Tag Archives: surrender

Turn Back

9 Aug

As I begin to really get into the prophecies now, I am prompted to share. One commentary brought me to 2 Peter 3:9,15.
We that are called have to first come to a deep understanding of who God is. The old testament tells us clearly that this world is a fallen world. Nothing is new under the sun.  Sin runs rampant and always has. Time after time, we lost our way from Him and His desires for our living.
Time and time again, we turn back. This new age of believers – harmed by legalism, have swung a bit too far from really knowing His desire for our obedience, and how it protects. New age Christianity will tell you that sin is not that big of a deal because you have Grace. Grace doesn’t exclude the law, it just made you saved regardless of your sin. But you have to know Him, you have to know His laws. Others may attend church, they may believe but really don’t know Him or what His word says. It’s not about punishment or judgement. It’s about freedom. The law was written for our protection and also to give Him praise. What pleasure to Him when we choose to obey rather than sin. When we choose to really be like the disciples, like Paul.
We are not meant to correct the behavior of others, we are called to love our sister’s and brother’s and help them stay the course! What is that course?

Do you ever stop to think about the way you see your Christian Life through God’s eyes?

We are not condemned. We are blessed. We have been set free and Satan knows he can’t steal our salvation, but he will try everything to steal our reputation, our legitimacy in this world, so we can’t be the hands and feet, so we can’t be the light!
He will encourage other’s to lie about you, to discredit you. He will use other’s to negatively affect your ability to touch more lives. He will use your pride, your ego to poke at you. He will use your mistakes and your past to hold you back from really surrendering. He will lie and tell you that to go all in, is to be the church lady! None of those are true. He is a liar. He is very smart and very cunning. But his power is beneath ours that walk in faith.
Every one of our sins, great and small, is still known by God, whether we ever bring it to His feet or not. You are not so far gone that Grace can’t reach you. If we are so self focused, so worried about our lives, so panicked about provision or loneliness or what other’s think of us, how can we honestly give Him glory, how can we be ready if He calls?
This is not the religion of right and wrong, this is the religion of faith, of worship, or trust, of being a disciple! We are saved, and we all sin. Every single one of us. Our salvation happened the moment we turned back. the minute we surrendered, whether we sin or not. He died for us while we were still lost. Sin is what we always battle.. for sure, but our sin, if not observed by us, acknowledged by us, repented by us, is giving Satan a handle on our lives. We give him tools to hold over us.  It causes us to harm ourselves and other’s.  Only the truth will ever set you free. God already knows it all.

Peace comes from knowing we are set free because we can take our unholiness and bring it Christ and we are forgiven. It doesn’t mean we can ignore our unholiness and continue to just be who we are. We must surrender, we must turn to him. Submit to Him. It isn’t the finger pointing, shaming of our sin but rather the “tell me everything so we have nothing between us, so we can be close and I can do everything I promised to do for you. He says to confess to one another, and forgive and ask forgiveness of other sinners. It removes all power from darkness when you do that. You break the chains that hold you back. God say’s I will protect you, love you, grow you, help you and lead you to lead others”.
Deep thoughts!! But my fellow believers, we are Babylon!! We are Isreal! We are Judah! We are Nineveh. Clean your hearts of the sin that is there. Stop living in hiding! No one can judge you as harshly as you do! Go to Him and worship Him. Give him your sin, break the chains that Satan uses to hold you back from a full relationship with Christ!! 
Amen!

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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.

Grace

19 Sep

Grace. What a powerful word.

There is a calling on each of our lives, plain and simple.

When we mature in our faith, and walk in Grace, we walk with The Lord and we are the light that shines hope. When we forgive, (because we are instructed to forgive), and offer grace to someone that by the worlds standards, we should despise and reject, we are heeding our call to  ‘lead like Jesus’.

In the process of grieving my short marriage, I often asked God why?  I have grown to understand, what He reminds me of; There is not one moment in our lives that has not come through God’s hands. Even betrayals (and hurricanes) have been allowed for reasons only He knows and understands.

