February 25, 2010

Stand FIRM!

Life has a way of interrupting our plans...whether it be circumstances, people, roadblocks, or unforeseeable mountains. That is just the way life is! That is how we learn, grow, and mature in our daily walk.

It can be frustrating when someone doesn't react the way you expect, or says something to hurt your ego. It is also frustrating when someone accuses of you of being someone or doing something that is out of your character.

Life's circumstances has the potential to steal our focus, as well as our joy. The job promotion you were expecting goes to someone else. The promise made to you is broken. You or someone you love is diagnosed with a life threatening (or even terminal) illness. The marriage you thought was firm is shaken. The friendship you hold dear to your heart is shattered into a million pieces. You poor your heart out to a person or in your blog and are totally rejected.

Everyone has life circumstances that rattle their "nicely-put-together" life. Maybe you are experiencing one now that has brought a whirlwind of chaos into your house or your thoughts. Welcome to this thing we call: "LIFE"...

That totally does NOT sound very encouraging! I agree...

Resist him, standing firm in the faith,
because you know that your brothers
throughout the world are undergoing
the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:9

I see in this verse that other people are not absent from the sufferings that I have in my life. Granted, this verse isn't talking about MY circumstance directly, BUT here lies a word of encouragement from the writer of 1 Peter.

Written in today's language (totally MY interpretation!!!), Peter may say to you today, in the midst of your frustration & hurt of your life's circumstance:

"Hello??? Seriously??? Why in the world are you allowing the devil to steal your joy & peace? Don't you see he has NO authority over you? Resist him! Tell him to take his lies and go elsewhere! I know this is hard for you, but you WILL get through this!!! Stand firm in God's TRUTH! Stand firm in what GOD has spoken to you! Stand firm in what YOU KNOW God has called you to!!! Do NOT give up! You are NOT alone in this type of suffering! I KNOW people who have been through this and THEY MADE IT! Be encouraged and know YOU WILL get to the other side of this!!!"

As I look at this verse in its original context, it doesn't quite say that very thing, but the idea behind it (and many others) is the same! We do NOT have to give in when life gets hard! We do NOT have to crawl into our safe and isolated shell when things or people come against us! We do NOT have to give up on the promises God has spoken to us JUST BECAUSE others don't see it! You don't have to cave when your world comes crashing down!

Peter says, "Resist him..." (meaning the devil, as written in the previous verse). When the lies (broken records) come into your mind, you REFUSE to believe them! "Well, how do I know if it's a lie or truth?" Read the Bible, and seek out what God says about you!

I will post soon on that subject, but for this moment, simply STAND FIRM and DO NOT give up!

Be encouraged through some of the other Bible verses I found regarding Standing Firm!

2 Timothy 2:9a
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"

Exodus 14:13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

2 Chronicles 20:17
You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "

Ephesians 6:14
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place

2 Corinthians 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.

1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

2 Corinthians 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

Luke 21:19
By standing firm you will gain life.

Matthew 24:13
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew 10:22
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Proverbs 10:25
When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.

Psalm 20:8
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm

Job 11:15
then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.

But the plans of the LORD
stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart
through all generations.

Psalm 33:11

February 24, 2010

"Pick me"

Did you know that God "picked you first"? He chose you and I before the foundation of this earth. He calls you by name. He planed your destiny. He knows your future. He knows everything about you and STILL chooses you.

That ministry lying before you...Yep, He's chosen YOU for that.

The child who screams "I hate you" when angry...Yep, He chose YOU to be that child's parent.

The task before you that seems impossible...Yep, He chose YOU for that too!

God will never call you to something He won't equip you for.

Ephesians 1:11 says, In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

God has searched the earth for you and chosen YOU...this day...this moment...and for the task at hand...

In our own strength, we can do nothing. In His strength, we can do ALL things.

When a lie tries to enter your thoughts, you have to speak truth to it. Out loud! Recite a Bible verse, that counteracts that lie. I deal with rejection issues, so anytime I feel rejected I recite the verse below.

Psalm 27:10 Though my father and mother forsake (reject) me, the Lord will receive me.

