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.


November 20, 2016

He's REALLY Real! Really He is....

We live in a time where we are hard pressed on ALL sides. I have been thinking a lot about the Israelites during the time they were under such oppression and slavery under the rule of pharaoh. When we read our Bible it is easy to forget that everything happened over a period of time, change did not happen overnight. Imagine what it must have been like for them, God's chosen ones to have to wake up every morning under the rule of a slave master and get through their day.  No doubt it was going through their minds, "Where is our God?  Does He hear us? Does He see us? Does He care???"  They were beaten and worked and hard pressed - these chosen people of God.  Yet STILL they held fast to their faith.  Still they kept their faith and continued to wait for the Messiah.  Still they waited...

In my eyes things have not changed much... Centuries later, we are hard pressed on EVERY side.  We are waiting for our Jesus to return.  We live in a society that does not acknowledge Him as King and Savior.  Many of us struggle and are weighed down by the burdens of this life.  The days sometimes feel so dark and we wonder if the God that we have read in our Bible still hears our cries.  Still cares.... And we wonder if He does, WHY does He care?  We are a "stiff necked people," we have denied Him from so many aspects of our lives. We have insulted Him, ridiculed Him, mocked Him - WHY would He care for us???

But He does...
He loves us still. 

Personally, I don't understand why... We don't deserve His love.  We don't deserve His blessing, we continuously willfully go against His Word (when we find the time to read it).  Often we forget that the Bible is a true record of history - not a book like Grimms Fairy Tales.  We don't pay attention to the direction or learn from the past experiences.  We continue on sinning in the same manner that "they did in the days of old."  Yet STILL God allows His grace and His mercy to pour down on us - a thankless, heartless, selfish people. (And oh yes, I include myself in that number)...  And we are unappreciative of ALL the blessings He pours down upon us, including the fact that He wakes us up each morning for a brand new day to try again.  We are NOT promised tomorrow - yet we act like He owes it to us.  He owes us NOTHING.  We owe Him EVERYTHING. We blame Him or all the mishaps in our lives - when most of the problems we have we have created for ourselves, yet we point our finger at Him.

He warned Adam and Eve in the Garden.  He told them what the consequence would be.  Yet still they chose to disobey.  We can't point our fingers at Adam and Eve because we do the same exact thing.  Yet still God loved us enough to come down from Heaven, manifest Himself in the form of Man by being born of the virgin, Mary.  He chose to die He chose to send His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for the forgiveness of  our sins - and even having given that sacrifice we either choose to reject that gift or to not realize the full sacrifice that was made by Jesus on our behalf.

Yet still God loves us...
Still His grace pours down upon us.

For those of us who have made Him our Lord and Savior, it hasn't meant that life has become easier - it has meant that we have meaning for our lives.  If we study His Word and learn His promises, we take comfort in the fact that we are not alone.  That He is with us.  In reading and studying His Word the Holy Spirit helps us during the difficult times bring to remembrance the promises and words of encouragement that Jesus has given us through the New Testament. 

Yet still there are times when we wonder if our God - who says in His Word:

 "Is the same Yesterday, today and Tomorrow." (Hebrews 13:8)

If He still hears us.  There are times when the worries and cares and the darkness of this world makes us question if God has given up on us.  If He still cares.  Ol' Slewfoot whispers in our ears, "He doesn't care about you anymore.  He's given up on humanity, He's given up on you... He doesn't hear your prayers.  He's disgusted by you and all that is going on in the word.  YOUR God is dead."

And there are times when we feel so defeated, we start to believe that God HAS given up on us.  We start to feel so hard pressed and discouraged by what we are going through or seeing occur around us - that we start to wonder if God cares anymore.  We forget that we are told in the Bible not to be led by our feelings or our circumstances.  We are to :

"Walk by faith not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

We are to:

"Trust in the Lord with ALL our hearts, lean not to our own understanding.  In ALL our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path." (Proverbs 3:5)

But you see, if we are hard pressed on all sides, if we are beset by problems, if we don't take the time to hide God's Word in our hearts and believe it to be true.  If we don't hold fast to what the Word of God tells us - than we can't walk by faith.  We won't be encouraged.  We WILL believe the lies of the devil.

