The Harvest IS Plentiful

I don’t know about you, but for me, normally when I can’t stand the place I am visiting, I don’t ever want to go back.

Like ever.

For those who don’t know, my family went on a mission trip to New Orleans this summer. People warned me of the smells, and even the fluids that were commonly found on the sidewalks. They warned me of the darkness that seemed to hang over you like a cloud. They hinted at the free-spirited living. The smells didn’t bother me as much as I thought. And I have a sensitive smeller. No, it was the sights that broke my heart.

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From the countless homeless people to the small children roaming the streets, things were different just a few hours away from home sweet home. It didn’t take going thousands of miles away or even crossing oceans to do mission work. I didn’t even have to learn another language. Well, maybe I did. Maybe the new language was to See The Unseen with different eyes. Hearing their stories. Taking time to care. Hold a hand. Say a prayer. Give out a water bottle and a snack. Maybe that is a language. A love language.

Matthew 25:35 (NIV) ~ For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV) ~ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

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Our team worked together so well. It was a God thing. He definitely put us together. It was a beautiful experience. One that forever changed me. The person that doesn’t need people around. The person that tends to be a loner. The introvert. I learned that community is so very vital. When one falls down…the other helps him up. You know that verse. It is so true.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT) ~ If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

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They say that once you go on a mission trip that you get the fever to keep going back. After a solid week of staying in a room with our team of girls and then a whole lot of girls that we did not know, and sharing 2 showers with them and their hair, I was ready to get home. I know that sounds spoiled. Remember my sensitive nose? Smells? Let’s just say Praise Jesus that my buddy had one of those laundry detergent pods. I slept with it on the middle bunk one night. Somebody above me from the other group drank too much water or something before bed, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Praise Jesus for detergent pods and smell good thingamajiggers.

I was so blessed by every single experience that God allowed on the NOLA recon team UNSEEN trip. Yes, even the yucky ones taught me something. Come on, if Jesus traveled from place to place and slept wherever he had to, so could I for one single week. At least we had a bed. Some of the UNSEEN slept on the concrete. Every single night. When I was tempted to complain, I quickly reminded myself of this. So spoiled and so blessed. I don’t deserve anything I have. That woman, that mother, she could very easily be me.

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Then there was Bourbon Street. The Midnight Outreach through The Dream Center reaches out to the women who work in the strip clubs, and the owners and bouncers as well. Whew. Only a few of us went on this mission. Let me clarify that our team stayed out of the clubs, but what we saw on the street was plenty. I only lasted through the orientation and about 30 minutes on the street. At first I felt like a quitter. But then, I accepted that I was obedient to go and I was obedient to bow out when God led me to leave.

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I saw what he wanted me to see. No more. No less. I saw women who had to get all drugged up and drunk to even be able to work. I saw families walking through the street with small children. Children exposed to nudity, sexual innuendo, alcohol, and all of the people who support it. I saw a young boy playing a drum on the sidewalk..on BOURBON Street. Where was his momma? Maybe across the street working in one of the clubs. Maybe standing half naked in the window as if she were for sale. Wait, she was. There were the men working the doors and trying to entice people to come in to their business. There was the man coming out of the strip club and the dancer coming out after him, clearly completely strung out. She would have to be I’m sure of it. She’s a person. With feelings.

Forever changed.

My eyes were opened. I saw the teenage girls talking to the bouncer and then walking in to the strip club. Were they runaways? Were they looking for a job? Did they know that they were about to be forever changed by their choices?

I’m not a crier by nature. I tend to hold it in. Cry in private. Act tough in public.

My tears came like floodwaters escaping through a breached dam. I couldn’t contain the emotions welling up within me. I can only explain it like this: The Holy Spirit within was broken…Jesus in me..I felt what HE must feel when seeing sin. Complete and utter grief. I know what grief feels like. I recently lost my Daddy. These were tears of grief. Heartache for those girls and women. Heartache for the people who treated other people like merchandise. MERCHANDISE! It shouldn’t be so.

Story after story I could share with you. God blessed me so much by allowing me to be a part of that trip. As much as I was ready to get home to Georgia, and even though I told my husband and friends that I had no desire to ever and I mean EVER go back to NOLA, guess what I miss? I miss NOLA. I miss being on that mission trip. Even though I had to wear flip flops in the shower and sleep with a smell good thingy, I miss it.

I don’t know where God will call my family to serve next. We are going to be obedient though. Obedience truly leads to blessing. I can’t wait to serve wherever HE leads us to serve.

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The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few… I promise you, the HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL. Every act of service is important. Don’t think that you can’t do anything because of age or a handicap or even because of finances. Can you pray? That is mission work too!

Matthew 9:37 (NIV) ~ Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

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The mission field is not just overseas. The mission field is in your home, your work, your school, your neighborhood. If you can’t go out of town, don’t use that as an excuse to not serve. Everyone who is a child of God, an authentic believer and follower of CHRIST, is called to serve. I pray that I never forget those whom I met and the stories that I heard while on the New Orleans trip. Even though the stories aren’t always beautiful, there is beauty in remembering the stories.

I leave you with a few questions:

1~ Is there something that I am ignoring and that I need to be obedient to God and respond about in regards to serving?

2~ Is there sin in my life that I need to come clean about? Do I have a relationship with Jesus?

3~ Am I being faithful to God with the gifts that HE has blessed me with? Am I hoarding my talents instead of using them to SHINE Jesus?

4~ Am I expecting everyone else to serve while I sit on the sidelines and cheer?

{If I can pray for you about any of the above questions, please feel free to respond. I would love to pray for you and help you or guide you to someone who can help you.}

Until Next Time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

And I Am Sure Of This

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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~ Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

 

Ever feel like a FAILURE ? An outright no good can’t do it right failure ? (yes, I am aware that I just wrote a run-on sentence )  Yeah? ME TOO. 

Examples of feeling like a FAILURE  (may or may not be MY personal examples..just sayin’) : 

- Trying to be obedient and encouraging and then not being very “encouraging” with your (my) spouse.

- Having a negative attitude.

- Not sticking to what you said you weren’t going to do anymore.

- “Falling off the wagon”

- Not being as successful in your own eyes as you want to be.

- Not shining Jesus.

- Not meeting the expectations that others place on you.

- backsliding

 

You get the point.

 

That is when I am even more grateful for the mercy and grace my Jesus FREELY lavishes on me! Ahhhh! Don’t you agree with me?

SO. DO. NOT. DESERVE. IT.

 

That is BEAUTY my friends. Real life down to earth BEAUTY.

Grace is beauty.

Mercy is beauty.

Forgiveness is beauty.

I’m sure of it.

 

Satan says (I am guessing) : “You have sinned and you fall short. Take your ‘damaged goods’ stamp or sticker or tattoo and give up sister (or brother). Just lay down and have yourself a good ole whiny pity party. Better yet, stay there.”

 

God says (as is written in HIS Word, THE B. I. B. L. E.  and what scriptures say and yes I am paraphrasing,  *scripture reference below)  :“All have sinned and fall short. Accept my GIFT of forgiveness and redemption and walk WITH me. Take your ‘REDEEMED by the blood of JESUS’ stamp and STAND my child. You are loved. You are precious. You are MINE. I am not finished with you yet. Trust me, nothing you have done or will do surprises me.”

 

* For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 3:23,24 (ESV)

 

I don’t know about you, but I prefer God’s truth over Satan’s lies.

 

When you fail, and you will, don’t lay down and roll all around in it. Get up and brush your self off and start over. Stand up.

 

AND I AM SURE OF THIS :

HE IS NOT FINISHED.

HE keeps on keeping on and offers us mercy and grace that is so stinking beautiful. Like rainbows on a cloudy day beautiful.  Like the sunshine peeking out after days and days of thunderstorms beautiful. You get the picture.

It is almost too hard to believe it.

Failure is only failure when you give up. Failure is only failure when you don’t learn something from it. Isn’t that how we learn? By making mistakes? (I am not saying that you should fail on purpose. No, not giving you permission to do that.) Just don’t lose HOPE and do NOT give up. STAND UP and rest in JESUS.

 

You might want to listen to this…

07 Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave :

 

 

Striving to SHINE,

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Without JESUS

I’ve found that with grief comes moodiness. Some days I’m more irritable than others. Some parts of the day I’m “ok” and at other moments I’m not.

Not many people see those sides of my grief. Or if they do, I don’t even realize it.

Truth is, I don’t know when the low moments will occur. Anything can trigger them. They may last 5 minutes. They may last 5 hours.

I’m learning that it’s part of the process. Riding the waves of grief. Learning to swim in it. Getting better at holding my head above the waters so that I don’t drown in it.

If I drown in it then I’m not shining Jesus like I should.

As the saying goes: “My lifeguard walks on water.”

I’m so thankful for this TRUTH.

Without JESUS I’d surely drown in grief.

I don’t share these truths for pity. I share them so you’ll know that you are not alone. Everyone will experience their own losses.

We are all appointed once to die. Eternal life is a gift promised to all who believe and call upon The Lord to be saved.

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 NIV)

That’s where my hope rests.
That’s where my source of peace is found.
JESUS.

Without JESUS I’d have no hope.
Without JESUS I’d have no peace.

Grief is real. You never “get over” the loss of those you were closest to. You just don’t. Nor should you. They are a part of you. You just learn to swim in the ocean of grief. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes the water is choppy. You just learn to navigate through and soon it becomes your new normal.

With JESUS it is possible to smile through the tears and shine through the rain.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8, 9 NIV)

Believe me. It’s true. But only WITH JESUS.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

Striving to SHINE,

Heather

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Quit Believing Lies

Let me just jump right on in and say: WE HAVE to QUIT believing the LIES that WE tell ourselves!

 

Oh, you don’t lie to yourself? Really? You just lied.

 

“I’m NOT GOOD ENOUGH”.

“They’ll think I’m stupid.”

“UNWORTHY”

“I’m just a ….. (you fill in the blank.)”

“There’s already a book, blog, song, poem, business like that.”

“I don’t know as much as he/she appears to know.”

 

Those are just a few of the lies we tell ourselves.

 

Good grief. Why do we do it? It’s like our own little pity party.

 

Here’s a thought. When we make excuses like those above, or tell ourselves those lies, we give ourselves an EXCUSE to DO NOTHING.

 

Ouch.

 

NO MORE EXCUSES.

 

See, the GOD who made us IS ABLE.

AND HE IS ABLE TO DO MUCH MORE THAN WE CAN IMAGINE!

If you truly have a relationship with God, then HE is at work IN YOU.

NO MORE EXCUSES.

 

I am the queen of  believing those lies above. I get these BIG DREAMS and even feel like I am called to DO SOMETHING, and then I listen to the lies and even BELIEVE them. Then I say to myself (yes, I quite often have complete conversations in my head with myself. No I am not crazy) : “That author, blogger, speaker, person already did that and mine wouldn’t be half as good.” Now, just who do I think I am?

It is not about ME!  When we believe the lies and listen to the lies then we are not Believing who HE is and who we are IN HIM. 

Can I get an AMEN?! You too?

 

A dream is just a dream without a plan, so I’ve heard.

Words are just words without action. Am I right?

 

Maybe, just maybe, it is a lack of faith that holds us back. We can say we have faith all day long, but when the rubber meets the road, do we really believe TRUTH? Or do we tend to fall back into the trap of believing LIES.

Lies.

God IS ABLE. He made each one of us with PURPOSE and for a PURPOSE.

What might you be NOT DOING for GOD ?

Are you like me and think that because there is “already something like that out there” that yours isn’t necessary ?

LIES.

What if because of my obedience, your obedience, just ONE life was changed ?

 

Ephesians 3:20 ~ Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to HIS power that is at work within us

 

Until Next Time,

 

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New Year New Me

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 NLT)

It’s been quiet here on the blog. Not because my mind has been quiet.. Because it has not. My mind and soul have been overloaded lately. When that happens, I still write, I just don’t publish. Sometimes it’s quiet on here because God is allowing me some time to learn and grow and even rest.

Learn and grow … I’ve definitely been doing that.

Last year God pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study. I wasn’t quite sure as to why at the time. I still obeyed. Around that time, our oldest daughter, a high school sophomore, began expressing an interest in being in a private school or being homeschooled. She’s a wise teen with big plans and dreams for her future. We looked into both, prayed about it, and sent her back to the public high school.

Still praying. Still growing. Learning new things about myself. Learning that boundaries were biblical and good and healthy. Studied a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud / John Townsend. I did some bible studies on my own, and completed reading and studying through the entire Bible for my first time ever.

Through the last half of last year, I had shingles.. Which was very rare for someone my age. Stress can cause them to appear to anyone who has ever had chickenpox. I was definitely under some stress. My husband had a back injury that had him confined to the bed and then with a walker for several weeks. Things fell apart in different areas and other things fell together.

I got well, He was healed while on vacation. I mean healed. Instantly.
God was good and always faithful.

We also suffered a tragic loss of a family member in December of 2013. God has been faithful and good to our entire family through that as well. Our family’s faith in God is what has sustained everyone. I honestly don’t know how those who don’t have a relationship with God survive the hard, tragic, and trying times in life.

Now on to 2014. After much prayer and research and more prayer, we signed our oldest up with a wonderful Homeschool group… Classical Conversations. She had her first official day of school this Thursday and we couldn’t be more pleased! Never say never… No, really.. Because that’s what I had always said.

God orchestrated every event and meeting and circumstance in a way that led me to meet with a fellow blogger, friend, and homeschooling mom. Which in turn led to us following HIS call on our life. To begin this journey with one of our children. Praying that our youngest will decide on her own to join as well.

Oh, I forgot to mention something. I was asked in the fall to speak at a girl’s conference at a local church. Talk about out of my comfort zone. The thought scared me to death. Me? Yes, HE said.. me. So, after much prayer and seeking wisdom from other Godly women, I agreed. Why? Because praise GODHE uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. Thank goodness, HE also equips the called. AND… Because I don’t plan on speaking MY words. I only want to speak HIS. If one girl’s life is impacted, then I can handle a little stage fright.

I’ve learned to balance my life. Put my husband first, after God. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no. That it is NECESSARY to eliminate stress. I’ve learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I’ve learned that I do not have to allow negative opinions to affect me. I’ve learned that sometimes God requires me to do things that make no sense to me or anyone else at the time. I’ve learned that I do not have to make everyone happy and that I can’t. I’ve learned to be still and bridle my tongue. I’ve learned to set limits. I’ve learned to trust HIM more.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn this New Year!

It’s a New Year and each day HE is making a new me.

As a quote I found yesterday on Pinterest says: “I may not have always known what I wanted to be, but I’ve always known the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

I’m on my way.

I’m living for God.

I’m not backing down.

I’m not entertaining negativity.

I’m seeking HIS WILL in everything.

I’m stepping out, even further out, of my comfort zone.

I’m NOT feeling guilty for saying no to negativity or drama or for eliminating stress.

Lots of new changes this year. One homeschooled by me, one still in public school ( middle school). A 16 year old with a driver’s license… (Learning the real meaning to praying without ceasing). Speaking at an event for the first time, (In front of teen girls). Who knows what else.. I do know that whether it be good or tragic, God is good and will hold me and my family in the palm of HIS hands.

One last thing, I wrote a list of my goals for this year in my journal. Maybe you have already done the same thing, if not, maybe you should.

Just know this… Your goals are great but be willing to let God interrupt your plans. For HIS plans are much better. Even if we don’t always understand them.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Seeking HIS Will,

Heather

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YOU TALKING TO ME ?

Psalm 18:31,32 (NLT) ~ For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.

 

I have to be honest. Sometimes I really do find myself talking back to The Holy Spirit. When I feel there is something way out of my league that HE is calling me to do. I really do say.. in my head.. “You talking to me?”

{As if HE would get me confused with someone else. Not possible. HE is GOD.}

The truth is, I don’t feel comfortable doing every single thing that I am prompted to do. That’s where HE comes in. If HE calls then I can obey or disobey.

I can shrink back in fear, and I have been guilty of this, or I can rest in the fact that HE is who equips anyone who HE calls. If it was ME…then it wouldn’t be HE.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) ~  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

Me…messes up.

Me…gets scared. Really scared. Like, terrified.

Me…wants to sit back and just do my thing..quietly.

BUT.

HE…asks me (and you) to obey.

HE… says “I’ve got this and you are just my tool of choice for this task.”

HE…equips those who HE calls.

 

All of that being said, God has really been working on me lately.

It began back in about April of this year. He pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study for a time. Something that I love doing and still miss! He taught me about getting my priorities in the right order. GOD, My husband, My children, and THEN everyone else. He led me to work on me and the areas that I needed to surrender to HIM.

I obeyed. Not knowing why..just that I HAD to. I waited somewhat patiently for an answer to several questions. I waited some more. Still digging deep into HIS WORD.

Then, HE began opening doors that I never knew would really ever be opened. Doors that scare me. Doors that HE wants opened. Read that again. DOORS that HE wants opened.

There are things that God will call us to do in our lives. If we aren’t listening, we won’t hear HIM. If we aren’t seeking HIM we will miss it. If we are TOO BUSY even with the good stuff, we may miss it. If we say no then we will miss out and at the same time be disobedient. (If you’ve never read some of the history in the Old Testament, you should..you’ll see how disobedience worked out for them.)

It’s really amazing to me how even the Bible studies that I was led to do during this time of alone time are just what I needed. I am currently doing one that has to do with discerning HIS voice. Imagine that! :)

God has led certain people into my path who have been obedient to HIM as well. They have spoken truth and wisdom into my life. All because of obedience and answering HIS prompting.

I have lots more to share with you in the days to come, when it is the right time. I am so excited and nervous and scared…but I know that by being obedient to GOD, I am doing what is right and pleasing in HIS sight. That is what matters. :) {AND, I’m reciting 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over in my mind.}

Do I think I am capable on my own to do anything that HE asks me to do? DEFINITELY NOT. That is awesome though! Because of that FACT, HE gets ALL of the glory! 

As I close, I would like to ask you some questions. Questions that are between you and GOD.

Are you intentionally seeking HIS will for you and your family, or are you intentionally not seeking it because it scares you ? (Hey, that is a valid question..)

Are you ignoring HIS voice, or are you making time to hear it ? (it takes intentionality)

Just know that if you find yourself asking, “You talking to me?” , that there is a good chance that HE is. However, to be completely sure, know that HIS voice matches HIS WORD.

 

 

Until next time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

How Will It Ever Stop

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Ever been the NEW person?

The only person in the room who doesn’t know anybody?

Ever felt like everyone was staring at you? Judging you?

Ever judged anyone?

Ever been judged?

Fairly or Unfairly?

I think it’s safe to say YES to all the above.

There’s a difference in judging and being wise and making wise choices. We MUST judge situations that we are in and weigh them against THE WORD. We must be wise…But we CAN’T play GOD!

To judge another person based on our opinions is wrong. To judge someone based on our feelings is wrong. To judge someone based on the opinions of others is wrong. To judge someone and label them before we have even given them a chance to show us who they are is wrong.

Matthew 7:2 (NLT) ~ For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

When are we going to stop? Stop judging whether someone is CAPABLE or WORTHY,  in our opinion. How will it ever stop?

It starts with you. It starts with me. One person can make a difference.

The difference between a weed and a flower is what? Perspective and JUDGEMENT.

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Until Next Time,

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by: Heather Dawkins
Mt. CrossPointe (future home of CrossPointe Church)

For the Whole World To See

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One dog is sitting practically on my head. One is on my legs. The computer in my lap…Chili in the crock pot. The sound of the water running into the aquarium beside me.

There are to-do lists. Places to be. Schedules to keep.

But first, a message to share.

The messages that I share with y’all come to me at the strangest times and places. I’m sure that my other “writer” friends can relate. Especially when it comes to sharing the message that God lays on my heart to share. Sometimes I put it off due to the fact that it seems strange to me. That’s just how it is. I don’t even know why I am writing on a certain topic sometimes…other than the fact that I JUST HAVE TO.

You may not like what I’m sharing today. That’s okay. I don’t write for the approval of man..I only write for God. So, I offer no apologies today. I do love you all though and that’s another reason that I choose to share the hard truths.

I was getting dressed yesterday and this title pops in my head: “FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE” , Then little details and thoughts start emerging.

Like…..

~ Does your (my) appearance on Social Media match your  (my) appearance in person ?

(and I’m not talking about our profile pictures)

~ Do you (I) talk BIG on FB or Twitter or wherever else, and sit in a corner talking to nobody in public ?

~ Do you (I)  profess Jesus all over the Social Networks and project another image in other settings ?

~ Does your (my) walk match your (my) talk or text or tweet or post ?

~ Do you (I)  wear your (my)  “Christian” t-shirt in public and act like the devil at home ?

~ Do you (I) wear your (my) “Christian” t-shirt in public and put the word “Christian” to shame ?

~ Do you (I) post Bible verses online but never really open your Bible to study it and read it and learn?

Just some thoughts. For all of us to soak on…marinate in. Just being real. Because it MATTERS.

We are the only BIBLES that some people ever read. (Yes, that is someone else’s quote)

It matters how we represent our Jesus.

My pastor said something that really struck me last week during the message. He said that we have really messed up the word: CHRISTIAN. It basically means nothing anymore.

See there are people that say “I’m a CHRISTIAN” and yet they really aren’t. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. The fact that your parents made you go your whole life doesn’t  make you a Christian. Doing good things doesn’t make you a Christian. Knowing about Jesus doesn’t make you a Christian. Wearing a Christian t-shirt doesn’t make you a Christian. Posting bible verses doesn’t make you a Christian.

So, what makes you a Christian? I mean a REAL AUTHENTIC TRUE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST?

JESUS.

Jesus is what makes you a CHRISTIAN. Knowing HIM and HIM knowing you. It takes FAITH. It takes surrender. It takes admitting that you are a sinner and that you NEED HIM. It takes faith and believing that Jesus is the Son of God. It takes confessing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

John 3:16,17 (NIV) ~ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

It’s simple. Yet we make it hard.

Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you are all done. It is a daily surrender and choice to FOLLOW God. To learn and study and read The Word. It’s vital that those of us who ARE Christians disciple new Christians or Christians that are not as mature in their walk as they could be. It’s vital that we serve like Jesus.

It takes water for a seed to grow.

Hebrews 5:13,14 (NIV) ~ Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But the solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

CONSTANT USE.

Let’s get to watering! Let’s be real and be willing to make sure that our walk is matching our “talk”. It matters. People are watching. Big people and Little people. 

Now, I did not say that we have to be “PERFECT”…I just mean that we have to stop pretending that we are. ( I’ll be the first person to tell you that “I AM NOT PERFECT” and “I FAIL DAILY”… I mean…even writing this post is hard for me..because I know that I am not perfect.)

Leaving you with these two verses…

James 2:17 (NIV) ~ In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

1 John 3:18 (NIV) ~ Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Until Next Time…Seeking to Shine,

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Saying NO to the Good Things

I’m a work in progress. Mostly, in progress. :)

Philippians 1:6  (NIV) ~ being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

For the past several months I have been learning to say “NO” without feeling guilty.

That can be hard for a person who doesn’t want to hurt others feelings. Very hard.

It can be very difficult to change patterns of behavior that you have had for most of your life. That “people pleasing” gene.

I’ve learned that I have to say “NO”  to things that are good…in order to say “YES” to the things that should be my priorities. To obey GOD…and aim to please HIM first.

Like I said before, I’m a work IN PROGRESS. I still fail miserably at times.

At first, changes can cause feathers to ruffle. Yours and others. It’s okay though, if you are being obedient to God

Saying NO to distractions that can become an idol. I’m not talking about statues and junk..I’m talking about real life IDOLS. Things and People that can take the place of GOD.

Maybe we don’t think of them as IDOLS…because they aren’t the GOLDEN STATUES that we seems to think of when we hear the word IDOL.

Let’s face it, we all have the potential for idolatry. We all have that thing or person that can easily become the most important “thing” in our lives. Controlling our thoughts, our moods, our lives. It can be our kids, our friends, our spouses,money, jobs, a tv show, food,our hurt feelings, phones, computer, sports…ANYTHING.

Deuteronomy 5:8,9a (NLT) ~ “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.

We have to be intentional every single day about putting GOD first and CENTER in our lives.

Maybe it is too much volunteering. Or maybe too much social media. Or maybe it is not seeking HIS will and not asking HIM before we say YES to something. Maybe it is putting friends before our spouses and children. Maybe it is saying YES out of fear of ruffling feathers if we say NO. Maybe just maybe it is laziness. Maybe it is not BEING PRESENT because of being distracted by our own choices. 

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It can even be as simple as allowing texts or notifications from people you care about interfere with being present where God wants you to be at that moment. It is okay..I am learning..thanks to friends that speak truth in a bold way into my life, to let those things wait. Every text or notification does not require an immediate response. Especially if it prevents you from BEING PRESENT where you are. And for a person like me, I had to really discipline myself with this one. What could we be missing because we aren’t really there?

It is a choice.

Since my children have told me that they don’t read my blog… (YES, they told me. :) ) , and since I don’t care if they do read this and see that I referenced them… (it’s not embarrassing), I have to share a text conversation that I had with my daughter just this morning about choices.

Daughter: “I hope I wasn’t tardy today because my friend made me go to the gym with her.”

Me:” Um. Made u? Your choice. Next time say no.”

Me:” U always have a choice. I hope u weren’t either. Be a leader not a follower. Love u.”

I share that with you only to show just how easy it is for us to choose. It wasn’t a BAD thing..

Shoot..I share it with you because I have done the same exact thing before.

IT IS A CHOICE.

To say NO to things that we know we need to say NO to. Even if it isn’t something seemingly harmful.

If we are constantly saying YES to every single thing then we can’t possibly be giving our very best to the things that GOD wants us to focus on.

What is it that you may need to re-think? What is it that you may need to weed out? What is it that is suffering because of too many wrong Yesses?

Just because it isn’t BAD doesn’t mean that it is GOOD. Meaning, Saying NO to the Good Things is sometimes necessary in order to say YES to the RIGHT things.

Until Next Time….A Work In Progress,

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Cutting Loose

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I think it is extremely important for us to remember that ANYTHING or ANYONE that we put first in our lives…becomes an idol. So, if it isn’t God that is first…then we have to re-adjust..re-order the things in our lives. With that being said….

Do you have too much on your plate? Are you loaded down with “things” that get in the way of what should really be your top priorities ? You know…Too many activities, things that take away from God and family, too much social media, too many clubs, too much volunteering. That is just to name a few.

We shouldn’t let our lives speed out of control. We should live intentionally. Keeping our priorities in order helps make this intentional living possible.

Psalm 39:6 has this to say about living lives that are too busy and filled with too many distractions: “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.”

I am working on simplifying my life. Eliminating certain things from my life…one of those things being my personal Twitter account. I LOVE Twitter..I love Social Media. It just distracts me. So..I am changing it to my “blog Twitter” and no longer a personal Twitter account. I have removed a few more social media distractions as well. I am also being more intentional about the quality in the time that we spend with our little family…Making sure that my family is first after God. Another thing that I have been doing is reading a book called The Excellent Wife. It is written by Martha Peace. I highly recommend it. This book has really made me look at my role as wife in the way that God wants me to view it. Convicted to say the least.

Is there SOMETHING or are there some things that YOU may need to cut loose of for a time?

Here are a few signs that you may have too many distractions or things out of order:

~ Stress (no brainer)

~ Irritability.. because you feel rushed all of the time.

~ Never seem to be able to finish a task.

~ Complaints from husband/wife/children that you never have time for them..or if you are with them they say you are distracted.

~ No time for bible study or quiet time.

~ No time for quality family time.

~ Exhaustion (mental and physical)

~ Feeling the “need”  to check your multiple social media sites throughout the day ..but never feeling the need to open your bible app or open your bible .

There’s got to be balance. If you give a majority of your time to volunteering, social media sites, friends, etc.. and find that your time with Jesus and your husband/wife/kids is less than the others, it’s time to refocus and get things (people) back in the correct order.

In “THE EXCELLENT WIFE”, Martha Peace writes: Wives are also to love their husbands as their closest neighbor. The Lord Jesus made it clear, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Compare how hard you work at showing love to your girl friends with how hard you work at showing your love to your husband. He is your closest neighbor. He should come first.

(This goes for husbands as well…)

So, I invite you to join me in taking a look at your life and praying about what God wants you to do so that you will glorify HIM. There is freedom in surrender. True peace and joy comes when we have our lives in the right order. The alternative is stress and feeling all out of whack. I hope you’ll join me in looking deep within and seeing what you need to change..who knows, you may not need to change a thing. Chances are, somebody that you know may need to. So, share this post if you think it could help someone.. There are also several links to other posts that I placed in this one. (Hoping that one will help even just one person.)

             Until Next Time,

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