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I Die Daily

Yep, you read that title to this blog right.  I am dying daily to myself and it is NOT easy.  You may ask, what do you mean, have you totally lost your marbles? 

I hate to admit this so late into my walk with Christ but I have finally come to grips that my flesh has to die daily!  Less of me and more of God is my motto lately. Some days my dying experience has been slow and agonizing but my goal each day is to completely sign over the title and deed to my body to The Holy Spirit. I pray that daily I submit to The Holy Spirit’s leadership for my life.  And thank God He has been unconditionally patient and loving to me through this process.

God has really been dealing with me to walk closer with Him and step into His complete and flawless will for my life.   (Did you catch that, HIS WILL not MY WILL).  This journey has been an eventful an exciting road trip for sure! Lot’s of unexpected detours and stops along the way.

The BIG roadblock I kept experiencing is the former self/spirit keeps pulling me back while preventing progress forward towards God’s will for my life.  What has been happening is that I want to perform in the natural sense through my works of the flesh.  I want to dictate what I can and cannot do to get me closer to God’s purpose for my life.  Well, The Holy Spirit does not quite work that way, AT ALL.  He is an independent, self-directed, and motivated kind of person that can make mighty changes on His own, without my help or input.  That’s a hard concept for me to grasp, that He would not need or want my help!  REALLY??  All the Holy Spirit really wants of me is to give Him some TRUST, OBEDIENCE, FAITH, and ACTION.  Much easier said than done, I can tell you that! The Holy Spirit has helped me to grow in holiness as I have matured in my walk with God; I just have to make sure I am continually listening to Him!

It’s kind of like buying an existing home or building a brand new house for which I have had the pleasure and blessing of doing both in this life to this point.   (It helps tremendously that I just happened to marry a builder).  I don’t know about you but I have NEVER been in a home or looked at house plans that there was not something or many changes for that matter that I wouldn't change to make it more like my taste or ME!   Did you catch that….so if you surrender your life and accept Christ, you are giving permission for The Holy Spirit to move into your body and make YOU like HIM.  Which means, YOU MUST DIE TO SELF continually, no if's, and's, or but's about it!  Your body is not BIG enough for your old self and The Holy Spirit to take up residence forever.  One of you has to go!  I pray you choose The Holy Spirit over your flesh.

This is where God’s patience with us comes into play.  I am so thankful He bestows His Grace and Mercy to us because it is not anything we have earned or even deserve for that matter.  But He gives it to us anyway.  Because HE loves us so much!  “For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is a free gift of God –not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2: 8-9).

When I accepted Christ, I thought I just had a few little minor house keeping chores to adjust and implement.  You know like not stretching the truth, losing my temper, cursing a little, and gossiping.  Nope, that was not what the Holy Spirit said.  He did not move into this home (my body) to make a few minor adjustments and renovations to this temple.  No, He was moving in to do some major demolition work and rebuild a palace with courtyards and gardens.  I had no idea the extent of rebuilding (rebirthing) details He had in mind to make me a new creature in Christ! 

Bottom line, when The Holy Spirit moves into a body, He naturally has grand plans to make that new body and spirit righteous and wonderful like Himself.   His ways and thoughts are much HIGHER than ours…. But we have to allow Him to make the adjustments just as we made the first step to surrender our life to Him.  The process of following Christ does not end once we accept Him as our Savior.  It’s only the first step in the process.  That’s why He said it would not be easy to follow Him, but well worth it my friend.  There is a lot of work to be completed before we can meet up with Him face-to-face. 

If you have made the first step of acceptance with Christ but have not fully surrendered ALL of yourself to The Holy Spirit, work towards surrendering to this next step.  Don’t be a compulsive control freak like me.  God wants to do amazing things in and through you but when you reach back to the former things like your old spirit, you quench the Holy Spirit from working at His full potential in your life.  Ask Him to help you with this!  And let the building of your personal palace and gardens begin today! With the Holy Spirit’s help you will become a beautiful masterpiece!

Mom's Are Equipped to Understand

Until I became a mother I just didn’t get it on so many levels.  I lacked empathy, patience, compassion, and most of all understanding!

