Boy-Girl Dynamics · Everyday Life Hacks · Inspiration · Life Hacks · People · Relationships · Spiritual

Your Seductive Power

One day, you wake up and you realize you have it: your new super power.

You speak, and they listen. You smile, and they nod their heads. You caress, and they can’t think anymore. You speak in that tone of voice, and they fight to do your biding. Now, you’re truly a daughter of Eve. Just give the fruit to him, and he’ll take a bite; he won’t even remember what God did not perhaps, possibly… exactly say. I bet you know what I’m talking about. Wink. Wink.

Here’s a list of women from the Bible who discovered their secret super power and used it how they pleased: Zeresh, Haman’s wife; Jezebel, Ahab’s wife; Mother Eve, Adam’s wife; Sarah, Abraham’s wife; Delilah, Samson’s girlfriend, and more.

If you recognize any name from this list, you may also know their stories. But I’ll give you a summary of each. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for them.

Zeresh, Haman’s wife massaged his frail ego constantly, telling him to make plans to ensure the destruction of an innocent man. Well, that backfired, and Haman died in his place along with Zeresh, by the way.

Jezebel. Her name is now used to describe “a wicked, shameless woman.” Jezebel led her husband, the king, to abandon God’s law and worship a wicked god, called Baal. She killed God’s prophets, and also got her husband a gift he’d wanted so badly, by getting an innocent man stoned to death. She died. And dogs ate her body, real quick.

Eve gave Adam the “apple”, and we’re all here today, living a fallen existence. Thanks but no thanks mother Eve.

Sarah convinced her husband to sleep with her maid. It seemed God was taking too long in delivering His promise of a child. Then she gets upset at the whole thing. Thirteen years later, she has the son of that union kicked out.

And last but not the least, Delilah. She tricked her boyfriend Samson into losing his power and becoming a prisoner of his worst enemies. And she did it for a bucket load of silver. Samson also lost his eyes in the process.

There you have it.

I believe God gave women power. It’s a good thing. We should embrace it as a gift, but a gift that comes with responsibility. In our world today, we are made to think that seeking and having power over others for our own benefit is a smart thing. But nay, it is not. It’s a selfish thing, and it’s a dangerous thing.

God gave you the power to build up, to encourage, to give wise counsel, and to lead from whatever position you find yourself. In a marriage, in a business setting, in government, in your home, at your school, wherever. You have the power to change things for the better. You have the power to be the voice of reason where egos clash. Kings can seek you out for the counsel that God has given you. Take for example, my new favorite girl, Hulda the Prophetess. King Josiah sought her out when he needed to know what to do about the book of the law that had just been rediscovered, and she had words straight from God both as caution and as encouragement to the king.

The power you have is not a power to be overestimated either. You’re just a vessel and nothing more than a vessel of God’s power, and love, and good gifts. Anything else is from the devil. Yes I said devil. Don’t embrace your inner anything, but embrace God and humbly embrace His calling and purpose in and through you.
When you realize the truth about who God is, and the power He has given you, you’ll also realize that you’re not what Eve wanted to be. You’re not God, and you don’t have all control, as much as you’d love to. As much as I’d love to.

But it’s tempting. It’ tempting to use your power to have your way; to use your words, and to use our body to, as they say, “get what you want”. You know all the right buttons to push and you know the weaknesses to exploit. It’s not a safe place to be. You risk falling when you try to push someone else off a cliff. Don’t fall for the lies for they are many, and very convincing, because the truth is harder to swallow than having your own way.

I believe in you, and most importantly, God believes in you. He is a loving Father that gives good gifts to His children, and He has given you many good gifts. Don’t let anyone sell you short-by overselling or underselling.

I pray for you that you’ll choose to submit to God and trust Him with your heart desires, rather than try to make your own way. And I pray that you’ll use your God given gifts to build up and to make whole, but not to bring down. May the Lord keep all that you’ve entrusted to Him. In Jesus Name.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The Twenty-Third Psalm

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

Go on…

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Wow. If I’m sheep lying down in the only food I want to eat, and surrounded by it, then that’s where I want to be.

