Crafty Fool

19 Jul

I have had warfare going on and I knew it was the crafty devil trying to rob me of my peace this week as I dropped things, got pulled over, an unwanted text, someone trying to create an issue for their own purposes. We just need to be aware and rise above and see that we only fight one enemy.

I realized I had, for the first time this year, missed reading my one year bible study, missed my quiet time for three days in a row, I realized he was distracting me.  I am fully aware that we really only have one enemy and he is weak compared to my God. We must recognize him in all that he does.

When we slowly move through each trial, learning and growing in our faith, each lesson building our character and strength, Satan begins to come at us.  He knows that our faith is strong so he needs to stop us from helping other’s become strong.

As we grow in understanding, we learn to anticipate his attacks.   As we grow, he becomes more crafty in his attempts to sidetrack us.  He will stop at nothing to rob us of peace, to stop us from bringing even one more believer to the throne.

I have had a few successes, a few praises lately. Today I saw that I can begin to see my own success or I can stay fully submitted and give Him the Glory.  We are a steward of all things we have. He gives and takes away for his own purposes.  I was in the paper, which was fun.  As people began to say such nice things, we start to take that on and let that make us feel good.

This morning as I read Psalm 136 it hit me.  I am not humbling myself before Him. When I take my life and think I have determined my own steps, or accomplished for my own gain, then I have stopped submitting, stopped giving Him glory and stopped being able to be used for His purposes.

The beautiful, amazing God that we serve, meets us right back where we left off.  When we resubmit, recognize and humble ourselves again, he meets us right there,as if it didn’t even happen,  “carry on”.

We are not so kind or forbearing of one another, not that forgiving. But God is. What would our world be like if we all were more like that?

Recognizing He has placed it all there, not me, humbling myself, I look up and see a double rainbow in the sky. He is pleased.  He is kind and good and loving and gracious.  I forgot to give Him all the thanks in my heart for all He has done, accomplished in me, changed in me, used in me, blessed me with.  I am a handful! But, He is fully aware and loves me so.

Proverbs 1:7 Fear(Awe) of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.

2 Timothy 4:18 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

10 Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt.
His faithful love endures forever.
11 He brought Israel out of Egypt.
His faithful love endures forever.
12 He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm.
His faithful love endures forever.
13 Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea.[a]
His faithful love endures forever.
14 He led Israel safely through,
His faithful love endures forever.
15 but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.
His faithful love endures forever.
16 Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness.
His faithful love endures forever.

17 Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings.
His faithful love endures forever.
18 He killed powerful kings—
His faithful love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites,
His faithful love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan.
His faithful love endures forever.
21 God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance—
His faithful love endures forever.
22 a special possession to his servant Israel.
His faithful love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our weakness.
His faithful love endures forever.
24 He saved us from our enemies.
His faithful love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every living thing.
His faithful love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His faithful love endures forever.

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Hidden People

15 Jul

Anyone that knows me well knows that I have a heart for women and kids at risk. Women that are beaten down, grieving, suffering and children that have suffered in ways no child should suffer, children lost in the system. The hidden people, I love them most.

My time spent working with the girls of Hansen House, sexually trafficked, thrown away, hidden from the world girls, the boys here at Crossroads Hope Academy and Gator Wilderness Camp, all have opened my eyes to the widespread evil done to children and rocked me to my core. Honestly, it’s bigger than my mind can grasp. It humbles me in a way I can’t even describe. I almost don’t want to. But I have to.

As I had the honor of sitting in a room of 23 broken boys yesterday, I just loved them. As they sang and played instruments, my heart filled with a love for them that I know is also God’s Love. I wanted to rescue each one and fill their wounds with hope and love. These boys are broken in ways you can’t even fathom, walking through abuse and circumstances you didn’t even think could be real they are so horrendous and dark.

The church is under attack, true, and maybe, just maybe, we need to be sifted and shook up, to grab hold of truth and walk closer with God. Maybe we can stop pointing fingers and be changed and transformed within our own souls for God’s purposes.  This one enemy we have has been very busy lately. He has devoured marriage upon marriage, family upon family. He is attacking people when they are weakened, with illness or hardship. This one, just one enemy, is telling this world dark lies, he is lying to people who do terrible things to the babies so they grow up and do terrible things.We have to be wise. There is a very sick underbelly of this world, buying and selling children. Some sell their own babies, for drugs or because they suffered themselves.

Sadly, these are just two homes, two last resort homes because the behavioral issues are so deep, that just a few miles apart are home to are over 40 kids that need hope. These are just the ones that are local for me, one small corner of the world.

Oh Lord,  but my heart is on fire to see miracles in their young broken lives. I love my women and my heart wants to  encourage and to build up every broken woman with a strength and peace and hope that is far beyond what she is walking through and what she has left behind. A strong woman knows she can do the same for others.  But these kids! These children, have my whole attention; my whole heart.

What is the answer? I don’t have it, but I know God does. I covet the prayers of everyone for these kids. For a ministry that captures the families before they do the damage they have done. A ministry that has triggers and that walks beside them, before they harm, helps build them up, helps to heal what is broken in them that makes them cause a child to stumble so far. It is a church need, a church ministry, that needs to rise up and reach out and build up and end the generational abuse. These boys are being ministered to in beautiful ways. But there will be more and the numbers seem to grow.

We simply need God back at the core people! To lead us. To step in where we don’t see need.  We need clarity, and compassion. We need to see truth, we need to see what we need to see. We can’t live under rocks. You don’t have to step in to pour into lives unseen, but we must care!  We must decide where the boundary is.

Satan wants you to be rejecting of this. God doesn’t need you to do anything about this.  I do know one thing however, God loves those children, very much.

Here is my absolute truth. I know that my God can do this, with or without me, but I can’t do anything at all without Him in me. He will open eyes, He will open doors He needs opened.  He has been teaching me lately to listen and to move on His promptings. I have learned to be obedient in those promptings. He is building me up, testing me, making me strong. He humbles me when I get too self-reliant.

Of course, Satan is doing his very best to distract me, derail me, get me off track. We have one God.  And though there are monster’s everywhere, we truly only have one enemy. One.  God is bigger.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, fear of anything else is the beginning of your downfall. As I move towards the ministry God is designing, God will make a way.

Romans 8:26-30  (TPT)

26 And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede[a] on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs[b] too deep for words.

27 God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings,[c]yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny.

28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. 29 For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined us[d] from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him.

30 Having determined our destiny ahead of time, he called us to himself and transferred his perfect righteousness to everyone he called. And those who possess his perfect righteousness he co-glorified with his Son!

 

 

 

 

 

Valuable Lessons

16 Jun

“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. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT

I lead a study for women. I started this group for women walking alone from divorce, widowhood or never been married, but this summer, God opened this up for all women. It happened so naturally, it could only be Him.  When that happens, there is a magic that takes place, a blessing that comes because He placed certain people together.

Grief is grief, so perfectly shared last night, it isn’t just loss of loved ones, or marriages, but we can grieve our health, or anything we perceive as a loss. We all lose over time, things we value. A friend just lost her home due to fire, a family member just lost their job.

As I prayed this morning, read my bible and thought of our conversations about control, fear and loss, it dawned on me that the root for fear in grief is that we don’t see ourselves or our lives the way God sees us. Yes, we naturally mourn deeply when our life changes, when there is loss. Missing someone or the familiar or what we have had before is natural.

Where we get stuck in loss is when we think whatever we lost, defined us.We fear being nothing without that which we think defined us. Having made us valuable, and losing made us nothing.

I revisited Eve and found this truth in Genesis 3:6. “The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.”  The snake was able to get to Eve because she wanted to have more. She wanted to do more. She wanted to  know more and mostly, she wanted to BE more. She wasn’t enough.

Somewhere inside us all, there is the fear that we are not enough. It comes alive when we go through our trials, when we are weakened. We become weak in our sorrow, or health issues, our sleep deprivation, our hunger. There are many ways our fears can begin to play havoc with the truth. We begin to compare and fall short.

God already displayed the grandeur and value of us when He created us. We are beyond valuable to him. He tells us over and over, in many ways.  When He created us in His image He didn’t make any mistakes. He made man in His image. Strong and sturdy. He created women in His image as well, though very different from men. He gave one word to name our hearts and it is only used to describe one other heart. HIS. He numbered the hair on our head!

