NAME

#fmf

In today’s culture, it is all about what name do I fall under. It ranges from white, female, heterosexual, mom, wife, Lollie, Christian and republican, whose identity or value is determined by whatever name is attached to me.  Your name may be different or it may be the same.   But thankfully my name is not determined by culture it is determined by who God says I am.  That my identity is found in Him.  And my value is weighed only by His scales. Only if we all could live by this.

John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own imagein the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Psalm 139:14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

And because I know that my name is not determined by culture all is well with my soul!

My Weakness

Grandchildren….. I have to say that they are the best. My husband claims that grandchildren are our rewards for not killing our children. I have to agree with him on that. There were definitely times! Anyway, I get off topic. Grandchildren! Our oldest granddaughter was at our house the other day and she decided to disobey a specific request of mine. Now let’s just say that she is one determined child! Anyway, when she came back to where I was I asked her about her disobedience and I will never forget what her response was, “There I go again with “my weakness”. Trying not to really have a reaction, even though I about fell out of my seat, I asked her to repeat what she had said. She explained to me that her weakness is disobedience and sometimes she is better than others. I explained to her that she is always good and I love her and God always loves her but she needed to work on this weakness.

We went about the rest of our afternoon and now that a few days have past, I have thought on that several times. Regretfully but also thankfully it made me think about myself. I definitely have my share of weaknesses. And then I remember ………..

2 Corinthians 12:9 [Full Chapter]
Each time he said, “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities.

1st off, I am so thankful that my granddaughter is being taught how to recognize her weaknesses and how to acknowledge them. Secondly, she is learning that recognizing them, acknowledging them and still being loved is possible. Thirdly, once all that happens we can have a teaching moment of how to change those weaknesses by drawing strength and direction from God. That is a lesson that I wish that I had learned at 7 years old. My young adult, middle adult and now older adult years may have been a whole lot less riddled with guilt and shame.

Remember, we all have weaknesses. We all fail and fall short in some way. We all sin! We have been given a way to recognize, admit, find strength and be loved through it. Grasp on to those weaknesses and let Christ show off!

And by the way grandchildren are one of my weaknesses and Christ is showing off big time!

Lack

#fmf

Lack. Not as long as I have God in my corner.

In a world where socioeconomics is weighted heavily in every aspect of our lives, it plays a part in our life through our education, employment and income.

If we solely looked to the world for our socioeconomic status, our value or our worth, we would find ourselves in lack.

But scripture tells us that we will lack nothing, we shall not want if we allow God to be our measuring tape.

James 1:4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

I live my life in abundance and I lack in nothing because I have Jesus and that is all I need. So when I look at my socioeconomics and regardless of where I land on the world scale I find myself full.

He feeds my Soul

Revelation 2:17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

Each day that goes by and with each conversation, I recognize the victory that I have found in Him.

Life has been hard and it still can be. I have lost some that were dear to me, by death or by choice. I have grieved for what I do not have and I have cried out for what I do not understand.

I see the white stone with a new name written on it and I know that it is for me. Given by Him. The one victorious because I have heard Him and I have listened. He has feed me and I have grown.

He does not promise me a painless life but He does promise me life.

With that I shake my head in amazement, this girl, not deserving but still worthy of His love. Not forgotten but forgiven. I have chosen not to be bitter but to choose better.

I have Tasted and it is Sweet


Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Peter 2:2-3

I love spring! This time during the season that God’s warmth bares down on the earth and His refreshment falls freely on us and growth happens.

It’s a beautiful sight to see. Pockets of green starts popping out of the soil and the anticipation of watching the rainbow of colors that will soon appear. To watch the new season’s growth come alive is a blessing to my eyes.

Same goes for the spiritual growth in others. As they seek the Lord and search out His words to allow Him to bare down and refresh their souls. This is a beautiful sight and a blessing to my eyes.

I can only imagine the excitement in my God’s heart when I too seek Him. Spending time in His presence and meditating on His goodness. Allowing my roots to multiply and strengthen my foundation of faith. Gaining stability in my walk. Trusting Him for my protection as the seasons to come blow over me. Asking Him to comfort me during the strong winds and frigid times. Shielding me from the schemes of evil. I have tasted the Lord’s goodness and it is sweet.

Store up My Commands

Today I wait.  Waiting is the hard part.

I’m a “get it done”kind of gal. You give me challenge and I’ll make it happen.

I’m in a season of my life where I’m finding myself leaning less on me and more on HIM. My world has been turned upside down in several areas over the last few years and I’m finding it harder to “get it done” then I ever have before.

I have no doubt that this season is for a reason. And this reason is only known by the ONE who knows me best. Now it’s my turn to allow HIM to “get it done”. To store up HIS commands and wait. To take all that I have learned to this point and wait. To seek out understanding and insight and wait. To cry out to HIM and wait.

Trust and Wait

Proverbs 2 -Moral Benefits of Wisdom

My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you.

12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
    from men whose words are perverse,
13 who have left the straight paths
    to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
    and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
    and who are devious in their ways.

16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.[a]
18 Surely her house leads down to death
    and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
    or attain the paths of life.

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
    and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

Happy Place

Habakkuk 2:1  I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

I know that I’m not the only one who has walked through hard times. Those times for me have come in varied shapes and sizes. And I have walked through them with varied sizes of faith. I share with others that these times are simply an opportunity for growth and a season for learning how to lean on our Lord more but when we’re walking them, it’s hard to see that!

Recently I was walking through one of those times. My dear husband recognized in me what I couldn’t recognize for my self. My faith wasn’t leading my walk and I needed a time of rest so that I could hear the Lord more clearly. So he sent me away for a time such as this. God gave me a wise man. I’m calling this my Happy Place rest!

I took a 9 day trip and rested while I visited many who love me. You know God puts people and places here on earth that will restore, replenish and refocus us. They are God’s hands to hold us, His voice to soothe us and His creations for our eyes to be amazed and marvel at His glory.

My first stop was with supportive and loving but at times also honest friends. We all need those. You know the ones who love us NO MATTER WHAT and when needed will be LOVINGLY HONEST. This is a time of RESTORING!

Then I had a fabulous couple of days with family. Now understand not everyone that is considered family is a blood relative. Over these 2 days I had precious moments with my grandchildren and their parents (my son and his wife). Some how grandchildren trump the child! A time of REFOCUSING!

Then I also visited my old church in my home town. I call it the church I grew up in. Now understand I didn’t attend church when I was a child. So my growing up years were in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. I was at this church for 28 years during the most crucial times. Young married, young parenting and young Christian period. They loved me through some of the joyous times and some of the hardest times of my life. I took steps forward and steps back during those years. I’ve been gone from that church for almost 7 years now and those people, the ones that when I walked in on Sunday morning, their hearts seemed to melt as they hugged me and reminded me how much they love me. A time of REPLENISHING!

Then I was off! Off to a new location for restoring, replenishing and refocusing!

Next stop was at my dad’s and step mom’s. And of course they just happen to leave at the beach……. A time of REPLENISHING! When we recognized the beauty of HIS creation it will settle the soul.

Just in the last 2.5 years, I have gotten reacquainted with my dad. After almost 50 years of not being a part of each others life we now have a chance. So this visit gave us a chance for him to show me off to relatives that remember me but I have no memory of. And also a chance to start a new relationship with a generation below me who I hope to continue this life with. He was able to show me the home that he was born in. A chance for me to make those memories. A time of REFOCUSING!

Now it was time for my trip to head back to where I came from.

When we’re on trips of restoring, replenishing and refocusing, we must be aware of what God places in front of us. One of God’s greatest creations in my book is a body of water. Doesn’t matter the size of the body just as long as it contains water. So as I’m driving I notice quickly a lake just a short distance off the road on my right. I started to pass it up but I remembered that HE talks to me clearer when there is water to wash away all the dirt. So I quickly found a road that lead to the right and I drove until I found a place where I could drive up and walk to the water. A time for REPLENISHING.

After a few minutes of viewing and a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, I was off to my next destination. I headed straight to the home of my Aunt Judy and Uncle Fred’s for some good food and love. I was able to share this time with my cousin and his wife, whom I love dearly. Never do I pass up an opportunity to see family who feeds into me words of love and wisdom. I also got to meet one of the newest additions to the family…. my 3rd cousin. It had been many years since I had spent time with them and it was a much needed time of RESTORING.

After a quick sleep over in my home town, I was off again to my home in Kentucky. During all the driving I took opportunity to praise my Lord in worship and listen to a book called “Circle Maker” and I enjoyed the time that the Lord gave me to RESTORE, REPLENISH AND REFOCUS. But it wasn’t until I pulled into my drive way and looked at the home that awaited me when I realized that the Lord had done all these things for me. He had given me people and places and his creation just for a time as this.

And He reminds me of His promises.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.   John 14:27

He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 49:29-31

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.   Jereimiah 29:11

Thank you Lord for your never failing, ever lasting, great and mighty love!

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.