Coloring in the Lines

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Thanks to Senjuti Kundu for sharing their work on Unsplash.

 

 

I should provide a disclaimer to this post. It is going to be raw, and it honestly started with a text message to my friend today, its on my heart, and so I am sharing.

We all have fears in our lives. We wake up doing the things we do, and go to bed doing the things we do to either face them or avoid them. We either talk about them, or we keep them deep hidden in the soul. Either way, fears are real, and they are real from childhood, to a traumatic event as an adult…

Here is where it is hard to put words, and my friend was gracious when I confessed what I shared this morning, because I wanted her to be the first to hear it, she deserved to hear it from me.

I used to play with a black girl that lived next door to my grandmother in Camden, New Jersey, We would drink our juice boxes and grandma would let us both have orange jello in these glass goblets, and we laughed and played and were normal kids.

I remember one evening on the Fourth of July, that I was with my parents walking in a crowd of people walking to see the fireworks. To the right we passed a white man and a black man, they were arguing. The white man had a silver boom box and I watched as the black man took a bat to the white man’s boom box. We kept walking, but it stung my sight, and developed a perception that looking back I understand, but I wish young me did not experience that night.

When I was in middle school, I was bullied by a black girl, and I don’t really remember why,  but I was also bullied by white girls too

In high school, I was thrown into my locker by a black boy, and he kissed me sticking his tongue in my mouth, but white boys did horrible things to me too…

When I was in Savannah, Georgia before I moved there, my friend and I decided to go to church, she was white like me, but when I walked in I saw we were the only white people there. I tried my best to ignore that, and so did my friend, and we tried really hard to just be there and try to enjoy the worship and the message.

I remember when the preacher shouted loudly how, “ The black children need to rise up over the white...” and my friend and I realized there were many eyes on us, and we got up and left, but though that was my experience I have also had white people slam a door in my face at a Christian conference, because they were jealous and would say mean things about me behind my back, and I have also had white Christians make me feel less than, make me feel like there something wrong with me, make me feel like I was not accepted for just being me…

After all the experiences I have had, I will not lie, I was afraid of knowing black people, I was used to feeling the way I did with white people, but after those eyes were on me in that church that day, I just felt like there was no way that I would fit in, no way I would be accepted, no way they would treat me with decency…….Maybe they were always going to be waiting carrying a bat.

But then I met my friend Jessica, and she was black.

I actually met her through interaction with Beth Moore online over Twitter. We had been discussing something similar, and she replied to us. We started chatting realizing we lived pretty close to one another, and we read our blog posts back and forth and then one day we just met up at a Starbucks in Winter Park, Florida.

All the fears I had about knowing black people went away in knowing Jessica. She is the kindest, most gentle and loving soul you could ever meet. I remember when I received my AA degree on the drive home I received a text from her that said, “ Because no matter what, you don’t give in. You persevere. That’s incredible to me.”
I have never noticed that we have different color skin from after the moment I met her. We have gone to conferences together, she was actually part of my church for awhile before she moved, we have done breakfasts, lunches, dinners, seen movies and plays together….she is one of my favorite people on the planet.

She has taught me what kindness really looks like, she has taught me to let people be genuinely who they are on inside and out

God healed my fears through Jessica, not just my fear of black people but fear of all people.

I will stand for all black people and I will stand for all white people, because we really are all sisters and brothers, and yes, there are evil people out there, but they are also black and white, and I shared my story today, because you might have one too, I share mine, because unless we speak up…

Nothing will change.

Say their names…..George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery…

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When you do not feel you are enough

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I wonder what everything has been like for you lately.  I wonder what you thought when you first woke up and realized it was morning.  I wonder what your day consumed of whether it was spending time with your family because of “stay at home,” orders, or if you were working from home, maybe you are a student, or if you are one of the “essential,” workers who are constantly changing gloves, sanitizing your workspaces, and adjusting your masks to be sure you were safe from the invisible virus.

No matter where you are right now, I want you to know, that you have value.

You are enough. Right now, Right this moment.

Some days you may wake up and realize the same routine is starting to overwhelm you, you might be a parent who is homeschooling your child and you feel that palpitations of a migraine begin while trying to remember vocabulary words, and math problems.  “Imaginary numbers? I don’t have a clue what they are anymore.” 

