Category : Uncategorized
Category : Uncategorized
Have you taken a walk today? Run in a 10K like I did the other day? Have you hit the gym this week? Are you on your way spin, Zumba, to water aerobics class now? Well if you’re not, you should be. I know that physical activity quiets the mind and fuels the soul: Mobilizes and reduces stress hormones. Decreases tension and inflammation in the body. Improves heart rate variability and physical resilience to stress.
All of this opens the door for the Holy Spirit to lift you, fill you, and calm you. We all know that life can be stressful and if you have all the pent up the YOU NEED to let it OUT! Some may say that physical exercise is all for vanity, but as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and doctor, I’m here to tell you that, my friend, is not true.
A person can do anything to obsession, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m advocating releasing the stress, thoughts, and emotions that have you all bound up. Look, I need exercise. I need to be healthy. I need these things because I want to serve. Serve God, my family, my friends, and my community.
So when the day seems to be filled with too much I like to take a walk. Breathe. Listen to nature, praise music, or talk it out with my husband or friend. Exercise is more that vanity. Exercise is life giving.
Are you willing to open the door for the Holy Spirit? Go for a walk. Go to the gym. Go to exercise class. Take care of your temple.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
As I look around my office, filled with stacks of papers, files, and books ready to be put into their place after moving twenty days ago, I realized the office is usually the last room to get organized. Yet it is the one place that holds very valuable information. There are home owner papers from the last home and new home, bills, insurance information, and medical information which all need to be updated with our new address and be accessible for payments or emergencies.
So why do I wait to organize the office? Simply because it’s my place. Most parents, and especially mothers, tend to put themselves last. We’re the last to eat, last out the door, last in the shower, last awake—just last. Yet we are the hub of our families. We have almost all the information about medical and insurance needs, groceries and bills lists, laundry and school work schedules. It’s moments like this that I am feeling the blessing, and at the same time, the weight of being a wife, mother, and woman.
The Lord calls us to partnership with our husband, in fact in the beginning God knew man was not complete without his indispensable helper. That’s what we are—indispensable. Now knowing this, we need to take moments, hours, or days to recharge. If we don’t, we burn out. How can our family function without us? Each parent is indispensable; therefore, we both need time to renew our minds, bodies, and souls. It doesn’t have to been much. It could be a bubble bath, a few hours with a good book, time in the workshop, fishing, craft room, or garden. The list is endless. Every room in a home is important! Everyone in a home is important.
Today, won’t you take time to count your blessings, relax, enjoy, and rejoice.
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25).
When you dine out, how do you interact with your servers?
A month ago, I was having dinner with two Christian sisters, Rosemary and Bella, when a sweet waitress took our order. I recognized her from another time that I was at the restaurant so I started a conversation by telling her I remembered her and asked, “Where are you from?” “Costa Rica,” she replied. I complimented the energetic, petite woman on her upbeat personality, then she left to take care of another table.
The three of us wondered, Is this a divine appointment? When she came back with our glasses of water, Rosemary didn’t waste any time and asked, “Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?’ She answered, “I pray a lot” then hurried off. We were worried that we scared her away with our boldness.
It was at that moment we prayed, Lord, if we are supposed to pray with this woman to receive Jesus, will you provide an opening for us?
Our waitress returned and showed us a card that a man gave her. She said, “It’s written in Hebrew and says that I am going to see Jesus soon.” The door was wide open. The three of us looked at each other and knew what we had to do. Bella asked her if she wanted to know Jesus personally before she saw Him, and she said yes, so Bella grabbed her hand and the three of us led her to Christ with a prayer.
The waitress was joyous and was giddy with excitement after receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. We all took a photo with her and gave her copies of our books to start her on her journey.
Meanwhile, last night I was praying with people at the altar after our Shabbat Service at church. A woman approached me who I knew I’d met before. As it turned out, it was a waitress from a nearby restaurant, someone who had waited on me numerous times and who I knew was a Christian. Because of that, she came to me for prayer during a difficult season of her life. What an honor. This happened because I was willing to allow a divine interruption at a restaurant, and break away from my conversation to show kindness to a sister.
I always pray to recognize divine interruptions, or God appointments, each day. Whether it’s just a word of encouragement I’m supposed to give, or an invitation to receive Christ, I want to be aware of the holy promptings,. I’m doing some evangelism training at church under Dr. Rice Broocks, the author of God’s Not Dead, and he has a simple formula for leading someone to Christ. S.A.L.T. S: Start a conversation. A: Ask questions. L: Listen and T: Tell your story.
The world needs to hear the good news about Jesus Christ. Are you willing to make a connection with another believer or to be divinely interrupted to share the gospel of hope? A restaurant is a good place to start.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…(1 Peter 3:15).
Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? If not, simply pray: “I know that I’ve fallen short of your perfect standards, O God, and I repent of my wrongdoing over the years. I believe that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to this Earth to sacrifice His life for my sins and to bridge the gap between you and me so that I can be in right relationship with you, a holy and righteous God. I now invite Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and I commit my life to Him. AMEN”
It was thirteen years ago that a beautiful, loving, and effervescent seven-year-old daughter asked her mother to go to church. She had mentioned going to church before, but this time she really wanted to go. Little did I know that what she wanted was going to change all of our lives, especially mine. Passover, Good Friday, and Easter were holidays that I thought I knew about. As we walked into the little Black Forest Chapel church on Palm Sunday, which I didn’t even know was a sacred day, I was introduced to Jesus in a way that shattered me to my core. I was introduced to the Lamb that would take all my sins to the cross for me.
Jesus didn’t take His sacrifice lightly, and I was just learning how enormous the sacrifice was. Forgiven. I was completely forgiven because of His sacrifice. All I had to do was ask for it, and seven months later, I did. I walked down the aisle of church, into the arms of my pastor and his wife, and there they prayed with me as I accepted Jesus’s sacrifice and asked for forgiveness. I then went to my knees and confessed all my sins. That was it. Then the vail was lifted and my life began to change.
The next few months was all about me. My salvation. My therapy. My relationship with Christ. I was building a foundation that strengthened me for what I had to do next. Forgive. You see, my favorite verse was 2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” But what I learned as I sat in church that Easter Sunday, was that as Jesus had forgiven me, I was to forgive others. 2 Cor 5:18-20 says, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he was committing to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
Understanding Jesus’s sacrifices for us is paramount to our salvation and righteousness, but we must remember what is asked of us in His name, to forgive others. To share the blessing of forgiveness with each other. Now that Easter has passed and we have the glorious day of His resurrection fresh in our minds, we must not forget why He died for us. To forgive us of our sins, so that we can have a relationship with our Father God. We must move forward with His mission of forgiveness and reconciliation within ourselves, within our families, within our network of friends, and within our communities.
Begin the process of forgiving by just telling the Lord you forgive. It may seem too hard to forgive someone, but let the Lord begin the process. If you can, reach out and let someone know that they are forgiven and loved.
I know how hard it is to forgive. I know that some wounds take years to heal. The Lord will be with you as you walk each day in healing and forgiveness. It took me nearly thirty years to find the joy in forgiveness, but I got there. Day by day, I worked on my healing. Day by day, my grace and compassion grew, until one day the pain was replaced by joy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did not forget the hurt, and I did set boundaries. However, as I began to forgive others, I became stronger in who God made me to be.
Scripture declares, that God has made us all in His image. In Jesus we see sacrifice, grace, compassion, kindness, understanding, nurturing, encouragement, forgiveness, and love, which means all of those beautiful qualities live in us too. So, as you continue your life after Easter, remember who God made you to be. His.
Seven Things We Should Seek (Part 7 of 7)
Seek a word from God.
For many years of my life, I was tuned into another channel than the one God was on. Instead my focus was on “Me” TV, “I” Witness News and As “My” World Turns. I had no idea if God was trying to speak to me or not, as all I heard was my voice drowning out the still, small voice for which the Lord is known. Maybe you’ve been there.
After I rededicated my life to Christ over twenty-five years ago, I changed the channel to a higher frequency. Now, I long for, and strain to hear a word from God. I pray daily for direct revelation, however, sometimes I have to get away to remove the noise so I can hear Him more clearly.
So I’m writing this blog from the Shalom Retreat Center in Grand Saline, Texas, about an hour and forty-five minutes from my home. “Shalom” means “peace” in Hebrew and that’s the environment the owners have created here—peaceful.
After one of the busiest ministry stretches that I can remember, I traveled to our annual Christian Women in Media Board Retreat to work, yes, but also to seek a word from God in the midst of this sanctuary designed for rest.
Yesterday morning, it happened. The Lord spoke to me during a conversation with one of my fellow board members, Susan Mead. I usually know when it’s the Holy Spirit because it’s nothing I’ve thought of before, and it comes unexpectedly.
Susan, and I were talking about higher education. She was a biology and chemistry major in college and I shared with her that biology was always my worst subject in both high school and college. I always thought it was odd that I had no aptitude for science, considering my father was a medical doctor, but then I heard, “You may not be a doctor, but I still gifted you to heal.” Healing is one of the spiritual gifts spoken about in 1 Corinthians 12. “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit…”
God has given me a heart for both emotional and physical healing in people, but I’ve learned to only pray over someone for physical healing when the Holy Spirit tells me to do so. However the new revelation is that God is using me in a healing capacity, just like he used my earthly dad, who died before I was born. I sought a word from the Lord, and he revealed something to me that I’d never realized before.
God still speaks.
He can speak to you because His channel is one that we can all receive, especially if we tune out the distractions. Maybe you occasionally have to get away to a quiet place to focus on listening. Perhaps you have to wake up each morning an hour before everyone else opens their eyes. Whatever the case, his small, still voice is distinguishable, and it’s easy to hear if we’re tuned in.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 1I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16).