Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Past is Past

Your Past Needs to Stay Your Past

Have you ever been going through your Christian life smoothly and then---BAM!!!---something happens that in turn brings up something from your past that you really wanted to forget for good and never think of again??? Well, of course you have, especially if you are a Christian. This is the enemies number one plot against us. He loves to make us remember times that we have hurt people or times we have done something so bad it makes us want to vomit to think that we are capable of such things.  He loves to bring to our remembrance things we have said and done that would make us seem so inadequate as a Christian that we can't fully accept God's love or His plan of redemption.
But I have good news for you.....this is not what Jesus has called you to be, feel, or do. When you accept Christ as your personal savior, all of that is wiped clean. His word says he was make us as white as freshly fallen snow. That is not to say that people forget what you were or things you did.  However, they can see you as the new creation you are. They will probably doubt for a while that you have really changed, and that's ok. Just keep living for God--they'll see the change.
Leave your past in the past where it belongs.....except for when it is being used by God to bring honor and glory to His name. Times when you can share what you used to be to and things you used to do to bring honor to God (and God will open chances for you to do that). He has cleansed you, saved you, and loves you more than you could ever imagine. Don't allow the enemy a chance to come in and remind you of your mistakes to make you feel bad.....instead remind him that the Word of God says that God uses all things that the enemy meant for destruction and uses it for good, remind him that Christ says He makes all things new---and that includes you...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sometimes all you can do is…..PRAISE!!

Sometimes life is almost too much.  There are times of financial stress, worrying about our children, times of illness.  God never said it would be easy.  I have learned though, in those times, all you can do is PRAISE.  Those are times to let out a shout with a voice of triumph and let the devil know we can’t be moved!  I have a dear friend in our church right now who just found out she has cancer…for the 2nd time.  Sunday, though, she was in church.  She wasn’t at home feeling sorry for herself.  She wasn’t in her seat with a downcast look.  Nope….she was praising God!  She was lifting her voice in powerful praise and awesome worship.  The enemy has not stopped her!  No way.  She says she has too much to do.  Her mere countenance brought me to tears. Sometimes…….all you can do is praise!  Praise Him for who He is, for all He has done for you.  During worship one time I stated “Lord, if you never done another thing for me, you have already done enough for me to serve you the rest of my life” He does not have to do another thing.  I gotta praise! When our bedroom flooded last week, I cried.  But, then something rose up within me and I
began to praise! Why?  I know that I know after all these years that God is up to something good.  I know when the enemy comes in like a flood (no pun intended) that God is right behind him sopping up the mess!  I know that God is already working the thing the enemy meant for destruction for my good!  So I praised!  I praised Him while I cleaned up my mess, I praised Him while I was throwing stuff away, knowing that He would bring me new things to replace what I had lost.  My dear friend with cancer knows the same thing.  She knows that all she has left is her praise.  That’s all she can do.  Praise and trust. Praise is a declaration.  A declaration of trust and of victory! It is a war cry saying to the enemy that you will stand strong and continue to trust in God.  So, people of God…whatever you are going through, wherever you are right now in your life…..PRAISE!  Let out a victory cry and let the enemy know you are standing strong in your faith. 
“I will bow down before your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word” Psalm 138:2. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Selfish Much?

I have had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in the hospital this week.  Not a great place to be as you all well know.  Well, my “room mate” was this little old lady (Ms. Marguerite as she became known) who had a bowel obstruction (brings lovely thoughts to your brain right now doesn’t it).  She had a lovely daughter who was there with her through the day.  From the time visiting hours started until the time they were done, the daughter was there. However, once the daughter left, I felt responsible for this little lady.  Now, here I was writhing in pain and I felt responsible for this lady.  On one of the nights there, she was mumbling (in a drugged stupor) about being cold. So, I get up, steady myself (I was in a drugged stupor too) and find a nurse to get her a blanket.  Another night, she is mumbling about her tummy hurting.  I find a nurse to help her out. I am not saying all of this to pat myself on the back…..believe me, I am NOT.  But, this experience did make me wonder, hope, and pray that if I can not ever do these things for myself, that someone will be willing to go get help for me.  You see, we are basically selfish people. We basically look out for ourselves.  BUT, we are called to look out for others.  We are called to serve. Servant literally means “a person who serves another out of debt or duty”.  We have a duty as a Christian to serve others.  When was the last time you asked someone how they were and really LISTENED to their reply?  I do this all the time.  I work for an attorney and ask practically every client I speak to during the day “how are you?”  However, I don’t always listen to what they have to say. I am trying to change that. I am making an effort and praying that God will give me a bigger desire to be a servant.  To be able to love others as He loves.  Who knows, I may be the only Jesus they see that day.  When I got checked out of the hospital, I held my roomie’s hand, smiled at her, looked her in the eye and told her I would be praying for her. And I have.  May God give me a heart to serve the way He did as He walked on Earth.
“Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but the interests of others as well” (Philippians 1:4).

Friday, February 12, 2010


Today, I am stressed.  This week has been a very trying week for me.  There has been one thing after another after another.  School, work, illness, money woes, teens….well I could go on, but I won’t bore you.  I find myself longing for bed time each night.  Have you ever had a week like that?  What kind of human would I be if I never admitted I had a bad week?  I wouldn’t be a normal human for sure. It can’t be all doves and roses all the time.  We all have bad days, weeks, months.  It’s what we do with them that matters.  It’s how we react.  Here’s the thing. Satan CANNOT read your mind!  He is not omniscient, omnipresent, or all knowing.  To be so would mean that he is on the same wavelength as God.  We all know that is not so.  So, what does Satan “go” by?  Many times, he goes by our reactions.  Something happens to us and Satan (or one of his do-boys LOL) are sitting there waiting to see “how is she gonna take this?” He wants to know where our faith is.  Are we going to claim the word of God over our lives or are we going to poor me…….WHY GOD????  WHY ME????  I sadly, have done both.  This is when knowing the word of God comes in.  If the word is hidden in our hearts… the perfect time it will come forth.  We will know that Jesus is there, in our most stressful week, saying “peace, be still.”  I love the song that says “sometimes he calms the storm and other times he calms His child”.  There are times we have to go through things.  Not around them….the Bible says “though I go THROUGH the valley…” Sometimes there is no other way but through.  It is in those times, though, that my faith has grown.  It has been in the hard times that I have planted my feet and declared that no matter what, I will serve the Lord.  I will see the battle through…..I WILL simply trust.  That’s what it comes down to….trust.  Do we trust Him to bring us through the bad weeks?  Do we trust that no matter how it ends, it is all for His glory?  Do we trust that He loves us enough that He always, always has our best interest at heart? If we do, then the bad weeks, the stressful days, well they won’t seem quite as bad.  Psalm 85:8 says “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to His people, His saints.” I think that’s enough said. 
Here’s wishing you a stress free God filled weekend…….

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


From ages 5 to 8 I was molested by a family friend.  I NEVER told anyone…including my husband.  I was at a women’s conference and God spoke to me telling me that He was going to use this part of my testimony. My first job?  To tell my mom.  I remember taking her to Golden Corral for a coke and just blurting it out…..she just sat there and looked at me.  Then she said “that explains a lot.”  That’s it??  That’s all I get?  But for her, that’s all that needed to be said.  It explained to her why I had been a depressed teen.  It explained why I ended up pregnant at 17.  It explained to her why when she asked me one time “what would make you happy!?”  I looked at her and honestly said “I don’t know.” I didn’t know.  I had no idea.  I had so much anger and guilt built up within me I didn’t even know where to start.
Well, from that day on, God began to use this part of me.  I spoke at a ladies’ convention and had a seventy something year old lady come up to me and tell me that her dad had molested her and she had never told anyone until then!  Can you imagine how in awe I felt that God could use something so bad for His good???  Then I spoke on forgiveness at our youth group and used this as my example. I was scared to death they were going to laugh or poke fun at me for what had happened.  I had 12 kids come forward that night!  I told them “I would go through it all again to know that I could help you guys.” I meant that.  I have learned that once I took the step God told me to take….once I obeyed and began to LET HIM use this, it was all turned around for good.  What is He telling you to do right now?  What are you not obeying?  What is holding you back? Fear? Guilt? Don’t let the enemy steal anything more from you.  Obey God and watch Him work!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Your Worth!

In my life as a youth pastor’s wife, worship leader, mom, etc. I notice that alot of girls/women don’t realize their worth. This is a problem to me. Why? Because God wants each of us to realize about ourselves what He already knows about us--that we are precious, that He has given each of us unique gifts and that He wants to use us. I know this is a problem because I have lived it. As a teenager I didn’t realize that I was worth anything. I wasn’t raised in church, I didn’t have a good relationship with my parents and I thought I had nothing to offer but a pretty face and my body (thanks to the man who molested me as a child and told me this was all I was!) My desire is that all teenage girls would see themselves as beautiful. That you would find your God-given gifts early and begin to use them. My desire for every woman is that she would see herself as adored, realizing that it’s never too late for God to use you. Know that you have more to offer than what the world indicates to you (your body and sexuality). I have friends who I know have certain gifts that God wants them to use. They either don’t realize it or choose not to use them. The world and what it has to offer looks good. It’s not. Believe me, I have lived both ways and would not go back to what I used to be for anything.

