Part 1: There is no defeat in Christ Jesus. The Victory is in the Unseen!

Beautiful, timeless TRUTH!! Thank you Lord for confirmation!

Savor God, Share Jesus

We all fight battles in this life and some people are victorious and some are not. But every child of God has been blessed with the ability to win life’s battles and you ARE victorious even if you don’t see it or know it yet.

I’m here to share with you the secret that satan does not want you to know. How to win the war and live abundantly in the Victorious life you have been given in Christ. All it takes is faith.

The Bible is filled with promises that God has made for His people. But do we, His people, believe Him? Or better yet, do we believe that His promises are for us, in our lives, in our situations, with our past mess ups and falls? See many times we believe God can, and we believe He will, we just believe it for other people rather than…

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The Right Kind of Food

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I sat at the water’s edge, completely overtaken by the sound of the waves as children played nearby. As I laid my head down to rest, I pondered the stillness in the air ahead of the storm to my north. Wave upon wave lapped at the shore, all coming in at different angles, unsure of which way to go it seemed. The sound of moving water threatened to lull me to sleep. I opened my tired eyes to a sight I had never before seen, more than 30 seagulls at various stages of development, young and old alike, lined up down the beach directly ahead of me, all pointing the same direction…into the wind at the water’s edge, still as statues. I sat up, mesmerized by what I was seeing and the Lord began to speak and I became attentive as I stared at those that were staring toward the wind.

One could easily tell the juvenile chicks from the adults at first glance. These chicks, only weeks before, were testing their wings a bit further down the beach and looked like butterflies floating in the air at their nesting ground. And here they were, learning from the seasoned veterans, the generation before them.

Hebrews 5:12-14 – You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

As they all stood into the wind, I took notice of several of the adults who were brave enough to get their webbed feet wet and step into the gentle waves to seek out something to eat and get a drink of water. However, it became blatantly obvious that what they were taking in was not the right kind of food. It was not good for consumption because one after the other began to spit pieces of trash out of their mouth and some who had actually swallowed the garbage floating on the surface became ill and had to struggle to get it back up and spit it back onto the ground.. One seagull after another took themselves out of the line facing the wind and went for the shiny object that was not good for their well-being before stepping back into line again. I thanked God right then and there for the daily grace we are offered to be able to step back into line when we mess up. He then reminded me that we, as a society of broken humans, are no longer eating the right kind of food. We have stopped drinking the spiritual milk and eating the all-sustaining bread of life and are more focused on the things that float by and grab our attention which pulls us out of Kingdom rank and file.

What is this teaching those behind us in the generation to follow when we are more consumed by our incessant need for approval behind a computer screen or phone? What about those faithful few who continue to stand in line seeking to clean their feathers on the seemingly uncomfortable winds of change and opportunity that comes, sometimes even ahead of a storm, to make us new?

1 Corinthians 10:1-7 – I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. 2 In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. 3 All of them ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 7 or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”

1 Corinthians 10:12-23 – If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 14 So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true.16 When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? 19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20 No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22 What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?  23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.

The question remains…what are YOU eating? What is distracting you from the truth? What is getting YOU out of line? The one thing that moved me the most in this moment of time that seemed to stand still was there was one bird who I watched pick up a piece of garbage and ingest it, what looked like cellophane, and this bird did not get sick and did not step back in line. Why? Because he was accustomed and conditioned to eating TRASH and it no longer affected him. How sad, to die and never know truth and love and heaven because of the condition of your heart which has been fed the wrong kind of food…by YOU.

Every Piece….

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Ephesians 6:10-20 –  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I used to think that the armor of God was my DEFENSE againt the enemy in the battle of spiritual warfare, where bodies lie scattered and wounded soldiers for God walk shell-shocked and confused amongst the chaos of the combat. We are all attacked daily. Sometimes others fake attacks in order to justify their irrational behavior….let that sink in.

