All posts filed under: Spiritual Life

Breathing life into your dry bones

How far can you go without breathing? In reality, you are breathing but sometimes it feels like you have stopped breathing or does it feel more like your living in the valley of dry bones where numbness has set in and you are clattering through the day just barely surviving? If I pay attention in these moments I notice that my breathing is shallow and I wonder if at times I have actually been holding my breath. I suspect that is exactly what happens as I lose myself in the course of my day full of  ‘to do lists.’ And, I am sure this happens to many of us. There is a small group of women who meet regularly on my deck to do some gentle stretching.  Each of us has tightness issues, and we have greatly benefited from this weekly routine. Sometimes between stretches we lay on our backs and notice our breathing and listen to the birds singing in the yard. Often during these times a gentle breeze will blow over us like …

Struggling to free yourself from the web of comparison

Español: Luchando para liberarnos de las redes de la comparación I think we say sorry to often. Others may not like your opinion, but provided you weren’t harsh or mean in what you said, there is no reason to apologize. Yet many of us apologize for the silliest things.  Stop saying sorry for no real reason. Ask yourself if you really need to apologize or are those words another way of belittling yourself? Save your apology for the real stuff when you have really blown it and now you have to own it.  Do it when you want to run and hide or avoid acknowledging the mistake you made. That’s when you apologize and say those words, I’m sorry. But along with this we need to train ourselves to stop saying I’m sorry for things we are not responsible for which is also backwards. So why do we do this? We need to understand the root of our apologizing for everything may have been deeply ingrained in us from childhood. It is often rooted in …

Breaking free from the chains of regret

Many of us are weighed down by regrets from the past and the longer we stay chained to these regrets, the harder it is to break free from them.  We lose our freedom in Christ because holding onto past regrets links us up to self-condemnation and self- hatred. The Bible says that in Christ we are freed from all condemnation (Romans 8:1) and there is also no separation from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). We must learn to love ourselves in the same way God loves us. The longer we hold on to this chain and refuse to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and failures, the heavier the chain becomes. So how do we free ourselves from these chains that weigh so heavily upon us, that they almost take our breath away at times? It starts by accepting the fact that we all make mistakes. It is part of being human.  And then forgiving ourselves if needed. If we don’t, it will inevitably lead to condemnation. Lana Vawser, a prophet and teacher, says it’s …

The rest and the pest

Recently, I had a dream followed by a vision that spoke very clearly to me in my calling as a prophetic writer. Others here may find this resonates with them as well in this season. In the DREAM, I was reading some words out loud. When I came to the word “retreat”, I was having difficulty reading the word as there was an “S” in the word, creating the word “RESTreat”. I asked the One present with me if there had always been an “S” in the word retreat, and I was told “YES!!” Immediately following the dream, I had a very clear VISION of a GOPHER’S FACE. The gopher immediately LOOKED TO MY RIGHT. The vision ended. Interpretation: I live in the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan. Here where I live, the Richardson Ground Squirrel (known on the prairies as a gopher) has been declared a PEST by the government of Saskatchewan, as it destroys farms and gardens in this region. This “PEST”, in my vision had literally turned its face toward my right (hand), …

Shine brighter!

One of our greatest fears is that we will be appear selfish to others and mar the perception of a selfless, self-sacrificing woman who puts the needs of their loved ones and ‘others’ before her own needs. We are more concerned about the outward appearance of our cup with its chips and cracks from service than the fullness of our cup inside where the water level is dangerously low, barely covering the bottom of our cup. We have been culturally programmed, even in church settings, that being a good mother or Christian woman means you are always available for the needs of others before your own.  We don’t want to mar our outward appearance of having it all together, but inside we feel empty. I have taken great comfort this past year as I began to understand what Christ meant when He said: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32) The definition of the word draw in the Greek means to pull or drag, …

The Armour of Perfection

I still find myself afraid to make a mistake. I don’t like looking foolish or weak in the eyes of others and in the end I find myself lost in a forest of perfection, feeling small, insignificant and unworthy as I look at people who have their act together. For so long the message of the world has been that doing everything right will make you happy and that true happiness lies in doing and saying the right thing all the time.  As Koren Motekaitis says, “Chasing perfection is exhausting” because we think the approval of others will make us feel better about ourselves. It won’t, because we can never be perfect. The opposite is what happens though, shame shows up when we make a mistake and fall short of our hopes to be truly loved and accepted. It puts us under pressure to be someone we are not. We work so hard at not being judged by others and end up feeling worse instead of better as we fall short again and again. We …

Are you infected with the ‘disease to please’?

