God Can Use Anything to Get You Back On Track

Written by Kim Johnson, author of “I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) @immysister.org

In the past few weeks my church has been teaching us about Spiritual Warfare and not letting the enemy get a foot hold into our lives. Basically, what they are teaching us is, if you give the enemy an inch, he will devour you whole, and eventually attack your family and everything else you love.

With this in mind, and as I began to apply the messages to my life, I found myself and my ministry being attacked. Now this didn’t surprise me one bit, but the magnitude of it still weighed me down anyway. I have to tell you, I am so thankful, that I have a rescue God who is right on time, ALL the time.

Let me explain, now this may be a little comical, but God used a movie to get me back on track. Okay, so I started watching this movie with my daughter but I was a little preoccupied with something else, when suddenly, the movie caught my attention. The movie was the Karate Kid, starring Jayden Smith and Jackie Chan (don’t laugh at me readers). In the movie “Han (played by Jackie Chan) promises to teach Dre (played by Jayden Smith) Kung Fu. As Dre trains he learns movements that he is able to apply to his life. Han takes Dre to a Taoist temple in the Wudang Mountains where he himself was trained by his father and while they are there, Dre watches a woman making a cobra copy her movements” (Weintraub, 2010).

As I watched Dre being mesmerized by the woman and the cobra, I was reminded of my walk with God and how my moves must be reflective of Him. AND, how I can’t let anything distract me from what He called me to do. Keeping my eyes and mind focused…steady…and locked on God… no matter what!

As a matter of fact, the bible tells us, that it is very easy to become distracted if we don’t keep our eyes on God at all times. Joel Osteen (2018), my favorite pastor breaks down the scripture Mathew 13:23-24, “about a man who went out to his field and planted wheat in the ground. He sowed good seed. This represents that he was doing the right thing, honoring God with his life, and being good to others. But while he slept, an enemy came in and planted weeds. The man didn’t know what had happened. He was expecting to have a great harvest; after all, he did all the right things. But the weeds sprang up among his wheat anyway.”

In other words, the scripture is telling us that sometimes things happen in life. Weeds spring up that we don’t have anything to do with. The key is to keep the right attitude and stay focused on the goodness of God. And when these unexpected challenges happen, we can say, “It’s just another weed. I didn’t sow it, I don’t have to reap it.” Then we can keep the door open for God to move on our behalf (Osteen, 2018).

Sister to Sister do you hear me? Are you keeping your eyes focused on God?

 

References
Osteen, J. (2018, May 20). When Weeds Spring Up . Retrieved from https://247devotionals.com/joel-osteen-sermon-when-weeds-spring-up-May-20-2018/

Weintraub, J. (Producer), & Zwart, H. (Director). (2010). The Karate Kid (2010 film) [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheKarate Kid (2010 film)

Copyright © 2017- 2018, This Blog is presented by I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) LLC. Unauthorized use and /or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to immysister.org or I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Taking off the Mask

Taking off the Mask

Written by Kim Johnson, Author of “I Am My Sister (Women helping Women)” LLC @immysister.org

Every morning that I wake up, I thank the Lord for another day.  I pray to God that He shows me myself, and that there be more of Him, in my life, and less of me. Just knowing that I represent God, makes me want to be completely free of anything that might be holding me back from receiving all of His blessings.

I honestly believe that in order for us to be our very best, we need to evaluate ourselves and our motives. Shoot! When I asked God to show me, me, it wasn’t a pretty sight, lol.  But I was glad that He revealed me to me, because I was able to repent and ask God for His forgiveness.

Saints, too often we think we have all the answers, and that we are living the perfect Christian life.  The truth is, we are all sinners and that Jesus was the only One that was perfect.  When we don’t ask God to reveal things to us about ourselves, we may be sinning unknowingly.

Furthermore, when God shows us ourselves we are able to repent for the things that are not pleasing to Him. We walk a closer walk with our Father and we are able to make changes in our lives.

In the bible it says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (NIV, Psalms 139:23-24).

Moreover, yes, everyone has skeletons, yes, everyone can play a part and wear a mask, yes, everyone can deceive others about who they are, but we can’t do anything about them, we can only do something about ourselves (The Ministry MAMA, 2013).

Sister to Sister do you hear me? Are you “wearing a mask, revealing a sinful lifestyle, covering the light of the Holy Spirit? If you are, it is to flirt with spiritual disaster both for yourself and the eternity of others. If we picture ourselves kneeling before God on the day of the Judgement Seat of Christ with our current lifestyle in hand. Would you regret it? Are you wearing a mask and covering the light of God within you? Are you causing others to stumble because you’re in open rebellion? Or is your breastplate of righteousness shining God’s light to the lost? Hypocrisy and sinful living should be dispensed of! (The Ministry MAMA, 2013).

