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Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

Crazy Calm

Posted by angela on November 14, 2015
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So I’ve been away from my blog site lately…I never intended it to be so long!

Thank you for visiting again!  

I have been on quite a journey these past few months and God is doing some work…and many results are still to be seen but I wanted to update everyone…and get back to the blog!!

I’ve been on a path of doing more writing and now speaking. Yes…speaking! The past few months have been travel, attending conferences, an unexpected move (oh the packing & boxes) and a new direction! Busy, crazy but all good.
I look back over the past few months and realize that wow…much of the things that happen to us can be so unexpected (barring tragedies), sudden and not envisioned that we get lost.

Confused. Frustrated.

We think surely God wouldn’t want us spinning in a circle trying to catch up with happenings…wouldn’t He hand things to us in a nice orderly fashion? HA! Not this time. I’m sure there are times when this is exactly how He’lll do things but recently I marvel at how He pulls a zillion details together and lays out a path for us. Do we see it? Do we miss it?

I miss it too many times.

He can design and create the entire universe so why am I so amazed when he pulls together details in my world? I chalk it up to human perspective…

So when things accelerate in our lives and we’re not sure why or how to continue…how do we handle it? Do we keep walking out our routines? Do we turn to supposed stress relievers like food, shopping, drinking, relationships, etc? an extra latte?

Admittedly, I used to turn to all these things in search of respite. [ I still turn to Pringles a few too many times and its not pretty!]

But through this journey and especially during the past few months, I have been clinging to the Father more. More for daily talks, discussions over next steps, crying out my concerns and giving praise for His faithfulness.

And guess what? I’ve noticed a shift.

A calmness when I’m spinning. A deeper stillness in the midst of the chaos…and I realize…it’s a change in my heart. I’m trusting more. I’ve trusted in the past, yes…but this is a deeper sense of ‘well, whatever crazy nutty thing happens, He is here & with me so its okay’.

No….. I may not like the outcome or the direction
No….. I most likely do NOT understand the turn of events
Yes….. I get frustrated and whiny

But a deeper calm is there…more than its been in the past.

He’s reaching for you too. A hand is being held out for steadying you on your walk…grab His hand and hold on…even in the unknown…especially then…He won’t leave you!

They cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayer because they trusted in him. 1 Chronicles 5:20

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9:10

My prayer : Thank you Father for being so faithful. For not getting sick of my complaining and turning away from me but instead holding me closer and letting me know you are here. Thank you for growing my faith and trust in you Lord.

Weary Warrior?!

Posted by angela on July 8, 2015
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A nation is distraught. Not confident in their place in the world. Everything has changed, nothing is what it used to be. Yes, change is something that always happens but the new culture and environment haven’t set a precedent before now. The nation isn’t sure how to move forward. Do we go back to the way it used to be? Do we keep moving forward? We’re not sure where we’re headed.

One thing is certain—to move forward in the right direction, there will be challenges and battles ahead. How do you encourage a weary nation to KEEP going, keep fighting the fight?
The obstacles seem overwhelming.

People are disgusted, weary, nervous and not confident of the future.

How do you stand when the nation seems unstable?

On top of the bigger picture is the daily struggle concerns. Safety, providing for the family, health. Is the focus to be on the bigger picture or on the immediate family needs? How can both be juggled?

Is this the first time people had to face such a shift in all they’ve known? Of course not. We cry out…HELP! We need direction!!

Take the paragraph above and instead of thinking of our nation’s current issues; it can also apply to the Israelites when in the wilderness. How can this encourage us?
In reviewing Exodus 17, the Israelites were in a battle. They’re living on the road, left all they knew and are moving forward toward a better future, although it wasn’t a clear picture. Then suddenly they’re attacked and must stand up to the enemy and fight. They just witnessed a miracle of water being provided for them but before they could relax, an attack happens.

Do they retreat? Stand and fight? We know the story, they stand and fight. I’m guessing they’re tired and the last thing they want is more drama.

Do they get the choice to ‘not get involved’ and forget about the battle? Nope. They must stand and fight.

