On my way…Bethel Music Worship School

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Proverbs 3:6 –
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The Lord amazes me, how he cares for every desire of our heart. For years I have wanted to visit the Bethel church and learn from some of the most talented people out there.

We had been told about this year’s Bethel Music Worship School pretty close to sign up deadline. We went ahead and applied but when we were excepted to the school, we only had just enough deposit and first payment for one of us that had come in unexpectedly at just the right time. We had the heart that if we were meant to go it would be excess of our normal budget as I no longer was working.

My husband had so much to learn on workshops and a desire to be a better teacher, I had said, “well the school is for you this year and I will wait until next year.”  I thought I had missed the deadline so I began to make plans of my own. But at every turn, those doors would close. Just as I was not sure what in the world I would do with myself for two weeks in Redding, I got a notice from the school that I could still go.  But now there was the matter of the cost. So I began to pray and had remembered a correction I had gotten a few weeks back, ” Why did you not ask! We would have been happy to support you in that and felt lead, but you said you had other plans.” It was a reminder you have not because you ask not! So, I went ahead and asked them to pray if it was still in their hearts I would like to go.

NOW I am going. We leave for the adventure of my life today. Here I have felt so ill the last six months I have done nothing, to be healed and ready for the amazing! He gives me strength just as I need it. Obedience brings LIFE and I am ready to live it. My best life. His best plans!!!

Never have I been away from home for two weeks, let alone left the house and my kitty to my adult children for two weeks. Never have I stayed with people I hardly know for two weeks. Never have I been in such a busy atmosphere for TWO WEEKS…with SO many awesome people. But my introvert mind is asking God…. “Are you sure?”

I truly am excited to be stretched in this new way and to see what the Lord downloads into me and the dreams and passions being cultivated to new heights. I am so excited and overwhelmingly blessed that my Heavenly Father and earthly Dad have made this possible.

My plans may have faded away, but the Lord lays the path straight!
Keep your eye out for updates. It is going to be an epic ride, I do believe.

One of my favorite Bethel Worship Songs … a song deep in my soul cries out for such a time as this. Anxiety and fear have me no more! I am taking my mantle.

Therefore Choose​ Life

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You know the more I have been spending time with the Lord, the more He reveals to me. Imagine that concept… the more time we spend with someone, the more of their heart they share!

 

I recently went through a rough season where my health had me discouraged, I felt God grow quiet and all I wanted to do was sleep. Sleep was the goal for the day, literally. God let me have my way. He let me drag through the days with no plans, no motivation and at times no hope. I felt as if my path was laid before me and at that moment I was too exhausted to change it. But then….

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

 

He reminds me… CHOOSE. You can choose life or death. You can choose hope or hopelessness. I can choose what I think on as I rise up for my day. I can choose to focus on my lack or my gain. I have the power of God within me and He chooses LIFE for me. Will I obey the call of the Lord? Will I live in victory and freedom?

God has called me up from the ashes. He brings beauty from my pain, He does not intend for me to stay there in the pain, but to rise above and walk in His arms of victory.

He has called me  and I see the Lord is good and what He has before me will bring LIFE. 

I am amazed how EVERY SINGLE time, I walk my own path, the Lord brings me to Himself and EVERY SINGLE TIME, He is life-giving, constant, arms wide open, LOVE.

This song, O Come to the Altar, ministers to my heart. Today especially as I am reminded the Father’s arms are opened wide and I choose to run to them!

 

How much is enough?

“How much is enough?” This was a question I was asked this past week.
This person has seen first hand one extreme form of Christianity to the next.
The very strict follower of the Bible with no evidence of a relationship with the Father,
to the church leader that seems to know Jesus but puts Him on a shelf and lives another way behind closed doors.

“How much is enough? How do you know, you will do enough to be a Christian?”

I understood this person’s heart so much. Every generation seems to want to blur the lines, more and more.
You are often left asking, “is there a point to all this? Lord, I looked up to them, and they seemed to know so well what they were talking about. How can that person be a Christian?”

You either believe or you don’t

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

The word tells us how to have eternal life. LIVE and BELIEVE. I admit there have been my own seasons of asking the Lord to help my unbelief. Each time I cried out and sought the relationship, the Lord was faithful to meet me. He is my friend, my father, my savior and His grace has covered me when I have sought Him. His grace covers the sin. There is nothing I could do to be worthy of that. Yet I must live and believe in Him.
The Lord has walked with me and helped me to come out of my seasons of disobedience to His word. For a stronger and healthier walk. Gift of salvation…. is a gift and not by my works.

 

You either love Him or you don’t.

 Matthew 22:36-37
Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul and with all of your mind.

If you have no love in your heart for Jesus, you are not walking in your gift of salvation. To recognize the Lord as your savior and the great gift of that salvation, should bring great love to your heart. If you are struggling with the Love of the Lord, one that is in every part of your being, it is time to spend more time with Him. Just like any relationship, you need to invest. Invest in prayer, worship and reading the word. Invest in cultivating your love. Every part of you will become to know Him, you will not be disappointed. 

You choose to obey or you don’t.

Revelation 3:15-16
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

The Lord covers our mistakes and shortcomings with His grace. But to walk with the Lord, you must make the choice. It is all in or all out. There is no in between. To believe you can have one foot in the kingdom and one in this world, is to believe a lie that will cost you in this life and the next.

Matthew 4:17-
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The most important factor I believe is to know Him. Spend time with the Lord knowing His heart. What does His word say? Ask the Lord, “what do you require of me, where do I need to repent” To repent is to turn and walk away from. No longer being bound by that which hinders you.
To walk in the Lord’s ways and obedience to His call on your life is freedom.
When the question changes from, “How much is enough?”  to the declaration, “God you are enough.” It is then the true freedom sets in.
When we seek Him first….. HE IS ENOUGH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truth or just a Moment?

 

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In this season of rest, God has sweetly reminded me to look at the emotions that have plagued my every day.

Depression can cause such harsh, empty, hurtful thoughts. When in the midst of it all, we can begin to believe those thoughts. My spirit stirs to evaluate the thought that crosses my mind as it hits my heart and I can feel it in my gut. Is this thought truth or an emotion of the moment?

The enemy wants nothing more than to bog me down in my own thoughts. If he can hold me down with a lie and stir my emotions of despair, he has victory.

How can I know if a thought is a truth or just an emotion of the moment?

I must evaluate the thought according to what God’s word says about my situation or about me. I must look at the feelings that are stirring within me from a thought and ask, “do they bring despair or hope? Death or life?”

When God’s truth has the chance to minister to my emotion, my mind begins to line up with His truth as well. The hurtful emotion at the moment begins to clear and my mind is free to focus on what the Lord has on hand for me to accomplish rather than focusing on feelings of defeat.

I may not be an amazing artist, but I am HIS artist to use as He will.

I may not be the best singer, but I am HIS worshiper to use as He will.

I may not be the most beautiful, but I am HIS daughter and made in HIS image

I may not be the life of the party, but I am HIS companion and I hear His voice.
See how this works?  Look at the lie, identify it and address it with the truth.
Hey even if the thought has some truth in it I need to ask myself, “what is the truer truth?”

Go on, start asking yourself is this truth or the emotion of a moment?
You will begin to see light in the midst of darkness.

Psalm 25:5-

Guide me in your truth and teach me, For you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 

 

 

Beauty from Ashes, it is well

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In my dry and desolate desert, your spirit awakened something beautiful.
Through the hurting and the sorrow, you comforted me.
You reached into the depths of the unknown places I had hidden within  my soul.
You have brought laughter to my mourning. You have wiped away all the tears.

You alone have restored.

It is well.

You alone have healed.

It is well.

I may not understand the days of brokenness, yet I saw your glory.

It is well.

I see your beauty that has come from the ashes.

It is well.

You alone allow my heart to say, ” it is well.

Isaiah 61: 1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

 

 

 

She blooms

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I’m hoping my story has changed each morning that I awake.

It is time for something new to arise, the hope grows with each breath that I take.

The time of waiting must be done.

I can sense the seed producing her roots.

The new season has surely come.

The bud begins to poke her head above the decay  from seasons before.

I know there is a new beginning.

Time to reap the harvest from the seed sown.

I look at the here and now and softly chant to myself…

it is not finished, I will not stay here, new life has begun.

At that moment, she blooms.

 

Isaiah 35: 1-2  The desert and the parched land will be glad;
                         the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
                          Like the crocus,  it will burst into bloom;
                          it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
                           The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
                           the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
                           they will see the glory of the Lord,
                          the splendor of our God.

Worthy-Worthiness-Worth

 

I have been hearing the word worthy, thrown around a lot this last week. Many of the scriptures I read state that HE is worthy of praise. But what does the word say about us being worthy? What is worthiness?

Definition- Worthiness: The quality of being good enough, suitable or the quality of deserving attention or respect.

Can we as christians be worthy ? Can we be good enough, suitable, deserving attention or respect? Is being born again enough to make us worthy?

 

Colossians 1:9-14 ESV-

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

I feel strongly that God cleanses us and makes us worthy when we come to Him and repent, turning AWAY from our sin. We are new in Him.

But we can walk in a life that is unworthy and unpleasing to God. We have that choice. We need to continually walk in  a manner that is pleasing to him to be worthy (suitable), We can not continue to walk in the filth and garbage and expect that we will feel worthy. Each and every thing we do contrary to the word of God is not pleasing to him, it is not bearing fruit that is good if we are not doing good works.

If we do works that are contrary to the word of God our fruit will be contrary to the word of God. Rotten and filthy. Not a good fruit to bring joy, endurance and patience. Not a fruit that is worthy to bring to the throne.

You can walk any way you would like but when you walk contrary to the way of the Lord and then you claim to be His child, you are going to feel the guilt and shame. It is going to follow you in all that you do, there will be a seperation.

There is no BIG crime and LITTLE crime in the Kingdom, every thing that you fill your life with that is not good fruit bearing will produce bad fruit in your walk in some way.

I am not talking about a mess up, a slip up moment, I am talking about when you WALK in a life that goes against the word of God, you will not be upright and worthy of Him in your mind. He sees and knows the real you, the side of you that others do not see.

You can’t feel worthy when you are walking in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord.
This is conviction in your heart. A call to repent and turn away. When you turn away , you are not to look back at what you did, that was the old you.

SO if you repented (turned away from your old sin) and you  came to the Lord and gave Him your life, walking up right with Him, yet you feel so dirty and unworthy still,  THAT is the enemy. That is condemnation, making you look back at who you were and what you did. The enemy trying to make you feel dirty and unworthy to walk with the Lord.

You are called to not pick up your old identity. You are made whole and new in Him. You are enough, He knew you before you were born, He knew every misstep and misdeed and still chose to call you to Him, cleanse you and love you. He feels you are enough. We give thanks to the Father because HE qualifies us.

If you want Jesus and ALL that He has for you, you must turn away from your old man, turn away from the walk of sin and destruction, not just when it suits you but completely.

So these are my thoughts tonight. I know many may disagree,  some believe you can do whatever you want and walk with the Lord, but this is my heart on the matter.

Point blank … Sometimes it is true, you are unworthy….. but you have the choice to make it a lie; repent and walk worthy in the Lord.

 

Full Circle: The river is here

Many many years ago before my fibromyalgia diagnosis, during the season of being sick but not knowing what it was, I had a very detailed dream. I had dreamt that I was in the midst of a storm blazing all around me and in front of me there was a river with someone in it. The person said ” You have to go through the storm in order to get to the river.” Then I woke up. Well I knew I was in the midst of the storm.

Then the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia came and along with it depression. ‘This just was how it was going to be.” (doctor’s words not mine). I began to be so severely depressed that I asked God where my joy was and He said, “you have it you just need to find it.”

In that season I had a great friend teaching me about the praises out of our mouths and our healing. SO I began to praise in the storm, rejoice and look for my joy in all circumstances. I painted this picture representing myself praising the Lord in the storm.

 

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It has been a very long journey and I can say despite my circumstances I have Joy to the full.  Praise Jesus!!! But I never understood the river part. What was the river? I put this dream on the back file in my brain for YEARS.

This weekend we were having a prayer and worship weekend with a church that we have been attending for the last three years. God has done some growing in me over this season. Learning to talk out my feelings rather than burying them, stepping out in gifting rather than hiding them and excepting my differences for strengths rather than weaknesses. The understanding that I am ME and that is who I am meant to be. Understanding God’s grace, peace, strength and gentleness in new deeper ways.

Well I tell you during this weekends worship, I was dancing and praising, while sick mind you, and the Lord just filled me with a newness I could not quite yet identify. I knew my healing had come full circle. I knew in an instant that I had the choice to not pick the illness back up. No longer was Fibromyalgia my identifier!!

As I worshipped I saw this picture so clearly and as my husband lead a prophetic drum workshop I opened the floor to prophetic painting as well. I put paint to canvas as I danced to his drums and while I knew the picture represented a new day and a new beginning and that the person was dancing in the river, it hadn’t dawned on me that I WAS THE PERSON. I had come to the river and was submerged. God kept bubbling song and image in my heart for two days.

Sitting in my living room I was looking at the old picture of me praising in the storm and I just got teary eyed. That was the dream, going through the storm and then I completed the picture with dancing in the river. I had no idea the dancing in the river picture was for me until that moment. I then relaized, it had come full circle, I am dancing in the river of God!

John 7:38

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

 

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There is a song I sang as a child. I am posting the lyrics below. This song fits my heart this new day it is so real and so tangible and I am ready for what HE has next!!!

Down the mountain the river flows
And it brings refreshing wherever it goes
Through the valleys and over the fields
The river is rushing and the river is here

[Chorus]
The river of God sets our feet a-dancing
The river of God fills our hearts with cheer
The river of God fills our mouths with laughter
And we rejoice, for the river is here

[Verse 2]
The river of God is teeming with life
And all who touch it can be revived
And those who linger on this river’s shore
Will come back thirsting for more of the Lord

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]
Up to the mountain, we love to go
To find the presence of the Lord
Along the banks of the river we run
We dance with laughter, giving praise to the Son

 

Sirens

In the wee hours of the morning, I woke to what sounded like emergency vehicle sirens. This is not an unusual sound around my house, as I live on a busy HWY. But the sound was not ceasing. After a while I left my room to see if I actually was hearing sirens, as they sounded off in the distance and were not getting louder, just constant. As soon as I left my room the sound was gone. I laid my head back on the pillow to rest and the siren started again. I asked the Lord, ‘what is with the siren?’ and I felt my spirit leap, it is time to pray for those that are in danger of missing my call or in the midst of attacks of the enemy. So I began to pray. I only had one on my heart when I began and I prayed for them. Then the siren sounded again. I prayed and then again a siren would sound. This went on for some time. Then I realized the siren had gone. I was able to rest my head and with peace, sleep again.

This is a new experience for me and let me tell you the crazy thing. Lately I have been having my own struggles. Much of the time I have been pushing the Lord down and away as I have been frustrated and just restless in my own walk. I have asked and asked and pleaded with the Lord for certain areas and I feel the silence is all I receive. I know this is a horrible thing to say for a christian, but even in pursuing He seemed so silent I hadn’t wanted to continue at times. But let’s be real, it is something many deal with, I know I am not alone. There are often those seasons of wilderness and from that comes growth.

I just find it amazing that in my season of silence, He made himself known and called me out. He called me to seek Him and to pray. When I had began to wonder why I was not hearing from Him, He showed me, I still do. He is taking me to new territory, more precise territory. I will listen and I will call out. I shudder to think of not answering those emergency calls. For  I know how faithful He has been to hear me in my darkest deepest hour. He has given me a voice to cry out for those that won’t cry out for themselves. To seek their survival despite their deaf ears. Oh Lord He who has ears LET HIM HEAR.

My cry today,  ” Let it be me Lord, that does not miss your call. I have wondered the wilderness long enough and don’t want to lay in a land that is barren.”

When you feel a tugging my friend on your heart or a desperate cry in your very being, that is the Lord calling you to Him. Give a listen. Today may be your day for new territory.

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