The Voice on the Wind…

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The sky stretches as far as the eye can see as the sun marches across the vastness of the blue, indescribable, awesome deep. The winds are relentless and unstoppable as they roar through this plain barren of vegetation during this beautiful fall month ahead of a changing season.

God…speak to me…I am listening…

Psalm 23 resonates in my spirit as I take in this new landscape and new heavenly view of my destiny.

The Lord is my shepherd, my guide, and my friend. In this new season of life, this new time of wandering, I am not lost. I hear the voice of the Shepherd and I follow Him across this plain into places my eyes have never before seen.

Lord, I have never been this way before…please tell me what I am here to see.

I shall not want for anything…for you, God, sustain me and you provide for our every need in every way. We are at peace in your presence alone and we trust you and the way ahead. You make us to lie down in the green pastures of your safety. Thank you, Lord, for your protection as we rest in you before the journey to the world where we are called. You lead us beside the still waters that give us life and help us bear fruit in all seasons, even this new season of joy and love. Thank you for restoring our souls, for giving us a hope and a future that we cannot fathom or imagine. We are here, in this chosen place…at this chosen time, appointed to do your work, Lord. We will follow you anywhere you lead, even when we cannot see the path clearly for we are always on your path of righteousness. We fear no evil, Lord, even though we are daily in the shadow of death in a fallen world that has forgotten you. You are with us wherever we go. You never send us anywhere you have not already been. Your rod and your staff, O Shepherd, they comfort us in times of discipline and training. All your word is used to lead us always in the right direction no matter how hard the journey ahead. We love to dine at your table and eat of your goodness, God. Not everyone will understand our vision and our call but we hear you loud and clear. We are your servants and I can’t believe you speak to us so freely.

We love to hear you say our name…

We are anointed for the work you have called us to do on this plain in this place for such a time as this. We are living in the overflow of your countless blessings and our cups run over in the love, peace, and prosperity. Guide us, Lord, as we do not grow weary in doing good and showing mercy to your numbers forgotten as you show us mercy new every morning. We dwell in your house and offer our own house to you. Do with us as you choose. Your will, Lord, be done. We are your witnesses in this world.

Yes, no longer bound by the past…no longer lost and confused…We are no longer running from…we are always running to…

We hear your voice on this wind…you whisper to us… “Amarillo by morning”…

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Awake…from the Deep Sleep

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I found this in my Bible yesterday…written on an inconspicuous piece of paper…right on time for this changing season! 

Are you awake to the things of God? Has God put you in a deep sleep to pull out of you the very thing that you didn’t even know you needed? Is God blessing you with CHOICE today? Everything with God is a heart issue. God spoke things into existence then inspire that which he created in His image with breath of life. We have the ability to reflect God’s character and His glory to all we come in contact with. I will NEVER forget the day that I woke up from my deep sleep to the things of God, to purpose, to understanding. Our generation is a sleeping one. The world is distracted cannot see the signs and wonders of heaven’s creation because they are wide awake…but still dead asleep.

Everyone has been gifted for honoring and serving God but so many in this world are using their gifts in perversion, relying solely on the flesh to find a mate, thinking only of finances, attraction, and the things of the the heart that do not satisfy. Are you ashamed to do what is right and honorable in the sight of God and man? I want to be unashamed, using the choices God gives me to eat from the tree of Life. I want God to light the path ahead of me to show me signs and seasons, just as He does to all on earth if only they would see. God created light to govern changing seasons, so what light do I shine in this beautiful, blessed season ahead of me? Is my light powerful enough to push people that will come across my path out of their current season and into their new one?

Genesis 2:18-22 – Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20 He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

God put Adam into a deep sleep. Why? To birth out of him the very thing he didn’t even realize he needed. God, I am grateful for the helper you have molded me into being. I was perfectly content and complacent in being alone but you saw otherwise. I am grateful that you have brought me a man that is comparable to me…and I to him. Thank you for waking us both up out of a deep sleep, and for forming us daily to be one with you but also to each other. Thank you for equipping us each individually with gifts and lights that we can use to shine into others. Thank you for changing my season, Lord. We are created perfect for one another. Help us to always resist temptation and bring our thoughts to you. Thank you, Lord, for CHOICE. We want our obedience to be true and never hollow. There are so many things on the horizon, decisions that need to be made, roads to travel that will become our home. God, I don’t ever want to hear the words from You, “Who told you that?” just like you asked Adam and Eve in the garden when they realized they were naked and ashamed before you. I want to always be able to say… “Lord, You told me that…and I stand in freedom and unashamed and beautiful before you.” I want to come before you Lord…blameless. I don’t want to be separated from you because I act on my own desires. I can’t hide from you, Lord.

All God has to do is speak for things to be heard and be commanded into action.

THEN GOD SAID”

His deepest desire is to be in fellowship with us. On the third day, the number of completion, God spoke into existence FRUIT and the tree that yields fruit…the tree of life…the TREE…the CROSS. And on the 4th day, God said, “Let the lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night and let them be a sign to mark the seasons, days, and years.”

The season is changing, the time is here, and God is SPEAKING us out of our deep sleep…

Affirmation Nation

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Why are we always seeking that which is always there?

I have found myself running on the heels of a phantom discouragement, a fleeting emotion that is not really there but that sends chills down my spine none the less. A moment when nothing negative is being said but there are no words being said at all. It is a silent space of wonder that is taken up and filled up by my own thoughts of insecurity. Since when did I forget how to encourage myself? Since when did I get so caught up in my curiosity of what others were thinking that I forgot who Jesus says that I am. What about the gentle whisper in that moment of empty space that tells me how loved and adored I am, just the way I was made?

What about the times when others are getting praise for the very think that I am working like mad to attain? In walks in lousy jealousy.

1 Samuel 18:6-8 – When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. 7 This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” 8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

Saul allowed the praises of David to become the demise of his own confidence. Where does this come from in our own lives and why? Saul was already chosen, yet he allowed one small thing to offend him to the point of no return. Why? It drove him away from who he was called to be. Why? He was already the tallest, the most handsome, the best looking, anointed and obviously blinded to his own worth because of WHY?

Here is the thought that God just smacked me with. There are people in my life (and yours) who think I (we) hung the moon, who compliment me all the time, who love me for who I am. But I choose to listen to the wrong reports because the group of people I desperately want to hear it from seem to be light years away. The last things I heard them say broke my heart into pieces, so why am I holding onto that as if it is still true when the real truth is being spoken to me daily? So what that it goes unnoticed by that other camp? Who cares that they don’t seem to care? What difference is it that they don’t want to see my change, know who I am, what I stand for, and where I have been and where I am going?

Who I could become hinges on this very thing. If God is for me, who can be against me? I’m not optimistic because of the things I see and feel, I am optimistic because of who God is, what He says, and what He has already done. People DO NOT MATTER.

Forgiveness…please reign free…in me

The apology I may never get…doesn’t matter. The affirmation that may never come…it doesn’t matter. It all rides on the wings of hope and trust and the truth that I do hear that I now choose to make my reality. What happened to Saul after this jealous rage? He was tormented from that moment on by a spirit that God allowed. God’s chosen and anointed…now FALLEN. Why? We all seek and starve for genuine friendship…unpolished, unfiltered, white-knuckled-truth-bearing, this-is-what’s-really-happening friendship and relationship and we shy away from it when our ears are no longer being tickled and when the truth comes on the heels of the affirmation we wanted (and got) but we listen the lies in our head over the very thing we sought in the first place.

Wow, Lord. Help me always to rest in YOUR truth, to know who I am, to never take for granted the friendship and love that I have been graced with and that is setting me free from bondage. Thank you, Lord, for the light, for the hope, and for the affirmation that comes straight from heaven.

The Four…

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Four Choices, Four Results, Four Consequences…which one are you making?

1 Peter 5:8-9a – Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

Last night I sat in the arena of life watching a dramatic event unfold, one that happens everyday if we only had eyes to see the supernatural spiritual warfare of God. It was my desire to step into the arena but God had me watch for purpose. Four souls in this arena stood against the roaring lion and what happened took my breath away. Each one had a decision to make tht would affect the hours and days and years to come. All of them had the same vantage point, for each of them came from the same background, a life of selfishness, addiciton, pride, rebellion, strife, and dissatisfaction that nearly led them all to death, each one previously bound by shame, regret, and guilt for the times before when they had faced this very same lion and failed in their past mistakes. Last night, the decision of one of these four set in motion a chain of events that would call on each of them to stand on the edge of decision surrounding life abundant or death to the spirit. It’s amazing that CHOICE in each moment of decision can define the outcome within only a matter of time. Which one are you?

Deuteronomy 30:15-19 – 15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. 17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. 19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

  1. The Sideliner – The one in the arena who everyone assumes is the leader, but the one who thinks more highly of himself than he ought and complains more about circumstances each day instead of actually doing something about it. This is the one who sees the train wreck happening and decides to bow down from it and walk away acting as if it never happened. This person barks orders and makes others around him feel bad and watches from the sideliness while taking credit for the battle on the arena floor. This decision will keep this one a spectator forever, always watching as the one in the arena fights for her life while he chooses excuse and justification for not stepping into battle.
  2. The Courageous – This one was one decision away from calamity and one decision away from possible death as she watched others laugh in the face of opportunity and instead they chose to run toward the direction from which they just came, into the mouth of the waiting lion. As the Courageous watched in anguish, having every reason to pick back up where she had left off, she instead chose life and liberty and spoke against the very thing that was trying to kill her. She grabbed her sword and even though she wasn’t strong enough yet to carry it herself, she handed it to the Brave and watched and learned for her time to do battle would come again.
  3. The Blame Thrower – What a heartbreaking thing to watch for those who dared to see, someone be overtaken by the roaring lion in the arena of life. The saddest part is that the Blame Thrower spewed insult and accusation toward anyone and everyone while laughing in the faces of those trying to help. She forgot momentarily what is was actually like to be in the jaws of the lion as she stepped right into his path…willingly.
  4. The Brave – She was just handed her sword by the Courageous while the Sideliner decided to step out of the arena altogether to complain to anyone who would listen. The Brave…her heart is pounding and her hands shaking as she looks upon her sword which is truth and light and she holds it high and proud, unwilling to move or be shaken. This battle weary princess realizes that this life is no longer about her but that she is called to greater service. As she watches, time and again from her vantage point in the arena, close enough to the lion to hear him breathe, people succomb to their death by CHOICE and her heart breaks and her tears smear her face because she knows this fate all too well. She stands, though, ready to take on the unseen enemy with an air of love and compassion, taking one hit after another but still setting an example for those to follow down this road she is forging. She will NEVER give up because she sees the path from which she just came and there is no turning back now. It doesn’t matter what the Blame Thrower says; it doesn’t matter that the Sideliner doesn’t seem to care. All that matters is that God is preparing her for a hope and a future that she cannot see or fathom, and she will fight to the end!

Four similar pasts, four vantage points, four opportunities to make the best decision, FOUR choices…which one are YOU?

The Pieces…

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Recently, I found myself standing perplexed, hurt, and flat out confused in a situation that had me more than baffled. I have been praying for days for a fresh revelation from the Lord, especially in this regard, and I got it. We always get what we ask for, and sometimes even what we don’t.

When I first came to Christ, my life was already a jumbled mess of a past dying condition of the heart and more questions than answers. It was a bunch of puzzle pieces to an artistic interpretation that wouldn’t dare grace the table of anyone I knew. That alone made me doubt that it could be put back together in a beautiful masterpiece that not only pleased the Lord, but also gave an air of beauty to those around me. No one on earth could tell me how the puzzle could be arranged, but God…as He waited patiently for me to throw out my cherished pieces that I thought were my personal rights and ideas from preconceived notions about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, God was continuing to grace the pile of pieces with the right ones, and not the wrong ones. What happened then? I stood there and pouted, unwilling to let go of the old that I had rightfully acquired and I fought like mad to hold onto the familiar. How sad. And what a wreck. Who do I really think I am saying, “This is just how God made me and I am going to stay this way and use every excuse in the book to justify this irrational behavior and I am not changing for anyone! It is just the way I am!!” Let’s get real, folks.

While God stood by and watched me, I stood with arms closed and fists clenched while I watched from my own perspective and view from my window on the crazy train. What an example I was setting for others watching…and granted, that trip around the mountain was a total distraction from the puzzle itself and no pieces (right or wrong) moved onto the table. While He was waiting on me, He placed the border on my picture, the easiest part of a puzzle, giving me boundaries, definition, and limits in a godly sense on my new picture, something that was completely foreign to me.

Finally, I was handed my first piece to place into my very own picture, and I ran like mad from one end of the frame to the other trying desperately to shove it in wherever it fit and in all the wrong places and with no help from God. I finally threw my piece on the ground and screamed, “But it doesn’t fit anywhere, God!” My patient God said, “Sure it fits…and I knew where the whole time.” Next, I was allowed my own turn at the pile of pieces and chose the most gorgeous, most beautiful, biggest piece I could find, the one God wasn’t ready for me to have. I had forgotten that there is an order and a larger purpose to the arranging of the pieces. I can’t put bright colored beautiful pieces on foundation that is not strong to hold it. So, what does the foundation of my puzzle look like?

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. 

Ahhh, the fruits of the Spirit, mixed in with that other word…PATIENCE…and of course a bit of rest, and the wrong pieces that are still in that pile that are in my grasp but must be let go of.

Ephesians 4:2 – Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Psalm 27:13-14 – I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

My stubbornness in refusing to lay down the seemingly boring foundation ahead of the flashy pieces that are so gorgeous to look at is threatening the entire puzzle that has taken years to build. It is my desire to have foundation balance and THIS is something worth fighting for, incredibly easy to attain, and never can be done in my own strength and will.

Courage

Sweet words from my sweet sister (real sister and sister in Christ 😊). I love you Emily Suzanne!

Willis Party of Five

I have three children and my middle child proves everyday to be my most difficult. She is strong willed and the best word I can come up with to describe her is fierce. She follows her heart and fights for what she believes in, she is strong. Now, these sound like incredible qualities that most people strive for on a daily basis but my daughter is five and for a five year old that doesn’t quite understand how the world works yet these qualities have to be refined. One day she will change the world but today she is learning how to pick her battles.

Last year we tried cheer camp and she went through the week long camp and it came time to do her little performance and she wasn’t having it. She was not going to get out there and show us what she had learned, not for…

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Fully Developed

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Imagine yourself in a dark room with no windows, a deep red light eminating from nowhere yet everywhere, a stillness in the air like you have never before felt. Your eyes adjust to the strange color in this room and you know there is great purpose here, but what? This is the place where the picture of your life gets fully developed.

The first job I ever had at the ripe age of 14 was working for an amazing couple in Ruston, LA after school and during summer at a photography studio. My very intellectual and inquisitive mind took in all of the details surrounding how a beautiful picture is exposed then developed from film onto paper in this elusive, exciting, mysterious dark room. It reminds me of the pictures of our lives. The things we wish for others to see. The reason we get dressed up and stand before a man behind a lens and show off our best features. We have a vision of the future but are not willing to be fully developed to reach it. We get so drawn in by the look of everything, by the feel, by the desire, but we forget that in all good things, there is a process to the promise. How do we so easily forget in our microwave world that things take time?

So many of us want what we want and we want it NOW. We desire to go from Point A to Point B with no suffering, no temptation, no misunderstanding…no patience…but that isn’t real. We desire the dream without the decisions that go with it.

Do we truly understand the Bible when it says:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4)

So come on! Don’t you see we need to be FULLY developed! It doesn’t say “if” trials come your way. It says “WHEN”.

What about this:

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

The gateway to LIFE eternal is very narrow and difficult. God never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it!

In order to be fully developed and to see the beautiful picture we so desperately want to hang on our wall of glory instead of in our pit of shame, we are entrusted to the dark room. Patience is a beautiful virtue and the developing of a picture takes time. Stand there beside the One who took the portrait in the first place and allow Him to tell you when to open the door to show off your masterpiece. Beloved, don’t be afraid of the dark room that is inevitable. See it for what it can be and not for what it is!!

Fear. Is. Not. Of. God

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Psalm 34:4 – I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.

Fear imprisons us and makes us forget to have faith in anything.

What a beautiful run this morning as the sun played peek-a-boo over the horizon, the birds began their beautiful chorus to the Creator God to welcome in the dawn, the flowers opened their sleepy buds to watch the sun and the dew on the bright green grass slowly became part of the breathtaking clouds above my head in the clear, blue sky. I had not one care in the world, I was completely overtaken by the magnificent beauty that surrounded me on all sides and I watched nature wake up right before my very eyes.

What a far cry from the people that God asked me to pray for this morning. People completely wracked with fear, broken spirits in perpetual bondage to circumstance, people whose minds have been completely taken over by worry, doubt, and fear. They are stuck in the “I Can’ts”, the “Oh-No’s”, the “What-If”s”. I prayed for people who are so put out by life that they wallow around, not even realizing their fullest potential because they are too busy with their own agenda and would rather sit in front of the tv than enjoying time spent with others. I prayed for Christians so stuck in what’s happening in the world (hurricanes, nuclear threats, crime, and God knows what else) that it all comes out of their mouths instead of the Word of God. Don’t react to the circumstances and the crisis. Fill yourself up with Word so that it comes out when fear rears its ugly head. Why is everyone afraid? Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. APPEARING real. It isn’t real! It is an EMOTION induced by a perceived threat.

My heartfelt prayer as I wept and ran this morning is that Christians especially will look past the curtain of uncertainty and into the realm of possibility. What you put in, you give away to others. Stop allowing things to pull you away from God’s reality so you go run and hide from His endless possibility. “But Julie…the circumstances…look at them!” No! I won’t! I see them clearly but I KNOW what God says about any and all circumstances and He says to NOT BE AFRAID! Pray!! Get excited that Jesus is coming soon and we get to go home. Pray for those bound so they, too, can join us in the sky with our Savior! Cast your cares on the Lord. Lift up the name of JESUS over everything! Turn off the tv, the internet, the radio and spend that time in the Word of God and watch what happens! Stop looking at the obvious and LOOK UP! Your help comes from the Lord! Pray for the minds of those lost souls that have allowed the enemy free reign and are walking around in darkness and ignorance.

Isaiah 43:1-7 –But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4 Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. 5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.     I will gather you and your children from east and west. 6 I will say to the north and south, ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. 7 Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.’”

Satan is a liar and everyone seems to be believing him over God. The enemy has been defeated and Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave. Be encouraged, beloved, because you have authority and dominion over ALL things until the day Christ returns to take us home. You can’t be fearful and believe God at the same time.

Lynda’s Story

In memory of my beautiful sister in Christ who lost her life yesterday helping an elderly couple escape a car they had just wrecked. Lynda, your story lives on, your legacy is great, your heart was full of love and light. I am beyond honored to have known you but also to have been able to bear witness to the transforming power of Christ. You will be missed. Fly high with the angels in heaven!!

Coming Full Circle

This a story of redemption, of grace, of favor, and of HOPE! The picture you see of Lyndais faceless because she represents countless broken women whose faces some choose not to look at out of fear or just plain disgust. Please don’t turn a blind eye to this story. The Lord is raising an army out of the ashes of society. Are you going to just turn away? This is a hard, raw story to read, but God meets us ALL in our moments of pain then surrender! Lynda has HOPE through Christ!!

FullSizeRender (1)My testimony is one of instability, abuse, identity loss and the devil trying in a big way to take me out. I was put into foster care at the age of 4 due to severe mental, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Had it gone on much longer, it would have killed me. I don’t remember a whole…

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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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