COMPELLED

Today Friends it is a new month and I am COMPELLED to write on thoughts of being COMPELLED!

I was recently at a Women’s Conference where the powerful speaker used the word, “COMPELLED,” to encourage us to have the kind of faith that compels others to follow us.

I was impacted greatly by this thought, and frankly, I was convicted! It forced me to ask myself the question, “Does my faith, AKA, my life, compel anyone to be drawn to it and follow it?”

It has been over two weeks since that conviction was spoken to me and I have wrestled with this question ever since.

I believe that we are living in a culture that threatens to be ‘Post Christian.’ We claim to believe in Jesus, yet the rate of depression and anxiety in our culture is rising at an alarming rate. Do we really TRUST Him? When others see the way we deal with sadness and anxiousness, does it cause them to follow our example or simply fall into the status quo right alongside of us?  Does the look on our face differ from the looks on the faces around us? Do we have the “joy of the Lord” in us, even when our circumstances are anything but “happy?”

When the unexpected trial or tragedy hits us, do we fall to our knees and throw our hands up in the air, or do we call our posse and add to the grumbling and complaining?

Woe is me friends, because I must admit that too often I fall into the “cultural mode” of dealing with my life. Instead of compelling others to emulate my life actions and follow Jesus, I am repelling them away from Him.

As convicting as I feel to compel others to Jesus through my life’s actions, I am even more alarmed at the fact that my misguided actions can repel them!

For the purpose of this series we are going to use my favorite dictionary definition of COMPEL…

“To have a powerful and irresistible effect, to influence, to draw near.”

The flip side of this powerful definition is to REPEL…

“To push away or repulse, to drive off.”

Friends, the only way I see it is that we do one or the other. Our lives, unless lived in isolation, have the power to COMPEL or REPEL!

I know the task is daunting! It is too big for us to take on. The beauty of a life lived for God is that we don’t have to take it on ourselves. It is through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that people are drawn to Jesus. We just have to shine the light that directs them to Him!

How often have you sang the children’s song, ‘This Little Light of Mine?’ Has it ever convicted you to let that light shine? The simple words are truly profound!

“This Little Light of Mine, I’m going to let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.”

How do we let our little light shine? By living our lives the way God tells us to.

His Word, The Bible, is a LOVE Letter to us that is full of instruction and guidance.

The first thing we should be compelled to do in order to compel others is to PRAY!

I do not mean to just PRAY when you are desperate and need something, although that is a very good time to pray, but I mean PRAY DAILY, ALL THE TIME as a usual practice.

Look at what Jesus did,

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him.”                                                                                  Luke 22:39

The words that strike me first and foremost are, “AS USUAL!”

It was His HABIT! It was as normal or as usual for Jesus, as brushing His teeth, combing His hair, eating His breakfast or drinking His first cup of whatever warm beverage was available to Him.

This was a USUAL practice for Jesus. It was what He did DAILY and ALL OF THE TIME!

When we encounter Jesus facing the most difficult time of His life, we find Him PRAYING to His heavenly Father as USUAL!

The first practice of living a life that COMPELS and does not REPEL others, is to PRAY!

TRUTH BOMB

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Making prayer the first response to anything, instead of a cry of desperation is a vital step to living a COMPELLING life.

Prayer should be as habitual as your morning cup of coffee!

Whether your preference is hot tea, hot water or like mine, that dark, rich caffeinated deliciousness called coffee, PRAYER needs to be as habitual and USUAL for us as taking that first sip and drinking it down!

If we are going to be True Lights for God that shine and help save this culture from becoming “post-christian,” we must live lives that COMPEL others to God!

COMPELLED TO PRAY IS STEP ONE!

Speak Truth Love

LOVE IS FROM GOD

If you know God, then you are loved! It does not depend on a feeling or a holiday or the reaction of others. You are LOVED because you belong to God. You are His child! God has a purpose for you, a plan for you and a desire that you love Him more and love others more.

This is the last week of February. The final week in our month on LOVE. If you are a professed “Lover” of this month of LOVE, or a professed “Hater” of this month of LOVE, it really does not matter.

You can get warm and fuzzy feelings at the mention of the word ‘Valentine’s Day,’ or chills can run up and down your spine at the first sight of those red and pink hearts appearing. The TRUTH is, LOVE is a gift from God and February presents us with the opportunity to share it in abundance!

My hope for all of us is that we grab onto this miraculous LOVE that is unconditional and FREE! That we allow it to become a part of our DNA, and that we live in it and live it out. That we are hope-filled and encouraged by it, and that we give it out to all those we come in contact with.

God’s love is a HOPE that does not disappoint my friends! It will never leave you or forsake you! It will not demand anything from you. It will only fill you up to overflowing! It will get you though your darkest of nights, and rejoice alongside you in your happiest of days. It will persevere with you through the struggles, and give you the wisdom to tackle any problem you face. It will comfort and heal you when you are hurt, wounded or devastated. It will also, throw you the biggest congratulatory party every time you succeed! It will sustain and support you through each and every day of your life. It is nothing this earth can manufacture, duplicate or even understand. It is the supernatural LOVE of GOD that comes to us through the gift of His Holy Spirit!

And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His LOVE into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”          Romans 5:5

The world will marvel at this steadfast, resilient, matchless Love that is demonstrated through your life. It will marvel at the staying power it produces within you. It will be drawn to it in you as you live it out and compel others to desire it!

Look at the way the Life Application Bible in the NLT describes it:

And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God LOVES us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His LOVE!”                                                               Romans 5:5

God has filled us to overflowing with HIS LOVE!  Now it is up to us!

Will our lives look like dry, lifeless sponges, desperately needed to be filled with water?

Or, will they look like cascading, endless waterfalls that overflow with the Living Water that has filled them?

TRUTH BOMB

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God’s love fills our hearts to overflowing through His Holy Spirit.

May you overflow this week friends!

Speak Truth Love

LOVE COMES FROM GOD

If LOVE comes from God, and if we LOVE God and know God, then why can it be so difficult to feel loved or love others at times?

We either find ourselves post ‘Valentine’s Day,’ with the feeling of ‘elation’ because we felt the love from those in our lives on that day, or we feel ‘deflated’, because we did not “feel the love.”

Could the answer be that we love God and we want His love for us, while at the same time we are loving the world?  I am not placing any accusation on anyone else but myself, but I believe that the question deserves to be asked.

I can only speak for myself on this subject. I know that for me, I always set myself up for the possibility of feeling “deflated,” because I put feeling and emotion into showing love to my friends and family, and that can too easily, set me up for disappointment and ultimate deflation!

There are people in this world that are true gifts from God. They encourage us, they build us up and they love us for who we are, and they make us feel loved much of the time.

But, let’s get real, they are only human!  

They are going to let us down, they are bound to disappoint. They are going to have good days and bad days, and they are at times going to act down right selfish. After all, they are only human. They will leave us at times feeling “Deflated,” not loved.

How do I know this is true? How can I write this truth and say it to you? Because I am human! As much as I love my family and friends, and NEVER want to deflate them, I do.

As much as my desire is to pour love and encouragement into my family and friends and make them “elated,” the truth is, I am only human and much of the time I let them down.

As great as my desire is to love God first and love others next, I too often allow the world to get mixed up in it! I am human, and I need the supernatural love of God to be my primary source of love. Then and only then, will I feel truly loved and have that love inside of me to give away to others!

Then and only then is when we will truly LOVE others!

The Word of God speaks to this TRUTH.

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The type of LOVE the world offers will never satisfy what we truly long for. Neither will it produce the kind of LOVE we are to demonstrate to others!

Only the Love of God can do that!

TRUTH BOMB

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When we love the world we cannot love others with the love of God.

Don’t give up on Valentine’s Day friends, or on the LOVE month of February. Just draw from the only source of True Love so that you can give it out freely and unconditionally to others. Ask God to help you sift through the miscommunication the world gives us concerning LOVE, and read God’s Love Letter to you! Let Him Love you through it, and transform you by it!

Speak Truth Love

LOVE COMES FROM GOD

Valentine’s Day is just two days away! 

Now, that is no newsflash. You have seen the hearts and candy and cards, not to mention the flowers, for over a month now in every commercial building.

Now, I realize that there are Lovers and there are Haters of Valentine’s Day. There are movies made about ‘Anti-Valentine’s’ Day, where sweethearts have been burned and they band together to trash and smash anything VALENTINES. While it may be comical to watch, there is a profound and deep message lying under the surface.

I happen to be one of those disgusting Valentine’s Day Lovers! I have loved Valentine’s Day for as long as I can remember. I loved buying or making my valentine’s to take to my classmates at school. I loved hanging up the valentine decorations we would make in elementary school. I loved building our Valentine Mailboxes that would hold the cards my friends would place in them. I loved receiving those chalk tasting ‘conversation hearts,’ not because I was going to eat them, but because I couldn’t wait to read the messages they held.

I loved the Valentine parties at school when I was younger, but most of all, I loved that my Mom always made Valentine’s Day special for me and my sisters! She made us a special breakfast on Valentines Morning. She sent us to school with a Valentine treat in our lunch. She made sure we had special valentine cards and candy to hand out to our friends and something ‘valentine esc” to wear to school on that special day. This spoke the most highly to me since I was the oldest and knew that financially this was near impossible for her. She never let on to us that it was difficult. She always found a way to show us she loved us! By doing that for me, she allowed me to then show love to my friends.

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As I grew and took on those responsibilities for myself, it was her example that encouraged me to love my children the same way. While finances have never been “flowing abundantly” in our home, loving each other and others was a priority.

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My mother’s demonstration of love was pure and came from her heart. Her love for us and others was not something she had to work at, it came naturally. She still loves us and gives to us sacrificially. She is in the beginnings of alzheimer’s. While it is excruciatingly painful for my sister’s and I to watch her lose the ability to do daily tasks that used to come so easily to her, we are blessed and encouraged to see her loving heart still in action.

We recently picked my Mom up to take her to dinner. We had my two grand babies with us. My Mom pulled out two Sees Candy bags from her purse. Each bag was sealed with stickers and written on with, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! LOVE, G.G. and PAPA!

The writing was wobbly at best, and she would have normally used beautifully crafted valentine gift bags. However, placed inside of each bag was a single chocolate heart, one each for her great-grandchildren. I let my grand babies enjoy those chocolate hearts from G.G., and saved those Sees bags for myself!

While the dreaded disease of Alzheimer’s ravishes my mother’s frail body, it cannot steal her heart!!

My mother spent the main years of her life LOVING others and demonstrating that LOVE in ACTION. She has passed down that legacy to all those she loved so well!

I could not help but remember and sing the song that my grandmother, her mom who taught her to LOVE OTHERS WELL, taught my sister’s and I when we were very young.

It comes from the book of first John….

Beloved, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE!”                 I John 4:78

Love is in us if we know God! It is up to us to chose to demonstrate that love or hold on to hurt.

Not all of us have had a loving mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, siblings, or friends. Some of us bear scars of deep hurt and rejection. But My Dear Friends, the Love of God is GREATER!

Truth Bomb

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When we love others we demonstrate the love of God.

We all have the power of God’s Love in us! When we take that powerful love and love others, we are showing the Love of God.

You are LOVED Dear Friend, by me on this Valentine’s Day and most of all by the author of LOVE, God Himself!

Happy Love Day!

Speak Truth Love

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

The month of February has begun! You can have one of two reactions to that…

“Yippee, it’s February and hearts and flowers are everywhere!”

OR

“It’s February, are the hearts and flowers gone yet?”

These two reactions are heartfelt and stem from either a heart “in love” or a heart “out of love.”  My only question is, who are you “in love” or “out of love with?”

If your answer to either question is the name of a human being, then watch out, because chances are that when the next February “Hearts and Flowers Day” rolls around, you may have jumped camps, and find yourself with opposite feelings.

FEELINGS: herein lies the root of the problem! If we have bought into the propaganda the world is selling that LOVE comes riding in on a white stallion, dressed in armor, holding a bouquet of red roses and a box of fine chocolates, we WILL be disappointed! 

LOVE is not a feeling, LOVE is an action!

Dear Friends, let us love one another, for LOVE comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not LOVE does not know God, because GOD IS LOVE!”    I John 4:7-8

If we look to any other source for LOVE, we may find the emotional, sentimental feelings based love. But when we look to God and experience His LOVE and strive to give that LOVE to others, we will discover that LOVE is an action.

For God so loved the world, that HE GAVE His one and only Son!”    John 3:16

God LOVED us so much that He did not just tell us He LOVED us, He showed us He LOVED us by acting on that LOVE!

God desired a right relationship with us so much, that He GAVE His precious Son’s life so that we could have that relationship with Him!

During this time of LOVE, hearts, flowers and chocolates, my prayer is to learn to LOVE like God loves.

God tells us that if we LOVE Him, we will LOVE one another.

Truth Bomb

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When we love with actions, we love like God.

I am putting a ‘LOVE CHALLENGE’ out there for this month of February 2019!

I challenge us to not just say to someone, “I LOVE YOU,” but do a loving act for them!

I would LOVE for you to post what you did to LOVE ANOTHER. We can all be encouraged by the LOVE being shared.

Let’s put our LOVE in action for one another!  After all, “practice makes perfect!”

Maybe we could help change the face of February, “The Love Month,” and set a standard of loving one another through our actions. I bet the world would take notice and look to the author of LOVE!

I LOVE all of you for your faithfulness to this blog and to filling the world with God’s LOVE, the TRUTH, not the counterfeit!

Speak Truth Love

SOMETHING NEW: Week 4

This past week I was blessed to spend some refreshing quality time with my friend. We not only sat side by side and listened to profound Bible teaching, but we also took long walks together in the mornings and shared with and listened to each other.
One of our long walks ended up being over 5 miles and landed us on an outside patio of a cafe that holds special memories for both of us. As happy as I was to see that special place again, as thrilled as I was to have meaningful conversation with my friend, and as much as my body was screaming for a filling of above average caffeine, the thing I desired most was the largest glass of water they could bring me! The day was warm already and being a transplanted So Cal Gal, I had forgotten just how warm it can get there and neglected to bring something cool to walk in! I was hot! Maybe not as hot as her two panting dogs at the end of the leashes we were walking them on, but hot nevertheless!  As tempting as the delicious egg dishes on the menu looked, and as desirable as the display of caffeinated beverages were, I was desperate for a huge glass of water!  I downed the first glass and asked for a second one before I ordered my coffee!
Ever feel like that in your spirit? I sure do!  Coming through a”wilderness” time can leave us parched and desperate! The only way our spirits can be refreshed and revived is through the Living Water of the Holy Spirit!  When we cry out in desperate need of refreshment, He hears us! When He takes us though the “wilderness” to produce something in and through us, He will quench our thirst. He will send His streams of living water into our wasteland of dry emptiness and refresh us anew! He promises He will when we stay attached to Him!
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STREAMS OF LIVING WATER FLOW WHEN WE STAY ATTACHED TO THE SOURCE!
IN ORDER FOR GOD TO DO SOMETHING NEW IN US, IT IS VITAL THAT WE STAY ATTACHED TO HIM, OUR SOURCE!
“See I am doing a NEW thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness AND STREAMS IN THE WASTELAND.”
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Streams can cut their way through the smallest of places. They can carve a path over rough stones and obtrusive boulders. They can even forge their way through land masses that appear impenetrable! They are able to do this when, and only when they are attached to and driven by THE SOURCE!
There has to be a source that the body of water is attached to; the reason that it is flowing. The Source is the power by which the stream exists and flows!
It is no different for us My Friends! Are we staying attached to our Source? Are we connected to God in such a way that He pushes us through our wilderness and our wasteland? Are we walking in such close step with Him that we are being refreshed and revitalized to “keep on keeping on,” even at the end of exhausting, hot, difficult days and seasons?
Stay attached to The Source! He is doing a NEW thing in you! It springs up and fills you to overflowing if you perceive it! It quenches and satisfies you through each and every wilderness and wasteland experience! Allow His streams of Living Water to flow over you each and every day. If you do, you will never thirst again.
So, stay thirsty My Friends, for The Only Source that truly satisfies, Jesus, The Living Son of God!
Speak Truth Love

SOMETHING NEW: WEEK 3

When I think of something NEW, wilderness is not the first picture that pops into my head.

I love visions of snow capped mountains, meadows covered in yellow flowers, and rolling acres of beach with white foamed waves crashing upon it. You can keep the miles upon miles of sand, prickly cactus, and poisonous snakes that make up the “wilderness” known as the desert. Now before you are too quick to correct me, I know that wilderness is also found in forests and other uncultivated regions where only wild animals inhabit it. But the desert is my minds picture of wilderness! I hate the heat, I hate being thirsty for even a minute or two, and snakes are one of my all time dreaded creatures.

However, it is undeniable here, as we study our passage in Isaiah, that if we are to acquire something NEW from God, then He is going to take us through our wilderness.

See, I am doing a NEW thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”          Isaiah 43:19

Why do visions of beautiful, white, snow covered mountains and landscapes of rolling beach fronts splashed with waves of ocean water pop into my head so quickly? Because that is where I would rather be. But, if it were not for the “wilderness days”, the days framed in dryness, the weeks spent in worry, the months filled with anxiety, the moments wasted in fear…would I be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the beauty and blessing of the mountains, beachfronts and meadows?

God has allowed the difficult “Wilderness” days to teach us to look, see, and perceive what NEW thing He is doing. When we look to Him and see that He is taking us out of the wilderness, that is when we can perceive the good and NEW thing that He is bringing us.

The closest event I can liken it to in my life is fasting. If you have ever fasted from something you enjoy in order to grow closer to God through your time of sacrifice, then you know that it is not easy to go through. You are in a “dry” time with that sacrifice, spending time with God and growing closer to Him, but not partaking in that thing you love or at least like a lot!  God seems to call me to giving up some kind of food that I love. One time my sacrifice was cupcakes. Yes, you heard me right, cupcakes. You may be feeling like my sister did when she asked me, “Are cupcakes really that big of a deal for you?” And sadly, my answer was yes! At that time there seemed to be a new cupcake place on every corner of every block. They were popping up as fast and as frequent as Starbucks in Manhattan! I was out of control with one of my greatest weaknesses, CAKE! I fasted from them that year for 40 days. At the end of my fast I ran, not walked to the nearest cupcake store and that cupcake never tasted so good! Sure, I had been to that particular cupcake store many times. I had eaten that flavor of cupcake on numerous occasions. But until I had been through the “wilderness” of not eating cupcakes, is when I appreciated and enjoyed the true goodness of them.

You and I both go through wilderness times when we feel dry, thirsty and wrung out! God uses those times to cause us to look up to Him, see what He is doing, perceive that it is a good and NEW thing, and lead us out of our wilderness.

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GOD WILL MAKE A WAY IN OUR WILDERNESS

Have you ever noticed how close the words desert and dessert are to each other? Just saying! No matter if your wilderness is a desert, a dessert, a relationship, or a job, we all have them, and God knows it! His desire is to do a NEW thing in us and take us through it!

Speak Truth Love