The 4 Qs to ask in Turmoil

Why did that happened?

John 16:33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I’ve found that “life” just happens and sadly enough some of it is just not pleasant. I’ve had many great blessings happen in my life but I’ve also had many that were and some still are very heart breaking. I keep waiting for the blessings to start out weighing the heart breaking. I’m not sure that is ever going to happen.

The one thing that I have that so many others don’t is Jesus will overcome this world! And I am part of HIS family. A very important part. Even though Jesus didn’t deserve or understand why those around him acted and felt the way they did, he still loved and went to that cross for them. He still bared that burden of sin in this world. But He knew that His seat was not of this world it was of heaven with His father. I have that same promise. When life happens………. I know where my seat is in heaven.

What am I supposed to learn?

James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

I used to worry and fret and blame and curse. I would fuss and grumble. I would never look within to see if there was a lesson in that situation for me to learn. But in John 1 it says “blessed is the one who perseveres under trials, having stood the test”. But that doesn’t come naturally to me. Naturally I want to crumble under the pressure and curl up on the couch, eating anything I can find and then going for more. It was not until one day, one trial I looked deep to see what I could learn. And now, with each new trial I look. I search. I ask for His to show me 1 thing I can learn. And you know what………….. He will. It may be a simple lesson. It may be a lesson that I’ve learned before but need a little reinforcement. Or it may be a brand new one. With each new lesson brings a new opportunity to receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised me. This process helps the current trial be easier to bare. I’d be lying if I said that I never worried, grumbled, fussed, blamed or fretted any longer but that me, doesn’t hang around long because the LORD has promised something different to those who love him.

When will your will be shown?

Lamentations 3:25-26 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

This has to be the hardest step. WAITING WAITING WAITING WAITING I don’t like waiting. Most of society doesn’t like waiting. We have created a microwave world where everything come instantly and like we want it. If the microwave doesn’t do it for me, I can do it myself and not have to depend on anyone else for what I want. But really guys……. this is not reality. Reality is that the BEST THINGS come to those who wait on the Lord. But in that waiting, I also must be quiet and listen for His words. I just recently had another one of those times when I thought I was waiting and then as soon as that “thing” happened that I thought was from the Lord I jumped in with all fours. I just knew it was from Him. Because everything and I do mean every thing seemed so perfect. But I wasn’t listening to the Holy Spirit. You know that knot in the gut that just keeps saying “something ain’t right”. I recognized it but I didn’t listen to it enough to not jump in. Until weeks later when I realized that the serpent had just tricked me into taking a bite of that apple. So this time it was a lesson once learned but I needed to be reminded of. So now, I wait and listen and maybe wait some more.

Where do you want me?

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;

This one is the hardest to answer but in some ways the easiest. I know that he wants me where I can serve Him with the gifts and talents that he has given to me. Where his glory will be shown to the multitudes with all focus being on him and not on me. So there is my answer, the easy one that is. But the hard one, not so easy to type out. I think before I can fully understand where God wants me, I have to answer the first 3 questions and have them stamped forever in my head and my heart. It’s not until I have seen the trial for what it is and where it came from, until I have searched for the lesson that I need to learn and waited on him to guide me that I will find where HE wants me. So the hard answer is…. I’m still learning.

Convenient

Have you ever said to your spouse, “Everything can’t be on the top shelf in the front” or “If it had been a snake it would have bit you”? I have many times.

We live in a society of convenience! The “give it to me now and quick!” mentality. And the simpler the better!

You know I’m right! So don’t sit there with a confused look on your face!

But God didn’t mean for everything in this life to be convenient. Jesus made many a trip of inconvenience so that we would have life. The most sacrificial trip was to the cross. So we’re going to grumble when we have to search the refrigerator for that favorite jelly or we are asked to run a friend to the grocery or sit by the bedside of a sick friend. I think NOT!

Galatians 6:2d

 rBear one another’s burdens, and sso fulfill tthe law of Christ.

Romans 15:1–7

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”  For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,  that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Luke 14:28

 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Hebrews 13:1–3

Let us in brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby wsome have entertained angels unawares.  xRemember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.

According to Townsend and Cloud – the authors of “Boundaries” When to say Yes and when to say No”  they say…………..

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. – Galatians 6:2-5

We are responsible to others and for ourselves. “Carry each other’s burdens,” says Galatians 6:2, “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This verse shows our responsibility to one another.

Many times, others have “burdens” that are too big to bear. They do not have enough strength, resources, or knowledge to carry the load, and they need help.

