Nov 19, 2015

I will not be afraid....

The news is filled with horrible things right now. Everywhere I turn, I hear of something absolutely terrifying happening overseas, and locally.

I find myself getting anxious. Being scared when home alone. Being scared anywhere actually. Always looking over my shoulder. Constantly looking for possible danger.

My mind can get away from me in these moments, fear can overwhelm me and steal my peace faster than I can blink.

The safety of my children causes me the most panic and fear. I can obsess about their safety until it overtakes every rational thought in my head.

My daughter has night terrors. She wakes up and runs into our room fearing someone coming in and
"getting her". This happens very often. We pray over her, play scripture in her room on a CD, and tell her that God is with her always. She still struggles to believe.

I get it. I struggle too sometimes.

My faith can be shaken when fear strikes. Faith is the exact opposite of fear. Yet, I still succumb some days.

However, I will not live there. I will not let fear change my life, what I do, and where I go. This is exactly what the enemy would like to see happen. The enemy uses fear to stop believers in their tracks. To keep them from stepping out in faith and living an abundant life of joy.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Yes, bad things do happen.

But, this is not the end.

God has the final say and it will be a Glorious Day.

For the Scriptures say, "'As surely as I live,' says the LORD, every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.' Romans 14:11

Dark days may come, but Jesus will have the final say. You can count on it, sweet friend.

This great dragon--the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world--was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Revelation 12:9

This strengthens me, and gives me so much HOPE in these perilous days.

When we are in a state of fear, we must overcome fear with Truth. God's Truth. We must stand on His Word and fight fear with the sword of His Word.

How do we do this in our day to day lives?

  • Memorize scripture--Psalm 23, Psalm 91, Psalm 1, Philippians 4:6-8 -just a few of my favorites.
"So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Deuteronomy 11:18

  • Buy the bible on CD and play it in your house 24/7. God's word will be in your home at all times.  His Word will resonate deep in your heart and all who live under your roof. A great thing to put on your Christmas list! You can find some here.

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17

  • Be careful what you see and read. It is not na├»ve to not have to be in the know on all things. If you struggle with fear, you must be cautious about information overload. You may do better by reading the paper than by watching the news or clicking on links online. These can lead you to see things that your mind will have a hard time trying to erase. Trust me on this one. Be careful.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

  •  Pray. All day long.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

  • Speak Faith. When I stopped voicing my fear, my faith grew stronger. Our words are oh so powerful. Make them work for you and not against you. The enemy cannot get into our minds. So, he can only go by what we "say" and how we act. Act and speak faith. This is so important. It will change your life.

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 21:23

As Christians, we have a responsibility. To spread Hope. To spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. This world needs to know the Hope we have. Let them see it by the lives we live.  The Peace we have despite circumstances through perilous times.

People will believe what they see us do quicker than what we preach to them. So let's show them Hope, Peace, and Love. This is what will demolish fear and evil.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

fear not,


The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
  he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23

Nov 18, 2015

Divide and be conquered....

This post was written on my family blog months ago. Reading it now, it seems all over the place. However, I felt a strong current to share it here with you because I feel a great urgency in my spirit to pray for our families. If you are reading this today, I am praying over you fervently. Your marriage, your children, your precious families. What an honor to do battle on my knees on your behalf. Much love. 

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand." Matthew 12:25

The best way to describe it is a restlessness within my spirit. A severe awareness of some enormous spiritual warfare taking place in our homes. Right under our own roofs.

We MUST do something.

Do you know that the enemy's plan is to divide and conquer? Do you know that the best way that the enemy can spread evil and his plan is by first getting a foothold into our families? Once he divides us, he is more easily able to conquer us.

Think about something for a minute...

Are there family members in your life that you do not speak to? Is there division of any kind in your family? Do you see the enemy's tactic here? Divide and destroy.

Jesus tells us this: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

We must not be deceived any longer! We must open our eyes to the enemy's tactics and LIES. He is a thief. He is a liar. He is a destroyer.

There's a war raging around us. A battle for our hearts! A battle for our loyalties! A battle of our marriages! A battle for our children! A battle for our families! We think the battle is overseas, so we worry, we pray, we fear the enemy coming here.

