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.

Good Friday? Are You Kidding Me?

This was originally written March 2009. My mother was dying and everyone I know is going through something so I thought I would share. Sunday is coming!!!

Where my feet may fail.

I have been studying church history and the history of Christianity in general and I have wanted to honestly absorb what happened the week that Jesus died. I wanted to absorb the enormity of the unspeakable gift and sacrifice of God to fallen man. I have seriously pondered and thought what it must have been like those last few days to be part of the ministry of the Son of God. I realized how beautiful the picture was that Christ, in his last act with the disciples became a servant, washing their feet. I have often thought that if I had to use only a few words to describe all of Christianity, servant would be in the top 10. Yet I don’t think of servant as making things happen for the good of others but more of being available to serve as opportunity presents. The extra mile in the journey that comes up naturally and without “work”

As we look at the cross we have to think about how the followers of Jesus felt before his death. Circumstances had to look bleak hopeless and unreal. The day of agonizing prayer in the garden as the disciples slept, the betrayal, and the subsequent arrest and ultimate crucifixion was to be remembered in history as “good” Friday. Good? Is that our definition of good? No, it would never be viewed in an earthly way as a good day if the events were happening to us. Jesus even said he endured it and despised the shame.

Mary has lost her son, grieving as a mother would. The disciples are wondering if it was all real or a joke since their teacher, master, and Saviour now was laid in a tomb. Preparations were being made to bring the necessary spices to embalm him, meaning they didn’t think he would rise from the grave. Agony, grief, pain, doubt, fear, regret and “what ifs” were plaguing their thoughts as Satan was  enjoying the moment. God was all the while, working unseen,  finalizing the atonement that would secure our justification. I was playing this over in my mind, trying to embrace everything I was reading in the Bible about it when it hit me like a lightening bolt right in the center of my heart.

We all have our Good Friday seasons. We have those times in life when it all seems bleak and our hearts are weary. I was struggling with divorce, single parenthood, being single and relationships, finances, and all that encompasses being hurt with betrayal of infidelity and a childhood that was emotionally abusive. The pain of my own flaws and failures as I didn’t know how to unconditionally love or care for other’s happiness. I was violated beyond description in some ways a true victim but in others a raging victim of my own doing. I couldn’t tell the difference at times and I wanted to die often to be frank. I am a witness and case in point to the fact that with human eyes and a fallen heart we can sometimes lose the picture and feel hopeless. We can ourselves make huge choices that leave scares. Our ability to make mistakes is endless. I was falling apart, losing my self in an ocean of agony, grief, pain, doubt, fear, regret, and “what ifs.”

The pain was real and deeper than ever before. It was the culmination of many things and many years. I had a skewed view of who God was, what He should be doing, and how life should turn out for me and how He should take care of my needs. I won’t go into tons of detail but I was at rock bottom. This meltdown came after I had just learned a powerful lesson about God’s grace but with the agony that was gripping me, grace or anything profitable wasn’t clear to me.

I had been to countless hours of Christian counseling and still nothing broke the spiral I was in over the complicated mess my life had been woven into partly my own doing and self deception, partly by my past and partly Satan’s plan.  I also did not understand the fellowship of the suffering of Christ in which my trials were to reveal my character so that each trial would mold and make me more like my master. EVERYTHING God set into motion regarding my salvation has been done for me. I keep trying to do it but it’s already been taking care of. Walking in it is all that I am asked to do. Take the journey not make the journey. I often wanted to approach the trial as a soldier but instead approached it as a helps victim because that was all I knew to do. Whine and cry about my circumstance and keep trying to lift myself up by the boot straps. It was a dark, dreary, disillusioned and depressing time for me. Then………… as I write this with tears of joy…more of my story later… let’s go back to the tomb for a moment before I tell the rest.

Two women approach the tomb to take spices. They didn’t expect what they were going to find even though Jesus had told them. Catch this! The Son of God told them verbally he was going to raise from the dead and they doubted, they were taking spices to embalm him forever. Thank you Lord, for the human element you made apparent in your Word so that I would know there are times we just don’t have enough faith. They didn’t expect to find the stone rolled away, they were spoken to by an angel that Jesus had risen and ran back to tell the news. The disciples were found mourning and didn’t believe it. They too, the very people who had walked with Him and seen the miracles, and had heard his words, they too doubted. It took time for it to sink in. How many times have I stayed in mourning when the good news was right before my eyes?

When the message gripped their hearts, and dear ones is has to grip our hearts, our heads can’t fathom it. THEN……THEY KNEW!!!! THEY KNEW!!!! HE’s ALIVE!!!! We are forgiven!!!!!!!!! All that he had said and all he had done was indeed real and was TRUTH. They were set free by THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE. All the while as darkness was encompassing them, Jesus was working behind the scenes he had paid the debt we all owe for sin and cannot pay, he had conquered death so that we can live, and all so that I can be forgiven by his imputing righteousness on all who believe and will believe down through the ages. Christ living in me.

Ok, back to me. I have been through a very dark time as I described above, a time when I didn’t trust God enough for what He promised to do. I didn’t see God realistically or Biblically. I had no clue that all I was going through had a purpose. I started digging deeply into God’s WORD to see what was real and what was not. I started looking at God, my Father, for the first time in a way that was different. I don’t see God the same way I did in the days when I wanted him to endorse every prayer and make life all better. Waving back to him saying come on catch up to me and my ambition.

Today, I truly know I am resurrected, restoration has begun in my heart and healing is taking place. Circumstances haven’t been greatly changed, I am still single, finances are still low as a matter of fact sometimes negative, and the past is truly and realistically what it is. But hallelujah my mind is being renewed, my sins are forgiven and my view of it all is different and what I have been through no longer has control of me. I can’t begin to tell you how deeply my being was hurt or how thankful I am for that valley of these last years.

The chains of it all have been released as I realize who and what I have in Christ. I couldn’t have learned that apart from the Holy Spirit teaching me in the Word. Praise the God of heaven and earth who will never leave us. Who is raised from the dead. Who was and is the true I AM. Unconditional love drove him to a cross to claim …… it was the joy set before him…….

Friend if you are going through a season or even a life of pain as I testify to you there is a day when you will realize this. God won’t change the past, but you can trust in faith that He is faithful with sustaining grace to know that whatever happens or has happened in this life is for a season and a reason.  The season may be whatever length it is but there is a far and better country. The reason always points to the lamb.  My peace and joy doesn’t come from my circumstances being miraculously changed for my good, but in knowing God, that He loves me, is with me, and will never leave me. His character is paramount to all the truth that He is.  He paid for me with His own Son’s life and is forever my Good Shepherd. Storms will come and go, winds will knock me down,  I will still be flawed but not eternally condemned. Praise the One who is raised from the dead, praise be to the One who sent Him for my redemption.

Praise GOD for saving grace that has set me free to be at peace with God. I hunger daily for His Word and have found not reading it to be like neglecting my relationship, I sing praises to His name, (in Dallas traffic much to the laughter of cars around me.) I want to learn, grow and share with others the wonderful news of salvation. If that is all I do the rest of my life it will satisfy me. I want to reach out to those who are lost and share this Good News!

My life is in the hands of God. So, I leave you with this. If you do not have a personal relationship with God, I want to let you know I can tell you how or if you are going through a season of trials I stand with you in prayer and love as you embrace what God is teaching you. I want this post to glorify our LORD and humbly send it to you… KNOW THIS, RESURRECTION IS COMING!!! What a glorious thought. It may be in heaven but we have a day out there when all pain is gone and tears wiped from our eyes. I would love to hear your testimony or praise if you want to share.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

%d bloggers like this: