Pruning the Fruitful

Since I was a little girl, Gardenias have had a special place in my heart.

One of my neighbors used to have a bush by the road, and sometimes at night, I would walk down and pick a couple.  I blame this compulsive behavior on my mother, because I remember as a little girl, seeing her constantly sneak blooms off of Gardenia plants no matter where she saw them.  Her obsession was so bad, she would even have my dad stop the car for her sometimes…so she could run out and grab a fragrant bloom.    I can still see her long fingers holding it as though it was a treasure. I remember watching her bury her nose in the blossom and how it would make her smile.

My Maw Maw, my dad’s mother, had huge Gardenia bush by her front door she’d grown from a cutting she’d taken off a shrub in Florida.  Her and my Paw Paw loved to drive down south to visit relatives there.  It had enormous blooms, and the fragrance was intoxicating.  Oh how she babied that evergreen, as her prized possession, and would cover it if there was any chance of a frost.  My Maw Maw has gone onto be with the Lord, but, before she did, I took a cutting from her bush, rooted it, and ended up planting it right beside my front door too.  It is close to 6′ tall now.

One time in a meeting, a man came up to me and said he had a word for me.  In the word, he told me God called me a flower, and he was listening for the specific flower, and then he said…you are  His “Gardenia Girl.”  That was one of those kinds of words that was so incredibly specific, and precious, you knew it was God;  it was rooted deeply in my identity.   He described me like the flowers, tender, fragrant blooms that would bruise easily, so I must be handled with care.  Since I studied horticulture, one thing I do know about Gardenia bushes though, is in the right semi tropical environment, they are a hardy ever green plant.

When I first began to paint for the Lord, He encouraged me through that same rooted gardenia bush right outside the window where I would paint.  I know that sounds weird…but He did.  He talked to me about the buds that were forming.  The first day I painted He told me to look out the window, and it was covered with opened blooms.  And my gardenia bush that year had more than a normal amount of blooms.  I was fascinated with them…and would weep as I photographed them after the rain, when they were heavy with drops…or when they were drooping because they needed rain.  God was ministering to me through them.

This year, I was out of town a couple of weeks, during the winter, and we had a heavy freeze.  I realized in the spring, I had lost a lot of my bush.  I kept waiting for in the spring for the blooms to come, but late in the season, I only found one deformed bloom, when usually the bush would be covered.   I was doing some yard work, when I found it, and I saw that it would need a good cutting back for it to look good and bloom next year.

Before I left to minister recently, I cut off some of the more straggly branches, but had the thought, it is so bad, I need to get out the hedger and really take it down low.   It is scary to just chop on something that you have babied for so many years, especially if it has sentimental value.

As I was gathering up the couple of cuttings, I had the thought.  I am going to root these and make some more bushes.  I mean, that is how I got this bush to start with.  It was such a powerful feeling, the thought of ALL the blooms I would have to enjoy.  One of my favorite things I studied in horticulture, was the ways of propagation; not just seeds, but tubers, bulbs, grafting, tissue culturing…etc.  So, amazing how God created everything to reproduce.  So, I put these cuttings in a vase with some ivy vines, and forgot about them, when I got home, I had the thought to change the water, and low and behold, there were already roots on them!  I was so excited, gasped, and then God spoke:

“This is what is next.  It is time to reproduce.”

In 1996 or so, I saw an art school in my quiet time.  I walked through it, and drew it.  The next day, I went to church and a visiting evangelist said, some of you are having visions and you have even drawn it.  I was like…wow!!!  Then he said.  “And God wants you to know it is going to happen.  That was almost 20 yrs ago.

I thought it was interesting, because I also got this word from a sister, before I left to minister, before I saw the roots on the cuttings:

“I hear ‘change of venue’, new creativity full of lavished love from the Father’s heart. A new room opened up to you: this room with white clothed tables full of beautiful colored jewels and different creative mediums for you to take and enjoy. No limit to the creative beauty. There’s such a refreshing breeze blowing through, that the white cloths on the tables are gently fluttering in the breeze”

And just the other day, I had a vision. I saw a fisherman in a river, and then I was looking from His view, and under the water were all these butterflies.  At the meeting where I had ministered, Jason Upton talked about learning to breathe under water, because God is like an all consuming ocean.  Since I have been ministering, I often see people with butterfly wings on in the spirit and that is how I know they are artists.  I think the vision was more confirmation that it is time to start a river, like the evangelist, (or fisherman) told me…and reproduce.

It says in the word, that God prunes the unfruitful, but He also prunes the fruitful…to make them even more fruitful.  I started to realize, that maybe He even uses those clippings…and roots them…to make even more new fruitful plants.

Praying now to know where and how He wants me to do this…
I have been looking at a location for some time.  So, just waiting for a door to open…
I know My Jesus will open the door for me and provide all I need.
He is a gentleman, so He likes to pay for everything, and open doors for his Bride,
…that is how I will know it is Him.



Forgiveness, Time, Distance

Forgiveness should be given to everyone…time with you, to people who are truly repentant…and distance should be made between you and those people who are not.

I believe in forgiveness. Yes, I believe we’re called to forgive one another, but there has to be a balance. Jesus wants us to be a strong people, with good common sense, a healthy people who love themselves enough to protect their souls and teach others right from wrong, not enable them to sin against others.

So, when somebody, especially someone who calls themselves a Christian, does not love you and continues to hurt you…sure…you can forgive them, but then you can also sever all ties…and remove them from your life.

It’s ok to get as far away from them as you can…and protect yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad Christian it makes you wise. We don’t have to be martyrs in our personal relationships, that’s not healthy…

Jesus didn’t hang out with the devil…because he was his enemy…

David hid from Saul because Saul was trying to kill him. Sure, David still loved Saul, and he forgave him, but he also had wisdom…and protected himself.

