A different lens: Perception

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I recounted a story that changed my perception years ago, at Shaey Anthony on YouTube.
If you are interested, give it a view as it places this blog in a fuller context.

Heart Connection- Intimacy

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The truth of the matter is, you can know someone, know all about them, even be in a relationship with them and still miss out on the deep heart connection of intimacy.

There is head knowledge of our salvation: This is the same as walking in life with someone, knowing they are always going to be there, but stopping at that and continuing on with your life without the heart connection. A knowing without intimacy.

John 5:24- Most assuredly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me, has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death to life.

You can have the head knowledge that you are saved. You can know because you dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s that you will enter heaven. But what good comes from a relationship that has begun, but has not been cultivated.
You can miss out on a deep-rooted heart connection intimacy with the Lord and all the glory that comes with it if you do not seek it.

♥ Heart Connection takes investment:

So often in life, we become distracted in the different seasons that we face. We become overwhelmed, feel inadequate and exhausted. Often our messes in life become our focus, and slowly without meaning to our hearts grow distant.
Just like any earthly relationship, you must invest in your relationship with the Lord.
For a deeper heart connection get to know Him by spending time set apart only for Him.

Invest in:

Prayer
– is our communication with the Lord. An opportunity to talk and share. Cry out and be real.

Word-
The Bible reveals His heart for us, His plans, and His hopes. Loved saved, thought of and not forgotten.

Praise and worship
– Reveals our heart for Him. This is our chance to pour out our love on Him and lift Him up.

When you are feeling lost, disconnected, frazzled, and overwhelmed, make sure to slow down and set time to be settled in your heart connection. It makes all the difference.

♥ Heart Connection takes pursuit:

In this life, you must pursue the ones you love. Lack of pursuit and interest leads to stilled relational growth. At times lack of pursuit can lead to opening a door for another to enter.
It is in our lack of pursuit that the enemy comes in with lies. When we are not fully pursuing the Lord, it is easier to believe that we are less than or lacking. We are not building our relationship on His truths.
Then life comes and smacks us in the face and we can begin to develop resentment. We risk growing angry with the Lord when disaster and hurts have stood to in the way of pursuing him. Resentment turns into resistance.  Examine what is holding you back from pursuing Him. Is there anger, bitterness or distrust there? In order to overcome, you must pursue His heart for you, and not listen to the lies the enemy is trying to win you over with.

♥ Heart Connection takes vulnerability:

Vulnerable – To be exposed.

We are taught to hide the ugly. We are taught to toughen up, don’t be so sensitive, shake it off and to be good. We have learned that when we show our true selves, anywhere that we are lacking others will reject us or ridicule us. We have been hurt in unspeakable ways, rejected and unwanted. So we build walls, we hide, we self-protect.
It has become a habit to hide away anything that is not perfection. The danger in this with relationships, you are holding back your full self. Everything that is hidden, is becoming a barrier between you and the one you love.
The sin areas in our life that are standing in the way of our growing need to be exposed. We do not need to self-protect with the Holy Spirit. God knows our mess, He wants us to be able to trust Him enough to let Him love us through it.
The enemy wants to keep you bound up and hiding. He does not want you to experience the full heart connection that comes from being raw and real with the Lord. It is through exposing all my junk to the Lord, that He is able to come in and do His work. It is recognizing I need Him in a way only He can fill. I can’t do the cleansing and the healing on my own. His amazing power comes in and does the work and I get to rejoice. For being exposed, leaves me open to being held.

As I am held close in the Father’s arms, there is hope. HOpe builds within the Spirit man within us as we experience the Father’s love.

ROMANS 5:5- Now Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given us.

It is in our weakness that makes us whole. He wants all of us, not just what we think we have together. He wants our ugly, He wants our flaws, and He wants our weaknesses. For In Him He makes us strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10- But He said to me my Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ then I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecution, and calamity. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

When the Lord makes us strong in our weakness, all the glory goes to His power and not on ourselves. I tried to do it all myself for years in my own strength.  I got nowhere, except broken and exhausted. It is our testimony to what God accomplished when we have overcome in Him.

