“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Faith and Love.

     Today is a good day. And I love good days. My friend sent me a verse from 1 Thessalonians this morning. So I decided to make that my reading today. I read the entire fifth chapter and one phrase stuck out so strongly. 

1 Thess. 5:8 "...putting on faith and love as a breastplate..."

     I'm sure I've read this passage several times throughout the years, but this is the first time that this phrase has stuck out. It's crazy good truth. What's a breastplate? What do you use it for? My first thought goes to the movie "How to Train a Dragon", the first weapon they grabbed before fighting the dragons was their shield or breastplate. It was essential to their fight with the dragon. They had to have it to protect themselves. Just in that very way is faith and love supposed to be to us. That whenever we come against any opposition at all we are supposed to cling and grab onto faith and love.

     Realistically, what does that look like? When someone says something rude and ridiculous, you grab your love breastplate. You defend with love. That might be turning the other cheek, but you put on love. You love and encourage that person. This is probably where I struggle the most. I am such a drama queen sometimes. After someone is mean- I immediately want to tell somebody. I feel insecure and hurt and I immediately go to someone else instead of putting on love.

     What does putting on faith look like? The thing I keep thinking about, is dreams. We all have a dream that we would love to do one day. It might be something like becoming the president of the USA, or opening a boutique, or owning a Ferrari, it could be anything. And most of the time, (at least in my experience) whenever we share these ideas and dreams with someone, they aren't nearly as excited as we are. They usually have something to spout back that isn't as encouraging as we had hoped. And this is usually when I get defensive or angry and usually end up crying because someone crushed my dream. But, what are we supposed to do? Put on the breastplate of faith. Believing the things that God has spoken over us. Believing the promises that the Lord left for us in His word.

     It's such a simple phrase. But it has such a life-changing truth to it. Put on faith and love in every circumstance. See what happens. My vow to my fellow bloggers is to this week whenever opposition comes against me to put on my breastplate of love and faith.

    Stand firm my friends, and be moldable by Your Creator.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grief. Isn't an equation.

      It's been a week since I blogged last. And to be honest, I am still numb. I don't know what to feel, what to write, what to say, or how to act. I've never dealt with death and grief. It's surreal. It goes against my heart. I don't want to believe that Pepaw is gone. Nor do I want to deal with moving on. It's pathetic almost. The other night, I put on regular mascara. That's a step, and I was proud. I was making a statement to myself that I wouldn't be sad. That I wouldn't cry. I, of course, cried. And am I mad that I cried? No. Because it is natural. I'm grieving. I looked at the steps of grief... and they didn't help. I don't know what will help- other than clinging to the One who has my heart in mind. Jesus.
     The only thing I know how to do is be emotional. Sometimes, it's not very loving. I get angry and irrational. I get mad over stupid things and don't want to be around anyone. And sometimes all I want/need- is simply for someone to love me and hold me. I get frustrated when I'm having fun. Why? Because I've forgotten that someone so special to me passed away. Should I get frustrated? No. Pepaw would want me to have fun, to laugh, and to continue living my life. But- I guess it's a part of grief.
      I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm not a scholar. Nor do I have my doctorate, heck, not even a completed semester of college. I guess I'm at a point where I don't know what to do next with my grief. But I also think, that if someone told me what to do- I wouldn't like it very much.
      So what's my plan? To let out whatever emotion I need to. When I'm happy- I'm gonna be happy. When I need to cry and be sad... I'll do just that. I'll let myself process this loss in my life. It's not something that next week I'm gonna be over. It's something that years from now- I will still struggle with. Maybe not as often, but it'll come up. And that's a lot to get your head around when you've never been through it before.
      I'll stand firm on my Rock. My provider. I'll rest in His Heavenly arms. I know that He will breathe strength into me and that He will hold my hand. I know that Pepaw is in a place where there is no weeping, no hurt, and no pain. And for that, I rejoice. I'll take the memories, the laughs, the cries, the fun times and the hard times... and I'll always remember my Pepaw. I'll remember the things he taught me and I'll be sure to make him proud.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Chelsea and Pepaw last year

I wrote this entire blog on 2 different occasions. First half before he passed and the second after. 

In Loving Memory of my precious Pepaw- William Joseph Gaddis Sr. most commonly known as Billy Sr. 

       Sometimes, it’s comforting to know that God has it all under control. Okay, not sometimes, it's good to know all the time. It is so good that no matter what- God’s got it. I don’t have to worry about things, he cares for me. He keeps his eye on the sparrow, so He’s got His eye on me. He knows what is best for me. And He has the power to reveal it to me. I still have the choice to listen and the choice to obey. But ultimately, God’s got this. 
Life hits. And when life does hit... God is still God. I got 2 calls from my dad yesterday and I wasn’t able to answer them. After the second call, I knew that something wasn’t right. I called him back and was told that my Pepaw (Billy Gaddis, my dad’s dad) was in ICU. He had been loosing fluids and they didn’t know what was wrong. Almost 24 hours later, here I am. Sitting here writing this blog watching Pepaw sleep in his ICU room. To tell you the truth, I hope I don’t get in trouble for having my MacBook out. But, he’s hanging in there. Bless his heart, he’s been through a rough few years medically. This time he had a build up of dried blood in his upper GI area. They cleaned it out, he’s had a minor heart attack, kidney failure, and his esophagus is irritated. Nonetheless, my pepaw is fighting. 
I don’t really even know what to blog about... I always blog about things in my life. And I’ve hit a tough spot. [I quit writing this around 3 oclock Tueday afternoon and got a call around 430 telling me to come to the hospital quick.]
Life has hit. My dearest Pepaw passed away Tuesday at around 5 o clock. It was simply his time to go. He had a hard fight the past 5 years and he was worn out. I’m back at writing this for not any particular reason. I guess to relieve some of my thoughts. It’s 6am and the reality of death is growing. I’ve never really had to experience death. I was so young when Memaw and Grand-Barbara died that this is a new thing for me. When I left the hospital yesterday I thought I was prepared for him to die. A couple of hours before that I had had some Pepaw and Brennen time. He was fast asleep, but that was probably best so he couldn’t argue with me. :) I stood by his hospital bed in ICU and laid my hands on him. I prayed the hardest prayer I’ve had to pray. A prayer of release. Not that I was cursing him, or praying “bad” things on him, but that I was releasing him to do whatever the Lord wanted. I knew that he was in pain and that he was suffering and I didn’t want to wish that back on him. As I patted his hair and he would rearrange himself I had a peace. Thy will not my will Lord. 
I didn’t think that it would be moments after I left the hospital room or did I think it would happen that night. But as my cousin pointed out, it was quitting time. Right around 5pm (and that’s early for Pepaw) he went to be with the Lord. He taught me how to work hard. He taught everyone how to work hard. Even though he would tell me that I had gained weight or that my hair was a mess I knew that was his way of loving me. And when I would leave his office he almost always said. “I love you Bren, you’re beautiful.” He was so precious to me. 
          I remember arguing with him in his red chevrolet pick up truck, with the cell phone in it, about him smoking while we were in the car. I’d be dramatic and act like I was about to choke to death while he would continue to smoke. I remember him taking me on a trip- I don’t remember the details, but I remember that we went. I remember making him stand outside to smoke at our house and laughing at him the whole time. When I would leave my cheek was almost always dripping with slobber from his kisses. I loved sitting on his lap when he'd let me, and I loved going to see him at work. 
He loved me in the best way he knew how. He was a good man. And I honor his life. I will always miss you Pepaw. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Glimpses of Life

      Today is the day. Our 24 hour prayer day at Promiseland Metro Church is on it's way! We are 2 and a half hours into our 24 and I am already being changed and renewed. I explained this whole process like a mother being pregnant. I feel like I'm pregnant. And that today is delivery day. I'm not the only one either that feels this way. I believe whole heartedly that this prayer movement is birthing something special.
     So, here I am. In the delivery room. Watching a couple cling to each other while in prayer. Watching another young man sold out the Lord seeking his will. Glory! I am seeing glimpses and signs of life. :) It's already been conceived. And I'm beginning to feel the heartbeat of it all. I'm beginning to feel it kick. And I am so excited. I don't know what exactly God is going to birth during these 24 hours, but I do know it's going to be many things. Things for individuals, couples, families, church families, this city, our state, our nation, and people all across the world.
     I posted on my facebook that people could send me texts with prayer requests. I've already received over 10. I am blown away. The time is now. People are hungry. They want more. They know that there is more. Prayer is the avenue of change. Prayer is the road to freedom and breakthrough.
      What are the glimpses of life that you've seen in your own ministries? In your life? Seek after it. And walk into it. The glimpses are beautiful things. I pray I never take it for granted.

So Jesus, thank you for this beautiful day of prayer. Fill up this house with your glory. Overflow our lives. Speak to us. Give us the ears to hear. Give us the obedience to obey. Thank you Jesus. I love you Lord. Amen. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gotta Start Somewhere

       Tomorrow morning at 9am my church, Promiseland Metro Church, will begin it's very first full 24 hours in prayer. As I have been planning this "event" I continually get more and more excited; overwhelmed at times, but so excited. I believe with every ounce of my heart that this is the beginning of something that only God can do. I believe that our church is going to begin to grow rapidly. I believe that the Lord is going to move in such a big way. And, I am so excited to see what those precious 24 hours bring.
      I've been looking at big prayer movements, churches that have grown to thousands within 3 years, and rapid moves of God. It amazes and excites me. It makes me thirsty for a move of God so big that the only explanation is "God did it." And I believe it can and will happen. I declare it over Promiseland Ministries and over my own life. But the thing that I have to remind myself instead of getting overwhelmed, is it started somewhere.
      Everything... starts somewhere. Someone had to have had a vision. Walmart, Gap, and Texas Roadhouse all started from someone with a vision and a dream. They wanted it. They worked, sweated, prayed, and did everything that they could to get their "thing" started. It's the same thing with our dreams and visions that the Lord has given us. We have to work towards it... move forward with it.
      For example, one of my life goals is to write a book. I can't simply talk about it, I must begin to write it. (I have 3 pages done, by the way. :)) And I want Promiseland Ministries to grow, I have caught the vision that Pastor Jeff and Melissa have for their church- and I want to do everything that I can to help that vision that the Lord has given them come true. So we work at it. We walk into what God has called us to. We pray and seek God's guidance in moving forward. We plan according to what He has spoken to us. We prepare for the prophesies over our church and our own lives.
      I've had this skewed view of this concept before I fully realized what it meant... I thought, "Well, God told me He'd do it, so I'll sit back and watch." And, sometimes He does.... but other times, and most of the time, He wants you to pursue it. To go after the desires and dreams He's placed in our lives. To walk into our calling. Ephesians 2:10 instructs us to do so.

 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 

     While I prepare for tomorrows 24 hour prayer service, continue writing my book, and helping with Promiseland, I urge you to walk into what God is calling you to. Step by step. It has to start somewhere. 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

God, will You clean up my mess?

       I had to ask the Lord to clean up my mess today. A mess I made on my own. He trusted me with something and I made a mess of it. A sticky, horrible mess. There are lots of sticky hands going around because of the mess I made. Embarrassing and humbling all at the same time. And I have no idea how to clean it up. As I was praying about it this morning, I just said, Lord- will you clean up my mess? I'm helpless, I don't know where to start or even how to start. I know it's my mess, but could you clean it up? I was expecting a resounding, make me feel good, "Yes, daughter, I love you! I'll do anything for you. This isn't a mess!" from my Father…. but instead I got silence…. Silence… Silence... Silence... and then "Psalm 46". God is MY refuge and MY strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble, I will not fear. God is still God despite my mess. And God is still 100% capable of restoring it.  Sometimes, there are messes that we just don't know how to clean up. You know when a toddler spills something.... and they try to pick it up but they just make a bigger mess.... that's how I feel in this situation. 
      But, God is still God. And in that I can rest. I can "be still and know that He is God" as the psalmist says. I read Psalm 46 in the Message and liked how it is worded:

1-3 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him
   We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, 
      courageous in seastorm and earthquake, 
   Before the rush and roar of oceans, 
      the tremors that shift mountains.

   Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, 
      God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. 

 4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God's city, 
      this sacred haunt of the Most High. 
   God lives here, the streets are safe, 
      God at your service from crack of dawn. 
   Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten, 
      but Earth does anything he says. 

 7 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, 
      God-of-Angel-Armies protects us

 8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God
      He plants flowers and trees all over the earth, 
   Bans war from pole to pole, 
      breaks all the weapons across his knee. 
   "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, 
      loving look at me, your High God, 
      above politics, above everything." 

 11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, 
      God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

     God is God. He is my protector. Provider. Healer. And, today, he is my "cleaner". He's picking up my mess. Don't be afraid to allow God to clean up your mess. To clean up your wounds. Allow God to be God and rest in being a child of God. Some messes I am perfectly able to clean up, and some messes I can do one thing to "help" Him..... but other times, it's just too much. He takes over. And I find my peace... even in the midst of a disaster. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good day.

     Good days are fabulous. I love good days. Today was a good day. Why? Coca Cola Classic. Regular customers. & a cute old couple. (Did I mention Coca Cola?) So stinking awesome. I've been MIA with Coca Cola for the past few weeks. But today was a bank holiday- so that meant that I got to drink Coca Cola. It was fabulous. And for the past few weeks my regular and favorite customers at the coffee shop have been MIA, and they all showed up today! And then I had the cutest older couple come in, and the man wanted me to tell him about facebook. I'm pretty sure he is 70 or older. But I loved it. Absolutely loved it.
     I feel so blessed when I have days like today. When I realize the blessings in my life. I woke up this morning and decided that today would be a good day. I declared it. I believed it. And it happened. Which, coca cola was involved... so of course I'm happy. ;) But, nonetheless, the Lord was so good to me today.
     He revealed and confirmed some things for me this morning in my quiet time. I love it when he does that. And I love it when he speaks on my level. He confirmed a dream I had a few months ago today in a scripture. It was good stuff. I serve such a great God. He has blessed me with amazing things in my life. I love my family, my church, my friends, my God, my job, my car, my shoes, and my new jeans. Seriously, thank you Jesus!

     So, if you are still reading- you made it through my ramblings.... but I want to know what makes you have a good day? When was the last time that you had a good day from all of the little things? I'd love to know. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Meet my Parents.

     I am a proud daughter. Yep, daughter. I have two of the most amazing parents. They are such an example to me and I am extremely blessed. Just look at how cute my parents are, I love them! Let me introduce them to you. Dad. Meet Billy Joe Gaddis, where I get my grin from and my cheesy jokes.
Still in Love too!
He is the best equipment operator in Owensboro and can make anyone laugh. He is so incredibly in love with my mother. He is the head of our household and the head encourager. Constantly talking about his 3 beauty queens... (mom, chels, and me) and his handsome son. He loves getting his back scratched and we are thankful for tv ears, because he's hard of hearing. He has the heart the size of Texas and will do anything to help anyone. That's my Dad! :) Meet mom. Robin Gaddis. One of the best Helix hair designers in Owensboro, and possibly the world. She is discerning and is completely obedient to the word of the Lord. She loves being outside with a good novel. She loves the beach and loves staying up late talking to me! :) I love my mom! They are such an encouragement to me. 
       This all comes about because I am doing a study called, "Secrets: Transforming your Life and Marriage". Yes, I am fully aware that I am not married, but I will be prepared on the glorious day that the Lord speaks to my husband and confirms that I am the one for him. As I go through this study, I have realized what a great marriage I have grown up under. And I wanted to share with the world the things I have learned from mom and dad. 

