Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Has God not said what He wants from us?

The Lord desires faithfulness that results in right living.  

The prophet Micah was enraged by the social injustices he saw happening in his day.  He spoke against these injustices and pointed out the wickedness he saw in the heart of men.  Political leaders wrote policies that destroyed any hope the poor had. Religious leaders abused their office by letting money influence their words.  They preached to itchy ears what they wanted to hear and condemned the poor because they didn’t have an offering to give. The people of God also stood on a false sense of security that God would be with them no matter what they did.  They believed they could live anyway they wanted, as long as they brought offerings and showed up for Sabbath to be counted present.

As I read through the book of Micah I see so much of our world today.  All of these issues are still very prevalent among us. Men still walk in crooked business practices and justify their actions.  Preachers still abuse their office through exploitation. And many believers think Sunday morning is a formality.  
Has God not said what He wants from us?

O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do what is right, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and not defiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:21-27

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” then you are doing well. James 2:8

So speak and act as those who are going to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement. What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? James 2:12

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.Galatians 5:16-17

Ladies, this is a maturing faith walk with the Lord, where we let the word work in our hearts.  This faith will produce the fruits of the Spirit in our lives that will be evident for all to see.  Let us all reach towards this mark in our walk and put aside things that easily hold us back from becoming doers of the word. 
Father, thank You! You have made it so plain for us to see what it is that You desire of us.  We thank You for Your word and we gaze upon our savior, Jesus, because He makes it possible for us to fulfill Your law.  Jesus, we need You to fill us again with the Holy Spirit, so our minds will be renewed and our eyes will be open.  We desire to live right, love mercy and walk humbly with You. We invite the Holy Spirit to govern our minds and guide our hearts.  We willfully surrender to You, in Your name we pray, amen.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

If God says do it. Just obey.

“Go to the city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come before me.” However, Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. Jonah 1:2-3

Out of all 12 prophets God called, Jonah was the only one who rejected his call and foolishly tried to run away from God.  He put himself in danger, he caused his shipmates to lose their cargo and almost caused them their lives. 
Have you tried to avoid a place you know God has called you to as a coaching family?  Are you rebelling and refusing to move because the city isn’t your most desirable location? Have you decided to stay in your current city letting your coach go on alone?

When we try to avoid the path God has set before us, our individual decisions effect those around us and the entire community.  

Ladies, there was a time when I only wanted my coach to apply for jobs in cities where all of the criteria on my checklist were met.  I would go down the list: good schools, diverse demographics, churches, grocery stores, big box stores, malls, parks, coffee shops, things for kids to do, restaurants, recreation, and close proximity to a metro area, etc.  I was only interested in going where I would be comfortable. When the city didn’t hit all of the marks, I didn’t want to go. I wasn’t thinking about God’s purpose for our lives and I wasn’t yielding to His plans for us.  

God challenged me in this area. He asked me, “If I only allowed My people to stay in places where they felt most comfortable, how will others ever see Me?” Hearing these words from God changed me. I no longer considered my checklist and I now pray for God to send us to places where we can be salt and light for Him.

Jonah’s story teaches us to live a surrendered life to God’s purpose and plans.  To Jonah’s surprise, when he finally went to Nineveh and preached to the people, they believed God’s message. They humbled themselves with fasting and sackcloth.  Even the king of Nineveh participated and ordered the whole city to do the same. When God saw their repentance he relented and did not destroy them.  

Ladies, never underestimate how God wants to use your family. He can use you to bring a message of hope to a wicked city like Nineveh. I believe the places God decides we should go are never really about us, instead it is about the people there and how God wants us to serve them. I pray we all accept that we are called to be God’s servants. I pray we are willing vessels ready for any assignment. 

When we fail to serve God in our works, I believe we are to blame for the conditions in our communities. Don't run from the Nineveh assignments, run to them carrying your light!

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33

Father, thank You for the Nineveh assignments You have for us.  Thank You for using us to be salt and light in this world.  Father, I pray we let our light shine so men can see You.  In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Do you know who I am?"

