Author: waterthecamels

I am a wife, mother of 3, counselor, and a writer. I have been married to my husband David for almost 16 years. I home school our 3 children and try to find time in between to write, blog and speak to women about the liberating and transforming power of Christ in our lives.

A to Z Challenge: W is Overcoming requires Wisdom

Wisdom

1. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
2. Common sense; good judgment
3.a. The sum of learning.
4. A wise outlook, plan, or course of action.
5. the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.

1. The Need for wisdom

Proverbs 4:6-8 (ESV)

Do not forsake her (wisdom), and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.

I Love this verse, it makes me laugh. Here is my Jody paraphrase
“You want to know what wisdom is? Here it is, You need wisdom and you better get some! How is that for a direct and blunt verse!
You need to value it, prize it, and pay whatever is necessary in order to obtain it.”

The acquisition of wisdom begins with the understanding and acknowledgement that I don’t have it and I need it!

2. The Source for Wisdom

James 3:13-18

13 Are there any among you who are really wise and understanding? Then you should show your wisdom by living right. You should do what is good with humility. A wise person does not boast.

14 If you are selfish and have bitter jealousy in your hearts, you have no reason to boast. Your boasting is a lie that hides the truth.

15 That kind of “wisdom” does not come from God. That “wisdom” comes from the world. It is not spiritual. It is from the devil.

16 Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there will be confusion and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest.

18 People who work for peace in a peaceful way get the blessings that come from right living.

Rule #1, When seeking wisdom as it relates to life and eternity, ‘”Source” is everything!

The wisdom that matters, liberates, and empowers is not earthly, it is spiritual. Man’s wisdom is faulty, and prone to change based on circumstances and emotion. The wisdom of the world says do what is best for you, what feels good, what gives instant gratification. Man’s wisdom denies the validity of faith in the existence of something greater than himself while at the same time demanding faith in itself. The wisdom of man is at its core selfish, leaving others in a wake of shattered dreams and broken hearts.  The wisdom of man does not liberate or empower, it shackles and oppresses.

The guiding principle of a man seeking wisdom from within himself is in essence “I am god, I will decide what is right, true, and just.” This presents a problem because if every man adopts this line of reasoning and wisdom, the word would be filled with billions of self-seeking gods, all  attempting to  co-exist in harmony with others, who live with not only opposing views and goals, but violently conflicting ones.

Wisdom demands a source for its existence. Can created, corrupted men claim to be the author and creator of wisdom? We can not look to ourselves or within ourselves, or to fellow-man for wisdom. If you need wisdom and do not have wisdom, it stands to reason you’re not going to be able to sit in the middle of a dark room & meditate wisdom into existence from the depths of your soul.

3. Wisdom requires Grace:

With grace wisdom can liberate, without grace it shackles.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

Wisdom is not always easy, nor is it always fun. Sometimes wisdom illuminates my heart and energizes my spirit but there are other days when it requires sacrifice. Restraint,  suffering, and sacrifice can be a frequent companions in our search for wisdom.

While the acquisition of wisdom and it’s application in my life might involve some blood, sweat, and tears, its fruit is liberating and well worth the sacrifice. When I am in a situation where I need God’s wisdom to overcome a sin, endure a trial, or even offer encourage a struggling sister, I find it helpful to ask for God’s grace so I will willingly and obediently receive his wisdom, before I actually ask for the wisdom.

Without God’s grace wisdom is foolishness, light is darkness, and weakness flaunts itself as strength.

Are you seeking and searching for wisdom? How is your life spent daily? Do you spend your hours, energy, and affections seeking her and searching for her?

Is your heart burdened by a friend, loved one, or co-worker who lives in darkness, shackled by the foolishness of the world.  Pray for Grace. Pray that God would open their eyes to the light of the gospel of Truth! Grace clears the way for wisdom and truth!

Seek her, search for her, cling to her and do not let her go!

Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get it!

Five Minute Friday: Community

Today I join The Gypsy Mama and a community of amazing, passionate, like-minded women who are writing about community.

“So let’s spend our five minutes of writing today, sharing about community. Fight it, love it, hate it, hurt or healed by it, we were certainly built for it.

Set a timer and just write. Don’t worry about making it just right or not.

Go all in with your words.

Are you ready?”

