A prayer for my sisters

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all just how amazing you all are.

I know that I can get wrapped up in feeling inadequate and beat up, a lot.

You are beautiful, you are purposely made, this world is only temporary and we serve a higher calling. It’s hard, it’s messy and it can feel like we’re spinning in place at times. The ideas of giving up, running away or hiding in a dark corner can all seem quite attractive.

You are not alone. God loves you, I love you. I  thankful for each of you and couldn’t imagine walking this walk without you.

Be kind to yourself, be patient, rest in Jesus when you feel like you can’t possibly go on. Sometimes we need to just be still and let the busy world fade. We are powerful in Christ.

Our roles are really hard at times, we coordinate, cook, clean, love, carry, teach, give and give and give. Allow the Holy Spirit to give to you.

We are exactly where we are meant to be. There are no accidents in God’s plan.

I pray you all have a day blessed beyond belief. I pray that we all trust and rest in our Lord in all things. I pray that we bring our stress, doubts and pains before Him and let Him work in those places. I pray that you are all lifted up by these words. I pray for healing, peace and strength for you all. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

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I’m sorry, how much??

Today I want to share a part of my journey in Jesus with you, but let’s start with a prayer to prepare our hearts.

Father, we come before You this morning with open hearts, hoping for You to do a work in us. You know us better than we know ourselves and You know right where we are, this very moment. You love us more than we will ever understand and desire for greater things in this life. I pray that we keep our eyes on You in all things. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

I have been walking with Jesus for some time now and have learned so much, He has turned this life upside down and made me realize that I am now actually right side up. Do you understand what I mean by that? Can you relate to that feeling of a new start, a new chance, a view of love and grace that you never even knew possible? As I began my walk in Christ, I was able to look back at my life and see His hand on me. I could see that those impossible situations that nearly took my life were those moments when God came down and saved me. He had a plan for me. He has a plan for every singe person on this planet.

In the beginning I attended a church that opened my eyes to the Lord, but ended up not being a great fit for me and my family. As I was looking for a church home, I was told about my current church and it took me a long time to learn to trust them. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for them to judge me and tell me I didn’t belong, but it never happened. The more I shared, the more I realized that these people were just like me. We all struggle, we are all lost and we have battles we are facing each day. This realization was a large driving force behind this blog. Let’s share and be transparent before one another. Let’s encourage those struggling with the same things Jesus has worked through in us.

This brings me to the topic of tithing. Can I tell you what a struggle tithing has been over the years? As a single mom, there was no way I could tithe, I told myself. As a newly weds we didn’t have the funds to pay our bills on time, never mind give up 10% right off the bat. We had all the right reasons to not give. We were serving in the church, our time mattered. We would give sporadically throughout the year and it would come close to 10% at the end of the year, or by tax time. Giving larger chunks here and there was easier.

I am a bit of a dork and absolutely love spreadsheets. I use them to track and figure everything, including our family budget, I have done so for years. We have about a year ahead mapped out at any given time. As God was putting this tithing thing on my heart, I would try a few different approaches, but was never giving on a regular basis. It was still a line item that was able to be moved, decreased and taken out all together if something came up. This went on for years. The cycle of conviction, feeling guilty, arguing with God over the numbers not adding up. My husband and I are not selfish people, we love to give to others and we want to please the Lord in all things. Our hearts desired to please Him, our flesh was getting in the way.

Finally we had come to a place where we were giving up control. God had been doing such amazing things in our lives and we were seeing that none of what we possessed was really ours. We were given these things by our most gracious Lord and we were abusing what was given to us in a way that was unintentional, but was still happening. We made the difficult decision to tithe every single week no matter what came up financially. We decided to trust our living God and ask Him to show up for us. He tells us to test Him in this area and so we were. I pulled up my spreadsheet and worked the numbers the best I could and we left those weeks that didn’t add up in God’s capable hands. I mean, the Creator of this vast universe loves me and here I was thinking He couldn’t possibly make the numbers work. As I put things into perspective, I was excited to see what would happen. Then an amazing thing happened, wlost a huge chunk of income out of no where.

I mean the timing was no coincide in my mind. The small steps we were taking were quickly becoming leaps. We were stressed and uncertain as to how we were going to tithe and feed our family at the same time. That’s what our flesh was saying. Our hearts knew better, we know that God provides for His children and so we adjusted that spreadsheet as well as we were able to on our end and lifted all those negative balanced to the Lord.

He showed up. As He promises us all, our Lord showed up and continues to show up every time. Those weeks that seemed impossible were blessed in abundance, I kid you not. Between overtime that was not supposed to happen, to mileage checks, to unexplained payment of vacation time early, our God showed up. Those weeks that shouldn’t have added up turned into such blessings for our family.

We still struggle with seeing those impossible weeks showing up on our spreadsheet, but now we have the experience to look back on. We know that we will be taken care of.

Those line items that were once negotiable are set in stone in our eyes. God’s money is not to be touched. We see that our grocery budget is suffering and we are tempted to pull from that tithing box, but we don’t and we wait in expectancy.

