Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yippy

Oh my coolness!

I have never professed to be a techie/computer guru or anything of the like.  I am slow to learn some things sometimes.  I have figured out how to help others share this blog.  Now, under each post there are new share options.

Learning, always learning.  :)

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Just say it.

I've had more than one experience in the past 48 hours where I've come face to face with emotions.  Emotions of my children, emotions of my own & emotions of friends.  I'm a very emotional person.  I love people.  I love to love on people.  I. Just. Love. People.  I've learned a lot about emotions in the last few years and I've learned it the hard way.  I've learned that every body has them.  I've learned that my angry won't look like your angry and my sad won't look like your sad.  My hurt might cry...your hurt might fight--but it's all still hurt, it's all still saddness, and it's all still anger.

Along with this heart that craves to love on people, my ears have been sensitized to hear people differently.  I don't know when it happened but at some point when I'd visit with people I wouldn't just hear the details of what they were saying, I'd hear the emotion driving their perceptions of those details.  Was that confusing?  What I mean is, when someone would share with me how they were angry with someone and about a disagreement they may have had.  I wouldn't just hear the words they repeated to me from the disagreement.  I'd hear how they FELT when they heard whatever words had been spoken to them.  There is a difference.  Because you see, whatever we feel when someone says something to us has a HUGE impact & determines what comes out of our mouths next.

What is my hearts desire?  Well, each time I've been slapped in the face with these emotions in the last 2-3 days, I keep coming back to the same point.  If we can be present enough in the midst of the situation when we are offended to say to ourselves, Wow, that comment really hurt me.  I can't believe they just said that to me.  And then be able to hold our tongues for just a second while we collect our next sentence so that when it is spoken it sounds something like, That comment you just made hurt me.  After all, didn't it?  I mean, that is what we felt, right?  It is the emotion that's behind the comment that usually comes out of our mouths sounding more like Well, you know what?!  I don't like the way you never pick up your dirty clothes!!  Ok, so what do their clothes have to do with anything?  I'll tell you.  Their lack of picking up their clothes is two things:  1) Us thinking of something to complain about--something they do wrong and maybe even hurt them back, and 2) an attempt to defend our hearts. 

So, did we solve anything?  Nope.  Why didn't we just say it?  Why?  Because, it's risky.  It's vulnerable.

I'll take this opportunity to throw myself under the bus.  I've got this bucket of hurt and bitterness I lug around.  This is a busy bucket because I'm constantly letting God hold my bucket for a while and then inevitably, going and getting it back again.  After wearing myself out (cause its a heavy bucket) I take it back to Him.  Again.  Recently, someone came to me and shared with me a really positive thing about someone who, in the past, has been very hurtful to me and yes, it's in my bucket still.  My immediate, unfiltered and defensive response?  I'm done with them, I don't really care.  (Yes, I know, beautiful, right?!)  After a few hours, I had to return to the person who shared the positive news with me and appolgize to them.  You see, the person who shared the news with me has never been hurt by the other.  Actually, the person that shared the positive news with me shared it because they were happy for their friend.  The person that shared with me, loves both of us.  So, what did I manage to do--create another offense.  I did apologize for my nasty comment,  which (thankfully) was warmly received.  

I am not naive enough to think that just saying it will create world peace.  I'm well aware that additional injury may occur to our hearts.  This too was just modeled when two people who love each other and whom I love dearly stood on opposite sides of an offense.  After the incident, after emotions were cooled off, one party said to the other, "That hurt my feelings earlier when you ___________."  However, unfortunately, the other person didn't really hear and listen.  The first words returned were, "Well, you shouldn't have ___________."  (Oh no!  Adding insult to injury.)  The lesson to be learned here--sometimes our defenses (if we feel we MUST share them) should either be shared with a third party (oooo, maybe even God) -or- carefully worded in a way that doesn't end up leaving an already injured person, feeling attacked again.

If there's such a chance of further injury, if sharing honest emotions could possibly lead to more hurt then why do it?  Because more times than not it calms the water.  AND, in the end, a deeper relationship is created.  If we'll just say it--just man up and put it out there--we end up dealing with truth.  We end up taking off the masks we wear.  We end up building real relationships.  We end up growing as a person (no, not physically).  Best of all, we end up able to show more love and in return, get more love.  Who doesn't like love?   

If we can start to just say it on the smaller, safer issues we'll get practice.  We will see how it dissolves arguments and allows others to see the real person we are.  There are still going to be offenses.  There will still be times when we risk telling the real emotion of our hearts to someone and they throw yet another insult or further defend their previous attack.  When that happens, the very best thing to do is turn around, hold your breath, and tell Jesus.  I know it's not the easiest thing to do or more people would do it.  It's much easier to hurl an insult or sling an attack. 

We aren't taking the wimpy way out, we are taking the way to our Savior's lap.  Now that, THAT is an awesome place to be! 

I challenge you mate, try it.


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www.justmorejesus.com

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Control or Me?

So as I'm doing my journal writing over the weekend and expelling my newest list of complaints, concerns and questions, God spoke the following to me.  Maybe there is at least one other person who struggles with control issues... 

