February 7, 2018

Changes to Our Living Room

Hi Friends!  We've been having a cold, white winter here in Michigan. I joked with a friend recently, who was hibernating like me, that we would just have to skype until Spring, because neither one of us wanted to venture out in this weather! Ha!

The last time I posted pictures of our living room, it was filled with blue and white toile and blue and white porcelain. But recently I decided to change it up and use a lot more neutrals. The nice thing is I didn't spend any money making these changes. They're all things I already had.

Oops! Except the two tables in each corner - they're new since I've posted! (new-used)
I put the jute rug that's been in the family room in here. I like the casual feeling it gives with everything else so romantic and feminine. I also like the neutral color.
I've had this coffee table for a couple of years. I found it at an indoor flea market and chalk painted it to match the end table that's in here.
The little cabinet on the left I found at my favorite used furniture store in Grand Rapids. It had kind of a funny paint job and so I gave it an update with chalk paint. I've moved it around a couple of times but if ends up staying here, I may paint it again. 
I've had a desk in this corner of the room for several years but I've liked this change.

I found this table on Craig's list. It's a reproduction but I love all the beautiful carving and curves. I left the finish and didn't paint it but it sure would be pretty painted to show off all the detail. 

This chaise was in our bedroom for a couple of years but I recently moved it here. I've really enjoyed having it in this room and often sit here in the mornings to read my Bible and drink my coffee. 
Or to enjoy a book in the afternoon. 
I got the art above the fireplace from Joss & Main a couple of years ago but could never find a frame for it. I found this one recently at Hobby Lobby. I've really been in love with these traditional gold frames lately and have been grabbing them when I find them. 

The love seat, chairs and chaise in this room I recovered with drop cloths. They were all bought at different times and had different mismatched fabrics. I unified them with paint and washable drop cloths.

I'm really enjoying the peaceful feel of this room after the busier feeling it had with all the blue and white.

And that's what's so nice about changing a few things. It feels like a whole new room.
I'm getting ready to repaint our family room. It's been a soft blue for several years and I'm going to start painting it "Antique White" by Sherwin Williams today. I'll try to post some of my progress on Instagram.

Have a warm Wednesday!

love and blessings~

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

love seat, chairs and chaise all bought second hand and recovered with drop cloth
coffee table and end table bought second hand and chalk painted
rug - HomeGoods 
fireplace screen - Amazon
pillows - home made
vase on coffee table - Joss & Main
candlestick on coffee table - Tuesday Morning
wooden bowl - HomeGoods
grandfather clock - second hand
art on fireplace - Joss & Main with HobbyLobby frame
gold candlesticks in corner - HomeGoods
mirror- Joss & Main
vase by mirror - HobbyLobby
candleabra - HomeGoods
cement angel - garden store many years ago
basket with wood - HomeGoods

January 5, 2018

Joyous 2018

Hello Sweet Friends!

I am blessed and unreasonably excited for this coming year! My hope is that you are, too. I'm praying that you are encouraging yourself in the Lord and committing your ways to Him. When we do this, He will cause our plans to become established and succeed according to His will.

I know that for some, it has been a hard year. It has been a hard season for me!

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those are called according to His purpose. (Don't forget the next scripture!) "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:28,29

I was coming home from a friend's house last summer when the Lord spoke to me. A group of us had been meeting weekly for Bible study, fellowship and prayer and we had spent the morning in prayer, declaring the truth of God's Word. The Lord told me I had been in a "Job season", that it was ending now, and I had succeeded in this season.  I was driving when the Lord spoke to me and I know I drove the rest of the way home in a daze.


I have always loved the story of Job. I know that sounds contrary. I have never loved all the tragedy that poor Job suffers~ obviously. What I do love is that the enemy has to ask God's permission to attack Job. We can always know that God keeps the enemy within a boundary that he cannot cross. And we can trust Romans 8:28, 29

So when God spoke this to me, I immediately understood that God had permitted this season to cause me to become more Christ-like.  I also believe that God is good all the time. That all His ways are perfect. Psalm 18:30

There has been a theology taught in the Body of Christ that Jesus bore all the affliction so that we don't have to. But when we look at the lives of the men and women of the Bible, we see over and over again, that they suffered because of the gospel. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Often time it's our weaknesses and sin that cause our afflictions. Remember Joseph and his pride as he shared his dreams with his brothers. But other times it's simply God's preparing us for what we are called to as He cleanses us from selfish ambition, pride, etc. and perfects our faith.  Remember Joseph being thrown into prison even though he was innocent. Remember what God was preparing Joseph for.

