Friday, October 28, 2016

Fortune Cookies and Jesus

I stopped in Target last night to get a few things for Emily’s birthday party and ran into a friend in the shopping isle. We started talking about a friend of ours and my friend mentioned that she has noticed a change (in a positive way) in this person. We were talking about our hopes and cheering her on. The conversation ended, and we went our separate ways.

Afterwards I headed over to Panda Express across the street to grab a quick late dinner, which by the way is a not an eat in the car friendly meal, not  sure what I was thinking there. On the way home, the conversation I had with my friend in Target came back to mind. I started to pray for her, I had that feeling like I needed to so I did. I tend to have some of my best one on one moments with Jesus while driving in my car. Many of the things I write about are from those moments. Obviously I can’t read my bible and drive at the same time, but seriously thank you Jesus for the E-bible that I can read at any given time. I love the radio and used to never not have it on, but I find myself more and more leaving it off or waiting a while before turning it on. In the stillness and quietness I often times sense God the loudest. Considering I have three children, who are active and busy, I tend to enjoy the quiet time, me moments when I have them.

Back to the conversation… as I was praying for my friend, I started praying for my other friends in a similar situation, which then led to praying for people in general, including myself. I was praying that God would help my friend overcome their comfort zone and just step out of it. That lead to me praying over my comfort zone, and so on. As I’m praying it hits me. That amen moment… that moment when the word comes to life and puts two and two together and it makes sense. I wanted to ‘amen’ my thoughts and I can say that humbly because they were not my own. God was growing his word that we are supposed to hide in our hearts, so it can come alive and shine a light in our dark world. 

I’ve mentioned it a few times before in previous blogs that satan puts blindfolds on to keep us hidden from the truth. He knows what is on the other side of the lies. He knows the life to be had. He knows the victories to be won. He knows. But because he is defeated, and has no victory, no power, and no authority he wants to keep you and everyone else feeling the same.  

So, often times we remain because it’s comfortable. It doesn’t require anything from us, other than to just go through the motions. Like a hamster on its spinning wheel, over and over and over. Life right now may be excellent for you, but at the end of the day there’s still a missing piece that nothing else you’re doing will fulfill.

The truth is, is that when you step out of your comfort zone you then step into the comfort zone that awaits you. The lie that satan wants you to believe is that if you step out of your comfort zone, you don’t know what is on the other side and that is one scary risk to take.

He wants us to be so afraid of what ‘could’ happen; how we might appear to others;  and has us so worried about it making us look and feel uncomfortable. If he can keep us where we are, he doesn’t have to worry about what we might do. He silently convinces us that it is better to live in or own comforts, just to keep us away from the one who IS the comforter. The holy spirit was and is given to every believer to help us live boldly, unashamed, to have the power within to make bold choices AND to live comforted, comfortable in Christ. 

Without a doubt, I believe that more people would surrender up their comfort zones if they could see through the lies of the enemy and into the truth that is found by exercising our faith.  Faith is an action word, it needs to be put to work. The ground has to be tilled in order for seeds to be planted into the ground to grow.  

Here is the cool, shock and awe part that happened to me. After I finished my Panda Express, I opened up my fortune cookie… my favorite part! I don’t believe in fortune telling, or anything of the nature but I do believe that God is all powerful and knowing and can use ANYthing to speak to us. My fortune read: “you are going to live a comfortable life.” Out loud in my car I sad, “WHATTT?” On my entire ride home my prayer was over comfort zones and being comfortable and God was pouring into me everything you just read and then this is what I pull out of a sugar cookie just for fun? 

God is that serious about this that he would confirm his word to me on a piece of paper that most of the time I say, “in bed” after I read it. But that is exactly what he did, because he is serious about you and I. He is serious about chasing after us, and will do whatever he has to, to get and keep our attention. He is serious about us getting out of our comfort zones, so we can reach people that need to step out of theirs. 

When my dad died, I 100% understood the role of the holy spirit as the comforter in my life. A massive hole in my heart happened the second my dad took his last breath. During my moments of heartache and human frustration I have not once been angry at God, or resented what "he did" to my dad. All of this stuff I've believed and do my best to live my  has literally come to life in my dark and most painful moments. I honestly can't explain it. Yes, some days it hurts to my core, but the comfort I feel {literally} is what has sustained me. 

