God is Bigger

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How often do we try to put our lives in a neat little package. We plan, we organize, we figure out down to the very minute what our day can and will look like. Sound familiar?

That has been my life… at least until very recently…

In my journey with Papa God the last nine months, He has been teaching me how to be fearless and in that He has been teaching me how to be spontaneous. And yes, those of you who have known me for any amount of time are probably wondering how truthful this is. Because, yes, my entire life was controlled, by me, no spontaneity unless of course it was planned! This is new though and it is truth… truth directly from the Father’s heart.

Now I am in this process of letting God do His thing with me. He is teaching me to enjoy even the smallest moments, and the smallest victories… Rejoice in all things and be thankful… as it says in 1 Thessalonians  5:16-18. The Lord is not only reminding me to take it all in, but also that He is right there with me enjoying my rejoicing and thankfulness.

We were created by God for His pleasure, but how can we give Him pleasure if we are always sad or angry or defeated or hopeless? In those things we fall prey to the enemy and we lose all control.  Do you know when we lose control the most? When we try to control our life…

Yes, I believe that Papa God is order that is sometimes out of order. Not confusion or chaos because that is not God, but rather God outside of the box, sounding different, looking different, trying to switch it up a bit to make sure we are paying attention.

Every time I get comfortable with God being one way to me, He changes. True? How often do we as Christians go through periods where we struggle hearing God? Once we figure out we need to seek Him and listen in a new and different way, we hear Him again don’t we?

God is constant, yet ever-changing. As we grow in our maturity in our relationship with God, we must grow in our levels of understanding and hearing Him… we must know His heart in order to truly know Him.

And yet again…how do we know the heart of the Father? We spend time with Him, in all of His shapes and sizes and colors and sounds… we learn His voice, after all it was Jesus in John 10 who said, my sheep know my voice. Are you a sheep and are you listening???

There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.  ~Brother Lawrence

 

 

I Should Be Reading

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Yes, I should be reading… why? Because if I don’t read some everyday, then I might not get through this HUGE book that I have to read and write about by September 6th for the beginning of my second year of ministry school!

Now, I am enjoying this book… it is basically a collection of sermons and teachings by John G. Lake. If you are not familiar, you should become so. He is an amazing father of the Christian faith, one who as I continue reading his sermons, had a love and faith for GOD that was so evident in every facet of his teachings. I have been drawn into a deeper love of my Lord through him.

This might sound odd, but to me, I am grateful. I believe that God puts that kind of call on people where they might teach us, by showing us, how to come into deeper love with the Father.

This is why I should be reading. I am in such awe of the revelations by this man about God. Not only about God, but about who we are to God. One of my favorites so far is from a teaching called “The Strong Man’s Way to God”. Here Lake talks about the perfect victory note which is heard in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how we then are transformed by the very touch of God through His Spirit, and… we are sons of God, “Not sons of God on a lower order, but sons of God as Jesus is.” ( John G. Lake, p. 52)

I should be reading.

I have only read five chapters and have read each of the chapters twice, because, honestly, the first reading is just to blindly read and not really try to comprehend. The second reading then, is for dissecting and understanding, or trying to understand.

It’s seems like books continue to change my life, my relationship with God… who I am. That’s because these books are reminding me to dig in for the truth. Nothing is on the surface, not anything of any substance. Only when we go down deep and get dirty do we really find true meaning…

Revelation….

Destiny…

And so, I should be reading. I will continue to do so, to learn all I can from others who have gone before and experienced and shared. This is why I should be reading… in reading I question and talk to God, who then answers me in His Spirit and draws me in closer.

The Father gets joy in our discovery, our joy and our looking to HIM for approval.  ~Bill Johnson

Stop Trying… Trust

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I sit here this morning, thoughts swirling around in my head, trying to grab just one and comprehend. But… that’s not possible. God doesn’t want us to comprehend, He wants us to trust.

The more I try to figure it all out, the further I move away from Him and into a state of confusion… definitely not a place I want to be. After all,  the Lord is not there, because He is not a God of confusion, and where confusion or chaos is present, it is not from God.

Now, it is important to also be aware that it will try to creep in. All the swirling thoughts might have to be sorted through, but that’s all, just sort and then put them aside. There is not a need to understand. The Father is where you receive understanding from.

