Knowing you and Embracing you

Becoming a person of authenticity and purpose isn’t easy to do, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, deliberate effort and patience…lots of patience. To become a person of purpose, it’s almost like you’re training for the run of your life or for the fight of a lifetime.

Purpose follows persistence and persistence follows passion.

PASSION –> PERSISTENCE –> PURPOSE

Sometime, you will walk along life’s path and not really have a clue as to what your purpose is, and if you’re seeking that answer, this season of unknowing can be incredibly frustrating!! But, just as I’ve heard Pastor T.D. Jakes preach,

You’ve got to figure out what your passions are. When you figure that out, you’re half way there to finding your purpose! Just continue in that passion. Fine tune your strengths. Figure out your weaknesses and work to improve those areas needed. Get a coach who can challenge you and “get in your grill,” someone who will cheer you and not take “No” or “I quit” as answers. Keep pushing forward until you realize you’re working in your purpose.

Just as a boxer finally knocks out his opponent when he stays persistent in the fight, always looking for the weakness of his foe, and just as a runner finally crosses the finish line when she stays persistent even when her legs scream “just quit,” you will become an authentic person of purpose when you keep on keepin’ on!! 😉

Find You. Know YOU. Embrace you. Become who you were meant to be! You can do this! I believe in you!! 💕

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Fight Right

Too often, we fight the wrong enemy. We fight with the wrong weapons, and then, we wonder why we’re struggling and losing the battle we’ve engaged.

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Wage war with the right enemy, or you will constantly be “spinning your wheels” in conflict but never achieving a resolution. Face your foe with the right weapons, or you will constantly be losing ground and be receiving wound after wound, never winning the victory.

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

No matter the battle, No matter the giant, with God by your side, YOU CAN WIN!!

Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, then who can be against us?”

Fight for Your Life

Sometimes, life is gonna come and kick you in the teeth. It’s gonna hurt. It’s going to be beyond painful. It’s gonna feel like you could die! No, I’m not trying to speak doomsday, and I’m really not trying to be negative. If you haven’t encountered a battle in your life, just keep on living. It’ll come. That’s just life.

Yet, we Christians weren’t called to just lie down and take it! We were not designed to cower in fear and run in retreat when the fire gets hotter! We were never destined to lay down our weapons and walk away from the battle He told us to win!

So, RISE UP! Reforge your sword! Pick up your shield, and walk toward that battle! Reclaim that ground that was lost! Fight for your life and WIN!!

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 5:13, “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.”

Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Ephesians 5:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Fight the Good Fight

This life will have it’s ups and downs. We will have our good days and our bad days. We will have our moments when we feel on top of the world and then the very next moment, we can feel as if our world has come crashing down around us. This is the journey called LIFE. It is what it is.

Sometimes, the lows will be in physical form, maybe a ridicule from a friend, a sickness/disease or an actual assault from an enemy. Other times, it will be an emotional conflict or a spiritual confrontation that we must face. However, the times I have found to be the most difficult are those mental battles the devil will try to wage.

He knows our weak spots, our vulnerabilities, our tender places we try to hide. You know, the ones we so eloquently maintain and cover up that they seem to no longer exist. Yes, when we are allowing Christ to be strong through us, these sensitive areas are shielded by His strength. These liabilities are covered by our shield of faith. However, sometimes, we can start listening to the enemy’s lies, accusations and doubts of our identity in Christ. This is when we lower our shield, and he takes a shot to wound us.

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Just because we serve God, and just because we have been Christians for a long time doesn’t mean tough seasons in life never come. The truth of our faith and Christian maturity is what we do when these hard times come. When we’ve been knocked down on the canvas again, the referee is starting the count, and the crowd believes it’s over, THIS is when it all comes down to truth:  THE TRUTH OF OUR CHARACTER.

These are the moments that matter the most. Will we fight the GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH and lay hold on eternal life, or will we lay down our weapons and quit? Will we finish what we’ve started when we made the confession of our faith in the beginning, or will we walk away and give it all up? It is up to us to decide.

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What we decide will not only effect OUR outcome, but it can leave a legacy behind that affects many generations to come…

Sometimes, you must STAND!

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NEWS FLASH:  Unlike the propaganda that is given to too many young Christians and to those who do not yet know Christ, this life of Christianity is not a bed of roses and land filled with lollipops and yellow brick roads. Serving Christ does not automatically make our lives change to perfection, nor does it make every problem, every temptation and every vile thing in this world to somehow magically disappear. I surely wish it could be so, but it’s just not how this thing works, and if you got saved believing this, I am sure you have wondered more than once why on earth you began this walk of faith…

I can assure you, you will have trials. You will have troubles. You will have tribulations. While Jesus was on this earth, He told us we would. He doesn’t lie, and His Word is always true: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Yet, the first part of that Scripture is on what we must focus: in Him, we will have peace. With His peace that surpasses all understanding, we will be able to stand at all cost.

When we rely on Him, His strength, His power and His might, we will be able to withstand no matter what assails us. Too often, we grow disheartened, either because we have forgotten the proclamation of hard times, we have forgotten His promise of peace, or we simply get tired of fighting and walk away from the destiny that is just across the battlefield. He called us to finish this fight, and He has destined us to win! …and I can assure you, when you stand through the fire, you will come through stronger and wiser for it! 😉

All we must do is keep standing until the end. Will you stand with Him and fight?!

*Personal note to the reader: if you find yourself in the middle of a battle in this life, fighting the enemy, no matter what that enemy may be: drugs, alcohol, lust, pride, vanity, rage, depression, loneliness, abuse, rebellion, lying, cheating, stealing…the list could go on and on… If you find yourself battling, and you want to win, but you don’t know how, just call on His Name! He will answer!! Once you call on His Name, “call out” to someone you know who is stronger than you who can help you, too. Sometimes, God delivers instantaneously, and sometimes, God decides the best deliverance will not be instantaneous but rather a process. Sometimes, you will have to walk a road of recovery. Sometimes, you will have to rely on the Body of Christ to help you through. Trust God to show you. He will guide and direct you as He uses His people to reach to you and help you carry the load…    “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2

 

 

Don’t Move The Goal Posts

Have you ever watched a football game where they moved the goal posts after a tough first quarter? How about a soccer game when the odds are stacked against the home team? Oh, maybe it was that last basketball game, when they moved the goal post over a bit to be more accommodating to the competition. 

No? Well, God doesn’t expect you to move the goal post either. We started this walk of Christianity to finish. We got in this to win the good fight of faith. If He told you to do something; then, it’s in your best interest to do it. When He said to finish the race, He wasn’t kidding. He will help us to finish well. 

Sometimes, we step into this Christian walk, passionate, all consumed with faith and exuberant obedience, and then, all of a sudden, life happens. Things get a little harder than expected, or maybe a lot harder, and we slow down. We question. We doubt. We might even argue with God that this was not what we bargained for. We begin to wonder if it’s worth the struggle, and we’re tempted to lay it all down for a moment of sinful pleasure and for, what seems like, a breath of relief.  

Yet, just because life didn’t unfold in the the easy way we expected, doesn’t change what God has told us. It doesn’t alter His plans or His direction in which He first told us to go. We can’t change the goal posts in the middle of the game, simply, because our opponent is gaining ground. No, we are commissioned to carry on. We are commanded to persevere, to endure till the end, and to take as many with us as we can! 

Remember, the Book is already written. The end is already confirmed. WE WIN! Don’t move the goal posts when you’re this close to scoring the winning point! 

Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Fight To Win

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We, as Christians, are often called “soldiers of the cross;” yet, I wonder sometimes in today’s society, if we know what that really means. We get so caught up in fighting with our children to obey or fighting with our spouse to see things our way or even fighting with our fellow man to follow our opinions and our judgements that I think we might have forgotten where the real battlefield lies and what the real spoils and consequences are.
Just last week, I read a blog by a straight, conservative, preacher’s wife, someone who could be a lot like me, who spent a whole article telling me why she didn’t care about the new bathroom policies at Target, and how “I” (or those who disagree) am not necessarily showing love by boycotting them. I read comments by Christians who hated her for it and atheists who praised her for it. Can I tell you BOTH are wrong?? The one party is killing their own and the other isn’t challenged to change. 

I read other articles in which Christians were ‘killing each other’ with their words and demanding their way to be the right way, while I turn the page in The Voice of Martyrs to read of the pastor’s family who pray for their little church meeting secretly in their war-torn village. I hear of the Body of Christ “fighting and clawing” at each other over this opinion or that, this politician, that official, this viewpoint or that, all the while, reading again in The Voice of the Martyrs, of the pastor who has been arrested for his belief in God and the workers in foreign lands who are desperately sharing the Gospel with the lost, even as it costs them their very lives.

Can I tell you, our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, and it will not be won by our seeking after man’s approval, worldly possessions, or cultural agreement? Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

We cannot fight these enemies with just our opinions and judgement calls, nor with our monetary means, nor by simply being tolerant and kind when they demand us to be. We cannot fight them with the conventional words or actions of man’s wisdom. God’s kingdom doesn’t work this way! Just as David didn’t win the battle with Goliath by following the instruction of Saul (he told him to wear the king’s armor), we cannot win this battle for the next generation by following the instruction of this world!

We must stop focusing on tearing each other down, or even tearing down the sinner in his sin, and focus on the REAL battle. We must return to our prayer closets and get on our knees in prayer! We must return to our days of fasting and our meals of His daily bread. We must redress with God’s Armor and join forces with our fellow brothers and sisters to win this battle! It is up to us to pick up our shields of faith, swing out swords of truth and win for the King of kings and the Lord of Lords! It is time for the Redeemed of the Lord to say so! It is time to let GOD be the victor!!

