Thursday, March 29, 2012

I’m A Little Teapot

God uses everyday things to speak to us, if we will allow Him to insert His thoughts and guidance into our thought processes. 

This is what the Lord had to say about my teakettle as I continued to meditate on its purpose.

Mary Jane, you are like a teakettle designed for a certain task. First, your foundation (My love, forgiveness, acceptance) was made of copper ensuring your ability to withstand whatever amount of heat I required. Your sides were made of stainless steel so that you would not rust, stain, and could be easily cleaned as food (attitudes and actions of others) splashed on you while standing in your appointed place. The handle (God’s guidance) was made sturdy and securely fastened to avoid accidents.  When a situation designed for you arises, I will fill you with the proper amount of water/My word before setting you on/in My watchful eye to heat. A teakettle never worries over timing or the details of its location and neither should you. I will always oversee and guide every detail of preparation for any upcoming situation. Now, the only thing left to do is to wait patiently for the water/My word to become the right temperature/seal to your heart for use. Remember, it has been said a watched/worried pot never boils/becomes usable. The heat represents the external trials, temptations, or tests needed to convert the revelation of My word (promises) into a “proclaimable” form. You have to experience the promise as true revelation before you will be able to speak it forth with authority. Finally, when the steam of your sacrifices of praise begin to arise, that is My signal the process is almost complete. When the whistle finally blows, your readiness to serve in spite of extreme pressure has peaked. The process is finished and I can take you off the heat. Your praise in the “mist” of difficult situations helps to release faith to Me, my child, and faith invigorates My senses. The outpouring of the water into the appointed cup symbolizes your new territory, promotion and destiny for that moment in time. The lid on the waterspout serves to hold the whistle but it also ensures the right amount of water/My word will flow out into each situation. Too much or to little water can easily spoil the best intensions. Realize, my child, I need to remain in charge of that feature too. How often you will be used or moved, should not concern or worry you at all. Those details are highly guarded until the proper time. However, a willingness to serve whatever the cost is your concern. Therefore, continue to sharpen your skill of My word while maintaining a high level of humility. These two commands will always enable you to be a ready and reliable vessel for service.

We all want God to speak to us in our daily lives. It will take a little determination but I challenge you to look at your surroundings in a new way today. As you are going through your normal activities, take one object and see what God has to say to you. Think about the object’s purpose and how that relates to how you are to walk in Christlikeness. As you begin the process, God will meet you there.

Blessings for your thinking and let me know what God is saying!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Retreat to Advance

Love, acceptance and forgiveness were the theme words for a retreat I went on recently. By the time the weekend was over, God helped me to act on all three of those words for the healing of ‘Me’.

We sat in one large circle of about 20 chairs. The discussion was lively, thought provoking, and honest. The climax of the process came when we were asked to find a place to relax and allow God to speak to us about whatever He chose so I headed outside. The first thing I notice was a freshly cut tree stump. That’s what I have felt like for along time, I thought, Pruned to the ground with nothing left. I kept walking until I came to a small fenced in playground. The swing looked inviting so I sat down and began to swing. Higher and higher I went until the swing began to hurt my hip joints so I had to stop. Sitting there, I noticed a patch of clover. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could find a four-leaf clover? So on my knees I went and began to search. Within seconds like my hand was being guided to the exact spot, I picked a small four-leaf clover out of the bunch. At that point, God’s gentle voice began to speak and the tears began to flow.

God acknowledged that my training of the past several years had cost me everything but He was there to revive and restore all that was stolen. He recognized that I had been wounded but He was going to heal the hurt.  Then He told me the four-leaf clover represented four hearts (Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and me) that had been molded together through His guiding process. I had learned what it meant to be desperate for Him and then to seek Him with my whole heart for direction. Now I was ready to minister to those He would send my way. My promise to Him in response was, if He would continue to show me His way to overcome in the difficult times that were sure to be ahead, I would welcome everyone He sent.  Finally, I felt released to forgive myself.

Have you had a hard time forgiving yourself after a long weary season? Do you need to forgive yourself of the past so you can focus on looking forward?

We all go through seemingly endless times of wilderness where we feel like we have let God down in one way or another because of our hasty decisions or our thoughtless actions. We moan and groan over what we should have done. We continually ask for forgiveness for using human logic instead of His wisdom. Then we wait and wonder if the mess we’ve made will ever end.

Beloved, God redeems everything, if we will trust Him to mature us through it. Nothing is a waste of time. The bad and the ugly can all be redeemed. God will turn what we think is useless trash into an anointed testimony of experience which will inspire others. All He is waiting for is our humility and trust to seek Him.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Christlikeness: The Real Witness

Every Christian is supposed to be a witness. So…how DO we proclaim Christ?

I am learning that witnessing has more to do with how we present Christ through our attitudes and our lifestyle choices instead of our spoken words. We have been lead to believe our words to others is the most important element in witnessing when actually it is our actions and how we deal with our daily situations. When people are able to see Christlikeness in us, the Bible says, they will be draw to Him or Him in us. Then, when we have a natural opportunity to invite those around us into the Kingdom, they will have already seen the ups and downs of how God works through a believer and be able to make a lasting decision. Life with Christ is not always easy but it is well worth the struggle. Character, blessings and joy come as we persevere all the way through. And that is what we want to world to know through the way we live.

How do we develop Christlikeness in our lives? 

First, place yourself where you can learn wisdom from Christians older in the faith then you. 

Second, regularly study the scriptures especially the life of Christ and the Apostle Paul. 

Third, discipline yourself to use what you are learning for the decision-making you do everyday. 

Last, begin by using your faith for God to supply small things. As your trust strengthens in Biblical principles, God will help your witness to increase by giving you more opportunities to trust Him in bigger situations. In this way, trust in God can grow for you personally as well as your witness to God’s faithfulness. The promises of God are true but we have to experience each truth before it becomes real to us, before it becomes ours and before we can proclaim that truth to others. I wish there was a quicker or even easier way to learn but in the end it comes down to an act of your will to grow in the things of God to better your witness for Christ.

Are there issues in your own life, which keep you from proclaiming Christ with your whole heart? What is keeping you from being intentional about learning and demonstrating more Christlikeness in all that you do? Whatever the hindrances may be, you can overcome them with God’s love, wisdom and a resolve to listen and learn more about Him.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Spot of Encouragement

Occasionally, we need to be encouraged to go forward with our passions in spite of our own personal fears and challenges. I went through one of those difficult times recently. I desperately needed a tangible sign from God that He would inspire my writing in the days ahead as I stepped out in faith to write for the public.

Our writers group had been given the prompt “To Go” by one of the members and it was due in a week.  As the week progressed, I had not been able to come up with any ideas. And now that it was the night before it was due, I was getting frustrated. Sometimes I think writer’s block permanently sits on my shoulder so he can make fun of me regularly. Finally, I plopped down on the couch to relax, calm my negative thinking and pray for inspiration. With my laptop in hand, I typed the title at the top of the page and waited. Before long with a burst of energy and a dab of anger, this poem emerged.


I’m going to be a writer
Whether you like it or not.
Place the words in motion
In the order of my thoughts.
God will guide the process
As I search to find His will
He knows the lives He wants to touch
With the strokes of my holy quill.

There…I had gotten an idea written down.

Then what happened next was only something God could have orchestrated. When I centered the poem on the page as I often do, a shape appeared. Can you see the shape the poem makes?

I’m going to be a writer
Whether you like it or not.
Place the words in  motion
In the order of my thoughts.
God will guide the process
As I search to find His will
He knows the lives He wants to touch
With the strokes of my holy quill.

If you look closely and imagine a curvy handle on one side, then it becomes a perfect teacup and saucer. When I saw the image emerge, I was shocked and joyously surprised. Faith filled my soul. Then suddenly, it dawned on me. The lady who gave the prompt collects teacups and saucers! WOW! God had answered my prayer with a flare and helped me gain confidence again. Now, when the doubts and fears want to invade my mind, this poem has become the lasting testimony I need to overcome the enemy of my soul.

Are you going through something challenging! Have you allowed the threat of failure to invade your soul in the final hours? God knows our situations better then we do and He is committed to giving us all the encouragement, wisdom and resources we will need to overcome. Talk to Him…then be still and know that He is God.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Orange Wax Anointing

Hark! Was this a sign before I go to the Boot Camp Conference? As I was talking on the phone with one of my writer buddies, I was also busy cleaning off my desk. You know the multitasking thing. Well, when I moved the lighted ‘Christ candle’ I keep on my desk, the candle fell over and orange wax went all over my hands, my computer, my tablet of writing ideas and of course the desk itself. The wax was hot and sticky, but all I could think about was having to clean up another mess. Then, the Holy Spirit invaded my thoughts to illuminate the situation. I began to see another reason for the mess. Was the wax pouring out the Lord’s way of anointing and sealing me to write for Him? It WAS the Christ candle and the wax fell mainly on my hands, my writing ideas and my laptop.

 Writers ADVANCE Boot Camp for me was like a coming out of the shadows by searching to learn more about how to write better, I wanted to learn to use my hands more effectively to war through the pieces I will write on the computer. I have struggled for along time to see myself as a writer and that God had truly chosen me to be His “scribble.” (Typos are funny and sometimes revealing as well.) And now, after the conference has ended, there is purpose and excitement filling my soul. I am courageously stepping up and out to say, “Yes Lord, send me.”

The candle wax was orange. Oh how fitting. Orange is the color associated with passion and fire. Passion and fire are what I had asked the Lord for as I went into the weekend of learning. Do I feel a little overwhelmed at the task ahead? Yes. However, God’s passion inside of me will catapult me towards my goal of writing for Him alone. The fire is what He may need to put under me at times when I get too comfortable with where I am at in the moment.

 As you read this, what is your passion? Is there something you have not stepped out on? If there is, take courage and strength to follow the Lord’s leading. It may be scary at first but it will be well worth the cost in the end. Blessings for your journey, my friends.

This blog is the beginning point of what I feel God is calling me to do. My prayer is that the posts I make will touch and inspire you to continue with joy on your walk with the Lord. Life on this earth is not easy but it is manageable when we have the wisdom from above to go by.

So Lord…Thanks you for your anointing power. Without Your guidance, my words would be to no avail. Teach me how to war with my hands so that I can touch the lives you intend for me to touch. And Lord…Give me the courage and strength to see the task through. AMEN