Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Being Intentional: Trusting in God

Trust.
It's a word and an action that I've had to deal with in my life. I don't trust easily, but I'm much better at it now than I used to be. Trust comes in different forms for different reasons in life. Not only trusting in God but in people. When you've been hurt, let down, disappointed...you may have issues with trust. If you have been cheated on, bullied, or not received something you were promised... you may have issues with trust. Maybe you deal with worry and anxiety. If you worry about your future, your family and friends, or decisions... you may have issues with trust.

Trust. 
 Humans... can't be someone we put our ultimate trust in. They are not perfect and no matter how much we put our hope and trust into a human, they will let us down at some point. My story is that I was emotional crushed by a boy I loved in high school and trusted very much. He was a part of my life for a long time, and someone who I saw my future with. I put all my heart, soul, and trust into him until I discovered something he had been hiding from me for two years. It broke my heart to know that I could no longer trust that person. It was a major event in my life that changed the way I trusted people, especially men. I eventually forgave that person, and sometimes am reminded that I need to forgive again. (Thank you Tiffany for your post on forgiveness - I needed that reminder!) 

But trusting in God? God is someone we can trust. He will never leave us or forsake us. And NOTHING can separate us from His love. His Word specifically says in Psalms to not put our trust in men or princes. The Bible guides us about trusting and relying in Him:

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22

"Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:6

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure everything out on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!" 
Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message

Trust.
Wanna know something I really struggle with? Worry and anxiety. I used to have panic attacks when I felt something wrong physically in my body. I worry about my 4 month old and his health and safety.. I worry about my health and decisions in my life.. I worry about finances, about natural disasters, about losing a loved one, etc, etc. You know what the Bible says about those things? They are sins! God did not worry... God did not have anxiety. Worry is not an attribute of Christ... worry is a form of doubt which is from Satan. Satan does not want us to trust in God, because that means God is winning. Know what Satan - too bad for you. God wins anyways! But God does not call us to live with the burdens of anxiety; Christ commands us to release worry and anxiety and to lay our cares at His feet... TRUSTING that He will take care of our needs.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:25-27

“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

My challenge to you is to write out 3-5 verses on seperate notecards about trusting God and put them in places you'll be able to read them often. Check out this website listing 50 verses on worrying. Use these notecards to remind you that God is your rock and your strength. That He is in control and wants you to cast all your cares on Him.

Trusting in God means that we lay our fears, hopes, dreams, and decisions at the foot of the cross. Picture yourself, palms down - literally laying those prayers and petitions at Jesus's feet. He wants you to do that. Christ wants us to let Him take those burdens for us. 
Why? 
Because He loves us. He cares for us. He has a reason. He has a plan.


Poison

We as believers are a target for Satan.
He is plotting a scheming at this very minute.
Before, as sinners we were a non-factor. NOW, that we saved by Gods Grace...we are so so powerful. The Devil is shaking in hell right now because he know he stands no chance against the Church.
This is why Satan wants to take us out.
 Derail our lives.
 If he puts a little bit of doubt...a little bit of anger...
a little bit of unforgiveness in our hearts, he can poison our walk.
Causing us to derail from that drunkenness we have on Christs love.
I say drunkenness because that is how I feel...I am on a spiritual high.
 
Now that we are saved...we start noticing all sorts of problems.
Problems we didn't even HAVE before we met Christ.
That problem has a root...poison. That poison is Satan.
He is there...tempting, plotting and devouring believers every day.
As believers we can wonder...why does Christ allow Satan this power over us.
Beloved...it is because Christ wants you to choose HIM.
 
Has your perspective been poisoned?
Have you looked at circumstances in your life and ever really thought about the root to that problem?
Poison...
 
Can you lift your vision above your current "schemed" circumstance?
 Friends we have to lift our eyes to the heavens. Because there is where our hope lies.
 If we choose to continue to stare at that mountain of circumstance,
then we will never be free from Satan's poison.
Satan doesn't need to physically kill us.
All he has to do is fog up our perspective a bit and add a little poison.
 
If all you see is sickness...that is poison. See Jesus- see the healer!
If all you see is an average life...that is poison.
See Jesus- he died on the cross so you could have an amazing life!
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The words you speak

Have you ever stepped back and really thought about the words that come out of your mouth? Even the little nonsense and playing around. What are you really saying about yourself?

