Mission Opportunity!

Dear Friends, Family, Readers,

Over the past few months, God has placed a calling in my life. This summer I have the opportunity, June 2020, to spend time with Amy for Africa sharing the love of Christ with kids, teenagers, and adults in Uganda!

I will be traveling with others from our church and churches in the US and we ask that you would pray for our team as we pursue this adventure that God has asked us to join.

We will be building relationships through sports ministry, teaching

Our teams will be in the community sharing the Gospel and teaching the

Vacation Bible School, helping with service projects, and ministering to a group of people near Jinja, Uganda.

Jinja is located in central Africa near the equator along the northern shore of Lake Victoria, near the source of the White Nile.

Bible as much as possible during each activity.

Each team member is responsible for raising a portion of the trip’s cost. The entire cost of the trip is $3000/ person plus the cost of vaccinations. We are needing half of this by March 1, 2020.

If you would like to partner with us as we prepare to go to Uganda, you can donate on- line here Amy For Africa

https://amyforafrica.com/donate-amy-for-africa/?fbclid=IwAR21FtoOcGZezH6TNaxvscVrz22mE5FEphdmQhG6keRLFR4ilEA_s762UXY

or send a check to Amy For Africa at 816, 23rd Street Ashland KY 41101.

Please write Debra in the message or memo so they know what the funds are for. All contributions are tax deductible. Most importantly, I ask that you would pray for our team before and during our trip!

Thank you and God Bless,

Debra ~forever Joykeepin

Eph 3:20 More than I can imagine!

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.

 

Be Present, Not Social

Quality Time is a lost art. Nothing feels worse to be ignored and second to a 3 x 5-inch screen or 65″ TX. Here’s the deal.

Digital distractions keep you from being present. They can placate your ego, offer vicarious experiences and inspire your fantasies. You can scroll everyone’s life for comparison, affirmation, and inspiration. That can be motivational but more times than not, it is useless information overload. It widens your community to an extent that is impossible to have authenticity.

Now I know a lot of people will say that they use it to keep up with folks. How can you keep up with 200-300-400-700+ people all day every day? When is the last time you asked someone this question? “How have you been lately?” Clicking like doesn’t equal connection. Typing one-liners that may or may not be read doesn’t offer lasting bonds.

Digitally people can be anonymous, gigantic, edited and scripted. There is a lot of fake courage pouring into the way people want to portray their lives. Unfortunately, some of that bad form and rhetoric spills over into their lives as their personal interactions become less intimate.

I know people say that they can inspire and do some good sharing the Gospel and sharing their experiences on social media. I am not maintaining that everyone jumps off social media and goes sing Kum Bah Ya at their local coffee house. I am saying don’t forsake being present with real people who need your influence in their lives in real time.

I can post the experience on social media and get 50 likes with very little connection to my hundreds of friends. It could have been an aha moment that was very significant to my life journey. It immediately becomes marginalized along with another generic post about the mundane. It will never have the effect of looking someone in their worn, weary face, and saying, “Me too. I have been there. This is how my life changed and it will get better,”

Nothing beats a warm hand, an understanding gaze, and seasoned words that pour courage into a person. Social media kills intimacy. Let’s be present more. We know better than to let a phone, tablet or TV be our gateway to the world. Whose in?

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Break Every Chain, No Longer A Slave

No Longer Slaves, Voices of Lee

It’s not a matter of giving up… it’s a matter of giving in …….and letting GOD….

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

God will never move a fearful and unwilling heart. That’s why WE have to surrender what we can’t control, to his precious care. By HIS virtue he wants what’s best for us. He gives his best when we leave the choice to him. Courage isn’t an absence of fear. TRUE COURAGE is when we face what we fear and push beyond it by trusting God. We all come to the crossroads many times in life where we get to make the choice for GOD or for ourselves. I was a fallen little lamb who needed a Savior desperately. I can tell you that GOD has grown me up by this process.

I can beg a person not to believe a lie or walk in fear but if they choose to keep control in their life to do so. THEY WILL. It will be THEIR WILL to do so and NOT GOD’s WILL. GOD has made it possible to break the chains of past behavior by clearly laying out the steps.

1. Don’t fear I am with you (Fear thou not I am with thee)
2. Don’t be discouraged (be not dismayed)
3. I am reminding you who I am because you have forgotten I have this under control. (I am your God)
4. where you are weak in this I will give you strength (I will strengthen thee)
YES!
5. I will even help you with it (I will help thee)
6. I will hold you by my virtue to accomplish this (I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness)

When you come to the impossible REMEMBER GOD SAID. Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

When I refer to the GOD who is holy, just, immutable, righteous, faithful, true, loving, beautiful no matter what the task … I know what is supposed to happen is possible.

Dear ONE you have done it your way a long long time. How has that worked? Give GOD a chance to restore what the locust has eaten. Give Him the glory so others can follow your light and see a better way. For the sake of the future … press in and press on WITH GOD.

I have it all!

Amen

LIE of the devil, “you can make up for the lost time in life.” STOP that thinking. YOU can only create a new past and new future from right now. This moment in time. Yesterday is gone, you can go back there only one way, in your mind. Do you know how detrimental that is to your life? It destroys your ability to focus. Would’ve, should’ve, could’ve. I have said them all. I have wasted years at a time thinking “IF”

Here’s the problem, the action doesn’t take place in the mind, it takes place in the follow through. So if I want my actions to be right my heart needs to be right and my thinking needs to be toward the direction I am heading not the direction I fear. This means I am already there in my mind. I am not talking about hocus pocus or sheer will. I am talking about believing the promises of GOD that are mine, believing that he is faithful and true. I am talking about seeing my body healthy, my marriage strong and my life impactful because he called me to those things.

He said he would finish the good work in me. He said he would start a new thing and complete it. He said I was loveable at my worst. He said I could do all things through Christ. So I won’t sit here and feel sorry for me. I have it all. I have Christ. I won’t give up on what he promised me. I already have it because he promised. It won’t matter what happens because I am a child of the king.

My Abba Father knows my name, knows where I am and I can’t hide from him if I wanted to. He promised not to let go of me. He said he would open doors no man can shut and shut doors no man can open. SO I won’t stand in the doorway because I am all in. He can shut everything he wants to, I am his. He can open anything he wants to I am his and I will go through.

I believe my GOD is more powerful than anything I can imagine and he promised to do more than I can imagine. He’s called me to obey and trust his everlasting love and life for me. Having done everything I know to do, I stand right there. IF GOD is for me, who can be against me? With that, I will sleep.

He said he would sing over me and I love his sweet voice. The voice of the one who will accept me in the beloved. I have volumes of words he’s said on my behalf to help me live. It is humbling to know I can’t do it without him and exciting at the same time. It’s humbling to know how frail I am and how he can take my mess and make it something beautiful. What a relief! It was all planned and my steps are ordered. HOW free is that?

Challenge. Find Bible verses to support everything I have said. This was written from my Scripture memory. God’s Word is my life line for how to live.

The power behind the mystery.

Send The Rain Prayer

We’re in a battle that started before we arrived here. It will be here when we die barring the Lord’s return. I know that on my own I can not battle. I found the key to victory.  In my mind prayer is how I confirm my orders (God’s Word). It is where I confirm my arsenal (God’s power) by trusting Him with what I can only know by His Word. I can trust it sigh unseen because of His Word.

Fervent prayer, not wish list praying. I’m talking prayers where I acknowledge how wrong I am and how right and powerful God is. Prayer where I specifically call out to God to open cold dark places and expose my heart and mind so that it is aware and alert to complacency, which leads to decline.

Prayer where I relentlessly fall into the skillful hands  of the triune Godhead like a patient in an operating room. Where I acknowledge that I can’t do anything in the kingdom agenda for good and for God, without His unbridled participation.

Prayers that once prayed, are emboldened in my heart to know that I just came from the throne of grace where I received mercy instead of justice.

Prayer the only vehicle in my life that activates God’s intention for me as it understood by His Word.

Prayer A wonderful mystery  that partners God with me in a personal and identifiable way that glorifies Him.

As this battle has ramped up on the world’s stage I can only see two things that will keep me. Obedience and humility as I engage God in His Word and prayer. It’s my life line to Faith.

Life is tough but love is stronger.

Life is tough but LOVE IS STRONGER 
Sometimes we are so underwhelmed by God and overwhelmed by life that we lose precious sight of the power of God’s love. God’s love can flow into relationships and heal them even if they appear dead to the world. Love can take a person from pitiful to priceless, it redeems, revives, restores and resurrects. To believe anything less would be to deny my own life. This year my life has changed so much just from being loved by God and others. I still have hopes and dreams of more change as I wake up and rely on Truth instead of the lies of the world. Eternally I am secure and earthly I am confident that my life matters to GOD and his love can sustain my heart forever. His Spirit is a constant guide that never leaves me. Eph 3:20 I defer to his imagination for me and can’t wait to see what is next. I have nothing to fear and everything I need. I hope to share this with everyone I meet. Faith, hope and love …. the greatest is love.   

Life is not about me.

Although no amount you care changes much if the other person doesn’t care. People are not an experiment to fit into and out of my life. Since they matter to GOD they matter to me. So my role isn’t about giving up or giving in. It is about investing what I can in someone and leaving the results up to GOD. The very minute I see someone as a convenience or inconvenience, I have ceased to love them and instead have found a way to need them to bolster me. NOPE that’s not ministry. GOD is my bolster and my provider. I always need to be a light out and light in the darkness by pointing people to my Jesus. After all he is my light out and my light in. I don’t have all the answers. As a matter of fact I have more questions than answers these days. How can I be more light? How can I love more? How can I get out of my own way more? How can I serve a GOD who loves me passionately in a way that glorifies HIM more? Yeah, I know the medicine that got me well keeps me well and if you stick around I can walk toward Jesus with you. Dear Ones out there reading this. Don’t do life alone. GOD has a plan and wants his will for your life. 

Overcome

Overcome Back Story

Every single day we are writing our testimony, the story or our love relationship with GOD and the things the world does to try to stop us. Sometimes the world wins, or at least sometimes for me it does. BUT and that’s the power of the CROSS… but GOD always wins. No matter how frail I can be GOD is not frail. And my testimony to date is “she persisted.” This lamb always goes back to what HE did for me, to what GOD is to me, and to what Jesus is in me. Why would we expect it not to be messy? Our salvation came through a bloody messy cross and glorious resurrection. IN ONE WEEK that changed the future, the disciples saw their perfect HOPE hang on a tree and die in shame and rise again in victory. In one week it all changed. SO I cling to that hope, to that grace that what I am going through is just a hard week and that JESUS is coming back for me and that I can overcome by his blood. That WEEK trumps all my weeks, all my seasons and all my years. I stand on the promise and have to say to Satan, not this girl, not this day not even this week. I am God’s child and you can’t have me. To my Father I ask, “ABBA I am yours and you are mine, protect me and lead me because I can’t lead myself. “I run to him. There’s no where else to go. HE has the WORDS of LIFE and I want to live the life he prepared for me. SO there it is. You have to trust is something bigger than yourself, GOD.

Overcome Song. Click here and rest in what GOD can do.

I have no where else to go.

Under His Wings by the Ruppes

You could look back at my life from 2 different viewpoints. If you look at it from the perspective of what the world would say about it. You’d say what a mess. How did all that happen to one person? If you look at it from an eternal perspective you would say, wow every step of the way GOD was teaching her and helping her see what she couldn’t. Here’s the quick of it all. My being here is a miracle. I don’t have it all figured out and it is not easy to live in my shoes but two things I have learned. When I make mistakes or bad choices I am not forsaken. I am tracked by GOD who loves me infinitely, most of the time in spite of me.

I know there are only two things that have saved my life this far. The first is the powerful, complete and soul satisfying Word of God. It tells me what I need to hear and what I don’t want to hear concerning me. It tells me the truth when the world will lie to me to keep me stuck. The other is the fact that I refuse to give up on God’s promise.  I said a long time ago and I say it still. Not this girl, not this day. I am not giving up on the promises of GOD. I am not giving up on what I can’t see.

That’s where we bog down, we want to see it to believe it. I have seen so many times GOD has been reliable, faithful and true there’s no need to see it. I just walk toward it in faith. The promise is all I have until Heaven and I am staking my life on it.  If you can see it you don’t need faith for it.

My life isn’t even in the shadow of where I’d like it to be by temporal standards. Actually, I am failing as the world watches. By eternal standards, the failure is happening, it is necessary and like every thing else it will move me to where GOD wants me to be. See, I said my life is a miracle. Although things I hoped would’t happen again are. I have to trust that keeping on, keeping on will move me to the place I need to be.

I don’t like it at all in the temporal. I abhor it!!!! In the eternal, and that’s how I have to keep focused these days, I love it. I love an ABBA who makes all things good because he started a good work in me. I surrender right there and say oh my LORD, my precious darling Savior teach me and grow me.

I don’t know what you are facing today. I can tell you this you will follow your thinking. It is ok to be hurt, ok to even cry but don’t think for one minute GOD doesn’t love you and have a better plan than you can imagine. CLING to what is true and dismiss anything you don’t know to be true.  The verses are many I could provide here. The one that has been an anchor for me is Eph 3:20. I’m not going to quote it. I want you to look it up for your sake. I run to Him. I cling to HIM. I am under his wings.

Say Amen

This right here. #askmewhy this is why I keep going on. This is my faithful GOD who is able. I can’t do it alone but I don’t have to. I don’t have all the answers and at times life is painful but love anyway, hope anyway, give anyway and do the next right thing because for sure GOD will be faithful. He never promised me I’d be loved in this life except by him. I have had more than my share of sorrow but I have the love and devotion of a Father who lets me call him Abba who lets me cry out to him and who will give me a testimony from the test. I can’t lose. It’s always been all him anyway. Click here and celebrate that one day, one day we will be home. Don’t give up, finish your race, have the right motive and agree with GOD.  Say Amen

When are you going to live?

NOW is……….. NOW! stop waiting for pat answers, perfect people or perfect circumstances. Don’t count on your feelings to line up to do what you are called to do. Launch out and do it …… forget the things that want to weigh you down. LET THEM GO! They are not of GOD! HE said to race … racing is forward… upward … higher…. farther …. it leaps over your fear to your faith… put a lot of distance between your fear and your faith. The same JESUS that saves you keeps you and is cheering you on… stop living low and getting by… HOPE DREAM BELIEVE SING PRAISE RACE …. RUN RUN RUN and don’t stop until you are out of breath and life.

Walk With Me

Walk With Me The Ball Brothers  <<<click link for testimony and song

I have had the rare privilege of having a couple of seasons in my life walking with people who sharpened me. The Bible says, faithful are the wounds of a friend. I am blessed to have experienced someone honest enough with me to not only tell me the truth but to stand with me as I walked it out in obedience.  Sure some of God’s Word is much easier to obey than parts that require sacrifice. Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered and we shouldn’t think we escape some of life’s hard lessons if God’s own Son suffered.

It is as much glorious as it is rigorous. There are things in my life that are much different than I expected. Expectations are always a problem for me. I seem to have a straight path in mind, a point “A” to “B” view of things. That is probably the part of my brain that leans toward math and science advancing ahead of wonderment and creativity. I have particularly enjoyed seeing God’s creativity in a whole new light the last two years. It has been an influence in connecting me to his imagination for my life. I know GOD has a purpose for my life but he also says he can imagine more than I can even think to ask him in Eph 3:20. The idea that I don’t have to figure it out or have a plan B has been so refreshing.

I love hearing the Ball Brothers sing the song Walk With Me and explain the rationale behind the song. You know two are better than one and a three fold cord is the strongest. In this day and age we need to have those honest people who help us see where the world, flesh or devil is trying to sway us. It is very subtile and cunning. I know I am thankful for my sister in the Lord and a brother in the Lord who tells me like it is. I can’t change other people or circumstances but I can always change my position and perspective.

This little lamb needs a Shepherd and is grateful for those who tend the sheep that tell me the truth. Without an eternal perspective right now, my life would be pretty dire. With it I can say, “walk with me, I am heading toward Jesus”

There’s no need to abandon the landmarks that have gotten me this far and I am sure my Lord will see me home.  Find someone today and tell them the honest truth. Share the love of God with someone today. Huge hugs, GOD does love you!

What Love

What Love New Manna

 

I remember the first time I heard this song. I had no idea what the next 15 years held. Now I can see that one thing remains. WHAT LOVE. Not my love for HIM. His love for me. I am so humbled by the fact that in spite of me, GOD loves me anyway. WHAT LOVE!

God continues to expose my character flaws and short comings and yes sin but not to the end to punish me but to give me a chance to do the next right thing. I wrote this 3 years ago on this song on You Tube and that’s the great thing about GOD. What is true then is still true now. “The kind of love you give and return without holding back may not make a difference that you can see right away in this temporal life. God calls us to love anyway. I will never regret loving with all my heart because the love never fails. ” Although I fail and stumble, GOD’s love never fails. I Cor 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. Charity is love in this verse.

My Good Father

Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

 

Everything I learned can be summed up to what caressed me today from God’s Word…. Listen to my Father speak to me …. Debra I called you by name, before you were born I planned for you, I decided to love you before the world was made, I am a Father who can’t lie or leave and I give good gifts to my children, I have given you a hope and future and strengthened you with my words so you can remember my goodness and favor. You are my beloved and I adore you! My heart for you is joy which is your strength. I will guide your feet and keep your heart from falling. Abba…. Knowing this is God’s plan for me …. I totally surrender to his love and light…. I can’t go wrong this way, I have all I need and nothing to fear… If nothing else happens good in my circumstances I can shout from the rooftops he is faithful and forgets not his own. God’s love is such a force and overwhelming stream. Oh that we would be underwhelmed by fear and overwhelmed by this amazing LOVE that can never fail. What a glorious journey GOD has prepared for us…. lets walk in it.

Just see the manifestation of God’s holiness.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord.

 

Sometimes you just have to stop, be grateful, understand God is good no matter what happens and see his glory. The glory of God is the outward manifestation of his holiness. Bottom line, HE is HOLY. I can trust HIM. He will always be GOD and is immutable. Never changing means I don’t have to guess my way through this hard life. I can know that I know that I know that HE loves me. I can’t walk away from that fact. I am honor bound to Him. My hope, my calling (which God says it without repentance) and my entire life being is wrapped up in my God who is who he says he is and who loves me more than I can comprehend. There’s no quitting with that behind me and only grace for what lies before.

 

Ephesians Chapter 1

 

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

He’s been faithful to me

Life isn’t what I thought it would be. I can’t fix it but one thing remains. GOD is faithful in the darkest of times and in the hardest of circumstances. Let this remind you that HE will complete the work in you. Phil 1:6 Enjoy this song as you realize YOUR GOD, MY FATHER is never going to fail. I’ve survived 100% of things that broke my heart and tried to stamp out my spirit. His track record with me is 100%. I ever love my Father and know one day, maybe not on this earthly plane, but one day. I will be healed from all pain and tears. I am GOD’s child and no one can take that from me. He will always love me like I was his only child.

I REFUSE TO HATE

Jesus He Loves ME (click here to play song)

 

I refuse to hate anyone.  Racism is a learned behavior. Protest and violence will not undo racism. Showing the world a better way, a more loving and peaceful way will. What does that look like? For me it looks like seeing a person instead of a label. Debra that is not possible you say. I want to be a voice that says it IS POSSIBLE. I taught my children all lives matter because Jesus by one self sacrificing action declared the ground level for all of us. He proved we all were lovable Romans 5:8. We all were loved before the foundation of the world enough to die for. I certainly won’t see another persons color before I see this. Jesus loves you and that makes you valuable to him and me. I love my Jesus and want to love what He loves. I just don’t care if you are purple, came from Mars or eat liver. Are you getting this? Those details do not matter to me. They never have. I have known some people since I was a little kid and one thing deeply embedded in my mind is this, I hope I have loved them all well in some way. I don’t care that our paths are different and that we may not see eye to eye on issues. My commission is to love them and show them that Jesus loves them too. We are not seeing an American problem we are seeing a heart problem. We have to unlearn this hateful darkness and replace it with the only thing makes sense, loving light. That light is the truth that all men are created by God who decided to love them regardless of them loving him back. We have to use their weapons of destruction i.e. social media and biased untrue reporting of facts and change them into plowshares. Use your voice to spread love, to humble yourself and pray. See America is a nation that is made up of individuals who make decisions that lead us down a path. If the majority of those people would seek God who is love and share that love to the world and humble themselves and say I am wrong there is a better way. Our land would heal. It would be nothing short of a miracle. I know we are in the last days and so much of this is in motion but am I going to cower and throw up my hands. NO! Here’s the feet I am putting to my words. When I am in public I am going to hug a policeman and thank them. I will talk to people and say “hi how are you” in stores and places that I meet strangers. I am going to risk being vulnerable and loving vs scared and tolerating. I never have been good at tolerating anything and doing that with people is hateful. I am going to hold doors open for people behind me and let people standing in long lines ahead of me if they are wrangling small children or have just a few items. I am going to watch for any way I can offer even the smallest gesture that says YOU ARE WORTHY to be loved to all I meet. We have to bring kindness back. I am not talking about being weak I am talking about being courageous. The path of least resistance is anger and aggression. The path to healing is love, light and compassion. It means being intentional in a right and good way. God said some having compassion making a difference. What will you do to unlearn hate today? If you want the good news about how this is possible. Contact me through this blog and I will be happy to tell you!

That’s HIM!

Please click here to hear the great song That’s Him by the Hoppers.

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and my heart is wideopen so I must write. I love the song above because that is exactly how I feel about my Savior.

When life has been such a mess and I have come undone

When there’s no answer for my sin in this world

When I seem to find the race hard to run

When I run low on heart and high on hurt

When I can’t find my way back home

When I don’t know what to pray

When it seems as if I will be alone

When I struggle in the fray

I raise my hands to heaven and say …… that’s HIM …..

That’s HIM who knows how to lead this little lamb to HIS throne so I can boldly  pray to my GOD alone. That’s Him who cleanses my sin and welcomes me in his gates. That’s Him who will never leave. That’s HIM who will give me peace. Alpha and Omega …… oh so much more….. he’s the one who reached down to save me like I was HIS only child. I can’t find the words to describe the safety and love I feel in my heart. Security, peace and forbearing my sin… How can I ever thank the one who speaks to the waves. He calms the storm in me….. THAT’s HIM..

What does an 8 year old know? The harm of imitation love.

After reading the book Real Love Post Childhood Stress Disorder by Dr. Greg Baer and learning the Real Love principles I decided to share a very private part of my life. Sometimes my PCSD comes out in the form of trying to figure out what people think of me. That behavior is disappearing as I am learning to be loved,  but I thought I might share what I remember before it’s gone. It seems love is reshaping my perspective of the past and healing the pain of it all.

My parents were intelligent successful people and they engrained in me that being overweight was disease. They were well intentioned but they were killing my spirit.  I was overweight from the age of 8. -I will never forget the day I walked into the doctor’s office, he was my Mom’s cousin. I had on a little dress that was plaid with a white color. I remember always going to different doctors at different places. I will never forget how humiliating it was to have the doctor gather up my dress and have me hold it in my arms. I was in the very center of the room.I was taught all my life to keep your legs together and your dress over your knees. I was horrified. I looked for the windows but they were high up about 5 feet off the wall. I felt helpless to get out. Mom was standing there as the doctor walked around pointing at my legs and body. He divulged how I already had cellulite at 8 and how being overweight would ruin my life. He talked about diseases and death at 55. I couldn’t compute all of that and I just remember thinking. My parents to not like how I look. Something is wrong with me and my parents are trying to change it.  I won’t live long if they don’t help me change it. I was scared to cry or act out because Dad spanked us if we cried or whined. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of years of humiliation about my weight. Mom was given a diet that she put me on that lasted all of about 2 weeks before she gave up. I knew I was supposed to eat a certain way to lose weight and I couldn’t figure out if my parents liked me again or if they didn’t care about my dying at age 55. I felt helpless. I heard so many conversations about my weight from family members that I felt like I’d never belong in this group of people.

Age 10- I was taken to a “specialist” about 70 miles away. It was a rickety old house with peeling paint. The waiting room was full of all sizes of people. I remember thinking this it weird. Some of these folks are so skinny their bones are sticking out. There were no test. I was weighed in at 130 pounds and measured and given some injections and a prescription. I asked what the injection was and was told that it was just vitamins. The medicine I was put on made me race like the wind. It kept me jittery and awake for long into the night. I went to a “drug” seminar at school and there on display were the pills I had been taking for 2 years! They were on the board and labeled speed or amphetamines. The diet that the doctor prescribed lasted about 3 weeks and mom gave up cooking special for me and for the family. But continued to keep me on the drug. That doctor was a member of my family and was later arrested for dispensing drugs and his license was revoked.

Age 13. I did  survive elementary school with all the jokes about being overweight and humiliation of family hiding food and talking openly about how much I eat and how big I was. My parents took me to yet another doctor. This one was a bariatric specialist who did tons of test on me. He discovered after I had a 9 hour glucose test that I had “hypoglycemia” I exhibited no symptoms and he put me on a diet much like Atkins. This lasted about 3 weeks and once again Mom didn’t help with the meals. It was “too much for her”  I had sat in a room of a dozen adults discussing my weight. I was the only child there and the doctor diagnosed me with all of the adults and my mom followed his orders a whole 3 weeks.

Age 18. I learned how devastating being anorexic and bulimic were. It was the natural solution to me. I had tried everything else. From Jan to May I lost 100 pounds, my hair and my period. I ran 8 miles a night and climbed the stairs of my 4 story dorm 20 times a night.  I learned to barely eat anything  and throw it up. It was heaven to finally be acceptable to my parents and family and friends. I had a 23 inch waist. A child’s measurements. Years I had spent overachieving and getting good grades and succeeding now were crowned with a body that matched my ability or so I thought. For the first time boys were asking me out in college. In my heart I knew they only did because my body had changed. They hadn’t asked me out before then. They didn’t know my heart or dreams about life. They didn’t care because I had the measurements that made them look twice when they never looked once before.

Nature had a way of playing the dirtiest trick on me possible. As soon as my body started shutting down from starvation I had to began eating to survive. I was 21 years old and had the waist of a 5 year old. I gained all the weight back and more. I married as a skinny girl, but I was huge by the end of the 2nd year. Of all things I married to a man who was addicted to porn and felt like a failure. I would never have the body those women had. On my own I tried Weight Watchers, First Place and Tops. Nothing worked or worked for long. I did phentermine and exercise and only lost a minimal amount of weight. Then I found out I could have a gastric bypass. It was a miracle answer. My surgery went every well, I felt ripped apart  and wondered what I had done to my body. Yet recovery was great. I followed orders to T even during an unplanned pregnancy. I lost 100 pounds and was on cloud nine. The weight stayed off a few years until the ulcer that developed at my surgical site became too painful to ignore. The doctor said a reversal was the only way to fix the ulcer and I gained every pound back.

I have tried every conceivable weight loss program over the years and except for starvation I have never been able to lose more than a few pounds.  I’ve been tested for everything and this year found that I have something genetic going on. The Christian community offers a range of judgments from condemnation to tolerance. I’ve heard many times God will help you as if I didn’t pray or care or try. I have to just let that stand there and know in my heart I am God’s beautiful loved and cherished daughter. There were times I was sure I kept the weight on to prove I was lovable at any size. Other times I just emotionally ate to feel something better than rejection.

Then……. unconditional love kicked in… I learned someone could love me and hold me.   I found out I could love others and adopt little lambs to love. I learned that I am not a mistake and that God has plans for my life bigger than my imagination Eph 3:20. I knew I didn’t have to work or look a certain way  for God’s love and also knew if that same love flowed through others, I wouldn’t have to work for their love either. I learned that I can love someone who can’t love or see me. Unconditional love is the glue of the universe and flows from us to others.

What’s cool is now I am taking care of my body. I made changes to eat healthy and to do my best with that first.  I have a love hate relationship with exercise equipment but I have learned to dance and also love to swim.  The exercise part is yet to come fully but still growing in that area. I love the body God allowed me to be born in. My life is a miracle. My growth is a process and not complete yet. There’s much to learn and failure is a powerful teacher…. but I can say …… distance your fears from your faith and let faith rule…trust the love you have NOW and live in the moments where you feel that love… . you will be invincible. I Corinthians 13:13 For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.  I look to HIM for everything.

Love has changed me forever. I am a miracle in process. If you want to learn more about the love that is transforming my life send me an email. I will answer.

Life is hard but GOD is good!

Dear Christian who is hurting,

“He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) “He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted.” (Isaiah 61:1)

The word heal in Hebrew  means to heal, to sew together, or mend. Imagine if you will GOD healing me piece by piece even mending together what has been torn apart. That was like salve to my weary and broken heart that my GOD would put me back together in His way in His time.

Broken hearted in Hebrew in this case means to break into pieces, crush, maime, crippled, shattered, wrecked, rupture, to be broken, rend violently. Jesus repeated this verse in Luke as part of his mission coming to this earth. To heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. I was a captive to emotional stuff. No one held me physically captive it was all spiritual bondage. I remember when I lifted my eyes after the long nights of pain and blame and realized the chains were truly gone and I was totally free. I remember feeling as if my soul had wings because once I was blind but now I see. I have sung What a Friend We have in Jesus hundreds of times just because I now KNOW he indeed is my Friend.

