The Remnant

For a remnant of my people will spread out from Jerusalem a group of survivors from Mount Zion. The passion of the LORD Almighty will make this happen! 2 Kings 19:31.

There it is again, ‘the remnant’. It has been swirling around in my mind for years, popping up here and there from the depths of my being. The remnant.

community-92313-194I first heard of the remnant, some years ago, perhaps fix or six now, maybe longer, from a friend. He felt God asking him to gather a remnant. Since that time the Holy Spirit whispers remnant to me and it resonates with my soul, as if it has always been a part of me, a part of eternity that God has placed in my heart.

One of my best friends and I often talk about the remnant when we’re together, asking what does the remnant look like, who is the remnant? And, a new question I am now asking, “what role as women and believers in Christ do we play in the remnant?”

A remnant is the part of something that is left when the other parts are gone; a small surviving group. During the Old Testament a remnant was usually described as the survivors of Israelites from captivity that God used to continue his people. Paul used remnant in the New Testament to show God’s purpose of bringing believing Jews and Gentiles together to form the Church, the new people of God, who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

FireworksIn one exhaustive concordance I found 65 occurrences of remnants. That is quite a few, in my opinion, for a subject that gets little to no attention. I am beginning to understand and believe that we are all a part of a remnant; a group of believers part of faith families and communities that have one major component. A spark. A spark that remains. A spark that can be fanned into a roaring flame by the power of the Holy Spirit. A spark of faith.

I also believe God is calling women throughout the Body of Christ to rise up in faith and step into their anointing and use the gifts given to them by the Holy Spirit. Some are vision casters, some are door openers, some are both. All are catalyst. All women of Christ can be used by the Holy Spirit to reveal change or action that He will bring about. The question is, are you willing?0534-people

Are you willing to step into your inheritance in Christ, to be used by him as a catalyst and part of a remnant, with a spark of faith? A spark that only he can grow into a consuming fire? Going wherever He takes you and however that looks?

Today I choose to be a part of the remnant I have been placed in for the sake of Jesus Christ and the spreading of his Good News.

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. Romans 11:5.

Shalom!

Are You All In?

DREAM - VISION“As women, many of us have been given the gift of seeing the big picture; we are vision casters. This is a great gift to possess, however we can get so busy whipping our vision paint around with broad and nonspecific strokes that we forget to fill in all the details. While we have an image of the completed picture in our mind’s eye, the details of how to achieve the end product are a little fuzzy. We have the vision without necessarily the skills and patience to bring it to fruition and it’s sometimes a surprise that is it far more difficult to complete the picture than to conceive it.” Amy E. Spiegel “Letting Go of Perfect”

I read these words and then read them again, staring at them as if doing so would somehow make them change or rearrange themselves on the page. I was struck by the reality that just a few hours before I was having a similar conversation with a sweet friend of mine. I was telling my friend that I had been so focused on the big picture of what God was showing me, that I allowed myself to become blindsided by the actual work it will take to get there. I was digging my heels in until I realized the Holy Spirit was showing me this is the path I need to take to get to where he was leading me…The Big Picture!

It seems that God began showing me big pictures from the very beginning of my relationship with Jesus, many years ago. I use to get so excited by the end result and then quickly become so discouraged because I would realize we would be at square one, the beginning, the place where the hard work, sweat and, yes, sometimes, many tears were. I business_110008020-012914-intbegan saying, “If God were to show me the big picture I would say no choose someone else because I’m not going there.” But, this is a lie, because God hasn’t stopped showing me big pictures. And, lying and my catchall phrase are sin, plain and simple. You know, every night I try to remember to ask God to show me the sin in my life so I can confess and repent. He is always so faithful!

The same night I had been talking with my sweet friend, our Pastor had given a sermon on being all in for Christ. Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but I love when God brings all the pieces together and they fit snugly with one another like a really good puzzle! What I took away from our Pastor’s sermon was this; are you all in because of the benefit to you of the end result, or are you all in for Christ and you will do whatever it takes and wherever He takes you simply because you love Him? Such a great question to ponder!

Nature for Open Door BackgroundI am learning that vision casters have also been given the gift of being door openers. And, if doors that are meant to be opened are left closed then we all miss out on the blessings. So, during this season of revealing, I choose to be transparent, I choose to work hard, I choose to open the doors the Holy Spirit leads me to open and I choose to be all in simply because I love Jesus!

“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

Shalom!

 

Sticks And Stones…..

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.

nature-large-boulders-1013tm-pic-1565Something has been burdening my heart lately. I peruse a few different social media sites. On one in particular, I have seen a couple posts by a professing Christian attacking and name calling fellow believers. The childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”, is simply not true. While I am not the victim of this name calling it is a direct attack on the brethren I call family…..every believer in Christ. And, it hurts God’s heart.

How are we to prove to the world that we are indeed Christ’s disciples if we are not loving one another despite our human frailties, our differences in opinion and theology or without knowing each other’s story? Each of us has a story and many times it is the story of our past that drives our current behavior until we let the Savior in to heal us.

