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.

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.

Law of Subtraction.

(Mom went to be with the LORD before I made it home again Nov 18th, 2010. Her last words to me were that she loved me over and over. I miss her dearly, her legacy to me was to love and be good to people. She was even  searching the Scriptures the last week of her life to LOVE the LORD with all her heart and do what she could for Him)

God help all  of us who sit on spiritual backsides complaining life is hard. I reposted this  article which was written waiting to catch my plane back to Dallas Tx, March 21, 2009, to remind me not to waste my life on what might have been. GOD is my life and I am thankful for each beautiful day in my life experiencing HIM.

Subtracting the distractions and excuses from out of your life that subtract from you, in other words asking yourself a real question; what radical change do I need to make in my life that will position me where I need to be in Christ with those I love?

I was in a hurry to get to the airport to make my flight so I could hurry up and see my Mom before she passes away. There was a traffic jam because two other drivers in an obvious hurry slammed into each other. I made my flight and the stress of the traffic jam was totally unnecessary. As a matter of fact the entire rush of the weekend was totally unnecessary. We are so connected in this world but have no real connections. We have created a surface culture that stretches us from one extreme to another never offering substance, quality, and real relationships. You may stop here and think that this article is offering little substance. Well hang on a few more sentences and see if you identify.
I was looking at my Mom in the hospital bed. Here was a woman who was once your typical five foot two eyes of blue. My mom was a beautiful woman and my dad was handsome and stunning. Seeing her now at age seventy two was very hard. I knew other women at her age that were in much better shape. She was struggling to breathe without a machine to aid her breathing. She was trying to hang on to life as best she could but the hope of life as she had known it was gone. There would be no more days of walking unaided, without an oxygen tank, or without giving out more energy than she had to give. There would be no more steak dinners, movies, or simple sitting outside in the sun.

Life had been subtracting from her days each and every time she took a labored breath the deficit became more alarmingly clear. Her arms were all bruised black and blue from veins blowing. A simple finger stick left her bleeding for over an hour. Her face was worn, tired, and merely stretching over her slight skeletal frame. It was hard to see. What I want to write about is my glimpse of the future. Growing old isn’t always kind to us. We get to the end of our days and pay in our bodies and minds for the days gone by. I hope and pray I learned from this preview that there are things that matter, chiefly among them living well.  Serving the LORD with your life!

The Law of Subtraction is merely that we need to subtract things that subtract from us as much as possible in our lives. Things that interfere with our walk and purpose in life, Christ life. We live at a staggering pace and once in a while we get a glimpse of reality. When a loved one is on their death bed we can learn from them what matters in this life. I can tell you it isn’t bank accounts, living status, or job recognition. No one on their death bed wants to get up and go trade more stocks, or be promoted one more time, or have just that one bigger house.

People near death talk about life surprisingly. They talk about those they love, good memories of times that might have been hard but are good. They regret the subtractions in life but do not talk about those.

I want to talk about them. I don’t want to sweep them under the rug. Let’s get them out and be real and honest with them. We are way beyond hypocritical here because we all know we “pretend” all is well when really all is not well and we are not well. We continually monitor all areas of our life and determine what is necessary and what is ok to let slide. Letting our spiritual wholeness slide has severe consequences. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be sitting in an airport on standby 30 hours to go back to a place I do not feel welcome to work in a city 1000 miles from my family and friends.

How do we slide spiritually? For me it was first and foremost all my fault. There is no one to blame but me. Let me say that clearly. I know people do the best they can but we use the “best we can” excuse for stupid reasons sometimes.
“ Well, I was just doing the best I could and I don’t know what more I can do, if you wanted perfection you should know I am not perfect.” Ugh, horrible excuse.  Really, we are doing the best we can? I firmly believe GOD loves us unconditionally, and that as His sheep he will see to it that this little lamb finds her way. God put a plan in place the trumps my best on any day. My best is like filthy rags.
Yet to just say, “I am doing the best I can,” when really I should be saying I am doing nothing is how we slide. Doing nothing is stupid, because doing nothing is exactly what it sounds like. DOING NOTHING.

People say things like, my heart is broken and I am waiting on God to heal me one day so I can feel again. I am just destroyed right now so I know God understands why I just can’t deal with this. I have said those words!!!! I really meant them when I said them but I was so very wrong to think that way. I didn’t understand a lot that I know now though. Really can you imagine God is sitting in heaven healing you while you do nothing? Of course He can, but that would be really irresponsible on His part because that is not what His heart is for healing. The whole point of healing is to restore. If we are to just sit and do nothing, why did God go to all the trouble to spell out clearly in His Word that He wants to have an active even interactive relationship with us on an intimate level? If God waved a magic wand to each problem and made it all better what would we do? I will tell you what we would do. We would put expectations on God that would eventually lead to our disposing of the need for a relationship with him and change it to an addiction to Him based on our fleshly desires. Every time the fire gets a little hot we will just ask for our magic wand fix and suspend the suffering. We would never really get to know God because we would have our magic wand to provide for all our needs. Oh a few of us would be grateful but most would get the problem solved and move on to the next thing. Thank GOD for suffering and refining.

I am so glad God says in His Word to cry out to Him and to seek Him. What in your life is keeping you from Him and needs to be subtracted. We face this life from the vantage of victory not defeat. GOD has spoken on this clearly.

Psalm 34:19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
Proverbs 2:7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless
Psalm 5:12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 42:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Isaiah 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 4:5-6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Phillipians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

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.

Oh be careful little email what you speak.

Our God is a God of second chances and sometimes those second chances come right away and some take years. When I try in my own strength to help that is when my intentions may be good but my method may be faulty. When we do not wait on God this is bound to happen. We have to really look inside for the answer and seek the Lord. I would not hurt anyone for anything in this world. I would sooner cut off my own arm. I love people and I know why God hates divorce. The aftermath it creates takes years to overcome. When you see another person really in the midst of the war it is heartbreaking. Your heart remembers the pain and there’s nothing you want more than to right the universe for them. You want their family to survive because their story hits so close to home and yours didn’t survive. You want to spare them pain and you really do have to be careful that you don’t get yourself in the way. One of my own rules was to let the weaknesses be God’s business. God wants us to put the past behind. There are times I am assigned by GOD to help and those times work out for good and his glory. Then there are times my heart leaps to action before GOD has assigned me and those times always end in a huge lesson for me. Discernment is something you always have to practice. The price is always high when we do not wait patiently for the Lord. I learned the hard way that anytime I run ahead to help where GOD hasn’t intended that I help the price that I pay is that I forsake my own mercy. Jonah 2:8 Sadly humbling!
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone- as though we had never been here. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!’. Psalm 103: 13-18

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.

Life Doesn’t Collapse in a Moment

Life doesn’t collapse over minutes and we can get to the point we feel as if our life has been turned inside out. There are many in this life who are living that way and who have gotten so discouraged they are resigned to the coffin waiting on the nails.  They don’t have to live this way but choose to. All who give up do it  by either  deception of or  leading by  the flesh,  the world or the enemy.  No one cognitively thinks, let me pattern myself to fail. The result of all storms will be one of two things, they will develop or destroy you. The primary purpose of the storm is to glorify God and reveal his character so that you can trust safely in Him to guide and mold you. Sadly, I have been myself and seen folks who sit by allowing the storm to drown them. I would be there still if it weren’t for the Word of God and the great Shepherding of the LORD.  I am keenly aware these days that a relationship with God requires the same kind of effort one does in the world. I have to be attentive and purposeful in it to stay close to Him.

We get all turned inside out when we have knowledge of GOD that raises questions and not intimacy with GOD that answers those questions. When a storm comes just knowing about GOD does not lend itself to trusting GOD. I know God parted a Red Sea but that fact  doesn’t give me hope in a storm when I am up against the wall.  I know God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, but that doesn’t comfort me when I need to hear something in the storm. I know that God is sovereign but that doesn’t satisfy my heart when life fails and seems out of control.

Now, this might seem heresy but let me continue. Knowing what GOD did in the past does  not guarantee me anything if I don’t know His character and by  intimacy know He will not violate that character. The character attributes of God reveal not only who He is but also who I am in Him.  What does God’s Word really mean to us if when we are  tested we crash and burn? There’s no strength in that, no power, and certainly no glory for the LORD.  Just accumilating facts is meaningless if I don’t know a holy and just God’s moral and divine attributes. God’s character is what sustains his promises. Who he is determines what he does. It’s like going on a honeymoon with facts about your spouse but not your spouse. Check out the book of Habakkuk for a glimpse of God’s character and our response to Him.

Encouragement from my beautiful daughter.

(my daughter sent this email to me and I hope it encourages all who might read here.) I read this again today … what a priceless treasure.

Dear Mom,

I kinda understand what you are going through there at work.  It’s hard to live in a secular environment, be criticized for faith, and still remain positive. 

I hope I can encourage you with what I have learned here.

I now feel like I understand what is meant by “The Truth shall make you free.”  I go to classes where no one believes in absolute Truth.  I find though that it is not discouraging or limiting.  It is freeing in the sense that I know the Truth, and regardless of what people think of me or believe about me falsely, I am free in Christ.  I am free to be able to hold my beliefs regardless of what society says.  I can see clearly how postmodernism has become a prison for people because they are trapped in trying to explain the world and events without fully understanding the whole picture. 

I know you may not be experiencing this as I am.  However, I think some themes here are similar.  I know that no matter what happens that I am secure in my faith and in my God.  I have Truth on my side.  I have God on my side.  I have security regardless of what happens with the economy or school in knowing that He will take care of me.  These facts give me confidence.  I feel that there is no reason to be sad or worried or fearful.  Those aren’t from God.  Those are things that come to attack us and make us think that God isn’t in control or on our side.  I can’t explain enough how good it is to know I serve a BIG God, not a tiny one, a dead one, a confused one; but a GREAT BIG GOD that is all-powerful, and all-knowing.  It gives me confidence and that is where I draw my strength. 

I understand its hard to keep going in the face of adversity, especially at work or school where our lives are literally lived.  However, God wants you to know that he supports you and is “keeping” you in his perfect Grace.  He is BIG and can handle whatever people may say to you or do to you.  Just live for Him and in light of His grace.  He will take care of the rest. 

I could go on and on here because I really get it now, but I hope that in some small way you can feel encouraged knowing that others are going through the same types of struggles, you are not alone, and regardless of what people are around you God is always there.  He identifies with us in a way that no one else does.  He asked Saul on the road to Damascus why he was perscuting Him.  God said “ME” meaning that when people speak wrongly against you or bring evil against you they are essentially doing it to Him.  That, I believe more than anything demonstrates our identity in Him.

When life gets hard, remember Who’s you are!

Love you!

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.

Whatever it Takes

I used to sing a song called Whatever It Takes. I remember a man in my church saying to becareful because God might just do whatever it takes. Within a few years I was divorced facing life alone after 20 years. That being said let’s look at this idea. Some people say after a long bout with trials and temptation that they would not have had it any other way.

Ok, honestly I would have had it a different way. My family would have been whole and my girls would have never had their heart broken. I would have never had to relearn almost my entire existence. I would have been close to God in the first place. Not that everything that has happened to me is the product of divorce.

I know our Father had in mind so many things when He revealed so much to us in the Word. I could go on and on but I want to say this with all clarity. Apart from the Word of God where He expresses His desire for our lives intimately, you will never get out of the mire.

I say that because even though I would not have signed on for this chaos I also know after regrouping and banging my head on the wall there is only one way. God’s Way. I can try my way but it always leads to destruction. Not because I lack intelligence or the determination, but because my ways do not always draw me closer to the LORD. My ways are on a good day very inadequate compared to the ways of the LORD for my good and HIS glory.

Cliche as that might sound, I have the tears and heartache to back up that what I am saying. I have memories of people telling me what I am saying to you now. God’s Word is what will bring you to a place where the storm doesn’t overtake you. Now you might say I have read the Bible and I am still stuck. You might read the Bible as I did but there came a day when I read the Bible looking for God instead of looking for bandaids  and solutions to the problems I created. Hope this helps,time to go to bed. Nothing more to say. Test me on it.  GOD bless all 🙂

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.

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.

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.

It’s ok to say, that’s enough!

Although my life is now a deeply increasing desire to walk with the LORD and know Him more intimately the demands of life are real and present. I changed careers a little over two years ago to a very high pressure job. Daily bombarded with calls, orders, expectations, and demands leaves me sometimes very very drained. In order to make it through the day I call on the Lord quite often. Face it, when the chips are down that is where I lean. I can’t lean on people because they will let me down, and I can’t afford in my economy to be let down by humans as much anymore. It’s not fair to them to have high expectations and I can’t have my needs met by other folks who are not able to do so. Truly the One who loves you, knew you before you were born, who gave HIS life for you, is capable of meeting those needs.

