Words from the Heart

1. Speaking Truth in times of Adversity

My friend Cristina was giving her daughter a bath one day and said, ” Paige, put your whole head underwater.”  Her daughter did just that, and when she came back up she replied, ” Ya know what I was saying to myself mom, when I was under?…”Fear is a Liar, fear is a liar, fear is a liar.”

It reminded me of the example we have in Jesus when He was in the wilderness. The enemy tried to tempt Him into sin, but failed. Each time the enemy would try to tell Jesus to do something to disobey the Lord, and try to ruin His credibility, Jesus would speak up against him.

” If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” The devil said to Jesus, and He replies back, ” It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 3:4)

The devil tried a second time:

” If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, For it is written: ” He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” It easy to picture Jesus speaking very firmly, ” It is also written: ” Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 3:6-7)

If we look back up at the second time the devil tried to tempt Jesus it is interesting to point out that he spoke the Word of God to Jesus. The only difference was he was out to deceive, and it was spoken out of context.

The devil tried once more to tempt Jesus taking him to overlook everything from a mountain:

” All this I will give you, he said, ” If you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus then said to him sternly, ” Away from me satan! For it is written: ” Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”  And the devil left him. (Matthew 3:8-11)

2. It’s about what is in the heart

Jesus was able to resist the enemy, because He knew the Word, and He knew it exactly as it was written when He spoke it out. He WAS the Word afterall.

“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Jesus had the word in His heart, therefore that is what He was able to speak.

” I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

As we see with the devil, what was in his heart spoke of evil intention, but we have to be careful with the words we speak too.

Fear is so easy to speak into existence with our lips. We hide our deepest insecurities in our hearts.

I can think of Moses for example when the Lord called him to speak to the Israelites, and he was more concerned with the fear of what he would sound like then what the Lord was about to do. He went as far as saying, ” Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13) This was after the Lord told him exactly what he would need to do for the people to listen to him. We then see that the Lord has Aaron speak for Moses to the Israelites. (Exodus 4:14-15) We know the rest of the story, Moses was the one that helped the Lord to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, but it was interesting how he tried to talk God out of it from the beginning to choose someone else. Thankfully, God knew his heart and what plan he had for him.

3. We also have times when our words lead us into sin unintentionally, maybe its best to say our words can tempt us.

During the Last Supper, Jesus sat the disciples down, and at point He says to them, ” This very night you will all fall on account of me, for it is written: ” I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” (Matthew 26:31)

Peter than decides to speak up, ” Even if I fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Jesus answers, ” This very night before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.”

Peter speaks up again with his human certainty, ” Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”  (Matthew 26:35)

Never and Always they say is the worst two words you can use in any conversation where one is making a promise.

Let’s go back to when the devil was tempting Jesus, the part that we did not read at the very beginning was, ” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2)

Jesus was led by the Spirit, and He had been prepared because He had fasted, though he was hungry, fasting prepares us for the Lord to use us, it provides an empty vessel in which we can be filled.

After the Last Supper, Jesus tells the disciples to get on their knees and pray so that they would not fall into temptation. The disciples kept falling asleep instead. (Luke 22:40-46)

I see though that perhaps there is a parallel to what Jesus did to resist temptation in the wilderness, and was trying to help the disciples with the same direction. Though they failed, and we know Peter does end up denying Jesus three times before the cock crowed. Again, we know Jesus knew his heart and the what the plan was for his life.

Jesus did not fear the devil when He was in the wilderness, because He was secure in who He was. He warned the disciples what would happen, and instead of being prepared, they fell back into their old ways. The disciples could not resist fear, because they did not pray, and did not know the words to speak to themselves in authority that would help them be more confident. Jesus said in His prayer, ” I did what you have sent me on earth to do. I completed it.” From there, He knew the disciples were on their own until the Holy Spirit would come.

4. Words we say are important to our victory:

I was driving one day and had been dealing with something where I just felt pretty defeated, and I heard the voice of negativity say, ” You will never get through this.”

And I heard it, and I answered back,” You are wrong, because I am an overcomer, and with Jesus I can overcome anything.”

