Do you see what I see?

From my heart:  It’s been awhile since I last wrote.  Life has been very full and very complicated and I haven’t been able to blog the way I have wanted.  I decided I wanted to finish out the year better than it started. I have many pieces waiting in the wings.  I hope you will continue on this journey with me and that you will receive peace and insight for yours. 

I love to write and share what God has put on my heart and I THANK YOU for joining me!!!! 

“I’m looking at the man in mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways…”

You might recognize those lyrics if you, like me, are a child of the 80’s.  “Man in the Mirror” was one of Michael Jackson’s most critically acclaimed songs released in 1988 and nominated for “record of the year” at the Grammy awards.  Many radio stations continue to play it today, nostalgically taking me back in time.

A song I turn up in the car and sing along to my hearts delight.

Truth be told, I was a huge Michael fan growing up and even remember seeing him in concert when I turned 13.  Sadly, his life ended at the age of 50 leaving behind a legacy of music, fashion and talent that no other artist has ever measured up to.  He was aptly named “the king of Pop” for those reasons.

In the past several months, the lyrics of this song have taken me into deeper intimacy with Jesus causing me to have a lump in my throat and tears to follow.

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Here’s why.  I have been asking God to change His ways.  I have had more requests for Him than affirmation, praise and gratitude for Him amidst the many storms surrounding me and many others in this country.  I sat with these lyrics and God showed me something different.  He changed the lyric for me to read, “I’m looking at the man in the mirror and He’s asking me to change my ways”.  Who is this man you ask?  Please read on.

I look in the mirror and see a woman.  A woman of strong convictions that aren’t always received by those around her.  A woman with scars, blemishes and character qualities that aren’t always welcomed, accepted or admired. That’s ok, because God isn’t finished with me yet.  More importantly, He loves me just the way I am.  I don’t spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.  But the glimpses I get I haven’t liked because the messages of rejection seem to be louder.  I confess, surrender and ask God to show me what He wants me to see.  To show me how He has created me and what He wants me to do with it all.

That’s when it happens….

Amidst the pain and struggle in my journey, I see the Man in the mirror.  It is Jesus.  The King of kings.  I see the tenderness of His eyes and He is smiling and delighting in me.  He tells me I’m beautiful and reminds me of His healing in my life.  He shows me His scars, on his hands and feet as He reminds me that I have been crucified with Him, therefore I no longer live but He lives in me (Galatians 2:20).  He reminds me that I have a Companion and Comforter in the Holy Spirit especially for all those times I feel alone.  I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence while I look at this Man in the mirror and He has become my Advocate.  He points me to the things I need to think on as He has written them in Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and whatever is admirable.  If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” 

Do you see what I see?

This Man in the mirror is asking me to change my ways.  Not because He doesn’t love me just the way I am but because they aren’t ways that reflect Him.  He loves me more than I will ever know yet for today I receive that correction and walk in the way He wants me to.  I tell Him it is hard to change some of those ways in my own strength and He assures me that when I am weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).  I need to surrender to Him and He will do the changing.

I am learning to sing out those verses to my heart’s delight as I grow forward (and older) on this journey to find Jesus in the small moments of life.

A song written the year I graduated from high-school has become a landmark in my heart for the woman I am and the woman I am becoming as God grows me to hopefully reflect Him more and more each day.

Look in the mirror.2013-04-16-23-06-56

 REFLECTION:

What do you see?

Who do you see?

Is God asking you to change your ways? How will you answer Him?

Is God asking something of you that you feel is impossible to do / change?

 

 

 

“Be the change you want to see in the world” –Mahatma Ghandi

Thank you for taking this journey with me,

Kinita

The Great Debate

As a Canadian living in the USA, especially during election season, my voice hasn’t always been welcomed in some conversations. I have been okay with that for the most part because politics has never been a strong passion of mine anyway. I struggle with retaining information pertaining to what party stands for what cause and what their plan is to carry it out so I have often felt that I don’t have much to offer. Broken promises and failed expectations seem to be the bottom line in most political arenas these days, that much I understand. So I pray.

My personal life has been full of broken promises and failed expectations as well, so, on some level I understand this political circus we are in right now. However, it doesn’t give me the right to “dis” or slander anyone. I am just tired of it, as I imagine many of my American friends and family are as well.

This morning in my devotions I read James 1:26-27, “if anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he declares himself and his religion worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

This is not my voice, but God’s – thru His Word – Scripture.

“A tight rein on his tongue”. I think this idea has been absent by the politicians throughout these past few months (maybe years. Maybe decades). So many people have shared that they are sick and tired of the rhetoric and lack of verbal self-control many of the politicians have shown.

I too have struggled with maintaining a tight rein on my tongue over the decades. Maybe you think this is one of those times. It has been a life-long process of surrender for me. If you know me personally, you have heard me on more than one occasion say, “Refraining” as I tightened the rein on my tongue (while tempted to make a sarcastic or harsh comeback)

I trust that other speakers, writers or those with a quick wit know what I am talking about. On occasion, when I haven’t had a tight rein on my tongue I have also made promises and broken them, which sometimes makes me not much different than those I am watching in the world in the world of politics. But with God’s help I am growing in the right direction everyday!!

To some I am a religious person. But honestly, I care more about my relationship with Jesus than I do with being religious. I have learned that when I care more about cultivating an intimate relationship with Jesus, I am more receptive to His Voice and what He is doing in my life and am ready to pour out what He has poured into me. As a follower of Christ, when we fill ourselves with Christ and His Word, that is Who we pour out.

When we allow ourselves to be polluted by the world then we pour out that pollution on those around us.

People are hungry for the truth. People are hungry for honesty. People are hungry for strong character. Me included.

Follower of Christ…what are you pouring out?
Hate, anger, resentment, slander, tolerance, apathy and compromise? Not helpful.

Please don’t live your life in a way that deems the religion of Christianity worthless.
Please don’t refrain from cultivating an intimate relationship with Jesus.

Whoever becomes the President, God still remains The King.
REFLECTION:

Will you receive this scripture today?
Will you please learn to keep a tight rein on your tongue as you face the barrage of political rhetoric?
Will you please own up to your broken promises?
Will you please forgive those who haven’t fulfilled your expectations?
Wanting to stand United…in the States and in the Body of Christ.
Thank you for joining me on my journey,

Kinita

Not Alone

Worked out this morning…not just for my body but for my mind and soul specifically. Having some personal challenges lately and thought a boost to the endorphins would be a good idea.While on the eliptical, “Home” by Phillip Phillips came on my playlist. These lyrics struck me…
“…settle down, it’ll all be clear. 

Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear. Trouble, it might drag you down. 

You get lost you will always be found. 

Just know you’re not alone…”
http://youtu.be/OTg1n95–KE

The struggle is real. The enemy wants to get me down in the midst of the challenges I face. But God reminds me that I am not ALONE. He is right here with me in the midst of ALL of it.
So I share this with YOU as a reminder that YOU are not alone in your struggle either.  It might feel like it because your “peeps” aren’t around or your “person” didn’t show up.  Trust me, I understand. Forgive them and fix your eyes back on Jesus. The Author and Perfecter of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2). 

God sees you, hears you and knows exactly what you need. Trust Him to provide a “home” for you.  

There is no place you can get lost to that He cannot find you.
Self-discovery…I don’t like to workout alone. Need to find me some workout buddies!!

REFLECTION:

Are you at home with Jesus while still on earth?

Don’t know Him? Let me know and I would love to pray for you today!! 
Thank you for joining me on my journey. 

Kinita

Tears for Fears

Shout, Shout, let it all out
These are the things we can do without
Come on, I’m talking to you, Come on!!!

Yes, these are the lyrics from an 80’s band that inspired the title of this post by the same name. If you aren’t familiar with them, you might be too young to be reading this blog.

NOTE: some of the following fears are ones I have had personally while others I have shared by permission from friends.

I have a fear of failure.
I have a fear of success.
I have a fear of marriage.
I have a fear of divorce.
I have a fear of staying single forever.
I have a fear of failing my children.
I have a fear of losing it with my children.
I have a fear of failing my husband.
I have a fear of failing my friends.
I have a fear of spiders and other crawly things.
I have a fear of getting into a car accident.
I have a fear of getting cancer.
I have a fear of rejection.
I have a fear of acceptance.
I have a fear of being real in case I get rejected.
I have a fear of peanut butter.
I have a fear of thunderstorms.
I have a fear of the dark.
I have a fear of confined spaces.
I have a fear of death.
I have a fear of heights.
I have a fear of sharks while swimming in fresh water.
I have a fear of underwater things.
I have a fear of financial ruin.
I have a fear of snakes.

Is your fear listed?

Well then….

Shout, shout, let it all out!!!!

I don’t know about you, but I have had a lot of tears for a lot of fears over the years. (I know, too many rhymes!!!). Many a pillow has been soaked, tissues drenched and shoulders anointed with those tears.

There is good news…..

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind”.
Since God doesn’t give us that fear, then it is the Enemy who does. The more space you allow him in your life, the more he will take. Don’t embrace that fear, dear one.

1 John 4:18 says, “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
That Perfect Love is Jesus. It is only by His hand that the fear leaves us. If you are a follower of Jesus, don’t allow that fear to keep you trapped. If you don’t understand what it means to trust in Jesus and you are reading this, perhaps it is God’s way of pursuing you to let you know that you also don’t need to carry that fear around in your soul.

So shout, shout and let it all out. These are the fears we can do without. Come on, I AM talking to you.

You know who you are.

I know who I was when I carried these fears deep in my soul. They kept me trapped and caused me to struggle in just about every situation. I found myself making excuses instead of learning to make a way through those debilitating moments that seemed to go on for months.

Don’t make the same mistake….only you can choose to get free from the fears that keep you trapped.

How, you ask?

tears for fearsConfession and surrender.
Are you a believer? Then stop allowing your fears to rule your life. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
FEAR FREE!!!
The Enemy’s job isn’t to convince us not to believe in God but to keep us bound up in our fear trap so we won’t serve The King of kings and Lord of lords. If he can succeed in keeping us distracted by our fears we do little to nothing for the Kingdom.

The Enemy wants you to think you are a “good for nothing” person. But once you become a follower of Christ, you become a “good for something” person. You are God’s purposes!!
Ephesians 2:10, “you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works that He planned in advance for you to do.” Don’t let fear have more power in your life than Jesus.

How long, dear friend, will you allow your fears to control you?

Will you join me? Will you shout, shout and let it all out? Leave the fear and doubt at the foot of the Cross once and for all and move forward on the path God has for you!!

I need you to be fear-less. I need your help in the Kingdom. You need me to be fear-less. With God’s help we both can be fear-free!!!

BTW – from the list above, did you catch the one about “sharks in fresh water”? Totally unfounded. Sharks live in salt water. Some fears can be dispelled by shear knowledge and information around them.

REFLECTION:

What do you fear?
How do you respond to a fear?
What has helped you get over your fears?

Brokenness Shielded

1 Peter 1:5, “…who through faith are shielded by God’s power”.

My iPad screen shattered. The worst part was that it happened a few days before we left for a vacation and an already expensive week of the summer.

Brokenness Exposed.

Brokenness Exposed.

The shattered glass was held safely behind the screen protector my son insisted I buy a few months prior. (Lesson #1: Parents listen to your tech savvy kids). As I slid my finger across the screen to access my accounts, I felt miniscule shards of glass slipping out from under the on/off button.
With a sick feeling in my gut because of the damage, I talked it over with my husband and decided to get it fixed before leaving on vacation. After paying the $135, I left the store with a brand new screen and a tempered glass screen protector. Not only was I relieved but I was also ready to be even more careful with my treasured device.

A few days later I was still plagued by the whole thing. I kept reliving the whole situation over and over in my mind – from the accident of dropping my iPad, to the unexpected dollar amount, the timing, and the fact that I’m so attached to it. Don’t judge. I know – not healthy.

That’s when the Holy Spirit intervened for some much needed teaching.

Brokenness. We all have it. Whether we want to admit it or not.
Mine is shielded. Not to be mistaken for hidden. There is a difference you know. Let me explain.

If we hide our brokenness (aka. Flaws, weaknesses), we are quicker to get defensive when it is threatened to be exposed. Several blogs ago I shared about having an anger problem. Appropriately titled, “Anger Management”. Back then, I was hiding my brokenness and my struggle. The Enemy knew it and pushed harder on my weaknesses. My flesh followed suit and I sinned in my anger. Leaving shards of pain with my words and sometimes my actions.

With God’s help, I learned that I needed to allow Him to shield my brokenness, allowing Him to protect and guard my heart. So when I did get angry and felt weak, I knew that He was my Shield who was covering me and I could endure whatever the situation at hand.
In essence, He holds my broken pieces together. He will hold yours together too, if you let Him.

Once in awhile, when my spiritual armor (Ephesians 6) is not fitting properly (probably because of unconfessed sin in my life), a small shard of brokenness breaks away and falls into your life.
I am sorry. It is sharp and imperfect and it might make you say more than “ouch” or “eww”. But don’t worry, others have had a front row seat to your brokenness. You may need to ask God to help you love your pieces back into place.

Our brokenness is God’s job to keep together. He is my Shield. Is He yours?
Over the years as the LORD has revealed my brokenness to me, I have come to recognize Him as the more-improved “tempered glass” kind of Shield.

Remember my shattered screen from my iPad? Yes, the store did replace the broken screen and the tempered glass screen protector. When I got home, I noticed a fingerprint that wouldn’t come off. I quickly realized that it was under the protective screen. As I was tempted to get angry, the Holy Spirit calmed me and gave me this idea – the fingerprint would be a reminder of God’s Fingerprint in my life because it is by His Hand I am put back together, shielded and protected.
REFLECTION:

When does your brokenness show up the most?
What or who is your shield?
How do you feel when your brokenness spills out?
How do you respond when your brokenness is exposed?

Thank you for accepting me in my brokenness.

Kinita