The evil is here. Fighting to get into our homes. Dividing us even on spiritual issues. Dividing us on every level. How can we show love to a dying world when we cannot show love to those living under our own roofs? How can we show love to a dying world when we hate our neighbors?

The greatest tool we have to fight evil is to LOVE like Christ. It starts here. In our houses. In our neighborhoods. In our churches. If we are not loving those around us, how can we ever love the world?

I think we get it backwards sometimes. We want world peace, yet we live at war with our spouses, our children, our family members, our neighbors. This is contrary to God's will for us.

There is a lack of love going on. We are becoming immune to our fellow brothers and sisters. We want to be right. At the expense of showing the love of Christ. If we are not careful we become Pharisees. Knowing the law, quoting the law, but forgetting the greatest command of Love.

Are we heeding this call?

Or are we letting our flesh and pride win these battles. All the while the enemy takes on another win--another family.

Another way the enemy wins is by distracting us. Distracting us from our marriages, our children, our homes. We are lured away, just like our sister Eve. The enemy uses different tactics to lure. He watches us to see what will draw our hearts away from home. Be sure that he knows you. He watches you, and he is always waiting for an opportunity to lure you away from your home.

We must know what our children are up to. What are they doing in their rooms? Who are their friends? Who are they talking to and texting with day after day? The enemy is subtle. He will come in ways that we never expect. We must be watchful.

If the enemy cannot get a foothold into our marriages, he will go straight for our children.

We must stand strong. Be present. Be diligent and wide-eyed about the battle for our family.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

If you don't think the enemy is after your family, think again. He is out to destroy you.

What do we do?

Jesus tells us this: "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

Pray like Jesus.

Love like Jesus.

Speak Truth like Jesus.

Love is only powerful and effective when combined with Truth. Jesus was the perfect combination of love and truth. The Pharisees before him were bent on law, not love. Jesus came to fulfill the law with LOVE and TRUTH.

We are not loving like Jesus if we are not speaking truth to those around us. Not the world's kind of truth either. Not truth's based on our opinions or on pop culture.

God warns us in Revelation 3:16: So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Aren't we being luke warm when we insist on love without truth? Aren't we avoiding the truth to make a more comfortable path for us and them?

God's Word is the only truth. Our opinions mean nothing. It's His Word that stands True. The only rock that holds. We must stop [myself included in a HUGE way], reading people's opinions and thought online. These words have the power to infuriate us or appease us. We must read what God says. What does God say about this? We are seriously misled when we jump on a bandwagon of hatred. This is not right, y'all. This grieves the Holy Spirit.

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

Pretty simple here:  Love God. Love your neighbor.

We cannot sit idly by and water down His Word thinking we are showing love. This is not Christ-like Love.

Are we loving each other enough speak truth? Or are we walking on egg shells around hard issues because we don't want to come across as judgemental.

We are not the judge. God is the only Judge.

God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor? James 4:12

Our job is to love like Jesus. Speak Truth like Jesus.

People want to hear truth. Our spirits were designed for God's Truth to resonate.

Be clear that the enemy has all of our families on his target. He is out to divide and conquer. With lies. Big, seething lies.

The good news is that "He who lives within us is greater than he that is within the world!"1 John 4:4

Love until it hurts. Speak the truth of His Word even when it's uncomfortable. They are not our words anyway, they are His. His Words will never return void.

The battle belongs to the Lord.

We can rest in that.

Nov 10, 2015

I have a problem.....

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Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Proverbs 21:23

Not too long ago, [I refuse to say just how recently it was] I had a little tongue problem. As in, I let it get away from me in a big way.

The victim was my husband. God bless him. Really, God bless him. Will y'all pray for him? Thank you.

He has his own issues, but his mouth is not usually one of them. Shoot. Just me.

After my little tirade, mouth spew, whatever you want to call it.... instead of feeling better due to venting my feelings, I felt like a big ol' pile of YUCK.

Around 2:00 am the next morning, I woke up feeling that terrible ping of conviction. I looked over at Lem, and he was peacefully sleeping. Of course he was. He wasn't the one with the tongue problem. No conviction piercing his little beating heart, only mine. Lucky me.

I tried to go back to sleep and I just couldn't. Conviction is REAL, y'all. Whew.

