That Woman

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When I was in Jr. College, MANY years ago, I had taken a basic business class. I was also working at a bank. During the first part of this class the professor was teaching us everything we didn’t know about a check. The kind we use to write to pay for things; in some instances I still do, before our ATM cards became our go to form of payment.

The professor began asking “Do you know where the ABA number is?” “What does the number after the slash of the ABA number stand for?” “Why is it important to write out the amount and draw a line or xxx’s after the amount to the end of the line?”  As you can guess I had all the right answers and at the time I enjoyed every minute of it because I was being heard. Not only that, I was THAT WOMAN being heard!

A few years ago as I was preparing to give a message at church God gave me an epiphany about being heard and why I felt for so many years that I was unheard. He reminded me that when I was five years old my little Italian paternal grandmother called me, in English, a language she swore she didn’t understand and could not speak, a talking machine! How I had bought into that lie of Satan at an early age and believed it well into my adulthood. The truth is God called me to a speaking and teaching ministry. He called me to be heard!

This morning as I was working on a study from the book of Nehemiah, I came to the place where Nehemiah had to respond to the question of the King of Persia about why he was so sad. The author asks, “Of what was Nehemiah afraid?” Then asks participants to list the first few fears that come to mind about living a gospel inspired life.

Before I had time to think words flew from pen to page and I had used the entire side margin with my response.

Almost immediately after becoming a born again Christian God gave me a new passion for prayer and a burden for the spiritual health and growth of the Body. For many years I have lived from a spiritual perspective with Holy Spirit giving me His view to encourage and give hope to others. To come alongside others and inspire them to fall in love with Jesus and to know how important it is to stay connected to Him, especially through reading and studying his word. But, sometimes, many times, I feel like ‘that woman’

So, what is my fear of living a gospel inspired life? Being THAT WOMAN! Ha! Guess what God is doing in his perfect timing and sovereignty? RESTORING me!

That Woman is who God called me to be and I am loved eternally by my King!

Shalom!

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Prayer Requests From The Gym

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I can be such a creature of habit. Every morning I arrive at the gym at least a half hour before class starts. My reasoning for this is these morning classes are quite popular and I have my favorite spot and want to set up my weights and mat and anything other equipment we might be using. This leaves me with about 10 to 15 minutes before class starts. I burned 458 calories this morning! But, I digress.

Most mornings I sit in the lobby area and either read “Power Of A Praying Parent” or the huge stack of colored 3×5 cards that have Scripture that I have turned into prayers for my family. Over the past several weeks my gym friends have been asking me what I am studying and I have had the awesome opportunity to share that I am praying for my family. If you know me you know I love the opportunity to share my faith. My intent wasn’t to share my faith in this way but it was for God! I simply wanted to spend my time before class in a constructive way rather than on my phone, which is exactly what I would be doing.

Since this all began I have learned that one of my favorite instructors is also a believer and shares the same passion of studying God’s word that I do. I even shared with her the awesome Bible software that I blogged about not long ago.

I discovered that one of my new gym friends is a believer as well and she asked me to pray for her. Today we exchanged numbers so we can encourage one another and meet every now and then for coffee.

Last week another gym friend asked me what I was studying and after I told her I was praying, she immediately asked me to pray for her best friend who was having a procedure. Today she told me her friend’s procedure went well! Praise God and thank you Jesus!

Just this morning another ‘classmate’ asked me what I was studying. He was so cute, when I told him I was praying for my children, he smiled and said, “Well, I’ll see you in class.”

Faith in motion.

Precious One, NEVER underestimate how God will work through you. Take a leap of faith with open eyes, open ears and an open heart.

Shalom!

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Open The Floodgates!

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Last year, in an attempt to conserve water and because our state was in a severe drought, we set our sprinklers to come on once a week; just enough to give our plants a drink and hopefully keep them a brownish green.

The summers here can push upwards of 100+ degrees, and even though we live relatively close to the bay, we have micro climates causing the differing temperatures around this region. Needless to say, our plants began to die. I decided to start pulling out the dead plants to prepare our yard to become drought resistant. I started working on a fern like plant that was completely dead and thought that it would simply come up out of the ground with little to no effort. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was relying on the presumption of my first mistake and rather than test the ease of pulling this dead plant out, I grab a hold of it and yanked. Now, mind you, I was wearing some heavy duty, industrial strength gardening gloves; not those dainty gloves with cute designs of flowers and flower pots and gardening tools. There is nothing wrong with those glove, in fact I have owned many in my passion for gardening days.