 For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 So what we are speaking actually reveals the condition of out hearts. If we are speaking lies, negativity and all other nonsense then that is what is really in our hearts and that's what we believe. The enemy wants us to believe all of those lies!

What you say is a matter of life and death...words kill and give life. If we are constantly speaking and believing something like sickness, disease, debt ect. than we are focusing on giving those things life rather than speaking the word of God over those situations to get our miracle.


The words you speak determine where your life goes. Declare the word of god over yourself. When you constantly speak truth you open the door for faith. You words release and activate your faith. So change your declarations to change your life. In Mark 11:23 Jesus says "Truly I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he SAYS will come to pass, it will be done for him.

How powerful is that? Even Jesus himself tells us to SPEAK and use words to move mountains! That is how powerful our words are. Mix your words & faith!

Let this be a reminder to guard what goes into your heart Prov. 4:23 because those are the things we will speak. If your heart is filled with hate and anger than you won't be able to speak with love.

So, if you need any kind of miracle start talking like it has already happened. I AM HEALED. I AM BLESSED. I AM OUT OF DEBT... Change your talk and walk in the blessings!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Are you as forgiving as you want to be?

Forgiveness...

This seems to be a touchy subject sometimes. There is not one person in the world that doesn't classify themselves as forgiving. We all think we all like to think we are forgiving people & honestly there are a lot of people out there that are. But forgiving in every single aspect of their life?

The car driver that ran them off the road? The mother or father that beat them when they were little? The husband or wife that suffered from alcoholism ruining their marriage? That drunk driver that killed your kid? That cancer that took a loved one right out of their life? That person that spread nasty rumors about you?

Matthew 5:44-45 -- Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you & persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Situations get tough sometimes & even in those times, people still need to forgive the one that made the mistake. Jesus clearly states this in the Bible.

We strive to forgive those who do wrong to us, or at least we say we do. God gave us Jesus to completely wipe away our sins, now that is what forgiveness is all about.

Matthew 6:14-15 -- For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Sometimes I get bitter or angry toward someone & what it ultimately boils down to is forgiveness. I know sometimes it's not easy & sometimes you think well why should I forgive them? But you should. It will be the best thing you've ever done.

Stormie Omartian put it this way in her book, Power of a Praying Woman, "Forgiveness is actually the best revenge because it not only sets us free from the person we forgive, but it frees us to move into all God has for us."

Take a moment & pray... Pray if there is any unforgiveness in your heart & that God can reveal that to you.

When God reveals that to you, let it go. Let it go to Him. He will solve it all. It may not be easy, actually it will be hard. And you know the next time you see that person that you are striving to forgive, you may have to forgive them.. Again.. And again.

Matthew 18: 21-22 -- Then Peter came to Jesus & asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Being Intentional: Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Welcome to the day that Americans all over the country overeat, overinduldge, search through sale ads to see what more they "need" and will stand in mile long lines at 2am (or this year, at 9am after Thanksgiving dinner) to buy themselves and their families items that they most likely won't even use a year from now. What happened to actually devoting one day during the year to being thankful and content for the things we have already been given?! 

Thanks-giving = giving thanks... being thankful... showing gratitude... expressing appreciation. I could go on and on. You get the idea. Look around at the blessings you have been given. Are you physically healthy? Do you have a sound mind? Do you have a house or apartment to live in? What about a nice warm bed to sleep in? What about Thanksgiving lunch or dinner? Do you have a job? Do you have a child or children that are healthy and happy? Do you worship God and thankful for these blessings? Even if none of these things are true for you, are you still giving thanks?


God's Word has over 200 verses that speak about thankfulness. I have a feeling God's trying to get a point across here:

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

"Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18


"Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" Psalm 106:1


"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!" Psalm 100:4


"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers," 1 Thessalonians 1:2


"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." Colossians 4:2


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6




When you arrive to your Thanksgiving Day festivities today, take a moment to look around you and study the people in your life. You might be with your own family, extended family, or friends... but think about the impact they have made on your life. Think of your parents or the people who raised you; think about the sacrifices they've made to give you the best life they could or to teach you to be kind to others. For me, this year I have become more and more thankful for my parents and have said "thank you" more often to them. Now that I'm a mom, I realize how much work a parent puts into their child's life. It has made me appreciate my parents more. I have also taken time to verbally express my gratitude towards my husband who has such a servant's heart when it comes to helping around our house. I am grateful for him and I let him know it.

