Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rain, sleet, snow...HELL

It was so peaceful.  The air was crisp but not too cold.  The night sky was black but twinkled as the snowflakes began falling through the sky. They came down so fast and heavily that you could actually hear the flakes fall.  Most beautiful thing I think I have ever seen.  Watching that snowfall was like what I would imagine it to be like to have peace covering the earth.  This is the kind of snow day that you want.  At home getting to enjoy the light, fluffy snow, making snowmen and having snow ball fights with your family. It's beautiful and all is well!

Isn't it amazing that the same sort of precipitation that can create peace and bliss can also create chaos and confusion?  That peaceful snow laying on the ground this week was a sheet of ice the weeks before. What is causing people to laugh and make snow angels now was earlier causing people to wreck and abandon their cars because they had no traction and no way to move.  Roads blocked.  Chaos abounding.

The same winter storm that came through dropping snow on us brought rain, sleet, snow and hail to other parts of the state and neighboring states.  That freezing rain became an ice storm that shut down Atlanta and parts of the east coast. And just when you thought it couldnt get worse, it did. They had major power outages and the cities were brought to a standstill.  North Carolina got slammed and people were out in the roads just like we were a few weeks ago.

It's just like life, isn't it?  Just as your cruising along in your "I got this thing under control" attitude and thinking my world couldn't get any better, the rug is pulled out from under you.  You've got the peaceful snowflakes falling all around you, but are you ready for the ice storms?  Are you ready for power outages? How prepared are you to withstand the rain, the snow, the sleet....the Hell?

It's easy to coast along with joy, peace, patience, kindness...all the fruits of the spirit that we should walk in daily when things are going good.  But what about when all hell breaks loose?  Can you weather the storm and maintain that blanket of peace, joy and happiness?  Or are you that patch of remnant snow found on the side of the road that is misshapen and dirty, slowly falling apart and an eyesore to passersby?  How quickly do we lose our peace when life throws us a winter storm? How quickly do those fruits melt away?

I have come to realize that we need to be in a constant state of preparation. We know the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but we may not know when or where. You may not have enough time to be warned and able to go get "supplies" to survive the storm.  You've got to be stockpiling now!

Your survival kit to weather the storm:
1.  Pray. Pray without ceasing.  Your circumstances may not change, but your attitude will!

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 
1 Thess. 5:16-18

2. Worship. Let worship help change your perspective. As our Pastor always says, don't tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is.

Let every living, breathing creature praise God!  Psalm 150

3. The Word.  Be in it so much that when circumstances turn bad, you know who to turn to and you know what to speak.  You have to be in it for you to become it!  
But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. 
Psalm 1:2

4. A support structure. You need to have a Godly inner circle that can hold you accountable and help you maneuver through the storms when you are stranded. 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecc. 4:9-10

Seems simple doesn't it?  Only 4 things in your survival kit that you need to equip you to withstand any storm that sweeps your way.  I consider these 4 things to be vital in being able to weather a storm!  Do you have other things that should be added to the kit?  Check your supplies now, so that you are ready when the storm hits.  Don't wait...and continue to stockpile the supplies so that you have a surplus to use when the winter storm warning is called! 

Preparedness results in peace.  

 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16.33

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Just DO it!

The last two weeks we have experienced some crazy weather.  From snow to ice to 70 degree weather, it's been a bit of a roller coaster winter.  Being stranded at work for two days caused me to think about being prepared for the uncertain. I was very fortunate to have been someplace where I had a pillow and blanket, food to eat, a bathroom...some others experienced a little more struggle as they were stranded on the road or even abandoned their vehicles to walk.  After Snowmageddon 2014, I said I would not be caught unprepared.  I decided that I would have a bag that I would keep in my car with extra clothing, blanket, toiletries, and snacks in case I ended up somewhere where I might be stuck for a while. This past week as we thought we might be experiencing round 2 of Snowmageddon, I realized that I did not have that bag yet.  Yep!  Here I was saying all along how I wanted to be prepared, but yet I wasn't willing to take the necessary steps to do it.  I had procrastinated.  I had delayed.  I had thought, "I'll do it tomorrow".  Sound familiar?