Only because of His incredible mercy towards me, His healing in my heart, have I found peace.  Grace and Mercy through forgiveness that is not really possible without the fullness of God in our hearts.

There is something about seeing the full power of God coming straight for you that changes everything. What is good and righteous, surfaced within me.  It was purged through raw grief which poured from the deepest part of me. As quickly as it began, it healed, and it healed swiftly. My soul was raw and opened up to His final healing.

When you extend mercy and kindness to someone that caused anguish in your heart it is obviously God. Knowing Him, seeking Him, being surrounded by wise women that walked with me through the valley, all pointed me straight on the path He laid before me. I am so grateful for the peace found there.

Here is the important lesson: as with all trial, this wasn’t just meant for me.  As we grow in our faith, we realize that whatever we walk through, truly is meant to shine the light of Hope to one or many. My grappling attempts, my moments of humanness, are elementary, as common as the darkness in this world and they don’t heal.

But God! He placed his supernatural healing in my broken heart because He needed me to be the light for a soul that is lost.  Grace shown and shared with someone that harmed us is a powerful healer. For both.

In the end, nothing we endure is just meant for us. With God leading us, we will be shown beautiful mercy in our trials when we focus on shining His light. What we journey through is meant to bless the broken with hope, to be the beacon of possibility to a lost and broken world.

When we are well on our journey of faith, we know our lot is already secure and we know who has us, who holds our future. We may get tossed a bit, but we remain steady in the end. We know the outcome.

When we let that Grace fill us to overwhelming joy, it spills over and pours out on everyone. No matter the circumstances, no matter the trial; That just builds more joy.

Thank you, Jesus.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deedsand glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  Matthew 7:1

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14

Shift Change

3 Sep

 

It took many years for me to understand who Jesus is, who He said He is.  Surrender was difficult and honestly only happened from despair.  Religion had clouded the truth of the cross so completely,  it became about how we appear to the world, not the simple (yet so difficult) act of a sinner accepting Jesus as her savior.

I didn’t understand that Grace is Grace, that I don’t have to earn my salvation. My blessings are not earned. He doesn’t punish me, nor remove His blessings. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and for ever.“ Hebrews 13:8 

He already won the war I was still fighting. How many of us are trying to be good enough?  That belief didn’t do anything but frustrate me, because it meant my imperfection and sin kept me from salvation. I also had this hole, this place of loneliness, of not being enough, of anger at not being able to find joy, or peace. Happiness was fickle.

Until the night I surrendered the heartbreaking, defeating strive to earn His love, to being good enough, to just believing Him when He said, “My Grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 9).

He spent the next few years slowly healing me.  I had to spend that time with Him as well,  but I wanted to. I loved hearing the word in church, but also talking to Him. Learning to just sit and feel His love was healing all in itself. I suddenly began to not feel so alone.

I read the Jesus Calling devotional. It became my daily time to read, to meditate and to look up scripture.  Slowly, I began to be transformed. Slowly, I grew in understanding. Sin fell away as I went deeper. Lies became truths, resentments healed, forgiveness became necessary, and peace settled on my heart. I stopped reacting to the world and began seeking His calm when I didn’t have any, His hope when I felt hopeless, His love when I was feeling unloved.  I wanted to know Him more, I wanted to understand more.

As He healed my broken insides, there came the desire to share this amazing Hope. The hope from Grace is like none other. It became less about me, more about Him. The transformation continued. Even this sharing was still about me and my journey.
Slowly, that stopped being enough, purpose began to come to the surface. My time here on this earth, this time of grace and understanding wasn’t about me. My war had been won. My major transformation time evolved to my purpose here. I felt the need to share my testimony, what he did for me, my journey with Him, in the hopes that those caught between faith and doubt would understand what took me so long to learn and truly unlearn.

There is nothing you can do to earn it, there is nothing you can do to lose it. You are never too far gone to be saved. Never too perfect  to not need Christ to enter Heaven. Religion isn’t Faith. Religion tends to be about doctrine and laws. Christ fulfilled the Law. What the law does is create more sin, our world will show you just how much religion can get in the way of who Christ is.  If you believe in Him, you are saved. But! my gosh!… there is a rich and beautiful calling on your life. Not financial, not health, not perfect. Purpose. Healing. Hope. Joy. Peace that surpasses all understanding. Forgiveness.

What the total surrender to and acceptance of Grace creates is a place for Him to begin His work in you; the Holy Spirit enters and dwells upon your heart and you are never alone again. My cup overflows with the Joy of the Lord just writing this.  You have that calling, if you listen. That longing, that need. That is God. He is waiting on the steps, watching for his prodigal son/daughter to appear on the road a long way off… coming towards Him. He will run to you and embrace you from there.

You do have to surrender to Him. You must grasp that He truly died for you and because He did that, by your faith in the power of the cross, builds the bridge for what you can’t do for your self. Be sinless enough.

“Turning a car on but staying park, doesn’t get you anywhere. You have to put it into gear in order to move forward”. (heard on JoyFM)

John 3:16-20 (NLT)

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.

Romans 3:20-24 (NLT)

20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

Christ Took Our Punishment

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[a] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

 

 

Called For More

30 Jul

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

As Christ followers, we are called to live Holy lives. Lives free from sin, living in such a way that when other’s look at us, they can’t help but see Jesus.

I fail. All the time. I seriously feel like I just never get there. He must just shake his glorious fist at me sometimes.

Give me a journey that is laughter, sunsets, no money issues. I am THERE! I am in-tuned, plugged in, so God focused and driven. Yep. I am great with no distraction. When life is smooth…

Now, throw a hardship in my way and I am all over the place. I become drama mama *big sigh*

Here is the truth. I know too much now. I am not a child any longer. I have grown into a mature Christian. It is time for me to walk like Jesus. What does that mean? Does that mean I am wiser, more confident in myself, sin less, take life’s ups and downs in stride with ease? Actually it doesn’t. It means I submit more, seek more, trust more, hope more, lean more, obey better, learn more,become convicted quicker and surround myself with friends that will keep me on His path, not my own.

Maturity isn’t about wisdom, it is about knowing where to find my wisdom, whom my wisdom comes from. Maturity isn’t about telling other’s how to live, it is about showing other’s the truth about living in The Light of Salvation. Showing other’s where my hope comes from, about showing them how I get through hard times, being transparent and sharing all the Love I receive.

Maturity is knowing, nothing I have is because of me, but because He has showered me with favor. Nothing I have lost is because I deserved it. It is all meant to keep me close to Him. Maturity knows that I am to Love. If I love God first, ALL people second, and love this person I have been created to be, then the rest of the law is redundant.

My life will always be shared, I will be transparent. I think in a world that has had so much hurt and harm done, even in the name of thinking they were doing good, it is important to share my heart, my mistakes, my weakness, my complete hypocrisy. I will seek to ask myself if I can cast a stone at you, before I throw it. I will do my very best to always be truthful with myself, I will surround myself with friends and leaders that will speak truth into my life, even when it hurts. Friends that will say, why on earth are you holding that stone? I am a willing example of a truthful journey to understand and know God, to seek truth and to give all of my heart and soul to pleasing The One, The Way, The Hope, My Savior.

You heard the story! You know what He did for us! What is my life worth without that? He is so patient with me. The bible uses the word forbearance. Synonyms are patience, long-suffering, sufferance, tolerance. Such truth in that word! He didn’t just suffer on the cross, He is still suffering over me! I am so not close to being Him…. But I would so love to love His people like He does.

Romans 2:4 (MSG)

3-4 You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

Matthew 8:23-27 NIV
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Romans 3:25 (NIV)

25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[a] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

The Call to Surrender

12 Jul

My beautiful, fellow Christians. I have so much to share with you. This is what God has shown me in the last few weeks, with all this avalanche of hard times, scripture and questions coming at me left and right. We are being strengthened and called to keep our eyes firmly on Him. He is showing up and He is doing a great thing in us. He is preparing us for something big. I see this.
This is the season of hardship. I do believe we are being put to the fire to get us on the same page of surrender right now. We are not under attack from Satan, we are being honed by our loving Father; pruned and honed. Our questions, if we seek Him, will be answered. If we ask for and seek the wisdom He is waiting for us to seek,it will be ours. Being put to the fire, is difficult. Dustin, my pastor, once prepared me for the painful process of this, quite some time ago. It IS painful, but he gave us The Holy Spirit, to soothe our troubled hearts and quiet our troubled minds.
He gave us The Word, the beautiful Living Word that will give us instruction during this time of hardship. Seek the truth, choose your close friends wisely, they will sharpen your knowledge and your walk, with great love.Let them. He gave us fellowship. Seek it, find it, let other’s know you need prayer and ask how you can pray for them. If we are praying for other, we tend to not feel our hardship quite so deeply. He gave us His promise. To love us even as he puts us through hard times.
I am coming through to this eye opening,understanding and calm. This, what I am feeling, is a different knowing. This is peace that surpasses understanding, but with a deep sense of purpose. I feel equipped and prepared for what comes next. I don’t know what that is, but it is coming. I feel it. Pull together, set aside ALL the things that don’t matter, and ask Him to whisper in your heart..

Father, I am yours, and you are mine. Ready my mind, ready my heart to be all you have placed me to be on this earth. Surround me with the Body of Christ followers. We are strong in numbers. Put our minds on the same page, removing the traces of fight and battle amongst your believers so we can walk together in unison, with love, with gentleness, with mighty supernatural strength. Prepare us for the breaking. So we can lift one another, carry one another. Fill our boats to overflowing with new believers. We are your Army, ready for what comes next. Amen.

John 14: (MSG)
The Road
14 1-4 “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”

John 14: (MSG)
25-27 “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

John 14: (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

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

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
 and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit to him,
 and he will make your paths straight

Hebrews 10:24-25 (MSG)
22-25 So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

Matthew 18:20(NIV)
20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:20 (MSG)
18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”

Colossians 2: (NIV)
2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
James 1:12 (MSG)
12 Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5(MSG)
3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Job 11:13-20 (MSG)
Reach Out to God
13-20
“Still, if you set your heart on God
 and reach out to him,
If you scrub your hands of sin
 and refuse to entertain evil in your home,
You’ll be able to face the world unashamed
 and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless.
You’ll forget your troubles;
 they’ll be like old, faded photographs.
Your world will be washed in sunshine,
 every shadow dispersed by dayspring.
Full of hope, you’ll relax, confident again;
 you’ll look around, sit back, and take it easy.
Expansive, without a care in the world,
 you’ll be hunted out by many for your blessing.
But the wicked will see none of this.
 They’re headed down a dead-end road
 with nothing to look forward to—nothing.”

Zechariah 13:9(NIV)
9
This third I will put into the fire;
 I will refine them like silver
 and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
 and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
 and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

Matthew 26:36-44(NIV)
Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Construction Help Wanted

28 Jun

“If you think someone or something other than yourself is responsible for your happiness or success, I’d guess you’re not that happy or successful.”
― Rob Liano

We cannot surrender ourselves to Him, if we don’t first surrender our own controlling need to blame others. Joy is a gift, happiness is a choice. Beckie Halaska. =)

Construction Crew or Wrecking Crew~

When my children were little, it amazed me how their behavior was always at its worst on the days I could tolerate it the least. Now I see how this is so logical.

It took me a very long time to realize I was “creating” the circumstances in my own life. It was a slow process for me. I kept waiting for everyone else to change. I wasn’t looking within myself to identify the problems.