He tells us that He thinks of us more than the grains of sand on all the beaches of this world. 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!How great is the sum of them!18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; Psalm 139:17-18.  

Most of us at one time or another, have lived in a state of comparison. In some way or another. We compare ourselves not just to people, but also to God.  As crazy as that sounds, unless we are fully surrendered, we are trying to control our world, even if it comes from a pure heart.

God doesn’t ask us to be Him. He provides us the Holy Spirit to be our strength where we are weak. He promises to give us wisdom when we seek it from Him. He asks us to humbly submit all the pieces before Him. To trust Him. It is there, in that perfect place of humble surrender that we fully find His Grace and Mercy.

We must accept and battle, what Eve did not remember, the hardest truth to believe. We are who HE tells us we are. He is who He says He is.  Our bodies do not define us. Our marriages do not define us. Our jobs do not define us. Our social status does not define us. Our children do not define us. Even how well we walk with Him, doesn’t define us. We must come to, and then constantly returning, from a place of surrender. Become humble enough to embrace that He is Omnipotent and Sovereign. To stay in worship of Him only. To constantly let go of idols that mess us up!

God defines us and until we actually grasp of the fullness of that we will never have peace.

         

You Know All About Me

139 For the Pure and Shining One
King David’s poetic song
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
    and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
    You read my heart like an open book
    and you know all the words I’m about to speak
    before I even start a sentence!
    You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
    and in kindness you follow behind me
    to spare me from the harm of my past.[a]
    With your hand of love upon my life,
    you impart a blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
    Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.[b]
Where could I go from your Spirit?
    Where could I run and hide from your face?
If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
    If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
    If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting![c]
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
    your strength will empower me.
11 It’s impossible to disappear from you
    or to ask the darkness to hide me,
    for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.
    The night, to you, is as bright as the day;
    there’s no difference between the two.
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
    and my intricate outside,
    and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.[d]
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
    Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
    It simply amazes me to think about it!
    How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
    when you created me in the secret place,[e]
    carefully, skillfully shaping me[f] from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me![g]
    Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
    the number of days you planned for me
    were already recorded in your book.[h]
17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me!
    How precious and wonderful to consider
    that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
    O God, your desires toward me are more
    than the grains of sand on every shore!
    When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.
19 O God, come and slay these bloodthirsty, murderous men!
    For I cry out, “Depart from me, you wicked ones!”
20 See how they blaspheme your sacred name
    and lift up themselves against you, but all in vain!
21 Lord, can’t you see how I despise those who despise you?
    For I grieve when I see them rise up against you.
22 I have nothing but complete hatred and disgust for them.
    Your enemies shall be my enemies!
23 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.
    Examine me through and through;
    find out everything that may be hidden within me.
    Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
    and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—
    the path that brings me back to you.

Finding Light in the Dark

9 Jun

As we hear about so many suicides, I think about all that I have walked in the nearly 8 years since my overwhelming experience with God; The night that changed everything.  July 9,2010.

What if?  What if I had not decided to go to Friday night church. What if I hadn’t told Pastor Jeff my plan. The plan I made earlier that week. What if Sue and Jeff hadn’t spent the evening talking with me, and praying with me? What if God had not intervened.

What I understand is the blackness. I understand the desire to not feel so much pain any longer, to not feel like a burden or invisible. To not feel so wrong and out of place. To not feel plastic in a plastic world. To not feel discardable. (is that a word?). I understand the isolation of being strong and not telling. No one knew.

What I found was an eye opening, amazing love from and for a God I finally believed was real. Everything crashed down around me and I had nothing left. I was at rock bottom. What I found there was Him. In all His sweetness and love, I found the beginning of a love for a creation He called Beckie. I found a purpose.

What I found was a peace that settle so completely on my soul that night. By morning I was walking on sunshine; From the pit of despair to pure joy. Free.

What felt like a bottomless black, a pain-filled nothingness; morphed instantly into a joy beyond measure. I found my redemption, my forgiveness, the promises of true forever. Hope.

God breathed new life into my weary soul.  I am one of the blessed ones. Blessed to be a blessing.

My sweet friend committed suicide when we were 19. I loved Julie and it broke my heart when she left us. I  still talk to her, still think of her so often. My friend Ron, just took his life 4 years ago this summer. My son, who loves Jesus deeply, through his own journey with coming to terms with his homosexuality, walked a depressed and difficult path. He didn’t come to terms with his own path until he was 31 and it has cost him much in this world. He once told me “if you knew who I was, you would hate me”.  He had his attempts, and many trials. This world is sure unkind to those that don’t fit the world’s view of “acceptable”, those who’s sin is obvious. Especially the saved only by Grace,from their own ugly sin” Christian world.

As christian’s, there is a disparity between being the judgmental harm-doer’s and walking as the truth tellers, not so much in word but in action. If our judgement is keeping someone from seeing God, then we are not walking in truth, nor with Him. I don’t want to be known by the rules I keep, I want to be known by The One that keeps me. Period!

God gave us a perfect savior; A hope despite this broken world. He makes us righteous. I really can’t even make it a day without sin. Sin is between God and I and in the end, all sin is equal. It all drives a wedge between us and Him, but at the end of the day, He loves us anyways. Submission isn’t free from sin, it is an act of surrendering your pride and self sufficiency and acknowledging that “I can’t achieve Heaven without you Lord. Embracing Christ and His death as your only hope.” Hard and easy to do all at once. But He is very helpful. Yes. He is.

Scripture states that we are saved when we proclaim and believe that we are set free by the blood of Christ. Once saved, always saved. It is a very dangerous place to dwell, inside a kind of “judge and jury” of other’s. I choose to take a more humble approach and know that even strong people, even excellent people stumble. Every day.

We have to stop with the right’s and wrong’s and get back to truth. Christians need to LIVE The Word of God in “transparent, less than perfect, need a savior  every single day of my life -because I stink at achieving perfect sin-less-ness without Him” Spending time in The Word, being transparent with God and allowing Him to change us. For His glory!

We need to look beyond the pointed fingers to see the need. To see sorrow in eyes that are haunted. To see anger in eyes that are weary, sick of how hard this world is. See into the eyes that can’t look at us, Eyes that are afraid or ashamed.  We need to be so apparent in our humble (not of our own making) loving kindness (because He has loved us so much) that people are willing to share with us. Willing to trust us.

This world is out of control in many ways, Our world is spinning so fast now. Pain and suffering all around us.

Seriously,  Be a light. Be hope for those that are grasping for a reason to hope.

Be the one that saves the one, like me. God leaves the 99 for the 1. Because the 99 already have a future with Him. He already has the 99 beheld. The one that wanders is more passionately desired and pursued by God than those of us already in His loving Grace.

When you sit in a judgement filled world, trying to protect the values you say you believe in, while you use your words as weapons, as unleashed punishment and sit on a bit of a higher plane, thinking you have this Christianity right, just know that I pray in earnest for you. For you to find the truth.

We need be truth tellers, absolutely. Mostly in our actions. Our tongue is too unpredictable.
God says: Ask, Seek and Knock!

Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Matthew 7:7-8 

He loves us. He loves us so much. He loves us in our broken down yuck. He loves us in our prideful state. He loves us regardless of how far off the path we have gotten. That is the God I found at the pit of despair. A loving, kind, strong, protective, never-ending presence, pursuing, giant of a God.

Blessings are not financial, they are Him. His peace. Grace and Mercy. Remember…”If it isn’t true for the believer that has to beg for food, or seek to find water for her child, then it isn’t true.” That is the God that is truth. The God that is beyond our circumstances, beyond what is here and now. He is every present, ever knowing, ever loving, always.  He doesn’t change. Not ever.

I don’t know why we reject Him. I know I sure did!  I think it’s partly because we think God makes life rosy, ( His own son suffered terribly, so no, that isn’t truth) I believe it’s because people have really messed up the image of Him. People have done horrible things in His name. But that isn’t God. That isn’t Christ. That is just additional people that need Him, need to really understand who He really is.
Being self reliant lead me down a dark path. Eventually, I had to come to the place where I knew I needed Him, being made whole has changed my world.  It is still changing me. I am still growing and learning and becoming a better Christ follower. But don’t look at me, look at Him. He is the model. I am the one running all over the place!
If you are that one, the one that is hurting and thinking that the way out is death, please seek Him first. Please see that it’s all lies. The idea that it will never get better, that you can’t get through this, that this is too hard. Please talk to me or someone like me. Try God!

“Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door Matthew 7:7-8 TPT.

[a]Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock andkeep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 AMP.

 

Bless The Lord

28 May

Trials can make faith really hard sometimes. (Fear. ) it’s been a subject of discussion with several in my circles lately.

David was such a perfect example for us. He showed us how to truly capture our faith even in trial;to focus our praises only to God. David praised Him from fear, pain, loneliness, rejection, illness, betrayal, sorrow, and abundance. Praise is always on his lips.

Everything starts with belief. If you think about it. What we truly believe in our soul fuels our path.

If we believe – truly believe that God is on the throne and has a perfect plan for you, then what’s to fear?

We have it very hard here in America. We have too much. Like Solomon. He was the wisest and richest. He lost God in the process. Women were his downfall but we all have that idol.

My own biggest roadblock is not trusting God, I fear rejection, abandonment probably most of all, it’s then my belief system. My focus. My idol.

When I have a relationship -I put my fear of man in place of fear of God. Fear meaning my awe, my energy, my fears, my thoughts, my time, and hopes are focused there. Idol. Other God.

We all have our idols. Money, success, security, popularity, control, power, love, our kids, exercise, our bodies, women, men; none of us are immune.

It’s important to constantly be in the word, drowning out the world, refocusing in Him, and praising Him. Because even if your world is a hot mess right now- He is not.

He is still “I Am. “

Read Psalm 103 and pray it out loud. Praise Him even in your trial. No matter the hurt, no matter the hardship, no matter the illness, no matter the betrayal.

Tell Him everything in your heart- the good bad and ugly- He knows it all anyways. Then praise Him. For who He is. For who He always has been, regardless of your circumstances.

Amen.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:1-22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

He Holds Our Hand

21 May

I begin each day in God’s word. I need and protect that time. It is essential to my well being.

This year, I’ve been so blessed to do a one year study with a friend. I look so forward to hearing her insight into the scriptures we read together daily. Mostly, it is what God says to me through his word that simply brings such hunger for more of Him more of His word.

From my quiet time, I learn something new.  I share these revelations with people that I’m praying for, because they are so perfect. Today was no exception. What He showed me, wasn’t just for me. It is to be shared. Always.

This Psalm,written by Asaph, fills me with such hope – he shows hope from faith even in our darkest moments -God never lets go of our hand! How reassuring and needed is that!

“Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭73:21-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life can be really hard some times.  In this world, we are very hard on one another as well. We will have terrible times, we will have depressed times and deep sorrow. We will fall ill, or be hurt by people we care about. We will be afraid. We will have times of loneliness.

What The Psalms point to over and over is the never ending, persevering love of God for us.  It doesn’t mean we have to ignore our circumstances nor our emotion in those times. David acknowledges every feeling he has when he is on the run, (Christ did as well in the garden). The key is this, he also chooses to praise God in the midst of his hardship; despite his circumstance.

It is a free will, purposeful choice to protect himself from more lies of Satan by reminding himself of God’s promises and his past protections. Humbling himself by reminding himself through worship of the sovereign goodness of God.

Paul reminds us to ‘take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ? 2 Corinthians 10:5.  This is so important to remember that we choose what we pour into us. Even more important is who we choose to be around because they will pour into us, when we just can’t.

This is so important. This is the importance of spending time daily with Him. This is the importance of being transparent with our circle. To not act like you have it all together when you feel like everything is crashing inside.

In those times, when we can’t do for ourselves, or when the world is harsh, we can be reminded to to grab hold of His word- to speak praises to Him- along side of our need, grabbing hold when we are lost in our emotions- and reminding ourselves that He is still good. He is still the same God of David, the same God of our blessings. He still as present to us today, as he was to David.

Amen.

“Good Christian”

14 May
I have been meditating on the vertical nature of sin.
More to the point, our relationship to sin and to God and what this means to our outward walk. This has been so freeing and merciful at the same time. Removing years of false ideas of what it meant to be a “Good Christian”.
I have learned the meaning of why all sin is equal in God’s eyes.  Truly, I tell you this;  Any sin, big or small, is ultimately between us and God. Sin erodes our own relationship with Him, we drift apart from Him. When we drift from Him, we stop living within His beautiful, powerful, mercy-filled loved.
How can we walk like a saved, set free from our bondage to sin (meaning we are washed white as snow, because of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection), be the expected “full of light” Christian without staying close to God, eyes on Him? We can’t. We just simply can’t.
When we look away we compare, we judge, the fruits of our relationship to Him, that connection grows dim. We begin to seek other God’s, or we think we are God, and that we control the outcomes; “Look, yes, we did this great thing!”  We try to settle our own scores, we put people in their place, we gossip or tell even the little white lies, we are unforgiving or mean spirited.  Do you see the truth? None  is a fruit of Him within our hearts, and it can’t dwell within the temple (our soul) because it only comes from our closeness to Him. Sadly, robbing us of His merciful gift of grace and peace. What I get hit with deep down, is the ultimate realization that what it really does is robs other’s of seeing the gift of a heart-wrenching, hope-filled, joy-filled beauty of a one on one relationship with Him, our amazing Father, Savior and healer.
It isn’t about being a “better” Christian, or a “good” Christian or a “wiser” Christian, or an evil sinner. It is about dying to self meaning staying eyes focused on Him, seeking after Him first rather than our own pride, hurt, desires, success, busyness, goals, workout, children, etc… Letting go of our own control and self appointed God status. Holier than thou!
Talk to Him. Just talk to Him constantly; About everything. You have no idea how many times I have started a conversation with God, finger pointed at someone who upset me, only to end up seeing how I can be more compassionate or I am also guilty of sin. He leads me, guides me back to humility, grace, acceptance and peace. Every single time. It’s quite powerful. It isn’t always fun, it isn’t always what I want to know, but it’s always true, it’s always good and it’s always healing.

Life hurts and people always mess up. It’s what we do, with or without Christ as our savior. Religion kept you thinking it was about the rules. It’s not! It’s about The Ruler! It isn’t about being “good” or “bad” it’s about being close to the one that gives you grace enough to heal, change, grow, forgive, love through pain and hope. Hope.

I pray to walk a walk that focuses on God, from sun-up til sun-down, to show the world the beauty of surrender. I thank my Father for the grace and mercy He gives because I never achieve that perfection. I pray for humility enough to always be transparent in my journey here, so you know, my heart truly seeks to share His love. My mind, the distractions, the hardships, the ego.. this ego! “My hurts, my offense, my truth, my peace, my wants, my success, my desires, “I deserve it.” Oh dear Lord, please don’t ever give me what I deserve! Please hear my gratitude for not giving me what I deserve, but loving me so much to give me grace I didn’t earn!

Christianity is anyone that believes that Jesus died on that cross and rose from the grave to set us free from our sin. Religion can start to add on to that, but the beginning of that is the truth. If your religion isn’t pointing you to God, to Christ, then it’s not accurate.  God’s word speaks loud and clear to me, and more so the more I spend time in it. He says this to be true. John 3:16.  Christ was born and died for you so you can have a way back to God, even through your sin nature. It’s the only way, because we just simply can’t earn it ourselves! Being saved never said we would never sin again. Seriously, the truth is, if that were true, we would just find a way to mess that up. We need Him always, daily, hourly, minute by minute!

Thank you God! for loving me, just as I am, right where I am at, sinful and goodness, blessed with my own unique gifts, all rolled up in one because of you and for you. Let me be the light that shines in this dark,crazy world. Let me see the finger before it points at others, let me stay close enough to you that I hear “stop, don’t say a word” before my tongue betrays us. Keep my enemy far from me, and give me eyes that see from a place of being so loved, so I can love.  Let me touch other’s by my walk to inspire them to want to know more about this amazing gift of your mercy and grace.  Let me always be humble enough to give you Glory Lord.  I am nothing without you.