Archive | August, 2013

White Knuckle Faith

21 Aug

Yesterday, I received the amazing news that I do not have breast cancer. I felt stunned and it took a moment for that to sink in. I had been prepared for the bad news and had already begun to focus on the “what now”. My Doctor was ready to put into motion my alternative path as I had already decided I would not do a chemical treatment. The last month of hurry up and wait had begun to wear on me. It became part of my routine to research alternative approaches to cancer.

It was a couple of hours before I felt the joy of the good news settle in, strange as that sounds. When the full realization hit me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy.

In the sharing of the news, I realized I was exhaling this huge sigh of relief. What I found in the “all clear” is that my faith could be described as a white knuckle faith.

The night before my procedures, I had many love notes from God; Notes reassuring me, reminding me that health was mine for the asking. I just needed to ask. So I asked!

I received this Psalm in a devotional:

Psalm 92:14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,

However,I was still obviously scared, bracing for the worst, even though I was no longer aware of it.

I had only told a couple people,just a chosen few, for prayer’s of intercession. That’s what we do, we ask for prayers for healing, right? Asking others to pray for us to hold steadfast in our faith and our healing is a good prayer. But our prayer? Our prayer should be one of reverent gratitude for the trial we are facing because it keeps us close to God. That alone is the greatest gift. To trust Him completely in His plan for our life, our prayer should look like one of admitting our weakness in our fear.

I was convicted in the aftermath that to be so tense was wrong. I have changed my thoughts on this. I didn’t realize I was so tense, and to be so tense, well that’s okay. God understands our weakness.

Faith is not to be judged by us or anyone else. God will judge our faith. He places us in the craziest of situations to test our faith, but it isn’t failure to have fear. It is beautiful to have faith and conversation with Him even with white knuckles; He loves that. White knuckle faith is okay as long as you are staying close to God’s side. Trust is uncomfortable sometimes. It’s actually real faith when you trust through the human responses of fear. Even when you are not aware of the fear until after the crisis is over.

What I do need to work on is the confidence in God wanting to bless me. That I am His prize. That seems to be the hardest to grasp. The intentional acceptance that God wants you to bless you with your hearts desires. But, we must ask and we must trust that He will give us what He knows is best for us.

All is well that ends well. I feel very blessed and humbled. I also know that my trials on this earth are not even close to being over. I will continue to grow through those trials and maybe next time, I won’t feel the fear as deeply. But, if I do, I have an amazing Father that loves me anyways.

Jesus Calling~ “I am a God who heals”
Psalm 103:3 (NIV)
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

James 4:2 (NIV)
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

1 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIV)
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,

Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

All Mine

11 Aug


“I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm”- Casting Crowns

I had a bad week…actually, a decent week and 2 bad days. For those that know me best, I really don’t have bad days that often. My joy is pretty steady and my faith is very strong.
When these times come to me like they did this week, I have found that there is great purpose in them. While I got weighed down in it this week and I couldn’t gather enough strength alone in my spiritual warfare, I now see it clearly and all that I was to learn.
First of all, I have an army. I am not alone. I was able to reach out to the team of incredible women God has placed in my life over the years. I love these women! These women are so faithful, so full of the Holy Spirit; I am incredibly blessed to have such a strong circle and loving support. With the Father’s loving guidance, and the arms around me in prayer, I was able to see the lessons. What I learned is this….God uses these hard times to show my vulnerability and weakness to me. In my journey, I get a bit too comfortable in my trust and faith. I am all in and my faith has been built with loving guidance on a firm rock. Yet, I can take Him way too much for granted and He protects me from growing too independent. I need to be reminded of His grace. My faith can be too easy I guess at times… aka auto pilot. Ah… I love to be convicted and to be loved enough for reproach and discipline; For the reminders of Him in my life. The times I slip are the times that bring my worship back where it belongs!
The biggest lesson of all, is not my faith, not my obedience, not my worship or idols; My biggest lesson was, He loves me and He wants to bless me. He wants me to claim that, to have confidence in that, to know that He wants to give to me my hearts desire. He wants me to know my value to Him, that I am worthy of all He wants to bestow upon me. Deeper and deeper I go into this amazing journey. I am so in love with The One that loves me so.

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.- Psalm 84:11
For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Hebrews 5:2 “He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray since he himself is subject to weakness.”
2 corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me”
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

How many times

4 Aug

How did I miss you?

When a detour put me directly in front of someone I miss so much, in a town far from one another, how did I miss my chance to praise you, to see you showing off for us, for gifting both of us with the blessing of such a moment! How did I miss what a complete gift of love that was?

How did I miss you when my car wouldn’t start? I was praying to remain patient, to remain faithful and not worry, praying to have my car start, to make it home…that I missed the unbelievable opportunity to praise you and share your faithfulness by the blessing of the tow truck that just happened to appear in the parking lot. I was thankful but how did I miss the opportunity to be blown away? That you did that for ME!

I thought I got it! I thought I was in TUNED. I was so good about it!

I missed the beauty of your gifts, you were lavishing love on me, pouring down gifts, trying to capture my full attention, I was so busy praying that I missed the reward for my trust, the love you shared.

Instead of dancing on my tiptoes, singing your praises, I was making sure I had people to call on for the drive home, praying all the while.

YOU WERE RIGHT THERE! How did I miss that opportunity to see how much you love me? The favor you showed me?

How often am I so busy being faithful and mindful that I actually miss you? Miss seeing you? Miss your hello’s, your treasures of love notes, your romantic gestures.

Please never stop. I never deserved a single treasure but please, never stop.

God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing. ~ Rick Warren

Karma?

1 Aug

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny. ”

Karma kar·ma [kahr-muh] noun
~ action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: fate; destiny. Synonyms: predestination, predetermination, lot, kismet.
Grace [greys] noun, verb, graced, grac·ing.
noun
~favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension;a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor.

Mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor [Jesus]. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve. Antonyms: harshness.

Lots of talk of Karma these days. It surprises me when a Christian posts on a public forum about Karma. Personally, I am incredibly grateful that Jesus died for me because there is not a day goes by that I don’t reap a little sin into the mix of goodness. I believe we are allowed certain path’s but only because God allows us to learn what we need to learn. I believe that HE designs the lessons, the forks, the opportunity, the destiny, not me; I get to embrace or not.

If we are to believe or wish for Karma… then where does that leave our own salvation? Our total belief based on Christ?

Before we expel hatred and violent thoughts; yes, wishing bad karma on others, or even the smug “Wouldn’t want HIS Karma”, is a violent thought process,full of judgement. Hatred hardens your heart and thus, goes against Scripture and the teaching of Jesus, the commandment of God.

It is high time this “enlightened” society begin to bestow gentleness, friendship, forgiveness,love and prayer for those that are struggling, that are failing to find joy in their trials. Christian or not!

We all have our path, our journey. Life is so difficult because it is a constant ebb and flow of lessons, of loss, of joy and of receiving. In a perfect world, Christians would be a safe haven of trust for other Christians, but we are not perfect. Not even close.

As Christians, should we not be finding the best way to share the Light that is our Salvation?

If you find anger or judgement, if you are intolerant or hurt by this world, there is one word to fix on. “Jesus”. Not Karma!

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Galatians 6:7 (NIV)
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)
27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

John 5:28-29 (NIV)
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

Romans 14:10-11(NIV)
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]