Just sit with God for a while.

In 2008, I was fortunate to be invited to a Freedom Conference with Dennis Jernigan and what I heard was used by the Spirit to help me get back in my race. His song Sit With You For A While has been one of my favorites to reflect and rest in God. There have been lots of times since then I have felt the Spirit drawing me to surrender and to be hidden in Christ. I’ve always been the kind of sheep who has to take life moment by moment. I have never been a one and done kind of person. So surrender for me is progressive. I take it day by day and sometimes hour by hour.
That’s the great thing about being exposed by our GOD who allows us bold access to Him. He is patient, faithful and kind enough to give us glimpses of what we need to surrender to him. His kindness and goodness always lead me to repentance. We don’t have to tackle the whole mountain all at once, just take one step. That step takes as long as it takes.
Some things help me in this race. Being grateful and waiting are probably my best weapons. It takes the glory from humanity, the Devil, and me. Wating places it on God who owns everything, paid for my sins and who provides the road I am traveling. When I am ungrateful it is like driving without sight.
Waiting on God has been an amazing learning experience. I used to wait like a brat, with tears and expectation that God would answer my whims. I distracted myself with impatience. Now intimacy with God means that he is the only answer and waiting for his timing is worth everything in the world because he has better imagination for me and plans for me. All of my prayers get answered because I am waiting on him to issue guidance and trust him to keep His word.
Now that doesn’t mean my prayers are answered according to my hope or human desires. You have to remember God deals with us according to what is best for us. He always gives his best to those who leave the choice to him. So being the precious Father he is there’s a timetable that is best for me and in due time he will answer. Here or in heaven.
Oh, the peace that comes with releasing something to your Father! Learning I control very little outside of my own thoughts and Spiritual race is true freedom. Dying to self is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes it is hard and hurts. Being able to just sit with him for a while is comforting. I tell him everything because he can take it. He wants me to be real and be who he planned for me to be.
Dear Ones, I could tell you all day about how GOD loves you and how much it can mean to your life. I could expound on the grace and peace and the intimate times when you realize GOD is enough and all that you need. If this is something you desire to have, I can promise you I don’t know everything but I am happy to tell you how I got here and walk toward Jesus with you.
These verses are the basis for all I have said.
Duet 33:12 And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
Eph 3:20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Heb 4:16Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
PS. Pray for our brother Dennis, God knows his need.

 

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. ☺

Sweet Time ~ Living Like You Were Dying ~ because Heaven is for real!

Living Like You Were Dying has become a mantra for me in a way. I think God supports this when he says we are a vapor and vanish.

Wow! I turned 50 this past year. It was a year of many first and many changes. Although I had been divorced 10 years it was the first year I had ever lived alone in my life, the first experience with an empty nest, the first time I adventured back into the dating world. Splat! Oh well, I tried, I’ll soar again in God’s time, that wasn’t pretty. This year I had a car wreck which was topped by my daughter totaling my spare car. I had a cancer scare that made me realize how sweet time is. I jumped out of the rat race taking a 40% pay cut by changing jobs. Life is too short to be stressed instead of blessed. I sold my home in SC and cut ties with the past and my security blanket back there. You can’t move forward looking in the rearview mirror. When your faith and fear collide, and they always will, you have to choose to keep pressing on.

The year was filled with so many great things. A great ministry to volunteer time that helps people get back in their race, a praise team at church that sees something in me that I am still learning about myself and some really great people who taught me, encouraged me, stretched me, crushed me and humbled me in so many ways that I can’t begin to explain. It’s called life though. Jesus walked Peter to the boat in a storm not on calm seas. Jesus is walking me through this journey and where I see the lesson I am learning, where I don’t see, God patiently and graciously walks me through again. Wow! how loving is our Father to do that. I love the abundant life God has given me. Not things, they pass away but the blessings that are too many to tell and too many to not see the hand of God.

Sometimes I ponder things and wonder if seeking direction with the Lord is as important as simply following where he is leading. Does that sound conflicted? Let me tell you what that means to me. Sometimes we see a path and ask the Lord to confirm it when maybe the path opening before us is the confirmation. God says that he opens doors man can’t shut and he shuts doors man can’t open in Revelation 3:8. You might refuse the door but it isn’t closed. It’s open and always will be for eternity. You will just miss the journey if you don’t’ go through it. I used to be one that would see the path, second guess myself, second guess the path and even the bricks it was paved with. My over analyzing and also my own conclusion that I was right in my analyzing would muddle the path and muddle me. By the time I started the first step on the path, if hadn’t of thought my way out of it, I was restless, uncertain and already thinking of plan B. In my mind seeking God’s direction was more of me analyzing what was best for me and hoping God endorsed it to happen that way. The learning curve on that can be as long as you want it to be. God has plenty of time to wait for you to surrender to him.

