Saturday, April 5, 2014

Search my heart and know me

Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tounge,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
you hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts

David knew how to lay bare the things of his heart before God. David was overwhelmed with the idea that God knew his heart.

I recently had a friend say to me in essence... "it's okay, I know your heart".  It struck such a deep chord in me, I cried. I am blessed to have people in my life who know my heart and there is such security there. 

To walk with people through life intimately, sharing your burdens, your troubles, your insecurities and even your weaknesses with them,  allows that person to "search your heart". In conflict, or in failure, to have someone close to you say "I know your heart" is what makes a true intimate relationship. The  type of relationship God has called us to have with one another.

I find the most grieving, draining and hurtful relationships in my life to be the ones where I am meant to live intimately with but they don't know me. People that are in my life to stay, whether church or family or friends, people I am called to share my life stories with, my pain and my successes with and theirs as well. And if they don't "know my heart" it is just such a window into wounds, unforgiveness and resentment. 

I remember this one moment when I got into a very emotional argument with someone I love dearly. They said something extremely hurtful in the heat of the moment. In fact it came out so fast we were both taken aback by what was said. In that dagger, I was  faced with a choice, to take it, plant it and let it grow into a deep deep wound or forgive, on the spot. I stopped, walked away and prayed. "God I know their heart, I know their heart and this is not their heart." I prayed.  In that, and from the deep closeness of our kindred hearts I chose to forgive because "I knew their heart." and their heart is good. 

There have been other situations in the past where a person never took the time to "know my heart" To understand how I think, what makes me tick, what grieves me. They would analyze me and tell me what they thought I was like, but any time I would try to defend "my heart" I was slammed down, because "they knew me better". When it came time to remove myself from this relationship there was such a backlash of hurt and assumptions and even backtalk. All because they never "knew my heart". It was very painful and I could only trust that "God knew my heart" and he would defend it. 

I'm not saying that knowing someone that deeply means there is never miscommunication or pain. But we live our lives so self absorbed sometimes, we never take the time to know one another deeply. It's too much of an investment of our time, our energy, or perhaps we are afraid of the exposure and the hurt it could bring. 

To know someone takes times, it takes sacrifice, it takes opening ourselves up. Jesus knew this more than anyone else, and he could read the minds of those who would betray him or kill him, and he knew their hearts and he still gave them his. 

There is something to a marriage that is so much richer when we truly know one another's heart. A friendship can have endless graces and fulfilment when you know one another's heart. Even in parenting, to truly "know my kid's hearts" should be my mission as a mother. Because, they really really want to be "known". 

And lastly, to be truly known by God is the most "wonderful thing". To know that he knows more about me than I do is astounding. That is why God has more Grace for us then we do for ourselves sometimes.

So here's a challenge. How well do you really know the hearts of those around you? Who are we called to "know" more deeply? Who has God put in our lives to share life with? Do you know how they think, and what makes them tick? Something to ponder. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Religious vs. Grace Parenting.

There are three things most Christian parents desire for their children; that they be happy, healthy and holy. It seems simple enough, but the older kids get, the harder it is to force them to eat their greens, be nice to their siblings and read their bible.

When it comes to our children’s spiritual growth it can seem outright overwhelming. Where once sat an outspoken child full of enthusiasm and questions about God’s character, now sits a withdrawn, introspective, grouch who questions God’s actual existence.

This response to faith in our teens send us holy parents reeling into panic. We step into fear, fall into a lack of trust in God and succumb to a whole whack of crazy parenting, including religious parenting.

I’ve been guilty of being an over religious parent. Especially when my kids rebel I want to go into lock down and shove proverbs down their throat! It’s so tempting to raise our children under the law, cursing the world, pointing out their sins, expressing judgment on others as an example of what they shouldn’t do, constant criticism, hiding them under lock and key, instilling fear of them losing their salvation, focusing on works in the home and church and so on. Sound familiar?

This is when Jesus steps in and warns us of another form of bondage, religion. Did you know we can actually cause greater spiritual harm to our children raising them under the bondage of religion than if we left them to the wind?  The freedom Christ unselfishly died for needs to be extended to our children.

Moms and dads, even teachers and grandparents have such a God given responsibility to reveal the love of God to our children through grace and forgiveness, just as Jesus extended that to us. Don’t be like the pharises demanding our child be stoned for their rebellion but rather be like Jesus who showed love, grace, forgiveness and yes a little stern talking to.

I’m in no way downplaying discipline; discipline done in love is essential. However, what religion does is say that what they did was wrong -  therefore they as a person are fundamentally flawed and wrong. It is a constant reminder they don’t measure up. Grace and forgiveness says, that the behavior was wrong, but they are still valued and loved to the core of their God created being. Love really can cover a multitude of sins if we let it.

This article was originally published in City Light News March 2013

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Pondering Mother

I laid in bed last night thinking about when Jesus would have discovered He was the Son of God. Had he always known in his heart, did the prophets tell him when he was a child, or a teenager? I was thinking about how a child would grow into the knowledge that He was not like all the other kids. Was there angel visitations? The audible voice of God? Was he accidentally shooting off power at the age of 8 playing sticks with his cousin John?

I was pondering this idea, enjoying the mystery of it and then a few scriptures popped into my head.


(Jesus has just been born and the Angels are rejoicing and the Shepherd's visit the baby)

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:19


(Jesus goes missing for a day and Mary has been frantically searching for him when she finds him in the temple)

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:49


(Jesus is now an adult and performs his first public miracle) 

1The next daya there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. 3The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
4“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2: 1-4


So back to my pondering question as to when and how Jesus knew he was the son of God. 

I believe he knew this from birth because HIS MOTHER TOLD HIM!!!!!!

His mother, pondered these signs and wonders in her heart and from the moment He was born she spoke and sang to him, his purpose, his calling. Mary would have parented him with the sole purpose in mind that He was born t save the world. The fact that Jesus said to her, "my time has not yet come." suggests to me that they talked about this a lot. 
Perhaps Mary lost sight of it a bit as she panicked through the streets, imagining the worst. "I just lost the son of God!" but Jesus, at the age of 12, reminded his mother of who he was, so she pondered, and then realigned her focus helping him to "grow in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
Mary may have been anxious to show off her son, to reveal to the world who He was. Jesus may have rebuked her several times as a teen "Mom, stop talking about me with your friends, It's not time yet."
Thinking of this last night challenged me to ponder the calling on my own children's life. To seek God's heart for each one and help remind them who they are and who they belong to.
Thanks Mary for your pondering heart!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Should we legalize brothels in Canada?

The  government has issued a survey on whether or not Canada should legalize sex businesses, so to speak. 

AGAHST! Lord help us and our sons and daughters.

This is not freedom people, this is bondage! 

I was just reading 1Kings 20 this morning and it struck me how King Ahab quickly gave into the demands of his bully adversary Ben-Hadad, the King of Syria. 

This is my ad-lib - but please read 1 Kings 20 for yourself.

"Give me your gold, silver and your best looking wives and children!" he bullied

King Ahab replies, "sure okay, whatever just leave us a lone."

Ben-Hadad the bull headed King sends another message "Alrighty then, I'm coming tomorrow and I'm going to take all you said I could and whatever else I want"

Then the cowardly King Ahab realizes this isn't looking good for him, and they go to war. 

God steps in and saves the day, Of course, and Ben-Hadad comes back with his tail between his legs.

"Please don't kill me, I didn't mean to be bad, brother."

King Ahab relents and signs a treaty, "let's be friends"

God comes in “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’”  Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.
1Kings 20:42

CANADA - LET US NOT GO AROUND SIGNING TREATIES AND MAKING COMPROMISES AND DEALS WITH THE DEVIL. He will always come back for more, always and it will be our children and our children's children who suffer. Please pray this discussion never comes up again in Canada. 

Go to the survey and share YOUR VOICE.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Satan is a Spiritual Bully

I don't usually wear dark purple eyeshadow to church, but today I slathered it on. As I was pushing the brush hard onto my eye lids I said to myself "warpaint." I put on my biggest heaviest earrings and I said again to myself, "She-Ra, warrior princess!"

Before I dozed off last night I was praying for my pastors wife who was preaching today, for my pastor and friend ministering over seas, and for my friends and my family. Last night we were all attacked in some vicious way or another. All completely unrelated scenarios, all around the same time. I woke up at 12am with sheer anxiety and doom, it rattled me, and at the same time my daughter came in crying with a nightmare. (Not a coincidence!) It took me an hour to shake off the feeling and I woke up, after a highly disrupted sleep, to text messages about others who received major darts from the enemy last night.

So when I woke up this morning, I felt my self say "I'm getting really tired of these attacks, I'm not sure I can put up with it any more." That's when God came in and said "You don't have to!"

Darn right we don't!

When I was around the age of 14, my younger brother burst through the doors after school bawling his eyes out. He could barely talk. "There were these guys, and every time I cut through the park to get home from school, they attack me. Today they chased me all the way home."

I have always been a very mild tempered person, but I was ticked. "Where they at!?' I asked. "In the alley" my brother said.

 I marched out of my house down the street, through the park and to the alley, and sure enough there were those bullies, who happened to be a grade older than I was. I yelled after them "hey! You!!" They stopped and turned around. I marched in a giants pace, my ponytail swaying in the momentum, I grabbed the biggest guy by his shirt and looked into his eyes.


I'm not sure if it was my violently swinging ponytail, or my painted on BLUE eyeshadow that did it, but they apologized on the spot, walked away and never bothered my brother again.

So I put on my war paint again this morning, which was just an outward expression of my rage at the enemy on the inside and I marched into church.  WE DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS ANYMORE! I announced to as many people who would hear me. "We don't have to be intimidated, we don't have to avoid the alley, or expect an attack every time we step out into action, we don't!"

We have the authority to march into the enemies alley and demand HIM to go! And if we don't have all the strength ourselves to defeat him we have a big God that will clear the way!

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. LUKE 10:19

Friday, March 7, 2014

Trust God or Die

After three years growing my Mommy blog Virtuous Woman Exposed, I feel God is calling me to a different platform. I still plan on updating VWX for family, friends and faithful readers, but my waking, sleeping, and eating project will be this. A Voice with… me.

Letting go of 144,000 page views, and multiple subscribers, is equivalent to Jesus asking his disciples to lay it all down and follow him. I totally realize that having a new URL address is not the same as saying goodbye to your dying father and fishing boats, but I am saying goodbye to a beautiful blog and to an experience that opened many doors for me, gave me sanity, created lasting memories and filled my lonely hours as a mom. It's a part of me and my identity.

Over the last 6 months I have had so much more to say, that doesn't seem to fit into the mommy blog genre. Though the mommy blog is soooo me -  I have 5 children and I mother,a lot! 

But there is a HUGE, HUGE part of me, yes even greater than my desire to be a mom (AGHAST!) and that is my walk (run) with the Almighty.  I have a hard time talking about the Prophetic, or John the Baptist's humility, or what the Holy Spirit is saying now, next to a post on childhood vomiting, and cupcake recipes. 

I feel like God is moving, and HE is moving fast, and that we need to start running and grabbing hold of his robe WE CAN NOT  lose sight. I think God is wanting to speak to his children, almost more than ever before. There's an urgency, and the time is now. I want to create a blog where God's voice can be heard, where we are challenged to not become lukewarm Christians, to be challenged to be open to the NEW THING that God is doing and to set our eyes on him. 

This is risky for me, this is a TRUST GOD or DIE scenario.

We recently put our house on the market, we have been praying about it for years. I woke up in the morning a few weeks ago, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said "Change is Good" and through nothing short of the Hand of God, it sold that day. (it wasn't even listed). 

We were so excited, but then reality set in. The bank gave us a reality check, and the market did as well.  We have seen every possible house that could fit a family of 7 with a budget of a family of 4 and I have to say, there has been much panic.

This is risky, this is a TRUST GOD or DIE (homeless with teenagers who hate you because you made them live in a box in -30 weather because you wanted a bigger ensuit!)

We lay down what is past, we lay down what we have, what is great and good, for something that is God. So welcome, and I hope you will join me and even encourage me, as I step into this NEW THING. 

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. 
Isaiah 43,19