Thursday, August 29, 2013

No Wife! No Family! No Friends!

I'm reminded of one time I was sitting in church and Dad Johnson was sitting in his usual seat on the corner of the pulpit. He shocked me when he said, "I ain't got no wife! I ain't got no family! When it comes to right and wrong I ain't got no wife, no kids, no friends, no family. This is about righteousness".  And one of his favorite scriptures was "Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people".

Joshua 5: 13-15
13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

In other words, I'm not on your side or theirs. I'm on the Lord's side. I didn't come to fight on your behalf but on God's.  This isn't about me being on your side, it's about who's on the Lord's side? If you want to be on the same side as me, make sure you're also on His side!  
~No wife! No friends! No family! No children! No favorites! No race! No color! No displaced loyalty! Who's on the Lord's side?~

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Friday, August 16, 2013


Truly walking in forgiveness toward yourself can be more of a challenge than walking in forgiveness toward others, but in order to reach your full potential of joy and freedom you have to do it. If you don't stop mentally and emotionally punishing and scolding yourself for mistakes you've made in a bad relationship, every where you go you will take that person with you.  You've left, so leave! Why would you leave them only to drag them around with you everywhere you go? 

If it's dead BURY IT. Don't drive around with a corpse in your back seat. God gave me a dream about this years ago.  In the dream my sister's, (who passed when I was 17) body was in the back seat of my car.  Her skin was bruised and discolored which was a reminder of how she died, from a gunshot that sent gun powder up into her neck and face, and showed that decay had begun. There was also some dirt on her and her face as if her body had been buried, but exhumed. There I was driving my car with this body in the back seat and every time I turned a corner the body would fall over on me and I had to try to straighten it back up while driving. This of course caused a dangerous driving situation. It got to be so bad that soon it seemed the body was in the front seat with me, just laying on me, hindering my ability to drive (move forward; progress) In my mind I was wondering why I wasn't creeped out by this dead body. Why was I behaving in the situation like it was normal although I knew this was not normal?

The point of the dream from God was that some things in my life had long been dead but for some reason I had not released them or myself from them. I had physically left the situation but brought along with me the guilt of it and by doing that, I brought the dead thing with me out of the relationship, out of the house, into my car and with me everywhere I went. In other words, I had exhumed the dead body. The fact that it was my deceased sister represented the fact that it was something that was once alive. It represented something or someone that I did love at one time. It represented a close relationship that was now over. Maybe this is why I behaved as if it was normal because this was someone who at one time was close to me. Seeing the bruising and discoloration in the body of how she died represented the fact that I knew why the relationship had died. I knew what killed it and I knew how long it had been dead. 

The regret of a bad decision in your past, like that dead body just falls on you so heavily at times, almost stopping you in your tracks or causing you to endanger what you are trying to do at the current moment or season in your life. This is painful and can be dangerous to your future plans and hopes. 

Sometimes we hold on because from the relationship a child or children were born. Even though the toxic person is gone, you may still have some dealings with them because of the children, and this causes you to be constantly reminded of the choice or choices you've made and still regret. The pain of it remains fresh. You love your children but you can't forgive yourself for the father (and sometimes the mother) you gave them through that bad relationship.  So walking in total forgiveness towards yourself can be way more difficult because the person can't or won't just disappear off the face of the planet! You can't erase the fact that what happened, happened. Walking in forgiveness toward yourself then becomes more of an ongoing process. You have to remind yourself to do it. You have to refer back to things that God has shown you and said to you.  Sometimes you forget, and sometimes you feel it is too difficult, but it can be done and it must be done.

