Category Archives: Change

You’ve Outgrown the Land

I have good news today.  We aren’t talking politics.  Not on this blog anyway.  Trust me — no one is more relieved than me.

Today I have to say goodbye.  To a lot of people.  A lot of people that I’ve really come to love.  Today is that last day of my job.

Yes, change can be good and bad.  I don’t enjoy either kind.  Change is hard for me.  I like routine.  I like security.  I like comfort.

Nevertheless, I’ve been dreading today.  Ever since I got home from work yesterday, I’ve been pretty hum glum (is that a word?  no, I think I just made it up.)  Every since I found out last Tuesday that I would be losing my job, I’ve been really strong.  People have asked me how I feel and I always give a honestly optimistic reply.  I haven’t felt one ounce of fear.  I know God has my back.  But now it’s getting really close.  And though I’m not exactly fearful, I am starting to wonder — what am I going to do now? And goodbyes.  Oh, I hate goodbyes.  It’s the worst part of this whole deal.

But listen up here!  I’m not writing this blog to complain to you.  You don’t need my complaining.  I’m writing this blog because God just grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me squarely in the face and said: “Look up, Michelle.  Don’t look down.  I’m getting ready to move.”

And then He told me to go look up Abraham and Lot.  So I did.

Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together.  And quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.

So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.  Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”  –Genesis 13:5-9

So they parted ways.  Lot chooses the good, lush, beautiful land.  And what does Abraham get?  What’s leftover.  The Bible doesn’t illustrate how Abraham (then Abram) responded.  But I have my guesses.  I think he was disappointed.  I think he got the short end of the stick and knew it.  I think he was tempted to second-guess his decision to let Lot be the one to choose which land he wanted.  But I also think he felt great satisfaction in knowing that he did what God told him to do.

The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.  All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.  Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” Genesis 13:14-17

I didn’t understand why God was having me read this passage until I got to that part.  I feel like Abraham must have felt — before God gave him that promise.  I feel like I’ve been living in the “leftovers”.  This job that I’m leaving — it wasn’t my dream job.  In fact, there were so many days that I cried for God to release me from it.  There were days when I felt so hidden and so obscure and so useless there.  It took being filled up with God every single day in order to not give up, to not throw in the towel.  All the while, I could see Lot — over there in perfect lushness, enjoying paradise.  And I’d think to myself, “Did I do the right thing?  I felt like it was right at the time.  I feel like I’m obeying God.  But I don’t see any manifestation of what He’s promised me.  And look, there’s Lot over there — living a charmed life.  Why didn’t I choose the good land and give him what’s left?  He’s just my nephew.”

Yeah, I’ve been there alright.  I’ve waited and I’ve waited.  I’ve stuck it out when I couldn’t stand it, when I hated it.  Even on the days when the promise wasn’t as clear, I stayed.  It was hard.  And a few months ago, things started to change.  I was called out of obscurity.  I began to operate in a gifting I never even knew I had.  And before my very eyes, the leftovers started to look a little like the lush green valley that  I surrendered to Lot.  Things were getting good.  I didn’t have to squint and dig for His promise.  Before long, I was skating through days and weeks with complete ease.  I enjoyed where I was at.

And then it happened.  I lost my job.  Now I feel like Abraham must have felt when he had to part ways with Lot.  Yes, I know my story doesn’t go in the same order that Abraham’s does, but stick with me.  I feel like God is saying, “You’ve grown too large for the land.  You can’t stay with Lot.  The land can’t hold you both.”

And so… Lot and I must part ways.  Do you know what Lot means?  I heard it means “veil”.  Abraham didn’t receive God’s promise until the veil (Lot) was torn away.  And I think that’s where I’m at right now.  I’m at the point of leaving behind what was really familiar and easy for me.  Because that familiarity — it can’t hold me anymore.  I’ve outgrown it.

And so, again, I wait.  I wait for him to speak the promise like He did to Abraham.  I wait for Him to give me new land — land that can support everything He’s put in me.  Land that won’t constrict me or tie me down or smother me.

And my eyes become misty when I think of Him saying to me what He said to Abraham: “Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”  Such a promise scares me and fills me with wonder.  Am I ready?  I don’t feel ready.  Am I ready God?

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Filed under Change, God's Promises

Return to the LORD.

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD.  And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King.   As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.  Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”  1 Samuel 7:6-9

We have asked God for a king — and a king He has given us.

