Tag Archives: Jesus

Signs

Back in February of this year, I was leading a bible study by Beth Moore titled, “Sacred Secrets”. There was one specific video that brought me to tears. Beth mentioned that even with all of the advances in science, God still reserves the right to be the only one to know that we even exist upon the first 7-14 days of conception. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you, I knew you.” Although I have heard this verse, I never truly grasped the meaning.

Fast forward to now and I am almost fifteen weeks pregnant. There is no doubt in my mind that God shared that with me when He did as a sign of things to come and to prepare my heart to see things from His perspective.

From the moment I discovered I was expecting, dreams of twins have been present. Upon telling both my mom and mother-in-law, they both said, “It is going to be twins.” Last week my husband and I attended my first doctor’s appointment. While my doctor was listening for the babies heartbeat, she asked if twins ran in either of our families. Was this another sign? She ordered me to go get a sonogram that same day. As the ultrasound tech began, he immediately asked if I had two uterus’. Then I saw it. Two sacs, two babies, a miracle none the less. After much confusion on his part, he proceeded to tell us that he thought it was just a mirror image of the baby reflecting off of something. He mentioned that he had heard of this before but had never seen it in his ten years in this profession. He called a fellow tech in for a second opinion. She too had never seen such a thing. After about forty-five minutes of studying the screen, they called a doctor in to take a look. Both babies were moving at the same time, in unison, so although they couldn’t tell us wether it was one baby or two, it seemed they had come to the conclusion that it was one. We were told we would have to wait for our doctor to deliver the results after the radiologist reviewed the findings and submitted them to her office. So the wait began. I have to admit that I am a little skeptical. God doesn’t give us signs for no reason. There is a purpose, a pointing to something bigger.

A sign is defined as an event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else; an indication or evidence of what is happening or going to happen; a gesture or action used to convey information or instructions.

On Sunday at church when I read what the pastor was going to be discussing I thought to myself, “Great, a story that I already know so well I could get up and talk about it.” I should have known that God was going to teach me something that day because just when I think I have something figured out, He shows me something new that changes everything. As the pastor began speaking, he said two words that caught my attention and brought tears to my eyes…A SIGN! I already knew God was at work in our lives through the life of our unborn child/children so He used that to get my undivided attention. The pastor went on to explain that when God turned the water into wine at the wedding in Galilee, he was pointing us towards a new creation that was coming into the world. His sign was revealing something significant beyond the “wow” factor of what on the surface was the first of many miracles. Every time I have heard this story in the past, I thought Jesus was just doing this to reveal that He could meet our needs, even if they were insignificant in the big scheme of things. I thought it was His way of revealing His heart towards His children. Boy was I wrong and God blew me away that day. 

I went straight to my study bible to see what other insights I could gain from this story and this is what I read…Through this sign, Jesus revealed His “glory.” John 1:14 “We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Radiating God’s presence, Jesus reflected His glory. 

I believe that God used the appearance of two babies in our sonogram to remind us that He is and will always be the one we need to turn to for understanding and clarity. No other human or doctor will ever have all the answers. God will reveal everything to us in His timing. Until then, we were blessed with a sign that reflects His glory and the amazing things He is doing in our lives. 

 

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New Beginnings

Have you ever had something occur in your life that put you in a position to fight for what was noble, pure and true? The struggle between good and evil. Spiritual warfare at its finest. But as hard as you try, nothing seems to be working. You need a desperate shift. A God ordained incident to turn the tides and let good triumph over evil.

I was right in the middle of a moment like that and Satan was relentless. He was attacking me and my family from every angle possible. Three distinctly different sources attempting to tear me down, break my spirit, and destroy me so that I would give up on the task God was preparing me for.

But what Satan didn’t realize was that God was speaking to me through the entire course of events that were taking place and I was tuned in. His voice prepared me for battle by giving me strength, wisdom and courage to fight.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that not only did Satan have an agenda, but so did God. God allowed Satan to send three people to attack so that He could refine an area I have struggled with for years.

I suffer from codependency. Codependency is when a relationship is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or addiction). It involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of those who suffer from such conditions. Poor boundaries not only contribute to the problem, but they are the reason for it in the first place. My lack of boundaries to protect myself led me to feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and problems for years and it took being manipulated by three people for me to open my eyes to the damage I was allowing others to do to my soul. My dependency created a need to be liked, a fear of being rejected, and a deep desire to be understood. Even though the relationships were painful and abusive, I found it very difficult to break free from the craziness of it all. My desire to help people paralyzed me to stay right in the midst of the very circumstances that were destroying my life.

Thank goodness for Godly friends. Their wisdom opened my eyes to truth and helped me to set some very clear boundaries. Now those boundaries weren’t taken very well by the perpetrators but that doesn’t matter. All I am responsible for is me. I finally understand that in order to break the chains that bind me, I must learn what healthy boundaries look like and stand firm.

Shortly after taking some huge strides and releasing my struggles to God, He surprised me with a huge blessing…we are expecting! I have always dreamed of having a child with a man that really loves me. Someone to share in the joys of pregnancy, the excitement of new life and everything that comes with that. God reached out and transformed me, opening me up to receive not only the blessing of healing, but the blessing of new beginnings as I journey into the next phase of life hand in hand with my Heavenly Father. The One who loves me more than I could have ever imagined and reminds me every day that if I follow Him, He will take me on a path that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams.

If you find yourself relating to my story, first know that God is right there with you. There is a ministry called, “Celebrate Recovery” where you can find healing from hurts and habits. They meet in local churches all over. Another resource that helped me was a book by Pia Mellody called, “Facing Codependence.” As with any issue we face in life, knowledge is the key to gaining wisdom and wisdom is what leads to making better choices.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for each and every heart that is reading this with tears streaming down their face. Wrap your loving arms around them to remind them that you are near. Give them Your knowledge and infinite wisdom to break free from the chains that are destroying them from the inside out. I pray that they feel your presence like never before and find true freedom so that the door to new beginnings flings wide open and allows Your light to shine brighter than the sun!

Whispers from Above

Why does life have to be so hard? We try to do what is right only for others to see it differently. Then in an attempt to explain our motives, the problem somehow gets even bigger.

For years I have been on a journey with Christ that is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. After trusting no one but myself, God stepped in and revealed His heart. Even to this day, His love and understanding shake me to the core.

After a series of events that took place about a month ago, God revealed that the time had come for some dramatic changes to take place. I trusted Him, setting some very clear boundaries. These boundaries weren’t to upset the other party, but to protect my heart from further damage.

As expected, those boundaries created quite an uproar. I then find myself wanting to revert to previous behaviors just to end the madness, but God said to stay, so I am listening. I am trusting Him and following His lead.

After an evening of second guessing myself, which ultimately is me questioning God, I woke up with a sense of peace that I have never felt. And as if that wasn’t enough, God shows up.

A little while ago, I put in the video for a new bible study that begins tomorrow. Instead of the DVD going to the menu for me to select Session 1, it started on its own. So I watched.

These were the words that God shared with me…When someone has ears to hear God’s voice and follow His guidance, He provides an unquenchable thirst for righteousness. He tends to tap that person for help in solving a societal ill. It is the eerie calm before the storm, where God places a quiet whisper of insight into us, then He sits back to watch as a storm of justice begins to build. Once that person follows that initial direction, all bets are off. Their world gets irreversibly rocked as their role in this world takes a radical, justice-focused shift.

It wasn’t until the session ended that I realized I had just watched the last session. I was overwhelmed with such a tremendous sense of love. Not only does He know, but He cares even more that we do and He has a plan.

I don’t know what your being led to do for Christ, but I do know this: He is speaking to each and every one of us in profound ways. He is calling us to step out of our comfort zones and to fight battles that seem impossible from where we are standing. But He is God and He can use anyone He wants to bring justice to the world. It is only our job to obey, no matter the cost!

The words God shared with me came from, “The Power of a Whisper” by Bill Hybels. If you want to hear from God but aren’t sure how, I highly suggest reading this book. The way you see and hear from Him will be forever changed

From Secrets, The Heart Overflows

Matthew 12:34 says, “Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”

About a week ago Satan decided to use someone to completely break my spirit and knock me off course. The events that took place shook me to the core and it was then that I realized just how serious Satan is about silencing our voice. His goal is to make us feel worthless and helpless when faced with opposition. But God stepped in and revealed something that changed my heart. He used this person’s own words to reveal what was going on in their heart.

A harsh tongue reveals an angry heart.

A negative tongue reveals a fearful heart.

A boasting tongue reveals an insecure heart.

A judgmental tongue reveals a guilty heart.

A filthy tongue reveals an impure heart.

Knowing these key points changed everything. Had I known them before that particular conversation took place, I would not have taken anything that was said personally. Instead, I would have ended the conversation immediately and refused to listen to the lies that were spewing from that vault.

But God used it to teach me something. He reminded me that I am no longer in bondage. I have been healed and because of that healing, He brought to light a righteous anger that gave me the courage to stand up to the enemy without fear.

For years I sat back and watched things take place that were against the very nature of God. I knew deep down they were not right, but I was scared to death to speak the truth. For speaking truth only created more issues, so I lived in fear and mastered the art of keeping secrets. I had been lied to for so long that not only had I accepted it, I thought it was normal. After years of counseling, reading hundreds of self-help books, and spending time alone with Jesus, I starting gaining knowledge and wisdom. God revealed the truth and I was forced to come face to face with not only my lies but also the lies of others. I chose to repent, confess, and turn my life around. Doing so required me to rid myself of anything that would cause me to fall back into that trap. I now refuse to be a keeper of the lie and I seek truth. Because letting go of the lies is what truly sets us free.

If you are not a lover of the truth, you will be a keeper of the lie.

Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret.”

Let this be our prayer, “Lord, teach me wisdom in the secret.” If we are as sick as our secrets, then help us bring those secrets to light so that we can begin to heal. And create in us a pure heart as mentioned in Psalm 51:10.

If you find yourself struggling with a secret you have held onto for way too long, let me suggest a resource that will help. Beth Moore has a study out titled, “Sacred Secrets”. This study will change your life. Several of the key points in this blog come straight from that study. If we are only as sick as our secrets, isn’t it time we bring them into the light with God so that He can teach us wisdom? Because I promise you if they stay hidden, Satan will do everything in his power to expose them. Take your secrets before Christ and He will not only cover them, they will no longer be counted.

Luke 7:47  says, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven…”

Let me pray for you.

Dear Sweet Heavenly Father,

I come to you today in prayer for each of us reading this blog. You know our hearts and you know the pain we are feeling as a result of the secrets that are buried deep inside our souls. Please teach us wisdom in the secret. Reveal the truth and wrap your loving arms around us so that our fears vanish. Don’t let a secret sin or holding someone else’s secret have any more power over us. Mark 4:22 says, “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.” Help us to heal so that we can one day reveal what you have done in us for the world to see.

Amen.

 

Here is a great sermon by Francis Chan titled, “The Biggest Lie In Your Life”. A very eye opening and moving message on the subject.

Christmas Miracles

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. God knows our needs and the needs of others and aligns everything to work for His glory. I have story after story that I could share with you, but I will save you hours of reading and narrow it down to just a few!

A couple of weeks ago, I met my father for lunch. He gave me a gift that brought tears to my eyes. He handed me this hat… Image

Now I have not received a gift from my dad for no reason for as long as I can remember. And although I would probably never wear this, what he said when he gave it to me is what pierced my heart. He told me that when he saw it, it reminded him of me. It was at that moment that everything came full circle. He told me he has been going to his church every time the doors are open and that he feels so much better when he is there. Then three days ago, my mom and I were talking on the phone and she mentioned that she saw a mailer from the church I attend and she wanted to go to the Christmas service with my family. I have been attending church since I was 15 and my mom and dad have each only been to one service during that entire span of 21 years. My dad came to watch me sing in the choir one Christmas and my mom came when my middle child was baptized.

I spent years trying to get my parents to discover what I had found all those years ago. Little did I know, they may not have been attending any service but they were watching me. This Christmas He allowed me to see the seeds that had been planted begin to sprout to life. He never ceases to amaze me and I can’t wait to see what comes of this Christmas miracle.

