Friday, October 16, 2009

Being a Christian is Like Being a Pumpkin

I got an email the other day and this saying was on it. I was amazed at how true this is, so I wanted to share it with all of you!
"Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."
I totally agree with this, for we ALL are from that same earthly patch and how grateful I am that God lifts us out of the dirt and cleans us up!
Question: Have you gone through the pumpkin patch process in your life? Is God's light shining brightly for all to see? If not, what can you do about it?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Core of Living - Love

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12:14-16

Getting to the core of living through Romans 12 is the lesson for today. Just as we see in the center of the peach, that is the essence of the fruit, the core. That is what I am to glean from today’s scriptures, on how I need to get back to the core of living by learning to love one another. Loving one another is evident from all of chapter 12 in Romans but look at how we are to treat those that persecute us! We are to bless them and not curse them. We are to come along side of those that are having tough times and we are just to live in HARMONY with one another. The essence, or the core of our lives should be LOVE. We are to love one another more than ourselves.I am to look within myself today and ask, what is in my core? Is there self? Is there love for others that people can see as the fruit of my life? I want to live that, every second of my day. May God take away anything that is not of him and replace it with the fruit of the spirit – love! I want my core to be love and not self!
Question: What is in your core?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Spirit of Fear

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15 (NIV)

This was an amazing scripture that I got today in my daily devotions because in my ministry time yesterday, our teaching topic was on “Fear”. How amazing that emotion is. Just as God made the flowers above, there are some flowers that appear fresh and beautiful and others seem weak and wilting. The difference in the two flowers is like people – one is blooming as God intended due to their trust and faith in God and the other is wilting because they are under the opression of FEAR. We can either accept a lie that the enemy has given us or we can choose to release it and trust in God.
Yesterday I saw three women set free from “fear” in our ministry time and it was huge. I was so excited about what happened and it blew me away as how to the Holy Spirit brought up the fear in the lives of God's precious women and how each one began to repent, renounce and break the fear that was over them. God is so good and showing them that the enemy was stealing their peace by having the "Spirit of Fear" – sucking the life out of them. When we feel fear we need to realize it is not a Fruit of the Spirit but it is coming directly from the enemy. That is his weapon to steal, kill and destroy the peace in our lives!
Question: Are you experiencing fear in your life? Begin to release that fear in your life by asking the Holy Spirit to show you a lie that you believe, then ask God to forgive you for not trusting Him and ask that "Spirit of Fear" to be released in your life. God wants to set you free from fear today!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Psalm 34
A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.

"I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.

I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:1-3

I have heard people say,”Praise the Lord” when something good happens. My thought today is that it does not only have to be during the good times in our lives. Read the 2nd verse where it says, “let all who are helpless take heart”. Don’t you think it odd that the first verse is about praising God and the second is about being lifted up from a state of helplessness? It is not by chance, for it is what I have read about in many books on prayer. It is called the “power of praise”. No matter how far down in the pit that you are, no matter what you are facing in life, we are to praise the Lord. Begin to praise Him and thank him for all the things that are good in your life and what He has blessed you with...eyes, hands, feet and do not focus on the pit that surrounds you and what you don't have. When you begin to praise Him, worship Him and sing your heart of love for your God, then you will begin to see light and often find yourself outside the pit, not looking down!
Question: Are you having a pit dwelling experience? Begin to thank God for the good things in your life, for there are many. Start today!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