Once I crossed over into the motherhood world, I joined a union of women that I had never really known before this stage of my life.   I would find myself talking to complete random women in the bathroom, grocery store, restaurants, and it was all about our kids or being pregnant.  It was as if we were long lost friends or something!  At each turn other mom’s seemed to embrace me, as part of their sorority of “motherhood” and it was a beautiful thing. 

Recently, I have been having some “clingy” and separation anxiety issues with my daughter since she got back from Christmas break with not wanting me to leave her at school.  Even her “regular” teachers have been helping me out when it was time to escape from the classroom and just walk out the door.  I have never doubted she is in great hands and where she attends is a very loving and safe environment but it is still hard for me to walk away and leave my daughter hollering my name.

I experienced one of these times again this morning when dropping my daughter off at her pre-school class.  Her “regular” teachers were not there and immediately when we entered the classroom my daughter asked the substitute teacher where her “regular” teachers were? I witnessed a sudden and shear terror come across her face with this unexpected change in her schedule with school.  Her substitute, which was also a familiar face around the school, said “I am both of your teachers today with a kind face and smile.”  

As I left this particular morning, again my daughter wilted into a sobbing mess of tears not wanting me to leave for work.  Her substitute in a sweet and caring voice took my daughter by the hand without hesitation and said let’s go play with your friends, its going to be okay.  Then she looked at me and said “I know all too well about this as I have had to do this myself as a mother and she nodded at me and said go on to work, she will be fine here.”

Being a mother I appreciated this act of kindness and understanding from an unexpected “Mom.”  I didn’t know she was going to be my daughter’s sub this day and I am sure she was not briefed from the “regular” teachers with every child’s personality traits and what they needed.  But this Mom and substitute understood without getting the scripted detailed memo!  She was compassionate to lend a hand and understood that it was hard for me to leave my crying daughter with a new face in the classroom.  As I walked away she reassured me that my daughter was in good hands and would be fine and it was okay to go without feeling guilty.

The Holy Spirit nudged at my heart walking out of the school about this situation as if to whisper to me that this is how God interacts with us also if we would just respond to Him.  We all go through times of uncertainty, pain and suffering but through it all God is walking with us  giving us a hand of reassurance and love with a BIG heaping dose of Grace and Mercy!  You know why, because God gets it too!  He understands better than anyone that we are living in a broken world full of sin.  God knows life can be overwhelmingly not easy and throwing  “free will” into the equation can make for an interesting life with ups and downs at times, especially if we are living outside of God’s will.

Thank goodness God never gives up on us when we have sinned.  If you think there is some sin in your life that God will not forgive, you are wrong.  God’s steadfast love and mercy are greater than any sin past or present and He promises forgiveness through His word. God willingly responds with help when we seek Him and ask with a repented heart.

Go out today and extend some understanding, grace, and mercy to someone unexpected!  It will make that persons day and God will bless your life.

“The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!  By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.”  (Lamentations 3:22)

Does Santa Claus Resemble Jesus?

Back in 2001, I worked as a home care nurse and I went to see one of my patients before Christmas to check on his blood sugars, review his medications, and do some diabetic teaching with him.  Little did I know he was going to do some profound teaching with me this day!  It’s a day I have never forgotten.

When I got to his home we reviewed his lasts months blood sugar readings and his eating habits and before I left he asked me a very thought provoking question and to this day I still remember and think of it at this time of the year, each year.

He asked me did I think Santa Claus resembled Jesus?  At first I thought, “Is this a trick question?”  My first thoughts to myself were, of course they resemble each other because Santa and Christ were both giving and had a spirit of love and joy.  Right!?!?

My patient could tell, I was confused to answer his question so he proceeded to tell me about Santa’s suit and what the colors of his suit represented.  He told me that every year he makes visits to see children in schools, stores, churches, and anywhere else he can book a visit to talk with the little children about Santa and Jesus.

He went on to tell me that the black on Santa’s suit represented the sin that Christ came to deliver us from forever.  The red was the blood that Christ shed for us during his horrific death on the cross at Calvary.  And his snow white beard and the white fluffy trim on his suit represented His purity and goodness that He wants to share with all of us that choose to accept His gift of salvation and everlasting life. 

Needless to say, I was in awe.  My patient shared a story to kids and myself of how Santa the “giver of toys” (in most peoples eyes) then turned the image of Santa into a story of Jesus, which is “THE giver of gifts,”  if you know what I mean!  But…. he broke down this story of salvation so even the little innocent children (and myself) could follow and understand it.  What a gift this was to unwrap in itself!! 

I left my patient's home that day so happy on the inside that this man took time not only to thrill the lives of children by playing “Santa Claus” but he also took the time to share with the kids what the true meaning of Christmas was all about, JESUS CHRIST and what HE did for me and you!

It’s not about the material things we receive at Christmas, it’s about what we have already received which is eternal life if we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior.  He truly is the Reason for the Season.

Have you already accepted the best gift you will ever open and cherish?  If you have not accepted Christ today as your Lord and Savior I pray that you will take that leap of faith today.  His Grace and Mercy is unlimited and will NEVER leave or forsake you!

Merry Christmas to ALL and next time you see “Santa” I pray you also see “Jesus!”


Prayer of Salvation

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited GRACE which has saved me from my sins. Today and each day I live, I want to live for you and not myself. 

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.

Amen!

It's NOT About You!

I have had to learn this very important lesson in life that truly directs my path today. 

When I accepted Christ I really didn’t understand until I was an adult that our relationship is not about me.  Sad but true this was a painful lesson to learn and grasp!

I was 12 when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and I accepted Him to save me, protect me, and love me!  I thought He would be everything I needed Him to be with me doing very little in return.  WRONG!  With maturity and growth in our relationship, I have learned it is not about my needs and me all the time.  It’s about me worshiping God and just being still with Him.  It’s also about me reading His word and learning all I can about Him, and joining Him one-to-one in prayer together, regularly and constantly.  It’s also about me listening to Him and most importantly obeying Him when He directs my path.  This is not so easy all the time as it has required a lot of faith on my part but stretching my faith is a good thing because it has taught me to trust more on God and rely on myself less….

The other relationship that has grown with maturity over time is my marriage.  God sent my spouse as a gift to me to cherish and love and to also cultivate me as a person and a Christian.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been times through these years that I was ready to re-wrap the gift of marriage and give my spouse back to God or anyone else that would take him as I am sure at times he wanted to recycle me too!  But looking back God has taught us both more about our relationship with Him through our union of marriage.  It just took God, time, and patience to get to the great season we are in now.  

My spouse was the greatest gift to me because he was the number one tool God used to draw me closer to Him.   If it were not for my spouse I may not have the intimacy with God that I have now.  God showed me that my ultimate happiness and love comes from God first and I can’t give nor should I be able to receive that kind of love until I first absorb this unconditional love from my Heavenly Father.  I learned from God to forgive quickly, say I love you more, and to have patience with the people God places before me.  Trust me, through my relationship with God, only He could have given me more patience, unconditional love, and quick to forgive qualities.  These qualities are not hard wired naturally within me!

Today, I am a much happier and secure person since I finally learned its not about me…….ALL the time!  No, the truth is that the world does not revolve around me.  Except, maybe on my birthday or Mother’s Day!  And my family does a really great job with making it about me on these days.  I am a blessed woman.

Think about the areas of your own life and where you may be the most unhappy or “needy.” Is it because you feel your needs are being overlooked or unmet by others?  And by who?  Your spouse, significant other, friends, or most importantly God?  I can tell you God has never overlooked your needs but He also can’t have an intimate relationship with you if it is only one sided.  He needs your participation and input.  He needs your time and He needs you to be still and know HE is God and the number one LOVE of your life.  No one will ever truly meet your needs or make you happy but God.  He will teach you to love generously, give unselfishly, forgive quickly, and let go of past hurts, worries, and burdens.  He will also teach you that this life is about others and not your needs all the time and there will be great joy and satisfaction that comes from giving freely of your time, talents, and love to others who need it.  Go ahead, knock on God’s door today and ask Him to show you this kind of love if you have never experienced before.  I can promise you, you will not be disappointed but there may be some vulnerability you will have to encounter and relinquish first. 

 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

Matthew 7:7

Dependence on God is a Learned Behavior....

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”  John 15: 5-6

I have always been an independent, self-directed, and motivated person.  Having these qualities has gotten me far in the world and in the jobs I have had but it has seriously strained my relationship with God in the past.  I have had to unlearn being independent and learn to be totally dependent with my relationship with God.