Bind is the Hebrew word which means to tie, bind about like a headband or turban, bind on, restrain, bandage. What comfort that you are GOD’s child and He is waiting in the wings for you to embrace the healing he will provide and has demonstrated in first sending Jesus to die for us but, also in giving us a means to have an intimate relationship with him. Not only did GOD heal but he also bandaged my wounds as they healed. How loving and how restful that is to me. I can fall into his loving arms in prayer and as the dear and precious Father I have never had, let Him do that for me.
Wound comes from the Hebrew word  which had idol as a root but also a pain or wound even a sorrow wound. I identify with making my pain and idol. I was so fearful to freely trust GOD with everything. I had spiritual white knuckles that if I let go of control it might hurt me how ironic. I remember when I first started studying the Hebrew and Greek and came across this it was all very hard to swallow. Now I love knowing what God is really saying. I am amazed at the lengths He goes to in order to have a relationship with us and take care of our needs and desires. We can truly trust him. I never trusted anyone before except myself which just about destroyed me.

Imagine him knitting you back together from brokenness of unimaginable proportions and binding that healing into a masterpiece that he knew in Psalms was fearfully and wonderfully made. That is what GOD has done for me. I sought Godly counsel through my Pastors wife because on my own I was unable to clearly see or progress. I was becoming emotionally and spiritually crippled and ineffective. I sought the Lord in His Word and on my knees, and I learned how to listen instead of act or react to everything. I began to see life’s lessons in it all and see how GOD works behind the scenes always on my behalf for His glory. It was like the scales from my eyes fell and as I began to become whole I feel full and have an overflow that I can share with others.

Hearing you say that your heart is broken, that you feel damaged, burned out, and that even talking about it makes you feel depressed is where I have traveled. It hurts but also shows us we are in touch with something still being not healed. How you might feel right now is a place I am very familiar with. It is the exact way I felt. I was emotionally and spiritually wrecked and very unable to admit it. I must say this to you hoping you will take it to heart because it is far more important that you understand what I am going to say more than you ever look at me. As I said that is not at all what this is about.
Feeling the way I did without dealing with it and without healing hindered me in every way spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I did that exact same thing by just avoiding it all. I spent hours pouring my life into futility of doing stuff that just didn’t provide anything valuable to help me grow. I have paid a very high price neglecting my relationships horizontally with people and vertically with GOD.

Not healing kept me in bondage to my pain until I decide to address it. It foreshadowed my witness and effectiveness as a light to the lost and dying world and kept me stuck going through the motions of life without really living the wonderful life Christ intended. I am speaking the truth in love. I did exactly that very thing.
Dear One, I know GOD is with me and that saying this is from grace He has given me to boldly let you know as strongly and lovingly as I can. I continued pouring my life into pseudo surface relationships which did make me laugh and provided numbness from it all but did not provide growth that will help a person heal or be restored. I wasted part of my life I can’t get back. I found many people there whose motives were not for my good or God’s glory.

Words that real friends tried to share with me along this line were dismissed when I was going through the same thing when I first was divorced and when I began to deal with my life and who I was. I was so far from healthy and whole. I would feel ungrateful to GOD if I didn’t share this with you for all that He has done for me. I am still in total awe of His grace and mercy.

I won’t continue belabor this but Dear One, but you seem to be where I was and I pray you seek out God with all your heart as well as fellowship in the Lord who will stand by you in this time, seek the LORD in His Word for what is already in place to help you heal, and cry out to GOD to find Him faithful to love you through this pain you are suffering. Above all one of the biggest mistakes I made was to try to do it in my own strength but I learned how to live in Christ as my life. That is the only way to really be healed and have lasting peace.
I am tried on every front here in Dallas with great trials but I am at peace knowing my rock, my anchor of the soul, my good Shepherd, redeemer, friend, Father, is ever with me. He is fighting for me and I can keep the great faith and peace that He provides. It’s not one bit me but in and through HIM, my all in all. I pray you continue in love as the Bible says and that you find healing in HIM. This is said from a heart that breaks for you but rejoices knowing our GOD will love you to the point your life will once again flow from His fountain if you let Him.

God bless you all who read this.

Me, bear his cross?

What does take up HIS cross mean?

His is a personal pronoun, might the cross be different for different believers? If this is the case then we better be sure to not envy those who have crosses that we think are lighter than ours. Sometimes the body of Christ gets out of focus. I can look at someone’s lighter cross several ways. I may be stronger than them and can take more, or more likely I have a misconception about what they are really going through. Pride and arrogance can sometimes take the cross out of focus. It may be that I am looking at it through my pain. Regardless I have MY cross to bear and it’s my job to bear it resulting in intimacy with Christ that is mine individually.

Will people who generally reject us take our lives? Not likely, we just feel dejected. They have only the power we give them. Our flesh will make us react to the world’s rejection in ways that are not at all in keeping with what Christ desires for us. We have to forget selfish attitudes where rejection is concerned. No one person, career or status will ever be able to meet all our needs or validate us enough to satisfy the flesh.

Is there any help? Yes, your identity in Christ to the rescue. Who you are when Christ is your life. The eternal perspective of someone who was one dead but is now alive. That’s the deal with the cross. Jesus didn’t die to make bad people good, he died to bring dead people to life. Abundant life is the heart’s desire of the Savior for our life.

Colossians 3:1-16

1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.       2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.       3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.        4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.       5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:       6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:       7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.        8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.       9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;        10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:      11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.       12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;       13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.       14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.       15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.        16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Keep your heart on kingdom things. This may seem like the kind of advice that we have a pat rebuttal of (but you don’t know my circumstances.)  Actually. there is no latitude here. It is a take or leave proposition.  Take it and you will have a daily walk that Christ intended for you. Leave it and you will always live in fear, doubt, insecurity, and worst of all in an insatiable flesh that will rob you of your peace and joy. Because you are part of the new life that Christ rose from the dead to give you where should your focus be?

VS 1 The word “if” can also be replaced with the word “because.”

VS 2 Nothing in this world deserves the affection of our flesh, only the next world will satisfy our soul.

VS 3 God filters us through what his Son did for us on the cross. Our old life is dead to God. Don’t play with the past and former things. If you play with dead things you will always stink.

VS 4 The life of Christ in us is the drawing force of our life to his. Think of two magnets taken up together. Their forces join as one. How do we want to appear when Christ returns?

VS 5 Show up in your own life and put any part of it to death that is killing your joy and eternal perspective. Mortify means to put to death.

VS 6 If it would bring God’s judgmental wrath it has to go.

Vs 7 Who are qualified to take this path in life?  Anyone who wants to go from death to life.

VS 8 God is so thorough, he gives us the list because we are sheep who need lists. Things listed here are fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Matthew Henry’s commentary summarizes this section in a way that is very enlightening and far more applicable than I could.

“an inordinate love of present good and outward enjoyments, which proceeds from too high a value in the mind, puts upon too eager a pursuit, hinders the proper use and enjoyment of them, and creates anxious fear and immoderate sorrow for the loss of them. Observe, Covetousness is spiritual idolatry: it is the giving of that love and regard to worldly wealth which are due to God only, and carries a greater degree of malignity in it, and is more highly provoking to God, than is commonly thought. And it is very observable that among all the instances of sin which good men are recorded in the scripture to have fallen into (and there is scarcely any but some or other, in one or other part of their life, have fallen into) there is no instance in all the scripture of any good man charged with covetousness.”

VS 9 Lying, huge topic, don’t lie with your heart, mind or soul. Be honest in how you feel, let your face match your words and let your actions match what you say.

VS 10 Get the old out of the way so you can have the new. Die to the old person, that’s not how the Father would have created you! He says he brings life, peace and joy. If he brings it then whatever it takes to be that person and let the dead stuff go will also bring it for you.

VS 11 Nothing on the outside matters. God sees beyond labels and race. God sees hearts.

VS 12 Again, God being clear to paint us a picture of what it looks like. I know for me without humility none of this is possible. I have to yield and go deep to get this. List the things we are to get rid of in our lives. Do any look familiar? Remember that “getting rid of” is killing off. Don’t resurrect the dead! Let this soak in and have fun with seeing yourself a whole new way-His LIFE. We over value many things in life especially the relationships we have with loved ones. They are important but the power they gain in our lives is not in keeping with having Jesus first. That causes distraction from Him.  The rest of the chapter  in Colossians gives practical helps to daily putting on the new man. I challenge you to list them.

VS 13 LET IT GO. There is nothing anyone in this life can do that matches the suffering Jesus did on the Cross and that matches the gift of the Cross. Offenses will always happen but we do not have to choose to be offended. Regardless of what has happened to us, it is the best way to live. Let it GO!

VS 14 Charity=love. LOVE is the greatest according to God among faith and hope. Bathe in God’s glorious love.  It covers a multitude of sins and washes away fear.

VS 15 The love proceeds the peace. If you can’t love you can’t be peaceful.

VS 16 All of the above creates fertile soil for God’s intended life for your soul.

*****Thought: Is it a rejection of Christ to think otherwise?  *******

 

The Fairy Tale of Chocolate

The Fairy Tale of Chocolate

 

“life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get” Forest, Forest Gump

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJh59vZ8ccc

There’s an endearing scene in the movie Forest Gump where he’s going to see his beloved Jenny. He has a box of chocolates and makes the statement that ”life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.”  In the culture we live in, much of life is treated like a test run.

By the time we are wise enough to have it all we are jumbled from experimenting with myths that do not answer the journey with real living. Indiscriminate living bites us intellectually and keeps us rationalizing away the very things GOD planned.

I love the term perfect imperfection. Why? Because that best describes me. GOD has shown me so much from his Word about who I am and how he loves me.  He’s a vast well that keeps flowing into my life. I can be overwhelmed by the vast supply. A fountain who is a King. My entire being should honor him and embrace all that He wants for me. To be self less before Him as he plays chess with my life is my goal daily. How else can you honor such a sacrifice of pure love? Oh, it is  delightful on the mountain top and so desperate in the valley.  Those are the days his character check mates my humanity, game over.  I am his to do whatever He wills. He is the center of my being and what makes anything good about me good at all. To try to box my life in with a set of limiting rules that do not fit his plan would be about as pretty as me tossing elephants into a mine field.  Kaaaaaaaaboooom and it rains the ruins.

Relationships can be like a box of chocolates. You can hope for a great center and plan exactly what you want.  You can nail it on the wall and pray, pray, pray.  Then you wait for the right piece. The one that fits your exact mold. You anticipate the first bite and KABOOOOOOM it rains the ruins.   Well being covered in elephant chunks is a lesson you’ll never forget. SOOOOO you  clean up yourself emotionally, spiritually and physically and vow next time you will get it right.

You pick another piece from the box and wow! This one has a great smell. It’s soft  and mushy in your hands and you just know it will be “the one” the chocolate that ends all taste test. The center will be the best center in the entire universe. You have set the bar higher than before and you know this is going to be an experience that will make all of the other chocolates you’ve tasted fade into memories.  You have paid dues, taken risks and by all that is sane you have done everything to be sure this is your chance.  You get the picture ….this is nothing like those other pieces. Kaaaaabooom … whaaaaaaa ruins again. How could this be. You calculated it, planned it and knew you had it figured out.

Well you can do this exercise all day.  I mean  there are tons of pieces in there. 7 billion on the planet to be exact. GOD will let you choose what you want .. “he who finds a wife finds a good thing”  He’s sovereign and knows what you will do.

For a third dip into the candy box you are far more reserved.  There’s determination this time to get it right and never hurt or be hurt.  You bit those other chocolates and they were hurt and left a bad taste in your mouth.  You know you are a rotten cotton picking chocolate picker of the bunch. You go to chocolate enrichment bootcamp, you take classes and seminars. You read, pray and grow grow grow. Yet still, you have to reach out one more time and actually pick that chocolate.  You reach out you feel this chocolate is worth having and even precious. It’s royal chocolate from the King’s treasure. He sold all he had to make her beautiful and precious for a chocolate eater. She will not be discarded because her price is “far above rubies.” She will be the last one you choose because she will fit. Her river of love will flow freely into yours making a powerful river that is unstoppable. You reach to the box. Dare you take it. You have toyed with the idea. You felt almost alive again. You enjoyed the sweetness and genuineness of someone who cared.  You felt this person could challenge you and stretch you. She could give you the center you have been looking for from her strength and resolve to love GOD more than anything.  She’s been guarding her chocolate to only place in the hands of a man who could protect her heart. A man who could see her value on the inside without ever biting her.  She will not go down the path of forbidden chocolate.  Then you wake up and reject the chocolate and fairy tale endings. THE END. The credits roll…game over.

No life doesn’t have fairy tale endings. I’ll go one step further to say life isn’t fair or sane at times. It can be varied and amazing then static and blazing in the same moment.  We can only take each step in the journey knowing this. God has a plan. It’s in place. We are here for this time in our lives to be part of it.  So we journey knowing we are a child of the one true king. No regrets!

Each day we are not chosen from this box we are still growing to be the best we can be.  As we wait, HE is in the waiting. There’s a day out there …. because we are already chosen in heaven before the foundation of the world …..that our piece will be in the heavenly box where it will fit rightly and finally. A safe haven for your soul. HOME! By the WAY I don’t know anything about anything.. Maybe soon I will have a clue.

Send the Rain Lord!

Listen to this video and let the LORD open your heart.

My precious Lord means the world to me. Navigating this life would be impossible without His Word and the Holy Spirit. I would die without Him. I’m so humbled by my weaknesses and my own inadequate way to convey what a precious glorious loving Father He is. Thankful is the weakest word sometimes. Truly He leads me every step of the way with His Word and with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about something spooky but just about praying, seeking His Word and about Him opening doors and giving me peace about those doors. I won’t do anything without the peace of God because I have learned that the price to pay without His peace is too high.

I love this video and the quotes that were used making it. Oh that we would be changed by the power of God that is not just a promise but a reality. My heart desires to change the world and to see people meet my LORD and know the fullness of his love. Father let me give and make a difference and to love deeply with reckless abandon and give out and burn out for a love I have found that is greater than my life…love that rescued me from the pit of despair to a seat in the heavenlies that can never be shaken or taken. Dear ones you are defined by what binds….. be free lambs. Open your hands and receive what God has given you right before your eyes so that you can say God is good to God be the glory. His heart is to take you from grace to glory.

If my world can be so rocked by pain I know we all need to heal. I know beyond a shadow of doubt our country will heal when our people in the pew get healed. We soldier so wounded we miss the voice of God. …. revival is here if we want it but we have to let GOD rain in our hearts. We can’t keep acting it out we have to have it flow out from within. He is the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings should make it clear to us. We have to bring our darkness to the LIGHT so it can be exposed and so that HE can change us. He wants to heal, transform and restore. Let God be true and every man a liar. Stop telling yourself who God is and listen for once to who He is. Faith comes by hearing. Open the Word and see the character of God. Hear who HE is. We can’t change ourselves. Going through the motions only wastes precious time until the real living begins.
If we could heal ourselves why on earth did he come to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free….wouldn’t heaven have been a nicer place to stay???
This lamb is weak and needs healing in some areas….. I admit that I need the rain in my life…. the fire the wind the Holy Spirit in power to be all that God promised and witness to the world HIS great grace and love. I stink at being rejected. I hurt and cry and clamor like a little broken lamb but my Savior was rejected and despised the shame but endured the cross for my sin so that I never have to be rejected by Him. Heb 12:2
Who am I to ever pitch a fit because of rejection or not getting my way. I am a spoiled brat needing my Lord who cares more about my character than my comfort.

Dear Ones it’s time to get down to God’s business and open our hands to let go of what we cling to so that God can fill them with what is dear to his heart….. so we can heal and be the light to the world that we are intended to. It’s time to get under sound doctrine and solid leadership so that we can grow. Help us not stay in our comfort zone but stretch us and mold us. Healthy things grow.

Dear GOD bless my enemies, bless those who left when they should have lingered, who hit when they should have held, who yelled when they should have yielded, who lied when they should have led, who have cheated when they should have been committed, who have tolerated when they should have treasured. God for their sake bless them and curse them not. God restore what they have taken and what they have lost by missing you in the storms and temptation, by hearing their own voice louder than yours, by clinging to fear instead of faith when you wanted to pour your blessing on them and their hands were too full. Oh my Father help me remember when I am like them to run to you and please forgive me as well. I know Lord and humbly I say thank you for bearing long with me and please pave my road with bricks of grace and mercy…… Dear GOD heal our land as we humbly pray and seek your face … heal our hearts … and GOD show us a better way. Dear Father I plead with you that we get out of the way and let your will be done.

Forgive us LORD and lead us to revival so that the world may know freedom and truth. Help us remember it’s all in and through you we have our being. In Jesus name amen….

Joykeepin vs the Joykiller.

First off I am no match for Satan but Christ  in me is and I have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who all are a complete match for him. Jesus always is my advocate at the throne.  I have been under an attack most of this year.  I am not sure I can plainly explain how this works but here goes.

Satan has a plan for your life. Satan uses much more than our past to harm us.   He loves to get in and confuse and create chaos in our present by distracting, dividing and conquering. He will make the right seem wrong and the wrong seem right. That’s the reason Eve plunged the world into sin as Adam was silent. Adam was right there with her and ate after her. The silence of Adam is why most fail to his prey.  Satan only has the power we allow. If we are deceived we are doomed until we get a clue because God said “having done all” putting your amour on “to stand” standing in the truth of God’s Word “stand” don’t back down and fall prey.   If he tempted Jesus – who should have certainly had sure footing with the Father- he will surely tempt us who are mere man. Jesus didn’t use his God powers to tackle the Devil, he used what can’t be argued. The Truth.

The Truth is the only foundation against a Father of Lies. The Truth is the light in the darkness. It’s the voice saying true things overriding the voice saying “maybe, might be, could be, what if, I don’t know why, and but….. It overrides fear and deception. Truth begins with I know this is right because ……… I know this is true because…… I know I can trust this because……… there’s rhyme and reason for the truth.

Understand if he can get your joy he has your strength. The clear test for an attack is the lack of joy. Neh 8:10 The joy of the LORD is your strength. Therefore no joy = no strength. It’s that simple and clear.

Without actually taking authority over your life and using the same thing Jesus did- the WORD- we are all going to be oppressed and spend our wheels until we get a clue and cry out to GOD for help and deliverance. We’ve all been there. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. Not the physical but the spiritual. He doesn’t need a body count, our possessions or things. He needs to make us grope and search in our circumstances and own reasoning for answers that GOD is clear about already so we miss opportunity and God’s will. That kills our purpose. That keeps us ineffective and always trying to try. It destroys our goals. He steals what God had intended for us to be blessed with.  I have experienced this first hand. It begins with self justification and ends with shattered dreams and ruined lives. Not a bit happy about finding myself deceived by him and rebuilding from the ruins of that kind of deception. By the power of God in us and the will of GOD for us, and the Word of God to us, to the glory of Him we have to stand against it. We have to believe God and realize the father of lies counterfeits God’s plan. He is subtle and makes his counterfeit look so real. It’s the oldest trick in his arsenal. We can take our future back and create a past Satan can not use against us if we walk in the Spirit and the Word. It’s really that simple. But if anyone is oppressed and being deceived they can test it by finding out if they are moving in truth or feelings. If they are confused or clear. If they have the joy and spiritual blessings God intends in Ephesians 1 or are they still trying to find the right combination of performance with GOD that brings that joy. God’s joy comes from letting the Lord be our joy which provides our strength. Neh 8:10. Remember if you have no JOY… you have no strength. The number one thing Satan comes after is our JOY.

Think about it this way. When I was a little girl my mom would say to clean my room. I loved playing much more than cleaning my room. It would pop my bubble to have to stop playing and clean. It took all day because I dreaded it and was unhappy to do it. I cleaned it but wow I  did it by pushing through being sad. Immature huh? Well I was just a kid. Yet many Christians get asked by God to do certain things in his Word and they push through.  They do not act  like they are blessed to be able to offer something to  a King who has sacrificed so much for them. They instead “suffer for Jesus” as if they have been asked to take castor oil.

Joy makes all the difference in the world in approach to the will of GOD. Without it we get frustrated and have to push through instead of walk through.

Sometimes the battle gets weary. We know GOD is for us and we have to hide ourselves in the fray in him. Satan wants to destroy God’s plans by having counterfeit plans for our lives. He sometimes covertly works through any means possible to find the smallest chink in our armor. Please know that yesterday’s victories aren’t sufficient for tomorrows battles. We have to be vigilant and trust what is true. Each day we need grace and the Holy Spirit power that keeps us from being ensnared. I know this from personal experience. Nothing is worse than getting far down a path and finding out you should have never taken the journey. It was easy to get there and I even justified each step of the way. I decided who GOD was and framed him to allow all of my choices. You couldn’t have told me I was wrong at that time. (And many tried to warn me) I just kept on going until I found myself confused and with many hurts. I became frustrated with God because I thought he was leading me but realized I was deceived. There was no reason to think God was in it which is the ultimate irony. Nothing I had chosen to do violated Scripture but the path I had chosen was very unwise. That’s the thing we think wrongly about Satan. We think he tries to get us to do evil. Most Christians in their right mind won’t do pure evil. But they will head in the wrong direction and lose focus and get entangled with things God didn’t assign to them. My entanglement lead to a couple of years of being in the wilderness. I would still be in that wilderness if it hadn’t of been for God using people to reach out to me. I dismissed many before these few who finally got through.  I was drowning and had no clue. It occurred to me when I got back in my race that I had hardly read my Bible daily, had earnestly cried out and prayed only for relief and rescue and that I was not hearing from God all during that time. I was dismissing good advice right and left from clear headed people who could objectively offer soundness.  I cherish being out of that wilderness and will protect with my life now no matter how it looks to the world.

I remember when I was delivered. It was at a Dennis Jernigan freedom conference with Dean Briggs speaking. My friend  had invited me to go. I heard identity in Christ and freedom presented in a way I had never heard before. It revealed how deceived I was, how wrong I was about much of my belief about how God loves us. When I realized what Jesus did to redeem my soul and to put me on solid ground it opened up my heart to something I had never experienced, intimacy with God. I finally felt the complete connection of being his and he being mine. I left there with hope. I had been hurt a lot in life. I never felt as if I belonged or could be loved. Then God with his perfect timing sent a lady to invite me to a Bible study.  I had started to attend the Thursday night Bible study. God orchestrated the most magnificent circumstances to actually pull me from the pit of deception I was in. Little did I know that Satan was forming a counterfeit plan. As much as I was free there were two pieces of the puzzle for God yet to do. The first was for God to build my trust. I was beginning this new intimacy with him but from previous damage by my Father and  in my life I didn’t really fully trust God. I said I did and I tried to but there was an unsettled place in my heart that thought God would let me down too. The second was finding out how God sees me. Realizing that I am priceless to him gives me confidence in GOD that is unshakeable.  I know by his character and how he sees me I can have joy because I am his and he is mine. It might look dark and might feel like the wind is being taken from you. Yet, there’s joy unspeakable that you can’t explain to anyone fully because it defies what you are going through. It’s there no matter how much you cry or fail. You know that you know that GOD will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Love is Stronger

Life is tough but LOVE IS STRONGER
Sometimes we are so underwhelmed by God and overwhelmed by life that we lose precious sight of the power of God’s love. God’s love can flow into relationships and heal them even if they appear dead to the world, it can take a person from pitiful to priceless, it redeems, revives, restores and resurrects. To believe anything less would be to deny my own life. This year my life has changed so much just from being loved by God and others. I still have hopes and dreams of more change as I wake up and rely on Truth instead of the lies of the world. Eternally I am secure and earthly I am confident that my life matters to GOD and his love can sustain my heart forever. His Spirit is a constant guide that never leaves me. Eph 3:20 I defer to his imagination for me and can’t wait to see what is next. I have nothing to fear and everything I need. I hope to share this with everyone I meet. Faith, hope and love …. the greatest is love.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZuWbA2LnlE

Where did this come from?

The litmus test for what’s influencing your mind. . 2Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy. Now think about that. He doesn’t get to kill people so what does he try to kill? He tries to kill our effectiveness for the kingdom. He doesn’t need physical things so what does he want to destroy? He wants to destroy your dreams and hopes. He wants to destroy your courage and heart for doing what is right and for moving forward in truth. He wants to change your thinking away from truth. He wants to use you and your past against yourself in a way that distorts your view so that you believe a lie and not the truth. He even makes the lie seem like truth. He relishes in stealing your hope and ability to make a difference in this life. He rejoices in stealing anything GOD intends for you to have by planting doubt and fear. When he can change your mind and get you out of the traces he is totally euphoric. He is ever watching your failures and accusing you before the throne. His first challenge was Eve and since the garden he has become a master manipulator. He’s the voice you hear when you stop in your tracks and can’t move forward. He’s the voice saying “what if”, “how can I”, “where’s God?”, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me’,  Doubt, anxiety, pain, sorrow, false guilt, insecurity, low self esteem, low self worth, confusion, chaos and torment are all seeds he spends your lifetime planting and watering. Your flesh will also willingly react to and water the same stuff. The flesh is often more powerful than satan and often gives way to the accuser to work. Because truly the only power satan has is the power you give him. He will use anyone and anything to cultivate your garden. Once the root is there we struggle as long as it stays planted.   Where there is fruit there is a root. No matter how many people try to help you by pointing the right way, that root keeps you dismissing them and going ahead to allow the fruit to develop. Nothing will ever make a bad root produce good fruit.    We have to understand this is the battlefield of the mind. That root has to go.

Only you can weed your own garden.

All of us have cut grass in our lives at some point or seen it done. I lived on a two acre piece of land once and I loved cutting grass. It was my thinking time. My yard actually didn’t have real grass it had lots of weeds. I went home on one of my trips to find the grass hadn’t been cut in 2 months. I lived in Tx but had this home in SC.  The weeds were about waist high. The funny thing was fully grown they looked just like weeds. When they were mowed down they looked just like grass. I remember thinking how much this is like our lives. We can’t escape the things that happen to us in life many times but we can decide not to let a root be planted that will magnify those things that happened to us. Or we can pull the root out if it exists. Mowing won’t get rid of the roots and left alone they will produce the weeds that choke out the good fruit producing plants.

But HOW?

God is definite and offers his children confidence to walk forward without flinching. God has deemed us priceless and accepted in the beloved. Our mistakes, failure and sin  are covered by the blood and in God we are declared righteous.  If your life is missing power, love and soundness you will be fearful. We can’t walk in our own strength and battle the world, the flesh and the devil.

We lose years of our life wasted on misery,  we lose perspective and create a reality that feeds our insecurities. Grace is obscure and mercy is forsaken when we walk around with these roots. Our lives become masked and we proceed hoping that what we want to be will catch up with what we are trying to be. What a self deception that keeps the hamster in the wheel.

We have to examine our hearts and ask GOD to reveal what we can’t see. We have to deal with what we do see and grow new roots in that area. We have to change! We can’t stay the same if we know something is there that needs to be taken care of. Being real with yourself is so freeing because the truth always sets us free. Knowing that I am fallible, human, weak at times and imperfect is so freeing. It gives me even more reason to depend on God for what I lack. It helps me live with purpose knowing myself and areas I have to keep in check. God loves to come in where we are and stoop to lift us up.

Jesus was so compassionate with the woman taken in adultery. He stooped to look her in the eye and speak to her. She was GUILTY! But Jesus said “neither do I condemn you!” He didn’t say you are innocent. He said much more than that! He said I don’t condemn you meaning he knew she was guilty but he was freeing her. She was freed that moment by one the Father calls “the way, the truth, and the life” You can’t be more free! Take this to heart. If you are jumbled inside and wrestling with your mind know this. That wrestling match will last as long as you participate.  Purpose in your heart to change your mind and make choices toward a sound mind by relying on the Holy Spirit to bring truth to you and establish your hearts and minds. Deal with why YOU feel the way you do. Ask yourself “why do I feel this way, what is the root here that I am not dealing with?”  The truth is we all have to deal with ourselves and search within us instead of around us to find meanings for us. We have to take our lives to the throne of grace where GOD says he makes the crooked straight. By experience I know this isn’t easy. I am entering a pruning myself where I will be learning what I am saying here. AGAIN!

There’s no magic wand or wake up call. The healing in this area is gained by determined and sometimes gut wrenching, soul searching work.  It’s not for the fainthearted. It will take time and tears. BUT WOW oh WOW! the pay off each time we grow and learn something is priceless. It makes the journey so much easier and our burdens so much lighter. It makes our thinking so less fuzzy. Dig out those roots and put them on the burning pile so they will no longer grow bad fruit. Don’t just mow them down so it looks like they aren’t there. You can bet your bottom dollar they will grow again.

