Thanks for visiting my blog! I pray that you get something out of my being transparent and that God will continue to use me even to speak to one!! Feel free to click follow or follow by email! Be blessed... and transparent!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Transparent Concealer

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 NKJV

So, my daughter has become this guru of different make up techniques and how to apply stuff I never even heard of before. It's taken me some time to get used to her wearing makeup as she is my youngest and is so small that she could pass for a 12 year old! But it's what she likes so I pour into her the difference between displaying make up and concealing things she doesn't want known... 

Hence the name, Transparent Concealer... I am not a makeup person at all but I have plenty of masks that I wear on a daily basis with no application process at all! Don't believe me? When I am driving and someone cuts me off or speeds up just to get in front of me and then slows down? Instantly my offended and road rage mask comes on. When I am not getting attention like everyone else, my pity party mask comes on. When I feel alone but don't want to share with anyone, that "I'm just peachy" mask comes straight on! 

We each have something that we would like to hide, conceal from God and others. Many of us have done a spectacular job of doing just that. We hide issues in our marriages so that when divorce is afoot, many are shocked about it, when you finally speak up about your depression, no one even suspected that you were struggling, not even the woman across the street that suffered for years that you could've walked alongside of. Many masks for many issues. But what Jesus wants is for us to be plain with our issues. I love the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Many don't connect with her story, itself, because the common thought is that her issue was that she was bleeding. But when research is done on how women with blood issues were treated back then, it was more than just blood that she was losing. She lost money, she lost friends (I'm sure), and she lost time. She was isolated. I know that because she crept through the crowd to get to Jesus and did it very low because she touched the HEM of His garment. There is no hem in the middle or waist or side. A hem is at the bottom or the top. It's where the clothing begins or ends. She stretched out her hand to touch the hem and reached Him! No masks, no hiding, and no concealing who she was or what her issue was! It was blood! But she, by faith, was determined to be healed and she knew that He could do it. Had she hidden herself when she heard he was passing through, she would still be bleeding today! Okay, not today but you get what I mean. 

David spoke about his hidden sin in Psalms and how sick it made him. Ezekiel spoke about "fire" being "shut up" in his bones when he kept his mouth shut. There is certain je ne sais quoi about concealing things. That doesn't mean to "go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere." No! That is reserved for His Gospel and other exciting news that you want to share. But each of us, including me, should have a small arsenal of prayer warriors/ iron based folks that can help us sharpen our iron. We don't all have that "friends since birth" blessing that some have and so we have to work at finding those few who can walk with us, hold up our arms when we are tired, tell us when we are wrong, receive lashings from us with grace because we know we are wrong and act as make up remover wipes for the concealer that we long to wear as a cover up. 

Be who Jesus died and rose again for you to be. Be transparent. Be honest, first with God and yourself. Confess when wrong. Repent of wrongdoings. Retire your masks. Be the flawed apple of His eye. Oh... and retire the masks. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Transparent Power

Transparent Power

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us Ephesians 3:20

This post is a long time coming. I see now that I have been journaling along, just not on paper or on a consistent basis. But this post, the revelation of it, has been long coming. This post isn't about losing or getting power turned back on in the house. No, this was right before we were evicted that I started this post and so this power I started to blog on was and is about His infinite power. So let me begin...

 It has been almost two years since we were evicted from the only consistent home my children knew. My youngest began her school career there and also began to the last year of her school career at the same. Being an air force brat, this is a huge thing as I am used to moving around. 

The very act of packing and moving was a tremendous strain; it took effort for me to even begin because I was in such denial that we would even move. For me, a miracle would be that God stepped in and stopped this injunction against me. But He didn't. And we were evicted. And so began what seemed to be another dark thrust in this journey called life. I have had a few completely dark parts of my life outside of my childhood and all that happened there. I have had abortions; I have had surface or sexually motivated relationships, much as one does who is starving and they see chips and want/ eat those instead of a meal. I have been in a harsh marriage and committed adultery. I even have a span of time where I was with the person that I committed adultery with simply because I thought that was the "lot" I had drawn and was now stuck with it. Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy and infinite patience with me as I stumbled around in the dark during that time instead of asking Him to simply flip on the Light switch. And now this... ultimate failure in being able to keep a roof over the heads of my children who looked to me for support. My friends Depression, Despair, Guilt and Shame as well as the quiet companion, Suicide, seemed to turn up at my pity party and then turn on me much like the friends of Job did. It went from Woe is me to eternal inquest within seconds! I was able to hold them off as I was busy with packing and throwing away things. And then just as I had been able to shield my kids from the harshness of seeing the Constable's notice of eviction posted on our door, lo and behold, another blow! We had to go back as they were there to retrieve my son's pet... a very cruel deed that I felt was done by the enemy to "kick me while I was down". 

But even through all of that and the year and a half subsequently after, which has not been an easy road, I understand now what David was talking about in his psalms of outcry. He spoke to his soul, trying to figure out why it was so downcast, encouraging it by saying to put hope in the Lord and that he would "yet praise Him." (Psalm 42-43) He even had to do this more than once, why? Because he had more than one dark time. I knew much about that! He also talked about his body wasting away when he did not commune with God, confess his sins. (Psalm 32) There are so many where I knew just where he was at, I would even say out loud, "Yes David! I know just what you mean, bro! I'm there with you!" But what I had never realized before was the ending of each.... a declaration of praise to a God who seemed to be silent, otherwise preoccupied, not dealing with him and his mess at the time, just not there. He praised Him anyway. Whew! You mean say, "thank you Lord" instead of "ouch, this hurts"? Oh man....

Through the power of God that I talked about in the beginning before jumping into my long-windedness (no, it's not a word), I have seen that it's not about praising Him instead of the pain or even in the pain, THROUGH the pain. Oh what a difference His Word makes when you understand what He meant and not what you want it to mean! Here is what I mean.

When a crew for a rowing team, whatever you call them, begins training, they are not where they need to be. They may be very fit, very capable and think that they can drop a boat in the water and immediately win a race. But it's not true. According to Ellen Tomak, a rowing coach, 12 week training can improve rowing stats. In an article by her, she lays out and explains how rowing is a full body workout. There is work to be done, not just for one team rower but for the entire team as they will need to know how to work together, not just know their position. But the second the team works as a team and not as people, who have different positions in one boat, the ride is not only smoother but more effective and faster. When we begin to understand that we will have pain (john 16:33), that is not an option, and that Jesus has already overcome this dark world, we can begin to brace for the impact. That doesn't mean we try and steer away or think of other methods, routes to take. But it also doesn't mean that we are able to just focus on our part, our pain that we are in and leave the rest of the team to fend for theirs. We must set a pace to which we can ride the pain out. We don't have to embrace it but we should acknowledge it and know that through our weaknesses His strength is made greater. I referenced the rowers because even during pain, during cramps, during a bout of motion sickness they may have; in screwy weather, when someone is missing or cannot seem to go on, they still have to keep going. We are, according to Paul, running a race that cannot be stopped. So we choose to either stop, focus on whatever the pain is and sit out the race or we address the pain and lean on Him to help us get across the finish line. 

A big deal with me, for all these years is that I was listening to "Should be", the cousin of Envy. This was telling me where I should be in life, what I should be doing, what I should have, and how far my family, my kids should be according to those around us. I have recently chosen to stop looking at others from the outside and deal with what I can, me on the inside. How's that going, you ask? It's good, it's bad and it's ugly but it's God power dealing with all that is within me and loving my beautiful mess. How is He dealing with you?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Transparent Hospital

"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Luke 5:32

I had been away for awhile as God was doing a work in me, through me and for me. Even in the last couple of weeks I have been sick with what seemed to be, dramatically, my death but was only a mild sinus infection. I thank God for that! I wrote a few times but even those seemed strained and constricted. It was hard to sit down and write, hard to focus, even harder to get the words out. It was almost like a... excuse the crude description... a writer's constipation. But then I noticed that my mind was on what I was going through, so I had to refocus my "focal point" for this labor.

That got me to thinking about how Church is like a hospital. I've said that many times before, wisdom that can only be from Holy Spirit, not fully understanding the words as they left my naive mouth. But as I see myself laying on this invisible stretcher with labor coaches around me encouraging me, telling me to keep going, I get what it is like to be a part of this Hospital we call Church. Let me take you on a tour of it.

There are many facets to a hospital, many different uses for that one building. There is surgery, ICU and NICU for those patients who need special care as well as rooms for inpatient visits. There is a wing for internal medicine and outpatient visits such as regular check ups and there is the emergency room. This room alone can take up a fourth of the hospital! Oh how many times I have been in the emergency room! I often even wonder if sometimes the entire church becomes an ER by the way the sick continue to fill in. But then I remember that even in an ER, when the injury or sickness is severe, there is always a hospital stay for care, observation and recovery time. 

I wonder how many times we, the Body, have sent sick people home without instructions for care, or rushed them from the sick bed in which they laid even though they were not fully well. I wonder how many times people have been wounded in our care because of the rushed work that was done, the misdiagnosis that were given, the crowded rooms as they lay unattended because we did not have the time to give everyone the same attention because of our time constraints, our limited "staff"... I am thankful that the place where I worship now is sensitive to Holy Spirit's call for impromptu alter calls, times of healing prayers and words of encouragement. Even when no one stands, because they are too sick or focused on their pain to hear their name being called, we call anyway. 

In Jesus' ministry, he was condemned by selfish leaders for this very thing. For talking out of turn, for doing things out of their order, the way they were used to. But he kept going, he kept doing, he kept healing, he kept freeing. And as people who are to follow in His footsteps, shouldn't we do the same. I long to be able to see, and do, things that are out of the ordinary such as stopping someone with not just a word from the Lord but perhaps just a hug. Or seeing someone hurting or angry and smiling at them with a smile of freedom, a contagious illness called joy. I long to see those of us who have been healed in the Hospital and are now working or volunteering in it to be giving the same attention, the same care, the same love that was shown to us "when we were yet sinners".... Be encouraged, use the "faith that was given you" to do what God has called you to do!

Welcome to JEHOVAH HOSPITAL where all lives matter and no one leaves the same...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Transparent Request

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me." 2 Kings 2:9

When my kids were much younger, shortly after their dad's and my separation, I would cook strategically. When I shopped, it was for a certain amount, even with using food stamps or money that I had. I bought a certain number of drumsticks in a package (I actually still do this), a certain number of packed meats or veggies, etc. I did this because our resources were limited which made our food choices limited. On days when one was sick or spending the night out or if I had already eaten/ was not hungry for some reason, I would ask my kids what their request was to eat. I remember my son saying on one such day, "I don't care, Mommy, but I want double." To understand why that was and is so funny but truthful, you must know that my son, my middle child, loves food even though his small frame back then didn't show it!

I wonder if that was the case with Elisha... What a request to make and an honor to Elijah! It took such boldness to say what most of us think when we are around people of "greatness"! And what scary thing to request... Just take a second to think about that. Let's go back over Elijah's life in hyper-speed to understand what Elisha had just asked. 

Elijah came in just as Ahab, son of Omri, became king of Israel. He was the guy that Jezebel threatened after all of her priests were killed. He had done all of these great things in faith and yet when this woman (remember women were low creatures) threatened... no, sent someone else to threaten him, he got so scared that he wanted to die... Like... Wha???? Anyway, after her dismal death by a disjointed worker was done and she became yummy or not so yummy treats for the dogs of the area, he settled into a sanctuary and began to mentor/ disciple Elisha. (1 Kings 17-2 Kings 2) and so leads back to this verse I chose. 

In the beginning of chapter two of Second Kings, Elijah has done incredible work for God. Elisha has gotten to see the bulk of this work, so you know he is in awe of God and the power used through Elijah! So much so that when Elijah tells him to stay behind and asks what he can do for him, in a last request from your favorite performer sort of way, Elisha did not hesitate!! I didn't read, "Let me think about it" nor "can I get back to you" or "umm... welllll"..... No! He immediately said, "Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me,"!!!! Wow!! Even Elijah knew what Elisha had asked for he stated back, "you have asked a hard thing." (2 Kings2:10) That got me wondering, why? Why was it that hard? Here's why...

The original text for spirit is ruwach. The meaning is breath, air or wind. It is derived from the same word meaning smell or scent; perceive or accept. We each have a spirit. We know this because it is with a "broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17). Wind is never the same for the same person. For me, I love a good heavy breeze. Case in point, recently, I have been becoming so sick that I am near being physically ill or passing out. I don't know why yet but when it happened earlier this week, I was outside this time. I am one that doesn't like to throw up outside.... So as I tried to make my fastest turtle pace walk to the front door, up the stairs and to the bathroom, once I reached the two steps that lead into the house, I knew I was not going to make it. Normally I will lie on the cold floor and fall back to sleep but this time I only had the heat of the day and the hard concrete steps on my side, it seemed. But just then, there was a rash of hard and heavy breezes that came playing through and they were so refreshing to me that it could have been God standing over me breathing onto my almost lifeless body for everyone to see! But fir someone else, who may have a fever, or just like the heat more than they like the crisp air of the fall evening, this same breeze that almost knocked our trash cans down would not have been received well. Much like "each is given a measure of faith" (Romans 12:3), God knows what we can take in our spirit. Scripture says, "To whom much is given, much is required" (Luke 12:48) and this aligns with Jesus asking the twin brothers that wanted to sit at the "right and left" of His Throne in Paradise if they knew what they were asking. 

So much responsibility, so much heartache, so much hate coming his way! But I do think that Elisha knew because he had journeyed with him for much of his ministry. He saw, he heard, he lived it with him. But at the same time, he didn't know what went on in Elijah's head... What demons tormented him and tried to psych him out or throw him off course. Now align this with today's world...

So many want what someone else has. Money, time, materials, husbands, wives, children, ministries, hearts, faith, testimonies.... Yet they do not know what it takes, nor do they have, to carry them. We want what we see, in today's world when it comes to coveting others.... Elisha desired what he saw God doing in the life of Elijah. It wasn't the status, the fame, the name that many feared... It was the God of Elijah that he sought after and he knew that Elijah and God were very close in spirit, what we would call besties today and more. I long for that! I want that! I want to know God so well that He speaks as well of me as I do Him. Wait.... he does speak well of me! It's in His Holy Word! He speaks well of you too! Get to know the God of your salvation, the God Elijah and Elisha. The God of the impossible. It's okay to have someone that you admire and long to be like, if that person exhibits Jesus to you. But don't just want to become like them, long to be just as much Jesus in someone else's life as they have been in yours. That's a double portion!

Dear giving Father! Thank You so much for the gifts that You give us. Thank You for the breath that you handcraft for each of us. I ask, Lord, that when we are in need, that You would give us that extra breath, that extra portion in addition to what You have already given us. For whatever we need.... In Jesus name! Amen!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

All for You and Me!


“But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.” Isaiah 53:5 GNT

"Of the many paradoxes of Good Friday, one of the strangest is the way in which Jesus’ death transformed something totally ugly into something stunningly beautiful. Crucifixion was a punishment reserved for the worst of the enemies of the state. It was cheap--prisoners could be nailed to any tree and left to hang there till dead. It was public--the passersby could come by and gawk, suitably discouraged from committing such crimes. And it was excruciating--beheading was instantaneous, but a crucifixion victim could linger in agony for days. 

The Romans’ worst punishment was God’s choice for the punishing of his Son, whom he now considered to be the worst sinner of all time. The prophet Isaiah, seven centuries before Christ, was allowed to look into the future to see the strange way in which salvation for the human race would be won. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). There is no longer any condemnation or punishment for those who believe in Christ. His precious body was pierced by dreadful nails; his precious wounds bring you healing." 

This is an excerpt that I read earlier this week from bible.com. It brings some realities back to life for me. How about you? On this Celebration of His Resurrection Day, make it a point to not only thank Him for what He has done for you, but also to reflect on the pain that He took on for you... Whether you asked for it or not... Blessings!!


"In John 19:30, Jesus said, “Tetelestai . . .” which means, “it is finished,” the debt is paid, the punishment has been fulfilled!" (excerpt from the It Is Finished Was Just the Beginning devotion from Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale in Youversion

This morning alone, this word has set me on yet another level to journey... Tetelestai. I started merely thinking, "Ooh! That's a word I want to get tattooed!" And then I began to wonder where to put it, and then what would be the best reason, like why am I getting it and why am I putting it there because I am psycho- analytical like that... And I mean... PSYCHO and analytical separately and fully... So there's that...  anyway, that led me to look up the word in the Blue Letter Bible, which seems to be my "original text" go to. What I found was that the word was not the same. It was transcribed as "teleo" which also means finished. But there was a difference that I needed to understand and so Holy Spirit put in me this hunger to know why it was different and to learn which was which. *Side note: I wish I did this with more practical things like what I and my kids watched, what we listened to, what we read and even what we ate. Don't you?* 

As I jumped into trying to figure out the difference and which was right, I asked for guidance and for God to show me which was right. I went to my rusty, trusty Google and typed in asking what the Greek meaning to the biblical text of "It is finished" and this popped up: https://carm.org/it-is-finished and Holy Spirit used this to rock my existence!! 

Although I love to write and am a lover of certain English subjects in school, I never really grasped the concepts of certain grammar lessons or sentence structure and so I never paid attention to that portion because of it. But I just learned today the sentence structure of this one POWERFUL word is known as perfect passive indicative. Never heard of it either? Welcome to the non grammar boat! I almost went back to the Google list when I read that! But Holy Spirit had me stay on it and read (something I really hate doing if it has to do with learning). What I learned is this: the word tetelestai creates a "perfect tense which indicates that progress of an action has been completed and the result of that is ongoing and in full effect". Gibberish to English translation? Sure! It means that when something is done, when the work is completed and you still get results from it!! How about an example cause I think some may have let that fly by!! When you grow a fruit tree in your backyard and it begins to bloom and fruit is produced, the tree will continue to produce fruit long after you close your eyes on this side (unless someone tears it down). There's nothing else that you have to do!! It's done!! HOW INCREDIBLE!!!! 
So when Jesus said, "It is finished (tetelestai)," on the cross, he had fulfilled everything needed for our salvation!! We can't make ourselves anymore saved, anymore redeemed!! We DO need to carry our cross daily, we do need to remember that faith without works is dead, we do need to bring people to Christ, spread the Gospel, love our neighbors, love each other, care for those who need it, etc., but we cannot make one more deed that will ensure our salvation. We only need to grab hold of it, much like the fruit tree. We don't NEED to prune or cut or prim like we do, we just need to pick the fruit!! How AMAZING is our God!!! What really stuck out to me is the fact that God is an English Teacher!!! Hahaha!!!!

ABBA, thank You for Your teaching, Your grace, Your mercy with us such a slow moving people! Thank You for the gift of Your Son who not only lived in such a way as a blue print for us but fulfilled prophecies, gave himself up to be tried, found guilty and crucified, died on the Cross but also rose from the dead so that we could live as He loves in us!! I love You Lord!! You. Are. Worthy. To. Be. Praised!!! Amen!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Long Drive Home...

The Long Drive Home

This past weekend was exciting! I was going to see some long lost friends from school and get to visit my birth city that I had not been back to since I was 2! We planned and saved, we crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s. Then the day was here!! I think I drove the entire way there, only stopping once for an hour to sleep (I figured out I can’t drive in the dark as much anymore). My daughters’ and I had so much fun! I was so excited for my classmates to meet two of the Terrific Trio (Son Me had to work)! We did everything our wallet allowed and some more! We bonded and more!

And then there was the drive home… I had been so excited to get there that I didn’t realize how hard the trip home might be. I seemed to have forgotten that this was the same weekend we sprang forward in our clocks and that ALWAYS through me off for a few days. And then I planned to make a few stops on the way home! No Bueno! I did well all day in driving, and then night time came… I struggled the entire time and what was a 13.5 hour trip became a 22 hour trip with all the stopping I did!

On the way there, I remembered driving and apparently blacking out because one minute there was a car in front of me and the next, there wasn’t! Only coming back home, I had to either succumb to the hypnotizing road in a perilous way or surrender my will to stay awake (which wasn’t very good) to God and allow Him to lead. Let me tell you, that was a struggle!! I never realized how much of a struggle surrendering all to Him was until the drive back! I wanted to keep going so that I could get my girls home. They slept most of the way and Mini Me was not feeling well, so it was just me and God. Talk about an Abraham wrestling night!

As the night went on and I realized that was not strong enough to do this on my own, He began to gently lead. I stopped more than I would have liked to, I rested more during the stops than I had decided and the night seemed to drudge on longer than a ship lost at sea looking for a lighthouse signal. I wound up driving overnight and it was horrific! But at the same time, I was at peace. I knew God had us… And then just as it began to be very heavy with fog and the view was even more skewed than it was with my eyes always closing, the dawn broke in! At that very moment, I was listening to a message where Tony Evans said even in a storm, the sun still shines. I wanted to post that on Facebook but couldn’t stop. Then as I drove past a mountain, I saw what he had just said! This is the picture I took, and the Scripture I heard…