So if you have been praying for someone in your life to find Jesus, keep sending up those prayers because he is listening. You may not see the fruit just yet, but one day the big man upstairs may just surprise you and reveal the work He has been doing all along.

Merry Christmas!!!

Call To Christ

My childhood consists of bits and pieces of memories that fade in and out of my mind as I journey though life. My earliest memory of church was one I attended with my parents. We sat on the back row every time we went, which wasn’t very often. Maybe half a dozen times at the most. I recall sitting through what seemed to be hours of hymns that made me very sleepy. I often would lay my head in one of my parent’s laps and I think I slept through the rest because that is all I can remember. So my experience with church was one that put me to sleep. Not a good start towards living a life for God.
When I started middle school, I met lots of new kids that attended Lakepointe Baptist Church. They always talked about how much fun it was and I wanted to go more than anything. But my family owned a pizza restaurant and worked late hours on Saturday evenings, so Sunday mornings were the day they would sleep in. My seventh grade year I spent the night with a friend and finally got the chance to experience what the hype was all about. It was such an awesome experience. It was then that God started stirring something in my heart.
For the next two years I was blessed to have the chance to bum rides from friends and my knowledge of God started to grow. At the end of my Freshman year of high school, I applied for a scholarship to attend church camp. It was approved and that experience changed my life forever. I will never forget the moment God spoke to me. We were singing and the worship leader invited us to accept Christ. My heart was racing and tears were streaming down my face. Time stood still and it was as if my Heavenly Father had stopped everything to share this moment with me.
Everything changed that day. I was suddenly very aware of things in my life that were no longer acceptable if I was going to live the Christian life that I had been called to. So my journey with God began. I continued to attend church and my faith in Christ grew stronger everyday. I even wore a t-shirt everywhere I went saying, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Go to Hell.” I wanted others to experience the love I had received.
Ever since that day that God met me where I was and invited me to have a personal relationship with him, my heart has been leading me to help heal others. Through the years, others have broken my heart, betrayed my trust and taken what wasn’t theirs to take, but God’s voice forever tells me to forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. They are lost and hurting and they need to feel the love of Christ from people that have no reason to love them. God has always done just that for me and if I am to call myself a Christ follower, it is my duty to do the same.
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Tattoo or No Tattoo?

A few weekends ago I found some temporary tattoos that reminded me of the power of God in my life. I put one on my wrist and one on the side of my heel. I posted on Facebook saying, “Tattoo or no tattoo, that is the question.” Much to my surprise, I got an array of responses. Who knew that such a simple question would stir up so much controversy? Several people said yes and a few said no. A couple of the no’s provided scripture that on the surface is pretty clear that tattoos are not something God allows. I was quick to respond by saying that I would not be getting one because of what the bible says. At that moment, one verse provided that answer I was looking for so I felt confident in my quick decision. A wise friend reminded me that we no longer live under the Old Testament law so getting a tattoo or not was a personal preference. At this point I felt stupid that I was so quick to make such a decision without doing the research myself. So my homework began.

According to Leviticus 19:28, one is not to put tattoo marks on their body. Not knowing much about Leviticus, I referred to my bible to get a little history on this particular book. Leviticus means, “matters pertaining to the Levites,” the priestly tribe of Israel. It covers topics including holiness, sin, sacrifice and atonement, and worship. The Old Testament ceremonial laws functioned as a means of separating the Israelites from the surrounding tribes. This separation was removed when Christ sent His son to die on the cross. Because of God’s invitation to faith in Christ, these laws are no longer observed. Although they don’t apply today, they do reveal that God cares about every aspect of our lives. Everything we do matters to Him.

So in regards to tattooing, I personally feel that this decision is one that must be made by each individual. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why do I want a tattoo?

2. Who am I trying to draw attention to? God, myself, an idol, etc…

3. Would God approve of the image or writing?

I did my research and after watching several videos and listening to a number of opinions on the subject, John Piper says it best. You can listen here:

Thoughts of Tattoos & Body Piercings by John Piper

God knows my heart and if I do decided to get a tattoo, it will be a symbol of His love and the amazing changes He has made in my life.

Thank you to everyone who voiced your opinions on the subject. It forced me to dig deeper into the Word of God and that is always a good thing!