Encounters That Wreck You

I’m not sure what exactly brought it on but several days ago, I had an encounter with the Lord that led me to eventually make some declarations over my upcoming birth.  Between that and the encounter, I felt so fully encapsulated in Him, His love, His peace, His joy, that I have been a bit wrecked since.  I don’t want to do anything, go anywhere, do much talking or anything.  I just want to be- with Him.  I don’t want to come out of the space I am in with Him.  I feel this is the perfect position to give birth from. How glorious and holy…

Have you ever had an experience with Him that completely wrecked you and just about rendered you unavailable on a natural level of being?  I, like some I know of, want to learn how to function in every day life “under His influence” like this because there’s just nothing like it.  I don’t want to leave.

If you’ve not had such an encounter with Him, ask Him for it.  I join you in asking, knowing that because He is a good Father, He will give it to you.  This isn’t something to miss out on.  You don’t have to wait to get to Heaven to experience Heaven or Him.  Experience both now and later.  You won’t be sorry.

Checking In

Just wanted to send out a quick post to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, I love you and wish you all the best!!

I have been literally lying in bed, smiling at the Lord and sweet talking Him as I grow more and more in love with Him and His ways.  (((Insert le blissful sigh)))  He is so sweet and kind.  And as a side note, I am seeing so much more angelic activity and angels these days, it’s astonishing!!!  I even laughed at myself though as I spoke sweetly to the Lord and saw flashes of the most dazzling light whiz by but I paid them no mind and just kept right on talking to Him.  He is my focus.

Also, like most, I have been spending time with family and friends and enjoying all that this season brings.  I have been extremely low key with regards to gifts and all so that’s been fun and refreshing as well.  People talk about how gifts are not the primary focus but tend to get all stressed out with just that.  Thankfully, I was able to do my shopping for most of the things I needed online. Even if I was tempted to go out and shop, it just ain’t happening with my ever blossoming belly and subsequently complaining back. 🙂

For some reason, I tend to get really private and quiet about things at times and I think it’s time to share a little more of what’s happening with me for those who would be interested.

For the last month, I’ve been blogging in video form, which is known as vlogging.  The focus of my vlog is pretty much a chronicling of my pregnancy.  There are many who do this on youtube but mine is different because for one, it’s me, and I’m different. Also, mine has a bit of a twist or two as it is unassisted pregnancy and birth and there’s an additional little surprise that we may be in for when it’s all said and done.

So, for my men folk, no worries about any tmi/naked bits, nothing like that at all is included.  🙂 I posted my latest vlog today and it includes a special guest.  Here’s the link to the first one for anyone interested in viewing them. They are all public, so if you choose to watch the others, you will see them listed and if you’re interested in receiving notice of them as I post them, you can subscribe to be notified right away.

So that’s it for now. May you be blessed beyond imagination, now and in the coming new year!

 

How Do You Go Through Trials?

I had one of those nights last night where I wake up around 2am and don’t go back to sleep for 3 or more hours.  Normally, I spend this time talking to God, Spirit to spirit so as not to wake my husband, although, sometimes I end up laughing about something the Lord and I are sharing.  We made some plans together for an event I’m planning.  He gave me some cool ideas on things that are kind of over my head, like centerpieces, lol and then the conversation shifted to mind renewal and mindsets.

He reminded me of my mentioning a plan to someone recently, and immediately the person interjected with an idea of something negative happening that would ruin the whole thing, lol.  Now, I remember, just before our first trip to Africa for a wedding, either me or my husband, I don’t recall which, mentioned it to someone and instead of them saying something like, “Wow!! You’re going to Zimbabwe for a wedding? What a wonderful experience!” the person said, “Are you sure you want to go to Africa?  What if they start the slave trade back up and you get captured?” The person went on to say what type of jobs my husband and I would get based on our complexions and all.  They had all the horrid details worked out.

A person who is dear to me is having a very serious procedure done which could very well be life threatening. Someone we know in common, who is a believer, mentioned how worried they are over the whole thing and that they have been pretty much expecting the worse in the situation.  Now, I’m not at all saying I have never done this before, I’d be lying if I did, but I just see things in such a different light these days that it is astonishing.

As believers, we know we are to put our faith and trust in God. We are to be anxious over nothing.  We know that worry is sin, and more.  Why is it though, that we find it so difficult to really trust God and give our burdens over to Him completely? Why do so many of us jump to negative conclusions and make up negative scenarios for our future or that of others when we really don’t want that for ourselves or others?

I remember the last straw for me.  It wasn’t a big deal situation.  I was simply going to have my car inspected in DC, and as I sat in my car, lined up, inching forward when appropriate, I started to get this horrible idea that my car would not pass inspection.  I had it all worked out, I’d fail inspection, have to do some repair that I had no money to pay for, it would be awful, I’d not be able to drive anymore because my car was faulty, etc.  You know what though?  There was absolutely nothing wrong or faulty with my car.  There was no logical reason that I would not pass inspection, and, of course, I passed, but before my turn came, I got angry and forced myself to snap out of what I called, “Stupid mode”.

Even after that, there were definitely times where I still automatically allowed the enemy to have me thinking negatively, but over time, it became less and less.  Now, I more easily pick up on it when I or others do it and it has become more foreign to me and I thank God for that.

Before my 3rd and closest sibling passed on my birthday almost 2 years ago, something dawned on me as I prayed with our other sister.  The enemy was attacking our family in so many ways during that time.  I remember suddenly, my sister and I laughed as we prayed because it dawned on us that our sister, a very strong believer, was being “threatened” with an eternity in Heaven.  Now, before I go on, I must say that this particular sister was both of our closest sister. Her going to Heaven at 40 years old, was no cakewalk for us.  It still isn’t, especially after our brother went the year before at 38 and our oldest sister went several years earlier at an even younger age.  Here’s the thing that dawned on us though, either way, our sister was good.  She’d either be healed here on Earth and have an amazing testimony to share personally, helping others and all, or, she’d go home and be with our Heavenly Father forever.  She’d go and wait for us and pray for us and root for us as we remain here.  There was no losing for her.  The enemy was truly threatening her with eternity with the Lord. Stupid. Philippians 1:21 says, For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.  We believers win, regardless.  Living, we get to impact the world for God’s Kingdom and glory, to die is the best because we are eternally, physically reunited with our Heavenly Father and so many loved ones.  There is no loss!  The time spent here is so short, so minuscule when considering eternity, a fart in the wind as I always say, lol.

So here’s my position when trials come, “Praise God!! I can’t wait to see how He works this out for the good of all!”  He always does.  So many things that at the time, felt like the end, just wasn’t.  God always came through in bigger ways than I ever expected. His track record is proven and sure- the only sure thing in my life in fact!  I can trust Him with abandon and praise Him even when things are looking funky or shady.

My loved one who is having the procedure is in God’s capable hands.  Instead of moping and expecting the worst, I’m spending my time and energy just worshiping God for all that He is doing.  When bad thoughts come, I take the opportunity to prophesy the opposite.

When I learned that my husband didn’t get the position he went for which would have provided a major pay increase, smiles turned into excited giggles because I know my Abba, He is up to something!!  I can’t wait to see what He does with and for us!!  The job is not our source and praise God for that!!  So, if you don’t already do this, start to ask the Lord to help you renew your mind and change old mindsets of negative thinking.  It will change your life!

Defy the Enemy. Get and Keep Your Joy

I am about ready to burst, and some say I look like it too, hahaha!  I don’t mean with babies though, I mean with joy!!  I am finding myself consistently overwhelmed with joy as I just look to the Lord and then look at all that He is doing in my life and the lives of others.

I am currently finishing up a devotional on joy and it has been pretty good.  I’m not one to do devotionals or read the Bible just to check off some imaginary (or real) checklist, I want it to always be applicable, meaningful and impact my life.  If I find it is kind of boring and I’m just going through it to say I did it, I will stop.  God is never boring and neither is His Word.  I refuse to settle for less just to be able to say I do something each day.

