holy spirit

I Want to Be a Tree Part 4 of 6

When Wickedness Abounds

The wicked are not so,

But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Psalm 1:4

It is easy to feel put out when we see ungodly people climbing the ladder of success. We can start to feel like the Prodigal Son’s older brother (Luke 15:25-32) if we are not careful. He was jealous of his younger brother’s blessings. He didn’t stop to notice how blessed he already was.

Psalm 1:4.

  • The wicked are not so, At first glance, ungodly people may appear to be winning, but they don’t have long lasting stability because their roots are not planted correctly.
  • But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. When the storms of life blow, the wicked will fall like dust and fly away with the wind.

This verse may be a comfort for a moment. It reminds us that our godly choices really do matter in the long run.

After further meditation though, I feel a sense of compassion for the unbeliever. They are living their life the best way they know how, but their best efforts are not enough. All of their ventures will turn to trash in the end. How tragic!

I believe that people all around us are searching for meaning. They know that there has to be more to life than what they are currently experiencing.

Action point: Let’s ask Holy Spirit to help us connect with unbelievers around us who are ready to hear the truth about God’s kingdom today! Let's spread seeds, water and fertilize sprouts, and nurture new young trees all around us. After all, trees should reproduce after their own kind.

I Want to Be a Tree Part 1 of 6

I Want to Be a Tree Part 2 of 6

I Want to Be a Tree Part 3 of 6

My sister-in-law who is an artist, sent me this amazing testimony that came out of last week's post Why I Color in My Bible.

Part 1: I have been thinking a lot about "coloring in my bible" ever since I saw your first post on it. <My husband,> John got me a Beautiful Word Bible with lots of room for journaling and drawing on the sides.... but I still haven't been able to jump in (so to speak.) One would think that an artist wouldn't be so hesitant. I think I have finally come to a place where I am ready tho. I am seeking peace.... it's something that doesn't come easy to me, but I NEED it so desperately.... my mind is anxious, and I'm so tired of it. I hope that this time I spend really meditating on certain scriptures as I draw will help quiet that. Thank you for inspiring me to take the plunge and deface my Bible.

Part 2:

So often people look to Christians or even just adults as having it all together. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people talk about other Christians as hypocritical because they mess up and do such and such, as if because they are Christian they should have it all together and never slip and never struggle. Well, I have been a Christian for 15 years now, and let me tell you, I have had my struggles! I have periods of time where I think I'm not doing anything right... lately I have struggled in the area of getting into the Word. I go to church on Sunday, and I cry out to God asking Him to forgive me because I miss that time with Him (and I REALLY want to spend that time daily), but then Monday comes and goes, and I don't. I fall into that Romans pattern of "what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." And then something comes along and a light bulb goes off... something really connects and you start to think "maybe this can help."

This is what I came to when I read my sister-in-law's blog about coloring in her Bible. I read it and "chewed on it" for a while, and then finally decided to try it for myself. This has helped immensely in my meditation of the Word. I cannot remember the last time I spent over an hour meditating on a small portion of scripture.... really getting it in my Spirit, which is what happens when I am coloring in my Bible. For once in a long time I am excited about the time I'm spending in the Word! Thank you, Beth.... really, I can't thank you enough!

PS- If anyone is interested in seeing my "artistic meditations in the Word" let me know.... I would be happy to share my Bible art and maybe inspire someone else like me that needs a boost. Sahra-Dora Olson.

Part 3: Thought I would share this morning's meditation with you. I really can't thank you enough for inspiring me to do this. I can't tell you the last time I spent time concentrating and focusing on a small portion of scripture for over an hour! I REALLY think this is going to revolutionize my time in the Word!
Ps. 12:1-5

I bet this makes you want to check out Psalm 12!

I bet this makes you want to check out Psalm 12!

I Want to Be a Tree Part 3

tree_fjsyakid_l.jpg

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:3

I love trees, but I’m not a tree hugger in the environmental sense. Trees are a poetic inspiration for me. I love to look at them in pictures and in real life.

