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33248955_10216228639453667_8634740846178074624_nBy Writing for joy: Instagram @awakened_arts

 

I was at church Sunday and the word that kept rising in my heart for a young man was more.
“More God?” I asked, and he replied in my spirit, “yes, more, more, more.”
God kept nudging me to share and I had no idea this young man was in the process of being taught about coming to Jesus at the moment by another.

I walked up to him and said God wants you to know that you can ask for more. That He wants to give you more. Just as you look at your little baby and want everything for her, this is how the father looks at you. He doesn’t want you to miss out on anything.

I went home and the thought kept pondering in my mind. More, more, more.

Ephesians 3:19-20
And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

Just like this father looking at his tiny baby, our heavenly father looks at us. He wants the best for us, He wants his gifts for us, He wants more for us than we in our human minds, don’t think to ask for. 

I want to walk in my kingdom identity as His daughter, with His inheritance as my stepping stool to launch me into His work for my life. I want to know His love in infinite ways. God holds nothing back from me as His child, seeking Him first, He holds everything to give to me at the right time.

If I walked up to a stranger and asked for the inheritance to his life’s work, he would look at me with disdain and say, “who are you to ask such a thing?” 
But my heavenly father says… “YOU ARE MINE. All you have need of, ask. All that you can imagine, ask.
This isn’t about seeking the savior for what you get..it is about receiving because you have sought Him first and He is yours and everything that that entails. 

So as I say “yes Lord, I will receive your more, more more.”
He answers me,
 Now you have revelation it is time, live your life today by Kingdom standards, not earthly limits! ”

“Yes, Lord!”

Transformation: Fear is a Liar

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This picture came to me as I was worshiping in my living room before a special meeting at church. I had not planned on doing any painting that night, but the song in my head would not leave, “Fear is a liar”. So without knowing what I was painting, I sat and quickly painted my beginning picture. It was the eye of evil staring back at me. My first thought was, I am not taking this to church!
Then the instruction, “How will you look beyond the ugly and make something beautiful?” I knew at that moment this picture was about transformation.  I did not know it was to be mine!

I have rarely done a painting in public, and never with this process, fear tried to grip me. While I prayed and prepared,  the excitement of what God would do, overtook any timidity. I kept singing that song Fear is a Liar, knowing God would be my peace.

As I was packing my supplies the Lord said, ” tonight you will get messy, no brushes.”
It sounded fun and exciting to me but I have absolutely no coordination and fear again tried to grip me. I had to keep singing Fear is a Liar.

I then felt led to put red paint in a spray bottle ( NO idea why). I have never sprayed my paint before and had only bought the bottle for water just a few days before. People will think I am crazy and I don’t even know what to do with it. Fear tried to grip me and I had to sing again, Fear is a Liar.

In this process I was seeing how fast my site can shift. How fast a lie can creep in.

I flipped the painting over and I could see in the eye, a worshiper. I knew my result would be a worshiper but no idea how the transformation was to take place.
I packed my paints, prepared to take everything with me and continued to pray.

At some point in the service, I truly can’t remember where, the visiting pastor from Bethel had said,  “Tonight we are going to get messy. I like messy church!”I truly laughed out loud! She was meaning we are not following our own agenda and it will not look like church always looks, but God had given me an action, to step out of my comfort and my known to let HIM do a work and instructed me to get messy! He confirmed through her exact words what I had heard. Don’t be afraid to get messy.

In worship, The song Fear is a Liar began and a woman with an amazing ministry of sign language was next to me signing the song. I didn’t dare look at her because when she signs I always want to cry, it is so beautiful. So I looked at the painting, spray bottle in a hand and the words began. ” When he told you’re not good enough,” (spray the blood of Jesus over it, this is why red, this is why bottle, the paint dripped over the evil eye. The blood of Jesus covering every lie). When I realized why the spray bottle, I shook with joy. My tears blurred the painting for a moment. I pressed in, praying and obeying.
“When he told you your not right” (Spray), “when he told you’re not strong enough, to put up a good fight” (spray.)
This continued through all the lies, then it was time to get messy. Without really knowing what I was to do, that picture went through a transformation journey.
A worshiper facing the eye, arms raised formed, then swirl of paint and the flames from a fire, more smudge of messy paint, a dove representing peace, the blues were added becoming a river of God washing over her. Then she was gone and an angel appearing to fight. Lastly, she was a new worshiper, covered with the Glory of God, facing forward in the painting, more confident, ready and all of Gods amazing triumph of colors surrounding her, surrounding her in His love, He had covered it all and she was ready to move forward. The enemies lies no longer in her sights.

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I truly wish I had recorded the process. I had no idea the journey the Lord would take me on. The funny thing is, many times, I wanted a paint brush. I wanted to perfect the work. It was not until the next day the Lord allowed me to paint the worshiper, after all, He had revealed and I used a brush. Not until I was ready to submit fully and see the full work He had for me.
It was messy and did not look the way I wanted it to. Just now as I thought about that, the Lord shows me, you wanted to rush the process. If you would have had a brush, you would have gone straight to the worshiper, you would not have seen my blood covering, you would not have seen the dove, the angel, the many glorious colors. You would have robbed yourself of the full work of your transformation. This process was so healing for me. I recognized each lie the blood of Jesus had to cover. I saw the peace covering my head. I saw the angel fighting for my victory.

