Friday, September 30, 2011


I got burned a few weeks ago.  It was a pretty bad burn.  Who knew a heating pad could do that much damage?  I did.  But I wasn't really paying attention to anything but how good my muscles felt.  When the blister showed up the next morning, I was a bit surprised, because I didn't remember the heat getting that "hot". 

The burn is still healing. I learned a little about burn treatments, though.  Did you know that it's not good to layer them with things like triple-antibiotic, or other ointments?  My research told me that these ointments can actually cause infection.  Instead, for my burn, I learned to keep it dry, try to keep it clean, and just put cotton bandages over the burn.  Of course, I'm no doctor, and you shouldn't take this as any advice of such. 

What I'm realizing is that even after the healing, the burn is going to leave a big mark.  From pictures, I think it was probably a second-degree burn, and these burns are deep. Without ointment, it's going to leave a scar for sure. 

My thoughts wandered to heat today after a twinge of pain from my burn.  It made me think of the elements of heat and how heat is created.  From what I understand, heat is created by friction, and the resulting energy.  (I'm no scientist - just some memories from elementary school science classes...)

And then I thought of this....

How often am I burned by God? 

Ouch.  A hurtful thing, so it seems. 

But think about it, getting burned by God means that we've spent time with Him - enough to create the friction needed to cause heat strong enough to leave a mark.  Am I spending enough time with God to be permanently marked by my interaction with Him?

Remember the story of Jacob "wrestling" with God?  He got burned.  It's a pretty neat story....

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break.  When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob's hip and wrenched it out of its socket.  Then the man said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!"

But Jacob said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

"What is your name?" the man asked.

He replied, "Jacob."

"Your name will no longer be Jacob," the man told him.  "From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won."

"Please tell me your name," Jacob said.

"Why do you want to know my name?"  the man replied.  Then he blessed Jacob there.

Jacob named the place Peniel (which means "face of God"), for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared."

Genesis 32:24-30

I don't know what Jacob was wrestling with God for that night, but I know he was close enough to do so.  And his actions earned him favor with God.  So his "burn" was a very positive thing.  In fact, an entire nation was renamed because of it. 

My challenge here is this: am I being burned by God?  What future nations are hoping for a God-changed destiny?  Am I doing what I need to do to be burned?

And I hope you find this as a good challenge as well.  Let's live for His glory always.  There's nothing better.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

America and Illicit Industry

Just found this quote on a Yahoo! article, a comment made by LeAnn Rimes' husband Eddie Cibrian, a star in the new t.v. show "The Playboy Club":
"When we come on to the set, we get transformed into this world that we're trying to bring to America, to kind of give a glimpse of what it was inside this Playboy Club. So it's fun," he said.*
I have no hate for Mr. Cebrian.  Perhaps it is because I have been out of America, and seen the ugliness of illicit industries such as pornography, but this statement saddens me greatly.  Is this the voice of America: to make pornography a bigger part of our world?  An actor's words are heard and seen by untold numbers of people.  Is he speaking for America?  He is not speaking for me.

But if I turn on my t.v. and watch this show, I am supporting not only the show, but the actor, the director, the writers, the network, and the message.  I cannot knowingly support such.  Not when I've seen young children and women who are thrust in the middle of sex slavery, heard their terror stories, and seen the devastation it's causet them.  It's unthinkable.

Have you ever seen the movie "Taken"?  What happens in this movie is real.  This happens to hundreds of thousands of females every day all over the world.  Most of them end up in America.  We're already in a bad spot.  Why make it worse?

Because this world is fueled by the intentions of a fallen angel.  And the allure of fame, fortune, and power are too much for some to walk away from.

So what can I do?  I can not watch the show.  I can post this blog.  I can explain to people why I won't watch the show if it comes up in conversation.  Most importantly, I can pray to combat the root issue: the intentions of that fallen angel. And I can rest in the promise that the One who speaks through me is even greater than the one who is using Mr. Cibrian.

And knowing that you, as a reader, may have no interest in the ethical dilemma this presents, look at the economical.  Hypothetically, say you indirectly participate by watching this show.  You pay the salary of the director and all other entertainment participants, you pay for the ideas from the pimps, you pay for the abuse to the enslaved, you pay for their voyage to America.  Then, you pay for their healthcare, their housing, their potential drug usage (as many are forcefully addicted by the traffickers), their recovery, their usage of public facilities, and, very quickly, their death costs.  You lose money overall, because you think you're only paying for a cable bill or an internet bill now, when you are the one who foots the bill for their cost of living eventually.

"...every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.... You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them."    I John 4:3a,4-5

*See the full Yahoo! article here: Eddie Cibrian Defends LeAnn Rimes: She 'Eats More Than I Do Sometimes'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


A psalm in my own words from my workout a few days ago....

You are marvelous.
Everything You make is wonderful.
In the same intimate eternity
That You created me,
You designed the place between
Sunset and sunrise.
You painted sparkling stars
That dance with the moon,
And for a touch of jazz
You swipe a brushstroke of cloud.
Yes, Your works are wonderful,
And I know this well.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it.  Psalm 139:14


Little things pique my interest. In fact, most women or artists are probably the same way. We get teased for over-thinking, or making too big a deal about things, but this is how we were fashioned: to notice and draw out the small, significant things in life.  And these same people who tease are the ones who find comfort in those little details when they hit a rock wall.  But lest I neglect the value that these opposite personalities offer, let me note that they, too, carry a very important part of God's character within them: they are often the producers, the directors, the adventurous ones who take on the world. And we need them.

Notice that without the two, we would have a very unbalanced world.... more-so than it already is!  Each compliments the other, and neither paint an entire picture alone.  

Great leadership recognizes that they need this balance in their activities and decision making process. You may not like that I am so detail-oriented....... until it comes to your taxes and you are hoping to find one more deduction.  Conversely, you may not like that I am prone to responding sincerely.... until you are in a breakup and you need an honest  friend to give you the company and encouragement that is not fleeting.

Try to be aware of those around you today that are different from you. What do their personalities have to offer you that will make you a better person? In return, how can you graciously offer your "differences" to help them with some situation?  It is difficult for some, but as you practice, you will get better at complimenting people around you.  You may also find that you get less "annoyed" with them...

You will find, in time, that your conscious effort helps you in many more than just that one social or professional setting. Aside from that, you may make the friend if a lifetime, just because you were mindful of them despite their differences. 

Remember one thing: you are where you are for a reason. If God didn't want you there, or need you there, He would move you. So find out how you can compliment those around you and do so.  Take advantage of this opportunity before it's gone forever.

Lord, remind me of how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered [by You!!] - how fleeting my life is.  Psalm 39:4

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Some time ago, I was listening to a Beth Moore broadcast and she said this:  "The heart has reasons that reason cannot understand." (I'm not sure that those were her exact words, but it was very close.)

Several times in my life, my head and heart have been in so much turmoil over a given issue, that it almost completely drives my daily focus.  I'd search and search and search for a reason why this issue came up, I'd seek Godly counsel, I'd read books on the subject, study Bible verses on the subject, and pray almost incessantly about this constant weight in my mind or on my heart.  In these times, I know there's something going on - it's just something I can't shake - but yet I couldn't even put my finger on the core issue!  How frustrating!

I'd have banter back-and-forth within my spirit on how to best handle a response to the situation, how it would reflect on my faith, how it would reflect on my leadership positions, how my friends and family would take it, how I would live differently..... these thoughts were too much. 

Thank goodness for Godly mothers. 

My mom challenged me with this thought:
If I know I have the Spirit of God living inside of me; if I've given Him control of my life, and strive to serve Him with it daily; if I've sought counsel, researched scripture and Bible-based books on the situation; and if I still do not have peace about it - stop trying to justify being in the situation.  Even if it doesn't make sense to the people around you..... if you can't make your reasoning make sense on paper..... if you can't even find an answer to why you KNOW you have to do something, do it

God has placed inside of me His Spirit.  I have to trust that if I'm truly wrestling with an issue and I think God might be calling me to action, but I can't figure out why, I'm acting in disobedience to Him while I sit and try to figure it out. 

"The heart has reasons that reason does not understand."  Have you been wrestling inside with a change you need to make, or a step you need to take, or just letting go of something  that you feel justified in holding on to?  Don't wait to act in obedience. 

Here's the punch line:  every single time I finally responded in obedience, the issue all but vanished.   Stress gone, replaced by peace.  I become healthier physically; I become better focused mentally; and I get my smile back! :)

Don't be afraid to act in obedience to God, even if it doesn't make sense to people around you.  You could be missing out on a dream God has for you.  Do we dare risk that??? 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Talk to Me

My brother joined the Army a while ago, and it has been a huge adjustment for my family. Saying goodbye is generally the hardest part of a conversation. But you know what?  I still want to hear his voice and listen to his perspective and stories.  Regardless of the pain of saying goodbye or the awkwardness of finding topics of relevance, I love it when we get to hear from him.

You have to believe that when we were younger, we would tell our parents the same stories over and over. How often did they get short with us for that?  A parent seldom truly wants their child to stop communicating with them. And even though they knew how our story would go every time,  they seldom, if ever, stopped us.