Remember Moses living in the wilderness for years before he comes back to declare, "Let my people go!" Remember Saul/Paul being blinded by the Glory of God. Remember Noah building a boat for one hundred years in the middle of a desert while he was mocked and scorned.

I don't believe that God ever makes anyone sick. That was paid for by the Blood of Jesus on the cross. But I'll admit, I had to rethink several of my beliefs as I reconciled this to God. I'll also admit that I would like to think that Job was an isolated incident. lol 

I think my Job season has lasted almost a decade. I wonder if I had done things differently if it would have been shortened. I honestly don't know. I certainly see my weaknesses and sin now. I see how I have reacted to adversity and see how much I need God in my life to change me and purify me. 

I want to give glory to God that even through this hard season, the Lord spared me so much.

1 Corinthians 15:46 talks about the natural things coming before the spiritual things. Very often, examples we see in the Old Testament of physical happenings are to give us understanding of spiritual things.  We see physical battles as examples of how to fight spiritually. I did not lose any family members or suffer physical loss. But the battle was very much against my mind and the things that God had called me to do. We all have to be cleansed of our fear of man to accomplish the things that God is requiring of us.

If you have been having a hard season, I want you to know that you're not alone. The hardest thing for me through this whole season was seeing others "doing well" and feeling alone. The truth is that from outward appearances, I looked like I was doing great. I have a confidence in the Lord and believe in speaking in faith and I was doing everything I knew to do.

It finally took me finding someone who I knew would understand for me to open up, confess my sin and wrong thinking, and ask for prayer.  And I believe that God provided that in His timing. Sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves before God can help us.

I want to add to this that God spoke the word "Rest" to me numerous times during 2017.  I had to learn to rest again. Hebrews chapter 4 talks about the 'rest' that is Christ. I believe there was a time in my life that I was resting in the Lord but as I entered this season, I began to question and become unsettled. It took months before I was able to lay it all down and rest and trust God; tell Him that I was nothing without Him and simply ask for help with nothing to contribute.

I am a warrior. But I was a little like "Don Quixote" swinging my sword at windmills.  I was tired.  This lack of rest as I battled in my mind was my Job season.

There were times I wanted to blog, and knew eventually I would again, but I also kept feeling like God was telling me to cover myself, protect myself, and rest.

So, I think I'm back. I always want to make decisions day by day with the Lord, allowing Him to continually correct my voyage. I hope to share lots of things this coming year that I've learned about Godly health, decorating and everything else we face in this life of joy in Him.

My word for the new year is "Praise/Joy"~ because they're really the same thing!

love and blessings~

Psalm 103

1Bless the Lord, O my soul,And all that is within me, bless His holy name.2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,And forget none of His benefits;3 Who pardons all your iniquities,Who heals all your diseases;4 Who redeems your life from the pit,Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;5 Who satisfies your years with good things,So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
6 The Lord performs righteous deedsAnd judgments for all who are oppressed.7 He made known His ways to Moses,His acts to the sons of Israel.8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.9 He will not always strive with us,Nor will He keep His anger forever.10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.12 As far as the east is from the west,So far has He removed our transgressions from us.13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.14 For He Himself knows our frame;He is mindful that we are but dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,And its place acknowledges it no longer.17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,And His righteousness to children's children,18 To those who keep His covenantAnd remember His precepts to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,And His sovereignty rules over all .20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,Mighty in strength, who perform His word,Obeying the voice of His word!21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,You who serve Him, doing His will.22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His,In all places of His dominion;Bless the Lord, O my soul!

October 10, 2017

The Apostolic Church

I believe that there is something wonderful happening in the Church right now; something that many of us have foreseen and prayed for. Many churches across our nation and world are already operating in this new wineskin, but many are still stuck in the old wineskin and having trouble understanding what’s happening.
Many have left the organized church, knowing that there is something wrong, and many have stayed in fear, afraid to come out from under this ‘covering. ‘
In a past blog, I shared a vision the Lord gave me about a year and a half ago. In this vision, we walked into a church that is in our community. I recognized the church. In my vision, the foyer was filled with joyful people, talking and fellowshipping. As we turned toward the sanctuary, we saw the door to the sanctuary was closed and there was a sign posted on the door that read, “Prayer and worship – Enter with reverence.”
As I walked into the sanctuary in this vision, I saw that all the people were sitting in a circle facing each other. There was a small group of musicians in the back corner, but everyone else sat in this layered circle. The room did not have a ‘front’ or a platform. There was a low murmur of prayer and worship going on. No one person was leading.
As I watched, someone got a Word from the Lord and gave a direction, and then everyone acted on it. There was prayer for a sick person and this person was healed. Then someone began to sing a song of worship and everyone followed. The musicians began to play and back up everyone singing. This continued the entire time as I watched.  The people flowed in and out of worship, in and out of prayer, each one sharing a Word and a revelation.
1 Corinthians 14:26  says, “…What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification…” 
I was very encouraged in the Lord after seeing this vision and felt the Lord was leading our family to attend this church. We had attended this church a couple of years earlier and when we returned, found out that the church was without a pastor. I was very interested, in view of what I had heard from the Lord, to see what was happening.
Almost a decade ago, I went through a very profound season with the Lord where He taught me that I was hearing Him. I always knew I heard the Lord, but in this season, He seemed to want to make sure that I really knew this, as He was preparing to tell me some things that would undo a lot of what I’d been taught in the church.
One of the things the Lord spoke to me in this season was that the Church had misunderstood the role of the gift of pastor.
Please hear my heart when I say this in no way makes small this wonderful and much needed gift in the Body, but as the Lord began to show me, we are not understanding the role this gift was intended to fill in the Church.
The word ‘pastor’ appears only one time in scripture in Ephesians 4:11 and is the fourth gift listed in the ‘five-fold ministry gifts.’  Some have taught that the gifts are listed in order of authority – apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.
How then have we put so much weight on this one gift?
In 1 Corinthians 12:28 it says, “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.” It goes on to talk about how each gift and part of the body is necessary to fulfill God’s purposes in the church.
When we look at the New Testament church, it seems that it was completely different than the church we see today. People met in their homes and as I understand it, would occasionally make arrangements for large groups to meet. It would have been much as I saw in this vision – people sitting in a room, letting the Holy Spirit lead, no one person leading.
As the Lord continued to speak to me in this season about a decade ago, He led me to read the book, “Pagan Christianity.” This is an eye-opening book about how we got from the ‘church of Acts’ to the church today. The shocking thing is that many of the influences that led to these changes were pagan. Including the role of pastor. It follows the pagan role of the priest.
The term ‘laity’ and ‘leadership’ is nowhere in the Bible in the way that we use it today. This again, has come from a pagan influence. The order of service, the platform or altar, the praise and worship leaders, the priestly garments, all come from pagan influence.
The rulers at the time were trying to make Christianity more appealing to the pagans and mixed in these things to make them more comfortable. This is how the birth of Christ got added on to the pagan holiday ‘Winter Solstice’ and resulted in Christmas. The Christmas tree, door wreaths, etc. are all from pagan religion.
Another wonderful book that has encouraged me in this last season and given me greater understanding is, “The Apostolic Church Arising.” by Chuck Pierce and Robert Heidler. I love this book because it has greatly confirmed what I felt the Lord putting in my heart.
Please hear what I’m saying. I’m saying the Lord gave me a vision and has been speaking to my heart and has confirmed the things He has told me through others. This follows the scriptural format of a prophet’s word being confirmed by two or three others. I’ve also shared what I felt with other prophets, who have also confirmed that they are hearing this from the Lord.