Let’s look at our defensive weapons if you will:

  1. THE BELT OF TRUTH combats the lies we love to not only listen to, but tell ourselves. We cannot attain victory until we start speaking life into EVERY situation.
  2. THE BREASTPLAT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS guards our trembling hearts from the onslaught and fiery darts that come seemingly from nowhere, yet everywhere. Everything flows from the heart and the enemy knows that.
  3. FEET FITTED WITH THE READINESS THAT COMES FROM THE GOSPEL OF PEACE. Are you ready? Are you really ready to wlk out in obedience what God is calling you to do? Are you at peace? What is holding you back? Is it because you can’t hear God speaking anymore? If so, it’s because you have quieted His still, small voice by not listening. Find peace by doing that last thing you heard Him say and WALK IT OUT. Do not run away from the call.
  4. SHIELD OF FAITH. Another defensive weapon against the things that come against us, ususally the arrows of disbelief when we wonder if God is really big enough to handle our situation. Believe in the things you cannot see. That is true faith.
  5. HELMET OF SALVATION. How many thoughts a day do we actually take captive and give back to the Lord? How many thoughts roam our minds and take up camp where they don’t belong and light fires of insecurity, doubt, and worry?

So many people stop here…But there is ONE MORE piece of the armor, but not a defensive one.

#6 – THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT is the only OFFENSIVE piece to our armor. Yes, I said offensive. If you, or anyone else for that matter, is offended by the Word of God, the GOOD! It means that it is convicting the parts of us that we want to keep hidden, our secret sins. Our offensive sword is not a part of SELF, but absolutely of GOD. It’s the truth of God in itself. God’s word breathes life, it inspires, it is alive, it is dynamic, and it is LIFE CHANGING.

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God’s word reveals who we are…and who we are not. It penetrates our moral and spiritual lives by separating what is good and evil within us. It requires decisions. As God’s word divides your soul (your mind, will, and emotions), allow it to do it’s work! STAND FIRM then with your FULL armor and speak life with your sword. When you are holding your shield with one hand and your sword with another, there is no way you an pick up anything else. And remember that there is no armor for your back. God goes before you and if you CHOOSE to turn around and not obey, you are left vulnerable to the onslaught.

Please…be comforted by the fact that God is for you, my friend. Even when the battles ensue all around you, the seeds of comfort take root in soils of adversity. His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. We may not can see clearly the path before us, but trust and know that it is there.

James 1:15 – Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Isaiah 40:6-8 – The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

We are not immune to trials and suffering, but our faith should not be hindered by our unwillingness. God’s word is eternal and unfailing and it never returns void. So…choose today & FIGHT.

BEHOLD…The Maker of the Wind

My journal entry from years ago (August 6th, 2014), a gentle reminder of what God calls you to, He will bring you through.

Ecclesiastes 5:13-20 – I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14 or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.

16 This too is a grievous evil:

As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions,and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Grief – A deep and poignant (painful feeling); distress caused by or as if by bereavement (loss).

So, I’m starting a separate journal based solely on my losses, not to be morbid, but to see what God has done. For so long I grieved over my dad’s suicide that it even began to make the people in my own family uncomfortable. I truly thought it was the one and only reason I continued to use drugs and alcohol. I believed it was why I started using and once I became addicted, then that was an entirely different excuse. Everything else in life was meaningless under the sun. Nothing could compare to the one story that I kept returning to. I thought grief counseling was for the birds.

Mrs. Lisa Daughdrill offers grief counseling here at Jacob’s Well for the women and I see her counseling girls all the time, and my thought is this… “That’s great! For THEM! That is NOT for me.” I truly was blind in thinking I was finally past the hurt and confusion surrounding his passing. I could finally look at my mom and sister in the face and tell them that I had closure! FINALLY! But you see, God knows the things that REALLY broke my heart, one piece at a time. God remembers who I was before life changed completely. God remembers my vulnerability and my insecurities that led me to make the decisions that led to losses that I would bury deep in the recesses of my heart and mind for YEARS, stacking each one on top of another in a dark closet, one suitcase of regret on top of another, each one brimming full of disgust, sadness, fear, rejection, hopelessness, anger, self-loathing, and DENIAL.

That’s exactly where Satan wanted those memories, on a shelf to where he could pull them down and use them to remind me so that I would stay in bondage to him. But don’t you see? Satan is a liar!

