Monday, January 31, 2011

So long January...

Wow. What a month January has been! But here comes February, and what blessings it holds!

To be sure, I will be sharing sooner rather than later all the happenings! It's going to be a good year... and even beyond "good"... a fabulous one so long as all those involved continue to give Him their full attention, study, and heart! Diligence is a grand thing and leads to countless blessings!

At the top of the blessing stack are the tremendous doors God is opening for me to share Him with the masses. Years ago, "speaking" was spoken over me, but I did not see myself as a speaker. But you know, I never saw myself as a writer either, but I am one. ;o)

I have long believed that when He calls a person to do a thing, He equips them to do it. Moses was called to lead, but he certainly didn't see himself as a leader at the time of his calling. He was equipped and trained by the One who created him for exactly such a purpose. There are numerous examples in the Word of people being called to do a thing way beyond what they perceived to be doable. But that is -- after all -- the point. There is no greater thrill than to participate in something you know you can't possibly do of your own accord, but then be enabled to do through the touch of God. Nothing compares with such a feeling. Nothing.

For me, the wilder the challenge, the better. I crave life on the edge... no, beyond the edge of my abilities... because only then do I really see God in the scope of His glory. Truly, what a Body He would have if we all dared to follow Him beyond the edge of our abilities. He has never let me fall.... and He never will. Beyond the edge is where one walks on water. It is a thrill like none other.

The key point is to accept what God speaks as being one's reality.... sight unseen. I'll remind you that is called "faith" --- a very necessary and pivotal point in a Christian's life.

Recently someone asked me an interesting question having to do with my faith walk. "How can you know where God is leading you if you are so detached from (the world)." Actually this question has come up before, and I am sure others have thought it, but just not spoken it out loud. You see, we don't have TV, rarely listen to the radio, don't subscribe to magazines, and only take the Sunday paper for the few coupons I clip. (Literally we toss the paper out 99% of the time without opening the first page.) But you know, I wouldn't have it any other way.

One day, I am going to leave this world behind and spend eternity with God. "Why wait?" is what I say. I love spending my days with Him; considering Him, talking to Him, listening to Him, sharing the reality of Him with others. This world has so many pointless distractions that not only seek to drown Him out, but succeed with many to do just that!

I sincerely know --- not just believe -- but know that when I am tuned in to Him... He is all I have need of to keep me exactly where I need to be, when I need to be there, doing exactly what He wants me to be doing. I don't need 'signs' to read or the rapid fire of current events as interpreted by man coming at me from all angels. To me, it isn't sticking my head in the sand when I focus my waking energy on the One who controls everything. If I have a need to know something, I have found He is highly efficient at telling me exactly what I need to know.

We humans use all manner of reasoning to support our way of life .... the whys as to what, when, and how we function and the choices we make throughout our day. But let me ask you: How would YOUR life change now if you began living it like you stepped into eternity? What would fade away as pointless? And better yet, who would take center stage not just in thought... but in heart and action?

The natural progression is that our thoughts impact our actions. The difficulty is too many of our "God-thoughts" are put off because we perceive we are not in eternity ...yet. As such we are quick to replace our God-thoughts with flesh thoughts. We go from pondering God to "what's for lunch?" or the thought of reading His Word to "What time is it? My show is coming on" in a skinny minute.

Don't mishear me. Certainly we are to eat, and there are things to be enjoyed, but those things are not to displace Him and take priority over Him to the point we delay or do not invest at all in substance of concern to Him.

I challenge you today to begin arresting your God-thoughts into immediate action. Don't let them zoom on by! Those thoughts are tomorrow's harvest seed. Determine to catch them from the world's wind that seeks to whisk them away. And then be found planting them by following through the Godly action point!

So permit me to ask again....

How would YOUR life change now if you began living it like you stepped into eternity?

What would fade away as pointless?

Better yet, who would take center stage not just in thought..
but in heart and action?