Change is a process, it takes time. Having a different attitude is the first and most important step to allow that change to take place. Having knowledge has nothing to do with having the ability to apply it to yourself. It takes effort and a conscious decision.

Looking within, I found that my fears were the roadblock, keeping me from letting go of the past. The past was still what I based the future on, clouding my ability to see the changes that were possible. I was afraid. Afraid of failure, or maybe even success.

Seeing that I have a choice…if I choose not to react to my fears, instead, simply just acknowledge my fear and choose to trust… Thats all that is really needed…Nothing more than that.

I gave fear a lot of power and didn’t realize trust, love and forgiveness were a choice. I knew I loved, the feeling love. But I didn’t choose the attitude to love. The verb.

I had a light bulb moment. It wasn’t huge, just a hmmm..sort of moment. From that moment on, I have been calm. Conscious christian, bible based dialogue focuses on the positives, reaffirms the good. It sheds love and allows for a positive attitude. If you focus on the negatives, it could be awfully impossible to have hope, good times, closeness. I am learning that attitude on my part is simply just a choice. Actually what I am doing by reacting is saying I believe I know what will happen next, what this means about how you see me, what my worth is, what the outcome is going to be. Assuming I will be hurt, when in reality I will in fact be unhappy, we will be stuck, but only because I convinced myself of it. Knowing this is actually calming. It has been the single most important thing I have ever done for my relationships.

What kind of life, relationship’s I have is entirely up to me! It’s attitude. If you really see that, embrace that, it becomes so simple. If you look for negatives, you will find them, if you look for positives, you will find them. People will never disappoint you either way. We are the greatest critics of other’s, yet we want no criticism. Oh yeah, that’s fair!!!.

What we are really afraid of is that we are not worthy. I feel a peace inside that I never have felt before. The rest is purely circumstantial. I still get ticked off and I get hurt and I get frustrated. But, they are not monumental. They are circumstantial. They are not hopeless. There is some good to be found inspite of those things. If I look for it. I am learning to not fear, to not assume, to trust, to see the positives, to look within myself to see why I am reacting. By changing my attitude in just this one area, I change the dynamics completely. I see happiness and I feel content. I feel strong and in charge of myself.
It isn’t what I am getting, it’s what I am telling myself I am getting.
It’s not coming at me, it’s coming from within me.

I am now on the construction crew in my life. I make the choice to love, trust and forgive.

“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, defines harmony by these attributes.
1. Be impeccable with your words. To speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or others, directly or indirectly thru gossip. Use the power of your word to speak with truth and love.

2. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What they say and do is simply a projection of their own reality, their own life experiences. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you no longer are the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, hard feelings and drama. With this one simple agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, be your best self, and you will avoid self-judgement, self abuse, and regret.

Charles Swindoll advises us that our attitude is key to our success.
He states: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitudes we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude..I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Stephen R. Covey tells us in ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” that love is a decision. That love is a verb (an action word). Love – the feeling- is a fruit of love, a verb.
For healthy people, love is a verb (something they do). Taking this one step further… so are trust and forgiveness. People who react rather than respond to what’s going on around them see love as a feeling. They and their behavior are driven by their feelings. Proactive, responsible people place their values above their feelings. Making the “decision” to love, trust and forgive.

In your relationships, do you tend to be on the construction gang or on the wrecking crew?
The following are the attributes of the “construction crew”
*Prayer *Affirmation *Positive Attitude *Present and Future focused
*Communication (dialogue, listening and discuss) *Cooperative attitude *Forgiveness *Affection *Positive self-talk *Change *Reliability *Romance

The following are the attributes of the “wrecking crew”
*Criticism *Withdrawal *Negative attitude *Continuing Negative Behaviors *No Communication *No reliance on god *Holding a grudge *Name calling *Negative self talk *Disrespect *Must win attitude *Living in the past *Untrustworthy behavior *self soothing

Psalm 103:8 (NIV) The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Ephesians 5:2
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.