Yearning for Fall

Okay, don’t come for me but a few weeks ago I said to myself; “Man, I’m so ready for fall, why can’t we just live in a constant state of fall weather?” Now this was in the middle of July and the heat was brutal! As soon as I said it, I so tenderly heard God say to me; “Because you’d always be stuck in the middle of an ending and a beginning! You’d be stuck in a constant state of death without rebirth!” Man, did that hit me hard! You know, like one of those moments where you just stop and stare because you can’t believe what you just heard? We’ve all been there. Stuck. Almost like we’re comfortable in the pain. But you know what? Hearing God’s words helped me realize that, what He just explained to me is why there’s a winter! To grieve after the death of whatever it or who it might be.

First the colorful, yet dry leaves begin to fall as a sign of an ending near. You know the signs! We usually just don’t pay attention to them because life can be tricky that way. Everything always seems to be bittersweetly beautiful before the death of something; whether it’s a life or something else in our lives. The brittle leaves of our endings crunch down into ashes, and we all know that Isaiah 61:3 says He trades beauty for ashes. However, you gotta let Him do His work first and go through the seasons of change.

Then the soft blanket of snow comes to cover all the hurt. Allowing it to make way for Spring. Readying you for a birth of something new. I guess I never realized how much I was okay with the feeling of ending until that day. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced a lot of it in my life. But, I’d like to believe it’s because through the hard times I’ve been conditioned to self consciously know that a new beginning is near? Either way, don’t stay stuck! Starting today, allow each season to come!

It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that everything on earth has its own time and season. Psalms 30:5 says that anger is but for a moment but that favor is for a lifetime. That weeping may come for the night but joy comes with the morning. You know, we could say that it also comes with the mourning too! Like I said before, without it (fall and winter) there would never be a new beginning. Spring would never come. The birth of something new would cease to exist.

So if you’re yearning for fall (or just another time in general) like I was, try to enjoy today. The now. Let this season do its thing. Let it be, and know that the cycle never ends because God’s love always brings a new beginning!

Take a moment today to figure out what season you’re in. Go ahead and rest in the peace of knowing that no matter what, the Son will shine, the leaves will fall, the snow will cover the pain and spring will bring new beginnings.

Don’t like reading? Listen instead by clicking the link below!

Drive Me, Oh God!

I love the moments when Holy Spirit fills the room while Pastor Gary is preaching! Some days I just sit and listen, taking it all in. Letting the word seep into my spirit. Other days, my hand pens the overflow! These moments have been few and far between for me as of late, admittedly. Which meant that last Wednesday was a much needed moment when my hand was writing faster than I could think. In tune with my Father, my Provider and the one who truly knows my heart. These moments are precious, priceless, encounters with the Lord that only you and Him can feel and understand. From those moments creation emerges. I thought I’d share the Lord and I’s creation from that moment last Wednesday below. So, what will you create with the Lord today?

How Much Does Worship Cost?

A few years back I was struggling with my singing voice. Still am actually. I know the Word, though. So, I claimed my healing, thanked God for it and went on believing that it would come back. I prayed more and focused on how to be a better worship leader. I knew that I would get through the season and move on to better moments. I signed up for a few different worship leader classes and put my hand to the plow. I even began those piano classes I had always wanted, this year. Now, remember, I just said this began a few years back. So what does that mean? Did I get better?

Depends on your perspective. To a non believer it would look like not. However, just because my singing voice isn’t completely better or what it used to be, doesn’t mean I lost the battle. You see, one of the classes I signed up for was through Rick Pino. It was his first virtual class since Covid tried to ruin in person contact. Which actually worked out better for me, since I have a full time career and would never be able to attend one in person anyhow. I finished the class but his texts that I had signed up to receive didn’t stop coming. That didn’t bother me though, as I didn’t mind receiving the encouragement. Well, one particular text stopped me in my tracks. The text said;

“The first place the word, “worship” is mentioned in the Bible is in Gen. 22 where Abraham is going up the mountain to offer up Isaac. We see here that worship is all about the treasure of someone’s heart being laid on an altar. Worship should be costly friend. If your worship doesn’t cost you anything, then your worship has no worth.”

I sat there perplexed at what I had just read. What exactly did it mean? It sounded cruel to my soul at first. What do you mean worship should be costly? Cost what? I’m freely giving it aren’t I? I was just as perplexed the first time I ever read Genesis 22 as a full blown Christian adult. I’m a mom of two boys so it pierced deep. But you see, truth is, God actually did sacrifice His own son, for all of us! Let that sink in! Thank you Jesus! That’s on a whole other subject though.. Moving on..

You see, I always thought my singing and worshiping was me using my God given gift as a gift back to the Lord. I worshiped to thank Him, to love on Him for all He has done for me. I yearned for the intimacy I felt in His presence and the opportunity to use my gift to thank Him. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten fleshly at times and asked the all too well known question of WHY? Why my voice? I’d rather struggle with anything else in my body but that.

Then it hit me. What. If. What if I were Abraham and God had asked me to sacrifice my voice? Now, I hadn’t felt that or heard Him say that but, would I do it if He had? How far was I willing to go? How much was I willing to give? Does the sound of my voice truly mean that much to me? I mean, let’s face it, I actually hate listening to myself so why am I so torn up about not being able to sing like I used to? I mean, I know the sound of my voice doesn’t dictate the heart of my worship…..does it?

So in that moment, I asked myself, what if my worship, cost me my soulful sound? Am I still willing to worship anyway? How would I worship? I began to look back at the past few years and the events that took place. I knew I had already realized that I still had “a voice” in my CATW journey but I hadn’t quite realized the pure joy of sacrificing something I thought was one of my best qualities. Up until the moment of perplexity with this text, I had figured I was just using my voice differently until my healing took manifest. I had given it to God and let it go. So I thought.