Mountain Ahead

Beautiful Heartbreak

I have a mountain ahead of me. It is partially created by me and by life. I have learned so much that it would take volumes to share. The main thing I want to say is that life after divorce is messy. The fall is hard. I have learned that nothing satisfies our soul’s need but God’s love, prayer and his Word. Humbly, I say this, there are people who crossed my path that I will be getting things right with. I haven’t forgotten.  I can’t control a lot of my life situation right now but I can go back and pay what is owed, in time I will. Jesus paid a debt for me that I didn’t owe. It’s humbling to be in a place where you can see your mistakes. It’s humbling to be in a holding pattern knowing only the grace of God will prevail in a way you can’t imagine, Eph 3:20. Hindsight is 2020 things to do I have plenty. I know this deep in my soul. I can’t fix everything, I can’t change the course of life and the future. I can live in the present doing the best I can to restore and be restored. One day this life will be over. The eternal perspective is that Heaven is my home, grace will carry me until all is revealed and one glorious day, my beautiful heartbreak will make sense when I see him face to face. I will trust what I can’t see right now. Live with purpose in His Word and on my knees. It is truly all in this life that answers my heart’s cry. Everything else is temporal and has always wanted more of me than I had to give.

Carrying your cross….. The Mountain of God

Wow!
I am not sure I will ever get over the cross. It reveals my humanity more than any other act on earth ever could. There are so many lessons in the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins that I could spend my life being grateful for his willingness to pay for my birth disorder. I was born a sinner and just being born separated me from a relationship with God. Sometimes we get self- righteous and think….” I would have never eaten of that fruit I have learned better now.” The truth is we eat of that fruit more than we think we do. Each time we buy into the belief that we are entitled to have a life free of sorrow and trouble we are chomping away at the notion that we get a free pass even the Son of God didn’t get.

Picture this scene……..

Jesus was hanging on a cross his body shredded and naked. As

he hung there he would scan the crowd and see them mocking him and pointing and staring. He could see the despair in the eyes of those who had believed he was the Son of God and who now are questioning everything he taught. Some were missing at the cross who followed him. Jesus wept over Jerusalem when he saw their pain as he did the sisters of Lazarus grieving over their hopelessness. Jesus is always touched with compassion for us. He knew they would be called Christians even mocking their belief in him by the pagans. Paul reminded us to look to his sacrifice because it completed every reason we have hope. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Heb. 12:2

The Son of God endured the pain and despised the shame and look

at how he handled it. As he hung there watching this scene he had compassion on his mother who was in agony over his death and on the crowd who was mocking him. He could have said so many things from that cross. He was innocent and in the right. He chose though to have

a relationship with mankind over

the moment he could have voiced how right he was. He knew he was going to rise again. He could have warned the crowd they would be sorry for how they treated him. He could have felt sorry for himself and turned his thoughts to selfish pride and been offended. Even one of

the men with him who were being crucified mocked him in front of the crowd. He was silent when being accused and silent about the offense when being ridiculed and shamed. What a Savior and example. Oh if we could only realize how much it is like gnawing our own arm off when we take offense at others in the body just because of what they think or say. Silence is golden at times.

But our Lord did none of those things. He was still taking care of the needs of sheep even on the

cross and when the man on the other side of him realized he was a guilty sinner and wanted to follow this Shepherd. Jesus didn’t say hey buddy it’s a little late can’t you see I am being crucified here. No he went about his Father’s business.

It was known that those who were crucified would push themselves up to get air in to breathe. As it was becoming time for Passover and they had to rush the crucifixion because the men were holding on to dear life. Pilate gave permission to break their legs, thus ending their ability to breathe and taking their life. When they came to Jesus it appeared he was dead and they didn’t have to break his legs. Just to be sure they pierced his side and water and blood came out. His life

wasn’t taken he gave it willingly. Listen to these words he said as time drew near. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Can you hear the LOVE in that statement. Are these the thoughts behind it?

Father they don’t see me or you right now they are blind and deaf. I love them Father, I am not thinking about myself right now this is all for them. I could be offended, YOU could be offended because they are mocking us, criticizing us, making fun of us, lying about us, judging us, doubting us and revealing how much more they would rather be

“right” than have a relationship with us….. Father they don’t know what they are doing when they do this.

Now here’s the part that grips

my heart. His Father’s business, forgiving our sin and restoring

us with him was so much more important than what people were saying or thinking, Jesus gave his own life instead of letting it be taken. When we let the crowd steal our joy, “our life”, the life Jesus

gave us, is being taken because it becomes hidden to those who need to see HIM in us the most. Jesus made himself of no reputation and became obedient even to death.

When I see how Jesus handled the crowd, at what was the toughest moment in heaven and earth, I am humbled if I even think of myself at all anymore when people talk about me or judge me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am not perfect but I am perfectly redeemed. Permanence is always better than perfection. One day in glory I will be beyond this world and all the ways you can fail.

If we are going to be insulted, and we are, let it be for being so bright a light that reflects the Son and not our sin.

I Peter 4:12-13

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

There’s no return for me, can’t go back, dead to that life.

*** reposted from Aug 2013. This has been one amazing year.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. Life has changed completely from what I thought it was to something more than I can imagine. When you cliff dive there are always risks.  I would rather be exactly where I am right now learning and feeling than in a box that has been shelved thinking I am living just because I do a lot of stuff. I’ve written a lot of words here over the last few years. As a matter of fact I have written and said far too many words most of my life. Those were said to get or protect imitation love.

Enjoy this song dear ones…. God knew what he was getting into when he decided to love me. All of us are broken and we break our children.

Real love flows freely. We don’t have to get or protect it. When we trade for love we are prostituting ourselves to not feel empty and afraid.  Even as this was unfolding for me last week I slipped back to try to protect love. I felt empty and afraid like a drowning woman. The real love in me stopped because fear always blocks love.  I came to my senses but with consequences. That’s the thing if we try to earn love in any way we always do it at a price for someone else they may not be able to pay. Don’t put people thru that you aren’t loving them when you do.

I know in the next few months my life is going continue to be more different than I imagined. I am excited about that prospect. I have entered something that there is no return from.  I was made for this and hope to share as I journey.  Go into this story with me sweet readers.  I love you! Image

Imagine this process.  Most of my life I was like  a caterpillar. I just spent my time roaming branches to survive and trying to avoid the other animals that would eat me. Each day was a mission to make it one more day.  I call that gutting it out. The kind of living we do to form a life that is empty. We forge our way on the floor of the stock market of imitation love that leaves us empty and afraid. We buy and trade for approval and value.  I did this in my marriage.  I had no clue what real love was and neither did my ex. So when it stopped working we both were left wounded. We had imitation love that we learned from parents who were imitators as well.  I was the worst offender because I hid behind the Bible to try to make things work.  I mean I did have GOD on my side. That’s a lie! God wanted me to love my spouse like he was. I didn’t. OUCH! No wonder at some point he wished I was dead. I would have wished that too if I were him.  When we ran out of things to trade our marriage died and we were over.

A few weeks ago I learned as a caterpillar that I can’t survive like that any more. I learned what real love is. It is unconditional. Loving is more natural than trying to love. There’s no try in it. It is more than an action even. It’s spiritual flowing from the Father through you. You can’t muster it up. It is changing my life faster than I can breathe.  So this little caterpillar is now living in a cocoon for a bit of transformation. The caterpillar parts of me are dead and I love that their death even feels natural!!! This is easier not harder. I feel like the 2nd chrysalis right beside the green cocoon in the picture. My life is forming but I am not ready to break free yet. I need the cocoon right now to process in. It takes strength for the butterfly to get ready to break the cocoon and soar.  I don’t have all of that strength yet. As a matter of fact if the butterfly doesn’t do the exercise of breaking free it will not have strong enough wings to soar. It will fall to the ground and never live again.  That is not an option here.  This next step of my life is by faith.

Greg Baer  wrote —“”Until you spread your wings, you can’t know how high you’ll soar.” (Ray Bradbury) Without faith, you’ll never really know yourself.”

Dear friends find out what real love is! Your life will change forever. When you read the verses below they will be living to you as they are to me now that I am awakened. I love the last phrase about knowledge. My head knowledge isn’t worth spit! If you could see my heart now you would feel my love for you!

I John 4:18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

I Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

The Economics of Sex

The Economics of Sex  <– Click to view before reading.

Although this is an economic lesson and it does speak of the mechanics of our culture today. The price of crossing this line is more than most can pay. We become relationally dysfunctional and muddy up the most amazing plan of God by having sex outside of marriage. Consequences are a powerful teacher when we do not do the next right thing. Not to be self righteous at all because I’ve been there. I would say this one thing was what I’ve regretted the most in my life as a Christian to believe I was more loved by not abstaining. Just typing this makes me cringe. Yet only for a moment. It doesn’t matter anymore more who I was, what I did or what people think about me! The temporal details of my past do not matter at all. Who I am and who I become is where the race is run. That’s where my life rests now. I can’t even justify the good I have done in my life compared to the goodness of God so there’s no flag to wave saying YAY! look at me and what I did. How I finish matters the most. From NOW to eternity. I am a woman with a past who has a God molding her a beautiful future.

Sex before marriage = I am not a test drive don’t even ask.

Again not because I am holy but because God is Holy and wiser than me and knew that what was needed most for this daughter in life is unconditional love. Once sex enters the scene everything becomes conditional unless you have a covenant that defines your love as a gift and everything on the table as a gift. All gifts are freely given and received without strings and pain. All good gifts come from the Father of Lights. James 1:17 with whom there is no variableness. What a solid love commitment from GOD to us….. So for me, I have nothing to lose in this life by hiding any aspect of my past. Yet, there may be someone reading this who can find strength to abstain, who can find joy in being single and waiting, who can even find that your self worth climbs to the top of the charts by knowing you are a beloved Daughter of the MOST HIGH GOD and that one day your body will be a gift to a man who marries you and decides to journey with you the rest of your lives together. Maybe a man will read this and find strength and grace to have that covenant as well. The bottom line for me will be a marriage that begins with friendship and grows to a covenant that will include a banquet table full of wonderful gifts to bless each other with as we both race as one.

See you later~ Little Bob Sept 16th 1959-February 16th 1964

My 5 year old brother drowned and was buried on my birthday. He died a tragic death that was compounded by the circumstance. It was one that I won’t share here because of the living. When I say that there is always this knife in my heart for my helpless brother and for the death of my family that day. There’s always the pain of knowing who my Dad was and how desperately I wanted him not to be that man. I usually wake up on my birthday regretting being born, regretting not being the one that drowned and regretting that I couldn’t make up for my parents missing my brother.

My birthday never passed without saying how long Little Bob (his nickname) had been dead. Without saying what a sweet little loving boy he was. Without saying how much they wish they hadn’t of let him go to the lake that day with Dad. I so longed for having him back my entire. I cringed at school when teachers would point out my birthday because I knew Mom would be too sad to care about my birthday and bring cupcakes like the other Mom’s did. I felt as if it labeled me not loved by my mom. I was a child and the only thought I had was they wished it was me that drowned that day. Their constant focus on my weight also contributed to this feeling that I am not “enough” The problem was I never knew what ENOUGH was. That’s the details and they only bring death…… I just want to say goodbye to my little brother today. Goodbye to my partner in crime who ran and laughed with me. Goodbye to the little brother who would hold my face in his little hands when I fell down and say. “You be awight, I right here” He always thought it seemed that because he was there I wouldn’t be alone. Goodbye to the little boy who brought smiles to everyone’s face as they described his loving little innocent heart. Goodbye to the brother I never knew in school. Goodbye to the teen who would have been ahead of me in school learning things like driving and playing sports. Goodbye to the man I could have known, loved and possibly looked up to. Goodbye to the older brother who could have protected me. Goodbye to the happiness our house might have had with your soul there with us. I have carried you in my heart because it always seemed so tragic that you were gone before we could hug you and say one last goodbye. I never realized how much I missed you until I penned these words. I never knew this pain still sat inside of me so deep until someone said today. I am grateful for this day because it marks the day of the year that God brought you into this world you are treasured by me. She had no clue how deeply those words touched my heart today. Ironically she is my new playmate and sister in God and in love.. We laugh and the world seems a better place because she is my family beyond the DNA. I can say Goodbye little Bob, I still carry you in my heart sweetie.. but now as my brother holding my face I hear you saying “You be awight, I still here” “You don’t have to forget me to feel less pain, you can remember me when you feel loved by Annie, Timmy, Solve, Pete, Esse, Tami and Poppy Greg. Mom and Dad are here and they are happy you have what they could never give you and they love you more than you can imagine.” “You are not alone sissy, God’s hands are holding us all.” My answer as a little 3 year old missing her brudder and as a 53 year old woman crying and peeling back yet another layer is. “Sweet Bobby, I am so glad you are in a real home with Mom and Dad, I am so thankful to feel your love through my new family here. I am so grateful God’s love encompasses all of our pain. I don’t miss you anymore- what could have been, I know you are with me. I LOVE YOU with all my heart~ see you later” ………. my heart rejoices LOVE NEVER FAILS… TY GOD I look to you! I surrender to your love and amazing hope. 

Hello My Name is ________ and I am a child of the ONE TRUE KING

Jordan was the inspiration of this song. 

Jordan was left at a drug rehab after being kicked out of college. He felt worthless. His parents didn’t know what to do and did the best they could for him. All of our parents tried to do the best they could for us. Yet, this world is wounded and wounded people will wound their children. We’ve all been hurt by those who left when they should have lingered, who hit when they should have held, who yelled when they should have yielded, who lied when they should have led, who have cheated when they should have been committed, who have tolerated when they should have treasured…. That wounding leaves us all feeling WORTHLESS. Worthless means less than the value of being human in my heart and mind.

Here’s the thing … the glorious truth…. We are not defined by anyone or their actions. They are all feeling worthless and doing worthless actions revealing who they are. It reveals who we are when we do the same…. The voices and lies do not define us unless we let them.

The entire world may not know this word…… floccinaucinihilipilification but I knew it most of my life it was the skin I worse for close to 45 years … with unconditional love that label has changed to “accepted in the beloved” ….. Eph 1:6 …… a challenge to your thinking cap sure. Yeah I had to google right there myself  when I discovered it as well.

Here’s the thing .. and I am going to skip formality of grammar and just lay it out … .. it’s a huge huge word …it is usually used just for the curiosity of knowing a very long word… but truthfully ..this word is the mountain that most can’t climb… I would look at that mountain daily and I can tell you …. … feeling worthless is one of the biggest faith wreckers in life…. We can’t do much for good and for God feeling worthless. We have no fountain to love others from…… BUT HEY….. hey!    Wait…… God has said we are priceless ….. he loves us unconditionally….. even SIN doesn’t interrupt his love Romans 5:8 so… as his children …..

Feeling worthless (like nothing) causes us to do nothing….. and doing nothing will cost you everything….

Regret said this to Restoration….. “Because you don’t know the future, have faith in GOD who loves you like crazy and has already seen you in your future……..  Trust the love of GOD beyond reason even when you don’t “feel” like it. Know that you are so valuable he gave the most precious part of his glory he could give …. his life…. and became confined to a resurrected body for all eternity…. walk in that …. bathe in that …. be saturated with the power of the LOVE of GOD and let it beam from you to a world plunged in darkness that can’t find its way beyond feeling worthless even on its best day ….. Let GOD’s love flow from his amazing unending supply to and thru you to others as we all learn …. I John 4:18 truly “there is no fear in love”

If you want to know this love… contact me I’ll definitely share it with you.

Fearless Fruit ….. Faith, Hope, Love …..these three but the greatest is LOVE!

I have learned that love is the basis for everything in my life and from it spring the fruit of the Spirit. God’s perfect love for us drives out fear “perfect love casteth out fear” and his great love for us is not dependent on how bad we are. God gave his love and “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”

Without knowing what unconditional love is and experiencing it – nothing is ever enough. I have learned that God’s love is timeless and limitless. By it I am free and have begun to learn to give and receive love in a more powerful way. God says love never fails and that we should have the mind of Christ – so little lambs we can know this love and share it. Today I wanted to write about joy in the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit is the key and without asking the Spirit to help me, I might as well hang it up. I do not have any of these fruits if left to myself.

Strength comes from joy. I know it sounds misleading but hear me out. I was listening to a message this week and wanted to share some of the ideas that it prompted in my heart. I always have side table discussion with myself when I hear something because I am evaluating things constantly. Here’s the thing. Why do we live and cling and cower when we are supposed to live an abundant life? Did Jesus die so we could just merely survive? Was he bruised for our transgressions so that we can just meagerly make it? What I am saying is this; the joy of the Lord is my strength. Wait, joy equals strength? I thought if you were strong you would automatically have joy because strong folks do not get run over by life and do not struggle and fail. We have to be careful in defining strong. Sometimes it is an insult to people to think that they are just strong. Every strong thing in the universe becomes strong by a stressor not by just being.

Well that is the key strong folks don’t do those things but get this, they are not strong and then have joy, they have joy in the Lord which makes them strong. Something inside is driving them like a power plant giving them energy when things seem hopeless and giving them the last mile that folks always tell us we are supposed to go. Something inside gives them joy when life is not picture perfect. That power is the love of Christ inside. It is revealed as this world challenges and has always challenged His existence. It’s a given that Christ in us is going to be challenged. Women of strength and valor are that way because of the love God had when he allowed the indwelling of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Lesson one in moving on.

Here’s a great question. Is there anything bigger in your mind than your pain, or your suffering, or your past, or your relationship with another? Are you getting me, if there is nothing in your life bigger than your problems, then your faith is misplaced. IF your mind wraps around your pain, suffering, and trials as you emotionally curl up and think nothing is ever going to change, then your faith is in your pain.

Trust the one who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross. Joy was the end result of doing something bigger than his pain. You heard me it was joy leading the way to the cross for Jesus who not only is the author of our faith but the finisher as well. It was a shameful endurance all the while joyful for HIM. Wow what an example!

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Secrets of Real Love<– Click for more information.

The Secrets of Real Love <- click for more information.

If any of you have followed my blog you have seen my life story play out through the mistakes I have made because frankly I am human. The human card isn’t an excuse or a get out of jail free card. In the course of my life I have been hurt and hurt others including my own children deeply because I lacked a vital element that makes all the difference. I kept trying to figure out what was missing. I had done some pretty good things and learned a lot of information but there was still this __________ (blank) space in my heart that knew there was something I didn’t have that would be a live changer. It wasn’t a magic day or magic wand GOD was going to wave. To be honest He’s been trying to tell me this and showing me this for years. That space has been filled in by REAL Love – the difference between unconditional love and conditional love. Without it nothing else matters with it I am alive. I have never promoted anything in a post since I started this blog in 2006 but I deeply feel if I don’t expose you to what I have learned that I am doing a disservice to you, even being unloving to you. I could stop blogging today and just say learn what Real Love is and I would feel as if I had given you the best gift in the world. Real love is how GOD loves and if  you can make it to Dallas to this seminar I can promise you that it will be a game changer. I have spent time with Greg Baer in his home with his lovely wife Donna. NO, don’t think that lofty of me that I spent time with a published author. I was there because he loves me and wanted to help me with the pain, fear and emptiness that years of not being unconditionally loved had caused me. Well no pressure here just letting you know about this. For me Real LOVE has taken my black and white canvas and filled it with color. My life is just beginning. Thanks to GOD and Greg Baer who was used by my heavenly Father to teach me what an earthly Daddy should be.

‘Til Death Do Us Part” – The insanity of dancing with death.

No truer words have ever been spoken in marriage vows.  It’s completely ironic how these words can be prophetic. The death of marriage will play out this way. The death of all love happens the same way. Two people come together. Usually there is an attraction or interest. They begin to get to know one another and start the huge dance of trading for love. What does that look like?

Imagine riding down the road and coming across a shack. The boards are gray and weathered, a few of them are even missing.  They have been worn down by time and the elements i.e. not feeling loved. You can see glimpses of sunshine through the places the boards no longer meet.   Opportunistic weeds and plants i.e. life’s experiences that were unloving, have grown around this place and it is an eyesore. This is much like what a person’s heart is like who has never felt real love. They can be totally awesome and they can even buy and trade imitation love to the point that they seem confident and happy. But with this heart can someone really be happy?

Image

Now imagine this heart and another heart just like it deciding to get into a relationship and eventually marry. What happens is that they start to barter for love. They try to fix up each other’s shacks. The remodel begins.  They exchange vows and marry and now have two shacks joined by not only imitation love but sex as well.  The thing about imitation love is that it is such a counterfeit that when  two people  start out , they are feeling pretty happy even giddy. Their friends wish them well and sigh hoping for a love like that. That’s like putting new carpet in the shack and throwing on paint. Can you imagine that the worn down shack will be anything better if it’s just aesthetically fixed up? Paint won’t fix breeches in the walls i.e. places love was broken when they were children. Carpet won’t make the foundation of that shack more sure. The foundation is everything. If it’s weak the house will always be weak.   It’s a dead house and will just be a dead house. That’s much like our old life when we were imitating love that is based on conditions. The conditions are like a deadly dance.

Imagine going to a graveyard and two people begin to dance. Every action and reaction forms this unholy alliance.  It is not long before the expectations of how their love should make them feel starts emptying them. They do not have the knowledge of loving without getting something or protecting themselves.  Their expectation of  love making them feel less empty and afraid begins to drown their life. Years of this deadly dance erodes the imitation love to the point that all that they have  left is imitation. They go through the miserable motions of trying to hold something together that had died to the point that the marriage now resembles the shacks it started with.  The marriage is dead and no real love was ever exchanged.

This best describes my past life. I hate saying that because I really thought my life was so much different. I have played much of my life on a field of death. The field of death has other names none of which make you happy. Approval, attention, selfishness, expectation, power, imitation love just to name a few. Anything that puts you in a position to barter with, control or be controlled are all dancing with death. Anything that takes responsibility for your happiness off of you and places it on to someone else is a field of death.  When you are around people who leave you feeling empty or afraid you are dancing with death in that field. You will become a drowning person and start to panic trying to get the love you long for.  NOTHING … NO  THING… good comes from that.  The consequences are huge to pay for living this way.  Broken dreams, shattered lives, emptiness, misery, confusion and pain are all just a few of the trades we wind up with when imitation love fails. Until you know what real love is you will fall for imitation love every time.

So if you really want to talk about death. Then die to yourself and that life. Choose a new way that surpasses surviving and moves you into thriving. That way is unconditional love. Now remember I am still in that cocoon so I am a neophyte learning this myself.  It felt like what I wrote above was deep in my heart.. I ache for all the years I played with death.  The future will not be like the past.  I’m painfully excited that I am learning a new way.  That’s a pretty way of saying I was just imitating love because I never experienced it as a child . The consequences of that have affected my former marriage and my children greatly. Now I am learning that real love does meet the criteria of wanting someone’s happiness  for them unconditionally.

I decided not to fix up an old shack…  but to die to it and walk away.  I am learning to build a new home for my heart that can hold all the love I have capacity to give and find people who know how to really see me and love me to share that with.  I truly want to be free.  We can stop dancing on the field of death. We can start today loving and being loved.

I Corinthians 13:10-13

10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Enjoy this song as you think about loving and being loved.  I will be here. God’s love is perfect we are Made To LOVE

Back to my cocoon…. Still learning but finally getting a small clue.

Real love is the difference between “I Do” and “Do I”

What’s LOVE got to do with it?        Can’t buy me love.         All You Need Is love.                      Love Me Tender.    Love is A Many Splendored Thing.

The song titles about love are as varied as opinions about what “real love” is. I can ask 10 people this question and get 10 different answers.   I was asked this question recently and had a hard time getting what was in my heart past the vast library in my head. (a problem in and of itself)

Although I have not experienced “real love” in this life that was sustained and lasting.  This might make you question my credibility. (You’ll have to take a number and get in line on that one!) I have had one momentary glimpse of love and found that   it is exactly the kind of love that I am hoping for.  It’s the kind whose root is buried deep in my heart and so beautiful I will have a hard time describing it here but hope to before the end of this post. The kind that Christ has for the church and a man should have for a woman and vice versa.

I have always felt like a misfit in this area. I absolutely love my life and what GOD has done working in my heart. I am content so I don’t mean that in a bad way but in this way. I don’t fit the mold or pattern most box love in with. I just can not love the way conventional wisdom dictates love.  If any of you remember Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer you probably remember

The Island of Miss Fit Toys

Even though the animals on the island are different individual toys in their own right, they have been discarded because they do not fit the normative.  They are wonderful toys that someone has decided were useless. They are not useless but have banded together to commiserate. What a waste. I am so thankful GOD has taught me to be a “misfit” in the world instead of alone. To celebrate the life he gave me and to honor that gift with real intentional living.  No island for me.

When I find that love it will answer this question.

“Is this the kind of love God meant when he created Adam and Eve. The kind between two people that truly reflects his love for us? (The I Corinthians 13 kind of love) or are you settling for less than God’s immeasurably more than anything you can ask or imagine?” ~Lacretia Noble

Ephesians 3:20

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us

Ok hang on to this with me for a second because I want to share what is in my heart what love is to me. I think this verse sums it up. I believe strongly in the parallel between GOD’s love for the church and our love for each other. I am talking about all love but in this instance in particular the love between a man and a woman.  That is the love parallel.

Look at the verse above.  Can you see the Father’s heart?  Can you see the heart we need to have for someone we love. I’ll be honest! I don’t know everything in the world.

To quote Forest Gump.

“I’m not a smart man… but I know what love is”

I do know what love is. I do know that GOD is the essence of love. I know that in that verse above I can sum up what love is to me. If this verse were to describe how my love should look (because I believe God’s Word should play out in our lives as we have the mind of Christ) it would say this.

Debra’s way of loving is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we (my mate) ask or think according to God’s love that flows out from her.

In other words. The love I want to offer is flowing from me like a stream flowing toward the goal of depositing love into someone else’s bank. The stream originates with GOD and doesn’t flow backwards. It doesn’t expect to flow backwards. It doesn’t condition itself on another stream flowing into it. In real life when a stream gets caught up on areas that impede its flow, you have white water. Rapids that can be rough and have angst emotionally speaking. Real love doesn’t have angst. It flows  fluidly without being forced.  My heart seeks to say… let me serve you and make your life better.  My goal is the verse “the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” from Proverbs 31.  Real love always serves without expecting to be served.

We sometimes confuse the notion that with GOD we have to work for his love. We cite the verse “faith without works is dead” but here’s the thing. We do this in our relationships too. REAL love doesn’t have to ever be earned. It’s a free gift just as GOD’s love is a free gift.

When we really love someone it goes out from us without friction, reservation and over thinking.  Love  always seeks  … how can I do exceedingly abundantly more…. It’s as natural as that verse.  Now unto him that is able… GOD is able to love and can love through me.

Now comes the sex question.  Don’t pretend that sex isn’t great or that people don’t love pleasure they do!!! Here’s a fun exercise. Take the world LOVE out of the song titles I listed and replace it with lust. They would read like this.

What’s lust got to do with it?   lol everything..

Can’t buy me lust.     Yes you can!

All You Need Is lust.    and more and more and more…

Lust Me Tender.  don’t call me I’ll call you!!!

Lust  is A Many Splendored Thing.    splendor me some more baby!

Lol judge me for saying that….. but its true and the truth doesn’t care what we think.

Even GOD pleasures in creating us to glorify him.  So let’s be real about that. The problem is that sex muddies up the stream.  Those titles surely defame the love we want and expose the lust we get. When a person involves the body with the heart. The body takes over and the heart loses it way.  This has me questioning how deeply I want to be loved. It has me believing with all my heart that relationships fail when they open this door before the love has settled in their hearts. It has me believing that this is how we have totally screwed up love and is what causes us to settle for someone instead of be authentic and wait until we have “real love.” This puts the heart on the back burner and the physical passion on the front burner and just leaves love simmering until all the water evaporates from the pan. Then heaven help us we have a love container that is empty and will look to be filled at another well. “stolen waters are sweet” This is why we stick to our loving Father’s plan. We stick to what brings passion and worship to sex.  We have sex inside of marriage where it can be all that is glorious as well as pleasurable. This is where I stand after making this mistake and suffering the consequences.

I’m finding my way in hoping for love in a world that values little. I know my Father loves me unconditionally.  I do pray for God’s will about a mate.  It may or may not happen in this life. But there is coming a day when it will be as it should be.  Until then, I will freely love those I can in this life as GOD crosses my path with them in friendships. Yet that one true love who wants to grow old with me racing toward the finish line,  I will not marry  unless it can answer the question above. Settling is not an option. I have the tee shirt and coffee mug on that. Real love will encompass what I have hoped for and dreamed for all of my life.  I believe GOD will bring a loving man across my life if HE wills.  Until then the hope I have is that one day I will see God and will no longer need that question.

NOW GO LOVE SOMEONE!

Walking barefoot … Ouch Ouch Ouch.

