Thursday, March 31, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 23

Day 23: Pray
Life is hard sometimes. I know this from experience. However, there are points in which the beauty of life’s difficulties shines through to us. God has been moving in me in ways I cannot understand. He has shown me pain and hurt in people and not given me the permission to do anything about it. He has called me to pray. He has granted me the privilege of interceding on behalf of His daughters and sons, but He has told me to leave it at that.
As a person of action, this is a challenge. I am not content with just praying, I want to DO something, but I have not been given the authority to move. One thing I have realized is the power of prayer can be just as strong as taking action.  Eugene Peterson says in The Message (Romans 10) “it’s the word of Faith that welcomes God t go to work and set things right for us.” Do you realize how much power there is that? By the faith we have in Gods ability to heal and to lift people up, our prayers can be more than just words to God. Our prayers are a declaration of our faith in the Living God. Our prayers bring meaning to what was done on Calvary. Our prayers draw us closer to God when it is so easy to run away.
So, what’s on your heart? Do you even know? Sometimes I don’t, but I can rest in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will guide me. I have faith in the fact that when I come before the Lord nothing else matters. I don’t have to have a plan or an agenda, but His Spirit will guide me.
Romans 8:26-27 (The Message)
 26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Pray my friend, whether you understand your situation or not. Give it to God and let it go. Our Heavenly Father knows what you need. He will bring you peace, fill your heart with joy, and He will bring your soul rest.  Amen!

Monday, March 28, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 14-17

Days 14-17 Strength
(Psalms 119:28) 28 My soul is weary with sorrow: strengthen me according to your word.
There are times in life when the weights of circumstances around us are almost too much to bear. When you reach a point when your world feels too heavy, what do you make the source of your strength? Do you rely on solving your own problems? Do you try to carry yourself through life’s difficulties?
Education was pushed on me from an early age. College was never an option, it was always understood I would go, and I would complete my studies. There are times when I am told I am a snob, or I think I am better than the people around me because I went to college. It’s almost amusing when I think about how many times someone has been upset with me about something, and the same comment always comes up, “you think you’re better than me because you have an education.” I always believed the hard work and dedication to furthering my knowledge was something to be proud of, and I sometimes wonder, why do people encourage other people to achieve something, and then make them feel like their achievement is something to be ashamed of? Wouldn’t it be better just to leave the person alone?
It’s here, when I feel the most alone. I feel like I ought to be ashamed of myself. Who I am, and what I have accomplished means nothing. Then I realize, God created me like this. God had His hand in my education and in my accomplishments before I was born. I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. The knowledge and talents I poses are gifts from God to be used for His glory, and that is nothing to be ashamed of! It is here, in remembrance of this, that I find strength.
Thank you Lord, for when “my soul is weary with sorrow: [I know You] strengthen me according to Your word.” Amen.

Monday, March 21, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 13

Day 13: Joy
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one's strength.
There are times in my life when I look around at my circumstances and the human side of me wants to scream. Things don’t seem to be falling into place, or I don’t seem to have enough of something. Sometimes I just feel like crawling back into bed and waiting for the rapture, and then something in my soul whispers to me and I am reminded of one very important fact; I am a child of the living God, and joy floods over my heart life a tsunami.
Have you ever been depressed? It’s pretty miserable, isn’t it? Life seems to have spiraled out of your control, you think you are alone, and if you’re not, you want to be. The color seems to have disappeared from the world leaving everything grey and covered in fog…. Yeah, I’ve been there a time or two, and once you let it take over, it’s pretty hard to get out of the little rut you’re stuck in. if you’re there now, take comfort in our heavenly Father. He has not come to let you be lost in misery, but to fill your heart with joy. He delights in you and when you learn to surrender all to Him, He fills you with such overwhelming joy; you can’t help but look at the grey world around you and see the color in it.
The joy of the Lord has the ability to catch hold of you and remind you of all the blessings in your life. The gifts He has bestowed upon you, by His divine providence surround you, and whatever the small matter is that left you feeling depressed no longer has hold over your heart. Whatever your circumstance, know that God is bigger! There is no circumstance, no problem, and no emotion that is greater than our God. With Him all things are possible, and with His Spirit breathing life into you, there is joy.
Happiness is fleeting, but with God there is an everlasting joy that can overcome any sickness in your heart. Claim it my friend! By the power and the authority of the blood of Jesus Christ, I pray God’s infinite and everlasting joy settles in your heart right now! I pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ that you feel the love of God sweep over you and cover you this hour. Amen!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 12