Did I mention this dead plant had very dead thorns that were still as sharp if the plant had been alive? During my second mistake one of those thorns pierced through my heavy duty industrial strength gloves and into my skin. Thankfully, I was able to get the thorn out and continue my work.

Months later I realized that my finger was still sensitive where the thorn had gone into my skin and realized there was still a piece of the thorn left! With the help of some essential oils I was able to retrieve the rest of that pesky thorn.

Sensitive. That is how the subject of tithing can be. Very sensitive. I mentioned in this blog post about a Bible software I had been wanting and received a complimentary download of the basic package. It was while using this software that Holy Spirit began to speak to me about tithing from a verse in the book of Joel. I know, I was surprised as well and I love when He connects verses together and they walk hand in hand like the best of friends!

The seed shrivels under the clods; the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up. Joel 1:17.

This verse reminds me of Malachi 3:10. While the NT does not comment on how much we ought to tithe, only that God loves a cheerful giver, signaling that we, indeed, ought to give.

And what does God say he will do when, we stepping out in faith, bring the full tithe to him? He tells us to test him. The Sovereign King of all heaven and earth and everything in it tells us to test Him and see if he will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that there will not be room enough to store it! When was the last time you tested God with your tithing? Do you trust Him to do what he promises and to be Who He says he is?

The storehouses in Joel 1:17 were desolate because God’s children had turned away from God and having turned away they also stopped giving back to God.

Thank God for giving you the faith to bring your full tithe to Him so that there will be always be food in his house and wait expectantly as he pours out a blessing so large you will simply have to give more back to Him because you will not be able to contain it!

Precious One you were set apart to have faith that God will do what he promises and to believe He is Who he claims to be.

Shalom!

Use Your Words

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Earlier this morning as I was praying I was thinking about an encouragement that I see often across social media in various forms. The thought is if we are meeting with resistance or experiencing push back then surely God is getting ready to bless us. I’m still looking for where that is specifically in Scripture and if you have any verse references please leave them in the comments.

Resistance and push back are simply part of the enemy’s plan to lie, cheat, steal and destroy.  Especially when we begin to choose to go deeper into an intimate relationship with God. Satan doesn’t want us to know one iota more about our identity, authority or inheritance in Christ than we currently do because he knows what that will look like for him and glory to God it isn’t pretty!

As I continued to pray this morning I heard Holy Spirit gently whisper, “You push back, you resist.” In a moment’s notice my prayers did an about face and I began to fight back in prayer like the mighty warrior that I am.

Spiritual warfare is so real that is why it is so important to be in God’s word everyday. Holy Spirit infuses you with Scripture that he imprints on your heart and in your soul and when the moment is called for He brings the right verse to mind. He gives us His words for the battle.

Precious One, as the old saying goes, “Them’s fightin’ words!”

Shalom!

 

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The Same Power

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This morning I woke up singing the song “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp. Specifically, these words.

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

These words remind me of Romans 8:11. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior then HIS Spirit lives in you! The same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the grave. If you grab a hold of nothing else today, may it be the truth that the Supernatural power of Christ lives in you and you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Not some things but all things.

Precious One, dig deep into God’s word, He’s waiting there for you.

Shalom!

 

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Go Tell It On The Mountain

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When our son was a little guy he was quite the curious boy. I spent a lot of time telling him not to do certain things. Not because I didn’t want him to explore, his curiosity is one of the things I love about him, but because his curiosity was usually about things that could hurt him.

There was the time we were getting out of the SUV and before I could tell him, “Don’t touch that!” He stuck his sweet chubby hand in the exhaust, yep, still has a scar on his pinky from that one. Or, the time when we were at the happiest place on earth and he decided to see if he could fit his head through the slats in the metal gate as we were waiting in line for a ride. Thankfully, another dad was there to gently help my husband extract our son from that predicament!

We teach and encourage our children about the things they should and shouldn’t do, hoping they are listening and will eventually pass down to their children these nuggets of wisdom. In the same way the prophet Joel was admonishing the children of Israel to remind all future generations of what turning away from God looks like.