The roads were crazy!  People had to leave their cars and start walking. Many pictures of the day made it look like it was the rapture.  The cars were just left where they were and no one around. I wonder if this is how end times will be?  Makes the realization that people need to know Jesus even more urgent.  But as I write this blog mainly for myself, family and friends that read this, most of us know Jesus!  And yes, most of us need to be reminded by disasters such as this that our time is short and we need to share Jesus with others.  But I think it goes even deeper for us believers.  How prepared are we to live this life on earth, knowing Jesus, but not walking in His fullness?  How prepared are you?

Are you praying and believing for healing in your body?  Are you praying for someone to be delivered from addiction?  Are you praying for a marriage to be restored? A relationship to be reconciled?  Are you praying for financial breakthrough?  Are you praying about it; yet, DOING nothing to prepare for it? 
As I was reading in the one year chronological bible a few days ago in Exodus 12:11, I was amazed at what God told the Isrealites.  He was preparing them for the destruction of Egypt and gave them specific instructions on how to be spared during the passover.  He told them not only what to eat, but how to eat it:  "These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the LORD's Passover."

God wanted to make sure that they were ready.  Committed.  Fully Clothed in Faith.  Prepared.  

Are you ready?  Ready to receive the answer to the miracle you are praying for?  If you're praying for healing in your body, are you honoring and respecting your body as God's holy temple so that you can walk in that full healing?  If you are praying for your marriage to be restored, are you doing all you can to be ready for that restoration- attending small groups, marriage conference, gaining strong mentors and accountability partners so that your union can be fully restored?  If you're praying for financial breakthrough, are you practicing Godly principles that will allow you to mange that miracle?  If not, then God is telling you to get prepared!  Be dressed and ready to walk.  The definition of preparation is willing to do DO something.  Clothe yourself in the faith that God will answer your miracle.  Romans 4:17 says that God "calls the things that are not as though they are".  Your preparation will allow you to walk in that miracle now as though it IS, so that when your miracle comes to fruition, you ARE fully able to receive it!  

Ask God to show you ways that you need to be prepared and don't wait.  Just DO it!  DO it now!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Prodigal Prayers

Are you praying for someone to be healed?  A relationship to be restored?  Someone to be set free from addiction? For the past to not be part of the future?  For someone to know Jesus?  Do you believe it can happen?  Do you believe that your prayers make a difference?

No matter what the circumstances, God can touch someone and radically change their life. I know it because I am seeing it. With my own eyes. A radical transformation that goes beyond all explanation. Words can't even describe it.  The prodigal that we've been praying for has come back.  And loves God. That's what we've been praying.  That God would show His love in such a mighty way, that it would be impossible to ignore. Impossible to run from. Impossible to turn away.

In fact, I pray that for all of us. We all are prodigals. At some point in our life, we probably aren't living up to our full potential.  Squandering our resources because we are not seeking God's will for our life. Unable to walk out our purpose because we are being wasteful in the gifts that God has given us.

But it's not too late and it's never impossible.  You simply seek Him with all your heart and draw closer to Him. He can change your life and those who you are praying for. It may take years and even more circumstances before you see it transpire, but it will happen. Build and increase your faith so that you can believe His promises are true. They are Yes and Amen.  Stand firm in the knowledge that they are for you and your family!

And don't give up!  Don't stop praying! Your prayers are the catalyst that sparks the change!  Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a purpose and plan for your life.  Seek Him for that purpose. Don't be wasteful with the talents that God has given you.  As prodigals, lets turn our face back to Him!  He can and will answer your prayers!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Immeasurably More

Immeasurable... Impossible to measure...

A word that is far above what we can even comprehend. And where do you find it...God's word.  One of His promises. Paul, a prisoner, knew that God can do far above whatever we could ask or think.  Even though Paul was in prison, God was still using him to build up his church and equip the saints.  In a prison cell.  Locked away.  But still unbounded by what God could do in and through him.   

Do you have dreams?  Do you have desires that God has placed in you, but feel you can't reach them?  That there is no way. We put those limits on ourselves and God. Those limits and measures are what keeps God from being able to perform those extraordinary things in our lives. We need to get rid of the box that we try to put God in and operate in the fullness of Him.  When we come to the realization that there is no limit in what God can do, then we can walk in His promises for our lives and the lives of those around us.  Believe. Have faith. Dream's endless, unfathomable, unlimited...exceedingly abundantly...God can do far above it!  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

His Overcoming Power Everyday = HOPE

HOPE. a tiny word with big meanings. We have two meanings this word takes on and I believe that if we change our perspective of this word, then we can live and walk in it.  Many times we say I "hope" for something. You are praying for it, but not really sure it will happen. Even Webster has it defined two different ways. The first definition is a desire with expectation of obtainment. You are basically strongly wishing for it to happen. Then there's the other kind of hope. The kind that says to expect with confidence.  The kind that has you trusting, not wishing.  Trusting God to provide and protect. To redeem and restore. To heal and renew. He can do it!  But what if we don't walk in this "confident hope"?  What if we struggle with having hope?  We have to look at the source of where this hope comes from.  Romans 15:13 says I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.  God is our source of hope. We have to seek Him through His word and worship.  We have to speak His promises over our lives and our circumstances. We have to trust that He wants us to live in joy and in peace. We have to ask Him for hope. His Overcoming Power Everyday will allow us to walk in this confident hope.  His power will allow us to walk in Spirit and in truth.  His power will allow us to overcome. God has a purpose and a plan for you, a future and a hope. Believe it!  Expect it!  Walk in it!  Operate in His full blessings!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I was watching TV and a commercial came on last night for a 5 hour energy drink that talked about the word FOCUS. While I'm not necessarily a fan of energy drinks, I did find the commercial very inspiring. Click here to watch the video It said Focus=clarity + alertness. As we are about to turn the page on 2014 and start 21 days of prayer on Jan. 5th, I am reminded that we should start the year with a focus. A focus to keep my prayers aligned.  A  focus to prioritize what gets my attention. A focus to determine where I want to spend my time and energy.  Lets look at the creative definition of focus.  Clarity=clearness of appearance and Alertness=a condition of heightened watchfulness or preparation for action.  So basically focus allows us to take a clear next step by looking at everything through that filter.  When we focus our prayers on what God wants for our lives, He will give us a clear next step.  When we seek to stay in His presence, He will guide us and provide revelation.  When we seek Him with clarity, He will reveal visions and dreams and when we seek Him with alertness, we are prepared for our next steps with a heightened awareness of what the enemy will try to bring against us.  If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. (Proverbs 29:18 MSG) 

Prepare for 2014. Be intentional with your goals.  Dream big.  Be alert.  Be clear.  Take next steps.  God has a specific purpose for you and He wants to carry it out.  You just have to focus! What will you be focusing on in 2014?  Bring it 2014! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Surrender Comfort- part 3

Had First Wednesday at church last night. What an incredible time of worship and the message was so timely! We are preparing for 21 days of prayer and fasting  in January and this is such a needed time!  It's so easy to get busy, to get distracted, to let the things of the world be louder than the voice of God.  I am reflecting on the last few months and realize its easy to get in a routine. Almost like a rut.  A place where you are pretty comfortable. Your prayer life begins to look the same.  Your daily time with God looks the same.  Your time with your spouse, your children, your job.  We get settled into our lives where things feel pretty content. A comfort zone. And before you know it, we've let our body and soul become more powerful than our Spirit. I, for one, am excited about this prayer and fasting time. A time of connecting and re-connecting to God and disconnecting from the world.  Act 3:19 says So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19 AMP)

The effects of heat can be exhaustion, dehydration and weakness. We can experience this heat either knowingly or unknowingly.  When we know we are in "the heat", we feel it.  We walk in it and others know when we are in it. Yet, I think there's another time that we may be in it and not even realize. When we are in our comfort zone, "the heat" is slowly being turned up. We don't even realize what's happening.  We let the world settle us into a place of comfort and that's where we stay, parched and dry.
God, I surrender my place of comfort. My settled routine. My life of normal. I repent for staying in a comfort zone because that's where it is easiest. I pray that I keep my eyes toward you so that passion and purpose can continue to burn inside me. I pray that "the heat" used now is used to revive and fan the flame of desire that you put inside of me.  A desire to walk closer and more intimate with God so that I can fulfill His purpose for me while I am on this earth. May we all experience a time of refreshing (recovering, reviving) that gets us back on track and moving forward!