have a deep respect for his knowledge & wisdom. He has truly inspired me to really seek God about fasting & to value its benefits!

Let me now share with you about what I've learned this week. My fast took place Monday through part of Friday. I woke up in my usual mode of sit down do my devotional & read a few scriptures. It was as awesome as usual because spending time with Him is the highlight of my day. Honestly this week I felt on a spiritual high. I was not tempted to eat but a few times although I did experience normal hunger pangs that was just an indication for me to pray or a reminder to talk to God about the things I had set out to accomplish through this fast. The reason I say this time was the most successful yet is that my Spirit was hungry for God & not food. I found my inner man cheering myself on to be obedient & it seriously felt like an accomplishment for me. I in no way am saying I chose not to eat for a contest but what I am saying is that for once I was able to confidently put my flesh in check. Without fighting it (discipline). My flesh obeyed what my Spirit was desiring by way of seeking God through scripture, prayer, and worship. throughout my time fasting I felt expressively several things being shown to me.

First, I chose to write out John 15 & James 1 which are the chapters being discussed at Coffee & Jesus this morning(actually). I like doing that because it helps me to soak in what I'm reading & slow down long enough to really meditate and think about what I'm reading opposed to rushing through and not giving God time to speak to me. I originally had planned on talking about what I thought these scriptures entailed, all of which they do, but this week He was able to speak something totally different that I did not expect. Second, I could really hear Him telling me to parent my children. To not live life by them but with them. I put my phone aside(big distraction for me), spent minimal time on social media and let my 4 year old cook with me several nights. I played cars, we pretended to cook in his room, and was able to lay around and just talk with my teenage boys. I found that being without food I was able to hear clearly & it humbled me a lot! Third, I was shown my dependence on food for comfort, boredom, etc. I am thankful that I now realize I do not need an abundance of food. But to eat when hungry & eat healthy food to give me energy. God is always speaking but often times we can be so focused on scheduled meals, busyness, and the chaos of life that we don't hear Him when He speaks. I felt championed to be an all around better servant, mother, wife, friend, etc. I enjoyed spending my lunch time reading the scriptures & sometimes just simply resting in His love for me. 

Fasting was used routinely by people in Bible. Some for a time of mourning, some for inner , strengthening, and others for a response from the Lord about a decision or obstacle they were facing. 
I love this John Piper quote in his book titled "When I Don't Desire God" 

The point of fasting is to express longing for Christ and all that God is for us in Him. Fasting is the hungry handmaid of prayer. Like prayer she both reveals and remedies. She reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us— or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God. And she remedies by intensifying the earnestness of our prayer and saying with our whole body what prayer says with the heart: I long to be satisfied in God alone!

We ultimately should practice fasting as a way to stay intimately connected with God. So that we hear Him speak even when He whispers. I long to talk to Him & hear Him speak back. It not only delights me and brings refreshing but it positions me to walk out His will for my life. Ultimately I've lived long enough doing it my way & this beautiful gift of fasting has opened my heart & mind to the unlimited possibilities of my God to direct my footsteps! I pray you will consider fasting even if all you do is read more about it in the links I posted.

Multiple verses about fasting {click here}

It's with my whole heart that I pray you receive what I've shared today. Unlock this gift, you will not be let down. It isn't easy nor was it designed to be. This is an opportunity to discipline your body & make it your slave instead of being a slave to it any longer!

Blessings in Him

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fab Five Friday...

1) This week I am grateful for:
Deep, soul connections with Jesus-lovin friends that encourage me to keep speaking & being bold for Christ!
2) This week I enjoyed:

I just enjoyed living in general. Taking life in one breath at a time. Watching my kids grow & learn new things makes me proud to the core, I don't think I ever thought I would feel such a sense of purpose through them like I do.
 3) This week I learned:
That to be a voice for God isn't easy but my calling.
4) This week I accomplished:
Enduring joyously. Continuing on in life's race to the finish line...Sprinting towards Jesus!
Sorry, I realize that I should be saying physical stuff but I honestly had a quiet week. I won't complain though.
5) I am looking forward to:
Seeing one of my best friends Kendell. I heart her.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

the lies of depression exposed...

I'll begin by saying I hadn't given this subject much thought. I, on occasion, get discouraged but have not suffered severely from depression. Wait, who am I kidding?! I lived many years in my early adulthood focusing on things I could not control. I often would think of the past with longing to go back if only for a moment to change things. I, many times after a fight with a loved one would think until it made me sick. I would focus on how unhappy I was to the point of you guessed it "depression". I believe one of the many reasons depression has so tight a grip on this world is the natural fleshly response to want more, envy others, or just plain ol self-pity. The typical "Woe is me" trip, why me kinda thing. What I've found I'll discuss now. I pray that it is received in love. That my hearts cry for anyone battling this would be evident...

