Developing an attitude of faith!  Hannah and the beanstalk…

How Big is Your God? Is He big enough to provide for your needs? Can He look past your ugliness and love you despite your failings? Does He have a plan for your life that is really only good? Can He heal your body, free your mind and bind up a broken heart?   
Let’s think for a minute..He did create the world in the dark, (without my help) sent a savior to rescue me, and supernaturally preserved a book full of His promises knowing that one day I would read them. I guess that makes Him a pretty Big God!  Having a Godly perspective in the everyday is the beginning point of seeing our faith ‘work’.  

Ephesians 3:20
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. 

I love how this verse is written in the CEV:
His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine 

When it comes to imagination, children are the experts at believing the impossible. Children raised with an understanding of faith are a powerful example of what our attitude towards Kingdom principles should look like.  Theirs is a simple, uncomplicated belief in a big God who loves without boundaries, gives unconditionally, who never leaves us, and has put power in us to help us do the impossible! They have an ‘its easy for Jesus’ attitude 😊

Years ago when she was just a preschooler, Hannah and I waited in the rain for her brothers to come streaming out through the gates of their school. Hannah’s legs swung back and forth in her hot pink stroller, and a cup of dirt lay nestled in her lap. The dirt contained a seed she had planted in nursery school that morning. 

With no sign of the seed, Hannah’s grubby little fingers clutched her muddy cup, careful not to spill the precious cargo she had spent so much of the morning planting. Like most days, Miss Maxine waited next to us. Noticing the cup in Hannah’s hands she asked, “What’s that Hannah?”

“A bean plant. We growed it at school today.”
“That sounds like fun,” she said. “Are you going to plant it in the garden?”
“No, we are going to eat it!” Hannah replied. “We are going to have beans for dinner tomorrow!”
Maxine raised her eyebrows and let out a little chuckle. “Hannah,” she said, “if that seed grows beans by tomorrow, I’m going to have to believe in your Jesus!”
An act of God surely would be the only way that pot of mud would ever produce a bean plant, especially by the next day! But Hannah did not blink in the face of Maxine’s astonishment when she said, “Jesus can do it, can’t He Mum?”
“That’s right,” I replied.

Maxine had been watching our family closely over the past year. She was intrigued by our faith and had seen Hannah recover instantly from a life-threatening condition weeks earlier. It was persuasive evidence, but now the little girl everyone thought would be dead was talking to her about a Jesus who could grow a bean seed overnight. As ridiculous as it seemed, Maxine didn’t immediately dismiss what Hannah said.
At home that afternoon, we carefully set the pot on the window ledge in the kitchen and gave it some more water. Every so often, Hannah would climb up on a chair to peek inside the pot to check on its progress. At bedtime, she decided it must be sleeping because there was still no sign of it poking through the soil.
Next morning at breakfast, the toast popped, the kettle boiled, lunches were packed, faces cleaned, teeth brushed, and crumbs swept before we noticed that Hannah’s little bean seed had grown. Really grown! A twelve-inch beanstalk stood in the little pot leaning precariously to one side. We had to use a pencil to stake it up and keep it from falling over.
“Mummy!” Hannah shouted, “We can have beans for dinner!” As of yet there were no signs of beans on her new plant, but after the growth of the night before, I was not about to disagree.
At school that afternoon, Hannah could not wait to find Maxine and tell her about the beanstalk. Maxine decided to come home with us and see this amazing plant for herself. All the way home, our tribe of children talked about eating beans for dinner. I too was curious to see what that bean stalk had been doing while we were away!
Only Hannah walked into the kitchen without shock written on her face. The plant had grown so tall it was touching the ceiling and three long green beans were dangling from it! Maxine’s jaw dropped and her eyes widened. She fell backwards into our kitchen chair and said, “I believe in your Jesus, Hannah!”
You see, God is not limited by our natural rules or circumstances. He is ready to meet us at the point of faith. God has hundreds of ways of ministering and getting His grace to us if we are open to Him.  Wherever we decide to extend our faith, He is there.

If you have a need, plant a seed of faith today and imagine what it will grow into! Picture your victory, agree with God’s report rather than man’s, and speak out what you can see by faith until you see it with your physical eyes.  Sometimes, that means deciding to simply believe what the Bible says about your situation, and refusing to move away from that no matter what it looks like in the natural! 

(If you enjoyed the bean stalk testimony, check out the book ‘Miracles Made Easy’ at http://www.terradezministries.com, I think you will like it😊)

Advertisements

Rock Splitting Faith and how it grows..

img_4859

We all want to be people of faith and power right? With faith that moves mountains, slays giants, raises the dead, heals the sick and casts out devils?  The kind of believer that freaks the devil out every time they wake up in the morning, huh?  So how does that rock splitting, effective kind of faith develop…?

When our children were small they loved to collect acorns and leaves in the fall, stuff their pockets full and plan the creations they could make with them when they got home. Inevitably many an acorn lost its way only to be mysteriously rediscovered in a sibling’s private collection. Of course the lost or found acorn always happened to be the most ‘favoritist’ of both parties, necessitating motherhood mediation. It was not unusual to find our little squirrel’s blessed acorns in the strangest of places- drains, the refrigerator draw, attached to the cat, wedged up a nose or swallowed. I had to make a concerted effort to check every tiny pocket before hurling their dirty laundry in the washer or we’d be listening to those seeds roll around like marbles until the cycle finished.
When the dryer started acting up I was not thinking ‘acorn’. However, when pulled the machine out and took it apart, sure enough the source of the breakdown was one of those little brown acorns that we had collected six months earlier. It had been washed and dried and had found its way through a crack somewhere inside the machine, until it settled amongst some dryer fluff undisturbed.
That tiny seed, which looked so ordinary, had endured a tempest of activity and harsh conditions. It had preserved and now it was blooming. In the most unlikely of circumstances that dead looking seed had begun to grow and would continue to inside my dryer had we not have discovered it.

How is this possible?  There was always life contained within that seed, it was just waiting to be planted in the right conditions before it could grow. One tiny acorn, with mighty Oak potential on the inside of it. Imagine what might happen if we started to recognize the potential Jesus has planted in us, and then begin to cultivate the best conditions for growth?

That little acorn was not deterred by its harsh surroundings, it took ahold of what was available and let the life inside of it spring forth overcoming the adversities.  Like the little acorn seed, we too have been created for a purpose. We are not in this world just hanging out for Jesus to return, we were born at the perfect time to do everything that He has called us to do. 

You may consider yourself very ordinary, unremarkable, average, not the smartest, less fortunate, unprepared, unqualified or inadequate? Then you are just the person Jesus is looking for! 

2 Cor 3:5-6 says that it is Jesus who makes us sufficient. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Psalm 34:10, that we lack no good thing. 1Jn 4:4, that Jesus in us is greater than the enemy that surrounds us!  When we get to meditating on the power that is contained within our little acorn selves, things start to change.  Suddenly, as we begin meditating on  the good that He has put in us rather than on everything that is wrong, seeing ourselves like He sees us and agreeing with Him, our faith becomes effective…of the rock splitting kind!

Philemon1:6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you[b] in Christ Jesus.

Faith that moves mountains, begins with splitting the rocks.  Starting today, we can recognize the mighty oak potential that God has placed inside of us, by focusing on the good, by being thankful.  The biggest rocks/hinderances to seeing our faith working is usually the rock called ‘attitude’.  We don’t have a faith problem-we have the faith of Jesus in us which is more than enough to get the job done, what we deal with most is a flesh problem. Developing an attitude of faith is where we will pick up next time, but for those looking for a little more homework your assignment is below  🙂

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Greater than the Mountain that You Face.

img_4612

Standing on the top of that mountain may not have seemed like such a big deal, but to a girl who three months earlier was confined to a wheelchair, it was like being on top of the world!   Have you ever received bad news?  The kind of news that makes a lump form in your throat while the blood drains from your head, and your heart  pound so loud that you you can feel it shake your whole body?  Maybe thats you right now?  WAIT!  Stop thinking for a second..there is another report!  Breathe.

So how does one go from being brain damaged, with no feeling below the waist in the morning to playing tennis in the afternoon and climbing up a mountain a short time later? This sounds so inconceivable, that only God could do that.  Exactly!

In my last blog we talked about Mark 11:23, specifically the importance of seeing ourselves in a place of victory:

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

When we receive a bad report we immediately find ourselves at the mercy of our emotions.  How will we respond to this report?  Well, knowing that it is not the only report is a powerful truth that can make all the difference.  This alone can spark hope in us that when meditated on can develop unshakable faith, and here in lies the power than we need to overcome the mountains that we face.

1 John 4:4  You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

God’s report is one of victory, of His miraculous power flowing through us to overcome every giant and conquer every mountain. It wasn’t God’s plan for me to be in a wheelchair at eighteen, but faced with a long term disability I knew that only He had the answers that I needed to get out of it.   His advice to me was profound: See the mountain under your feet, do what you can do today and believe me for a little bit more.

I began by imagining myself climbing the physical mountain with my youth group that we had planned for in three months time.  Seeing myself with my back pack scrambling over all of the rocks and boulders in my path, reaching the summit and taking the obligatory group selfie.  People thought that I was nuts!  I mean learning to walk was one thing but climbing a mountain was unachievable in the natural.  Only, we aren’t just natural, we have a part of us that is completely supernatural:)

Challenges quickly become overwhelming when we look at them in their entirety and meditate of every negative probability or consequence.  When we start out with the end result in our view (of where we want to be rather than where we are now) and break it down into just the next step, believing God to meet us there is much easier.

‘Do what you can do today and believe me for a little bit more.’  What does this look like for you?  For me, it was believing that with God I could stand upright and not fall down.  Then it was believing that with God I can take one step.  I began talking to my mountain, telling my legs what to do next and where they were going.

With each mini mountain conquered it emboldened my faith to attack the next one.  Sometimes its just been so long that we have forgotten what winning feels like!  When we get a victory in one area, it begins a faith snowball and before long that victory  will move us on to the next one.

I realized that if I could believe God to stand, to move one step, then I could believe God to walk ten steps.  Once I reached the door at the end of the hallway and looked back at that wheelchair, I knew that I was not going to walk back and get in it.  I opened the door and kept walking..

The power of God on the inside of you is far greater than the mountain that is in front of you today.  

Thank you Jesus that your power in us in greater than that which is in the world, that you have gone before us and that the blessings of God encircle us and overtake us, that no weapon formed against us will prosper and every mountain that rises up contrary to your word we condemn!

 

You’re an overcomer!

img_4594

Are you facing a mountain and wondering how you will make it to the other side?  Then this is for you!

Sometimes it helps to hear from a person who has traversed the path and actually survived.  To know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that its not just another train coming!  Its knowing that the view at the top of the mountain will be worth the climb which keeps us going when we are half way up and wish we hadn’t started right?

What if we are faced with a mountain that we didn’t choose?   The mountains of sickness, or poverty, debt, or trauma, or abandonment, or hopelessness?  These mountains often aren’t even tangible, they may be inside of us where no one can see them, but mountains they still are and we carry them with us everyday.

Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

This scripture is making a point, not so much about the physical mountain falling down into the sea, but about the authority that we have been given over that mountain and how that authority is released.

I love climbing mountains, I’m an outdoor girl, an adventure seeker who finds challenges exciting.  So when I found myself in a wheelchair at age eighteen, that did not fit my life plan.  In fact I had a real mountain that I was preparing to climb with my youth group in three months time, and I determined swiftly that a wheelchair was not conducive to accomplishing that goal.  The doctor’s report was not good, I had uncontrolled epilepsy and the seizures had damaged my brain.  I was not able to move anything below my waist and no one had any assurances of any improvement. Being a new believer, I did what I knew to do-ask Jesus what the deal was with this!

His advice to me was profound.  See the mountain under your feet. Do what you can do today and believe me for a little bit more.

Seeing the mountain under my feet gave me a different perspective.  What looked like the impossible began to be probable.  I visualized me climbing that mountain, and it began with me taking a step at a time.  I could believe for a step at a time all the way up until I could see the victory.  I imagined the view from the top of that mountain, I planned my trip and talked about.  I planned to conquer it while still sitting in my wheelchair.

I brain washed myself with the truth until it because the truth. Refusing to speak death over a situation is just as important as speaking life is to it.  When we receive bad reports its tempting to agree with them, to let them determine the outcome which we visualize.  But God.  Remember, He also has a report for you and only we can pick which one we want to agree with.  Taking control of our thoughts and keeping them focused is the the first victory!

When we begin to measure our problems up against the power of Almighty God who lives inside of us, we begin to get His perspective on them and suddenly we make the flip.

‘Mountain, meet my God!  Let me introduce you ‘paralysis’ to My Maker. Oh suddenly, you have gone quiet have you? Nothing to say?  Let me tell you how this works…’

As we begin to acknowledge the power of Jesus in us the mountains begin to shrink because our faith is becoming effective:

Philemon1:6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

I challenge you today to name your mountain and begin to see it under your feet, see yourself in a place of victory as an overcomer, plan for it, talk about it, declare it!  I agree with you today for breakthrough in Jesus name!  Next time, I will tell you the rest of the story and and how to believe God for a little more each day:).x

 

 

 

 

 

You are Built to Win!

Will Managed Snail Courageous Obstacle OvercomingIf failure has become a unwanted house guest in your life and one that you would like to evict, read on.  The fact is as children of God we were built to win, destined to reign and designed to succeed, and that makes it even more frustrating when we just cant seem to get over a hurdle.  Everyone needs to win sometimes!

Being five foot nothing and built like a twig, I was as surprised as anyone when our High School Athletic Coach decided that I should run hurdles and enter the high jump.

The hurdles themselves came up to my chest, each topped with a thick wooden plank designed to inflict maximum bruising on any short or lazy legged individual that attempted to leap over them.  I hated them all indiscriminately.  My knees were blue and swollen and the more I focused on not crashing into them the more crashing happened.  I definitely did not feel like I was built to win.

