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Posts Tagged ‘Discovering Jesus’

I celebrated my 51st birthday on Tuesday. I have always loved my birthday, but this years lack of fanfare left me feeling forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, all 5 of my kids acknowledged my birthday, but I’m still not sure if it was simply out of obligation. No presents and I am planning my own birthday dinner for Monday night when my daughter, Cree and her husband get back from California. I was disappointed, to say the least. I have had other years like this and it never really bothered me before. I guess the difference is that this year my kids are adults with lives of their own. They are supposed to move into their own lives and be productive members of society.

BUT THEY AREN’T SUPPOSED TO FORGET THEIR PARENTS!!!

At least that is my opinion. Before you think that I am throwing my kids under the bus, the Holy Spirit used my pity party to convict me of my own relationship with my parents and asked me a very disturbing question, “What do you do for your parents?” Yep! I was quickly humbled and had to admit that I haven’t done near enough to celebrate my parent’s birthdays or their wedding anniversaries. In my defense, my parents live in California and I live in Indiana, but there is no excuse for the many years when I didn’t send a card much less acknowledge their birthdays. The last few years I have sent a card and sometimes a gift card for a restaurant that they like, but honestly I have not done near enough. My parents are in their mid 70’s and have been married for 52 years. I need to do more for my own parents. I need to set the example.

I also need to remember that the world does NOT revolve around me. They have their own lives. They have or will be creating their own families. As much as it hurts, I have to remember that this is all a good thing. I realize that it hurts because I lived on my own with the kids for many years. In a way it seems like I am losing them and that I will be alone. I guess that’s why the lack of fanfare for my birthday really hurt me this year. It’s a transition and transitions can cause discomfort and even some emotional pain.

SO WHAT WILL I DO WITH ALL OF THIS?

I’m definitely NOT going to wallow in it! I will enjoy my belated dinner Monday night and accept the little gifts of love that my kids do give all year round. I will enjoy being a part of my grandkids lives and watching them grow in their own relationships with God. Ava, who will be 8 on Sunday has talked to our church Children’s Director about being baptized! THIS is what I get to be a part of EVERY DAY! I am building a single mom ministry and a single mom community as well. I am now part of a loving church. I am reaching out to community agencies and have had wonderful responses from several of them. I will be reaching out to other local churches in the near future and as I reach out I know that my own community/support system will grow. What do you do as a single mom when your kids grow up and leave you behind? You find that one thing that you are passionate about and create a community around that. You reach out and create a new you. You do what you had been putting off for years. You quit feeling sorry for yourself.

I love my kids abundantly and I am so proud of who they are and are becoming. My intention is never to make them feel guilty for growing up. This is about my having to deal with emotions. We CAN control our emotions. We CAN control how we feel. If we focus on God and allow His Spirit to abide in us.

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1 Philippians 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.

I have been seeing this verse quite a bit lately and it popped up again in the children’s sermon at church this morning. Is God trying to tell me something?

I love this verse! Any time I get overwhelmed or discouraged by the amount of work I need to do I remember that God will finish what He started. Any time I get worried or anxious about my financial situation I remember that God will provide and equip me to do the work that He has called me too.

I am turning 51 tomorrow and I start to wonder if it’s to late. But then I remember that I am more equipped now having been through the fire of single motherhood. My faith has grown so much through the last few years as I learned about God and really started to lean on God.

This verse says that I can be confident that God will finish the good work that He started in me. The definition of confident is having a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something, being certain of your abilities, or having trust in people, plans, or the future. I know that I won’t succeed on my own. I do, however, trust in God to give me the ability to succeed. I am CONFIDENT in God!

Luke 1:45

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!

When God says that He will complete the good work that He has begun in me, I BELIEVE IT! I believe that He WILL fulfill His promises to me. He is a good and faithful God. I trust in Him and Him alone. To emphasize His point yesterday, we sang the Lion and the Lamb. The one phrase that keeps repeating itself in my mind is, “who can stop the Lord Almighty?” No one can stop the Lord from completing His will. NO ONE!

