Fear not!

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

I have walked a many a day in fear.  Fear of not being good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not financially stable enough, not strong enough, not tough enough and not loved enough.   And then I remembered………….God made me!  And in Him I trust!

Lord I thank You for being You! Amen!

Glory………REALLY?

Romans 5:3-4 

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Find glory in my tribulations?   You have got to be kidding me!  Who in the world would find glory in tribulations?  I know in my life of 50 some years I have had many and I must say that at the time I didn’t find glory in them.  All the way from a child burning my legs with a pot pie, to my mother having a life altering auto accident, from the tumultuous teen years, to a young rocky marriage, to divorce and so on finding glory was not 1st on my “happy times” list.  But as I age I find that it was during those times that I found the strength that God gave me to handle them, so each time I find myself buried in pain of this life, I also find a way to seek my God even more.  I’ve become very aware that the actions of others and my poor choices don’t have to keep me in the pit of Hell.  I find it easier to climb my way out, brush off and make some lemonade.  But don’t think of me as special, it’s God who lives in me that is special.  He picks me up during the times that I can’t walk any longer and He walks along side of me when I need the shoulder to lean on.  I trust in Him alone to give me everything that I need and to teach me how to survive until the time I can go be with Him forever in peace.  Never wavering, never leaving, never finding fault, never causing pain, never withdrawing His love and never letting me forget who He is to me.  This is what is available to all who will choose to seek, find and ask Him to become that for them.  We don’t have to stay in that pit any longer, grab His hand and He will lift you to a life beyond your imagination!

Lord Father, I thank you for letting me taste my consequences and growing through the pain from actions of others.  I know without You I would never make it through.  Thank You for making my life glorious and providing an avenue that I can travel where I can find peace, joy and beauty even where there are pot holes and hail storms.  Never do I want to travel without You! Amen!

Who me?

2 Timothy 3:5

Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

You know that it’s difficult when someone wants “To Talk”! When what they have to say feels hurtful and brings up the need to be defensive.  I may not even have a clue that what I did created those feelings in someone else.  But like it or not, intentional or not, I have stuck my foot in it many times.  And yet my first reaction would be “Who Me?”.

As I have been growing in my spiritual and emotional life, I have learned many things and here is a few…..

  1. People will draw closer to me if my appearance of godliness is obviously drawn from the power of God.  People like to be close to others that are genuine.  What you see is what you get and I pray at least most of the time you see someone that loves and lives for God.
  2. People need grace, I need grace………..God gives it to me overflowing.  So when I speak to others, I too need to be willing to give grace overflowing.  I want to build up not tear down.
  3. I want to be the first to say “Yes, It was me”, “Yes, I’m a mess”, Yes, please forgive me”.  I may try to hide my transgressions from humans but I can never hide them from God.  So I will confess and be willing to do it freely and HE will have mercy on me.

But I have also realized that not everyone is so willing to admit and confess.  I still need to give them grace and mercy.  This is a hard pill to swallow and the learning process takes longer for some than others.  But the bible, God’s word, speaks to those people.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Pride is a culprit that will devour us, if we let it.  Destruction is inevitable if we don’t learn how to humble our self enough to lay it out there, suck it up and admit our wrongs.  The quicker we do it, the quicker our freedom comes.

Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Freedom is a fabulous place to land.  It’s so freeing to “Be Real”.  But we must continue to do a self check to make sure that we’re not letting our flesh take over our freedom.  If we don’t, we will soon be in bondage again.

So I say, “Be the first to admit it and live in Freedom that God’s Grace and Mercy gives”.

Lord I pray that I will learn from my experiences, when I stick my foot in deep.  I pray that I will not fear being Real with people when it may mean admitting my wrongs or accepting them.  I pray that I will rejoice in the freedom Your grace gives me and I will rest in the mercy that You shower on me.  Lord, please be with my family and friends.  Help them see that saying “Who me?” instead of admitting “Yes, I’m a mess” is pride and not from God. Amen!

What leads you….. heart or mind?