Yet still Our God reaches out to us and shows us, by meeting us where we are at - that He IS here.  That He IS an "Ever present help in times of trouble." (Psalm 46:1).

There are times when we are going through such a dark moment that we lose focus off of Him, as Peter did as told in the book of Matthew, Chapter 14.  And we start to sink in our circumstances and we start to doubt, lose faith.  Then when we think we just can't go on any longer, or that God doesn't care or that we are sinking and there is NO hope.  He does something that shows that it is ONLY Him.  He rescues us.  He reaches His hand down to us and pulls us out of our situation and we realize once again, that God IS REAL.  That He is very much in control, that nothing catches Him by surprise.  That He is BIGGER than any of our circumstances.  That He cares and He sees us and He loves us and He works ALL things according to His purpose.  He IS God.

Maybe He allows us to go through those dark uncertain times to see if we will still trust Him. Maybe He wants to see if we recognize that we cannot get through this thing called "life" without Him.  We were not created to be without God.  There is something deep inside each one of us that cries out to Him, "We NEED you!!!"  The only thing is that the enemy has blinded the eyes of people and it is only when those scales are removed that we realize that there is NOTHING that can take the place of God in our lives.  Many try to fill that need with other sources (sex, drugs, alcohol, worldly possessions, etc.) but it is something deep within our souls that can only be filled by God and it is only when that need is recognized for what it is - the need FOR God that we can experience that "peace that passes ALL understanding." (Philippians 4:7).

We were created with a need for God, but because we have such a loving Father, He chose to give us free will - to choose Him or to not.  The choice has always been ours.  He IS real.  He is HERE.  He loves YOU.  He cares.   There is NO greater joy than knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and its not something anyone can fully describe unless you experience His personal love for yourself.

It doesn't mean that life will be easier - it means that He will BE there.
It doesn't mean that you won't have any worries or cares - it means He will walk you through them.

I am not living this life for what God gives me (although I continuously pray for blessings and bring to His attention through prayer the desires of my heart because I have learned that He wants me to share my desires and thoughts with Him).  We are in a "personal" relationship, which means He wants me to communicate with Him, even though the Bible tells me:

 "He knows my thoughts before I even think them." (Psalm 139:2). 

But when you are in a relationship with someone they want you to share what is on your mind.  I really think God likes it when we converse with Him (and that is what prayer IS a conversation with God).

I am in a relationship with Him NOT for what He does for me, but for what He did for me. 
"God showed His love for us:  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (John 4:9-10).

He REALLY is real.... We just have to believe and trust Him.  No matter what life throws our way... Because when this life is over.  We WILL see that the Bible WAS true and for those of us who chose to believe it - we will spend an eternity with a God who has loves us since the beginning of time.

November 10, 2016

How About That Noah?!

What a day we live in!  I have been thinking of late how we forget that the Bible was written to be a guidebook for us, to help us, to encourage us to teach us, yet often it is the last place we look for wisdom and for strength.  I think back to when I first became a Christian at the age of 21, not having grown up in a Christian family, once I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was introduced to the Bible, the words would jump off the pages and I would be so into what I was reading there would be nights when my head would fall asleep with my face right in the Bible!  Twenty-nine years later I am chagrined at thinking how it has become difficult to find the time to read the Word of God and how, especially at this time in history it is the answer to so many of the questions we have because it is very much the LIVING Word of God and as the Bible says:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:17)

Also it is spiritual food for us and I have found myself discouraged, depressed, depleted and anxious when I don't take time to read it.  It is spiritual food for our soul.  It was written for a purpose and the purpose was for us to grow in our relationship with Him.

The fascinating thing I have found is how as I have grown in my walk with the Lord what I have read has been stored within my heart.  Reading the Word of God helps us to hide his Word in our heart and often time we don't even know that is occurring until a scripture just jumps out in our minds! I get tickled by this because it is the Holy Spirit bringing forward a word of encouragement to my remembrance when I am praying for answers.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."  (Proverbs 3:5).

