Archive | September, 2013

Corningware

9 Sep

1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Living a stubborn life, a prideful life, a frustrated life, leads to chaos and hurting. We try so hard to hang on tightly to our world, to our wants, to our ego. We stubbornly don’t trust the journey to God’s hands. We wonder why we find no peace. There is no peace in the power struggles we engage in, whether they be with others, ourselves or God. With our ego, our wants, or sin.

I learned the hard way. By loss. Now I learn quickly and without much hardship. Trust is hard won but how can I not trust HIM, that changed me from the inside out? I am at peace. There is no fear. When I have moments of fear, I am reminded quickly that He is there, He is beside me, He has a plan. Let go.

I was broken. I was a control freak. Controlling (illusionment,of course) every aspect of life. Scared to death should any of the balancing act tip. I wanted to create a perfect life. For my family, for me, for my loved ones. I can go back to childhood and know exactly when this happened in me, because the proverbial “other shoe” did drop. I learned to depend only on myself. I lived in fear of abandonment. Funny how abandonment comes to those that fear it! There is some truth in projecting our fears onto our lives.

I was scared most of my life. I think too, I never felt loved and I never felt lovable. I was frustrated. I never felt as if I deserved to be cherished. I took a backseat in life, as if my life didn’t matter as much as anyone else’s. It was a lonely place in my heart. Wanting to be wanted and loved. Being told by those I sought love from the most, that I wasn’t good enough. I chose that. So this isn’t about them. This is about me. Being told week after week I wasn’t worthy, that I wasn’t wanted, wasn’t needed, wasn’t right in any way. The list is long of the things that were wrong with me. From that perspective comes a defensive insecurity, or maybe it fed a defensive insecurity. I was a mess. I didn’t see it that way and though I was coming to a place of acceptance of others, the real journey was to take place in my heart.

Having everything happen all at once, the end of my marriage, job loss, not being able to go back to my home, my pets, losing my step children, finding out the depth of betrayals, losing friendships,everything I thought my life was about, really ended up being the catalyst for great change in my life.

I wasn’t just broken, I was shattered. Shattered into a billion pieces. Here is where Jesus came in. When I could not face the pain, when I reached the bottom of sorrow and self hatred, when the only hope I had was death, in one moment, in one wake up, I was transformed. He didn’t piece me back together, he didn’t glue the pieces together. He made me new! I wasn’t just new, I was Corningware new,unbreakable. From one day to the next, I went from shattered to brand new.

In that moment, I wasn’t sinless, I wasn’t holy. I was found.
He found me,He pursued me. He grabbed me so tight, hugged me close and promised me He would never, ever, ever forsake me. He showed me how beautiful He made me, He showed me his great promises for my life, my future. He begged me to see how much He loved me and would provide for me and bless me,if I would only just commit to Him. He asked me to take all of those broken pieces and place them in His hands and let Him lead the way. He said trust Me, with a Love I cannot put words to.

I worried what going all in for Christ would be like. I was worried it would be boring, or I would fail at it. I thought about what my friends would think, who I would become. But still, He pursued me with loving promises.

I said yes. The most amazing transforming word ever,”Yes”. That is where this journey of faith really began.

Transformation doesn’t make us perfect. We never will be. It just makes us never lose hope. Transformation is a knowing, a peace inside at all times, no matter how sad, uncertain or difficult life can be.

Transformation allows us to see ourselves in transition instead of right or wrong. We are sinners,we can’t change that, but we are loveable. He loves me so much!
The more I trust Him, the deeper that Love goes. He courts me. He tests me. He guides me. He loves me. He loves me so very much. He gives me such abundance. My joy is unshakeable, even when I am forgetful of Him at times. He is everywhere I look.

I love the Lord with all my heart and He loves me bigger than that. I am Corningware. Unbreakable in Christ.

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way He loves me.
~ David Crowder

2 Peter 1:4
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
Jeremiah 29:11
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.
Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Isaiah 40:29-31
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.
Philippians 4:19
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:37-39
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Proverbs 1:33
But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.”
John 14:27
“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.
Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

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“Good” Christian

2 Sep

Every week, I am touched in one way or another, called upon to learn and to grow in my walk with God. This week was no different. My thoughts have revolved around how others perceive us or even persecute us.

How many times in our Faith journey have we been misunderstood, judged, shunned, gossiped about? We are definitely watched.

Do they watch because they want us to fall? Do they watch because they want to believe it isn’t real? Are they jealous of our joy? Have they been hurt by those they hoped were kinder because they said they were Christian. What does it matter? They are watching! How are we measuring up? There is a song that says..

“They will know we are Christians by our love…”

The truth is, we should be held to a higher standard, and if you are honest, aren’t you being a hypocrite? Where is the Grace and Mercy that was given freely to you, with incredible suffering and paid for in blood?

The world tells you that your emotion, your anger, your hurt feelings are so important that they need to shared. Where in our Bible does it instruct us to judge someone’s choices, or to share our political rant, or prejudice. The willingness to share our opinion of right and wrong is not biblical.

We are instructed to take our whole lives to Jesus; To take our unkind thoughts, our hurt feelings, our indignation at the unkindess of others Only to Jesus, in prayer. I challenge that we should not even share these things with our best friend or our spouse. Seek to be forgiven for harboring hurt or resentment, forgive and then pray for the person(s) that you are holding any negative feelings about.

1 Peter 2 (AMP)
2 So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind.

The Bible clearly states that if you are in ministry at all, then your standard should be nothing short of transparent in your sin and The Fruits of the Spirit should be visible.

Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge].

That said, if you praise Jesus at all, in an open forum, if you proclaim His Name; You are ministering. You are held accountable. You must take account of your actions at all times. When you walk in Faith, even if you don’t preach, the world is watching you. To be a Christian means nothing will be easy. The words, “she is supposed to be a Christian” will be attached to the gossip. We are expected to be better than others, Non-believers actually expect us to act more like Jesus than WE seem to at times.

Though the world judges and the world gossips, YOU will be called out on such actions,even by those that are judging you or gossiping about you. Those actions bring mockery to your faith. But, to point a finger and call a sinner a sinner, when we are sinners, IS hypocrisy. To do as I say and not as I do, is a grave sin.

To be a Christian means you MUST hold your actions to a higher standard. You cannot walk with one foot in this world and one foot in His and not suffer. I wonder just exactly how many times I have given the naysayers justification and the hopeful watchers disappointment? I am a hypocrite far more often than I care to admit. That knowledge stings, but it is the truth. This should pierce you as well, because it is true of all of us!

Proverbs 18:21 (MSG)
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

It isn’t our works but our walk that He is most interested in.The world should not know our works as we should be doing our faithworks for the Glory of God and not for the eyes of mankind. So it goes without saying it is our walk that the world is watching as well. How does your walk look?

Matthew 5:16 (AMP)
16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your [a]moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and [b]recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.

1 Timothy 4:12 (AMP)
12 Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.

James 1:26 (AMP)
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren).

Matthew 17:5 (NIV)
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”