Walk the Line…

June 5, 2014

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There is a thin line between love and hate…

If you change just one line in the chorus of the famous Johnny Cash song “because you’re mine” to “because I’m Yours” the entire meaning of the song changes. No, I am not dabbling into legalistic rules that say you can’t do this or you  can’t do that. My concern is whether or not we are living out God’s greatest commandment.

LOVE…

1 Corinthians 13

New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

I am not saying that there are not things in our lives that need to change, I am saying that God commands us to love above all else. When someone used to come and ask for my advice on a struggle in their life, I saw that as open season to tell them exactly what I thought of their behavior. BIG MISTAKE on my part. I would never open the Bible and show them God’s word’s on that topic in a loving way. I was at that point just a clanging cymbal. Then, being the extremist I am, I jumped to the other side of the line and just loved everyone and let them do whatever they wanted and when asked for wisdom, I would share that I love them, that’s it. Neither is right, when God opens a door to use you to point people in the right direction, He is not asking you to condemn them nor  judge them, but rather to point them to Him in love. If somebody is coming to you they likely already know what God is calling them to, but however cannot find the scripture to confirm. Jesus was never found calling people out and saying you need to fix this or you will burn in the pit of hellfire. Nor was He found saying Your sins will keep you out of my Heaven unless you repent here and now. Perfect example of Christ lovingly guiding someone back to God is the woman caught in adultery:

John 8:3-11

New International Version (NIV)

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Even Christ, the one Man that walked this earth with the right to condemn whomever He wanted as He would give His life very shortly for our sins, did not.

Because I’m Yours God, I walk the line…

Always, point people to God’s word, He will speak to them and do the rest.

Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

 

 

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The Fruity Bunch…

May 22, 2014

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Whose to say someone’s once a week Godly post on some sort of Social Media isn’t a banana?

16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

The great thing is that we are not God. The other great thing is that God meets us where we are. God didn’t wait until we had it all together to send His one and only Son to a painful death to cleanse us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We are called to simply love, not to judge where people are in their walk.  I love how simply the Message puts this scripture:

Matthew 22:34-40

The Most Important Command

It is clear that we are not to dig into anybody’s wrongdoing though these scriptures:

Not once, but twice… Now for the Reader’s Digest Version:

42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

See, what people do not understand is that there are grave dangers in focusing on someone else’s growth rate.

1. You could miss out on what God is doing in your life because you are so focused on the error’s of others.

2. You could stand in the way of what God is trying to do. (Click here for blog on this topic)

I have learned that we never  know what God is doing in the background. He could be completely tearing a person’s heart free from bondage and because things do not look the way we want or are not moving at the pace we would like to see it moving, that we are supposed to perform our own divine intervention. NO! God knows why He does what He does. We are all different and if He truly “meets us where we are” (Romans 5:8) and He truly “knew us before we were in our mother’s womb” (Jeremiah 1:5) then He knows exactly how to get each of us where He wants us.

Yes, I know, the dreaded “free will” argument. What sane mind can believe that if God could not get someone to surrender to Him under free will, that we would have that capability. I of course speak from personal experience of insanity, not a point of judgment.

So, basically, as my Pastors say, “Love God, Love Others, and Enjoy Life”.

Be Fruity!

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Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWW.ZipIt.Com

May 17, 2014

ImageIf a problem comes along, you must ZipIt! Who thought we could find such wisdom in Dr. Evil? Especially since right before the famous http://www.zipit.com scene he proves how truly stupid he is by stating “Why would you want trillions when we could have billions?

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Oh how I wish I could learn to shut my mouth before things fly out. Most times whatever stupidity flies out is not pertinent to the situation. If we would just listen to the scriptures and learn to think before we speak.

Proverbs 13:3

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 29:20

Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
Pretty cut and dry if I do say so myself. I do not speak from a point of judgment, but rather a point of conviction in my own life. I have  tendency to open mouth and insert foot. If we would only learn to pray before speaking. That only what Christ would have us say would come out of our mouth. I know it sounds weird. You must be thinking “Yea, because I am just going to pray about every word that comes out my mouth”. If we truly follow scripture though, shouldn’t we?

1 Thessalonians 5:17

New King James Version (NKJV)

17 pray without ceasing,

Through doing so the Lord will relieve you of any and all anxiety.

Philippians 4:6-7

New King James Version (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus..

Just consider this Ex”ZipIt” A…

Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

 

Gut Punch!

May 9, 2014
Gut Punch

Gut Punch

“One step forward to get punched straight in the gut and land three steps back”. That is how somebody I love dearly described their life to me a week ago.

As they said it I realized how man views the challenges as impossible. What if we took the  scriptures literally? We try to put so much thought into what God might be saying. What if we just took them the way God takes us? Take them as they are!

2 Timothy 3:16

New Living Translation (NLT)

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Pretty understandable, don’t you think?

Why do we assume that being moved back a few steps is not from God? He is pretty straightforward in His word when He promises this:

Jeremiah 29:11

New Living Translation (NLT)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

And, I think He is pretty clear when He says this:

Proverbs 19:21

New Living Translation (NLT)

21 You can make many plans,
    but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

So, what is to say that because you are not exactly where you thought you should be that you are not exactly where God wants you to be?

NUFF SAID!

Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

 

 

Meet Me at the Playground…

December 17, 2013

Alas, those dreaded words you never want to hear from the school bully, “Meet me at the playground after school.”

It seems as though every time there is a story to tell about somebody getting beat up, that famous tag line is used. Everybody knows that if they hear that during their younger years there will be an audience waiting to watch your demise, and that audience will be grateful that it is you instead of them.

Isn’t that just how the enemy works? When the enemy attacks it is rarely in private, and even when it is in private his end goal is to publicly humiliate you through your reaction to the head games he is playing.

1 Peter 5:8

New International Version (NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

If you really analyze the situation, all he is capable of is being the bully. When you look at movies involving bullies, it is rare that they win. They spend the entire movie picking on someone as bad as they do, already knowing that in the end they loose. The enemy’s situation is one in the same. In the end, he knows he looses.

Revelation 12:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

So, the point in all of this is just to say, we know the end of the story and the Good Guy wins. God goes before us!

Isaiah 45:2

New International Version (NIV)

I will go before you     and will level the mountains[a]; I will break down gates of bronze     and cut through bars of iron.

Just remember that when you think about showing up to the playground thinking you need to prove you can take him. We don’t need to prove anything, the end has already been written.

Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

Heart Strings Part Two…

February 15, 2013

heart strings

As I sat looking at the picture, I realized how much that is like our own heart…

Our hearts are complex, they are made up of many strings…

Emotions…

Love…

People…

If you pull one of those strings the wrong way, the heart will fall apart.

I guess that is why the word of God says that the heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9).

We think that we have it all under control, holding ourstrings in all the right places. In reality, we are giving our right to life to the wrong organ. I had a friend recently point out to me that I need to stop basing all my decisions on what I feel in my heart. He reminded me that the body is not dead until it is declared brain-dead. Your heart can stop but, as long as you are not declared brain-dead there is the possibility of being brought back to life.

So, my advice, stop listening to your heart…

Listen for that small distinct voice that gets louder as you listen closer. It’s God and He will guide you.

Warning: Sometimes what He says will make no sense to you, but if He confirms it, don’t question it…

Be like Nike and Just Do It…

Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

HeartStrings…

February 12, 2013

heart strings

As I sat where you sat…

My heart cries out to God as you did…

You said, “If you save her I will serve you for the rest of my life.”

My cry was slightly different, “Wether you save him or not, I will serve you for the rest of my life, but please Daddy save him.”

I have come to the conclusion that God just wants our hearts. I say that as if it is an easy task. Anybody with a heart knows that your heart is the hardest thing to give to God. Maybe it is because of the fact that we spend most of our lives giving our hearts to people who really have no business with it.

We give our hearts to our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends, etc.

These people although we love them are only people, and people are bound to eventually let us down. God is the only thing in life that will never let us down. Although it seems sometimes as though He has, that is only our flawed way of thinking that sees it that way. It is when we forget that He knows everything before we were formed in our mothers womb and His timing and plan are always perfect that we begin to see God as the problem instead of the solution.

I have now come through what I hope was the roughest part of the storm, I am not sure what the future holds for me, I am not sure I will let it matter.

The one thing I do know and hold dear to my heart is Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, “Declares the Lord”, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I don’t know what else to say…

Just be still and KNOW that HE is God… (Psalm 46:10)

 

Until Next Time,

Michi Q

Shaky Ground…

April 10, 2012

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand…

All other ground is sinking sand…

I remember hearing that hymn as a child growing up in a Southern Baptist church. I never really understood what it meant. I am now completely overwhelmed by the meaning of those words.

I have spent my entire life trying to supercharge peoples growth in Christ for my own benefit. I figured the closer they grow to Christ, the less they will hurt me or the more they will listen to me or even if they are doing what God says it can’t go wrong. Oh, how wrong I was. See, when you begin to manipulate peoples growth in Christ, you become their foundation to the point where you can even drown out the voice of God. God made us all different for a reason and He knows just why He does what He does and when He does it. He knows exactly what the future holds, He prepares and molds us for each situation knowing exactly what is coming. God is not caught off guard nor by surprise, although we as humans have a tendency to be. He even knows when we are going to deviate from His plan, and finds a way to use that to His Glory.

Jeremiah 1:5

New King James Version (NKJV)

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

God gave me a vision recently to really paint a picture of what happens when we do not allow him to build somebody the way He wants them.

I grew up in North Carolina. Many of the homes in that area were either mobile homes or pre-fabricated homes. When these homes are brought in to be placed on the land the owner has purchased, they are placed on what is referred to as a temporary foundation or a permanent foundation.

The temporary foundation looks real, but underneath there is no structural balance. It is just placed around the edge of the home leaving the home on wheels still, whereas the permanent foundation is built throughout the bottom of the home to give it structural stability.

When we try to push somebody’s growth we build a temporary foundation around people which gives the appearance that they are complete in Christ, we are just making it pretty for the time being. Should a storm hit, that foundation will expose the true bottom which is not capable of maintaining stability during a heavy storm.

When we allow Christ to grow somebody at HIS pace, we allow the stones to all be placed exactly where our Father knows the storm is going to beat the worst giving that person the strength to stand through the storm.

You see each “little” storm we go through prepares us slowly for the next storm. Should we see our foundation is shaky during that storm we make structural changes in order to ensure that when a stronger storm hits we can withstand. By structural changes, I mean that we make sure that Christ is our Cornerstone. The cornerstone missing from a building can cause the entire building to collapse. The great thing about making Jesus our cornerstone is that as long as we allow Him to He will stay put and keep us standing strong.

Isaiah 28:16

New King James Version (NKJV)

A Cornerstone in Zion

16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.

Another warning in this situation, if you are so busy trying to put somebody else’s growth on steroids, you will miss whatever the Lord has for you. Thus, leaving you open to the elements of fire, wind and water and open to destruction.

Matthew 7:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

So, please focus on allowing God to build you and leave everyone else to Him as well.

Isaiah 64:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

8 But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.

He has it all under control.

And to that person whose growth I tried to supercharge, you know who you are…

I am so sorry … 😦

Until Next Time,

Michi Q.

Recipe for Life…

April 10, 2012

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I keep being reminded…

A couple of weeks ago, I asked God about quite a few situations in my life. I shared with Him that I was tired and just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and give up. So, I asked Him for permission to do so. He reply to me was very vivid almost as if to tell me, “I want to make sure you do not misunderstand this in any way.”

He said, “You do not abandon those you love most when they are hurting, even if they are hurting you in the process.”

I very obviously did not like this answer and decided that I would just go to sleep and make my decision in the morning on the various situations. The moment I closed my eyes, the vision was so vivid it was as if I was transported to the foot of the Cross. As I watched them mock and spit on my Savior my heart turned in my chest and hurt. Then He looked to His Father in the Heavens and spoke the most convicting phrase I have ever heard.

Luke 23:34

New International Version (NIV)

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
 
In the Word, we are referred to as the Bride and Christ our Husband.
 
Ephesians 5:23

New International Version (NIV)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
 
How often do we not turn our backs on Christ, or decide we have everything under control on our own, only to discover we have lost control? As often as this happens, how often do we not turn right back around to realize He was standing right behind us to catch us when we fall?
 
How grateful I am to Him for this! I know my nature is not a quiet one ready to relinquish control. So, it is with sadness that I say more often than not, “Jesus, I messed up again, please help me.”
 
With each time I learn more self control. 

Proverbs 25:28

New International Version (NIV)

 28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
   is a person who lacks self-control.

