Monday, November 4, 2013

The Famine is Over.

1 Corinthians 2:9
(image source)

On October 20, 2013, Pastor Joseph Davis shared a powerful message at High Point Church.  He referenced 2 Kings 7.  Elisha prophesied the end to Samaria's famine.  Pastor Joseph said, "I believe The Lord is saying 'the famine is about to be over.'"  He asked us to identify and write down our own famine.  Here is what I wrote down: "Nizza's trouble with workers & business.  No time for family, QT w/Coop or husband."  He told us to write it down because it was the last time we were going to look at it. 

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..."  I shall not lack. (Psalm 23:1)

For every prophetic word spoken or promise made, the devil sends a counter-attack to cause doubt in our minds, to try to shake our faith.  Elisha was mocked by the king's officer, "even if The Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?"  Even when the enemy attacks, refutes, and disputes the Word of God, it is futile because "God is not a man that He should lie, nor is He the son of man that He should repent.  If He said it, shall He not do it.  If He spoke it, shall it not come to pass?" (Numbers 23:19)  "I watch over my Word to perform it." (Jeremiah 1:12) 

When you've received a promise, expect a little intimidation.  The devil will show up to talk you out of that promise.  But it doesn't change God's Word.  Pray, stand, speak, agree--in faith--"call those things that be not as if they were (Romans 4:17)...speak to that which is dead, in the name of Jesus.

Hebrews 11:6 says "But without faith, it is impossible to please God..." He is the Rewarder of faith.  Verses 30-34 say, "by faith, the walls of Jericho fell...Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets...conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of flames, escaped the sword, became powerful in battle..."  Your faith will cause you to subdue a kingdom.  There is no other way to obtain the promise than by faith.          

Four men with leprosy sat outside the city gates, forbidden to enter the city, and said to each other, "Why sit here until we die?"  They were ready for a change in their condition.  Pastor Joseph asked "Why are YOU sitting there?  in famine, in lack, anxious, being held hostage? When the word has come forth: 'by this time tomorrow, the famine will be over.'  How long are you going to put up with THAT? on your paper."

Staying where you are is not an option.  Something has to give.  Something has to change.  A breakthrough is on the way.

Proverbs 6:31, "Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house."  In other words, if it bankrupts hell, the devil has to pay. 

Your exit to your famine is when you exit from your circumstances.  If your circumstances don't line up with the Word of God, they're standing in the way of your destiny.  Move from where you are. 

The lepers planned to surrender to the enemy army, but when they got there, the army had abandoned their camp.  They were able to plunder the camp, but they didn't keep it all to themselves, even though they had been outcasted, they shared the spoils with the city.

If you find yourself in famine, you first have to get up.  "Get up, go take it!"  The end of your famine is waiting for you.  Don't stay where you are; the enemy has already vacated.  Claim God's promise.  Your act of faith will cause others to also act in faith.

This same afternoon, my husband called me to encourage me.  He called to tell me to not lose hope, but that we were on track to attain our long-term goal in business.  He had actually used these exact words with me, "We're not just going to sit here and die."  My husband was not at service with me.  The Holy Spirit used him to make it clear to me.  My famine was coming to an end.   

The following week, I got 4 out of 5 days off work.  I got extra time with my son.  Extra time with my husband.  Extra time with my grandparents, cousins, parents, and with my church family.  I also had time to help various family members with major moves, overdue doctor's visits, and home improvement projects.  He perfected the things that concerned me and those around me.  My husband also got extra time off.  He is truly the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

I am so grateful for this message, for my church, and for God's hand on my life.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor entered into the heart of man--
the things God has prepared for those who love Him."
~1 Corinthians 2:9
"And we know that God works all things for the good of those who love Him."
~Romans 8:28
"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."
~Jeremiah 29:11   


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


God has been dealing with me.  Calling on me to be obedient to His Word.  to His ways.  His purpose, His power, and His presence.  And ultimately, to His glory.  This ministry that is mine.  that is my life.  nobody (in the flesh) ever asked me to live it out.  I "inherited" it, so to speak.  and it is my joy.  my heartbeat.  it is in. my. blood.

When He called on me, when He chose me.  predestined me.  i need only to obey.

and i pray to Him:  {order my steps, Lord.}  guide me.  [lead me.]  reveal to me Your will.  so that i may obey.  use me, Lord.  ~show me signs and wonders.~  be ever-present.  i surrender.

and I pray:  thank You, Lord, for the women you've sent into my life to mentor me, and to provide a covering {a protection} over my life.

and i get this in the mail...
and i can't even.....

diligently seeking Him is what started this journey.  He has stretched me.  He has grown me.  He has compelled me to seek and obey.  Seeking and obeying is "different" than it was when i was less mature {in Him}.  The conviction I feel is intense.  His Spirit guides me strongly towards choosing right over wrong.  Life over death.  Words vs Silence.  

So here's my confession.  I inherited this ministry.  Seemingly be default.  And even though church membership was a requirement of leadership, I simply hadn't fulfilled the requirements, yet.  And I knew that I didn't have to.  Nobody would know.  But THAT voice--was NOT the voice of Truth.  so i took the class.  and it wasn't a "big deal" per se...except that it blessed my socks off!  being in a room of believers who love God, love people, and who love their church (MY church!) and it's vision???  YES, please!  

and even though i am already apart of a {not so} small group, i arranged for extra help at work so that i could ensure my church attendance, and go an hour earlier to attend a leadership class.  couldn't hurt, right?  He whispers {obedience} in my ear.  often.  as He reminds me: {you are qualified.}       

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." ~Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

"Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.  For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me." ~John 15:4 NLT

"For those God foreknew, He also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified." ~Romans 8:29-30 NIV 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

why bother?

I find myself surrounded by irresponsible grown men...and paying the price for every single one of them.  What does this all mean? 

I just pray I can raise my own son to be a responsible man.  One who loves God.  who loves his wife.  and children.

it hurts to see them all wasting away.  are we too controlling?  should we just let them fall?  let them fail?  flat on their faces? 

i'm taking my name off the title.  if they take it away, so be it.  if they boot it, so be it.  if they put out a warrant and the warning is not heeded because he just can't remember to take care of it.  whatever.  I can't continue to save grown men from their own beds.

some of them make a slow turn well into their thirties.  others don't ever.  but everything up until then...utterly, painfully...agonizingly...wasted.  So many of their loved-one's resources, efforts set ablaze.  With not a second thought.  No remorse.  No conscience.  No apologies. 

so why do we keep caring?  why don't we just save ourselves?  because we're designed to nurture.  to save.  to always keep the hope that they'll pull through.  And maybe take care of themselves one day.  And then maybe take care of someone else too, some day.

My prayer:  Lord God, thank You for giving me a heart that cares.  A heart that wants to see Your best in the lives of the people around me.  Even if it means I myself get burned a thousand times.  Thank You for the example You set here on earth.  I faithfully follow the call on my life to love; thank You for numbering all of my days.  Thank you for placing the people in my life who need You most.  May they always see Jesus in me.  Amen. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My own battle with addiction

"He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and broke their chains in pieces."
~Psalms 107:14 NKJV

December 23, 2012 was the day I quit smoking cigarettes.  I only remember because it was the last church service my little brother attended with me.  My husband and I had just had a distinct conversation about addiction.  We concluded, "how can we expect him to quit shooting heroin if we can't even quit smoking??"  My brother had barely made it through service; he nods off when he's high.  He nodded off a whole lot during that morning's 9am service.  We get back to the car in the parking lot, after service, and he starts to light up a cigarette; I snap at him, "what are you doing?"  He retorts, "what?" 

"Can you please not light up in the church parking lot, for goodness sakes??" 

I drop him back off at our parents' house; he's wasn't working at the time because he couldn't be trusted with any money.  We thought maybe that would prevent him from using.  It instead just made him more conniving.  He found ways to sneak around, lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, anything it took to score one hit.  It's still a mystery how much he has stolen from my parents.  The last time my dad asked him to leave, he found credit card statements a month later with cash-advances charged by my brother on grocery runs.  Since my dad is disabled, I'm sure it was easier to have my brother run into the store to pick up a gallon of milk for my son, on the days that they would help watch him while I was at work.  He took full advantage.  We're still not completely sure how he did it.  My dad thought it was safe to hand him the plastic instead of cash.  That day my dad asked him to leave, he was just in the next room.  My brother often stepped out back to smoke a cigarette.  My mom had gotten home early from work, and noticed the car was missing from the street, where it was normally parked to the side of the house.  My dad was completely baffled.  How did he sneak the keys from the pocket of my dad's pants?  How did he leave without him hearing?  How long had he been gone?  How did he get the money?  Who is he getting it from?  How did he get in contact with the dealer?  How many times has a drug dealer been to our house and know where we live?  Seen our nice cars parked in the driveway?  How? What? Where? How many?  How long?  WHY?????

So much effort has been expended into investigating my brother's schemes.  We're all so worn out.  Burned out.  Starting to feel numb by the constant presence of the devil in my brother's midst.  He allows the darkness into all of our lives, by allowing it into his own.  It's so unfair. 

They say quitting cigarettes is harder than quitting heroin.  I wouldn't know, because I've never been on heroin.  But I do know they allow cigarettes in prison.  They allow cigarettes in rehab.  And I've heard it's because it's impossible to treat nicotine addiction.  That's why all of these cigarette companies have been able to figure out how to capitalize on it providing a "safer" alternative.  I agree the vapor/e-cigs are "safer" than regular cigarettes that contain tobacco and a gazillion toxic chemicals, but it is still an addiction.  It's still substance abuse.  I pray it doesn't create a new phenomenon of an accepted form of substance abuse, like so many other habits that have been integrated into society.

I decided I was going to lay it at Jesus' feet.  And see if He could help me quit.  {of course, He did!}Every time I had an urge, I prayed "Lord, I lay it at Your feet.  Please take it from me."  I had recalled this intriguing, very well-written blog post (I wish I could remember the blog title or blogger's name, so that I could bookmark it) in which she compared our giving up an idol as a sacrifice to Him.  She described how we could set it on fire, just as people had done in the Old Testament, and offer it to God as a sacrifice, and that the aroma would be pleasing to Him.  Craving by craving, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month...The Lord helped me resist each temptation.  I have not taken one drag of a cigarette since before that day.  I was not going to be made a hypocrite.  If it's not good enough for my church's parking lot, it's not good enough for God, and He expects more of me.  I answer to a Higher Authority.  I had been smoking cigarettes, on and off, since I was 15.  I "quit" multiple times, but this time I knew, I was done forever.  Because I cannot take something back that I had given up to God.  He took it from me.  And it is done.    

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
~2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

C is for Cooper

Cooper is happiest on the train tracks & he loves his Mommy.
Photo captured by: Angelica Plata of AngePlata Photography

Four years ago, at midnight, my husband, step-son, and I loaded up our SUV and headed to the hospital.  My mom met us there.  We endured 14 hours of labor, and at 2:16pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, my baby boy was here. 8lb 11oz.  Healthy, strong, and beautiful.

Everyday he shows me how God's hand is upon his life.  He was created to do great things.  He is proof that God exists, that God is always good, and that God is always faithful.

C is for Charming.
C is for Charismatic.
C is for Caring.
C is for Considerate.
C is for Courageous.
C is for Comedian.
C is for Cooper.

He is everything I could have ever hoped for, dreamed of, or believed for in a son.  And I am incredibly blessed he calls me "Mommy."  I am over-the-moon, madly in love with him.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us," ~Ephesians 3:20