Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Look for the promise

"One of those days He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, Let us go across to the other side of the lake. So they put out to sea. But as they were sailing, He fell off to sleep. And a whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger. And the disciples came and woke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! And He, being thoroughly awakened, censured and blamed and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there came a calm. And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me–in My veracity and My integrity)? And they were seized with alarm and profound and reverent dread, and they marveled, saying to one another, Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him?”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:22-25‬ ‭AMP‬‬

This scripture is a story of promise. Jesus states the promise in the very beginning of the scripture but either the disciples didn't catch it or they weren't listening. It is in the first line of the scripture above, "let us go across to the other side of the lake". Pretty much what Jesus had intended was to make it to the other side of the lake. However a storm comes up the disciples are scared they may perish because of the severity of the storm. At this point it's hard for the disciples to remember that Jesus has promised they are going to other side of the lake. Where is the trust?

Aren't we this way? Hasn't the Lord given us numerous promises. Promises from His Word and even promises He's whispered to us at different times. When we are on our way to the promise and a difficult storm appears, we get caught up in the storm, we abandon what we know and the promise the Lord has spoken. We get distracted, we take our eyes off the promise and forget that the Lord plans to make it to the other side of the lake.

You are either in the middle of a storm, fixing to come up on a storm, or you just came through a storm. Storms will come but when they do we must fight to stand on the promises of God and trust Him while we are waiting in the storm. Michael and I are in the waiting phase. It's one of the hardest things to do. Especially for me as I want a road map. I want to check it off my list and move to the next step. But during this season of waiting it is crucial that we trust God, His plan, and stand on His promises. <--- This of course is easier said than done. But this is when my faith is tested. Do we really trust God?

Regardless of what stage in the storm you find yourself in, really trust God, write down the promises you know God has spoken and those promises written in His Word, and hold on, do not be shaken because He intends to make it to the other side of the lake with you in His boat.

*Thanks to Beth Stephens Ministries for her obedience in preaching God's Word and for laying it out in such a relatable way. It was a Word in due season. #trustGod #inthemidstofyourstorm

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Past...

Everyone has something in their past they aren't proud to announce. We have all made mistakes. With this in mind let's remember this:

Regardless if I remove everything in my past out of my sight, my past still remains. No different than the history of those before us. Suddenly it seems that if you remove symbols, flags, words, etc then what happened in the past goes away, however it doesn't. The Past is still there as a reminder of where we came from and how we are thankful we are no longer there. Even in removing all the above, the offense lives in the person being offended.

The answer? We need to forgive. Forgive those that made bad choices generations before, forgive those that have hurt us, and don't take the bait of offense.

Once the offense is rooted in someone's heart, only forgiveness can remove the offense. So instead of taking everything down from our past, let's stand against being offended and offer grace. Grace to those who didn't know any better, grace to those who knew better and grace to just let it go.

I refuse to live in the state of offense and I will not take the bait to be offended. Terrible things throughout history have happened but let's look at how we have overcome, let's celebrate that we are overcomers. Let's not play a victim role and move on. Let's focus on how to improve what is within our reach and make a difference so our children's children can learn to do the same.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Today is a new day...

There are days when I wish I had responded better, when I know I really could have handled that situation better especially when I have all the head knowledge and the tools to do so. It's frustrating at times, you know the day after and you are like, "why didn't I say this, why didn't I do it this way". I truly want to be SO full of Christ that it's my first choice to respond the way He does. I know how to but placing that into action is the problem. It's almost as though confusion try's to set up camp right in the moment when I need to respond the way Christ would have me. The day after I am filled with you "should've". I'm not sure maybe I am all alone in this delicate dance between flesh and spirit. But I do know that God knows my heart, I have the desire to be like Him, and I pray He consumes every fiber of my being so I will look, act, and be more like Him. 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (‭Psalm‬ ‭73‬:‭26‬ NIV)

Today is a new day. The struggle
Is real but so is God's strength. 

Monday, April 20, 2015


This weekend, Skyler and I went exploring older abandoned homes and buildings. I love the adventure of seeing the older homes and imagining them in their former glory. Skyler just loves adventure and wander of these older buildings, what's in them, what story can they tell, etc. One particular home we explored, was a beautiful farmhouse with the classic front porch. The trees, limbs, and weeds had overtaken the porch and up the sides of the walls. We hopped through the tall weeds up on the porch and stood looking through the windows. We finally were brave enough to open the door to peek inside. The foyer was large and open, with the classic tall ceilings and beautiful hardwood floors. It's hard to imagine someone just leaving this home. There were two rooms on each side of the foyer. Looking straight down the foyer you could see the kitchen but the floor, walls, and ceiling were coming down around the entire backside of the house. We couldn't walk any further but leaned in to get a closer look. The floor to the bathroom was completely caved in and we could see the ground and weeds growing up into the space. Skyler asked how could someone just leave their home, what happened that made them leave? I explained that sometimes everyone in the family dies and no one is there to take the house, or possibly it was sold in auction and the buyers only wanted the farm land.  We never know what story a house has to tell. We explored several abandoned buildings and two other homes. One other was so old that it didn't have a kitchen or a bathroom.

Yesterday as I was thinking about the abandoned homes a thought popped up about how we can relate that to our lives today.  Something so very beautiful just left to ruin. Don't we do that? We abandon, give up on, and simply don't take care of things we need too? We let everything go until repairing it seems too difficult and too costly. We allow things into our lives that will only destroy. Causes us lots of guilt and shame. We abandon hard relationships, our commitments, and we abandon our first real love... Christ.

When the things we should abandon we don't. What if we abandoned our addictions, our false gods, our pride, our selfishness, our wants, our desires, our plans, our purposes, our will and laid it all at His feet. Sweet, reckless utterly abandoned, yet safe in the one who created you, knows you, loves you, pursues you, and won't stop until We abandon everything and surrender to Him. Allow God to do His job and utterly abandon it all and run safely into His arms. No turning back.

Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Seeking all His fulness at whatever cost;
Cutting all the shore-lines, launching in the deep
Of His mighty power--strong to save and keep.
Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Oh! the sinking, sinking, until self is lost!
Until the emptied vessel lies broken at His feet;
Waiting till His filling shall make the work complete.
Utterly abandoned to the will of God;
Seeking for no other path than my Master trod;
Leaving ease and pleasure, making Him my choice,
Waiting for His guidance, listening for His voice.
Utterly abandoned! no will of my own;
For time and for eternity, His, and His alone;
All my plans and purposes lost in His sweet will,
Having nothing, yet in Him all things possessing still.
Utterly abandoned! 'tis so sweet to be
Captive in His bonds of love, yet so wondrous free;
Free from sin's entanglements, free from doubt and fear,
Free from every worry, burden, grief or care.
Utterly abandoned! oh, the rest is sweet,
As I tarry, waiting, at His blessed feet;
Waiting for the coming of the Guest divine,
Who my inmost being shall perfectly refine.
Lo! He comes and fills me, Holy Spirit sweet!
I, in Him, am satisfied! I, in Him, complete!
And the light within my soul shall nevermore grow dim
While I keep my covenant--abandoned unto Him!
--Author Unknown

Friday, January 16, 2015

Slowing Down

The lack of Slowing down. The Lord has dropped the word SLOW DOWN in my spirit since the beginning of the year. I am a planner, a list maker, & I am able to get a lot accomplished in a day. However, I've found myself feeling like Solomon most days:

Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭2‬:‭11‬ MSG)

God is showing me I can be busy but running in place; I can have a full schedule but empty inside at the same time. So, I'm working to invite God into the daily details of my day. Seeking his will and
Purpose into each call I make and Into each person I see daily. Not to simply rush through the day so I can check something else off my to do list. I have found my most successful days have been days when I slowed down & made a difference in someone else's day. I feel I have truly served not just whew I made it through another day. But then I struggle internally because I feel in my mind I didn't meet my expectations for the day. (My expectations for myself are set pretty high. I'm a self bully). So Now I'm working to give ROOM for God to move in these day to day encounters. And working to realize that it's more important to encounter God in my everyday work schedule then checking tasks off my list. I'm slowing down and enjoying each God moment with others. I'm having a plan and working the plan & learning to bend when I need to alter my plan. Working daily to be full of divine purpose.

Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),

Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭15, 17‬ AMP)

So I'm working hard to slow down, work with divine purpose, and stop bullying myself!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Perfect LOVE casts out fear

Just this week during my favorite time in the morning, I felt the prompting of God. Maybe it was timing, maybe it was where my heart was at that moment, but either way I was obedient. Trusting God in the moment of obedience is difficult. Like anxious, what if this turns out badly, what if it turns out to be great... And the what ifs continued. I seem to trust God to a point. I will trust him with this but only so far. I find myself doing the same in my other relationships. I know where that stems from and it is a complete fight within myself to completely surrender. To allow someone else to take care of the rest. That's difficult for me to do. I tried that, we all have, trusted someone completely & then they wrecked it all. Destroyed the trust you graciously gave, so you withdrawal, you hide. You say things, "I won't ever let that happen again, I will only allow them to get this close". I know it's a form of misguided control thinking I can keep this close enough so I want get hurt again. It's the same thing that Eve wrestled with in the garden. The serpent placed doubt, she took the bait, she did not trust the heart of God, and just knew He was holding out on her. It's in our DNA. On the fallen Eve spectrum we women are either dominant/controlling, mousy/desolate, or some weird combination of both. How do we overcome this? TRUST.  We do what it is we know we are supposed too regardless of how risky, and leave the results to God. Sounds simple right? At least it looks easy on paper. I know it is much harder. I think it is like taking baby steps, we work hard to trust, we fall down, and we keep trying.

The good news is that as much as we try to arrange for a good life and protect ourselves from pain, our strategies will not work. Oh, they may work for awhile but not for long and they never give us the results we desire. I know after my obedience test this week, it turned out just fine. I was obedient, I did what I know God wanted me too, and I trust Him with the rest. The only TRUE safe place for our hearts is in God. God knows why we do the things we do. And He has mercy on us. He understands our deep fear and longs to replace it with His love. (Perfect love casts out fear). 

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭14-16‬ NLT)

May we ask Jesus to continue to free us from our self-protective & fallen strategies. May He come & heal our places of deep fear where we don't know yet or believe that we are deeply loved and wanted. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

LOVE addict

Love... For some they completely misunderstand this word for others they completely get it. Simple four letter word so it should be easy right? One could only wish.

I spent my first 40 years looking for love in all the wrong places. Looking to fill the holes my heart longed to be filled but after finding said love, it was more empty than before. Growing up I could never truly understood love, I mean my parents loved me the best they knew how but there was always this longing. Longing to be loved, longing to be delighted in, longing to be seen, longing for someone to scoop down and rescue me. As a child my favorite movie was Cinderella, visions of my Prince Charming swooping in to rescue me from this life of pain, my damsel in distress mentality, unfairness, abuse, and rescue me from myself. My biggest problem with this dream, was in the searching. I searched for this dream in man. Failed relationship after failed relationship only left me empty. I had to learn, the hard way unfortunately, that God is the only one meant to fill the gaping holes in my heart. I learned that He is my Prince Charming.

Remember this toy? How when learning your shapes, you placed the right shaped piece in the exact shaped hole? Often in life we are filling our holes with all the wrong shaped pieces, men, food, money, children, work, and the list goes on. However when we learn early that only God is intended to fill these holes, how different our life could be.  

C.S. Lewis says, 

Perspective order: Put first things first you get first and second things, but put second things first you lose both first and second things. Thankfully, I have allowed God to tear off all the scabs covering the holes of my heart and I allowed Him to completely heal them.  It was a painful & difficult process but so worth it. Once this healing took place I was able to see Love through the lens of God. As my therapist said, I finally got my picker fixed. Haha! Finally, I was able to see the Godly love I was always supposed to receive. Then God gave me my hearts desire in a man. The one thing I spent my life longing for in a man, He gave it to me. I didn't search for it, I didn't stalk it, it came to me unexpectedly. Now that I have a Godly man who loves me as Christ loved the church, and who is the leader of our home, one would think I could rest now that all my holes are filled. One thing I have learned in the past 4 years is that no matter how Godly your husband is, no matter how he checks all the boxes we have in our minds, there will always be a loneliness. A loneliness and a longing that only God was meant to fill. It is too much to place the weighty expectation on my husband or anyone else other than God to fill. So, in my periods of loneliness, I rest in God. I take this need & let Him fill it. Lesson learned. So today, evaulate what's filling your holes. Seek God because He's the only one who can fill them without ever thirsting again. I am thankful God continued to pursue me. He met me at my well & filled every crevice with His unconditional LOVE

Loving Unconditionally, 

~Melissa ✨