Sunday, August 31, 2008

Update on my home life! :)

Counting all Joy!

A-apples with lime and chile powder...animals...angels
B-bouncy balls in wal-mart...butterflies...beaches
C-Christmas: cookies, lights,
D-dogs...downy a house
E-everlasting joy...Europe food network
H-Holy Spirit...hummus!
I-intimate talks with a good friend...Israel
K-kisses from a sweet baby
L-leaves in the fall...Lucy and Linus!
N-New England
O-Office, The (TV show)
Q-quiet times
R-rushing yet peaceful rivers...reading a good book...Ryan...Rocky
T-the Word of God
U-under my covers in bed
V-very good food
W-working out...wave-runners
X-xtra carbs and bread please! :)
Z-Zambia, Africa

Friday, August 29, 2008

The end of an era

So yesterday was my last day of work as a dental asst. at my dad's! I have worked there for 8 years now and let's just say that it wasn't my dream job! I don't just dis-like the dental field itself, but that job was also my own personal testing field. Sorry to sound so dramatic, but it's true. I am truly thankful that I had a job and learned a trade, but My father and I sadly don't have the best relationship and working together only made it worse. And add to the fact that my whole family works there and let's just say that we don't work well together on any front. Well, yesterday was my official last day there and it was the wierdest day ever! My mom was balling to see me go b/c she feels like she can't protect me anymore! I'm 28! You can see another reason why I needed to get out. :) I really do appreciate her sentiment but she needs to let me go and actually after we talked about it she realized that so that was good. We, thankfully, had a really good talk. I feel this will better our relationship as well. You see, seeing that my family and I don't get along very well already, working together wasn't the best idea. But God had me there for a time for a reason. It was a hard 8 years though, but I learned a lot....too much to write at this time. But I am excited to start new. I'm also excited b/c I know this will help my relationship with my family. I was the last one to leave the office yesterday b/c I was cleaning up. I thought this day was gonna be so awesome. I had planned on having a retirement party, burning my scrubs, etc. I wasn't kidding when I said that I hated my job! :) But as I sat there alone yesterday, I started to cry...and cry hard. 8 years of my life where spent in that place, and although most of my memories there are bad,sadly, it still was the end of something and I'm a creature of habit at times so I hate good-byes. So I laid on the office floor crying and praying. It was actually a sweet time with the Lord. I had a brief thought that maybe I shouldn't leave that place but I quickly regained my sanity and realized it was just my fear kicking in and remembered how much that desperately needed to get out of there. :) Well, I then gathered all my stuff together, took one last walk thru the office getting my closure, made sure all was ready for the next girl, and then headed out the door. And then there it was. Laying in the spot that my dad parks his truck in everyday...a snake! I ventured over to it to see if it was dead or alive.. Dead it was! And right then I had an epiphany from God. Just as Jesus crushed the head of Satan with His heel, I felt like God was saying to me, "Daughter, don't be scared of your new venture. I have taught you many hard lessons here at this office and I know that Satan attacked you many ways through your father, However, at least for this aspect in your life, I have crushed him and it will be no more! I feel you have learned what you needed and the time is over now." Amen! I found myself drying my tears and doing a happy praise dance right then and there! Now don't get me wrong, I love my father and my family and I know that my dad is not satan. It's just that Satan used him to attack me in so many sift things out of me! Now I am stronger for it, but it still hurt. And now I know that my relationship with my father will be so much better that I'm not working beside him. I hope you understand me. With all that to say, I'm officially done as a dental asst. and now I start my next adventure as full-time with Young Life. I love Young Life and have been volunteering with them for some time now, but this is a new venture for me so please pray for me...I will need it! The beginning of a new era has begun and I feel more mature for it now. I am finally moving forward...yay!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Gift of Singleness