He leads me beside quiet waters.

Again, really feeling this whole sheep with Shepherd thing.

He refreshes my soul.

Sounds like heaven: A soul refreshed. It’s like being in bliss. Like someone diving into cold streams after walking days in the desert. That’s what this reminds me of. And instead of dryness, dust and sand, there’s peace and quiet music, nature welcoming, coolness and a refreshing of the soul. ‘So good it gets all the way to your soul’ kind of experience.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

He does the guiding. I never have to worry that I missed a turn – if I’m the sheep in this story. There are so many possible wrong turns and paths leading to nowhere or much worse than nowhere. But that’s not my problem. I get to go on the right paths. For his name’s sake? Does this mean if He can’t get me on the right path, then “he” has failed? But does the Shepherd ever fail? This is all theory; if I was guiding and I couldn’t guide you right, then it’s on me. But He’s God, and He never fails. I can fail if I’m doing the leading. I don’t want that responsibility – not when God’s offering to guide me!

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Valleys are usually dark. So dark, I can’t see. Fear feeds on my fears. What wolf-like creature could be lurking in the dark? No. I don’t fear because my Shepherd is with me. He must be Super Shepherd. Is there an “SS” embroidered on his cape?

Your rod and staff, they comfort me.

Every now and then when I’m walking through the valley, I feel your touch. Your staff gently redirecting me. No, not there. Left. Go left.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Now the Psalmist is talking about himself as a human. No longer his sheep form.😊 David, a man after God’s heart, anointed to be king! People after his life and his rightful throne. How audacious that he would be dining and drinking to his fill in the presence of those who seek his end! Because God Himself decides.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.

Surely! All the days of my life?! I’m going to try to let that sink in.

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Forever and ever. And ever. The hope after now. After this broken world. We get to be with Him. Lord, friend, lover of our souls. Everything.

This psalm is cool. I could be the sheep. Sign me up. What are the qualifications for the role? Dumb? Helpless? Dependent? Trusting? Seems pretty simple to me. Except those are not words I’d use to describe myself. Maybe God wants me to be that with Him.

If I acknowledge that I really don’t know what’s best and He does; that I can’t do anything without Him; that I completely trust His judgement, then maybe I’ll fit the role of sheep.

When Christ judges at the end of the world, He says He’ll separate mankind into two groups: The sheep and the goats.

Sheep may not sound so desirable but how about goat?! Sheep sounds pretty good to me. How about you? Sheep or goat?😃 Which do you want to be?

Peace!

P.S. The Psalm is Psalm 23:1-6 (the whole chapter), NIV version.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Tag! I’m It.

 Not my ministry, not my work, not my relationship or marriage, not the movie I want to make, not the help I want to give, not the things I know, not the ideas I come up with, not all my good intentions.

It’s like we’re in a game of Tag, and God says to us “Tag! I’m it.” That’s not how the game is played we say. “It’s tag you’re it, so I’M it.” We say. Duh, God.

“An idol is whatever you look at and say in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” – Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery (Pulling Back the Shades)
I said this quote over and over to myself before writing this post. My striving was exposed for what it was. I felt like I was watching a movie of my life plus the bloopers! I have made good things idols along the way. Some I recognized , and others I didn’t until now.

Can God fully and truly satisfy us minus all the other “good” things that we just must have? All the logical things that we just must have – that we are certain we need? Could we truly be satisfied?

The truth is I don’t have all the answers right now. But I hope to have the answers I need soon. My eyes feel like they’ve been opened. I had no idea that they were closed.

I’ve thought about Joseph. God gave him an amazing dream (two actually, but they were pointing to the same thing), but it took thirteen whole years experience what God had showed him long before. The dream was good – great even. I imagine what torture it could have been for Joseph if that’s all he thought about while being a slave and subsequently, a prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit?

