You May Be the Only One

Do you have someone in your life who is just plain miserable? Someone who complains about everything and believes for nothing good? Their face looks like it has been pickled in vinegar and no matter how you greet them, you get a grunt rather a word.

That person could be a cashier you see weekly, a co-worker or even a spouse. It’s rough trying to love a porcupine. However, I want you consider this: I wonder if anyone prays for that person? Genuinely prays. Could that be why they are in your path?

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

Check this out. Pray for one another that YOU may be healed. When you get outside of yourself, pray for others YOU are healed. Don’t pray as a project. Ask the Lord to give you a heart for this person. Don’t tell God what to do for this person except that they may know His love. Let Him define that, not you for His ways are higher than ours.

My mother has a list of all the children, their children and their children’s children, She prayerfully prays for each daily. When I think over this list, I recognize that for some, this will be the only one praying for them today.
Perhaps when we get to heaven, we will find out the difference our prayers make. Perhaps they kept someone from making a mistake or kept them from harm.
I have a friend who will spot someone obviously in need and pray for them as he drives by. It may be something simple like, “Bless them, Lord” or “Send them hope and direct their paths.”
Whenever he does that, I often wonder if he is the only one praying for that person.
Have we become so busy that we cannot pray for those he causes to cross our paths?
Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see as you see.
Let me bless those that come into me life not only in word, but also where you have opened the door, in deed.
Let me splash your love everywhere I go.

Make Time for Those You Love

Almost 40 years ago, I married a wonderful man. I call him my Sugar Bear. He was a bear of a guy but is so very sweet and kind to me.
I was a divorced woman in my 30s with three children under 12 when we met.
He had two children under five. We probably came together for the wrong reasons. I needed a daddy for my children and he needed a mom for his children and we enjoyed each other’s company. That is not quite enough for a good marriage, but Ray was tenacious. When I, as a wounded woman, would push him away, because I knew that he was going to leave me or abuse me like everyone before him had, he never insisted that I respond differently. He just loved me right where I was. Often that place was a miry pit of self-pity that I refused to leave.
I remember once about the end of the first year of our marriage when we went to Marriage Encounter. The priest told me, “Diane, there is no reason in the world why this marriage should work except that Ray is not going to give up on you. He is giving you the same kind of love that your heavenly Father has been trying to give you. It is time for you to receive it.”
Something broke that night.
Walls from years of protecting myself came tumbling down. I wish I could tell you that immediately we lived happily ever after, but that is not so. I laugh now and say that the first year of our marriage, he re-wrote The Taming of the Shrew. My programmed self-hatred, made it a bumpy road, but the good news is we stayed on the road.
By trade he is a professional driver and in our marriage he has been a professional driver driving us through life’s mountains and valleys from Florida to Texas to Africa and Georgia with an awesome second honeymoon in Ireland. Today he teaches truck driving at a local technical college.
As we approach another wedding anniversary, we are taking time out next week to go to Be in Health’s Married Couple Retreat. We went last year and several years before that.
You may ask why we would repeat it. Simple. Marriage not only requires love, but it requires focus and commitment. The MCR gives us a course correction that we may not even know we need. We go with great anticipation. One thing for sure. It is never boring and is a great time of fellowship for sometimes you get so caught up in life that you forget that special one on one time.
Let me encourage you today to take time for those you love. Don’t think you will when you have time. You have to MAKE time.
Send a note today to those who have brought sunshine into your life and those who need encouragement. Today be a lover.
Romans 5 says:

 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Using Broken Pieces

I have a decorative dress form on my jewelry armoire. I have dressed it in garlands of pearl and bling to remind me that we are treasures. However, if you look closely you will see watches that do not run, orphan earrings and broken baubles. It is just as much the broken things in our lives as the perfect that help shape us into who we are today.
The abuse that I lived through gave me two choices: I could be tougher so no one would never hurt me again or I can take the broken pieces of my heart and put them on the Potter’s wheel, let Him add Living Water and re-mold me, shape me and if necessary, shape me again.
When we don’t accept the brokenness then we become a fabricated personality as we put up a good front.
Over 30 years ago when I was doing insurance sales, it was all about image. Our motto was “Fake it til you make it.” I can look back and see how that opened the door to being who others expected me to be instead of who I was created to be.
Forgive me for telling this story again, but I went up to a lady in my church about eleven years ago this month and said, “I want to sell Mary Kay.”
She looked me up and down and said, “YOU do???”
You see I looked more like an unmade bed than a beauty consultant.
Her next question was, “Why?”
Well, I had taken the For My Life course and learned about Unloving. I learned I was the poster child for self-hatred. (My observation, not theirs.) To get rid of it you have to learn to love yourself.
So I replied, “Well, I know I have to learn to start taking care of myself. I am not a hypocrite and I figure if I am going to sell the junk, I am going to have to use it.”
Morning after morning I would stand in front of the  mirror and say, “God, I don’t see any good thing. Could you show me who you see when you saw me before the foundation of the world so I can walk towards that instead of devastation?”
I wish I could tell you I got it immediately. I did not. Over time He showed me that I had a good sense of humor, the gift of hospitality and more.
During the journey I became Queen of Sales and Miss Go-Give for our unit several times, but it still wasn’t all that who I was.
Unfortunately it was my daughter, Carrin’s death that took me to an off-frame restoration.
Before I was just painting the rust. Now I am willing to allow my Creator to put me back on the wheel, break me, mold me, shape me until I reflect Him, not me.
Often He will use the broken pieces to make something beautiful. In my brokenness many worthless things were discarded like pride and anger. He replaced them with His character, not my performance. Are you ready for an off-frame restoration and be all He saw you to be? Will you let Him?

 

I still love doing facials, sharing my story and helping others see real beauty. If you live nearby, let’s get together so I can pamper you. If not, remember you can order online or better yet, see if you qualify to join my team and help spread the love.

When We Fall Down…

We can choose to get up. God has been faithful to send illustrations across my path to make it clearer.
I understand that there are possible spiritual roots of over 80% of all disease.
I understand that disease has no legal right to me unless I open the door through sin.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. Prov. 26:2
So when I became ill, I knew what needed to be dealt with and that there probably another layer or two that would be revealed as well.
So the journey began. The first block to healing is unforgiveness. More often than not, that is directed towards me. I don’t give myself a lot of grace.
Pastor Henry teaches that we are neither black nor white, but pilgrims in progress moving from black to white. So we are all in varying shades of gray.

We hate the gray. We hate where we are. We say, ‘I don’t like where I am. I should be thinner or healthier or stronger or different.I don’t like this gray. I want to be more white. So I am going to try to get more white. I am going to try to get more white.’
How many of us have tried to get more white? It is ugly. It is not pure. It’s not white.We are all a shade of gray. And if we hate it, if you hate what you are doing, where you are and who you are, that is a open to Him door point for accusation for self-hatred and for drivenness and performance to get you whiter.
So the moral of the story is love the gray and trust God. We have to be content in the journey. When our hearts are heart is open to Him, He will change us. God will change you. When we try to do it ourselves, it gets ugly.
So be content in your gray where you are. Love yourself where you are.”
“Love yourself where you are.”
I knew I didn’t love myself where I am. As I said, I am hard on myself. No matter what I do, I should do more. That is drivenness and performance and certainly makes no provision for resting in God (Heb.3) or fully trusting Him.
In the midst of that I got a devotional that included the following story: “One of the common soldiers was driving a mule that carried some of Alexander the Great’s treasure. The mule was too exhausted to go on, so the soldier put the load on his own shoulders. Alexander saw the man staggering along, and he asked what was the matter. The soldier told him that the mule was too tired to carry the load, and that he was about at the end of his endurance too. “Don’t give up now,” said Alexander, “but carry what you have there to the end of the journey, then take it to your own tent, to keep for yourself.”
I thought that is me. I am staggering under this, but all along God intends it to be a gift to me. I can look at the pain in the journey or His strength for the journey to bring me to His expected end. I choose not to give up.
[It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness. The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD [is] good unto them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him. [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lam.3:22-26

Take Time for the People and Things that Count

Goals are good but deadlines are not always realistic. If you miss a deadline, don’t quit. Just set another for now you know what works and what didn’t (sometimes it was me that didn’t work). Make course corrections, but continue on.

The reality is that life has some bumps. We experience highs and lows. We can’t freak out just because we are feeling a bit mellow today. Perhaps today is a day when we really need to stop and smell the coffee.

If we don’t, then that pervasive feeling will manifest in bingeing, melancholy, shopping sprees or any other dopamine rush you can find. We should not deny our feelings but, we have to be careful not to let our feelings steer our lives.

Sabbath rest is considered antiquated. Yet, if we took time each week to slow down, reflect and rest, we could be more focused and intentioned when we do the things we are called to do.

So maybe it is time to call a time out. Listen, instead of talk.

Stand on the beach of your life and let the ebb and flow gently wash away those things or people that are just busyness or distractions. We don’t have to do it all or have it all. We simply embrace what is set before us.

I am de-cluttering my life, my house and my schedule. I am learning to make time for the people and things that are important to me. There were some things in my life’s backpack that God never intended me to carry. I am laying it down and just when I think I am slowing down, He opens a door I had not seen before. It has meant new relationships, new experiences, new revelation from His Word.

Have you ever eaten a very rich and expensive dessert? I eat it slowly. I want to savor each bite. I want to feel it in my mouth. I want to enjoy its flavors. I want to remember it.

Life is like that. When you eat it one bite at time, you can taste the complexity of its recipe, the tangy notes along with the sweet ones. If you stuff the whole enchilada in your mouth, you miss out on so much and you feel stuffed and puffed.

Choose to life your life fully.

Running Away Doesn’t Work

Resting Not Running

The morning started off roughly. Wasn’t sure what was really going on. Tears seem to creep up to the overflow status and just waver there. I put on a worship CD and began to sing as I got ready for work.

I have learned that when I change my focus from me to my Creator, my Father, I can see more clearly.

I spent four decades running from place to place, job to job even church to church. I never found what I was looking for.

You see our happiness, our destiny was formed even before we were. Ephesians 1 says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, even asHe hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,

He deposited these treasures within me, but I was looking outward. When I began to look within and deal with the things that were not God, there was finally change.

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me,
and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find [me],
when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

When we find God in the little things, then we need to tuck ourselves up under His wings like a baby chick does with her mother hen. Our Father loves us and we need to hear His heartbeat for our lives.
Most of my life, when things got too intense, I ran to avoid the pain. I hated confrontation. Soon I found I had gone full circle and this unresolved issue was facing me once again. How many times did I want to go around the mountain? How many times did I want to sing the same song, different verse?

 Like a child I squirm to get free when discipline comes. But yielding to discipline yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
It isn’t running away that works, it is drawing closer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X-RMuVqyzFo

Do You Remember When You Explored the World?

10931319_1048650485152504_5686720200493327140_nMy husband, Ray, is probably the most  curious person I know. He has never lost his childlike wonder.

Too often we take the same way to work, to the store, to church and yet we see nothing. Because we have seen it all before, it becomes a blur as we process other things a long the way. When we get into this rut, miss those serendipity moments placed before us of awe and wonder. Our life become routine and perhaps even dull.

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23
Each morning we awaken with a clean slate. We have numerous opportunities to see anew. To be refreshed and grateful for the new day. Many did not get one.
With this new day, we get new mercy for each situation facing us. When we ask Him to open the eyes of our heart, we will see the new things.
One day my granddaughter, Curstie, and I were coming home from a shopping trip. The children were getting fussy and she popped in the CD by Mandisa called Good Morning. The whole attitude in the car changed immediately with her littles joining in with gusto.
Ask to have your eyes opened to all that is good and then join us in singing!

