Blog Archives

Depression POINTS To Something More

@Grace2Grow: ‪#‎Depression‬ comes in MANY forms & 4varieties of reasons. For me one big issue: I perceive on an “intuitive” level &struggle 2identify ROOT.

* In fight against #Depression I PREACH 2myself: ‪#‎faith‬ = often NOT understanding. Still, God is pleasd I believ him when I dont FEEL like it.

* #Depression is very real for ALL, tho we like 2deny it. Perhaps bcuz #faith is supposed 2cureall. ‪#‎Jesus‬ IS our hope ESPEC in midst of fire.

* #Depression usually manifests when I’v tried 2TAKE OVR some aspect of my life – 2MAKE sumthin happen. ‪#‎EvidenceImNotYielding2SpiritsLeading‬.

* #Depression is not ALWAYS an indication of a lack of surrender. Sumtimes there’s grief that invades &drowns the voice of Hope. ‪#‎TheGoodFight‬

* More than ever Im persuaded that HOPE gives birth 2FAITH. So when Im battling #Depression I must actively HUNT 4voice of HOPE 2find LIFE.

* My experience = I can “feel” when weight of a #Depression (oppression) lifts. &Always this comes after I express my longing heart in prayer.

* I can KNOW I must pray & give my “groanings” 2God as an offering, BUT in midst of pain it feels like THE most impossible thing! #Depression

* It helps 2make a literal ‪#‎notetoself‬, even a tweet: God is faithful, our feelings lie, #Depression does NOT last forever, our ‪#‎HOPE‬ is sure!

Be BLESSED, Beloved ❤

~Leah

Advertisements

A Broken Windshield to Heal

I won’t go into too much detail here, because I don’t want to give cause for a misinterpretation of events; but this little incident was too good not to share.  Stay tuned for one tiny peek at an unplanned and unexpected but very welcome Redemptive Moment.  🙂

I WAS FIRED.

I was fired.  Yep – not from my present job, but the job I had before.  It’s been nearly 8 years since I went through very rough waters with a former employer, both sides feeling justified in a growing distrust and mutual dissatisfaction, and a painful ordeal that was only survived with some grace because of a gracious mediator who walked us through the transition that would ultimately lead to me training my own replacement.

This was a life-altering experience for me – not just because it was so devastating to not be believed, not be trusted, and feel I had NO earthly way to rectify the opinions of others, but mainly because this was a small family owned business, and these were people I had known for YEARS before working there, had gone to CHURCH with them, had what I thought was a loving relationship with them and their kids outside any workplace association.  Yet in the months when everything unraveled and in the subsequent mutual parting of ways, everything in our friendship and association also vanished.

MEMORY IS A TRICKY THING.

From what I understand – and please, I’m not a scientist, so let’s just chalk this up to being a bit of an internet and news junkie – our brains RE-remember every time we visit a “memory,” and HOW we perceive is fluid, always changing – almost as if the memories themselves are living things – and yet our CONVICTIONS about what we remember are equally as strong in the 10th telling (which for some people will be much more varied from the first telling than others) even if the content (unbeknownst to us) may differ in significant ways.

Perhaps that’s a good argument for keeping a journal – provided we can be trusted to recount events honestly to ourselves, which sometimes may be a big “if.”  🙂

As for me?  Here?  I remember more the emotions, the hurt, the suspicion, or the anger – even the fury – sometimes directed at me.  I remember returning some of the same.  Present emotions often register as shame, regret, sorrow, that wishful longing that things had been different, that I had DONE things differently.

A BROKEN WINDSHIELD TO HEAL.

By happenstance, my car recently suffered (another) windshield injury.  I looked up a repair shop online, not fully registering the location of the address, and mistakenly assessing it to be closer to my job for a quick lunch visit.  In fact, this shop was several miles away, in the neighborhood of my previous place of employment.  And I arrived to learn my windshield was non-repairable – I would have to reschedule for another visit to have the whole thing replaced.  So by happenstance *ahem* I found myself with some time to kill before going back to work, AND within just a couple blocks of this place which attaches to so many significant negative (but growth-inducing) emotions.

So I decided to drop in for a visit.

