What Changed for Me? (Ashes to Beauty)

images-2Friends recently asked me what changed in my life this past year that brought on so much blessing, healing, and crazy adventures of delight and joy in Jesus.

I’ve been pondering this…

“God, why have you shown such grace and mercy?”

I have seen God do some INCREDIBLE things.

(This summer, I watched God bring on 70 physical healings (from torn ligaments, clenched jaws, scoliosis, injured necks, sprained ankles…) in teenagers I was sent to lead, along with hearts surrendered to a new full life in Jesus!)

…On top of this, I have the joy of leading people through inner healing sessions with Jesus and getting a front row seat to Him doing mighty things! Adults and teens in depression, anxiety, and addiction are experiencing deep healing by hearing God’s voice.

Every day I come home from work, I feel like I just saw Jesus perform another miracle.

How did this all begin to happen?

I look back…

Less than a year ago, I had the unfortunate job of confronting a man who’s behaviours negatively impacted multiple families including his own. Jesus helped me realize that his patterns of behaviour towards me and others were out of fear (which leads to manipulation and control, and in this case emotional and spiritual abuse). Yet, in order to break this cycle of fear, I chose to confront him in love.  Jesus strongly put it on my heart that I was to pray over the man for him to know that God’s love is greater than our fear. (Yes, this sounds humanly impossible to pray over a such a person. Only by the power of God can you do such a thing for someone who hurt others. I take no credit.)

The man wept, but only in sorrow. (Read: “5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman to learn the difference between sorrow and repentance) I left in peace with a strong boundary, and I moved on… ‘dusting off my feet’.

I had no idea what would come next…

God is SO good.

For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit gives you mighty power, love, and sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7  

There are basically 2 motives in our lives for why we do what we do…

Fear.

Or love.

Since that day, my health (in all aspects) improved like crazy. LIKE CRAZY. Could it be that walking in boldness brought on more of God’s power? …and more of His love and sound mind (and authority).

It appears the act of confronting someone in love and peace, seemed to immediately cut off the word curses once spoken over me and released healing and power flowing out to others like a bottle uncorked. (Confronting an abuser took lots of guided help. Do not try this on your own.)

Would you like God’s power, love and self-control to become ‘uncorked’?

Questions for you:

Is there someone in your life who has hurt you?

Invite Holy Spirit to come… and then…

Ask Jesus: “How do you see this person? How do you feel about this person?”

What He will show you will blow your mind! God wants to loan us His perspective on people and situations in our lives.

Ask Jesus: “What are you calling me to do, if anything for this situation/person?”

What Jesus shows you can transform the place you are in.

Share it with trusted advisors to pray with you.

Whether you are called to confront someone, or simply pray a release over them…,

Jesus waits for us to be ready to step into His resting place in order to blow us away with what He wants to do next…

Like I said to the teens I was ministering to this summer… “Are you ready to get wrecked by God’s mind blowing love?!” 😀

Check this out…

Paul Prays for Love to Overflow

14 …I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.

18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

20 Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

Ephesians 3:14-20  (TPT)

Jesus invites you to lay down your burdens at Jesus’ feet for Him to handle.

Then, walk forward in freedom and get ready to watch God do some mighty things!

(And if you have burdens that won’t go… and you need a life coach/spiritual director, and you know how to contact me, feel free to contact me directly. I would delight in walking with you to Jesus’ freedom gift for you too.)

Blessings! 🙂

Recommended Reading: 
“5 Languages of Apology” by Dr Chapman

How do you enter God’s presence?

jesushug.png

This question… “How do you enter God’s presence?”,  is so beautiful and has been asked of me many times lately. The answer from God’s Word is so refreshing…

1. Be still. Get quiet to allow Him to lead you.

Ps 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Ps 23
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life…
You are with me…
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.

2. Enter His gates by giving thanks, giving praise to Him, singing for joy!

Psalm 100:1,2,4

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

(Helpful hint: Try this… Get alone somewhere quiet. Start by listing 3 things you are thankful for. Say ‘thank you’ to God. “Thank you God for…”)

Be Still :)

A video invitation from one of my online mentors.
Come away from rush and hurry…
You and I are invited to do life not out of an anxious to-do list,
but out of a place of rest and peace…
Find a quiet place,
enjoy the peaceful music,
the words and questions to stir your heart and mind…

Rest Deeper. Live Fuller. Lead Better.

http://www.unhurriedliving.com

I first ‘met’ Alan Fadling online through Sabbatical topics and have chatted with him via Twitter. I very much enjoyed his book:
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest

You Let Me Rest

lover of your soul

I’ve been meditating on this old familiar Psalm quite a bit lately… May you too turn it into a prayer for yourself…

“You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe. You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, Lord.”‭ – Psalms‬ ‭23:2-6‬ ‭CEV

Let this musical rendition warm your soul…

Travel mugs in the rain

I’ve never been one for travel mugs. To me a travel mug seems like an oxymoron. To me, a hot drink is to be enjoyed when you sit still either alone with God or with a friend lingering together enjoying wonderful conversation. A travel mug to me speaks of rush and hurry without entirely slowing down to enjoy its contents. However, today I used one as I slowly strolled in the rain. In one hand I held my umbrella, and in the other I held a hot mug of Christmas mint tea to keep me warm. Now that to me is a wonderful use of a travel mug. You should try it. 🙂

Take Off Your Shoes

My sabbatical mentor passed this along…

(From: Seasons of Your Heart by Macrina Wiederkehr)

 

My bare feet walk the earth reverently

for everything keeps crying,

Take off your shoes

The ground you stand on is holy

The ground of your being is holy.

 

When the wind sings through the pines

like the breath of God

awaken you to the sacred present

calling you soul to new insights

Take off your shoes!

 

When the sun rises above your rooftop

colouring your world with dawn

Be receptive to this awesome beauty

Put on your garment of adoration

Take off your shoes!

 

When the Red Maple drops its last leaf of summer

wearing its ‘burning bush’ robes no longer

read between its barren branches, and

Take off your shoes!

 

When sorrow presses close to your heart

begging you to put your trust in God alone

filling you with a quiet knowing

that God’s hand is not too short to heal you.

Take off your shoes!

 

When a new person comes into your life

like a mystery about to unfold

and you find yourself marvelling over

the frailty and splendor of every human being

Take off your shoes!

 

When, during the wee hours of the night

you drive slowly into the new day

and the morning fog, like angel wings

hovers mysteriously above you

Take off your shoes!

 

Take off your shoes of distraction

Take off your shoes of ignorance and blindness

Take off your shoes of hurry and worry

Take off anything that prevents you

from being a child of wonder.

 

Take off your shoes;

The ground you stand on is holy.

The ground you are on is holy.

 

(I hope this next pic won’t take away from the post above but I couldn’t resist!…)

Rest. Listen. Enjoy.

Before my sabbatical, I bought Alan Fadling’s book: An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest and received an introductory coaching word…

Finished his book last week!
I am indeed resting, listening, and enjoying my time with Jesus! 🙂 It was a good read with several excellent reminders. It got richer with each chapter. I recommend it if you’re living a life way too hurried and your soul is aching for more…

An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest

Plans…? Hold them loosely… Instead, bask in His love!

Today, I had to release many things in my quiet time with the Lord. I did this in the morning and again in the evening when I followed the prayer of Examen. I realize that I’ve been grieving on my sabbatical with plans thwarted. (I’ve also realized I’ve been grieving the past year over hopes and dreams, but that’s perhaps for another post…) Some of you reading this have had so much more to release and so much more to grieve than me. This, is my itty bitty story…

Before my sabbatical, there was a pastor who warned me to make plans and cut them in half and then cut them in half again. I ran into his wife the other day who shared the full story of his sabbatical experience. It was a hard one for him to learn. Within the first month he went back to the office to work. He couldn’t easily take the act of not doing ministry; of not being Martha and instead of being Mary lingering at Jesus’ feet. His leadership asked him to make a list of things to do and cut it in half and then cut it in half again. If he was to return to the office before the end of the sabbatical, he would be fired.

As I look back so far at my sabbatical; two months out of the three, I think 90% of my plans, which have been very few, have fallen through. Instead, the things that other people have planned for me, or unexpected meet ups, or unexpected promptings and nudges have been sweet surprises.

Instead of planned events and outings, (honestly, I’ve barely driven anywhere as I’ve rediscovered my beautiful neighbourhood), the majority of my time has been spent quietly in the presence of God, much like Brother Lawrence and his practice of the presence of God. I have read his journals and others who practiced the same way of being constantly mindful of Jesus’ faithful presence. Throughout the day, I’ve learned, more than ever before, to speak words of worship to him, to call on his name, to give thanks, to cry out to him, to be in tune and alert to his presence around me.

This once high-energy and highly driven person has somehow learned to be completely at peace doing nothing in the presence of God and listening for his voice and speaking to him. An hour or two will go by and it’ll feel like an instant. And I come away feeling absolutely full. I didn’t spend this precious time with unnecessary noise in order to suppress longing or appetite. I didn’t even spend it doing research and deep Bible study in order to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. Instead, I spent hours simply and quietly with Jesus, the creator of the universe who somehow loves me even as if I were his favorite. He is holy. I am so unworthy and yet he loves me. Embracing this truth in a way without interruption or even without another’s interpretation has completely wrecked me, in a wonderful new way.

So, I have learned to hold plans loosely, and I’ve learned to just sit in his lap and linger and become completely overwhelmed with his love for me.

Today’s Jesus Calling for kids (May 16) summarizes my sabbatical pretty spot on…

“I Am Lord!”

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21

“I am your Lord! I am the Friend who is always with you, but you must remember that I am also your Lord. I am King over all. And I want to be the King of your life.

As you begin each day, talk to Me about it. And as you go through your day, keep checking in with Me. Keep asking for My guidance. It’s okay to make some plans, but be open to changes in those plans. I may have other ideas for your day.

Don’t try to skip ahead or take shortcuts. Concentrate on the task that is right before you. Do your very best at that. Then trust Me to show you what to do next. I will guide you step by step, leading you along a path of peace.”

Personal Daily Practices by Dallas Willard – (YouTube) Interview

Dallas Willard is another modern day theologian who practiced Spiritual Disciplines regularly. He wrote, “The Spirit of the Disciplines” which I have purchased to read while on Sabbatical. Here’s a personal interview with him on his personal practices…

“Dallas’ Personal Daily Practices?” by Dallas Willard – YouTube.

Some points…

Start the day with meditation on Scripture.

Be with Jesus daily and all through the day!

Enjoy a daily prayer life, a daily rhythm with Jesus.

See yourself addressing your Heavenly Father. Think of His loving nature. Recognize the presence of God in your day.

Your quiet time can last all the day long. Take breaks throughout the day to pause in His presence.

Some days you need to be intentional about solitude, prayer, Bible memory, fasting…

One of the signs of healthy disciplines, is how you feel when you don’t do them.

Guilt is not a good motivator for a healthy spiritual life.

Disciplines are not righteousness, they are wisdom.

There are things you need to do daily in blessing, not in bondage! There are things you need to do weekly, monthly, annually… Fasting half days, full days, 3 days…

Enjoy these Scriptural posts…

Psalm 23

The Lord’s Prayer