Happy New Year!
I pray for this next year to be a "happy and fulfilling" New Year for everyone. We have to remember that the Joy of the Lord is our strength, and that no matter what we face today or in the month's ahead, to remain joyful in the Lord. That is our ticket to getting through anything victoriously.
2009 in Review
As the new year begins, I wanted to review all that took place in 2009. It was interesting to see because I didn't realize how many people contacted to this ministry, it was staggering! I had often wondered if the website was reaching very many people, but these stats showed me that God is working even when I don't even realize it. Because frankly, I know I didn't minister to thousands of people last year, but through the website, that's exactly how many were ministered to. According to the stats: 7169 people visited the site. 30,925 pages were viewed, and 144,879 hits were made to this site. This number doesn't include the 80 individuals who emailed me and received prayer and ministry throughout the year. So I want to take a moment to pray over each and every one (this includes you), whether they spent 1 minute or 1 hour.
Father in Heaven, I ask that you touch each and every life that accessed this website in 2009, reach down into their hearts and heal their wounds and restore them all! These sheep are yours Father, and you saw each and every one of them contact this ministry because they had a need. Please provide their needs and meet them where they are, in Jesus name, Amen.
This ministry is possible because of your faithful giving, service, and prayers. If you would like to become a faithful partner in giving into this ministry, please send us a card or note to: LAM, P.O. Box 165, Mt. Aukum, CA 95656. Thank you for helping us as we march on into 2010 where we look forward to ministering to twice as many people as we have before.
With this new year comes new things. This morning when I awoke the word "gumption" came to mind. It happens to be January 2nd at the moment of writing this and with that, the Lord impressed upon me several things that need to be addressed before going into the new year. (By the way, I asked Tom what gumption meant and to my surprise he had an answer... motivation; drive; opinionated; sure of ones self.) And that was exactly what I was about to share with you. Gumption helped me carry out what I needed to do, thank you Lord. I suppose it could also be called "boldness."
As I began thinking about things, I found myself realizing that I had been compromising, in a wrong way. I was able to name off seven things that I wasn't being bold about, I was meeting other people's needs and expectations. It's not wrong to do that, but at the standpoint of "fear of man" it is. I wanted to please these individuals. I wanted to do what they wanted me to do. But I just realized that this too is "fear of man." Because if I don't act or do certain things, they may reject me. Well, I'm done with that. If they reject me then so be it, but I cannot compromise any longer in these areas. Let me share a few of them with you to help you see what I'm talking about, so that perhaps you too can re-evaluate your life and why you do the things you do now. God wants us to please Him, not man! And if in pleasing God we please man, cool... but it's not to be the reason.
1) I saw someone do something very inappropriate. Now, it's no one reading these articles, so it's not you! Anyway, I overlooked it. I just fluffed it off as nothing. And truly it was nothing, but until I began thinking about it later. I began getting upset by what I perceived. (I say perceived because what I saw and what they say they did may be two different things.) I realized this morning that it really hurt me. I was having "fear of man" by not telling this person what I "thought" I saw. I don't want to be accusing to anyone, so I can only say what I believed was truth from my perspective. So I decided to forgive these individuals and released them to the Lord. I got free from the pain! Now if God wants me to say something to them, then so be it, but at least I won't be doing it through offense or pain, but through God's truth. So I got free from that, and it was pretty deep!
2) I have a ministry where I do some traveling etc. Sometimes I have people join me. But I found myself over the past year accommodating the helpers which modified the way I do seminars. I realized now that I had "fear of man" trying to please them. Well, I realized that if someone wants to help with this ministry, then they'll have to fit into it's schedule, not the other way around. That was getting very exhausting. And that was one reason I stopped asking people to help, I didn't want to try to "accommodate" or "compromise" my position as a minister.
3) I had scheduled an on-going meeting, however, it was at the same time as a church meeting I wanted to attend too. However, the reason for attending the church meeting was "fear of man" what would they think if I wasn't there? But the other meeting was for the ministry, and it couldn't be changed. So I realized that I didn't need to go to the church meeting after all but continue with the other meeting as scheduled.
There are other examples, but what I'm getting at is that what is the motive for making decisions for our lives? Are we compromising our own integrity and beliefs because of "fear of man?" Fear of what they'll do, think, or that we simply want to "please" them? I discovered this years ago, but sometimes we need a reminder. We need to remember that when we "please" God He even makes our enemies (and friends) to be at peace with us. So we can't go wrong with that.
I want to add in here that I just got my hair cut very very short. I had always wanted this style but I had "fear of man" what they would think if I cut my hair off, or would it make me less-desirable to my husband or less-pretty? So as I sat in the chair, I had done it with faith. Believing it will come out okay and that I'll like having short hair. I've always had long hair, but because it wasn't healthy looking, I needed to do something for easy care and a professional look. So here I was. My stomach began to ache as she began cutting off inches and inches of my hair. I said, "I'm getting nervous about this." She said, "Oh, you'll love this style, you'll see." So I sat there and waited. And much to my surprise, I loved it. Now I needed to see if my husband would. And he did. He really likes it. And yes, he would say he liked it if I did a mo-hawk, that's just him. But I believe he really likes it too. I said, "I'm going where I've never gone before." I never had short hair, only as a child and at that time I wanted long hair. I remember even pinning toilet paper lengths to my hair to feel like I have long hair. Then for one christmas my mom got me a wig... it was one of those fake witchy looking things, but I wore it, around the house of course. But I've always had an issue with hair. Hmmm... as I'm talking about this now I see I was in bondage. Because even this morning I remembered running into a friend of mine who has long luscious hair, something I have always desired, and so that was still an issue. Another thought came to mind too. My x-husband wanted me to have long hair too, and just couldn't give it to him. I was rejected for that! One reason it became such a consuming thing in my life. Well, no more. And now I don't have any left to have an issue about any more, and with it went the soul-ties about long hair! Wow. Glad I got that off my chest. Hey, thanks for listening!