How about Abraham? Father Abraham. God says to papa AB, “I’m going to give you a son. Like from your actual body.” He waits twenty-five years with his wife Sarah before that would ever happen. If all he ever thought about was having that child, what torture it would have been to wait without a set date? God didn’t tell him when. Not until a year before anyway.
God didn’t always tell people exactly when. Not Noah. Not David. He still doesn’t always tell us now. Wouldn’t it be torture if that’s all we thought about? When our God-given dreams would come true?

God doesn’t want us to look to any thing to fill us up. Even good things – especially good things – can become idols. God wants us to look to Him. He wants to be IT.

If I was really honest with myself, I would say that I would love to know what that’s like: A life of God completely satisfying.

I want to be full today. Always. Never wanting for anything. Come rain or sunshine. Through storms and stillness. To be truly full. Not ok. Not just ok.

I don’t want to strive anymore. I don’t want to push and claw through life. To have and have. I want my identity to be completely in Christ. My value, my significance, my happiness and joy, my peace, my hope, my adventures.

I know in my heart that the answer lies in saying, “Ok, God, Father…I give up. You be IT. Have it your way. I don’t like surprises but fine. Why don’t You decide where we’re going today? Why don’t You decide our activities today? You want me to go where?! Ok..? OK! I can do that. Do what?! Uhm..no problem. Wait? Err..sure. Anything You say is fine with me. I trust You with my life. You already gave me Yours. I’ve got absolutely everything to gain and nothing to lose if I realize that I’m not even mine.”

OK GOD. YESSS. I’M DOWN WITH WHATEVER. Yes, Lord, whatSOever.

Your turn.
 

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

What if I Did it Anyway?

What if I did it anyway? What if I picked up my device and typed away? Would it be so bad if it wasn’t perfect? What if I say the wrong things?

I could go on and on about my multiple list of excuses for not blogging often. Well…you know what? I’ll give one more excuse and stop: What if people don’t read my posts? There that’s the last excuse I’ll make. So I’m done making it.

I really want my life to be relevant. I’m not much of a talker; in fact, I believe if I talk too much, I’ll probably say irrelevant or unhelpful things – maybe even hurtful. I think of blogging as talking. So you can see why I do it as scarcely as I do.
I’m thinking, maybe just maybe I need to “talk” a little more. There are probably people who are thinking some of the things I’m thinking or working out in my head. People who need to hear someone else say it or someone who’s perhaps worked it out in their lives. And maybe that someone could be me. You see how I’ve used the word “maybe” many times in this post? My insecurities are screaming.

I guess the real reason I don’t blog often is my insecurities. The fear that I don’t have much to say, and the fear that nobody would be listening. That’s going to change.

Honestly, nothing feels particularly special to me about the middle of the month of March. I guess that’s the perfect opportunity to change. Because I’m forced to change even when I don’t feel like it. Even when there’s nothing propelling me like a brand new beginning of a brand new month or year.

So I’m writing today about insecurity and I’m writing about writing. They go hand in hand – many writers can relate (I believe 😊).

Here’s my decision: I’m going to write more often on faith. About faith, yes, but on faith. In faith? I’m going to write even when I doubt myself. I’m going to encourage you and encourage me. It’s the ‘write’ thing to do. 😉

Hey! Any souls out there? Come on over and join me here as I make this journey into God’s heart. It’s a beautiful, simple and hard road. It will test us, and it will make us. It will make us beautiful.

See you soon 😊. Soon because I’ll be writing.
Cheer up!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

An Invitation to Fear

I wrote that heading to get your attention; I would much prefer to title this post, “An Invitation to Trust.”


Anyway…

We are constantly being spoken at, being pushed and pulled from all sides. Life with it’s devilish gifts makes us offers of multiple dimensions, hard to ignore. Loudest above all the noise of the throng is the invitation to fear, often written in the elaborate ink of fact, and possible fact.

Fears of many sizes: big fears, small fears, medium sized fears. 

Are they valid? Absolutely. Are they fact. Yes indeed. People die for no good reason. Lives are wasted everyday. I’m forced to believe in the futility of life. But…

But what is my hope? What did God say about me, and what does He still say?

“All the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:20

“And I will be with you always to the close of age.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:20)

I’m constantly tempted to fear. And who am I in the face of the tsunami of life, hitting again and again everything that I am and have, and everything I care about?

I am the Beloved of God, surrounded by the surest promises. Kept by the Lord. Shielded by His Spirit. Given every resource of heaven to make me victorious. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” -Psalm 27:1

“[I] will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at [my] side, ten thousand at [my] right hand, but it will not come near [me].”‭‭ -Psalm‬ ‭91:5-7‬ ‭

And then I hear the voice of God sending out to me an invitation to trust. To believe in Him who made all things and in whom all things consist. The One that says “I am the Lord, is there anything too hard for me?” The God that calls me His own. The One who sent to die in my place, His only begotten Son. The One who loves me and gave Himself for me. 


He has made promises. We are not alone. Fear not. Fear NOT; words He says to us in His word so many times. And He still says now.

Jesus said, “Have faith in God.”- (Mark 11:22) Put your confidence in Him. Steadfastly trust in Him. Hold on to Him. Let go to Him. Ask Him and don’t give up asking. Seek Him. Hold on to His promises. Hold on to His word. Don’t let go.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The Waiting And Following Faith

IMG_3811Our lives are constantly revolving around things-the elements. Sometimes we find ourselves clawing and scratching, desperate to get whatever it is we think we want the most. We never really get it as one day leads into the next. We get things however, and we aren’t satisfied.
For us it is an outrageous proposition that we choose peace. We want peace but we do not choose it. We want everything.
Is my dream life a possibility? Could I really dare to choose less? Less when everyone says more? For me it is no longer an option as I have only one master, Jesus the Christ.
Wanting many things and everything is natural, but there’s a deep desire at the very core of my being, and that desire is the Person of God. I want to know Him and I want to be with Him and then truly be like Him.
He calls us every day to the extraordinary in the ordinary. He dares us to see with the eyes of our spirit and to really want what’s beneath the surface. This requires trust and faith; a daily surrender of ourselves to our known God in the face of the unknown.
I want many things but I have a Great Father and Shepherd of my soul who knows what I need. I must pause when He says pause and move when He says move. I must because He knows – He really knows. He is the author and finisher of our faith.
It takes a whole lot of faith to slow down in our fast paced world. It takes a lot  of energy to swim against the current. But without faith it is impossible to please God. So faith it is!
God opens doors we do not always anticipate and we have this urge in our spirits to walk through. Then we should even when we don’t know what’s on the other side. Some other times God keeps doors shut and we feel like we are waiting forever. We aren’t.
In these times, there is a way to wait. There are ways we can be faithful to God when we feel like not much is happening. Whatever it is we find to do, we should do with all our hearts no matter how small. This is the time to notice our neighbor and to know our neighbor so that we can love our neighbor.  This is when we can pray. This is when we can show kindness and ultimately have the opportunity to share the good news of our salvation. This is when we should cling to God’s word and know it. When we know it, we’ll know God and we’ll know ourselves in Him.
So don’t waste the wait. Don’t rush the time. Don’t panic or fret. Don’t look around but look up! Let us choose each day to follow. Let us choose because that’s what it means to be followers – our choice and the daily giving of ourselves to God.
Surrender. Wait. Trust. Wait. Trust. Surrender. And amen!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Beloved, and Loving the Wind of Change!

I’ve been navigating some difficult things this period of my life; the silence, the confusion…did I say the silence?

