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Archive for the ‘Discovering Jesus’ Category

 

I have been reading You Are The Girl For The Job, By Jess Connolly. In the book she talks about overcoming the fear of not being good enough to pursue whatever God is leading us to pursue. She reminds us that throughout the Bible God chose the unequipped, uneducated, every day, ordinary people to accomplish His goals.

Moses had a stutter and had murdered a man

David was a shepherd, had an affair with a married woman AND had her husband killed so he could have her as his own

Rahab was a prostitute and is now in the genealogy of Jesus

Paul killed Christians

Peter denied Jesus 3 times

The disciples were known to bicker and argue about who was the most important of them

The disciples were also known to lack faith at times

Matthew was a tax collector (a job that was looked down upon in Bible times)

The women in Luke chapter 8 who traveled with and supported Jesus and the disciples had all been healed of some ailment/demon possession

The list goes on…

None of these people or any other person in the Bible was perfect, besides Jesus Himself. God can and does use people of all skill levels, walks of life, social status, education level, etc. It doesn’t matter who I am. It doesn’t matter who you are. God has a purpose that is tailor made for me. God has a purpose that is tailor made for you.

I need to let go of the I’m not good enough mindset and remember the God who created me does NOT make mistakes. I have to quit listening to voices around me that say that what I am pursuing is a waste of time. I need to tune out those who tell me that I need to get a real job, because that is the only way to have an income, that somehow I am lesser than because I am choosing to pursue God’s work instead of joining the others on the hamster wheel of life.

I choose to put my faith in the God of all resources. I have faults, idiosyncrasies, quirks, and imperfections. I also have certain skills, passions, and gifts that make me who I am. God challenges us sometimes. He pushes us to do what we feel we are not equipped to do. And we doubt our own ability instead of focusing on HIS ability.

Maybe that is because the Church itself judges us and our abilities instead of letting us serve where our passion lies. We can not serve on the worship team unless we are a good enough singer/musician. We can not be a speaker unless we are eloquent and do not stutter. We can not share unless what we are sharing fits in with the agenda of the leaders. Jesus chose those who were willing to follow Him. The Church of today says that if we are to serve then we need to at least appear to be perfect. A willingness to serve is not good enough. A passion for a specific area is not good enough. For all intents and purposes Paul was an enemy of Jesus, but God used him anyway. God chose Paul to be the role model of the apostles.

Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t the girl for the job! I may not have a paying job right now. I may be socially awkward and I get tongue tied when in public, but I don’t care. I am 100% focused on God and what He says He needs me to do right now.

I AM THE GIRL FOR THE JOB!!!

YOU ARE THE GIRL FOR THE JOB!!!

Don’t let anyone tell you differently. God’s opinion is the only one that matters.

*I started doing these Discovering Jesus posts to discuss what I am learning on a weekly basis as I grow as a Christian. Life as a Christian is a process and we are ALWAYS growing and learning new things. These are posts from my heart and may seem fragmented at times as I am working through and trying to grasp issues myself. I hope that they help you as well.

 

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I have shared about having a partial tear in my rotator cuff. I had an MRI in February in Georgia and the result was a partial tear. It caused me quite a bit of pain for several months and I have not had full range of motion. I did pray for it to be healed. It was not an every day consistent prayer, but I threw it in there a few times when it really bothered me. In July, I was able to go to an orthopedic doctor and I had another MRI on July 20th. The results for that MRI showed that there was NOT a tear in my rotator cuff.

WHAT???

That’s right NO TEAR AT ALL!!!

What was my reaction?

Instead of praising God for healing, I assumed that the Georgia doctor had lied about the results of the first MRI. I assumed that I never had a partial tear. Not until a couple of days ago did I give God any credit at all nor did I even once think it was a miracle.

Did God heal my shoulder?

I now believe He did. There is no other explanation for it. I deeply regret that that was not my first assumption. I missed the opportunity to use this testimony of God’s healing powers. I missed the blessing of praising Him for the miracle. I missed it and I can’t go back. It really is the worst feeling ever. Why did I not immediately jump for joy? Why did I assume the worst of someone else? I can only say that I am human and I make mistakes. I am now praising God for the healing and for answering my prayer. It’s still not 100% but the shooting pains are gone. I still don’t have full range of motion, but I can use it a lot more than I could a couple of months ago. I still have some arthritis, but the partial tear is gone and I thank God for miracles.

God is good! I can’t even begin to tell you how He has provided for me in my life time. I am eternally grateful that He chose me to be His child. I am horribly imperfect, but He loves me just as I am.

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Last week I talked about my feelings of being luke warm and hoping that I am not. I have my moments of doubt and that bothers me. I am not alone in that though. Many men of God throughout the Bible had doubts and were still used by God in some awesome ways.

I know that God has worked in miraculous ways in my own life. So, why do I doubt? Human nature, I guess. I have one testimony in particular of God’s provision and protection that keeps me encouraged. It is the story that brings me back from the edge of doubt every time.

It was May of 2010 or 2011. We had all gone to Indianapolis (about an hour drive from our home) to see Kiowa run her 2nd Half Marathon. She was a freshman in high school at this point. After the race, we went to breakfast and then headed back home. My ex-husband, Howard drove one car with his wife, Tami along with our sons Talon and Ty. Our oldest daughter, Cherokee, who was a Junior in high school drove her 1996 Ford Ranger extended cab truck with myself, Kiowa and our other daughter Cree, who was in 7th grade.

The girls and I took another highway home and separated from Howard, in the other car. Indiana highways are for the most part rural, unless you get near the bigger cities. We were about 1/2 an hour outside of Indianapolis in a very rural area. Houses were few and far between and the truck starts to over heat. Even back then, Cherokee has always been level headed and doesn’t panic. I immediately started to pray. We saw a dirt road up ahead with a handful of houses on it, so we decided to turn there. I thought we would go to the first house, but Cherokee past it. She said she didn’t feel that they would be able to help us. She turned into the second drive and drove back to where a big red barn stood open. A couple of guys came out to see why a woman with 3 teenage girls was pulling up to their house. They looked like they were in their 20’s maybe. Cherokee told them the truck was over heating and they popped the hood to see what was going on. They saw the problem right away. The seal on the radiator cap was rotted out and caused the cap to allow the water in the radiator to escape. While the one guy took a hose and cooled the engine down, the other guy went to find a radiator cap. BY CHANCE he had gone to Auto Zone the day before and just happened to pick up the exact one we needed for our truck!!! He told us that he NEVER gets that type, but for some reason he picked it up. The radiator cap was the perfect fit and as soon as the engine was cool enough and filled back up with water, we were back on our way. It never over heated again.

Coincidence?

I think not!

A Miracle?

I believe it.

Cherokee was led to that house.

The guys happened to be mechanics.

The regular run to Auto Zone just happened to include picking up a radiator cap that they never would have used any other time.

They had bought the cap the day before.

The issue was fixed for good.

God answered my prayer.

 

I KNOW that it was God! So why do I doubt? God has shown us His ability to provide and protect in miraculous ways. Why doubt?

All I can say is that I am a work in progress. I am grateful that God is a God of grace and that He reminds me that He is still a God of miracles.

I hope that this testimony has encouraged you. God can and will work miracles in our lives. We need only to believe!

 

 

 

 

 

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I have been doing a study of Revelation. It is not an easy book to read and it has taken longer than I anticipated. There have been passages that have made me reflect on my own Christian walk. Today’s question I have to ask myself is:

Am I a lukewarm Christian?

It is a hard question and deserves a brutally honest answer. So, here goes, in some ways, yes I guess I am. I pray continually. I read and study the Bible. I create faith based content for this blog. I live simply. I am attending church as much as I can in this current pandemic situation. God and His will are always on my mind.

BUT

All of that doesn’t mean anything if I am not putting feet to my faith. 

Do I share the Gospel? Ummm, yes through my blog, BUT in person I fall flat. I let fear of rejection keep me from being that vessel that opens the door for the Holy Spirit to walk thru.

