Broken Escalators: The Great Hot Dog Snatcher

Ch. 5: What If God Intentionally Allows Irritating People In Our Lives to
Help Us Realize Only He Can Affect Our Promotions?

Is there someone in your life that drives you crazy? Someone who knows just how to push your buttons? A person who really just rubs you the wrong way? Maybe there is an individual in your life who “makes” you act in foolish ways and say things you never meant to say; one who “makes” you act in ways no one else can.

The Bible has much to say about a person who gives in to their feelings and acts foolishly when stirred to anger like this…

Proverbs 29:11, “A fool vents all his feelings. But a wise man holds the back.”

Proverbs 16:32, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Proverbs 22:24, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered.”

Proverbs 14:29, “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”

Proverbs 19:11, “A person’s wisdom yield’s patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

The truth is… No person can “make” us act foolishly. No man can “make” us lose our cool or say things that aren’t already dwelling within the boundaries of our hearts. When someone pushes our buttons, rather than make us angry, that irritation should act as a warning sign to us; a sign to point us to the weaknesses we have in our lives. It should cause us to draw closer to Jesus – that we may become more like Him.

In this weeks podcast based on chapter 4 and 5 from Peter Haas’ book, “Broken Escalators,” we will address the question… “What if God intentionally allows irritating people in our lives to help us realize only he can affect our promotions?” Through closely examining the life of King David and King Saul, we will look at how our character and relationships with God affect the anointing in our lives. I hope you will join me in this spiritual journey to discovering a deeper meaning to then nuisances in our lives as you listen in.

Broken Escalators: How To Talk A Manly Man Into Circumcision

Chapter 4: How To Talk A Manly Man Into Circumcision
Mindi Griffin’s Healing Testimony

The year was 1998. The prayer was short and sweet: “Lord, give me joy that no one can take away.” When the words left my lips, I had no idea of the significance these ten words would carry. But… it wouldn’t be long before I collided with their effects head on. That year, 1998, will forever be marked as one of the most difficult years of my life. And, if I am being honest, 1999, 2000, and 2001 weren’t much better.

As a young woman of twenty three, life was supposed to be carefree and fun- at least that is what I imagined. I thoroughly expected the season after college graduation to greet me with excitement, adventure and a sloppy, wet kiss. However, instead of strong arms to hold me and whimsical friends to hang with, I landed in a bed of needles on the back side of the wilderness. While most of my friends were falling in love, getting married and making babies, I found myself in a completely different, and quite lonely, place.

To start the year, my world fell apart when the man I thought I would one day say “I do” to shattered my heart into a million pieces. Shortly thereafter, I moved away from everything familiar to me to start my career as a physical therapist in a new city. Then, as the year came to a close, the unthinkable happened… After twenty eight years of marriage, my parents divorced.

The life I once knew had become extinct.

It cut like a knife.

I found it hard to breathe.

But what met me on the other side of my misery, was a life I only dreamed about.

On the back side of the wilderness, the Lord taught me the secret to finding joy that lasts. It was in those lonely, dark and difficult times that God taught me how to have joy that is independent of my circumstances. On that bed of needles, the Lord- in His great mercy and love- answered my prayer for “joy that no one can take away.”

In this week’s podcast, you will discover the key to lasting joy as I share the intimate details of my journey to find true happiness. And… if you need a bit of encouragement in the realm of healing, you will LOVE Mindi’s testimony as well. I hope you will take a few minutes to tune in.

Psalm 16:11, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of JOY; At your right hand are pleasures forever more.”

Broken Escalators: The Day All My Dreams Came True, And I Hated It

Chapter 3: The Day All My Dreams Came True And I Hated It.

In this world, there are many things we crave. For some of us, it’s pizza and sweet tea. For others, it’s chocolate covered potato chips with a side of ice cream. To me, a juicy steak and loaded baked potato has never sounded like a bad idea. In fact, I love just about everything a girl can put in her mouth.

For years, Dr. Pepper was my ‘food’ of choice- my morning wake up call. I don’t know if it was the caffeine or the sugar, but the pleasure I derived from a single sip made me crave it all the more.

Fortunately, not all of my cravings are bad. Some actually go much deeper than what I goes into my stomach. I crave things like good health, a happy heart, an amazing marriage and obedient children, too. I want for a nice car, a beautifully decorated home and landscaping that looks like HGTV got a hold of my yard.

Yes… We crave a myriad of different things… prominent positions, perfect curls and hour glass figures. We want for “all expense paid” vacations and winning lottery tickets too. We desire complements, praise and prestige. We want to be seen. We desire to be noticed; to be needed and to feel loved.

In truth, we long for all kinds of things- things we believe will bring us the ultimate satisfaction. “Once I have this thing,” we tell ourselves, “then I will truly be happy.” But then “that thing” arrives and we are left feeling empty still.

Why is this?

Why do all the things we believe will satisfy, leave us still wanting for more?

In this week’s podcast, based off chapter three of Peter Haas’ book, “Broken Escalators,” Emily Moore will let us in on the answer to these questions and more. I hope you will take a few minutes to listen in. No doubt, you will be refreshed through her words that are so rightly spoken.

Psalm 62:1 (NIV), “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.”

Broken Escalators: Exploding Potty Buckets

Chapter 2: Exploding Potty Buckets

We all know that life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, but why does it seem like for some people, life just seems to add up? Why do some people appear to have an easy journey through life whereas others have a much rougher path? Why does it seem like some people’s prayers get answered speedily and others are left waiting for what seems like an eternity.

The truth is… No matter what it looks like to the outsider, everyone goes through difficult seasons. Everyone faces unanswered prayers. Everyone feels lonely at times. Everyone deals with grief and loss. We all feel disappointed when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped. In fact, it is very possible that someone who looks like they lead a “charmed life” may very well be going through one of the toughest seasons of their life. Just because you can’t see difficulty doesn’t mean someone is not experiencing it.

No matter how much we try to prevent it, suffering impacts us all. The Word teaches us that we should not to be surprised when we face trials; that if we want to experience God’s glory, we must also partake in His suffering. It is in suffering that we are forced to learn His ways- which is ultimately for our good and teaches us character.

1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

In this week’s podcast based off chapter two of Peter Haas’ book, “Broken Escalators,” we will review some of the ways to let go of control in your own life and learn to walk in the victory Christ died to give you. It will remind you that suffering is a part of life that God allows in order to teach you the real value of life. Most importantly, I believe you will walk away refreshed, with a fervor to believe God. He will use every difficulty you face for your good and the good of others, if you will only allow Him.

John 16:33 (AmpC), “In the world you will have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted)! For I have overcome the world. (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.)

Broken Escalators : Who’s Your Daddy?

Chapter 1: Who’s Your Daddy?

The way we respond when tragedy happens reveals a lot about our relationship with God. How we pray reveals a lot about our theology. If our prayers are filled with doubt, worry, anxiety and fear; if we are constantly trying to figure things out or trying to control the circumstances or people around us, there is a good possibility that we don’t understand the fullness of the love of our heavenly Father.

The Word says in Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

The Lord is a loving Father. When we pray, He hears. The Word says He actually bends down to listen to our prayers.  Like any good Daddy, His ears are open to the cries of His children- even when it seems contrary. As the Word promises, when we pray for a fish 🐠, God doesn’t give us a snake🐍. He gives good gifts to those who ask.

When our prayers are not answered in the way we expect them to be answered, there is always a reason. God sees the bigger picture. He has the good of His kids in mind through every situation. He knows the parts we don’t, He sees the parts can’t, and He is working out the details to point His kids wholeheartedly to Him.

In this podcast, you will be encouraged to trust God on a deeper level than you have ever known. You will be reminded that the middle of a trial is not the time to determine whether something is good or bad. You will be encouraged to lay aside anxiety, fear, doubt and worry and exchange it for the rest and peace of God.

I hope you will take a few minutes to listen in to this podcast based on Chapter One of Peter Haas’ book, “Broken Escalators.” We are meeting at the Avenue Worship Center of East Coast Christian Center every Thursday from 9:30 to 11 am now through April 18, 2019. We would LOVE for you to come too!❤️

Broken Escalators: Week 1- Introduction

Part 1: Introduction/Peter Haas’ testimony
Part 2: Why the wait?

Two years ago this past January, my husband and I felt the Lord saying it was time to take a step in a new direction for our lives. After seventeen years of working in professional baseball, we felt the Lord calling us to walk away. Though Landon and I had been preparing financially for this step for quite some time, actually doing it required a lot of faith, as well as a number of changes. For one, I had to increase my hours at work for an indefinite period of time in order to make up the difference in our salaries- the effects of which I felt in other areas as well. I had no choice but to “give up” something I not only love, but feel called to do- teach the Word of God.