As Philip said in John 14:8, "show us the Father and that will be enough for us" So, I'm taking that a bit out of context as to what Philip was trying to say, but basically, God is enough for us! Psalm 84 actually goes in great detail about that (yes, I am reading through the Psalms, if you can't tell.) Again, these themes so Godly stay on the theme that God has been teaching me lately. And I have discovered another tiny gem in the process. You see, we think that marriage is the end all. It's like we've arrived when we finally get married and then are complete when the kids come. We spend all our single years in search for this. But I have recently come to realize that being 28 (that's my old age :)) and single is not that bad! As horrific as it is to the world that I am 28, un-married, child-less, and without some booming career...I actually find it to be such a gift. And why you might ask? Don't I want to be married? Sure, I do, someday. I've always been attracted to a husband and kids. My desire has simply been to be a house-wife. However, I see all that I have accomplished that I wouldn't have done otherwise, simply by being single. I got to go to Africa this summer, with my greatest worry only being of leaving my pups alone and missing my boyfriend for a bit. I get to take off with YL kids, I get to have long quiet times, I get to go and work-out whenever I want, I get to head to the beach and just have a date with Jesus without having to answer to anyone. Now maybe I am more free-spirited and independent than most. Understandable. However, I feel that we all need to realize, MARRIED AND UN-MARRIED ALIKE, that our purpose of being here is not about getting married. In fact, marriage, if not done the Godly way, tends to ruin our example of Jesus to the world. Our purpose of being here is to glorify God. And how do you do that? Well, if it's by marriage, then great. Be the greatest example of Christ uniting Himself to the church that the hurting world has ever seen. But if you don't know who you are in Christ before you get married, then I feel that you are in a whole heap of trouble. Marriage is hard enough without throwing that huge complication in the mix. You see, if you make finding your spouse your end all, and waste your single years not finding who you are in God, then I believe that you will wake up one day, after having gotten all that you thought that you wanted, and think, who am i? And that's what leads to people doing all kinds of crazy things to go and find that out. Now God can make good of any situation and I know that through marriage, we will discover more of who we are in God. However, we need to get the basis down before. I have unfortunately been surrounded by too many failed and troubled marriages to know what I am talking about and this seems to be the root cause. In fact, 2 younger friends of mine who loved each other deeply, just recently sacrificed one another and broke up so that they could go and do this very thing. They had begun dating right after they accepted Christ into their lives and had found themselves making one another their gods. So they made a mature decision and although it was painful, you can see God's hand all over it and they know that if they are meant to be, their marriage now will be that much stronger for this. But that is not their focus now. Discovering who they are in God is. So I encourage my single readers to do just that. Don't find out who you are, find out who you are in God! And to all my married friends, do your part in submitting to your husbands and pray for him and encourage him, even if it's tough, and I believe that God will honor your obedience. But even if your husband may not love you as he should, you have a heavenly Bride Groom who does! And you know what, when this earth vanishes, which it will in an instant, we will spend eternity in heaven and there is no marriage there...only to our Savior! So live on purpose today...And remember what our purpose of being here is! P.S. I am not dogging marriage. I know I miss out on a lot too by not being married. It's just that in this stage of my life, I want to enjoy where God has me and encourage others to do the same.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

HE is more than enough!

So lately God has been teaching me about Him being all that we need. Again, another concept that I have already known and experienced in different ways, but that God is hammering into the depths of me right now. He brought me to PSALM 81 this past sunday morning where He reminded me that He is the Lord my God who has brought me out of Egypt, so I must open wide my mouth and let Him fill it and stop looking to other things (underlying things) that are but rubbish. For He wants to feed me with His finest of wheat, with honey from the rock He wants to satisfy me! Yes, He brings honey from a rock! You see, there are two particular strongholds in my life that I have yet to be fully freed from. And these verses speak straight to that need. I am in need of feasting on my Jesus for only He can fill me! As Jeremiah 2 speaks of, stop digging your own broken cisterns that cannot hold water and instead drink of the Living Water daily! For He is my Bride Groom whom has rescued me already to live for Him! For the sake of possibly helping my 2 whole readers out there :), I will be as bold to tell you that the 2 strongholds that I have battled for some time now and feel that are coming to an end finally (for God will set me free!) are: looking to food to fill my rejection wound, or building a fortress from people to protect me from my rejection wound. Yes, I suffer from a deep wound of rejection! There, I said it! I was completely vulnerable and don't care so as long as my struggles could possibly help someone else. Do you have a rejection wound too? :) Anyways, I am on the uphill battle with these right now and that is good, but then again, Satan now is trying to unleash his big guns so this captive will not be free. It is a battle in my life and prayer is greatly appreciated, but a battle with a victorious ending, I know. You see, I am not rejected, but rather accepted by my beloved! So I need not reject Him any longer and look to other idols to protect me and fill me. He alone is enough...More than enough! I may be being tested right now, BUT GOD, will rescue me...I need but listen to Him! Go and read Psalm 81 today. It is worth it! Oh how He longs to feed us with His finest, we need but come with an open heart, forsake the lesser for the more of Him, and partake. Our Bride Groom is waiting to dine with His bride, whom He has chosen and will never reject!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

But God...

I was reading this morning about how it really is all about God and not about us or what we do. Not a new concept to grasp, I know. But to me, I guess you could say that it finally sunk into my heart from my head and I had an, "Aha" moment. You know, we learned about it in english back in the day. :) Anyways, one of my biggest struggles is feeling like I have to "be good," which can clearly dismiss one to feel grateful for what God already did for you and who He is and instead just focus you on your own accomplishments...or in my case, my own failures. I, just like the Israelites, can not be good apart from God. So I will continually find myself on their repetitive cycle of sin, punishment, confess, brokenness, misery, picking myself back up, sinning again, etc. I guess the more mature I have become in God, the less "huge sins" I find myself confessing of. I mean, I still sin everyday, but I'm no longer in a cycle of defeat...Praise His name! However, I constantly live in a perpetual state of what I need to be doing better, and what a failure I am for not doing it right. BUT TODAY...My eyes were opened a fresh to what God has been saying to me. It turned from a whisper to a shout. IT'S NOT ABOUT ME! IT'S ALL ABOUT GOD! Big news flash for yall, I know. But it was for me. If I just have faith...then (as my sweet Beth Moore says in one of her devo's, straight from scripture) it closes the gap between our theology and our reality. It doesn't so much make us what we are, but who we are. Obtain the praise you need from God, not yourself or anybody else, as John 5:44 so eloquently puts it. And if you just have faith (in God, not yourself)...we are called to the obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5.) And He works mightily among us only b/c of our faith, which leads to obedience (Galatians 3:5.) We have to live and speak God's word in faith to walk obediently, victoriously, etc.! Faith answers prayers, as stated in Matthew 7! It changes things! One of my former fellow Young LIfe leaders wrote a devotional on the book of Psalms and it also fit right into what God was teaching me this morning (total God thing of course!) He used the illustration of an old Denis the Menace cartoon which went as such...Dennis and his friend, Joey, were leaving Mrs. Wilson's house with a cookie in hand. The caption read, "Dennis, Mrs. Wilson did not give us a cookie because we are good. She gave us a cookie because SHE is good." God's goodness, not ours, is what compels Him to step into our lives that are trapped in the tragic cycle of sin and brokenness. Just as He did for the Israelites (Psalm 78 & 79!) In closing, BUT GOD, BY FAITH....enough said! Get your focus off of you and onto Him, truly! Stop being prideful! Humble yourself today by submitting to HIs greatness! Sermon by me, for me! :) Love yall! Update on my boring and crazy life later.... :)
* By faith believe that You are worth more b/c HE made you worth more, and then you will live as one worth more and then you will be victorious! I like that formula! Amen! :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

a full life

So I'm sitting here this morning, having been joyfully awaken early by my new puppy that had to pee (at least it wasn't in my bed...yes, I let them sleep in my bed and not in their crates...kill me.) Anyways, so I sit here content with life. I have an excellent cup of coffee in hand, my boy, Linus is asleep on my neck (he's the co-dependent one) and my new little princess, Lucy is running around playing with Linus' toys (she's the independent one.) I'm reading my devotions and just contemplating life as I look out my window. I have been journeying through this thing called life for some time now and for most of it, with my God. I've had ups and downs and know that I have not fully arrived yet, however, I find myself content this morning-and it has been awhile since I have been here. I feel like my life is finally moving forward. Praise the Lord! I know now that the only one whose love never fails is my Lord! It has taken me awhile to get here too. Past hurts, wants, rejections, bitterness, etc. have held me back for so long! I had come to the point where the only one that I trusted was Linus. Ha! But now I realize, I trust God with whom He wants me to trust. And even then, only HE can fill me, love me to the bone, and satisfy me. Now all else is just a blessed addition. So this morning I find myself full! "Satisfy us in the morning with Your faithful love so that we may shout for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14. I don't need anyone else's approval and I am so happy to be here! If they don't like me for me, and they don't want to take the time to get to know me, than they are missing out! Ha! But I will love them, only b/c I have the fullness of His love to do so! We do need people, but we don't need get what I'm saying. So I'm going to finish up my time with my precious babies and my sweet Savior and then head to my amazing church. I have been looking forward to hear the guest speaker today! And then I am off to show off Lucy at my grandma's 80th birthday party! I even baked a homeade apple tart for it and I'm so excited! Rest in Jesus this sabbath friends! And shout for joy at His unfailing love! For out of the mouth of children has God ordained praise, to silence the for and the avenger! Praise is your way to sweet victory! Hallelujah!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My new baby!

So I got Linus a wife yesterday...well, right now she is just a baby. Meet my new baby...Lucy! She is a tiny, precious, 9 week old maltese...and in time...the mother of Linus' pups! :) Here she is...and here are the both of them! Linus looks so big here but he really only weighs 5lbs and is a full grown 1 1/2 year old! Therefore, Lucy is smaller than you can tell. I think she weighs like an ounce...or at least feels like it....I don't know yet. I have my hands full now but God worked the whole thing out and my babies love each other already! Will post more later. Yay! :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

spiritual warfare and analogies

Ok guys, this is a long one....I was watching the old movie, The Never Ending Story with my nieces and nephew lastnight (I have a lot of free time right now as my Ryan is gone for 5 weeks and YL is on break.) Anyways, I hadn't watched that movie as an adult and it made me realize all of the spiritual analogies that are spread throughout it-And boy do I love movies like that! After watching that my mind started to think about all that goes on in the spirit realm. No, I am not some wierd new age guru....hear me out. Some people focus too much on the Spirit realm and not enough on why Jesus has us here on earth. But then others completely disregard the Spirit realm. They are blind to the things of the Spirit. Well, I wouldn't say that I was an expert on the Spiritual world, nor do I want to be. But I do know that it does exist.

Before going to Africa I had my own battle for my soul that I witnessed first hand. Yes, I was saved and protected by my Jesus. But Satan wanted to destroy me and there was a battle going on that I was in the middle of and sometimes felt that God had forgotten me and left me to the wolves. But He hadn't and I stand here today the stronger for it. He never leaves nor forsakes us. But I did feel like I witnessed an experience not uncommon to Daniel in the Bible. You see Daniel begged God for help and it took God 21 days to deliver. Why? Is God not powerful? No, by all means He is power! But He sent the angel, Michael, and Michael was detained 21 days by the Prince of darkness. There was a war in the heavenlies, and all the while, Daniel had no clue. Now, why am I writing this to you you may be thinking? B/c we are a people untouch with the things of God. But when I went to Africa, I had a reality check.

These kids don't know what it's like to suffer as the kids here in America do. The kids here struggle with eating disorders, whereas the kids in Africa struggle with trying to get to eat at least once a day. And then you have the kids here in America playing with the wedgie (sp) board, going to see psychics, loving the entertainment of the Harry Potter movies, etc. While the kids in Africa are deathly afraid of the witches that are very much real and powerful and wanting to destroy them. The most frequent complaint that these African children told me about, besides being orphaned and hungry, was that they were afraid to sleep and have nightmares about the witch doctors coming for them. It happened every night and it was real. But my question was, how does the witch dr. visit all these kids every night and not wake up their caretakers (whom they sleep with b/c everyone has to share a bed.) Well, I found out that 90% of the time, the witch dr.'s aren't in their rooms with them at night. These kids are having nightmares, but it's not just a nightmare. It is real. You see, in some way, these kids have been given access to the evil of the witch dr.'s. They were probably brought to them as small children so that he could "heal" them. And that is where the enemy has gained his access. You see, the minute you play with fire, so to speak, you have opened the door for the enemy to come in and burn you up. And that is done through seeing psychics, evil deeds in our family heritage, etc. Well, these witch dr.'s, through the power of satan (yes, satan is real and has power) call upon the dark forces at night to destroy these kids. And these kids then fall into trances and are subject to all kinds of harm. So you may see their physical bodies sleeping at night, but there is no way you can wake them, for their spirit man is taken up into a whole other world and subject to many a terror. And all the while it happens in their sleep. Sounds wierd, I know. But it is real. In fact, one young guy on the missions trip to Africa with us didn't believe that this could be real....that is until he experinced it first hand. You see, Satan works just as powerful here as he does in Africa. His tactics are just different. Over there he works through witch dr.'s, satanists, aids, etc. Over here, he works through eating disorders, materialism, etc. Different strongholds, same worker of evil. The difference is, the Africans have nothing so they want something that they can hold onto. And so when you give them Jesus, the Name above all names, the I AM, our Precious Redeemer, Emmanuel, the Living Word, then they grab onto Him for dear life. They realize that He is truly ALL that they need, their hope! And so He works mightily on their behalf! You witness miracles! But here...We sadly have need of nothing, so we think, so when He finds us and rescues us, we carefully place Him on the back burner and de-void ourselves from witnessing any miracles on our behalf. So back to Africa. When these kids found Jesus, they were overjoyed and then you would hear testimony after testimony of the power that God worked on their beahlf's against the evil of these witch dr.'s, etc. The evil lines in their lives were broken b/c a new name, the Name, was placed on their lives. And you too can break the curses in your life. Just renounce any way the enemy has been granted access into you life and instead invite God into your life. For you see, the Bible says that God blesses our family lines for a thousand generations of those who love Him...yet for those who don't acknowledge Him, He punishes the children for the sin of their fathers to the third and fourth generation.

So here's the bottom line. The Spiritual world is real, but one that we need not be afraid of. You see, Satan does have power and is real, but our God is real too and He is All Powerful!!! If you are in God's side, you need not be afraid, only aware. For with Him, we are mighty conquerers, we are victorious, we are protected, we have strength, etc. So, when you come across a movie like The Neverending Story, appreciate the spiritual analogies...knowing that one day, the Nothing (Satan) will be destroyed, and you will run free victorious on Jesus' white horse! We are more than conquerers through Him who loved us! Amen! :) Take some time today to renounce the evil in your lives and lean on God and witness His miracles. He has already worked one miracle on your behalf...You are saved! Hallelujah! I hope you got where i was coming from on this post for my writing can be like word diahreea (sp) at times! :) Let me know if I need to clarify...Bottom line....the Lord is a warrior! He fights for you!!!!