I usually say, "Though I feel as ______ has rejected me, I thank you Lord that you will always receive me."

Choose a verse, and then personalize it, and speak it OUTLOUD back to God.

February 20, 2010

Rejoice!!!!!

Pain hurts... Whether it's physical, emotional, or spiritual battles we have to face.

We aren't called to deny our pain. God doesn't expect us to be "emotionally-put-together-wanna'-be's." He doesn't want us to put on our "happy-go-blessed" costumes as we go on our daily visits to the masquerade ball of life. He doesn't expect us to be the "strong Christian" that the religious spirit of the "church" has so often silently demanded.

So...if we aren't supposed to "pretend" to be o-kay, then WHAT are we supposed to do???


The first part of Romans 5:3 says: Not only so, but we]">[b] also rejoice in our sufferings....

Romans 12:12 says: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

You may be thinking, "You're kidding me, right???"

How in the world does a person rejoice or be joyful or patient when it feels like someone has shredded their heart into a million pieces??? How do you rejoice when your circumstances are screeeaaaaammmmmming ...........PaIn...pAiN....PaIn..........How do you say, "Yes...please bring more suffering so I can rejoice alllllllllllll the more!"

I'll tell you how....

IF you go to God with your pain...and IF you lay your burdens at the foot of the cross...and IF you cry out to God through the pain.....

THEN....He wraps HIS peace around your heart! He takes your brokenness and gives you beauty for your ashes! He takes your burden and rains down upon you comfort and love and HOPE...


It's NOT the pain that makes us joyful...but rather the hope that we find in the midst of our storm. The peace that surpasses all human understanding dwells in and around us. It's the joy of watching God transform your pain into peace. It's the pain that draws us to our knees which brings us closer to God. It's the KNOWING you get of realizing that God cares specifically for YOU individually.

So, let me get this straight....

1. I get pain
2. I go to God with it
3. I get a one-on-one meeting crying session with God.
4. He gives me peace
5. I can find joy in that?

YEP!!!

I have to be honest. My heart is absolutely breaking right now!!! I didn't receive the reaction I expected from the man I WILL be married to again. I got rejected and "shot down"...and that breaks my heart. There is so much pain in that....BUT EVERYtime I run to God, I leave my "prayer corner" feeling comforted, more peaceful, and re-assured of the promise God gave me of reconciliation to this man.

Circumstances do NOT define God's promises!!! EVER!!! Unless we let them! See, the best thing is that the enemy (satan) keeps throwing wrenches of circumstances into this situation...BUT EVERYtime something happens, it simply causes me to run to God more...Hello?????

Pain=getting closer to Jesus=more prayer=more defeat of enemy!!!

Hmmm...looks like God always wins when we deal with life's pain this way!!!

I KNOW what God has told me!!!! Therefore, I WILL BELIEVE it despite what circumstances say!!! AND THEN it WILL be accomplished!!!

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:54

Sooooooo...with all that being said,

I will..."also rejoice in [my] sufferings.... because [I] know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance (produces) character; and character(produces) hope. Romans 5:3-4

February 18, 2010

Love song...

I have totally fallen in love with the song "The More I Seek You" by Kari Jobe. As the music begins, I instantly am whisked into my secret place with my Savior. Everything about that song lulls me into the arms of Jesus and I find myself having a private dance with the Lover of my soul. Overwhelming peace surrounds me as I sneak away with my Beloved.

Let me assure you that I am not able to drive while listening to that song! It succumbs my soul to jello. I become a marshmallow as the words and music grip my heart with passion. An intense hunger rises up within me and I long to be in His loving embrace and presence...

If God and I had a love song, this would be it!

The kind of love song that, as soon as you recognized the familiar melody, you would stop what you are doing just to meet the gaze of your Beloved. In that moment, as your eyes locked, your hearts would meet in that special place that only the two of you share...leaving you both feeling more love toward one another. (a warm & fuzzy moment!)

Lately, my survival and strength depend on drifting there often with Jesus...

