Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don’t Hoard Your Story

Whenever I come across a lesson, a certain quote, or a principle more than once I know that God is trying to tell me something. Recently, I’ve read a lot of stories of people simply sharing their experiences of survival. I read a quote a few weeks ago that read, “Don’t hoard your experiences.” It struck me because I’ve never really looked at not sharing the good things that God has done for me as hoarding. But I guess it can be similar to not cleaning your house, or keeping items that you never use or wear in your closet. Having gifts and talents, and not sharing them with others is also a form of hoarding and even disobedience.

I went to a wonderful women’s retreat last month, and the speaker encouraged us to use what we gain after we’ve received from God. She said that we often spend time in God’s presence asking for more of Him, or even multiplication of what we already have. The problem is that once God has give what we’ve asked of Him, we do nothing with it. Obedience brings blessings!

I was also convicted recently when I heard a well-known speaker say that he was in a season where God wasn’t giving him anything new. He was easily sharing prophetic words with others and watching God move in their life, but he wasn’t seeing that same movement in his own life. After seeking God, and asking why he wasn’t moving forward, he felt like God told him that he wasn’t responsible with the last portion that he was given.

Let’s finish what we start! There are so many things in life that can distract us, but let’s work beyond the things that keep us losing track and finish. I am currently in a season where I'm working to complete the “projects” that I started months ago. It’s a battle in itself, but can be accomplished with motivation, concentration and being purposeful.

Below is a reference from an article that I read recently in The Denver Post, written by Hoda Kotb, co-host of the “Today” show with Kathy Lee Gifford. Four years ago, she had breast cancer and went through a divorce in the same year. While on a business trip, she sat next to a man who taught her something valuable. After she shared about her experience with breast cancer, she feared what he would say to others about her. His response was, “Breast cancer is part of you, like getting married or working at NBC. You can put stuff deep in your pockets and take it to your grave or you can help somebody. Don’t hog your journey; it’s not just for you.”

Check out these points from the article:

1. Surround yourself only with people who fill you up.

2. Don’t sweat the little stuff—90% of what you worry about won’t happen.

3. If you’re still standing after surviving an illness or death of a loved one or whatever your cross to bear is, you get four words: You Can’t Scare Me. Use them.

4. Don’t hog your journey; share it to help others.

One of the greatest things that we can do with what we've been taught is to bless others with it…I’m still learning how to do that myself.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Several months ago, I had a dream that I was in a restaurant with my family. We were enjoying a nice meal when another diner whom I didn’t know began to insult us. Then for some reason the insult was directed to me alone. He was being so disrespectful for seemingly no reason, that I decided to walk out of the restaurant. As I was walking out of the restaurant, strangers would walk past me on the street and they would say mean things or try to get right in my face. I wondered why these people whom I didn’t even know were being so cruel. What did I ever do to them?

The dream reminded me of the movie, “Fallen” starring Denzel Washington, where a demon spirit jumped from person to person and created chaos. In the dream, there’s a scene where Denzel’s character is walking through a busy street and the demon is speaking to him using the body of random strangers. It speaks through several people literally using them as offenders and then leaving their bodies. One of the people used is an elderly man who looks harmless, yet when the evil spirit enters his body he is suddenly evil.

Back to the dream: Just as they continued to walk up to me, intimidating and disrespecting me, I began to discern that they were not human, but demons. There was no reason to believe they were demons in the natural because they looked like normal people, but I kept feeling strongly that they were not human. Then I began to quote different scriptures, with one that I quote all of the time standing out to me the most: “May no weapon formed against (me) shall prosper,” Isaiah 54:17

As I quoted the scriptures and yelled the name of Jesus to these “demons,” they began to show their true form. They seemed shocked and frightened as my spiritual boldness grew and I quoted the verses. As the words came out of my mouth, the people turned into the demons they were and began to disappear and some disintegrated in front of me. I literally fought them with the words coming out of my mouth. It reminded me of how Jesus fought the enemy when in the desert for 40 days. He used the scriptures as weapon.

When I woke up I wondered why I had such a vivid dream. I decided to pray and ask Him what the dream meant, and I heard Him say, “I am showing you your authority.”

God began to show me that I was in a season of great revelation where HE was literally exposing the truth behind the strong men in my past. I started to think about all the people that had intimidated me in the past or even how the enemy would intimidate me through fear and a false perceptions of reality and even God.

I used to be very fearful and still struggle with some fear. I often say that I inherited it from my mother who is a very nervous person. I think I learned some fear from her. But as we know, the enemy of the soul can take something that’s frail and exaggerate and corrupt it. In the past, my fear was so out of control that I would have panic attacks and my hands would be cold and clammy on a constant basis. I had false imaginations running through my head daily to the point of insanity. A number of years ago, I found healing from the extreme torment of fear. I still become afraid at times, but it’s not as severe as it once was. Scripture and prayer have seen me through the battles.

I am currently in a season where God is showing me the power in trusting in Him. Even though I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, it is the confidence that I have in His power through me that gets me through the toughest days. When man or circumstances come against me, I can lean on the truth in the word, and speak out His promises even when I doubt or fear. And my prayer to Him is that when He calls me to step out in His name, that He would supply me with my staff like He did for Moses centuries ago.

