Friday, September 23, 2016

Is It Safe?

The last several months I've been reading in the book of Romans. I just keep reading it, over and over again. I like every bit of it, and continue to learn something new each day.
One thing I have learned, again, is that God is safe. He longs for his people to be safe as well, his church. 
Is it? 
Have you asked yourself if you are safe? Have you considered what that might look like? Have you asked others if you are a safe person?
A few years ago I asked these questions.  Several people said I was very safe to them, but there were a couple that said they did not feel safe. I asked more questions, and then worked towards being safe for them.
Some people may believe that God is not safe because of the situations they end up in. I've felt that way. Or, maybe if God does not answer them in the way they are hoping, He is not safe.  I've had a list of questions and needs presented to God that have not been answered in the way I would like, through this experience I am learning to surrender to His way, not mine. And, he continues to show me what being safe with him really means.
But, lets go back to the church, is it safe? I am part of the church, do I contribute to it's safety? Do I feel safe in the church, the building I visit every week? Do you?
I admit that if I felt safe in the church, they would see and accept more of who I've been, and who I am. Instead, I have chosen to step back in church situations. What do you do?
I have a group of church people around me that love me and accept me. This feels safe to me. I know that each one of them strives for Godly character and they are safe. 
God has perfectly woven every detail of our lives to fit into His perfect purpose. He has wrapped us in a robe of Righteousness and called us holy. He has paved the way to his Kingdom, and placed the keys in our hands. He has promised to always love us, and to give us a secure future with him. He lifts us up to see what's  ahead and he beats within each heart. 
He is so very safe!
Who am I to be any different? 
God has called his church Saints. Yet, we so often walk around as sinners. 
He has given me his righteousness and I can now shine. He co-glorifies his people. He stands with us; therefore who can stand against us?  He is loyal to his people.
He does not condemn. He opens his arms to his Saints and holds them lovingly. He accepts his people--you and me.
So, today, as I ponder the question of safe churches, I challenge you to find your church that lives with every detail woven into God's purpose, wrapped in his perfect righteousness, and focused on his Kingdom. Your church will love you always, and point you to your future with him. The Saints around you will recognize your gifts and allow them to shine, and they will stand beside you. Your church will not condemn you, but keep their arms open to you in love and acceptance.
Jesus, remind me to Say That Again and again as I stand with you and your saints.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Fire of His Heart and Soul

Summer is almost over! Can you believe it? This has been a very full and fun summer for me and my family. My kids and I have read a couple  of very large books together, we've enjoyed swimming, camping, biking, trips, friends, barbecue's, ice cream, and grandchildren. My kids are not excited about school starting, they want summer to last forever.
My husband and I gave our poodle a hair cut today. We decided to call it the Hit and Miss haircut. He is a standard poodle and he has a lot of hair, we got some and we didn't! Thankfully, he doesn't care. He is the happiest dog on earth, I've never seen him sad.
Throughout my life I have had many sad and long days, but now is not one of them. In fact, they are far and few between right now, and for this I am praising God. It's not because we are trial free, believe me there are still several of those stacking against us. But, it's because of what I believe and know about them. God has placed me to win, and I'm going to believe in His miraculous work in my life to follow through with that. 
I experienced some amazing breakthroughs this summer. One was the ability to get in the pool and the lake and actually swim. For years, I have felt a block when it comes to swimming. I didn't want to be cold, or I just couldn't make myself get in the water. Now, that has come to an end, I'm swimming a lot and enjoying it. I give credit to God's healing power through an Art Sozo training that I was involved in.
Also, due to that training, my paints have come alive again. I use to paint, draw, etc, but it was left by wayside several years ago. Now, I am enjoying that gift again, finding it to be very healing and fun.
So, what is happening in your life that God wants to heal? What are some of the lies you are believing about yourself that keeps you from living life to the fullest? What is the truth? How do you want to ask God to revive your heart today?
Are you growing in the fire of His soul and heart, or does life feel stagnant?
This is my desire this September, to continue to grow in the fire of His heart and soul. 
Say That Again and march on! 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Time Runner