Do I follow where God leads? Yes and No. I do as long as where He leads is still in my comfort zone, I am happy to follow. It is when He ventures out of that zone (and He does often!) that I tend to falter. In my fear, I take my eyes off of God and I start to doubt MY OWN ABILITY. On my own, I WILL fail, but with GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE! 

Do I obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit?  Again, it is a Yes and No answer. I do as long as my feet are planted firmly on the ground and I am not challenged in any way that may cause my fear and anxiety to kick in. Take me out of my comfort zone and Moses’s arguments can’t hold a candle to mine! To my own detriment, I am afraid. Moses wasn’t allowed to lead the Israelites into the promised land. How many miracles have I missed being a part of because I allowed my fear to surpass my faith?

Where is my faith?  Honestly, it comes and goes. God has done so many miracles in my life and He has brought together answers to prayer that have left me with my jaw dropped, so why do I still doubt? Good question. I guess that I let the negative voices of my people get in my head, Satan gets that foothold and fear and doubt follow close behind. GOD IS TRUTH! As long as I am stepping out of my comfort zone FOR HIM, He will have my back.

Our Christian walk is a journey. We will have days where our faith soars and we will have days where we will cower in fear. Look at David and Elijah. They were both strong men of God, but as soon as their was a bounty on their heads, they headed for the hills. They ran away and hid in caves. If these two Godly men ran from their opposition, where does that leave me? It leaves me on my knees, in complete submission to a God that is in complete control of all things.

I am a work in progress. It is a journey. I have grown. I am growing. Will I fully attain it? Probably not. But as long as I continue to grow, God is good to meet me where I am. Am I lukewarm? Possibly. I hope that doesn’t get me spewed out of God’s mouth. My desire for God, Jesus, and the Word of God grows every day. God sees my heart and hopefully it is acceptable to Him.

ARE YOU LUKEWARM?

I encourage you to reflect on this question and answer honestly. What changes need to be made for you to be on fire for God?

 

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I know that I have written about my struggle with the Church in previous posts. I have visited a hand full of churches since our departure in January of 2011 and have gone periods where I didn’t go at all. I have grown immensely in this time, but I have missed the fellowship with other believers. I have missed the community.

I am going back! I started going to church with Cherokee and her family before I moved to Georgia, but did not get to go on a regular basis because of my work schedule. When I returned from Georgia, I was determined to make a commitment to a church. Of course Covid-19 through my plan off a bit and I had to wait until the church reopened in late June. I have gone with Cherokee, Chris and the kids and it is good. Some things are strange like having to make reservations, wearing masks and no other classes or services right now, but it is good to be able to go.

I felt God leading me to make a formal commitment and so I emailed the pastor and will be going through the process to become a member. This pastor was completely welcoming and he has only met me a couple of times in the past. It was a change from a past church that we attended as a family for 6 years. The church we left in 2011 and were fully involved in. I began the process to become a member there, but was then ignored. There were other issues that led to us making the tough decision to leave the church, but it hurt me when we had been actively involved for 6 years and I was overlooked for membership when others were welcomed as members at the same time. The pastor and I had been in communication about membership and then I was ignored, while others became members. I was crushed. So it is, I guess healing in a way, to have a pastor welcome me into a church family without knowing me personally.

It is good to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It brings peace. Even though my relationship with God has grown in my years away from the Church, I still felt lost. I have felt a restlessness, a disconnect of sorts that I can only assume comes from not being connected to a local body of believers to share life and faith with. It is important. I tried to fool myself into thinking it wasn’t, but it is. It is vital to have other believers in your life. I have felt a peace since I sent the email to the pastor. I have felt like I have finally found my “home”. I belong. I can’t wait until we can resume classes and other programs. I can’t wait to get to know other people who attend there.

Life is full of blessings! Some hardships, but many many blessings!

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John 3:30

He must become greater; I must become less.

God has been dealing with me on this issue. I have been reading You Are The Girl For The Job, By: Jess Connolly. In this book, Jess says,

“You may not care a thing about beauty, and motherhood may not be on your radar. I realize that these are easy examples for some of us to relate to and easy for others of us to dismiss. But it doesn’t change the undeniable truth that somewhere in your life, there is temptation to measure up, to compete, to stand out, to rank. Where in your life do you feel a constant or frequent desire to look to the left or the right and compare yourself to others? Maybe you’d never admit that your trying to be the best, but quietly you’re spinning your wheels. You might never dream of saying it out loud to another human, but you’re silently exploring where you rank at ______________________________.” 

The question is: Why do we push ourselves to compete? Why do we push ourselves to stand out? Is it for ourselves or is it to give God the glory?

This is a question I ask myself daily as I start this ministry for single moms. I ask myself because I am a people pleaser. I have a tendency to do things for the approval of people and not to glorify God. Not that I don’t want to glorify God, I do more than anything. I guess it is more of fearing rejection and the disapproval of people and so I strive to be perfect, to be the best so that no one can find fault with what I do. I fear criticism. I have found however, that you can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. There are those people who will find fault no matter what you do. They aren’t the ones that matter anyway.

ONLY GOD MATTERS!!! I am not perfect. God does not care that I am not perfect. He does not expect me to be perfect, as long as I am obedient to His will. He loves me, imperfections and all!

So, why do I want to serve single moms? Is it so I can get the accolades of being a ministry leader? Is it so that people see ME? I can honestly answer NO! to both questions. I don’t like the spotlight. I don’t like being the center of attention. I have a burden to see single moms and their kids build a relationship with Jesus. I have felt this burden since 2006. I have a burden to love single moms to Jesus.

“We cannot seek God’s glory and our own at the same time.” Jess Connolly

Ask yourself:

Are you serving to glorify God or yourself? Are you seeking to please God or people? Are you running your own race or are you running God’s race? Be honest with yourself.

JESUS MUST COME FIRST! WE MUST COME LAST!

 

 

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I have been using this time at home to develop my single mom ministry. It is something that I have wanted and tried to do since 2006. I have felt through the years that my ministry was to be an online ministry. The idea of an online ministry appealed to me because I am an introvert and can be socially awkward due to social anxieties. I fought God on it though because every other ministry for single moms that I knew about were in person ministries. I argued that I couldn’t have a successful online ministry. I was fixated on the idea that I had to have in person support meetings/Bible classes. ENTER COVID-19 and life as we knew it has changed over night and I hear God telling me, “I told you so! I told you I knew what I was doing!” YES! God knows what He is doing! Everything He does is for a reason. When He leads us in a specific direction it is for a reason. Even when that direction is going against the norm, don’t question it. God knows what He is doing.

So, I now find myself in full writing mode, developing the L.I.F.E discipleship program for single moms, setting up a Facebook group to go along with it, writing content for my blog, promoting this ministry in order to be able to serve single moms locally and nationally. I Know that others might oppose me because it is not a “paying job”. I know that others might ridicule me as being lazy and settling for the easy thing. I know that I may make others angry because I choose to obey God rather than man.

TESTIMONY TIME:

I left my job May 3rd of 2019. I moved to Georgia where I went through the training and became a certified Biblical lay counselor. In Georgia, I finished God Is: A Seven Week Bible Study For Single Moms, I volunteered with a community ministry, and I wrote my first 2 articles for The Life Of A Single Mom Ministries. It was a preparation time. I did not have a job. Fast forward to the present (August 2, 2020) and I still don’t have a job, but somehow I have not run out of money. I am not perfect. I sin just like everyone else, but I try to live in obedience to God in everything I do, even when others don’t get it. I believe this is why God provides. I give as God leads. I try to be a good steward without hoarding my money. I trust God to provide. God has taken care of me as I step out in faith to minister to single moms. Is opposition uncomfortable? Of course it is. It can be downright painful, but God is bigger than those who oppose us! I trust in HIM!

 

 

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I am wondering these days how not to give into the panic that has rocked us all this year. With every passing day, we hear something new that has the potential to terrify us even more than we are already terrified. Early in the year our world was turned upside down very quickly. None of us had any time to breathe before we were given stay at home orders. Everything shut down almost over night and left us reeling. Around the world thousands of people are getting sick and dying and none of the experts knows how to get rid of it. To mask or not to mask, that has become the question. Major league sports have been cancelled. Amusement parks and beaches have been closed. EVERYTHING shut down overnight and we all have been trying to adjust to a new normal that may last for a long while.

Then in June, the racial tensions that are and always have been boiling under the surface, boiled over. Protests and riots in the streets across America. People are being killed in the streets and once again, it seems that no one has the ability to stop it. DEFUND THE POLICE! And then what? Is that really the answer? We have all turned against each other. No one wants to listen to anyone else’s opinion or perspective. No one has any compassion for anyone else’s experiences. Those perspectives and experiences that could bring us together if only we would stop the fighting and LISTEN to each other. No one feels safe anymore.

Now, we have a coin shortage and businesses threatening to go cashless. Now, we face a whole new reason to panic. A cashless society. Will the chip (what evangelicals are calling the mark of the beast) be next? People are running around in a panic. People are still hoarding supplies. Stores are still out of products that we need to survive.

The reality is that things are not going to change anytime soon. We have gotten away from our relationship with God and Satan is wreaking havoc. America has become his playground and he is not going to leave until Christians turn back to God. We are listening to conspiracy theories, contradicting advice from the experts, and we can find articles to support any view on the internet. We are listening to everyone accept for the ONE who IS the TRUTH, JESUS.

We, the masses of people who this effects, have no idea who is telling the truth or who is lying. We all have our opinions based on who we have been listening to, but can we really trust anyone anymore? Has it all been manufactured to bring this nation down? Do we believe that circumstances have been manipulated to turn us into a communist country? Who do we vote for in November? Because one side isn’t any less criminal than the other. We don’t have to worry about outside terrorists groups taking us down, because they can sit back and watch this country implode.

God has given me a burden for this country. My heart aches deeply for this nation that has the potential to be a beacon to the world. We are fighting against each other, when we need to be fighting against the devil.

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

What is the answer?

REPENT! REPENT! AND TURN YOUR HEARTS TO GOD!

Jeremiah 18:7-10

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

WE CAN TURN THIS AROUND!

HEED THE WARNING AMERICANS!

This nation will be destroyed if we do not, as a nation, turn our hearts back to God.

We need to REPENT

We need to PRAY

We need to READ THE BIBLE

We need to EMBODY THE LOVE AND COMPASSION OF GOD

We need to TURN OUR HEARTS BACK TO GOD!

Do we really need more warnings to wake us up? Do we really want to see what else will happen?

I think that most of us agree that we are nearing the end times. I don’t know when the rapture will be. Will it be before the tribulation period or after? Does anyone, but God really know? Is the CHIP the mark of the beast? No one but God really knows. That’s the point. We don’t know, so we need to be ready.

I watch the masses running around in a panic, not knowing what to do with the worry, anxiety and fear. Suicide rates have gone up. Hopelessness, anger and hate fill the hearts of people. So, I pray and I pray and I pray.

Our Father in heaven,

Protect this country from the evil one that is so intent on taking us down. Wrap a hedge of protection around the borders of America to keep the evil out. Shine a light on the darkness within our borders and stop the evil plots against us before they cause anymore destruction and pain. Bring justice where injustice lives. Pour out your Holy Spirit to overflowing. Gives us hearts that radiate love and compassion in abundance. Give each of us a desire to abide in Christ so that others will see Christ in us. Give each of us a heart for unity instead of hate. Heal our hearts and our differences. Heal our land. Allow the winds to blow the Coronavirus out, so that we, as a nation, can heal physically and financially. In this time of uncertainty, help us to learn that we can survive this better if we work together instead of against each other. Give us each a heart for you, Lord. I am praying that each person in this great nation will be filled with a burning desire for you and to do ONLY your will. Bring us together under YOUR banner, crying out to you in repentance. Bring us together in UNITY in such a way that our voices raised to you in prayer will give the devil no choice but to flee. We belong to the Lord! Bring us back to you, Lord!

All of this in Jesus name,

Amen

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Matthew 6:28-29

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

It has been a hard few months for all of us. We have all been thrown into chaos between the Coronavirus and racial tensions. Some of us don’t feel safe anymore. We question are own thoughts and motives. We try to erase history instead of learning from it and bringing our different perspectives/experiences to the table in a inclusive discussion. Each side thinks they are right and each side is right, but each side is also wrong in some ways.

We rebel against being told what to do, but is it for our safety? Can we listen to the media or are they trying to instill fear in the masses? Are deaths being inflated to benefit the hospitals? Our world is growing more and more chaotic. We have all sacrificed the last few months. I am missing my mom and dad, who should be here for their bi-yearly visit from California. They could not come. Praying for September, but nothing is certain anymore.

I have to remember the ONE thing in this world that will NEVER change: JESUS.  I remind myself that the God who made the flowers in all of their beauty, is still in control and I am not to worry about the future. I LOVE the Spring and seeing the hundreds of varieties of flowers that God has given us. He has blessed us with gardens of so many vibrant colors. He dressed the flowers in beauty. He will dress our futures in beauty too.

         

 

In these days of uncertainty, remember the ONE who still blesses us with beautiful things to remind us of His presence and LOVE.

 

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Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

 

God has been trying to teach me patience. I say trying because I know there are days when He shakes His head in frustration when I ONCE AGAIN try to take control and do things my way. It never works out the way I plan and in the end I run back to my heavenly Father determined to be better, to do better.

I have been in a waiting pattern for awhile now. In Georgia when my car broke down and I couldn’t go anywhere. Recently, when I moved back to Indiana, we immediately went into the stay at home order and once again, I was stuck waiting. And then there is the whole partially torn rotator cuff issue. I had to wait until May to see the doctor because of the coronavirus. I had to wait until I was approved for the Indiana low income insurance to get a referral to an orthopedic doctor. That appointment was on June 23rd. I waited for my doctor in Georgia to send my previous MRI results, which never happened, so now I have another MRI set up for July 20th. After that I wait to see if I need surgery or not. Whatever the treatment, it is going to take some time for my arm to heal fully and in the meantime I wait and wait. I have been waiting for 14 years to be able to start a single mom ministry. I am NOT a patient person and I get tired of waiting!

But…WHAT IF…God was waiting for just this moment, knowing that I interact with less anxiety online than I would in person or in a group setting? WHAT IF…God was trying to save me from constantly worrying about groups or having to organize complicated events? God knows my weaknesses and my strengths. I like simple. WHAT IF…this pandemic is actually the perfect time to launch a single mom program out of Patti Burris Ministries?

So what do I do while in this season of waiting?

  1. I PRAY for wisdom and discernment. I also pray for financial provision if this is to be a full-time ministry and for the ministry partners that will offer the prayer and financial support that I will need to be able to serve single moms in a full-time capacity.
  2. I STUDY THE BIBLE. I keep up on devotions and Bible studies. Right now I am picking apart Revelation.
  3. I am PREPARING for ministry. I am planning the services I will offer single moms locally and online. I am adding posts to my blog and keeping it up to date. I am planning my next Bible study for single moms and developing my L.I.F.E discipleship program for single moms. I am preparing to be “in ministry” within the next few weeks.
  4. I STAY CLOSE TO GOD. This is so important! It is so easy to slip back into bad habits thinking that this waiting season means that God doesn’t care or that He has left us. This is not the case at all. These seasons of waiting are God’s way of teaching us patience and obedience.

 

How much longer will I have to wait? 

Good question! I am almost ready to start serving single moms and I can do this regardless of my arm or the pandemic. So while I long impatiently to take control of things, God restrains me until such a time as this.

 

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