My challenge to you is to intentionally take time to verbally express your appreciation and thankfulness for the people in your life. 
Not only to those people who mean the most to you, but to God, who created you. Take time to thank God for His love, His mercy, His guidance, and His blessings. You honor Christ by remembering where your blessings come from and praising your Creator for them.

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart and give Him praise!

 I truly hope today is a day of praising God for your blessings and spending quality time with family and/or friends.

Lukewarm?

What does it feel like to be ON FIRE for Christ?
How do we as believers look to those who do not know Jesus Christ?
 Does Christ see our relationship with him ON FIRE?
 How about LUKEWARM?

Revelation 3:15-16 NLT
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!


Lukewarm is where most of us find ourselves. We believe in Christ, we attend church, we do everything we THINK we are supposed to do. BUT...Christ does not want us to play hokey pokey in our relationship with him. Having one foot in and the other out. He wants ALL of you...submitting your selfish fleshly ways to his will. Allowing him to do a work in you. His results are mind blowing!

1 Peter 2:16 ESV
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
Do we fill our day with purposefulness ON FIRE acts of God? Doing good around us, portraying Christs love THROUGH US. Or do we sit, lukewarm in our everyday busy lives. Only able to think about Christ...on Sundays, when we routinely attend church. We allow everyday distractions to pull us away from Christ. Christ says to take up the cross DAILY.

Luke 9:23 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

I don't know about you, but I am on FIIIIYAH! Like never before. My heart is yearning for more, my mind is thirsty for Gods word. I want to be so on fire for Christ that when I wake up and my feet hit the ground...Satan says..."OH NO SHE IS AWAKE! What works of God is she going to commit today." I want to be a THREAT to Satan. No fiery pit in hell can compare to how ON FIRE for Christ I am.

It is my daily prayer that you will get that revelation in your heart...that thirst for his word. Allow him to quench that emptiness that is in your life.

Stay thirsty my friends!


xoxo
Andrea



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you

Every so often God gives me a huge revelation about the most simplest things. I am here to stir your faith up and encourage you because God is GOOD!

I was driving in my car just thinking and praying one day. I was asking God why others seem to appear more close to Him. What's so special about them that they are basking in the glory, mountains are moving, they are experiencing the prophetic and are hearing God unlike anyone else?? When I thought of this Jesse Duplantis came to mind. God immediately spoke to me and said, "You can be as close to me as you want to be"

It clicked! REVELATION!! It's not about God CHOOSING "special" people who only get to experience Him in those ways, it's about YOU! It's your decision not His!! It's about how willing you are to SEEK HIS FACE, communicate with Him all the time and have a relationship with Him. DRAW NEAR TO HIM AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU!. Uh Duuuhh! God is a genius. Just sayin.

How can it be that simple yet nobody gets it? Alot of people don't want to do the work. Yes, it takes work and discipline to be basking in the Glory. Thats the Lord's treasure and if you want some of it, you follow the map and find it. The map is the bible. Read it, study it and learn from it. It is a life manual created by the creator Himself. It contains the secret to getting close to God.

During my drive, I also thought of Moses. . That man obeyed his every command and sought his face. Ask and you shall recieve was definitely shown with his story. He asked God to see His Glory and that's what he got! If you draw near to Him and fully give your heart then God can show you himself in a real way.

Don't get confused with the supernatural and glory. People often are looking for the supernatural and miss God. God isn't smoke and lights. He's LOVE. His glory is his goodness! Don't seek the manifestations, seek His face just for the sake of knowing Him.

I love how God can take a simple question and explain everything in one sentence with the help of the Holy Spirit. Deep revelation for simple things.

Who knew "you can be as close to me as you want to be" meant so much.

So I encourage you to seek, pray and learn. When you are in the presence you learn new things about Him every time. Show yourself faithful and you will be rewarded because God is faithful and a rewarder who diligently seek him.



Monday, November 19, 2012

A broken past

I walk a line & my line is not straight. It never has been. Then to be real honest with you I don't think I've ever fully tried to walk straight.

I always want to do what is best & right in God's eyes, but like I've said before.. The second I mess up, I run. So then I stray & it takes me awhile to find myself back on that path.

My path has been pretty straight for awhile & that's a commitment you need to make with yourself & God. If you are not fully committed you will stray. But God is always fully committed to you, know that dear friend.

