Vessels in Accomplishing God’s Will

Who am I to write?  There are many more equipped, more qualified.  They can write with a larger, educated vocabulary.  Their writings can be edited to perfection and grammatically correct.  So, who am I to write?

I am the daughter of the Eternal Father.  I am his creation and made in his image.  Whether down and out or on top of the world, he has given me a passion.  It is therefore my joy and my will to write and to share.  If I don’t, if I stop, how can God accomplish his purposes in and through me?

I am the ship shifted on the choppy seas.  He is the voice that calms the storm in me.  “Peace be still.”[1] Not only that but he states, “Peace be still and know that I am God.”[2]

There is rest in him.  In knowing God is God.  Resting in the beautiful sovereignty of his divine plan.  Rest in knowing his redemption for this earth and those who live here.  There is rest because his grace is sufficient to cover ALL sin.  Even the sin we neglect to see in ourselves.

He never needed us to accomplish his will.  He will never need us to accomplish his will.  He is God.  But how beautiful and loving of an Eternal Father to allow us the privilege to be vessels in accomplishing his will.  It is an honor to receive the Great Commission out of Matthew 28.  What a marvelous idea, that we, his creation, can make disciples?  What Church would we have?  If we, as his justified and sanctified children actually spent our days making disciples?  It doesn’t matter where he placed you on this earth or what you do?  What matters is – are you making disciples where you are day in and day out?  Do you believe that you can be a vessel used by God to change the world around you?  If you step up to the plate with God’s mission and vision in your heart, what could he accomplish through you? – His will? – You bet!

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. [3] You don’t have to die.  You just have to lay down the plans you want for your life and live your life in God’s will.  While you are at it you can make disciples and change your world.  Impact the culture.  Transform a generation.  Who says it can’t be done?  Who says you’re “too little” “too insignificant” “not educated enough” “alone”? Those are lies from the pit of hell.  AND satan will NOT win this battle.  He will NOT win this world, this culture or this generation.  NOT on my watch.  NOT while I’m alive.  As long as I’m breathing I will praise the name that is above name because I know that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.[4]

What you choose to do today will impact the kingdom of darkness or the Kingdom of Light.  Sure, His grace covers us.  He knows we need it.  But don’t allow your failures to keep you from accomplishing God’s call on your life.  If you fall, get back up.  Let’s be an army that advances!  We’ll do it in love, his love, his grace.  But – we will “overcome evil with good”.[5]  Christians, eternal life is too important for us to run away in fear.  Living a life on this earth living in His freedom is too important for us not to want to scream it out on the rooftops. (I don’t recommend actually doing that, just a figure of speech related to the passion in my heart.)

You know how to transform a generation?  You live a life of love, grace and freedom.  You speak in love when you know you should and you love not with words but with action when you know you need to.  There is no need to complicate it.  After all, he said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [6]

That burning fire inside, that stirring that has you all riled up… that’s the Holy Spirit.  He’s saying… “It’s time!”

*I’d love to hear your comments or at least read them.


[1] Mark 4:39

[2] Psalm 46:10

[3] John 15:13

[4] Philippians 2:9-11 (paraphrased)

[5] Romans 12:21

[6] Mark 12:30-31

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Pruned to Bear Fruit

In order for the vine to produce the best fruit it must be pruned to perfection. John 15 says that He is the Vine and we are the branches.  The branches are pruned in the winter while the branches are “sleeping”.  The process helps with the growth of the vine and ensures the best fruit.

How many times does God prune us in the winter times of our lives?  Does God prune you back when you are in a sleeping season?  It is this unpleasant, tedious process that forces growth, maturity and the best fruit.

Most of the time the pruning process is time consuming, painful and wearisome.  It’s the part of the harvest process that we don’t like to think about.  Planting a seed or harvesting a crop is so much more exciting and beautiful.  However it can’t be a beautiful harvest without a hard season of pruning perfection.

Then once the crop is ripe and ready for the picking we can reap a fruitful harvest.  May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].” Philippians 1:11 (AMP) 

Jesus is the only way that we are made righteous.  He is the only way we are made fruitful.  He is the only way that we are able to grow, mature and produce the best fruit. He causes us to be righteous.  We don’t have to work for it or cause it to happen.  We are called to abide in His love.  And in His love we will be pruned and bear fruit in due season.

What is your best fruit?  Are you in a “sleeping” season?  Are you going through the tedious pruning process?  Are you ripe with your best fruit?  Do you remember that righteous fruit is for the distinct goal and purpose to bring honor and praise to God that His glory may be shown and renowned?

“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you]. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.] You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you. This is what I command you: that you love one another.” John 15 (AMP)

Praying Scripture

Dear God, Please keep my husband safe on the road.  Give him wisdom and incite as he works.  Help him to be attentive to the task at hand.  Bless him today, Lord.  AMEN.

I pray prayers like this one all the time.  There’s nothing wrong with it BUT could it be better?

Of course God honors the heart of His people.  He is not going to respect Christian rhetoric if the heart is not in it.  At the same time he blesses the young child who comes innocently before him and prays the simplest of prayers.

Yet how more powerful can we pray?  In Matthew 6:5-13, Jesus teaches us how to pray.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Praying the scripture gives us an additional authority in our prayers.  It is an authority of the Kingdom of Heaven that overwhelms the darkness and consumes it.

Dear God, May your kingdom come, your will be done in and through my husbands life today.   Give him wisdom and knowledge, that he may be a leader in his household and company.  Praise be to the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed Aaron and me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

(Scripture referenced in prayer Matthew 6; 1 Chronicles 1:10; Ephesians 1:3)

It’s the same prayer, just with a scripture based backbone.  As you pray, “It is written” you move heaven and earth to accomplish God’s will.

Isaac

7 years ago, less than 2 weeks after Katrina hit, I jumped on a bus with fellow college classmates to aid in the relief efforts.  We slept on the floor of First Presbyterian Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  While cleaning out trash filled landscapes and stripping out mold filled homes, I witnessed the smell of rot and the overwhelming emotions of the people of Ocean Springs.  After the devastation of everything they owned they still showed remarkable endurance with grace and poise.  I will never forget seeing pictures of Ocean Springs before Katrina hit while eye witnessing the devastation.  Even better, the smile and laugh of the mother and wife who carried a sense of humor through it all.  The memory of her character and class will never leave me, her home address, Washington Ave. Ocean Springs.

This morning I was reminded of this charming town on the gulf coast when I turned on my TV and saw Washington Ave 5 feet under water, a stones throw from First Presbyterian where I slept on the floor in Ocean Springs.  Back then, we didn’t know the death toll Katrina left.  All over you could find, spray-painted on the side of buildings or on plywood, large circles with and X making 4 sections to hold numbers.  Numbers representing, the number accounted for, the number found dead and the number missing.  We now know that 230 people died in southern Mississippi due to Katrina.  I know that this storm, Isaac, is a trip down memory lane, a nightmare, for those who reside in Ocean Springs and southern Mississippi.  My thoughts and prayers are with them today.  I know they will endure with poised grace and with their strong, southern and classy character intact.

Bridge to Biloxi

Biloxi Bay and Destruction of Hwy 90

Washington Ave. after Katrina
First Presbyterian

Fear

Do you ever feel empty?  Like you are missing something?  If you take a moment to focus on the emptiness do you feel panic stricken anxiety start to rise up in you? What do we fear the most?  I don’t know about you but I fear NOT living.  I know, I am not supposed to fear anything but God himself.  That’s what scripture says.  However, I am not perfect, nowhere near perfect.  I struggle with lots of things but one thing I struggle with right now, today, is a fear of not living my life.  It’s hard to describe.  The thought and feeling of waking up when I’m 40 and wondering where all the time went.  Or worse waking up at 80 and realizing I could have done “so much more”.  But then I realize there is a fear stronger than this one.  It too, is just as unhealthy, a fear of putting myself out there and failing.  Not just failing – but – miserably, famously failing on all accounts.

I realize in the grand scheme of things no one cares that much – other than me.  If I fail no one is going to give it a seconds notice.  Sure if it is epic enough people may talk about me for 2 minutes but really, probably not.

However if I can share my fears, be open and honest about them.  Then maybe, just maybe I can begin to overcome them.  And maybe on an even bigger level help someone along in overcoming his or her own fears.

I can’t imagine what my life would look like or even become if I was bold enough to overcome my fear and do what I feel led to do.  How large of a footprint could I put on this earth?  What change, difference could I ensue?    What change, difference could YOU ensue?

If you could overcome the fear that’s been holding you back and let loose your passion, your desire to do something and do it now, what would you do?  Who would you become?  If you are still young like me, what will they say when you’re 40?  Better yet what will we all say when we are 80?

At 80, I want to say, “I did it all.”  I’m gonna say it! And I when I do I will be smiling from ear to ear and if you know me at all, I’ll chuckle and just move on to my next BIG thing.  If I am breathing I want to be LIVING.

After all, I serve a LIVING God who is active and at work in the lives of His people.  He is speaking to us, living through us, making His name famous among us.  “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.”[1] “His word is living and active.” [2]  He reigns at the right hand of the Father. [3]  He will come riding in Gory to reign on the New Heaven and New Earth.  Life, light will win.  Victory is ours because victory is His.  He has conquered sin, hell and the grave. [4]  That same power lives in you. [5]  Claim your authority and walk in it.  Stand up, victorious in life.  Live the battle as a bold and courageous solider.  Advancing the Kingdom of Heaven.  Carry your mantle, your inheritance while boasting in Christ Jesus.  Do not be ashamed for the Lord your God is mighty to save, mighty is He. [6]  His name is above every name. [7]  At His name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. [8]

And while you focus on Him, keep your eyes on Him. [9]  You will overcome the fear, the fear of failing and the fear of NOT living.  “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.” [10]  As you claim your stake, your lot in this life, you will conquer sin, hell and the grave and LIVE!


[1] Hebrews 13:8

[2] Hebrews 4:12

[3] Acts 2:33

[4] 1 Corinthians 15; Romans 6:8-10

[5] Ephesians 1

[6] Isaiah 63:1

[7] Philippians 2:9

[8] Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10

[9] Hebrews 12:2

[10] John 16:33

Unfailing Love

It is hard to put pen to paper to explain the most real, deep, personal, tangible, most intimate relationship of my life where I have received unfailing love.  I wish with all my heart, mind, body and soul that I could give you those personal experiences that your spirit could be one with mine to know the pure beauty of the reason for living and breathing the relationship your being was created for, destined for.  To be fully and completely satisfied in your soul, in the depths of who you are, your being.  To love someone so intimately that you NEED them, every hour, every breath, every thought, you need Him.  And to KNOW, not only believe but KNOW that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

“Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”‘ – 1 Chronicles 28:20

Once you’re intimately with the Lord there is no other place you would rather be.  With Him you are Free.  In Him you are meant to be.  If you are in Him all you have to do is to be.  You don’t have to worry about “the doing”, “the task”, “the mundane.”  You can be, abide in Him.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.  You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.  This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:9-17 – New Living Translation

To be continued…

The Adventure

Welcome to my adventure of writing, more specifically blogging.  I just want to write.  I have no idea what this will turn into but I welcome you to join me in the journey.  So I commit to writing with honesty, boldness and courage.  To brave the fear and put my thoughts out there.  I desire to address topics of faith and love, to inspire people from the everyday to the extraordinary.  Encouragement runs through my veins but I also have been known to not show too much compassion or mercy.  It is much more exciting to light a fire under someone, to motivate them to do something they didn’t think possible.

Tonight my husband Aaron did that for me.  He motivated me to finally start this journey.  It is terrifying for me to write.  I love it and hate it all at the same time. Pushing the publish button and not the delete button will be the hardest part of this for me.  But, it is as they say, with great risk… comes great reward.

So here is the beginning…