Pay It Forward

Recently I was reading a book and came across a simple yet, to me, a profound statement: “Pay It Forward”. When was the last time you hit “pause” and took a moment to reflect on how you got to where you are? The people in your life that helped mold you into the person you are? Now, I realize that this may open a can of worms, maybe stir up bad memories for some. Maybe you think there is no way you are going down that path. I get that. I used to think of myself as a survivor and having survived no way would I go down that path again. But I came to realize that I am more than a survivor, I am an overcomer, and you can be one too. Consider this, every person that has ever crossed paths with you, has helped to shape you in some small way.

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Romans 12:17,18 NASB
Continue reading “Pay It Forward”

The Struggle

the enemy has taken territory; its time to take it back

Oh my gosh! 21 day prayer journey and I have to say that I am failing at keeping territory the enemy snuck in and stole. That’s right, that thieven enemy entered my territory and managed to take a piece of territory that wasn’t his. How you ask? Well, as much as I hate to admit it, he came at me from the subtle check this out isn’t it the new book in that series you have? approach.

You may or may not remember me mentioning in one of my earlier posts that reading is a weakness for me. I mean put me in a library, leave me food and water and I can easily get lost in the world of books. I have hundreds of books on the bookshelves at home and probably two or three hundred easily on my tablet if not more. Yeah, its that bad. In fact it had gotten to the point I quit purchasing google play cards to keep myself from buying more books. And I had started purchasing google play cards to prevent myself from overspending in our checking account. Yep, bookaholic for sure. So of course after about six or seven months of not buying any books I finally broke down and bought a google card so I could buy a book.

Bought a book and I was fine, read it went on about my business. Started the 21 Day Prayer and there he was, my enemy, leaning against the counter tapping on a book that just so happen to be the next in a series I was reading. I leaned over for a closer look as he slid to the side to allow me a good look at this book I’ve been waiting months to read. Listen, when it comes to Christian romance & suspense, I’m there. Love a good mystery to solve as well.

So my enemy flicked the book open to give me a sample of what was inside. I was hooked. I sat down read the book and when I was finished with it I happened upon two more in a different series that I was reading so of course I just had to have those as well. Needless to say, my prayer time suffered, my devotional time suffered and my blogging suffered as well.

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.

He stole my time and I let him do it. Didn’t plan on letting him take it but because I wasn’t diligent with spending my time in the Word he was able to sneak in and take over. He’s cunning, sneaky, and if he can’t get to you by intimidation, he will come at you like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And once he has you, the mask comes off and he’ll be laughing in your face at the chaos he creates.

Psalms 143:10 Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.

May we always make time for the Lord, seeking, searching, praying for His wisdom to guide us on the slippery slope of life. God bless!

Where Does It Lead?

Life is good. Things are going the way you planned or so it seems until you come to a fork in the path you’ve followed your whole life. You look at the path leading to what you think is life. Its well worn, wide, easy to maneuver and as you study it, you can see off in the distance people making their way with ease. You think to yourself, I’m doing good, so I must be headed in the right direction until you notice for the first time, an off beaten path. It’s narrow, not as easy to maneuver and when you look off into the distance, there are very few people in sight. It’s no wonder, as you look at the path, it’s overrun with weeds and rocks; it looks as if its rarely if ever traveled. You think to yourself, no way am I taking that path. Yet, it intrigues you and as you study the rarely traveled path, you find yourself swept up in the crowd of people leading you away from the narrow path and on up the wide well worn path you’ve always been on. Swept up in the crowd, you soon forget about the narrow rocky path until you come upon another crossroad. You begin to wonder if you’ve missed these off beaten paths in life and if so, how you missed them. You stop to study this intriguing path that like before, it’s narrow, rocky and very little evidence of anyone ever traveling it. Your interest is peaked to say the least and you feel a spirit of adventure bubbling up inside making you curious enough to want to check it out. Just as you start toward the path, you are once again swept up into the crowd of people dragging you away from the narrow path. This time, the narrow path stays on your mind and you determine that if you should come upon one again you won’t hesitate, you’ll head straight for it not stopping for anything.

Matthew 7:13, 14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

You see your opportunity ahead as the path begins to split once more; this time your prepared and you make sure you are on the side that will take you down that narrow, rocky, less traveled path that has peaked your curiosity. You can feel it inside, this sense of adventure, that something exciting is about to happen. You manage to take the path less traveled and as you begin down the path, you can’t help but to wonder if maybe you made a mistake. You feel uncertainty creeping in but you’ve already started on the path so you choose to move forward. Then it starts. Subtle little whispers of your past. Things long forgotten. The enemy begins working on you trying to break you. You wonder if its worth it to continue on this path. Worthless. No good. Nobody cares what happens to you. And then you hear get off this path and follow me if you want to live. Stay here and you will surely die. You begin to doubt and think maybe he’s right. But then you hear a new voice. An encouraging voice. Stay on this path if you want life. I am with you always.

Maybe you are feeling a tug in your spirit daring you to take an adventure, one that will change your life forever. You can’t help as a bubbling excitement begins to well up inside making you ready to get started. You look around and realize that not everyone feels the same as you and some of your friends no longer want to associate with you because you’re different. You find yourself taking the narrow, rocky path alone, but that’s okay because you just know you are supposed to be on this path that seems to be leading nowhere.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your rememberance all things that I said to you.”

You are not alone in this great adventure. The Father sent us a Helper, the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us to maneuver this thing called life. As you continue on this path, you begin to feel guilty. Guilt over things that happened in the past. Shame kicks in rearing its head dumping even more guilt on your shoulders. You begin to think that you made a huge mistake taking this path and you seriously consider turning back. Instead something seems to pull you upward to continue following the path that’s bringing up everything you wanted to forget. Thought you had forgotten. Grudgingly you continue up this path that seems to have lost some of its appeal. But something begins to happen and you start to notice things that you hadn’t seen before. The air around you is different. It doesn’t seem as oppressive as before and you notice your burden seems to be getting lighter. You see a light that you hadn’t noticed before and you can feel the warmth of it even though its still too far away to see where it’s coming from. So you decide to follow the light to see where its source comes from. The next thing you notice is the guilt shedding its ugly head and in its place you find forgiveness. Shame soon follows and you feel a true sense of peace in your life. You find yourself alive and experiencing life with fresh, new eyes and you are see the world in a whole new light. You tell others about your new discovery and while some will come to see for themselves, others will turn away. You’ve planted the seed, the rest is up to them.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'”

Where does it lead? The choice is yours, I’m praying for you!

Broken Pieces

We’ve all been there at one time in our lives. Whether young or old, we’ve all experienced some form of hurt. It could have been the child waiting with anticipation for his or her parents to attend a school play only to have them forget or were too busy with work to attend. The heart begins to crack. Promises broken. Pieces begin to fall away. Or maybe it’s the adult with the promised promotion or bonus that falls through adding to the hurts already there. The list could go on forever.

The enemy whispers “nobody cares about you”, “your not worthy of the promotion”, “look at you, even God doesn’t want you”. He torments you with feelings of unworthiness, shame, betrayal. He digs in pressing on the one thing that he knows will take the wind out of your sails. He is so busy tormenting you that he lets his guard down and doesn’t notice the change in the air around him until it’s too late. He whirls around only to see the Lord picking up the pieces of your broken heart. He screams at the unfairness as he turns and tries to attack you only to find a shield around you that he can’t breach, leaving him frustrated that he lost yet another one to the Lord. I can see this handsome fallen angel shaking his fist promising next time he won’t fail as he slinks away licking his wounds of defeat.

I can almost visualize the Lord picking up the pieces of our hearts and examining each one with loving care. How He might hold the piece in His hand and pray over it taking the hurt from our lives and setting it down to pick up the next piece of hurt and continue the process until each piece has been carefully handled and prayed over. I can imagine Him looking at the pieces after handling them and seeing them put back together again. Smiling as He whispers in our ear “I am with you always.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Can you see yourself touching the jagged pieces and wondering why He didn’t just make it smooth and whole again? I can envision Him saying something like: “You wonder why the edges aren’t smooth and whole. The jagged pieces are a reminder of what you went through and how I was there for you putting the pieces together so you could find your way home again.”

Psalms 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

He’s waiting on you to open the door so He can heal your broken heart. Praying for you! God Bless!

Reconnecting

Have you ever met someone that you could go for months or years without talking to them and pick up where you left off as though it were yesterday? Recently I was thinking about a friend of mine that I haven’t connected with in little over a year. So I sent her an email catching her up on the happenings over the past year. It was like we had never stopped communicating! Now here’s the really neat thing, we have never met in person. Read on to see how we became friends.

I had worked in ministry for seven years and I was burned out from the politics before going to work for my church. I thought being in a different environment, where the church was smaller, I would be able to recuperate but as I discovered that wasn’t the case. The damage had already been done and my heart wasn’t in it like it should have been. After five years of working at my church and with health insurance laws requiring everyone to have health insurance or be fined, it sent me to work in the secular world. It was here that my healing would take place and God would show me that I still had work that He wanted me to do.

While working for a company that handled multiple clients, I connected with a wonderful woman who became a dear sister in Christ. She worked for one of our clients and was my contact person. As we communicated by email, we got to know one another and discovered we had some things in common, one of which was our love for the Lord. I was sad when she told me she would be retiring at the end of the year but we had promised to keep in touch. Due to health issues she wound up taking a medical leave of absence and during that time, I left to go work at another place. Little did I know that the Lord was orchestrating my return to ministry. I should mention that both of those jobs were the result of those companies reaching out to me and not me going to apply for a job with them. Looking back, I can see how the Lord orchestrated those jobs using them as stepping stones to heal me and to return me to ministry.

Psalms 51: 12 says “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

You meet special people in life and have a connection that stands the test of time. Treasure those gifts from the Lord, I believe He’s brings them into our lives to help us grow. God bless!