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Are You Ready?

When God places something on your heart to extend His Kingdom, are you ready and waiting to walk in obedience? OR Do you think you that you are unqualified?

God provides all the tools we need and equips us for every situation he places us in.

Just as a carpenter has special tools to fine tune his creations, Jesus has his own tools he uses on us and through us. It is not our place to question when we are called, but to have faith that whatever we are tasked to do.equip

When God asks you to do something, pray for someone, reach out to a stranger, share your testimony; he knows what he is asking. He is asking for you to trust Him with the results. It’s not our job to question or battle with the Lord. God has tugged at my heart many times and pulled me out of my comfort zone.  In the 30 second battle in my mind, telling Jesus I couldn’t do it or I was afraid I was too inexperienced, I learned one thing. Jesus doesn’t expect me to do it in my own strength. He expects me to follow his guiding Holy Spirit and trust that no matter what he has called me to, he has gone before me and prepared a way.

Remember when God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell them to turn back from their evil ways, but Jonah didn’t want to do it. So he ran and thought he could hide from God on a ship. And the ship was tossed by the angry seas and Jonah was thrown overboard to save the rest of the ship.  Just think if Jonah had just done what God commanded him to do, he would have never ended up in the belly of the whale. So once he was spit upon the land by the whale, he still had to go to Nineveh.  (See the book of Jonah for more specific details.)Can you imagine what Jonah must have felt, when after all he had been through, he still had to do what God wanted? And then to make matters worse for Jonah, he thought for sure once he delivered the message from God, God would destroy the evil people, but he showed compassion and Jonah was then acting as if he knew what was better, than God.

Jesus knows every battle we face, and he uses the right people at the right time, to offer hope and encouragement, to answer prayers, and by us being obedient to His call, we further His Kingdom here on Earth.  It’s not for us to question why me Lord? It’s for us to trust the Holy Spirit that lives in the hearts of all believers and to follow his prompting. He will provide what we need at just the right time.  So, the question remains, are you ready?

I pray daily that when God puts something on my heart to write that I share what he wants me to share and that it touches just one life. One person can create a ripple effect, it only takes one to listen and reach out.

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John 14:26 New Living Translation (NLT)

26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

Stay in the Word, pray to God, seek His Will and trust your heart.

Many blessings to you!

Much love,

Carlene

 

 

Work in Progress

I have said this to many people in the past, and funny how now I am hearing my own words, echoing in my mind. God isn’t finished with you yet. He still has work for you to do. images

So, as I sit here reflecting over the decisions I have made in the last month, I realize that we are all a “work in progress” daily as we walk with the Lord. He doesn’t want us to stay in one place for the rest of our lives or one position or even one church.

I attended a Vineyard church for over 8 years and thought I would never leave there. I loved it there. Loved the people, felt the presence of God and loved all the outreach and encouraging ministries there were to show God’s love in a practical way.  They were my family.  And they are still part of my family, but God had other plans for me.

At the end of my journey with the Vineyard family, I felt a tug on my heart to leave there and go to another local church, for which I have been in attendance for over a year and a half now. It wasn’t easy. It was quite painful to say goodbye. But, God equips us in many ways and has many tools to watch us grow, so we can serve Him better in advancing His Kingdom-Earth as it is in Heaven Kingdom.

Sometime’s God moves us to help us grow, sometimes he moves us to help others grow, but in the grand scheme of things, He knows so much better than we could ever hope or imagine. Our minds can’t comprehend all of his detailed plans, that’s why we get just what we need to go and grow.

I was posed the question at our Women’s Ministry Life Group (as well as other women) was there ever a time in your life when God was pruning you to be the person he chose you to be and was it painful or how did it grow you?

So, I shared this testimony with them and now I will share it with you.