As I have to relive circumstances until I learn to stay out of His way, I get a little further each time. I am now in a place where He has stripped me of anything I can depend on other than Him, including myself. You see, I am notorious for creating situations to try and “FIX” whatever is wrong. I will find the “right” people with the “right” words to come along and speak at the “right” time. Little did I know that my plan was all wrong and although it seemed like a temporary fix, it got in the way of God’s plan.
 
Those who know everything going on with those nearest and dearest to my heart may see my situation as a real pit of dispair, some mornings I wake up feeling that way. Then, I think to myself, thank you for leaving me with only you to count on because I know your love will never dissapoint and becuase you are such a good Daddy that you left me no choice other than to get it right this time.
 
You see there is no formula. It’s not a 1/4 c. of prayer mixed with a 1/2 c. of fasting to fix a broken marriage, or 1 c. of spiritual warfare chopped into 1/3 c. of counseling to bring back a rebellious child, nor is it 1 part love to 3 parts stand firm while praying in tounges to make somebody you respect so much see that you finally trust God.
 
There is only two ingredients that cannot be measured and they are surrender and trust God. They can’t be measured because you have to give it ALL!
 
When you think you are out turn it upside down and shake it until you are sure!
 
Until Next Time,
 
Michi Q.
 
 

Parallel Universe

April 2, 2012

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It’s been a while…

As I came in from walking my dog, the Lord revealed something to me; 7 years ago, almost to the date, I was walking through the same exact fire I am walking through now.

What Lord, do you want me to learn??

My husband and I had just made our first spiritual decision as adults walking out on our own in faith. The attacks that followed were almost unbearably painful.

It was shortly before our 5th anniversary and all of a sudden our entire world was turned upside-down. My husband and I went from being madly in love to trying to figure out the details of the divorce as we slept in seperate beds, my son had decided to leave home to live with his father, and my parents were not happy with the fact that we had decided to branch out and follow God on an awesome adventure to help plant a church, financially we were having all sorts of problems with our mini-van that was creating a huge hole in our bank account, my stay-at-home career was coming to an end, and I had just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Here we are after what has been one of the toughest years of our lives walking through almost the same exact fire.

My husband and I lost our best friend and mom last year in February. My mother-in-law was the most selfless person I had ever encountered. She was my best friend and taught me more in the 11 years I had known her, than some people who have known me since childhood. This has taken an unbearable toll on my husband’s spirit. This time though I am hearing from God directly. All he says to me is: “Be still my child, I have this under control, this is not a surprise to me.” When I feel I can’t any more, in some way or another He points me back to Psalm 46:10-11

Psalm 46:10-11 New International Version (NIV)
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”
 11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

So I am, which is not of my nature. I am sure that if you have read previous posts you know that.

All the other things have followed suit. My son, my van, my health (which has affected my job), my parents, and did I mention we had just returned to the church plant we were originally in. This has been going on almost 2 months now, and I have to ask myself often “God what is going on?” I have come to one conclusion during all of this. I don’t need to know what is going on, I don’t even have to know how it is going to turn out. Please know that even as I write these words, I struggle with making them a reality in my life, but I realize the stronger I hold onto them, the easier the situation seems.

You see, circumstances are but a tool, we have the choice of who we are going to give that tool to build in our lives. Are we going to give the tool to the enemy who only seeks to devour and destroy?

1 Peter 5:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Or will we give those tools to our Heavenly Father who will use them for building us into the people that He intended us to be?

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)

 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a]have been called according to his purpose.

See no matter how the story ends, it is the will of God as long as you just surrender and trust Him. As long as you are trying to do things in your own power you are standing in the way. My husband David always teches that God is a gentlemen. He will knock and wait to be invited in. He will not just barge in, knocking the door down saying “I’m here and this is what we are going to do!” He knocks gently at the door of our heart and says “Do you trust me?” My entire life I have said “Yes, I trust you, but only with certain things. I want to keep control of the way certain things work.” At that point He has stepped back and said “Ok, I am here when you are ready to trust me.” Even though I have always made a mess of the things I wanted to keep in the palm of MY hand instead of HIS, He catches me and holds me while I cry out to Him asking Him to save me of the mess I have made.
So, this time, I raised a white flag and said “I trust you, with ALL of it!”
I encourage you to do the same.
Until Next Time,
Michi Q.