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.”
                                                                                     Isaiah 43:19
 
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.

TRUTH BOMB

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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

SOMETHING NEW: Week 2

Are your eyes open yet? Are you looking for God’s activity in your life? Do you see it?

Perception can be a tricky thing!  Simply by it’s definition it can bring with it a sense of confusion or disagreement.

Perception by definition is “the act of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind. It is a cognition or understanding.”

See what I mean! A cognition or understanding of something does not in and of itself produce an agreement on the subject.

Perception can be quite individual, can’t it? It can produce a single awareness for an individual while not producing unity.

In other wards, I can perceive something one way and you can perceive it quite another!

While this can become a problem when you are attempting to agree on a subject with another person, I believe it can be a beautiful thing where God is concerned.

Have you heard the statement as I have, “I believe God was saying this to me.” And then they share a beautiful new way of looking at a scripture verse you have read or heard many times before. You had just never “perceived” it that way.

I love that about The Word of God. He can give us fresh new perspectives each and every time we read or hear His Word!

The key, the choice we must make is to read it and hear it.

In order to “PERCEIVE” the NEW thing that God is doing in our lives we MUST be reading His Word and going to church regularly to hear it spoken.

God has made His promise to us,

Now it springs up; do you not PERCEIVE it?”   Isaiah 43:19b

It is now our responsibility to do our part to perceive it! If we do, He promises this New Thing He is doing will “Spring Up!”

I love that picture of “SPRINGING UP!” It reminds me of my grand babies getting out of bed in the morning! They do not labor their way out of bed like I can tend to do. They literally “SPRING UP” with zeal and excitement at a New Day!

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When our perceptions become God’s perceptions, we see clearly. 

My goal this New Year is to achieve that same excitement at meeting with my Heavenly Daddy as I “SPRING UP” each new day, open His Word and “PERCEIVE” the New Thing that He is doing!

Blessings to you Friends as we “LOOK, SEE and PERCEIVE” the new thing God is doing!

Speak Truth Love

SOMETHING NEW

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

Are you ready for something NEW? Are you tired of the OLD?

Have you allowed the stale, bland flavor of “common”, to season your life?

Are you ready to throw out the old, and bring in the NEW?

I AM!!!

The problem is…..Where do I start?

The answer is laying in between the words of Isaiah 43:19.

SEE, I AM DOING A NEW THING!

Isaiah 43:19a

God’s spokesperson, Isaiah, is giving a Word to God’s people from God Himself.

He declares in verse 14, that, He is The Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel.

“This is what The Lord says, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel:…”

He tells us that what we have seen God do in our lives in the past, will be NOTHING, compared to the NEW THING He will do!

Are you going through the wilderness? Do you feel the heat scorching your spirit and your  enthusiasm for life being sucked out of you like water from a sponge? 

Do you feel the joy that was once a part of who you are shriveling under the pressures of life?

Or, are you simply tired of being “common”, status-quo, stale and bland. 

Do you want the vibrant, flourishing life that God promises?

If so, then God is speaking to you! He wants to do something NEW in your life. All you have to do is look to Him and SEE it!

We all make choices each and every day. Most days the choices we make are too numerous to count. AKA, Should I put creamer in my coffee, or almond milk? Should I wear this pair of pants with this sweater, or that pair of pants with that top? Should I have chicken for dinner or fish?

Many of our choices become ritualistic and common every day habits. For example, I hope you do not ask yourself wether or not you should brush your teeth today or not!

This however, is a choice, it is just a choice we have made over and over for so many years so that it becomes a habit.  Like brushing you hair(if you still have hair), and eating.  We may ask ourselves what we are going to eat, but since the day our mother’s fed us in our formative years, we eat every day. We do not think about not eating being a choice unless we are fasting. We simply have developed the routine and habit of eating, our body tells us to eat by the hunger pangs it shows at us, and we make a choice to eat.

But, because we have the ability to make the choice not to eat, like when we have chosen to fast, it is still a choice!

How steadfast are we about making the choice to eat each and every day?

Speaking for myself….PHENOMENALLY so!

I not only make the choice to eat every day, I rejoice in that choice, I look forward to that choice and yes, even at times dream about that choice. If my husband tells me we are going to go on a six mile hike uphill tomorrow, and afterward we are going to go out and eat flatbread pizza and dessert, I take on that hike with zeal! If he tells me that we get to stop at our favorite bakery on the way to the hike, my zeal rises to an enthusiastic fervor that creates such a desire for my “food choice” that I may accomplish that hike in half the amount of time it would normally take me!

You may be asking yourself, “Is she seriously that crazy about food?”  The answer would be NO! I am seriously that crazy about the food I love!

How how I long to be “THAT CRAZY” about the God I LOVE!!

To SEE Him first thing in the morning as He puts new breath in my lungs, and opens up my sleepy eyes!

To SEE Him as I open up His Word and read His Eternal Truth inside of each and every page!

To SEE Him in the provision surrounding me of my home, food and clothing!

To SEE Him in my job and ministry!

To SEE Him in the gift of my marriage and family!

To SEE Him in the sunrise and sunset!

To SEE Him as I drive down the street and view His creation!

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Look and see, God wants to do a new thing in you!

I desire to be CRAZY about SEEING my God, so that HE will do a NEW thing in me!

He wants to do a NEW thing in you friend! 

Will you Look? Will you SEE?

He is going to do a NEW thing in you!

Speak Truth Love

MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR HIM IN 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Welcome to 2019!

Today is an Anniversary for me! Today marks three years of writing this BLOG!

If you would have told me three years ago, that I would have written a blog post each and every Tuesday for three years, I would have called you CRAZY! Not because you yourself are crazy, but because you would be crazy to believe that I could write, each and every week, without missing one week. Not even due to illness, vacation, sadness, pressing engagement, tragedy like a fire storm and evacuation, discouragement, family obligation, etc., etc., etc.! Not to mention CHRISTMAS DAY and NEW YEAR’S DAY falling on TUESDAY’S!

I could never have pulled this off by myself. In and of myself I am weak, discouraged too easily, distractible, lacking confidence, and tired. In fact, the truth is, God asked me to write this blog one year before I ever started writing it. I told Him He was crazy, not something I recommend doing by the way. I am not going to write a Theology book on talking back to God, but I could. I have done it way too many times to count. However, God is patient with me and He waits for me to come up to speed. He reminds me, ever so gently that I am indeed being disobedient. 

So, after the first six months of waiting I signed up for this Blog spot and paid the yearly fee for it. If you are doing your math correctly, that means I should be celebrating my three and a half year anniversary. Unfortunately, my disobedience continued another six months. I allowed discouragement and fear of rejection to rule the day, instead of my confidence and trust in God and His faithfulness. Also, something I do not recommend.

Finally, I listened and obeyed. It took me laying down my pride of rejection and fear of failure. In other words, I had to not care what people thought about what I was writing and care only about what Jesus thought about it. I had to not care about how many “hits” my posts were receiving, and care only about the content being the Word of God seasoned with my personal experiences and study.  I had to step aside from the game of comparison and allow God to speak through me. While that may seem like the hardest step to make, it wasn’t! For me, I LOVE studying the Word of God! The studying and the writing and the praying was the easiest part. THE CONSISTENCY of writing each and every week was the tough part. Now God has clearly not called everyone to writing once a week. In fact, “Blog Experts,” if there is such a thing, would tell you not to write so frequently. Leave your readers wanting more. Do not saturate the market, sprinkle it with nuggets of truth. But, my commitment was to write this Blog for God’s approval not for man’s. God asked me to write weekly, I am going to write weekly.

So now, three years later and I am writing weekly with no hesitations or problems. WRONG!

There have been many times I have come close to stopping. There have been many Tuesday’s where I have posted at the end of the day when my goal is to post my “TRUTH BOMB” in the morning. There have been times I have felt like I make no difference, so why should I continue? But each and every time I feel this way, I go back to God and He affirms His call to me.

So, I stick with it! I keep on keeping on and do my best to write what God has placed in my life to encourage, build up and support friends along the way. It’s not easy, but I have learned an important lesson!

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Don’t underestimate what you can do, if you stick with it!

If you would have told me three years ago that I would have been faithful to God’s call on my life without fail each and every Tuesday NO MATTER WHAT, I would never have believed I could do it. But with obedience to God, step by step, each and every day, we can accomplish much more than we think we can.

What is more pleasing to The Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your OBEDIENCE to His voice? LISTEN! OBEDIENCE is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”   I Samuel 15:22

My interpretation= “obeying God’s call and listening to His voice  and being obedient to it, is better than sacrificing something in my life through a “New Year’s Resolution”, and offering my futile attempts at giving up the “fat” I love to indulge in, in my life.”

For me, that “fat” can be food, self-indulgence, and wasted time. It quickly can turn into self discouragement, loathing and unhealthy lifestyle.