Marriage with Billy Joe and Robin:
1. God first, always, always, always. 
2. Spouse second. Not Brennen, Trae, or Chelsea. But spouse. My dad and I are a lot alike on how we receive love from mom. We like to spend time with her, and on numerous occasions Mom tells me that she has to spend time with dad and that later she will spend time with me. No fun at the moment, but I appreciate it now.
3. Never, ever say divorce. This has brought so much peace into our home. I never have to worry if mom and dad will split up. It's not talked about. 
4. We don't yell. Dad made the pact with mom before they got married that they would never yell at each other. And I've never heard them yell. Once again, peace. 
5. Respect. I hardly ever witness my parents responding to one another with eyes rolling, hateful tones, or mean words. 
6. They always agree with one another... even if they disagree. They wait to talk about it until later. I know that if mom says something that dad stands behind it, and vis versa. 
7. Dad still opens the door for her. Sorry boys, it's just something that women appreciate.
8. Dad always tells mom how pretty she is. Mom always tells dad how much she respects and appreciates his hard work. 
9. Mom is not dad's maid. It works out well. 
10. They make time for one another. Even if it's just a few minutes of mom scratching dad's head. 
11. Mom or dad never sleep on the couch because of an argument. They settle it before they go to bed.
12.  Laughter. That simple. They laugh together. 
13. They dance... not always... but most the time after a movie when the credits are rolling... they dance. 
14. Trust. They trust one another. 
15. They hug and they kiss.... in front of us. We pretend like we don't like it, but it reassures us that they love each other. 

     Mom and Dad would be the first to tell you that their marraige is not perfect.... but I say they have something good going on. I am so excited to see where God takes them in their marriage and to see what else God has for them. I pray blessing, prosperity and joy over their marriage. 

     Thank you Mom and Dad for loving God, one another and then loving us. You two have taught me more than any marriage study book could. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We appreciate it. 

John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
Ephesians 5:33 "The wife must respect her husband."

1 Corinthians 13:7,8 "Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. "

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coca Cola Obsession

       I decided to do something really stupid about 2 weeks ago. One of my lovely friends, Ashley Abney, and I made a pact that we wouldn't drink soda except for on bank holidays. This is seriously, one of the stupidest things I have done.
       Let me share with you my obsession. Coca Cola Classic. Before this pact, I was drinking at least two 32 ounce cups of Coca Cola, if not more (from Hucks, the greatest gas station in the world, ask Adam Kees). I'm telling you, I love me some Coca Cola. However, Coca Cola doesn't love me. I fluctuate with my weight according to how much Coca Cola I am drinking. Jeans were getting too tight and my face looked like a balloon, so no more Coke for a while. 
     Yesterday, I was having some withdrawals. Major withdrawals. Luckily, Ashley would kick my booty if I drank one, so I resisted. But, I will say, some days I can go the whole day without thinking about a Coke. This runs parallel to eating out at restaurants as well. The more you eat out the more you want to eat out. And in return, the more you eat home cooked meals, the more you want home cooked meals. Or maybe, this just applies to me and my fellow extremists.
       This correlates with our walk with the Lord. Whenever we sin, we want to sin more. That sounds so generic, but bear with me for a minute. Whenever you lie, it becomes easier to lie the next time. Whenever I drink one coca cola, I crave more coca cola. Whenever the drug addict smokes one joint, they crave the second joint. (Do you smoke a joint? I'm not positive, forgive me if my street lingo is off.) It's this big chain of sin. The more you do it, the more you want to do it. 
       Many people have asked me, why don't you just limit yourself with cokes. I can't. It's all or nothing for me. If I go cold turkey off of them, it's so much easier than "weening" myself off of them. This morning I was reading in 1 Peter 1:13-16, check out what it says; 
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be give you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
     We have to get serious with the things we struggle with. We have to cut it off. Prepare ourselves in advance for how we are going to react when your mom asks you to unload the dishwasher, or when your wife asks you to mow the lawn, or when your daughter asks you to go to a "bad" friends house. If you are prepared, you are ready to be self controlled, instead of spouting off something mean and hateful, or responding in a way that is not respectful.
       So, I urge you, to rid yourself of whatever is bringing you down. If it's a bad habit that is unhealthy, if it's the way you speak to your husband, if it's a credit card that you can't quit swiping.... get rid of it. Cut it off. Live a life of self control and holiness. And, if you're going off of cokes, you get to look forward to bank holidays. ;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mean Witness-ers.

