Sometimes We Forget To Remember….

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And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Matthew 14:32

We forget when we’re in the middle of the chaos, the calamity, the danger, the darkness, that the same God that just brought us this far, is the same God that’s in the boat with us as He’s coming to us as well.

Many of you have incredible storms, adversity in your life and you may be thinking, God, I did everything right, how did I end up in this storm? Every now and then He sends us into a storm to test us and to show us that there’s more in us than we even know or realize. It’s often in a storm that Jesus will come to us in a form that we don’t even recognize. They thought He was a ghost but it was the same Jesus that had just been on the mountain with them all day dividing fish.

The same God that has brought you this far is the same God that’s going to take you to the other side—the same God that has done those miracles in your life before is the same God that’s with you in that storm right now. He will give you the grace and protection to get you through—just don’t take your eyes off Him. The disciples picked up the remnants of the miracle of feeding the 5,000 men (estimated around 15,000 including women and children). Take the remnants of the miracles before the storm into the storms of the future and into your life every single day. God has brought you through some stuff. Just take a few minutes to stop and think of what He’s done before….brought you through….a sickness healed….relationship restored….some open doors that He made happen for you.

Remember that the same God that brought you through that is the same God that will bring you through this. Praise is your weapon.

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You are qualified, and you have the resources

20130115-071443.jpgMany have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4)

Luke wasn’t an apostle. He didn’t have his own first hand account of Christ, yet he pens a Gospel that declares Jesus Christ as the Messiah. How many times have we talked ourselves out of being a witness for the Lord because we didn’t feel qualified? Luke shows us that if we use the resources we do have, we can proclaim Christ effectively too. And besides, it’s God who qualifies the called! He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

We have so many resources, and chief among them would be our Lord who gives wisdom to those who ask for it and seek hungrily after it. We have the Bible….the Word….His Word. We have people around us, commentaries, everything literally at our fingertips in this day and age. I wonder if any one of the New Testament Christ followers were here today, how amazed they would be that we have the ability and resources to lean into teachings from great leaders from around the world within seconds. At our fingertips we have the resources to reach people everywhere around the globe with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Luke was a “beloved physician” and a Gentile. He came to know Jesus, and went out to give Him away. He fell in love with the Great Physician and knew the world around Him needed Him too. God had placed within him a need to pass along a healing, and now he knew the Great Healer Himself. His skills of observation and analysis helped him come to the greatest diagnosis in his life: the Good News of Jesus Christ is true!

Our spiritual growth has to involve our digging into God’s Word so that we can understand who He is and what His will is for us. If you’re struggling with knowing what Gods will is for your life, how much time do you spend with Him, talking with Him, in His Word? How much do I really love Him if I don’t want to spend time with Him? I will have a faithful devotional life or I will be a backslider

Let’s follow Luke’s example and dig in…go deep….into the Word. Begin where you are. Both baby steps and big steps are still a beginning. Learn. Grow. But, also tell. We can’t be selfish with what God gives us. If we want more, we have to give more. If He can give it through you, He will give it to you.

I plan to do a post on my go-to favorites in resources. What are some resources you love and use?

How To Tip: A Day In The Life of A Powerful, Focused Leader

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Even when He is busy, high in demand and hyper-focused on His work, what does He do? What’s the secret to being a powerful, sought after leader with stamina? What can we learn and do in our own lives to be that person too? Let’s lean in and take a look in a day in the life…..

Jesus’ ministry had just begun. He’s in Galilee, preaching the good news. As He walked along, He gathered Simon, Andrew, James and John and they went into the town of Capernaum. Right away Jesus preached a sermon that blew their minds, and then drove out a demon. As soon as they left church, He went to a friend’s house and collapsed on the couch exhausted and took a nap because He was done for the day. WRONG…..he healed Simon’s mother-in-law, who then, in turn, saw to their needs.

That same evening, after the sun had gone down, the WHOLE TOWN came pouring in with their various sicknesses and demon possessed loved ones. Because He had already done His daily deed of preaching a knock-out sermon, gone the extra mile and drove out a demon AND healed that sick woman, He informed them of His office hours, prayed for them and said He would see them then. WRONG….He ministered, He healed their sick, and demon-possessed loved ones.

Whoa…..pause! Can you imagine the exhaustion? I’m a crisis counselor, and I know when I’ve had a “big” day filled with a few heart broken, abused, and hurting people, I am worn out……and I don’t have the whole town at my door…..all in one evening (some days it feels that way). When I’m finished traveling and speaking somewhere, I’m ready to kick my shoes off, and hang loose for a while. And if it’s really late when I’m done, I look forward to sleep.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark (around 4AM), He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. (Mark 1:35)


The very next morning, He didn’t sleep in. He knew to energize wasn’t by sleeping in. He didn’t say, well, God knows I did all that fantastic, powerful, life changing stuff yesterday and will understand that I’m exhausted and sleeping in. He kept His focus. He knew that was the first step to complacency.

You see, that time with the Father is what gives us what we need to do…what we are called to do….when we are called to do it

It’s our power pack. Remember, His desire….ABOVE ALL ELSE….is to spend time with us.

When Jesus was busy, in demand and focused on His work, what does He take time to do in this verse? It inspires me to focus on first things first…..powering up with the Giver of supernatural power. I don’t want to be complacent. I want to be on fire! I want to be a mover and shaker….a person who impacts and changes the lives of others. I don’t want to sit in the stands….I want to be right in there, leaning into all He has for me. I want to encourage, equip, and empower others to do the same. I want to make Kingdom differences. I want to walk in power with the King. I want to be like Jesus. May it be so for all of us reading this, Father, for Your glory!

How does it impact you?

Psalm 1: The two ways and the destiny that follows

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In the first chapter of Psalms, we see in 6 verses, a clear description of two ways of life and the destiny they create. We see the behavior. We see the destiny. We see what is anticipated for those who follow the each way.

What does a person look like that doesn’t follow the advice of the wicked, or do what the sinners around him are doing, mocking God and all He and His people stand for? Happy. And, blessed in all circumstances because God is with them, watching over their way. They know God and are delighted by learning more about Him, and what He wants our lives to be. They think on and apply this to their lives, their decisions, their relationships and are fruitful, blessed and wise. The more they delight in obeying God’s word, the more fruitful they are.

When we apply God’s wisdom, the fruit…..the by-product….will be good. Just as a tree soaks up water and bears fruit, we also are to soak up God’s word, producing actions and attitudes that honor God. And, notice the tree is on a river bank….never thirsty, always filled.

When we allow God to proceed into every area of our lives, we succeed at having the abundant life He plans for us and came to give us.

How happy (blessed) is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the LORD’S instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgement, and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin. Psalms 1:1-6 {Emphasis mine}

What Are You Looking At?

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

I love the book of Hebrews, and I especially love this chapter, and the chapter before it. Their faithfulness is encouraging in Chapter 11. They are our cloud of witnesses. We don’t struggle alone and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won, and we can too! I picture them cheering us on, and then at times when that “thing” happens and we say, “can I get a witness?” they say, “uhhh-huhh”.

What things hinder your race? Because it says, “let us throw off” that means we can. We have it within us as the children of God to throw off and lay dead those things that hinder us from winning with Christ and those things that endanger our relationship with Christ. Drop the dead weight that slows you down, entangles you, and causes you to stop altogether.

Our race has been marked out for us. Why should that comfort you? It comforts me to know that I’m not out here in this marathon of life bumping along in the dark…..a plan marked out for me by Someone who continually tells me and confirms with me His awesome intentions to prosper me and bring me victory…..One who gave His life to make that happen!

It is because of Jesus that we can have faith in a future, and our faith endures and gets better because of Jesus.

Where should we fix our eyes as we persevere? On Jesus! Jesus set the example for us here. He knew the horror and shame of the cross and endured it anyway. Why? For you. For me. He kept His eye on the Prize. His finish line was ever before Him and it consisted of Him sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, and us there with Him! We’ll be in the very presence of God too! Hallelujah! This place isn’t our home either.

We aren’t a body with a soul……

…….We’re a soul with a body

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In Matthew 14:22-23 we see Peter walking on water, and then sinking. We (including me) often talk about Peter’s lack of faith, but let’s look at the flip side. It took enormous faith for Peter to say, “Jesus, if it’s really you, tell me to come out there with you. I’d like to walk on the water too.”

I wonder, would you have had enough faith to step out of the boat onto the water?

Peter’s faith is strong as long as he focuses on Jesus. But when he gets out in the wind and waves, concentrating on Jesus is more difficult. Does your faith seem strong until trouble comes? Strong and fired up at the beginning, and then when struggles come….you dwindle? Perhaps you take your eyes off Jesus and start looking too intently at your situation too.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

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What’s love got to do with it? Ahhh….that huge hair and the growl of Tina’s voice singing in my head. Maybe it’s because of my own huge hair, or the growl my voice has this morning because of this sinus infection…..I don’t know but love is on my mind…..

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love does not demand it’s own way
Love always protects, always trusts
Love is patient, kind and humble
Love bears all, endures all, believes all
Love is forever and it does not fade
Love is a commitment, placing the needs of others above self
Love does not keep a record of wrongs

~BUT~

Infatuation is selfish and proud
Lust demands it’s own way
Infatuation is unkind, easily jealous and possessive
Infatuation is impatient
Infatuation and lust are feelings
Infatuation is temporary–it is weakened by time and separation.

Because God is love (1John 4:8) let’s replace the word love with God in the verses of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 at the beginning of this article

God is definitely committed and His character is stellar. God certainly is patient (SO glad because I sure need Him to be!) and kind to us. He isn’t resentful and wanting to take from us, He gives and gives and gives (Jeremiah 29:11). He always protects, and we certainly can trust Him. His love absolutely endures forever (Psalm 136) and does not fade away. He is totally committed (enough to die for us) and thinks always about us and our needs are definitely above His own (the suffering and death on that cross was horrendous). And hallelujah He does not keep a record of any wrongdoings we have asked forgiveness for (Hebrews 8:12, Psalm 103:12). He is our hope, and finds complete joy, and loves our victories.

Replace the word love with your name. As Christ to the world, we should be described as patient, kind, and humble, committed and standing strong without fading with time or when things don’t go our way. Placing the needs of others ahead of our own, not demanding our own way, and all those other things.

The Greek word for love of an adorable object, especially for love between man and woman is eros. Another Greek word phileo, refers to the love of friendship.

In verse one of this chapter, we see that this is referring to the Greek word, agape (pronounced as “ah-gop-ay”). Agape characterizes God (1John 4:8) and what He manifested in the gift of His Son (John 3:16). It is more than mutual affection; it expresses unselfish esteem of the object loved (me and you). Christ’s love for us is undeserved and without thought of return. The love that His followers show, Paul now says, should be the same.

….The love Christ’s followers show should be the same….

The questions on the floor are…..am I lavishing sloppy wet kisses of this kind of love on God Himself? Do I show Him that I’m madly in love with Him? Am I madly in love with Him? Is this just an infatuation?

And, as a Christ follower, am I treating others this way?

Lord, help us to love the way you love. Gracious, wonderful, loving Father, how I love you! I do adore you and I do lavish my sloppy wet kisses of love over you. I swim in your ocean of grace. Thank You for the everlasting love You pour out for us over and over and over again. If there is anything about my affection for you that speaks of a weak infatuation, I give it up. From this day forward, may the love I have for you, in my marriage, for the people of this world be true, strong AGAPE. Sold out is what I want. Sold out and undone with a new name. I am yours and have eyes for no other. In Jesus name, amen.

All Means All and That’s It: Colossians 1:15-18

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels–everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. Colossians 1:15-18 (MSG)

We look at this Son and see all we need to see. He puts everything and everyone in its place, and holds it all together.

In today’s reading Paul is telling truth after truth, point after point, about Jesus

  • Who He is: as the full representation of God…..the visual image of the invisible God….God with skin on.
  • Where He is: in ranking supreme over ALL things created….seen and unseen….visible and invisible.

    Christ has no equal and no rival!
    This Christ we serve…..
    He is Lord of ALL.
    All means all and that’s it.

  • Here the matter of the worshiping of created things instead of the Creator is dealt with as people were listening to false teaching of worshipping angels.

    At one time or another haven’t we all gotten caught up and before we know it, we place more value on “stuff” than we do Him? Or what about placing more value on people than we do Him?

      (side note rant message of love) That includes you, married woman, who expects out of your husband what only Christ is to do for you. Marriages will have a complete turn around when we go to Christ to fulfill us instead of expecting our husbands to. Christ completes you, not your man. Ohhh, what pressure we sometimes put on our husbands! Sister, that hole in your heart is God-shaped, and he can’t fill those God-sized shoes. He just can’t. If you have prayers for your marriage that haven’t been answered, maybe it’s because you’re asking God to allow your husband to do what He wants to do for you. Change your perspective, and ask the right questions and watch Him do His thing.

      That includes you, single woman, placing a desire (and obsession) for a man in your life over the desire for THE Man that’s already there.

      Let’s turn this thing around (otherwise known as repenting 1John1:9)

    The Greek word Prototokos is used in these verses, one meaning of this word is the preeminent authority over the resurrection of the dead. All who trust Christ will also defeat death and rise again to live eternally with Him (Jesus jigging!! Whew glory!!)!

  • What He does: as our sustainer. Everything is held together by Him, protected and prevented from disintegrating into chaos. Daily we trust Him to protect us, care for us, and sustain us….strengthen us, support us, and uphold us.
  • Christ deserves first place in our hearts, all our thoughts, all our activities, the entire church. First place is His.

    Lord, thank You for all You do….seen and unseen to care for me. Thank You that you reign supreme because that means all things are in the right hands. May I always keep first things first….and that’s You….upfront and in charge. In Jesus name, amen

    I love you deeply. Walk in worship of the true King.

    Rescued and Redeemed, walk in it: Colossians 1:13-14

    For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

    We have been rescued! We needed rescuing from the domination of the enemy. His ways are meant for our destruction and harm. Let’s speak the truth….he’s after us.

    Thanks to Jesus and His redeeming forgiveness of the cross, we reside under his dominion no more!!

      God rescued us from darkness to light….
      from slavery to freedom….
      from guilt to forgiveness….
      from hell to heaven….
      from the power of satan to the power of God.

    The enemy no longer has any dominion over us. We are freeeeee!! Thank You Jesus! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Sweetest name I know!

    Paul mentions we are rescued AND redeemed:

    Rescued: to save someone from a dangerous or distressing situation; keep from being lost or abandoned; to set free from danger; a deliverance

    Redeemed: Do something that compensates for poor past performances or behavior; to recover ownership by paying a specified sum

    Isn’t that cool? Rescued and redeemed….that’s what we who accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior are! Saved and set free……paid for and under the power of a great and wonderful God!

    Any bondage we are in is by our own doing.


    My husband puts it like this:

    Imagine being raised by a mean man….mean to the core. This man continually tells the child, “You can’t do this, you can’t do that.” or, “You must do this, you must do that.” One day this man dies, and that child is on his own. He comes to know that the old man was wrong about everything he said; that there is freedom in Christ that’s been there all along.

    We need to start listening to the right Man! You see, we are co-heirs with Christ. This means everything Jesus has, we now have. Everything. We have put ourselves in bondage to things in this world that we are free of.

    You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

    (For more in relation to the former life read Ephesians 4:17-32)

    But before we can have a former life, we have to gain a new life in Christ. I ask you now, if your life ended today, would you go to heaven? The Bible tells us all about how we can claim our salvation: read here and then come back and tell us about it, and let us celebrate with you.

    Our sin debt is paid. We have been redeemed and and rescued. Our sins have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west to be held against us no more(Psalm 103:12). Let’s walk in it!

    There’s an awesome song that speaks so well what we’ve talked about today. Go here and allow this song to speak to you in worship of our risen Savior.

    I love you deeply. Walk freely with the King.

    Don’t quit yet….He’s got cha pepper: Colossains 1:11-12

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    “being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:11-12

    Here, Paul is continuing his prayers for the Colossian believers.

    I don’t know about you, but endurance is what I need. At times I loose my pepper, a term my old track coach used to use.

    Starting off is never hard for me…it’s the ‘keeping on’ as I round another lap, and another, and another I wonder if I’m ever going to be able to finish with the pepper. As I run and am pelted with this spiritual attack, that spiritual attack….the utter beatings from the enemy as we serve others….the times as a woman you never ‘get’ return for all you ‘give’. When we still haven’t seen a breakthrough on that thing we’ve prayed about forever….Sound familiar?

    My coach taught me to stop thinking about when the race would end. With each lap, he would say, “you can give me just one more” and I could. I could give one more. At the end of the next lap, he would say, “just one more Christy” and I would run again. Endurance is what he wanted. He was training me in endurance to be a great long distance runner. He didn’t want me thinking about the other runners, he wanted me to finish….one lap at a time. And I did. Every time, and greatly so.

    In my own strength I get impatient, wanting to see the results quickly. I’ve run long, and now I want to see the results, I’m tired. He supplies the patience to wait….and the endurance to keep running.

      Being impatient is what causes us to give up…we want our way, and right now. If not right now, then we quit.

    God gives us all the strength, endurance and patience we need for this life…and has enabled us to share in the SAME inheritance with all the saints in His Kingdom of light. Ohhhh, how I joyfully thank Him…because I don’t know about you, but, I sure ain’t saintly!

      I thank Him for giving me what I don’t deserve….an eternity with Him paid for me by His own Son!! Whew! That makes me do the Jesus jig!!

    Talk about keeping the pepper! We WILL keep the pepper by His glorious and mighty power!

    With the joy of our salvation we run. We run with His gloriously mighty power…and with the pepper….and we don’t stop….and we completely go…… and keep going until the glorious day we are with Him in the Kingdom of light. He is faithful to complete the work He began.

    Lord, I thank You. I thank You for the joy of my salvation. I thank You that You created me, died for my salvation, and give me all the strength, power, and endurance I need for my life here on this earth. What an awesome God You are. I adore You. I am Yours. In Jesus name, amen.

    To know God Better and Better: Colossians Study

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    “For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
    Colossians 1:9-10

    Today’s reading from Colossians speaks about a great desire I have and something I seek daily. I too pray continuously for spiritual wisdom and understanding.

    To have great spiritual wisdom and understanding is worth far more than any earthly riches! Because with this comes full and complete knowledge of God’s will, and who doesn’t want to know God’s will?

    Then, because we know HIS will and do it, the way we live will always honor and please the Lord, and our lives will produce every kind of good fruit. I deeply desire to bring a smile to Daddy’s face!

    All the while we will be growing as we learn to know God better and better……oh, what sweet words!

      “To know God better and better”

    Doesn’t that sound just heavenly? To get closer and closer to HIM. To get cheek to cheek with HIM. Beautiful.

    So, if we take our cue from Paul (and we definitely should) here’s what we need to pray for ourselves and each other:

  • We understand what God wants us to do. Then do it.
  • Gain spiritual wisdom
  • Honor and please God
  • Produce every kind of good fruit
  • learn to know God better and better
  • I’m praying this right now