Make the decision today, right this minute that you will not tarnish your new beginning or contaminate your fresh start by allowing traces of your past to continue to linger. You already have an accuser. Don't be an accuser of yourself. You don't owe your past anything but to learn and grow from it. You don't owe your enemy anything but to love them with the Love of God and forgive them from your heart as He has commanded. Even in that God has offered His assistance because He knows that in your own strength, some things you can't forgive. Don't become an enemy to yourself by holding yourself hostage for a mistake you made before you learned what you now know. You did the best you could with the knowledge, understanding, strength and courage you had at the time. When you learned better, you did better. Truly accept the fact that your heavenly Father has already forgiven you and released you, and cancelled the contract the enemy had on your life. What he tried to do DIDN'T WORK. 
Repeat after me:
I FORGIVE myself for the times I didn't have courage.
I FORGIVE myself for the times I was paralyzed by fear and self doubt.
I FORGIVE myself for not being as strong as I really was.
I SHOULD HAVE walked away so much sooner than I did, but when I did, it was the right thing to do, at the right time, for the right reasons, so I APPLAUD myself for doing the right thing.
I break every chain, every chord, every string, and every thread that would try to keep me bound to my past mistakes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

God's Direction

Proverbs 3:5-6
5.Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding 
6. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I had to share something with my daughter about someone and when I saw the look on her face I told her, "Don't be mad or upset. You just need to know." And when the opportunity presents itself I instructed her how to make a clear point and move on, without a major confrontation, or arguing.  I knew before talking to her that it might upset her a little bit.  I could have chosen to let her being a little upset stop me from giving her some information and teaching that will help her in her current situation and throughout life. My history with God lets me know that God is going to talk to her a lot more than I did.  He's going to continue the teaching and do a much better job because He's always with her, and I'm not. After talking with her I was able to understand so much more about God's direction in our lives.

When God shows you something concerning someone that you NEED TO SEE, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get angry with that person over what God showed you.  This is one of the ways that God directs your path. He's showing you something that will help you to know how to navigate your next series of steps. He's giving you a heads up of how you need to deal with or respond to this person. He's showing you something that will prevent an emotional shipwreck in the future. His revealing this to you is really teaching you something that if applied, can help you not only with the current situation, but throughout life. 

A major problem we can create when God reveals something to us is to become angry with the person or fall into a pit of hurt feelings.  By doing this we take our focus and attention off of the Teacher. He may still want to open our understanding even more about something or someone but because we've turned our attention to our negative emotions, we miss the whole lesson.

What I've learned about God is that whenever He reveals something to ME it is ultimately not about the other person, but about ME. God is helping ME, teaching and training ME. By using what He shows me in the way He is trying to teach me, it increases wisdom within me.  It prevents me from hopping onto an emotional roller coaster with the devil over other people's issues.  He doesn't show us things so that we can make their issue our issue. He doesn't show us things so that we can take it and gossip, pick a fight, become angry and bitter, or even start to think less of someone else, although most of the time we experience some of these.  But it's for our education, for increase of our understanding in simply how to deal with people on a day to day basis. Sometimes what God shows us will reveal an enemy, but it's never to create enemies, and sometimes it is meant to help you maintain a relationship instead of losing one. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher, and our Guide and I'm finding that when it comes to relationships we need more teaching and guidance than in any other area of our lives. This is true even in our relationships with ourselves because when I'm alone, I get to know who I really am, what I really like or don't like, etc, so in essence I discover myself and learn how to treat myself according to that knowledge. Without a healthy relationship with myself based on knowledge of who I really am I can not communicate to someone else how to be in a healthy relationship with me, because neither of us will know who I really am!

I can think of several instances in my life when God was trying to get me to listen to Him about people, but I didn't.  I bulldozed right over what He was showing me clear as day.  He was pointing things out to me regularly but I refused to follow His lead and I can tell you now, that every single relationship I did that with, ended up severed. I can't speak for them. I have no clue if He was speaking to them about me, but I know for certain what He was saying to me about how to deal with each of them. Had I listened and obeyed I'm completely sure that things would have turned out differently. Even if we had still gone our separate ways, it wouldn't have involved so much drama and hurt. Yes my immediate obedience would have inconvenienced my feelings a little at first, but I'm a strong woman and I would have gotten over it. The Lord does with us what I had to do with my daughter.  He places the lesson higher than how we will feel when we have to learn it, because He knows that the outcome will be so much greater and better for us than what we are trying to pacify ourselves with right now.

Refer back to the scripture, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. Trust Him to know what He's talking about when He's talking about that which HE created. Trust Him to know what He's doing when He directs your path differently than you were expecting.  Trust that the pinch you feel in your emotions right now is so much better than the major blow your heart will take if you keep doing things your way. (leaning to your own understanding) Trust Him to direct you in every relationship you are involved in. Trust that with God, direction often looks more like redirection, but as long as it's all God, it's all good! Trust that God's motive for anything He shows you is for your GAIN, even if for a moment you feel or experience loss.

Monday, August 5, 2013


When my baby was only about 3 years old I recognized something in her that God used to show me about myself. Her strong will. I couldn't believe that something so very tiny with the most limited use of the English language could have me completely stumped about how to get her to do what I wanted. I was very much at my wits end with a child that hadn't even been in the world 5 years yet! I tried everything I thought would work but nothing did for a time. I knew that if I didn't get a handle on this tiny time bomb it would begin to start having explosions on me and I would find myself being controlled by her instead of her being an obedient child to me.

One day I reached the end of my rope. I remember driving my car and crying out to God for help. I prayed and cried and asked Him to teach me and help me.  I remember saying something along the lines of, "I hear people talking about taking authority over stuff, and Lord I don't even know what that means!  I don't even know how to take authority. How do you even do that?"

I'm a witness that if you ask God in sincerity He will answer your questions, and quite quickly as a matter of fact. I believe He answered me while I was still driving, right after I asked.  He said, "Taking authority simply means, 'It's going to be like I say' or 'You're going to do what I say because of who I am". Very simple isn't it?  Not because we threaten, bribe, beg, or plead, but because we stand in the knowledge of who we are. We understand our position and make our demand based on that position. We "take authority" with our children because we are the parent. We take authority on our jobs because we are the owner, manager, or supervisor. We take authority in the spirit because of what the Word of God says about who we are in Christ.

After I got that answer my whole attitude changed and I was able to get a handle on a child and a situation that would have only grown worse and worse. I hate to think of what life would be like for us now had I not cried out to God for help.  I just want to encourage you today, stand in the authority of the position you hold, whether it be as a parent, on your job, or in your Christian walk. Being in a position is not enough by itself.  We need to understand that with the position comes authority.

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Your words are your power tools.

 Be mindful of what you use them to build.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

POWER TOOLS - Faith To Speak and In What You Speak

The only way to really be able to hold on to your faith when situations are pressing in on you is to open your mouth and SPEAK what God has already spoken.  Speak the word of God back to yourself, back to Him, and into your situation. When you're in a challenging situation that seems to be squeezing you tighter and tighter like a vice grip, it takes FAITH to simply open your mouth and say what God says. But if you do it, the Word you speak will hold you together and carry you through.  The bible says that DEATH AND LIFE, not just life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) There is power in your mouth but it is up to you to choose how you use it.  If you speak your bad situation it will seem to grow worse and worse.  If you rehearse the bad feelings they will multiply and you run the risk of drifting into depression or a breakdown. But if in that same bad situation and while feeling those same bad feelings, you speak according to the Word of God and not according to the flesh, (what you're experiencing with your senses) you can completely change your mindset concerning it and eventually the situation itself. 

I know someone who used to always say, "You know my nerves are bad!" or, "Don't play with me like that", or "Don't scare me like that, you know my nerves are bad".  I began to notice that whenever she said it, her hands would shake, and the more she said it, the more her hands would shake.  God showed me through that that she had no idea that she was creating a nervous condition with her own words!  One day when she said it I said to her, "Girl stop saying that. The more you say it the more you shake".  She told me I was right and said she wouldn't say it anymore.  I don't remember hearing her say it anymore and guess what else?  She stopped all that shaking too!  

There is so much power in your words that you can speak in authority over someone else's situation and make a difference if they agree with you. This same friend went through a very trying few months.  A very close friend of the family passed away. During this time of loss her grandmother's health began to diminish and 5 months after one loss she and her mother went through having to bury her grandmother. This wasn't a distant relationship of someone who lived far away or with whom there was no close relationship. She had lived in the home with her and her mother throughout her older and final years so this was a major emotional blow, right behind the previous one.  Just a few months after that, she came down to the office I was working in and she told me that one of her brothers had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was an emotional wreck. My friend leaned over on me and wept. We've known each other for over 15 years and she has never cried like that with me.This was not a time to be cute or to tell a joke to try and get her mind off of things. This was a time when my POWER TOOLS needed to be pulled out and used to create some HOPE, bring some RELIEF and some PEACE to her heart for her situation. I began to pray with her and while I was praying she was crying, and then I heard something shaking and when I looked down her hands were shaking faster and faster. Her fingernails were hitting against her watch. It was as if she was emotionally unraveling right in my arms.  I SPOKE to her emotions and her mind and I said, "You are NOT going to have a nervous breakdown. You are NOT going to lose your mind. You are NOT going to fall apart." I spoke the peace of God that passes all understanding to fill her heart and her mind. The  more I spoke in authority over HER situation, the less she shook and within a few seconds the shaking stopped.  How was I able to speak over someone else's life and mind and get those kinds of results? Because when someone comes to you and asks you for prayer, not only are they humbling themselves before you, but they are also actually submitting themselves to the authority you carry in God and to the WORDS you will speak out of your mouth when you pray for them.  WOW! They are exercising FAITH in what you are going to open your mouth and say to God on their behalf.  FAITH in what you are going to speak out of your mouth about what you believe FOR THEM.  FAITH in your ability to use your Power Tools, your WORDS to build something, create something for them that they can't for themselves. They've asked you to pray because they feel the need for assistance, and they have FAITH that YOU CAN ASSIST THEM. Oh what a privilege it is to be trusted with a prayer request!
Exercise your Faith. Use your Power Tools through praying and speaking the Word of God. Build hope, call on peace. Make life better for yourself and for someone else!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013


People are sometimes criticized by being told, "You can't see the forest for (looking at) the trees. But I say, there would be no forest but for the trees. The splendor of the forest is made up of every detail of every tree. From the pattern of the bark, to the rings that tell how old the trees is and reveal that some have been standing there, in that very spot for decades or centuries. The trees hold leaves that sometimes start out as floral buds, which blossom in to full blown fragrant flowers and then transition into green leaves. These leaves later turn golden, orange, bright yellow fiery red or a few shades of purple. My overall appreciation of the forest as a whole is enriched by the most intricate details of the trees. Are you only interested in the forest?  Please excuse me while I step around you and move closer. You're blocking my view of these magnificent trees!

I have been criticized for, or accused of not looking at the "big picture" because I was "paying too much attention to details". I was told that my attention to details was nothing but a distraction and excuse for not looking at the big picture, and was causing my focus to be off. I say my attention to and acknowledgement of certain details, or additional details did not nullify anything previously known but rather it broadened my perspective and gave me more insight into the overall picture. This increased my appreciation for what what was happening right before my eyes, and showed me that more was going on that I originally believed or even knew! 

Every big picture is created a canvas full of details created by single strokes, made one after the other until the project is complete. The big picture contains many small details that make the whole what it is, and add meaning to the overall story being told. Colors fading into and blending with others. The different shades of blue in the sky. A few, many, or no clouds. The absence or presence of a rainbow. A shack in the distance. A light shining through a window. A dog lounging on the porch. A couple walking and holding hands. A bird perched on a tree branch or a pond next to the house.  All sorts of details come together to make up these big pictures, these masterpieces that people often stare at for long periods of time. Actually, a big picture void of details is simply and empty canvas. So you think that looking the details is a waste of time and a distraction?  Please move. You are blocking my view of the true big picture.

I enjoy details. I get excited about details. They remind me that there are many stories that contribute to a life story. They remind me of how precise God is and how intricately involved He is in every minute detail of my existence. Every detail of my personality, body shape and build, the width of my shoulders, the length of my legs, the shape of my lips and eyes, my high cheek bones, the shade of my skin, tone of my voice, and my gifts and abilities He imparted for me to use and impact the lives of others. Do you not care to enjoy the deeply personal involvement and interest that God has in your life? You will miss out on experiencing so much beauty in your relationship with Him. Yes there are times when forgetting the details of a thing will save you a lot of pain, extra tears shed or reopening of wounds. But when it comes to the handy work of God being revealed in our lives it would be tragic to overlook the details, because they make all the difference!