My Process -Part 2

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God is always with me

Oh how I now can see

God is always with me

I have now come to believe

God is always with me

His love has set me free…

Do you know that God is always with you? Even if you believe that, do you truly understand what that means?

In my process during my time here at Bethel in California, I have begun to see with my eyes wide open, believe with a mind that has been transformed and experience freedom with a heart that is being restored. I know without a doubt that God is always with me.

Look around you,  even right now as you are reading this, and see with the eyes that the Father made when He created you. What do you see? I see beauty… pure majestic, divine beauty that only the Father of all father’s could create. In this beauty, I see God and I know He is with me. It is yet another confirmation of His constant presence in my life.

God says He will never leave us…

Our God is one who is faithful to His promises even when we turn from Him. I have spent many years wavering back and forth, but I never turned from Him completely because even in some of my darkest and most lonely moments, I felt the Father. I didn’t know then that it was God giving me the comfort and peace that I needed, but now as He is walking me back through my life, I am realizing that He was always there. He was always there…always with me…

I am in awe of that…

The Creator of the heavens and the earth was and is always there for me… His love for me is that huge. The coolest aspect of this revelation is that I now understand that warm feeling that I have experienced many different times in my life… it was the Father covering me in His love exactly when I needed it most.

As I move forward in my relationship with the Lord, I am constantly aware of His presence and His love. I feel it even, often as a heaviness and warmth. His Spirit fills me constantly. It is such an amazing feeling, a feeling that brings me such joy!

Feeling the Father’s presence and recognizing that, has launched me into so much breakthrough. In fact, as I reflect, I am almost baffled. My journey, especially in the last 2 months, has completely changed my view of who I thought I was, but it has drawn out the true Irene. I actually had a good friend of mine recently peg me as her “adventurous friend”… to me that was a huge compliment and honestly not how I would have ever though someone would describe me. I have embraced it, though, and it excites me. I am excited now about life and all the adventurous opportunities the Lord will place in front of me.

I am still unpacking and processing all the Lord has done and is doing. As, I come to new revelation, I will share, and I know it will be soon… thank you for reading and may you be blessed with your own adventures with the Father!

 

My House

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Every single person is here on this earth for a reason. Yes, every single person. We all have a purpose. Our purpose is one that glorifies the Kingdom of God. Even if someone is not yet part of the family of believers, he or she still have a Divine purpose.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.  Colossians 1:16 (NASB)

We, all of us, are actually created by and for the Father… God the Father, creator of Heaven and Earth chooses us. But, He lets us decide whether or not to choose Him and in that deciding moment, we have an opportunity to know our identity, our destiny… or at least tap into the wellspring of knowledge which will lead us into that.

In the last month, I have let go of and said good bye to much in my life. The comforts of people and places and things that had been around me for over 10 years are now in my hindsight. Now, the people, family and friends, will still be integral in my life and not just a mere memory. That is of course depending on who they are to me… LOL! But the things and the places that were a comfort for so many years… well they are now behind me and I am looking forward.

God, in His infinite wisdom, has called me into to a new place. A place where I am not wrapped in a warm cozy blanket, but rather vulnerable to all. This is the place where my Father can come in and give me what I need. When I am vulnerable, I am often weak, so the Lord strengthens me. Not only that, He fills me so I am like Him… I am walking in love and peace. Now I can be who He wants me to be and change lives for the Kingdom!

As I look forward, part of me is scared to death.. yes, I am afraid. Everything is so new and different and wonderful and exciting, but scary too. So, this new place I am in is also exciting and thrilling and I cannot wait for what the Lord is going to do. The key is, I have to be willing… FULLY willing to let the Father do His thing in me.

Guess what?

I am ready… so ready.

I am working on myself. I am conquering fears. I am putting stuff behind me. I am becoming whole for the first time in my life. Actually, the Father and I are working on all of this together. God is healing me and preparing me for my next assignment. My spirit is so excited by this like never before! I am ready to fully submit to the Father and let Him use me like never before. I will step into my destiny and who He made me to be… FINALLY!

My home will be defined and I will live in it the way I was meant to by God. The time is now, this season is the season of change but also of calling. It is time for me to step into my promised land. Jesus has been waiting by my side… and now I am ready, as the Father knew. Exactly the time and the place.

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Forgiveness is LOVE

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Welcome to my thoughts on FORGIVENESS…

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We have all been hurt by someone in our life, possibly many times and many people. In that hurt, sometimes it is hard to forget. More importantly, it is often hard to forgive.

Often, instead of forgiving, people want to hurt back. They want revenge. And that is the worst thing to do!

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WHY? Hurt them as bad as they hurt me… right?

No, it won’t make you feel any better. It will even make you feel worse. Who you are as a person will also be damaged. Growing as a person is important. Thinking of others and being loving and forgiving no matter how others treat you is how you grow as a person.

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God has forgiven each of us and gives that option daily. The Father offers forgiveness to us often and always. Because of that, He asks us to extend forgiveness to others too. It is integral as a child of God.

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Love is only possible with forgiveness. As we forgive, we understand what LOVE truly is.

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As we understand LOVE, we will understand the nature of GOD. GOD who is LOVE. In that love for us, GOD sent His son JESUS to die for our sins. In that ultimate act of love, JESUS gives us a way to forgiveness and the Father.

jesus is the way

As we forgive, we release the burden the unforgiveness placed on us. We give it to God and He deals with it. I  believe that this release is also a way of breaking away a spiritual block, or wall, if you will. That one thing could have been preventing fullness of life. The wall was blocking the open receiving of all of God’s goodness in our life. Not only that, it is very clear in scripture that if we don’t forgive, God will not forgive us…

14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.    Matthew 6:14-14 (MSG)

That, to me, would be the absolute worst! God not forgiving me??? No Way! So, I choose to forgive, even when I don’t feel like it, out of obedience and love for the LORD. Many times, it has actually shown me that what I was so unforgiving about was really a small, unimportant thing.

But, also remember, forgiveness does not represent acceptance, it represents love… the love of JESUS!

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.    Ephesians 4:32(NASB)

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John 1:4-5

LIGHT

This week, in my personal time with the Father, HE has been showing me light and what it means for me. The verse that really resonated with me involved light. The Message Bible gave such a cool translation!

What came into existence was LIFE and the LIFE was LIGHT to live by. The LIFE-LIGHT blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.   John 1:4-5 (MSG)

As we read scripture, we must do more than just read it. We must meditate on it and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in it’s meaning and it’s application for our lives.

In meditating on these two verses, I right away see two words that jump out at me… LIFE and LIGHT. Initially they are by themselves in the verse and then they are connected as one word. To me, this means that one cannot have one without the other, at least in this meaning of the two words. LIFE and LIGHT are referenced often throughout God’s Word and often when referring to JESUS.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”   John 8:12 (NKJV)

I love how GOD uses life and light in conjunction with each other. More importantly, I think it is amazing how when we are truly living we are in the light, which essentially means we are in HIM… so we are living in HIM!

Through the light, JESUS, we have life in the FATHER. Jesus represents the forgiveness, grace and unconditional love of the Father. Light and life, because they represent Jesus, who is GOD, represent GOD too. In this, we know the Father AND He is with us as we walk through our lives…

For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.   Psalm 36:9 (NKJV)

There is so much comfort in this knowledge. Not only is God showing us the way, He is providing us grace, forgiveness, protection from the darkness and satan… AND HE is showering His love on us too!!! The Lord’s promises are true, as He is a faithful and loving Father. Our God loves HIS creations, you and me… HIS KIDS so much. All HE wants to do is spend time with us… go hang out with GOD today and feel His love and His presence. Walk in the light with HIM and you will have LIFE, TRUE LIFE!!!

