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Why Faith?

18 Sep

I don’t for one second believe in Karma or in the universe’s ability to sling back to me what I put out there. Why, oh why, would I want to go back to the idea that we get what we deserve? Worse, the lie that we ultimately have control over what happens to us.

Stand in front of a tornado and tell me you can control the path it takes. If it hits your home, did you put something out in the universe that drew that tornado to you? Watch your child die from disease. You would gladly change places, if you could, but you cannot control these things. Tell me that this beautiful child is dying because of something they did wrong. That you or they deserve it, if you believe in Karma.

We are built to worship something. There has to be something we can turn to, beyond the worldly possessions and heartaches. We can try to fill that void with relationships, alcohol, drugs, sex, work, money, popularity… Or is life simply about learning to let go of the illusion we have control and learn to leap into the vast and amazing life of Faith… to lean in to something bigger than ourselves?

The message I learned growing up in the Catholic Church is that constant repentance was called for, but ultimately, you would never really be good enough to achieve Heaven. Pergatory, yes, but not heaven. So if we get what we deserve, (Karma) you can get to heaven by being a good person. How good do you have to be to get in and how bad do you have to be to not get in?

Where does the line of Grace begin, where does Mercy start? If God is perfect (Good) and Satan is Evil (Bad) where is the line between the two? And who has the authority to decide that?

Divorce for me was a catalyst for intense change within myself. I had to want to die, to actually find Him. I had to go through so much loss to lose myself to Him. To give up the idea that I had the ability to steer my life and keep myself afloat. I didn’t…including my sin.

We will all go through suffering; Intense pain and suffering. We will lose loved ones and we will face illness in one way or another. People will let you down and you will screw up. We will have trials beyond our ability to control.

Did you do that to yourself? Maybe instead, it is the realization that it is all bigger than us. It is far more difficult to surrender to God than to simply say.. Karma is a bitch. Surrendering and saying “God..Walk me through this journey of pain, I trust you; Teach me, mold me,make me the instrument of Your love, Your light for this dark world. ”

Surrender: v. without object to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.
n.the act or an instance of surrendering.

The key to faith is surrender,not being perfect;not being good, not being without sin. I reached out to Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior as a young woman. I was saved! I had that kernel of knowledge. That HE was who He said He was. He brought me through all the ups and downs of life without demanding attention. But.. there comes a time when He will shake things up. His timing.

The truth is, I operated from a “good people get what they deserve, bad people get what they deserve” perspective. Sadly, we all have our flaws. So, again… who decides that line, what is good enough?

Jesus had plans for my journey. I was a woman that had things under control. I raised 6 kids. I was strong! He came in and like Job, allowed my life to turn upside down. My world spun out of control. I was scared and lost. It was more than I could bear. And there He was! Just like that. A presence that was felt so near. I could literally feel Him;Intensely.

Suddenly, I was surrounded by strong, loving, Christian women. He made me new. I didn’t repent of all my sins. He removed them from me, He is still removing them or showing them to me. I learn more and more, every day. My idols are shown to me in new ways. He teaches me. I needed Him then and I need Him now. I could not have done that.

When I surrendered, I knew that I had reached the end of hope, the end of my ability to make my life work. I was a good person, I still am. I am also a sinner. I am a person that needs Christ. I can’t be perfect. I can’t do right all day, every day. My thoughts betray me. I am so aware of my need for Christ because I cannot be good enough on my own, to earn all that Heaven holds for me. His Grace and Mercy are absolutes in my life, the cornerstone for who I am and how I walk this world. I have to trust His promises that I am saved or I have no hope. He doesn’t lie.

My journey with Christ is what I know. I know who HE has been with me, for me, near me, beside me, in me. I am not capable to make the changes in my heart that He has made. He dwells there and because I accepted that He loved me enough to die for my sins, the bridge between my sin and God has been placed. I am grateful, reverently aware of Him and my heart overflows with abundant love.

It is not about my sin, because of Grace. It is about Jesus. But God, because I absolutely can’t on my own.

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

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Meditations of a Christian mind on Resolutions and Goal Setting.

31 Dec

Revelation 21:5(AMP)
5 And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).

As I was sitting down to write my resolutions, hopes and goals, I realized, I wanted to know what God has to say about these things I was planning. I wanted to know how He would like me to plan for the year ahead and much to my joy,I found the list was very long. I enjoyed this so much and found this so helpful for me, I thought I would share it. I pray for Peace and Hope for your new year.

Foundation for the New Year: Start from the basic understanding that goals are to be prayed over. Seek His wisdom in your Goal setting. Let Him guide you as you make plans to grow. But keep him at the Core. Begin by writing out your hearts desires, then begin to pray for Wisdom.

Philippians 4:4( NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:33(NLT)
33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Proverbs 3:5-6(AMP)
5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Romans 8:38-39(NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Personal Growth and Living Better. The bible is full of perfect instruction: Start Fresh, We all have things we drag around like luggage. Scripture tells us to simply learn from the past, and move forward without it. Leave it where it happened. Let go of anger, learn to forgive yourself and others, learn patience, abide in peace, be a light, think before you act, be grateful and be present.
Ephesians 4:26-27(MSG)
26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

Proverbs 14:16(NLT)
16 The wise are cautious[a] and avoid danger;
 fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

Philippians 2:15-16(MSG)
14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.

Isaiah 43:18-19(NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Lamentations 3:22-24(MSG)
22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left

1 Peter 1:3(MSG)
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

Lamentations 3:22-23(AMP)
22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

Romans 2:1-29(NIV)
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Setting Financial or Organizational Goals:
Proverbs 6:6 (NIV)
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Luke 14:28(NIV)
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

Luke 12:15(AMP)
15 And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing [a]overflowing abundance or that which is [b]over and above his needs.

Deuteronomy 8:18(MSG)
17-18 If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.

What does God say about Fitness and Diet:
1 Corinthians 6:20(AMP)
20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a [a]preciousness and paid for, [b]made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

1 Corinthians 10:31(NIV)
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Timothy 4:7-8(TLB)
7 Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. 8 Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

What does God say about how to choose a partner or loving our partner (In relationship, we are to better prepare our partner for meeting Christ, choose wisely, and love as you are Loved) :

Proverbs 4:20-24(TLB)
20 Listen, son of mine, to what I say. Listen carefully. 21 Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart, 22 for they will mean real life for you and radiant health.23 Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life.
Proverbs 4:23(NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7(NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Galatians 5:22-24(NLT)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
( 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? This doesn’t speak about different levels of belief. Just non-believers. )

Finding and growing in your Spiritual Gifts. We are blessed to be a blessing. If you don’t know your Gifting, this could be a great resolution.

Genesis 12:2(NIV)
2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.[a]

1 Peter 4:10-11(NLT)
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Hebrews 13:7(AMP)
7 Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith ([a]their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their [b]leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).

Ecclesiastes 3:11(AMP)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Mark 16:15(AMP)

15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole [a]human race].

1 Corinthians 12:5-11 (NLT)
5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[b]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.


Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.