WHAT WE FALL FOR: WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY!

Why is the loudest voice we hear, the most negative?

Seriously, I can receive fifty compliments and still walk away discouraged by the one negative comment I received. I have a strong feeling that I’m not the only one!

Sometimes we FALL for what other people say because we have a deep, silent insecurity that is triggered.

Sometimes we FALL for what other people say because it validates our own actions. Even if we know deep down it is not right!

Sometimes we FALL for what other people say because the enemy knows what causes us to stumble.

Truth Is, there is only one voice that we need to listen to! Only one voice to validate us, only one voice who tells us how to act, how to be, and how to live!

Our Lord Jesus Christ may speak to us in a ‘still small voice,’ but The Truth He speaks rings loud and clear!

What voice or voices are you FALLING for?

The voice of our Lord is tender, affirming and clear. Don’t FALL for the loudest voice, FALL for the One True Voice, He speaks Truth in a world full of counterfeits!

The only way to know a counterfeit is to know The Truth! The way they train people who work with money everyday is not by giving them counterfeit bills. They inundate them with the real deal. They study real money so when a counterfeit comes along, they can spot it immediately! They study the truth.

The only way to know The Truth God speaks over us is to keep ourselves in His Word of Truth daily!

I recently came across a list of Truths God says about us, about you and about me.

I have written these Truths down. I speak them out loud when I feel like FALLING over what someone else says about me.

I AM A CHILD OF GOD! John 1:12-13

I AM SAVED BY GRACE! Ephesians 2:8-9

I AM ALIVE TO GOD AND DEAD TO SIN! Romans 6:11

I AM SANCTIFIED! John 17:19

I AM A NEW CREATION ! II Corinthians 5:17

I AM A ROYAL DAUGHTER! I Peter 2:9

I AM RECONCILED TO GOD! II Corinthians 5:19

I AM FREE! John 8:36

I AM JUSTIFIED! Galatians 2:16

I AM CHOSEN! Ephesians 1:4

When careless words and lies of others cause you to FALL and dive into the sea of self-doubt, look up these scriptures, speak them out loud and let God’s Truth replace the lies from the enemy!

So, I am writing to you not because you don’t know The TRUTH but because you do know the difference between TRUTH and lies.

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God has made it possible for us through the power of His Holy Spirit to know His Truth and separate it from the lies of this world!

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ONLY THE TRUTH CAN DETECT AND DESTROY THE LIE.

Lies are all around us friends. The enemy seeks to use them to cause us to FALL. Know God’s TRUTH about you, destroy the lie and walk in freedom! You are all that He says you are!

Speak Truth Love

THINGS WE FALL FOR

I love the Fall season, don’t you?

I love pumpkin everything and truly can not get enough of my pumpkin spice latte’s! I love fall baking, fall decorating, fall dressing and most of all fall eating! I mean, why does pumpkin added to a cookie, muffin, cake, or doughnut almost change the course of history? Pure deliciousness in every bite! I love seeing the colors change from bright gold, to fire red, and that orange pop! I love walking through the leaves and hearing the crunch, crunch, crunch under my feet. I love apples and I love going to Apple Hill with the family! But by far the thing I love the most is the countdown of each and every day of October, then November until it is THANKSGIVING! I love my family, I love my friends and I love all things FALL!

As I say the word “FALL” over and over again, and I read it over again as my head turns from doors, to walls, to magazine covers, I am struck with a slightly different feeling of FALL. FALLING springs to the front of my mind. Why do I fall and what do I fall for?

So, it got me thinking…in this month of ‘All Things Fall,’ maybe I should take a self evaluation of what things I “fall for!”

Too often I fall for GIMMICKS! You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that promise you will make a lot of money without much effort. Or, the ones that promise you will loose weight quick without exercise or diet. Or, the ones that promise your skin will look young and wrinkle-free if you simply smear this cream all over it.

A GIMMICK is defined as “an ingenious or novel devise, scheme, or strategy, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.”

In a gimmick something is concealed or hidden to embellish the true quality of the product.

Each time I FALL for yet another gimmick, I tell myself, “never again.”