The Bible is also a map for us.  I was thinking this week about the days of Noah, how often we forget that that is a TRUE story, one that can be applied to our lives today.  As I have thought about the world today and how many do not choose to follow God's Word or believe it I think about examples of such times as are written in the Bible.  The people in Noah's time thought he was insane.  Building a boat when there wasn't any rain.  They laughed at him.  They mocked him, they made fun of him, they went on living, working, marrying, carrying on with their lives (such as we do today) not heeding God's warning or Noah's words.  Then the day of rains came.  Can you imagine the shock and horror of the people when they realized that all along what Noah had been doing was right?  It was too late!  The world hasn't changed.  The Bible talks about the days to come, yet still we go through life not believing, not giving it much thought that what God's Word says will come to pass.  Just as in the days of Noah.  Just as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Even as a Christian I can see my own faults, weaknesses and sins before me.  It is so easy to get discouraged - especially during the times when God feels so far away.  Ol' Slewfoot and his dominions would have us really believe that God IS dead.  That He is not concerned with us, our needs or our lives.  He would have us doubt God's promises and turn away. He would have us be discouraged or disheartened.  But the TRUTH of the matter is that God LOVES us.  That He is NOT dead.  That He is very much alive.  That He CARES.  We live in a day and age where people are looking those of us who are Christians and struggling and they mock us and laugh at us and wonder WHY we would serve a God who clearly makes us suffer.  And sometimes, as a cancer survivor who is struggling to make ends meet for my family - I DO question God.  I ask Him WHY.  When it seems like what is such a big problem for us is a little "ant hill" to Him.  WHY doesn't He just alleviate the difficulty I have. WHY do I go through the things I go through when I have a Father who could just snap His fingers and take away my burdens like He was flicking a piece of lint off His shoulder and honestly there are times when I rage and I cry before Him and I ask Him, "Lord HOW do you receive the glory in my being burdened by A,B,C??? Why won't you help ME??? Your Word says, "If I being evil give good gifts to my children how much more so will you help ME?" (Matthew 7:11)  There are times when I cry out to Him, "Abba Father!!!!" And He seems quiet.  He seems distant and far away.  That is when the scripture promise I cling to:

"I will never leave nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

And I have to remind myself that regardless of whether or not I understand what I am going through.  The Bible also tells me:

"The steps of the righteous are ordained by God." (Psalms 37:23)

Remembering that my righteousness is NOT my own - that I have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ - who loved me enough to die on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.

I know without a doubt within my soul - that also as the Bible says: 

 "He is the way, the truth and the life.  The ONLY way to Heaven." (John 14:6)

He is: 

"The peace that passes ALL understanding."(Philippians 4:7)

You see?  In reading His Word, I have hidden such scriptures in my heart.  The faith part comes with BELIEVING them.  STANDING on them.  Holding FAST to them.  Not to go by my feelings - but to know that my Heavenly Father cares.  He's There.  The Word also tells me:

"He is an ever present help in times of trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

He is:

"The lifter of my head." (Psalms 3:3)

I can trust Him.  He knows what He is doing.  Jesus even said:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)

We are living in a time where we have to choose who we are going to believe.  satan or God.  We have to decide who's voice we are going to listen to.  It is NOT easy.  It is so easy to feel as though God is far away - especially when we look around at ALL the things that are going on in the world.  There is NO common sense anymore.  There is NO common courtesy.  Even Christians are not living and walking in the manner that God intended them to walk.  The Bride is NOT ready.  We have become wordly - and we need to ask God to forgive us and to help us be ALL that He intended us to be. 

The Bible talks about the days to come.  The last days. 

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2nd Timothy 3:2 - 3:5)

It is SPELLED OUT right on the pages of the Word of God.  So WHY does it come as such a shock to us when we hear about it in the news, when we see it happening right before our eyes?  When we find OURSELVES acting in a manner that does not glorify God? 

When I look on my life over the last 29 years of being a Christian.  My answer to those who see me struggle as a cancer survivor, a divorced woman raising two of her three children on her own.  My answer is - don't look at ME.  Look at HIM.   I am not IN this life because of what God can do for me - although daily I hope He will help me with the burdens I carry and the things I go through in life.  But the fact of the matter is I love Him and have become a Christian not for what he can DO for me, but for what He has DONE for me.  He died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  He made a way for me to be able to enter into a relationship with God the Father because of His obedience.  He made a way through His shed blood for me to be able to go to Heaven when I die.  NOT because of anything I have done but because of WHAT HE has done.  I am in it because I love Him.  I am in it because I trust Him - even when I rage and have temper tantrums.  I am in it because I know that His Word (regardless of how in frequently I have taken time to read it myself of late) is TRUE and the Words written in God's book - The BIBLE WILL come to pass regardless of those who think is nonsense.  Just as in the examples He has allowed those God inspired men He used to write it, write it for us to read.  He wrote it as a love story for us - so that we would be encouraged.  So that we would SEE how MUCH God love us.  The choice (which he also gave us - free choice) is OURS.

