Search

Seeking Sonshine

"Not all who wander are lost" – J.R.R. Tolkien

Month

July 2016

Hopeful Hopefulness

I sat in a bonus session last weekend at the She Speaks conference, where we were told that we would be annointed with oil and our calling would be prayed over. I felt my anxiety rising up slowly within me. Strange thoughts began to fill my head like, “What if you find out once and for all that you are a fraud?” “What if that oil sizzles on your forehead?” (For reals. I was like, really?) “What if your faith was just a way you invented to cope with your truest desires?”

Do you ever get these crazy, accusing thoughts in your own mind? The enemy LOVES to keep me wrapped up in my insecurity blanket. I am slowly learning how to take back my mind, one thought at a time. The enemy LOVES to wrap me up in my insecurity blanket.


I used to think I was my own worst enemy. Turns out, I was only a tool for my worst enemy. But I learned that I could determine the outcome based on my choice to hold captive, resist the devil through quoting God’s Word as truth, focusing my thoughts on what is highest and most honorable; and praise God for His answered promises. Prayer and praise.  A potent plan. 


Before you write off the nagging voice in your head, check its source. If it is truly you, train your editing voice to implement God’s instructions to us concerning our thought lives. It also could be that you are holding a microphone up to the enemy and letting him use your own self doubt against you. Don’t let him do that, friends! Trust me, it is no way to live! Christ did not die for our freedom so we could survive in bondage.

So, back to my story. I decide to go up fairly quickly and just quietly asked God to speak through this woman anointing me. I also asked that I would be able to know without a doubt that this was from Him and of Him. (He knows he has to practically hit upside the head with whatever He is saying to me!) What happened? He showed up. Big time.


I made my way through the fairly short line, and I was soon next up. I walked up to the lady and gave her my name. She annointed me with oil and whispered something in my ear that drew me to tears for at least 45 minutes. 

She said, “Hope. I pray God fills you to the brim with hope so that you will be able to turn around and give hope to others.” (Or something like that. I was a little shocked at the moment.)

Shocked because it hit very close to home. I had been struggling with fear of missing my purpose in my Christian lifespan and losing out on experiencing what it is like to truly live in blind faith obedience to God. I was afraid I would never know how to do this and didn’t see it possible. However, things happened that I never would have anticipated. My recent career choice was blessed and acknowledged. I felt the relief of finally living within His will for my life. The message was clear. Use my spiritual gift of encouragement to spread hope to others in situations I need to continue to develop empathy for others. Teaching is another spiritual gift that I shoved in th back of my mind for years. Now, it is time to perfect this gift and share hope with students that may not hear it anywhere else. If I can help kids get to their next level of themselves through encouragement and good emotional intelligence, what job or task could be greater than that? I am new at this. But I am thrilled about it. ❤️

Photo Credits:

https://christianstt.com/prayer-attacks-by-the-enemy/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/85498092896795742/

http://pin.it/EAoM9VA

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiTlc-4z5jOAhWM5YMKHWQTB7gQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F74027987603622352%2F&psig=AFQjCNEHMtgD7CwAwi-X8miR_ul_af2TJQ&ust=1469879881649712&rct=j


#SheSpeaks16

Wow. I am still unpacking wisdom from beautiful women serving God in mighty ways this side of Heaven! Lysa TerKeurst. Suzie Eller. Nicki Koziarz. Courtney DeFeo. Wendy Blight. Micca Campbell. Glynnis Whitwer. She Speaks 16 Conference delivered on its early promise to “hook you up to a fire hydrant and let go.” In the very best of ways, of course…

You could choose from three tracks: writing, speaking and leadership. The classes you chose depended heavily on the track you picked. I chose the writing track and was able to meet with two book publishers last Saturday. I was completely freaked and cautiously excited! I was so moved by Lysa TerKeurst’s presentation Friday evening, it changed my entire path. While I would love to say both publishers eagerly wanted to snap up my book concepts; that would not be the truth. I got to hear Lysa’s confident voice reassuring me over the rejections of jobs, directions and prayer; the answer won’t always be what I am longing to hear just in time that I wanted it to happen. The very next morning, I would face it for myself. I had a choice on how to process my disappointment and acknowledge the fear I felt or walk away in shame and humiliation, taking it as a personal jab to my so called calling.

