ANGRY WITH GOD

I’ve been angry with God. That’s right, angry with the Almighty. There’s no point in hiding it, He knows.

Well, at least I thought I was angry with Him.

1 Timothy 6:12 says:

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

I realized today I’ve been frustrated and angry with my own faith.

For a year and a half my husband and I have been believing God for certain things. I can’t go into detail about all of it right now but some of these things are simple things. Every door we thought would open for one thing in particular to come to pass has been slammed shut or nailed shut from the other side before we even arrived at it. It’s been frustrating. Just when we think the situation is about to change, it doesn’t. So we continue on in our faith and belief.

We continue to listen to sermons and read material to encourage our faith walk. We stand on scripture knowing what we have asked for is in line with God’s will. As days, weeks, months and the year and a half has gone by, things seem to have gotten worse.

Yesterday I broke. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was bitter. I was ready to give up and did. I was done. Finished. Towel in hand.

We can’t hide from God so I just let Him have it. I threw my temper tantrum, I questioned our situation based on HIS Word.

“God, we’ve been obedient! We’ve believed! We’ve done what you’ve asked us to do! Those things you asked us to do that we didn’t do, we repented and made right! We’ve prayed! We’ve waited! We’ve listened! Why are we being squeezed into nothing?! Why are you allowing this to happen?! Why?! Why is our situation getting worse and not better?! ”

Fight the good fight of faith. Faith is a fight. I don’t know what round I was in yesterday but I lost that one horribly. It was a KO.

We are in a non stop boxing match when it comes to faith. It’s OUR faith that makes us whole and moves mountains. The Word establishes the rules of the match, the Holy Spirit is our trainer, and God is the referee. Jesus, well, he’s in our corner wiping the blood off our faces and squirting water into our mouths and speaking the words of encouragement we need to hear because he’s already been through it.

Today I woke up and talked to God about yesterday (and the past year and a half).

“God, yesterday I was knocked out. I threw in the towel. I was done. I was spent. I was wore out. It was a silly laptop that pushed me over the edge but everything has been building and pushing me to my breaking point. Today, I’m renewing my mind. I’m continuing the fight. I was knocked out but I know according to your Word, who gets TKO’ed, and it’s not me.”

Faith is a fight. And where I felt defeated yesterday because the latest Windows 10 update destroyed my laptop and rendered it useless, the one tool I had to work on the manuscript God has called me write, the fight isn’t over. It wasn’t just about the laptop. It was about every little punch the enemy has hit us with over the past year. I was tired. I needed a break. I needed to lay in the middle of the ring and not move for a while. I needed time to recuperate.

Guess who came back up swinging? Guess who’s still in my corner? Guess who’s rules still apply? Guess who gets the Total Knock Out when all is said and done.

Keep fighting. Get back up. Swing. Don’t download the latest Windows 10 update.

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Miracles Still Happen

I haven’t been writing much lately and I miss it. My time however has been consumed with the arrival of our son, Nicolas. He was born February 24th, healthy and whole.

I wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids. I was told in my early 20’s that it would be a miracle if I ever became pregnant. Well, at age 39, our miracle is currently snoozing in my arms.

I may have shared this before but eight years or so ago I had a dream that I walked into my doctor’s office wearing a green hospital gown and for the life of me, didn’t understand why I was wearing a hospital gown. The next thing I knew I was in one of the exam rooms and I was in labor.

Even in the dream I was confused as to how it was happening. Then, the doctor handed me a little blonde-haired, green-eyed, healthy baby boy. As I looked down at him I heard a voice behind me say, “His name is Nicolas and I sent him.”

I woke up from that dream not knowing what to make of it. I thought maybe my husband and I would adopt one day and that’s what it was about. I held onto that dream in my heart all these years waiting to see exactly what God had in store and this past July when we realized I was pregnant, I knew exactly who I was carrying in my womb. Nicolas.

Dimples photography

He looks just as I remember him. He has blonde hair, and now we’re waiting for his eyes to turn green.

On my 38th birthday I made a promise to myself to be in my best health by the time I was 40. I’ve always tried to live a healthy lifestyle but had some health issues hindering my efforts. Through prayer I found and switched my way of eating to a Ketogenic lifestyle. When I did, all of those health issues dissappeared. Within two weeks my bloodwork was normal again and I felt like a new person. We’ve never looked back and keep moving forward.

I had read that Keto helped many women with infertility issues but it never crossed my mind that it would be the same for me. I had it stuck in my head that I would never have kids and had accepted that a long time ago. However, my daily prayers over my health of being healed and whole…well, I was healed of everything and made completely whole. When God does something, He does it right.

He’s only 13 days old but I don’t know if I will ever not feel overwhelmed holding him…not just holding him but knowing I am holding a promise from God. I get to hold a promise that God showed me over eight years ago after believing for almost 20 years that it was impossible.

If God can do this, He can do anything. There are things I’m believing Him for right now that seem truly impossible but I’m reminded with each feeding, each diaper change, each cry, each smile, each coo, each look, that with God all things are possible.

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5 KJV

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26 KJV

A Moment in the Garden

A Moment in the Garden

Playing worship music and letting it drift through the house. Praying in the Spirit relentlessly. Speaking scripture out loud to remind you of God’s goodness and provision. Attending every church service listening for the Word God has for you specifically. Standing in faith. Seeking things out that line up with what you have been believing for.

These things only go so far.

Yes, they only carry you so far.

How can I say that? Because I’m as far as I can get by doing all of this and it has carried me to the garden.

What garden am I talking about? The same one that Jesus sweated blood in.

If you read the story of the events leading up to the crucifixion in Luke chapter 22, you will come to the place where Jesus went to pray in the garden of Gethsemane. This is where he prayed so hard his sweat dripped as blood. This happens after an angel appears to him and strengthens him.

This is Christ, the Anointed, in such distress that he is sweating profusely because he knows what he is about to endure. He’s so distressed over it that he even asks God to remove this responsibility from him if possible.

I’ve been meditating on this story this week among others. I’ve been in prayer for weeks over a few situations in my life. Wednesday on the way to church, I was aggravated, angry, frustrated, beat down, fed-up, and then some.

I told my husband, “I’m tired of praying about it.” What IT is will be revealed at a later time and this will probably make more sense, maybe.

I wanted to throw in the towel. I felt like a failure as a Christian for reaching that point because of a teaching that I realize now we get off in a ditch with: count it all joy.

I hear many Christians give this advice when their brothers and sisters are in the garden when really what they need is compassion and a hug.

I don’t know where it says Jesus was laughing in the garden. I don’t know where it says Abraham went skipping up the mountain with a smile on his face telling Isaac to “Keep up! This is going to be awesome!” I don’t see where Noah was celebrating the death of the entire world with the exception of those allowed on the ark. I haven’t read where Mary went running out into the streets yelling, “I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant!”, pushing her belly out for those nearby to feel the kicks of our coming Savior.

But did they count it all joy?

Yes.

They still had their moment in the garden though. They still had the moment of feeling the weight of their responsibility bearing down on them. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing people tell me, laugh it off, count it all joy, be happy, smile, and what not.

That is not what “count it all joy” means. James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”

If we continue in verse 3 it says, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her prefect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

It means that when we are working our way through tough situations, know that on the other side God’s glory will shine through.

When people tell me I shouldn’t be sad or have a moment of crying or despair, because I should “count it all joy” it makes me feel like I have failed as a Christian. It becomes a stumbling block to me.

I realized this week, even Jesus had his moment in the garden. There were other times he had a moment…he wept, he was angry, he had compassion, he showed love, he was frustrated…but the most important part…

…He sinned not.

He never sinned in these situations. We can have our moments of despair and crying and frustration and we can even tell God how we are feeling without a smile on our face.

That’s what He is there for. He’s our Father. We cry out to Him. We tell Him our heart.

When we tell others they should count it all joy, without compassion or understanding, during the season or situation they are in, we become their stumbling block and convict them of what they are going through instead of leading them to Christ in it.

