Sunday, September 20, 2015

Seeing the Beauty of Jesus

Yesterday I did something I have never done before. I went into the guest bathroom to wash out a paint brush and looked into the mirror. Normally when I look in the mirror I see flaws. The critique begins and ends in an "ugh". This time was different.

I stood there looking at myself. A small smile developed and I started to talk to myself. "I am beautiful," I told my reflection. I noticed the pretty waves in my hair and the fact that the color looks like Fall. I continued to look at my reflection and notice positive things about my appearance. Then my mirror conversation changed.

"I am beautiful on the inside because of Jesus in me." My smile grew as I told myself how even though I struggle with being selfish, proud, etc. I am beautiful because of the amazing fact that Jesus lives inside of me.

Like most of us, I focus on my negatives both inside and out. My mirror conversation was focused on the positives, most importantly the fact that Jesus lives in me. It's not that I ignored the negatives, they are still there, but they weren't important. The important thing is that I am beautiful because of Jesus in me.

I told myself that I hope that others see Him in me. I'm sure they see the negatives because we are used to seeing the negatives in ourselves and others. That lead me to think about how I see others. Do I look for their negatives first? I would have to say most of the time I do. When I look at people I want to look deeper and look to see if I see the beauty of Christ in them. I know I won't always find Him. That means that I need to pray that person comes to a place where they ask Him into their heart and let Him make them beautiful.

And for those who I see His beauty in? For them I will try harder to focus on their beauty, even when the negative is easier to see. I also will pray that He will shine out through Him even more.

I challenge you to have a mirror conversation and focus on the beauty that having Jesus in you brings out. Also to pray to see the His beauty in others and pray for those who don't have the beauty of Him them yet.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Satan Hates, but I Don't Have to Choose to Listen

Just one night after a beautiful time with Jesus, satan was on the attack. Last night, I had a very realistic nightmare. I woke up feeling emotional and it carried into my day. I cried on the way to work, and then took my class down to sit in the gym while I was supposed to be peppy for the PTA pep rally. Now, I love to have fun with my kids and even being silly with small groups, but being in a pep rally is not me. So my emotional state didn't help my already uncomfortable feelings about the pep rally.

By the second rally, yup second, I was feeling a bit more peppy, then after it was over one of mine came up to me crying. It seems he and some boys sitting behind him were messing with each other and it escalated. I ended up taking them all to the office, because they were very mean to each other and saying some very inappropriate things. Then I go back to my room, where my class was watching a weather video to be informed by another teacher of one my other student's behavior during the assembly. I had to deal with him too, but thankful his behavior was easy to deal with.

It was barely 9:30 and my emotions were raging. Thankfully I do have some of the best students in the world. They knew I was feeling off and they preceded to be totally on task, involved, and pleasant. We finally were doing some completely normal; I never was so happy to teach math in my life. The more into the normalcy of our day the more settled my emotions became.

I should have known that after my time with Jesus, satan would go on the attack. That's how he works. He tries to derail me and get my focus off of what God is doing and who He is. Thankfully God has been growing me and I am able to see the hand of the enemy sooner than before. Usually I can command him to leave me allow more quickly. Unfortunately, the nightmare was so realistic it was hard to ignore. It literally upset to the point of feeling physical pain. Now, I could let him get my off of God and let the negative feelings fester, yet as I said God has been growing me spiritually. Because of this it is easier to tune out the loud, hurtful voices of him and tune in the quiet, loving Voice of God.

I am happy to say that I know it was a dream and have enjoyed the rest of my day basking in the love of God. I choose not to let satan have anymore power of me today.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Others May Have, But Jesus Does Not Condemn Me

Last night I was laying on my bed and reflecting on who Jesus has been to me. It wasn't long before I was starting to tear up. Then a particular Bible story was brought to mind, and He showed me how an instance in my life was similar. Maybe I should say more similar in his response than in the actual instance.

The story was of the woman thrown down at the feet of Jesus for condemnation and ultimately death. She was caught in the adultery bed, and deserved, under the Law, to be stoned for it. He did not condemn her though and told her to, "Go and sin no more." Like I said, my instance was not the same, but His response was. Something happened at a gathering I was at, and I walked out. Now I'm not saying I made the right decision in that situation, but later I was "dragged" in front of this group and condemned by some. Not all. I want to stress that, it was not by all, but some.

