Thursday, December 13, 2012

Faith ~ Feeling

Faith is the confidence that we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV

I love the the NIV version of the Bible verse, yet I love how they  both show the bigger picture......Belief! This is my favorite bible verse and you could say my life verse! I have been walking by faith for a very long time, unsure of the whys or whens but just trusting in the Lord to lead my way and guide me!

Why do we have Faith? Because it is in our Hearts ~ we feel it in our souls and hearts!

My head spins with so many thoughts over this verse, as I sit here and try to write about my feelings on it. My mind goes a million miles a minute and I can't seem to find the right words or how to put the words together to express my thoughts.

I see words like a diagram in my head on Faith, like the picture below:

All of these thoughts lead right back to GOD, he is the solid base of my Faith, of my Belief! 

The first word that keeps popping out at me is Amazing!   I think of this unconditional love God has for me, I can't see it but I sure can feel it in my heart and soul. 

Then Security  keeps flashing at me over and over. I can't place a shield all around me to block out all the negative evil things of this world (though I would love too) but I know I am safe, I have security in God's arms. He has arms wrapped around me, No I can't see him holding me but I sure can feel them and I know I am secure.

TRUST ~  this one flash non-stop in my thoughts, trust in the Lord Lauren and his promises, trust his word, trust in your Faith! I put all my trust in the Lord and my feeling of my Faith because I know they are real!

The Dictionary defines Faith as: 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing. 2. belief that is not based on proof

The Thesaurus says: definition of faith is: trust in something.

Steven Furtick writes in his book GREATER (which is awesome) on pg. 62 ~"In Scripture, faith isn't just about believing and certainly not about mere thinking. Faith is about action. In fact faith is action. Faith doesn't come full circle, through lofty thoughts but through simple steps. It's why James so pointedly said "Faith without works is dead." (2:26 NKLV) faith isn't a state of mind - it's a course of action. Faith is work."

I read this passage in his book and I think TRUST, my faith in action is Trust, trusting in the Lord. Trust that he is my confidence, my belief and my everything.   

I could go on and on about my thoughts on faith, but that would take you on a very long and probably confusing path. So instead I will leave you with a poem I like about faith.

"By faith"
by: Keith and Kristyn Getty

By faith we see the hand of God
In the light of creation's grand design
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness
Who walk by faith and not by sight

By faith our fathers roamed the earth
With the power of His promise in their hearts
Of a Holy city built by God's own hand
A place where peace and justice reign

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul's reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We'll walk by faith and  not by sight

By faith the prophets saw a day 
When the longed-for Messiah would appear
With the power to break the chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave

By faith the church was called to go
In the power of the Spirit to the lost
to deliver captive and to preach good news
In every corner of the earth

We will stand...

By faith this mountain shall be moved
And the power of the gospel shall prevail
For we know in Christ all things are possible
For all who call upon His name

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thoughts, Truths, Progress & Thanks

How could I pick only one topic for this weeks Blog Hop On Melissa Taylor's Online Bible Study?

 The choices were to hard, so I decided I am doing all 3!  What a great way to wrap up and end our finale week in the study "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst!

When you look up "thoughts" in the dictionary it lists 12 different definitions.  My favorites are " the act or process of thinking; mental activity" and "a judgement, opinion, or belief." WOW, that pretty much sums it up.

A Judgement - now this makes sense, the thoughts or judgments we place upon our selves or I should say I place upon myself. Thoughts like, " I am not good enough. I am not Pretty. I will fail! they are all against me, I can not do that, I will not be pleasing to the Lord." and the list goes on and on, such judgments/ thoughts I have filled my head with. 

Like Lysa TerKeurst says "These were idle thoughts allowed to run rampant in my mind for so long I confused them with the truth." (see pg 161 in her book Unglued). Such evil thoughts these are to have or to allow to run rampant in my mind. Of course these thoughts run wild and Satan smiles, this is exactly what Satan wants. He wants me to play his evil game that robs me of my time with  the Lord and his truths!

My Soul needs to Exhale (Chapter 11 Title from Unglued- love it) these negative thoughts and inhale the truths of the Lord like:

The Lord is my light and my salvation
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart    and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Hebrews 13:21

 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,    I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Like Lysa stats "the best thing I can do is open God's word and immerse myself in his truths." Pg 172.