This reminds me of God’s promise to bless a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commandments (Exodus 20:6). When we choose to love and obey Him, to seek out his will for our life and live accordingly, he promises to bless a thousand generations. PROMISES. Wouldn’t you love for a thousand generations of your family to be blessed simply because you love and obey him?

Pray in faith, thanking God for showing and helping you to love Him and obey his commandments. Thanking Him for the gifts of confession, repentance and forgiveness, thanking Jesus for showing you the sin and unforgiveness in your life and thanking Holy Spirit for always helping you to confess, repent and forgive.

Precious One, you have the ability to bless the generations. Will you?

Shalom!

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Return to Sender Addressee Unknown

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The sun was just setting and dusk was upon us. We were home alone and settling in. We were in our house but it wasn’t our house and the kids were much younger than they are today. They were playing quietly in the living room. There was a knock on the door and I whispered to the children not to answer the door.

That’s odd. Our front door was a sliding glass door; when did this happen? There was a small space just wide enough for me to see out and there was a man standing there. Why was he still standing there? He knocked on the door many minutes ago, obviously no one was going to answer. What was that he was holding in his hands? Seriously, he’s holding San Francisco Giants jerseys? He had three; one black, one orange and one white. Did he really think I would open the door because of this?

He was menacing looking with dark hair and scruffy beard and a deep snarl. I could tell immediately he was evil. He tried to open the slider, which wasn’t locked but thankfully the stick we always put in the door track was faithfully in it’s place. I had my phone and immediately called 911 but I couldn’t understand a word she said. My heart was racing.

Suddenly, I woke up and realized it had been a dream. A spiritual attack dream. As my heart began to calm down I asked God about the meaning. He very quickly spoke to my heart, “There is a space in your armor.”

I use to have these types of dreams more frequently and they would freak me out, they are so real. Now I see them as God’s love, grace and mercy. I believe he uses some dreams to forewarn us about things we ought to take care of in realtime. Today will be spent asking Him how to shore up my armor.

And, isn’t it just like Satan to deliver a package special delivery containing something that is special to us? One of my best friends says when you receive one of those packages sign it, “return to sender addressee unknown”

God is faithful even in our dreams. While the door was unlocked the safety stick was in place.

Precious One, have you prayed on your full armor today? Ephesians 6:10-17.

Shalom!

 

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Prayers of a Pastor

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There we sat, the room empty, except for one other man. The light was dim and dingy. Off in the corner the television was on and bleating louder than it ought to have been. She sat next to me doubled over in pain with tears streaming down her face wondering what was taking so long. It was 3:30 in the morning. The man brought my attention to the rain that had started again and the howling of the wind.

I sat feeling helpless trying to control the panic beginning to creep in. I closed my eyes and began to pray. I simply said, “Jesus we need you.” The door opened and we were called back. The man came right up next to me and followed us. Just as I was beginning to feel unsettled about this, he said, “I want you to know I was praying for your daughter.” With a relieved smile, I answered, “Thank you.” He said, “As a Pastor that is my job.” I thanked him again and told him there is something special about the prayers of a Pastor.

As we sat in the exam room engulfed by the privacy curtain, listening to the activity of a busy ER, I marveled at HIM. His lavish love poured over us creating a sweet perfume for our souls. Before I ever uttered a word in prayer, God had already answered and placed that Pastor right near us.

If that isn’t love, what is?

Precious One, God is ever close, his love knows no bounds and he is always listening to the sweet tinkling of your voice.

Shalom!

PS she is fine and God is good….ALL the time.

What Are You Lacking?

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What are some of the things you feel you are lacking? Maybe it is confidence, or compassion, perhaps it is knowledge or maybe it is basic needs. If you are a believer in Christ, you lack NOTHING. God’s word is filled with so many promises and you get to choose if you will spend time with him daily so He can reveal His promises to you.

Precious One, stay connected to The Vine.

#lacknothing #earthasinHeaven.

Shalom!

Birthright

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Whenever the enemy aims his fiery arrows at you, hold up your shield of faith, which is part of your armor, and remind yourself who you are and to Whom you belong too. Fight with God’s word, which is the sword of the Spirit, another piece of your armor of God. You ARE a warrior fight like one. If you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, HE testifies, he announces, he proclaims you ARE a child of God; hands OFF God’s chosen and beloved. If you don’t yet believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior what do you have to lose? What is stopping you? What are you waiting for?

Precious One, fight well.

Shalom!