Anyway, the devotional stresses that joy is our right as God’s children.  We can literally have joy in any and every season we go through in life if only we will look to God.  Many a Christian can quote Nehemiah’s “The joy of the Lord is my strength!” or Psalm 16:11’s “In His presence there is fullness of joy”, but how many can say they experience this reality on a regular basis?  This is where we should be as believers, allowing our Heavenly Father to fill us and be our joy, peace and strength.  Anything that we go to in lieu of His presence, for the purpose of gaining peace is not only not going to last, but it can and will become an idol in our lives.  I don’t want anything to take His place and position in my life, because there is truly nothing like Him in the entire universe. When I allow Him to fill the space in me that only He can fill, I truly feel I am seated with Him in heavenly places and man, there is nothing that can compare to it!

Also, I am finding Him to be more and more of a complete show off.  You take a step in a direction that He is wanting and wham, surprise after surprise of provision, gifts, and so much more overtake you all along the way.  It’s the best!!!  I can’t imagine living any other way.

The enemy does not want any of us to get this.  He wants to be able to continue to manipulate us and get us to focus on our circumstances. This can be such an emotional roller coaster.  Living that way means that you’re only as good as what’s happening around you, and who wants to be a puppet of their circumstances? Not me! So, take what’s yours beloved!  If you’re feeling off today, get in His presence, lay it all bare before Him and ask Him to give you something magnificent in exchange.  He is more than happy to do it and you?  Oh, you’re just gonna love it!

What Has Your Attention?

When I am tempted to get down and head towards depression, I now tend to get this really cool check in my spirit.  I believe it is the Lord speaking to me, asking, “What are you looking at? Where is your focus right now?”

Of the multitude of things one could be focused on in such moments, it is a sure bet that the focus is not on God and resting in His presence or Jesus’ finished work.

On Facebook, Rob Coscia said something very poignant, If you’re living in fear of people, circumstances and the future, you haven’t been listening to what God says about them.” Rob also noted 3 verses of Scripture:  Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” ( Matthew 11:28)  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) Lastly, he mentioned 1 John 4:18a Perfect love displaces all fear. I add to this short list, Jeremiah 29:11 in which the Lord states, “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  This verse is very familiar to most but we need to realize that we can actually ask Him what those thoughts and plans are and get a reply.  He is eager to speak to and be in relationship with His people, it’s the whole reason we were created. He wanted a family.  He wanted you.

I have been thinking about this a bit and why it is that Christians allow themselves to sink as deeply as anyone else who doesn’t know God. One thought that came up was that perhaps we don’t all truly value or understand the value of prayer and being aware of and intentionally focusing on His presence.

It isn’t easy to be in His presence and still feel sorry for oneself.  I don’t know that it is even possible to shift one’s thinking and focus, be engulfed in Him, and still be depressed.

I think, all too often people feel they have to be doing something to fix their problems.  They have to help God, after all, a lot of Christians believe that “God helps those who help themselves”.  The faulty part of this is that if we could fix all of our problems ourselves, what did Jesus die for?  Why do we need a Savior?  What do we need God for at all if we can do it all ourselves?  Now, I’m not saying just sit around and wait for everyone else to do for you or expect things to just fall into your lap.  There’s most certainly a time and place for doing things, but not to the complete dismissal of prayer and just basking in His presence.

Psalms 16:11 (NKJV) says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your hand are pleasures forevermore.”  Do we really believe that when we allow what we see and experience to overthrow what the Word of God says?  Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light but do we really believe that when life presents us with an opportunity to take on a burden that God never intended us to bare?

A game changer for me has been this consistent and constant (and simple) awareness that I carry the fullness of the Godhead in me and with me 24/7 (John1:16). Because of this, I can engage with Him at any time.  What a wonderful reality!!!