The pride of your heart has deceived you… Obadiah 1:3

Recently, I read a story about a star college athlete who showed up at the NFL combine and was told to go home because of a confrontation he had at the hospital during his physical examinations.  This player exchanged coarse words with a male nurse while waiting to be served.  He was frustrated because of the long wait time and wanted the nurse to give him preferential treatment.  When the nurse refused, the player vainly shouts, “Do you know who I am?” 

As I pondered these words from Obadiah, my mind went back to this story.  Obadiah was sent to prophesy to the Edomites.  These people were proud of their wealth and riches, which they had obtained by robbing others. Their confidence was in their military skills, friends and allies.  They lived in a strong fortress. They thought they were secure and no enemy could come to them.  They were deceived. God sent Obadiah to warn them about their false sense of security.
Thinking back over our coaching journey I remember a time when the pride of our hearts deceived us. When my coach began his career he quickly moved up the ranks.  By his 3rd job we were pretty sure it would only be a matter of time before he was coaching at a Power 5 school.  He would always talk about all the relationships he had and all the people who knew him.  His confidence was in his skills, friends and network.  We were flying high and never imagined the detour our journey would take. When his 3rd job came to an end instead of moving up the ranks.  We went down by our standards.  It was such a disbelief.  No one we trusted could help us.  Nothing we tried changed our fate.

By his 4th job, I knew the Lord took us there to deal with the issues in our heart.  

“Though you seem to soar like an eagle and make your nest among the stars, even from there I will bring you down. The Lord declares. Obadiah 1:4

Ladies, the bible has a lot to say about pride and having a haughty spirit.  Whenever we stray from the truths in God’s word, there are always consequences.  I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is any hidden thing in your heart that would cause you to have a false sense of security in anything other than God.  

Here are a few more scriptures to help you:
The human heart is most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6

“Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches.” Jeremiah 9:23

For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. Romans 12:16

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before the fall.” Proverbs 16:18

Father thank You for Your word, for it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.  Thank You for dealing with the issues of our hearts.  Thank You for making us over and reprogramming our minds, in Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Power of Agreement

Can two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3

When I ponder this question my mind immediately thinks of marriage.  It is assumed that two people coming together in a marriage covenant have agreed to walk together until death do them part. But is this really the level of commitment we see in marriages in our society? 

Recently, I saw a statistic that blew my mind about the divorce rate in our country based on different professions. 82% of football coaches’ marriages end in divorce. This was uncomfortable to read as a football wife. 

Why is divorce so prevalent in this profession?  
A few years back, I thought my marriage would be one of these statistics. My coach and I were not on the same page and the pressures from his career began to take a toll on our marriage.  Because I’m a woman of faith it was natural for me to pray about our circumstances. I went to the Lord and He asked me a strange question, “Why is the marriage covenant sealed with a wedding band as the covenant symbol?” Of course, I didn’t know how to respond to this question, hence, God gave me the answer, “Your marriage isn’t two points on a line; he’s traveling in one direction and you are moving in the opposite direction.  Your marriage is on a circle, just as the covenant symbol for marriage. Although you may be at two different places on the circle, I am holding the circle together. My people get a divorce because they have decided they don’t want me to hold the circle anymore. Is there anything too hard for me to fix?” After hearing these words from God I knew I needed to surrender my marriage to Him. My confidence was no longer in whether or not I could fix my marriage, I believed God would fix my marriage.

Jesus Teaches the Higher Law of Marriage:
Some Pharisees came and tested Him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" "What did Moses command you? He replied. They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. "But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God was joined together, let no one separate." Mark 10:2-9
Ladies-I am convinced it is impossible for two people to walk together for a lifetime without God holding it together. I encourage you to surrender your marriage to the Lord and open your heart to hearing His instructions as He leads you out of any rut.  Make a commitment to walk with God, agreeing with His word.  Place your faith in Him. He is the only one that can bring two hearts together as one.

Those that put their faith in the Lord do not expect to fail because there is no failure in Him.

Father, thank You for giving each one of us our spouse.  Thank You for bringing our hearts together and making us one.  Lord I pray these ladies submit their marriages to You and have the faith to believe You can fix any marital problems they may have, in Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Are you aware of the Holy Spirit's Presence?

The prophet Joel gave us a major message about a future time regarding God’s restoration plan through his Son:

 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women I will pour out my Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29

Joel was announcing to the Israelites, in effect a day is coming when God is going to make it possible for all of humanity to interact with Him and have an intimate relationship with Him.  I’m sure this message came as a complete shock to the Israelites when they heard these words from Joel.  Culturally, they had only experienced the Spirit of God moving upon a few people and only those people communed with Him.  I can imagine they thought Joel was exaggerating when He said, "God would pour out His Spirit upon all people."

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.  When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans.  Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?  –we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!  Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another. “What does this mean?  Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.  These men are not drunk, as you suppose.  It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.’ Acts 2:1-8, 11b-12, 14-18 

Ladies-God fulfilled this prophetic promise and it is recorded for our knowledge!  This event happened over 2000 years ago just 50 days after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.  Peter could explain to the crowd what was happening because Jesus had promised him and the other disciples that He would not leave them alone. 

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:16-17

As a follower of Christ I have read all of these scriptures many times.  Although I knew these words, I still wasn’t aware of the Holy Spirit’s literal presence in me.  I didn’t quite grasp that God is with us, now. I’ve often only imagined God being light years away and I needed a spacecraft in order to be where He is.  The Lord challenged my perspective and opened up my understanding in this area.

Have any of you ever had an imaginary friend? If you have, then you know that person was very present with you.  You made space for them in your world and you would have intimate moments communing with them.  This is exactly the kind of perspective God wants us to have about His presence.  Obviously, those who do not believe that God is will never understand why you communicate and make room in your world for Him.  This would all be foolish to them just like the notion of an imaginary friend. 
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.  John 4:23-24

Ladies-I pray you are aware of His presence in you and you have made room for Him in your world.

Lord-thank you for opening our understanding in this area about Your presence.  Thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to be with us now and forever.  Thank You for being in us.  We gladly worship You and make room for You in our world, in Jesus name I pray, amen.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Has God asked you to do a hard thing?

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostituteHosea 1:2a
So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of DiblaimHosea 1:3a

How dare God ask Hosea to marry a prostitute?   What lesson can He possibly be teaching when He commands him to do a seemingly immoral act?  

Has God asked you to do a hard thing? What lesson is he teaching you?  Are you willing to answer the call like Hosea?

As we keep reading we find that Hosea is obedient to God’s instructions and he marries Gomer and they start a family.  Unfortunate for Hosea, Gomer isn’t faithful to him and she has an affair.  God again gives Hosea instructions that are very hard.

Then the Lord said to me, “Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1

Has God asked you to forgive and restore a broken relationship?  Has God called you to love the way He loves?

Ladies-when my coach and I were in the middle of planning our wedding I had cold feet. I knew God was calling me into ministry and when I considered where my husband was with the Lord I was not confident that our relationship would work.  I remember praying and asking God what I should do.  His instructions to me were very similar to His instructions to Hosea “I have chosen him for you, love Him the way I love Him, beyond any judgement you have towards him.”

Hosea’s relationship was all out in the open for the public to see. Everyone knew Gomer was a prostitute and everyone knew that Gomer was having affairs.  God purposely used what was happening in Hosea’s life as a figurative picture for His people to see His undying love for them. I believe Hosea willingly followed God’s instructions because He knew God would somehow make it all work out for him.
I willingly followed God’s instructions too and my coach and I have been married for almost 13 years. I wouldn’t be ministering to Coaches’ Wives had God not decided I should marry a coach.

And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the GOOD of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Whatever you are facing, God wants you to know He will make it work out for you too.  Don’t be dismayed about this part in your story, He will use it for His Glory. I pray you will be obedient in this hard thing and I pray you can forgive the unthinkable thing. 

Father, I pray Your daughters will step out in faith and trust You with the hard decisions You call us to make.  I pray we can walk in forgiveness and release those that have trespassed against us.  Lord thank You for Your word.  Thank You for Hosea’s example in his faithfulness towards You, in Jesus name I pray, amen.