Keep the Fire Burning

I want my heart to burn with firey passion for the Lord. I want to know him more intimately day by day. I want the heat of the Spirit to be an ever-burning flame within me.

 

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

 

While that’s truly my heart’s desire, life has a way of extinguishing the fire. Life has a way of choking the flames causing the fire to be snuffed out. But He does not want us to stifle Him and the work He’s trying to do in and through our lives.

 

Do you remember being ON FIRE when you got saved? Do you recall the intimacy you had with Him when facing one of life’s greatest difficulties? Then you look up one day and you’ve Mother-May-I baby stepped your way away from the heat of His presence. Click To Tweet

 

How do we keep the fire burning?

 

Just a few weeks ago I was sitting in on my son’s Cub Scout meeting and wouldn’t you know they were talking about fires. They discussed building a fire in a safe place, having a starter, kindling, tinder and logs. I was amazed at the boys’ knowledge of how to start a fire and the different things they could use for starters (anyone ever heard of using steel wool and a battery to start a fire?).

 

The principles of getting the fire started seemed simple enough. But how would they keep a fire burning? The main element needed to keep a fire burning is oxygen. The fire needs room to breathe and additionally requires replenishment of wood.

 

In the beginning, the Lord breathed the breath of LIFE in Adam. In Job, the breath of the Almighty continued to give life as His breath was in our nostrils. We are recipients of scripture that is breathed out for teaching, correction and training. And Jesus himself breathes on us saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. So invite Him to breathe on you. Allow His breath to oxygenate your fire.

 

We continue to feed the fire as necessary with wood, solid teaching and sound doctrine. In addition to reading our Word daily, it is critical to continually feed our spirit throughout the day. Listening to sermons, worship music and bible studies are good wood to keep the flames roaring. In addition to being sensitive to His promptings and responding as needed.

 

We’ve been appointed kings and priests. And part of the priestly role is to keep the fire on the altar burning continually (Leviticus12-13). Just as eternal flames burn at memorials for MLK and JFK, YOU are to be an eternal burning flame for Christ. And keeping the flame burning is not just for me for today. Like passing on the lit Olympic torch, I pray to do a clean hand off to my children so my future generations will continue to declare Jesus is Lord. We WILL pass on the fire. For the Lord does not want us to be cold or even lukewarm. He wants us to keep our desire for Him vibrant and fiery hot.

 

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Revelation 3:15-16

 

Not only does the heat of the flame keep you burning brightly for Him, but ash left behind from the burning wood, is useful for continued nourishment. For centuries ash has been used as fertilizer, being rich in essential minerals and nutrients for plant growth. So be that flourishing tree, planted by rivers of living waters, fertilized by the ash from the fire burning within.

 

In his book Secrets of the Secret Place, Bob Sorge says in eternity, we’ll burn somewhere.

 

Will we choose to burn with unabashed passion and desire for our Lord? Or will we burn in an everlasting dark torturous hell? I long to be a holy flame, ablaze all my days, for His glory.

 

If you are a Believer, you’ve been baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16). But as stated earlier, the issues of life can try to extinguish your fire. If that’s you and your embers are but a faint glow, go back and read my first two posts in this series, FIRE FALL and FEEL THE BURN.

 

Let us pray…Elohim, God of all creation, we praise you. You oh Lord, are the Spirit and the flame that burns brightly within us. It is you living in us that radiates as a LIGHT for all to see. Continually stoke the fire and fan the flames that we may burn as a never-ending example of your love and power. Like moths to a flame, may others be drawn to us, ultimately being drawn to You. Let us always be prepared to share the hope and Zoë that compels us to continue following you, The Way, The Truth and The Life. Amen.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with others sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Titus 2sdays, Grace & Truth

 

Photo Credit

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Wonderland

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Feel The Burn

The thoughts you couldn’t shake.

 

The nudging from the Holy Spirit that you couldn’t ignore.

 

Yes, that was what I was feeling when the Lord continually pursued me with thoughts of His Fire. You can read more about the prayer for Fire Fall HERE. In response to His nudging I said yes and the fire began to rain down. Under the shower of fire, I lifted my face and welcomed the burn.

 

Do you welcome His fire fall?

 

Do you want to feel the burn?

 

Feeling the burn is a bit of a conundrum. When you feel the burn during exercise you KNOW that you are digging deep into those muscles, causing change. During exercise muscles burn available fuel for energy and contract. When the muscles burn that fuel, microscopic tears occur in the tissue. This tearing triggers muscle repair and this process of tearing and repair creates a stronger, more resilient body. Calves on fire don’t really feel good but knowing you’ve done your body good any looking good in a pair of short just seems to make the burn worthwhile.