I am one who can take empathy to heights and depths unknown, and last week, I started to really feel down as I witnessed so much pain around me.  I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper, praying and crying.  Eventually, I realized, I need to let it go because it was affecting me more than just a little.  I knew that in my own strength, I couldn’t handle it so I sat still and told the Lord that I didn’t want to keep feeling so awful.  I’d prayed in faith and believe wholeheartedly that He has already provided healing for the hearts, bodies and minds of all that I prayed for, but I didn’t have to stay there. I could have my joy restored and keep it.  So, I focused on Him and just worshiped Him and soon, everything changed. Now when I think of the people I am praying for, I simply thank God for their healing and move on with my own joy intact as I know I have constant access to rivers of living waters flowing inside of me.

I love how, when I decide to trust God and don’t try to have a back up plan to fix things myself in my own strength, it leaves room for Him to do some crazy, creative and mighty things in my life.  I have seen it so much in the last few years that for me, there is no other way.  It’s live by faith, the end.  If He said it in His Word, I have settled it in my heart to trust and believe it no matter what I see in front of me.  Just as Psalms 121 starts out, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains.  Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…”  So, my question to you is, what are you looking at?  Where is your focus planted?  If it isn’t on Him, no worries, make that shift, focus on Him.  Allow Him to love you through rough times and fill you with that peace that surpasses all understanding.  Joy unspeakable is yours for the taking. Get what’s yours and keep it!

 

 

Having Peace During Election Season

While so many I know are so distraught over the upcoming elections, I am feeling so enormously blessed and at peace.  At the beginning of all this, before all the candidates were whittled down to the two, I asked the Lord who He ordained to be our next president (see Romans 13:1).  I got an immediate response and just waited to see if that particular individual would remain.  They have, so I voted towards that end and am fine with trusting the Lord with this situation.

Through all of what has occurred, I feel more secure in Him than ever before because I know that neither candidate is my source, God is, and since God doesn’t change, I don’t have to either.  I can keep right on trusting and believing God.  I don’t have to panic in fear of who might win and what harm could be done as a result.  I have options here.  I can continue to trust in the Lord with all my heart, knowing that He works all things together for my good because I am most definitely, head over heels in love with Him, and am called according to His purpose. Jesus told me to take his yoke upon me and that I would find rest therein, so, I’m taking it!  He said to be anxious for nothing. There is literally nothing I have to be anxious for, and I am choosing to believe him.

I can’t help but get ridiculously excited about God and all that He has afforded us as believers.  I feel like, more than ever, I am taking Him at His word and truly believing it.  The freedom of living this way is so amazing it seems illegal!!  I am loving how when anxiety tries to creep in, it feels so foreign that I immediately turn inward to my Heavenly Father to get that mess off of me.

I pray this peace for all of you as well.  May any of you who struggle with fear and anxiety, come into the awareness of all you have in Him.  May it forever change you and make you more and more like Jesus. I pray that you remember that you are in constant union with your Source and that you take full advantage of that fact, believing fully in the One who loves and knows you better than anyone ever could.

Who Do You Trust?

I have so much swirling in my head.  There are so many things I am grateful for, that when I dwell on them, I’m about ready to burst with joy. I feel like I’m enjoying something kind of forbidden, by the world’s standards anyway.  I remember this old saying that goes something like, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”  I admit that I’ve heard that a few times in my life.  I’ve even been accused of not taking things in life seriously enough, as if worrying actually helps and is productive.  Here’s what Colossians 3:2 says, Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth. See, God has something different to say about our earthly “wisdom”, 1 Cor. 3:19 says the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  In Philippians 4:8, it says that we should fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. It says to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

The question becomes, who are you going to trust, believe and go with?  I choose God, hands down.  Considering my problems and things gone wrong in my life or in the world at large, just doesn’t do it for me.  I love that I can go to the Problem Solver, the One who is never without strategies, answers and options for me to consider and walk out.  I’m excited beyond measure to even have some of the “problems” I now have as I can’t wait to see what my Abba will do with them as I literally rest and trust in Him.