There is such a thing as a martyr complex…or a victim mentality, and it causes people to stay in unhealthy abusive relationships and churches. It is not God, and it does not glorify Him. A lot of times it is done to avoid taking responsibility for your own life, or to glorify yourself, to prove how spiritual you are…but trust me, it does not, it is actually codependent, masochist and sick…and makes you look like a fool.

You can lay down your life as a missionary, because God told you to…and preach to people that will kill you, beat you, mock you or imprison you…that is not what I am talking about. You can choose to be around unbelievers that do not love you and reject you for the sake of the gospel…in order to win them to the Lord…again…not what I am referring to.

I am talking about people in the church staying in unhealthy situations with other believers, who are abusing them…and saying it is God. It is NOT God. Sometimes love must be tough, and you will have to take responsibility, and change so that the other people will learn and change.

Boundaries are of God. Expecting those you are in a personal relationship with to treat you in a way that is good and healthy, loving and honoring, respectful and courteous…is RIGHT…and it WILL glorify God!

Unsafe People

Do you find you pick friends that end up hurting you? People you think will be safe because they say they are Christians, but turn up acting like the devil…lol?

We have a responsibility to guard our hearts and use wisdom in selecting friends. Here’s a list of traits to look for to help you avoid unsafe people.
(List 1-11 from “Unsafe People” by Cloud & Townsend, Christian counselors. The rest are ones I learned the hard way  )

1. Unsafe people think they “have it all together” instead of admitting their weaknesses.
2. Unsafe people are religious instead of spiritual.
3. Unsafe people are defensive instead of open to feedback.
4. Unsafe people are self-righteous instead of humble.
5. Unsafe people only apologize instead of changing their behavior.
6. Unsafe people avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.
7. Unsafe people demand trust, instead of earning it.
8. Unsafe people believe they are perfect instead of admitting their faults.
9. Unsafe people blame others instead of taking responsibility.
10. Unsafe people lie instead of telling the truth.
11. Unsafe people are stagnant instead of growing.
12. Unsafe people are insecure and do not know who they are in Christ, so they compare themselves with others and compete with them.
13. Unsafe people are not teachable.
14. Unsafe people are quick to be critical and judgemental of others, but blind to their own faults.
15. Unsafe people will try to weaken you spiritually by encouraging you to sin or tempt you to step outside of your personal convictions.
16. Unsafe people think they are right all the time.
17. Unsafe people have a hard time encouraging others.
18. Unsafe people are full of guile. They are crafty, have a plan and are always working that plan.
19. Unsafe people care more about their image and looking good than their character actually being good.
20. Unsafe people live double lives, acting one way with some people and a different way with others, and because of that they have a hard time being transparent with anyone. They will say they are “private” but what they mean is they can’t be honest or truthful because they are deceiving people.
21. Unsafe people justify themselves, instead of humbling themselves. They are haughty and proud.
22. Unsafe people like to dominate others, or posture themselves over them. Lording over instead of serving out of a pure heart of love. That way they can control them and use them as pawns to help accomplish their selfishly ambitious goals. They don’t care who they hurt along the way.

Are there any unsafe traits you would add to this list?

Give ME a Drink

A while ago, the Lord spoke to me about the women at the well.  I wrote about it here.

But this was the essence of it:  You have looked to men to try and satisfy your thirst, but IF you just drink from ME, you will not thirst again.  You are hungry, but your food is to do the will of the Father.  If you take this sparkling coat, and choose to be my Bride, wear it for me daughter, I will put living waters inside of you that will heal many and I will use you for my glory.  Don’t be disappointed, trust me.

In December, I was setting up the night before I was to minister, and on the way home, God began speaking to me again about the woman at the well.  He was saying that the reason He asked HER for a drink when He met her, was because she had always been a taker.  He said, after she met Him, she became a giver.  I knew that word was for me.

The next day before I spoke, a friend came and wanted to introduce me.  He is a prophet.  He said he had a word from God for me.  He told everyone that I had suffered so much in my life, I had dug a well in the Lord.  He said but God had also dug a well in me.  He said that he saw my mouth wide open, God was pouring Himself in me and out of my belly was flowing living waters.  He said, many just go…but others are sent from God.  He said I was a true “sent one.”  I wept.  He did not know what God had said to me the night before.

I just got back from a trip to Bethel, in Redding.  When I was there, I noticed, many of the people I spoke to were being touched by the Holy Spirit.  Some of them were physically reacting, others were crying.  It was visible.  I on the other hand, was not really feeling anything.  It made me curious, so I asked God…what was going on.  I was worried…  He said, “remember, I made you into a giver now…you are no longer a taker.”  Wow…

He is so good how He confirms things to us.  I am excited about all the drinks I will be giving.  I want Him to pour Himself into and out of me!!!  I pray He uses me to heal, set free, deliver and save many by His Spirit and for His glory!  In Jesus’ Name!!!

Be nice, until it is time to NOT be nice.

Love confronts, and changes things, fear runs away and enables.

Boundaries are healthy and they are godly. Running and hiding from conflict, will get you no where, but running full speed, head first into it will set you free.

Conflict happens. People will push you, and yes…take a mile when you intended to just give them an inch…but…only…if you let them.

You need to figure out how far is too far, because it’s important to know exactly where your boundaries are and at what point is someone is making you uncomfortable or stepping over the line. There is a thin line between being nice and letting someone take advantage of you, so you need to get to know exactly where this line is, so you can know when you need to deal with it.

By always being nice, we actually do others a disservice. When we fail to establish the necessary boundaries in our life that are essential to happiness and success, and if we always turn the other cheek, we actually enable the abusive. Trust me, someone will always be willing to hit you, if you are always willing to let them, some people just prey on people like that.  The most healthy way to handle things, is to establish that it’s not ok for anyone to hit you in the first place…because they know you have self worth, and will not tolerate it.

