Going Beyond Maintenance

Philippians 3:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

14I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

We’re closing in on the end of March. Where are you with that diet you started on January 1st, continuing your Job search “after the Holidays,” or what about all of the other promises you made to yourself at New years such as becoming financially fit, stop cussing or gossiping, etc.? Did you pray about and were you lead to Fast anything over the period of Lent that we’re in? That, too, is coming to a close in just a couple of short days! So, are you maintaining or did you ever get to the maintenance period and find your groove? If you have, how will you go above and beyond the maintenance period? Why stop at 20lbs when you really have 50 to lose? Why only send 10 Resumes when there are 40 companies that could be looking for your skill set? Or, have you just settled and given up on changing your vocabulary, your thoughts and the way you go back to your old regular routine, because no one is going to care about the “new you?” If you don’t hold yourself accountable to your goals, more specifically your faith, how do you think God considers your choice when you stray away from Him?

I’m not writing this to make you or anyone feel badly about yourself. I’ve stumbled and lost progress in various decisions and goals. We all have. None of us are perfect, but that is the beauty of having Christ in us and working through you to change you everyday into His image! See from the book of Lamentations below:

Lamentations 3:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)
22  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a] his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

I’ve been pondering this post for 4 or 5 days trying to bring it together. I’ve had the general idea for a good week, but have been wanting/waiting to hear from God on the process of  developing the words to put here. In all honesty, I have not truly committed myself to praying over it. A few days ago, I had lots of ideas and thoughts that seemed like they would be a good fit, but was not at a place and time that I could write anything down or make notes. Today, during some of my Tweeting and Retweeting of myself, I was blessed to receive some correction from a friend on my Timeline and I am grateful that I was in a place with the Lord that I could freely receive the correction and not be offended. I think that is a huge turning-point that many people miss because we can become easily offended if someone “rises-up” against something we said.

Below is the RT (Retweet) of what I said earlier…

“@scrupulousgirl If u want to go to Hell, all u have to do is disbelieve God’s Word. Hell is the complete & total absence of God. There is no goodness there.”

While it is true that Hell is the complete and total absence of God, scaring anyone into an invitation or decision for Salvation is not the way God wants us to lead people to Him.

Here is the loving response that my friend kindly corrected me with:

“@nailingitdown @scrupulousgirl Scaring people w/Hell is one of the major errors of the Christian faith. Yeshua draws with cords of love not chains of fear.”

God wants us to have relationship with other Christians so that we can build one another up in the faith, and that is exactly what I felt this afternoon. I have Retweeted the above a few times over the past several weeks and no one, until now, ever said anything. Did they also not know any better or were simply ignoring it and hoping I would find correction on my own? So,  here I am, with the opportunity to ponder and mediate on what other things I may have Tweeted or said to others that may have been misleading or misrepresenting the love of God, His Truth and Peace and distancing people from the faith instead of drawing them in. I now have the option of going above and beyond maintaining where I am right now, or falling back into the comfort of my old ways prior to this season as we embrace the Easter celebration coming up. I choose to embrace the lesson and to be stronger in my Faith through this day’s exercise. God’s mercies are new every morning, according to Lamentations 3:23. It isn’t too late to start fresh tomorrow and get your groove back.

“@scrupulousgirl We are on the edge of inheriting God’s glory! #Jesus will come back like a thief in the night. Are you ready for His return? #KingdomFocus

@nailingitdown I want to graciously thank you for your patience with me and our conversations through Twitter. I always delight in having your input and could not have completed this Post without your kind correction. Thank you for your time and brotherly love in Christ today! #Blessings

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Divine Appointments

Have you ever experienced a Divine appointment? Maybe it was a chance meeting for a new job opportunity, making a new friend or relocating your residence and having a special new neighbor. I have been fortunate enough to have (2) of the (3); my job and good neighbors. Sadly, my favorite neighbors recently moved about 1/2 hour or so away. People often get frustrated when they don’t hear from God, but what they fail to recognize and understand is that all the while you’re waiting for your break-through, God is working “behind-the-scenes” to bring things together for your good and to further His plan, His perfect Will for your life.

“@scrupulousgirl #SayThis I am confident in who I am in Christ. I believe what God’s Word says about me. I will not put myself down because then I am in agreement with the devil and his schemes. I find my identity in Christ, not in what I do or through my possessions. #Identity #Image

Since I began writing this Blog, I have had the fortune of seeing God reveal His plan for me. I am eager with anticipation for what is to come! This evening, I have an appointment for something that God has been speaking to me on for a while. Initially, the appointment was not to be scheduled until some time mid-late April. A few nights ago, I received an Email stating there had been a cancellation and they wanted to know if I was available Friday 03/23. I could have had other things planned, but whatever those plans were, I would have personally sidelined them to make this appointment. I know that God’s hand is in this opportunity so I responded immediately and let the Scheduling coordinator know that I am available.

I thank God for what is in store this evening and I ask that you would please pray for me that I will experience His peace, compassion, hope and healing for what is to come through this appointment tonight.

Proverbs 4:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared].