I can't begin to say how it felt! But I can tell you what Jesus told me last night. He said that He never condemned me! Others may have, but He never did. Yes, I didn't handle it well, but I didn't deserve the verbal stones of condemnation. Under Law and Rules those stones would be required to make others feel that they have done their part of upholding the rigidness of the Law. He simply said to me, "Go and don't do it anymore." And, "I will always be with you!"

I felt the amazing love of Christ wash over me as I truly saw Him in the situation. He was quiet while the voices accused, but after they had their say, He stood up and let me know He did not accuse and He did forgive. I know I am not doing last night's experience of revelation and love justice, but I knew I needed to share.

God has shown me so much about who He is through a time in my life that honestly was more hurtful and yet healing than any other time in my life. Those who really know me know that is saying a lot. Much of that time is still between me and Him. Some of it is between a very select few and myself. There have been times I wanted to share what I learned, but God has said, "now is not the time." I'm not sure when or even if the right time will come, but I can say the time since has been amazing. I have experienced the joy of some deep wound-healing; a peace that I can't describe; and a deeper discernment. Because of that discernment, my eyes now see more clearly the pain of others that have and are experiencing poor, and even unjust treatment. I also have seen more clearly the Truth and the lies that wish to distort the Truth. Most importantly, I have come to see the Real Jesus. The One who loves me, but doesn't just look passed my selfishness, my lack of focus on Him, and my thoughtlessness. He loves me, will always be with me, and expects me to take what He has taught me to help others. That is the true reason I learn from our hurts, mistakes, and failures. It isn't just about me, but about allowing Him shine through the my hurts and healings.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Peter, John, and even Judas Wouldn't Follow Jesus!

Do you ever wonder what the disciples would think of the Jesus we have created? I do. Honestly, I doubt they would have been drawn to any Jesus we have created. Even if they were drawn to our Rhesuses I don't think they would have remained followers. What do I mean?

Well there's Hippie Jesus. Fun Jesus. Rules and Regulations Jesus. Tolerant Jesus. Love Jesus. Stern Jesus. Everything Goes Jesus. As Long As It Makes You Happy Jesus. Boring Jesus. Adult Jesus. Kid Jesus. Jesus You Take Off The Shelf When You Need Something. And the one that makes me absolutely cringe is Curse Word Jesus. That's just to name a few. We, and I mean we, have created our own versions of Jesus. He changes based on denominations, political views, educational theories, ages, and group mentalities among so many ideas and beliefs. I personally have thought of Jesus based on my own perceptions and thoughts. I am sure I'm not the only one to do this. This isn't a finger-pointing post. I'm not talking about everyone else. I know I'm just as guilty as anyone else.

The disciples did have their own ideas of Jesus was going to accomplish. They hoped He'd overthrow the Romans for one thing. They found out that wasn't the kind of kingdom He was talking about, but they stayed with Him. Why? Not because He wasn't any of the Jesuses listed above. So who was He really? Well, I'm not going to tell you, but I will tell you how to find out.

Read about Him. Matthew and John knew Him personally and wrote about Him, and Mark and Luke wrote about Him from personal accounts of Him. Don't just read about Him. Talk to Him. Ask Him to show you who He really is. Listen to Him. Sit with Him and just be quiet with Him. Ask Him to show you what kind of Jesus you have created, and ask Him to replace that Jesus with the Real One. That's what I feel convicted to do. To spend time getting to know the Real Jesus. My heart feels a thrill at spend time with Him and getting to know Him for who He really is.

Will you join me on the journey of getting to know the real Him? I'd love to hear about your experience if you are willing to share. Just comment on the post if you want to share.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Lion and the Babies Break My Heart

Back in the fall, three young men tortured a llama eventually cutting the poor thing in half. Recently a dentist hunted down a protected lion and killed it. You can barely watch TV or view Facebook without seeing a story about animal cruelty. Planned Parenthood has recently been exposed, via hidden camera investigations, for profiting from aborted baby parts. Years ago the process of abortion was explained to me in great detail and it still horrifies me. I once had a student who had started to fall from a tree (I believe) and grabbed power lines. He lost parts of his fingers and suffered from being electrocuted. Recently a young man, whose sibling I taught, was in a horrible traffic accident with numerous life threatening injuries. I refuse to watch shows or movies involving serial killers because what is depicted disgusts me. Obviously they got the ideas from some sick persons' actual deeds. I know women around the world are being tortured and mutilated in the sex trade. I see images of starving children in commercials or in that famous photo with the vulture. (By the way, the man who took that photo took his own life because he was told to leave the child. He knew what happened and couldn't live with that decision.) I hear of horrific abuse to children, usually when it's too late. When I was a teenager, maybe even a preteen, I heard in graphic detail the suffering that Jesus endured leading up to and being on the cross. Passion of the Christ comes closest to showing what it was really like.

I am not simply outraged by these things. My heart is broken for the suffering around me. Some of us are gifted with being able to visualize things to their extreme, and even then we can't know what it's really like unless we experience it. I am one of those people. It's why I can't watch certain things on TV or even read about them. It will literally keep me up at night being able to imagine the suffering and it makes me sick to my stomach.

ALL of these things, and so many more, are horrifying and outrageous. God created the animals and blessed them in Genesis 1. He told us to take care of them, and since we were made in His image, I imagine we are supposed to care for and love them the way He does. He also made man and blessed him. He has called us to love one another, to care for each other, to treat each other as Christ would treat us.

What's the point of this post? Simply, just because I am outraged over the killing of an animal does not mean I feel any less outraged over the lose of life, especially life that never got a chance here on Earth. I get why people are comparing the two and in some cases people are much more outraged over the lion than the babies, and that is wrong. But I wonder if shaming someone is the way that Christ would want us to deal with the recent news that is circulating. Don't add to the sinfulness of what surrounds us by assuming others don't care and aren't outraged just because they didn't express it as you have. My heart aches for all that is happening and the cruelty of this world is too numerous to even list, but I can't dwell there or it will consume me. I choice to lay it at His feet, weep, and ask what He expects of me.

If He tells me to go and love on a bunch of 5th graders for 180 days then that is what I must do. If He tells me to care for animals and find them loving homes then that is what I must do. If He calls me to go and serve the homeless then that is what I must do. If He calls me to go far away and help rescue those oppressed then that is what I must do. If He calls me to minister to people in prison then that is what I must do. He calls each of us differently and pricks our hearts with different needs to what is around us and needs to be cared for. My calling is no less and no greater than anyone else's. Think about that before you wonder why others don't feel as deeply as you do about a situation, a suffering, a sin. He calls us all differently so that all who suffer can be comforted; so that all who are lost can be found. But we have to listen to the call and obey, and know He has called someone else to the many other needs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Silence Evil

Last night I had a dream. At first I thought it was a bad dream, and I tried to pray it away. That only lasted a few seconds until I realized it was a spiritual dream. I want to share the dream and what it means. Be warned, it might cause you to think.

The dream began with a gathering at a lake house. It was a gathering of people, some who knew each other and others who were being introduced. I think it was two families coming together. There was a young woman, who never appeared in my dream, but they referenced her a lot. They talked for quite a long time, and people began to move about the house.

A young man entered the kitchen. It had a window over the sink that looked out to the screened-in room and beyond to the lake. About seven people still sat in the screened-in room. Others were in various rooms, but I no longer saw them. Suddenly a man entered the house.

This man was young, probably early twenties, and he was Evil. I don't mean evil was a character trait of his, but he was Evil itself. He came to kill the young woman who was mentioned but never seen in my dream. Everyone was terrified of him and they sat there in fear. He threatened them with harm if they didn't reveal where the woman was. Still no one spoke.

The only one who said anything was the young man who was in the kitchen. He told the other man that he would take on the full harm he intended as long as he left the others alone. Evil said, "do you understand that it will be awful? It will be a lot as I plan to inflict a lot of pain on them."

The young man stood tall and said, "yes."

Evil then shot the young man multiple times. He fell onto a braided rug and lay there bleeding. Unfortunately for him he was not dead, but lay there bleeding seeing what happened next. Or more accurately he heard what happened next.

Evil did not keep his word. Did you expect him to? He entered the screen-in room and put a plastic bag over the face of one of the women. He pulled the bag back and she began to suffocate. The others on the porch just sat there. They said nothing. The man then dragged another woman out into the lake and drowned her. He killed each of the people on that porch in a different way, and no one said or did anything to make him stop.

