hope sign

hope sign

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Still Brave in 2015?



Brave...
               Brave...
                              Brave...

Such a fitting word for my year.  Also, my word of the year.

2015 is requiring that I put on my Shield of Faith, Shoes of Peace, Belt of Truth, Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Spirit (The Word), The Body of Armor of God's Righteousness.  Not forgetting Ephesians 6:18, "Pray in the Spirit at all times, and on every occasion.  Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."

Many times we want to give the devil the credit for our struggles and sins but I have to tighten my Belt of Truth and say, it's mostly our own fleshly wants and desires...our lusts, our insecurities, our pride, our fears, our gluttony, our past...flesh.


In Ephesians 6:11 & 12, it tells us that we do have to put on the whole armor of God to stand firm against the strategies of the devil and evil in the unseen and dark world.  

I believe there are dark places that I refuse to see, inside me.  Places I don't want to shine a light on, because the darkness is comfortable and as they say, "ignorance is bliss".  Fortunately, Jesus won't leave me like He found me.  He shines a light on it all, as we mature and are more equipped to handle it. 


No, I am not getting ready for some big reveal or confession...this is not about that.  It's about preparing myself for the task at hand.  Making sure I am prepared for what I have been called to do.  Dealing with things so I can move forward and be the person, Woman, God has called me to be.  

The darkness that hides within us, is not a surprise to God.  I don't mean "evil" darkness, like you hear and see on TV or in movies.  I am talking about little areas that separate me from God.  Things that I have release to Him and allow Him to change me.  


See He is our Savior...our Knight in Shining Armor...our Crusader, who is wanting to free us.  I can just picture him on a white horse, grabbing us up into his arms and riding us off into the sunshine of freedom (Kimi's imagination station break).  


So, why do I have to be Brave in 2015 if I know God can do it all?  Not only do it all, but do it with grace, mercy, peace, love, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness.  Because, it requires something of me.  Each step requires that I continually put on the Armor of God, trusting in His authority and surgical skill-removing each tentacle of sin without damaging the good.  


The question is, Am I willing to let God?  Yes, He can do it all but I have to give Him access.  I have to yield and as I stated above, "Pray in the Spirit at all times."  

As He does this work in me, I am starting to see changes.  I cannot think like I used to.  That is such a strange thought.  He has even changed my thought process.  He amazes me.  

So, I will put on the Armor of God and make sure I pray in the Spirit, giving Him access to me-all of me. How about you?  

Brave...
              Brave...
                            Brave...

All photos are from a photography day with my daughter Kelcie.  She is
the girl in the photos.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

BE FREE




Hear the sound
the sound of the nations calling
Hear the sound
the sound of the fatherless crying
Who will go for us
Who will shout to the 
corners of the earth
that Christ is King

We speak to nations
Be open
We speak to nations
Fall on your knees
We speak to nations
The Kingdom is coming
near to you
Oh we speak to strongholds
Be broken
The powers of darkness
You have to flee
We speak to nations
The Kingdom is coming 
near to you
We speak to you
Be Free

By Israel Houghton

My sister sang this in church a couple of weeks ago.  I had forgotten about this song.  She started singing it and at first I thought she was writing it right there in front of us and then it sounded familiar.  When my son put the words up, I knew it was already written...but so timely for our nation.  


The power of God was so strong at our church on Webb Lane that Sunday Morning.  It sparked within me a desire to let our nation...America...The United States of America...One nation, under God...we need to be reminded that CHRIST IS KING.  

We are a nation that was founded on Freedom.  Freedom for all men and women.  Did our Forefathers get it 100% right...No.  They had blind spots and prejudices that today we cannot comprehend.  But guess what?  Our Forefathers didn't make us free.  

True freedom is not found in our beloved Constitution. 

It is not found in the Bill of Rights.  
It is not found at the altar of the Supreme Court.  
It is not found in Washington DC.  
It is not found in Amendments, new laws, the ACLU...it is not found in this beloved country.


True freedom is only found in God.  

You see, when we are able to live the way He created us to live, totally committed to Him, denying ourselves (our flesh, our lusts), resting in His authority and grace...then we are free.  

Heaven and earth
will disappear,
but my words
will never disappear.
-Matthew 24:35


And this world is fading away,
along with everything 
that people crave.
But anyone who does
what pleases God
will live forever.
-1 John 2:17

This world and all it's trappings are going to cease one day.  Everything that we so desire...money, things, power, rights, justice...it's going to fade away.  The scripture tells us that the only thing that will last is the Word of God.  And if we please God, we will live forever. 


So many Christians are living in fear these days, right here in the Free America.  But we have to remember that these trials are common to man.  So don't live in Fear...Perfect love casts out all fear.  Who is perfect love...JESUS.  So instead of running to Facebook, Twitter or whatever social media source you use to speak fear...speak love...speak Jesus...speak His words...they will never disappear. 


We can do as the song above says...Fall on your knees and be FREE!!!!  We are not fighting against flesh and blood anyway, this is a spiritual battle.  One that we cannot fight in the courts but in prayer with love.  Love will confuse the enemy because he cannot comprehend it.  


What more do we need in life?  Love, Freedom, Jesus.  Sweet Life.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How To Take A Real Rest



Today in our Women Empowered Bible Study, we started to see how God is showing us how to enter into real rest.  

What is real rest?  

I thought we were supposed to work, run, "Go into all the World"...that doesn't sound like rest.  

It's not rest in ourselves but His Word says that He will show us how to take a real rest.

Matthew 11:28-30
Are you tired?
Worn out?
Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me and you'll recover your life.
I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me-watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me 
and learn to live freely and lightly.

In real rest, there is a peace that passes all understanding.  In real rest, you will walk and not grow weary, walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who trust in the LORD
will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

This is a promise from our Creator.  Who knows us better than He?  

What will our response be to His invitation to "Come to me...get away with me and you'll recover your life."?  Inaction is a response of disobedience and/or distrust.  To rise like the paralytic, take up our bed and walk (Mark 2:1-12)...taking action...we will begin to walk this New Life...I am a new creation...walk in your salvation and healing.  

What is He waking you up to today?  What will your response be?  

Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord's great love 
we are not consumed,
for His compassion's never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.


A real rest begins with trusting God, even when we don't feel Him, see Him...TRUST HIM!!!  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

God Is Love

What does the LORD require of you in exchange for His love?







Can we do anything to earn the love of God?

Can we impress God so that He loves us more than our neighbor?

Can we use say the right words, pray the right prayer, worship in a way that will manipulate God into loving us?

NO!!!!

Just like that photo above, Henry vacuuming the floor has no impact on whether I love him or not.  I love him because he exists.  I loved him before he drew his first breath.  I loved him as soon as I knew about him.  


God's love goes so much deeper and started way before our existence.  It's so deep and vast that our human minds have trouble comprehending the love of God.  We have trouble believing that God is Love and all Love comes from Him because, if it is real, it is God.  

I just heard a song that keeps on rolling around in my mind and spirit.  

You thought I was worth saving
So you came and changed my life
You thought I was worth keeping
So you cleaned me up inside
You thought I was to die for
So you sacrificed your life

So I could be free
So I could be whole
So I can tell everyone 
I know

by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy

He saw your worth before He breathed life into you.  He saw your worth even while you were living a sin filled life.  He has loved you since before time began. He doesn't require you to come to Him after you have everything all perfected.  He does the perfecting.  He does the cleaning.  He does the work...we just have to come to Him.  

As He begins to change us, we will see that it is only in Him that we find fulfillment, satisfaction, sanctification, holiness, freedom, completeness.  



If you see someone who is hurting today, in need of what you have, please, tell them about Jesus.  Give them this life saving Savior.  Don't walk away knowing you have what they need.  

Philippians 1:19
For I know that as you
pray for me and the Spirit of 
Jesus Christ helps me,
this will lead to my deliverance.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
I urge you, first of all, to 
pray for all people.  
Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf,
and give thanks for them.
Pray this way for kings 
and all who are in
authority so that we can live
peaceful and quiet lives
marked by godliness and 
dignity.
This is good and pleases
God our Savior, 
who wants everyone to be 
saved and to understand
the truth.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What If It Costs All?

What does surrender mean?


What does complete surrender look like?

Pete has completely surrendered to the part of a chicken

We say I surrender all…I surrender to your will, O God…but what does that really look like and do we try to put boundaries on it.  Boundaries…is that surrendering or compromise? 

Lauren being baptized by James Barr and Daddy

Some questions about surrender have been running through my head in the last couple of days.  We hear so much about "living our own truth", "doing what is right for us", "making ourselves happy", "being successful"...living for ourselves, regardless of what the Scripture says, our family says, how we hurt others...as long as I AM Happy, that is all that matters.  But that is not what God says.  

Our Creator who formed us in our mothers womb. The One who knew us from the foundation of the world. He designed us for more than living a self absorbed life.  He said, "The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."-Matthew 23: 11, 12 NLT  

Bo during his Ordination

A servant is surrendered.  Jesus was the greatest example of that.  He surrendered to the will of the Father to go to the cross, to suffer and die for us. This was not a feel good, look at me stunt.  This was the giving of everything he had to save someone else. Jesus himself did not need saving, we did!!  He surrendered 100% for someone else.  That is what complete surrender looks like.

Daddy...For the Life of the World

Surrender…what if it cost everything?
Surrender…what if it doesn't bring you fame and acclaim?
Surrender…what if it means poverty?
Surrender…what if it means denying of your wants and desires?
Surrender…what if it means denying yourself of basic necessities?  
Surrender….what if it means living a missionary life in America?  People will see…
Surrender…what if it means Pastoring a small church or teaching two kids in Sunday School instead of 20, 200 or even 10?


Surrender…what if no one understands you or relates to you anymore?

Surrender…what if it requires your comfort, sleep, recreation, LIFE?

This is a hard thought.  It is a hard thing to wrap my mind around, complete surrender.  I have a hard time allowing others to have control over me...(true story).  I don't like confinements, being out of control, unreasonable demands, to be bossed, to do what someone else wants over what I want.  I don't like to be overlooked, underestimated, unwanted, ignored.  So to surrender is absolutely out of my comfort zone.  


BUT, my heart wants what God wants.  In order to see His Kingdom flourish, to see my life be what He created me to be, I have to live a surrendered life to Him.  I fail all the time but I purpose in my heart to get the job done.  I have to adjust myself, my attitude, my perspective almost daily but it's worth it.

Ryan Armstrong, surrendering 

These questions are a little scary because it makes me wonder what God is preparing me for.  Am I willing to live this life completely surrendered?  I hope I am.    

Heros to me...My Mom, Apostle Green and Pastor Green