Focus forward…

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0101-rev21.5_I saw it coming and I should’ve better prepared for it but like a train coming slowly down the track… it happened. My darling Noah, in all the beauty and glory of her terrible twos, had a temper tantrum. And not just any temper tantrum, my friend. This one was the tsunami of all tantrums.

The day had started off sweetly enough. We’d gone to Babies ‘R’ Us to buy a gift for her friend’s 3rd birthday party. Noah saw something she wanted, a seemingly innocent and innocuously cute toy. However, the warning label read that no child under 8 should handle it because of small pieces that could chock younger children. She initially asked for it politely. Seeing the perils of having such a ‘toy’ I told her no. Then came the begging and pleading. “Please Mommy! Please!” Then promises she surely couldn’t keep. “I promise I won’t ask again.” But I was lovingly firm. So when all else had failed Noah proceeded to lay on the floor kicking and screaming. I tell you, it was like right out of the movies.

Let’s admit it my friend, this is how we’ve responded one time or another to an unfavorable answer or a closed door. Perhaps you didn’t fall out on the floor kicking and screaming (or maybe you did), but we are all guilty at one time or another of blaming GOD, others, or ourselves, becoming angry and bitter or refusing to forgive. Perhaps, you got passed over for a position, the financing for the housing fell through or a relationship came to an abrupt and unexpected end. Whatever it was the door to an opportunity was closed shut.

pulling on closed doorI’ll be the first to admit that I have knocked, banged and pulled on closed doors. I have pleaded with GOD to open it, made Him promises, and looked longingly at it until I’d eventually come to accept it’s closure. But as I’ve mature spiritually I’ve come to understand the purpose and absolute necessity of closed doors. And today I am able to thank GOD for closed doors; past, present and future. In fact, some of the best opportunities came right after a huge disappointment.

My friend, what door has been closed for you?  Is it a foreclosed home, a lost job, or missed opportunity? Or could it be the ending of a relationship or the termination of something you’d given your all to? I am here to tell you that you no longer have to look angrily, sadly or longingly at the closed doors. GOD has extraordinary plans for you in the near future. The Bible says that we are not to look behind us or long for the ‘good ol days’ (Luke 9:62, Ecclesiastes 7:10, Isaiah 43:18-19). Our friend, Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt; missing out on the blessings set before her (Genesis 19:26). So let’s give GOD glory for the good that we experienced within the door but focus forward in expectation for new doors (Psalm 32:8, Philippians 3:12-14). That which is behind you no longer requires your attention, time, investment and effort. GOD is doing a new thing and He is beckoning you forward, not backward. That which GOD has for you does not exist behind that door but lies ahead. Reach for it, my friend! Focus forward.

brand newClosed doors are actually preparations for where GOD wants to take you. Do not be angry, irritable, and down ridden. Do not blame the bank that misplaced your paperwork or your ex-spouse who didn’t meet your expectations. Let it go. GOD is beckoning you forward. He has arranged new opportunities, new possibilities and new relationships. He is opening doors that can’t be shut. Humble yourself before Him and allow Him to lead and direct you to your place of purpose, blessings and deliverance (Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 16:9, James 1:5). My friend, let‘s resolve to trust GOD when doors close. As we come to view them through His eyes we are able to see that closed doors are actually an indication that something brand spanking new is springing up. 

My friend, I pray that this message truly blesses you. I see you going humbly before GOD. And although you are entering His presence with a heavy heart I see you coming out with joy, peace, and a new found hope in Almighty GOD, who is able to lovingly usher you forward to where He is making all things new.

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It’s time to move…

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bird leaving the nestIt came in the form of an email. A 30-day notice that I must vacate the home that Noah and I lived in for 2 years. A home that GOD had abundantly blessed us with. But in thirty days we were expected to find another home, pack, move, and relocate. My initial response was shock. I sat for a moment trying to gather my bearings. I did not immediately respond to the email. I wanted to be certain of what my next step should be. So, I ran to GOD. Oh, and I wrote a blog post about it (Earthquake shift).

My friend, sometimes GOD ruffles our nest to tell us it’s time to fly. The work we have done in that situation, location, ministry or vocation is complete and He has need of us elsewhere. However and whatever form this ruffling takes the initial response is usually shock, fear, disappointment or anger. We may even dig our heels in and say ‘no’ refusing to seek GOD’s heart, thoughts and will on the matter. But, my friend the ruffling is for your good and a necessary step to fulfilling your godly purpose (Romans 8:28).

