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!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Who's in Arms For Your Pastor?

But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. Exodus 17:12

Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr. is a name most of the Christian community must now know. He made headlines after he shot himself while his wife, children and congregation waited for him to preach. Once it was known, I'm positive the spirit of gossip was loosed not only in his church but throughout every faith community as well as the unbelieving communities. This was not just a loss to his family or his church. This was a loss for all who are called to walk alongside their brothers and sisters in faith. Rumors were able to sprout up because no one wanted to say, "it's our fault. We should have done better as his brothers and sisters of lifting his arms." Is even said that just a few weeks prior, he helped another man who bent on committing suicide. My belief? That spirit of suicide was transferred unbeknownst to either man. That thought and my weekly prayers for pastors led me to write this challenge for all who attend church and claim a belief in GOD. 

In my prayers today, I prayed for courage and boldness in speaking GOD's in changing word. I also prayed for their call to be genuine, not manufactured and for their wives and children who undoubtedly walk the same path behind their pastor/ husband/ father. It's not only the pastors that endure that group of people who ALWAYS have a chiding word about something the pastor touched in that they wish to remain in the dark or to let him know the tickling of their ear was not as pleasant as other times. I think of Pastor Paul Sheppard who made it pebble level when he said "to have a word in season and out of season" refers to a word that may not be well liked but needed at the time. Or the women, single or not, who trow themselves at them, I think you get my drift. 

My question is, where are the arm lifters? Where are the ones who are supposed to be lifting them when all this is going on? These two men had to have seen Moses at his worst! He was tired, he was worn, he was, I'm sure, about ready to give up and his words made that fact known. We don't know what he said during this time but he was human, just as pastors are today. I don't care how much his faith was! If he had the anger to throw down HISTORIC tablets and proof of GOD's Word down or disobey, he was crying out in agony then. Aaron and Hur not only had to lift his arms, but his spirits as well! They had to encourage him, let him know they had him and he was not alone in this! Where are our "arm bearers" for our pastors today?? Are you called to be a passionate intercessor for your pastor? Trust me, not everyone is. But if you are called, you had better lock arms with him and get him through his rough times so that there will be times of victory as well! 

This pastor who sat alone in his car long enough to hear the spirit of suicide tell him to give up had someone assigned to intercede for him. Not just his wife. But an Aaron or Hur or both! And when he talked the man out of committing suicide, that should have been a time of intercessory for him!! This pastoral battle is not for the weak and fainthearted. But it is not meant to be walked alone either. Blessings....

LORD, thank You for placing on my heart a day to pray for pastors. Forgive me for not being as consistent as I should be but thank You for the grace that covers them when I don't. I pray that You awaken those who are called to be "arm bearers" and charge them to stand by their pastors side in battle as well as for their wives and children. In Jesus name! Amen!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Transparent Faith Pt I

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19

For this trip I am blogging about to have been one of the BEST times and greatest moves of GOD in my life, it sure was hard to write! I mean to tell you, I have been battling procrastination since my return among other add on struggles!! BUT GOD, has ordained everything in order so I know now is the time! 

Through a series of almost tragic and then tragic events, GOD chose the end of September and beginning of October (my birth month) to train my strength, raise up in me new faith! And that He has done well! 

My family had one go into the hospital and another die within a week. I knew that we were to go to be with them as they are down south but only had coins in my pocket. GOD used that week to not only strengthen my faith, but draw some emotions out of me that He could not use and show me where I would be when I left where I am now. It was also to pour love onto my family who I'm not sure some of them know the love of Christ personally. And just to be there for my aunt who had a husband seem to go downhill fast and her last living brother die. I know GOD sent us there because it was on His tab! He provided in crazy ways and I now believe that was to prepare my heart for the miracles and wonders I would see Him do for my family and my finances. He has done just that since!

Here is what I learned that week. I learned that GOD does indeed give you peace as well as determination about something He sets in your heart to do. We had no idea how we would pay for or get to Florida but I knew we had to go. So I constantly prayed and spoke out of my mouth that we were going. He provided $600 and that got us there and back but He also provided and extra $190 which gave cushion and allowed us to eat something other than sandwiches on our way back! I walked away knowing that NOTHING is impossible for my GOD!