I pull up #86 on my MP3 player, put the song on repeat, and crank up the volume...engaging my heart in that place where I know my heart is safe and comforted...in His arms...in His embrace...listening to His heartbeat for my life...resting all of my cares upon his shoulders...and I can cry...I can dance...I can be vulnerable...because I know He loves me...

I fell asleep last night, curled up with my five pillows, my teddy bear, my blankets pulled up over my head, and #86 on my MP3 player. As the tears fell, my heart was renewed... comforted... & "loved on"...by Jesus~ The Lover of my Soul

Thank You Jesus...




February 16, 2010

To Tony...

Tonight I write...for an audience of One. Many times, I have told the story of things you have done, but I haven't really told the story of what I have done to you...I am sorry for that & I pray God will heal you through the words I lay before you tonight...

To the One...

The One who walked into my back yard 14 years ago as my brother's friend...

The One who swam under the dock with me...

The One who put on his best outfit & took me by the hand as we walked side-by-side...and who hand-picked me a beautiful bouquet of flowers by the time we returned:)

The One who thought I was a mosquito...

The One who climbed up on my balcony to show me it wasn't safe where I lived...

The One who called me from every truck stop to whisper sweet love poems through the phone...

The One who gave me his heart without question...

To the man I married almost 6 years ago...

To the man who I have been separated from for almost 3 years...

To the man I officially divorced a year ago...

I'm sorry...

...for cheating on you 14 years ago and leading you to believe that you were the father of both of our children...

...for not valuing you...

...for taking advantage of you...

...for telling everyone else I was pregnant before I told you...

...for flirting with other men while I was at the bar...

...for trying to change you...

...for becoming a closer friend to your mom than you...

...for telling your secrets...

...for choosing my family over you...

...for giving up on you...

...and then blaming you for giving up on me...

...for not trusting you...

...for "blabbing" your sins & all of your wrongs...

...for being afraid to open up to you...

...for not respecting you...

...for acting like your mother and not your wife/friend...

...for not letting you read your Bible as much as you wanted...

...for not letting you have friends...

...for telling lies about you...

...for inviting you back into our home countless times, only to continually kick you out...leaving you stranded and homeless...

...for being controlling...

...for controlling who your friends were...

...for controlling your money...

...for controlling your time...

...for selling your possessions that you worked hard for...

I'm sorry...

...for stalking you and constantly checking up on you...

...for belittling you in public...

...for tearing up and cutting your clothes...

...for humiliating you by yelling down the street at you, cursing & saying horrible things to you with intention to hurt you...

...for the years of "stretching" the truth & saying that things were worse than what they really were...

...for always making you the "bad guy" and the one to blame...

...for speaking hurtfully about you to your kids...

...pretending I was a spectacular wife, and blaming you for everything that went wrong...

...shoving religion down your throat...

...for condemning you before you even got started...

...for disgracing you...

...for withholding my love from you...

...for playing with your heart, emotions, & your life...

...for welcoming you home when it was convenient, and disgarding you when I was finished with you...

...for not taking responsibility for my actions and my part in our relationship failures...

...using you...emotionally abusing you...and starving you from my love...

I'm sorry...

...For expecting you to fulfill me.

...For expecting you to drop everything you were doing just to be at my beckon call...

...For all the time I spent complaining when I should have been praying...

...For not being trustworthy with your words...For telling you that you could trust me only to babble them to other people...

...for not forgiving you, but rather holding your sins in account- only to bring them up at a later date...

~I'm sorry for taking your children away from you. I'm sorry for all the times I prevented you from seeing them. I'm sorry for using them to control you and your actions. I'm sorry for giving you false hope in order to get what I wanted. I'm sorry for the stupid mind games I spent years playing. I'm sorry for not listening, not talking, and not guarding the precious gift of our marriage...

I am sorry...

This list could go on forever, but quite honestly, my heart is broken over all I have put you through, and we both know that this list doesn't even come close to the hurt I've put you through...

Why have I chosen to do this publicly??? I have disgraced you enough publicly, to many people throughout the years, and have made you out to be the "bad guy"...I need to do more than just apologize with my words, but also with my actions... I publicly slandered you, and I need to publicly apologize...

