Journey With God

What Do You Worship?

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The Bible tells us to not have any idols before us. (Exodus 20:4-5) But what do we think about
when we talk about idols? A golden calf? A carved stone image? How about our jobs, careers,
spouses or children? What about our money, our home or even our favorite sports team? We
probably don’t think of it this way, but all of these things can become idols in our lives. So today I
want to ask a question…   What do you worship?

-Everyone one of us worships something.

What do you worship? Seems like a simple question, but it really isn’t. We all worship
something, whether we acknowledge it or not, we all worship something. Do we worship the
Lord? Or is it something else that gets our time, attention and our faith? Is it our job or career?
What about our spouse or finding the love of our life? Seems like a strange think to think about,
but if our spouse or love interest comes before God, then somethings is amiss. Maybe it is the
thought of getting ahead or even material things, like a new car or a bigger house. All of these
things can become an idol in our hearts and lives. Even our giftings, talents, and skills can
become an idol if we rely on them more than we rely of God. Every one of us worships
something. If it is anything but God, it will eventually consume you and leave you empty.

-True worship flows from the heart.

True worship flows from the heart. If we are worshipping something other than God, then it
shows that our hearts are not right. Maybe we have been disappointed, discouraged, confused
or hurt. Maybe we have been through hard seasons and have resorted to depending on
ourselves and other things to get us through. It can be tempting to turn to our own devices to try
and fill what is missing from our hearts. We may have even turned to the Lord, asked for His
help, and for Him to refine us. But when the refining begins we may find that all of the stuff that
starts to surface out of our hearts is very messy. We may want to run because all of that stuff
coming out hurts. However this is not a time to run, it is a time to hold on and allow God to enter
your heart through those hurts. If you keep running, eventually those things in our hearts will
continue to surface again and again until we turn them over to the Lord. Instead of running,
press in and let God heal those wounds and refine you into what He has called you to be. Press
into your relationship with the Lord. Worship Him through the process. Let your worship be a
measure of what is happening in your life. Worship reflects what’s in our hearts. Worship reflects
our relationship with the Lord. Worship is a lifestyle. What is your lifestyle reflecting? An up
close and personal relationship with the Lord? Or an up close and personal relationship with
idols?

-Worship reflects our relationship with God.

If you are unsatisfied, discontent, discouraged, disappointed, or just plain weary, maybe it is because your worship is going to the unsatisfying things of life. Maybe it is time to yield your own will and submit to the Lord’s will for your life. Just do an about face, and let God lead you, instead of leading yourself. Don’t wait. Do it today. Don’t wait. Do it right now, right where you are. Just start by saying, Lord I need you, and I need your help. Start with small steps. Ask Him to lead you daily, then make time everyday to seek the Lord’s even if it is just for five minutes. Ask Him to heal your heart and let Him. Ask Him to reveal the idols in your life and to help you remove them. Tell him that you want Him to be the Lord of your life. Ask others for help and build Godly relationships. And remember that we all are a work in progress and that the Lord is faithful to complete the good work He has started in you.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

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Called to Cameroon

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This past summer, August to be exact, I had the honor and the privilege of being called to Cameroon. Five of us went on a mission trip to train church leaders in Restoring the Foundations ministry. This was my fourth mission trip in the past two years. I have come to learn to expect the unexpected and was very exciting to go on an adventure to Africa.

IMG_1313We left on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning right after our church service. We arrived thirty six hours later in Buea, Cameroon. I could say so many things about this trip but that would take a small book, so I will share some of the highlights and a video that I put together.

I have always dreamed of traveling the world. Two of the many places on my list are Paris, France and Africa. I could never have imagined that I would travel to both at the same time. Though, I also never would have imagined that I would only be passing through Paris and not even get to see the Eiffel Tower, but that is a story for another day. This story is about Africa. Cameroon to be more exact, and its beautiful landscapes, like Mount Cameroon, and it’s beautiful people.

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We first arrived in Douala, Cameroon in the afternoon and were greeted by our wonderful hosts. There was a SUV to pick us up, a poem written just for us, and beautiful bouquets of flowers from their region. We were then taken over to a nice restaurant for dinner. This was just the beginning of what ten days of hospitality would look like.

