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.