About 8 or 9 years ago, while I was at work on the sales floor of the store I worked in and I was counting product to make sure the inventory counts were correct and checking pricing to make sure there were no errors, a customer turns and enters the aisle where I am working. I stood up, and asked her if there was anything I could help her with. She shakes her head no and thanks me. So, I stoop back down to the lower shelf and start recounting the items, but I notice she is still standing there, looking sad and forlorn and then I hear God saying you need to pray for her.  Now, as luck would have it, at that time, I was terrified of saying prayers out loud.  I know it sounds silly. But I was great at praying for someone in a letter, email or text message, but actually praying aloud scared me something fierce. So, I just kept counting and I kept feeling the urging to pray for her. I know that I argued  silently with the Lord, saying things like, really?? You want me to pray for her? You know this makes me really uncomfortable Lord???Why can’t someone else do it?? Why me??? But the more I kept thinking this way, the stronger the sense came that I needed to do it.

So, as I stood up, I asked God to give me the words to speak with this woman again. (This all took about 30-60 seconds to argue with God and lose.)

She was still standing there, as if she was waiting on something or possibly someone. Again, I said are you sure there isn’t anything I can do for you? I said my name is Carlene, what’s your name, if I might ask? She told me her name was Robin and then the tears started flowing and this is what she said.

“I have a brain tumor. My doctor has told me without the surgery I will die for sure. And with the surgery, there is a 50-50 chance they will get it all. I believe in Jesus. My family doesn’t.  They think that I should not do the surgery and just stay with them for the time I have left. I am so afraid right now. I have prayed and I feel like this is what I am supposed to do, but I just don’t know. “And the tears kept flowing.

I said to her, “Robin would it be okay if I prayed for you?” She said, “yes, that would be okay.” I said, “now, can I pray for you here right now?” She was overwhelmed with joy and said yes, please.  I asked God to give me the words and I asked her out loud if I could place my hand on her shoulder and pray. With her permission, I prayed. I have no idea what i said, I let the Holy Spirit guide my words. When I finished, she hugged me and thanked me and I told her she was welcome. Then the most astonishing thing happened, she said,”today as I was leaving my home to get the things I needed, I asked God to give me a sign that He was in control and that if I went through with this surgery,everything would be okay; and now I know without a doubt, I am having the surgery. Maybe, my family will finally believe in Jesus!”

And then, I cried. We hugged and she went on with her shopping and I just stood there-in awe and amazement that God had used me to increase her faith in Him and his promises.

Well, I must say that I wasn’t much good for working my normal job anymore that day. I went to my office and shared with my co-worker, what had just happened and I was so overwhelmed with joy and I can’t even begin to describe the emotions I was experiencing, just wow!

Had I not listened to the prompting to pray for her, would He have found someone that was willing to be obedient to His calling for Robin? And I would have missed out on the huge blessing it was for me to pray for her.

That day changed my life. I learned that we can stay stuck in our comfort zones or we can learn to experience what God has for us by simply trusting that His Will is so much better than we can imagine.

Fast forward 9 years, and I am without employment as I sit here and write this out. My choice, by the leading of God.  When  you have been employed somewhere for over 16 years, but know that it is time to leave for many reasons-mainly major health issues, the part of you that used to worry about making ends meet realizes that if changes are not  made you might meet your end, you start asking God what is the next step? What is His Will for your life? I know we all stay in jobs, because we have bills and responsibilities and I have always strongly believed in taking care of those priorities and still do, but when God gave me the peace I needed to leave, it was like nothing I could explain. If you don’t live with the Peace of God in  your heart, it’s hard to explain. But you just know, He has it all worked out and you just trust Him. That’s what I am doing now and where I am at now.

God has placed a call on my heart to share His story of love and grace. I am now in the final draft stage of a book that was written with His input. Am I worried that no one will like it? No, not really. I know it has been a blessing to me and the few friends I have shared it with and I know God is happy with it. Would I love to become an author that shares His Word and his promises? Well, I never really gave it much thought until God placed this on my heart. I guess I would have to say yes. I love sharing my testimonies with others. When the book is complete, I will share a link on here for anyone that is interested in grabbing a copy.

The best thing I can say now, is listen to what God is telling you. Even if you think, there is no way, Lord. No way, I can do this. Remember this – you can do ALL things through Jesus Christ, He is your strength!

God loves you and so do I! May your days be filled with blessings and may your cup overflow with love!