What Depression is:
A distortion of reality
Rooted deeply in self-pity(the other spectrum of pride)
The focus on the unknown & uncontrollable
The inability to fully surrender our trust to God
The inability to see & believe the love God so lavishly pours
out on His children.
Paralyzing to all of it's recipients(you have to willingly receive it).
Completely opposite & contrary to the written Word of God.

What Depression is NOT:
an assignment on your life
a part of God's plan for His children
something you have to life with

Now let me prove everything I've just said with scripture. You see everything in life is to be viewed in light of scripture. The bible says in Hebrew 4:12 that it divides all the way to the division between soul & spirit. That's powerful & deep. We MUST read the Word & make it our reality! It will free us from any bondage including depression!
Ok, you may be thinking but HOW?! Follow me for a moment!

"The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly."~John 10:10
I don't know about you but I am certain that depression is NOT apart of an abundant life. No Sir, No Mam it is NOT nor will ever be!

" Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."~Philippians 4:8
This my friends is a prescription from the Chief Physician for a depression free life! If it ain't good, refuse to think or give it thought! Think on things that are good!! I remember one of my sons battling nightmares & the fear of them prior to falling asleep. We would focus on lovely things & at that age it was toys, cupcakes, Jesus and the like. Write down thoughts that are centered around the words in this scripture. I can bet if you focus on those things your countenance will rise!

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.~Romans 8:6
Let me type this to where it makes the most sense in reference to our topic today. Flesh in the Hebrew means human frailties, imperfections,etc. You get the point. Death means to cease to exist.
With that being said let me put Romans 8:6 in perspective. 

The mind set on our human frailties or imperfections is the extinction of my life.
Wow! Did you get that? The bible says if I choose to focus & dwell or in other words "set" my mind on my failures, life's unfairness, the woulda, coulda, shoulda's then I will indeed stop living. Honey, you don't have to be without a heart beat to stop living! You only have to focus your mind on yourself!

But let's look at the rest of this scripture...
But the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace! Praise the Lord that's what I'm talking about! 
If we focus on God, His holy Word, and His precious Son then we will really learn to live & have peace.
Isn't that incredible? That the God of all creation has provided us a way to life & to do it abundantly!

Beloved, God purposed & designed life in such an intricate way that you can go through the toughest parts & come out stronger. That you could wake up each day & rejoice! Let me leave you with this...

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.~3 John 1:2
He wishes ABOVE ALL THINGS that we prosper!

Blessings & Prayers in Him!
Katie Ramirez

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

the journey to becoming fearless...

…and she shall rejoice in the time to come.(KJV)

What does it mean to be clothed with strength & dignity so much so that you can laugh, rejoice, smile, and be confident about the future? 
The Matthew Henry Commentary says "she enjoys firmness and constancy of mind, has the spirit to bear up under the many crosses and disappointments which even the wise & virtuous must expect to meet in this world. Strength and dignity is her clothing, for defense as well as decency. She deals honorably with all, and she has the pleasure of doing so, and shall "rejoice in the days to come."

The word rejoice in the KJV is the Hebrew word sachaq meaning to laugh in contempt or to laugh without fear of a thing or person. I love that. What I'm learning from this scripture is that strength & dignity is found in Christ alone. In trusting Him completely for my future.
This virtuous woman talked about in Proverbs 31

She knows that trials will come but she abides closely to her Father.

She knows life isn't always easy.

She has no idea what the future holds but can laugh because she knows
to whom she belongs.

She can have joy everyday despite her circumstances because the joy of the Lord

She is unmoved by the news on the t.v. & can laugh because she knows her God is greater

She is prepared to handle anything that comes her way because she seeks God daily.

She is truly fearless because with God leading her way there is NOthing to fear.

Charm is deceptive but beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

She is bold enough to laugh at the enemy because her future is secure in Christ. There is no need to fear anything or anyone but the Lord. She understands that the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of her knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) She is aware that His perfect love cast out fear & she is perfected in His love. Fear ceases to exist when we are fully open & exposed to the love of Abba(daddy) God. He loves so purely & so perfectly that any negative emotion must be acknowledged and dealt with. He lovingly exposes the error of our thinking and the fear that seemed so powerful, in the light of His Truth, turns to dust & blows away. Not because we didn't truly experience it but because it was properly exposed for what it was. Today I pray that you allow His perfect love to cast out anything that doesn't belong. To rid yourself of anything that is hindering you from walking in all that He purposed for you!