And I found that the son has since bought the business from his parents, the wife (daughter-in-law) now manages the main office and the books, and though the mom no longer works there, the dad still weaves in and around the office, cheerfully advertising, don’t you know, that the KFC founder didn’t really get his business feet under him till he was 80 years old, so there!

I found that the gal who had replaced me was years gone, and the gal I had replaced more years before was now working there again.  I found that the business had weathered the economic downturn seemingly well, and that the gracious mediator I had hoped to revisit had resigned just a few months before to pursue more missions-minded work in another city.  How fitting.  🙂

There was shock expressed over how much weight I’ve lost (they all knew me at my unhealthiest), there was curiosity about the house I’ve recently purchased, my now living near my sister so many miles away from my current job, and the nearly 8 years I’ve now been with the same employer.  We visited about changes in our church experiences, changes in our country, and in short how the years mature us .. if we let them.  🙂

There were smiles, even a few hugs, and they let me wander out back until I found the 80+ year old dad lifting his face to soak up a little sun behind the shop, enjoying a quiet smoke break, standing just exactly as I remember him .. I got to visit with him for a few minutes, and … was that “relief” spreading over his face?  To learn that I was now in such a good place, healthy and happy and well cared for …. I left well-wishes for everyone, and asked the dad to take a love greeting to his wife, my former boss, too.

Then another round of hugs and affirmations for the healing time can minister, and we all marveled once again at how .. Paths can cross and sever, but God is still God of us all, and – for those who will humbly yield to it – his grace is greater than what we allow to divide ….

I think I will never again feel as much GRATITUDE as I did that day for a badly timed rock bouncing on the freeway on my commute to work.  😉  Miracles can spring forth from the most unlikely of places, don’t you know.

And just for the record, I don’t believe in “happenstance.”  😉

Be blessed!

~Leah

Unintended Consequences

I have made a TERRIBLE mistake. 

The other night, I was up late, browsing online, and I stumbled onto a little tip from an otherwise reputable journalist concerning signing up for one of these “online survey” sites where you can get PAID to offer your OPINION.  Which for someone like me – with approximately as many opinions as I take breaths in a day – this sounds like a dream come true, right?

At last, over an hour into clicking here and clicking there, I am tired and it’s well past midnight, and I realize I’ve submitted my email address to half a dozen or so sites, completely awash with the foggy delight of possibly making a few dollars out of those extra minutes I “waste” by wandering around online any given day.

And then I woke up the next morning. 

In less than 24 hours I was ‘bot-blasted with hundreds of spam-like emails and over 20 phone calls to my cell phone for weight loss and educational offers – Oy! and to make matters worse, I had GUARDED against giving out my number for precisely the fear of landing in various telemarketing schemes that I would never be able to un-domino once the first piece was knocked over.  And with every escalating argument with a caller, and every half dozen new email “opportunities” from which I had to “unsubsubscribe” – the cumulative effect being the loss of HOURS of my time pooper scooping – HOURS for which I received precisely ZERO redemptive dollars, by the way – I could only keep hearing in my head the mantra of “Stupid Stupid Stupid Girl!”

I had brought this mess on myself in a moment of weakness.  And I couldn’t even really be justified in getting mad at these people – or the “system” I am so prone to rail against – because I had VIRTUALLY (literally) INVITED them into my world.

I allowed a tiny promise to deceive me into thinking I could “redeem” my wasted TIME, and it cost me far MORE in wasted time than I could have spent in all my online traffic in ten times as many days.

EVERY decision, whether it concerns the spending of a MINUTE or the spending of a DOLLAR, has consequences.

I am reaping what I sowed.

I must remember to view each of these things – my minutes, my dollars, my words, too – as SEEDS.  If I am more intentional about what I SOW, and if I am more attentive to the GUARDING of the field in which I am planting, I can have realistic CONFIDENCE about precisely what I will harvest and that my Produce will be healthy and nourishing in due season.

What a painful little reminder.  I am going to be cleaning up this mess for many days to come.  Here’s hoping that is the worst of my consequences.  😉

~Leah

PS – Related, here is a sermon by Pastor Chuck Stanley on Reaping and Sowing you might appreciate.  ❤

http://www.intouch.org/broadcast/video-archives/content/topic/the_principle_of_sowing_and_reaping_video

 

Reflecting on Fear vs. Faith

Reflecting on Fear vs. Faith ~ some more recent tweets.

 

  • There is no place in the kingdom of God for ANY fear other than the fear of the Lord. As that is the beginning of true wisdom, its fruit is “perfect love” which CASTS OUT ALL OTHER FEAR.

 

  • Fear of God, the beginning of wisdom, is the BIRTHPLACE of Faith. But any other fear is an ENEMY of Faith, exposing IDOLS in our hearts.

 

  • We knowingly &UNknowingly become SLAVES 2being thought well of by others & make costly sacrifices 2obtain their good opinions. #FEAROFMAN

 

  • Scripture tells us the Righteous walk by FAITH not sight. When we “fear” the unknown, we expose a heart idol: I wish I were “god” of my own life! That is the true “original sin.”

 

  • “Faith” is not blind bravery. Faith comes by hearing the WORD OF GOD. Do u feel afraid? anxious/worried? My rule 4myself: “Flee 2the Word!”

 

  • [progression of YIELDING]  ….  I THINK I CAN! -> I thought I could -> I think I can’t -> I know I can’t! -> I think He would? -> I think He can! -> I KNOW HE WILL!

 

I think there is a future book in these reflections….

 

Be Blessed!

~Leah

 

For Further Study….

Two Unrelated Topics??

Well, a conversation with a friend about “speaking in tongues” has naturally progressed into a discussion on biblical masculinity and femininity because of “headship” and “submission” ~ I did not predict this course! haha! (if you’re interested, check out 1 corinthians 11-14, romans 12, jude 1, 1 timothy 2-3, 1 peter 3, genesis 2-3, ephesians 4-5 ~ all of which are making appearance in this discussion. see if you can spot the connections in these two topics?)

aka #ilovethedeependofthepool ♥

Here’s a link to ALL of the above texts in one spot for your convenience 😉

Blessings!

~Leah

Building Myself Up in the Lord!

Today has been a very TRYING day! … Calling to mind bits from Ps. 37 (NKJV mixed w/a little of The Message) to keep my mind stayed on HIM who is my Source and my Strength, and my Protection, and my BELOVED!

“…Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and feed on HIS faithfulness!….Open up before God, keep nothing back…Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light….Quiet down before God, be prayerful before Him….Do not fret – it only causes harm….Bridle your anger…Those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth!….THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH, AND SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN THE ABUNDANCE OF PEACE!”

Ah, thank you, Lord!! ♥

“…A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked…the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever…The wicked are moral weaklings, but the righteous are God-strong…They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of FAMINE they shall be SATISFIED!…In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be FULL!…The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand!…The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved FOREVER!….”

“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice….[He] chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue. His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins!…None of his steps shall slide….Wait on the Lord, and keep His way….Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path. He’ll give you your place in the sun while you watch the wicked lose it….Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for THE FUTURE OF THAT ONE IS PEACE!…The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; HE IS THEIR STRENGTH IN THE TIME OF TROUBLE. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them….And save them, because they trust in Him!…The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil – when we run to HIM, He saves us!”

Is My Brother Sinning? or just Foolish?

Christian Embezzlement?

or a Foolish approach to a (nevertheless) Genuine desire to serve Christ?

I have learned of a family (2 parents, 4 children all under age of 10) “raising support” for a so-called 6-week missions trip to Africa to the tune of $30,000…a trip during which they MIGHT be helping this ministry to do some construction, and they MIGHT be teaching vacation Bible school to some local children, that is IF they are allowed in, and if not, well – this ministry would just enjoy the family’s company as they visit, so would you please make your checks payable to Family-Dad/Husband by such and such date….

WHAT?? I do not see anything of the Spirit of God in this! – NO calling, NO clear direction, NO confidence that the Lord has prepared the way for the declaration of his word, NO “transparency” as far as the ethics of raising that kind of sum, NOT EVEN a way to have spiritual oversight for the trip? such as would be required to raise money through AT LEAST a sending church?, and an up-front resignation to the fact this may just be a 6-week vacation, basically, for their family of six, and so, would y’all be so kind as to fund it for them??  I will be so bold as to cry:  Fraud and veritable Embezzlement in the name of Christ!!  (My boldness comes, too, in part for knowing some of the family dynamic, here….)