That being said when I do express my limit I often find that folks size me up and say, no that isn’t what you mean when in reality it is exactly what I mean.  Folks, take people at their word. I wouldn’t say something stresses me if it didn’t or if I meant it’s ok continue to stress me. I woudln’t say not to talk about a topic if I meant go ahead and talk about it because I can handle it. It is very freeing to know your limits. Mine are that right now at this time in my life I have to get my work done, learn from my mistakes, and I have to concentrate on the task at hand. If anyone has read my post past and present on this blog they know I have struggled to get to a point I can say, don’t do that to me.  If I say it I mean it. Don’t STRESS me by stressing me …. encourage, uplift, point me toward focus on the Lord. Encourage don’t discourage. Folks, let your words be apples of gold in pictures of silver as the WORD says. Minister grace to the hearers. At any time we have power with our words to take down a precious soul GOD has already forgiven.

Emerge a changed Woman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bitter? Me? *Shock Face*

I am here! I can’t believe it. I have let a root of bitterness settle in my life. I went to church today hoping to sing and lift my heart a little. It is Mother’s Day and the second one without my children. It’s been over 6 years since my family was intact as a whole traditional family. Four of those years we were surviving under the grace of God doing the best we all could to heal. Two little precious children were rocked when the “angel of divorce” ( added for dramatic emphasis) came knocking at our door. Not trying to be insensitive to divorce because it has been one of the most life changing factors in my recent life. Just able to be down the road knowing it will change your life but not end it. Pre-divorce I had a Mayberry existence and could have never entertained the idea of being single today. My bitterness came as a surprise to me. I had my own idea of who I was and how much strength I had. Never would I have admitted as a Christian that I was bitter. The connotation was one of a person who was very angry at life who didn’t have a voice in their circumstances and who now must put together what others tore apart with some of the pieces missing. Yikes! That is who I have become. My story will sound boring but you never know who is reading so I will give a brief synopsis. My Dad was distant I married a copy of him who was distant most of the marriage but I didn’t know any better because it was my normal. When he stated he was having and affair I divorced him. I haven’t had a successful relationship and don’t know if that is possible for me. That is a side issue. What I have discovered is that I am bitter from being rejected and held distant. I thought I was angry but my anger somewhere on the road turned to bitterness. I find myself angry at every person and everything. I think things I generally had a high threshold of patience for are now so annoying. My stomach is in knots and my spiritual life is AAAACCCCCKKKK!! I thought if so and so would just do this or that all would be right in my world. BUZZZZZZZZZZ nope that is not going to fix this. The root of bitterness has to go. It has to be excised. All the things that cause it have to go out the window. I had no clue it was there but now that I do, it would be pride and rebellion on my part to leave it alone to fester and infest all who are around me with my “wonderfulness” (sarcasm) I am not wonderful when I am in this shape. Never been here before but I know what wonderful is and it “aint” me. I am hard to deal with, restless, angry, short tempered, sick, hurt, frustrated. An ant crossing the 4 lane highway gets my attention just because my senses are on “full alert” Lord help anyone who gets a blast of me. It’s like meeting a flame thrower. Why would I post this? Because I want to be back to my cute and funny loving self. I don’t want to be so occupied with my pain that I forget to live the good times now. Here’s what happened at church today. I have asked God to help me forgive where needed, press the delete button on things that need to go, and to help restore what I have lost in this season of hurt and frustration. I have asked him to help me not strive, complain, and argue my way through this time of growth and healing but to put him first. I want to praise through this no matter how deep the valley or dark the storm. I am laying down my weapons and giving up my own strength to allow God to fight this battle. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)

Love from The Four Loves by CS Lewis

Lots here to ponder …………think deep folks  and God bless. I find myself in need of  your prayer.

The Four Loves

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
  • Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: “We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.” Need-love says of a woman “I cannot live without her”; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection — if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.
  • Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
  • Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”
  • All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
    • “Charity”
  • If we cannot “practice the presence of God,” it is something to practice the absence of God, to become increasingly aware of our unawareness till we feel like man who should stand beside a great cataract and hear no noise, or like a man in a story who looks in a mirror and finds no face there, or a man in a dream who stretches his hand to visible objects and gets no sensation of touch. To know that one is dreaming is to no longer be perfectly asleep. But for news of the fully waking world you must go to my betters.