There are big consequences for not establishing boundaries in life. Letting people take advantage of you costs you; it erodes away your sense of worth and identity. When someone does something to you that you aren’t okay with, but you are still nice to them and don’t deal with the problem, it will eat away at your self esteem and confidence. When you learn to put your foot down and become vocal about your limits, it can be invigorating. You will gain a sense of self worth that is only achieved by standing up for yourself.

When someone crosses one of my boundaries, I have no obligation to be nice anymore, I actually have an obligation to take action. I need to do what needs to be done to preserve my peace and personal identity. This does not make me mean, it makes me healthy.

But remember NOT “being nice” doesn’t mean you HAVE to be mean. Often times a strong tone of voice, or a simple “no” will accomplish your goal of establishing a boundary with someone. Very rarely will you have to be rude to get your point across that you won’t tolerate someone’s abusive behavior, or a lack of regard for your wishes. Learn the power of “no;” it is often the simplest way to establish a healthy boundary in any given situation.

A great example is an effective parent disciplining their child; they are not mean, but they are stern in establishing limits, and this helps the child become a better person. Disciplined children are a joy to be around, and it creates a peaceful environment for the whole family. Limits are extremely important to living a happy life for all parties involved in any situation.

Yes, it’s possible to be nice and still not let anyone take advantage of you; this is the balance you want to achieve. Know your self worth, that you have rights too, and don’t let anyone take them away from you.

People often mistake kindness for weakness, let’s show them just how wrong they are. Meekness is actually strength under control.

Love confronts, and changes things, fear runs away and enables.

Embrace Your Small Beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, Zechariah 4:10a

Don’t despise the days of small beginnings because that is exactly what makes you into who you will be, and leads you step by step into your destiny.  When God saves you, He has a purpose for you, and you can trust Him, that those plans are good!.

Remember, David had a slingshot. What if he had always wished he had big sword, or the King’s armor? What if he had hated his slingshot instead of embracing what God had put in his hands?   He would not have learned to kill lions or bears and eventually the giant!

What if David had complained or grumbled about being a shepherd, instead of loving those sheep, and protecting them?   When that was the very training ground God used to teach him how to be a King and watch over God’s chosen people?

What if David had resented tending those sheep all alone at night?  When that was the very place where he sang to God, and played his harp under the stars.  Just think, it led to all those psalms and prophetic songs we now enjoy!  And it was anointed too…because it would sooth the savage beast in Saul!

What if he had never been so dishonored by family?  See, honor was important to him… because as a young boy he never had it.   If he had not known dishonor, he would not have hated it.  Hated it so much so, that he would confront a giant, and then kill him because he was dishonoring his God!!  Yes, see, when no one else would stand up for God’s honor, this young boy did!

Don’t despise where you are…you are going somewhere.
I say, learn to embrace it!   Let it shape you and mold you.
Squeeze every drop of oil or wine you can get out of it.
How can we be doubtful about our future?
When it ALL has purpose, and God will use it all for good.
Trust me, He will not waste a bit of it.

Small beginnings are good beginnings!

New Wine Skin


God really wants to do a new thing…if we would just let Him. New wine, needs new skins. You can’t FIX an old skin…it has to be discarded. Lord, have YOUR way, and help us to be okay with it. Help us to find our way and place…rest in it…and not try to force anything…or hold onto the old. Just because you are not “who” you used to be in ministry does not mean you are no longer useful. You just need to accept the new place He has you and be content in it. There is a season for everything. A butterfly can never be a caterpillar again…it has died to that old place. If God has a new purpose or a place for you, He will put you there. No amount of performing, striving or trying will help. It is works, and it is sin…repent, trust and rest.

So many want to BE someone that God never ever called them to be. Or they WERE something in the past but that season is over. I am talking about a complete DYING type thing and trusting God to resurrect. Dying is dying, it is not more DOING….
It is not striving…It is just a BEING thing. Dead things don’t do anything.

If God has not opened a door for you then stop trying to open doors for yourself. Stop trying to be good enough, or copy other people. People see others with favor and they try to mimic them…it is NOT GOD. David refused Saul’s armor…because WAS not HIM. So many are tempted to try and BE like another because they want what they have. David never did that. He said, I have my slingshot, that is all I need. David was authentic, and he HONORED God by WAITING on HIM to make him King. He was anointed LONG before he took the throne.

Pushing The Trash Back!

Last night I had the weirdest dream…but it was kind of funny.  In the dream I went over to my neighbor’s yard and pushed their trashcan back into their yard.  They like to keep it on my property for some reason…and it irks me…but I would never do anything about it.  I am bad for turning the other cheek…when I should probably stand up for myself.  So I woke up from the dream thinking…ok that was really strange…but oh…I would love to do that!

So today a woman that bought a print from me called, we were having a nice phone conversation, and I heard someone blowing their leaves.  It kept getting closer and closer until I could hardly hear the person on the phone, so I got up to shut the door and see where the blowing was coming from, and it was the neighbor I had dreamed about…and he was right on the walkway to my front door.  I opened the door and screamed at him to “get out of my yard!!!”  I NEVER do stuff like that…it was very UNLIKE me…but honestly it felt good!

I have lived here for 20 yrs…and this neighbor has horrible boundaries with all the neighbors.  He comes on my property to do my yard work, even though I have asked him over and over to stop.  He has killed plants because he mowed over them or trimmed them wrong.  I have told him that I would prefer for him not to do that, unless he has my permission.  I dread going outside because I know he will come out and try to talk to me.  When I go outside I wear big headphones and play music so I cannot hear him or just point to the headset and shake my head when he tries to start a conversation with me.  I have told him that I do not want to have a friendship with him.  I believe he is very unhealthy…so I do not feel safe around him.

So, I did not remember the dream until after I calmed down from getting so upset with my neighbor…it seems to make sense now…but I have questions…

Why did I have the dream?