So many times I hear people say there isn't enough time.  Life is spent running against an unseen clock, hoping to catch an hour, a minute, or a second of time.  I use to feel this way at times; it was very challenging for me to go throughout the day without my watch on, I had to know the time.
But, I've discovered that with or without it, time passes by at the same pace. Many people spend most of their life living in the same cycle, as if each cycle were the first time. The same issues, same obstacles, same everything.
It takes courage to STOP.
Time races by, and we choose each day how to respond. You can lean into each moment and with strength choose to savor the life given you, or you can run.
I've done both.
To savor we accept responsibility for our own lives. We stop poking the person next to us and expecting them to change first. We set boundaries that bring life to ourselves and our family. We seek truth and sometimes boldly speak the hard truth.
To savor is to stand still long enough to recognize the blessings all around us. To stop talking and listen. To savor, one cannot manipulate, twist, and control.
What is happening in your life today that recycles year after year? What are  your options? Are you thriving in the blessings God has given you, or pushing them away?  Are you grasping at past mistakes and pulling them into your present? Do you feel entitled? Are you running from the given time of this moment?
Many times in the day I need to pause and just ask Jesus for help. He knows every situation, every heart and thought. I don't have the answers, but I can choose to have the faith that He does. It is up to me to stop running against the time I've been granted, and let it all go to Him.
Jesus, Say That Again to me, You created time, you hold my heart, and You've got it all under control today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quirky Life

This has been a good week. I've spent a lot of time with people that I love, and we've had fun together.  My two youngest kids and I went for a long drive and listened to a favorite book, Three Weeks with my Brother, by Nicholas Sparks. (see my review for this book on We went swimming at a little beach, and we ate ice cream.  I also spent an evening walking with a close friend, and more time walking with my daughter in-law and grandson.  Again, I praise God for the people He has put in my life and the journey He walks with me. Each day is a new adventure and there is joy.
There have been a lot of adjustments, growing pains, and moments of searching. Life is continually richer for me as I recognize God's handiwork.
What brings a richness to your life? How has God taken the growing pains in your life and turned them into joy? Who do you have in your life that enriches you? Where is your purpose on this earth, and how is that purpose bringing light to the world? When you are in the midst of pain, how does that brokenness shine with the light of God?
God causes all things to work together for good to those that love Him. And, even though life is not always fair, God is. He is fair and just, and everything He does is out of love towards us. He is good. When I started to believe this and see this, life changed for me on many levels.
I know that life is not fair. I have current situations that do not feel fair, but God continues to give me a heart of compassion for those situations and a faith that He will bring joy from the pain. There is strength in being able to recognize the pain, trust others with your pain, and then walk in faith that God has it handled.
I'm thanking God for this day. Even in the midst of a world that can be unfair, there is so much good. Treasures, really.
And, I'm listening to God Say That Again as we journey together.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


My daughter and I painted  our nails last night and watched a Cinderella story. It was a special moment, and I began to feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift that she is to me. She's growing up so fast, and I wish I could catch every moment and bottle it up. But, the days continue to march by, she's excited about the prospects of all that is in front of her, and I find myself feeling somewhat apprehensive at times at what is in front of me.
Age is such a curious thing. We can't wait to grow up, then when one finally feels grown up, the question of being old lurks in the distance.  Maybe old is just a frame of mind, I tell myself, yet my body might disagree. Things change, even if I think young.
My mind has to focus on the life God has given me, eternal life. That is what young really is.
So, I've had some moments of looking back on my 53 years and, like many people, I wish I could change a few things.  There were so many days I wasted. I was trapped in my mind and didn't believe I had a way out. I didn't know freedom was within me, that God loved me, and that I was not trapped under a law of rules. I was governed by fear. 
Fear of being seen.
My experiences taught me to be afraid of visibility. When I  stepped forward to be heard or seen, I felt rejected, even by God. I was labeled by others as crazy, rather than heard.
Crazy is a silly word, I think others label when they don't understand.  And, when crazy doesn't work, they just use a different label, like mentally ill, or handicapped.
What if we saw each other as Jesus sees us? What if we all listened like He does, and accepted the hearts of others, rather than try to fix them?
It would've made everything different for me.
God's eyes never left me as I floundered around in fear. The lies I believed about myself were deeply ingrained, yet God never believed them. He knew who I was, and that truth would reign. He knew I was searching for love and acceptance , not shame and punishment. Yet, my surroundings and the lies I believed reeked of shame and punishment.
The only solace for me was within the walls of my own home. It was there that my family knew me and saw me as Jesus did. Outside those walls, I remained cloaked in fear. The church was a place of ravenous judgers, who drew me in then spit me out when I showed my imperfections. The office of therapists created false acceptance and  practiced weak boundaries. My ability to trust was highly limited.
Even now, truth repeats in my mind. "God does not waste a single day." Though I may feel I wasted time in my life, God redeems it all. He takes the cloak of fear, and wraps it in His righteousness. The restoration of loss, the renewal of minds, the revival of my heart is daily brimming with joy. What I thought was wasted, He turns into life.
So, now as I write this, my daughter sleepily dreaming beside me, I have a simple prayer.
"God show Your truth through her fears." 
If she is able to see His truth when fear creeps in, she will conquer the world. She will see Jesus instead of shame. She will see grace and not punishment. She will see life and speak life in all situations, rather than run from life and those that love her. She will look back on life and know that not a day was wasted.
Jesus, Say That Again to her, and open her ears to Your Word!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Wounded Strong

