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, June 26, 2012

Transparent Requirement

Transparent Requirement!

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:6-8 (ESV)
I am a very hard headed person. I don’t like a lot of requirements and rules placed on me. The world would call me a “free spirit” if I let them! I can remember a time when I was in 6th or 7th grade right after Christmas break (that’s what it was called before Mr. Political Correctness and Ms. Offense had a baby called Tolerance, but that’s for another time) and my mom said I could not take my new fangled toys to school. Well this was a time when I was trying to fit in and even though I had friends, I wanted to be in the “in” crowd. And what was in was my new Rubik’s Cube. Hold on, did I just give my age away? Anyhow, I was determined to sneak that thing to school at all costs! So on the morning of leaving for school, I secured a place for it in my blue crochet purse and put stuff on top, even though the purse was very thin. I just knew I was in the clear! Then it happened…. My mom had the nerve to ask me what was in my purse! Remember that I said at all cost, okay? So in my however old I was voice I boldly grabbed my purse tighter and said, “Nothing Mommy.” Yeah, I lied. What happened next is somewhat unclear except for the whooping I incurred by the hands of my father! I can say that I went to school without my awesome Rubik’s Cube, not that I needed to really say that for all the 80’s kids, right? But the rule was so simple yet so complex at the same time. Don’t take ANYTHING to school. Period. But for a child hungry for status at school, that is so hard…. We forgot that didn’t we parents?
God is the same. His commands are so simple. Do not cheat, obey your parents, Do not put other things in the place of God, love your neighbor, etc. Yet we fail at them all the time. Why is that? Why can we figure out what an atom is, write a constitution and laws, CEO corporations but simple commands from the One that gave us the ability to do these complex things, we can’t follow? I will tell you why. It’s because we are human. That’s not an excuse or permission; it’s just how we are. But that also is not a go ahead to stay that way.  We are created in His image and that alone calls us to greater. My brother in Christ, JCrum, has a song that goes “We are called for greater, we are called for more.” We need to remember that when we fall at following His commands for our life. Where are you falling with His directions?
Lord, thank you for Your awesome provision and direction You have for my life. You know so much more about me than I do and You can see so much more than I can. Teach me to trust Your ways, Lord and follow Your instructions from day to day! In Jesus name. Amen!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Transparent Vision

And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Gen 15:5

When I was about 10 or so, I had to go to the eye doctor because I was squinting and not doing so hot in school. It was then that the doctor revealed to my mom and dad what I had kept a secret for a couple of years.... I couldn't see very far. The result? I had to get glasses. I hated that but I have a confession to make. I loved getting the glasses because the lady that would slip the glasses on me did so gently that it made my head tickle.... and I loved the smell of anything clinical! What I didn't know was that my world as I knew it was about to change. The years after, I went through fierce bullying, teasing, losing glasses because I wouldn't wear them in school, punishments, whoopings and lost interest from boys. If someone would have told me beforehand that all that was gonna happen, I might have skipped that appointment! What I didn't understand was that my eyes were better. I could see the board and whatever else was not right in front of me, but because of what I heard I could only see the bad.

At my church, we meet for prayer starting at 4:30 in the morning and go until 7, sometimes 8am! I have been going per my commitment everyday this month, whether it's for 2 hours or 30 minutes. What I am realizing is that I can still feel His presence! Well yesterday morning, something was said that I had a hard time grasping much less swallowing. There was a number, a cap, put on how many to reach and for us to record each one to keep count. The vision I instantly saw was a picture of David sending a scribe to count how many fighting men he had because he was bored. Now while I still don't agree with the number box God was put into, I feel what was being said. In God's Word, we are the ones who go out into the fields because God says the "harvest is ready." Not when we feel like it, not when we get ready or think there is a big need like say, shootings and other violence. No, we are to get out into the fields when it's quiet, when there is no action, when God says to. why? Because He is setting up His righteous army, us, and when we are in place HE will move! He tells us this! His Word says it right in black and white! And why does He share this with worms like us? Because "without vision, the people perish." If we don't know what a leader, boss, pastor.... president is doing, we tend to lose interest and die away. God made this picture crystal clear to me! He is positioning us for something much greater and He is using our circumstances to move us into position! Case in point, Kuczo (Emperor's New Groove) is freaking out about crossing a shabby bridge. He finally gets halfway there and is met by an opponent. He is so busy fighting not to fall and fussing at Patcha (sp) that he doesn't realize he is across the bridge already! His fear and anger were used to move him over to the other side!! (Scoff) How crazy is that?! James does tell us that faith brings about endurance! 