Since I had the dream, before it happened, then was it prophetic?

Was God warning me or giving me permission to stand up for myself?

What could I, or should I…have done differently?

Update:  A couple of days later I went to minister, and when I got home, “someone” had come and blown the leaves up into my porch.  I don’t know if it was because I was exhausted from ministering, or what, but that was it for me.  I marched right over and confronted my neighbor again.  This time his wife came to the door, because I heard him tell her to, and he denied blowing my leaves.  She did say he was worried I would slip and fall on the leaves in my driveway, but he did not blow them?  Anyway, I called the police and they are taking note of it.   I recorded the whole conversation, and told them that if they come on my property the police will get involved.  I put up a no trespassing sign too, and I IF he comes over, I am calling the police and they have told me they will serve him with trespassing charges.

I am tired of taking people’s trash.  I do not think being a Christian means you somehow can be abused by people.  I think Jesus was pretty direct with those that tried to entrap him.  He confronted Peter, and told “satan” to get behind him.  I just know my time of being a doormat is over.  Boundaries are of God…and you need to be concerned with yourself…and that plank in your eye.

Oh yeah, and keep your trash in your own yard!  🙂

to just let it go

Today I saw a child lose his balloon to the sky…
it just lifted up, up, and away…
Until it disappeared.

He wasn’t upset.  He was laughing…

God wants you to release your troubles up to Him the same way…

to just let it all go…

Lift up your cares to Him, because He cares about you…

He really does…

He is like that great big blue sky…
and will put all your troubles into proper perspective…

Eventually you will not even see them anymore…
because He will just swallow them up in His love!

An Empty Nest

This morning a Pastor sent me a word:

Because I did not know this pastor, I replied…
“Thank you!   Is that a word that you’re giving everyone or is that a word that God gave you just for me?”

He wrote back and said:
“Dear that is for you, our Great God is remembering CHRISIE COUNCIL this month , there is a great celebration coming your way;  LONELINESS is gone forever and you are entering into great abundance; my team and I shall be praying for you dear.”

I wrote back and thanked him. He did not know, but I had been praying a lot because of my loneliness, I miss my son, and have never married.  My nest has been feeling VERY empty for this Momma bird.   I told him that God had been preparing me for many years, how He appeared to me about four years ago…and commissioned me to go.  Recently, so many doors are opening, and I am being asked to go places and minister.

He wrote me back and said…”your problems are our problems daughter of Zion; we will pray for you.”

I was blessed and encouraged…but, time will tell if it is true or not…I just thought it was precious that this man took time to encourage me in the Lord.

So tonight, I went to have dinner, I picked a table outside, because I was alone…and I just wanted to be outside…under the stars.   So, right after I finished a couple came up and asked me if they could have my table.  I understood, they had a dog, and they needed an outdoor seat, but I kind of wanted to just relax for a bit…and honestly, it made me feel a little pushed to the side…and even more alone.  If someone had been with me, they would not have approached me.

So I decided to go to the pet store nearby, it was a very favorite place for my son and I to go when he was a little boy.   There was a parrot in there, named “Arnie” and I wanted to see how he was doing.  He would stretch out his wings and let me pet him, and his eyes would close.  The Momma bird in me was needing to have a connection with someone, even if it was just a bird, someone that knew me…and would be happy to see me.

I had taken my son to see him since 1993 and he always remembered us when we’d go. I would make this funny clicking sound, my son would say “what’s up” and Arnie would do them back to us.  It was like our special call to each other.

When I got there Arnie’s place was empty…I was afraid to ask, but when I did, I found out,
yes…Arnie had passed away a couple years ago…
I thought to myself, had it been that long since I had been by to see him?

Interestingly, they had just gotten a new replacement bird this same week.  I felt like it was a girl, because she was pink and grey…but they didn’t know the sex yet.   She came right over, stuck her little beak through the cage, let me pet her head…and then she closed her eyes…that was more than I could take, and…

I had to leave the store quickly and go to my car to cry.   Because all these memories of taking my son there came flooding back to me.  It was one of “our” places to go.  I wanted my little boy back,  I wanted to see Arnie, I wanted to go back in time and laugh together…and make our calls to Arnie…but I couldn’t…and I never will be able to again.

It is especially hard for me right now, because for the first time since I had my son, he is rejecting me. My heart is broken over it but there’s nothing I can do to change it. It’s like Arnie.  It’s like he is gone and lost forever.  He doesn’t like how sensitive I am and I can’t help it…. God made me this way and I have been this way since I was a kid. So, there is nothing I can do but pray that God will restore what the enemy has stolen from me. Pray that he will accept me like I am.

So, after some time, I was able to compose myself and decided to go by the grocery store. There was this sweet man that had helped me the last time I was there, and he made his way over to me. I could tell he was following me a little…then he asked how I was and told him my little sad story about Arnie…and how it had made me miss my son. Of course, I started to well up with tears again….so I quickly said goodbye and went back to shopping.

Not too much longer, he came and found me again and asked me about my son. I told him he was married now, and living in TN. I asked him if he had children and he said no he had always taken care of his dad until he died a couple years ago.  So he understood my pain.

He talked about how he just managed to finish his degree…and hoped to get his PHD…I asked in what, and he said, International business. We chatted a little, I told him I was a minister and asked if he was a Christian, he said yes…a Lutheran.  We had a short awkward, nervous conversation…but then he had to get back to work.  As he was walking away, I thanked him for listening to my “sad story”…and he turned all the way around, smiled really big and said “I always love talking to you.”

So sweet….and oh so VERY needed.

First things First

 Before we spend money to go to a foreign country to help the impoverished orphans and widows there…
shouldn’t we make sure all the single parents in our churches and their children are taken care of first?

I posted this on FB and I got a lot of comments.  People kept saying…but we should do both.  yes, I agree, but God has an order. 

