Your Voice

The voice inside of you…

Deep inside your soul…

The voice that even when you speak and hear the words spoken, you ask, “Who is that?”

Social graces, manners, humility, self-control, kindness are not excuses to hide what God is doing in your life.  Is it time to speak up?  If we allow other’s voices to overcrowd, shut us down, or manipulate us we are not being all that God wants us to be.  Moses tried hard to get out of God’s plan for him by suggesting he was poor of speech.  He was afraid of the task – His voice.  Moses was not very popular with His voice, and what he said to Pharaoh.  Sometimes His voice angered those who trusted him most.

What is God calling you to do?  Is it strange to your family? Annoying to a friend? Misunderstood by your co-workers?  You just might be hitting on something, because you are not following the status quo.  You are choosing to make a difference, make a change, create healing in your life, or maybe the world around you.

I’ve always been a little scared of my voice, especially if it went against the grain.  I would question if I were being rude, unruly, disagreeable.  Who wants to be those things?  I tended to be a people pleaser, but I found people are fickle.  One day they support this, the next day that.  So where do YOU stand, with God as your Savior, leading you on?  I think of people who I’m so glad they did not worry about what others thought of their struggle, their journey, their voice.  As soon as I wrote that, I am sure you remember people in history that made great changes using their voice because change needed to happen.  I’m also reminded of those in history that brought great pain and destruction because their voice was stronger and supported.  Those who felt powerless fell under their control –their voice.

It’s tricky.  We find a balance within God’s Word.  I love God’s Word — always true, always helpful.

Psalm 34:12-13
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.

YET…..

Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.

Those two verses speak for themselves I think.  Don’t you?  Our voice is not used for destruction, but for wisdom and justice.  Yet, when we speak for justice strongholds are destroyed –there is some form of destroying.  Destroying of bondage and fear and the building up of our faith, courage and most importantly hope.

Ask yourself, “Is my voice the voice of  WHO GOD WANTS ME TO BE?, or is my voice, the voice of the most influential people in my life, co-workers, or whoever is in front of me at the moment–  a chameleon?”

Ask for God to help you find His voice within you.  Ask God to help you be all that He desires for you to be.  Before time began, He had a plan just for you.  Are you fulfilling this plan and using your voice?

Oh the beauty of every bird’s song

Different, beautiful

Stunned, thrilled

We listen to the cacophony, straining to hear each one

We marvel at God’s handiwork – a masterpiece

Sing your song He has given you to sing

It will be different and beautiful

Your voice will stun and thrill

Sing your song He has given you to sing

Joyfully…

Passionately…

Bravely….

Confidently…..

Being Thankful…

Pastor Stan  from Cloverhill Assembly of God shared a message on gratitude.  Some points stood out to me.

An ungrateful heart begins the path of rebelliousness.

The root of complaining is sometimes entitlement.  You owe me attitude.

Ouch!

He then shared that Jonah (who was a great complainer) ended up in the belly of a whale!  It was not until he began to praise God within the reality of his situation that the whale spit him out onto dry land.

Jonah 2:9  But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.

So…

I have a choice today. I can be in the belly of a whale of murmuring, or I can praise God for where I am, the circumstance I’m in, and rejoice in my blessings, not lament my lack. Just like Jonah who was delivered from the belly AFTER he gave thanks, we can be delivered to praise HIM in the reality of our situation. He is not asking us to ignore, be in denial, or fake a happy tune….He desires us to be thankful for Him and trust that He will provide a way.

Some stats to get us thinking…

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.
If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.

I read a great message from Tracie Miles from Proverbs 31 Ministry – If your mind is on negative over load  – GET BOSSY WITH YOUR MIND WITH GOD’S TRUTH!  It was the bossy part she said that made me smile.  I thought about me bossing my negative thoughts with God’s truth!  Funny!  And, effective!  Thank you Tracie!

Amazing Grace

Lord, we need You in the choice making of our lives. Help us Jesus to be strong, bold, humbled, and forgive ourselves when the wrong choice is made. Help us to do things beyond our expectations because You are mighty indeed. Lord, help us to love You beyond measure, have Your song in our heart, and sing Your song through the darkest of nights. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found. I was blind but now I see.

Conversations That Heal: Three Sentences Can Change Old Patterns

We were having a challenging time with one of our children and communication was at it’s worse.  There was one night in which my anger got the best of me. I was tired, done, overwhelmed and unkind words were spoken from my child’s mouth. We were both verbally exploding our frustrations. I remembered this scene from last year more recently during a time of reflection on relationships, love, and forgiveness.

I asked myself what would I want to hear in conversations of open dialogue around issues.  God spoke to my heart:

I love you.

I ask you to forgive me for __________________.

No rationalizations.  No blaming. No If you would just………….

And then to take it further, I had that belated conversation with my daughter.  I had said I was sorry after the event, but I was compelled to use that example today to create hopeful patterns of open dialogue.  I share with her that sometimes asking someone to forgive you is not enough.  I explained to her that some wounding goes deeper than the human mind can comprehend.  When that happens it’s okay to express a need for help.  So we add one more line in this situation.

I love you.

I ask you to forgive me for ___________________.

And, how can I help you heal?

That last sentence opens the dialogue of future in a relationship.  I gave her an example of what we could have done after our argument. Perhaps, we could suggest a time out before solving the issue, or stopping in that moment and acknowledging our anger and praying. Maybe to help someone heal you must have hard conversations of the wounding and listening without judgment, lectures, or pep talks of building a bridge and getting over it.  The greatest gift you can give someone is time to heal.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

If you read above “does not take into account a wrong suffered”, I truly believe that dismissing, stuffing, ignoring issues creates a bank account of wrongs.  Multiply the wrongs with years of unhealthy patterns of conversations, and you got yourself a Swiss bank account with interest!  Do you want to demolish strongholds and wrongs?  Address wrongs in healthy ways.  I desire to train my child the best I know how, so that when she is old she will not have a bank account of wrongs and wounds, but a gentle remembering of parents who were willing to admit when they were wrong, asking for forgiveness, and wanting to help with healing.

The greatest weapon we have over wronged relationships is prayer.  Being active and engaging in the process of healing is important, but equally important is to be on our knees deeply praying for our children.

 

Falling In Love With Jesus is the BEST thing I’ve ever done!

The single most greatest awesomeness thing I’ve ever done is falling in love with Jesus! What a great song to worship to this morning with a friend of mine from VCU. Her husband is a pastor, and she invited me to their praise and worship special service. It was a time of thanking Jesus for everything. It was a time of remembering who has been faithful through it all. A time to ask ourselves if we truly believe and live out our faith as a child of God.

It’s been a few days of connecting with new Christian sisters. At a conference a stranger to me in the flesh ended up to be my spiritual sister. We began talking and one sentence led to another and BAM! Holy Spirit – we wept together. Strangers connected in Spirit. We were chatting about the recent suicide of a student, her sister’s passing in the spring, and job related stressors that seem impossible and confusing. She told me that on the way to the conference her favorite song came on, and she lost all her eyeliner! I laughed! Sounds like one of my mornings worshiping Jesus! AMEN! She said it’s called Take Me To The King! I shouted, “God’s been telling me to know Him as my King!” I couldn’t wait to hear it. She said her sister would listen to the song when she was sick with cancer. The YouTube I chose was the story line of Esther in the background. If you haven’t seen that version of the story of Esther – it’s a must! Oh Jesus – breathing you in, breathing you out………… be my every breath! Take me to the King! (Play video below!)