[Conviction is different than condemnation. Conviction is from The Holy Spirit. Condemnation is from Satan, the accuser.  Condemnation tells you that you are a failure and a loser. It is meant to tear you down, and offer you no solution to the sin problem. However, conviction is godly sorrow that will lead to repentance. Please be aware of the differences.  "There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus Romans 8:1]

So, since I could not sleep a wink due to heaping conviction, I got up, turned on a lamp in the living room and grabbed my Bible. It felt so wrong touching my Bible with my sinful little self.

I turned to every scripture in the whole Bible that had to do with the tongue. There's a lot just in case you were wondering. A whole lot.

Sitting there by myself in the wee hours of the early morning, I cried to the Lord. I begged Him to help me to have more control over my emotions--especially my mouth.

The Lord led me in that moment to write down the scriptures that I was looking up. Not just write them down but to spend the next day saying them over and over and over.

I did.

It's amazing how quickly a heart can change when it focuses on Truth and God's Transforming Word.

By filling my heart and mind with scripture, I was emptying out the ugly going on in my heart, and mind---and mouth.

Those two things cannot exist at the same time. I have to choose one or the other.

Maybe you don't struggle with your mouth, but maybe you have another struggle.

Are you lacking peace?

Are you lacking joy?

Are you lacking love?

Are you lacking forgiveness?

Are you lacking self-control in some areas?

I beg you, on my knees, heart-felt-beg you to go to God's Word today. Find every scripture you can find on whatever your struggle may be.

Write them down on pretty pink notecards--or green, or blue, or whatever you fancy-- and read them daily.

Healing awaits.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 2:16

My tongue has to be tamed every day. It's not a one time fix. It is a daily, hourly, minute-by- minute dependence on God to be able to put a clamp on this mouth of mine.

The good news is that the more we depend on Him, the stronger we become. His Power is made Perfect in our weakness.

"but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

buying stock in pink notecards,


Nov 6, 2015

Who do you follow?

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"Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me."
Luke 9:23

Jesus spoke these words to a crowd of people as He prepared them for his upcoming death. He told them that He would "suffer many terrible things", and be "rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law". [Luke 9:22]

As we know, all of these things did happen. He was persecuted, rejected, mocked, beaten, spat upon, and then hung on a cross until He took His last breath. 

We also know the good news. He arose from death 3 days later perfectly intact. Just as He said He would. 

I have been pondering what it means to follow Jesus, to really follow Him. 

In His own words He says it looks like this:

-Turn from your selfish ways
-Take up your cross daily
-Follow Me

We must be careful not to water down these words, or only apply the things He says that are "comfortable" for us. Also be careful of anyone teaching anything contrary to the words of Jesus. Study His Word. Get in there on your own and check out His Truth. Don't just take what you hear to heart, hold it up to the Word of God. He will shed light on the Truth. 

Let's break this teaching down of following Christ...

Turn from your selfish ways: 

Who am I seeking to please each day? Am I striving to make my name great, or God's? Am I willing to deny my time, my comfort, my pleasures, my money, my order to follow Christ?

Am I concerned over what people are thinking about me to the point these people become idols?

Am I seeking the approval of man over God?

 Am I seeking the interest of others over my own? [Philippians 2:4]

Is my time so important to me that I am not willing to pause, and help someone else in need?

Is there someone in my own family, or circle of friends that I need to reach out to even though it may take a lot of my resources and energy?

Are we so in love with our church and our "religion" that we close the doors on those that are on the outside? Does our attitude reflect a heart of love, or a heart of judgement and condemnation? 

Selfishness preserves our heart. It encases it with cold legalism and religion instead of breaking it wide open to ooze out love to others in need of a touch of His Grace and Compassion. Our hearts were not made to be preserved and frozen, but to be cut-wide open, bleeding for others to know Him. 

Lord, help me to turn from my selfish ways. Help me to deny myself when I want to surrender to the demands of my flesh. Break my heart wide open and free it from self-preservation and selfishness.  

Take up your cross daily:

Am I willing to totally die to myself? Am I willing to be totally surrendered to Christ that I will follow Him at all costs? Including losing some friends along the way? Am I willing to carry the cross even when being a Christian gets hard and uncomfortable? Even when others mock me or roll their eyes at me? And to love them anyway?

