Time for a BOG

Before you feel the need to correct my misspelling of Blog, keep reading, grammar experts.

 

I need to tell you about the day I have had… well, it’s actually been going on for a week, but oh it crescendo-ed into a beautiful symphony of amazing moments God did today.

Today – the day I woke at 4am, after 4 days with a total of 10 hours of sleep because my doctor gave me Prednisone to fight an allergic reaction to hair dye (On Becoming a Unicorn ) , throwing me into a terrible fight with insomnia, only sleeping by taking 2 Benadryl at night, only for even that to lose to the curiously strong Steroids (not Altoids), waking again after only a couple of hours of sleep. I had to leave my house at 7:30, drive to Atlanta, catch a flight to Charlotte, NC., then to Dallas, next to Waco, where I would pick up my rental and drive to Temple, Texas. I am training a new employee and I couldn’t have been more unprepared.

[This is the short version – because this is about the BOG. Let’s just say, when a company grows as fast as ours has been, but doesn’t grow each department accordingly, one person’s workload *hint, it’s me* is too great to stop and write her training plan.]

Needless to say, this could have been the day that brought me down. But instead, I have been on a spiritual high that you just cannot make up. (Nor can you give credit to something as awful as steroids – Don’t do it, kids; these are awful!)

No, God gets all the credit for what has been transpiring and with that, I introduce to you what God told me to start during my quiet time with Him this morning (Shout out to all those completing the In Dependence Challenge) :

A BOG.

Brag on God post.

BOG Time

(See, English majors. It’s okay. I just know my Marketing majors are all disturbed by my simple image, but hey, let’s blame THAT on the steroids.)

The truth is, we are not bragging on Him enough. And His Word says that we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony! (Rev 12:11) Today, all you hear are divisive words, political rants, fake news, and anything negative that paints the “other side” as the enemy. No! We do not wrestle against flesh and blood – each other – our fight is against

the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.                              Ephesians 6:12 NIV

God let me talk to so many different people today during this whirlwind of connecting flights, de-boarding and re-boarding, wrong SkyLinks, and terrible turbulence over Alabama, that would not have happened if I wasn’t acknowledging Him in all my ways.

There it is – that’s my brag.

The Holy Spirit WILL lead you in every step of your day if you just stop and ask Him to be your guide. God wants to lead you beside still waters (not flooding rivers that push you to strive for more — He is enough!) He wants to lead your conversations and your actions.

Something I have been doing at work this year, due to my ever-increasing workload, is going through my e-mails first thing in the morning and plotting my tasks on my calendar. If it doesn’t make today’s calendar, it goes on tomorrow’s, etcetera. Doing that, my email program sends me reminders and lets me know what I haven’t done (and yes, I hit snooze on that thing more than an adolescent hits the alarm clock during school!), so I don’t drop things.

Here’s what else it does, though. It gives me perspective on what “asks” are priority and what can be pushed to the right. As a one-woman team for the last 6 months, I can honestly say I have managed more workload that (I believe) should not be possible.

That’s a brag on God, not me. There is just no way I could do this. He gets all the credit!

Each morning, do the same thing with your day. Don’t start anything until you’ve acknowledged God and asked Him to guide you. Give Him your ear, sheep, and He will shepherd you. Give Him your hands, and He’ll spread love through you. Give Him your attention, and He will put on a display of the choreography of His ability to make chance encounters turn into multiple blessings, all in a day’s work because you followed Him, not your agenda or To-Do list.

God is awesome and wants to show Himself strong through you.

Open your eyes, let Him show you, and let’s Brag on God!

Blessings and shalom,

Yvy

 

Ready to BOG?  Now you can!! Go here

 

 

 

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You’re Invited

Have you ever had a special occasion that you invited your friends to and you were disappointed by the people who didn’t show up? That was me. The day was my wedding. And none of my friends showed up. Not. One.

I’m not thesad bride only one who has had that happen – invite people to something very important to you, but obviously not them, and they don’t show. (And sadly, probably not the last.)

There was a man who was having a huge party – bigger than a rehearsal dinner for the wedding, but it did precede the ceremony. Let me explain some marriage customs to those not familiar with Jewish weddings:

There are three parts – the signing of the marriage contract, at which time the groom would pay the bride a dowry – a substantial gift- and the “engagement” period began. Next, the groom would prepare the future house for his bride and him. This could last a very long time, so the bride did not know when her groom would finish and return for her; she just knew he would. Finally, the groom would return and marry his bride, then a huge supper would take place.

I was reading the following passage when God showed me something new:

“A man once gave a great banquet and invited many.  And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’  But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’  And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’  And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’   ”  Luke 14:16-20

If you recognized the story of the man who threw a party and his friends did not show up as this Scripture passage, you’re right. Many will also know this is referring to those who have been offered to become the Bride (Church) to the Groom (Jesus) by accepting Jesus’ ultimate dowry – gift – by dying on the cross and later going away to prepare us a place in heaven.

What God showed me this morning, though, were all the excuses people made to not spend time with God:

  • “I have bought a field”, “I have bought five yoke of oxen” – Their jobs
  • “I have married a wife, and therefore cannot come” – another relationship
  • Family
  • Things purchased
  • Other things/people/events that we put above God

Jesus invites us to spend time with Him every day. What excuse are you  making to not?

IDEAS TO SPENDING MORE TIME WITH JESUS:

  1. Skip breakfast, or lunch (or both!), and dine on His Word instead (Matt 4:4)
  2. Schedule is full with [enter your schedule-filler here; kids’ soccer practice, watching my favorite show on TV, sleeping in] Seek God before doing any of those things and maybe He’ll show you something else you should be doing. (Matt 6:33)
  3. Work out with Christian music that is filled with the Word / listening to the Bible spoken/ or no music at all and meditate on a Scripture the entire time
  4. I don’t know when/how/where – Ask God for directions (Proverbs 3:6)

IDC – Check In

This is for all those who accepted the In Dependence Challenge – (You can join at anytime, if you haven’t yet.)

How are you doing so far?

If you’re struggling with how to spend your time with the Lord or what to write in your journal, remember this: There is no ‘perfect’ way to do either other than in humility and truth.

Humble yourself – Is it not amazing that we get to spend time with the Creator of the Universe? The King of all kings and an actual God? (Not just a man-made object others have decided is a god.) Yet the Bible tells us, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may we receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Do you need mercy today in your life?

Could you use some grace to help you in your time of need?

Notice the verse starts out by saying, “Let us then” – Then suggests there is something before this verse that explains WHY we can come with confidence to the throne of our God. Verse 15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

The perfect posture for prayer is in humility.

We can come before God because Jesus took every sin, each weakness, all addictions and failures, and every struggle we could possibly be facing right now, and He took them back to hell, where they came from, and said emphatically, “It is finished.” When you know someone has the answer, or the cure, or the solution to your problems, you can confidently say, “I’m here to pick up what I need.”

Well, God has all the answers you could ever need and He’s waiting to spend time with you. Grasp that! HE is wanting to spend time with YOU!

Truth – Just be real. Don’t try to talk to God with a bunch of thee’s and thou’s. Talk to Him as you do your friends. (Jesus no longer calls us servants, but friends!) And when you write in your journal, sometimes you’re not going to get an entire page. Just write the words, feelings, or maybe even a sentence He places in your spirit. Be honest with yourself and Him and see what happens to your day.

Be blessed today and keep living In Dependence of God ~ Yvy

In Dependence Challenge

And we’ve begun…    (You can join anytime, by the way, if you’re viewing this after 7-4)

Not only do I hope you stick with me for this time, but I encourage you to invite others, as well, because this is going to be an amazing time of growth in your relationship with God and advancement of the Kingdom.

Some of you have stumbled upon this blog and I believe God has sent you. Others, you’ve been ‘following’ me for a while and read occasionally, but I believe you are ‘here’ for a reason, as well. That reason? To draw closer to God for the purpose He has for you.

Here’s the challenge:

Challenge

For those who are following me or receive my e-mails, you can expect an uptick in posts.

For others, just send me an e-mail here.

You can also join the Facebook Group here

 

Moments and Words from God continued…

(This is a continuation from yesterday’s post. So, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend you read it first here.)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Perfected love casts out fear:

That is how love can be patient – there is no fear that a reward won’t come to those who do not grow weary in well doing

That is also how love can be kind – there is no fear that our kindness won’t have a positive impact in God’s plan

That is how love does not envy – there is no fear that someone is being blessed more than me because – and love does not parade itself nor is puffed up – there is no reason to walk in pride, for God has given us all we have (1 Corinthian 4:6-13) – and love does not behave rudely or seek its own – there is no fear of not being provided (for we serve Jehavoh Jireh, My God who provides.)

That is how love is not easily provoked nor does it think evil or rejoice in iniquity – there is no fear that you’re missing out by being good and the goodness of God permeates your thoughts, leaving no room for evil thoughts.

Love that has been perfected rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things. Perfect love never fails.

Love

Allow the actions and words I have put on your heart and resist the fear that they are silly, won’t be received, or are not from Me – every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

Be a good gift to someone else and say the compliment, give the hug, pay for their food or groceries, give to the homeless, smile at the unlovable, share your testimony or lunch – forgive! Be Jesus to your world!

 

(You may have recognized that the majority of what God said to me came from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 – also known as the “love chapter.” God speaks to us in different ways, but you can be sure He will speak to you through His Word. And if you’re having a hard time hearing from God, get into His Word more. You’ll find Him speaking His Word back to you when you seek guidance or wisdom and what you put in your spirit will rise up at the very moment you need it.)

Moments and Words from God

I don’t do this often, but I feel led to just share what God said to me the last two days during our morning time together. I hope it blesses you and if it does, you’ll leave me a comment and let me know you reflected here.

Acknowledge Me in all your ways – My ways are not your ways – and I will lead you – in all you need to do for the day.

(I’ve been seeking the Lord a lot lately for strength, direction, and peace because my workload has increased drastically at work and it’s been quite overwhelming. These were His words of instruction, comfort, and wisdom in response.)

Do everything as if I have personally asked you to do it.

 

(Whoa – If I began each task with that mindset, I’d probably enjoy things a little more!)

(The rest of this, I’m going to share just like I wrote it down so you can see how I journal and that even when writing things down from God, He’ll have you write it in a way that will mean something, too.)

Psalms 25

I hope you got something out of this – this was my journal entry for June 25th. Tomorrow, I’ll share June 26th. (That’s right, this week I’ll be posting not just on Wednesday morning, but Thursday morning, as well.)

 

Blessings and shalom,

Yvylyn

Surgery Not Necessary

Have you ever really like something, and it was taken away from you? You tend to do whatever it takes to get it back, right?

I was running the 2010 Paris Marathon, reached mile 6, and my knee just wouldn’t let me continue. The stabbing pain and stiffness said “no” to 20 more miles. So, I saw my doctor when I returned home, had imaging done, and was told I had torn my meniscus.

Meniscus

The meniscus is basically a shock absorber and my tear weakened the cushion it normally provided when I walked, knelt, went up or down stairs, or when I ran. I became an avid runner to lose weight, but grew to enjoy it after I was logging 5+ miles on my runs. So, not running was not an option.

Fortunately, I saw a German doctor (I lived in Germany at the time) who didn’t believe surgery was the best option. He sent me to physical therapy, shock therapy (yeah, it’s a thing), used kinesiology tape (great stuff!), injections (not great stuff to endure), and made me build up my leg muscles for over six months.

The theory is that if you build up the muscle tissue, the ligaments, and increase the circulation around the injury, it aids the blood supply to the region (which is needed for healing) and protects the tear while it either heals or scars over. For me, it did the latter and I ran the Munich Half Marathon in 2013.

Here’s the thing, though, there was a lot of homework – meaning I had to do a lot of the exercises I did twice a week in the physical therapist’s office at home almost daily. I had to protect, rest, ice, compress, and elevate (PRICE*) my knee often. My lifestyle changed, and I limited my walking and increased my biking.

I won’t lie and say it was enjoyable, but training for and finishing the half marathon was worth it. It was worth the pain, struggle, and tears when I just wanted my knee better now, but had to wait till it was strong enough; it was worth the painful injections to build the fluids around my knee; and it was worth the 2 ½ years it took for me to build my distance.

You know what else is worth pain, struggle, tears, and waiting?

Waiting for a loved one to beat an addiction, stop committing the same sin over and over, or heal from wrongs they’ve done or had to done to them. No matter how much time it takes, no matter how many long nights of prayer or long fasts, and no matter the struggle, tears, and pain, it’s all worth it in the end to fight for those you love.

Those loved ones are like my meniscus – they need others to come around them, build themselves up so they can protect the one sinning, failing, or hurting, so they have time to heal, be delivered, repent, or turn to God.

We, as the body of Christ, must take our place as the supporting muscles that protect injured Christians. Giving up, getting frustrated, and accepting “you can’t run anymore” is not an option. It looks a lot like someone leaving the witnessing part to the preachers – or someone who doesn’t read the Bible because they “don’t get it” – or someone who doesn’t share the Gospel with others because they’d rather sit on the couch and binge something. Our commission is to “Go into all the world”, so we must do the exercises needed to build our spiritual muscles.

Read your Bible. Pray. (It’s a two-conversation, so listen, don’t just ask for things.) Serve. Believe. Fellowship and build up other believers.

Be the support, bear the weight, and show Christ to those in need. You’ll find the entire Body of Christ, the Church, will return to running the race set before them when you do your part to heal those injured.

 

*PRICE – Do you know how Christians PRICE? They protect their fellow believers while they are down. They rest in the promises of Jesus and don’t get anxious or impatient with their sister or brother in Christ. They ice the injury. The Bible says that a husband is to cleanse his wife by the washing of water with the Word. As Christians, we must speak the Word and not words of condemnation, so we reduce the pain associated with their injury, just like ice does. They compress to prevent swelling – which just means they wrap themselves around the person by prayer and fasting. And they elevate – not the person, but God in the person’s life. When we lift God up, it encourages and allows the guilt, condemnation, and sin to flow back under the blood of Jesus in the person’s eyes, so they can experience true deliverance and healing.

(James 5, Ephesians 5, Psalm 34:3, John 12:32)

American Idle

American Idle

I’m not going to talk about Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Keith Urban, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Harry Connick Jr., Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Rickie, Kara DioGuardi, or Steven Tyler in this blog. If that’s why you’re reading – sorry, you can return to whatever you were doing before you landed here. What I am going to talk about is what I believe is capturing the hearts and souls of so many Americans, just like American Idol did in the beginning of the show. (No, I don’t think that many Americans are ‘Idol’ fans as they were when the show began.)

“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”                                               2 Thessalonians 3:6

The word “idle” there is actually ‘disorderly’ in the King James Version and is not talking about laziness (although, Americans as a whole tend to be a bit lazier than other nations). The Greek word here is ataktōs, from ‘a’ and ‘tassō’: and means unarranged. ‘A’  denotes union, and tassō, in right alignment or assignment. [Sorry for the Greek lesson, but bear with me so you get the whole lesson.] So, we are told to not hang out with those that are not in right alignment with God and His assignment to us.

“Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you…For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”                                                                                2 Thessalonians 3:8, 10

Yep, there it is, the admonishment to not be idle. However, you have to understand right alignment as a Christian to understand what idleness looks like. So, do you know what the assignment of God looks like in your life?

Believe that Jesus died for my sins and accept Him as my Lord

Attend church and fellowship with other believers

Pay God’s tithe (1/10th – not less) to the church to support the spreading of the Gospel

Well, those are all commandments from God and the way of salvation is definitely (and singularly) the first one. However, what I’m talking about is the great commission:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”                                                                     Mark 16:15-16

Are you going to those in your ‘world’ and spreading the gospel or are you being idle? Let me paint a picture or two of what idle looks like:

– – You spend more time on Facebook than in the Word

– – You spend more time on your couch than the couch of someone in your life that you can influence for the good

– – Your checking account has more withdrawals for fast food, clothes, or entertainment than for the Kingdom of God (which can be your tithes, offerings, supporting a missionary/mission, sponsoring a child or taking care of a widow.)

– – You sleep in on Sunday more often than you attend church

– – Your idea of praying only happens at dinner time and sounds something like this, ‘Dear Lord, thank you for this food. Bless it to the nourishment of our bodies. Amen.”

Here’s the deal – The Creator of all things, King of all kings, and God (yeah, all you superhero fanatics, He’s the real deal, not just on screen) – HE gave you an assignment when you professed your belief in His plan (to send His only begotten Son into our world to save us from eternal damnation, pain, and loneliness in hell when we die). Was what Jesus went through not enough?

passion-of-the-christ-640x404 *The Passion of the Christ*

Americans today know more about their favorite tv or movie stars than they do about the man, and part of the Godhead, who gave up glory to come to earth, suffer, and take on Himself every sin, pain, and disease, so that we could be reconciled to God, the Father. We, as a nation, complain when we have to get up to change the channel on the television or when the Wi-Fi where we are spending our ‘hard-earned’ cash isn’t “fast enough” for us.

Really, America?

Who’s your idol?

If we don’t put God first in our lives – and you can tell by what holds your attention the most, what you spend the most time doing, and makes the biggest dent in your paycheck – then we have idols in our lives and are being idle with our time. Wake up, America. We are instructed to be imitators of Jesus and He asked His earthly parents why they were looking for Him (when they continued on their journey and realized He wasn’t with them) and said, “I must be about My Father’s business.”     *

Are you about God’s business or are you being idle?

If you’ve recently read devastating news on the Internet or seen a story on the news that disturbs you, your reaction should be prayer. When friends or family face trials and are looking for answers and support, do they call on you to intercede on their behalf? Are you tired of hearing the disgusting things Americans are doing to each other?

When you gave your life to God, you probably were all-in, but soon found yourself more like those watching American Idol – a fan. You go to church occasionally and cheer – like  fan. You hear about a miracle that has taken place and you offer up a “woot woot!” – like  a fan. Something supernatural happens in your life and you acknowledge that it had to be God – the one and only God. Even demons believe and know that, but knowing about and knowing is the difference between a fan and a follower.

James 2 19

Jesus doesn’t need fans, He needs followers – those who will walk as He walked on this earth; those who are about their Father’s business; those who are not American Idle, but Jesus Followers.

Which are you?

  *  Luke 2:49

 

The Rear view Mirror is Not for Makeup Application

makeup rearview mirror

Have you ever been at a stoplight and the person in front of you turns their rear-view mirror so they can touch up their makeup? Their time is not impeccable, the light turns green, and you’re counting down to honk them back to reality.

Let’s face it – rear-view mirrors were not created for make-up application; they were so you can see what is behind you. Regardless, you’ll still find people pulling and pushing the mirror in different directions to apply mascara, admire their just-done coiffure, or check themselves out (we see you, guys!)

The reason the rear-view mirror is so small in comparison to the windshield is because we should pay more attention to what is in front of us than what is behind us. Well, I’m going to challenge that a little today, but I’m not talking about in our car.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  Isaiah 43:18

Do you know why we’re not supposed to dwell on the past? Because the past most people are dwelling on is sin, regrets, or shame. There is a healthy reason to look back, though, and that is reflecting on the goodness and faithfulness of God in our lives.

I was talking with a friend yesterday and she was exhausted because her dog woke her up quite early. I had posted the following Scripture in Scriptures – One a day on Facebook and she expressed that she could use some help feeling her youth being renewed.

P103 5

I knew she was joking, but here’s the thing – Psalms 103 talks about all the benefits of the children of God. This is one of them, but we have to apply God’s Word (promises) to our life. So, I suggested reflecting on God’s goodness in her life and then she’ll feel that renewal. Her response is what prompted me to write this blog, “Isn’t that interesting how reflecting changes you? That’s the only time I need to look in the past!”

Reflecting does change you – for the good or the bad – and you get to choose the reflecting you do. Martin Luther said, ‘You cannot prevent birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest.’  So, here is what I suggest:

Forget the sins you’ve confessed

Forget the hurts others have given

Forget the things you didn’t do, didn’t say, didn’t accomplish; then go out and make the right decision to act the next time.

Forget the things you are currently worrying about – because you can’t change them anyway

Forget the relationships that didn’t last  – If they were/are meant to be in your life, they would/will be

Remember the times God has forgiven you

Remember the hurts avoided because God stepped in

Remember the things that God did, God said, and God helped you accomplish

Remember how God said He would never leave you nor forsake you

Remember how it felt when you gave your life to Him and He welcomed you to His family

Remember when you were running late, then while driving to where you were headed, you came upon a terrible car accident that could have involved you

Remember the friend who just happened to show up at that particular time when you really needed someone and they said, “I just felt like I was supposed to come by.”

Remember the way you got the job when you didn’t qualify                                              -or when you didn’t get the job and found out eight months later the company went bankrupt

Remember all the times you didn’t think you’d make it through, but here you are, and you know it was only because God helped you get here.

Remember that

you are loved

you are accepted

you are a child of the King

You are more than a conqueror

and you are His.

 

It’s good to look back – if you’re recollecting God’s goodness. Let Him renew your youth like the eagle’s today by meditating on all He has / is / and will do in your life.

 

It’s Exhausting Being God

There is so much to do when you’re God. All. The. Time.

You have a gazillion people to love, no matter how annoying, petty, cruel, or unloving they can be (not are, because ‘are’ is definitive, but people are changeable). You must see the best of everyone at all times and look past their faults – or how they ignore you, or insult you, or talk about you. You must forgive. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

There are daily tasks that must be accomplished.

People to call to encourage, to check on, to just call so they know you’re thinking about them. Do little things, send little gifts their way, or drop notes to them so they know you didn’t forget about them.

You have a world to try and clean up, even though you know it’s only going to get messy again while you’re cleaning it up (not even wait till you’re finished, which you never really do finish because the world is a dirty place and there’s not enough bleach made to freshen up some of this filth.)

It’s exhausting being God.

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