Grant it, life is hard and being vulnerable and taking risks is hard. Yet when God lays a path before us we need to go for it like we are dying. We need to not waste sweet time second guessing God and thinking the impossible can’t happen. If it looks too good why can’t it be from God? He says he uses the foolish things to confound the wise. He also says he gives good gifts to his children. He even said finding a wife is a good thing. We are not in a minefield with God. He has a clear path, clear plan and clear say regarding the matter. He said nothing was impossible with him.

It would be nice if we all could spend time in heaven like the little boy did in the book Heaven Is For Real. If we could understand that Jesus really loves all his children. If we could love and trust like children do! Oh My! I teared up reading how this little boy told his parents that as a four year old Jesus had the angels sing to him because he was so scared. I am not sure the angels will sing the song above to me and evidently they won’t sing We Will We Will Rock You either. Read the book and get the gist of that comment. When Lazarus died he was sitting in Abraham’s bosom and this little boy is sitting in the arms of Jesus. I don’t think there is a coincidence in the parallel.

I am sure the sweet time we waste on earth would minimize if we had an eternal perspective. So, when the path opens before me, unless God says NO! There’s no reason not to go through that door. It might look like spiritual skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing or bull riding and I am positive it’s not always pretty or rosy. But it’s the race! It’s the plan to move forward and God is passionately loving us with abandon and cheering us on. The sweet time I have left I hope to love deeper, speak sweeter and forgive sooner. I want to live like I am dying because I am in all reality. When I get to heaven if I can ever look up at Jesus because I can’t imagine the glorified awe I will have for him. I am totally blown away now by his grace. If hear the angels sing I hope they sing this song. But if they don’t … I am sure whatever they sing will never be as loud as the heartbeat of God for this little gal he has declared priceless and purchased so no one else can buy me.

The Secret to Life ~ Your flight has been cancelled.

The Secret of Life is in letting go. Listen to this song Completely and read below.

I was supposed to be on my way to an adventure in Atlanta. This was all changed in a week that has been unlike any other I have had in a while. I can’t remember my heart being taken through so much so harshly and quickly. The reason I wasn’t going was partly my fault.

I prayed before I went to bed about the situation and everyone involved. I knew I had to give this completely to God to move forward in my own life. I knew also that God’s direction would be the only one that made sense. I felt His peace and fell asleep. It was the first time in over a week I didn’t go to bed feeling restless. He was my rest and peace. I surrender all.

About 3:19 am my phone went off. I didn’t hear the ring but I heard the vibration. I knew it was the airlines 2 hr. notification. I dismissed it and went to sleep. At 3:27 another vibration and I looked at it because my children live so far away and it was a number that I barely remembered was an elderly lady who calls confused from SC thinking I am her daughter. I put the phone down and dosed back off only to hear the phone vibrate again. I figured it was the notification that the flight had taken off. I saw the number but still didn’t put anything together. Ok, between 3:27 and 5 am my phone vibrated several more times. This was annoying to say the least. I awakened enough to realize that it was only 5 am and the airline must be trying to reach me!

I checked my messages and they said that my flight had been cancelled. They didn’t give a reason. I called the airline and found out that indeed my flight had been cancelled and I could be put on a later flight. I explained to them that I didn’t want to do that and before I could explain further they said. Then we will credit your card for this trip.

Now that might sound like normal routine to you but I believe God woke me up to get that refund. First, I have flown over 100 times in my life and never ever had a cancellation. Secondly, I gave everything to GOD. After this extremely tough week, I believe he wanted to confirm I had trusted him the way he wants me to.

Thirdly, this is the most important to me. I had been chastised and rightly so, but one phrase I was hit with were the sarcastically rebuking words “the God that I serve or I serve a God that” as if I knew little about God. I don’t remember now because everything has been deleted. Yet, It really hit my heart hard and hurt. My heart was to help and not to anger or cause grief. I am glad God really knows what I was trying to say.

I haven’t done everything right in this life but I have always turned to GOD and depended on him before all is said and done. What I tried to accomplish with my words was said in a terrible way for which I take responsibility. Once something is out there you can do little about it. Still there’s no excuse.