I love receiving lessons from the Lord. He speaks to us in ways that encourage and motivate us. It’s in the quiet whispers of a sermon or a song or a Bible scripture that He speaks to us. My heart is open. Is yours?

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My daughter, Kiowa, gave me two devotionals, PRAY LIKE THIS: A 52-Week Prayer Journal and Trusting God day by day, by Joyce Meyer. I have spent the last two weeks devouring every scripture and every word, every day! It was definitely a gift from God because they have intertwined so much! They also have touched me right where I am right now.

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer

Psalm 34:4

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

1 John 5:14-15

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.

Mark 10:27

Jesus looked at them and said, “with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Matthew 6:27

Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

2 Timothy 1:7

For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

It never ceases to amaze me how God uses His Word (the Holy Bible) to speak to us. The Bible is the LIVING Word of God and it breathes life into us. God speaks to me about prayer and worry. He reminds me that I CAN control my thoughts. I CAN renew my mind. I CAN CHOOSE to focus my thoughts on Him and not on the negative things going on around me. We need God’s Word. We need the Bible and sometimes God sends us devotionals to bring out the life of those words.

It was a gift that spoke to my soul and has lifted me up. Kiowa didn’t know how her gift would impact me, but God did. I love how He does that!

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Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Acts 5:29

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

I have had to wrestle with this question in my pursuit of starting a single mom ministry.

Am I trying to win the approval of men, or of God?

Am I more afraid of men than I have trust in God?

Am I going to obey God or man?

God has called me to full-time ministry work. I am to minister to single mom families through a full-time ministry. Will I be paid in the conventional way? No, and this is where my objectors come in.

I am being lazy.

I need a “real” job to be productive.

I can’t just live off of people for the rest of my life.

Following God is not easy. Obeying God even when loved ones don’t get it isn’t easy. Having my value as a person based on my income isn’t easy. Right now, I have no value to some people because I choose to obey God whether I get paid or not. I choose to NOT let the possible consequences stop me from following God’s call on my life. At this point in my life, there is nothing else I can do. I have to obey my God and trust in HIS provision.

As a testimony to HIS goodness, I quit my last paying job of 8 years in May of 2019. I have been working on this ministry since then. I have been working to get it to where I can present it to a church as a feasible, necessary ministry. God is opening that door and more than that, I have had a home with family. I have had income enough to provide for my personal bills and my personal needs. I have not gone without. God provides what I need when I need it. I trust in God and God alone. I listen to God and God alone. I will NOT allow the voice of man to distract me from the will of God. I’ve come to far to turn back now.

My questions to you is:

Are you living for God or for man? Are you more afraid of man? Are you trying to gain the approval of man or God? Are you going to obey man or God?

Think about it. It may not seem like a big deal now, but there will come a time when you will have to choose. God or man?

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In my studies of the Gospels I have been drawn to the role that John the Baptist played in the story of Jesus. John really had one job. John was called to reveal Jesus and to prepare the way of our Lord, Jesus.

I believe that as Christians today, we have that same role as John. We are to reveal Jesus to a broken world and to prepare the way of the second coming of Jesus. The questions I have to ask myself is this:

How am I revealing Jesus to the world? How am I preparing the hearts of people so that they are ready when Jesus comes back?

In some ways (the less interactive ways) I am doing fine. I write a Bible based blog that encourages others in their walk with God. My main goal with my blog is to point others to Jesus.

In other ways I have failed miserably. I am not comfortable bringing up Jesus in conversation. I pray that my life speaks for itself, but bringing up Jesus with others is not an easy thing for me. I am trying to do better though.

To that end, I am moving forward to establishing an in person single mom ministry. I debated on keeping it online, because of my own social awkwardness, but God spoke to my heart and made me realize that in order for relationships to be built, the ministry must be in person. I am preparing to share my vision with my church’s education team in April and I am both excited and nervous. I have met with a couple of ministry leaders already, sharing my vision and my testimony. Little by little God pushes me out of my comfort zone and prepares me to share my vision on a larger platform. I see the vision evolve as it takes shape in my own heart. I am grateful that I will be able to prepare the hearts of single mom families for the return of Jesus. I am grateful for the opportunity to reveal Jesus to a broken world.

