Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Of Gods & Leaders

Have you noticed that people tend to make gods out of leaders?

Hollywood, Government, Pastors and anyone else are prime contestants for being idolized and worshipped. 

We tend to hang on their every word and actions.

We think that the rulers we choose to admire and admonish will give us greater success in life than if we choose to worship and follow God’s ways alone.

We've become dependant on these leaders for our happiness, peace, comfort, and stability.

This has been happening since biblical times going back to the book of Samuel.

Whenever we choose to appoint another leader over our lives instead of Jesus it demonstrates our lack of truly knowing who he really is. 

God is a good God. He loves us. He wants the best for our lives. 

He gently leads us. 

He guides us into all truth.

Earthly leaders will always leave us lacking. 

Only God can satisfy. 

One life changed by Jesus; one by one will change our world.

Friday, January 27, 2017

7 Ways to be Consistent

1.      Determination. Set your mind on the fact that you will do this activity no matter what tries to get in your way.

 All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
“I am determined to be wise”... Ecclesiastes 7:23 

2.      Write it down.  Make a list of what you want to accomplish and how often you want to accomplish it.

But the noble make noble plans, and by noble 

deeds they stand.  Isaiah 32:8

3.      Verbalize it.  Speak out positive words to yourself about how you can and will achieve your goals.

So shall my word be that goes out from my 

mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it 

shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall 

succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 


4.      Do it! When you wake up in the morning start to take action on your goals. Don’t wait for time to slip away.

We do not want you to become lazy, but to 

imitate those who through faith and patience 

inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12

5.      Talk about it. Tell others about your goals and surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.

Therefore encourage one another and build each 

other up, just as in fact you are doing. 

1Thessalonians 5:11

6.      Pray. Daily pray over yourself and the tasks that you are trying to accomplish. Invite God to walk with you down this path.

 Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in 

all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in 

Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

7.      Be prepared. Get your mind, your will and your emotions ready to do it all over again the next day.

Those who live according to the flesh have their mind

set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in 

accordance with the Spirit have their minds set 

on what the Spirit desires.  Romans 8:5

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Post-Partum Depression & Spinning Plates {Part 2}

I cried out to Jesus for help.  He must have heard my cry, but it still felt impossible to sense his presence at all. 

All along this journey I had been spinning plates; trying to keep up appearances of the perfect mother and wife. 

It just all came crashing down so suddenly.  Then it happened.  I realized that I had fallen down the rabbit hole.  

I wanted out so desperately and as I cried out to God daily with my baby in arms and my toddler hanging on my knee I wondered if God could hear me at all.

I was so far down.  So very far down that hole.  Was I going to be able to come back?

At the urging of my husband I went to the Doctor and he gave me several months supply of samples of anti-depressants. 

I was on those pills for two months.  I didn’t cry, rage, or have suicidal thoughts but I also didn’t laugh, smile, and feel…anything.  I felt numb.

Then one day I just decided that I couldn’t live like that anymore.  I didn’t want to feel depressed but I also wanted to feel again. 

I stopped taking those pills cold turkey. 

A week had passed and I was feeling like my old self again; the self I once was before this post-partum had taken hold of me.

I distinctly remember what happened next.  I went to change my baby’s diaper just like I had done a dozen times before.  Everything felt normal until suddenly I started to feel anger and rage.  It felt like something hot climbing up from my feet and slowly rising up my legs.

I thought for a moment why would this be happening?  I don’t want to live like this anymore!  This is NOT who I am and who I am meant to be!

I whispered the only words I knew that would hopefully give me victory. 

“Get off of me in Jesus name!”

As suddenly as it had come on it had left. 

I felt joy again.

I felt freedom.

I was done spinning plates.  I was done with that rabbit hole.

From that moment on, I knew there was something more that I had personally experienced.  I experienced a tool for freedom from a spiritual enemy.

A tool that is also known as deliverance. 

This has been the path I’ve walked.  If you or someone you know is struggling with post-partum depression, I’d love to pray for you. 

