It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


June 2, 2014

Smoke Screens...

When I was a young girl I use to watch a show on television called “Star Trek,” my favorite episodes contained scenes that included these holodecks where a crew member would go to a door, push a button and create a fantasy that they wanted to participate.  My guess is that this is the way crew members spent their days off.  Oh how I loved those rooms!  You could make anything in your imagine come to life! Everything seemed so real it was surreal.  The surroundings, the people, everything in that holodeck with that fantasy you created touched upon all of the five senses. I couldn’t help but wish these rooms really existed.
I thought of this as I was driving into the office today, then it occurred to me how hard it would be to leave a “make believe world” and come back to reality if these holodecks were to exist.  People would not want to go back to their normal daily lives.  The holodecks would become an addiction; families would go neglected as would regular daily life.  The lows that would follow the highs of being in such a fantasy world would cause many a mental health worker to have full rooms with people having emotional issues.  There would be great consequences to having these fantasy rooms, not to mention how it would affect our physical bodies, our heart rates, our blood pressures and other aspects. And what if you were to fall in love? So much for guarding your heart! What if you opened your heart to fall in love as they did in some of the episodes? How devastating reality would be!
As I thought about this I thought about the smoke screens we allow ourselves to walk into in our lives.  Something that feels so real until you reach out and try to grasp it and you touch nothing.  A mirage, maybe something that you believed so strongly was real you actually thought it could be.  That it was within reach. Truly and completely yours and yours alone, sweet, tender, desirable. But in reality, it never was.  Have you had a “smoke screen” moment? 
I found myself thinking about a snake charmer and how he plays a song that puts the snake in a trance.  Sometimes that is what ol’ slewfoot allows to become one of our biggest pitfalls.  We step right into his trap and become “entranced” into whatever illusion we want so much to be a part of our lives. Like when a magician puts his assistant into a trance like state and levitates her and she is unaware of what has happened until she wakes up.... 
Next I found myself thinking of Adam and Eve.  They had all of Eden as their world.  They had intimacy with God.  They had absolutely everything!  What entrancement did the snake use to make Eve desire a piece of fruit so strongly that God had forbidden?
The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!” For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.…” (Genesis 3:4-6).
He appealed to her senses, he contradicted what God had told them and he entranced her into believing something that was forbidden.  Notice how Eve didn’t seem surprised that she was talking with a snake, which leads me to believe that Adam and Eve communicated regularly with the animals in the Garden of Eden. All the blessings God could bestow on her, and still she wanted more.  How devastating it must have been when she realized that she had been deceived, and what a high price they had to pay…
Smoke screens… At some point in your walk, you will run into one of them, if you have not already.  Perhaps an awareness of them will make the temptation less appealing.  Perhaps if we forewarn ourselves we won’t be susceptible to becoming like that charmed snake.  We won’t be lulled by something that simply will never be… When we are entranced, depending on how long it last – waking up is painful.  Coming to the awareness and reality of the fact that what you wanted, what you believed in, what you held so tightly will never come to pass is difficult to accept.  In fact, it is heart breaking, especially if you believed wholeheartedly it would. 
Perhaps this is why God tells us:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
When we enter into a smoke screen, our hearts become unguarded.  When we come to the realization that what we wanted, will never be – our hearts hurt; the kind of hurt that a band aid cannot help.  The kind of deep soul hurt that God never meant us to experience, no matter the cause. The kind of hurt that some never recover from.  How do you trust your own judgment when what you believed that what would be would not? How do you move forward?  When that smoke screen clears and all that is left with you holding on to your heart, your emotions, your reality – how do you proceed?  My guess is that some cannot.  The sweet essence of what you wanted is hard to let go – even when you realize you never truly HAD it in the first place. 
In a fairy tale, Rip Van Winkle fell asleep for a 100 years.  Can you imagine what his shock would have been like in the waking?  What did he dream so deeply of during that period? Wasn’t it hard to grasp reality and the fact that so much time had passed? Times had changed. People had changed, places had changed.  What a shock to his system it would have been to realize that he had slept for so long…
What has been your smoke screen?
What or who has deceived you?
What have you held on to so tightly refusing to let go?
Did you wake up slowly, reaching for someone to find they were not there?
Did the high of your smoke screen dissipate leaving you with nothing to face but the reality that was before you?
Did reality enter into your smoke screen clearing it out until you had no choice but to realize you could not have what it was you wanted? No matter HOW hard you tried to hold tight to it?
Was it something that appealed to your senses and numbed you from reality?  Or was it something that captured your heart?  Did it entrance you?
You could stay in that shell shocked state blaming others, blaming yourself, blaming situations but what good will that do? It will not change the reality.
There is nothing better than God’s best and that is what He desires us to have.  It is not an illusion, it is not a “smoke screen” it is not something that will appear for a moment and be taken away from you.  It is not something/someone that will disappoint or hurt you.  I think that God can only heal these hurts by the balm of His Holy Spirit.  The pain is to extensive and numbing.  The deception too deep. 
Thinking of the Garden of Eden, created out of such love by God for His people.  It lacked nothing and held everything.  Who knows more than your Creator what it is you need?  He is not like people, who will hold out something, deceive you and then snatch it back.  He is not a God that He would lie. 
The blessings of God are not fantasy, but are genuine and real; they fill the heart and the soul.  They are never ending, not deceptive; better than anything we could have imagined – even if some little fantasy room were to exist.
However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him. “ (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Perhaps that is why in some near death experiences, people have indicated they did not have a desire to return. What God has prepared for us is simply beyond any words that could accurately describe it.  But here is the thing - He wants us to walk in that abundance now; to believe that He desires to bless us NOW, in THIS life.  He doesn’t want us to settle for anything less than what He has for us. 
I am thinking of magazines I have read in which there are two scenes to compare against each other.  If we were to compare what God has for us to what we ourselves would have for ourselves – there would truly be no comparison…
I no longer desire those Star Trek style holodecks to become real.  I would not walk into one now if they existed because I think the emotional damage and the cost to me would be far more than the worth of the experience itself… I don’t want a “replica” of what God has for me, I want the genuine thing, I don’t want second best or second helpings, or a fallacy of what is to be mine.  I am holding out for God’s best, because I truly believe that “best” can only come from Him, the best is yet to come and its mine (and yours if you want it)  - and that’s not  blowing any smoke…

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