I ask myself the obvious question, “If a product is that affordable and that good, is it a gimmick?”

As I realize how easily I fall for “gimmicks,” I am reminded that the enemy is all to clever to offer them to me as well. Oh, he doesn’t care about how much money I have, how thin I am, or how smooth my skin is, but he certainly cares about how much time I spend with God in prayer and in His Word.

I FALL all too quickly for his gimmick of ,”it’s ok that you don’t have enough time this morning, do your quiet time later.”  My day goes by too quickly and the next gimmick I FALL for is, “You had long day, you are tired, do your devotion in the morning.”

Before I know it, I have succumbed to the gimmicks of the enemy, and my week has passed by with little or no time in prayer or bible study.

I love the season of Fall, but I do not like falling for GIMMICKS! They leave me bankrupt both financially and spiritually. My goal this season is to sip that warm, delicious pumpkin spice latte and let it remind me not to FALL for GIMMICKS! Especially those that come from the enemy of our souls!

TRUTH BOMB

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KNOW THE TRUTH SO THAT THE GIMMICK WON’T CAUSE YOU TO FALL

And you will know The Truth, and The Truth will set you free.”                                                                              John 8:32

Speak Truth Love

FOREVER FRIENDS

The announcement is out…It’s a GIRL!!!

This is the way Papa and I found out…

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We cannot wait to hold this sweet ‘Lil Pumpkin’ in our arms!

In this world of overactive social media, where a friendships are wide and often shallow, it’s refreshing to know you have a Forever Friend that is with you till the end!

My college roommate and I have that Forever Friendship! We have never lived very long in the same area, but wherever God takes us around the globe, or around the United States, we remain Forever Friends! We have truly been through the good, the bad and the ugly together. You name just about anything life can throw at you and we have experienced it together. Our friendship grounded in Christ has kept our relationship strong and real!

I started college in the Fall of 1978. I was only 17 years old! I was scared, lonely and hurting from the recent break-up of my parents marriage. My dad left the family earlier that Spring, and I took off for college that Fall.  There is a beautiful story of hurt, sadness, forgiveness and restoration that I will tell another time, but on the road to restoration, one of the greatest blessings God gave me was my college roommate. Little did I know then, that we would become, ‘Forever Friends!’

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This picture of me standing on a glass floor,  60 stories above the ground in the Calgary Tower of Canada, depicts how I felt leaving home and going away to college by myself!

Do you see me holding tightly to the railing? Do you see my husbands hand on my shoulder? (He had to walk out with me!) And, if you look really close, you will be able to see that my smile is actually more of a shrill than a smile!

Leaving for college with my family life at home shattered, and walking into the unknown, made me feel like this experience at the Calgary Tower.  I was gripping God with every muscle in my body, as tightly as I could. His secure, solid hand on my shoulder was the only thing allowing me to stand on my feet and not crumble to the ground. I managed, through His strength, to keep a shrill smile on my face as I walked into the unknown.

The first solid ground my feet landed upon was my roommate Sheri. My original roommate Susan, knew Sheri needed roommates and brought her to our dorm room. That was no accident! God brought Sheri into my life that year. We have shared so many life experiences together, some good, like meeting our husbands, sharing favorite places like the beach, Disneyland, the mountains and mostly CHURCH, and sharing favorite outings like lunch together, coffee dates and SHOPPING!We have also shared difficult times together, the death of our grandparents, her mother and brother, and many, many disappoints and betrayals. However, in the nearly 40 years that we have known each other, she has been faithful, committed, loyal and available to me ALWAYS!

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She is unique, she is a gift, she is my FOREVER FRIEND!

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As we were blessed to spend time together recently, I was reminded of the rarity of such a friendship. We live in a world that is consumed with SELF! We want our needs met, our desires reached, our space kept and our rights reserved! Friendships seem to be as disposable as our plastic water bottles. We drink them up and throw them out.

A FOREVER FRIENDSHIP is one that looks to the interests of one another. It thinks more highly of the other than itself. It is faithful and committed through the good as well as the bad. It stands the test of time and comes out shining like a jewel, because it is grounded in Jesus!

