LSOF: The Dying of Self….” It’s Not ABOUT Me.”

Everything is a process in this life. Everything has its beginnings, and Everything has an end.
We learn something new everyday about the life around us, and about ourselves.
We are constantly thinking of how to improve something about our lives, or personally.
We struggle to try to either conform to what seems attractive, or stray from what just loses its luster.
We think the grass is always greener in the life of the person standing in front of us,
We want what we think we need, but most of the time our wants are far from what we actually need.
” The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not be in want.”
Simply put we could say this verse means, there isn’t reason to follow anything other than God.
It simply means that our wants and our needs are not found far from the Lord.
They are at His feet ready for Him to hand to us.
If it is HIS will.
I personally have been humbled by this recently.
I have thought for years that the Lord wanted me to be a communicator that would speak all over the world, like Beth Moore, or Anne Graham Lotz.
I have had people tell me I need to be prepared for when the Lord has me ready to speak.  So many were ” certain” this was my calling.
I AM a communicator in blogging, but I always thought I was meant to take it further.
But saying you want to become something and then becoming it…
They are two different things.
It isn’t about what we want.
Instead, the Lord showed me that I was not to teach, but that I would be that encouragement behind those teaching.
That I would help others connect, that I would help others really see their potential.
I am the person who can contact the “right” people, and I am that person that will link arms with others
and stay close to them and let them know I am there for whatever they need.
It was quite humbling to say the least, but at the same time, it took the focus off of MY wants, MY needs, MY Desires….
and instead what the Lord wanted for me.
Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].
( Philippians 4:5, Amplified)
I had a really good friend share this verse with me the other day, she has been with me as I’ve journeyed on this time of what is called
” Dying of Self”- and my friends, its been more that just the realization of my true calling that has humbled me.
I have been selfish in so many areas. But I won’t allow myself to feel shame…Grace remains.
I have thought in the back of my mind for years that because I had a mom that was sick that I would one day be entitled
to a better life. That the Lord would bless me because of what I’ve been through….
Well, I resented my mom as a child for having the illness, and I didn’t receive the better life until I allowed grace
to teach me I can’t measure how things will turn out by what I want,
I am not entitled to a better life because of what I’ve been through, I am privileged to live in a life where there
is possibility to receive blessings only because the Lord loves me. Only because I choose to give grace in the
same way it was freely given on the cross to me.
I have also recently thought about removing myself from Facebook and Twitter, because they are no longer
a place to connect with people…it used to be that way, but now it is just a place to ” instagram” the latest
food cravings, or items one bought at the store to show ” status”.
It has become a place that is full of ” LOOK AT ME.”
And I admit that I have shamefully been part of it.
I have been encouraged because a comment was liked on my Facebook status,
It has made me smile to see someone retweet what I said, or favorited it.
But really, Facebook LIKES and RETWEETS on Twitter don’t mean anything to God.
I am not glorifying Him by receiving a Facebook or Twitter notification.
It has been brought to my attention so much recently that we have allowed ourselves to become
” makeshift” Christians, we believe, we receive, and we teach by what sounds ” good” to others.
We have forgotten what it really means to please the Lord.
I have been reading some of Phillip Yancey’s book ” Prayer” and one part of it really struck me,
Because our selflishness has made us miss out on what God wants for us.
” Advances in science and technology no doubt contribute to our confusion about prayer. In former days,
farmers lifted their heads and appealed to brazen heavens for an end to drought. Now we study low-pressure
fronts, dig irrigation canals, and seed clouds with metallic particles. In former days when a child fell ill the parents
cried out to God; now they call for an ambulance or phone the doctor.”
What spoke to me reading this is we have learned to create our own miracles, we create and control our own outcome.
We don’t pay attention to the miracles God wants to do in our lives, we don’t because we dont’ want to WAIT
for Him to work.
It’s our selfishness of wanting everything NOW, because everything around us is happening NOW.
We want, what we want…and it we don’t think we will like it, we don’t pray about it anymore,
we just make decisions on impulse and eventually have the capacity to become complete
trainwrecks.
But we forget that what we DO does not determine what God DOES.
And we should be grateful He knows we are selfish, but that because we are His children
He still blesses us.
I have the most amazing church, and I have been given a mentor that could only be from the Lord Himself,
and it wouldn’t have happened if I would allowed myself to stand in the way of going back after
I judged my first visit…which I found a week later, was JUST a visitor speaking.
Regardless, I jumped from church to church on impulse, and had I not filled out the visitor card,
I would not have received the phone call to meet the Pastor and his wife.
I could go on and on about this, but I will just end in saying, we should be thankful for grace,
that it doesn’t leave us who we are, that the Lord wants more for us then we could ever
think up for ourselves.
But we need to die of ourselves, and live in Him daily.
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
(Matthew 10:25)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
(Matthew 16:24)

 

 

Listening and Learning….A word from James 1:22

 

Listening and Learning….A word from James 1:22

I have often felt like I’ve completely neglected this poor blog over the last year, but really it is just that the words would not come.  Words had to be REAL, and then had to be INTENTIONAL., and I had to BELIEVEin what I was writing.  And there were honestly MANY times where I would start to write and have an amazing idea and then it was disappear into oblivion it seemed…

But with that said…I have a post to share.

Something profound happened a few weeks ago, and it was a deep revelation that absolutely blew my mind.

You see, I’ve been learning about the relationship between TRUTH and GRACE over the past year, and while I could understand that there was a RELATIONSHIP, and that you could not have one without the other…I didn’t understand what it meant as far as for myself. And because of this disconnect, so many other areas of my life were stifled from growing and maturing.

God showed me while I was praying the other day the missing puzzle piece, and it came out of frustration I was having in another area of my life.

Do not just merely LISTEN:

Listening is only hearing the truth…but missing the grace

What was shown to me was that I have always listened to what I was told to do, because I was told to do it.  I have always listened to what the Word said to the best of my knowledge, because I was supposed to…AND He showed me that LISTENING or being a HEARER is not the same as LEARNING from what you have been told, and DOING it and MAKING IT YOUR OWN.

James 1:22

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Look at this verse closely, and it is a life lesson for everything in life….” Do not merely LISTEN to the word, and so DECEIVE yourselves, DO WHAT IT SAYS.”

When you listen, you are doing it because it is brought to your attention, you are following obedience by hearing it from someone’s mouth or by reading…but when you HEAR it you are not ready to do it…because Listening isn’t what brings about understanding.  Deceiving ourselves means that we are only giving ourselves half of what we really should receive.

 

 

DO WHAT IT SAYS:

Hearing the truth and applying to our lives through grace…

….” Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, DO WHAT IT SAYS.”

There are a lot of churches that teach their congregation to read scripture, and memorize it…but they fail to teach on how to apply it.

Applying is the DOING.

Just remembering the bible verse that says, “ For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) – Just MEMORIZING this will not make you BELIEVE it .

You can read the Word every moment of your life, but it will just be words to you unless it is learned to be applied.

You apply it through taking what you HEAR and seeing how it may fit in your life, what is it that YOU will DO with what you heard?

Grace is what makes Truth real to us. Grace helps us to apply what we already know.

GRACE HELPS US WITH THE DOING, because GRACE HELPS US WITH UNDERSTANDING.

 

LOOKING IN THE MIRROR:

Without knowing truth and grace together, you will not remember either one, you can not step forward…

I know the Word very well, but more so in concepts, I don’t always know how to apply a certain scripture to everyday life, unless it smacks me in the face like James 1:22-25 did:

I was trying to deal with a certain situation in my life where I needed to place MY input, but I had a hard time doing that. I was asked what I thought about it…but I had a hard time finding MY perspective on the situation.

The reason I had a hard time…I was reflecting what I was told to in my work, and my actions, and I wasn’t comfortable trying to explain it myself. Because I wasn’t familiar with what I thought, I was familiar with what I was TOLD to think….

 “ Anyone who LISTENS to the Word but does not DO what IT SAYS is like a man who looks  AT HIS FACE  in the mirror and after looking AT HIMSELF, goes away and IMMEDIATELY  forgets (neglects) what he looks like.”

Having the reflection we are told, and being who others want us to be, or fitting the mold, so to speak…it does not make anything our own, we can not be made successful by WHO WE KNOW,

 “ Anyone who LISTENS to the Word but does not DO what IT SAYS is like a man who looks  AT HIS FACE  in the mirror and after looking AT HIMSELF, goes away and IMMEDIATELY  forgets (neglects) what he looks like.”

Having the reflection we are told, and being who others want us to be, or fitting the mold, so to speak…it does not make anything our own, we can not be made successful by WHO WE KNOW,we are made successful by WHAT WE KNOW.

CONTINUE LIFE APPLICATION:

Everyday remembering are we doing what we are doing because we were told to, or our we doing it because we learned how to make it our own by what we have been told…

James 1:25

“ But the man who looks intently into the perfect (complete)law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard(not neglecting it), but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.”

We have to live our lives everyday REMEMBERING what we have been told, and finding a place for it in our lives.

We have to try it out for ourselves, we have to make decisions based on what we know our right based on  what we have heard, but knowing it is the right decision because what we DO lines us with what we were TOLD.

 

 

 

LSOF: Speaking Grace To The Mountain

One thing I know about life is it tries to set us up for failure. It tries to make us feel like we are not capable, not able, and not wise enough to overcome. But it is a lie.

It’s up to us whether we are going to choose to believe it, or receive what is the truth.

We were created for a purpose. Who we are, and everything we will do in life was built up into the plan God has for us. Sometimes though we miss the right road, and we have to find our way back through detours.

I have a habit of driving down the highway on my phone and missing my exit because I am too enthralled in a conversation to realize that I’m missing the planned destination.

The enemy likes to start with distraction.  He knows that if he can distract us, then he can slowly but surely turn ordinary situations and events that happen into huge mountains.

We can get distracted easily because when things are going so great in our lives we become blinded that there are tests. We forget that in the truth of what we have been taught that there will be trials.

What I have learned is that its more important to remember the power God has above what the enemy has done.

“What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel  you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” (Zechariah 4:7)

This is how we need to answer to the mountains in our lives.

I know you are asking me, “ How would I begin to respond that way?”

I’m going to share with you how to speak GRACE to the mountain.

Reading the scripture above talks about a mountain that was stated would become level ground, but what we need to do is APPLY the same concept to our lives.

Grace helps us apply into our lives what we are reading.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly, I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. (Mark 11:22-23, NIV)

Do you believe that God can take down the mountains in your life?

I read some of Habakkuk as I was studying this concept, and what I want to focus in on is not just speaking grace to the mountain, but what the power of grace will do to our mountains through our belief.

I want to visualize these two different translations of Habbukuk 3:6.

He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed.  His ways are eternal. (Habakkuk 3:6, NIV)

He STOOD, and SHOOK the earth, He LOOKED, and made the nations TREMBLE, The ancient mountains CRUMBLED and age-old hills COLLAPSED. His WAYS are eternal.

He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.(Habakkuk 3:6, KJV)

He STOOD and MEASURED(also means to shake), He BEHELD and drove asunder the nations, and the everlasting mountains were SCATTERED, the perpetual hills did BOW; His WAYS are everlasting.

I love the KJV version most, because look what it says about the mountains, that they were EVERLASTING…and yet, God scattered them, or in Hebrew context it read He BROKE them, and the PERPETUAL hills which meant, “ never changing or to end.” they BOWED to Him.

” The mountains saw thee and they trembled ,the overflowing of the water passed by the deep uttered his voice(thunder) and lifted his hands on high.”(Habakkuk 3:10, KJV)

I love to visualize the mountains trembling when they SAW God.

So what can we believe about our mountains currently in our own lives?

Could we maybe just believe that grace can overpower them over them overcoming us?

Speak grace believing of its power by BELIEVING what the Word says, and those times of trials you will remember what happened to the last mountain.

He SCATTERED them, He made them TREMBLE(writhe in pain), He made them CRUMBLE, and COLLAPSE before Him.

Let Him do the same for your own mountain.

Believe Him for it!

Blessings and Love,

Angie

 

 

 

 

 

LSOF: Grace

Hello everyone 🙂

It is my joy to come back to blogworld and share with you the amazing experiences that I have had since my absence here.

I first just want to say that sometimes we need to step away from the public eye as we are in a season of teaching, and while I can honestly tell you that I am still very much in that season…
I can finally share it with you.

This is just really an introductory post, because there is so much I’ve learned that I have to take time to break it down.

Grace is beautiful. If there is anything I could tell you to introduce what I’ve received most this season, I would definitely have to say I’ve experienced grace. There is this disconnect inside us that exists. We take in everything the world tells us about God, and we read scripture and maybe even memorize it…BUT it is so much more than that.

As the next few weeks towards Christmas come close, I am going to share with you about grace.
I am going to share the most important aspects of it, that most overlook, that most don’t realize is so crucial to our everyday lives.
I am going to share about speaking grace to our mountains, and I’m going to end the few weeks sharing a message that very much changed my entire perspective on my faith completely.

My focus this Christmas is to give more grace then any present that could be placed under a tree, and for the first time in my life, I am having a hard time thinking of buying any gifts this year,

I more so than anything…just want to let the people in my life know how important they are to me.

Grace motivates us to live the way we are supposed to…simple, and without expectation.

Give grace, it is a gift that keeps on giving 🙂

LSOF: Being Stilled

I wanted to come on the blog and just say a quick hello, and also to just let everyone know I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth.  I love writing, and teaching so much….but the season has come where I have been asked to do much behind the scenes and not in public.

Believe me, I am watching absolutely amazing life changes happen in me and around me….I’m not writing regularly, because I believe very much under guidance that its important to not write from the place you are, no matter how beautiful that place may be.

So this blog will be still for awhile.  I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but I am sure that the teaching I’m receiving is worth everything to me, and I want to take that in first and foremost.

Blessings to you all 🙂

Angie 

LSOF: ” In the quiet, In the stillness…”

 

I’m sitting here with the song, “ None but Jesus,” by Hillsong United on repeat.  Sometimes I do this to help bring clarity to what I am to write.  I love being washed by worship music, it just does something to my heart that nothing else can on earth.

There has been a lot of “too quiet” moments over the past few months.  I have had really sad and lonely moments when I knew there was not one person that could truly understand what I was going through.  I look back on it now, and I realize that I needed that time.  I needed to learn to seek His face through it, so when the time came that I would then face myself, I could seek Him first.

I love writing. I have truly missed it. God just uses it to help make sense of what life looks like around me.  The brand new, and the scary. My flesh has truly been on edge, and my anxiety has been higher than I can remember.

Life has changed me, and now God is helping me adjust to the reflection I see now.

In the quiet, and in the stillness…He meets with my heart, and has conversation that my heart could only translate by tears. I am being freed from my comfort zone. I’m letting go of the old, and fighting to trust Him in all of it.

Transformed and living each day under the shadow of His wings, and His alone.

LSOF: Reaching for what is real

I remember taking a visit to the west coast of Florida a few years ago.  I love the gulf beaches; they are so calm, and so serene. This peaceful place is also perfect for doing what I love to do most and that is to search for seashells, sand dollars, and shark teeth.

At one point, I had to go back to the car to grab something, and I clearly can envision how far the distance was from the beach.  In my wandering back I had it on my heart to search for a shark tooth.   Let me just add, that I was a MILE from the actual ocean. The sand was hot, and every part around me dry like desert. My bright idea was definitely a far-fetched one.

Something caught my glimpse below my feet within a few minutes. I picked it up and placed it in my hand. I am sure a smile appeared on my face as I realized I was holding a shark tooth in my hand!

I started to run back as fast as I could to show my mom, but suddenly in mid “flight” I looked down at the sand once more; I picked up the black shiny object into my hand once more.

In my left hand I had the object I found earlier, and in my right I carried the new one.

And I felt God speak to my heart:

“ What you hold in your left hand has no importance, its a stray shell, broken to pieces, but you thought it was real, and I had to stop you from believing that, because I love you enough to not just tell you the truth, but show you. “

What a message.

We think we know better.

I think sometimes the fact that God knows better is hard for us, because we have a hard time,

—“ Getting over ourselves”—-

But we need to start paying more attention for these “Divine Interruptions,” and let God take the time to show us what is really meant to be in our lives, and what is not.

We will be forced to come out of our comfort zones, and face ourselves. We learn something that adds to another piece of the puzzle.

So much has stirred through my heart in the past month.  During times of trial the last few months seem to all come together with a “response,” from God.

I’m not sure exactly the exact message He is giving me other than, “ Get over yourself so I can show you what is real.”

Somethings I have learned or done in the process:

–  Make peace with a friend I haven’t spoken to in a year knowing that forgiveness is so vital.

–  Question what I’m learning more, and realize that effective influences have to get the okay from God before we give the okay for them to teach us.

–  I’m being forced to face my deepest fears to take on the calling.

Reaching for what’s real will be worth more than anything temporary in the world can give us.

Reach for what is real in us, and what is real around us.

LSOF: The Stubborn Christian

I’m prone to whining. Maybe you and I share this “lovely” quality.

I whine most to God when He changes things in areas of my life that I was perfectly content with them being the way they were. Okay, maybe I don’t just whine, maybe its an all out temper tantrum.

I can admit this.

We have all been there.

When I saw this verse in Isaiah 43:19 out of the Voice Bible, a few months ago, I knew God was about to do something huge in my life.

(Isaiah 43:19, The Voice) –“ Watch closely; I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak, and you’re about to see it.  I am preparing a new way through the desert; Waters will flow where there had been none.”

I think looking back at this verse I probably read, “ I am preparing something new…” and then I would have completely tuned out the rest of it. And I think it comes down to that sometimes we can be content with our deserts. We may thirst and we may hunger, but sometimes its just easier than trying a different journey than the one we might have been on before.

I’ve seen a lot of “new” stuff happen in me though through these times.  I’m at a place that doesn’t feel so much like, “ preparing,” as the prior season I was in before. I would say if I had to explain this season, that it would definitely be, “ movement,” to which why I believe Isaiah 43:19 really works here.

My desert is starting to fill with waters that are fresh and that are very deep.  I don’t quite recognize the person I am yet as I observe everything around me, and as I learn more.  I think that as “movement” continues to happen, that there will be more “discovery” along the way.

What I’m learning is we might whine a lot to God when He changes the scenery around us, but we forget about the scenery He is creating inside of us.

LSOF: Fears that paralyze us

Bed

WE ALL HAVE FEARS – As children we might have had fear of the dark, or monsters under the bed.   Those fears are normal, for the most part, unless you were that child that constantly awoke in the middle of the night with, “ night terrors.”

WE STILL HAVE THESE FEARS– But in a different context…

WE STILL HAVE FEAR OF THE DARK… Think of the things in the future that we are afraid might happen, or how a situation might turn out.

WE STILL FEAR WHAT MIGHT LURK UNDER OUR BEDS. ..We are afraid of those things that we have experienced in life that maybe at any moment, “ might” try to bring disaster to our lives. Whether it be past experiences with people, or an event in your life that you are afraid that if it came out in the open it would be devastating.

Regardless, FEAR IS SCARY.

Fears can be like, “ night terrors,” to our lives as adults, and almost paralyze us from taking our next steps, or maybe even next breath at times.

What we have to come to understand is that fears ARE NOT  the realities themselves. They don’t always affect our lives ALWAYS regardless of what we may have experienced in our past.

One of my fears I’ll share with you that keeps me paralyzed sometimes, and I have to be reminded by God about that is NOT ALWAYS  true is the fear of rejection.

Let me just share with you that I don’t fear rejection, I fear the fear of rejection. Maybe you do too, and maybe you can understand this with me.

I am an encourager by nature. I love to tell people that they said something, or wrote something amazing. I love helping them see value in themselves and their work. It is seriously like, “ word vomit,” as if I could not breathe very well if I didn’t speak up.

But because of my fear of rejection, people mistake that encouragement as desperation to keep them around, to keep them from walking away.

It’s kind of interesting, because I googled, “ The encourager and the fear of rejection,” and I saw written out, “ People fear rejection and encouragers help them to see past their fear.”  That is sort of an oxymoron in a case like mysefl.

I am a real “ Words of affirmation” girl,  and so this also plays into that my love language is letting people know I love them, or that I think they are amazing.

FEARS ARE NOT THE REALITIES THEMSELVES.

The closer we get to knowing Jesus is the closer we come to not just realizing our fears, but that He will dissect them before our eyes and show us the bits and pieces we had not seen before.

Love will never invoke fear.  Perfect love expels fear… (1 John 4:18, The Voice)

And He will be leading you. He will be with you, and He will never fail you or abandon you. So don’t be afraid. ( Deuteronomy 31:8, The Voice) 

What do you fear? What is it that is lurking under your bed that you have stored there for years, what is it that you are afraid of for the future?

We need to learn to make what God has planned more of our reality, and let fears be just what they are, fears, that have no power over our lives.

Let’s take that challenge together.

Poem: What we behold now

 

What we behold now

My eyes see differently now.
The structure of how I’ve known
Everything to be,
Has built walls,
Higher than I could imagine.
And twisting staircase
reaching to up to high towers,
Make me question it’s sanity.
Truth distorted.
Ignorance rewarded.
Voices just bounce off ceilings
as mere echoes.
My thoughts direct me
To the floor.
What is this foundation,
Where is it all built from?
Black and white wisdom,
No longer accepted.
We cannot begin to understand
The direction of the wind,
Or where rain will fall…
Storms can come and never
Leave one drop.
Everyone feels they need a reason
Billion times two,
But last I checked,
The sky is still blue,
The ocean still vast and carrying
Creatures so far in its depths
Never to see sunlight
Never to be found.
The hidden things have their reason,
Just as truth,
Doesn’t need
One.