 

James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

I am definitely guilty of this scripture. I would love to think in my mind that I follow the word to a tee everyday but the truth is that there isn’t small or large sins, they all carry the same weight.  Just because I’m not a murderer, a thief, an adulterer, you know the BIG SINS, I shouldn’t walk around thinking that I’m OKAY! Truth is that I’m NOT! What about those judgmental thoughts that roll around in my head, those sweet, really not so sweet words that come through my lips of gossip, those little yet sometimes powerful little white lies, the anger that I hold for someone and being unwilling to let go of it, my unwillingness to give of my time for someone needy because I need something for myself, watching images on the screen that encourage violence or sexual encounters, choosing to be unwise with my finances leaving my loved ones without the necessary or expecting others to pick up the responsibility where I left off. Most of these things don’t directly harm anyone else but at least indirectly they do. Sin doesn’t have to be huge or obvious to be a sin. And sometimes I believe that it’s simply BIGGER because I know better. I know God and what He desire for my life and yet I choose the other. I am NOT OKAY but yet with God I am!

Lord father, I pray that I will be more mindful of my subtle yet sinful ways today. That I will be conscious of my decisions, I will think before I open my mouth, that I will decide if I would want you to sit next to me as I watch that next TV/Movie, that I will be wiser with my finances, giving where I need to give, that I will not hold bitterness for others and I will remember how you see me and choose to see others in the same light. You are a loving and forgiving God, full of Grace, lending it to me daily. I thank You and I pray that I won’t take it for granted! Amen!

He is Risen

Matthew 28:6

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

 

He sacrificed for us, so that we will live forever with Him! The ultimate sacrifice!

So are we living out this life on earth that is worthy of an eternal life in Heaven?

Although we can never do enough, is our gratitude shining in our actions?

Our eternal salvation is not subject to judgement based on our deeds, but the love that we have for Him is acted out by them!

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

risen

Romans 8:11

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

No words to say that could be enough except, THANK YOU! Amen

 

What would you do?

1 Corinthians 15:3

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.

As a Christian, today is a day remembered of great sorrow but also a day of great rejoicing.  Yes, Jesus died on the cross for us but because of his love, it was a sacrifice that He was willing to do.

Now Jesus had close followers.  Men that He ministered to, training them up to be disciples and providing the example of bringing others to know God’s love.  Men that spent countless hours by His side, listening to His stories, watching His miraculous ways and soaking up His instructions.  They had every possible opportunity to fully acknowledge Him and be filled by Him.  But they were simply men!  God knew this about them way before that dreaded day.   Peter denied Him, Judas gave Him up for the dollar bill.

We, as Christians, would love to be able to walk with Jesus, give Him a big bear hug and be shown the ropes.   What would our choices be if we had that option?   What would we do when push comes to shove?  Would we stick by Him?  Would we give way to the worldly pressures?  Would we hide and hope not to be asked?

1 John 1:10

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

But that is why Jesus was sent here to begin with.  God knew that we are sinners and would need a Savior. So in our daily walk as Christians, what are we doing?  Are we united with Him, allowing His sacrifice to wash us clean?  Are we united with Him and living out a life that is worthy of His love?  Are we loving as He loved?  Are we grateful for all that He has given and allowing Him to lead us?

Romans 6:5  

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

So as I sit here and ask myself, “What would I do if Jesus was here with me today?” and “What am I doing now since He is living in me?”  Ask yourself the same!!!!

Lord, You have given a sacrifice that I can’t even imagine.  As a mother the thought is unbearable.  So I know that as a Father, the pain is unimaginable daily as Your heart breaks for us.  I thank You for not giving up.  I thank You for being everything I need.  Lord be with my family, friends and all those in the world that need to know You.  Amen!

Rejoice and Be Glad

Matt 5:12

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Rejoice and be glad! What a concept! Do we walk around daily being envious of others possessions, tearing ourselves down because we aren’t as pretty or handsome as someone else, working ourselves to the point of exhaustion so that we can get the pat on the back of “good job”, putting on the blinders of those that need and/or love us, sacrificing our moral standards so that we can fit in the group, judging others so that we can feel better about ourselves, hiding the hurts inside so that people around us will think that “we have it all together”, letting the things that flow out of our mouths tear down instead of building up, expecting others to think like I do without considering they are their own person, watching/listening/reading things that create anger-resentment-lewd thoughts or feeling and walking around with a snarl on your face that lets others know they better stay away from you.

I pray I don’t!

Lord, what a true blessing it is to lean on You daily, knowing that You will provide me with everything that I need, most things that I want and just the right people around me to enjoy my life with. I get pulled in sometimes believing the ways of the world forgetting that it doesn’t matter what size my house is as long as it gives me a place to lay my head, it doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive as long as I use it to gets me to places where I can show others “YOU”, it doesn’t matter if others get the praise from the world as long as I’m praising “YOU”, it doesn’t matter how others look at me as long as I remember You created me just as I am, understanding that life will be hard sometimes and I may questions “why me” but by seeking out through the pain what I’m learning so that I can be a light for someone else, being cautious about what I allow in my soul so that which comes out will be pleasing to You and being a smile for someone that is struggling to make it through their day. I can do all this by Your strength in me! Thank You Lord for creating me Perfect! Amen!

Learning to replace lies with TRUTH

Psalms 12:6

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

John 8:32

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Our experiences as we grow up, fill us with all sorts of beliefs about other people, our selves and the world.  It makes up the frame work for how we believe we should be treated, treat others and what we should focus on.  Things happen and we think that is “just how life goes”.  But I’m hear to tell you, life does not have to go that way.

I have attached a daily journal with some simple steps to figuring out how you feel, why you feel that way and most importantly, “how does God feel about it and what truths is He teaching us to replace those lies”.

So seek out the word of God and it’s truths. Let it change your view!

journalinsLord I thank You for giving us a tool to go by so that our life can be better.  Thank You for creating me, thank You for giving Your Son to us, thank You for being the Spirit that lives within me. Lord too many times we believe things that just aren’t true, please point out those lies to us so that our world will change.  Be with my family and friends Lord, direct their steps with love and grace.  Amen!

 

What path?

Matthew 36:37-40

love God first, above all else, and that we love other people as we love ourselves. Do that and you fulfill all of God’s requirements 

Do I love God first?  And if I do, do I then love others as I love myself?  One thing that I have learned over the last several years is that “if I don’t love myself, there is no way that I understand how to “love others”.  I knew that I loved God but I didn’t understand that unconditional kind of love and how that translated into His love for me.   Once I fully grasped the love He has for me and could love myself, it freed me up to love others.

There was a path that I had to take to get to that understanding. The path is narrow that leads to Him.  It’s not the path that includes what the world says that we should look like or act like, how much money we make or where we live, what group of people we hang with or how many “likes” we have on social media.  That path means nothing!  The path that leads to God is the only one where we will learn to love ourselves and therefore love others.  I have had to let God release me from old ways of thinking about myself and it has opened up a whole new life of living for Him and loving others freely.

So I say to you, don’t choose the path of the world!

PATH1.jpgLord thank You for helping me walk Your path.   Thank You for being patient with me and loving unconditionally.  Thank You for showing me that it’s okay for me to love myself and thank You for being the perfect example of how to love others.  I pray Lord that I will always see others how You see me.  Lord, please be with my family and friends.  Help them to grasp it! Amen!

Celebrate……….Recovery

Matthew 5:5

Happy are the meek.

Definition of Meek: quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive

It does NOT mean weak!

So how does this look in my life and how is it played out?

Principle 3 of Celebrate Recovery: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Trust – I must trust in Him in all areas of my life.  Believing without any doubt that He will carry me through whatever is placed in front of me.  I will not question the direction that he is sending me because I trust that He knows me better than I know myself.

Understand – I must understand His will for me, quietly listening and sometimes quietly waiting for Him to lead me.  And never fear the path, knowing that He has greater plans than I could even imagine.  The path at times my be rocky and at times will shine in His glory but at all times I understand that it is perfect because He walks with me.

Repent – I must be willing to tell Him about the sins in my life, being open and honest. Knowing that “HE already knows” but He wants to hear me acknowledge it because that is the 1st step in the healing process.  If I am holding it in, not sharing, not rejoicing in my knowledge then I will not heal.  It will eat me alive because without repentance there is no healing.

New Life – I must start “A New” life.  My sins have been washed away by His grace and my heart and soul is dependent on Him for direction.  I can now let go of what is of the past and embrace the new future.  In my redemption I am freed to live a new life without shame, quilt, hiding, anger, resentment and darkness.  Trading all that in for rejoicing, grace, acceptance, humbleness and walking in light.

For me…………….I have to take my eyes off of the moment and fix my eyes on God’s future.

“God can see the BIG PICTURE when what we see is only in that moment”

So it has been said…..

Turning your life over to Christ is a once in a life time commitment but Turning your will over to Christ requires a daily re-commitment.

Lord, I am mush without You.  I can make such a mess of things when I take my eyes off of You.  I pray that I trust, I understand, I repent and I start a New Life daily with You.  Please help me to see clearly the path that You have laid out for me.  Help me to take my eyes off of me and place them on others.  Lord, please be with my family and friends.  I pray that they will fully grasp the greatness of Your love for them.  Amen!