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,