But to your child, you are enough, to your child through their tantrums of wanting to just stop school and play video games, they are glad you are there, to the depth of them they miss their teachers, but someone is teaching them.  They are not ungrateful.

You are enough. Right now, Right this moment. Your children and their teachers are glad you are there.

You could be someone who was laid off work because your position was removed for a time, or maybe the entire company itself has shut down, and you sit home and think, of “what ifs.”

You are doing just fine where you are, you did not choose the wrong position, this is an event in the entire world, and you may not see it now, but your work ethic will increase, your knowledge of what you were not sure you knew before will surprise you, whether you go back to the same position or you choose another, you will find a part of you will fit just fine whatever the case.

You are enough. Right now, Right this moment. You have value to add to any position just being who you already are, you possess what is needed for the future going forward.

You could be that person working from home. You may have dogs barking, babies crying, neighbors yelling etc.  You do your best to bring the same dedication to your job as you do while you are working inside the building. You find there are changes day after day to implement due to the CDC regulations, and you adapt, even if it is frustrating, you know that your company needs you right now, you are keeping people all across the country connected in some way.

You are enough. Right now, Right this moment. You are not just a number.

To the High School Senior, you have spent several hours late at night studying to have the GPA that would help get into the best schools, you may be dual enrolled and would be walking for both high school and college…You wanted to go to Prom, to Grad night, you wanted to travel at this time to check out the colleges that gave you offers…but instead you are home with your family, you are able to finish school online, but the joy of the moments you have waited for have been halted or cancelled because of Covid-19.

You are enough. You might feel like you are not seen right now, and that if you talk about how upset you are that you would seem entitled, but you are entitled to have what you should have had in this time and it is unfair that this virus as costed you so much…

But know you are seen, and if you speak you will be heard. You are struggling to make sense of the past few months as we all are…Thank you for being you and working so hard to go after your dreams. Don’t stop dreaming.

Finally, you could be an “ essential worker,” and you leave for work everyday and come home every night wondering if you did, “ enough,” to keep yourself, your co-workers, your patients, customers, and your family safe from the virus.  Some of you do not even see your family because you come home so late and leave so early or cannot sleep in the same room. Some of you are there on the “front lines,” face to face with the virus itself around you. You watch people fight for their lives, you are the substitute family member holding their hands, and you might even be that person that has to make the “tough,” phone call to the family.

You are enough. You are so enough. Right this moment, in this time and history, you are giving to others in a way they cannot help themselves, you are saving lives as the numbers grow…

I once watched a documentary, “ A Poor Man Shames Us All,” and it talked about a tombstone that could only be moved if “ 100 people gave the same power as one, the same mindset as one…”

To all of us, no matter where we are, who we are, and what we are doing in this time…this is our moment for which we have been created (Esther 4:14), this is our moment to do what we have never done so we can look towards a future we cannot see, but believe with all we have that ….it is there waiting for us.

Thank you for all you are doing right now.

 

 

Thank you to unsubsplash.com for image by photographerImage by Kelli McClintock

For those Lost and those Found

daniel-jensen-UDleHDOhBZ8-unsplashImage by Daniel Jensen

I never actually read through, “ A Tale of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens, but it could be that the first paragraph of the entirety of the book struck me so deep:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

My friends, we are currently living a tale of two groups of people, and the above quotations can largely describe what we are all feeling like as a nation.

There is a lot of anxiety and fear right now, there is a lot of people that are afraid of the virus and anxious from being out of work that they will not know how to provide for their family.

There is a lot of hopelessness too, and people who just cannot see how if there is a God why He would allow something so horrible into our lives and uproot us fully from everyday life.

There is a blame game of the origin of where the virus began, and also blaming politicians in every nation for not doing, “ more,” to keep it from spreading.

Fear is mostly the culprit in all of this though, because store shelves are not just empty locally but all over the world there are shortages of items that people just hoarded and some of it has no real necessity at the very present moment.

We laugh at memes, we watch news stories, we mock people who do this or did that…

But fear is the real deal, and we should really stop and just check on people daily or weekly, our families, are friends and our neighbors.  Everyone is going through some sense of fear right now, does not matter who you are and does not matter what you believe….it is real, and we are all feeling it.