All I have ever had and known was real in my life was my Father’s love. I am thankful at a time when life was tough, God took a moment to reach back to me and remind me he’s still in control and there’s little that I control. That although I am not perfect I still serve a God who is. I am thankful he restored money I could not afford to lose and also restored my heart because HE is the God I serve and he does love and forgive everyone including me and people who can’t love me and can’t forgive me. For that I am thankful because we all need his precious grace. This gal needed not only the grace but as my Father keenly saw I needed the love and affirmation. God touched my heart today and I am his and he is mine.

God hasn’t finished with me or with my story. I don’t know what to expect anymore except to keep my dreams big and my worries small. No one can shut a God door.

Rev. 3:8 I know they works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Guard your heart, use your brains, and above all remember this is the Internet.

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 but you can’t have a relationship with a chat box or phone call or even a few phone conversations. Relationships take quality time and take one on one interaction, and eventually growth together in person. That simply can not happen online where aspects of personality and character can not be seen. It’s far too important a matter to play roulette with. At some point you have to meet and see where the relationship might go.

Miracles happen and things stranger than fiction have. Generally speaking that’s the exception more than the rule. You can at best develop an “acquaintance friendship” Friendships take a long time to form and relationships even longer. Online one might jump right into the latter without the former and begin roles never assigned to them if in real time. The problem with this kind of thinking is that you can give your heart over to a person you have not met because you are living in a pseudo fantasy land and wind up with disaster.

A person can expect you to fill a certain role based on where their heart is and they wind up with a disaster. This creates chaos, distraction from the LORD and folks get hurt that way. Be mature, respectful, and direct in these things. Do not play games or expect mind reading. Guard your heart, use your brains, and above all remember this is the Internet.

We have to understand God’s heart for us is not to walk into a disaster. Disaster that often breeds with the availability of Internet anonymity. Too many can “be all they wanted to be” vs. be real. I know I have used the word “fantasy land” before but that is because there is no word to describe the plane that the Internet affords. It’s still being defined. What I do know about and have seen is the brokenness of people who have played in this media and found themselves hurt. I have seen it and experienced it. I think the Internet’s own virtue is it’s own demon. The fact that you can connect with so many on so many different levels because you aren’t distracted by the physical. I have a couple of long term friends that I have come to know as kindred brothers and sisters in the LORD but I know how rare that is and given their character I am thankful they are real. I have met them both and to me they are extended family. Even those friendships are 8 years old and did not foster overnight.

Men, if you are reading this understand intelligent women are not just protecting their heart but yours as well if they are wise enough to hold back. A weaker woman will create you as a white knight in shining armor. A strong woman will still develop ties that are going to cause her heartache if she doesn’t make healthy choices. That is unfair for you and her. Yet if a woman can’t see at best all people have armor that has rust spots and chinks she will get herself involved with someone who isn’t real.

Women, if you are reading, understand words are just words. Action reveals what a person truly believes and exposes their character. Until you are in person, you really have words and maybe a bit of knowledge about them. Be aware of sites that offer too many contacts which also offers too many distractions. Juggling men will lead to being perplexed. One pursues you that you are not interested be honest and cut that off. It’s not fair to make people an option. Another delays pursuing you because to him you are an option. The old saying goes, “never make someone a priority who only makes you an option” A third guy is great but keeps you clueless. Shake hands, be friends and move forward. Some say that they are not ready for anything but are on a dating site fishing. . Don’t be insecure about that, understand it’s good news. Clarity is much better than guessing. This division of the heart is not good for a woman to bring into her life. God is not the author of confusion. A man will seek what matters to him. He may not do it at your speed but you will know if he’s interested or not. No need to sell yourself, throw yourself at him. If a man isn’t casting a net in your pond the best thing you can do is gratefully accept that.. Know yourself and your God who will provide the desires of your heart. I know I am not winning friends with this post. I love people, love the LORD and had to get it out there.

Men approach relationships different. I don’t pretend to know what all of those differences are. I just know that women aspire to relationships emotionally more than men I think. (keep in mind this is my own opinion and observation)

The goal should be though if CHRISTIAN to do it in a Godly way vs, worldly way. You can’t trade urgency for real passion, heart, fun and companionship. Rushing a relationship is like lighting a short fuse. I for one do not want to be the cause of anyone being hurt and want to do things in a way that lasts beyond the fireworks and pleases GOD. If I had to draw lines to do that I just can’t apologize for that. Passion in it’s place is well worth the wait.

I think a woman should be pursued and found as a treasure. Keep your options open until you meet a person and see their life first hand. Be careful out there.

Red Rover send a sinner right over.

Has anything ever knocked you so far off balance you have a hard time finding center again. I remember a couple of times as a kid playing a game of red rover where you form two human chains of kids and call one out at a time to break the chain. I remember Coley, we affectionately called “Coleslaw” who was the guy everyone was scared of at my elementary school. He was just a big guy. When he was called I knew my arm was about to be broken. Everyone knew Deb was “the weakest” link. So of course here comes Coleslaw, the playground felt like it was booming under my feet. Yep, he was gonna take the easy route and go between me and a guy who had a death grip on my forearm. Although my heart was pounding and I knew I was going to wind up on the ground. I held on tightly dreaming to be the one who kept coleslaw from breaking through this time. Yep, you guessed it. There I was in my little plaid jumper, steely eyed and ready to rumble………… then …………BAM……… there I was looking at the clouds. ……….. Man did that hurt!!!! I couldn’t breathe …… my arm was wrenched and yikes ……..now everyone is watching me …….. why not they watched it happen. Still can’t breathe trying to catch my breath. Seconds seemed like hours. Finally, a breath, a sigh, the pain…..yep the tears……. but not boo hoo tears just something in my eye. lol…….. ok lets line up and do this again. Such is red rover……but it’s not funny when you play red rover with your life. God did not plan for us to be knocked down and the breath knocked out of us all of our lives. …….. Time to grow,,,,,,,,time for grace……… time to read the Word…….. time to live………

We will only have the intimate good shepherd relationship with God that we should have by getting to know the shepherd’s voice which is expressed in His WORD.

The worlds wisdom is like Coleslaw……. headed to knock us off our feet. God’s wisdom……found in His Word is like Life, water, bread, ………..everyday we choose life or death…………

Are you calling Coleslaw to come knock the wind out of your sails???? Are you lying on the ground wondering why relationships don’t work and why you are wounded and hurting?

Stop playing with your life…… in the playground of the world…….

PS. Coleslaw  became a great godly man and father later……. I was honored to teach with his wife at a Christian School in SC and to see such a gentle giant.

Emerge a changed Woman.

My past is riddled with so many things, some drama, mistakes, pain, violence, sadness, divorce, marriage and death. I can’t begin to write all that I could say about it.  I guess I could fill this blog with it all so that you can identify with me on some of those points but lets shorten the drama to get to the heart of the matter.  Here’s the bottom line.

When I became saved I exchanged my life for the new life of Christ. I became a new creature, not the old person reinvented but a new creation. The problem wasn’t in my salvation not being all it should have been or being more complete. God just doesn’t do a half-baked job. My problem was that I came to the table with years of past rejection that had trained my mind to be rejected. Short story, I grew up with tons of rejection from my dad, married a man who rejected me, then made a series of poor judgments trying to be accepted in my career or by others so that I would mask the pain of being rejected. Something had to change and I spent the last 6 years trying to figure it out.

None of the avenues I tried worked because at the end of the day I was still the same rejected person. I finally found the answer when I was faced for the first time in my life with having to make it on my own without props. (people to support me emotionally) I started studying the WORD of GOD rather than talk or write about what I had thought I had known of His Word. Truth was that “religion” had gotten in the way of having a real understanding of who GOD is and of my identity in Christ. I began to dig and what I found out has accomplished in my life what it should have done. I have had to be changed from the inside out by renewing my mind.

When we get saved we as stated by the Lord are new creatures, all things have passed away behold all things have become new. That being said, I did get saved but never ever really took concerted time to find out about my new life in Christ. I was trying to live out life the old me way vs. the mind of Christ way.

I understand going through the motions and being indifferent to life going around you. I understand just trying to survive the pain and toil of life but not living life. I call it survival mode. When God quickens (makes our spirit alive by becoming one with it, it is unmistakable.) He says our spirit witnesses with His Spirit. As a believer I did  not accept that change as normally as I should have and fought every step of the way. I tried in my flesh to do my thing when I see that now I can’t do anything but what the Lord wills, even then it’s all Him and not me. The first change I noticed is how I view things and how I began to unravel and learn a whole new way. It’s like going from black and white tv to color. So much more sense in the life around you because you see everything as a small puzzle piece in a huge masterpiece GOD is aware of.

Old southern preachers where I used to live would say “do you know that you know that you know?” I think of the phrase sometimes when I realize that GOD has redeemed my soul through his Son’s offering for my sin. My old man was crucified with Christ on that cross and has passed away. Sometimes in this life we keep giving the “Old Man” a funeral by holding on to the mind the old man had and not allowing the renewing the mind of the “new creation” to be like the Son.

 I am a new creation that as God says is “accepted in the beloved” The good work that God began in me he will continue as he promised. God has said to “come boldly” to his throne of Grace to receive Mercy in time of need. To take his burden because it is not weighty…. over and over the theme of the New Covenant is that GOD provided a way to Him that is fool proof, I like that term meaning even I can follow his lead.  Every step of the journey is made clear to us in His Word so that we can’t possibly do it, but that we can be successful letting Him do it. He changes us we can’t change ourselves. Wouldn’t we have changed us already if we could? If we struggle with something wouldn’t we wave the human wand at it and poof we are changed? Wouldn’t we provide our own healing? Are you hearing in my statements why “we” can’t do it?

 Where would dependence on GOD be if “we” could change ourselves. Immediately we would humanize it all and forget God. That is why Paul wrote the phrases about “the things I do I would not” etc. That is why the renewing of the mind is so important. You can’t do anything you don’t believe. You might try to pretend it, copy it, squeak, squak, sqawk like it but if you are a duck you are not a sheep. I lived so many self righteous, entitled years that way to the waste of time and talents, but I was blind now I see.

 The Good Shepherd leads the sheep they know his voice and follow him. Pretending only lasts for a season but sonship last for a life. The most wonderful part is GOD loves and is jealous of the “new creation” We are accepted by him, loved by him, wanted by Him, trusted by Him (to be His representative), seen as joint heirs with Jesus by him, I could continue to list them but our identity is in Christ in the eyes of the Father who has promised that we are seated in the heavenlies blessed with all spiritual blessings. When Christ is enough everything is enough. We are sheep following our Shepherd who leads us to all we need. The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.

Being Me is Not Easy

Sometimes being me isn’t easy lol.

I asked a question recently of some of you. Do you really love God and how do you know?

I pondered that with my finite brain for a few days and although this isn’t a definitive answer I do believe it approaches the subject.

My first thoughts were about the power of words. I decided long ago in my teens that I wanted to be an encourager. I had grown up with so much negativity I didn’t want anyone to be reduced by my words. I know the power of words because I have been damaged by some things said to me.

God says so much about words.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Bridle the tongue
Iron sharpens iron
But exhort one another while it is called today.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer every man.
Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only
There is safety in a multitude of counselors
Speak the truth in love

The list is much longer, but this will become a book instead of a little bit of sharing.

Here’s where my brain went with this.

Words are powerful
The Word was in the beginning, The Word and the Holy Spirit to interpret that Word, is what God left us until the end.

I know lately I have been greatly affected by words. I guess because I do try to be very careful what I say to others and I try to be careful how I treat everyone. I try to make sure what I am saying is something I can back up with my actions. I watch for that in other people too. I know we all fail sometimes.

There are many catch phrases in life, such as someone can’t make you happy, or sticks and stones blah, blah, blah, actions speak louder than words. I really don’t wholly accept these phrases because God admonishes us to be careful with our words. A person can with words hurt you. In 46 years I have been told and reinforced of all my short comings. Lol. I can long remember the hurtful things, and cherish the few nice things said to me.

Words do shape our courses just as the tongue is compared to the rudder of a ship. Such a little thing can steer our thoughts and actions. It is up to us to weigh and place value or power if you will into what others have said, but we are also responsible for what we say. Believe me ACTIONS do SPEAK. Remember conversation in the Bible is translated, manner of life, or if you will actions.

So where am I today? Well in light of some things said to me I would have to say I am being reinforced and trained at least by words I am hearing and have been even distracted with the message I have been receiving lately. I know we all say things we don’t mean, but a consistent message does get conveyed when it’s repeated. What message are we giving God if we truly love him? What message are we giving others if we love them?

Please think about it. I am saying this. You can tell by a persons words, how they feel about you, if they respect you, if they want you, if they value you, if they cherish you, if they love you, if they hate you, if they are annoyed with you, if you mean anything at all to them. You have to know that your words are a revelation to a person just as God’s words are a revelation to us. All of his intentions and longings and desires for us are in His written word.

People act on what they believe. What do you believe?

My well has been dry for a while and I can say hearing anything nice would be a drink of refreshing water.

God bless you all. Treat each other with charity.