What is it for you?

No matter what our “sacrifices and offerings” are, God is calling us to His better way of living. He is calling us to OBEDIENCE! When we obey, we will experience His faithfulness in accomplishing what we believed was impossible.

My obedience to God in 2019 is to listen to His voice, stick with whatever He calls me to do, and never underestimate the power of my God working in me!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!

You can do it!

God’s power is working in you!

Meet me back here next Tuesday as we look at “SOMETHING NEW!”

Speak Truth Love

GIFTS, Week 4!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

“For unto us is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ The Lord.”

All the gifts have been given. All the gifts have been received! The paper and ribbon has been torn and cast aside. The expectations have been met, exceeded or missed. The day we have long anticipated has arrived. We have baked, shopped, planned and anxiously awaited. It is here and it is but a 24 hour day.

Look deeper… look past the met or unmet expectations. Look past the ribbon, bows and wrappings. He is waiting! He has come! EMMANUEL, GOD IS WITH US!

He is not a gift that lasts for 24 hours and is gone! He does not break, run out of batteries or fall apart after too much use! 

HE IS THE SON OF GOD! Sent by the Father Himself, to save us! He is our Redeemer, Savior, Deliverer, and Friend!

HE IS THE SUPREME GIFT! Given to all who receive Him!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

We love, honor, adore and receive you!

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THE GREATEST GIFT THE WORLD HAS EVER OR WILL EVER RECEIVE IS JESUS!

Happy Birthday Jesus! 

Speak Truth Love

GIFTS, Week 3!

What are the smells of Christmas? Evergreen trees giving off the purest scent of pine, peppermint sticks curved into candy canes, fresh crisp air that hits your nostrils and almost freezes your nose…all of these are wonderful, but my favorite by far is the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies, warm, delectable and waiting to be eaten!

One year I remember a much different smell. I walked into the house after school and a putrid smell hit my nose with force. I immediately gagged and plugged my nose. It smelled like a dead animal was in the house! Anyone who knows me well, knows I am a clean freak and am EXTREMELY sensitive to smells. But someone who had a terrible cold could have smelled this smell!

As I regained my composure, and held back the desire to throw up, I realized it was coming from our Christmas tree! That beautiful pine scent was being overwhelmed by a much stronger, rotten smell! I covered my face with a cloth and went in close to the tree. Nothing seemed to be on the branches. I lifted the tree skirt to check and see if possibly something had gotten into the water.

As I lifted the tree skirt, there it was! Someone had hidden a partially eaten turkey sandwich under the skirt. Only that child(I assumed), and God, knew how many days it had laid there, rotting and turning putrid!

To this day, I do not know which of my children hid their lunch under the tree skirt so they could run and grab one of those delicious, yummy smelling Christmas cookies, for neither one of them would tell on the other. I do have my suspicions however. Let me put it this way… when they were young, my daughter ate to survive and my son survived to eat. He takes after me!

That putrid smell overwhelmed our home and left no hint of the lovely evergreen. It reminds me of the “fragrance” I bring as a gift to my Savior this Christmas.

They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and MYRRH.”  Matthew 2:11

The third gift the Wise Men brought to Jesus was that of MYRRH.

Myrrh was an expensive and valuable aromatic resinous exudation, used in perfume.

In other words, IT SMELLED GREAT!

In another story told when Jesus was a grown man, we see Mary giving Jesus a very expensive, lavish and aromatic smelling gift. She takes a bottle of pure nard, a very expensive perfume, pours it on Jesus feet, and wipes His feet with her hair. When criticized by one of the disciples for “wasting” such an expensive perfume, Jesus responds;

Leave her alone.”   John 12:7

Jesus defends her and her lavish, beautiful smelling gift. The act of giving what was valuable to her and humbling herself to anoint Jesus feet with it and wiping His feet with her hair, was what truly made the gift smell so sweet.

What does my gift to Jesus smell like this Christmas? Is it begging to have the putrid, rotting smell of that turkey sandwich as I allow my mind to go crazy and build my anxiety as I worry about shopping, wrapping, baking, and getting every little detail of Christmas perfect? Or, is it beginning to smell like sweet perfume, MYRRH if you will, as I cast my anxieties and cares on Him?

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CASTING OUR CARES ON JESUS GIVES US A SWEET AROMA.

So, what kind of smell are we going to give off this Christmas season? Is it one that makes those around us want to plug their noses and run the other way, or one that draws others near as we draw near to God Himself?

Speak Truth Love