February 28, 2016

Update on Our Master Bedroom

For the last month or so, I've been working on our master bedroom. It's not done yet...in fact, the features that I'm really looking forward to are not even started yet but I thought I'd show you all the changes so far, because the room looks really different.

I started by scraping the popcorn texture off of our ceiling and painting the ceiling and walls. 
I painted the walls with my sponge roller using Valspar 'Natural' and a little bit of  SW Deer Valley, giving them an uneven finish replicating Venetian plaster.  I painted the ceiling with just the Valspar 'Natural.'
This wool rug, from Royal Palace, used to be in our family room. I'm really glad I held on to it because it's exactly what I want in here now. I love the romantic feel it has and it has the perfect color of blue mixed in with the golds and roses.

The bedspread and pillow shams are from Overstock.com.  I love the weave of the bedspread and the romantic lines. I have our down comforter under it to give the rounded look.
It looks a little white in these pictures but it's a soft cream color.
These are the chairs from our living room.  They won't be staying in here but I brought them up to see what I wanted here. I like the neutral color and the style and will be keeping my eyes open for something similar to put in here.

I made the draperies out of a faux silk in Bluestone that I purchased at Warehousefabrics.com.  I lined them with a cream polyester and was surprised how light (as in not weighty) the finished draperies were. I made them long enough to puddle even when they're pulled back.  I wanted them to feel like a ball gown.

I still need to hang the mirror above our dresser.  I'm waiting until we get our 'beams' put up.  I've stained a dozen 8' long 2x4's and we're putting them up where you'd usually put crown moulding. They'll follow the slope of the ceiling and go all around the room at the top of the walls.
I found a fabric that I loved to make an abundance of throw pillows for the bed.  I ordered two yards and then received an email saying I had to order a minimum of five yards, so I'm deciding what to do.
I'm disappointed because I loved the color and pattern and thought it tied everything together nicely and brought the blue onto the bed. I've also ordered lots and lots of trim.
This is the same fringe that I trimmed out our pillows in the living room with.

Here's a picture of our bedroom before. I liked it but it wasn't as French as I would like. One of these chairs is now in our guest room and I'm planning on putting the other one in the basement. The color works perfectly in those rooms and I don't want to make new slipcovers for them.  I've given the rug and the draperies that were in here to our daughter.
This is also an old picture.  We're planning on putting double doors on this doorway to the bathroom, using a barn-door system.
I'm planning on painting the doors a distressed blue, similar to this picture.
This will add to the rustic romantic feel that I want in here.

So except for making a lot of throw pillows, my part is done. I've order the barn door system from Amazon and it's on its way. I'll buy the doors this week and get them painted. All the boards for the moulding are stained and ready for when my husband gets a chance to put them up.

We haven't done anything on our bathroom yet but now that winter is leaving, I'm going to try again to get some estimates.  

I've been working on some other small projects and will be back with those soon!

love and blessings~
"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12
Bedspread and shams - Overstock.com
curtain fabric and trim - warehousefabrics.com
rug - QVC, Royal Palace about 12 years ago
chairs - second hand
blue damask fabric for pillows - decorativefabricsdirect.com

I'm joining these parties:

February 27, 2016

What's In a Name?

It has always fascinated me when I read that God assigned Adam with naming all the animals.
Because I believe that their name decided a lot of their characteristics.

Man has yet to discover all the animals that there are on the earth.  Every year they find a new type of spider that they've not named or a new creature that lives deep in the ocean.

If you've ever watched any of these documentaries, there are so many different species of animals on the earth and such a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

God has such a wonderful imagination - or did Adam?

Adam was created in God's image and therefore, is a creative being.  Was it the name that Adam gave the animals that decided that the giraffe would have such a unique pattern and a tall neck?  That the elephant would have such 'cute' feet, floppy ears and a long nose?  How much authority did Adam have over the earth where God placed him?  The Bible tells us that God gave the earth to man. (Psalm 115:16)

If you've ever looked up the meanings of the names of the people in the Bible, it's a study all in itself. Do you know what your name means and what your children's names mean?

If you think about it, we 'declare' their name over them thousands/millions of times in their lives. What are we calling them?  Does their name have an impact on who they are?

I think it does. I believe that God names every single child. Even those that don't believe in God. He puts a name on their parent's heart and it's the name He has decided for this child. (*I want to edit this statement. My daughter reminded me of situations where God probably had nothing to do with the name some parents gave their children. So thinking about it more, if parents don't seek God for a name for their child, does that name have an impact on that child? I think it does. And there are several examples in the Bible of God changing a person's name when they entered into covenant with Him. Abram-Abraham, Sarai-Sarah, Saul-Paul)

Because He knows every talent, every ability, every calling and potential that He has put in their life. And of course, one or two names can't cover everything, but it certainly is important.

