LSOF: The Language of Love

We speak out on unfairness, We speak out on cruelty, We speak out on “freedom of speech” breached, We speak out on our beliefs, morals, values…We speak out against what we don’t agree with…

How often to do we speak of fairness, How often to we speak of kindess, How often do we remember that we are still standing on free soil, How often do we just share our beliefs, morals and values with respect to the stranger standing next to us…How often do we just let the silence speak louder than the noise around us?

We know what we should say, but how often do we? How often do we speak in the same language as the grace that redeemed us?

I know I’ve been guilty of this just as we all have.

My church statement this year is, “ Real love revolution,” — I think its time to look at what that means to my own heart, what it means to all of us.

Real love to me is about knowing where a person came from, but not seeing them like they still live there…

Real love to me is recognizing the heart of the person in front of you, and not their appearance…

Real love to me is having a conversation with someone who completely disagrees with everything you believe in, but still trying out a flavor of Starbucks they recommend, or a movie they told you they liked.

Speaking the language of love sometimes does not take as much as we claim it does….So what stops us?

I think what happens is that we get wrapped up in structuring our day from beginning to end that we forget there are other people. We forget everyone comes with a different culture and background.

When a widow only has two pennies, you can’t exactly expect her to have three…right?

I remember when I was in elementary school and I thought all families were Catholic, because I was never told otherwise.

Love is not blind, y’all…it goes beyond labels, it goes beyond new stories, it goes beyond song lyrics, television shows, and even what we think we know…Love is still love, even when we forget it exists .

You can’t force fairness, you can’t force kindness, You can’t force beliefs, morals or values to someone who doesn’t have the same, You can’t force someone to agree with you when you don’t agree with them…

And if we could do that…we would be communist socialists.

We forget that one day we might not be allowed to share religion at all, We forget that there are bigger evils that exist in the world then what we place value as important, we forget that this life we live now is a privilege given by God himself, and He can take it all away in an instant.

I think its time that we change the language of love we’ve known to be side by side by the One that created it in the first place.

Put the stone down, and write on it on how Jesus showed how much He loved you.

Advertisements

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: Healed, but still wounds remain

I remember when I got in my first car accident. I was 17 yrs old and it was the summer of 67 counties in Florida covered by wildfires. When it rained the visibility was only about 100 ft. It was crazy. I was leaving from my job and driving a new Mazda RX7 1983 that my dad bought me. It had more power than I knew what to do with or control.

I stopped at the sign. I looked left and right before putting my foot on the gas. I stepped on the gas hard, and immediately the car started to spin. I was scared and I could not regain control.

I saw the truck coming, and he wasn’t stopping. I felt the impact.

I felt my car door open. An old man was standing there asking if I was ok. He helped me out of my car and into his home and sat me down on the recliner. My neck felt numb, my entire body didn’t have feeling.

I knew I had been in a car accident. That is all.

The guy whose truck I hit was pacing back and forth in the kitchen, grumbling.

I asked, ” Should I call somebody?” and  taking the phone I couldn’t remember my parents number. I remembered finally a few minutes before the ambulance got there.

The old man and his wife didn’t leave my side. They stayed to make sure I was ok.

The ambulance came. I was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital so they could see the damage done to my neck. My neck ended up being okay, but  I had a bruise that went all the way down my leg.

I was wounded, but eventually the bruises too went away.

I’m sharing this story with you, because I realized something profound to my heart yesterday out of

Psalm 147:3. 

” He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” 

I read it over and over. It spoke volumes to me.

Think about it friends—- He HEALS the brokenhearted first, and then binds up their wounds.

I think I’ve always looked at the word ” Heal” as something that happens completely, but according to what we read in this verse, its a two step process.

The old man from my accident wanted to make sure I was ok. He stayed with me, and he and his wife calmed me down and helped me remember where I was, and my phone number so I could call my parents.

I believe that is the first part of Psalm 147:3 ” He HEALS the brokenhearted.” —– He makes sure we are okay, He stays at our side and watches how we react to the things happening around us, and He calms us down so we can remember who we are and to go about our day. But its not at this time that we are healed completely of our wounds. You can’t help someone whose unconscious with their wounds until you know they are breathing, and alive. I think God works the same way in the way He brings healing.

I also looked up ” Heal” in the Greek and it means, ” To still.”  He keeps us at peace.

The second part of Psalm 147:3 says, ” He binds up their wounds.” 

Can you think back to anything you have dealt with for a long time in your life and you woke up one day and suddenly it was no longer part of your world, it no longer had affect on your life.

That’s what I mean. Once we are at peace with what we deal with then God can work on it and repair what is truly broken.

The process is sometimes not easy for us. While He may be fixing one wound we might be dealing with needing healing from something else.

But its about how we react to everything ultimately.

Psalm 38:11

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.

I saw this verse the other day, and I really thought about it.

I didn’t understand why with so much going on in my life how the people that were supposed to be closest to me started to dwindle away the worse things became.

But what I realized through everything. People don’t understand our wounds, because they can’t understand their own. We have to let them know the blessings, the positives that come out of what we are going through. As weird as it may sound, people look for encouragement through our pain, they look to us to respond in a way that would help them deal with their situations.

James 1:2-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work to that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.

In my current season of healing it feels like things are finally changing course. Now its about getting focused again, and focused on all the things that are set above.

LSOF: She Smiles…:)

Sometimes I read the Bible in my dreams. Sometimes I read full passages, and sometimes simple verses.

The most recent dream I remember reading Proverbs 31.  I am going to share that I probably have never actually read that passage of scripture all the way through, but the paper on the desk in front of me actually read Proverbs 31, so there was no question.

I read aloud, ” She laughs.” —-

I have been having a rough time recently.  I would say its due to the fact that so many people around me have been experiencing several different traumas in one way or another.  The one closest being that my mother is still in the hospital with an infection that just doesn’t want to leave her system.

Several friends have had everything happen from job loss, all the way to car accidents in the past month.

When things happen to those closest to you all at once its hard to find the positive, and that is the definite reality.

Here is the verse from my dream after a night of praying and asking God to help me through it.

” She can laugh at the days to come.” (Prov. 31:25b)

And the voice bible translation is also beautiful:

” She smiles when she thinks about the future.”

God has shown my heart through a sweet simple verse that regardless of how life may be, and regardless at what is ahead….

He is our reason to smile, and to laugh at the days ahead.

LSOF: Heart Wisdom

There was a simulcast this weekend, with an amazing message. If you want to check it out, see earlier posts.

I always try to get an underlying message for myself to hear. One that doesn’t necessarily come through from the speaker audibly.

The message for me was that I don’t need to be a scholar to be able to share wisdom with the world about Jesus. What He has done in my life, and who I’ve come to know Him as, I personally do not think could be found in any research article. There are just somethings that cannot be studied.

And its those accounts that one experiences on their own, when the pen and paper are put away, when the cameras are gone, and when the crowd has better things to do…

I sat with a lady during the simulcast who I shared about my experience with the pit and that you can indeed be put in it due to obedience.

Her eyes got wide, and she sort of seemed to let out a breath of deep relief.

I don’t know what it was that she had gone through, but it was at that moment she needed to hear that she wasn’t alone, and that she was doing in her life what was God’s purpose.

My experiences with pain and Him restoring me, have taught me to not be ashamed what I should share with anyone. We all have darkness that has been apart of our lives. It is through knowing darkness exists that we will search to find the light.

I want to share that I have deep respect and esteem for Beth Moore. I’ve done many of her studies, but I learned we had something more in common. She got to know Jesus more through her pain. Knowing that has helped me to love on others with my story. There are still areas where pain exists in my life, but I had to learn that God’s healing overshadows it.

God loves me. God cares for me. God protects me. God delivers me. God knows where I am. God understands how I feel. God changes me. God restores me. God heals me. God will be the only one that will help me live my life victoriously.

Someone told me a few months back that I helped restore their faith in God, and without sharing much more I’ll say that now she wants nothing to do with God.

My heart has taught me that when it comes to God, you have to work at knowing Him. You have to work at loving Him, and trusting Him. There are no quick fixes.

We go through the fires in life, because we need to get burned. We need to experience that God binds up our wounds.

I’m sad for those who choose what is temporary instead of true hope.
My pain was real, but because of it, I know my faith is real.
So all those scholars out there, who think they have all the answers…
I can assure you they don’t…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
(Proverbs 3:5)

LSOF: ” Coming out of the Dark…”

As I began writing this post the song, ” Coming out of the Dark.” by Gloria Estefan came to my mind.

It’s quite fitting to say the least.

I spoke last time about my experience with the pit, and now I’d like to share what it is like once I came out of the pit.

My friend and I meet every other week or so to just pray and have conversation about God, and the things He is doing in our lives. And today we focused on God’s attributes and what we know them to be.

I shared that God is merciful and shows us favor by His grace, that we so do not deserve.

I focused on the pit and how when we are obedient and just keep dealing with the thing until its over, then God rewards us by His favor in our lives.

The pit is indeed a rough place to be, but I want to give emphasis to the word PLACE for a moment, because that is really what it is, just a place in a season of our lives.

One of my dear spiritual mentors shared with me in a birthday card how God does not throw us on earth like a pieces on a chessboard, but that he strategically PLACES us where He needs us to be to fulfil His purpose.

The Pit has a Purpose.

So I write this to share with you that favor will come once the purpose of being in the pit is done, but sometimes its also good to realize that God will bless even when we are in the pit. He wants us to recognize He is there and He loves us.

It’s important to look for His fingerprints through the pit. Those little blessings that He leaves for us.

I was sharing this morning with someone that asked me what happened to living in Savannah

To which I told them that God moved me back to Florida, and I also added that I grieved it, but that

I knew He had a greater purpose than I could see at that time.

For the first time in my life I can tell you I really love my life, and I really have come to know the character of God through my time in the pit.  I learned how He was with me when I flat out cursed Him in my own way. He was merciful, He didn’t look to try to make life worse, but instead He saw how numb I had become from my own emotions, and piece by piece…He started to put me and my life around me together again.

And what is interesting in all this is I didn’t think that I would get out of the pit by God’s help alone, I really thought that others might help me who had experienced it at the same time. I was wrong, and it is why it took me so much longer to get out then it was needed.

We are all a work in progress.

Keypoint I feel I should make in all this: Don’t deny that you are in the pit, don’t deny that something isn’t going the way it should be in your life, Don’t deny that there is something inside of you that you need to re-evaluate with God.

Don’t deny you need healing.

Again, I’m just talking; its just you and I having a conversation over starbucks, and I’m telling you what I experienced.

I want to see you free, because God does.

LSOF: The Perception of Self Worth

My dear friend, Cally. She left this world
on May 19, 2010.

I am dedicating this post to my friend Cally Walrath. She passed away, May 19th 2010.
These are words I wish I could sit down and tell her this moment. I know that I can’t,
but I do know that there are many other people out there who have a perception of themselves
that is such a distortion from actual reality.

You are special.

I think we have become a society that is so obsessed with appearances, and ” the name” out in the world, that we have lost sight of realizing the value of US.

What I would love to sit and tell you out there is that there is more to you right this moment then you will ever know. There is such a beautiful plan for your life. It’s a solid plan. You have oceans of hope and grace then you could ever know what to do with. You will take journeys of finding true paradise in life. You will meet the blue sky to the stars. You will have more knowledge from all you’ve been through then you realized you might ever attain.

What someone says you are. What someone says you should dress like. What someone believes about you.
None of it matters. Unless you let it matter to you.

I could definitely tell you that your self-worth is found in Jesus. And that is very true.
But at the end of the day, when all is said and done. Do you really believe that?
Do any of us really truly believe that and can stand by that belief?

The distortions of who we are start to happen when we let the outside affect who we are on the inside.

With religion its legalism. With success its perfectionism. With control its manipulation.

I could add to that forever.

I’m not saying religion will always lead to legalism. I’m saying that we often will try to ” fit the mold” so to speak, and believe in how we are “told” to about ourselves, our faith, rather than have that chance to find out for ourselves.

Success is wonderful, everyone wants it. But just like any addiction we can get caught up it being to critical of ourselves, to the point that who we truly are, and what truly motivates us doesn’t come from the heart but from what useless knowledge. We become drones to our professions. Losing ourselves, forgetting the success that is already apart of us.

Being in control of anything, or feeling out of control is also very dangerous in how we perceive ourselves.
We can easily manipulate our own way of thinking and processing through a situation, because we learned a way that ” seems” to work.

I had a friend say to me a few weeks ago that when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t recognize who she is, that so much in her life has changed that she is not sure she can recognize herself in her life.
This girl is amazing too. She is a ” dreamer” of life, so passionate about doing so much. But her life
is tiring her out. She knows that she needed to step back and get to know herself again.

Truth is, we all need to do that. We all need to get back to looking in the mirror and make sure the reflection is the one that is meant to be out in the world.

Self-worth doesn’t come from being just like everyonelse, it comes from surely knowing there are things about you that are different. And that different is good.

I just want to add I’m not asking you to follow this advice, the last thing I’d want to be is a self-help book,
but I do want you to think about your own self-worth.
I do want you to think about if you really know yourself well enough that if someone came up to you
who you don’t know that well…how would they know you?
By your name…or by your heart.

Think of the value of YOU.