Taking up our cross daily is not a burden we pride ourselves of carrying as some like to believe. It is not meant to be viewed as a martyredom on our part before God. No. That kind of thinking takes the focus off of Christ and puts it on us. This is not what "taking up our cross" looks like. 

Taking up our cross is totally surrender to Him. To His Word. To His Ways. To His Love. To His Mercy. To His Compassion. To His Humility. 

Lord, help me to take up my cross daily. No matter the persecution that comes my way. 

Follow Me:

Perhaps this one has pierced my heart in the biggest ways. It is the one I probably struggle with the most. 

As humans, we have a tendency to want to be followers. We are like sheep constantly in search of a shepherd to lead us. 

Since the beginning of time, this has been a problem with us. 

We are so quick to make an idol out of people, things--anything. 

In this day and age, I find it no coincidence that we have "followers" on social media. Not only that, but we have many that we "follow". 

Friends, we must be careful who we follow. Let me say that one more time--we must be careful who we follow. 

Several years ago, I was following someone on Instagram. She is an amazing woman of God--known by many. However, I found myself wanting to be just like her. I was envious of how witty she was, how her family seemed so perfect as she home-schooled her slew of children. I found my joy being suffocated because her life looked so much prettier than mine. 

People hung on her every word. I was one of those people. 

I found myself wanting to be like her. Although, my life was so much different than hers. 

She did not do anything wrong, it was my heart that was in the wrong. She had become an idol to me.

The Lord showed me during that time, that I was putting women of God like her in a place above Him. I got so caught up in the glamour and the praise of her life, that it made me feel inadequate in my own. 

Again, God is using her to minister to many. She was not the problem, my heart was. When we put our faith in people, instead of God, we start to crumble. We lose our Joy. We lose our sense of value in Christ. We lose all the way around.  Our gifts become stifled and suffocated. 

Comparison is the thief of Joy. 

We become enamored with their lives, their stories, their wittiness, their families, and we forget the One we are truly to follow--Christ.

Who are we following, friends? 

Who has the most influence in our lives?

Lord, let it be You. Help us to follow You completely and remove any idols that have come before You. If we are following anyone other than You, please reveal this to our hearts. Shine a light on places where we have made idols. We repent, and we desire to follow You-above all others. 

Lord help me to follow You,


Nov 5, 2015

Give us this day....

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"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation
    but deliver us from the evil one."

Matthew 6:9-13
A few weeks ago, my family attended a funeral. It was in honor of a precious lady that lived a very full and rich life. She left behind many children and grandchildren which are following in her faithful footsteps.
I love funerals. I know that is so weird, but I do. Yes, they always make me cry. Like, snotty-cry, but it's like a cleansing of the dirt that's been collecting on my spirit. The tears clean away the "take for granted" parts of my soul. My soul is awakened.
There is something about getting to be a part of a ceremony honoring the life of another human being. I leave feeling so alive. So ready to live with PURPOSE. With LOVE. With INTENTIONALITY. With JOY.
Each time I leave a funeral, something is marked in my soul. A reminder of the sanctity of life. A reminder to live, really LIVE my life to the fullest.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Anything less than an abundant life, is not the life God has planned for us.
A bold statement, yes. But, Jesus is known for His boldness. Man, I love Him.
An abundant life is a life that bears fruit. A life that breathes joy, love, hope, mercy, and grace to all those who enter into Christ's shadow. Not because of us, but because of Him.
"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.." 2 Corinthians 2:15
I love the thought of being a fragrance of Christ. Everywhere we go--leaving the aroma of Christ to all who come near. A sweet lingering aroma for all who pass by.