I find this intolerable!! (and an OFFENSE to my heart, for Christ’s sake!)

So, I hope I have advised my friend wisely – I have directed him to follow the pattern set forth in  Matthew 18:15-20  – Approach your “brother” whom you believe to be in sin, openly (humbly) asking questions so you are able to DISCERN if this is just foolishness or willful selfishness; offer either confrontation of sin, or wisdom to correct the folly, and if your “brother” remains unteachable and unsubmissive to the Spirit of Christ, involve a mediator – In this case, I suggested my friend seek the input, then, of your family’s elder in your church, perhaps ask some more questions to gain additional discernment, and approach your “brother” again with the elder present. If your “brother” still remains unteachable and unsubmissive to the Spirit of Christ, be prepared, because this may need to be brought publicly before the whole church – especially if your “brother” has sent this “support” letter to other members w/o the Leadership’s knowledge/approval/support, and is therefore potentially sinning against (stealing from!) the whole Body.

Oh, God help us, we are ALL of us foolish at times.  Sure enough!  And I hope, by GRACE, that if I were so publicly zealous in my folly (before God, I am sure I have been, at times!) that I would be approached lovingly and carefully by a brother/sister in Christ to at least seek out my motivation, discern my heart, and offer counsel if not correction.  And if I were so “foolish” to SIN blatantly in this way, I would hope for Christ’s sake! that someone would intervene that I might not bring such shame to the cause of Christ.

But still?  And failing all other intervention?  I pray that God, by his GRACE, would nevertheless cover ALL of our own foolishness and sinfulness with the blood of Christ and STILL bring about some good for his Glory, that we might nevertheless say with the Apostle Paul – imprisoned and bad-mouthed by other “preachers” of the Gospel, and exactly in a situation when we might expect him to “defend” himself and rebuke the nay-sayers/abusers – in Philippians 1:12-21 ~

.

They Can’t Imprison the Message

12-14 I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.

15-17 It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them.

18-21 So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!

And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.

.

Glory to God!  and Help us all, in JESUS’ name….

~Leah

My Positive Confession

Confession: Christ is my Strength, my hope, my peace, my strong Deliverer and my Healer. If he is for me, who can stand against me? I am not of those who shrink back, nor those who allow the enemy to take what is rightfully mine because of Christ’s mercy and grace. I am more than a conquerer, in Jesus name! I do not deserve pain or condemnation, because I am no longer “in sin” but “in Christ” so I do not receive the lie of the enemy who would have me believe otherwise. Jesus paid my price and I am free; and even if I fall and fail in the flesh, this has no power over the seal of His Spirit upon me – I apply his blood to my body, my mind, my soul, my spirit, my circumstances, my words, my failings!, my home, my family, my job, my everything. He has redeemed me, and the works of my hands, and I shall not fail to see his glory, for he is faithful to finish what he has begun!! Heal me, o Lord, and I will be healed! Save me, and I will be saved! Thank you, nothing shall separate me from your everlasting love!! You are so good! You are so good!