But, was I willing to truly face God and say, that’s okay, I completely sacrifice my voice to you. You can have it, God. I don’t want it back.…. I thought I had already in my own way. But you know that thing people say? If you know, you know? Yeah, everyone “thinks” they know! Until they KNOW! Suddenly, worship became MORE beautiful than I had ever imagined! I had always “preached” that it doesn’t matter what someone sounds like to others here on earth, the Lord loves it! I would encourage others to sing out His praises no matter what they thought they sounded like. So why couldn’t I practice what I preached? I mean I still sang, just would try not to when I realized it wasn’t sounding “right”. I would sing the words; “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.” Thanking God as I gingerly sang those words for me walking out of the “grave” of losing my voice.

But, just what if, I sacrificed it and gave it completely up to the Lord? What if I left my voice in the grave and continued to sing anyway? What would that sound like? It would sound like the “treasure of my heart being laid on an altar”. It would sound like “worthy worship”.

You see John 4: 19-26 talks about how Jesus was speaking to a woman at a well. There comes a point where she says to Jesus that she can see that he’s a prophet but that her “fathers” (family) worshiped on this mountain and that she didn’t understand how Jews could say that the place to worship was actually in Jerusalem. People were literally fighting over where the correct place to worship was.

Jesus goes on to tell her that an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Verse 22 goes on to say; “You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Did you happen to notice what He didn’t say? He didn’t say, you must worship Him in song and with a pleasing voice. As a matter of fact, it didn’t say anything about using your voice at all! Jesus said, in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. Did you also see how she “thought she knew”. So, a little text of encouragement lead me to a big understanding I thought I already understood. I already understood I could worship in other ways! I even had John 4:24 as my FB cover image for a long time. But it took me losing my voice to find my true worship. It “cost” me something precious. I realized my “gift” was worth giving up! But I gained something so much more precious! An understanding of what true, pure, raw, worship is.

My spirit now screams You can have it ALL God! My truth now screams, none of it means more to me than You!

What are you watering?

So I stumbled on a wonderful reminder and a “marker” as Pastor Gary likes to call them. I just had to share it as the next podcast! Check it out! Hopefully you’ll be blessed by it too!

CATW Jenny Sink – Unraveling

This particular CATW was our very first virtual session. Covid had just shut everything down in early 2020 and we had to make the decision for it to be a Facebook live instead of our in person fellowship time. Jenny brought a beautiful word about how we can walk around this world knotted up, torn and hurting to only realize the common thread to restoration. Jesus! He brings unraveling, restoration and healing to the pattern of our life. Check it out below! You can also find more of Jenny’s devotions on her Facebook page “Thoughts from a Broken but Blessed Soul”

What Podcast?

One more faith step complete! The building blocks are moving along nicely. One step at a time! I just published my very first podcast. Audio only for the moment. However, I’ll have visual episodes in the future. You gotta walk before you can run, ya know? I’m thankful! Check it out on Anchor here if you feel so obliged! Or you can also find it on Spotify here. Stay tuned!

Artza Box Subscription

Have you ever wanted to experience the Holy Land but are not sure you’ll ever be able to actually visit? Then this subscription box is for you! I’m hoping to add a video soon so you’ll be able to see what comes in the box but I couldn’t wait to share this coolness with you! You can get your own by clicking on this link. Be sure to use the coupon code ARTZAMEGANPALMER to receive $10 off. Check out Artza’s Youtube video below to see what it’s all about! Stay tuned and I’ll show you what comes in mine!

I can’t wait to hear about your box!

CATW Jordan Smith – Further Instructions

This particular CATW was a sweet sweet moment as we had not had an in person CATW in some time due to covid. It was also extra special because we had author Jordan Smith give the word. If you haven’t heard of her please go check out her book Marrying Mr. Man of God! You will not be disappointed! Check out the video below to see the word God brought to us through our sister Jordan! If you enjoyed the video you can also follow her blog here!

This was filmed on FB live, apologies for the vertical display!

Plan A vs. Plan B

Don’t ever let your Plan B become your Plan A when you feel discouraged!

God says; “I am a prefix! I come (should come) before all plans or things in life. Therefore, you are a prefix too!”

You’re made in His image and if He is a prefix to your plan then you also are a prefix to the plan. Although The Lord goes before it, you must obey to make it happen. No matter what! Otherwise, other additives get in the way and suddenly you’re discouraged because you; don’t have the funds, it hasn’t happened yet, you’re too old, you’re too young, not good enough, and your Plan B falls into the place of Plan A. Now what you’ve essentially done is told God His plan will never work and your Plan B is better. You know what? He loves us anyway! But, He lets us have the freedom to choose. While we’re choosing Plan B, He decides He loves us enough to keep Plan A on our hearts and minds, hoping we will decide to fully trust Him, hoping we will be brave enough, bold enough to step into the unknowing and follow in the grace He’s set before us.

You see, Gods plan A isn’t quite what we dreamed it would be anyway! That’s why it’s so hard to obtain it in our flesh. Our spirit yearns for is so we feel the passion of our dream, but our flesh can’t quite see it so we give in to the struggles. All while our spirit man on the inside is screaming “Don’t Give Up!”

So don’t let Plan B steal Plan A’s place! The moment you feel that starting to happen, hit the deck, fall on your knees and thank God for your Plan A. Ask Him to show you the next checkpoint. Before you know it, you’ll be living Plan A and you’ll realize that Plan A was actually to always seek God so He could have a relationship so grand with you that you couldn’t help but fall into what He has for you, no matter what your flesh thought it was!

You were living Plan A all along!

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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