NOW AVAILABLE – NEW RELEASE

NOW AVAILABLE – NEW RELEASE

I am pleased to announce the release of my first poetry collection – Seasons: A Cluster of Poetry.

What is different about this poetry collection? I’ve included an explanation of the inspiration behind each poem. I’m always curious as to what inspires others so I decided to share mine.

There are 5 signed limited edition broadsides available through my Etsy store as well which are poems included in this collection.

 

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

 

Enjoy!

Misty

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Top of the Mountain

Top of the Mountain

Yesterday, July 4th, my husband and I went hiking in Cloudland Canyon, GA. It’s been 5 or 6 years since we have been there and I’m not sure why since it’s right in our back yard and one of the prettiest places around here.

 

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According to his fitness tracker, by the time our day was finished, we had climbed the equivalent of almost 40 flights of stairs. It only counts the ascension, not the descension. If you have never been, there are a few different trails that lead down into the canyon to the bottom of waterfalls and a majority of the trails are man-made stairs.

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We have had heavy rains in the last week including yesterday morning so water was falling everywhere and it was beautiful. Best time to go.

We hiked the overlook trails and stood on the wooden fenced in cliffs overlooking the Tennessee Valley. Breathtaking. It looks and smells so much better from up there.

 

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I was thankful I took an extra pair of shoes because the ones I started out in provided me with a nice blister on the back of each heel. I need to invest in some lightweight summer hiking shoes.

We hiked down to Cherokee Falls to dip our toes in the rushing water, which felt nice on the puffy blisters as well. We watched a crayfish climb all over a submerged rock, hanging on for dear life as the water gushed over it.

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Cherokee Falls, Cloudland Canyon, GA

 

After we came back up from Cherokee Falls we decided to drive around the rest of the park to check out the disc golf course and fishing pond. We parked and started towards the fishing pond trail, unsure how far out the pond actually was.

There were no other people in this part of the park and it was eerily quiet on the path. My husband even commented how little wildlife was around. We heard some cicadas but that was it. Not a squirrel or bird in site. We also noticed that yet again, we were headed down meaning our walk back would be up.

When we reached the end of the trail that opened up into a large field, watch tower and the pond, it was serene. Dragonflies were zipping around and the uncut grass tickled my ankles.

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We decided it was time to call it a day and begin heading back home. By this time I could feel the burn in my calves and thighs from the canyon hike we had already accomplished. I was feeling good though because I hadn’t used my inhaler at all. I have mild asthma and I remember the last time we hiked the canyon, I was not in the shape I am now and I weighed 40 pounds more. It was horrible to say the least. I thought I would never catch my breath and that I would explode from exhaustion right there on the trail in front of everyone.

This time, the ascension was still a workout but not like it was before. I know my health has improved and I’m rebuking asthma one hike at a time. Another amazing feat for this hike was the fact that on Tuesday evening, earlier last week, I could barely walk. I had aggravated a bulged disc in my lower back and was not doing so well. Again, prayer and knowing the Word and what it says about healing, had me back on my feet by Friday.

On this last leg of the hike back to the car, as we were climbing the trail, the Holy Spirit began ministering to me about this season I’ve been in. If you have kept up with my blog, you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about. If not, I’ll quickly give an explanation.

I’m in a season that I’ve never been in before. I’m in a career transition that has required me to step out in great faith, partly by choice and partly by force. As I’m typing this, I realized it’s like hang gliding tandem. You want to hang glide but you can’t do it on your own the first time. You have to fly tandem. It’s in those moments of stepping off the concrete pad that even if you wanted to stop, you couldn’t because your trainer has built the momentum and is jumping whether you like it or not. We stopped on top of Lookout Mountain at the flight center on our way home yesterday to admire the view and just realized how it played into the lesson God was teaching me all day yesterday.

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Anyways, back to the last part of the hike. As we were heading back towards the car, my lungs were beginning to burn which usually happens right before I have to use my inhaler. I slowed my pace a bit and we took a couple of breaks so I could catch my breath and regulate my breathing. I had made it that far and I didn’t want to resort to the inhaler, I wanted to stand firm in my faith and on the Word.

At the beginning of this season, I was led to read the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22). The focus this entire time has been his obedience in climbing the mountain. All along I knew this was a “mountain” I’ve been climbing but yesterday things just clicked. There have been some really good days these past few months but there have been some really rough ones as well. Days where my faith was slipping, like I did yesterday in the silty sand where the rain had created some slippery conditions. I didn’t fall though and I kept on hiking. Those rough days I slipped but I kept on hiking – kept on building my faith.

The hike down into the valley was pretty easy and going down there we knew we would have to come back up and it would be a little more difficult than descending. The view in the canyon was spectacular but so was the view from the top of the mountain.

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As we headed towards the car on that last little hill, I saw our car off in the distance and I thought about how close I am to having my heart’s desires. I can see it off in the distance. I’ve hiked down to the canyon of this season and I’ve been climbing back out for a while. There are times I’ve had to stop and catch my breath. There are parts that have been harder than others. There are times my footing has slipped but the goal has not changed and I have continuously pressed towards the mark.

The times I thought I had failed on this journey were not failure, they were just part of the hike. When we stood at the bottom of the canyon watching the water rush by, it was peaceful. When we stood on the overlook cliffs viewing the valley down below, it was peaceful. The hike in-between the two points, we learned. We learned where to put our feet to keep us safe. We learned about the rock formations because my husband is a Geologist and every hike is a science learning opportunity. We learned what shoes to wear and not to wear. We learned how much endurance we had. We learned how hard we could push ourselves. Most importantly, we learned how beautiful and important every step of the journey really is.

I don’t think  I would ever actually hang-glide but I’ve reached that jumping off point and God is my trainer. He’s my tandem partner. He’s pushing and I’m strapped in about to view it all from above.

Climbing the mountain takes time. It may even require a few breaks here and there. You will more than likely lose your footing in the slippery areas. Always remember though, it’s just as beautiful at the bottom as it is at the top and it’s up to you how much you learn along the way.

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Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

 

 

DEAD MEN DON’T SPEAK

DEAD MEN DON’T SPEAK

Ever hear a dead person speak?

I’m not talking about seances…that’s a topic for a different day and those aren’t dead relatives you are talking to.

I’m talking about a Word I received from the Holy Spirit during my study time this week.

Those were the exact words I heard, “Dead men don’t speak.”

This week, and last, I have been reading through the book of Acts. My personal general Bible study consists of an open Bible, a specific journal to take notes in by chapter and an open browser next to me if I need to research something quickly as I study or look a word up.

There are times I am studying a topic in-depth and it includes all of those things plus my stack of books consisting of my Strong’s concordance and Vines dictionary along with a few different translations of the Bible.

God put it on my heart a couple of weeks ago to study in the book of Acts, so I am. Wednesday, as I was reading, I came to Chapter 9, verses 3-6:

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

It was verse 5 where I heard the Holy Spirit speak the words “Dead men don’t speak.”

v. 5 – And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 

We as a Church, throughout all lands, are taught that Jesus is alive. We are told this. We speak it. We read it. We accept it, but do we realize it? Do we live it? Do we know it?

I kept reading that verse over and over again. There was revelation in the fact that Jesus really is alive.

In this verse he is talking to Saul (later known as Paul). Yeah, that guy that killed a whole bunch of Christians, sought them out, imprisoned them, tortured them, treated them as trash. That guy.

Jesus himself speaks to him on the road to Damascus. He not only speaks to him, he confronts him. He says, while shining a bright light in his face (paraphrased), “Hey man, why are you bullying me? What’s your deal?”

Saul, as a typical bully would do, cowers down and doesn’t know what to think. He asks who it is that is speaking to him. I mean, wouldn’t you want to know who it is if you heard a voice but couldn’t see who it was coming from? That’s always the first question, “Who is that?” Better yet, as we used to yell as little kids, “Who goes there?”

Jesus answers him. He says who he is (again, paraphrased), “Yo, it’s me, Jesus. The one you keep bullying…? Duh. I’m tellin’ ya, you are about to get got”

“Get got” is a phrase my husband and I use to express the danger brought on by one’s self in a situation, for those who need clarification.

Jesus basically warns Saul that he’s going to feel the ramifications of his persecution of Christians in a mighty way if he doesn’t knock it off. 

Here is where it gets interesting. How can Jesus speak to him if he’s dead? He can’t! Jesus lived, was crucified, DIED on the cross and then was raised from the dead and LIVES standing at the right hand of God.

This comes after all of that happened. Saul is on the road to Damascus and this is after the crucifixion of Christ. He had to be resurrected and has to be alive in order to speak to Saul. The men with Saul heard his voice as well but couldn’t see him.

This is why the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Dead men don’t speak.” I said, “Lord, I know this, why are you showing me this?”

The response – “Because the Church needs revelation in this.”

Wow. We sure do. Do we live and act like Jesus is alive or do we just say he is?

Do we serve a LIVING God or do we just pretend to?

Do we rejoice and claim our victory through Him or do we just put on a smile and go about our business?

In Galatians 2:20, Paul (that Saul guy who is now saved and serving God) said he was crucified with Christ. What does that mean? Jesus could easily look at him and say, “Paul, you don’t pour my cereal.”

Paul wasn’t up on one of those trees hanging by his hands and feet. He wasn’t lashed so bad that his skin was ripped from his back. He wasn’t buried in a tomb. How in the world was he crucified with Christ?

Because Christ took it all, for all, and LIVES. He lives at the right hand of God. He lives on the inside of each of us. He lives. He lives. He lives.

