Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ready for change...

Change is inevitable. Unpleasant most of the time and still again I say inevitable. God is ever changing. Yes He stays the same as He is the same yesterday, today, and forever but don't for one minute think that He doesn't change. Just as we don't drive horse and buggies anymore or light our houses with candle lit lamps, neither does He. This amazing book I am reading called "Prophetic Intercession-Unlocking Miracles and Releasing the Blessings of God" by Barbara Wentroble says this "the Lord says "....never think you know all about the moving of My Spirit. If you do, and turn your eye from My river, the river may change direction and you will be on dry ground". That thing scared me half to death and made me take a second look on who was I really looking at?!!! I do not, and I repeat, do not want to be on dry ground. Where He is, is where I want to be. There is a season and a time for everything. As the seasons change, so does His river. Keep your eye on His river. Stay in His flow and on course. Welcome change no matter the cost. It is here to propel you forward even though it may seem it is here to kill you. It is not. Change is coming...very good change..."He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water" John 7:38 and never ever stop believing for "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things that were told her from the Lord" Luke 1:45

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It Gets A Little Crazy Around Christmas Time!!

My mom had given me this old red jumpsuit to wear if I wanted to paint or get dirty. Kennedy decided she would put it on and found it was slick enough to slide in, so she used her sister as the slide...go figure.... ooohhh the comic relief and it was needed....(make sure to pause the music on my player so that you can get the full effect...lol)...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One Question Please...

Let me ask just one question.. and do not think it is a question that I haven't already asked myself and mulled over and over in my mind first because I have.
What do you think God will ask you that you did with Christmas, the birth of His only Son, when you stand before Him on that day? Do you think He will ask you how many presents you bought? How much money you spent so that no one got "disappointed" or thought "bad" about you? How much time you spent in lines at 4 in the morning just to make sure little Johnnie or Suzie got exactly what they wanted no matter what? How much more in debt you got this year just so you could please everyone and they could all have a great Christmas? Nope, none of those questions I doubt will ever surface but I bet I know some that will. Nicole, how many presents did you buy for those less fortunate than you this year not including family or friends? How much time did you spend in a soup kitchen line feeding the homeless, some of My most prized possessions by the way, instead of the shopping lines? How much did you get in debt getting someone else out of it so that they could have a roof over their head or food to eat? How much time did you spend with the elderly or the widowed or the orphaned this year so that they could have a great Christmas?
I am to the point that I want my family and I to be able to answer those questions with "everything we had Lord". That is what Christmas is truly all about...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prepare The Way!!

Sound the alarm!! Blow the trumpets in Zion! Prepare ye the way of the Lord!! He is mighty in Zion!! He is on His holy throne! He is in His holy temple! He is on His holy mountain!! Sound the alarm and blow the trumpets for the great I Am is inhabiting the presence of his people!! He is calling. He is calling. He is calling. He is calling forth the dry bones to rise, to live, to breathe!! He is calling you forth to bring life to dead places! Will you answer? Will you say yes, my Lord? Prophesy to the people! Tell them the Lord is with them and mighty to save! Proclaim the year of the Lord's favor! He says "what do they see?" and we say "they see dry bones". He says "what do you see?" and we say "We see an army! An exceedingly great army!!!" Will you take up your sword and fight? Will you breath life into dry bones and prepare an army for the Lord? Will you say yes?!!! Sound the alarm! He is calling!! He is mighty in Zion!! Prepare His way!! Prepare His people! Open up your eyes and see He is doing a new thing! Open your mind to His mystery and take the limits off! Set Him free! He is not ordinary and He is calling you out of the ordinary! He is calling deeper, higher, farther than ever before! No more limits! Dance, Dance, Dance! Sing, Sing, Sing! Prophesy! You are His mighty warrior! Stand and see the greatness in you and the greatness in your God! He is calling you, yes you! Will you answer? Breathe life, breathe life, breathe life, mighty warrior, breathe life.... Stand and prophesy to the army before you...Call those things that are not as though they were...He is mighty in Zion and He is mighty in you...Arise! Arise! Arise and prophesy! He is on His holy mountain....

Monday, December 1, 2008

It Is Time!!!!

Stopping in for a brief minute just to say this... It is time ladies...it is time for us to pick up our swords and fight. It is time that we stop letting the enemy steal everything we have while we sit idly by. It is time that we stand up with sword in hand and take back all that has been stolen from us and with a righteous indignation dare the enemy to set foot back in our camp again. It is time to declare victory over our homes, our children, our marriages, our finances, our futures. It is time to tell the enemy what he can do with his scare tactics and command that we are children of God and the enemy cannot touch us for it is written! It is time to take a stand dressed fully in our armor ready for battle. It is time to be Esthers if need be and if we perish then we perish but the enemy will no longer have reign, we will!! Pick up your swords ladies, it is time... it's time we win...the time has come for victory through His word...are you ready for battle?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Time of Refocusing...

I will be signing off from the blog for a time. I am being pressed by Him that I need to refocus and come away with Him for a time to recenter. Only He knows why, but I can say that even something as simple as a blog can have the tendency to capture all your attention and become an idol if you allow it too. I have a tendency to stray if God does not keep me under His thumb and He and I both know that very well. So, when I feel the pressure of that great big thumb start to get a little heavier than usual then I know that either He is calling me to Him for a season of preparation or calling me back to Him because I have wandered. I'm not exactly sure which one this is but I do know that it is not fun for me if I don't listen. Not at all. So, I will miss you guys, all my faithful followers and those who I have yet to meet, but I will return. Hopefully better for being obedient and hopefully changed even more. I hope you guys have a GREAT GREAT Thanksgiving holiday. Please, be careful if you are traveling and don't eat toooooo much...lol. See you guys on the flip side!

Very Much Heartfelt Love-Nicole

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Harmony...what a beautiful sound...

I went on a field trip last Friday with my ll year old daughter who has joined the band to play the Saxophone. I didn't really know what to expect. We were going to another middle school to sit in on their band practice. We walked in and the eighth grade was practicing for their Christmas Concert. Amazing! It sounded like we were listening to the Phil Harmonic. Seriously! The were playing We Wish You A Merry Christmas and I saw my child's eyes get big as saucers at how great it sounded. She turned and looked at me and said "Wwwwooooowww" under her breath...
Now granted they had every instrument you could think of from winds to percussions because it was a much bigger school and our little school in the country was not near as large but still they had it all together and it sounded sweet. Then came the 7th grade, not as good but still sounded great as they played the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Then came the 6th grade, my daughter's grade, and then the immaturity of first year players began to show through tho I have to say they still did pretty well. They got to sit in and play with the 6th and 7th grade band for their practice so they were nervous but thrilled. Then little did I know after that we got to go over to the high school where Winthrop University's traveling wind symphony was putting on a concert for the students of band. Okay, it was like the perfect day for me in so many ways. I got to be with my daughter and watch her blossom with a love of music even deeper than she had before and from a mother who loves music more than life, it was the best thing ever to witness. But I also got to listen to "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" and a multitude of other great arrangements that day. And as I sat in that music hall in the dark and listened to all the different instruments come together and make such beautiful music, I could only think one thing...harmony! Okay, yes, I am one of those weird people who sees or hears the gospel in everything, but I couldn't help it. It was staring me right in the face and ringing in my ears. I began to think of how all those different instruments complimented each other. One of the young ladies who played the flute had a solo at one point and oh man was it ever beautiful, but then another flute came in to accompany her, then another and then a saxophone, then a trumpet, then a percussion, and so on and so on until the sound was out of this world! That same girl could play the flute and then she went over and played the baritone. And others in the group, very few, but others could switch up and play another instrument. The percussionists were running back and forth in the back of the stage playing many things at once. Then there were those who played only one thing but played it well and with excellence. Also they were all dressed in harmony as well in their black and white tux and dresses. Okay, so this is what I gathered and it is simple. The Kingdom of God is like a great big musical production. We are all an instrument in this Kingdom. Some of us play one thing well and some of us play many things well. Some of us have solos and some of us would rather play along with the others but regardless of what we are or what we choose we all need each other for the musical to sound complete, to sound its best, to have the greatest effect. For example, when she began to play that flute alone, I was just about beside myself but when the others began to play and everyone joined in, well, let's just say I was undone. It was harmony! We all have to play for their to be harmony, and just like there were no big I's and little You's in that symphony, there are none in God's symphony. We need each other. Sure we will sound great by our self, but how much greater we will sound with each other? I need you. You need me. We need each other if we are going to create and atmosphere for people to be affected and turn to God. So, no matter if you are good at one thing or many. No matter if you are the big bass drum or the small piccolo, you are important and you are needed for this thing to be complete, for perfect harmony. We are all instruments of God and we are all wonderful in His sight and we are all needed. Begin to use your instrument well. Let's all dress up and play beautiful music in sweet harmony together for God and make this world a place someone will want to know the great I AM! Let's make it a place that they want to come and play with us too. We need their instrument and they need to know that. Well, that is what I gathered from one of the best days I ever had. I just love and adore symphonies. There is just something about the organization of it all, the sound of all the different instruments, and the gracefulness and elegance of the whole thing. And we must not forget the conductor. She stood up there directing and moving her hands and baton in time with the music. They kept their eyes on her as much as their music and without her they would not have been even close to staying in rhythm or harmony. And so it is with God's big orchestra. We must keep our eyes on Him and His instruction to keep us in the right rhythm. Without Him it would be just chaotic noise, with Him it is beautiful harmonious music...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pics for Brittnie...

Here is the gang...

Kennedy Elizabeth-13


McKenzie Grace-11

Matthew Christopher-7









Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Faith is Blind...

God has really been dealing with me on believing just how big He really is. He has been dealing with me on faith. Faith in Him. Faith in His Word and His ability to perform it. His ability to bring forth to pass what He has already established. A treasured friend of mine, Pam Tisdale, who the Lord has been speaking to on the subject of faith for her monthly women's meeting put it like this today. Faith is blind. Faith is believing in something we cannot see. Faith is loving the one who is leading. Faith is trusting the one who is leading. Faith is a seeing eye dog. Let me explain. When a blind person is given a seeing eye dog it is no small process of just saying "here is your dog, now you and it walk". They have to be paired with each other. Their personalities cannot clash. They have to form a bond, an intimate relationship, a trust with each other. Then they have to practice with each other, getting to know each other, knowing each others thoughts before they are ever expressed. Then and only then can they go and walk. The dog must go through extensive training to be a seeing eye helper. By the time he is released from training, he knows more than the blind person, in essence, and now all that is needed is the bond I spoke of before. The dog has got to know the owner trusts him and the owner has got to know that the dog will not let him or her fall and will not lead them into danger. So, they go out into the busy streets and towns working in harmony together like a well oiled machine. The dog leads the blind person around every obstacle and every hindrance that would cause them to stumble and if it is not possible to go a round, the dog will wait until the owner can carefully step over to safety(can we just pause and calmly think of that for a minute, SELAH!). Just like the blind man, we have got to form a relationship of trust with the One leading us that He will not cause us to stumble and He will keep us from falling and will not lead us into danger. And just like the Seeing eye dog, God will lead us around every obstacle in our path, keep us from danger, and get us to our destination. He has been well trained. He is God. He knows more about leading us than we do. The blind person cannot see their dog. They can only feel him. He must trust in something that he cannot see, only feel. We may not be able to see God but we can feel Him. We must trust that He has a job and He knows what He is doing. Now in the beginning is there never a time that the blind man does not stumble or get a little scratched up? No. I'm sure there are a few bumps and bruises but they are all worth it for the freedom that comes with practicing and trusting. They are not confined to one room. They have freedom to live, to explore, to be independent. They still have limitations in that they still must have faith in the dog to lead them, but that is okay because my friend Pam also said that when she was talking with Lord on faith she said "Lord, if we could just see how big You are, to be absolutely confident in who You are and who we are in You, then the enemy would be like an ant to us and we would never have to be bothered by him, we could just step on him and walk on" and the Lord answered her with this "yes, but then there would be no need for faith". Hummmm. What a profound revelation. Just like the blind must still trust in the dog for their freedom, so must we still have to trust in Him for ours. We must trust. We must believe in just how big He really is but we must also remember that without Him, there is no freedom and no need for faith, in essence no need for Him. We must always need Him. Faith is blind but what comes from it is beyond priceless. As my friend Tiffany(teawithtiffany.blogpsot.com) put it and I am paraphrasing, "just because you cannot see the mountain for the snow doesn't mean it isn't there and in the same way, just because you can't see Him doesn't mean He is not there. The mountain will not move and neither will He". He is leading you around every obstacle, steering you from danger, telling you the way you should go, and when you face an obstacle that seems impossible to get around and you must go over instead He is patiently waiting till you get your footing to cross and He will not let you ultimately fall. I know you can hear the horns blowing and the noise of the crowd, but never fear, it doesn't shake Him. He is not shaken or deterred. And He will lead you to your final destination. Trust Him to. Proverbs 3:5-6.... Faith is blind...but He is and forever will be God...and His eyes see what ours cannot...look through His...

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Revelation...

God seems to keep filling me in with the bits and pieces He wanted me to obtain from Deborah and Dorcas. This is what I am discovering. You absolutely cannot be the Deborah He calls you to be without being a Dorcas too. Let me try to explain how my brain sees it. Hitler was a leader, strong leader. Stalin was a leader, also strong. Wicked Kings in the Bible were leaders. Anyone can be a Deborah with enough will, charisma, and support of the people, but whether they are a good and kind leader is their choice. I think He wanted me to see that Deborah was a great leader and warrior. It is said that she was a "bee in peace and a wasp in war" but it was the compassion for her people that led her heart to want to save them. If you are to lead, then you have to be a servant first. A servant that has a heart of compassion for the people you are leading. If you do not have the heart of Dorcas then you are no better than an indifferent boss who is there just to draw a paycheck with no care for the people under him. You are no better than a Hitler who cared nothing for the people, only his own selfish desires. So, God had to open my eyes to see that great leaders are leaders who walk in the authority of Deborah with the heart of Dorcas full of compassion and humility. A leader who will hurt when her people hurt, cry with them, try to understand what they are going through, help them all they can and not stand in a place of judgement over them. A leader who will go the extra mile to feed into the lives of her people without expecting anything in return, just the satisfaction of seeing growth in them. In other words God, it's not about me and it never has been. It's about leading as Jesus lead. With the heart of a humble servant. I get it....help me to lead like You, Lord.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Man Rocks!!!

My kids hate this picture...lol


A match made in Heaven...aaahhhh....




Is not a fan of the camera...

Real man... and a Clemson Tiger fan to boot!!!


Okay, I haven't bragged on my man in awhile so I thought I would take a few minutes today and tell you just how blessed I am. Every woman at church wants to know if either he has a brother or if he is clonable....lol. Not so much because he is that gorgeous though I have to say he is hitting the gym like never before and is beginning to hulk up pretty good, but because he is such a dream to live with. His Dad taught him and his brother well. If we ever had dinner at his parent's house, his mom would never lift a finger to clean up afterwards. His dad would say "okay boys, let's get to it" and off they would go to take care of the chores. His dad would serve his mom with so much tender care and so much love. He was very attentive to her needs. But his mom didn't do every little thing for them either. She taught them how to take care of themselves and how to cook, clean, and have respect. They are both passed away from cancer now, his mom died first in Sept of 2003 and his dad died in Sept of 2005. I say he grieved himself to death. I have no doubt it was because of those lessons learned from watching his daddy with his mom and his mom's teaching him that helped him become the man he is today and then when Chris added Jesus into the mix...look out!!! He is forever doing things for me. He absolutely is a man's man. A full fledge guy, but yet he loves to cook like nothing else. He does most of the cooking at home and at church but only because he really enjoys cooking very very much. He always has my plate fixed whether it be breakfast, dinner, or supper. He always brings it to me and then when I am done he comes and takes it from me. He helps tremendously with the housework whenever he is needed and insists on taking the tough jobs on himself. I have no idea why he does these things. I have tried to stop him and help him but he insists that he loves to do it for me. A hunk, a servant, cook, house cleaner, awesome daddy....I am very blessed. Not to mention he would give the shirt off of his back to anyone. He is the most selfless person I have ever known. He is known by many as the jack of all trades because he knows how to do such a variety of things. I don't know if there is anything he is not good at but the best part about him is that he is not territorial and if he knows someone can do it better, he backs off and lets them have free reign and if he doesn't know how to do something he is not to proud or stubborn to ask someone to teach him. He is always forever giving to others and helping others in need. I have never been more blessed to have such a wonderful, loving, compassionate(yes, he cries at movies), and strong, and beautifully handsome man that his given his heart and life to God and the service of others not expecting anything in return or any of the glory. If he sounds too good to be true, I can promise you he does have his weak points, he can lose his temper, and he can be very impatient. He can also be a real man or should I say male at times too. But no matter wha,t he is my man and I cannot thank God enough for allowing me the honor of being his wife, the mother of his children, and to serve him is my privilege. I pray we live a long and blessed life together and just get better and better as time goes on... And today I just wanted to give him some flowers of praise while he is still alive and not after he is gone from this world as we should do all those we care about in our lives. We should never wait to pin roses until after they are gone. They need to know we admire them today. Let me hear some things about your man. Brag on him a little bit! I am sure you think your sweetie pie rocks too!!




Friday, November 14, 2008

I GET IT!!

I get it!! Okay, God is the lion and the lamb all at once. He is wild and ferocious and boasts a loud roar but yet meek and compassionate and loving. He is Dorcas and Deborah! He has the nature of a Deborah but the heart of a Dorcas! Okay, I'm good now... Just had to get that out...I'm sure all you guys knew that already but bear with me while I gather myself. It was news to me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dorcas or Deborah...

Lord, for so long, probably all my life, I have striven to be a Deborah. A leader. A spokesperson. In the limelight. On the stage. I feel comfortable on the stage. At home. I was probably the only person ever to love Public Speaking in college. And my momma told me I talked so much as a child that she wished on me to have one just like me to talk my ears off(and thank you Momma, I have three, so much so that sometimes I just look at them and ask them can they just give me five minutes please!). As you are shaping me Lord, testing me, trying me, molding me into this new person that doesn't where the cloak of her past anymore, I am finding out who I am more and more. Funny how when the blinders come off and you can feel and see and perceive things correctly, nothing looks familiar at all. I am beginning to not recognize me accept for the things I used to love to do as a child. You are taking me back to the roots of who you first meant for me to be before the world took over and soiled me, soiled my heart, my vision. You are reminding me of the things I used to love to do as a child before the things others wanted me to do were forced on my life. I have written, sang, and drawn since I was very little and those things are the only things that have stuck with me throughout. I love to write because it is my release. I love to sing because I absolutely love to. I had almost forgotten that you put these things in me since I was little for a reason. For so long I have striven to be that Deborah who is a strong leader and everyone looks up to. I wonder now if I have only tried to be her for the wrong reasons. Maybe I felt so unloved and rejected and insecure as a child and even as an adult, that I felt the need to be a somebody. It is a very uncomfortable thing to try to wear someone elses skin and I have tried to all my life thinking that I wasn't good enough in my own for anyone to notice or care. How foolish. How deceptive of the enemy. My skin is the only skin that fits me, the only skin that is comfortable. I heard a quote that said, "don't try to be someone else, they are already taken". I cannot tell you what it meant for me this last Sunday for the Lord to speak to my heart as He has been so faithfully doing lately. Still striving to be a Deborah I whispered up to Him "Oh, God make me a Deborah" and He gently spoke back "but you are not a Deborah, you are a Dorcas to the Deborah". For a moment it was a hard pill to swallow. I wanted to be on the stage. I wanted to do something great for you Lord! A Dorcas! Surely, you can't mean me. Not the strap on your seat belt, cause it's going to be a wild ride person that I am. It's not even my personality God and there is no glory in it!! AAAHHHHH, there we go. For the first time I heard myself say it. There is no glory in it. EXACTLY!!! God isn't looking for anymore Superstars in the world today. There are plenty of those to go around. What He wants is someone to have a compassionate heart for His people and for the lost who are willing to step off the stage and into the highways and byways. Can I tell you I was sick! Pride had overtaken me from a long time of not knowing who I was in Him and the need to be accepted. It was never truly for Him that I wanted to be there. And not to mention, He knew what He had given me to work with and He knew what I was best suited for. You see, Dorcas is special. She was a rare find. She took what God had given her in the ability to sew and she used it daily for Him in touching the lives of so many who were in need, so much so that they grieved her back to life...lol. Not many people are willing to give up the limelight and being seen and heard to work behind the scenes. I can say that, because I have been one of them. So, when He first said Dorcas, I didn't like it. The more He began to show me Dorcas, the more I began to understand His heart, His desire. How often does a woman offer the most meaningful service to God by doing what seems to be the least important to the world? She did. She offered what He gave her back to Him at His feet everydayof her life. Her whole life was worship to Him and she didn't care about any of the glory. She presented Him with it all. He gave me the ability to write. I didn't like it. I have to sit still and be quiet to do that and that goes against my nature. But if I sit and look at what talents I have, I have to use them for Him in the way He desires and not how I desire. So long I have been so selfish keeping back what He has given. I have been told that my gift is of an encourager. I have tried so hard to be so many other things than that. To me the words I give to others to lift them up are just words that He gives me, they come easy and it is hard for me to understand others who cannot say the first encouraging thing because it is hard for them to find the words. Finding the words has never been hard. I just always thought this gift was insignificant. Pastor preached last Sunday that the encourager was a prophet in his own rights and was great in the eyes of the Lord and that the encourager gift was very significant for without encouragement where would hope be? Encouragers spread hope into a hopeless world. One kind word can be make all the difference in someone's life. I am so worn out from trying to be something I was never suited to be. I have never felt so comfortable beginning to wear my own skin made just for me. There is a peace and a rest that comes with the accepting of who you are and a satisfaction of using the gifts that were given to you to help others especially when no one sees but the person that you are ministering to. My biggest desire is to take broken hearts and gently mend them. To take a life that is broken down and hopeless and lift it up until they are walking with a new self-confidence knowing who they are in Christ and watching that life transform into all God meant for it to be before their life was tainted. There are so many Mephibosheths that have been dropped when they were little, wounded, crippled, and they need some Dorcas's to come to their rescue. To make them think that they are worth more than the most precious gem. I was dropped, but someone came by and scooped me up and helped me to believe in myself, and if I can help but just one person the same way, then I will have done more than a million stages could ever have done. If I can hold a grieving mother and let her cry all nightt if she wants to until morning, if I can give clothes to one child who is facing cruelty at school so that they can walk among their friends with their head held high, if I can hold a baby that has no mom or dad and make them feel loved, if I can make Christmas a time of joy instead of a time of discouragement, if I can read to an elderly person at the nursing home that has no visitors day in and day out, if I can be a friend, be a servant, love the unlovable, hold a hand, give a hug, then truly I have fulfilled the call on my life, the call on all our lives. So, who will you choose to be today? A Dorcas or a Deborah? If you have been called to be a Deborah then you have an awesome call on your life and if that skin fits you, then you must wear it. It's what you were meant to do. But if you have been called to be a Dorcas, don't fight it. You are God's heart. You are His voice, His arms, His feet, His hands. Settle into that skin of yours and begin to use the gifts of encouragement and exhortation to give someone hope. They are waiting on you. They need you. Their life could even depend on it. God depends on it. Don't think yourself lesser than Teachers, and Preachers, etc. You my dear, are great in the eyes of the Lord for you are living out daily His word and you have His very heart. You are significant. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see that the skin I was trying to fit in was never mine. Thank you for gently showing me the reasons why I wanted to wear it in the first place. I know that if you desire to use my love of talking and singing and teaching, then when I am ready to handle it and give You all the glory without accepting any of it, You will make a way. Thank you for the gift of encouragement, for a strong love of the written word, for the gift of putting those words down on paper and thank you that You are the one that makes them mean anything to anyone and not me, and for the ability to sing, though I think the most important person I ever need to sing to is You. Thank you for allowing me to serve You. Thank you for changing my heart. Thank you for gently opening my eyes to myself. Thank you for the honor of being Your child. Please forgive me for all the times I went against you and tried to be someone I was never meant to be. Forgive me for thinking that the gift you have given me was insignificant. Thank you for showing me that it is not. Please, touch someone through me as Your vessel. Even if it is just one. I was just one....

Monday, November 10, 2008

There in Hawaii!!!...and they deserve it!

Well, at about 9:00pm eastern standard time my Pastor and his wife will be landing in Hawaii for a 10 day vacation. It was a gift from everyone in the church for them last year at Pastor's Appreciation Day to celebrate the 10th anniversary since the founding of GCM(hence, the "10" day trip). Can I just say "THEY DESERVE IT"!!!!! I have seen them go through so much for so long and take it all in stride, from losing a baby named Noah to the latest trial of Isaac in the hospital not knowing what the diagnosis was. I have watched them under fire from tongues that needed to be tamed for they meant nothing but harm and I have also seen their hearts hurt from the tongues of well-meaning sheep as well which can sometimes be the most painful. I have watched them dodge the enemy's fiery darts and attacks and push through holding God's hand during it all, never complaining, never turning their backs on God. My Pastor's wife said to we ladies the other night how grateful she was for this getaway with Pastor all to herself for 10 glorious days far away from the rest of the world. I know that probably sounds selfish of her but not really in my opinion because she also stated how incredibly tiring and draining it can get on a Pastor and his wife and family's spirit and life, physically as well. She loves us very much. Pastor does too. It shows in every little thing they do, but they deserve a break just like the rest of us. As hard as it is for some to believe, they really are human. Those of us who are not under that kind of pressure can only imagine what it must be like. As she said, "to be a Pastor's wife is a wonderful honor but also and awesome responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. It can also be a place where you are constantly under the microscope. Especially the wife being that she is a woman. And when you are constantly under the microscope with some people, it is like they put you in this box that says because of your title you cannot fall, you can only act perfectly, say all the right things, and if you don't then you must not be holy enough. They expect you to be perfect and it is just not possible, so you have to finally make up your mind that you can only try to do the best you can, be happy and content with the woman God made you to be and the woman He is making you to be, and just love with all your heart the best that you can knowing that God is pleased with your efforts". Try that for a decade or two and see if a break would be a welcome. Tough skin would be a good commodity. Now, is she selfish? Well, in a way, I hope she is just a little bit because if she is not, then she will never get the break she deserves. She needs time for God to be able to restore and renew and get her strength and focus back. I hope as soon as she got on that plane this morning at 5:40am she forgot all about church and people and problems at least for the next ten days. I hope the only things they took with them were bathing suits, towels, and flip flops and I hope they leave on the beach of an island every stress and problem and are healthy, refreshed, and ready to go again. I hope they have the time of their lives. And for all you Pastor's wives out their tonight, I have a feeling you can relate to this post. I hope you all get the same break that you so deserve. My hat is off to you! The rest of us can only begin to imagine your daily life... Unless we wear your shoes, I don't think it could be possible to understand... I am glad God graces you to do it all...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Suggestions please!!

Hey guys. Today the Lord really inspired me again to pick up a bible study that He prompted me to begin to write months ago about Ruth and Naomi for the women of our church. I think the reason I put the thought away was because I was so focused on just the friendship aspect due to some issues the Lord had to deal with in my life that until they were resolved and I could begin to see the whole picture, He wouldn't allow any clarity on the subject. So, since my eyes have been opened to a wider spectrum and my thoughts are beginning to clear as I learn to focus on Him and Him alone, I want to try and do this Ruth thing again...lol. So, here is where you come in. I need your thoughts on this story no matter what your thoughts are. I would love to hear some other perspectives from some wonderful women of God who may have had this story played out in their own life and I would love to hear some other thoughts other than mine. I want to know what you think their relationship truly meant spiritually and just in everyday life in general. What lessons were learned and what did they both glean from the relationship. To me it was the relationship between a spiritual mother and daughter. It was a lesson in obedience and submission to God and the spiritual mentors He places specifically in your life(I have a spiritual mother and would not be where I am today without sitting at her feet, all women need one so that they can be pushed beyond their limits and molded and taught). It was these things that led to destiny and eventually a bond of friendship that was rare. I really would like to know what your takes on these two women are...and thank you, thank you, thank you for your input. It is much appreciated....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Bless America...

I haven't said so much about the election in the months prior to last night but this morning I feel it is my responsibility as an American to at least reflect a few of my views on the outcome. Yes, I voted for McCain and yes I was a supporter of Sarah Palin. My political and moral views were more consistent with theirs in that I do not in any way shape or form agree with abortion(though I need to say that I hate the sin and not the sinner) and I believe that we as Americans need an economic break. God is the only one who has the right to say when the silver cord to a life is cut. Not man. Not law. God., and that America needs a break from the oppression of a hard working class of citizens who daily meet with the grind of low paying jobs and even higher paid taxes. BUT this morning on November 5th 2008 Barack Obama became the President-elect of the United States of America. At the same time this morning I and my family became subject to his leadership. He became our authority. God speaks much in His word about being submissive to the ones who lord over us. He talks much of the respect that we are to give to the ones He has appointed over us and the dangers of not being obedient to this precept. As my children were on the way to school this morning and knowing the landslide of comments and bashing of America's choice they would face today because not everyone will agree, I warned them gently of the consequences of disrespect. I told them not to get into a political or moral argument, just to say that the choice had been made and change the subject. We have to be very careful to remember that the word says that God appoints all men into positions of authority and leadership. All!! He appointed Saul. He appointed Hitler(hang with me here, I'm going somewhere). Neither men were "bad" when they began. They let pride and free will overtake them and they "became" bad. I have read(Elijah List) where it was prophesied that God said that it would in the beginning look one way when it was really another and that He Himself would turn the head of the one whom He appointed into office and change his heart towards Him. Let's take courage in that this morning. God can turn the head of a King in any way He chooses. I think that when God does as He says, He will get much glory from it. God is still in control today just as much as He was yesterday. He is still on His throne and there is no threat of His dethronement, ever. He sees what we cannot. He understands beyond our understanding. He knows the future for He has already been there. Have no fear this morning for God has left no one hanging out to dry. He by no means has. He is teaching us to trust His decisions. He is teaching us to pray for our leaders and our nation more than ever and put our own agenda aside. He saw something in Obama that He knew only he could carry out for this nation and we need to trust His divine wisdom. He knew the outcome of this race before we did and He was not at all caught off guard or surprised. He is not in Heaven running around frantically trying to figure out what He is going to do now to fix the voter's choice. I'm sure He didn't see a need to fix anything. He is calm. He is cool. He is collected. He is God, He is sovereign and He knows what He is doing. Now, today no matter what my opinion is, no matter what I think, feel, or hear, I must believe that God is doing exactly what He needs to do for America. My responsibility is not to bash Obama, not to go around complaining all day because I didn't get my way, and it is not to give my views to everyone I see. I don't know all there is to know about this man, but God does. It is my responsibility as a child of the only true King to lift the man placed in authority up in prayer, lift my nation up in prayer, exalt the decision of the all wise God, rejoice with all African Americans in the nation today because it is a monumental moment in history for them, rejoice in the fact that God has great things in store for America and that He never fails His seed, never. It IS my responsibility though to submit willingly to the authority that has been placed in my life and in my country and to give respect where respect is due to my leadership. United we stand, divided we fall. If we do not stand with him and give him support in the next days, months, years, then he will have a very difficult time doing the job he has been promoted to do. I pray today that God begins to do a work in President Obama and those in leadership in Congress and the White House of wisdom and discernment and compassion that will show His greatness like this nation and its people have never seen before and God will receive all the glory and honor, not man. I will rejoice because we are the red, white, and blue, we are a great nation, we are free, and we are and forever will be one nation under God...May God Bless America...

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Can See!!!

Job said(paraphrased)"I have known of You, but now my eyes can see You!" What a wonderful sentiment of the heart from a wearied soul. He had to go through so much to have so much taken out of him so that he could finally see the God he had been talking of all this time. Can you exalt someone you do not truly know? Can you worship an unknown? Can you speak words of praise about someone whom you don't have a relationship with? Can you sing when you don't even know the song? No, and God knew Job knew of this great God he so faithfully served but yet he did not KNOW the God he served. And so many things were in the way of him truly coming to know Him. Pride, fear, wealth, flesh...sound familiar? Well, it sounds too familiar to me. So many times I have given this great God lip service even though I didn't truly know Him. My heart wanted to. My spirit man has longed to since forever but things just got in the way, people got in the way, selfish ambition got in the way... So, God let me slip. I didn't say fall, I said slip. He had to show this ol' hard head what was what. I can relate in some small way to Job in that it took God moving away to show me I needed to draw near. Sometimes when you think you have nothing to lose, He will show you that you have everything in the world to lose. And now my eyes can see!! I have never seen so clearly. I have never felt so free. I have never felt so in love. And I have never felt so humbled and so strong at the same time. My God, you knew what it would take. You knew. Now I can see You, Lord. Now, we can fall in love again... You were jealous for me and You meant that relenting was not an option until You obtained all of me, my complete devotion, and my entire focus... I have wasted so much time trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be for You, for everyone else. It was all a sly diversion of the enemy. Not now, for I have seen myself through Your eyes, and for the first time, I like, no I love what I see and for the first time no one or nothing can ever take what I have seen away from me. I can now envision what You have had in store for my life all along. My destiny was never remotely what I thought nor what You had in mind. Your purpose for my breathing was always there and who I really was in You was there as well. It was just hidden behind lies and deceptions. What a beautiful God You are! Thank You that now I can see!!! I give You all the glory and I thank You for showing me the truth... Thank You for everything... I love You and I cannot wait to worship You in spirit and in truth...really in spirit and in truth....You never relented, You never will...thank You...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today I Want...

Today Daddy I want...You to run me down and catch me by surprise, grab me up in Your arms, smile at me, make me laugh till I cry, spin me around and around, throw me in the air and listen to me say "do it again Daddy!", let me dance on Your feet till I get tired, then hold me in Your lap with my head against Your chest, read to me from Your Word and tell me things I've never heard before, stroke my hair and listen to me tell You of my day as You tell me of Yours, sing to me, sing over me, let me sing to You, kiss me and squeeze me real tight before You go, tell me You promise to come back and we can do it all over again...today just let me be little again with You...I love You, my Daddy God, love Your little girl...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Knight In Shining Armor...

God doesn't always come as you expect Him to. He doesn't always ride in on the scene and whisk you away from danger, from heartache, from life, from yourself...oh, that last one was a mouthful. From "yourself"... For a solid week I could not see, I could not hear, I could not breathe without hurting, and it seemed I couldn't cry one more tear. Then He came. He came to my rescue but it wasn't as I expected. You see, sometimes God has to let us endure our self, hear our self, live with our self, see our self so that we can get over our self. I wasn't going to go to the women's function Sunday night. I was just to beaten down and tired to go, but something in me shouted at me that said "you have to try". So, try I did. I did not break until I fell into the arms of two very close friends who endured this week with me. Endured me. Was there a pity party with them? No, I had had enough of those on my own this week for all of us. And by the way, God never talks to you in a pity party, never, unless it is to tell you to straighten up! When I broke, then I could see what the enemy had been up to all along and had it not been for God and His unending grace, I probably would not have made it to the meeting and I would have never heard the sermon my friend and Pastor gave and I probably would not have broken. We have to break. It is the prerequisite to humbleness, the precursor to repentance, the light to a dark path. Without breaking, there would be no progression, no softening of the heart and no lesson learned. If we hurt enough and get fed up enough, we will give way to God's breaking. Surrender comes, breaking comes, the light bulb of revelation comes, momentary shame and sorrow comes, repentance comes, healing comes, newness enters, progression is made. I had allowed the enemy to place a burden on me that was never meant to be. And God in all His mercy held me this week until I got fed up enough with my own self and with the enemy to finally do something about it. One thing that Pastor Sabrina mentioned that really made all the difference was when she spoke of the man at the pool who had been stricken for 38 years lying there until someone carried him to his healing. Jesus said "wilt thou be made whole?". She posed that question to all of us. Are you going to lie there waiting for someone to carry you to your breakthrough? Are you going to continue to allow the enemy gut shots and to kick your teeth in? Or wilt thou be made whole?!?! No more excuses. No more "it's not me, it's them". That doesn't fly anymore. So, with that choice to make, I answered and said "yes, I wilt be made whole"! And the weight began to drop off like a coat that had been to large for me to wear. The light bulb began to flicker and my path was beginning to clear and my eyes began to focus once more. No more!! I will live as if my next breath is my last and it will be a breath full of joy bubbling over! Should I be ashamed as seasoned as I am for letting this sneak in? Well, some might say I should have known better and I am old enough in Christ to be more discerning, but this time I just wasn't and I refuse to carry the weight of any shame or guilt. It happened, I lived, and I learned and I am all the better for it. Ladies, we have to be so careful to catch the red flags God throws up for us. I can look back now and see the warnings that proceeded the open door to the enemy that is now closed. I chose not to heed them as I should have out of misunderstanding them completely. Do yourself a wonderful favor, if you don't understand the red flag, SEEK UNTIL YOU DO UNDERSTAND OR SEEK SOMEONE WHO DOES AND WHO CAN TELL YOU!! You will not regret it!! Life has taken on new meaning through this whole ordeal for God will never waste pain. You will learn from it and good will come of it. I will not look at the people around me the same that God has placed in my life for a blessing to me. I will love them more, bless them more, laugh with them more, hug them more, encourage them more, lift them more, praise them more for a job well done, try to understand who they are more, enjoy there presence more... I will live my life for God and God alone, for my vessel is empty without Him and I am a dry and desolate place without my Source... I hope I have entered into a new place with Him and I cannot wait to fully see myself through His eyes because then maybe I can see others through His eyes as well without my preconceived ideas...and as a new friend of mine, Tiffany, so eloquently put it, "people matter, love matters"... and you know what, it is all that matters... thank You My God for being my knight in shining armor...You came not as I expected but right on time...I give You ALL the glory for all you have done for me that no one else could have...Jehovah Jireh, you are my provider and YOU ARE ENOUGH....I love You with all my heart and soul and mind...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Need To Know...

Today Lord, I don't care about Your miracles. I don't care about Your power. I don't care about the parting of the Red Sea or the raising of the dead. All I care about today is knowing that You still care for me. Knowing that You still want me. Knowing that You still love me. I need to know that You still know the number of hairs on my head. I need to know that You care that I can't stop my tears today. I need to know that You still want to fix me. I need to know that You are aware of me. I need to know that shame is not the final outcome. That it is not my crux. I need to know that You are here and most of all that You want to be... I need to know that what You see in me is not what I see...I need to hear the footsteps of horse and rider coming to my rescue...I need You...and I need to know...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Place Is With You...

I stray, You lead me home. I lose my center, You guide me. I lose my sight, You give me Your eyes to see. I rebel and kick and scream, You don't relent. I pull away, You grip tighter. I panic, You are the voice of reason. I stumble, You catch. I fall, You hold. I hurt, You heal. I cry, You cry too. I can't walk, You carry. I see no worth, You see treasure. I see filth, You see righteousness. I see no reason to finish, You see the end. I plead, You hear. I ask, You answer. I need You, You already know. My place is with You. My home is with You and there is no other place for me. I may see no worth but You see a beauty that my eyes have yet to see and You will not relent until I am able to see through Your eyes. I see no reason, no evidence to keep trying, to keep fighting, but You remind me that You are enough. You will always be enough. Take me into Your secret place and show me once again who I am and whisper to me what You think of me. I need to hear that You love me and that even in my worse moments when all I can see is ugly, You still see beauty, and You still want me. Let me hide under Your wings until this has passed. Until You and I are one again... give me a glimpse of the end that You see once more Lord...I surrender, You take...I desire, You give... My place is with You...

Monday, October 20, 2008

God, First Lady, and a Helicopter...

Well, maybe I am at least down to cloud 3 so that I can talk a little about my helicopter experience yesterday. First of all you will have to understand that I have never flown in anything. I have never even ridden so much as a roller coaster. I have always been a rather cautious person I suppose. Always walking around the edge of the pool persay but never diving in. So, when that helicopter left the ground yesterday, it was the very first time my feet had left the ground too. And at 11:00 on a brisk and cool Sunday morning in November, my heart left the ground along with so many fears that I had been battling for it seems a lifetime. Now, I suppose you are wondering why I was not in church but I was in church. It was our Pastor Appreciation Day and my husband somehow had talked to a friend and had gotten two helicopters to come and pick up Pastor and First Lady from their house and after a short tour in the air, fly them to church where they would land on the front lawn where everyone would be outside to welcome them. Well, so happens that two people could ride to their house in the copters so that their cars could be taken to the church so they could get home afterwards. I have been so afraid of flying but something inside me jumped up and said "I want to!". I thought to myself, now who said that, sure wasn't me, hush!...lol. And believe me, I was nervous and scared, but I went on anyway. Then when I get there, this copter is about the size of half a small car and about 150 degrees it felt like on the inside, but I strapped in anyway. Then here we go! In about two seconds flat we were about 5oo feet above the trees and I thought "UH OH, there is no turning back now!". Aside from a few fleeting moments of absolute fear, it was the most exhilarating thing I have ever experienced. I didn't want it to end and I would do it again today if I could and since he offered to take me up anytime I wanted to go, I probably most likely will. I learned two things yesterday. Number one, you CAN do all things through Christ. He showed me in living color yesterday that if I will just put one foot forward in faith that He will meet me there, He will show up and take care of the rest. He showed me that even though it may feel even up to the very last second even as you are taking off in the air that He is nowhere around, suddenly He rolls up on the scene and everything changes. He showed me that there is no fear that you cannot conquer with Him. I was strapping in my seat belt in the cockpit and was still not sure if I could do it. He showed me that I could. He showed me that He cannot take the first step for me. That it is my job to step out in faith. But that when I do, I open the door wide open for Him to come along for the ride which is why right now I am going to take a moment to say thank you to the Holy Spirit for taking that helicopter ride with me. I couldn't have done it without Him, without His strength, His grace and I give Him all the honor and glory that is due Him for the miracle in me He has done. Thank You Lord!!! Now, my only question is "What adventure is next for You have got me hooked?" The second thing I learned is that there is always a driving force behind the attempt. I know that without something driving me to conquer this fear, I never would have. But let me stop right here and interject that still no matter how much I am driven or no matter how badly I may want to conquer something, without Him there would be no way. I know what was behind my determination to fly in his helicopter. I guess I should say someone was behind. We all have someone in our lives that drive us to conquer and to be better than we ever could on our own. There is always that sandpaper that polishes or that person that influences us to make them proud. First Lady would have to be that person in my life. For six years she has been. No one in my life has ever driven me more to want to get better, to be better, to be all I can be than she has, her life has. I doubt she even knows that she has had that great impact on my life but because of her influence, I have been determined to be all that God wants me to be. There are many times she should have left our friendship and never looked back because believe me, I was messed up good! She may have backed off, but she never left because she saw something greater in me than the enemy would allow me to see in myself. She has pushed and pushed and pushed me towards this great God that I would have never known so deeply without her constantly driving me forward. And most of the time the greatest push that would make me fall on my knees and seek Him harder than ever before and make me work double time to find out what needed fixing in me next was when she never said anything at all. So when I found out I had the opportunity to ride a helicopter, something in me drove me that was greater than my fear. Before I knew it my feet were walking towards the helicopter without me and my hiny was in the seat and strapped in before I could say no. And when that thing landed and I stepped out on solid ground, the first words out of my mouth were "I CAN do anything!!!". And at that moment for the first time in my entire life, I felt like I could. I felt like I had just climbed Mt. Everest or won the Superbowl! It was the best feeling I have ever known. And now all I want is more of the same. It has opened up a door in my life that has always been shut. And I was so absolutely humbled beyond words that I got the chance to share this experience with her. I will never forget it. So, thank you Lord for the ability, the strength, the grace, the love that helped me do something I will never forget for a lifetime. Thank You Lord, for victory! Thank You for helping me conquer Mt. Everest. Thank You for never letting me go and for coming along for the ride all my life. There is no one like You in my life and it is my one desire to get to know the One who is behind all these changes in me and all this love and all this wonderful exciting adventure more than I ever have known You and as deeply as I can.
And thank you First Lady. I know you may never read this, but somehow may you know that I thank you for all those years of pushing and for all those years of that wonderful sandpaper that has been shaping me and making me beautiful all along even though it was hard to see. Thank you for your friendship that has been more of an impact on me, on my growth, on my life, my destiny than you will ever ever ever know. My heart cannot contain all the gratitude that I have. Thank you for never leaving and hanging in there. Thank you for your patience with me that I still find amazing!! Thank you for your love that for the better part of 6 years I couldn't see or understand because of my own selfish desires and my own agenda. This has been an adventure and a journey that I am so glad you were willing to take with me and I wouldn't have wanted to take it with anyone else and I am honored. My heart can't even begin to find the words to say thank you properly. Pam called me that evening to ask how I liked the ride and she made the statement, "Well, we all discovered one thing today, that you will do absolutely anything for First Lady". And she and Chris both agreed that you could get me to do things that no one else on the face of this earth could ever ever get me to do, guaranteed! And I guess in a way they are both right because there is just something in you that makes me think I can do anything and makes me want to try to. There is just something in you that makes me want to know who I really am in Him and makes me want to know why you are the way you are and how you got to be that way. There is just something in you that makes me desire to sit at your feet and learn the worship that you give and why you give it. There is something in you that makes me want to know Him in ways that I cannot even explain because every time I think of you, of your life, I think of Him. There is just something in you that draws me to God. There has just always been something in you. And you and God have driven me to fly! There was something driving me that was greater than my fear and I hope my feet never touch the ground again. Silently you pushed, First Lady. Silently I received. I hope that on Sunday November 19th 2008 at 11:00am I made both you and He very proud of me. I hope that your reward is great on account of what you have done for and put up with in me...and don't stop pushing me and I will never stop pressing forward... we must keep going forward... And my wonderful Savior and King, it is only by Your great love that I can do anything at all...without You I am nothing at all....I love You more than my next breath...Now, on to the next great adventure, Daddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And First Lady, I'll fly with you anywhere and at anytime... :0) I hope our great adventures have just begun!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Flew...

I flew in a 2 seater helicopter today at around 1000 feet...I'm still so thrilled at just the thought of that, that there is not much I can say for now...when I get off of cloud nine and my feet touch the ground again, I will tell you all about it...for now, just know that it was thus far the most amazing thing I have experienced...talk to you in a bit...

Friday, October 17, 2008

OK now...

Ok now, Lord, I know that my telling You to go ahead and cause me pain if that is what it takes is something you take extremely literal, but could You let up just a little or at least let me catch my breath?!?! I love You, Lord, and yes, still whatever it takes...let it be unto me according to Your word, o' Lord, let it be...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Doesn't Kill you Only Makes you Stronger...

Sometimes Lord, I don't know if you are trying to make me better or kill me...it gets so hard to distinguish between the pain that cripples and the pain that heals. Sometimes I wonder which one actually hurts worse. The cuts that people and that life give don't seem to bleed near as bad and cause as much pain as the pain You cause when I need to be cut away on. But there is a difference I cannot explain when I feel and know that it is Your hands working as a skilled surgeon on my heart. There is a difference in the pain. It is a knowing in the end that all things are working together for my good that strangely helps me to be able to say that it hurts but please don't stop. Not yet. There are still dead things there that without You will never live again. You bring me to the brink of death to revive my black heart back to life. My very breath turns to ice at times because sometimes my heart is so sick and cold and swollen with all of me that I can fit in it and none of You, that the pain You bring is the only thing that can heal. The only thing that gets my attention. The only thing that brings me to my knees. Pain is sometimes the only thing that can open the eyes of my heart. If I can and will endure the knife, Your knife, then I can and will endure anything. You are causing much pain right this very moment but Lord, I will not resist Your hand. I will allow You to cut away and if it causes pain and death to bring newness of life, then so be it. Until You know You have all of me, You will never cease to drop me to my knees. So, if I find myself there for the next little while like I know I will, I will know that something is dying and something is beginning to live...I know that to die is to live, and to lay it all down is to lose all while gaining everything in You, but Lord, this hurts so much, and Your little girl is struggling, so I may need Your help to lay some final things to rest. I know You will not rest till You are my one desire, my one focus, my only love, till You and You alone sit on the throne of my life, till every dream, every desire, every idol has fallen at Your feet. You will not rest until You know my heart truly means the words that my lips have said so many times before. I love You more than the very air I breath, and I want more than anything to give You what You are asking of me. I need You to cut away and make all things new but please hold my hand through it all so I don't fall and hold on tight so when I am tempted to run, I will know I can't get away. I want to want this more than anything I have ever wanted. Help me to want You more than anything else I have ever wanted. Keep causing me the pain that heals. What doesn't kill me Lord I know will only make me stronger...make me stronger in You, Daddy...I love You so very much and I know that I owe You my life for all You have done for me...You are my song and I will sing of You forever...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Psalm 29...I Exalt You, My King...

I have so few words to describe You, my Lord... You are so indescribable... What can I say to someone who is so great, so beautiful, so unbelievably awesome? What can my heart ever minister to You? What can my mind ever say when it cannot even comprehend You? The only thing I can say is You are God! You are God! You are God!!!! Today I will let Your word exalt You and say what I cannot say.... You are God...

A Psalm of David.

GIVE unto the LORD, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The LORD is over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars,
Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes them also skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, "Glory!"
The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the LORD sits as King forever.
The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.

SELAH!!



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To Worship You I Live...

Today the only thing I want to do is worship You. I love the song line "to worship You I live", because there are times when I feel it is the very reason for every beat of my heart. People think me so strange sometimes, I know, because I see You and sense You in so many things.
I know You are there in the wind, in the sky, in laughter, in tears, in joy, in pain, in everything...there You are. I cannot open my eyes without seeing You in something staring back at me. You are everywhere and You are everything. To worship You my heart beats. To worship You I breathe. To worship You I rise. To exalt You, to praise You, to worship You I live... there is a song in my Spirit that never ends for You even when the words are no more and the melody ceases within my flesh...it's my song to You that continues even when I cannot find my voice, like today when it is hard to remember it is there... You are my God and forever I will praise You. Forever... It's the very reason I live and I absolutely cannot contain it...If I did, my heart would sing without me and my soul would dance anyway...I have to give You my worship...I have to...I just pray what I have to give pleases You...

Monday, October 13, 2008

I hate 180...

Where do 180's come from? I hate them. What I hate the most is when you wake up one morning and realize a 180 has taken place and caught you off guard. I hate them so much, that I plan with all the strength in me, not to have anymore. I woke up and BAM there it was! 180 all the way! Then you have to battle and scrap and scrape and dig and claw not to go further down in the pit the enemy so wants to push you into. You can't feel God, you can't feel anything so faith comes in handy in a big way and believing the Word is true and standing on it is all you have. I've been here before and that is what makes me so stinkin' mad! Where did I miss it?!! I'm just so thankful that God has given me eyes and ears to see and hear more quickly than I have before. I don't have to remain here. I just have to make an adjustment or two. I'm just mad I am here at all! I don't give up easy. With God's help, I will stand on top again. I pray I can be even more quick to discern the next time the pit has an opening the size of Texas! Thank you my Lord for Your faithfulness and patience. Thank you that You are the one person that doesn't give up on me and that stays with me through it all, even through every careless mistake. Thank you for loving me. By your grace, I will never give up because I know that You are faithful to complete the good work You have begun in me and to be honest, I've had just about enough of not knowing the person You see in me... I could not be more ready to meet her...I love you forever, my King... Do what You what You must in me till there is no me, only You... I'm ready... no more 180's...no more...and just between me and You Lord, I let that part of me go, and I know you will know what I'm talking about...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"We're Coming Home!!"

I got the call this morning from the voice of a weary but excited mom that said "We're coming home!". Think about that statement for a moment, "we're coming home". Could there be any phrase more comforting than that one? Not hardly... After a week long battle of tears
and inconsistencies and unknowns, there could not be any sweeter words than those. There is something about those words that makes every burden roll away and peace flood your soul. It makes you think of relief and rest and mashed potatoes and gravy and mac and cheese and soft pillows and cozy socks and all things comforting... I have watched this wonderful woman of God handle this battle with both tears and strength. I've watched her hold his tiny hand and stroke his little face and sleep night after night on the corner of a less than comfortable hospital bed and never once has she complained. Not once. And the tears she shed were in private and never in the sight of her little man. She was graced to be the strength for her husband and her children when she didn't think she could even have enough for herself. The surgery he had to have to remove a clogged up lymph node in his neck Thursday seemed to have been evidence that the node was the culprit to all this chaos in his body because it could not filter out all the strep throat cases he had endured lately and the strep entered his blood stream and kidneys. And today he is more like his old self than ever. They may never know what the true diagnosis is. All that matters is that is that he is well and he is coming home. They are all coming home. What a happy happy day this is!! And one day what a happy day it will be when we all get to say "we're coming home"...I'm so proud of the Fort family and so proud of her... What troopers they were through it all...and wonderful and awesome God, none of it would be possible without You, our wonderful and faithful Lord and Savior. Without You, there would have been no strength. Without You, there would have been no grace to hold on when it all looked hopeless. Without You, there would have been nothing and there would have been no "coming home". Today or Ever... Because of You and only because of You, we can come home. Thank You for Your never-ending faithfulness... We give You all the glory and honor for it all... You are so very good...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finally!!

Finally some good news!! A blood report finally came back with a positive result for little man Ike which is good because I was beginning to wonder how much more negative his momma and dad could take. Of course it was only a slight change but praise God, it was a change!! Today was the day they were to decide whether to move him to MUSC in Charleston. No improvement meant another starting over with new docs and new sticks and new fears. So praise the Lord for some improvement. I watched his tired momma follow him with his IV pole as his dad pushed him around in a wagon in the hospital playroom yesterday. Smiling but so weary in every way possible. She needed some relief. Thank God He sent some today and I know the Calvary is coming soon. To watch a mother's heart break for their child is unbearable almost. This was her Isaac. They named him that because it meant promise and laughter. And he has brought allot of laughter to say the least. He is quite the little jokester and you never know what he might say next or where in the world he came up with it. But Ike was a promise. She lost her little boy Noah to stillbirth not very long before she became pregnant with this little man. He was the promise and he still is. No matter what the enemy tries to do, there is still no weapon formed! He cannot steal her joy, her laughter, or her promise unless she allows him to and I can promise you this one thing, she won't allow it!! She is not only momma and Pastor's wife but she is music pastor and I guess the enemy is trying to steal her song as well but what he doesn't know is that she and God have their own song that he can never touch and she will always have a song within her. It may be deep down but it is still there for her to draw on when she needs it. She will always have a song and no devil can take it. Again, I am proud of her. She is a remarkable momma, wife, leader, and friend. Hang in there, sweetie, the Calvary is coming!! They are ready and waiting for His signal to charge...

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Mother's Love...

Ike(left) and Matthew(Buddies)

I know I haven't been to the blog in awhile but I have been at the hospital and on my knees for my Pastor's son. He is only five and my son's best friend and his name is Isaac or as his momma calls him, "Ike". He has been stuck, probed, and prodded for almost 3 days now and will be there for a little while longer. I have listened to him cry for his mommy as she has bravely held his little hand not allowing her feelings and emotions to show. I am not only proud of that little man, I am so proud of my friend. Today she even shed her blood for him as she allowed the nurse to stick her to show him that it didn't hurt so much. A true sacrifice of a loving momma who would do whatever she had to do for her child. Her blood spilled to the floor and even got on Pastor's shoes and all I could think about on the way home is how much of an example that was of Christ and His love for us. How He spilled His blood so we wouldn't have to hurt so much. He shared in our pain just like she shared in his. It truly was a beautiful thing and I think it made me love her more and respect her even more than that. Her birthday is tomorrow the 7th and will be celebrated at his bedside. She doesn't care. The only gift she says would mean anything would be for him to get better and it is the only gift she wants...Spoken like a true mother...I couldn't be more proud of her than I am right this minute. Please, pray for Ike. His kidney is swollen as large as an adult's, his urine is purple, and he struggles with fever all the while smiling and trying to play. They need your prayers and First Lady, if you ever do read this, please know that I am and will always be here, and you can rest assured that I will never ever leave your side for wild horses could not drag me away, and I will forever be your friend for you and your friendship have left lasting footprints on my heart and my life that can never be erased. I love you so much more than you could possibly know and I love that little man as if he were my very own...I really am so very very proud of you...hang in there my sweet and brave friend... :o)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Kids...woowee what a challenge..

For all you moms out there who are still changing diapers and sterilizing bottles or even still going to some little league games, ENJOY IT!! Pretty soon there will be the rolling of the eyes, the expressions such as "OMG momma!" followed by a heavy sigh and the eye rolling thing. And for you moms that have perfect children who never argue with each other or become the champion of all greed, please let me know what your secret is cuz it sure ain't that way at my house lately. Oh boy, I have a 13 year old daughter who is just now coming in to herself, her own identity separate from her mom and dad's. She no longer needs a set of encyclopedias since she now knows it all and her momma apparently knows absolutely nothing. The ll year old daughter still has her very submissive and sweet spirit but her sister knows which buttons to push and with her hormones beginning to take their place in the society of womanhood, she can get a little upset and just a tad fierce. Then it's "let the fights begin"!! The 7 year old "BOY" is just about had it with the girl drama period and to defend himself, he piles right in with them and has learned the buttons to push as well, that is when he takes a break from jumping off the walls!! Now, I'm not complaining mind you. They are my babies and I love them more than my own life, but I tell ya, it just ain't easy these days. So much drama and of course the grounding that goes along as a consequence of the drama . Whewwww, Lord help see us through these teen years!! Like I said, moms enjoy those sweet moments of silence while they last and the great moments of being able to buy clothes they will actually wear. I thought I was a pretty cool chick, a pretty hip mom, apparently I'm not as cool as I thought I was. If I were you moms, I would begin to study the encyclopedia from A to Z and from cover to cover because I promise you there will come a day when you will be no smarter than a fifth grader...lol. In fact, I think I will go freshen up on it myself... Kids, you just gotta love 'em...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Music is everything...

A blog with Rachel made me really sit think about the subject of music this morning. She stated that she was a music lover and I can tell by all the different kinds of sounds she has on her playlist. It is interesting to take a look each day at her playlist and see what new she has on there and what she has playing first as you open her blog. Since she is such a lover of music I am going to use her as a wonderful example this morning. When I click on her playlist, the first thing I can tell is what kind of mood she is probably in as anyone who clicks on my blog can tell about me as well. It is funny how you can tell so much about someone's mood, what kind of day they are having, and even what their personality is like by what music they have in their heart and on their radios(or I-pods these days...lol). Just like today she must be grateful, just plain grateful. She must be in a mood to be on her knees thanking Him for just who He is and what He has done for her and continues to do for her. Overwhelmingly thankful for the blessing of her beautiful healthy children and her adoring husband and for friends who love her and for a church she feels she belongs in and where she is welcome. Grateful for the very air she was given this morning to breathe once again this morning and for another day that she gets to praise Him and gets to grow even more in love with Him. And so grateful for the woman she is becoming molded into more and more each day and less the woman she was. Well, today I am in that same mood for I could not be more grateful for His love and mercy in my life that is making something out of me that I never thought could be and today I pray that He wraps his big warm arms around us both. Music is everything. There has always been music even before there was a world. There has always been praise. The enemy was the greatest worship leader of all time before pride took over and he was kicked to this earth to dwell. So, there is evidence of praise even before man took his first breath. The heavens were full of the sound of unfiltered, unadulterated, unlimited praise... Only when we get there too will we truly know what our praise sounded like to Him here and only then will we know just how powerful it was for the victory of war in our lives. More and more everyday not only do I find that He is more worthy of my praise than I can even fathom the reasons for but also that praise is a mighty weapon that wins battles and slays giants. Music and the sound of praise makes the angels stand at attention and the enemy flee. There is nothing sweeter to Him than a heart given in complete surrender as it humbles itself to sing a love song to its Creator. I can never remember a time when music was not a great part of my life. It is all I have had at times, my praise. And so many times the enemy has tried to rob me of my song and at times he has, but my soul still sang without me. It sang when I couldn't. Praise is absolutely everything and music is the air I breathe sometimes. You can tell a lot about a person by the songs they sing and you can tell a lot about the reason why they sing at all, the reason for their praise. Your praise will not be the same as mine or anyone else's because only you know the reason why you sing. Only you know why you offer up praise to Him because only you and He were there when the night was dark and long and He pulled you through and only you and He know the reason for your joy beyond anyone else's understanding. There is a special song that is yours and yours alone and even though you can sing with a congregation full of people singing also, still only you know your heart of praise. Rachel is a praiser. It is evident in her blogs and in her music choices, and it is evident she is on her knees more than most pouring out her love on Him and just so Rachel knows, He absolutely loves her praise. It is a sweet aroma to Him. It ministers to Him and He never wants her to stop. He stops all of heaven when He hears her and He grins and says "shhhh, quiet and listen, it's Rachel!". Don't ever stop. I hope I never stop either. Even when there is no sound, no music, I pray I still sing anyway. I pray I still find myself on my face lavishing Him with all the praise He is worthy of. Yes, music is everything. Praise is everything....He is worthy...

Monday, September 29, 2008

With every new you...




Okay, so with the help of the Holy Spirit I am conquering some really old, stubborn, nasty and huge giants that have been staring me down for awhile now and with the help of my awesome God and I am learning only with His help, more are going to fall by God's sword!! I'm moving forward as He has been begging me to. My past is over as He has so much tried to convince me of for so long!! Praise Him for that!! So, I figured with every new you there should be a new do!! And I do feel so new!! Went dark this time...reeeeaaaalllllyyyyyyy dark...whadya think?!?!...
P.S. Thank you Daddy, I couldn't have done it without your guidance, revelation, and love...

P.S.S. and the only reason there are two pics of me is because my family refused to come to an agreement on which one to use...so to keep an argument at bay, I put both...sorry guys...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It Gets A Little Crazy After Bathtime...

Poor quality...But I think you get the idea...LOL...welcome to my crazy life...

I Found You...


I just stand amazed at Your beauty, Lord... I went to that old red fence again this morning to find You. I found You... Every day You display Yourself to me even if I don't take the time to look or to feel or to smell or to hear...So, today I took the time. And standing at the fence this morning looking up into the towering pine trees swaying in the wind and watching the clouds glide across the sky in slow motion as if You were moving them with Your own hand, I found You... As I stood there in the silence of the early morning and listened to only the sounds of the leaves gently rustling and playing You a tune that only you and they know and listened quietly to the birds singing You their praises, I found You.... And when I felt the cool breeze stroke my hair and gently caress my face as if You were reaching out to touch me, to love me, I found You... I closed my eyes and lifted my face upwards to feel it again, just once more... There is nothing like Your touch... This morning You played with all my senses like You were playing beautiful music on a precious instrument...This morning I found You...then again, maybe I didn't find You at all, I think You found me... The more I seek You, the more I become aware it is You who is seeking me... Please, don't ever stop... Ever...I love You so much...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Front Porch Swing and my Baby Love...

A front porch swing and my baby love, the best moments in life, even if he was lookin' a whole lot countryfied that day though he is truly not. I know you much rather be stylin' babe, but that's a picture for another day...you still my baby love...I love you!!!! More than grits loves butter!!!
and I'm so proud of you and I know God is. You are making some really difficult and wise decisions lately and I am so impressed. God is truly transforming you for His work. Keep under First Lady's wing. She needs you and you need her. I'm cheering you both on!!! Make some really cool sounds together for God!! I can't wait to be a part of it...Love you...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Great Song

The First Lady of our church(who is also my worship pastor) sent me this song today to try out. Rachel, I thought you would really like this song alot. It is the truest thing I have ever heard...Somehow, I think you will agree... We praise not the God who does but the God who is!!
There just comes a point in our lives when we must stand and let the enemy know that he does not and will not determine our song! Oh, he will if we allow him to. No doubt about it. I have danced to his tune and let him lead more than none, but no more. This ol' girl is determined to have a Caleb spirit that latches on like a bulldog and will not let go. No one determines when I dance and when I sing or my song except my God. He is the only one who knows all the steps. And lately He has been teaching me to dance with no music. Just keep dancin' when the only song in your soul is darkness, keep dancin'. When there is no sound at all, keep dancin'. He's still there and He is still leading if we trust that He is. Only you and God determine your lifesong. Don't ever let anyone else tell you differently. He is worthy of it, music or no music, light or no light. He is experienced in leading in the dark. Just keep dancin' and "Arise, for your light has come!!!" Dance baby dance!!

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File: 11 Track 11.wma Download File

Dance anyway!!

Now, ain't it just like the enemy to watch you dance and then immediately try to give you a reason not to?!?!?! Well, guess what, I 'm gonna dance anyway. He has called me a praiser. He has given me praise as my identity, spoken over my life recently that I am called to praise Him. But in reality, aren't we all? Whether it is your occupation or just your hobby, isn't it a reason for breathing? Isn't He just as worthy when it's raining as well as when the sun is shining? So, should anything the enemy throws at us to keep us paralyzed from praise work? Not if you are praising Him just because He is God. Just because Isaiah saw Him sitting high upon his throne and the train of His robe filling the temple. Just because He was, is, and is to come!! JUST BECAUSE!!! If you can praise Him with joy and thanksgiving even when it is a real sacrifice to, then you know where you stand with Him. You have matured. Your faith has grown past being a woman of feeling and fear to a woman of faith. Paul and Silas!! That's what I'm talkin' bout!! Praisin' Him in the dark till the Light burst forth and the doors swing open wide!! So, oh yeah, I'm gonna dance today. You can bank on it!! I love you Daddy and You are worthy, worthy, worthy. Holy, Holy, Holy is the lamb of God...You got my praise all day long!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ain't God Good!!!

Today was a great day! I think God seriously delights in winking at us with little reminders that He is still here, He is still in charge, and He is still leading us to the very place we need to be. He has WOWED me today like He never has before. And I guess WOW is just about all I know to say right now. Thanks Daddy! There is no doubt You are still in the business of restoration. There is no doubt You are still on Your throne. And there is absolutely no WOW factor that compares with Your's!!! WooHoo! It is a very good day!! Thank you for never giving up on me! WOW!! I feel like dancin'!! I think I just might!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Waiting on Release from "This"...

I wish I could explain what "this" is but I'm too out of breath and strength to tell it. This was supposed to be the day when You came, when You came out of nowhere as in Psalm 18 and rescued me, this was supposed to be the day "this" war ended. It still rages and I am war-torn and scarred...blood spilled, but my Lord it is not mine that is spilled, it is Your's... I will not give up till I see Psalm 18 played out in my life for Your Word will not fail me. Never has. Never will. Just give me strength for one more step Daddy... and just enough light for the step I'm on...it's all I ask...You will come...We will win...You made me a warrior...I will fight...I just need You to come...Holy Spirit, I can't do it without You... breathe life into my weariness... restore me...I love you...and if You do delay for some reason I don't understand right now...I will still love you...I just need Your help to trust...I will take Your hand and follow You into the light of victory...We win...
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Quote of the day

I'LL LEAVE THE LIGHT ON FOR YOU...

Hey there!! Grab a cup of tea with me and let's talk about it... God is way too big to keep Him to ourselves and life is way too hard to hold it all in so pull up a seat, or sit on the floor, or just sprawl out anywhere.... I'm all ears....and so is your Daddy God....come on over and kick your shoes off...I'll leave the light on for you and have a hot cup of tea waiting...Nicole...

About Me

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South Carolina, United States
Jesus is everything to me!! Yep, that about sums it all up! I'd like to say my passion is praising Him till I drop but I guess that is not only my passion, it is my whole life!! Just to praise Him...I can't even brush my teeth without Him and don't want to! God has given me the most awesome privelege of raising three of the most challenging but amazing creatures I know...two girls, one boy. The biggest blessing of all is my absolute lover of my life on earth...the most handsome and wonderful man in the world...my husband...I may not always please my God, but I sure hope He likes my trying to. I just pray that when I meet Him face to face not only will I be able to hear "well done my good and faithful servant" but also "she did all she could". Sit down and talk awhile with me. I'm just a messed up girl on her way, but I'm God's wonderful mess. Aren't we all?!! Now, let's praise Him like no one is lookin'! He's so worth it!!

My Praise


Followers