References

The Family Place Church. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2018, from https://www.tfpchurch.com/taking-off-the-mask.html

The Ministry MAMA. (2013, November 12). The Hidden Dangers of a Christian Wearing a Mask. Retrieved from https://theministrymama.com/2013/11/12/the-hidden-dangers-of-a-christian-wearing-a-mask/

Copyright – Kim Johnson and immysister.org, 2017- 2018.  Unauthorized use and /or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim L. Johnson and immysister.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Healing Power of Writing

                                          The Healing Power of Writing
Written by Kim Johnson, author of I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) LLC @immysister.org

I was thinking about my dog Ashlee and how much I miss her, and so, I decided to write. For me, writing is very therapeutic, it eliminates my stress, helps me connect with my emotions, keeps my mind healthy, it helps me to relax and I get to spend quiet time with the Lord.

With that being said, below is a snippet of how I am feeling right now and how I use writing to ease my grief and sorrow:

“I thank God for the Animal Shelter that rescued Ashlee and for allowing me to adopt her in the latter part of her life… I can only imagine the experiences Ashlee must have suffered prior to her rescue, because the scars of them were evident in her behavior.

A part of me still can’t figure out why anyone would want to deliberately abuse an animal, but I do understand the world that we live in today. I’m just grateful that my Ashlee was one of the lucky dogs who escaped.

When I look back on my relationship with my loyal friend, I think about how much she did for my state of mind during the most difficult years of MY life. In hindsight,
I guess it’s safe to say, we rescued one another. We were both broken and needed to be loved and repaired which we received from one another.
Ironically, now that I am all better and feeling joy once again in my life, God took my Ashlee home to doggy heaven. Oh, but in my imagination…Ashlee is no longer suffering from diabetes or the trauma of her earlier life, she’s running free, and happy as can be in heaven.

If I were to write a letter to Ashlee, it would go something like this:

Dear Ashlee,
How do I begin to tell you what you have done for my life? People think it’s crazy to cry over your death because you are a dog. But to me, you were the most loyal and dedicated friend I have ever had. You got me through some rough times too. Remember that time when my marriage ended and I cried all the time? You were the only one who knew… oh, how grateful I was that you were there.
Remember that time when I had a hard time at work and I came home stressed out? You were right there with your head on my knee, letting me pet you. I could tell in your eyes that you wanted to comfort me.
Remember when we took those long walks in the park and how I cleared my head and talked with God about my dreams? And, and, remember when you used to run up the middle of the street, and how I ran behind you screaming at all the cars to stop so that they wouldn’t hit you, LOL, you were so naughty.
And remember when I broke up with RKO and you laid your head in my lap to comfort me as I cried; I never felt alone or scared with you by my side. Those were the days my friend and you will be forever missed.”

Rest in Heaven,
Your mother, Kim

Sister to sister do you hear me? Do you have a story you want to write about? Have you ever thought of writing or journaling as therapeutic?

 

Copyright – Kim Johnson and immysister.org, 2017- 2018. Unauthorized use and /or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim L. Johnson and immysister.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Continue reading “The Healing Power of Writing”

Walking in Obedience

Walking in Obedience

Written by Kim Johnson, Author of I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) LLC @immysister.org

Walking in obedience can be very difficult at times, especially when you don’t know that you are being disobedient. But one of the things I have learned, is that, the voice inside of you (the Holy Spirit) will always let you know when you are doing something wrong or not pleasing to God. You just have to listen.

Look! I’m just as guilty as anyone else of being disobedient to God, but know this, I am praying for my deliverance, because I want to be a victorious Christian, living for God in all my ways.

I’m not interested in letting any unwholesome talk come out of my mouth anymore. I don’t want to hear any negativity or gossip about anyone, and I definitely don’t want to participate in those things either. I want spiritual eyes, so that I can look past a person’s faults and their outward appearance. I want to be a better me, and I want to walk in obedience with the Lord.

I was reading over Pastor Charles Stanley’s sermon when I was preparing this blog and a few of things he spoke about, lead me to believe that I still have some work to do with myself. He writes, “obedience is doing what God says, when He says it, how He says it, for whatever reason He says it, or with whom He says it. There’s no room for passivity when it comes to obeying the Father. This level of commitment requires an active choice. Partial obedience is the greatest enemy to obedience. If the Lord gives instructions, He expects us to do exactly what He has said. Yet, some believers choose to obey only when it’s convenient. Going to church, reading the Bible, and praying are all good, but if we’re allowing things in our lives that don’t fit our identity in Christ, we’re only partially obeying Him.”

Basically, what I am saying saints is, it is hard to walk in obedience. Even Adam and Eve were disobedient, but we must try. It takes practice and discipline, but when we do this, we know that we are pleasing our Father. But thank God, when we fall short we can repent. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Sister to Sister do you hear me? Are you listening to what the Lord told you to do? Are you walking in obedience?