Apparently Coach saw in me a quality that was more important for success than the limitations of my physical stature.  Rather than adjust my physical technique, I needed a vision adjustment. Coach’s advise was to focus on the finish line where I was headed to rather than on the next obstacle that was in front of me.  It was not the obstacle that determined the outcome of the event but how I viewed the obstacle.  

Our thinking about a situation has more power over the outcome than we realize.  To quote Winston Churchill:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

The Lord sees our circumstances differently than the world does, because He sees us differently than we do. He says that we are world overcomers, that no weapon formed against us will prosper, that we have faith enough to move mountains and that life and death are in the power of our tongue.  How we respond to situations, what comes out when we are squeezed, depends on what we put in our hearts in the first place.  Just like the twelve spies that returned with their report from the promised land, if we see ourselves as grasshoppers unable to defeat the giants, our thinking will determine defeat.

The good news is that we can reset our thinking and break free from small minded, negative grasshopper vision!

When technology goes bad (the computer gets a virus or bug or just gets sluggish in its responses) we reset it, restore it to the default or factory settings so that it can operate as it was intended to when it was first created. Is it time for a factory reset in your thinking?

Well lets take a look at your default settings.  This is usually our first response, what comes out when we are under pressure.  These pressure responses to life circumstances, are often pure emotion: fear, anger, insecurity, worry, disappointment, confusion and result in negative outcomes.  Praise Jesus that we don’t have to stay stuck here! By focusing out thoughts to be more in line with His we can see breakthrough. Isa 26:3.

 

Here are three keys to developing a Godly perspective that will help you to win from the start:

1.Believe for good. God has spoken over your life and called you blessed.  Choose to believe His report, agree with Him, speak out that blessing!

 

`Ps 27:13-14

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

 

2.Wait on the Lord   This little word ‘wait’ is more than just hanging around for something to happen.  It is to look expectantly, to be hopeful and eagerly waiting, to believe the best.

3.Be of good courage   Once we have eyed balled the situation, decided that we are going to agree with God’s report rather than what it looks like naturally, we have drawn the line in the sand and set our hearts that we will not be moved.  This word ‘courage’ means to be constant, firm footed, steadfast, immovable in our faith.  Josh 1:8

Practicing these three things: believing God’s report, having an expectation of good and refusing to be moved away from a decision of faith enables the Lord to strengthen our heart, literally God makes our hearts strong!

 

Brain farts and grasshoppers

Come on,  we have all had one at some point!  That moment when you walked into a room and completely forgot why you went in there, or got home with the groceries to find that the one thing you really needed you didn’t pick up.  Pregnancy does weird things to a woman’s brain, I’m just saying it girls so you can feel better that you aren’t alone in the baby brain fog.  Cordless phones, actually anything not tied down was likely to find itself relocated to either the fridge or the freezer.  (I distinctly remember the fridge ringing at some point, only to discover I had shelved not one but two cups of coffee in there along with the phone).

How we think has a huge effect on our physical body, our mental well being, our performance, our relationships..everything.  Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinks in his heart so is He.  We become the person we imagine ourselves to be-winner, champion, overcomer, prosperous, healed, or sick, poor, defeated, victim or victor.

While our physical circumstances may change there is one thing that is one is unchanging or absolute, thats Jesus!  We are who God says we are, have what He says we have and can do what He says we can do, if only we can wrap our minds around His word enough that we allow it to transform us.  Rom 12:1-2.

Circumstances change, storms pass over, scars heal, but unless we take time to deal with the after effects of a trial in our soul, we can remain stuck in it long after it has finished.  Elephants taken as a calves and chained to tree  with nothing more than a bicycle wheel on a rope to scare them, learn not to  pull on the rope to get away.  Fear of that bicycle wheel will keep the elephant bound to the tree long after it has become full grown, and more than able to break free.

In Numbers chapter 13, twelve spies were sent to spy out the land that the Lord was giving them.  The spies were sent on a recon mission to devise a plan to take the promised land, not ‘if’ they could but ‘how’ they could take it. The report that came back though was less than optimistic:

30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants[d] (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Only Joshua and Caleb could see past the problems, the others had grasshopper vision. screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-2-50-34-pmGrasshopper vision  had infected others around them and eventually stopped them from inheriting the promises too. Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit within them- they were victorious in their minds first, they were ‘how to people’.

Overcoming grasshopper vision begins with a decision to look beyond the circumstances of today to the future and the promises that the Lord has already set in motion for us. There maybe giants in the land but we are well able to overcome them with Jesus!

3 John 2- Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Look out for my next blog where we will look at practical ways to reset our thinking and break free from grasshopper vision!