Recently I witnessed a wrongdoing. It brought up a lot of feelings inside of me. Anger, sadness, pain, compassion. My initial response was to fight for the person that had been wronged, but then I decided it would be best to wait and pray and see what God had in mind. 
Since then, I have been thinking of the women at the well. In John 4 verse 24 I read this today, " God is sheer being itself--Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."  Jesus is looking for people who are worshiping him out of their very being, their true selves, openly and honestly. 
He is not asking us to come before Him without problems or without wounds. In fact, when He spoke to the women at the well, she had a lot of problems. She was amazed that Jesus knew all about the many things that she had done, and was still doing. Yet, He still engaged in conversation with her, and she was still a light to others. She went back to her village and called them to follow her and brought them to Jesus! 
"And they went out to see for themselves"
There have been times in my life that I have been pushed away and told I could not help in the church because I was wounded. The rejection of Godly Christian people was very painful, and that was much harder for me to recover from than other wounds in my life. It was like a knife in my back permanently wedged there by people I loved and trusted.
This is what I witnessed again last week, and it is wrong.
God loves the wounded, because we all have wounds. He uses those who openly come before Him with our wounds and admit to Him that they exist. Then by His stripes he heals them.
By the grace of God I will stand on His integrity and His love, and believe in the light He has put in His people.
Say That Again!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

God and Friends

So I heard a sermon by Kris Vallatton the other day that intrigued me, and it helped me put some pieces together in my own head. He was talking about being friends with God. The part that I loved, and hadn't given a lot of thought to before now, was the stories of Abraham and Moses in conversation with God:
"Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while  Abraham was still standing before the Lord. Abraham  came near and said, 'Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that  the righteous  and the wicked are treated alike.  Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?' So the Lord said,  'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.'" Genesis  18: 22-26
This conversation between The Lord and Abraham continues until Abraham has convinced God that the city should be spared if ten righteous people are found. 
Now, if we look at the story of Moses, he knows the people have sinned horribly and God is not happy. God actually said to Moses that he is ready to destroy them. So, like Abraham, Moses fell down before God and prayed: "O Lord God, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin. Otherwise the land from which You brought us may say 'Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which He promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.' Yet they are Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have brought out by Your great power and your outstretched arm."
 Deuteronomy 9: 26-29
The part I related to, and even chuckled over was how God, in both cases had had it! He was done with the people. Yet, it took a friend to talk Him through the situation. 
This was the sermon, and I liked it. I liked it because, there are times that I am done with people and I run to God needing Him to talk me through the situation. This helps me see how much He understands. He gets it.
Or the great value of having friends in our lives to process difficult situations with. God calls us friends, He wants to know what is going on in my life, and He wants to tell you what is happening in His life too. It's a conversation. 
What do you want to talk to God about today?
Is there something you need to say again?
I know, for me, there are many things I bring to Him, and many times I ask Him to Say That Again!
For Him, it is a delight!