Another thing I learned is that He does what He pleases. I don't know what happened with my uncle that died and why all of a sudden he was gone. But I know how hard we were praying for his sister's (my aunt) husband as he laid in the hospital with some type of brain bleed. And I do know that I knew that I knew that I knew that as we took of driving my moms car and got word that my aunt was now in the hospital that they would both be fine and they are, just celebrating another wedding anniversary!

As I laid down after returning from the trip, there were things I was certain of. I was certain that we were suppsed to be there, that I would be moving there when directed by GOD, that He hears our cries and petitions, that He delivers and gives provision, and that when I fall asleep at the wheel, He is the One who really drives!! I left with a newfound faith that has been tested ever since! 

I was shortly after released from my job because of performance (even though I had just learned two new programs), we were almost evicted and had a court hearing for it on CHRISTmas eve at the request of the landlord, and at one point felt hopelessness slipping in. But He has wowed me each day since that trip and I know there is more!! 

Where are you struggling today? What are you having a hard time believing for? Will He need to bring you to hardship to grow your faith and will your surrender all you know as logic to allow it?

LORD, You are the same still! I stay in awe of You and I pray that never changes. Continue to grow my faith in You. Thank You for my daily bread and for being my Portion! In Jesus name! Amen!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Money, Money, Money... Mooooney!

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

I have to confess something. I'm not content with what I have. I mean I'm not stealing, I'm not drooling over what I don't have and I am no longer (thank You LORD) ignoring bills to get what I want. BUT..... I think more about bills than I should. I spend more time telling GOD about what I have to pay than I do thanking Him for what He has taken care of. I still take more time tattling to ABBA about my bills and needs than I do praising Him and giving thanks in advance, which is so hard when you are in need!! But isn't that being uncontent... or in contempt? I don't think merely loving to have money is what is being referred to but also looking to money for things needed. Bare with me here. Yes we all have needs and bills that NEED to be paid. A lot of us are still living "check to check" correct? Well verse five says to be content with "what you HAVE." The bills that aren't paid aren't because you DONT have it. So we are to be content with what we DO have and trust that GOD has made an arrangement for what we don't have. That's what's hard for me. I see the bills coming in and I see the money going out to pay bills. I also see what is not paid or what we don't have in the house because I can't see the money nor do I have the money that would pay for these things. But GOD does. 

Matthew 6:25-31 speaks directly to that. Here's the sum up of what it says. Don't worry about what you don't have because worrying won't make it happen any faster. It will in fact, take away time from you. If GOD will feed the birds and clothe the flowers, how much more will He do for those He loves? 

His word promises that because He is our helper, He will not leave. So are you content?

Father, forgive me for being anxious and not being content with what I have. Help me to place my eyes on You and be thankful for You have already supplied and are supplying as well as thanking You in advance for what You will supply! Take hold of my anxious heart, LORD, and pour in contentment for Your  word and promises. Help them to bubble up to the surface in times of need and despair. In Jesus name. Amen!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Transparent Struggle

pray without ceasing.... 1 Thess 5:17

I am at the point of parenting where I want to give up! I just want to throw in the towel and say forget it, I'm done. I mean my kids are 22, 20 and 16, so it's not like I would be abandoning infants. *sigh* Now don't get me wrong. I love my kids to life! I would have a all out drag out street fight for my kids. I would take a bullet for my kids. Yes I would die for them. But I've come to a point where I have to decide that I won't die BECAUSE of them. 

Here's my issue.  I have three very different, very intelligent, very creative kids. I have allowed them, for the most part, to express their creativity since they were younger. Probably, no, most definitely when I should have been teaching practical things like manners and loving their neighbor/ siblings, sharing and showing the love of Christ, I was letting them run in the house, yell and play like crazy. It's my fault, I'm sure of it and now I have to face that portion. I have to look the sweet kids who loved to be outside and laugh at my dry jokes, who I should have taught chores, responsibility and the art of putting self last, in the face and say I failed you as a mom back then. All the homemaking, homeschooling got it all together moms remind me of that all the time. 

