Sneak Peak of Devotional: Pride

I had a dream where I was in a competition with about fifteen other girls. The competition was made up of a series of mini games. Whoever won the most games would be the winner overall. There was a girl in the competition that did not like me and we were each other’s rivals. It was difficult to even be nice to one another plus we felt we had to be better than the other one. If either one of us didn’t win the competition then we at least had to have more points than the other one did.

The competition started and the first event was very easy for me; I won it hands down. The competition lasted all day and we played mini game after mini game. Then the last game was at hand. The purpose of this event was to get an object that was at the bottom of the pool. There were about fifteen of us girls that lined up around a fairly small pool. The buzzer went off and we all jumped in. I closed my eyes as I plunged in the water because there were just too many of us and I was worried that someone, including myself, would get hurt. When I opened my eyes under water, I saw my rival holding the object in her hand. She had won! Then I noticed that another competitor had been knocked unconscious by all the commotion. This girl was lying motionless at the bottom of the pool next to my rival, but my rival didn’t even notice her at all. It didn’t seem like anyone saw her.

I swam over to her as fast as I could and scooped her up in my arms. I took her to the surface and called for assistance from one of my family members who had been cheering for me. My family member was able to help me get her out of the water. As soon as I handed her off I knew that by saving the girl it was a bigger accomplishment than my rival winning the whole competition. I would end up getting all the glory and be remembered in the event. My rival, on the other hand, would be forgotten and no one would remember that she had won. I was very excited that I had “one-upped” my opponent like I did. The pride was so rooted within me that it brought out the worst in me.

The girl who had been knocked out became conscious. She got up to give me a hug of gratitude. As she was hugging me, I saw all these reporters, photographers, and cameramen taking pictures and filming us. My ego instantly got big and I wanted them to get my picture with the girl’s back facing them as we hugged. Just as I got done thinking that, the girl said to me, “I want them to get your picture because you saved me.”
I covered up my arrogance and said, “Oh no, you need to be in the picture too.” I turned her around and we both faced the cameras as they flashed all around us. Then I woke up.

Interpretation: The Lord shared with me that hidden pride and arrogance is really bad. It can start out as a small seed and grow from there. At the beginning, my pride/arrogance started with my rival. That is where the small seed of pride was planted and began to grow. Then it grew bigger and by the time I was given the “opportunity” to save someone it had taken over and was dominating my thoughts. I was covering it up at the end and lied to hide it.

Pride is so destructive, sneaky, and grows like a weed, just like it grew progressively in my dream. It has to be taken care of. Ask God today if you have any pride or arrogance in your life. Ask God where it started from. It is time to pluck that weed of pride out of the garden of your heart.

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.
– Proverbs 16:18 (NLT)

Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. O People of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.
– Jeremiah 4:3b-4 (NLT)

The people’s wickedness and pride have blossomed to full flower.
– Ezekiel 7:10b (NLT)

If you want to order the paperback version you can click on the books image to order

Or download the free kindle app and purchase the ebook version.

Advertisements

Operating In Spiritual Dynamics

Hey Everyone,

I am teaching every Thursday evening in the month of March in the Newport area.

It can be hard to recognize when God is speaking to you.  Please come to my class so I can not only help you to hear the Lord’s voice better but also to understand physical healing, and today’s prophecy as well.

Watch my 1 minute video to find out more information.

 

Demanding to Be Served

Woman receiving manicure and haircut in salon

In our society we long to be served or pampered.  We want people to be at our beck and call.  We see the image of celebrities getting ready to be on camera with people falling all over them bringing them food, doing their hair/make-up, dressing them.  It is a lifestyle that I think most of us secretly want.

Even in the church there is this serve the leader mentality at times.  How do I know because I have seen it and I started to have that desire in my heart.  In a couple of churches I have attended the guest speaker is to be pampered. Some even send you a request of what kind of food they want and how warm or cold they want their water. They come in late to the service with people following them making sure they are taken care of.  I was trained to take very good care of the speakers.

