Category Archives: Tough Times

Tradition or Truth? You decide.

Friday was supposed to be one of the worst days of my life.  That’s what I expected it to be.  And I was actually ok with it.  I was ok with experiencing pain.  I was ok with crying tears.  I was ok with goodbyes that wrenched my heart.  I was ok because I knew God was with me.  He would hold me up.

But let me just tell you: God blew the shutters off my house.  Yes.  If Friday was like a house and the shutters on the house were my expectations of what that day would be — then He blew the shutters right of that house.  Friday wasn’t the worst day of my life or my week or my year.  No, it was one of the best days of my life.

Friday was my last day at a job that I loved.  I was let go.  But God didn’t let me go.  He never has.  He never will.

In the face of financial uncertainty, in the face of having no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do next, I trusted Him.  And He was faithful.  No, He was more than faithful.  I expected Him to comfort me.  I expected Him to strengthen my heavy heart.  I expected Him to dry my tears.  What I didn’t expect Him to do was to open a door to a new job the very same day that is 100 times beyond what I was asking Him for.

All the while, people have been saying things to me like, “Well, we know God is in control.  The job market is in shambles right now.  I, myself, was unemployed for 14 months.  But God is faithful.”  Now, don’t get me wrong — I understand that the intention behind such a statement is to encourage me that God will never leave me.  But such a statement paints God out to be more like an invisible friend that just stands next to you when times are tough — rather than the One who spoke the vast universe  into existence, who placed millions of stars in the sky, who placed the waters in the ocean and set boundaries for those oceans so that they could go no further, who knit you and I together in our mother’s womb, who planned out our entire lives before one of them came to pass.

For some of these people, I understand that God is treated and expected to behave like an invisible friend.  And for some people, they believe that because of complete ignorance — they just don’t know any better.  For others, that’s who they want God to be.  Either way, our false beliefs and misunderstandings have rendered Him powerless.

Will you come with me to God’s Word?  In Matthew 15, the Pharisees came to point the finger at Jesus.

Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (verses 2-3)

The Pharisees couldn’t understand why Jesus wasn’t doing things in the same way that the elders had done things in the past.  Jesus answered by saying this:

“For the sake of your traditions you have rendered God powerless.” (verse 6)

And it’s no different today.  People look to the news or the stock market or their past experience or their neighbor or their own fears for direction in a storm.  It’s no wonder they get stuck there.  People today are relying on tradition.  Every time I turn on the news and listen to reports about the economy, I hear them take me on a journey back to the Great Depression.  I hear them talk about how bad it was then and how long it took to get out of it, and how we can look to that experience to get us out of this one.  What is tradition?  It’s the way things have been done in the past.

Now, I’m not saying all tradition is bad.  But what is bad is trusting in tradition (the ways things have been in the past) instead of trusting in God and what His Word says.  If I were to trust in the traditions of others — what happened for them in the past, I’m certain I’d be unemployed — and for who knows how long.

I’m God’s daughter.  I’m not subject to the economy, the bad job market, the bad experiences of others.  I’m subject to Him and His Word.  Let’s review that what Jesus said in Matthew 15: “Any why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?”  In other words, why do you look away from what God is saying and focus on the way things have been done in the past?

Let’s get back to God’s Word.  What has He promised you?  Whatever your situation is, find out what He’s promised you concerning that situation, then stand on it until it comes to pass.

God’s Word doesn’t return void.  (Isaiah 55:11)

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Filed under Economy, God's Promises, Tough Times

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

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

Today I Lost My Job

Today I experienced something that I’ve never experienced before. I was laid off from my job. How ironic that I posted the following blurb in my last post before I left for work this morning:

People at your job may be being laid off right and left. But you need to stand on the promises God’s given you, knowing that even though “a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, [that no such thing will] come near you.”

And I admit, it’s good advice. But what if you’ve already been laid off? What if you’re like me? Well, first of all, if you have been laid off, I’m sorry. I am so sorry. But not so sorry that I’m going to let either of us stay in this mess. God has not abandoned us. He hasn’t left us. We’re going to stand on His Word. We aren’t going to stand on our confusion or our worries or fears of questions. None of those things will get us out of this mess we’re in.

Let’s journey to Romans 4:17-18 where we read about Abraham and how he held on to what God said.

We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

Let’s do as Abraham did. Even though everything may look hopeless in the natural, we’re going to believe God anyway. And because we’re going to be coming in agreement with God, like Abraham, we’re going to receive exactly what God’s promised us. God’s has a mighty calling on your life. And we aren’t going to settle for some dead-end, low pay, miserable job — just so we can “have a job”. Of course you need a job. We both do. But let’s not scrape by with the bare minimum. Let’s believe for ALL God has for us. Let’s believe God to move us into a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity where we can use the giftings He’s given us and be radically blessed financially at the same time.

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Filed under God's Promises, Tough Times