All or NOTHING!

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Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Last night (11/6/12) while watching the results for #Decision2012, I’ll admit that I fell asleep waiting for the concession and victory speeches.  I fought to stay awake the ENTIRE TIME, but fell victim to the sleep monster.  I saw portions of Romney’s speech… and the same for Obama, but the most memorable part of that night for me was being awakened by an unexpected visitor.

After all the speeches were made and electoral votes were in, I continued to doze off.  Asleep sitting up on the couch I hear a knock at the door.  It was loud enough to wake me up, so I wait to hear it again.  It was nearly 2 a.m. so I figured if someone was knocking it was important.  Sooooo, I fall asleep again.  AGAIN, I am awakened from my slumber by a knock at the door.  It was a little more difficult to wake up this time.  I began to utter something in my subconscious, but I remember looking at the door and trying to get to it.  Once fully awake I no longer hear it.  Noting the hour I figured my roommate was trying to wake me up so I could get in the bed.  I glanced down the hall and the lights were out in her room.  My friends who know me are aware that I can sleep through ANYTHING! So, Unable to keep my eyes open much longer…yep…I fall asleep AGAIN!  This time I am awakened by a more urgent knock at the door.  Again, it is hard to shake this sleep…I was in deep, but I remember barely opening my eyes, staring at the door, and trying to utter something.  My heart and spirit are still shaken.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been awakened from my sleep by a knock at my door.  In the summer of 2010 after toiling in my spirit regarding school and all of the crazy things that happened at the culmination of my graduate program, I was awakened by that very same knock.  The fact that it happened 3 times is what scared me the most.  Being a believer I went straight to the word.  There was one scripture found in the KJV that had contextual relation to “hearing” a knock, Rev. 3:20.  Contextually, Christ is giving direction to the church of the Laodiceans with regards to their being ‘lukewarm’… (#scary)… verse 20 is preceded by Christ stating…

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

With that being said, I repent of all sins committed knowingly and unknowingly.  I am a God chaser, I am on fire for him… at least to my understanding.  I know that I have been wrestling with my complete surrender for a WHILE…, but I’ve recently been making earnest efforts to re-position.  There are a few stains on my record that haven’t made the front page… But, with all the dedication to Kingdom building a bad decision (or two) and/or being slightly reluctant to LET GO (yes, I’m slightly afraid) has placed me spiritually in the church of Laodicea.  Personally, that’s #DEEP!  To think that someone can go their entire lives ‘working’, but without the complete surrender it is all for naught….  Yes, these are things we know, but when it hits home…..

Stepping out on faith isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Its like free-falling…  Its a BEAUTIFUL experience….I’ve done it before, and He has delivered in ways I can’t even begin to explain, but it is still SCARY!!!  He has shown me countless times the peace in obedience and submission.  For that I am undoubtedly pushing forward, but time is apparently of the essence.  With that, I solicit the prayers of my family and intercessors.  To my recollection He has come twice, which means he hasn’t given up on me despite my shortcomings…..  There is still yet work for me to do…  He still trusts me!!!!  I have opened the door of my heart.  I have released the hold I had on my hopes and dreams, and sincerely pray that His perfect will become mine.  I have a love for Christ that cannot be compared to that towards anyone else (mommy & daddy have 2nd on LOCK! LOL), and I don’t want to suffer eternally because of fear….so, I launch out further into the deep…further into the unknown…out to a place where only He has control….

What’s the Cost of the Oil….?

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In the previous post I mentioned my experience with the mechanic/cashier at Jiffy Lube, and shared how I felt led to repent after reflecting upon our conversation.  He and I literally went back and forth for about 10-15 minutes about the price of my services!  I was definitely in RARE form.  I shared that he decided to honor my GROUPON, and only charged me for 1 quart of the oil I wanted.  Following his adjustment I was STILL adamant about paying what I owed for the increased quality of the oil I had put in my car, but he wouldn’t let me.  On the drive home I seized the opportunity to reflect upon the conversation and my actions, God really spoke to me through this entire ordeal…

After acknowledging the age of my vehicle (vessel) and knowing the distance it has to travel daily (and even weekly), I already knew that I needed the high mileage oil.  I was waiting on the guy to ask me, and was prepared to pay the difference for the quality…. I just wasn’t aware that I’d have to pay for a complete “upgrade” to my services.

For starters, I figured that I would only be responsible for the marginal cost of the upgraded product… wrong!  There are different levels of sacrifice for the varying levels of anointing,… I mean oil.  I wanted the best oil for my vehicle and  I was willing and prepared to pay the marginal cost, but the cost of the next level came with an unforeseen expense.  I couldn’t help but parallel this situation with my Christian walk.  Yes, I’m only 2-?, but I have been on the journey since the age of 2.  For lack of better terms, I have a lot of miles under my belt!!!  I have MUCH further to go, but over the past 2-3 years I’ve realized that I want to fully experience the power of God!  I want to see and do everything I can during my natural life… hear stories of how the very same God has changed/shaped the lives of others.  I want my faith to be tested.  I have been told to “be careful what I pray for”, but I guess I’m a glutten…

As a ministry leader it is truly my desire to worship, teach, and speak from my experiences with Him.  There are some things I can express without the one-on-one session, but going to the next level in worship and ministry will require a different level of personal sacrifice.  No, I don’t have a clue of what it will cost, but I’m sure it will be more than worth it.