God Still Gives Dreams

I had a powerful and instructive dream in the wee hours of the morning a few days ago, regarding how to teach the Word of God.  I am not sure I’ve ever had a dream quite like that…
.
.
    I was “on mission” with several others, imaged by a small boat (which I take to be symbolic of my church), battered by storm winds and threatening, potentially capsizing waves, and out from which we were casting smaller boats for search & rescue.
     My “job” in the main boat was to help care for the boat and the return of our searchers; and also to reflect on God’s Word and teach it. But in the dream I didn’t know my job, and I felt useless (very apt). And my teaching “reflections” were primarily self-focused and speculative, rather than exegetical or interpretive.
    I recall that we were ALL able to walk on water, just like Jesus – though I didn’t know yet that I could also do so.  In the setting of the dream, I was fearful of the ocean creatures, sharks and the like, and this dominated my consciousness as we were being assaulted by the storm.
    Our main team was out, and the sending boat was filling to the point of capsizing, so I swam across the deck towards the front, where our skeleton crew was working hard to keep us aright. There, I asked the main post (not a captain, she was like “acting captain”?) what I could do? How to help? Instead of telling me, she showed me how to maneuver the ship – which was designed uniquely to get rid of water in just this kind of danger. She showed me how to “tip” the boat, and it required skill and strength, but the main maneuver required the boat itself to do the work.
    Soon we were arighted, and our scattered searchers returned – having found some Lost, and also bringing back supplies.
    As the lot of us formed our smaller circles at tables in the dining area, I found a corner area to sit back and observe; here, individuals would approach me one by one to ask me about a teaching I’d done on the Book of Ruth. Some had been encouraged, others were critical. I don’t recall specifically what was said – but I do remember catching word through the overhearing of various conversations that the circle of leaders across the way had some thoughts they wanted to express.
    I made my way over and sat with them – instead of a table, they were each sitting at desks, “eating” the Word they were studying. One by one, they began to question me, encourage me, challenge me, even rebuke me. I recall only two bits of instruction:
.
  • “Your personal, ‘journal-like’ approach to teaching is not profitable to the whole Body! You may well be learning much, but you need to broaden your pithy one-liners and marginal reflections to find what the Text is really saying, for the benefit of ALL!”
                        and…
  • “You are speaking as though every word you’re saying is ‘thus sayeth the Lord’; you must let the Word be the Word – draw a distinction, or people will flock to YOU rather than GOD!” …
.
.
    I have felt this uselessness where I am currently positioned.  It has been a season of “filling” and receiving, to be sure, but I am eager to “go out,” myself.  To meaningfully do my “job” in the Body.  I have felt this was in teaching and singing – neither of which seem to be needs in the church into which God has currently placed me.
    Upon waking, aside from the above explicitely stated revelations which were also very key, I knew that several of the things the Spirit of God was impressing on my heart included:
.
.
  • “DO NOT BE AFRAID!  I have given you authority over the creatures of the sea, AND over the waves!”
  • “I have made you for this time and this place – you are here to be taught, to learn submission, to trust the spiritual authorities I have placed over you, and to be prepared.”
  • “You have everything you need – you can already walk on water! – but I will determine the time and place when you step out.”
  • “You DO have a place; you DO have a purpose in the Body, even in THIS Body!  Be watchful, be teachable, be patient, continue to serve, and I will make it clear what you are to do; I will open the way at the proper time, and you will know it when you see it.”
.
Thank you, Lord!
Be blessed!
.
~Leah

a word from David Wilkerson about FAITH!

Rec’d this “devo” today via David Wilkerson’s Ministry ~ a very FIT word aptly spoken.  Please read!  It might just change your life!  😉

SPECIFIC PROMISES FOR SPECIFIC TIMES

All Christians have a general trust in the Lord. We stand on a few promises that apply to the whole body of Christ, such as:  “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).  “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  “For the Lord God is a sun an…d shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

These well-known promises have brought great comfort and blessing to God’s people worldwide for many centuries. Yet, beyond these general promises, God gives us specific promises for special times, hard times. We must know them and bring them with us when we come boldly to His throne of grace.

The Puritans, who were mightily blessed of God, said every promise of the Lord is a holy argument. They believed a Christian should not come before the Lord with just a general faith.

When God tells you to come boldly before the throne of grace, to receive mercy and grace in your time of need, you cannot have just a general idea of why you are there. You cannot just say, “Okay, Lord, You know my heart. Give me whatever You see fit.”

That may sound good but God has specific promises for specific times in our lives. He wants us to lay hold of these promises with our hearts so that we might stand strong and assured as we reason with Him. He wants us to stand before His throne having perfect consolation, absolute assurance and no doubts whatsoever!

Maybe the reason you are not hearing from God is that you have given Him a general faith without being specific with Him. God says, “Come, bring forth your strong reasons (see Isaiah 41:21). Why should I do this for you? Why should I bless you?” He knows why, of course, but He also wants you to know why!

~David Wilkerson, World Challenge