You see God wants us to have total dependence on Him and Him only.  I didn’t like to bother other people or God with my decisions or problems.  In fact, I am ashamed to say this but I have even tried to plan out every detail of my life with no input from God on the front end.  Then when things did not go as planned; I was ready and eager to call on God to come in and be the “fix it man” for me.  Can you relate?

God has taught me in order for our relationship to grow and flourish, I have to not only come to Him with the BIG STUFF, but I also have to come to Him with the little things and everything in between.  He wants all of me, each day, not just what I want to carve out for Him to have along the way.

This part of my relationship with God has not come natural for me.  I grew up in a home where I had to depend on myself most days and it became the norm for me.  I was the youngest of 3 children and independence came along with that territory.  In fact, I felt most comfortable in life when I was in control of my self and the people around me.  Learning to depend on God took a lot of surrendering on my part, over and over.  I was afraid to be let down or be too vulnerable because I was afraid of being hurt.  Unfortunately, this fear ended up traveling with my baggage into my marriage. 

After going through years of a strained marriage on both sides, I was ready to be done with everything, as I knew it.  It took this life event for me to surrender my self and my circumstances totally to God.   When I was finally at this point, I felt God literally tap me on my shoulder and say, “Thank You, now that you are done doing what you thought you had to do to fix this, let me now step in and watch me work.”  And boy, did He.  In HIS BIG GOD ways!! Glory to God, He not only salvaged my marriage, He made it new and better!  Amen!

During all those years, and I mean years that I tried to manipulate my spouse and our circumstances, God showed me that it was like I was saying, “I don’t need you God, I got this.”  My PRIDE was overriding my reasoning to know that I desperately needed God to guide my relationship and life with His wisdom, not mine. 

 When we feel like God is absent in our life and not working, He is probably just waiting for you to get out of His way and truly surrender the situation to Him.  He is always there with us and all He wants is to be invited into our lives daily to live through every aspect of what we are going through.  He wants us to ask Him for help and He wants to guide us in the way we should go.  To live in total dependence of God as an adult is like going back to being an infant and totally depending on our parents for our every need.  We should be so spiritually dependent upon God daily that if we weren’t bells and buzzers should start alarming internally to say, “Have you checked in with God today??”  

Now, when my life gets so busy and off track, I stop immediately and pray and ask God to step in and take control because I have learned the hard way that apart from Him, I can do nothing and I am nothing.  Do you really believe this too?  Do you depend on God daily for His wisdom, courage, and strength to get you through the battlefields of life?  I challenge you to stay on heightened alert to engaging God in all aspects of your life.  He would not have it any other way!  And I can promise you from past experiences that if “you remain in Him, you can ask for something and it will be given to you.”  (John 15:7)

Are You Commited To God?

 

When sin entered the world back in Adam and Eve’s days, we lost that committed relationship and true friendship with God.  We wanted more or thought we did and we severed that one-to-one relationship with God.  God was heartbroken because He made us in His image and He made us to be relational with Him.  With that decision on our parts, came real consequences for mankind. The number one consequence was DEATH without God. The lives as Adam and Eve once knew were suddenly changed FOREVER!  And their decision way back then is still affecting the world this many years later. 

Thank goodness God continued to love us despite our bad decisions and failures, over and over and over!  He sent our second chance at eternal life and that was His son, Jesus Christ.  I believe that God is not a “pushy” God.  He wants more than ANYTHING for us to choose to love Him but He wants us now to choose Him on our own terms.  He wants us to enter into a relationship with Him by acknowledging and accepting that He has given us another chance with Him through His son.  The ONLY way now to get to the Father (GOD) is through His son, Jesus Christ. “I am the way and the truth of life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14

I tell my very own children all the time, “Life is about choices.”  Period!  In fact, I asked my older son a couple of years ago, if I were to drop dead today, what have I taught you that you would always remember?  He said without skipping a beat “Life is about choices, Mom.”   At first, I was a little ashamed because I was hoping and praying that he would say, “You taught me to love Jesus!”  But after I thought about his response some more I was delighted that I had indeed taught him this lesson about choices.  Because, bottom line, the choices we make can and will affect our lives and the lives of the future, good or bad.  I realized I couldn't make my son love God and His Son.  This was a decision he made through his own belief and understanding we taught him living in a Christian home and environment.  But at the end of the day, my son made the best decision on his own to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior.  Amen!  And that is THE GREATEST GIFT he could have ever received in this life and for eternity. 