There are many physical diseases in this world and in the spiritual realm there is one particular disease that will kill, destroy and eat you up in a very short time. The ‘disease to please’ ruled my life for many years and if I have learned anything, repeatedly putting the wants and needs of others before my own leads to spiritual death that sucks the joy and peace right out of you. Why? Because many of us misunderstand what Christ meant when He said “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me.” Somewhere along the way our minds twisted the truth of Christ’s words. And as we misinterpret Christ’s command to deny ourselves an infection sets in, and we easily fall into the trap of gaining peoples’ approval through our actions. The infection is called people-pleasing. We start to believe that other people matter more than we do and that we are to live humble, service-orientated lives because what we want doesn’t matter. Geri Scazzero is a pastor’s wife and in her book …

Stepping out of the swamp of shame

Guilt and shame are emotions we deal with all the time and it is wise for us to understand the difference between the two. Guilt can have a positive influence in our lives. When we feel guilty about what we are doing it motivates us to change. It encourages us to reconcile with those we have hurt or offended. There is also a redemptive quality as we seek God’s forgiveness. But shame is different. It does not want to change you; it wants to beat you down. It keeps bringing up your failures and weaknesses again and again. Its sole goal is to humiliate you. Shame tries to define who you are. Even after we have asked God to forgive us, shame keeps shaking our sin and failure in front of us. Unlike God, it doesn’t want you to forget your past, because it is screaming in our face how bad we are. Shame isolates us and keeps us hooked up with feelings of being unworthy or never good enough. We believe there has always …

Turning back the tide of fear and doubt

During this past week I recognized that something had changed and shifted in my life. And although at times I felt some uncertainty and doubt about the new direction I was taking as I threw off the fears and doubt that ruled my life, I knew that my position had changed, my perspective on life had shifted. Yes, there were some backlashes as I walked through the wall of fear that controlled my life, but now I am taking authority over the doubts and fear that seemingly rise out of nowhere, like a wave wanting to wash over me. Yesterday, I decided to stand my ground and the phrase, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and blow your house down” literally came to mind. Though the nursery story has the powerful wolf trying to blow down the piggy’s straw house, I sensed that God was telling me to reverse that story. We have authority. We have power in God and that satan’s attacks of fear and doubt are made of straw. We have the power to …

A word for women: ‘Arise, rest and eat, then go’

Sometimes, it takes awhile for the smoke to clear, after you walked by faith through a fear wall.  The smoke stings and your eyesight is still a bit blurry. But you made it and came through the other side not quite aware of what you have just done. Then you wait and rest, and wait and rest again, until clarity comes. Lana Vawser is a prophetic teacher that I follow and recently she gave a word about what is coming: “You were not sure because of  the attack of the enemy, because of fear and intimidation, but now  clarity is coming like never before and that clarity from the Lord’s heart and the Spirit of God is giving you your wings to fly!  . So what is this clarity? Sometimes as women, we have the idea that it is un-spiritual to look after ourselves, but this is wrong. I have been looking at the story of Elijah when he fled for his life after Jezebel threatened to kill him. Elijah had just slain the 450 …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Finding your rhythm through ‘yes’ and ‘no’

Many times when we turn our cares and worries over to the Lord, I believe we must let go or drop something in our lives as well. There are many things we can be doing and saying ‘yes’ to because they are good and worthwhile plans and causes. But, I often end up dragging myself before God asking Him to take my worries and cares from me, that only I can remove by saying ‘no.’ There many good plans and activities that are often difficult to say no too and many times we feel guilty if we don’t step in and help.  We must find our rhythm and set the pace for ourselves so that peace and rest emanate from us not frustration and anger. If we do things out of a sense of guilt, a constant stream of ‘yeses” will create a current of anger in us that will interrupt the flow of God’s presence in our lives. Lysa Terkeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministry talks about saying ‘yes’ to too many things and by …

Credit: Kiril Strax/Flickr/Creative Commons

God who sees me

A few days ago, I was on my knees praying at my bedside. I needed to get rid of the weight of expectations I had put on myself and as well some other emotional baggage I was carrying. I know what it’s like to pick up a weight that is too heavy for you because two weeks earlier I had done exactly that while at the gym. I used a weight that was just to heavy for me. Well, my body has been recovering from that incident for three weeks now. I felt crunched from head to toe. And, that is how I felt that night as I knelt at my bedside, crunched, overloaded and hurting in my spirit. Too much emotional weight had piled itself on me and I was feeling overwhelmed in many areas. I am not much of a kneeler when it comes to prayer as I like to walk while I pray.  But that night I went to my knees because I desperately needed to transfer everything over to Jesus. It …