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The Wave

James 1:4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

Recently there have been waves of reinforcements from Holy Spirit in various areas of growth for me. I’ve seen Followers on my Twitter Timeline edify something I said and vice versa, or read a few verses in the Bible, talk with my mom about something, even watching and listening to something on TBN. God is GOOD! He knows what we need when it is needed. He is always on time and going ahead of us to prepare and steady our steps for growth, when we seek His Good and perfect Will for our lives.

If you knew me in person,  you would know that I’m  typically pretty shy. God is pressing me to be more bold! As the Author & Finisher of my faith, He is chasing after me to tell people His story through my life. I have been mostly a loner since my early childhood. I’ve learned to enjoy my own company. I have been rejected, bullied and teased most of my life. Until the past few years, I was a doormat. People took advantage of me and I didn’t know how, could not or would not make a stand for myself. I’ve briefly mentioned self-image issues before, but I will say that in this short 4 or 5 weeks since Lent began, my confidence, because of my relationship with Jesus, has grown by leaps and bounds. My spirit is fully awake and ready to receive what He is calling me to do. He has been patiently waiting for me to completely grasp His outstretched hand and trust and obey His plans for me.

“@scrupulousgirl: I start and end my day in conversation with El Olam, the Everlasting God. Through the Holy Spirit, I am guided into all Truth, Peace & Hope.”

For many years, I wondered how and where I could find or locate a Mentor. Life Coaches often want a fee for their time, and Mentors really are not friends. I had often tried to make friends my mentors. God made Jesus our Perfect Role model. He is the Friend we should be chasing after, instead of people! I didn’t know where to find other Eagle Christians, because I had been wounded so deeply by people who claimed to be Christ followers. They were more or less self-seeking individuals rather than helping to lift others up in the faith. I’ve written some Tweets lately that press people who have been long in the faith to not give up. We need to keep on pressing-in and running our race so that we can help lift newcomers into the Kingdom along with the back-slidden to rise up and hold them accountable as well.

1 Corinthians 2:16 (AMP)
16For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.

I saw a Sermon on Mentorship, this past weekend, from Pastor Ron Carpenter of the Redemption Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Over the past couple of days, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me that instead of finding my own Mentor that I can BE the Mentor. My Mom pointed out that I’m already doing that via my Blog as well as through Twitter. As I was walking my cats earlier (oh yea there’s that story I haven’t told yet HA!) this morning, I was praising God and talking to the Holy Spirit, thanking Him for His goodness and He spoke into my Spirit that I am in His perfect Will. I’ve been feeling it, but hadn’t firmly heard that from Him until this morning.

“When promotion comes, people misinterpret you, because your responsibilities change. You can’t enter a new life & have old responsibilities.” Ron Carpenter

I know there is much work ahead of me and I am becoming more comfortable with that. I know that Satan will attempt to cause blinding, aggressive attacks and I must be ready for him at all times. Jesus has assured me that when I wear the Armor of God, I will be protected. It’s imperative that we keep watch at all times! Satan is never idle! We must pray over ourselves and our families, possessions and property all of the time. The more I get out and practice praying for people out loud and telling people about God’s love for them, either on the phone or through Tweets, Email, Texting, Instant messaging, etc., it will become easier. I thank God for this call and opportunity that I can be the Mentor to others that I was seeking so long. Jesus wants me to step out of the boat and come out to Him in the deep. While I’m stepping, I will be very careful to not take my eyes off of Him.

Abba, I praise and thank You for this opportunity You have set before me and look forward to the challenge of where You are leading me. I trust that You have gone ahead to prepare and steady the path. I will use my faith and go as You assign me to walk. Selah!

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Cleaning Out the Closets

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

   28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Isn’t it refreshing when Holy Spirit wakes you up early to spend some time with Him? Growing up, I was never a Morning person. Some days, I still feel I’m not, but that part of my life, I believe, is beginning to come to a close. Holy Spirit has been working with me on that and I am becoming more grateful for it. As I go through the day, I really try to stay focused on having an open-ended conversation with Him, because He is my help and if I get distracted, I know He is there to guide me and comfort me when needed.

“@scrupulousgirl  A heavy burden may be a sign that you’re chasing after the wrong thing. Let Jesus carry the load. His burden is light. #See Matthew 11:28-29″

Sometimes, while I’m busy focused on work or tasks at home, the Holy Spirit will reveal to me a burden that I’ve been carrying that has gone on too long and I need to let go of. Part of managing our lives is the ability to get our attention and display His patience that passes our understanding! The good news is that while I have been acknowledging the issue that was made very clear to me this morning to let go of, I’m finally ready to put it in it’s place and let Jesus carry the load. He never asks us to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, no matter what the issue at hand might be. The more important task is that once we give up the problem, we need to be very careful to not take it back.

Before going to sleep last night, I watched Pastor Steven Furtick, from Elevation Church, via Roku, preaching his current Sermon Series, Gray Matter. The topic was He’s Big Enough for Both (Dumb Dichotomies) One of Pastor Furtick’s quotes that I took from the Sermon and Tweeted is “Is your obedience to God conditional or unconditional?” This morning, as I was reviewing some of my Tweets from yesterday and last night, I got to thinking more indepth about that quote. I think it applies here easily. If I take back the burden I lifted off of myself this morning, that means I don’t trust God to handle it. What I’d like to see in the future is His blessing and reward, because I know that He can and I need to continue trusting that He is able to do far more than we can think or ask!

