Friday, July 1, 2016

To Will And To Do For His Good Pleasure

I began my "Intentional Series" earlier this year, and I intend to carry it further. I just wanted to talk about it for a bit. Maybe I already did, but I thought it bore repeating, because I got intentional about so many other things, except my blog! I am attempting to bring changes here and hope to be better able to minister to those who need it and also take time for enjoyable things as well.

done on purpose

There are so many areas I have been forced to ask myself, "Could I be more intentional in this area?".  This year 'intentional' is my God-gifted "word"; The word that resonates with me and is part of my every day thinking. A word I share with whosoever has eyes to see and ears to hear. I've even seen others with the same word of the year and was amazed!!!

Does God do that for you? Does He plant a word in your heart and mind that whenever you do anything you are led to that word and pray to line up your heart, mind and actions accordingly? This has been going on for me for some time. I have come to the place where, at year's end, I wait upon the Lord for another word to focus on and meditate on next.

It's not that I'm special, no, that I am not. There are no celebrity sons or daughters in God's Kingdom, not one. We are all beloved, yet we are all in different places of grace and growth. What God is working in me may not be the same as what God is working in you...except that it is to will and to do for His good pleasure. That part is always the same!

At first, I thought I might be a careless one. Otherwise, why would the Father have to plant 'intentional' in my heart and mind. But after taking time to think about it and meditate upon it, I can see where this word has been very important to things here at the Home-Sweet. It comes to mind at every opportunity, I have avoided many spur of the moment decisions that I used to give no thought to and now try to always take the time to think things through. 

I am trying to take every opportunity to apply my daily everything to being intentionally in that moment, that place, be there and not fret about what else I have to do, where else I have to go, stress, stress, stress. I don't know about you, I will be honest, there are many factors and situations in my life and in the lives of those I love, that just simply stress me out! That moment when my heart wants to pound and my thoughts go haywire, that is the time my Dear Savior's Word kicks in and I become mindful of Scripture and I have to intentionally allow the peace that passes understanding to flood my soul and not give in to the fears and doubts and stresses of life in this realm.

'Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven"

This is our prayer, is it not? Do we hinder His will, His intention in our lives? This should not be Dear Ones. It will only cause us to prolong the inevitable work of God in us. He will let us reap the fruit of holding back the seeds of growth, until we feel the near death of stagnation. Until we come to that place in our spirit that can no longer breathe without Him. Have you never been there? God bless you. For those of us who make mistakes, we learn and grow and draw ever closer to Him, who is our breath.

Father, thank you for Your Word. Let us always be mindful of it so that our lives may be steered in the proper direction, with the proper attitude, that Your good pleasure is the result! In Jesus' Name, Amen

Friday, May 6, 2016

It's Okay To Be You...You Are His Workmanship

 Dear Ones,

 How horrible of me to dump a gray, foggy post in the middle of "Intentional Home-Sweet" encouragement! But I wanted to encourage you, really!

I used to think it was wrong of me to care for myself. That it was selfish and self-centered. It wasn't that I was playing the was just what I believed. I don't know where I even got that idea. It could stem from my childhood thought that if I did everything perfect...then things would turn out better, but really they never did. Still there was always the striving to get it right and perfect would happen and we would all live happily ever after. It stayed with me. It is still with me, once in a while breaking out of the box I have stuffed it in, or I guess attempting to convince me that it could resurrect after I laid it at the foot of the cross.

I would see pretty posters and pretty pages with sayings all over the internet saying things like "You Are Enough" or "Be You" or "You Are Going To Be Okay"...and I would think to myself that it was not alright to say these things. That it was selfish or self-centered or psychology. But I have come to believe differently over the last few months.

Okay...these could be taken way out of context, but coming from a background of abuse and overcoming much and still having much to overcome...for a person who constantly strives to be what everyone else thinks she should be and say and do and not wanting to mess up so as not to disappoint them...for being tired because of it all...for being tired because I'm still stuck in this flesh suit until the day I die or the Day of the Lord, whichever comes first...

...these are exactly the things I need to hear. These are exactly the things we need to hear from one another. We only need to be the clay that Christ is molding us to be...not who any person on earth wants us to be or wants to sculpt us into. It's alright to be are His workmanship. It's okay to feel. It's alright to have a day where you need to go aside for refreshing. You will be better for it and your family and loved ones will be happier you did it.

