April 23, 2019

2019 Tuesday Text

Thought to share: Do you know MY Name? Yes, MY Name is Jesus! But, MY Name is also I AM.  I AM the Way, Truth and Life. I AM the Light of the World. I AM your Hope. I AM your Strength. I AM your Peace. I AM your Help. I AM your Safety. I AM your dearest Friend. I AM the Lover of your soul. I AM Everything. I AM all you need. I AM the One your heart desires. It’s ME – Jesus, the Name above all names.

John 8:58 (TPT) Jesus said to them, “I give you this eternal truth: I have existed long before Abraham was born, for I AM!”

Philippians 2:9-10 (NLT) Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

 

January 15, 2019

2019 Tuesday Text

Thought to share: The essence of all that I AM is encapsulated in the Name Jesus. HIS Name carries the fullness of peace, the depth of  joy and the power of victory. There is no other Name that compares to Jesus. No other Name gives life, hope, healing and freedom – salvation. When you find yourself in need, whisper “Jesus”.  Lean into the Name above every other Name and discover the fullness of MY provision.

Philippians 2:8-9 (NLT) Therefore, God elevated him [JESUS] to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 

Acts 4:12 (NLT) There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Isaiah 9:6 (NLT) For a child is born to us,  a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I love old movies. Those classics from the 20th century where someone bursts into a song and dance. Where the boy always gets the girl. Where there’s a happily-ever-after. Betty Grable. Fred & Ginger. Judy Garland.

Sigh.

The romance. The innocence. It’s purely fluff and fantasy, but some days, it’s a nice diversion.

I’ve also seen one or two classics that are just the opposite. Real. Raw. Gritty. That’s how I’d classify the iconic movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The main character is Holly Golightly. She’s a young, beautiful, fashionista who appears to have the world by the tail. Beautiful clothing, parties, famous people, money, and men seem to be the staples of her life. Independent, self-supporting, and free, she lives life on her own terms. She answers to no one and does as she pleases. She thrives on adventure, making a point to do things she’s never done in the past for no other reasons than she’s never done it. Her favorite activity: having breakfast at Tiffany’s, the world renown jewelry store on 5th Ave in New York City.

The character of Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, became the symbol of style, sophistication, and independence that many women hoped to achieve. As we look at the iconic photograph of her standing in front of Tiffany’s, pencil thin in the perfect little black dress and perfectly coiffed hair, most of us have sighed and whispered, “if only”. If only I looked like her. If only I had her style and sophistication. If only I had her wardrobe and money. If only I had her carefree life. Her friends. Admirers. Independence. This woman – this character – the look of Audrey Hepburn – is the woman that many women dream of being.

However, the reality is, most of us are more like Holly Golightly than we know.

Though iconic and trend-setting, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is really a story of brokenness. Holly is a deeply wounded woman, having suffered abandonment and rejection in childhood. To cope with heartache, she creates walls and hides behind those stylish sunglasses. Self-medicating with shopping and booze, she develops a new persona by moving across the country, changing her name, and pretending to be something she is not. She lives a shallow life and keeps people at arm’s length to prevent them from seeing that she is lonely, insecure, fearful, and unstable. She often experiences what she calls the ‘mean reds’, which is intense anxiety and fear. And, when overwhelmed by the mean reds, she gazes into the windows of Tiffany’s and dreams, pretends, and fantasizes, lying to herself, imagining that this is not really her life until she is able to push fear and anxiety into the background.

She’s so afraid of commitment, of loving and being loved, that she refuses to name a homeless cat that lives with her, simply calling it “Cat” because a name would make their relationship seem too real- too permanent. She fears relationships will cage her and, like a bird, she’d be trapped and unable to fly freely.

What she’s failed to realize is that all the steps she’s taken to keep herself protected and remain free have done the exact opposite. The walls she’s built, the shallow-phony persona, the care-free existence, the drinking, shopping, and lying to herself have caged her and limited her in the worst way. They have kept her heart from substance and truly experiencing real freedom.

Holly spent her life looking for help, healing, and wholeness in all the wrong places.

Doesn’t that sound like many of us?

I think every woman can identify with some of Holly’s choices. So many of us have built walls to protect our self, to keep others out, to prevent others from seeing into our wounded-ness, to hide our brokenness. We’ve utilized society’s tools of money, alcohol, pills, shopping, sex, and attention to cope with our pain. We’ve surrounded ourselves with people only to keep them at arm’s length, because we’re afraid of transparency. We live with fear and anxiety, at times being overwhelmed by them. We pretend to be something we are not, performing for acceptance and love. We lie to ourselves to help us deal with the stress of life. We’re looking for help in all the wrong places.