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

::

Community…

For many years I robbed myself of the gift of community. Insecurity kept me prisoner to my pew, yard, and home. There is risk when you step out and make yourself vulnerable, but  praise God  for the times He kicks us out of the nest. Over the past year or so I have learned the rewards oc community far outweigh the risks!

The Lord knew I needed a community of believers, women who would speak the truth in love. Women who accept me for who I am, while not allow me to make excuses for being anything other than who I am supposed to be in Christ, “A new Creation.”

It is encouraging to fellowship with women who share the same passions, struggles, emotions, and battles I do. We are all in different seasons of life. Some with tiny boppers, some with teens, and some with empty nests. There is seasoned and tried wisdom in our community. Women who have experienced death of spouses, children & parents. My community has suffered through infidelity, broken hearts, and tragedy. All of us have felt the loving and gracious hand of God upon our lives and as a community we come together to bind up, encourage, challenge, exhort, and even rebuke one another.

Community isn’t just a luxury, it is a necessity!

A to Z: V is for Victory!

Victory

1. Defeat of an enemy or opponent.
2. Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle.
3. The state of having triumphed.

I Cor 15:42-45, 50-58

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit……

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

“Death is swallowed up…..Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory”

Are there any other words as sweet and liberating as these? Over the last few weeks, I have blogged about the atonement of Christ that gave me freedom from the condemnation of sin. I spoke about the liberating power of faith, truth, grace and God’s love. What a great way to wind down this challenge, by speaking about the ultimate fruit and reward of our battle to Overcome and to walk worth of the amazing gift we have been given.

The truth is alive within my heart. Grace has been poured out upon my life. God’s love has transformed me from a condemned sinner to an adopted daughter and joint heir of Christ. I am His and He is mine. My death was swallowed up when Jesus rose from the dead. He bore the sting of death on the tree fulfilling the law of the Righteous and True, the Only Wise God.

Because He is, I have Overcome!

Thank you Father the the Victory that is mine through you!

A to Z: U is for Overcoming Unbelief

Unbelief

Hebrews 2:18
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

 

When Jesus walked this earth, we are told He was tempted and suffered just as we are. Our pain and suffering moves Him with compassion. Our Father understands our pain, weaknesses, and needs but what He will never tolerate nor allow is a faithless unbelieving heart. He is True and Faithful and in Him is no deceit or variableness. He has never failed to prove Himself to be who He has proclaimed Himself to be,  nor has He ever failed to fulfill the promises He has given us.

 

Unbelief  is an extremely dangerous thing to harbor in our hearts, and scripture spells out clearly what happens when we allow unbelief to take root and grow in our lives.


Dangers of Unbelief:

1. God can not work in a heart of unbelief

Matthew 13:58
And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

2. A heart of unbelief leads to a heart of stone & Rebuke from God

Mark 16:14

Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.

3. Unbelief steals our peace and keeps us from finding “rest”

Hebrews 3:19

So we see that they were unable to enter (into rest) because of unbelief.

Unbelief = Heart of stone = God’s Rebuke = No Rest….

Hebrews 3:5-30 (ESV)

A Rest for the People of God

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 (I)As I swore in my wrath,
They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned,whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

 

When my faith falters and the trials and burdens of life press down upon me, I find victory to overcome unbelief by remembering, recording, and recounting the goodness of God. My history with Him is the lifeline of my faith. He has never forsaken me or withheld His love or goodness. Who He was yesterday is who He will be today and tomorrow. There is no room for unbelief. 

 

What has become bigger in your life, your problems or the “Solution” to your problems?I Overcome unbelief by switching your focus from the problems to the “Truth.”  Remember yesterday’s A to Z! “The truth will set you Free.” Hear His voice, believe His words, overcome your fears, pain, anxiety….

A to Z Challenge: T is for Truth

Truth

“The quality of being in accord with fact or reality.

Fidelity to an original or standard.

That which is considered to be the supreme reality

and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

John 8:32
And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”

What do you say to the friend who suffers in an invisible prison, held captive by a smothering blanket of depression? How do you comfort the grieving woman who has miscarried her fourth child and has to bury that tiny life and with it her dream of being a mother? What can you say that will encourage the single woman who sits alone her apartment tormented by insecurity and the unfulfilled desire to “just be loved by somebody?” What words can sooth the raw aching heart of a wife who has stumbled upon the sordid details of her husband’s infidelity? How do we find hope when life seems hopeless?