During the week my life gets busy. It's busy by working Monday - Thursday 10 hours a day. Then coming home to a family that needs me. And then before you know it the day next day starts right back up again. But let me tell you something, I am blessed to have a job that allows me to work 4 days a week & that gives me Friday off.

My Fridays have become my favorite days of the week. Both, Chris & I have the day off with the kids, that makes it nice. But then I start off my morning at, I strive for 530 but it's mostly 6. I wake up knowing the first thing I am going to do is come straight to the Lord. A peaceful house. Stillness.

This was my Friday morning. Did I mention I love fall/winter time? Fire place I welcome you with open arms.

At church we just finished up the study, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore. Andrea & I loved it so much, we went out bought the book & are digging deeper.  So deep that both of us went to Starbucks Friday morning basically in tears from the message we had just received.

Oh and that is another reason why I love Fridays, every morning at 815 we meet at Starbucks for 2 hours to discuss this study.

This is the chapter that literally captivated me.

Beth Moore starts out the chapter with such a powerful verse.

Psalm 130:3-4 -- If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.

We NEED to realize God does not record our wrong doings. I think that is SO hard to comprehend. Yes, he KNOWS all the things we ever did wrong BUT he does not take that keep track & use it against us. He is SO good.

Simply put Beth Moore states - "We've got to start believing God about us."

FRIENDS, quit believing the devil. Resist him. START believing God. Embrace Him!!! Submit to Him.

He can heal our pasts. Did you hear me? I said He can HEAL our pasts. Not only does he forgive us our sins after repentance BUT he heals us. He can make us whole again, if we let Him!

Again, Beth Moore nailed it by stating - "Yes, we can do something about our pasts. We can take them to Jesus! We can't forget them or ignore them. We need Him to take full authority over them so they are no longer a playground for the enemy."

This is so big. So many things in our past hold us captive. The devil tears & tears at it, eats you away. You may have brought it before the Lord & asked for forgiveness but fully repent from it!! TELL GOD YOU WANT TO BE HEALED FROM YOUR PAST.

I will end on this verse.

Psalm 18:18 -- They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.

Girls - know that God is for you. God is your biggest supporter. He is there to help us through our past.

Oh & He loves you :)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Being Intentional: Friendships

"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold."

Make new friends
I moved from Indiana to Arizona in the summer of 2010. Very extended family live here in Phoenix, but my husband and I had to learn to make new friends. It was hard leaving our close families, a church family we loved, and best friends we had shared life experiences with. Making friends in Arizona took a while, and is still a work in process. Once friendships are made, it takes effort on both parts to continue getting to know one another. And everyone needs a friend.


Keep the Old
I remember singing the song ^above^ in 2nd grade. Mrs. Stiver's class... Tiffany probably shares the same memory. She and I have known each other since then... 2nd grade. Although we weren't extremely close in high school and didn't communicate again until after college, our friendship has evolved into one of encouragement, no judgement, love, laughter, and discipleship. I also have other close friends from Indiana that I don't get to see often. But I genuinely care about their life and want to continue our friendship. However this takes work and time, effort and intentionality (see next paragraph).

One is Silver
You know what I'm also not so good at? ... Staying in contact with those friends I've had for a long time. Calling, texting, hanging out, sending a card. I WANT to do that;  my heart says, "I need to do this for this person." But I'm not always so good at making the time. So my challenge to myself is to continue reaching out to my friends. Ones from home in Indiana, friends I've made here in Arizona, and others along the way. Those friends you've known the longest have been refined by trials, experiences, and memories. Don't let those friendships made of silver fade.


The Other is Gold
Gold= shiny and new.
Keeping a relationship like a friendship growing takes two people being genuinely interested in each other's lives; caring about the other person. Friendship should have no judgement but be able to have the ability to be authentic and honest enough to tell each other the truth (in kindness and love). There are times I struggle with being completely honest in a friendship sometimes. It's hard to tell a friend that they hurt you or their sarcastic comments are getting old, or ask why they aren't reaching out to you as much as you're reaching out to them. I struggle sometimes with giving too much of myself continuously to a relationship, and often not asking for what I need of the other person. Is that wrong or selfish? I'm not sure. But I'm asking God to help me understand it better.


What I do know is that God talks about friendship in the Bible. He gives us guidance on how to treat others, how to love others, and how to work together.


Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Ask yourself... Is there someone in your life you want to reconnect with? Do you have a friend or friends that you need to reach out to? Do you need to show a friend love and forgiveness? BE INTENTIONAL! Pick up the phone, send a card, schedule quality time with the people you care about. Because you would want someone to do the same for you.