One thing I’ve learned in my walk with GOD is that He is a God of movement. Even at times when it looks or feels like He’s not moving GOD is definitely on the move (Isaiah 55:8-9). One could never accuse Him of being stagnant. In fact, stagnation is your enemy. According to the dictionary stagnant is defined as ‘showing little or no sign of activity; not developing, advancing or progressing.’ And it causes you to stop when you should be moving, settle when you should be conquering, and relax and drop your guard when you should be focused and vigilant. We are to continually seek to grow closer to GOD; moving from glory to glory, striving to always be within His will and pressing to reach new heights in Him.

My friend, has your nest been ruffled? Was it in the form of a lay-off or foreclosure? Or perhaps it’s changes in ministry, finances, relationships, or location? Change is uncomfortable. Oh, trust me. I know. It is indeed venturing into the unknown where the outcome is uncertain. But what is certain is that GOD has gone before you (Deuteronomy 31:8). Your experiences and life events do not take Him by surprise because His eyes are never off of you (Psalm 139). Our GOD never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:3-5). He promises that where you are heading will work out for your good (Romans 8:28) and He will guide you through the unfamiliar and unknown (Isaiah 42:16, Jeremiah 33:3).

hand_reaching_outSo, let’s welcome the changes and resolve to move forward (Luke 9:62, Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 3:12). Let’s make the giant leap of faith from the familiar, comfortable, and safe into the unknown, obscure and uncomfortable knowing that GOD is there. He is standing there with His hand extended, beckoning you forward. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to put my hand in the strong and secure hand of Almighty GOD. Holding tightly to His hand, I am ready to walk confidently, securely, and expectantly with Him into the glorious, extraordinary, and awe-inspiring future He has predestined just for me. And all with my eyes held lovingly and assuredly on Jesus knowing that He will navigate me to where He has need of me next. How about you? Come on, my friend take His hand. It’s time to move…

I hope this message truly blesses you. I see you surrendering all fear and doubt as you take a leap of faith that will surely move you toward the spectacular future GOD has prepared for you. Your faith is pleasing to Him and I am ever so excited for you because you are placing yourself in the perfect position to receive His absolute best.

Yours, Yours, Yours…

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Mine, mine, mineWhen my daughter was younger she went through a stage where everything was ‘Mine.’ No one could tell her any differently. She’d go to the store, pick up a toy and proudly say, “Mine.” She’d go to a friend’s house, grab one of their toys and aggressively shout, “Mine.” Once while clutching as many toys that she could carry in her small arms, she ran throughout the house shouting “Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!”

My friend, you and I must admit that there are areas of our lives that we have a difficult time surrendering to GOD because they’re “Mine.” Perhaps we gladly hand over the easy circumstances but when it comes to the more difficult ones, you know the ones that require great faith and trust, we are more comfortable ‘handling’ those ourselves. When we refuse to give GOD control and sovereignty over every area of our lives we proclaim ourselves king and through our pride we wear the crown of ownership. So in essence saying that we are wiser than GOD. And this is dangerous because we are not all knowing and all powerful but our GOD is (Isaiah 46:9, Psalm 147:5, 1 John 3:20). He is faithful, trustworthy, and loves us with an everlasting love (Psalm 33:4, 86:15, Romans 8:31-39). And He desires our total surrender (Matthew 16:24-27).

Casting crownTotal surrender is casting your crown of ownership at the feet of Jesus; relinquishing your kingship and giving complete control over to GOD. Your crown represents your control, your work, your accomplishments, and wearing it demonstrates pride because you can do absolutely nothing apart from Him (John 15:5, Deuteronomy 8:18).

GOD has indeed blessed us to be stewards over the very things He’s provided for us but it was never His intention that we watch over them without His revelation, guidance or wisdom (Jeremiah 33:3, Proverbs 3:5-6). Nor were we ever suppose to clutch on to these things so tightly that we fret and refuse to give them over to GOD (Exodus 20:3). You see, He created everything He’s entrusted to you. And as it’s Creator He knows best both how it operates and the purpose for its very creation (John 1:3). So, if you become frantic at the thought of losing any ‘thing’ that thing has control over you. And it is time to put it in it’s rightful position, which is under the submission, authority and kingship of Christ Jesus.

We are to go before GOD regularly and ask that He remove ungodly attachments that we may have with people, circumstances and things. These unhealthy attachments are dangerous distractions and can hinder our walk with Him (Matthew 6:19-20). Cast your crown, my friend. Both you and GOD can’t be king over it. Hand over your crown to the One who loves you beyond that which your brain can comprehend. Release control and ownership of it all. He will smile and rejoice over you (Zephaniah 3:17). He will draw close to you (James 4:8). And it will lead you into a more intimate relationship with Him. After all, isn’t this what your heart desires?

My friend, what area or areas of your life do you need to cast your crown of? Is it a relationship, money, circumstance, house or car? Perhaps it’s a child, marriage or ministry? Whatever it is it’s time to surrender it all over to GOD. He wants it. He can’t move mightily on your behalf unless you give Him His rightful position of it. Your insistence to tell Him ‘mine’ hinders His divine movement, revelation, and blessings. When your peace is disturbed and you’re worried about how things will turn out, cast your crown. When fear of releasing 10% of your income invades your heart and mind, cast your crown. The GOD Who keeps the universe in perfect order is able to handle every single area of your life with just as much precision and care. So, you can confidently and fearlessly cast your crown at His feet.

It’s very hard. Trust me. I know. But the Bible says that GOD opposes the proud but He graciously promotes the humble (James 4:6, 10). He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) Go before GOD, my friend and talk to Him about the areas you’re having a difficult time releasing to Him. He will bend His ear and listen (Psalm 17:6, 116:12). He will give you His peace. And it’s a peace that the world can’t give and the world can’t take away (John 14:27, Isaiah 26:12). When you cast your crown in humility here on earth you’ll be earning eternal crowns in Heaven. And oh, my friend these crowns are well worth the sacrifice, obedience and wait! I promise.

As you cast your crown you are telling GOD that everything you have is His and He is LORD over it… All. My friend, it’s time to stop saying, “Mine, mine, mine.” And surrender it to GOD saying, “Father, in total surrender I give it all over to You. Please take it and use it for Your glory. It’s all… Yours, Yours, Yours!”

I truly hope this message blesses you. I see you bowing humbly before GOD, grabbing hold of your crown and laying it at His feet. And my heart overflows because I know that such faith could only produce extraordinary rewards, both here on earth and in Heaven. I’m so very, very excited for you!

It will surely come to pass…

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Waiting is the hard part pictureI knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t tell anyone. It was my concern and I didn’t want to speak out loud what I felt could possibly be true. I faced my fears and went to the doctor’s office… alone. The doctor confirmed what I knew in my heart. I had miscarried, again. This was the second time in a row. I sat in the doctor’s office and I cried and I cried and I cried. He was a kind man and he comforted me the best way he knew how. As I sat there, my mind was whirling. “How could this happen? I know GOD revealed to me that I would have a daughter. Was it really GOD or did I ‘hear’ what I wanted to hear? Do I give up or try again? If it was truly GOD’s will why would things look so bleak.”

My friend, are you waiting for the manifestation of a GODly vision? Has GOD shown you the end from the beginning and yet your circumstances dictate otherwise? Perhaps, He told you you’d be a millionaire and you are currently in dire financial straits or maybe He promised you a thriving ministry and you have limited funds, resources and members (Jeremiah 29:11). Over the course of my life I’ve learned that GODly vision requires travail; a very painful season of waiting, hoping, wrestling, and trusting. GODly vision will be challenged because it’s impact is far greater than you. And there will be a fierce battle to get you to retreat.

The road to the manifestation of a GODly vision is a very rough one (1 Corinthians 9:26, 2 Timothy 2:3-5). One that requires tremendous faith, tenacious perseverance and true grit (Hebrews 10:23). At times, the way will appear unclear and the future may seem bleak. As you watch your plans unravel and your hopes are dashed you may began to question if you’ve really heard from GOD (Proverbs 16:9). You may grapple with the possibility that your heart’s desires may never manifest. You may even panic allowing yourself to consider entertaining and accepting ‘counterfeits’ to the vision (Genesis 16). And although this should push you to pray, fast, and engage in spiritual warfare every fiber of your being screams to give up and throw in the towel.

My friend, I’ve been there. I’m actually there now. I know all too well of the exhaustion to believe in the impossible. I am now in a season of travail trusting GOD to manifest a vision He gave me in July 2010 and confirmed in February 2013. This blog is actually an act of obedience related to the vision. And we know that obedience leads to miracles. As I look around in the natural I see absolutely nothing that points to the manifestation of this vision. In fact it feels like I’m moving further away from it. But as a child of GOD I am not to place my focus on circumstances, which changes directions like the wind. This is a sure way to experience depression, anxiety, discouragement, and fear. Oh no, I know that this walk with GOD is a faith walk and I am to thrust all of my faith in Him (2 Corinthians 5:7). This is what the great men and women of the Bible knew and they were vastly rewarded (Hebrews 11).

So may I ask, what vision has GOD given you? Is it a GODly family that will serve as a beacon of light and lead others to Christ? Perhaps it’s the deliverance of an addiction or the healing of an illness? Could it be to own your own business, speak before a crowd of thousands, or the reconciliation with a loved one? Whatever vision He has given you still belongs to you. The promises of our LORD are solid for He is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should repent (Numbers 23:19). GOD’s ways are not our ways nor are His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9). So, the path by which it will manifest may not look the way you envisioned, but it will surely come to pass. You see, there is a need for the strengthening of your faith and the building of your character (Romans 5:3). So, my friend when what you see does not match up with what GOD promised you, you have a choice to either trust your circumstances or trust your GOD. My advice is to always go with GOD! You’ll be batting 1,000 on that one!

Of all the years I’d known my doctor he never appeared to be a man of faith but on that unforgettable day he confidently spoke these powerful words to me: “You will have a baby. And you will deliver it next year.” Intuitively I knew he was right because I believed what GOD revealed to me. And he was absolutely right. A year later I delivered a 7lb, 6oz healthy baby girl, Noah who brings me joy every single day of my life and is a source of inspiration for this GODly blog. My friend when your circumstances make it difficult to foresee the manifestation of GOD’s vision for your life surround yourself with people of vision. People who will reactivate and strengthen your faith. People who will point you to the Giver of the vision and direct you away from the world. If you do not have such people go before GOD and ask Him to send you GODly support. He will answer your heartfelt prayer (1 John 5:14-15, Hebrews 11:6, John 15:16).

The Bible says that the vision aches for the coming and it can hardly wait (Habakkuk 2:2-3 MSG). The vision of having a daughter who would have a heart for the LORD was manifested after a long period of travail. It was certainly an arduous road full of highs and lows, peaks and valleys but in the end the vision came to pass at it’s appointed time. And so will yours my friend. So, though GODly vision may tarry we are to wait. Though it seems impossible we are to believe. And though we have opposition we are to hold fast. Because it will surely, certainly, unequivocally come to pass.

I pray that this message truly blesses you. I see the seeds you’ve sown with tears being harvested in inexplicable joy and you are enjoying the fruits of your labor with great rejoicing. I see it my friend and I stand here excitedly giving GOD glory right alongside of you.

We must experience Him for ourselves…

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beautiful parisI am a book lover. I read a lot of books. I know that in the home GOD has already prepared for me there is a library with a huge comfy chair nestled smack dab in the middle of the room for every person to plunk in and enjoy a good book. I’ve learned however that books have a tendency to only take you so far. I’ll never, ever understand the beauty, wonder, and lavish of Paris, France no matter how many books I read, stories I hear, or pictures I see until I fly to Paris and immerse myself in all of it’s beauty and experience it for myself.

My friend, many people have sadly only gotten to know GOD intellectually. They may be able to quote scripture, give you the explicit details and dimensions of Noah’s ark, and run down all 66 books of the Bible both forward and backward. But when you ask them to describe their relationship with GOD their eyes gloss over. Because surely the information they just laid out or regurgitated demonstrates a knowing of GOD. But my friend, a personal relationship with GOD transcends mere intellect. It’s also about the heart (Ephesians 3:19, Psalm 119:11, James 1:26, Proverbs 4:23, Matthew 15:8,18, Matthew 5:8, Matthew 6:21, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Deuteronomy 6:5).