Our first evening in Cameroon was spent having dinner in Douala and then heading up to Buea. Rush hour in Cameroon is like nothing we would imagine here in the states. The roads and traffic make I-95 look sane and slow paced. Since traffic is so bad, we stayed in the city for dinner to give a chance for traffic to die down a little bit. It was a nice dinner, and I ate goat for the first time. It was very good, and at first, I thought it was beef. The cuisine in Cameroon is rich and earthy, with many types of fish, greens and fruits to choose from. We were never left wanting for food, though some of the offerings, like Cameroonian plums, are much different than our food here in America. After dinner, we were off in the craziness of the traffic from Douala to Buea. The journey took several hours. Along the way we encountered multiple lanes of traffic, multiple types vehicles, such as taxi motorcycles sometimes carrying as many as four people on one motorcycle. We also encountered goats, cows, tolls, and fog (it was the rainy season). At last we arrived in Buea at the base of the beautiful Mount Cameroon. Since it was the rainy season, everything was lush, green, and in some places muddy.

Our time in Buea was very busy. It was full of teaching, prayer ministry, worship, and visiting. We taught seventeen pastoral couples, each from a different church, how to do Restoring the Foundations Issued Focused Ministry. They caught on quickly and were already very familiar with deliverance ministry. They all were very excited to add this powerful tool to their ministries. All together we had six long days of teaching. During this time, we got to know these couples well, and I fell in love with the Cameroonian people. I made a few friendships that I hope will last a lifetime and look forward to seeing them again this summer.

We had many opportunities while in Cameroon to pray for people. We were invited to the Mayor of Buea’s home. We got to spend time with him and his wife and pray for both of them. We also had the opportunity to visit one of Cameroon’s senators in his home and pray for he and his family as well. We also got to pray for and encourage many of the people who took care of us. We prayed for our drivers, the ladies in our house who cooked for us, and the many people who we met during out trip. It was and honor and a privilege to be used in such a way and I was blessed as much as they were.

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We had many rainy days and many rainy nights where we went to bed to the sound of rain on the roof and African singing. We had a wonderful day out to see Cameroon. We saw the lava flow from where mount Cameroon erupted many years ago. We saw a beautiful waterfall that had once been a place where witchcraft was practiced and now is a place for people to come and pray. I had a nice little tumble down the hill at the waterfall and was thankfully caught by our driver who was looking out for me. I spent the day very damp, but it only dampened my mood a little. We saw the Atlantic ocean, which is Africa’s west coast, and that fact sort of still boggles my mind. But most of all, we just got to be with the people of Cameroon, here their stories, worship with them, and share life together in the beautiful presence of God. The first day there I had a moment where it really hit me. Here I am in Africa and the Lord is here with me. He is everywhere and the same everywhere. Sounds so simple, but yet the revelation was so powerful to me in that place. In gave me new insight to the scripture “I am with you always, even to the end of time”. There was not a day that went by on my trip, that I didn’t think and repeat to myself “I’m in Africa” over and over again…. I would think it “I’m in Africa” The entire trip was amazing. It was a dream come true. It was beautiful. It changed me. I grew in the Lord. I made new friends. I loved it and I can’t wait to go again.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

Seasons and the New Year

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There are always seasons in life. Some we understand and some we do not. As I sit here tonight, I am thinking back on the last year. It has brought a lot of changes as did the year before. I am looking forward to this brand new year, though I really have no idea of what it will hold. I am full of excitement, anticipation and some trepidation. My last few years have brought many changes and quiet a few adventures. In two years I went from not traveling at all (literally only out of my time zone once) to traveling to three countries and two continents. I have semi launched my three oldest children into the world. I have laid down my job as a real estate agent and been certified as a life coach and trained as a Restoring the Foundations prayer minister. I have reached a new place in my prayer life and God has transformed my heart, which has been the biggest adventure of all. This blog has been neglected in the last few months, however I hope to change that in the upcoming year. I will write as God leads but I am committed to being more disciplined in my posting as well as writing a book. As we go into a new year, I want to share about my past adventures and the new adventures along the way. I appreciate each of you that are a part of my life , as well as each of you who read my blog. I hope 2015 was a good year for you, though for many, I know it was a long and hard season. I lost two great friends this year. Both of them were incredible people. Both of them were lost to cancer. I am still trying to process all that I feel over losing them. And though they are celebrating in heaven, this world is sadder and dimmer without them. They will be missed by all of us, but by their families most of all. As I said at the start of this post, some seasons we understand and some we do not. Only God himself has all the answers and I am glad that I do not need the answers to know that He is God. So as this year comes to a close I pray you have memories to take with you, hope for a new season and for a new year. I pray you have peace, joy and comfort. I pray that you have these things in the good seasons and in the hard seasons. But most of all I pray that you come to know the Lord better, to walk closer with Him, and reach new levels in life in 2016.

Be blessed my friends,

Leah

Stadium Seating

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This post is something I posted about a year and a half ago. But saw it and thought it was worth a re-post. It is certainly food for thought. Be sure to also check out the video at the end.

Be Blessed my friends.


Why is that we get excited to go to a stadium and cheer on our favorite sports team. We wear their colors, scream and shout, sing songs and get that big foam finger. We know the players by name. We invest our time and money in sports paraphernalia. And when they hit a home run, make a basket, make it into the end zone or cross the finish line the crowd goes wild. Don’t get me wrong I like sports. I love the Atlanta Braves. My dad and I have been fans since I was a little girl. I can sing take me out to the ball game with the best of them. And I love cracker jacks.

The other night, in a prayer meeting, I saw a vision of a stadium full of people. The crowd on its feet and full of excitement. Then in the vision I saw Christ on the field, he ran into the end zone but instead of spiking the ball he just turned and stretched out his arms.

Whoa. It hit home for me. How often do we yell, scream and get excited over our favorite sports. How often do we talk sports at work, around the dinner table at our local gas station? How many times are we looking forward to the big game?

Then I thought about Sunday mornings. How quite are the pews? Do we sing, dance and praise God with the same passion that we cheer on our sports teams? Are we as excited to show up in the house of God as we are to head to out to the sports stadium? Do we talk about Jesus and how he died for our sins, and gave us a new life around the dinner table? Do we talk about the wonderful ways he has blessed our lives when we are at work or out with our friends? And why is it we are so comfortable with shouting and cheering even screaming for our favorite sports team, but so uncomfortable shouting praises to the one who gave everything so that we may have life.

I challenge the people of God to think about the excitement they feel when their team scores and the cheers they give to that team on the field and to ask themselves… doesn’t our savior who died on the cross deserve more excitement than that? Doesn’t he deserve our praises? Doesn’t he deserve our upmost attention and thankfulness? Come on people of God. If you can cheer for a team on the field, then you can cheer for the one who stretched out his arms and paid the price so you could have enteral life. Can we get just as excited and fired up in church this Sunday as we are for our sports teams when they win the game? And if we did get that excited… That excited for God, how would the whole atmosphere of the Body of Christ change? I think it’s worth a try. How about you?

Discouraging Days

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Discouragement, at some point, strikes us all and if allowed will grip onto you and suck away life, joy, and hope.

If discouragement has a grip on you, know that you’re not alone. But also call it out for what it is, an attack and tool of the enemy. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. He will do that in any way he can.

Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.

Discouragement steals our hope and if we lose hope, we lose faith. For faith IS the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. So if the enemy can steal our hope and get our eyes on the evidence of hopelessness he has hit us where it hurts. For when we lose our hope, we also lose our faith. At that point, losing joy, praise, peace, and thankfulness isn’t too far behind. You see we need our joy, our hope, our faith, and our praise. These are our tools and weapons against the enemy. We especially need our faith and praise. Two powerful weapons. If we have a mustard seed size of faith, the mountain has to move. God inhabits the praises of his people and where God is the enemy flees. If we let the enemy can take away our praise and our hope he deals a vicious blow.

I know it’s cliché.

So, okay. I know it’s cliché, but even clichés can be true. You have to praise God in your storm. Praise him no matter what the facts and circumstances are, hold onto his hand, and hold onto your hope.

Hope of a better day
Hope for the future
Hope for healing
Hope for rescue
Hope for freedom
Hope for substance.
Hope for encouragement
Hope for your faith
Hope for the promises of God

I encourage anyone who is dealing with discouragement, hopelessness or depression to first and foremost reach out. Tell someone. Bring it into the light. Don’t let it hide. Confess it to the Lord and to others. Ask for prayer. What I think you will find is that not only will it make you feel better, but you will also find others who struggle with the very same things.

Wage war on the enemy’s lies

After you confess it. Wage war on that lie from the pit of hell. Speak scripture and truth over yourself and to the enemy. Pray it out loud for faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word. Get with others who have had the same battle. Listen to their testimony and share yours, even if your are still in the battle.

Remember that Jesus paid for all things on the cross. He said it is finished. Nail those things to the cross and remind the enemy that you are bought and paid for and that he has already lost. Remind him that you are a child of God. That you are created with purpose. That you are important. That you matter. That you are set free, cherished, and loved. Then remind him who your Father is. Tell the enemy and yourself that you will not let your hope go, and that you won’t let go of the Father’s hand. And then just hold on and let God take care of the rest. Be blessed my friends.

For more on who you are in Christ read this post from the Identity Series:

Identity Crisis: True Identity


John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

Overwhelming Days

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

Some days I feel completely overwhelmed. Torn between the have tos and I gottas, like, bills, laundry, and clean bathrooms, the I need tos, like homeschooling, writing, coaching, and answering emails, to the I want tos like playing games with my kids, being creative and starting a book.

Sometimes at the end of the day I haven’t even impacted that list at all and feel completely lost, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Today was one of those days.

