When All You Want To Do Is Quit


tearMy day began with waking up in the middle of the night to a message. I tossed and turn from 3am until I woke up for work. As I arrived at work, I walked into my office to find a horrible smell of musky, mildew. After searching for it, I finally discovered the carpet in front of an emergency exit door was saturated with water. For the remainder of the day, the door in my office was open with two fans blowing to help dry it out so they can begin repairs. The entire 8 hours at work was a struggle to make it to the end. All day my head couldn’t concentrate on anything at hand. I felt myself be “short” in conversations and not want to really give my best. About 30 minutes before I left work, a huge thunderstorm came through. I shut the emergency exit door in my office so rain obviously wouldn’t come in. As the rain increased, I huge waterfall of rain water came pouring down the door onto my carpet… the carpet we were trying to dry out all day long. The entire door frame was spilling water. After the workday, I go and pick up my daughter. As we are making our way to a class, she begins to tell me her belly hurts. Within 30 minutes she has pooped (in liquid form) on herself and in the car seat. She became hysterical. Embarrassed because of what had happen – and worried she would get in trouble. After class, we go to practice for our church service on Sunday. My irritability level went through the roof. Every small detail that could get under my skin – did.

The emotions I felt I really can’t explain. When I left the church building nothing would have pleased my flesh more than to quit my job, quit the worship team, quit anything else I was committed to and just do nothing. Lately, this indescribable feeling of wanting to just scream and let out the frustrations that I feel are sitting on my shoulders seems to be something I can’t quite shake. These urges to cry and release my own waterfalls of tears just seem to come on their own. Urges to just cry out for God to hear me. After reading Hebrews 5:7, I was comforted to know Jesus felt just like me.

During His earthly life,[a] He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.” (HCBS)

I read this line in an article – and it was so accurate for me: “Tears are so intensely personal that the praying soul can weep more naturally and freely when only God is the witness to the tears.” When I am alone with God, speaking of things and praying for things that no one else knows about, my soul literally weeps, and He hears every silent word.

I heard someone say a few days ago that “tears were intercession” on behalf of others to God. I don’t know if there is a scripture to support this but I know Hannah’s tears stirred God’s heart and He blessed her with a son – whom she faithfully gave back to God. Then because of her obedience was blessed with additional children.

I have felt this type of thing before; however, never this strong. These moments are much like labor pains – coming more often and increasing in pain with each additional time. I believe something is getting ready to be birthed! Now is NOT the time to quit – but the fact that I feel this way let’s me know it’s just going to be that much better!! Here’s to answered prayers and enormous breakthrough for myself and others God has placed on my heart in these past few months.

 

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When You Are On The Right Path


In our world of Starbucks, Hollister clothes and sports cars, we have moments where everything seems to be against us (because nothing is working right or flowing smoothly) and we have moments of perfection, life is perfect and rolling along nicely. When everything is moving smoothly, fitting together like puzzle pieces, we must be doing something right. Right? Perhaps… I am not 100% convinced you can measure how we are doing in life in temporary moments of “easiness” or “hardness”.

What I can measure is where I am and if I am going down the right path with God based on things happening in my life. Scripture says, (1 Peter 5:8) “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” It also says, (Ephesians 6:12) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” In fact, this second verse is so important, it’s also repeated in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. Everything mentioned in Scripture is extremely important but when God takes the time to mention something TWICE, we need to perk up and listen.

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Let me give you a rundown of some recent events in my life:

A week ago, during a worship conference on Saturday afternoon, I had a vision of the congregation at that worship conference and above it were two clouds. The one to the left was spinning counter-clockwise and the one to the right was spinning clockwise. They were spinning above the congregation’s head. I knew immediately it was the Holy Spirit stirring things up in or for the people at this conference. In that moment, I didn’t think anything of myself being included since I was there.

All week-long it just stirred in me that something was changing. Change was coming. (I never could pinpoint what though).

Thursday, the Lord spoke again, change is coming. Change is in the air. This day is specific because He had me send an email to some people.

Today (Sunday) we attended our new church for the first time as ‘official members’. (For the last few months its been on our hearts to move churches. After prayer and some physical time off to test the waters, we decided it was in fact time to move.) It’s always a little scary when you are making changes but you want to make sure you are obedient regardless of how it makes us feel. This morning while at this service, we received a public word. Most of the details I won’t repeat here because they are for my family – not the internet. However, within this word being given was “it’s already happening in the spiritual realm”. That totally lined up with what God had already spoken to me! (God always speaks to me in pairs for confirmation). I left church thinking, “it’s great to know we are on the right path!!” It was one of those moments where everything seemed to be lining up and fit perfectly together.

But what happens when we are on the right path spiritually? I’m not talking about the general path of “Jesus living”, but really on the right path. The one that is narrow and you really have to be hearing from God to be where you are. The devil gets pissed off! That’s what happens! Let’s explain it this way. Remember the game where someone is trying to figure out what you chose and you would tell them, “you are getting warmer…. warmer… colder… HOT, you are HOT!”? When we are “cold” for Jesus – the devil has no reason to mess with us. You are not doing anything that could harm is worldly kingdom, and nothing to build God’s Kingdom, so it doesn’t matter. When we are “warmer” for Jesus – the devil might place some small things in your way. Some stumbling blocks to get you to try to quit or make things really, really difficult. But what happens when you are “HOT” for Jesus? What happens when you are exactly where you are supposed to be and he knows you are getting ready to do something MIGHTY for Jesus’ Kingdom? He attacks. Scripture says the devil is like a lion, waiting, ready to devour you (1 Peter 5:8). When you are “warmer” you may get some people thrown in your way or maybe some circumstances. When you are “HOT” for Jesus, the devil takes it up a level. Spiritual warfare becomes more real than it ever has before.

This is what happen to us tonight. We put Kait down for bed around 7pm. At 8pm, I heard the most ill-piercing scream I have ever heard from her. She was not screaming “mommy” or “daddy”. She was screaming in terror. I ran to her bedroom and as I opened the door and turned on the light, she was looking up, following something with her eyes in a circular motion. I knew what she was seeing immediately. My husband and myself began praying through the house, anointing it and explaining to Kait she had nothing to worry about. We reemphasized all she had to do was say Jesus. (She is only 2 years old, not old enough to understand much at this point). We turned on Christian music, turned on a nightlight and placed her back to bed. As we sat back down and revisited everything that had just happen and then began thinking about everything we had been told this week (my previous timeline of events) we agreed we must be exactly where we are supposed to be. The devil isn’t going to mess with those who are not building God’s Kingdom. He will do everything in his power to keep those who ARE building the Kingdom of God from doing it. This is why it’s so important to know who you are in Jesus. To know what is available to you in Jesus and how to use it. We have an entire set of armor at our finger tips!

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I do not post this to say we are “high and mighty” Christians. That is not the case at all. I simply open up my life and share it as an example of the realism of what Scripture says about the devil and what he tries to do. The good news is Jesus wins every time. The power in the name of Jesus is the strongest power you will ever need. You need nothing else. Mark 16:17-18 says, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons…” Luke 10:17 says, “The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” The devil has no authority in the name of Jesus!!!!

Kait is peacefully sleeping now. I believe if she has the ability to see the demonic side – she has the ability to see the angelic side. And tonight, her room is filled with mighty angels!

Life & Legacy


Today has been extremely emotional. I attended the funeral of Bishop David Huskins. The room was filled – standing room only – to celebrate a man’s life and his legacy. Person after person spoke about his character as a person, the millions of people he touched, and the mantle he carried for God. While his physical body was laying in the casket, his presence could definitely be felt in the room. Throughout the service, the Holy Ghost kept dealing with me on a few things that I just couldn’t shake.

A few weeks ago, I had told the Lord in prayer, I needed a word. A strong word. I was at a crossroad and had not the first clue what I was to do. So yes, I pulled the card on God. And did He ever respond. I awoke to a message from someone that said, “I have a word for your if you would give me permission to share.” Well… of course! The message was to start thinking about what sort of legacy I would leave to my children and my children’s children. I have thought about it here and there but really didn’t put anymore thought into it.

Today, the Holy Ghost spoke again… what legacy will I leave? What legacy will Project Genesis leave? This series of questions led me to another series of questions. What am I doing to show Kait how we should be saturated in the presence of Jesus? She is at an age where she mocks and copies everything I do. Why not bring her into prayer time for 5 minutes a day. As smart as she is, over time, she would get it and join in. So this is the goal moving forward. It also allowed me to re-evaluate my own life. Am I truly saturated in Jesus? Yes, I live for Him, I share about Him, I listen to the Christian music and post the inspirational quotes of scripture. But is my heart truly saturated? Today, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me today that I need to take it a bit more seriously. Both personally and with PG, and to never take small beginnings for granted.

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Now, this evening I write you from a place of very clear thought.

This man’s ministry began in tents. (tent revivals were a big thing when he started). Another woman I know who has a huge ministry now began with only 7 kids. What they have in common is they put everything they had into those in front of them. They did not give up because things were not happening the way they thought it should or at the speed they preferred. They had faith, listened to what God said and kept going. Then more came… and more came… and more people wanted them to be part of their events. The point here… if we will be faithful with the “little” Jesus will give us “more”.

I influence people who I come in contact with. So do you. Project Genesis is going to change lives. I have no doubt about that. Whether it’s personal or professional, it’s a path we have to have faith with and it is one we have to remain strong to do. Not only will we begin to see changes in others as pursue whatever our legacy will be, but I we will see changes in ourselves as well. It’s impossible to stay the same. Either you move forward, or your backward. But you can never stay still.

God is going to do some amazing things in us as we move throughout these processes. It’s not always going to feel good, but like spanking your child, you do it because you love them. And they learn when their mistakes are brought to their attention. God prunes those He loves because He wants better for us. To be better Christians, mothers, fathers, friends, leaders. He wants us fully consecrated to and for Him. Growing hurts but it’s worth the temporary pain.