Does it cost us something to follow Jesus, yes it does – ourselves. It cost him his own life. The cost for you and I is great, and maybe it will cost you a certain way you like to live. But the way you “like” to live now cannot compare to the life he wants to give you in exchange. The life that fulfills us when nothing else can. The life that you’re curious about all the time. The life you want to live but are too afraid of. The live you want but don’t think you can have. The life that sustains you and keeps you when your comforts in life are falling apart. The life that right now you don't think you need, but you do. The life that is everlasting and eternal. The life that brings hope and peace where chaos abounds. The life that makes sense when nothing else does.

Following Jesus will may you feel uncomfortable in the most comfortable way. The saying, "don't knock it 'til you try it" ... it applies here, too! 

I would love to talk or pray with you! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Life is about you.

We are all looking out of the same window called life. What are you doing about what you see? Have you thought about it? Do you feel compelled to do anything? Are you just living to make it? Are you lost in your purpose for living? Are you constantly looking for more? Are you anxious about doing something but scared to step out? Are you living for yourself or for others? What do you see? What do you want to see? What are you willing to do about it? 

It's so easy to get caught up in ourselves that we neglect the reason we really exist here. I don't know about you, but I don't want to just live for me. It's comfortable there, for sure but there is so much more to live for. So many more people to do for. So many more lives to reach. So many more problems than just my own.

What if my problems are meant to help someone else? What if my struggles are a lesson for others to learn from? What if my victories are a reflection of who Jesus really is? What if yours are too?

As a mom, my first priority to my kids is to show them Jesus in my words and in my actions. To help them develop a relationship with Him that is personal to them. Have I failed at times, miserably. He would do things so much differently than what I did, but I refuse to live in satan's guilt trap. And so should you. If you're there, you don't have to be. Get up, get in your word and keep overcoming. 

As a wife, my first priority to my husband is to love him with respect. (Notice I didn't say just love or just respect, it goes hand it hand). Have I failed him at times, far more than I want to admit. My position as his wife will be blessed and honored when I fulfill who I am called to be to him. Some days it's easy and some days it's not. We're human, we mess it up, but we forgive and keep trying. I don't know where you are in your role as a wife, but regardless of how you feel your husband should be treated, you best love him with respect. Men feel loved when respected, they aren't like us needy ladies who NEED to feel love by being loved. They are wired that way for a reason - embrace it, own it, and honor it! You're going to mess it up, just like he will but don't give up on each other. 

As a human being roaming this planet, my first priority is to know God and to make him known. To love God and love others. To serve God and to serve others. To make a difference in this world. None of which is possible when I am only focused on myself. Am I at times, big yes. I mean, it is so easy to focus on ourselves. We're full of stuff that we constantly have to battle and work through. It's easy to focus so much on ourselves that we forget about everyone else, and unselfishly at that. Although in today's culture we are selfish. In our appearances, our motives, you name it we live in a "selfie" generation. 
If the only thing you conquer in this life is your self, you've missed the entire point. 

While you and I make up a piece of the puzzle in this life it takes us ALL to put the puzzle together. 

We were created and put on this earth for a reason: to know God through relationship with his son; to raise up a standard against the enemy and his evil ways; to make God known to those who slip under the enemy's destructive and sinful trap which is all of us; and to worship God. 

Too often we get mad at God and blame him for the evil in this world. Too often we fail to see that satan's priority on this earth is to see evil prevail in our lives, our family, our schools, our government, and so on. While he seeks whom he can devour, as Christians our role is to seek those who need saved and rescued. We have a part to play. We have the power within is to do so, but if we just sit on it, it's useless.

It's easier to worry about what people say or think about us. I want people to talk about me because of the Jesus inside of me. I want people to feel compelled and challenged to do more. I want people to know they don't have to feel like the victim anymore. I want people to feel accepted despite their flaws and mistakes. I want people to know that sometimes I don't get it right. Sometimes, a lot of the time I don't get it right, but Jesus always does and in my faithfulness I'll begin to get it right more often than not. I want people to see that there is a need in this world and that they have a part to play. I want people to know that God has SO much more for their life if they'll just taste and see. I want people to know that satan wants to destroy them, but God wants to restore them. 

In this world we will always have trials, that's why Jesus came. He conquered them and overcame them - and in Him, you can too. 

Life is about you, but not ALL about you. What part are you playing? Have you discovered your part yet? What keeps holding you back? What keeps pushing you forward? 

Maybe you're waiting for the right time, but time doesn't wait on you... those minutes are going to keep ticking until the grand father of all clocks stops the time, and then it's too late. Your time is right now. My time is right now - see you just admitted it!