Are you Chicken?

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This is a video of my son and one of our chickens. Yes, we have six chickens in the city and I admit I love them as much as our dog, Trudy!

Which one do you think would symbolically represent God and which one would represent you. As I watched this, I pictured God stretching out His hand offering me what I’m been waiting on ~ a blessing, an answer to prayer, my next step and me running like a scared chicken. I wonder how many times we miss out on what God is trying to bless us with because we are afraid? Because we are as Mark Batterson says, “more concerned with our qualifications than we are what God has “called” us  to do.”

The day I let God in and let Him clean out all the junk I’d been carrying around out of my heart is the day He put me to work for His glory. I don’t want to deceive you ~ I carried it for a long time before I finally gave it up. I was holding on to the shame and guilt from past decisions and they were keeping me running scared. Satan loved it ~ there is not doubt about it.

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me!And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want. John 5:39-40 (The Message)

God has so much to offer us. I tell people all the time how I’m not a writer or a speaker, but God changed my heart and has equipped me for the job He has set before me. With God, I am a writer and a speaker that thrives on sharing Him with others. It’s thrilling to me that He uses ordinary people like me and you for His glory. Literally, the weak to lead the strong. Honestly, there are still days I wonder why and where it is all going. I still get a little nervous about what the next phone call will be and how many people I will have the opportunity to share Him with, but He whispers, “I’ve got this!” and I have learned that as long as He shows up we will pull it off. After speaking to a group of women recently, a women came up to me and said, “Thank you so much. That was so unexpected. It actually took a lot of notes.” I giggled to myself because every time I share others with Christ, speak or write a book I think “that was unexpected.” God is able and He will equip you.

Are you chicken? Has God laid something on your heart that He is nudging you to do that you are feeling very qualified for? Feeling as if it’s a little above your skills? I’m right there with you! But, it’s time to step out. Just one step at a time, but step out. HE WILL EQUIP YOU! I am living proof that we are not able, but God is. Trust Him today and leave the chickens in my back yard!

Let’s get out there for God and as my son says, “Let’s do this thing!”

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)

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Stylish Underwear!

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Yes, underwear! The beginning of school brings on a lot of difference shopping excursions: school supplies, snacks for lunch boxes, fall clothes and undergarments. My daughter and I were picking some out. I started picking up various pairs that were her size and she started making funny faces. “What’s wrong?”, I asked.  “Mommy, I need some stylish underwear.” she said. It’s starts early with girls and we never stop.

Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165 (NIV)

I’m sure you are wondering what underwear has to do with our relationship with God. Well, it reminded me that as Christians we should spend more time on our underwear (our hearts) than we do on our outer wear. We have a tendency to get worked up about what others think of us, what others have that we don’t, how we look, we dress, we talk ~ how we compare. If we spent as much time working on our underwear as we do our outer wear we would be much happier and content Christians.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

The only way to work on our underwear is by  spending more time in God’s word and in conversation with Him.  No one sees it ~ at least not at first. But as you begin working  on your underwear it starts to shine brighter and gets a little more stylish. So much so, that it starts to show through your outer wear. Your indescribable peace, contagious joy, kindness, contentment and love for others will become the most stylish and important in your life.

Go for it! Start redesigning your heart to look a little more like God’s!

May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 1 Thessalonians 3:13

On another note:

This week I was a guest blogger for Hope Squires. You can check it out at The Flourishing Tree:
http://theflourishingtree.com/2012/09/17/guest-blog-post-dealing-with-pain/

AND

I also had the opportunity to be a guest on Tereciah Smithen-Quintana’s show – Phenomenal Women in Christ. The show airs today (Sept. 18th) and again on Sept. 25th at 6:00pm EST on channel 22 RTN (Raleigh). You may also view the show on channel 99 if you have Uverse (AT&T). http://www.phenomenalwomaninchrist.com

Watered Down

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Just like a glass of lemonade or tea that has sat for a while, all the ice melted and it’s flavor is dull ~  so our relationship with the Lord can become. We will all have seasons that God’s word, our faith, our journey with Jesus our lives of study and trust become diluted or watered down.

