The Burning Bush

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Are you in the wilderness?  Do you feel exiled?  Are you way off course from where you thought you should be?  Somewhere in-between Eastern Egypt and Southern Israel…so to speak?  Maybe your off course intentionally and your angry or it was someone else’s words that caused your fall.

Do you ask yourself, “How did I get here?  And how do I get back?”

 Insert your burning bush moment…

Moses was exiled from Egypt by Pharaoh and was tending the flock for his father-in-law Jethro.  He had led the flock far into the wilderness of Sinai, where he came to the Mountain of God.  His cross road.

Let’s go back to why he was even there in the first place.  Moses born of the tribe of Levi was three months old when his mother left him in a basket she made of papyrus reeds and water proofed it with tar and pitch.  The Israelites were becoming too many in number amongst the Egyptians, Pharaoh feared that the Israelites would take over Egypt so he ordered all the baby boys to be killed.  Moses’ mother, knowing he was a special baby, left him amongst the reeds floating on the Nile River with his sister watching over him from a far to see what would happened to him.

Fast forward to his adult years, Moses had been adopted and raised by Pharaoh’s daughter since he was weened from his mother.  Knowing his roots, Moses visited his people and witnessed the hardship they endured.  During his visit with his people he watched an Egyptian beating a fellow Hebrew and when no one was looking he killed the Egyptian.  The very next day he went to visit his people again and this time two Hebrew men were fighting, Moses asked the one who started the fight why he was fighting his friend, he replied with insult and accusation.  Saying: “Who appointed you to be prince and judge?  Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday.”

Moses fled for his life when Pharaoh tried to kill him after learning what Moses had done.  Moses ended up in Midian, tending sheep and married to Jethro’s daughter. According to my google search, Moses was 40 years old when he left Egypt and stayed in Midian for 40 years until God called him through the burning bush.  There seems to be a theme here of 40 years in the wilderness for the Israelites J

When all was thought to be lost, when Moses thought his life was never going to be destined for greatness.  When he had run far to hide from Pharaoh and the harsh words from his fellow Hebrews cut like a knife.  When he thought what he was doing was right, only to be judged and cast out by others… God shows up.  I can only imagine in my little mind the life of Moses.

God spoke to Moses from the middle of that burning bush, telling him to go lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Exodus 3:10 “Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh.  You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt”.

When God speaks, things change…

It could be a timely word from a good friend or pastor that resonates so deep, a life giving rhema word that just leaps off the page and ignites your spirit or it could be an encouraging word spoken over you in love, giving breath to your weary soul.

Can you imagine the magnitude of that word from God spoken over Moses’ life, how gigantic it must have felt laid out in its entirety in his thoughts?  We know that Moses responded in self-doubt and hesitation.

God often calls us in our weakest moments into great things, He calls us out of darkness into the light, from hidden places to freedom and from the wilderness into the most beautiful seasons of life.

If God has spoken to you, hold on for the best ride of your life.  Don’t lose hope and press forward into that dream even if its not even on the horizon yet, don’t let go.  If you haven’t had your burning bush moment, know that it is coming.  Trust that God is with you in every season, specially those darker ones.

A good friend posed a great question to me recently, “What steps can you start taking now towards your dream”.  Encouraging me to start working towards, getting myself ready… in the wilderness… for the dreams that have been placed in my heart.  What a profound word.

The seasons are changing and that once dead desolate soil will be filled with a garden full of beauty, blossoming flowers bursting with colour and fragrance. Life giving!

Psalms 32:8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you”

Tulips Tulips.jpg

Which path are you on?

Mark 4 Parable of the Sower

Which path are you on?

I look back on the path I have travelled to this point. My journey to salvation and then the road since… almost 10 years! How loudly this parable speaks to me now. Almost like a celebration (the real celebration comes when I make it to heaven)… the journey has had many ups and downs and I’m not even “there” yet.  I haven’t even arrived at my destiny and I wonder if my destiny is a journey all of its own.

15 “And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

I can relate to all of these experiences, from a new beginner, I remember immediately being challenged as a new Christian and wavering in faith. Then hearing the word and being so joyful only to be worn down by trials and tribulations and again waver without a solid foundation. I recall a time being choked by life while trying to grow, derailing me from the narrow path and having to re-build stronger roots in good soil.

The point, PERSEVERE! Continue the journey, let the word run deep, refresh your soil, grow stronger roots. The enemy comes to steal, destroy and devour… don’t let him. As Jesus said “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

All seeds are intended to grow. How will you ever see its fruit if you give up?

I’m excited to see what the next 10 years unfold!

Baggage Check Please!

Have you experienced the “new” baggage check at the airports now-a-days, cha-cha-cha-ching, I can hear my husbands rant now… insert eye roll here. It can be costly if you’re taking everything with you as us women tend to do! We pack our whole life for a four day trip; let’s not even mention the shoes for every outfit.

Similar to the price of baggage checking is the cost of not checking your baggage when you meet Jesus, EXPENSIVE. Moving forward in your new life means leaving the baggage behind, checking it at the gate. For some of us or for some things that run deep, it can take us longer to release things or even recognize that they are a hindrance.

Our spiritual growth depends on the releasing of sin, past hurts, a not so modelled up bringing and strongholds in our mind that don’t allow new thinking. These things are detrimental to our moving forward into the plans that God has set out for us, to reaching our specific purposes and using the gifts He has given us. Who doesn’t want that?!

 So, how do we get there?

Simply put, spending time with JESUS. The more time we give Him, the closer we get and the more areas of our lives we give Him access to… the greater the move forward = the more bags checked. We can’t move forward without releasing the things of the past. This can be in the form of forgiveness, knowing you are forgiven of the sins you have committed, or forgiving others for the hurt they have caused in your life. It can be a father who was never there, or parents that were always yelling at each other and fighting. It can be a belief that “you will always be abandoned and therefore never have that spouse you dream of”.

Spending time in prayer, just talking to Jesus builds a trust and a bond that allows us to freely open ourselves and reveal these areas. It allows Him to come in a take that luggage, sometimes very heavy luggage from your hand where he can bear the weight and set you free from its burden.

I have had many, many occasions where a memory pops into my head of past situations where I’m reminded of hurt or pain or suffering. I have learned to bare the memory just long enough to start talking out loud to Jesus and releasing my thoughts, fear, pain whatever it is about that situation and allowing Jesus to take it from me. I believe that in my talking it out with Him, sometimes crying it out or even venting it out, I am releasing it into His care. I profess it to him in those words, “Lord, I am giving this over to you. I thank you that you are able to free me from this and carry the weight for me.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

 Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

 Amen!

Happy travels and check that baggage 🙂

A King Among Us

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The Lord placed a word in me, “You will see AMAZING things through My Name”. I was completely overcome in my spirit and drawn to tears of something so much bigger than me. Put in a place of utter amazement and a life lifted above myself and a hope larger more creative than all HOPES, with so much power its uncontainable! (Literally, I feel like I’m busting trying to get this word out). Its not just a feeling but a FAITH in something I don’t know of or can even conceive, far beyond all I can imagine in my little mind.

In my search to take in all I could from this word, I found Joshua 3:5

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for the Lord will do amazing things among you”

And there it is… the Ah moment, the light bulb went off. Joshua instructs the people to “Consecrate themselves”. You see, God does his part and we do our part! Jesus cleansed us from the inside, now its our job to wash ourselves on the outside. God is asking you to walk away from sin. He’s saying, don’t involve yourself in this or that, or don’t give in to that attitude or behaviour, fix that line of thinking and align it with His word.

Consecrate (Greek: hagiasmos), means the process of making or becoming holy, set apart, sanctification, holiness.

Leviticus 20:7

You shall consecrate yourselves and therefore be Holy, for I am the Lord your God.

God has set you apart! He has a plan, not just a plan, but an AMAZING plan. He’s got things to do and accomplish “Among” us. He wants to use you for something. He wants you to help someone. He wants you to speak a word from Him. He wants you to lead and army of Christians. He wants you to sing to Him. What ever it is, He needs to be able to work in our lives! Do you want to be put to work? The best and most important work we do is for the Lord!

The punch line:

How can He work in our lives if we are not consecrating ourselves to Him daily?

Shake it off, I know it hurt… sometimes the punches are deep 🙂

Church, CONSECRATE yourselves… and YOU will see AMAZING things!

Now praise Him with me, The King is Among Us:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxqrQao3eOw

Impenetrable

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GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 AMP)

Is God your refuge? Have you built your fortress in His strength? Think of your home, your vehicle, your office, even your body… is it under His protection? Are you and your family wearing His armor?

Refuge, Strength, Impenetrable, Mighty, proved help in trouble. He is all these things!

Refuge – is a place or state of safety, says Wikipedia

Impenetrable – impossible to pass through or enter

Mighty – Having or showing great power, skill, strength, or force, Imposing or awesome in size, degree, or extent

IMPENETRABLE… really, think about that for a minute. We read these scriptures but do we really take them literally. How many times have I read this scripture? But it wasn’t until recently that I “needed” to take this to a personal level and claim His WILL over our struggle. Recently we have prayed the Lords protection and mighty strength to make our home our refuge against sickness, by just adding this scripture to our prayer brings it to a whole other level. Impenetrable, nothing is getting in!

Doesn’t this add up to a whole lot of awesomeness? I think we are covered in His Mighty help.

If you are going through something, anything, this applies… Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see anything happen right away, know that Jesus is fighting for you! Things are happening that you cannot see. Remember our fight is not of this world but with the powers and principalities of darkness Ephesians 6:12. Stand, the Bible says to stand, don’t fall away, don’t back down Ephesians 6:13. Stand firm and keep claiming this scripture and put on your armor, the battle is afoot, God is faithful and will come through for you! “A very present and well-proved help in trouble”! He is here and able.

And the second you prayed and asked for help, He started working on your behalf. Don’t let doubt rise up and fill your thoughts! Persist, battle those thoughts. We are told to take every thought captive, 2 Corinthians 10:5.

If you need help praying for anything, leave me a reply and I will pray this scripture over you and your household alongside you! Where two or more are gathered, He is in the midst.

Just speak His words (the Bible) aloud and claim all He says (His WILL for your life), over take the enemy by the power and Strength of the Blood of Jesus… you can’t be defeated!

Beautiful Love

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“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8

Sympathy, as described by Rick Warren, in fellowship sympathy is not giving advice or offering quick, cosmetic help, sympathy is entering in and sharing the pain of others.

Recently a friend dropped everything and came to my house to pray with me. Putting her entirety into prayer, sympathetic to our situation, she gave herself, whole heartedly in prayer and love.

God’s desire is for us to listen and understand and validate the feelings of others. Slow down and take the time to invest in those around us.

I want to share a story about Isabella, this beautiful, frail woman we met at St. Peters Palliative Care when Pete’s mother was dying of lung cancer…

Well, I actually never really spoke to her and never officially met her, but my spirit met with her ever time I would visit Maria (mother-in-law). I was drawn to her and sympathetic to her situation, she was further along than Maria and each time I could see her slipping away. I would keep her in my prayers and wonder where her family was. We either would miss each others comings and goings or there wasn’t any family around. My heart broke for this wonderful woman I didn’t even know.

One evening as we arrived to visit, I could see a change in Isabella, I’m not sure that anyone else did but my spirit was in-tune. We had friends with us and were only there for a short time and as we were rushing away I had the strongest tug on my heart that I have ever felt. I couldn’t leave without praying with Isabella.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t pray with her because she was unable to speak, possibly not able to comprehend at this point, or maybe she spoke another language. In a ward room with four beds and doors wide open, the Holy Spirit was calling me.

Most importantly with my Greek mother-in-law who speaks limited English watching me and trying to shew me away. I can remember her face now and laugh at what she must have been thinking… this crazy woman is going to be marrying her son and she is standing there with her arms stretched high and wide and her face turned up to the ceiling, tears streaming down her face and speaking in another language (not English).

I interceded for Isabella that night with all of my heart, sympathetic to what she had gone through and what was ahead. Praying the Lord would receive her into his arms. I will always remember Isabella.

We got a call from Mom the next morning beautiful Isabella had passed away through the night.

God is so Good.

Answer the call, dive in with your whole self, share life with others.

Single!

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It seems like a lifetime ago already, I was single and desperate for a husband (helper) and father to my daughter. Although I was no where near ready for a relationship…seriously, the thought terrified me.

Sure I dreamt of the companionship and romance, sharing a life with someone… but from my highly eventful past, I didn’t believe that kind of relationship even existed. And the list I had in my head of what I thought my husband should be… God started to show me different.

Singles, this is for you! Whether you are divorced, separated, widowed or even engaged… release control and give yourself whole to Him and allow Him, Jesus to prepare and direct you.

Here is my story: (please, I pray that it inspire you)
My daughter was one year old and I knew she needed a father figure in her life, that much I knew… but how to get there? I was lost. I was a brand new Christian in a great church (findhope.tv) with wonderful friends to guide me and pray for me. Broken, completely broken from so many failed relationships even a failed marriage and a child out of wedlock. How do I pick up the pieces and start moving forward?

Surrender all, literally! I admitted my brokenness and laid it all at His feet. I prayed it out (Bondage Breaker), I worshipped through the tears and struggles and I learned what God meant love to be, what marriage is how He created it. I busied myself in a singles ministry (PlanandPrepare.org) and most importantly I made a commitment to God to be pure, not even a date until I knew the potential was to be my husband. You see after so many failures and doing everything the wrong way, I wanted to do it right…God’s way. I committed to not go on a single date (alone with a man in purpose of dating) until I knew from the Lord that He would be my husband. I committed to not involve my daughter in a potentials life until I had that ring on my finger. I committed to place any potential before Him and pray and fast until I received an answer. I released control and while I waited, I got myself ready.

I kept my commitments, I’m sure it wasn’t as perfect as I remember it… but my husband came along quite quickly, I’ll share that whole story another day…its amazing! But for now, my first date after coming to the Lord was with my husband. We saved our first kiss until the wedding when we said I do! And the rest is history; it’s been 5 wonderful years… (well it’s been 5 years of learning how to be wonderful, but that’s what marriage is about!) And every year gets better and better!

Ok singles, get ready! That potential is out there for you. Commit yourself, release control, learn what love and marriage is all about from God’s perspective… you wouldn’t go for a job interview without learning about the company and what kind of job you’re applying to…why would you just leave a relationship to chance or a marriage for that matter??? So get yourself ready, make sure you spend time dealing with your past and praying! Start praying about your future and your future spouse, specifically that He is getting ready as well 🙂 Get involved in a ministry and when your ready that potential will be there! Remember to pray and wait on the Lord because sometimes we can jump at opportunities that present themselves that are distractions and wrong choices… for some of us have been waiting a long time. When your weary, go back and refocus, re-commit and get busy again, lean on a friend and Jesus for support. Lastly, the choice is always yours, God gives us free will to choose, this is where prayer is important and counsel with a trusted friend, pastor or even marriage counselor.

I’ll be praying for you!

The Perfect Job…

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This is something we all desire, the perfect job…um career. Always anticipating the next level of achievement. Reaching higher and higher to the next thing or the next step. Wanting to be somewhere better than where we are…”this can’t be it for me”.

Contentment, is it possible?

We are always looking for something more, something we don’t have or not able to provide. We think the perfect job is going to answer all that for us and more. Everything will be better when I have that job, raise, that something.

1 Timothy 6:6 New International Version (NIV)

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

 Let me share a little personal story, and I pray that anyone going through the same thing doesn’t need 10 years to get it right 🙂 I’ll explain!

I was thrilled at the age 28 to finally be getting the “Job” of a lifetime! Benefits, pension… my career was finally going to take off, I was offered a fulltime permanent position at the hospital in the field I went to college for. The excitement wore off over time and after a year or so, for some reason, I got it in my head that I deserved more. The job I was doing was underpaid…lol   What was I thinking?! Now technically, it really was underpaid, but aren’t we all. Where was my contentment, where was my thankfulness? I didn’t have any and I didn’t know our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ either. A long story short, I pursued a job re-class and union involvement with the wrong heart and attitude. It only ended in more upset and trouble on my end… but there is a happy ending.

I went off of work on Maternity leave during this whole ordeal that I created and during my time off, I found JESUS! By the time I returned to work, I was a new person 🙂 Returning to work was hard after the mess I created, but I found my strength in Christ. I was ready to show my job, co-workers and especially my bosses that I had changed for the better. It took two minutes for me to write an apology letter which I sent to my bosses immediately when I returned, but it took years to restore relationships. Lesson learned! But I still had more growing to do and much to learn. For years I tried to get out of that position by applying (behind my boss’ backs) to all kinds of jobs… and I’m sure you could guess, I didn’t even get an interview…lol

After years of discontentment and doing all the wrong things in my own strength, I learned to trust God and be content with where I was. And I really was, I was ok with it if I never moved positions again. I gave God control of my job, promotion and finances! I let Him lead me each step of the way; in approaching my bosses about looking for more challenge and finances through my work with the right heart and attitude… humble. I also learned to say yes to all the demands of my job with a smile and the right heart to go along with it. I learned to not give attitude or talk behind anyone’s back, to not gossip or participate in gossip. I learned to speak kind uplifting words to others and to go above and beyond what was required.

Job 36:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 If they obey and serve him,
    they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
    and their years in contentment.

God restored the relationships and built friendships that I thought I would never have with them. My bosses supported my efforts to move my career forward and were my references! And sure enough, the perfect job came and it had my name all over it, the Lord blessed me with the most perfect job. It was a new position created just for me, with all kinds of room for me to grow and do different challenging things! I absolutely LOVE my job and the pay increase! So blessed, all the praise and glory goes to Jesus 🙂

It’s been two and a half years and I have never been more content in my career…

You are NOT Forgotten!

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Ecclesiastes 3:7The Message (MSG)

2-8 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

The point… there is a right time for everything.  And when is that right time? Well, that depends on God.  Isn’t it hard, sooooo hard to give up control? We try to move or motivate a situation on our own and end up flat on our face.  Been there, done that, and yep bought the t-shirt too.

Gods timing is Perfect, it really is and anyone having to wait for anything will know what it feels like when we allow God to come through for us.  There is such a peace that comes with waiting on Him and then… the most amazing part the blessing that follows.  When we allow God to be in control and don’t push past Him with our own agenda and timing, we experience a true aw moment, a glorious revealing of something even greater than we anticipated!

Oh, and that word, how special is that spoken word from a friend, leader, pastor at just the right moment? It’s like music to the soul or like Solomon described a beautiful ring of gold and silver slipped on your finger (that’s what I envision anyway).

Proverbs 25:11Common English Bible (CEB)11 Words spoken at the right time
are like gold apples in a silver setting.

I had a wonderful woman speak a timely word to me tonight, slipping that ring on my finger, a reminder, a promise (I imagine a promise ring, or you know that pink bow tied on your finger to remember things).  Lets always be open and obedient for God to work through us, in and around our lives, speaking that encouraging word to someone.  I imagine tonight would be different; it would be different if I hadn’t received that timely word.  I also wouldn’t have written this blog…

So tonight I pray for a timely word in your life, to refresh, rejuvenate, re-kindle, re-ignite, to remind you of who you are and what God has in store for you!  I pray for the right timing in your life and the peaceful patience while you wait and prepare yourself.  Your destiny awaits you in Gods timing. Amen

You are not Forgotten, God knows exactly what you are giong through and He is aligning people around you to speak life into you, God bless.

Better Days Ahead..

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Well, I’ve been a monster this week! Oh my goodness, Lord forgive me!

Isn’t that amazing, GRACE, as simple as that, I am forgiven. With a true repentant heart and a sentence spoken out loud to my Heavenly Father… voila, I’m free from my sin, from self condemnation, from the tactics of the enemy to hold me in a place of hatred. NO magic here. When we really understand Grace and Mercy and its purpose, we are free. We wouldn’t have this if it wasn’t for God sending his only Son to earth, just so that He could carry the burden of all of our sins. He died so that we could live, FREE.

Between the sleepless nights and the caffeine I know I shouldn’t have and our little boy who has been affected by croup this week… oh and lets not forget the full time job I have to hold up there with all my other responsibilities (working moms…isn’t it such a torn place between our responsibilities and priorities when our kids are sick). Anyway, foregoing my reading and my worship this week was probably the worst thing I could have done… between racing to the emergency department and getting the kids to school and making an appearance at work… a whole week goes by and oh how the worry and disarray took over and the irritability had the best breading ground. And then it hits you, what am I doing? When was the last time I read my bible? When did I worship? And the peaceful AH moment reminds you and brings you back to center. Sure, I had been talking and praying to my savior, literally please come save us! But did I have that peace that surpasses all understanding? Did I have that word that just leaps off the page and speaks to my heart? Where was my center?

But in Just 6 words, “Oh my goodness, Lord forgive me”, I am set free from a week of less than acceptable behaviours and attitudes. Does God hold me in contempt? Does He say unkind things? Does He still love me?

Rom 5:8 But God has shown us how much he loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!

This is what He said to me this morning as I gave Him back control, “I love you, you have faired well”. Even in my sin and my messy week, He still loves me and is just waiting to set me free. He is there ready and waiting!

Heb 4:16 Let us have confidence then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.

I have to go read my bible now.