Friday, October 4, 2013

WORLD OF HATE


      The other night I went to my daughter's school play where I watched her perform in an retelling of an actual event that occurred in the year 1998. The story told of a murder of a young man, the town's response, and the nation's fascination with the events surrounding that case as the plot unfolded. The young man in this story was different from his peers and because of his uniqueness he was targeted, tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and left to die, alone and isolated. As I watched with tears in my eyes, I was forced to mentally come to terms with what I was seeing and ask myself  "What kind of world was I really living in?" Like the townspeople in this story, denial was my first response. My go-to place. But the unrest in my spirit continued I began to think back to the headlines of the news stories of the past two weeks. "MOTHER KILLS HER TWO CHILDREN; FAILS AT SUICIDE ATTEMPT', "PRIEST RAPES ALTER BOY" and "KENYA MALL ATTACKED BY GUNMEN" the headlines are endless and are a cruel reflection of the reality of the world in which I live. The local news and world news is filled with, murder, rape, and stories of wars. Brother fighting against brother, child killing parent, adults preying on children, and countries fighting against countries. Some of the stories I have read have been so twisted that I have had to ask myself what is going on? It seems like what once was considered right is now wrong, and what was once considered wrong is now right. Our moral parameters have shifted.We are living in a world of degradation, fallen so far, filled with rage, hate and darkness. Everywhere we turn it seems like all we see is violence. Not only does it dominate the news but the theme of violence and death can be found in our recreational television shows, cartoons, and in our movies.  What has happened to the wonderful world of life that God created?
     The first murder recorded in the Bible is found in the book of Genesis chapter four, a brother kills his brother, just a few chapters after the beginning of the book. Is this how God created man? Let's go to the beginning of the story and see what has occurred.  In chapter one we see the creation story in all of it's splendor, glory, hope, and life ; the heavens, the earth, and man. It is perfect and God is pleased. Chapter two tells us that God gave man dominion over his creation to subdue it, be fruitful and multiply. God was connected with man, we see his presence nurturing, providing and teaching his creation. Chapter three gives us the account of man's rebellion and willful disobedience against God. Man was given a choice, he decided that he knew and understood matters better than God his creator and this is the point where things changed. Man swapped the right way of thinking and doing things for the wrong way. Sin and darkness entered his character and this world.  This single act of man's defiance caused a separation between himself and God. It is like someone saying to you "Just leave me alone!, I hate you!, I don't need you!, I can do it myself!" So you leave, heart broken, you know the path of severance and isolation they have chosen to travel will only lead to defeat, despair, and ultimate destruction. God gave man the freedom of choice and now many, many generations later we see how that choice has served us. The undeniable evidences is manifest through the wickedness of our minds, hardness of our hearts, and cruelty in our actions. Thus reflected in the pitiful condition of our world. Humanity has try to eliminate Father God from their existence.
   You may ask "How do we fix this?" I am sorry to say, we can't fix it. We cannot undo what has already been done. We do not have the power or the ability to reverse the consequences of our sinful nature. However, I am happy to say our hope is found in God and in his persistent, unshakable love he has for us his creations. Through God's unfathomable love he provided a means by which our  relationship to him can be restored. He offers us himself. Imagine that "the entity" that we rejection reaches out to us. The God of creation humbled himself by taking on human form and becoming "like" his creation, so that we could identify and relate to him. God in the flesh lived among us, he loved on us,  healed us, fed us, taught us his ways, showed us he is life. He gives us hope.  This God-man, named Jesus Christ lived his earthly life without sin, in perfect harmony with the Spirit and will of God. His example of love and life was flawless. Still humanity rejects him, the echo of man's rebellious voice is heard again: "Leave us alone!, We hate you!, We don't need you! We can do it ourselves! Man exercised his freedom of choice once again and killed God the man. Hangs him on a cross.
   Jesus Christ could have stopped it, after all he is God, but he didn't. He shed his blood to wash away our sins, he willing gave us his life so that we once again could be in right relationship with God the Father, our creator. He took all of our degradation, hate, rage, darkness and sin on himself. He sufferer God's judgement and wrath on our behalf. He took wrong and made it right. You may ask yourself why would he do this? The answer is simple, it is because God loves us, he always has and he always will.

                                                   UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
   

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools   Romans 1:21-22(NIV)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Decree

                                          Lord-of-Lords

He delivered me, he delivered me            
from my enemies.
He delivered me, he delivered me                              
from my every foe.

The Lord of Lords, and King of Kings
Ruler of every thing.
With his mighty hand he saved me from them all.

He delivered me, he delivered me
from my sin and shame.
He delivered me, he delivered me
and lifted all my pain.

They all had come around me
seeking to destroy.
But the Lord strong in battle
brought them all down low.

