Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When I say I'm praying...

When I tell you that I'm praying for you, or that I will be praying for you, I want you to know that I am totally serious about it. I used to do that on occasion, until God showed me that saying something like "I'll pray" and not doing it is lying, and only me trying to make myself look "Christian."  When folks are in need, religious platitudes won't help (do they ever?) -- they need real answers!

I believe that when I pray, God hears me. I take as 100% true and sure what He has said in His Word regarding His children.

For instance, when the tornado struck Joplin, I said I would pray, and I did.  I asked the Lord to send aid - angels to minister to those in need, according to Hebrews 1:14 where it says angels are "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who would inherit salvation", and Psalm 34:7 that says his angels encamp around those who fear Him, to deliver them.

I'm not writing this so you can "ooo" and "aah" over my prayer life, or to offend anyone who has, in the past, said they would pray but didn't. I'm not here to judge you. I just want you to know, that when I say "I'm praying..." I take it as though I've been called to the front line, that I've got your back and I'm in it with you!

“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.  I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:18-20 (NLT)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little steps of faith

Big problems, little problems…there were so many times in my life when I just wanted to get the heck out of the situation I was in.  I remember years ago feeling miserable, desperate, and alone.  And I was already a Christian.  

There was one particularly horrific day that sent me over the edge.  I finally came face to face with the ugly truth that I had been searching for answers that didn’t include doing things God’s way.  I cried out to Him, literally cried, asking Him to help me.  I gave the reins over.  I was done screwing things up.

Nothing changed dramatically by the time 24 hours had passed, but inwardly, a small change was made.  Through the words of another, He showed me a different perspective on the current turmoil in my life.  I could have just blown it off, but the moment I heard it, I knew it was right. 

Fast forward to more recent history.  We, as a family, make the move to Arizona.  Things weren’t so hot.  The job scene was pitiful, and the housing scene was just as bad.  Thankfully, I had already been taught that I couldn’t be moved by what I was seeing – I had to trust God, resist fear, and know that He was making a way out of the mess.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

So, my husband and I agreed that it was time for me to find a part-time job.  I ended up answering a Craigslist ad looking for an administrative assistant for a political website.  Then, my boss decides to write a book, and I suddenly found myself immersed into the fine art of book publishing and all it entails.

That was a year ago.  Now, because I followed that one little step God wanted me to take, and continued following – He has led me into freelance writing and ebook formatting.  The most amazing part to me is how He has used me to touch other people’s lives all along the way. 

I would have never dreamed that a part-time job as a secretary would eventually lead me to where I am now.  God is good, and He knows what He’s doing.  Like He said in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”  

God has seen the end from the beginning, and He knows exactly what path you need to take to get out of your living hell – you just need to get that first step from Him, and trust that even if it doesn’t make much sense, or it doesn’t solve the problem right away, it’s going to lead you to answers.

What little step will you take today?  That reminds me…I need to get on the treadmill.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm a blessed woman

I've got God.

I've got an awesome husband.

I've got a super-cool and compassionate daughter.

I've got two parents who apparently think the world of me. 

I don't have time to go into how I know all of this, but I'll prove the last point by posting a picture of something my mother bought me recently.  Me -- her 35 year old daughter:

*Objects in image are softer and squishier than they appear.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I wrote this post... say, I love you! (sung, of course, to the tune of "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder)

I was singing that out loud this morning. While I was driving. With my windows down.

I knew what the title of the post would be, but wasn't sure on the rest.  I'm still not sure! 

I've been a pretty busy lady since the middle of last week.  None of what kept me away from writing blog posts or Examiner articles was in any way bad.  I just had to make priorities out of some stuff, and some of that "stuff" was simply spending time with my family.  If you didn't know that your family should be your number one priority -- email me, we need to talk.

Over the weekend, I told a close family friend that I'm more content now than I have been in my entire life. 

That's huge.  Anyone who has been privy to my family's personal life knows that being able to say something like that, and mean it, is huge.

I decided a few months after moving to Arizona that I wasn't going to let circumstances keep me from moving forward.  Believe me, there were PLENTY of times I felt terribly down.  Moving to the other side of the country away from family and friend was not fun.  I asked the Lord early on to send Christian friends, to help me find a church "home."  I knew I needed to other believers in my life. The back and forth with employment was -- hard.  But, God always sent encouragement to me one way or another. He helped me to keep pressing on through the trouble that came. He showed me that I needed to make sure I didn't ride along with the "storm," but to walk right through it to the other side.

I am content. But being content doesn't mean I'm staying in the same spot physically, mentally, or spiritually. I don't want to get into a rut. I simply have chosen to be thankful and grateful for what I have right now, and keep a vision of even better things to come.

Like Paul said to the Philippians:
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. (Philippians 3:12 -- NLT)
 I haven't lived out all that God has planned for me, but I will keep going, ever reaching for more of Him, and the abundant life He promised me -- a life worth living!