And then I read a blog or status on Facebook where a mom flipped out on her kids. I hear a mom admit to not caring if they didn't clean up right now, or I go to a moms house who says sorry for the mess! And I realize that I am no different, I'm not the only screw up that allowed things that should not have been. I have even ditched certain no brainers in discipline because I wasn't allowed to do it. And then I also remember.... I'm redeemed!

I remember that God pursued me for 39 yrs before I surrendered and even the not had to have been such a battle to me to that calm state you get wild horses to after throwing a rope they weren't prepared for around them. I complained, I lied still, I even harbored anger towards people and I'm sure I caused a commotion or two. Sheesh! Now that I think about it, He has to be GOD to have not given up on me! Everyone else has before! So how dare I even think about giving up on my kids. 

They have been disobedient, reckless with their lives at times, rebellious enough for Billy Idol to yell ENOUGH ALREADY!! But they are my kids. The children GOD lent to me for a short time. It's not their fault I wasted some of that time but even still, I'm glad GOD used me to pour something's into them. The verse Matthew 7:11 comes to mind when I say this. In my being evil, I knew certain things to tell them or show them. Thank You for that LORD. 

I was at a crossroads for a while now. I didn't want to "stifle their creativeness", I also didn't want spoiled snots for kids. So I spoke with as much love as I could muster up when they irritated me. I tried pouring into them when I was angry to reassure them I loved them. But I never pulled that love of the Father into it. I never said, "Lord, show me these baybay kids from Your eyes." I didn't see that His way was more important to instill than to make friends or make sure they weren't mad at family members. While I could go on with the "shoulda woulda couldas," I choose to MOVE ON and be the mom I need to be at this stage in life. After all, if GOD had given up on me when I was their ages, I would be a MESS right now clenched onto my one way ticket to hell!! I'm so glad He saved me!! Aren't you? Make sure your kids will be too....

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Transparent Unbelief

Transparent Unbelief

But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" -Matthew 14:26-31 

Okay so let me first explain my BC addiction/ fear of ghosts. When I was about 6 or 7, we lived in the Philippines. The base we were on was filled with stories of ghouls, goblins, ghost, vampires and demons. I can remember even the school I was at participated in this nonsense of telling ghost stories to us kids. I believe that's where my spirit of fear was conceived. It was also where my love/ hate relationship with the unknown began. For every story that scared me, I needed to know more. I needed to get to "the bottom" of it and see if I could see "it". I remember imagining a story that I had watched earlier with our house girl that even further warped my young mind. It was of a barrel that you could jump in and it had fish in it and.... apparently no end. To the seeing eye, one could only see the bottom of this barrel that held fish to buy. But for those who wanted more, it was a doorway to another time. There were monsters in the movie, what kind I don't remember, and the flashes of it I have in my head now are so ridiculous you would've thought the movie was a Filipino version of Disney's  Fantasia (my dad swears that the director had to be on acid while making that cartoon... and I tend to agree). I also remember another time of being told yet another local horror tale right before bed. I don't remember how long it took me to fall asleep but I do remember that I thought I woke up to my bed shaking like crazy and jumped straight out to go to my parents room! You'll be happy to know I have since renounces all of that mess and even though my desire to see what new horror movies are about, I won't watch because I know that all made now are doorways. 

When the Disciples saw this figure walking on water, they freaked out as much as any of us would have. I mean we weren't talking about shallow water where you couldn't see ones feet but their ankles were visible. This was the Sea of Galilee!! How I would've gone from frightened near death to in awe and instant worship at the point of realization that this was my Lord and Savior walking in this huge body of water which was, I'm sure 50ft or more deep! How magnificent is HE!!

But, the Bible is also clear about there appearance of ghosts. There are several verses, including this one, that mention seeing, thinking of seeing and hearing ghosts. But when I think of the power of my JESUS, NOTHING stands more powerful than He!!

Well that brings me to my first vision, in plain sight. On my way to church for a prayer service last Friday evening, I was in full worship, music loud and me singing! I pulled into the parking lot to see a truck in the middle of the street and slowed down to see if anyone was in there. As I turned back to look straight, there was a car in front of me (All normal things). It happened to be a woman that I knew from church once I got closer, and as I parked, I watched her go in the building but not before quickly turning her head my way. Everything after that was routine and a powerful prayer session. So much so that I hadn't really paid too much attention that I hadn't seen this woman. I thought perhaps she was somewhere else in the building. Things didn't turn odd for me until another sister in Christ came to me to ask if this certain woman frequented the Ignite prayer worship. I said yes and told her she was there somewhere. To make a long story short, another woman told us she wasn't there. That's when I started to freak out. Two other women got into the same conversation with us and after it was determined that, in fact, she was NOT present that night, we learned of her recent suffering and decided right then to pray. It was nothing short of GOD that did that! I still dwell in that "in plain sight" vision I had of her waking upright and turning her neck (she had bulging disks the day before) while going to praise her LORD!

My recent stint with this has even more so turned my unbelief into belief! I have to admit, I would pray certain things as led by God and then not believe it was possible. Have you ever done this? Unbelief is a bondage to keep you from experiencing God's lovingkindness, grace, mercy and blessings. It is the very same, age old trick of the devil that kept Adam and Eve from being who God had created them to be. The serpent asked in Genesis, "Did God really say, 'you must not eat of any tree in this garden?" A tricky seed of doubt quickly turns to unbelief when left unattended. The serpent misinterpreted, on purpose of course, what God commanded and even though Eve KNEW what God said, by even entertaining the liar, she made room for that seed of doubt. 

There is someone suffering from a battle with doubt and unbelief. There is someone who is losing that battle. Please know that we are all there at one point. I was not too long ago. But if you hold on, He will bring you out even if He has to carry you! In mark 5:36, Jesus comforts a man who has just been told his daughter, whom he came to Jesus to ask to heal her, had died. Jesus COMFORTED him!! He does care!! But The Alpha and Omega did not stop there! He then commanded this man ever so gently, I believe, to "only believe." I extend that release for you today dear ones. "Do not fear, (which is where doubt and unbelief stem from) only believe." 

Father, thank You for that vision to remind me of who You are. Thank You for bringing me out of my temporary jail of depression. Lord, I stand in the gap of all who read this and are going through that same battle, asking themselves and You the same questions I did. Comfort them, Lord and help them believe. Be that gentle voice guiding them back to You, Holy Spirit. Pour great hope into their spirits as they sleep and when they toss and turn, give them rest. Let them know, remind us that You are still on the Throne and you will never leave not forsake us. In Jesus mighty name. Amen!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Transparent Reach

Transparent Reach

He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Matthew 14:29, 30 ESV

Jesus was walking on water. Why was that do hard to believe for those who had seen Him perform other miracles? He sent them in ahead of them so why did they forget that He was coming once they were further out? Why do our minds work in the natural only? If we for see it or ourselves, we don't tend to believe it. Or is that just the way my mind works? Even Peter AFTER Jesus said "It is I. Do not fear," he still needed proof. It's as if he was saying, "You say it's you but I don't believe you unless I have proof." How many do that (raising hand). And then once Jesus graciously told him to come out, instead of knowing that Jesus, the one who had told him to step out, the one who would never let anything happen to us, would never let him sink more than necessary. But we do that. We worry when we see or hear the winds and storms in our life.

What I notice, what God has showed me is that I cry out to those in the boat because I can SEE the boat and people in it. Because Peter could see Jesus, he called out to Him even though he only had to focus on Him to stay above water. Did you catch that? If only we would focus on Christ, we will stay above water. But of course, we don't and so because of His grace, He knows that and extends His hand to us. But what I realized today is that not only do I cry out I those in the boat but I do it knowing full well that Jesus is right there for me, knowing full well He has me. I also realized that when I start to sink, He's closer than I usually think.

How about you? Do you aim for the boat faster than you do for Jesus when you cry out in a storm? Do you reach for the phone and call or text someone because it seems like they are closer than Jesus is? Do you only seem to wait until you start sinking to call in Him? Or perhaps you still call in those that are visible to the fleshy eye. This week I challenge you to try Him and see if indeed He is closer.

