June 22, 2019 blind faith

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Sometimes, our Creator asks us to do things that don’t make sense. ‘And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet.’ Acts 8:29-30 ESV

It was probably not an accident for the eunich to be found reading from a scroll of Isaiah. Through the reading of those very Scriptures, God was preparing his heart to hear from Philip of the very fulfillment of those Scriptures through Christ.

Philip could not have realized, even in the moment of his obedience, how he would be used in the life of this man. He probably found it odd to be told to do such a thing. Who would just approach and walk alongside a carriage carrying a royal official surrounded by servants?!

The Holy Spirit instructed him to go and walk alongside that particular chariot and stay with it. Keep on walking with him.

There are times we are led to do something beyond our understanding. We want to know all the details and figure out how it will work out. We want to know the plan in its entirety.

Often the Lord gives us just enough information to take the first step, then the second, and then another. In our obedience (blind faith), He gives us His plan, piece by piece.

When God asks me to do something I don’t understand, my prayer through the process is simple and powerful … “God, do something unpredictable and uncontrollable that brings You GLORY.”

As we live each day by the guidance of God,

He lets us know where, and when, and what we are to do.

Wake up.

Take the first step.

Then, the next will be revealed.

Go.

July 19, 2019 cauldrons

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Aren’t these two the cutest? That taller one and I have been through a thing or two. Sometimes we’ve brought it on ourselves, sometimes, it’s come from an outside source. I’ve told you my bent for remembering dates and numbers. It’s a weird and mostly useless tick. Last fall, I remember the date, there was a meeting with an outsider that over the course of the next few days and weeks left me hanging onto my Creator by a thread. Good thing His hold is stronger than mine. And, that Dale is strong when I am weak. What do people do who don’t have Christ when their world gets rocked?

It was an awakening.

I was swimming in a cauldron of bitterness and bile. (That’s another bent of mine – to get stuck there).

Psalm 3:1-4 became my anthem.

“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my Glory and the Lifter of My Head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy hill. Selah” Psalms 3:1-4 ESV

The answers to my questions are simple if I allow them to be simple. Bitterness stays, as long as we allow it a crack to enter.

Emotion that comes from honesty,

respect that comes from challenge, and the form of love that exists between people whose minds have touched,

whose hearts have touched,

whose souls have touched.

Think of those with whom you can say:

Our minds touched.

Our hearts touched.

Our souls touched.

Those God has gifted to us to share life’s peaks and face-slamming rock bottom scum. His power comes through relationship.

Love makes me shudder, shakes me. Inside and out it destroys me and fuels me.

You, DearOne, are a vessel of beauty. Of life. Of love…though most of us don’t know it. We continue to leave a crack. Seems like all the forces of evil are dead set against us most of the time. Love, for yourself and for others can be the hardest battle – it isn’t going to fall in your lap. You’ve got to trust Father God and rely on His help while you fight for it. God wins.

Choose to be bitter or choose to laser in on the God Who Wins who fights for the best for you and yours.

Wake up.

Soak in ‘God Wins’.

Go.

July 18, 2019 soles of your feet

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Good morning, DearHeart. This is a new day. A clean slate. Where your love has grown and your heart has grown and your brain has grown because of the lessons of yesterday and of a lifetime.

Sometimes, with all the distractions humming through … It helps to simply focus on the soles of your feet.

Feel the steps.

Notice the freshness of the next step.

Movement into the future.

Walking away from the old. Walking into the new. Walk across the bridge. Build it as you go. Forward movement.

It is a new day. Every story of our past had to happen to get us to this place where we fully trust Father God. Now take glory-steps into your fresh walk with Him.

‘…just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.’ Romans 6:4 HCSV

Wake up.

Keep moving.

Go.

July 3, 2019 lightning within

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Last night, out back, we watched a lone cloud that look like it was dancing from the inside out – full of lightening. It was intense, and there were stars in the clear sky around it.

Spectacular.

A powerful reminder of work of the Holy Spirit in us.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV

What do you do that makes you come to life? What is that thing you do that makes people take notice, look you in the eye, and say “thank you”?

There is something that you do that makes you feel useful and on fire – it is your gift of renewal flowing in to you from the direct and highly intentional touch of your Creator. Take notice.

Everyone is amazing at something — whether it’s being a computer programmer,

having a listening ear,

a cracker-jack number cruncher,

an encourager of dreams,

or planning a fantastic feast –

acknowledge the place where the Holy Spirit sets your genius, and you will find His inner-work going on there, renewing you.

Wake up.

Renew.

Yes, even you are a chosen one.

Go.

July 1, 2019 come as you are

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Good morning, DearHeart. In Acts 26 Paul is given permission to speak once again in his own defense. Paul tells his story completely – 

the good,

the bad,

and the ugly.

He openly states all the wrong he had done in the past to believers – sending them to prison and sometimes condemning them to death. He chose to be honest and open in sharing his story. I know there are parts of my life I sometimes wish had been different. But they are a part of my story and my journey not only in life, but in my relationship with God. Through each

twist and turn,

the good,

the bad,

and the ugly,

God has worked in my life to change me and to bring me into closer and serious relationship with Him. I find myself most grateful that our God is a “Come as you are” God, not demanding that we get our act together before coming to Him. May we let God use every part of our story to bring Him glory.

“But get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant. You are to tell others what you have seen of me today and what I will show you in the future.” Acts 26:16 GNB

Wake up.

Come as you are.

Go.

June 13, 2019 Rush Levi Lewis

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Hello, DearHeart.

Today’s Facebook memory flashed up like they do – and apparently, a year ago, my writing was on prayer. Divine intervention brought it full circle to be placed back in my lap today.

God works like that. Supernaturally. In full circles.

Here’s the story this year.

Rush Levi Lewis was born yesterday.

Seven pounds, one ounce.

Twenty inches long.

4:15 pm

His ‘Gigi’, Stephanie, Holly’s mom, is a Nurse Practitioner. She’s pretty handy to have around … she is our resident-“Holly, call your mom”-medical-issue-advisor. She was with Levi and Holly all night and all day through the labor and delivery. She’s smart and she’s tough.

Stephanie, the medical professional, came to the waiting room Wednesday and told us “he’s here and they have taken him to the NICU, his breathing is very labored, he’s having to work so hard, he is really working hard …”

Then, the medical professional turned into the Gigi, and she cried.

If I cry, mehhhh, it may or may not be a thing. I cry lots. But, for her to cry … this was serious. And, we knew it.

I panic-called my mom, then

I composed a SOS text to the village: prayer warriors, family praying peeps, praying sisterhood peeps, close peeps to Levi and Holly:

“Baby is here. Trouble breathing. Took him to NICU immediately. Please pray”.

I hit SEND.

A few seconds later, deep inside, like an extra thud of a heavy heartbeat, I felt them.

Prayer Warriors.

They caught my attention … hushed me … the position of their hearts – as if their collective, praying knees rumbled in folding to the ground.

Minutes later, soul sister, T, called. She was driving. Maybe biking … speaker phone … I heard her sure voice as she skipped any pleasantries and went straight to the throne … “Ang, the God that created his inmost parts has not left him. He is with him in that incubator and within him this very moment. He is threading his tiny cells together so the membranes will mature and hold air so his lungs will operate at full capacity. He is finishing his blood cells to deliver oxygen. It will happen because Jesus’ hand is on Him. He is holding him right now to bring healing into him. He will not leave him, the same God holding you and Dale is holding him. He holds Levi and Holly. He will give him full breaths, that baby is not alone right now …”

Levi walked into the waiting room and exhaled, “they’ve just told us that he is making a really quick turn-around and if he keeps it up at this pace, he will be in the room with us within an hour.”

Within an hour.

Within an hour.

And, he was.

They brought that tiny baby into the room and put him in his mommas’ arms within an hour. Breathing fully.

Y’all, my criers-tears are dripping off my chin as I write this.

You can say that the medical staff defaulted to the side of caution, that it wasn’t really that big of a deal anyway, that he would’ve been fine if they’d just let him be.

But, any excuse made would trivialize the power of my God’s immediate response to the prayers of His children. Papaw and Gram in travail-level prayer … you and me and T and every knee that bows and declares Christ as King of Kings – that brings HIS POWER to every situation. And, one thing I know for certain, my God is not trivial in the immediate grace He delivers.

He delivers miracles every single second. Some take longer for our eyes to see than others, but He is responding immediately to every request.

Today, I’ve asked myself a thousand times, “what did I ever do to be so blessed?”

Grace. All grace.

Ask and know your miracles are being delivered even as you form the words.

Angie

June 11, 2019 reframe

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Most mornings around here, the Oklahoma sunrise is soft and inviting. Mmmmm.

Soft and inviting.

Like healing words.

Unlike the sting of hurting words.

Are there any that are haunting you?

You know, you can’t solve problems with the same mindset that created them. You have to be willing to know there is another way to think about the issue.

Imagine stepping outside of your view for a moment.

Consider your thoughts.

Consider your feelings.

Now go way off in the future and look back at the scars – having overcome the hurt.

What are your thoughts there?

What could you learn?

What can you preserve from this future view and bring back to the present to help you through today’s heartbreak?

What new behaviors can you bring back to the table today?

Behaviors that help you overcome.

What if you look at this ‘issue’ … your hurt … through the eyes of God Almighty? Go inside His eyes … see the crystal clear clarity of His thoughts, fully and completely go inside His view and let Him truly untangle it and understand its help to your growth.

To your healing.

To your story.

A story that will being healing to another in your future.

Know that every hurt place is a process with a purpose that delivers you to an enhanced wisdom. Trust Him. Trust His ways.

‘There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise brings healing.’ (Proverbs 12:18 HCSB)

Wake up.

Your wisdom is growing.

Reframe it as a purpose.

Go.

June 5, 2019

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Good morning, DearHeart.

There are times I feel like I just don’t measure up. We weren’t meant to. We need each other. I’ve learned that my feeling of failing someone or failing a task … well, it always comes with a hard-stop lesson to be learned. I can’t speak for men on this, but I can speak for females … we girls can get so tangled up in the comparison game that we shut down. Can’t move. Over-analyze. Over react. And, can find we have fallen headlong into analysis paralysis. This delights Satan to no end. Because if the enemy can isolate us, then he can SO influence us. Right?

Please, someone, tell me I’m not the only one. 😳

In the late 90’s I was introduced to personality type testing, and I have been intrigued since. Any time I get to train a group for a set time, I’ve always begun with personality assessments. Personality type studies help me stay sane when life with people gets hard to handle. There are cycles of behavior with each unique personality … strengths and weaknesses … and for every weakness, when we look closely, we can find another soul close by with a strength … close enough to share life and to compensate. God thought of everything when He put us together. We are like a puzzle – we need each other to make a whole picture. In every weakness, God raises up a strength. Beautiful. What a blessing! But, when we covet the strength of another we forget His goodness. We very quickly forget our God, forget that His ways are right. As we acknowledge Him, we remember. God honors and blesses His people when we continue to recognize Him for all that He does in our lives and recognize His work in lives surrounding us. They have not been placed with us by accident. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When you feel like you don’t measure up, remember that God makes straight the crooked places within us. Where our hearts are wounded, He makes us whole. As you and I open our hearts in the simplicity of rising into our unique personalities, admitting to Him that we are totally powerless in the areas of our weaknesses, His illumination redeems us. Very often, it comes through another soul close by.

May we realize the impact our influence as women has on our partners and children and those around us. You and I were not created to be perfect. We were created to share our strengths and weaknesses … to play a vital role in God’s story.

Wake up.

Share yourself.

Receive the gifts of another’s strength.

Go.

June 3, 2019 sands

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Good morning, DearHeart.

We went back to the ocean last week where I heard waves crash onto the shore, delivering new sea sands then pulling away the old. Almost reluctantly at times. Always changing. Always trading the old for the new. I was speaking to a friend a few days ago and her story reminded me that any “no” from God only comes because there is a pull toward the greater “YES” at stake. Yet, in the process of getting to that “yes” fear has a way of creeping in. You know, I cannot help but wonder, if at times in life, we aren’t all a little like Joseph’s brothers … tangled up in fear over past mistakes. Do we, too, find our thoughts stuck in the sands of the “what if’s” … glancing back at life events …

-relationships we once had

-former jobs

-houses we have lived in

-cars we once owned

-opportunities we lost

-bank accounts

-positions once held

You get the point. God brings about change in our lives. He moves us forward & yet we continue to “look back”. He tells us to keep moving forward & we keep our gaze, longingly, on the world we once loved, yet for whatever journey … now we are here.

“You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened. You have nothing to fear. I will take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them with kind words that touched their hearts.” Genesis 50:20-21 GNB

Joseph comforted his people even though they wronged him, and, to banish all their fears, he spake kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Will you see a broken spirit, today?

Can you choose to encourage those who are facing fear?

Or, an accuser?

Maybe a lost soul?

Those we love and forgive, we must not only do well for, but speak kindly to. Kind words. That’s what love does. Love creates change. It is what pulls us to the new.

Wake up.

Let love flow from you to them.

Embrace the newness of that change.

Go.

May 30, 2019 waves

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This is my view this morning. There are no words to describe the feeling of not seeing a thing, not a single thing, but water for as far as the eye can see.

Just water.

Waves.

My mind is trying to find words for the wonderment of realizing that water as far reaching as the horizon also means water equally as deep. It is truly immeasurable. It holds deep places where man has yet to explore. That is mind blowing.

It speaks of a Creator, my God that is majestic and in control beyond my understanding or ability to grasp.

It boasts of a God, Who Alone, holds the oceans in their place.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?” Job 38:4-11 ESV

And, watching the waves roll … who am I to have the audacity to worry about any concern or detail going on in my life.

It is safe to trust Him with this day … with this season. My God can hold an ocean back with one little shore. He can hold my loves and my hours with the same intensity as He holds these waves.

Wake up.

Keep it all in perspective.

Go.