Soaring – Part 2

Jamy always has such great insight. I love her blogs.

Jamy Whitaker


photo (3)As I returned home from the She Speaks Conference and looked out the window, the view was simply breathtaking. Due to the numerous incredible experiences of the weekend, my heart was soaring. I would love to share some of these God moments with you.

Simply being able to come to the conference and serve the Proverbs 31 Ministries was such an honor. I didn’t really expect any additional blessings in return. However, I have discovered that my God can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). In a conference with over 700 women plus leaders, God did not just show up to She Speaks, but showed off.

As the Director of the Prayer Warrior Team for the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, I have had the privilege of praying for and following up via email with hundreds of women around the world. Never did I…

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Thank you

If you want some good reading, this is a great place to go. You will be encouraged in the Lord.

Nicki Edwards

thank you

To every single person who has taken the time to read what I’ve written on my blog over the past 12 months, I want to say a huge and sincere “thank you”.

Today I reached 10,000 views on my blog!

When I started writing about my journey back to God in April of 2012, I never realised the impact it would have on me. As I wrote and journalled and shared my heart and my story as transparently and honestly as I thought was possible, I felt that with each posting a weight was lifted off me.

And each time one of you (many of you complete strangers from other nations) took the time to “like” or comment on each post that I had written, I was humbled and blessed by how my journey was impacting each of you. In my wildest dreams I never imagined people would read what…

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Yes we can!


“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

I have to admit, I am a planner.  Sometimes, I even have plans in case my original plans don’t work.  Even though I do not realistically expect those plans to work as I planned, I take comfort in these plans.  In some ways I feel prepared for anything that comes my way. This helps me to face all of the unexpected trials that accompany having young children.  However, there are also times when I simply get annoyed with my family when they are not on board with my plan.  The fact is, so much of my life is out of my control.  So what do we do when we are faced with situations that are out of our control?  In the Online Bible Study I…

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Getting into the Zone!

“If you live in Me [abide in Me, vitally united to Me] and My word remain in you [are alive in you]and continue to live in your hearts [daily, constantly], then ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7) 

Is it possible for us to grasp what Jesus is saying in this verse?  These words over-whelm me.  I read them and wonder what kind of faith I really have.  Am I living and abiding with Jesus or am I living and abiding in the world?  Those are hard and important questions to answer.  I don’t know about you, but everything I ask of God is not done for me.  Some people would say that proves God does not exist or that He doesn’t care.  I see something different.  I know enough about the Word of God and God’s character to know that the problem is me not Him!

Jesus said if.  I wish that little word was not in this verse, but it is and that matters. If I am living in Christ Jesus that would mean that my will and God’s will are so entwined that the thing I ask of Him will be the things He wills to do and I will get what I’ve asked.

Jesus said, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing….If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples….You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15: 5b,7-8,16 ESV)

His will must be my will and His thoughts my thoughts; my heart will be His home; my heart, His heart.  At this point I would have true unity with the Father and the Son.  At this point He would refuse me nothing because my asking would finally be in line with the will of my loving Father.  I would finally be praying “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” in such a way that it’s meaning would overwhelm me.  My silly, fickle desires would flee from my mind.  I would cease from always seeking and asking for temporal things that are not for my good, because they are not God’s perfect plan.  God has a perfect plan for my life and your life.  That’s what we want.  How I long to find myself in that perfect place!

How can I ever get there where I long to be?  I will only get there by changing my foolish thinking for God’s perfect thoughts.  I can only get God’s perfect thought by feeding on His Word.  I can only get His Word by studying the Bible.  There are no short cuts or Cliff notes with God.  God does not do the “microwave” thing.  Just like a running back has to do hard work before the game and during the game to finally make it into the end zone and score points, so to the work of the spirit.  I must work my spirit to get it to line up with God’s spirit.

Unity! Oneness with the Creator of the universe.  Oneness with the God who created me in His image.  That isn’t what I see in the mirror each day, but that is what God sees.  God is a spirit.  A spirit can not be seen or perceived with the human eye.  A spirit can only be seen by a spirit.  God is a spirit and Jesus said God seeks people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.  My spiritual work requires reading my Bible.  Working to understand what I read.  Applying what I have read.  And then the most important part – talking to God like I would my most loving, trusted friend, which He is!

Words, Words, too Many Words

Now don’t misunderstand me, I really like to talk and I actually like to write.  The problem is that sometime words get me into a lot of trouble.  Do you know what I mean? Sometimes it is because I say the wrong thing, but often it is just that I don’t know when to shut-up. Or, most often, it’s because I engage my mouth before consulting my brain!

Words are useful.  That’s how we communicate with one another.  Often the problem isn’t that we are trying to communicate, but that we are trying to debate and we are determined to win the debate!  Now that is a prescription for a disaster.  I ought to know since I’ve had a few of those and I’d bet you have too.

I have notice that when someone is talking to me and maybe I don’t agree or I’m getting a little upset at what they are saying, if I will just be quiet on the inside and listen to that still small voice, I will say the right thing instead of upping the heat of the moment.  We could save ourselves a lot of heartache by doing that and wouldn’t that be nice?

I don’t know about you, but I could stand more peace and less turmoil in my life.  We need to learn to be civil to one another.  We need to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.  I know how to see that and apply that to other people.  The problem is that often I don’t see my own failures in the matter.  I think that is what Jesus was talking about when he said we need to remove the board from our own eyes before we can take the splinter out of someone else’s eye (Matthew 7:3).

Lets look at some of the things the Bible has to say about our words.

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer”.  We could just park right there and sit awhile.  Breath that thought in.  What if we made that our prayer each day? If I pray this each day and if I mean what I’ve prayed, that is bound to effect what comes out of my mouth.

Here’s another thought: 1 Thessalonians 2:5 the apostle Paul says, “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed”.  It’s time to get out that trusty thesaurus and look at a couple of words here. Flattery implies cunning or deceiving.  Cunning can be maneuvering for a better position.  Cunning might be concealing facts or information.  Cunning might be termed “finesse” or “politics”. Flattery again involves deceiving. Flattery is a misrepresentation for our own benefit. Flattery is building someone up falsely in order to take advantage of them.  So none of this sounds very good does it?   Paul said that he didn’t talk with a pretext for greed. So, what is greed but trying to get something in a deceiving manner!  Christians are to avoid all such speech.  Our words are to be honest and simple.

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person”

Fewer words.  More thought.  More grace.  More kindness.  Equals less harsh words, less fights, less hurt feelings, and less regrets.

TOTAL Unglued

I feel like I’ve learned so many thing so far in this OBS.  I also feel like I have a whole lot to learn.  Sometimes the time between chapters has seemed so short that I can not absorb it all.  I have found it helpful to see the ways in which I stuff. The thing I found interesting about learning the different types of stuffers and exploders was that I can see it in operation now.  I can identify them when I see them.  I can identify them in myself (I’m a stuffer) and I can identify them in others.  Most of the people I deal with are exploders.  Maybe that is why I’m a stuffer.  But, I am also a stuffer who collect those rocks.  I always thought it was just hurts that had built up to where I couldn’t stand them and I had to get them out becaue I could no longer breath.  And I think some of that if true.  I don’t like that.  I don’t want to collect rocks and then hurl them at anyone and cause pain for them and shame for me.  I want to have a gentle and peaceful spirit, but it has to be God-controlled.  If I try to do it in and by myself, I will keep failing.

I love the memory verses.  Well, maybe love isn’t the right word.  I love the scriptures.  I am terrible at memorizing anything.  When I was in college I would memorize things just long enough to take the test and then forget it.  I have always admired people who can quote the Bible giving your chapter and verse.  I know a lot of verses. Sometimes I even know the book they are in, but not chapter and verse.  This has been good for me.  Challenging, but good.  I intend to keep trying.

I wrote something for my 5 step Biblical Procedure Manual.  I thought if I used a word that would trigger right thinking it would help me.  I was thinking about how so much of what I’ve read has really been about letting God have total control.  So, I went with that word, total.  Here is what I ended up with.

T – Tempted: Remember that “In Christ I am more than a conqueror”.

O – Overwhelmed: Remember that everything must bow it’s knee to the name of Jesus.  Speak that Name!

T – Tired: Don’t stop now.  Stay in position.  Hebrew 12:1b “law aside every weight and the sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..”

A – Angry.  Stay quiet before God and speak words of praise until my attitude shifts.  “Be angry and sin not”

L – Longevity. My reactions spread like ripples from a rock in a lake.  I want my ripples to spread God’s love, not my junk.  What I say and do can affect others for good or ill for generations.  Words are living containers.  I want to make sure mine don’t contain poison.

So, I think this may work for me.  I’m not sure yet, but it help just writing it out a few times.  Maybe that is part of the plan.  As we journal, as we talk together, as we pray, as we study, we are building ourselves up into the women that God has called us to become.  We become the woman God already sees.  God has a plan and it is a good and perfect plan.  I want to position myself where it is easier to walk straight into his plan instead of walking around the same mountain year after year.

This book is not going into a pile where I can say “oh, I read that book”.  What good would that be?  I’m going to keep digging.  I am going to let God reshape my wounded heart.  That is what he is trying to do and he has been trying to do it for a long time.  I see that now.

What is a Sabbath rest in our modern world?

Rest and my life seem totally counter to one another.  How can I possibly fit rest into my life, let alone a Sabbath Rest!  Yet I can easily see that my time and my mind are too cluttered; cluttered with list; the appointments, schedules, exercise; cluttered with the chores – cooking, washing the dishes, sweeping and mopping the floors, vacuum the carpets.  And I am behind in those chores-way behind.  It causes me great stress  Yet, what does all this matter?  Will the world come to an end if I don’t complete my list of chores?  Is there a law somewhere (besides in my own mind) that this list of clutter be accomplished?  No!  This is my list.  I am causing myself stress and not giving God time to quiet my trouble soul.

In Isaiah 30:15 God speaks to His people Israel and says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength”.  Israel did not listen and neither do I.  I refused to Sabbath and continue going against God’s plans and His purposes. Everyone around me is even busier than I am.  How hard their lives must be without this time of quiet reflection so they can receive God’s strength.  I know I’m tired most of the time.

Yet God, the Creator of the heaven and the earth and all that is in them, that includes me says STOP!  If the Creator says that I need this time of quiet, this time of returning to Him to find strength, than that is what I am going to set my face to do.  Actually during this time of blogging I find more renewal of strength than any other time. I guess it is because during this time I am at least letting God show me where I am failing and why I need to make a change, a shift back toward His way.

Oh, my Father, help me return to that place of rest in You, a place where there is rest for my soul and my body, a place where you can speak to me and lead me into your ways.

Chapter 10 “Negative Inside Chatter”

When I got to chapter 10 of Lysa Terkeurst’s book Unglued I knew I’d found some truth about myself.  I could really see how I take a slightly negative comment made by someone and change it into something different.  It become about me not being any good.  I play this broken record over and over in my head.  Most of you are not familiar with “records”.  They were hard plastic disk that played music when I was young.  If the record had a scratch on it then it could not move onto the next song, but would go back to the beginning.  You keep hearing the same thing over and over until you physically more the arm on the record player past the scratch mark.  That is what I often do with my life.  The song I’m listen to is a lie.  Lysa says “lies are what reign in the absence of truth.”

I don’t want to stay in the place where I am constantly listening to the negative song playing in my head.  God doesn’t want me there either.  I am meant to be someone special.  God calls me that.  I need to see that for myself.  God has made each person a unique individual with unique talents, abilities, hopes, and dreams. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Lies come to deceive us.

So, how do I get to that place where God wants me?  How do I get out of this cycle of playing that same destructive song in my mind?  I’m learning as I go through this chapter.  One of the first things I marked in this chapter was when Lysa said “lies are what reign in the absence of truth.”  Jesus said If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31b-32)  Jesus also said in John 14:6 that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Truth is important for my Christian life.  How can I fulfill my God given purpose if I don’t walk in the truth.  The Bible calls Satan the father of lies.  If I am believing lies, that could never please God.  Jesus came to set me free from the power of satan.  I don’t have to be bound any longer.  Psalm 101:7 says “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes”.  That verse in itself makes this a very serious matter.  I can no longer say well, this is just the way I’ve always been.  God hates lies.  He hates the lies that I listen to in my mind.  When I listen to those lies His truth is hidden from me.  When I listen to the lies instead of the truth I don’t see the glorious plan He has for my life.  I believe we are in the last days, so that makes this more serious.  I am going to take authority over my mind and make it think God’s thoughts.  Philippians 4:8-9 states “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”.  So, the Bible has told me how to control my thoughts.  I am to judge them by this verse.  If a thought does not line up to these things, then I am not to think that thought any longer.

Speaking about our thoughts, a pastor I once had said, “you can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep him from building a nest there.”  Yes, negative thoughts will still come, but I’m not going to let them build a nest in my mind any longer.  Thank you Father for reminding me of Your Truth.

What To Do When Your Running on Empty


So, it happens.  You have a week when nothing seems to go right.  You can’t please anyone, not even the important people in your life.  You’re tired, hurting, a little angry. Maybe you feel like you’re scraping the bottom of a very deep and dark hole.  Yea, I’ve been there, quite a few times.  This week has been one of those weeks.  I’m tried of being yelled at for nothing.  I’m tired of having my “feelings” hurt.  I’m tired of being on the bottom of the “pecking” list.  I want to be appreciated.  However, that is not going to happen.

So,  I have to go somewhere else for my energy boast.  No one can run on empty all the time.  Most of the time I’m the one who has let myself get to this place.  You know how your car has that gauge that warns you when you need to put fuel in it? Our life is really no different.  There are always warning when I’m heading to that empty place.  I’ve had warnings all week.  I didn’t do anything about the warning I got on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday.  So, today, the empty hit and I’m totally drained.  It’s no fun to push an empty car to the gas station.  I can tell you I’m not having much fun trying to push an empty me to a spiritual gas station.  Have you ever been there?

I know what to do.  I know what I need peace, quiet, calm.  I’m getting part of my tank filled by blogging.  The rest will require some prayer time, alright, a lot of prayer time.  I know that God will fill my tank, so that I can take on the world again.  The problem is I don’t want to deal with the same issues again and again.  So, I avoid going to God to get my tank filled.  Now that makes no sense at all.  Why would I remain on empty?

No, staying on empty is not a solution.  Problems in life have to be faced whether I like it or not.  So, yes, I will go to God in prayer and I will quiet my heart to hear His sweet voice speak to me and He will fill my tank.  Then I will return to the problems and issues of my life until the next time I find myself on empty again.  That’s the way it’s usually done isn’t it?

When I first got my driver’s license there was one rule for using the car.  I was not allowed to let the fuel gauge drop below half a tank.  I never ran out of gas.  It I had I wouldn’t have got to use the car.  I can see the rule made sense.  I still do that with my own car, well, most of the time any way.  That may be the problem with my life.  If I would just not let myself run until empty, if I would keep my tank full, then I would not be in the place I am tonight.

God never wants His children running on empty.  He is more then willing and more then able to keep me full, if I will just go to Him daily.  One thing that has always held true in my life is that when I place God first in my morning and start my day in prayer and praise my day runs much smoother. Then if I just spend time visiting God last thing at night to clear anything negative from my day, from my heart, I feel at peace.  Such simple things to do will bring the peace of God into my life.  The longing deep in my soul cries for that peace.

Tell me, why would anyone in their right mind not just do that?