The Bible tells us that Truth is the key to freedom but it is not merely the presence of truth that liberates. This is evidenced by the fact two people can go through similar circumstances with totally opposite results.

 In “The Passion of the Christ” Pilots wife makes a profound statement to her tormented husband who has begged her to explain the truth.

“What is truth Caludia? Do you hear it, recognize it when it is spoken?

Pilots wife replies, “Yes I do, don’t you?”

Pilot answers back  “No. How? Can you tell me?”

With sorrow Pilots wife whispers, “If you will not hear the truth, no one can tell you the truth.”

 

Truth has the power to liberate and conquer BUT only if that truth takes root deep within our heart and soul. Once truth is heard it must be received, seized, and hidden deep within our needy hearts. It is here, in that deepest part of man’s heart that faith gives voice to truth.

To the hurting and needy I say, it is in “The Truth” that you will find freedom, but if you will not hear truth, you will not experience freedom.

Are you willing to hear the truth? Are you willing to have the scales washed away, so that you can see life as it truly is? If you are hurting and looking for answers, your only hope is found in Him who is “Truth” and who offers that truth to all mankind.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.

Will you listen to His message and plan for your life? He posses the truth capable of setting you free.

Are you seeking to comfort or council a friend imprisoned in hopelessness? Unless they are willing to hear the truth and to allow its roots to be buried deep within their hearts and minds, the truth will not do them any good. The first thing they need is prayer, that their ears would be opened.

A to Z: S is for Overcoming the Challenges of Single Life

S is for Single

Overcoming the challenges of Single life

When I was 28, I could recall a number of vividly painful moments when the world around me seemed to flaunt the relationships and opportunities I yearned for yet had not experienced. I would like to suggest a valuable piece of advice for those of you with single friends.There are certain times you should avoid telling a single woman she should enjoy her freedom and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities she has been given because she is single. Avoid these obvious nuggets of wisdom on valentine’s day, weddings of siblings or close friends, major holidays, or when 90% of her friends have just left for a special “couples only” retreat. If you are brave enough to do so, be sure to protect your face while bracing for the dreaded “Hairy eyeball” because it is coming!


Myth: I am Lonely because something is missing from my life.


For years, I dutifully attempted to exploit the benefits of “single awareness day.” Honestly, I did enjoy my freedom but many days loneliness and uncertainty pushed my faith to the edge. An entry from my journal describes the emotional battle I engaged in so frequently as a single woman.


8/27/00
“Life is so very interesting & complicated. Each day becomes a painful mirror into the imperfections and weakness of body and spirit…. sometimes I struggle so violently to cross over from knowledge to experience.” 


Crossing over

If you are single, how do you cross over? How do you transform your desires and emotions  so that they line up with what you profess to believe? As I walked through life, seeking God’s peace and direction, I discovered a truth that empowered me to cross from knowledge to experience. The key was found in my understanding of God’s name and nature.


The more time I spent in His word and in His presence, the more clearly I began to understanding that my single status did not interfere with His love for me or His desires for my life. Being single didn’t mean I was waiting for God’s best. God’s ultimate plan for my fulfillment and happiness wasn’t a gift that would be handed to me on my wedding day. Every new day of life I was given, whether single or married, would be filled with all the goodness and love God could give me. His offering of grace, mercy, peace, and love was the same to every one of His children. Our Heavenly Father does not withhold love.My marital status didn’t need to change in order to obtain purpose, peace, and happiness but my perspective did.


The Truth of the Matter

If it is impossible for God to lie, then I can cling to any promise of truth I find about himself in scripture. This brings me to how I overcame the feeling that I was missing something I needed in order to be content and happy because I was single.


Psalm 84:11-12was the key.


The Lord God is a sun and a shield

The Lord will give grace and glory

No Good thing will he withhold to them that walk uprightly.

O Lord of Host, Blessed is the man that trusteth thee.

Are you ready to have your faith supercharged? These verses will do just that, because they present an intimate glimpse into an amazing attribute of your Father’s nature. These revelations provide a foundation you can anchor your desires and dreams upon.  Verse 11b is an integral key to the kind of faith able to sustain and empower you as you accept the Lord plan for your life.