Does that seem confusing? Yes, it might, in fact it almost seemed that way to me as I wrote it, but it really does make sense. Let me explain. We must process through the thoughts and determine which ones to keep and which ones to toss out. This process must be done with the Holy Spirit in order to prevent the confusion from seeping in. Holy Spirit will help us see clearly, even if we don’t understand.

The biggest nugget of wisdom I have gained recently is this… God is full of wisdom and love for me, and I only need to understand as He feels I am ready to understand, instead, I remain in His presence allowing Him to be in everything I do, say and think, and I will be fine.

This is HUGE for me, as I have always been a worrier and a planner. I made notes for my notes… every second of my day was planned out! Well almost… but, I was a nervous wreck, all the time! And now, I actually pack the night before a trip…!!! What? Yeah, for me that’s crazy, because in the past this would be done at least a week prior, maybe even sooner.

The Father is teaching me how to chill and not miss moments in life. In that, I am growing in my trust of Him and where He is taking me in this journey. My life can be full of worry and doubt and anxiety and fear, as my past 40 years have been, or it can be full of adventure and friendships and family and love and timeless moments where I can live life abundantly with my Lord.

So, as I sit here and the thoughts have now subsided from their swirling, a peace has settled instead and an excitement is growing inside… today is a new day that has just begun. I ask my Father, as an excited child would… Daddy,what will we do and where are we going today? Because, I am ready to go with you!!!

Always, everywhere, GOD is present, and always HE seeks to discover Himself to each one. ~A.W. Tozer

The Secret Place

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The secret place…

What is it?

Where is it?

How do you get there?

Come with me as we dig in and answer these questions together, for it is surely a place we all have been and truly want to go back often.

Many think that this secret place is actually a place we have to go in order to cultivate that intimate, personal time with God. This is not entirely true. Now a place that you go in order to be still before the Lord is not a bad thing, in fact it can be a very good way to stay focused on Him.  What I am inferring is that it is much more than a place. Let me share with you what I learned a few months ago… I had a HUGE revelation on the secret place and it has changed forever how I come before the Father now.

The secret place is actually you and me.

Let’s unpack this a bit.

Because we have Jesus in our heart, He abides in us and we in Him, yes? Well, He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, yes? So, because Jesus is in us and we are in Him and He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, we are also in the Father and the Father is in us… so all of us are in each other… this then is where the secret place is. When we are all in communion with each other, we are in the secret place with each other!

Psalm 91 gives us this beautiful picture of a secret place,

He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)

Some of the other words used for the secret place include, in His presence, His shelter, and under the protection. It is definitely a good place to be! I like to think of it as a covering, the Father is taking us in under His covering.

Another verse that is probably more popular as far as the secret place is Matthew 6:6.

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (NASB)

In this one, it seems as though our “inner room” in private is where we find the Father. This makes sense, as we should be focused solely on Him when we commune with Him. So, it is almost like going into a room and closing a door. This represents a prophetic act of shutting the door to everything else in our life when we go to the secret place with our Lord. I love this analogy! There are points during the day where we go to this place with the rest of the world on the other side of the door and it’s just us and GOD. It is a necessary part of achieving intimacy with anyone, so why not with our Father?

Please don’t forget though, that He is with us always and we carry His presence everywhere we go, because we are the secret place! Maintain those private moments in order to grow in intimacy, but then out of that nurtured intimacy allow your secret place to go with you throughout your day. This will not only bless you, but it will also bless everyone around you as they experience the presence of God that you are actively spreading everywhere you go!

We convince by our presence. Walt Whitman

 

 

 

 

The Doors of Our Life

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Doors are funny things, at least to me. They swing back and forth, they slide to and fro, they creak, they groan, they swish, they slam, they let people in and usher people out, ultimately their sole purpose is to open and close.

Why is a door important?

A door is like a portal leading from one place to another place. A door is the transition from outside to inside, from hot to cool, from cold to warm, from wet to dry, from exposed to covered. Unfortunately, it can also be a place of fear, sadness, hunger and pain for many…

Some of the doors are chosen for us, especially as we are children. While someone else is caring for us, we have no say in what is behind the doors for us, we just follow the ones who are supposed to be protecting and loving us.

As we become adults, the choice becomes ours alone. We determine which doors to walk through and how the other side will look. Yes, there are times when as a result of a bad choice, our situation looks bleak and hopeless.

Herein is where our God steps in… if we let Him.

Yes, I said let Him…

God is ever present with us, but we still have free will. Because of this,  it is also necessary for us to cry out to Him, when we are in need. He feels our pain with us and even catches our tears when we cry. He is there, but He waiting… waiting for us to invite Him in.

Scripture is full of verses about doors. I have only listed references  in order to provide a sampling of what is in God’s Word. The meanings are as diverse as the number are bountiful.

There is the open door (Matthew 7:7) and the closed door (Matthew 6:6). There is a door that is likened to the mouth, eyes and possibly even the ears (Psalm 141:3). These doors are also places for opportunity and encounter with Jesus (Revelation 3:20), or sin and turning the way of the enemy (Genesis 4:7).

Doors are ever abundant and available, as doors often represent opportunities. Opportunities lead to decisions… decisions lead to blessings or cursings. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

My life has been full of many doors, as I am sure yours has as well. Some of the doors that were not meant for me, well, they led to very difficult times in my life. Some of the darkest, most hopeless times were on the other side of these doors. Were these doors part of my destiny, or did I mess up my life by walking through them?

Here are my thoughts on that…

One of my most favorite verses, and one that many of us are very familiar with is Romans 8:28…

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Essentially, anything we do, God will use it for our good… even through the darkness and the pain. The coolest part though is in looking at the verses around this particular verse.

 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that [b]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

After reading this I am filled with such peace! Yes, we are weak and we NEED Holy Spirit even in our talking to God. But, HE knows that and knew it… and even still, we were already tagged to be HIS, and so He works it out. In fact, He glorifies us! WOW! Even in our bad choices, we will be glorified because we are sons and daughters of the KING!!!

Walking out the extent of opening a “bad” door will probably result in the need for repentance and possibly some pain and hardship for a season. But, there is hope and with God, there is also still a blessing. I have seen it many times in my life where out of a bad situation in my life came something beautiful! For me, it also became such a season of growth and ultimately drawing even closer to the Lord.

Another key to opening the “right” doors, the doors that lead to our destinies, is make sure they are easy to open. The ones that you force open are not for you. I have done that as well and ended up staying in a place where I was very unhappy and even watched an opportunity pass me by.

God is love and in hindsight of this truth, we will always find open doors to our destiny. This love is so HUGE that it will almost reach out and grab you. Once again, it is still up to you. Your choice will lead you to the love or away from it.

Jesus is waiting for you to ask Him which way to go. Just trust in His love for you and then let Him walk you through the next door of your life!

I know not the way the LORD leads me, but, well do I know my GUIDE. Martin Luther

 

Pain Like Never Before…

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I was not expecting this or was I ready. But, God the Father already had this figured out. He knew this season was going to be a time of pruning and pain. He also knew it would be the point where I finally learned how to let Him love me.

Going to ministry school was something that I felt God had been speaking to me for about 2 years. Unfortunately my idea of ministry was only a small piece of what it has actually been. Yes, there has been theology and Bible study and my knowledge in those areas is already expanding and I look forward to even more growth there.

The other side of ministry school was something that took me by surprise. It involved LOVE. More specifically the LOVE of the Father. Even as I write this, I am beginning to cry yet again. I cried, no wept, for 2 hours today. Why? All because of the amazing love of the Father. In this time with Him today, He pruned me… deeply. It hurt… deeply. I felt love in this pain… and even though it was one of the hardest moments in my life, I can honestly say it was probably one of the moments where I felt the most love I have ever felt. Yes, in a moment of my worst pain, I felt the most love ever!

As the tears began to fall, it was the beginning of worship. I don’t even remember what song we were singing, but I couldn’t even sing, I just stood there, arms by my side, head down, tears rolling down my face falling to the floor. I began to ask Papa why I was crying, and all I heard was, let it go Irene. Stop trying to be strong, it’s ok to be weak. In your weakness I am strong… let me be strong for you.

Then He proceeded to bring me through moments in my life, moments of pain and regret and loss, and as we remembered together, and I cried, He asked me for each memory… and He took it from me. His patience and tenderness for me made me cry more because I felt like I didn’t deserve it. He told me I did and reminded me of His love for me no matter what. I cried more…

I wondered if the tears would ever stop…

Worship continued and I fell to  my seat and then to the floor and the tears fell as abundantly as the memories floated through my thoughts. The Father remained by my side, holding me, loving me… because He chose to.

Worship ended and my tears finally subsided, though I was wrecked, physically and spiritually… I had nothing left in me, or so that’s what I thought.

I got home, and called my husband, and the floodgates opened up again. As I cried and shared with him, the Father showed me His love for me yet again…

He showed me that I was to see the beauty in myself so I could call out the beauty in others…

I wept again…

In my weakness and my lack, my Daddy strengthened me and breathed life into my spirit. His life-giving breath filled me and refreshed me giving me hope.

At this point, the sobbing stopped  and as I quietly cried I realized I had a new hope for who I was in Christ. In that moment, with my tear-streaked face, puffy eyes and snotty nose… I began to see myself as beautiful and as the Father’s beloved… even as tears continued to flow, He was there catching every single tear and loving me.

I know my process is not complete, I will always be in process with the Father. This day has been a defining moment for me though. I will walk from a place of renewed strength, filled with hope and life in a new direction looking for beauty which is born out of pain… a beauty that the Lord has found in me and is teaching me how to find in those around me.

No More Fear

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Fear. That all consuming feeling that has the ability to cover and usher in so many lies. Fear can be crippling, fear can destroy, fear can stop us from moving forward and fear can block LOVE.

I have spent my entire life in a state of fear. I knew I was fearful of heights and spiders as most of us are fearful of something. So, I just equated my hesitancy in life to those two fears. Little did I know that the extent of my fear actually fueled larger fears. In the belief of these larger fears, my pause on life happened. I actually prevented myself from many experiences in life due to this pause. My inability to move forward was present as a result the physical inability ultimately caused by a mental belief and fear. Even writing that makes me step back and go, WOW… ! I truly had no idea that a stronghold like this had a hold of my life and essentially me!

In this revelation, I have come face to face with the INCREDIBLE love of the Father. In His beautiful, gentle way, Papa God has been revealing this to me over the last few weeks. I knew about 3 months ago that He was working on my fears, or at least the two, heights and spiders, that I thought I had. Recently though, as these two fears are being broken off, He has illuminated the layers of fear underneath… layers that He is slowly and pulling back and allowing me to see.

Deep pain has begun to surface and the tears seem to flow endlessly. Father God has been right there with me the whole time comforting me in the pain and wiping my tears away as He continues to cover me in His love. The process is definitely one of the hardest in my life! It’s difficulty doesn’t scare me though, because I am no longer afraid…

Did I just say that?

Yes, I said I am no longer afraid. AND, I will continue to say it.

My fear took seed and grew out of lies that I believed. Lies about myself, about those around me and even lies about God’s love. These lies were the weeds that strangled out the truth in my heart. They yelled above the truths that were whispered. In that place, the lies seemed more like truth.

In this new season, I see these lies as what they are…lies. I no longer believe them. Instead, I now believe the truths… truths that Jesus spoke and truths that Holy Spirit reminds me of often. One truth that is at the forefront to me is that there is no fear in love. This is key. Love is the Father. Essentially, if I am abiding in the Father, in His love, fear is nowhere to be found. Fear will not be present in the presence of the Father. Whoa! All I have to do is stay with my Daddy and I will experience love instead of fear.

The thoughts running through my head struggle with why. Why does God love me so much? Then Holy Spirit steps in halting this circle of thoughts. The Father loves you because you are His daughter. He wants you to feel His love, always. Then, am hit with another thought… Just because He loves me, it’s all because of love.  In taking away my fears, the Father is putting love there instead. Fear goes, love comes rushing in filling me up!!!

In looking back, especially over the last week, I can say with confidence, that love IS what I have felt in those moments where fear would normally be present. In moments where I should have been frozen by fear, I have moved in love. Ha! It is such freedom for me! I actually feel like I want to try new things now, things that I would have never even thought about before, merely because of fear. So crazy and so good at the same time! And this is who my Daddy is!

I am beyond thankful for Father God and His insane love for me! Not only that, in this love, He continues to pursue me so I can feel His love. In that all consuming love, my paralyzing fears are being revealed and broken off… forever! Then my feet will be ready for adventures with a heart consumed with the love of the Father. This breakthrough will launch me into a season of carrying the Father’s love into dark and scary places, releasing light and freedom.

I am ready… I am no longer afraid!

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The Ultimate Cleanse

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My new season is definitely a time of soaking and receiving. It is also a time of cleansing. In fact, extreme cleansing! I am sure many of you can relate. As I am processing all that is going on around me and in me, the Father is pulling out of me all of that stuff that doesn’t belong. Haha, yes! He is cleansing me spiritually and it is not easy.

I knew when I began on this journey that there would be things I would have to deal with, sort through and heal from. I did not realize what a crazy hard but also amazingly freeing experience it would be! I am finding in the last few weeks, that I have 40 years of stuff inside of me that the Father is lovingly purging.

Now, let me be clear. Purging means to get rid of something. As you get rid of it, you look at it one last time and then you say goodbye, at least metaphorically. So, in my process of being cleansed by Papa God, we are looking at each event, emotion, hurt, characteristic, and then letting it go. Again clarification in this is important because I know that each of these things are part of my history and essentially part of me, so they are still part of me, but they no longer control me… that is the key. With my Daddy, we sort through, we remember, we cry, we feel the pain, but then He helps me let it go. And, not only let go, but put it behind me and walk away.

This cleanse is such an important part of my claiming my inheritance and walking into the fullness the Father has for me. Only as I am full and complete, will I be able to fully receive. The incredible side of this is that God, who has immeasurable love for me, is right beside me in this often very painful season. And without Him, I would not be able to do it. Because not only is He ever present, He has surrounded me with a beautiful family as well.

So, as much as this spiritual cleanse is icky and painful like a physical cleanse is, I will do it because of the promise the Father has for me…and what is waiting for me.

  “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t
give them a second thought because God, your God, is
striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He
won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

It’s Time… 


Close your eyes and release your soul

rest in HIM as HE makes you whole

The Father knows who you are… daughter, son

you are His, a chosen one…

He will love you unconditionally

all you have to do is believe.

Let Him lead you on the way

the path He has laid for you to take.

Be ready to feel like never before

once you open the door.

Walk into His presence, in that place

where you meet the Father face to face.

Joy and peace and love all rush in

the moment you take your Daddy’s hand.

Distance Doesn’t Matter


Distance makes the heart grow fonder. I am not sure who quoted this, but it is truth.
My husband and I have have been apart for almost a month and a half. That is the longest we have ever been apart in the 14 1/2 years we have been together. And to be honest, I miss him terribly, as any wife would is miss a husband whom she adores.
The crazy thing is, I love him more than I did that month and a half ago. So, the saying is true.
I have found that we probably talk more than we would if we were physically together. Now, granted it is on the phone or FaceTime, but we talk 3 or 4 times a day, minimum, and that doesn’t include texts! I will say, in this season where we are apart, I am grateful for the technology we have like FaceTime, where I can at least see my husband as well as talking to him… that makes it so much more bearable.
As we have answered the Lord’s call on our lives, we have been led to California. Roy’s job keeps him away for months at a time. Again, it is a season and what we feel like God is asking us to do in this season of our lives. I will go to ministry school and Roy will work all over the country.
My husband will always be my forever love. No matter how far away he is.
It is challenging for sure, but Spirit led. We, as a couple, have grown even closer during this time. Amazing, right? Yes, truly amazing, truly God. Even being apart physically, we are still connected in heart. We are still one, as God brought us together in the covenant of marriage. And, as we each experience things in life, it overflows into the other person. In this way, we both benefit from what the other is experiencing. How cool is that? Our hearts are knitted together in a way that cannot be pulled apart. Rather, the heart strings become stronger as we, as husband and wife, become even closer in our intimacy, even 3000 miles apart!
And that is exactly how our loving Father works. He is present in all things. He is loving always. He believes in the covenant of marriage. And even in distance, two hearts that are meant to be together… Will always be one.
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