If You Are Struggling To Hear From God

after some time in prayer, you want to minister to someone else who is struggling.  We work best when we work in community. I believe it is the perfect example of how our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit work.

I had some great reminders today as I ministered to some folks.  As I encouraged them, I heard God speaking to me. When I first started this journey months ago, I had some real fears. I was afraid of drawing. My heart pounded at the thought. It was something I had never done before and was sure I had not talent for it.

Eight months later, the thing I feared has become my love. I love drawing.

So whatever you are afraid of.

Whatever you think is about to overtake you.

Let it.

It is the thing that is going to bless you the most.

By facing this fear and trusting God, He has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined. Stop struggling and go help someone who can’t do anything for you. You will find in those moments, God will speak clearly to you.

Let go and Trust God.

Day 18

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The Only One to Fear

The only thing we should fear in this life is the Lord. He takes a lifetime to teach us that. Amen Somebody!

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My Day

My sister called me fearless earlier this week and it gave me a giggle. I am not fearless. There is something I am afraid of. Whenever I find myself bending to fear something on this earth, I think Revelation 4.  There is a green and red God (for people who have issues with folks who are different than them this may be a problem) who sits on the throne surrounded by four living creatures with eyes in front and back of their head. One day we will all face this. This praise was appropriate for today because He always puts things in perspective for me.

March 11I started the day off with the optometrist because I learned last week I could get treatment for my dry eyes through my insurance. It cost $8 y’all. It was one of those moments that you don’t realize how bad something is until you feel the good. The doctor put drops in my eyes and they felt wonderful. Sometimes you don’t know things are bad until you feel the good.

I took the Rx to the pharmacy and of course the initial drug was our of my price range.

Commercial: I am living like no one else so later I can live like no one else.

The pharmacist was so cool. She found a compatible drug at a cheaper price. We confirmed it with the Dr and I was on my merry way.  Note: pharmacist know how drugs work and are a great source for finding a less expensive brand. Let the experts do their job.

Still learning how to read with my new lined bifocal. Although when I sat down to try them on,  I couldn’t see a thing. I was like “Hey, these don’t work!”  I had put on Hope’s glasses by mistake. Sometimes you can’t see because you got someone else’s stuff. Wait for your own stuff.

Winco is my favorite grocery store. With my photographed shopping list, I remembered the SPAM. My friend and I talk about this at lunch. She said spam is good. After all, she told me about a great place to buy fried fish and she was right. My friends teach me how to eat poor and cook. I got the SPAM, but only two other things on my list. Bhwaaa. Part of the adventure of life is doing things you haven’t done before.

I jump from something I have never tried to something that is a staple. Taco Soup. Fried the ground beef for the soup. I still remember the first time I had taco soup more than a decade ago during a fellowship with my BSF sisters at LABC. It is one of the first meals I cook for my daughter on Spring Break. It will be a great way to sit and reflect on the past year.

This week I finished the Dave Ramsey class, Financial Peace University. It has changed my life. I have found a new confidence in Chris and an excellent financial strategy to guide my financial principles by. I spent time this afternoon working on my list. I am living like no one else, so I can live like no one else.

 

 

 

Watching Me Ain’t Gonna Save You

I put feet to my faith because I know the God I serve is able. There are dozens of people who stay connected to me but do not share the same ideology. These idiots really think we can agree to disagree about things like injustice, discrimination and murder. (Yes, really)

As I talk to the Lord about this, He told me to tell you this. You can’t be saved by watching. Watching me fight the good fight is not going to save you. And as long as there is breath in my body I will always champion humanity. I will always do the things God has for me to do and they are aligned with His word.

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Many of you are on the wrong side of this and you can’t jump ship at the end. The One who judges knows your heart. He can’t just be your Lord sometimes like when you feel safe and secure. You either find your security in Jesus or you don’t. Which begs the question, do you really believe? As we sit in our comfortable homes and watch families being torn apart please know there will be a reckoning. God is just.

 

 

Now let me say, I appreciate knowing where you stand. Because when the earth opens up and swallows you, I will not feel bad for you. He is allowing me to see many of the folks who I thought were Christ lovers are not. The love of your possessions and self care is more important than taking God’s message to the poor. No, for your own security you would rather they are ejected from the country. You can talk any kind of game you want, but what you put your feet to is what counts. You are championing hatred, fear and selfish ambition which are fruits of evil and God promises you will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

I have learned NOT to align myself with people who don’t believe what I believe because you start to become like them. I want to be like Jesus and I can see in this country there are very few like Him. But as I learned in BSF, my citizenship is in heaven. Some of you might want to re evaluate and see if that is where your true citizenship is.

Maybe you are following me cause you want to know what to do. It is time to renounce fear. It is time to stop trying to kick people out of country you don’t even own. Everything on this earth is God’s.  God brought all of these people here to teach us about Himself and we as a nation are rejecting Him. It has to stop. It is kinda like my Mama used to say. You can stop yourself or I can stop you. You don’t want God to stop you.  (IJS)

15 Things I Learned in 2015

I learned a lot spiritually in 2015 and I am sharing it with you. You can look back through my blog if you want the full version, but the cliff notes are below. I got to know God in a way, I have not known Him before.  I look forward to what 2016 holds.

15

Mourning is a process. You have good days and bad days. Own it, but don’t wallow in it. Ecclesiastes 7:2

14

Sometime we wait because the Lord has to take the teeth out of the serpent that is waiting to bite you Psalm 61:4

13

all of the struggles we are currently going through is God cultivating our hearts. He is taking hard dry ground and enabling it to grow something Ezekiel 11:19

12

Sometimes our blessings are in the storm Ezekiel 34:26

11

Remember who I am praying to. Revelation 4 tells me that I am not praying to a really good human being. He sits on the throne with flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Four very scary creatures watch over him.  He is mighty, all powerful and sovereign.

10

We work better together. God put us in community to work together. I am so blessed to be among a group of women who love and serve Jesus.  Hebrews 10:24-25

9

He continually reveals himself to me. He tells me He loves me every day whether I hear it or not.  Deuteronomy 29:29, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:10

8

He trusts us with moments, don’t take any for granted. Some people you are never going to see again. Act like it. Isaiah 43:10

7

When things I want are not in line with what God wants, Be Still. Trust Him. Psalm 46:10, Proverbs 3:5-6

6

Prayer is an effective tool to communicate with Him. James 5:16

5

Until you are dead, it is not too late to start anything. Remember the Sunday School class for women in their 80s.

4

I think God listens to our crappy prayers and decides to teach us a lesson by teaching us we don’t know what we are talking about.

3

Even though some  things do not fit right now, I know that it will all come together because the one who made the plan completes everything.  1 Peter 2:7

2

I need friends who will remind me of God’s faithfulness. Deuteronomy 7:9

1

Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There are lots of scary things on the planet earth, but there is none that I fear above the Lord.  The study of Revelation has given me a grand picture of who it is I worship.  It is not an accident that there are lots of thunderstorms and earthquakes in the area during the year we are studying Revelation. He is giving us an overview before the real thing happens.  Deuteronomy 10: 12-13.

CeCe Winans says it best. Worship Him.

How Do You Get Through Tough Times?

2015 is going down as one of the hardest years of my life. It has also been one of the most powerful years of my life.

This week in the study of Revelation we are looking at our view of God.  Many of us think of God as some better version of ourselves. Why else would we be so flippant in how we approach Him and refer to Him? We think of Him as a buddy or friend.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to listen to some teaching by Francis Chan which approached this subject. I spent some time in Revelation 4 and gave great thought to who this was I am praying to. To be just a black girl about it, “What does He look like?” ( I mean wool like hair? Does that mean He black?)

To be honest, the images in Revelation 4 scared me. I have prayed for Him to help me understand what He wants me to know about these passages.  As I think about facing this mighty powerful God and all of those creatures, it makes my current circumstances seem like nothing. I can face a mountain of earthly circumstances in order to NOT have to face a creature with eyes in the front and back of it’s head who also has six wings. (feathers freak me out) And that is how He works. He takes our circumstances and uses it for His glory.

When Isaiah was mourning the loss of his king, Uzziah, The Lord revealed to him what the real King looked like on his throne with train of his robe filling the whole temple.(Isaiah 6) The Lord met the elders of Israel in the desert and John on the island of Patmos (Revelation 4). What they thought were awful circumstances, changed as they focused on the Creator and not His creation.

Their circumstances took them to the throne of God. My circumstances have taken me to the throne of God.(I have not physically been there) I have watched Him do more than I can imagine in my life this year (Ephesians 3:20). But now, I think about WHO is doing this for me and HOW He loves me unconditionally.

This week we have seen terrorism in France and wonder what will we do to combat such a powerful foe. People are angry and frighten by cowards who kill in the dark. The truth is the cowards are mortal and will die as will their mission. I have read how the story ends. We win. Don’t allow mortal men to cripple you with fear.

Let me tell you, there is a God who sits high and looks low (Psalms 113:5-6). He is not a better version of us (Isaiah 55:8). He is immortal and will judge everyone (James 4:12).

What I have learned in difficult times is that worship can get you through anything. You have to focus on what can really help you. A relationship with Jesus Christ. He can heal any wound any man can make.

I was sick all week, to the point of losing my voice, but the Lord saw me through. He took care of everything.  He writes scriptures on my heart through His actions. When I didn’t have another ounce of energy, He gave me more than I could ask or hope for (Ephesian 3:20).  He deserves all the worship I can I give.

One evening in BSF we were singing Worthy of Worship. I wondered if we would sing this in heaven. (And yes I want to be in the choir for that one). I can think of instances when He has been Father, Creator, Savior, Sustainer and more.

How do you get through the tough times? Worship.

Whom Shall I Fear?

In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah got the opportunity to see God in a whole new light.  The fact that Isaiah hung on to the death of something in his life showed he had experienced great loss. There was something valuable to him that was there no longer. But what he gained was bigger and better than he ever thought possible.  God gave Isaiah a glimpse of who He really is. Once you get a glimpse of who God really is, nothing else matters.

Isaiah needed that moment with God to fill his emptiness.

Once God filled it, Isaiah was ready to minister again. “Here I am. Send me.”

Like Isaiah, I have experienced great loss. I have nothing left to give. God has emptied my coffers so that all there is is me. But all the takers in my life are still trying to take. They are frustrated when there is nothing there to take. They want more of what they were used to getting, but there is nothing. He brought me to this season for a reason. God is my only source, and I have learned contentment. (Philippians 4:11-13)

In my 50th year of life, the Lord is teaching me how to fear Him. It is the beginning of wisdom. Once you get a good picture of who you serve, it puts everything in perspective. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that there are lots of thunderstorms and earthquakes in this area. God shakes our foundations to show us we don’t control anything.

The same God who loved us so much He sent his Son, is also the same God who turns up the earth in quakes and sends us running for cover in tornados. I serve a mighty God and trust Him with all areas of my life.  He shut the mouths of lions for Daniel. He kept the fire from the 3 Hebrew boys. Ain’t nothing out there can touch me, less it go through Him first. If He brings me too it, then He will bring me through it.

If Noah had brought other people on the boat, they probably would have jumped off after 20 days because they didn’t trust what God was doing with Noah. He got to experience God as a destroyer of mankind and as a provider for his family. I know that when this season of life is over for me,  I will be like Isaiah wanting to share all that He has done for me.

God is in control. He knows what He is doing. I believe that His children will not be forsaken.