If you know me, you know I LOVE perfume. Of any kind.  Cheap, expensive, I don't care. I keep two bottles of scented lotion in my car at all times. [My daughter has inherited this gene]. So, between the two of us we smell like a spilled bottle of perfume. Beware.
Oh gosh, here I go getting off subject. I kind of write like I talk. It's hard for me to stay on track.
Ok, so back to the funeral.
During this funeral, at one point the preacher asked us to all pray the Lord's prayer together. [the one written at the top of this post.]  Most of us knew it by heart. However, I noticed my children only knew parts of it.
I made a mental note to teach them the whole blessed thing. Hello, how could I have gone so wrong?? Good grief.
If you are not aware of the story behind this prayer from the book of Matthew, this was Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray. In fact, my NLT version of the Bible quotes Jesus as saying this before He teaches the prayer..."Pray like this..." Matthew 6:9
I like clear instructions. Just tell me what to do and I can do it. This is exactly what Jesus does here. He tells us a prayer to pray.
Simple, yet oh so powerful.
I want to focus on a part of the prayer that has gotten my attention in the past few days. It's quietly tucked into the Lord's prayer, but the impact of these words is life changing.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Notice the word "this".
Jesus is not asking to give us tomorrow, the next day, the next year, the next 20 years, or the day before, or the year before, or the last 20 years...
He is asking God to give us THIS day.
The day that we are in. This day. The present.
Let that sink in for a milli-second.
I will wait for you...
Now, because I am a big fat history nerd, I want to take you back to the Israelites in the book of Exodus.
As the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness they got hungry and asked God to give them food. God told Moses He would send them bread from Heaven to eat.
The next day, the Lord provided manna for them to eat. The Hebrew word for manna actually translates to "what is it". I find that pretty funny.
God provided just enough manna for the people to sustain them each day.
However, if they tried to hoard the manna or tried to save it for the next day, the manna would breed worms. It would not be edible.
When Jesus teaches us to pray, He prays for God to give us this day, our daily bread.
Jesus is not asking for God to jump ahead and give us tomorrow's bread.He focuses on the needs of today. This day, God gives us bread for our present trials and needs. He answers the needs for this day. As E.M. Bounds states in his book on Prayer, "Victory today is the assurance of victory tomorrow."
I find myself often focusing on the big picture instead of "this" day. I can get overwhelmed when I think of all that I want to teach my kids, all the manners they need to have, all the stuff I need to do for the week, all the bills that need to be paid, all the posts I want to write, all the people I want to pray for,  all the things I need to do to be a better wife, all the blah, blah, blah...
This creates a loss of joy. Remember that thief we mentioned above in John 10:10?
Yep, that thief comes when we try to hoard the bread of today to carry over to tomorrow.
E.M. Bounds says it like this, "As every day demands its bread, so every day demands it prayer. No amount of praying done today will be sufficient for tomorrow' praying. On the other hand, no praying for tomorrow is of any great value of us today. Today's manna is what we need; tomorrow God will see that our needs are supplied."
Can we all just breathe a big fact collective sigh of relief?? We just need bread for THIS day! Jesus would not have told us if it were not true.
The bread of this day often gets overlooked by us. We kick it right out of the way. We are too busy storing up enough bread to make it through the week or the year. Our busy schedules demand that we hurry, rush, and speed through our days. No time for laughing with the kids,  no time for snuggling on the couch with our loved ones, no time for reading another night time story at the persistence of our little ones, no time for phone conversations or coffee dates with friends,  no time to sit and be still in the presence of God...
Oh, but Jesus teaches us the contrary. To get the most of this day, we feast on the bread for this day. At this moment. At this hour.
This day I will teach my kids. This day I will be a blessing to my husband. This day I will be kind. This day I will be a good steward with my money. This day I will make wise choices with my eating. This day I will call and check on my momma. This day I will read the bible. I will not think about the things of tomorrow, but the moments I have now, the bread that I have today to give. This day.  

This day is all we have. We are not promised tomorrow.
Today, this day, let's sit down, kick our shoes off, gather our people, and enjoy the bread of Heaven. The blessings, the moments, the daily little things that make for a big, full life. A life of abundance. The abundant life is found in this day.

Give all you have to this day. Leaving nothing to take tomorrow. Empty it out, scrape the bottom of these moments in this day, not wasting a breath.
 This day, we look our people in the eyes, we put down the things that draw us away from our people,  we quiet the thief that wants to tell us to save, salvage and hoard the leftover bread....he knows it will kill, steal, and destroy our joy. It will breed worms and be a stench to our people.

Don't we have enough faith in God this day that He will provide our bread for tomorrow?
Enjoy your bread, sweet friends. Savor it as you go throughout this day. Slow down and enjoy the sweet aroma of His daily bread. Share it with your people. There's plenty to be shared. There's always more than enough with God. He will provide for this day.
Have faith in God.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
Friends, we don't need to see the bread for tomorrow to know that it will be there. God assures us that it will by the bread He provides on this day.
Now go, enjoy this day. Eat up the bread He's given you with wonderment and joy. When you wake tomorrow, your bread for that day will be awaiting.
soaking up this day, 

Nov 3, 2015

Love the one your with....

On Tuesday mornings, some of my friends and I meet in our small town and we have a bible study. We are on our third session of studying together, and today we began studying the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

[Wow, I just noticed the HUGE exclamation point at the end of this sentence. Paul meant business when he preached this!]

Our homework was to study the first two fruits, Love and Joy. We spent the past week looking up scriptures on our own, and truly digging deep to find the meaning of these two fruits that Paul preaches on in the book of Galatians.

First of all, I think it is no accident that Love is the first fruit. I believe this is the case because all of the other fruits flow from Love.

How do we get these fruits, you ask?

We receive them through salvation. When we confess our belief in Christ, and repent of our sins, we receive the Holy Spirit. These fruits are a by-product of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. Wow! We got a good deal, didn't we? knew that was coming didn't you...

We must activate these fruits in order for us to have them flowing from our lives. If they are dormant in our hearts, they are of no use. Fruit is no good unless it is tasted, eaten, and delighted in. Right?

So, back to the fruit of Love.

The Love that Paul is talking about here in the Greek meaning is "agape". Agape love is a divine love. It can only be available through Christ. We have zero power to this kind of divine love, except through the Holy Spirit.

Agape love is a supernatural love, not a natural love.

If I were to say to you, "Do you want your husband to have a natural kind of love for you, or a supernatural love for you"...what would you say?

SUPERNATURAL, right? No one on earth wants just a regular ordinary natural anything. We want a SUPERNATURAL everything!

Let's get down to the nitty gritty of love.

Love is hard.

We all have those around us that make it very, very, very, very, and one more "very" just for good measure....hard to love.

People are cruel.

People are thoughtless.

People are hurtful.

People reject.

People ignore.

People forget.

People mess up.

Our natural flesh cannot love these kind of people. It is impossible. I don't care who you are, it is impossible without agape love.

Love trips us up. Every single day.

We are faced with things that we have every "right" to be hateful about. We are faced with people that we swear were put on this Earth just to get on our ever-lovin'-last nerve!

So, we justify this lack of love for the unlovables in our lives.

We tell ourselves and others that it's just impossible to love this person.

We check off every other fruit of the Spirit with our gold sharpie, and feel it's okay and justifiable to not love certain people.

Friends, we will never be true disciples of Christ until we have Love. Agape love.

In my own life, I have seen that the other fruits of the Spirit--joy, peace, patience, etc...will NOT be activated unless our Love fruit is first activated. The other fruits flow from this.

Are you lacking Peace?

Are you lacking Joy?

Are you lacking Patience?

Are you lacking Forgiveness?

Are you lacking Gentleness?

Are you lacking Faithfulness?

Are you lacking Self-Control?

Check your Love meter. Your problem probably lies there.

Jesus spoke matter of factly to the Jewish Council--He didn't mince words with the commandment to Love. When they asked Him what the greatest commandment of all was, He said this:

Matthew 22:37-40:
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Friends, this is not a suggestion from Jesus. These are commands.

When we fall into the category of thinking that these do not apply to us or our situation, we fall into dangerous territory.

Didn't the Pharisees that crucified Jesus think the same thing? They thought this teaching was absurd and impossible.

They were right. It is impossible, without the Holy Spirit.

"With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."  Mark 10:27

I will leave us with this...

Are we truly Jesus' disciples...Or are we just playing the part.

“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

Lord, help me to Love,


Oct 27, 2015

It's the small things....

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Phil. 2:3-4

I want to leave a legacy for my children.

I do.

But, the thought overwhelms me. It makes me anxious and fearful and worried that I am doing everything wrong.

I mean, I have made too many mistakes. Said too many hurtful words. Not showed up enough. Not had enough patience. Not had enough forgiveness. Not had enough compassion.

If I look at the entirety of my life, I feel like trying to leave a legacy at this point is impossible.

Oh, but something has changed within my thought process. God has turned on a light in my heart about this that will forever change my legacy making mindset.

Here's what changed it...

The life of Jesus.