As followers of Christ, we may feel battle weary while seeing how culture and the world is reacting to believers. We may want to drop out of sight, lay low and keep our heads down and hope for things to get better. Not happening.
Many may feel confused, sad, angry and not sure which direction to turn. Our spiritual leaders may feel the same way and need our support to keep going.
Just like Moses in this story, he supported them by standing with the staff raised. The battlers continued to rage against the Amalekites knowing others were standing in support.

Yes, weariness kicks in. How to encourage each other to continue to stand strong, continue our journey in confidence? We keep going- knowing who we march forward in representation of. We are warriors of the Most High…we may be weary warriors…but warriors nonetheless and we will be strengthened!

As with Moses, weariness steps in. His arms were exhausted and dropping the staff. Then Aaron & Hur held his arms up high so the battle would be won. What a great example for us!

We hold each other, continue in the support of the ‘good fight’ and keep going.
It may get ugly, hard and seem like we’ve lost the winning position.

Wouldn’t it be easier to NOT stand up, but appear to go along with the crowd and not take a stand for what is right?
It’d be easier, less opposition.
We must encourage each other AND our leaders to stand for biblical truths…despite others giving in and going with the tide.
•Yes, of course it’d easier in this culture.
•Yes, the number of supporters may lessen.

But in the LONG RUN, we will be victors. Hold each other up, supporting each other when one is too weary.
This was an encouragement to me as I was praying for direction and clarity. My heart was breaking seeing the cultural decline and the reaction of the majority of citizens….sadly not a reaction to stop and repent but to push forward in opposition to what many hold dear as a moral compass.
So where do you fall?

•Are you battle weary, in need of someone to hold your arms high while you stand in the midst of the battle?
•Are you supporting others who are exhausted and ready to drop?

Hold strong, support one another…we are in this together and the best news is we already know who wins!

 

 

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit… Jude 1:20

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. Exodus 17:12

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT

Redirect…..On Purpose!

Posted by angela on June 25, 2015
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How can this matter? One more day of doing mundane chores that no one notices unless its not done. One more day of driving thru relentless traffic, going into the office to do work that doesn’t seem to matter in the big picture of life. Oh sure, it gets stuff done in the process of daily work but to matter on a bigger scale of life’s big picture? For eternity? Hardly…this isn’t work for the Kingdom, it’s a job. Back to the home front for family chores…people want to be fed, have clean clothes. She snaps about chores not being done. More bills arrive in the mail, the pets need a checkup, the kids need braces, and if one more person asks for a new pair of $20 socks, the latest celebrity endorsed pair of shoes, a new techno gadget, and rides to various events….ENOUGH.

She’s takes a deep breath, silently asks Jesus to give her a better attitude while stirring dinner on the stove. Of course, this brings the comment of ‘eeewwww I don’t want THAT for dinner tonight!”.  ‘Fine. Don’t eat’ she whispers to herself.

She takes a break, steps outside in the heat just for some space. How can she feel this way? She’s thankful. She’s blessed and she knows this. But the lack of gratitude. Lack of noticing what she goes through to provide, trying (not always successful) to keep a good attitude, keep everyone moving on the path of life…it’s just too much. Not just busy…but busy for what? It seems meaningless. How could one more load of dirty clothes matter in eternity? Oh Lord she whispers, I want to do something of meaning, of significance. …how is this doing anything important? I want something MORE.

Can you identify with this? Or know someone who can?

We may want to extend encouragement but somehow, feel empty ourselves and wonder…what is the answer? How do we keep moving forward when nothing feels like it matters.
The guilt sets in:
• Self pity is so ugly, forgive me!
• I’m blessed and happy to have what I do Father, thank you and forgive me for complaining!
We are sincere but the empty feeling seems to grip tighter somewhere deep inside.
Help Jesus…release this emptiness and fill me with you!

I know someone (okay, several people) who can relate to this situation. I asked a wise friend…someone who has walked through some pretty significant trauma…how do you keep going when it feels like we’re stuck? Her wise words are worth repeating:
Do it for the one
Focus on the one

Don’t focus on the empty, the feelings, the drudgery, the routines, the neglect, the lack of thankfulness. Focus on the one. Do what we do for the One. THE ONE.
It sounds so simple….so how do we lose our focus? Daily life. Daily struggle.

Sometimes we have to smack ourselves back into focus and MAKE our thoughts take a new pattern…focus on the One. Do it for the One.

Thank you wise friend! Thank you for redirecting this wandering mind that tends to trot off into places it doesn’t need to go.
Places that cause unrest and confusion.
Take control and purposely redirect…on the One!

Of course we’ll stumble. Of course our minds will wander. I sometimes get caught up in the ‘but I don’t feel like xxxxx’ and have to be very ON PURPOSE to make my thoughts redirect.

Almost like the GPS systems we used to have in our cars with the audible voice giving directions. We take a route it didn’t recommend and we’d hear ‘Rediecting’…
well…maybe I should take that to heart. You too?

Redirecting. Recalculating. A Do Over for our thoughts and where they drag us sometimes.
I know this doesn’t mean we’ll be skipping through the tulips in 3 easy steps.

But maybe, possibly…the redirection can crack through the stagnant empty place to one of hope…to see something we may not have recognized before. A new perspective through Him. A fresh thought that otherwise would never have developed. He is living water which never runs dry…so He CAN quench the empty place.

Help us Father keep our focus on you, Help us and guide us to redirect our wandering minds!

Hebrews 2:1
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it

Isaiah 26:3
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Romans 8:5-6
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Philippians 4:8
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.

purposefulfaith.com

Hashtags

Posted by angela on June 18, 2015
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 Join me in welcoming guest writer Robb Morgan today!!

Current culture; polarized views; how do we respond?

Check out Robb’s poem & perspective…

 

#Hashtags
Baltimore; Common Core; Climate Change and Lebron James
Internet trolls; primary polls; Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray….Love your enemy

Oil Fracking; NSA hacking
Gay, Straight, and Presidential Debates
Red or Blue, black or white; Clinton or Cruz, through pain and fright
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…Love your enemy

He did this, she said that
Gossip, slander, terrorist attacks; another divorce and excessive force
PARCC tests and civil unrest; Koch Brothers and countless others
To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…Love your enemy

Pros and cons, for and against
Same-sex marriage, military defense
Poverty, charity; unmanned drones
Glass houses and a handful of stones
The list goes on and on…. and on
Whether 1 percent or 99 don’t just tout the party line
From both pride or prejudice comes the cry for justice …”Crucify Him!”
The human race…. is starving for grace

To those who are listening…
Do good, bless and pray…. Love your enemy

 

We live in a world that is highly polarized and in communities (and even households) that are often deeply divided!  A world in which complex dynamics of systemic poverty, racial inequality, economic opportunity are often reduced to over-simplistic statements and insensitive tweets and social media posts and #hashtags.

Beyond that, we live in a world that is constantly asking us to choose sides, to take up arms, to pick which team we are on and which team we are against and to walk in lockstep with their political ideologies and platforms.  Our teams are often depicted by colors, demarcations that allow us to know who is with us and who we are against – red and blue, black and white, light and dark; Scarlet & Gray, Maize & Blue. [Ohio reference for those not in O H I O]

We are about to enter into a political season in which our state, and specifically our portion of the state will be overwhelmed by political rallies and campaign slogans.  A battleground state contested between opposing forces highlighting, in some cases, competing values between spouses and siblings OR  mortal enemies – right or left, liberal or conservative.  We live in a political battleground state – a swing area, in the swing county, of the swing state for the presidential election each year proven true since the 1960s. As Columbus [OH] has gone, so has the presidency. And many of us have perspectives, thoughtful ones, informed ones, backed by grounded research, family heritage and legacy –  convictions for which are prepared to  “die in a ditch.”

And then there is the “other” – sometimes a distant faceless foe, in other cases close to home – a sibling, a spouse, a schoolmate or roommate, the neighbor with yard signs – the other, our enemy.

As opposed to our perspectives, theirs are ill-informed

  • OR they are uneducated
  • they are deceived OR
  • worse – immoral; they are darkened, blind or deaf and dumb.  By action and deed – real and perceived, thought and ideology – the “other” is our enemy.

And the narratives, agendas and platforms of all sides are akin to a “kingdom”  governing principles – social, familial, relational, economic that dictate how we live and how we think the “other” ought to.

Kingdoms with fortified walls and strong defenses.

Kingdoms with spokesman and experts, attorneys and statistics, with leaders and legends.

As in days past, kingdoms look for allies, for kindred spirits and like minds.  Unlikely alliances can be formed- but the enemy of my enemy is indeed my friend.

And as modern day Kingdoms look at the landscape for allies and allegiances, we look for those who will validate our position and posture.  And many turn to Jesus – He likes us and therefore is like us.  We like what he likes and therefore he likes what we like.

We hate what he hates and therefore he hates what we hate.

“I wonder If he’ll join our team?”   

And Jesus’s response, “how about you join my Kingdom?”

 

Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

Robb Morgan is the Lead Pastor at Delaware City Vineyard in Delaware, OH.

Robb and his wife, Julie Morgan, comprise the Pastoral Team. It is their responsibility to seek and follow God’s leading and, in so doing, to set direction for the church. http://delawarecityvineyard.org

Run? No thanks!

Posted by angela on June 5, 2015
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So what does it mean…’run’? I think to keep going. Keep moving. Keep walking running on the path. The daily life. Keep the feet going, one in front of the other. Don’t stop, don’t give up. Even when you want to, when you feel dry and crusty and can’t give or do anymore. Keep running.

Why? Well, what is the alternative? To stop? Abandon ship? Run away? None of these options give what we want or need in the long run. [Well…run away if it’s to a vacation spot somewhere tropical…but then you have to come back sometime. Maybe:)].
We’ve all heard ‘run the race’ which signifies us continuing on our path of life. Running the race of life with hope and expectation. I believe this but also slam into walls sometimes. Walls that may be invisible to others but stop me dead in my tracks along the path.

Walls that surround me at times with things like exhaustion and whispers of ‘just stop, its not worth it. no one notices anyhow’.

I have to smash thru that wall. Then as you pick yourself up to continue running, SLAM if you haven’t run face first into another wall called ‘disillusionment’.

Yep, this one whispers to me and my continual declarations that it doesn’t exist…well, I’m not being truthful. I get disillusioned. We all do at times. We know to keep going, living life, doing the basics but sometimes…when we come up for air and plead with the Father for change or progress and see nothing on the horizon…well, DISILLUSIONMENT. Disappointment.

I start wondering did I miss something? Am I doing what God wants me to? If I am on the right path, why does it seem so barren, empty and unfruitful at times? I must have misunderstood my path and I’m doing everything wrong I tell myself. Anyone else fall into this cycle?
So I pray for strength to continue running, endurance and guidance that my feet are on the path He wants them on. Then the hard part…keep running and waiting. Yes, I know. Even when I’m not seeing anything happening. When others around me have enlightening stories of success, impacts, breakthroughs, etc.

I’m still here…running along my path and trying to keep my focus on Him and not my feelings of failure or inadequacy. I remind myself feelings are not always reality…to focus on what I know is truth and not let my feelings guide me.
Yes, I get super frustrated. I ask God if He’s sick of hearing me cry out to him for change, for guidance. I wrap myself in a bubble of doubt and despair. I have to kick myself to crawl out of that ugly place-where my thoughts make it worse than it is. Just RUN.

Sometimes that is the answer. We don’t understand why things are happening in our world the way they are; why breakthroughs don’t seem to materialize; when will things improve or change; when will others change or cooperate (insert whatever word applies); when will we see something good from the continual steps we take each day. Just RUN.
I don’t want to keep going since it doesn’t seem like anything is moving forward. It feels stagnate at times. So my option is to quit running? And do what? Sit and cry out that I’m quitting this race until God does what I want Him to? Hmm…I realize that doing this is me trying to manipulate God into doing what I want, when I want it. Yikes! So….Run.

Keep running. Until He tells me to stop. Because really…isn’t that what we’re doing?
We’re running the race set before us (since he orders our steps), continuing in faith that we’re doing the right things even when it doesn’t feel like it (as long as we’re obedient, he is faithful)and don’t quit or give up. I encourage you…keep running. Even when you don’t feel like it, even when it doesn’t look like the path will take you where you envision you should be going in the timeline you think you should….just Run.

He has your back and if you are truly trusting in Him, He won’t leave you to be in this race alone. Just Run. This is the hard part…to not give up when things don’t seem to look like we thought it would—to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We do this in faith-Just Run.

 

Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. Psalm 37:34

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23

 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

 

Check out Live Free!http://tsuzanneeller.com/
live free

Slow Burn

Posted by angela on April 28, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 5 Comments

What does ‘slow burn’ mean to you?

I understand it to mean something is changing, slowly…usually so gradual that you don’t really notice it.
It’s happening all around us.
We see it in our culture—except its not really ‘slow’ anymore, its turbo speed!
Its in our schools, work, church and even home. Is it a bad thing? Depends on what the change is moving towards.
I’m seeing such a big trend lately in fellow believers falling into the pattern of this slow burn. You want to scream STOP!!! But no one hears.

You try to stand firm and but told you’re being inflexible. You begin to quietly retreat, keep your opinions and comments to yourself since others are headed in a different direction and reject your input.

You read devotions or commentaries that encourage you to be strong! You step out again with encouragement to others to hold fast to our faith and let the Bible be our guide. You’re told you ‘don’t get it’ and you are too restrictive.

Someone even suggests we should revise what we consider sin since some churches are doing so. WHAT?! When did we decide sin instead of God?

I’m stepping up and sending out a SOS call to you, my fellow traveler on this journey. We do need to stand tall. We call this being brave but now I’m wondering….is it bravery or just obedience? I see it as obedience but being obedient means we have to be brave enough to follow through.
Will there be others coming against us? Of course.

Will we stand alone at times? Definitely.

Will it feel uncomfortable, lonely or make us second guess our commitment to stand? Absolutely.

But I’m willing Father! If this means I have leave my comfort zone and risk being shoved to the side, so be it. Are you willing also?

I’m willing to step on the path despite the crazy looks, snarky comments or general rejection. I mean, if we’re not willing to risk rejection in His name, what’s the point of anything we do in His name?

We’ll only do what is comfortable and safe in His name but when it gets ugly or scary, we step back?
To me, that isn’t following Him, that is being a ‘fair weather’ follower. We’ll follow Him when it feels good and is easy. Otherwise, count us out?

I pray this isn’t the case! As followers, we need to be just that…followers of Him. Not part time, not good season only, not fake. True followers…at all costs. Father, help us be strong, obedient and even brave.

I pray for others to come along side us to walk this out. At times we may stand alone but other times we will be an army.
We may lose our grip on our faith or beliefs but we can be assured God doesn’t change and neither does the bible.
I don’t recall seeing an expiration date anywhere in the bible that claims once we hit ‘2015’ all the information from the bible expires. It doesn’t say anywhere ‘follow these guidelines and learn about God except when you don’t feel like it anymore and everyone says its okay to blow this off’. No, don’t think that is in the bible either.

The slow burn is deception at its core. It goes by many different names to dress it up and sometimes it works in making it not sound so bad. Some words I’ve heard that don’t sound as harsh as ‘selling out your faith’ include:
• Tolerance
• Flexible
• Understanding

We all sin of course. No question there. There is a difference in wallowing in it, celebrating it and promoting sin versus repentance. Yes…an old fashion word that many tell us is outdated and a concept no one wants to hear anymore: “repent”.

In today’s culture, the concept is almost unheard of. Repent of something? Stop doing something considered wrong by biblical standards? Why—that’s so old school! Is it? Or have we started to creep along with the world’s standards of what is ‘okay’? We must be careful. The enemy has a lot of practice at deception and we see it all around us.

I encourage you!
Keep on your guard for areas we have possibly stepped over the line of what we call ‘acceptable’ anymore. It may not be a big deal now but is it a step in the wrong direction? It could be a small thing that by itself isn’t a big deal…but is it a step that leads you away from the Father & His word? Does it support God’s kingdom or slowly, ever so slightly, shift the focus away?

Stay alert! Is this being brave? Of course. But you have the strongest ally with you and we already know who wins.

