A matter of Influence

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I want to imagine, I want to dream, I want to believe, but all I feel is anger, hopeless and despair. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I just feel like at any moment I can explode.
These words were spoken to me recently and my first answer was, you are dealing with anxiety, you need to address the issue, as it won’t go away on its own.
But as I was praying for this individual the word that has been rolling around and around in my spirit has been the word influence.
I asked the Lord how am I supposed to articulate such big things going on in my heart at this moment with mere words?
I honestly have no direction on the how, so I will just share my heart as best as I am able and hope that the one that needs to hear it, receives it with the love intended.

Here we go… One definition of Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.

We all have been influenced by many sources both negative and positive, our entire lives. Those influences have shaped who we are, and our influences will impact who we yet will become.

I think this is why  Paul was so specific about focusing on the good and true.
Philippians 4:8- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I have watched many in love with Jesus, focused on the Lord and the hopes in Him that He has a great plan for their lives, fall into the deepest of despair, anger, judgment and hatred. I myself was on fire for Jesus and then there was a shift in my health which lead to a shifting in my thinking and then all those things influenced my walk and focus.

As I ask the Lord, how is this possible that we can shift so completely, I feel strongly that He pointed out that it is all about the matter of influence.

So what or who has the ability in your life to affect your character, development or behavior?

To put it simply everything we put into our lives or everyone that we are around, have in some capacity, the ability to influence our character and behavior. If you are walking your life with positive influences, the truth of Gods word, prayer and focusing on all that is good, and have people in your life that are character building and encouraging,  it would be very unlikely that your character or behavior would carry that which is destructive. On that same line, if you are filling your life with the latest YouTube videos that are not lovely and not great, entertainment that is dark, and contrary to what is good and lovely  or fellowship with others who’s entertainment is to tear down and focusing on all that is not lovely, your character and behavior will be producing the very thing you cry about when you are under attack of the enemy.

Why am I angry all the time? Answer: a matter of influence.
Why am I anxious? Answer:  a matter of influence.
Why am I empty? Answer:  a matter of influence
Why am I sick all the time?  Answer: a matter of influence
What doors are you opening for the influence to pour into your life?
Are you turning to Godly answers or shoving the moments down and filling your life with the entertainment of the world?

I have seen it every single generation, that we as Christians get desensitized to the world around us. Our hearts when we actively seek things, not of the Lord, become hardened and no longer feel the conviction that we once had in our lives. We answer, it isn’t that bad, or they are not that bad.  Until one day you wake and you no longer can see the good.

we need to be mindful of what we let impact us.

I have mentioned in past posts, you will not reap good fruit unless you are cultivating good fruit.

So when I counsel others that come to me with broken hearts and broken homes, from experience of my own, my first question is, what is the influence in your life?

If you want to see the fruit of your dreams come true, be influenced by other dreamers.
If you want to see your walk with the Lord grow stronger, fellowship with those that have a passion for Jesus that outshines the entertainment of this world.
It is time to look with new eyes, and ask yourself, am I being a person of influence that I want to be? Am I impacting the way I am called to impact?
My friend, it is all a matter of influence. So who and what will you choose to follow that will build your character, development, and behavior?

I want to inspire, I want to motivate, I want to be a person of positive influence, I cannot be those things if I fill my life with the lies of the world. I can not give what I do not have…so again…

Philippians 4:8- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Think about these things……

Give a listen to this one for all of those that have been down and dragging:
Let your faith arise

 

 

Layers

My friend is an amazing baker and decorator, so one day I asked to tag along while she made a wedding cake. Little did she know, besides her amazing companionship, I was looking forward to a few scraps of her delicious cake during the creation process. I was not disappointed.

When she began, she pulled out the layers to the cake from the freezer where they were staying cool.

When the first layer was sitting on the cake plate waiting to be part of a magnificent creation, I felt it was not impressive at all. The flavors may have tasted good but you could certainly tell there was work to be done. I don’t think very many brides would be pleased for just one single non- decorative layer, as their wedding cake.Image

I watched as my friend piped icing along the edge of the layer and then pulled out some glaze  and spread the shimmering red fruit based goodness across the cake. Then she placed on top of the glaze some magnificent raspberries. I know they were magnificent because I sneaked a taste. She took another plane layer of cake and placed it on top of the now covered with berries layer of cake. Pressing the newest layer down firmly and making sure it was even she began to repeat the process of glaze and raspberries. Image

The layers completed, my friend put a smooth layer of frosting all around the cake. Using her tools to smooth it out and making sure it was completely covered. The frosting layer was so thin, I could see bits of cake showing through and I wondered for a moment if she was extremely tired and just hadn’t noticed. But she picked up the completed white cake with  raspberry filling and placed in in the refrigerator and I was not about to ask questions, she was on a mission.

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My friend then brought out the smaller cakes for the second tier. These were chocolate and she repeated the layering process but with strawberry glaze and fresh strawberries. Those strawberries were equally as delicious as the raspberries. Yes I had to taste test one of the strawberries as well.

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When both tiers were finished, my friend pulled the first tier out of the freezer and began to frost it. I thought, OH, now I see.

