Monday, January 30, 2012

Faith to Faith

Have you ever noticed that the faith you had in the past isn't the same faith you have today?

There have been times in my life when things have happened to me suddenly--something I didn't see coming or I didn't expect--and I had to hold on to whatever amount of faith I had in God's plan for me. I shared one of those experiences in my first book, "Forecasts & Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life". Being sued by my former employer hit me out of the blue. I didn't expect it and was devastated, wondering if I'd ever come out the other side victorious.

Romans 1:17 says, "For in it the righteous of God is revealed from faith to faith." What is "faith to faith"? That means the faith you HAD isn't the same faith you'll NEED as you encounter life's trials and tribulations. There will be times when you'll think back to the faith in God you HAD in the past to get you through your current situation, but your faith in God will grow to a greater faith as you listen to the Holy Spirit and grow in a more intimate relationship with God. When your faith in God grows, His righteousness is revealed to you.

I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in a yesterday faith. I'm seeking a NOW faith in God to catapult me into a deeper relationship with Him and His will for my life!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Barbie is away today and will return to the blog Monday.

(Barbie will be speaking Saturday in Natchez at the Hampton Inn from 10am-11am. She will present Rodan & Fields products and business for possible franchise owners.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Detractor

One of the classes we are doing in home schooling our 8 year old Gracie is called Critical Thinking. It teaches logic in solving problems and equations. I was never a master test taker, so it's been quite the challenge for me to help her.

When doing Critical Thinking, one thing we're learning is there are numbers or words put into the problem which are designed to be detractors. They have absolutely nothing to do with obtaining the right answer and are set to get you off course. If you don't know what the detractor is, sometimes you can think it's important to solving the equation only to realize it leads you to the incorrect conclusion. Other numbers or words are pertinent to the answer. As a critical thinker, you have to determine which are important to solving the problem and which are not.

When you know in your heart God is telling you to work on a particular area of your life or to move forward with the commission He's given you, there are detractors along the way. I share some of the detractors--problems and those who gave me problems--in my first book "Forecasts & Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life".

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

There have been many occasions in my own life when the detractors have come in the form of people, negativity, circumstances and even trials. Instead of focusing on them and allowing them to get you off course, stay focused on God. He knows how to solve the problem and how to get the right answer the first time!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Judgemental Spirit

Being in the public eye, I know what it's like to have critics. Whether it's my clothes, my hair, my weight, and most recently--the correct use of "farther" and "further"--someone always wants to point out something I need to improve or change. The person more likely to be the most critical: self-professing Christians. Oh, they may say they aren't being critical at all and just pointing out a flaw, but the judgemental spirit is written all in their words and actions. If you're like me, you can spot them from a mile away.

I want to share with you a Word straight from the Holy Spirit revealed to me this morning.

Psalm 50:16, "But to the wicked, God says: 'What right do you have to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother's on. These things you have done and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face.'"

God makes is abundantly clear that He knows who those Christians are and He is not impressed. He takes it one step further (there's that word again!) and says "I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face".

If you are dealing with critics who claim to follow the Lord but follow you with their negativity, hold on to the promise the Lord has given in His Word and leave room for God's wrath.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce this Thursday.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Smell of Death

A viewer called me the other day wanting the forecasted wind speed for the coming day because he was going duck hunting. I found myself having a flash back to my days growing up at home. My dad and brother would go duck hunting and bring back their find and commence to plucking feathers. Afterwards, the worst smell of singed feathers and flesh would permeate the outside. I can still smell that stench to this day. Yuk!

I wonder if the Old Testament temples smelled with their burning sacrifices? Figuratively speaking, the more death God smells, the closer He can come. The New Testament equivalent of death is repentance, brokenness and humility. It brings the manifest presence of God near. Acts 17:30 says, "These times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent." But we often avoid repentance because we don't like the smell of death in our lives or our desires. Although the smell isn't enticing to us, it is very enticing to God because it is a signal that He can once again draw close to those He loves.

