Reflection on the Kingdom of God

Gardening season is here.  You know, the season where you watch those tiny seeds you planted in the spring begin to grow.  Those seeds started out so small, so seemingly weak, but they begin to grow into an amazing miracle.

Recently, I've been meditating on some of the ways Jesus describes the kingdom of God:
  • The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15)
  • The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Luke 13:18-19)
  • The Parable of the Yeast (Luke 13:20)
In all 3 of these parables Jesus describes the kingdom of God as something that starts out very small and insignificant, compared to everything else going on around it.  However, as the power begins to be released, the items begin to invade their surroundings and have influence in a dominant way.

There are a couple of thoughts that I have as a result of reflecting on the kingdom of God in this way.  The relections are that the Kingdom of God requires TIME and PATIENCE.  Let us just admit that in America we do not understand these things very well.  We are used to getting things done NOW and finding the most efficient way to possibly get them done.  Not so with the kingdom of God.  If you read the parable of the sower, the Word of God, was "wasted" on many soils that were not ready.  The yeast was kneaded into 60 pounds of dough.  The mustard seed started out so tiny.  Time, effort and patience was needed in each example.  I think we need to remind ourselves how God operates and moves so we don't miss Him or short-change the process of what He is doing.  The kingdom of God operates in small, seemingly insignificant ways and at the time we often cannot possibly see or imagine what will take place.  However, if we will take the time to do the parts that God asks us to do in the process and let Him take care of the rest we will begin to see the Kingdom of God blossom and bloom in incredible ways. 

So as you work in your gardens this summer take time to pray and ask God to give you deeper insight into how the Kingdom of God operates.  Pray that He will give you the patience, strength and willingness to invest in the lives of others even if you do not see the "results" of your investment in an American timeframe.

2 Thessalonians 3:5
May the Lord lead your hearts into
God's love
Christ's patience!

In Christ,

PS I still have two more books to give away of the Birthright.  If you are interested e-mail me your mailing address @

Book Giveaway: The Birthright

My Women's Group just finished a wonderful book called: The Birthright: Out of the Servant's Quarters into the Father's House by John Sheasby.  Going through this book in a group, was a beautiful season and the fruit of change in many of the women's lives was profound.

This book expounds on the story of the Prodigal Son to bring light to the heart of the Heavenly Father for His children.  One of the individuals this book specifically focuses upon is the older brother.  I believe this book is very powerful, especially for second generation Christians.  As a second generation Christian, I have read through the story of the Prodigal Son and I could often relate to the frustration and jealousy of the older brother.  How come God rejoices over him and not me? I've always stayed in the bounds, I've never rebelled, I do not have an incredible testimony but all the attention goes to those with the radical story.  The Birthright, looks at this attitude and much more and reveals the Father heart of God for all of His children.  This book boldly blasts open the religious spirit that often clouds over our hearts and invites us to walk in the freedom and confidence of our inheritance as children of God.

Because I think this book is so powerful and life-giving, I am giving 5 copies of it away!  All you have to do is e-mail me at and say, I want a copy.  Please include your mailing address in the e-mail.  The first 5 people to e-mail will receive a free copy of the book. 

 In Christ,

PS I stumbled upon this book through a friend.  I loved it and am giving it away at my own free accord.

Performance-Based Lovers Anonymous

This post is written for people who understand what it means to be a performance-based lover.  If you have no understanding for this type of loving, consider yourself blessed and you don't need to keep reading.  However, if you can understand this problem, then join me as I reflect on my journey to recovery.

God has a great sense of humor.  He allowed me, a performance-based lover to be married to a man who has no comprehension nor ability to love me based upon my performance.  As you can imagine, this inability has at times caused great angst in our marriage.  A recent incident, brought it up once again; I was hoping to increase my husband's love for me based upon what I did.  However, it did not turn out quite as I had imagined.  As we discussed this, two simple sentences, one out of his mouth and one out of my mouth, broke open the floodgates to revelation, and I pray that I will never be the same again.  And so once again, I laugh that God has me married to the one man who could love me in such a way that it would wake me up to realize that love can and should have nothing to do with my performance.