Let go of what you are used to.  Let Me work through you.  Be open to a different way.  You do have My power within you but you aren't completely trusting me.  You still want to make Me fit into a mold.  That's not Me.  That's you.  Your fingerprints are all over that.  "Same" is comfortable to you.  Trust...um, not so much.  I want to work in you but uncomfortable is where I do my work.  When you find yourself in uncomfortable, you look outside yourself for safety, protection & guidance.  If I am the person you look to, I give you what is necessary for the task.  I give you the tools you need, the grace to deal with the circumstances & I bathe you in peace.  That's a bath you want.  You associate misery, frustration & anxiety with uncomfortable.  None of those words describe Me.  Where in you are you so hung up on holding onto control?  Search within yourself, find out where, then together we'll go there and start loosening the white knuckle grip you have on it.  Uncomfortable is a place of learning.  I can mold you there.  I can re-write some false messages that have been carved on your heart.  I can nurture you.  What stands in the way of a deeper and more open, honest relationship with Me?  You.  Your insistence on control.  Your fear to trust.  You have been living for years by false messages.  When you are removed from the grip of those false message, that's growth.  That's freedom.  The tighter you hold on to control in any area, the more blinded you are to see Me, to know Me, to learn my nature, and to feel my love.  My love is like none other.  You don't even have vocabulary to describe its fullness and completeness.  I don't hurt.  I'm good.  I'm safe.  I'll keep pounding this same message on your heart until you let go.  "Uncomfortable" is only uncomfortable leading up to the release.  Once you release it all to Me, you open the channel for My grace, love and peace to flow into that sacred spot you work so hard to protect.  Your fears choke My power out of your life.  Trust isn't a bad word.  I know every single thing that has tightened your grip.  As long as you have it, I can't heal it.  You just think that control feels good.  Control isn't living.  Control isn't freedom.  You have no idea what that controlled place will feel like when its replaced with My peace.  Its your choice.  I must have access to all of you.  What will it be?  What do you really want?  Control or Me?

Be open to "uncomfortable", it's the road to Me.

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This again was a time when God spoke to me through my pencil.  I shared it here as I received it.  I pray someone else is touched by His messages to me and I hope too that you are helped in an area where I continue to struggle--control.  Ugh...it's a tough one for me.  It's a message He keeps repeating to me.  Thanks for allowing me to share.

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www.justmorejesus.com

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Circumstances: Move.

Get out of my way circumstances.  You are attempting to block my view of my Savior.  Umm, not something I'm willing to let happen.  Sure, you might get away with it for a while, but I refuse to live with blocked vision. 

How many times do I utter the words, "Ugh, I just don't know what to do!"  Usually while I'm either running my fingers through my hair, crying my eyeballs out, pacing the floor or all three.  Has it ever occurred to you that we--me and you--make living this life too difficult? 

Have you ever found yourself wishing someone would just sweep in and take up the fight for you?  How about take up the fight and let you rest, fill you with peace, heal you, and love you while they fight for you?  Have you ever felt overwhelmed and wondered how much longer you can keep it all up?  I have.  For a very simple example (Even though it sure didn't feel simple at the time!!), I remember when all of my three girls were small and I was dropping them off at daycare before going to work when I ran into my brother.  He was bringing his children to the same daycare.  He walked over to one of my little ones and picked her up which gave him a good view of a few fingernails that needed a little trimming.  Okay, maybe they needed a little more than trimming, maybe they needed cutting, like last month.  Now, as I'm sure you can relate, I was juggling three balls at one time and if I even thought about resting, one of the balls threatened to fall in the floor and then everything would come crashing down.  I was, like many of you, a wife and mother & I worked full time.  In my juggling act, I was just releasing one ball milli-seconds before I had to catch the next.  The picture I am trying to draw is--soon and very soon it was all going to crash down around me.  I was overwhelmed. 

So, my brother has my little girl and he (not meaning any harm) says, "Does your uncle need to cut your fingernails for your mama so you won't scratch anybody?"  Yep, that was the straw.  Without intending to hurt me, he had called me out and drawn attention to something I was failing to do in front of all the super-mama's & daddy's,  all the employees of the day care & (the very worst critic of all) me!  What he might as well have said was, "Oh my goodness!  Look at these horrible fingernails!  Your mama needs to get with it.  Can't she do anything right?  Have your nails ever been cut?!  Bless your little, neglected heart.  I'm a perfect daddy and I am the best fingernail cutter, ever.  I'll take care of you sweet baby, since your mama obviously can't." 

Yes, I know.  Drastic exaggeration.  But that's what my heart did to me that day.  I was so tired.  Today I don't deal with cutting fingernails anymore but I still have "stuff".  There are always going to be things in our lives.  Sometimes they are little things, like fingernails.  Other times, they are things that sneak up behind us and obliterate us like a bomb, drastically altering life as we know it.  Without fail, we struggle to get our footing.  We trip over hurt and confusion.  We stumble over worry and fear.  We hold on desperately to control and pride.  We look for possible solutions here and there.  We may even stop and try to re-focus but circumstances fill our eyes and feelings scream in our ears.

Maybe you say, don't my feelings matter?  They are real!  And what about those circumstances, they are pretty stinkin' real too!  Yes, you are right.  Your circumstances are real and your feelings ABSOLUTELY matter.  Not just to me, but even more importantly, to your Savior.  It would be really easy to think Here she is talking about stupid fingernails but my circumstances make fingernails look like a play-doh.  I know right where your coming from.  You've got one of those "bomb-type" of situations and your desperate.  Good news:  the same truths apply to both big and small circumstances.  As long as you are focusing on them, you can't see Jesus.  Peter walked on water toward Jesus, until he looked at the wind & waves. (Matt 14:28-31)  You might have one heck of a battle in front of you.  You may even be sitting right smack-dab in the center of one right now.  You may be at a crossroads with the direction of your life.  You might have some things that seem to have no solution.  You know what?  That isn't your fight.  It isn't your fight!  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  (2 Chron 20:12)   So, is that it, do you just face eminent defeat?  Oh but no!  Because scripture goes on to say, We do not know what to do, BUT our eyes are upon You!  Verse 15 of the same chapter says, This is what the Lord says to you:  Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army (or your circumstances).  For the battle is not yours, but God's.  AMEN! (and thank goodness, right?!)