When believers call out other believers, in anger, disgust or resentment, over something that they read, hear or has been said to them directly, their witness as ambassadors of Christ is no different than the one being “called out”.  Can you see the subtlety of Satan here? If he can keep many focused on calling each other out publicly with name calling and unkind words, then his job is done for him. Why would anyone want what we have if there is anything but love going on in the house of God?

Beloved, let us be gentle with one another, praying for each other, especially when we want to attack without knowing another’s story. We all have a story.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2.

Shalom!

The Top Of The Tier

Crosses carved in the sandWhen I first became a born again Christian I had brought with me a lot of spiritual baggage. Baggage that I did not claim, much less know that I was carrying. And, like most young Christian’s, I was on fire for God and I was going to change the world! Little did I know at the time that the reason I was on fire was because of the power of the Holy Spirit now actively living inside me and the only changing of the world was going to happen through me, by this same power, not because of me and my, er, pride.

I quickly became involved in any ministry that I could. If a ministry needed help I didn’t even raise my hand, I just jumped right in. You might be experiencing anxiety just reading and thinking about how overwhelming this was. Perhaps you’re thinking I crashed and burned relatively early. The answer is, “no”, I did not. What happened was God’s grace, but I didn’t see it that way back then, pride had its talons securely clutched on and in me. What God did was to gently close each door to each ministry that I was involved in, one by one.

Now what was I going to do? Back to that spiritual baggage. It was during this time that God had put a woman in my life, who has become one of my best friends and my ministry partner. She explained a simple tier to me. God at the top, then my husband and my children, then investing in others and then ministry. What?! Was she crazy? As it turns out, no, she was and is not! God used her to show me the things he wanted me to start exploring with Him. First and foremost, my relationship with him. How could my marriage and my children benefit from anything I did for them when I was trying to accomplish taking care of them by striving on my own. And, how fair was it for my family that I put investing in others and ministry before them? Simply put, I had the tier upside down. I was so busy being involved because I didn’t want to deal with the spiritual healing that my spirit knew needed to take place but my heart was refusing to accept.

I would love to tell you that as soon as I grasped onto this concept, everything in my life changed immediately and for the better. That did not happen. What did happen is that God, ever so gently, began to pull one article at a time out of the spiritual baggage I had been carrying and starting peeling away the layers and revealing the lies I had been believing and showing me His truth. I would also love to tell you that it has been an easy process and pain-free, that also did not happen. It has been painful and messy at times, but through it all, God has been with me constantly and has sent other wonderful people into my life, who were willing to walk through the muck with me, so I could begin to experience spiritual freedom. With his artful and careful hands, he continues to shape me into the woman, the wife, the mother, the mentor and the leader He wants me to become.

These days I am involved in one ministry. I have been called to teach and speak as an ambassador to God’s kingdom, specifically to and for woman. I am so blessed and privileged to share this calling with the woman I once thought was crazy! I still struggle, at times, with desiring to become involved at many different levels, but I always try to remember to consult God first. In doing so, not only do I have more than enough to share with my husband and family, my cup still flows with enough for others and ministry.

God first, spouse and family, others and ministry. May God bless you and keep you as you seek Him for His will for your life.

Shalom!

 

 

Faith Not Political Correctness: Should Christians Stop Saying They Are Blessed?

I recently read an article that stated the one thing Christians should stop saying is that they are blessed in regards to material windfalls. I’ve been pondering this statement since I read it and now I’m asking why?

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He died so we could live!

I am blessed. Blessed with the house we live in, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and the food we eat. Why am I blessed with these material things? Because, none of it has anything to do with me. God is the One who provides for us abundantly through the job He chose for my husband, and when I say abundantly, I mean we have everything we need and many times some of the things we want. God is the One who gives my husband the ability to get up and commute every day to work.

Graciously saying we are blessed is a perfect opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Not because if we do” this” God will do” that.” No, that isn’t how God operates, he isn’t the proverbial Genie in the sky. But, because He promises to provide for us.

 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matt 6:31-33).

If we are seeking God’s first and he CHOOSES to bless us however he chooses to bless then why wouldn’t we say we are blessed?! Isn’t it the same with “Praise the Lord”, “Thank you, Jesus”, and “Hallelujah”? Are we now so politically correct that we are going to stop giving praise and worship to the Only One these blessings come from and the Only One who deserves our praise and worship?

Jesus died so we could live and live life to the fullest! (John 10:10). The moment we chose Jesus we became co-heirs with him

 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17.

Co-heirs sharing in every spiritual blessing in heaven.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

Part of our spiritual blessing is the ability to do God’s will by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Perhaps God’s will is to bless us materially so that we can do HIS will with that blessing. Ahhhhh.

"I will bless you and you will be a blessing to others."
“I will bless you and you will be a blessing to others.”

God told Abraham,

 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3

We, being the seed or descendants of Abraham continue to share in these blessings because this is part of our inheritance. Maybe we should stop feeling guilty about our blessings and start using them, (me included) the way God has always intended.

We don’t live in glass houses. We suffer trials, tragedies and challenges like everyone else. However, I refuse to stop saying I am blessed. God is sovereign and if he chooses to bless me one way or another then it is a blessing indeed.