GOD is to be experienced and not viewed, analyzed or awed from a distance, like some pricey statue on display. Through the blood of Jesus the Bible says that we can go boldly to the throne of grace and receive His mercy (Hebrews 4:16). GOD further promises that when you draw close to Him He will draw close to you (James 4:8). GOD created us for relationship with Him and everything else pales in comparison (Book of Ecclesiastes). He is indeed a doting Father (1 John 3:1, Psalm 68:5), a Friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 8:24), and the Lover of your soul; loving you unconditionally with all of your quirks, imperfections, and idiosyncrasies. And it is His will that we seek intimacy with Him daily.

gwh2One of my favorite movies is Good Will Hunting. In it Matt Damon plays Will, an incredibly intelligent young man who has the talent to absorb volumes of information in one reading and solve difficult mathematical equations. He is also an orphan who has never ventured outside of his small town.

In one scene Will tells his therapist, played by Robin Williams a joke about a pilot and flight attendant on a plane. The therapist asks if Will had ever been on a plane before. Will is offended. But the therapist in a later scene goes on to say that Will could probably describe in great detail anything he’s read in a book. For example, if asked about art Will could probably ‘give the skinny’ on the painter Michelangelo’s life’s work, political aspirations, relationship with the Pope, etc. But does he know what it smells like inside of the Sistine Chapel or looked up in breathtaking awe at it’s grand and opulent ceiling. He was poignantly pointing out the vast difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘experiencing’. And it is indeed tragic, my friend to merely know facts about GOD and miss out on the experience of having a personal relationship with Him.

I can tell you in great detail about my relationship with GOD. The glory, wonder and inexplicable joys; as well as the mistakes, bumps, pains and heartache. But I promise you. It will not be enough. Because honestly intimacy with GOD exceeds any descriptive word that exists in the human language. It can only be aptly described in a language spoken from your heart to GOD’s (John 4:24).

My friend, when was the last time you experienced sitting quietly in GOD’s presence or hushed the world so that you could hear His voice? How about the last time He gave you a vision you felt was way too big for your feet to fill or told you to step out on faith and trust Him despite what you see?

This week let’s go beyond the head knowledge of knowing GOD and spend time in His presence. It is not enough to believe Him with our heads we must also believe Him with our hearts and this can only come by spending time with Him. My friend, carve out time to humble yourself and sit before Him. Glorify Him and let Him speak to your heart. Listening to everyone else’s stories of GOD’s blessings, revelations and how He’s brought them through difficult situations is great because it strengthens our faith. But until you walk, talk and spend time in His presence daily you will only be experiencing Him vicariously through someone else’s GODly encounters. And you, yourself will never understand the depth, height and breadth of His love for you (Ephesians 3:17-18). Don’t cheat yourself of this miraculous, jaw dropping, heart exploding experience of having a personal relationship with the Alpha and Omega. Let’s resolve to experience Him for ourselves.

I truly pray that this message blesses you. I see you going into your secret place and closing the door behind you (Matthew 6:6). I’m so very excited for you because I know that as you draw close to GOD He is drawing ever so close to you! And that, my friend is as they say “priceless.”

When GOD interrupts your plans and sends you to Nineveh…

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Jonah in black and whiteI am very certain that you would agree with me that there are times when life turns ‘left’ when you’d hoped it would go ‘right’. Well, I know all too well. I had recently been given news that I was not all too happy about. And I must admit that I was very disappointed. In my disappointment I felt ‘filthy’ so I ran to GOD. I wrestled with the idea of having to do things, deal with people and go places that were completely out of my comfort zone. I mean life had been going pretty well, then… This!

My friend, there are times when the plans we set and the life we envisioned don’t quite pan out the way we’d hoped. We may have come to establish a rhythmic lifestyle that appears to take us in a certain direction. Or we may have come to believe that life would run smoothly, our plans would be accomplished, and we’d comfortably sail into the sunset. But, this is not always the case because GOD, in His omniscience, may interrupt these plans to show us that He has bigger, better and more dynamic plans (Isaiah 55:8-9). Often times these plans do not look, sound or feel as we thought or hoped and this may cause us to worry, stress, and panic. We may even find ourselves doing things to avoid these unexpected, undesirable, but inevitable changes.

This reminds me of our biblical friend Jonah. Whatever plans Jonah had arranged for his life were disrupted when GOD told him to ‘get up and go to the city of Nineveh.’ We learn that instead of obeying Jonah ran in the opposite direction. He had refused to go to Nineveh, a city known to be powerful and wicked, because He did not like the people of the city. Jonah eventually finds himself in a tight situation (belly of a fish) where he surrenders and is given another chance. In his obedience we see that while in Nineveh Jonah is used mightily by GOD and witnesses the miracle of the entire city being saved and their lives are spared. (Jonah 1-4)

Nineveh is not necessarily a place of comfort but a place where there is a need of your presence. Nineveh is a place you do not understand, a place you do not have all of the answers and a place of potential conflict (personal or otherwise). It is outside of your comfort zone and definitely not your first place of choice. But Nineveh is absolutely, positively necessary.

So, my friend what is your place of Nineveh? What situation(s) are you fighting and avoiding knowing it is where you must go or what you must do? Is it an unexpected change in employment or location? Or have you been placed in a hostile home or work environment? Perhaps, it’s the moving towards forgiving the unforgivable? Or maybe it’s humbling yourself and asking for forgiveness from someone you’ve deeply wounded? Could it be that GOD has asked you to surrender your grasp on something that no longer serves Him? Or maybe GOD has called you to preach to those who are hostile towards the things of GOD?

Whatever your Nineveh represents you’re going to need the grace of GOD to endure and overcome. But GOD is faithful and He would not send you there unless He knew that you could handle the pressure, the calling, and accomplish it’s purpose. Your presence in your Nineveh is bigger and greater than you. You see when GOD sends you to Nineveh He has already made a way for you (Isaiah 42:16). He knows the beginning from the end (Isaiah 46:10) and He is a GOD of generations (Genesis 17:7, Psalm 146:10). When He sees you He sees those who are connected to you. Your obedience may open doors of favor for your children and generations to come, bring salvation to your family members, change the hearts of your enemies, or even shed light on the love of Jesus in your city or beyond.

GOD has equipped you with every single thing you need to accomplish your task at Nineveh (2 Corinthians 3:6, 2 Timothy 3:17). You will come to see that Nineveh will turn out to be your biggest challenge but also your greatest blessing. It will exceed your expectations and you will find yourself experiencing the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7), a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6), and a clearer understanding of your GODly purpose.

My friend, it’s time to stop running and humble yourself before GOD. Surrender your fear of the unknown to Him and allow Him to guide and direct you confidently and boldly into your Nineveh. Let Him take you by the hand and lead you into the place of your blessings and breakthrough. I know it’s scary. Boy, do I know. Believe me, fear has caused me to retreat one too many times. But I tell you that this is not a time to retreat. It is a time to trust Him like never before because you’ll need Him like never before (Proverbs 3:5-6). While in Nineveh, if you would stay close to Him He will reveal Himself to you in mighty ways and show you spectacular things that are to come (Jeremiah 33:3). He desires for you to receive His revelatory guidance and direction because you’ll need it. GOD has extraordinary plans for you there (Jeremiah 29:11). I see it! And I promise that you will be beyond amazed at what GOD is going to do for, to and through you.

I truly hope this message blesses you. On your way to Nineveh I see you surrendering, fasting, praying and committing to being used by GOD no matter how difficult the task. And with this you will accomplish more than you can ever imagine and reap more than you ever desired! GOD is going to blow your mind. Now say it with me, “Nineveh, here we come!”

Mom, I’m bored…

cute bored girlAh, the joys of summer. Hello my friend. I know I haven’t written in a week or two so I feel like I owe you an explanation. As you know, I am the lucky mom of a smart, silly and amazing four-year old. She’s just completed Pre-K, with honors might I add (lol – is this even possible?) and has started her summer vacation.

So, I’ve been uber busy. Every morning she wakes up without fail at 7:15am, regardless of the time she goes to bed. After about 30 minutes she’s already saying, “Mom I’m bored.” And just this morning she said, “Every morning I wake up and I’m bored.” So, we’ve spent hours at the beach, karaoke, movies, tea parties, movie nights at home, and had lunch at various locations; just to name a few activities. This is in addition to spending hours in her playroom, bedroom and office to create, explore, and use her imagination.

As you see it’s been a tad bit difficult to write. I seriously, honestly, and desperately miss writing my blogs! But because I take them so seriously I refuse to quickly write something in the vain of just ‘getting anything out there.’ Oh no my friend, in my heart I know that this blog is bigger than me so I simply can’t do that.

But I have great news! My darling Noah starts summer camp next week. So expect a blog next week. I’m excited! What will GOD place on my heart? Where will He lead me? How will He reveal Himself to me? I am beyond excited!

In the meantime I pray that GOD showers His peace, protection and provision over you. He loves you unconditionally and no one will ever love you the way He does. No one!

Until next time!
Tanny

Standing your ground…

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Rudy movie football practiceDoes anyone remember the movie Rudy, about the small in stature young man who had the heart of a lion? In one scene he is running top speed towards his opponent and constantly getting knocked down. He’d pop up and go at it again, only to get knocked back down. After painfully watching him do this several times over I must admit that I began to question his sanity. I mean, who does that? Who voluntarily places themselves in a situation that guarantees swift opposition and fierce battles? And it was then that I heard that still small voice say, “Those who choose to sincerely follow Me.”

Choosing to sincerely follow GOD is both glorious and painful. It’s beautiful and sweet because you experience extraordinary encounters with GOD. He reveals Himself to you in jaw-dropping ways. You get the immense pleasure of being in His glorious presence and become more sensitive to His voice, thus receiving heavenly guidance and revelation. But you will also encounter fierce and wicked opposition in an effort to get you to retreat. It’s important to realize and accept that you will make countless mistakes and you will fall time and time again. Interestingly enough, falling is part of spiritual growth as you come to realize your dire need for GOD’s grace. If you didn’t fall you wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit. If you didn’t fall you would be sinless like Jesus. You may fall a hundred times a day but it’s important to remember that a hundred times a day you are forgiven (1 John 1:9).

As I’ve gotten older I realize that when I fall I don’t just pop up like I did when I was younger. I mean I sit for a good minute, but I know that I have to get up. With some trials we are able to pop up and quickly move forward but some take the very air out of our chest and we need to sit and be ministered to by GOD for a while; to remind us that we are forgiven, to soothe our sorrows and to regain strength to get back up to fight. There’s a constant, vicious battle for your peace, joy, heart and relationship with GOD. And this battle is not for the faint of heart (1 Corinthians 9:26, 2 Timothy 2:3-5). But ‘greater is He is that in you than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4) and so you do not fight alone. In fact, you can not fight this battle alone. Because this battle is not against flesh and blood but occurs in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12). When you became a Christian you signed up to be a warrior. And GOD in all of His glory has provided everything you need to be successful conquerors (Romans 8:37). The weapons of our warfare is prayer, fasting, praise, the Word of GOD, spending time in His presence, and suiting up with the armor of GOD (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:11-12). And this is how we, as followers of Christ plant our feet and stand our ground.

The Bible says that we are to consider the cost of following Jesus (Luke 14:25-35). We are no longer our own but have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23). Many will fall away and retreat to that which is easy, comfortable and simple; choosing to walk the road of least resistance and satisfying the desires of their flesh (Luke 9:62). If this has happened to you my friend, it’s not too late to dust yourself off and suit back up. I know it’s hard. I do. Just don’t stay down. Get alone with GOD and tell Him how much it hurts. Ask Him to strengthen and forgive you. He will honor your heartfelt prayer. I know He will.

So, my friend what opposition are you facing that’s tempting you to retreat? Is it discouragement, depression, or fear? Could it be an unanswered prayer or deep disappointment? Perhaps, it’s weariness of carrying heavy financial, emotional, or family burdens? Or possibly difficulty with a child, spouse or boss? The Bible says that many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers us from them all (Psalm 34:19). Not just some of them but All. Whatever opposition or trial you are facing know that it is no competition for your heavenly Father. He is stronger, wiser, and more powerful than any circumstances thrown your way.

Stand your ground, my friend. Plant your feet solidly on the infallible Word of GOD and refuse to let opposition knock you off your post. Use your faith to speak to that mountain and tell it to move (Mark 11:23). Go before the LORD and ask Him for guidance on how to proceed (Jeremiah 33:3). Anything the enemy throws at you can and will be handled by the Spirit of GOD and not by your power or might (Zechariah 4:6). Put on your armor (Ephesians 6:11-18) and take up your cross (Luke 9:23). Come on my friend you can do this. I promise. Our GOD is omniscient and omnipotent. Nothing can occur without it getting through Him first. So, GOD may not have sent this trial, setback or opposition but He promises that if you trust Him it will be used to work out for your good (Romans 8:28).

You see Rudy stood his ground even when his opponent appeared huge, overbearing and impossible and as a result he has become a part of football history. And with our determination to stand our ground against strong opposition, we too will be rewarded. We will be rewarded with intimacy with GOD, our name written in the Lamb’s book of Life (Revelation 3:5) and the sweetness of hearing the LORD our GOD say, “Well done. My good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21,23 Luke 19:17)

I truly pray that this message blesses you. I see you planting your feet and standing your ground against opposition with a boldness like that of a Lion. I am ever so excited for you because it’s this very fortitude that is bringing you closer to GOD and into the fullness of His purpose.

Decrease me…

My earnest prayer for you today my friend is that GOD meets you exactly where you are, takes you by the hand and leads you into a deeper relationship with Him. He deems you worthy of His love, His presence, His favor and His grace.

This week’s blog post is a YouTube video. It’s amazing and I pray that it ministers to you as it has to me.

Decrease me until there is no me left…

You do not walk alone…

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the fogOk, so I must admit that over the course of several months I have struggled with symptoms of PMS or possibly even perimenopause. (Stick with me fellas. I promise this blog post will minister to you as well.) Whatever it is, however you coin it, it is a very difficult time of the month for me. For about 3-5 days I become withdrawn, irritable, weepy and anxious. I feel very overwhelmed and focus on what’s not going right in my life. This was becoming quite bad – to the point where my mother thought I was going crazy and my ob/gyn suggested anti-depressants. But recently I discussed this with a friend and she suggested an herb called Black Cohosh. And although it has worked wonders by significantly decreasing the intensity and duration of the symptoms every month I still ‘walk through a fog’.

In this life we all have moments when we ‘walk through a fog’. These are times when life just doesn’t seem to turn out the way we’d hoped. And we experience periods of loneliness, disappointment, mourning, or heartache. It’s a time when we feel that we are all alone, no one understands us and GOD seems far away. These moments make it difficult for us to see what lies ahead because our view of life is so greatly distorted. And it is wise that we do not make any snap decisions because we are apt to make them based solely on emotion.

As we walk through the fog there’s a tendency to question GOD’s promises, sovereignty, and faithfulness. It may even feel like you’re going a little crazy and what you see around you is contrary to everything you are believing, hoping and trusting GOD for. But inside of these fog walks are opportunities for GOD to build, strengthen and prepare you for the amazing future He predestined just for you. So while walking through the fog rehearse the promises of GOD, recall the times He’s navigated you through previous fog walks and commit to trust Him despite your circumstances. Your circumstances may change but GOD Almighty won’t. These walks are not meant to harm you. I promise. In fact, if you’d let Him have His way He promises to even bless you – bless you with deeper faith, a closer walk with GOD, fresh anointing, a strong testimony, and a chance to experience Him like you never had before. Each walk through the fog promises positive change when we put our faith in His wisdom, power and love.

Where are you right now, my friend? Are you walking in, through or out of a fog? What’s causing you to focus on your circumstances or to become irritable, anxious, and overwhelmed? Is it weariness from waiting on a promise not yet manifested? Is a closed door with no open door in sight? Could it be that you just received some bad news that has shaken your world? Or perhaps it’s that you feel stuck in a season and desperately hoping for change? Whatever your fog represents know that GOD is with you and that He has never, nor will He ever leave. You can put all of your hope in the LORD (Psalm 43:5).

Fog walks can be very painful. Trust me. I know. And many ask during this time, “Where is GOD?” Well, He is right beside you. He’s making sure that you will not be overtaken. He’s ordering your steps (Psalm 37:23). He’s already gone before you to make the crooked way straight (Deuteronomy 31:8). I once heard that ‘when you can’t trace GOD’s hand, trust His heart.’ You see, GOD’s love for you compels Him to protect, provide and guide you, even when it doesn’t look like it (Exodus 14:14, Jeremiah 51:36). It’s a love so strong that it rushes in to be everything you need before you even realize you needed it (Jeremiah 31:3). It’s a love that never takes an eye off of you or loses it’s grip on you (Psalm 21:5, Psalm 121:8). He has a purpose and a plan for every fog walk. And He is always mindful of you. Talk to Him. Tell Him how much it hurts. Let the tears flow. He’s always excited to hear from you. Although it may seem like everything is turning upside down GOD is standing boldly and lovingly beside you. He’s there, my friend and He’s not going anywhere. Be comforted for you do not walk alone.

I truly hope this message blesses you. As you place your trust in GOD, I see blessings and favor raining down on you. You have no idea how excited I am for all that GOD has in store for you when your faith is in Him, and Him alone!