Are you tired?  Are you overwhelmed?  Are your circumstances hurting you?  Are they clouding your outlook?  God Almighty is the only answer. Exodus 14:14 says He will fight for YOU, sweet & dearly loved child, and you shall keep your peace.  He is with us right now.  He helps us.  He fights for us.  (2 Chron 32:8) 

Let's not try to do this living thing on our own.  Let's not try to make it so difficult.  That's why we have a Savior!  Let's take our eyes off the wind & waves and put them back on Him. 

Dear Circumstances, move.


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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ramblings...

Hi Friends of mine!!  I hope you all are doing just g-r-e-a-t (Tony the tiger style).  I'm really working on new ideas for Just More Jesus.  I'm thinking of ways to get the word spread.  I'm praying about it constantly and I have full confidence that God will make a way.  YOU may be a part of that so run your mouth.  Tell anyone and everyone you know.  In my efforts to spread the word, I made these videos (out of the box living for me!!) and I've gotten some really nice comments about the first video so I figured, why not make another one issuing a public "Thank You"--Which you may see below:  (If you happen to have seen the "Thank You" video on YouTube, this is the same video here.  I've only done two so far.  I've posted both on YouTube and both here.)


video

Isn't it funny that I managed to talk for two more minutes after I said I'm not gonna keep you any longer.  Sorry!!

On another note, I also should probably explain that even though that particular Sunday School class flopped, I have been very fortunate to lead other Sunday School classes and Bible Studies.  I am very grateful for those opportunities and for the sweet, dependable people who were faithful to show up for each meeting.  I am appreciative of their efforts.  I can love to teach and share God's Word but I've gotta have people willing to listen or otherwise I'm like a little girl playing school with her dolls.  So, those of you who have been nice enough to attend the classes and studies--I'm forever grateful.  If I'm going to tell a (not so positive) experience I had, I need to be willing to share a positive one.  Just so happens I actually have one (smile, wink, wink).  Right after I tried to start that class that I refer to in the video, I began, also through the church, a six week Bible study that I was inspired to write.  The first night we were to meet you can know I was very nervous.  Let's not forget that I had just had the multiple no-show experiences.  Now, please don't misunderstand me here.  I know that it isn't about numbers.  The number of people present in no way determines how the Holy Spirit shows up and works.  However, for a girl who had just come off of a rather humiliating experience with the Sunday School class, God decided to baby me a little.  We had so many people show up that we had to move to a larger room and bring in extra chairs.  Wow, how humbling.  Don't think God can't do things for you.  He can!  He does!  He's teaching us when we think we're just "living" day to day.  The lessons are there, the questions is, am I looking and listening.

In this life we are living, it's very easy to get so busy that we don't notice anything other than how behind we are at work, how tired we are, what a mess our houses are, what bills are overdue, who has a doctor's appointment & what on earth everyone in my house is going to eat tonight...BUT, I am challenging myself & you too this upcoming week.  Step outside your box.  Find a friend to say hi to that you haven't spoken to in a while, check on a neighbor, call a family member you don't speak with regularly, send a real letter to someone in the real mail (I love to get real mail instead of just bills, don't you?!), do something out of your ordinary rat race to connect with a person.  It only takes a few minutes and you have no idea the impact your few minutes may have on their life.  If we aren't careful (me included) we can get so comfy in our own lives that we cease our outside of the box involvement.  When you start getting yourself alone in your own world, you are in dangerous territory.  You become easy prey for Satan to start selling you lies.  I know this one.  Perhaps you sit on the end where you need someone to reach out to you.  If you feel that way and you realize it--please REACH OUT.  I know its hard.  I've been there (recently).  I guarantee you whatever contact you have will begin to turn your perspective.  If you can't muster up the courage to do anything else, you can go to my website www.justmorejesus.com and use the "contact me" tab to send me an email.  I will get back to you.  Promise.  God doesn't want us to be alone.  He intends for us to fellowship with each other, encourage each other, cry with each other, laugh with each other--just build relationships.  They are the ONLY thing we get to take with us into eternity. 

PS------->   I love you--but more importantly--your Savior loves you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Obedient Steps = Hard Steps

I spent the day trying to prepare a couple of videos yesterday and boy was that weird...oh, and hard...and awkward, and uncomfortable...wait, did I say hard?...oh yes, and difficult, embarrassing AND hilarious!  I wish now I hadn't deleted all the attempts I made because they could make a great outtakes reel.  I'm really going to save those "attempts" next time so that when I have a friend who is kinda in a blue mood--the outtake reel is on the way to turn the frown upside down.


I've created a YouTube channel (with the following video) and have even considered trying some video blogs??  Stay tuned.


Nice still, right?


I've got a few ideas buzzing in my head and am spending a great deal of time praying about it.  As soon as I can, I'll be sharing them with you...and maybe even calling you up to help! :) 

You know, every single thing we experience, feel, hear, go through, do, live around, hear about...everything, is part of a bigger plan and picture.  Nothing at all is by accident.  Try to remember as your walking through your busy days that there is a bigger picture here and if we aren't careful, the activities of today, yesterday & tomorrow will steal our focus from God.  I know it happens to me.  (Not sure where that came from, rather random, I admit.)