Let Praise be the problem to YOUR PROBLEM!

Friends!
I have been praying over this post all day. Praying that God will lead me in the right direction with what I have to say. Originally I had another idea of what I wanted to talk about
 (maybe next week)...but after this weekends life changing experience...God had other plans.

See, this weekend I had the opportunity to attend a local Fall Conference. As Tiffany talked about on Mondays post. There were amazing Pastors from all over the country who spoke.  
Quite frankly...it was life changing!
I am talking, walking in one way...and leaping and turning cartwheels for Christ when we left.
My heart was beating out of my chest. I was and still am on a spiritual high.
I would like to consider this conference a Prayer, Strength and Renewal.
I prayed my little heart out, strengthened my relationship with Christ and I am renewed!
The church was standing room only, the alter was flooded with people refilling and giving themselves to Christ. It was so AMAZING! *gooseies just thinking bout it*
 
One Pastor who really touched me was Carl Lentz from Hillsong NYC.
 
 His words...well Gods words that flowed through him...
they took hold of my heart and literally whip lashed it. Shaken and stirred.
A message that is worth sharing. I will do my best to portray what Carl Lentz said...or how the Lord spoke to me through this message. I promise to be short and to the point...Stay with me.
 
"A problem called Praise"
(source) Sorry no original creditor to link to
 
Funny how we only praise God when our life is good. What about all those other times when life's storms are weighing us down? Are our arms outstretched towards the heavens giving praise?
 Easier to say "yet will I trust and praise him" right?
How are we supposed to praise God when we are dwelling in sickness,
financial strain, relationship troubles...Come on...
What if we praised him through the storm?
Your PRAISE can be a problem for your PROBLEM.
Do you hear what I am saying...
All those problems and tribulations the enemy is throwing at you...
Praising God through them will cause a problem for your problem.
See Satan wants you to feel like there is NO HOPE. There is NO light at the end of tunnel.
You can not worship God when you are burdened down with trials. This is why he bombards our life.
Don't ask God to pull you out of the storm...ask God to push you through it! Praise him!
 
Paul and Silas were thrown in prison after being badly beat...
Acts 16:25-26 (NIV)
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
 
Rejoice in the Lord always...Paul and Silas were in such a bad situation...what did they do...praising and singing...through their prayers, ALL...chains came loose. Our prayers and praise are SO POWERFUL...not even the chains of life can stand a chance. Our God is THAT ABLE! Not Limited! Awesome in Power!
 
Psalms 34:1 (AMP)


1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 
An old hymnal that comes to mind with this scripture...
I will bless Thee, O Lord, I will bless Thee, O Lord, With a heart of thanksgiving,
I will bless Thee, O Lord. With my hands lifted up, And my mouth filled with praise,
With a heart of thanksgiving, I will bless Thee, O Lord.

 
Christ wants to bless us abundantly. Christ is using our PRESENT storms in life to STRENGTHEN us for the future. He is testing our will...our faith in him. Yet I will praise him in the storm.
 
I too have fallen prey to Satan and allowed him to seduce me in with problems. Causing me to fall off my walk with Christ. Dwelling on my problems got me no where. I lost out on a great blessing. Christ was trying to teach me something...to TRUST him. Praise him at all times. When all resolve seemed lost...he was there, waiting for me to reach out. Did I seek him and praise him, thank him for everything else that was positive in my life? Sadly I have to shake my head in shame. This message really got to me. I am human...I make mistakes and I too have problems. But from here on out...I will praise him in the storm. I am so thankful for strong Christian women that I have in my life. These 3 ladies here on GOGH...I know I can count on them to intercede for me in prayer if I ever need it.
 
This is what our Blog is about...Praying and Praising God right along with you...even in the storm. If you need prayer please just contact one of us...private message us. We would love to speak with you. We are about encouraging each other. On Christ the solid rock we will stand...but it is also nice to have a pillar to lean on.
 
XX
Andrea
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

God Thinks You Are Beautiful

Why O WHY wasn't I given a supermodel body ?

I want the height... the looooong beautiful legs...skinny frame and a face to die for...

The fast pace life jumping from one photoshoot to another

sitting in make up chair after make up chair

interviews

the world watching your every move...

no privacy

Paparazzi everywhere

constantly on a diet

all work and no play

OK, I have to admit... when I think about it, it isn't THAT great.