“If we had as many people practicing the Bible as those who love to discuss it over coffee, it would change everything.” Rick Warren.

Whats Your Story?

Have you ever had an amazing, exciting and out of this world story to tell? One that you are sure no one would believe if you told them, yet one you couldn’t contain to yourself?

Moses had a story like that. In short summation, he and the nation of Israel witnessed the 10 plagues God commanded against Pharaoh and Egypt.

  • Gold 10th Or Ten 3d Number Closeup Representing Anniversary Or Birthday Plague of blood,
  • Plague of frogs,
  • Plague of gnats,
  • Plague of flies,
  • Plague against livestock,
  • Plague of boils,
  • Plague of hail,
  • Plague of locust,
  • Plague of darkness
  • Death of Egypt’s firstborn. 

When Pharaoh finally cried out to Moses and Aaron to gather the nation of Israel and leave Egypt, there were, by some estimates…

  • 2.5-3.5 million Israelites in the exodus.People puzzle concept

As the Israelites left Egypt God told them to ask the Egyptians for clothes, gold and silver, which the Egyptians gave willingly. God caused the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians without a single weapon of war being raised.

What.A.Story.!

Sometime after the Exodus, Jethro, Mosses father-in-law came to visit. Scripture tells us;

Jethro was delighted when he heard about all that the LORD had done for Israel as he brought them out of Egypt. Exodus 18:9.

What’s your story? I’m guessing you have more than one. I believe God gives us continual stories to share with others to express our faith in Him. To glorify His kingdom. Stories that are so unbelievable that it could only be God himself.

open book of family storyGo on, be a Moses today and share a story and a touch of the Holy Spirit!

The grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The Splendor of it All

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I was traipsing through my day, enjoying the blessing of a mini family vacation before my kids had to head back to school from their Fall break. We were in an area where we had spent many Fall’s. This year was different. The colors were spectacular! The red’s were screaming loud and vibrant. The orange’s were saying, “hey, over here, look at me!” The burgundy’s were deep and rich, like a well aged bottle of wine. The yellow’s were subtly; confident in their own contribution. I was surrounded by a bevy of color and I wasn’t even on the East coast. In a moment I realized I didn’t need to be. The West coast has it’s own display of Fall splendor and this time I took notice and lived and experienced this wondrous sight.

Reading God’s word, many times, can be the same way. We’ve read certain Scripture numerous times not stopping to drink in the beautiful picture painted for us. As I was traipsing along throughout my day, I came across 1 Corinthians 3:16. Here, let me share with.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”

When I first came across this verse, the Holy Spirit shone on it like a stage light upon its actors, and I knew God was up to something. The second time I came across this verse was much later in the day. This time I asked God to begin showing me what he wanted me to know about this verse. My answer came at 3:00am. I was awakened, not because I heard a noise or had a scary dream, not even because someone was feeling sick and needed my attention. I was Simply. Wide. Awake. I did what I normally do when I’m wide awake at 3:00am. I prayed. My prayers weren’t general in nature, instead the Holy Spirit guided me very specifically toward prayers for those I knew were seeking healing spiritually and physically. As I prayed, 1 Corinthians 3:16 came to mind for a third time and I felt led to pray this verse for those I was praying for.

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Now, I’m a researcher by nature AND a black and white thinker. When I study God’s word I like all the pieces to fit together. Especially so that I don’t take any of His word out of context. I am learning, however, that many times, theology aside, the Holy Spirit will illuminate Scripture at a face value concept.

What I sense the Holy Spirit telling me is that many times, perhaps we lose sight of the truth that we are God’s temple and the very Spirit of God dwells within us; that this truth is part of our inheritance here on earth as it already is in heaven. This truth is one of the many spiritual blessings that belong to us because of our faith in Christ and His atoning work on the cross. That the healing we seek we can ask for in prayer and continue asking for and that it lies within us because the Holy Spirit embodies us. I have found through personal experience with prayers of healing that most times there is a heart issue that God wants us to see; forgiveness towards others or ourselves, releasing resentment, anger, hurt or any other negative emotion. This is where and when, I believe, true healing begins. Sometimes it is immediate and I would add miraculous, but all God’s healing’s are miraculous! Sometimes it takes time, peeling away layer by layer of stuffed emotions that have become a belief system of bondage. That is why it is so important to continue to delight in an abiding  relationship with Jesus; so we don’t miss any of the moments of his wisdom and guidance. Yes, His very Spirit lives within us, but we have to choose to ask, to listen, to see and to follow.

Beloved, sometimes the work in you is hard and dirty and even painful, but He is always with you. Taking you from those dark and secret places to the beautiful and spectacular array of colors just waiting to be lived and experienced by you! Are you willing to ask and have it given to you; to seek and find, find Him and his will for your life; to knock and have to the door of His heart opened to you? My prayer is that your desire is for Him and Him alone.

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If you have never given your life to Jesus and are ready to do so, please contact me via email or find a trusted friend who trusts Jesus or a local church.

To view the remainder of the photos in this album visit the link below.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B3_8Fa_xs2G6eEdIckoxelA5MlU&usp=sharing–