Denying ourselves to do for others what they cannot do for themselves is showing the sacrificial love of Christ. This is what Christ did for us. He did what we could not do for ourselves; he saved us. This is being responsible “to.”

On the other hand, verse 5 says that “each one should carry his own load.” Everyone has responsibilities that only he or she can carry. These things are our own particular “load” that we need to take daily responsibility for and work out. No one can do certain things for us. We have to take ownership of certain aspects of life that are our own “load.” The Greek words for burden and load give us insight into the meaning of these texts. The Greek word for burden means “excess burdens,” or burdens that are so heavy that they weigh us down. These burdens are like boulders. They can crush us. We shouldn’t be expected to carry a boulder by ourselves! It would break our backs. We need help with the boulders—those times of crisis and tragedy in our lives.

In contrast, the Greek word for load means “cargo,” or “the burden of daily toil.” This word describes the everyday things we all need to do. These loads are like knapsacks. Knapsacks are possible to carry. We are expected to carry our own. We are expected to deal with our own feelings, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as the responsibilities God has given to each one of us, even though it takes effort.

Problems arise when people act as if their “boulders” are daily loads, and refuse help, or as if their “daily loads” are boulders they shouldn’t have to carry. The results of these two instances are either perpetual pain or irresponsibility.

Lest we stay in pain or become irresponsible, it is very important to determine what “me” is, where my boundary of responsibility is and where someone else’s begins. We will define what we are responsible for later in our book. For now let’s look more closely at the nature of boundaries.

Townsend and Cloud may have something going here!

So everything is not going to be convenient for us but the trick is learning how to determine when we’re making everything convenient for the other.

We can’t give to our fullest with a glad heart if we’re giving far beyond what we’re able to give.

So pray today for God to give us a willing spirit. Also pray for Him to give us a discerning mind and loving heart.

Lord, You gave way out of convenience. I pray that I will be willing to give beyond and You will give me the strength to go as You lead me. Amen!

Truth has Consequences

I heard it said the other night that “with truth there are consequences.” Yes, this is a true statement. We generally consider the word consequences to insinuate bad or painful. And yes even the consequences of truth can be painful. But I want to add to that statement…………

With truth there are consequences, just as there are with lies. But the consequences of truth are leading you closer to Jesus.

Psalm 15:1-2 O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;

Zechariah 8:16These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;

Ephesians 4:25Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

1 John 1:8If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

There have been times that I have chosen a lie and although the recipient of that lie may never have known that I told it, my soul did. It ate away at me like a parasite, gnawing away bit by bit. It wasn’t until I revealed that lie with the truth that I was free.

As it says in scripture if I wish to dwell in the tent on the holy hill I must walk blameless, do what is right and speak the truth. I must do what I can to make peace and speak the truth to others. I must put away falsehood and acknowledge my sin so that I do not deceive myself and attempt to hide from the truth.

If I speak only of lies, I am binding myself to my past and preventing my future from being holy and indwelling with the Lord. So even though the consequences of speaking the truth may be painful initially, they are far less painful then the consequences of a lie.

He Opens Doors as others Close

We are taught that we must be proactive. We must be willing to be courageous. We must create our own destiny. We must take whatever steps are necessary to succeed. And all these things are true. The thing is when I’m doing all those things with my own power the outcomes do not always have a happy ending. Whose teachings am I getting my mindset from? Whose strength am I building my courage? Whose promises am I depending on for my destiny? And whose steps am I following?

I have found and I am being reminded, “a door is never closed 
that a more beautiful one is not opened when I allow Jesus to open it”. I praise Him daily for always showing me His mercy and love.

Psalm 109:26
Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.

I am Thankful

I am Thankful!I am thankful for those who treated me poorly (whatever the circumstance). I am thankful for each experience that brought heart ache and pain. I am thankful for the many bad decisions I made and the many crazy directions I took.

You want to know why?

For each of those times someone treated me badly it pushed me farther from them and closer to HIM. With each experience that brought heart ache and pain I felt the presence of Jesus. With each of the many bad decisions and wrong directions the Holy Spirit drew me back on the path and allowed me to see the light of HIS glory.

Ultimately I am being molded into the person that God would have me be because of this life I have lead. I am more intentional with my relationships. I have more empathy and compassion for those in pain. I have seen that relying on self is not the path I want to choose so I rely on HIM more.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Awake

Why must the mind race when the body wants to rest? Has this ever happened to you? I’ve gone through periods of times when I just couldn’t shut it off. And I wonder, why?