Do you believe that God is sovereign and knows our past,  present, and future?  Yet He still wants to hear us whisper secrets to Him, to tell him who ticked us off today, or to tell him about that really nice thing that so-and-so did.  He saw it.  He could choose to care less, but He chooses to instruct us to tell Him what's on our mind and our heart.

There are so many things I could add on to this thought, but my main point is this:  talk to God.  He wants to hear from you.  He loves you like crazy, and can't wait until you get in touch with him again. 

p.s. He is waiting right now...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Do you believe there is a place inside every soul that longs to fulfill a great purpose? Do you also believe every soul has a great purpose to fill?  I do.  And it seems like a perfect match, right?

Perhaps.  But so many times, purpose has been lost in one's attempt to build it on their own merit. How much more sense does it make to water the purpose that is planted inside each of us at creation?

All humanity was created for this special purpose of God: to know and be known by Him. This is an inherent purpose - one every soul has been given. Specific purposes come into place through our own direct calling or trial and error in life; but our inherent purpose should always be known.  What a shame it would be to awake at God's throne one day and have missed the whole big picture!!!

Know Him, and be known by Him! He has already done His part! What do you and I need to be doing today to hold up our part of this relationship?

Even if you never feel like you have discovered a specific purpose, you have this purpose:

"...God can always point to us as the examples of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness towards us, as shown in all He has done for us through Christ Jesus...
"For we are God's masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."
Eph. 2:7 & 10

Be a MASTERPIECE today!! You are one, whether you believe it or not.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Earning from God

A good friend of mine made a comment the other day that went something like this :
                       God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.

While it's true that God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him, it is also true that He is faithful to those who are not faithful to Him.  He is just faithful.  From my perspective, faithfulness is just a dimension of His love, which, for any mortal, is completely unmerited.  There's nothing we can do to make God love us, or to be faithful to us.  His love comes from his grace, and that too is nothing that we can earn.

It's easy to fall into the trap of subconsciously thinking we have to do something in order to earn something from God.

"This is real love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." I John 4:10

This week, be mindful of the things you do to try and earn something from God. Not directly of course, but through your actions and your thoughts.  When you realize you are doing this, take a mental and emotional step back, and remind yourself that there is nothing you can do to earn anything from God.

Why do this? Training our minds to think correctly about the nature of God helps us to see Him.  When we don't have the right perspective, we can't see the whole picture.  It also helps keep our pride in check. Heaven forbid we get to the point where we believe for a second that we could truly make it without a savior.

A last thought: knowing we cannot earn God's love, we are better at showing that graceful love to those around us.  It helps us develop unconditional love - not that we could ever truly attain it this side of heaven.  It can also make us more joyful, because people need to be loved unconditionally.

"But if we love each other, God lives in us and His love is brought to full expression in us." I John 4:12

Practice loving unconditionally this week and thank God for showing us the same. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Some of my best friends come from this place. :)

True friends are a treasure

Sometimes we think we have a true friend, and then they do a series of actions that cause us to realize they’ve not been trustworthy for some time.  No person is perfect, so it’s not fair to judge a person’s trustworthiness based on a handful of actions, but wisdom will whisper to you whenever it’s time to move on from that friendship.  

I’m thankful for my friends, for the ones who challenge me, comfort me, are trustworthy, are faithful, are honest, keep good boundaries, are quick to forgive, and know that the best solution to any crisis is not a word, but to go with me to God.  These are the qualities I find in my closest friends.  And they embody to me the royalty talked about here:

Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.  Proverbs 22:11 (NLT)

I love verses on friends.  Here are some more from Proverbs that help me remember how to be a good friend:
  • As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 
  • There are “friends” who destroy each  other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
  • The heartfelt counsel of a friends is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9
  • Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:6
  • A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17
  • An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.  Proverbs 18:19

If I were to pick a challenge for anyone reading this, consider what kind of friendship qualities tend to build you up in your faith, and which ones tend to break you down in your faith.  If you have a friend that takes you away from what you know God has for you, it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of that friend, but consider the amount of time you spend with them, and the amount of influence they have in your life. It may be time to prune some friendships.  And if you find that you’ve pruned so much that you have no more good friends, ask God to bring you the close friend you need.  He knows when we are trying to please Him, and He honors our obedience to Him.  AND, He has done this for me every time I’ve asked for it, so I know it’s true.


Friday, September 16, 2011


There are seasons for everything in life, and the season of documenting my life's events began when I learned to write.  It's not yet ended.

I've kept diaries and journals all my life.  But diaries and journals are for me; blogs are for you.  

This blog is from me to you.  Thank you for being a part of my life in whatever magnitude that part is.  You make a difference.