Thursday, September 30, 2010

Redeemed for a Purpose

My husband and I spent the past weekend with wonderful friends of ours in Las Vegas. We had not seem them in over twenty years and spent a day with them at a local car show while displaying their beautiful Mustang and meeting new friends. We'd never been to Nevada and found it to be quite flat besides mountains here and there. No cacti and foliage growing where it had been precisely planted. As we crossed the border from Arizona into Nevada, we crossed Hoover Dam and found it was breathtaking and so beautiful at night. It simply took your breath away. The towers were lit up like individual lighthouses and crossing the dam was like entering into another world. I loved it!

One evening our friends took us on a tour into downtown Las Vegas where the buildings were so magnificent and beautifully constructed. What workmanship went into planning walls of such intellect. I was in awe as we drove by one after another. They were casino's and large hotels carefully displaying such detail and forethought that was put into each building. Much madness and greed revolves around and within these towers of beauty but when I see them standing in all their beauty, I understand their worth beyond the money they embrace. They are priceless works of art constructed by specially chosen contractors, just as we are masterpieces for good works in our Father's hands.

It reminded me of how God so delicately and purposefully carves our structures, instills His beauty and power within us and proudly displays his work of art for all to see. Often we may feel ugly, unworthy and of no use, but the Master Creator well purposed each moment of our lives and created us with such majestic beauty in Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 say, "For I know the plans of the Lord, plans for my good and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future." This scripture gives me reason to go on when storms are engulfing me and I feel like giving up and swallowing waters of my own death. Knowing God has carefully designed of my mind, heart and emotions gives me strength to persevere when things get tough. As I age and see a woman in her forties in the mirror before me, I notice lines intricately engraved into my slightly tanned skin forming a map upon my face that clearly shows joy over sorrow.
Thankfulness floods me heart and I quickly taken away to times of redemption from the things of the world, from others, from myself.

We were redeemed for a purpose and it is this realization that strengthens us for the journey and equips us with every tool we need to worship our God, to bless others and to leave a mark upon the hearts of those yet to understand their own purpose in this life. Let God's sovereign redemption take you away to places you'd never imagined and to live life to the fullest as you embark on a journey specifically designed for you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Prayer Model for Living a Victorious Life

I attend one of the most on fire, radical life-changing, uplifting the spirit and soothing the soul churches anyone could ever hope to go to and yesterday was one of the MOST endearing services I have been to.

The topic was a prayer model to follow, the chosen lead scripture was Matthew 11:28, ironically the same exact one that a sweet adopted daughter of mine gave me just this past week. The concept, A.C.T.S.

Pastor Dan was explaining how we all find ways to escape our greatest struggles, failures and obsessions. God instructs us to come to Him because only He can give us rest, true rest. And what do we do, we go to everything else for a fake calm before the next storm of life blindsides us. We turn to other people to make us happy, shopping to anesthetize us to the realization we don't have it all, to substances for numbing against the pain, to busy-ness so that we don't have to face rejection, to job security so we don't have to trust a Being we cannot grasp a hold of with our human hands, and even to denial so we won't believe we need God.

What's up with us frail humans? We think we have it altogether when our lives are falling apart. When we become desperate, it is then we might finally turn to our loving Father and beg for His help. Pastor Dan likened this to his daughter who calls out to Him for a hug and eventual popsicle, being perfectly content with the popsicle. I liken it to partying our lives away and when we get caught up in our troubles it is then we need bailed out; now God is there to help us with open arms and a smile on His face. In a way this may be true as He says He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), but what God desires of His children and those who have not yet accepted Him, is for us to come to Him anytime, every time, all the time. With whatever spoils we have to lay at his feet, He can turn them into precious gems of infinite value, if we will only we are.

The model of A.C.T.S. is a wonderful foundation we should all adopt on a daily basis. One in which will bring glory to God, support for our overburdened souls, strength in our spirits and rest for our weary bodies and minds. God expanded on this concept with me and made it quite simple.

