Spread Your Wings

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hello women of God.  It's been a long time since I have written for this blog.  This is part of a speech that I recently gave for my local Toastmasters group, "Amped Toastmasters".  This group helps me find my voice and teaches me skills needed for public speaking.  I hope it blesses you.

Soar, fly, climb, lift, arise, aspire, ascend, mount.  This post is designed to inspire you and encourage you to Spread Your Wings.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint

Have you ever had the opportunity to see a North American Bald Eagle in person?  As the national bird of the USA, it represents freedom.  It's image is found on the presidential seal, money, stamps and more.  What a majestic and intriguing creature.  The eagle is a powerful, predatory bird that sits at the top of the food chain.  I can tell that it is fully aware of that fact.  Eagles exude confidence.  The wingspan of an eagle is anywhere between 4 and 7.5 feet.  Eagles and their wings are referenced throughout the bible.  Eagles do not flap their wings very much, they prefer to soar to save energy.  The tips of their feathers are tapered so that when the eagle spreads it's wings, they separate.  This helps the eagle to reduce turbulence.

I'm not sure how true this is, but I read on several websites that eagles will actually fly directly into a storm. Not only that, but they have very keen eyesight.  This allows the eagle to gaze directly into the sun.  The N. American Bald Eagle was on the endangered species list for 40 years and it is one of few species to fight it's way off of the list.

Let's go over a few specific strengths about the eagle that we can learn from.

1. Confidence-You can exude confidence even if you don't feel confident.  Let your body language cover for you.  Believe in yourself and your God given abilities.  When you believe in yourself, people can sense confidence. Confidence can take you to new heights and help you rise or soar above your fears.  When you have confidence you have hope, and when you have hope you feel like you can do anything.  You are royalty and there is a King in you.  So soar above your storms like the mighty eagle.

2. Save energy by soaring.  Eagles don't flap their wings very much and even though we don't have wings, one thing we humans tend to flap a lot is our lips.  Flapping your lips or talking too much not only uses up a lot of your energy, it can lead to trouble.  He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble.  Watch what you say and how you say it, not only to others but to yourself.  Try not to put yourself down or say things like, I can't.  I always tell my girls, if you say you can, you can and if you say you cannot, you cannot.  You believe more of what you say about yourself than what others say about you.  So what are you saying about yourself?  And when you're angry, don't talk at all.  You have the right to remain silent and you should exercise that right until you calm down. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.  Your word is your bond so if you say you are going to do something, then do it. 

3.  Reduce turbulence by separating your feathers when you spread your wings.  I translate that into, check yourself before you wreck yourself.  We seldom stop to realize how our emotions affect our bodies.  Our thoughts and our feelings are integrated with our bodily systems.   When you are upset about something, the first thing you should ask yourself is, "Self, am I being selfish?"  You see, when we don't get our way, sometimes it hurts our pride and the first thing we want to do is get mad.  Somebody is interfering with our time, something is keeping us from getting what we want.  The more you keep your mind off yourself, the happier you are.  Encourage your friends and pray for your enemies.  Always be ready to show love and mercy to others.   Realizing that it's not all about you all the time helps you to reduce turbulence in your life.

Spread your wings, and fly away.  You can soar above your storms.

Starla Espinoza
Keepin It Real

No Hope Left?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"No Hope Left?"

As part of a writing exercise, our BIG writer's group held a fun challenge this month. Using the phrase "no hope left" as the title for a devotion, each member had the opportunity to give their viewpoint on the meaning of hope. 

We invite you to visit our blogs and read our posts by clicking on the links below.
We hope you enjoy reading them, and that they will provide a blessing for you.

In God's love, your BIG Sisters.

Scattering the Stones
No Hope Left

Heart Reflected,
Encouragement of Faith
No Hope Left
Image © A Hunt

A Sudden Glory: A challenge

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Today's post comes from Salina at Heart Reflected & Anita at Scattering the Stones

“You were created to make God recognizable to others

- to show others what God is like.”

Sharon Jaynes, A Sudden Glory, P. 9

Salina and I decided to set ourselves a challenge: To take a quote, and each write a 500 word devotion, using the above quote, from Sharon Jaynes new book - A Sudden Glory, as inspiration.

We both really enjoyed the challenge, and are looking to do more of these within our BIG writer's group.

We invite you to visit our blogs and read our posts. 

We hope you enjoy reading them, and that they will bless you.

Heart Reflected,

Scattering the Stones
Created for His glory: My purpose

Sharon Jaynes highly recommended new book, is available now:
Book details:
A Sudden Glory – God’s Lavish Response & Your Ache For Something More
Sharon Jaynes, Multnomah Books, 2012 Colorado Springs, CO

Anita & Salina

Are you struggling to hear the voice of God?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today's post comes from Anita at Scattering the Stones


‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place

and get some rest.’

Mark 6:31 NIV

Are you aware of God’s voice throughout the day, or is the noise surrounding you drowning out His voice?

Silence can mean many things to different people; some love it, while others fear it, some fight against it. I am sure that it is no co-incidence that the level of noise has increased, as the separation between God’s ways and the world’s ways, are becoming further apart. Noise clouds judgement, overwhelming the still small voice, causing further confusion.

Is it easier to fill your life with noise, than to be still in silence?

If I asked what you heard right now, what are you hearing?

I am not just talking about the voices from those who need us, calling for our attention, or the noise from traffic, radio, TV, phone …. But also the words we repeat over in our minds, our worries, the words we carry around in our heart, the endless list of things we need to accomplish …

I used to be frightened of silence. Very rarely would I be without some sort of noise in the background. It wouldn’t necessarily be anything I was particularly listening to, but would be an essential tool to prevent me from thinking too much.

In my late teens I went on a long retreat of several weeks; to help me get through a difficult time. It was the first time I had really been on my own, without family and friends. I was broken; in need of God’s healing. Most of the time I felt afraid, in grief and in desperate need of a hug. I would walk around lost. But the retreat centre ministry team knew what I needed. I needed to work it all out with God by my side and Him alone.

‘Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone.

Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.’

Deuteronomy 13:4 NLT

Apart from services, there was very little noise. You could drop a pin at one end of the building, and I expect you would probably hear it at the other.

Though it was extremely hard, I will always cherish that time of great pain, as when I went home, never again would I need to always have background noise. I actually spend most of my time craving silence. Through my time there I learned to truly listen; to me and to God. I began a beautiful journey of discovery, deepening my hunger to hear God’s voice through the noise of this world.

Are you taking the time to listen?

Often when we come before God with our prayers, we ask to hear from our LORD through words of encouragement, help or direction; either through being led to specific scripture or by other means. But when we ask, are we taking the time to listen to His response, His voice?

‘Be still and know that I am God’

Psalm 46:10 NIV

God calls us into His presence, to present our needs before Him, but we also need to remember that it is about relationship.

The Bible is full of people with their requests to God to listen to their prayers, such as -

‘LORD hear my prayer!

Listen to my plea!

Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress.

Bend down and listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.’

Psalm 102:1-2 NLT

God is waiting for us to listen to His voice.

When we ask Him to be near, He is already there. Like Mary, we need to sit at His feet. (Lk 10:39). We need to go to Him, sit at His precious feet, and bathe in His Holy presence and just listen.

As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, not only do we need to read His word daily, but we also need to take time out to listen, as this pleases our God (Deut 13:18).

Let us crave being still in His Holy presence, to cry ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty’ (Isa 6:3) from the depths of our hearts.

‘Come, let us worship and bow down.

Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our God.

We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.

If only you would listen to his voice today!