He delivered me, God delivered me
from my fear and guilt.
He delivered me, he delivered me
and set my spirit free.

He is called the Holy One of Israel,
who came to save us all.
Born in a manger, died upon the cross,
rose the third day, victorious, mighty and strong.

He delivered me, he delivered me
always in his hand.
He delivered me, he delivered me
I will praise him all life long.

The Eternal Father, Son, and Spirit,
who gives us his all.
Purchased us by his precious blood,
redeemed and rescued by his love.

Revelation 19:16 (NIV)
16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
                 Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Something wicked come this way


Today when I woke up, I jumped out of bed thinking that today would be like every other day.  I would be my chipper self, appreciating the day and all that God has created.  But when my feet hit the floor I felt as if I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. Not only that but in the wrong universe and in a different body with someone else's mind. I'm telling you, I was not feeling like myself. As the day progressed, I felt like there was this dark cloud of evil perched just outside of my conscious mind waiting to come in and take over. So I stopped what I was doing and asked God what was going on. I needed to define and understand what was happening within my spirit, soul, and body. I asked for God to help me process what I was experiencing. I thought about all the events that were unfolding within my life, some of them unpleasant and out of my realm of control. The Holy Spirit began to work within me, and He impressed upon me that I need to take the time and evaluate myself.  So I started by asking God to identify and show to me what emotions were stirring deep within me. What was revealed to me was anger, hurt, deep disappointment, frustration, fear, and anxiousness. As these emotions surfaced and emerged my first reaction was to hide them from God.  After all, they were negative emotions. I felt shame because in my mind as a Christian, those emotions belonged to the unbeliever, not the believer. As a follower of Christ, were we suppose to be above that, someone who has overcome in the strength of Jesus Christ. As the Spirit of God dealt with me, he showed me how damaging it is to cover these areas in my life. That when I am injured and remain so without proper healing from God, there would be long term ungodly effects occurring repeatedly in my life. That these unhealed wounds would allow the Devil an opening in which he can comes and set up strongholds within my spirit. These strongholds would set out to destroy my inner man.  This process of disclosure was a very uncomfortable experience to me. My standard mode of operation is to minimize things that have harmed me and put the experience and feelings quickly behind me, but God wanted me to sit there in this uncomfortable place, expose myself to him, and handle it the way he desired. To be covered by his grace and cleansed and healed through the power of his love. God in his  loving way is teaching me that unhealed wounds create cracks and holes in the armor he has given me. God gives us armor for our protection and defense against the Devil and sin. These holes, if left alone or unhealed are openings into my spirit, soul and body. I am learning that the Devil, my enemy, is looking for any opening where he can come in, create and secure a stronghold in any areas of my life where I allow him. Once this stronghold is formed it is used so that he can manifest his corruption in my spirit and body and destroy my soul. The Devil will take our weakness and pain and use them against us. These areas of spiritual strongholds are then an advantage point for him, a place of strength, a means by which he destroys our lives and our effectiveness in the kingdom of God. Let me see if I can make this picture clearer in your mind..
     All of us have experienced some event that has really hurt us to the core. It can be a single event such as  a trauma or accident. It can be unkind and unloving words spoken to us in anger, or lies told to us that damage our self esteem. It can be a personal failure, loss of a job, death of a child or family member.  It can be a short term or long term occurrence. Having a failed relationship. Spousal rejection, Failure of a parent to cover, protect, love and support us. Living in an abusive environment or being the victim of verbal, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.  Hatred of self, or negative thoughts about who we are as an individual. It is a memory that still brings great pain or deep shame when it is recalled.  It often causes us to feel rejected and unworthy. These types of things happen to us all to frequently and we are not at fault.  But the reality is that they cannot be ignored there is to much at risk. When we deny the truth the only thing that is left is a lie. An untruth. The Bible tell us that the Devil is the author and father of lies, so this give him unspoken permission to set up shop in your heart and mind, to rule and operate from an inside vantage point in our lives. Do not be fooled, the Devil is real and he is not a friend of man. If given the opportunity he will make you his slave. He will bind you with the chains of fear, rejection and hopelessness. He will oppose and block your relationship to God our loving father. He will keep you from reaching your full potential. The Devil will destroy all your dreams and have you believing his lies are true. The Bible says that he rebelled against God and God has judged him and found him guilty. His punishment is that he will be cast into Hell, a place created for him not man. He will be eternally separated from God.  The fact is the Devil's desire is to take you with him. With all this said, Our Father God has made available to us a way out through his limitless love. God is our creator, he is a friend to man. He gave us a means whereby we can be healed.
   Medically we know that when an  injury occurs to our skin that breach allows germs and bacteria an entry point into our bodies. If that wound is left untreated it can lead to an infection. If that infection gains the better of us and goes without treatment, it could in turn could threaten our very lives. It is the same with our spirit. Proper cleaning and healing must take place. God tells us to turn to him, to expose our injuries to him so he can cleanse us and heal us. Show him your broken heart and spirits, don't be afraid he will not reject you or turn away in disgust.  He is already aware of all our problems, he has seen us each and every time when we have been hurt. God wants us to turn to him so he can  heal us. God is a gentle spirit, he will not force himself upon us, all we need to do is ask for cleansing and healing and he will provide.   God's love for us, yes you and me, is greater and stronger than anything we can experience, because it is founded on his character and not ours. God gave us his one and only Son, his Son Jesus shed his holy blood and gave us his life, so that our sins could be forgiven and we could be restored and brought back into right relationship with God. There is nothing that can separate us from His divine love. He has given us his all.
     God our father and creator wants to pour his love into any situation that you are facing. He has seen all the sins of mankind and he still loves us. There is nothing you can do, nor is there any great travesty that has been done to you that could make God stop loving you.  Please don't hide from God. He is waiting for you to come to him so that he can pour his love into those areas of hurt and pain. Just ask, God wants to heal you and set you free so that you can live the life he has given you. A life that is free, and not in bondage to effects of sin.

Psalm 4:1 "Answer me when I call, God, who vindicate me. You freed me from all of my affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer." 
Psalm 6:2-4 "Be gracious to me, Lord for I am weak; heal me, Lord, for me bones are shaking; my whole being is shaken with terror. And you, Lord-how long? Turn, Lord! Rescue me; save me because of your faithful love."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Deadly vines


Twisted Vine Tree by TravelPod Member Elaqid


Slowly, silently, skillfully these killers move in, and before you realize what is happening it is almost to late.  Your strength is gone and your will is subdued. You've been taken out of the game by a subtle opponent. Even now you can remember how it started. How innocent it all seemed.  Small and obscure, not demanding; having the ability to survive on the remnants it was given. Then it started growing, requesting,and demanding more. More time, more attention, more energy, more resources. and being feed its every desires. As it grew, it weaved around into every available space and crevice. With its enormous strength it compressed and fractured you. It's appetite grew along with its size. Difficult to conceal. Merging with all aspects of life. Developing its own identity it now wants a name. It seeks all your attention. Some how the dynamics have changed. It is large and full of life- your life- and you are small and frail.Your survival is now dependent on the scraps it gives you. You were once magnificent, tall like a great oak tree. But now life is ebbing from your soul. Empty. You discover that you have been cut off from the source of your strength. You call to this baleful vine for help, but none is found. You are alone, life has been choked out by a deadly vine of sin. Looking up at it,you yearn for the power and strength it seems to be endowed with.You fear you cannot stand alone. After all, you created it with your idolatrous ways. It has now become a part of you, the essence of you. Why doesn't it answer? After all, you feed it. Why doesn't it give back? It was given all your attention. You worshiped it. Can it not hear your cries or feel your agony? What have you created ? What have you done? Weariness begins to take over and you no longer struggle. Sin was allowed to grow and grow into a deadly vine of idolatry.
   Jeremiah, an old testament prophet we can read about in the Holy Bible, tells about a people group who were chosen by God to be his light in this dark and sinful world. But over the course of time they forgot about God, his faithfulness,his everlasting love, his provisions, his protection, his promises, and his justice. They turned their backs on his words and his commands. They turn their back on God! They scoffed at him and worshiped other gods. They became corrupt.

Jeremiah 2:9-"I planted you, a choice vine from the very best seed. How then could you turn into a degenerate, foreign vine?"

As in the days of Jeremiah God is sending out a plea....

Jeremiah 4:1-"...if you return to Me, if you remove your detestable idols from my presence and do not weaver, if you swear. As the LORD lives, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then the nations will be blessed by HIM and will pride themselves in Him."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Deposits Only

    
We have all come to a point in life were we have reached the bottom of our own resources, whether in finances, the end of a career path, emotional distress, physical and spiritual sickness, or any number of curses that befall mankind. Sometime we are standing, lying down, huddled in a corner, or even or our knees when the realization hit us that we are in desperate need of assistance: we are at the end of ourselves and have nothing left to give, our strength has been depleted, we are running on empty and our senses tell us that we are in danger. Many people share this unpleasant experience. For some the duration  lasts only a matter of minutes and for others days, years, or even decades. This dark place in our lives is not where we desire to spend our time or energy, but we are helpless to move forward on our own, hopelessly locked in a nightmare of despair. Now just imagine waking up one morning filled with dread, unable to face the events of the day. On autopilot, you have your coffee, get dressed and, as you are heading for the door, the doorbell rings. You say to yourself  "What now! If it is another problem, I'll just die. I cannot take another thing."  You open the door and a person is standing there with a certified letter in his hand.  He ask you your name, confirms your identity and hands you an envelope. You accept the letter and close the door as fear overtakes you. Your hands start to shake and your stomach churns. You look at the letter and debate within your self whether or not you should open the letter now or put it aside for later. After all, it probably only contains more bad news. Several minutes pass and you gather your courage and open the letter that is now in your hand. As you read, the tears pool in your eyes and you begin to cry. You are overwhelmed, your knees are weak and you sink to the floor. Dazed and bewildered you continue to read. The letter is not what you expected,  relief  floods your soul. Open-mouthed you read it again and then clutch the letter close to you chest. You cannot believe someone is aware of your situation and they actually cares about you and loves you. Help has arrived, a deposit has just been made into your life. The news contained in this letter will change the events of your life. Someone has empathized with your pain and has given of himself a gift that meets your immediate needs. Your resources and strength has been restored, there is now a new hope for tomorrow. The little things that you do each day can either be a deposit or debit. Your actions and small acts of kindness can change the day of people around you. Being a positive light to those around you, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, could be a life changer or saver for others. Now, your deposits into others are not the only important thing that changes the balance of a person's days. God made the greatest deposit into the checking account of your life through his son, Jesus Christ. His plan to save your soul has already been added to the account of your life. All that needs to be done is for you to cash the check. Once you accept his plan and gift, your whole life will change. You carry around this golden ticket, a bill that can be used anywhere,anytime,and anyplace. Through the use and telling of the name of the Lord Jesus, lives can be restored and days renewed. So start today ask God to show you today someone who is in need of a little kindness, seek out a way in which  you can deposit hope, strength, or aid into someone else life. You never know it could be just what they need to continue their journey in life.

" Heal the sick, raise the dead to life, heal people who have leprosy,[a] and force out demons. You received without paying, now give without being paid." (CVE)

*****
 Dedicated to my good friend Sue B.  
*****

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"THE MONK"

A monk praying with a rosary and crucifix in his hand. Stock Photo - 2668680

The encounter happen most unexpectedly, I was just following my normal routine of walking in the morning along this wooded trail I frequent regularly. I had walked about two miles alone, praying and singing unto the Lord. I was having a glorious time, my spirit within me was joyous, lifted from the cares of this world. I had walked to the point of where I normally turn around. Ahead of me I saw the tunnel that was created by a section of highway that the trail passed under. I stopped and contemplated whether or not I should turn around or continue walking a little further.  Frankly, the tunnel always creeps me out because it is cold and dark. As I stood there my spirit said "just go to the end of the tunnel". I started walking, I was looking ahead, I noticed the sunlight streaming up through the darkness, what a contrast.  Cold, dark, warmth and light. And then I noticed him. The man in the frock. He was silhouetted by the light. I was startled, I stopped. I questioned what I was seeing. Was he real? or was it just a figment of my over active imagination. In that moment a small still voice spoke to me and said "stand aside and see". So I gathered up my courage and I started walking towards the figure at the mouth of the tunnel. As I approached him I began to hear the music wafting on the air. A sweet and beautiful sound, amplified and carried by the structure of the tunnel. I could feel my excitement building, I stood in front of him, he dropped his flute and I spoke first.  I asked a straight forward question. " What God do you serve?" See in my mind this was a very important question. I had just been praising the Great I AM" and I really wasn't sure if this guy was physical or not, and he was dressed like a monk. He looked at me and spoke with out hesitation "Jesus Christ". Now I  knew where we stood, there are many types of monks from many different religions serving many different gods. He explained why he was dressed the way he was and how he had come to this spot to worship God through music by playing his hand crafted Native American flute. As our conversation unfolded in an exchange of information. I learn about this fellow believer and how he was walking out his faith. How he was living his belief statement to the fullest level of commitment. He spoke of three disciplines; prayer, fasting, and service. We shared stories and life strategies surrounding our individual needs and faith walk. I began to see that this was an appointed meeting by God's design. As our conversation quieted, and our focus was redirected back to worship. The reason for our creation.  Two individuals, previously unknown to the other, drawn together through the blood of Jesus Christ, worshiping God on this intersecting point in time. He started to play his flute and I started to sing. A melodious sound, caught on the breeze, floating out and up to God.  The praise flowed through us, awareness of time and surroundings vanished. A new song was born, presented to the Lord on the alters of our hearts.  I walked away that day, blessed beyond measure.  I challenge you to stand aside and see what great things God has for you today.

Matthew 18:20

King James Version (KJV)
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.





Monday, April 1, 2013

Choose Life Not Death

  It is very freeing to be able to trust in God so completely that worry and fear are not constant companions in our hearts. It is a freedom that comes from walking with God on a daily basis, continually being in his presence through his word and through prayer. There is a rest that is given to us when the Holy Spirit is allowed  to transform our thoughts and our hearts to reflect the image of Jesus Christ. We can experience relief from the stress and cares of this world by abiding in the presence of God. We can  live a life that is full of the blessing and promises of God. When the Holy Spirit of God is given the permission to flow freely in our lives he creates within us a new spirit full of hope and promise. A spirit that is alive to the things of God and is dead to the stress and cares of this world. 

          While reading the Bible one day I came across this scripture and the words just leaped off the page and caught my attention. I would live to share this with you.

          "Deuteronomy 30:15  "Now I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster." When I read this I said to myself  "Wow!" God is giving me a choice.  I can choose to have life and prosperity or death and disaster.  It seemed like a no-brain-er to me. I was very quick to respond in saying that I choose life and prosperity. But, I continued to read in  Deuteronomy 30:16-18 KJV where it said, "For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to occupy.  But if your heart turns away and refuses to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy."
  So wait a minute, "life and prosperity" are conditional. Let's take a look at this a little closer. Simply put, God expects us to do something. What is it that he is expecting for us to do? God is expecting us to choose life, to choose him.  To choose to love God.  You see when we truly love God it becomes easier for us to obey God. There is a flow of the spirit of God that brings us abundant life and life eternal.
          Let me explain. First God love us. He flows to us, he calls to us to come into his presence, he prompts us to invite him into our hearts. When we respond to God's call we in turn,  have invited his spirit to become active in our lives. The activation of Holy Spirit in our lives make us aware of God's goodness. We become aware of who God truly is, we experience his character, we experience his love.  We then can see ourselves as sinners, separated from God and in the need of a savior. Through God's love we can accept his plan of salvation he has for us. We can see his son Jesus Christ and accept the gift of the cross. This put us in a place where God's love can flows in us. We are in a "right relationship" with God. As we respond to the Holy Spirit within us, God's love to flow through us, back to God and out to others. We become transmitters of God 's goodness which when is expressed as obedience and  service to the Lord. When we allow the spirit of God flows through us he transforms us into the image of Christ and our actions reflect the actions of Christ. We become like Christ. With our minds and hearts transformed into the image of Christ we are then able to keep God's commands, decrees, and regulations. We can walk in his ways, we can live a life that is prosperous. A life where God's blessing are present and continually flowing.

 So, what choice do you make, death and disaster or life and prosperity?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh that men would praise God!


 

Thank you Father God! Your mercy to me is never failing. Your love is never changing. You care for me at all times. You supply all my needs. You grant me my hearts desires. You give good gifts. You are my protector and  my guide. You carry me through this life's journey. You bring the light of you love to my darkest places, you illuminate my way. You have set the stars in the sky for your glory and my enjoyment. You are the calm eye, when I am experiencing a hurricane. You oh Lord, dry my eyes and you lift me head. Glory to your name! You are Holy, Holy, Holy! you alone are worthy. You are creator God. You are the Lord the hears me when I call. You speak life into my soul. You are my hope.  You Lord are my all in all.  My father, teacher, my husband, my friend. Thank you for being my constant companion.  You alone comfort my soul.  You Lord Jesus are my redeemer, you have restore soul back to fellowship. Your love reaches across generations. Thank you that you shed your holy blood for me. You Lord Jesus alone are worthy. You have set me a captive free. You alone have purchases my liberty. Your strips have healed me. You have broken  the chains of my bondage. You give me hope for the future.  Thank you have exchanged my sorrow for joy.  You have restored my happy heart. Oh that I should praise you! You have given me an eternity with you. Thank You Holy Spirit for you are moving and are alive within my heart. Thank you that your presence is in my home. Thank you for reviving and restoring our lands, for healing our nations. Thank you that you have poured out your Spirit on us.Thank you for your many blessings. Thank you for enabling me to continue in the walk of faith. Thank you Holy Spirit for the power to overcome the tricks of the adversary. Thank You for the shield of faith. I bless you Lord God of Heaven and Earth, I praise your name.  Oh, That men would praise me...


Psalm 107:8 "Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" KJV

Friday, March 15, 2013

Life's Notebook

 "Life is like a notebook. It may feel permanent if it is written in ink, but the reality is you can always rip out the page and start again".



 


    This little saying came to me one day when I was trying to write an anecdote, since I was in the middle of a different thought I hastily wrote it down in the top of an another notebook thinking I would return to it at a later time.  I then did what I often do, I basically forgot all about the phrase and the notebook I had written it in. Well as life would have it, seven months later, I walked into the kitchen and there was the notebook opened lying  the counter my eyes where drawn to the top of this hand written document because the hand writing I noticed was mine. I began to read. You see my youngest daughter had picked up the notebook and had been using it as her own. Underneath my writing she had written an account of a days events and it when something like this.  I am retelling this tale with the consent from my daughter. She begins her tale by waking up early at 8:30am one Saturday morning in July. Those of us with teenagers know that this in and of it's self is a feat worthy of praise. As routine would have it my husband and I were away from home and while we were gone my youngest daughter stumbled downstairs into the kitchen and as she would tell it. The kitchen a mess. So she took it upon herself to clean it from top to bottom, loading the dishwasher, scrubbing counters, sweeping and mopping the floors, she even took out the trash. Now having completed all this work she returned to her bedroom to rest. Now she had just settled in on the bed and her father returned home and noticed her abed and  like any conscientious parent he commented on how late in the day it was and that she should think about getting up.  She immediately internalized this comment and thought to herself. "See what happens when you do something helpful.....no one ever notices."  But being the great kid she is she rose from her bed and started to clean her room. Now if you have ever been in her room you would know that is a Herculean task. Once done, she climbed back into her bed.  Now as fate would have it a few minutes later her father walked back by her door and peeked in.   Now what he see is his teenage daughter still in bed. He assumed that she had not moved from her place of rest.  Here is the lesson " people see and expect what they have experienced in the past".   He still did not notice she had made an effort, cleaned the kitchen and her room. So, my husband spoke to her in a harsher tone saying, "What you are seriously still in bed? Get up now and do something!"  This time my daughter responded like an unappreciated teenager and stormed down to the kitchen muttering under her breath with the notebook in her hand. Leaning on the counter she turned to the page and read,  "Life is like a notebook. It may feel permanent if it is written in ink, but the reality is you can always rip out the page and start again"..  She read it again, finding a pen she began to write about the emotions, she expressed her feeling and through writing processed the events of the day. She choose to start again.
    Sometimes life is unfair. It may seem to us that we are continually grabbing short end of the stick. That our good deeds and good intentions go unnoticed. That others don't see who we really are, the "true me". We interpret the actions and words of others as being harsh and often critical. We feel unappreciated, unloved. We seek acknowledgement, we seek validation. 
    This is a small sample of what Jesus felt. Think about it.  Jesus the son of the Most High God left his home in heaven to live with us. He being of royal birth was born in a manger. He lived a life of giving, teaching, sharing, healing, feeding, cleansing, of showing us the love God. He gave us his best all that he had and his best was rejected by us. He loved us with a limitless love, he willing died a sinners death, our death, yet he was sinless. He gave us his life freely, so that we could live again. Yes, Jesus Christ bore our sorrows, our sins and our shame.  He did all of this and so much more. He purchased our salvation and liberty at cross he ripped out the page of sin from our lives. So we can start again.....Life is like a notebook.....How does your new page begin? " I am loved.....".

Galatians 2:20-"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

THE DOUGHNUT SHOP

   The other day I found myself sitting alone in a local doughnut shop drinking my coffee.  It was a mid -February morning and the weather was unseasonably warm.  People were sitting outside on the benches enjoying the respite from winter.  I chose to sit inside. I sat close to the window so that I could enjoy the bright sunshine that was streaming through it. The position I chose afforded me the opportunity to view the entire lobby of the shop.  As I was sitting there I noticed a young mother and her small child, walk into the shop.  The child was a girl, about three years old, cute as a button, with bright sparkling eyes and curly dark hair. I watched her mother gently ushered her to the counter to order.  The girl could hardly hold in her excitement, as her mother asked her what type of doughnut she wanted. I could see her small hands reaching up to the counter, trying to leverage herself so the she could see across it to view the doughnuts on the self and make her selection.  Her mother, ever attentive noticed her child struggling, she reached down and lifted the child off the floor until the child could see.  Ever patiently she asked her daughter again what type of sweet pastry she desired, and with  feet dangling the child answered,  "I want that one."  "The brown one?" the mother questioned. With excitement overflowing from the small child she replied. "No, no- that one!" Small fingers pointing. The mother looking at where the tiny fingers were pointing, and replied in a gentle voice. "The pink one?" The little girl's head began bobbing up and down as she answered with a bubbly explosion of words. "Yes Mommy, that one, that one!," she exclaimed. The mother looked at her daughter with mild inquiry,"Are you sure? It's usually the brown one you want. Well, O.K., then that's the we'll get."  She placed the child on her feet, and proceeded to complete their order and pay for it.  The two of them then walked to a bar stool and table, sat down and enjoyed each other company and their mutual treats.    
 I thought to myself ,what a display of love.  To others this mother daughter interaction might seem like a normal everyday occurrence, but in my minds eye I saw a living example of God's great love and concern for me, and for you.  Let's examine this a little closer Point one:  the mother and daughter are spending time with other. Quality time, sharing an experience, enjoying each other company, interacting with each other in a positive fashion. God wants to spend quality time in our presence.  He delights in us when we seek to and find pleasure in his presence. God is eager and willing to share all of life's experiences with us. God wants to parent us, to partner with us, to intimately interact with us personally.  God is concerned with our success. He want us to be productive in the life he has planned for us. A Life full of many gifts great and small. God has given us a constant companion, one who knows us and understands our needs.  He has given us His Holy Spirit.  Point Two: the young mother wanted to do something that would bring pleasure to her young child. She choose  give a small pastry, a gift, to display her love to someone she cared for.  To do something for her daughter that her young daughter could not for herself. The Bible tells us that The God of Heaven has given us the ultimate gift and continues to constantly give us gifts. God loved us so much that he gave us his one and only son Jesus Christ, and the promise of eternal life.  And Jesus, God's son, loved us so much that he gave us a gift we could not give ourselves, a way to escape judgement from our sins. He gave us his life.     
     Just take a moment to reflect on the this past week.  Name the gifts God has given you.  This should make you smile.  God wants to see you smile.  He delights in you! 


John 3:16-For God so love the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.  .

Friday, February 8, 2013

SHINE


 http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://inphotos.org/files/2009/06/Burning-Embers.jpg&imgrefurl=http://inphotos.org/2009/06/19/burning-embers/&h=494&w=704


       I had just finished getting dressed one morning, and I decided to spruce up my attire with a couple of pieces of jewelery. I reached for my jewelery box that was resting on the dresser and my hand gently opened the small drawer as my eyes searched for the perfect pieces. I immediately spotted a dazzling set that I had recently purchased on a shopping trip to the local mall with my daughters and one of their friends. I picked up the bracelet and began to examine it. How beautiful, I thought. The deep garnet stones gleamed with  warm light, a quiet spark just waiting to ignite. They were encased in a blackened, antique-finished metal, sculpting the edges like fine lace on every stone. As I stood there, the seconds of time ticked by and I thought to myself, These are too nice to wear today.
       My hand started to return them to the small drawer when I heard "Waiting to illuminate." My mind wandered to a comforting scene. In my imagination, I saw an old store fireplace. The kind you would see in the main room of a small cottage, where the hearth is made of mute, multicolored field stones with a hand-made braided rug placed neatly on the floor in front of it. The iron poker, shovel, and ash pan were neatly arranged along the outside wall of the fireplace. Smoldering cinders linger where a once blazing flame cools on the hearth. A figure kneels, and with efficient, skillful movements, and begins to remove the excess ash. He is careful and his eyes are watchful. Never rushing as he places the ash in the pail one shovel at a time. He leaves the remaining hot coals in the center of the once fiery hearth. He prepares it to receive its new fuel. Cautiously he chooses his first piece of wood - a split log - and places it in the center of the coals. He then finds smaller kindling and places them in designated areas surrounding the log. With patience he watches and waits. Soon his eyes are drawn to a column of smoke as it slowly raises and winds its way up the chimney. He works with confidence knowing that once the wood ignites it will provide comfort and illuminate the darkness. The fire blazes and burns with great intensity.
       I returned to my senses, positioned the bracelet on my wrist, and fastened the clasp. I then reached for the matching earrings, I put them on and looked at my bejeweled reflexion in the mirror. I once again noticed the light shining in the jewels. Perfect. As I turned away, I thought we, the people of God, are like those jewels and embers casting only a reflection of the true brilliance that is locked inside. The Holy Spirit of God, our caretaker tends our souls. When we allow Him to clean out the ash and debris from our hearts and minds  he is then able and willing to replace that which what was spent and useless with a something that bring comfort and light. We must grant God the access to replenish our smoldering spirits, to stoke us and prod us so we can shine into the darkness. 

Matthew 5:16

New International Version (NIV)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.