DO NOT MERELY LOOK OUT FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL INTERESTS, BUT ALSO FOR THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS.”                   PHILIPPINES 2:4

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I was reminded of a song from my college days, this past week as I spent time with my Forever Friend.

The chorus goes like this,

“Friends are Friends Forever, when The Lord’s The Lord of Them, and a Friend will not say never, because the welcome will not end. Though it’s hard to let you go, in The Father’s hands I know, that a lifetime is not too long, to live as Friends.”

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FOREVER FRIENDS STAND THE TEST OF TIME!

Forever Friendships are not easy. They take commitment, sacrifice and steadfastness, but they are worth it!

Blessings Friends, I am privileged to call you that!

Speak Truth Love

SURPRISE!

When is the last time that you have TRULY been surprised? Actually, I could even ask the question, “Have you ever been TRULY surprised?”

Most of us have our antennae up surveying and checking out our surrounding environment the majority of the time. We are looking over our shoulder and almost anticipating what will happen next. We walk through our day looking behind us as much as we look in front of us.  This makes being TRULY surprised virtually impossible!

But, this weekend I was caught completely off guard. I was SURPRISED by my kids in the most wonderful of ways!

My daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren were coming for a visit on Friday. We were planning a BBQ that night and couldn’t wait for them to arrive! They live in the same town, (actually, the same house, but that is a blog for another time,) with our son and daughter-in-law. We were hoping they would all be able to come together, but unfortunately our son and daughter-in-law could not get away.  Our grandchildren came running up our sidewalk to the front door with shrill voices and hugs galore!  We went inside and sat on the floor together playing and laughing and still hugging! My son-in-law had come in intially and hugged us, and then was MIA?

I asked my daughter once, “where’s Craig?” She responded that he was taking the luggage upstairs. I thought nothing of it as I laughed and played with my grand babies on the floor.  My daughter walked in and said, “Mom, we brought something special for you and we put it on the porch.”  I got excited and looked at the smiles on my grand babies faces. I figured they had made me something and wanted to “surprise” me with it. With a shrill of excitement I walked to the door, almost scared to open it! I actually stepped back at one point, and shrieked. They all shouted, “open the door!” I did, and came face to face with my son and daughter-in-law holding a pumpkin and a beautiful pot of flowers. On the pumpkin was printed…

“Our little pumpkin is a _____________!!!”  Sorry, but I’m not allowed to share that information yet!

Soon, I will shout it from the rooftops! This is their first child and we are excited beyond for this amazing gift!

My son-in-law had been MIA from the house, because he had been setting up a video camera to record my “SURPRISE!”  I am not posting it here for you because I want to maintain some kind of dignity. Let’s just say, I was truly, utterly, and completely surprised and caught off guard. IT WAS THE BEST SURPRISE EVER!

I was actually wearing my “BEST DAY EVER” shirt and thought afterward it may have been God-ordained!

Surprises can be a gift or a curse. They can bring us the sweetest of news and bring joy unspeakable. They can also be devastating and deliver a message we never expected to hear. 

The dictionary definition of ‘surprise’ depicts just how strong an emotion and physical reaction, true surprise elicits:

“Being surprised strikes a sudden feeling of wonder and astonishment. It creates an unexpectedness of surprise and wonder.” It comes upon you as a sudden discovery of the unexpected. It makes an unexpected assault on something or someone without warning.”

To be “surprised” in a nutshell, is to experience a completely unexpected occurrence, appearance or statement. It is to come upon an awareness, to astonish or amaze. It causes a chemical reaction in your brain weather positive or negative. The way in which we react to that reaction is significantly dependent upon your individual, God-given personality.  

For example, my kids chose to surprise me knowing that my God-given personality is to express sheer joy that overflows to the point of embarrassment.  When you put me in a situation that is positive and I have had no prior warning of it, I am going to literally “overflow with pure unaffected JOY!” When they surprised me, they got the affect they wanted, and I was blessed.

However, in a negative “surprise” you are caught unaware, “blind-sided” so to speak, and left with a feeling of astonishment and assault. You are often breathless and frozen in fear, which can quickly produce anxiety.

We are human beings after all. Yes, created in the image of God, but possessing at the same time, a human nature that desires to be “in control” at all times!