We do need to further discuss what are healthy and unhealthy fears though, because there is a difference.

Healthy Fears:

I am someone with a history of pneumonia more than once in the last 5 years, and I have asthmatic allergies that can easily bring that on if I do not take an allergy pill daily, but even more so, I have a mother with Crohn’s disease, who I have seen go through more than several surgeries in her entire lifetime, and once with Mrsa that left her in the hospital for a good few months and we almost lost her.  When she goes to the hospital they place her in the cancer wing, because she cannot take any chances of infection happening to her body.

Which is why if she receives the coronavirus it would be really difficult for her recovery.

In this healthy fear though, we just do what we need to do to keep us safe.

I am working from home, I stay indoors, and I have chosen not to see my mother right now, or my friends that need to be away from people because they have other health issues, because I have been working call center and have been around other people that I am not sure whether or not they could have been carrying it, and where I live right now has more “presumptive,” cases then the entire county, and so it is wise to be inside and use precaution as now it is necessary.

People have said, “ I will not let this virus run my life,” but honestly, not everyone has that choice, and we can make a choice to protect other people just by letting our daily routines change for awhile.

Unhealthy fears:

This is also a time that people will be preyed on to create unhealthy fears, and I would say the media is a great example.  It is a virus, we are not living in bomb shelters, and a hurricane is not coming straight for us.  The parks, beaches, Disney etc, they were not closed because you can get the virus from sitting on a piece of grass, they were closed, because people do not know how to stay far enough away and not cough or sneeze on others, and apparently many do not know how to wash hands properly and let us not get started on people who do not know how to use a toilet property…It is the sad truth.

Again, I work in a call center, and I already know that once you hear someone cough, then what ever the virus is at the current moment will travel through the air, it is what happens when you work closely with people, or are too close to people who are sick.

Putting both of these fears aside I want to speak a little more on what I have observed as I have paid attention to people all over the world, and it is not something I know for fact, but is something I have often thought of through the course of watching this virus consume different parts of the world…

Personally, I believe according to my own faith that this is God’s judgement on our world, we can agree or disagree, but it is my belief.

When Donald Trump took office it revealed some deep rooted things in the hearts of the people everywhere, but especially in America.  I am not talking about because he as a person became the president, but the reaction and the response from people since that moment.

I was raised to respect authority, my grandfather would not let me have something unless I said, “ Thank you, May I, or Please?” My parents used to tell me that when I went out into the world I was a reflection of them, at the time I did not really understand that, but now I realize it meant that I am to be in the world who I have been taught to be at home. (No home is perfect, but there are morals and values that are good that all of us have been taught at some point.)

I was taught to stay quiet when adults around me were having a conversation unless it was important.  I was taught to respect people of all cultures and races, I was taught to have respect for the elderly and listen to their stories of the wars, and where they came from…

I am not saying by any means that our president is a stellar example of character, but I am saying if my grandfather was alive today he would say he may not agree with the man, but he would shake his hand because he was the president.

When I think of the authority over our nation right now I think back to the book of Daniel, and how because he honored the Lord so much that even though he was under the King of Babylon as  prisoner he still showed honor to him too, not because he agreed with him, but because he trusted in God, and God wants us to give honor and respect to all authority.

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;

wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons;

he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise

and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things;

he knows what lies in darkness,

and light dwells with him.

I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:

You have given me wisdom and power,

you have made known to me what we asked of you,

you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

(Daniel 2:21-23)

King Neb (I can never spell his name, so we are nicknaming him), had a dream and asked for magicians and astrologers to interpret it, but they could not.  Daniel was able to interpret the dream because the Lord revealed it to him.  King Neb, fell down in front Daniel and worshipped him.

Daniel became honorary to the king and lived many years in the palace through king after king.

God does things to help his people rise up, He did not interpret Neb’s dream for the benefit of the king but for Daniel and the Jews.

It is possible that the church was never meant to be a building for worshippers that already know God, but possibly a place for those to go who do not, but want to know there is somewhere to find hope. As Christians, we are to rise up, and not waver under the fears that surround us all right now, we need to be strong for those who really are scared, and really cannot see hope from where they are.  We need to speak encouragement to people who have lost things during this time, jobs and graduations, ceremonies and other events that are not happening because of the quarantines.

People all over the world who are in quarantine are having time to sit and open their Bible for the first time, to listen to messages online, and people are praying who have never before.

We want them to keep reading, we want them to keep listening and we want them to keep praying.

“ If my people who are called by name, would humble themselves and pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I would hear from heaven and I will heal their land.”

(2 Chr 7:14)

God is talking to those who already BELIEVE in the verse above. Yes, he is mainly talking to the Israelites, but  He is calling US to humble ourselves, to pray, and seek HIS face MORE than we have in the past, He is calling US to turn from the ways we have allowed the world to influence us and PRESS IN, and from our example, we will then be able to teach others around us how to do the same.

Whenever God gives judgement He will also bring about grace through it.We will get through this TOGETHER, as long we all stay together.

Words from the Heart

andrew-deslauriers-oUPywYZT88Y-unsplashImage by Andrew DesLauriers

 

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

tim-marshall-H9K0fOYlFVA-unsplashImage by Tim Marshall

 

 

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

LSOF: The Language of Love

We speak out on unfairness, We speak out on cruelty, We speak out on “freedom of speech” breached, We speak out on our beliefs, morals, values…We speak out against what we don’t agree with…

How often to do we speak of fairness, How often to we speak of kindess, How often do we remember that we are still standing on free soil, How often do we just share our beliefs, morals and values with respect to the stranger standing next to us…How often do we just let the silence speak louder than the noise around us?

We know what we should say, but how often do we? How often do we speak in the same language as the grace that redeemed us?

I know I’ve been guilty of this just as we all have.

My church statement this year is, “ Real love revolution,” — I think its time to look at what that means to my own heart, what it means to all of us.

Real love to me is about knowing where a person came from, but not seeing them like they still live there…

Real love to me is recognizing the heart of the person in front of you, and not their appearance…

Real love to me is having a conversation with someone who completely disagrees with everything you believe in, but still trying out a flavor of Starbucks they recommend, or a movie they told you they liked.

Speaking the language of love sometimes does not take as much as we claim it does….So what stops us?

I think what happens is that we get wrapped up in structuring our day from beginning to end that we forget there are other people. We forget everyone comes with a different culture and background.

When a widow only has two pennies, you can’t exactly expect her to have three…right?

I remember when I was in elementary school and I thought all families were Catholic, because I was never told otherwise.

Love is not blind, y’all…it goes beyond labels, it goes beyond new stories, it goes beyond song lyrics, television shows, and even what we think we know…Love is still love, even when we forget it exists .

You can’t force fairness, you can’t force kindness, You can’t force beliefs, morals or values to someone who doesn’t have the same, You can’t force someone to agree with you when you don’t agree with them…

And if we could do that…we would be communist socialists.

We forget that one day we might not be allowed to share religion at all, We forget that there are bigger evils that exist in the world then what we place value as important, we forget that this life we live now is a privilege given by God himself, and He can take it all away in an instant.

I think its time that we change the language of love we’ve known to be side by side by the One that created it in the first place.

Put the stone down, and write on it on how Jesus showed how much He loved you.

LSOF: Speaking Grace To The Mountain

One thing I know about life is it tries to set us up for failure. It tries to make us feel like we are not capable, not able, and not wise enough to overcome. But it is a lie.

It’s up to us whether we are going to choose to believe it, or receive what is the truth.

We were created for a purpose. Who we are, and everything we will do in life was built up into the plan God has for us. Sometimes though we miss the right road, and we have to find our way back through detours.

I have a habit of driving down the highway on my phone and missing my exit because I am too enthralled in a conversation to realize that I’m missing the planned destination.

The enemy likes to start with distraction.  He knows that if he can distract us, then he can slowly but surely turn ordinary situations and events that happen into huge mountains.

We can get distracted easily because when things are going so great in our lives we become blinded that there are tests. We forget that in the truth of what we have been taught that there will be trials.

What I have learned is that its more important to remember the power God has above what the enemy has done.

“What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel  you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” (Zechariah 4:7)

This is how we need to answer to the mountains in our lives.

I know you are asking me, “ How would I begin to respond that way?”

I’m going to share with you how to speak GRACE to the mountain.

Reading the scripture above talks about a mountain that was stated would become level ground, but what we need to do is APPLY the same concept to our lives.

Grace helps us apply into our lives what we are reading.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly, I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. (Mark 11:22-23, NIV)

Do you believe that God can take down the mountains in your life?

I read some of Habakkuk as I was studying this concept, and what I want to focus in on is not just speaking grace to the mountain, but what the power of grace will do to our mountains through our belief.

I want to visualize these two different translations of Habbukuk 3:6.

He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed.  His ways are eternal. (Habakkuk 3:6, NIV)

He STOOD, and SHOOK the earth, He LOOKED, and made the nations TREMBLE, The ancient mountains CRUMBLED and age-old hills COLLAPSED. His WAYS are eternal.

He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.(Habakkuk 3:6, KJV)

He STOOD and MEASURED(also means to shake), He BEHELD and drove asunder the nations, and the everlasting mountains were SCATTERED, the perpetual hills did BOW; His WAYS are everlasting.

I love the KJV version most, because look what it says about the mountains, that they were EVERLASTING…and yet, God scattered them, or in Hebrew context it read He BROKE them, and the PERPETUAL hills which meant, “ never changing or to end.” they BOWED to Him.

” The mountains saw thee and they trembled ,the overflowing of the water passed by the deep uttered his voice(thunder) and lifted his hands on high.”(Habakkuk 3:10, KJV)

I love to visualize the mountains trembling when they SAW God.

So what can we believe about our mountains currently in our own lives?

Could we maybe just believe that grace can overpower them over them overcoming us?

Speak grace believing of its power by BELIEVING what the Word says, and those times of trials you will remember what happened to the last mountain.

He SCATTERED them, He made them TREMBLE(writhe in pain), He made them CRUMBLE, and COLLAPSE before Him.

Let Him do the same for your own mountain.

Believe Him for it!

Blessings and Love,

Angie

 

 

 

 

 

LSOF: Grace

Hello everyone 🙂

It is my joy to come back to blogworld and share with you the amazing experiences that I have had since my absence here.

I first just want to say that sometimes we need to step away from the public eye as we are in a season of teaching, and while I can honestly tell you that I am still very much in that season…
I can finally share it with you.

This is just really an introductory post, because there is so much I’ve learned that I have to take time to break it down.

Grace is beautiful. If there is anything I could tell you to introduce what I’ve received most this season, I would definitely have to say I’ve experienced grace. There is this disconnect inside us that exists. We take in everything the world tells us about God, and we read scripture and maybe even memorize it…BUT it is so much more than that.

As the next few weeks towards Christmas come close, I am going to share with you about grace.
I am going to share the most important aspects of it, that most overlook, that most don’t realize is so crucial to our everyday lives.
I am going to share about speaking grace to our mountains, and I’m going to end the few weeks sharing a message that very much changed my entire perspective on my faith completely.

My focus this Christmas is to give more grace then any present that could be placed under a tree, and for the first time in my life, I am having a hard time thinking of buying any gifts this year,

I more so than anything…just want to let the people in my life know how important they are to me.

Grace motivates us to live the way we are supposed to…simple, and without expectation.

Give grace, it is a gift that keeps on giving 🙂

LSOF: Healed, but still wounds remain

I remember when I got in my first car accident. I was 17 yrs old and it was the summer of 67 counties in Florida covered by wildfires. When it rained the visibility was only about 100 ft. It was crazy. I was leaving from my job and driving a new Mazda RX7 1983 that my dad bought me. It had more power than I knew what to do with or control.

I stopped at the sign. I looked left and right before putting my foot on the gas. I stepped on the gas hard, and immediately the car started to spin. I was scared and I could not regain control.

I saw the truck coming, and he wasn’t stopping. I felt the impact.

I felt my car door open. An old man was standing there asking if I was ok. He helped me out of my car and into his home and sat me down on the recliner. My neck felt numb, my entire body didn’t have feeling.

I knew I had been in a car accident. That is all.

The guy whose truck I hit was pacing back and forth in the kitchen, grumbling.

I asked, ” Should I call somebody?” and  taking the phone I couldn’t remember my parents number. I remembered finally a few minutes before the ambulance got there.

The old man and his wife didn’t leave my side. They stayed to make sure I was ok.

The ambulance came. I was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital so they could see the damage done to my neck. My neck ended up being okay, but  I had a bruise that went all the way down my leg.

I was wounded, but eventually the bruises too went away.

I’m sharing this story with you, because I realized something profound to my heart yesterday out of

Psalm 147:3. 

” He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” 

I read it over and over. It spoke volumes to me.

Think about it friends—- He HEALS the brokenhearted first, and then binds up their wounds.

I think I’ve always looked at the word ” Heal” as something that happens completely, but according to what we read in this verse, its a two step process.

The old man from my accident wanted to make sure I was ok. He stayed with me, and he and his wife calmed me down and helped me remember where I was, and my phone number so I could call my parents.

I believe that is the first part of Psalm 147:3 ” He HEALS the brokenhearted.” —– He makes sure we are okay, He stays at our side and watches how we react to the things happening around us, and He calms us down so we can remember who we are and to go about our day. But its not at this time that we are healed completely of our wounds. You can’t help someone whose unconscious with their wounds until you know they are breathing, and alive. I think God works the same way in the way He brings healing.

I also looked up ” Heal” in the Greek and it means, ” To still.”  He keeps us at peace.

The second part of Psalm 147:3 says, ” He binds up their wounds.” 

Can you think back to anything you have dealt with for a long time in your life and you woke up one day and suddenly it was no longer part of your world, it no longer had affect on your life.

That’s what I mean. Once we are at peace with what we deal with then God can work on it and repair what is truly broken.

The process is sometimes not easy for us. While He may be fixing one wound we might be dealing with needing healing from something else.

But its about how we react to everything ultimately.

Psalm 38:11

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.

I saw this verse the other day, and I really thought about it.

I didn’t understand why with so much going on in my life how the people that were supposed to be closest to me started to dwindle away the worse things became.

But what I realized through everything. People don’t understand our wounds, because they can’t understand their own. We have to let them know the blessings, the positives that come out of what we are going through. As weird as it may sound, people look for encouragement through our pain, they look to us to respond in a way that would help them deal with their situations.

James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work to that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.

In my current season of healing it feels like things are finally changing course. Now its about getting focused again, and focused on all the things that are set above.

LSOF: Storms and the brokenhearted

I have this habit of trying to avoid storms, and I try to leave just right before one hits my area.  The other day as I pulled away from my house the lightening bolts seemed to be hitting only a few feet from my car.  But I managed to drive away and left the dark ominous sky in my rearview mirror.

In life we definitely encounter myriads of storms.  I have been caught up in one for two months now with a several different events that have tried to shake me a good few times. It has been a lot.

People have had this tendency during this time to tell me how I can be ” victorious,” and that ” He will deliver me and my family through this,” or ” Imagine the strength that is building in you right now,” and also ” Well, maybe I can just encourage you through this.”…

And while they all have been kind and meant well, that sometimes we just have to stop and think of the deeper message in all of this, and only a message that God could give…

Sometimes its not about finding victory in our times of grief, sometimes its just that we have to keep going through it in order to come out of it. Simply that.

I mean let’s face it, there is no magic that could keep a real storm from coming, and there is no magic way to make it pass any faster than it came…its just how it is.

It’s God’s timing. We just have to know that He knows the purpose.

I had a friend say to me that she is tired of sharing about what she is going through, because the people around her make her feel like she is just a “drama queen.” 

Folks, I gotta tell you sometimes we are just inundated with so much that its seems like some of it could be exaggerated. But it IS possible to have so much going on that it overwhelms people around us at the same time. And it overwhelms them…

Because only God is God.

Words will carry weight when needed but when we don’t know what to say we have to be careful what we do say. We have to be careful that if what we speak that we also believe. Don’t let your words come through empty, or just don’t speak at all.

I’ve had a lot of people love me through some real recent events, but the best were those who would tell me:

” Quit with the cliches of how you think you are suppose to be, and tell me how you really feel.” And they listened, and they were just empathetic.

We all want to love well.  We also all want to make people feel better where they are in their current situation.

But sometimes its just our place to love well, and let the people around us go through what they need to.

Sometimes we just need to watch them cry, sometimes they need to know that we see it.

It’s what Jesus would do. It’s our ultimate goal in this life to become like Him.

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives 
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor 
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, 
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.