And, like Holly, we don’t even see it. We don’t realize we’re broken. We can’t see we aren’t free. We can’t see we aren’t whole. We think this is how life is supposed to be. That this is how it works. That this is normal.

It’s not until someone says to Holly: “You call yourself a free spirit, a “wild thing”, but you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.” that she realizes how wrong she’s gotten it.

The honesty of those words sinks into her heart and expose her life for the sham that it is.

Those words are very similar to what Holy Spirit whispers with love into our hearts. He gently points out the reality of our circumstances, revealing the lie that our self-declared freedom is really bondage. That our independence is actually crippling us. That our self-medication is only masking the pain and adding to the chains that bind us. That our self-created person is just a sham, hiding the beautiful creation He designed us to be.

It’s at this point that He reveals that Jesus stands ready and willing to set us free from the cage that imprisons us and the chains that bind us. He stands ready but waiting on us to respond. Will we let the Truth of His words impact us, sinking deep into our heart and the revelation wash over us? Will we come clean and confess we’ve had it all wrong and we don’t know what we’re doing? Will we accept His invitation to freedom and let Him tear down the walls and unravel the fake persona to reveal our true identity? Will we let Him do all the magnificent things He’s planned for us so that we can truly soar, and become the woman He created us to be?

Or, will we let the fear of transparency and pain of authenticity stifle us and keep us imprisoned in the cage that holds us back and limits us? Will we live in the chains that weigh us down and produce fear and anxiety? Will we stay bound by a false identity, trapped behind prison walls we built?

The “wow” in the story of Holly Golightly is not in the clothes or lifestyle. It’s not the supposed care-free life and glamour. It’s that in the end, (at least in the movie) she chose love. She chose to let love in. It’s that she realized her life had no value without love. None of the things she had could give her what authentic relationship could give her.

If you really want to be like the iconic Holly Golightly – let go of those things that bind you, restrain and cage you in and choose LOVE (1John 4:8). Choose to let Abba Father in and allow Him to heal your brokenness and give you beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, and garments of praise in exchange for the cloak of heaviness, despair, and anxiety you wear (Isaiah 61:3). It is only in Him that you can experience the care-free life (1Peter 5:7) of true adventure and live the life you were always meant to live – one that is fulfilled and content (John 10:10).

 

 

*taken from a message shared at a women’s event.

October 3, 2013

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Thought to share: Don’t waste your time arguing, debating and finger pointing. Maximize your time by loving. Be MY hands and feet, extended in love. Display MY heart. Give MY love at every opportunity, because it’s MY love that changes the world.

Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT) Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

John 13:34-35 (NLT) So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Romans 12:9 (NLT) Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.

July 18, 2017

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Thought to share: Anxiety will come – uninvited – and thrust itself upon you. Barging in, it will attempt to unsettle you and cause you stress. But you don’t have to let it bully you. You don’t have to listen to its fear inspiring whispers. You don’t have to allow it to stay. When you feel anxiety grip your heart, that’s your cue to look at ME. As you look at ME, focusing on MY steadfast faithfulness, you will see MY goodness and love. You will be reminded of MY constant care for you. And in this frame of mind, anxiety will dissipate. It cannot stay in MY Presence.

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

February 7, 2017

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Thought to share: When you need solutions, ask ME. When you need direction, inquire of ME. When you need feedback, consult with ME. When you need ideas, come to ME. I AM the Expert on everything. And I AM willing to tell you exactly what you need to know. Turn to ME, your greatest Resource, and find all the wisdom you need.

James 1:5 (NLT) If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Proverbs 1:23 (NLT) Come and listen to My counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.

January 31, 2017

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Thought to share: What is the name of your greatest fear? What is the name of the storm you face? What is the name of the illness invading your body? What is the name of the battle you’re in?

Whatever its name – MY Name is greater. MY Name is superior. Their names must bow in submission to MY Name; JESUS.
Call on MY Name. Whisper JESUS into your storm, and feel MY peace. Say JESUS, and see the circumstances change. Proclaim MY matchless Name, and see fear dissipate and the atmosphere shift.
MY Name is MY gift to you. It is yours to use. Let it flow from your heart and mouth and find hope, help and comfort.
Philippians 2:9-11 (NLT) Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Ephesians 1:21 (GNT) Christ rules there above all heavenly rulers, authorities, powers, and lords; He has a title superior to all titles of authority in this world and in the next.