Until next time,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Is Done

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As I shared with my readers earlier in the month, big changes were happening in my life.  So, now I am confident I can share these changes with you.

I have worked for a great company over the last 16 years and truly imagined that I would still be at that company when I reached official retirement age(which is still quite a way off).  After struggling with several medical issues that cause my body great pain and difficult in walking and moving, I started praying earnestly asking the Lord to lead me and guide me in making the decision to stay or leave.

I know that I made the right decision to resign earlier than planned.  I have HIS peace and for the first time realize that having a paycheck isn’t all there is to life. I realize we all have bills to pay and yes, we need money to survive; but when you make budget cuts and rearrange your budget, you can do it. Am I scared? I can confidently say I have no fear. Which if you knew me at all and how I have always operated, you would understand my reluctance – at first – in understanding what God was telling me to do. I have never in all my life left a place of employment, without having something lined up to go to next.

I have always been very practical in that way.  Always have had a backup plan; not this. time.

This time, I am trusting God to lead me where He wants me to go. I believe He is calling me into using my gifts of words to minister to others.  So, with that being said, I am currently working on a book to encourage others and offer hope. I will continue to write this blog, not just to share Jesus with others, but because I feel this is a small part of His plan for me.

The end of this week will signify the end of one long chapter in my life and the beginning of a new one. As always, I can’t wait to see where God leads me!

May you be blessed and know the God Loves You–right where you are! Much love,

Carlene

 

 

 

 

Stepping out in Faith

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Soon, I will be taking the biggest step of faith in my life. I have been in prayer the last several months trying to decide what is best for me in my life. Seeking God and His infinite wisdom and asking for His peace that only He can give has been a journey of sleepless nights and daytime struggles. As I write this, the peace that has permeated my soul and heart, I know I am doing what God thinks is best for me.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason.  Always. I know God has the best plans for me.  I know that every door that has ever opened or closed was because God made it happen.

Proverbs 3:5 New Living Translation (NLT)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.

I am so thankful this verse is in His Word. If I only do things that make sense to me, and don’t walk in obedience, than I am not applying the Word to my life and not trusting Jesus.

I am reminded that many times, when I have been called to walk in obedience and step out in faith, that there has been discomfort and wariness. I’ve even asked God, are you sure? Which is totally ridiculous because He doesn’t make mistakes. Not one. I know that during these many times in my life, when I just couldn’t possibly see with my eyes that everything would be okay and work out; that when I decided to take that step of faith onto the ledge of the unknown , He blessed me in so many ways, that I could never have imagined it would turn out in the ways it did. Do you ever feel that way-that your plan has so many obstacles-and God laughs-and says, “trust me” or “why do you doubt that I don’t have your best interests at heart”? I used to think like that. Haven’t we all? God is the potter and I am the clay.

Isaiah 64:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
    We are the clay, and you are the potter.
    We all are formed by your hand.

Trust when you hear that small voice – from our Great God. That is why he gave us an advocate, The Holy Spirit, to be with us, to guide us on this amazing journey we call life.

As a daughter of God, I am reminded when I do something outside of His Will, the sadness that seeps into my heart and the conviction I feel, I know I am walking outside of His Will for my life. When I hear Him correctly and know through many confirmations, that I am walking in His Will, I have a Peace that cannot be explained any other way that the Peace of God.

And as this new chapter of my life (as I choose to look at) begins to be laid before me, there is a tiny bit of uncertainty as to where I am heading and what I will be doing, but there is great Peace in knowing that I am doing what He is calling me to do. Right now, I am hearing “trust me with everything”,”lean on me”, “let go of things that cause you pain” and ” trust me, I’ve got so much more for you than you can possibly fathom.”  When I, myself know the more, than I will share it with my faithful readers. God always places the right people in my life at the right times and they always know the right things to say~it never ceases to amaze me how much God loves me.

Jeremiah 17:7 New Living Translation (NLT)

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

God loves you too! If you’re in the crux of making a decision that you can’t seem to find a way around. That the timing isn’t right, or you have fears about stepping out in faith and trusting God, because you just can’t see a way. Trust Him. He has great plans for all of us!

Blessings,

Carlene