Jesus left for us the HUGEST legacy of all. Not one other human has left a legacy and a hope like Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

If I were to just focus on Who He is, it is overwhelming.

However, if I focus on His life and how He lived His life, something starts to unravel.

This big, huge, Legacy of a Man, was built upon his day to day life with regular, everyday people.

His friends, His disciples. Ordinary men. Several of them fisherman.

His parents. Ordinary.

His town. Small and very ordinary.

His congregation. Small.

His following during His lifetime. Small.

The people He touched and healed--the forgotten, the sick, the diseased, the hated, the sinners....

Very small.

Yet, His Legacy-is HUGE. Eternal. Worldwide. Limitless. Timeless.

How could this be?

This is what I think....

He took great concern and care for the people right around him. He didn't go out trying to get famous, to make big splashes, to make a name for Himself...

He took care of the business at hand. A leper begging to be healed. A woman bleeding for years who touched the hem of His garment in a crowd of people. An adulterous woman he met at a well in Samaria. A demon possessed man. A blind man. A stubborn and hard-headed disciple [Peter].

Jesus made very personal interactions with very ordinary [and flawed] people. THAT'S what made His legacy HUGE and impactful.

Jesus spent His time well. There was enough work to be done right around Him to keep Him occupied with His calling. He was wise enough to know that the small things, are where the big things are found.

He was wise enough to know that His one on one dealings with people, would lead to the biggest change of heart. Crowds were not His thing. He knew the power of one heart changing. One heart changing creates a domino effect.

Jesus knew that everything He did in the heart of one, would have a reaction and would make a world-wide ripple for the Hope of many.

What if we had the same mindset as Jesus?

What if we looked at our legacy on a smaller level?

Instead of thinking how it will look years from now, how about if we think of how it looks TODAY?

What choices am I making today to build a legacy for my people?

What words am I saying, or not saying, to build a legacy?

What love, or lack of love am I showing?

What grace am I showing to those around me, or am I constantly demanding my own happiness to be upheld?

Who am I intentionally investing in for their betterment instead of my own?

Am I even present in my day? Or am I constantly distracted by the demands of striving for "better", or "more".

We often seek quantity over quality. This is the exact opposite of Jesus' life.

Sometimes I can totally miss out on the joy of the present when I am anxious about the many things I have to do. When I do this, I suffer. And my people suffer. An opportunity missed. Again.

Jesus had no concern over His needs. He scheduled His life around the needs of others. Every moment was filled with the showing of His love, compassion, joy, healing, ministering, teaching of others.

That's what leaving a legacy looks like.

How are you treating your people at home? They are the ones that you are leaving a legacy for.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Be intentional.

Be present.

Be a giver.

With your people.


The impact will be greater than you can ever imagine.

** I finished this post and had to come back and add this. As I wrote this, I kept thinking of my mother. She is leaving a huge legacy behind. She's not famous. She's not well-known. She's not a professional anything.  But, she's present. Always. I know that I can call her at any time of day and she is there for me. She will drop whatever she is doing to be with me or help me. [tears] Yesterday, I casually hinted that I was craving her cooking. She told me to come over tonight and she will cook anything I want.[I cannot wait!] My mother knows her place, and she knows it well. She takes good care of her people. The ones right in front of her. The needs are many right in her very own family. She's making an impact on my life and the life of my children. What a legacy.

going small,


Oct 18, 2015

But, I don't want to....

"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
 Matthew 20:26-28

Some days I have about twelve topics for posts that I have running through my little brain. I will write down notes and scriptures to remind me when I finally get to write. Sometimes I even write on the mirror [with a dry erase marker] in my bathroom as I am putting on my makeup. Good stuff happens right there at my bathroom vanity. Who knew such spiritual things could happen as you apply your mascara?

Usually, when I do finally sit down and write, the Lord leads me in an entirely different direction. Which always makes me think, "Oh, Okay, Lord. I get it. That whole lesson I was going to write about wasn't for anybody but myself. Right? Got it."

Well, this post is for all of us, I suppose. 

My daughter and I were out walking recently in our neighborhood. It was early in the morning and there was a slight chill in the Autumn air. I had worn my jacket and had reminded her several times to bring hers as well. She told me for the fourteenth time that she would not need a jacket. Okay then. 

Five minutes or less into our walk, she said she was cold. I turned my head so she couldn't see me furiously roll my eyes. A few times. [yep, sure did]

I knew she would get cold. I even told her so. 

We were already a good distance from the house and I did not want to go back to the house to get her coat. Really, just because I wanted to prove a point. I was right. She was wrong. She needed to learn a lesson.

Really mature, aren't I. 

A few seconds after I had these less than graceful thoughts, I heard this scripture in my heart, "'The Son of Man did not come to serve, but to be served." 

Seriously, it came like a bolt of lightening to my heart. UGHHHH. 

I knew what I needed to do. But, I didn't want to do. 

Again, I hear Words straight from scripture to my [shivering] heart, "I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate." Romans 7:15

Paul wrote those words in the book of Romans. Paul gets me!! Listen to the scripture following this one.."For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Romans 7:18b

So, there I was walking with my daughter. I knew she was cold. I knew I should give her my jacket even though I didn't think she deserved it. But, I didn't want to give it to her. I wanted to teach her a lesson. Furthermore, I didn't want to be cold!

I pictured Jesus in my head. I pictured us walking together and what He would do if I were to get cold. 

It was pretty clear what He would do. He would strip Himself of every piece of clothing to make me warm. 

Am I a follower of Jesus? I sure want to be. 

So, if I want to follow Him, I must do what He would do. 

Paul then goes on to say in the book of Romans this little ditty:

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:14

I took off my jacket. The wind ripped right through my shirt .

My daughter was surprised that I handed it right over to her. 

She smiled hesitantly and said, "Wow, Momma. Thank you so much."

My daughter learned a sweeter lesson than my words ever could have taught her that brisk morning. 

She learned what serving looks like. When it's not convenient. When it's not what you want to do. When it's going to make you feel uncomfortable. 

Serving is putting another's well-being above your own. Every single time. 

Whew. It is not always easy. 

However, I have learned a secret in serving others. Want to hear it?

The more we serve others, the easier it gets. The sweeter it gets. 

There is also another miraculous thing that happens when we serve others....

We are served by God. 

Here is what I mean by this...

He pours into us when we pour out. Every single time!

One Summer I was struggling with panic and fear really, really bad. I had told my husband that I was going to get back on medicine although I did not want to. I was devastated that I was going to have to take medicine again. During this time an opportunity came for me to serve with a dear friend at a place in town with underprivileged children. 

We poured our hearts into these precious souls that Summer. It was life-changing. More for us than for them. 

At the end of the Summer, I realized that I had not had ONE fearful moment. NOT ONE. Y'all, this was HUGE for me. HUGE.

I was so caught up with helping these precious children that I didn't have a moment to think about myself and my suffering. 

God had poured every last ounce of refreshment back into me that I had poured out that Summer. 

Not only that, but at the end of that Summer, a miracle occurred. Something that my husband and I had been praying about for YEARS came into fruition. In an amazing way. 

Do you see this?

We were created to serve. When we serve, we are fulfilling God's design for us! 

As we serve others, He serves us. 

His way is the complete opposite of the world's teaching. The world tells us to put ourselves first. 

God tells us that in order to be great, we must be a servant. 

I love the way this looks. I picture us bent down washing feet, just as Jesus washed His disciple's feet. 

Jesus, the Son of God, a servant. It makes no sense, does it?

Oh, but that's why it's so miraculous. 

I challenge all of us to be intentional about serving. 

Look for ways every second to serve in what you are doing. 

As I was brushing my teeth yesterday, [again in my bathroom], I was thinking of a way to serve my husband in a way that would bless him. Want to know what I did? I cleaned the goo off of his electric toothbrush. Yes, gross, but true. I don't think he has noticed yet, but that is not that point. ;)

As I was making my breakfast that same morning, I noticed there was only enough milk for one bowl of cereal. I wanted that cereal! [If you know me, you know it's true] I used that as  an opportunity to serve Lem. He got the bowl of cereal. He never even knew I had left him the milk. [although I really wanted to tell him how I had served him!] 

But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Matthew 6:3

Warning: Serving does not come naturally, as Paul says in Romans. However, the more we use this serving muscle, the stronger it gets. 

Let's go and serve. What do you say?

buying more milk today,