The Mountain Before You

So Jesus answered and said to them,"Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, it will be done."

To Jesus the size of the obstacle did not matter, it was the pureness of faith.

As I read this scripture, I decided to look up the meaning of the word mountain. Everyone knows the meaning of "mountain", but I thought I would check and discover something new.

Here's what I found; as lifting itself above the plain.

I don't know what the definition speaks to you, but to me it defines those obstacles in life that "lift themselves above the truth I walk in".

Is. 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

1 Corinthians 2:16

For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Amplified Version puts the last sentence this way, "But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.

Eph. 2:6 (amp)

And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together (giving us joint seating with Him) in the heavenly sphere (by virtue of our being) in Christ Jesus.

When I remain on the same plain as the obstacle before me, I am not the spiritual giant that I hoped I would be. I feel weak, defeated, worried, and unsure. But when I take that mustard seed of faith, the one truth that is pure and I focus on Jesus, my thoughts become His thoughts. My ways become His ways, and my perspective is a Heavenly perspective. I see the obstacle in front of me as gone. I can see myself on the other side, and He can begin to guide me through.

Declarations to change the way we think:

I have the mind of Christ.

I hold the thoughts of His heart in my Heart.

He is for me, not against me.

His ways and thoughts are higher than mine, so I choose today to be seated with Him in Heavenly places.

His thoughts for me contain purpose and hope.

The mountain before me is cast into the sea.

Posted on 08/14/2015 09:08 in Uncategorized

Three Powerful Keys

Sing, Believe, Abide

Many songwriters over centuries have written songs from the very heart of God. Not only songs about how God loves us, or how much we love him, but powerful songs that are "dangerous" to sing. Many of these songs were written to stir passion in others to know the very heart of God.

A few weeks ago I took some young people to a church camp. I was teaching the morning session for the older girls cabins. I believe in empowering women, young and old, in their identity in God. As I prepared the night before, I thought of a song that I wanted my granddaughter to dance with her flags. I knew I would be challenging her, but I decided to ask.

Hailey, my granddaughter, experiences some anxiety when she is away from the familiar. The day before I needed her, she was starting to become a little anxious about being away from her mom during the night. She was determined to overcome, but fear was trying to make its way into her heart.

1. SING (worship with declaration)

During the time we were waiting for lunch, I put my arm around Hailey and we went for a little walk. As we walked I sang into her ear, "I'm No Longer A Slave to Fear, I Am A Child of God!"

This new song from Bethel Music had touched her, and she would sing this with all her heart. On that day, the song needed to become her declaration over her life. I wanted to help her understand that, "we can't just sing the words, we need to believe them and act upon them."

The next morning the challenge again came to overcome fear as I asked Hailey to dance and fly her flags in worship during this same song, "No Longer a Slave". At first she told me no, then I reminded her how I have seen her focus on God when she dances. It is a truly beautiful experience for everyone when she seems to open a door to Heaven in her praise. She said yes!

Her "yes" led to a blessing for the girls that watched as she sang and with her whole body praised God in the midst of fear. The counselor asked her to dance before the whole camp that night for their "June Bug Theatre". Hailey ended the evening with the echo of "no longer a slave to fear" moving over the lake and through the mountains. Her beautiful flags were flying as she worshipped in dance.

Afterwards she ran up to me, full of joy, telling me how fun it was. She had touched the hearts of many with the power of God, but her own heart was released in...

2. Believe (faith that stands)

Believing to receive what we are singing and what we are declaring.

The song on my heart this morning is "Oceans" by United. The line, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders!"

We can't just sing this without believing it in the midst of the toughest situations in our lives.

As I write today, my heart aches with the loss of my granddaughter. As I hear "Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior!" I realize it is time to sing, believe and trust through abiding again.

Do I trust beyond borders?

Many times we trust where we are comfortable, not uncomfortable. Trusting beyond borders, to me today is trusting beyond what I do not understand and seeking the heart of God for whatever it is I need to know right now. The next step is to take what He shows me about Himself and then go deeper "in" Him to find out what I do with what I have learned.

Life brings many things that we have no control over and sometimes we don't get the answers to prayer that we expect. Then what!

3. Abide (trust)

In Jesus, He is in you, you are in Him, surrounded by Him, seen by Him, loved by Him.

The lie you may want to believe is that somehow, what you are going through is His fault. "Fault" is what we look for when we believe there is an unjust act. What has happened may truly be unjust, but trusting and abiding will lead to a deeper peace that leads to something greater......His Love.

Trust: confidence, to be bold, to be secure, to feel safe, secure and to be careless. His love!

Falling into the arms of Jesus, opening your heart to the presence of the Holy Spirit, resting in His love for you.

Hearts will hurt, emotions will seem uncontrollable, life will sometimes seem to be cruel and we won't understand, but this is when we need "keys" the most. Unlock the doors to His presence, let peace overwhelm you. Sing, believe, abide.

As Christians, many times we will expect people to just "gut it up" and walk through difficult things without understanding. I believe God wants us to "press in" not "gut it up". The Israelites knew God's works, but Moses knew God's ways and Joshua "remained" at the door of the tent of God's presence. When Joshua prepared to go into the promised land, God said, "I will not fail you or forsake you" (Joshua 1:5 amp.). He also told Joshua several times to be strong and courageous. The strength inside of Joshua placed there by abiding, would carry him through every situation he would face.

The strength to move forward doesn't come through your will. Strength comes through singing His will for your life, believing the declaration you are making and abiding in His presence, trusting the One, who holds you. Healing will come, peace will come, joy will return. He is faithful!

Posted on 08/10/2015 19:52 in Uncategorized

Empowering Women Part 4

Get ready! You are about to discover who you really are!

Many of you may have wondered about the title of these writings. I would like to explain it to you.

While reading a book "Fashioned to Reign", by Kris Vallotton I was made aware of a symbol that my computer cannot show. This seemingly insignificant symbol was used by Paul when he wrote to the Greek community. The scriptures before the symbol have been used for centuries to disempower women. When women in the church are disempowered, women in the communities are disempowered. Women's rights movements in the past freed women to read the Bible, vote, and to hold public office. They were also allowed to work, receive education, fair wages or equal pay, to own property, and join the military to help protect our country. How did women lose these rights in the first place? I do not suggest another women's rights movement. I am suggesting co-laboring as one to see God's best for our communities, regions, states, and the world.

The symbol I am drawing attention to is used all through 1 Corinthians. It is used to note that the statement before it is similar to a sarcastic remark (in my words). It would be like saying, "All North Idaho women are mean and ugly ἢ." (What, no way, nonsense) When the men of Corinth made the statement that their women should be quiet in church, Paul's reaction was, "what, no way, nonsense!" Further study shows that the Greek culture, in fact, made women gods. Christianity was all new to them, and the men of Corinth most probably could not answer their questions. Paul also encourages women to prophesy, where? I would imagine in the church, in the marketplace, in your homes, wherever God intends!

Women, your destiny is to reign in life. You were made to be powerful and free, not beaten, abused and judged. To reign in life means to be in control of you. When we live in control of ourselves, we listen to the right voice, and we choose peace over numbness to feelings, we begin to live powerful and free. When my goal is to be more powerful than a man, I have been misguided. When my goal is to partner for a better world, I am on my way to discovering freedom.

I do not preach a message for women's rights; I want to live a message that allows all women to live out their God-given destiny. I choose now to manage my internal world, manage my thoughts, and act out what is on the inside. Empowerment on the inside of me, released to those around me, gives others the courage to step up and change the culture where we live. When we live in the midst of lies, whether they are religious or inherited, we miss the journey of hope. My goal is to cause you to thirst for greater things, greater community, and peaceful lives.

Find a mirror and read the following:

I choose to live in peace.

I choose to listen to the voice of truth.

I choose to reign in life today.

My problems and my circumstances do not define who I am.

I am on a journey to fullness of life.

I will not allow my past to dictate my future.

Living free brings responsibility!

Posted on 07/07/2015 12:53 in Uncategorized

Empowering Women

Empowering Women

Part 3

The good news is, we get to choose who we listen to!

I heard the real life story of two rock stars recently. One, seriously addicted to alcohol and drank all the time; the other was a meth user for two years. Then one day everything changed. In a sudden awareness, while reading the Bible, they discovered how deeply and perfectly they were loved. In an instant, they began to think differently about themselves, and their whole life changed. Addictions suddenly were gone, and a new life began.

In another story, I read of a prostitute who saved two men from being killed by an army. Her heroic act saved the whole nation. Why? I think it was because her perspective of herself was different. She believed that she could experience true love; she just didn't know how that belief could affect her life.

I have heard a lot of positive teaching over the years, but what I saw was that there wasn't any power behind the teaching. There were a lot of words, people trying to change their actions, but not a lot of successes. What difference do you see in these two stories other than just positive teaching? I believe it had a lot to do with knowing how love feels. I believe that they discovered a love that was real, love that was caring in a way that brought strength into their lives, not just words. Believing I am loved changes the way I think about everything. Knowing that I was created to love and be loved causes the truth to rise in me and make choices according to truth and not according to the LIeONs.

During moments in life, we all experience opportunities to feel powerful love, but many of us ignore it because we don't think we deserve it. Someone forgot to tell us that we couldn't earn real love; someone forgot to tell us we were created in love, no matter who our parents were or what the circumstance. Creations purpose is always Love.

There was a time in my life where the word "love" just meant, "I need something from you". It didn't have anything to do with how I felt or what was important to me, but everything to do with what the other person wanted from me. Did you ever feel like that? I'm sure some of you have had that feeling. So, how does real love look and feel? Stop reading for a moment and just silently ask that question, "what does real love look and feel like." Now be still and listen, be still and know you are loved right now at this moment. What does it feel like?

Love should feel like peace; nothing missing, nothing broken. Life has a way of robbing peace. We end up missing destiny because of brokenness. I made the mistake of listening to my brokenness and the voices of other people when all the time Father was speaking to me the truth. I was born to reign in life, not be controlled, manipulated and judged by others. Learning how to hear the voice of peace and truth sets us free from the LIeONs of life.

Choosing what voice we will listen to is practiced by sitting quietly every day and asking, "what does real love look and feel like." It may take a while to get our senses used to the feeling. Often we grow numb, not wanting to feel anything because numbness is safer and easier. Take your time, don't be discouraged, you have an amazing army cheering you on every day. After all, what you don't see is more real than what you do see.

Begin by just looking in the mirror every morning and saying the following words:

I am loved more than I know.

I am more valuable than I know.

I am worthy to be loved.

I am worthy to live life with peace, love, and joy surrounding me.

I can feel Love now.

Get ready! You are about to discover who you really are!

Posted on 06/10/2015 15:35 in Uncategorized

Matt. 26:26-33

In verse 33 of Matthew 26, Peter declares that he would never "fall away" because of distrust or offense. He would not be caused to stumble.

When I think of the times that Peter could have been offended over 3 years, there was a lot of opportunity. There were times when Jesus said hard things such as: little faith, get behind me, are you stupid, dull of hearing, eat My flesh and drink My blood. I'm sure Peter is thinking, there is nothing that would offend me.

The thing Peter was not at all prepared for was what caused him to fear--Jesus leaving.

When Peter's ears heard, "I am raised up again", it must have left a different thought or vision in his mind. What Peter actually saw that night of Jesus's arrest was much different.

What if Peter pictured the whole dying, raised up again scene without all the pain, violence and darkness that accompanied it. After all Jesus had avoided this type of confrontation for three years.

What Peter saw was totally the opposite of his expectation. It didn't "look" like what he thought it would look like.

Many times, life, even life as a sold out lover of God does not look like what we thought it would. What do we do?

Peter does what most of us do the first time, hopefully we all learn from our mistakes, he runs!

Verse 34, Jesus tells Peter how he will react, Jesus knows the strength of the fear Peter will face. Jesus knew this even when he called Peter the "rock"! He knew when He spoke of the foundation of the church that the "gates of hell would not prevail against".

Jesus states a truth, Peter would deny Him, fear would come and it would take over.....for a moment.

Peter did not yet have all the tools needed to rise up against what came against him, those came in Acts 2, after the promise came, the fear left and boldness comes over Peter in a whole new way.

As we learn to yield to the power of the Holy Spirit instead of fear, we stop running and begin to live "IN HIM". Living IN HIM, allows peace in the storm of confrontation, tough decisions, difficult family issues, financial problems.....

Allow Holy Spirit to overwhelm you with His presence. It is for your own good and the good of others!

Posted on 02/06/2015 10:51 in Uncategorized

When Marriage Goes Wrong

Relationships are a big part of life, in fact, we can't have a life without a relationship of some sort. What we do when those relationships go bad is important for the next part of our lives. Let's take a moment to talk about marriage that has gone bad.

Divorce is not the ultimate unforgivable sin; it is just pain full or pain freeing. In many homes, abuse is the reason for divorce. Spousal abuse works both ways, and it can be physical or emotional with fear as the umpire.

In a baseball game, the umpire has a key to who wins or loses. How he or she calls the game can make a difference in who wins or loses. If fear is the umpire of relationship, the relationship will be lost, and no one wins, especially the children of the relationship.

A lot of times people ask me if I agree to divorce, yes and no. If there can't be a change of umpires, divorce from abuse is a must. Abuse was not the intent and purpose of our Creator. The original purpose in creation was peace and harmony of all of creation. If peace can be the umpire, you have a win, win.

I like working on puzzles, especially ones with lots of colors. It is amazing how all of those tiny pieces can fit together and make a beautiful scene. The hardest puzzle is the one you are trying to put together without a picture. How is it supposed to look?

This same thought can be very similar to marriage without a plan, pretty soon there are pieces of lives laying around that you have no idea where they fit or how to fix it. What happens when some of the pieces are torn or damaged?

Get help! Hurting people hurt people. When both are hurting from things in their past and present, the future looks dark and hopeless. The internal worlds of both people need to be able to be healed before the relationship can be healed.

Jesus has the answer to every problem. Don't allow a fearful umpire choose your destiny. There is hope! There is a future, no matter how bad it looks. Change umpires, get a different view of what marriage and family should look like, and finish the beautiful picture that God made of your life.

Posted on 02/04/2015 10:11 in Uncategorized

Is. 30:18

"The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice Blessed are all who wait for Him." Is:3018

God is Longing....waiting. After studying this scripture and some meanings of words, here's the reminder I found.

My loving Father holds back His compassion and favor until the last minute or last possible second to move me in the direction of peace and full happiness. While waiting for God to show His favor, I am contentedly being patient, waiting for Him to act. No matter what goes on, I am patiently waiting for God to act, knowing He will come through. Then at just the right moment, when no one or nothing else can explain the blessing, God is exalted in His releasing of what only He can do.

He steps in when all else fails, He is exalted. The truth about Him always prevails, He is the God of justice and we are blessed!

Posted on 01/26/2015 11:08 in Uncategorized

Empowering Women: (what, no way, nonsense)

Part 2

In my dream, I was suddenly aware of a change that was about to happen. I had no idea what it was, but it was like suddenly having your world literally turned upside down. Life is very challenging sometimes, you go along for awhile and things are wonderful, then all of a sudden…..change!! AGHHHH

I was about to enter an arena that felt a lot like the ancient coliseums in Rome (must be why I like the movie "Gladiator"). All eyes are upon you; half (if you're lucky) are for you and half are just anticipating your failure, then all of a sudden the LIeON is released from his cage. Will you defeat the lion (lie) or will you succumb to its roaring power?

Because of living in the Silver Valley all of my life, and probably being very naïve, I never have understood a prejudice. I just thought people were people. The older I got; I realized that people didn't like people that were a different color, or different size or culture than they were. I never paid attention, until the day my "dream came true". From that day forward I understood what it meant to suffer under the strong opinions of others, the LIeONS of life!

From the time we (speaking to women here) begin to lose the childlike "Princess", pure, joyful, free feeling, the LIeON has begun to speak. Abuse by a parent begins to speak of unworthiness of love, sexual abuse yells cheap and dirty, divorce screams rejection and abandonment, and suddenly life is being lived in the "normalcy" of the lie. It's okay to suffer abuse; it's okay to hate myself, it's okay to just have a job and party all weekend, what else is there to live towards!

Although the LIeONS I was facing were much different, they had a very similar effect on my internal world. I have spent the last seven years rediscovering who I am, who I was created to be and that I am dearly loved, extremely blessed and amazingly powerful. You may not see me that way, but my Father does and that is all that counts.

How does the journey to wellness begin? How do we rediscover who we are when every living thing around me wants to tell me something different, or treat me like I am not a person that actually has feelings?

Let me give you just one small tidbit to begin. Find one person who will believe in you. Then sit somewhere quiet, ask Jesus to join you and begin to form a list of everything that is positive about you. Look in the mirror and read that list out loud every day. I know it seems simple, but the best way to defeat a lie is to make the truth a bigger yes!

My gladiator experience began the day I considered the position of Senior Leader of Christian Life Center in Kellogg. I knew the journey would be interesting, it was one I did not think I prepared for, but here I was, suddenly in the midst of the strangest dream of my life. You may be thinking, "What is her problem?" The best way I can describe it is that suddenly I was being thrust into a different culture that had more prejudice than I could have ever imagined. Of course, every statement of "concern" came from the Bible. (That's the excuse religious people use when they are scared!)

Defeating the lion (lies) that people speak "into" us is definitely the most courageous thing we can do for ourselves. I had no idea that I would have to fight this type of battle and still do. Every year I am sure to get a reminder from some dear well-meaning person with all the reasons I should not be a Pastor. I have had letters and books left in my mailbox with highlighted passages of scripture. I had one person come as a guest to my church and proceed to question me about "who I thought I was". Suddenly my amazing dream wasn't as dreamy as I previously thought.

It is interesting how our enemy likes to steal our identity. When you forget whose you are, you become very aware of who he is, and that my friend is exactly what he wants you to do. The guy who smacks you around a little because he thinks its okay hurts the inside worse than the outside. A person who tells you "you are not good enough," no matter what position you are in, damages something on the inside that steals dreams and destiny. The good news is….you get to choose who you listen to!

More to come....

Posted on 01/04/2015 16:45 in Uncategorized

I AM! Take Courage

In Matthew 15:25-32 Jesus comes to the disciples walking on the water. At first they think He is a ghost and fear grips them. Then He speaks to them in a way that would encourage, invite and challenge their faith.

Jesus speaks the same words that God spoke to Moses in Exodus 3:14, I AM. I can just hear those two simple words resounding over the water and the storm. The key to no fear, the key to moving toward God, the key to faith.

As Peter hears these two amazing words, he remembers the story of Moses. He sees the Red Sea parting and his ancestors walking on dry ground to the other side.

Peter accepts the encouragement and seeks an invitation. Jesus invites Peter to join Him in an amazing faith challenge.

Are we hearing the "I AM" of Jesus today as clearly as Peter did that day in the boat? When we see things coming toward us that look fearful or destructive can we see Jesus walking right in the middle of it saying "come", "I AM" is with you?

I AM everything you need! Trust Him today!

Posted on 12/10/2014 08:25 in Uncategorized

Empowering Women

Empowering Women: (what, no way, nonsense)

In a recent conference I attended, I realized that I was carrying something on the inside of me that belonged to the women in the beautiful area that I lived. The message I discovered was a message of hope for all women. Not just for women in the church, not just for the un-churched. Not for the poor or just for the rich, but hope for all women that may feel oppressed and discouraged in their journey toward being all they were created to be. So, here we go!

Part 1

It began with a dream. A dream that was like a fairy tale that could never happen to this miner's daughter. After all, I made more mistakes in life's choices than a lot of other people. Accomplishing what was before me looked totally impossible.

At some point in their lives, everyone experiences dreaming of who they will be someday. Whether it is when you are little, then again in those teen years or even at the time of mid-life crisis (whenever that may be for you), we were created to dream. What if there is a dream inside of each person that is not a fairy tale, but the truth? But then, life seems to rob that dream of power, and it fades away for another day.

That is what happened in my life. A dream, a possibility, an opportunity was suddenly in front of my eyes, but yet how could that ever happen. After all I didn't grow up in a "religious" family, we barely went to church. For some reason, I could see the place of peace with God from the time I was young. Now all of a sudden I could actually see myself helping other people with words that seemed to flow like magic from the inside of me. Words that brought peace, joy, love, encouragement and a release for them to be absolutely amazing! How?

Then one day it happened, another dream. The most amazing dream ever. A dream that left me numb for several hours, what was about to happen?

My question for you, my reader, have you ever had a dream that was so real you were a bit concerned when you woke up? Did you ever feel like there was a presence in the room that was so real, yet you knew it was greater than human?

What do moments like these mean? I think they are moments used to remind us who we were created to be, moments when we are encouraged to pursue life and not just let life happen to us. I believe we have opportunities to partner with God in living our life's destiny. The problem many times is that we begin to believe the lies we have been told or experienced through the years.

Once in the life of a little girl there is a moment, a season of time where she felt special, beautiful, loved and cared for, then something happens. The little girl disappears many times way too soon in the Eyes of her Father. She disappears into the darkness that hides the beauty and majesty she was created to carry. A harsh word, a touch in the wrong way, a dis-connect with parents, all begin to form thoughts of identity that were never intended to be hers. Then one day she finds herself trapped in the life she never intended to have…what happened to the dream, what happened to the princess?

It is a wonderful thing to grow up knowing that there is love; so many never experience this kind the freedom. I see children every day angry at the world they live in because those raising them are angry in their world also. I don't blame them. When what has filtered through to the inside is full of pain, hurt and discouragement instead of destiny, vision and passion, life becomes less than the dreams being hidden.

All of a sudden the world on the outside, full of its problems, stresses and hurtful experiences consume identity and the princesses of the world become lost. Suddenly, before we know it, abuse becomes normal, fighting becomes normal, and pain becomes normal. Day to day life without vision becomes normal, divorce (or just several different partners) becomes normal, even sitting in a pew at church becomes normal. What happened to the dreams, what happened to the destiny that was breathed into us when we were in our mothers' womb? Will your life ever be anything more than this, is this all it is?

I say NOT…………

Posted on 12/05/2014 15:55 in Uncategorized