Verse 11 states that each morning the Lord is present and ready with “every good thing” you needed in order to get through the day. Christ faithfully prepares and will pour out upon you, to overflowing, all the strength, encouragement, wisdom, and blessings you need. Anything truly necessary to navigate through the trials & temptations, joys & sorrow, excess & need today is at your disposal. Your loving Father is there with it all, so that tonight you can testify to the world and for the Glory of God,


My Father has withheld nothing!”


As a single woman, some of the emptiness I struggled with was the result of an attempt to peer into the future to see if God’s will lined up with my desires. By doing so, during momentary periods of discontent, I trampled over hills and valleys paved with His Grace, Glory, and Blessings.


As I struggle to be content with my life (yes it is still a struggle today), the Lord still uses these verses to rebuke me with the truth, my emptiness is the result of a self-imposed, narrow sighted, earth-bound vision and a failure to look at life with spiritual eyes.


My prayer has become, “Today Lord,  give me eyes to see, that I might not miss even the smallest blessing that you, in love and Mercy, have prepared for me.” These verses spoke to me as a single woman and they still minister to me today. This promise sustains me as a mother of three when my days consists of mounds of laundry, disappointments, and mundane trials of life.


We should never hesitate to enter into the presence of  the God who formed and knew us intimately before we uttered our first cry. As we place our will at his feet in humble submission, may we never lose sight of the fact he has all ready given His best, His most precious and beloved Son. He will withhold nothing of lesser value.


When you have unburdened your heart and submitted your will to His, do not forget to gather up your basket with faith unmovable, and eyes set to the heavens. Purpose to recognize, accept, and receive  “every good and perfect gift” prepared for your life by the Creator of the Universe. You may be missing a ring, an invitation to a couples party, evenings with company, but you are not missing the key to happiness, peace, and fulfillment.


How full will your basket be tonight when you lay your head upon your pillow? Did you see, accept, and use all he prepared for you today?


What are some other myths about single life you struggled with? What advice can you offer to women enduring the challenges of single life?


What truth about God encourages you heart, chasing the shadows of unbelief away?

A to Z: Overcoming Rage

Rage

1a : violent and uncontrolled angerb : a fit of violent wrathc archaic : insanity
2: violent action (as of wind or sea)
3: an intense feeling : passion

 

Have you even had a “Mirror Moment“? A time when God smote your heart into a puddle by lovingly placing a mirror smack dab in front of you face. An unforgettable instance when He gave you a glimpse of just how ugly and unnatural a specific sin was in your life?

 

I remember one of my many “Mirror Moments” with great clarity and disgust. My sweet little Mollie had done something wrong. There was no rebellion or disobedience in her act, it was just a kid’s-will-be-kids moment. I opened my mouth and with my tongue, I let her have it. My words lashed out with precision, cutting deep into her vulnerable defenseless heart. Before the last word was out, wham the mirror dropped. My rage was parted by the chastising hand of the Lord. With the cloud of anger parted, I could see my precious child and look into her wide eyes. I saw the ugly effect of my sin upon her spirit and I was undone. Oh how I wanted to grab those words and shove them back inside my mouth.

 

At that moment I hated who I was. I despised the anger and wrath that ruled my heart. I knew I needed help and I cried out to the Lord for mercy, forgiveness, and a transformed heart. Thus began a painful yet loving journey to overcome rage and anger, and at the heart of it all selfishness.

 

Please  join me here as I share a story about one way the Lord did/has/is transforming my heart. The story is titled ‘I asked for Patience. The Lord gave me children, three of them.

A To Z: Q is for Quietness

Quietness

And the work of righteousness shall be peace;

and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

Isaiah 32:17 (KJV)

There is a time to fight, but there is also a time to be quiet and still. The ability to discern when to do which is critical when it comes to overcoming.

 

As a kid I was terrified of quicksand. No, I had never seen it, felt it, or come remotely close to the stuff, but the thought of something sucking me down into the darkest depths of  earth, slowly sucking life from my lungs, scared the snot out of me. I mentally went through the actions, or should I say inaction I would take so that in the event I ever did find myself doing the backstroke in a pool of it, I would be able to escape. At that young age, I understood that in order to survive, to had to “do nothing.”