A- adoration; adoration for our God, adoring Him above everything and everyone else in our life

C- confession; confession to our Lord; confessing those things we say, do and think that are displeasing to God

T- thanksgiving; thanksgiving for Jesus Christ; always being thankful for the One Who gave us eternal life

S- supplication; supplication from on high; receiving our daily supply of what we need from almighty God, precious Jesus and the ever comforting Holy Spirit

Wow! Concepts to change my life, give me strength, draw me closer to Jesus, provide rest for my body, mind and soul, help me grow in the ways of the Lord, give me hope, support others, pray with power, share the love of Jesus with all who cross my path, be humble before my Lord, loosen all power the enemy could have over me, and to give me abundant life on this earth.

Okay, am I missing something here. Hmmmm, turn to imperfect people for help or trust a most perfect God; spend money on things that will perish one day or savor time with someone Who can provide me with what I truly need not want; use and abuse substances that will alter my thought processes or remember God says I have a sound mind and He can heal my pain; remain too busy to hear from God or seek His plans and purposes for me to further His kingdom and glorify Him; find my security in a job that I can lose at any given moment or have my security in the Creator of all heaven and earth; believe in myself and deny I even have issues at all or know Jesus is worth believing in and trusting for every detail of my life, let's see which do I chose to live by?

HA! Who are we actually kidding?! When the world says, "Look to yourself", know that God says He is always near and waiting with open arms for you to rest in His care, His love, His peace, His salvation, His support, His protection, His comfort, His knowledge, His grace and mercy.

* Supporting scriptures are listed below to look up and concentrate on, contemplate their meanings and apply to your life. Believe and be blessed!

Adoration: I Chronicles 29:10-13, 29:20
Confession: I John 1:9, Psalm 32:1-5, James 5:16
Thanksgiving: Psalm 13:5-6, 69:30, 95:2, Philippians 4:6-7
Supplication: Philippians 4:6, Matthew 6:8, 7:7-11, I John 5:14-15, Ephesians 3:20-21

* To take part online in the wonderful service I commented on, go to and listen to Sunday August 1st service under the column Items of Interest, Sermon downloads and sit back with a cup of coffee, tea or bottled water and enter into rest, rest that will change your life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Day of Loss....a Day of Victory

Today, my home in Grants Pass, Oregon was auctioned. How sorrowful I was upon waking this morning, so I stayed in bed until the auction was probably over. I had tried to make this house a home since 2001 and in February 2010, I and my family left our home in Oregon to move to Phoenix, AZ and begin a new life.

So many losing homes, so much sorrow and feeling of loneliness. But I had to stop and remember my real home is in heaven. This home of almost ten years, was only made of wood and nails. This home will one day perish anyway, but my home in heaven will not. It is there, waiting for me, waiting for me to reside in it when the Lord sees it is time for me to do so.

So why the sadness, lonely feeling and despair I asked myself. I believe it is because I lost my focus somewhere in building my home. God was the One Who gave me this home in the first place, He had every right to allow it to be taken away from me as well. So what does it really boil down to? Surrender.... that's what. Have I really surrendered not only my life, but my possessions God bestows upon me with however long I am possessor of them? Hmmmmm, I pondered this thought and came to the conclusion, no, I have not. I say I have, feel I have but deep down, I can see I have not.

I have been asking the Lord to show me everything He wants me to learn and gain out of losing my home. A sweet surrender is what He wants from me, and I have yet to totally and give myself and desires, dreams and wishes over to Him, completely, that's the key. There is so much I still hold onto and do not even realize it. So I pray, "Lord, please reveal to me any ways that are not pleasing to You. Show me the areas of my life, my heart and my mind I have not truly given to You. Love me enough to not allow me to continue owning those things that truly are not mine, or were not meant to be mine forever. Give me wisdom to see the difference between earthly living and Godly living in every single area of my entire being. May there be so much less of me and more of you. Let me rely on You completely and when You remove things from my life, take things back or say no to things I want to hear You say yes to, remind me Who is on the throne and who is sitting at Your feet. In Jesus name, Amen."

As I take a deep breath and sense God's presence in my midst, I can feel myself loosen my grip on certain things that hang me up. I smile and shake my head at myself for taking so long to see the truth and I sincerely thank God for loving me enough to not let me stay this way, to stay in darkness, in sin, not trusting Him and trusting in things.

I challenge you to let God dig deep into the very crevices of your heart and soul. Allow Him to show you areas you too may have entitlement to, so you can experience God's victory over bondage and sweet freedom from ownership of things in this dying and decaying world. May you be blessed be the One Who above all else, matters and loves you despite your weaknesses, failures and even disobedience. May God be you're all in all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Restored and Made Whole

Today, I am finishing my article for The Christian Journal in Oregon. The topic is Restoration. Contemplating this topic makes me think of how God restores a hundred fold to those whom satan has taken from. What great love is that? Yet, how much of our time do we really give the Lord? When do we stop to hear His voice? Why is it we are often too busy to slow down for Him? What must we change today that will lead us closer to Him; closer to the One Who misses His time with us? What will it take? Will it take our losing those we love, things we have worked for, friendships we have cultivated or our own self dignity?

The definition of restoration is the act of restoring or state of being restored, as to a former or original condition, place, etc.; the replacement or giving back of something lost, stolen.

Have you experienced being stolen from, ripped off, been deceived or lied to? Then you know the importance of being restored. Health can be restored, relationships healed, items returned and our character brought to light in the presence of God. Restoration is as important as is justice and fairness. Restoration is the whole reason God sent His son, Jesus to die for us. We need restored back unto our God. Someone needed to bridge the gap and Jesus chose to take our place in a sin-filled world with consequences beyond our greatest imaginations awaiting us.

We are living in a world where spiritual acceleration is at every corner. Everywhere we turn is evidence that our time on earth is very limited. There is no more time to choose where we want God to have a place in our lives. Jesus is in the business of restoring lives back to Himself, between ourselves and amongst those who are lost and in need of Christ to save them from themselves. John 10:10 tells us that satan came to steal, kill and destroy, while Jesus came to give us life. Jesus is the restorer of our souls whereas satan harms our conditions, removes us from our positions, and steals our material goods and even our joy God blesses us with. What better way to respond than to thank God for being in the business of restoration and to extend grace and mercy when we have been slighted. Being confident God is turning things around for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes is part of being made whole and being restored.

So many of us welcome restoration with open arms; we seek after it like its substance is that of gold, yet how often do we sit in the presence of the One Whom we seek restoration from, and wait, listen and obey when He does speak to us? It's like seeking the gift but forgetting to recognize Whom the giver of that gift is. We can't have it all our way, heaven is not Burger King. We can't make the rules for they were ordained at the beginning of time by the One Who set the game of life in motion. We surely can't control every circumstance of our lives. Our Father in heaven knows what is best and loves us too much to leave us to our own destruction. Restoration and being made whole is achieved by means of a loving father, an unconditionally loving Son, Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Being restored unto a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ is at the core of every human's deepest need whether known or not.

Restoration is being restored back to an original position or place. It is being given back something that was stolen or lost. Although gaining our original position or being brought to our previous place is what restoration can be about, often it is the journey to restoration that puts less emphasis on what was stolen or lost and more importance on our relationship with our ultimate Restorers, almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. Enter into restoration today and receive the wholeness God has for you.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beauty and the Beast - Life's 'lil Lessons

I received this from my sweet niece, Kelly Jarvis, and knew the lessons found within would be like valuable treasure to all who read on. Kelly is a missionary in Africa and is one of the most beautiful godly women I know.

"I was watching Beauty and the Beast tonight and in one of the songs they said something so profound I just had to share it with you all. It was the scene where Gaston learns that there is a beast and he wants to kill him and hang him on his wall. During the song they say, 'We don’t like what we don’t understand. In fact it scares us and this monster is mysterious at least.' These people didn’t understand anything about the beast. They saw the looks of him and were immediately scared by the appearance of him. Because they did not understand him, they didn’t like him and immediately grabbed up their pitch forks and guns to take down this beast. These people were missing out on the truth; this beast was kind and gentle (at this part in the story). This beast was special and Belle could see something in him that others could not, or perhaps were too afraid to see.

Many times in our lives God brings in a 'beast' for us to face. This beast could be in any form. For me right now, I’m facing the beast of change. There are so many changes that are going to be taking place in my life in the coming months it scares me. Am I going to fight the changes and the mysterious 'unknown' or am I going to allow God to work in my life as I experience these changes? Am I going to listen to my selfish desires and emotions and fight these changes or am I going to listen to God’s still quiet voice telling me that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and that He has plans to prosper and not to harm me? Am I going to get mad at the world because I’m not having my way or am I going to trust that all things work together for good to those that trust in the Lord?

Trust and faithfulness are two huge things God wants o develop in our lives. He does things in our lives that require us to trust Him even when we don’t agree or know what is going on. A beautiful Dutch missionary lady just died of cancer leaving behind two young children and a husband. The Lord said the harvest is great but the workers are few. So why would he allow this disease to take away one of His dedicated workers? She was a very intelligent linguist missionary who deeply loved the people she was working with. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I have to trust God. I choose to trust God because His plans are perfect. Life on Earth is not perfect, but God’s plans for our lives are perfect as long as we allow Him to work and not stubbornly cross our arms over our chest protesting against the God almighty telling Him he’s not doing it right! So I could throw a fit and grab my pitch fork in protest against the unknown, against the why's, but that wouldn’t do any good. All things work together for good…trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths straight.

So I learned, thanks to Beauty and the Beast, when a mysterious beast is staring you in the face, your reaction should not be to instantly want to battle it, but to try and understand it so that it won’t scare you anymore. We need not to look at the appearance of something, but at the heart. I should not miss out on opportunities because I am too busy fighting a mysterious “beast” instead of joining the Lord in battle for the hearts of His people. The Lord is doing mighty things all over the world and no matter what changes, no matter what “beasts” He brings my way, I pray that my heart, my thoughts and my actions will be to submit to and glorify Him!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Teens Today Face New Challenges in Employment

It goes without saying too much about jobless youth these days fearing the uncertainty of successful futures. How most of them pull a paycheck to cover gas and insurance most of us adults may never understand. The pressures of today are incomparable to those of twenty years ago. Now, many teens compete with adults who carry far more experience under their belts while youth struggle to enter the work force in the first place.

The 21st century seems to be a generation of youth with little work experience which will ultimately not be in a teen's favor when desiring employment. It is harder to find a job when you are older if you have not landed a few jobs as a youth. Those with college degrees and past work experience will be first among potential applicants called in for interviews.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for 16-19 year old teens is 21.7%, showing an increase of 5.9% in the past year. One out of every six young people under 25 are unemployed reports the Department for Work and Pensions. These are alarming rates for teen unemployment and it doesn't look like it will get any better in the coming months with the national minimum wage limit increasing as well. More employers will be scouting for potential employees that just received a mandatory substantial pay increase to fill positions that teens with less experience had filled in the past. The choices will be selective and precise since the amount of job applicants compared to available positions is incredibly vast.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has allocated $1.2 billion to aid youth ages 14-24 in their employment searches. This funding will be directed towards lower-income and other disadvantaged teens so many will not see the positive effects of this stimulus help. Many teens will be competing fiercely with middle-aged folks whose extensive job histories adorn their resume's and have acquired more experience that hiring committees are going to warmly welcome.

What can you do as a teenager to increase the chances of your applications being actively reviewed from the top of the slush pile rather than tossed in a dumpster never to be seen?

Consider a summer internship or employment program. Internship/employment programs consist of job positions that often pay from nothing at all to a small wage. A smart teen understands that gaining work experience to add to a resume increases their chances of getting the thumbs up on a job application. On-hands training develops self-confidence and teamwork skills that often land the successful search to worthwhile employment.