I freely admit that I am a recovering performance-based lover and I am looking forward to learning how to live a life free from the worry of performance and instead learn how to walk in the confidence of love.  I will share with you the visual image I got in regards to this topic.

The visual: two love tanks: the first love tank is God's, the second love tank is mine.  Now the following picture, is nothing that was taught to me but it puts language around much of the way I have lived my life.  As I reflect on being a performance-based lover, the picture I see is that God's love tank has a little faucet that is always on and the faucet is labeled "Daily Quota of Performance."  As the day goes by, the level of God's love for me in the tank begins to go down, slowly.  My job, is to keep the tank full and the way I do that is through my performance.  My performance adds love to God's love tank and if I do enough in one day the tank remains full.  Who determines how quickly it diminishes or fills up?  I suppose it is me.  Some days I am happily reaching my "quota", some days I am panicky that it is not filling up quickly enough and other days I am devastated that there will never be enough that I can do to keep it full, so why even bother.

The second love tank is mine.  It is situated next to God's love tank and it too wanes in its amount.  In order to love others well, it needs to be full, but it often is half empty.  The emotional result of this leaky tank is disappointment in and with others, because my perception is that others don't put in as much time and effort to fill me up as I do to them.

The main concept of my revelation is that God's love tank (and my husband's love tank) is always full.  It is never empty, nor slowly leaking towards E.  All this time, I have been putting in effort trying to "fill it up" with my performance.  But in essence, that has been pointless.  Why?  Because, in regards to love, they can't tell the difference; their love tanks are already full, in fact overflowing, so when I pour my performance in attempting to fill it up, there is essentially no difference to them.  Think of it as a bucket overflowing full of water.  If you add a drop of water to it, are you going to be able to make significant note of it?  On the other hand, if you toiled and strained hoping that one drop would make a difference you will end up feeling disappointment and exhaustion on your end. 

Do you know one of the scariest Scriptures for a performance-based lover is the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25?  The last thing we want is to be caught not doing one of the "things" and get sent away.  We make a checklist:
  • Hungry
  • Thirsty
  • Clothes
  • Sick 
  • Prison
  Check, check, check, need to get on that one still...  How often though?  Everyday? Once a week? Once a lifetime?

Do you see?  We still miss the point.  If you will look at the passage again, you will see that the sheep didn't even know what it was that they did.  They weren't the ones saying, "Remember that time I visited you in prison?  Do you remember the time I fed that one guy, it was really you, wasn't it?"  When Jesus sends the goats away the statement He says is, "I never knew you." Like Mary sitting at Jesus feet, the sheep took time to know and be known by God. 

As I look at my marriage, I can guarantee you that my husband truly knows me better than I know him.  It is probably because the last 18 years of our relationship, he took the time to get to know me.  One example of the many ways he knows me, is that he can literally sense in 3 seconds or less if something is wrong with me.  He knows me that well.  Me, well I look forward to spending more time getting to know him, than doing things for him:)

The point of this post, beloved, is that God's love tank is ALWAYS full and overflowing. Because of that our performance cannot increase His love for us.  In fact, you can see because of God's generous love for us that even the things we end up doing here on earth, will end up benefiting us in heaven: "Lay up for yourselves, treasures in heaven" or take the parable of the talents, " they are given even more in the end..."  God's love tank is so full that it fills ours to overflowing.  Remember tank 2?  Mine used to be situated next to God's tank.  I recommend getting a replacement tank and storing it within His tank.  Perhaps your love tank, like mine, needs to be replaced from the hole-filled performance based tank, to the solid and secure love-based tank.

Ephesians 3:17-19
I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
So thank you, to my husband Josh, for loving me so well.
In Christ,

Placing things in the right column

I went to balance my checkbook today and found that I was ahead $430.  As much as I was hoping that money had appeared out of nowhere, I knew it couldn't be true, so I set myself to finding the error.  I soon realized the mistake occurred because I had added money to my checking account when I had meant to subtract money from my checking account.  My $215 error had doubled into a problem of $430 because of an accounting error.  I realized that it is extremely important to place items in the correct column.

Today, I've been contemplating how we as Christians can take the same text of Scripture and end up with two totally different answers.  My little math error today, gave me a perspective on one reason why this happens; I had the same numbers on my computer and in my checkbook but the columns the numbers were in were different and it made all the difference in the world.