I'll just stick with my 5'0 curvy self because God created me that way.

I was created in His image and He loves me for me. Even with my flaws, not seeking Him as much as I should and sometimes life getting in the way. He deeply loves me!

Let's be real. As women we are always envious of other women. We compare  ourselves to one another and always want what we don't have. What we forget is how beautiful God thinks we are. We were made to be unique. No one else was created the same. WE have to remind ourselves that we are fully pleasing to God. He has his eye on us and is in love with us.

Sometimes we feel as though our self worth is determined by our looks. In this world looks mean a lot. People depend and judge on looks instead of our hearts. God doesn't! He looks deep into our hearts and calls us beautiful. Our self worth is what God says we are. Not the world. The world says  tall walking sticks are beautiful, but what about the beauty of a full figured woman? God doesn't look at her any different than a skinny supermodel.

When we look in the mirror the enemy can distort our self image. Instead of seeing a beautiful woman looking back at us, we focus on our flaws. I'm not skinny enough, I don't like my this and I hate that. We become obsessed with the flaws and never compliment ourselves. Stop listening to the lies and start speaking Gods thoughts. I AM BEAUTIFUL! I AM MADE PERFECT! God chose these eyes, lips, nose and hips so be proud!

Let's look at some scripture about inner beauty.

1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV     Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Proverbs 31:30 ESV     Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.


Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV     You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

Psalm 139:14 ESV     I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well

2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV   So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

My Favorite one is Song of Solomon 4:7. God sees us as flawless. White as snow with no blemish. So I remind you. The next time you start looking at your flaws, remember that God created you this way and YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Be faithful with your gift

I am coming off of a high. Actually I am still enduring the high.

A high of a conference I'm attending at church.

And holy cow, the place is so spirit filled with people that are so broken & have the love of Jesus Christ. Oh & yes I fit into both of those categories.

The amount of people I watch get saved, I was in awe. My eyes welled up with tears. Tears of happiness, tears of joy, tears of oh my gosh can I just give you a big ole hug?

But me.. I quietly sat there fighting back those tears of joy but screaming in the inside. WOOHOO you just received the best gift of your life.

As I sat there during the sermons & watched the speakers preach... I felt the Spirit. And by felt.. I get the chills all over my arms. Every single time. It gives me goosebumps & it makes me giddy.

I think for me what hit most close to home is being faithful to God & using the gifts He created for me.

And by gifts I do not mean your house, your car, your kids, your fantabulous rock you have on your finger.. I mean the gift of teaching, gift of preaching, the gift of writing, the gift of leading, the gift of ___________ you fill in the blank.

If you know me on a personal level you know I have been more than unhappy in my job but I tell you I pray every morning in the car, "please God pour your love through me, let me have a great day, & let you shine through me." By the end of the day is, "God please place me in a new job, guide me, show me, direct me, I am begging you."

Big difference. I thank Him for the job I do have at every moment, mad or happy because financially it helps provide.

But this weekend John Bevere, stated God gives us gifts - a specific gift of grace that gives ME the empowerment to fulfill what I've been created for.

I can't help but think holy crap the gift God has given me is not where I am at professionally. But I am questioning what this "gift" is He has provided me with. Did I miss that somewhere? Do I really know it? Am I just running from it? Do I keep pushing it to the side?

No I didn't miss it. Yes I do know it. Yes I am running from it. And yes... I do keep pushing it to the side.

Matthew 25:25 -- So I was afraid & went out & hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.

Well if that wasn't a slap in the face I don't know what is. 

And in Matthew 25:26 He states - His master replied, "You wicked lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown & gather where I have not scattered seed?"

Let me show you this
  • God does NOT distribute gifts evenly. So you may have 10 gifts, where me.. I have 2. 
  • If you are not multiplying you have the wrong perception of God. So... Am I multiplying?
  • Your fear & intimidation will hide your gifts. Quit running Tiffany, quit running.
  • Those who multiply = faithful & good. TRUTH
  • Those who maintain = wicked & lazy. HELLO WAKE UP CALL
  • God does NOT bless the lazy person. AMEN
photo credit: tiffany

Remember faithful = multiply

1 Peter 4:10 -- Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God's grace in various forms.   

Remember your gift is different from mine, from the next person & the next.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Silence your lips

This goes right along with Kelly's post - about being intentional prayer. 

And you know what I am so guilty of this but I definitely "catch" myself more & more every day.

Take it the Lord first. 

so true. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Being Intentional: Prayer


Hello. My name is Kelly and I'm a list-a-holic. I have been a to-do-er for a long time. I like organization, schedules, and control. I have at least 5 different calendars I look at almost every day. These things help my life as a wife, mom, full-time employee, and friend run a little smoother. However... I am not this way in my spiritual walk. I struggle with being intentional and making time for daily prayer and devotion with God. And it's something I want NEED to work on.

Being intentional can come in many forms. Over the next few Thursdays, I will be writing a series on being intentional in your walk with God and in life. Whether it is getting into the Word, praying, worshipping, friendships, or being bold in your faith, we all need reminders and encouragement on how to be intentional every day. 

Let's start with prayer. I'm already learning a lot about praying in a Bible study Tiffany (one of our founders and my dear friend) and I have just started. Prayer is a two way conversation with the Holy Spirit. It's listening and speaking, (and listening some more). Prayer can occur at any time of day, in any circumstance, when you're happy or mad and God will always hear you. But do you only pray when things are going wrong or you need something? Do you pray for yourself or others more? Do you tell others that you will pray for them and then don't take the time to do it? (I'm so guilty of this and I feel horrible about it.) I believe that prayer changes hearts and circumstances. I believe that God listens to our cries for help, our longings and desires, and our praises. He answers prayers in His timing and in His way. But just as with any relationship, it takes two. If we are constantly talking and not listening, we don't receive the blessing of feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit and the whisper of His gentle reminders of love and grace. If we never talk to Him, then how are we growing? Prayer is the outpouring of our hearts and the receiving of the gift of His guidance and spirit.

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:1-2 which says, "I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I have breath." God... the KING, the Creator and Ruler, the Almighty... He chose to turn His ear to my moaning, and begging, my pleading, my despair, and my desires. God listens to me because He loves me and cares about me. I will pray to Him and call out to Him as long as I have breath.
 In God's Word, He instructs us specifically on praying to Him in the morning.
Psalm 5:3
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.


Psalm 88:13
But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

Lamentations 3:22-24
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."


Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Isaiah 33:2
O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.


Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 59:16
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

My challenge to you is to pick a specific time in the morning to spend time in prayer. It can be during your morning shower, on your drive to work, etc. Take time to just be in peace and quiet communion with God. Prayer is not only about talking to God about what we need, what others need, or how we can grow... but also listening for God's voice. It's a two way conversation that can begin to change your life. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Courageous

Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!

Some days I feel just like the Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz. Afraid to stand up for what I believe. Afraid to speak the truth. Afraid of how people will judge me because of my beliefs. Afraid to live in love and carefree because someone is waiting to tear me down. Friends...I know that I am not alone. Maybe you are going through this same feeling. Wanting to dig deeper in the word. Wanting and yearning for that love story with Christ. Truth: It takes courage. Living for the Lord you WILL stand out, you WILL be talked about, you WILL be judged but Psalms 31:24 tells us "So be strong and courageous all you who put your hope in the lord".

Every day I pray for God to give me courage to speak to someone that I do not normally talk to.
Give me courage to live for HIM freely without the cares of what others think. Give me courage to face another day with this mountain that is before me. My own cowardly behavior. In my daily devotionals I came across these verses in Joshua. They really meant something to me and I wanted to share.

Joshua 1:6-9
 6 Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land. I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them turning either to the right or the left. then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will surely obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command, be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

6: You are the one...Clearly the bible is talking about Joshua here, but lets put this in perspective. YOU are the ONE, YOU are that beacon of light to your friends and family. YOU have a strong connection with them and their salvation. Courage! Be courageous and claim salvation for your loved ones. In the name of Jesus!

7: Obey...The 10 commandments were given to us for a reason. Let us be courageous and do not turn from this instruction. Exercise courage to say NO to something that is not of heavenly behavior.

8: Study the BOOK...live it, breath it, get it in our hearts. God tells us that if we follow instruction and live as he has designed for us...he will bless us with more riches and glory then we can handle. Our cup with OVER FLOW with Blessings. I tell you what...it takes a lot of courage for me to read my bible in public. I am guilty of fretting over what people will think of me. We live in the last days and it is a scary world. This is something I am continually praying for God to help me with.

9: BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS: Do not be discouraged with what the world is doing...do not let others hinder your walk with God. My constant prayer...Lord make me courageous. The pounding of my hearts cry I will serve the Lord.