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”                                           Proverbs 3:5-6

Depending on our own understanding is simply our way of trying to control our circumstances. I use the word “TRY”, because we fail miserably at it. We are no more able to control our circumstances then we are to hold back the tide, but TRY we do! God is earnestly asking us to, “TRUST HIM,” to strive to follow His direction and plan for our lives instead of our own.  When we do this, He promises to direct the steps we take. When He is in control, we don’t need to be. His path is steady, sure and good. “Letting Go and Letting God”, truly produces peace and freedom in our personal lives. It opens the door to enjoy and receive the “surprises” that come into our lives. 

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OUR SURPRISES DO NOT SURPRISE GOD!

The bottom line is, all “surprises” good or bad, are unexpected. The way we react to them is dependent upon who is in control of our lives, us or God? God is surprised by nothing! He knows the beginning from the end. I want to go with God! My way of dealing with life is self-focused, messy and unpredictable. God’s way is sure, strong and safe. 

We can not predict when or how life will “surprise us,” but we can purpose ourselves to trust in God to control the outcome. 

God is never caught by surprise!

Speak Truth Love

WHEN GOD SHOWS UP

STEPPING TOWARD GOD WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW THE OUTCOME IS RISKY!

Actually, it can be downright scary. To the point of making your stomach feel more than just butterflies, it can create a tsunami in there!

I recently found myself with a “tsunami stomach” situation just this last week.

I felt God prompting me to take a risk, trust Him for the results, and create an event that would not only meet the needs of our ladies at our church, but would also reach out to encourage ladies from all over our area.

I felt God telling me to trust Him and be ‘Strong in my Spirit!’ I mean after all, I’m in good company, right?

Look at Queen Esther, Mary, Martha, Mary the mother of Jesus, Deborah, Rehab… and the list goes on. But it is easier said then done! 

There is a reason they are my hero’s, they are strong, bold, confident, sure of their faith, courageous and bold. That’s why I look up to them. It is one thing to look up to them, it is a whole other thing to be like them!

I felt weak, a bit scared and unsure, and doubted my ability to accomplish the task God was asking me to do. Why would these women I wanted to invite listen to me? Would I be able to create an environment warm and welcoming enough to build them up and encourage them? Would I find the time to make sure all of the details got completed? 

Would the women come? Would the women care?

It was too big of a task for me! The tsunami in my stomach began to grow and it threatened to wreak havoc. Then it happened, the still small voice of my gracious heavenly Father whispered, “trust me,” all you have to do is “trust me.”

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I began to reflect on the lives of my female heroes in the Bible. I realized that I heard the beginning and the end of their story, and had to guess at the “in-between” times.  I imagine they had butterflies and tsunami’s swirling inside their stomachs as well, but what I realized more than anything, was that they trusted God through the entire process. They did not quit, shrink back or give up! They trusted, God showed up, and His purpose was accomplished!

TRUTH BOMB

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WHEN WE TRUST GOD, HE SHOWS UP!

I realized at that moment that the success of the event did not depend on my success, it depended on God showing up, and boy, did He show up!

We had a record number of ladies attend. Women from our church were there and women from all over Sonoma County were there. The comments during and after reflected their thankfulness for being encouraged, loved and treated special.

I realized that what happens in the unwritten, “in-between” time, does not determine the outcome. It is the beginning and the end that allows God to show up and do His thing!

I am so happy that I took that first step of faith, stayed in the process even when the tsunami hit, and allowed God to show up and give us one of the best times I have ever had with God’s Chicks!

I do not know what God may be asking you do, but I do know that if you trust Him, take that first step of faith, and stay the course when the waves hit, He will show up and do what only He can do!

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I love that we are in this ‘Faith Walk’ together. That we are stronger when we gather together, learn from each other, and lean on each other when the going gets tough.

Christine Cain put it perfectly when she said,

“We grow ‘strong in spirit’ when we:

*Absorb God’s Word

*Pray

*Fast

*Read Christian Books

*Stay planted in a life-giving local church

*Worship God Regularly

*Stay in Community With other strong Believers!”

