DO IT AFRAID

2017-05-28 001

I was scared. I don’t preach in front of people in a regular church. I minister to individuals and I reach out to people through my “preach letters” on the internet. But the Lord snuck up on me. He inspired me to go the Las Vegas Writer’s meeting a couple weeks ago. I hadn’t been since last August, but when God wants something, He gets it! So I went.

 

The talk was really great, but even more motivational for me, as far as the Lord was concerned, was that I heard about the workshop going on yesterday: “Presentation Skills Workshop.” OMG! “Too scary,” I thought, “but oh boy do I need it!” I knew Jesus wanted me to go. My roommate Jane is the one who knows how to talk to anyone and everyone, just off the cuff, without any problem at all. I’m not that person—I shrink and shrivel.

 

In fact, when I approached the man who gave the pitch on the workshop, I refused to even look at him. I just asked for the information on the workshop and wrote it down. He was trying to be friendly and asked me if he could share something he was thinking about lately. I let out a curt, “NO” and I left. I was soooo rude! God forgive me.

 

By last Wednesday, three days before the workshop, I was so nervous about having to speak about my writing, that my stomach closed up and I had sharp shooting pains; it was so awful that I had to call in sick. Jane asked what was wrong and I told her about how afraid I was to have to talk in public about my writing. It was like a huge unclear jumble in my mind and I was in pain.

 

I’m sure all of us have things we know we must face and we just don’t want to. We don’t know what the results will be and it’s just too darn scary.

 

What really helped me to assuage the fear, was to expose it. I had to let it out. It was eating me up. As soon as I told Jane how afraid I was, and how jumbled and cloudy my emotions were and my mind, I knew what to do—get organized, get clear.

 

Once things are defined, I can do much better. Instead of staying frozen in fear, I got moving. I got out my folders of notes on what my stories are about. I printed out some of the things I had already written in the Introductions to my books; I looked at how I talked about my books on Amazon, and other places where I had to write a short summary of my works. Then I printed out what I had and I worked on how to present these to the group.

 

We were also supposed to be ready for a mock radio/public interview that would be taped (yep, really scary). We would be answering questions like: What is your book about? Would you be willing to read an excerpt from your book for our audience? Can you tell us about yourself? Where did you get the idea to write this book? And the last one: If you were presenting to an agent or publisher looking for new clients, what have you got?

 

All of this was frightening, but I knew the Lord was sending me, so I determined to volunteer for everything, even the live interview. I practiced a little and did it even though I was afraid. Joyce Meyer coined the phrase “DO IT AFRAID.” It’s a good one.

 

When the workshop leader asked for a volunteer, I raised my hand and he motioned for me to get up. I read my story of the googly-eyed man in Starbucks and the story of Peanut, my dog, jumping into the bathtub with me in it! As I looked out into the group, I looked from person to person like you’re supposed to do, but I didn’t see any friendly faces. “OMG, they hate me!” flashed across my mind.  But I plowed ahead anyway and finished my talk.

 

There were things I definitely could have done better, but I got some good feedback—some really helpful hints on things I could do better. There was only one woman who was really annoyed by my talk: “That sounded like a sermon in church,” she sniped. To which I calmly replied, “They ARE preach letters after all.” (like what did she expect, a romance novel?). Oh well.

 

When Jane picked me up, I told her about the event and I felt like a success just showing up and participating. I ended up with four out of ten people saying complimentary things about my presentation, the one lady who was totally offended (who by the way didn’t read any of her work) and the rest who were just quiet. Then I realized, “Hey, I was the only one to get invited to speak at another event!” I guess it wasn’t that bad after all and I’ll definitely do it again. Watch out Vegas, here I come!

 

After I calmed down from the workshop, I got to thinking about where in the Bible someone had to do something afraid. I was reminded of one of my favorite guys, Ananias.

 

Ananias was not one of the twelve famous apostles. He was just a regular guy like you and me. But Jesus knew He could trust Ananias to do what He asked. Ananias had to do it afraid. Jesus told him to go down and minister to Saul, who was well known as a murderer of Christians. He was the one who was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1).

 

Ananias did like I did, or rather, I did like Ananias—he expressed his fear. He told Jesus he really didn’t want to do this. He was afraid of this guy Saul. But once he got it out in the air, Jesus told him it would be okay and Ananias got it together and went and did what he needed to do. He did it afraid. And just this regular guy, Ananias, was the one who got to mentor one the greatest Apostles of all time, Paul of Tarsus.

 

We all face those situations that make us afraid, but we know we have to do them anyway. Don’t be afraid to admit fear. It’s a fact of life. But we don’t let it rule us and ruin us. If the Lord wants us to do it, He will get us through it. And we will be successful.

 

Love, Carolyn

(painting I did of myself 1989 LOL!)

More good truths from God’s Word and how to apply these truths in everyday living—get your copy of WINGS: A Journey in Faith

 

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CAN YOU BE PATIENT?

CAN YOU BE PATIENT?

It was slow at work the last few weeks, but I was able to find a few things to do to keep busy. However, in about a week and a half I started to get low on new ideas. It’s a good thing the Lord is faithful. He took this opportunity to teach me to be patient. It’s not that my boss doesn’t want me to work; He does. But I like to do things that are profitable. We didn’t have any samples to work on and I hate to just stand around trying to look like I’m busy. So Jesus came through for me and gave me new tasks to do.

 

Isaiah 48:6-7 says: “I have shown thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. They are created now and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them not, lest thou shouldest say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’” I sure couldn’t brag about coming up with the new projects to make our work easier or more efficient. It was the Lord who gave me ideas, just one at a time, and as I got started on one, He just led me step by step into the next part, or into an entirely new project. It was amazing.

 

At the beginning of this slow time, I had no idea of the ideas He would give me. One after another, the innovations came. There was the rattle can inventory—over 100 cans of spray paint! I wanted to be able to see what they’d look like once sprayed, but how was I going to do it in a neat and useful way? Ephesians 1:8 says: “He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom.” I love the way The Amplified Version puts it: “In all wisdom and understanding with practical insight.” I needed that practical insight in this situation.

 

The Holy Spirit gave me the idea to make a template with a small square-shaped opening just big enough to spray the paint through and show what the color looked like. So I divided up the colors in different categories and had three templates going at once. (In dry time, I experimented with some wild color spray paint covers for my new books.)

 

Once I finished that project, I wondered what would be next. Lamentations 3:22-26 says:  

 

“It is through the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

 

“‘The Lord is my portion,’ saith my soul, ‘Therefore will I hope in Him.’ The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.

 

“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”

 

The word “salvation” also means “satisfaction.” When we seek the Lord and quietly wait, when we are patient, we will experience satisfaction. I was learning to believe in God’s faithfulness to me. He would keep me working, keep giving me new things to do, not just to busy my time, but things that would be helpful to us in the shop later on. So I was patient.

 

Again the Lord got me started on another task I didn’t see coming. I looked around and saw that I could organize the cans of paint on the shelves and label the shelves so that it would be easier and faster to find what we needed. When I started labeling the shelves, one thing led to another; the labeling got more detailed, making the task of finding things even more efficient. It made me happy to be doing something that was going to be beneficial, something that in normal working mode, we would never have the time for. But, of course, Jesus knew that!

 

In this slow time at work, the Lord is taking the opportunity to teach me about His faithfulness to me and showing me that I really can be patient and like it.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

WINGS 2: JOURNEY WITH JESUS. You’ll love the stories. You’ll laugh and cry and be invigorated and inspired.

Check it out:

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SELF-RESPECT

dignity self respect

I decided to teach myself to paint. One of my ideas was to cut out photos from newspapers and magazines, then try to paint them. I chose black and white ones for my first attempt. I learned that raw umber and ultramarine blue made a nice black, so I mixed up some and got started. The first picture that inspired me was the face of a young Black American girl. She was financially poor. But in one way she was very rich and it showed on her face. This captured my attention and my heart.

There was dignity in her expression, self-respect, and that’s what I wanted to portray—a deep inner strength from within. She held her head high as her face expressed drive and courage. When I saw the photo I thought to myself, “No matter what her circumstances are, she believes in her own worth and that’s what I want to paint.”

I have the finished painting hanging in the living room, across from where I sit.  The emotional impact continues to inspire me. This girl may not have had money or things, but she had her dignity; she had pride in who she was. In my teenage years I’d lost that, and let people treat me badly because I didn’t think I deserved to be treated well.  But when I started to study God’s Word, my self-worth was re-ignited.

 

I think God sees us much like I see the painting of the girl’s face. He’s proud of us. He sees right past any of our outward frailties or inward short comings. He smiles when we believe in ourselves, when we hold our heads high. We are His kids. We have a right to dignity and we have courage to believe and walk out on His Word, step by step into our futures. We learn a lot by just doing—finding out what works and what doesn’t work for us. Maybe not immediately, but eventually we learn to recognize how He works in our lives and we learn to truly trust Him and His Word.