You are the man God has me standing for! You are the man God gave to me (for better and for worse)! You are man whom I will be remarried to...in God's time... Because that's what a covenant is...forever... I am sorry Tony... I love you IxI

February 15, 2010

A Stander's Affirmation

A Standers Affirmation

(http://rejoiceministries.org/)

I AM STANDING FOR THE HEALING OF MY MARRIAGE!... I will not give up, give in, give out or give over 'til that healing takes place. I made a vow, I said the words, I gave the pledge, I gave a ring, I took a ring, I gave myself, I trusted GOD, and said the words, and meant the words... in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad...so I am standing NOW, and will not sit down, let down, slow down, calm down, fall down, look down or be down 'til the breakdown is torn down!

I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, worldly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty, or advantageous... nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God's real thing, nor will I seek to lower God's standard, twist God's will, rewrite God's word, violate God's covenant, or accept what God hates, namely divorce!

In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God: where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse; and where the odds are stacked against me, I will trust in God's faithfulness.

I am a STANDER, and I will not acquiesce, compromise, quarrel or quit.. I have made the choice, set my face, entered the race, believed the Word, and trusted God for all the outcome.

I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardship, nor the prompting of the devil to make me let up, slow up, blow up, or give up 'til my marriage is healed.

- Author Unknown

February 9, 2010

ALL things are possible!!!

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE...

Do you believe that? Do you live like you believe that? Do you dream like you believe that? Do you want to believe that???

Somewhere in life, I taught my 9-year old that "with God, ALL things are possible!" Not some things, not certain things, but ALL things!

For quite some time now, he repeats that phrase quite often. If someone says, "Well, I don't know Dylan...that may not happen...", Dylan is quick to speak...

"ALL things are possible!"
"ALL things are possible!"
"ALL things are possible!"

Oh, the faith of this little boy...

About 2 months ago, I tried to correct him...you know...to help him not to be so disappointed in life. If you were a mouse in my house, this is the conversation you may have heard...

Me: "Dylan, you know how you say 'all things are possible'? Well, that's not really true. Only some things are possible..." I told him, as I thought about the disppointments in my own life. I tried to justify how God doesn't always do what we think He should do, and not everything gets "fixed" in life like we'd hope.

Dylan: "Um, mom...the Bible says, 'with God, A-L-L things are possible!!!" He stood firmly planted on that truth, which was embedded in his heart.

Me: "But sweetie...but God doesn't always make things possible..."

Needless to say, I was quickly rebuked. I could imagine Peter being in Jesus' presence, hearing Him say, "Get behind me Satan..."

Dylan: "MOM- You are trying to break my faith and make me believe something I know is NOT true! The Bible SAYS...WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE and THAT is what I believe. Now, I don't want to not respect you, but please do NOT talk to me about this anymore. I have child faith and you need some too. I love you, but please don't break my faith!"

Alrightie then..."God, please help my son when He is soooooo disappointed with You."

Hmm...God was quick to speak to me..."Where is your faith???"

Mark 10:14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Matthew 11:25 25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

It is time for the wise and the old to stand and become little children of faith! Since that day, God has been asking me to dream again. To hope. To have faith for those things that look impossible. To have faith WITHOUT wavering. To believe and NOT doubt. Are you and I willing to STAND and believe DESPITE what our circumstances look like???

If the Bible is true....which I believe it is, then this verse has no exceptions!

Jesus looked at them and said,
"With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

February 7, 2010

What faith can do...

What Faith Can Do...
by Kutless




Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache

You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered

Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

February 1, 2010

Practice speaking positive!

Do you ever face Depression?
Do you find your self overwhelmed
with condemnation
, shame & failure?



Do you find yourself hearing "broken records"
in your head over & over & over telling you
that you are worthless, a failure, &
will never amount to anything
.



Do you find your self filled with Self-condemnation?
Does your vocabulary includ
e alot of
"would've...should'
ve...could've"?



Does your future look bleak as you
question your purpose?



Psalm 40:2 says, "He [God] lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet on a rock, & gave me a firm place to stand."


