This page has moved to a new address.

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: February 2012


Mary and Martha, a Study in Choice, Envy and Time with God!

Today, I will delve into a study about Mary and Martha. You can find the story of Mary and Martha in three places in the Bible, Luke 10, John 11, and John 12. Please read these to see the larger picture of this family.

The Back Story

Mary and Martha were sisters, from the same gene pool, but cut from different cloth. Mary was the younger sister, and it seems the thinker in the family rather than the doer Martha was. Martha was known as the woman of the house, and her name even means lady of the house. Mary, whose name means Lady or wise woman is known for sitting at the Master’s feet.

Now somewhere along Jesus’ ministry, He became good friend with these two sisters, and their brother Lazarus. He ate with them regularly, and this was one of the places He stayed when ministering in Jerusalem. We know this because of the familiarity with which Martha speaks to Jesus and Lazarus’ place at the table. “Lord, tell her…” We also know that there were no parents in the home, that neither Mary nor Martha were married and they seemed to be independently wealthy (Those oils Mary used on Jesus were extremely expensive and only the wealthy could afford them).

We also know that Jesus had a special love for them, and the emotions He felt toward them moved Him to risk entering the city when it was both extremely dangerous for Him to do so and those same emotions moved Him to weep when He heard Mary’s grief over her brother’s death. Let’s list out what we know so far.

A Closer Look

Student of Jesus
Student of Jesus
Focused on learning
Focused on serving
Anointed Jesus’ feet as an act of love and prophecy which glorified God.
Proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and her faith brought God glory
Attitude of worship
An attitude

There are ways in which these two are different, but in most ways they are very similar.  The main thing that separates them is an attitude of worship vs. an attitude.

When Mary and Martha were in Jesus’ presence (the three times recorded in the Bible) twice Mary worshipped and Martha, only the once, when she declared her faith in who Jesus was, the Messiah, and even then she first had an attitude. She seemed to want to spend more time with Jesus, and the subtext I read in Luke is that she was frustrated not that the housework and serving wasn't getting done, but that she could sit at Jesus’ feet, and thought Mary shouldn't be allowed to either.  
Mary anointing Jesus' feet

It seems that the “it’s not fair, she got more than me” syndrome was alive and well between these two sisters. But whose fault was it that Martha did not get a larger portion? Martha’s. Jesus was clear: Mary chose the better part.

So when we see other people at church and think they have “more Jesus” than us, whose problem is that? The problem is ours! I know that when I have compared myself to others spiritually, I never seemed to hit the mark. Somehow, I did not seem to get a “fair” portion of God’s presence, or favor, like others did. 

This was not true of course, but my miss-perception. 

This is why the 10 commandments say “Thou shalt not covet”. 

The heart issue of envy is one that gets in the way of God actively working in our lives and in fact the Bible says where there is envy and strife, there is every evil work. So stop comparing yourself to others. This practice will only bring dissatisfaction and strife and this is not the will of the Father for you. His will (plan) is full of hope and peace.  

Martha did not have peace because she envied her sister’s time with Jesus, and she could have had that same time. The chores could have waited for an hour. Her guests would not have starved. When we prioritize our time with God above all the other things in our life, a funny thing happens: we begin to grow. That is what was needed: Time with God!

Stop comparing yourself with other people and get in God’s presence and let Him work on you. He is faithful to complete the good work He started. So Mary or Martha, CHOOSE to spend time with God. CHOOSE to let go of envy, and prioritize your life to worship Him.

Join the Conversation: 

Which one are you: Mary or Martha? 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Dreams and Plans- Just one way God shows His love!

I am continually amazed by God

First that He loves us. He cares on the deepest levels for you and I: so much so that He sacrificed His son to make a way for you and I to gain relationship with Him when we had no chance of one before. This Love of His even includes the small things too; like what job you take, or where you attend church, or even what you are meant to do with your life. - (No, this is NOT an ad for E-Harmony.) 

Jeremiah 29:11-14 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) 

11 I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster plans to give you a future filled with hope. 12 Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me, 14 I will let you find me, declares the Lord. I will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I’ve scattered you, declares the Lord. I will bring you back from the place where you are being held captive. 

Now most of the time when someone uses this reference as a scripture to study, you hear a lot about the first three verses. And I must admit, I was tempted to just put only those three in this study, but God stopped me. There is something here you and I need to hear. I will break it down by verse. 

11- God is not a man that He can lie, so if He says He has plans He has Plans. Capital P. He has things for you to do, places for you to be, divine appointments to make and all of this is good: filled with HOPE and PEACE. If you are living life without hope and without peace right now, there is a way to get those things. 

12- We get peace and hope when we cry out to God, because He hears us and answers us. He is faithful to perform His word, and to complete the works He has started in us

13- When we search for Him He is there. Ask, seek, and knock. The right door will open: the one that Jesus designed for you in the first place. We must seek Him first though. That is one of the ways I have messed up before. I have put the cart before the horse and sought the dream before the Dream Giver, and God is the Dream Giver. Seek Him First

14- He will let you find Him. He is not hiding His face from you. He longs to receive you and I into His presence. When we are out of His will for our lives, and we are not seeking Him and the things He has for us, then it is as if we are captive in lives that go nowhere. We circle the same old mountains, and we feel like nothing will ever bring us back to where we wanted to be. Feeling derailed and off the tracks, we feel like there is no way to go back to what God designed us for, because we have waited too long, or missed the boat. WE HAVE BEEN TAKEN CAPTIVE BY A LIE and He wants to bring us out of that captivity! 

Romans 8 28-30 says Amplified Bible (AMP) 

28 We are assured and know that [[a] God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was [b]aware and [c]loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. 30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. 

You are so important to God, that when you truly love Him and are called by Him, (and YOU are) He takes everything, and works it! He works the good for our good; He works the bad for our good: God works for you! 

There is a real life example in the word of Jesus working for the disciples. He washed their feet. He served them. He showed us His heart that day, scrubbing the dirt and dust of life from their feet. He showed us He longs for us to accept His love in all its forms, even something as simple as a pedicure. 

When we walk around with the dust of life caked on our feet, it weighs us down. How can we walk out this beautiful salvation with dust caked on? Let Jesus wash you clean: let Him show you His love for you. Then as you begin to really seek Him, and walk after Him, then you will begin to see that His plans for you are good. 

Now I want to share something with you- I had dreams as a child, and as I grew I thought there was no way that any of them would come true. I listened to outside voices and the voice of the enemy. Some dreams were just childhood fantasy and some were what I call “Design Dreams”. God designed me to dream that way, He put those dreams in my heart. So when He says He has Plans for me, I think back to those "Design Dreams". 

When we are honest with ourselves, we can see those with more clarity because they are the things that have always been there. For me, the desire to be heard and the desire to teach have always been there. No matter what stage of life I have been in, I always seem to come back to those things. So now, when I really seek God, get serious about figuring out my walk with Him, He starts showing me what He intended with my life in the first place. So I ask you this: 

Do you have something that you keep returning to in your mind and saying ‘if only I had done ____’? 

Do you feel like you have too much in your past to ever reasonably reach for those dreams? 

Do you want that to change? 

If the answer is yes to those three things then you must seek God FIRST. Then as you seek Him, He will direct your paths, work on your behalf and accomplish what He designed just for you. 

HOW? That is for Him to know and you to find out. He says His ways are higher, His thoughts are higher. This does not mean we cannot know, it means we must CLIMB

I am amazed by God, first that He loves us, and second that He works for us. He is so good! 

Be blessed and be a blessing and remember seek is a verb!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


The Names of God

The names of God describe His character to us. There are at least 217 names for God in the Bible. He is Yehweh. He is our peace, our Shepard, our Lord who is our provider, our healer. our Savior. He is our all in all, the King of Kings, The Lord of Lords. 

God is. Jesus read from Isaiah and used the verbs in the first person. HE DECLARED who HE WAS! 

Luke 4:17-19
King James Version (KJV) 

 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

God said to Moses tell them I AM has sent you. Whatever problem you face, where ever you find yourself in life RIGHT NOW, He is I AM! 

He reigns over every problem, He sees every obstacle, He works all things to your good if you love Him and are called to His purpose. 
Romans 8:28- 30 says this: Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was [b]aware and [c]loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

God sees what we can not, He moves and works on our behalf. He is God and He loves, HE is God and He saves, He is God and He Reigns. 

Do not be afraid, do not be shaken, Rest in Him and know He has called you to be in Him, Alive and Free. 

Be blessed and be a blessing and remember God IS! 

Copyrights belong to:
(c) 2009 Hillsong Church, Hillsong Music Australia

Labels: , , , , , ,

My Prayer

This is my prayer for this blog, and I want to share it with you. I typed as I prayed this, to record what was on my heart and to create a benchmark to return to and see what God has done since. I want you to know that this is my heart. My prayer is that I will always honor God and what He wants. This is the complete prayer, unedited. You may ask why I would share it, but the Bible is clear: 

Matthew 18:19
King James Version (KJV)
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 

Know that I do not take this lightly, and my purpose is just to share my heart, and have you pray with me and for me as I continue to obey our Father. 

"Lord, I come to you and praise you. Bless the name of the lord, who lives forever. I worship you because you have done such wonderful and mighty things. You are my maker, my strength, my deliverer, my delight. I come to you with thanksgiving, with adoration for all that you are. Thank you for what you have done what you are doing and what you will do. You are faithful, to all the generations, and to me, you are faithful.

You have put this idea in my head, and I feel like I am following what you have for me, but I don’t want to go by my feelings. I want to know by your still small voice I am on the right path. I sound so selfish. Like that guy with the fleece…trying to test you. You are God, you don’t jump through hoops. But you ask us to prove you so I do want to continue to do that; to test your goodness and faithfulness by relying on you, by trusting you, by following you, by living for you. I know I do not abide in you like I should. I have not dwelt in your presence, or sought it out.

I have been like a naughty rebellious child, holed up in a room trying to separate myself from you. But nothing can separate me from you. You are God. You are the lifter of my head. You are the creator of worlds, you have my life in your hands, and you have your protecting wings around me. You are my buckler and my strength. You are amazing. You are so faithful. You have never let us go hungry; even when our lack is our own fault. You have made our hearts soft and our bellies full, you are faithful Lord.

Lord, I long to hear you, to see you, to feel your presence lord. You are sweet like honey, but searing like fire.

Lord, grant me wisdom, so that I can know you, grant me wisdom so that I can find you, grant me wisdom so that I can tell others about you. Lord, grant me wisdom that I can rightly divide you word, that I can break it down, digest it like a mother bird, and feed it to people. Help me have the wisdom to plant in season. To know where to sow and when to sow, and lord, give me seed. 

You are faithful. You are righteous, you are holy. Let the only the words you want said written out for the people. Let these be my labor, my love, my ministry. Let this be what you have meant it to be Lord. I do not do it for my glory. Pull me back from my vain imaginations and false ideas of future glory and let this be about you and communicating your love to people. For this reason you sent Jesus to testify to the Truth…let me do the same. Let this be my testimony.

You who made the heavens and the earth, you who hold up the stars and the moon, you have your eyes on me, you see my heart. Lord it is unworthy of your eyes. I am unclean. I am not deserving of your love and mercy. I am not. But you clothe me in righteousness for your own sake. You have given me your son and his sacrifice has made me clean. Cleanse my heart now o lord. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness, make me whole and make me wholly yours.

Reconcile my life to the accounts you hold. Check me and balance me against you and where I lack lord, teach me mold me fill me and grow me into what you desire. You are mine and I am yours and your banner over me is love. I love you lord, as you have loved me, I strive in my smallness to love you greatly. I love you Lord. Abba, Daddy, Father, my lord. Bless your holy name. Amen"

Labels: , ,

Sunday Reflection February 26, 2012

Wow! What a week. We have talked about Praise bringingBreakthrough, Overcoming circumstance and offence, The Importance of Godly friends, our Great Commission, and The Salvation Message this week.  I have to say that every week for me gets better and better. I get to study and spend time writing. Two things I love, and as the blog grows, I get to hear more from you, the readers. The highest read post of all time was the one on Forgiveness this week, and I have to say that I am humbled by the response.

In all, at the time of this writing, there were 1,258 visitors in the 1 ½ months this blog has been live. I hope to one day have that many readers every day, but for now, I write knowing that God is the one who gives the increase, and I just keep being faithful. The most amazing thing to me, as it has been every week is the list of countries this blog is being read in. I want to list them out just so you can see what God is doing!

United States
United Kingdom
Czech Republic
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
United Arab Emirates
Hong Kong
Viet Nam
Palestinian Territories

That is 48 countries and growing!  Many of these countries have an anti-Christian stance and getting the gospel in is a major victory for Christ! I pray for this list and every one of these countries as they pop up on my statistics screen. I know God is using this blog in amazing ways and I am so thankful and in awe that HE is using me to do this.

I cannot tell you in words how amazing this journey has been so far. The sad thing is I am a writer, so that failing is definitely on me. I am working hard to hone my craft and bring you a solid study of the word each week. I hope that you will continue to comment and share everything you feel moved by, and help grow the site and spread the love and the Word of God! Just look what we have done so far….

Be blessed and be a blessing and know I am praying for you. Won’t you pray for me?

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


They will Know only if we Go!

Discipleship is key! Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Recently I shared with you about my daughter coming to a relationship with Jesus! I thought nothing could make me happier. Oh how wrong I was. Getting to teach and disciple my daughter brings me more joy than I have ever felt before.

Discipleship is key to growth as a Christian. 

We should be getting discipled and we should disciple others.

Matthew 28:19 (GNT)

Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This great commission was not just to be missionaries in far off places, but to reach all the people around you. We should teach by example. We should preach with our actions and we have been promised answers when we are asked questions.

We should always be teachable too

Before Paul was Paul he was Saul, a Christian hating, law loving, killer of Christ followers. When he had his encounter with Jesus, he repented and was saved, but he was taken under the discipleship of Ananias to learn more about Jesus, before he ever became the man who wrote so much of the New Testament and taught the gospel around the known world.

So stay teachable. Paul was trained as a scholar, and knew the law, but with all the knowledge he had of the Torah, he needed to learn what grace was and how Jesus was the fulfillment of all of God’s promises. Then he could in turn teach others, and write letters to the churches that grace the pages of your Bible today.

Don’t get hung up on the little things. 

Are you thinking? "I can’t teach, I don’t know all the answers, I am not sure I am good enough." 

Look- Peter messed up big time: cut off a man’s ear in the Garden, denied Jesus three times before the crucifixion, yet still Jesus told Peter; if you love me feed my sheep

 We all mess up. We all fall short. But we are the hands and the feet of the body of Christ. So, go, do, and say, and just be faithful to obey what God has said. He will used you in ways you never imagine, as long as you obey. 

As we share our faith, as we walk out the love of Christ in our lives, the people around us see that. That genuine love is what draws others to Christ. That is what we teach, this is how we disciple. There is a song I love, written by a Catholic priest and it says this: “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

So look around you. Are you affecting the people around you for Christ? Examine yourself. If you love Him, feed his sheep. Make disciples of all people. Walk your faith, don’t just talk it, and you will see changes: both in you and in others.

Be blessed and be a blessing and remember that teach is a verb.

Who disciples you? Do you have a mentor you turn to about matters of faith? Leave a comment below. 

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Tell Me Your Story

"I came for your story, I came for your wounds, to show you what love sees when I see you." 

These are the words that so moved me from this song. As a writer, I love that Jesus came for my story. I love that He sees me, all my brokenness and lack and He loves me anyway. Not only does He love me, but He wants to make me whole and fill the emptiness in my life. 

God loves you just as you are too. Maybe you thought Jesus was just another fairy tale or fictional character like Santa or the Easter Bunny, but He is real! 

The Son of God, made flesh, came to be the atonement of our sins. He laid His life down, so that we could have life. If you don't know Jesus, and you stumbled upon this page, won't you ask Him to make Himself real to you right now and to come into your life today! 

Each person's story may be different, but each story needs Jesus! 

Don't know how to pray? Just talk to God. Like you would a friend or a parent. Something like this would be fine: 

"Lord, I know I am a sinner, a real mess, and I cannot continue to live my life on my own. I need You in my life. Please, Jesus, come into my heart. Take my broken pieces and make them into what you meant me to be. Fill me, and help me live my new story with YOU. Amen."

If you prayed this you are now a Christian. Welcome to the family! Two things you should know. First, your new life has begun. Like a baby needs milk to live, you need the Bible, the Word of God to grow. So read. It can be with or without a Bible Study, like this one, but not necessarily. 

Secondly, you need to pray. Just talk to God. Communication is important in any relationship. If you want to read more about prayer, click here. These two things will change your life tremendously  and I would love to hear about it. Tell me your story.  Leave a comment below. Already a Christian? Then share with us a part of your story and let's get to know each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Be blessed and be a blessing and remember God showed us His love through the gift of His Son Jesus! God's love in verb form. 

Labels: , , , , , ,

The Importance of a Friend!

We all have bad days. I know this. I have been there, done that, and had a kid throw up on the tee-shirt. I never want to be accused of living with my head in the clouds and my feet not planted in reality. (I just know in whom I have believed and know that He is able to do above and beyond all I could ask or think and am persuaded that He is good, and He is God. In Him is the final authority for all things and therefore my reality! - MAN! What a mash up of scripture, but so true!) 

As a matter of circumstance, (I say circumstance not fact, because the fact is that I should not be moved so easily by the things that beset me) I had a bad day yesterday: a really bad day. That is until I talked with a friend.

The type of friends you have in your life is extremely important. They can lead you to death or to life. Let’s look at Job 16:20. Job’s friends laughed at him when he was in his weakest emotional, physical and financial state all because He chose to trust in God. If he had followed his friend’s horrible advice, he would have cursed God and died a spiritual death (because God would not allow him to die in the natural at this time). Not the kind of friends I want to surround myself with.

Proverbs 11:30 says “A wise person wins friends.” And Proverbs 12:26 says “godly friends give good advice to one another” and that the “wicked lead them away”.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (Amplified) says

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.  

Edify in the Strong’s Concordance (3618) is build a house, build up from the foundation, establish, to promote growth, wisdom and grace in one another. Encourage (Comfort in the King James Strong’s 3870) means to call to one’s side to speak to with the intent to edify, to exhort, to comfort, to instruct.

These are the traits of a real friend. They promote growth in us. They challenge us when we are wrong to repent, to dig into the word, and to question why we believe the way we believe. A real friend, when they see us do wrong, does not turn a blind eye, but calls us on it. 2 Corinthians 13:11 says “be joyful, grow to maturity, encourage one another, live in harmony and peace, THEN the God of love and peace will be with you.” Having Godly friends that encourage you is a sign of growth and maturity in us. It teaches us to walk in harmony and peace.

Colossians 3:16 says we are supposed to teach one another and admonish one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, and singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Look, I don’t expect your life to be filled with your friends bursting into song like the Christian version of “Glee” (For me that would be fine, but I am weird as my friends know and tell me - often) but I believe that God expects us to encourage one another by worshipping together, sharing our personal revelations and urging one another to acts of faith.

Despite the many times I have been accused of this, I do not know it all, and I need someone to teach me. So today, in the midst of my “bad” day, I went to a friend. She understood my frustrations and she even let me ramble for a while about my “problems”, but then she cut me off, and was a godly friend. She admonished me to love, to understand, to pray, and to reclaim the territory I gave the enemy today in my wrongdoing. She instructed, she admonished, and she loved.

By the time I left, I was laughing, full of the Joy of the Lord, and ready to face today. She inspired this post. If the JOY of the Lord is our strength, then good friends are the “work-out partners” that help us ‘bulk up’ in our faith.

To have a friend, we must be friendly. Be a godly friend, and you will find godly friends.  

Be blessed and be a blessing, and remember that friend is a noun! 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,



Just Another Verse...

I began reading today Matthew 1, and could not get past the third verse. It says this: Judah the father of Perez.  Now that may not mean anything to you yet, but hopefully you will be as excited as I am in just a few minutes!

Judah means PRAISE unto the Lord. Perez means Breakthrough!
Judah the father of Perez means Praise unto the Lord brings Breakthrough!

In 1st Chronicles 13:1-14 God moved mightily in Battle, so much so the place the arc of the covenant was kept was called Perez Uzza or “Exploded” Uzza.  When God is present in our lives there is BREAKTHROUGH, our circumstances are EXPLODED!

What brings us into the presence of God? Praise! He inhabits the Praise of His people.

Psalms 111:10 Amplified says The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of [a]Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]. Their praise of Him endures forever.

We are supposed to shout out His praises. Shouts go ahead of us. They alert the world around us that something is happening! I believe that when we shout with a voice of triumph we declare in the spirit realms that God is arriving in the camp!

Jericho didn’t just come down because of the marching, no, those walls fell because the sound waves collided with a wall, and the wall COULD NOT STAND! Sound that becomes praise is like supersonic spiritual Napalm.  It blows up your circumstances, it breaks down those walls, and it tells the enemy that God is bigger than anything he can throw at us!

You get a diagnosis of cancer
You can’t pay all the bills
You feel like you have no hope

 We should praise him in spirit and in truth; we should praise him with our voices, with our instruments, with our bodies, with groaning, with spiritual songs. All of these scriptural praises usher in the presence of God when done from the heart. 

When we engage with God, we form a spiritual connection that acts like a conduit for God’s power to actively work in our lives. Like a spiritual Shofar, our shout of praise becomes a clarion call that announces to the enemy GOD IS HERE! Satan has no power anymore!

Out of this PRAISE comes Breakthrough! Strongholds are broken, chains fall off our lives, and real joy takes root in us and brings a peace that nothing in the world compares to. We live glory to glory. Breakthrough to breakthrough. Blessing to blessing. What gets us through the in-between is praise.

JUDAH was the father of PEREZ! Excited yet?

Be blessed and be a blessing and remember breakthrough is a noun!

What is your favorite Praise and Worship song?  

Labels: , , , , ,