Psalm 139:14 is a great verse to tell ourselves if we’re ever feeling bad about ourselves: “I will give thanks and praise to You [God], for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”

 

God says we’re fearfully (awesomely, respectfully) made. God took time thinking about us even before we were born: what we would look like (what color eyes, the color of our skin, would we have freckles or not, all that physical stuff.) He carefully planned where we’d be born, what kind of cultural environment we’d be in, what our voices would sound like, what we would enjoy. He thought about all that in great detail and made each person unique. Then He said, “Wonderful!” We may not always agree with Him, but we need to!

 

Zechariah 2:8 tells us we are the apple of God’s eye, and warns those who go up against us. “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘After glory, He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.’”(NASB).

 

I like the way The Living Bible translates this: “The Lord of Glory has sent me against the nations that oppressed you, for he who harms you sticks his finger in Jehovah’s eye!”

 

This verse is specifically talking about nations who plunder God’s people, but Satan also uses demons to get people to plunder themselves by self-mutilation of one form or another. Even speaking badly about ourselves can be a form of mutilation of the mind, heart and spirit.

 

Since God says we were awesomely, respectfully and thoughtfully made, we need to respect ourselves for what God created! Let’s not stick a finger in His eye! Instead, the next time we look into the mirror let’s be saying to that person, “You, yes YOU, are wonderfully made by God and you are the apple of His eye. Respect yourself!”

 

Love, Carolyn
PART 1      F*R*E*E*
More good truths from God’s Word and how to apply these truths in everyday living—get your copy of WINGS: A Journey in Faith

 

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IT’S EASY TO MISS WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR

flashlight in dark room

I prayed daily to get rid of the gangs and the tagging in the neighborhood. I was seeing more graffiti and reading about the different crimes committed around us. I was only focusing on the negatives and praying against them. This week something happened to change my focus.

 

Just today, Jane my roommate, said, “Someone bought that Christian store that was closing and it’s already open. Let’s take a ride down there and see it. Did you notice the rehab place down the street is now a church? Have you seen the other new church down there too?”

 

I replied, “Oh yea, and there’s that other big one around the corner. The parking lot is always full.” I remembered that we just saw two Black American men this past weekend in the neighborhood coming around to invite people to the Baptist church a block away.

 

And Jane said, “The synagogue just built a brand new Jewish school down there too.”

 

All kinds of new believers were infiltrating my neighborhood and I didn’t even know it.

 

I started off praying AGAINST the negatives, but I ended up LOOKING FOR THEM!  Since I wasn’t looking for the good things, I was missing all of what was happening around me. John 1:5 says: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” Just one flashlight in a room and all the darkness can’t make it go away. The entrance of God’s light in my neighborhood is what is beginning to dispel the darkness.

 

Now I’m no longer looking at the negatives, but at the light, focusing and praying for all the good I see. God tagged our neighborhood!

 

Speaking of looking at the good, that’s exactly what Jesus did and continues to do with us. I love this remark from T.L. Osborn:

 

“Jesus did enough! He did enough to even cover the worst thing we can do. He did enough for ALL mankind, FOREVER. There’s nothing we can do to shock Him, scare Him away, disgust Him so much He’d ignore us. He got tempted by whatever tempts us. And when He was crucified for all the results of giving in to those temptations, He took it to the devil and shook it in his face and dumped it off at the devil’s feet: ‘There, finished for all time!’”

 

Jesus looks at the good in us and the end result, which is to be perfect with Him forever!

 

Love, Carolyn

 

Link to new WINGS 2: Journey with Jesus book

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MOM TO THE RESCUE

mothersday2

The grass on the hillside behind our house was long and dry—perfect for hours of fun for the three of us kids. We found the largest cardboard boxes we could and broke them down to make sleds. Up we climbed to the top of the hill and down we flew to the bottom. We’d do it again and again all day long, until mom called us for dinner. But the one time when I was sledding alone, something horrible happened.

I got tired early so I folded my cardboard and headed home. I carefully lifted up a section of barbed wire at the bottom of the hill and started to climb under. My foot crunched down on a small dead branch in the way. All of a sudden I was swarmed and being stung by yellow jackets. They were all over me—my face, my arms, my head, even stinging me through my socks—and they just kept attacking. Yellow jackets aren’t like regular bees that die once they sting you. Yellow jackets can just keep on stinging over and over. I must have disturbed their nest and they were mad. I managed to get myself out from under the barbed wire and ran to the middle of the street.

They followed me and surrounded me and kept stinging me. I could do nothing to stop them. I panicked and froze there right in the middle of the street and started screaming at the top of my lungs.

My mom came running out of the house and saw immediately what was going on. She ran out to the middle of the street where I was paralyzed in panic. Grabbing me in her arms, she quickly got me off the street and into our driveway. She turned the water on and hosed me down. I was sopping wet when she took me into the house, sat me down at the kitchen table and slathered me from head to toe in calamine lotion, finally easing the pain of probably over a hundred yellow jacket stings.

This memory reminds me of the Bible story about the man from the Gadarenes. He was being attacked by a legion of devil spirits. Most sources say a legion can be as many as 6000 in number. The man was lashing out, tearing at himself and scaring everyone, that is, except Jesus. The man wasn’t in his right mind but Jesus had compassion on him and rescued the man. Jesus set him free from the attacks and the people “found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:34).

My mom was not afraid. When it came to one of her kids, she had no fear, but instantly knew what to do and did it. My mom ran right into the swarm of yellow jackets, to save her daughter. She rescued me from the yellow jackets and calmed the stings.

 

Jesus was not afraid either. He knew that God wanted him to rescue this man and He did it. Jesus ministered God’s love to the man and delivered him from the stings of torment the devils put on him.

 

As I look at the people God puts in my path, I want to be more compassionate toward His children, like my mom was for me. I want to react more like Jesus and help those who want deliverance from the stings they experience in this life.
Like it says in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). First Corinthians 13:8 says: “Love never fails.”

 

To all of you mothers who have rescued us so many times: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
Love, Carolyn

 

Summer’s coming up here in the USA. How about a great summertime read? WINGS VOLUME 2 == WINGS: JOURNEY WITH JESUS

 

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GOD IS NOT FOR SALE

peter and tax money

Have you ever wondered why most churches do not pay taxes? Jesus was in favor of paying taxes. He sent Peter down to the lake to get the tax money. Jesus told him: “Go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take it and give it to them [to pay the temple tax] for you and me” (Matt. 17:27 AMP). The tax exempt status of churches has a shady beginning. It’s been around for 63 years now. I would venture to say most churches today don’t even know how it began and definitely don’t realize the extent of the curse this seemingly innocent alliance continues to bring into their churches. But it’s time to open blind eyes and break free.

 

In 1954 Lyndon Johnson was a senator of the United States. He was a 33rd degree mason. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I know he was influenced by the Illuminati. The most formidable enemy to their plans for America would have been the church. To confront this, they enacted the availability for churches to incorporate into what’s called 501 C3 status, also called the Johnson Act. It allowed tax exempt status and other benefits to the church, in exchange for keeping their mouths shut about what was going on, especially in the political, as well as the social arena. In other words, it was a bribe and the church took it.

 

Since the time that this Johnson Act has been in play, many things have happened in America, that could have been avoided. One example was in 1963 or ’64, when prayer was taken out of school. The church kept silent because they didn’t want to lose their tax exempt status. Just because the church had more money to do good things with, because it didn’t have to pay taxes, doesn’t make it right. God is not for sale, and we must put a stop to the consequences of a law enacted and ratified with a bribe.

 

Like I said, most church leaders probably don’t even realize the seriousness of what they entered into when signing this contract and it takes legal action to get out of it. But it is totally doable, and I pray that if you are a church leader, you start the process as soon as possible. (At the end of this article I put a couple links to where you can get help with the process.) What started as a bribe, is still having an effect on good Christian people in the church, without us even knowing why.

 

The Bible has some strong things to say about taking a bribe. Ecclesiastes 7:7 tells us: “A bribe destroyeth the heart” (KJ21). I looked up the Hebrew word translated “heart” in this verse. It means “the innermost part, the soul of man, his mind, knowledge, thinking, memory, will, conscience, moral character, resolution, determination, understanding and care.” If something can destroy what we care about, that’s bad!

 

Then I looked up the word for “destroy.” It means: “to go astray, be exterminated, vanished, or lost.” A bribe in the church can cause good people’s moral character to stray, their understanding lost, their resolution and determination exterminated. No wonder so many Christians have become apathetic regarding issues that concerned Jesus and should be concerning us as well.

 

Deuteronomy 16:19 says: “Neither take a bribe; for a bribe doth blind the eyes of the wise and pervert the words of the righteous.” Good people are twisting some of the basic principles of the Bible and compromising on truth. They’re not able to get accurate revelation from the Lord because it’s being filtered through perverted thinking patterns, and oftentimes, unknowingly.

 

Ephesians 6:12 says: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

 

The rulers of the darkness of this world would love for the churches to continue to think that the tax exempt status is a great thing because it provides for so much more money to do God’s will. But because of the gag order that goes along with it, the adversary has been way more powerful than he should be. He has deceived good churches and good church people into apathy.

 

The “darkness” in this verse is translated from the Greek word “skotos.” It means “blindness, where the soul has lost its perceptive powers.” That’s putting the church right where Satan wants it. By tricking churches into taking this Johnson Act bribe, the devil has put a veil on many people’s way of thinking and their perceptions are erroneous or have cracks in them. We want to be able to perceive the things of life with a clear conscience, not tainted by association with sin.

 

God can no longer put up with this. He wants us sharp, vital, involved and making the truth matter. He wants us to be making a positive, Christ-inspired impact on our country and our world. While the churches are legally still under the influence of a bribe, we cannot do this to the full extent of what God desires.

 

Sixty-three years of a pack with evil is just too much! God has revealed it to us now because He loves us and He trusts us, that we can be bold enough to stop the trend. If you are a church member, please pray for your church leaders to rise up to boldness it will take to be free. And if you are a pastor or church leader, please consider my words and take the steps into this new freedom for yourselves, for your people and for the Lord’s sake. Here are some links to where you can get help:

 

http://biblicallawcenter.com    http://drgregdixon.com/the-trail-of-blood-revisited/   http://libertychurchproject.com/

 

Love, Carolyn

PRISON BREAK?

joseph in prison

Some may be in prison and know what it feels like. But some who’ve never been in a physical prison, can feel locked up as well; whether it’s a job or a relationship or a bad habit, it can feel as if we can’t get out and we hate it and would do just about anything to escape. But what if immediate escape isn’t in the Lord’s perfect plan for us? You may think: “WHAT?! That can’t be right;” and yet sometimes it’s true. It was that way with Joseph.

 

The merchants brought their new slave, Joseph, to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, the captain of the guard, and “the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand” (Gen. 39:3-4).

 

But then Potiphar’s wife set her sights on Joseph. “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me” (Gen 39:8). Joseph refused and she kept coming after him until one day when there were no men in the house, she grabbed a piece of his clothing and when he ran away from her, the clothing was still in her hand. She used this to accuse him to her husband Potiphar. When Potiphar heard this, he believed his wife’s story and locked Joseph up in prison.

 

Joseph found favor in prison and did well, as far as prison goes. Then he met two other men in prison who were servants of the King of Egypt. One was a butler and the other a baker. They had dreams they couldn’t interpret, so Joseph said he’d take it to God and see what the dreams meant. For the butler, it was good news – he was getting out of prison. He was thankful, but when he got out, he totally forgot about Joseph.

 

Here’s where the “what if” comes in. What if the butler had gotten Joseph out of prison at that time? What if Joseph had been kindly sent back to his country?

 

He would have gone back to a family where his brothers hated him and his father thought he had been killed by a wild beast. Talk about a dysfunctional family! Can you imagine the strife between brothers and father in that family? Then put Joseph in the mix—yikes! And besides that, the country was descending into a huge gaping famine. God knew all this and already had a plan in mind. Unfortunately for Joseph, it meant he had to stay in prison a little longer.

 

So, as it turns out, the butler forgot about Joseph and Joseph was in prison for two more years! But while he was there, he was promoted and so he had the best position in the prison, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

 

“The Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.

 

“The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (Gen 39:21-23).

 

Not always, but sometimes maybe our prisons aren’t nearly as bad as they seem. Check with God for an answer to that. Just maybe they are temporary, just long enough to get us to the place on the other side, when the timing for greater things is perfect for us. That’s how it went with Joseph.

 

When the King of Egypt had a dream he couldn’t interpret, the butler remembered Joseph. He finally got him out of prison. And now, instead of working for the king’s captain, Potiphar, Joseph was working for the king himself! And in an instant, he was put in a wealthy position at the very head of the country. God gave him the revelation of how to store up huge amounts of sustainable food for many years to come. Not only did Egypt prosper under Joseph, but Joseph was able to reconcile with his family and save them from the famine as well.

 

So if we feel like we are in prison and we’ve prayed and done everything we can to get out; and it’s just not happening, what do we do? We ask God if it is where we are supposed to be for now. Then we ask Him to bless us where we’re at, just like Joseph with the best case scenario. Our Lord will answer.

 

Hebrews 13:5 tells us: “Let your manner of living be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. For He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’”

 

Love, Carolyn

 

Buy one of my books or booklets J  IT WILL BLESS YOU AND ME TOO!

 

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