Day 12: have hope
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)
There are times in life when I feel like I am finally heading on a sunny path. There is a cool breeze, everything around me is beautiful and shinning, then something pops up that has the ability to take all the joy and sunshine out of my life. have you ever been there? It’s kinda like spring in Southern California, a gorgeous day suddenly becomes overcast and grey… I am there today. It feels as though I have suddenly been thrown into a storm and can no longer see the sunlight. This isn’t the first time I’ve been here, and I am confident you can understand this feeling. The difference about today is that I know there will be an end. I have hope, and I am more confident than ever that I will not wade this storm alone. The simple truth is I know God has my back.
Are you there right now? If you are, can you be 100% certain that God is holding your hand and steering your course through your storm? Where is your hope today? lists the following as one of the definitions for hopeWhen I look at the secular definition, I’m not incredibly inspired, there is so much left unsaid about the power is this little word. When I hope, I don’t want to face something with “reasonable confidence” I want to know the outcome of my faith and my belief is truly going to be worth wading through the turmoil and pain that life can sometimes put us through.
to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
J. Hampton Keathley, III did a study on hope, he reports the following: a little more inclinded to be hopeful when God is added to the equation. There are terrible things that happen in life. there will be times when the wind is knocked out of me, there have been, and there will come another time when I am uncertain of my ability to make it through the day. I can however, be motivated to get out of bed  knowing that I can have a “strong and confident expectation” that God will see me through!
In Scripture, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word “hope” and according to the biblical usage, hope is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic today in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation.
Hope may refer to the activity of hoping, or to the object hoped for—the content of one’s hope. By its very nature, hope stresses two things: (a) futurity, and (b) invisibility. It deals with things we can’t see or haven’t received or both.
I must say I’m
We cannot make it alone in this life. we will not be able to survive the hardships alone, but we can hope that the outcome will strengthen us. We can rest in the assurance our faith in the living God will carry us through the darkest of hours. The psalmist writes “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
So take courage my friend, and have hope. Our heavenly Father is with you, and no matter how dark the circumstance or how great the pain, know that He loves us! He has moved men and nations so that we may see how very much He loves us! He will never fail you or me, for we are His greatest joy! We are precious to Him, and He loves us. Life is hard, but by the divine providence of our heavenly Father, we will be comforted.
So have hope. That is the challenge today. Know how He loves us, and have hope!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 8, 9 & 10

Recently I received a copy of the book Soul Print by Mark Batterson from WaterBook Muktnomah Publishing Group. In it, Batterson encourages us to look at how God has created us to be unique, and even though we are all made in His image, we are all made according to the very specific plans He has for each of us. Within the Christian world, there is always an underlying concern with who the people around us are, and how we can model ourselves after them. The beauty of being Gods creation, is that when He designed us and blessed us with our gifts and talents, He did it in the knowledge that no other human will ever have the specific set of talents that we possess.

Within the beauty of our uniqueness, God has created for each of us a purpose, that purpose at times can be lost in our insecurities. Thoughts of not being good enough, fears of rejection and failure can keep us from answering the calling on our lives. Batterson repeats one thought throughout the book,
"what you are doing or where you are going are secondary issues, God's primary concern is who you are becoming

This statement brings us to the challenge for days 8-10. I challenge you, my dear friend to spend these days truly pressing into God and to begin the deepest self inventory you have ever done.

Ask God to reveal the following to you:
Where is your focus right now?
Are you focused on your goals, ambitions and plans?
Or are you looking towards His hand to lead you?
Are you navigating the journey?
Or are you following the path God has laid before your feet?

Ask God these questions, and if you can, pick up a copy of Battersons book, those of you I see regularly, I am happy to lend you mine. I challenge you to really and truly seek the person God has created you to be. Put away every thought you have about who you are and what your destiny is, and let God show you the unique and beautiful purpose He has for your life!

You can read the first chapter of SoulPrint online at

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This book can be purchased from:,,,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 7

I am in Last Call, after Wednesday night service right now, and all around me I hear people being encouraged and encouraging others to take the gifts talents and life God has blessed them with and to go out and bless others. There are two people in here tonight who have "physical disabilities" and how amazing is it that someone most people would consider "handicapped" can take what others perceive as a weakness and use it as a powerful tool of ministry!

My mind is ready to explode with all the thoughts I have had about not being "able" to do things. Well, dear brothers and sisters, here's the secret: YOU ARE ABLE!

Yes, you are well able to do what God has called you to do in this life! You have everything you need to overcome any and ALL obstacles the enemy might seek to put in your path. You have the power and authority in the name and in the blood of Christ Jesus and it is a gift given to us by the one and true God! This gift is FREE! We will never be asked to do more than to take the many blessings bestowed upon us and to turn around and to use your gifts, your talents and YOUR GOD to bless others!

Check out tonights service tomorrow at 7:30 pm, PST

Thursday, March 10, 2011

15 Minute Challenge, Day 2

Day 2:
Psalm 27:4 One prayer have I made to the Lord, and this is my heart's desire; that I may have a place in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, looking on his glory, and getting wisdom in his Temple.

I got an interesting phone call last night while at church. My sister was calling to let me know our Papa (grandfather) was in the hospital. He'd had a heart attack and we didn't have much additional information.

Once again, I am reminded of the fact that life will come to an end for all of us at some point. As Christine Caine said it at the CATWEST 2011 conference, "life is terminal." With that in mind, what are you living for?

Most of our generation is living for themselves. We live in a culture that looks at all the glory and splendor of this world and asks "what's in it for me?" Self gratification and self importance is so important to each member of our generation that we often miss those beautiful little moments that come from getting over you and doing something without seeking anything in return.

There are even times when our prayers become muddled with our wants.
“Please God let me have…”
“God, can you just give me…”
“Dear Lord, I really want…”

I can’t say my own prayers haven’t sounded like that at times, but in the grand scope of things, and when I think about how much I really have, I am reminded of what really and truly matters in this life. this leads me to our verse for day 2 of our 15 minute challenge:

David writes in Psalm 27:4 One prayer have I made to the Lord, and this is my heart's desire; that I may have a place in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, looking on his glory, and getting wisdom in his Temple(From The Bible in Basic English).

How beautiful is that notion? The thing David wanted most was to remain in the presence of the Lord on this earth. How different will it be if we tried to focus on God with such determination? What would life be like for us if the only thing that mattered was being able to sit in Gods house seeking His wisdom?

This life will end, it is a guarantee. James writes in James 4:13-15 (The Message) And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that."

If you are given tomorrow, what will you do with it? Who will you live it for? Will you remember the prayer of David? I can promise you if you make the choice and call out to God the way David did, He will transform you. He will change the heart behind your prayers; He has the power and the authority to transform your heart. He can take us and restore us and reconnect us with Him. At the end of the day, we only have a small amount of time on this planet, we can spend it focusing on things we want and do not need, or we can cry out to God and spend this time seeking His heart and living for the Creator of the Universe.

15 Minute Challenge, Day 1

Some of you reading this have already been told about my 15 minute challenge, so you can skip over this bit of the blog today. For those of you who do not know what it is, I’ll explain. I am challenging myself and anyone else out there who wants to participate to spend an extra 15 minutes with God for the next 40 days. This is 15 minutes in addition to, not as a substitute for your private time with God. That time is still vital to your growth and to mine, and I am not asking you to give that up. During this time, those of us participating will be working together on a common scripture, word, action, etc. Through this we will each explore what the Father has for us individually, as well as together. I pray this leads to a greater understanding of who each of us are called to be in Christ and will take us to new depths together as a group. You are welcome to use this blog as a forum for your thoughts and prayers, or you can contact me privately. I will be praying for each of you as we do this, and I will pray WITH you at anytime if you would like me to.
So, on to day 1:
One of my favorite Bible verses is “'because the splendor I have given you makes your beauty perfect' declares the Sovereign Lord" Ezekiel 16:14
Why is it that we, as women, look to validate ourselves in other people? When you do this, and you do just like I do, you strip yourself of the blessings God have put on your life! God has looked at each one of us and declared that we are precious to Him. We are made in His image and He has breathed life into each one of us! So where in that knowledge can we find room to feel we are not good enough for anyone or anything?!
For me personally, I get lost in my insecurities and my self doubt. There was a time when I was well aware of the calling God has placed upon this season of my life and I had the nerve to tell God “Lord, that’s a great idea, but I am NOT good enough!” How funny is that? God has blessed me with gifts and talents that are pleasing to Him. He created me, He gave me the ability to do things that would glorify His name and His kingdom, and in my insecurity and fear I told Him it wasn’t good enough. That is the same as telling God that He is not good enough, and that is a sin.
It is somewhat difficult for me to admit that to you, especially here, but without admitting the truth behind my fears, I would never be able to write this and to show you that when God says “go” you’d best believe He will make sure it is pleasing to Him. This blog is an example of finally being able to say yes to God and to stand up to my fears. As I am writing this post, I can hear all the negative comments about what is in here, and I stand against that in Jesus name! You all need to do the same thing! I the precious name of the savior of the universe, you need to stand against fears that may be keeping you from completing the tasks He has set aside for you.
God has a calling on your life, just like He has a calling on mine. He makes a promise to us in His precious word regarding this in Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Do you realize how much power we have in that statement? He has made us beautiful in Him, and we have the nerve to question our abilities and our worth. I am guiltier of this than anyone I know, but I can recognize the truth in the fact that He has chosen every single talent I possess. He handpicked the skills I have been blessed we. He mapped the course I would take in life, and I would be so foolish as to question my ability to live out His plan…
Please do not feel that I would write this to judge or to condemn, that is not my intention. I wish for nothing more than to share a piece of my heart with you here. There is so much freedom in claiming the power of Jesus’ name and in choosing to live in accordance with the plans He has made for your life. The simple truth is, God’s got your back, and if He is for you, NO ONE can stand against you!
So think about this verse today and think about what His promise is for you.
“'…because the splendor I have given you makes your beauty perfect' declares the Sovereign Lord" Ezekiel 16:14