Please, pretty please, keep praying for me and Just More Jesus.  I'm up-beat some days and then again, some days I'm ready to throw in the towel.  I don't have any logical explanation for some of the things I am doing and thinking about doing--but I do know that pressure from the Holy Spirit only  increases when you hesitate on a directive.  So, I keep stepping...and it's always out there in that daunting, uncomfortable zone.  Some steps, the pressure really has to be turned up before I pick up my foot!  Whew!  However, what do I have to lose?  Right?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

He is ABLE---Period!

Do you believe that I am able to do this? (Matt 9:28)...Well, do you?  Do you believe that I can handle everything for you?  Even the things you've made a dreadful mess of?  Do you believe I can work within you to make you complete, content, peaceful & fulfilled?  Do you believe that I can make your soul brand new by working from your heart out?  Do you believe that your children are safe with Me?  Do you trust Me?  I am safe.  Do you believe that I can satisfy all your needs?  Do you believe that I know EVERYTHING there is to know about you and yet I still love you?  Do you really, really believe that?  Do you know it in your heart?  I love you child.  Did you hear me?  I said, I love you...dearly, completely, just as you are.  Do you believe that I can work through you?  Do you believe that I care about you?  Do you believe that I can take care of you & those you love?  Do you believe that those issues that weigh heavy on your heart...I know about them and I've got it.  Do you believe what My Word says?  Do you believe that I AM GOD?  According to your faith, it will be done to you.  (Matt 9:29)  Yes, your belief in Me has that much power.  More power than you can even know as long as you've got your fingernails cinching deep in every aspect of your life...frantically trying to work it all out.  What are you so afraid of?  There is no fear in love.  My perfect love drives out fear.  Will you just trust Me child?  Will you stop struggling & start believing Me ABLE?



-He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him because He always lives to intercede for them.  Heb 7:25

-Yet I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed & am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.  2 Tim 1:12

-To Him who is able to keep you from falling & to present you before His glorious presence without fault & with great joy.  Jude 24


Thank you for allowing me to write this from God's perspective...I want to share with you as He says it to me.  Please know that I have taken this all to Him in prayer before posting.



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Called & commissioned by God to serve Him through this ministry, I would be honored to come to speak to your group or church. I love to learn more about Jesus and His love and then share His Word with others.

Contact me:

Website www.justmorejesus.com and use the "contact me" tab.
Email me directly at: angie@justmorejesus.com
Facebook page: Just More Jesus
Mailing address: PO Box 1372, Brunswick, GA 31521

I look forward to hearing from you!! 



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sitting in Silence

For a person who always runs her mouth, sitting before God in silence isn't the easiest thing I've ever done but it is what He's asking for me at this time.  I'm getting phrases from Him and with each Word I'm growing.  It's pretty incredible and humbling to be before Him and just wait in His presence, listening.  He is the air I breathe.  He is God Almighty. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Inspired Inspiration...

Over the years journaling has become a safe place for me to physically write out my hurt, frustration, whining, confusion, praise, joy, & flat out raw anger. My prayer concerns and thanksgivings also find their way to the page. I ask God questions. I thank Him. I praise Him. I complain (probably more than I'm willing to admit) and I just let it pour right on out on the paper--no matter what it is. The good, the bad and the ugly. As a thought comes to my mind, right on the paper it falls.

One particular day I was busy at it and something different happened. Instead of my writing being thoughts that were originating in my head it was like I was hearing them. I began to put them down as they came to me and it was as if I was taking down dictation. I wrote as quickly as I could. Several minutes later, it stopped. Done. Silence. I haven't ever had an experience like that before and I haven't had one since. Even though it was only a few months back...I'd give anything to "hear" again--to hear like that every minute of every day.

Last week I began to think that I needed to share it here with you here. I do so with a certain amount of hesitation because it was such an unusual event. Lots of times when you share special things like this--no one else seems to "get it" the way you felt it. However, as is the case when God is leading me to do something. I have the thought. I almost always initially dismiss it because it is usually something I don't want to do right away. When I finally have the same thought over and over and nothing new comes to me I decide God's waiting on me to realize that I need to obey Him on that "step" before He gives me the next step to take.

So, maybe there is something in what follows that will encourage you in your journey. Yours isn't going to be what mine is, nor mine what yours is--but, you DO have a God given journey ahead. As you take steps of faith, as you walk in obedience, as you prepare...know this:

Persecution will come. Be ready for it. Recognize it for what it is--persecution. Proceed as though it did not happen. Check yourself against the Word. That is the only voice you should pay attention to. You may be surprised at the mouths from which persecution comes. Fear not. Proceed. Sit your heart in My hands to be guarded. Keep your emotions in check. Attacks will be directed at your weaknesses but your weaknesses are MY strengths. This is MY mission. My goals. Mine to defend. It is not your job to defend against attacks. The battle goes on even now over your head. I am fighting for you now. You will get Satan's attention. Be bold. Don't be deterred. Proceed as if you are running a race to a clearly marked finish line and as if you children's lives are at stake. This is no game. Souls linger in the balance. Your obedience to deliver messages from me will be crucial for the outcome of some soul's eternity. Don't give up. They are all around you--lost souls--blending into your life. Lost is a little word to describe the destiny of those souls. It is vital that you go--without fear. Bold. It won't be easy so you have been prepared. Expect difficulty. Be diligent to pray. Get others to pray for you, with you. My mission is more important that the oxygen you breathe. You don't go alone. God and a host of angels go with you. You aren't fighting for Me, I am fighting for you. Take My Word. It is imperative. It is time. There is no luxury here--only see the souls. There are real flames for lost souls. An eternity of mental and physical anguish awaits. That is why I call it saved. I am saving them from torment. Eternal torment. Your heart has been softened and prepared every day of your life--just for this. What you all think is important in life amounts to nothing. I see Kingdom pictures--you don't. Give them the vision. Kingdom knowledge. Kingdom vision. Kingdom senses. Be ready to feel the burden of the lost souls you are surrounded by. You will know the reason and feeling behind the tears that were shed over Jerusalem before the crucifixion. This isn't pretend or play. Don't forget, I am sending you. Stop questioning worthiness. You aren't worthy in your flesh but I have made you my child and your soul is paid for. It is not a question of worthiness. It is a question of necessity brought on by the immense love I feel for all my people. Why question worthiness? If your worthiness got you this mission then it'd be about you and not me. I love you. I love them. Do you understand love? No. You have no means by which to compare it or comprehend it--but you will. Hold on to ME. Go. I have equipped you. I DO see what lies ahead and I have all the necessary items. Weep over the lost. I want you to feel the necessity of the deliverance of my message. You haven't known "important" before now. Mission-minded. My Kingdom awaits. Listen to me child. I love you. I didn't make a mistake in choosing you for this. Don't forget that. Stay close to Me at all times. Keep refueling on My written Word. Focus on Me. Focus on lost-ness. Stay in Me. I've got this. I've got you. Go. Remember, you aren't going alone. Armies--do you hear me--full out armies go with you, ahead of you, around you, behind you--and your family. It won't be easy--but I've got it all. You are ready. I've got this.

I typed it as it was given and I know it kinda flips and flops around...but, they aren't my words to arrange. I won't try to add anything to that. Even a couple months later it is equally as powerful to me as it was that morning. It's as if He let me write down a pep-talk He had for me. After I finished writing it all down, I knew--somehow--that He wanted someone to read that back to me. I walked it right over to Abby and had her read it out loud to me. I've typed it up and I carry it around with me everywhere. I hope you too are somehow encouraged or awakened by this "inspired inspiration"...


______________________________________
Called & commissioned by God to serve Him through this ministry, I would be honored to come to speak to your group or church. I love to learn more about Jesus and His love and then share His Word with others.

Contact me:

Website www.justmorejesus.com and use the "contact me" tab.
Email me directly at: angie@justmorejesus.com
Facebook page: Just More Jesus
Mailing address: PO Box 1372, Brunswick, GA 31521

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ok. I get it. I just don't like it.

Somehow I can easily remember all my hurts. In fact, somewhere deep inside me, there is probably a clip board with a neat list detailing each hurt and its corresponding offender. Some bigger, some smaller, each with its own scar. Some are confronted, settled, talked through, apologized for & forgiven. Some, not discussed, never apologized for, but mysteriously, through a work done in me by God, they too are completely forgiven. Then, there are those, not breathed about. Not spoken. Not admitted. Certainly never apologized for. Sure, they find themselves in prayers, in silent conversations with God...but only as a fleeting thought. Once in a while, for various reasons, the container that's been subduing the monster opens and a wild flush of brand new pain sweeps through me. Immediately, all over again, Hurt is out and wreaking havoc. Its fresh. I can feel it, smell it, & remember with unrelenting clarity. I'm able to wrestle Hurt back in his container and seal the lid. Whew! That's done...for a time.

What's that I feel now? It's kinda sour tasting. I feel kinda yucky. I might be a little bit angry. No, I'm a lot angry. I'm uncomfortable. I'm tired. I feel heavy. I might be stuck. If I didn't know better, I'd think I had concrete strapped to me. What did you just say to me? Don't push me because I am exhausted. I'm not sure why...but even still...don't you even breathe wrong. Watch your step because I can get down right vicious. Just try me.

Who is that whispering? God, is that YOU? What did you just say? Did I just hear the word "Forgive"? What are you bringing that up for? Oh, that. Yes God, she and I talked that through, she apologized to me and I gladly forgave her. Don't you remember when we did that? Or are you talking about that other thing. Well, you'll be pleased to know I managed to forgive that too. Look at me...I'm a forgiving machine. You are still whispering God, what is it that I'm missing? Oh stop. Surely you don't mean THAT! I mean, really God?! We hardly ever even talk about that. How did you even remember? I don't even like to bring it up. There is absolutely nothing good about even going there. Hurt lives there God, you know that. Why must we go knocking on his door and wake him up? Ugh! Don't you love me God? Why would you ask me to do go there when you know I don't like Hurt. You know how much I avoid him. It took me a long time to even make it through a day without being dominated by Him and yet you ask me to go see Him again? Besides, I've got that taken care of. Hurt is neatly hidden away. I never breathe a word of it to anyone else. Its done. Its easier if we just move on.

Oh wait, while I've got your ear God, I have been feeling kinda yucky. Maybe I'm working too hard. Maybe it's my age. But I am so tired. I feel rotten. Could you help me out with that? Give me some strength maybe? What did you say? Forgive? God, really now, you're kinda getting hung up on this "forgive" thing...geez! Can we not just talk about how I'm feeling and how I'm needing your help here...UNLESS... No. Surely not. This has to be a bad joke. You mean to tell me that keeping Hurt in that container all this time is draining me of energy? I'm tired because of Hurt?

Ok, I think I get it and I don't think I like it. Keeping Hurt hidden and contained, which I thought was just survival, you call unforgiveness? Well, what about MY feelings, God? After all, this is Hurt we are talking about. He didn't get his name because he drew it out of a hat. I've got some deep wounds here God. They still feel the same actually, no better, even after all this time. I clearly know that Your Word says you care about me and making me release Hurt from his container isn't something you do to someone you love. God, this isn't fun. What about my heart? I can't do this! Do what? Trust You? Hmmm, this won't be easy. But I am tired, this is heavy, and...You are God. I can do all things through You who gives me strength. Even things I clearly don't want to do!

I'm so glad I have you God. I'm so glad you care so much about my feelings. I'm grateful that you urge me to trust You enough to open that container. Let Hurt out. You assure me that you are going to heal my wounded heart caused by Hurt. You are going to heal me and since I finally quit fighting that container, you can take care of that festering bitterness that has slowly been oozing out and poisoning me. That's what I've been tasting...I knew it was sour. You are going to nurse me back to health while I put my faith in action and allow you to do two jobs at once...heal me and love through me...even those I deem unlovely. Let's be real. After all, I am, without a doubt, someone's unlovely.

I've always felt unforgiveness meant my feelings didn't matter, the wrong committed didn't matter, and I just needed to follow God's commands (drill sergeant style) and just put my hurt away. Be tough. Stand tall. Get over it! Then, I think, how much does that sound like a heavenly father who is "compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, faithful, maintaining love to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion, sin & punishing the guilty." (Ex 34:6) Seems I wasn't fully understanding of this "forgiveness" thing. Its really not mine to do...God does it through me. My job: Surrender it to a trustworthy, loving, mighty God.

I have to re-learn this lesson on unforgiveness just about every time I realize I've got another hurt stuffed in a container. The pain is so real. The anger so justifiable. The lie we believe is that if I let God heal my hurt then the "offender" did nothing wrong. That convincing lie keeps us fighting a hurt a long time. We have to know God is a just God. More than anything He loves us and when we hurt, He hurts. Surrendering and forgiving isn't giving your stamp of approval to all those wrongs that hurt you, but it is giving God access to your heart to heal you and love you with safe, unfailing love.

____________________________________________
Called & commissioned by God to serve Him through this ministry, I would be honored to come to speak to your group or church. I love to learn more about Jesus and His love and then share His Word with others.

Contact me:

Website www.justmorejesus.com and use the "contact me" tab.
Email me directly at: angie@justmorejesus.com
Facebook page: Just More Jesus
Mailing address: PO Box 1372, Brunswick, GA 31521

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

...and now I just wait to see.

Faith. Scripture says it's being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) Well, let's see...I've "hoped" for years to share a loving Savior with hurting people and I have "not seen" how that could ever be possible. As you already know...I thought, hmmm...why not just try to start taking Him at His word??

Not sure why I was thinking that was going to be sooooo hard? I finished the Bio's with the help of several friends who were kind enough to send me amazing references. I've already mailed out the first "printing" (which I use VERY loosely because I sent the first ones out to churches of friends). Now, I've made a second "printing" and I am sending them to as many area churches as I can get the addresses. I'll gladly send one to any church anywhere. I just need the address. If you'd like one sent to your church just get me the necessary information. I'd be delighted! I've wondered if my mailman knows that he's in active missions?? :)

You can email me at angie@justmorejesus.com if you'd like information sent to your church or group. By the way...if you have any other comments, concerns, or questions for me--feel free to use the same email address.

We (that would be God and me) are actually doing this thing! I'll keep mailing out Bio's and making contacts until He says stop. We'll see what He has planned. I'm excited. I know the time is now. I know the message is His.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Steps of faith.

So I decided April 22, 2011 to create a Bio and ask for references. That was a big step for me. Having a very difficult time with positive comments about myself (not really sure why), I struggled with asking people to put something down on paper for me to use as references. I made a list of about 15-20 people to ask. I decided ahead of time that if I got something back from just half of them, that would be enough. The devil tried to talk me out of it more than once. First, he used the old line with me. "Who are you to ask people to write down nice things about you. That's pretty boastful isn't it? Scripture talks about being boastful Angie!" Since I had already had the revelation (see last blog) and now had the assurance within that I'm not promoting me but instead the saving power of Jesus...that lie didn't work this time. Then, another dart, "You've already told people about this 'ministry thing' before and you chickened out. What do you think is going to make this time different? They'll never believe you Angie. In fact, I can just see them laughing now." Happy to report: darts extinguished, requests sent out, & obedience felt GREAT! Yes, I was a little anxious but the feeling of accomplishment and excitement out weighed the anxious rumblings. I told myself, give people two weeks before you even begin to think they aren't going to send a reference for you.

The wait began...

Journal entry one after requests sent out: Lord, I want to carry myself with your confidence. Be in me, in my mind, my heart, my spine, and on my tongue. It is through You that I have the confidence to go onward. Boldly.

Entry two: Lord I only want to do what you want. Keep my ear to your mouth. Drown out the voice of the enemy. Send me to the next step. Keep me focused. I want to be obedient. I know obedience unleashes Your power, I'm ready! What at this moment? Pray, study.

Entry three: Just More Jesus--God I know it is time. I feel it is time. I pray you hold me. Prepare me. Grow me. Teach me. Guide me. Love me. Give me wisdom Lord, give me discernment to make decisions. Help me to take each step. Give me eyes and ears that hear only You. Cover me.

Entry four: Lord, I said I'd give people two weeks--now help me stick to that.

Then it occurs to me that maybe God wants me to do my part of the Bio first so that whatever ends up on my Bio won't be copied off of any reference I get. I begin to sense God saying..."You write the Bio Angie, then I'll get you references."

UGH! I didn't want to write a Bio. What is more uncomfortable than asking someone else to write things about you? Try writing them about yourself! It was horribly uncomfortable for me. However, after a few days I decided I needed to write the stinking Bio!!

Entry five: I finished my part of the Bio...even though it took the better part of two days to come up with a couple of paragraphs. As I am literally typing up the finishing part, I get an email containing the first reference! My part done. First reference arrives. Bingo. Now, should I send reminders to the others? Lord guide me. I don't want this to be about me at all!

A few new wrinkles later, I sent reminders and everyone I reminded thanked me for it! How funny that I was stressing about sending them and then they actually thanked me for reminding them in the end. A little over a month after I sent out the requests and here I sit with a nearly completed Bio. I ended up sending 16 requests and 12 of those people responded with eagerness to help!! When will I simply exercise my faith?!

It's funny how God takes us through processes. (Otherwise known as "growth"...)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Going.

I've always had this system of belief that things deserving recognition will make themselves known. For example, as my girls entered school, I never wanted to run around telling how really smart they were and that they deserved special attention or mention. I just believed that if they were indeed "so smart" teachers would notice and see it from interacting with them and from reviewing their work. I just didn't want to brag or appear arrogant.

Fast forward to when I began to sense the Holy Spirit giving me a inward fire for ministry. I was burning so intensely for hurting people and a compulsion to share God with them that my skin was searing. Anyone I reluctantly shared this burn with, I preceded with five minutes of disclaimers, excuses and apologies for even considering that I might be useful for God. The inadequacy had its origination in this desire to not brag or appear arrogant which I suppose could be an admirable desire, but not when dressed in and motivated by HUGE self-doubt.

I have written and recently reviewed YEARS of journaling begging God to reveal to me the why, when & where. I prayed earnestly for open doors and opportunities. When neither of those things happened as I imagined they could have...more doubt settled in. Eventually I had nearly extinguished the fire and convinced myself that an arrogant me had mis-heard God.

As I watched years roll by I rolled through all sorts of emotions. Embarrassment for placing myself in a category with others in ministry for whom I have much admiration. Anger at God because I knew ministry was where He wanted me but yet He wasn't allowing me to live it out. Hurt because He placed a raging passion inside of me and then sat me in a corner and forgot all about me. Awareness of the intense spiritual battle I was in and the defeat I was surrendering to. Exhilaration and victory for every little step that I made back down the right road only to almost immediately accept defeat again. And, I couldn't just exist because I had huge pressure coming from outside telling me all the reasons why not and this intense, persistent force within me saying..."Go girl! Share Me!" Oh, what misery. Pure misery.

A friend of mine who is passionately serving in missions created a newsletter and mailed it out. When I opened mine, my heart hurt. I was angry, jealous, and defeated...again. She was doing it! She was putting herself out there. Believing and living out her belief.

I wrote in my journal:
God, I want to believe like Moses and Abraham. I want radical, bold belief. I feel so inadequate to do what my soul burns to do and yet that is exactly what you need--a willing, inadequate soul. God I have a desire to be wholly and fully willing and obedient. I am pure in the blood of Christ. Help me with the ugly, fleshly filth that must be dealt with. What would you have me do? Is everybody not tired of hearing me harp about my testimony? Am I living in the past? Recent past or not, it is still my testimony. It is pretty remarkable that we made it through intact. How about not just intact--we made it through BETTER! God, is it too much to ask for an encourager? If that encourager is to be You, shout louder God! Lord, if I am supposed to put myself out there, like other people in ministry that fight for it...for You...for lost people... Oh, wow! Eye opener! I'm not fighting to get out there and show "me" off. I am showing off YOU to a lost and hungry generation. Wow! I almost don't know what to say. Not everyone would even understand the hugeness of what has just been revealed to me! You are amazing God! Thank you for caring about me. What next? What in the next 5 minutes? I'm desiring to be led even off of this very stool I sit on. Willing. Send me. Use me. Help me walk in a belief that KNOWS You can do all You say You can do!

Don't you know God said, "Goodness, that girl FINALLY got it. This isn't about HER, it's about ME! Now go, Angie. This is a serious deal. This is MY deal Angie. These are big issues. These are kingdom issues. There are lost, hurting souls that need to know they have a loving Savior, forgiveness of sins, and an eternal future just waiting to be accepted. Now stop sniveling and GO tell them! Go."

It wasn't immediate as I looked at my friends newsletter. I did see right away that she was doing something I couldn't. She was putting herself out there. She was doing it. But, I didn't see right away that she was putting herself out there for GOD. She was fighting against all worldly forces to be a voice sharing Jesus.

I'm going. I'm willing. Praise God that I am inadequate so that through Him, I am able. Here I go...

I'll need prayer. :)

I have a website--however elementary it might be right now ;)

www.justmorejesus.com

I'm also preparing a Bio. In the Bio, there is a little background information about me and in it I am also requesting an opportunity to come share with any church or group my testimony of God's provision, His Word and His love. This isn't my mission...this is His.

(By the way, if you want a Bio sent to you or your church you can email me at angie@justmorejesus.com)

Let's just see what God has in store.

Monday, January 17, 2011

State of things...

How can a person be so addicted to control? Why must it ALL be as perfect as "I" can make it? How many times must I surrender something? How many times do I have to mess things up before I finally GET IT--before I finally get that I haven't even come close to "getting it"? Do we all struggle with something...always? Guess the answer to that is without a doubt..YES!

I journal a lot. Since I FEEL like I'm just sitting and rotting in a land of wonder, worry and worthlessness...I decided to go back and look at the "state of things" from the journal entries at the beginning of each of the past few years. I share these...realizing they are private and I admit some trepidation. Hopefully though, someone else is helped by reading how brutally honest I can be. :) Notice these aren't summaries of years past but just the first journal entry of each year. They are as follows:

Jan 13, 2004: Dear God, I've been hurt. There is an ache that goes bone deep. An ache that penetrates the soul. An ache that bleeds. I have that ache. It isn't new. I've had it a really long time. The bone chilling pain that rocks my reality & I'm confused. I wonder how to respond the "right" way. To respond or not. Slowly, ever so slowly I'm dying. One piece at a time, sometimes a big piece sometimes a little piece, but each piece falls hard. The empty ache inside gets bigger & bigger...and I die. I'm haunted by an overwhelming, penetrating, aching sadness. I am going to melt one day and fall into the floor in a blop of tears. My memory of the past 3 years is agony. Hard, piercing, choking agony. I feel like if I relaxed for one second I would never get it all back together. I feel like a failure. God, hold me now. Hold me and fill the empty gaping hole in my soul. I'm tired. I hurt. I don't like dying on the inside--alone.

(Wow, tough day...or year...or years.)

Feb 7th, 2005: I'm in the house now, we've been here over a month and I've not written a word. Time flies. A year or more in the making and all that waiting--and here we sit in the house. I actually had no idea what it would be like. It is nice.

Today, instead of starting out with tired, I'll go with another adjective. Drained, desperate, beside myself?! How much sorry-er do I feel for myself? I think I'll stop belly-aching and just hush. I haven't had anyone to just talk to--you know? Just someone to REALLY talk to. Oh, there! I am needed! The washer calls me--beep beep, come here Angie--beep, beep!

(Not so bad...)

Jan 1st, 2006: New Year. New Year. New Year. I started out so positive. Sick kids again. I've worked like crazy today. Laundry, laundry, cleaning, & still more to do. Last week I worked for hours preparing a lesson for this Sunday School class I thought You were telling me to start and I was so excited. It didn't amount. No one came. I don't know what I expected. Well, yes I do, I expected to see that there was some result of all my work. I expected--hoped that my sincere efforts would pay off. I know God is all powerful & I was just thinking He was gonna part the Red Sea for me. And, even as I write this--I hear "yet", I didn't part the Sea for you "yet". I'm just anxious and my anxiousness doesn't speed up God's timing. Oh, do I still trust God? Do I still believe Him capable? God is ABLE to do as HE promises. He loves me. He doesn't want me to hurt.

Jan 4th, 2007: Are you afraid that you have messed up God's plan for your life? Is He all powerful or not? Are you afraid God is going to forget a passion He gave you? Who is in control here? Do you give yourself so much importance that you can thwart God's plan? You trust Him don't you? This gift & passion isn't even yours! It's His. To be used for His glory. Doesn't He like your actions to reflect Him? Submit!

Oh God, I confess anger and frustration. I confess to you all the negativity that spews from my ever running lips. Jesus, don't give up on me.

Jan 11th, 2008: Stagger not at the promise of God through unbelief, be strong in faith, giving glory to God and be FULLY persuaded that what God has promised me, He is ABLE to preform. Don't doubt. Don't try to do it for Him. Do be strong. Do give glory to God.

I do doubt. I do think that my actions, abilities, dedication, strength, and vision will determine my living out what I know God has for me. I think it is all in my hands. He made me. He gave me the gift, then the vision, and now I want to take it and run and see what my strength and abilities will get me. How rude. Stop and listen to Jesus. Not other people, not the church...Jesus! Do what you know from God, Angie. Ignore the rest. Wait on God's perfect plan for you! Stay in the Word. God ALONE is your authority!

(Might as well be honest & then give myself a pep talk!)

Jan 19th, 2009: I heard from a girl today that I went to a conference with years ago. It was a speakers/writers conference and she was in my small group. She befriended me when I felt like I was in a sea of vipers--she and her sister. Actually, they were the first ones who told me that they saw me in a speaking/teaching ministry (confirming what I thought God had already told me) and encouraged me to keep teaching. How about just encouraging me PERIOD! How nice that was! But...now she's published a book and I feel like I've been sitting around twirling my fingers. Without getting my act together and pushing forward I'll spend eternity sitting on my duff! Or will I? Maybe I just need to wait silently on God? Maybe I'm too anxious! I feel like SCREAMING!!

(That seems to be a prevailing theme...)

Jan 2, 2010: The day after a holiday so I worked today. Lord, I don't hate what I'm doing. I even enjoy it. I'm good at organizing and record-keeping. I'm just not passionate about it--not one dab of passion about keeping books anywhere in my body. It feels like it has no lasting value. Its not a bad thing that I'm doing with my life--it's just not the right thing. I want to move on with the direction that I think I should go in but that kinda seems like it'd mess up being able to make a house payment. Ha. Just a small problem. And, while I'm at it, I want a church home. I want something that feels like family. I want to go and worship you and have my life back in ORDER! I just want to grow in you. I want every second of my day to be you, learning you, breathing you, talking you, sharing you, praising you, seeking you--just YOU! Strengthen me God. Bring out the "me" that's in there. The "me" that you fashioned.

So...here I sit in January 2011 and I'm not sure what all the previous years say about the "state of things" today except that I know why I'm still here...God obviously has lots of work left to do on me! I can see I've made progress in some areas and I've messed a lot of things up. Somethings haven't changed at all...I'm glad God doesn't give up on me.