Blessings, Katie

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fab Five Friday...

It's Friday yo & Fab Five Friday is here!

1) This week I am grateful for:

Sooo much to be thankful for this week. God has been so everpresent & tangible! He has answered prayers & provided provision in more ways than one! The truck I've been praying for, for my oldest son who will turn 16 in August was pretty much laid in my lap & bought for an extremely affordable amount in our budget!

2) This week I enjoyed:
 Writting heartfelt notes that I mailed to some pretty special people in my life! It feels amazing to utilize my love language of encouragement! Also I enjoyed spending time disecting the Word. I absolutely love my NASB with Greek/Hebrew dictionary. Reading the word in light of its orginal meaning is out of this world amazing! The Word is so powerful!
3) This week I learned:
More about grace & it's importance in raising my sons. I must set firm boundaries but love relentlessly like Jesus in my directing & correcting them! Grieves me to think I would give them any less. Love my boys to pieces & have so much desire to help them love JESUS!
4) This week I accomplished:
Resting in God's goodness & moving forward to becoming FEARLESS
5) I am looking forward to:
Coffee & Jesus tomorrow morning!
 I am so excited to share precious moments & to grow in Christ with these women. I have so much vision for us all! Excited to have newbies join us tomorrow too! I also get to see my Gia(My daddy's mom) & Aunts tomorrow. Looking forward to just spending some time with them!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


The dreaded R word...RESPECT! It's a must but boy does it seem impossible to give sometimes particularly to our husbands that need it the most. Not sure why God made men that way but the scriptures are pretty clear when we read in Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." My life was changed drastically when I begin to take honoring & respecting my husband to heart. I met resistance & even faced times where I felt I like giving up. I'm so glad I didn't. There are still days that I fail but it's become so much easier seeing my man as the precious soul he is to God. May I love & respect him and may I do it well in the eyes of my Father to whom it matters. I would encourage you all to take this to heart as well. Who knows it just well may save your marriage & change your life! I know it did mine...

Go read my sweet Falen's journey about respect. She is not just witty, smart, and adorable but passionate, real, and serious about her love for her Savior. I affectionately call her my Penelope because the first time I met her was at a Coffee & Jesus meeting. She was particulary quiet which I later learned was completely out of character for her. She sat down & I noticed her Starbucks cup had Penelope written on it. I then assumed that was her name & proceeded to tell her how cool that name was. What followed was the immediate desire to be her friend! Needless to say she's become a confidant & a valued friend in my life... Go here & check out her journey to respecting her husband! I look forward to seeing how God honors her obedience. I know without a doubt that it's gonna be good!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I chose fearless for my word for 2013 a week ago. In that time the Lord has shown me how important being humble is in conquering fear. I believe there will be more to come about being fearless & I'll share them in the future. Today I wanted to share what's been weighing on my heart about humility. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as the act of being humble. What humility is: down to earth, lowliness, meekness. What humility is not: arrogance, conceit, pridefulness, etc. What I have found is there is much to learn about humility. I'm learning that humility as a Christian looks just like Jesus. Humility doesn't need attention or the lime-light. It thrives most in the background. Humility comes before the Lord & bows before His presence. It doesn't demand it's own way but thrives in God's way. You see possessing humility in my opinion opens the gates to forgiveness, to being fearless, and walking victoriously. Humility is not being offended. It's choosing to love in the face of hate. Not because we are perfect & our feelings are invincible but because we CHOOSE Jesus. The Bible is so clear in Micah 6:8 to walk humbly. What I've come to understand is unless I choose to walk humbly I will not be able to walk in obedience, love, and forgiveness. Therefore I will be defeated, never getting anywhere but where I started. 

Jesus made Himself of no reputation & ultimately was obedient unto death. Not because He wanted to but because He loved the Father and desired to fulfill His will & for us! Let us be this way too. Let us choose God's way laid out in the scriptures. He gave it to us so we would live lives that glorified Him despite of the bumps in the road. That He could use us to reflect Him in our actions, to reach out to others once we understood the importance of walking in humility which is fueled by developing wisdom & grace.

I love Ephesians 3:18-20 "And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." I believe God will move in the life of His children with humble hearts & quickly. He will lift us up in due time if we keep a humble servants heart because we most accurately reflect His Son when we do.

