"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." ~ Isaiah 61:3

Saturday, July 23, 2011

“I Will Build You a House…”

I will be the first to admit that I’m not the most organized person in the world. One of my life’s mottos (and I have several) is, “don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s almost all small stuff.” However, in the beginning of my spiritual and physical transformation, God began with the renovation and reorganization of my physical house, the building that I lived in.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand." …. – Zechariah 4:10 NLT

I loved the house. It was a 2 story Cape Cod with dormers, it had a full basement.  To me, it looked like a doll house. I visualized the potential, yet, at that point, I hadn’t taken the steps to bring any of my dreams to fruition. There was work to be done and I was immobilized by my circumstances, feelings of hopelessness and depression, emptiness.

What I needed was a distraction (?) So, I began clearing out boxes in the basement, finding things of use that I had stored away and making use of them, discarding the useless items that were cluttering up my house.

From that point I became inspired to paint and hang curtains, and refinish floors, making this house into something more like a home. Yet, the house never really felt like a home, it just had the appearance of a home.

It was about the same time that we began to have a resurgence of financial problems to add to the marital problems that had always plagued us from the beginning. Without elaborating on the details, other than to say, we went our separate ways.

I was desolate, yet, hopeful in the prospect of having a very different life.

I moved to Mobile, Alabama while going through the divorce, not knowing what would be next. I had a high school diploma and desperation to make some kind of life for my 8 year old son (my daughter was grown and had moved out of the house by that time). 

It was at that point that I began to seek out God’s plan for my life, my future, His path. I started, what would be 6 years of school, in the fall of 2006 after my daughters car accident and long recovery.

During this period, I was grateful, though unhappy with my current circumstances, including living arrangements, and desperate to make some kind of sense of all of it, my life, future goals and what my life had been up to this point. I saw nothing to salvage, no foundations, desolate, yet, hopeful… a plowed field.

What was I building toward? How would this fit together in order that my life would make sense? I still could not see a clear picture, or vision for my future.

At that point of desperation God, by His Spirit, revealed to me that He would build me a house. (2 Samuel 7:27) but that I should finish my education first (Proverbs 24:27) and that I needed to learn perseverance (Hebrews 10:32)

"For You, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made a revelation to Your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house'; therefore Your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to You.” – 2 Samuel 7:27 NASB

“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” – Proverbs 24:27 ESV

“For you have need of endurance (patience/perseverance), so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” – Hebrews 10:36 ESV

I now had a vision for my future and hope in that seed of promise.

In my limited understanding I believed that He was telling me that I would somehow acquire my own home, but in hindsight, that was such a limited view of the dimensions of God’s fullness. Though, He has also provided me with a literal house, a place of my own.

There are aspects of this promise that are yet to be fulfilled, further dimensions of fullness, in this house is also a family. But I’m His building, He’s making me, unshakable, and He will complete what He has started, mind, spirit, soul, and body, planting the plowed field, making sense of the brokenness… making something beautiful.

Faulty foundations have to be destroyed in order to rebuild the house that God has established, His sanctuary in you.

His building, His Kingdom within, peace, joy, righteousness… fullness.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


As human beings, our vision is so limited. We see what we see, and that is about all we see. It is difficult, in wearing this cumbersome body of flesh, to be able to perceive anything beyond what is visible, what is tangible.

However, in relinquishing your body as a living sacrifice, in giving up your rights to self and taking on a life led by the Holy Spirit, you gain so many windows of perspective, an extension to your former profoundly-limited vision. You begin to be able to discern things, a depth of perception that goes beyond the natural, beyond your circumstances.

You see, our bodies are like seeds, a cocoon of sorts. When you hold tight to your flesh, to your own will, that limits your sight. In laying claim to your rights to self, you will only have access to what is inside your small world of vision.

Unless you wholly give up your claim to your flesh, your own self interests, you will never experience the expansion of your prison-boundaries, true freedom in a Spirit-led life. And you will never bear the full expression of fruitfulness that comes from within, and that radiates without, the spirit life, which is of far more value than a life committed to self and the gratification of your flesh.

The flesh houses your spirit somewhat like a prison. We grow accustomed to our own prisons. We love to make them comfy and welcoming. It is difficult to relinquish that prison because it is all we have ever known, it is home to us, familiar, our little shell.

However, the life that we are meant to live, goes beyond the prison of our flesh, and the more we relinquish our rights to that prison, the more we are able to partake of the freedom that is available to us, in taking on a life led by the Spirit of God, the promised abundant life.

In return, you will begin to experience the fullness of all that God has for you.  He wants you to experience His best for you, and that means not settling for anything less than or counterfeit to his perfect plan for your life, your Divine destiny…

There is a Kingdom life. There is Kingdom potential, within, accessible in this life, not only in the next. There are so many dimensions within us that are untapped. You truly have no concept of your potential in its entirety. It is unlimited, and “beyond anything you can ask or even think.”

There is a price to pay. You must “count the cost…”

Your life, all of it, any rights to self or what you might consider of value, you must be willing to give it all up, everything.

God sees hearts. He knows when you truly mean it…

If you are not willing to give it all up, you are not worthy of the Kingdom, and you are not worthy of Him.

Your prison, in exchange for the cross…

Friday, September 24, 2010


One of the things about learning from the older and wiser is that you really do not realize the value of what they teach until the memories revisit you years down the road. 