So, how do you find your gifts? I hear this alot. First, examine yourself. What are your strong points? What are your weak points? What moves you--what makes you so mad that if you could, you would change it today, right now? What are your passionate about? Are you passionate about souls being saved? Are you angry when you hear about child abuse or animal abuse? What makes you mad? Let God use that righteous anger for something good--learn to channel it for good. Before you can do any of that though, you have to realize that you are worth alot. You were worth so much that God himself in human form died a cruel death on the cross for you. That’s how much you’re worth. You can’t truly love until you love yourself. You can’t realize the worth of others if you don’t even know the worth of yourself. Don’t let people abuse you, know that you are worth so much more than that. Plant your feet, know you are beautiful, adored, and then let God use you through the gifts He has already given you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Wilderness

There are times in our lives when we are just going to feel alone. We never know when these seasons are going to appear, why they appear, or for how long they will last. Going through one of these seasons myself (and a really long one I might add), I did some research. I looked up "wilderness" in the dictionary and the definition that really hit me was: "a wild and uncultivated region, as of forest or desert, uninhabited or inhabited only by wild animals; a tract of wasteland." This hit me particularly hard because out in the wilderness it seems that we are indeed in a place that is inhabited by wild animals—animals that want to destroy you—to consume you. Jesus himself was tested in the wilderness remember? At that point of fasting, Satan appeared to Him in the wilderness and attempted to devour Him—in the wilderness. Remember how He overcame? With the Word of God. There are times when the last thing we may want to do is pray or read. I have been there too. To overcome the creatures waiting to devour us, we have to be equipped. If you were in a literal wilderness, you would find something to defend yourself. The same is true with a spiritual wilderness. These are all lessons that I have had to learn. I have to be equipped and I can't expect anyone to do it for me. I have to seek God, I have to worship, I have to feed myself His word, I have to do these things; not my church, not my friends, not my husband, just me. Just Jesus and me out here wandering around. Who better to be led by? Who better to seek and depend upon? I know that no matter what, He is in charge, even when I am tired and worn out, He is there, ready to take my hand and help me around the mountain one more time. The definition also states that it is "a tract of wasteland". In a spiritual meaning, it could most definitely be a place of waste. I know people who were on fire for God, when everything was going good. Then, in a place of wilderness, in a place of testing, they turned their backs on Him and His goodness. That is indeed waste. The biggest waste of all. I am responsible to make sure that I don't waste away out here—that I get enough to eat—enough of His word to sustain me. I will not be defeated. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I am slightly hardheaded. LOL

All wilderness I will encounter will end, eventually. And I will come out ahead, I will come out victorious having learned another lesson and another dimension of my faith that I wouldn't know existed if it wasn't tested. How do I know that? Because the word of God tells me that He has a good future planned for me, a good life, He will prosper me and not harm me. It also tells me that I will go through these times. If I believe His word, then I have to believe all of it, not the parts I want. That's ok. It's all about trust......

Just a thought…

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's NOT About YOU (or me!)

If there is one thing I have learned from years of being a worship leader-----IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!!! This can be a very hard thing to sink into our human minds. We love to be the center of attention--to think that when God moves strongly in a service it must be because we must be such an "anointed" worship leader. We love for people to tell us that we are so talented and awesome, and it's ok to accept compliments.....BUT-we have to be careful to not let these things go to our heads. This is not only in worship or singing, this is in anything we do for the Lord. We have to be careful that we are doing things for the edification of Christ....not the edification of Kay Warren so beautifully puts it "the kingdom of me must fall". We must become less and Christ must become more. So, the things that you are doing for God--are they out of a pure heart? Are they out of love for the King? Or, are they out of love for one's self? Out of desire for people to notice what you do and compliment you on these things so that you look like the "good Christian" is supposed to look?

Examine your heart, examine your motives. Are you pushing open doors so that you can be seen? Are you serving in areas you really don't like but do it anyway because it's noticed and people think it's a good thing? Remember, it's NOT about you.....let everything you do be to further the kingdom of God....let it be done for glory to Him, not glory to self......

just a thought....