Feel free to leave a comment or contact me through my Facebook page @Pathoftheblessing or Twitter @1BlessedPath 

{Links can also be found in the upper right hand corner of this blog site}

Monday, January 23, 2017

Post-Partum Depression & Spinning Plates

In 2000 I felt my mind and emotions slipping away with my first baby.  I adored her, but the world around me was completely overwhelming.  I was able to hide my struggle well enough that even the people who were closest to my, except my husband, never knew.

In 2002 I had my second baby and now I had tripped into the rabbit hole.  My mind and my emotions had teetered over the edge of what seemed to be no return.  Again, I put on my best face and was able to hide it from everyone until the melt down at a restaurant.  It was just too much. 

My baby was crying, there was a hot pot of coffee just above my shoulder, a table full of my husband’s relatives, several of whom I’ve never met, and I’m trying to latch my baby on to calm her. 

The only thing I can remember is I suddenly stood up and said, “I don’t give a damn” and quickly walked out of the restaurant with my baby in arms tears running down my face.

I sat out at the curb next to the car crying. Alone.  That was the moment I knew I needed help.

Jesus. Jesus. If you can hear me, please help me.

It was a miracle what happened in the next few months.  But I’ll write about THAT in my next blog.

Friday, January 20, 2017

4 Ways to Start on the Path of Blessing

Blessing flowed in and out of the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and 

Jacob.  Just before they were walking a path full of blessing, they all 

followed the same pattern.  

It’s what I call The Compass and it’s also the name of my soon to be 

published weekly devotional.

Front Cover Art from Path of the Blessing:Abraham, Isaac, Jacob 

The Compass consists of these 4 elements:

1.  Worship God.  Worshipping God is about exalting him above all others by approaching The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit honestly and allowing yourself to expose your heart before him humbly, resulting in glory to our God.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  John 4:23

2. Inquire.  Inquiring of God is about bringing our requests to him. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

3. Listen. Listening to God is best accomplished when the atmosphere is full of worship and void of distraction.  Although many times God will break through the most chaotic atmosphere in the way of a thought, idea, word, someone’s name, or through visual cues to get his direction across to his creation. 

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  John 10:27

4. Obey.  Obeying God is the most challenging aspect of The Compass.  It’s simply about surrender; surrendering our ideas, plans, and ways of living life to his plans.  It’s about living life on God’s terms and not our own, all the while applying faith.  Believing that God loves us and ultimately wants us to live out our lives to the fullest, which is only accomplished through obedience.

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  Luke 11:28

Want to know how Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob navigated their paths with The Compass and how their story is our story too?

Then find my book on Amazon; Path of the Blessing: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob by Tasha Johnson

Thursday, January 19, 2017

You are a Presence Carrier

When the enemies of God, the Philistines, captured the Ark of the Lord they thought they 

could use it as a weapon against their enemies. 

-Remember Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark?  

Same idea.  So they brought it into their temple and set it next to 

their god, Dagon.  The next day Dagon 

had fallen on his face before the Ark of the Lord.

Fast forward 2,000+ years and today believers in Jesus 

carry that very same Presence. 

The Ark of the Lord held the Presence of Almighty God before Jesus Christ had died on 

the cross at Calvary.  Since that day forward, the Presence of God now dwells within 

those who ask him to.  His Presence is also known as Holy Spirit. 

So the next time you go anywhere, if you are a believer 

in Jesus, remember you are carrying his Presence.

Stop for a minute and just think about that.  That is a powerful thought 
isn’t it?

One thing the Philistines got right is that the Presence of God is a weapon. - just not the 

type of weapon they were hoping for.

The Presence of God, Holy Spirit, is a spiritual weapon.  One 

that tears down the strongholds of the enemy, our adversary, the Devil and his demons.

Ask Holy Spirit to show you how you can partner with 
him demonstrating the power and the Presence of God in 
your life daily.

The rest of this story is found in 1 Samuel chapter 5.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

3 Ways to Know if You’ve Walked Off the Path of The Blessing

Life isn’t always peaches and cream.  

Life can unexpectedly serve up steamed green beans.  

In my life, I’ve found these 3 ways to be the most common ways I end up finding myself on a path that I didn’t plan on walking. 

Obviously, sin is the #1 answer, but I wanted to get a little bit more personal, so here we go!

1) Relationships.  I’ve chosen friends in my past, that are controlling and I end up becoming the friend that feels the need to make her happy to keep our friendship.  I’ve been a people pleaser.  After the fun of the new friendship wears off, and without healthy boundaries in place, I am resentful of that friend.  This relationship can also be dating relationships and marriages.  -Yikes! I know I’m speaking to someone out there who knows exactly what I mean. 

2) Misuse of Finances.  In years prior, I’ve wanted to fit in so badly with the community that surrounds me that I’ve racked up quite a credit card debt.  I didn’t honor God with the money that he’s blessed me with and I didn’t honor my husband.  I’ve been sneaky.  That path led to regret and mistrust between my husband and me.

3) Following Leaders Who Don’t Lead.  My husband and I have sat under the authority of leaders who don’t lead us deeper into the things of God.  We’ve innocently placed ourselves under such leadership with illusions of grandeur and false expectations.  When the promises fall flat, you see behind the curtain, and you realize it’s never going to happen.  This path is loaded with disappointment and unforgiveness.  This leader can also be a leader at work and in the home, such as your husband. -again, yikes! 

The good news is there is a way to get back onto the Path of the Blessing. -and when I say “the” I’m referring to God’s path for your life. 

If you want to know more, you can find my book, “Path of the Blessing: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob” on Amazon

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to Posture Yourself to Hear God Speaking to You

When I was a little girl attending Sunday School, one of my favorite stories in the Bible was the story of Samuel.  I connected with the story mainly because it was about a little boy who fell asleep in the temple and heard God’s voice audibly speak to him.

In 1 Samuel Chapter 3, Samuel had been assisting Eli, the priest in the temple for many years in worshipping the Lord.  Scholars estimate that Samuel was around 12 years of age when the Lord called out to him.  

Verse 7 says “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.”  I found this verse quite surprising.  

Samuel, day after day and for years was going through the motions; the act of everything required to demonstrate worship to the Lord and yet he didn’t know him.  How many of us are doing the same thing?  Saying our meal time prayers, our bedtime prayers, going to church on Sundays, doing all the “right” things, living a “good” life, being a “good” person and even reading the Bible.

Checking off all the boxes and punching in the time card. Is that what Christianity is all about?  -No, it’s not really about any of those things.  It’s about knowing the Lord through relationship.

Samuel didn’t recognize the voice of the Lord because he didn’t have a relationship with him yet.  He only knew God through the lens of rules and regulations.  He only knew to make sure to do the “right” things and check off all the boxes as he did them.

When the Lord called to Samuel, notice his posture; his position. Samuel positioned himself in such a way most likely because he was keeping an eye on the lamp of God to ensure it wouldn’t go out before it was supposed to.  In verse 2 it says that the lamp of God had not yet gone out.  This is something key to note because it was one of the laws to make sure it didn’t go out before morning. (Exodus 27:20, 21)  Also it’s key to note because it shows us just where Samuel had positioned himself.

The Lamp or what we now call the Menorah, represents fellowship with God.   Directly across from the Lamp stood the Bread of the Presence.  The Bread of the Presence represented fellowship and communion with man; speaking to him.   Verse 3 says that Samuel was lying down where the ark of God was.  The Ark of God represented the power and the presence of God himself. All three of these objects were surrounding Samuel.

Spiritually he positioned himself as close as anyone could possibly get to God, directly placing himself in his presence so that he could be in relationship with him and hear his voice.  That posture and position was where he needed to be to hear God, and he did.

Over time, Samuel understood how to keep the relationship close.  He kept hearing the word of the Lord time and time again.  I know I want that for my life.  I don’t want to live focused on the rules and regulations. Instead I want my focus to be on relationship; getting as close as I possibly can to the heart of God.  I want to rest in his presence like Samuel.

If you want to know the Lord and hear his voice leading you, then rest in his presence.  Get as close as you can.

How to get started: Slow down and read the Bible one verse/story/chapter at a time if need be, rest on that thought and meditate on it throughout your day.

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