Back to the oil change… as we were wrapping up our conversation, and I am insisting on paying for my oil, the cashier says, “It won’t work the way you want to do it, it still won’t be enough.”  He said soooooo much right there!!!  After we’d had a somewhat mild discussion about me wanting to pay for what I asked…and I even agreed to pay for the upgrade, he reminded me that it still wouldn’t be enough.  I IMMEDIATELY thought about my relationship with Christ…  No matter how hard I try… how much I argue, fuss and fight… I will NEVER be able to FULLY pay Him the debt I owe for my gifts.  He’s ALREADY PAID THE COST…. paid it in full with his life!!  So yes, in order to move to the next level of ministry and to experience what God has for me, I will have to make unforeseen sacrifices…  It may end up being more than I ever thought it would be, but in the long run the benefits are immeasurable!

I walked away feeling HORRIBLE, but received a few wonderful blessings….  1. You answer the call before you fully know the cost…  2. If you want the upgrade, you have to be willing to make the sacrifice… and, 3. When you try to do things your way you will always come up short.  #SimpleTruth

I Just Want to Pay for the Oil!

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Soooooo, after work I decided to maximize my morning by FINALLY getting my oil changed.  Although I added two quarts 3-4 weeks ago, the truck has been running hard/loud… I’ve been getting less gas mileage, AND driving it began to feel like a chore!  I was even more excited to use a coupon I managed to find on GROUPON … $35 for a Signature Oil Change (half-off)!!!

With all that excitement I grabbed breakfast and headed to the nearest Jiffy Lube to cash in on my great deal!!  Coupons are a great cushion to ANY budget!  The oil change comes with a tire rotation, rain-x treatment, fluid check, and vacuumed  floor boards #ThankyaJesus!!!  So, I pull in and explain to the mechanic that I have a GROUPON… He does his thing, and the process begins.  They let me know I have a few runner break lights out, so I’m like cool…  Asked if they could replace them for like $8.99, I was like, “nah, I’ll take care of it”.  They proceed to ask about all these fluids and cleanings and such, and I proceed to decline respectfully, lol.  Finally, the gentleman asked me if I would like the same oil I always use.  I said, “sure”!  I drive a HIGH mileage vehicle and the synthetic oil that comes with the GROUPON won’t cut it, so I was willing to pay the difference in the price of the oil for the better product.

They begin working to Rain-X the windshield, and I removed everything from the floor so vacuuming would be a breeze (I figured I could at least do my part…  The car is wretched o_O!).  They topped off my fluids and even pulled out a filter for something (I don’t quite recall), and suggested I get it cleaned.  I said cool.  I’ll handle that later.  We were off and popping!  Taking a seat inside I nibble at my breakfast, finishing just in time to hear “Ma’am, we’re done with your car!”.  I’m like, “SCORE!!  Absolutely perfect timing!”  So, I bounce over to the counter EXCITED about cashing in my GROUPON and paying the difference for the oil upgrade when the fun begins….

The gentleman behind the counter said “Ma’am your total is $3?.??.”  I had the same look you probably have right now…. o_O (ummm, scue me?!).  In the calmest voice possible I asked him to explain why my balance was $30+ when the GROUPON covered the cost of the procedure and I had to pay the difference of the cost of the oil upgrade.  After going back and forth for a few minutes about the differential, the gentleman said, “Ma’am, an upgrade to the high-mileage oil package adds $2?.??, plus an additional $6 for the 6th quart of oil.”  Wellllllllllll, when did he plan to tell me that?!  I knew I’d have to pay for an additional quart (because I drive an Expedition), but where did this “upgrade charge” come from?!  I am normally not the argumentative type, but I proceeded to inquire WHY I had to pay an additional $20+ when the ONLY THING THAT CHANGED was the quality of the oil.  It’s the same Rain-X, same vacuum, I skipped the tire rotation, and they used the same exact fluids that would have been used to top everything off… I was utterly confused at WHY I would still end up paying almost $70 for an oil change, and I had a GROUPON!!!!  By the end of our conversation I figured we had met at a common ground, and I was ready to just pay my bill and move on.  But, somewhere in the discussion the gentleman decided to charge me for the GROUPON deal and the additional quart of oil.  The price ended up being drastically different from what it would have been if he would have just let me pay the differential, so of course I tried to pay what I owed!!  After several efforts of trying to convey to him that I want to pay the price I owed for the oil differential… (dude, I want to pay!!!), he respectfully declined and continued to review the details of  the GROUPON purchase to avoid this happening in the future.  During his service recovery process, a few of the things he said caused me to reflect….., and eventually repent for my attitude and behavior towards him….

