Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Challenge

Last night I attended the last bible women's bible study for this semester.  For the past month I have been reading Christine Caine's  "Undaunted" Daring to do what GOD calls you to do.  It has been through this book that I have really begun to ask the questions of "what now GOD?"  This morning, surprisingly NOT during my bible study, but rather in the shower HE began to speak to my heart.

HIS Daily Teachings today is about The Challenge, more so, HIS Challenge for me to step up, to live undaunted, and daring to do what HE calls me to do.  HE is wanting me to know that I am being called to speak HIS word, to share HIS love to others, and to be sure that my life is a living testament to HIS HOLY GRACE.  However, even in doing all of that, or so I "think" I am doing, HE is showing me where I have fallen short.

It has been through many of HIS teachings that I am learning that I just don't quite understand yet, what it is to love people as HE loves them.  Time and again situations have come up in my life, and I have fallen short. I have been judgemental, critical, unloving, unkind, and sometimes just plain cruel.  The realization of these things is hard for me, as I never intended to hurt anyone as I have been hurt before.  In seeking HIM, and HIS will for my life, I want to run away as far as I can be from anything, and everything that is unholy, and fall safely in HIS loving arms.  

HE is wanting me to know that I am called to be HOLY as HE is HOLY, and I know this because I was created in HIS image as it is has been written.  

"He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time" 2 Timothy 1:9

"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

This is comforting for me to know,,as I am almost relieved that the evil that I have lived through, been, and surrounds me to this day is NOT WHO I am created to be.  HE is wanting me to know that HE created me with LOVE, HIS LOVE, HIS PERFECT, NON-JUDGEMENTAL, UNCRITICAL, LOVING, KIND, CARING, UNFAILING LOVE.  This morning HE is telling me once again that it is because HE loves me that HE won't allow me to stray from the path that HE has chosen for my life.   HE is wanting me to know and understand that HIS will truly is the only way I will ever be able to truly live my life safe from my own prison without a key.  

HE is teaching me that because I have received, and know of HIS love, I am called to love as HE loves.  In the past month I have been hearing from HIM about what it means to love others.  It wasn't until this morning, in the shower that I fully understood what HE is calling me to do.  I knowing this, I know that I am ready for The Challenge that HE is placing before me.  I know that with this challenge will come many tests and trials to ensure that I truly understand, and know what loving someone the way HE loves them means.  

HE is telling me that I am to prepare my heart for The Challenge.  I am to be seeking HIM Daily, and asking HIM to create in me a heart like HIS.  HE is challenging me to be brave, be bold, be courageous, be loving, to say NO to what the world is telling me, and to seek HIM with all that I am and all that I have.  

This morning I am being reminded of what this means for my life through a song's lyrics that we sang this past weekend at church.  

"Oh to be like You Give all I have just to know You Jesus, there's no one besides You Forever the hope in my heart" Hillsong United, "Scandal of Grace"

As I was singing, it became my hearts cry to be like HIM, to know HIM, to be beside HIM, to love HIM, and to give up everything I have just to know HIM.  It has been through this past year of breakthroughs that I am confident in knowing that I need HIM.  I know that I need HIM in a way that I have never needed anything before in my life.  

This morning HE is taking me back to the day that I fully surrendered.  I remember lying on my bed, drenched in tears, as feelings of failure, fraud, anger, hatred, shame, guilt, overwhelmed me.  For a brief second I even thought maybe it would just be better to end it all.  Not knowing what else to do, I slid off my bed, and onto my knees, and cried out to HIM, "JESUS, please oh please, help me.  I can't be the wife you want me to be, the mama you want me to be, the friend you want me to be, the person, I hate myself, I hate what I've been through, I hate my testimony.  I hate my struggles, I hate the way I am feeling, I need YOU, oh GOD how I need YOU."  

It was in that moment that I am now realizing that I had accepted the very first challenge that would make up this entire year of challenges.  HE is taking me back to the moment in Wal-mart on date night that I would receive the first confirmation that my breakthrough was coming.  As I sit here and type, and go back, tears fall as the person of WHO I was, is no longer here.  I sit here typing in confidence that I am loved, I am saved, HE is faithful, I have been rescued, and because of that I know and understand that it is my calling to accept The Challenge to shout it, scream it, from the mountains, that HE is LORD, HE is GOOD, and HE loves each and everyone of us.  That through HIM death has no sting, that through HIM we can, and will overcome that of which Satan has tried so desperately to destroy us with.  

Today I am thankful that I am able to say that I am thankful for this life that I am living.  That I am honored to have my mess, which is HIS beautiful mess.  I am grateful that I am being given the chance to share my story, which is my living testament of WHO HE is, WHAT HE has done, and WHAT HE will continue to do.  I am accepting HIS challenge and I am seeking HIM with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, to show me how to love, who to love, and when to love.  I am seeking HIM to teach, lead, and guide me to reach the people that are being reached through my story.  

Dear friends, I pray today that if you are in need of a breakthrough, that you will have the courage to fall to your knees and fully surrender and call out to HIM, as HE truly does love you.  HE wants you to know HIM, and to draw you near to HIM.  HE wants you to know that HE knows of your pain, shame, guilt, and unforgiveness that you harbor in your heart.  HE is there, HE is waiting for you, to set you free from your own prison without a key.    I pray today is the beginning of your breakthrough as you seek HIM, and declare HIM LORD of your life.  I pray for peace, and comfort for you all as you go through the storms of your life.  I pray that you will feel HIS presence today, and let you know that with HIM you are never alone.

with many prayers and blessings for you all,
Heather 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spiritually Mature

On Good Friday I became ill, and that lasted for almost eight days.  Since I was sick, I not only missed Good Friday service at church, but Easter as well.  Easter Sunday morning I woke up feeling very sad, as I knew my family was going to church without me.  As I laid in my bed, ready to cry and feel sorry for myself, I felt a gentle nudge from HIS HOLY SPIRIT prompting me to look at facebook.   There I would see that JOEL OSTEEN's church was being broadcast through streaming through the Internet.  Not only was it the service, but it was the worship as well.  So right there from my very own bed, my arms were raised, and I began to sing praises to HIM, and it was within that service that I forgot I was even sick.