The question is actually about being responsible for the people that are in the Church, our own churches in America, BEFORE we run off and go to foreign countries and take care of people who are not even saved. 

America is in trouble. The American church is not effective.

I used to be part of a Church and I was a single mom. I was hurting financially and emotionally. I was working hard but living under poverty level. And then, I saw people in the Church raise thousands of dollars to go to Ecuador to help people that weren’t even Christians. But if I went to the Church and asked for help with my light bill because I couldn’t pay it that month because my car broke down and I had to repair it,… I was talked to like a child and treated like a second rate citizen…in my own church. I got more help from the government………. And without all the condescending judgment.

I also see people who neglect their responsibility as a parent to go and be a “full time Minister.”.. Trying to live by faith, not working a job, while their OWN family goes without. 

I think both of these things are out of order. So God cannot bless it like he wants to.

I didn’t say we shouldn’t help people in foreign countries, I just said before we do that we should take care of our own. I think that’s the order of God.

I think our churches are out of balance. There’s a superstar mentality. People want to be seen when they do something good. In that same church I loved on people that no one else would even talk to. I was casting demons out of them in my kitchen. Taking care of their children, loving them, being their friend I was also bringing people to church from my work, and seeing them get saved. No one knew. And I didn’t go around telling everyone. 

But the people that would go to Ecuador, to serve there, raising thousands of dollars to go…well, came back and testified in front of the whole church about how God used them to do miracles. How so many got saved. When I was doing miracles right here with other people in my church. And I was getting people saved all the time where I worked. Those same people were becoming part of our church. 

The ones I ministered to, were hurting, hard to be around, needed help, and some were also single parents. I just often thought what if the church raised that money and helped the people that were in the Church that were really hurting? People in the community that were struggling. Really helped the little boys that didn’t have fathers. Really loved the single moms that had no one to lean on. And THEN didn’t even testify about what the Church had Done…because they did it in Love and in secret…but let those very people who had been blessed in the Church get up and testify about what God had done through the Church for them….!!!!

I think that would do more to strengthen the Church in America and help the people that are hurting here. We love Jesus, because he first loved us. 

Being in the Church, hurting financially, and hearing about people raising all this money, to go to a foreign country and help people who weren’t even saved….hurt me. It would be like a child, A good child who did their chores, watching their parent take their food from them and give it to a neighbor down the street who wasn’t even part of their family

Because I was serving in the Church, helping in the nursery, teaching classes, and ministering to people in my home. I was a single mom and a full-time minister!

So My point is….After everyone is taken care of in your own household, in your own church. Then go help other people in another nation or become a full-time minister.. But I also believe if God calls you to do that you won’t have to raise money. He will provide for you to go. I don’t see in the bible where they raised money to go anywhere. Paul said he didn’t get married, so he would be free to minister, and he had a tent making business so he wouldn’t be a burden on anyone. 

But I did see in the Bible that the family of God the local Church of believers….none of them were in need!!! And believers were added to them daily!!!

Lost, Then Found

Been thinking about the prodigal son, his father and brother…

Why wasn’t the older brother happy that his younger brother came back?
When the Father was so overjoyed, and filled with compassion…he ran to meet his son, hugged and kissed him? He put a ring on his finger, and killed the fattened goat for him?

But the older brother would not even go out to see him? He focused on the mistakes his brother had made…and he was mad at the Father for celebrating. What was going on with the brother? Was he jealous? Did he have control issues? Did he feel threatened…even though as the oldest,
he still had 2/3rds of the inheritance coming to him…?

Maybe, it was an indication,
that he was just like the pharisees…
the judgmental rule-based spiritual leaders,
the keepers, teachers and experts of the law…
the ones Jesus was talking to…
that had just said about Jesus…
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Could it be that the brother was like them…and truly did NOT love his Brother…OR understand the heart of a Father?

There is enough love in God for all His children…
if someone sins and comes to repentance,
and then God promotes them…
even though you have been faithful the whole time…

Don’t have a bad attitude.
Don’t get mad at God.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
Be happy, joyful, full of compassion, love and forgiveness…
because what was once lost…has been found,
what was once dead has been made ALIVE!

That is the heart of the Father…
that is the Kingdom of God!!!

Could you? Would you? Really…

Last night I had a conversation with a friend, and they “suggested” that I might…ok…well actually they said that I “will” be martyred one day for the gospel…but it was going to be down the road.  And the day before, a prophet friend called to give me a word from God, a scripture, and also spoke to me about how Jesus told Peter on the shore, that one day his hands would be bound, then he would be led someplace he did not want to go…and this would be how he would die for Him. Yes, one day, he would be martyred on a cross, like Jesus.

In July, the Lord told me that He wanted to give me the keys to the Kingdom, but that it would cost me everything.  I kept asking Him, “what is everything?”  Could that include my very own life?

Then I remembered one time…years ago…probably around 1999, being at a meeting and the speaker saying, “There are some here that will be martyred for the sake of the gospel.” and I also remember I began to weep in the spirit uncontrollably…loud enough for the whole church to hear…

It became such a fear of mine after that…the fear that I would not be able to be brave, if the time came where I was to be martyred.  I began to ask other believers about it…all the time…”could you? what if God asked you to? would YOU be able to?”

Then someone said to me…or I read it somewhere…this story from Corrie Ten Boom

When I was a little girl, I went to my father and said, 
“Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.” 
“Tell me,” said Father, 
“When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, 
when do I give you the money for the ticket? 
Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. 
Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. 
He will supply all you need – just in time…”

Can I tell you…I love Jesus with all my heart, but the thought of being killed for Him…well…it really scares me…
I fear that I would not be able to…because I know that I am weak…

Could or would you die for Him?

Even The Hardest Hearts…

This story has been on my heart all week. I guess I am supposed to share it…

Several years ago, I managed a store while they were expanding, so construction workers were there all day, and would come in to chat with me, flirt with my young co-worker, and cool off.   There was one really obnoxious concrete guy, who was coincidentally, a real hard “you-know-what.”  He would come in, just to mock me and my faith, with great pleasure and zeal.

I had a reputation for being a Christian, and “knowing stuff”, my co-worker loved to tell others about the stuff she had seen me say to people.   So, one day there happened to be a whole room full of workers;  they were all laughing as the concrete contractor berated me and blasphemed God.   In my heart, I was feeling grieved, and frustrated…so I was asking God, like all the times before… “What do I do? What is wrong with him, Why is he like this?”

But this day, God spoke clearly to me, “He is mad at Me, because of what happened to his dad. He needs to forgive Me. ”

Then, I asked God, “Do you want me to say something?” And God said, “Yes.”

So, with fear and faith, as all eyes were on me, I said to this big, burly, loud-mouthed, concrete fella…

“God is telling me that you are mad at Him, because of what happened to your Dad, that is why you reject Him and hate Him so much. You need to forgive Him and get saved.   So, tell me, what happened to your dad?”

He replied, “My Dad died when I was three.”

All the construction workers and everyone was blown away, freaking out, and swearing, exclaiming things like, “Oh my God, that was freaky!”
…they all ran out of the store in a shuffle and roar…

I realized, those with the loudest barks, usually also run the fastest when confronted by the truth.
God has a way of silencing your enemies, because He will give you what you need, when you need it.
He also has a way of penetrating the hardest concrete hearts with Truth!!!  You can’t argue with the TRUTH!

BTW, Mr. Concrete…
nor any of those other construction workers,
ever mocked me or my God again…
at least not to my face…
and that was fine with me.

Honor One Another

ok, I have a bit of a rant in me…forgive me…whilst I step onto my soap box for a bit…….

I despise it when I see people pick ministers apart. I have heard people IN THE CHURCH bad mouth Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Paula White, T. D. Jakes, Rick Joyner, Joyce Meyer, Ken Hagin…and many, many, many, others.

Even heard pastors badmouth other denominations…from the pulpit.

…and I confess, I have been guilty of being critical at times myself

I wonder, how can we be like that? Why would we be like that? What good will it do? When Jesus taught us a house divided will fall? How dysfunctional is that?

It releases a fear of judgement that prevents people from stepping into ministry. I know I was SCARED when God called me. I cried because I feared the judgement I knew would come against me if I began to be “seen.”

Sure, there may be things they do not do perfectly…and we all make mistakes…Lord knows…I DO!!!!!

But, can’t God handle it? Does He know how to chasten them? Does He not raise up and pull down? Doesn’t Jesus say to Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” How much more so in the church?

When I look at Joel Osteen, I just love him. I love his smile, and positive gentle way. I love that he is carrying on his Father’s legacy…so faithfully. I don’t see how anyone could say something mean about him…

To me, it says MORE about the PERSON being critical, than it does about Joel.

I remember running from the parking lot into Joyce Meyer’s meetings in the 90′s, when she was first starting her ministry: I wanted to get the best seat I could…because the anointing was stronger than anything I had ever felt in a meeting. I even got my gift of tongues there, and one time she actually stopped to speak to my friend and I…then got up and told everyone how we had encouraged her.

How could anyone say anything about a woman that has truly laid down her life to feed so many people?

The other day, I was talking ugly about a minister…I still don’t agree with what they do, but then I realized, the minister I was talking about was precious to that person I was speaking to.

I ALSO realized, these leaders…they are our PARENTS in the Lord.

God says, we are to HONOR them, so we will live a long life…and it will go well with us in the land God is giving us. Dishonor brings dishonor…

When I was little…people always picked on my sister, and when they did, I would beat them up. She was my sister!!!! And I hated them talking about her like that!!!! I would fight for her HONOR. When my son was little, if someone said something evil about my him, I would not agree with it. I would defend him. He was my family…so I had his back. To me, it did not matter in that moment if what they said was right or not. I wanted my son to know I was standing with him. To me, that is what HONOR does.

The bible says:
Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I would add…we need to talk about “such things” too. Let no unwholesome speech come from our mouths.

When you are a child, you learn, “if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!” I would add to that…just pray, pray to your Father in Heaven in secret. Pray for those parents to be brought to repentance if you think they are wrong…OR for YOU to be…because it just might be YOU and not them that needs to repent! Jus’ saying….

Ok…I am stepping off now…

Be tried and true, and authentically YOU!

This morning I was thinking about David and Saul.   How Saul offered David his armor, but David said no.   He replied, “I have not proved them.”   David knew that even though Saul’s armor was amazing, since he was King, it would be the best; and although it could possibly protect him, he ALSO knew it wasn’t made for him.   He did not “know” it…so it just wasn’t “him.”  But the sling HE had proven those nights in the fields, protecting the sheep, yes, he knew what he could do with that simple slingshot and just one smooth stone.   Because God had taught him.

David could have cared more about his reputation and just said yes to please the King, but he had the courage to say no to him, and to be true to himself.  David knew who he was in God.  He had a relationship with Him that was tried and true, just like he did with the sling shot.  David was authentic.

What God has called others to do, He simply may not have called you or me to do. It’s easy to copy another, and try to be like them, because we want what they have or we want favor with people.  But, that is not God’s way…and it will never satisfy the longings of your heart.

One time in the spirit, Jesus and I were walking on the beach and there were shells as far as I could see. They were piled up on the shoreline like they do sometimes.  Jesus picked one up and held it in the palm of His hand. He looked into my eyes and said,
“There is not another shell like this one…anywhere. They are all different. Everyone.”

So simple, yet so profound. How much more are we like that to Him?

Everyone is called to pray; but few may be called to a life of continuous prayer like John Welch.   All are called to trust God’s provision; but, we may not be led to “prove” the LORD by giving away everything we have and going to rescue orphans, like Rolland and Heidi Baker.   We are all called to have faith, but none of us may walk on water like Peter did.

Sometimes I see artists take classes from another artist, and when they are done, their art looks just like the art teacher’s work. Oh how that grieves me!!!! They have lost their artistic “voice” by becoming like someone else.  Why do they do that, and more importantly, why would a teacher want them to do that?   I have also I heard people start to talk like the person they are studying under…or musicians that sound like the latest “superstar” on the radio.

It is a HUGE GIGANTIC ENORMOUS pet peeve of mine!!!   I want to be so original, so authentic, so true, so VERY ME…because it is THEN and ONLY then, that I am in MY sweet spot.  That spot where I totally get why God made me.  Yes…then I find my divine purpose.  And I am living IN it.

I think David knew that one day he would be King. I believe God must have told him when he was under those starry skies, watching over those sheep, worshiping the One that made them.  I also think he was a man of honor, because he was so dishonored by his family. When David hurt, he ran to God, where he worshiped and sang to the Lord, yes, he honored Him. That was how he encouraged himself in the Lord. Then God showed David honor because God honors those that honor Him. I also think David could not stand that giant dishonoring his God, because he truly knew the cruelty of it…AND He knew his God; His God was a God of honor.  David was intimate with the KING…and he loved the Creator so much, he was willing to fight and defend His Honor!

Honor yourself, and honor others.  Don’t mimic them, or try to be like them.  A person that values originality will NOT like being copied by you. Those that are looking to dominate you or build a following…will.

Be who you were created to be.  And if you don’t know…then run to God when you are hurting and in that secret place, with your Creator, you will become who you were created to be.   You will then be like David.  You will know what has been proved, and what works for you.  And you will become a giant slayer. A leader. A person after God’s own heart. Someone God will be able to use.  You will be the true you.

Know God and know yourself.   Be tried and true, and authentically YOU!

Delight yourself in Him, and He WILL give you the desires of your heart.

God Gives Grace to the Humble…

…but resists the proud.


I meet so many people that say they want to be healed, they need me to pray for them, but then as I try to counsel or minister, they then begin to tell me how they expect God will heal them and exactly how I should minister to them.

When it was time for some deep healing to be done in my heart, God sent me to a minister that did not have the best character. I could see many things they needed healing from, and a pastor’s wife said to me later, “why would you go to them?” Well, at the time I did question God about it and He said to me, “I am the one healing you, not them. So keep your eyes on me.”  That was a good lesson for me…and great wisdom. A lesson in true humility. And God was right, it was in those times when I was with this person, that Jesus himself came and ministered to me. I was healed of so much, and my eyes were opened more to the spirit realm.

When I start to counsel a person, oftentimes I will give them homework. I will push them a little, to see if they will comply. It is my way of “testing” them. I do not want to waste my time, if they are not willing to invest in themselves, then there is no reason for me to. Sometimes they come back and want to critique me about how I am counseling them, or they won’t do the homework I give them, I know right then, it isn’t gonna work. It will just get worse. They are looking at me, and not Jesus. They don’t really want to change, so they will pick me apart, and create me out to be evil so they can continue to be a victim. When people I am trying to help began to attack me, it exposes their hearts and shows me they are not ready.

These are the same people that have story after story about how they have gone here and there for ministry, but have NEVER gotten healed. They seem to forget that they are the common denominator in the equation.
When people tell me how they expect to be healed, and how Jesus is going to do it. I think that’s just ultimately prideful…and, honestly I doubt they will ever get healed if they continue to think that way. Getting healed takes a lot of humility.  Humility to do it like God says, to look at your past, and walk through the painful places.

One time I was ministering to a person, and it was going really well but then she started crying and said “I have to pray, I have to pray!!!” So I said, pray, and I listened, well the the whole prayer was about how she knew Jesus was just gonna miraculously heal her and it was coming one day soon. It would come like lightning. She would not have to suffer through it. When she got done I said to her “you’re not ready to be healed.”
She was taken back because was one of those that had story and story of how she went to this person for healing and that person for healing and this person….but she never got healed.  After I heard her prayer I understood why.    She was resisting it and she was telling God how she intended to be healed.  It was a fortress built to protect her from doing the work.   Isn’t He still the potter and aren’t we still the clay? But it seems sometimes people forget that, especially in the charismatic church…and especially people that are wounded.

God resists the proud but he gives grace to the humble.

Wounded people set themselves up as a victim, like they have no power, and they just have to wait for God to heal them. Sit by the pool hoping someone will put them in it. But I believe you have to be proactive in your healing. You have to pray, fast, knock on doors, seek your healing, and be willing to be ministered to by whosoever God sends you to in any way He chooses. You also need to do the work when counselors, ministers, preachers give you homework. You need to pick up your mat and walk.

When I wanted my healing, I read every book I could get my hands on… And learned all I could about how to get healed. Many are not ready to “be made whole” and most don’t want to do whatever work might be required. The church has aided in the debilitation of believers by carrying them, feeding them, nursing them, etc. Giving them prophesy after prophesy of how God is going to miraculously intervene on their behalf.

The other day, I was praying for someone, and I saw them,  lying on their back as an adult with their legs in the air, waiting and wanting someone to come change their diaper; how tragic, but how true for some. They want to stay a baby, so much so, they do not even want to take responsibility for themselves.  This person was in their 40’s and still  living with their mother.  They had no job, but was physically able to work.  They even tried to ask me for money.  I stopped them right away and said, I do not support people that can work but choose not to.

I want help to people that are wounded, and because I’m called to be a mother, I also try to help people grow up. I attempt to teach them how to take care of themselves, and be able to stand on their own two feet, to be an adult. But I have learned, I cannot minister to someone that is stuck in this place, or is prideful. I would be wasting my time. Sometimes I think people, like that person, are in such humble circumstances because God’s trying to humble them so He CAN heal them.