I think that this sometimes happens with our conclusions about our Christianity.  So if you will indulge me I will continue to reflect:  Half of our Bible was written BEFORE Jesus died on the cross and brought full life and light to what is the intentions of God's heart.  When we read the Old Testament we have to FILTER everything we read through Jesus and the cross; if we don't do this we will begin putting things in the wrong column and ending up subtracting things that belong to us because of Jesus.  Our relationship with God and how we are invited and given the right to interact with God is based solely upon Jesus and the cross.

A second area, where I think we've placed things in the wrong column comes to our wealth and success in America.  Many Christians feel ashamed and guilty that we have been given so much and we therefore, think that we have to give it all away yet we don't know how to do and end up with a guilt factor hanging between us and God.  But I think the guilt comes from placing the words of Jesus in the wrong column.  Our relationship with Jesus is based solely on our belief in Him not from the things we do.  Therefore, our relationship with God is not dependant upon what we do, however, the things we end up doing WILL come out of our relationship with Him (2 Quotes to Remember). 

Most of the church knows about the first half of Mark 10:29
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home
or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel...

and the church spends half the time feeling guilty that we haven't left enough for Christ.  But we don't often preach the end of His sentence,

Mark 10:29b
"will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age:
homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—
along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life."

By following Christ and giving up all, we will end up with even more than we started with.  So if our definition of being a "good" Christian is to give up everything but Scripture says we will now end up with even more, we will find ourselves in a constant state of turmoil because we can never give it all away. 

So I would like to invite you to step away with me and view things from a different column.  Instead of viewing the statements of Jesus as a "debt we owe Him to prove we belong to Him" let us view these statements and more "as a path to our ability to walk in confidence and freedom in this world."  We as Christians are told that we are to live in the world not of the world (John 17:15), that we have citizenship in heavens (Philippians 3:20), so we are strangers here on earth (Hebrews 11:13).  I think that we as Christians, have put these statements in the wrong column, and have used them as an excuse not to participate and engage in our present circumstances and as a result, I think we are missing out on being who Christ intended us to be in the earth - salt and light!  Jesus says, that the harvest is plentiful and that it just needs workers to do the work and that forceful men will take the kingdom.  So according to Scripture, the world is ready to be turned upside down and the church should be turning the world upside down but I think so often we find ourselves  sitting in our churches discussing "theology" and figuring out how we are not measuring up to the "standards" of a Christian life instead of going out and being who we are in Christ (this sentence was inspired byAn Unstoppable Force by Erwin McManus).

Christianity has turned the world upside down several times - obviously in the New Testament Church but also through the lives of people like Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, Bach and C.S. Lewis.  These individuals, I believe, walked confident in their giftings and excelled in their life here on earth and left us an inheritance of things that have lasted and shaped how the world moved forward.  But today in America, we almost teach that being a successful Christian is a bad thing.  Beloved, we worship the Creator of the Universe - the very One who gave us our brains and intelligence.  I truly believe that we, as Christians, are meant to be successful in this world and in the giftings God has given us.  Us moving forward confidently through Christ in our giftings will turn the world upside down.  The Church needs to stop running away from the world.  We do not need to be afraid because LIGHT always overcomes darkness.  Scripture states that we are strangers in this world, that our inheritance is not of this world.  These things are true.  They do not need to be arbitrarily proven.  Instead, we need to recognize that we are ABOVE the fray of this world and because of this we are able to move freely, confidently and successfully in this present world.  What I am saying is that we need to take the statements of Jesus and put them in the right column.  Jesus didn't ask us to store up our treasures in heaven to ensure us our spot in Heaven, rather He wanted us to know that because our citizenship is in heaven - we do not need to be slaves to the world and its systems and He wanted to free us to boldly bring His kingdom because our generous God would take care of the rest (Luke 12:22-32)

Luke 12:32
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has
 been pleased to give you the kingdom
Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out,
a treasure in heaven that will never fail,
where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We are on a whole different playing field, a better playing field, and therefore, we CAN engage in this life here on earth in a way that brings LIFE and TRANSFORMATION because we know and serve the One and Only True God.

In Christ,

Daily Prayer

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