Sometimes I could tell you specifically what was troubling my mind. Was it an illness, a sin, a misfortune? Was it a trouble within or brought from a force from without?

Sometimes I have no idea. That is almost more troubling then knowing specifically. Why is my mind racing on these things?

I lay my head down, close my eyes and start counting…… 99… 98…97…96…95 and so on. Sometimes that works and I pray I stay at rest. But then others times…… I count down to 1 and have to start all over.

Is He trying to tell me something? Am I not trusting and depending on Him enough? Speak louder Lord, help me trust and show me the promises that will make my dependence strong.

One of the best known scriptures that I would turn to for rest and trust is….

Matthew 11:28-30  (MEV)

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

I can read this and I totally believe each word but my mind still races. Even in times when my soul is a rest my mind wants to take over. Satan is running rampant on my mind. He is entangling all my thoughts and using them to control my body. “If I can make her body weary then she will be more susceptible to my control”, he says. How do I fight him? I turn to Jesus and I allow Jesus to do my fighting for me.

So what scripture does Jesus have to help me? What is He showing me through this night of awake?

Psalm 4:8  (MEV)

I will both lie down in peace and sleep;  for You, Lord, make me dwell safely and securely.

Isaiah 26:3  (MEV)

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Psalm 23  (MEV)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Philippians 4:6-7 (MEV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

So I read and I rest in Him. My mind finds a place of peace and my soul a place of refreshment. As long as I am in His word then my mind is full of His promises and His love and there is no room in there for anything else.

And know I lay down. I find my mind asleep at last.

Thank you Lord!

Change and Joy in 2019

My 2 words for 2019!  I know, nobody wants change but everyone wants joy.  The reality is sometimes, most of the time, to find that joy, change has to happen.  That change may be physical, geographical, spiritual and emotional but it takes internal change to have joy.  And it may take one of the others to have that internal joy.  Nobody wants Change but everyone wants Joy.

There has been much change for me in 2018 and great anticipated change in 2019.  I have found that even though change may be painful, joy has always been a byproduct once I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my change.  Over the last several years I have little by little gave up trying to control every aspect of my life.  Some control has been easier to let go of than others.  Some control has created more pain than others but control does not equal joy. 

I wait with great anticipation to see where the Holy Spirit leads me in 2019.  What change is in store for me!  What Joy will be in abundance!  What love, what forgiveness, what grace and what mercy Jesus has coming my way.  In 2019 I’m embracing change and will walk through that change with great JOY!

31 DAYS OF LOVE for CHRIST

The day will come and we will be judged for our lives. The Lord loves us as we are but has designed us to bring others closer to Him and bring Him glory in the process. How are you living? I ask myself the same each day. Love others and bring the Lord into their lives.

2 Peter 3:10-11 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.

As I think back through the last several years, I see hurdles that I have overcome, fears that I have faced and strong holds that have been released. I see that I have some time succumb to sin and moments that I heard the voice of Satan louder than the voice of God. Through all of these things I have come to today understanding more fully the compassion and grace God gives me and thankful that He is slow to anger and abounding in love for me HIS child.

Exodus 34:6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

Sometimes it’s easier to spread hate than it is to spread love. Now, don’t act like you don’t know what I mean! There are just some people that are easier to hate than love. I justify it! These people either don’t think like me, they don’t dress like me, they’re not the same color as me, they don’t live in the same neighborhoods as me, they’ve hurt me too bad or any other justification I can come up with. If I really look within me, I can find many justifications that God could use against me but He don’t! His desire is for me to be in heaven with Him and if He justifies me away from Him then I’ll be lost. The same goes for those who we justify away. How am I to bring people closer to HIM if I push them farther away from me? Yes, I know…… someone else might pick up the slack with that “one particular person” but maybe that “one particular person” is who God has brought into my life for that “one particular purpose”. I’m not responsible for how that person speaks or acts but I am responsible for how I do.

Leviticus 19:18“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Comparison is not anything new! Even back in Jesus’ time there was comparison. Who is the most worshiped, who has the grandest hut, who has the most servants, who is closest to the king, who has the loveliest figure or who is sitting next to Jesus. This is nothing new! So why do we struggle with it so much? Surely our ancestors shouldn’t learned already!

God created us all different! He created us all for an individual purpose. He created us ALL in His image. We may look different, act different, heck even smell different but we are all His creation. A creation that HE loves dearly.