Today was one of those days.

The noise and demands of my life was like a roar of confusion in my head. At that moment, I just had to stop and take a breath. The first thing I wanted to do was call my husband and complain. He is my best friend after all, and my go to guy. But then I heard the Lord’s voice say “I am suppose to be your go to guy.” At that point, I could feel all the emotion rising up in me and tears filling my eyes.

I heard the Lord’s voice say “I am suppose to be your go to guy.”

I put aside all that I was doing. I went back to my bedroom and just cried out to the Lord and poured out all my feelings to him. I talked to him about my day and about my week. I talked to him about my feelings and my responsibilities. I asked him about his plans for me. I felt his voice say “trust me and my plans for you”. Rest in me. So I did. I rested. I felt his peace come into my heart, mind, and soul. I was reminded that I don’t have to have all the answers. I was reminded that it is okay to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. It’s what I do with those feelings that really matter. Do I let them defeat me? Or do I let them lead me to God? Today they led me to him, but somedays they don’t. Somedays I wrestle with them until I am exhausted. But even on those days the Lord is still there to help me pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on down the path.

Today my emotions led me to God, but somedays they don’t.

Days like today remind me that I am only human and to stop striving for perfection, but rather to remind myself that I am a beautiful creation of God, created to be loved by him and to rest in him. After all, he is the one who has given me these dreams, goals, aspirations, and desires. He also has given me my emotions. When I get overwhelmed I just need to remember that and remember that I don’t have to do it on my own. God is my go to guy. He will help me. He will lead me. And yes put others around me to lift me up and support me. SO after my time with the Lord, which was only about thirty minutes of my day, I had a whole new outlook. Then I did call my hubby to talk about my day. But it made a big difference that I went to God first.

If you relate, I encourage you to just stop what you are doing at the moment…

Take a deep breath.

Find a quiet place and talk to God.

It doesn’t have to be a long talk. Sometimes just five minutes can make all the difference.

Be blessed my friends.

I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

Psalm 61:1-2 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Beauty in Brokenness

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Many times in life we work so hard to be perfect. We try time after time to be good enough, to be accepted, to achieve success and great things. We often hide our flaws and weaknesses. We try to conceal the fact that we are broken. We live a lie that we can achieve the good life or even a great life in our own power. We live the lie that we are okay and that we can take care of ourselves. Many times all this works for us until it doesn’t. My life was like that for a long time, and then, over time, my flaws, my shortcomings, and my weaknesses became to hard to hide. I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help. In my brokenness I discovered just how much I needed Christ and how very lost I am without him. I also discovered that it’s ok to need him and to need others. I discovered it’s okay to not be perfect, to make mistakes, and to have weaknesses. I discovered that admitting that I am flawed and broken set me free. But for me, the biggest truth of all was that being broken can be beautiful.

-I looked at myself one day and said it out loud. I am broken. I need help

Brokenness is beautiful in the Kingdom. We will never be perfect but God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. We all are broken in some way. We all have weaknesses and messiness in our lives. That is why we need each other and more importantly, why we need God. When I bring the broken pieces of myself and my life to him, He puts me back together. He sets me next to others and their brokenness. You see, we all are broken. Only Jesus is perfect. It’s Christ who can put us back together if we let him. The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together with his power, his love, and his strength. Then we become his masterpiece. God shines through our brokenness and together we are beautiful like a mosaic or stained glass window. He shines through our lives and we become a living, breathing testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and power.

 –The Lord restores us and puts our broken pieces together
with his power, his love, and his strength.

 Brokenness is beautiful. Its relatable. It’s love in a unworthy vessel. It’s God’s masterpiece waiting to happen. It’s being his hands and feet. It’s knowing that we are nothing without him, and everything with him. Brokenness is what enables us to be His workmanship. If you’re broken, know that you’re not alone. If you feel like you have no value then I am glad you are reading this. If you feel like you are beyond repair, let me tell you that is a lie. I have messed up things in my life so badly, that God’s grace is the only thing that saved me. He saved me in my darkest times. He saved my marriage. He helped me be a good mom. He kept me going. He healed my heart. We are never beyond repair. God doesn’t give up on us. He restore us and uses us. If you’re falling apart. Let the pieces fall and hold on to God. He will put you back together and his workmanship is beautiful. He will restore what you thought could never be fixed. He will set you free. He will use your life as a living testimony and for the Kingdom. He will take your brokenness and make you beautiful. My friends, I want to  leave you with this simple prayer.

Lord I choose to let you fill in the gaps of my brokenness
and ask that you let your light shine through me. Amen.

Be Blessed my friends.

 

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds

Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Ephesians 10:2 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand