Archive for January, 2010

An Attitude Of Praise



I recently attended a leadership seminar and let me just say that it was amazing. I learned so much that weekend, but if I brought home anything it was, that there is great liberty in loving and worshipping my Father.

The worship service was like attending a concert, it was loud and fun and anointed. Men, women and children were dancing wherever they had the most room, they were dancing and singing before the Lord.

The energy was amazing, it was contagious. And yes they even ran around the church. I know some of you might be thinking “what?” But trust me when I say it was done in order in fun and all for Jesus. Some of you may be  content standing up in a quiet church just clapping your hands and that’s perfectly ok. God honors the heart regardless if you prefer quiet or loud.

Personally I prefer loud, when it comes to worship anyway. I want to dance and be free I want to lift my hands and my voice without fear or condemnation. And I did.

The praises of the people created such an amazing atmosphere. The worship leader, a true psalmist took us into heartfelt worship and a powerful anointing. People were weeping and falling on their faces. God filled that place like I had not felt in a very long time.

And I believe it was because the people were hungry, they cried out to him, they just loved on Him with no regard to time. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about how this act of intimate worship must have brought great joy to God.

I believe that is what most of us are missing in our personal lives and our church’s. True Worship. The kind that says, “nothing else matters.” The kind that says, “I’m not leaving here until I get what I came for, prayer, healing etc.”

A lot of you have asked why you can’t feel God, well maybe God is using his humble servant today to let you know how God will be manifested in your life. Through Worship!! God says he inhabits the praises of his people, so if we praise him he will enter in.

I believe we need to stay in an attitude of praise. Praise Him when you don’t feel like it, Praise Him even when you don’t feel Him moving. God wants to know that you love Him for who He is, not for what He can give you.

I believe if we are to truly see God in all His glory we need to take Him out of the box that we have so carefully placed Him in. Quit playing Church and start seeking His face, quit worrying about scaring off new believers. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. If the Holy Spirit is allowed to move freely without restrictions then people are going to come to church but more importantly they will stay.

Some people have this idea that they can minimize what the Holy Spirit wants to do in their services and still experience all that God has for them. While, we can certainly limit what God wants to do in our services, it will never be all that it was meant to be as long as man is running the church and not God.

Regardless of what’s going on in your church, you can Praise Him in your own way. Just continue Praising Him, loving Him and seeking Him and He will gladly enter in.


-To God Be the Glory

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Let It Go…..



I wanted to talk with you today about something that has been heavy on my heart the last few days. I’ve recently spoken to several people who with different life stories, share the same feelings of shame.It occurred to me that all too often we carry around way too much guilt. We often obsess over the past and what we could have or should have done. Or maybe it’s the things you shouldn’t have done that still plague you? Either way its not healthy. 

God say’s that he has forgiven us, then why is it so hard for us to forgive ourselves? We walk around in a haze plagued by our own feelings of guilt and inadequacy, that ultimately it becomes a stumbling block in our walk. 

I want to encourage you today to stand strong and try not to focus on the past. I know sometimes it is easier said than done, but you just need to make up your mind to do it. What I have learned with this subject is that God will not move you forward until your ready to let go of the past. 

And remember God isn’t concerned about what you did or didn’t do in your past, he is focusing on what you still can do in the future. If there is any example of a person who was really messed up in the Bible and by any accounts should not have been worthy of anything God had., it was Paul. 

But he turned out to be one of the most influential members in the bible. He was a man who used to kill Christians before he got saved, he was a murderer! But God used him mightily. So when you begin to feel inadequate remember that God does not choose people who are qualified in their own right. If He did than He would not get the Glory. And besides no such person exist !! 

Instead He chooses messed up people like you and me, because we know in our own strength we couldn’t do anything without Him. So what? You’re a Christian and you messed up, maybe you messed up big time and your feeling condemned and that God doesn’t want to use you now. 