As he killed them I flashed back to seeing the man laying on the kitchen floor. A white, pure white dog came in, curled up and snuggled up next to the young man. Even as he lay there in the midst of the young man's blood, the dog remained pure white.

As Evil was stabbing another man I woke up. As I said before the first thing I did was pray, but even though the dream was horrifying I wasn't scared. I don't handle scary things well. I am not one to watch scary movies, and I refuse to watch anything with serial killers. But this dream, that should have had my heart pounding, did not have that effect on me. Instead, as I said before, it was a spiritual dream, one that showed me something.

I believe that Evil entered the house of people gathering to meet each other because of an upcoming wedding. Some of them were related or friends of the groom. I believe he was the young man in the kitchen. He was a symbol of Christ. He was willing to take on the pain and death of all the others to save them. The young woman that I didn't see I believe is the Bride. Many believe that all Christians are the Bride, but I believe the Bride is a set apart group of believers. No one knows who they are, and I am believe that is why I didn't see her.

Who are the others. I believe they are Christians and non-Christians. As I already stated, the man who burst in was Evil or satan. He knew the deal he made with Christ, but he broke that promise and killed the others. The dog I believe was a symbol of the sacrifice Christ made for us. The blood spilled did not change His purity.

Why is this post called The Silence Evil? Because the evil in this dream wasn't just the man who lied and killed others. The evil was the silence of those who sat there and let it happen. While I dreamed I kept thinking, "why don't they say anything? Why don't they just rush him and stop him from killing them?" God spoke to me and told me that we, Christians, need to stop being silent. We sit by and watch satan damage, destroy, and  kill, and we say and do little or nothing about it. We need to come together and fight satan in the ways we have been provided to. We need to pray. We need to speak truth, in love. We need to not tolerate people, but love them and not tolerate the sin. Jesus loved the woman they dragged before him and asked if she should be stoned for her sin. But He also told her to go and sin no more.

People love to pull out "judge not least ye be judged" but the Bible also tells us how to deal with a brother (or sister) who has sinned. Confronting the sin is not being judgmental, rather it's life-giving, restoration-bringing. True we aren't called to be the Pharisees who brought the adulterous woman to be stoned. They weren't even judging her, but rather condemning her to die for the sin she committed. We are to be like Christ, who loved her, but told her, "go and sin no more."

Our silence is allowing evil to spread, destroy, and kill. Our silence is evil!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Watching The Storm Move

I have no idea what this post will be about. When I first started this blog, things to write just came to me and poured out my heart and my thoughts here. For the last year or so, that has not been the case. I would go through something, hear something from God, or just feel something so deeply that I want to write something, but the words would not come. Many of those times I hear God say a quiet, "no" or "it's not time" and even "that's only for you".

My not writing hasn't been about a lost interest or lack of topics, but rather a required silence. I think it ironic, since this blog was started in part for me to get my voice back and use it. Lately, He has required something else. It doesn't make since to my way of thinking, but it must to His. Into paragraph two, and I still don't know where this post is going, but I knew I needed to write it.

There have been so many thoughts whirling in me of late. Some about recent events. Some about experiences. Some about those "it's not time's". Some about what others around me are going through. Yet I keep getting "nope". Yes, God does say nope! I believe I'm suppose to write about something that happened a few years ago. So here goes. :)

I was on our school's 5th grade trip to Charleston, SC. It was a two day trip and there were quite a few things that happened on that trip. We enjoyed a beautiful plantation with an amazing petting zoo. The kids just loved it. There were the typical petting zoo animals, but there were also deer and peacocks. We had to eat lunch on the bus one day, because it rained, so we couldn't enjoy our lunch in the park as planned. We took horse-drawn carriage rides through the city, and some people's rides where more "educational" than others. One place we went that I was excited about was Fort Sumter. I am a history buff and I find forts to be fascinating places.

Fort Sumter was not! I was disappointed at how little was there. I had been in Revolutionary War forts where more of the fort was standing than in this small fort. There was however, a hill that seemed to bring the children more enjoyment. They could do something they hadn't been able to do much of on the trip due to the weather and the places we visited. They could just move and enjoy themselves. A fellow teacher and friend and I sat on the hill an watched one of the most amazing sights.