References
InTouch Ministries. (2015, October 30). Obeying God – Sermon Notes. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/kim/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/Obeying-God%20(1).pdf
Stanley, C. F. (2009). Life Principles Bible. La Habra: Thomas Nelson.

Copyright – Kim Johnson and immysister.org, 2017- 2018. Unauthorized use and /or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim L. Johnson and immysister.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What I need in this Season, Not What I Want!

Written by Kim Johnson, Author of I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) LLC @immysister.org

Sometimes the things that I think I need are not what I actually need. And sometimes I get comfortable in what I’m doing and don’t see that it is only for a season. Case in point, at my job (before I retired) I was placed in a position that I didn’t really like, but it was one of those positions where people don’t bother you and you have a lot of freedom, so I adapted.

As such, even though I didn’t like the job it became comfortable to me and I figured I could rock out with it until I retired. But as luck would have it, and as soon as I accepted my fate and got comfortable, the position was abolished and I was forced to look for another job in the company.

One of the things I learned from that experience, looking back, is that God doesn’t make NO mistakes. Who knew! God did! He knew that the job I hated so much, would be the job that would prepare me for the women’s ministry that I have right now. I needed the lessons from that season, it wasn’t what I wanted, but it was what I needed for my future.

What I’m trying to tell you is this, we may not understand what is happening in our lives at the moment, but God does, and like I said, He doesn’t make any mistakes. Everything that He does and that He allows the enemy to do, is for a purpose and for a reason.

Sometimes we have to go through a season where we are uncomfortable, and/or where there are struggles in our lives in order to remove the things from us that may be holding us back from our full potential, or simply, to arrow us in the direction God needs us to be in.

As Pastor Joel Osteen would say, “You have to be careful to not get stuck in a past season, wishing you could stay there in what you enjoyed or dwelling on pains and regrets that happened there. You have to recognize that people change, situations change, and if you don’t truly live in your present season, you’re not going to get to the new season God has for you” (Osteen, 2018).

Sister to Sister can you hear me? Are you making the most out of the season that you are in? Do you know that God has a plan for your life and that it’s all going to work out for your good?
References
Osteen, J. (2018, February 23). Times and Seasons. Retrieved from https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Blog.aspx?blogid=13289

The Inner Circle

IMG_0724.JPGWritten by: Kim Johnson, author of  I Am My Sister (Women helping Women) @immysister.org

When I was growing up, I had two best friends. We did everything together. We dressed alike, spent many long hours discussing our future and our dreams. We loved each other. There was nothing we wouldn’t do for one another. We always had each other’s back. But as we grew older our lives took us in different directions. (Sigh) I often wonder if some of the trials and tribulations that I have experienced as an adult, would have been more tolerable if my childhood friends were around to talk with.

Nevertheless, out of all the friends in my life now, there are only a few people that I allow in my inner circle, like when I was a child. It’s not that I don’t trust other people, it’s just that, I want to surround myself with likeminded people. I want to be around friends that can talk me off the ledge, and encourage me. I want friends that are not afraid to get real with me, or who will walk through the rough times with me. I need friends that will intercede (in prayer) on my behalf especially when I-am-in-my crazy, friends that are genuinely happy for me; and above all, friends that love the Lord.

Relatedly, if you look at Jesus’s life, you will see that He didn’t take His inner circle of friends lightly either. In fact, in the bible it tells us that Jesus went off into the mountains to pray to God before He chose His 12 Apostles (Luke 6:12-15). And although He shared many things with all twelve of them, there were only three that were in His inner circle, Peter, James and John. For instance, “Peter, James, and John were the only disciples allowed to accompany Jesus when He raised the daughter of Jairus, from the dead (Mark 5:37). And on the mountain where Christ was transfigured in the presence of Moses and Elijah, none of the apostles was invited to witness the glorious event except Peter, James, and John (Mark 9:2). And in the Garden of Gethsemane, not long before His arrest, and eventual execution, the Lord selected only Peter, James, and John to accompany him to a solitary place for prayer, Mark 14:32-35” (Moore, 2012).

In any case, I’m not too sure why Jesus choose those three apostles to go certain places with Him and not the others; but what I can see is, that Jesus definitely had an inner circle.

Basically, what I am saying to you is, be careful of who you allow in your inner circle. Not every one of your acquaintances should be allowed to know all of your business. Not everyone is for you. Not everyone can handle your most intimate thoughts. And not everyone is walking the same walk as you. You need friends that have faith in you, and that you can tell anything to.

Sister to Sister do you hear me? Do you have a friend that you can share everything with?

 

References
Moore, K. L. (2012, December 23). Christ’s “Inner Circle”. Retrieved from http://kmooreperspective.blogspot.com/2012/12/christs-inner-circle.html
Stanley, C. F. (2009). Life Principles Bible. La Habra: Thomas Nelson.