Take me away…

Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away
Take me away to better days
Take me away, a hiding place

– Natasha Bedingfield, Pocket Full Of Sunshine

My heart started crying out this song to my Abba these past few days.

When life gets tough, my first reaction is instinctively to ask to be rescued, for a quick escape so I don’t have to deal with whatever is currently facing me.

Afterwards, it used to be I would escape into a bag of sour cream potato chips or a sitcom, licking my wounds and berating myself for rolling over and taking a beating yet again. 

We never learn to be proactive and change our ways by just thinking about it. We need to do it.

Instead of being passive and keeping my hurts buried in the hidden spaces within, I am learning to run to the secret place.

His embrace.

I am invited there 24/7.
365 days a year.
And on into eternity!

I stopped short quite some time ago as I was headed down the wrong path of response when it hit me.

Why wait for eternity to fix everything? Why not now?

If we are called to supernaturally live in, through and with Him…then here on earth is where we need to do so.

Just as Jesus did.

Jesus took Himself away at times. Not to kick his wounds or hide away, but to reconnect. Becoming rejuvenated and reinvigorated for the plans He was to walk out with His Father. (Luke 16:16, Mark 1:35)

Jesus never backed down from doing His Father’s business where He saw His Father inviting Him into a situation.

I need to do the same.

Instead of allowing fear and survival instincts to drive me, I need to choose faith and supernatural instincts to guide me.

He promises to always be with us, and show us how to live free.

Our part is to choose to stay in His embrace through our days, and refuse to allow the lure of other pleasures to steal us from where our souls and spirits know is where we belong.

With Him.

He may take you away from a situation by prompting you to remove yourself from it.

He may guide you as to what to pray to shift the atmosphere.

He may tell you what to say to diffuse discord and bring peace.

The whole time, He will be with you.

I would rather be in His embrace in a hurricane than left alone to my own devices.

Lead me away from what doesn’t work, Abba, and keep me headed on the path You have for me. May I run to You first, and You alone, when the storms begin to circle.

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What kind of crackpot are you?

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Years ago, a well known prophetic teacher spoke a word to me which has stuck with me through the hard times.

Basically, it is sometimes hard being me because I don’t fit normal.

And for years I struggled with that very feeling.

Why am I not normal?

Why do people look at me like I am a crackpot for that suggestion?

It has taken several conversations with my Abba to comprehend the reality.

Normal is just a setting on a dryer or a number made up by skewing averages to fit your intended target.

Normal is in reality different for each and every one of us, because we are each different. On purpose.

It’s fine with God that I am nutso for words and music, sisterhood and family, creativity and sensitivity, the prophetic and healing.

Because that is my normal when I step into being who He has made me to be.

Yours may be patterns or numbers, works of your hands, the ability to strike up a conversation wherever you do, cooking like a chef, making baked goods to drool over tinkering with technology, teaching with skill, or organizing the best events…

However we best express His handiwork is to be our normal.

Without His guidance and empowering, our potential, our normal may fizzle into stagnant flatlines.

Today, come to the throne.
Press close to His Presence.
Invite His whispers of love.
Seek His wisdom and direction.
Rest in His embrace.

Then step out into the normal He has waiting for you.

When we take the leap of faith, He catches us. EVERY TIME.

Normal for us is to be the supernatural of Him with us, in us, and through us, Beloved.

It’s time to tune out the world’s loud suggestions of what normal should look like for us, and heed His Words.

Chosen.

Crated by hand.
His.
One of a kind.
Set apart for His purposes.
Empowered.
Necessary to His heart.

Be yourself, Beloved.
Normally living life in His hands ūüėČ

community: family by choice

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I am very blessed in community.

I know several people who feel like they are all alone in their circumstances or situations, and the reality is: often it’s due to your choices.

We don’t always reach out to show our need nor vulnerability when we can, so we essentially build a wall to block out connection when everything within us may be craving it.

Connection begins with a choice to be vulnerable, and let someone in.

Community happens when hearts are knit together through regular connection.

Family occurs when God blesses community with a love which can only come through weathering the storms arm in arm, knowing your family has your back and won’t leave you on your own.

Jesus modeled this well while He walked among us.

He carried an atmosphere of invitation to those who were outcast and lonely in society, and they came.

The disciples are a perfect example of choosing to connect, seeing what someone is capable of beyond their current situation, becoming community through shared living, and becoming family by choice.

God deliberately chooses to connect with each of us.¬† He wants us to live in close community with Him, Abba Jesus Holy Spirit.¬† He wants you to walk knowing you are already in His forever family, even if we aren’t physically there yet.

God didn’t choose those we would automatically assume would be on the inside.

For His community is family by His choice.

‚óŹCain, marked with His divine protection despite his crime.

‚óŹJacob, wrestling with God after stealing his brother’s birthright.

‚óŹSaul, more concerned with following his fears than God’s leading.

‚óŹDavid, lacking strong self control over his attraction to women.

‚óŹSolomon, who tried everything under the sun to come to the realization that without God, all is futile.

‚óŹPaul, murderer of the faithful.

‚óŹMoses, the stutterer.

And just so we keep it real, there were also women He chose to include in His community which make us sit up and pay attention:

‚óčSarai, who laughed off the Promise to come.

‚óčHagar, who took off when things got tough.

‚óčPilate’s Roman wife, who had dreams of the Jewish Messiah.

‚óčElizabeth, barren for so long she must have given up hope of a child, chosen to bear the forerunner to the Messiah. (And her priest husband ‚óŹZachariah, struck dumb when he doubted the angel delivering God’s Good News, in the Holy of Holies!)

‚óčTamar, who tricked her father-in-law to do the right thing but broke the law to do so.

‚óčThe Samaritan woman at the well, with her colourful history, spreading the word about living water.

All of these people are and were part of His story through the family He chose to create.

And we are included.

We have the opportunity to build community and family wherever we are,  for we carry God with us.

The Father who is just waiting for us to come near and join the family.

The Son who is just waiting to connect with us and not only show us who we truly are but help us become whole.

The Holy Spirit who draws us into community, helping us to see beyond our natural sight the Kingdom He is shaping about us.

Community is family by choice.

It has always been God’s choice to choose you.

It is your choice to accept the invitation of life long family and beyond which He has always offered, or stand alone on your own two feet.

Only you can make the decision to move into connection, to stay isolated in your current situation.

Community is family by choice.

tears for now

I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‚ÄúLook! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women! They‚Äôre His people, He‚Äôs their God. He‚Äôll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good‚ÄĒtears gone, crying gone, pain gone‚ÄĒall the first order of things gone.‚ÄĚ

Revelation 21:3-4 MSG

The Good News has arrived once in the person of Jesus, but God’s story for His people doesn’t end with that first arrival here on earth.

In Revelations, we are reminded the Good News yet to come…Jesus is coming again.

He is going to come back and make His home with His people, Beloved.
He will live with us, not just within us where He currently resides.

And once He has moved in, look at the next things He does….

He wipes every single tear from our eyes.

For He brings peace with His presence.

In fact, He will stop us from crying or weeping at all.

For He brings joy in His Presence.

We will never experience or suffer another pain. Ever!

For He brings hope in His Presence.

We will never die again.

For He gives life to those in His Presence!

The Promise will come to pass when we are with Him forever. No more tears, crying, pain or death!

Now is not forever, as You remind us all, God!

What a promise to celebrate! Sing, journal, dance – however you best offer your thanksoffering of praise for His promise yet to come!

Let this truth soak deep into the hearts and minds of the Beloved, Abba. Bring it back to the forefront when we need the reminder in the hard moments, Holy Spirit. May we entrust all we are, pain and tears, hopes and dreams, grief and loss, joy and hope, into Your loving, more than capable hands, Jesus. 

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Kingdom work

When I go to work, I’m going to the Kingdom. I’m not working for the King, I’m working with the King. The Kingdom is not restrained to the walls of the Church. -Kris Vallotton

Many days, I used to drag myself to work.

But its not that¬†I don’t love my jobs, for¬†I do.

Rather its because I wasn’t seeing the bigger perspective about work in general.

Years ago, when in bible college, I dreamed of working in a church. One professor made a comment about how I was too radical to be church acceptable staff material, and my soul took on the weight of that barb.  Not knowing any better at the time, I let my dream of being on church staff fly away into my lost dreams pile.

Fast forward to more recent years. ¬†Spending more time in the Word, I realized that the church in Acts seemed to do more “church-like” Kingdom work outside of the walls of the church buildings, right in the communities, wherever they were.

Immediately my eyes were opened to the reality that church work, Kingdom work, was never meant to be limited inside the walls of a building.

Kingdom work was always intended to be carried within the heart of everyone in the Kingdom, and shared with those who need to hear the Good News that they are welcome in His Kingdom.

  • The Kingdom is within me, for I am His.
  • The Kingdom walks with me, for the King is with me wherever I go.
  • I work with¬†the King, wherever I work
  • All my work matters for His Kingdom when I do it for His Kingdom come and His glory.
  • When I am aligned with His heart for those around me, I am doing Kingdom work.

And I don’t need to be church staff, or in a church building to do so.

I only need to be lead by Holy Spirit, following Jesus’ example and allowing my heart to beat with my Abba’s to do Kingdom work.

For wherever I am, the Kingdom is too.

And the same is true for you!
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resting securely on His shoulders

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12

Today did not start well.

I awoke congested and feeling like I had not slept at all. I began work to find a serious glitch has occurs with one of the main programs I use daily. Hubby may be having a long term IV put in today and my eldest is recovering from an allergic reaction to a new food source. My son is feeling bad for accidentally sitting on my laptop and cracking the screen.

In short, a day most of us would prefer to stay in bed or have a restart button to push for a skip over.

Last night, I was reminded of this verse above.

And it struck me after worship time this morning that God gave me that verse last night to remind me of the following truths:

1. I am His Beloved.
No matter how I feel, God pursued and wooed me.

2. He is always shielding me.
Always. Just because I can’t see Him or His angels doing so, doesn’t change this truth!

3. GOD loves me.
Even when I am cranky, miserable, acting sinfully and unlovely, I am the one He loves!

4. He is my source of rest.
No matter what is happening, or what I am facing.

5. He is carrying me close.
I am resting on His shoulders. And in order to stay there…

6. He is holding on to me.
He never lets us go, those whom He loves. He has me safely in His grip.

7. God is leading the way as I rest on Him.
I can place my hope that I am headed in the right direction when He is guiding my every step.

If you too needed to be reminded of these truths, join me in praying for a stronger sense of His Presence to rest upon you today, as we learn to rest on His shoulders.
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Sunday Psalm: HalleYOUjah

As I’m reminded of all the wonders
made by Your command,
I arise from my seat
to quickly take a stand
I close my eyes
and raise my open hands
then Your praise shot forth
as I began to understand,

It’s all about You
it always has
and it always will
be all about You
Father, Son & Spirit
we shout HalleYOUjah
for all the world
to hear the truth
It’s all about You!

When I saw the words
as Your love shone forth
when You opened my eyes,
I dropped to my knees
with a grateful heart
from the surprise
I lift my hands
asking You to shine through me
so all world can see

It’s all about You
it always has
and it always will
be all about You
Father, Son & Spirit
we shout HalleYOUjah
for all the world
to know the truth
It’s all about You!

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#singanewpsalm

yearn

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It’s hard to believe that God yearns & longs…

Maybe like me, you somehow have the notion that God is a solid figure sitting on His throne, staying set apart in His Holiness as He rules.

So far from the truth, that notion is.

God is actively present in this world. He is aware of each person on it, intimately.  He knows us all inside & out, knows our weaknesses, strengths, hopes, dreams, areas of brokenness.

Because He is right there with us in the midst of it all.

Jesus came to put skin on the heart of God.

God with us.

Jesus was the earthly demo of the heavenly reality of God always having been with us and always will be with us.

Jesus stepped into earthly time & space to give us the tangible face of Love.

Because His Beloved has never, ever been far from His thoughts, or removed from His heart.

No matter how far we run, where we try to hide or fall where we fail, He was & is, and is going to be there.

Actively pursuing His interest on earth- you, and I.  His beloved.

If, like me, you need to get rid of the lie that He remains separate from what’s really going on in your life, come into His Presence & soak.

Let His truth was over you like a waterfall, and His love flood & well up with in.

Its time to look square into His gaze today, head up, returning the love we see written all over Him to the Lover of our souls.

Beloved, come & be with your Beloved.

Give in to the yearning He has stirred up within you.

For it was designed to match His yearning for you!

One of the most precious pouring outs of yearning I have heard is Shane & Shane’s song Yearn. May it ignite the passion to worship within you, and lead you to a deeper revelation of who you are to Him!

Band-Aids over bullet holes

Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes, you can only cover up what has hurt you for so long. -Austin Dennis

Yesterday, I took a direct hit.

And boy it hurt.

I couldn’t address the wounding in the exact moment due to my shock, but bandaided myself in a stop gap measure as best i could and carried on.

A bandaid isn’t an effective treatment for a major wound, is it?

As soon as I got some time alone, i ripped off the bandaid, and asked God to pour His healing into the situation.

This morning, I am feeling like the bullet has been removed. But the situation isn’t rectified yet.

You see, I can forgive, but i can’t move on until the shooter has heard what they did.

For me, its not about justice, but honor.

The shooter was someone i respect, a fellow believer.  And when they get stressed out, they sharpshoot before taking a step back to take in the whole situation.

I get it, because my temper flares too.

God and i have spent years working on my giving my anger over to Him, and not responding in the moment it hits. I need to wait for the feelings to simmer so I can hear His voice telling me what to do when i have been hurt.

You’ll note, I am not talking about being offended, but wounded.

If i take offense at what someone does to me, I sharpshoot myself in the process.

If and when i am wounded, whether by a friend or enemy, I am called to forgive.

I am also called to speak up.

Because of my gifting, word wounds are especially hurtful. Some might receive them as a slap, I receive them as a gun shot.

I spent way too much of my life keeping my wounding in from the built up shock after shock, internalizing my pain in the most self destructive ways.

No more. As a daughter of the King, I deserve to treat myself better.

First I run to my Abba, and let His balm, tears & love enfold me in His embrace.

Then I allow Him to treat the wound: to cauterize, stitch, bind together the rawness left from the injury i have received.

I then ask Him to give me His perspective on the situation.  To see what He wants me to do, to speak what He wants me to speak, to forgive as He asks me to.

Finally, only after the previous steps, do i approach the one who wounded me.

Silent no more.

Grounded in who I am, and secure in His embrace, I can speak up with confidence, knowing my Abba is with me, and my voice has value to Him.

If you too are wounded today, draw near to your Abba.

Put on some worship music, get comfy before Him, grab that box of Kleenex, pad of paper & pen, and let it all out.

He will meet you in that pain, and begin the healing you & He are both longing for.

Don’t keep using a bandaid to cover up your hurt.

Allow the Healer to touch you, and make you whole again.

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Sunday Psalm: Love Letter to my Abba

Abba,
Father God,
I am humbled at the thought
of Your great love for me.
My every tear is collected
by You,
my every thought known to You.
If it matters to me,
You remind me
over & over
that it matters to You,
because I do.
Every hair on my head,
(even those I don’t like to acknowledge
that have migrated elsewhere)
is counted by You.
My comings & goings,
my hopes & dreams,
my hurts & wonders,
my heart & Spirit,
all known by You,
my Father.

You loved me
even before I knew I was loved.
You not only designed me
in the secret place of Your love,
You sat on Your porch
ever keeping an eye out
for my return to Your home.
The prodigal daughter
humbling herself
before Her Father.

You are not only my Father,
the formal official title
which makes me Your heir
and officially part of Your family.

You are also my dad.
You hang out with me,
cheering me on,
holding my hand
when times are hard,
telling me how much You love me
when I need to hear it most.

My Abba,
without You
I would be so alone.
I wouldn’t know where I belonged,
I would be hopeless, helpless
and still in the mess
I was in when You adopted me
making me Your own.

You not only love me,
but like the best Fathers
You not only speak Your love
but show it to me often.
The other gifts You give me
pale beside Your Presence,
always with me.

You are my forever Father.
I delight in being Your daughter,
Abba, always.
May I never let go of the safety of Your grip, nor miss the glow of love in Your eyes when You look my way.

#SundayPsalm

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