Start acting like it.

Start talking like it.

Start living like it.

Get blessed.

 

I knocked the devil upside his big stupid head…

I knocked the devil upside his big stupid head…

A bright sunny day. Warm waves at the beach. A soft breeze. The moment the sky throws all tints, tones and shades of violet across the horizon just before the sun goes down. A peaceful walk in the park. The laughter of old friends catching up in the distance. Petting playful puppies. A perfect hair day. A smile on everyone’s face you encounter through your day.

 

What’s that phrase we used in elementary school? Gag me with a spoon.

 

I am an observer. Always have been. I’ll observe people before I speak to them if I am afforded the opportunity. I will observe a situation before I enter in to it or comment on it. Through observation I have saved myself a lot of trouble and headache over the years and other times I’ve caused myself headaches and trouble by not listening to that “inner voice.”

 

Those images in the first few lines are images of how I used to view Christians. Even though I have always been a believer, there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t go to church and I didn’t associate with other believers. Why? It all seemed so fake to me. Nobody could be that happy all the time. I didn’t want fake, I had enough of that. I wanted real. I wanted the real God. I have spent 38 years continually seeking Him. The older I get and the more I seek Him, the more I realize how little His own people know about Him. I realize how little I know about Him with each revelation I discover in my relationship with Him.

 

Regardless, He loves me. Regardless, I love Him. Regardless, He loves you too.

 

I’ve realized over the last 10 years, I want to be that believer that is happy all the time and it makes me angry when I lose my joy. Yes, I’m a Christian and I’m not happy all the time. I should be, but I’m not. I want to be though. I spent too many years unhappy in life and when I gave my life back to Christ, it was because I was tired of being unhappy. That’s the reality of it and I’m not candy coating my walk with Jesus. I want non-believers to see a true walk. A real walk. The struggles. It was the only way I found God again…by seeing that believers were no different than I was except they had a hope I didn’t have: Him.

 

I am a firm believer in speaking things out as though they are even when circumstances point in the complete opposite direction. That’s called faith, the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).

 

I have had a giant “thorn in my side” that has been causing me trouble for a few months now. It’s something I keep stumbling over and losing my joy over. I think I’m doing good and then POW! An uppercut to the chin. Last night was a TKO. I let it all pour out to God, every doubt, every fear, every angry thought, all of it. That’s what He’s there for, right? For us to give it all to Him and I did. I gave it all to Him because I trust Him. I know when I talk to Him about the things bothering me, He’s already at work on them. I had to get it off my chest. He really is the best counselor and advisor but most of all, the best listener. Unfortunately my husband came home from the gym and caught the tail end of it while I was still, metaphorically speaking, laying in the floor kicking and screaming. I needed his words of encouragement as well though. Next to God, he’s my best friend and best support system.

 

We fight the good fight. What do you do in a fight? You swing your fist! This morning I took a swing at the devil and knocked him upside his big stupid head. Don’t go around punching people, this is not what I mean. How did I knock the devil upside his head? With the sword of the Spirit…the Word of God. I know what the Word says and I have to stand on it. I have to cast down the thoughts of fear and doubt with the Word and keep God’s promises ahead of me.

 

A fight is not an easy thing. It’s not beach front walks and butterflies all around. A fight is ugly with blood and spit flying everywhere. A fight wears the competitors out. Someone eventually gets knocked down. Who is it going to be? The one who has the most strength, most training and is quick enough on their feet to dodge the blows. It’s a combination of all of these things.

 

As a believer, as a Christian, how do I train? Where do I get my strength from? How do I make sure I’m quick enough to dodge the blows of the enemy?

 

  1. TRAIN – Read the Word. It has it all in there. Seek out the Word. Read it every day. Train myself in His ways so when the punch is coming, I know how to duck and which way to duck so I don’t get goosed. That made me laugh, sorry. I had an image of me and a bunch of other believers sitting in a circle and the devil just walking around yelling, “Duck…Duck…Goose!” and knocking me upside the head. That’s what I went through last night. We don’t have to though. We can duck. We can train ourselves in the Word so we see it coming and can duck out of the way.

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

 

  1. STRENGTH – My strength comes from Him. I don’t have to handle things on my own. My faith in Him allows me freedom to be strong. He renews me. He strengthens me. He picks me up when I do get knocked down and keeps me going.

 

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

  1. QUICKNESS – I may find myself backed in to a corner sometimes. I may feel fear and doubt creeping its way towards me. What do I do? I follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. I listen for His voice and take direction. That should be my first course of action.

 

Galatians 5:25 (KJV) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

You may feel like you are in a never-ending game of duck-duck-goose, but you can change the rules. You can fight back. I did. I may have thrown a tantrum last night but this morning I was reminded of who I am in Christ and I told the devil where to stick it.

 

I bet there is going to be a pretty sunset tonight…

 

 

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.