My husband and one of my sons names are Mark.  Mark means 'warrior.'  And they both certainly demonstrate leadership abilities.

Several years ago I was selling real estate when I told someone laughingly that my husband and son were named Mark, my boss was named Mark, three of my clients were named Mark and a dear friend's husband was named Mark.  They replied, "God has surrounded you with warriors!"

Whenever a name surges into popularity, I pay attention to what it means. What characteristic is God bringing into the world 'for such a time as this'?

The name 'Linda/Lynda' means 'pretty or beautiful.'  I had a friend many years ago that was a bit of a tomboy and teased me about being 'girly.'  She told me one day that her daughter 'Lindsay' is "Just like you!" and when she started to try to change that, the Lord stopped her, saying, "I made her that way!" Lindsay is a derivative of the name Linda.

Different variations of the names Kayla, Katelynn and Katherine have been very popular for years. They all mean 'pure.'  My middle name is Kay, which also means 'pure.'  I love knowing what my name means - Beautiful Pure.  It's a lot to live up to! :)

So God brought an interesting thought to me the other day.  I was thinking about the 'spirit of Joshua', the 'spirit of Moses' - you know...how people always say 'there's a spirit of someone on them' - and I was wondering if that was true.  Isn't every individual's spirit unique and does God put a 'spirit of someone' on us?  (Joshua means Jehovah Saves and Moses means Pulled out of the Water)

And God brought me this question, "How much do we determine who we are and how much is determined by God?"

God gives us the potential but how much of what we decide determines how far we will go on this journey God has for us?

I believe that when we receive a prophetic word, which is kind of what a name is, our obedience is what determines how far we will go and whether or not it will come to pass.  We cannot just lay down and wait for God to make it happen.  We are a co-creator in this thing.  The earth was given to man.

And your life was given to you.

A few years ago, I had an assignment from the Lord.  When I started down the path, I didn't know it was an assignment.  I was just following God as best I knew how. And then I found myself in the middle of a battle.  I continued to seek God and lay down my life as He was telling me and obey specifically what He was showing me to do. After about a year of intense battle, the Lord showed me scroll.  I saw it unroll and on it was a 'things-to-do list.' Everything on the list had a check mark next to it.  As I watched, the Lord marked off the last thing! I knew that I had obeyed the Lord in everything He had told me for this assignment and that this assignment was over.

I believe that every obstacle you overcome, every wound you decide will make you stronger, every person you forgive, every dream you determine to make a reality, every single thing that you lay down before God and submit your will to His - every single thing, takes you closer to fulfilling the calling on your life.  Every single thing takes you closer to "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest."

God is using His people to change the world - one assignment at a time.  Never despise the small beginnings. Never think that you're not doing much as you share Christ with just one person. It's these small assignments that add up.  Be humble and faithful in the little things.  We each have 'a garden' to tend. If we do well with our small garden, it grows.

We change the world one assignment at a time.

photo credit: Royaltyfreeclipart

February 18, 2016

You Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!

Every one of us has a calling from God.  Every one of us has the potential to do something wonderful to change the world.

Every one of us that is born-again has a 'seed' in us, that when it's cultivated with Living Water and fed with the Word, can grow into a mighty force to change the world for righteousness.

Every single one of us.

Well, you might say, "There was only one Joseph...one Moses...one Joshua."  1 Corinthians 15:46 says, "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual."  

Every single story in the Old Testament points to Jesus, the Saviour.  Every hero in the Old Testament was a physical example of a spiritual truth. Some have called it, the 'spirit of Moses, the spirit of Joseph, the spirit of Joshua' and I think if you look at 1 Corinthians 15:46, you can see how that would be true.

Joseph rose to a place of authority in a pagan world by humbling himself before God. He overcame a lot of obstacles before he reached the goal God had for him.  Moses set God's people free from bondage and led them in the wilderness, interceding on their behalf before God. He overcame a lot of obstacles before he reached the goal God had for him. Joshua took God's people across the Jordan river into the Promised Land. He overcame a lot of obstacles before he reached the goal God had for him.

Today, we're still called to do the same things.  Every single one of us. We will have to overcome a lot of obstacles before we reach the goal that God has for us.  Every one of these obstacles will cause us to either grow... or shrink back. We will either be an over-comer or we will shrink back and decide the road is too hard. The choices we make is what will make the difference.  