Lisa came to do devotion last night and she spoke on grief and through that, God spoke directly to me. He allowed me to see that I, too, am grieving. I, too, am broken. And I need to be mended through His love and His word and His process in His timing so He can inhabit ALL of me…even the dark closet. It’s time to clean out the suitcases. All this time I have been working out of human knowledge and ignoring the quiet reminders of God, so now my problems are highlighted so I can deal with them from HIS eternal perspective and solution. I remember my Bana (my dad’s mother). I loved her SO much but I did not love her sadness. I could not bear to see her grieve, one year after the other, one unbearable season after another. I made a commitment to myself that I would NEVER be like THAT. So grief counseling for me was OUT…stuffing in the closet was in.

Everything for me was completely unsatisfying. Everything in life, before and after my dads suicide, was small in comparison. My life was just the hand I had been dealt…or so I thought. What was the point in bringing it all back to life when I had buried it long ago? I never put the word, “grief”, (or even the emotions of that word) alongside the loss of our family life, home, and security when dad had gone to prison, the events surrounding my late term abortion at the age of 16, the events surrounding the 2nd abortion after a date rape in college, or the one I had when the man I was in love with and would one day marry and have children with told me his career “and those ‘Christian people’ at that new Air Force Base would never understand him having a pregnant girlfriend.” By then I had become numb to the entire process.

I didn’t associate grief with the loss of my grandparents, my friends, or other family members. I didn’t grieve the loss of my marriage, the loss of my children, or the rejection. Each one, each moment, each passing, each move was another suitcase packed and ready to move with me. I moved all right. After each dark suitcase was packed, I RAN. Whether it be a physical move to another geographical location or a move to a different part of my mind, I moved far…FAR away.

I was so moved by my Bible reading in Ecclesiastes yesterday that I pondered the words and spun them around and around all day. So many different things happened that were not coincidence. It’s time for me to heal. It’s time for me to be vulnerable again, for God. It’s time to pull the suitcases out, unpack them one by one, and stay for awhile. It’s time to rest. When Lisa came to do devotion and before I even knew her topic, I prayed that God would show me something to know that it was for me. As that brave woman at the front of the room quoted one scripture after another, I felt God cup my face and whisper, “The time has come, my daughter. It’s time to lay hold of the maker of the wind. Your name…is Victory.”

 

1 Peter 1:6-7 – In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

God isn’t sitting back wondering why all these things are happening to you. He ALREADY KNEW! Take comfort and count it all joy! He knows every decision, every mistake, every sin that you would commit. The question remains, are you still holding onto all if as if He can’t see it and didn’t ordain it? SURRENDER ALL!!

 

Deep Calls to Deep

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I watched my hand as it slowly dipped beneath the surface of the water, disappearing completely beneath the bubbles that floated everso gently. I prayed for the revelation in the wonder of this moment, in this portion of time where everything else stopped existing except my hand coming up to surface then diving deep into an unfocused, out of touch, pressurized version of itself.

I felt like a child seeing something new for the first time which actually wasn’t new at all, rather something I had taken for granted because it was so normal. As my hand sought refuge in the depths of the water, which was rather clear, it still became distorted and looked much different than when it was at the surface in its seemingly natural element. Even in the depths, it was still attached to ME.

God calls us to deep.

Proverbs 20:5 – The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

God is so awesome and mysterious and may we never lose our wonder of His divine purpose for us. The water’s change color, the opacity shifts, the tides roll & waves crash over us in the depths of our destiny. The wind and waves still know HIS name! The earth is formed with intention and every living creature is made to survive by His command for HIS provision. The Lord makes things able to see in the darkness of the depths of the sea. He gives them light to source the things He offers them as they swim, seeking substance on the journey that He provides.

THE LORD SAYS: “I provide them with coverings to protect them from the elements, to keep them safe from harm, and I offer them safe passage through the water that is only lit up by the Light that illuminates from them because I give them Light. The pressure in the deep threatens to overtake them but in the preparation and the gentle way I take them down to the deep, I make it so they will not succomb.

Deep calls to deep in the roar of my waterfalls. All the breakers and waves sweep over but you are still attached to ME. My voice is over the waters. The world only sees the distortion from the surface of what lies beneath in the deep, but I see the perfect creation living out purpose. The world doesn’t understand.

Do not become a bottom dweller in the deep, a scavenger on the ocean floor, but become what I make you in the depths where I have called you. Dive, my child, into the water and listen to the roar of those calling, “Hallelujah”. Let the waves crash, let the storms stir up the ocean floor, let the hurricane winds blow and sweep over you and DO NOT BE MOVED. Swim…and do not be afraid or terrified before them.

In the deep you are safe. In the deep there is peace. Then, my child, surface again….and tell them.”

A Mother’s Prayer

Happy Birthday Mama! I am SO GRATEFUL for you as a mom, but also as my FRIEND! Your laughter lights up my days and your honest talks give me peace and hope! I love you more!!

Coming Full Circle

My mother never stopped praying for me, even when I rejected her faith and chose a life in pursuit of debauchery. Years passed without any apparent change, yet she always prayed. She always knew deep in her heart that God had very important work for me to to do, but that I couldn’t do it alone. I was always running ahead of Him and His plans while she patiently waited.

Acts 1:14 – They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

mother2Jesus’ family was also spiritually divided. His siblings did not believe Him to be the Messiah. Even after Mary lost her oldest son on a cross, she continued to pray. My mom lost me more than once to the lifestyle I chose to lead but it is because of her prayers and devotion that I had a…

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Another Year….

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Dearest Kaleb,

You are my sunshine.  The day you were born, God called me out upon the waters, into the great unknown knowing that my feet would fail.  But He gave you to me anyway.  There are so many things that we have not been able to share over the years and I have missed you with every fiber of my being.  You are growing to be an amazing young man – charismatic, full of personality, and smart as a whip; that is evident.  My greatest heart’s desire is to know you.  I want to know what your favorite thing is to do on Friday nights.  I want to know if you are enjoying High School  What is your favorite subject?  Probably math or science, because when you were two years old I watched  you pull out of bin your 50+ multi-sized plastic dinosaurs and line them all up perfectly by size along the deck of our home.  How tall are you now?  You were so long when you were born that they had to measure you with a tape measure…a whopping 23 inches!  Mimi says you like your food spicy with lots of hot sauce and jalapenos….me too!!  Happy 15th birthday my sweet boy.  You are MISSED.  You are LOVED. And you are FOUGHT FOR.  Kaleb, I call….I text….I email….I send things for you that I know you do not get.  Please know that I have never, NEVER given up on you.  Until I take my last breath, I will fight for you.  I love you forever, to the moon and back.

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this treasured child of mine. I dedicate my child to you, Lord. I recognize that he is always in your care. Help me, Lord, with my weaknesses and imperfections. Please supply what I lack. Keep my child walking on the path that leads to eternal life. Help him to overcome the temptations in this world and the sin that would so easily entangle him.

Dear God, send your Holy Spirit daily to lead and guide him. Ever assist him to grow in wisdom and stature, in grace and knowledge, in kindness, compassion and love. May he serve you faithfully with his whole heart devoted to you. May he discover the joy of your presence through daily relationship with your Son, Jesus. Help me never to hold on too tightly to the dream of holding him again, but to always hold fast and tightly to You and Your eternal promises and rewards.

I ask that you protect him from the emotional harm that comes in these years of great emotion. I ask that you guard his heart against things that will make him bitter. I ask that you help him make good decisions. Help him understand that we have hope for the things we do not see. My he understand that you are good to everyone; Your compassion rests on ALL You have made. I praise You for You are faithful; You will strengthen and guard my child from evil. May he be courageous. May he know that You go with him and will not leave him. I pray that he will accept and live knowing that godliness with contentment is great gain. Help me to model for my son that You are righteous. Help me also model for him that Your mercy is from generation to generation for those who fear You, Lord. Keep him in your arms and protect his steps from fall. Father, I thank you for his life and for mine. Your promises are true and I am holding on to them.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Deuteronomy 29:29 – The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

Proverbs 16:9 – In their hearts humans plan their course, but he Lord establishes their steps.