So get off that comparison band wagon and hop on to the wagon of “loving yourself”. If we don’t love our-self it’s impossible to love someone else. We tend to treat others the way we feel like we deserve to be treated. We must turn our love inside before we can show it outside.

Genesis 29:17
Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.

We only have a short time to make a difference in the lives of our children and those others around us. How are we going to use that time?

Show them the love of Jesus. Hug them more often. Say, “I love you” whenever possible. Express sorrow and joy around them so they can do the same. Say, “I’m sorry” and express remorse when needed, providing them a safe place to be vulnerable with you. Be kind, generous, compassionate and forgiving always.

Exodus 20:6
but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

We all have been a foreigner at one point or another. A person doesn’t have to be from the other side of the world be one. We must be mindful to love.

Leviticus 19:34
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Are we allowing God to feed into us so that we’re able to feed into other?

Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

May the Lord always deal with me with His un-measurable and merciful love. When I am blind to my sin or if I am purposeful in it, may You carry me through it. Help me to see clearly the path that You have laid out for me. Do as you have done many times and deliver me. Show me the great blessings that you have for me and help me live more in Your light. The most glorious beautiful light.

Psalm 109:But you , O God the Lord, Deal with me for Your name’s sake. Because Your mercy is good, deliver me.

These words are what I kept awaking too last night.

Now let me tell you, this one can be hard. Sure it’s easy to say”I trust you Lord!”…… when every thing is going good but as soon as I get that bit of bad news or my life runs into a brick wall, the worry,anger and mind takes over.

Why is that? Why can’t I simply say “I trust you Lord” from the very first second. Why can’t I just shut off my mind. Turn off the wheels of worry and anger. Stop my own need to fix whatever is broken and lay it to rest. I want to trust more! I want to trust from the very first second Lord!

Psalm 32:10
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

Oh how I love Him! Oh how I am grateful! But do I always, without hesitation, bow at His feet and receive His instruction. If I was wearing the “good christian” mask, I would say “Yes”! But I don’t! I believe that He has me in His hand and I believe that He loves me unmeasurably. But I still want to follow my own instructions some time. Admittingly saying “I trust myself before I even think to turn to You”. I hate that about myself! But He is a patient and loving God. He wants me to turn to Him by my own will. I am better than yesterday and still learning so tomorrow promises greater things.

Deuteronomy 33:3
Surely it is you who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand. At your feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction,

Have you felt the pains of imprisonment? And I am not talking the physical being being imprisoned behind bars but that is definitely part of the image. I’m talking the imprisonment of being in a place, a situation, in your life that you could not break free from. It could be in your career, your home or simply in your mind. A place where Satan lives. A place where you are being held back. A place where your glory in Christ is being restricted. A place where you are unable to shine for Him. A place where anger or judgement fills the air. A place where you fill you can not escape the entanglements of life. A place where you are being injured either physically or emotionally and you have no where to run. Paul speaks of such a place, but he writes of a way out. Please go to your bible read the full chapter. This is my take out of the Modern English Version this weekend during a meditation time.

I thank my God that regardless of my circumstances I send my requests to Him with Joy. He has me in His heart and in my imprisonments. That I am in defense and confirmation of the gospel and I am a partaker of grace. For God is my witness.I pray that my love for Him may abound in more knowledge and discernment being pure and blameless for the day of Christ. And I will be filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:3-11(MEV)

I thank my God for every reminder of you. In every prayer of mine for you all, I have always made requests with joy, due to your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this very thing,that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.

It is right for me to think this of you all because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonments and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are fellow partakers of my grace. For God is my witness,how I long after you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all discernment, that you may approve things that are excellent so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, being filled with the fruit of righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ, for the glory and praise of God.

Honestly I would have not made it through the last 57 years without Him. Alot of the time I didn’t even know who “HIM” was and some of the time I acknowledged Him but didn’t allow Him to direct my life. It’s only been a short time that I’ve learned how to rest secure in Him and build a relationship of seeking Him. But the last 6 years I’ve become the one the Lord loves who rests between his shoulders. That has not be easy. But it has taught me about His unconditional love for me.

Grateful is he who rest secure and loves endlessly!

Deuteronomy 33:12

About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

There is no other. His love is forever, always, unconditional, everlasting, grace-filled, forgiving and merciful. He has blessed beyond what I deserve and He has given me reason for hope. He has shown me I am qualified to journey on the path He has laid out for me. He has given me strength to endure the trials and love to rejoice. He is Good, He is Love, He is Hope.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Joshua 23:11
So be very careful to love the LORD your God.