God has been committed to mankind since He breathed life into Adam and Eve.  God has remained committed to us since He sent His son Jesus to give us a second chance to enter into His glorious presence each day.  By accepting Christ, we receive His breath of eternal life with God.  God also freely gives us another great gift individually with the Holy Spirit to guide us in the truth about Christ.  And the Holy Spirit helps us to discern right from wrong which ultimately helps us make good and wise choices!

Please, don’t lose sight of how committed God is to you each day.  See each day as an opportunity to enter into His divine peace, joy, and love.  Don’t ever take for granted the extensions of grace and mercy He offers to you on a daily basis!  Please remember too, that life is indeed about choices and the number one choice we all need to make is accepting that Christ is our savior and Lord. By staying committed to walk the journey of life with Him, shows Him how much we do love Him in our life.  Live your life so others can see clearly that you made the most important decision you will EVER make!  And allow your good decision to affect other lives with a positive impact for generations to come.

Your Ministry is What YOU Do!

 

I did not realize until the past few months of my life with starting Graced By Mercy Ministries that I was indeed doing a ministry before I started an “official ministry.”  You are probably wondering what in the world am I talking about? God has really ministered to me lately on this subject matter!  He has indeed had me in ministry all along and I just didn’t know it or feel it at the time.  I loved my previous job as a nurse but I was even more removed from actual patient care so at the time it was hard for me to see what I was doing in nursing was still helping others.  I went from helping care for patients to helping care for nurses.

Yes, nurses do need help too! The best analogy I can give about being a nurse is that it is a lot like being a mother.  Mother’s are never allowed a time to get sick and they are always in charge and keep everyone on task.  Moms also know the schedules and routines like no one else!  That’s kind of how it is to be a nurse, there are a lot of expectations put on you all the time, with very little encouragement or gratitude on the back end.

Nurses do have to be everything to everyone at times. How can they be compassionate unless they are compassionate within?  How can they help heal the sick, unless they are healthy and whole within?  How can they stand up for patient rights and be an advocate, unless they are willing to stand up for themselves?  I use to be the one who coached and mentored nurses who needed that extra positive push to do the right thing for patients and themselves but I eventually started wanting more too.

I wanted to serve God in a BIGGER way; I wanted to be at God’s disposal anytime and any where and feel like I could talk about my BIG God that I served gratefully and cheerfully even in a secular world without being shunned. 

Oh, but what God has shown me over the past several months is that I was serving Him in a BIG WAY then and now.  He had me planted exactly where He wanted me during that time in my life and He has shown me now that I did help and encourage others to always be the best they could be and to always believe in who they were as a person.  I worked in that job each day as if I was working for God Himself.  I have no regrets and still feel even today that He was growing me for something bigger while working in that role.  Remember, promotions come from God alone!

My blog today for you is to see yourself where God has you at this very moment in your life as strategic and significant.  You may not know all the details of your plan but trust that God does.  You may feel like He is using you in little ways but trust He has you right where He needs you to be to carry out His grand plan for your life and the lives you are placed around.  God has to have many avenues other than the traditional church to bring people to Him.  Not everyone goes to churches that are not Christians because they don’t feel worthy or like they belong there.  So, it is important as His sheep for Him to be able to use us to bring people to Him through our communities, work environments, our children’s events, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, and I could keep on going.  

As Christians, we are the church everyday 365 days a year. Make no mistake about this!  Go out each day being a humble and faithful servant to serve Christ!  Take pride in your day-to-day ministry tasks for God.  Don’t allow other people to steal your joy when it comes to doing God’s work.  We may not always see all the blessings here on earth for the work that we do as Christians but we will be sure to see them on the other side in eternity.  

Ask for God’s direction daily for His divine appointments but also be obedient when He calls on you to do something for Him.  Allow Him the chance to grow you more as a Christian by the opportunities He may use you through to grow His kingdom.  Be stretched and fearless for His Glory today and never fall short of seeing your work as insignificant!