It seemed like on the things that mattered to me, God was silent. It seemed like God was unfair for allowing me to experience the pain I did. I struggled some and triumphed some, but I still wondered if God was with me. I knew it but I could not feel it.

Today, God opened my eyes to the thorn in my side. I said to my Father, now, in my mind, I am free, but I do not feel free. I asked Him to MAKE me free. He showed me something WAY bigger than I could ever have anticipated. He freed me from the bondage of ignorance. He blew on me a wind of change.

God made me realize that He is love, and as large as He is, He wants to pour every drop of Himself into me! So I saw through His eyes, how precious I was (am) to Him, and I began to thirst for every drop. I have become convinced – FULLY convinced – that God wants to give it ALL to me!! To Him, I am worth every drop of His amazing love. I am precious in His sight. All His love is for me to desire and receive and experience. I am the Beloved of God!

Today, I cried out to my Father, “You are just! And Your judgements are fair O God!” God is indeed just and merciful for allowing me to go through the darkness and pain. I could not see it when I was in it, but when I came out of it, I saw that it was by the mercies and love of God that He took me through the valley of darkness. I praise You God, for You are merciful; all Your ways are true!

Now, I can begin again, in full assurance of God’s love because He patiently took me through this place from which I have come. I am eternally grateful. I would have given much to know what I know today. Dear fellow sojourners, if you see me, you will see a thirsty soul, thirsty for the love of God. You will see an insatiable soul, because I will never say enough! Oh God! Your love is better than life and I want EVERY drop!

    

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Only One Love

There is only ONE kind of love.

Thinking otherwise is the cause of broken marriages, for example. There is only ONE kind of love. You can do no wrong in this kind of love. There is no danger, no fear in this kind of love. (Romans 13:10)The only risk is becoming more and more like our God. 

This only kind of love is the live we were made for – the love that makes us more like Him. We cannot sin in it; we cannot do wrong to our neighbor. Anything else – anything outside it – is fear and self preservation. Anything outside it is prison. When we realize that there is nothing to lose but everything to gain (even when we lose!), we are no longer afraid. “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1John4:18)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”(1Corinthians 13 NIV)

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Fiction · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Purpose

Thank You Heavenly Father for showing me what was in my heart and teaching me the right way to go.

I have often thought purpose as a list of specific tasks that I have to check off.

If, I thought to myself, ‘”This” is what I’m supposed to to do,” then I would just go ahead and do it with the satisfaction that I have accomplished a task. But Love does not work that way.

Love does not have a set schedule or a job description. Love does not have a one-size-fits-all answer for every problem. Love does not premeditate its responses the same way a doctor prescribes medication for a specific illness.

Love gets right into the mess, and patiently holds the hands of its neighbor, knowing that each person is unique and each mess is without a measure.

Love does what needs to be done. Love listens. Love does not need a uniform because its role is diverse. Love is humble. Love hopes. Love is patient; love waits.

Father, I’m sorry for trying to live the easy way. I wouldn’t believe that You loved me if You didn’t come right into my mess – our mess. Lord Jesus, every time I think of what You did, I KNOW that You did it for ME. I wasn’t merely a face in the crowd. I know that because You came right into my mess, with all its difficult and unique parts.

“Where can I escape from Your love? Even if I lay my bed in hell, You are there!” (Psalm 139: 7,8)

Thank You LORD!

Love is Purpose. 

 

Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The New Me

I like the new me. I like who I am without the whistles and bells. I’m falling in love with myself and it’s amazing! A-M-A-ZING! 😀 Right now it doesn’t matter who else does or would or if anyone else would. That’s the beauty of the whole thing! The me I’m becoming isn’t at all consumed by anyone else’s thoughts, beliefs or feelings. My life is PRETTY simple. I’m not claiming to be anything or anyone but ME- I don’t have any new year’s resolution either. I’m good. I AM content. IT IS AMAZING. 😄 

THANK YOU LORD!