     About 10 minutes ago I had an experience I knew I would have to blog about; I love it when that happens. I normally work at a local coffee shop but to help out I work once a week at the gift shop next door that my boss owns as well. I am still learning what all is in the store, how it works, what credit cards we take, etc, etc. Today, I am working at the gift shop. I have this older lady that comes in and asks me if I have goblettes, which I have no idea what that is, or if that is what she said. She explains that they are glasses with a stem. I show her where they are displayed and tell her the price of each set. She chooses blue ones and when I tell her they are 23.75 she says, "I thought they were $20" I then have to explain that the other set of glasses were 19.95 this one was 21.50 or something.... and then explain that taxes are added. She changes her mind, asks me a few more random questions that I simply said "I have no idea, but I'd be more than happy to find out for you." She is annoyed. I can tell. I'm frustrated with the lady.
     It comes time for her to pay... finally. She asks if we take Discover, I say- I'll swipe it and find out. She asks very rudely, "You haven't worked here long have you?" I stay calm, hold my tounge and make a joke. She pays. Then, hands me 2 magazines on prayer and knowing who God is. 
     I simply stood in silence holding back laughter. I know that's horrible that I wanted to laugh, but I mean really? I didn't explain that I had a personal relationship with Jesus or that He was the love of my life. I just stood and politely said thank you. I looked up the website of the magazine, it's a Jehovah's Witness magazine. Which, is totally fine. I'm not trying to make jokes on religions. I don't even know what they believe. I know what I believe. And I know that if I was being mean to someone I certainly wouldn't be witnessing after I acted like that. 
     Do our actions and words match our passion? I'm pretty sure thats a VBS song from a few years back... Yep, and I found the video.... but in all reality- it is totally right.

      My life has to match up with the love of God. The world will never follow something that they don't see lived out. Or they will do the same thing you are doing, claiming a faith but not living it out. I hope I never am not able to share the love of Jesus because of my actions beforehand. I hope that I'm never rude to the waitress and then want to leave a card inviting them to church. The church, in a whole, has to get serious about our lives matching our passion [or what we claim to be our passion]. Or else, we will never reach the lost.

     On a side note, I pray blessings and truth on the cute lady that wanted to share her faith with me. I hope next time she's more careful with her words.  :)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Deep clean.

     I have a bad habit. Clothes. I have a horrible habit with my clothes. I am the most indecisive person getting ready in the mornings. I normally have one article of clothing picked out. Sometimes it's a scarf, a pair of jeans, a pair of shoes, or sometimes something as ridiculous as a pair of socks. I just get it in my mind that I want to wear it, and I don't stop until I get an outfit together.  Where's the problem? When I try on, and try on, and try on clothes..... and don't always put them back. I admit it. I can get messy, especially when I am in a hurry. The thing is- I get this idea in my head of the "look" I'm going for that day and I'm just not content without it. Usually, I am pushing for time as well. Anyways, this always leads to clothes on my floor. Not dirty... clean.
     The other bad habit I have.... is not putting my shoes up on the convenient shoe holder on my door. So I usually have a collection of shoes in one area of my room. I am not a dirty person. Let's get that clear, before you think I'm gross. I, sometimes, am just a little messy. BUT... the good thing is- I can only go so long with the mess. Then it is crazy Brennen cleaning up. Normally, late at night because I keep stepping on a hanger or something crazy like that.
     Well, the other day, I decided that I had had enough. It was time to be neat again! So I picked up all of my stuff. I also become like a 5 year old when I do something that my mom will be proud of, so I ran downstairs and made mom come look at my neat room. [Most of] my clothes in my closet, clean. My dirty clothes hamper empty... and a picked up room. I said, "Look Mom, I cleaned!"
     She, of course, smiles and tells me she is proud... but then corrects me and says, "You picked up, you didn't clean." And, she is right. If you looked close- you could see the dust on the furniture and could tell that my floor needed some swiffer attention.
     I get like this with the Lord sometimes. I let things go crazy for a while, then I can't stand it, and I "get right" with God. I get all my stuff together, get all my dirty sin taken care of, and I get excited and say , "Look Lord! Look at what I did! Aren't you proud of me!?"
     And, He is. But- I didn't really "clean up" my life. I just picked it up, put stuff back where it belongs. I didn't get to the root of the problem. I just snipped it. Made it look good, presentable. When it still needed work.
     I am so thankful that God is in the deep cleaning business. I can always count on Him helping me clean some stuff out. Getting myself clean of the things that drag me down. Just like I can always count on my mom helping me get my room cleaned, really cleaned. 
     Where have you just picked up lately? Is it time for a deep cleaning? Jesus! Show us where we need You to deep clean our lives. Give us the courage and determination to do it and to do it right.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Unfaithfulness to Perseverance

     After several weeks I have found myself back into Joshua, picking up right where I left off. I wrote several blogs going through Joshua 1-6, and then I read the heading on Joshua 7, "Achan's Sin", and didn't want a disappointment, so I wandered into other parts of my Bible. However, yesterday morning the Lord tugged on my heart to open back up to Joshua 7.   You can read my other blogs with these links. Strong and Courageous, Step into Your Jordan, Shout of Faith. And now that you are caught up on Joshua's story we can dive into Joshua 7.

     This chapter shows how much we are like Joshua, or at least how much I am like Joshua. The first verse in Joshua says, "The Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things..." it continues and says, "...so the Lord's anger burned against Israel." Basically, the Lord told them to destroy all of the "bad" stuff, to purge out anything that would cause them to sin, to get rid of the worldly things. And the Israelites did what we so often do. They say to the Lord, "Yes, I got it all, I'm through with it. Done with it. Never going back. Zilch. Nada." Even though somewhere, somehow they are still holding onto a piece of it.

     God knows everything. So, He had to know that they were being unfaithful, but He still allowed them to cross over the Jordan. God may allow us to cross the Jordan with some baggage, but it won't be everything He intended it to be. Why? Because of our lack of obedience. Our lack of obedience doesn't allow it to be everything He intended it to be. This happens with parents and their children all the time. A parent may allow their child to do something even if they know they aren't obeying, just so they can "learn their lesson". But, sooner or later, we will have to face the consequences and own up to our lack of obedience and faithfulness. We have to let go of that little piece that we are still holding onto, to receive the fullness of stepping into our promiseland.

     The Israelites went to battle with the Amorites and lost. They should have won, but they lost. Joshua was defeated. He lost hope. He immediately began to question God. Even saying, "Lord, we shouldn't have even crossed the Jordan, If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan." This makes my stomach turn. The Lord had done something mighty, crazy and supernatural, and Joshua is doubting if they even should have done it. He is doubting if God can handle what they've come against. How often do we receive breakthrough, expect green grass and nothing but happiness, then hit a road block, and we begin to doubt God. This is no bueno! Not good, not at all. This is when perseverance is soo key in our walk with the Lord.

     When you are in the center of God's will, a trial or problem does not mean to stop. It simply means to take a look at what you've done, see if you've obeyed completely, seek the Lord, and PERSEVERE.

     The Lord reminds Joshua of the Israelites unfaithfulness and tells them, "I will not be among you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction." We must get rid of the things that lead to destruction. We will not be able to stand against our enemies until we remove it from our lives. We can't leave an open door for the enemy to sneak in. Close him off, don't let him have a hint of room to get into your life.

     A lot more happens in the end of chapter 7. The family that was hiding the devoted things owned up to their sin, got stoned, and burned the devoted things. And chapter 7 ends rather abruptly. I'm still disappointed in the Israelites. But, man does it make sense why we act the way we do sometimes after a move of God happens. We have to come against that carnal mindset and set our minds on Christ, no matter what obstacles come our way.

     In my daily devotional book it talks about how a momma eagle will force her baby eagles to fly [when they are ready]. She'll tousle up the nest so they will fly, but then she will go and fly under them when they are struggling and give them her support until they can fly on their own. And as Hannah Whitall Smith said, "And so the Lord." He does the same thing with us. How comforting. :)

Be blessed and have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dreams. Guest blogger: Stephanie Wright

Today, after reading one of my dear friend's blog I decided that what she had to say was better than what I had to say! So sit back and check out what my friend Stephanie Wright has to say on dreams. Stephanie is a local hair stylist, works as a personal assistant to Pastor Jeff with Promiseland Church, and she gets many calls from me on my dreams that I have. She walks you through your dreams and basically and biblically guides you in understanding your dreams better. Check out more of her blog posts on Shout Out Cafe.

The  world defines a dream as an idea or image present in the mind but having no concrete or objective to reality.  An illusory or fantastic plan of hope, or to desire something urgently. But we know that God reveals to us in His word that He speaks to us through dreams. Therefore when in His promises, through prayer, we can actually be encouraged, guided and warned in our dreams.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Acts 2:17-18
I have found that most of the time a dream is absent from reality but portrays it.  A dream can symbolize a great plan yet to unfold, or an encouraging word for our brothers. Even more so than not, a dream could pose as a  warning to the intercessor as the plan of the enemy is revealed.
Why would God show us these things? Because prayer really does change things. Yes, our Lord and Savior knows the outcome before we do, but He still allows free will in our lives. Now it’s up to us on what to do with the information He gives us.
It seems that the church world today has dismissed this wonderful gift God so freely gave to His people. Dreams and visions are spoke of hundreds of times in the Bible.  Jesus Christ said greater things shall we do. So why then would it not be correct for us to receive more revelation than even that of the wonderful saints before? Greater things shall WE do!
So the next time God speaks to you as you rest, then take some time to think about what it is He is telling you. Many answers we search for in life comes to us in the middle of the night when we least expect it. Why is that? Could it be that it’s the only time God can speak without us interrupting?
Activate the gifts God has given and encourages the body of Christ to use today!
In most cases dreams are symbolic, while visions are literal.
A dream is like a snapshot which captures one brief moment out of a lifetime. It can not be understood fully without knowing something about the life of the person it concerns. Therefore it is not enough to know the meaning of symbols alone. Although without an understanding of symbols, we are greatly limited in our ability to navigate through for interpretation or even application if the dream are concerning ourselves.
There is a difference between a dream and a vision, a vision requires little or no interpretation. In addition to the actual vision seen, a vision can be accompanied by an audible voice that gives the primary meaning.
…and a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Acts 16:9-10.
How do I start understanding my dreams?
It is a great idea to keep a notebook, or dream journal by your bed. Many times we are awakened in the night by an extraordinary dream only to forget it by morning. This can be frustrating. Jot down the key points of your dream on paper to help with your revelation and application at a later time. Things to notice about your dreams to write down are the setting, the people, names, colors, and emotions. I have found that the more I pay attention, the more God speaks to me in my dreams. I begin to notice patterns, what certain objects represent to me, and what the Bible says about some of the things God is revealing.
Dreams are an extraordinary gift from God.
I can help you understand what is being spoke to you as you sleep.
Please feel free to post your dreams or message me for insight.