Tuesday, July 28, 2009


What do you think of when you think of perception? We all have one, especially when it comes to life and how we see or heavenly Father. How we perceive Him will largely define how we see ourselves and how we treat others.

Perceive means to become conscious or aware of something. Perception is the process of perceiving, a way of conceiving something, and or the representation of what is perceived.

What we perceive to be the truth about God's love for us, will be the same as what we are able to give.

If we see God as a demanding, scornful, waiting to punish you, rub your face in the dirt, type of father, this is how we will treat others, this is the perception we will give others about who God is.

If we see God as a giver, a loving caring Father who wants to come along side of us and not excuse the sin in our lives, but give us the desire, motivation and power to be free of its reign, this is the perception we will give others.

In the Greek the word perceive can also mean to intimately get to know someone, in the book of Matthew the word virgin, when talking about Mary being kept, is also translated as perceive.

I love the fact that God is not after us simply modifying our outward behavior, but He wants to have an intimate connection with us. He wants our obedience to freely flow out of our connection with Him. This is my perception.

How much of our perception of God is influenced by "religion" and our society here in the U.S., or anywhere else for that matter.

There is a place in my heart that wishes, I could have been "kept" for a time, away from the influence of who others perceived God to be, until I really truly saw the heart of my Father.

Paul says that after He met the Lord He went away for a time and did not immediately consult the other disciples. Could it be that He took this time to get to know for himself, the One who had called him?

Don't get me wrong, I know we learn from each other and I LOVE talking about Jesus with the people God has placed in my life. I just know, that much of what I used to believe, much of my being in bondage for so long, was introduced into my life from my not truly knowing the heart of my Father, yet trying to "do" all that I was told I should.

Even the famous quote "What Would Jesus Do?" also know as "WWJD" is only answered based on perception. Is it not really saying "What Do You Think Jesus Would Do?" Our perception of what He would do, how He would handle a person, or a situation is based on our perception of Him, and how we think He perceives us. Is it not?

I know we have the Bible to guide us in truth, yet we all perceive that differently as well. We can each read the same passage and come up with a different perception of what it means. I once read (paraphrase) that the Bible was like a gem, with many different sides, all shining and glittering in their own special way. Each side holding a different angle of truth, to show the multifaceted love of God.

I believe that the Bible is a love story, it is a story where I can find Jesus hidden in the pages and lines. It is a story that shows me all of the horrid things that I have been saved from, rescued from and delivered from. It is a story of God's love and passion.

Could it be that none of us have it all right? We are all on a journey, are we not? I can tell you that five years ago, I did not perceive God the way I do today. If you would have told me then, many of the things that I perceive to be truth now, I would not have believed you. And, I hope in five years five years from now, my perception of God is not the same as it is today.

What is your perception?

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Monday, July 27, 2009


We had a great day yesterday! We spent the day together, enjoying God's beautiful creation at a local state park. The boys fished, I sat and talked to my Daddy, we ate a picnic lunch, and then took out a paddle boat. It was an amazing time of reconnecting with each other.

God is changing me, stretching me, drawing me closer to the heart of Him. Yet it seems, the closer I get to His heart, the less I feel the need to be a part of all the things I used to find so much value in. I am finding peace and contentment, in my everyday life. I have need of only one thing, Jesus.

God has shown me this week a place in my heart that He is changing. A place where "religion" lives. A place that does not reflect the Fathers love.

Prior to our wonderful day, I believe I said something, quite insulting to my husband. I didn't mean to. It just slipped out. As it did, I immediately recognized the lack of love and respect in my statement. I realized that God was showing me an area He was changing in me.

You see my husband is not into "religion" AT ALL. I am not saying that he does not believe that there is a God who loves us. He just does not think that we need to jump through the hoops of a religious system to have God in our lives. He does not believe that the only good to be done is in the church as a system or even that it is a requirement that we be involved in it.

He is a very authentic person who will in no way do something just because someone told him he should. I admire him for this. Because of this, I know that all the changes I have seen God make in him, are real. I know that when he mows the neighbors lawn, he does it because he cares. I know that when he tells me he prayed, he did it because he believes there is someone worth talking to. I know when he tells me that he thinks something is a tactic, or man made, he is not being rebellious, just honest.

My husband does not feel that he needs to wear a label, to be loved by God. He has stepped into this journey slowly and carefully. Unlike me, who jumped in head first and kept swimming. He, at this point does not confess to be called a believer, because of the stereo type that is associated with that label. At times, I feel a bit confused at what to say when asked "Is your husband a Christian?" I used to say "no, God is still working in him". But the last couple of years, every time I find myself about to say no, I feel the Spirit, correcting me. I am not supposed to say this any more. God looks at a persons heart, maybe he sees, what I don't...or do I?

We were discussing a book yesterday. A book about raising children, teens in particular. A book my husband thought might give us some good direction. I have to tell you my husband is not a reader, AT ALL. So, just the fact that he would suggest we read something together, was a miracle, one I had hoped for, for a long time. I love to read!