Trying to live a safe and easy life used to focus me on myself. It was like walking barefoot outside. Each step you take is focused on where your feet are going to land being careful not to step on the wrong thing. As you look down you just might miss that rock that will cause pain and spare your feet. The problem is you will not even know that you missed the beautiful sunset above, or the bird in mid flight or a flower that is open and fragrant.  Walking barefoot spiritually will also cause you to miss some precious things, God planned things in this life. Over thinking each step and not taking risk for a pebble here and there can keep your eyes off focus. You will miss the person you could have loved and trusted, the one you could have encouraged along the way or the one you were supposed to tell about Jesus. I stopped choosing this kind of life in 2008 and even though it’s been hurtful and rocky at times I have chosen to free fall into trusting GOD even to the point I can say HEY! God what’s happening here and tell him everything! HE can take it after all. I so love that I have a Father who watches me enjoy this life he gave me tears and all. He’s there when my heart sings and there when my feet fall. I can’t wait to see what is next. I will continue to walk and say “really Lord? that looks awful risky but I trust you” I can’t wait to see what he has in store! Acts 20:24, Isaiah 43:18-19, Rev 3:8, Rev 12:11, Eph 3:20, Isaiah 61:3. God has it all covered. Always has and always will. Nothing is beyond the control of God and his power.  No matter what happens I can rest in the fact that my Father loves me and wants the best for me. There’s too much to learn in the present for good and for God so dear children….. GET out there and taste what GOD has planned and receive it! This little lamb is going to with all her heart! My prayer is simple… Here I am Lord send me.

Never Once did we ever walk alone << — Listen and enjoy 🙂

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God

Isaiah 43:18-19  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

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

Revelation 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.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Jesus stooped to write in the sand…..

Jn 8:1-11

Look at Jesus stooping to write in the sand. He was eye level with the woman caught in adultery.

He can write in your sand and stop the drama even if you are guilty.

He can send you on your way with a clean slate. Only the one who sees perfectly can sentence justly.

I want to emphasize this point He can write in your sand and stop the drama even if you are guilty.

Please understand this and wrap your head around the scene. This woman was caught in the very act of adultery. She was thrown in the middle of them in the temple where their motive was to trap Jesus. She was a pawn in a huge drama. She was more than likely physically naked and definitely spiritually naked. SHE WAS GUILTY.  The drama was intense and they were throwing her under the bus. They  demanded a verdict and they had her!!!  The sentence of death by stoning according to the law was her fate… but Jesus stooped right there and wrote in the sand. They kept clamouring and he raised himself up and said

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her….

He stooped to write in the sand again. One by one you heard it ….

Thump thump thump you could hear the stones hit the ground and from the eldest … to the youngest… the eldest knew they had been had  and were revealed and the younger followed as the drama began subsiding….  Here’s the point. Even when we are guilty … even when the world has seen our fall and God’s court has nailed us in our sin… …. Jesus can write in our sand and stop the drama and reveal everything. Let’s return to the story. They walked away and Jesus didn’t have to stoop a third time.   The woman was standing and the work had been done. Whatever he wrote in the sand had them and it had her…  It was enough for her to answer the question he had to ask.  Woman where are thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said NO Man LORD. She recognized that no man had condemned her and she called him LORD. Whatever he wrote changed her heart and she was not only standing there not condemned by man, but also not condemned by herself. It’s crucial we don’t condemn ourselves when Jesus says the words Neither do I condemn thee. And here’s the amazing part. HE sent her forward a victor when he said go and sin no more. Fully acknowledging her past life of sin and her future life free from sin.

We can all identify with this woman. A time when we did the unthinkable and we sunk to an all time low and felt condemned by God and man and there seemed to be no hope for a clean slate… but dear ones let Jesus show you what he has written in the sand …. Let it bring you to a place where the drama sin creates subsides and his forgiveness can overwhelm you with a clean slate. He will stoop even to your lowest time to write in your sand, end your drama even if you are guilty.

Even IF!

EVEN IF GOD doesn’t save me ….  It’s humbling so many times lately to see evil and wicked things happen all around you and know that ONLY GOD can deliver and that you have to approach the fire with an EVEN IF attitude. At that moment you know you have no power and HE has all the power of the universe. … Still you’ve been feeling the warmth of the furnace that has been heated up for you… you may be the one who heated it up yourself but because you made poor decisions that brought you to a place where you had to decide between doing what is right and being silenced.  You finally came to your senses and understood that you are standing for what is right … you have to just say ENOUGH… I created this furnace but I won’t bow to the mess I have made. I will get out of the way of the Holy Spirit and let GOD walk me through and if I burn I burn but I will not bow to darkness or those who are used for darkness. … . the old song goes. Don’t bow, don’t bend and don’t burn. Very hard task ahead appreciate your prayers.Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace…But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up .Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Daniel 3:17-18 and Jude v. 24)

Here GOD… handing you my locust eaten life do whatever you want with it!

Grace has been the most powerful presence in my life. If you read in the Word grace always proceeds peace. You can’t have peace apart from grace. I love that GOD has a great exchange rate. The same power that saves us can also redeem our time and restore what has been lost in the depravity of this life and what the free will of man can do to us.

That’s the thing about being human, we sometimes think the two realms, spiritual and temporal do not overlap. I can promise you what affects you in the temporal will affect you in the Spiritual and what affects you in the Spiritual will affect you in the temporal. I am constantly being reminded and learning to understand I am a SPIRITUAL being having an earthly experience since I received Christ. I am also learning a huge difference between being CHRISTIAN and GODLY.  Oh LORD! do I need you for this!  God is teaching me daily to realize that the eternal perspective is HIS heart for me. Because it’s his perspective. LET this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus. So I am learning that’s it’s all about him and walking in his promise and not my own preference of what I think his promise should be. So I am stepping out in faith to believe what I have written below. This is humbling for sure because it’s not me at all but the power of GOD in me that can even attempt this.

Joel 2:25-32. This is the third time in 2 days GOD has brought this verse to me. From a request by a prison inmate Sunday… from Facebook today twice. I believe all of Gods Word is settled and … a truth for my life..

I am counting on this and receiving it as I do spiritual food and water. Let the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father… all do what they promise with this in me to me and for me. Anything contrary to this is not truth and is not received.

Friend, God knows how to make up for years you’ve lost in your life. No, you can’t relive your childhood, but God can make the rest of your life so rewarding, so fulfilling that you don’t even miss what didn’t happen in the past. You may feel like you wasted years in a relationship that didn’t work out. But God can bring somebody into your life so great, so fun, so friendly, so attractive that you don’t even remember the years that you’ve lost. You may have spent years on a job that turned out to be a dead end. You were working your way to the top; things didn’t turn out like you had hoped, and now it looks like there’s a big waste of time. You may not see how you could ever get to where you want to be, but don’t believe those lies. God knows how to make up for lost time. GOD CAN accelerate things. God can bring opportunities back across your path that you missed that will thrust you years ahead. It may not have happened the first time, but God will always give you another chance. He’ll make up for the lost time and bring you out better and stronger than ever before!

Father, you are my deliverer and have promised that you will accomplish this in my life. I receive it and believe it because you are a GOD who cannot lie. Thank you for taking a woman with a broken past and being her Father with a blessed future. I receive this by FAITH without wavering or flinching. Thank you for grafting me in as a Gentile and offering me the promise. I LOVE YOU In Jesus name amen.

No easy way to die- to ME

Lots to think about this weekend. A Good Friday that redefines the word good. Hope that seemed lost on a Saturday of perplexing sorrow for the followers who saw the stone rolled in front of the tomb and then………. Sunday …. HE’s ALIVE!!!!!!!…. 

Here’s the thing that came across my heart…. Even Jesus had to go to a cross and tomb and didn’t procure our Salvation easily or instantly. He took our sin and He had to conquer death. 

What death do you have to conquer to resurrect your spiritual life?… The death of a past filled with damage, of dreams filled with disillusion, of hope hung out on doubt and fear. Whatever is saying to you right now that it’s IMPOSSIBLE that you don’t matter enough and that NOTHING will ever “FIX” whatever is wrong. I am the poster child for that being Satan’s lie and your own self deception. My life is proof that you can’t sin too much, doubt too much, whine too much, have too low self esteem, or be too broken that GOD can’t restore, redeem, resurrect and radically raise you up to righteousness. NOT because of who I am but because of WHO HE IS!!! This gal had no hope, heart or hunger when he reached down and began in 2008 to change my mind and message. I was down for the count and waiting to die. NOW I see the reflection in the mirror and think …no it’s not quite there yet but one day I hope to see him fully….and none of me…. until then I keep looking and learning and growing ….. Dear ONE’s he’s alive so we can be alive… FULLY ALIVE!!! that’s a hallelujah right there. Revelation 12:11 (LOOK IT UP IN THE BOOK)

My Choice

“You don’t always get to choose what happens to you, but you always get to choose how you react about it. That makes all the difference in the world in how you move forward.”

Feelings,,,,,,,, whoa whoa whoa feelings. ……. Yall remember that song. People love to toss their feelings all around. Satan has a hay day with this.  What a lot of us don’t realize is that feelings are never to trump truth. Truth should always proceed feelings. We act so much on our feelings that we often let them dictate what is happening in our happening. We get confused and tossed about. When I am allowing feelings to proceed truth, If I feel bad my face looks sad and I proceed in a sad way. If I let truth proceed feelings, for example the truth that this is a day that the Lord has made, I may feel bad but proceed in a happier way because I am resting in a truth and not how I feel. We can’t negate how we feel entirely but we can negate the negative feelings that come with circumstances. The negative feelings come from negative thinking that could have been engrained in us long ago by our childhood. We have to let the mind of Christ override how we feel often enough that we take on his mind. I used to be ruled by feelings. Even today I could literally wallow far down inside of my feelings and have one huge cry. If I do that all of the productivity I can be for the kingdom goes out the window. What I will have at the end of the day is just a day wasted on pain. The truth is there is much to be thankful for, much to praise God about, there are people to love and lives to impact and beauty of God’s world to see. So in those things I will rejoice and will celebrate. It is really a choice. I choose to believe what God has said over what my mind wants to think. Satan has a playground in us if we allow how we feel to dictate how we move. A  jumbled life of never quite getting there results. The first thing he did with Eve is get her to feel differently about GOD’s truth. Don’t think for one moment he won’t try the same with you. I have seen the master thief rob so many people of blessings and victory because they felt like they could not do something or were not good enough. He whispers to their fickle hearts against reason and possibility. If Satan can’t keep you busy he will keep you confused and conflicted. He will rob you and destroy your blessings any way he can so that you won’t see the glory and plan of God.  Dwell in truth and walk in it’s mercy and grace. Jonah realized in the whale’s belly that he had forsaken his own mercy for lying vanities. Jonah 2:8 He had a clear choice to obey God. Instead he tried to reason with how God wanted to proceed. God put him in a place where he could clearly see that obedience leads to God’s will and life and disobedience leads to possible death. The death of how it could have been verses how we choose it to be. How many times have you gotten through a season with regret because you could have chosen a much easier or better path? I know there were times in my life I missed wonderful things because I believed a lying vanity. I have to choose life, forward movement, leaving the past behind and reaching forth to things out there God has planned for me. I don’t want to miss one minute of God’s plan by hoping for something else I would desire. So today if you are wallowing in your feelings. Hand your life to GOD to run today and be blessed. Let go of things you can’t control and move on. This life is too short to let something stop you and make you feel bad. This makes this Bible verse even more poignant today.

Phil 3:

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

You don’t always get to choose what happens to you, but you always get to choose how you react about it. That makes all the difference in the world in how you move forward. So the feeling that I am going to choose to follow this truth is this. I don’t understand the past but I am going to let it go and reach forth toward the mark I have been aiming at since I was 17. I will choose to go on and let what I can’t change stay behind.

Power in Prayer

God is so amazing and as I read over the last years I have been writing this blog, I must say it is humbling to know that He has stuck with me through thick and thin. I hope nothing in this sounds like I have arrived or am the illuminator of all truth. To be honest most of my writing is just me working things from my head to my heart. This is one of those times.

God has been changing my prayer life for a while. My prayers used to include a list of physical needs, spiritual needs and hopes and desires for myself and others. I know that God is concerned with all of those things but while reading in Ephesians and now beginning Colossians.  God is concerned with my character much more than my comfort. Not that God doesn’t want both for me. He certainly is a Father who gives good gifts to his children. I have been blessed far more that I can ever deserve.

What I am seeing is that God wants to go deep with us. He wants to process us in a way that molds us to be more like him. The whole idea of abiding in him and he abiding in us forming a kind of connection that makes our life fluid and moving with his. I am not talking about puppetry or magical thinking where we just believe it and poof it is like that. I am talking about real transformation of the heart.

I have realized that there are several things that matter to God more than anything. Eternal value is important to him. We can confuse being fruitful with being busy so much that we miss the important by product of an applied Christian life. Or at least I can. Walking in his energy and strength is also important. We can spend much of our lives with 3 people who often miss the opportunities and the blessings of walking in the Spirit. Me, myself and I are always looking out of the temporal perspective we have to die to ourselves. Oh I am talking to myself as I write this so don’t take offense. There’s a great prayer in Colossians 1:7-14 that outlines the desire of my heart for myself and those I love. I love praying Scripture because first off, it is God’s will in written form. We don’t have to say at the end of a Scripture prayer that God’s will be done. He has already spoken his heart on the matter. The other reason I pray Scripture more often than not is because it is true and it transforms my life as I pray. So as I approach this passage here’s my prayer.

Dear Father,

You are holy, righteous and patient with me. You have loved me when I was unloveable and shown me mercy when I deserved justice. Your name is above all names and I am amazed, Lord I don’t know a better word because amazed underwhelms you but it is the only word I have right now. Father you have given me so much to be thankful for and I thank you for your power in our lives. Help me to set myself aside and walk in the Spirit and power you have given. Father I pray without ceasing for that we might be filled with knowledge and a clear sense of direction so that we can know your will and obey you. Father if we don’t know your will we can’t obey you. Thank you for keeping your word and honoring it by making it known to us by your Spirit. Help us not to waste our life by seeking what you have made plain in your Word already.

Please Father grant wisdom and understanding, so that we can know and apply what you have taught us. Help us hear you. Help us walk so our conversation, character and conduct is consistent with Christ. Father when people see us let  us live in such a way  that they meet him and look beyond us. Convict us and order our steps. Help us walk so that we do not conflict with Christ before a lost and dying world. Let us please you in all things. Father you know how this world is and we need your help to bear fruit here.  We thank you for the gifts you have given us and ask in your power that you unleash us on this world to use those gifts to make a difference for your kingdom. Helps us decrease as you increase in our lives and as we learn about you. We can’t do anything without your power or by your Spirit. Sustain us to be patient and have joyfulness in every circumstance. We praise you for moving us from darkness to light and cherish being a light for you. Shine through us as we have our being in you.

Oh Father we thank you for the gift of your Son who has redeemed us. We thank you for making us partakers of such an amazing grace such that we are overwhelmed that you forgive our sins. Let us know you fully and walk in truth and love today. We are yours Father and thank you for everything. We know you keep your word and proclaim it here as it is already settled in heaven. In Jesus name, I love you Amen.

I used to try to tell GOD how to answer me by saying “if you would just show me” I don’t know everything. I have learned that he shows me what I can handle and what I need to know at that time. He says to whom much is given much is required. I have learned that God’s will is doing the next right thing in agreement with what he has already shown us. I hope this encourages you. Our God’s ways are higher than we can ever imagine or think. Eph 3:20. My only hope today is that you reach deep into what the Father wants for your life and walk in it.  It’s all I am desiring for my life right now and it’s a moment by moment process for me.

Colossians  1:9-14

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

The Good News is……….. more than Good!

The Christmas Scale

Sometimes in life the Good News is right under our fingertips. We try to play it our way instead of God’s way. GOD has already answered our prayers and we have everything we need right in front of us to know the steps to take into his amazing plan. Yet we doubt and get up and walk away. Only to repeat the lesson over and over until we get it. How long will we do this? Remember time with the Alpha and Omega is different than time with mere man. It will take as long as you let it take. It’s too important to God for you to grasp at it and receive it fully. He will let you practice over and over until you come to the end of yourself and the beginning of him. When we lay our burdens down and fully rest in the only One who can redeem our damage and pain. We realize who we are and gain true perspective. There’s no way to ever be whole apart from Christ. Why? Because we have a GOD who has laid out an infallible plan through the life and blood of Christ. The debt he paid was so high a ransom for our souls it demands complete allegiance, faithful following and full dependence on what Jesus did on the cross and what GOD intends to do for all those accepted in the beloved. God is committed to his plan to redeem man through Christ. Not just to redeem our souls, and that is a hallelujah right there. But to redeem our lives. To reach into eternity past and heal our wounds, to guide into eternity future to give us his life daily. We are stamped with a seal that not only guarantees the contents of our being but also shows ownership of our person. We are a loved priceless treasure of GOD. The angels rejoiced at his coming because they knew. They knew that all the chaos Satan had planned for the lives of man. Wretched man who had by his free will chosen to set himself at odds with the Creator just as Lucifer was at odds with him. The angels who rejoiced at the birth of Christ knew the Holy Spirit was going to bring order to life. They rejoiced to know that the Hope of Glory would never diminish a man but would always by his character establish a man’s heart with joy and peace. That GOD would bring soundness of mind and grace beyond what we can comprehend. So that we would know that we know that God is in control and even one level higher than that knowledge is the glorious fact. GOD has a plan for our good and his glory. Keeping our heart clean, eye’s open and hands empty for God to fill is the key to never having to say. “I just don’t know what God wants.” Yes the waves can crash and the thunder roar, but the mighty hand of GOD still holds all things together. Hallelujah, what a praise in the storm he can bring to a surrendered life.

Sometimes Life Hurts

Delight in the LORD.

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” C.S. Lewis

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Waiting on God hasn’t been something I am good at. I even need him to help me wait. I delight that he is there for me. I think this song helps me keep focus right now.To me the answer is always always in the WORD. That’s where we see the face of God. I can squirm and painfully suffer in temporal drama or I can search and passionately accept his Word for eternal answers that meet my needs and order my steps. If I feel full of chaos and can’t find peace I am operating in me and not the Spirit. That always gets me nowhere good and keeps me longer than I should stay. If I operate in Deb too much I can’t see the eternal and lose my way. If I operate on an eternal perspective and cast aside things that bind my heart and mind I fare much better in this life. We have to be willing let everything go that keeps us down. We have to keep our hearts clean and hands open ready for the next thing GOD brings our way. We also have to be ready to go after what he’s planned for us. Waiting on GOD doesn’t look like a lazy boy recliner posture. It looks like “seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you”. Take care of his business and he will take care of yours.
So many promises cover us while we are waiting on God. There are 21 verses about waiting on him as he delivers us. Everything has been planned by God and if we give him the last say we have the joy and peace he promised that comes with waiting. GOD is faithful and I am painfully excited to watch him work. I delight in his truth and answers. I am always disappointed when I seek my own first instead of his. Wow! that he even works with me is enough to delight in his love over.

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.

Every girl should know this before she falls~ The difference between a Boaz and a Bozo

This was written for a precious daughter of the King.   Wading through love can be like a minefield. You can’t approach it like a Wal-Mart where you just pick something out and you can’t go for it like you are doing brain surgery where you over analyze everything. I think this narrows down the approach a bit and will keep us from defrauding and breaking up and making trial runs at something that should work like GOD says it should. The Bible is the filter not our past and it’s damage. I  want to say I believe everything I am writing is how GOD wants us all to do this…. …. So here goes….

Sorry for all the pain ladies. The hardest times in life is when you have given the best part of your heart to someone who doesn’t have a clue what to do with it. That begs the question who do I give my heart to? Ladies we ONLY give our heart to a man who from the very first date treats women like Jesus would treat women.

The perfect man doesn’t exist but the man who loves Jesus has the help of the Holy Spirit who knows how to treat women right. Ladies we have to BE the right one by having that kind of relationship with Jesus too. A man in love with Jesus will be looking for the same. You have to know who you are in Christ and God’s heart for you. That will help us weed out the men who are not serious about what God wants and who can’t give or receive love. You can find out before your heart is gone on this question alone.

Don’t be desperate for love. Desperate people make desperate decisions from fear and not from a heart that wants the best for the Kingdom. That man should be pursuing you with all his might. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” He should want to protect your heart and mind and body. His favorite place with you should be safe and not the bedroom. You should never have to beg him for love or insecurely prove yourself to him. He can see who you really are and love you as you are. Desperation will have you become out of order with God. GOD says for the man to pursue not the woman.

Happily ever after doesn’t exist.

Marriage can be a blast most times but true love has to be protected and commitment has to sometimes carry the rough spots when love isn’t always on deck. This is why we make marriage vows and why we stick to the vow for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part. That vow means if the going gets rough we dig in and work together for a solution with each person being committed to the best for the other. There is never a solution if the other person always thinks the other person is the problem. In marriage if there is discord BOTH have a problem and BOTH need the win win of solving it with respect, honor and love. One person doesn’t get all the blame because there is no blame there’s only grace. Marriage is a proving ground for sure. Not for the faint hearted. The relationship is always more important than being right. Humility is always the better route than being right. “But I don’t like being wrong” get over yourself (flesh) and pride. Jesus is the best example. HE went as a silent lamb. BOY! He could have said tons of words. He knew they were wrong and he knew their hearts. Yet for the joy set before him, he endured, despising the shame. Wonder how many lives were touched because of his humility? Much more than would have been if he went to the cross kicking and screaming. What a great example.

You can’t hear from the Lord if you are desperate about anything.

Make sure you are attracted to the right type of guy for reasons that will outlast “coolness” and looks. See the heart of that man. Is he working for his wife? Even before he knows her is he seeking the heart of God for her? Is he pursuing her? Is he protecting her? Does he value her and want to be a gift to her as a Godly husband, protector and champion. Can she safely place her emotions and heart in his hands to hold like a delicate bird? Does he crush her with words and actions? I am not saying this man is perfect and will get it right all the time. Does he have virtue to WANT to get it right and to learn how to get it right?

Does he have a teachable spirit to accept a help meet who can really help him? Will he understand her gifts and really accept her as a gift from God or will he judge her and dismiss her. GOD gave women special roles in a man’s life. The role is to add not take away.  Both will help reveal the other’s spots still needing healing. Will he fight for your purity and lead you away from the bedroom towards Jesus. If he’s not leading you toward Jesus and loving you like Jesus …. he’s not a godly man and his intentions are self serving. Don’t miss this because you will justify it by saying he will change. HE can change but for sure this is Satan’s folly. For a woman to think a man will change for her when he won’t even change for Jesus is irrational.  If Jesus is not the man in the middle of that man…… he won’t be the man in the middle of the marriage. I can’t do marriage without Jesus. Jesus came to bring order to chaos. A Godly man will bring order to your life and not chaos. He will not be conflicted because the Holy Spirit is not conflicted. He will not jerk your heart around or crush it without it hurting himself and grieving GOD to do it.

Don’t fall for someone who has issues they are avoiding. You will become the whipping girl for all of their issues if you fall for them. You will think “If I just love them enough they will heal and get better” God reveals what he wants to heal and you will be stuck in their muck until they decide to hand it to God. You will become every person who has caused their issues as you stumble in darkness with them. God has a plan better than this!

Marriage doesn’t change you into a better person it magnifies the person you are. If there is something great about you it becomes greater in marriage. If there is something horrible it becomes worse. Again GOD reveals what he wants to heal. How do you identify issues? IF he does the same unreasonable behavior on a consistent basis that doesn’t line up with how Jesus would treat you…. that’s an issue…… Ladies if you are healthy and marry an unhealthy man you will wear yourself out and lose your focus trying to get to a place he can’t get to because he won’t try. It takes two willing hearts. A man who sees an issue and searches his heart and God’s heart( WORD OF GOD) to solve it in his life is a man who is real and intentional.

Pr 14:15 says the simple believes anything but the prudent gives thought to their steps. Give these things careful red flag checking thoughts.

Lastly don’t marry someone who isn’t God’s best for you. GOD says he gives his best gifts to his children. He won’t violate his Word and give you a mate that’s a 3 in life if you are a 10. He’s not going to bless a man who won’t grow and he won’t shaft a gal who has her life together with a man who is unsure of himself. Please know this…… a man can present all kinds of Godly pretensions but if the stuff above is not in his life….. Even if he reads the Word daily and goes to church every time the doors open ……. if he is not living out and walking what is in that BOOK…if he is not treating you like Christ would treat you as a friend he won’t treat you that way as a mate….. He’s just not there yet and this is the difference between a Boaz and a Bozo. Only GOD can change a willing Bozo into a Boaz.  If you are a Ruth GOD won’t have you settle for someone not there yet. You don’t have to settle for crumbs when you can feast at a table GOD has prepared for you. Here’s the question to ask.

The first time you hear the “L” word…. ask

“Is this the kind of love God meant when he created Adam and Eve. The kind between two people that truly reflects his love for us? (The I Corinthians 13 kind of love) or are you settling for less than God’s immeasurably more than anything you can ask or imagine?” ~Lacretia Noble

Eph 3:20…

Ladies if it isn’t heading to that kind of love RUN like the wind because GOD wants to bless you with THAT kind of love. It takes time for some of this stuff to come to the surface but when it does, if you are prepared by knowing who you are in CHRIST and what GOD wants for you. It will help you determine God’s will and you won’t rationalize staying when you should go. Thank GOD for  break ups and his protecting of your heart. God loves you just the way he wants a man who wants his daughter to love you. These are my notes from Perry Noble’s message at New Spring Church, with things GOD laid on my heart added as well. We never have to settle or give away GOD’s plan to have our own.

The Drudge of Grudge

A grudge is the most selfish and pridefully destructive thing. Unpacking this today (not because of anyone having a grudge against me but because of working with people about forgiveness) 

Here’s the thing about a grudge. It does’t accomplish anything good. A grudge always produces bad fruit. It may punish a person who loves you but really how Biblical is that? It definitely causes you grief and blocked love. Even putting the Bible aside how emotionally healthy is that? Bottom line is this. If you are holding a grudge you now have taken the lower road. 

Great offenses happen but when we hold grudges we are really exhibiting how self centered and prideful we are. I am not diminishing the pain a person can cause another. There are huge huge hurts in this life. Molestation, rape, divorce, and every offense you can imagine. What I am saying is the best way to recover is to not hold a grudge. It’s self destructive. The offender doesn’t deserve that much energy from your life. Your hands deserve to be empty so you can receive love and hear from God. God even warns us how destructive this is. He tells us it is better to correct it ourselves than to have him make the adjustment. As a child who has been violated in the past in severe ways. I can tell you I never experienced all of the freedom in Christ I now have until I let go and emptied my hands of those who hurt me so God could fill my life with his love that has never hurt me. 

How can you hold a grudge and satisfy Mt 5? 

23Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

  • When you run with a grudge (unforgiveness) it might look like this (from dictionary.com)
  • Synonyms 
  • 1. bitterness, rancor, malevolence, enmity, hatred. Grudge, malice, spite refer to ill will held against another or others. A grudge is a feeling of resentment harbored because of some real or fancied wrong: to hold a grudge because of jealousy; She has a grudge against him. Malice is the state of mind that delights in doing harm, or seeing harm done, to others, whether expressing itself in an attempt seriously to injure or merely in sardonic humor: malice in watching someone’s embarrassment; to tell lies about someone out of malice. Spite is petty, and often sudden, resentment that manifests itself usually in trifling retaliations: to reveal a secret out of spite. 4. envy.

     

    Dear ones CHOOSE freedom. It is all about choices. 

Just reminiscing about the goodnesss of GOD!

Trading My Sorrows ........ Grace Restored

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…

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Please send your hypocrites and damaged people to my church so we can love them.

Please send all of your hypocrites (lost people who go to church)  or perceived hypocrites (people who do not live like they are Christians but are saved)  and damaged people to my church…. We want to help them meet Jesus and get back in their race. We are willing to take them flaws and all and watch them stumble a few times. We have a PhD in bandaging bloody spiritual knees. We have all been there and we will give them a steady diet of the Word until it becomes part of them. You are what you eat you know….

Disclaimer: My church is full of imperfect people saved by a perfect God and we are all going to raise our hands and say none of us are all we should be but we are lovingly racing to win the prize.

I saw a Facebook post that said “I would rather be an honest sinner, than a lying hypocrite” Facebook is a strange little place. On the surface sayings can seem so harmless but the truth is some things people call good are not even closely Biblical.

The truth is “an honest sinner” without Christ is going to hell. We should all be sad and terrified for them. A lying hypocrite with Christ is going to heaven. I know that sounds contradictory but the dividing line is Christ. So even if you don’t want to fellowship at church with lying hypocrites you can be sure you will have to fellowship with honest sinners in hell if you are not saved.

I am not coming down hard on anyone but I have heard the excuse about not going to church because of hypocrites all my life and that begs the question!!!!

Why would anyone jeopardize a close intimate relationship with God and a future eternity with Him based on someone else’s bad relationship with Him? Grant it Christians miss the mark sometimes, many times but they can’t ever be my excuse for missing it.

Would you want to stand before God and say?

“Lord I would have fellowshipped with the rest of the believers at church as you commanded if only that hypocrite wasn’t welcome there.”

God gave the Word to people in Jeremiah’s day in Jeremiah 36 because “it may be” that some would get their heart right. There’s no better place than church for a hypocrite. Church isn’t about us or about a singled out time for worship and spiritual feeding. We go to church to encourage other believers and to be light so some can be saved and others get back in their race. Some are light to me who by experience and maturity have walked already where my life is headed. I am light to others who are behind me in their race and growing. We are all sinners saved by grace and walking at different levels.