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Plan for Lent

I am proud to say I am sponsoring a precious little girl from Rwanda. She is beautiful, and I can’t wait to learn more about her! That isn’t the point of this blog however, while I was playing on the internet, I saw the following Facebook update:
"During Lent I'll be giving up foods other than the staple foods that make up the diet of the Compassion children we sponsor. Wanna join me?" - Pastor Chris Seay, Ecclesia Church in Houston, Texas

What a notion! During a time, when I can’t think of anything to give up this idea is shared with me! to honor my new friend in Rwanda I plan on accepting the challenge and spending the season eating only the staples that would be found in her home village.
I have inserted some general facts about Rwanda below if any of you are interested in learning more about that part of the world. There has been so much bloodshed and disease across that land, and it truly does break my heart to imagine it all. I believe there is a purpose for that region (one little girl in particular) becoming a part of my life, I don’t know now – honestly I may never really know, but I am excited about this new adventure.
If any of you sponsor your own angel or want to partner with me during the time of lent, I would love for you to do so!
Oh, and for all you people that know me well, coffee and tea are both on the list!! (Thank you Lord!! Although, unfortunately there is no sugar…)
For those of you who aren’t 100% certain what LENT is, I googled it for you:
The name lent is a Germanic word originally used to refer to the spring season generally. Over time, it replaced the Latin quadragesima, which means “forty days.” Lent lasts forty days because, according to biblical accounts, Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days of fasting, meditation and reflection before beginning his ministry.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child or learning more about Compassion International:
Compassion International’s website

I have not been asked to provide any of the websites I have listed above nor will I receive anything for directing you to them, they are simply there to provide you the opportunity to either gain a greater understanding of the charity that has captured and broken my heart or to verify my facts on Rwanda.

About Rwanda from 

The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.

Kigali is the capital. Other urban areas are Butare, Gisenyi, Gitarama and Ruhengeri.

Rwanda's terrain consists of savannas, hills, and mountains. Rivers are the Kagera, Mwogo, Nyabarongo and the Ruzizi.

The temperature varies according to altitude: much of Rwanda is temperate.
National Parks in Rwanda are Nyungwe National Park in the southeast, Akagera National Park in the northeast and the the Parc des Volcans in the northwest.

The Parc des Volcans is home to mountain gorillas, made famous by "Gorillas in the Mist". Dr Dian Fossey, who died in 1985, spent many years among these endangered primates. The number of mountain gorillas has risen since Dr Fossey started working at the Karisoke Research Center in the 1960s.

Other animals found in Rwanda include antelopes, buffaloes, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes and zebras.
Butare was the principal city in Rwanda before Kigali became the capital in 1965. In nearby Nyabisindu the nineteenth century Royal Palace has been restored and now serves as a museum.

