Good morning friends! As you have probably noticed, I’ve not been keeping up with my Monday afternoon release date for the last several weeks. Monday-Friday I’m a small business owner (OK, it’s more like Monday-Saturday, since I’m self employed and wear all hats all the time) and my weekends have been slammed …. mostly in good and exciting ways … like playing with grandkids, and going on hikes, and lets not forget about groceries and laundry and paying bills. 🙂 All the every-day stuff of life that gets crammed into weekends.
This past weekend I attended a Captivate 2018, a women’s conference put on my church. It was actually at Captivate 2014 that the Lord spoke to me, leading me to quit my day job (without having another job lined up) and step out onto the deep waters of faith with Him. Before my two weeks notice was up, He had given me a dream and opened up the doors of opportunity for me to go into business for myself. I write more about that here.
Anyways – I’m now working on the post that was supposed to be published on Monday. And since this has already happened more than a few times, I’m going to move the release date for my blog posts from MONDAY afternoon to THURSDAY afternoon.
Whew! I feel much better now!
“So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change! And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time – an unshakable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, and where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest like Melchizedek.” ~Hebrews 6:18-20 (The Passion Translation)
I just met “C” outside of the computer store picking up my laptop from weekend repairs.
Dear “C” If you are reading this, I want you to know that everything below the dashed line was actually written by me last night on my cell phone. In light of our meeting, I believe it is no ‘coincidence’ that I had scheduled to reblog something written by The Abuse Expose with Secret Angel. I am sure you will find much on their website (and I hope by my own story, starting back in the 2014 blog posts) that will be of comfort to you as you are walking out your journey. I am going to continue to pray for you, and of course you now have my name and phone number. #GodIsBigger #TheDevilHasAlreadyLost #ThisDoesNotDefineYou
Alas, I am without my computer (in for maintenance) and so instead of trying to type out my writings on my phone (I assure you, that would not end well), I am sharing this lovely poem entitled “A Pure Heart”
With a shared passion for the abused and broken, I have been following The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel for several years. I highly encourage you to check out their blog.
A few weeks ago I had the strangest dream. As best as I can remember it (because it was rather weird … you know, one of those dreams that seems to jump around a lot but “bits and pieces” remain with you upon waking. Yea, one of those.
In my dream, Vincent D’Onofrio was what some might call or think of as a Pentecostal preacher. Like his famous Law and Order character, he was animated in speech and a little on the quirky side.
He swayed while he preached. Or more accurately, he “flowed” around the pulpit, as though moving with the ebb and flow, rise and fall of the Holy Spirit speaking through Him.
Most of what he preached I don’t remember, but I recall the feeling of agreement. He was preaching the Bible.
Then unexpectedly he paused, looked right at me from the pulpit, and said “Don’t smell another man’s offering.”
A few minutes later, he asked me what that (all of what he had just preached) meant to me.
I thought for a moment, took a deep breath to answer, and … woke up.
DON’T SMELL ANOTHER MAN’S OFFERING
I have been thinking about this ever since. What do you think this means? Do any Scriptures come to mind?
What are some of the lies the enemy tells you? A friend of mine asked this last week to a Facebook group. The answers are honest, revealing, and familiar to us all.
You can’t outrun your past. | You are not enough. You will fail. | You are unlovable. | You are a fool. You will never succeed. |You’re too (insert insult here). You are ugly. | You are stupid. | No one wants you. You never finish what you start. It’s too late.
I see a common thread … all intended to short circuit the promises of God. They are all intended to strangle out the voice of HOPE.
Why is it that the voice of fear always seems to be so much louder than the voice of HOPE? And at the end of the day, isn’t that really the only weapon the enemy of our soul uses against us? “Did God really say that”? he asked Eve in the Garden of Eden (meant to instill fear in the credibility of God, or in best case the accuracy of her hearing). “If you are the Son of God” he touted to Jesus in the dessert. If we did a root cause analysis for every challenge or attack against HOPE, I think we would find fear is at the heart or origin of it.
The voice of FEAR always seems to be so much louder than the voice of HOPE.
She had almost forgotten about it, but something a friend said recently brought it back to her remembrance. It was so long ago that she had last held it in her hands. Just the mere thought of seeing it again stirred up so many emotions – the disappointments still cut deep.
And yet, here she was. Up in the attic, opening one dusty box after another to find it.
It was as she remembered, although the felt exterior was worn and perhaps a bit moth eaten.
Her breathing became fast and shallow, and her hands trembled a bit as she slowly began to lift the lid.
Can she? Dare she?
Fear grips her and won’t let go. She can’t breathe. Slowly she fits the lid back into place and places the box with it’s precious contents back into storage. Maybe another time.
“Oh my soul, you are not alone. There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.
One more day. He will make a way. Let Him show you how you can lay this down. You’re not alone”
~ Oh My Soul, Casting Crowns
It can be terrifying to risk change. To dare to dream, even if it means to risk failure … again. To dare to love, even if it means to risk rejection. To dare to trust, even if it means making yourself vulnerable to disappointment. To dare to HOPE … hope that the promise of God is actually true … even if it means ….
Well here is the thing my friend. All the promises … ALL the Promises … ALL … every single one is TRUE! (2 Corinthians 1:20). And it is from a position of knowing that, that’s ‘the place where fear has to face God’ ... AND FEAR WILL BOW!
As you listen to this song (and I hope you do), imagine yourself lifting up your hands … perhaps lifting up a certain situation or need … perhaps empty hands, empty of hope but ready to receive HOPE. Lift your hands and lift your heart in surrender to the One who loves you. He is faithful and will show you how to move forward into all that He has for you … a life that is limitless and free from the chains of fear.
If you have been following along, above is the initial sketch for the word picture along with it’s progression to the current state in the larger picture. There are components of this piece that are going to be revealed as this blog series continues, so please keep coming back to watch the image in my head/heart come to life on paper.
What do you think would be a good name or caption for this particular word picture?
Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about any of the word pictures in this blog series, or any other of my posts. My prayer is that they will speak something unique to your heart/spirit, and I would be honored to know how they move or impact you.
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.