Keep me far from every wrong; help me, undeserving as I am, to obey your laws, for I have chosen to do right. Psalm 119:30

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Ephesians 1:17

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

Check out this blog also!!  http://purposefulfaith.com/

His Voice

Posted by angela on April 14, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | Tagged With: , , | 15 Comments

 

Please welcome today’s guest writer Michelle Viscuse from  journeypink.  Michelle is a dear friend with a unique and real voice…please check out her post below (more about Michelle at the end of this post). I’d love for you to visit her website: JourneyPINK

michelle post

I pulled up to the drive-thru window, digging into my pocketbook for the bright pink wallet that always hides when I need it. I looked up to hand her my card, and all I could see were her bright orange nails as she handed me my drink.

I felt a nudging in my heart to say, “I like your nails.” As I handed her my card, I smiled and tried make eye contact. She closed the window and I had a quick little mind conversation ~ a really quick chat with myself.

“WHAT? Why would I say I like her nails? THAT IS JUST WEIRD. What if she thinks I am crazy. Who does that? I‘m just here for a Diet Coke…”
Again, the gentle whisper, “tell her you like her nails.”

The window opened and my card and receipt were right there, and as I took them I smiled and awkwardly said, “Hey, by the way I love your nails.” As she was closing the door, she paused and smiled as she said, “thank you.”

As I drove away the cold sip warmed my heart and I was smiling too.
It wasn’t long after that encounter that it happened again at the grocery store. Her chipped nails were a pretty color, and as I walked away I said, “I love that nail color on you.” She smiled.

I smiled, and I stopped feeling awkward about it. I started doing it more often. I started noticing nails, and looking for worn faces and weary eyes. I paid attention and listened for the whisper to interrupt the pace of their day with a smile and a kind word.

I slowed down my rush to pay attention.

In the beginning of my healing journey, I painted my nails pink all the time, all shades, all ways to remind myself that I am PINK. I am His Princess.

I am a Princess In Need of a King.

Sometimes in counseling I would focus on my nails as I processed painful memories and flashbacks. There were times when I would literally feel shame cover me from head to toe, and looking at my pink nails helped. Painted nails made a big difference for me, and eventually I started painting them other colors. I found any color helped me to focus on who God says I am and not who I grew up believing I was.

There is a beautiful lady in our church who hugs me every Sunday. She wears bright colors, gloves, scarves, hats – I just love her! One Sunday, she gave me a hug and then took both of my hands and held them as she talked to me. I looked down at her hands and saw she was rocking bright blue nail polish that matched her fancy hat! I let her know how much I loved the color.

I bought some just like it and painted my nails. During my therapy session, I stared at my blue nails the entire time while squeezing a rock with the word “courage” on it. I came back to work and struggled to hold it together. It was a really hard session. A lady came by towards the end of the day to drop off her business cards and treats, and I smiled with puffy eyes and thanked her. She left and as I headed back to my desk – I heard the door open again. I turned around and it was her. She came back in to say to me, “I really wanted to tell you I love your nail color. I really like it!”

I thanked her as she left and then I cried my eyeballs out. I cried because I knew in that moment without a doubt that I was hearing God, His small voice.

He was speaking to me. Notice.

He was whispering, “She is hurting. Look at her. Say a kind word. You know what painted nails do for you? Wonder why she paints her nails? Notice her nails, and the pain in her eyes. Notice her.”

I obeyed and He gave it back to me. He confirmed it for me. He noticed me. He filled me with joy.

God did a major work in my heart that day. He assured me that I am hearing Him, and that my greatest blessing is to be obedient, not just about noticing nail color but about every step he has planned for me ahead. On that day, the voices of doubt and fear were knocked flat. And now, when I hear His still small voice and doubt tries to creep in, I look at my nails and I remember that day. I remember the joy of obedience.

The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
Deuteronomy 30:10

What about you? Is He whispering to you? What are you learning about His voice?

 

Michelle writes about her journey at JourneyPINK. Pink has not always been her favorite color, but it is now. It reminds her of Jesus and his extravagant love for his daughters.  Because we are ALL Princesses in Need of a King (PINK).

 

 

 

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REALLY ready to step out?