I give it all to You Oh Lord, I give it all to You! My happiness does not depend on the things of this world, if so I would be lost, but it depends on the love that You give to me. And because You give, I want to give to You that much more. And so the cycle continues.

Psalm 17:7
Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Greatest lesson ever learned……… He is the forgiver of all past if I allow Him to be the controller of my future.

I was a good girl for the most part growing up but I definitely had my share (or more) of really bad decisions. And as an adult in my Christian walk I’ve had many times of stepping into the darkness of sin. But I know Jesus and He gave me a reason to walk closer to Him. What a freeing reality and what a motivating promise……. I am FORGIVEN! I am LOVED! I pray for that freedom over all who are walking in that darkness today.

Psalm 25:7
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.

We can not say with our lips, “I love you” and think that is enough. We must put that love into action. And not action that is for self gain but action that is selfless. That is what our Lord does for us. Yes, He does want us with Him in eternity but allows us to come to Him on our own terms. He does not dangle riches in front of us wanting us to take a bite. He does not say do as I will and I will love, He simply loves. But when times get tough and we need Him, He is always there and shows us His love through His actions towards us. Therefore our actions towards Him must also be there.

Psalm 59:16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Because of the sacrifice you made for me, I will praise you with each step I make, with each word I use and with each thought I think. Your love for me is greater and I am thankful!

Psalm 63:3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

I love HIM like crazy! And some would say I am crazy for that. But I know who I am and Whose I am only because of my Jesus. The one that I can call out to 24/7. The one who has my back regardless. The one who will defend me when I need defending, admonish me when I need correcting and guide me as I walk His path. He deserves every ounce of my love and I deserve none of His yet He gives it to me freely.

Psalm 86:5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Being reminded this morning that His love is what keeps me standing firm and my hope in Heaven itself keeps me faithful. Nothing on this earth can shatter that!

Psalm 89:2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

I call out to Him by name!

Psalm 91:14“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

I do not have to justify and I do not have to hide in shame for the Lord is my only judge. I wake each day and live with the love of the Lord on my side. In small things and in big He guards my life and will protect with His mighty power from those who choose to cause harm.

Psalm 97:10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

I have found and I am being reminded, “a door is never closed that a more beautiful one is not opened when I allow Jesus to open it”. I praise Him daily for always showing me His mercy and love.

Psalm 109:26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.

Without doubt, with hope, without shame, with joy, without darkness, with forgiving light, Jesus took away and gave me these things through selfless Love.
Psalm 136:2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.

Acknowledging the truth, even the painful truth, is what the Lord would have us do.  When we try to hide or ignore our sin or the sins done to us, we are pushing Jesus further away.  He refuses to live in the darkness of our lives and He doesn’t want us to live there either.  Let the Lord open your eyes to the ugly and allow Him to heal those spaces, then His love will fill them up.

Psalm 146:8

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises those who are brought down; the Lord loves the righteous.

How blessed we are to have a Savior who gives with His whole being. Never holding back from us, only so that we will be with Him forever.  Because of His love for me, I too will never hold back from Him.

Isaiah 9:6 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

We should not fool ourselves into believing that He does not see our wicked ways.  Whether we want to step out of denial of our sin or not, Our Lord sees.  Life as Jesus would have it is beautiful and loving but living in our sin will only destroy that which He can make beautiful.   Let the Lord love you, as He has loved me, drawing me from a life without hope to a life filled with abundant love.

Psalm 145:20

The Lord preserves all those who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.

Do not live a life full of anger and bitterness, this will kill the soul and trouble the mind.  Let the Love of God fill your heart and direct your actions.  If we are living under the guidance of Jesus we will show love regardless of the pain that has been caused to us or the sins of our past.  We will love deeply and fully because we understand the Love He has for us.

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.

The Lord has pulled me in close and shown me how great His love is.  Without that I would be lost.  Without that I would be hopeless.  Without that I would be self-condemned.

Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.

I can wake tomorrow secure in His love for me.  I can close my day with praise for His unfailing love and my deep sorrow for my sin knowing that He is washing it away with every new sun rise.  His love is filled with compassion for me.

Lamentations 3:22

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail.

We are not walking this earth without help walking with us.  The Holy Spirit is here and working with us, helping us maneuver through this life.  We are never alone.  We are never forgotten. 