When my daughter and I revamped our herbal business, we prayed. One verse that is at the heart of how we have decided to move forward with our business is Romans 13:8- Owe nothing to anyone-except for your obligation to love one another.  So, no debt.  Not a penny. The “wisdom” of this world says, “it takes money to make money” and most businesses start with a loan of some sort in order to get going.  Since we see otherwise in the Word, and know real life examples of people who have chosen God’s way, we decided to do the same and it has been amazing.

We have a few small monthly expenses with our company. One night as I was going to bed, I remembered that our account balance was dangerously low and bills would be coming out soon.  As I lay in bed, I said, “Ok, Abba, the account is low and we have no orders.  You know what we need so I thank you for taking care of it. I’m going to sleep.” The next day we got an order from a stranger and two family members.  Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Ha!! As I read what I just typed, I realize I straight up Philippians 4:6-7thd that “problem”.  (I know there is no 7thd, lol.)  I chose to not worry, I didn’t even start screaming to the masses, “Discount! Sale!”. I simply talked to my Abba about it, thanked Him in advance for working it out, and you can’t tell me I didn’t have peace, I went straight to sleep, haha!!

I love that we truly do have options when it comes to where we put our faith/trust.  I have practiced worrying and it was never fun.  In fact, every time an issue was worked out, it felt a bit silly to have worried so much to begin with.  After all, every single issue I have been faced with, has been taken care of, one way or another.  My odds are amazing, as 100% of what I’ve faced that made me think I’d just die, I lived right on through in the end.

So while I watch some of my friends on Facebook, posting in desperation about how they are so freaked out about our upcoming election, I’m smiling and thanking God for giving me insight on who He has ordained to be in office.  I’ve decided to go with that and rest.  Some of my friends have seemed to become straight toddlers, posting their, “Just unfriend me if you’re voting for X!” or “Anyone voting for X, explain why!”as if it is their business.  These dear ones, I am praying for.  I see past the childish behavior and see that they are worried and in fear of what may or may not happen a few whole weeks from now.  What a way to live.  My prayer is that every believer learns to truly trust in the Lord with all their heart.  He is faithful and so very trustworthy.  He has proven it time and time again.  We must believe Him.

Natural Disasters: Acts of God?

In the midst of Florida’s hurricane watch, I saw someone post something on Facebook that mentioned how the “old folks” used to say, referring to hurricanes or other natural disasters, “Go sit down somewhere while the Lord does His work.”  I believe in respecting one’s elders but to put it nicely, that sounds off.

All my life, the catch phrase regarding God has been summed up to two phrases that I will never forget and I actually agree with them- “God is love” and, “God is good all the time (And all the time, God is good)”.  Now, when Love and Goodness starts sending natural disasters that literally destroy everything in their wake and kills people, in my mind at least, we have a problem.

There’s a mixed message that is prevalent in the Church… God is love. He is good and He loves you but make a wrong move and He will destroy you or someone you love.  One can scarcely attend a funeral where Job’s phrase isn’t mentioned as if it is the gospel truth- “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.”  Sounds just like something an adult would do to a child to punish them.  Or a false friend who gives you something and takes it back.  We had a name for people like that who would give you something and then turn back around and take it away, and it wasn’t a good one.  This is some of what we’ve pinned onto God without a thought to what Scripture says.

In John 5:19, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the father doing.Whatever the Father does, the son also does.”  Jesus literally modeled the Father.  I have read what is considered the gospels many times in my life and while I don’t claim to know everything, I don’t recall ever seeing Jesus model anything akin to sending a natural disaster to destroy people, nor did he ever give someone something and take it away. Can you imagine Jesus, “Lazarus, come forth!!  Haha, just kidding, go die again now!” or, “You are healed, haha, now you’re not!”

In fact, Jesus told us in John 10:10 that it was the thief, referring to the enemy, who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Jesus said that he came that we might have life and life more abundantly.  How exactly does sending natural disasters and taking gifts or people from people, fit in with that?  What kind of God do people really believe in?  If I thought God took 3 of my siblings, my father, my grandparents or anything else in my life, just for kicks, just because He is sovereign and can do what he wants, why would I want to serve Him?  That sounds creepy, scary and sadistic.  Why do we totally dismiss that we have an enemy whose primary focus is to do the exact things that we all too often attribute to God?

Job did in fact say that the Lord gives and He takes away but one has to look at the context in which he said this.  This was a man in the deepest moment of despair in his life.  Just because he felt that way and said that, does not make it true.  Earlier in Job, what went down was actually explained, it was the enemy who did it all, not God, and, in the end, God restored Job beyond what he’d had before.  I’m sure, the day Job reached Heaven and was reunited with all of his children, he didn’t feel they were taken away or lost any longer.

Another thing that is curious in all this “Act of God” talk, is in remembering how the Pharisees said Jesus was healing people with the power of the enemy and Jesus responded by saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  If the enemy made them sick or killed them, why would he turn around and make them well and raise them from the dead?  Makes absolutely no sense at all.  In fact, at least twice, we read about storms that were akin to natural disasters, wreaking havoc and Jesus calmed them.  Here’s the thing.  He said we are to do what He did and greater, and again, when the seas raged, about to kill people, He calmed them. He didn’t send them, he stopped them.  The way I see it, believers have a responsibility here that in some circles, is being totally dismissed.  Instead of making up slogans about how these disasters are acts of God in judgement of a nation gone awry, how about we do what Jesus did and greater?  What about that part?  Let’s speak to these “storms” and tell them where to go.  Let’s learn who we truly are and take hold of the authority given us by our Heavenly Father, through Jesus’ sacrifice and do something about it instead of sitting back, blaming God for something He didn’t do.  Let’s model Jesus as we were called to.

Following Christ and Him Alone

I didn’t post anything last week because I was finding it a bit tough to make a whole lot of sense about what is going on inside of me these days.  Well actually, it makes perfect sense, it’s just, words escaped me and frankly, I was in no position to write coherently as I am almost always in a state of being ever so drunk on His love.

I have been feeling a bit differently  for several months now concerning some ideas and mindsets that I had about my Christian walk.  I couldn’t really put my finger on it initially but I just kept abiding in my Abba and as always, He has brought amazing clarity and revelation. Also, reading the book, The Mystical Union by John Crowder, speaking with a few friends who I consider no holds barred believers in the Word, and attending the Power and Love conference a few weeks ago just sealed the deal for me. I am forever changed.

I love how all I have to do is shift my thoughts to Him and boom, I am overtaken by Love Himself.

I love how I have but to focus on Him and allow Him to pour into me and He brings to light and fixes things I wasn’t even conscious of, let alone, looking to fix.  My focus is ever on Him.

I love the simplicity of His Word. In John 6:29 (NLT) it says, Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” 1 John 2:6 NLT says Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

I am finding that now, more than ever before, my focus is zoomed into Christ’s example.  If I am to be following His example, there are mindsets I have found that I need to let go of, mindsets that don’t exactly fit well with how He operated here on Earth.  I’m finding that the falling away of these old mindsets are producing an even greater sense of freedom in my life.  I truly feel like I am more than just a mere human being.  I’m not just here taking up space. I’m not locked into this constant struggle of I’m saved and going to Heaven but I have so many things I need to fix in order to receive all God has for me. I’m not striving or struggling to be who God created me to be, I am simply focused on Him and He is taking care of it all.

I am reading His word, not for information or to prove that I am correct (and someone else is wrong), but to know Him more intimately.  I am living in an ever growing state of revelation and awareness of who I am so that I can walk it out easily. I mean really, how hard is it to simply be who you are?  I am becoming love. I am believing in the One He sent and following Him and I am finding that His yoke is in fact easy, and His burden is light.  I am content to no longer allow my experiences or anything else I see, dictate where I place my trust/faith. My faith is in His finished work alone.  It is non-negotiable. I am choosing to follow Christ alone.