Veterans

It’s November 12, 2018.

Veterans Day.

Monday.

We start the week with AM prayer on Facebook Live in our MUI Prayer Room.  I woke up so tired.  I thought, “Hmm, should I just put a post up to cancel since it is a holiday! There ain’t going to be a lot of people on! We can resume Tuesday!”

It’s 5:50 am, as I am looking at the screen of my apple watch.  I continue thinking, “I could snooze. I could ask someone else perhaps. I could just skip the day. I wish my husband was here. LOL Gosh –He is so committed!”

I realize how much my husband is so committed at each passing day.  If he were here and had the opportunity, he would do it regardless if it is a holiday or not.  He is finishing up his missions trip in Chile, so he can’t do the hour remotely as easily as he can in the states.

The thing is, I do have to work.  I am not off for the holiday “Veteran’s Day!” So why should I be off for prayer! I can’t keep searching for excuses, even when my body doesn’t find the strength. I have to do it. I have to raise the standards myself and condition my body for the consistency of an ardent prayer life.

Imagine me going to work without having done prayer.  I would have made it to work but not made it to spend time with God first.  I would have spoke to everyone at the office and not have found the time to even talk with God.  I would have been eight hours at work and would not find one hour to give to God. Wow! How selfish and lazy of me. No! No! No! This is a job that we commit ourselves in the same way that those that have committed themselves for the cause of the entire country.

For Veteran’s day, we celebrate the men and women that made a decision to stand for our country.  We salute those that signed up to labor and serve for our protection.  There is a cause here.  They signed willingly for a contract that would be unwavering, uncompromising.  They sacrificed and surrendered all.

Why can’t we do this daily in our walk with God. This is what we do when we sign up for the kingdom. There is purpose, service, commitment and sacrifice…. all of this not to have religion but to have an intimate and powerful relationship with God. When we sow those acts into any relationship they become richer. Like friendships, sisterhood, brotherhood, marriages, etc., this is the same concept that we should follow to our God before the rest.

When we are not there–it matters! He is waiting to spend time with us. We have to commit. Just as I ministered in a sermon yesterday.  We have to give our all.  When the church doesn’t realize the impact of our absence, the world never will. It is time for us to go beyond the extra mile and give our very best in all that we do.

My husband is a prime example to me of that… I can tell him today–HAPPY VETERANS DAY! Because you are always serving for the life of others and that is worthy of honor.  I love you.

May God continue to raise up a generation (including me) that will be consistent, conditioned, and committed to climb higher as we set the bar for what it is to really be a veteran for the Kingdom.

Scripture Reference:
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Matthew 5:1-10 [The Message]

 

 

I’ve Decided

Now more than ever I am finding myself understanding the importance of being comfortable in my own skin.  I mean I am who I am.  I am who God created me to be. Me holding back –got a lot of people to dislike me –imagine AS A PRETENDER! A watered down version of me.  Now I am just gonna be me! That’s it. God made it. God created it. And that’s what I want.  I want the real me to surface and be who God created me to be.

I’m sitting across from an empty seat in Barnes and Nobles just thinking, “Does anyone even really know Me???”

The boring me. The peaceful me. The me that cant even function right if I am not reading!!! Like this IS ME! I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee books! I love to read. I love to write. I love the solitude and the quietness. I love the sound that it brings. I love the stillness. I don’t like to be that busybody person moving from place to place. From moment to moment.  That just really throws me off!

Did you know that about me? Like, if I’m not reading –I’m not right!!!

I’m just not.  I need a book in my hand.  I need a journal in my hand.  I need a pen… just like the psalmist declared:

My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psalm 45:1

THIS.  IS.  ME.  I cant explain it any clearer than that and if you understand that we are going to be in the best place ever.  I need that in my life. I miss my reading buddy. Oh my God.  What a quiet soul she was.  I read she read. I wrote she wrote. I prayed she prayed.

Then she was gone. And I found myself sitting alone again.

Selah.

I miss that.  But I know that God is gonna lead me to the best next! I trust that so much over my life. I may not be across a stadium, in a field or on some grand pulpit! But here I am–right behind this screen, sharing some raw thoughts of mine that God had demanded from me in 2015.  I will never forget the day or the hour.  But it was on the ride to a retreat of a lifetime. He was asking me to be me.  He was asking for me to pull on my identity.  He was asking me to write it down…because silently He made me this one, that loves the quiet so much.  Now I know why.

I collect my thoughts.  I share them here and I know that it will pave the way for someone to be who and what God created them to be –relentlessly, freely and unapologetically.  It’s so much better this way.  I want nothing less than this.

I decided this is what I want…because this is who I am. Anything less than that is just going to always throw me off. I can’t fight it anymore. I can’t fight me. I have to embrace me.

I decided.
We read.
We write.
We focus.
We live beautifully.

Be free. Be you.

With Love,

Christina

ROOTS

You will keep the peace, a perfect peace, for all who trust in You, for those who dedicate their hearts and minds to You.
Isaiah 26:3 (VOICE)

I hate the things that keep me up at night.

