What If Mary Said, “NO!”

During a BIble Club meeting at school, I was talking about the birth of Jesus and the days leading up to His birth. I was telling them about how an angel came to Mary because God found favor with her and He wanted her to give birth to His son. She accepted and became the Mother of Jesus.

Luke 1:26-38(NIV)

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

All of a sudden, I thought, but what if Mary said, “NO!”   What if she refused? What if she hesitated? What if she said, “Not, now Lord!” What if she said, “I’m not the one you’re looking for.” What if she didn’t feel strong enough or able or loved?  What if she felt dirty or unwanted, unworthy or insecure?

What if…………………………. Where would our Savior be?

I thought about all the times I said, “NO!” to God.  All the times I hesitated. All the times I feel that I’m not the one or unclean or unworthy.  I thought about all the opportunities I have missed for God. I thought about all the things I put before God and what He needs me to do.  I thought about all the people who are lost and need Jesus and how much my story can heal and help other people grow to know God more. I thought about who He created me to be for these children who so desperately need God and his love. I thought about how I need to change my mindset on Him and not worry about what I can’t do, but what He can do through me.

I spoke this message to these children just this way.  I offered them HOPE through knowing who God is and what He can do in their lives regardless of who they are and who they think they are.

God is REAL.  He is the one true living God!  He is waiting to use you and fulfill His purpose in your life if you will just say “I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled!”  Thank God Mary said, “Yes!” Our Savior is born! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

If you do now know Jesus as your personal Savior, Please pray this prayer:

Jesus, I believe you came to Earth to save me from my sins. I confess all my sins to you and want you to come into my heart and be the Lord of my life.  I love you and I want you to lead me into the purpose you created me for. I am your servant! Thank you Jesus for loving and wanting me into your family.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Welcome into God’s Family!  We are so glad you are here! Angels are rejoicing in Heaven right now of your homecoming! Praise God!

Happy Birthday to your new birth in Christ and Merry Christmas!

A Prayer for Teachers (and other School Personnel)

Dear Heavenly Father, 

As we prepare to return to school, I pray that all Teachers know how awesome their job is. That it is our purpose and something You, O Lord, have called us to do.   That everything we do and say, a child hears and does. Help us to be mindful of that. Help us to show love where there is none. Help us to speak love where none is heard.  Help us to build relationships with our students through listening and engaging in meaningful conversations with them. Help us to build relationships with their parents through caring and sharing of their child’s day and progress.

Remind us that you are only a call away.  When we feel overwhelmed, we just say “Jesus” and you are there.  When we feel confused, frustrated, concerned, angry, “Jesus” is all we need to relay. When we feel victorious, worthy and wanted, we say “Jesus” because we are thankful and grateful of your grace and mercy.  Come into our classrooms and fill them with your presence. Come into our schools, you are welcomed!  

Show us that we are not alone.  Help us find Teacher friends and colleagues that care about our welfare.  Let us join together to encourage, inspire, redirect, learn and love each other.  Lead us to you through the purpose of fulfilling Your Will in our lives and that through us many generations will flourish because we trusted and believed in you!

As this journey begins again this year, I pray that many will come to know you through our obedience in loving you Lord with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. The first and greatest commandment and the second that is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself, which is found in Matthew 22:37-39.  

Give us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) which are the fruits of the spirit so that we may pour out what you have put inside us.  We love you and are thankful for the gifts we are given. The gift of Teaching! We will use this gift to bring glory and honor to you because nothing is impossible with God! (Luke 1:37)

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!

Thank you, Jesus!

I See Jesus

I went walking around the Lake today for my cardio workout.  When I got there, there were only a few cars and some people sitting at tables under the picnic shelters.  I started walking and feeling insecure and scared because no one else was walking but me. I felt isolated and targeted.

But being stubborn and needing to get the workout done, I continued anyway.  I prayed, “Lord, please protect me and keep me safe.” Then I started to see Him.  I started to see Jesus!

He came as a butterfly as He always has to tell me that everything’s gonna be alright.  But He knows me too well. Around every bend, near every corner, every single time I felt unnerved, He came.  He came 9 times to reassure me that He had everything under control and that I was protected.  

I felt so loved, I smiled every time He came and said, “Hey Jesus!”  One time, He swirled around my feet like we were dancing together. He made me feel so protected and worthy.  

I know people see Jesus in nature and in other things.  But He always comes to me as a butterfly and today was no different.  Thank you, Jesus that you know me so well and love me so much.

To die is gain!

I have not lost, I have gained.

Philippians 1:21-22a (NIV)

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  22a If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. 

Over the past month, I’ve encounter an end, a loss, let go, a resignation and a possibility.  Each thing representing something that I loved or wanted to love. Each thing having a specific meaning with time and space in my life.

In my singleness, I’ve learned to become independent. I’ve learned to rely on myself with God’s help.  Taking care of children, a house, a car, finances, serving others, friendships……always putting others first.  When faced with the upside downness of the past month, I realize that each of these things have taken my independence away and made me more dependent on God.

I have prayed and studied God’s word and put things aside to pursue God more and more.  I have been happier and found more joy in my sorrow and pain than at any other time in my life.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. (Philippians 1:21-22a)  I desire to be closer to God and learn how He wants me to live and who He wants me to be for this season of my life.  He has sent each of these situations to me to gain perspective, discipline, consistency, motivation and love.