It is not a bad thing to show honor. It is not a bad thing to serve one another.  We are asked by God to love and serve one another. But it can become bad if you require it of others.  So seeing speakers and leaders in churches being pampered I thought in the back of my mind when I became a speaker  I wouldn’t go to the extremes of requesting water or food, or even a fee. I would do it for free but I would come with my own “minor” terms and my own time.

I was asked to speak at a church recently. I was excited. It is always an honor when God opens up opportunity for me to pour into people.  As I was communicating back and forth with my contact person it was requested of me to be at the place at a  earlier time than I had planned on.  I was not happy at all.  In my heart I got prideful and thought “Hey I am the speaker, I have a lot to do before I make the journey there, you don’t get to ask me when to come. I will show up when I can get there.” Now I am being very honest with you and I am turning red as I write this.  But I had allowed the culture of demanding service in my heart. And though I had made a decision not to go to the extreme of asking for things or money I still had an attitude of “Serve Me”

The next morning I woke up and spent time with the Lord. He let me know that I was being prideful and I was to serve not be served.  Jesus also instructed me that any time I was asked to do a speaking engagement I was to come when I was requested to be there and I was to serve.  That meant help set up or clean up, make myself available to serve.  If they asked me to come at a super early time and I had time to spare I was to pray and set the atmosphere.  That I was not to ever come to be served but to serve.  Then Jesus reminded me of his mission. That He came to serve and not be served.  He then gave me this scripture.

42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:42-45 (NLT)

I was so convicted that I immediately wrote my contact person and apologized for telling them I could not be there when they wanted me. I asked for their forgiveness and said I would be there when they had asked.

It was a big lesson for me and I saw how pride had started to grow in my heart.  I saw that it probably would not have stopped there but would have grown and I would have wanted to be served more and more.  Since thislesson I have had the privileged of having another speaking engagement. After the event was over with I stayed back and helped clean up, took tables down and put away chairs.  It was such a joy to help and I really loved doing it.

God’s ways are nothing like the world’s ways. Jesus came to serve and give his life for many and He expects his followers to do the same.  We are not called to be served but to serve those around us, especially if we are in leadership positions.  If you are a leader your job as a Christ follower is to serve those God has placed in your care.  You are to have the attitude of a slave.  Christ is our greatest example and we are to be like Him in every aspect of our lives.

It’s time to serve!

 

 

 

 

Let God Be Himself

Have you ever had a person who was always speaking for you or assumed you liked/disliked something when you didn’t.  Did you ever feel like they really didn’t know you but somehow they kept assuming things about you that were just not true.  A lot of us Christians treat God like this.  That just because we have given our hearts to Him and now go to church, read our bible every once in a while that we know through and through this God.

Just the other day as I was spending time with God He said to me “You let me but me. A lot of people try to make me into what they want but you let me be me. Thank you.” Over the years I have heard some crazy assumptions about God. About what He likes and dislikes, about how he would respond to a certain situation. The whole WWJD (What would Jesus do) in our own opinion.  We assume way too much.

I have had to learn that God has His own personality. He has His own likes and dislikes.  And just because I am His servant/follower/daughter doesn’t mean I automatically know what He likes or His opinion on the matter.  It doesn’t mean that just because I like something that He likes it too.

I think that is our biggest problem about letting God be Himself is that we assume that if we agree or disagree that means God feels the same way.  It is kind of like a bossy spouse that continues to talk for her husband.  She assumes that because she likes pizza he likes pizza, because she likes a certain movie type, he also likes that movie.  And so on.  Until one day he final says he doesn’t like a certain thing she does and the wife is shocked.  She had assumed all these years because he didn’t say anything that he liked it.  His reply, “You never let me speak, or tell you. You just assumed”

I can truly say God is my best friend. We interact on a daily basis.  I talk He listens, He talks I listen.  If I don’t know something about God I go and ask Him what his opinion is on the subject.  I can honestly say that God and I do not always agree.  There have been many times my opinion is in complete opposite of God’s. My standards compared to God’s have been as different as night and day.  But here is the thing I know that God’s ways trump mine. That what He has to say about a matter is right every time.  That means I have to line up with his thinking and not try to believe he will change to how I view things.