The transfer of evil:


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Build it.

I’ve never really been a fan of baseball as a sport, but I respect it. I prefer to watch basketball or ice-skating (is it considered a sport?) yet I can appreciate a good story or movie based on the sport. Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies of all time. The story is about a man named Ray Kinsella, who hears a voice as he’s walking through his cornfield that says, “If you build it, he will come.”

I think if anyone of us heard a voice in the middle of a cornfield telling us to build something we’d be a little freaked out. I know I would be. But Ray Kinsella hears this voice, and after seeing a vision of a baseball field in his cornfield, decides to build the field. He sees it before it’s even there. He then begins to put the pictures he sees together while finding signs along the way meant to guide and direct him.

Building takes passion and perseverance. Ray Kinsella steps out in faith to build the field in his property. This is what life is all about. Taking steps of faith and following the path we feel led to.

His brother-in-law doesn’t have the faith or the vision to see. There’s a scene in the movie where Ray and his daughter are watching these great baseball players of the past play a game in the field he created. His brother-in-law isn’t able to see the players in the field. He thinks that Ray has lost his mind, and thinks Ray should sign off the property over to him since it’s in danger of being foreclosed. Ray decides not to sign off and continues focused on the plan.

This story is like real life in many ways. Often the one, who has vision to build something incredible, that no one has ever seen before, encounters criticism from others who may not see the vision. They’ll find opposition or doubt from those who don’t understand, but just because they can’t see doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I am in a season of building. I too have a vision to build and see people come whether it’s inviting people to my house, and showing hospitality, or adding another post to my blog, and having someone comment. I have a media company that I am growing and adding to each day because I have a vision in mind. I believe that if one dreams of something and plants seeds to build that dream, they will bear fruit.

Are you building something special in your life? Choose to believe in its potential.

I love how prophetic this scene is.

Tagline: “If you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Born to die?

I recently watched a movie called, “Into the Wild” about a young man who after graduating from college decides to leave everything behind, including his family and even his identity to live out in the wild. His dream was to go to Alaska and just live among the wildlife away from people and reality.

His family doesn’t understand him or why he chose to cut all ties with them. Everyone with whom he comes across question his actions and motives. One old man whom he befriends tells him he's running. In the end, the protagonist dies alone in Alaska- the very place that he’d dreamed of going to.

As I watched this movie I had two different thoughts. The first one was that sometimes when a person sets out to do something that is out of the ordinary they are misunderstood and judged by those closest to them. Because their family and friends cannot understand their dream they despair over the choices of the individual. But sometimes people are called to do things that aren’t ordinary…

A soldier for example risks his life on a battlefield and may eventually lose his life for a cause that others may condemn or deem unfair. The wife he left behind may not appreciate being a widow, but does that change the fact that the soldier was meant to carry out a purpose that would eventually lead to his death? And then I think of jesus Christ who was literally born to die on a cross for the sins of mankind.

When he shared that his impending death was approaching, one of his disciples, Peter said to him, “Never Lord.” But in the end, while his mother wept by the cross he gave his last breath and is forever remembered as God and Savior to his faithful followers. And even those who don’t believe in his divinity still acknowledge him as a man of great wisdom.

Now back to the movie…my first thought was this kid couldn’t live until he went to Alaska. He literally felt no happiness in the life that surrounded him—"the real world," as some would call it. There’s a scene in the film when he is walking through a busy California street and observes a man in a tie laughing with a lady friend. The man’s face changes into his own and then back to his original face. The protagonist tries to imagine living a “normal” and acceptable life but it’s impossible for him. You could almost say that it's not in his DNA. He sets out again on his own into the wilderness.

Now on the flipside, he dies all by himself in Alaska. I thought about how sad it would be to take your last breath with no one around to hold your hand. And although I admire the fact that the protagonist wasn’t defeated in pursuing his dream to travel, and was not bound by time or man, I thought of how tragic it would be to achieve your dream and have no one to share it with. Isn't the purpose of life to have community, build relationships and help others? What's the point of living if you're doing it in isolation?

So I guess I'm trying to figure out what the balance is between pursuing your dreams and the fact that in pursuit of those dreams one could lose friends, family or even their life. Should one change their dream to satisfy the desire of another? Is that even possible? Is there a way to pursue a dream that is risky, and yet still be admired for your efforts and the very pursuit? Or are some people born to achieve great things and then simply die? And were some people placed on the earth simply to die?

I don’t know if there are any real answers to my questions. I just wanted to throw it out in the cosmos…or into the wild.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Are you controlled by what you own?

My husband and I are fascinated with the A&E program called "Hoarders." This reality show takes you into the lives of people who hoard things to the point where their homes are literally unlivable and even pose a health risk. Some of the people in the stories have been threatened with eviction and others have seen their families fall apart because of the excessive hoarding. It's amazing to see how the people in these stories are actually owned by what they own.

In one particular episode a woman wept as she held a teddy bear from her childhood. Although I understand that memories and keepsakes can bring you back to the past and specific memories, I was struck by the fact that most of the hoarders on these shows are living in the past. I feel really bad for these people because I see how deceived and controlled they really are.

The reason my husband and I enjoy watching these shows is because in the last three years of our lives we've gotten rid of most of our furniture, things from the past and just about anything that reminded us of negative things. We first began this journey after attending a conference where a well-known speaker spoke of finding healing through cleaning out the trash in our lives.

I had never made the connection between emotional healing and cleaning my house. Cleaning was always a chore and an obligation. Yet I was struck when the speaker said that the act of throwing things that reminded us of bad memories or even just ridding our house of excessive trash brings healing to the mind and emotions.

I was convicted because I knew that I was a hoarder in some ways. I was the girl that kept the gum wrapper because I'd purchased the gum during a vacation I enjoyed. I kept the "just in case" things in case the day would come that I needed it. The day never came and the things would collect dust in a box somewhere.

After attending this conference my life partner and I decided to do some serious housecleaning. We went through boxes and bins of things that we'd accumulated for years and gave away things that had been stored away and forgotten. Though I dreaded the process at times and wanted to quit, I threw away bags of things that I knew deep down I really didn't need.

I now understand how keeping so much stuff can control your entire life and gives you a false sense of security. My husband and I continue to clean out the trash and our lives are so much simpler without all the unnecessary baggage.

At the end of the day all that we own are just things, and when we die we're leaving it all behind. I feel free knowing that I can now trash things that I know I don't need or won't use. I don't want a messy house or life. I feel a real sense of control rather than the false one that led me to hoarding. Most of that was based on guilt. I'm happy to say that I've been delivered from hoarding!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Somebody's got lots of splainin' to do.....

He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?" -Luke 6:39

Moral of the story: If God said no one would know, then He probably wasn't kidding.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Staff

I've been hearing a lot of references to the story of Moses lately, and usually when I hear something mentioned repeatedly I know that God is trying to say something. Moses was a man who made a decision that changed his life forever. He killed a soldier that was mistreating a slave. Because of this he was banished and was to live a life in total isolation. He lost all the privileges of his former life and lived as a common man, even developing a speech impediment.

Years later, God appears to Him unexpectedly through the fires of a burning bush. God calls out to Moses bidding him to free the slaves from Egyptian captivity and abuse. Moses looks at himself and his circumstances and questions God. How could someone who killed a man and lost everything, including his reputation go before a Pharoah and speak on God's behalf? Rather than leave Moses to wrestle with his insecurities, and feelings of inferiority, God equips Moses for the call. God gives Moses a staff and tells him to put it on the ground. The staff then becomes a snake as a sign and a wonder for the people to see and trust that he truly is called by God. Moses continues to question until the very staff in his hand becomes a snake.

Moses was successful in fulfilling God's mandate because he looked past his insecurities and put all his trust in God. I sometimes feel like Moses. I question God in what I feel that He's called me to. How can I go out into the world and do what He's asked of me? Who am I?

But like Moses I often ask God to provide me with my own staff. I ask Him to give me the words and the wisdom to do and say what He's asked me to. And I find comfort in knowing that as long as I trust in Him and let Him lead that I can do whatever He says to do even when I'm afraid or feel unprepared. If God can give Moses a staff then I know He'll give me my staff in the package that He decides......What is your staff?

"God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called." ~unknown

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another little tree

When I was little I enjoyed watching reruns of Bob Ross painting on television. He always had a way of creating the most amazing sceneries. One thing he loved to do was add trees to his paintings. He would paint a tree or two and sometimes he would add so many trees that it seemed he was ruining the picture. I would think he messed up the painting when in the end he would add enough color and dimension that it all seemed to work together.

Rob Ross’s trees remind me of life. We often do things in life that to some may seem wrong or abnormal. I know in life I’ve made decisions that have caused others to question my ideals and motives. Because in my mind I knew the vision and big picture, I continued to do what I believed I should do even though others seemed uncertain and often voiced their disapproval.

In my faith walk, I don’t always understand what God is doing in my life either. I’m a pretty honest person and will often voice my thoughts to God and even argue with him over things that I don’t understand. I often don’t understand or see the big picture. And then a little “tree” appears somewhere in my life and it seems wrong somehow. But in the end it always seems to come together somehow.

The next time I watch another rerun of Bob Ross paint I’ll sit back and enjoy it rather than argue with him. Because I’ve learned from watching him paint in the past that even though his little trees seem out of place in the beginning, it always completes every painting he’s started. It all comes together in the end.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Time For Women To Rise

According to statistical data, women are surpassing men on a number of sectors. This is a far cry from a time when women were raised to solely care for their household. History has shown us that shoving women in the background or removing from them the right to communicate, educate themselves, and work makes for an unbalanced world.

As Hanna Rosin points out, our world has changed and many of today's jobs require the talents that women seem to naturally bestow. We are natural caretakers, communicators, organizers, planners and we know how to listen. It is a time for women. Let us shine as we do what we are called to do without hesitation or reservations. Use your voice, talents, and gifts to change, challenge and impact your world!