Let's reflect this week on the past circumstances that have led to greater faith which has led to us doing the RADICAL things God would have do if we weren't limited in the first place by shallow faith! Let's pray! God, thank you thank you thank you for loving me past what I can see! And for seeing what I can't and trusting me with Your vision! I just pray you would remind me when I am suffering that it's training for the better things to come! In Jesus name. Amen!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Transparent View!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 
Psalm 16:11

Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. Proverbs 21:17

This has been for me a season of being in need. How did Paul put it in Philippians 4? I am definitely in want. But that is according to my flesh. My flesh says I don't have enough, and I have been listening. My flesh says I need more, and I have been agreeing. 

Have you ever had a day when you got like, teenage dramatic needy? Where you just "had to have something?" It could be a bill paid, some money for food or gas, etc, all you knew was you just had to have it! I have been on that path most of my life now. Even as a surrendered child of God, a lot of my focus was on His hands instead of His face. This wasn't even in my radar to look up, even though I had heard that saying many times before!

There is a story that was told many times over when I was a little girl. The story of the greedy dog and the lake is correct for us so much more today! The story goes, there was a dog that was walking in a small town and he found a bone in his journey home. The dog carried the bone hurriedly to his owner’s house so that he could bury it in the back yard. While on his way home, he had to cross a small pool of water. He slowly crossed so as not to drop his bone in this very small pool of water and while going across, he glanced down only to see there was another dog under the water with what seemed to be an even bigger bone than what he had in his mouth! The dog finally crossed the pool of water and after shaking off the water, he started to head home. Taking only a few steps, he began to think of the other dog and his bone and decided that he wanted that bone too. He turned back and faced the dog in the water, to which he growled and growled, prowled back and forth and finally after seeing that his attempts were not scaring away the other dog, he barked. 

Now those who know that story know that is truly how it ends. For a child, this is a most peculiar way of ending a story because it brings about questions for them. What happened when he barked? Did the other dog drop his bone and run away? Did the dog get the other bone too? I can still here those types of questions being asked. But the truth of the matter is that I didn't understand that story for years! It took quite a while for me to understand that the other dog in the water was the dog's very own reflection in the water! How powerful is that in my adult financial life! If only I would look at what I have (my bone) instead of what I don't, I would be so much better off!

A revelation I had this week and I want to challenge you to meditate on is this, a child who is in need of something first looks at the parents hands to see if they have what it is they need. It is only when they pick the child up or stoop down that the child has a chance to look them in the face to see a loving and understanding face. Let's finish this week and start next week by looking towards the Father's face, shall we? Matthew 6:33 (my life verse) tells us to seek HIM first and all His righteousness, and everything else will be provided. When we seek His Kingdom, we are seeking Him, His will for us and it's only then can we see where His eyes are telling us to go for what He has for us. We are so busy looking at His hands (how He can provide for us or how we NEED Him to provide) that we are forgetting what comes first! Let's put it back into perspective together! Let's pray!

Father, forgive my constant prayers of what do You have for me. I should be asking what I can do for You as well as thanking You for what I already have. I should be focused on Who You are because that is when I can trust what You will do for me! To be honest Lord, that's hard to do! Help me to do that this week. Help me to seek Your Kingdom and all its righteousness and leave the rest, my needs, up to You to take care of! In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Transparent Slap

"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:14 ESV)

Esther chapter four has always, it seems, been quoted when someone is going through a hard time and needs to be reminded that they can do something when they think they cannot. "....And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 ESV) This is the THIRD sentence in this fourteenth verse. The first two somehow seem to get lost in translation, so to speak. " For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish....” (Esther 4:14 ESV) Did you catch it? Did it seem less like a motivational speech to you yet? Here, let's travel back. Esther was raised by her uncle Mordecai after her parents deaths. He was a Jewish leader and well known in the providence they lived in. Anytime there was a need, anytime there was injustice or a time to cry out, the community tore their clothes and put ashes on themselves. It was traditional, which means everyone who lived even as an alien within their community and even the surrounding towns would know that this is what was done when despair took place. Fast forward to verse 4 where Esther was told about her uncle's condition, the state he was in, and pay attention to what she does. "She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them."  She then sent her eunuch to find out what was wrong. Is it becoming more clear yet? She had been in this community of bourgeois for so long that she had forgotten what it was like to be in need, to be in pain, to cry out. The very things, I am sure, she had done prior to being snatched from her comfort zone and even for possibly days or weeks after being handed the opportunity to be the next queen! She forgot!! She got embarrassed for him because he even went as far as the king's gate wailing in his ol dirty sackcloth with ashes covering him like he had just been mud wrestling without the water! How embarrassing for her, the poor thing!

It was in that instant that she did exactly what a court in line for a high position might do. She tried to cover over the issue with gifts. And when he didn't accept what she gave him, only then did she try to get to the root of the crying. She sent her eunuch to see what was wrong with him. When Mordecai sent the answer to what was wrong along with instructions, she sent back this even more indignant answer, "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live. But as for me, I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days.” (Esther 4:11 ESV) Do you believe that! The man that raised her, the man that had to be there for her through all of her childish antics, teen rebellion, he trained her, he loved her, he clothed and fed her and she tells him she can't because some silly rule not to disturb the king until he calls for you?! The nerve! Or was it the doubt? I just noticed the similarities between her and Vashti right before Vashti was ejected.

Vashti was beautiful and her king wanted to show her off, not good for feminists, to his nobles and other guests. Esther was beautiful and godly and Mordecai wanted her to use the position God put her in to speak to the king. Ever worked somewhere and had a friend come in asking for your discount? Yeah. But Esther had become afraid of the worldly traditions she was taught while the care of Hathach. So much so that she was willing to forget what she knew about God and save herself. What comes next is a slap back into reality that rings in my head differently now.

Mordecai has gotten the message back, the answer he was waiting for back from Esther, except it isn't the answer he was waiting to hear. She tells him she just can't because of an edict that has been in place since before she came, and added that everyone knew this! Mordecai's reply to her was harsh but so graceful that you can't help but to receive it and soak it in, just like God's discipline to those He loves.

"Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14 ESV) His words wreak havoc on her soul and send conviction soaring like a hand sent from Texas to slap sense into someone. Pebble level? He says how dare you think you are above reproach and will saved from this sentence! You can keep quiet if you want to, you can think about it and argue with God if you want to but while you do that He will save us in another way, but you and yours will die. How do you know this isn't the reason He sent you there?" Wow! Now that was just me paraphrasing and picturing his conversation with us now, but it is what was meant. And her response tells me that. she changes her tune and sends word for them to fast and pray for her and if she dies then she dies. But even that drips of the remnants of doubt.

What's my point you ask? Let me simplify. God has given me the Spirit of discernment something fierce! Ever since I could remember, I have been able to "see" what people wanted to be hidden from everyone. Their hurts, their pain, their anger and hatred, the abuse they have endured or inflicted on others. I never really understood it but back then I was used by the liar to expose and make fun of those which I could "see." I wasn't in Christ, I didn't even know who He was other than He was on a cross. Now that I am counted as a friend, He shows me these things for a more powerful purpose! So that I can go into their hurting world and bring them the only Light they need. Sounds good right? The only issue is, I wasn't doing that. I would "see" people's true hurts and just say a comfortable prayer as I walked along, or drove by. That was NOT His purpose for me! I am supposed to reach my hand out, go into their dark corners and speak His love! In the movie based on Esther, One Night With The King, the ending has always been my all time fave because all you see Esther doing is walking into "dark territory" and then collapse. It's as if the fight with doubt had weighed heavy on her and the realization that she had just done the unthinkable overpowered her. Now of course that's not the real story but isn't that how we can feel after battling with our doubt and arguing with God?

My point of all this long winded storyline? I am now seeing that God has so much more for us to do. Yes He wants us going into the world preaching the Gospel. But why do some of us stop there? Why do others stop at saying, "Yes, I will pray for you?" and not just pray WITH them? We are called for such a time as this! Not to talk, not to wish, not to have meetings, but to act. Let's "awake o' sleeper" and walk into the Harvest, not just talk about it! Don't let the message get more harsh than that from God.

Let's pray. Father, I ask forgiveness for not being more direct, more bold, more like the perfect example in Your Son, Jesus. Help me to walk more and talk  less God. send to me the people that You have ordained for me to help and minister to. Thank You that I don't have to ask for strength or wisdom in this aspect Lord, it is already given! Thank You for the passion You place in us Lord, help us to keep that passionate fire for You, Jesus, going strong! In Jesus name, Amen!