This is just one of the steps towards my Imperfect Progress .  I am not perfect, nobody is, I can't make all these changes overnight and be free of my negative thoughts  or not allow them to make me come "Unglued" inside/outside but I can continue to make progress and ask God to guide me and hold my hand along the way.

Progress like not stuffing these thoughts but letting them out, turning them over to the Lord. "We must exhale-letting it all out before God." Lysa TerKeurst pg 153 and replacing them with his truths, allowing him to Chisel me, actions I need to allow to happen and take!

God knows the truth and he certainly knows my heart - therefore he knows I will have "Unglued" moments but like Lysa says "If we let it, unglued will allow us to become humbly and beautifully broken before Him." and that is steps towards my Imperfect Progress!

Lysa TerKeurst,  thank you! Thank you for being REAL and expressing what most of us are or were afraid to admit.  That we are Human and we have Raw Emotions, and it is okay.  Thank you for helping me to journey on imperfect progress and helping me to see I am not alone in these battles. May God Continue to use you in ways that are such Blessings to others. God Bless You!

And Finally Melissa Taylor,  I know a thank you to you was not one of the Blog options but THANK YOU!  If it were not for you and your dream, none of these would be possible or happening right now. You have brought so many beautiful sisters of Christ together and that is the Lord moving in you! You are truly an inspiration, role model full of Grace and love.   You are an amazing Leader ~ I am sure I speak for all of us on your Facebook team and all the women who follow your blog when I say "We love You" and you have truly Blessed my life!  I look forward to continuing this journey with you and God Bless you always.

 Lord Continue to Chisel Me!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Jealous, Why? Confused ~ Yet Blessed

On September 26, 2012 I read a blog titled" Mommy, I love you" written about Nancy L. Miksad by her daughter. Nancy is very dear to my heart and God brought us together so reading this blog moved me beyond words ~ It was Beautiful!

Nancy's daughter wrote about how her mom taught her traditions, love, friendship and how to Love like Jesus! I was touched by her words, I admit I cried and I cried for two reasons. One it was so beautiful, her words were so moving, it came from her heart & soul. It was awesome how she expressed her gratefulness, inspiration and love for her mom. 

Then I cried because I felt the J-Word!  I was Jealous....................yep Jealous!  And I felt guilty for feeling this way. I started thinking about my jealousy and I felt like the Philistines towards Issac in Genesis 26:12-16. I was jealous of this girls' good fortune (her childhood & relationship with her mom). I was feeling like pg 131 (Unglued- Lysa TerKeurst) "spinney vines of jealousy choke the joy out of me." and yes I felt like the joy was being choked right out of me and I felt empty!

See I was jealous because I didn't have that wonderful childhood, or the mother/daughter or let alone father/daughter relationship growing up. I didn't have traditions taught to me, or passed down to me, I didn't have someone teaching me to love like Jesus and yes I was jealous and was wondering out loud to god, WHY? this is not fair Lord, why was I stripped of all these things a girl longs for, why? All these things I wanted so bad in life and yet I will never have these things.  I was at that point like pg 131 (Unglued ~ Lysa TerKeurst) "Standing in front of a mirror and all I see is what's lacking. what I am not. What I don't have. what I can't do." then I stared questioning my self and who I am. How did I end up the way I am?

Unglued ~ Lysa TerKeurst Pg. 132

How did I acquire a good heart, why am I not messed up? How can I show love or be a caring person, how is this eve possible? It was at that point I was feeling very low and crying out to God, why, why, why? that I realized I had taken my eyes off God, my focus shifted, I was not focusing on him at all, I allowed Satan to keep pushing the jealousy button. Like pg. 136 (Unglued) "Isn't it just like Satan to want to distract me from this? Satan is a liar who steals, kills and destroys." Yes Satan was having fun with my jealousy and I was feeling guilt and shame.....Oh Lord please forgive me!

I realized (with imperfect progress) I might not have a had a childhood filled with traditions, great memories or even tons of love, But God was always with me, this I know now and that is why and who I am today because of him.  He lead me on these paths to mold me into who I am.  Even though I thought my eyes were not on him (when I was younger) they truly were. Pg 136 (Unglued) "And I thank God for the protection." I would not be who I am today if God did not have his arms around me and his love surrounding me. He had me in his hands from day one.

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands ~ Isaiah 49:16a

God Created me, he blessed me with my caring heart, the giving of love to others, kindness and yes even my Raw Emotions, that tend to not be so great at times, like being jealous! 

"All the things I have and don't have are what make up the unique load I've bee assigned."
~ Unglued, Lysa TerKeurst pg. 137~

I am his daughter ~ I am his beautiful princess. So I will wear my invisible crown of Beauty & Grace and my emptiness no more, jealousy turned into inspiration for the future (and my future children). My heart is full, full of God's love and love to give. So thank you Nancy's daughter for opening my eyes to the things I had stuffed away for years, allowing me to let go of the hurt I had kept in for so long and letting God!

No matter what I have God ~ He is my Abba! and I will continue to grow and make Imperfect Progress!

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,  for each one should carry their own load. 

Galatians 6:4-5

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

~ The Big Explosion and then the Shame ~

Was I ever the "Exploder ~ Who Shames Herself," this week!

I know not very good. and I felt it all that is for sure, and it wore me out!

Well earlier this week at work it was mentioned to me about making someones job easier for them but in turn making mine, more stressful, more work load with less time! On that day I was like pg. 65 (Unglued ~ by Lysa Terkeurst) "A Jesus girl who rises up and unexpectedly gives grace when when she surely could have done otherwise." yep I accepted the task and just repeated to myself Grace, Grace, Grace and thought to my self " I am being diligent to God. He knows my hard work

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
 as surely as haste leads to poverty. 
 ~ Proverbs 21:5 ~

Well the next day I was not a "Jesus Girl", nope I was the The Exploder, who Shamed myself later. In the middle of our meeting to discuss this new tasks that would be added to my work load, I got very upset.  Well there was no moment of pausing for me, no moment of me thinking before I reacted, no moment of Grace what so ever in the room.  I Exploded and I exploded in a very big way.  I believe my words went something like this:

"You have NO clue what I do for this Company." 
"You have No Clue how Over-whelmed I am."
"You don't even care!"
"Why would I possible think after 11 1/2 years things would be any different ~ shame on me."

Yep I EXPLODED! and not just to anyone in the Company but none other than my Boss, the Owner of the Company. Yeah I can just image what you are thinking right now....WOW!  Well after I stormed out of his office, crying and frustrated and angry, that is when the SHAME started to slap me in the face. I went for a walk and was thinking to myself, Lauren why, why did you not think before you responded? Why did you just fire off like that? That was not very Christian like or Godly in any way at all. I certainly was not like the Memory Verse for Chapter 5 (Unglued):

Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8 ~  

Oh no, my guard was down and Satan had a good time using me at that moment and it hurt. It hurt deep in my heart and I wished I could have turned back time but I couldn't. Instead I turned to the Lord in prayer and spoke to him, told him of my shame and asked for forgiveness and grace. I feel that even though I was an "Exploder ~ that shamed herself" I also realized that I need work, and I am making imperfect progress to being able to control my emotions. 

I want to be a Proverbs Women:

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 
~ Proverbs 31:26~

Please touch my heart and give me Grace.  Remind me that I am making imperfect progress with baby steps. Quiet my tongue when it needs to be and give me that "Power in the Pause" moment to turn to you Lord and ask for the wisdom and knowledge that I am so in need of during these situations.  I want to be a "Jesus Girl" shine a bright light for you Lord. Protect my heart and help me to be self-controlled and alert. Guide me away from the enemy and lead me to be faithful to you to Lord. In Jesus Name ~ Amen

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Prisoner, Who puts labels on Herself

I am stuck in hard places and been putting labels on myself :(  Why?  Why do I do this when in my heart I know I am God's masterpiece. After reading chapter 3 in Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst,  my eyes were opened to the reality I have been ignoring.........the Labels I have been attaching to myself.

Here are the labels I have attached to myself:

Label One: I have Discoid Lupus (which is on the skin), so it mostly appears on my face ~ the biggest spot is on my the lower right side of my chin about the size of a quarter or so.  So when I look in the mirror and see this spot I think to myself, " How could anyone possibly think I am pretty?"

Here is the Bible verse I turn to when I think this
1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  

Notice I have highlighted and changed some of the words to different colors in this bible verse, because these are the words the hit my heart when I turn to this bible verse! These words remind me that God loves me for ME and he thinks I am Perfect, Beautiful and his Masterpiece.

Label Two:  I AM NEVER GOOD ENOUGH!  oh this should be my number one label because I put this one on myself over and over and over again...I know, horrible. Yet I keep doing it. So many people (yes family members) have walked out of my life and I blamed myself and put this label on myself ..I know Ouch! Or if I try something new and fail, or I don't finish a project at work on time, get the laundry done, house cleaned, and the list goes on,  yep you got it I put that big old label on myself.

So again I turn to my Bible and God with:
Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

God reminds me that I am Good Enough and he is for me.  I have this verse every where so when I start thinking of that horrible label, I read it and I talk to God!

Which is why I love  pg. 33 (Unglued) where it says "Labels only stick if I let them" Lysa Terkeurst.

So I have become a prisoner to my own awful labels, MINE, not ones that others have put on me but all my own. Well not anymore, I am going to allow the Lord to chisel me and  get rid of all those negative thoughts and replace them with God thoughts.  Like the list of bible verse below.

for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:26 
He is my Confidence

I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1
He is my strength

give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
He will love me Forever! ( This is my favorite)

And with Grace, I will  start removing the labels and open my eyes to see the Beauty & Workmanship that God sees in me.I have to remind myself that I am the only one who can remove those yucky labels and that I have God on my side and he Loves me.

As Lysa says on pg. 41 "Let God Chisel. "Trust me," God says, "it will be beautiful you'll see."

How beautiful you are, my darling!  Song of Songs 4:1a 
All beautiful you are my darling; there  is no flaw in you. Song of Songs 4:7

Thursday, September 27, 2012

God's Grace ~ Progress

Wow Lysa TerKeurst you have written a book about ever women in the world ~ I feel like it was written directly to me, but I know I am not alone with the feelings I have.

I love in Chapter 1 on pg 17 it says"But might we also drink deeply from God's cup of hope and grace and peace as well?" How true is this sentence. I do I want to drink from this cup daily. We might not be perfect or be perfect on progress but we should rest in the fact that God does show us his grace.  He is our peace in all situations, if and let me repeat if we rely and trust in him. He also is our hope....our hope for a future of love, no more pain and no more tears. He is our eternity!

I love this whole chapter and how Lysa reminds us that "God gave us emotions  to experience life not destroy it"

What a powerful statement! Sometimes when we are having moments in life when things just seem so out of control and all we really want to do is scream and run.....well truth be told we can't, well I guess we could but then we would be giving up. We (I) can't always go through life giving up, we just have to learn how to deal or as Lysa says "Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace" (pg 14) and who doesn't need grace? Oh I do and I need a whole lot of Grace!

We are only human and we are not perfect, but with Grace, stepping out in Faith and completely trusting in God, we can conquer little steps or"baby steps" at a time and as Lysa says on pg 17 "And it will good to make this imperfect progress together."

Oh Lord, where do I begin. I know I am your  work in progress...I know you see a master piece in me Lord and you are not done with me. I am sure you see your beautiful creation in the end, but oh Lord, I do not see what you see yet, I am still in my hard places and I need to as Lysa TerKeurst says ~pause and say "Lord chisel me" oh please Lord chisel me.  Open my eyes to all the beauty. Place upon me the strength to take these baby steps of imperfect progress.  Allow my eyes to see all the beauty I am missing. Equip me with the knowledge I need and am in need of. Give me the grace to not be so hard on myself ~ let me reflect on you and see your work in me is yet complete.  Remind me Lord, challenge me to Trust in you, to take that step of faith (or even leap of faith - like being a small group leader) when you are calling me to .  In Jesus Name ~ Amen

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created  in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.   Ephesians 2:8-10

Friday, August 3, 2012

God's Waiting Room

Waiting Room - Waiting Chairs

 Lately I have been in God's waiting room. Waiting for his direction, guidance and calling for my life. I have been praying & praying for the Lord to show me or tell what it is that I am to be doing for him or in my life. I feel like I have been praying the same pray for months.....exhausted, frustrated and yearning for his sign or his voice and then, there it is not once but twice. Back to back, the Lord giving me a sign to be patient, to wait on him. 

