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Answered Prayer

Has God answered your prayer?

Did you cry out to the Lord and He moved you? Has he moved you into a better, new, free place? But have you found out that this place comes with challenges? Have you waited for children and now you know the WORK behind them?Did you want to start your own business but now you have the reality of it?! Did you wait for marriage and now you are seeing the challenges with it?!

Has he answered your prayer but now you are in the place of the challenges that come with that answered prayer?
“Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire stopped. After that, the area was known as Taberah (which means “the place of burning”), because fire from the Lord had burned among them there. Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin. The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil. The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.” Number 11:1-9
We remember.
“We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.”
Do remember the time that the challenges were not there?
We can look at the promises that God has fulfilled in our lives and we can start zoning in on problems of it. We forget the preceptive we had when we were on our knees begging for that promise.
 You forget the bondage you were in and now the freedom you have!!!
 Change your perceptive.
 We must understand like the nation of Israel, yes, they had that food but they were in bondage. You may have had certain things but you were in BONDAGE and now you are FREE.
Your promise has been fulfilled!!
Remember where God has brought you.

As it was in the days of Noah, my recap on the movie Noah.

Matthew 24:37

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah…

I walked in late to the media premiere for the movie Noah.  I had no idea that they were waiting on me to start the movie.  Opppsssss. They checked with Paramount and ok’d my entrance to the movie. I sat with my new Co-host of Power Talk Rick and we talked with a nervous energy excited to see what all the fuss was about.

There is nothing I love more than seeing the power of my amazing God on display.  I couldn’t wait to see His glory fill the movie theatre in theatrical effects that only the money from Hollywood can bring.  I was particularly interested in the movie Noah because I studied at length his life in the fall as Noah and the flood is the first account of faith recorded in the Bible.  I studied it backwards and forwards and knew little details that only comes with hours of searching for the answers that are hidden between the words of the most precious Bible.  Last fall, I sat amazed at the details that had been omitted from the story that I have heard for almost thirty – four years.  Details that if truly revealed would leave you speechless as it did me for almost an entire day in October.

The lights dimmed almost immediately as I took my seat.  And it began…the first scene was a picture with text running through it as if to set you up for the story you were getting ready to watch.  I knew then, I was gonna have a tough time with this movie.  Why, you ask?  It clearly communicates that demons were cast out of heaven and become rock monsters. That’s right, rock monsters… I had to take a deep breath as I was only 3.5 minutes deep in the 2 hour action packed thriller.  The story unfolded as if man was the great enemy, which might I say, is true.

Here it is in scripture:

Genesis 6:5

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

In the days of Noah, “Every intent of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY evil continually.”  This to me is an incredible statement.  I might say that the movie did give a good depiction of the wickedness of man kind throughout. The movie portrayed Noah as having a dream that God was going to destroy the earth with water, the text in the Bible says that God spoke to Him and told Him…things I notice due to my study.  I began to understand that this movie was gonna make me mad when Noah enlisted the demon rock monsters for help in making the ark.  Yep – the demons helped Noah and his family build the ark, because of course there was a good demon.  From that point on, almost nothing matched the biblical description of the account of Noah except for there was rain, and ark and at the end there is a scene where Noah was drunk.  The movie even puts Cain on the ark, there is a huge blood bath and of course Noah, the hero kills him.

If you are going to this movie and know and have studied the scriptural account of the story of Noah found in Genesis, you will leave mad.  The name of my great God was never mentioned…He is referred to as the “Creator”.  Only His wrath is portrayed, not His love.

If you are going for pure entertainment and really don’t care about the Bible, you might like the movie…BUT here is where I have the problem.  Hollywood has drawn conclusions and added in details to an account that is most sacred to my faith.  This was the first act of faith mentioned in the pages of the Bible.  One that if thought about will leave someone speechless.  A man believed God so entirely that he built a HUGE boat to save every living type of thing.  The act of faith is tremendous, but not more tremendous that a merciful God that could have destroyed everything and decided to save some. Unfortunately, people will believe that there were rock demons that help build the ark and that Cain was actually on the ark.  Don’t forget the fact the Noah almost killed his own grandchildren on the ark…oh my, I could go on and on.

Let me end with this, Gods word is the most exciting book written. I am not surprised Hollywood wanted to do a movie over the story of Noah, because it is mind blowing, but let me challenge you there are thousands of other stories that are just as exciting in the pages of the Word.  Not only that, there are answers to every need you have.  The Bible changed my life and if read, will change yours too.  I have rarely heard someone complain after truly digging in to pages of scripture, more often then not, they are transformed.

The journey

One of my husbands favorite past times is organizing things.  I don’t understand it.  It proves to amaze me when he can take my mess and turn it into a beautifully arrayed, display of magic.  We are two very different creatures created to compliment each other.  I had no idea how much I would be taught by his practical deeds.  Last saturday, I walked into my closet and even I started to twitch.  My shoes had morphed into a pile that took me at least five minutes to find it’s mate.  My collection of scarves looked like spaghetti noodles waiting for sauce.  When I picked up one of my beloved extremely large hoop earrings, I would in fact, pick up a huge glob of jewelry that was intertwined with it.  Knowing the travel season I had ahead of me, my closet screamed, ORGANIZE ME!!  So, I called in the organization troops, or Eddie.  We began to widdle away at the clothes and stuff we have collected over the past 8.5 years of marriage.  Our trash bags were full of “give away”, and of course “what was I thinking”.  I took Eddie’s direction as the master of organization.

