I Get Fever…Spring Fever

spring feverSpring has sprung in our little area of the world. My husband and I have been taking our daily walks, soaking in the changing scenery. We just step out into our neighborhood and head in a different direction each afternoon. The trees have shed their leaves of last year and are slowly budding into bright green. The old leaves, brown, dried and withered, are now gathered and placed into lawn bags, awaiting their imminent removal. The few still scattered here and there on our lawn will continue to deteriorate, completing their cycle by feeding nutrients into the soil and ushering in new life. Yes, thankfully, it is March here in Florida; and, although our Spring comes earlier than in other areas of the country, it does eventually come to all of us, and isn’t that a wonderful thought?

I can feel the excitement of the season bubbling up from the inside. We have all experienced this sensation over the years. Suddenly we feel the need to be outdoors. We are motivated to tackle cleaning that closet for the first time in a long time. Perhaps, as my  mom did, we decide to clean the house from top to bottom. Spring Cleaning she called it; and when it hit, she was like a cyclone… a woman on a mission. I would watch her as she cleaned  everything in the house, the yard, and the garage in a seasonal whirlwind . I can still see her standing on the front porch with the garden hose spraying down the walls and the porch swing all the while directing my daddy and siblings on what still needed to be done in the yard. Truthfully, when the fever hit my mama did an excellent job of ignoring the eyerolls and the hushed comments by the rest of  the family…”she’s at it again”.  I still recall later that evening, really late,  the smell of fresh cut grass wafting through the open windows, mixing with the smells of cleaning products and Mr. Bubbles bubble bath. Life was good. It felt…well… amazing. Everything seemed fresh and clean and new. A fresh start. A clean canvas. Honestly, it wouldn’t take long and my three siblings and I would have it back to… “ahem”…lived in; however, on that night, and for quite a few after, our life was cleaner, better, less cluttered, even more focused. I would while away the hours on that freshly washed porch swing, reading my latest book and enjoying being me. Witnessing her annual frenzy should have given me an indication that I, too, might suffer from this seasonal ailment. However, much to my family’s chagrin, all too often accompanied by their eyerolls, I have realized that I take Spring fever to new heights.

I realized as a young wife and mom, that the reason I so enjoyed this time of seasonal flare-up when I was little was not necessarily because of a clean porch swing, but because of what Spring fever really brings us. Spring ushers in hope. Hope for a fresh start. Hope for something new. Hope for a cleaner life. Hope for new purpose. Hope to finally take some time for ourselves. Hope for better choices. Hope for less clutter, less status quo. When I had this realization it changed my life. I realized that I did not need to wait for March in order to do some spring cleaning. I can, and do, (hence the eyerolls of my darling family) take every opportunity throughout the year to make fresh starts, to start something new, to clean up my life, mind and body, and to seek to fulfill my God-given purpose.

What area of your life needs hope right now? Perhaps it is a cluttered closet or a dirty porch swing. Maybe it is a fresh start in your career or a relationship. It could be that you are searching for new purpose. Whatever it is, allow me to sit down on that porch swing with you and offer a little encouragement. You can do this. You can make movement in any area you feel needs some spring cleaning. Start with something small. Even small movements done regularly will offer up great gains in a short period of time. If health is your area, can you just walk around the block today? I know, it doesn’t seem like much; but if you only walk around the block today, and again tomorrow, and the next, I promise you that, shortly, you can manage to walk two blocks…and that is a great gain. Perhaps the space that needs attention is in a relationship. Often times these are the hardest areas to address. Can you read one book on marriage or child rearing? One book each month? Can you commit to small movements? It’s time after all, isn’t it? Maybe you are thinking that you have so many areas that need some work that you don’t know where to begin. Can you pick up a notebook or journal and commit to recording each area that you would like to address and then write how you are feeling about these areas each day. Eventually one or two of those thoughts will produce the answer to where you need to focus your time. If you are not sure, can I encourage you to seek advice? Oftentimes the advice of a wise friend is all we really need. Look at your life and, like my mom would do when overtaken by the fever, address it from top to bottom. Then, with a plan in mind, start at the area of most clutter and begin whipping it into shape.

You really don’t need to wait until Spring to foster hope in your life. I want to invite you to join me in my Spring fever. I want to inspire you to take just  one tiny  step in a different direction. I want to encourage you to stop expecting and accepting status quo from yourself. You can do this. Then I want you to open the windows and let in the lush fragrance of the season,  pour some bubble bath in the tub, grab a good book, and take that time for yourself. You deserve it. Spring fever has arrived and you have embraced its frenzy and it’s hope.

 

How Christians can respond to the church shooting in Texas.

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My heart, like many of yours, broke this Sunday when the news broke of a mass shooting taking place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. As a ministry worker, I can assure you this act has repercussions that will be long reaching. The how, why, where and what of church attendance will forever be changed. I believe that many of us who hadn’t sought license yet will begin the process of obtaining the permit to carry a weapon… on our person…even in church. Many who have, up until now, left their guns at home will feel compelled to protect what they cherish. Perhaps this is a necessary step to secure our friends and family as the persecution of Christ’s church increases.

The Church. This is the place where healing and forgiveness are to take place. This is where we, as believers, go to feel safe. This is the hospital that offers the only medicine with which to heal our nation, our homes and ourselves. Make no mistake, this is where satan is taking the battle.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.”  We have all heard it preached from pulpits across this nation. But, will we now, as the attacks start to hit closer to home, will Christians realize that the battle has already begun. Persecution of the church has been taking place since it’s establishment. Now, as our nation turns from God, we will continue to see the mortars from the raging war landing closer to our families, homes and churches. What will those of us that profess Christ do to engage the enemy.

As American Christians we have the right to legally obtain and carry a gun to protect ourselves and our families. I believe we all should.

As Children of God, We have the right to go boldly to the throne of grace and pray. Pray for Texas, pray for those families who were caught in the middle of a spiritual battle and they are paying the ultimate price. Pray and ask God to forgive our cowardice. Ask Him to forgive us for not answering the  call of a battle that we were all enlisted to fight. Those of you who are saying “what do you mean?” I’m glad you asked.

As born again believers we ALL have the COMMAND to go and tell others of the love of a Savior that can extinguish all death and all darkness. Some of us, accepted Christ and then “went to Canada”. We wanted to play it safe. We wanted to be as far away from the war as possible. The war is here. We cannot hide behind “not being offensive” any longer. Had you known about the attack on the church  in time to warn those who lost their lives, would you have done anything to save those dear people from those moments of terror? If you are a Christian, then you know about the terror that is coming for all who do not accept Christ. We have the ability to warn others.

My challenge is this: Re-engage the enemy.

I have personally entered into a covenant with God to lead at least 26 people to Christ over the next two weeks. One person for every saint that lost their physical life in Texas. If even just 1000 Christians would make the same commitment we can alter the story. 26,000 reached for Christ as a result of Texas. No, we cannot undo the pain and destruction that was inflicted on God’s people but we can honor their memory. We can change the bi-line from “26 victims gunned down at a church in texas” to ” 26 Christians martyred, sparking revival across the nation”.

I am asking all of you to join me. This is how we re-engage the enemy. This is how we fight back. This is how we honor a family gunned down while sitting in church. This is how pay tribute to a pastor and his family who lost their 14 year old daughter.

Please, join me over the next two weeks. You will have to be uncomfortable. You will have to change your schedule. You might have to seek out someone else who knows how to lead someone to Christ so that you can learn. You will have to pray. You will have to go. Will you join me? Please let me know if you are willing. I will be praying that God blesses your courage.

Help me change the ending of the story.

 

Enlightenment

It amazes me how God can, and often does, choose to teach us His truths using whatever method or tool that we are open to at the present moment. In the three decades that I have been a Christian, God has guided me through His Word, His Spirit, and His people teaching and preaching his truths. Through books, magazines, music, strangers, friends and even in business meetings, I have gleaned life changing insights.  First and foremost this is because I choose to put my faith in the person of Jesus Christ and He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I believe that this promise is why He chooses to guide me using any and all methods. The most recent avenue of His guidance has been through the authentic teachings of yoga. I imagine He is utilizing this teaching avenue because He knows all too well that I have closed myself off from many of the traditional models that served me well for many years. I am no longer interested in following anyone who seems to lead with their ego. Men and women who make their decisions through the lens of their emotions, feelings, traditions and the past teachings of previous mentors, while blatantly disregarding God’s Word as the final authority. Leaders that leave their followers questioning if they have any worth when it comes to the ministry or christianity, or in life period, have, in my opinion, failed to recognize Christ’s teachings on leadership. Authority figures that act as if the position Christ has allowed them to fill grants them all power and all insight.  You can discern quickly if you have been asked to follow this type of person. This leader cannot answer the hard questions. In fact, they behave as if you have no right to question them in the first place. They will avoid the question. They will attempt to divert from the question. They will simply ignore the question. But, if all of this fails and you push for an answer they will rely on some version of the response “because I said so”, “because I’m the Pastor” or “because this is my church”.  In my 48 years on this planet, history has proven that when an authority (whether in the secular field or christian) gets to this place, their business or ministry is decaying rapidly. I am not judging these folk. Christ has said that He has sheep “that are not of this fold”, and I am content to leave it with Him. I am not willing to subject myself or loved ones to these people, after witnessing time and again the havoc that they wreak in the lives of the righteous and unrighteous alike.

I seek enlightenment. My Saviour has promised this very thing in His Word. He promises in Matthew 11 that if we come unto Him He will give us comfort. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Enlightenment. To ease the burden. To cease to carry the heaviness that this world has to offer. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Yet, many Christians are bent low under the weight of life. Worries, fears, and anxiety does not sound very enlightened to me. I am on a path to enlightenment, but not in a mystical way. Daily I am being taught how to reduce the burdens that I have been carrying. Moment by moment I am learning to be enlightened as Christ is enlightened and many of my lessons are coming through the teachings of authentic yoga.

I invite you on my journey to enlightenment. How great would it be to reduce some(if not all) of the burdens that you now carry? Authentic Yoga is like Christianity in that the principles work for anyone that will apply them. Regardless of your religious affiliation to this point. Regardless of your history. Regardless of how another human being has made you feel.

Today, start by repeating this mantra to yourself:

I HAVE WORTH! I CAN FIND BALANCE! I HAVE AMAZING THINGS TO OFFER OTHER PEOPLE AND THIS WORLD! I CAN BE LIGHTER, AND MORE BALANCED!

Next: Follow my blog below,  and join me on the path to enlightenment.

NAMASTE