I believe God is stirring His people back to this. I believe He is rising up an army who are not fighting as the world is fighting. They are fighting this battle in private prayer and with public words of truth. It may not be a popular stand, and it may not win you approval ratings with the crowd, but the lives of our children are at stake, and the lives of those who can be won for the kingdom are weighing in the balance.

We must fight this battle God’s way, and we must fight to WIN!

 

Build Superhero Status


When our boys were little, they were always posing, play fighting, and attacking life as some kind of superhero. Our oldest would dress up in the full Batman mask and cape, ready to face every enemy lurking around the corner; it didn’t matter that we were only going to the store. He was ready for whatever may come! Our youngest didn’t dress up in the cape as much, but he wore out that Batman mask! 🙂

Our children always want to be something great. Let’s let help them. Let’s let them be the heroes they choose, no matter what age they might be. Let’s imagine with them, pretend with them, even believe with them. They are only little once. Those years fly by so quickly. It’s as if I blinked, and now, I see a teen growing into a man and a young boy growing into a teen. I miss those younger years, sometimes, but I know they must grow. I know they cannot stay small forever.

Yet, even as they grow, they still have dreams of being a hero. It might not be Batman, and it may not be Superman, but there are dreams still alive, villains still to be captured and battles still to be won. Find out what those are, and help them not just make it and survive; help them conquer and thrive. Breathe life into those imaginations. Let the dreams live on. Give them the tools to fight those battles and win BIG.

For every Superhero was once a small child. Every mother, every father, for generations past, was once a little girl and a little boy dreaming of the hero they would on day become, and so many still, yet, dream of the hero they once were or the one they desire to be…

 

Go Down to Get Up

God Does Things Backwards… 

He doesn’t do things the way society believe they should be done. He does things backwards from what is expected. 

Flow to Grow

Prune to be Groomed

Serve to Lead

Lay Down to be Raised Up

Be Changed to Be Transformed

Conflict brings Peace

Confrontation Shows Love

Draw close to Him to Go Far in Life

Go Down to Get Up

Give to Get

Surrender to Win

Die to Live

It seems confusing to the world. This isn’t how they succeed. This isn’t how they win. 

You can’t understand it until you live it, until you surrender all to Him. 

It’s not a surrender to become bound…but, yet, it is. 

It’s not a serving to become less…but, yet, it is. 

It’s a letting go to receive. It’s a giving up to become great. It’s a dying to become more. 

I can’t explain some of it; yet, I know He is my lifeline, and without Him, I would be lost. I would fail at this life, and I would die for eternity. 

All He wants is your heart. When you give it, He gives you more love than you can imagine. 

All He desires is your will. When you give it, He gives you more power than you can fathom. 

All He longs for is your life. When you give it, He gives you more fulfillment than you can dream. 

Would you like to see? 

All you have to do is Believe…

The Long Walk Up

Originally posted December 14, 2014… Pray you’re encouraged today…

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425 Steps…Four Hundred. Twenty-Five. That’s a lot of steps…

Walking up those stairs, I realized how out of shape I am! I kept pushing forward, never relenting, but I recognized that I could have been much better prepared than I was. I also recognized I could’ve quit. I could’ve chose not to finish. I could’ve decided to turn around. If I had, I would’ve missed out on the prize: to finish!

Isn’t that how life is sometimes? We just keep going on, through our days, staying busy, fulfilling our agendas and our ambitions for each given day. Then, unexpectantly, something changes. Something presents itself as a challenge. Something proves to be a worthy opponent in this battle of life. So, we face the obstacle(s) which lies ahead, and we press on toward the mark, toward our goal, toward the finish line. If we’re going to win, we must fight.

If we’re going to succeed, we must never give up. We must keep going, even when it hurts. We must press on, even when our knees shake with fear. We must never give up, no matter who is screaming at us, no matter how much we believe we’ve lost and no matter what “they” say, we must keep pushing forward.

Success doesn’t come by giving up. Achievements don’t arrive by quitting. Nothing is ever gained by stopping in the middle or right before the finish line. To win, sometimes, we must give “till it hurts.” To obtain the victory, often times, we shed some “blood, sweat and tears.”

Oh, but when we’ve crossed that finish line, just like the day I climbed to the top of those stairs…my muscles were burning, and my knees were screaming, but when I reached the top, I stood a little taller. I breathed a little deeper, and I smiled a little bigger. I did it. I had made it. I had won. I had achieved the reward of success. Now, that’s a great feeling!

Don’t give up in the middle of the race! Keep pressing in! You can do this! You can make it! You Can WIN!! 🙂

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14