My prayer is that you will be inspired, touched and filled with joy. May you realize that God is good all the time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Being In The Right Place

Have you ever heard someone say, "Well I was just in the right place at the right time?"  What did you think of when you heard them say it?  I always think about someone who has won something, someone who received something by chance or someone who witnessed something spectacular.  Is this really a good definition of "being in the right place"?

I would venture to say that when most of us think about "being in the right place", we probably think abour our home, our job, our relationships, our circle of friends and our church.  Have you ever thought about what it would mean to "be in the right place" with your heart, your mind and your spirit?  I would like to ask you to think about this for a moment.............  Now I would like for you to honestly answer the following questions: When I am in my home, how do I feel?  When I am in the right job, how does it affect my home life?  When I am in the right relationship, how does it make me feel?  When I am surrounded by the right group of friends, how does it affect me?  When I am in the right church, how does it affect all area of my life?  Now, answer these questions:  Whey my heart is in the right place, how much love, compassion and help can I give?  When my mind is in the right place, how much clearer can I think and how much more can I understand?  When my spirit is in the right place, how much happier and fulfilled can I be?  I know that was a lot of questions and some of them very hard to answer, but I want you to really spend some time thinking on them.  If we are not in the right place in ALL areas of our life, we will continue to battle ourselves and not be free enough to fulfill our purpose.

Even though I did not really know the subject for this post, I have just had a very heavy heart in regard to my writing.  I actually began to work on this post about 10 days ago, but was unable to finish it until today and as you will see later, it was timing.  God's timing.  When I looked at the date of my last post, I couldn't even believe that it had been six months.  Really, six months?  Where has the time gone.  Of course, I started trying to figure out why it had been so long.  Then I read some of the old posts.  Then as I felt that "butterfly feeling" in my stomach I decided to go back a little further and do some self-evaluation.  It then hit me like a Mac truck, I had not been in the right place.  You see, I had let my heart, my mind and my spirit wonder and get away from me.  I let other things remove me from the right place.  I did not do what I needed to do in order to make sure that I remained in the right place.

Let me explain a little further.  As most of you who follow my blog know that I have always given credit for this blog to God.  I am simply the writer and He is the author.  I have always wanted to write and about one year ago, I had that "butterfly feeling" in my stomach and knew that God was calling me to write.  My writing was going really well while I was "in the right place".  This place included my discipline in attending church, reading my bible and prayer.  As I gradually began to cut back in some of these areas, my heart began to harden, my mind became cloudy and my spirit could not detect that "butterfly feeling" anymore, it was gone.  You see, that "butterfly feeling" was what I always felt when God was trying to reach me, whether it be in prayer, while I was reading or while writing.  Although I kept going to church, praying and reading my bible, I was still so far away from the place that I needed to be.  I allowed my flesh to overrule my spirit and to turn my mind and heart off.  I can honestly say that I didn't even know it was happening.  On May 13, a very dear friend from church prayed with me.  (she had also prayed with me on March 11 as well)  This time as with the previous time, she said that she felt something was holding me back from receiving everything that God wanted for my life.  Then 12 days later on May 25, I went to see the doctor who has been treating my neck and shoulder pain.  As we were talking about my pain, she said that she just felt that she needed to tell me that my pain could be caused by something that I was holding onto and that I needed to let go of it.  As tears filled my eyes that day, I knew that it was time for me to start taking a look at some things.  I figured, ok, I have heard this three times now, so I better do something about it.  Even though it still took me almost a month to figure it out.

What caused the change?  I began to realize that I really missed my writing, but most of all, I really missed that closeness with God that my writing brought me.  I missed that "butterfly feeling" and the beautiful words He gave me.  As I mentioned above, I began writing this 10 days ago (although not much of the original writing was included), but the true turning point was this past weekend, both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.  Our church had our anniversary service Saturday evening.  The sermon was amazing, but it was what happened afterword that made all the difference.  I was in a very bad place and had been for about a week.  My pastor came over and began to pray with my husband and I.  As he was praying, I realized the message from God in his prayer.  This is a new beginning, He wants me to get my joy back, He wants me to realize the plan and purpose that He has for my life.  We sang a song Saturday night, that was sung at our mother church about this time last year when I first had that "butterfly feeling" to begin writing.  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed.  I was even more overwhelmed when I looked back at the date of my first blog post, July 25, 2011.  Then after an amazing sermon yesterday, our pastor shared with us his vision for our church.  He mentioned that in order for our church to grow, we would all need to do our part in the different areas of the ministry.  I was completely overwhelmed by the "butterfly feeling" to accept that challenge.  As I moved to the alter to pray with my pastor's wife, I began to weep uncontrollably.  I did not even realize that my husband had moved to stand beside me until once again our pastor began to pray for us.  He began to pray for each of us individually and together.  I truly began to feel that there is something that God is wanting to use us for within our church.  God is so good.

Why did I tell you all of this?  I wanted you to see how important it is to be in the right place.  My husband and I were "in the right place at the right time" this weekend.  If we had not been there we would have missed out on two life changing events.  We would have missed out on the blessings that God wanted us to receive.  I was in the right place when I heard the same message three times that I needed to take a look at some things.  I was in the right place almost a year ago to hear a sermon and a song that would give me that "butterfly feeling" that I needed to write.  Thank God that I was "IN THE RIGHT PLACE".

Friday, December 30, 2011

Just a Thought

It has been way to long since I have sat down at this computer to write.  As I look back and see when my last blog was, I realize how much I truly miss writing. Sometimes, I just think we get so absorbed in the things going on around us and trying to please everyone, that we truly forget to do what it is we love and what pleases us.  I think we take things for granted so much that we sometimes lose sight of who we are and what we like to do.  We all seem to get caught up in the rat race of life.

We must always remember that if we are not happy, how can we expect to make those around us happy and treat them with the love and respect that they deserve? Think about this for a minute:  at the end of the day, who is the one person or people that mean the most to you?  Most likely, this is your spouse, your children, your parents and your family.  Why is it that we sometimes try to hurt those that are closest to us?  We should always strive to be happy around, love and respect those closest to us, because no matter what, they will always be the ones still there at the end.

We must enjoy the time that we are given.  We must enjoy those that God has chosen to bless us with in this life.  We must never take for granted what we have, because at any moment it can be taken away from us.  We must remember to be true to ourselves, so that we can be true to others.  We must take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of others.  We must love ourselves, so that we are able to love others.  We must do what we love, so that we are an inspiration to others to do what they love and what they are called to do.

May you all have a wonderful and blessed day.  Remember, God has given us each a purpose in this life, don't be afraid to fulfill that purpose.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Rock Facade II

I have been thinking about my previous post for the last several days.  It seems as though there was more that God wanted me to share with you.  Please bare with me as I follow the Lord and what He wants from this post. I am going to review some of the original post and expand.  I know that Part I had several things missing, but I just wrote what I felt God was wanting me to say at that time.  I hope that you will enjoy Part II.

With each rock that my husband removed from the facade, we were able to see clearly what was underneath.  There were holes, cracks, bricks that were charred from smoke, dust, dirt, cobwebs, you name it and it was probably in there.  It was amazing.  I have never seen the inside of a fireplace, so it was kind of cool.  As he kept removing the rocks it became very evident to us what was causing the cold air to make its way in.  It was all the cracks and holes that had developed overtime.  Remember, this house was built in 1973.  So for 38 years this fireplace has endured, rain, heat, cold, snow, hail and all of the other wonderful seasons we have here in Oklahoma.  (On a side note, I am thankful that he tore it down before the earthquakes this past weekend.) It has maintained itself fairly well, but it has encountered some wear and tear.

Now lets take a look at how this relates to us.  As we begin to look at ourselves, our hearts, our minds and our spirits, we may come up with some of the same issues our fireplace had.  As we begin to tear the walls down in our hearts we will begin to see the junk that is there.  Depending on our age, there could be many holes and cracks in our hearts caused by things that have happened to us over time.  These holes will allow feelings of unbelief into our hearts.  There is also room for negative and bad things to enter.  We may find that our spirit is charred with years of hurt and loss.  We may find that our mind continues to tell us everything is ok and looks great, but in reality it isn't.  You see we have been able to put up the "facade" and make everyone think that we are strong and without any defects.  