We have to change the words we speak aloud if we want to see a different result. We have to speak words that will encourage ourselves and others and that will help us move our feet to make a difference, to help us have victory over our trials.

And we need people in our lives that will speak to the identity of Christ in us when we forget, when we just need to be reminded who we are.

I loved this little piece Jesus said to the disciples, ” You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” ( Luke 22:28)

The bottom line is in times we feel we are pushed against the wall, it is very important to how we speak to the things we are facing.

Let’s be more like a child like five year old Paige and remember the words we need to declare in times of trials…

” Fear is a Liar, “

Surrounded

I remember the night of the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes I was texting my friend Cara while her and her family were somewhere safe from the storm.

She had no clue what was happening at her home, and one of the texts I remember I sent said, ” God is going to use this.”

Cara and her husband went to see what their home looked like the next day, but there was not a home. Destruction surrounded her. She went from each part of the house now rubble on the ground.

In the middle of all of it, through the tears, God gave her hope that they would be okay; She picked up a picture off the ground of her with her husband and two children still in a frame. A few days later, they were reunited with their dog that they thought was gone was found in a crumpled pick up truck that was laying on its side.

It is so easy to feel hopeless through our circumstances. It is easy to feel victim to what we go through. It is easy to isolate ourselves from the world and just exist.

But there is always hope.

I know many in Florida Panhandle are feeling what Cara did the day after the storm.

A reporter named “Ginger” from ABC news had tears in her eyes as she described the destruction happening in front of her as a house was removed off its foundation.

People for miles are going to come home and see for the first time what is left of the walls that held so many memories they had with their families.

They too, will find it hard to see hope in the middle of it all, but I pray that God would show them there is indeed hope, that God will use it all for good, that He will use the broken pieces to shape them, and to help them to rebuild their lives.

That they would know through their pain, that God surrounds them with His love and that they will know He is there.

There is a song I listened to a few weeks ago that I cannot get off my heart, It is called, ” Surrounded,” by UpperRoom. The lyrics are, ” I may feel like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by you.”…”This is how I fight my battles…”

While I listened, God led me to Zechariah 2:5, ” For I, says the Lord, will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.”

The enemy will try to keep us from seeing hope, and try to deter us from seeing that God is still God and that He still has a plan for us.

This verse above though, ” I will be a wall of FIRE all around her.” This means that regardless of what we go through that God sees it, and He will see us through it. He will help us through our trials, and where we cannot handle with what we are dealing with, that He can, and He will be our strength. It is HE that surrounds us in our time of trials.

“It is when you saw only one set of footprints that I carried you.” (Footprints Poem)

I decided to open my Complete Jewish Study Bible to see what Zechariah 2:5 said in that translation, and it simply says,

” I will be for her a wall of fire SURROUNDING her; and I will be the glory within her.”

We can acknowledge this truth in reading any of the great wall of faith heroes from the Old Testament, David for example, God delivered the enemies surrounding him into his hands many times, or take it from those who were in the surrounded in a fiery furnace that did not burn no matter how high the heat.

We just have to hold on to hope when things get tough, even if it seems unbearable, still always hope, it is in the times we feel at a loss or have lost everything that it is important to realize it is a stepping stone for a foundation that cannot be shaken.

Blessings,

Angie

The Breaking Point

Everything has a point where it can no longer stand some type of force that it finally breaks…

Glass will break above 60 pounds of force. Steel is tougher and can withstand up to 40,000 pounds of force, and the bones in our body can actually withstand more than steel taking on up to 4,000 newtons of force to break the femur for just an example.

Psychology would say that our breaking point would come after dealing with tension and stress until the strain of it is more than we are able to handle.

The last post I wrote I shared about the work out, and how much I endured to reach some personal goals.  I woke up 6:15am four or five times a week and met my friend up at the gym. I was excited to look in the mirror and see the inches dwindle away on my hips, face and legs. I was eating properly, and I became pretty comfortable with sweating and then going home and making my full protein and carb breakfast. It came to a point where people were asking my advice on how I lost so much weight and how I was able to work out so often…and I would give them advice, but it was mostly, ” Just kick your own butt on the elliptical for at least 30 minutes and then get into working out with the weights..”

Little did I know, my daily routine was about to change…

I went on vacation to the Georgia mountains with family. It felt so good to be able to know I had the muscles to do hiking and anything strenuous. Even tubing and hitting the rocks in the rapids was not too big of an issue, I knew I could handle it.

Later one evening, I was getting ready for bed, and decided to walk across the loft to tell my mom something who was in kitchen downstairs. I took one step across, and had forgotten that there was step going down into the loft and I fell. I don’t remember much about how I landed but that I was on my left side and I was in excruciating amount of pain. I managed to get to my bed, and saw my left foot was swelling and started to resemble a mushroom. We did not have ice inside the cabin as there was only well water, so I managed the pain with aspirin and told my family that it was pointless to find an ER this high up in mountains so I would wait until we returned to Florida. (Yes, I know I sound insane, but I knew I could make myself endure until I got to my doctor.)

As we drove home, so many thoughts went through my mind, but mostly I wondered how I would be able to keep up with the workouts if I was unable to walk, and also how could I search for my new home if I could only hobble in and out of places.

The next day it was confirmed with the X-ray, I had broken my metatarsal bones in four places and would need surgery. September 11th, I had the surgery, and have now been in bed 15 days only able to go to restroom or to doctor. I am not able to go to work, and not able to even get to church because not elevating my foot will make it swell horribly.

I have not been able to exercise now for a month, and recovery fully I was told will take 12 weeks.

I want to share that it is extremely easy to be discouraged, it is extremely easy to eat junk food all day and act like it doesn’t matter anyway, it is easy to feel bad for myself that this had fully ruined my future plans….and I have had these thoughts.

I was praying to the Lord in all of this though, believe me, He heard the whining, but something was pressed upon my heart one day that I believe came from Him.

” Stop placing your faith in the unseen and place your faith in the One who can see it for you.”

I sat back and thought about it. Everyone has had their thoughts on how long my recovery will be. Everyone has told me their own stories, one person stating I would be good after two weeks….and all it did was discourage me.

If we put faith in the timeline that has not happened yet, of course we will be discouraged, it leaves room for doubt, it leaves room for failures, it leaves room to bring ourselves down so much that we lose our passions, and our goals.

But if we place our faith in God, and His plan and His promises then that discouragement will not take root and turn to bitterness, that doubt will not take root and turn into unbelief, that feeling of failing will not take root and turn into loss of identity, and if we place our faith in God’s plan, our passion and goals will only grow because we become expectant and we become secure in knowing God knows exactly what should happen and needs to happen.

I cannot say I am thrilled at the idea of being stuck in bed, but I do know God knew it would happen, and I will rest and I will take care of my broken bone so it heals properly, and I will keep myself occupied with Bible study; I have a few that have come in the mail; Reading novels, writing letters to friends, watching movies, and I even bought Sega Genesis so I knew how to play video games.

But the bottom line here, it is just important to stay focused, there is a goal here, and there are goals beyond that after I recover. It is just a minor setback but God knows exactly how it all will work out perfectly. We all have a breaking point, but it is up to us if we break.

” Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, you make my lot secure, the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (Psalm 16: 5-6)

Blessings,

Angie

The Workout

I got up on Saturday and decided that I would finally get the bike out of the shed, it was nearly 95 degrees, but I had a goal, it would be the day after all the tough working out that I would finally attempt to ride a bike again.

After riding about almost two miles, I came to a hill. It was a hill I did dread, because it was pretty steep, and I was not sure I would be able to make it.

As I peddled, I slowly made it up the hill, I felt the top of my thighs to the sides of my knees burn, my muscles were tired, but I had a goal.

I had to make it up that hill, because after that hill, I knew it was down hill, and the ride would be easier, and less resistance….I did make it, and I did ride easier the rest of the way.

Up until that morning, I had done walking outside, I had done running on the elliptical machines, and I had done weight training, I had eaten the foods I needed to, for the most part, let’s just say I learned how to balance what I was eating.  I did all of that for some personal goals, but getting on that bike, I thought as I rode it, how each muscle needs a different workout in order to endure further…and that kept me going, I wanted those leg muscles to become stronger, I wanted to endure further the next time….

The seasons of our lives, and different things that happen in our lives…sometimes we wonder if we will ever get past the tough moments, sometimes we wonder if there is any point of purpose to any of it, something we wonder if God even really sees us from where He is…we become so discouraged, because we can only see what we can see from where we are at that point and time….

But have you ever also experienced coming out of those tough times feeling stronger? Have you ever been able to look back and even see where God was in it all?

Psalm 139 itself, it a beautiful passage of scripture that so helps envision that we are not on this earth to wander aimlessly…

“You have SEARCHED me, and you KNOW me…You KNOW when I SIT and when I RISE….You PERCEIVE  my THOUGHTS from afar…You DISCERN my Going out and my lying down…Before a word is on my tongue, YOU KNOW IT COMPLETELY….You hem me in– behind and before….you have LAID YOUR HAND upon me….Such knowledge is too WONDERFUL for me, to LOFTY for me to attain….WHERE CAN I GO FROM YOUR SPIRIT?…WHERE CAN I FLEE FROM YOUR PRESENCE?…(Psalm 139:1-7)

And at the very end of the Psalm as David continues the declarations of He KNOWS God is always there for him and with him…He ends saying,

” SEARCH ME, O God, and KNOW MY HEART…TEST ME, and KNOW my anxious thoughts…See if there is ANY offensive way in me, and LEAD ME in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

David knows here that God REALLY knew him, and He is absolutely ready to take whatever it is about himself that God reveals he needs to work out…

David started his life working as a Shephard and before he ever had a crown on his head, he went through SO many trials….

Hear this friends, You will see that if you endure through whatever you go through, that God will honor that, because to endure is to be obedient, to endure is to understand that we all are to be disciplined, and that regardless of where our emotions can come and go believing…We WILL be STRONGER at the finish!

Blessings!

Angie

Piece by Piece

I will be honest with you, I wanted to get in my comfy pajamas and Netflix some “Scandal,” episodes, as that seems to be my next binge-watching experience, but instead, here I am.

I want to say that many things have happened over the course of the past few months, some of it almost unbearable, but obviously, I lived to tell about it.

I wanted my first real post here to talk about “The Process,” of how God does things, not what He has done, but His way of how it came to be.

I can really only describe this process personally as a mosaic piece of art that intricately the hand of God places where He wants each piece to fit perfectly.

We find Jesus in Luke 22:31, ” Peter, Satan has demanded that he be allowed to sift you like wheat.” and he goes on to add in vs 32, ” But I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail, and when you return that you would strengthen your brothers.”

The beauty of what we can easily miss here is there was “Purpose,” in Peter being allowed to be sifted like wheat, Peter was allowed to be shaken up a bit, and often when we look at this passage of scripture, it does not seem fair.

The purpose is this…We have to be shaken, so that there will be nothing that can shake us.

God has to know He can trust us to remain steady when life happens.

Just like the mosaic, God put Peter back together in grace. Peter started the church, and Jesus was the rock He stood on, and because that was his foundation, He remained steady too.

I want to go back to, Luke 22:32 for a moment.

” And when you return, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus already knew who Peter would become, Jesus already knew that He would have influence, and Jesus already knew the attitude Peter would have before the sifting and how that would change later.

God does not steady us so we can be content living our life, He steadies us to help others in their lives. We learn to be strong so we can help others to do the same.

“ God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works;  I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”  (Psalm 18:20:24, The Message)

This is for you, and me and all of us 😊

It’s okay to follow rules.
It’s okay to keep your morals and values.
Its okay to believe in what you do and who you are.
It’s okay to dream.
It’s okay to pray for even small things.
It’s okay to have things that matter to you personally, even if no one else sees it in the same way.
It’s okay to have your own thoughts, feelings and way of life.
It’s okay to have faith, it’s okay to stand strong when the world tries to break you down.
And it’s okay at the end of everyday to become more of who you want to be.
Sing loud, dance like crazy, Spend time watching old movies, Take a walk and enjoy the sun above…

But love the imperfect you…
beautifully broken you,
that Jesus died for so you could be transformed into the person and have the life that is truly more than you could have ever imagine for yourself. ❤️