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Fear Not

This morning’s prayer devotional was off the charts. If you are fearful (which I am guilty of on any given day of one or more of the following … fear of the future, failure at work/family/relationship, not living up to God’s purpose over my life, finances, etc. etc), then you are giving yourself way too much credit and not believing in the one who created you. Today, I pray that you (and I’m preaching to myself) make a list of all the things you fear, rational and irrational and that you pray over that list .. go to Him and ask specifically and realistically to meet your NEEDS (not your desires), to move forward in 2017 in abundance of health (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially) and to release you from the burden and shackles of fear. Make the choice to believe in the one who made the moon and stars and not in your own abilities.

Fear Not

 

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Perfect Life

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there is no such thing as “perfect.” So quit stalling, making excuses, and dragging your feet because before you know it, life will have passed you by, along with the adventure, love, and blessings that were destined just for you! So, who’s ready to take a leap of faith today (besides me)? 16143106_10101351027322701_1693904579351826525_n

A Spiritual Revolution

Back in October of 2014, my SIC (sister in Christ and fellow junker/squirrel/snorter/wine drinker/ lover of all things western and |SR| related) sent this to me in the middle of the night. I asked if I could share it on the website. Since I have taken the site down and starting fresh, I’m sharing it again. Tiffany has such a tender heart for Christ and when she sends me something in the middle of the night, I know it is because she and Jesus have been up talking about it for some time. She called me this last weekend asking for the link because there was someone she felt who needed to read it. Reading it again, I think there are a number of people, including myself, who needed the reminder. I hope that you find something in her story to soothe your own heart, troubles, and/or pain.

So in one of my odd sleepless nights at 3 am, I was scanning Facebook trying to go back to sleep.  I stumbled across a story titled “Bucket List Baby”, so I read on.  This was a story about a young couple that discovered early on in their pregnancy, first one, that their baby would only develop a tiny brain, if one at all.  This baby will not have a developed skull on the top, basically because it will have no brain.  The baby cannot survive without a brain.  So this couple, with tons of love and faith in the Lord, decided to make a bucket list for their baby.  They traveled all kinds of cute places, taking photos of Mom’s belly, all throughout the pregnancy.  When it was discovered it was a boy, they name him Shane.  So baby Shane went to a Yankee game, a zoo, the beach, and so on.  At beginning of Fall, they painted Mom’s belly as a pumpkin.  The tried to video every time Shane moved in her belly and noted all of his hiccups, and random activity/habits.  I read every posting.  I couldn’t put it away.  Then I realized I was reading at the exact time she was in delivery.  I was being inspired by their faith in God, at the exact moment this woman was delivering a baby, she will only get to hold for a few hours.  The emotion was overwhelming for me.  I was in shock but I wasn’t crying – I was happy for them.  Why I thought?  This Bucket list Baby had over ½ million people following and praying for Baby Shane.  That in alone was astonishing to me – ½ MILLION PEOPLE – PRAYING!  You don’t hear about that on the news!  That is when God’s words started popping in my head – “He created us in the womb” Job 31:15, “He fashioned us in the womb” Psalm 127:3.  “Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

I was learning so much more about God while this couple was delivering their baby.  God made a brainless baby a Saint!  He used the “strong heart” (doctors stated Shane had a strong heart) of this baby to fill his parents completely with the Holy Spirit and spread their faith to ½ MILLION PEOPLE!  WOW – these parents were so excited to get to have this baby.  They called Shane a perfect miracle.  Shane lived 4 hours.  He met every member of his family.  He was baptized. He cried.  He died peacefully in his mom’s arms.

Some people would say, “Why did God let his happen?”  “If God was so good, why does he let bad things happen?”

My answer is – Look at this example – God took a brainless baby and reached over ½ Million people in a matter of months.  Through our world of highly educated people, we can’t teach that many people in that short amount of time.  Our brains can’t handle it.  I now truly believe our brains get in the way of our relationship with the Lord.  All we need is a strong heart, full of love. “But now abide faith, hope, love these three; AND the greatest of these is Love!”  When you read Baby Shane’s story, that is the biggest thing you see is LOVE!  They loved each other, they loved their baby, and they loved God most of all.  Yes sad things happen here on earth but we may not always see the big picture of Why.  God will reveal it to us someday – Just keep a strong heart of love!

“And so you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive”  Genesis 50:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” Matthew 18:20

This baby Shane could have brought evil through depression, anger, resentment etc BUT God used it for good – to let his light shine through!  Shine through to over ½ million people.  Facebook can be used for evil daily, hourly BUT God used it for good – to share the love of Jesus, to over ½ million people.  You can’t tell me that isn’t church – we were gathered around this couple all over the world praying and thanking God for their faith & showing us the love of the Holy Spirit.  It says two or three gathered in my name – OVER ½ MILLION people were gathered through this journey, in the Lord’s name.

We are in a spiritual revolution.  Church is no longer just 4 walls – really it never was but now because of digital media – people are gathering in His name across religion, denominations, and nationality boundaries.  We can change the world – even a brainless baby named Shane knows that.  Thank you Jesus –

DeColores – Tiffany

Reedemed

I started this post back in July, after standing on the hilltop looking across hundreds and hundreds of acres of west Texas and what truly is God’s country, and since then, got a little derailed, so bear with me as I try to regain my thoughts:

I knew that going into counseling (as a practitioner) one draw-back was forgetting your own self-care, but they failed to mention the same happens as a coach. I spend so much of time lifting others up, helping them realize their potential, the unconditional love God has for them, setting goals, letting go of their past and embracing their future, that I sometimes forget to show myself the same kindness, support, encouragement and Christ-like love.  There have been some struggles this year, professionally and personally, and it seems the deeper you get in your walk with God, the harde14520576_1205542356168713_2965798893489451672_nr the enemy tries to pull you back to places of discourse, discouragement, and darkness. Current situations coupled with reminders of past mistakes, failures, or who you used to be or who you didn’t live up to be are around every corner.

Nothing – at least in my book – can remind you of God’s goodness and promise over your life and how unconditionally loved you are and how he delights in you like standing on a hill overlooking the landscape
untouched by mankind, being able to see to what feels like eternity. It is then that a quiet peace comes over you and there is a gentle whisper in the not so cool summer breeze reminding you to stop fighting a fight that’s already been won, to quit seeking approval, to remember to rejoice in the fact, that no matter what, love abounds just for you and only you just because you are you. As I sit here writing this, one of my most favorite songs comes on and I am brought to my knees in tears with a whole new understanding and calming of my spirit:

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave (https://youtu.be/VzGAYNKDyIU)

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

I have lived with, and overcome (or God is leading me on the way to be an overcomer), all by the grace of God: disease, depression, domestic abuse, physical violence, death, darkness, debt, and demons (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually). I grew up in a God fearing home, in a church attending community, and attended a private school. You’d think I would have had a little better grasp on God’s unfailing mercy, grace, and unconditional love. Oh hell, not even close. Quite the contrary. Because of things that happened in my life, whether I was at fault or not, I, like many others, suffered from a lack of self-worth, self-love, and completely believed that God didn’t even know I existed. And if he did look down on me, I couldn’t bring myself to make eye-contact with him. It wasn’t until a few years ago, all of that changed.

It took a physical encounter (thanks to Pastor Duane, my brother from another mother, Shawn, and Dusty) and LITERALLY being thrown (Shawn will say ‘tossed’) to the ground to come face to face with God’s love for me. That jolt that morning quieted everything in my heart, soul, mind and spirit – every bad and ugly word spoken to me or over me and every attack against me (physical, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise). For the very first time in my life, I heard and felt God’s unconditional, unmerited grace and love for me. Tears flooded my face like a west Texas summer storm floods the parched ground. It was in that very moment that I came to understand what redemption meant. And for the first time ever, I felt whole, complete, restored, admired, rejoiced in, loved, and cherished.

When I share about my faith online, it’s not so people say, “oh look at her, isn’t she cute with her faith and scriptures and quotes.” It’s because I’ve seen the ugly side of life. It’s not pretty. It hurts. The wounds run deep and wide. Often times when I share something, it’s because at 3 a.m. in the morning, I’m laying in bed, wondering just how I’m going to make it through this or that, how am I going to help someone I love who is in need, suffering, hurting, or even just find the energy to face the day. It is then that I’m reminded that these mountains I’m facing are not ones to carry, but to climb over. Ones in which I am to remain faithful, to calm myself and feel His presence, to trust in His timing, to let Him be the protector, the provider, the warrior, and the loving, kind, caring, compassionate father He is. It is those moments I remember that I am restored. I am rejoiced in. I am redeemed. I have been made whole.  It’s not that tough times won’t strike or doubt and worry and everything in between won’t try and take over again, it just means that there is nothing – or no one- that can take who I am in him and to him away from me.

My reminder for you today – whoever you are, wherever you are – is that YOU are rejoiced in – just the way you are. You are perfect. Your laugh, your smile, your tough exterior, your quiet nature, your vivacious spirit. You were made to be you to change the world around you. YOU are loved. There is NOTHING that you have done, survived, said, or witnessed that can change His love for you. When you come to not only realize that, but live in that, I promise you that you find a sense of peace and an overwhelming sense of love like never before. My wish for you today is that you lay down everything that is not from him – if it is not wrapped in promise, peace, joy, and happiness, TOSS. IT. OUT. THE. WINDOW! My hope for you today is that you find and hold on to peace. To joy. To the promise that the best of the rest of your life is ahead of you.

Live, love, and believe BIG.

~Michelle