In fact, Psalms is full of David's cries to God, making me speculate that He, too, dealt with similar feelings of despair, depression and gloom!



I'm gonna' let you in on a little secret!
I struggle with these SAME things DAILY!!!
I wake up in the morning & before my feet
hit the floor, I am complaining in my head!!!

I instantly hear my own broken records:
"You're a loser! Why even get o
ut of bed?"
"Hmmm...what are you going to screw up today?"
"Woop-de-doo...another day! Bah...."



Surprised? I seem so positive all the time, right???
It seems as if my life is "grandiose" &
now that I'm free of depression,
I never struggle!!! AGAIN- I say...

"NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

My last post was about me! Depression, anxiety, worry, gloom, condemnation, shame and failure are constantly at MY door wantin
g to come in!!! I had a commenter saying, "Yes, I can relate, now what does that mean? How do I not let all of those negative things in?"



THAT, my friend, is what I CAN tell you!!! THAT, is wh
at I have been practicing for MONTHS! THAT, is what has brought me my positive attitude!

Let me share: As I said before, EVERYday I struggle with those negative thoughts. BUT I refuse to dwell on them. I REFUSE, most of th
e time, to EVEN speak them! I REFUSE to let them dictate WHO I AM!!! I REFUSE to let them TELL me how my day is going to be!!!

Now granted, I have moments & days that I can't just "snap
" out of it, but I REFUSE to stay there. If you are not "o-kay", THAT is o-kay! Just don't stay there!

Ok, practical applications:

(WARNING: I haven't found a way to stay positive for long without the Word of God. If you are looking for a magic answer, outside of God, what I have to say will probably disappoint you!)

When those thoughts come into my mind, I have the CHOICE to accept them as truth, or to believe in the Words of the Bible which God has told me as TRUTH.


If I am I going to think/speak negative, then more than likely, I will have a negative attitude, a negative outlook, a negative personality, and probably a really bad day!

If I am going to think/speak positive, then I will feel better, will smile more, will have a better perspective, and have a p
retty decent day!

In counseling or psychology, that would be positive thinking.

Then, you look in the mirror, and tell yourself all
these wonderful things about yourself, that you don't really believe, but have been told to do because it makes a difference.

In counseling, this would be called "Self Affirmations".

Now remember, I've had over 20 years of counseling, and I
NEVER truly got free until I chose using the WORD of God, the Bible, as my truth!


For me, I wake up, am bombarded with negative, and within moments, I tell satan (the author of those negative thoughts) to go to hell, in the name of Jesus, where he belongs! Now, that I've decided the negative thoughts are LIES, I now have to tell myself TRUTH. For me, that's using Bible scripture, because that is my TRUTH- God's Truth!

Then I speak these things to myself!

"I am a Child of God, and am accepted!"
"I WILL make a difference today because GOD chose me!"
"There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus!"
"I am forgiven."
"I am a daughter of the King!"
(that makes me a Princess, btw:D)
"I may be weak, but GOD IS strong in me!"
"I believe what the Lord has said WILL be accomplished!"
"BOTH of my sons WILL serve the Lord!"

This is some of the verses that God gave me, to declare over the things in my life. If you open a Bible, and ask God to give you a verse to speak out loud, He WILL! There are concordances where you can look up a topic (worry, anxiety, fear, depression, etc.) and it will give you a list of scriptures that you can recite.

God calls the Bible the "sword of the Spirit" because when spoken & utilized in the above manner, it slices and dices al
l of those negative thoughts!!!


There are days, when I have to speak out the same scripture over & over & over because a particular thought keeps ringing the doorbell to my mind. Eventually, it leaves... Just like condemnation, guilt & failure did in my last blog post.

*Write scripture down & speak it outloud.
*Decide NOT to let negative th
oughts roam freely.
*Find someone to pray for you.
*Practice, practice, practice speaking positively.

If you would like help finding what God has to say about a particular subject you are dealing with, please e-mail me: heavsparks@yahoo.com

Soon, you will start feeling HOPE again!





Trusting God

My son has been pretty sick lately. Even though he's an adult, I still worry about him. I probably get annoying as I ask the same questi...