Blue Christmas

Originally posted December 8th 2011…. Reposted today because it’s still true…let’s all find someone/something greater to serve this year.

Elvis sang “I’ll have a blue Christmas” I have to admit as upbeat and strong as I am the holidays are the hardest sometimes. God is my all in all. I am totally blessed in so much yet being alone and missing my girls is tough. Being 1027 miles from those I love, and still missing my mom since her death 2009 Thanksgiving, all do challenge me this season more than ever. I’m blessed, thankful and even realize that in this valley I hit I am still a precious daughter of the most high GOD. I may not succeed in temporal things that others find so easy. I can even stink at them and fail, I am failing at something that should be easy. What do I do? I go to the Rock. I tell my LORD how I feel and HE hears me. I used to believe you had to fake it till you make it as a Christian. Success is not really a great teacher, but wow failure is a masterful molder.
To be honest faking anything in my life just at this point seems to sicken me. Bottom line is this. I am incredibly humbled to have a front row seat to GOD’s glory at the same time seeing my humanity lessen and my identity mold before Him. The more I know HIM the more He reveals to me just how much more I need to see His reflection when I look in the mirror and less of my own. Today the mirror revealed an area of my life that was being touched over and over again. It has been surrendered to GOD but still gets opened up like a deep wound. Now that might not make sense to you but don’t you think if you give GOD free reign in an area He is going to work in that area? He’s working in this area forging a deeper intimacy with me but wow the surgery is not pleasant. There is only one answer to WHY. HIS love! His love for me is the WHY that makes it bearable and even joyful. Joyful, how laughable is that? JOY in heartbreak? Ok, I know it is counter intuitive to say it but YES! Happiness is so fleeting but JOY transcends circumstances. It allows you to bring GOD into your circumstances instead of wallowing in them crying out for mercy. Your circumstances can be like mine created by a series of bad decisions that you now recognize or circumstances thrown at you that you had no control over. The goal is the same, for your good and HIS glory.
I have been here before. In times past frankly I did terrible with any challenge like this. Now I know GOD has a plan. I will trust that plan and leave the consequences to GOD. What is my challenge? Does it really matter to explain? It could be anything you are experiencing that opens up hurt and pain in your life that you have to deal with. God reveals what he wants to heal. What kind of things? Things that open up that one place you keep guarded in your life to keep you from experiencing pain like you have in the past or a place in your past you shouldn’t travel to with your focus. I wrote this to be real to let you know that Christianity is not about perfect people pleasing a perfect GOD. I am far from perfect. It is a relationship with a perfect GOD that is pleased to come along side of me as I journey in the life HE gave me. My advocate is my GOD. The relationship I have with him is the most precious gift I have ever received. To know that he understands this gal who was so thirsty for love. He understands because he said I thirst on the cross.
My heart will now as it has all my Christian life, turn to Jesus. I will tell my Father everything knowing he can take it and hopefully grow in this. I absolutely know I am loved and can rest fully in GOD’s love. So for the holidays I will praise HIM.

No matter how you shade it. There’s nothing magic about it.