I am happy to say that this week a new season began. After two and a half years, I was able to start teaching Bible study again. The wait was long, but oh so beneficial. As with every journey, I learned a lot on this one. And while it didn’t always feel good, I know it was good.

Isn’t that the great paradox of the wait? As much as we try to resist it, something happens in it. The wait causes us grow. It points us to Jesus and teaches us to trust Him. In fact, God often does things in us during the wait that can’t be received any other way.

In the natural, taking steps such as these frequently feel like a push (make that a shove) in a direction opposite our dreams. But, the truth is… what we learn in the wait actually propels us toward our destinies.

In this 10 week series, we will be studying from Peter Haas’ book, “Broken Escalators”  where we will discover the truth behind what leads to happiness and promotion. I’d love for you to pick up a copy and come along for the ride. Whether you are near or far, it’s not too late to join in. We will be meeting every Thursday from now until April 18, 2019 in the Avenue Worship Center at East Coast Christian Center in Merritt Island, Florida from 9:30 to 11am. If you can’t make it in person, take some time to listen to the podcast. In this introductory message, we will dive further into the “why” behind the wait. No doubt you will be blessed.

Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

How Healthy Are You?

Lately I have been taking a half hour walk just about every day. I started close to two years ago when my blood sugar told me it was time. I don’t especially love to exercise, but I don’t want to end up a diabetic either. Something visceral happens when you have a patient pull out her eye and tell you, “I wish I would have paid attention when the doctor told me I needed to change my diet.” Statements like that send the message loud and clear: There is a whole lot going on and in our bodies that we cannot see. If we don’t want to reap the negative consequences later, we’d better pay attention now.

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes the school of hard knocks to get the message through to us.

I am no different.

For years I had been convicted to cut down on the sugar in my diet and to stop drinking soda. While I had made many strides in decreasing the number of sweets I ate, I couldn’t seem to stop drinking soda. When the Lord convicted me, my response was simple. “I want to quit drinking soda Lord, but I just don’t have a reason to stop.” Of course, the Lord’s conviction should have been reason enough to make me forever skip another swallow. But for me, it simply wasn’t. I loved my Dr. Pepper. And, as hard as is to say, the truth is… I loved my Dr. Pepper more than I loved the warning the Holy Spirit was sending. So rather than heed His direction, I dismissed the whisper God had been speaking to my heart over and over again for years.

As time passed, there were a number of subtle signs that pointed to the idea that something wasn’t quite right inside my body. For starters, I had gotten multiple urinary tract infections over a two year period- something I’d never dealt with before. And, I noticed that I frequently felt shaky soon after eating at my favorite bar-b-que restaurant. (Unbeknownst to me, the sweet tea, garlic bread, bar-b-que sauce and French fries were causing my sugar to escalate. Imagine that!) With a mild hunch that maybe elevated blood sugar was the culprit, I began checking it on a daily basis. I quickly discovered that while my glucose numbers were not off the charts, neither were they in a normal range when I ate a moderate number of carbohydrates- especially for someone my age, without a family history of diabetes who is neither overweight, nor overly sedentary.

So, equipped with a “reason to quit” I began changing the way I did life. I educated myself on proper nutrition and the effect of excessive sugar on the body.  I discovered how little nutrition was found in some of the foods that I had previously considered to be healthy and was forced to make some sizeable changes. I began significantly cutting out simple carbohydrates (processed food, sugar and soda) from my diet. Exercise became a daily part of my routine and denying my flesh became an even greater habit- one I still am working to master; one which- by the way- the Lord commands.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; You were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”

There is so much more I could say related to this topic. But my point is not to educate you about diabetes (though many people are walking around with it and don’t even know it). Instead, my hope is that through my experience, you will recognize where you are missing God when it comes to your health. Please, don’t wait for an angel to appear in a dream before you listen to what the Holy Spirit is whispering to your heart. (Secretly, that is what I was hoping for!) Let this be your confirmation. If something doesn’t feel quite right, get it checked out. Don’t put off the blood work, the CT scan or the doctor visit until it is too late. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope everything turns out ok. Take action today.

Our health is not something that fails us in one day. Sickness generally appears as a result of small choices we make on a daily basis added together over years. If we don’t take care of ourselves today, we will pay the price tomorrow. And I don’t want that for either of us!

“Lord, Thank you for leading me in healthy choices every day. Help me to heed the voice of your Spirit and the wisdom of others in the realm of my body. Direct my steps as I follow your voice. Give me a plan for my health and the stamina to follow through as you direct me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Intentional Parenting

Have you ever wondered how children born and raised in the same household could turn out so differently? I mean, really. How can one child in a family grow up to be lazy and addicted to drugs while the others become healthy, hard-working professionals? From the time I was a teenager, the answer to this question befuddled me. I mean, even back then I understood that every person is born with a unique set of gifts and talents that certainly play a role in who a child grows up to be. But even with these unique character traits, how can children in the same families grow up to live such different lives?

Then, I became a parent. And I discovered the unique role I have in this process. While it is only one small piece to this puzzle, there is a great amount of value in recognizing how my parenting (or lack of it) has and will shape my “less-responsible” children into whom they become. 

A couple of years ago, I noticed a trend taking place in my home. Whenever there was work to be done -regardless of how menial the task- I found myself most frequently asking the same two children for help. Rarely would I implore the assistance of the third. In hindsight, it is easy to see why I did it. When I asked one of the “two,” I quickly got compliance. But with the third, a question as simple as, “Can you bring me a cup of water?” or “Take the trash to the road” would almost inevitably start an argument. If I happened to get compliance, this child would quickly begin whining and complaining as he begrudgingly did the task. So, I found myself repeatedly soliciting help from the children who would guarantee the results that I wanted- quick obedience with a good attitude.

In short, asking the two compliant children made parenting much easier for me. Of course, I didn’t acknowledge (or even recognize) that I was neglecting to parent this child effectively for quite some time. Until one day it hit me… Through my “easy” parenting, I was reinforcing my child’s bad behavior and crippling him of the possibility for a successful future.

That day, I made a decision that changed everything! I told the third child that he was the kid of the year. I informed him that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I needed something to be done, I would be asking him. Only when he embraced speedy submission with a smile, would I begin delegating the responsibility between all three of my children again.

Then, I did what I promised.

Now, don’t think for a second that the follow through was easy. It wasn’t. Truth be told, I wanted to pull my hair out and retreat often. Every day I was faced with challenges. Weeks passed without seeing any positive results. In fact, I often wondered if what I was doing was making any kind of difference at all. A few times, I went so far as to tell myself that success with 2 of 3 kids wasn’t a “bad” ratio. On those occasions I was forced to remind myself of the truth: If I want my children to grow into thriving adults, I have to do my part. I have to teach and correct my difficult children. If I want the results the Bible promises, I have to parent intentionally. I can’t take the “easy” way out.

Proverbs 22:15, says “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

Our job as parents is to train our children to be who God has called them to be. Some days, and with some children, this is harder than with others. Nonetheless, as parents, it is still our responsibility.

Over the course of the next six months I was forced to hone my parenting skills like never before. I endured heavy grumbling each time I needed a task to be done. This strong-willed youngster bucked. He pouted and complained every step of the way. We argued, no doubt. But each time I gave him a task, I calmly reminded him that when he started doing ‘”it” with a good attitude, things would change.

And, eventually they did.

I stand completely and utterly amazed at the difference this one decision made in my life, in my home, and most importantly, in my sweet child’s life. Two years later, instead of two compliant children, I have three. Now, when I ask any of my children to help out- to load the dishwasher, to take out the trash, to make me a cup of water or to fold the laundry- ALL THREE of them do it with a good attitude, nearly every time.

I want to encourage you. The momentary suffering is well worth the results. Take a few moments to examine your life. Examine your parenting skills. Ask God to show you where you are “missing it” as a parent and where you are taking the “easy” way out. Then make a decision to change whatever area He shows you. I can promise you that a small decision today will make a BIG difference tomorrow. By taking the tougher route now, your future -and that of your child- will be sweet; and in the long run, a whole lot easier to boot!

New Year, Fresh Start

There is something about a new year that beckons a fresh start and encourages new perspective. No doubt it is this way for me anyway. This particular holiday season, however, the New Year crept up on me a little unexpectedly. As I left work early on the eve of 2019, I realized that I hadn’t spent much quiet time with the Lord about the things stirring in my heart for the year ahead. So, I stopped at God’s favorite fast food restaurant on the way home- Chick-fil-A- to spend a few moments with Jesus.

As I sat at a tall table near the window, I pulled out a piece of paper I happened to find stuck inside the book I am currently reading (“Greater” by Steven Furtick, in case you are wondering). At the top of the page I wrote “2019 Goals” in bright pink ink. Immediately, I jotted down my first goal. Then I sat. And thought. And waited. And sat some more. I couldn’t bring myself to write down anything else. Of course, there were and are plenty of other ideas parading around in my mind, but for some reason nothing else seemed worthy enough to sit below words of such great consequence. So, I flipped the piece of paper over and wrote “Things I’d like to do…” instead. Instantly, the flood of thoughts spewed from my pen and I was able to cement them in print.

  1. Publish my book.
  2. Write a Marriage Book/sermon and/or Bible Study.
  3. Read the Bible OT and NT (minus Leviticus:).
  4. Decrease the number of days I work to 3x/week- max.
  5. Preplan and cook nightly meals.
  6. Drink more water and less fake sugar.
  7. Eat less sugar.
  8. Walk daily.
  9. Start my 12 year old son on a Bible reading/reading plan.
  10. Start posting blogs again.
  11. Make a FB author page.

I believe it is wise to take time to examine our hearts and set goals for our lives. Yet, the idea of writing down a goal that I may not be able to accomplish in 2019 nearly made me abort the entire idea. By changing a few simple words, I was able to look inside of myself and write down the desires God had placed there.

I wonder… What ideas are stirring around in your heart today? Maybe they are as simple as going to bed at a regular time each night or reading one chapter of the Bible a week. Maybe your goals are as complex as bringing restoration to your marriage or beginning a new business. Whatever they are, when you look inside your heart, you will find desires that are unique to you and your specific situation. No matter how big or small, those desires were put there by the God of the Universe- because He longs to fulfill them.

Today, I encourage you to put your “2019 Goals” on paper. And if like me, the list eludes you, write instead “things you’d like to do” in 2019. However you choose to do it, don’t delay. Something powerful happens when you take time to write down your goals and ask the Lord to help with the details daily. The desires and goals you set become plans and purposes that propel your life in the direction you were created for.

Proverbs 16:3 (NASB), “Commit you works to the Lord and your plans will be established.”

Habakkuk 2:2, “Then the Lord answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make  it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it, For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

Mother’s Day Prayer for Children

I was recently asked by the staff at East Coast Christian Center to discuss the benefits of journaling and how I used journaling to help me as a tool in my relationship with the Lord. If you attended one of the services over Mother’s Day weekend, you received a journal and a CD with that discussion on it.

For those of you who did not receive a copy of that CD, I stated in short, that one of my favorite things to journal are my prayers over my children. On days when my children misbehave or I feel like the roof is caving in on me, it is such a blessing to go back to those prayers and be reminded of His promises to me. It is so reassuring to know that I have already addressed the important topics with the Lord from the time my children were toddlers;  that He has heard my cry and is working on my behalf to bring those promises to pass on behalf of my children.

Posted below is a copy of the prayer-confession I wrote years ago. My prayer is that you would be able to use my prayer as an outline to help you begin to speak God’s promises over your children, as well. If you have never done something like this before, be encouraged… Something powerful happens when you take the time to write out God’s promises to you and your children. When you write down- and speak out- the words God is speaking to you personally, it becomes alive. It takes root in your soul and from that seed great things are birthed.

I hope that you will take the time to read and glean from my words all that the Lord intends. Multiplied blessings to you and your families. Here it is…

CONFESSION FOR MY CHILDREN:

Aspen, Jayce and Ty (put your children’s names here) are blessed in everything they do. They love righteousness and hate evil all the days of their lives. They see clearly into the will of God and heed the voice of the Holy Spirit always. They have wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong and make wise choices. They are not grumblers or complainers. Each of my children have an attitude of gratitude in all things. They serve the Lord from a young age and live a life wholly devoted to Him. They have wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ and understand the depths of His love for them. Their friends are strong Christians who bring them up, not tear them down. They have purity in heart and body all the days of their lives. My children marry the person God has reserved for them on this Earth. Each spouse is firmly devoted to the Lord, as well, and places Him first in all things. My children excel in school, in athletics, in friendships, and in the workplace. They understand and use self control in all things. They are not led by their emotions. My children walk in love and fulfill the call of God in their lives. They make right career moves and get the right schooling to be who God has called them to be. Aspen, Jayce and Ty know the vision of God for their lives. They are among the greatest followers of Christ of their generation and their legacy extends far beyond their lifespan and impacts generations to come. They exceed what Landon and I will ever do for the kingdom of God.