Buried in the Sand

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Sometimes the first thought that comes to our minds when we think of something being buried in the sand is a beautiful sunny day, on a beach, with our toes burrowed in warm golden sand.

But, being “buried in the sand” is not always a glorious thing. This picture looks silly and downright ridiculous, and when we burry our heads in the sand to avoid the tough things, regardless of the reasons,  it’s a downright ridiculous thing to do.

Out of sight. Out of mind.

Just because you are not facing it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Evasion.

Just because your avoiding something,  it doesn’t mean it’s going away.

I’ve been neglecting things in my life out of fear,  out of shame,  out of uncertainty,  out of “busyness”, out of regret.  But the neglect made nothing go away;  it made nothing better.

It. Just. Makes. Things. Worse.

I’ve always believed I was a faith filled person,  but I realize if I’d of had faith,  I wouldn’t have felt the need to bury my head in the sand.

Matthew 8:26  keeps ringing in my ears,

“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

When we stand up in faith,  God rebukes the storms in our lives.

It doesn’t matter how bad we feel. How sincere we are. How much thought we give it. If we DO NOTHING then NOTHING HAPPENS.

God does and will act on our behalf, but we have to DO what He tells us to do.

We can’t do anything or hear anything, with our heads buried in the sand.

Maybe you are like me and it’s time for you to rise up in faith and face the mess you’ve made. What you’re facing might look hopeless. Looking up might be scary. The road ahead could possibly hard and humbling, but we are are called to walk by faith and not by sight.

Maybe you’re like me and your faith seems to be in short supply.  Cling to these scriptures and know you’re not alone. You’re not the only person whose made a mess of your life and God is with us, and he will be. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

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Pick up the Mirror

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

It can be so easy to look at the condition of our world and point the finger of blame towards our government leaders and the famous celebrities. We can look upon others we consider to be “worldly” and “sinners” and shake our heads in despair.

We want to see breakthrough in our country, and we believe that if those who were in the spotlight would change the message they are sending, and live with integrity that the state of our world would change.

But this scripture does not say if all the sinners, who do not know Me, will pray and turn from their ways that I will heal their land.

NO.

It says – IF MY PEOPLE who are called by MY NAME.

Too many of us find it easy to point out the faults in others while ignoring the issues and sins that are raging in our own lives. We see what needs to change in others, rather than what we need to change in ourselves.

 

It is time to lay down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror.

 

Do Not Judge

“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?… Matthew 7: 2-4

We, as Christians, as God’s chosen people, need to examine our own lives. We need to take inventory of our own pride, actions, and thoughts.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

We have to humble ourselves. We are better than no one. We are saved by grace, and we are called to show the love of God to others around us, not point our fingers.  Jesus did not come to judge us or condemn us. He came to love and save us.

Something needs to change.

The standards of our culture are sickening. Heartbreaking. But, you and I, we can do something to change it.

We need to rise up, by laying down our pride and humbling ourselves before the Lord. We are promised that if we pray and seek the face of the Lord that He will hear us, that if we will turn away from our sin He will forgive us and heal our Land.

And our land needs to be healed.

Snow Day!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17

No matter how old I get, I still LOVE snow.

There is just something about those tiny, glistening, white snowflakes that get me excited the same way it did when I was a child.

One of my co-workers who just moved here from Florida and who has not seen snow since she was a little girl sent me a text message that read: Everything is all white and pretty. It’s like all nice and brand-new.

Maybe part of the excitement of snow is that it makes everything look brand-new. I love looking out over a field after it has just snowed and is covered with a fresh blanket of flawless beauty.  It makes me think of – New Beginnings. Purity. Possibilities.

As I was reminiscing this morning about my childhood snow-days and how excited I got (and still do) this thought occurred to me: What would happen if people got just as excited about Jesus as they do about snow?

What if people prepared for Jesus coming, the same way they prepare for the threat of possible snow?

Snow can teach us a lot about Jesus. The blood of Jesus makes us new again. It makes us flawless and pure. The blood of Jesus erases our mistakes and brings new beginnings. With Jesus anything is possible. The realization of who Jesus is and what He can do is something to get truly get excited about. Unlike snow that melts away, Jesus is always there to cleanse us, forgive us, and make us new. His love never changes.

I am reminded of a song this morning that says:

I hear the Savior say, Thy strength indeed is small;

Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.

‘Cause Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone,

Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Thank-you Jesus for dying on the cross for me so that I could become spotless. Thank you for forgiving me so that I can experience what it feels like to be free from my past and have a spotless, clean slate as I move forward. Thank you for bearing the weight of my sin so that I can experience peace. Thank you for the snow that reminds me of how great your love is. I praise you, Jesus, for paying my debt and making me as white as snow.