 

The same can be said for our spiritual lives. To experience the burn of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we have to put in work. We have to be intentional about seeking Him and soaking in His presence so we can reap the benefits of the after burn.

 

Are you close enough to Him to feel the burn?

 

Though I’m from Boston and have dealt with the cold, I DO NOT like the cold. My poor children have even been shortchanged from outside time because of my dislike of the cold. And as much as I don’t like the cold, I’ve had seasons where I’ve been spiritually cold. And that is just miserable. To be distant from God, to not feel the heat from His glowing embers, to be removed from His presence, is just torture. Oh friends, have you ever been there? Sometimes a tragic life experience can put you in that space or it can be the slow ebbing away when the issues of everyday life begin to consume your time, energy and thoughts. You may stop reading your word daily, stop attending bible study, miss a few Sunday services, pass up fellowshipping with Christian friends, or avoiding people who hold you accountable and before you know it, BAM! You’ve baby stepped your way miles away from the flame and run smack into an iceberg.

 

The beach is my absolute favorite place I love the feel of the heat from the sun radiating on my skin. As I sense the rays hitting my cheek, it’s like a kiss from the Lord. As I feel the beams permeate my skin, its heat prickles and tingles. I find this sensation so comforting, like being enveloped in a blanket of love.

 

Lord, In Your presence I can’t help but feel the heat of your love for me. I am engulfed and welcome the burn.

 

“As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.” Daniel 7:9

 

Not only am I warmed, comforted and loved in Your presence; You are so gracious to speak to me.

 

“Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire.” Deuteronomy 4:11-12a

 

And not only do you abide with me and speak to me, but You also act on my behalf. Your holy fire consumes my enemies, tests the work I’ve done, washes away my filth and covers me as a pillar by night.

 

When Your embers burn, You act and as such, when I feel the burn, I will act. I am on fire for you as John was. I am a voice crying out in the wilderness declaring, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Like John, I am a burning shining lamp (John 5:35). As a minister, I am a flame of fire (Psalm 104:4). Friends, let us not go cold but burn radiantly as a bright light in this dark cruel world.

 

God's passionate desire burns brightly for you. Will you dare to feel the burn? Click To Tweet

 

I pray you join me again next Monday as I wrap up this unintended series on FIRE. When I sat to write Fire Fall last week, I did not know the Word would churn and bubble in my Spirit as it has.  It’s like fire shut up in my bones and it won’t leave me alone.

 

Next week we’ll examine how to keep the fire burning.  And if you missed PART 1 Fire Fall, CLICK HERE to read that now.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

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Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith

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Divine Connections

With much excitement and cheer she waved pom poms in my face. “You’ll want to take these!”, she exclaimed. I was thinking, “Really lady?! It doesn’t take all that”. I was attending an event at work and she was one of the headliners for the event. Well, as to not cause commotion, I accepted the pom poms and took a seat.

 

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The pom pom waving lady holding my 1st born

 

Fast forward several years and I joined a team with this same pom pom waving lady. I too became the pom pom waving lady. Mrs. Delia went on to become my spiritual mom, wise older sister and friend. Mrs. Delia as many affectionately call her, LIVES the gospel in a way that is inviting and attractive.

 

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Yup, I became the pom pom waving lady several years later

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

 

It was through her lifestyle and example that I wanted to know more about Christ. The Lord had strategically been wooing me to himself and her availability helped seal the deal. It was through her example that I saw that Christians weren’t all a bunch of hypocrites. I was from her that I saw Christians could still laugh, have fun and enjoy life and without being stodgy, stiff and boring. It was through her that I saw Christians forgive. It was through her that I saw high standards of decency lived out such that brash, rogue co-workers had to respect her. It was through her example that I learned what a submitted wife looked like.

 

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3:15

 

And it was with her, as we walked the halls of Bank of America headed to lunch that I gave my life to Christ 13 years ago.

 

You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. Acts 22:15

 

God is a Master Weaver. He inextricably makes divine connections, warping and wefting together our life experiences. This is the way He works to move the Kingdom forward. This #ThankfulThursday I want to thank the Lord for Mrs. Delia; for her long suffering when I was rebellious and stubborn, for her making the gospel simple and plain, for duly equipping me with the Word helping me select a bible and giving me my 1st concordance and for loving me with the love of Christ.

 

Through her wise counsel and love, she stoked and fanned those faintly lit embers and today they burn brightly for Jesus. I love you Mrs. Delia and thank God for your obedience.

 

Who has God used to help you on the path to discipleship?

With whom have you shared the Good News?

What about your personal witness is compelling and attractive?

Have you made yourself available to be used by God?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Women of Style and Faith

A woman of faith?

 

CHECK.

 

A woman of style?

 

Umm, I guess (insert smile).

 

When I think STYLE, I think color, accessories, daring combinations and flair.  Hence, I wouldn’t normally use the word STYLE when I think about myself.  But the truth is, I have a clearly defined style.  It’s been the same for a long time.  My husband jokingly calls it “my uniform”. It’s classic, crisp, Americana. It’s J. Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor. It’s structured, tailored, princess seams and pin tucks.

 

Yup, that’s me. I used to wish I was flashy and creative with my dress. I used to wish I knew how to layer and mix and match color and patterns.

 

But today, I give thanks that I’m comfortable with my own sense of style.  I’m good with staying true to who I am.  I did finally begin adding some color and that was fun, albeit in the same cut and style as I’d normally choose, but new colors nonetheless.

 

So imagine my delight upon meeting a blogger who is a professional stylist, entrepreneur, and minister of the Good News.  My heart leapt to see this fashionista rocking her Saintly Style with her church as the backdrop. Not only did she rock with style and grace, she was rightly dividing the Word of God.  This sister, Sybil Street is a style icon and not only puts her clients on display but shines light on everyday women of style and faith.

 

It is my honor to grace the page of her sacred space this week on her blog.  So head on over to get to know a little more about me personally and how I live as a woman of style and faith.

Women of Style and Faith 

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Fire Fall

Who in their right mind would pray for God’s fire to fall on them? But it wouldn’t let me go, I couldn’t shake it. It seemed like every song I was led to listen to, every preaching I heard and every spiritual image I saw was that of fire. For weeks, time and time again my daily thoughts bought be back to praying for His fire to fall on me.

 

Because I couldn’t shake it, I knew it was the Holy Spirit. So instead of resisting it, I lifted my arms to receive. My prayer was, “Yes Lord, let your fire fall afresh on me”. To thrive in my current season, I need a fresh touch from Him. I asked Him for fresh oil, fresh anointing, and for power to do all that He’s called me to do. Then as God always does when you commune with Him, He will speak truth to your spirit. He gently whispered, “Indeed, I come to dwell with you as you abide in my presence. But I also come to refine, to purge, and to burn away”.

 

Ooh. That sounds a bit painful. Who wants parts of them burning away? Who wants to feel the searing pain of their flesh boiling, bubbling up and falling off? Who wants to feel the sting and smell the stench of singed hair and burning flesh?

 

And I’ve got plenty of experience being burned. When I was two years old, I got a third degree burn on my elbow after leaning up against my great-grandmother’s potbelly stove. I still bear the mark on my elbow. In my early youth, I got 2 bad iron burns on my legs that are still prominent today. When I was about 10, I ran up to tell my mother something as she was smoking a cigarette and I can still see the burn on my shoulder today. I’ve been burned by people who said they cared only to have betrayed me. Yes, the evidence of the burns is still there but the salve has been applied and I am healed.

 

Today, I raise my hand like a second grader eager to answer the teacher’s question and I say, “Ooh..ooh…ooh pick me!”

 

Yes Lord, let your fire fall on me. With the fire comes your presence. With the burning comes your healing.

 

 

In the bible, His fire is often a manifestation or representation of His presence, His being, His power and His judgment. His fire burns white hot. He is pure, holy and righteous.

 

“But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.” Malachi 3:2-4

 

I welcome his purification. I want my offering of praise to be acceptable in His sight. I want Him to burn away those things in my life that are not becoming. I want my offering to be a sweet smelling aroma. Oh but the stench of my:

 

~Anger

~Irritability

~Frustration

~Resentment

~Jealousy

 

Those things will fall to ash when consumed by His fire.

 

If you desire His fire to fall afresh on you, join me in prayer.

 

Oh Most Gracious and merciful God, I come boldly before your throne that is ablaze with fire. I look into your eyes oh Lord that blaze like fire. You are the ever-burning flame. Let that flame remain lit in my life. I thank you for the fire that purifies me. I thank you for your fire that burns away impurity, leaving behind that which is precious in your sight. You oh God, are Esh Oklah, a jealous God and a consuming fire. Consume my heart. I will burn brightly for you. My embers will glow as a light in the earth for you. Thank you for your fire that empowers me, equips me, purges me and goes with me.

