No! Don’t Pray For Patience!

I can remember in the 80’s being a part of an amazing small group ministry and one of the jokes was: you never pray for patience. The thought was that if you did, you were asking for trouble. I can remember times praying in a circle and someone would mention the P word and everyone would start saying, “NO! Don’t pray for patience. Anything but patience.!” We would all laugh and then go back into the seriousness of our prayer time totally avoiding that word at all costs.

Looking back on those times and the prayers of today, I think we do a disservice to those we don’t pray for patience for and ourselves. The definition of patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

We’ve been looking at this all wrong. We aren’t exactly asking for troubles or trials to come or even for God to test us, we are preparing ourselves to be overcomers before they come. The scriptures are very clear that we are going to have trials and tribulations. We are preparing our hearts to accept the lessons we will be learning in the School of Hard Times. And we are asking God to help us accept these things without getting angry and upset. Could you imagine what being in traffic would look like if we applied this prayer to our life?

I don’t know about you but almost every time, and I am not kidding, that I go shopping, I pick the slowest line to stand in. I always tell those I am with that they might want to go stand in a different line because no matter where I go someone has a problem ahead of me. Getting angry doesn’t change things. It would just make me look like the foolish one. So I bring my phone and play a game in line lol. I have learned the art of patience at the School of Line Standing!

James 1:2-4Amplified Bible (AMP)

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

I’m reading this book called 31 Days of Healing and the author says, “You see, tests and trials don’t perfect you. It what’s you do with them that counts.”

Maybe we need to rethink this a bit. If patience is going to mature me, give me peace and completely develop my faith, shouldn’t we be saying, “And you’re doing this why Lord?” The word says in other versions to count it all joy…..did you catch the word ALL? That one kind of hurts a little bit. The Lord knows we are going to have pain and sorrow but this scripture is telling us to look ahead and not to stay stuck in the pain.

One of the meanings of the word joy is calm delight. So we don’t have to jump up and down when we are experiencing hard times. But we can calmly delight in the fact that God’s plans are not to harm us but prosper us, to give us hope and a future. (Jer 29:11)

So the next time you hear someone say, “Don’t pray for patience!” Ask them if they would like to be angry and mad or calmly delighting in their next trial.

Puffy Knowledge

I’m sure we all know those people who have incredible knowledge and speak right over our heads. Sometimes I just want to say, “Hey can you speak more in a language I understand!” It drives me crazy. I want to have this great convo with this person and I only understand three or four words per sentence. I think we need an app for understanding brainiacs or a book called Conversations for Dummies.

If the knowledge we possess isn’t building up others. It’s time to check our motives. Knowing more is an opportunity to love more. Knowing God well should always translate into loving others well. Lisa Bevere, Adamant

1 Corinthians 8:1 English Standard Version  ……..we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

In their defense, there are those who hang around with the same people who have that same level of knowledge, so that’s just their normal language and they forget to dummy down when they come around people who are normal like me. Ok, I just saw that look of surprise on your face. Don’t judge me……… especially if you think you’re normal.

But………………..then there are those who do it just for show so they can look like they are language gods. Those are the ones who make me crazy. Just saying.

But am I truly justified here in my thinking if I do the same thing with the superior knowledge I may have in a subject or with a gift God has given me? Do you? Do I make people look small so I can look big?

Our whole purpose in life is finding Jesus and when we find Him it’s to love and serve others. We love God so we can love people. Luke 10:27 The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” NLT

Everything we say or do should be motivated by our love for God, ourselves and others. We glorify God and build up the ones we love or He loves….and even the ones hard to love.

My hope and goal is to not lord it over someone that I know more or am better than them. When I share with someone my whole motivation is to point them to God and show His love. I share my knowledge or passion because I want to give them something that propels them forward in their walk or journey with the Lord…………….or it should be!

I teach a 4 step class on Sunday mornings at our church and one of my favorite classes is the Spiritual Gifts and Temperament Class. I had 6+ years of training in Temperament Theory and Therapy so I absolutely love sharing the things I know with my students. Seeing the moment that light bulb comes on in someone’s mind and they start relating and when you see that incredible joy on their face, well. that is what drives me to do what I do.