Clear as day the words flash in my head...Have patience my child! The first sign was Sunday at church services when Pastor Roberts spoke of us being in God's waiting room. We are on his time and while we wait we find something to do. We are running the race and to stay on track 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~Hebrews 12:1-3

 Then Monday I read Heather Bleier's blog ( and there it was again "patience" screaming at me from her page. Her words and encouragement was so what I needed.

Psalm 37:7

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him 
Psalm 37:7a

 There it is again " be patient my child"

 Wow....I am realize now God is speaking to me through others, people that I look up to & that inspire me in my faith and my walk with God. So as I write this I am realizing that I am not on my time and no matter how many times I beg God to give me a sign or direction he is reminding me to be patient....when he is ready or maybe believes I am ready he will let me know on is time.

We are all on God's timing not our own!!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

~ He is our daily Bread ~

Do you ever sit and ask your self the following question: "What is it that the Lord is asking of me or what is it that he is wanting me to do?"

I am sure I am not the only person that asks themselves this same question.  I often find myself wondering just what it is that he has planned for my life or what it is that I am to be doing for him.  Well last tonight the following verses hit me and hit my heart hard.

Jesus answered, " The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29

I love this!  We satisfy God when we believe, not by what we do, but by truly believing in Jesus.  Does this just not make your heart feel so joyful.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never hunger, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

Yes we need bread physically to fuel our bodies but it is the Lord our true bread and water that fills our souls and spirits.  We need him spiritually to truly be satisfied and to fill full.

Following him and truly believing in him is the Only way.  Our God is so awesome that he sent us his Son to fill us up Spiritually!

So I find myself a little more at ease with the above question.....not that I still don't ask myself that question, But I can honestly say now that with Time God will show me just what it is that I am to be doing for him.  For now I will continue to believe and put all my hope in Jesus and allow God to direct my path of life!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beauty & Glory

So the other night (Tuesday night..I am a little behind) was the summer session of women's bible study at church, the theme is "Beautiful You!". It was a great lesson and very uplifting.  It was just what was needed after a long stressful go and let it all go to the Lord and be lifted up!

It is amazing how God  leads us to things, places or events to be able to communicate to us or get through to us. Like that night I believe God was giving me more signs, for example on the online bible study I am doing the memory verse for the week is: " So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 and on Tuesday night we spoke about things for the glory of God and God's glory. I was so awesome how the two groups tied together for me and it gave me a moment of "Wow God is speaking to me".  So it made me realize no matter what is happening in my life or around me, I must continue  to be living my life in a way that glorifies God, I want to be doing things that do it all for the glory of God.

The other thing we spoke about Tuesday night was beauty......God's Beauty.  It is funny how we (or I should say I) am always wondering if I am pretty enough, do I look beautiful.....but I realized I don't need to sit and worry over these things, I am Beautiful.....I am one of God's Creations and he thinks I am beautiful.  We are all unique & God created us all differently but we are his creations and his creations are Beautiful!!!

So I am going to live my life for God, I am going to do it all in glory, righteousness, Grace and Love! And I am also going to remember and remind others that we are Beautiful ~ We are his!!

So I will end it with one of the Bible study verses from Tuesday night:

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a women who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." ~ Proverbs 31:30

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A New Me ~ A New Creation in God ~

Well today was a very exciting day for me!  Today was the day I completely gave my life to the Lord! 

I got Baptized!!!!

 Now I have been really walking with the Lord faithfully and stronger than ever for the last 3 years.  Granted I have never been baptized during my life and I know now that this was God's plan in my life.  Our Church has done several Baptisms and I was always gone when they were happening .  Then it just so happened that they were performing a Baptism on a Thursday....."hurrah I will be here for this one" is what I was thinking.

So after work I headed over the the Park, were the baptism was to be held and it was so Beautiful outside!  It was such a perfect day.  I got there early and waited for everyone and listed to worship music.  I felt so close to the Lord tonight it was awesome, breath-taking, joyful, I could keep posting words to describe it but I don't truly think there are words to describe how I was feeling, other than my heart was over-joyed.

Pastor Steve is the one that did my Baptism and he said a beautiful prayer for me!  I was such a Beautiful night!  I had people that I love with me and it was perfect!

So I will close with this Bible Verse:

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call."          Acts 2:38-39