Remember that Romans 3:23 says that ALL have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God. Every man, woman or child who was ever born or ever will be, Christian or not has a problem with sin. Again, learn to let go of that shame, guilt and feeling of worthlessness!! 

God has made you for a great purpose but He wont do anything with you if you don’t allow Him into the inner most parts of your heart. He needs freedom in your life to really help you. But He wont do it without your permission. 

I encourage you to let go of the shame of your past and begin to think and speak about your future in a positive way according to what God has placed in your heart, not according to what you have seen in the past or are seeing even now in the present. He has a great future for you. Believe it and confess it. Be blessed and be encouraged. 

To God be the glory. 

Mercy Love and Forgiveness


 

*MERCY

* LOVE   

*FORGIVENESS

Believe it or not, these are three very difficult words for many of us. Myself included. Ever heard the saying” be careful what you pray for?” Well, when you ask God to search your heart and show you any faults, he is not shy about letting you know what you need improvement on.

It is not always easy to come to grips with our faults, we tend to want to point fingers at everyone else, but neglect what’s really going on with us. So lets talk about what these words actually mean and how to apply them to our lives.

Mercy
Often times we find ourselves lacking here, I know I am. And I didn’t even realize it until recently, when I prayed one of those “search my heart O’ God” prayers and he lovingly let me know I could improve in this area. He gave me the scripture in Matthew 9:13 “Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy.”
So I did.

In the English dictionary Mercy actually means; Kindness it also means to have compassion, understanding, sympathy and leniency. I knew I had compassion and kindness but boy that word leniency stuck out like a sore thumb for me, so I looked that up, and that means gentleness or tolerance. Ok, I got it now, Tolerance I admit was something I didn’t have too much of.

Why is it so easy for us to sit back and judge others? And to not want to tolerate certain personality flaws of others? After all none of us are perfect. Yet we tend to want to criticize and condemn others for their mistakes and flaws. We choose to want to stay focused on the negatives rather than see the good in that person., especially if they have wronged us in some way.

But one thing I learned about mercy , We first have to learn to receive Gods mercy before we can give Gods mercy. Remember mercy is for people who do not deserve it. So remember that when it comes to you and others.

Love
“God is love” Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:8

Love was never something that was hard for me. I learned to love at an early age. I loved people and loved loving people. But learning to love myself, now that needed some work. And it still is a work in progress. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Well truth be told most of us don’t even like ourselves let alone love ourselves.

So how can we learn to love our neighbors when we don’t even like ourselves? If you don’t like yourself you will have a hard time liking anyone else. And let me tell ya, when you don’t like yourself that is a rough spot to be, cause you cant get away from yourself. Your everywhere!

But when Christ is in us then we can become rooted and grounded in Love because God is love. It just takes time. But we need to understand that our acceptance by God is not based on our performance or are perfect behavior.

We need to understand that our value and worth are not dependent upon who we are or what we think or say or do. It is based on who we are in Christ Jesus and what God says we are. If we learn to love ourselves first then we will learn to love others as Christ has commanded.

Forgiveness
Ouch, of all the things God asks us to do this seems to be the hardest. We want to hold on to stuff and carry it around everywhere, but truth is un-forgiveness will eat us up like cancer.

It is so important to forgive because someday in the future, you will need to be forgiven for something. “When you are praying first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that you Father in Heaven will forgive your sins too.” Mark 11:25

You might think to yourself, “you have no idea what they have done to me, I could never forgive them.“ Remember that un forgiveness is actually hurting you more than it is the other person. Forgiveness is the key to your own emotional freedom.

Because hurts and offenses become a spiritual trap that the devil uses to keep us in bondage Satan knows that if he can get us to become angry or bitter toward someone he can hold us in a prison of un forgiveness. And that is where the devil wants us, because hatefulness is the very nature of the devil. And it prevents us from moving into the goodness that God has for our lives. We need to learn to let go and give it to God.

So many times we find ourselves replaying those old hurts like our favorite old re-runs. Over and over we relive it. But we just cant do that, its not good for us. We need to let it go, no matter how bad it is. Letting it go doesn’t mean you are forgetting what they have done, but that you’re simply releasing the hurt and moving on.

God’s word to us know matter how unjustly we have been treated, is always: “if you have anything against anyone, forgive.” Matthew 5:24. If we hold onto hurts, we choose to live inside a prison of emotional torment. But forgiveness opens the prison door and sets us free.

I don’t know about you but I am glad that God does not put a limit on how many times he will forgive us. How many times have you done the same thing over and over, yet God still forgives you? So if we are to have a Christ like mind and spirit we need to be willing to forgive others as Christ forgives us.

I believe that un forgiveness is one of our biggest spiritual roadblocks. It truly hinders us from receiving the blessings that God has for us. If you have ever wondered why when you pray you never seem to hear from God or get the answers your looking for.

Ask God to examine your heart and see where you are. Maybe you have some un forgiveness that you have been carrying around, or maybe some other things, things you didn’t realize were even there. Ask God to help you let it go and he will and then you need to ask for his forgiveness. If you find un forgiveness in your heart you need to speak that persons name and say that you forgive that person.

Trust me on this one, God will do great things for you and he will give you peace and joy that you never thought possible when you release your hurts. He has done it for me, countless times.

Remember that all of these words are really a two way street. You first have to learn to receive Mercy, love and forgiveness before you are able to give in these areas. Ask God to show you how and he will, because he wants nothing but the best for your life.

Be encouraged and be blessed
~To God be the Glory

You are Kings and Queens


 I want to discuss something with you today that I believe is vital to your walk with Christ. I believe if we ever really get this down in our spirits we will never be the same. We will be more like Christ! Which should be our ultimate goal anyway.

I believe that many of us are sabotaging our own blessings because we have not realized who we are in Christ. We walk around with a ‘Pauper’ mentality. The Latin word for pauper literally means, ‘getting little.’ We receive little in our lives because we expect little.

We don’t feel we are worthy of anything great. We settle for the mediocre, instead of expecting great things. Did you know that you have a RIGHT to expect great things in your life? Let me repeat that; as a child of God, YOU HAVE A RIGHT to expect great things.

Why? Because you are Kings and Queens, so that means that you are Royalty. But most of us walk around feeling unworthy. We feel that we have done too many wrong things in our past to be accepted, cherished or worthy of anything better.

Let me just say this; when you were baptized the old you dies and the new you is resurrected. You are a new creation in Christ. So remember that God doesn’t try and ‘fix’ the old you, that person is supposed to be dead and buried! He starts a brand new thing in you!

So when the Devil starts reminding you of your past, remember that person is dead and buried. That person no longer exists! You have been made new by the blood of the lamb. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus!

Know that you have been raised up for such a time as this. You were born to rule and reign on earth. The devil is still trying to convince us that we have no authority and that we are not royalty. Because he understands the power we have!

As children of God we have been given dominion over the earth. That means this is OUR territory. Do you know why sickness needs to leave when you pray? Because you are royalty and it has invaded your territory.

You have been given authority because of your identity! Your new identity in Christ gives your freedom and authority.

But when we keep that ‘pauper’ mentality, it keeps us in bondage and from receiving all that God has for us.

That pauper mentality keeps us from feeling valued it keeps us in that mindset, “I don’t value me so why would you?” That way of thinking is ‘stinking thinking’. Until you know who you are, you cant make other people feel valued.

Insignificance makes you feel lonely and un-accepted. Insignificance says; “No one likes me.” But confidence says; “I am a great person who wouldn’t like me?”

Whatever is on the inside of you, will manifest itself on the outside and people can tell how you feel about yourself. In other words, people in slavery on the inside cant free people in slavery on the outside!

So I just want to encourage you today, to read what the Word says about you. You are above and not beneath, you are the head and not the tail. You are more than a conqueror.

So don’t worry about what the world says about you, rejoice with what heaven knows about you.

And remember that you are Kings and Queens and you are blessed and highly favored by God. Be Blessed and Be Encouraged. To God Be The Glory.

“But….But..God”


Have you ever had one of those “but, God” conversations. The kind where you try to discuss, debate and plead with Him to see your side of things? “But God, I don’t understand.” “But God, its uncomfortable.” “ But God, this isn’t what I thought it would be?” If you have ever had similar conversations, your not alone. Its part of the growing process.

One thing for sure I have learned in my walk, it has happened nearly every time without fail, just when I get comfortable God moves me. I can count on it. So when you wonder why God is constantly allowing change to come into your life, you can bet He has something even better in store for you. He wants more from you and for you.

Now we all know that we can choose to stay in our comfort zones, people do it years, even lifetimes, but you can always tell who those people are, they are at the same spiritual level they were years ago. I don’t know about you, but I say “yes” to change, even when its uncomfortable and even when I don’t understand why. I don’t want to go to just another level I want to be in another dimension.

And If you want to go there too, then maybe I can help. Learn to trust God even when it doesn’t ‘feel good,’ even when your flesh says, “this hurts.” Sometimes we have to face those things that we are most afraid of and for many of us it is the unknown.

“God’s plan often comes through unexpected events that force you in a direction you never would have gone.”


I have also learned that just because a door is open and everything looks good on the outside doesn’t mean your supposed to walk through it. The first thing to do if your not sure is to test your spirit. Do you have peace in your heart about the decision or situation? If you don’t, then stay in prayer until the Lord shows you what He wants you to do.

Sometimes that requires a lot of patience and being very still. Which at times can be very challenging, I have been like that child on a long trip, “are we there yet, are we there yet?” I thank God that He is so patient and loving.

Learn to ask for confirmation, yes you can do that! But be ready to receive an answer, (and not always the one you want.) Pray..pray..pray and pray without ceasing, until you are at peace about what to do. Know that the Lord will guide you in all your ways, and never forget if you are at a crossroad in your walk, the Lord does not give a spirit of fear. Trust Him to take care of you and He will. He wants nothing but the best for you.

In addition;

I feel led to speak life over those that are hurting in mind-body and spirit today. With the power vested in me I come to speak life over you, I speak blessings of peace and blessings of health over you. I speak life, “you’re going to live, my brothers and sisters, your going to make it. Don’t give up the fight for your life, you shall live and NOT DIE.” You are a child of the most high God, rest in His perfect Peace.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”(1Cor2:9)
~Gypsy

Being a Christian and Having Depression


 

This topic has been heavy laden on my heart for  some time. Perhaps because it something I know a little  about. After all you cannot teach what you don’t know, right? So with that said I want to offer you hope and encouragement if you or someone you know suffers from some form of depression.

What I learned about this alarming condition is that over 15 million people in the USA alone suffer from this condition. It is also the number one prescribed medicine in the USA. I was shocked to say the least when I read that. Depression is a real thing and not something made up in our minds or an excuse.

There is a definite stigma that comes with being a Christian and having depression. Some will say that we should be able to lay hands on it and pray it away. Some feel that are faith is lacking because we cannot believe it away. Friends, it’s no different from having any other condition that requires medicine. Diabetes, High blood pressure, etc. You take meds for that, why wouldn’t you take them for depression if you knew it was going to make you feel better? Granted not everyone needs meds, but trust me they do help. Now granted, everyone gets down at some point through out there life, this doesn’t mean you have depression.

 Depression is classified as having symptoms longer than 2wks. Now I don’t have time to go into all of it. This is to offer encouragement to those who are suffering now. You can go onto www.depressionisreal.org for  more information.   

First of all I want to say if you have this condition, “its ok and it’s not your fault.” And remember that God is the Great physician. It’s ok to not have it all together! I seriously struggle with this, but God reminds me that I don’t need to be perfect, no one is perfect. Only God is perfect!

God is always there to help and his ways are many and they vary. It’s ok to get down, but you have a choice, you can choose to live or you can choose to let the devil keep you down. Although you may be feeling like the Lord has left you, He has not! The Lord says he will never leave us nor forsake us. God says his love is for all eternity.

 “I loved you with an ever lasting love. I have drawn you with loving kindness.” Jer. 31:3

Psalms 32:10 says “ The Lords unfailing love surrounds the (wo)man who trusts in Him.”

That’s the key friends, TRUST. Who are you putting your trust in? Your circumstances or God? We need to get to the point that we say enough is enough and we lift our heads and cry out to God. God is the lifter of our heads,

Psalms 3 :3 reads “But you O’Lord are a shield, for me my glory, and the lifter of my head.”

I have found that many of us suffer in silence because we don’t want anyone to know we are hurting, after all we are Pastors, we are leaders We are super moms and dads. We are supposed to have it all together. Regardless of your earthly title. We all get broke down in spirit at on time or another. But know one will ever know that we are hurting unless we open up to someone and let them know.

You will be amazed at the healing that comes from sharing what you are going through with someone. You soon find out that your not alone as you thought! I have so much more I want to share but My space is limited so perhaps I will continue with this next week. I love you all and I pray that you will be comforted and given strength during this time in your life. Be blessed and encouraged.

Don’t Get Discouraged, Get Desperate!


I want to be transparent here with you today when I say that for the last couple of months  I have been in a serious funk. Nothing I do seems to be going right and everything that could go wrong has or is desperately trying to go wrong. The kids the husband, school and just every day life. 
 
 I wont go into detail but it has been frustrating to say the least. It was so discouraging at times and there were days, I  was screaming inside, I just wanted to throw my hands up and say “this is too hard, I cant do this.” And truthfully it wasn’t until recently that I finally got so discouraged that I had to get desperate. Desperate for God, his presence, his love, his peace. I am learning that the closer I get to God the less I can do without him. Sure I prayed, I read the words. But I wasn’t depending on him everyday. And truthfully, there were days I didn’t want to pray, I didn’t want to read, I didn’t want to do anything but have a pity party for one. And I did.
 
But thank God for his mercy and Grace and patience. I was in this same place a few years ago and God revealed something very precious to me and I wanted to share it with you.
 
I was on the beach having some alone time with God early one morning and saw a young family coming down onto the beach. A mother and father and two small children probably 3 and 4 yrs old. The small girl wasn’t keeping up and so she began to cry because she thought her family was leaving her, while all along the mother had been looking behind to make sure the daughter was still following.  But the child didn’t see that, so she stopped and started crying. As far as she knew, she was being left. So the mother hearing her cries went back to get her, knelt down in front of her and caressed her head. Then as she stood up, the child reached up for her, so the mother picked her up and carried her.
 
God gave me revelation that day when I saw that, God showed me that I was like that small child who was crying because I couldn’t keep up, because I felt alone. But my Father had never left me, he was keeping an eye on me the whole time and finally when I couldn’t go on, I cried out to him and as I reached up for him, he picked me up and carried me.
 
And so I want to offer that same encouragement to you today, that if you are in that place where you just want to throw your hands up and say I quit. God has not forgotten you. Just like that mother, he hears your cries and when you reach up for him he will lovingly pick you up and carry you. Don’t get mad, resentful or lose hope. Instead, get hungry and get down on your knees and pray. Because when you do his love will find you. And the awesome thing is it doesn’t matter if it is your fault or not. No matter what we have done, no matter how badly we have “blown it”, we need to know that grace and mercy are available at the cross.
 
So instead of getting discouraged, get desperate!! God shared with me and helped me to see that when our back is totally up against the wall, there is no place to go but forward. When you begin to face adversity and when your facing those Giants, don’t get discouraged because just like David and Goliath, when David defeated his giant he went into the promise land. So begin to look at your giants as a sign that when you defeat them greater things lie ahead!! Be blessed and encouraged.
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