One of the spiritual gifts that God seems to have permanently given to me (we all know that the Spirit gives as He wills.) is the gift of encouragement. So everything I do I do through that gift. But without loving those people who walk through that door, and I do, my words could fall on deaf ears. My gift is not teaching but when I am motivated by love and I teach with encouragement, I look like a teacher.

My encouraging words to you today are: use the gifts and knowledge that God has given you to change your sphere of influence whether it’s in your home, workplace, church, family or neighborhood and let everything be motivated by love.

 

The Dream

The very first morning of my fast, I had a dream. This dream was so intense for me that I woke up with a stiff neck and migraine. This happens quite often when I have those dreams that really stand out and I know it’s from the Lord, not the pain lol the dream.

The Dream: There was a battle going on between Christians and the world. I was looking at this mansion-like white house where people were being brought who had been injured in the world. Everything was white! The Christians were in white clothing and there was an injured person on a white stretcher in the middle of the floor and the injured person had a white sheet over them. The people in white were gathered around and helping this person. I knew that this place was set up to help the wounded.

I don’t remember going into the house but I found myself on a different level of that house. I was observing everything going on around me and all I could think of is why weren’t these people protecting themselves. It was like they were so busy taking in the wounded that they couldn’t see the open doors and windows they had left open. I was really disturbed by it. The house was completely open. As I was standing there a person in dark (I think it was brown with plaid) street clothes walked in and I knew immediately he was evil but he was just standing there and I was standing there staring at him and thinking: this is what I mean: this place is not protected and then I woke up.

I had forgotten the dream because the migraine had my full attention and like I said in the previous blog, I fell asleep and slept half my day away. It wasn’t until Greg and I were talking about life that I remembered this dream. And now it just sticks with me. Kind of like my dogs: stuck to me like glue. The only puzzling aspects of this dream was the brown and plaid. I usually see evil in my dreams as dark and wearing black.  So this was different. He reminded me of a mafia man.

I have no idea why the man was there but he had no weapon that I could see. The house I’m not sure of where this house is located but I think the dream speaks for itself. And that is where I have focused the praying part of this fasting and praying!!

Anyway that was my dream.

Day two of my fast. It seems that the Lord is inputting things into me in the wee hours of the morning. I read and pray all day but it’s not til like 1am that He gives me these amazing nuggets to think about. I’m reading a book called Adamant and it’s been hard to get into and several times I have just wanted to put it down and forget it but God kept prompting me to finish what I started. That’s a whole other story. I finally got to chapter five and the nuggets have been very thought-provoking. Let me leave you with one from the book:

Discernment begins with first tending the soil of our hearts. When we speak, we need to ask ourselves some hard questions, “Am I speaking out of a place of love, or do I want to be seen and heard?” Lisa Bevere

The Mountain In My Life

He’ll show us the way he works so we can live the way we’re made. Let me say that again more slowly He’ll   show   us   the   way   He   works   so   we   can   live   the   way  we’re   made.

At 1:00 this morning God reminded me of this scripture. I had been reading in 2 Kings and then I picked up a book I was reading and the author mentioned this scripture and it just stopped me in my tracks and I kept repeating it over and over as if it were the first time I was seeing it! I must have sat on my couch in the silence for an hour applying that scripture to everything that was going on in my life the last 4 or 5 months.

So let me backtrack a little. I think the word for me has been “loss”. I’ve been suffering a lot with that…loss of my dog, loss of my dreams and visions, lost of physical well-being, loss of weight……..oh wait that’s a good one...there are more but I don’t want to get into the woe is me trap.

A friend of mine told me that I would find intimacy with God through my suffering. That I was facing a mountain (of God) that I would either speak to, climb up or go around. My first inclination was to speak to it and tell it to go away. Sigh…that didn’t happen. Pretty sure God wasn’t gonna let me desire to go around it. He definitely would let me make the choice but I have chosen to climb it instead!

Isaiah 2 1-5 The Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem

There’s a day coming
    when the mountain of God’s House
Will be The Mountain—
    solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations will river toward it,
    people from all over set out for it.
They’ll say, “Come,
    let’s climb God’s Mountain,
    go to the House of the God of Jacob.
He’ll show us the way he works
    so we can live the way we’re made.”

With everything I have been going through, I’ve been dealing with a little depression but fortunately not living there. For about a week now I have been feeling God prompting me to fast and pray for everything and so yesterday was my first day and it didn’t quite start off the way I thought it would.

When I woke up I woke from a very intense dream When these dreams come, they are so intense that I wake up with a stiff neck and migraine. My whole focus was on the pain I was in that I forgot the dream til later that night. Hubby and I were discussing some issues we are dealing with and the dream popped back into my head. I will prolly share that dream in the next blog. But what I realized is that God was already honoring my fast and speaking to me. I just love when He does that! Just confirms that I was supposed to do this fast and even in my pain I am still hearing His voice.

I ended up taking some muscle relaxers because my neck was so stiff I couldn’t move and even swallowing was hard. I sat down on the couch ready to read, pray and worship and fell asleep. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open if I wanted to. I slept til 5:00. I lost my whole day but I go days with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep, so I guess my body really needed the rest. That’s why He spoke at 1 in the morning hahahahah.

I’ve moved from regretting the mountain to putting on my hiking gear and wanting to climb it. I want Him to show me how He works so I can live the way I was made. Fasting and prayer give me joy in the journey!! I am seeking to hear more from my father and with every step, I am asking, “What can I learn from what’s going on all around me.” I’m praying for wisdom to speak life into all the things that have felt like death and that He would help me to share what I have learned to help other’s deal with their mountains or at least to encourage them to want to climb it!!

When You’re In It To Win It!

I started my weight loss journey in April of 2018….Or should I say my millionth attempt at weight loss? At this moment I am down 17 pounds. This is the slowest I have ever lost on a weight loss plan but it’s one that I have to say I enjoy the most. I’m enjoying cooking so much that I’ve probably in three months cooked almost half of the recipes in my cookbook. I have three cookbooks. I’m trying things I never would have tried before and opening up a new world of tastes to me. Who knew that you could bake desserts with white beans, black beans, spinach, and okra. You couldn’t have paid me to even look at okra in the past.

I’ve been off of processed sugars and fake sugars for three months. Did I say I have…had a sugar addiction. I now use stevia which is a plant-based sweetener. It took a little to get used to the aftertaste but I don’t even know the difference now.

I am also off of white bread, white potatoes, and white rice. I think the hardest thing to give up was pizza but thank God there’s cauliflower pizza and I love it!. I also have yet to try the pizza recipe in my cookbook. I’ve been going in order from front to back with the recipes. Don’t ask….it’s just how I roll.

So how do I know I’m in it to win it? Since starting this weight loss plan, I have been in pain from some severe things going on in my neck. It started on my right side in my shoulder and shoulder blade. I went to see a Dr and he did an MRI on my neck. Much to my surprise, it was my left side that was in bad shape. The miracle was I wasn’t experiencing any discomfort or pain on that side. My Dr. was puzzled. Well that all changed two weeks ago and then I learned what level 14 type of pain was. It’s right up there with birth and kidney stones. Some days I want to put my fist through the wall; it hurts so bad.

I also lost my little Jackie (schnauzer dog)of 15 years last week. Watching him have seizures on top of my pain was killing me. That dog went through so much with our bigger dogs. We always thought he had nine lives and would outlive us. I have cried for days.

My daughter and her husband have moved across the States and my youngest and his wife will be joining them in the fall. I won’t see my daughter leading worship anymore and it kind of hurts but I am so happy for her.

I’ve also lost my dreams. I’m kind of at a place of not knowing what God has for my life. Only four months ago I had incredible visions only to watch them slip away from me. I’m sitting here with this huge mountain in front of me not knowing whether to climb it, go around it or make it go away. I’m totally open for whatever God wants me to do. I just don’ t know what that is.

BUT

in the midst of all of this, I have never cheated or wavered off plan. I have stayed focused and not even felt the need to eat off plan. I am/have been a pain and emotional eater and here I am sticking with this plan that I am totally on board with. I have no desire to go back to sugar eating which has always been my narcotic. I don’t look for reasons to cheat or make excuses to eat in an unhealthy way. I don’t ever want to touch processed sugar again. Every other diet I have done, I couldn’t wait to get to goal so I could add junk again….and I made up for lost time. Everything I eat now, I know is good for me and doing good things for my body. That is exciting. If I can overcome temptation in my hardest days, then how much easier will it be when my days get better?

That’s how I know I’m in it to win it!!!

Why Diets have not been a “Lifestyle Change” For Me!

If you look up Diets on Google a ton of different diets show up and for the most part all of the ones I have tried are on that list except for Weigh Down. I have been successful on each one if you count the weight loss. But changing my lifestyle never happened.

Why? Because I couldn’t wait to go back to eating all the food I was denied, especially the desserts. I did attempt to do the maintenance plans for each but for some reason when I quit eating “their food”, I started gaining. Then in frustration, I would throw my hands up and go back to all my old eating habits. Sugar…sugar and more sugar.

I tried using that mentality that it was a lifestyle change because if I convinced myself of that, I would go to goal knowing I wasn’t going to gain again or so I thought! I have great discipline while dieting but once I reach goal, game over.

I would jump back on the diets but once I did it and reached a small goal and then gained again, it held no interest for me. I lacked the same excitement I had at the beginning. I think because I knew I did it, I conquered it, but it didn’t stick so subconsciously I was probably going to repeat my failure again. Now I never repeated the diet with that attitude in front of me. I always went in with a positive attitude but deep down I have become a professional diet yo yoer! Just keeping it real here.

Now I know we are trained to think that this is a lifestyle change because it really is speaking life into our situations but for me it is just a cycle repeated over and over again and I find I am a slave to the products that are being sold rather than to just eating real everyday food the right way.

To be perfectly honest, I am sick of counting points, measuring my food, eating other companies products, drinking nasty tasting shakes, eating bars that either want to make me gag or on the other hand make me want to eat more, drop down windows telling me which foods I can substitute, eating sugar substitutes that I am finding out later a really bad for you etc……. I have suffered from horrible stomach pains that lead me to the ER, gas, bloating, hair falling out, leg cramps, migraines, memory loss, horrible embarrassing sounds coming from my stomach, nausea and stinky breath. There’s prolly more but I can’t remember. <wink>

I FREAKIN WANT FOOD FREEDOM!!!!

Today the only measuring I am doing is when I am cooking from a menu. Yes, I am trying something new again but I don’t feel this is just a diet. I’m following a couple of guidelines but everything I do is using real food right from the grocery store minus sugar. I am adding some natural nutrients I have never tried before but I don’t have to if I don’t want to and it’s an added benefit, not a required one. I actually love Stevia now!

For the first time, I don’t feel enslaved to a diet plan or diet food. I’m not counting calories or carbs and eating fake food resembling real food. If I fall, four hours later I know I can jump right back on.

Now I am not dissing diets altogether. I’m dissing them for me hahahahahah. I know people who are successful after they have reached goal and are still doing thier plans with great success, not many but there are a few out there. And I applaud their efforts as they will most likely help another person along through example.

I also know that what works for one doesn’t always work for another. This whole blog is about MY journey not someone else’s and I’m just sharing with anyone who happens to stumble across it and likes reading what I write and to keep me accountable and recognizing all the good things that are happening to my body as well as weight loss.

Blessings from a trim and healthy mama wanna be!

The Things Diets Have TaughtMe!

So in my last blog, I shared how a little bit of every diet philosophy I’ve been on has now come together in this new healthy plan I am following.

One thing I learned that has always stayed with me but not been followed faithfully is to eat till you are satisfied, not till you are full. I hate that feeling of being full. Seriously if you think about it, if you eat till satisfied, you’ll actually be hungry for your next meal and not eating for comfort or pain. I learned to let my stomach tell me when it was hungry. Today I am eating every three to four hours but it’s usually my tummy that is saying when it wants to eat. I don’t find myself watching the clock until the next meal!

The second thing I learned was to eat the best parts first. An example: if you have a cinnamon roll everyone knows the center is the best part, right? But we usually save it for last. If we eat it first, then if we’re not hungry we’re not still stuffing to get to the center. We can stop when we feel satisfied.