Just something for you to ponder as you step into February tomorrow.....

Loving you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Half-off Sale -- TODAY ONLY !

Please visit our store and take advantage of Joy In The Morning's one year anniversary celebration! We are so thankful for all that God has done this past year! It is our joy to pass on the blessings to you! May you richly enjoy and learn from the reading of this treasured book!

Check out what our reader's are saying HERE!

And order HERE!

Love to you this day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sale Coming This Saturday!

Spread the word!
Please forward this link to everyone you
know who could benefit from this event!

In celebration of Joy In The Morning Ministries, Inc turning ONE year old this Saturday, January 22, 2011, my book will be priced half off from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm (EST).

So, if you have thought about getting it or have someone the Lord has put on your heart that needs it, take advantage of JITM's birthday!

****ONLY through the ministry's website!****

(Book reviews are also on the website!)

"Beyond the Greenhouse"
$7.00 plus tax and shipping.

**Saturday, January 22, 2011, from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm!**

Thank you for celebrating with us!

To God be all the glory!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catch Up!

Did you think I fell off the edge of the world? I am glad to report I have not!

My time has been absorbed in legalities, making sure Joy In The Morning's "t's" are all crossed and "i's" are all dotted. It has been no small undertaking, but profoundly worth while. If the foundation is not shored up and secure, nothing long-lasting can be built.

I was just prompted by God to pull out Joy In The Morning's official legal documentation. Do you know what I discovered? The "babe" is almost one year old! On January 22, 2010 at 4:10 PM, Joy In The Morning Ministries, Inc was officially birthed as the date and time were recorded by the Secretary of State. Can you believe I even have a TIME of birth? I didn't even know I had such thing until RIGHT NOW because I was "in the moment" last year. Birth is an intense process, let me tell you!

How surreal to think back on all God has done in a year's time. I am overwhelmed as I sit here with this revelation God has just brought before me. What will I be able to write about next year when the "babe" becomes a toddler?

[Precious Lord, please continue to shape me into a person You can trust to go the distance with You. I can't fathom stopping..... I just can't.]

I have missed writing. I have missed having the time to share "God-nuggets" with you! But as of today, I am done with my "t" crossing and "i" dotting.... at least for awhile. (As my mom would say, "I have eaten my turnip greens!")

I am sure I will have other things to learn and plenty more to do as I go on down this path mapped out by God, but I feel His pleasure right now. It is a good place to stop and soak for a bit, to rejoice and acknowledge all He has done. It is as if He is saying, "I know you didn't care to do all that, but it opens the door to move forward now."

We must be found faith-full and obedient with what we are already given before He will permit us to move on. To do anything other is "bad parenting" on His part.... something He is completely incapable of doing!

I have, through the courses of "turnip greens" in recent weeks, had a bit of pleasure, however. This past weekend I took my daughter to a friend's horse ranch. Over a hundred acres of heaven on earth! He is a college friend that God has caused to come across my path again after 20+ years. What makes this reunion extra special to me is the following. Since childhood, I have dreamed of having a horse named "Chester." I can see him so clearly in my mind, but I am no artist, so I only used to have a picture of him in my mind. I never said a word to anyone about Chester. In fact, to be real candid, I thought he would simply remain in my heart.... a hidden treasure of sorts. Well, one day, about a month ago, I mentioned Chester to my very best girlfriend. I believe the conversation was sparked by my daughter's ever growing love of horses, and her desire to own a few in her future. A few days after mentioning Chester to her, this came in the mail.

Everyone, meet Chester!

Turns out, she was shopping that night we were conversing on the phone... the night Chester was shared with her. She said that as we talked she found herself on the toy aisle of the store, and stopped dead in her tracks, looking eye to eye at Chester. She said there were other horses there on the shelf, but she knew he was it. She knew it was God's desire for her to get it and send it to me. BUT, I was totally unaware of this until I opened the package that came in the mail! So you can imagine my shock! What is extra special to me is I didn't describe Chester's appearance to her, but this model nails him exactly how I have seen him in my mind all these years. Isn't that just like God? What this precious gift speaks to me is "never give up hope.... never."

