A Temporary Techie

Photo Credit 123RF.com

Photo Credit 123RF.com

God performed yet another miracle today: Annie hooked up (moved) her computer by herself!!!!

I am amazed right now. To truly appreciate this, you really would have to know me…but if you’ve been following this blog, you probably can surmise enough by now to know that I STINK at technical stuff.

Yes, I’m the woman who runs and hides on Christmas morning. If it’s time to follow step-by-step instruction manuals, I’m outta there. It’s really for everyone’s good, not just my own. I can be utterly dangerous.

Mostly I am a danger to others due to the fact that if I even try to get it into my head that I can put something together, then my expectations change, and I end up STILL not being able to do it.

Houston: We have impending Annie meltdown coming. Better take cover.

By now (46 years old), I have realized this is a weakness, to say the least. It always has been a weakness, and chances are, it will always be so. I no longer have the hope that I will ever be technically savvy, and feel blessed to just sit where I am and rely upon others who are strong in this area to help me out a bit. Besides, I need to work on surrender, as we all know, and this helps me out with that little endeavor!

It’s okay. I have other gifts. And I’m not afraid to use ’em.

One of the blessings God has bestowed upon me is that I am pretty aware of my many, many weaknesses. In the face of that, He also gave me the ability to see the gifts and strengths of others pretty quickly after getting to know them. This serves many wonderful purposes in life, particularly allowing me to edify others in ways that are truly valued by them.

But it also helps Annie. Yay! Double Awesome-ness!

Yes, I surround myself with tech-savvy people – they seem to just come my way – and for that, I am ever-so-grateful. I need them B.A.D.L.Y.

But today, I had to move our entire desktop computer upstairs and no one was around to help me. Normally, I would wait until husband came home, but I prayed, and the Lord delivered. Because another strength of mine (or is it a weakness?) is I am a “let’s get this done kinda gal!” (i.e. Impatient)

The worst part of it all was untangling the STUPID CORDS!!! Then the next bad part was remembering where everything went.

Are you kidding right now? Am I even going to attempt this?

I tell you now – God intervened, friends.

When I got it all done – (with the cords now tied in nice and organized knots so they don’t get tangled, by the way), I ventured into the abyss ~ that moment of expectation was looming right in front of me. Yes, we had a very real likelihood that I might meltdown if things didn’t turn on and work properly when I flipped the switch.

I tried to tell myself I would be okay with it if things didn’t work out – I said a little prayer. But I knew better – I knew that I now had the hope and expectation that this time – yes, this time, it would actually work out.

Guess what? It DID work!

I did it, friends! I actually moved and re-hooked up the whole computer and all it’s gadgets (except for the speakers – too, too many cords, yo) and it WORKED.

I am typing on it right now – of course, you already know that – ha ha.

However, there was one minor little glitch. After all of the painstaking effort to move everything up, chart where stuff needed to be plugged back in, untangle and organize my cords, clean stuff and then muster up the courage to turn it on – after ALL  of that – I had that momentary “thank you, God” second of joy and bliss that He enabled me to do such a thing, and then my mouse wouldn’t work.


It took me 15 minutes to figure out why. My wireless mouse was upside down. And the cursor was just in all the wrong places.

God performs all kinds of miracles every day, dear friends, not the least of which is to give someone like me a moment to be able to temporarily (this I KNOW) overcome a serious deficiency!  And, He threw the mouse thing in there for me just to remind me that not only does He also have a sense of humor, but that I should continue to remember that He is in charge, and only He will choose as to when I might be able to overcome a particular weakness or area in which I am not gifted.

I don’t spend a lot of effort trying to trick myself into thinking I’m gifted in areas I clearly am not. But today, God made me a temporary techie, and it was lots of fun, satisfying, and a wonderful reminder that God can do anything He wants!

First world problems are just that. But God likes to use things that may seem trival or petty to us (not just the big stuff), to remind us of His greatness.

His grace is enough.

Won’t you look for Him today in the mundane? Won’t you keep your eyes wide open and expectantly look for His grace to appear?

And on that note, I shall leave you with this: I just tried to adjust my computer chair and scratched up my big toe! Ha ha!