Romans 5:5

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Have rejected Him in our walk?  Jesus Christ came to save us and died for the same reason and then arose to let us know His love and forgiveness is forever with us.  Do not reject that love that He has given.

Revelation 1:5

and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

Revelation 2:4

“But I have something against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Spread the Love

Rhonda G. Leach Gould2

Sometimes it’s easier to spread hate than it is to spread love. Now, don’t act like you don’t know what I mean! There are just some people that are easier to hate than love. I justify it! These people either don’t think like me, they don’t dress like me, they’re not the same color as me, they don’t live in the same neighborhoods as me, they’ve hurt me too bad or any other justification I can come up with. If I really look within me, I can find many justifications that Godcould use against me but He don’t! His desire is for me to be in heaven with Him and if He justifies me away from Him then I’ll be lost. The same goes for those who we justify away. How am I to bring people closer to HIM if I push them farther away from me? Yes, I know…… someone else might pick up the slack with that “one particular person” but maybe that “one particular person” is who God has brought into my life for that “one particular purpose”. I’m not responsible for how that person speaks or acts but I am responsible for how I do.

Leviticus 19:18“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

JOY

Is joy a choice? Yes, I believe it is!

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

In the holiday season emotions can run hot. The past collides with the now. Family gatherings sometimes can stir up old and sometimes new entanglements that haven’t yet been dealt with. But we want so badly to be joyous. 

That joy can be ours if we choose it. Jesus gives us a reason for joy each day. Look for it, grab it and spread it around!

It’s not about who has come & gone in your life, it’s not about the approval of others, it’s not about reaching the top of the career pole, it’s not even about you!

It’s solely about JESUS and who HE has brought into your life for you to love & receive love back, it’s about HIS unconditional love and grace-filled approval, it’s about HIM directing you where you can bring HIM the most glory. It’s about JESUS living within you!

Psalm 16:11 You make known tome the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Joy is the brave response!

I don’t know about you but my life has not always been a Pocketful of Sunshine. He tells us until the day we come to be with him life will not be easy. But he shows us a better way. Our response tot he hard times is the proof of how fully we trust him.

Psalms 20:5 says, May we shout for Joy over your victories and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.

In the darkest of moments we feel alone. But when we let Jesus into our life, into our day today trials his presence will be shown. And because of that presence Joy will prevail in our walk. Our words will be words of love and kindness. Our darkest moments will pass with the next day’s light.

Psalm 21:6 surely you have granted him an ending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.

We are awake in our mornings and walk through life seeing with our eyes only what we want to see. We feel with our heart only want we want to feel. We can be selfish beings, processing those things and not considering others. But if we truly have the Lord living within us, radiantly Shining, allowing love to come  into our hearts and open our eyes wide to those around us then the outcome of our life will be filled with Joy and that Joy will be spilled over into the lives of everyone else around us.

Psalm 19: 8 The precepts of the Lord are right,giving Joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

How do we find the joy in times of trouble?
                                                         
Romans 12:12 says Be Joyful in Hope, patient in affliction,faithful in prayer 
                                      
That sums it up!                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Our hearts are the most important organ in our bodies. Everything works because our heart is working. If our heart should grow weak then our bodies will be weak but if our heart is strong we will have a better chance of being strong. What do we want to fill our heart with, joy or anger? We can choose who and what we take into our lives which will determine the    status of our heart. The process of determining that can sometimes be painful but the long term results will be for life.

Psalm 126:5 “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of Joy.”

When we walk through our days with the past lingering over us, we live in fear of the hidden becoming light. But when we allow the past to only live in our past then our future lives in truth and is bright.

Psalm 30:11 “You turned my wailing into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with JOY.”

Climb to that highest mountain and shout it with all your strength! Share it with your neighbor! Live it amongst your family! The JOY is yours, He is showing you reasons to have it with each new day, with each new experience, with each new person that comes your way. Share it, give it freely! That is the way He wants you to live!

Job 8:21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of JOY.

Be aware of your words and fill them with Joy. Be intentional with your speech when you share those words. Be the light that brings HIM the glory as you walk.

Psalm 33:3 “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for JOY”

I praise the Lord in all I do.  I trust in Him for everything.  I am nothing without Him.  I am everything with Him.  He is my protector and justifier.  He love unconditionally and always.  He walks with me through my joys and my trials.  He leads me when I am lost.  He holds His hands out so that I can find Him.  He is a Good Good God!

Psalm 5:11  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing Joy. Spread protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Lord because of You I have JOY in my life.  Amen!