Credit: Hellebardius/Flickr/Creative Commons

Shining a light on authentic Christianity

A few weeks back, my daughter and I went to a Saturday-morning woman’s brunch.  The temperature was -40 degrees with blowing wind and snow. It was one of the coldest days, in one of the coldest winters in recent memory. I walked in the front door where the tables were set with white tablecloths and serviettes that reminded us of spring to come.  The women in the room ranged from 26 to 75 years old. There were mothers with babies, young adults and seniors. Three older women who sat behind me came from a care home. I asked them how they got to the church. One women said she went to the window of her suite, pressed the button on her command start and to her surprise the car started, even though it hadn’t been plugged in. The speaker that morning talked about her six-year journey of raising four children while also caring for her husband who had bowel cancer. During this difficult time, she worked hard to make it appear she was doing OK.  …

When the Holy Spirit fell on me while I was vacuuming

Español: Cuando el Espíritu Santo cayó sobre mí mientras pasaba la aspiradora My husband had just gone out for coffee with a friend and I had the house to myself. It is a rare treat  these days with both of us retired and home together. So when he closed the door behind him, a peaceful silence wrapped itself around me like a warm blanket. I had the next two hours to myself. So, what did I decide to do? Vacuum of course! But the Holy Spirit had other ideas. As I leaned over to pick up the hose, I felt a nudge. It was  like a slight wind on my back. Initially, I thought it was the silence and peace settling on me. Then, I felt a breath blowing over me. And immediately, there was a stirring in my spirit and what seemed like a flame igniting inside me as the Holy Spirit engulfed me. I lifted myself up, raised my hands and began to dance and worship God and speak in tongues all at …

Credit: Mik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Waves of surrender

As, I stood on a beach in Mexico recently with my daughter, the waves caught my attention. Over the past few weeks, I wrestled with some things in my mind that mostly involved expectations I had placed on myself. These expectations kept me awake at night and anxious during the day. I sat down in the warm ocean water leaned back on the sandy shoreline and allowed the waves to crash over me. I watched the waves rise, gain momentum and then fall. The strength of the waves kept building and some were four to five feet high. I plugged my nose, held my breath and braced myself as the next wave rolled over me, pushing me further back onto the shore. The sand massaged my body as I sank deeper and deeper into it’s wet but warm embrace. It was so comforting! In those moments, I released the expectations I had placed on myself. I let go of them as the waves rolled over me.  I had placed expectations on myself of things I …

Credit: Judy Baxter/Flickr/Creative Commons

Quit comparing

We were recently on a cruise and one day I headed to the gym and exercise studio on the 11th deck. I decided to participate in a workout session that I had only observed from my corner of the studio the previous two days. The class was more challenging than what I was used to. Anyways, I made up my mind to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a try.  It was a tough workout. The instructor knew I was struggling and I found myself looking at the women around me who were obviously in better shape. Several times I was ready to quit, get up and walk away from the class. But it was a windy day at sea and we found ourselves either rolling to the left or the right during our routine and loosing our balance. We couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves. The laughter loosened me up a bit and I decided that I wasn’t going to quit and leave the class. Comparing myself to others has never gotten …

Credit: halocastle/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking the Cement of ‘Not Good Enough’

Several years ago I found myself in depression. I felt anxious and overwhelmed most of the time and walked around in a cloud of doubt and indecision.  There was no glint of happiness or joy in my life. As Henry Nouwen writes: “Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep on choosing joy everyday.” We are responsible for our mindset and the fear of failure sucked the joy right out of me. I allowed my mistakes to define who I was and they kept me trapped in a dark place.  I was stuck in a very unhealthy mindset of ‘not being good enough.’ I want to share some advice that has helped me stay out of depression and move forward in my life emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being afraid to make a mistake means you will stay stuck in confusion and doubt.  Mistakes are part of life and they can become our greatest teachers. Learn from your mistakes and move on.   “I know I made a mistake but …

Credit: Mark Moschell/Flickr/Creative Commons

What does it mean to be born again?