Because of the choices we make, some will greater realms of authority than others.  

In other words, God has given you a garden to tend. Compare it to the Garden of Eden. God gives us authority over a small area. If we are faithful in tending this small area, our area expands. It's a simple thing to understand that God is looking for those who will faithfully attend to the small things that He has given them so that He can expand their territory and save the lost. He's hoping we'll grow in our maturity, our faithfulness and our faith, and we'll begin to affect more people for righteousness.

The more humble we are, the more He knows He can give us authority. He more discreet we are with the secrets He tells us, the more things He begins to confide in us. The more we bless people as they persecute us and treat us hatefully, the more He knows we can handle bigger things.

Don't let the enemy lie to you and tell you that you are called to 'small' things.  Every single one of us is capable, in Christ, of doing mighty things.  Because it's Christ in us.  If we give Jesus control over lives and let Him do what He wants to do. The difference is; Will we submit our wills, our pride, our reputations to God?

Every one of us has received criticism.  If we've ever stood up for Jesus in any way, we've probably received criticism for that. Every one of us has been hurt. What we do with that hurt will determine what will happen next.

If we choose to forgive and bless and really love, we graduate on to the next level.  Because we need to understand that the next level only gets more criticism. The more people you have in your realm of influence, the more opportunity for criticism.  

I remember hearing Beth Moore, whom I just love, tell a story about getting an email from a lady who was criticizing Beth for getting her nails done. And poor Beth was defending herself and telling everyone how she takes her books with her and studies while getting her nails done!  Beth gets to have her nails done if she wants to! How sad that anyone would criticize her for this when she's doing so much to help others. But that's how the enemy is. He will use any tactic to make us feel ashamed or self-conscious or to hurt us.  

And sometimes he will catch us unaware and we take a hit straight to the heart.  

But we don't have to. We can abide in the shelter of the Most High. The closer we stay to God, the harder it is for the enemy to hurt us. God will protect us. He will strengthen our boundaries. He will heal our wounds so that even if the enemy shoots an arrow, we are able to recognize the weakness in others and it doesn't hurt us.

Every child dreams of big things. Every child dreams of flying and conquering and being mighty. They dream of dancing and singing and soaring. Even in our fallen state, before we are redeemed, that dream of who God has made us to be, is there.  

As we get closer to  God, our dreams change from 'US' being the star, to Him being glorified. But the amazing thing about God is that He makes us look so good! Some say He won't share His glory, but when He sees one of His children that truly wants to give Him glory, He really makes them look good.

Dream big! Dream of changing lives for Jesus! Dream of setting hundreds and thousands and millions free in Jesus! Because there are hundreds and thousands and millions of people out there who need Him. You don't have to go to a foreign country and be a missionary. Your next door neighbor might not know Jesus. The person next to you on the church pew may not actually know Jesus.  But they're seeking and you have an opportunity.

And the Word says to make the most of every opportunity. Start small. Be faithful. And let Jesus live BIG in you!

love and blessings~

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well."  Psalm 139:14

February 13, 2016

Laughter is Good Medicine

From the tone of my posts you might imagine that I'm a pretty serious person.  And I am very serious about serving God. But I also love to laugh.

You would never survive being around our family without a sense of humor. And I have a serious flaw in my personality - I say things that I think are funny before I realize that I might make someone feel bad. My daughter has inherited my sense of humor and has this flaw also. She and I get along wonderfully and almost every conversation that we have has a moment of laughing so hard we can't breathe - but not everyone gets us. Ha!  We have each other.

Several years ago I found myself in spiritual battle. It was a very hard season and I was experiencing a lot of hurt and rejection. I was at a women's weekend conference and was in worship when I began to laugh. Laugh uncontrollably.

This was not a good situation.  There were some people in the church that were unhappy with my ways of worship - raising my hands, dancing, kneeling, shouting. And now I was in the front row - laughing - laughing uncontrollably - during praise and worship.

I clamped my hands over my mouth and got down on my knees, putting my face towards the floor. And shook with laughter.

Psalms 126:2 says, "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them." and Proverbs 17:22 says, "A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones."

Very honestly, I had never had anything like this happen before but I knew it was the Holy Spirit. As I laughed, I got stronger. My heart began to heal and I felt 'fortified.'

Later, I read a testimony by Cindy Jacobs. She was with a group of believers and they were praying for a little girl who was gravely ill. She was not expected to live. And as they were praying, Cindy was overcome with laughter!  She was horrified and who wouldn't be?  Here she was praying for a little girl who might be dying and she was laughing. And as she laughed, the little girl was completely healed!

I know some of you out there may have heard of the laughing that has happened with different ministries. I've heard of it, too. And I am not supporting or criticizing anyone that's been a part of this. I can't judge it. And neither can you. But I know that since having this happen the first time, it has happened often to me.

When the Holy Spirit's Presence comes on me, I almost always cry.  Yeah, I'm a crier. I just get overwhelmed with the goodness and beauty of God. But since the first time this happened, there is almost always a little laughter mixed in with the tears. There's been times that I'm sure I look like a crazy woman!  I've learned to live with it - lol!

I was with a group of about 40 believers one night at a church and it came on me in a big way. I was among 'friends', people who get me, so I just let it flow. And I lay on the floor for an hour, laughing. People started coming over and touching me and then they would begin to laugh, too. It's my idea of a good party.

When the Holy Spirit came to the earth on The Day of Pentecost (Acts Chap 2) many thought those that had received it were drunk.  Ephesians 5:18 tells us not to be drunk with wine but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Some translations say, "but be drunk in the Spirit".  I'm always tempted to ask those that quote this verse as a stand against wine - "But have you ever been 'drunk' in the Spirit?" because that's part of this verse. There's an exhortation here to be drunk in the Spirit.

I have a dear friend, whose walk with the Lord and discernment I really respect, who became very offended one night when someone began laughing. We had come to the service together so I was really happy in that moment that it wasn't me. (Sorry, Lord.)  Because I truly never want to be ashamed of what God is doing! And I never want to quench the Holy Spirit and stop what He is doing. And He gets to do what He wants. And who knows what this woman was going through.  God knew. And she laughed for a long time. I understood and I was a little envious.

Luke 10:21 says that, "He (Jesus) rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit.  This word 'rejoiced' literally means that Jesus twirled and danced and laughed.

If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me!

love and blessings~

February 12, 2016

New Lamps and a Little Blue and White

When I first refinished this cabinet in our entry a few months ago, I wanted some beautiful French candlestick lamps that I found on line.  They were on sale but by the time I was ready to order them, they were full price.  I figured I would wait until they went on sale again.
At Christmas, my husband and I made a shopping run down to Grand Rapids and stopped in at our favorite used furniture store.

I was amazed to spot a set of lamps - exactly like the ones I had wished for!  And they were $20 a piece!
They were a tarnished gold brass and they had creepy shades but for $40 I was happy!
I used two colors of chalk paint right over the brass to get an uneven finish.  Then I lightly sanded them to let a little of the gold shine through.  I bought these lamp shades at Lowe's here in town.

I mentioned in my last post that I had added to my blue and white collection.  I found this ginger jar at HomeGoods along with the little garden stool.

I added a silver footed tray on top of the dresser to drop keys or set your coffee on as you're going out the door.

It won't be spring in Michigan for a long time yet but this room feels fresh and bright and I love that.

I also want you to know that as I'm editing these pics, I can hear my 6'4" son in this room practicing his dribbling and watching himself shoot in this mirror. *sigh*  So if anything's missing the next time I show you this room, it might have been 'killed' by a basketball!

Have a great day!

love and blessings~

"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12

I'm joining these linky parties:

Increasing Your Faith (Part Two)

If you have not read, "Increasing Your Faith - Part One" yet, please read yesterday's post.  

As I shared yesterday, to know God, we first need to know His Word.  He and His Word are One. His Word establishes a 'boundary' in our hearts and minds as to the character and nature of God.  

As we spend time in His Word, we begin to recognize God's voice. (John 10:27) His Word begins to rise up on the inside of us and lives. His living Word begins to easily expose the lies in our mind and thought-life that disagree with His Word and then we tear them down with the truth of God's Word.

And as we begin to get a picture of Who God is, the natural outcome is love and praise.  Praise and thanksgiving begins to rise up on the inside of us. We begin to praise Him for Who He is and thank Him for what He's done..

Praise is declaring Who God is!  The Seven Hebrew Words for Praise. Praise comes out of our mouth and is expressed with our bodies. Praise causes us to sing, to raise our hands, to dance, and to shout. Praise is not praise until it comes out of our mouth. Our hearts may be filled with all kinds of good thoughts toward God but that's not praise.  Again, praise is not praise until it comes out of our mouth.

I love the words to Matt Redman's song, "Dancing Generation."