“The Holy Spirit works in each person in one way or another for the good of all”

1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT

Prayer = Clarity and Peace!

Feeling like you have been attacked unnecessarily is not a pleasant feeling and when it is your child that has been wronged, it raises those stakes even higher.   I recently experienced this situation with my child being unfairly treated by another trusting adult in his eyes and mine as a parent.  My natural instinct was for the “Momma Bear” to come out full force with claws flailing and everything.  It took me a while to collect my composure and just pray about this situation. 

I knew how I naturally as a human wanted to act out in this situation but I also knew how God wanted me to respond and this was a hard situation for me.  I felt like as a parent, it was my job and duty to be my child’s advocate and see that justice was served on a silver platter!  But I continually felt like I was fighting God and His position in this situation.   The small voice inside of me kept saying, “Respond out of love.”  Initially, I was too mad to respond in love.  I knew that’s what I needed to do and that was what God wanted me to do but it didn’t make it any easier.  “The spirit was willing but the body was weak.” Mark 14:38

My response was to keep praying about the situation before I did anything I might regret as a Christian and an ambassador of Christ.  The more I prayed and sought God in this situation, the more clarity and peace He gave me about what was going on.  I felt like the Holy Spirit also talked to me through my husband.  One morning he said to me after much prayer, “God would want you to respond out of love and win over this person’s soul.  It is very obvious this person is lost and hurting, by their actions.” 

The Holy Spirit also took me to Mark 14:32-38 in the bible and He showed me that even for Jesus prayer was His life line to God, right up to the time that He was betrayed by Judas and Jesus was arrested and turned over to the Romans.  Jesus even asked God in this passage to take the cup of suffering from Him but yet in His next breath He prayed that God’s will ultimately be done.  These words jumped off the bible at me because it showed me that we fully human pray like Jesus did with what we want and how we want a situation to turn out but how many of us really pray in the spirit for God’s Will to be done and mean it sincerely as Jesus did?  This scripture also showed me that Jesus was fully human and fully God in a real way!

Learning to love others as God does is not always easy, especially when you have been hurt emotionally, mentally, or even physically.  But this is God’s greatest command to us as His children, “to love others as we love ourselves.” Matthew 22:39  He did not say we could pick and choose who and when we loved, He said love everyone regardless of their faults, insecurities, or failures.  It is very easy at times to fall into the trap of judging others and casting blame to justify our own beliefs but we must not walk in this terrain of life because God says so!  It’s God’s job to judge others and not ours.  All He commands us to do is forgive and love each other.  Period. It is a pretty simple command but so hard to do as humans.

How can you spend time in prayer more with God so He can soften your heart with current or past hurts?  Allow God enough time in prayer so He can give you the clarity you may long for today and ask Him to help you love others as He loves them.  Start looking through lens of God and see everyone as He see’s people regardless of their faults or shortcomings.  I promise not only will God be pleased with you as His child but also your relationship with God will grow deeper as you mature more in Christ!

"Cut The But"

I attended a conference in Charlotte this past July.   There was a speaker there that talked about cutting “The But” from your vocabulary.  This statement really resonated with me because I am always saying, “I would love to, but” or how about this one, “God, you want me to do what, yes I would like to but you see I don’t feel capable to do that because I have no experience in that area of my life.”

This is exactly how I have been feeling the last 3 years of my life.  I felt a strong call from the Holy Spirit to step outside of my “comfort zone” and start this ministry to coach, guide, mentor, speak, and write to help women feel secure with who they are in Christ. 

My previous job was coaching and mentoring women but it had nothing to do with a ministry.  Or at least I didn’t see it that way at the time.  Looking back, it was indeed a ministry.  Just not the typical ministry we often think of when it comes to church and God.  This was a workplace ministry.  I received so much joy and fulfillment from that job and I was totally thrown a curve ball when God said ok sister, it is time to move in another direction in BIG ways!  I was in shock and awe because I felt like after years of working in my field of study, gaining advanced education, and after several jobs I had finally found my niche.  I soon learned that may have been my plan, but it was not God’s final plan for my life.

