Tuesday, July 31, 2012

bitterness....only HE can heal

 In working on a bible study this eve, I came across something that Beth Moore writes and so I just had to copy, cut and paste - 

She writes: Bitterness is spiritual cancer, a rapidly-growing malignancy that can consume your life. After it consumes the soul, it begins to eat away at the body. It is so contagious that we can pass it to our children, who are often oblivious to the source of their bitterness. No amount of distractions or busywork--not even church work -- can treat this spiritual disease. Countless Christians mask their pain with unceasing activity. bitterness cannot be ignored but must be healed at the very core, and only Christ can heal bitterness. No one can do it for you, and no one can tell you exactly what is required for your healing. Others can direct you to Jesus, but you must show up for your appointments. His ultimate goal is not simply for you to be healed but for you to meet the Healer. -- wow - hugh? Wow!

Praise God that bitterness had not STRUCK me, it could of, I have wrestled with it but today, I was thinking of another and this really spoke to me.  However, she has been directed to Jesus and so, the Lord who put the stars in the heaven, is BIG enough but I wanted to post this for my sake as well.......

For whenever, if this bitterness wants to come back for a stay  - I will have the reminder of some real truth.  

God brought the people out of Egypt and lead them through the Red Sea and still ..they were bitter...it was still not good enough.  

Lord, may I never be that way, YOUR will is NOT a penalty.  

God wins.  The people complained to Moses and he prayed and added a piece of wood to the water at Marah and then they could drink it.  After a 'piece of the cross'...a piece of a tree soaked up the bitterness and the sweet water was left.  Jesus, thank you for taking it to the cross and taking our bitterness, and leaving us sweet....

- thank you Lord, amen.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

...it was just your period....

Ok,  this may not be a really big GOD moment, but I believe it is.  For me. 

Yesterday was just a day.  I mean, I felt so totally overwhelmed as I have been working at the insurance office and yesterday was only  Day #2 of my 'week' filling in for our personal lines manager but I was bombarded.  1.  Cause I know much but not THAT much.  2.  People are just messy, I mean, I felt like I was fixing fires all day and never had the chance to just do my work that needed  to be done.  And 3.  it is summer and it was a yucky rainy day and I wanted to be outside!  Or at least at the movies. Instead I was at the office.   And,  4. I was feeling sort of unloved.  Sort of.  I don't like being the 'manager'.

But....that was really a good thing, I mean working at the insurance office.  I am so glad I have been able to help and be a part of the agency this summer, but it put me into a ...I WANT school mode.  I mean, I went to college to be a teacher, not a manager or a person that deals with the public.  However, that is where God has me this summer.  I have been there ( at the office )  every summer, but my role has always been sort of in the back, never really in the fore-front and we are doing some new things at the agency and both Brendan and I are really trying our best to be there, all the time,  and really help out.  On one hand it has been really great, cause we both feel like it is 20+ years ago when we started and we were needed.  But on the other hand, with more responsibility comes more stress.  Praise God I do get to go to school come August and I won't have to deal with this on a daily basis, but I guess I just was overwhelmed. 

I don't think I spoke to  my children but for 5 min.  I ate lunch by myself, HP and BP had doctor's appointments.  I don't think I even spoke to Brendan about stuff other than stuff for the ins. office.  There wasn't any 'couple' time  ...there wasn't any ..'pool' time...and there was no time for me to stop and memorize my scripture challenge. Therefore, the Enemy, of course, sets in and begins to bug me. 

 Michelle, You are  neglecting your memorization....
He is too busy for you again.....
You are on this path again where you both work so hard and you go your separate ways...
You really are not a licensed agent and should not be making that decision...
You are not going to be able to keep this up come school time....
You have not sent out the invites you should of on Monday for your Blessings party...
You have not dusted in a week...
You shrunk your brand new NIKE shirt and not you won't be able to wear it...
Your pants are way too tight, you must of gained weight again...but you are eating nothing...
You are not involved in a cell group yet....
You are behind in your bible study...
What happened to that Kelly Mintor one...

Can you hear it?  At lunch, I slept - depressed.
In the afternoon, I got so busy I did not have time to seek HIM, but I did pray. Then all of a sudden it was 5:30...5:45....6:45 and I was the ONLY one at the office. 

BP and HP were going to soccer, so they grabbed McDonald's and fed me.  They called, they were so sweet,  they told me to step outside the office at 6:30 and they literally drove by and gave me supper and remembered my favorites.  Brendan remembered my favorites.  Fries, hamburger with extra pickels and then  1/3 left of a rolo McFlurry. ....sweet.    That was a good thing.

They got home after me.  I got home around 8:45.  I called Linda.  I asked  for prayer.  I put my Beth Moore DVD on and HE spoke.

I continually am reminded that when we SEEK HIM, HE is there.  However, how comforting it is to know that when we are still so busy and allow our thoughts to wander...HE is still RIGHT there. 

I knew I was being bombarded.  I knew it was the Enemy making me feel defeated.  I knew that.  So, I battled and fought back.  My flesh just wanted a pity party, but I KNOW better now! 

Today, this verse jumped: 

To the roots of the mountains I sand down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.  But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD My God.  Jonah 2.6

Yesterday the world seemed to swallow me up. 
Today....HE awoke me this am, at 5 - refreshed and ready to go. I prayed.
Today...HE awoke me, happy and knowing I am highly esteemed and loved and HE is so proud of me. 
Today is a new day.

Today....hey, Satan...today, I have already worked on some memorization.
Hey Satan,  today I know he did not forget me, he was not too busy, he remembered McDonalds
Hey Satan, we are on the same path, going in the same direction
Hey Satan, I am very smart.
Hey Satan, you are right, I can't do things, but HE can.
Hey Satan, the invites are done.
Hey Satan, the dust will always be there.
Hey Satan,  the Nike shirt actually wasn't shrunk, somehow the dryer shut off and all the clothes were still damp when I got home.
Hey  Satan, the pants were too tight, but I know why now
Hey Satan, I am in a cell group, Linda is my pastor ( via cell phone and text messages
Hey Satan, I did my bible study and God knew I needed to watch the DVD that day - HIS timing is perfect.
Hey Satan, the Kelly Minter one will come next, it is not going anywhere. 

Hey Satan.....I am not going to grumble at the obstacles that overwhelmed me yesterday, today is a new day.  I listened to my husband say last night,  " I am trusting God, HE is going to move this mountain or move us"...Hey Satan, you are defeated and you are a liar. 

Our lives are a daily struggle cause people are messy, this world is messy.  If we had it perfect - we would be in heaven.  This is what makes life interesting.  Today is a new day, praise God. 

And you know wha?   When I got out of bed last night at 2am, as I had to pee....I went to wipe and noticed  ( sorry - being personal ) that I had my period.  OH MY....THAT  was the reason my pants were too tight.  I had been craving chocolate, but it should of arrived next week.  THAT is why my emotions were heightened.  And  my period sort of started with a burst.

Ok, can you get past the personal part now...sorry, trying to connect the God moment here. ...

 I believe God planned it that way.  Like HE held it at bay...until later, after I had the chance to listen to Beth, after I had the chance to be prayed for by Linda,  after I had the chance to just have JESUS time.  I believe God just reminded me that HE is my healer, HE is my comfort and going to HIM, seeking the prayer I needed was what I needed to know and realized again.  I needed that reminder.  I did not need to blame it on "oh...I got my period, no wonder I had a crappy day".  God knew what the Enemy was going to torment me with yesterday and HE knew my emotions and my hormones were already off, but I didn't.  HE knew what the Enemy was going to reveal, but HE also knew that I needed to seek HIM for everything and not just shrug it off as ....it is just THAT time of the month. 

I mean, I know I need to mark that down on the calendar and be aware and yes, there were some phyiscal symptons as well...but, we must walk with HIM daily, moment by moment, minute by minute and period by period....and not blame the enemy or our periods...but SEEK HIM.  Life is messy.  Period.    ( There is a play on words, now I do feel like Beth Moore! ) 

So, I guess this is the main point...no problem is too small..no pit is too small or too big...

To the roots of the mountains I sand down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD My God. Jonah 2.6

To the roots of the mountains I sand down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD My God. Jonah 2.6

HIS word is what redeems us and makes us knew, HIS blood covers us.  HE has it covered.  I knew HE had it covered last night when I asked for prayer from my Pastor, but it felt good to hear her pray and it felt great this am to awake and know that today was a new day. 

Don't be afraid to SEEK HIM...to ask for prayer, don't just shrug it off as ...it was just my time of the month.....


Monday, July 23, 2012

God is more than a band-aid, HE is a healer.

I wanted to make sure that the photo is first.  This is my dining room table.  This is not my bible, but praise God  as it belongs to the spiritual head of our home.  Praise God.

I have not written much in the past month, been busy enjoying summer, working at the Ins. Office and helping out there, praying, just living but then again, I don't just want to blog to blog...I continually ask God ....to use this for HIM.  HE also uses it for me, I mean, writing is my therapy as well, my hobby.

We went to Wisconsin, rented a Harley and had a great time.  I got loved on by many nieces and nephews and each day brings many new things to light.  My joy was to watch HP and his interactions with the little ones.  He is sort of a celebrity with the younger ones, cause he is this kid that plays soccer and shows up maybe once a year now.  He has a tender heart towards the little ones, he reminds me of my brother Trevor and his uncanny ability to hover over little ones.  And yet most often, when approached with a baby, "don't you want to hold him or her?" -- he replies, "no way".   Taylor got quality time with her nieces and nephews too, she enjoyed each and everyone of them - they are all so different.  After the trip, she realized that from this point on, her visits will be few and far between and they will grow up, and so she says, "why did we ever move away?".  She is 21 now, she has her own life and going to Wisconsin will probably be on her terms and when she schedules it.  And I realized that she realized that when we grow up- things change.  And that is hard to accept at times.  I remember being at that age, it is hard.

Our Harley trip was just plain wonderful - almost 700 miles.  We rode with my brother one day in 103 degree heat, and another with he and his wife - fun, fun, fun. And one day we rode solo -  many conversations and sights, but I am keeping that to myself for now - God used the trip to heal.

Back to blogging --"what shall I blog about Lord?".  "Lord, it has been several weeks, I want to write.".........

Then something really special happened and several different things transpired and I found my purse with about 4-5 scraps of paper of verses that have been my thoughts for the past month and I decided to just share those....

God's word is alive and it is active....is is a living word.  When you read it over, and come back to a story or spot either a few days later or even a year later, it is only GOD that can do this....it speaks to me ..to us ..again in a different manner.

Psm 25 - In your Lord my God I put my trust....This is the beginning of the Psalm that I am presently working on memorizing.  My hubby has about 12 verses down and he practices nightly and I should know them as well by now with all the quizzing, but this is my challenge right now.  Along with two other ladies, I am attempting to learn a verse a day.    The coolest thing, how this Psalm has been right at the forefront of my mind, and when in prayer for others, it is the blessing of praying HIS word that just makes me feel so connected to my Lord.   As, HIS word is alive and active.  When praying for another, it does not feel like God put a band-aid on, it seems like HE really healed her with HIS words, that is why I say, HE is a healer.

God also allowed me to be a part of a healing of a physical need with another - I will keep this one to myself, but to know that you know you followed what HE asked, is humbling.  AND, to see and experience a mire touch of HIS healing - wow!

 God also answered a MIGHTY prayer for another warrior in HIS name and to see that person be set free of many years of oppression is just truly a miracle.  Authentic Faith creates miracles.  I guess I would love to tell that whole story but it is not mine to tell, I just praise God that I got to be a part of it and I got to see it transpire.  God is a complete healer!

John 14.13  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.   So, this verse.....Let me explain.  I am in constant prayer each day.  It would seem that Enemy likes to continue to haunt me about certain things.  But in Wisconsin, I had 7 days of peace...I mean, being away from our normal routine ---the Enemy still would hit me on a few things, but NOTHING of what  he lies to me about when I am in Okeechobee.  I am not sure I am explaining myself, but the point I am trying to make is that after 6 days of real peace, I realized that SOME day...the little bread crumbs of our past...WILL be gone...THEY won't hurt anymore....THEY really won't come to mind unless something really makes us think or talk about them and it was just the most sweetest presence of learning that.  THAT happened on the Harley, in the middle of Spring Green, Wisconsin, with HIS sun shinning on my face, my husband grabbing my leg and giving it a squeeze, and me, just holding onto him and enjoying the ride!     God is the healer, I experienced MORE than a band-aid.

Psalm 32.2  "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him".  
No comment on this verse, it fits right in with my realization of HOW great God's healing is.  Nothing is counted against me.  Not my idolatry...not my pride...not my sin....wow!

These verses also made it to my purse:

I can do everything through him who gives me strength      Phil 4.13
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.       Prov. 16.3
God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.     Eph. 1.3
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.         1 John 5.5

I found this too:

"Human frailty is another thing that gets between God's words of assurance and our own words of and thoughts.  When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be non-existent. But remember God's assurance to us - 'I will never ....forsake you'.... have you learned  to sing after hearing God's keynote?  Are we continually filled with enough courage to say,  'The Lord is my helper'  or do we yield to fear?"
            - Oswald Chambers

I guess I   wasn't  completely fearful, but as my family continues to heal and as my husband and I continue to walk on new territory in our marriage, I was being gripped with some fear.  We have 'graduated' our counsel with our therapist but we still seek counsel from our Pastor and his wife.  We have really moved beyond much of our past, but the past seems to creep in.  I never want to be blindsided again, but I also don't want to shove or skirt anything under the rug that needs to be dealt with.  So, I laid it before HIM.    And then, God reminded me, HE has this.  But HE has to be the center.  HE is.    We are never going to be perfect.  The consequences of our past ( both of us ) will forever be something that changed us - but in a good way.  The speaker yesterday at church spoke about Ester, her destiny was to save her people.  She was in the right spot and God used her.  God is using us.  God has put more than a band-aide over us and our relationship.  God has just been using this summer to let us grow deeper in knowledge of HIM and in turn, our entire family benefits and is restored.  

One moment at a time, one prayer at a time, one memory at a time.  God does 360's.  I have said it before and HE continually reminds me that HE is more than a band-aide.  HE is Lord.

Be blessed.  If you are in any sort of trial - I know that I know, God wins, HE can restore what the locusts have taken and HE wants to be your LORD.  Be encouraged, be set free.

- michelle

Friday, July 20, 2012

I copied and pasted this post...E. Corcoran

Throughout the past 3-4 years of my life I have searched and researched every Christian site and blogs and I read about  anything that was tagged marriage or family and I came across a blog written by Elisabeth Corcoran.  I commented on her blogs often and noticed that there may of been maybe  4-5 people that would comment and I would too.  For awhile I bet she thought I was a stalker, as I would comment practically every day and several comments - you know me.  But anyway, her writing about her tough marriage and what she was feeling, always seemed to make sense to me, minister to me, or just plane speak to me.    She has been writing about her marriage and it finally ended with a final divorce this week...she has been writing about it for two years.  My marriage and its darkest moments were in the past two years as well.  Hers ended in divorce.  Mine did not - praise God.  That is not to say that I am more spiritual or  better.....no way.  I really should not comment, you  would have to read so much more of what she has written or read her book, but she is ministered to many with how she writes.  She often writes for Crosswalk.com.  Anyway....She has a book, At the Corner of Broken Love.  You can google it, but I know that I know....if you are in a troubled marriage, get the book, read it.  It will help.  She posted today, and I copied and pasted is below:  Her post blessed me.  She posted an email she had received on the day of her divorce...it was so well written, but God used the woman who wrote the email to minister to Beth.  .....at the 'end'  ..of this trial....

God used another email'd message at the very beginning of my trial...that so, set my head into the right frame of mind....She too, that woman of God sent me an email, boldly and spoke out of her comfort zone because God told her too.  

Authentic faith causes us to move....causes us to help and be practice and be Jesus to the ones around us.  When God calls you to minister to another - do it...be Jesus to another.    

Beth's post blessed me, not sure if it will bless anyone else, but I wanted to share it.  Here it is:  

 July 18, 2012,  In the week leading up to my divorce day, I felt pretty alone.  Friends were checking in and such so I don’t mean on a human level.  I mean on a God level.  I felt like he wasn’t really there.
I had asked the Spirit for some kind of special verse to get me through and though I came up with a list of some good ones that were really encouraging to me, nothing stood out as the one
I wasn’t feeling extra peace heading into the big day.  In fact, I was feeling that feeling I get right before I’m about to do something that makes me super nervous.  Jello legs, sick to my stomach.  For six days. 
Okay, so, no magic verses.  No unexplainable peace.  All I had was the prayers of my friends (which, don’t get me wrong, is huge) and whatever I had gathered from my faith walk up til that point (things like God loves me, he’s with me, he will never leave me alone, Christ is my peace, if God is for us, who can be against us), stuff like that.  Stuff that I knew but wasn’t feeling. 
It wasn’t the end of the world.  I’ve done hard things before without feeling that peace.  And I’ve learned over the years that if I feel exactly what I think I’m supposed to feel, if I am able to define what God says he’s going to do and who he is, then he isn’t all that mysterious and worship-worthy after all.  So, even not being able to feel it was okay.  I wasn’t thrilled, but it was okay.
Until about an hour before I was supposed to leave my house.  With my morning smoothie in hand, I was checking email.  I read one from one of my best friends saying she was praying for God’s peace to guard my heart and mind.  That would be great, I thought.  So far, not so much. Not feeling very seen. Not sure he knows I’m about to go get divorced.
And then I opened an email from a stranger with the subject line: “praying”.  And here’s what she wrote to me:
Dear Elisabeth,
I have some words that I feel must be shared with you today.  I do not know where you are today, but God does - and He wants you to know:
‘You are not forgotten.  He has engraved your name on the palm of His hand.  You are not alone.  He is with you every step of your journey, and when it seems as if you will be swallowed up in this trial, He will be standing up at the right hand of the Father for you.  Standing - active in your grief - just as He did for     Stephen when he was being stoned.  God is not okay with what is happening in your life, but He redeems even the worst of tragedies.  Just hold on.  Grip the hem of His garment tightly, and do not worry about what others may think of this trial.  Hang on with a grip that goes beyond nice theology, beyond what you currently know.  And when you feel as if you cannot take one more minute of this, know that God understands.  He loves you with a love you cannot comprehend, and He does not take the suffering and pain of His children lightly.’   
I do not know where you are today, as I said, but I have such a burden for you today.  Please do not feel you must respond, as some days it is just too draining, too hard  - to put anything into coherent sentences.  Just know that you are being prayed for and that - for the time being - God has assigned me as your cheerleader.
In His grace alone,
My breath had just been taken away.  This woman did not know what that morning was about to hold for me.  That woman has since told me that she’s never done anything like that before.  Coincidences are for sissies.  That woman single-handedly proved to me that God was not only watching me, he knew every single detail and was holding my life and my heart in his hand.  He also showed off a bit…how easy it would’ve been to deliver this message in the ways I had asked or expected…he went out of his way to do so through a stranger.
The next time I’m wondering if God is really there, well, he’ll probably go and show off again.  Because he loves me that much.
HE loves us THAT much......thank you Jesus.  Whenever I think of this or see this photo, I am reminded of the adultery I committed against my Lord.  And he forgave me...I am ashamed of the sin that put this man on the cross...because of that, I had to show grace and mercy to the one who betrayed me.  There was never any doubt.  God wins.   - Michelle 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Linda Robertson......

Linda, Happy Birthday - sorry I did not know it was your birthday until the day was mostly over, instead I will write....

1.  Happy birthday to my new friend but good friend.
2.  Happy birthday to a woman of God.
3.  Happy birthday to the lady who has tremendous talent.... 4...she is steadfast....5.  she is loyal... 6.  she displays forgiveness and is so humbled by God....7.  she is a mentor and a leader  and 8...she is called by God to lead women. 
9.  Happy birthday to a lady who is also a Grandmother to several wonderful children who call her beloved.....she is the best Grandma.
10.  Happy birthday to the lady who knows how to pray.
11.  Happy birthday to the lady who can get you laughing in one minute and has the grace and dignigty to cry with you and share your pain in the next. 
12.  Happy birthday to a woman you want in your corner.
13.  Happy birthday to a woman who has great sons -- her character shines through them.
14.  Happy birthday to a superior teacher...her teaching skills has made Okeechobee a County of Excellence.
15.  Happy birthday to a lady who is a class act, she always shows grace and dignity and mercy.
16.  Happy birthday to a lady who is loved dearly by Dave.
17.  Happy birthday to God's girl...as she is a woman of God but just a girl too...that loves her Daddy proudly.
18.  Happy birthday to a find friend that can be counted on to pray....19.  to laugh....20.  to listen...21.  to share with....22.  to just hang with.
23.  Happy birthday to a lady that understands and has empathy.
24.  Happy birthday to a lady who knows her Lord and does not claim to know everything but seeks HIM for all of her guidance and answers.
25.  Happy birthday to a wonderful painter and artist.
26.  Happy birthday to a really cool story teller.
27.  Happy birthday to a confident and someone that can be trusted with hurts.
28.  Happy birthday to my friend.....

Linda....I was really trying to get 57....I mean, I think it is pretty cool that you are 11 years older than I, you are like that big sister that I can call upon...and yet,  you just seem like you are 29 when it comes to dreaming and thinking outloud.  I hope and pray that 'age' is not a biggie to you..cause if it was, I am sorry.  ( As I just shared with everyone reading this...you are 57 today!!    And really would of guessed just a few years older than me!) 

But I like this....I have really gotten to know you in just over a year...well, almost two years this coming month, but I feel like I have known you forever....spiritually...but the facts...I am still learning, so I will look forward to learning  ( let's see 57-28= 29) 29 more fun facts about you in the next 11months so I can post early on your birthday next year!  

And I love you as a sister and friend in Christ, so glad that we get to spend time together her on earth and then forever in heaven! 

Seriously, thank you...more words may just lesson the sediment...you truly have been heavenly sent to me and I praise and thank God for your divine appointment in my life and in our lives. 

Happy Birthday to a very dear one I am honored to call friend,

PS, I am sure that BP, TP and HP also send their birthday wishes as well - next year....I won't forget your birthday as NOW I know the date!!!!!