Mind things. Mind battles. Unsettling situations.

Words. Life. Changes. Processes. Thoughts.

I have been meditating and reading since 3 am this morning and have this blog to share—roots.

They are my thoughts. Personal thoughts. Private thoughts. They are unseen. Hidden and underground. Just as I was reading in a book by Joel Olsteen called “Next Level Thinking”.

I went to chapter 9 titled, “Get The Contaminants Out” which are thoughts. Unhealthy thoughts, bitterness, resentment, anger, frustration…. all the things that didn’t go right. It’s the little things that get you the most sometimes!

“Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!”
Song of Songs 2:15 NLT

He kept speaking about the unseen by describing the roots that feed a tree. It’s not so much what happened, it is the thoughts that follow what happened! We think and think and rethink and replay words in our mind! That is a difficult process to sift through especially when words are contrary to your belief system.

But that belief system must be transformative.

It cannot conform. It cannot remain the same.

Emill Bridges this weekend at “Total Victory” conference in Charlottesville VA said, “You cant have grace and stay the same!”

There’s no way!

“If we keep going in and out of where we must REMAIN IN GOD, then we will always go up and down!”

That fluctuating emotional realm can be so draining. That’s why we can’t allow it to govern us. We can’t stay here. We can’t stay the same. We have to go there… where God prepared our wellness and wholeness. We have to THINK THE RIGHT THINGS and cast aside the remuneration that human form has been so conditioned to practice.

We must get RID of the roots that can poison the tree.

The roots are thoughts.

Just as you can’t see roots, you can’t see thoughts.

The roots feed the tree.

The thoughts feed the mind.

They must be healthy. And whatever is negative, frustrating, aggravating, unforgivable or unforgettable—WE MUST LET GO!

We have to move on because God gives us grace for each season. To me things may not always work in my favor, but I have to trust that God is bringing me to live in His favor.

My roots have to be so DEEP IN GOD! That it feeds my mind, my life, my soul, my actions, my steps, my ways, my everything! That my convictions are not based on feeling good, great or grief—but that it is based on the Word! That my convictions are based on His ways.

Those are the roots I need.

To be rooted IN Christ.

To have my thoughts IN Christ, so that I am kept in perfect peace.

Does that make sense?

Christina…… “You have risen above adversity but now you have to RISE HIGHER!”

Right roots (thoughts) will help you achieve that.

Verses:

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Colossians 2:7 NLT

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Divine Differences

For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You
As I took shape in secret, carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb. You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
Psalm 139:13-16

God is so detailed with us.  He made us to perfection. We could never doubt that His work is proven and so carefully orchestrated for our lives. He knows it all, made it all and done it all.  Every detail, nothing hidden. He shaped us from the inside out. He saw the beginning from the end.  How wonderful that is to know.  God did that all for each person that has ever lived and for how long that they did.

Each unique. Each one special. Each one crafted. Each one lovely.

I looked at a set up that my daughter did this evening in my house while I was cooking and I thought of this.  I reflected on the creativity. I thought of our differences. They are divine. God makes us all different. She took all the pieces that I had set on the server just to switch out the runner for a rose gold match and when she put everything back –the SAME stuff –it was different. I must admit that it was even BETTER! I thought to myself, “How creative this girl is!” The way she put each piece. The wood fixtures, the candles, the picture frames –and very different from the way I had it previously displayed.

Everyone is creative like that.  Able to do something completely different from the next one.  We all bring something to the table.  A special touch.  The way that we arrange things.  The way that we exchange. The way we express. The way that we look, think, feel and act! We are all different.

There are no two people that are identical. Not even twins. There is something different about them. We can have so many things in common with our partners or the bestest of friends but still there will be something different. That is the way it is supposed to be. That is what makes our world so colorful. That is why it is always best to be who YOU are and who God created you to be.

You have something so authentic that you bring out in life and when you share it more, you can touch the world around you. Sometimes people end up hiding themselves all their lives because they are so uncomfortable with who they are. They don’t love themselves enough or even see how others love them. But if more people begin to understand and embrace their identify, the more colorful life will be. This also helps to encourage others to follow in their own footsteps.

There is enough darkness passing through this earth.  Now is the time that we need this uniqueness about ourselves to emerge. Now is the time that we need to be even that much more effective, influential and inspiring with our authentic variations of style and personality. Now is the time that we should shine the most in our individual expressions and divine differences.

It is not time to hide behind the scenes because of the hindrances and challenges that try to spoil our identify. We live loud. We live bold. We live with love. We live with acceptance and courage. You may not impact them all –but you will definitely impact someone and that is enough. That is why He made you just the way that you are and through each passing day, week, month and year –you become a better version of that divine creation. Dare to be different. Stand out from the batch humbly, gratefully and thankfully.

We are just passing in this journey to go from glory to glory.

As the Psalmist declared:
I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful….