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Angela Light

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

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