At His Gates - Listening, Watching and Waiting

"Happy are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and wins approval from me outside my home!" Proverbs 8:34-35 Proverbs (NLT)
As soon as I read these verses, I got the most wonderful visual of what the Lord was saying. I saw a country cottage with a fence outside. Then I found this picture and thought how perfect it was to illustrate the verses. As I reflected on the scripture a few words spoke to me. The first was, "How often am I to seek the Lord?" The verse is quite clear, it said "daily". Then, "How does the Lord want me to seek Him?"
The scripture says to "listen", "watch" and "wait". Those three words were magnified for me. I realized that I need to listen to God and I am to seek Him daily in His Word. God can speak to me through scripture and the Holy Spirit will magnify it and it will come to life. The living Word will show me how God wants me to live my life and will show me His way. I am to go to that country cottage and stand at His gates and listen, watch and wait. I thought of the example of people standing outside the gates of the rich and famous, waiting for the perfect moment for the celebrity to make an appearance. That is how I am supposed to anticipate the Lord speaking to me and He can do it in many ways. He can speak through His Word, people, circumstances, worship and nature. All I have to do is to be standing at the gate in anticipation for Him to make an appearance!
Question: Are you daily waiting at the Lord's gate for Him to make an appearance? What can you do today to get to that country cottage and listen, watch and wait?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Focus on Jesus

"Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples." 1 Chronicles 16:23-24
As I read this verse today, I thought about all the times when I didn't feel like praising God because of the trials or unpleasant circumstances that surrounded me. I began to meditate on this and realized that my praising God is not based on the circumstances in my life. Let not the circumstances of life dictate the circumstances of your heart. Then, I had a lady in my bible study tell me that in New York there are carriages that are pulled by horses. These horses wear blinders on their eyes so that they are not distracted. Since they are in traffic there are many distractions all around them and the blinders will cut them out. I thought about how that illustration is like in our lives when we too can get distracted from our spiritual journey by all the circumstances that surround us. Then another lady shared with me Habakkuk 3:17-18:
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Savior."
So I am to be like that horse, and put the blinders up on my eyes and not focus on the troubles in my life, but keep my focus on Jesus! I want my focus to be on Him and not on myself. He deserves the praises for not what He does, but because of who He is. 
Question: Are you in some trying times right now and need to be rescued? Take your eyes off your circumstances and focus on the Lord. He is the one that will rescue you and sustain you, no matter what circumstances surround you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Freeway of Life

Lamentations 3:40 (New Living Translation)
" Instead, let us test and examine our ways.
Let us turn back to the Lord."

Have you ever gotten lost on a freeway?  Have you every found yourself in a place where you had not intended to go? It is like that in our daily spiritual journey in life. How easy it is to lose focus and begin to drift away from God and then we may realize that we need to stop and examine ourselves, to see if we are going in the right direction.

This scripture really spoke to me today! Drifting away...loosing focus....taking the wrong freeway exit...finding yourself in a place that you know you are lost! I think of the times when I have gone on road trips in my car and had to navigate myself around and not knowing where I was going. I recall a time when I did a house exchange with a lady from San Francisco. I spent two weeks in her home and she spent two weeks in mine. It was amazing. I had a rental car and I would venture out in the car to unfamiliar places. I would get up in the morning and look at my map and figure out where I was going and write down all the directions, paying close attention to the major freeway exits. I planned a road trip to San Jose and I mapped my route and had it all written down. I got in the car and after about 30 minutes I was driving with confidence. I began to not pay attention and began driving in the “cruise mode". Then before I knew it, I saw an exit and thought," I think that is my exit". I did not look at my written directions, but used my memory to guide me. So I took an immediate exit and after a few minutes I realized that I was in a neighborhood that was totally wrong. It was scary because I was lost and I had to find my way back to the freeway. I did a few turns and eventually got back on the freeway. I consulted the written notes and realized that I took an exit that had a similar word in it but it was not the exact exit. A few exits after that, the correct one came up. My course was corrected and I was on my way to San Jose.
Isn’t that like our spiritual walk? We can be doing “life” and be in the cruise mode and not be paying attention. We may not be  intentional and can become complacent. Then, we may find ourselves lost because we have not been checking our life road map (God’s Word) and have taken the wrong exit. It is getting to that point when we realize that we are lost and need to return. We can get back through finding the right freeway entrance. I know that I can prevent taking the wrong exit by staying on course, staying in God’s Word daily and to follow His map of life. I cannot get in the cruise mode or I will miss it. Just as this scripture says, we need to stop and examine where we are at, and if that is not where we need to be, make the correction and Turn Back to the Lord! 
Question: Are you in God's Word daily to know the right direction in your life? Stop for just a few minutes and reflect on where you are in your spiritual journey and ask if you need to make a course correction.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Door of Obedience

Psalm 111:10 

 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

 To me, fearing the Lord is really not what it sounds like. It is knowledge of His Will through the Word and having that deep desire to follow his ways. It is like seeing the light behind a door and knowing in your heart, that is the way to go. We need to press forward and go through that door towards all that God has for us. Fear to me, is not going through that door and having the door close on me and standing there in a dark room. Now that is fear...being alone in this world without my Abba Father! I fear not being with Him, finding guidance in Him, having Him listen to me when I cry out, to have the comfort that only He can give. I do fear, to go on without Him.

I pray that I may walk in His Word daily and truly understand what His Will is for my life. I want to go through the door of obedience and towards His light. He is the light in a dark world.

Question: Are you willing to walk through that door of obedience or do you choose to stay in darkness of this world? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God's Puzzle of Life

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5
As I read this well known scripture over and over again, it reminded me that life can seem so complicated for me as I try to figure things out and deal with the challenges that surround me. I don't think that is what God wants me to do. He wants me to surrender everything to Him and He will take control and will do what He needs to do. I have often had women come to me for advice and when we go into prayer, I hear the Holy Spirit saying that they need to put their hands behind their backs and let God do the work and that the women were trying to do things on their own and it was preventing God from doing His will in their lives. So often, it led the women to repent for moving ahead of God and trying to do things on their own. I too am guilty of trying to "fix" things but God wants me to trust him fully and know that I will never fully understand what is really going on in the circumstances of life. I see things from my own perspective and there are so many other pieces of the puzzle that I am not able to ever understand. You see, it is like a giant jig saw puzzle and I am trying to put the pieces together and I have only 10 pieces out of the 100 piece puzzle. I can put my small pieces together  but there are other pieces that are missing. That is "my understanding" and God is telling me, there are other pieces that you don't know about. All I have to do is trust that God knows the entire picture on the box of the jig saw puzzle and He will guide me to put my pieces together and he will pull other pieces of the puzzle from other places to make a complete God puzzle. God has the whole picture and I have only a few pieces. So, I trust in God that He will get all the puzzle pieces together and with His mighty hands, He will join them all together. When the whole puzzle is together and I can see the completed picture then I will truly be praising Him for it is God's workmanship and not my own.
Question: Are you trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together on your own? Are you willing to trust God in all situations, that He has the bigger picture?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Pause the Refreshes

1 Corinthians 1:8-9
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
My daily devotions led me back to thinking about when I ran the Honolulu Marathon. The verses for today, spoke to me about staying strong till the end. It is about that "life race" that we are running. It is not just a short run but a long jogging trip that requires endurance. Recently, I had to substitute teach a second grade class. I discovered on the lesson plans that was left for me by the teacher, I was to take the class out to P.E. The plan said that I was to have the students do two laps around the playground. In preparation, I felt that I needed to teach the children about the concept of jogging vs. running. I could relate to this subject because when I ran the marathon, I knew it was not about speed but it was about endurance. When  you want to run a short distance and you need to get to the finish line quickly, you need to run and do it with speed. It is a different story when you have a long distance to run and you have to conserve your energy and not burn out in the first few miles. You have to pace yourself so you can endure the long distance and finish strong at the finish line. This is called jogging. When I explained the difference to the children, they seemed to get it and when it came time to do their laps, they were jogging for endurance and not running for speed. Everyone of them made it across the finish line. This was a good life lesson for me and my Christian race. I need to be strong to the end and what does that take? It takes discipline, it takes endurance, it takes a solid relationship with God. When I look at my relationship with God and spending quiet time with Him and in His Word, it is like on the marathon race course when you get to the various water stations. You stop and replenish your fluids so you can continue. This is no different from our daily Christian journey. As we read His Word and have our quiet devotion time, we are refreshed by His living water and it gets us through another day. I look forward to my daily water stops with God!
Question: Have you stopped today to get refreshed with God? How can you plan to have more water stops in your life daily?

Monday, January 26, 2009

What We Do Not See

"Now Faith if being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
During my nine day fast, I had a wonderful revelation that was God inspired. I wanted to share this with all of you. You see, I had gone out to my rose bushes and pruned them all back. I had cut them down, knowing that they would eventually have new growth and pruning would produce more flowers. I knew that this process would take awhile and it would be months before I would see a new blossom. Then a few days later, in the middle of my fasting period, I was astonished at what I saw! I went outside to get my mail and there was a beautiful rosebud. "How could this be, when I just pruned?" I heard from deep within me, the Spirit whisper this answer. "You see with your human eyes and understand from your human wisdom but God is always working behind the scenes when you think things are not possible. God was working on this blossom for you and you did not even know it. Know that God is always working, even though you don't see it in your life. God will surprise you when you least expect it, just to show you that He is always with you." My eyes welled up with tears and I knew like in Hebrews 11:1, that I cannot only believe in what I see with my own eyes, but I need to have faith in what I cannot see. God truly spoke into my life that day!
Question: Are you in a situation right now, where you are thinking, where is God when I need Him? Why am I not seeing my prayers answered? Just have faith dear friends, and know that God is truly working behind the scenes for you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fasting Breakthrough

"The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him-my Father's God, and I will exalt Him! Exodus 15:2
Here I am, on the second day of the Daniel Fast through my church, Hope Chapel West Oahu. I awoke this morning feeling like a sea slug! On my first day, it was not a pretty sight. By about 3 pm I was suffering from the lack of caffeine. I was tired and a headache had set in. It began to throb and then I laid down. When I awoke from a short nap, I was in a full blown migraine headache. I had nausea and began throwing up. I had to take my Excedrin Migraine tablet. By evening I was tired and just "hangin". I think it is the lack of caffeine in my system and my body is freaking out! Today, I am a little better but feeling tired and "fuzzy headed". I know that last night, I kept thinking about foods and how I miss some of the foods like coffee, meat, sugar...and then I realized...THAT IS WHAT FASTING IS ALL ABOUT! Oh yes, I sensed the Lord telling me, "How much are you truly seeking me? How much are you truly willing to give up? How important is this fast to you? Are you on a food diet or are you really seeking me by denying yourself?" Oh, that was BIG. It was a barrier I just climbed over. It was about dying to myself and to stop thing of me and the fast and now to SHIFT my focus on God. Then this morning as I was doing my devotions, Exodus 15:2 really spoke to me. God is telling me through His Word that HE is ENOUGH for me. He is my "strength" but also my song. How is that? Well, I saw it as God can get me through this fast but what I need to do is to focus on Him and stop looking at myself. I need to die to my physical self and focus more on HIM and I can do that through praising Him. So I went to my iPod with my worship music and began praising Him. I had forgotten to be praising Him in the middle of this food struggle. Now, with this verse, it takes me right to where I need to be and I realized how far off I was. I had slid down that spiritual path and had been focusing on me, food and getting from one meal to the next. Now I feel like I am back on the path and dusting myself off and now I am standing up and have a new beginning and focus for this fast. Now, through praise and worship, the fast and praying is starting to kick in and I can begin to get clarity. Praise God!
Question: When was the last time you have earnestly sought God through fasting and praying? What areas in your life do you need clarity? Join me for the next nine days in fasting and praying, using the Daniel fast. Check out the HCWO website for more details. Seek Him and you will find Him!