Stepping out into the unknown this past April and finally surrendering to the ministry has been such a learning experience for me.  What I have learned most about this experience is that God is with me every step of the way and He has been leading and directing my path throughout this whole process.  He really hasn’t left or forsaken me at all.  I have also learned that this life is not about my wants and me.  It is about God and me working into His plan however He sees fit.  I have to ask Him daily, what is YOUR PLAN for me today?  What assignment do I need to fulfill for you and YOUR KINGDOM?

In order, for me to fulfill His plan for my life I have to change my mindset to not saying “but” and I also have to take the “I” out of the equation.  It is not what I can accomplish, but better yet what God will accomplish through me.  Think about this for a moment, if you replace your words with God instead of I and therefore instead of but, anything is truly possible.  Let’s look at a sentence for example.  God (instead of I) can do all things; therefore (instead of but) He is all knowing and glorious!

When we doubt our situation or ourselves in any part of our life, we are saying our God is small, not BIG!  We really do quench His spirit within us with our own fears of insecurity when we are not obedient.  We must change our mindset to that of Christ because we need to think from a BIG perspective like God does.  Think about how much more we could accomplish for His kingdom if we approached every aspect of our life like we can do it no doubt because He is in control and working every detail out in advance!  How awesome would that be! 

I challenge you today to start eliminating the “buts” from your vocabulary today.  Think BIG, Live BIG, and ACT in obedience BIG today for God!  You will be

rewarded for your efforts here and eternally.  True faith in God will bring HUGE results, you just have to have faith and sit back and see the results of God in your life!

“Even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed,” the Lord answered, “you could say to this mulberry tree,  “May God uproot you and throw you into the sea,” and it would obey you!” (Luke 17:6)

Coke Cake and The Bible!

I know you are probably wondering what could possibly good old southern “Coca-Cola Cake” and the Bible have in common?

Well, let me explain.  I was reading through scripture the other day and a goal of mine has been to memorize scripture from the bible this year.  I have always been fascinated how people I know can spout out scripture from memory and give the reference like they are a walking bible.  Don’t get me wrong, I can counsel someone with a scripture but I am not always good with reciting the scripture word for word and usually I have to dig a little to tell someone where they can find the scripture verse in the bible.   But I know I have read it and feel comfortable with talking about the scripture to help others apply it to their life or situation.   I also want to memorize scripture so I can allow God to grow me more as a person spiritually and grow our relationship so His word speaks to my mind and heart constantly. 

I make a coke cake each year at Christmas and my family always looks forward to it.  My family even asks when they arrive at my home, “Did you make the coke cake this year?” It’s almost as if they want to know upfront if they need to save room for dessert or can they go back for a second helping of Christmas dinner.  It is the most moist and best scratch chocolate cake I have ever made.  Not a crumb is usually left in the pan by the time the last piece is eaten.  The secret to making it extra moist on the inside is to poke holes in the cake with toothpicks just as it comes out of the oven.  Then I pour the hot chocolate icing with nuts on top of the cake and allow the icing to penetrate deep down through the cake.  It is to die for! In fact, I know if I omitted making this cake each year, Christmas would not be the same and I may have family members that would start boycotting coming to my house for the Christmas dinner!

Memorizing scripture is a lot like allowing the chocolate icing to seep down through the cake.  The icing makes the cake better by allowing it to melt down through the cake itself and not just sit on the surface level. The words of God have to saturate our hearts and our spirits to take hold of our lives and live as Godly men and women.  The goal for memorizing scripture should be to become more like Jesus.  The bible is God’s word and it is His inspired word.  What better book to live by!

Learning God’s word is an important part of being a Christian and building the relationship with Christ.  And please don’t misunderstand me that just simply knowing and memorizing scripture by itself makes a Christian better than another Christian.   The verses must be allowed to sink into your spirit from the Holy Spirit and meditate upon the words and meaning.  God’s word literally has to be applied to your life so even a stranger can witness your life without words ever being spoken and know you are walking the Christian life.  You have to not only talk the talk but you must also walk the walk.  Actions in this case should be visible with the words/scriptures you use with others. 

How can you apply God’s chosen words to your life today?  Can you take some extra time in your schedule to pull up a chair beside Jesus, read His love stories, and have a piece of coke cake with Him today?  Allow His divine words to saturate every part of your life and enjoy the ride to see how His word will change your heart, mind, and your life. 

 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is alike a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” – (James 1”22-24)

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