I understand that what I’m saying strongly contradicts a teaching in the current church.  This doctrinal teaching states that the Pastor is the ‘one’ to get the vision for the church and anyone who feels differently is in rebellion to authority. My heart is never to dishonor another. My heart is to pray for unity in the Body but to obey the Holy Spirit without fear of man.
The Body of Christ needs every member. The role of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher is to equip each member for ministry. Each gift is needed and has a function to accomplish what God is doing on the earth. In the pastor led church, this doesn’t happen.
In the apostolic church, the apostle has a strong administrative gift to coordinate the gift of others. The prophets, as well as others, receive direction from the Lord for the people. The prophet sees the ‘wilderness’ and speaks into it through prophecy and prayer, digging up the hard ground. The evangelist, as well as everyone, brings in new believers. Signs and wonders follow us as we operate in evangelism. The pastors (plural) shepherd the people and visit and pray for the sick and hurting. They counsel and disciple. The teachers, as well as others, share the truth of God’s Word.   Everyone is becoming equipped and moves in the gifts.
Everyone can also operate in these gifts -organizing, praying, prophesying, leading others to Christ, laying hands on the sick and healing them – everyone.
There is no platform. There are no worship leaders. As the Lord leads, we begin to get a hymn and a song. Everyone is free to hear from the Lord and learns how to. Everyone recognizes their importance to the Body and carries a responsibility to be obedient to the move of the Holy Spirit.
Under this old wineskin, the pastor has carried a heavy burden and we have seen the results of this time and time again. Pastors have become ‘burned out’ because they are carrying a load that they were never meant to carry. They neglect their families as they counsel others. They are spending an unreasonable amount of hours trying to meet the needs of the church. It leaves very little time for them to have a healthy relationship with the Lord. They become performance oriented. It's not easy being a one-man band.
Matthew 23:8 says, "But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is Christ." How then have we come to call these leaders "Pastor" and have been made to feel we are disrespectful if we don't address them in this way?
Some have thought this role of pastor is a ‘Moses’ anointing but let’s look at scripture. In Jeremiah, 31:31, the Lord talks about the new covenant that is coming.
"Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the Lord.  "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them and on their hearts I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Acts 2:17 quotes the prophet Joel, saying,
"'And it shall be in the last days,' God says,
'That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
 Even on my bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy."
These scripture that talk about what God is doing says that multiple people, men and women, will see visions and dream dreams. The everyone will hear the voice of the Lord.  It makes it clear that God values each member of the Body and they have a part to fill.
The church was never intended to be a place where you wore your best clothes and sat quietly week after week, being told what to think.  I am not saying that pastors don’t hear from God – they absolutely do – just as everyone in the Body hears.  But we need everyone to hear. We need the balance and perspective and wisdom of the Body.
The Lord gave me another vision more than a decade ago. I saw a pile of rubble; a building made of stone that had fallen to the ground.  The Lord spoke to me and said He was tearing down man’s church and in its place, He would build His Church. I believe that God is doing that right now.
It’s a hard transition for many and the enemy is taking this teaching of always being submitted to a pastor and using it to create fear. The Lord has compassion on these sheep but He is also strongly convicting them to break this old wineskin to obey the Holy Spirit.  There has been a shaking, a sifting and a sorting.
When the sorting is over, I want to be found obeying the Lord and operating in this 'new' wineskin. (It's really an old wineskin.)  I want to be gently bold, sharing what I hear the Holy Spirit saying, as He desires to break religious mindsets and set us free to operate in all that God has for us.
I have had several wonderful pastors over the years. They are gifted men of God, committed to serving God and people. I am not expressing any disapproval of these wonderful people of God. They were obeying the Holy Spirit in the way they felt God was leading. They have blessed my life in more ways than I can count and I thank God for their loving service.
But I believe with all my heart that the Lord in this season is bringing new revelation of His Word and His purposes. He is setting us free from deceptions and restrictions that have stopped the flow of the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, when the Church was operating in this order, thousands were coming to Christ daily. And that is His purpose – that the Holy Spirit would move through each one of us with love, and power, and the gifts of the Spirit, winning this world for Christ.

love and blessings~

PS- I haven't blogged in soooo long and have lots of catching up to do!