HIS Daily Teachings today is letting me know that I don't always have to have all the right circumstances to seek HIM.  HE is wanting me to know that it is because I have allowed myself to become teachable, that I am able to endure the tests and trials of not always having things primed and ready for my liking.  HE is wanting me to know that whenever I seek HIM, I will find HIM, all because I have made the decision that I am following JESUS, as HE is mine, and I am HIS, and I want, need, and desire, HIM in my life, for HIM to be my EVERYTHING!

In becoming spiritually mature HE is reminding me that this means I must choose to think differently.  HE is showing me this morning of past conversations I have been apart of or allowed myself to entertain that were NOT GOD honoring.  HE is wanting me to know this so that I will see just how important it is for me to think differently.  HE is telling me that HE wants me to have GOD honoring thoughts, to think as HE does, and NOT act on my "feelings."

In choosing to be lead by HIS HOLY SPIRIT, I am choosing to say NO to sinning by being lead by this broken and fallen world.  Once again, HE is showing me where I have fallen into the trap in making what the world was telling me what I would decide to do.  HE is wanting me to know that I must choose to decide that I'm not going to just sin, (knowing full well it's wrong,) and then say, "Oh LORD please forgive me that I have sinned."  

HE is teaching me that being spiritually mature means letting go of the foolish thinking and ways, that my way, or the world's way could ever be better than HIS WAY.  HE is wanting me to know that HIS WAY needs to be the only way for me.  HE is wanting me to know that in order to continue to grow my faith in HIM, I must choose to be spiritually mature in my thinking, and get my mind off of what I want, or want to do, and get my mind SET on following HIM, and obeying HIM no matter what!

HE is teaching me that spiritually mature means that rather than feeling condemned by my mistakes, as I am reading and studying HIS word, I must seek HIM, and study HIS word, and heed HIS whispers and see them as inspiration of WHO I am called to be.  HE is telling me that choosing to become spiritually mature doesn't mean I won't make mistakes, rather I will learn from them, and strive to become more like HIM.  

"Spiritually Mature people know they aren't going to be perfect, and they know what to do when they do make mistakes."  JOYCE MEYER "Look Great, Feel Great"

The message in church yesterday reminded me so much of what HE has been teaching me about being Spiritually Mature."  HE is reminding me that becoming Spiritually Mature means that I must seek HIS will for my life, by allowing HIM to prepare my heart for HIS Daily Teachings.  HE is telling me that in order to truly live out HIS teachings, I must seek HIM with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, so that my faith in HIM will be planted and rooted firmly.

HE is telling me that Satan would like nothing more than to see me fail, by flooding my thoughts with "feelings" of abandonment, loneliness, guilt, and shame.  HE is telling me that in order to combat those thoughts, I must choose to study HIS word daily, and to allow HIM to create in me an ear like Samuel's ear, so that I will be able to hear and heed HIS whispers.  

HE is teaching me that being Spiritually Mature means that I live in HIS truth.  HE is telling me that in order to truly live in HIS truth, I must BELIEVE that through HIM, and only HIM that I am able to do anything that HE calls me to do.  HE is telling me that in maturing I must be running as far way from anything that is unholy, and running straight to HIS arms, as HE is HOLY!  

One of the areas that HE is wanting me to really focus on in being Spiritually Mature is my words.  Once again HE is showing me how quickly I can either build someone up, or tear someone down just by the words that I choose to say.  HE is wanting me to know that my words must be words  that speak JOY, LOVE, HOPE, and words that speak LIFE.   HE is telling me that I  must strike from my thoughts any and all words that speak destruction, and hurt, even when I "think" I am being "helpful."

" Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

"Properly chosen words can actually change lives for the better."
JOYCE MEYER

HE is wanting me to know that in choosing to be Spiritually Mature means that I must be sure that my words are wholesome, acceptable and pleasing to HIM.  I must choose to seek  HIM daily, to prepare my heart for HIS Daily Teachings, as it is then that I will become even more Spiritually Mature.  I am learning that this means that I must allow myself to be teachable, and to be humble.  I must let go of my foolish pride in thinking that I, Heather could possibly even come close to comparing to HIM, HE WHO does know what is best for me.  I must choose to stay on the path that HE is directing me to be on.  I must not try to run away and hide, when the going gets tough.  I must seek HIM, as HE is my strength to weather the storms that I go through, and I through each storm I am becoming even more Spiritually Mature.

For the past week, even though I haven't been able to really sit up, let alone type a blog, HE has shown me that all I really need is to open my heart, soul, and mind to HIS Daily Teachings and HE will pour them over my life.  Without even realizing that HE was indeed teaching me, I can now look back and see how HE has prepared me to receive HIS Daily Teaching for today.

In choosing to become Spiritually Mature I am learning that each and everyone of HIS Daily Teachings, is designed specifically to grow me, to show me where HE is in my life, where HE has been, and where HE always will be.  It is through HIS Daily Teachings that I am able to see that all HE calls me to do, is for HIS good, and it is all through  HIS timing, and provision for my life, as it is written according to HIS plans, and HIS purpose to be the woman of faith that HE is calling me to be.

Through many of HIS loving reminders this past week I am learning that I must sow good seeds so that I will be able to live a truly GOD honoring life.  I am learning that this is NOT only crucial for me, but for everyone that I may encounter, as I am HIS the daughter of the KING, the ALMIGHTY GOD, and whenever, HE calls me, whatever HE calls me to do, I will do as HE has proven to me time and again that HE truly does love and know me better than anyone else.  

In seeking HIM, and HIS will for my life, I will be striving to become even more Spiritually Mature.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I pray today that you will have the courage to seek  HIM, and HIS will for your life so that you too will grow and become Spiritually Mature.  I pray that when you do, your eyes will be opened to see that which Satan's "tries" to break you with, HE will make you strong, and your faith will strengthen and grow with each and every storm that you weather.  I pray that while in the storm you will know that HE is there, and that HIS presence will overwhelm you, as HE is saying to you, "Take courage, it is I, do NOT be afraid!"

Blessings,
Heather 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

the war within

In the past ten years there have been times where I have been in conversations or in groups with members of the opposite sex, and I have always felt uncomfortable.  In fact I've even gone as far to say to my husband that they are creeping me out.  The other night D reminded me of that during a conversation we were having, and I found myself completely floored by what he said to me.  D said, "In this life there are going to be other men who are attracted to you, because you are a beautiful woman."  He then went on to say, "you know I married up right?"  

HIS Daily Teachings today is letting me know that until I am able to find peace within, the war within will continue to wage in me.  In other words, until I learn to like, accept, and even *gasp* love myself, the war within will carry on, it will continue.  More than ever I am hearing HIM loud and clear that HE wants me to be a peace with myself.

In my humanness however, I don't know how.  I've tried, many times to be accepting of WHO I am because of WHOSE I am.  Yet, even after being successful for a period of time, I find myself falling into old habits, and before I know it the war within has once again completely taken over my life.  

This morning I knew that what has been happening to me when I read "Look Great, Feel Great" by JOYCE MEYER.  She writes, "When the only physical experiences you have are of pain and discomfort, you learn to hate your body as the source of those feelings.  You wish you didn't exist."

How comforting those words were to me this morning in helping HIM shine HIS light on why I feel the way I do about myself.  This morning HE is telling me that the reason I have gained so much weight is so that other men won't find me attractive, and I won't be hurt by another man ever again in my life.  

Though I haven't cried about the abuse in my past for so long, this really hit me hard this morning when the realization of HIS truth was revealed through JOYCE's words.  "Even when you grow up and the abuse stops, your disrespect and disgust for your body remains."  As the tears fall this morning, I know that HE is with me, and this is HIS loving way of showing me how Satan has kept me in my own prison without a key about myself, by keeping me locked up with insecurities, doubts, and loathing hate for myself.  

It never occurred to me that the mere fact that I was astonished at what D said to me was NOT from GOD. In fact, I thought it was me being humble, and letting go of my pride.  However, through HIS teachings today I am learning that all I was doing was holding onto my pride in thinking that if I ignore myself enough, eventually through all the quick fixes of making myself feel good would eventually dull and numb the pain that I have been living with for my entire life.  

Whenever I look back at my childhood pictures, I see a ugly duckling.  I had very short hair, awful glasses, boys clothes, and hearing aids.  I wore a lot of my brother's hand-me-downs.  When I think of junior high it makes me cringe, as I was so out of place.  I didn't fit in at all.  By the time I reached high school it was large enough that I sort of just blended in with all the jocks, preps, gang bangers, nerds, band geeks, and then the nothings like me.   Nothing is exactly how I would describe myself to someone, nothing special, nothing important, nothing unique, just plain old nothing.

Today HE is wanting me to know that I am so much more than just a nothing.  HE is wanting me to know that in HIS eyes I am beautiful, as HE is the ONE WHO created me.  HE is wanting me to know that today I am to let HIM heal the wounds and scars of the deep rooted pain that I have lived with on a daily basis for most of my life.  Today HE is telling me that it's time I come out of hiding, and let HIM build the love for myself, by letting HIM love me unconditionally.  HE is telling me that it's time that I ditch the mere thought that I am worthless, to knowing and BELIEVING HIM when HE tells me that I am worthy.

A few weeks ago, I tried three times to write a blog about living a worthy life, and each time I felt a HUGE road block, and try as I might I couldn't get passed it.  Little did I know HE was preparing me for something big.  This morning that something was revealed to me that I couldn't write a blog about living a worthy life, because I didn't believe that I was worthy.

Through HIS Daily Teachings today I am able to confront myself, and all the demons that I have kept locked up in my own prison without a key.  Today however, HE is my key, my key to HIS true freedom.  Today HIS truth is being revealed to me that I am beautiful!  I am worthy!  I am cherished!  I am chosen!  I am wanted!  I am enough!  I am magnificent, and even as I read in a book, I am captivating!  

This morning HE has captured my heart in showing me WHO I really am, by helping me see what has really been going on inside of me for all of these years.  "Until you confront your feelings and find peace, you will be in a state of warfare with yourself, and experience the stress, trauma, and exhaustion that war always causes." JOYCE MEYER  "Look Great, Feel Great"

HIS message to me today is being heard LOUD and CLEAR by me.  What I am hearing is HE is wanting me to be at complete peace with myself.  HE wants me to come out of hiding.  HE wants me to be truly living, living my life as HE intended.  HE is wanting me to rebuke those loathing feelings I have about myself, and start living with HIS true confidence of WHO I am, because HE has been teaching me for the past year of WHOSE I am.  I so thankful that HE captured my heart almost a year ago, and began teaching me that I don't have to remain locked up in my own prison without a key anymore.  I can live in peace with myself.

Knowing this is good, however putting it into practice for myself is overwhelming.  Knowing how much I would struggle with trying to find peace within myself, HE is showing me ways to achieve that.  Through JOYCE's words this morning HE spoke volumes to me:  "Anyone who has a root of shame about who they are in their life will be poisoned from the inside out."  

HE is wanting me to know today that HE is ready for me to replace that evil root in my life with HIS unconditional love and acceptance.  HE is telling me that until I learn to really love and accept myself, the war within will continue to wage.  HE is wanting me to know that though my flesh is weak, meaning I struggle making good decisions, HIS HOLY SPIRIT is strong.  HE is wanting me to know that in choosing to follow and live out HIS truth for my life I will overcome!  I must choose to say NO to myself, and say YES to HIM, so that I will then be able to truly live at peace with myself.  I am learning that when I do, the war within will END!

HE is wanting me to remember that my body is the living temple for HIS HOLY SPIRIT.  Therefore, I must choose to love and care for my body.  HE is wanting me to know that when I love and care for my body, it is then that my hands will be HIS hands  I must take care of my body so that my hands will be able to do whatever HE calls me to do.  This means that my feet need to be HIS feet, so that I will be able to go where HE calls me to go.  Lastly, my mouth (which is a HUGE struggle for me) must be HIS mouth!  I must choose to speak  HIS words, HIS truth, so that I will be able to live with HIS true freedom.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." Romans 12:1

"Don't spend your life competing with an illusion" JOYCE MEYER

" But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

"Don't live in the agony of unrealistic expectations." JOYCE MEYER

HE is wanting me to know that I was created in HIS image, therefore, I am exactly the way HE intended for me to be.  I am learning that this means I must be willing to care for and be pleased with what I have been given, and do the best I can with what I have.  

HE is telling me that what the world discards, HE cherishes.  HE is wanting me to know that even though I was once discarded by the world, HE thinks the world of me.  HE is wanting me to know that I'm NOT just another woman.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made by HIM!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

Today I am so thankful that HIS truth has been revealed to me about how worthless I have felt.  I am thankful that HE loves me enough to never let me stay in that mindset, and is moving me onto the life that HE has always planned for me to live.  I am thankful that gone are the chains that once kept me in bondage with Satan's lies.  Today I am choosing to live with HIS true confidence, and because of that I am living in HIS true freedom to be the Woman WHO HE created and continues to teach, lead, and guide me to be on my journey with HIM towards wholeness.

This weeks bible verse holds so much life, love, and meaning for me: "Taste and see that the LORD is good;  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in HIM."  Psalm 34:8

Friends, I pray today that if you don't love yourself, that you will turn to the ONE WHO does love you.  I pray today that you will have the courage to seek HIM, and ask HIM to reveal to you that you are worthy, and that you are loved.  I pray today that you too will be able to END the war within when you seek HIM, and HE unlocks your own prison without a key.  I pray today that you will seek HIM, as HE is the key for you to live with HIS true freedom.

Many blessing and prayers for each and everyone of you,

Heather 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

genuine change....

For as long as I can remember I have always had a stronghold of poor self maintenance.  This started at a young age in choosing to eat Little Debbie snack cakes for breakfast because well I could.  I was given the choice between the healthy, and the bad, and I chose the bad every time.  Looking back I can now see how Satan had a foothold in my life even then with keeping me in bondage with poor self maintenance.

I didn't really have good role models growing up. The people who I grew up with either smoked or drank, or did both.  They also ate a lot of fried food, and drank soda all day long.  It wasn't uncommon to go get my Granny a diet root beet first thing in the morning.  It also wasn't uncommon to eat ice cream for breakfast.  I grew up surrounded by people who trashed their bodies, and without even realizing it until today I have been doing the same.

HIS Daily Teachings today is showing me how, and why I have been struggling with the stronghold of poor self maintenance.  HE is wanting me to know that in order to break free from this stronghold in my life, I must seek HIM, and HE will be the ONE WHO helps me overcome with genuine change.

This morning I have been on a journey with HIM of why I have kept myself in bondage, and HE is revealing to me that it is because of the low self-esteem I have dealt with my entire life.  It is because when you are told you are nothing, you believe you are in fact nothing.  When you are called fat, and as someone used to sing to me, "Fatty Fatty two by four, can't fit through the bathroom door, and I don't want her you can have her she's too fat for me."  What I know now that was meant in fun, was not funny at all then, and in fact it was completely damaging, and I believe that is when the door was open to Satan to have an even deeper foothold in my life.


HE is wanting me to know that in order to live out the life that HE has planned for me, I must choose to break the bonds that I have with poor self maintenance.  HE is wanting me to rebuke the lies that I have been told all of my life that I was fat, ugly, not good enough, unworthy, and worthless.  As I sit here typing this all out, my eyes are welling up with tears, as the pain is raw, and real, and that is how I know that it is HIM leading me through yet another dark hour for me, and helping me see HIS truth of WHO I am, because I know WHOSE I am.

This morning HE is capturing my heart once again and reminding me that HE has amazing plans for me.  HE is wanting me to know that in order to live out those plans I must choose to do what HE is telling me to do.  This means for me that I must go back into my past, and rebuke any and all bondage's and agreements I have made with the enemy, even if I don't even remember making them.  HE is wanting me to know that Satan is so conniving and convincing and predatory that he came after me to destroy me from the moment I was conceived.  HE is telling me that as long as I continue to seek HIM and HIS will for my life, I will be protected by HIS power and HIS authority, as HE is mine, and I am HIS child.  HE loves me more than anyone could possibly love me, and HE knows me best, and because of this, I must obey HIM, and I must be willing to go into the past and see where my downfall of poor self maintenance began.

Through this unpleasant stroll down memory lane, HE is telling me that it is through HIS HOLY SPIRIT that I will be able to break free from old patters of self maintenance, and be able to take of new patters which will lead me to HIS true freedom for HIS plans for my life, and it is then that I will be able to say that I have gone through genuine change.

HE is wanting me to know that HE is wanting me to have total freedom from this stronghold as it is holding me back from HIS best for my life.  HE is telling me that I must choose to take courage, and don't be afraid, as HE is there with me!   I am learning more and more everyday what it means to put on HIS armor, and speak HIS truth, so that the enemy will flee at the mere mention of HIS HOLY, MIGHTY, and ALL POWERFUL NAME!


"But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

HE is wanting me to understand that the reason I have dealt and lived with this stronghold for so long in my life, is because the enemy had me scared and fearful of doing HIS will for my life.  Over and over again I could hear the enemy say to me, "it's too hard, GOD doesn't want you to work that hard.  If HE really loves you, you wouldn't have to struggle.  What kind of GOD would make you feel pain?"  Like a broken record, the songs I wrote above would play in my head, and as soon as I would get started with choosing to be healthy, I would quickly turn to, give me something to soothe me.  It was then that I would say, "an iced coffee would make me happy, well that and a new shirt, or bracelet."  Over and over, I would self-sabotage, and over and over I would pull even further away from HIS plans for my life.

HE is wanting me to know that HIS true freedom is nothing that I should ever fear.  HE is wanting me to know that though it may be hard work, it will be worth it, as when I choose to live HIS will for my life, it is then that HE will be able to use me according to HIS plans.  It is because HE has proven HIMSELF time and again that HIS plans are the best for me, I must choose to say YES to struggle, as that is when I will know that I am growing.  In seeking HIM daily, and asking HIM to teach, lead, and guide me, I am learning that this means that I am also saying, "LORD JESUS, grow me, use me, show me, stretch my faith in you, build me strong, and make me with what the enemy is trying to break me with.  Help me overcome!"

This morning HE is showing me that in keeping this stronghold in my life, it is another part of my own prison without a key that I am keeping myself locked up in.  Therefore, I must seek HIM as HE is the key to unlocking my prison, and it is HIS truth that unlocks me, as it is written that when I know HIS truth, then I will be set free.  In choosing to BELIEVE and trust HIM completely,  I will continue to seek after HIM so that I will be able to receive HIS true freedom, and to know that I have gone through a genuine change.  


"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" John 8:32


HE is telling me that in order to go through genuine change, I must seek HIM and ask HIM to give me the mindset that I don't want to live like this anymore.  I don't want to have those memories of those songs being sang to me.  I don't want poor self image, and maintenance to even be a part of my vocabulary anymore.  Therefore, I must choose to say NO to the negative, and start living HIS truth of WHO I truly am, as I am HIS and well as JOYCE MEYER says it, "GOD doesn't make junk!"


HE is wanting me to know that genuine change is within my reach when I seek HIM and allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through every decision that I choose to make in this journey that I am on with HIM of not only looking great, but feeling great as well.


HIS truth of about my poor self maintenance is be revealed as, I am in poor health because working out and eating right seems so daunting to me.  The very thought of every day struggling with food and overall lifestyle change overwhelms me.  HE is wanting me to remember HIS words about how HE truly is my strength and with HIM I can do anything with HIM, as HE is my only source for strength.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me." Psalm 28:7

I am learning that I must choose my health daily, just as I choose HIM daily.  I know this as HIS word is written that my body is HIS HOLY temple, and I must take care of it.  More than even I am hearing from HIM that HE won't be able to use me the way HE has planned until I start saying no to the "cookie, cake, ice cream, pizza, savory yummy buttery foods, flavored coffee's and teas.  

"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

HE is telling me that it is time that I start treating my body right, by eating right, getting plenty of sleep and just the right amount of exercise.  I must choose to start treating myself right, as I am worth it, because I am HIS and HE thinks I am magnificent!  

HE is wanting me to know and understand that all the dieting that I have done over the years has really only brought me temporary relief.  HE is wanting me to know that relief is not HIS true freedom that HE has planned for my life.  Therefore I must rely on HIS strength and HIS power to carry me through the hard times and seek HIS word, which is HIS truth that will unlock my prison.  This I know is when I will have gone through genuine change and that is when I will be truly living for HIM.

"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:31

HE is asking me to trust HIM with my burdens, therefore whenever I am feeling weary, sad, broken, lost, overwhelmed, and scared I must let go of my foolish pride, and seek HIM and ask for HIS help.  HE is telling me I must repent all the years where I "tried" to handle things on my own without HIM.  I must choose to rely on HIM!

HE is wanting me to know that I order for me to overcome this stronghold, I must choose to silence my self doubt, my living, breathing, reading, and speaking HIS word, which is HIS truth for my life.  I must surround myself with people who will keep me accountable to following HIS teachings.  I must begin every day with an affirmation to HIM, that set apart from HIM I can do nothing.  I must thank HIM and praise HIM for HIS goodness, and HIS mercy that HE showers upon me every single day.  I must be thankful for the tests and trials that I am being put through, as I know that they are all designed to build me, and make me stronger.  

So today is the day that I choose to take action!  Today is the day where I will not only hear HIS whispers, but I will heed HIS whispers, and it is then that I know that genuine change will begin to take place inside of me.  HE is wanting me to know that until I change the inside, changing the outside just keeps me in the stronghold.  Today is the day that I am breaking free!  

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22

I pray today that if you are in need of genuine change that you will have the courage to seek HIM.  I pray today that HE will reveal to you the strongholds in your life, and you will allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide you on your journey towards wholeness with HIM.  I pray for many blessings, and favors to be poured over your life as a result of your obedience in HIM.  

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who takes refuge in HIM." Psalm 34:8

Blessings,
Heather 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

in the middle

"The LORD is my ROCK, my FORTRESS, and my DELIVERER;  My GOD my keen and firm STRENGTH in WHOM I will trust and take refuge, my SHIELD, and the HORN of my SALVATION, my HIGH TOWER"  Psalm 18:2

Just this past weekend I heard a message about being in the middle.  I have lived most of my life in the middle, however when I accepted JESUS CHRIST as my LORD and SAVIOR I knew that HE would be in the middle of my mess.  Sadly though, as I am human, and a sloooow learner, I have once again forgotten that when I find myself in the middle, I forget that HE is right there with me in my messy middle.