Well, a few weeks after receiving this little gift, which by the way, sits on my bedroom dresser, God brought the re-connection with my college friend. I could not believe it when I discovered he is a third generation horseman, full of knowledge and connections. My daughter and I traveled this weekend to spend time on his farm while my husband spent time with our two sons. I kept saying to my friend on Saturday, "I just had no idea. I just had no idea" (that he was into horses). Over lunch, I mentioned Chester to him, and he immediately (without me asking) said, "Send me a picture so I can be on the look-out for Chester." He was serious! And my heart skipped a beat. Now, had this happened before my girlfriend mailed me Chester, I would have stumbled all over myself trying to describe him. But, now I have a picture I can send him!

Over 30 years of being content with Chester in my mind and heart I could hardly believe that just maybe God would bless me with tangibly having him in the not too distant future. Oh, to hug Chester's big neck would be the full realization of a childhood dream come true. We will see where all this goes, but God's tangible gift to me once again confirms He sees the deepest, unspoken dreams of my heart ..... like was there ever any doubt? Seriously? But the joy of that tangible little horse on my dresser just brings it a bit closer to the surface.... you know?

Someone a few weeks ago said something negative to me about the possibility of having Chester one day because of where we live and what I do. But as soon as they said what they said, I said, "If you only live in the now, now is all you will ever have." When I said those words, I knew it was God speaking those words through me. Truth. Unmistakable truth.

Someone needs to reread that. Is that someone you?

"If you only live in the now, now is all you will ever have."

I live by faith based on my heart's desire being bent to Father's heart. Back years ago I didn't see in the natural how God was going to do what He placed in my heart to do, but at the time I was compelled spiritually to believe Him over what was my "now"..... and yes, even in the face of negativity and doubt from others. My life today is surrounded by things that were solidly birthed in that faith sphere, and as long as He keeps saying "Believe Me, daughter, believe Me" -- I will be found believing Him for what I do not see, yet hope for. (Hebrews 11:1) Amen?!

Well, I am glad at least for the time being I have a clean plate with no turnip greens to eat. I trust you, too, will be found obedient and faithful in the things He asks of you.... understanding that whatever is on your plate is for your good to those who are in Christ Jesus. Dig in! The sooner you begin "eating," the sooner your plate will be empty too! And you know what follows the meal, right? Dessert, of course!

And as for faith and hope, remember my words I spoke a few weeks go:

"If you only live in the now, now is all you will ever have."

Choose a life that is lived by faith and not by sight!

Loving you today!

PS: Quickly I'll now share the picture of the necklace that was sent to me back a few months ago. You can read about it HERE. For those who have read my book, isn't it just perfect? I smile every time I see it.... such a treasure. May we all grow where we have been planted and rise up as living testimonies to God's realness, love, and promise!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Give Yourself a Pep Talk Today!

"Be in the season, enjoy the season,
there is a purpose to *every* season."

(Just giving myself a pep talk on this COLD morning with snow due to arrive this weekend.)

The power in our thoughts *can* be a blessing... or a curse.

I choose blessing.

Empower yourself today toward 'blessing' by controlling your thought-gate. The fact that we can do *that* is a blessing in itself.... amen!

Seeking to encourage you today! Twice in 12 hours, three times in 24 hours! ;o)

(Believe it or not, I really do think about my readers every night as I go to bed and in the morning as I sit with God.... and countless times through my day. How many of you will I get to meet this year I wonder? I pray it ever increases from year to year!)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wonderful Testimony

Have any doubts about Matthew 6:8 ("...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.")? Read this wonderful testimony from a friend of mine and be encouraged!

"Shout it from the roof tops!!! I serve an AWESOME GOD!!!!! I have an incredible testimony to share. This may be lengthy but definitely worth it! I was contacted by a headhunter this week about a job. I decided to go forward as the job sounded like something I would thoroughly enjoy. At the same time I also applied for relicensure of my foster parent license in December. So, this week I was contacted on Tuesday, phone interviewed Wednesday, face interview today and job offer at 4:15 this afternoon!!! Talk about fast. Well, not 10 minutes after I got the job offer, the agency that I foster parent through contacted me and said my application was declined - why??? Are you ready for this! Because I didn't have a full time job. It is a new requirement effective 1/1/11!!! Nobody that I have been working with was aware of this requirement therefore I wasn't aware. But my God certainly was and He had everything in place before we even knew why. I am sure you can tell I am beyond excited and just needed to share the awesomeness of God with all of my friends!!!GO GOD! By the way - If I did not have a job, I would have lost the 2 children I have currently in 2 weeks. They are also very excited by all God did today!"

Smile and know that God moves on behalf of His own even when we are not aware movement is required!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bountiful Blessings to 2011

Good morning, world~

So did you stay up to welcome in 2011? I did. But I must confess that I did so only because I have children who think it is cool to have an excuse to stay up past midnight. Years of living will teach them wisdom that counters "cool." Until then, I joyfully 'suffer' with them, knowing the gift of forming memories with them lasts but for a short time! I sure am glad they chose to 'hang' with me as we said "goodbye" to one year and welcomed in another! (My littlest one just came in the room and hugged me, yet again, saying, "Happy new year, mom." Memories, I tell you, memories!)

Now diving right into my thoughts this morning, God brought this passage directly into my scope:

Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold
of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider
myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us, then, who are mature,
should take such a view of things.
And if on some point you think differently,
that too God will make clear to you.
Philippians 3:13-15

"Forgetting what is behind...." Sometimes that can be a sizable challenge, especially when life has dealt us blows we didn't see coming. Truth is it takes time to reckon with these types of blows... to come out of the "shock" phase and into the "coming to grips" phase.

Surrendering into the unplanned, and often painful, events of life is not surrendering into doom and gloom when God is Abba in one's life. Quite the opposite in fact.

Often times I weary from all the glorified phrases we come up with that sound great -- that sound "faith-full" -- but fall flat upon the heavy-laden soul. Often times such phrases can be like trying to fill one's sails with a hand-held fan!
It doesn't work.

Truth is God more than understands the make-up of the human soul... He created it. He knows it takes time to recover from a stumble, a wound, or an all-out fall. Much like a caring parent, God doesn't expect a hurting child, for whatever reason, to "suck it up," hold back the tears, be strong in the face of sadness, shock, loneliness.

No, He holds us gently until the tears subside and our words of expression run out. Only then --- only then -- can we truly forget what is behind and press forward.

In those intimate moments between us and our Father, a supernatural exchange takes place. He takes our pain, dismay, loneliness, failures, tears, and hopelessness in those moments of realness, and returns to us His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Moving forward doesn't happen by "sucking it up" ... by muscling our faith to subdue our wounds. No. It happens by being transparent. "When I am weak, then I am strong..." for those who abide in Him.

I deeply appreciate this truth: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (I Corinthians 1:25)
I much more prefer His "weakness" than my supposed (and woefully inadequate) strength.

If 2010 visited you with blows that took the wind out of your sails, I want to strongly encourage you to simply take time today with Abba Father. Lay your head upon His shoulder... look out into the great expanse of 2011 that lays out before you... and talk out 2010 with Him...give time and place for the supernatural exchange to take place. There is tremendous healing that occurs in His presence.... tremendous release found only with Him.

You can not... you will not... move forward "toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (you) heavenward in Christ Jesus" until you take the time and address the past in the presence of the only One who can exchange hurt for healing.

So very thankful that He will escort me through 2011 and reveal many spectacular attributes of Himself as I choose to abide in Him... and He in me! How about you?

Loving you today....