He Can Change Our Name

Often I tell the story of how over 20 years ago at 5:30 in the morning I would go to morning prayer at Church on the Rock.  As I drove along the service road of I-30 in Rockwall County, this song would come on the radio and I would sing along with these lyrics.It was my heart cry.:
I will change, will change your name
I will change, will change your nameI will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast, lonely or afraidI will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks My face.
 I was all of that: wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid – wounded by years of abuse, the family black sheep, lonely in so many ways because I counted on Ray to complete me instead of the fullness of the Father’s love and afraid of never being good enough to be accepted.
Oh, I kept up a brave front and I was very religious but actually had divination that I thought was a prophetic anointing. My husband was a truck driver and gone up to three months at a time. I had three teenagers. Frankly, I was a mess.

I took this song as a promise, but I never allowed God to complete the work. A name change is a journey. Like the fruit of the spirit all have to manifest. This name change requires that not only my name be changed, but first, I  must change spirit, soul and body.

.Who knew a name change would take so long? When I was sick earlier this year, I felt ashamed and guilty, because I know our God heals. I had to really seek His face, but more importantly I had to learn to rest in Him.

Our value is never found in what we DO for God.
Our value is found in who we will BE for God.
I once again heard this song in my spirit. It is taken from Isaiah 62:2-4
And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. (Isa 62:2-4)
Hephzibah means my delight is in you.The Lord delights in me and you, too.
Beulah means married. We are the bride of Christ.

The song continues with our new name when we fully trust Him and rest in Him.
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks His face.

It is one thing to want to have your name changed. It is quite another to not only submit to the changes but stay the course. It is not a microwave moment, but a journey.

Are you ready for a name change?

The Schizo-Christian

When our heart is divided, we don’t know who we really are. We don’t know which team we are playing on. Thus, we don’t know which uniform to put on. We often have two sets of friends and act accordingly. Our vocabulary and actions adapt to the crowd we are playing to.

We cant relax, because we have to be who people expect us to be and that changes according to the audience. The person we are in the workplace may shock our family while our co-workers may never see ur nurturing, loving side. It takes a lot of energy to live this life.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

That instability brings unrest and discontent. It pushes into drivenness and performance. It messes with your mind.

Let’s look at Peter. Jesus, said upon this rock, I shall build my church. It was Peter that boldly claimed his love and devotion to Jesus. He literally implied, “Look, these guys aren’t as strong as I am. You can’t really count on them. You can count on me.”

There is no doubt in mind that Peter believed what he said. Yet before the day was out, when he was confronted by a servant girl, he turned to Jell-O and denied Jesus three times. You see Peter did not know his own heart.

Romans 7:15-20 explains this duplicity the best:

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

When Peter recognized and took responsibility for his triple betrayal, he wept bitterly. He was devastated with guilt and shame.

On the day of the resurrection of Jesus, Mary is told by an angel the good news and then the angel said, “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”

Peter’s sin had separated him from being a disciple of Christ. A disciple is a follower, not a betrayer. This is what happens when we try to play for both teams.- one team on Sunday and another on Monday.

The schizo-Christian is not a disciple of Jesus. He shows up when it is convenient, but is not sold out.

Remember Peter did not know his own heart. David said in Psalm 139:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Joining me in praying that prayer today and let us follow Him wholeheartedly.

Undivided Heart

A narcissist is someone who is unable to commit to anything outside of himself. Consider the Christian narcissist who moves from one church to another always seeking that move of God, but never allowing God to change them. They are easily distracted because of commitment phobia. Making a commitment would require them to change. It would require self-examination.

They will miss church because they need alone time with God. Yet it is fellowship and involvement one with another that makes us whole for iron sharpens iron. Fear has them in the throes of self-protection.

Imagine the change if we served God with an undivided heart.

1 Chronicles 12 list men who committed to David before David was king. They recognized that God’s hand was upon him. They committed to him even when it was dangerous to do so. Verse 32a says, “ And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; ”

Do we truly understand the times we are in and what God is calling us to do? Or do we go with popular thinking and never take a stand for the Lord and His Word?

They were not men who were with Saul sometime of the time and then David. No they committed regardless of the cost.

17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

Are we that committed to the Lord. willing to serve with an undivided heart?