I am really hesitant to say what I’m about to say.  But for those who have ears to hear, hear what I’m about to say — and take it immediately to God.  If it lines up with your spirit, ask God for wisdom and direction.  And if not, please feel free to reject it.  I am certainly not saying “thus says the LORD”… I am simply saying what is and has been weighing heavily on my heart.

I have really gotten into politics this year.  No matter which side you’re from, you know that there was a lot hinged on this election.  Morally, more than anything.  And a few weeks ago, I was especially stirred up.  There are certain issues that I disagreed with Senator Obama on, but they were issues I could overlook (healthcare, his economic agenda).  Abortion was not one of those areas.  I could not overlook it.  50 million lives.  They cannot be justified in any way, shape or form.  So, I decided to speak up.  And several of you wordpressers with liberal views received a visit from me on your blog.  And though I tried to be polite, I wasn’t one bit compassionate towards your views.  I told you a thing or two.  And I’m certain you didn’t like it.  You told me so.  And after many exciting exchanges between us, God spoke to me one morning while I was driving to work.

He said, “What are you doing?”  And I confidently replied, “I’m helping these people to see the truth.”  He replied, “I know.  Stop.

The next few minutes of my drive to work were mostly silent.  I felt a heaviness rest on my heart.  He didn’t say anything yet, but I could feel it – a sadness for this country.  So much so, that tears started forming in my eyes.   Finally, I couldn’t resist asking: “It’s going to get bad, isn’t it?”  He nodded.  The heaviness became more weighty and I could feel that dreadful lump forming in my throat.  I wanted to bawl — not just for myself, but for my country, your country, our country.  I could tell He was sad too — infinitely more than I was.

One week later, I lost my job.  And through it all, I remained pretty well composed —  I had no fear and still have no fear about it.  I know that losing my job wasn’t what He was preparing  me for.  It’s something yet to come.

Times are going to change.  America has been so great and so strong for decades, but we have turned against Him.  If you have known me, or even read this blog, for any length of time, you know that I am extremely optimistic — even to a fault (if there is one).  I believe that God is good 100% of the time and that He always causes us to walk in triumph (that’s what His Word says).  I have not once, that I can remember, ever prophesied gloom and doom over anything or anyone.  My mindset is: Mercy triumphs over judgment.  And I still hold to all of these things.  But I cannot shake off this heaviness.  I cannot rid my mind of what He told me.  And I actually don’t think that things changing will be solely a result of Barack Obama being our president-elect; though I do think he will intensify things.  Barack Obama is going to be my President; I respect him and have already started to pray for him.  I wish no ill-will towards him personally or any of his family — or his presidency, in general.  But I do think he is going to make decisions that will open our country up to attack from the enemy.

So…. what do we do?  I feel God nudging me to do the following:

  • Get your house in order.  In other words, be wise.  Especially financially.  Get things in order.  Be ready for anything.  Really, we should always live like this.  But if you never have before, now is a really good time to start.
  • Pray.  Pray without ceasing.  Pray for our country.  Pray for our President.  Pray for loved ones — especially for those who do know Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior.
  • Come back to your first love, Jesus.  If you’ve gone astray and your heart has chased after other lovers, now is the time to repent and come back to Him.  Forsake all other distractions and get back to Him.  Don’t wait.  Don’t hesitate.  Do it quickly.  Make Him your refuge.  Know His promises.  Get to a place with Him where you know that you could be entirely sufficient in Him and Him alone.

That’s it.  That’s all I have to say.  And may I just say: This is not the blog I wanted to write tonight?  I wanted to come on here and say: “The election is over.  Let’s pray for Barack Obama, but I’m tired of talking about it… so let’s not.”  I wanted to write of intimacy with God, of His promises, of going deeper in His heart, falling more in love with Him.  I wanted to write about anything that didn’t have anything at all to do with the election or politics.  But instead, I felt strongly that I should write this.  Again, please do NOT, in anyway, take this as a “thus says the LORD”.  Ask Him for yourself.  If He doesn’t say this to you, first double-check and make sure you’re listening, and when you do, if He still doesn’t say anything about this… dismiss it.  Really.  I’m not God.  Neither am I a prophet.  I didn’t hear God’s audible voice.  The heaven’s didn’t open.  I didn’t see 10 visions that were confirmed by 12 people that also had 10 visions.  I’m just a girl that felt God speak to her.  Nevertheless, draw close to God.  Do not delay.  The time is short.  Seek God while He may be found. His arms are outstretched for you. He loves you. In Him, we never need to have fear – even in times like this.  He will never leave us.  He will never forsake us.  In Him, you are protected.  You are safe.  Make Him your refuge.

