Monday, December 31, 2012

GOLD: 2012


Keeping track of golden nuggets requires a commitment I didn't uphold the second half of 2011. It wasn't that treasure was lacking, but rather my commitment to place it here in my treasure chest. Each year I learn (at least) one thing about myself that I didn't know the year prior. One of my many learnings from 2011 is that while God's gold abounds, I have to purpose to take hold of it and put it in a place for safe keeping.


Do not [yourself] depreciate the Words of God spoken over you. And do not allow time to depreciate the Words of God either. {WordInSeason spoken at Gateway Leadership Meeting at Hilton Townsquare}


This is what the LORD says: It is not for your sake that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of MY HOLY NAME." Ezekiel 36:22


Love love LOVE when God speaks so clearly that I turn expecting to see His face next to me just as clearly. {me}

Ask the Father to help you desire the thoughts, feelings and purpose of His heart. He’ll give you a new heart—His. You’ll begin to have His perspective and a supernatural love, compassion and righteous indignation that will stir you to pray on behalf of others, our government, families, nations, for Israel and so much more. This is the gift of intercession. It’s in this place of partnering with God— asking for His will on earth to be released as it is in heaven—where great joy is found. {In Jesus' Name, Gateway Devotional}


It's hard to lead like Jesus if we misunderstand what Jesus was leading us TO. He leads TO life altering encounters with a Living Father. {Bob Hamp}


A habit of listening to the sweet inner voice of His presence results in a radical determination to obey that voice. {AW Tozer}


When you pray for someone or something because of a godly burden and a desire for God’s justice and will to be performed, you’re interceding. {Anonymous}


The cost of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment. {John Paul Jackson}


More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse. {Doug Larson}


A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. {Mignon McLaughlin}



Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish yourself to be. {Thomas Kempis}

Three golden nuggets that shined for me in this article I Can See Clearly Now by Deb DeArmond on Destiny In Bloom:
1. On paper, I am not qualified to do most of what God has placed on my plate.
2. I had experienced a genuine change of heart, but had allowed it to slip away.
3. ... but at least for today...
It's so like God to use words written with one purpose to go out and speak something completely different to another set of ears. I love.Love.LOVE. this about His Word!!!
#1 speaks directly to that place in my soul that satan wants to chip away at, and attempts to do almost daily; to convict me of my lack of qualifications to (fill in the blank). BUT GOD ... (I also love those two words) is not calling me because of my resume or accomplishments, but out of His purposes for my life; and what He plans, His Word accomplishes.
#2 is a reminder regarding a subject so off my radar that reading those words this morning is like a wake up call of strong proportions. He is so clear in that sentence. He reminded me that He has already done the work I asked of Him almost a year ago, but that I have not nurtured that heart newness. I didn't even realize I needed this reminder.
#3 are five words that are breathing freedom into my soul and reminding me of the fact that HolySpirit is not here to convict me of what I didn't do yesterday, but convince me of who I am ... at least for today.


It's good to go through seasons where you feel you don't have all the reminds you He's the only one that does! {Preston Morrison}


Falling in love again isn’t so much about communicating better, but about connecting deeper. {Ann Voskamp}


If you don't guard your heart it will become hard sooner or later. {Brian Johnson}


don’t know what holds us back from being receivers when our God just loves to give. {Rebecca Lee Gates}


Modesty does not mean that all your beauty is hidden from all men, but that the fullness of your beauty is reserved for one man. {Alan Smith}


Celebrate God in the very area that you are feeling lack in. Exalt him for His goodness. {Bill Johnson}


Spiritual leaders influence more than they direct, and they inspire more than they instruct. {Bob Hamp}


When you've done everything you know to do & don't really even know how or what to pray: Stand. Pray. Be Bold. Eph 6:13 {Kari Jobe tweet}


When God makes wine, he makes really good wine ... stressed vines produce good wines. {John Piper}


Blessed is she who believes that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. {Luke 1:45}


Compatibility is an achievement of love; it shouldn't be its precondition. {Anonymous Tweet}


For God to teach you about real love, He must bring unlovely people in your life. {Matt Knisely}


Any attempt to draw closer to your spouse will be infinitely blessed by God. {Marriage Today}


Nothing about me will remain passive when the enemy comes to rob me of ground I have labored and plowed and sewn. {Rebecca Gates}