 

Movin’ On

Rascal Flatts wrote this song somehow I identify with it in some ways. This isn’t the yippeee yi yo springboard I envisioned to declare my life back but it is poignant somehow to say some things in my heart. Parts I don’t agree with at all but overall it says, “enough is enough time to live!!!! ” More to come but enjoy the song because God isn’t done with me yet. My latter days are going to be great 🙂

Movin’ On – Rascal Flatts

I’ve dealt with my ghosts and I’ve faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ onI’ve lived in this place and I know all the faces
Each one is different but they’re always the same
They mean me no harm but it’s time that I face it
They’ll never allow me to change
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don’t belong
I’m movin’ on

I’m movin’ on
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone
There comes a time in everyone’s life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

I sold what I could and packed what I couldn’t
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town
I’ve loved like I should but lived like I shouldn’t
I had to lose everything to find out
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road
I’m movin’ on

I’m movin’ on
I’m movin’ on

 

TRUST, Relationships and Harm’s Way

Trust is hard to define for me but is something that I know is vital in a relationship. When it is gone the relationship is in danger.  Someone once said, “if only I were the person my dog thinks I am.” I don’t know all of the implications of trust or a lack thereof. I can only speak from a personal perspective.  So I will plod along here for a few minutes if you will allow.

If you have read any of my previous post you have seen a couple of facts about me that might shed light on this post so I will repeat them here. Basically, I was grew up in a home with a very distant father, then I became a Christian and met and married a man who was on track to be a preacher, we met at Bible college and served the Lord in the music ministry at a fundamental Baptist church until he ran off with another woman.  I know some would think, aaaack, don’t say all of that online. Well, two things to consider, one what I might say could possibly help someone which would make it all work together for good, and secondly I find I need to share it somewhere.

So maybe I will give God a break and say it here 🙂 . My marriage in 1982 was I thought a time in my life that was exciting and wonderful. I dearly loved my husband and what I thought was partnership and teamwork became burden and bondage to him.  We never seemed to be on the same page. I thought if you love the Lord there would be fruit. He led the choir in our church and I taught in a Christian school.  He rarely prayed, had a desire for souls, or read the Bible, slept in church and went through the motions.

There was always a tension there but I still thought the first 10 years we were just a normal couple and that because I didn’t really know or understand the love of my father that I had to not put too much stock into the “something” that was clearly wrong with the picture.  Unfortunately, my coping mechanism was to see reality in a light that was more of a fantasy than what was really happening. I changed the truth into fantasy. I was clueless and trying to love beyond all of it thinking love was enough.

In 1992, he had his first affair. I never saw it coming and was totally blown away emotionally. That is what happens when you believe in fantasies. When reality rears it’s head you are in shock.  I would say that day trust between us died. We stuck it out past 2 more affairs to finally divorce in 2001. I never could look at him again the same way. I couldn’t get back in the game because he became to me someone who could throw me away and put me back to remembrance of my childhood pain.

I have loved since my first marriage but found that trust again has become an issue with me. I have learned that both people have to value trust and work toward the same goal. I know that once broken I can not dream or imagine past the reality that trust is gone. No matter how much my heart might want to, my head now knows better. If someone betrays you no matter what their intention was there is no partnership, no team, no future, no hope, no value, no committment. We have to trust God with folks who are untrustworthy.

.  The truth builds a foundation that will stand the test and trials of life.  Deception is not the work of God.  So when people show you who they are you have to believe them to do otherwise is to put your emotional health in harm’s way. That being said, if GOD is truly working in a person and you are led by the Holy Spirit to stick it out, you really don’t have a choice. I have learned only the Holy Spirit can change a heart. You can’t discern this if you are in a mess and not being led. Stay in the WORD, in prayer and trust the only one who can lead you through such a hard time.

We can only trust  our faithful God in this life if we want assurance of safety.

God in a box?

From learning and first hand witness I have understood that Catholics believe God is in a certain box until he becomes flesh during the Eucharistic ceremony. Hearing it and witnessing it is unbelievable. This belief is a matter of contention among Christendom. God in a box?

Well before I get too self righteous I am convicted that often I put God in a box. How do I do that? I put God in a box by thinking with my human intellect rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t want to reside in some of the boxes I create.

I was reading about Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and I saw so much there that could fill many pages. I am always child-like amazed when I read in God’s Word about things. It just blows me away seeing how God did things then. Then? What about now?

Well, here’s what I felt the Holy Spirit say to me. That might be the first time I have expressed my sharing this way. At any rate lets ponder this.

Jesus says he is the same yesterday today and forever. So I limit God when I read all the wonderful stories about renewal, restoration, healing, compassion the list goes on in His Word, but I limit God when I read those wonderful accounts and in my own understanding reason that He isn’t the same, that he will deal differently with me. Is that adding to God’s Word? Hmmm

Jesus says come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Here I limit God when I keep striving in my own strength rather than resting in His. This is an open invitation to rest.

When we are told that he will never leave us or forsake us so that we can say that the Lord is my helper he means that. He says that we don’t have to fear man. We don’t have to limit God by going into the trials and troubles of life as if there is no hope. We don’t have to fear any earthly process that tries to test our foundation. There is a great abundant hope.

What am I saying? I could list hundreds of examples of what God says. Here’s the bottom line for me.

God is all He claims to be regardless of what is going on with me. His promises are true and the answer is still the same regardless of what my circumstance is.

In light of that, no matter what I have faced or will face, GOD is who He says He is. The only time God is limited is in my heart and mind!!!!!!! When I choose to keep leaning on my own understanding and choose to keep doing things my way I am saying NO to resources that God has provided.

I can do all things through Christ ………means all things. I can get through whatever is ahead……..THROUGH CHRIST……….. not through Deb.

Don’t limit God, trust Him. I have been at a state lately that has just overwhelmed my abilities. I have cried off and on because my heart has lost hope about a matter that is dear to me. The Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick is what I am talking about. My story isn’t over and I am trusting GOD and believe HIS WORD no matter what my circumstances are or how they turn out. Sadness is a part of the journey sometimes but we have to let GOD work in those times to be who He is, to glorify Himself, and to grow us up in the Lord. Sometimes the future doesn’t turn out like we planned and dreamed, but God promises a future and hope.

Water My Garden before I fade away.

Sometimes I think I am a foreigner and then I am reminded by the Bible that I am not of this world. I have by my own fault isolated myself from most of the folks I know, moved to a new town, and basically as a southerner would say “I’m whoopped” ( That is in my dictionary lol don’t bother looking it up)

I have never dealt well with rejection but have made great progress in unpacking the past and dealing with the hurtful times I have been rejected. A message by Charles Stanley did arrange the concept a little better for me but the pain is still there to some degree because it surfaces once in a while. I don’t guess that it would be an overnight event to have it poof away. I have matured past waiting for magic days when the world gets all nice again. I know there is a better city in a far country whose builder and maker is GOD. I am counting on that being the place my smile will never end.

My little head sometimes ponders things that to me just don’t add up. It never adds up to be unkind to someone. I do understand the power of words and actions.

This much I do know, I know my own limit. I am growing in the Lord, slowly but still growing, I am also a person who does try hard to be right with those I come in contact with.

I see myself as a garden of beautiful flowers. Some have glowing blooms that are steady and sure as each season passes. Their roots are deep and tap into a well-spring of life. These would be my undying love for the Lord, my joy in raising my girls and loving them, my calling as a Science teacher and loving my students, and my passion to work hard.

There are other flowers in my garden that are tender and although they have deep roots, they depend on water to sustain the best parts of me. These would be my need to be loved, hugged, and treated kindly. I need to belong in the lives of those who are closest to me. I seem to fade and become invisible for reasons I still have yet to learn.

I will just say it out loud. I just can’t stay planted where there is so much negativity directed toward me. The tender flowers of my personality just wilt and become unattractive to myself and to those I want to love and care for. I never am at my best when I have to climb a mountain of defeating actions and comments just for a crumb or two of kindness. My question is, who would be?

I hate and desperately despise it when people say things to me before considering how it sounds. Words carry weight and hurt. I have tried to be kind in return but as of late when I hear so much correction coming my way I think to myself, someone needs to find a perfect friend who can accomplish the long list of things I fail to do in a prescribed pre-ordained manner.

I am an intelligent, articulate, kind, caring, saved, sassy, simply funny ( corny) yet cute southern gal. I am the daughter of the living GOD who loves me so much He gave His Son’s life to make a way for me to be with Him forever. I can not be less than a joint heir with my adopted family in Heaven. Humbly yet with all confidence in who God is and what he promised I say all that.

There is no reason to re-invent the wheel here. If a person wants to be my friend, accept me for who I am. Respect my boundaries. I am not perfect and at my age I don’t have to explain or make excuses for that. By faith I have overcome some very hard things in life that appeared at my own hands and the hands of others. Whatever I can learn I eagerly anticipate learning with joy, what I can’t learn, eh. I know more than I will ever remember already lol. I simply am the best I can be at any given season, always seeking the Kingdom and growing to be as much as I can in the future.

This is my notice to the universe and this is my declaration incase the world missed the memo.

What you say and how you treat me does affect me period. My sticks and stones clause ran out years ago. If you want beautiful blooms water my garden. If you want weeds, beat down on me with the harsh wind and sun and more than likely the things you loved about me in the first place will turn to weeds. It’s not rocket science. It’s ministering grace as the Bible says.