Posted by angela on April 9, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 3 Comments

When we’ve been praying about a situation, talking it over & over with God and begging for direction, are we truly ready when He reveals it to us?
What if He leads us to do something that makes us really uncomfortable? REALLY shakes our safety box?
Could you do it? WOULD you do it?

  • Would you step out of a job with none to go to?
  • Would you move to a new city where you know no one?
  • Would you terminate a relationship you’ve become so familiar with?
  • Could you part with your savings and your finances if you were led to?
  • What if you had to give up your home? Your car? Start all over in life by choice…would you do it?

I know, these can be hard questions. I’m asking because I keep running into situations and people facing this lately.

Hard choices, hard decisions.

Hard in the point that it’s a sacrifice of giving up a lifestyle or something we know or have worked for…to go or do something unknown.

Unscripted

SCARY
We all want to scream that “Yes, Of course”! If the Father is directing us, of course we’d be obedient. But I have to say…when I recently saw this in real life action, it wasn’t what I thought it’d look like.

We’re all heard of people who have given up everything, moved to the other side of the world and became missionaries. We think how amazing they must be and then sometimes offer up a silent prayer ‘please don’t tell me to do that God’ (ever been there?).

I know someone who left a steady corporate job—after many years of getting to a certain level and a ‘safe’ income. They left. No new job, nothing on the horizon. They felt strongly led by the Father it was the right thing to do. This was more than just switching jobs after building a career—they were to quit with nothing to replace it and not much in savings.

Did they do it? Yes.

Did it kill them? No.

Did other believers rally behind them in support? HHmm…not like you would think.

One lifelong follower claimed she could never have done such a thing, even if God told her clearly, because it’d make her give up too much.
Others said the person must not have really heard from God because surely God wouldn’t want you to walk away from a career with nothing to go to.

A few said ‘good for you’ and asked how the job search was going. (Note: God didn’t tell this person to do a job search. His leading was to ‘wait’ but others couldn’t grasp this concept of NOT searching for a replacement career.)

How do you think you would have responded if this was a friend of yours? A family member?
(They did hear “are you crazy?!” more than a few times by the way)

Could you have done it yourself?

It wasn’t easy, it took longer than anyone thought but they landed in a different position and all turned out okay. They are in a better place today—not great, but better.  So if the new place isn’t utopia, what was the point?

The entire process was life changing. Stepping out in pure obedience in such a way was a first for this person. It deepened their faith, their walk and their dependence on the Father. God had their back thru the entire process although there were times of asking and crying out ‘what now??!!’

So what is your moment? Have you been praying for a breakthrough? A change? A new direction?

I encourage you to keep alert…sometimes we are given the direction but it seems so different than anything we can imagine, we dismiss it. We think ‘that can’t be right’ and continue our quest and vigil of seeking direction.

If you were given a direction that just sounds crazy and risky and uncomfortable, would you follow through?

Can He trust you to go where He is leading?

Do you trust Him to guide you, catch you when you fall and keep you upright?

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:106

My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the LORD. Psalm 26:12

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Faith in Fitness?

Posted by angela on March 31, 2015
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Join me in welcoming guest writer Jack Santora!  

Think your faith and fitness do not intersect? Check out Jack’s perspective!! 

You might be wondering where you can find the work of God in the world of fitness. I mean after all it’s a realm that is highly saturated with self-absorption, vanity, and an obsession for aesthetic results. It feeds on the desires of boys, girls, men and women to have six-pack abs or a tight hind quarter. The industry thrives on supplements, diets, and fad workouts. What worked for Joe Schmo is perfect for you and everyone else in this world for a small monthly payment of an arm and a leg… So where is God in it all?

B.C. (before I knew Christ…) I was someone caught in these worldly lies. Chained by self-consciousness, I relied on the opinions of others to create a false identity. It was easy to get pulled into, but the reality is that all the hours spent in a gym and those “Men’s Health” muscles still leave you feeling empty inside. Some people strive endlessly and work tirelessly to fill that giant void, only to come up empty handed.

And even though physical training is of some value, holiness will serve a greater purpose in this life and the one to come (1 Timothy 4:8).

God desires that we as Christians are disciplined (1 Corinthians 9:27) and that we worship no other idols. While the gym is a great place to begin with self-discipline, society often idolizes the athletes and models that spend their days there, making them into something more than human. Or, just as dangerous, we can even begin to obsess over our own appearance or abilities. Either way, it’s at this moment that the focus has been taken from God and placed in the world. We forget that God created us as beautiful unique individuals. He delicately wove our path with a purpose to fulfill and He’s providing us a unique platform to further His Kingdom.

I’ve found that the gifts the Lord has blessed me with, have given me the opportunity to come in contact with many broken people, physically and, more often than not, spiritually. Although they may not recognize it. I see temples left in ruins from years of abuse and mistreatment (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20).

Bound by fear, they wander in aimlessly looking for an answer in a change of appearance or marching orders from a physician threatening them to exercise “or else”. Their mindset is usually hesitant and they lack motivation, faith, hope, and the belief that they can ever accomplish what they’ve set out to do. If only they knew they could do all things through Christ who gives them strength (Philippians 4:13).

My point is this… the Lord is with us every step of the way in all that we do. I believe the more focus we are able to put on Christ in every environment, the more God will continue to bless our lives and the desires of our hearts. Keep in mind, God does His work from the inside out. So is it really that surprising that we often have to change the way our hearts feel about exercise and nutrition before we see the visible changes physically?

More often than not, we become impatient or lose focus. The devil will always be there to try to distract, derail, and misguide our efforts. He wants to see us fail and fall into his traps because he is out to destroy all things beautiful.

Regardless of the path, I know that God has plans that are good for each and every one of our lives, plans to prosper and not harm, plans to give hope and a future. What more loving promise is there than this? All we have to do is seek Him with all of our heart.

So where is God in it all? In you…

 

Jack Santora is an Exercise Physiologist at a wellness & fitness facility in Columbus Ohio. Connect with Jack at www.facebook.com/JSantoraEP

 

Check out this blog site!!http://purposefulfaith.com/

Enough evidence to convict?

Posted by angela on March 24, 2015
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Today is something new to the blog!!! I wanted to offer different perspectives of our journey as Christ followers & have invited a few guests to offer their insights. Please join me in welcoming guest writer Bruce Ostermeyer.

 

If you were charged with being a Christian would they have enough evidence to convict you?

 

Jesus said in Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Are you a wise man? Have you ever been a wise man? I guess the bigger question is do you struggle to continue to be a wise man as defined by Jesus.

Jesus goes on to talk about those who hear his words but do not practice them have built a house on sand and not a rock foundation. Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have people enter my life to keep my house on a rock foundation.
Many people say work and religion are a bad mix. You should not pray at work, read a Bible at work or talk to people about your faith. I have never let work interfere with my walk with Jesus. Many of the people who have stepped into my life to help me regain footing have been co-workers.

At a young age I worked for a small telemarketing company. I had just started to date my future wife. I had met a person through her who became a spiritual mentor but it was at work where God’s work was in play. I was struggling with my performance as a sales representative. The Sales Manager decided to move my desk in to an office with the top performing Sales Representative.

Every morning I would walk in and listen to various tapes. Most were Christian speakers or Christian recording artists. He would constantly talk to me about being successful was really in God’s Hands. Basically, if I was a believer in God and it was in God’s plan I would be successful.
One afternoon he walked over to my desk and pulled up a chair. He talked about being a luke- warm Christian. He looked right at me and said if Jesus came back today would you have enough evidence to prove you were a Christian. Now we all know that Jesus knows everything about me so I’m thinking would I really have to do that?!

So he said let me rephrase that “If you were charged with being a Christian tomorrow would a court have enough evidence to convict you?”

It was the first time I had ever heard that phrase. It was very humbling…
I have had other co-workers who have stepped in and helped me move back on to the solid rock foundation. The question that always brings me back to where I’m at in my walk is “If I was charged for being a Christian would someone have enough evidence to convict me?”

How would you answer that question?

 

 

Bruce Ostermeyer is a former Operations Executive with a major bank. He has over 25 years of leadership experience. Bruce is married and has one son. He is widely known for his passion around being a Dad and is a respected mentor on this topic. Bruce often uses the quote “It is an honor to be a Dad and not a privilege.”