His love makes it possible to walk with humility. To be humble, to forgive, to have joy. It wasn't until I completely surrendered to Him & began to turn to Him in prayer. Often times crying out in despair that He showed me a better way & revealed it to me in the scriptures and in my spirit. Some may say wow, you really take this following scripture serious. I'm here to tell you it works. Listening to what God wanted in my life transformed my life forever. I am not perfect but I see victory. I don't waller around in self-pity anymore. Nor do I toss around the idea of depression or insecurity. Not because of anything I did but because of HIM! This is available to anyone who will turn to Christ for their every need! How exciting!

Let me throw a disclaimer in please. This is all possible in Christ. It will not happen over night but day after day as you choose to walk humbly with God things that you battle will become easier as you choose to do it His way instead of your own. We are all a work in progress & being molded by God. I am here to encourage you to keep pursuing Him even when it's hard. Because pearls only form through a process of irritation. Don't settle for anything less than God's best and never forsake the process it takes to get you there!

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Psalms 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Psalms 149: 4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. 

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

James 4:10 Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fab Five Friday

Hey there! Thought I would try out this Fab Five Friday being that Falen of Upward Not Inward is one of my most fabulous friends, so here it goes!

This week I'm thankful for:  Divine appointments which have been coming daily--so amazing what the Holy Spirit will reveal to you when you are listening. Never be ashamed or hesitate to reach out to those around you...especially when you have been directed to do so by the man above!

This week I enjoyed: Finishing up my 10 day vacation & time with my boys!

This week I learned: The beginnings of what it really takes to be FEARLESS (My word for 2013)...step one~humility. Coming soon to my blog!

This week I accomplished: Putting up the Christmas decorations & restoring my house to pre-holiday status! What a job lol!

I am looking forward to: Tomorrow...Lincoln's 4th birthday party at Chick-fil-a. He is so excited. Also my 14 year old son-Drew is having a boys night to better aquaint his cousin(who lives out of town) with his friends. Bonus I get to see my little brother!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fearless 2013...

Well let me start out by saying I thought "TRUTH" was my word for 2013. I even had a great understanding of how I would implement "TRUTH" into every day of 2013. But it didn't feel like it fit completely. I woke up this morning before anyone else to have time with God to pray & seek God about my word. What followed hasn't happened since shortly after my father died. With pen in hand, an expectant heart and the cry of my heart to hear from God, He began to speak, here is what He said

                                              Hemmed In
I go before you wherever you go. You need not ever worry about my care for you. I hem you in from every side. I am behind as well as beside you at all time. Call to me in those moments of fear, I'm right there & I'll answer you faithfully every single time. My love for you reaches to the Heavens. It is everlasting and unending. You are my child, whom I dearly love. Fear has & never will be apart of who I AM. My path for you is one of consistent victory. Always beside you every step of the way. Rest in me my child. I will never lead you astray. Never let yourself forget how immense the love I have for my children is. Precious. Precious child…you are MINE now & for an eternity.

That was the first of my confirmations. The second was a daily email I receive from Adrain Rogers ministry. The title was believe it or not "A New Year Without Fear" I smiled. Then logged onto Instagram & Lecrae a musician I follow had a picture that said "Please do not feed the Fears in 2013" What the heck?! All within a 30 minute period! I rarely wait for confirmation but at this point it was so obvious I couldn't deny what I knew to be true about what my 2013 word would be…FEARLESS.

I am pretty much a bold, strong, fearless person. I rarely back down from something I am passionate about. But since my father's passing fear has slowly but surely crept in. It isn't always obvious to me until I hear of someone dying, getting sick, or tragedy. I'm not real sure why fear has attempted to make it's home in me other than the fact my father's life ended abruptly & it threw me for a loop. I also believe I would be lying if I didn't confess that because I fasted, prayed like crazy, and other things I expected God to move on my behalf. What I think I learned was that God is sovereign. He is good in the face of tragedy. His ways are not my ways. His thoughts not my thoughts. He loves in a way so much deeper than I can understand & although my father did not receive his earthly healing, he did receive complete healing the moment he entered heaven. I tend to want to control whats next. What I quickly learned through that experience is I can't. In 2013 I want to become fearless in the face of adversity, tragedy, loss. I want to know that despite what I see with my eyes that God is for me. That no matter what may come His grace is enough. I will conquer this in 2013. I will become more acquainted with the Word in this area & my Savior too. The opposite of fear is love. So really what I need is a deeper revelation of His love. We all do.

I think Paul said it best in Ephesians 3:16-20

" I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

"Perfect love cast out all fear"~1 John 4:18

I am confident that with God I can accomplish all things. I also believe that being fearless is having fears but not being afraid to face them. To stand in the face of fear & know that if God be for me who can be against me! So I'm reporting ahead of time that I am indeed FEARLESS in Christ Jesus.