I feel so humbled as I look at the work the Lord has done in me. How in my own power I would have quickly ‘fixed’ it to look the way I wanted it to look. I would have bypassed all the hard stuff. I may have had a decent outcome but I would have missed the strength, the skills, the courage that had come out of it, there is beauty in the process!

I tell you I truly wanted a brush when the Spirit of God was on me so strong my hands were shaking and I was trying to paint with them. My fingers felt clumsy, the paint all mixed and not perfect. God says…this is exactly what I want. You messy and all, let me do the transformation and remember Fear is a liar!

Here is the song to give a listen: Fear is a Liar

Again and Again

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Recently I was in the waves of depression or grief I am not sure exactly which, but I was getting to where I  wanted to just isolate myself on most days.

I had lost my dad a year ago and my health struggles of the last few years hit another all-time high with no explanations, leading to walking away from my job I loved. Coming to grips with all the loss, I was truly trying to keep my head above water.

I had this heavy blanket over my mind often since childhood. When I was at Bethel Worship Music School this year, so much was revealed to me and was broken off of me.
I have been healed of the suicidal depression years ago. Jesus rescued me before. But this release was generational. This release will take deep roots in my family. God has brought me to a place of Joy that I had not felt since I was under 8 years old.

There with my heart open saying, God, why has this returned?  He said, “I will do it again. You want your release, here you go. I will do it again. I will meet you at every stage and every time. I will do it again! Don’t focus on the why, you know the why. Focus on the victory because it is here. ”

I just broke with my love from Him. I was valued and given the gift of LIFE.
When I let myself remember the work He had done before and I let myself be loved by Him in new ways, deeper relationship, it is then that He rescued me.
My heart was lifted with the knowledge that He will rescue me again and again from every situation. I do not need to return to the old. That one has been done with.
Anything else arises, He will be in that too, ready to save.

The funny thing is this time that I was rescued, it was much swifter then years past.
The days of deep depression did not linger long, as I was able to recognize them and remember where my help comes from. The maker of heaven and earth, my creator, my savior, my friend, my JESUS. He did it before and He will rescue me again and again. From each struggle, from each battle. He will rescue me again and again.

I am human, I may open the door to the same battle, but He is so faithful to reach in and pull me out of it. He is also faithful to give me the tools to not go there anymore.

I was at church Sunday and just heard…SOUND THE ALARM.

When you are struggling in life, sound your alarm!
Call out to Him and He will be quick to answer you.
Right there with you in your walk no matter where you are at, He comes.

In our natural life, if you are looking at a fire, you are going to sound that fire alarm. You will not just sit and watch it consume everything in front of you, you are going to call a rescuer. When you are struggling in the Spirit, SOUND your alarm.

He will meet you again and again. Give the song a listen 😉 This one blesses my heart to pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Heart

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I have been in a season of great frustration lately. I am frustrated with the health, my physical limits, my personality,  the finances being stretched and not being able to work at what I love right now, and finally the lack of some changes around me that need to happen.
I am frustrated with my reactions to those frustrations.
I am frustrated with my frustrations!

I have noticed my speech has been more negative, I have blown up more often in harsher ways and I have seemed to misplace that joy to the full that was with me constantly. Lately, my joy comes in snippets, like this morning when I was watering my flowers listening to the bird songs, yet the fatigue sets in and my joy meter seems to begin to fade.

I have been seeking the Lord on this issue lately and He reminded me of truths when I first began seeking joy and what will lead me to get my joy to the full, back in place.

1- Out of the heart, the mouth will speak.
God pointed out that just as a parrot, will repeat what it has been told over and over, so will my heart. You can teach a parrot good things or bad, depending on what you spend your time feeding it.

I have been so negative lately because my heart is frustrated. I am repeating that despair and defeat. I am letting it set in where there should be no place for it. I need to fill my heart with life rather than my situations. The fruit of that will be less negativity and criticism.
How to fill the heart to be life productive: Word, Prayer, and Worship. Less of the world and more of HIM.
The song… I have the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart, comes to mind. Let’s have the Lord put some JOY in our hearts today!

2- Recognize the NO’s
One thing that gets to my heart frustrated is the conflicting political views. The anger and hatred I read or hear from both sides are contagious. This is a no for me. I need to recognize the no’s in my life. Sitting and listening to someone else’s frustrations for hours is a NO. The other day, I had a FULL 7 hours of listening and trying to minister to others. Multiple people, but it was a straight 7 hours and they just wanted to vent, not solutions! This is A BIG NO for me and I have to be prepared to say, enough let’s talk about something else. It is absolutely draining otherwise.
Another big no, Doing everything that pops into my head because I have the energy at the moment, is a no for me. I can’t do everything and be everything to everybody. I have to know when to say no, otherwise out of my heart will be resentment and frustration when I become exhausted.

3- It is okay to be me.
I feel guilty for wanting to spend so much time alone and then it plays on my mind. Out of the heart, my mouth will speak, if I am dogging myself and my personality in my heart, I will not have life and give life to others but criticism and harshness. The same criticism and hurtful opinions of myself will be put on others.