"Your mercy taught us how to dance
To celebrate with all we have
And we'll dance to thank You for mercy

Your glory taught us how to shout
To lift Your name in all the earth
And we'll shout to the praise of Your glory

It's the overflow of a forgiven soul
And now we've seen You, God

And our hearts cannot stay silent!!

And we'll be a dancing generation
Dancing because of Your great mercy, Lord
Your great mercy, Lord"

It's the overflow of a forgiven soul and now we've seen you God...and OUR HEARTS CANNOT STAY SILENT!!  That's praise!

Praise is the guy at the football game with no shirt on, his chest painted and a cheese on his head. Praise is the woman who answers the door and finds out she won a million dollars and can't quit rejoicing.  Praise is being so overwhelmed by the goodness of God that you can't contain it. Praise is finding out that even though you deserve to spend eternity separated from God that He paid the price and you get to spend eternity with Him!

Hebrews 4:16 tells us to 'come boldly into the throne room.'  That word 'boldly' means 'with confidence.'  Confidence born of faith. Confidence that comes from knowing we're forgiven and washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Confidence that comes from knowing that Our Father loves us and gave up His life for us so that we might have perfect fellowship with Him.  

He wants us to come into the throne room!  He wants us to spend time with Him. We were created to praise Him and fellowship with Him! If anything is stopping you from doing this, go back and destroy that lie with the Word! If there's habitual sin in your life, give it to Him - put it under the blood and destroy the guilt with the truth of His forgiveness.  Get washed clean with the Word.

God wants us to KNOW Him. This word does not mean that we know everything about God.  He is infinite.  It means 'to know' someone like a bride knows her husband. It means 'to be intimately acquainted with.'  This word means 'to intercourse' with God.

The Bible says that marriage is a mystery that is an illustration of the Bride of Christ and Jesus, the Head of the Church.  Ephesians 5:32  

We are to be the intimate Bride of Christ. When we come before God with praise, His Presence is drawn to us. James 4:8 says that when we draw near to God, He draws near to us. As we begin to get lost in His Presence, we enter into worship.  In this place of worship, Spirit touches spirit, and we are satisfied and made whole.  We cannot be made whole without this intimacy with God.

It's in this Holy of Holies that we are transformed into His likeness. We are changed from glory unto glory unto glory as we behold Him. (2 Cor 3:18)  It's in this place that He fills our hearts with His Love and His Nature and we become Christ-like. It's in this place that He speaks to us and makes His heart known to us.

When I get up in the morning, I don't have a 'quiet-time.'  I don't DO devotions. I come before God with praise. I enter into the Presence of God through praise and I worship Him. That's not to say that I'm never quiet before God.  I'm often quiet before God - after I get into His Presence.

I typically get my Bible, (a cup of coffee), my journal and pen.  I turn on praise and worship music. And I go to God with praise.

Sometimes when I enter into worship, God will speak something to me that I need to write down. Other times He will show me something in His Word. Sometimes He will 'download' revelation and understanding into my heart.  He will show me visions and pictures of people.  He shows me how to pray.

Sometimes, God will direct me to 'declare' the things He's telling me. At times, I will become overwhelmed with the victory that God is showing me and I have to dance and shout and wave a banner. (This is spiritual warfare - following God's direction and speaking His Voice into the earth... praising God with dance and banners that summon the angels to do God's warfare. I'll try to share some teachings with you on this in the future and the language of color.) 

It's in this place with God that I get healed and restored and washed. God convicts me of sin and I ask His forgiveness and He empowers me to change, to repent. I can't change myself just because I decide to - that's humanism. And it doesn't work.  I need God to change me on the inside. I need God to judge me and correct me and to empower me.  I need God.  I need God, the person!  

I need on-going, life-changing encounters and intercourse with the One Who created me.  It's through these encounters that I begin to understand who He created me to be and I begin to walk in it. 

And that's faith! 

I have gone through seasons and times in my thirty-some years with the Lord when I have not been faithful to do this. And I get weaker. I stop growing.  I become stagnant.  But when I set my heart to seek Him and do what I  know to do, He is always faithful!  He always receives me and restores me and sets me free. He has restored the years the locust have eaten.  He has set me on a rock and I cannot be shaken. He has taken me out of the pit and put me in a wide-open place.  

If I need healing, I often receive it, just by being in His Presence.  Spending time with God will cause all the gifts of the Spirit to rise up in you.  You will become sensitive to His leading all day long. You will hear His voice and His direction.  God will drop things down into my Spirit during the day as I'm doing the laundry. Sometimes the things He will give me during the day are so huge that I will have to drop to my knees next to the washing machine and thank Him and praise Him again.

This is abiding in Him.  This is seeing the world through His eyes and knowing with confidence that He has heard me and is answering my prayers.

This is walking by faith and not by sight.

love and blessings~

February 11, 2016

Increasing Your Faith (Part One)

If we're following Christ, most of us want to increase our faith. Faith is active. Faith does action. Faith does works. Faith lays hands on the sick and sees them healed.  Faith shares with others and sees them born again.  Faith transforms lives.

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is the substance that God created the universe from.  Faith is a substance that goes out from us and changes the world. Our faith, based in God's truth, changes our environment for righteousness.

So, how do we increase our faith?  The Word says that 'Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.'  Romans 10:17

The first step is to renew your mind in the Word of God.  This takes an act of your will.

When I rededicated my life to Christ in my 20's and was filled with the Holy Spirit, I spent every available minute in the Word of God.  I worked full-time and commuted on the bus a half hour into Denver. I would read my Bible on the way to work and on the way home every day. I carried my Bible everywhere I went. I spent my evenings reading the Word and praying.

I spent my lunch hours reading if I didn't have other plans.  I formed a Bible study with a small group at work so that we could talk about God.  I was in love with Jesus. And when you're in love with someone, you want to spend every minute getting to know 'your love.'  God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is a being and I wanted to KNOW Him!

I ended every day with 'Prayers That Avail Much', meditating and speaking scripture over myself.  I began to think like God.  I began to get an image of God and to establish a 'boundary' of Who He is. I began to see myself in the light of His Word.

I attacked every doubt and worry, every thought that I had that was contrary to the truth of God's Word, with His Word - the Sword of His Word.  Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."  This means that the Word of God will show us clearly the difference between our perfect spirit of God that lives in us and our soul/thought life, which is imperfect.  We want our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) to line up with our spirit (the Holy Spirit which lives in us).

2 Corinthians 10 says that we are to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.  We examine every thought against the plumb line of God's Word and destroy every thought that is in opposition with the Word of God.  You have to work at it.  You have to set your will to think like God. And you can't think like God if you don't know His Word.  He and His Word are one.

When outside ideas and philosophies come to you, you begin to recognize that they disagree with God and you reject them. You give them no place. Again, this is an act of your will. You set your heart to think like God.

There is a principle in God's Kingdom that says 'to get something into your heart, first you have to speak it.'  In other words, to get faith on the inside, you need to meditate on the Word of God by speaking it out loud.  When I read the Word, I will often pause and turn it around to first person and speak it over myself.

For example, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  I speak out loud, "Thank You, God, that you made Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin for me, so that I might become the righteousness of God!"  Then I spend a while saying, "I am the righteousness of God, through Christ Jesus!"  A mind-boggling thought!  But that's what the Word says.  And as you do this, you begin to see yourself differently.

And the Word gets down inside of you, to your inner-man, and faith is born!

You can't fake faith. True faith quiets your soul. It gives you confidence. It can't be shaken. Once faith is born, it takes no effort to believe God for something. As you begin to know the character of God, it's easy to believe that He wants to bless you and strengthen you and heal you.

When lies from the world and the enemy come to you, they never touch you. Your shield of faith causes them to bounce off.  They are never even considered.

I believe it slanders the Name of God to say that He would ever want someone to be sick or hurting. It's not His character.  He is good, all the time!

If you had good parents, you trusted them to always love you, always receive you, always help you, always want the best for you.  As you get to know the character of God, you know that He always wants you to have 'LIFE and LIFE more abundant!'  Your faith rests in that knowledge.

God wants us to know Him intimately.  He does not want us to have faith that He is real.  He wants us to be established and fixed in Him and His Word and to use our faith to change the things around us for His glory.

Next post - Increasing Your Faith (Part Two)

love and blessings~

February 10, 2016

Faux Rustic Wood in our Living Room and Dining Room

Hi All!

Sorry to be gone for so long!  I have been writing a lot lately as well as working on our master bedroom.

I've scraped the popcorn off our ceilings in the master bedroom and I have the walls painted.  I'll give you all the details of that when the bedroom is done.  I still have several things to do and was held up waiting for a tool I needed.

So while I waited, I worked on a few small projects. I repainted the shutters in our living room and dining room.  If you remember, they were a French blue.
I also painted the trim above the windows and this support beam that goes across this room, making them look like old rustic wood.  I used two color of brown paint - a tan and a chocolate - and a nifty roller I got from Amazon that creates a wood grain.
I hadn't planned on taking pictures today but the sun came out for the first time in weeks and so I ran around quickly and got a few shots.  I didn't notice until I was done that I have some boards sitting in the window.  I'm planning on cutting some pieces and covering up the wide, white moulding between the windows.  They can't be painted. 

Here's a close-up of the paint treatment on the board over the dining room patio door.  It had been a white semi-gloss.

I first gave it a coat of tan with a brush, then brushed a chocolate brown over that going all in one direction giving it the look of wood grain.  I adjusted the amount of dark brown to get the color I wanted.  When it was dry, I rolled the wood grain paint roller in the dark brown and rolled it down the length of the board. You can see where the roller lifted the paint off in place and exposed the white underneath.  That actually caused it to look more realistic - like the board was salvage.

I did the same process with the overhead "beam."  This support beam is covered in dry wall.

I did the same two tones of paint on the shutters, leaving the blue to show in some areas.
I have always wanted rustic beams in our family room and living room.  For now, we have just one!
I'm in love with all my blue and white again and picked up a few new pieces at HomeGoods.  My daughter has decided she likes turquoise better than the blue and white so we've been trading some pieces.

I love the little bit of rustic feel this gives to our living room now.
That's my favorite thing about French Country - the mix between the elegant and the rustic.

Well, the wind and snow are howling outside.  I'm going to go work on my bedroom ceiling some more.  I hope you're having a wonderful day!

love and blessings~

"He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers." Psalm 104:4

I'm joining these linky parties: frenchcountrycottage

February 8, 2016


The Lord first spoke the word “mindset” to me several years ago.  (I wrote this 'note' in 2012)

A friend had died of sickness.  We had gone to the hospital to pray for her and I had seen the light of Jesus shine on her and bring wholeness.  I had spoken the things I saw in the Spirit over her.  She felt heat. Others had come and prayed for her, spending hours worshiping in her room. She was recovering.  

Then I got a call two days later that she’d gone home to be with the Lord.  I asked God, “Why?”  And He said, “mindsets.”

In the last few years, God’s been talking to me about this a lot. The free online dictionary defines a mindset as: 
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit.

I googled “mindsets” and found out that there’s a book out called, “Mindset” by psychologist Carol Dweck.  Here’s an excerpt from it. 

 “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.  It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you commit to and accomplish the things you value.  How does this happen?  How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?“

Now I don’t like psychology for a very simple reason.   It does not acknowledge that man is a spiritual being that needs salvation.  It is ‘humanism’ at its worse; man trying to fix himself without Jesus.   And once again, I’m sure this book will tell us how to fix our thinking through positive affirmations.  But this understanding of our thinking is profound.

The online dictionary also talks about “collective mindsets.”  A story is told that in 1974, psychologists were trying to reorient the American Indians to have ”correct goals” such as a house and a full bank account.  But their historical viewpoint of success was so different that it was impossible to get them to think ‘correctly.’ 

The term ‘apostle’, which we see in scripture, is a secular term that was first used in Roman/Greek culture.  The Romans were conquering vast territories and claiming them as part of the Roman Empire.  But when the conquerors  would return to these regions, they found that the culture of the original country had not changed.  The people were not becoming “Romans.”  So they left ‘apostles’ in the area to change the culture!  These people were to be an influence and infiltrate the culture with Roman/Greek thinking! http://www.impactnetwork.net/pdf/apostle.pdf   They were sent out to these regions to transform the culture!

This is the reference point that Paul would have been using when writing.  He was charging us to be apostles to this world.  We have been ‘sent out’ by Christ to affect our culture, to change men’s  thinking, to tell the world that there is access to God through Jesus Christ.  But instead, many of us have been indoctrinated into the world’s thinking.  We are salt that has lost its ‘saltiness.’   Salt is a natural preservative that people used to keep their meat from spoiling.  Jesus wants us to be salt and light to this world.

We say more with our actions than we say with our words.  Especially when we are parents, we have a huge influence on the mindsets of our children.  If we eat dinner together every night and then spend time as a family in God’s Word and in prayer, we are establishing a truth in our children; that we cannot go a day without the Word of God; that we value the principles of God’s Word; that God is our first priority.

If our children see us up every morning before they are, praying and seeking God, it sends a message.  If our Bible is always open and we know what it says, and we quote it, it sends a message.   If the first thing we do when our children are sick is to lay hands on them and pray, we establish that we believe God’s Word regarding healing.  It becomes established in them that God heals.  They begin to experience healing through faith and when they are sick again, they do what works; pray, repent of sin and receive healing.

Our culture and society has an understood "truth."  When you are sick, you go to a doctor.  Medicine heals you.  Some things cannot be healed; they are chronic or worse yet, terminal.  Some pharmaceuticals will help the symptoms but you will always be sick.  When medication causes negative side effects, you can take another medication to get rid of that side effect.  Everyone needs health insurance.  Getting sick without health insurance might mean that you could be refused medical care.  If you are given medical care without insurance, your bills could destroy your finances.  Doctors have the final authority on your health.

This becomes a deep routed fear in people.  It becomes a mindset. 

Many times believers in Christ believe that they have right thinking based on truth because they believe Jesus is the Son of God Who died for their sins never realizing that they are still believing lies from the enemy in every area of their lives.  They have deep routed mindsets well established from their childhood.

Then consider the ‘collective mindset.’  Nothing reassures us that we are ‘right’ better than having a group that agrees with us.  We find comfort in that; that everyone thinks like we do.  We pass this thinking down from generation to generation; from church to church.

Jesus talks about mankind as ‘sheep that need a shepherd.’  Without a shepherd, sheep don’t know where to go or what to think.  They are known for flocking together and not separating from their flock.  It is very hard for us to think independently and risk the rejection of others.  We are much more comfortable getting into the center of a group of like believers and hiding there;  approved of and accepted.

When Jesus was on the earth, He spoke the most harshly to the religious of that day: the Pharisees.  The Pharisees religiously observed the Sabbath, they tithed and fasted and prayed.   But Jesus condemned them saying that unless we become more righteous than they, we will not see the Kingdom of Heaven.  He called them hypocrites and told them that they invalidated the Word of God by their traditions; teaching their own traditions as the doctrines of God. (Matthew 15)

A few years ago, I heard about Heidi and Rolland Baker’s ministry in Mozambique, Africa. www.irisministries.com   At that time, it was reported that they had raised over 70 people from the dead.  Heidi was going into the villages there and calling the people to come and hear about Jesus.  She was especially having success in the deaf receiving  hearing  and I always think it’s so wonderful that the first thing these people heard was the Name of Jesus!

When I first heard about this, my mind sort of did a little overload –“ What?!  Over 70 people raised from the dead?!”  I could not comprehend this!  As the years have progressed, I’ve listened to her on line.  In one session, she was speaking to a large group of pastors in Africa.  She asked them how many of them had raised people from the dead and every single one of them raised their hand!

One pastor told the story of a woman who was the people’s leader in witchcraft.  She died and the Lord told him to go raise her from the dead.  He didn’t want to -LOL.  When he obeyed, the woman came to life praising Jesus and now serves Him with all her heart.  Many of the villagers have committed their lives to Christ because of her testimony and the transformation God has done in her life!

Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, and the author of, “When Heaven Invades Earth” says that when we share testimonies of the wonderful things that God has done, it creates an atmosphere for miracles.  People need to hear the wonderful things that God is doing.  It expands their thinking and they begin to think outside their mindsets.

Pastor Johnson’s  church has been experiencing miracles for years.  They are pressing into God that their territory, Redding, California, be a cancer-free zone.  They are seeing tumors fall off, deformities from birth corrected, cancer healed and many other healings and miracles.  They are breaking the mindset that God does not operate today the way He operated in the New Testament.

God’s mercies are new every day.  He will help us today.  But, He tells ‘US’ to renew our minds in His Truth.  He tells us not to be conformed to this world in our thinking.  He’s not going to do it for us.  He has given us His Word and His Spirit and it is our choice to renew our mind and seek Him or to continue to believe things contrary to His Word, just because we’ve found a group that will agree with us. 

We like to tell ourselves that if Jesus had come to the earth today, we would have recognized Him.  We would have followed Him and honored Him.  But He’s on this earth today.  He’s omnipresent in the form of the Holy Spirit and many ‘believers’ have not recognized Him. 

God gave us free will.  We can choose.  We can decide to follow God with our whole hearts or we can stay where we are.  There is always more.  He is infinite love; infinite mercy; infinite truth.

Jesus’ last commission to us was this: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel (The Good News!) to all creation.  He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.  THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them;  THEY WILL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK AND THEY WILL RECOVER.”

We have to start with a new mindset.  We have to start by believing.

Mindset –  A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. 2. An inclination or a habit.

blessings and love~

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2