I want to be wanted, chosen, cared for, loved, respected and pushed.    In each situation, God has shown me that even when something is worldly lost, gone, done or taken, He is still here, waiting, wanting,  pursuing, loving, providing, protecting. I have not lost, I have gained. I have gained more with Him than I can ever gain with another person, job, or success.  I have gained love, joy, peace, mercy, grace and everlasting life! Nothing I could ever gain with a person, job or success. Therefore, I have gained it all! I have gained Jesus!  I have won!

Faithful

Happy Father’s Day!

Last night someone reminded me that there was a time when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I couldn’t even imagine. I told them that was before I allowed God to” take over” my life and He turned it upside down.  When I “allowed” God to take over, He showed me my purpose which is to lead others to him through ways He created just for me.

God has given me a wonderful teaching career, serving at my church (Revolution Church) and two published children’s books (paperback and eBook) which serves many countries. They are on Amazon.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He will use you (in an awesome way) to lead others to Him through ways only He created just for you.

Don’t lead others to the enemy because you decide not to give your life to Jesus.  Be the example like my Dad did with his life. He went to be with Jesus June 15, 2019 at 9:50pm.  He introduced our family to Jesus, took us to church, taught us to sing for God’s glory and made sure we knew that God is our provider, comforter, healer and savior.  He gives us unconditional love, mercy and grace. He welcomes us back home, no matter where we’ve been or how long. He taught us that people are important. And no matter what, family is always family.

I am thankful for my Dad, even if I wasn’t always the best daughter.  He gave me the best gift that I have ever received: Jesus! I will forever be grateful for his gift and will re-gift it many times to everyone who will receive it.  

 Be faithful to the God who is faithful to you!

God’s Glory

Having to be transparent at times a little difficult for me.  I am not an open book. But when God uses my difficulties as a story for his people and those that are not His, I must be transparent to show you how awesome and loving He is.

Being a Teacher means that I only get paid once a month and sometimes that is hard. Being Single Mom makes it all the more difficult in making sure all the bills get paid and we have food  to eat and gas to go places. Sometimes everything gets paid and sometimes something get left unpaid.

Recently in August right before school started, I put off paying the electric bill because of thinking I would get paid before school started.  I used that money to buy things I needed for my classroom because Teachers have to buy their own stuff. I postponed it 10 days after the due date and then found out I was not getting paid until the day school started (27th).  The bill was due on the 24th, a Friday. I wouldn’t get paid until that Monday.

I tried to figure out something.  I felt horrible, but there was nothing I could do, but pray. I prepared for the worst (no electricity). I made arrangement to stay at a friend’s home.  I found my kids places to stay. I packed all the food in the refrigerator to take to my friend’s house.  I cleaned, took out all the trash, washed all the clothes and waited. I went to school that morning and then back home expecting the electricity to be off, but it wasn’t.  I called my friend to let her know that I was waiting for it to be cut off. So I waited and waited and waited on Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  The electric company workers can come at any time, even on the weekends to cut it off. Sunday morning, I checked my account balance at the bank because I needed some gas and I knew I had a least $10 in it.  But Glory be, my school check was in there, posted and ready to use. I immediately posted a payment with the electric company and thanked God for showing me His glory, grace, mercy and favor.

God showed me his glory.  He showed me how to prepared for things that could happen and recently for things I want to happen.  God showed up and showed out so that I could show you His greatness and love for his children. Just like He did this weekend when Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, where I live.  He show His glory by calming the storm through prayers by people who love Him and people that don’t. Think about how many people who don’t know Him saw His glory through prayer. Now they know and hopefully they will have a change of heart about him.  You can too! Just ask Him. He loves you and wants you to see his glory, too!

 

Please don’t call me a Christian!

I know this seems crazy, but after talking with a friend today I decided to let all of you know I’m not a Christian, I’m a Christ-follower!

Now I know some of you believe these are the same thing.  They used to be. But in recent generations, people have put stipulations on what Christianity is and isn’t.  People believe Christianity is a religion with rules and a set of do’s and don’ts. They believe you have to be perfect and sinless before you can join.   This kind of thinking forces people who want to believe to change their mind. They don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops to love Jesus!

Being a Christ-follower is knowing that I’m a broken, sinful, lonely, unworthy, unwanted, never gonna be perfect person who needs a loving, caring, omnipresent, holy savior who searches and waits for me daily to ask him to help me live my life.  He is the potter of my life. He hugs all the broken pieces together. He forgives my sinful life and forgets about it with my repentance. He’s tells me I’m worthy, wanted, loved, favored, blessed; his princess. I am always, always welcomed at his table.  I don’t have to jump through any hoops to be there. I just have to believe his is the Son of God, Accept Him into my heart and Confess that He is my Savior and live for him with His help.

I still get to be me!  The one He created and knew He wanted to be here on this earth for a purpose, His purpose:  to love Him with all my heart and to love others! Simple, right? Yeah, I think so too. My Christ-follower life is my relationship with God!  It is different from yours. I’m not you and you’re not me. He created us different with different gifts and talents to love Him and reach others so they can know him too (purpose).  There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV

You do this by just being you!  That’s it. No hoops, no rules, no stipulations.  Just love, his love. He will teach you how to love and live for him, just by being you.  Listen for Him! He is close by waiting for you to call to him (talk/pray). He is always by your side, whether you follow him or not.  He created you and you are His. He just wants to love you and for you to feel his love.

Don’t let Christianity scare you, be a Christ-follower and have a really cool relationship with God today!  Find a church that loves Jesus and people more than they love rules and stipulations. Read The Bible and books that teach you who Jesus really is.  And live the abundant life of love, joy, grace, mercy and peace with Him by your side. The life He created you for!

Jesus replied:  “Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39 NIV