But, what do I do, I glance at the computer screen, do not recognize the author as a "Christian" and say, that guys probably not even a believer, what do we want that for?" My husband is frustrated, closes out the screen and feels that his attempt to take the lead in our family concerning our children has just been thwarted, because someone doesn't fit a label.

How insulting, to say that because someone is not a "christian", a "believer" they have nothing good to offer. No truth to be shared. All truth belongs to God, regardless of where it comes from. I do realize that we have to sift through what we hear, we cannot retain everything someone says if it does not line up with the truth that is Jesus. But, don't we need to do this with other Christians as well? Do we not feel the need to sift through what we are taught, even when someone is a believer?

I realize I may ruffle your feathers with this post. I realize it goes against much of what is taught today. But, I know the voice of my Shepard, and I know that He is calling me to step back and learn from my husband, regardless of what "label" he refuses to wear.

I know that my Father is building in me the ability to trust Him, and Him alone. He is teaching me to trust the Spirit inside of me, to trust the Oneness I have with Jesus.

I am not perfect, I will make mistakes, take some wrong turns and need to be corrected. But, if all I focus on is what I am not, my inability to get it right, is that not still focus on self? I am learning to focus on what Jesus has done for me. Who He says I am and on His power at work in my life, even when it doesn't seem to fit the "norm". This is what I will trust as I continue on this journey, Him, and Him alone.

So who knows where God will take Matt and I from here, except the Father. But, it is a journey I look forward to taking.

Lets Talk Grace! Please leave a comment. I try to respond to the comments you leave here, so please check back. Lets Talk Grace!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A New Way To Live, Part #2

What an incredible way to walk with the Lord, in complete and total dependence on Him and what He has done. Yet, I find that this way of living, thinking, breathing challenges many. I am learning to embrace what God has done in my life. Regardless of what others may think and feel about the changes in the way I see things now.

I will be honest and admit, that sometimes when someone disagrees with what I believe, I feel challenged, and sometimes I doubt myself. I say "Lord all that you have done in me, could it really be true, could life with you really be this easy, or have I somehow mistaken you?" I am always left with what He has shown me in the last five years, as truth. I used to feel upset when I felt challenged, but I am learning to see that when I feel challenged, it is God's opportunity to strengthen me and or correct me, as I turn to Him.

Talking and discussing our view points should not be something we avoid, it should be embraced for the purpose of growing. In the Jewish culture this was a part of living. In our culture it seems we have lost the joy of hearing other view points. For myself, I think it is an underlying issue of insecurity. However, I can sense God changing me in this area, encouraging me to be bold, yet always have ears to hear, while sifting through what I will keep as truth and what I will disregard.

I am learning that this is my journey. No one can walk it, live it, but me. Others will be brought along to walk with me and I with them, but, I must follow my own heart. I must follow the voice of the Lord in my life.

This is what the Spirit is doing in my life. This is what He is speaking to my heart. This is how He is continuing to set me free. It is not my job to convince others of the truths God has shown me, only to be myself and share myself, trusting the Holy Spirit to deposit truth, both in them and in me.

So today I am asking God to continue to strengthen me in truth and in freedom. To strengthen me in the ability to stand with confidence in what He has done in my life, regardless of who agrees or disagrees. To help me to love and respect others, to not be offended if they have a different point of view or even if they seem to want to discredit what God has done in my life. To help me see Jesus, in everything.

A New Way To Live, Part #1

The past five years have been a wonderful, incredible time of growth for me. The Lord spoke to me one day after I had gone through a difficult time and said "I am going to teach you to rest."

I had no idea then what I was in for, but it has been amazing.

I spent about a year and a half just being deprogrammed from all of the "religious" thinking I had picked up along the way. Thinking that hindered me from seeing the work on the cross as truly finished. I said the words "the work is finished" but I only believed that it was true if I was was smart enough to figure out how to get God to make it work in my life. I thought I had to jump through hoops, and pray exactly the right words or all the finished work was void for me.

This living was exhausting me. I spend everyday trying so hard to do enough. I had my hand in every pot I could find because I wanted to show God that I was good enough to be used by Him. I spent everyday feeling really good about myself because I felt like I got it all right that day, or really bad about myself because I had some how messed up. This living is NOT living in rest. It is NOT living in the finished work on the cross. It is NOT living with any understanding of Grace.

I used to think that grace was a type of "Tylenol" if you will. It got me through a hard time, maybe not victoriously, but it got me through. Grace is power, it is God's power at work in our lives because of the finished work on the cross. It is the power and favor that enables us to live in rest.

God has changed my mind-set SO much. I am not the person I was five years ago. Five years ago I was free and did not know it, now I am walking in that freedom.