The definition of diluted is:  To make thinner or less concentrated,  to lessen the force, strength, purity, or brilliance of,  to decrease the value of.

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in your faith walk ~ if you are human ~ you will go through a time when the brilliance, purity and faith you have in Christ will seem dim and lack luster. I am just coming out of a season like this. Summer usually does it to me. The kids are home, my routine off, my time unstructured and I find it so difficult to take (or make) the quiet time I need to sit with the Lord and refresh and delight in His word. When I’m not in the word regularly, my passion and my delight grow dim. This isn’t the only thing that can cause a “watered down” period. There can be a multitude or reasons for it, but how can we resolve it so that the light of Christ shines pure and bright in our hearts again?

Just like there are a multitude of reasons why this watering down occurs ~ there are also a many ways to ignite the passion and delight of our Lord. However, somewhere in the formula there must be God’s word, prayer and worship! For me, the best way is to surround myself with other people just as (or even more) passionate for the Lord than I am, to sing and worship with hands raised high and get into God’s word (my face-to-face time with Him).

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1

If you are in a watered down time in your faith, please take comfort in knowing that there is nothing wrong with you,  God has not forgotten you, you are still precious in His sight . . . We may change, but He never does. He is still calling you to draw closer to Him. To hear His whisper. To feel His touch. To sense His peace. To know His mercy and His grace once again.

speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, Ephesians 5:19

What is LOVE, really?

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While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:10-13

My mind has wrestled with this over the past several months and I finally figured out why. The world tells us in order to love we have to support what others think and do. With worldly love you can’t have a differing opinion – It says that “you must agree to love”. The world says love means following and doing what everyone else does, but the LOVE that we learn about as Christians is the opposite of that.

The kind of love we read about in the Bible, real love, is a love that doesn’t worry about being seen with ex-cons, drug addicts or atheists because they aren’t don’t care about the “guilty by association” rule. This is the love that Jesus taught us through word and example when He walked this earth. Loving or helping someone who is pregnant out-of-wedlock, isn’t paying child support, committed adultery, is a homosexual, a thief, a murderer, liar or an atheist doesn’t mean you condone or agree with what they have done.

“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

Jesus hung out with the prostitutes, murders, sinners and the demon possessed. AND thank goodness, because we ALL fit into the category of sinner! Our sin may not have a big scary title like murderer, but we are all sinners. Even His own disciples. Jesus showed all people love and compassion while sharing with them the Truth. God’s truth. He never helped  a prostitute find her next customer or helped the tax collector find a way to hide the money he had stolen. He just loved them where they were – never caring what others thought because He chose to be with them and love – taking time to share the love of His father.

1 – Loving someone doesn’t mean you are condoning what they have done.

2- Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean that you can’t love them.

Thank goodness, or my marriage and friendships would be non-existent. The world has clouded the definition of love and tried to make it its own.  Don’t let falsehood penetrate your heart. Guard it!He loves each of us despite our sins, but He wants us to grow and become better people as we learn about Him. That’s why is it so important for us to love others. To show them God’s unconditional love in the hopes that they will find Him through our actions.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

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Blog Art by Amylee. . . . Find out more about Amylee and decorate your home with her creative scripture designs …

http://www.amyleeweeks.com

“A little note about my art blocks … I make these at home, by hand, one by one. They are a labor of love. My husband is a finish carpenter. He carefully picks out the wood pieces, cuts them, fills any holes that naturally occur on some wood pieces, and sands them. He also primes and paints them — and adds the “hole” on the back. After that – they go to me to mount the artwork with my own special recipe. That is its own process in itself. The final piece will be custom — no two are alike because no two pieces of wood are alike. There is a uniqueness in wood that I continue on with custom texturizing as the final step. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy making them!!!

shop for … scripture art, christian art, biblical scripture art, scripture, christian gifts, and art based on bible verses.”