Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life between the chapters

He looked out at the impossibly deep sea that stretched out in front of him and had to ask if somehow he had misread the instructions from earlier on his journey that now led him here.

"Was it His voice in my spirit, or was it my own thoughts that I heard?" he thought to himself as his hands nervously clutched the rough wooden staff close to his chest..

Less than a mile behind him, was well over one million people that had left everything that they knew to be familiar in favor of following Moses and God's voice that he heard.

Behind them by only a few hours, was the army of a Pharaoh that had decided to renege on his ruling to let Moses and the children of Israel go free.

You know the story. The world knows the story and as much as anthropologists and scholars work to create documentaries disproving this event, they cannot explain why Egyptian chariot wheels are at the bottom of the Red sea, and even more incredible is that they try to say this event took place at the "Reed sea" which was only 12 inches deep.
Tell me how an entire army drowns in twelve inches of water again? I guess both versions of this event require massive amounts of faith after all.
It was the Red sea that they crossed and as I was reflecting on this year past and the year ahead, I wanted to share something that God put on my heart.

The red sea in this story is a symbol, to me, of barriers that stand between us and where God leads us in life.
The barrier is in fact a barrier because it appears to be uncrossable and for many, those barriers become stopping points.

Moses had a lot of words, but was not words that parted the red sea for Moses. It was an action based upon faith.

Last year may have brought you to a barrier in your life and just because the calender changes years, the barriers of last year can remain just as daunting in the new year.

It may be financial, health related, relationship difficulties, personal heartbreaks or even feelings of hopelessness that seem to stop you in your tracks but I want to encourage you with something that stood out to me in this story and what I have decided to take as my theme for this year ahead.

Go back with me to Moses' beginning in his relationship with God. We talked about it in "Hunk a hunk o burnin love"(Click here), and we pick it up here. In chapter 3, God gives Moses his purpose in life.

Identity always brings purpose (Click here) and when you discover who you are IN Christ, the purpose He has for you becomes clear.

God showed Moses why the events of his life took place the way that they did, and He explained moses' purpose to him. Lead my people out of bondage into what I have promised to them in their relationship with me. Moses had some objections, but notice what God gives him to work with. I want to give you 3 things to remember going into your new year that will determine what happens with you and your barriers.

"And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee." ~ Exodus 4:1-5

"What do you have Moses?"

He just had a staff. Moses had no clue on the day that he thought he was selecting a staff to heard sheep with, that he was in all actuality picking up and becoming familiar with the very thing that God had selected to overcome every obstacle Moses would face ahead. Long before the fourth chapter of Moses' story, the solution for his fourteenth chapter was already being prepared.


God does not change between chapters and His purpose for your life does not change. His gifts and callings are without repentance. He has called you to speak a message to the world and to the spirit of others. This is the fourth chapter of your life and this does not change because of the barriers that arise between the fourth chapter and the fourteenth chapter of your story.

I love that at each barrier, God reminded Moses by way of a question, "What is in your hand?" The stick. Look at the barrier of the fourteenth chapter.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen." ~ Exodus 14:15-18


The staff was the gift that God gave Moses. The size of the staff seemed insignificant in the face of the barrier, but it was God and not the staff all along. The staff (gift) was meant to demonstrate the incredible and inexhaustible strength of the God behind it.

What gifts has God given you?
What abilities?
What skills?

I am quite sure that the reason God instructed Moses to use raise the staff is because Moses was not thinking of his gifts in the barrier moments. It takes God to remind us of such gifts and if you are facing a barrier today, ask Father to remind you of the ways that He has equipped you to overcome that barrier.

I promise you that He is bigger than the barrier and that His plan is bigger than a permanent stop.His purpose for you is MASSIVE!!! ( You had it all the time: Click Here)

 What has He called you to do? What message has He given you to speak? What topic or line of truth always seems to dominate your conversations or thoughts?

"And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left."                                                                                            ~ Exodus 14:21-22

 This past spring, I felt stirred to do something that I had never done before. I felt stirred to create a 13 week devotional book that was able to teach others what Father had been teaching me in my study time. Who I was to Him and who He was to me.

He used the Song of Solomon to throw the roof off of my understanding of His love for me and I began to write a devotional for each passage of that book. When it was done, I had 90 love letters from God to me, and had written 90 love letters back to Him. My relationships here and expectations of those relationships began to change and that is when I knew He wanted me to put this book to print. I knew it needed to go out because the book changed me.

I began to pray for the right publisher and the Lord made the choice very clear to me in a publisher that would not only help with the book but also with the direction and writing platform for this blog. I finished the manuscript after a summer of writing and when I looked at the cost of publishing and realized that this would be a barrier.
I look at what I need to accomplish this and what I have and the difference seems staggering, especially for a single income family.

I had to go back to the chapter four of this journey with my Father and rehearse His purpose that He spoke into my Spirit. (We all need to do this at the barriers we face.) 

It was there in chapter four of this Journey with Father that I heard Him ask me, "What is that in thine hand?"
I have a blog that I truly love writing and through it, helping people see Him through it. I love to draw and create ant it was then that I saw what I was supposed to do.


 I love this passage in the barrier moment!

"But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: "

 Hold out what you would normally hold back.

I'm holding what God has given me out and watching Him use such a seemingly small thing to do something that will impact more than just the one holding out the gift.

The gift was never for us to begin with. It was always about bring Him glory.

 I know Moses took the next day off of work after this one!

He holds out, in the fourteenth chapter of his story, what God had given him way back in his fourth chapter and God did something incredible!!!

I began to draw art pictures and post them on social media and people began asking to purchase them. Each sale brought the barrier smaller and smaller bit by bit. This has truly been awesome to watch happen and I am excited to see how Father brings this dream to a reality!

Most of us hold back on the gifts that God has given to us, and parting with original artwork seemed like a horrible thing, but you have to ask, "Do I want the stick, or do I want the barrier open?"

I encourage you at your point of barrier, to look to the chapter four of your journey with God in this and rehearse what purpose He placed on your heart. Do NOT give up and do NOT settle to just sit at a barrier when your purpose calls you to go beyond it. It was not just Moses' barrier that He faced , other people depended on that barrier being overcome.

Your purpose is too great to quit, and your message needs to be heard! What has God given you to work with?

Size of gifts or talents matters not, God only uses them as an instrument of demonstrating His power to others!!!
"Hold out what you would normally hold back and watch Him move the sea!"

 This is my motto for this new year and I am looking forward to seeing God prove Himself!
 Climbing with you,
 *If you would like more information on the upcoming devotional, it's progress or even ways that you can help in this project, please feel free to contact me at:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Winning Strategy for the New Year

I saw this picture a few days ago and, because I happen to be going through a phase of attention that is fixed on all things related to chess, it caught my eye.
The pieces stand in contrast to the background, but it was the slogan that caught my attention. We live in a very strange time as a society and a culture here on this planet. We are consumed with self and image and yet we are looking around to find someone, something or some set of circumstances with which to hang blame as to why we are unable to be the persons that we strive to be.
I read a passage in Romans that I want to share with you and then come back to this picture that is posted above because there is a mindset that here that needs to be examined.
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." ~ Romans 14:5-11
Paul is speaking about the individual here and he makes some very powerful points. We were not meant to live as an island. God places us where He pleases and He does so at His purpose and for His pleasure. We tend to look at our surroundings and complain because of the people that we share those surroundings with and we "find" reasons as to why we do not belong among the people and in the places that we dislike.
Jonah did this, and he judged the people as  worthy to suffer the fate that awaited a choice of their independence from God's word to them. 
Habakkuk wrestled with God's decision to punish His peoples disobedience by delivering them into the capture of even more disobedient people.
We judge quickly and we tend to do it quickly and often without thinking. So Paul admonishes us to look inward and follows on the heels of this with the final sentence.
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."  ~ Romans 14:12

That statement as a whole is very interesting because it essentially says, "Instead of being consumed with self and blaming others for your lack, look inward and judge the mentalities that you have as a person and understand, the ground was made level at the cross. What did you do with the new nature, indwelling Spirit of God, forgiveness and every other benefit that was given to you at the cross?

At the cross, you were given not just a new future but you were  given a brand new past as well!!!

I read this passage in Romans and I looked at this simple picture and the not so simple statement that was implied.
"After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box."

I enjoy playing chess and I am fascinated by the individuality of the pieces on the board. They each have talents and abilities, strengths and weaknesses and depending on the one moving the pieces, beautiful outcomes can take place!

But the quote is true because no matter the strength of the piece on the board, at the end of the game, they all go back into the same box.

I thought of a story in Matthew's gospel that made me think and in turn, changed my perception of this matter of giving account for ourselves to God.

"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." ~ Matthew 25:14-30
I have always had this story presented to me as a call to use my talents for God, but if this is speaking about talents as in singing, art, basket weaving or whatever the case may be, then this implies if I do not sing or paint or make baskets for Jesus, then I will be thrown into hell.
Let me give you some thoughts about this story to consider that take a slightly different route.
Man was given "Life" by God.
The first man in the story refused to do anything with the "life" and offered it back at the end. It would be the man who is offered "life" by God and refused it only to live his vapor of life out and die without Christ.
The second and third were given "life" as well. They accepted it and turned around and gave it out to the best of their abilities. The "Life" that they gave out doubled in proportion to their ability to disperse it. The kingdom expanded!
Not everyone will sing a song that moves an audience of thousands with their life, but everyone can sing a song. Even if the only audience you have calls you mom or dad.
Not everyone can speak words that will go across the planet and influence hearts by sharing "Life" that they have been given, but everyone can speak to their neighbor and share the "life" that they have been given. God throws the message alot further than we can .
Different pieces on the board being what they are able to be to the best of their abilities and allowing the Master to move and direct them as He will. This is the plan!
You can stay mired in the fact that your reach is not as far as another persons or judge another person as lazy because your reach is further than theirs, or you can understand that it is about what you do with what you have been given?
You can blame others for why you did not move as you were supposed to in this life, or you can determine that you have been given everything you need from God at salvation, to be fashioned as He intends you to be. Either Romans 8:28 is true or it is a lie.
Stop looking around at others and take a good look in the mirror because in the end, it was what you did with what you had that counts. How innefective would a chess piece be if it refused to move because it was not able to offer the abilities of another piece on the board?
Here are three things to remind yourself each day that will impact your skill and ability to play in the game of life.

1. I have been gifted with everything that I need to play the game I was made to play.
2. I will not let another person's opinion determine my value to The Master, as He alone has already decided my value and my place on the board.
3. I have been placed here to make a difference and will be able to say at the game's end that I did my best to be who He has made me to be.
Step up to the board and  walk in the understanding that God makes no mistakes and there is nothing keeping us back from attaining what He has called us to perform except our own understanding of who we truly are in Christ. He is LIFE!!!

Move in confidence today that He has placed you exactly where you are for His purpose to be worked out in you.

Climbing with you,

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Starring Role

It is the Christmas season and I wanted to do something special with the posts on the blog. I would like to take the next two posts and look at the birth of Christ from a few very different points of view. I have been out an about in the "Christmas rush" and it is really hitting me just how important that it is this year to look back at the reason for the season.
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." ~Matthew 2:1-2

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." ~Matthew 2:9-10

We are all very familiar with the story of Christmas. We know all about the star, and the baby in the manger. We know all about the angels in the heavens, and the shepherd in the fields with there flocks by night. But if we take the time to see the story through the eyes of everyone that was involved, there are so many things that we can learn, and be reminded of that can change our season as well as our new year ahead.

The first view point that I wanted to look at the first Christmas with would be that of the wise men.

I love this story because I can see these guys one night, studying the stars, and seeing one that they were not certain about. This bothered them. They could not walk away from this. It agitated them to point of action. They could not look around this one… They had to see this thing through; until they had the answers they wanted to have.

They saw a star. Big deal right? I mean you are studying stars, so isn’t that what you want to see?

Well, if you were a wise man from the east it was a big deal, because wise men got the name wise men because they studied more than just the menu at Red Lobster.( Although, that is pretty impressive)
These men had studied the Bible, and the knew of a prophecy that was foretold, by Daniel about the King of the Jews being born about the time of the star sighting. They also knew that in the book of numbers, it was said that the star of Jacob would rise.

They said, "We have seen his star…"

Among the ancients, the appearance of a star or comet was regarded as an omen of some remarkable event. Many such appearances are recorded by the Roman historians at the birth or death of distinguished men. They say that at the death of Julius Caesar, a comet appeared in the heavens, and shone seven days. 

These wise men also considered this as an evidence that the long-expected Prince was born. It is possible that they had been led to this belief by the pbiblical prophecy of Balaam.

  "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." ~Numbers 24:17

The wise men came on a very important mission. They had heard of the King that would be found beneath this star, and wanted to show honor to him. We do not know how many wise men there were and the timing of their arrival varies upon which live nativity re-enactment that you see,but we do know that they carried three gifts. I can imagine that they often checked there cargo on that long journey to make sure that everything was safe and undisturbed.At every jostle and shake of there camels, running a protective hand over the saddle bag, or the pouch to make sure that the treasure was still there.

They had seen his star, and wanted to come meet and honor this new King. It was foretold in the book of numbers that the star of Jacob would rise, and we read in many passages of scripture that there was a GLORIOUS LIGHT that shined round about the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. That light could have been the star that the wise men saw, I do not know, but I do know that they saw a star, and they went in search of a king.

I hurt for unsaved people this time of year. I mean all the Christmas season is for them is a day off of work, and buying a present that someone they love will probably hate. The advertisements this time of year ask for donations to share "Hope" but really, their idea of hope and what people truly need are two different things. Hope to them is just a gift to make their physical life better for the moment.

Stores have swapped the word Christmas with the word Holiday. Holiday trees, Holiday sales, and Holiday deals are now what it seems to be about with the use of the phrase "Season’s greetings" and "Season gatherings", the real reason seems hard to see.

The world tries so hard to stop people from looking for the King and yet I  say that the world is still secretly looking for answers. If you know the Christ, than you truly know the answer. Knowing Christ and knowing about Christ are two different things, so I say that if you truly know Christ personally, then you know He provides the answer that the world is looking for.

The world pushes God away, and yet they are pushing away the very one they are looking for.
If you know the King, then you, like it or not, full fill the role of the star.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ~Matthew 5:16

We have a reason to shine!!!
We know where to direct people!!!
We have the answer!!!
Where is the King? Let me tell you!!!

As those who have the answer, it is our job to help those who are looking for the King, find the king they are looking for.

The Bible says that we are like stars and we have a tremendous privilege of being now able to shine.

"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." ~ Daniel 12:3

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." ~ Proverbs 4:18-19

You know if you live in the city and you go outside at night, with all the distractions and the lights, it can be very hard to see the stars at night but no matter how dimming the other distractions can be, you can always see the North star. It just shines so clear, constant, and bright.

Making a stand for God is never, and will never be easy when you are alone, but shining for God is what you are able to do.

The Light shows those in darkness that there is more available than the darkness.

It does get discouraging and sad to see so much hurt and emptiness in the church just as well as outside of the church and the stark reality of it is, people are lost, empty and desperately searching. The world, and there wise men are looking. They cannot identify Him and they confuse Him for another person, item, high or emotional state of peace. We know His name is Emmanuel, and we know that He is the King that they seek.

Have you allowed Him to make you bright and clear in your purpose and message?
Jesus quoted a passage from Isaiah and it is what the world is seeking to find in all of it's distractions. He came to bring the answer.
 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," ~Luke 4:18

People are looking, and we have the ability to direct.

Climbing with you,