 

Quicksand moments of life

Sometime life hands us fight/flight situations, times when there is no getting around confrontations, battles, disputes, or disagreements. Then there are the days when we are thrust into  “quick sand” moments of life. These are instances  when words, actions, and confrontation only make matters worse. No matter how cool, calm, and collects we are, anything we do or say sucks us deeper into the suffocating quagmire. I have found this to be true on both a physical and spiritual level.

 

I have a broken and sick grandparent. No matter what I  say, do, or don’t do, I can’t win. I can’t rationalize with her or make her see the truth. I can’t refute her illogical reasoning and distorted view of life and our family. Like my husband puts it, by doing so I “only get myself a blot.” It is maddening, but for the sake of not being engulfed into a bottomless pit of bitterness, anger, and strife, all I can do is nothing. I just walk away.

 

I love my sister, and have no idea what I would do without her. She has given me a few “quick sand moments” of a different sort. They start something like this, my phone rings and Amy is on the other side. “Jody, I have something I need to talk to you about. Your not going to like what I have to say, but please just hear me out. If you want to hang up when I am through I understand.” This might astound and even offend you, but you have to understand and personally know my amazing sister. She has never been wrong and true to her word, I did not like what she had to say. It was a “quick sand moment”,  I had to relax my heart, mind, and emotions and allow the love and truth of her words sink in, and guess what I survived, but better than that, I was a better wife, mom, woman because of it.

 

On a spiritual level,  I had some similar conversations with the Lord. As Beth Moore explains in her book “Get out of that Pit,” Sometimes were pushed into pits, sometimes we innocently fall into them. Then there are the times we just jump in headfirst.

 

There have been moments when I had to claw my way out of trials. Times when my fingers were raw, my skin bruised and bleeding, and I needed to, had to fight. BUT There have also been times when my battle wasn’t a pit I needed to claw out of but a pool of quicksand I had to relax in and yield to.

 
Sometimes the Redeemer doesn’t require we fight, He just asks us to yield, to relax, to rest. To believe He is who He says He is, and who He has all ready proven Himself to be. It is during these “quicksand moments of life” that He who is True and Faithful whispers

“…Your strength is to sit still.”

Isaiah 30:7

Quietness, it is an absence of striving, clamoring, protest, questions, doubts. Quietness is the ability to embrace an absence of words and explanations because I understand the absence of His voice by no means indicates an absence of His presence. Quietness is an opportunity to  receive things I might otherwise not see, hear, feel, or discover.

Do you know how to be quiet? Do you know how to let quietness envelop your heart, mind, body, soul and spirit? You can overcome through quietness. You just have to know when it is time to fight and when it is okay to relax, be quiet, and let another work and move on your behalf. Yes, there are moments when your strength to overcome is through sitting still.

A to Z: Overcoming through Prayer

Prayer

Communication with God

through written or spoken words, thoughts, meditation, or song.

A reverent petition

 The Power of Prayer

 There is something raw and exposing about prayer. Weather out of joy, longing, or sorrow, prayer is a purposeful and  submissive bending of body, soul, mind and spirit. It is the acknowledgement “I am not all there is, nor am I all I need to be.” There is One greater, mightier, more Holy, Wise, Loving, and Powerful!

As a youngster I struggled with prayer. If God was in control, and if God had a plan, why did I need to pray? He knew my heart, and could see what I was going through.  I wasn’t going to change His mind so why pray?

In a way I was right, my prayers would never alter God’s ultimate will and plan for my life, BUT there was something prayer would and could alter, ME!

Over the past few years, the Lord has mercifully led me through some lengthy periods of stretching, purging, refining, and growth. These private, humbling, and sometimes painful trials have opened my eyes to the transforming purpose and power of prayer. You see, prayer does not bend the Lord’s will to mine, it softens my heart to His.

What Prayer isn’t…..

Prayers that begin as tattle-tale list of offences, hurts, and need accomplish little when I came determined to “Get what I thought I needed.”  There is no room for the stubborn in prayer! I have experienced moments of stubborn prayer. Times I rudely and proudly presented myself before the throne with an agenda. I would come determined to tell Christ the way things were, determined not to walk away till I was satisfied. Usually I walked away frustrated and an even more distant relationship with Him. These prayers never accomplish anything!

Proper, Powerful, Purposeful Prayer

Praise the Lord for His mercy and patience,  He never turned His back from me. I am grateful for the times he ushered me through sweet, intimate moments of brokenness and fellowship with Him. Special seasons of life when my heart, soul, spirit, and body yielded in great heaving sobs, bending malleable and submissive to the gentle, purposeful hands of the Loving Father.  In these times of prayer, heaven and earth parted to unite a broken, needy, and seeking child into the presence of her Abba, Pappa, Father.

When I have fallen on my face before Him, not demanding answers, but pleading for grace, strength, understanding, and the desire to obey His will, He has gloriously spoken. He has granted ears to hear, eyes  to see, and a mind able to comprehend the love, grace, power, and glory He has bestowed upon me.

Prayer that overcomes doesn’t make hardship disappear, rather it moves man out of the way, overcoming him. The Prayer of faith might be able to mover mountains, but far greater is it’s ability to conform the once broken, wayward, rebellious, deceived, sin blinded heart of a man so that he can cry with passion,

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”

“To live is to die and to die is to gain”

“I will decrease that He might increase!”

“Not my will oh Father, but  Thine.”

“To you alone of God may there be ALL Glory and Honor, Praise and glory”

“It will be worth it all, the day I see my Jesus!”

Psalm 66:20

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayeror removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 69:13
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

Psalm 141:2
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Proverbs 15:29
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayerof the righteous.

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant inprayer.

Philippians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything byprayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

A To Z: O is For Overcoming

Overcoming

1. To defeat in competition or conflict; conquer.
2. To prevail over; surmount
3. To overpower, as with emotion; affect deeply.
4. To surmount opposition; be victorious.
John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the
world.”

Living to Overcome

I am your typical 2nd born child, stubborn, reckless, and competitive. I thrive when given deadlines, or opportunities to overcome or defeat something. It does not matter who you are, if you are standing between me and the finish line, please step out of the way. It is nothing personal, I just want to win. Grandma, hubby, mom, little man, they all know to clear the way because I am a comin and all is fare in love and war.

Part of me hates how competitive I am. One minute I am clawing for my husband’s jugular so I can take him down in a wicked game of dominos.

The next minute I am remorseful and ashamed by my anger and the ruthless desire to rip his head right off. In the end, mercy usually wins and I let him win (He will argue over the “letting win” part.)

The word overcoming seemed a natural fit for my blog  because I am driven by the desire to overcome. Through the grace, love, and salvation poured out upon me, overcoming is not only the theme of my existence, it is my calling and my destiny.

So how would you react if given the opportunity to play for a “team” guaranteed to win it all? The Super Bowl, World Series, Masters, NASCAR, Nobel or Pulitzer? How about making it on the cover of People or Time Magazine? What about Leader of the World. You name it, it’s yours. Chances are you are like me, thinking a person would have to be a complete fool to not take advantage of an offer of guaranteed success, and you are spot on! Years ago,  I was given the opportunity to win the humdinger of all contests, the one called life. You know, the game we are all contestants in, only the stakes are high, if not extreme because were playing for our lives. To win is eternity with Christ. To loose means eternal suffering and separation. The teams are set. On the right hand stands the Lord of the Universe, and on the left satan, sin, death, guilt, and eternal suffering.

Can you imagine the exhilaration it gives me to know that I am on the winning team! Life isn’t like middle school gym class, where you stand hunched yet hopeful you will not be the last name called as the popular kids  choose teams. Success isn’t based on popularity, might, ingenuity, or ability, but by a merciful and loving Savior. I didn’t have to deserve to be on His team, I was Loved onto it.

He called my name and chose me to be on His side long before time began. I was chosen to be on the winning team ages before battle lines were drawn and then crossed. Before I took my first breath, the enemy had been utterly defeated. All I have been asked to do is represent, endure, believe, finish well, to walk worthy.

Yee-Haw, I am on the winning team! Boo-Yah,  I win! The game of life death is over and I am on the right side of the line.  Overcoming isn’t an unrealized hope, it is my right and privilege. Sin and death lost their fangs thousands of years ago. They are the underdog, not I.

I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
14 I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.

I John 2:12-14 (ESV)

I live to Overcome because He has empowered and equipped me to Overcome. My life is a story of conquering. Not through my strength, might, or goodness, but through Him. If you search deep within the canvas of my life you will see the hand of He who overcame. Etched deep within every passing moment of my life is a scarlet story of might, purpose, strength, and conquering. “The Word of God abides within me and I Have Overcome the evil one!”