HIS Daily Teachings today is wanting me to know that when I find myself in the middle of my life circumstances, that I must NOT lose my faith, but rather press into HIM, and press on through the hardships that I am facing.  Just thinking about my conversations I had yesterday I feel foolish in thinking that I really understood what it means that HE really is in the middle of my mess that is my life.  How quickly I forget that instead of giving into my feelings, I must choose to speak HIS truth.  Once again, I have fallen into the trap of foolishly thinking that I would get away with hearing a powerful message about in the middle without ever being tested to see if whether or not I truly understood that HE really is in the middle of every single moment of my life.

HE is taking me back to Saturday where Charlotte Gambill spoke a message with HIS words about in the middle.  HE is reminding me that here I am on Tuesday and it's been four days since I heard that message, and even though I felt so on fire while hearing it, when it came time to live it out, I have once again fallen flat on my face.  

This morning HE is reminding me that HE is the stability I am needing especially since I am so unstable.  HE is wanting me to know that HE is NEVER CHANGING and HIS truth is always the same, especially since I can't make a good decision these days to save my life.  HE is wanting me to NOT only BELIEVE but also boldly declare that HE is MY (Heather's) ROCK!!!

HE is wanting me to always remember that HE is the same today, as HE was yesterday, and HE will be tomorrow and forevermore!  HE is telling me that though my circumstances are changing daily, I can rest peacefully knowing that HE is UNCHANGING.  HE is wanting me to always remember that HIS love is unfailing, HIS grace is amazing, HIS promise is unshaken, HIS hope is endless, and HIS love, HIS mighty all powerful love is RELENTLESS.

Once again, I have fallen into the trap of allowing myself to being feelings lead.  Once again, HE is teaching me that I must choose to say NO to my feelings, and YES to HIM, and allow myself to be lead by HIS HOLY SPIRIT.  I must NOT be feelings lead and decide to do something based upon how I feel.

HE is wanting me to know that it is imperative that I understand that when I choose to be feelings lead that I an opening a door to satan, and allowing him to wreak havoc into my life.  Therefore I must guard my thoughts, and NOT let myself be overtaken by my feelings.

" Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phiippians 4:6-7

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

HE is teaching me that in order to stay free of my own prison without a key I must choose to be lead by HIS truth, and know and BELIEVE that what HE thinks about me is the only thing that truly matters.  I must get my heart, and my mind right with HIM, and allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide me every single moment of my journey towards wholeness with HIM, by allowing myself to be lead by HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

HE is wanting me to know and understand that it won't always be easy when I have to make tough decisions, and HE doesn't promise that they won't hurt, however HE does promise that HE will never leave me, nor will HE ever forsake me.  HE is wanting me to know that through the most unpleasant circumstances of my life HE will make work out in the end for my good.  I must choose to pick up my cross daily, and seek HIM, HIS vision, HIS will, HIS plan, and HIS purpose for my life.  I must seek HIM, and ask HIM to create in my a heart like HIS.  I must get my mind off of myself, and get it focused on HIM.

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24

HE is wanting me to know that until I get what I know that is in my head, HIS truth about me from my head into my  heart, I won't truly be able to live with genuine faith.  It is my hearts desire to be just like HIM, and to be able to love, and see people as HE sees them.  I am learning that in order to do this I must always remember that it is NOT by own strength that I am able to do anything, but rather it is through CHRIST alone, that I am able, as HE is ABLE!

HE is wanting me to remember that in the midst of hard times, I must remember that HE is the only source for my strength.  

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

HE is wanting me to remember that is in especially in those times that I am being put to the test and find myself in the middle of the storm that I remember HE is there.  HE is wanting me to know that it is in the middle where I must keep my momentum in seeking HIM daily.  HE is asking me to NOT give up or give in, but rather press on, and press into HIM.  HE is telling me I must choose to rely on HIM and HIM alone!

HE is wanting me to know that HE hasn't brought me this far, just so that I can turn around and go back. In fact when I think about how far I've come, I know I don't ever want to go back to where I started.  HE is teaching me that it is in the middle where I must take on the mindset that no matter what I am NOT giving up.  I must get it right with my head, and my heart that in the middle I am NOT going back to the beginning.

HE is wanting me to know that when I find myself straining and struggling in the middle that I must remember that it is to strengthen me, and my faith in HIM.  HE is wanting me to know that I won't go through test and trials for nothing, but rather to teach me, and build me how HE has intended for me to be all along.  

HE is wanting me to know today that HE sees me struggling, and HE knows what HIS plans are for my life. HE is building in my the courage that I am needing everyday to face the tough challenges and storms that are in my life.  HE is telling me I must not be afraid, or try to run and hide from the storms of my life, but rather I must choose to PUT ON HIS armor, and know that with HIM I will overcome!

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

HE is wanting me to know that it is in the middle where HE blesses me with the greatest miracles, and that is the very reason why I love HIM.  This is the reason how I know WHO HE is, and what HE has done, because I know WHOSE I am , and because of that I know WHO I am.  

Today I am comforted in knowing that HE is the GOD WHO saves, and so I will sing, "HOSANNA, HOSANNA, HOSANNA in the HIGHEST!  HOSANNA, HOSANNA, HOSANNA in the HIGHEST. Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things  unseen.  Show me how to love like YOU, have loved me.  Break my heart for what breaks YOURS.  Everything I am for YOUR KINGDOM's cause, as I walk from Earth into ETERNITY! "  "HOSANNA" Hillsong United

I pray today that if you don't know that HE is HOSANNA in the HIGHEST, that HE is the GOD WHO saves, that you will have the courage to seek HIM today, and to ask HIM to be the LORD and SAVIOR of your life.  I pray today that HE will overwhelm you with HIS love, and that HE will shower you will HIS mercy and grace where you will know that HE is with you in the middle.  I pray for healing for your broken heart when you seek HIM, and ask HIM to make you whole.  I pray today that you will know the unending, relentless, amazing, unfailing LOVE that HE has for you.  HE is waiting for you, HE is saying, "you can always come home." 

much love, prayers, & blessings my dear friends,
Heather 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

All In ~

"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" 1 Philippians 1:6

This past Thursday I was blessed to be able to attend a three day conference called The Original Women's Conference.  I was excited to be able to go, as it meant that I was finally going to be able to be in community with other women from our church.  As always HE had much bigger, greater, and amazing plans for me. What I thought would be just an amazing opportunity to be in fellowship, was actually the ignition that my heart needed, and once again HE set a fire down in my soul, and that fire was something I could no longer contain.

HIS Daily Teachings for the past three days has been teaching me what it means to be All In.  I used to think that All In meant that I trusted GOD, on a surface level, that I BELIEVED HIM, that I knew HE loved me, and I would do HIS good work.  By the end of the three days I would learn that while those are all good things, there is so much more in choosing to be All In.

HE is wanting me to know that it is NOT just about me saying "LORD JESUS, I'm All In." Rather it is about me willing to do the good work that HE began in me.  The good work that HE planned for me, long before I was ever even born, or for that matter conceived.  HE is telling me that being All In, means going beyond what I am comfortable in doing, and really trusting HIM that HE has it ALL worked out for my own good.

On Thursday night a powerful message was heard about locking ourselves in to GOD, and allow HIM to hold us, and taking that leap of faith, because HE loves us.  This to me would speak volumes to my heart, as I always new my HEAVENLY FATHER loves me, I just didn't realize just how much HE does in fact love me.

HE is wanting me to know that in choosing to trust HIM completely, going ALL In, means that I must be willing to do whatever it is that HE is calling me to do.  This is hard for me, as I have learned in my walk with HIM that HE never calls me to do anything easy.  HE never wants me to feel comfortable for too long, as I am learning that when I do feel comfortable for too long, I become stalled, and I stop growing.  HE is wanting me to know that HIS plan , and HIS purpose for my life is to grow me. Therefore, I must stop crying about feeling uncomfortable.  

That very thought reminds me of something JOYCE MEYER would say.  On any given day that I watch her t.v. program I will hear her say at least once, "don't like the way you feel?  Change it!   Tell yourself to shut up, and say YES to GOD!  We can't let our feelings get in the way of HIS truth!  Don't like how bad you feel? Stop it!  Make a promise to yourself and to GOD that you aren't going to let these ill feelings control you anymore.  You have self control within you, and it is known as HIS HOLY SPIRIT!"

During my alone time with HIM on Friday morning, HE led me to 2 Timothy where I would be reminded WHO I am, because of WHOSE I am.  HE is wanting me to know that I must NEVER forget that HIS HOLY work is NOT anything that I came up with on my own, rather HE designed my life to be just so.  

Through HIS plan, and HIS purpose for my life HE is teaching me HIS truth as I continue seeking HIS will for my life.  HE is showing me that when I choose to seek HIS will, it is then that I am able to see HIS good works that HE is planning for me to do, or is having me do at that very moment.  HE is wanting me to know that this is when I will know that I am doing my part in bringing HIS Kingdom of HEAVEN here to Earth.

For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.  Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal" 2 Timothy 1:6-9

By Saturday morning, I was ALL FIRED UP!  I was ready, ready to soak in HIS word, and was ready to hear what it is that HE needed me to know.  It was then that theme of the conference "Ever & After" really began to speak to me.  

"that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19

HE is wanting me to know that HE is the only ONE WHO can complete me.  HE is the only ONE WHO can make me whole.  HE is wanting me to know that this will only be able to happen when I truly understand how GREAT HIS love is for me.  HE is letting me know that even though I may not have experienced HIS great love growing up, I have it now, and I must not waste an ounce of HIS great love, as it is through HIS GREAT love for me that I am able to do HIS good works.

HE is letting me know that All In for me means that I know and trust that HE can, will, and does meet ALL of my needs in abundance.  HE is telling me that HE will never send me out to do HIS good works without equipping me first.  I am learning that in trusting HIM, means that I won't question whether or not I am able to do HIS good works.  More than ever I am convinced as HE has proven HIMSELF to me time and again that HE has amazing plans for my life.

Throughout the past three days I could feel HIM pulling on my heart strings, and whispering to me that HE wants to hear me say that I, Heather, am in IT for good with HIM.  This means, I'm All In, I am  willing, I am ready, and I am able to do anything HE calls me to do, as I know that I am NOT alone and that HE is with me.  That even when I don't feel like it, that I will seek HIM and ask HIM to transform and renew my heart, and get it aligned to HIS so that I am able to go out and do what HE calls me to do.

Once again HE is lovingly reminding me that this is the very reason I am to put on HIS armor, and walk closely with HIM.  I must seek HIM Daily, and let HIM know, "LORD JESUS, I am in it for good with you.  LORD I am ALL In!" HE is letting me know that ALL In, means that I trust HIM, I love HIM, and I know that HE does in fact have amazing plans for my life.

HE is wanting me to know that in my choosing to seek HIM Daily, and obeying HIM by writing HIS Daily Teachings, this is my own special way of saying, "YES GOD, I'm in it for good with YOU, I'm All In, and I'm willing to do whatever YOU want me to do, when ever YOU want me to do it."  I am learning that HIS Daily Teachings is truly just me following HIS instructions for my life, and as HE has been telling me over and over again, I am confident that HE has amazing plans for my life.  Therefore, I must seek HIM Daily, and I must choose to be led by HIS HOLY SPIRIT, and not by my feelings.

I can't even begin to wrap my mind around all of HIS teachings from this conference, but what I can say is this:  "I am confident that HE WHO began a good work in ME, Heather, WILL continue to do so, as I am HIS, and HE is mine.  I am loved, and I am chosen, and because of those two things, I am more than ready, more than willing, and more than able to do HIS good works, as I know and trust that HE does truly have AMAZING plans for my life. I am confident that I was born for this life that I am living DAILY with HIM, and I am truly IN IT FOR GOOD with GOD, and I am ALL In.!"

I pray today that if you have yet to say YES to GOD, I pray today is the day you will have the courage to do so.  I pray that HE will bless you in HIS abundance of hope, love, grace, & mercy.  I pray that you will be able to share your story, as HIS story of hope in how HE transformed your life, and is creating you a heart that matches HIS.  I pray today for a peace in your life that can only come from HIM.  I pray today is the day that you too will say, "I'm in in for good with you GOD, I'm All In!"

Blessings,
Heather 



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

contentment



This morning after an intense bible study of my current read "Undaunted" by Christine Caine instead of watching JOYCE MEYER or writing the blog, I decided to go back to bed. Which I would later realize was a BIG mistake. Around 7:30 a.m. I was reawakened by my nine year old daughter informing me that her brothers were fighting. Irritated by that news, I got out of bed and stomped downstairs. Yes, stomped, I was ripped from my peaceful sleep, and D was still home (so why couldn't he handle it?). My attitude was less than GOD honoring at that moment, and I knew it, and I wish I could say that after praying I got my heart set on what HE wanted me to, but well as you know, I am a sloooow learner, and well of course so it began the current theme that I was to be learning for the day.

In my irritated state of being, I laid on my couch fuming that my children were fighting, the house was a mess, and laundry was more like Mt. St. Laundry. I was irritated that I didn't have any chocolate in the house, and it wouldn't matter if I did anyways, as I am getting ready to d-tox, and I've been working out a gym, and working with a personal trainer, and nutritionist.

When my 7th grader left for school the fighting escalated and I could feel my temper rising. It just so happens that at that very moment I was on facebook and I came across JOYCE MEYER's message and it was " Don't waste today regretting the past or dreading the future. Enjoy this day because it is a gift from God! -Joyce" It was in that moment that I got off my couch, and made my way into the kitchen.

I didn't really know what I was going to do, so I prayed about it. I decided I would start laundry, and I would then deep clean the kitchen, only I would do it while listen to JOYCE preach about contentment. Man oh man I should have known. YES, a nice slice of HUMBLE PIE coming right up!

HIS Daily Teachings today was focused intently on contentment. Even though I have written about this subject before, HE is letting me know that today's teaching is different from before. HE is wanting me to know that I am to learn how to be content in the every day mundane daily life that I am living. HE is letting me know that I have been chosen to take care of my family of seven. I have been entrusted to care for each of their different personalities, and to train each of my children up right so that they will be able to choose contentment no matter what their life's circumstances are as well. 

"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content" Philippians 4:11

HE is wanting me to know that last January HE heard my prayers for a bigger home for our family, and so HE answered them. HE is teaching me that because I prayed for a bigger home, I shouldn't be complaining about taking care of this much bigger home. I will admit, our home is much bigger, and it is a lot more responsibility on my part.

However, I am learning that GOD won't bless me with anything that HE doesn't think I won't be able to handle. Therefore, I must let go of the overwhelmed feelings I am having, and seek my strength from HIM, and know that with HIM I can do anything that HE calls me to do.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
As Joyce's message of contentment went on she started preaching about being content in all circumstances. One of the hardest times I find to be able to choose contentment is when I am being criticized, especially by D. This for me is so hard, and most often i am right there in his face pointing all the blame at him, and throwing him under the bus of everything he is doing wrong.

Today I heard HIM say this to me, "Do you want to be someone who preaches to the masses someday? I say to you, if you are not able to take criticism from your husband, someone who loves you and knows you well, then how will you ever be able to accept criticism from your team of people who will be working along side of you?"


That right there my friends was the 1st GIANT slice of humble pie that I would eat today. The next slice would come just after two hours of listening to a message on choosing contentment. Not even five minutes later, I received a phone call, and wouldn't you know that the topic lead to contentment. Through HIS HOLY SPIRIT I was able to speak HIS words in our conversation. Before I knew it I basically said everything I heard that morning, and when the person thanked me, I told them that I was preaching to myself too.

After lunch I began teaching my nine year old her lessons for the day, and wouldn't you know that her bible devotions was about contentment. I smiled as I prayed, as if to say, I hear you LORD, loud and clear! If two slices wasn't enough a third came during her Language lesson, and scripture was quoted about contentment, and sentences were to be constructed about contentment.

Foolishly thinking that I have received, and ate enough humble pie for one day, I began to prepare dinner for my family. Not even ten minutes into cooking I took a phone call and it was my mom. It is no surprise to me that HE once again lead me through yet another conversation about contentment.

I am ending this day, thankful, so incredibly thankful for HIS Daily Teachings, as today I received a HUGE blessing, and that was one of healing and peace. Through choosing contentment no matter what the circumstances are in my life, I am now able to seek HIM with even greater persistence. I am thankful for HIS gift to me in being able to live out this day. I am so incredibly thankful that restores, and renews all things, and through HIM all things are possible.

Friends, it is my prayer for you all that today you too will choose contentment. I pray today that you will have the courage to trust HIM, as HE truly is the ONE WHO knows and loves you best. I pray that you will seek HIM and HE will reveal to you HIS plans, and HIS purpose for your life.

Blessings,
Heather