I won’t let expressions stop me and if it becomes a choice between being myself or being a fabricated insecure person waiting on someone to accept me. I choose to say thank you but no thanks. Heaven is my home and I am eternally secure in God’s love for me. I can make it on my own but I would love to grow in grace with those I love.

I am going to love you instead of tolerate you by the way 🙂 so to the world. Bring it on. Christ in me knows how to hug you through me.

Yikes, Elijah!

Elijah Syndrome, lol. I thought the name was original with me. A quick web search proved me wrong but I am going to share this with you in that vein. I have been studying alot lately. I enjoy learning many things. One recent wow moment was when I looked at the phrase “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he” that Biblical phrase has so much truth. What we believe forms our actions. I am not talking about something mystical in mysticism or name it and claim it jargon. I do know that what we believe does determine our course. Look at Elijah, after an incredible victory he was reduced to fear, doubt, loneliness, and near death by an evil woman’s words. He has seen with his own eyes the work of God and knew God to be truthful and faithful but was afraid of a woman! Our thinking/beliefs do shape alot of things for us. If I believe I am a failure, I fail. If I believe I am hopeless, I become depressed. If I believe I can’t be loved, I attract people who won’t commit and love me. Are you getting the picture? I have seen this in my short 46 years played out over and over. No wonder God says to think on things that are lovely, of a good report, to take our thoughts captive, to cast down imaginations. The key is believing. We have to be careful what we say to others and to ourselves. Many things that stress us and down us are not of God. We can’t fix the world but we can be in a healthy relationship with GOD that is able to bring joy admist the storms and that brings us to a place where we grow past some of the immaturity that is part of our problem. We can also learn to walk in the Spirit and study to know God. God has announced to the world in His Word who we are in Christ. We have to believe it and live it. NOTE to self… lol this is a note to me too.
Take stock, ask forgiveness, ask for wisdom and understanding, but above all believe GOD who is true. Life won’t be rosey but it can be real, true, and in the grace of God headed toward the prize. GOD bless ………

Being Me is Not Easy

Sometimes being me isn’t easy lol.

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s where my brain went with this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you all. Treat each other with charity.

Square peg in a round vacuum

You might remember being a little kid and getting a wooden bench with a hammer and several different shaped colorful pegs to hammer into the bench. I have such a fond memory. I had my little multi-colored pegs and would find the exact shape to hammer them into. The round one fit the round hole and the square one fit the square hole. Of course being the little thrill seeking kid I was I would try to hammer the square one into the round hole. It didn’t work but I would try. It wasn’t long before my hours of pounding away bored me. Because to a 4 year old with a hammer the entire universe is a nail, I tried to make other connections with my hammer. I found that although the square peg didn’t fit in the round hole of my workbench it would fit in the vacuum cleaner hose. I also found that it took about an hour to drive a nail into the floor with a wooden hammer. I must have hit it a gazillion times. I remember resting my arm thinking that I was doing real important work that had to be finished. Nothing else existed in the world but my mission to get that nail secure. After the nail was safely driven into my Mom’s hardwood floor behind the recliner I went on in search of bigger and better things. My next stop was to make a connection that would shock me into reality. I found that a slotted screwdriver and an electrical outlet are compatible in shape only. The sparks are neat but the bite was a note to self. “whew, that was scary but I liveded” Yeah I said lived-ed. That was how I said it cuz I was a widdle kid.

Even to this day sometimes that little chubby legged, wide eyed girl still tries to fit things in life where they don’t belong. I can only speak for myself but I pray this doesn’t fall on deaf ears. My sincere desire is to share things to spare people the pain of my mistakes and to shine the light of God’s grace so bright He is seen clearly for who He is and will be.

As a creation of the Master we are not made to be isolated,individual, islands to ourselves. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to rationalize that. You can see it evident in the fact that God communed with Adam each evening in the Garden. It’s evident that God saw the longing in Adam and created Eve. Now get this, God walked with Adam daily but still saw a human need in him that he knew he had to immediately meet. So he created woman. Now before you run with this because I don’t want to add to the Word of God or take away. My point here is that God met the need not that for every man there is a woman. I guess you would have to take that up with the Holy Spirit. So I won’t add that further on God said it is not good for man to be alone and that He also said He who finds a wife finds a good thing. Ok off the rabbit trail back to the point.

The little girl in me tried all my life to fit those pegs into places they didn’t belong. The first time I remember trying to make something work was trying to win my Dad’s approval. I always thought Dad shouldn’t have had kids. He was distant, critical, and not touchy feely. I always thought he was unapproachable. I wanted the kind of Dad that I could crawl up into his lap and feel strong arms safe arms around me that loved me. I went on to try to fill the empty space with accomplishment. For years I tried everything. I took dance and music lessons, was president of several clubs in high school and college, excelled at most things I tried. Whatever career I chose I found a way to make it work for me and did my best. Disappointing anyone was rare, extremely rare. Still I was invisible to Dad, so I moved on. My heart got to a place that it could no longer seek his love.

The next peg I tried to fit was marriage. This peg seemed to fit but something was different. I didn’t choose to be my Dad’s daughter, but I did choose to be my husband’s wife and he chose me. I thought the peg finally fit, I thought I had a win win situation. Marrying my college sweetheart, thinking he didn’t do the things my Dad did and to top it off was going to be a preacher. How could this not fit. Unfortunately I spent the next 20 years being invisible to my ex. It was Dad all over again. How ironically cruel. During the marriage I tried another peg. Children!!! Oh my, what a fit. I had two precious girls who are human like me but still on a good path in life. They have been my joy and privilege to raise for God. Still the fit was good but not complete. Something was missing. My marriage finally came to an unexpected end after 20 years and here I was. Damage was done that I had to work and am working hard to rise above. The future presented new spaces to fill, but with what peg?

The five years since my divorce have been bittersweet. They have been filled with my first experiences at failure, deep depression, intense hurt, and regretful mistakes that have wracked my heart and mind to utter exhaustion. They have also been growing years. I can still hear my pastor back home say. “Healthy things grow” I have found friendship in unlikely people and places and have gone outside my box to grow and become who I am becoming. (How deep is that?) Mistakes and all I am a more blessed person today than I was five years ago and have still a future to become more for the Lord, Lord willing. My situation right now is heart breaking and stressful at times. All my choices for remedy or relief are not very appealing and downright painful. I didn’t come to Texas to fail. I know this and I believe with all my being, there is a day out there if I trust Him that the Lord will restore what the locust have eaten. God will use his hammer to fill the pegs in my life. Cramming anything into a God only vacancy will lead to pain.

God according to Jeremiah 29:11 has a plan for my life, but I have learned something so significant this is what I want to share.

God has a plan for my life and satan has a counterfeit plan. Satan’s plan produces pegs that never quite fit. He has waged spiritual warfare against us to try to insure we miss the right pegs. It is warfare that is ugly and strategically planned. God’s plan produces pegs that fit and are permanent.

God’s grace separates us from the imperfect law in a way that gives us permission to grow and to understand complete forgiveness and imputed righteousness. God can’t and won’t love me less or more based on my circumstances or decisions. There are always consequences for what I allow or decide, but ultimately my justification is settled. Out of love and a thankful heart I serve and want to hear well done from a Father who loves me and covers me with his safe wings. He is there daily to give good gifts to His children.

God will never go against His Word to accomplish anything through or for me.

When I am doubtful, fearful, stressed out, overwhelmed, mentally exhausted and physically weary, I can be sure that behind those strong emotions there you will find my own flesh and the devil having a tea party at my expense. My bank account becomes empty and can’t keep writing those checks. I become overdrawn. When nothing changes nothing changes. People around me miss the best I have to offer. So I pray what David prayed, Create in me a clean heart (cuz ya don’t want sin to be in the way) and renew a right spirit within me (cuz the above is not right spirited thinking) cast me not away from thy presence (ok, this brings tears, I can crawl in Abba’s lap and be safe) take not thy Holy Spirit from me (I am never alone!!!) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation ( God is about upward and forward!!!)

I am not defined by a mistake, a moment, a failure or success, by anyone who loves or doesn’t love me, or those who stay or leave my life, no one gets to write my story but the God who saved me. I am defined by the pages in His book and what He has written to me and about me will be forever established as my story. I am His purchase and the price He paid I could never repay. I can only pray I grow and that His relationship with me will define me to others as a light.

So where do I go from here? Yikes what a novel. Well I am me, a dreamer, a happy ever after kinda gal. So I have to be careful with my life and set boundaries that don’t get me in so deep in the miry clay. I have to have feet free to move so I can soar like the eagles as God said. When I get away from reality I chase after pegs that for one reason or another do not fit my life. Then I sink. Please pray for me. I want to make the best of what time I have left. I know only the wisdom of God will lead me on the rest of my journey. I know there is pain around the bend before the next happiness.

Love you ALL!!!