Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rhema or Logos... (May 31st)

Photo Credit: Dew Photography
God took me on a journey and taught me a lesson. When originally writing this post it wasn't apparent but now it is...all I can say is "Thank you Lord for being so patient with this child of yours."

Here is my story...

I have been reading Acts since March 30th of this year. As of today, May 22nd, I have read through Acts 24.

Some days I read a Chapter and move on the next day. Then other days, I read the same chapter for multiple days until God releases me to move on. It would be awesome to report that reading the same chapter for multiple days revealed some marvelous revelation of God...

Photo Credit:
These are some things learned and remembered  from my journal such as:

1. Paul has a nephew who saves him when the Jews are plotting to kill him. Acts 23:16-22... Nice kid in my book :-)
2. There are apparently two Philips (Philip the Evangelist and Philip the Apostle). Still don't completely understand the difference here or even if there really is one. That is the fun of being a work in progress with God, we get to keep learning.
3. Peter's vision was with animals but he tells Cornelius the dream referring to the Gentile people. (Acts 10:28)
4. Acts 11:26 is the first time believers are called Christians.
5. All the Apostles, not just Thomas, had to see Jesus' hands, feet and side only Thomas touched. (This is actually in John not Acts but my journey through Acts led me to this)
6. Ananias and Sapphira (I wrote a whole blog post. You can read it here)
7. Peter and God seemed to have a three time theme (In Acts 10, sheet revealed 3 times. We know the cock crowed 3 times and Jesus asked Peter "Do you love me?" 3 times)
8. In Acts 12:7, the angel struck Peter's side to wake him. This amuses probably shouldn't but does.
9. I left Acts 15 with a question, "Are we trying to have others conform to tradition instead of letting God transform them?"
10. Acts 17:16-34, God moved through Paul while he was waiting for Timothy & Silas to join him. He can do the same through our waiting periods, if we allow Him.
11. Acts 20: 8-10, Eutychus had "taken up dead" from his fall from the window.
12. Acts 21 has multiple people telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem. There is even a prophetic word given in verse 10 & 11.
13. In Acts 22, the people were listening until Paul said God would send him to the Gentiles. How often do we listen and agree with God until He says something we don't want to hear?
14. Acts 24, Paul had been in prison for two years while Felix was governor (Acts 24:7). This is only the time Paul has been under Felix's arrest.

Photo Credit: Unknown

Here is my lesson:

Quit spending time searching for the marvelous revelation and enjoy the Bible, for everything written in it is a marvelous revelation of Him and His love for us.
My mistake: I have been spending all my bible time chasing rhema and neglecting logos. When I should be in God's word everyday (logos) and letting the rhema happen in God's timing. 

 James Rae describes it as the following:

"Through daily reading of God's Word, which is referred to as the "logos," (logos), Christians will have knowledge of God and be able to memorize Scripture and to offer non-believers the truth that is written. But in addition to that, God wants to speak to His people and provide insight beyond human understanding. With the help of the Holy Spirit, portions of Scripture that were once words on a page will become rhema. They will have great significance and offer supernatural guidance, comfort, answers and assurances. "
My mistake is no different than people who go from place to place chasing signs and wonders; instead of focusing on a relationship with God. 

Here is your challenges today:

Go back through your journal and Bible reading for the last month asking God to reveal what He has been teaching you?
  • Search your heart and see if like me, you have been chasing "rhema" and neglecting "logos"?

Linking up today with:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flowerbeds and Weeds...

Veronica Herzing, a She Speaks Sister, is our guest blogger. Veronica has been married for 20 years to what she describes, "the most wonderful patient man alive." They have two children;  a son 23 years old, he is autistic and has Cystic Fibrosis. They also have daughter who is a Junior in college (the first in their family to attend college).

Veronica is the first in 4 generations to break the cycle of destructive behaviors in her family. As a "cradle" Catholic, which means she was baptized at 3 weeks old into the Catholic church.  She is a Lector, Director of Worship and an Adorer for Adoration Hour.  She has participated in 4 online Bible studies through Melissa Taylor and Proverbs 31; and is on the leadership team for Melissa Taylor's Online Bible study, as well as a group leader.  Veronica states, "I have learned to rely on Jesus for my every need, He truly is my EVERYTHING!!!!" You may visit Veronica's website, Simply Me~My Walk.

This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and let’s just say I did not come out looking good in the whole thing. However after some time I made an amends…

Photo Credit: Bing Images
I decided to help my husband weed all our flowerbeds. As I was weeding I began praying for all my friends and family, everyone who is struggling, needing surgery, recovering from surgery, is in distress or just needing Jesus. As I was praying I came to the conclusion that my flowerbeds that are completely overgrown with weeds, dead flowers and haven’t been watered are very much like our lives. When weeding flowerbeds we do so because the weeds are taking over the beauty of the flowers we lovingly planted.

Now, if they are overgrown like mine were – it’s been over a month since I cared for them – then after weeding them they look very sparse where before they looked full, even though it was deceiving because they were full of weeds.

As I was weeding, I realized since the flowers haven’t been cared for in such a long time some of the good flowers and foliage had to be removed as well so the plant could sustain itself. How fitting – God is our Weeder, if we allow Him to be. He weeds us and in doing so ad He pulls the weeds (sin, negativity, bad habits, etc) He pulls up some of the good flowers (things that don’t harm us but don’t do us any good either, or take our focus off Him). It hurts when He does this, we seem sparse and very vulnerable as we go through the weeding but in doing so that’s when others will be able to see His work in our lives!! When our flowers bloom and the beauty is eye catching.
Photo Credit: Dew Photography
However, what if God weeds us and then we are never watered – the weeds grow back spreading even further, the flowers wilt and then no one can tell where the flowers start or the weeds end – it’s just chaos!

The flowers need watered and weeded constantly just as we do – God is our Weeder and His Word our Water ~ we grow, we blossom, we show the world His beauty and mighty hand when we allow Him to be our Weeder and our Water.  The thought “bloom where you are planted” comes to mind as I write this and I think it’s very fitting but just as fitting is the thought, don’t allow your flowerbeds to go without water or weeding for very long – it’s hard work to sort it all out afterwards, its much easier to water and weed daily.  So “tend to your flowerbeds daily” and then in doing so others will ask “how are your flowers so beautiful in this season of heat and drought” and you can give glory to the LORD by telling them about your Waterer!
~Weeds grow and spread with no water, taking over every area in the flowerbed, while the flowers wilt and die.  It is the same with your faith and relationship with the LORD.  
Have you watered yourself today? ~
Below are two pictures after we pulled up all the weeds and dead flowers, they don’t look that great now but wait in just a short while with some water and daily tending, they will be gorgeous in no time.

Photo Credit: Veronica Herzing


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cheering for God....

Do we spend as much time cheering for God as we do our favorite sports team? This is the question that entered my thoughts while watching Game 7 in the NHL Stanley Cup East Series Play-off. The game was the New York Rangers against the Washington Capitals. My darling daughter and I were cheering the Caps throughout the game until the last second of the game. In our household we cheer for hockey, lacrosse and our daughter cheers for NASCAR because of Trevor Bayne. Yet, my hope and prayer is we will always cheer loudest for JESUS!!! 

Then another thought entered my mind as the final seconds of the game sealed the Caps loss. Are you a fair-weather fan when it comes to your walk with Jesus? Do you walk with Him until things get tough or He has the audacity to expect you to leave your comfort zone?

Tomorrow, we will still root for the Caps. In our household we follow the Caps. We are not fair-weather fans in our household...yes, it is true while living in NC we rooted for the Canes but we still loved our Caps. 

Some of you are saying, "That's nice, but what does this have to do with Jesus?" Everything, because  a large majority of Christians are "fans" of Jesus and not "followers." Kyle Idleman discusses this in a true grit, real deal way in his book, "Not A Fan." When the crowds were being feed free meals and it wasn't requiring much of them Jesus was the 'deal'. However, when things got tough and the free meals were not flowing people walked away.

 Idleman in Chapter 5 discusses what he describes two camps of  the Fan Club.
 Take a minute and see if you identify with either of Idleman's camps:

"Camp 1: Your faith is something you were born into. You didn't choose it. Your faith has always been more about honoring your heritage than surrendering your heart. The problem here is you grew up acting & talking like a Christian but you never fell in love with Jesus.

Camp 2: These are fans who measure their faith by their hard work at learning and following the law. Their intellectual knowledge and behavioral compliance was their target. Yet, even though they were saying the right things, it wasn't a reflection of who they really are. You may say and do the right things, but that is not enough for Jesus. He wants all of you." (Not a Fan pages 70 & 71).

Jesus doesn't want fans. He wants committed sold-out followers. Which are you?

Check out Kyle Idleman's "Not A Fan" or the Not A Fan website to learn what it means to be a committed sold-out follower of Jesus Christ.

Life In Bloom

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Who do you focus on..." Archived YKP, LLC Post

Who do you focus clients or loyal clients?

**An archived blog from my business blog...which is experiencing technical difficulties**

As the owner of a booking and promotion company for Independent Artist, I tend to want to recognize or reward the venues who give me loyal & consistent business. Yet, this is not as easy as it seems. Here are a few of the reasons why:  
  • When I receive promo items, the people providing them always request they be used to obtain new clients not reward present ones. My thought, "how you obtain a client is how they will expect you to keep them." Why not work hard and show the potential client what you can do for them instead of bribing them to be your client? On the other hand, I wonder if it is bribing the new client with a one-time offer to get them as a client. Once hired, we can still show them how hard we work for our clients.
  • When people show me loyalty and consistently book my clients; I want to show them we appreciate their business. We send thank you notes, but there is a part of me that wants to do more from time to time. This poses another question:"how do you decide who gets the rewards without causing dissension and jealousy with the venue operators." (A lot of them know each other)
Many of my family & friends have no concept or idea of what I do for a living. Therefore, I rarely talk with them about my business and the type of questions I have posted. It would be greatly appreciated if anyone who would like to weigh in would comment on this post or e-mail me:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not a "patient" Patient...

So tranquil...

It has been almost one week since my surgery. I must admit  to not being the most 'patient' Patient. My Sweetie and daughter have been awesome in helping me. They also take seriously their duties of making sure I do nothing on my "Do Not" list from the doctor.

My camera is being missed and all the baby ducks and geese are growing fast.

"Peep's Brothers right before my surgery"

I am on medical leave from my business for a couple more weeks. God even took care of that by having my client hire a manager. She is handling things until I get back.

 All of this has given me lots of time to read and spend time in God's word. The one thing that keeps coming back to me is how even with all of today's technological advances;  the doctors found things inside me that were not expected.

What they did find is a praise! My doctor went in prepared to remove a fibroid cyst (possible tumor) instead they found a chocolate cyst along with Stage IV endometriosis. This did require a complete hysterectomy. Yet, I am at peace and know that God is in control.

As I ponder what the doctors found, I keep thinking of Jesus talking to the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23. Ya know... about being whitewashed tombs. These people looked good on the outside but were unclean on the inside. Only Jesus could see the dirt and grime inside of them.

This leaves me with the thought of how am I spiritually? Do I look good on the outside but am "icky" on the inside? Have I let Jesus look inside to make sure that I am not a whitewashed tomb? Have you?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Greedy Little Glutton...

 Greedy Little Glutton…

This post was born from a comment my aunt made concerning a previous post, “Bother or Blessing.” I shared in that post (read it here) how bird lovers do not normally like squirrels. 

He was heading for the bird feeder before I interrupted him...

Here is an excerpt from my aunt’s comment:

If they (the squirrels) were considerate of others they could share a life with me. As it is right now they remind me of humans that you give things to and they always want more. I fed them in the woods and all I ask is they leave the bird’s food alone…do not destroy the feeders…they never seem to get the message”

My aunt has a great love of wildlife and she tried to co-exist with the squirrels. However, the squirrels were greedy gluttons, who kept destroying her bird feeders and stealing all the bird’s food. 

When I read her comment, I was immediately struck with the fact she is right. Squirrels can be like humans. Some people can be greedy gluttons. It is okay to shake your head in agreement.
Did a name or face most likely “popped” into your mind? Most of us know someone that no matter how much you give them…it is never enough. They always want more. How do we handle these people? Are we truly helping them if we continue pouring into their bottomless pit?

My aunt tried co-existing with her little gluttons, but they just demand more. When they felt like she wasn’t giving enough they started destroying things (her bird feeders)...The person who “popped” into your mind is destroying. They destroy their relationships with others and with God. The majority of friends and family will become fed up with being used. They will have a serious distaste in their mouth when this person’s name comes up.

The sad part is for some reason this “popped in your mind” person doesn’t understand that God is all they need.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus
Philippians 4:19

Notice, that God wants to supply all our needs not our wants.

In my own life, there have been people who were gluttons just like the squirrels. How did I deal with them? I prayed for God’s guidance. In one situation, I truly God clearly directed me to pray for this person. God further released me from feeling this person had to be an active part of my life. Abba Daddy reassured me that I did not have to put myself in the position for them to take from me.

There was another person we will call her ‘Claire’. Claire always needed more and more. God used me and a few other select people to help Claire realize that God would supply all her needs. With Claire’s permission, we kept her accountable. When she would start seeking more and more to fulfill her life instead of her loving Father we would point it out to her. We did this in love.

Here is the “ouch” of this post for me. There have been times over my 45 years of life that I have been a glutton. Times that no matter what was given, there was more that I wanted.

 I have even been a glutton with God. I wanted Him all to myself instead of sharing Him with others. This breaks my Savior’s heart. I was just like the servant who buried his talent.  (Read Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-28)

Have you been a greedy little glutton (just like the squirrels)? Ask God to change you…He is changing ‘Claire’ day-by-day and He can change you?  Is God calling you to pray for someone but have distance? Do it without feeling guilty, just keep praying for them. Are you burying your talent and not sharing what God has given you? Take a step today and start sharing the gifts God has given you.