Reflection- Often times we base how we have been treated by others, on how we think the Lord will receive us. Others judge harshly that is how we see the Father. Others reject us or abandon us, we may expect the Lord to turn away when we are a mess. BUT His word says;

Psalm 27:10- “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”

No matter who leaves us, or abandons us, hurts us and betrays us, the LORD is ready and waiting to embrace us. Arms wide open. Ready for a deep heart connection intimacy. One that does not forsake.

Give a listen to this song:  INTIMACY by Jonathan David Helser

I am READY

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I am READY FOR my new Season LIFE

 

This week at Bethel Music Worship School, has shaken me in every good way possible. I have been like a sponge absorbing God’s truths and casting off all the lies I have believed about myself and my ministry.
I have grown deeper in my relationship with the Lord and have allowed Him EVERY space in my life, rather than just the one to be revered and held high. YES, He is to be high and lifted up always, but there is so much much more. I am READY!

The second day at Bethel Music Worship School, while we were listening to Bill Johnson speaking, I had a vision of God holding out His hands with Jesus in the palms. I honestly don’t remember what was being taught at the moment. The vision was so clear and so beautiful it beheld my whole heart.
God’s hands outstretched were handing Jesus to me. I heard so clearly in my Spirit, this is my son and He is for ALL your areas of need. You need a friend, here you go, you need a Father here you go, you need a savior here you go, you need a healer here you go. There was no end to the places that Jesus was to fill in my life. I call out I am READY!!!

When I began writing for joy I was honestly at death’s door. I was ready to die. I wanted to die and had a plan to die. In my last cry to God before putting my plan into action I cried out… GOD, YOU PROMISED JOY WHERE IS IT?!?!
In that very moment, God instructed me to seek Joy and I would find it.
I felt shook. I said Ok God I will try this I will seek the FULLNESS of your Joy.
Step by step He pointed out all the areas that my life was robbing me of joy. It has been a good season to see His love and care and provision of the fullness of Joy in my life. Yet, that season has been one dimensional, survival-focused.
I was a baby surviving on milk and God is ready to give me more in the way of nutrition. He met me where I was and gave what I needed most to save my life and bring me back to living. Now He is ready to propel me forward in NEW life and NEW seasons of fruitfulness. The harvest has been planted, cultivated and now I will reap the benefits.
I am READY!

There is so so so much new the Lord would have me share and I am so ready for this wild journey He will be taking me on. This past week at Bethel Music Worship School has been one of the richest fullest life-giving experiences of my life. I am amazed and in awe of my Father all over again. I have come out of the land of the drought and ready for the land of living water. No more will I deny the spirit of God as He moves inside of me. I have been awakened and I will not be silent. I am READY

THIS…  AINT NO STINKIN GRAVE AINT NO STINKIN GRAVE… GONNA HOLD MY BODY DOWN!!!!

Therefore Choose​ Life

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You know the more I have been spending time with the Lord, the more He reveals to me. Imagine that concept… the more time we spend with someone, the more of their heart they share!

 

I recently went through a rough season where my health had me discouraged, I felt God grow quiet and all I wanted to do was sleep. Sleep was the goal for the day, literally. God let me have my way. He let me drag through the days with no plans, no motivation and at times no hope. I felt as if my path was laid before me and at that moment I was too exhausted to change it. But then….

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

 

He reminds me… CHOOSE. You can choose life or death. You can choose hope or hopelessness. I can choose what I think on as I rise up for my day. I can choose to focus on my lack or my gain. I have the power of God within me and He chooses LIFE for me. Will I obey the call of the Lord? Will I live in victory and freedom?

God has called me up from the ashes. He brings beauty from my pain, He does not intend for me to stay there in the pain, but to rise above and walk in His arms of victory.

He has called me  and I see the Lord is good and what He has before me will bring LIFE. 

I am amazed how EVERY SINGLE time, I walk my own path, the Lord brings me to Himself and EVERY SINGLE TIME, He is life-giving, constant, arms wide open, LOVE.

This song, O Come to the Altar, ministers to my heart. Today especially as I am reminded the Father’s arms are opened wide and I choose to run to them!

 

How much is enough?

“How much is enough?” This was a question I was asked this past week.
This person has seen first hand one extreme form of Christianity to the next.
The very strict follower of the Bible with no evidence of a relationship with the Father,
to the church leader that seems to know Jesus but puts Him on a shelf and lives another way behind closed doors.

“How much is enough? How do you know, you will do enough to be a Christian?”

I understood this person’s heart so much. Every generation seems to want to blur the lines, more and more.
You are often left asking, “is there a point to all this? Lord, I looked up to them, and they seemed to know so well what they were talking about. How can that person be a Christian?”

You either believe or you don’t

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

The word tells us how to have eternal life. LIVE and BELIEVE. I admit there have been my own seasons of asking the Lord to help my unbelief. Each time I cried out and sought the relationship, the Lord was faithful to meet me. He is my friend, my father, my savior and His grace has covered me when I have sought Him. His grace covers the sin. There is nothing I could do to be worthy of that. Yet I must live and believe in Him.
The Lord has walked with me and helped me to come out of my seasons of disobedience to His word. For a stronger and healthier walk. Gift of salvation…. is a gift and not by my works.

 

You either love Him or you don’t.

 Matthew 22:36-37
Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul and with all of your mind.

If you have no love in your heart for Jesus, you are not walking in your gift of salvation. To recognize the Lord as your savior and the great gift of that salvation, should bring great love to your heart. If you are struggling with the Love of the Lord, one that is in every part of your being, it is time to spend more time with Him. Just like any relationship, you need to invest. Invest in prayer, worship and reading the word. Invest in cultivating your love. Every part of you will become to know Him, you will not be disappointed. 

You choose to obey or you don’t.

Revelation 3:15-16
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

The Lord covers our mistakes and shortcomings with His grace. But to walk with the Lord, you must make the choice. It is all in or all out. There is no in between. To believe you can have one foot in the kingdom and one in this world, is to believe a lie that will cost you in this life and the next.

Matthew 4:17-
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The most important factor I believe is to know Him. Spend time with the Lord knowing His heart. What does His word say? Ask the Lord, “what do you require of me, where do I need to repent” To repent is to turn and walk away from. No longer being bound by that which hinders you.
To walk in the Lord’s ways and obedience to His call on your life is freedom.
When the question changes from, “How much is enough?”  to the declaration, “God you are enough.” It is then the true freedom sets in.
When we seek Him first….. HE IS ENOUGH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I HATE YOU

We were spending time with friends this weekend and my friend snapped a photo of my profile. Immediately I said, “Eeew I hate my profile, I look so snobby!”. To which my friend firmly replied, “Stop with that self hate.”

It was in that moment that I recalled time after time after time I had said, I HATE YOU, to myself!

I hate my nose, I hate my ears, I hate my waste, I hate my sickness, I hate my lack of talent, I hate my voice, I hate my attitude, I hate my thoughts and on and on it goes.
I hate, I hate, I hate. In essence, every single day, multiple times a day I was declaring I hate you Shaey ( and here seeing those words I am reminded,  I even hate my  name) !

It was STOP WITH THE SELF HATE, that made me realize, that was all I was leaving room for in my life. A constant look at what I see as failures and lack. Not the truth how God sees me or created me to be.

As the truth set in, I asked God, “Why do I hate myself?”
Clarity came swiftly!
I have hated my self for most of my life because of a biological father that didn’t want me. That with the many reminders from others that the father I knew was not my ‘real’ father and it was so very sad he never had children of his own.
Even though my dad was absolutley in every sense a real father, the words stung.

I have hated myself because of the constant declaration that I was a snob from as early as I can remember from family members, because I did not socialize the way they thought I needed to ( I did not like hugs).

I have hated myself because of the gossip that would come back to me, how little others thought of me and they loved to focus and laugh at everything they felt I did wrong.

I hated myself because as a teenager I was a snob and into my own world, not seeing others hurt around me.

But mostly glaring at my inner soul, I  have hated myself for nearly 20 years because of a terrible mistake that I had made, that I could not forgive myself over. I have said that I forgave myself. All those around me would tell me that it was not my fault and to not beat myself up over it. Yet the result is the same,  I have lived with the root of a lie that I was not worth loving. A lie that screamed at me that I was a failure of the greatest magnitude.

I did not want to look at those hurt-ful areas and deal with them. I wanted to stuff them down like I always had but my heavenly father wrapped me in His spirit and all of a sudden there was not a hate, but a great compassion that came over me.

I feel as if I am a bud after a long winter beginning to bloom. I pray that as the beauty of the Lords work unfolds, that others will be blessed and see their own beauty as well. A reflection of the work the father does in us if we let Him.

So today I will speak against my self hate. I will no longer say I hate you. I will say I am beautifully and wonderfully made.

After this divine revelation, the very next day in fact, my friend captured a picture of me full on laughing like a crazy woman. My first thought was EEEW delete it!  But the Lord caught me,  He is turning my heart to His truth, His joy in me IS beautiful and to be loved not hated.
SO I am getting over my own self and I am posting  a picture that I would have asked be destroyed in the past. I will look at the JOY this moment was, the laughter this picture captured and the great friends that are bringing new life into this tired and weary soul.

God is GOOD! ALL the work that He does  within me is GOOD and I will not deny this truth any longer. No longer will I partner with a lie.

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!!!

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A treasure found this day

This was an old post I had begun and never finished. It was found in the drafts from years ago.

I felt like I had opened a treasure chest full of the Lord’s reminding in the list of drafts. There were many to open and this one I decided to share today. It is a new year. Time to abandon old things and start fresh!!

Surrender : To abandon

I am finding the more I abandon the garbage in my life, the more joy that fills my heart. When we hold onto anger and bitterness it clogs up the flow of joy just as cholesterol clogs the arteries.

When we let bitterness rise again and again and then complain that we are depressed pointing a finger at the one that offended us, it is no different from ramming our head against a brick wall over and over again and then blaming the wall for our headache.

We need to look at our own selves in the situation.  How are we holding on and what can we do to surrender it? Do we really want to keep walking around with it?

We all have our reasons to feel like we have a right to hold on to that anger. But it hurts us, not the one or the circumstance that we are angry with.

There was a person who hurt my family. I hated this person. Many days all I could do was think about how I would murder them if I could get away with it. I hated them vehemently and for what most would think was good reason. But my hatred of this person was taking over my days, consuming my every thought. There was no peace as I focused only on what they had done and how they should pay.

I realized if I wanted to walk in freedom I needed to surrender all the anger, bitterness, and guilt. But the question for me was how did I start? How could I abandon the feelings and leave them  down and not pick them back up over and over again?

 

ADDED TODAY: 1/4/18  from the wisdom the years has brought me and the freedom I now get to walk in.

Question: How do yo let go of the bitterness and anger without picking it up over and over again.
1. I forgive…

Matthew 6: 14- “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

                   Luke 17:4 – “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

I let go of the circumstances and take off the personal attack. I depersonalize the situation. I work to set it apart from me. It was a situation that happened it does not have to cling to me. When I find  it extremely hard to forgive I ask the Lord’s help. I ask for His peace. I ask Him to help me love my enemy.

2. I pray for my enemy…

Matthew 5:44-But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

I use to struggle with how in the world to pray for an enemy. I would ask, ” seriously God isn’t it enough that they hurt me and they don’t care? How do I pray for them?” God said, “just start.” So now, I pray for the one that has offended me to know Jesus and to break free of the bondage that hurts people. I pray for them to have VICTORY in JESUS.

3. I rejoice that the Lord has set me free…

2 Timothy 2:26- and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

When I walked in my wrath of bitterness I was held captive by the enemy. I am no longer bound up in the bondage of un-forgiveness and bitterness!!! That is MY reward, my gift from the Lord.

I praise, I worship, I shout and dance. Then when that ugly thing tries to rise up in me I praise louder, worship longer and dance like never before. Instead of using that reminder to take my focus, I use that reminder to take me deeper.

The year 2018 is a great opportunity to break off offenses, walk in freedom of forgiveness and grow deeper in loving.

And I say…. “YES LORD!”