The verse that was just given to me as I wrote that part was "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother," Proverbs 18:24. I have a brother and when we were young we had no choice but to be close. Our parents didn't do sibling rivalry like parents nowadays. But as we got older, we grew in different ways. We had life happen. We still love each other just the same but we don't see each other nearly as much as I desire. But oh when we do.... it's like no time had passed. I find myself looking at Jesus in that way. When I am in troubled waters, when I step out of the boat like He commanded and then start to sink, He doesn't feel close so I reach out to people in prayer and for relief. But this verse reminds me that He is a friend that sticks CLOSER than a brother. He is there when we need Him, when we have no idea that we need Him and even when we don't think we need Him. He is closer than a brother, He is closer than any family member, He is CLOSER than we think.

Father, thank you for not only the sacrifice of Your Son's death but His life that You have for us. Jesus, thank You for the life You led to show us how to overcome our storms and that we can reach out to you, without condemnation, when we struggle to stay on the troubled waters of life. You truly are closer than anyone else, I pray that we would remember that and look to you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lost and Found

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 ESV)

I remember a time when I was younger and I had gotten bold and decided for myself I would walk home with a new friend (yes, someone I didn't know that well) instead of catching the bus to my house. Now back then, bus drivers knew their route kids and when we were not there, they would wait for a bit. I remember having to wait longer because the bus driver was waiting for me as then we took off on foot walking to her house. I couldn't have been there any longer than an hour and a half and had to head home. Now I knew the way home. But I walked slowly as I begin to realize that there would be discipline awaiting me there. Finally a few hours later, I returned home to my mom opening the door and yelling at me. Of course, back then I didn't realize the fear but only focused on the yelling. But what I realize now is that she opened the door as I walked up to it. I didn't make a lot of noise; I didn't even get to knock. She had a child missing, a prodigal daughter, and she was awaiting my arrival, meaning she knew I was coming home. 

There is a story in the Bible about a prodigal (reckless, lost) son who had gotten his inheritance, left, squandered it, went broke, worked for menial pennies in low jobs and then returned to his dad with a repentant heart. Let’s break that down just a bit, shall we? He got his inheritance from his DAD which meant his dad was still alive. Aren't we supposed to get that when someone dies? This boy had greed and restlessness growing in him for awhile. But let’s also look at the flip side! When he returned, not sure how many catch this, his dad saw him from a distance. You know what that tells me? His dad was looking for him! His dad didn't just see someone and say someone's coming. No! He recognized him from a distance! How many parents know our children?! I have adopted kids in our church and I can see them with their backs turned and know that it’s them walking! A parent’s recognition is better than any of these recognition tools out here today!! We know!! And if we are expecting out kids home, much like this father, we will be standing watch! 

Isn't that how our ABBA is?! He stands watch for when we return from our ridiculous, reckless and sinful ways. And then He recognizes us as His sons and daughters and greets us with love! There is no, "Well it's about time!" or expletives being shot at us or even condemnation readily flowing our way about what we have done and how messed up we are. Or worse still, silence when we return. No, He runs to us with open arms, greets us with hugs and kisses and has a celebration for us! How awesome is that?!

Do you have an area of your life that has You feeling like God is far from you? Maybe you received a blessing from Him, squandered it and are now left with an empty home, wallet or life. At what point do you say, as this prodigal said when it started getting dark and I had to walk or the prodigal son in the Bible, "What am I doing? How much more are people being blessed even though they have little and I'm starving myself?" God loves you even if you don't love yourself! God remembers you and waits for you to remember Him and return to Him. He won't even make you come 90 and Him 10. Take the first step in turning from your sins and I guarantee you will know He is with you.

Father, Your love for us is unexplainable! Even though we constantly do wrong, make bad choices, ignore Your voice and demand to have a "Have it your way" life, You still love us! You long for communion with us and wait for our return to You when we wander. When we return You meet us where we are at and shower us with Your love! Thank You for that! Forgive us because we have sinned against You and thank You that condemnation and questioning doesn't come out to meet us with You! Lord, thank You for Your patience with us, continue to show us Your grace and mercy! In Jesus name! Amen!

Just Ask

Just Ask

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8 ESV

My daughter goes to a Christian school in our town called Omaha Christian Academy. She has been there for two and a half years now and my son went there for his last two years of high school due to bullying and bad influences. I am on the prayer team there with two other ladies and we get together weekly to pray for the school, direction, staff, families and kids. A big prayer of faith we have had recently started out as asking God to work in the heart of a potential donor. You see we need a bus for our kids to go on trips, scholastic and sports wise as well as other clubs. We started out saying that we needed to pray for the money to get the bus but then God reminded me of my own prayer holding to the promise that I will have a vehicle of my own and that He would supply it. So I told them this story and said why can God not so this for our school? He is a God of the impossible! HE can supply our needs and He can do without the help or reliance of others!

So anyway, I read devotion the other morning from Joseph Prince and although his devo was about something else, the last sentence in this first paragraph spoke something else to me:

"One of my heroes from the 1800s is a man of faith called George Muller. With faith in God, he built five large orphanages and housed some 2,000 orphans annually. He never asked a soul for money, but brought every need before the Lord. He literally prayed in millions of dollars throughout his life to keep those orphanages going." -Get God's Medicine Into You Joseph Prince courtesy of bible.com

Here is an email with a prayer I felt led to pray that I sent when I forwarded this to my two prayer partners and another friend God introduced me to!

"YES!!!! Chew on the first part of this, especially about George Muller!!! The first paragraph, last sentence!!!! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!!! PRAISE GOD WHO HEARS AND ANSWERS!!!! We don't need to pray for new donors per se as much as we do donations!!! And then open our hands and expect to receive!!! James 1:6-8 comes to mind to remember when we pray!! Not to pray and cross our fingers but to pray, with thanksgiving, in expectation of what He already has for us!! The picture I get is of a parent who has something a child is looking at in a store and the child, instead of asking the parent, stares and wonders and even doubts that if he/ she asks that the parent would say yes. But when they finally do look to their parent ask, IT IS GIVEN!!!! Oh I am so excited for what's in store and how He will blow our minds view!!!

ABBA Father, thank You for this revelation!! Thank You for being so patient and kind while we figure this out and ask others or wonder and doubt!! Would You, Lord, increase our faith TODAY!! Would You prepare signs and wonders for our eyes to see and blow doubt out of the water as we step out of this constricting, limiting boat called comfort and on to the unknown waters You have called us to! Would we not look at our circumstances as our needs and cry out in anguish but look to You, Jesus, and cry out praises instead!? Fill us Lord with your strength to endure! ABBA, remember us with the favor that You bestow upon Your people! Conceive in us new fervor, new strength, new boldness and as our speaker said last November, new COURAGE to step out into the unknown because we know You!! You are a God of the impossible!!! Exceed our requests and expectations today Lord! In Jesus name! AMEN!!!!"

I don't know what else needs to be said other than we believe we shall see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living! Not only when He comes to take us Home but now!! I am believing for this bus to be donated just like I am believing for El, our Provider to give me the good and perfect vehicle He has for me!! Whether He uses this donor, Woodhouse, who give freely as the Word says, or He Himself hands it to us, I know that it is on the way!! I do NOT lack wisdom or waver in my prayers for this bus!! I thank Him for what we do not see and pray GOD HELP OUR UNBELIEF!! 

What are you believing Him for? What has promise has He made to you? Can I remind you that his Word will NOT return to Him void?! Stop looking for resources or relying on your own and trust in the Source who gave you those resources!! His bank is everlasting! He Bank is never closed, never goes bankrupt and always gives freely to those who believe along with some gifts of grace and mercy! Believe in His goodness and mercy, declare His promises for your life and watch Him deliver!! FEDEX can't beat His timing!! 

Lord, I just want to thank You for Your goodness and mercy! Thank You for the lessons and trials You take us through to strengthen our faith! Thank You for never giving up on us and for blessing us in spite of ourselves! Thank You for OCA's courage and faithfulness and how they care for Your children! Pour into us this week Lord as a school, and as a family! As we all get together to pray for this need, I pray that You would meet the needs of others through us and in us! Thank You for continuing to entrust these families to us and even bringing about more! Increase our faith as You increase our children and as needs arise like more teachers, a gym of our own and bigger space! Make Your Face to shine on us and make us a bright Light to this neighborhood, this city, this state and this nation! Thank You for Your perfect blessing of a bus and Lord, thank You for my perfect vehicle!! In Jesus name! Amen!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Transparent Step

All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord , and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Exodus 17:1 ESV