Tithing regularly has truly been such a blessing. I have heard people say this so many times and never really understood. Today I understand and pray that you all do too. To see our God show up for us and to take care of us is beautiful. To know that I can give up control and see things blossom in ways I never thought possible. My faith had grown tremendously in this. My knowledge of God’s love has deepened and this has trickled into other areas of my heart.

I want you all to know that tithing is difficult in the beginning, don’t beat yourself up! Every child of God struggles in one way or another in this, area, you are not alone. Giving God back a portion of what He gives us so freely, there are no words for the magic that takes place there. Try it, test God there and take that leap of faith. He won’t let you fall.

Proverbs Study Day 28

Lord, we come before you with open hearts and open minds. We thirst for Your Word and expect it to move mightily.
 


Proverbs 28

The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions. When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability. A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops. To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them. Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the lord understand completely. Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich. Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents. Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor. God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law. Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things. Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them. When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble. A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a roaring lion or an attacking bear. A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life. A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don’t protect him! The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed. A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble. Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread. Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty. In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery. Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer. Greed causes fighting; trusting the lord leads to prosperity. Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe. Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding. When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

“When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.”

This is our nation now, moral rot within. All the lessons given to us in this book, all the examples of how to live righteously, and we live in a land that disregards them regularly. We the people have fallen into a passive slumber and we need to wake up! Now is the time to choose life, choose Jesus, and choose to love as Christ loves.

True change comes when there is a true change of heart. Good intentions pave the road to hell. We choose how we live the one life we’re given, many are wasting that precious time.

My daughter has been using “YOLO” in her writing and drawing lately. YOLO stands for you only live once. This is what our nation lives by, YOLO, live however makes you feel good, forget a the rest. I challenge us to take YOLO back and remind ourselves that with this one life we must choose to live in a way that will make an impact. Dare to love. Dare to care about those in need. Allow Christ to work through you and to transform lives. Don’t waste it on frivolous pleasures of this world that will only cause destruction in the end.

My prayer for today:

Lord, I thank You for Your guidance and know just how lost I was without it. I thank You for Your love and patience, for I was lost in my wanderings without it. You are good and this world needs to be reminded of that. You are not the enemy, You are our mighty Savior. I pray for healing and revival in this land. I pray that Your people wake up and fight for their lives. I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 25

Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!
 


Proverbs 25

These are more proverbs of Solomon, collected by the advisers of King Hezekiah of Judah. It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them. No one can comprehend the height of heaven, the depth of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind! Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith. Remove the wicked from the king’s court, and his reign will be made secure by justice. Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great. It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table than to be sent away in public disgrace. Just because you’ve seen something, don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your neighbor deals you a shameful defeat? When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret. Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation. Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry. Trustworthy messengers refresh like snow in summer. They revive the spirit of their employer. A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones. Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick! Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome. Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow. Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot. Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the lord will reward you. As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger! It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty. If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring. It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself. A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.


 

 
What did I learn from this chapter today:

First thing to strike me is the reoccurring lesson to not look to gain a seat at the high table, that it’s better to take a lowly seat and to be invited to the higher. We recently covered this on Sunday, in Luke, at Calvary if Southbury as well. Do not seek to be in the presence of the popular, rich, famous, it’s easy to get wrapped up in position. We are God’s children, there is no greater position!

Once again the dangers of going against God’s Word is given here. Choosing to be deceitful has consequences and I personally would like to avoid them. It is my desire to bring joy to others, to shine in the dark, bring comfort in their pain. To love others as we were first loved.

Life is messy, it is difficult and I make mistakes, but I know that God is transforming my very core. He has shown me His love, mercy, and grace. Lifting the long held impurities is painful and downright ugly at times. I am glad that I can look back at the work already done and can rest in knowing that I am in good hands.

My prayer for today:
Thank You Lord for Your beautiful Word given. Thank You for loving me. I pray that we all rest in Your Word and carry it with us each moment we walk this earth. I pray that we think before we speak or act. That we look to You for guidance in all things and that Your will be done. I pray for revival and transformation in myself and this land I live in. Let us turn from our wicked ways and make Your heart glad. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 14

Day 14 and I am feeling great about this study. Doing such large chunks does make it difficult to dig very deep, but I am enjoying how the Word speaks to my heart in different ways as I read. Hope you are feeling the same way!


Proverbs 14

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Those who follow the right path fear the Lordthose who take the wrong path despise him. A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe. Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. An honest witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies. A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding. Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips. The prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves. Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation. Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy. The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the godly will flourish. There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward. Only simpletons believe everything  they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated. Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly. The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.” It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor. If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness. Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness. A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor. Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death. A growing population is a king’s glory; a prince without subjects has nothing. People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him. The wicked are crushed by disaster, but the godly have a refuge when they die. Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools. Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people. A king rejoices in wise servants but is angry with those who disgrace him.


 

 

 

What did I learn from this chapter today:

I want to be a wise woman and I am conscious of building up my home. I realize how my actions have a huge impact on my family. I have a choice every day. If I find myself in a place of feeling resentful and self righteous, I know I am walking the wrong path. Then it is time to step back, repent, examine and lay it all down before the Lord. I want to be wise in my relationships.

Honesty and hard work are important. As I read about the honest and godly will prevail, I am reminded that it may not be on this planet. Those that accept Jesus as our Savior will be rewarded in heaven. It’s important that we keep our eyes and hearts on eternity.

A peaceful heart heals the body. I can attest to the fact that I have lost a good amount of weight this year, and it happened while I was going through the process of healing old wounds. As God heals me, I become free. It’s amazing the work He does when asked. He desires to free us from the bonds we inflict upon ourselves. We only need to allow Him to. Only I get it the way of the beauty Jesus wishes to bring into my darkest places within.

I am also reminded to pray for our nation, as Godliness makes a nation great.

My prayer for today :

Lord, humbled I come before You and thank You for the love and healing You have given me so freely. I don’t deserve it, yet You show such grace and kindness. I pray that you continue to work on this heart and to shine into my very core. I want to let You in completely. I pray that all who read this will do the same. That we choose the Living Water You offer us all. That we recognize the path You lay before us and choose life. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things.

Proverbs Study Day 5

Welcome to day 5. Let us see what God’s Word has for us today! Have you found His Words resonating with you throughout the day? Do you feel His love and kindness deepening in your heart? I hope these things for us all.

 


Proverbs 5

Avoid Immoral Women

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel. Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned. For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. For she cares nothing about the path of life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it. So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved. Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body. You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn’t I pay attention to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructions? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace” Drink water from your own well – share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. Let your wife be a fountain o blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman? For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. An evil man is held captive by his own sin; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.


What have I taken away from this chapter today:

First part to really hit home is the fact that I was that woman once. Before I came to Jesus, I was the woman who was lost in promiscuity and sin. I can look back and see all the wreckage I left in my wake as I walked in that sin and carelessness, and I was clueless. I truly staggered down crooked trailed and didn’t realize it. It breaks my heart to think of all the people in this world that still live in that place. My heart also sings for joy in the fact that my God saves and now shows me the straight path He lies before me. I didn’t deserve to be saved and I still don’t, but Jesus died on that cross for us all in His Love.

Secondly, I am struck with the pains of infidelity in marriage. As Solomon is describing the wickedness of infidelity I am reminded that he is speaking from personal experience. He has known and tasted the pain and the captivity of that sin. I would say that we all listen to his words, inspired by the Almighty, and avoid that experience for ourselves. Unfortunately it seems to have become so much the norm in our culture and that breaks my heart.

Sin is a sneaky captive. If we are not careful, if we do not wrap ourselves up in the knowledge and power that God so freely offers to us, we can easily get wrapped up in sin.

My prayer today:

Almighty God, today I come before You and pray that this heart be opened to Your light, love, power and wisdom. You are my strength and I can trust You in all things. I pray that You shine Your loving light on the places I need to let You into. The place that I am unaware of that hold me captive. The sins that I have chosen to ignore and that have been holding me back. I want to accept the freedom You offer. I have tasted of the freedom and love you bestow upon Your children and I want more. I pray for these things in your Son’s Holy and precious name for myself and for all reading this today. Amen

Application

I have been learning so much these past few months. Learning, re-learning and deepening of understanding have been constant.

The Lord has been flooding my life with goodness and light. I have been prying myself open more and more so that I can have more Jesus, as I have never felt such peace and love as I do now. I know it can be so much more then I am capable of comprehending right now. I long for spiritual depth. I feel the transformation and am learning to welcome it rather than push back….yet I do still push back more than I like.

Reflections:

* God loves me no matter what. Even in my lowest places, when I push Him away and am closed up. He loves me just the same. Exactly the same amount of love and grace. Forever. He may be saddened by my actions, but His love is always there.

* There are no coincidences in life. It’s easy to brush things off as coincidence as we walk through life. Easier as a matter of fact. The truth is that God is always at work in each and every momemnt. All things truly work for His glory. My vision is becoming clearer and I find that when I slow down, I can see it more. I blows my mind.

* Life is a continuous journey meant to bring us closer to God. Today is Sunday and I started to feel a bit annoyed that my mini vacation was coming to an end and the phrase “back to reality tomorrow” came to mind. I realized that there really is no beginning a new week per se. The thought I had was a sad one because I’ve had such an amazing few days. Tonight I realized that I need to make the choice to continue forward and not “reset”. I am bringing the amazement and blessings into whatever I do tomorrow and the next day. I choose to be open and move forward with God’s plan.

* God lives in me. I have asked Him to dwell in the center of my being and so He does. I can literally feel Him work in me. I have called Him Reiki for years, bit it is the Holy Spirit. I open more and more and the Spirit flows through me often. It’s quite amazing.

That’s all for now. I wanted to share these few things they have become more and more apparent. Truly words cannot come close to describing the things I have been experiencing. God has been working in our midst and I sit in awe.

I pray that you too experience the amazing works God has planned for your life.