Comfort vs. Trust

God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.– Crazy Love, Francis Chan

God is calling me to take off my comfortable clothes and to fully put my faith and trust in Him. While what He is requiring of me is scary and unfamiliar, I remind myself that God is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. As I walk through this uncharted territory, I rest in the fact that He has gone before me and prepared the way.

For a long time I have dreamed about the day when God’s promises for my life would come to fruition. Now I realize it will take more than dreaming and even hoping. God is asking me to take some steps, that I am sure to many people will seem radical and irresponsible. Although I am uncertain of the details, I am confident that as I trust in Him He will direct my path.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Love Me Some Hymns

Day: Wednesday, October 19th
Time: 9:45pm
Place: A Comfy Couch
Mood:  reminicent and hopeful
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Not long ago on any given afternoon it was quite possible you could find me belting out old hymns while taking a long country drive to no-where  with none other than Lara Williams. We would sing them in our best old-timey operatic voices. We would make up our own verses, take turns being the back-up singer, and in desperate situations we sang them as loudly and as annoyingly as possible to drown out the sound of fighting children.

Today, an old hymn came to mind that really brought me comfort. It is the hymn -Standing on the Promises of God.

Glory in the highest I will shout and sing
I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail.
By the living word of God I shall prevail.
I’m standing on the promises of God.

I’m leaning, leaning Safe and secure from all alarms
I’m leaning; I’m leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms

I particularly love the phrase, “Safe and Secure from all alarms.”

When we stand on God’s promises and rest in His everlasting arms we are safe and secure from all alarms. We are safe from panic and fear.  Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING that is good and from God. He is the master liar and he is a great manipulator.  Satan alarms our hearts, not God. Satan causes us to believe things that are not true, so that he can steal, kill, and destroy the things that mean the most to us.

I have had to learn this truth the hard way. I am learning daily that we cannot go off of our feelings alone. Feelings can betray and deceive us. We have to act on truth and wisdom… aka… the promises of God. I guess it is just as they say “’live and learn””. It stinks awfully badly when the lesson that comes from livin’’ and learnin’’ comes at the cost of heart-ache, but as the song says “”By the living word of God I shall prevail.””

I am learning every day that fear and faith cannot co-exist. Yes, we may have feelings of fear, but fear is just that- a feeling. Faith is more than a feeling – it is trusting, hoping, believing, and acting on God’s promises despite how we feel. God is bigger than a feeling.

Some wise advice I heard recently…… Do you ever wonder why you feel like you can hear Satan all the time and in your head, but you have to strain to hear God?

Well, picture a husband and wife lying on the couch. The husband loves his wife so much that he wants to express to her how great his love is. Does he lean into her and scream in her face “I love you”? Or does he whisper it in her ear?

Satan is like a little dog – all bark and no bite. Satan has no juice to back up this threats and lies, so he has to scream at us. He uses fear and intimidation to keep us from God’s best.
God however is like a big dog. Big dogs don’t waste their time barking back at the little dogs. They just ignore the yapping, because they have the juice to back it up. God doesn’t need to yell at us. He doesn’t need to intimidate us. He loves us and wants us to be in an intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to pursue Him, like we pursue relationships, and when we do we will hear His voice – not as a threatening shout but as a loving whisper. God will do what He promises.

Has something ever happened that left you numb? Someone told you something that made your body tingle? You see something, read something, or hear something and a wave of anxiety rushes over you?

When that happens don’t let your feelings lead your next move. Don’t react based off how you are feeling. Stop. Remember God’s promises. And rest in His arms.  Learn from my mistakes and know it is not wise to make your choices based on fear.

Let’’s start making decisions based on faith not fear. I don’’t know about you, but I would rather have God’s best than let my emotions be the driver and dictator of my life.

*
Just a few of the many promises of God I will cling to:

I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8
I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)
I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2
I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
I am growing (Colossians 2:7)
I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)
I am promised a full life (John 10:10)
I am victorious (I John 5:4)
My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Philippians 4:7)
I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)

Building Trust

Day: Tuesday, September 27th
Time: 4:00pm
Place: In Beautiful Green Country  
Mood: umm…. I don’t know

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Learning to trust people again one step at a time.

For the most part I trust people. But, last night I realized that even though I very much want to trust, deep down I question my ability to do so. 

When friends you thought had your back, talk behind your back you lose a little trust. When a parent promises to do something, but rarely follows through you lose a little trust. When people take advantage of your generosity time-and-time-again you lose a little trust.  When the person who vowed to love and protect you for the rest of your life turns away from you, you lose a little trust.

Trust seems to slip away one person or one event at a time and before we know it, little by little, we start to completely lose trust.

Trust is…
1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope.
3.confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.
4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

I have been asking myself, how am I going to trust again? How am I going to be able to overcome the hurt and pain?

I certainly want to trust and in everyday situations I almost always give the benefit of the doubt. But, when it comes to my heart, I realize that trust does not come so easily anymore. So what can I do about this? As I pondered these questions I was reminded of by previous blog “”BFF”.”
 
Sometimes I forget I have ““friends”” to help me trust. Wisdom, knowledge, common sense, and insight are all on my side.

Lady Wisdom will be your close friend
Brother Knowledge will be your pleasant companion
Good Sense will scout ahead of you for danger
Madame Insight will keep an eye out for you

Together they will keep you from making wrong turns and following bad directions.

I cannot live my life scared of being hurt, or I will miss out on so many opportunities, but at the same time I have to use the tools God gave me to watch out for people and situations that cannot be trusted.

I also have to remember that I only have limited knowledge and understanding of a situation. I see everything from my perspective. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to Trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not to “”trust”” in our own understanding. And if we acknowledge God in everything we do, He will show us where to go.

We cannot always trust other people or our own judgment. We have to use our common sense, insight, wisdom, and knowledge to help us make the decisions, but at the end of the day we have to put our total and complete Trust in God to lead us.

The truth is that people change. You may be able to trust someone one day but not the next.  And on the flip side, just because you could not trust someone yesterday doesn’t mean that you will never be able to trust them.

 BUT…
Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8)

And that is why we can fully put our trust in Him every day. We know He won’t lead us astray or abandon our hearts.

Jeremiah 17:5-9

  This is what the LORD says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
   who draws strength from mere flesh
   and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
   they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
   in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
   whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
   that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.”

I thought this scripture was perfect for the “Uprooted” journey I am on.
🙂

Who Me?

Day: Friday, September 16th
Time: 9:20am
Place: Mom’s house
Mood: refreshed and ready

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Yesterday I had a very candid conversation with my sister while driving home from time spent praying and sorting through my life at the park. I was sharing with her what I yearn to do more than anything.  I told her what fulfills me the most and what I long to do every day. Knowing me I was probably rambling on and talking through the multitude of thoughts that have been on my mind and she just looked at me and matter-of-factly said, “”Erin, you should be a life-coach.””
 
I have thought about it before. I mean I have SEEEERIOUSLY thought about it before, and even had affirmation and confirmation from those who know me best, but I have felt unqualified.  I have had a “”Who ME?”” attitude. But this morning as I research life coaching and as I am praying for direction it brings me back to my purpose in life.

My Mission
God gave me to the world to:
Globally equip and inspire women of all ages and from all walks of life
by teaching them who they are*
and by exhorting them to fulfill the purpose for which they were created,
so that they may experience a fulfilled life.
 
An Uncovered Purpose =A Fulfilled Life = A Beautiful Life

* You have to know who you are {in Christ}, before you know what to do {your purpose}

Although the term “”life coach”” has sounded intimidating to me, if I were honest with myself I would have to admit that I have already been a life coach to many of my friends and family. There are ladies who come to me for advice, that trust my opinions and who feel comfortable opening up and sharing their fears, dreams, past, and desires with me. When I do not have the time to invest into these relationships, as I feel called to do…… my heart breaks.  My life feels unbalanced. I feel unfulfilled.

Is life-coaching intimidating to me? YES! And I know that is a GOOD thing.

Because…

If the size of your dream isn’t intimidating to YOU, it is probably intimidating to God.
-Pastor Steven Furtick

(yes, I like that quote – in case you were wondering.)
It is time to stop letting fears and doubts hold me back.

From now on, instead of saying “”Who Me?””
I am going to say “”Yes Me!””

I am going to start taking steps to reach this goal and I know that God will open the right doors at the right time and it will come to fruition.

If doubts start to creep in I am going to remember that God is sufficient and that His truths will carry me through!!

I say : “It’s impossible.”
God says : “All things are possible.” (Luke 18:27) 

I say : “I can’t do it.”
God says : “You can do all things.” (Philippians 4:13) 

I say : “I’m not able.”
God says : “I am able.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

I say:  “It’s not worth it.”
God says : “It will be worth it” (Roman 8:28) 

I say : “I can’t manage.”
God says : “I will supply all your needs.” (Philippians 4:19)

I say : “I’m afraid.”
God says : “I have not given you a spirit of fear.” (2 Timothy 1:7) 
 
I say:  “I’m not smart enough.”
GOD SAYS: I give you wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:30)