Some of the mistakes I have made in life I can’t change but I can change making those choices again. This is on my heart so I feel as if I have to say it. Sometimes we have to bring light to the darkness. I would hate for my precious friends to get caught up in the hype of something and not realize how bad it is…. So… lets talk about a couple of media events going on right now. There’s a lot of buzz about 50 Shades of Gray and Magic Mike. Sometimes people want us to separate religion from our every day lives. Almost as if we are having a co-existence. One with Christ and one with life. I see myself once I am saved as a supernatural being having an human experience. I can no more separate what my eyes see or body experiences from my identity in Christ than I could unbake a cake. I can’t sit and simply think that seeing graphically sexualized media doesn’t affect me in many ways. My heart would be deceiving me if I thought that. I know by experience in the past that it takes a long time for images like that to leave my memory. Usually media that is overtly sexual defrauds true sexuality where a woman’s beauty is more than her body and a mans strength and value are more than physical. The lines become blurred. I think it would be intellectually dishonest to say you can watch or read something tawdry and be unaffected by it. Don’t misunderstand me! I am not saying anyone is a bad Christian or that I am better than anyone. I am saying it’s dangerous and unwise. I love how GOD’s word says our desires are to be toward your mates. From a divorced perspective if that had of been true in my marriage I would still be married. It’s a safe guard to keep your heart and mind from outside influences. Marriages struggle enough without inviting third party influences into them. Before you crucify me for saying this understand that I have been through quite a bit and I know whereof I speak. Peeking in a door you aren’t going through isn’t wise. 50 Shades and Magic Mike are over the top sexually explicit. The nudity in Magic Mike IS PORN by definition and watching it is ill-advised. The verbiage in 50 Shades is porn as well ….. I say this without apology and as truth in love. Protect your hearts, your marriages and your minds. Infidelity brings great sorrow and when a man or woman leave a marriage emotionally for outside influences that brings grief as well. Protect your mind with severe intention and you will be glad you did.

God tells us a lot about guarding our hearts and minds. What a precious Father he is to protect us with such great wise words.

1 radio = 7 howling dogs

I love discovering things and have always been a nerd. One of my childhood memories was of taking apart the large radio I had in my room and connecting the speakers in a way that made all the dogs bark in my neighborhood. The noise was horrible and it hurt their ears. They howled so much and I didn’t make the connection quickly enough to avoid aggravating my neighbors. At age 8 what is an annoyance to adults is an adventure to a small child. I have to giggle about the whole thing even though I hate the idea I made all the dogs howl to keep from their ears hurting. That would be one of many misguided adventures I would take. Yet there is an innocence in finding out about the world around me and what made things tick. I love that part of my life and enjoy that the little girl in me still seeks and searches for answers. Now my passion is to know GOD more daily. I don’t think we can have a relationship with GOD any deeper than our love for his word. Imagine if you will going on a honey moon without a spouse. That is about what it would be like to try to have a relationship with God without a relationship to His word. Our pastor challenged us to read the Bible through in 101 days. If you read 12 chapters a day you will accomplish this feat. I decided to read it chronologically so my reading is varied by the year written. I am in so many ways that innocent little child looking for answers by taking things apart. What I am already finding in this reading of the Bible this time is that I have grown. I was reading 12 chapters today and new questions formulated in my brain. New answers to old questions that were not revealed to me the last time I read that section. It was quite refreshing. Sometimes we study the Bible to the point of not hearing it’s words. It’s nice to just read through and let it speak and filter my life. I love that the words come to life and teach me. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and hope in 101 days to find that there is more of HIM and less of me. He must increase and I must decrease. Knowledge raises questions that can’t be answered apart from intimacy with Christ through his word. I hope in 101 days to see the transforming word of GOD work in my life and all for his glory.  Email me if you want to join this journey. 

Rats in my Car!

I have to tell you a quick story. A few years ago,  I went to my car for lunch as I do each day. It’s a great time alone to visit with the Lord or gather my thoughts for the day. It was hot enough that I wanted to turn on the air to cool the car down before turning it off. The blower motor made a horrible noise, sounded like a washing machine out of balance. I thought aaack blown bearing. I turned it off and after work I rode home with no air. Funny the little things we forget to be grateful for. When I got home I called mechanics who wanted around 250 for pulling and installing a new motor. I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have the money and because I always try to fix things first before spending that kind of money.
So in the evening I went to pull the motor myself. I got the motor down and it was hanging by its connections, probably should have disconnected them first. I saw a little fuzz between one of the squirrel cage blades. I pulled on it and out came a leg. I screamed aaaaaaaaaaack. Then after what looked like an end zone celebration dance to the neighbors Mr. Mouse  was out. Poor thing he had been beat to death. That was probably not a fair and just sentence for eating through the leaf guard above the motor.I am reminded that Eve ate Adam out of house and home and brought death upon the world.  (that was a random thought lol )My little adventure is over and I have only to replace the screen with some ¼ wire mesh. Thank you Lord! Guess my little heart thinks about things even rats. That little fellow made his way through a maze of dark vents to finally get to the end of the road. Instead of seeing the mesh as a roadblock he ate right through it to his death. How many times have we persisted the same way? Instead of turning back to where it was right with GOD and safe in the Father’s care we plow through to our own way to be wounded even close to destroyed by wrong things.Just a thot. I have been there. The Bible says a man does what he thinks is right in his own eyes. This gal has learned every time I do what I think is right in my own strength I am gambling like the rat in my car.

I wanted to share this again. GOD bless all… and thank you for reading.

Trading My Sorrows...Grace Restored

I wrote this article last year for a Christian internet dating site. I have edited it with a few more thoughts. I think it bears repeating. I am not trying to discount getting to know someone through dating sites. Studies show that people who meet on Eharmony for example have a higher success rate than meeting in person. Yet at some point people have to go toe to toe and eye to eye to dance in the minefield of relationships. That’s all I am saying here. Dating sites are a tool at best. Don’t get the cart before the horse.

March 2010.
Sometimes you have to use common sense. I know this will go over like a lead balloon. Internet dating sites lend themselves to serious discernment problems. You can’t have a “relationship” with someone you have never met. You can feel deeply, feel strongly, and all kinds of things…

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It’s Gonna Be Alright Child

I already know this post might cost me readers but I will say this anyway. People get spooky about GOD working so directly in a life but this is really happening and besides I have no way of knowing who reads this blog anyway so hopefully you will hang on. I can’t just leave this unsaid.

I was praying earlier putting something out of my control into God’s hands just like I did with a hard situation about an airline ticket a few weeks ago. I know GOD can work and move in this and I am confident HE will make a way where there seems to be no way. My heart knows what it knows! Yet the hurt I feel is normal grief over a loss and I run like a child to a fathers lap to Psalms 139 where GOD says there is no darkness in him at all! Even my darkness is light to him.. I was going to end my time with the LORD with a song to encourage me and this one came right to my finger tip. My freedom started with a DJ freedom weekend where I learned that my life was exchanged with Christ on the cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us. That opened up healing for me that continued through a series of rough storms. All were allowed by GOD even if orchestrated by me or others. This song starts where my broken journey started with divorce and it ends where my journey seems to be ending …. Deeper in love with Him.

A few messages ago my Pastor preached on the fire that tries us. One of his points was that if you want the fire to ease up you might delay your growth. I prayed at the altar that GOD would not turn down the heat. I had been seeking more refining when I even posted here a few weeks ago that same idea about delaying growth in your life. In my daily devotions I had asked God to show me where I am weak and I knew that I had been affected by the world I work in and by my past just trying to survive in a way that wasn’t always refined to say the least and that I still needed to learn some things the right way. It was no coincidence that at Bible study tonight the Pastor talked about going back to where your roots are and check out what you can keep and get rid of what isn’t true. Holy COW!

I have friends who blog here about great things about God who share great spiritual truths. I guess I am the poster child for blogging about great spiritual whippings.

To me what is happening in my life IS a great GOD thing. GOD is answering my prayers and the heat is turned up. I asked GOD to deal with me about an issue after I disappointed someone and he is doing that! I hate it too but it’s necessary… He is not letting me off the hook in any way. Do you understand how huge that is? Little old me? I never thought this would be happening in my life and I am sadly excited. I am just a peon in the universe but GOD is working in my life showing me things I have never understood before. Sometimes when I read my Bible lately it’s like I am picking up a new book. Mind you I have several degrees from religious schools. Yet when I read in Psalms 103 that he pitieth his children and knows our weaknesses wow… that hit me like a brick. I must have read that tons in times past but the intimacy of it didn’t hit me until a few days ago.

Why am I typing this in the wee hours of the morning? You know GOD answers prayers and not the way we always think he will. He’s answered mine and even sent affirmation through foolish things like a returned airline ticket, a preaching message (he called it foolish take it up with him), a song that spoke right to my heart and said … Deb you don’t have to carry this one or think your past is to blame. Hear me I am calling … fall deeper in love with me. My love is enough.

You prayed for something and it fell in your lap but the answer came through the fire. It came in the form of pain but was what you prayed for. Now you doubt what is before you. God can even use what looks like a mess to you to give you a clear message. Don’t miss the answers to prayer. Open your eyes and trust your GOD not your past.

Anger or Mercy.

I recently took quite a few personality tests. They were all geared to find out more about myself and also with whom I would be most compatible. It was exciting to take them and discuss them, because I hadn’t in years. No one had cared to know me that well or explored who I was that deeply until this past Christmas. Most of my traits are the same as they have always been. It felt good to see personal growth, of course there’s still lots to learn.

There is no test that can prepare you or define you when the unexpected happens. Everyone has down days and times when they do something the test can’t predict.
Life has a few out of character moments that change the course you are headed. Everyone has had an embarrassing moment when they did something totally out of their comfort zone and something out of their norm that has caused harm. The one I want to talk about here is one that came about because I had a lapse in judgment and angered someone deeply.

I work in a ministry that helps people forgive and get past their anger. I am rarely on the side that causes the anger and when I do it usually breaks my heart. I am tender hearted and really do not have the capacity to mindlessly mistreat someone. I am generally thoughtful and encouraging.

The litmus test for un-forgiveness is anger.

What should the Christian do in this situation? Aaaack to be honest I hate saying this but it’s clear and simple even though what you are forgiving might be huge or minor. In order to redeem time and not become bitter we have a choice to forgive. I wanted to unpack this as I am working through it myself. I have to forgive myself for poor judgment and also have to forgive someone for hurting me even though I wronged them.

What does that look like? First you have to acknowledge you have anger and are dealing with this unresolved issue. Secondly you have to forgive and let it go. Forgiveness doesn’t mean a wrong didn’t occur or that anyone “gets away with” an injustice. We live in a world where our free will slams into another person’s life in a very damaging way sometimes. A world where people can and do whatever they see right in their own eyes. Good intentions aside this is troublesome. The same God who loves us allows these interactions and we love Him because he lets us be who we are, flaws and all. I wouldn’t want to serve a God that made me a robot although a little more brains would have been nice a couple of weeks ago. You might ask why I am angry? Well we can get angry with ourselves. We can get angry over the loss of friendship. We can get angry if we feel attacked. I want to be as genuine as I can here without saying anything that can cause further hurt.

Forgiveness is letting go of that damage or hurt. It’s a process that usually ends once we are past the grief and can have compassion on the person we are forgiving. Hoping they are healed or restored from the actions and released from the pain as you now are. It is taking them off your hook and letting them go. Sometimes you are not given the option of asking them for forgiveness. I wasn’t shown that respect either but the argument could be that I didn’t deserve it. I humbly say that! I would welcome the chance to apologize. I can forgive anyway.
When you forgive yourself, the principle is the same, you are taking yourself off your hook and hopefully learning and growing in a better way. Self-forgiveness is hardest for me because I don’t generally like to get into situations that I cause someone else pain. Forgiveness helps you remain healthy and also helps you get past the past. Anything that is in your past and still affecting you now is not healed and truthfully not in your past. Healing takes time and is harder depending on the offense.

I hope the best for people who have wronged me or who I have wronged. No one gets through this life without painful lessons. I sincerely hope people find joy and happiness in the LORD and peace with the past. I truly hope families are restored and lives are changed.

No one can love or forgive like Jesus.

He is our perfect example.

We can only imitate him by forgiving and receiving forgiveness.

I hope to be forgiven but for now I forgive. ☺