To Be Continued….

God IS

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1 Corinthians 10:26 KJV

For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

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Who wouldn't serve?

Psalm 42

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Psalm 42:1-2a (NIV)

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

This is exactly where I am right now…. not straying to the right or to the left, I thirst after God.  I just need to dwell in his presence!!!  For the past few days I have been in some kind of funk.  I’ve been questioning decisions, relationships… overwhelmed with some extreme emotion… needing to hear that still, small voice….  The easiest thing to do never seemed so hard.  I need Him soooooooo much right now!!!  He knows me better than anybody!  He knows my heart, my most inner workings… and He knew just what I needed to hear today during service.

Following the unction of the Holy Spirit, this mornings sermon was replaced with the first few verses of Psalm 42.  Not only do the words echo one of my FAVORITE songs, it spoke directly to my desert place.  Knowing that He said He’d never leave NOR forsake me, the human/emotional side of life can lead us to question irrevocable truths.  Since life only comes with one manual, I feel obligated to do exactly what it says…

Psalm 34:1-4 (KJV)…

 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Some days I feel like I’ve strayed away…, but then He’ll give me a small sign that I’m on the right track…just stay the course… Some days I just simply feel lost… but I pray, meditate and worship, and He provides direction (mostly through nudges or Chuck Norris drop-kicks, lol… I can be stubborn sometimes!!!).  But, at the end of the day… when the music stops and dust settles, its me and God. I often times have to proclaim a few things…. speak the word into my life…  remind myself of His promises and what His word says about me…

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Psalm 37:23 (KJV)…The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Galatians 6:9 (KJV)…And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

When God Winks at You

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How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence

Those extraordinary little events in your life happen for a reason…

The short of the long…. this book is AWESOME!!!!

It was a great, refreshing read.  There can often be weeks… even MONTHS between the time I purchase and read any particular book.  I purchase when my heart is pricked, and read when my spirit is lead.  I received a personal “God-Wink” the moment I cracked the pages.

For a little personal background, I started the blog to help me build the framework for my first book.  The plan is to fill the book with events and circumstances that have taken place in my life (and a few friends…with permission, of course) that could have only been acts of God.  This book is EXACTLY THAT!!!  It blessed me to read about how others have cried out to God for closure, comfort, or confirmation and He delivered in a way only they could understand… almost as if he wrote the answer to their prayers in the sky!  It gives an account to people who received and unction from the Holy Spirit, and their willingness to comply allowed them to be in the right place at the right time to fulfill a specific duty.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.” -Psalm 37:23a (KJV)

I laughed, cried, held my breath in anticipation, and gave thanks to the creator from cover to cover.  It is a quick, inspiring read to confirm that your “weird” moments have a purpose, and that “voice inside your head” knows what it’s talking about!!

There is a reason you took a different route that time, a reason it seems like God hasn’t answered your prayer,… a reason you have an undying dream deep in your heart, and why you can’t seem to figure out why the little thing mattered.  God is simply speaking to you in terms only you can decipher.  It may not make sense to you or those around you.  Just remember, you were placed in the earth with PURPOSE!!  Even if you haven’t found it, God has YOU on the path of discovery :D.  I think you should grab the book…. your reading this entire post wasn’t a coincidence…. #ImJustSaying

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (KJV)

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(Sidebar… I think I got it from a Dollar Tree OR Goodwill.  If you want a copy shoot me a message or something.  I’ll see if I can find another.  #PayItForward)

God is NEVER Wrong…

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God is NEVER Wrong

Everything happens with purpose in mind.

I received this in an e-mail from a family member… Sometimes when we ask “why?” or get upset about what God allows, just remember He knows the purpose and plan. Quick, encouraging read.

A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances would say: My king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect, no mistakes!

One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty from losing a finger.

Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman said…

“Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger.”

The slave replied only “My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows the “why” of all these things.What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!”

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

Later, he left for another hunt and was captured by savages who made human sacrifices.

While on the altar, ready to sacrifice the noble, the savage found that the victim had a missing finger and so he was released. According to them, he was not complete enough to be offered to the gods.

Upon his return to the palace, the king authorized the release of his slave to whom he said very affectionately:

My dear slave, God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: If God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?

My King, if I had gone with you in this hunt, I would have been sacrificed for you, because I have no missing finger.

Therefore, remember: everything God does is perfect. HE is never wrong .

(Author Unknown)

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Often we complain about life and the negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose.

Every morning, offer your day to God. Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, to ease your feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

Do you know why you read this message??? I do not know, but God knows, because he never makes mistakes…….

The path of God and his word is perfect, without impurities. It is the way of all those who trust in him, as he says in 2 Samuel 22: 31.

Surely this message arrived at the right moment. May God put in your heart the desire to send it to someone. Do not be ashamed like or share. God knows, He knows why.

God is never wrong!