 When I feel like Jesus isn’t around, I remind myself of this verse: Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Sometimes we have to be still and silent.

What legacy will you leave?

 

A New Creation. A New Beginning.


Have you ever felt like you wanted to leave where you were behind and just start over? I have great news! In so many words, you can! That’s not to say you don’t have consequences for previous actions made; however, what lies before you could be more than a new life. It’s a fresh beginning. Today is Easter. The day Jesus was resurrected from one of the most gruesome deaths in history. A death He knew He would have to endure. A death He chose to endure. Could you imagine someone loving you enough to go through this following medical explanation of the cross? Because Jesus did. He went through this for you. And me. And everyone else in this world.

(written by someone who didn’t name themselves in the article)

Jesus’s Health 
It would be safe to think that Jesus was in excellent health. True, life as a carpenter was not luxurious, but add to that a Mediterranean diet, which is said to be the healthiest in the world—and later the constant walking around for the ministry, was vigorous enough to put him in reasonable health. Yet, at the garden of Gethse­mane on the evening of Holy Thursday and morning of Good Friday, he underwent great emotional stress from being abandoned by friends, the thought of humiliation and a cruel death by crucifixion, that he produced bloodied beads of sweat. This condition is called hematidrosis or hemihidrosis, where the veins and skin become tender from anguish that they break, mixing the blood with sweat. Without sleep and breakfast, and weary from walking about 2.5 miles back and forth between the sites of different trials, Jesus’s body had become defenseless to the harsh scourging he would suffer hours later.

Scourging 
In March 1965 Dr. C. Truman Davis wrote an article titled “A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died,” published in Arizona Medicine by Arizona Medical Association. Davis, an ophthalmologist, a pastor, and author of a book about medicine and the Bible, wrote that the flagrum, a short whip with small balls of lead tied near the ends of each thong, “is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’s shoulders, back, and legs. At first, the heavy thongs cut through the skin only.”  The succeeding blows, however, “cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally, spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.” The whip tears into the deep skeletal muscles to produce ribbons of bleeding flesh. At the mocking of Jesus, a crown of thorns was driven into his scalp, causing more bleeding, the scalp being among the most veined parts of the human body. They returned his robe, only to tear it off again, again opening the wounds whose dried blood has adhered to the cloth.

Bearing the Weight 
Finally, the journey to the Calvary begins. The heavy crossbar weighing 34 to 57 kg is put across his nape and shoulders. Today, men can swing sacks of rice weighing 50 kilos on their backs. But remember that Jesus was already very weak, had lost a great amount of blood, was in excruciating pain, and was under emotional strain. He stumbles and falls repeatedly that Simon of Cyrene was ordered to carry the cross part of the way.

Crucifixion 
More pain is coming. In preparation for his nailing to the cross, Jesus is violently thrown backward, grinding his continuously bleeding wounds onto the wood and possibly allowing dirt to enter them. Iron spikes measuring 5 to 7 inches are driven through Jesus’ hands (some accounts say the wrists would be more accurate location. Medically speaking, the wrists are part of the hands). Because the hand is full of sensory nerves, any stimulation would cause agonizing shots of pain in both arms, and maybe throughout the body. The feet are nailed next, and Jesus is now crucified. The nailed hands carry the weight of Jesus’s whole body and tear at the wounds. Meanwhile, the stimulation of the nerves in feet is also causing Jesus much pain. Davis writes, “As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms – the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again, there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.” In another study of the medical aspects of the crucifixion, it is said that the procedure is relatively bloodless because no major arteries are hit. However, the pain, coupled with the incessant bleeding of the back wounds, lead to the deterioration of Jesus’s condition.

Excruciating Pain 
Excluding the pain, the major effect of crucifixion is the hindrance to normal breathing because the body pulls down on the outstretched arms and shoulders. After being in this position for quite a while, exhalation becomes shallow and labored. The upper body starts to cramp, making it even more difficult to breath. Jesus tries to breathe more freely and ease the cramping on his upper body by pushing himself up by the feet. But that offers little comfort due to the piercing pain in the feet. The mere act of breathing has never been so agonizing for a single human being. After “hours of this pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rendering cramps,” Jesus slips into unconsciousness due to asphysxia, a lack of oxygen in the body usually caused by interruption of breathing.

At about 3 p.m. that Friday, Jesus dies
According to studies, the exact cause of Jesus’s death, only six hours after he was nailed, was hastened by a combination of loss of strength, loss of blood and loss of oxygen. Between the scientific deductions, many would suspect that he died because of the loss of our faith in Him. The piercing of the spear on his side, which likely ruptured his lungs and heart, was done to ensure death…

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Glory To God! He arose from the dead to stand at the right hand of the Father in heaven. I plead with you today, if you have never given your life to Christ, or perhaps you just need a new beginning, here is your chance. Everything you read in the above paragraph, Jesus did for you. He’s offering a fresh start to live like you know you should be living. To live according to His direction, His will and His ways. Your life can have new meaning on this very day – in the very place you sit right now reading this. Don’t let this moment pass you by!