What do you need to put on the altar to sacrifice? What do you need to get rid of in your life--a lying tongue, an extramarital relationship, a habit, an attitude? Even Elijah didn't ask for the fire of God to fall down on the altar until he had loaded it down with a worthy sacrifice. We've been praying for the fire to fall for too long, but we haven't put anything on the altar!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Not As 'All Together' As I Thought

I'm a go-getter. If something needs to be done, I'll do it. If something mechanical needs fixing, I can't promise I'll fix it, but I'll at least try (and sometimes make it worse). My parents raised me to be independent and not to rely on anyone else to "fix" my life or my situation.

However, this personality trait of mine can sometimes be my biggest downfall.

I get tired of trying to make things happen, don't you? For some time, God has been convicting me to stop being in the conductor's seat and let Him take over. Now He wants to make it happen! In the same way you and I might feel embarrassed in a restaurant or grocery store when we see someone's children acting up and getting away with it, God feels the same way about our self-righteousness or pride. God is uncomfortable with it--in our home, in our workplace and in our church. We are not "as together" as we think we are.

Philippians 3:12 says, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." Paul was basically saying, "Father, what are You doing? That's what I'll do."

But that takes quite a bit of repentance on my I'll-do-it-myself attitude. Repentance is the answer because it prepares the way for God to move and makes the road of my heart straight. Repentance prepares for His presence. In fact, you can't live in His presence without repentance.

How long has it been since you laid down everything that you've been trying to "fix", everything that occupied you, and ran down the road of repentance to pursue God?

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at Brandon Baptist's ladies brunch this Thursday.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

All You Need To Do Is Rest

"I feel like you are a lot closer to God and our Lord Jesus Christ. That's why I'm asking you to put me on your prayer list. I've had so many things go wrong in the last 2-3 months that I don't even feel worthy enough to pray for help. I try to do things by helping others and it always seems to backfire on me. I'm not doing something right or at least the wrong way. I don't feel comfortable telling anybody my weaknesses so I'm asking you to pray for help and healing for me."

I received the above email this week from a viewer who is obviously struggling. We all have issues that come up and hit us out of the blue; trials we weren't expecting.

The reason the children of Israel wandered in a small, triangular piece of land for 40 years was because of unbelief and restlessness. Hebrews 3:12 says, "See to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." Verse 19 says, "So we see that they were not able to enter (the Promised Land), because of their unbelief."

If you are a child of the living God, you must believe that He has a perfect plan for you and your best interest in mind. The children of Israel didn't "get that" because they were too busy second guessing God's ways. The Israelites thought they had a better plan in mind.

The next chapter of Hebrews tells an even greater message. Hebrews 4:1-10 are a just a few verses but it mentions the word "rest" a total of 8 times. The children of Israel didn't have faith, or believe, in God's guiding hand which got them stressed out, worried and frazzled, which did not allow them to rest in Him! Are you seeing the correlation here?

The stressors in life are going to come. It's a given. But if you believe God will get you through, even on the toughest days, you can rest (and have peace) that He's in control.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Limping Into 2012

As I was driving to Neshoba County yesterday afternoon to spend the day with the family, in the quietness of the car I reflected on the past year. I began to think of what the Lord has been dealing with me on this coming year, the areas of which He wants to see me grow on a deeper level and the areas in my life He will be increasing, I couldn't help but notice a dog up ahead. The dog was limping and had it's front paw drawn up. The other dogs walking in front of him were able to navigate the roadway without hesitation, but he was being left behind. His lack of endurance was getting the best of him.

Although the New Year causes many to get excited in anticipation of the coming months and the changes ahead, some are already limping. They were limping at the end of 2011 and now they find themselves limping into 2012 and it's just a few hours old!

Romans 15:5 says, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourself as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Our God will give you endurance to hold on and keep believing and encouragement to square your shoulders and move forward.

Romans 15:13 says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Our God will give you hope and a settled confidence that the God who loves you will work night and day on your behalf as you trust in Him.

Whether you find yourself running or walking into 2012, you have God's Sovereign Word that He will help you climb the upward path, one "limp" at a time.