Here are some tips for you about how to not assume God feels the same way you do.

1. Spend time with Him.  Don’t be the one talking the whole time. Close your mouth. Shut off your thoughts going a million miles a might and listen.  God has a lot to say. He has a lot of likes and dislikes. He has a lot of views that are way different than yours and he wants to share them.

2. When you don’t know something about God ask him.  Don’t just assume. His opinion on abortion, orphans, prostitutes, politics, same-sex marriage, the church, how to interact with people, dancing, make-up, modesty, relationships. God has an opinion about every one of these subjects and more. You just need to ask.

3. Stop talking for God when you don’t truly know the answer.  Don’t always assume that just because you feel a certain way about a subject God is going to feel the same way.  That is not how it works.  Just because a wife feels a certain way about a matter doesn’t mean the husband will. Just because you have a relationship with God doesn’t mean you know God’s view on certain subjects.

4. And last let God be Himself.  Let him have an opinion. Let him be able to communicate his ways to you.  They are so much better than anything you could assume or come up with.  Let God be God.

Wow I know that is a lot but it is important to Let God be Himself and not impose our feels or opinions into what God thinks or feels.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” Declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

Man-with-hands-up

 

Emotions

“For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Song of Solomon 8:6b (NIV)

Let’s just be upfront and honest emotions can be super strong.  They can be so strong at times that it is hard not to act on them.  Sometimes an emotion you are feeling can be so strong you have physical pain. In the scripture above it says love is as strong as the grave.  Love is an emotion.  We can fall in and out of love but it is still powerful.

Here is the deal just because we feel something especially love doesn’t mean we should always act on it. Emotions were never meant to control us they were meant to be an indicator of what is going on in our hearts and minds.  When you feel something: love, anger, peace, joy, sadness, irritation, frustration, jealousy, happy, ecstatic it doesn’t mean they should control your actions.  They may be strong, super strong but we still have choice whether to act on them or not.

I was looking through facebook and saw this image:fox news traditional marriage

It got me thinking where I had been before God got ahold of me.  I had viewed same-sex attraction as normal.  I had viewed is was fine and if that this the way a person felt then go for it.  But since giving my life to Christ He has shown me His perspective.  It was never in God’s plan or design for woman and women to be together or man with man.  It was always man with woman. That just because you love someone or are attracted to someone doesn’t mean you should act on it.  I honestly believe same-sex couples love each other very much and want what is best for the other person.  I honestly believe they are very attracted to each other.

Yet we shouldn’t always act on our emotions.  God also showed me one time that if I am attracted to a married man and desire him strongly and he desires me it doesn’t mean I get to act on my emotions.  It could feel right, it could be as everyone says “true love” but according to God’s standards it isn’t right.

We have to be so careful that we don’t let our emotions steer us in the wrong direction.  We truly have be governed by God’s ways and His design.  It isn’t easy and there have been many many many times my emotions, standards, and beliefs did not line up with God but that meant I was in the wrong.  And yet God is so loving and kind that even when I was wrong or in sin He loved me through it and brought me to a place of His understanding.

Emotions are so powerful.  Hate is powerful, Irritation is powerful, Compassion is powerful, Love, Joy, Anger, Sadness can all be so powerful but yet we should not let them control us.  If they are right and line up with God they can propel us to do what is right but if they go against God and his ways they can take us to a place that is entangling or with consequences that we don’t want.

Moral of the story don’t let your emotions take you places you shouldn’t go or God doesn’t want to you to be.  God’s ways are truly best even when they don’t feel go or seem right.  I promise you He is a loving God and will not steer you wrong! And even when you are in the wrong place, emotion, or situation He loves you any way and will help you go in the direction He has for your life.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart I  will be found by you,” declares the Lord” -Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIV)

 

 

I want More! Needing One and One time with Jesus

For the past few days I have had the song Empty Me by Jeremy camp in my head and burning in my heart.

Holy Fire burn away
My desire for anything
That is not of You and is of me
I want more of You and less of me, yeah

My favorite part of the song is when it says “I want more, I want more, I want more of you Jesus”  I want to belt out the words. ” I want more I want more I want more I want more”
heart on fire
I think all of us Christians want more of Jesus.  We want our hearts on fire.  But how do we get there. How to we get from a place of busy-ness and what feels like no time for the Lord to a place of surrender and one on one time with God.
Our number one priority every day needs to be spending time with the Lord.  As soon as I say this either in a teaching setting or when I am doing a presentation immediately people start saying but my day is so busy I don’t know where to fit God in to spend time with him.
I am not saying it is easy but it is a must.  My schedule is getting busier and busier.  I have my new sweet baby to take care of, speaking engagements, church functions, writing books. etc.  It is not easy but I am encouraged by King David in the bible.  He had a whole kingdom to run, a handful of wives,  war staring him in the face from time to time, and other crazy business in his busy schedule.  If he could find time every morning to spend time with the Lord what excuse do I have.
“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” – Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
I also heard Heidi Baker a missionary in Mozambique talk about needing to soak in God’s presence daily.  At the time of her message I  heard she has 1,000 volunteers, a lot a lot  of orphans to look after, and 2,o00 churches she is over and yet she spends 3 – 5 hours a day with the Lord.  She says she can do more by spending time with God in one hour of ministry than she could in one year of striving on her own.  When she spends time with the Lord she is more effective in the natural.
We need the Lord. We need our hearts to be on fire to burn that which is not of Him and to propel us in to our callings. Ask the Lord to help you set aside one on one time with Him. Ask the Lord for a hunger and thirst for Him that can not be quenched.
You need to spend time daily talking and listening to the Lord. You also need to read your Bible.  SO important.  Your relationship with God is the most important things you will ever have.  If Jesus needed to spend time with the Father often so do we.  “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 (NIV)
I encourage you today that if you are not already spending daily time with Jesus to pray about and rework your schedule so you have one-on-one un-interrupted time with Jesus. It will be the best decision with your time you will ever make!

The Heart Behind “God and Me”

God and Me with handGod and Me,  the devotional, just came out last week.  It is pretty exciting to witness first hand a dream God gave me and see it come to reality.  Yet even in all the excitement I have to admit I didn’t really want  it available for the public.  It is my most personal interactions with the Lord and it was and is hard for me to share. The following is the introduction in the book to show you the heart behind God and Me:

I have made it a priority in my life to spend time with God. During some of our times together the Lord told me that He wanted a book to be written about our interactions together, to make a book of devotions from what He has taught me over the years. I was reluctant at first because my personal time with God is my most prized possession. It is what I treasure the most and I didn’t want people peering in through a window or judging my time with the Lord. Like the Scripture says in Matthew 7:6, “. . .do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” I didn’t want people picking, prodding, or analyzing my time with God only to tear it apart and then possibly criticize me. I didn’t even share a lot of these experiences with my husband, not because I didn’t trust him, but because they were special just between myself and my Daddy, the King.

Yet God is so gentle and kind. He knows how to talk to me and convince me to do things that I would never do on my own. Through His love and direction I wrote a lot of my interactions with Him in this book with the hope that it would help other people in their walk with the Lord. I would ask God which interactions He wanted me to share and which ones I could keep to myself.

As you read the devotions you will notice that they usually start out with, “I went to hang out with God,” or “I went to spend time with Jesus,” or “I went to abide with Holy Spirit.” Over the years I have found that secret place the Bible talks about and that is where I spend my time with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Psalms 91:1 says, “He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” A lot of times God would even tell me when He wanted to meet with me by saying, “Come abide with me.” When writing this book I was reading Psalms 91 and noticed that it said, “abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” I had never really noticed the word “abide” in this verse and was tickled that all these years God would beckon me to come spend time with Him by using the word abide. I had recognized that word in John when Jesus said, “If you abide in me, I will abide in you.” God desires to abide with all of us. I hope this book encourages you to abide with the Lord.

You will also notice I talk about going to the throne room or hanging out in the throne room. That is one of the secret places I spend time with the Lord. In Hebrews 4:16 it says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace . . .” or another version says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence . . .” A friend of mine taught me that we should take this Scripture literally. There is a throne room and I can go there to spend time with the Lord in boldness and confidence. Over the years I would go to the throne room where God would be sitting on His throne. There I would spend time with Him, whether it was sitting in His lap, dancing before the Lord, or being taught lessons as if I was in a classroom.

I began spending time with God in the throne room. As I spent more time hanging out with God we began to meet and go to different places. Not only did we meet in different places but I spent time with Jesus and Holy Spirit as well.

This is the second book that I have written and during the time that I was writing God and Me and One Yes God gave me a vision about the books He was asking me to write. God used a setting from a Max Lucado children’s book called You are Special as a setting. In the vision I and all the other humans were Wemmicks, which are wooden people. God was Eli the woodcarver in my vision. I would like to share that vision with you since it has to do with these books which God and I wrote:

I was spending time with God when He told me to hold out my hands. I did, and in it He put papers that had been rolled and folded up.

I asked, “What is it?”

God answered, “A manuscript.”

“Of what?”

“Your life.”

So I unfolded the pile of papers and read it. The manuscript started when I was born in a small village deep in the woods. I grew up and found that there was a Maker. In the script, I was a wooden person and God was “Eli” from Max Lucado’s book. God then told me to skip to the part where it talks about the present time. I skipped over my life and got to the present day. I read that I was writing books and that I would go up to the Woodcarver, Eli’s, shop and spend time with Him. The story came alive and I was in God’s woodshop sitting on a tall stool that was so big that my whole body fit on the seat and my legs did not even hang over the side. God was sitting at His bench. I had paper in my lap and a pen in my hand. God and I were writing the book together. We would discuss what details needed to go in it and I would write it down.

When the book was done we printed it and I went down to the village where the other wooden people were at and started to hand out the book that God and I wrote. Some didn’t believe that God had anything to do with the book and dismissed it all together. But others believed and they went to God’s workshop to spend time with Him. I saw droves of people walking up the hill to meet with God. At one point there was even a line of people filing in to spend time with the Lord.

One day, I went up to the Woodcarver’s shop to spend time with God. As I walked in, the place was full of people all sitting on the floor at the Lord’s feet. There were so many people that I couldn’t even see the floor. I walked through the crowd to go sit on God’s lap. It was wonderful, but I felt like a jealous little kid that didn’t want to share their parent. I got in God’s lap and He knew that I was jealous.

He said, “There is more than enough of Me to go around.”

I responded, “Yeah, but they know my secret place now.”

God said, “They have their own secret place and you have yours.”

I pleaded, “God change my heart. My mind understands but my heart only wants my alone time with You to be between the two of us.”

God reassured me that all of us have our own secret place, which is just between Him and us. I didn’t need to worry about my secret place because it was just between God and me. He has for sure been changing my heart, though it wasn’t easy writing this book. I know that He longs to spend one on one time with each of us. As you read the devotions I hope you not only walk away with lessons the Lord has taught me but that you too can find your own secret place with the Lord. God longs for you to spend time with Him. He has been waiting for you to come to the throne room to sit on His lap and talk about life.

 

 

 

Start of Something New

I never would have guessed two years ago I would have left our mission field in Stockton to become a full time stay at home mom and writer.  It is pretty crazy what God will do if you surrender your life to Him.

It is for sure the start of something new.  This year I already had two speaking engagements and published my second book.  And the year is just getting started.

Can’t wait to see what Jesus will do next.

me with two books 2