We looked out across the water at Charleston and saw a storm move in. We watched it cross the water and enter the city. We looked off to our lefts and saw the part of Charleston that was not engulfed by the storm. We turned back to our rights and watched the storm as it moved across Charleston. The area that was first rained upon soon became sunny again as the storm quickly moved to the left. We knew from our vantage spot where the storm was headed and where it had been. On our spot on the hill we were safe. The storm was not headed in our direction. We were able to just sit there and be amazed by what we saw.

Can you imagine what it would be like if we could do that in the spiritual as well as the natural? If we could see storms headed into a person's life. If we could see the area that had been rained on and now is bright with sunshine. If we could see the area that was in the deluge and the area that is going to be soon. What if it wasn't a storm that we were able to see, but also a refreshing rain? Or the sun breaking through the clouds of our life? Or the rainbows of promises God makes to us?

But we don't have a safe hill to sit on and just watch. We are in the midst. Some of us are in the midst of approaching storms, while others are being drenched by them. Others are enjoying a refreshing rain or the sunshine after a storm. Yet others are watching clouds parting or rainbows gleaming in the sky. We can't see what's coming, but we can have confidence that God isn't just sitting on that hill watching our lives be weathered. He is with us. He knows when to cover us with an umbrella or cover us with a shelter. He knows when to throw open the windows in our lives to let us feel the sun rays and marvel at the rainbows. No matter what spiritual weather I am experiencing I know He is with me, in me, and directing me. That gives me such peace and gladness.

I had no idea where this post was headed, but I hope it was what someone needed to hear. I think it's what I needed to write and learn from.
Rain Showers In The Distance

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Construction Zone

I had an interesting dream last night.

I was driving along a highway when all of a sudden a "entering construction zone" sign was on the side of the road. I slowed down to what felt like barely moving. The road had many lanes and only a few drivers on it. We all traveled at this agonizingly slow pace. There were no road crew workers, no other signs, and no orange cones. It looked like a normal road with no construction in sight for miles, but we were stuck traveling along like we were driving Flintstones cars.

Another driver, was right next to me, and she was getting very frustrated. She told me she was getting annoyed going so slow and wanted to sped up. I told her that I wasn't sure that was a good idea. She was just about to sped up when we saw smoke up ahead. Going so slowly it took us awhile to drive to the scene of the smoke. We were stopped on a bridge and looked down to the road below us. A car was upside-down and was no longer on fire.

There were people around the car, firemen, tow truck workers, and by-standers. They were talking about the driver of the car and it seemed others like him. They were saying that they wished that people in the construction zone would travel the right speed and not try to rush through the construction zone. They said this always happened when someone thought that because the road was clear they could just rush through it.

I woke up then and thought it was a strange dream. It wasn't long before I heard God speak to me. He told me that the dream was like life. We drive along our road of life and run into these times when it feels like we are barely moving.We feel stuck, frustrated, and try to figure out how to get moving quicker. We think if I just do this or just do that then we can get going faster. Some succeed in speeding the construct phase up, but end up crashing. But regardless of how clear the road appears God has a purpose and a plan for the construction phases of our lives.

So if you are in a construction zone phase of your life remember that you need to go at the pace God has set, even if it feels extremely slow. We have all been there, are there, or will be there soon, so let's encourage each other as we travel in the zone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Exposing the Lies

Sometimes I get something from God and have to keep it just for me. Sometimes I get something from God and I know I have to share immediately. Then times like now, when God gives me something and I have to wait to share it.

A few months ago I felt led to pray for Truth to be revealed. It wasn't long before things started happening, ugly things and I felt overwhelmed by them. I went to God and said, "Lord, I asked You to reveal Truth. What is happening?"

His response, "I have to expose the lies in order to reveal the Truth."

It seems like a no-brainer now, but at the time it was a very enlightening statement. Today I had a conversation and shared what God had told me. I went all these months with this truth and not feeling that I was supposed to share, and today it was obvious that it was the moment to share it.

I have to admit some of the ugly things, the lies and such had taken a backseat. I actually thought that maybe they had been dealt with. I still prayed for Truth, but it I wasn't getting resistance. What I didn't realize was that it was festering under the surface. It seems it is poised to rear it's ugly head again.

I feel a bit apprehensive about it. I feel like a serious battle is about to be unleashed. That is a little daunting! I feel a little bit like a warrior about to go into battle. I felt like I was the only one standing up before, but now I know that I am not. Together with others I will continue to stand, pray, and fight for Truth.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Big Cat Is Ready To Kill

Through tears I write this post. It is minutes before 3:00 am, but I knew I needed to write this. I cry for a few reasons.

I just woke up from a dream. In this dream I wanted to give someone a gift. I looked and looked for something special, but had such a hard time finding the right thing. I finally found a small trinket, actually a carved, wooden acorn. I purchased it for her and then I saw the cat. He was a big cat, not a big house cat, but a big cat. He looked so sad and I thought, "I'll rescue him." So I bought him.

A man placed him in the back of my car where my dog and one of my cats were. I tried to create barriers between them and him, but they would have easily been knocked over. Then my friendly cat decided he wanted to be friends with the big cat. He maneuvered passed the barrier and tried to snuggle. The big cat killed him right before my eyes. I grabbed my poor cat away from it and cradled him in my arms. I kept saying, "I'm so sorry! I knew better!" Then mercifully I woke up.

Immediately I started to call on Jesus, and as the tears rolled I leaned over to my kitty and kissed his sweet head. Then he got up and started to love on me, head butts and all. In that moment I knew the truth about that dream, and what I needed to do. That's why I'm up at this hour writing this post.

About 10 years ago, I heard God tell me that the woman of God are next. He told me that the acceptance of dirty joke and free talk about porn meant that satan had succeeded to destroy men. Obviously not all men, but men as a whole have stopped hiding their addiction and now proudly boast about it. Watch almost any comedy and it is laced with innuendo and blatant references to sex and porn. They've already accepted the big cat and watched it destroy, but said, "oh well, I like the big cat anyway." God told me that once that happens satan's next target is the women.

Now, women have had racy novels for years, but they didn't tell others they read them. They were read behind closed doors and in secret. Today that is no longer the case. Yesterday I saw on the news, the news, not some entertainment show, a reporter interviewing women who had already seen an upcoming movie. These women ranged from young to ones with fake red hair.You know the ladies who hair is really white, but they think the red dye will somehow fool someone into thinking they are younger than there 60+ years. I was trying to not hear or see this interview, so the TV was muted and I had already hit the button to change the channel. Unfortunately, my TV takes a moment before changing channels. I saw their faces and knew what they were saying by them. It broke my heart! It confirmed that the big cat has come in and is about to kill, and these women can't even perceive his intent. Satan is succeeding.

Last year, I felt the Lord tell me that I was to warn some of my friends. I told one of them, an was shocked when I was met with accusations and honestly, ugliness. I was told I was judgmental. I was told that as long as God hadn't convicted her about it that it was fine. I was made to be the bad guy and the topic was not to be discussed. My heart still aches that I wasn't in a place where I could stand up against that and still speak the truth. It grieves me that even though I shared what I could I was pushed into a corner and told to be silent. Even before I shared with my group of friends, up until minutes before, she tried to derail me from even speaking. I had a veil lifted that day, and knew that the end of me being apart of that group was coming.

I sit here tonight crying for the women I call Friend who have read the books and celebrated it. For the ones who have been soaking in the media hype of an upcoming movie as if it were a Calgon-take-me-away event. I grieve that satan is getting ready for a victory lap because he found it so much easier to pull women in since the men have already fallen. It's like Eve all over again. Adam just stood by and let the enemy manipulate his wife. Men, even men of faith, stand by and let satan toy with their wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters and they say nothing. I grieve because when God told me this was coming, He also said who was next, the children. I grieve that I have remained shut down and silent on this extremely important issue. I have let the big cat get too close to people I care about, and I know the flimsy barrier created between them is about to devour them. I grieve who the big cat will seduce next.

Call me judgmental, call me a prude, call me out-of-touch. I no longer care! I saw in that dream what the big cat does to anyone who tries to befriend it, and it has shaken me to my core. I have seen what it has done to man and I am watching the story unfold before my eyes with women. I hope that I never see him succeed with the next group, but I can honestly say he has already been at work for a long time. He's just waiting for it to become more acceptable, and then he can raise his hands high as he does that victory lap too.

I would love to Pollyanna the end of this post, but I know that I am not meant to. I do pray that the words will take root in your hearts, and the truth will grow there. I pray that the truth will grow to your eyes and the veil will be lifted. I pray that the truth will seep into your heart and burst forth within you. I pray you will realize the big cat is about to kill you or someone you love, and you will fight, protect, and run from him before he can.

I love you, even those of you who read my blog that I do not know. Please hear my heart for you.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Chaos or Subtle?

Last week I was feeling a lot of stress. My class is wonderful and a joy to teach, so I knew it wasn't related to them. I have a good relationship with their parents, so not that either. The marking period had just ended and report cards were done, so I was relieved not stressed about that. I haven't had any issues with anyone. I just couldn't figure out what was causing the stress. All I knew for sure was I was exhausted, no matter how much sleep I was getting. I carry my tension in my shoulders and they felt so tight I was starting to feel like a hunchback. I was stressed and had no idea why, until I had a couple of dreams.

In the first dream I was living in a bright, neat home (now that neat part is definitely a dream!). It was just me and my Riley Girl. We kept coming home and finding little things moved. I was confused but just thought I moved it and just forgot. Then one day we came home and something that didn't belong to me was laying in the middle of the living room floor. It was a small shower head (I don't get that part). I picked up and then I woke up. Right away I heard God tell me that it was about satan. I'll explain more later.

The second dream was vastly different. It was full of chaos. Everywhere I went  I was met by confrontation. Everything I tried was attacked. It was a dark and cluttered everywhere I was. I felt such frustration and was completely overwhelmed by it. When I woke up I once again felt God speak to me about the way satan works.

Now, what I heard from God. He told me that satan works one of two ways. He told me that he has to approach people differently. Those who aren't vigilant and just think everything is bright and easy are easily tricked by him. He really doesn't have to work that hard to mess with their lives. He brings something minor into their life, something that seems harmless but isn't. He twists a truth just a little bit and people don't even realize it isn't even truth anymore. He sits back with his feet up and just watches as the little thing slowly eats away at the person and destroys them.

The other way is actually for the ones who are watchful. He can't just be subtle with them. He has to throw an all-out assault at them.He tries to thwart every thing they do. He knows he has to pull out all the stops. Think Job. He killed his children, destroyed his livelihood, turned his wife against him, and gave him boils. Job had his eyes on God and he had to be attacked to the fullest of satan's power. Remember God to do what he wanted, but he couldn't kill him. So he did. Sometimes this approach has been successful for him, so he keeps using it.

I realized that it wasn't really stress that I was experiencing. I realized that I wasn't being vigilant, and God was warning me. I haven't been praying for my class and my school the way He had asked me to. I started the year off great, but I had become slack. I wasn't spending the time with Him that I need to. I was just looking at all the good stuff and was not watchful. Since then I have begun to pray more and stand in the gap for my children and my school. I have spent more time with Him, but more importantly that time is deeper rather than longer. I am being more vigilant and feel less stress and my sleep has been more restful. Maybe the chaos is to come, but I'd rather that then be blindsided.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Preparing My Fields For Rain

The other day I was checking out what was on TV and I saw Fireproof was about to start. I have seen the movie a couple of times, but never from the beginning. During a commercial the station said that Facing the Giants and Courageous were coming up. I really like Facing the Giants and have never seen Courageous so I looked forward to watching them.Okay, I had to dvr Courageous since I was too tired to stay up to midnight when it would be done. I did however, watch Facing the Giants.

One of the things I like about Facing the Giants is that I feel like God speaks to me through it. Since Fireproof is about marriage and Courageous is about fatherhood I mostly just enjoy them. Facing the Giants is different, the lessons from the movie can speak to anyone. One of the messages that really spoke to me was the story of the farmers. Watch the scene. 

Facing the Giants,Youtube clip

I really believed that God was speaking this same message to me. I feel that He is telling me to prepared my fields to receive rain. So each day since watching the movie I have been doing at least one thing that I believe is preparation. Number one thing I do each day is embrace me. I have never been very good about loving the me that God created. I believe that God has asked me to embrace the me that He created me to be. Instead of focusing on what I want changed about me I am focusing on the things that I like about me. Are there things that need to change? Yes, some of those are the things I need to do to prepare my fields. I used to want to change everything all at once and got discouraged because it doesn't work that way. That's why I try to do one thing each day to prepare. There have been days and will be days when I can do more than one thing. 

I am excited to see what His rain will look like in my life, and I certainly want to be ready for it!