Wednesday, September 27, 2017

42 Years

42 Years. We celebrated last night and reminisced. We both agreed our greatest accomplishment was our four children. We're so proud of them--and glad they're awesome adults in spite of our many blunders and mistakes. 

Andy's biggest regret: that he wasn't bolder and more confident early on. He said he was proudest of me for truly partnering with him in ministry. 

My biggest regret: that I didn't understand, focus on, and partner with our strengths earlier. I am proudest of Andy for the amazing way he connects with people and invests in them. 

But we both agreed that our regrets mean nothing--knowing it was all part of the process of growth!  It's been so fun to look back and see God's hand guiding us to where we are today!  (And we BOTH agreed that this has gone WAY faster than we ever thought possible!!!!)

Happy 42nd Anniversary, Babe!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Principle of Exchange

What do you think of when I say, "Hershey's Kiss?"  Do you see silver foil twisted around a cone-shape with a little white banner flying out of the top? Do you see pure milk chocolate in the same shape? Does it look mouth-watering?  Can you just taste the smoothness of that perfect chocolate as it slowly begins to melt in your mouth?  

Now...quit thinking about the Hershey's Kiss. Stop!  Don't think about the twisted foil. Don't look at the Hershey's banner flying out of the top.  Stop!!  Quit imagining the sweet chocolate. STOP!!!!

Once your mind has been filled with a thought, it's almost impossible to quit thinking about it. But God told us to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."  It's up to us!!!  We can't just pray those thoughts away--God told US to do it!!  How??

I did this exercise with our youth recently. It's almost impossible to just quit thinking on something Satan plants in our mind.  This is where temptation starts. And just so you know...the first thought isn't's a temptation TO sin!  It becomes a sin when we entertain that thought and act on it. I picture a "thought" entering my mind and me setting a table with my very best china and sitting down and hosting a dinner. I've done my best to make it feel welcome. So it must be stopped before we entertain it. EXCHANGE IT!!!

Think about a juicy, crisp apple. It's gloriously red on the outside with soft, little green stripes running through it. When you cut it open, it has light green flesh with droplets of juice sitting on top. You bite into it and it has a sweetness with a hint of tartness which hits your glands as you munch on the crisp apple. 

As you thought on the apple, you quit thinking about the Hershey's Kiss. You had to exchange that thought to create a new one. It's the same with temptation.  It's hard to just quit thinking on a sinful thought. You have to exchange it. When a temptation enters my mind, I say, "NO!" out loud!  (Satan can't read your mind even though he can put thoughts in your mind!)  By doing that, I've captured that thought and taken it hostage. And then I have to exchange it with a new thought. I read or quote the Bible. I sing or listen to praise music. I speak TRUTH and remind myself of that truth. But I must exchange thoughts.  This is something God has given US to do!!  We're to be the gatekeepers of our own minds. 

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."  Romans 12:2

"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."  II Corinthians 10:5

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Fear is powerful!  Satan wants us to imagine the very worst--because he knows that we'll act on what we're thinking. (Proverbs 23:7)  If we're imagining the worst case scenario, our minds will provide the roadmap to get there. 

I read through Genesis this morning and wrote down 122 fears I saw in that book alone!  Out of those 122 fears, I could categorize most of them into the following 14.

•Rejection/ Comparison
•God/God's people
•Unfulfilled Promises
•The Unknown

I'm not saying this is a comprehensive list!  But imagine Satan feeding you even one of these fears (and yes, we can fear good things!) and you taking the bait and following it to its natural conclusion. God never wanted you living in fear!!  In fact, He told us that "fear is not from God and that perfect love casts out fear!"  (I John 4:18)  What is that perfect love?  God's love!!  The more we get to know God, the more we'll trust Him. And the more we trust Him, the less we'll fear!  God hasn't given us the spirit of fear (it IS a spirit!), but of power, love, and a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)  

How do we overcome fear?  First of all, you have to recognize it. Fear should be a red light for us!  God doesn't make us fear...Satan does!!  He's our accuser. So since it's not from God, we know we should take that thought captive and make it obey Jesus!  (II Corinthians 10:5)  Throw it away if it's fear. What do we replace it with?  Love. Understanding and knowing how much God loves us. Think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, etc. (Philippians 4:8)  LISTEN to God's voice as he speaks to your heart. 

We all fear time-to-time. But you don't have to live in fear. And you certainly don't have to allow fear to lead you to its ultimate end--destruction!  Fear can be debilitating and keep you from fulfilling your full potential and your God-given purpose. God has given you the way to abundant life.  It's up to you to control the thoughts you allow into your mind. Take your thoughts hostage!!

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Friday, September 8, 2017

Intensity & Frequency

Have you felt things becoming more intense and more frequent?  I have. It's like I can't catch my breath in between events. The birth pains are coming closer together. No wonder we can't rest!!  Years ago, I was watching a seismograph as a meteorologist explained El Niño--and it hit me!!  It looked exactly like the heartbeat of a baby during delivery. El Niño means baby boy. Last night, someone asked me, "What happens before a baby is born?  The mom's water breaks!"  Could the hurricanes be a picture of that in the natural?  This morning, there was an 8.0 earthquake off the coast of Mexico. The labor pains are closer. 
I Thess. 5:3 says that in the last days, people will be crying 'peace and safety' and sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. Did you know the U.N. has declared a Day of Peace on September 21 (the middle of Rosh Hashanah-Feast of Trumpets)?  And the theme is, "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, & Dignity for All."  And we can't dismiss the terrorization of Kim Jong-un as he tests nuclear bombs. That's not safe.
Many believe Jesus will return during Rosh Hashana--it's the next feast on the Jewish calendar for a major event to take place. (September 20-22 this year)  Plus it says Jesus will return with a shout of the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. 
These could all be coincidences...or it may be that God wants us watching the signs and looking up!  Either way, the time is closer.
There will be those who laugh, saying,  "nothing's changed and people have been saying 'Jesus was coming' for thousands of years"--but that's just another sign fulfilling II Peter 3:3-7. 
I've been watching the skies myself.