So what do you do, REALLY??

 

When a dear ole’ friend,

  1. hasn’t called in ages
  2. doesn’t reply to your emails
  3. doesn’t accept you invitation to join  your FACEBOOK FAN PAGE
  4. doesn’t acknowledge your FB posts and chats

But…

keeps sending random, generic forwards that say,

“wanna make a crazy, ridiculous amount of money in some ridiculous, crazy online gimmick???  Well then, follow this totally un-affiliated  link to http://www.make-a-gazillion-dollars-in-2-days-without-doing-a-thing.com

???

 

Do You…

Huff and Puff??

Scream and Stomp??

Roll your Eyes REALLY REALLY dramatically before, after and during huffing and puffing, screaming and stomping????

NO!! Of course not!

First you grab yourself by the collar, drag yourself to the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and say
“SELF!! Get over yourself!!”

Then you stir up your BLESS steps from deep in your belly and pray for the long lost buddy.

“Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for Mr Long Lost.
I thank you for the friendship and the fellowship.
Father, I thank you that he is your child and you have him safe in your hands.
I thank you that he is called by your name, and he hears your voice and obeys your voice.
I choose to love him unconditionally, patiently and kindly and to only see the very best in dear brother, Long Lost.
Father, I speak your provision over him.
Thank you for meeting all his needs.
I thank you that you are his source and have promised to perfect all that concerns him.
Father, I ask that you would speak to me clearly about anyway I can be an encouragement in his life, by word or by deed.
Father if by anyway, I have caused a division in this fellowship I pray you would show me so I can make it right.
Lord, I will be not only a hearer of your word but a do-er also.

And in all things I will give you the glory.

In Jesus name,  Amen”

Be BLESSed

Jo

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Bathroom Stall Victory

Ok, here’s the picture…. tell me if you have ever been there before.

It was so unbearable,  I had to leave the table.

We were sitting in a lovely restaurant, waiting on our orders when  it became to tense for words.

That was that. We were at a stale mate.  No one had anything left to say. Nothing could be said. 

We were not going to agree, even to agree to disagree and I was absolutely dying inside.

Do you know the feeling?

My head was pounding, my stomach turning!!

THIS IS YOUR FAULT

YOUR TOO DIFFERENT

IT WON’T WORK

Voices screaming, throbbing…
the lump was rising up in my throat…. I was shaking….

I had been praying for 4  years for a supernatural break with this person.

Now here it was,  in one  moment, everything caving in around me….
The voices.. (oh, yes, by the way, the voices can be VERY LOGICAL) had an excellent argument.

To look with natural eyes, things were crystal clear.
FAILURE… DEATH….. DEFEAT…………..

No words to describe how much I wanted to scream, cry,  run away and get angry.
Very angry.

I wanted to surrender to damned voices… so tired of fighting.

I would have agreed except for one thing;

Deep, deep  inside me, bubbling up like springs of living water, pushing the lump out of the way came BLESS.

I was compelled.  I had too use these tools.  I could not quit now, today.
BLESS had me and it would not let me go.

Key by key… I opened my mouth (yup, I was that crazy lady talking in the stall beside you)
and I started with Key 1

Thank God, He had already prepared me this morning with one verse dropping into  my heart..

1 John 3:21
If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask because we obey His commands and do what He pleases

“NO!!! My heart is NOT CONDEMNING ME!! I am WITHOUT CONDEMNATION!!
John 3:18

I am having confidence, right here and now, in this bathroom stall that the Spirit of Truth prevails all over this situation.  I see it for what it is; a devilish obstacle to distract me and to get my eyes off of the promises and to follow lying voices!!

I have what I say!
God, I permit you to reign and rule in my mouth, in my heart and in my ears.
Let me not utter one word that is not from you!

I HAVE YOUR PEACE, because you gave me YOUR PEACE!!!

I reminded myself of the next 3 keys.

I sat there on that porcelain throne, for as long as it took, and strengthened myself to walk out of that bathroom and doing THAT and ONLY THAT!

And guess what happened all???   (tears, and blubbering as I write this)

YES!!!

GOD DID OVER AND ABOVE ALL I ASKED OR THOUGHT!!!!

KEY #5  HAPPENED!!

BREAK THRU AND VICTORY HAPPENED!!!

The most precious, honest, transparent time of fellowship between us and God!!

OHH! How I love HIM!
OHHH!! How I love HIS ways!!

OHH! How I love the way He can get me OUT of the way
so He can do what
HE WANT TO DO!!!!

Keep believing dear, sweet readers.
God does move, and He moves in YOUR life too!

Keep seeking, keep surrendering and you WILL see
heart changing miracles right before your eyes!!

 

Saving Stinky Mike

 

His name is Mike, and he is a used car dealer.

He was very much a stereo-typical car used car dealer.

He was loud, obnoxious and , honestly, quite foul.

His face was weathered, with a sickly grey tinge.
His nose, bulbous and red with veins. Indicative of years of alcohol abuse.

His office was stank with old cigarettes.

Mike even had an Al Pacino bobble head on his desk.

Mike gave me the creeps.

But the reality was that we wanted the vehicle.

The price was in my budget  and it was just what I was shopping for.

A little red, jeep 4×4.
Perfect for our Manitoba winter, cute, sporty.

I will name her “Gloria”

Even during the test drive, Mike would make scathing derogatory comments about those that stood waiting at the bus stop or walked down the street. Then he would laugh.

Mike made my skin crawl and everything in my logic screamed “don’t deal with Mike!!”

To top off creepy Mike and his mechanic, were not quite honest with us.
Probably not a big surprise.

Gloria needed more fixing then they they led on. She did not pass the required safety so she could be sold legally.

To make a long story short, Mike and the mechanic, and Gloria’s glitches got caught before she ever left the used car lot.
And Mike’s boss agreed to have everything up to code with her, ASAP.

Tomorrow we go back and bring Gloria home.

Tomorrow we will see stinky, creepy Mike, again.

Today, I am asking myself how am I going handle myself and if I will choose to take the higher road.

I make myself remember who I am, and whom I represent.

Yes, it would be  easy to deal with Mike and then leave.
Maybe that will be all there is opportunity for.

But what if there is chance for more?  What if this was all about having the “more” trickle into stinky Mike’s life?

Could it be that God has a plan and a destiny for Mike?

If so, how do I ever find a way to help him hear?

Is it possible that just by our presence and prayers, I can leave something lingering in the spirit, to touch the deepest, part of Mike’s deep crevasses?

If there is a chance, I don’t want to have it slip by because I was focused on me and the realm of Jo.

I begin to work my BLESS keys.

I get my heart ready.

I allow God to show me what He knows about Mike and tomorrow.

Moments are of eternal value. People are of eternal value.

What if, just what if, Mike the stinky used car sales man was destined for greatness.

What if some trickery from the enemy of our souls, took him far from his path.
Far from the plan of God, but never far from His reach.

It could have been me. It has been me in the past.

What if no one ever prayed for me? Where would I be now?

What if no one ever prayed for Mike besides me?  Never a single prayer in his entire life.

What if Mike was there for me?

What if he is here to open my heart into the deeper things of God?

What if he is my test?

Will I pass or will I fail?

And what in the world do I have to do?

It is moments like these I am so thankful for the BLESS keys.

I now know exactly what to do.

So, tomorrow, I will walk them out.  What ever that may look like, right now, I am not sure, but I know what I am to do.  That is enough.

5 simple keys could change this man’s destiny.

Every day, we meet someone.
Everyday we have opportunity for something much huger than what it may seem.

God the most purposeful being there is, and if my life is His then nothing in it is ever without purpose either. No matter how ordinary.
No matter how small.

Not even the decision to buy a little red Jeep from a man named Mike.

Family Drama Christmas Style~ Turkey, Stuffing & Stuff

 

Ah Christmas.
Tis the season for cascades of twinkling lights, the scent of the evergreen and cinnamon, everything chocolate and of course, the family drama..

Our traditional Christmas meal includes turkey, potatoes, stuffing and STUFF!

Amongst the twinkling lights, we have the fireworks.

Don’t get the wrong idea.  We are by no means nasty, violent folks.
My family isn’t  drinkers and gamblers and buffoons, and even with our variety of  personality quirks, there is tremendous love and support.

But the one personality trait that is consistent in all of us is our immense aversion to confrontation.

My mom, my brothers, and yes (believe it or not) even moi, can beautifully dance around a situation for as long as it takes to successfully avoid it.

So as things have it, when we all get together at holiday shing digs, things happen, or most likely don’t happen, which ever way you want to look at it.
Opinions and thoughts that should clash, don’t, and things that should be said, stay silent.

Instead nothing happens. Nothing moves forward and nothing changes.

The truth is this family needs a break.
It needs something to break.
A very big break, the sooner the better.

Well, this year the big break presented itself at Christmas dinner, with “Suggestion X”.

“Suggestion X’ is the  idea that was dropped into someone’s heart by God, and brought to the table as an option for all to consider.

“Suggestion X” is brilliant.
“Suggestion X” really is the change and the answer that this family needs.

“Suggestion X” was shot out of the water.
Boom!!
It was “Crazy” and “never gonna happen”. Period. Never to be discussed again.

So what does all this have to do with “May I BLESS You” and walking the keys out in my life?

I was the one who’s heart “Suggestion X” was dropped into.

I was the one who was shot out of the water.
Boom.

It has now been a  few days later since the shooting,  its New Years Day and mom is on her way over for dinner.

And I know in the privacy of our quiet dinner, I know I’m going to hear things.
Things that I am going to need to know how to respond properly too.

I am mom’s closest confidant, whether or not I want to be.

Mom did not like the idea of “Suggestion X”.
It made her very uncomfortable. Perhaps,  fearful.

Tonight, I am going to have the opportunity to speak hope and life to her. Sweetly and gently.

This is where I work my BLESS keys.

Because of them, I have become confident enough to be able to put aside any need to be right.
There is no room for ego or agendas.

Because of these precious keys, I have become secure enough to not have to argue a point.

There will be no fireworks tonight.
There will be no power struggle over what is right or who is wrong.
It will never get to that.

Nope, because God has already begun a deep work in this family. It is His work.

Being solid in the BLESS keys, help me keep “me” out of the way so God can continue to do His work successfully.

So I slip away for a few minutes and quietly work the keys in my heart before dinner.
And I share this with you.

I am asking and believing God for a heart of exceptional love tonight.

I am expecting for my mouth to be full of the right things to say.
Words of life and encouragement.

Words of wisdom and the knowledge to know when to speak and when to shut up.

Words that will give mom the sense of security and love that she may need.

That she will feel safe in the love of God and the hope God has promised each and every one of us.

She’s walking through the door.

Thank you for your prayers.

If you invite Jesus to dinner will He show up??

 

“You can have your religious tradition, but COUNT ME OUT!”

My jaw hit the floor! What do I do?  What do I say?  DO I SAY?

Tradition? Religious?

For a first generation evangelical Christian, those words had been subtly burned into me as taboo.

“Its not about RELIGION! Its about RELATIONSHIP” we tell everyone.
To me, the words stir up a taste of everything empty, cold and legalistic.

Now, here they were coming out of the mouth of someone I respected and loved.
Someone who, too, loved God.

But  he’s sitting across from me firmly refusing to have any part of in mealtime grace.
How in the world do you not say a blessing over your meal?
My mind was reeling. How do I respond. Can I argue his attitude?

Apparently not, because after I gathered  my indignant and offended self together, I did what I usually did.
I quietly sulked away.

Maybe it was God, keeping my mouth shut.
I would like to think so.
I’m sure at the moment anything that would have fell out would have been the WRONG THING! But, my oh my, how I would have love to have had the right THING.

Over the next few days, my mind rehearsed the conversation with a quick and brilliant rebuttal that would leave him speechless and, of course, humbly repentant.
I would have explained, very nicely, of course, that I could certainly understand how one could see dinner prayers and blessings as religious.

After all, I use to think that too.

And of course, how tradition in itself is not a bad thing.

Certainly, I would agree, that cute little poems and songs sung over your meal, really means nothing if your heart is not sincere.
By all means, I could see where he was coming from.

But noooo, not my family! Not anymore.  We were much more evolved!

I would straighten my back, look him right in the eyes, and tell him that I have stood, humiliated, in line for too many food hampers to be ungrateful.
I have cried myself to sleep too many times, partitioning God for our “daily bread” for my babies to not give thanks.

Maybe I would even recite, Psalm 37:25
”I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”
If that didn’t make his jaw quiver, I would remind him how God has brought me out of years of eating disorders, and how overwhelmed I am that I no longer look at my plate as an enemy.

Yes sir, I  planned it all out.

If I could do it all over again, I would have hit him with the good stuff.

Now, don’t get me wrong. All of it is good. All of it was sincere from the bottom of my heart.

Gathering around the table with the family, holding hands (yes, we even hold hands) and giving thanks is a beautiful thing.

Jesus gave thanks when He broke bread and that’s good enough for me.

It is one of those moments when we as a family we are focused, even for a minute, in the same direction.
Jesus said that when 2 or more are gathered in His name He shows up (Matt 18:20)
So, YES!! Lets open our mouths and give thanks, if we are thankful.

My muddle was not so much identifying my thoughts on this difference of opinion.
It was , first, how do I handle my original response of offense, and second, how do I respond to a dear brother in the Lord, who obviously sees things differently.

Truth be told,  it could have been another thing that nailed the proverbial coffin on our friendship. (we have a lot of different opinions)

I could have thrown my arms up in the air, said “to hell” with the friendship and walked away, one final time.

But I thank God, first for keeping my mouth shut and,  second, for the keys in BLESS.
The keys in BLESS come very quickly to me, at times. I have been walking it out for years.

But there are other times, like this, when I have to sit down and choose to make myself remember what I know to do.

Yes, I confess, I still have a very carnal side to me, that loves to rear its ugly head.
I’m working on it, but its still there.
(don’t be so hard on me, now, you have a nasty carnal side too!)

The real test is this… What do I do with that side of me when its rearing??
That’s where BLESS comes in.
When I sit alone that night, sit quietly before my Jesus, and put myself to the side, I walk through the keys in BLESS.
My heart can quickly change and respond to this man.

I know there is more for him.
I know God wants him thankful.
I know God has done so much for him to be thankful for.

But I also know there is something inside him that has that bound up.
Setting him free is not my job.
Loving him with the love of God is my job.

BLESS helped me do that.

I remember that he is my Father’s precious son, His pride and joy, and I walk thru each letter of BLESS in my heart until I can enjoy that brother for who he is, as he is right now.
Unconditional.

The rest will be up to God.
I do know this… this man will be set free.
This man will know what it’s like to sit at the table and have a tidal wave of thanks take over him.

Yes, Jesus will come to dinner that day.
It would be an honour to be there.

But for tonight, I am thankful that I walked out my test and didn’t let my mouth, my self righteousness, and pride get in the way and do more damage.

Lets really learn to love them as they are.

Lets meet them where they are and see them as He sees them.

Then we will be the ones being BLESSed.