Naaman the leper is such a good example from the bible. He was a leader, and was used to people under his authority. He was upset when Elisha did not come to him personally, but he had just sent word through someone telling Naaman to dip in the waters 7 times.

Naaman was so offended, upset with Elisha, he almost left, but the people around him encouraged him to give it a go. To stay humble and submitted.  So Naaman did as the prophet said, he dipped in this dirty water 7 times…AND then miraculously, he WAS healed from the leprosy, and praised God.

Leprosy is symbolic of rebellion in the bible. Rebellion is always rooted in pride. Naaman had to be humbled, before he would be healed.

Are you ready to be healed?
Are you willing to receive it any way the Lord sends it to you?
Would you dip 7 times in a dirty river if God asked you to?
Would you let someone less than perfect minister to you?
Are you willing for God to humble you so you can receive grace?
Can you put your “expectations” and “words” on the altar and be healed however God says?
Are you ready to take responsibility for your life, your healing and spiritual maturity?
Are you ready to stop blaming everyone else for your inability to get healed?



Some people will honor you, and others will not.

Last night I was with a group of women that honored one another, and me. Honestly, can I tell you, it messed me up? So much LOVE.

I go to a lot of churches to paint. Some churches are so honoring, not just to me, but to everyone…and honestly, other churches have treated me like dirt. Talking down to me, ordering me around, being rude and condescending…etc.

One leader’s wife came to me in private, and apologized, because they had mistreated me horribly, and right in front of the whole group. When I went to tell her, how I felt about what she had done, she clamped her hand over my mouth forcefully. She would not even let me express myself. 

Yes, I have stories. Some places I cry when I leave, because I don’t want to go, and others I cry because…well…because my heart is broken from the lack of love and honor in that “church.”

All my life I have had a deficit of honor. I was not honored as a child, and learned to allow myself to be dishonored by others. I repeated this pattern all my life. Once I got saved, I figured it was just my “condition” for being prophetic and called of God. But, now, I am not so sure. I have been healed recently from some deep roots of self hatred, planted when I was just a child; and since I have been set free, I realized, I should be treated with honor. Every person should have that. Not because I am special…or I deserve it. But, because I am a daughter of the King of KINGS. AND the precious, beautiful, amazing Holy Spirit lives INSIDE of me.

One thing that is so amazing about God…is He will honor His servants. So many times, people have dishonored me, mocked me, made fun of me, belittled me…
But God…
Time and time again He would honor me to that very same person. I did not have to do a SINGLE thing except keep my heart pure; forgive that person, and release the situation to Him. THEN He would honor me in ways that would cause me to fall prostrate on the floor and cry out…worshiping HIM with all my heart. Undone by His GRACE! Once I asked Him, “why do you honor me, Lord?” and He just said, because “you honor Me.”

I see so many women that allow themselves to be dishonored. Yesterday I was thinking about Rachel, and how Jacob was willing to work for her all those years. I was saying in my Spirit, “Lord, where are the men willing to work for a woman today?” And then I had the thought, “where are the women that KNOW they are worth working for?” So many women allow themselves to be so dishonored, and it just grieves me…and I know it grieves God too.

Lord, make us people of love and honor I pray. That we would love and honor ourselves, and others. But most of all, we would love and honor you as the King of Kings, because it is only because of you that we are worthy to be honored and loved!!!!

It makes me think of David. He was so dishonored by his family, so much so, they did not even bring him before Samuel. They mocked and belittled him constantly. But David spent his time with God. Out in the fields at night, tending the sheep. I imagine it was scary at time for a young boy to be out there alone. He would play his music, worship God and encourage himself in the Lord. When he got to the camp that day with food for his brothers, they mocked him again. Then David heard that giant Goliath mocking God, and a righteous anger rose up in him. He killed that Giant. He understood honor, and he knew who he was in God! He knew it so well, he was able to honor Saul, even when Saul was trying to kill him.

Freedom isn’t really free.

Freedom isn’t really free. 

You want to be free? 

Then you have to fight for it, contend for it, work for it. 

I minister to a lot of people, and sometimes they SAY they want to be free. But, when I start to pray I can see, they are not really ready. They are actually afraid to be free. 

I tell those I minister to, you have to fight for your freedom. You have to fight for your sanity. No one is going to fight the fight for you. Not even Jesus. He already did what He had to do, the rest is on you!

Even when God gave the land to people, even after Joshua marched around the city and the walls came down, they still had to go in, take out the evil ones and occupy it!

It is true that Jesus came to set the captives free, but there’s a door you have to be willing to walk through to get there. You also have to be willing to fight for it, because the bible says you must work out your salvation with fear and trembling. It won’t come without a price. You will have to die to your flesh to live in the spirit.

You also will have to believe, that in the storms you can still walk on water. You must decide and have faith to pick up your mat and walk. 

You WILL have to work for it.

AND yes, it will cost you, but it is only then, that you will truly be set free. And only then you will have LIFE…
and have it more abundantly…


you can be
wimpy or a warrior,
a victim or victorious,
a hero or a zero,
living or dead,
sitting or soaring,
pitiful or powerful,
a slave or free…

and to act upon…
Ain’t no body gonna do it for you…
not even JESUS…
Life or Death?

You only GET ONE LIFE…so live it!

I double dog dare ya!!!!

You need to be the HERO in your own life…
BUT you WILL have to fight for it!!! Stop praying for a miracle and BE THAT MIRACLE!!!
You want to help others? Then help yourself first!!!

David fought hard before he was KING.
Joseph worked his way out of that pit, before he could save all those other people!!

The only thing between you and your dreams is action!

Pick up your mat and WALK!
Take off those grave clothes!!!

Let it be done to you according to YOUR faith. Jesus already GAVE you all the POWER you need when He sent Holy Spirit!!!!

See it, believe it, do it!


If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it
I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly