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Monday, February 28, 2011

Get It Off Your Chest!

Dear Women and Citizens of Heaven,

Tonight you can cry out to God and tell Him how you REALLY feel. I mean it! He really does care and harboring frustration and anger is not good for you. Tell Him why you are upset; get if off your chest. Know that He does care and that His door is always open for you! He does not want a root of bitterness to grow. God is your husband; don’t let the sun go down with wrath in your heart! I know it hurts and life is hard sometimes, but cry out to Him. He is there for you. He loves you, and He wants you to keep it real with Him. Trust me; you will feel better afterwards.

Keeping it real short and sweet,
Illy

Sunday, February 27, 2011

He is With You

Dear Women of the World,

It’s time to give a shout out of praise to our God, the one who is on the throne. He is with us through it all, and because of this, we can trust and rest. I am reveling in the New Living Translation I stumbled upon in BibleGateway.com. It makes it very clear.

One, the Word tells us not to walk in fear because we are ransomed and His (IS 43:1). I don’t know about you, but to be ransomed by God is a big deal. That’s right; He paid your ransom and freed you from going to the pit! You were brought with a price. Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

Two, the Word instructs that God is with us through difficult times. This means that even if I do not think I see God working, I can know that He is still working and walking right beside me (IS 43: 2-3)! Better yet, when I read these scriptures, I learn that I will not drown! Praise God. Again, I don’t have to fear (Psalms 23:1). This is assurance that no matter what I am going through, it will not overtake me! I know you think it might, but change your thinking. What does His word say? It’s a promise!

Finally, the Word tells us the He is with us through the fire of oppression and that we will not be burned (IS 43: 2-3). Oppression means a cruel exercise of power. This force is not coming from God; it is coming from things around us and the enemy of our soul. We need to take every thought into captivity, and be aware of what is going on around us. Again, the important things are that He is with you, and you will not be burned. Keep walking it out, and don’t give place to the devil.

So, don’t forget that you can praise God for what He is doing. He is with you all the way! Yes, it’s time to give a shout out of praise to our God, the one who is on the throne. He is with us through it all, and because of this, we can trust and rest.
Mandissa said it this way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyy7K0e__x4

Take care and rest!
Illy

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting Rid of Worry Warts is Easy: Laud Them Away!

What are you worried about today? Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done.” Is is that easy?

The truth is we worry though we pray; we give it to God, but we pick it right up again. For example, I awoke this morning from a restless sleep, and I was still worrying about a plethora of things. How will my students do on the FCAT this Tuesday? How will things work out with my children, extended family, and friends’ challenges; when will they find that the Lord can meet all their needs, despite whatever fire they are walking through? I was praying, which was still in worry, about a dear friend. What about my husband’s cough, asthma, and high blood pressure? What about the book I am writing and my blogs? Will He use them? I was concerned about my foot, which is still not healed. Why this, and why that? These are just a few of the steams that were running directly from my heart to the Lord. I felt like they were bouncing off a mirror and right back into my heart!

These words were prayers, but they were jam-packed with worry; they lacked praise and thankfulness. I received no sense of rest that things would come together. I was not settled! I had been up most of the night thinking and wrestling with all this stuff. I fed my flesh by eating bagels and nuts, and I turned to Facebook, reading posts and commenting. I fed my spirit; I read and prayed. I even sent my dear friend a message of encouragement. Yet, I did not feel His peace completely over it all. I finally fell asleep!

So, like I said, I woke up with worry and chains attached to me. I was bogged down. I persevered and began to read the Message Bible. I needed to prepare for leading worship tomorrow. God move me forward as I prayed. Shake off this worry and turmoil! Lead me to Your water. My cistern is full of fret; consume my fire of worry with Your life giving spirit. My lips are dry. I thirst for You. Oh God, get me beyond myself.

As I began to seek the Lord, I found the following scripture: Philippians 4:6 -7. It says, “Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (The Message). I forgot that prayer streams require praise and thanksgiving; otherwise, they are shaped in worry. I never praised God for taking care of any of it and or for answering my prayers. I never thanked Him. I had moments of meeting Him, and He quickened some scriptures and a song title for me to send to a friend, but I never got into His secret chamber. I guess I didn’t hear Him say, “Take your jacket off and stay a while; come in my child.” Man, I missed out. He has and had peace prepared for me; I really did miss out.

I am also perplexed by the fact that maybe I am used to carrying worries; so, I choose to carry them. I am being honest. When truth began to illuminate my heart this morning, He reminded me that worry is not what I was created to do. If I carry this worry water, I will eventually have physical symptoms. Meaning, He will get my attention some how, but He will also point me in the right direction!
It says in 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) that “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” You must be wondering that if I am walking in His marvelous light, then why I am surrounded by so many problems? Peter reminds us not to “be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12 NLT). He also tells us that we will suffer with Him. Suffering means discomfort, trails, and pain. Furthermore, in 1Peter 5:10 (NLT), He declares that “after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you...” I don’t think the way He does. I do not understand what “a liitle while” refers to, and it is difficult to assign an allotment or time frame to how long the trouble or troubles, for that matter, will last. In fact, it seems like it has been a long time of suffering and not a “little while”. Yet, the Bible tells us to count these trials as joy (James 1:2 NKJV). Does this mean to find joy in suffering too? The answer is yes if I want to share in His glory (1 Peter 5:10 NLT).

I guess we are back where this whole thing started: Philippians 4:6 (NLT), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Yes, we all worry, but the Lord tells us HOW to deal with worry. I thought why not try it: Ok Lord, I will shape my prayers with praise. I will enter into Your chamber room, and let you consume my worry. I will praise and thank you in these struggles. My lips will speak of your awesomeness. I will look for Your goodness in the land of the living, and I will thank you for answered prayer. I trust You, and I will not leave your chamber until I have found and embraced Your joy. Amazing! I prayed that and now I am settled.

Why don’t you take a moment and “give your cares to the Lord" (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)? You can’t give or get rid of them unless you shape your worries with praise and thankfulness. He will renew you and give you rest! What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Am I Crazy?

Dear Women of this World,
The Lord spoke to me tonight and told me to start a For Women Only blog. My first thought was that THIS is a crazy idea, but He kept speaking it to me. I submitted and was reminded that I had just preached on Isaiah 54 (the Message Bible). He told me to tell the ladies to get ready for an enlargement because a stretching and growing was coming! This equals change!

He also quickened to me that the soil of my heart had to be cultivated and be the right kind of soil. The ingredients are both required and crucial. In 1Peter 3:5-6 (the Message), it tells us to cultivate our heart with a gracious kind of beauty God loves. I needed to bathe myself in prayer and His word. I need to listen and let Him develop me. I also need to be aware of the fruits of the spirit; I want these to be manifested in my life too. This is the soil I want. If I have good soil, my fragrance will be so sweet and full of Christ's presence that those who need Christ will draw near me. There will be less of me visually and more of Him oozing out from my spirit that will touch the hurting people around me. Let me be clear; the more "real" I am and the more I let Christ change me, the more He will draw men unto Him. I believe He can anoint this blog in the same manner too. This is my ultimate desire.

So, I heard the word straight from God like a downloaded MP3 file the day before, but I was still taken by surprise! Yep, I sat on the floor in the sound booth at the back of our church; I wrestled with God, but eventually, I listened and received. Like I said earlier, this is a confirmation to what He has been speaking to me; but, I needed a moment to take a deep breath. It's time for me to step out on faith and walk on water. I am jumping out of my comfort Zone.

Women, I am coming to you via the Holy Spirit! The Lord is calling me to minister to both young ladies and to women all around the world. I am making this bold statement in Jesus name! So, this makes my third blog. This is just another way I can get His message out. I love the statistics feature of this blog, and I plan to see the world shaded in one day.

To answer the question I began with, no I am not crazy! If the Lord tells me to do something, I will trust Him and do it! I can't promise that I will write daily, but I will write as the Lord speaks to me to do so. So ladies, spread the word: God is giving me words just for you! I know it will feed your spirit and bring you life!

If you are reading this blog and it is giving you life, please copy the address bar and send it off to your friends and family via email or send them the link in FB or Twitter. You never know. One plants, and one waters. Whose to say that God can't use a blog over a person to win them to Christ or get them to see that they need Jesus in their life. So, if you are reading this blog, be obedient to what God is telling you to do. If He is urging you to send the word out via this blog, PLEASE DO!