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2



Fights and Frights


Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 1 Peter 3:13-14

Earlier this morning, I was having a great discussion with someone about various things, and I brought up that “I don’t like conflict.”

As we continued to talk, much as I often do, I began to probe and ask myself why that really is.

I used to think it was just because I am a wimp. Then later in life, I thought it was that I cared too much about what other people were thinking or feeling.

I have often found myself either placed in the role, or taking upon the task of being the mediator or peace keeper. I think I am kind of sponge-like in some ways – I sense undercurrent more than most others do, and it actually impacts me (I can’t leave it alone if it doesn’t dissipate).

Same holds true when it is me involved in the conflict – I start thinking I have to control how it’s handled. Then, ironically, I screw up myself in that process if I don’t feel I am making reasonable headway.

But I think today I realized another dynamic at play in why this distresses me so and it was something that I never really understood about myself before.

I really don’t mind some types of conflict, I just don’t like UNPRODUCTIVE conflict.

I really don’t so much mind conflict that is handled in an adult-like manner. I find that if others aren’t doing so, I become the biggest tantrum-throwing child of everyone involved. If not externally, I sure do internally.

I have to have it my way or I get frustrated. I have to see that people aren’t just wanting to argue or be smarter, or better, or bigger, or whatever – otherwise, I call it “unreasonable” and end up being the most unreasonable person in the bunch.

It’s not comfortable to disagree. But I can see that if folks are willing to be transparent and honest, but have a goal to understand and clarify, and most of all, be solution-oriented, I am okay with that type of conflict.

I WANT to understand others. And I want to be understood as well if it will lend to being productive, learning, and becoming better for it.

Unfortunately, that is not how we operate much of the time as humans. So often, we do the following things and more….

Fight to fight and not give a darn about the work it takes to come to an understanding or solution.

Fight to “win” versus to understand.

Argue for the sake of it – for pride, selfishness, stubborness, or mere frustration.

But most of all, I feel that we don’t handle conflict productively more often than not, due to an unwillingness to be transparent.

You know – ALL the way honest.

It’s cause we’re scared in some way – fear is the enemy. So we fight instead – with little intention of learning and growing and loving and understanding, and lots of attention to hiding the fear.

We go halfway, if even that. We are willing to be right out there and bold sometimes to get our anger, stress, or frustrations out “in the open”, but when it comes to root issues (feelings behind the anger, fears, emotions, vulnerabilities) we hold back. BIG time!

We layer the anger on top of all this stuff we’re intent upon concealing. And then we proceed to hide behind “hey, I’m up-front about it when I am mad” junk like that.

If we are going to have differences, and we decide to air them because we find after praying and seeking the Lord and searching the scriptures that we should deal with it openly, then we need to go all the way and see the whole thing through.

But for me, the other thing I have to learn is the fact that even though this is how I feel it should be dealt with, there will always be that unjustified kind of anger or conflict in life to deal with and there will always be times we have to face that kind of unhealthy stuff.

Guess what? This area is the one I fail in the most.

I am still responsible for how I handle myself at those times. I don’t do a very good job of it. Those are the times I really, really need God’s divine power, and I fail to ask for it right when I need it the most.

I think of Jesus – whenever He could, He chose to talk things out, teach lessons, emphasize love, even when He had to share the tough stuff or the hard-to-hear kind of things that few were receptive to, and many were downright hateful about it.

And He faced mobs, people spitting upon Him and in His face, and ultimately, a brutal death.

But even from that, He emerges triumphant. Even when He faced the most unhealthy type of “conflict” there ever could possibly be, He showed us unfailing love.

Sometimes Jesus spoke up quite loudly. Other times, He remained silent. It was often during the worst of the fighting and unproductive and downright horrific stuff that He chose the latter.

I am not sure what all He wants to teach me in this, but for now, I think it is to continue to try to seek to understand, even or especially when others don’t wish to do so, stop myself if I find that I am part of the conflict and not handling it right, and become stronger (by His power and His Spirit) day by day.

Sometimes we have to do the hard things. We can’t always hide from conflict or be the mediator or the peacemaker. We can’t throw up our hands and get frustrated and just leave things alone or sweep them under the rug either. If you, like me, feel like you still mess up in this area far too often, go to Jesus and ask for the wisdom, discernment, power, and teachable spirit that you may need to become more like what He wants for you to be.

That is pretty much the only thing that’s always worth fighting for anyway – the endeavor to follow after Christ and seek to become more and more like Him every single day.

And there’s nothing to fear in that.

It’s scary to be involved in fighting, unhealthy-seeming conflict, or even undercurrents that you know are there but aren’t being dealt with properly. But Jesus will help us to fight the good fight – the one that is against the fleshly desires we face every second that we are breathing. And we will emerge victorious in Him.

Fight the Frights.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10


Joe Self

Photo Credit via tumblr.com

Photo Credit via tumblr.com

Everywhere you look,  you’ll see something about “just being and loving yourself.” You won’t just see it once. No, not even twice. You will see it everywhere, all the day long!

Truly, I stand in awe of that. At the same time, it resonates. I have that inner longing too. That longing to be loved. That desire to be accepted. At the very least, the ability to feel comfortable in my own skin when I express what is inside.

Why do you think we hear this so very much? Why is it such a pervasive thing? It’s almost like there’s an utter desperation out there to find and be your self!

Here’s my take on it:

I think we have things twisted up (again).

I think the enemy has taken the degree of truth that there is to this matter and messed the whole thing up. Again.

I thought a lot about this today (yes…again). The reason is because it’s where I was at a couple of times today.

“Why do so few people understand me?”

I” don’t think people realize when I am joking around or being serious.”

“Am I going to have to keep restraining myself on a daily basis depending upon the situation I happen to be in? I just wanna be me. Is that so bad?”

Then the other side or other voice  (I know, I know, I have issues):

“Ah…who cares. Just be Joe Self!”

Can you spell J-O-E-S-E-L-F-I-S-H? Yeah.

I have concluded that it’s true: We DO need to find out how to be ourselves, but not the way that the world is trying to tell us to do it.

What brought this to mind today is the fact that I continue to struggle in my own life with this (clearly). Now that I am seeking after and following after Jesus with everything I’ve got, I have become more and more uncomfortable being myself.

I get it. It’s not about me.

It’s about less of Annie, and more of Jesus. I get that too. (although I screw up all the time).

It’s about who I am in Christ Jesus – The vessel that I am for Him. The follower. And one of the ones who needs to seek to understand far more often than I seek to be understood.

If you feel misunderstood, you may be “doing it right.”

I’m starting to get to know that person, (the more-like-Jesus-Annie-self) and sometimes I get confused. Sometimes I forget that only the parts that aren’t Annie at all are the ones that matter.

I forget that it needs to be all about who Annie is in Christ.

I forget to remember that part is ALL that matters.

THAT part – the Jesus part? Well, it needs to be the WHOLE.

Here’s the thing, friends: We have trouble being okay with who we are for basically one of two reasons:

Either we are not the person Christ intends for us to be – we are living in sin or for self.

Or we ARE starting to become who we are intended to be in Jesus, but the world is not comfortable with that – at all.

Hmmm? Remind you of how someone else felt the entire time He walked this earth? Just a little?

So, does this mean we are in for a lose-lose situation here? I don’t know. I guess it depends upon how we define victory, now doesn’t it?

Yes…I will continue to struggle with not feeling comfortable with who I am.

Yes…I will continue to even feel persecuted for it.

But maybe, just maybe, most days those of us feeling this way who are followers after Christ, uncomfortable as our flesh may be, we will judge joy by the peace that we know by letting Him live through us, instead of the “feeling” of fitting in, being accepted, or even just merely being “allowed” to be how we are in Him.

He warned us….

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law:’They hated me without reason.” John 15: 18-25

But He also consoles us. We can remain in HIM, not in our “selves.” It has a far greater reward, and is what will last far beyond the confines of this little world in which we temporarily reside.

And that? Well, that’s Joe Awesome, if you ask me!

 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15: 5-11

Remember today, if you are discouraged, dear friends, Joe Joy comes from Jesus, not from Joe Self.


Excited Much? Joy Series Part 3

I don’t think we get excited often any more. Not the best way, at least. You know? The way it was when we were little kids.

I believe that Jesus wants for us to show that type of enthusiasm in our lives at times. Especially if we are in a season that is not marked by the lowest of the low point(s) in our lives.

Because others are in one of those seasons, friends.

Yes, we need to remember “to everything there is a season,” and one of those is marked by enthusiasm, zest for life in Jesus Christ, and child-like joy and excitement.

Although this picture below shows someone screaming in excitement for someone other than Jesus, if you are a follower after Christ and love Him with all your “heart, mind, and soul” and are in a situation today where you can scream it (one way or another) and shout it out to the world, do it!

It’s just another way that Christ and His spirit shines through us as a living testimony.

By the way…..a word of caution: The world will try to take this from you. The enemy HATES this kind of excitement and joy in life, because it’s contagious.

So arm yourself. Heavily.

Even if it has to be in an elf suit that’s laced with the “armor of God.”


“Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord……” 1 Timothy 1:8

With all Your Heart – Joy Series Part 2


I can do all things through Christ[  who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I don’t know if the character, Forrest Gump was meant to be portrayed as a believer in Jesus Christ. But I do know that Forrest displays a child-like enthusiasm, zest, and joy for life that reminds me so much of what Christ encourages us to emulate in life.

I wish I could be like Forrest in most of what he does in the movie. Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?!  Everything he did, he did with all his heart, all his focus, all his elbow grease that he could muster. And much of what he touched just seemed to turn to gold.

Forrest displays a joy and love for life – the ups, the downs, the in-betweens. He lives moment-by-moment, giving each second all that he has. This is what makes him such a magical and lovable character. That inner joy. That purity. That innocence of spirit. Being like a child, but working harder than most adults I know.

Let’s be like Forrest when we endeavor to try new things that may, at first, appear difficult for us. Let’s try and believe we can do it, and shrug it off when it doesn’t quite go our way.

If after giving it our very best, we can move on to the next piece of chocolate in the box.

Running towards Jesus.

Because He is the box. Unlike the chocolates contained within it, He is what holds it all together – He is unchanging. He is our stability.

Notice: Forrest holds tightly to the box throughout the movie. He may let the feather float and fly at the end, but that box was the common thread that held it all together – truly.

God has it all under control. It’s not up to random chance or luck; the things that we experience in life. We have only to hold onto Him all the way through.

At the end of this life, our earthly experiences may float away like a feather in the wind, but we shall still be held tightly in His arms if we have followed after Him and accepted Him as our Savior. And we shall reside with Him for all eternity.

If there is something today you feel is difficult for you to do, just try to give it your all like Forrest Gump. But remember to ask Jesus for the power to do so.

Then, we can ALL be true winners of the sweetness in Christ we were meant to savor all along the way!

No Matter What – Joy Series Part 1

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Psalm 98:4 ESV
No matter what…..shout to the Lord with joy when you want to.

Praise Him even when you don’t want to – especially then.

No matter what….let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

No matter what…keep crawling back and trying again, and again, and again.

No matter what.

Snoopy gets it. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Can I Tell You Right Now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?

I’m listening….

Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?


Can I tell you right now?

Just Keep Praying.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray
for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too
deep for words. Romans 8:26 ESV


Magnificent…and More.

As I was speaking with and listening for God today, I kept coming back to the same word again and again and again.


I took the liberty and pleasure of looking up all of the words we use in our language to describe this wonderful trait.

Magnificent means – Glorious, Wonderful. Characterized or attended with brilliance or grandeur

HE is magnificent. Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Arresting, brilliant, chivalric, commanding, elegant, elevated, exalted, excellent, fine, glittering, gorgeous, grand, high-minded, imperial, imposing, impressive, lavish, luxurious, magnanimous, magnific, majestic, noble, opulent, outstanding, palatial, plush, radiant, regal, resplendent, rich, royal, splendid, stately, striking, sublime, sumptuous, superb, superior, towering, transcendent

Of course, this is only ONE word that we use to describe our Lord and Savior.

He is without bounds. He is not able to be summed up in a neat box.

He is magnificent….

And He is MORE.

He is ALL.

God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness. Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts. Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking; I compose songs on your wonders. Your marvelous doings are headline news; I could write a book full of the details of your greatness. The fame of your goodness spreads across the country; your righteousness is on everyone’s lips. God is all mercy and grace – not quick to anger, is rich in love. God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace. Creation and creatures applaud you, God; your holy people bless you. They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendor, Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. God always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does. Psalm 145: 3-13 The Message


Child-like Faith.

I have prayed much over the last year for God to renew this child-like faith and spirit in me! Excellent post from a fellow blogger!

Savvy Soup

Child-like Faith.

What does it mean to have child-like faith? This week I volunteered as a Crew Leader at a “Kingdom Rock” themed VBS at a local church here in Jacksonville. A friend from school said they needed help so a group of us helped out for the week. In my crew, we took care of kids of ages five to nine. We had the boy who was too cool for school, the girl in her own little world…all the time, the best-of-friend-non-stop talkers, the perfect little gentleman, the fabulous boy who knew all the dance moves, and the future heartbreaker. Each of these little ones were so special and unique in the eyes of God and to me. To hear their sweet, innocent voices singing to and about their king is the most breathtaking & beautiful experience. They do not need justification to praise Christ; they simply love him because He…

View original post 83 more words

Everything is out in the open with us

Don’t put on the “Christian pose” as my friend shares here! Be who Christ Calls YOU to be!

We are the church

Having nothing to hide is the best part of freedom.


The novelty wears off quickly. The cares of the world and the pressure from people around us rob us of our joy. Before long, our faces are as long as theirs and our attitude is as much in need of adjustment as theirs. It saddens me to see people who were once excited about God becoming like everyone else. When  I feel the need to put on a Christian pose, I know I am in the wrong place.

2 Corinthians 3:12-15
The Message (MSG)
With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice…

View original post 202 more words

Workin’ It


A new person in my life reminded me of something really important last week:  We must guard our thoughts……Actively.

Isn’t it funny how these little “revelations” hit us? It’s not like I hadn’t heard that before. It’s not like I haven’t read it over and over again in scripture.

So as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

It’s not like I haven’t studied all the Lord says about the importance of guarding our minds, walking in victory and not receiving condemnation from the enemy.

But guess what? I still needed to be reminded. I needed to hear it from someone else who follows after Christ as well.

I always say this: “We forget to remember.”

I believe part of this is due to the fact that we allow the enemy to close us up – to trap us inside our own minds – so we are just stuck with it (the negativity). Or so he wants us to think.

Another reason we forget to remember is we fail to remain active in guarding our minds. To remember that we need to continually seek God’s power and protection over our minds is so very crucial. To remember that one slip…one moment…one second with us not watching or asking for the Lord to cover us, and the enemy sneaks right in.

Damage gets done very quickly that way.

This new person who helped me is my boss, and I am so grateful to her. She spoke God’s words to me, reminded me of how important it is to walk in victory, not receive condemnation, and at the same time, she acknowledged that even so, “it’s still hard.”

It was scary to share this stuff with my new boss, for sure, but I don’t regret it. Truth is more important to me than “looking good” from the outside. If the inside is messed up? Well, what we show on the outside won’t last very long, performance-wise, now will it? I want truth – I want for those I work with to know they can count upon me that they will be getting the real stuff. I want it to be lasting! That can’t happen if we just suck it up and try to perform for the sake of appearances if something is eating away at us from the inside.

Eventually, inside comes out.

Yes, the things we go through that can attack our minds, our feelings (which like to take over our logical thought processes) and our full knowledge of the fact that we are children of the Almighty Godthe Great I AmThe Mighty Redeemer – those things are still hard to contend with.  Even when we know this truth. I am so thankful that my boss encouraged me that she understands that.

Wow…it sure does help to be reminded of it in ways that are uplifting and empowering, yet don’t let us off the hook! It’s awesome to be supported and listened to in ways that make us feel excited and hopeful in Christ anew! It’s amazing to encounter new people in our lives that find new ways to help us to know we are not alone, and that we will overcome with the power of Christ and fellow believers on our side!

I want to be that for others in my life, and I am so grateful to have people around me who can do the same for me.

Things in my life may still be a roller coaster at times – feelings are tricky that way and so are hormonal imbalances. But I am so grateful that God never changes!!!!

He can move mountains, remember?

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

So can we if we stop trying to work it all out by ourselves.

So can we if we have faith and wait upon the Lord.

So can we if we are honest and transparent and swallow enough pride to go to others to help us protect and guard our minds in the name of Jesus!

Today if you are workin’ it and feel alone in the mess of it all – if you feel you are about to crumble underneath the pressure – I encourage you to find a fellow believer to confide in and be transparent with who might be able to speak God’s unchanging word into your heart. Just like my new boss did for me, you may find yourself encouraged. They may just help you to remember what you have temporarily forgotten.

It’s hard to be transparent. It takes what feels like risk to do this. But if you ask me, it’s much more difficult to be an ant trying to push a huge boulder up an even bigger hill all alone. That simply sets us up for failure and makes the ground of our hearts ripe for the enemy to do his work. And make no mistake: that enemy WILL work it!

Put yourself on the hook with someone else who is a follower after Christ today. Tell them if you are having struggles with your inner thoughts. Then, take the power out of the hands of the devil and place it right back where it belongs!

In the hands of our Mighty and Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.


That’s Messed Up!

kelly sikkema via creationswap.com

kelly sikkema via creationswap.com

As I begin to write to you tonight, dear friends, I must pause to laugh at myself. (This I can always count upon – the fact that I can entertain myself by laughing out loud at the way that my crazy little mind works).

Anyway, the reason I am laughing so hard right now, is due to the fact that I really wanted to make this blog post one that would be uplifting, full of praise and fun-filled joy and enthusiasm. Ha Ha!!!

But as always, I write what the Lord places upon my heart – and He works in such really neat, yet mysterious ways, does He not?

So, instead of a funny or sunshine-filled post tonight, this is what you are getting from me instead. Get ready!

Rather than go into a lot of detail, I just want to say that I really am “messed up” right about now – (still laughing). I am a big, mushy, hormonal, and wrecked mess! From previous blog posts, this should come as no surprise to you.

My point, however, is that it is not “getting better” friends. Not at all. I have been praying so hard for the Lord to grow me through this, “normalize” me just enough to be able to do life the way that would glorify Him, and just be able to work through life without it seeming like I have to drown to take a breath. (OK…I guess that’s a little dramatic, but it really does seem like that sometimes).

No, things with the hormone craziness are just not coming along. It has seemed that no matter what I have been open to trying, I can’t get these little hormonal issues straight.

Long ago, I gave up on the idea I could control it completely – but I still fought hard to put my best foot forward. I hadn’t yet realized that no matter what, I would just have no control whatsoever. I can only do what I can do, and that ain’t much, let me tell ya!

Yes, like with everything else, this must be turned over to God completely. In a sense, I feel like I need to give up.

Let me ask you: Where is the difference between surrender and giving up? Is there a difference to be found? Or is it really just the same thing?

The real point of this story tonight is this:

We are all messed up in various ways at different phases in our lives. Some of us (looking in the mirror right now) are REALLY messed up. Just when I think that the kind of mess I am in is at least a better mess than it used to be – e.g. –  the kind that is not due to willful sin or disobedience, but something beyond my control (“menopause – I hate your guts”), I realize it is still all due to the imperfection that is part of the life of a sinful human.

Thank God I am not just that. Thank HIM that I am saved by His grace!

Any kind of “messed up” is an indicator of the fact that we need a Savior. When sin entered the world, so did iniquity – sickness, germs, chemical imbalance, all kinds of “messed up” came into our world and made us less than perfect.

It made us imperfect, which is messed up.

What is “messed up” in your world or life today? Is it something you can work on with God’s help, or have you been doing that and are kind of at a loss as to what else you can do? Is it something, like what I have going on, where you don’t know quite how you are going to be able to do life, or when or if God is going to intervene, and you feel like you have to “give up” in a sense?

There have been so many times that I have thought I had surrendered it all to God – my particular “messed up” in my life or situation. So many times I thought I had turned it all over to Him, and then realized I really hadn’t yet.

I don’t yet know if this is one of those times or not. I know I have tried and not tried – to surrender and turn things over. But it all is just still so messed up.

The most messed up of all? How much worse I know things could be, yet this still is absolutely taking over my life! This is where the enemy is getting to me. The guilt trip. The ugly beating down inside that this bothers me so much. The fact that I have it so good and am so blessed in spite of this little bit of messed up going on in my life right now, and I can’t seem to get my focus to be fixed in the right place – upon HIM and upon those blessings instead of this pervasive messed up stuff!

But I do know this: no matter what, this is as bad as it gets for me as a Christian – this messed up stuff to contend with in this life. And it’s not ALL bad, either.

It only goes up from here. Eternity with Christ – perfected – no sin – no iniquity – that’s where it’s at. I can’t wait.

Up is not messed up.

Guess what? I will keep looking up through the messed up today. I will remember that sometimes, we just cannot rely upon our own understanding. I will revel in the knowledge that my Lord knows I am trying to be obedient to Him, seek His will, take the steps He wants for me to in order to make things better (with my crazy hormones and the way I react to all of that mess), all the while knowing that even if NONE OF MY ACTIONS MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE, that He has things the way He wants them to be right now.

He will take care of us, friends – even in our “messed up” times. He will perfect us and make Himself and His power known through our weaknesses.

We just need to take it one moment and one day at a time.

Remember to look up to Him – even when all  you feel like you can do is to look down. Because in the midst of the mess and the jumbled up confusion and caous of life, He is the light that shines through it all and brings about beauty and hope.

He knows how the pieces of the puzzle that has been pulled, ripped or torn apart work together to create the picture and fulfill the plans that are perfect  – they are all reflected in His divine eyes.

Especially when we can’t see it ourselves, He still can, and He still does. Know this and count upon it when all you can see around you is what seems to look like shattered glass.

Light shines through that array of broken stuff all the more.

Instead of trying to erase that which is a mess in our own lives, let’s focus upon the only guarantee of a clean slate we can ever really have anyway – given to us through the salvation that Jesus Christ offers to us as we follow after Him with all our “hearts, minds, and souls.”

He loves us all – He cleans up all of our messes – and strengthens us for His good purpose.

What a Mighty and Awesome Savior we have the privilege to serve. Praise Him for rescuing us from the “dominion of darkness” and saving us from all of our junk that is utterly “messed up.”

11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:11-14


Truly Free

Take up your cross…..

Follow Me (leave everything behind)….

Give up self….

Serve, Serve, Serve…..

Don’t Covet….

Give it all Away…

As I ponder this 4th of July, instead of celebrating the false sense of freedom we think that we have in this country, or that situation or circumstance, I am thinking instead about what true freedom really means. Don’t get me wrong –  I am grateful for the luxuries we  have in the USA – but that’s not what this post is going to be about.

It’s about true freedom.

But as soon as I began to think about true freedom, these little tidbits(statements at the beginning of this post) flooded my human and sinful mind.  Is true Christianity about “freedom” at all, really?

Yes and No.

It is not about freedom the way we tend to view it as human beings, in the typical way we have chosen to define it or characterize it. It is not about being free to live how we want, when we want either. And it is not about being free from the spiritual warfare that will plague us as long as we walk this earth. We wouldn’t need the armor of God or many other things He offers to us to help us along this road if that were the case.

We have to wait for heaven to experience that kind of freedom.

So, in some ways, we can feel even more “bound up” than before as we walk through this world following after Christ with all “our heart, mind, and soul.

Before you freak out, let me explain what I mean by that.

When we follow after Christ, we are seeking Him and His ways, and His path, and there’s nothing easy about that, friends. Self then starts to fight very hard for survival. And the enemy lives there.

Self is strong. Self lives here, in this physical and mental domain. It says “I am the King, not that Jesus guy!” And it fights.

It fights HARD.

But so does Jesus Christ. He is inside of us if we have accepted Him as Savior. He will help us to overcome it all. But it won’t be easy. I can’t say that enough. I have to tell myself over and over again – “it’s not going to be easy to be truly free.” It comes with a cost.

My favorite book in the bible is Romans. Here is the best part (well, one of the best parts)…

From Romans 7…

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[b] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.

That spells W-A-R, folks. Flat out, bloody, anxiety filled, brutal WAR. The flesh and the spirit are at opposition with one another, no matter how much we don’t want for it to be.

But the great news, is that we are truly free in Christ Jesus.

When Jesus walked the earth, did He live a life that looked like he was free the way mankindd defines it today? Did He stick up for all of His rights all the time? Did He tell everyone they had to give everyone a fair shot, or else? Did He say that they couldn’t (the law) punish Him and put Him on that cross?

But He exuded truth and true freedom in His servant leadership and ultimate sacrifice. His entire life was characterized by sacrificing His “rights” and “freedoms” friends. It ended “bound up” on a cross – NAILED to it, in fact. No where to go. No where to hide. No escape. (although He could’ve prevented it from happening, He did not).

Do we think we should have more freedom in this world than the Savior of it displayed? Do we feel entitled to have more? Do we feel victimized in our suffering?

Before I conclude, let me say this for clarification though: I am not saying we should not cry out about our suffering – this is something I am learning in the book of Job right now. God never once chastized Job for lamenting about his situation. But at the same time that He allowed, and even encouraged him to cry out to him about it, he still made it clear these things were necessary. Then the blessings ensued.

TRUE freedom is found in Christ and what He has done for us so that for eternity we will be free from sin and with Him in fellowship forever. That doesn’t mean the chains of this earth have been loosed while we still walk through it. But that is something that we have to look forward to with certainty. True freedom.

We have some of that – a taste of it – right now, in fact. Because we carry Him with us wherever we go and whatever we face. There is nothing He cannot relate to that we are suffering or going through – nothing.

Romans 8 discusses this true freedom….I shall leave you tonight on that very important and beautiful note from our Lord….

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;     we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Sabb What?

Sabbath? Reeeeeaaallllllyyyyyyyyyyy!

Yah, this is where I am being convicted right now – in a big way.

“Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. Leviticus 23:3

Since I haven’t done a good job of finding my way when it comes to honoring the Lord and being commited to the Sabbath, I have decided to make time for a little bit of Sabbath every day.

Tomorrow, since I am blessed to not have to go to work, I am going to sleep in and then ponder this big idea that God has about taking time apart.  Actually, it’s a command to honor the sabbath, but I have trouble even resting in the Lord on a day-to-day basis still – this is being made clear to me.

I know this is part of why I am in trouble. I also know that one day apart plus some time each evening for devotions is not going to do it.

And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27

I need to learn to move through each day, one simple day, one simple task at a time. And I need to make big changes – so does my entire family (we are a unit, after all) in order to honor an entire day as sabbath as well.

I thought I had grown in this area. Guess that’s just another reason why my brain is in overdrive, because – well friends –  I thought wrong.

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know when, or even all the whats or the wheres.

But I do know the why: It’s because He says so.

More to come as to what I learn and how it all shakes out over time. But if you, like me, need to learn how to follow after this important command from the Lord, our God too, I am open to hearing your story, as well as your ideas, struggles, challenges, and triumphs in this area.

Sabbath. Rest. Peace.

Time apart, versus falling apart.

This should be quite interesting.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a
chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and
get some rest.” Mark 6:31


Blogger Brain

What happens to a blogger’s brain when they sit at a desk all day working but they aren’t writing?

Don’t get me wrong, friends. This is all in good fun. I am very grateful for my job and actually find it soothing to process, process, process! Especially for this worthy ministry in the name of Jesus.

But…I have to have a little fun, now don’t I?

So, here we GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo Credit SodaHead

Photo Credit SodaHead

Yo ~   I’m about ta’ tell ya’

Bro ~ My brain’s a little fried

No ~  I’m not about ta’ kid ya’

So ~ Don’t think that I would lie

Toe ~ Got numbed all up

Vogue ~ Was not my look t’day

Woe ~ I hope I’m bein’ accurate

Grow ~ In smarts; learnin’ the way

Row ~ Wish I had a boat

Bow ~ Maybe for m’ hair

Dough ~ I’m processin’ some money

Low ~ I’m sittin’ in m’ chair

Go ~ Outside to walk and stretch

Oh ~ I gotta get on back

Mow ~ Through the afternoon

Crow ~ Don’t be talkin’ smack

Poe ~ He wrote a lot ta’ read

Blow ~ The wind is a’ howlin’

Ee-i-o~ The farmer had a dog

Sow ~ We’ll be a’ reapin’

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31