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
-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,
This week’s Poetry Tuesday selection is Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas. I have heard several interpretations of this poem. To me this poem is about fighting a good fight and never giving up, but also making every moment of life count. What does it mean to you? I hope you enjoy it. Be Blessed my friends.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is Happy Ending by Shel Silverstein. I love this short little poem and relate to what it is saying. Even if the ending is happy, it is still the ending. Though I have learned to embrace change and I understand that life is full of different seasons, I am always a little sad when things come to an end. Enjoy and be blessed my friends.
There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.
The forecast was predicting it, some of were hoping for it, and then it was here, the blizzard.
I was raised in the Appalachian mountains and snow was commonplace during winter. Sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, and hot chocolate are memories that are dear to my heart. So when snow comes around, the kid in me comes out. I have been disappointed in the past and thus was holding back my excitement for this past weekends snow predictions, but I can say now that the blizzard did not disappoint. From the first flurries, to the final totals, this girl has been one happy camper. All of this snow really got me thinking about childhood and how much I have always loved the snow and how I still have not grown out of the enjoyment as so many often do. However, I will say that being able to stay home makes all of the difference! In fact, a few years ago, when I was showing property with my snow boots on and in houses with no heat, this girl was singing a different tune. But this weekend, I had the luxury of being home for the entire blizzard. From our first walk in the beautiful snowy winter wonderland being created in front of our eyes, to still sledding today on our homemade hill, the snow has been a real treat. We walked, we sledded, we came in from the cold and wrapped our fingers around mugs of glorious hot chocolate. I marveled at the blessing of sharing this time with my family and creating memories like those of my childhood days. Even as I write, the fun continues as my kids are outside building a snowman. I am cherishing the moments before life’s busyness starts up again tomorrow and all of us, once again, go our own ways. But for now, there are still games to be played and movies to be watched.
I hope each of you got to make some special memories as well. I want to say a big thank you to all of you out there who kept the electricity on and have worked hard to clear our roads. And to all of you who hate the snow, hold onto hope… spring is just around the corner, and we will once more enjoy the warm sunshine on our faces and our toes will enjoy the freedom of fllip-flops.
Be Blessed My Friends.
PS. Please enjoy our family video below and share in the comments what you loved about this weekend.
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.
We 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.
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.
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,
This week’s Poetry Tuesday’s feature is If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking by Emily Dickinson. I really love the concept of the poem. Enjoy and be blessed my friends!
If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
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.