Ephesians 3:20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
20Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]–

Is there anything that you’re holding on to that you need to let go of and trust Jesus with it? He did not create us to carry any burdens alone. He is our comforter and gives us peace, joy, understanding. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you trust your Savior to handle the things you cannot change? Mark 1:41, Matthew 8:3 and Luke 5:13 all give an account of where Jesus stretched out His hand to the Leper and cleansed the man. I encourage you to go read the full text of this story and learn about how Jesus is willing to stretch out His hand to us to show compassion and willingness to help those in need. Remember, once you let go of something and give it to Him, don’t take it back. You might block your blessing and Jesus gives fantastic gifts! Selah!

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Learning to Walk

Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

I haven’t written in almost (10) days. It feels a little odd to be here this morning. I don’t feel like I’m out in the Wilderness, because I know that the Wilderness is not God’s destination for me. I am highly intuitive and very self-aware of myself in my own environment,  knowing what is causing me to be off kilter. I am also someone who internalizes everything and usually slow to speak, providing I haven’t allowed my emotions to get the best of me. That is something I’ve really been asking God to help me be less of lately, emotional. I hate that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I rather be more logical and loving, caring, but able to manage myself through God’s eye with His hand on me. That’s the change I want to be in myself. Less of me, more of His good work. He is the Author and Finisher of my faith. (See Hebrews 12:2, Amplified & Matthew 11:28)

“@scrupulousgirlGod knows how to manage us & can get our attention so that we stay focused on Him. If we don’t have faith, He will work through our weakness.”

When you’re not saved, you have less ability to stabilize yourself. People are searching for stability through co-dependency on other people, in drugs and alcohol or sex and other addictions; gambling, being a workaholic, shopping, food, etc. Having relationship with Jesus keeps the environment stable. If a “storm” invades your life, He is there to protect and comfort you. If you use drugs and alcohol as your comfort it simply drains you of yourself. You stop being you and allow the poison that consumes you to run your life. Shopping addictions can bankrupt you, leaving you in debt and unable to financially care for yourself and or your family. If we take on too much of the World, it leaves less space for the Light of the World to come in.

1 John 1:5-6 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

You may or may not know that one of my favorite Devotional books is ‘Pursuit of His Presence,’ by Kenneth & Gloria Copeland. As I was reading the March 16th devotion last night before I went to sleep, several things came together, personally, of spiritual conversation of things I had either seen Tweeted, read about or heard through preachers on TBN the past few days. The ‘Pursuit of His Presence’ book is setup so that every other day, one Devotion is written by Kenneth and the following day by Gloria and vice versa. 1 John 1:5-6 (above) was the segue into the writing. The title is “No Shades of Gray.” Kenneth writes, “The sad thing is, many Christians who are walking in unforgiveness don’t know they’re in darkness. They think because they read their Bibles and say “Amen” at church, they’re in fellowship with God.”

1 John 2:11
11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

God knows how to manage us and He knows how to get our attention. I meditated on the devotion above for a bit, as there is small group of people in my life that I need to be more merciful toward and forgive their treatment of me (not ignore it, but forgive and release it), but at the same time careful that I don’t allow them to weed out the Light in my life and cause me to start walking in shades of gray. We can carry our Light (Jesus) with us every place we go, but we don’t have to conform to the people around us and dig into and take on their mess in order to fit in. If you don’t fit in some place, it’s Ok to step back and reexamine your position with that person or group of people.

I had to laugh because God really does know exactly what we need. I don’t read all of my devotions every single day. I like to look at different ones and sometimes I don’t even read the one specifically marked by the Author for that Date on the Calendar, but yesterday’s Joyce Meyer March 16th devotion from  her ‘New Day, New You’ book spoke heavily to me. I read it directly after the Copeland writing. The segue verse to the devotion was Galations 5:16, below.

Galatians 5:16
Amplified Bible (AMP)
16But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

Earlier in the week, I had listened to Joyce Meyer and John Hagee through some of their shows on TBN. What was reinforced for me is that God doesn’t want us to have Him sitting on the sidelines of our lives. We can’t operate in our own strength. He didn’t build us for that. He did not make us robots. We have Free will to make choices, but without His Divine protection, without going deeper in our walk with the King of Kings, we will get off balance. During this transition towards Easter, I’ve become very aware of things I wished I had paid more attention to on a level I feel like I should have been conscious of years ago. There are times where I feel like I still have my Training wheels on, and I think that’s Ok, but Jesus has called on us to get out of the boat and focus on Him!

God did not call us to be perfect. We’re all at different levels of faith or no faith, in life. I’m in my early 40s and I was saved at 15 years old. You might think I ought to have no balancing problems, but I do. I’m still learning, every day to allow Him to transform me into the woman He has called me to be, and I am enjoying getting to know that girl. If I allow Satan to keep me busy, I can’t hear from the Holy Spirit and if Jesus calls on me to step out of the boat, where is my faith? It must be strengthened in Him so that I don’t become like Peter and get distracted. Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorite verses. It says in the Amplified, “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” When we walk in Christ and stay at His side, we can pull others up in their faith or lead them to faith, if they are unsaved and or back-slidden.

My encouragement for you today is to remind you to not become so busy you can’t hear from the Holy Spirit. Where will your measure of faith be when Jesus comes to gather us up? He will come like a Thief in the night. No one knows the hour.

“Focus on the Lord. Your breakthrough is on the way! When frustration comes on you, press in & stay calm. Blessing is coming for your obedience” Beth @scrupulougirl

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Is it Half-time or Time for a Time-out?

Habakkuk 2:2-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)

2And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.    3For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.

Are you a planner or do you prefer to do things on the spur of the moment? I am a planner. I prefer to have things planned out as much as possible in advance so that certain expectations are well known. Doing things on the spur of the moment can be invigorating and bring welcomed relief from the mundane tasks of everyday living. Sometimes, situations arise and you have no choice but to respond and act spontaneously. Those are the times that test your patience and open up opportunities to model the Fruits of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) and engage our Spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) to those around you.

Proverbs 13:16 (ESV)
16  In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.
Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)
 7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

Recently, I have started realizing that I’ve been praying over myself more regularly, specifically to keep Satan out of my thoughts while I transition through Lent and stay on top of the tasks I have embraced that the Holy Spirit spoke to me a few weeks ago. One of those things being to stay away from Commercial television. Last night, I called a Time-out and ended up watching ‘The Biggest Loser.’ I normally watch that show, but this time after it was over, I felt “different,” for lack of a better word. After some meditation before sleep, I realized that if I don’t stay on top of where my focus needs to be, if I go back to my old comfortable place of not thinking about and paying attention to what I take in consciously or subconsciously, it allows Satan to open the door and put me right back where I was before Lent began.

Psalm 37:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
5Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

Lent began on Ash Wednesday, February 22 and Easter will come up on April 8th. Today is March 7th so as I look out into the future and seek the Holy Spirit for continued guidance during this time and look back seeing how faithful He has been to me on many levels, I am grateful for my Time-out from last night, but I know that I must press-on. There is no time for Half-time. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-15

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

In a previous post, I noted that I am a self-proclaimed News junkie. I love to be keyed in to Current events and be able to engage someone in conversation if the opportunity came up (yes, even people who are considered loners enjoy the occasional conversation now and again). What this Fast is teaching and reminding me of is that it’s ok to unplug from all of the stuff that takes our focus off of God and not let Satan keep me so busy that it destroys my walk or hinders my time with the Holy Spirit.

You may be at a point where you need to call Half-time on yourself vs a Time-out or maybe the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and He is the one calling you out. It is important that we are alert and awakened in our spirit to be aware of that call! A Half-time is a break where you get away from the game (like going on Vacation) and if you’re the underdog, you regroup, step-back and get your focus back on the task at hand, which is obviously winning the game. During a Time-out, the Coach might put someone else into the game to take over your position while you take a brief break or redirect you to a different position or confirm with you that you understand the instructions of the play that is being carried out to get you to the goal.

When you come to salvation through Jesus, and He gives you grace and removes condemnation (Romans 8:1) you are better able to stay refreshed in  your spirit and continue on. Because Jesus has left earth to go prepare a place for us in Heaven, He left the Holy Spirit as our Helper, until He returns to gather us up. As you move through life from periods of peaks and valleys or Time-outs and Half-times, God is going to prune you and take things away from the old you and replace them with His characteristics (Please see John Chapter 15). As you press-in to the Holy Spirit during your Time-outs, let Him deal with you spontaneously and reveal His plan to you. We all get impatient at times when we don’t know what play to carry out next, but we have God’s Word in the Bible. He knows best how to guide and direct our steps, much like that of a Coach in a Football game. He also gives us steps on how to pray and protect ourselves in his Word. I mentioned both Galatians 5:22-23 & Ephesians 6:10-18 earlier, but if you need help with how to pray, see Matthew 6:5-14.

If you’re facing a decision  that you know you can’t make clearly in your own strength, instead of going and talking to 3 or 4 people about it, how about taking the Holy Spirit up on a Time-out and spending some time in prayer and ask Him to help you through the situation? Leave your concerns with the King of Kings because He is your adopted Father and He wants to show you the way.

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Breaking Down the Wall

Acts 3:1-7

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.

People are searching. Single people, Married people, Toddlers and Retirees. We’re all seeking to fill a void that only God can fill. It doesn’t matter what season of life you categorize yourself in; no matter what socio-economic status, age or educational background, we are all seekers.

Outside of seeking a deeper walk and relationship with Jesus, my Savior, I seek out authenticity in people. Growing-up, I was held to a high expectation, a certain standard; one at times I could not sustain. Jesus sustains me. I’ve found throughout my life that I have held people to a high standard, because I projected my dogmatic, idealistic, sometimes unrealistic standards on others and often that drove people away.

On Sunday afternoon, after having viewed an On-demand Sermon by Craig Groeschel with LifeChurch.tv, I had a great conversation with one of my neighbors about something I had learned from Craig’s sermon. The gist of the message dealt with restoration vs relief. It is so refreshing to hear a Pastor speak on something that makes so much sense and be able to bring it full-circle in a Biblical format and stand on Biblical principles!

I chose the Acts 3:1-7 verses above as my starting point because that is what Pastor Craig based his sermon on. It is about helping people. As Christ followers, God uses us to be the conduit to Him to help others find restoration from their problems. We need to stop relieving people of their temporary issues that keep them stuck and in bondage to the same issues, sometimes for years! Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, does the same for Christians.

“Re” means again, backwards, back or anew, back to the starting place. God is a God of Renewal. Meditate on these words as you think about God. Rebirth, Recompense, Restored, Revived, Refilled, Receive, Reconcile, Refines, Redeems, Refreshes, Rejoices, Resurrects, Repairs” -Joyce Meyer

For instance, if my friend Jaime has a problem with money and I gave him $50 to relieve him of a certain financial commitment, that isn’t teaching him anything about how to rise above his circumstances so that the next time he has a financial need he is able to handle it on his own. If I take the time to counsel him on how to save money and share some verses from the Bible about how God expects us to handle money, that begins the process of restoration for Jaime and also benefits me, because the entire process has allowed me to point Jaime to Christ, given God the glory and stabilized both of our Christian walks and our friendship in Christ.

Today, I would encourage you to seek out the Holy Spirit in prayer and ask Him if there is a place in your life where you need restoration vs relief. Write down the definitions of restoration and relief and make a short journal of some items that God is calling you to work on. All of us have emotional, financial, family, work-related and personal areas that we need to dig into and face head on and allow the King of Kings to restore, revive and repair. Let’s purpose to stop temporarily relieving ourselves of problems that keep creeping back up in our spirits and allow the Holy Spirit to help dig-up the roots of frustration, turmoil, guilt and the condemnation of heavy spirits that are keeping us in bondage and learn to give the past to the One who isn’t in that grave anymore! Jesus is moving. The World is awakened! If you’re a Christ follower, I pray that you will allow some  healing and restoration to happen so that you can be the conduit for the saved or unsaved and lead them to the God who restores!

Pastor Craig gave a few short prayer examples (below) to meditate on. This is only a starting point, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray that you will stop seeking relief and come to a place where you’re able to put the past where it belongs and move forward into a new season of Christ where no condemnation exists. He isn’t keeping a list of all of your sin. God wants all of us to be restored! Will you become like Peter and John and help someone in their time of need?

“God, help me give people what they truly need, not just what they want.

God, Help me to stay out of your way by not continually rescuing people from the consequences of their circumstances.

God, Help me remember that I am in need, too, and that you are always the answer.” Pastor Craig Groeschel

Psalm 70:5 (AMP) But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my Help and my Deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry!

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A New Dream from a Day Dreamer

Luke 1:37 (AMP) 37For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

Matthew 19:26 (AMP) 26But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God.

Some of my Twitter Followers know I love to read. I am very interested in learning from Modern day Masters of the Word, such as Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Max Lucado, etc. If you came to my home, you would find many books by these and other leaders of today’s Modern Millenium.

One of the books I’ve been reading the past few weeks and have mentioned in (2) other posts is ‘Praying the Names of God: A Daily Guide,” by Ann Spangler. While I’ve heard of and seen other books about the Names of God, I wasn’t particularly pulled to them until now. I believe God readies our Spirit for information when He is looking to promote us within the Kingdom and steady our feet. Aren’t we always open and ready for a promotion at work? It often means you’ll receive improved financial status, but usually with greater responsibility and sometimes unhealthy levels of stress. Once you get to the rung on the Career ladder you thought you were looking for, the pressure causes some of us to fall away and we become disengaged, losing interest. Christ followers often find themselves in similar situations in their Christian walk, failing to press on towards the reward(s) He has for us. We need to be aware of any Satanic attack or other distractions that may cause us to drift off course and miss Kingdom promotions!

I’ve never been someone with “BIG DREAMS.” I’ll never forget my Third grade teacher pointing out that I was a Day dreamer. I do know that even though some might associate me on a lower level than Mainstream, God can use anybody and I know He wants to use me! While there is nothing wrong with the occasional Day dreaming, we need to be careful of engaging Tunnel vision if what we are pondering won’t be beneficial in our lives (#See 1 Corinthians 10:23). This is a perfect place to pause and point you to an article (Link to follow) I recently found on Oswald Chamber’s Devotion ‘My Utmost for His Highest,’ through Twitter (of course Ha Ha).

Daydreaming about something in order to do it properly is right, but daydreaming about it when we should be doing it is wrong. “Taking the Initiative Against Daydreaming” Oswald Chambers

Having started this Blog, over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that I have a new dream in my heart. In some respect, I believe it is replacing a very personal hope that I have finally shelved. My focus has turned towards God to take His Word to the Nations of this earth. I am thrilled that I can do that right from my Laptop! It’s completely free, minus the fee I pay to Comcast for Internet service every month and there’s no Jet lag Ha Ha! I have the opportunity to get immediate prayer and feedback and have been blessed by several of my Twitter Followers with incredibly kind, generous prayers of encouragement.

“When we pray to El Shadday (EL shad-DAI), we invoke the name of the one for whom nothing is impossible…. El Shadday reveals God not only as the one who creates and maintains the universe but who initiates and maintains a covenant with His people.” Ann Spangler ‘Praying the Names of God’

What “impossible” thing are you believing for? I find people, including myself, often start the journey all wrong. We are of a sinful nature. We’re selfish! If we could only get our minds off of ourselves and focused on Jesus and walking with Him, how much would our lives change?

I was watching TBN earlier this evening as I have done so a lot lately since I began my Fast of Regular TV programming heading towards Easter. Phil Munsey had Joseph Prince on. I believe this was a rebroadcast of the original airing they had this past Fall 2011 when Joseph Prince & his wife were here in the States for the first time. Something that Pastor Prince said resonated wildly with me. I’m paraphrasing Joseph Prince here, this is not a direct quote. “Because we are under Grace and no longer under the Law, we need to stop being Sin conscious and begin living Grace conscious! #Meditate We have got to separate the Law (Old Testament) from Grace (New Testament)!

It was kind of crazy to me that I heard this because earlier in the day, I had watched one of Joseph Prince’s Sermon excerpts that I had Tivoed earlier in the week; he asked everyone in the congregation to open their Bible to the last word of the Old Testament, which is from the book of Malachi, “curse.” Next, he asked the congregation to turn to the last words of the New Testament, which is found in the book of Revelation, “The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

In this same Broadcast of “Praise the Lord” on TBN this evening, CeCe Winans was there to be interviewed and of course sing. She had a wonderful story to tell about her ministry Always Sisters, Forever Brothers. During CeCe’s interview, she said something that I’ve been pondering a long time and actually chatted with one of my Twitter friends earlier this afternoon about. Again, paraphrasing what CeCe said, “The World is radical with what they believe. Christians need to be radical about Jesus!”

I brought this message I heard from Joseph Prince and CeCe Winans to your attention because as believers in Christ, we often get the wrong message about God. How can we take the message of a Loving, Good, Heavenly Father, who wants to have relationship with us, to the Nations, if we feast on the incorrect message so many of us are living that God is mad at us or that He hates us and we’re condemned? That’s a lie the Devil wants us to believe! Romans 8:1 proves there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. I stated in (2) of my earlier messages this past week from Genesis 1:26 that God made us in His image! And when we muddy-up the Truth of His Love letter to the unsaved and we miss demonstrating His goodness to others, how can people be drawn to God?

Genesis 8:22 (AMP) 22While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Everyday, we grow closer and closer to Jesus’ return. Both 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and 2 Peter 3:10 tells us that He will come like a Thief in the night, so we must be prepared! More than ever, now that I see how faithful God has been to me the past couple of weeks in my writing, in my prayer time and what has been confirmed as the need for my absolute dependence on Him, I want to continue being a seed sower for the Kingdom. I want to stop being radical in my thoughts and my heart and propel myself into His Kingdom promotion. With El Shadday, nothing is impossible!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Amplified Bible 1TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
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Canopy of His Love

1 John 3:1 -(NIV) 1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

2 Corinthians 6:18 18 And,“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Psalm 32:8 (AMP) 8 I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Our understanding of love in the natural is romantic love. Only God, through Jesus, can help us get a grip on Godly love and His devotion to us. God’s love is unconditional. We are under Grace (New Testament), not under the Law (Old Testament). As an animal lover, I think one of the greatest forms of unconditional love comes through our pets. Personally speaking, that helps me to have a better understanding of how much God cares for us. Our fur-kids depend on us as their Care-giver for life! They are dependent on us for survival. That is one of many characteristics we need to take on for God… #Dependance! He is expecting you and me to depend on Him because He knows what is best for our lives. He tells us so in Jeremiah 29:11 and Matthew 4:4 (See below). He can see ahead of us and if we are obedient, He will reward us in the open. When your fur-kid does something well, do you not take pleasure in giving him or her a treat for their trust and obedience? (My 3 cats all know how to sit on command, one of them also shakes and they love their cookies lol)!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Matthew 4:4 (NIV) 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Jesus is God in the flesh. He came to be a living sacrifice to take on the sin of the World so that we could be made righteous, through Jesus, and be made clean before God. We all know what the Bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” All of us need to know how much God loves us. Do you recall earlier in the week I made reference to Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 8:4, Hebrews 2:6-8 actually echoes Psalm 8:4.  God loves us so much, He made us in His image!  Verse 5 in Psalm 8 says that He has crowned us with glory and honor and made us a little lower than the Angels!

God is our adopted Father (See Psalm 22:9-10 and Psalm 27:10). He won’t abandon us unlike our earthly parents might do. It is very important that we learn about God’s characteristics. You might start by learning the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. I encourage you to go back and read the entire Chapter. I had a recent revelation through something I heard in a Sermon I had recorded on Tivo (I apologize I can’t recall the source, but it may have been John Hagee) that we should not allow the image we have of our earthly father or mother to distort our views of our Heavenly Father. Pastor Jesse Duplantis recently Tweeted “There’s something you need to understand about God: His Word is His bond.  He won’t go against His Word to meet your need.”

Psalm 27:10 (NIV) 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

In a perfect World, we would hope that our parents shadow the character of Jesus (God in the flesh) so that we would have constant love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control demonstrated towards us from an early age. Some of us are blessed and do receive a good measure of those characteristics, but others are bound by Generational curses and Satanic attacks from an early age. We are conflicted with bullying, divorce, racism, financial woes, etc. It’s easy for me to talk about bullying. It has happened to me throughout  my life since I was in the 6th Grade. I have been a Doormat to people I wanted to be friends with, boyfriends, even within the family. We may be faced with disappointment, offense or abandonment by people. God is stable. He will not disappoint us. We are His adopted sons and daughters! Jesus always pointed people to the Father. Jesus always consulted in prayer with God before He acted. Because Jesus would take time to get alone with God in prayer, we must do the same. Conversation with God in prayer is a primary way of getting to know our Heavenly Father. It is a two-way conversation. We have to be careful about being so busy that we don’t hear from Him!

In our Spiritual lives, we have highs and lows parallel to life in the natural. Being in the Valley or out in the Wilderness is a time for growth, trust and trial(s) to test our faith and keeps us dependent on God. You may know it as the desert; an in-between season where you wonder where God is. We know He didn’t move, but when we don’t hear from Him, we may start to worry and get upset. Those are the times we have to press in and it may mean running for a long time! We have to chase after God through every season of our lives. If we don’t stay in His Word, if we don’t keep His Love letter (the Bible) to us in front of our eyes, on our tongue and in our ears through conversation and Worship music, how will we be able to continue on? Two recent favorite Tweets, from 02/25/12, made the desert place more clear for me.

@Purpose_Filled: When you are going through something and you wonder where God is, remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test.
@footstepsinsand: If things get too hot, turn up the prayer conditioning.
“@scrupulousgirl: Let today be the day you believe God for the power to receive & trust His faithfulness. The Wilderness is not a destination! #Breakthrough”

This was a tough post to write. It is hard to want to write about things that easily could fall under God’s Canopy of Love, but when you have no first-hand experience with things like Divorce, Bankruptcy, or no desire for a relationship with Jesus, the topic presents some unique challenges. I could easily write about being bullied, body and weight issues, alcoholism and loneliness. In fact, I have briefly discussed a few of them. What I want to express is that all of these things are “cured,” or covered and relieved by our Heavenly Father who wants to have relationship with us. He will sustain us if we chase after Him!

The World wants you to think of Christianity as “Religion.” I can easily say that getting to know God, though the Holy Spirit (since Jesus left Him as our Helper), has nothing to do with Religion. It is a relationship. God loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend while we are in this life. It is my prayer that whether you are on a mountain top in your walk with Jesus or down in the Valley and out searching in the Wilderness, keep waiting on Him. My mom has always told me since I was a Teenager “He hasn’t brought you this far to abandon you now!” While you’re out there being tested, know that God has a perfect timing to bring you out of the pit you’re in. I encourage you not to enter into a pit of destruction while you wait on your reward. There are people, places and events that are being lined up on His time line that will become the Mountain top to get you out of the Valley.

Keep on trusting, obeying, living under His faithfulness, His guidance and embrace God’s love because Jesus came to bring us Grace so that we can serve a Heavenly Father without condemnation (Romans 8:1)! He is our joy, our hope and our strength through all seasons.

John 16:13 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Romans 8:15 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
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The Point of Forgiveness

James 1:5-6 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

5If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. 6But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm.

“Wisdom came from God, to me, through Jesus. Faith is the language God speaks.” Jeremy Pearsons (Grandson of Kenneth & Gloria Copeland)

When the Holy Spirit convicts us of something, we need to move. Those convictions can be anything from meeting prayer requests, to counseling friends and family or covering financial commitments for others in their time of need. It may also mean dealing with issues such as forgiving others for wrong-doing that we have been avoiding. On the way to the Office this morning, the Holy Spirit gave me a new message about Disappointment and Forgiveness.

“Disappointment is unavoidable. Discouragement is a choice.” Dr. Charles Stanley @InTouchMin
“God can work mightily when you persist in believing Him in spite of discouragement from the human standpoint.” Smith Wigglesworth

Below is a Scripture blast of Bible verses about Forgiveness. I’m notating these verses to give some Biblical insight for how God expects us to respond to offense as well as documenting how often and important Forgiving is to God. We need to be cautious about forgiving others so that we do not allow roots of bitterness and other spirits of heaviness to come on us and block our blessings. The same applies to disappointments in life and discouragement. People are going to hurt us. Parents and children are going to disappoint us and people on the job are going to discourage you out of their own selfish, jealous demeanor.

  • Mark 11:25 (CEB) 25 And whenever you stand up to pray, if you have something against anyone, forgive so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your wrongdoings.
  • Ephesians 4:32 (CEV)32Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.
  • Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT) 21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”  22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
  • Luke 17:3-4 (NIV) 3So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
  • Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV)Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
  • Proverbs 28:13 (AMP) 13He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy.

My (2) favorite verses from the above list are Matthew 18:21-22 and Luke 17:3-4. I firmly believe that it is a great picture of how gracious God is to us in His forgiveness towards any Whosoever. Raise your hand if you are a Whosoever!

On the way in to work this morning, Holy Spirit began to speak this message of disappointment and forgiveness to me and I am having a fit while driving because I can’t pull over and write anything down or send myself an Email with any notes. Again, on the way home this evening, my mind started reeling with things I wanted to mention. I knew I needed to stop and pray. When the topic came up this morning, I already had a good notion as to who and what the forgiveness factor was about. That is something I will have to continue praying and meditating on for restoration in my own life. On the side of disappointment, I think Holy Spirit is preparing me to deal with some personal things that I have been putting off. It is time to stop ignoring His desire for me to get healed of past hurts!

Growing up, even into my mid-to-late 30s, I had a great deal of image issues and self-hatred. The last thing I or anyone needs to do is have image problems. God made us in His image! We do not hate God, so why do we hate ourselves? God’s Word, the Bible, tells us in Genesis 1:26 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Yes, Ladies, that means the Cockroaches, too! Ha Ha!) Elohim, Our Mighty Creator, has so much confidence in us that He gave mankind Dominion on the Earth! Take a look at Psalm 8:4, 5 below:

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?  5 You have made them[b] a little lower than the angels[c]
and crowned them[d] with glory and honor.

I have mentioned this before, particularly in my Tweets, but when the Holy Spirit convicts us about something, we need to move swiftly, ask Him for guidance and be able to move forward into all of the joy, hope and peace that God, through Jesus, has made for us. As I write this, I have a heavy heart, because I know there are some relationships that need restoration and some breakthroughs that God is waiting for you to come to Him about so that He can help you live your life, in abundance to the full, until it overflows! (See John 10:10 Amplified).

Now, I’m going to bring you back to Larry Huch’s book, ‘10 Curses that Block the Blesing‘, which I briefly noted in the “I am a Whosoever in Christ Jesus” post when we dealt with Racism. Let’s move back a chapter to Chapter 7 and talk about ‘The Curse of Unforgiveness: Freeing others and yourself.” Did you know that when you harbor unforgiveness, you can experience physical symptoms,  such as headaches, high blood pressure, fatigue, and a variety of other ailments which are causing you to block the flow of God’s blessings and His best for your life? Huch notes the following, regarding Matthew 6:9-13, “… the disciples didn’t ask Jesus to teach them why they should pray but how to pray.”

Last night, when I was getting settled in to sleep, I saw a Tweet from one of my buddies and she was frustrated because she was having some trouble sleeping. I asked her to pray Proverbs 3:24 over herself.

Proverbs 3:24 (AMP)
24When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; yes, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.

A few minutes went by, but my spirit was still stirring about what she had said. Even though I had given Heather the verse, I hadn’t completed the goal that the Holy Spirit had set out for me. I then Tweeted to everyone on my Time Line the following: “@scrupulousgirl As I lay down into sweet sleep, I have His super-abundant, natural peace that passes understanding covering from my head to my toes.” I saw Heather online earlier today and wanted to make sure she had seen my prayer for her last night so I then Tweeted it directly to her this afternoon and she was thrilled!

While I know Heather knows how to pray for herself, I was giving her some encouragement because of her frustration and I have absolutely been where she was, you  may not know how to pray over yourself and that is ok. Knowing God’s Prayer language will give you the power to stop relying on others when you are alone and start praising God for His promises of forgiveness and releasing any condemnation you’re harboring about letting things go. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! His Word says so in Romans 8:1. I will caution you now that because you’ve read this and you have the knowledge of learning about God’s prayer language and encouragement of praying over yourself, you cannot say that “I didn’t know.” You do know and you can build the confidence to pray for yourself.

We need to take responsibility to forgive and release others for offense. God has a better plan for us and it isn’t by being tied up in Spiritual Warfare and harboring past sin, regret, shame and a poor thought-life. Do you remember when I wrote about the healing I experienced in my neck and shoulder? The pain was coming from an issue I had been having with one of my family members. This person had absolutely no clue what was going on with me. It was a revelation to me that you think about yourself more than other people think about you. You are on your own mind more than the mind of others, in part because you are the person you spend the most time with. If you allow a root of bitterness to gain entrance to your life and continue to not forgive someone or whatever thing was done to you, be it bullying, someone offending you or not taking your needs and feelings into account, you leave the door open for Satan to come in and make his home in your thought life and settle into your body through sickness and disease.

Who, or what do you need to forgive others or forgive yourself for? If you’re unsure,  I encourage you to seek the Holy Spirit in prayer and ask Him for a revelation so that you can open up His super-abundant flow of blessing. That migraine headache you’ve been having for 20 years, it could be the by-product of a Satanic attack. What about that Lower back problem or the rash of eczema you’ve had on your elbow for the last (6) months? Matthew 6:12-15 says we need to forgive our debtors and let’s us know that if we do not forgive, our Heavenly Father will not forgive our trespasses against one another. What would happen if you prayed for God to cover you with His Divine protection and to release the spirit of bondage from you on your past sin and unforgiveness? Could you ask the King of Kings to reveal to you how you have offended someone else vs you being captivated by the worry of someone having offended you? What would be the worst part about stepping up and forgiving your offender so that healing and restoration can begin? Are you ready to dig up the roots so that God can help you bring about the change for blessing in your life?

Lamentations 3:22-23 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.    23They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

What if Jesus asked you to forgive yourself so that you can begin to be merciful towards others every morning?

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