“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (reject, condemn, to pass sentence) on the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16) When talking with people about my faith, I have searched the Bible to make sure I am distinguishing my faith which is Christianity from the many other faiths out there. What makes my faith, Christianity, different or more appealing than all the others? To understand, we need to read the words that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus who was a prominent leader and teacher of the Pharisees.  This religious sect had long lists of rules and regulations (do’s and don’ts) to follow.  They believed that obeying these laws would make them acceptable in God’s eyes. As a result, Nicodemus felt the heavy weight of the laws of the Pharisee Sect on his shoulders. These rules hung like a noose around his neck and at times it felt like he was being strangled by them. The thought of this weight …

Martha and Mary by Georg Friedrich (1639)/Wikipedia/Public Domain

Are you an over-functioner?

My many years of operating as an over-functioner qualifies me to say that “we do not serve ourselves or our families well when we over-function.” So what is over-functioning? Over-functioning takes place when when we do for others what they can and should do for themselves.  When we do this, it stops people from growing up and taking responsibility for their own lives. We keep them in a perpetual state of immaturity. I remember reading a story of a married couple who had kicked their 30-year old son out of the home. He wasn’t working and expected them to look after him. They were not doing him any favors by letting him continue in this lifestyle. He had to grow up. Incredibly, their son even sued to stop his parents from forcing him out of the home. Fortunately for him, he lost. But it is easy for this to happen. We become the biggest obstacle to our children taking responsibility for themselves  and end up stunting their emotional and spiritual growth. We do not allow …

We need to unlock from our past to push ahead Credit: Antoine Robiez/Flickr/Creative commons

Unlock yourself from the past and push ahead into 2019

I want to honor my spiritual journey over the past 30 years.  To sit here today and dismiss it all would be wrong.  It wasn’t all bad all the time. Looking back it was my life experiences that shaped me into who I am today.  I am so thankful  for the opportunities and resources along the way that helped me heal, grow and move forward.   God has made His provision for healing and wholeness readily available to us. Unfortunately, we often stubbornly hold onto our pain by refusing to forgive. It acts like a soother keeping us trapped in a “poor me” mindset. There were two people in particular that I chose to forgive and when I encountered them again, as I did from time to time, it was like nothing had ever happened allowing me to treat them respectfully. I was able to climb out of the confusing muck of bad experiences and memories they brought me by forgiving them.  My emotions and even my body embraced the release I experienced as I literally …

Credit: ScrewJ/Flickr/Creative Commons

Look to the Mountains of Mercy

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13 NIV) We so easily fall into the trap of religion where we judge people by what they do or don’t do and the choices they make. The reason we judge others is it gives us a reason to not show mercy or kindness. Yet that is so contrary to how God treats us, who remains faithful even if we are faithless. We do not serve a pagan god who requires rules and regulations to please or appease him. God’s judgement towards us has been appeased by Christ’s blood shed on the cross. Whatever thoughts or struggles I may have with someone, I am learning to first look at myself and see if there is a personal message about my own shortcomings and poor choices. As I have dealt with my personal struggles in this area, I keep seeing a vision of God’s mountains of mercy that surround us. And as we walk through the valley that winds between the mountains …

Credit: Jim_McGlone/Flickr/Creative Commons

How I see others?

I have been seeking ways to view  people in the world around me through the lens of Christ’s love.   When I am disappointed, and focus on the flaws of others from my high and lofty position of arrogance on the mountain of judgement, I am failing not only my fellow man but myself as well. I earnestly desire new eyes, to change the lens of my perceptions and the way I view people — friends, other Christians and strangers. Sometimes people don’t return phone calls, or show up when their supposed to (like me on occasion) or answer e-mails or follow through on things they said they would.  People are not perfect but we expect it more from others than we do ourselves. A daily devotional I read recently summed it best with these words: “We see ourselves through rose-colored glasses and everyone else through a microscope.” If I do not look with eyes of hope on those around me as our Lord did. . . then I have not really  embraced the message of …

Credit: Blake Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Breaking out of your victim cage

I am on an email list for Lana Vawser who has a prophetic ministry in Australia. Almost every time I receive a prophetic email from her it speaks directly into my life about where I have been and where I am now and where I am headed spiritually in the future. Even though she has hundreds of followers, her emails often address issues I am facing at the moment.  She recently sent out a prophetic word about an issue that has controlled my life for many years: “The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear … “You see not through eyes of defeat, you see not through eyes of a victim mentality, you see not through eyes of fear, but you are now arising and seeing with greater clarity and vision through My eyes.  The enemy has tried so hard to place false lenses on you in your battles and attempt to cage you in fear, but now you are arising …

Fence in New Forest, Hampshire, England Credit: jodi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Learning to live within your boundaries

Learning to live with healthy personal boundaries is a spiritual journey that has changed my relationship with God, myself, my loved ones and friends. I am easily distracted and when I see a need or someone struggling, I commission myself to rescue that person. Without thinking I step outside my personal boundaries to help the individual. I have had as many as five people on my “to save” list and my husband just shakes his head and quips, “off to save the world again?” What I did not understand is that when I did this I was pushing beyond my own personal boundaries which affected my health and emotional reserves which were often riding on zero.   My tank was empty and it would literally wipe me out. The problem was that I was trying to save people who were not my responsibility to save. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that each of us has boundaries in terms of ministry and we are not to go beyond these borders: 13 We, however, will not boast …

Lauren Daigle singing at Winter Jam in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 Credit: Caleb Cook/Flickr/Creative

Lauren Daigle, a story of God’s calling and anointing?

I was reading an interesting article on the sudden rise of Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 27. If you have watched American Idol over the past few years, you may already have heard of her as she was a participant. Today she has a successful career as a Gospel singer. But in September 2018, Lauren caught many by surprise when her song “Look Up Child” suddenly took off coming in third on the Billboard 200, a secular chart. This put her behind Paul McCartney and Eminem, but ahead of superstars Niki Minaji, Drake and Ariana Grande. Of course her song dominated the Christian Billboard charts, but coming in near the top on a secular chart suggested her Christian-themed music was spilling over into the secular market. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Lauren said that one of the goals of her music team has been to “extend the tent pegs.” This is a reference to a verse out of Isaiah, where the prophet gave a word to the barren women to start singing with …

Credit: Jonathan Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t let envy and resentment destroy your joy, the story of Miriam

Recently, I have been drawn to the story of Miriam. Her name comes from the word Myrrh. Myrrh was the main ingredient of the anointing oil that Moses sprinkled on the tabernacle, which made it not only visually but also olfactory prominent in Israel’s camp. (Exodus 30:23). And though it referred to the fragrant spice used in the tabernacle, it was also considered bitter. Because of Myrrh’s connection to bitterness, some believe Miriam’s name originally meant “sea of bitterness” or “sea of sorrow” or “rebellion.” Her mother may have given Miriam this name because of their hard life in Egypt. Miriam was a leader among the Hebrew women. She was a prophet and gifted musically. She used her leadership role to direct the women to praise the Lord often through the dance. She was a godly influence in their lives. Miriam was one of God’s special gifts to the people of Israel. As was typical of the day, these dances were often spontaneous. The women would follow Miriam in the dance copying her movements and …

Credit: Tyson Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Tearing down strongholds of self defeat

Often, I notice in myself and others that we have a tendency to sabotage our own happiness. The expression that “We are our own worst enemy is so true.” We don’t feel that we deserve to be happy and the way we think about ourselves prevents us from receiving God’s blessings.  We’re not even sure that God wants us to be happy, because subconsciously we don’t feel like we are worthy. Many times it has to do with how we were raised.  We don’t realize it but often we are dealing with strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation. We have blueprints that have been imprinted upon our minds from childhood. If you grew up in an environment where it wasn’t safe to express your wants or needs, you will begin to believe you really don’t deserve anything good. If you were constantly criticized, you will struggle to feel good about yourself. It can feel safer staying stuck in our uncomfortable old patterns than to rock the boat and feel good about ourselves. …

Are you playing the blame game?

Freeing yourself from the mire of resentment

Sometimes we need a clear picture of what happens when we allow resentment to settle in our spirit. When that happens our pointing finger of blame is often the only thing that can be seen as we sink deeper and deeper in the bog of anger, resentment and blame. And if we don’t pay attention to what is happening, the sticky mire of resentment dries and hardens on us until we can no longer move or even breathe. Great effort is required to keep our hearts from hardening when we feel life is unfair or if we keep getting offended by what people are saying or doing. I will tell you now that these other people have nothing to do with it. No one has the power to make us angry or resentful except us. It is our choice. When we become offended or point the finger of blame, we are giving other people control of our lives. We are giving our power over to them. When we remain offended and angry, we lose control …

A crop close to harvest near Lohbusch, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Credit: Christian Kortum/Flickr/Creative Commons

The womb of God’s provision

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) The growth and the nurturing we received while in our mother’s womb is a wonderful example of God’s great care for us. It is a clear picture of how God our Father wants to provide for us while we are in the womb and out of it. Our nine months in the womb, as an embryo formed into a tiny baby, is the precedent to experiencing the hand of God outside the womb. This tiny form deep inside the mother did not demand the nourishment it needed to develop. Before the babe knew what it needed the nutrients were already there for the next stage of growth as the hands, fingers, feet and toes, eyes and ears needed to develop. The baby was in perfect alignment with the Spirit of God who had prepared beforehand what was required for the …

Sky diving over Palau Credit: Richard Schneider/Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s okay to be afraid

Sometimes we are being pushed out of our comfort zone and often think fear is telling us to pull back. But in reality it’s a signal to move forward, push through the fear and jump. I have been acknowledging my uncomfortable feelings these past weeks. At times I almost feel paralyzed by fear and anxious thoughts. Have you ever felt this way afraid, nervous and excited all at the same? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. And often we judge ourselves for being afraid of our next big step. We have this misconception that fear is telling us “not” to do it. Well, the good news is that fear is just a natural emotion that means you are stretching yourself out of your comfort zone. Being stretched is uncomfortable in the physical and the natural. Growing and expanding beyond where I have been comfortable for some time now. Fear is a normal part of life, but it is an emotion we must control before it conquers us. Writing for Proverbs 31 Ministry, Bobby Schuller says: “Fear is …

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England Credit: Jim/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Treasure Chest of Strength

Lately I have been thinking about what real strength is. Of course one of the first scriptures that came to my mind was Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Berean Study Bible) I know Strongs’s concordance 1743, defines this strength as empower, enable (increase in) strength, to be (make) strong. However, this only made me wonder more about this word ‘strength’. Around this time, I had a vivid impression of a treasure chest with the word ‘STRENGTH’ written on it. I saw this chest was full of many things such as; God’s love, freedom, acceptance, healing and identity. Whatever I happened to need was inside. Not to be found in this ‘treasure chest’ were negative things like unworthiness, rejection, bitterness, or self-hate. Nothing was there which would take away my strength in Christ. So then, I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Whatever I need is in the treasure chest of strength. I just have to grab hold of the truth provided. What is …

Scaly Breasted Wren from Ecuador Credit: Nick Athanas/Flickr/Creative Commons

A song in the day and a song in the night

For the past couple weeks a robin has been singing in our backyard. Its clear melodic sound has drawn me outside onto my deck to be entertained again and again. I typically make a cup of coffee so I can sit down and appreciate the solo performance that seems to be for my ears only. The other day, as I sat down on my chair with coffee in hand, there was silence. I thought I had missed my morning performance. Then I heard rustling in the branches hanging over our deck. He was sitting right above me and sang his beautiful song over me once again. The sound and intensity of the song was so wholehearted, clear and clean. He was singing his heart out to me. This song from Zephaniah resonated through me: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) God sings over us. He …

Choosing the right path. Credit: Bertie Mabootoo/Flickr/Creative Commons

Veering off the path

Psychologists believe that many of the health issues women experience today stem from our fear-based emotions and false beliefs about ourselves. Like ‘I am not good enough, I don’t have enough money to be successful , I am too fat etc. As I look back over a few of the more dramatic or traumatic events in my life, there were signs leading up to them. Signals, a sense of something not right. Really, it was a whisper of the soul and sometimes they were from Jesus as the Lord will speak to us: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27} And I realize now that as time went on and I ignored this voice, clearer and louder messages followed. But deep down I knew that something was up and I didn’t really know what to do because fear was there too. And as I continued to ignore these warning signs I was  hit by what some call “a cosmic 2×4.” I like how Stacey Martino puts it, …

Credit: Srubhiker (USCdyer)/Flickr/Creative Commons

Expanding Grace

Recently, I was at the theater watching Jurassic World with my family. Beside me, there was a four-year old boy sitting with his father and throughout the movie I passed judgement on the father for bringing this young boy to that sort of movie. Later, I made a comment and my own son said, “maybe the man didn’t want to pay for a babysitter and decided to take him to a movie instead.” I was convicted afterwards by my judgemental perception of the situation I knew nothing about. Good on my son for choosing a positive perception of the situation. But, how I grieved afterwards about my opinion. And, even though I have worked hard to change my perceptions of people and circumstances, my original state creeps through and I judge again. I am reminded of the story of the man who was forgiven a large debt by his lord and then went out and demanded payment from someone who owed him money. He did not show this man the same mercy he had just …