So this morning I am free, because whom the son has set free is free indeed. I want to please God rather than man anyway, it's much easier, don't you think?
What Was I Thinking?
What an opportunity we have been given this year. My dear friend and partner in ministry, Caspar McCloud, and I have written a book together called What Was I Thinking? It's filled with stories, scriptures, and teachings on how the mind impacts our health, our actions and even our circumstances. As you can see how my thoughts impacted my life from the article above. When we realize that some of our thoughts we have may not even be our own, that they could have come from the enemy, and in my case, "fear of man" thoughts, but that we have authority over those thoughts to get rid of them and replace them with correct thoughts, half the battle is won. But we find that many people, including ourselves, allow our thoughts to cause torment. How many of you thought about something, even today, that made you sad or mad or angry? Perhaps you are depressed? It's our thoughts that do it! That is why God instructed us to only think on things that are of a good report. Perhaps today you received a bad report from the doctor? Who are you going to believe? The doctor or God? God's report of you is that you are complete in Him. That you have been healed. That you have what you need to live a victorious blessed life. So what's the problem then?
I learned something this week that I think will be of help. I was reading in Luke 24 how Jesus was talking to two men on the road after His resurrection. These men didn't recognize Him. Jesus began talking to them, yet they still didn't recognize Him. Then at dinner, when he blessed the food, THEN they recognized Him. Why? It said because of their unbelief they didn't recognize Him. They didn't believe what the prophets said about Jesus' resurrection, so that didn't even enter their mind that that was Jesus talking to them on the road! What are we wanting to see happen in our lives? What are we believing? The report of people or the report of the Lord? Could it be that your answer is right before your eyes but because you can't possibly believe it to be the answer, you don't see it?
So in this book, we talk about things like this. How to get our thoughts lined up with truth so that we can reap the blessings. A scripture comes to mind, "Blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed." Sometime we need to see things to believe, but that is not Kingdom living. It's to believe it before we see it! So what are you believing for. Whatever it is don't grow weary of believing, because IN DUE SEASON you will reap IF you don't give up!! And yes, this time I'm talking to you! (smile)
The book is being released by Destiny Image Publishing October of 2010. However, in the meantime if you are interested we are making the booklet available that gives you information about it, including a chapter of the book, to be used as a reminder to pick up the full 250 page version of the book when it comes out. You can contact this ministry for the booklet, or you can get the book when it comes out in October 2010 through this website or wherever books are sold.
There is something that I have observed about Tom over the past 20 years of marriage. That he knows how to love. He loves me so much, and has such a nurturing kind of love. I'm so blessed. We were talking about it just this morning that when we first got together, marriage was the furthest from both of our minds. But we somehow ended up married. We knew it was God putting it together and what God has put together no man can take apart. And we see that's very true. If God opens a window, it is Him alone that can close it, etc. So we know we are destined to stay together forever. But that's not what I wanted to talk about here, what I want to share with you is my observation. As I watched Tom interact with women, I noticed something quite interesting. He manifests a genuine love for people, and with women, he shows them dignity and respect. Women who have been wounded in love receives this as sexual and a come-on. With men, it's a threat. As we were talking about it, Tom then said, "That's why they killed Jesus." I pondered on that and totally agreed. Jesus came to love people. The women clung to Him the men wanted him dead. (Well, not everyone of course, but you see what I mean) That's how I see Tom. The women take his kindness for a come-on because they are in such need of love, they think he's hitting on them. But it's further from the truth. I remember when we first got together he told me, "Don't mistake my love for weakness." He loves me so much he's been vulnerable, kind, compassionate, caring, giving, and nurturing. My relationships with men were far from that so I didn't know how to handle him. However, after several years I was able to receive this love of his, which frankly, was coming from God. As we continued talking Tom said, "People aren't seeing my love, they are seeing God's love and based on their relationship with God is how they respond to me." Tom is amazingly wise, I love talking with him. Our love has grown even more today.
There is a new saying we came up with this past year, and I think it's appropriate. "I'm running as fast as I can." Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the things you need to do in one day? Do you make lists of things you have to do and get exhausted just looking at the list? Do you have a honey-do list? One day Tom was working on some things. He had several projects going on and I said, "Did you also do this?" I don't remember what it was, but that's when Tom said, "I'm running as fast as I can." With that we both burst out laughing. We both realized, well me any way, that I had so much expectation on him and even myself to keep up with things that it was ridiculous. So now when we find ourselves in that situation, we say, "I'm running as fast as I can" and it's our signal that we are trying to do too much, or trying to please each other's expectations, and we simply relax. As a matter of fact, we don't say it as much any more, now we simply do the running gestures to each other. When Tom first did it, I laughed so hard. So now we say it or we act it out, but both means the same. To get off that treadmill when feeling overwhelmed, and to stop laying so much expectations on ourself and on each other and just be free to be or not to be.