One of my spiritual daughters has heard me talk about my love for trees so many times, that she has started to tease me about it. She suggests that when I die, I should be cremated and planted with a young tree so that I can physically become a tree!

Consider Psalm 1:3.

  • He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Firmly planted makes me think that someone took the care to plan where the tree was placed. Being close to streams means that the tree’s root system has underground access to life giving water.
  • Which yields its fruit in season At the right time fruit happens. The tree doesn’t have to strain to produce fruit.
  • And its leaf does not wither; Because this tree is planted in fertile soil and in a strategic location, it stays healthy all the way to its tips.
  • And in whatever he does, he prospers. The person whose life is rooted like this tree will have success in whatever he does. Everything he touches will prosper.

Take time to consider your root system today. Ask Holy Spirit if there is any gardening He wants to do in your life. He knows exactly which nutrients and which environment you need so that you can stand firmly planted.

click here to receive your weekly dose of peace by email

click here to visit my spiritual daughter's blog

"Just Pray I Don't Die"

mundane.jpg

It was the first day back to school after Christmas break. The kids were dragging. As I dropped my son off at his school I said, "Elijah, remember that the kingdom of God is in your hands. You have power in your hands."

I know my son, and I could tell that he internalized what I said and was in agreement.

Then, as he got out of the car he said, "Just pray I don't die."

What the heck?! Why is that phrase even a part of his vocabulary.

Now, he was not worried about school shootings. He was simply referring to the drudgery of math class!

"God help me to just make it through this boring class one more time."

Two mindsets were crashing against each other in his head: the possibilities of going on a supernatural adventure and the process of living the everyday mundane.

This battle in the mind happens to us all. The struggle is real. The question is which line of thought are we going to choose to run with?

Many times over the years I have had to remind myself of who I really am in the midst of the mundane.

Running errands is not one of my favorite things to do by far. I much prefer to be at home. I have developed a habit while driving around town of praying and reminding myself that I am not a mere human. Even my presence in a public place, my smile, or a kind word holds power to shift the atmosphere wherever I go.

Here is a song I sometimes listen to in the car as I am headed out:  Supernatural by Mark Snider

When we give our lives to Christ and Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us we are not just normal humans anymore. The trick is to get your mind wrapped around that concept. Let's believe and grow in this together!

 

It Was the Very Wishy Washy Time of Night...

Many nights at bedtime my mind kicks into high gear with ideas and strategies for how to best do all the things I want to do in life. I feel so inspired that I almost want to skip the whole night and get started right away on the next day. Other nights I start to feel bombarded with doubts. I think we all have a certain time of day that doubts try to creep in.

If I ever feel doubtful it is generally at night before bed. Things that seem like a wonderful challenge during the day tend to be much more scary at bedtime when I'm worn out. I am always the the most vulnerable and discouraged at night when I'm tired.

It is so helpful to know this about myself. I am able to notice when I'm feeling unsure of myself which gives me a chance to choose to set my worries aside and reconsider my life with renewed perspective the next morning.

I have also learned that when I'm feeling doubts creeping in I should never make any important decisions. I would never accomplish anything important in life if I didn't put off decision making until I have a peaceful perspective.

Things generally are much clearer after a good night's sleep.

Each day has fresh grace from heaven and sometimes the grace for the day runs out just before it is time for me to close my eyes and recharge.

Here's one of my favorite songs for refocusing and de-stressing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR5IoWH9OiI

Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps. 30:5

How Can I Help You?

thinking.jpg

I really, really want you to live with peace on the inside. I talk to people all the time who are confused and stressed and just plain need help.  I love to find creative solutions to problems so that people can move forward in life. You really can live free on the inside.  You don't have to spend your life feeling like everything is spiraling out of control. It's important to start to take notice of what you're thinking about.  You really can't afford to go all day without being aware of the thoughts, maybe even more importantly the tone or flavor of thoughts, that are running through your head.  That's really the first step to living with a sound mind.  Be aware of what you're thinking about.

Secondly, you need to find out where the thoughts you're having are coming from.  Ask the Holy Spirit (your best Counselor) why you are thinking the things you are thinking.  He really wants to help you. Maybe your thoughts are coming from the atmosphere you've been in all day, the music you've been hearing in the background, or maybe they are a part of deeply ingrained patterns from your youth.  A lot of times different personality types tend to have more positive or negative leanings in their thoughts.  You really want to get to know you.

Thirdly, you can begin to replace toxic thoughts with kingdom ones.  Reading the Bible and applying the scriptures to your own life is super helpful.  Find a verse that encourages you and stick your name in it.  Read it out loud and memorize it.  You might set it as a daily reminder in your phone so that you will meditate on it everyday. 

You really can get your self control back and own the space in your own head. You are powerful!

(If you would like to subscribe to my weekly blog by email please comment your email address.)

a couple oldies

bald-eagle-wallpapers-flight.jpeg

Soaking for Life Here's a peek into my soaking journey:

First off, let me tell you what soaking typically looks like for me. It used to be that I would lock myself in my bedroom for an hour, turn on some worship music, lay on my bed, invite Holy Spirit to visit with me, and then just rest. Lately, the kids are at a point, where I am able to soak in the living room without too many distractions. I just tell them to go down to the basement or to lay down and soak with me. So far, they've picked the basement....but I'm hoping that just them seeing me soaking is making an impact.

Now, sometimes when I soak, it totally just feels like I'm "putting in my time" (it still counts), but other times it feels like my heart is soaring. Today was the latter! I love it when Holy Spirit just comes, and I can feel Him so strongly. It is so refreshing and makes me want Him so much more. I have always loved Holy Spirit, even though I wasn't always aware of it. Looking back, I can see it so clearly.

When I was growing up, I went to a small, very conservative Baptist school. EVERY Friday in chapel, we'd sing a scripture song: "they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall rise up on wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not grow faint, teach me Lord, oh teach me Lord to wait". At the time, I had no idea what that song was talking about. It was just something we ALWAYS sang. However, God answered the prayer in that song, and has really taught me what it means to lay quietly and wait on Him to renew my strength. There is nothing like it.

Today as I was resting in His presence, I was overwhelmed once again with love and gratitude for my wonderful husband, each of my 4 little people, and each one of our spiritual kids. I love each one of you soooo much. I am so blessed and honored to be a part of your lives. The future is so bright, and we're gonna see goodness and mercy just tracking us down wherever we go.

I hope that by reading this, you catch a hunger to connect with Jesus alone, in a secret place, just the two of you. It really is soaking for life.

Some Thoughts on Being a Wife

Women are very powerful....more powerful than we sometimes realize.

There's this little verse in Proverbs that basically says, "A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands."

So, here's what I'm thinking: Men need respect, as opposed to women who need love. One of the main goals of the enemy is to destroy families, and I'm convinced that one of his main strategies is to get the wife not to respect the husband.

It can start out with subtle thoughts like, "Why does he always_________?!!" or "Why can't he just___________?!!"

If I give these thoughts permission to stay, they will grow, sink down deep in my heart, and create a stronghold.

Now, just the fact that I have the initial thought does not seal my fate as a horrible wife. I don't have any control over the initial thought. I do, however, get to decide if I'm going to nurse the thought, or resist it and begin to count all the things I appreciate about my husband.

It's like taking time to count your blessings; It's a sure way to give the devil a huge blow! Just when he thinks he's got you going down the path of self-pity which leads to destruction, it back fires on him. Now, that's being a warrior bride!

When we respect our husbands, they can't help but respond in love, creating a very strong bond of unity and trust.

So go ahead, show the men in your life some respect and give the devil a big black eye!