My friends, God does not want us to live this way.  He wants us to fulfill the purpose that He has for our lives.  He wants us to succeed and not fail.  He wants us to bring joy and not sadness.  He wants us to serve Him and no other.  He wants us to receive all of the promises that He has for us instead of receiving nothing.  Psalm 145:13 (NIV)-The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.

Like I mentioned before, my husband will fix our fireplace and it will be beautiful.  As we sit around our fireplace this Christmas, we will be thankful that it is no longer cold and know that behind what we can see are the holes and the cracks that were filled to make our fireplace strong and perfect.  We will enjoy what we can see and over time will forget what we cannot see.  

The same can happen in our lives.  First, we must believe in Jesus.  He has the power to fix everything.  Psalm 147:3 (NIV)-He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  His love will fill those holes and cracks.  His teachings and promises will allow us to believe and bring us words of promise.  He will heal our charred spirit and allow His spirit to flow in us.  He will take our faith to a new level.  He will do everything that He has promised us He will do.  We must simply choose Him and we must choose to have faith and believe.  We must approach His throne with holiness, praise, thanksgiving and confidence.  Jesus is full of love and grace.  He doesn't care who you are or what you have done, He just wants you to tear down that facade or tear down that wall and allow Him to come in.  Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)-Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.     Are you ready to tear down that facade?  Are you ready to do what it takes to fill those cracks and holes?  Are you ready to enjoy life again?  If so, He is waiting for you.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Rock Facade

I have spent the last couple of hours watching my husband dismantle the rock facade on the front of our living room fireplace.  This fireplace has been a part of this house since it was built in  1973.  However, over the last couple of years we have noticed that during the winter time it seems that there is a lot of cold air that comes from it.  Since we have been doing some remodeling we decided to go ahead and take down the rock and see what might be causing the air to come in. 

This whole process got me to thinking about how sometimes our outward appearance seems so strong, safe and without any defects.  Then when we begin to tear down the facade that we have put up, we find large gaps that are not filled in.  We find areas that have been charred by years and years of damage and neglect.  We discover that everything that we thought was strong and safe really wasn't. 

However, it can be fixed.  My husband will fill the holes and cover up the charred bricks with mortar and then put up sheet rock to attach our new mantel too.  We will have a wonderful and beautiful fireplace to enjoy this winter and in a few years we will only vaguelly remember what we uncovered when we took down the rock.   

Just like the fireplace, we can fix ourselves.  It is very simple, we must trust and believe in Jesus.  He is able to fill our gaps and repair the charred areas.  He is also able to repair any other damage that we may have encountered along the way.  All you have to do is ask Him.  Are there repairs that you need to make?  If so, you can call on the one and only fixer of everything, and His name is Jesus. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

From Frustration to Rejoicing

Do you ever have a day when you just want to throw in the towel?  Well I have felt that way the past two days. It is not very often that I come home in the evening on the verge of tears.  I feel as though I am emotionally and physically drained.  I haven't felt this way in a long time.  My frustration meter has been at a 10+ and I have had a hard time dealing with some things.

This evening I was so frustrated that I could not see straight.  However, there must have been a reason that I didn't have time to finish my bible study this morning and had to finish it this evening.  By the time I was done, my frustration meter had dropped to about a 1.  I know I have said it before, but I will say it again, it totally amazes me how God knows exactly what we need to hear or see at just the right time.  It never seizes to amaze me how I will always read exactly what I need when I need it.  As I was finishing up my bible study reading tonight, I just felt all of the stress and frustration leaving my body.  I am still very exhausted, but at least I am no longer frustrated.

God is so good!!! I just love how He can take us from a place of despair and frustration, to a place of rejoicing.  I can honestly say that my faith has grown so much in the last few months.  I know that no matter what may be going on in my life, all I have to do is call on Him and He will meet me where I am.  He will listen to my prayers.  He will listen to me through my tears.  He will surround me with His love, protection and promises.  He will teach me.  When I have done all that I know to do and it is still not enough, I can cry out to Him for help and He will answer.

If you would like to go from frustration to rejoicing, just call or cry out to Him and He will meet you where you are.  May He bless you as you go about your day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Start with a Seed

Over the last couple of weeks I have been attending one of Life Tabernacles satellite churches in the Paseo district of Oklahoma City.  My pastor has been teaching on "Purpose".  This teaching has struck a chord in me.  I cannot begin to tell you how I have prayed and cried out to God to reveal to me my purpose in His kingdom.  Yesterday at church, the sermon just kept speaking to me and when it came time for the alter call, I was ready.  I cried and cried and asked God to please reveal to me what my purpose was, I just wanted to know.

Step back with me to a previous teaching on purpose.  My pastor said that if we only start with a seed and water and nourish it, it will grow.  Then that growth will take us to another level.  Yesterday he was talking about how when a stalk of wheat grows, during the winter we will not see much growth on the topside.  However, something amazing is going on underground.  Not until the rain comes during the right season will the wheat finally grow to its full height.  The same is with our purpose.  We must be faithful to God and serve Him with all that we are and at the right time and at the right season we will begin to see all that we have been waiting on. 

I spent the afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful weather and reading all of my blogs on "The Pantry".  There were times when I was reading that I honestly couldn't remember writing some of those things.  I also realized while reading, how free my spirit seemed to be.  I could truly see in my words the words of God.  Here is where it gets interesting.  I have always wanted to write, so I started this blog.  God gave me the name "The Pantry" and also showed me what the meaning was to be.  Yesterday as I was praying and crying out for my purpose, writing kept coming to my mind.  Last night after getting home from church I wrote my first blog in 40 days.  Up until that point, my heart had been heavy and I felt as though I was carrying a huge weight on my shoulder and I was, the burden that I needed to write.  After writing that blog last night I felt such a sense of peace and comfort that I cannot explain and my heart was happy once again.  As I read the blogs earlier, I could see and feel in my spirit that this is my purpose or at least part of my purpose that God has for me. 

So you see, I started with a seed, when I began this blog.  I have tried my best to water and nourish it.  I have remained faithful to God and He has rewarded me with this passion to write.  Thank you Lord, for reveling my purpose to me. What is your purpose?  Plant a seed in your life and see where He will take you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Back on Track

Have you ever felt like a trail that has derailed?  I have.  I just looked back and it has been 40 days since I last posted.  I guess on September 13, my trail derailed and it has taken me this long to get "back on track".  Oh, how I have missed my writing and reading your wonderful comments.  I have thought so many times about sitting here and writing, but I just never seem to have the time.  (Or should I say, I haven't made the time.)  I am here to tell you that now that I am "back on track", I plan to stay here.

Why do you think sometimes it takes us so long to get "back on track" after we derail?  I know for me, it simply is ME.  I have no one or nothing to blame for this, just myself.  We are the only ones that are in control of what we do or don't do.  We are given the opportunities, but we don't take them.  We are given the resources, but we don't use them.  We are given the time, but we don't take it.  We are given the vision, but we don't see it.  Why? Are we afraid of failure or disappointment?  I can honestly say yes to both of those.  I am always afraid of being a failure or being a disappointment to my family and friends.  I am my own worst enemy.  But I learned tonight that I must release the burden of ME and I did.

I know that God has a plan and a purpose for my life.  I know that He wants to use me in a way that I have not yet discovered, but I am working on it.  He has made my life anew.  The last few weeks have been very trying for my flesh, but my spirit has been learning and being filled with God's word.  So even though I have been derailed, I have been being repaired.

There is so much more I want to write about, but I will close for now.  I would like to leave you with this, think about a time when you were "derailed".  Was it hard to get "back on track"?  Did you have the opportunity to have some repairs done?  If not, it is never to late to make those repairs to your life, all you have to do is ask Him.