Counting it all joy is knowing that God has it handled. In my situation that I’ve been praying about, I know that I know that I know that God’s got this but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean I don’t need His strength. It doesn’t mean I can’t grow in the things of Christ.

I reached a low point and said I was tired of praying about it and heard the Holy Spirit say, “but God’s not tired of hearing about it.”

He’s there ALL THE TIME. He’s LISTENING to every word we speak. He does not leave us, He does not forsake us and He’s working all things out for good. When we reach our lowest, He wants to be there and we have to let Him. It brings us to a point where He becomes our everything. We have to cry out for Him. We have to keep our relationship with Him and not turn away because we feel ashamed that we couldn’t keep a smile on our face.

He doesn’t want fake.

He wants a real relationship with you.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

For the JOY that was set before him but yet he had a moment in the garden where he cried out to God! He knew the resulting joy of the situation and still cried out!

I know the joy that is coming in my situation. I know the testimony that is coming. I still had a moment in the garden. I was a mess earlier this week and then today, in prayer, with a second wind given to me by God, my Father, he had me laughing in the Spirit.

My situation looks the same as it did yesterday. Nothing has changed except I cried out to Him yesterday and today He gave me joy.

 

Luke 22:44 (KJV) And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Psalm 30:5 (KJV) For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

 

PUPPET SHOW

PUPPET SHOW

I am a day late in this blog post but not really. I knew there was a piece God was going to reveal to me and it wasn’t revealed until this morning during my prayer time.

Yesterday while I was praying, I asked God a question. I asked Him why it always seemed to be when we are a crying mess, slumped over on the floor, before He picks us up.

I immediately had a vision of a marionette doll.

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You know, think of Pinocchio before he became a real boy…held up by strings and only able to move when the puppeteer chose to move him.

I asked God what He meant by showing me this.

During my prayer time I have Pandora playing on the TV in the living room with worship music. When I asked God what He was trying to convey with the marionette, Break Every Chain by Jesus Culture was playing.

I heard the lyrics:

There is power in the name of Jesus

To break every chain

I began to see Jesus cutting the cords, one by one, on the marionette doll.

As one cord was cut, it was obvious the remaining attached cords took on more stress and had more weight to carry.

It wasn’t pretty either. Where it appeared the doll was held up evenly before, as a cord was cut, an arm hung down at a weird angle. Then a leg dragged the ground as another cord was cut, causing the elbow of the other arm to jut out at a weird angle.

Eventually all the cords were cut except one, the one holding the head up. The body of the marionette hanging limp.

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All of the weight of the body of the doll was being held by one cord which eventually broke and the doll fell to the floor in a heap.

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Then I watched the hands of God scoop up the doll, no cords attached

This is why we end up a crying mess, slumped over on the floor, before He picks us up. He’s breaking the chains.

He can’t pick us up until those chains are broken. Those chains control us and He has called us to live in freedom.

Romans 3:24 (KJV)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

We collapse under the freedom we gain when we are made righteousness in Christ.

Those things that held us in bondage and controlled us no longer have a stronghold over us. We are let loose.

Today during my prayer, he brought me to a place in the Word that confirmed my vision yesterday.

Proverbs 5:21-22 (KJV)

For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

 

Only Jesus can cut those cords, break the chains. He is living water. He is a life-giver. We are made righteousness through his obedience to the cross.

We feel defeated when we find ourselves in a crying heap in the floor but now you know and have knowledge that it is in this place that God can pick us up and we are free from bondage.

No more chains.

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Get blessed.

 

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If you would like to purchase one of the three currently available Bible study workbooks, please click the image below.

A sample page of how the study is formatted is also below. I hope you are as blessed by these as I was creating them.

cover page 110716 COVER EPHESIANS COVER

 

SAMPLE PAGE.  ALL OF THE WORKBOOKS FOLLOW THIS FORMAT.

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If you do order a workbook, or have already, I would love to hear feedback. These are meant to simply get the reader into the word which is why there is no commentary, simply questions to help the user examine what he or she is reading and room to write your responses and thoughts. That was the goal God put on my heart when he gave me the task of creating these workbooks and making them available.

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.