In closing I will leave you with a phenomenal song. Sometimes a song can speak to us more then any sermon or teaching. There is something about the way Christ works through lyrics.
The only way we will ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands, Lord make us courageous.
 
Casting Crowns: Courageous


xoxo
Andrea

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You are Loved

God's love for us can be overwhelming when we really think about it. How is it that we can feel enveloped in his embrace and He's not even physically here? It amazes me. HE amazes me. This love is unexplainable and undeniable and nothing can separate us from God's love.

What is overwhelming is that the love of Christ does not waiver. Our actions, thoughts, words and life does not determine the amount of love He gives us.

Who we are on this earth is not determined by the names we are given but by the relationship that we have with Jesus. THAT makes us who we are and that is where our love for God deepens. No matter our circumstances, obstacles, triumphs and tribulations, we will always be drawn to go deeper. Our souls cry out if we are not constantly tapping into deeper waters. Quenching our spiritual thirst. Never let where you are determine who you are in Christ. Our earthly troubles should not change our love for Him. He is always a good God. Faithful to His word and we can always count on the fact that He has already ordered our steps. NOTHING that happens in this life catches God by surprise. We can trust Him.

God is not looking for perfection, He is looking for a pursuit. We are not perfect but in God's eyes we are. He sees no flaws in us. He sees us as beautiful. White as snow thanks to the blood of Jesus. All because he loves us. He doesn't judge. He forgives

My prayer for you is that you will receive a fresh fire. A deep longing and desire to know Him more. To love more deeply and that nothing will satisfy but His love. Love Him with a violent love. When you are in love with Jesus anything is possible.

So I encourage you to go deeper. Wherever you are God will meet you there. Seek His face and remember, Jesus LOVES the hell out of you!





Monday, November 5, 2012

Protect your heart

Talk about pressure.

Pressure to be the first "writer" up to present our blog.

I am just going to throw myself out there & let you know, I am a sinner. I need Jesus in my life every day. And every second of that day. Do I forget that sometimes? Do I let the world whirl me away? Absolutely. And that is where I know I am not perfect, but a sinner. That's where Jesus comes in.

He gave me life.

Not just any life either.

But ever lasting life. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?

I am not quite that you heard me (or read me) right... But this life isn't "it".

I just want you to know that. And when you need somebody, He's there. ALWAYS.

I have a big problem when I "mess up".. I run. Yep, I just admitted that. Isn't that the time we should turn to Him most? YES. But I don't. Well I didn't. I am trying my hardest to keep turning to Him. It's like I get embarrassed, but He already knows I messed up.

Just repent!!

I want to tell you a little bit about me.

I'm Tiffany. I am unmarried with 2 kids. Yep, you guessed it.. This is my biggest stronghold I have going on in my life right now. We are getting married in January, but my heart has been really heavy about this. I made some mistakes in my past that leads me up to where I am. And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in my life. But. I am still struggling.

See, I told you I was a sinner. And not perfect.

 Each day I strive to be in the Word. And this may not be a lot to you, but it is for me.. I have currently been in the Word for 22 straight days. Not a day that has gone by that I didn't miss. 

That is a lot. I have held myself accountable to me, but mostly to other girls in my life. And I tell you what if you do not have someone else to hold you accountable, you need to get on that. I can't fathom you'd be disappointed. 

I keep a stack of notecards with me whenever I am in the Word. And I write out verses that speak to me at that moment.. And I write them down & down & down & down. I am a hoarder or writing verses.
I will leave you with this verse...

Matthew 24:12 -- Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.

Does this scare anyone else but me? Do you see this everywhere you look? There is so much evil in our world today, most people's hearts have grown stone cold. Don't let yourself grow cold. Protect you heart with the Word of the Lord & your heart will have nothing but love.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Do you wait until you hear Him answer?

I think this may be the hardest part about faith.

Waiting.

Listening.

Knowing He is speaking to you. 

Anyone else agree?


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Follow Him

In a world filled with social media & technology... There are other things more important.


Friday, November 2, 2012

You make all things...

All things work together for my good.

"Jesus Culture...Your Love Never Fails"

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails


Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1 - the Start of a long journey

We are so so excited to bring you our blog!!

God has placed it on our hearts to use our writing skills, as bloggers, to reach out to believers & even nonbelievers with our testimonies & our walks.

We are by no means "perfect Christians" but girls with a heart after God.