Kigali, Rwanda's capital and business centre, is a modern city with low-rise buildings.
The population of Rwanda was estimated at 10,186,060 in 2008.
Kinyarwanda, French and English are official languages. Kiswahili (Swahili) is used in commercial centres.
The majority of Rwandans are Christians. There are some Muslims and followers of indigenous religions.
Beans, cassava, plantains and sweet potatoes are staple foods in Rwanda. Porridge is made from sorghum, millet and maize.

Dairy products are part of the diet. Meat, usually beef and chicken, is eaten. Fish is caught in the lakes.

Vegetables and fruits available include aubergines, spinach, soybeans, avocados, bananas, citrus fruits, mangoes, papayas, passion fruit and pineapples.

Beer, made from bananas or sorghum, is brewed locally. Coffee and tea are grown.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Years Resolutions... better late than never, right?!

Well, it’s already two months into the new year, and, if you're like me, I’m sure ya’ll are working hard on the 2011 resolutions you've been meaning to get started on, but probably won't  keep. Like planning for diets, excercise and weight loss regimins that really aren't gonna last – cause we all know the holidays will come around again at the end of the year and there goes all that hard work… Ok, so hopefully you have had more luck with your resolutions than I usually have.
I’ve spent some time (two months) reflecting on 2010. It truly was a whirlwind year! There was some pain, there was some sorrow, and there was definitely some regret. However, in all of that, there was laughter, there was joy and most importantly, there was love. There are days I hope to never relive, and moments I can remember being so full of fear I thought I was going to explode! In all of that, there is so much I can only thank God I experienced. Every moment of fear taught me a little more about my own courage. For each tear I shed in pain, I shed five tears of laughter. Every time I was knocked on my butt, someone was there to help me get back on my feet. Yes, I have been blessed, and I am fortunate enough to realize it! There is another, more important and most rewarding knowledge that came to me this year. For every time someone was there for me, I was there for someone else. That brings more joy, comfort and hope for my new year than reflecting on the many good things I have been given.
I spent a majority of my life being selfish. I worked hard for myself. I gave only when I knew there was a benefit for me. I showed affection only to those who showed me affection first. My heart and my emotions were so tightly kept in my own pocket that I never truly appreciated or loved the amazing people in my life. But over the last couple of years I let God break me. You see, the sweet thing about finally surrendering is God will break you, but He will do it in a way that doesn’t actually hurt. Now, it isn’t easy, and that doesn’t mean you won’t have to come to terms with past hurt, but you won’t experience hurt in the same way ever again. I faced my past and through His strength I was able to stand.
This last year, I apologized for pain I had caused, and I learnt my own pain was minimal in comparison to the pain I caused others to experience. I found a way to really look at my actions, to examine my behaviors and to fully understand the consequences of all I do or say. A healing process began in me, and through it I was able to reach out to others and encourage them to allow their own healing to begin. That is what I hope to inspire by sharing this with you. Pain is part of life. We cannot escape it, and no matter how we try, it cannot be avoided. There is hope sweet sister, when you allow God to take your pain; you can find His joy through it. No, I am not crazy, but yes, there is a way to find joy in your pain. The everlasting joy that comes with completely surrendering your pain to God will remain in you through pain, fear, frustration and even in moments when you want to be angry. These feelings are not of God, and no matter how much the events of this life bring us close to them, if you remember that God has your back, you find joy!

If you look at God as a freight train and all those negative emotions as a car, the car doesn’t even stand a chance! That train will roll right over it and only fragments will be left on the side of the tracks. That is what Gods joy does to all those negative things. You cannot be overcome by them and if you reach out, He will lift you up. Every time you feel your equilibrium is coming off center, He will balance you out. That is our God. He is amazing and He wants nothing more than to see us experience Him to the fullest.
I am excited to see what 2011 will bring my way. I am prepared for some pain and a few tears, but I can thank God now that they will be outnumbered my laughter and smiles and joy! As the healing process continues in me, I will keep more people close to my heart. I will not let my heart and my emotions stay locked away. I will share my heart with the people I love. I will express my emotions as I feel them. I will love. Oh boy, will I love!
I will live this year, not for myself, but for the people around me. I give to those in need. I will smile more. I will do something every day to make someone else smile. When life is getting tough, I will reach for a good friend and a glass of wine and I will laugh my worries away.
I will remind myself every day of how blessed I am. I will breath in life every morning. I will drink in the promises of my God before my coffee. I will trust in my Savior to carry me when I think I cannot stand. Now, there are some resolutions I think I can live with.