Ask friends and neighbors to write a reference letter that can be turned in with an application and/or resume. The people that repeatedly hire someone are the one's who are satisfied with the services they have received. A letter of recommendation is always a feather in your cap. Have them include the qualities they see in you and what characteristics they most admired.

Volunteer at a local Y.M.C.A. and gain practical work experience through age-appropriate projects that are designed to help youth discover their greatest potential. Developing critical thinking skills, learning job ethics and being responsible are important assets to possess. Life skill including confidence, motivation, developing a positive self-esteem and learning to well as a team member will give you an advantage over those who have not invested in these vital elements in the work place.

Performing community service acts through local organizations such as the Boys and Girl Scouts, 4-H and church youth events teach humility, service and dependability that will earn you the much anticipated interview. Serving through volunteering has at its very core, the key elements to being satisfied as well as being sought out by others. Many volunteer positions turn into paid employment that yield far more than a healthy self-esteem or a valuable paid check. The inner gratification of knowing you made a difference in someone else's life just because elicits self-satisfaction that cannot be compared to any substantial amount of money earned in a lifetime.

So teens, check out the sites below and begin your new job skills today for a brighter future tomorrow.

For Internships/Employment Programs/Volunteer Opportunities:
Arizona Dream Builder Foundation

Phoenix Workforce Connection

Arizona Call-A-Teen


Girl Scouts Arizona-

Boy Scouts Arizona-

Arizona 4-H Youth Development

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter!!! A Time to Remember - A Time to Reflect - A Time to Be So Thankful

What do we think of when we let the words of 'Easter' gently roll off our lips?
Decorating eggs? Family reunions? The Easter bunny? Perhaps it's just another over-commercialized holiday like so many others.

What should it be?
A day to remember. The day Jesus rose from death after 3 days of a journey like no other man has ever or will ever experience.

A time to reflect. Jesus chose to take upon Himself your sin, my sin, and our children's sin's of the past, the present and the future.

A time to be so thankful. Had Jesus Christ, (the Son of almighty God and Creator of everything) decided not to be punished and whipped for our sins, wearing a crown of thorns and carrying our burdens amongst His entire body, being nailed to the cross and scorned, ridiculed and beaten, what hope would there would have been no hope for you, me, our children or our future generations to receive eternal life.

So what does this mean to you?
I don't know, but it means the world to me.

Today, take a moment to reflect...the be so thankful for the blood Jesus shed for YOU, to know that God loves YOU so much He gave up His one and only Son Jesus for YOU so that if you believe on Jesus Christ died for YOUR sins, you can be saved and have eternal life.

If you realize you are a sinful being in need of a Savior, pray these words from your heart.
"Lord Jesus, I confess my sins to you and ask for Your forgiveness. I repent, turn away from desiring the things in my life not pleasing to You. I believe You sent Your Son Jesus to die for me. I accept Your forgiveness and free gift of salvation. Come into my life and make me new. Give me the strength to let go of past sins, the wisdom to walk in Your path now, hope for a better future and change my heart as I grow closer to You each day. Thank You for saving me. I am now Yours and surrender my life to Your will. Guide me in Your ways and truth, from this day forward.In Jesus name, Amen."

Congratulations! You've just made the most decision of your life!

Wait! It doesn't doesn't stop there!
To help you learn about your new life in Jesus you need to begin reading the Bible. If you don't already have one, email me at and I will send you one, FREE of charge.
To help you grow as a new believer, begin attending a church that supports your belief in Jesus Christ ans Lord and Savior. If you need help finding a church family in your area, email me and I can help get you connected with those on the same journey as you.
To get prayer, receive words of wisdom from those going through similar events as you perhaps, and to deepen your relationship with others in the faith look into home groups that may be offered through your church.

Most of all, enjoy your new found journey of purpose, hope and peace!
Some of my favorite scriptures in the Bible - John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, John 1:9, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Philippians 4:4, Psalms 150:6, Romans 8:28.