Acts 2:39 – The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.

Isaiah 44:3 – For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 43:5-7 – Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

 

You Can Make A Difference

I love when things come back to me to remind me of God’s love for us and how He orchestrates EVERYTHING!

Coming Full Circle

I can’t tell you how many times I hear these words, “I am just me. There is nothing special about ME. I don’t have a testimony like YOU. My life is pretty normal. I am not making a difference. What do I have to offer? Does anyone even see me?” These words that I hear come out of the mouths of beautiful people causes my heart to break continuously, for if your purpose had not been fulfilled, you would still be here walking the earth. Everyone has a purpose and plan and your very own destiny is already written in God’s book. He ordained you and called YOU by name. You are HIS! You were CHOSEN! Your life was predestined! So, how could anyone say that their life and their story is not important.

Every single one of us have a different story that matters to SOMEONE. Sometimes we have…

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Plumb Perfection – Living Loving: the Lord, the Lost, the Lame, the Lonely

There are no words….WOW!

Savor God, Share Jesus

Plumb Perfection

Living Loving: The Lord, The Lost, The Lame, The Lonely

Part I

In early-mid March, 2017 my husband, David and I came down with flu-like symptoms that had become what seemed an epidemic in our neck of the Mississippi woods. It infected the upper respiratory system and sinus hitting us both hard. I ended up with pneumonia and a partial collapsed spot in my lower left lung.  I was home pretty much quarantined for 2 ½ weeks except to go out to the Doctor and hospital for treatment, a couple of X-rays and checkups. With the constant coughing, congestion and running fever, I had zero energy. I felt really weak and out of breath, not to mention pain in my lower left lung.  All of this  was very uncommon for my usual press-through-it, I-can –take- it, nothing-gets-me-down self. Well, this little bugger was different, not necessarily the infection…

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Let’s Get REAL

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I have written in the past about the “Fake It Til You Make It” lie and I wrote about it from my experience in just trying to survive the life I was leading before Christ, before the church, and before I experienced true love and freedom. Everything I did was for show. I would put on my mask everywhere I went and do whatever necessary just to get by. I had a plan of action for every single establishment I ever stepped into, never recognizing my true weaknesses which were: trying to get ahead of others, being jealous of what others had, putting too much stock in temporary benefits, and seeking the approval of others. In turn, I looked down on everyone around me from my perch of control and became narcissistic and uncaring. We see this in the church everyday and I get it, but it’s exactly what satan wants. If I fake it until I make it in pews next to people who are doing the same, then where is the healing taking place? When I walk out of the doors to reach others on the outside, how will I be able to reach them if all I am doing is wearing a mask that people can actually see right through? It then becomes an open door back into the pit of guilt, shame, remorse, and feeling less than and I have to start all over again where I left off before I spent all my energy proving myself to others instead of falling on my face before the One who can change me. A shooting star only lasts for a brief moment before it falls again. How many of us (if we are truly being honest) listen to that nagging voice daily telling us that we are full of it? I know for me, I am tired of putting up false pretenses. I want to be real in ministry. I want to show others that it is ok to have a bad day because I’m human but it’s just not ok to stay there long because we have a Jehovah-Rapha, a God who heals. We have a Jehovah-Nissi, a Lord who is our banner lifted high. We don’t have to perform in order for HIM to perform!

Imagine this…I am standing outside the beautiful gates of heaven, the pearls that adorn it are bigger than the trunks of hundred year old oak tress and they shimmer in the Light that seems to come from nowhere, yet everywhere. As the gates swing open in a wide arc, I take my first step onto a street made of gold that is so brilliant in all it’s luster that I am paralyzed by the sight. The colors that surround me are not of earth, beautiful hues never before seen by human eyes. In my ear, I can clearly hear the prayers of the saints in every single earthly language…and the SINGING!!! It’s as if I am standing center stage at the largest opera house in the universe and there stand millions of singers, their voices lifted in harmonious perfection and praise to their Savior who sits high on the throne ahead of me. The angels are soaring overhead and around the throne of Light and their wings beat in unison to the music and create a breeze that blows against my face…the Mighty Wind of God…and touches me like a sweet kiss. I then hear my name that sounds like thunderous waves crashing into my heart.

The next thing I hear in my spirit that tears me from the perfection I have always sought is this:

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) –  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

What a miserable legacy to leave. What a terrible way to end my life. I may be a sinner, but I am forgiven because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me at Calvary. I am a blood bought precious daughter of a King, but I don’t need to walk around acting like my life is perfect and judging others for their imperfections, donning my crown and acting better than the rest. Food for thought…you may not understand a person, but to sit in judgment over them is now your demise, regardless of your deeds for the kingdom. That hurts me to know that I have some things I need to work on in my own life in this very area. I am so unworthy of the beautiful, constant, unchanging love that I receive, so why I am so hesitant to give it? God offers grace in the middle of bad circumstances and we ALL find ourselves broken in this fallen world. So who am I to put unrealistic expectations on my brothers and sisters who are just trying to walk this thing out the best way they know how?

God is not impartial to anyone. In fact, He says that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that NONE are righteous, not one (Romans 3:10). The Lord also says in John:

John 6:40 (NIV) – For this is the will of my Father, that EVERYONE who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

The Lord doesn’t want ANY to perish but for ALL to come to repentance, even the people of religion and not relationship, even the people stuck in addiction and adultery, even the homeless people on the street, even the throw-aways of society, even the leaders of the church wearing masks afraid to show weakness. If we carry Christ in us as proclaimed Christians, then how are we truly showing Him to others if we are just faking it? We are ALL broken in some way so let it become a part of your testimony! Being sincere in your feelings and your brokenness are actually the things that will set another person free because you KNOW where your help comes from and you can share that with someone else who doesn’t.

I had a verse come to me in my spirit once when I was praying where I heard clearly the address of a specific book, chapter, and verse that I had never read before. I doubted what I had heard until I opened my Bible and found this:

Zechariah 3:2 (NIV) – The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

When I went on to read the rest of that story, I was astonished to know that the Lord was speaking of Joshua, the humble man turned leader after the death of Moses. Even Joshua was viewed by God as a sinner saved by grace.

Zechariah 3:1-5 (NIV) – Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[a] standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

Did you ever think that sometimes the only people who can snatch wounded others from the fire are ones who have already walked through that same fire and come out clean on the other side?

Jesus has one question for us that will ring in our ears for eternity. “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-22)

What do we do everyday that proves our love? What words are spoken out of our mouths that show our love for Him and for His people? What about our actions? Do we spout off at people, gossip about them behind their back? Do we plot against them because we don’t like change? Are we jealous? Are we looking at ourselves when we feel dissension or are we always pointing the finger and following the crowd? Are we being uplifting and edifying others or are we speaking negatively over everything?

Peter, the Rock on which Jesus would build His church, denied Jesus THREE times before the crucifixion. In greek, Jesus asked Peter the first time if he loved Him in a self-sacrificing way (Agape). “So, Peter, what are you willing to give up to love and follow Me?”

The second time was the same.

The third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, he used the greek word, phileo, which means affection or brotherly love. “Peter, are you really my friend? Are you who you say you are? Are you really loyal? Are you really going to have my back when times get tough? Are you really going to stand by me and love me even when you don’t want to? Do you LOVE me??”

Jesus was getting to the heart of the matter and giving Peter an opportunity to repent and by showing true forgiveness. After all was said and done, Jesus said, “Follow me.” Two simple words. Peter did NOT say, “Follow where? When? How? What about MY way? What about what I WANT? What about ME?” No, Peter realized that if he truly LOVED CHRIST, he would be willing to go, no questions asked. Peter knew that he would find himself in difficult situations; but he would go, without a fight. But where was Jesus going? Where was Peter to follow Him to? Jesus came for the outcasts, the broken, the hurting, the fearful, the ones who don’t trust, who feel less than, the ones outside the four walls faking it as well as the ones inside who are faking it. He came for ALL of us.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (MSG) – Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Matthew 19:30 – But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.