He knew his God would come through, & he acted upon that security. {Nancy Smith}


A wise mother knows what men can forget: the way to move heaven & earth isn't with a strong arm but a bowed head. {Ann Voskamp}


No matter the seen circumstances, when God speaks to you, it changes your perspective. {Me}


Our fall was, has always been, and will always be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. {Ann Voskamp}


Burdens are heavy because God's not in the burden, He's in the revelation of what will relieve the burden. {Me}


Modesty. It’s not about rules. It’s about knowing who you are. {Alan Smith}


Reaching people requires a story, not just logic; empathy, not just argument; meaning, not just info. {Rick Warren}


God never approaches relationships out of His own need. He relates to give not get. You were made in His image. {Alan Smith}

There isn't a loss on earth that can ever rob us of the riches our Lord has saved us for in Him. {Ann Voskamp}

Writing is an act of worship. It's choosing perfect words and placing them in precise order. It's downloading and concentrating life's epiphanies to a microship of influence. The purpose of taking pen in hand it to illuminate the face and heart of God; and the result is to aid humankind in the process of being changed into His likeness. I can't write unless I am inspired by nothing less than Him--not my ideas or creativity or thought process or experience. Him. {Bonnie Saul Wilks}


Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24


When the enemy tries to tempt me to fashion my words like another writer, God reminds me that He is intentionally unique with me...with ALL. {Me}


Praying for God to rend the heavens and come down? He already did in Jesus. The heavens are open. Receive it by faith. {Alan Smith}


There may not often be great opportunities to change the world, but every day there are small ones. {Ann Voskamp}


We are desperately weak & nothing can change that. But our God is omnipotent and nothing can change that. Faith connects us to His strength. {Jimmy Evans}

sometimes i get frustrated with myself for feeling like i need yet another new beginning. i've often found myself in places of failure and frustration, in need of forgiveness once again, which makes me feel like even more of a failure.  yet scripture clearly reveals God's delight in showing us mercy, grace, peace and blessing. new normal is good. the God of Glory is always doing something new. {crystal lewis}

Don't let the scrutiny of the uninformed majority distract you from your calling. {Preston Morrison}

Sometimes it is good to waste money to create memories. {Gunnar Johnson}

Satan knows that if he can defeat you in your mind, he can defeat you in your experience. {Joyce Meyer}


A thought God just hit me with: Don't buy into the saying that "truth hurts" and run away from it. Believe that truth heals and run to it! {God}

REGARDLESS of what my spouse does or does not do, I have to decide: ‘What kind of PERSON (not spouse) do I want to be?’ {@thegracedoctor}

Mental focus on who God is must be renewed, for the idolatrous culture of the world erodes clarity. {via Lauren Scruggs on Twitter}

When the sun comes up, you can see it — each day is another gift birthed straight from the grace of God.. {Ann Voskamp}

cof·fee /ˈkôfē/ A magical substance that turns, "leave me alone or die" into "good morning everyone." {Matt Knisely via Twitter}

Healthy couples fight for Resolution. Unhealthy couples fight for Victory. {Craig Groeschel}


When we forget where we've come from, we have trouble meeting people where they are. {Kyle Fox}


Two things Satan will tempt you with to keep you from fulfilling your calling: pride/arrogance and depression. {Brady Boyd}


God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. Psalm 18:24 [MSG]

Do something today that narrows the gap between who you are and who you want to be. {Preston Morrison}

5. We must do that which we know we cannot--to prove that it's our God who cannot fail. Our God appoints those who will disappoint--to point to a God who never disappoints.
6. Travel in the direction of your fears--to let God direct your life.


I don't want a paycheck to settle my fear. I want my faith & trust & dependence on God to bind it before a paycheck is ever on the horizon. {me}
There are times in life where it becomes obvious that you need a new anointing for a new place. Good news: He breathes on whatever He births. {Preston Morrison}


Good things happen outside of our comfort zones! {Bear Grylls}


Lovers change to protect the love. {Danny Silk}


The promises of God don't change just because your circumstances do - He who promised is faithful! {Christine Caine}


Love and honor need to coexist. If you remove one, you threaten the other. {Danny Silk}


Our position as children of God does not grant immunity from the pain, problems and the difficulties of life. Jesus told His disciples that they would experience troubles but through Him they could also have peace (John 16:33). We can be assured that nothing can happen to us apart from the permissive will of our gracious Father (Romans 9:39). These promises give us peace in the midst of turmoil, hope instead of despair, confidence rather than doubt, assurance in the place of fear. {newspringchurchblog}


Once I transplanted it to a larger pot, (the plant) began expanding and adapting to its new environment. This was one of the most revelatory experiences for me with my little garden. I didn't realize that plants' growth was stunted once it reached the capacity of its' container.{Brittany Loose}


Even when we approach God for help, we may not recognize in our souls this thing called self-sufficiency. Sometimes self-sufficiency disguises itself as expectations. Specifically when we try to tell God how we need help or what kind of help we need, we are still operating in self-sufficiency. {Bob Hamp}

Laughter is carbonated medicine. {Anne Lamott, tweet}

Asking a good question is a far more powerful tool in leading [people] to a solution than telling them what you think. {Danny Silk, Loving our Kids on Purpose}

Whoever controls our minds, controls us. {Jimmy Evans, tweet}

...because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand you. {The Velveteen Rabbit}

What's inside of you takes dominion over what's around you. {Bob Hamp, TDLeadD}

Pain and loss in life are inevitable. Misery is optional. {Rick Warren}

But somewhere inside you she lives. The beautiful one who is unafraid and unashamed. She sings, still, whether you listen, or not. She cries whether you listen, or not. Somewhere inside you she lives. Hidden away beneath layers of life and circumstances, she is hoping that you will care for her like the others did not. She is hoping you will introduce her to the One who made her. {Bob Hamp, Somewhere Inside You She Lives}

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Perfect Distraction

When I look at my blog and see that it's been almost six months since I last posted anything new, my brain immediately begins flipping through my mind files to determine which event is most relevant to write about, and my heart feels the burden of realizing I've allowed a lot of life to go unrecorded and, possibly, unprocessed.

It's not that I haven't sat here -- at my laptop with the thought to write -- in six months; it's that I haven't sat here with a true desire to forever keep the words rattling around my head and heart. But today ... today I read a portion of scripture posted on a friend's Facebook wall and knew that I would have to ignore that urge to write in order to not write. Yes, I've done this enough times to know that's Holy Spirit nudging me, because when I write, He often speaks.

So, here I go!
"Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land." [Psalm 37:1-9]
These words immediately pulled [her] to the surface of my thoughts and the deep pit of deception that was both created and taught. This passage poked at some of the questions that have been roaming around in my spirit for a couple weeks now and brought about an (almost) immediate release of the anger and confusion that's been resident in my soul just as long. That's the power of the Word of God.

After "the night of discovery and disconnection" a few weeks ago, I have been wandering like a nomad in a desert of anger, regret, questions and blame. I've asked more questions than I have answers to, but, on the flip side, some important puzzle pieces were uncovered and a fractured picture is a bit more whole. Things that haven't made sense for years are now understandable, not justifiable, but understandable.

"Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes." [vs. 7]

A simple statement. A straightforward instruction. My vagabond heart was instantly settled. 

The word scheming has rolled off my tongue numerous times lately when joined with her name, and I've struggled to wrap my mind around her purposeful plotting of a desired outcome that I couldn't help but label as "corrupt". But God's simple instruction of "don't worry" dropped this peace into my spirit that has escaped me since that night. I've been asking a lot "why's?", but in that moment I knew that He was asking me that same question. 

"Why is it so important to you to have the actions and intentions of another person with whom you have little to no relationship explained?"

Hmmm. His question stopped me in my tracks and got me thinking. Asking "why did she ...?" or even "how could she ...?" has been this impenetrable obstacle in my mind. I know one answer is "hurt people hurt people"--I've heard it multiple times and even used it myself in conversation with others--but that wasn't good enough for me, probably because it was now me and not someone else. I thought I needed to reconcile the how and why in order to move forward, but God was challenging me, kind of like a Freedom Pastor. ;) 

"So, how's that working for you?" 

The emotional realty I've surrendered to figuring her out--with no productive results--is pointless, and I see that now. Even if I were to somehow have the why and how revealed, I'm not sure they would bring the peace I've longed for; they would probably just bring more questions.

So I'm laying this part of this journey down. I recognize the futility of my obsession to identify with or influence someone with whom I have zero relational equity, and by choice of my will, I am letting it go ... letting her go ... letting this battle go. Five-and-a-half years later I realize I may have been duped all along anyway. She was never my battlefield, just my enemy's perfect distraction.

*this is just one train of thought regarding this scripture passage, and there are more remaining, but I needed to focus this blog on this one point for sake of clarity and length.