My journey is not without challenges, but my trust in the Lord, my trust in His love for me, my trust in the finished work, makes all the difference in how I go through those challenges. I now know that it is not about me being able to figure out what I need to do to get God to move on my behalf. I now know that the only "doing" He asks of me is to trust, believe, rely on and cling to Him. There will be things that I do, but they will come through the Spirit working in my life, they will be an overflow of what God has done in me.

This is resting, this is living in the power of the finished work on the cross. This is living in His grace.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Give Away News and Blog Hop Recipe

There is a wonderful blog give away going on over at Two kids a minivan and a lot of love, She is giving away a blog make over...yep, you read that right. You could win a whole new look for your blog page. To head on over and check it out, click here!


This recipe was given to me by my cousin. Apparently there are variations of the recipe, but the following is how I make it.

Chicken Lip Dip (no, you will not find chicken lips in it :)

3-4 chicken breast cooked and shredded (some people use chicken in a can, I stick with the real deal)
4 8oz blocks of cream cheese ( I prefer Philadelphia)
1 16oz bottle of ranch dressing
1 12oz bottle of Franks red Hot sauce (You can add as little or as much as you want depending on how spicy you like it. I use the whole bottle)
1 container blue cheese (I hate blue cheese, but in this recipe it really does not taste like vomit :)
1 8 to 12oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag of your favorite tortilla chips

boil chicken until cooked through, let cool, and shred. Mix all ingredients (except the chips) in a crock pot and cook until completely melted and hot. (It will take a while for the cream cheese to melt. I typically start all my ingredients while my chicken is cooking.) Serve with chips and enjoy. (My son eats this with pretzels)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Difference

I was recently present at an unfamiliar worship service. I was praising along with my other brothers and sisters in Christ, yet, something inside didn't feel right. At one point I became unable to join in with them. I stood there and praised my Father with my own words and heart, feeling His presence and love, but, I could not "enter in " to what they were saying.

As I stood there, I thought "whats wrong with me today?" So, I asked the Lord to show me what was bothering me so much. I know He always answers what I ask, but to be honest, I didn't really expect Him to answer right then. He did though, with in 30 seconds I felt Him whisper to my heart "They are asking me, pleading with me, to do something I have already done, you know the work is finished." Ah-ha, I got it!

They did not know that the redemptive work on the cross has already set them free. Instead of praising God for the freedom He has given us in Jesus, they were still asking Him to do that which has already been done.

I know that this freedom is a process, we do not walk in all of the freedom the moment we meet Jesus, it is a progression. As God's love is poured out in our hearts and we begin to realize this great amazing love, we progressively become free. I also know that many are touched in services and gatherings, it is not wrong to expect from God as we gather. However, we are not asking God to do something He has yet to do for us, but, for the work that has already been done to manifest and become evident in our lives.

I believe and have come to live my life in such a way that I do not ask God to "do" anything more, just to help me receive what has already been done. To help me trust in the power of the Holy Spirit actively at work in my life, bringing about all that God says is mine because of Jesus. It may seem that I am fussing over the order of the words, or the way something is said. I am not. It makes a difference in our mind set, whether or not we believe that the work is finished.

When we believe that the work is finished our hearts go from feeling burdened and asking "God please do this wonderful thing for me, I really hope you will." to praise with a freedom and joy in our hearts "Father thank you that you have set me free, even though I do not yet see this freedom, I know that you have done this work for me, I know it is mine, help me receive Lord, I know you love me, help me to see more of your love in this area."

See the difference?

I am in no way condemning the worship service, or the people. Just sharing with you what God spoke to my heart.

Lets Talk Grace! What are your thoughts today? Please leave a comment, we want to Talk Grace With You!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three Things You Did Not Know About Me

This might actually be more than three, but they are numbered to three, so I am just going to go with it!

1. I am the mom of three boys, Christopher, 18 Shane, 12 and Chase, 10 I had Chris when I was 16 years old, and do not regret having him for one second!

2. I am in the process of writing a book about resting in the finished work of Jesus, and how this grace sets us free. I love to teach and speak on this whenever and wherever the Lord opens a door.

3. I love butterflies, riding the motorcycle with my husband, camping, and reading.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We Are Home!

We are home! We actually had to cut our trip short, my husband had an unexpected call to return to work early. However, my niece Lynndsay made the journey back with us and I am really enjoying having a girl around. Though I will say, girls and boys...not the same...AT ALL LOL!

My husband only ended up working for three days, so we took advantage of the rest of our time, and took the boys and our niece camping up in Wisconsin, not far from the Dells. We had a great time and just returned today.

Thank you all for your support and prayers for my sweet Granny! It means a lot to have you in my corner. My grandma is not doing well, she has had to move in with my mom. However, I believe that God uses all things for His glory, and will bring good out of all situations. He is using this one to bring our family closer together. I am sure the depths of what God is doing is yet to be seen. I believe that God is good all the time, even when our circumstances seem to not be.

I will be getting back to posting very soon! Stay tuned...