I was an only child, a latchkey one at that. Much of my time was spent joyfully alone. I am learning I am a social introvert. I love people and the ministries the Lord has before me, but too much and I am absolutely exhausted. I need to separate and reboot, and in this season it is needed more often. I need the quiet, I thrive on the quiet, it is life-giving to me and that is okay. I need to accept me.
I also have let the opinion of others that I need to be love to everyone all the time put guilt on me. I do need to love everyone, be a light to everyone, but I do not need to socialize with everyone. There are some people who are toxic and I can’t love them enough to change that, I have tried.  When a needy, critical, hurtful person begins to toxify my life, I need to be aware and put my foot down.
I can be selective in this season and for my own health that is ok and necessary.

4- Except my limits.
This is an extension of the no’s but very relevant in its own way.
I have half completed things around my house all of the time in this season. To get through doing the dishes, I have to unload the dishwasher, sit down and rest, then go back to loading it. Same with the Laundry, I can get it out of the dryer and fold but that is the end of it for me and it sits folded, while I rest. This is often the same getting ready for my day; shower, sit. Fix hair, sit. Put on makeup and brush teeth, sit. The fatigue can be overwhelming and if I push, do not rest, do not take those breaks, I can hardly walk across the room and it last for days rather than moments. I have to accept where I am, not bury the negative in my heart but the truth, I have limits, God will grant me strength in my weakness, but I can listen to those limits. Out of the heart, my mouth will speak, perhaps my healing will come faster, if I take the time to REST IN THE LORD, and speak the truth about what I am ABLE to do rather than just sit and stir about what I am not.

I am sure there are many other areas the Lord will reveal to me in the next few weeks as I seek Him on the issue. But today the biggest one that sticks out to me is out of the heart the mouth will speak. No matter how I feel, if I am feeding my heart good things, my mouth will speak good things. If my focus is on my flesh and my situation, of course, negative things will be what comes out. I need to not focus on all my flaws, to err is human, but my God is bigger than my screw ups. He can do more than what I know. He can restore. He makes all things new.
These truths are what will be buried deep in my heart. So that Out of my heart my mouth will speak LIFE things.

Matthew 15:18

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
ESV

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord be the calm in this storm

 Psalm 107:29 –

He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

 

My body has taken a turn lately. While I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for over ten years, the last two years something has been going on that I thought was related, only to find out that it is not. I cry out, Lord be the calm in this storm.

For two years I have allowed a doctor to shrug away many symptoms, only to find out I shouldn’t have. Lord be the calm in this storm.

While these new symptoms may be nothing too concerning, I am tired. I am tired and frustrated with the set back. I have had to cut out most activities and leave my jobs. Lord be the cam in this storm.

I physically am exhausted. But one thing that I am finding, that when I press in to praise and worship, for those moments with my eyes set on Jesus, all falls away. My symptoms fall away. My heartache falls away. My depression falls away. My eyes are the one whom created me and in Him I find my strength. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Yesterday I could hardly move when I woke up. Every part of my body was stiff and hurting. As I got up to get ready for Easter service, the dizziness was increased and the muscle weakness discouraging. I had to use my cane and I did not want to give in to that need. I walked into church with my cane. I stood worshiping holding on to my cane. As the worship continued I grew stronger and stronger. I started worshiping without my hand on the cane for balance. By the last song I was able to put the microphone down, and dance. Now my dance was limited in comparison to a time before all this, but the dance was there nevertheless. He was faithful to give me that gift in that moment. An encouragement that He still is my strength. He never fails. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I find each day in this trial that the Lord takes me deeper and brings me farther than I could ever imagined. He speaks into my inner being in a way that only my weakness would allow. I have developed such a compassion for others in similar struggles. I am learning how to step back and hear what they are going through. I am learning to use my time resting to still develop my giftings He has placed in me. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I will find beauty in this season. I will rest in Him and know that He already knows my every day and I can have peace in that.  Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Lord be the calm in this storm, as you faithfully always have been.

My song for this season that stirs my hope….may it bless you as well.
Do it again

 

 

Awaken

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Revelation 3:2

‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

 

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord 
From my slumber that brings death
Awaken my dreams

Awaken my passions
Awaken my gifts
Awaken my steps
Awaken my heart to hear your call  

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord
Awaken my soul so that I may praise you with the things that remain

 

Awaken: To rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping.


God  has placed dreams and passions in my own heart, some that I do not even know of yet. I have let my physical limits to allow me to slumber. The work God has for me to do has been limited. I am called to WAKE UP.  

Today I call out to the Father; “Where I am weak, make me strong and where I am lacking show your abundant supply. Wake me up Lord and bring the dreams to completion.” 

How many dreams have you let sit on the back of your mind, not giving them the time and attention that they deserve? Do you realize that our dreams can DIE.
There are dreams and passions that are planted in our hearts and we are called to strengthen them! I dare you, ask the Lord to revive your dreams. Ask the Lord to awaken things that are about to die. I pray your passion is renewed and you are AWAKEN.