She frosted a nice smooth layer that covered the whole cake. She used warm water to smooth the frosting to make it even and remove any bubbles. The finished frosted cake was magnificent in itself. Yet she still had work to be done. On the completely frosted cake she began to etch her design.

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My friend is SO talented that when it came time to pipe the decorative design on her cake, she made her own tools because hers had been left somewhere else. She used what she had on hand and piped the frosting design on the cake. I would have thrown my hands up if I was in that situation, not having a clue how to make the tools, but she has the skills to know what to do.Image

It was an incredible experience watching an artist take their craft in their hands and creating something magnificent out of something that began so simple and unimpressive. It reminds me of the way the Lord works with us. He takes us as we are and begins one layer at a time. As we allow Him to do the work in us, we become even more intricate and perfected by the skills of His hands. He has all the ability, to complete us. He doesn’t have to rely on us and our abilities,even if we don’t have all the right tools in our way of thinking, He is handy enough to use what we have to be His instruments and His work is far better than what we could ever do on our own. We just need to be willing to allow Him to do a work in us.

As I look at the layering of the fruit I am reminded of the fruits of the Spirit. How when God is at work in us and we live for Jesus, we become known by the fruit that is in us. It should be sweet and good and make a difference to the layers within us. If we are not seeing the fruit as God does His work in us, we need to be evaluating, and asking ourselves why.

As God completes the very work He begins in us, it is beautiful and perfect and you can see the work was done by the one with the skill and not something we can do on our own.

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This was not the final product, but this is the final picture I was able to take. The day of the wedding my friend placed magnificent flowers on the cake. Wanting to wait until the right time, she waited for the day of the wedding so the flowers would not fall off. Just like our Lord, He does not complete the full work in us until JUST the right time. If we hurry the work, the final result will not be the same, there is prepping and timing for perfection.

Thank you Danielle, for your inspiring talent and for sharing your day with me… and letting me taste cake.

Challenge this day my friends: Allow the master creator, that knows exactly how to design all that you do  for perfection, to do the work in you. He knows your layering process, He knows what He wants to see and He is perfectly able to do the work in you. Let your fruit be sweet and bless all those around you with the fruits of the Spirit. Let the world know… yes, that one has had work done by the master.

Isaiah 64:8-

Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Galatians 5: 22- 23

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.

( New International Version)

Gardners

I wrote the blog below, right before my season of spreading joy to others began anew. It is because of the careful tending and encouragement of some amazing people in my life that I now am taking the time and energy to be a blessing. It is because of the dry and decaying season that I learned there could be joy in spite of the pain. We just need to sometimes recognize the joy comes from deep down and not from what we see.
The seasons of feeling that life is being sucked out of me, I had to allow others to attend to my heart, body, soul and mind. When man could not do it, I realized Jesus always was there. And when I needed a connection with human, he sent that too. Don’t forget to turn to the very one that created you to be great! Don’t forget to turn to Jesus when the people are stomping on your beauty.
I encourage you to read this previous post to see where I was, and where I am now. There is a great opportunity for joy when we actively see what is being done in our lives and we have joy regardless of the moments.
Posted on October 29, 2010- I am a plant in the garden that was flourishing and full of beautiful green plumage. When all of a sudden some plant hater decided to throw dirt over the top of me to hide me.
I have been hidden, starving for air, the beautiful plumage slowly dying and decaying beneath the new weight that had been thrust upon me.
Then along came people in my life that were turning the soil, fertilizing the soil, watering where the beautiful plant once was and only cracked dirt lie. Many tending the soil didn’t see the growth they expected of me and silently left, shaking their head in quiet disappointment. I was still suffocating under the weight and while they were no longer tending the garden feet trampled over the top of it.
I sat there, quiet, slowly dying as day by day the sun-scorched the cracked parched ground.
Then along came a new set of gardeners. Ones that were diligent and true to their passion for beauty to thrive. They watered and tended once more where others had given up. Where I myself was ready to lay dormant for another long season.
My roots you see were always deep. I was sure the life would return somehow, I just couldn’t bring it about on my own.
I began to grow that beautiful green plumage back. It was a great sight to behold for the ones that tenderly coaxed me. To see a sprout rise up out of the ground a brilliant green. And to their wonder and amazement as I rose fully above the ground my strong leaves did not remain the size they were before but had doubled in per-portion. I was not the same as I was when trouble came, I was stronger and excited to show the new life that I have become.
 Today: I realize the importance of having deep roots in good soil, that while I was in a season of dormancy and hurt, the truth was always there, just needing to be tended and reminded of what exactly I am planted in!
We are born and created to flourish; cultivate the good foundation!
  Challenge this day my friends : You were created to flourish and produce life! Time to cultivate the good foundation anew and if you don’t have the strength to do it on your own, connect with some good gardeners that will help you on your way! If you are in a strong point, till the ground of ones hurting; giving them the truth of God’s word, encourage, bless, or be a helping hand.
Mark 4:3-8
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed, as he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it all up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil, it sprung up quickly because the soil was shallow, but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants,  so that they did not bear grain.
Still, other seed fell on good soil, it came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.