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.


January 8, 2015

Yes, It's Personal... Between YOU and Him

It is a personal relationship between YOU and HIM.
If I were to give advice to another prodigal, I would simply say, “The most important thing you can do, is to keep your eyes focused on God.” There are many who would dissuade you, discourage you (either intentionally or unintentionally in the best of intentions), but whatever you are experiencing if you stay focused on  God by praying, reading your word and seeking Him, you will be okay; even if you are currently going through a desert experience. 
It is very hard to keep walking straight when you feel you can’t see your way.  This is where we have to trust in our promises.  Even verbally say repeat them out loud.  Those dark moments, those moments of loneliness and unhappiness or dissatisfaction – these are your most vulnerable moments where ol’ slewfoot will try to make you believe that God is not real or He is not there, or He is unconcerned with you.  Don’t believe it!  Remember, your mind is the battlefield.  As difficult as it is, don’t be led by your feelings.  Also, remember your walk, Prodigal is a very personal thing.  Ultimately it is between YOU and GOD.   If someone is telling you something that you do not feel either a conviction from or feel a check in your Spirit that it is something that you need to work on, than chances are it is from the person and not from God.  A personal relationship is just that – personal.  If you are seeking God, He knows that and He will respond.  If there is something that you should be feeling convicted of – God will bring it to your attention.  A relationship is a two way street.  Don’t let people keep you from going forward in your walk with Him.  No matter WHAT you are feeling.
I imagine that as Peter was getting out of the boat in Matthew 14:29 when he heard Jesus say to him, “Come!” I can picture the other disciples probably saying, “Peter – what are you doing?! Get back in here!  Come on now!”  But Peter saw Jesus.  Jesus told him to come!  Peter’s eyes were focused on Jesus.  In confidence and in trust Peter stepped out of that boat and confidently began to walk on water.  Perhaps his only thought was – I want to be with Jesus.  He was so focused that He didn’t question or stop to think about what He was doing.  He just climbed out of the boat.  When he allowed the wind to distract him, he took his eyes off the Lord and began to sink.  When we allow distractions (whatever they may be) or doubt to enter into our mind, we take our eyes off of Jesus and we too begin to sink.  I don’t know about you, but I want that “walk on water towards Jesus” kind of faith.  No matter what winds or storms blow my way.  Do you want that too? Than we need to focus our complete attention on Him; The One who is calling our name, telling us to go forward in Him.
Poor Job, when he was at his lowest, trying to digest all that was happening to him, trying to make sense of it all, trying to focus on God – no matter his circumstances, he had colleagues who were making his situation feel worse by indicating by their words that there must be some sin that Job had committed for things to be as they were.
“Think now, who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” (Job 4:7-8)
And a second friend who said:
“If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.  Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.” (Job 11:14-15, 17).
He had a wife who was saying, “Curse God and die.”  (Job 2:9)

With friends and family like that, who needs enemies?  They were not helping Job by their comments or opinions.  They were adding to his anguish and pain. They were not aware of a conversation which had occurred within the Heavenly realms between satan and God regarding Job.  Unless God shows us, we do not know what is occurring in the Heavenly realms.  They could not have been MORE WRONG in their advice to their friend.
“One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and satan also came with them. The LORD said to satan, "Where have you come from?" satan answered the LORD, "From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." "Does Job fear God for nothing?" satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1:6-12).
I cannot say that I know personally or exactly what Job was experiencing; but I do know that as a cancer survivor, when I was going through chemotherapy and radiation and not knowing what was going to happen, there were many thoughts that were going on in my head.  Why was I going through this? Was it something I had done? Was it because of my sins?  (All these things are things that naturally go through the mind of someone going through a life threatening illness).  If someone had sat down next to me and said the things to me that Job’s “friends” said to him, or that Job’s wife said to him – it would have added to my pain.  What Job needed most at that time was to have people sit quietly with him and not say anything – simply pray.  Simply be there for him, to hold his hand, to listen (without advice) and to allow him to see that that they cared and that he wasn’t alone.  Thank God for Job’s personal relationship with God. Where he could communicate his feelings to God, he didn’t understand his situation, and he expressed that to God (read the book of Job) but he chose to continue putting his faith in God and God blessed Him because of it.
Most of the time people do not mean to discourage you; they think they are being helpful – even when they are not.  They mean well, but if they are adding to the confusion and noise and pain of whatever you are feeling as you try to travel back home, Prodigal than you need to just shut out all the noise surrounding you and focus directly on God and what HE is saying to YOU.  I have blogged about this in an entry before, but if you are praying, “God if there be any evil within me or anything that YOU desire to change within me, please do so or help me to see it.”  God looks at your heart.  People look at the outside.  A personal relationship with Him, one where you are seeking Him with all your heart, soul and mind is one where you can count on the fact that God knows it and will speak to you over the things you need to change.  It is a dangerous place to be if someone is telling you something that is not in line with what God is saying to you and if you feel no condemnation or check within your spirit over how you are being advised, than you need to bring it before your Father and see if it is truly of Him.  Don’t allow it to push you away from God.  Talk to him in prayer.  You are focusing on Him.  Let HIM reveal to you what it is He wants you to change and He will.
“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5)
God knows your heart; He knows your thoughts before you even think them (take a look at Psalms 139:2). Talk to Him through prayer, if I don’t understand stand something, I seek God’s opinion on it. Your relationship is with HIM.
The most important relationship you will ever have in your life is with your Creator.  We don’t know the conversations that are occurring in the Heavenly realms about us – oh yes… Unfortunately some of the things that satan stands before God accusing us of are true… But the beauty of it is:
“Our righteousness is as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)
“But we have an advocate who stands before the Father.  Jesus Christ, who is OUR righteousness.”  (1 John 2:1)
God's grace and forgiveness are what get us through. Even if satan has been right in what he has accused us about before the Father, we know that if we bring our sins before God that He is just and willing to forgive us and they become covered under the precious blood of Jesus.  We are "works in progress" and as long as we have breathe in our bodies, we will be learning and growing in Him.  Don't allow ol' slewfoot to keep you caught in his trap of guilt.  If God has forgiven you, you are forgiven indeed.

The most important thing to remember is that if you have made Jesus, your personal Lord and Savior - that you are in a "personal" relationship with HIM.  Your relationship is with HIM.  Relationships stretch and grow and at times there are times when you will experience "growing pains" - Job didn't know WHY he was experiencing what he was experiencing, he could have allowed it to make him walk away from God.  But he didn't.  We may not know the WHY of what we go through, and we may feel as though we are alone - but we are not. Jesus said:

"I will never leave nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

And also:

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.)  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)

Focus on Him, listen to Him. Grow in Him. As Peter did, keep your eyes focused on the Lord and you will *not* sink.  You will walk on the waters of life and no wind will blow you down.  And if by chance you do take your eyes off Jesus, He will be quick to grab your hand.  He knows who belongs to Him.  He loves you. He cares.  He's there.

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