As you look out at the world and the things that are occurring around you - what will YOU choose to believe?  Where is your hope? How do YOU go forward in life in a world that often times seems as though it is growing darker and darker.  (It is...) But if you read the same Word that I read - you will be encouraged to know that Jesus said:

"He is the Way, The Truth and the Life." John 14:6)

  We only need to walk in it... I'm going to continue trying - how about you?

November 7, 2016

All YOU Need

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not to your own understanding.  In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5)
There is not one thing that this ex-prodigal is more certain about – except this… I NEED the Lord.  I need Him.  More than any other person, more than any materialistic item.  I NEED the Lord in my life.  If someone was to ask me what a life is like without Jesus – I would answer that it’s like a corpse.  The spirit of a person brings animation and life into a body, without the spirit a body is just a shell.
Without the Lord – I am lost.  Jesus said He would never leave nor forsake us.  But I believe that sometimes He sits waaaaaay in the back ground watching us to see what we would do without Him.  Do you know what I do?  I panic.  I feel like I can’t breath. like I can’t think.  No matter what my spiritual state is – prodigal, ex-prodigal etc. there is one thing I know.  I CANNOT get through life without the Lord.

Without Him I am a mere shell.
It’s the scariest thing in the world when you feel as though you are all alone.  Where pain feels your body and you feel like you just can’t go on.  I believe that people who experience this feeling are the ones that commit suicide, because the pain is just too much.  You want it gone.

Jesus is my peace.  He is the Way, He is the Truth and He is the life and I can honestly say that there is no one I love more than Him.  I CANNOT live without Him.  He is my ever present help in time of trouble.  He is the lifter of my head.  He is my Lord and He is my Savior.  He LOVES me unconditionally.

I think of John, when He was walking on water towards the Lord.  His steps were filled with confidence and not doubt.  He knew WHO he was walking towards and he believed He could do it.
It wasn’t until doubt and uncertainty and perhaps even worry or the words of this world filled his head that he slowly began to sink.  This is what the world does to us – unless we have our eyes focused on Jesus, we sink.  This weekend I sunk all the way to my nostrils where I could feel the water filling my nose and the burning sensation that comes with it.  I panicked. I thrashed.  I wanted to give up. I lost focus.

LISTEN – people will disappoint you all the time.  But our focus is not supposed to be ON people.  We are not living for THEM.  We are living for HIM.  I woke up this morning and realized I needed to anoint myself.  I needed to rebuke ALL those things that were moving me towards death.  Towards giving up.  Usually when we feel this way it is because God has a great plan for our lives and ol’ slewfoot steps in and tries to distract us – tries to make us take our eyes off of God and put it on our situation.  GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANY OF OUR PROBLEMS.  There is NOTHING that God can’t do.  We forget that sometimes.  All we need to do is call on Him.  Even if it is the ONLY thing you can say, cry out “JESUS I LOVE YOU!!!! JESUS I NEED YOU!!!! JESUS DON’T LEAVE ME!!! Save me Lord! Help me!”  And He will.  He is an EVER present help in time of trouble.
We need to keep our eyes on Him… We were not called to do things on our own.  We were not made that way.  We need Him – now more than ever before.

“Father God, I need you. Forgive me my sins; wash me with the blood of Jesus.  Don’t ever leave me.  Where I am weak – make me strong.  Where I am strong – keep me strong.  Hold me tight.  Without you I am nothing but a shell.  I don’t want to live in a Godless world without you by my side.  Please never let me go. Restore what the cankerworm has destroyed and help me not to walk in fear or doubt. But to trust that You have got me and that my life belongs to you.  In Jesus precious name I pray.  AMEN”