Happy New Year!!! 2020 is Here!

On January 1, 2019 – 2 1/2 months after brain surgery – I opened the door to 2019 with great joy!! I’ve made it through an entire year … I am so grateful!!!!

I spent all of 2019 getting to know the new me. Facing truths in life that I hadn’t seen clearly before. Seeing diversity come alive in the global missions world. Seeing our regional leadership plan in Africa become a reality. Building ministry relationships that will help us step into new areas strongly. Being part of a body of believers that love us and see what God is doing through us. Mentoring young folk. Lloyd preaching. Me singing and teaching. A beautiful partnership with a local Christian counseling ministry. Grateful to have one of my sisters back in my life. Rejoicing as my daughter was married and gave birth to baby #2. Rejoicing as my oldest son was married to the woman God created for him. Excited for both of my sons to begin the ministries and businesses that God has led them to do. 2019 was a good year.

It’s a New Year!  I want to keep running to the finish line.  The only life prize that matters is the one that has been promised by God, through Jesus Christ … eternal life with him.  I’m not there yet, God knows I’m not!!! But I’m committing to leaving the junk and mistakes of 2019 back there … and moving on in 2020, allowing His Spirit to guide and direct me, and doing every single thing for the sake of His glory.  No! I’m not yet all that God wants me to be, but I’m pushing hard to let Him change me, mold me and make me all that He’s called me to be.  It’s what my Savior wants from me. It is why He made me His own!!!  (Philippians 3: 12 – 15) So … for 2020, I want to keep moving after some things and add new things that’ll help me be what He wants me to be.  So here’s my 20 for 2020: 

  1. Focus on the problem solver, not the problem (preach Reginald!)
  2. Believe I can do things, because He told me to do them
  3. Love, even when the love is not returned
  4. Forgive, even if it happens again
  5. Repent and repent again
  6. Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit each and every day
  7. Extend mercy to people, just as I beg for mercy from Him
  8. Grace, I’ll give it to others just as He gives it to me
  9. Share my joy
  10. Speak truth
  11. Build friendships
  12. Pour in to relationships that I’ve neglected
  13. Be a respecting baby sister – listening to and being taught by my older sisters, who are amazingly God filled women
  14. Listen and learn from the Word of God
  15. Love and pour truth into my children and grandchildren; love and bring joy to my mother
  16. Take care of my physical body 
  17. Lead well in every role God has placed me in
  18. Serve well in every place God has sent me
  19. Love, obey, adore, serve, encourage, care for, invest in … my wonderful gift of a husband
  20. Serve, obey, glorify, uplift, reflect, praise, submit to, listen to, talk to  … my God, my Savior, my King, my Father, my All In All

Happy New Year, friends and family!!! Let’s take the next step in wonderful new ways for the sake of His glory!!

Born … to Die

I tried to imagine what the shepherds and wise men must have felt in their hearts!  I’m truly grateful. Thankful that the Father gave His son in flesh for me! Thankful that the way that I can give a gift to The Father, is the way that He gave to me …. LIFE! He gave His son’s … and I’ll give Him mine!!!

It’s not a one day thing, y’all.  You can’t just celebrate the birth and move on to the next thing. You’ve got to remember that He was born and why He was born; and you’ve got to remember that He did it for your life, giving each one of us the amazing privilege to be reconciled to and used by The Father!

Everyone of us takes time to pull some of our life back into our own wants, needs, desires, etc. But each and every day we have the beautiful privilege to yield and submit to Him again. Giving ourselves to Him and yielding for Him to use us!

I mean that God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold people guilty for their sins. And he gave us this message of peace to tell people. 2 Corinthians 5:19

Thank you, Father, for Jesus – who is the Christ … who was Lord at His birth! BEST GIFT EVER! Use me, O Lord! Use me for the sake of the Kingdom. Use me to bring people into the truth of the Gospel. Use me to bring people to know my Savior, Jesus Christ. 

From the Cantata, Op. 25: Born to Die by Glenn Burleigh

“Born to die. Died only to rise again. Rose that we might live eternally. God sent sent His Son, and let Him be born to die.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself! God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself! God was in Christ!

Hallelujah, to the newborn King! Hallelujah, to the newborn King!

Jesus Christ was born to die! Died only to rise again! Rose that we might live eternally. God sent His son! God sent His only begotten Son. God sent His son and let Him be born to die!

He was born to Die. He died that we might live!”

Glenn Burleigh

Contented in Him!

At this ‘most wonderful time of the year’, America is marked by extreme consumerism and materialism. But is that who we really are? America is noted around the world as being gluttonous at Christmas, but is that who we really are? The pundits say that we all spend much more than we can afford at this time of year, but is that who we really are?

When Lloyd and I were young parents and young marrieds, our resources were almost nothing (they are not much more now, but we know how to manage better!) – when Christmas came, we would buy our children so many presents that you almost couldn’t see the bottom of the tree; it was ridiculous! One year when the kids were 3, 7 and 11 we realized that they could care less about the gifts after just a few days. They were quite content with the one favorite toy AND with being together AND being doted on by their parents. (it’s actually what they still love!)

As Christ followers we are that same way. Our souls are truly satisfied in communion with our King, BUT our flesh deceives us into thinking that we must have more than that, so we fill our lives with the comforts of this world – a bigger house than we need; a car with bells and whistles we’ll never use; people that make us feel important; relationships that help us pretend we’re not lonely; positions that make us feel meaningful — and yet at the end of the day, when we lay on the pillow – we find we are still in discontent.

Our enemy, the Devil, wants us to believe that we have to have it all! Well, the truth is – we do have it ALL!

As followers of Christ, we are adopted into the family of God; we are joint heirs with Christ; we have the indwelling Holy Spirit of Promise within us! I would say we have all that ‘and a bag of chips’! We have it all! We have given Lordship of our lives over to a benevolent and loving King who ensures that we have all that we need and much of what we want. He only asks that we love Him and be devoted to serve Him. And truly, if you really think about it, when we are living in service to Him we tend to be quite contented.

1Timothy6

Yes! It is good to want your circumstance to improve, but it is a powerful thing to know that just living according to His will for you will cause your heart to be content. Things will go out of style; beauty fades; people fail you; situations change — but God, He remains the same!

Paul challenges us to be content no matter the situation, and encourages us that God will give us the strength to walk in this contentment; Jesus admonishes us to seek God’s kingdom and rest in knowing that God will provide all other things that we seek; In Hebrews we are reminded that He is ours and will not leave us or forsake us; in Romans we are reminded that He will work our circumstances out for our good and His glory.

As the year ends many of our most popular print media outlets remind us of notable people that we lost during the year; the most notable people of the year; the most beautiful people of the year; the worst people of the year; etc. I watch as people read the magazines in the check out line (trying not to act interested myself!) and people are captivated by the lives of these success stories; and success stories gone wrong! But my eye catches the front cover of one of the magazines – and I begin to wonder if these stars/celebrities/notables are happy and satisfied in their lives. I wonder if they, with all that they do have, have the One thing that matters in life. I wonder if who we see, who they allow us to see, is who they really are.

Do not be deceived! It is not riches or popularity that will satisfy your need to feel fulfilled or your need to feel that your life has value.  Satisfaction will come when you decide that He is enough and then take the step to live a life in humble submission to a King who can and will keep every promise He ever made to you! He satisfies! He is satisfying! He will satisfy! I am a living witness!

Happy ThanksGiving!!

Happy ThanksGiving friends, family, blog followers … anyone who is reading this. Happy ThanksGiving!! I’ve millions, billions of things to thank Him for … here are five things on my mind …

“I have so many things to thank God for! I could thank Him for an entire day!!” (Sing BJT!)

  • I thank Him for my LIFE!! Both my physical life AND my eternal life!! He created me and He gave me my salvation! Hallelujah!
  • I thank Him for His protection. All physical, all spiritual and all mental. Safe flights and safe roadside travels; protection from snares and traps of the enemy; protection from hurtful thoughts, actions and words from people who meant me harm. Hallelujah!
  • I thank Him for my purpose. He has taken all of me, every gift and talent & every weakness and limitation, and used me for the sake of His glory. Grateful! Hallelujah!
  • I thank Him for my family. A wonderful husband; children that love Him; a godly mom; godly sisters, nieces and nephews. Hallelujah!
  • I thank Him for being my God; my Father; my Savior; my King; my Provider; my Peace; my Joy; my Love; my Strength; my Light; my Friend; my Banner; my Protection; my Help; my Healer; my EVERYTHING!!

Praying that all of you will start your Thanksgiving Day today and keep that Thanksgiving going for the next 365 days!!!

He’s Worthy! I Rejoice!! I magnify His Name!!

Get Thee Behind Me!

There are lyrics from a song called Black Sheep by Gin Wigmore – a girl from New Zealand. She recorded it in 2011 – so I guess its an old song by todays standards. Basically – this woman is considered a ‘Black Sheep’ because she has a potty mouth, she drinks and when pushed to the limit she just might kick your butt. Those of you who know me know that I listen to all kinds of music – and I really like the song MUSICALLY – but she is basically saying that once you get a taste of the dark side – you never go back to the other side.

Be careful my sisters and brothers …. dark side has nothing at all to do with skin color!!! The phrase has been used for a long time to mean going into behavior or thinking that does not bring good to you, or to anyone around you … as a believer, I’d say any behavior or thinking that is sin.

I’ll admit this song used to be a favorite – just the melody and the band … NOT THE LYRICS. As a believer, I know that I can fall. I know that I can even be used by Satan as a pawn in some plan of his if I don’t keep my mind stayed on Jesus. But at the end of the day when/if I falter, I know that Jesus Never fails!  He’ll forgive me, fill me with His Spirit and finish the work that He has started within me. He has brought me out of darkness into Marvelous Light!!!! He will fill me with His Spirit! He will finish the work He’s begun!!! Hallelujah!!!!

“You might as well get thee behind me Satan, you cannot prevail. Because Jesus NEVER Fails!” Lyn Alejandrino Hopkins

I am glad to testify that when forced into a corner where I have to make a choice to revert to my old sinful, vindictive self – I can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to reign supreme.

So let me encourage you – if you’ve gone into the dark side in any way at all – come on back over to the light side. God is waiting for you. According to His word He will not only forgive you – but He will cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness!

You indeed might be what people call a “Black Sheep” but I am a witness that the blood of the Lamb of God – will wash you as white as snow. Can I get a Hallelujah!

You might have given in to temptation – but don’t lose heart! Your day of salvation is today. Accept Him. Believe Him. Confess Him. Receive Him. You may have gone to the dark side — but that’s not the end of the story!

Father, please forgive us for any ways that we falter. Please cleanse us and please let your Holy Spirit fall fresh on us. Reign Supreme in us, Oh Lord! Use us for the sake of Your glory to drive the enemy away. Strengthen us so that we can erase him from the minds and hearts of many. Remove the guilt that is within us and remind us of the victory that is ours through Our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!!!