My grandmother used to grow the most beautiful flowers.  I remember her African Violets especially.  She took great pride in her violets. She had shelves and shelves of fluorescent-lighted trays full of the most gorgeous prize violets you could possibly imagine. 

I remember her painstakingly watering and feeding each and every one, hundreds of violets.  As she would inspect each plant individually she would reach between the leaves and pinch off what she would call a “sucker plant.”  I always thought they were just “cute little violet babies” growing inside the plant. 

She would go on to explain that these cute little violet babies were harmful to the violet and that if they were left to continue to grow, they would destroy the plant altogether.  She would sometimes take the sucker, if it was big enough and root it in some soil, that way the baby plant, or sucker, could take on a life of its own, separate from its host. That always delighted me…

God uses these little memories to teach me lessons. The memory of the suckers was to show me how to recognize the signs of loving wrongly. While, I do not think it is possible to love too much, it is entirely possible to love wrongly.
One of the signs of loving wrongly is that you begin to feel depleted, or drained, mentally, physically and emotionally. At times, your financial resources will be drained as well. Your life source feels as though it is being emptied of all vitality. While your intentions may be very good, the outcome can be quite devastating.

You see, love is a living thing, like a plant or vine, if you take from it wrongly, you will deplete the source. There is only one source that never runs out of love and that is God.  When we abide in that source, the Vine, the love replenishes, and He expands your capacity to love, however; when we choose to love wrongly, whether consciously or unconsciously, we get what is comparable to a “sucker” and our fruit suffers, the fruit in many areas of your life, your job, your marriage, your ministry, your children and other relationships as well as your relationship with God.

Sometimes our suckers can even involve of some of these things that I just listed, if you’re doing them wrongly, or loving wrongly,  or you’re out of God’s will or doing these things for the wrong reasons. Even the things you love, the things you enjoy, even good things that you feel that you are doing for God, if you are doing them wrongly or you are out of God’s will, you’ve got yourself a sucker, and it is taking from your life, and from your fruit, and from your destiny and you and the people you love will suffer in the long run....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Phoenix

I was born with an otherworldly imagination. As a child, I could become lost in that world of imagination, escaping for hours, oblivious to my surroundings and perfectly content in that. I could be anything or anyone, I could do anything, and everything…

 I was fearless…

Growing up, I had a farmish-type childhood existence, and with plenty of room to explore, my imagination flourished.  My father had a barn, with a hayloft.  There were Tarzan vines growing freely all over the ten acre woods behind our house. We had a tire swing. I had plenty of baby goats, chickens, dogs and cats to play with, and occasionally, my little sister, Karen. All of this was fuel for my already vibrant imagination.

Moreover, my neighbor, Sam, was a real cowboy. He had a horse, and I loved his horse, and Sam’s horse seemed to love me right back. As enormous as the horse would have been compared to me, I loved him and would hug and kiss him right in his big old face, and he would let me. Even at the very young age of 3, I was fearless

Life changes you…

As I grew older, because of life and all that it brings, my imagination waned, and I lost heart and I lost my hope, and fear set in, paralyzing, immobilizing fear...  

See, as darkness is the absence of light, fear is the absence of faith.  If you are fearful then you are faithless. Faith takes imagination. You see, faith, hope and imagination are interconnected. Without your imagination, you lose your vision for the future, your hope…

And “Where there is no vision (hope for the future), the people perish….” ~ Proverbs 29:18a (emphasis mine)

But God restores…even imaginations…nothing is too small, too trivial for Him, when it comes to me or you…

My imagination was important to me, my wonderment, my delight in discovery, all restored.  Because it was important to me, it was important to Him as well, because it brings me joy, and He delights in me and in my joy restored….

And now, my imagination is back with a vengeance…  

I have recently taken to referring to myself as The Phoenix at times, to begin with, because it’s fun to pretend, thinking of myself as a superhero, (from the movie X-Men). However, recently, I began to discover there was more to it, my pretending to be The Phoenix, a deeper meaning that I was unaware of, a meaning far more significant…

The Legend of the Phoenix

As legend has it, The Phoenix is a mythological creature that lives for up to 1000 years. Once that time is over, it builds its own funeral pyre, and throws itself into the flames. As it dies, it is reborn anew, and rises out of the ashes to live another 1000 years.[1]

Like the legend of the Phoenix, we were created to live for eternity. There’s no pretending in that, we are truly eternal spirit-beings. And like the Phoenix, I have experienced the death of my old life and resurrection to my new life. This new life, a life more abundant, where there is fullness, in Him…

While I am still flesh, the biggest part of me is spirit. My new self recognizes this.  I have experienced the death of my old life, before I was born-again, through the Spirit, and taking on the reality of the birth of my new life, out of the ashes of my past... like The Phoenix.  And while I am flesh, the biggest part of me is spirit.

Out of the ashes….

Oh, I have my off-days, yesterday was one of them. Our flesh, it screams for attention most of the time. However; flesh doesn’t mean a whole lot. What is important, what really matters about me, about you, is unseen, and that takes some imagination. Faith and surrendering our concept of what reality is, and reality is not what you see…

Reality is what God says, His Word, His promises. Reality is who God says you are. Reality is what God says you will become. Reality is how God sees your future. And if the enemy can take your imagination, your vision, then he has succeeded in robbing you of your hope, and your hope is where your future lies…

With my imagination restored, I have vision for my future, and in my future, I get my fearless back…

“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

[1] http://www.shades-of-night.com/aviary/phoenix.html