 

Join me in worship as we welcome the fall of His fire.

 

 

Stick with me for the next few Mondays as we’ll be talking about the fire of God. May your heart be set ablaze.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth, #LifeGivingLinkup

Take It!

How much can I take?

I can’t take it any more!

Take your stuff and go.

I don’t have to take this mess!

 

Seems to me like we have issues with taking.

 

Have we not been commanded to take heart, take heed, take up our cross, take up our armor, take His yoke, take communion?

 

We see our sisters and brothers in the Bible instructed to take the blessing, take a journey, take a wife, take the rod, take provision.

 

God calls us to TAKE so that we have what we need. It is HE who calls us to pick up, to put on, and to lay hold of. Since the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, He’s set aside a special lot that’s ours for the taking. He wants you to take so that you are fed, take so that you can serve, take so that you can advance His kingdom of heaven here on earth. He calls us to take so that we can show Him honor by taking what He’s given and giving a portion back to Him.

 

Are you willing to take what’s yours?

 

Your adversary certainly doesn’t mind coming to take from you. He comes to steal from you, to kill you and yours and to destroy you. Even the blessings that God has ordained to overtake you, your enemy seeks to take those too.

 

And while there are very specific things, which we’ve been cautioned not to take, I trust that we, true disciples will take heed and obediently take only that which has been set aside specifically for each of us. Taking out of malice, greed or revenge will only lead to our own destruction.

 

The Word illustrates example after example of obedience then blessing in the taking.

 

And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.”

 

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Joshua 6:2, 20

 

Jesus took upon himself our sickness, infirmity and disease so what we may have life more abundantly.

 

Jesus took children and blessed them and healed them.

 

Jesus took his disciples, led them, and instructed them.

 

Jesus took food, blessed it, multiplied it and nourished his followers.

 

Jesus took a towel and girded himself as he was preparing to serve.

 

The incapacitated man took up his bed and walked.

 

Mary took precious oil and anointed THE ANOINTED ONE.

 

What will you take?

 

When you do take, what will you do with what you’ve taken? When we take in obedience, it isn’t merely for our own benefit but to be a blessing to those whom we’ve been called to assist.

 

Do you have the strength and courage to take what is rightfully yours?

 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

 

Just as in the days of John the Baptist, men were so eager and excited to go after the kingdom of God, Jesus likened them to those who would besiege a city and take it by force.

 

Where is that zeal today? Where is that hunger? Have we lost our passion for pursuing what is rightfully ours as children of the Most High?

 

Jesus offers an olive branch, but you must take it

Jesus offers salvation, but you must receive it

Jesus offers His guidance but you must follow it

Jesus offers provision, but you must lay hold of it

Jesus offers liberty but you must digest it

Jesus offers peace, but you must embrace it

Jesus offers but intimacy you must behold it

Jesus offers but love you must cherish it

Jesus offers victory but you must apprehend it

 

Go Ye, and take what’s yours!

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News #lifegivinglinkup, Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

How’s Your Focus?

In Focus

 

Out of Focus

 

Laser Focus

 

Focal Point

 

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As soon as I could walk I had a camera in my hand. My father’s passion was photography. He went to photography school when I was a baby then commenced shooting everything possible. Of course I ended up the subject on the other side of the lens many days. One of my favorite pictures is of me at age three taking a picture of my father who was actually talking a picture of me. At three, I knew nothing about focus.

 

In my pre-teen years I caught the photography bug and entered the dark room, manually dipping paper in solution and watching the images come to life. I learned about aperture, shutter speed and focus. I learned how to focus on what was directly in front of the lens or how to focus on something in the distance.

 

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But focus is relative, relative to what we see and how we see it. Life experience has a way of morphing, contorting and distorting our focus. While I tend to see ONLY in the present, I think that is a distorted and often out of focus view when compared to how my heavenly Father sees. His FOCUS is perfect, all encompassing, crisp and sharp. Focus is really about being centered and balanced from whatever vantage point we find ourselves. Click To Tweet

 

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How’s your focus?

 

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Open the eyes of our hearts Lord so that we have your FOCUS. Let us be centered, rooted, grounded and balanced – FOCUSED in You.

 

Happy to connect with others sharing on the topic of FOCUS at Five Minute Friday, Grace & Truth

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!