By absorbing God’s Word we read about and gain encouragement from women of faith who have gone before us, have taken those same scary steps of trust, and allowed God to “show up.” By staying in community with other strong believers we gain strength ourselves!

There is no limit to what God can do! Don’t allow your circumstances to grow taller than your trust in God, and block your view from what God can do!

Speak Truth Love

TRIUMPH OUT OF TRAGEDY 

Seventeen years ago today on September 11, 2001, one of the deadliest attacks on U. S. soil occurred.
Thirteen years ago today on September 11, 2005, one of the greatest blessings in my life, and in the lives of my family occurred.
Brian Jacob Edmiston was born and my family knew God had given us a “miracle baby,” and had him born on September 11th, to demonstrate us that ‘God’s Goodness Always Remains.’
My sister and brother-in-law were married and desired to have a baby for ten years. Through several failed attempts at IVF and several miscarriages which followed, they were told that medicine and modern science could not help in giving them a child.  My sister left the parking lot of the doctor’s office that painful day when this news was told to her, threw her arms up in the air, and exclaimed,”Only You, God can tell me if I will have a child or not.” Within the month she was carrying our miracle baby, Jake.
Her due date was for sometime in early September. All she cared about was that he not be born on September 11th. I mean, can you blame her? Who wants their child’s birthday to be remembered on the same day as a National Tragedy? Who, God, that’s who!
Because my sister knew, that God had given her a miracle, God knew she would give Him the glory for it!
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GOD’S GOODNESS ALWAYS REMAINS.
“But The Word of The Lord Remains Forever. And that Word is the Good News that was preached to you.” (AKA The Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!)
1 Peter 1:25
 
So, on September 11, 2005, four years after one of the worst tragedy’s in the world, God brought His triumph! My family and I stood around a hospital bed in Oakland, California and welcomed Brian Jacob Edmiston, God’s miracle baby, into this world!
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He is an incredible boy, with talents and abilities too many to list, who became a teenager today. God has great plans for him, and I am proud to be his Aunt Lisa!
God’s goodness always remains, and is a part of our lives even in the worst of times!
Happy Birthday Jakey Boy!  You are so loved!!!
Speak Truth Love

A CHEERFUL HEART

I have a “Cheerful Heart,” in my life and she puts a smile on my face each and every time I am around her. Her middle name is ‘RAE’, and she could not have been named more appropriately!  She is a ‘Rae of Sunshine,’ and she has a truly cheerful heart!

Her name is Allison Rae Swaney, and she is my daughter-in-law!  She is a cheerful heart who approaches life with her cup half full! She has an uncanny sense of humor, that some may call sarcasm. She calls it that, I do not. I call it ‘levity.’ She has the ability to take a comment or statement and turn it into a light hearted quip. She puts everyone at ease, and through her ‘Cheerful Heart’, puts a smile on everyones face. She is a joy to be around and accomplishes the task that makes me most thankful for her! She brings cheerful, light-hearted, joy and support to my son’s life each and every day!

She is truly a Rae of sunshine, a joy and a gift to me and today is her birthday! I celebrate her today and everyday and thank God for placing this ‘Cheerful Heart’ in my life!

The Bible tells us that a Cheerful heart is good. It is not being phony, false or two faced. It is instead being pleasant, bright, and expressive! A person in good spirits is someone who does not hold grudges, or think ill of others. They are someone who promotes cheer and makes others feel good!

This type of attitude is a healthy one!  The Bible tells us this in Proverbs 17:22,

A CHEERFUL HEART IS GOOD MEDICINE.

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The medical field backs this up by letting us know that when we are cheerful and happy we produce ‘endorphins.’ These groups of peptides react in the brain to cause us to feel better, heal quicker and actually raise our pain threshold!

Having a cheerful , positive attitude is not always an easy thing to do, but surrounding yourself with a ‘Cheerful hearted’ person can raise your endorphin level significantly! It can put a smile on your face and a spring in your step before you even know what happened to you!

Truth Bomb

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A cheerful heart brings joy to your life!

I thank God for my ‘Cheerful Heart,’ Allie Rae, and I wish her the bestest birthday ever!

Speak Truth Love