Praise

#fmf

Who doesn’t like a good party?

I’m not talking about some of those we see posted all over our favorite social media sites or the ones that are talked about through out the bible.  Parties where we don’t want to face the other people that we were with the night before or maybe we don’t even remember who we where with.   Parties where we did things that we, in most normal situations, wouldn’t have done.  Parties where all our morals, thoughts and cares go out the window and sin lingers in.

I mean a party full of laughter and love, smiles and hugs, sharing life and celebrating victories.  A party where encouragement is abounding and praise is overflowing.  That is what I expect Heaven to be like!

2 Samuel 22:50

“For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.

But until I get to Heaven, I want to live that party here on earth.  I want to cultivate friendships that are strong and everlasting.  Be engaged with people who love to party.

So what does that mean for me?  I need to live my day, regardless of the things I face, regardless of the trials that confront me and regardless of the pain I endure because Jesus faced those same things and still faced them with Praise on His heart for His Father.  I want to Praise like that!  I will have heart ache and joys in this life but in the end…………….

I’m gonna party like there is NO TOMORROW! 

Lord, I praise Your name and I look forward being with You forever. Amen!

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Share

#fmf

I absolutely love sharing life with others.  Laughter, tears, pain or joy!  I am not ashamed to LOVE BIG!  I have not always been like that.  I loved big those who loved big back.  I loved big those who were easy to love big.  I loved big the select group who would bring gain to my life.  It’s not so easy to love big to others. But that is who we are called to love.

Romans 10:14-15

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

About 6 years ago God pulled me out of my comfort zone.  Out of my place where loving big was easy.  Out of my place where sharing life didn’t really take any effort.  He moved me to a new place, a place where others didn’t want to share life with me.  They were like me before, comfortable. And sharing out of that love big zone was unneeded and unwanted.

God created us to share.  Share our life with those around us.  He designed us to Love Big!

I’m coming to understand that this time has been in His plan all along.  He designed me to Love Big outside of my comfort zone.  He designed me to share life.  He designed me to say “I am not ashamed”.

So I press on.  I pray hard. I question His plan at times.  I share who HE is to me. I trust.

So, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Share life with someone today. Share who Jesus is.  Share the salvation He promises.

Lord I praise Your name and Your glory in my life.  I will trust that you will guide my steps.  I ask for your ever present guidance.  Amen!

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Good News

Good news!   We all love some good news.   And you sure ain’t hearing it on the TV these days or reading it in a news paper or scrolling through it on social media.  It seems as if Satan is waging warfare on our people.  You know what I mean, I don’t have to explain myself I’m sure.

I have several audio books that I’m listening to right now but I think that I need to narrow it down to just one at a time.  So I think I’m gonna stick to this……..

“Eternity is now in Session” by John Ortberg.  He says, You can tell a lot about people from where they get their news.  If people are on one side of the political spectrum they might get their news from one source.  If they’re on the other side they might get their news from another side.  Where do you get your news?  Jesus was among other things in the news announcing business.

Are you seeking  out His news?  Do you check in with Him before  you come to a conclusion about a certain topic?

There is a lot of gray in the bible when it comes to some things but on the things of the heart and our salvation, there is no gray.   His news is our BEST NEWS!

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
If you were raised a certain way, with certain beliefs, do you seek out His truths, His good news, His direction to make sure your beliefs as an adult align with His?
If you want a good article to read, start with John.  If you want to be feed some good wisdom, read Proverbs.  If you want to see that others struggle with the same problems and need help praying, check out Psalms.  If you want to know how to walk your day to day life, ponder through Acts.   There is lots of good news and sound instruction scattered through the Bible.   But the primary Good News you need to know is Jesus! Jesus is here.  He died for you so that you would be forgiven.  He gave you the Holy Spirit, His Spirit, to guide you.
So don’t seek out instruction, guidance or Good News from TV, News papers or Social Media.  Look to Jesus!
Lord, I do not know what I would do with out Your kind of Good News.  Thank You! Amen!
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Potential

What drives our potential?

#fmf

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Maybe we should look at who created us.

Omniscient  – All knowing – Job 37:16

Omnipotent – All powerful  – Gen 18:14

Omnipresent – Ever Present – Jeremiah 23:23-24

Immutable – Never changing – Malachi 3:6

Holy –  Able – Psalm 99:9 & Habakkuk 1:13

Righteous – Perfect – Matthew 5:21

Sovereign – Just – Rom 1:18

Love – Infinite love – Rom 5:8

Merciful – Forgiving – Luke 15:11-32

Veracity –  Absolute Truth – John 8:32

Trinity – 3 in 1- Never alone – Ezek 36:27

If I am made in His own image, then I have  potential to do anything that He has lead me to.

But what is driving our potential?  Is it God or is it self?  Are we following our head or following our heart?

God created the whole “ME” and therefore I should use the whole “ME”.  With all the above attributes of God in me through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit my potential is limitless.  I simply need to believe it!

So we should not doubt our potential if we are listening to His voice.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 3:20

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

Philippians 4:13

 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

 

Do you Trust HIM?

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As she remembers her child and weeps

Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

1 Corinthians 12:26

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

I have walked some paths with my family members and with my friends, that have been joyous and hard.   Each path that I have walked has taught me a lesson on relationships.  Some have shown me what it means to support even when I didn’t understand fully.  Some have taught me to show them a clearer path when their path was foggy.  Some were trying and some were easy.  But they all are necessary for the lesson that God wanted me to learn and the lesson that the one I was walking with was learning.

I know that the scripture is telling us that we should rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, in a way that is not self serving.  To let it be about that person.   To not be desiring for the good to be mine and thankful that the bad is not mine.  Just to be with them in theirs.

I am seeing this scripture in a new light now as I’ve never had to walk the path that I’ve walked this past week. And will cherish each moment that I get to walk with my friend over the next months.   This path that I’m walking is with a friend who just lost her child in a horrific accident.  This path she has never walked and I have not either but this is a path that neither will soon forget.  I am willing to weep with her as she is weeping but I pray that we will be able to get to a place of rejoicing through it too.

I have no words of comfort for her.  Nothing seems suitable.  But I can sit.  I can hug her long and hard, as if to breathe for her.   I can give her time and that’s all I have to give.

God tells us that the Holy Spirit will intercede when we pray and we have no words.  I’m sure that he has heard my simple silence as I sought understanding, comfort and guidance from Him this week through this.  I pray that I will continue to hear and act when He calls me to respond.  I pray that I will learn from the weeping.

I know that He is hearing my sweet friend’s prayers too and will continue as the days, weeks and years pass and she remembers her child and weeps.

Lord, walk with me.  Amen!

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Complete

#fmf

Definition of Complete 

ahaving all necessary parts, elements, or steps

As a child, I thought like a child. I have to admit that my childish thinking lingered, lingered on well into my adulthood.   But we only know what we know. Right?

As a young girl, I had my dreams.  Dreams of my night in shining armor, sweeping me off my feet and setting up house with white picket fence and all.  Then adding to that fairy tale dream, our babies and our family would be made perfect, would be complete.

Your dreams may have looked different but completeness is what we all dream of.  In our families, careers and material possessions.  When we have________ we will be complete.

And then I lived that dream and the dream didn’t come to completion as I had planned.  I think that you will know what I’m saying without me having to say it, because you also, I’m sure, have lived that dream.

I had all the necessary parts, the elements were all laid out and my steps were taken and then I realized, “I was living the dream of my making.  Trying to come to completion of my dream.  I was determining the steps and those steps were not those of God”.

Definition of Complete 

ato make whole or perfect

Now, I have to admit that in my 5#’s those dreams, or others I’ve added, still creep in.  The dreams of “if only ______, then life will be complete”, wants to take over my mind.  But what is different now is that I know WHO is in control of my life.  And it’s not me!  I take things in stride and I seek to learn from all the minor details and major interruptions.  God has a plan!  He may not orchestrate all the fine details and major interruptions, because we (I) have free will to interject our plans, but in the end His plan will prevail.  Ant at that point, I’m convinced, my life will then be COMPLETE!

Revelation 22:20-21  He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.   The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

I look forward to the day Lord when I sit complete next to You.   Help to be the best me for You while I’m here and be brave so that I can introduce Jesus to as many as possible. Amen!

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I don’t know how!

I will never think of this phrase the same.   Saturday around 3:30 pm, I got some news that totally rocked my boat.  I went through the process of shock, disbelief and pain.  As I’m rushing to the hospital to be with a friend, I was crying out to the Lord, “I don’t know how to do this!”.   I don’t know what to say, I don’t know whether to show my grief or be stoic.  I simply just didn’t know.  That’s when I had to rely on this verse to show me……….

Proverbs 3:5-6 [Full Chapter]

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Truth is, there are no words, there are no perfect actions, there is nothing that can make this okay.
Once I arrived to the hospital and got to my friend, she said those same words, “I don’t know how! I don’t know how to do this!”.  This day my friend lost her 4 year old to a drunk driver.  There is no right way.  There is no step by step manual for this.
So all I can do is trust.  All she can do is trust that He will lead the way.  I will pray that she and her husband stay strong in the Lord.  They hold tightly to their faith and they allow each other to grieve in whatever way they need to.  That they will not shut each other out.  That they will be honest with those around them on the days that life is just not okay.  That they will be able to rest and that they will be able to smile.  That they will not let the child they have with them suffer this loss on his own.  That they will share in each others pain and they will someday be able to rejoice with each other again.
I don’t now how but I fully trust that God Does!
Lord, be with this family. Hold them tightly in your arms and give them comfort.  Help those around them, and me, know how. Amen!
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Crowd

#fmf

I’m an introvert, always have been and always will be.  That’s just my nature.  That’s why writing is such a joy for me.  A means to have my voice used without the risk of all that comes with speaking in a crowd.  So as an introvert, I “DO NOT LIKE CROWDS” or at least the kind that require me to be a part.

Over the last several years of being forced into crowded places, full of people I don’t know.  With a move, new job, new church, new community, I have had to lean more of Christ for my strength, my courage, my justifying and my protection, so the introvert is beginning to break out of her shell a bit.

Yet, crowds still overcome me at times.

Then I think of the other types of crowds, those that no one notices, no one cares.  Those that no one sees you at all.   As in the woman who had a bleeding problem and was and outcast in her crowd.  She, also found that healing from Him.   “If I could just touch him!”  “If I could just touch him!”

Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

 Healing of the Woman click for full story

Oh how the healing could be if everyone in the crowd could have that faith to say, “If I could just touch him!”

Oh how the healing came to me when I said it!

Then there is the crowd that will be in the heavens.

But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
Even as an introvert, I’m so looking forward to that crowd.  The crowd that feels nothing like the crowds of this world.  The crowd where sin will be gone.  The crowd where there will not be pain written all over the faces.  The crowd that will be at peace and will have peace through out their souls.  Oh, how I look forward to that crowd.
Lord, thank you for seeing me in this crowded world.  Thank you for saying, I’m yours!  Thank you for giving me strength and courage to maneuver through my life of many hills and valleys. Thank you for healing me and redeeming my soul.  Help me to be a light that shines Your greatness so others can feel that healing in their crowed world. Amen!
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Why Me?

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Latasha “Tasha” Layne : I noticed her from the start. I don’t know, something drew me to her.  I have a feeling it was the Holy Spirit prompting me,  saying, “You need to have this girl in your life!”.  I’ve only had a few brief conversations with her at church and then enjoyed a spirit filled lunch with her this week and I can already tell we will be life long friends.  A kindred spirit! I’m so excited to be able to share her story with you.

My Journey of Faith

God has a plan for each of us. During the journey, we don’t see his works most of the time. At times we feel alone, question God and the existence of him and lose our hope and faith. We may not understand the Why’s on our journey but rest assured that each event or test is meaningful. You go through hardships, trials and tribulations before you even understand what they are. Then as you grow up, you’re left wondering the age-old question, Why me? I asked myself this question more times than I can count, and for over half of my life, I never received and answer.

May 12, 1987, Houston Texas…a random Tuesday, I entered this world. I don’t have pictures of that day to remind me of the love and excitement that surrounded me. I don’t have any memorabilia or videos. What I do have, is the remembrance of a broken family. At age 2 ½ , the state of Texas  came in and removed my siblings and I from our home. The reported abuse became too severe and the state took action. I have 3 full siblings and 5 half siblings, most of which I have no form of contact with. I was placed in a foster home for approximately 6 months, alone. Luckily, I was blessed enough to be adopted by the same family that one of my older siblings was also being adopted by. That is what brought my sister and I to Kentucky.unnamed (1)

I can remember at a young age, questioning God. I had a very hard time trying to wrap my head around why my life had to start off on such a rocky path. Why didn’t my BIO parents want me? Figuring out who I was became a running theme in my life. I had no background, I knew nothing of any family medical history, didn’t know who most of my siblings were and never truly knew my Bio parents. So, who was I? The daughter to drug addicts, the adopted girl from Texas or just a young girl trying to find her place in this crazy world.

Growing up in my house in KY had a lot of ups and downs. My parents, the ones who raised me, never had children of their own. Large family on both sides though. Each had a lot of siblings who then had kids as well. So, gatherings were always a BIG deal. I was your typical Daddy’s girl…he literally hung the moon in my eyes. My Mom and I had a very strained relationship for the most part. When it was good, it was real good..but when it was bad…well you get the idea. The older I got, the more the tension seemed to grow. I was struggling with identity issues, feeling worthless and hiding my true feelings of resentment, pain and confusion. So, instead of turning to people who would help me, I turned to other things to mask the pain. I looked for love and acceptance in all the wrong places and people. Alcohol became a staple in my life as well as relationships that always ended up at a dead end road. I did have a few close friends who I opened up to, but never the bad stuff…never the deep down, gut wrenching hurt I dealt with inside on a daily basis.

You know how everyone has life changing events that alter their whole world and rock them to their core?? Yea, I had several of those in a matter of 2 years. I am convinced that the Devil was trying to end me because he knew that in the future, I would have a HUGE heart for God. At age 17, I unknowingly entered into an abusive relationship…and when I say unknowingly, I mean; this guy masked it so well until he had me hooked. Then he showed his true colors and by then, it seemed too late to leave. Within that relationship was more abuse; physical, mental and sexual. He had beaten down any confidence I had left. My self-worth was practically non-existent and I was so broken, I felt it was beyond repair. But I kept a smile for the outside world to see, because that what I was expected to do. 8 months into the relationship, my Mom too me to my “female” doctor where I found out within a matter of weeks that I had the earliest form of Cervical Cancer. Talk about a punch to the gut. However, the blessing was that it was only on the surface..we caught it just in time.

Now, lets get to the part where the devil truly almost ended me. My Dad, he became sick and after numerous appointments and tests, we really didn’t have any answers. That is, until February 1, 2006, my world fell apart. My reason for existence left me…my Dad passed away from Stage 4 liver cancer. I was lost and for a while after this my life would go in a downward spiral of drinking, bad decisions and attempted suicide. I hated who I had become, I hated being surrounded by so many people but still feeling so alone. I had no answers, I couldn’t understand why God was punishing me, hadn’t I had enough??

At age 19, I found out I was pregnant and then married my daughters Dad (but divorced after 8 years of marriage). At age 20, I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 6 oz little girl who I say was my saving grace, my new reason for living. It was my first experience at how amazing God was. How amazing she was and even through all my wrongdoings, HE decided I was worthy of this wonderful blessing. The love and bond that my daughter and I shared instantly, was and is unmatchable. I lived for her and I would die for her…and shortly after becoming a Mom of 2, I realized, that is exactly how God feels about us. He was born to be the Messiah, OUR Savior and he died for US. He took all the sin of the world and placed it on the cross with him. WOW! Was I worthy of such mercy and love? The answer to that, is YES!

Many others are like me, grew up trying to find their place in this world, doubting Gods love for us because of the relationships we have with others. Broken relationships, hurt from friends and family or hurt that that we have placed on ourselves, keep us from going down the path that God has lined out for us.  The funny thing is, the answer was there from the beginning. Our place IS with God. I am the daughter of THE KING! I am loved by someone who literally gave their life for me so that I may have eternity with him. (John 3:16) One misconception is that you can make God not love you, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth!! Nothing, and I mean nothing, can change Gods love for you. (Hebrews 13:8)

That misconception has haunted me throughout my journey of faith. The devil is always instilling fear, worry, doubt and confusion into my head and heart…but the stronger I become in my faith, the more I realize, those things aren’t of God! Those are NOT part of his character. God is Love, Grace, Mercy, Compassion, Joy, the list goes on and on. Sure, I had a rough life, there have been highs and lows, but those tests have become my testimony and the hurt and fear have helped lay the brick to my God filled foundation. I am and overcomer, I am not going under and the Devil has met his match. I don’t fight my battles alone anymore, God is in my corner fighting them with me and for me. What a great feeling it is, feeling confident and worthy and not letting fear consume me. I mean, what room does fear have when I lean on hope and when I cling to trust. What room does fear have when I walk by faith and rest in Gods comfort?

unnamed (2)God saved me, in every aspect of my life, he saved me. He restored my hope and faith. He has restored relationships and mended my completely shattered soul. After giving my life to him, I now KNOW all things with him, are possible. (Matthew 19:26). Sure, there are days I grow weary, I may stumble and fall, but in the Bible it states: “But those who trust in the Lord, will renew their strength”. (Isaiah 40:31) I have finally found my place in this crazy life and I no longer question my identity. In God, I have found a Father, a friend, and a companion. I thank him for the blessings and the hardships for they have made me who I am. I have realized that was a reason for my struggles, a purpose for my pain and a reward for my faithfulness. All I have to do is TRUST HIM. So, whatever is it you may be struggling with, know you don’t have to struggle alone. God is reaching his hand out for you, patiently waiting for you to find peace in him.

Stop:

What a blessing your have brought to me Lord.  Thank You!  There are so many that struggle with abandonment, rejections, abuse, drugs and other afflictions Lord but Tasha’s story is testament that You are still mightily at work in our lives.  I pray Lord that Your Spirit will work in me continuously so that I will be brave, compassionate, empathetic and loving to those who are hurting.  I also pray that You will continue to point me towards others who will love me and help me walk this path.  Amen!

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Rain

#fmf

I love rain!  If it’s raining, you can bet that you’ll find me on my porch.  Day or night, it doesn’t matter.  And I particularly love storms with lightening.  I know that sounds crazy, most are running for cover and shelter of a center room in their  homes.  Not me!  I want to get up close and personal with them.  What exactly does that say about me?

So I googled it!  Interestingly enough in the whole internet world I only found 1 post on why people like storms.  And I found it enlightening to my own personality.  This particular writer said obviously anyone can like storms but for him, he was a thinker, his mind never stopped but also he was an introvert so being alone in a storm was okay.  Ultimately he said that in storms he found peace.  And if I’d searched my soul instead of the internet, my soul would have said the same thing.  I too am a thinker and an introvert but mainly I too find peace in the gentle rain showers.  I find peace in the down pours.  I find peace in the lightening filled skies.  What I also find is that at the end of the rain storms the earth around me is cleansed.

Psalm 107:29

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

But there are times when the rain storms of life, metaphorically speaking, are not so peace filled.  They can engulf you to the point that we can not breathe.  They can wash away any since of peace that we may have.   They may feel as if they will never end.  But what I find is at the end of that rain storm, if I am looking, I can find evidence that God was there with me.

Psalm 46:1 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

I have found that the more rain storms I weather, the easier it is to find Him in the middle.  The easier it is to see the cleansing that he is doing in my life.

So I say to you my friend, look for Him in your rain storms of life.  Seek Him out for the cleansing that He wants for you.

Lord, I praise you for all that you are in my life.  I praise you for giving me the peace that I need in the middle of the storms.  I ask for  you to be with those who are walking in that storm now and that they will feel your presence among them.  Amen!

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