Then, I remembered the powerful message that Steven Furtick preached and we worshipped to on a bright and sunny Sunday morning in Ballayntine about how we believed God has moved our mountains and that He can do it again. And I remember what Lysa TerKeurst spoke Friday evening that cut me to the core. 


And I remember the purpose of all of this is to carry the torch for our Savior who enables and strengthens us when we call on Him. Remembering to Ask Him to make sure I do my part up to the end of myself and then depending on Him to come through in His perfect timing, answers and will for my life. He’s done it before. And I believe He’s gonna do it again!

https://youtu.be/gsRLCNaNABU

I believe this is a new season that requires a lot of reliance on God and a faith sell out from me. I’ve tried other ways and nothing made me happy, so I am finally starting this season out right. Joined the #believeboldly group and dedicated to waking up at 5 am to spend an appointment with Jesus in my prayer closet. I think this will help tremendously and why am I just now realizing this. Better late than never!!

Ending on a song that sums this weekend up perfectly.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbdSQ8MLnYs
More to come….
Prayer requests are welcome! Please message me if I can lift you up in prayer. 

Photo Credits:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiu64y9-ZTOAhWq7YMKHTlwDPEQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fexplore%2Fleft-out%2F&psig=AFQjCNHdEn81URS9qfptVSp1y0whSpb8VA&ust=1469753675440260

Justice For All

This week has been full of fear, anger, loss, shock and grief in America. Social media feeds are filled with pictures and memorials for those who, because of injustice, have fallen at the hand of hatred. News reports are grim and the air seems almost heavy with tension. Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and all sorts of hashtags are prevalent in much of these talks and reports. Where do we go from here? Where is the justice for those innocent people who died? Where is the line drawn? When is it enough? How do we explain this to our children if we cannot make sense of it ourselves? What do we do? 

1. Know the REAL enemy.


Please look at this.

http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/
This is a list of the global conflicts around the world. We are grappling with loss, fear, murder and hatred within our borders. 

We are not alone. Look at the world around us. Not just in modern days, but ancient days as well. Understand this not in a way as not to minimize the tragedies we are suffering. Rather, analyze it as fruits of a spiritual nature and recognize the trends. 

The true trends behind the veil of an Earthly shadow.

We know the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Those are all active verbs. Think about it again. Active verbs. Not past tense. Right now. We can identify our enemy by looking at the theft going on in our lives. People robbed of their peace, joy, family, love and freedom. Replaced with loss, fear, anxiety, paranoia, stress, anger, bitterness, and hatred. Look at the deaths of those around the world caused by the hands of another for whatever reason they deem justifiable. Consider the destruction that is being endured by brothers and sisters everywhere across the globe because of wars against other human beings. 

One word definition = Separation. 

The devil wants us separated from each other and ESPECIALLY from God. If he can turn us against ourselves, we make his job a lot easier. 

It’s time for us to wise up then rise up.

2. Understand the true nature of the battles.


Decide whose side you are on.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/spiritual-warfare-lesson-1-understanding-the-battle-11554631.html

3. Examine our hearts and pray a bold prayer.

My pastor preached a strong message today. It challenged us as a church to examine our own hearts and see if there be any wicked ways in us. This prayer is one that King David wrote himself. Change me, Lord.

http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/the-three-word-prayer-god-loves/
It can be as simple as this: “Teach me to see people as You do and love them like You do.” (Don’t worry, He will. 😄)

4. Put on the full armor of God each and every day.
A counselor told us in our Biblical Counseling training program at Vine Life Ministries that she put on her armor in the shower. She imbedded it as part of her morning route of getting ready for the day. This is what we should be doing every day! We know our enemy prowls around looking for folks without their armor. Once again, let’s not make his job easier to destroy us! (Note to self)

5. Take EVERY thought captive and watch what we say

The enemy wants our hearts. Why? Our hearts are the wellsprings of our lives. King Solomon, the son of the man after God’s own heart, says this:


But why our hearts?

http://michaelhyatt.com/three-reasons-why-you-must-guard-your-heart.html
What we say and how we react to things are great ways to do “heart checkups” on issues. We need to examine ourselves from time to time and realize these powerful and true statements:

So no more surrendering territory to the enemy. Not today. Not from me or my family. Not while Jesus is around to do something about it and not while He died and win the battle for us. Satan will receive his justice. God’s got that.We cannot let him fool us into thinking that people need to pay the price. The source of the evil is what demands justice. People are merely tools. The real enemy can always find another person to wreak as much or more havoc in the world. We, as Christians, have the power inside of us that raised Christ from the dead. The One Who won the war against Satan already. His destiny is sealed. Let’s send his friends back where they will soon be bound forever. We have access to this victorious power through His Name. 

Let’s love one another and fight the enemy of our souls, a/ka The Real Enemy.

Photo Credits:

http://www.southhavenchristian.org/media/shccpinterest

http://www.southhavenchristian.org/media/shccpinterest

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwi-1fr4gOrNAhUM62MKHUoiCIoQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fexplore%2Fmargaret-thatcher%2F&psig=AFQjCNEc5x-2q75_3IUdosQap8MSFdHAlg&ust=1468278261411452&rct=j

Proverbs 4

Drifting and Frustrated

Have you ever had a time in your life that God felt almost tangible to you? I have had many times like that. Unfortunately, in my life, it was often almost immediately followed by spells of perceived distance and the feeling of almost aloofness by the very same God. It is frustrating. Especially when I am aware of issues that I cannot seem to figure out on my own. I know in my head and heart that God is not the one who moved. But what do you do when you don’t even remember moving and don’t recognize where you are? 


If you have 30 minutes, this is the BEST message I have ever heard on this subject. Craig Groeschel is one of my favorite pastors of all time and I love the way he illustrates this topic. 

http://www.life.church/watch/bad-advice/?utm_source=life.church&utm_medium=website&utm_content=PromoTile1-CurrentSeries&utm_campaign=Life.Church

David was a man who drifted in and out of nearness with the Lord. The man after God’s own heart struggled with sin and experienced times where he felt so far from God, that he penned some of the most heart wrenching verses in our Bible describing the distance he felt. 

https://bible.org/seriespage/psalm-13-when-god-seems-distant

I love this particular piece from the aforementioned article:

“The test of your faith is not when God’s presence is real, when you see God at work in your life. The real test of your faith is when God seems distant. Do you seek Him then? If you seek Him, you will find Him, but if you turn to the world or look for a quick fix for your problems without seeking God, you won’t find Him. Seek God especially when He seems distant.” 

– Stephen J. Cole

David’s choice must be our choice as well. Lament, repent, seek, and praise. Even when the report is undeniably bad. When the salary is so low, you worry how you will make it. If the path is too steep and the pain is too great, trust the One who can see the entire journey. It is not meant to be easy because we live in a fallen world. Faith is not easy. It is as hard as we make it to be with the thoughts we choose to identify our situation with. 

Sometimes, I choose poorly. I mull over things that I cannot control. I confuse myself with my own behavior. Like Pastor Craig mentioned in the sermon above, my life looks like I have been listening to “Bad Advice.” Why? No clue. I know better. Yet, I still fall prey to familiar patterns of thinking. Granted, these patterns never got me anywhere worth being before, but still, I repeat them. 

Romans 7:14-20

The Message (MSG)

14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

Paul illustrates this perfectly. He suffered from similar feelings about his sin and his behavior. Two men of extraordinary faith shared their experiences with us through the Living Word. Why? I believe it is because God wanted us to connect with them and learn from them. So we could understand that God is bigger than our sin and any distance we could ever put between ourselves and Him. David and Paul also were recipients of personal restorations from God Himself. They poured out their frustrations and sought Him even when the what ifs became realities in their lives. And He showed up. How cool that the same God Paul and David knew intimately is the same then, today and tomorrow…

Photo Credits:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwim_93N1tLNAhXBMGMKHZStD4EQjhwIBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F101049585367434439%2F&psig=AFQjCNFSzVzjVSNx5xPaDN1YgJdCqdqDdw&ust=1467476611637236&rct=j

http://pin.it/rAQE0bV


Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