I’m a weird eater….but I know there of some of you out there that will relate so don’t even laugh at me. I eat around my plate. In other words, I start with one food group, finish it and move on to the next. Eating this way gives us the mindset even if we are full, that we need to eat everything on our plate. Most of what I am eating now is combo foods that you eat all together and guess what… I don’t always finish it all!!! This is incredibly freeing to me.

The third thing I have learned that a great meal can be lean and green. You don’t have to have potatoes or rice to round off a meal. A meal can be truly satisfying with a nice chunk of protein, a veggie and a luscious fat! Real butter people, not that crappy margarine stuff!!

Now potatoes and rice aren’t bad, sweet potatoes and brown rice are better for you, but you don’t have to mix them with fats just a nice protein, veggie and carb and you can still lose weight and feel good. We don’t have to learn to hate food! Well except for sugar and dietary sugars. Sugar is poison for me but in its pure form like Stevia, I feel more in control. Oh and the things they are finding out that the “diet” sugars do to you, well let’s just say I wanna keep my mind.

The fourth thing I have learned is not to believe everything you read. For example, once I read that the first two bites of anything are where and when you get the best flavor. I talked myself into believing that for the sake of the diet I was on. But then I put it to the test…I don’t know about you but when I eat something that tastes good, every bite is full of the best flavor hahahahaha. That’s probably not the best thing to remember but it’s how I roll.

I haven’t had sugar for three weeks now. I’m not drinking diet soda anymore. I drink water or tea. I carry liquid stevia with me. Oh and yesterday I brought my own dressing when I went out to eat cause I don’t want to go back to that horrible sugar addiction I had.  Alcohol to an alcoholic is what sugar is to me. I sat at a meeting a week ago with desserts galore on the table in front of me and I didn’t even want to indulge. All I kept thinking was I have stevia now and I can go home and make something that tastes amazing and be healthy for me.

I’m sure I’ve picked up a few other things that I can’t remember at the moment but the things I’ve mentioned are the ones that stand out. I’m enjoying the learning process as I try new recipes and how some of the ingredients are actually helping my body! I’m wondering as I put wonderful things into my body if it will help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia that I suffer from every day. Wouldn’t that be something? One can certainly pray, hope and dream!!!

 

A New Journey Begins!

Three weeks ago I started the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and so far have lost 7 1/2 pounds. I actually wasn’t expecting to lose anything this first month as my body is healing from the bouncing around of other diet plans so this was a pleasant surprise. What I am surprised about is how great I feel about what I am doing!!

I have dieted on and off and on and off since 1978. Every new diet brought new challenges and weight loss. I loved challenges! I always got to my goal on each diet but never could get over the comfort that food brought. The last diet I went on I lost 13 pounds and the food was great but I just never felt good.

I am a pain eater. I suffered tremendous mental pain for 27 of those dieting years and add on physical pain from fibromyalgia, a bulging disc in my neck, and back pain that isn’t fibro related, gallbladder surgery, knee surgery, and you end up with a diet of comfort food, comfort food and more comfort food which created a sugar addiction.

Every diet I went on allowed me to get sugar in and sometimes I would have an all sugar day from points that allowed it to bars that were filled with it to brand named desserts that oozed of it. It was crazy!

At our small group the first night we met, the ladies were gathered around the counter talking about recipes. I went up and looked to see what they were doing and I couldn’t believe people lost weight eating those recipes. I was hooked and bought the book and two cookbooks. I had planned to go back to an old faithful diet that I kept going on an off of but was saved that night.

I’m not going to name the other diets but this plan and I do mean plan not diet that I am now following is awsamazing!!!! For the first time I feel and know what I am putting in my mouth and how it is helping my body! I am using only stevia that is pure as my sweetener, none of those other ones that they are always finding that are bad for you. I am trying things like whey protein, phylum flakes, glucomannan , mineral salt, pressed peanut flour, collagen and other amazing things I have never heard of. I’m reading about the health benefits  of each of these and everytime I use them mentally and physically I am feeling good!

I am finally sleeping through the night…still  a night owl and can’t fall asleep early but once I do, I am actually sleeping. It’s such a relief after so many years of insomnia and waking up exhausted. I am still dealing with physical pain but I’m actually letting my stomach tell me it’s hungry and using other methods like breathing and exercises to deal with the pain.

I’m not rushing to the scale every single day because I am more concerned about eating healthy and letting my body heal then weight loss but of course I am celebrating the losses. I think it’s pretty cool that I forget to weigh myself at the beginning of the week. That never happened before. I think I have a whole new mindset that is really looking at this as a lifetime of healthy living.

What’s even crazier is that there’s a little bit of every diet philosophy I have done in this one plan. I’ll try to share that next time.

 

21 Day Fast: Day 11

Sometimes when I read scripture, I’m always looking for the deeper meaning or something I missed the first 100 times I read it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that unless you miss what’s right in front of your face.

I’ve done this with John 4:21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

As I was reading it yesterday I realized I never truly read this in the context that it was written. I just focused on …” true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” Yesterday I saw the whole context. the woman at the well was talking about a place to worship but Jesus was talking about who and how we worship.

How did I miss something so simple and right in front of my face? When we totally understand the truth of why we worship which is our salvation and the author of it, there is absolutely no place that can’t become sacred.

When we understand what the Father did for us through Jesus, how can we not become passionate people loving a passionate God? How can we not fully engage our hearts in that worship of Him? He is the truth and the purpose of our worship.

If we worship without truth and pour our emotions into it then it’s almost like a drug high lasting but for a moment. What happens when we come down off of that high? I think there are times that I have got caught up in the emotions and not the man. Does that make sense?

But there are other times when I am totally engrossed in what was done on the cross and that’s is when I find my worship real and spiritual. Am I the only person that has got caught up in the hype? This is really making me think about my worship. There’s no doubt I put my whole heart into it. I love to worship. I love music. Combine those two and it’s like a food frenzy. I think too easy though we forget to invite Jesus to that frenzy even though we sing about HIm. Just being real here.

The more we know about God, the more we enjoy Him. The more we enjoy Him, the more profound our worship becomes. The more profound our worship, the more God is glorified. It should be the “truth” that guides our emotions in our worship. We need to be careful not to always be chasing the high.

Really if you think about it, if we are worshiping in spirit and truth, that high can be in your car on the way to work. it can be in that special place on the floor in your living room, in the kitchen while you’re doing dishes, in the bathroom while you’re scrubbing the toilet, and in your workplace at your computer.

I wonder what would happen to our corporate worship and our prayer meetings if we stopped looking at the “mountain” or “Jerusalem” as the place to worship.

About 20 some years ago I started leading worship. We were combining a traditional church with a contemporary church. I can remember really trying hard to get our congregation to focus on the person we were worshipping not the style of music. I would talk about it all the time. It’s not an easy transition when you are new to leading and combining two different styles of worship.

So an opportunity arose for me to take a couple of people with me to a Worship Together conference in southern California. It was an amazing conference. Matt Redman, Tim Hughes was there and few other newcomers to the scene and this really odd looking weirdly dressed worship leader was there. Haha, I’ll get to him later.

So I am loving Matt Redman and Tim Hughes and we go on break. when we come back this weird looking guy with dark-rimmed glasses steps up to lead worship. His music was a bit different. Not what I was used to and I can remember having a hard time getting into it. (You see where I am going with this?). So I’m telling the Lord. “Lord I really don’t like this guy’s style of music and bam! Everything I had been preaching just slapped me hard and I mean hard in the face. The Lord began speaking to my heart and said, “Diane, you need to read the words.” (The same thing I was trying to convey to our congregation).

I began to read the words and I died inside that day. I was so humbled, broken and drowning in my tears. I was so sorry. I was recognizing the hypocrite that was living inside of me. I wanted to just fall to the floor and die. I remember the Lord telling me to stretch out my hands and I could feel His love all over me. As I stretched out my hands I had a vision of Christ and me on the cross and I was in Him and He was in me. It was the first time I understood that concept. I mean I really got it that day.

After worship was over we broke into classes and wouldn’t you know the class I went to broke down the Jesus in me: me in Jesus concept, God was reinforcing what had happened in worship. My worship and my life were changed that day.

Oh, the weird guy with the dark-rimmed glasses and weird hair…………no other than David Crowder who I have loved from that day forward.

So yesterday was my fruits, veggies and nuts day. I think I like those days the best. I woke up with a stiff neck and back, think I pulled something and put some essential oils on it and this morning I felt great! My stomach is still a bit whacked but nothing debilitating. I love the things God is showing me. He’s really provoking my thought life. I’m looking forward to more as I continue to dive into the book of John.

21 Day Fast: Day 10

Sunday in our new Knowing God class the question was asked, ” What does being an heir of Christ mean to you.?” I listened as we went around the room to the different thoughts and all I could matter of factly say when it got to me was, “Everything Jesus has is mine.

And then I thought of the scripture that says 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ( John 14)

I don’t feel like I have done greater works. Three amazing people that I know in the last couple of months have gone on to be with the Lord. I look at their lives and think: when I die what legacy will I have left behind?

I’m not out taking care of the homeless although I have helped when we were pastoring another church. I haven’t been out in the world protecting people from harm and although I pastored with my husband for 17 years, I was pretty much in the background. Not sitting on my butt and doing nothing, as I am always doing something but most of what I do is behind the scenes making everyone else look great.

I love that part of my life because I love helping people become who they were meant to be. I’m not a person that needs to be famous although I do love a praise or two for the work I do sometimes. I mean I am human after all.

I love standing in front of a group of people and sharing my experiences with them for the sole purpose of encouraging (my #1 spiritual gift) them in their relationships with the Lord but if I walk in a room full of strangers and I’m not the speaker or in charge, I’m your typical wallflower. Well…….unless you talk to me. Then I will talk your head off.

I did write a book but it’s about fasting but (really?) who reads a lot of books about fasting by an unknown author? I have given out more books then I sold. Of course, we didn’t do much to publish it cause we were saving that work for my next book. And at the rate I am going, I may die before I publish that one.

But what about the “greater things”? I can’t pinpoint any of those things in my life. I don’t think I lack the faith to accomplish them. One of my top spiritual gifts is faith. I have a very introvert but wanna be extrovert type of personality so I’m not much of an initiator UNLESS I’m put in charge of something. Then I initiate like crazy.

I have a lot of faith. I believe when everyone else wants to give up. Often I can see the end result but then again often I’m way ahead in my dreams and visions and they get put on the shelf until someone else comes along and puts them in place or makes it happen hahahahha. You know what? It really doesn’t matter who makes it happen just as long as it happens.

So during this fast, I’m asking God to show me if I am supposed to be doing “greater works” then what I am doing. I just don’t want to miss out or not help someone with something when I should. Jesus was all about changing people’s lives. When I attended the “Celebration of Life” services for these people, I’m amazed at how many people these people have been touched or had their lives changed because those who passed on were doing the “Greater Works”.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have guilt feelings because everything I do do I put 100% effort into it. But am I doing enough? Am I loving enough? Am I encouraging enough?

The scripture says to love our neighbors as we love ourself. Heck, I don’t even know my neighbors. Ok, I know the word neighbors is a broad territory. It’s not that I don’t want to know them but it’s sure not the world I grew up in anymore. People are so busy that they don’t even have time to do things together anymore or perhaps it’s just because they don’t make the time. And I certainly don’t try to ignore my neighbors. I try to catch their eye just to smile or say, “Hi”. I even tried to help one of my neighbors find their missing dog. And I entertained three of my other neighbor’s dogs when they came through a hole under the fence until she got back. Ok so I am a dog lover: guilty!

Jesus said whatever we ask in His name He would do so that the Father would be glorified. That’s my prayer: what “greater works” can I do so that my Father will be glorified. Those are the things I truly want to ask Jesus for. Now if I could just get these thoughts to quit spinning in my brain………………Maybe they will now since I’ve just written them out.

So the last couple days of the fast have been a bit rough for me physically. My stomach is not happy and yesterday as I was writing this blog I fell asleep for two hours. Not sure if the fast is messing with my stomach or some kind of virus keeps trying to attach itself to me. I’ve been battling it for months. Could be allergies. I just don’t know. But in the midst of it all, I press onward looking forward to what the Lord has to say to me today!