believing in the unseen

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?

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A Little Longer

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It has been a little while, but I am jumping back in with Poetry Tuesday. This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is A Little Longer by Jenn Johnson and Bethel music. I love this song. I often think of how we approach the Lord this way, asking what we can do for him when he just wants our company. Enjoy this weeks post and be sure to check out the video as well.

Be Blessed my friends!

A Little Longer

VERSE:
What can I do for You
What can I bring to You
What kind of song would
You like me to sing
‘Cause I’ll dance a
Dance for You
Pour out my love for You
What can I do for You
Beautiful King

CHORUS:
‘Cause I can’t
Thank You enough
‘Cause I can’t
Thank You enough

VERSE:
What can I do for You
What can I bring to You
What kind of song would
You like me to sing
‘Cause I’ll dance a
Dance for You
Pour out my love for You
What can I do for You
Beautiful King

BRIDGE:
Then I hear You say
You don’t have to do a thing
Simply be with me and
Let those things go
They can wait another minute
Wait this moment
Is too sweet
Please stay here with me
And love on Me a little
longer
‘Cause I’m in love with you

BRIDGE 2:
So I’ll wait here at Your feet
It’s where I want to be
Your voice I’ll follow
Jesus You are
Everything to me
And I’ll pour out my life
Worship at Your feet
Love on You a little longer
‘Cause I’m in love with You

 

 

Our Deepest Fear

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is the poem I talked about in my last post “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson. I love this poem, it is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Be Blessed my friends.

Our Deepest Fear 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about
shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone
and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

The Power of Transparency

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When I was in my twenties, I was afraid to let people see who I really was. I thought if people found out about the real me that I would be judged, turned away, or even made fun of. I was worried that if I put away my mask and my pretending that I would be left all alone. I was locked and chained into a life of pretending. I was held in bondage by fear. The fear of rejection and the fear of who I truly was. After all, what if she were not enough? What would happen if I showed my true self and was left with nothing? So for years I pretended, put on a mask and let the fear of being found out rule my life.

-It had escaped me that the very thing I feared most would be what set me free.

It had escaped me that the very thing I feared the most, being real and transparent, would be the very thing that would set me free. Free to be me. I have a group of friends and we say that a lot. Free to be me. It is worth repeating and that is what transparency did for me, it set me on the path to freedom. My path began around the time I first heard the poem “Our Deepest Fear”. If you have never read it, then I highly recommend that you do. It’s about being authentic. It’s about being transparent. It’s about being all the God has made us to be and letting our own light, and God’s light, shine through us. I still remember the first time I heard it. I cried. I wanted that. I wanted to be all that God had created me to be. I wanted to be real and to stop pretending. Then I made a decision that changed my life. I would start to do my best at being myself. I started taking steps of faith. I prayed and first asked God who I was. I started being completely real and transparent with myself and with Jesus. He loved me enough to save me, so I figured it was a safe place to be transparent. As I started my journey of transparency with him, I begin to laugh at myself for not doing it sooner considering Jesus knew everything about me already. Time went by and I began to become more comfortable being “real”.

-Instead of being judged and rejected, I found myself being loved.

Then one day I was put to the test. A good friend of mine called me. She was going through some struggles and was about to make a bad decision. She was unhappy in her marriage and was sharing her struggles with another man. “He is just a good friend” she said to me. I told her it was dangerous to be sharing her struggles with a man other than her husband and that she should end the relationship. She restated that he was only a friend and wanted to know why I felt so strongly that she should end the relationship. It was in that moment that I felt the Holy Spirit rise up in me. I had a decision to make. Should I tell her the truth? Should I be transparent? I felt the Holy Spirit say tell her. Tell her your story. You see,  just a couple of years before this, I had an affair. He was our best friend and when my marriage was in trouble, I turned to him for help. We talked. We shared our struggles. And then, we fell into sin. It was hard, but I shared my story with my friend. She was the first person I had talked about it with since it all had happened. I was shaking on the other end of the phone because I was so afraid she would judge me. Instead she cried. She cried and then came over to my home and hugged me. Then we prayed for her and her marriage. She ended that relationship, talked to her husband, and worked on her marriage. After that, we became best friends. I had never really had a best friend like her before. I had friends, but I had always kept them at a distance. I was completely transparent with her and she loved me more than any friend I had ever had. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I had shared my biggest, darkest secret with her and not only had she loved me in spite of it but more because of my sharing it with her. It was a life changing experience for me. Since then, I have shared my story and my struggles many times. It has almost always been the same result. Instead of being  judged and rejected I have  found myself being loved and have had many people come along beside me to help instead.

Those experiences have made me realize just how much power there is in being transparent with one another. Now, we should be spirit led. I am not saying to be an open book all the time, but with those that God has put in our lives, we should be real. Everyone should have a place and relationships where they can be completely open, transparent and authentic with one another.

-There is power in transparency

There is power in transparency. Being transparent takes away anything the enemy has on you. It’s like telling the enemy to shut up. My Father already knows everything there is to know about me and Jesus paid the price for me. Being transparent sets you free. Free of condemnation, free of guilt, free of the fear of what others may think and free of embarrassment and shame. By being real and showing who we really are, the good, the bad, and the ugly, it creates an atmosphere for truth. It creates a place for others to be transparent and to be encouraged. Our own transparency helps us to not be judgmental but instead look at others through eyes of love and acceptance. It helps each of us to come along side and be there for one another.

Some of the effects of transparency:

  • Leaves no room for secrets and sin to hide
  • Removes the enemy’s footholds
  • Removes feelings of being alone
  • Gives you freedom to be yourself
  • Releases joy as you lay down your burdens
  • Develops an atmosphere of truth
  • Develops trust
  • Builds authentic relationships
  • Fosters unity
  • Develops spiritual community
  • Gives a place for accountability
  • Gives a place for helping and nurturing one another
  • Encourages others
  • Builds confidence
  • Strengthens our walk with Christ
  • Strengthens our walk with each other

I want to leave you with this. I almost always find that when I start sharing about my life, past hurts and things I struggle with, that others join in with their own struggles and stories. I have shared ugly things about my past and even my current struggles and instead of people turning me away or hating me, they have loved me more. It has also given them a place to share their own struggles and weaknesses. I think God wants us to start taking that leap of faith to be our true selves. To share what we have been through. To share what we struggle with, our fears, our hopes, our dreams, and ways we fall short with Him and each other. It isn’t always easy but, I believe, it is always worth it. I believe this is one powerful way that we move forward in our walk with Christ and with each other. Be Blessed my friends.


 

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Colossians 3:9-10 Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Let It Out

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is “Let It Out” by Chris and Conrad. It is a beautiful song about letting go, being free and no longer hiding. I love these lyrics. I hope you do to. Be Blessed my friends. (shout out to my beautiful friend Zoe for introducing me to this song.)

Let It Out

How long can you keep building
Those walls around your heart?
And how long can you keep running
From who you really are?

And don’t you know that He knows you
Sees everything you’ve done
So tell me why you keep trying
To fool everyone

Do you wanna feel true redemption?
And do you wanna be free?

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know
Yeah, let it out

Be weary and be broken
Be everything that’s true
And admit how much you need healing
Let Him bring it all to you

Do you wanna have true salvation?
Do you wanna have peace?

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know

And trade it all for love and freedom
Ooh, let it out
And trade it all for saving grace, yeah

Let the past go ’cause you can’t know
It never will define you
Everything has made you
Nothing’s gonna be the same

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know

Let it out, let it out
Everything you’ve worked so hard to hide
Let it out, let it out
Leave it at the cross where Jesus died

Take off your mask, find peace at last
‘Cause He loves you
More than you could ever know, yeah
Let it out

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.