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The FATHER’s Gift

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Forever is all we need

all through eternity

GOD, You are the ONE

who has given Your SON

JESUS cleared the way

for us to be with You today

In this moment, to us YOU call

Oh Father, I give YOU my all.

A life with YOU

too good to be true

But, it is what YOU offer

A LOVE like no other

A gift so amazing

YOU, Father, we are praising!!!

 

My Spring…

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As the season of winter is coming to an end and spring is getting ready to make it’s entrance, I have been observing the changing seasons within myself.

As we go through life, in our relationship with the Lord, we go through seasons. Just like nature’s seasons, we grow at times and at other times, things in us must die.

I believe that spring is a time of new life and growth. Winter, on the other hand, is a time of dormancy and death.

I have been going through a season of winter the last few months. There have been many issues in my heart that needed to die and go away. The Father has taken much care with me during this time as He has been pruning and cleaning out all the yuck in my heart’s garden.  It has been a painful time full of many tears, prayers and much revelation too. At the same time, I am glad for this time with God, because His Presence has been amazing! I feel like I have grown even closer to Him as we have raked and weeded and pruned my heart. Moreover, I have come to understand that this is a much needed process. Why? In order to have new growth, fruit and flowers… we must prune back the dead parts.

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.  John 15:2 (NASB)

God does that for us so He can show us where we need to grow, the areas we need to work on. It’s so cool how He takes care of us like that… caring enough to take the time to help us work on ourselves so we can be better… and be more like HIM.

As I have come out of this season of pruning, my winter, so to speak, I feel like I am about to embark on my spring, even as nature around me is beginning to do the same. I, as a new woman, am about to begin blooming. My spring is coming, and I am excited about the kinds of flowers and fruit I will produce for the Father. And, who I will share with…

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Live Life!

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Life has it’s ups and downs. As we live, we endure hardships, pain, sadness; we enjoy happiness, success, love…

Each of these moments define us, who we are. As we respond the life, our character becomes visible to the world.

Are we kind and loving?

Are we angry and unforgiving?

Do we love even through the pain…?

People are always watching, everywhere we go… watching what we do, how we act. Why? Perhaps to see how… how to endure… how to keep going… how to smile through the tears…

I have had so many of those moments in my life. Did I respond how I should have… most of the time, no, not initially. But often, I came back and did the right thing.

God tells us that He is with us, He will never leave us or forsake us… Do you believe Him?

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

I do! In fact, there have been MANY times in my life where I know without a doubt that I would not be here today if it was not for that TRUTH… the Father was with me and that’s the ONLY reason I am here now.

God wants to give you joy in the midst of pain, kindness in the midst of anger, love in the midst of hatred. And, He will. Moreover, as you let Him, He will change you into a new creation… a person with good moral character.

I bet each of us, no matter how much we have been hurt, still want to love and be loved. The first step to that is allowing the Lord to cover you with His perfect love.

Then, you come to know His love, the perfect love of God, and you can now tell others about it and share it… In sharing this love, you will be made whole. Your life will never be the same! And neither will the lives of the people you touch… the change is permanent and GLORIOUS!!!

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Let the Music Play…

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MUSIC…

This one word is representative of a part of my life that is entrenched within me, a part of who I am. Music, instruments and voices coming together in a beautiful harmony of pleasing, comforting, inspiring, exciting and all-encompassing sounds that speak to my soul and fill my heart.

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Many, many times in my life, I turned to music. The music helped me stay in control, if you will. My emotions filtered through the songs I listened to. I screamed, I cried, I lost hope… then I found it again and I found joy, and even love… all in the story of song.

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My genres of musical preference usually depend on my mood. I appreciate all kinds of music, though I do have favorites. I also categorize my music into my emotions… I have happy songs, energetic songs, love songs, inspiring songs… angry songs and hope-filled songs.  

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Yes, the music is part of me. I believe GOD brought me this beautiful resource so I could express myself and find my way back to Him in all the many moments of my life. The Father gifted me and I am continuing to develop that gift more. Music is an expression of love because it is using what is in your heart and sharing it in song.