A couple of items spurred conversation, such as the shirt I wore to take our engagement pictures and the shirt he wore to our rehearsal dinner.  I stopped and called to my daughter when I found the shirt we had made when I found out I was pregnant with her.  The front read, “I’m gonna be a….” and the back said, “MOM”.  She loved seeing and example of how much we loved her before we ever met her.  About 70 percent done with the massive undertaking, Eddie said, “Look at this.”  He then handed me a shirt that represented one of the first overnight retreat events that I was on the leadership team for.  I had done other event’s, however, this one marked a starting point for conference ministry.  The event was called, “More than Rubies.”   The vision that had been planted in my mind and given by the Lord years earlier was in a small way beginning to materialize.  I remember some of my thought processes while working on that event.  The juices were flowing, so to speak, and the wonder of what could be was mesmerizing.  I had my promise from the Lord, but the path that led to it begged for information.

I sat with Eddie and poured out my heart of gratitude for where God has brought us.  My emotion began to flare when I realized the 24 year old I was then had no idea what was coming her way.  If I could go back and encourage that young women with where God has brought me in the past 8 years, she would laugh.  If I could tell her to stay strong on the rough days because of what waits ahead of her, she would be strengthened.  However, that is not how God works.  He bids us believe Him through faith.  We are not privy of our future and our destiny hangs in the balance.  We have a choice if we are called to ministry, to walk our what the Bible clearly tells us to do. I realized in that moment, I have each of you to encourage.  You might be feeling the wonder of what could be and I challenge you with this.

Galatians 3:11b says, The righteous man shall live by faith.

If God says it, IT IS COMING.  Your only job is to believe, walk through each opportunity, and wait.

In our fast-service society we are tricked into thinking that overnight success stories are the best thing.  When, in fact, most of the time they are tragic.  God is interested in the process of making you more like Him, and the more you yield, the more He is freed up to work.

Galatians 6:7,

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows that he will also reap.

YOU CANNOT REAP WHAT YOU DO NOT SOW.  It is impossible.  The More than Rubies event was a small seed that was sown.  That conference seed was watered, fertilized, tortured, beat by the wind and the rain and began to grow to what The Blush Network is now, and let me tell you we aren’t where we are going yet!!!  My mind is ten years ahead.

Galatians 5:13,

For you were called to freedom brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

You, sweet reader, have the freedom and the opportunity to do whatever it is that God is asking you to do.  Don’t waste your life on a job that you hate or a life that will not satisfy your purpose.  Choose today to make the Lord first in your life. Then start sowing small seeds only to reap, in time, a large field of harvest.

 

Good or Best.

I love tomatoes.  To me, not many foods compare.  I can eat them plain, on a sandwich, with eggs, with cheese, with salt and pepper, on a piece of bread….you get the idea. There is something about a tomato that makes all food better.  You will never look in my fridge and not see multiple kinds of tomatoes waiting for their next assignment.  I love them.

 

That passion drove my family to the grocery store last night.  One of my favorite things to eat with tomatoes is a turkey and cheese sandwich and we were out of tomatoes.  I looked at Eddie before we exited our car and simply said, “Let’s make this quick.”  We went inside and ended up leaving with a whole cart full of stuff that we forgot we needed.  While inside hunting for the perfect tomato Grace recommended some ice cream.  I obliged and went the extra mile getting both of my squealing children ice cream cones and caramel syrup.  As we drove home the car was filled with chatter about the ice cream sundaes that were sure to ensue AFTER, of course, our sandwiches stuffed with tomatoes.

 

We ate.  Jude was the first one finished an looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes and asked so politely for a “Little Debbie” cake.  I reminded him about the ice cream and he said that he had changed his mind and wanted the little debbie cake.  Eddie reminded him of the ice cream, and posed the question, “Are you sure?”  Jude, almost annoyed that we would even asked repeated once again, “I really want the little debbie cake, instead of the ice cream.”  To which, we both said, “Alright.”  After the rest of us were finished I brought out the ice cream goodness and was busy making sundaes for the three of us.  Jude was watching closely.  He saw me scoop a huge portion for Grace as she waited patiently for me to be finished.  He watched as we let her have more cherries than normal on her ice cream sundae.  He watched as she dug in for the first time and exclaimed to the world, “THIS IS SOOOOOOO GOOD.”  He watched.

 

He finally looked at his dad and slid the poor little debbie cake over to him and said, “I was just kidding, I actually want ice cream.”  When Eddie gave a hearty, “UMMMMMM, NO, we warned you that if you chose the Little Debbie, you wouldn’t get the ice cream.”

We had a sad little boy on our hands.

 

One of the phrases that we say all the time in our house is, “Good is always enemy of the best.”  Eddie and I knew that the ice cream would be way better than Jude’s choice, however, Jude didn’t believe us, and suffered the consequences of getting the good and not waiting for the best.

 

Circumstances may be different, but I know that this is not too far off from where you or I have been.  Throughout the entire Bible God tells us clearly things like….

 

Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

or maybe

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

or even

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

or potentially

John 15:11
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

However, most of us are NOT living out our Christian lives experiencing our desires, hope and dreams fulfilled, because WE HAVE CHOSEN TO SETTLE.  Our enemy has been the good when we could have received the best.

My question to you today is, Do you believe God?  An amazing life full of crazy awesome things is waiting, God is telling you not to choose the Little Debbie when you could have the entire ICE CREAM SUNDAE.  Won’t you choose today to live a life that settles for nothing except the extraordinary.  God promised it, even if it requires a wait on your part.