It’s Time to Teach Again

It’s been awhile since I’ve taught an in-depth Bible study, and the last one I taught was my Out of the Chaos study on the book of Genesis. So, guess what I’ve decided to teach in 2019?!?!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!

You guessed it…Revelation…EEEK!

Genesis and Revelation are like two book ends. One starts the story, and one ends it.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to teach this since I’ve been studying it for the larger part of 2018. I’ll be using Precept Ministries Precept Upon Precept courses. It will be a four part study. Attached is the syllabus. You can do one part or all parts. It’s totally up to you, but you know I want you there for all of them!! I’d love to have you join me!!

Check out the syllabus below:

Revelation Precept Upon Precept Syllabus

Vanity

“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.”-Psalm 119:37

Wow! This verse hit me like a ton of bricks this morning!!

It’s so easy to get caught up in my little world. It’s all about me. It’s all about my kids. It’s all about my work. It’s all about my family. On and on I go, thinking that it’s all about me.

When I get into the “me” mode, I quit walking in His ways and start walking in my ways. As Romans 8:5-8 puts it:

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

YIKES!!!! I really do desire to please God. It’s one of my biggest goals in life, but it seems the only way to do that is to fix my mind on heavenly things…NOT on me!!!

“Therefore, if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

So, here’s my take away for today: if I want to be pleasing to God, I have to turn my eyes away from vanity…away from myself. I have to choose to set my mind on Christ…to fix my eyes on Jesus!! I have to ask God to revive me in His ways so that I can walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

Am I the only one who struggles with this on a daily basis?!?!

What about you? What are you thinking about today? You? Your family? Your success? Your current relational situations? Your current health situation? Your current financial situation? Your current job situation?

Take some time to go to the Father and ask Him to revive you in HIS ways!!

Father, fix our eyes on You, the author and perfecter of our faith, so that we can shine YOUR light in this world and not our own!! When our minds start to drift back to us and all that is going on in our world, give us the Holy Spirit’s prompting to remember that it’s all about You, and help us find a way to meditate on You today! Help us to walk in Your ways and glorify Your name!! In Jesus name, Amen!!

When It Hurts So Bad You Can’t Breathe

As many of you know, I went to Sierra Leone, Africa in 2011, and I fell madly in love with 3 orphans. I was convinced that they were mine. I spent at least a year pouring over pictures of them on the internet. I Skyped with them every month for three years. God’s answer to that request was no.

No is a hard answer to take when you want something as badly as I wanted those children!! I knew that my husband and I could give them a good life. I knew that we had enough love in our hearts to welcome them into our home. But God said no…

I plunged into a pit of depression!! I was in counseling for year, punching things and yelling at God. I was so angry with Him. I couldn’t understand why He wouldn’t give me what I wanted. I had always been a “good” girl. I had taught Bible study and gone to church. I had raised my kids in church. I felt entitled!! ūüė¶

For over a year, I could barely function in reality. Somewhere along the way, Jesus reached down, pulled me out of the pit, and set my feet on the Rock that is higher than I am. I CHOSE to trust God in the middle of the pain. I CHOSE to believe that He was good and that He was working out His plan for my good. It was painful. It was hard, but still I CHOSE God over those children.

You see, I figured out somewhere on that journey, that those beautiful orphans had become idols in my life. YES!!! Even good things can become idols in our lives…our spouses, our kids, our jobs, etc.

Fast forward to today. God is doing some AMAZING things in my life today. I’m closer to my own biological kids than I ever could have dreamed. He is doing things in my ministry. He is working out His plan for my life…my little piece of His story.

I realized today that God has been doing little things in my life throughout the past 6 years that I haven’t always been able to see. You see, when we fix our eyes on what we want but can’t have, we miss the things right in front of us, the things that He’s gifted to us right here and now.