Last year was a doozy for me. It seemed as if I was on the downward side of a roller coaster and the highest point of a gymnastics bar, and if you know me you know that's not good at all. I am very afraid of heights, you see. And for those sick enough to love this type of adrenaline rush, you know that even for a few seconds, no matter who is with you, you are scared out of your wits! And then of course when you are through the "danger of falling" you can rest again. That's where I am in my life. Last year I was led to ask for more patience, for God to forgive and help my unbelief and even stepped out to begin, for the thousandth time, school again. It seemed like with each prayer, each request, each step I took, I was in that moment in the roller coaster where you realize how far down that stupid steel trap is actually about descend with you strapped in. Okay so I'm dramatic, but its true!

Have you ever had a test to study for but you forgot to study? Oh how I hope I'm not the only one! You suddenly feel ill, a sickness that travels from deep in your tummy and seems to spread faster than the stomach flu on a road trip to the rest of your body? You even get tunnel vision like in the movies when you step into the classroom and instantly remember that test. Then you go about seeking refuge by hoping that something will change and asking everyone if the test today, even asking people if they studied so that you don't feel alone in your educational quicksand. Then you begin to ask people to help you "review one more time" as if your rain is going to retain their knowledge within that few minutes. You may confide in your best bud that you didn't study in hopes that they will console you and somehow become a superhero by stopping the test as if it were a speeding bullet, locomotive or by leaping over the tallest building! I've been there and that's what the beginning of last year was for me because God had called me to know Him more and I forgot to study.

But even as I was going through rigorous training last year, I can confidently say that my faith has grown. I'm pretty sure it's not where it needs to be, according to my scale. I'm not a super saint who can discipline myself in the midst of a heated argument, encourage myself when my family is in need and my bank account is drier than a desert mirage revealed two seconds after you began to drink the "water". But I am figuring out, I don't have to! God will lead me to the right verse, bring about the right attitude, give me just the right amount of strength, patience and joy I need, He alone knows my daily intake of bread and has promised to provide it.

I'm still without a vehicle of my own. My mom was able to step out on faith and get a new vehicle, my friend was blessed with a vehicle after hers went south forever and the liar and enemy of our souls would have me believe that I was crazy to believe that God would manifest a vehicle for my needs with no income, no payment, no money down. But what I have learned is God is not a "buy here, pay here" god! He is an on time God! But note that He is not on OUR time. He is on His!

I'm sure your saying, "Felicia, what does this have to do with the verse or the title?", or maybe that is just me. Well either way, let me explain. Last year this time, I made a voicemail greeting that basically said that God was calling His people out of bondage and the wilderness. And that's exactly what He did, with me. In this verse, He led Israel out of the wilderness and into Rephidim, which means rest, but when they got there they had no water. They grumbled and Moses interceded their behalf and God provided water out of a ROCK!! Have you ever tried to even break a rock much less get something out of it?! Only God can perform that type of feat!

This is my outtake. We get to a place of rest from a struggle we had before ad instead of praising God for bringing us out, we focus on and complain about what we don't have. Yes water is something needed. Yes they were thirsty after their travels from the wilderness. But after having blessings in the wilderness, didn't they know God wouldn't bring them out of there just to have them die of thirst? Don't we do the same? God brings us out of something and instead of resting in Him and knowing He is in control and will provide, we grumble and focus on the things we don't have.

This year, God has brought us into a place of rest. I don't know what that looks like for you friend, but I do know that we need to rest in the knowledge that it is already done. Whatever it is, He has already taken care of it when Jesus died in the cross. Don't you remember what he said with his last dying breath? It... IS.... finished. Will you trust that everything you go through is already dealt with? You will only need to step into His place of rest as you wait for His next command. And, oh, those provisions that you don't see? Ask for them, grumbling only wastes time and then thank Him for what He has done, is doing and will do. Step out on that cliff of trust, even if you fall He will catch you!

ABBA Father, thank you so much for bringing us to this place of rest! Last year was a doozy for us but You got us through! Thank You lord for the many lessons and even the hard times I really didn't want to go through. Thank You for opening everyone who can read this eyes to this new year. Thank You for the provisions You give us and for the patience to wait for you. Lead me Jesus, I surrender all to You! In Jesus name. Amen!