God is Fanning the Flames for 2012!

Wow, do I ever feel pumped up and ready to go into another new year!  I’ve had some years that began with me digging my heals into the ground and saying, “No, I don’t want it to come!  I can feel a bad year on the horizon!”  Last year, I just kind of coasted into 2011 as I was not well and I really didn’t care one way or another.  However, 2012 is different.  I am a woman on a mission for God!

For 28 years, I knew God had something for me to do in this life other than just my everyday stuff.  I have prayed, hoped, dreamed, stepped out, felt blessed, stepped back, tired out, and even at times gave up on things I felt God leading me to do.  Of all of the things I have chosen to do in my life, it is those things that are eternal for which I am the most passionate about following.  I find that when I tire out and give up, it’s typically when I wasn’t really doing what I was put on this earth to do even when it seemed so right at one point.  For when you are serving God as you should, the Holy Spirit fills you up daily with passion and purpose for the day’s work.

Today, of this I am sure.  God’s plan has got to be my plan if I want to have more than just a mediocre existence in this life.  I want to do God’s will.  I want to minister to those He puts in my path.  I pray that the time that I spend writing is for His good and will reach many.  I want to help others find Him in an intimate way as I have, in my years of walking with Him.

In my reading this week, Paul was signing a letter he wrote in Colossians 4:17-18 and his words just jumped off the page at me.  He said, “…Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.  This salutation by my own hand Paul.  Remember my chains.  Grace be with you. Amen.”

Here was Paul, sitting in prison with his hands bound by chains, encouraging others to finish strong.  If he can be so positive while in such a place of great turmoil in his own personal life, so can I.  As a matter of fact, so can you!  You see, God didn’t put us in this world for everything to be easy and go our way.  He put us here to find Him, get to know Him, share Him, and learn to serve Him.

He has given each one of us a ministry of some kind that He wants us to fulfill.  He doesn’t really need us to accomplish our tasks; but He has allowed us the privilege to walk with Him and serve Him in these ways He puts before us.  I want to be like Paul.  I want to be an encourager, even when times are tough.  When I am down and out and bound by things of this world, I want The Holy Spirit to shine through me in a way that others will still want what I have.  I want to be victorious and faithful to the end, despite my circumstances.

Our pastor preached today on being either hot or cold and not lukewarm.  I want to be hot, Hot, scorching HOT for Jesus in 2012!  What about you?  Where is your walk in life taking you?  Have you asked God to show you where He wants you serving in 2012?  If not, take the time today to quiet your world before the hustle and bustle of the new year begins.  Shhhh…I can hear Him, can’t you?  He’s saying, “Keep praying so that I can keep you up on the latest details of what I need from you. Keep searching because sometimes My ways are not always obvious to a human mind.  Keep watching for where I am at work and come join Me when You see Me. My heart longs for you to know the blessings only I can give as you learn to serve Me.”

Well, I really don’t know if that’s what He’s saying to you…I just made that up!  It’s a Christian blog…I can’t lie!  The fact is, what He’s saying to me is probably not what He’s saying to you.  However, I do know Him well enough to know that He loves us.  He desires for us to have an intimate walk with Him while on this earth, reflecting His mightiness in the lives we live.

So how are your plans for 2012 looking?  Are you going to be hot, Hot, scorching HOT for Jesus this year?  What ministry has God given you to fulfill?  Can you conjure up just even a little bit of Paul’s faith and optimism even when times are tough? Are you ready to confidently claim the Holy Spirit’s power over you as you serve God this upcoming year in mightier ways than your mind can conceive?  I’m ready.  Bring on 2012!  Let’s run hard, act wisely, and let’s finish strong because that’s what God would want us to do.  We are His witnesses…let’s show His stuff in 2012!  God’s fanning the flames…is yours lit yet?


Dreaming Big Doesn’t Hurt, But Not Dreaming Might…What’s Your Dream?

As we are nearing the end of one year and heading towards the beginning of a new one, many will find themselves taking the time to reflect on this past year.  Have we followed our passions and dreams or did we allow life to get in the way and crowd them out?  Do we still even have the fire and passion to pursue some of those dreams we once had in our younger years?  Perhaps you feel that you have no choice right now other than to just survive and stay above water; let alone be able to pursue a dream right now.

One of the courses I took in college was designed to help us find our passion and/or purpose in life.  I found the process fascinating and when I finished the course over 5 years ago, I was inspired once again to write a book.  As most of you know, I have always wanted to write and be an inspirational speaker, but it just seemed that every time I tried, nothing happened.  That all changed last fall when I began writing my first book, Just Trying to Be a BlessingAll of a sudden the stories and lessons I had learned in my life just started to flow onto the pages and before I knew it, I had a book! I was almost thinking I would never get it done and it’s hard to believe it is really happening.  Have you had an ongoing dream like me that seemed like it was never going to become reality?

Knowing my book will soon be here, I was recently asking people on Linked-In what worked best for them when it came to promoting their writings.  One man told me I should get a copy of a book from John Maxwell called Putting your Dreams to the Test.  In that book, John talks about some who are only dreamers while others actually do what it takes to make their dreams reality.  That made me stop and think about how committed I am at this point to make my dreams reality.  I no longer want to talk about them; I want to be living them.  I love the fact that the book is almost out and I have begun on book #2.  I’m even more excited that I am also finally getting the opportunity to share as a speaker!  It’s only been a 25 year old dream that is finally becoming a reality now!

God says in His Word, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” in Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV).  He made each one of us with purpose and with passion.  Have you ever met one of those people who from the minute they could talk, knew what their purpose in life was and followed it out from that point every breathing moment of their life?  I stand back and am amazed each time I encounter one of those people. As a person with A.D.D., God knew He couldn’t give me one purpose that long ago and expect me to stick to it throughout my entire lifetime.  First of all, if he gave me this purpose at a young age, by the time I got to 50 years old and He was ready to make this new thing happen, I would have never remembered what it was I was supposed to be doing!   Secondly, He has to mix it up for those of us with A.D.D. or we get bored!

I think our purpose and passion sometimes changes according to the season of life we are in at any given time.  There was a time when raising my children felt like my main purpose and passion.  Now that they are raised, God seems to have given me new direction as well as He is continuing to fan the flames on some older dreams that I just haven’t gotten around to yet.    Unlike the childhood prodigies that follow their life’s purpose beginning just after their first step, most of us probably fit more into this category of various changes throughout their lifetime.  Some might refer to them as our seasons of life.

One of the people in history that I really admire is Abe Lincoln.  Abe was an entrepreneur like me and he seemingly never gave up despite tremendous adversity that he faced year after year.  Jim laughs at me when I get another idea as he knows it will take me down a path for a while where sometimes I win and other times I will lose.  To be honest, I have more losses than wins with my life’s endeavors.  When I do feel like I’ve lost another one, I once again think about Abe and am reminded that great people didn’t do great things without a whole lot of struggle through the not so great tries along the way.

My life’s purpose seems to be doable—what about yours?  God hasn’t asked us to die on a cross and carry everyone’s burdens.  Nor has He put us on the earth without the Power of the Holy Spirit to get us through that which He has asked us to do.  All He has asked is that we find our purpose, follow our passion and let Him do the rest.  Do you have a dream?  Is there something you dreamed about doing many years ago and gave up on it thinking it would ever happen?  Spend time in prayer and ask God to show you the purpose He has for you this upcoming season.  We have a new beginning on January 1, 2012.  What are we going to do to make our dreams become reality?  The fact is dreams will only be dreams if we let them.  Dreams becoming reality require purpose, planning, passion and the tenacity to follow through even when we fail the first time…and maybe the fifth time…and the eleventh time…you get the point.

Thank goodness Jesus never gave up.  I am also very grateful Abe Lincoln didn’t give up either.  Next December, I want to be saying, “Thank goodness you and I didn’t give up.  Look at what God has done in 2012 through us!”  Keep in touch and let me know what dream/dreams you are pursuing for 2012 and keep me posted on how God is bringing you through!

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:21 (NKJV)

I have to make a plug since it is somewhat related to this topic.  Please bear with me and keep reading!  Not related to my book, God is also opening doors for speaking engagements so that I can tell other women about my relationship with Christ and share my personal testimony as a speaker with Stonecroft Ministries.  If you are local and would like to hear me speak, I will be in Cincinnati on Jan 19, Middletown on Feb 6 and North Dayton on Feb 7.  I would love to include you in the audience one of those days.  Email me with your contact information and I will make sure you get an invitation from the coordinators of the events.  Sorry guys, these groups are for women only.  Feel free to invite me to your church groups though if you’d like!  I love to share God’s goodness whenever I can!