I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t wondered why I met those kids in 2011. OH, how I have wondered. I’ve wondered why they’re still in an orphanage while so many of their friends have found forever homes. I’ve wondered if they miss me as much as I miss them. I’ve wondered plenty. BUT GOD has been moving me forward all along on His path for my life.

In 2014, I traveled to Uganda on a vision trip with Amazima Ministries. They had a dream of building a secondary school for their sponsored children, because they all had to move 2-3 hours away from home to go to secondary school. I prayer walked the empty land that they wanted to build on. My husband and I have given over the last 7 years, and today, God made that school a reality. Today, they opened their doors and welcomed 72 children. Today, God showed me that I never would have traveled to Uganda if I had adopted. I never would have known about the school. I never would have walked the property and wept and prayed for a miracle. I never would have experienced the miracle that I experienced today if I had gone down my own path without His leading.

If you’re hurting, if you feel like God doesn’t hear you, if the pain is so deep that you feel like you can’t breathe, I ask only one thing of you…TRUST GOD!!! He is doing something even if you can’t see it, even if you can’t feel it. He is working all things together for your good!! Keep your eyes fixed on HIM!!!

‘Tis the Season to be…

It’s that time of year. The time that’s suppose to be filled with joy, but…

People you loved have passed away.

People you were once close to are no longer close.

People you love are hurting.

You’re hurting.

Things have changed.

Life has happened, and it’s hard!!

This has been a rough season for me. Not because anything bad is going on in my personal life, but because so many people that I love are dealing with BIG things, BIG life changes, BIG disappointments, BIG losses, and my heart grieves…

I wonder how they can possibly find joy in the midst of their pain.

And then I remember JESUS!!!

These verses come ringing back in my ears:

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, the author and perfecter of faith, who FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”-Hebrews 12:1-3 (emphasis mine)

Jesus suffered. He understands our pain. We can run to Him!! He is sufficient in our weakness.

My prayer is that each of you can find a way to fix your eyes on Jesus during this season. He is the reason for the season!! The enemy will use anything he can to get your eyes off of Him. He’ll use your feelings, your current situation, your relationships, your job, your family, anything he can. You just need to tell that old devil where to go!!

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the Wonderful Counselor!! Fix your eyes on HIM!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

 

We’ve Lost that Loving Feeling

Feelings…

Our country has been bombarded by feelings over the last week, but let me tell you something I’ve learned the hard way. Feelings will lead you in the wrong direction nine times out of ten.

I use to function solely on the way I felt. I responded to my husband and children and friends according to how I was feeling about them at the moment.

Oh, how I wish I could go back in time and change so many things I said or did!! But I am learning…

I thank God that Jesus didn’t follow His feelings. If He had, He wouldn’t have gone to the cross for any of us. None of us are worthy, and He knew that. He didn’t want to suffer, but He CHOSE to suffer. Three times He asked His Father to find a different way, knowing that there was only one way…the cross…suffering.

We are not above our Teacher. He suffered, and we will suffer IF we desire to be like Him.

So, here’s my advice: Follow Jesus!! Don’t follow the way you feel about someone or¬†something. Stop yourself and ask, “Could there be a growth opportunity for me in this situation?” “Is there a way that I can glorify God by the way I respond?” “How can I use these circumstances to allow God to conform me into the image of His Son?” “How can I show this person the love of Christ even though we disagree?”

Let me tell you something, there are a WHOLE LOT OF UNLOVEABLES in the world. You might even be one of them!! But God CHOSE to die for you. Will you deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him, or will you feed your feelings and follow your own desires?

We will never¬†leave Christ’s mark on this world¬†if we get caught up in the matters of this world. Second Timothy 2:4 says, “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a¬†soldier.” ¬†Let’s reset and FIX OUR EYES back ON JESUS!!!! I promise you won’t regret it!!

The Lord is Peace

I woke up with a heavy heart today. One week from today, we will be voting for our next president.

I’m just going to be honest here… I really don’t want to vote for either of them!! I’m not sure that either of them have the correct solutions to our problems.

You see, we have a sin problem in America. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger!! WE NEED JESUS!! I can’t tell you how many scary Facebook friend requests I’ve received since starting my new page. I accepted them with the hope that they will hear the gospel, but as soon as I accept them, they start private messaging me.

There is some SERIOUS EVIL out there, folks!!!

But guess what?!?!

In my time with Jesus this morning, He reminded me that He is a God of PEACE.

In Judges 6, God comes to Gideon and tells him that the Lord is with him. Gideon replies, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying,’Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hands of Midian.”

Do you ever feel that way?

Where are You, God? Why do You let all this evil and suffering prevail?

Well, guess what? Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in Me, you may have Peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world!”

He told Gideon the same thing! The first time that God is called “The LORD is Peace” in scripture is in Judges 6:24, right after God tells Gideon,”Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”

There’s the good news, folks! Jesus died to overcome the world!! If you’re His child, that should bring you peace no matter who our next president is!!

So let’s get on our knees and seek the God of Peace!! Peace out! ūüėČ

Driving Out the Enemies

So, I’m doing a study on the book of Judges right now. I know, I know!!! Who studies the book of Judges?!?! ME!!

At the beginning of the book, the Israelites conquer different parts of the land, but they fail to drive out their enemies, as the Lord commanded them. They allow them to live in the land with them. Because of this, they turn from God, worship false idols, and become enslaved by their enemies.

As I’ve pondered this, I’ve asked myself, “What enemies have I failed to drive out?” We all have them. Those things that we’re enslaved to.

It might be fear and worry.

It might be caring too much about what people think of us.

It might be alcohol or drugs.

It might be some secret sexual sin.

It might be pride.

It might be overspending.

It might be overeating.

It might be a lack of care for others.

It might be prejudice.

It might be lying.

It might be stealing.

It might be jealousy.

You get the picture!!

Whatever it might be, if you don’t COMPLETELY drive it out, you will become a slave to it, and trust me, that’s no fun!! Been there, done that…

I wear a bracelet that says “Surrender Only to One”. I wear it as a reminder to me that I’m in a battle…usually a battle of the mind and will. Who will I surrender to? Who do I want to be a slave to? The enemy or Jesus?

So, I encourage you to ask yourself, “What enemies have I allowed to live amongst me?” Let’s drive them out!!! We probably won’t be able to do it on our own. That’s why God says in James 5:16-“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

I can tell you that today, my enemy has been fear and doubt. That little voice that keeps saying, “You’re going to fail. You’re a joke. No one cares about your Bible study! You’re going to say something stupid and make a fool of yourself on social media, and it won’t ever be erased!! The¬†live¬†feed is going to cut out.”, etc., etc., etc.

So, guess what I did? ¬†I told that mean ole Devil to go back to Hell where he belongs, and I’m telling you so that you can pray for me!! LET’S DO THIS THANG!!!!!!!!

Welcome Aboard

I have a tendency to run ahead of God. Anyone else out there?!?! Eve did it (Genesis 3). Sarai did it (Genesis 16). If you do it, you’re not alone!

BUT GOD!! God is a much better driver. Don’t get me wrong. He’s SLLLOOOWWW, but He always takes me to the best places. The places where my heart is conformed to the image of His.

This blog has been a long time coming. I wanted to start it years ago, but God had a few things to teach me before I was ready. He had to humble me and show me just how trustworthy He is and how messed up I am before He gave me the green light.

My prayer is that you’ll come along with me on the ride of a lifetime. A ride that leads us straight to the heart of Jesus. A ride that will shape us in areas we didn’t even know we needed shaping in. A ride that will scare our socks off. A ride that will require more of us than we’ve ever given. Sound exciting?

Welcome aboard!! We’re about to embark on a journey through the Scriptures. God’s Word has so much to say about itself. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be equipped for every good work.” Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” And last, but not least, Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper that any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

So, you can see, we’re in for the ride of a lifetime. Grab your Bible and stay tuned…