We can surely worship God at church and be fed. Our intimacy with God is going to take more than a few hours a week at church. Intimacy can not rest on the preacher or Sunday school teacher. It’s going to take an intentional daily walk with him. In my case moment by moment walk because I have to stay that close to the Shepherd. What may look like a hypocrite to some may just be someone who is struggling deeply. Have mercy! Sure there are hypocrites and I think we all would have to humbly say we qualify on some level as one if we microscope our lives. Hypocrites don’t bother me in the least because I am not responsible for their life or walk. I am not responsible to be more than a light to them and love them. It’s God’s business to call and draw them to him. Who is going to love them if we don’t?

But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Yet we are called to be Christ like are we not? We have to see a soul first and not an undesirable person in everyone we meet. Believe it our not there are times I am not desirable. No kidding! The list of people who don’t believe in me and who think I am a hypocrite is long. No one can really know my heart and that’s were we fail when we try to think we can know someone’s heart.

I have never looked at anyone and thought “what a hypocrite” I guess I know what rock bottom looks like too well and know the struggle in life too well to judge anyone’s heart.  God asks us not to do that and it keeps me from heartache when I am not treated as I should be. Don’t take someone else’s sin personally. I have been lied too, lied about, left behind and treated every way you can imagine by those who name the name of Christ. It may surprise me until I remember this one thing. I have been so severely saved by amazing  undeserved Grace that I can only hope and pray someone else finds that Grace and is overwhelmed by it as I am. I would welcome all, even my enemies to know HIM!

Dear one if a hypocrite is keeping you from church and you want to just be an honest sinner I am here to tell you that CHRIST died so you can be free from being either. Turn your life over to him and let him do what nothing else can. Christ can make you accepted in the beloved.

Don’t lose sight of the fact God loves them too.

People are at different levels of their journey and different hurts. Some have lots to learn and some only know what they know until God reveals more to them in his timing when they can handle it. We should all be quick to love, forgive and pave a way of grace for those who need a way home. If we lose sight that all people matter to God and those who are struggling need grace more than disgrace we miss the heart of God. It may give pleasure to the person doing it for a season when they feel justified even Godly in hurting others but in the end it’s always our assignment to minister grace and not judgment. God’s heart is grieved when the body is at odds and hurts each other. Isn’t it easy to love the lovable? Go the last mile and love the unloveable.

And some having compassion making a difference.
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Did I sign up for this- NO you got it free.

Christianity is messy sometimes. Not surprising it went through a cross. I would love to paint daisy fields for you and wonderful scenery with tranquil settings. I can’t do that. When we enlisted we entered war. The world, flesh, and satan are all at odds with us. When we enlisted we took our broken lives and by the severe death of cross were enabled to exchange our sin for his grace. We handed him a plate of sin, hurt and pain that only a Savior who gave up an eternal aspect of his glory could save and heal. We got the beginning of freedom he got a scared and torn resurrected body. We got the Word to teach and free us and he got our broken sin stained messy lives. But here’s the thing. HE delights in us. We are a piece of his heart and he loves us passionately. Verses in the Bible says he plans and thinks of us. Once we handed him our life and as long as we surrender to him. We can be transformed. We can have a sound mind. God is not the author of confusion and he is the finisher of our faith. I am glad God works in our stuff and sorts where we can’t. I am glad that we are accountable in the body and that if we have something in our lives it gets revealed so it can be healed. I want that kind of heat on me because I am fallible and still have tons to learn. Dear ones stay in the fray and soldier up, put your armor on this is a battle. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and darkness. Seek him with all your heart, mind and soul. Messy yes, but glorious ……..far out exceeds the mess.

 

Desperado ~ are you exchanging a great life for a safe life?

This song is about blocking love and traveling life in a way that protects us and keeps us from soaring.

 Desperado

We can’t live like this and be all GOD wants us to be.  Balance Beam

I have the tee shirt and coffee mug on this.  I am thankful for healing and still have much to learn. GOD has done a miracle for me so far.

Childhood and life damage can cause us to have a life that is hard wired. If we do not deal with it we will stay in the pattern created by our damage. We will always be self limited and not God free.  A childhood of low self -esteem, being made not to feel important, being slighted, unloved or loved in a broken way and not feeling good enough creates a person who has relationships where we filter everything through that damage. We usually get to a place in the relationship where our damage is triggered and we feel like we were made to feel in our childhood. Our damage taught us to feel and block love. Our damage comes in and out of situations and confuses us and drives us. It ramps up and rides over our life like a shadow.  We seek out people that trigger what the person who damaged us caused us to feel. We always feel unjustly treated. If we are blind to our damage we feel like it’s everyone else and never us. We never see intimate relationships clearly and we always end it, sabotage it or have rocky ones thinking we are a victim. We spend the whole time in the relationship for the most part looking at the other person’s liabilities.

We can’t have a relationship concentrating on the wrong things.  That sets the other person up to fail us every time because expectations can not be met. Forgiveness goes out the window. We never truly see the other person and they never have a chance. You will hurt people that way and cause them damage as well. No matter what you intend YOU WILL HURT THEM. We become consumed with anything that might be askew in their lives and negate all the good. All the love is blocked at this point and we ride on fear of what is wrong not faith in what is right.

Damage control becomes the motivator and the relationship develops on wings of distrust or neediness or you name it.  We do not trust people we can love or be vulnerable to. The people we do trust in our life completely will be people who are unavailable for intimate relationships because that is safe. People who affirm us are safe and people who stretch us are not. We will use those people to tell us what we want to hear because we present our “story” from our damage.  Our walls are high and thick.   Until We address the damage we always think we have rotten luck, fail, are unloved, unimportant,  pick the wrong person, or that we are right and the other person is wrong. Our life will be challenged a lot by this.  We feel our damage and not love, peace, joy and contentment. The other person can never win our heart.  We have a shadow that overrides the truth. It’s not a question of if we will succeed in a relationship but always a question if we will fail. Damage causes us to play not to lose instead of playing to win. We have to ruin the relationship because we can’t process without those filters until we recognize it. We will wonder why this or that always keeps happening to us. We have a trail of failure that has been caused by places in life where our damage filtered out the truth we should have seen.  It’s usually always the other person and never us. We go from one thing to the next in the search for significance and peace.

Christians have the hardest time with this because we will explain away the damage by saying I love GOD.  God is not immunity from the flesh. The WORD is clear that WE have to put our flesh in subjection. Damage is the fleshly man reacting to the temporal world.  We think GOD is going to wave some magic wand and make us ok.  We think just because we have a good relationship with GOD we are ok. We may think we are at the best place spiritually than we have ever been. When what we are doing is hiding behind a relationship with GOD and pushing the damage down thinking that we are ok.  It’s a cruel thing to do to our life because without healing that stuffed down damage will rear its ugly head every time. You can bet on it. We will say, why do I always do this. You can have a good relationship with GOD and still have broken love with others.  God said he came to heal the broken hearted and set captives free. If we are not healing we are not free. Freedom always comes after healing. Damage is bondage. Healing the broken hearted may involve getting help for knowledge we don’t have or help to understand how we are wired and how we sabotage our life. Our relationship with GOD is sometimes strained too because when life collapses we even transfer the damage of that collapse to feeling unworthy in God’s eyes.  We have to convince ourselves that God loves us and doesn’t see us like those who damaged us sees us.  There is healing in God but damage always requires work to get healed by God.

Time doesn’t heal wounds only God does but damage comes in to our story for us to learn and heal and grow so that we can use what we have learned to glorify God. Learning and growing always takes work.  .  It doesn’t just poof into our lives. If you don’t feed a baby it dies, if you don’t teach it how to live it’s life is always in danger.  If GOD did just heal us we would never be grateful, learn and grow or take it as serious.  We could never help others because we would just go to God and get fixed so we don’t feel anything. He would become a doormat. There would be no learning in that. We would just use God as a prayer doormat and magic genie for all the messes we create. We would probably create a lot of messes because hey, you can just get healed. GOD is much more wise than that. God wants us to depend on him for everything. He wants to demonstrate his love in our pain. He wants our lives to be victorious and loving.  He wants us to reach others with what we have learned. Unhealed damage always creates more damage in lost relationships, jobs and passion.

One of the worst things we can do is not heal and try to manage our damage. It always blocks love and forgiveness.  We will go from one damaged event to the next damaged event.  Or we will build fences and block everything out that could hurt us. The damage behind a wall is just as bad because we become the person who is now damaging us that way. We become deceived to thinking this is the best because I just can’t do the rest. That is why it’s important to unpack it and understand it so that we do not repeat the cycle.  Damage is a vicious taskmaster that robs us of joy, peace and happiness. No one is immune to damage in this life. Everyone has some to varying degrees. Sometimes work to resolve our damage requires that we need others to help us walk through. That’s why we have members in the body of Christ with calling and passion to help us do what we haven’t been able to do for ourselves.  If people are telling you that there’s healing needed in your life seek it out.

I am on a journey that is teaching me daily about this. I have learned and healed to a really great place. This has been possible because I surrendered to help outside of my life and healing through members of the body of Christ who were trained, true and patient.  God gave them different gifts in the body for a reason. They   could see what I could not see and refused to believe.

If we don’t heal we will be one lonely mess always trying to figure it out.

The bottom line is we can ride fences like Desperado or we can be free. It’s our choice to do the work or stay in the murk.

“Counselor”. Greek word paraklesis – “to come alongside to encourage”

Christians should encourage one another to growth and healing because that is the reason Christ came to heal the broken hearted and set the captives free.

It’s our duty ….

Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Galatians 6:22 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

You can’t do it alone sometimes….

Eccel 4:8-10

8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

There’s a reason it’s difficult…..

Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Thankful for a good word when needed. What a troubling day. What a tremendous GOD.

My thought for today

I love this verse of scripture in the King James Bible Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

I have had times in my life when I have felt all alone, where I have felt down, in those times, I have found out what my faith is really made of. There has been times when I have felt so weak, that my body and my heart aches. I have felt the pain of a broken heart and rejection, it is very, very sore, but the Bible says in Ephesians 1:6 (KJV) He hath made us accepted in the beloved.  It is also comforting to know that Jesus binds up the broken hearted, and heals their wounds, for He is the healing balm of Gilead.

But in all these times, I knew that Jesus has always stood by my side, when almost every one else abandon…

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Mangled Mess

Image

When I inherited this plant it was just about root bound. All of the roots were intertwined and I wasn’t sure if I could separate them. They were all so accustomed and adapted to each other that they literally were in knots. I began to separate them and heard a terrible tearing ripping sound. I wondered the whole time if I had damaged them beyond repair.  It took quite a while to get them all as individual plants. When I do things like this I seem to go to another place in my thoughts.  As I was tearing the roots apart I began thinking about my own life and how deeply my roots were established in areas of my life. By the time I was 40 my root system was well established in all of the lives and people I had journeyed with so far. It was a great ripping away to suddenly see life change overnight. Yet as I worked on separating the plants I realized a great truth I had learned. Although the plants did okay in the pot all mingled together. Each was choking off the other and the plants had grown just about as far as they could all being so compacted in one small pot. I was thinking about how small we let the world become sometimes and how complacent we get thinking there is just a small life out there and a comfortable existence. As I separated the plants and repotted each of them in a new container. It was amazing how transforming that was for them. They each became what they were supposed to in their own container and thrived in a new way better than before. I had to smile as I thought about all of the new roots my life has grown in the last 10 years and how differently it is planted now than it was before then. Not that my life is all I desire because I still have a lot of heart’s desires. The ripping away of my roots was painfully hard. The only thing I knew for a long time was pain. As I think back about those plants. Once each was separated into a new container they required different levels of care to get them back healthy again. What one needed was inappropriate for the other. That is a huge lesson I am still learning as I try to help others. 

Here’s the challenge in life when we are ripped out of our normal existence. Allow yourself to be replanted in a new life that GOD carves out for you. That’s easier said than done I know. Allow yourself to bloom again. I can’t do this without  being connected to the body of Christ and plugged into his WORD.

 

I love the verse in Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto  those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified

 

Image.

 

But you don’t know how bad this storm is………. God does.

I love storm chasing. My first few storms in Texas were totally amazing. I had never seen wide spread lightening that streaks across the black sky like fingers on a hand. I had never seen 60mph straight -line winds that bent the trees down as if they were giving way and allowing passage. The thunder almost seemed as if bombs were exploding.  The thing about storms in Texas is that they can come up suddenly without warning.  I think of my own life and how that can happen as well.

 

The industry I work in has building codes for areas that have a history of strong storms. For example, when I worked on a project in the Bahamas we used steel reinforced doors and beefier hardware. The code called out what would sustain hurricane force winds to help protect life and safety of the people in the hotel. It costs a bit more to do the job but the end result was minimal loss of life and minimal damage in most cases. The extra cost was worth it.

 

 

What kind of people do we really want to be? What sort of legacy do we want to leave? Where do we draw the line in the sand and choose to be different? How are we weathering the temporal storms of life?

 

I am watching some tremendous life storms right now in myself and in other people. I have been here before and I have found GOD faithful and true. There’s nothing to fear because I know GOD is with me and will sustain me. I hope for the body of Christ to be the body and engage in strength I don’t have right now. If they don’t I will still be fine because GOD is my portion and keeper of my heart.

 

Storms today, although not welcomed are inevitable. God loves us enough to allow them for a reason. My question is are you prepared for the storm? Have you spent time reinforcing your life with things that will protect you from the strong winds?

 

It will cost you something to be committed to the life of Christ in you. People or events will happen that create storms in your life.  You can’t ignore the things in your own life that bring on some of these storms. Fear, doubt, insecurity and negative tapes of the past will never leave you unless you replace them with truth. The best thing you can do for yourself and for the kingdom is seek the Word of God for answers. That is the best way to minimize the storm’s damage and to get through it. It will cost you time and be worth the investment.

 

Prov 16:20
20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he

 

Too many times we are spiritually anemic and try to face life’s challenges in our own strength. We search for meaning and happiness in the temporal and really can only find joy in the eternal.  If we search for truth we will do more for ourselves than happiness ever could do for us. Other times we get so focused on what we don’t have that we miss what we do have right before us.

 

Prov 29:18
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

 

I used to be that way. It’s called awfulizing. (my own word)  Using your lack as a mirror for your life leaves you always looking for what you lack instead of strengthening what you have already. We create a GOD in our minds by faulty thinking who is weak and uncaring when we do that.  It’s a cycle of always trying to find the magic combination or ingredients to a recipe that pleases God and creates  a “happy” life.  Dear one what I love about this whole process is that GOD is more concerned about your character than your comfort. Comfort only last while needed. If we develop character, it will help us in all storms. He’s more concerned about your being happy with what HE’s done (his glory). Now GOD cares about your weaknesses and your pain. I am not saying HE doesn’t. What I am saying is that his purpose of molding you into his likeness is his delight. We were born so far from the mark and in such a fallen state HE has to complete the good work he started in us. We can’t complete it.

 

Heb 13:5
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee

 

HE wants you to have HIS joy not this earthly emotion that comes and goes with feelings. You will never “feel” your way to heaven. My world is getting smaller by the day and I am in a storm. Yet my feet are planted solid on a rock that is higher than I am that weathered a cross and a grave. I can fail, I can be overtaken by the waves, I can totally go under but I can not be shaken or moved unless JESUS can be moved. Christ in me is my strength and joy and blessed hope.

 

 

 

Here’s the bottom line. The Holy Spirit in you wants to lead you to all truth.  The Holy Spirit living in me knows what real joy is and how to help me partake of all that God has planned for me. Don’t give way to the flesh and old way of thinking. Be renewed in your mind and sanctified with truth.

 

Phil 4:11-13
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me

Tear down those walls.

Ever feel like you start something and keep running into brick walls only to find when you turn the corner another brick wall appears again? I have the coffee mug and tee shirt for this one. I learned a long time ago that I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t. To wind up at the same starting place is insanity. What do you do?

Well first look up to your Father who is there regardless of the walls. I can’t see through the walls but I can look up to God who not only can see through them but who knows what they mean. Psalms 139 says that in him is no darkness at all. Secondly, maybe the journey continues to the same place because you are not learning what you need to learn. Yikes, I so hate that but it might just be true. Third, maybe you shouldn’t have started that particular journey. Fourth and optimistically, maybe you should begin a new journey that is more open to who you are and what you are all about and open to who God is in your life. I actually have never seen a dog bark up the wrong tree but I have seen plenty of folks do it. Dear ones if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you are getting. To resist change is futile.
If your journey is only met with brick walls then something has to change. What will it be? New job, new location, new set of friends, renewing your mind in Christ, seeking God first. There are so many opportunities awaiting you. The one thing that you can’t do is sit still and batter and bruise yourself against those walls. God bless. My favorite saying is on my bathroom mirror. Take care of HIS business and he will take care of yours. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.

Ha, who wants to see this gal climb in a window??? NOT ME

Ok, there’s a saying that is on my keychain. I am not a fan of this saying at all…. I am not sure it’s scriptural at all either… it’s funny how we just fall hook line and sinker for catch phrases and things.

Here’s the saying. When GOD closes a door he opens a window. ….

That sounds fuzzy and warm but really…. ISN’T OUR GOD  big enough to close one door and open another door??? I for one don’t want to climb in through a window for the will of GOD. I’d much rather enter in the door like a welcome guest. There were only 2 reasons growing up that you ever had to climb into a window. The first were that you were locked out and the second were that you were breaking in. Now.. I am positive GOD won’t treat me that way. I know it’s just a saying but it sparked confidence in my little old faint heart that we can just wait on that door to be opened and enter in as an invited guest to HIS will … vs climbing in (and that wouldn’t be pretty at my age) like a sneak thief…

One of the most tremendous unexpected treasures I have found in this life is the WORD of GOD. Unexpected?? Yeah that is a misnomer. All my life I have had a lot of head knowledge and have read bits and pieces of the word. I even have 3 degrees of which 2 are seminary degrees. Here’s the thing… once I really put myself under the influence of ….and…. had a relationship with the WORD of GOD. I realized that it was complete in it’s ability to keep everything I had committed to JESUS against the day I was living. I have yet to have anything come into or pass through my life that isn’t covered in the WORD of God. I never leave it’s pages feeling endlessness or emptiness. What an unexpected power and treasure it is…. but oh wait… of course it is! God says he values his word above his name. What good is your name if you don’t keep your word. Awww GOD is so precious. 

 

OK now for the verse. … 

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

Yes, I am tired and have waited a long time for the answer…… but 🙂 when that door opens…. look out this gal is running through it.

It’s not my job to understand.

I can’t begin to describe my life. From the time I was a small child I knew of GOD. I remember looking at the stars when I was 8 and thinking that God was in those heavens. I always had knowledge that he loved me. I was saved at the age of 17 and my heart was set on going to Bible College and serving the Lord. I loved the Bible College I attended. I enjoyed the great Christian fellowship for the first time in my life. I came from a precious church but to be on campus where everyone was Christian to me was like a little bit of heaven. I loved the sense of family that gave me. The lessons I have learned since that time may spare you a lot of grief.

I deal with folks every day who hurt deeply and have disrupted lives because of others who abandon them. People I thought would never leave me have abandoned me many times in life. I thought a few would always race with me and yet I found myself left alone to race toward Jesus.

The main lesson I have learned is not to put too much stock in other people. Desire much demand little. Overall people do what matters to them and they will not always keep their word. Some will promise not to bolt and yet will if you upset them. Some will never give you the time of day to explain or allow you to be forgiven. Some will stop speaking to you after long months of fellowship and never tell you why. Others will leave you for something that comes along that is better in their eyes. We live in a fallen world where pride and selfishness has affected a lot of Christians and unfortunately these types of things happen. It would be nice to tell you that it won’t happen quite a bit in life. It would be my pleasure to tell you that people will have character to talk straight to you and allow you to make mistakes and forgive you. I can’t say that either. I have learned that true friends in this life are few. That true folks who follow God’s heart and respect the other members of the body are rare. Thank GOD if you have one or two in your life. Seek to be that kind of friend.

Ultimately you have to stay the course and not let their rejection take you along with it. Thank God for the lessons learned. People who are emotionally healthy will talk to you and let you know what is going on and if they are going to leave your story. They will do what is right. People like that are rare and they have a clear understanding of who GOD is and our eternal role in the temporal realm. It doesn’t occur to me not to talk things out or to just throw people away. All misunderstandings in the body should be worked out even if the parties part. A lot of walking wounded out there are not capable or sure how to handle this. To be honest 8 years ago I couldn’t have either. I was too wounded to take any kind of rejection. Rejection has been a steady theme in my life and I have learned to love through to the other side. I have learned the hard way, by being rejected, not to let my life tank because of it. Believe me it used to collapse severely.

There are also people in the body who do not respect or care about others and the name Christian doesn’t mean they are immune to the frailties of the human race. Some are too busy to think about you. So if you are hurt or abandoned I am not saying to just brush it off. I can’t do that myself. I do get hurt, what I am saying is let your hope be in the only right place to put your confidence.

Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. On him you can rely. When this happens to you it’s easier to handle if you have proper perspective. It heals faster and cuts less. Others will disappoint you for various reasons. Hanging your happiness on folks who do not want to be a part of your story will lead you to much heartache. Keep your eyes ahead, press toward the mark.

In my heart I see it this way. I am to be a friend and let GOD work out the details. I think loving and serving those who write us off is more about our character than theirs anyway. Isn’t it easy to love the lovable? I’m not saying go the extra mile I am saying go the last mile. Let the fruit of the Spirit lead you and run your race well. You have nothing to lose by being good to folks who aren’t good to you. The bottom line is there are people out there who throw people away. There are people who will misunderstand you and who can’t see your heart or intentions. They filter through their own brokenness and we cannot stop faulty thinking. I have been thrown away every way imaginable and it hurts. These are people who are precious and dear folks that God loves dearly and wants to heal. They struggle at good relationships or who really don’t know what it is to be kind and respectful. It’s not my job to understand or let it drive me batty. My heart for you is that you understand this too and that you keep marching forth seeking God’s heart.

It’s my clear calling to love, lead, serve and have compassion. That way I can make a difference for the kingdom. Not everyone you come across is assigned to you or your story.
So love anyway, serve anyway and remember it’s not about you or how you feel but all about doing the next right thing for good and for GOD.

I do not have the gift of goodbye so I have to lay a lot of this in God’s hands.

…. Let not your good be evil spoken of…

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
King James Version (KJV)
9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Who can find her? a tribute to women who have influenced me and goodbye to Melina

I have been more than blessed by some of the most godly women in my life. Women who stood in the gap and who loved anyway. One of those precious women went to be with the LORD today and it brought back memories of others who had walked before me in a way that made the impossible possible. I think of my grandmother Ruth who paved the way for me to know Jesus. I remember seeing tears gently flow down her face in church as she sang “Oh How I love Jesus” You almost understood without words that her hope and comfort were not in this life. This life had handed her hard circumstances and poverty. Yet you knew in that moment her heart was clearly tied straight with the heart of heaven as she sang of her hope deep within. I think of a teacher and co-laborer who loved her children dearly and loved GOD. She was the most unassuming woman I knew. She was steady and faithful to GOD’s business and she truly touched lives with a genuine love that many who were in her class can still remember. Debbie  was inspiring and would be the most surprised to have anyone write that about her. Her fifth grade class always remembered her long after graduation and into their adult lives. I think of Kim my sister in the LORD who survived college, babies and tons of school years teaching along side of me. She was never too busy to love and listen and weep with me over the breakup of my family. She always had words of wisdom and mercy when it seemed as if the world had dumped everything it could possibly throw on me. Melina went to be with the LORD today and I think of her precious affirmation of great confidence in GOD. I know she was thrown a curve ball with cancer and seemed to be totally out of the woods when something rose up that took her life in the most unexpected way. This is a time when life doesn’t’ make sense at all. My precious daughter was hurting and crying over such a great loss for Melina’s children.  Melina had been her rock during the divorce and was crucial in helping my daughter not walk away from her faith. Most answers to this kind of loss I could offer and to this kind of pain fail right now. But I want to say as much as I grieve over Melina’s death I have to also think about her virtue. Like all of the ladies I mentioned above there is one common thread. They were virtuous. Their desire to do what is right and to live the light of Christ before us has influenced so many for good and for GOD. I would not be where I am without my sisters in CHRIST who were strong when I was weak and who prayed when I needed to rest from praying. I thank GOD for them and hope some day to be like them and also to be the kind of light in someone else’s darkness as they are in mine. They are not forgotten.

Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies.

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.

How many times must I prove how much I love you.

It’s not a matter of giving up… it’s a matter of giving in …….

and letting GOD ….

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

God will never move a fearful and unwilling heart. That’s why WE have to surrender what we can’t control to his precious care. By HIS virtue he wants what’s best for us. He gives his best when we leave the choice to him. Courage isn’t an absence of fear. TRUE COURAGE is when we face what we fear and push beyond it by trusting God. We all come to the crossroads many times in life where we get to make the choice for GOD or for ourselves. I as a fallen little lamb who needs a Savior desperately can tell you that GOD has grown me up by this process. Everything is hindered, shaded and diminished in my life unless I passionately fall into the hands of my LORD in surrender.

I can beg a person not to believe a lie or walk in fear but if they choose to keep the control in their life to do so. THEY WILL. It will be THEIR WILL to do so and NOT GOD’s WILL. GOD has made it possible to break the chains of past behavior by clearly laying out the steps.

1. Don’t fear I am with you (Fear thou not I am with thee_
2. Don’t be discouraged (be not dismayed)
3. I am reminding you who I am because you have forgotten I have this under control. (I am your God)
4. where you are weak in this I will give you strength (I will strengthen thee)
YES!
5. I will even help you with it (I will help thee)
6. I will hold you by my virtue to accomplish this (I will uphold thee with the right hand of my rightneousness)

When you come to the impossible REMEMBER GOD SAID. Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

When I defer to the GOD who is holy, just, immutable, righteous, faithful, true, loving, beautiful no matter what the task … I know what is supposed to happen is possible.

Dear ONE you have done it your way a long long time. How has that worked? Give GOD a chance to restore what the locust have eaten and give Him the glory so others can follow your light and see a better way. For the sake of the future … press in and press on WITH GOD.

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. 

Slowing down, God planned evening.

Well the power is off and I am going to start this post with about 45 minutes of battery left. It seems GOD had different plans for my life tonight than I had planned. I am sitting alone in the dark. There are three candles burning but the light is very dull. Funny the light from my laptop is bright and my typing here doesn’t seem any different than usual. Yikes, that tells me something. I get here bog in and barely notice whether the lights are on or not around me. Ok, since it is so quiet I realize how much I tune out the world with this thing in my hands. Next observation, I can hear the rain. Usually I love to hear nature all around me but tonight I actually hear the roar of the thunder and the steady beat of the rain outside. I can hear the wind whipping through the trees. If one hits this house I wonder how long it would be before someone finds my lifeless body lol. (added my own drama) … The peace is so serene though even in the storm out there. I enjoy taking it all in. Ty LORD for this little stop in the road to be reminded of your glory even in things I take for granted. That brings me to a place in the road. Taking God for granted. You know, I love the LORD and have grown so much these past 3 years but I still have to be aware that it’s a daily journey. It’s not Deb on autopilot. I have grown into many things but still have to count on the grace of God daily. There are times I have to repent, times I have to grieve, times I have to restore and be restored. There are hard times when a friend tells me truth in love and I don’t want to hear it and times I myself have to speak the same to them. It’s a normal Christian life, ups and downs , ins and outs, seasons coming and going like the storms and the weather patterns. Today is much different than any other day. Why? Not because I have arrived or have infinite wisdom. I am becoming wise but acknowledge it’s a process and some final healing may take place on the other side of glory. Either way I am progressing, growing, loving life out loud, happy, free, and hope to embrace the new mercies of GOD daily as promised in HIS WORD. Especially those harder times when HE sees fit to take me through the valley, walking beside me so that I can see HE is my Shepherd and I shall not want. I am thankful that GOD sees fit to be stable, the same yesterday, and today, and forever. I am tremendously thankful that he treats each of us individually, as shown in how he dealt with folks in the Bible. What variety and surprise and anticipation we can have knowing that GOD is going to by His own divine appointment reach into our lives and fashion things for our good and HIS glory. That leads you to be careful in defining good and glory. I didn’t say it would feel good I said it would be good for you. Sometimes restoration is painful kind of like a shot at the physician. They are necessary but all the while still painful. Then there is HIS glory, we have an imaginative God who is able to use foolish things to confound the wise. How He might redeem what the locust have eaten could be so different than what you might expect. Expect with anticipation that HE will though. As I finish this last paragraph the power came on. This storm brought me a moment of peace to reflect, to rejoice in exactly what a mighty loving Father we serve. Take time to realize where you are and how deep the love of Christ is for you today. Listen to the rain, let it wash you away.

The problem with time….

 The statement has been made that time heals all wounds. I know that adage is out there but I find it a false statement. The problem is that time will pass and as more life comes at us we certainly may bury something very deeply. True healing comes from God and not the passage of time.  God’s word says in Isaiah that we are healed by Jesus stripes. As a matter of fact if something in our past is still affecting us, it may very well not be in our past. If a trigger can set off the emotions of an event as if it just happened yesterday or if reliving something can bring those emotions to the surface, that is a clear sign the healing that needs to take place hasn’t.  If we are still carrying the guilt and shame there’s work to be done.  I have experienced times in my life where I thought something was healed because it didn’t bother me daily only to find that an event could occur to trigger the pain. Much like poking someone in a cut or bruise. When the fruit of a painful event breaks ground the only way to stop that fruit is to find the root.

 

To be honest, there are people who are afraid to search that deep for real answers so they carry around the shame and guilt because it is easier. It becomes a normal that they are comfortable with. I used to do that myself. I know some of you are saying “how dare I say this” but at the same time you realize that it is easier to carry around the burden than to be vulnerable enough to let it go and grow.   This is why Jesus came to set the captives free. Sin brings shame and guilt that traps us in the past and robs us of our future. Jesus died to set us free. I am so thankful the truth sets us free! Truth is like a precious treasure.  Nothing made a difference in my life until I sought God’s heart. Everything else was pointless because it did not answer my soul’s desire for intimacy.

 

Now hear me on this. I haven’t “arrived yet” either. I am still growing and learning all that GOD has set up in his Word.  His Word is there to map my journey and there to help me have a sound mind and heart. To have the heart and mind of GOD as I learn of him and grow in Him is what keeps me sound.  I have come along way by very humbling circumstances but there’s still more to learn I am sure. I have experienced times in my life where I thought something was healed because it didn’t bother me daily only to find that an event could occur to trigger the pain. Much like poking someone in a cut or bruise. Last summer I had such an event and was hurt very deeply by someone I trusted more than I had ever trusted anyone.

 

 I share here in this forum some of my experiences. My hope is that readers will see that this race of life is a process of steps that should lead to the throne of God. Our quest leads us many times to find knowledge but not true wisdom. We miss God’s heart in search of knowledge and find emptiness that Solomon spoke of.  Knowledge is very empty. I know tons of stuff but if I act in a way contrary to what I know I have turned truth into a lie. 

 

So, what do I do with these two days in June that stick in my memory? I stopped asking GOD why a long time ago.  I stopped reliving that nagging question,  What if I had of done something different? After some time and work I healed and learned that I couldn’t have done anything to change what happened after those days. I can’t control free will of someone. I learned that life is full of choices and choices have consequences. There are two ways in this life. The temporal way of the world based on our own knowledge and experience as we journey here. . The eternal way of GOD that is based on the truth of His Word and heart for us.   When we take the temporal way we look back and see where we evaded the heart of God. If we have a broken path we will journey broken unless we work to get our baggage unpacked and healing in its place. We seek his forgiveness and move forward with the truth that sets us free. We make things right if we can and if we can’t we still have to live out God’s will and purpose for our lives.  To do less keeps us stuck in the past carrying guilt and shame that even GOD wouldn’t place on us or expect us to carry.  So, today that fruit of hurt and pain do not rear their ugly head trying to take me back to the root. I do not understand those two days  and the events that followed them. I don’t have to understand.  I know GOD’s answer is that HE is faithful.  He will journey with me through his WORD and lead me safely home. Trust HIM today and remember he said in Isaiah that we are healed by HIS stripes.  

Missing puzzle pieces?

Everything around you has been blown up and as the pieces settle you try to interpret the ruins. This seems to happen at the worst time during a terrible life storm that already has you down. It comes in the form of familiar things that touch our weaknesses. It always causes mental confusion and doubt. It takes your focus from things that are happening back to things that happened. The purpose is the same, to keep you down and ineffective.

People give it different names but the result is chaos and temporal drama in our lives.

Regardless of the trial or temptation, God’s plan for our lives and his direction for us is always forward. To run our race, press toward the mark with clarity. He doesn’t plan for confusion and chaos. He talks about the enemy of the soul doing that. His whole universe is orderly and he states that he is not the author of confusion. His goal for us is to glorify him. Stuck like Chuck in the muck doesn’t move us forward. This causes us to stop in our tracks and try to analyze and put the puzzle pieces together in a way that makes sense to us. Some things do not make sense because they are born out of chaos and sin. They can never make sense. Why a child is killed by a parent, why a 2 month old baby dies, why parents abandon and abuse, why spouses walk away, all of these do not make sense in this life. Trying to make sense of them robs you. If we try to manage the ruins in a way that we can deal with them, we wind up fabricating an answer or endlessly searching for one. When that answer or search fails we become confused again. This leaves us thinking God is being silent. Sometimes we are actually being so loud, trying in our own strength to control our chaos and we miss him and his direction.

God’s plan for our lives and direction always includes a sound mind. This life can have many things that rob us of our soundness that shreds our soul and taxes our mental capacity. These things happen and it is natural to grieve them and to try to understand. God went to great lengths to not only save us but to transform us. When we try in our strength to manage the senseless, we create chaos for ourselves. We misinterpret our interactions with people and their heart. 

When something engages us in life with a situation that is not sound it takes a toll. We are subject to the person or situation’s confusion and deception. If we lose our soundness we can be vacuumed into emotional damage and not only hurt ourselves but become confused.  We can have a lot of head knowledge and process the should have’s or could have’s  but the things that touch us our heart in an unsound way are not good for us if we do not remain sound ourselves. Letting someone hit rock bottom is the hardest thing to watch and even harder to allow. I watched someone self destruct and it’s heartbreaking. Ten years later they are still in the muck and I would love to see them soar with the eagles again. I have seen myself hit rock bottom as well so I am not unfamiliar with this happening. Oh! If only I could spare you the time this wastes.

Resisting change is futile. A sound mind happens when we are raw and real with ourselves and seek that soundness in things that are sound.  

God’s plan and direction for our lives is not to be deceived. Anything that robs us of knowing the truth and moving forward in a truthful real way is not of God. Feelings are the worst deceivers! They change and we also manipulate them to our advantage. This constant analyzing and reviewing the old indicting tapes causes us to begin to deceive ourself if the information we are processing isn’t true in the first place. 

When we are processing information we have to be careful to discern the truth. We tell ourselves things to cope that are not true. Once we think we have something nicely tucked away our hearts settle for a bit. All of a sudden something happens that transforms our nice folded answers into spaghetti. What is the answer? Keep moving forward, do not be deceived and keep your mind sound. Know yourself! I am talking about your weaknesses, strengths and character. Also know that you are priceless to God no matter how flawed you are. Trust what you know to be true beyond a shadow of doubt and test everything else by truth until it resonates and is valued as truthful or dismissed as not truthful. Do not deceive yourself by making excuses and allowances. Think on things that are right and true and quickly cast away thoughts that take you to a place of not being able to be yourself or that creates chaos in your life. You will never find God’s direction apart from God’s truth. I wish this didn’t sound strategic and clinical but we are not talking about the great touchy feeling stuff here. We are talking about the battlefield of the mind and how the world, flesh and devil all interact to bring us down. This is war not for the fainthearted. It feels like war it is ugly and necessary at the same time. It’s part of healthy growth.  

The good news is God loves you and his heart for you is to have peace that passes all understanding, to live abundantly, to love and be loved. I am proof it’s possible to keep going on when the worst of the worst has happened. If this little gal who has been knocked down every way a person can in 50 short years has unshakeable peace, then you can too. I didn’t ask to be strong and truth is when I am weak, and there are times I am, God is my strength. Love strong, think deep and realize that you have to be who God made you to be and there’s no guilt or shame about that. Lay your burden down at the foot of the cross. Move forward dear one in truth. Stand firm on it’s foundation and be blessed.   Nehemiah 8:10

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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Little Bob ~ How Not To Live

He was only 5 years old and from all I have heard he was a precious sweet child that was very tender. My earliest memories of him were scarce. I remember running past the open door of the mobile home we lived in making huge leaps as Momma hung out clothes. We were trying to keep her from seeing us. We laughed and often ran into each other scrambling like the 3 Stooges and fell backwards. I remember him lying very still in a pretty bed ( I didn’t know at the time it was a coffin) and not waking up. My Uncle Jimmy was holding me and I wanted to give him my chewing gum. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t wake up. My Uncle Jimmy would tell that story for years with tears in his eyes. They sang Jesus Loves me at his funeral and that song made my mom and grandma cry every time they heard it for years. I always thought of Mom and Bob every time I played it as a solo for offering in the little church I attended.

I remember my grandmother saying she wished she didn’t let him go with my Dad that day. For the next decades Feb 16th would be the day he died and Feb 18th would be my birthday and the day he was buried. It was always the counter for the number of years he had been dead. I remember my Aunt Jean who missed him terribly for a while until she had her own children. I wondered what life would have been like with him. I am sometimes thankful that he was spared some of the things I have seen. I remember every year going to the attic to get Christmas decorations down for Mom and there being a little box of his clothes and a pair of shoes on top. We never disturbed it but each time I saw it I felt something deep inside that I couldn’t put words to. I could see the same feeling on Momma’s face as his name was mentioned. Everyone called him Little Bob, he was named after my Dad.

They said they found my Dad wandering up the highway after Little Bob drowned in the Catawba River. The stories I heard about his drowning didn’t make sense to me for years. The truth I found out years later would put the puzzle pieces together for me but for the sake of the living I will just not put that here. I know Bob’s death changed my Dad in a way that my brother and I would have to experience the rest of our lives. I remember how disturbing it was that no one talked about that day. Truth was that no one talked about anything too hard in my family. Avoidance was the standard operating procedure and using words was foreign when it came to deep matters of the heart.

I will always miss Little Bob.

I grew up with a little brother who was hilarious and mischievous as well. I love my partner in crime and baby brother James. We have fought the greatest fights over the years and I have seen him struggle and I weep for his losses. He gets up and keeps going on and I admire his ability to do that.

I am writing this today to share hope with people who have experienced the loss of something sacred. The story didn’t end with this tragedy being an epitaph. There were a lot of miserable years of lessons learned in those years for me and my family. Dad avoided the pain by being distant from his children and by staying busy. Mom spent the rest of her marriage trying to open up my Dad’s heart again. It wasn’t possible for most of their lives together. Then one day….

We always went to grandma and grandpa’s to have Easter dinner. Her tiny house was under a grove of pecan trees and was the most magical place to me. I loved playing on the big porch swing under those trees. Grandpa took advantage of free labor getting us to pick up pecans when they fell in the fall. We would catch lightening bugs under those trees and sleep in his T-shirts after begging momma to let us spend the night. Grandma had great quilts and made pallets for us on the floor. She was precious and often let me and my cousins tear up her kitchen to make cornbread. We argued over who would stir it.

This Easter my Dad didn’t feel well. Dad was never sick so this was concerning. My Mom confided that he was throwing up blood. The next day a doctors visit turned into a string of test that revealed he had cancer. I remember the jolt to my heart hearing my Dad was sick. It always seemed as if he was the pillar of my life even though we didn’t have a close relationship. I always trusted the strength of knowing Dad was there. I watched cancer humble and soften Dad. It changed him enough to hear the call of Christ in his life and become saved. Dad became more gentle and attentive to my Mom and had opened up to her a bit more. After several years of being a human science experiment they gave him a clean bill of health. He didn’t go back to his old promiscuous and wild ways. The change was real! I thank God for being able to see that. Still the residue of growing up in a home much like the one he had created kept him from saying the words. He went back to work and stayed as busy as ever. The change was great to see and was still there but he couldn’t be vulnerable as I hoped he could yet.

Mom had been through so much she was thankful for the reprieve but I think she was regretful of all the lost time. She loved Dad with all she had and gave selflessly to him. He freely took her love and returned it when it suited him until the final years. It was bittersweet now. They could have had so much because both were capable of so much, but the noise of the world rang so loud to Dad he couldn’t hear her or be himself.

I remember seeing his eyes when Laura was born and he held her. It registered in my heart for the first time~ this is what Dad looks like when he loves someone. I had never seen that growing up. I don’t think the world could contain his joy at that moment.

Laura was 9 months old when my Aunt called at work and said in a matter of fact way. “Get home your Dad is dying.” Unfortunately Dad had been given a clean bill of health but they didn’t know that he cancer had spread to his brain and he went from functioning one day to not functioning the next. It was hard to watch. Mom tried to take care of him at home but it overwhelmed her and he had to be moved to the hospital. I can’t tell you how it feels to see your Dad who was a rock become like a child and then disappear all together. I wanted to hear the words but now he couldn’t say them. I slept on the floor of his hospital room for 4 days as Mom slept in a chair and as my Uncle Charles attended to things for my Dad. No one can ever repay Charles for that heroic way he had of showing love to his brother in those final days. I couldn’t leave Dad’s side and I loved him dearly. I wanted him to know that beyond the words I loved him. I knew in those moments as he struggled to breathe, all that had happened in his life was probably running through his mind and I ached for his painful memory. I also was thankful for the fact that I knew I would see him again.

Dad took his last breath and as me and my brother stood by his side with Mom my heart fell to my feet. Now there would be no more words. His funeral was amazing. Dad had helped a lot of people and a lot had seen the change in him. Several flower shops ran out of flowers in the tiny town of Fort Mill, SC. I remember holding my grandma who seemed to break that day as she said goodbye to her son.

Where’s the encouragement? Well as painful as that memory is and as painful as my childhood could get sometimes I want to say there is hope. The hope isn’t in the memories or the reconciliation. Dad and I never got to say the words. The hope is in forgiveness and letting go. Parental damage can cost us more than we understand in future relationships. Holding on to the past will rob you. If you have had parents in the past who formed some damaging experiences for you I want to tell you that I found freedom in forgiving them and letting it go.

No one can make up for what your parents did or didn’t do and if we are not careful we will expect a future relationship to equalize that damage. The goal of future relationships is not to repair our past. The goal is to forge ahead into a great future.

I love the memories I have of Little Bob. I was greatly affected by his absence in my life. I was also greatly affected by the lack of Dad’s love as well. Yet today, I can look back and remember the great times and have healed from the rough ones. I use the hard experiences to teach me how “NOT TO LIVE”

Here’s the difference between now and how I had lived much of my life. Now I see my life as a journey that was necessary to make me the woman I am today. I totally understand how to forgive and get past these things. I also know what healthy whole love is. (not that I know everything, volumes can be written about that) What I am trying to express to you is that you can get there. You can get to a good place where you deal and heal. Don’t let the past define you or the tapes that keep playing in your head. Get to know yourself and who you really are warts and all. Then realize that God is crazy about you warts and all.

Learn to love and be loved by God and to give and receive love from someone else. I spent most of my life asking why?? Why did I grow up in this family, why did Bob die, why did Dad die, why did my best friend die? why did I lose 2 babies, why did my husband cheat, why is life so hard??? Now I don’t wonder why anymore. The question is not why for me. The question is who am I and who is God in my life? I know the answer to those two questions is this. I am a child of the King who loves me and my life and He is my Father who sees me as priceless. When life happens and I get hurt I always come back to this.

The giants in life are going to come and go. The free will of someone is going to slam into me and can cause joy as well as pain. The conclusion of the whole matter is that GOD is my God and I will love him anyway trusting all that happens is for my good and His glory. That doesn’t mean I skip down the road. It just means I am raw and real with it and face it knowing at some point it will be in my past and can’t be allowed to rob my future.

Dear ones, forgive, grieve the loss and go on. There’s life out there and precious time is a gift. Don’t sacrifice a great future on a bad past.

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.

What a year! I am so loved.

I look back over this year and am amazed at how quickly life changes. It doesn’t collapse in a moment but it can change with one phone call, a person’s actions or events so easily that you almost feel like a bomb has exploded. I was waiting to have a biopsy and was thinking about this past year. I was wondering how I was going to tell my children that I have cancer if the results came back negative. This was the last of a long series of test I had in which I fell through the cracks with my doctor. For those having a breast biopsy I want to give you this information. It’s not as bad as it sounds. It was worse emotionally than it was physically.

I was reviewing this past year and tears welled up thinking about my girls, things that I still wanted to do for the kingdom and also oddly enough about how to be a testimony with cancer if that was God’s will for me. I always question my motive and desires because I know just how human I can be. Yet something in me wanted to glorify the Lord if this was to be my lot. I won’t know until Tuesday of the results. I thought I was in the clear earlier but evidently I wasn’t and had to have this final biopsy. I think the main thing I came away with was worth sharing.

Here’s the thing, I sat there looking over 2011 and there were some hard spots. I became an empty nester, lost a dear friend that was the first person I ever trusted so deeply, changed jobs, moved into my own place, celebrated life without my mom who went home to be with the Lord and lived alone for the first time in 50 years.

I know life changes and I am not the kind who jumps for joy each time the pendulum swings and smacks me down when I just got up. Yet I have to say over all with all the hurt and sorrow what a joy I have to know that my Father gives good gifts to me. He is concerned that I grow and serve him and he wants me to appreciate his love for me. God isn’t impressed with me but wow does he love for his children to appreciate his love.

He gave all he had for this little lamb. So as I think about my rough year I have to say I am still thankful. I love this life God is carving for me and I can’t really complain about the hard places. My car is still broken needing a lot of repairs, do I have cancer or not, I don’t know, my new job is starting slower than anticipated but I know that I know that I know that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. God has all this and is taking great care to walk me day by day through this journey. I have to praise him and thank him for his great love. I have to tell you dear ones to rest in that and only be defined by one who sold all that he had to purchase you a precious pearl and treasure. Matthew 13:44-46

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall have everlasting life. John 3:16

The Tender Silent Warrior

Sometimes there is nothing more you can say except no regrets and that you are thankful.

The Tender Silent Warrior

A man in on the front lines
Working day by day
Doing what is right
In spite of the fray

He works with his hands
And gives all his might
It hasn’t been easy
He gave up his right

To be just a man
Walking away from them
He stood by the stuff
When the lights were dim

His back is tired
Some days go wrong
His bed is empty
The nights are long

So much has been done
By his strong hands
Whose cheering him on
God understands

He can look around
The fruit of his work
Who smiles when he’s done
Duties he didn’t shirk

He bows and prays
He has done right
Who says thank you
Alone in the night

Heaven’s on his side
God has a plan
He answers the accuser
I love that man

Come what may
God can’t love him less
A tender silent warrior
He’s done his best

My heart will still pray
earthly love he will find
he changed my life
he’s one of a kind

Labor Day Weekend

East Texas Rain

I am not sure what the words are that I want to convey here today. This morning started with tearful prayer very deep in the middle of the woods in WV. I often run to my Father on the harder things. I am a tough cookie but so very tenderhearted. I wrote this song and I think it fits my heart today. When I was in school and even now I am more of a literalist who keeps things simple. So if you think this is about rain it’s not. It’s about the pouring in our soul of hard things. No one gets through this life untouched. Some carry deep deep self inflicted wounds. I know for me it was a huge wounding that caused a series of events that lead me to Dallas. I thank God for loving me enough to put my character over my comfort. What I have learned here has been priceless. Whether you throw yourself in a pit or someone else does. A pit is a pit. Life has to go on even in those times and it can get muddy when you mix law and grace to sort the proper approach to it all. I am finding the older I get the more I see. Christ is about freedom at the very cost of his life. He said he came to set the captives free. My heart is that you are free.

Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

This was the answer Jesus gave in the synagogue proclaiming the reason he came to earth. Sometimes we just get the idea he came to save us from sin. He said that but in reading in the passage as he spoke from the book of Isaiah he also said the rest of the story if you will. Saving a man’s soul from hell is truly amazing. We all deserve hell! God’s heart is revealed here for much more for us. If you look closely at this verse you will see how he views the damages of sin and see his plan to heal the brokenness, to free our mind and to give us new vision so that we who are bruised by the ravages of sin are truly free. That’s the key how free are you? I know it’s not all about us. But to GOD it is all about us. It was all about the kingdom and molding and transforming our minds and lives to something of substance. In his own words the “abundant life” is what he said he came to provide. Sin is a hard task master. The way of the transgressor is hard as the Bible says but that is exactly why we trust Jesus who is the way the truth and the life.

Here’s something I have seen when a person does fall. There are two ways they handle that. For me I quickly try to handle it and to repent and turn away from it. Yet in fairness I am not the kind whose tender heart can just jump in feet first for a long season of sin. I am too much the kind of lamb that clings to my Father. For others they repent but still cling to the aftermath. I wrote this song in October 2009. We have to ask ourselves sometimes if we are trying to pay more for our sin than Christ did?

East Texas Rain

East Texas rain

on my window pane,

Falling in my heart

tearing me apart

Texas ain’t my home, something bigger is calling me

I been gone to long too far from where I ought to be.

Will I ever get

To a home again?

How can I go?

How can I know?

You will take me in

I gave my heart,

Every single part

Complete surrender

Loving and tender

Don’t trust your fear

Just draw me near

Hold me in your arms

Keep me safe from harm

Praising Anyway

I raise my hand in praise saying you are my GOD, you are my Father, you are Holy and worthy of all praise. Even in my weakest moment you are my strength. I love you, I praise you, I am in amazement of your attributes and character that lay for me a firm foundation that I can stand upon. Mighty wings that I can rest under. Forever I sing your praises and understand your unfailing love for this wretched saint. I am reminded that your WORD is true and you are faithful to it. I am reminded that this life is temporal and that eternally you and you alone are my hope of GLORY. IN the storm you promise to be there even if I try to run to the depths of hell you will not leave me oh my GOD. No matter how dark things can be you are light. What else can I do but raise my hands and say …….. You are worthy because of who you are, I give you glory honor, praise, and say with my complete heart I thank you.

Father I don’t understand all that is happening but I adore you and know you are my hiding place, strong tower, refuge, and rock that is higher than I. This lamb is calling her Shepherd … with a grateful heart that I will always be a sheep needing you. I need you OH GOD. In Jesus name Amen.

This started out on my facebook but grew too big to put there. Ya know, sometimes you get to a place you just have to praise when you don’t really feel, or know what else to do. I wanted to start my day with praise and share it because HE is worthy. I am reminded of most of what I wrote over the last few months. As my writings become my life going from what I have learned in my head to what I understand in my heart I see God’s character and my own and find that I lack and still have much polishing to become a diamond out of the rough. God bless you all…

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.

Turn on a Dime

I am amazed how fluid life can be. You can hope and dream but in all reality we have to know that dreams are dreams. Our feet have to land on the ground and sometimes accept where we really are.
This was a proving week. It was a week to learn about my own weaknesses and strengths. Until you are proved you can think you know something or think you are something. The Bible says not to think too much about ourselves and after this week I see more clearly why.

I just want to take a short minute to say this. I know some of my post get long but here’s the short cut to it. This is how I want to go out. I can’t wait to see what God is doing with the recent developments in my life. I am amazed and overwhelmed sometimes with just His love. Top that with the changes taking place in my life and I can’t imagine where this is going. I just know that I am following, praying, reading, growing and totally excited at age 50 to still be in the race.

Acts.20:23 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

I ran under his wings.

Under His Wings By New Manna Youth Choir

I can almost pinpoint the day my universe began to slide out of orbit. I knew the enemy of the soul had created a storm I had no choice but to endure. I remember when it hit how I had felt so destroyed. The best way I can describe it is this. Imagine walking across a field so tranquil and so serene with your husband who is your best friend and your children. Then you feel a sharp pain and grab your heart. There’s blood and you have been shot. You are not sure where it came from but you put your hand up to stop the bleeding. Another pain occurs and you have been shot again. You cover that wound with your other hand. You look around but there’s no help. Third shot and you realize it’s your best friend shooting. Your heart shatters and your knees buckle. How can this be? Where is my safety? How on earth could this happen?

You have no hands left. Two more shots and you realize your children have been hit. You can’t cover all the wounds. You are all wounded and there is nothing you can do. Even to this day when I hear this song, I remember. I was sitting a New Manna the night they sang this. Tears streaming down my face as they do now. I knew then that day in the field was coming, knew the enemy was looking for me and that I was soon to be alone in this world. I can’t describe the pain better than that.

Nine years later when I hear that song I am a different woman. Oh, I would have given anything for my children to not have been hurt by divorce. I would have never in a million years wished that for their lives. I have to say though that I am thankful.

How on earth can I be? How on earth can anyone be? Well it’s been a journey. I live every day of my life with a choice I didn’t make. I have been alone now 9 years. It’s been a hard road and is a hard road. I won’t mince words on that. I have real joy though and wouldn’t take nothing for knowing what I know now.

I learned something from it that I praise GOD for. I learned that under the wings of the almighty is the only place I could find out who I was in Christ. The most joyously painful lesson I have ever learned. I have learned that GOD is in control of everything and that everything that happens is for my good and His glory.
Nothing describes it like Psalms 91

 1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

 9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

 10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

 13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

 14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

 15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

 16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (Psalm 91, King James Version)

When I read those verses I am reminded of the love and care of a GOD who has bound my wounds and healed my pain.

How far down the road am I from that beautiful field? Well my life is not a bed of roses but no ones is. We live in a fallen challenging world. Yet I have chosen to know my LORD intimately and be satisfied with him completely. I am overwhelmed with His love.
I desire to remarry one day to a man who will walk that field with me without a weapon but so far that hasn’t happened. I am not fretful or scared it won’t. I know GOD’s heart for me. I have learned to be content and wait until GOD decides. He’s walking that field with me right now and that’s the best part. Although the song above still brings tears and I know another trial can come into my life any time of that magnitude. The thing I know now that I didn’t know then was the character of my GOD. I knew tons about GOD and loved deeply then. Yet when my storm hit and I was alone naked before a just holy GOD who saw me and my situation, it was then I realized who He truly was.

For me it was the WORD of GOD that changed everything. I began searching for answers and found them in the Truth that set me free. I was freed from the bondage of my past, the burden of my sin and the sorrow of my heart.

Now that brings me to one point. The same GOD who freed me will free the person who shot me the same way. It’s the same grace, same faith, same truth, same salvation, same word and same forgiveness. That might not sound fair to folks wanting revenge or being bitter. Think about it though.

GOD is so fair and holy he will restore the one who brought me pain the same way he will restore me! Doesn’t that reveal a character that is immutable, righteous, holy, just, and perfect. Doesn’t that show his great love for you! Wow! I can still hear the cry of my heart from those days. Lord, only you can take me from disgrace to grace to glory. Please step in here Father this is too big for me.

I remember going to the altar during the school day when I had a moment and crying out to GOD not knowing where I would be in the future. There’s no darkness to our GOD. My darkest moment was light to him according to Psalms 139:12.

Today yes I am thankful. I have the deepest well in my Father’s love that springs up and splashes anyone who gets in my path. I am so blessed, so thankful, so much more a woman because of HIM. Forget me and see my Saviour that hides me under his precious wings. No storm can harm me there. I am in some storms now and some temporal uncertainty. Where will I live, where will I work, will I love again and how do I stay a light waiting. We all face that kind of stuff. I might not know all of those answers but I cling to the One who does.

I have forgiven, I am forgiven and life moves on.

Why can’t we be rescued? When the sacred is torn from our lives.

Click here to listen

Natalie Grant sings the song Held about a true story of a woman losing her 2 month old infant. We have all been there where we have cried out to God at those times when we knew no where else to turn. The dead end of desperation sometimes drives us to God in the hard seasons. Or it drives us to things that can’t answer the soul’s need.

We all have been in situations where only God could heal or rescue and He doesn’t. We have all said goodbye to someone we loved too soon whether they died or left our story. We have watched dreams pass through our hands like grains of sand. Losing things you hold dear like family, loved ones and friends is the toughest for me. Being physically alone and my sole support makes the journey harder too sometimes. The tearing away is hard and when I write that I really feel for and respect the valley. The realization that you can’t change what is about to happen can almost be gut wrenching. There is something that brings a feeling so raw and real when we suffer serious loss. “When the sacred is torn from our lives and we survive.” We have passed from death to life, is this really life?

It does raise a question in us or at least is does me. The answer is always the same though dear ones. My Father is in control. I might have to be held by that understanding alone right now! I’ve learned from the past that it’s ok, God is always holding me. I can trust his control.  I am in a hard season that started yesterday. I had been on a break, been on the mountain,  that I am grateful for but God is about my growth and walk with him. I already know he is not going to rescue me from this storm. It will come and he will walk out to meet me in it and walk with me back to the boat, but this is my storm and it’s coming. I know that I know that I know that whatever happens he is my God and I am his precious daughter. What I might define as disaster he defines as destiny. He’s the Savior who walked Peter on the water in the storm, the one who weeped over those who were weeping when Lazarus was called forth from the tomb. My God is the one who asked the disciples to wait and watch one hour while he prayed and sweated blood in the garden.

Just as I would without a doubt give my life for my children, My GOD who gave his life for me does the same. Where is the hope then?

The hope is not in the happening. What is going on right now is not the real story. The real story is that GOD is forming and molding me through this hard season to glorify him and also to be more like him.

I have a love hate relationship with that process. I totally love GOD and embrace it with joy that he would love me enough to use everything even my sorrow to mold me. I do not love the pain to be honest but the journey from grace to glory went through a garden and a cross. Should I expect anything less messy when he asked me to take up my cross? I am settling down for this storm knowing that it will end and the skies will clear and my life will be what God wants for me because this lamb is following her Shepherd no matter what happens. In the past I tried to calm the sea but I have learned if you are sinking you drown the more you squirm.

In these times when it doesn’t make sense and I can’t see in the darkness I go to the rock and know that he can. My darkness is light to him.

Psalms 139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

There might be tears and I may call on close friends to pray for me but I will not be moved. I will stand on the promise that he is faithful. I already know that I will post something in the future that will reveal how my GOD stood by me. For right now I am telling God everything because I know that he can take it. I am digging in the WORD to go deep because that is the only way to go high (eternal perspective). See what I am about to go through GOD has an eternal reason that I might not see in the temporal. That’s where his goodness and faithfulness trump my doubt and fear.

See this link on healing.

https://restoredbygrace.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/hard-lessons-in-life-consequences/

Shipwrecked- Can this be a good thing?

 Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτὸν ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν. I
Repost from March 2010
John 2:3 (scroll your mouse over the words for their meaning)

What do you really know?

My journey recently took a rabbit trail that I am working through.  I am so thrilled with where I am headed in the LORD and very content in being able to trust Him for hard times. LORD willing each day has new mercies for me. Yet sometimes those storm moments come when you really have to have a firm foundation or other shipwrecked people will cause you to shipwreck as well. I truly know that as much as I love the LORD at any time I can be tempted and not look for the escape, or I can be tested and not retreat to my faith in GOD.

This rabbit trail is about my observation and understanding though limited of what I see from my perspective happening in people I know and love and at times past in my own life.

 It you read the account of Peter walking on the water  in Matthew 14, you find that he called out to Jesus in the midst of sinking in the storm. Jesus came out to the men in the storm but the storm didn’t cease just because Jesus came out on the water. The storm was no big deal to our Lord to be honest. He could walk in a storm just as he could walk on calm seas. What a great side thought there that ties to Psalms 139. Where can we go that the LORD can’t be? What safer place to have Him show up than in a storm?  As a master teacher I can see Jesus heart in this to reveal the Father to them. This was a teaching moment about our faith. Is our faith in what we know or in who we know? What they knew was that it was stormy, someone or something was walking on water, and they had left Jesus on the shore.  Their faith should have been looking for Jesus in the storm but they were looking at themselves.  

 One would have to ask  when Jesus came out in the storm to them, why did  they questioned who He was. Had they seen that many spirits walking on water to fearfully ask if this was a spirit? I doubt it. I think the phenomenon here was that the storm had them so distracted that they forgot who they were just with. Has that ever happened to me in my life! I watch it happen to others as well Biblical characters, Elijah coming to mind right away.   We know the great mighty power of God that can save our soul, create the world, and do many miracles in the Bible.  It’s amazing that when our “storm” -circumstances get just powerful enough- we forget who we trusted and who lives within us.  The object of our faith wanes to the noise of our situation because as great as knowledge when it is all that we have then we come up short having a foundation that is as shakable as our own human reasoning. Solomon wrote about the folly of just having knowledge without obedience.

They had to ask who was out there and when Jesus answered it was him, Peter immediately switched to his faith and said if it’s you let me come out there. For a moment Peter forgot about the storm because his eyes were properly focused on the Lord. He walked out to the Lord, but the minute he lost focus as the wind kicked up he began to sink.  I think the pivotal moment with Peter is when he began to sink he called out to Jesus. Who indicated that his faith was little. Oh, that we would fully rest and trust in what GOD has said and done before us in His Word.

  Truth that sets us free is based on the object of our faith being the truth. It’s based on trusting and gaining experience in that trust through real intimacy with Christ and practical application of the WORD of God.  Not having that relationship causes us to become confused in the storm. Just having knowledge without experiencing God’s faithfulness expressed by His character revealed in His WORD always undermines our walk.   We look out over the boisterous water with vision that is filtered by our circumstances and not our faith. That causes us to shrink back, look around and shipwreck. The trust we have in the true Word of God engages us and moves us when life doesn’t make sense or is as we had hoped for.  True faith will cause us to be constrained by the LOVE of Christ.   The book of Timothy talks about unfeigned faith and shipwreck.  The anatomy of a shipwreck is not pretty. When we shipwreck basically what happens is we are in a holding pattern. We are not effective in the kingdom any longer except as a poor example.  We leave people behind who looked to us for leadership and light.  We miss opportunities. We also sometimes resign our self to the wreckage thinking there is no way out. That is disastrous but there is an even more severely ugly type of shipwreck where we have watched the storm so much, we think we are in right standing with the LORD even though we are sidelined because of disobedience. I am reminded of Saul and David, both thought GOD was going to deliver the other into their hands. Yet, only one was correct. Saul was shipwrecked but all the while thinking he was A-OK.

What do we really know? For me, I have had to learn to trust GOD above what I feel, how I am treated by others, and regardless of what people I love do. When a person decides to choose something that is in disobedience to GOD, I have to get out of the way and let that be God’s problem. When it’s me, I have to as Peter did, call out to the only one who can save me. If  Peter did not call out would he had of drowned? I think spiritually he would have. It breaks my heart to watch people drown spiritually.  When it’s me I always suffer loss. Father GOD, we love you and praise you for your wonderful gift of grace by faith. Increase our faith and thank you for being a GOD whose character reveals why our faith is not in vain. Help us see you clearly to avoid being shipwrecked or to enjoy the privilege when dashed on the rocks of seeing GOD work even more of Himself through us. In Jesus name amen .

Thanks to Erika for a missing piece in this post. YES! all that comes in to our lives that provides an opportunity to grow is a good thing. What a mighty GOD that works these things in His plan. I am humbled by Him.

Wail On, Pit Dwellers

(Please note, I totally believe GOD wants to hear from us. I have been a pit dweller at times in my life this is written for a reminder to myself as well )

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! No one just wakes up with an emotionally burned out crippled and  crumbled  life. It takes time to get to any destination.  You might retort to me look at  Job and point a finger and say ah ha .. you have no clue what you are talking about.  Yes, Job is a person in the Bible who suffered greatly and we point to him often when we are in storms to try to get the courage to gut it out. I think we do ourselves a disservice doing that for several reasons because when we look at Job, we see the end of the story where GOD restored him. That keeps the focus on what we can get out of our brokeness rather than what it does to us in molding our character. We also need to look at Job’s life fully, not just that he suffered.  I am not talking about a person who is being tested in the way Job was. I am talking about when our circumstances are orchestrated by our own bad choices. Choices that have consequences that can not be restored. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am not saying God doesn’t restore. He promises to restore what the locust have eaten. I am saying the suffereing and  restoration Job had was not the kind I am speaking about. There is much to learn there but I am talking about when sin damages us.

  Our lives do not crumble overnight.  I woke up at 3:00 am with this thot in my head and decided it will be today’s blog. Where I am at today came through many tough water that were deep and challenging.   So this blog seems to be more or less dedicated to trading your sorrow for joy of the LORD.  My intent and purpose is to give folks a glimpse of what  I found elusive in many of my storms. Not that I can change anyone but that  the things that changed me were the WORD of GOD and soldiers in the body of Christ who shed their light at a time when darkness surrounded my soul as wave after wave of my journey collided with my faith. I just want to shed what light I have been given. 

 My life could have been much different if I had not have taken the trip I did to get where I am now. What if each moment in our lives we could have an instant replay. We surely wouldn’t get to the place where we are sitting broken and burned out if we could just replay those things that didn’t go as we hoped. Of course we  really can’t do that and if we could it would create disaster in our lives. By sheer human nature we would abuse such a gift. It’s a kind of winning the lottery pipe dream lets get back to reality.

One of the most sheep like qualities of Christians is our ability to depend on ourselves to be our own shepherd. We acknowledge GOD, even have a wealth of knowledge about Him but lack the ability on our own to stay out of the ditch.  In storms knowledge of GOD is useless without intimacy with Him. It’s like being all dressed up and no place to go. I lived that for many years. My knowledge was performance and fear based. The times I have been in the ditch were usually when I was steering the vehicle. We can’t just ask GOD to come along in our lives as we take on burdens He never intended we carry or as we try to orchstrate our way out of the storm or into a better place, or deny it’s complete existence. We know GOD, what His WORD teaches but we filter it by our lives and the parts we line up with we feel good about. The parts we don’t we dismiss or deny. It should be the other way around .

I know when I was deeply stuck in the mire, no one could talk to me. I was insistent that life  was going to work the way I had prayed.  Basically I am glad it didn’t in some cases. I was praying for my way and not God’s way.

The mire is so ugly.  If you have ever tried to walk in deep goopy mud you know what it’s like to try to pull one leg out, take a step, then pull the other leg out. It doesn’t take long before you tire completely. Spiritually, we create mire pits when we stop believing what God has said is true. When we do not watch His character to always keep His WORD and work in a way that is for our good.

We create a problem or make a huge mistake and the first thing that happens if we are not intimately walking is that our natural selves take over and rationalize how things can not work instead of seeing the beautiful plan God has to restore and renew our faith by transforming our mind.  We become a dead man walking so to speak. You will stink if you play with dead things but every believer has the Holy Spirit who is always ready and willing to walk you through the situation.  Psalms 40:1-3

 
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

I love this passage!!! Really let it sink into your heart that sitting on your spiritual hiney is not only keeping you stuck in mire, it’s also keeping people from seeing GOD at work and fearing and trusting Him. It’s not all about us.  LOOK! and see that HE takes you out of the pit and He establishes our steps. Whew the pressure is off of us and on to Him. We just have to just follow the Shepherd. 

 Now don’t get the idea you will just sit there and wait for God to show up. NO! You wait paitiently but wail on! Wait on it to be God that answers but cry out to Him. He will incline and lift you up and put you on a rock, a solid foundation. If you know anything at all about walking in mire it is this, you are on shaky ground getting dirty and sucked in feet first. Your life is not too burned, it’s not over, it’s not done if you call upon your Father to lift you out. Dear ones I need to see that in you and you need to see that in me. Let’s let GOD hear us and get us out of the pit that keeps us hidden from the lost and dying world.

Why Crash Dummies are Smarter than Humans

Yeah this title may sound silly but lets explore this notion. A crash dummy is made for one purpose, to see how it can withstand the impact of trauma. It isn’t meant to survive the impact but to be evaluated after the impact. If it survives that is not the issue. A crash dummy is put into a situation to tax all of its makeup. There is no implied protection or escape. If the entire dummy is destroyed,  the forces that destroyed it are examined or the structure that was supposed to protect it. The dummy really is just along for the ride. Every crash dummy has a purpose in essence. Never has a dummy stood up and said this is unfair, I can’t take this anymore, I am outta here! This is too hard, life isn’t fair, why can’t I change? Nope, one sole purpose of the crash dummy without deviation is to be put in harms way and evaluate the stressors that come against the dummy and the product being tested. Crash dummies take their role and play it out daily. Day in and day out, crash dummy families are put in a car that is smashed to smitherenes and the damage is evaluated …

So why are they smarter than humans, because humans are not made to be crash dummies but we take our lives and put them in wrecklessly into vehicles that test our very existence and ram us  right into the wall before us. We become crash dummies when we know God’s vision, HIS WORD, His great compassion but play fool hardy with the very grace He extended to us. We are not as smart as a crash dummy when we sit day in and day out thinking life is hard but all the while we are making the very choices that make it hard on ourselves. Life isn’t hard it’s impossible in our own strength. You can’t sit and say “I can’t change or I would have” without being a crash dummy. You become a sitting duck for depression, fear, doubt, lack of personhood whether man or woman. You can’t choose if GOD loves you but you can sure choose how you walk in that love. Medicating yourself with pity and wiping your tears with bitter regrets. Give me a break, crash dummies don’t even  do that. They are smarer than humans, they take the beating and also are in subject to the ones who are responsible to put them back into action. Even crash dummies have accountability so to speak outside of their own existence. the follow the will of the researchers. Daily there are people who are being led away captive by foolish people who are not serious about their own lives or the lives of others. Mark it down folks who sit hours joking never exercising or applying the WORD of GOD are themselves the pitiful joke.

How stinkingly foolish to know the goodness of GOD, His character, His attributes and to just simply say, my life will be hard from now on but I can’t change. You got that right. Just as a crash dummy can’t change and be a toaster or golf cart, you as a created being, drawn by GOD, can not change anything. You were created and fashioned for HIS glory and pleasure . You can live from disgrace to His grace. Crash dummies are created for disaster they know their role. You were created to glorify GOD for His pleasure. Who will have the last say in your life? Will you pretend to be Godly where you can hide yourself and your reality?  WAKE UP!!! This life is real, GOD real, don’t waste it and die from a life of isolation as if you have no choice. Will you just get into your spiritual vehicle and keep crashing into the wall or will you really live?

You can’t lie to a crash dummy. Crash dummies do not change their role because of anothers words.  Humans are gullible thinking they know how to manage their lives and deciding prohpetically that there’s no hope. We tell ourselves that life is hard, we self talk our way into negative thinking, and hopeless existence. That is why GOD said our heart is deceitful.

So, what does a human do to be smarter than a crash dummy? We take all the head knowledge we have about almighty GOD and stand on it until the stars fall. HE is trustworthy, He is true, HE can heal, He can restore, He can deliver, HE can save, He can love, He can make all things new, HE can be all that HE has promised. IF HE can’t do one of the above… HE’s a liar and we need to close shop there is no hope.

Do you hear what I am saying. I am not your momma, I am one who was crashing my life until I realized GOD’s WORD covered my guilt, sin, shame, and pain. Romans 8:1, Ps 40:1-3, Isaiah 61:1-3 Psalms 91, Psalms 139, I would have to list the whole Bible to make the point! Get real, stop blaming,stop crashing, stand up be GOD’s man and leave the consquences to HIM!

We weren’t meant to survive-huh?

I know it sounds misleading but hear me out. I was listening to a message this week and wanted to share some of the ideas that it prompted in my heart.  I always have side table discussion with myself when I hear something because I am evaluating things constantly. Here’s the thing. Why do we live and cling and cower when we are supposed to live an abundant life? Did Jesus die so we could just merely survive? Was he bruised for our transgressions so that we can just meagerly make it.  What I am saying is this, the joy of the Lord is my strength. Wait, joy equals strength? I thought if you were strong you would automatically have joy because strong folks do not get run over by life and do not struggle and fail. We have to be careful in defining strong. Sometimes it is an insult to people to think they are just strong. Every strong thing in the universe becomes strong by a stressor not by just being.

 Well that is the key strong folks don’t do those things but get this, they are not strong and then have joy, They have joy in the Lord which makes them strong. Something inside is driving them like a power plant giving them energy when things seem hopeless and giving them the last mile that folks always tell us we are supposed to go. Something inside gives them joy when life is not picture perfect. That power is Christ inside. It is revealed as this world challenges and has always challenged His existence. It’s a given that Christ in us is going to be challenged.

Women of strength and valor are that way because of the indwelling of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Lesson One in moving on.

Here’s a great question. Is there anything bigger in your mind than your pain, or your suffering, or your past, or your relationship with another? Are you getting me, if there is nothing in your life bigger than your problems, then your faith is misplaced. IF your mind wraps around your pain, suffering, and trials as you emotionally curl up and think nothing is ever going to change, then your faith is in your pain.

Trust the one who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross.  Joy of the end result of doing something bigger than his pain. You heard me it was joy leading the way to the cross for Jesus who not only is the author of our faith but the finisher as well.  It was a shameful endurance all the while joyful for HIM. Wow what an example the next time I am tempted to call whine one one.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Help I have been robbed by two thieves.

Help! I have been robbed.

 

For years anger and fear have robbed some folks of their life. The life Christ intended for them to have. It’s not always easy to define an angry person but some of the fruits left behind by anger are clear signs a person has let a root of anger foster in their lives. I have seen this in people and learned the hard way that if they don’t see it you really have a challenge on your hands to deal with them.
Fruits of anger and fear.

Resentment, bitterness, denial, confusion, selfishness, lost opportunities, insecurity, any of these can be the ruins left by anger. None of these are productive to have in our lives.

 

Webster defines anger as a feeling of extreme hostility; rage; intense emotional displeasure; aggressive reaction to wrongdoing or injustice.

 

The word anger conjures up a picture in our minds of a red-faced person blowing off steam in a loud manner.  This is sometimes how anger is displayed. Anger can be a wider range of internalized emotions that are not as hard to define and that are also dangerous.

 

Dangers of Anger. 1. Spoiled relationships 2. ruined character 3. poor testimony  4. distrust of others 5. ineffective witness 6. broken fellowship with God and man

 

Let’s look at a well known case of anger recorded in God’s Word. Genesis 4:1-16

 

 

I guess we can see that the lessons Adam and Eve learned about complete obedience from being cast out of Eden, were not evident in Cain’s life.  Let’s look a little more closely at Cain. He worked and wanted to give the fruit of his hands to God. He wanted to give the “works” that he had done in substitution of the required sacrifice by God. He wanted his way. Maybe this was pride or maybe stubbornness. Surely Adam made offerings during his life and Cain knew what God required.  

 

Before we get too righteous we can all identify with times we have thought so much of ourselves that we challenged God with our righteousness. Have you ever said, but LORD I was serving you and this happened to me? Have you ever been rejected after you have done your best and were angry?

 

Cain’s anger led him to the act of murdering his own brother. Anger can lead and keep us in places we never want to be. Many of us would never actually kill someone, but with a war of words we may wound and damage the people we love the most. We get so concerned with the injustice done to us that we attack everyone who seems to be a threat to our point of view. We go from being angry to declaring war.

Why do you think Cain smarted off to God. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” He was very wrapped up in Cain at the moment.

 

No doubt Cain was angry with himself too. He had killed his brother and was mad because he knew full well that God was possibly trying to get him to admit this act. Instead, he chose to snap back at God. Cain’s actions show an unrepentant heart. Have you ever wondered how this story would have ended if Cain had of repented of the murder and the sin of disobedience in offering the wrong sacrifice? How many times have we done something wrong and took it out on the people around us. Scary thought. Cain represents a person who has an expectation that is unrealistic. He represents a person who thinks he can control the outcome of a situation with his actions. I am sure as Cain brought his offering he had justified his actions in his heart.  So many times we justify our anger by actually placing blame. 

 

Often we wage war on everyone in our way when we are angry. We have gone overboard over killing the action of another with bitter words and hurtful treatment.  Sadly, we will act out toward a family member more quickly than anyone else.  Anger will foster the “I’ll get you back for this,” mentality. Once anger takes a strong hold in the way we deal with others we take out all the scriptural ways God wants us to handle things and wade through the situation on raw feelings. A key principle of this study is that our heart will lie to us. Feelings are deceptive!

 

 

Have you ever been angry and God softened your heart?

Can you remember a time when you were in full-blown rage and you calmed down before disaster struck? Of course I am sure you can remember when the volcano blew and those around you were left in ruins. I know I can. Bless everyone’s heart who had to deal with me.

 

Anger is an indicator of something wrong and takes advantage of us in that it makes us focus on our insecurities and fears. When we choose the path of anger we are like a ship without a sail. Any port is fair game. Unfortunately, our families suffer while we are drifting.  We suffer while we are steeped in anger. There’s good news.  There is so much here I could just take all of this apart and expound on it. I rather not though because I believe the Holy Spirit will speak to you in the verses below without my intervention. Open your heart and read them as food to the soul.

 

Ephesians 4

 1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

 8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

 19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.  20But ye have not so learned Christ;

 21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.  26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  27Neither give place to the devil.  28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

 29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 

 

Walking Wounded, living beyond

It was so innocent. She had been sent for to care for her brother who was not feeling well. Nothing indicates it was anything other than an act of love by a sister. She arrived there to serve and help but instead found life changing violence. Regardless of how she fought, her half brother raped her and she was then discarded and even hated by him. In her day to be raped was a shame and often victims were ostracized from society. No man would want her, she was now worthless and an offense to her family.  Here this young virgin had been violated and was secluded away in her other brother’s house to live desolate and hurt. Tamar was one of the walking wounded. Her pain was immense and there was nothing anyone could do to satisfy her wounded soul.  Absalom’s interference in the matter prevented the right lawful response. His advice was to not let it eat her heart out. He promised that he would avenge the rape but regardless of what he did, nothing would ease her troubled soul.  I do know the message today that people give rape victims today will not bring them to a place that will heal them.  Telling someone that it’s not their fault is not going to take away their hurt and shame. The world is not kind to rape victims, the first thing the world looks for is how you could have deserved or brought it on. God is always kind and loving and knows the truth. The world doesn’t have answers for such a deep disturbing wounding. Only GOD was and is the answer.

 Tons of well intentioned advice comes your way in situations like this, but here’s the crux of the matter. God is our healer. Only God is able to renew the mind, heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. Anything apart from God based advice is counterfeit and can do more harm and keep you longer in pain than you need to be. Whether it’s rape, divorce, brokenness of any kind, strongholds, wounds that come from others, I don’t care what the problem is the answer is God’s Word and a right relationship with Him.  There is no magic wand, no catch phrase or clichés just plain old understanding God’s  intention and purpose for us through intimacy with Christ and by leading of the Holy Spirit though His Word. 

  Well I am sure that sounds high and mighty and you might at this point feel turned off a little. I know I was there too once. I heard the words I just typed and thought, yeah right what do you know?  I do know because I have been wounded and have felt my heart rip from my body, torn to shreds and handed back to me to put back together when the person I trusted abused me. Hang on with me and see if you find anything that might help you focus.

 From all indications Tamar was never restored or renewed. This could be due to her attitude or her inability to be led by the Spirit I don’t know because I am not Tamar. She was violated and hurt beyond words with many questions that repeated in her mind daily. Sometimes life has more questions than answers.  Sometimes consequences of another’s actions are part of our pain.

  I can encourage you in many ways and quote tons of verses to do so. I can patch you up with Scripture and even help you feel good for a moment. What I am asking you to do is turn your pain over to Christ. It’s not yours to cling to and will hinder you in everything you want to do. It will wash over to every person who is trying to reach out to you right now. Do not let your pain become an idol and your new normal.

 Pain will be like the distraction that hindered Peter when walking on the water. Get out of the boat of your own pain, keep focused on Jesus, and walk. Peter had great faith to get out and walk on the water. His faith was even greater faith when sinking not to try to swim to shore but to look at the one holding HIM up.  Are you getting that? Peter didn’t flail and slash around in the water when he began to sink he called on the Master of the Sea who can speak to the waves and say peace be still. He didn’t fight not to drown he reached to GOD to continue walking. Dear Ones, reach to GOD continue walking on the water.

What words are you hanging on to get this far into this post? When Jesus died on the cross He took, and was willing to take, not only your sin but the sins of others committed against you. If asked He would forgive those who violated you. That was so hard for me to understand, but when I did grasp it, I realized the overwhelming, powerful, great love HE has for us. His love is a love that does not violate and is safe and secure. Love that can keep my mind and heart sound when things around me are falling apart or chaotic can only come from one who can truly avenge the sin of this world.

Jesus repeated these words from Isaiah in Luke 4 of the New Testament. I want you to read them and take in what GOD is saying here.  Imagine if you will GOD who created the universe taking the mess, turmoil, things destroyed and ravaged by the world, your ashes and working in your life to do what is promised here.  Only the Creator can plant you as a tree of righteousness. That is what happened to my life. I traded my sorrows for the joy of the LORD as I let HIM bind my wounds and set me free.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Isa 61:2  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Isa 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified

Your life is GOD’s beauty as HE is glorified in who you become in HIM.

You can’t make God feel bad about you

I was listening to a message and this phrase came up.  “You can’t make God feel bad about you” The message was on the Lord bearing our burdens. Now I have many times in my life looked around as some of you and wondered where is GOD? There is a song ” You can’t ask too much of my God.” Beth Moore says often “tell God he can take it!” Well……………………….. lets put all that into this evenings post.

Sometimes in the midst of a huge struggle we think NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE!!! Now a few months down the road life takes turns and poof  things change and you wonder if you will ever feel something that resembles normal again.

You look around and see all the destruction and feel as if a small nuclear bomb of the soul has gone off. You wonder  if you will see past your hurt and tears to know and feel something other than empty pain.  You wonder if you will keep the cycle going that has brought you full circle to where you vowed you would never been again. I have been in those places and the new turn in my blog is me digging out from the rubble.  Rubble? Yeah, I have messed up some things, I have made mistakes and like it or not mistakes have consequences. Once they are out of the box all you feel that you can do is damage control. Damage control leads to  covering up and denial but a real life assessments are necessary and reality checks in order. David was a heart searcher. He was a man after God’s heart but he too suffered under the world’s system. No wonder God said our hearts are deceitful and wicked. It’s the tricks that we play on ourselves that deceive us from the inside the most.

So lets look at life. Is life based on what I feel or what the truth is? Well anyone honest would say it’s based on the truth.  What is the truth? God is truth. Should I expect to find life outside that fact. Nope, but ah that is where I get into trouble. My filters are not truth based they are created by me and everything that happens without God’s truth gets filtered in a way that is flawed. That creates havoc on my inside and a facade on the outside. I can’t get away with that long without a melt down. Basically, I am a “one God gal” I come running back to my Father with my bruised knees.  I can’t live very long in darkness or shaded truth. I am not talking about legalism and I don’t like folks throwing that word around as if digging for excuses. There is no such thing as legalism to the believer. God’s truth is the standard and labeling His sometimes hard word to us as legalism is a cop out. Truth is Truth.  Grace is the undeniable expression of God’s love toward us. If you were to sum up the total bridge that Jesus provides us to God it would be girded with truth and covered with grace.  Ah, what a Savior, what a great and mighty God who loves us so. What an infinite well of water that we never thirst again.

My truth filters often are not subject to God’s truth as much as I would like for them too. I can justify just about anything if I am prideful and stubborn. That is why reading the WORD of God is paramount to understanding our Maker and Creator. My ways are foolish but His ways are noble. Even when I fail, my holy Father loves me, never leaves me, isn’t surprised, and doesn’t feel bad about me. He will not love me less. All praise belongs to him

Cross Bearing, ME?

What does take up HIS cross mean?

 His is a personal pronoun, might the cross be different for different believers? If this is the case then we better be sure to not envy those who have crosses that we think are lighter than ours. Sometimes the body of Christ gets out of focus. I can look at someone’s lighter cross several ways. I may be stronger than them and can take more, or more likely I have a misconception about what they are really going through. Pride and arrogance can sometimes take the cross out of focus. It may be that I am looking at it through my pain. Regardless I have MY cross to bear and it’s my job to bear it resulting in intimacy with Christ that is mine individually.

 

 

Will people who generally reject us take our lives? Not likely, we just feel dejected. They have only the power we give them. Our flesh will make us react to them in ways that are not at all in keeping with what Christ desires for us. We have to forget selfish attitudes where rejection is concerned. No one person will ever be able to meet all our needs or validate us enough to satisfy the flesh.

 

Is there any help? Yes, your identity in Christ to the rescue. Who you are when Christ is your life.

 

Colossians 3:1-16

 1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.  8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

VS 2 Keep your heart on kingdom things. This may seem like the kind of advice that we have a pat rebuttal of (but you don’t know my circumstances.)  Actually. there is no latitude here. It is a take or leave proposition.  Take it and you will have a daily walk that Christ intended for you. Leave it and you will always live in fear, doubt, insecurity, and worst of all in an insatiable flesh that will rob you of your peace and joy. Because you are part of the new life that Christ rose from the dead to give you where should your focus be?

 

VS 1 The word “if” can also be replaced with the word “because.”

 

Vs 7 Who are qualified to take this path in life?

 

 

 

*****Thought: Is it a rejection of Christ to think otherwise?  *******

 

Vs 4 How do we want to appear with Christ when he comes back for us?

 VS 5 Daily put on the new man

Mortify means to put to death.  Things listed here are fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Matthew Henry’s commentary summarizes this section in a way that is very enlightening and far more applicable than I could.

 

Partial quote from Matthew Henry 

 

“an inordinate love of present good and outward enjoyments, which proceeds from too high a value in the mind, puts upon too eager a pursuit, hinders the proper use and enjoyment of them, and creates anxious fear and immoderate sorrow for the loss of them. Observe, Covetousness is spiritual idolatry: it is the giving of that love and regard to worldly wealth which are due to God only, and carries a greater degree of malignity in it, and is more highly provoking to God, than is commonly thought. And it is very observable that among all the instances of sin which good men are recorded in the scripture to have fallen into (and there is scarcely any but some or other, in one or other part of their life, have fallen into) there is no instance in all the scripture of any good man charged with covetousness.”

 

We over value many things in life especially the relationships we have with loved ones. They are important but the power they gain in our lives is not in keeping with having Jesus first. That causes distraction from Him.  The rest of the chapter  in Colossians gives practical helps to daily putting on the new man. I challenge you to list them.

 

List the things we are to get rid of in our lives. Do any look familiar? Remember that “getting rid of” is killing off. Don’t resurrect the dead! Let this soak in and have fun with seeing yourself a whole new way-His LIFE.

Listen to the Rain, wash away.

Well the power is off and I am going to start this post with about 45 minutes of battery left. It seems GOD had different plans for my life tonight than I had planned. I am sitting alone in the dark. There are three candles burning but the light is very dull. Funny the light from my laptop is bright and my typing here doesn’t seem any different than usual. Yikes, that tells me something. I get here bog in and barely notice whether the lights are on or not around me. Ok, since it is so quiet I realize how much I tune out the world with this thing in my hands. Next observation, I can hear the rain. Usually I love to hear nature all around me but tonight I actually hear the roar of the thunder and the steady beat of the rain outside. I can hear the wind whipping through the trees. If one hits this house I wonder how long it would be before someone finds my lifeless body lol. (added my own drama) … The peace is so serene though even in the storm out there. I enjoy taking it all in. Ty LORD for this little stop in the road to be reminded of your glory even in things I take for granted. That brings me to a place in the road. Taking God for granted. You know, I love the LORD and have grown so much these past 3 years but I still have to be aware that it’s a daily journey. It’s not Deb on autopilot. I have grown into many things but still have to count on the grace of God daily. There are times I have to repent, times I have to grieve, times I have to restore and be restored. There are hard times when a friend tells me truth in love and I don’t want to hear it and times I myself have to speak the same to them. It’s a normal Christian life, ups and downs , ins and outs, seasons coming and going like the storms and the weather patterns. Today is much different than any other day. Why? Not because I have arrived or have infinite wisdom. I am becoming wise but acknowledge it’s a process and some final healing may take place on the other side of glory. Either way I am progressing, growing, loving life out loud, happy, free, and hope to embrace the new mercies of GOD daily as promised in HIS WORD. Especially those harder times when HE sees fit to take me through the valley, walking beside me so that I can see HE is my Shepherd and I shall not want. I am thankful that GOD sees fit to be stable, the same yesterday, and today, and forever. I am tremendously thankful that he treats each of us individually, as shown in how he dealt with folks in the Bible. What variety and surprise and anticipation we can have knowing that GOD is going to by His own divine appointment reach into our lives and fashion things for our good and HIS glory. That leads you to be careful in defining good and glory. I didn’t say it would feel good I said it would be good for you. Sometimes restoration is painful kind of like a shot at the physician. They are necessary but all the while still painful. Then there is HIS glory, we have an imaginative God who is able to use foolish things to confound the wise. How He might redeem what the locust have eaten could be so different than what you might expect. Expect with anticipation that HE will though. As I finish this last paragraph the power came on. This storm brought me a moment of peace to reflect, to rejoice in exactly what a mighty loving Father we serve. Take time to realize where you are and how deep the love of Christ is for you today. Listen to the rain, let it wash you away.

Pitching an ancient hissy fit. (nothing ever changes)

King Nebuchadnezzar was one walking talking self centered man. He has made an image to honor himself and was very indignant that anyone would refuse his command. In essence he just couldn’t believe anyone could refuse him. What pride he had. He offered three Hebrew children who had refused to bow another chance. They refused and had this wonderful answer. They basically answered that they didn’t even have to think about it. They were not going to bow whether God spare their lives or not. How many times do we bargain in our anger for an outcome? How much happier we would be if we could just trust God with the future. I am sure the king thought face to face these boys would back down. They were sure of God’s control of the situation and trusted him with the outcome. They knew one great fact, whatever happens you come out best if you chose God’s way in the final analysis. 

Well it wasn’t long before the King got word Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not going to bow. His face literally fumed with anger and it was one sure predictable outcome, rage.  Often we wage war on everyone in our way when we are angry. The king went off the deep end. He had the furnace heated seven times hotter as if that would burn more. How irrational, fire burns flesh period. It appears he wanted the punishment to equal the anger he had in his heart. We have gone overboard over killing the action of another with bitter words and hurtful treatment. Sadly, we will act out toward a family member more quickly than anyone else.

Anger will foster revenge and that is possibly what Nebuchadnezzar might have been thinking. The “I’ll get you back for this,” mentality.

Once anger takes a strong hold in the way we deal with others, we take out all the scriptural ways God wants us to handle things and wade through the situation on raw feelings. Anger makes us an obstacle and a new facet to the problem. Now instead of one offense we have two.

A key principle of this study is that our heart will lie to us. Feelings are deceptive!  Imagine the scene, eyes glued on the three boys. They are thrown into a furnace that is so hot the men who tossed them are fried. Then, 3 boys are walking around in the fire but not alone. Here’s a thought provoking question, how did the king recognize the Son of God since He hadn’t been born yet? Have you ever been angry and God softened your heart? As quickly as the king became enraged he also calmed down. The power of God in taking care of the boys had basically been a wake up call to him. I am not sure if his actions were out of fear or respect.

Can you remember a time when you were in full-blown rage and you calmed down before disaster struck? Of course I am sure you can remember when the volcano blew and those around you were left in ruins. I know I can. Bless everyone’s heart who had to deal with me. Anger takes advantage of us in that it makes us focus on our insecurities and fears. When we choose the path of anger we are like a ship without a sail. Any port is fair game. Unfortunately, our families suffer while we are drifting.

My All In All

 

         

  When I first was saved years ago I was taken in to a family that basically exchanged my broken family for a new one. I did not understand Christ living in me and I wanted to be saved for a reason that was not only about salvation but about family.  I wanted the love people seemed to have among God’s people. I wanted a God who would love me and make all my hurt go away. I was so hungry for that I ached inside. It was great at first, but you can imagine the hurt that came with that notion which is a very faulty perception of the family of God.  I remember praying and asking GOD into my life to be my Lord and Savior. I prayed that because that was what I was told to pray.  I had no real deep clue what that meant. I spent the next two decades trying to please a GOD who didn’t seem to understand me or seem to love me. I was wrong about that but I didn’t know it.

What a cruel joke I thought had been played out on me. Here I had gotten saved and my Dad was still an emotionally distant alcoholic. My mom was still weak in my eyes at that time,  suicidal and my brother was beginning to indulge in drugs. Nothing was fixed!!! I didn’t understand. Everyone talked about how wonderful this life would be.  Where was wonderful? I then started developing in my mind that I must be doing it wrong. I watched others who seemed to have no problems and tried to copy them.

 I wrote notes during the sermons and tried my best to do what was preached. Still nothing was getting better. I went off to PCC thinking Bible College would straighten out what I was missing, still more of the same. Misery, rejection, distance, God where are you?  I met and married someone in Bible College who was supposedly my white knight. He was going to be a preacher and seemed to love the Lord. He turned out to be a carbon copy of my distant dad with a porn addiction. It took 20 years for me to stop trying to fix him. I did everything I could do and went to every how to be a good wife meeting I could go to yet no change in him. Praise God there was a change beginning to take place in me. I was not able to see his true person or strong enough to kick him out, but an affair on his part caused me to finally get that courage, I divorced him.  His betrayal was the most significant event in my life aside from salvation and my children’s births.  It wasn’t significant  because of how much it hurt, because it did hurt like crazy but because of what it started in my life.

Early after my divorce I began to chat on yahoo. I was the most hurt I had been in my life and the most confused and vulnerable.  I felt that Christianity worked for people GOD loved and I was not one of those. Ironically, I still wanted people to know him. I would say that chat was one of the most damaging things I did to myself but I didn’t know it at the time. It filled the hurt like salve to a burn but the minute you were offline you were alone again.   I was far too naïve to chat with folks who were from almost another world that was foreign to me. I can’t believe how stupid I was about people, relationships, and the games people play. I met people who were wolves waiting for their next prey. You can’t go to even Christian chat and meet a God need. 

 I was desperately trying to stop the bleeding from open wounds of a life- long rejection and shattered dreams.   This is where it gets touchy. I would love to make amends and have a do over. I would love to reconcile with some folks I hurt, to undo some of the experiences I have had and learned the hard way. I am sure I simply can’t change the past. I can’t dismiss the hurt of others, but this is where it becomes even more hard to say but necessary. Please HEAR this!

 I am crucified with Christ and all of those hurts I caused are crucified with HIM on the cross.  I have said how sorry I am to folks and I have to leave it at the person’s feet to forgive me or not and also at the throne of Grace where I am forgiven and my sins remembered no more. I still face some of the aftermath of my early healing after divorce, in lost time with the girls, lost love, hurt feelings but that I will deal with head on by God’s grace each day I am given breath and life.  I will leave that at the throne of Grace for the Lord to restore as He is willing.

That is where my life picks up today. I was taught a lot of bad religion and never taught about relationship. I don’t know how many times I have said, “it’s about relationship not religion” when I no more had a clue either.  I was taught works salvation even though I was taught eternal security. The work was that you are blessed if you please GOD and not blessed if you don’t. What a shameful condemning way to live.  

The very best part of my story is where I am now. I am totally in love with and totally crazy about God, who He is, His Word, and His pleasure to be my Father and accept me in the gift of His Son.  I have grown up to know that GOD is sovereign, holy, patient, loving, and just. I could name other characteristics and many come to mind.  

The depths of God, the riches of His Word are life and breath to me. I am totally into knowing Him and in that knowing, I might feel lonely and even ache for human companionship but I know at the end of the day when the pen is put down, I am not alone.  I am not trying to sell you on where I am or who I am.

 I have more to learn and growing to do. I am trying to say that if GOD can lead me beside still waters and restore my soul…….. He can do it for anyone. I was a prideful, entitled, stubborn prodigal who was bent on doing it my way because of lack of trust of the almighty GOD of the universe who is and was and will be forever and ever.  

Beloved, turn to Him, cry out and seek Him while He may be found. He will love you and walk with you. I am not saying it will be a rosey posey life.  I am saying you can have peace in the storm. You can be forgiven. Nothing is too much for my GOD.

Ephesians 5:8-11
8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Don’t take the easy way out

This is probably for me more than anyone but here goes. We are living in hard and even harsh times. Sometimes the only good thing we know is that God is in control regardless of how it seems or feels to us. For myself, being in Dallas has been a necessary wilderness. I can’t begin to verbalize how hard and lonely life is here sometimes. Being away from my girls, yet being alone with God alot is sharpening me. There are still days it’s just painful though. I know I am before a great change coming in my life and sense GOD leading me but I am still not clear what will open up. There are some wise things I have learned no matter what wilderness I am in. One of the things I feel led to say is to be careful.

 Sometimes we say or do things under high levels of stress we would not do in normal circumstances. I know when stressed I have made some of the worst decisions of my life. If a loved one is stressing you, a marriage, a job situation, the challenge of being lonely, whatever is stressing you, just be still and know that He is God. We always feel as if we have to fix or do something and I am not proporting doing nothing at all, but I am saying, wisdom seems to be a slow steady traveler not a sprinter. Hasty, pain easing decisions often lead to consequences that cost more than the problem in and of itself.

 We all want to ease our suffering, but allow it to work for your benefit instead of against you. Understand your GOD is a loving Father who even allowed His Son to learn obedience through His own suffering. The molding process is working on your behalf to make you more like His Son. I would that my words would convey this to you DO not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to GOD Phil 4:6. I remember turning in papers to my teacher and leaving them on her desk. Never once did I think to take a paper off her desk and do more to it or try to change it. It was hers once it hit her in box. What was done was done and the grade would be given. Our prayers are somewhat like that, with the exception that GOD sees them through the filter of Christ finished work which was complete.

Leave your prayers with GOD, rest, trust, have faith HE will measure out to you what is best for you. Thank Him even for the hard days that teach you to trust Him more. GOD bless you all! and I would appreciate prayers of any leading you might feel.

Healthy Things Grow

Reposted from 2008

I have been learning and growning in the Lord. It’s amazing how my past has come full circle. I would love to say that I have been on a perfect journey that has always walked toward the Lord but that would be a lie. I lived 13 years of my life in legalism that I thought would save my marriage and keep my family from harm. When I divorced, which was to me a death sentence I found myself lost in the law of God. I didn’t know how to move forward and sumarily heal when I was expected to just get over it by those who keep check list and score with the law of God. Being alone for the first time in my life set things in motion that I had never experienced. First being my determination refrain from bitterness. I remember a conscious thought that if I became bitter I would sink into a mire I could not escape. I would not grow past the pain. It was some of the hardest days I experienced and all that I could do daily to resist the oppression of my situation. Even today with my ex neglecting the needs of his children financially and with my shouldering all of the burden of helping them get on the road to adulthood, I have moments I am angry more than I like to admit. Second I remember being overwhelmed. I didn’t understand the concept that I wasn’t protected from pain because I had served God. The third I think I was the hardest and that was the reality of it all.

What a long road I traveled. I had to learn of the sufficiency of Christ and who I was in Him. I had to understand a new Grace that I hadn’t been taught before because the grace I was taught was unmerited favor with God but it was buried beneath so many laws that you felt a thimble of it once in a while. It wasn’t what God intended for me to know.

I remember feeling free for the first time in the Lord to know the liberty of Christ. I remember the first time I reckoned myself to be found wanting in knowledge of God but also holiness of my own character. I know that well of life springing up in me is still being filled but I never before understood the grace of God in light of my life in Christ.

Divorce was not in my life plan, but when it happened God didn’t say “oh no now what will we do?” It has take me almost five years to be in this place of uncertainty but decidedly committed to press on. Discontent? Well my life isn’t settled and rosey yet. It might well never be. I would never promise anyone that life in Christ is picturesque.

There are decisions to make about my future that I have to settle daily. There are lessons to be learned to continue to grow in the Lord. The hurdle of loneliness is still a constant friend and sometimes ardent enemy. This one thing I know, God’s Word is forever settled in heaven and I will follow its precepts and grow to know Him more each day. That is something I can say that I aspire to and that I also know is as necessary as air.

There has been some progress and I would love to report that five years later God has restored my life to new heights but that just isn’t so. Not because God can’t do it but because the integral part of the equation, ME, has not always been a willing participant in obedience as I should. Yes, I have slowed down some processes that should be in place. I am sure I should be more healed and more mature, yet this is the precious beauty of God. Right where I am in life right now I can grow toward that restoration.

I don’t want to lie or paint pretty pictures, I want to be real and to say what is real. The real truth is Healthy Things GROW. If you are not moving forward or are not growing, there is a stronghold exalted above the knowledge of God in your life. For me it was my own pain. I hope you are honest with yourself. It was painful but so freeing for me to admit not only that I had a problem but that I was the problem.

I am excited about the future because of the solid basis I have to stand firm in the Lord’s grace and mercy and allow myself to be molded by the potter.

God bless and be a light.

Stumbling in the Darkness

Lost at Gettysburg
I was talking on the phone to a loved one who was visiting Gettysburg and as darkness was ensuing he became lost on one side of the battleground and was struggling to find his way out. I remember hearing his struggle in the thorns and tripping over the uncertain terrain. Each time he stumbled or struggled I gasped in care and concern for his safety. It was a frantic time and of course as cell phones all do the battery began to fail. Now I was concerned me as to how he would even call for help. He finally got out of the woods and had to walk quite a way from where he parked or started his journey. Today I was reading God’s Word and it occurred to me that his experience  of being lost in the woods paralleled my life. Praise the LORD for the light of Christ in us to show us the way. Praise the LORD for all that he is, was, and will be. Lord willing tomorrow will be a day of light and clearer paths of forgiveness and grace. He promises to be a lamp unto our feet (where we are right now) and a light unto out path (where we are headed in the future)
Jeremiah 13:16 -17 reminds me of the darkness I once lived in
16 Give glory to Jehovah your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. 17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because Jehovah’s flock is taken captive.

That’s the key phrase “once I stumbled” so terribly in the thorns and uneven ground. I tripped and fell in the darkness and couldn’t see. My pride kept me from being free. I was taken captive and forced to stumble when I could have been soaring with the eagles by my own foolishness.  Every circumstance grabbed my heart and attention.

 Dear one the heart of GOD does not want us stumbling in life. We are going to be tried and tested but not on shaky ground. We are on a firm foundation whose builder and maker is GOD. We can be stubborn lambs and try to lead our own way but the price is peace when you live that way. Seek Him with your heart and come out of the darkness to His light where your foot will be sure and your heart will be safe. Trust the one who died for you. Christ.
Proverbs 3:26 For Jehovah will be thy confidence, And will keep thy foot from being taken.

Rats in my Car!

I have to tell you a quick story. A few weeks ago,  I went to my car for lunch as I do each day. It’s a great time alone with the LordJ ……. 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 destroyed by wrong things.

 

Just a thot. I have been there.

X Marks the Spot

I was on my way to work  and I dove off of Woodall Rogers freeway to avoid slow rush. I proceeded to take the route President Kennedy took down Elm Street. I have been to the Plaza several times and it’s an interesting place. The fellow who consulted on the Oliver Stone movie is often there selling books. There is an Elvis impersonator there who used to be a Baptist preacher. There is also a crippled guy there who is part of the entourage. I have talked to all of them at one time or another and tried to talk  about my relationship with God.
When you approach the landmark you are bombarded with people who meet you to shed their knowledge of the event with ins and outs you do not hear in mainstream accounts, of course they have a $5 magazine to sell to support their 6 to sometimes 12 kids with. They seem to have inside information and a willingness to just expound on the inside scoop. All of which no one knows but is printed in their magazine.
When you drive through the Plaza there are markings on the street. There is a big white X marking the location of the car when the fatal bullet hit Kennedy. There are orange markings where other shots hit the street and bridge. The entire scene is the same with the exception of a sign directing you to the freeway. All that being said, before I got to the place where I knew the X was I thought. Hmmmm Prior to this point the President of the United States was alive. When I passed the X  mark I thought, and……….. he wasn’t alive after this moment.
This isn’t monumental and is almost a duh. If you ponder it you understand this though. We circumvent the sting of death because of the cross. There is a whole lot of living from point A to point B. I have had a whole lot of living. I am amazed I did survive. What I thought would kill me didn’t. What seemed like the end was a new beginning. As I passed that X mark I thought how many plans the President must have had. Meetings that never would take place. Presidential orders he would never sign, bills he would never pay, day in and day out necessities of life and day in and day out responsibilities that take our energy and attention. How much of it is really necessary?
Then I thought……sunsets he would never see, children’s laughter he would not hear, the pleasure of a cool drink on a hot day. We really get busy on the non essentials for the sake of the wonder of life. How many times does life get in the way of living. I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to strive and survive rather than serve and sing.

Please pray for me as I grow and consider this there is a day out there Lord willing if he doesn’t return that we are done in this life. I am truly ready to embrace my latter days doing things that are more Deb friendly. I don’t want to waste any time passing up the enjoyment of what God has planned for me. I had someone tell me that God may have planned for me to suffer…… hmmm jury still out there….  I can’t believe Jesus would die so I could be miserable…… I know some things happen to mold me and frame my being and gladly welcome anything that helps me that way.

Today when you see an X anywhere…. Remember how fleeting life is and this journey here we only get one shot at. Pray and ask God to show you how to live the life he gave you..

Psalms 39   ** smile I think of Psalms as David’s Blog**

4 “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end
       and the number of my days;
       let me know how fleeting is my life.

 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
       the span of my years is as nothing before you.
       Each man’s life is but a breath.
       Selah

 6 Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
       He bustles about, but only in vain;
       he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

 7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
       My hope is in you.

Forgiveness, I thought I knew what it was…

I thought I knew what forgiveness was….until………

I had always been taught to forgive others as Christ has forgiven you. Easy enough? Boy, I was ever deceived!  Forgiveness isn’t always easy or the outcome. I had never been so challenged as I was recently when I wrote a letter of repentance to someone that I had hurt and who had hurt me. We both really did in a very serious way hurt each other. I am not talking about light offenses. I did not really bring up their hurts against me and just asked them to forgive me for my sins against them.  It was a lengthy letter trying to be honest and cover everything.  I really wanted them to know how sorry I was.

Yes, when we violate or harm another person in a disrespectful way it is a sin against them and it is a sin against GOD.  I had already talked to my Father in Heaven about it and come clean with my sin.  Praise the LORD that He does forgive.

I wrote this letter asking forgiveness and I am not sure what I thought would happen but it must have been much different from what did happen.   
My prayer was that Christ in me would come through in my words to restore what I had so badly damaged. I just knew it was something I had to face and amend but I did expect a Godly response because they are a believer.   I was surprised that not only had my letter been perceived in a way that the other person placed the blame on me but also that they took no responsibility for hurting me. They wished me well at the end of their response but respond to others regarding me in a way that is not truthful and even mockery. Ouch!  

Flesh, pride, self, all rear their ugly head when we are mocked.  Avoid the trap of allowing another person’s disobedience to be a stumbling block to you. There will be more about that in a future  article. The bottom line is once  you have asked forgivenes and made whatever restoration you can, they are responsible to God about the matter now, and I do pray for them daily. My heart hurts for them.  There must be something going on there that needs healing deeper than my saying I am sorry. God and your offender or the one you offend will need to work through it. 

This event sparked my desire to know GOD’s heart for the matter. I was hurt by the response and subsequent mockery. After a bout with bitterness in my life which distracted me from the Lord in the past, I wanted to make sure I didn’t fall into that trap.  I also wanted to be sure that I had handled asking forgiveness the right way. I felt a deep sense of responsibility to this person because I loved them regardless of all that has happened. It was very uncomfortable to face my offenses and admit to them.  The most important thing is the other person in forgiveness, but the result is you find freedom in seeing the truth of some matters and dealing with them.

That leaves us with one choice, to see what GOD says about the matter and examine our heart and die to whatever this brings up. Small order and huge task!!  Oh, my flesh wants to cry for justice, but my heart knows God’s will is that we glorify Him and that what comes into our lives is to molds us into His image even if it is those who offend us.  We can’t do that if we do not handle these issues the right way.   Lord, help me to continue to learn this. Amen.

There is an inequality in human forgiveness. We might say we have forgiven people when we really don’t.  We might ask for forgiveness just because it is the right thing to do and we are not really repentant. So what does the Bible say about forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a supernatural response to an injustice. It is not being a doormat and does not absolve the person of God’s justice.  They are still accountable to God for their actions and reactions.  It is a choice and act of the will, not a feeling.  We offer forgiveness even if it is never received.  It is unconditional and a mandate from God who is our perfect example of forgiveness.  Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32, James 4:17, Matthew 5:23-24

Col 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you
Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
   
Matt 5:23-24 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you.
  leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

 Forgiveness can’t be neglected in light of the Bible, but what do you do when you are so horribly offended? 

James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin

 Well it is clear God’s desire for us is to forgive. Your heart is broken, you are sometimes confused even not sure of why the person hurt you. Do you have a right to hold that against them?  You have said you are sorry and they won’t forgive you . They misrepresent the facts and events. All of these get tangled in our  relationships and we sometimes can’t untangle them all when  another is not in agreement with us about the matter.

We can only look at the Bible and see that God’s heart for us is to be free, to worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and to not let bitterness settle into our lives as well as overcoming evil with good.  Again, tall order.

Heb 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
        

John 4:24

        

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

 

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly Do not be wise in your own estimation.

 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  

19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.

 20 BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”

 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Forgiveness is as we said in the beginning, supernatural. Being a new creature in Christ, I knew it was outside of my ability to forgive.  My flesh doesn’t naturally want to be forgiving.  This is a hard task sometimes when you have been hurt. I am not talking to you from the vantage of always getting it right. In the past I have not handled myself wisely and even now confess, I am still learning and growing. I wanted to understand my responsibility to God and those I have hurt.  Because Christ is in me, the grace needed to love and forgive and release another from any debt or repayment for their offense is also in me.  I have to understand God has forgiven me, and that the other person regardless of their repentance or restoration of the matter, has to be forgiven. My Father wants me to forgive as He does.

If that person wants restoration then you can again fellowship. Do not expect anything in return for asking forgiveness.  Being like Christ, being transformed, renewed, and restored will help you release another person’s offense for their sake as well as yours.  You don’t have to carry condemnation of another’s offense. God hates all sin, and if they sinned against you, God hates that. Just as you have been forgiven though, He is willing and ready to forgive them. That should be our prayer, to reflect Christ, and love them unconditionally. Again, I can’t do that but Christ in me can. I have to say I may never understand my situation and may never be forgiven. I just have to trust the LORD in times such as these when I can’t explain. 

 Phil 2:1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  

11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

When did revenge ever solve anything.

Revenge just the word conjures thoughts in our minds that makes us immediately say no not me. Well let’s look at the thesaurus and see some of the synonyms for revenge: retribution, settling of scores, payback, retaliation, and vindication. Oh, we are more at home with revenge than we thought. We want equality in all things and feel unfairly treated or unjustly wronged when things are not made equal. How many times have we longed for that magic day when the tables are turned and justice is served?  Longing for revenge keeps us in the flesh. It requires that we continue to look at ourselves and how we are being treated. Just like in rejection we lose focus of Colossians 3 and how we stand in Christ. Maybe by now you have noticed how hampered the Holy Spirit is by the emotions that make us focus on us. 

 There are two common threads as we look at  the negative emotions. Those are, first our own heart is deceitful and will lie to us, second, we let these emotions get a stronghold when we look at ourselves and become the victim instead of the victor. We have to keep our eyes on who our God is not what He is doing and HE must be the center of our world.

 It is a fact that if you take some large species of ocean fish, some that normally grow to over 6 ft and put them in a normal desktop aquarium, they will only grow big enough to suit their environment. Although I am sure many are thankful for this fact it represents a sad larger truth. This world system (Satan)  wants to shape your thinking and the course of your life and keep you in that aquarium instead of seeing you thrive and be the new creature in Christ you are meant to be. Every time you give in to the trappings of this world, you jump back in that aquarium and are controlled by those around you instead of the GOD of the universe who has wonderful plans for your life.

 Luke 9:51-55

51And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

 52And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

 53And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

 54And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

 55But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

The disciples wanted to wipe out those who had rejected the advance preparation of Jesus ministry in the Samaritans village. I really chuckle thinking how I would abuse that fire power if I were a disciple. It would be zap city.

 We have to look at what Jesus did when they responded this vindictive way to rejection? He questioned them to examine thier identity in Him. He said they had lost their focus on the task for the emotion of being rejected basically.

Jesus had to remind them don’t you know who you are? He rebuked them for thinking they should destroy people over trivial things. Rejection doesn’t end your life it only verifies that someone doesn’t accept you or your ideas. We don’t get our confidence from men so man’s opinion shouldn’t have life shattering affect on us. I like what happened after Jesus scolded them and refocused them on their mission. They went on to another village. WOW! If only we could just move on past things we can’t change or lessen the stronghold in our lives.

 Romans 12:17-21 

 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

 18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Once again when a sentence begins with a verb, the understood subject is you. We are warned to repay evil with good.  The phrase :as much as lieth in you” means to depend on Christ in you and do your very best to keep peace.  

Now these are hard words to swallow. Anyone divorced, or whose child has been killed by a drunk driver, or who lost a job due to someone lying, almost any violation you can think of seems to ignite a vengeful spirit in us. “I’ll get you for that!”  We can also have vengeful thinking “your day is coming.”  Do you know what this kind of thinking means in our lives? It means that we aren’t letting go of what was done and giving it residence by dwelling on it. It violates God’s best for us when he said to think on things that are lovely and of a good report.  What does God say to do with our need for revenge, allow him to exact it.

 Here’s a news flash, God knows exactly what circumstances and judgment to meet out on that individual that will punish them but in a way more like His mercy, lead them to His waiting arms.  That is what we should want for those who have harmed us. Their spiritual condition is more important than a relationship with us. 

This is where we all raise our hands and say. It’s hard to let go!

 I think God has a sense of humor, because knowing all things, He gives us a way to really get under the skin of those who wrong us. Read vs 20 and 21. He even indicates this will have an affect on them. 

I Thessalonians 5:

 14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

 15See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

 16Rejoice evermore.

 17Pray without ceasing.

 18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 19Quench not the Spirit.

 20Despise not prophesyings.

 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 22Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

 

I like this verse because it tells us something Christians too often forget. We are to never give evil to those who are not saved and just as important those who are the part of the body of believers. We are to trust Christ with the entire matter knowing that God loves that person and is working in their life. Be faithful stay the course. Expect to be misunderstood.

 

I Peter 2:23-25

 

 

So many times over my years of teaching, there were times I could have really blasted a kid caught in an offense. Yet my patience and kindness, even bearing their obnoxious attitude, always won them over. I don’t know how many in my life have later told me that they knew I loved them by my actions. I am not talking about letting someone violate you. I am talking about picking your battles with this thought in mind. How will this best glorify God and represent my Lord when I handle this situation.  This leads us to the next point. How do we handle matters that offend us.

 

I Corinthians 6:1-8

 

We have to be careful that the world doesn’t set the tone for how we handle matters with others. We live in a dog eat dog culture. The name of the Lord gets dragged through the mud every time anyone claiming anything to do with God fails to be careful in their dealings with others. How many times do we hear in the news that so and so was this or that in the church.

 

One of the first things a Christian needs to do is stop the score keeping. You will never be able to even the score by getting another person to act as you think you should. As a matter of fact this often backfires. Proverbs 26:27. Revenge really belongs in the hands of  GOD who knows mans heart and can justly give due recompense of reward. Proverbs 20:22.  Let God be your righteousness-dikaiosune.

Dear One, I love you and pray for you daily.