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Filed under Change, Politics and God, Tough Times

Use Your Vote to Save Lives

Life footprint

What Science says about life…..

Day 1: Of the 200,000,000 sperm that try to penetrate the mother’s egg cell, only one succeeds. At that very moment, a new and unique individual is formed. All of the inherited features of this new person are already set – whether it’s a boy or girl, the color of the eyes, the color of the hair, the dimples of the cheeks and the cleft of the chin. He or she is smaller than a grain of sugar, but the instructions are present for all that this person will ever become. The first cell soon divides in two. Each of these new cells divides again and again as they travel toward the womb in search of a protected place to grow.

What God’s Word says about life…..

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

So whether you look at it from a worldly/scientific standpoint or from a moral/religious standpoint, the facts are the same: Life begins at conception.

All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be? Do you realize how many lives were entirely planned out that never got to be lived? 50 million.

Enough is enough. Vote for life. Vote to end abortion.

baby-and-flag-1a

——–

Sources: Psalm 139, www.abortionfacts.com

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Filed under Change, Politics and God

I’m voting for Jesus

Tomorrow is it.  Tomorrow will determine who will lead this country — and in which direction we’ll go.

I’m ready for it be over.  I’ve prayed.  I’ve researched.  I’ve prayed.  I’ve debated.  I’ve argued.  I’ve prayed.  I’ve done what I could to stand up for my personal convictions.  Now, I’m ready to see God move.

I’m tired of division.  I’m tired of arguing.  I don’t care who you are and what you believe and how much you disagree with my views.  I’m ready to love you.  For better or for worse.  This is America.  And neither of us want to see everything we’ve fought for go down the drain.

You know who I’m voting for this election? Jesus.  I want His righteousness and justice to reign in this country again.

Yes, I pray for a lot of things, but that’s what I really want.  Of course we want a President who’s going to protect our country.  But the strength and wisdom of a man will always fail.  Only God can defend us against our foes – for they are many.  Only God can bring our economy out of shambles.  He’s the One that can give us creative insight, new inventions, supernatural wisdom.  That’s what we need.  As much as I support our troops, risking their lives, fighting with such bravery in courage over there in Iraq — they cannot defeat terrorism.  They cannot scatter our enemies.  But God can.  That’s Who needs to reign in this country.  No man or woman can solve the problems we are facing.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.   –Isaiah 9:7

Regardless of the outcome of this election, will you commit with me to hand this great country back over to the One who established America as the country we love?  Will you commit with me to pray for our President?  Will you grit your teeth and lay down your precious opinions (trust me, I know how hard it is) to come together and unite?

The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.

Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

Fire goes before him
and consumes His foes on every side.

His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples will see His glory.     –Psalm 97

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Filed under Change, Economy, Politics and God, Tough Times

Letter to an Undecided Voter

Dear Fellow American,

This is the most important election you have ever voted in.  There are a lot of issues on the table.  The economy.  The war.  Taxes.  Should they be lowered or should they stay the same?  Wealth.  Should it continue to be a reward for hard work, education, perseverance and determination?  Or should we spread it around?

Those are good questions.  Perhaps they’re the questions that have prevented you from making a decision.  Whatever the case, I’m going to pose a question for you right now that’s going to take the “un” off of the decision that you need to make.  A question for which there is no gray area.  A question that will catapult you on one side of the fence or the other.

Which is more important to you: life or your wallet?

Yes, that is the real question at stake in this election.  But let’s be fair.  Let’s look at both sides of the coin.  When I voted, I didn’t know what all of the Amendments and Referendums meant — so I researched them.  I researched the pros and the cons for each one and then I made my decision.

Argument from those in favor of voting for their wallet:

  • Senator Obama promises tax cuts for 95% of Americans.  Cutting taxes will reduce the financial strain on working families, families facing foreclosure, families who have a parent who has lost a job.
  • One of the greatest burdens on American families is a stack of medical bills incurred from a family member with a major illness.  Senator Obama promises healthcare for all Americans, whereas right now, certain families are uninsurable.
  • Senator Obama promises to place a greater tax on the rich, taking a portion of their money to account for others who are unable to even put food on the table.