Psalm 95:6-7 NLT

Let us pray:

Lord I worship You and bow down before Your throne of grace.
Please remove the barriers in my life, to only hear Your voice.
Help me to be still in Your holy presence, to hunger and thirst for Your truth and light.
I want to listen to Your voice; I am sorry for the many times I have not listened, when I have placed my focus upon other things.
May my relationship with You deepen; may there be no need for words, just being.
May my life be refreshed in Your green pastures.
In Your name


Today, I invite you to plan some time to spend purely listening to our Lord. Take your Bible, go where there are little distractions, sit, wait, and be.
I love visiting woodland, a garden, or the coast. Ask God to speak and just listen to what He wants to share with you; nothing about needs, just be, in complete worship of the King of kings.

I hope and pray that you will be abundantly blessed.

Blessings in Him

Anita x

Image by A Hunt  © Scattering The Stones

I run a Christian Ministry called 'Scattering The Stones', sharing God's love through encouragement, prayer and praise. You would be most welcome to join me. If you would like prayer, please feel free to contact me.

He Holds Our Hand

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today's post is from Dawn at The Most Perfect Gift

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
and He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”
Psalm 37:23-24

Several years ago, I was walking through the parking lot at work with a friend/colleague. As we were talking, we continued to walk up the pathway to our building. Somehow I stepped down halfway on the sidewalk and halfway on the grass and it launched me forward with such a force! All I can remember was being propelled forward while trying to keep myself from falling flat on my face! Eventually, my legs caught up with the top half of my body and I regained control. I was left feeling quite dazed and all I could do was laugh! You know that uncontrollable laugh were you laugh so hard you begin to cry and your sides hurt so badly?!!? I just love laughing like that and wish it happened more frequently! Anyway, my friend was confused as to what had just happened. She was thinking I did that on purpose! I laughed even harder imagining what I must have looked like!

This past incident came to my mind after I read today's key scripture. I got so excited because I could actually visualize the Lord Almighty right there grabbing my hand and catching me. 

Reading this scripture touched something deep inside me.  It was like I was reading it for the very first time even though  in the Bible, we read all throughout how God is always with us and he will never forsake us. We hear pastors preach it. We encourage our family and friends with this same truth and tell it again and again to our children. But we must remember to not become complacent to what the Word says. 

God is in control of all things. He is the One who establishes our steps and when we trust and surrender all to Him and live our lives according to His will, He delights in us! It's His plan and let’s not forget this and try to get out in front of Him. When we do that, we are not letting Him guide us down the right pathway. Instead, we are saying, “Hey, my way is better or I can’t wait for your direction.” Before we know it, we are so far out ahead of Him.

I can't recall how many times I have said to my boys, "Wait for mommy! Don't get too far ahead, stay where I can see you!" Every time my boys and I walk through a parking lot or cross a street I say, “Hands, hands” and immediately they know to grab a hold of my hand. This way I can lead them safely to the other side. Its the same with our loving Father. He is with us, leading us and when we fall He is there to catch us, to  hold our hand and to guide us. 

Let’s seek Him and trust Him and let Him lead the way!

Dear Heavenly Father,
So many times we try to do things our own way. Forgive us for thinking we can be in control and press it upon our hearts to ask You first in all things in what direction You would like us to take. We praise Your Holy Name just for who You are. As we trust in You, transform us into being more like You.
In Jesus' Name,

Covered by grace

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Today's post comes from Salina at Heart Reflected

'So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. 
There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.'
(Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

Do you spend a lot of time in the morning trying to pick out something to wear?

Every day we have a decision to make about the kind of clothing we are going to wear.
We shuffle through the different choices in our closets, and for those like me, arrive at an acceptable outfit fairly quickly. What we need to realize though is that we have an opportunity to clothe ourselves in something far greater than physical clothing; we also have the ability to wrap God's grace around us.

'May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.'
(Galatians 1:3 NLT)

Receiving God’s grace doesn't depend on us doing anything to get it. It doesn't require anything at all from us; simply asking for it is enough to receive it. His grace is big enough to cover each and every weakness we have, and it's capable of covering us from head to toe. May we keep this in mind as we decide each day how we are going to dress ourselves.

As we pull our shirt over our head, let's think about His grace covering our arms, our neck, our chest, our stomach. When we place each leg through the legs of our pants, let's feel His grace pouring down every inch of our bodies. Let us step into our shoes with the confidence that His grace will guide our feet with all the strength and stamina needed to carry us safely through the day.

'For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. 
He did this, not because we deserved it, 
but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—
to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.'
(2 Timothy 1:9 NLT)

When we talk about God's grace, we do so with the understanding that the grace He provides comes from Him and Him alone; His grace works through us. It doesn't rely on our own ability, but God's ability.  When we apply this to our lives it gives us the courage, the power, and the strength to endure anything the world throws at us.

Jesus' grace is sufficient

The Bible makes many references to Jesus' grace. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, the Apostle Paul stated that in order to keep him from becoming too arrogant, a thorn of flesh (a messenger of Satan who continually tried to keep him down) was placed in his side. After asking Jesus three different times to remove the thorn, this is what Jesus said to him:

'He answered, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."'

Paul's reply was:

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)

Jesus' answer "My power is made perfect in weakness" simply blows me away. I know He's perfect, but to think that He might offer some of that perfectness to me through His power and grace is glorious news to me, especially when I'm at my lowest. It makes sense though because it is when I'm at my weakest that I need Him most.

Paul stated that He delighted in insults, hardships, and difficulties. To delight in something means that it gives you pleasure, it causes you happiness. Paul was happy when He was persecuted? It seems hard to believe, but think of the times when being at rock bottom caused you to hold that much harder onto Jesus’ hand.

'Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, 
who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.'
(2 Thessalonians 2:16 NLT)

When I am weak, then I am strong.
When I am weak, then He is stronger.

God's amazing grace makes us whole; it is more than sufficient for us.

'But by the grace of God I am what I am: 
And his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;
 but I labored more abundantly than they all: 
Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.'
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

Yet not I.

Please pray with me:

My life's goal is to use the gift You've given me to finish the job You've chosen for me, and that's to tell others the Good News about Your wonderful saving grace. (Acts 20:24)

Lord, I pray the grace You continually pour out on me will never be given in vain, for Your grace is what makes me who I am. Without it I could not function. I would be worthless, with nothing to look forward to or any reason to live.
Thank You for loving me so much that You believed I was worthy enough to not only receive Your grace, but also Your love, Your promise, and the sacrifice You made for me.

Thank You for the fact that Your grace is sufficient, that it gives me the strength and power I need  to get through the tough times, and brings wonderful hope for when I am stronger.

Thank You for Your Grace.
In Jesus' name I pray,


A Letter of Hope

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This week's post comes from Kassie of Cypress Ministries
http://www.cypressministries.com  and  http://www.fromalisteningheart.blogspot.com
Psalm 34:18 (NCV)
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.

The past several days when thinking about preparing for this devotional, it has been on my heart to write a letter of encouragement instead. I don't know who will read this devotional/letter-- I don't really know who this is intended for... but what weighs on my heart is to tell you that there is hope, and to give you encouragement that your life is not over-- that whatever you may be going through, there is another side of this for you. There is MORE for you than what you may be seeing now. God has so much for you, if you will just let Him bring you through it.

In Luke 19, when Zacchaeus wanted to see who this Jesus was, nothing would deter him. Nothing was going to stop him from getting a closer look at this Man who was doing so much for God's people. When he couldn’t see past the crowd, Zacchaeus simply climbed a tree! The wonderful thing in this story is that when Jesus got to this tree he stopped right under it, and looking up, Jesus called for Zacchaeus to come down.  You see, Jesus KNEW that Zacchaeus was up there, but no one had told him this. In the same way Jesus knew where Zacchaeus was, HE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

My friend, whatever you may be facing-- know that God still has a whole nother chapter of your life waiting for you. In the book of Ruth; when Naomi lost her husband, she grieved. Later when she lost her two sons, the pain was so overwhelming that when she went back home, she told people not to call her Naomi anymore as that name meant “happy”. She told people to call her Mara instead, because that name means “sad”. She didn’t understand why the Lord had left her with such sadness. She told her people that she had lost everything; she felt as if she had nothing left. But that wasn’t true. God still had a plan for her. God still had a purpose for her even though she was unaware of it. And God has one for you.

Just like Naomi, your life is more than what you can see right now. God is all knowing and can see so much more than you and me. There was still something Naomi had to do for God. He still had a job for her to do. God had a bigger plan. He also blessed her life again and brought her much joy. As a result of losing her husband and her sons, Naomi went home taking her daughter in-law with her. And by doing so, fulfilled the next needed step in the future of our savior.

You see, God had a plan for Ruth too. She (like Naomi) had lost her husband-- and at a young age. She didn’t understand why either. But God knew. God had a purpose for her, she had a destiny that was to be fulfilled. God needed her to be somewhere. And at some point in time God will need you to be somewhere else too.

We don’t know why God allows certain heartaches in our lives, but He promises that if He allows the pain, then something good will come from it. Even if it is the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job-- God will bring new life in place of what is now gone.

Sometimes we have to go through "intermissions" in our lives. A time of waiting between what was and what is to come. And when we come to these intermissions, it is hard to understand why. But sometimes God needs time to heal us and prepare us for what is ahead -- and sometimes it is because God needs to work in someone else and bring them to a point where they are ready to join us. Sometimes God just needs time to work in a situation, or some circumstance, before advancing us into the new He has planned for us. But rest assured God will not forget you in the meantime. He won't set you on some sideline, and forget to bring you back in.

Need an example? Look at Moses; "When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, 'Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?' 

"But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'  When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. (Acts 7:23-29 NIV)

When Moses found himself out in the desert after a life changing incident, he probably thought he was there to stay... But God had other plans for him, in fact Moses' life was far from over, it was just beginning. Moses' duration in the desert was only an "in between time" from where he had been, and what was to come. However those were not wasted years. Far from it actually. My friend, God can multi task! At the same time God was waiting for the right time to come for Him to bring deliverance to His people, God was working in Moses during his stay in the desert. And when the RIGHT TIME came; God brought Moses front and center into the full purpose God had for him.

I love how Acts 7 states "The SAME Moses..." read with me: "Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.'  "This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert. ( Acts 7:33-3 NIV)

God had not changed His mind about Moses. God had chosen Moses long before, and it was this same man (granted older and wiser), that God would bring back for another chance, and the whole second half of his life that was waiting for him. God brought him out, dusted him off and said, "Let's try again." But THIS TIME, it was going to be with the hand of God. You see before, Moses had been called, but he didn't have the anointing, so when he acted, it was in his own strength. But this time, God was ready and God was going with him, so there would be a huge difference!

My friend, SOMETIMES we can have a call on our lives-- something we were born and meant to do; but if God isn't ready and we move ahead, then we go without the anointing and it is in our own strength-- not His. So we have to wait. We have to wait for God to move, and sometimes we have to wait because HE IS WAITING until HE knows everything is ready for Him to move us into what He has called us to do.

God's purposes for Moses didn't change, he simply had to be moved aside until God was ready to bring him forth. Naomi and Ruth's lives were not over because someone had died, God was bringing them into something new. My friend, whatever you are facing, know that God is with you. No matter what has happened, what has died, who has left, or what was lost... God can bring about something new. God WILL fulfill His plans and purposes for you.

My friend, God knows how to bring you through difficult seasons. He knows how to bring you through hurt and heartache. He knows how to bring you through trials, and HE KNOWS HOW to bring you into all He has waiting for you.  Look up-- look out, and know God is watching over you. And His hand will not be held down when He is ready to move you.

Take care, Kassie