A long time ago we did a spiritual warfare study at the church we attended at the time. The teacher was from Last Days Ministries and his name was Dean Sherman. I remember a few things about that teaching but I specifically remember this point, "Don't let yourself, hear yourself, say anything about yourself, that God doesn't say about you." If you are thinking thoughts about yourself and how crummy you are, stop it!

Study the Scripture. See what the Lord God Almighty has written. Hear the things the Lord, the Creator of Everything says about you in His Book of Love...

You are a new creation!
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are the righteousness of God!
God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

You are set free in Christ!
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

You are blessed with every spiritual blessing!
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

You are His workmanship, created for good works in Christ!
For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them (Ephesians 2:10).

You are guarded in your heart and mind by the peace of God!
And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

These are but a few of the promises of our Dear Heavenly Father and our Savior Christ Jesus!

"Let yourself, hear yourself, say everything about yourself, that God says about you"!!!

Dear Heavenly Father help us to know we do not need to perform or act or pretend but we can be honest and open with one another knowing that we are clay in the Potter's Hand. He is making us into what He desires for His purpose. We submit to Him and obey Christ. Thank you Lord for showing us your love in your Word and for your keeping power. Help us to love one another and to be kind to one another...but also to ourselves. In Jesus Name, Amen

Thursday, May 5, 2016

When Overwhelm Creeps Up Like A Slow-Moving Fog

Dear Sisters,

Sometimes, as the 'wearer of many hats', we lose sight of who we are and forget to take time for ourselves to refresh and become inspired. If you're like me, you try very hard to do everything right, and at times, it takes a toll. Discouragement creeps in like a slow-moving fog on a moonless night, it wants to envelop you and wrap you up, like a spider wrapping an insect.

I know about this because at times, things become overwhelming and I want to fold up and give in to the grip of despair. Yet, I do not let myself become consumed by the lie to give up, give in, forget my dreams and hopes and throw in the towel. No, I refuse to allow the enemy to dictate to me what my emotions and actions should be at any given moment!

I want to encourage you to recognize when the 'fog' is creeping up on you, when the lies of the enemy are becoming louder than real life. Acknowledge overwhelm for what it is, then as soon as possible, bow out of what is going on right then, whatever it is. Close yourself in another room, take a moment to chat with the Lord, wash your face, choose an encouraging Scripture to meditate on. Remind yourself  that this scenario shall pass. We used to joke about sniffing lavender...but it's a real thing...have some on hand and sniff away!!! Bliss!

Go outside, pull weeds, walk around your yard and enjoy the scenery, sit and stare at the sky and think of the Greatness of God...take a few moments for yourself, to quiet yourself, to be still and know that He is God. It is not selfish, I promise. Ask God to fill you afresh, to pour into you until you are full...then make a plan to take some quality time for yourself. Sometimes we all need an afternoon or a day to be rejuvenated. Some of us need more, but I'm not in any phase of life where I can bow out for even a week! A day would be hard, and I cherish it when I get it!

Intentional, uninterrupted time, for me, is a precious commodity as I'm sure it is for most of you. We are well aware of all the things that take our time. I am suggesting that if you have something in your heart you've been craving to do...pray, read, paint, sketch, crochet, knit, write letters, call a loved one, go visit a neighbor...take the time to do it. Schedule it in if you have to, it will give you something to look forward to. You'll know the day and the hour is coming and it will brighten the days ahead of it. Then take it. Not only will you be refreshed in spirit, your family and loved ones will benefit because you will return revived.

Father, help my Sisters and I to know You are the first safe place we must run to when things begin to overwhelm us. Your Word gives us life as we meditate on it. You have blessed us with gifts and joys, dreams and hopes. Let us not become weary in well doing. Help us to take the time to enjoy the blessing of those things in life that are good and that fulfill our creativity. Thank you that every good and perfect gift is from you, Father of Lights. Show us how to use our creative gifts to glorify you as we aim to make our Home-Sweet a haven for those we love. In Jesus Name, Amen

Monday, January 18, 2016

Intentionally Making Our Home-Sweet Part 1: The Peace of Christ

No graphics in this. Just a message from the heart to send, as a foundation for what the Lord leads to follow. We can Intentionally Make Our Home-Sweet...but we must start at the beginning.

There is no true peace without Christ.

We cannot rightly minister to others without ourselves being in right standing with God. Not if we really want to touch the part of them that matters: their heart.

In Christ we are assured the following:

The peace of forgiven sin - The Living Word, The Word Made Flesh. Christ in us the hope of glory.

The peace of knowing that no matter what happens in this world, our Father God is a Steadfast Rock that will never change.

The peace of knowing that when we have come to the end of it all, and are utterly spent, that the Father's Everlasting Arms are open and reaching to draw us in to His embrace.

The peace of the Written Word, the Love Letter, written to us. His truth, His instruction, His promises, His revelations, His light, His Saving Grace.

We can set about making every physical, outward thing beautiful and orderly; nothing out of place. Many succeed at this. Yet, inside, there is naught but an unhappy and troubled heart. A heart full of fear, anger and bitterness. A mind that is discontented, envious, set upon the things of this world and not that which is eternal.

The Christ Follower is to live with a mind set on things above, not on things of the earth where everything will fade and decay and moth can destroy and thief can steal.  The mind that is set upon Christ is focused on eternity and how today, the present, will glorify Him eternally.

We must come to the place of fearing God, which is the beginning of wisdom. To understand the purpose and plan of your place in His eternity. To finally know it's not up to 'me', but up to Him, that allows such rest, peace, and comfort to our soul. This cannot be purchased, manipulated, manufactured, nor fabricated.

God's plan of Salvation, through His Son, The Savior, Christ Jesus, is unbelievable to those who have not tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Sadly, they are blinded to everything He has to offer.

On the other hand, to those who have turned their eyes upon Jesus, cannot deny the joy of receiving His Gift, His Life, His cleansing and the infilling of His Spirit. His presence fills every void space inside us. This is the Door, the Entrance to the Kingdom. That Divine Love floods our soul with rest from every thing that gives us struggle, conquering it as we surrender our will to His.

This fruit does not come unless the heart and life are fully surrendered. This fruit will only grow properly from a branch that is connected to the Vine, Christ.

This world is passing away. The comforts of this world, this life, are not the end. What will happen if our only source of comfort is in our possessions?  What would we do when our possessions rust, decay or come to ruin?

First and foremost, we must have that heart relationship with our Heavenly Father, through Christ. Only a surrendered heart can bring peace to others. Only a surrendered heart can bring life to others. Only a surrendered heart can bring unselfish, true love to others.

We are called as followers of Christ, Who is The Way, The Truth and The Life, to deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Him. Our lives should reflect the Kingdom of God. Is the reflection of Christ's beauty clear in our lives? Will those who look to us to see Him, see Him clearly?

And so, finally, how does this affect my home?

A heart at peace with it's Savior will reflect all that comes from the Savior, no matter where we are or how we are being poured out for His glory. Every circumstance and situation must reflect His peace. If it is yet a struggle, spend time with Him and sort it out. Remember what was said previously, we are on a journey. It is a walk taken one step at a time. Be willing and let him work.

Our homes should also be a reflection of every fruit of God's Spirit. In like manner, as the Spirit is poured into us, His vessels, we are then to be poured out to others.

It only makes sense that if we are filled to overflowing, we have more than enough to give to others.This infilling comes as we spend deliberate time with the Lord. What a joy that each day He will give us fresh manna, not only to sustain ourselves, but to nourish others as well.

When all is said and done, it is always about others. We know what this world is about, let us strive to show those who come into our homes and lives that we have been feasting on Heavenly Manna, and we have more than enough to share.

The Kingdom of God is within you. Since we are Christ's, it is possible to show the world what living in the Kingdom is like now. Not one sweet morning when this life is over.

Ask Father where to start. First in your heart, and then in your home. Empty your heart of clutter, and then set about to rid your home as well. The heart must precede the home.

A fresh start is a good thing and we know that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights who does not change like shifting shadows!

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that those who read this reminder will take the time to consider what is written, take it to the Lord and set things in order in their hearts first, as the first stepping stone on this wonderful journey you have set before us, your people. Provide fresh manna for us and those you put in our paths. Thank you. In Christ Name. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Series: Intentionally Making Your Home-Sweet

It has been my observation that life does not always afford circumstances that are blissful. In fact, it seems to be the opposite. I have come to find that Home-Sweet Living does not  simply fall into place, rather it must be intentional.

The times we live in do not tend toward the fruit of the Spirit. On the contrary, this world's fruit is death according to God's Word.

With all the worries, fears, pressures and opportunities for anxiety today, there is an even greater need to bring a peaceful atmosphere into our homes, to make them a sanctuary of God's love. A refuge that guards against the world and the cares of this present age that try to weigh us down.

A home where love reigns. A dwelling where confusion is not allowed to enter. Not just a wooden or brick and mortar box that holds our belongings, but a sanctuary where our families, friends and even we, ourselves, can find rest, away from the stresses of everyday life.
In upcoming posts, I shall attempt to point out some areas where our homes and lives can be just that. True peace does not come upon entering a building, a house...or any physical place on this earth. True peace comes from the Savior. It is a heart attitude.  A heart posture and a heart-home. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world must dwell, abide, in our heart-home. If you have not allowed the Father, the Savior and the Holy Spirit to make their abode in you, as God's temple, there will be no true peace, no matter how tight a ship you run. This is of utmost importance. This must be the first place to have peace, so it can flow from Him to you to others.

As followers of Christ, we, in faith, are able to ask our beloved Father for wisdom, according to James 1:5-6. I have put this to the test and found it to be true on all accounts, in every situation. Bottom line, without Christ, we can do nothing! It is all vanity to believe we can bear the fruit of righteousness ourselves, apart from Christ. It won't work! It shall fail!

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

The deceiver would have us believe that there are areas of our lives that God is not concerned about. That some things are so small that they are not necessary to take to the Throne of Grace. This is a lie from the enemy of our soul! According to Psalm 139, God's thoughts toward us outnumber the grains of the sand. Selah! If that is the case, then the minutest, most miniscule thing, is on His mind, toward us. His eye is on the sparrow, so I know He watches me! He is for us! He wants us to succeed in order to bring glory to His name! If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)? No one!!!

Once we understand we need wisdom, we must make asking for wisdom a priority. As home-makers/home-keepers, it is proper to go to God and ask for that wisdom from above. We must know how He desires us to minister to those He places in our lives. Ask for a Word, a Scripture, a starting point, a point of launch, and when you have it, write it down, print it out and hang it here and there in your home as a reminder of your mission from the Lord. Be mindful of those points of communication from the Lord to you, according to His Word. Always according to His Word.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

You are not a 'bother' to God Almighty. Nothing is too trivial for His infinite power, wisdom, or patience.

Today, go to Him and lay down every burden, every struggle, every work in our own effort, and ask Him where to begin in your Intentional Home-Sweet Journey.

He will not disappoint you. Listen. Obey. Begin to walk in faith in the areas He is showing you! I will be on this journey too. We can encourage one another along the way!

I'd love to hear back from you. What word of encouraging Scripture has the Lord given you as a promise and a reminder to set you walking on the path to intentionally make your Home-Sweet?

Remember as you go: Life is a journey, it is a walk. Nothing happens overnight. Each day we can apply God's Infinite Wisdom to keep us on His path.

Father God, please bless the reader as they humbly ask for wisdom from above, Your wisdom. Guide them in their home-sweet journey and cause them to glorify You as they seek to do so in their lives and the lives of those you bring to them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, January 11, 2016


The month of January, for me, has always set me to thought. A brand new year with new opportunities. A clean slate. Times of refreshing and new beginnings.

The shorter winter days mean more indoor time for me. There is more time for indoor projects. Garden thoughts begin to stir. Thoughts of how to make better things happen with our livestock and birds.

I have set some goals for myself. Goals that will lead me in a new direction. I am happy for that.

I have set my new goals with you in mind. I am thankful for those of you who take the time to read my posts. I would like the time you come to visit to focus more on you and not so much on me anymore. I would like to offer some things to help you bring more focus on your home and the atmosphere you create, whether you are at home alone or in a house filled with people.

I would like to share some creative home-making projects. Inspiring you in filling your home with thoughtful things to bless those who live there or come for a visit or those whom the Lord impresses upon your heart to bless.

Making home doesn't take a lot of money, nor does it take fanciful items. Making home takes love, and out of that love can come a home where others can bask in the presence of the Lord Jesus, who right now has gone to make a home for us, that we may be where He is.

Let us follow the path of our Creator, and fill our homes with love, because love never fails.

My prayer is that we would spend time at the feet of our Dear Savior and learn how He would have us reflect His love in the home He has blessed us with, be it ever so humble.