Argument from those in favor of voting for the protection of life:

  • Senator McCain believes that life begins at conception.

    Of the 200,000,000 sperm that try to penetrate the mother’s egg cell, only one succeeds. At that very moment, a new and unique individual is formed. All of the inherited features of this new person are already set – whether it’s a boy or girl, the color of the eyes, the color of the hair, the dimples of the cheeks and the cleft of the chin. He or she is smaller than a grain of sugar, but the instructions are present for all that this person will ever become. The first cell soon divides in two. Each of these new cells divides again and again as they travel toward the womb in search of a protected place to grow.

  • In the United States it is legal to abort a baby up until the day of birth.  In the next presidential term, at least two to three Supreme Court Justices will retire and new justices will be appointed by the President.  Senator McCain plans to appoint justices that are Pro-Life, in hopes that Roe vs. Wade, a law that has cost 50 million lives, will finally be overturned.
  • In a Partial Birth Abortion (D and X procedure) babies are “partially aborted” so the head is still in the cervix but the body is out. While in this position the live baby is still considered a “non-human” and has no protection under the law. The live baby’s brains are sucked out after being crushed by blunt instruments. Organs are harvested and sold to “researchers”. The baby receives no anesthesia and is alive until killed by the doctor.  Senator Obama supports laws that would revoke a baby’s rights, in the case that he or she is accidentally born during a partial birth abortion, allowing that baby to still be put to death.  The list of laws that Senator Obama supports that promote the aborting of innocent lives is endless.  He plans to make abortions easier and to use government funding to back them.
  • Every day in America over 3,000 babies die painful deaths by suction abortion, dismemberment, being torn limb from limb, prostaglandin hormones and now by being brutally killed seconds before delivery.
  • Since Roe vs. Wade, nearly 50 million babies have been aborted.  If Senator Obama becomes President, he will elect pro-abortion Supreme Court Justices, which will increase that number.
  • Nearly all abortions are done for reasons of convenience, not for any medical or physical reason.

What’s more important?  95% of Americans receiving a tax break — or 50 millions lives, defenseless lives, voiceless lives, lives that are planned from the moment of conception being spared from murder?  But I just lost my job.  What’s John McCain going to do about that, you ask.  I just lost my job too.  Why?  Because of the bad economy.  But I would give a lot more than a job, my wallet, the plummeting of my bank account to ensure that tomorrow, 3,000 tiny little lives don’t have to aborted (brutally killed).

Each and every one of us will stand before God on judgment day to give an account of every decision — good or bad — that we have ever made.  In America, we are blessed to have a political voice.  On November 4th, your vote will either be for or against the ending of abortion.

What’s more important — precious lives or your wallet?  As I said, there is no gray area in this question.  There is no maybe.  There is no undecided.  Ignorance may be bliss, but you are no longer ignorant.  You know the facts.  You know what’s at stake.  So what’s it going to be?

Sincerely,

A Fellow American

Abortion facts compiled from: www.abortionfacts.com

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Filed under Change, Politics and God, The Sword

Change

It’s my beloved enemy. I always resist it. I always fight it. And, when I realize that the only way to true victory is to relent to it, I eventually sit down and surrender. Eventually. Even then though, I sit there with gritted teeth. I reach out to it with one hand and push it away with the other. I reach out to everything He’s promised me, while at the same time, squinting my eyes and covering my face, trying to shield the pain and discomfort that I know will come too. As the discomfort closes in around me, I pull my knees to my chest and wrap my arms around them, burying my head on top of them. I think and dream about running back to my comfort. I know I can’t, so I don’t even bother. I sigh. I wait. I grit my teeth. And I remember this: what kills you will only make you stronger. It’s not something I tell myself. It’s an attitude I have. I look at the discomfort like a foe in battle. I can either learn to live with it, despising it the rest of my life — or, I can conquer it. Discomfort is now my enemy. The change He’s promised me is my destination, my prize, and the reason I fight.

I pull out the sword He’s given me. I look down at it and can see my image reflecting back at me. It’s still shiny. My heart sinks. It’s spent far too long hanging over the fireplace and not enough piercing into the heart of my enemy. I shake my head. Today is the day, a new day, God’s day. I won’t look any longer on the regrets of my past. I mount my horse. I look into the storm. Lightening strikes on the ground in front of me. Thunder booms so loud that my eardrums shake. Cold, frigid rain thrusts down onto my head. I can’t see my destination. It’s on the other side of the hill. I can’t see the hill, but I know if I keep riding, I will inevitably reach it. I look back. I can see clearly the land I came from. It is a small land, with a small, tattered looking house in the midst of desolation. But it’s close. And if I turn back now, I know I won’t even be threatened or challenged. I’ll be welcomed.

Tears well up my eyes. I want victory, but I also want to turn back. And it’d be much easier. There would be no fight. I turn my horse around and walk closer to the safety behind me. My heart is beating faster. This is it. I must decide. I turn my head and look into the storm. The further I look, the more threatening and angry the storm appears. I know the hill is out there somewhere in that darkness. I know there’s something on the other side of the hill, but I don’t know what it looks like. Will I be welcomed? Maybe not. I turn my head and inch closer to safety. It may not be amazing, but it’s predictable. No one would fight me. In fact, they want me to come back. My heart beats faster. I know He’d forgive me. I look down at my shiny sword and see my face again, scared, frightened, completely uncertain. Yeah, He’d forgive me. But would I forgive me? Would I ever be able to live, knowing that the Promised Land was one fight away?

I look up at the dark sky and rain pelts my face. It hurts like the slap of sand in a sand storm. Who am I? Am I a coward or a warrior? I’m a coward. He says I’m a warrior. I look back again. Safety. Security. Comfort. Predictability. If I go back, I will be outwardly happy. But inwardly, I will always feel and see and know the coward who lives inside of me. I look back at the storm. If I go, I must fight. Cowards don’t fight. Warriors fight. And that’s who I’ll be. If I get to that hill, it’s only because I’ve defeated the discomfort that fought me and assaulted me and kicked me and tried to kill me all the way there. Lightening strikes feet away and the thunder that follows resounds for what feels like a short eternity. I’ve had enough of this. The rain turns to hail and pelts me harder, piercing into my skin, most likely leaving bruises everywhere it lands. I scream and yell. Anger rises up inside of me. I pull my sword out and hoist it in the air. I dig my heels into the horse’s sides and it reacts. He starts to run. I dig my heels in again and he runs faster. The wind has shifted and now the hail is not pelting me from above, it’s pelting me onwardly in the face. I keep going. I’m too angry to stop.

The storm gets worse. The lightening is more frequent and closer. The thunder is louder. But I no longer notice the discomfort. I’m fighting to win. And if necessary, I will fight to the death. I will get to that hill. I will not be defeated. The hail is still falling, I can see it, but I can’t feel it. The lightening must still be striking, because I can see it’s light. The thunder is booming, I can feel it’s vibration, but I cannot hear it. I’m still fighting, but I’ve already won. Where is my prize? It’s there. I know it is.

I keep riding. The horse slows down and we begin to move upward. It is completely dark, but I know we’re ascending because I have to lean forward to stay on. We slide backwards, entrenched in the mud, and then we gain momentum and move further up the mound. We get stuck and I fall off. I claw and scratch and my horse frees himself and runs ahead of me. I call his name, but he doesn’t come back. I reach for my sword and drive it in the ground as hard as I can. Then I use it to hoist me out. I get out but have to keep moving before I sink again. There’s no chance to rescue my sword. If I go back for it, I’d take the risk of never getting out of the mud. My heart sinks. I was finally using it. It was just starting to get dirty from battle. But I can’t look back. I keep going. I keep clawing. The land flattens out. I am no longer clawing to keep from sliding backwards. I’ve reached the top of the hill. I’m there. I’m there.

I lift my head. I lift my eyes. The darkness is gone. The cold is gone. The mud is gone. The thunder and lightening have ceased. The fight is over. I am there. And before me, He stands. I can feel His love and joy crashing from His heart to mine and over all of who I am. He knew I’d come. I can see it in His eyes. He’s not surprised in the least. But He is inexpressibly full of delight. He’s holding something in His hands. I strain my eyes to see what it is. He reaches His hands forward to give me something. It’s my sword. It’s dirty. It’s caked with mud and blood from the battle. I smile. That thing was never meant to by shiny. Good job, He says. He’s so proud of me. I run into His arms and He catches me, lifting me high into the air and spinning me around. He pulls me close and I have never felt so alive. This is it, He whispers in my ear. I hug Him tighter. What if I had gone back? Tears well up in my eyes. I haven’t seen where I’m at. I don’t need to. I’ve seen Him. He was what I was searching for. He is the prize.

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