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God gives us music so we can sing to Him and worship. As we sing, we are using a gift He gave us… that blesses our Lord. 

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Use the beauty of music to understand who God is. Allow yourself to get lost in the song and close your eyes… you will find God there.

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I Am Yours

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I am yours, you are mine…

We are one, intertwined

We love, we laugh

We walk our life’s path

We fight, we cry

We look up to the sky

We pray, we praise

We learn His ways

We forgive, we forget

We never regret

We give thanks always

We don’t turn away

We do His will in all things

We are showered with blessings

We share what we have with others

We are all His kids, sisters & brothers

We love you, no other…

God our Heavenly Father

My Revelation…

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My life has been a variety of experiences and challenges both blessings and hardships. I know all of us can relate. We each have many stories to share of our life journeys. Even as we look back many years later, we often remember the moments so clearly and the emotions that surrounded that time. Sometimes it even knocks us down with the overwhelming realization of what happened. This is what I found this morning while drinking my coffee and having my quiet time with the Father… He took me back over a period of time in my life and showed me truth. His Truth. He allowed me to see that time in my life as He saw it. And, all I can say is, WOW and let me share…

As this particular time in my life began, I was searching for meaning. I needed to know that there was a reason for everything. I had lost my mom, my marriage and even myself. If I was to survive and not self-destruct… I had to find myself.

I did find a way to God like I had never known before. Being raised Catholic, I believed in God and prayed and knew He was with me, but I didn’t really have a relationship with the Father. I did not know Him, because I didn’t know His Word. I really did not understand that Jesus was there always and that the love of the Father was covering me always. So, to say the least, when I met Jesus and became part of the family, I came to know God better and began to deepen my relationship. But, in that revelation, I lost sight of everything else.

I became a “Jesus Freak” and not in a good way. I became judgmental of everyone around me if they were not like me. I felt like I was doing the right thing and everyone else was wrong. I alienated many people during that time in my life because of my actions. The crazy thing is, I thought I was doing it for God and being a good daughter.

Even in my ministry work and serving at my church, I lost sight of the great example that Jesus himself gave us…

12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.   John 13:12-14 (NLT)

When we serve others, we humble ourselves to loving them, just as Jesus did.

I served and worked hard, but it was all about the “tasks” and not LOVE. The most important thing about serving God, in whatever capacity you do, is to walk in love… ALWAYS.

I thought I was loving, because I was in ministry and serving all the time… didn’t that mean I loved the Lord and the people? Not really. Where was my heart? Was I putting the tasks and the stuff, whatever it was, before the people? And, essentially, before the Father?

Had I become like the Pharisees…? Oh no! That mere thought haunted me and made me sad… and in that moment, Jesus allowed me to see my heart. I had been confused and misguided and distracted, but not completely. As, I read His Word more, I came to know Him and His nature and well, my heart began changing. OH, our Lord is so good to us as He constantly guides us… such a good, good Father!!!

As my heart began changing, I knew the Father was taking me in a new direction. I had been shown that I needed to love more, and love unconditionally. But, it needed to start with me… the Father wanted me to know how much HE loved His daughter and wanted me to love myself too. Only then would I be able to to love others fully.

Loving ourselves is often harder than loving someone else. But, you cannot truly love to the capacity the Lord has given us if we cannot love ourselves. Once we love ourselves, we understand the love of God. With that understanding in our minds and His love in our hearts, we can go out and serve others in the fullest magnitude possible!

10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 4:10-11 (NASB)

I now know what it means to serve God and walk in His love. I also believe that I needed that season in order to be ready to receive what I have currently been given. Each season in our life is a step closer to the Father and part of our path in becoming more like Jesus. My love towards people around me is so much more now that I understand the Father’s love. I am most excited that I constantly strive to find ways to share love and cover others with that most amazing love. I want to show people how. Everyone needs this love… and it is available. We are charged with showing the world so everyone can know the love of the Father. Don’t waste an opportunity… it might not come again.

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