My questions to you:

How are you revealing Jesus to the world? How are you preparing the hearts of the people for the second coming of Jesus?

As Christians, we are called to prepare a broken world for the return of Jesus. This is the ONE JOB for EVERY Christian. We need to be aware of how we can do that in our own lives. I am challenging you to step out of your comfort zone and reveal Jesus to those around you. God does not wish for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). That is why he calls us to partner with Him to share the Good News of Jesus to those in our own little corner of the world. So, GO! And share what God has done in your life!

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I have been studying the book of Matthew recently. What caught my attention was how many times Jesus had compassion on people:

Matthew 15:32

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

Matthew 20:34

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Matthew 14:14

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Jesus was a compassionate person. He didn’t just have compassion on the people though, His compassion always led to action. Jesus felt compassion and because of that compassion He fed thousands, He healed the sick and raised the dead.

When was the last time my compassion led to action?

When was the last time your compassion led to action?

While I am on the subject of compassion, let’s talk about LOVE.

1 John 4:16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Matthew 22:37-39

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

God IS love. Love is an action word. It is easy to say the words “I love you” but until you put action to the words, you miss the point. Love means feeling compassion for another person’s situation and putting compassion into action. Love means leaving judgement at the door and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. We all have our struggles that no one else knows about. We don’t know what a person’s past has been like or what challenges they have overcome or are overcoming.

GOD IS LOVE

JESUS HAD COMPASSION

Choose to be like Jesus. Put compassion into action.

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It’s been three weeks since my last post. I usually try to do these Discovering Jesus posts every week or two, but life happens and here it is three weeks later.

Week one: I came down with a cold that completely drained me. I didn’t want to post, work on my single mom ministry or anything else. I just felt like I couldn’t do anything. These times can be really difficult. I didn’t want to pray or do my Bible study. I didn’t have the energy for it. I forgot that I can do nothing in my own strength.

Week two: My cold was better, but I still felt drained. I still did not want to do much as far as my blog or single mom ministry. I began to think that it was God’s way of slowing me down to give me “HIS” vision for this ministry. It was in NOT blogging and in NOT working on the ministry that God could tell me what HIS vision was.

Week three: I feel my energy coming back! I am working on a life coaching model to work on the physical areas of life in order for the single mom to create a peace filled, joyful and safe life for herself and her children. I want this to go hand in hand with my discipleship program. I have changed one aspect of the ministry and am ready to launch! It is coming together and I am excited about it! YAY! Thank you Jesus!!!

Matthew 12:25

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

This is where we are as a nation. We are divided in so many ways. Satan has divided us and he laughs at our foolishness. Even Christians are being revealed to be foolish. We are turning on each other and this nation is suffering for it.

PRAY AND REPENT!!!!!

There are so many people afraid of this President and his administration. There are so many that are afraid of President Trump and his administration. We have become distracted. These men and their cabinets are not the ones to fear. They can not harm us. We are not fighting against them, but against the devil. Equally, these men are NOT our saviors. We have ONE savior and HIS name is JESUS! He is the only one who can save this nation.

Do not worry about tomorrow. God is in control. Whatever happens, God still sits on the throne and HE is in control. He has already won the battle. Satan was defeated along time ago. We already have the victory through Jesus!

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This is my first post of 2021 and I am not wanting to write it. I was debating on what God has taught me this last 2 weeks that I wanted to share. And then Wednesday happened and our nation once again showed a side of ourselves that absolutely breaks my heart.

This goes way beyond politics or race or inequality in this country. This is about the condition of our hearts and our deep seated hate for anything that goes against what we believe. Our intolerance for anything different and our anger of any opinion that isn’t ours is of Satan. We have a heart issue here in America. That heart issue took root the moment we turned our backs on God. As soon as we allowed our compassion to turn to anger, as soon as we allowed our love to turn hate the devil won.

So what is the answer?

GOD IS THE ANSWER!!!

How do I know that? How do I know that God is the answer?

1 John 4:8 tells us that GOD IS LOVE!

Without God there is no love. Without love there is no compassion. Without compassion we will become a nation of selfish, hateful, angry, unhappy people who live thinking that we are the only ones that are entitled to everything. Sound familiar? Yes, we are heading down that path! Even among Christians this attitude has taken root and we are in trouble.

WITHOUT GOD THERE IS NO LOVE!!!

WITHOUT LOVE THERE IS NO COMPASSION!!!

WITHOUT COMPASSION THERE IS NO PEACE, OR JOY, OR RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER!

The only problem we have in America is a lack of God. Wake up AMERICA!!! Don’t be deceived by the devil! He is lurking at our doors and he is ready to devour those who are not prepared.

GOD IS THE ONLY ANSWER!!!

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In the days leading up to Christmas I came across the question, “What will you give God for Christmas?”

It was a question that caught me off guard. I always ask God for things when I pray, but I never considered asking God WHAT HE WANTS FROM ME. What can I give God for Christmas? The question humbled me. The question convicted me. God loved me so much that He watched His Son be crucified on the cross for my sins. He gave up His Son so that I may have eternal life. What can I possibly give God when He gave everything for me?

I don’t know. What can I give God?

An open heart that seeks only Him.

Obedience when He leads.

A dedication to prayer and Bible study.

A heart of love and compassion.

A generous spirit.

A discerning spirit that will turn away from the sinful ways of the world.

A heart totally and completely devoted to Him.

A willingness to be an example of Jesus to a hurting world.

These are all things that I can try to give. I can’t promise to give these things, because I am imperfect and I will fail. I can give a willing heart that will TRY to live as Jesus. I think He only wants us to have a willing heart. He knows that we are human with human imperfections. He is not looking for perfection. He is looking for open hearts that are honestly seeking Him and honestly trying to be obedient to His will in this world.

I now challenge you with the same question:

WHAT WILL YOU GIVE GOD?

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I have been reading through The Women Of Christmas, written by Liz Curtis Higgs as an Advent study. The two points that jumped out at me were the faith and obedience of Mary and Joseph. According to the customs of the day, Mary would have been between 12 and 14 when she married Joseph. I can’t imagine what Mary felt when she was visited by the angel. Was she afraid? Did she fully understand what God was asking of her? Did she ever doubt? Did she consider saying NO! Not me? From the little written about the angels visit, if Mary felt any fear or doubt, she didn’t entertain those thoughts for long. It seems that Mary, even at her young age understood that God was blessing HER with this unbelievable gift and she had faith to obey.

And what about Joseph? Was he worried about what the townsfolk might say? Was he worried about his reputation? Did he care about the gossip? We don’t know the answers to these questions, but we do know that he had the faith to obey what the angel told him to do.

Mary and Joseph were facing risks obeying God’s will. Mary could have been stoned as a woman of ill repute. Joseph could have been pressured into handing Mary over to the townsfolk. They could have said NO! God always gives us a choice. God does not force his will upon any of us. They did not have to obey and do God’s will. They could have said no. Mary could have said that she did not want to be the mother of our Messiah. Joseph could have refused to marry Mary. They had a choice. Think of how different the story would be if either of them had refused to obey.

What if Joseph had refused to move to Egypt and had stayed in Bethlehem or Nazareth? Jesus may have been killed when he was a child. It doesn’t say if Joseph or Mary ever wavered in their faith. Being human, I’m sure they moments of hesitation. It seems as if they immediately surrendered those thoughts to God and moved on with the plan of our Father. They trusted God with their lives and with the life of this miracle child.

Do I have that faith? Will I obey even when facing risks? Will I trust God to provide? Will I trust God with my life? Will I walk in faith without hesitation or looking back?

I hope so. I don’t think we really know until we are faced with those situations. I pray that I would have the faith to obey God in any situation. I am constantly growing in my faith. I am on a journey of always seeking to grow closer to the Almighty. Obedience is not easy when you face risks, but there are always risks when you step out to do what God tells you to do.

Will you do it anyways? Will you obey God despite the risks? Will you trust God to provide? Will you trust God with your life? Will you walk in faith without hesitation or looking back?

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