Thursday, February 7, 2013

No Longer Afraid

     One day I had an epiphany - I could make the choice to no longer be afraid.  I had just taken the time to examine my life, to really look and see how my actions and choices have affected my life up to this point. I noticed that a large portion of my life had been motivated by the underlying emotion of fear.  Now let me explain: not the kind of fear that is so greatly manifested in us that it inhibits normal social functioning, but more like a quiet suggestion of  insecurities: the fear of rejection, a deep need to please people. Don't get me wrong, I carried myself in what appeared to be a confident manner. As far as the world was concerned, I was successful.  I had completed college, worked in my chosen profession, was a homeowner married with two beautiful children. Inwardly I was always striving and seeking approval from those around me. Looking for validation and a sense of self worth.  I had forgotten who I was and all I was in Christ Jesus. I guess you can sum it up and say, "What I thought others thought of me felt more important than what God has to say about me and thinks of me".  I had come to a point in life where all my efforts had failed, or was in the process of failing. It seemed that everything that could go wrong was going wrong. I felt totally helpless. I did not possess the ability nor the knowledge to change the life I created. I am sure others have experience similar emotions.  I was at the end of myself - defeated. I needed help. That day, when I was at my lowest, God spoke softly into my heart and impressed on me His great and perfect love He has for me. He whispered into my soul a very powerful truth. The truth that He accepts me as I am, that I am wonderfully and beautifully made. That I was made after His perfect image and that it is good, I am good. That God alone loved and will always love me with a perfect Love that casts out all fear. In that instance, I knew that the God of the universe loved me and was with me. And when God is with you, you have nothing to fear. In that instance, God's love washed away all my fears. He replaced them with a place of belonging, a measure of worth, and a sense of acceptance.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lVvM5tfzc3w/TEekUGoM2mI/AAAAAAAAIG4/YaclR_GPIGA/s1600/4079900242_fcbf626896_z.jpg 
 1 John 4:18  (NIV)- There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.










 Photo Link: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lVvM5tfzc3w/TEekUGoM2mI/AAAAAAAAIG4/YaclR_GPIGA/s1600/4079900242_fcbf626896_z.jpg

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Voices

To the one I love,

    I  must address this issue because you are still young and now is the time for you to learn how to pay attention and listen to the correct voice when you hear it spoken into your ear. There are so many voices you can hear and choose to listen to. I will start by reminding you the Bible states that every man, woman, boy, and girl is born into and  live in a fallen world. Because of this singular fact we are receptive to all types of influences and voices. These voices we hear can speak untruths, misconceptions, and lies into our hearts and minds. They assault the truth about ourselves, who we are as creations of God. They can effect how we think and feel about ourselves. They can and will  ultimately effect how we relate to others. Let me state that these voices are not the voice of our Heavenly Father, for they of bring messages that are contrary to his word and his will for our lives. You can hear theses voices through the pulse of society, screaming, and demanding that we give them our attention. That we pledge our allegiance to the hostile spirits that drive them. They call to us: to self hate, to isolate, to destroy. They say things like "You're not good enough. or No one love's you, you're unworthy." They magnify our own selfish fears, selfish desires, and  lusts. They speak to our flesh encouraging it to rise above, to be in charge. To have control.  Each voice that is listen to and obeyed, that is not the voice of God, gains strength and tries to dominate. This strength seeks to become its own. To rule, to exult itself higher than The God of Heaven.  To sit on the throne of your heart! But remember, please listen to the voice of God as he says " Do not have any other gods before me." and that include our own selfish pleasures. We cannot follow the voices of any other but only the Voice of God. Please my loved one learn to hear and obey the only most important voice.  For your own good concentrate on God's holy voice. Let all the other voices fade away and soon you will find peace in the presence of the Lord.

Romans 8:14- " For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God."
 






Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lift Your Mind



     In today's society, more often than not you witness the effect that stress can have on your life and mind. We are constantly bombarded with demands that seem to come with living in a western culture. The pressure of the job, the insufficient dollar combined with the increase of living expenses. Sometimes it can be the stress felt from unemployment or ill health and its negative effects. Theses many things compiled with emotional imbalances, dissolving relationships, or separation from family can send our mind into unrest and chaos.
     We can be overcome with the cares of this world. These constant stresses and negative demands can act like a poison to our minds. Our thoughts can range from nagging and compulsive to desperate and dangerous.
     I am reminded of a story in the Bible where venomous snakes were sent into the Israelite camp because of the thoughts and words that was spoken against God. The Israelites were bitten by the snakes just like we are bitten by stress and negativity. It poisoned their systems just like we become poisoned in our minds and hearts.
     But the Israelites realized their sin against God and repented. We to need to come to a place of repentance for the sin of pride and self-sufficiency. When the Israelites repented God removed the snake. The Lord then told Moses to make a snake and place it atop a pole, and anyone who was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake would live.
     Today, God had given us someone to look to for our healing and sickness of mind. He is telling us to look up. Lift our minds to the cross and hope of Jesus Christ. And when we do, we will be healed and live..

(Numbers 21: 4-9)
http://www.hdwallpapers.in/walls/a_green_snake-wide.jpg

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Scriptwriter


One day while I was driving in my car I was thinking about my future, trying to figure things out. You know, planning and plotting, when I caught myself saying phrases like "If this happens then I'll..." or "If thing happen like this my best option is..." These thoughts were coming so rapidly that I was creating all these hypothetical situations which would probably never happen.  I mentally worked myself into a tizzy and I stressed myself out. Then it struck me that I was trying to write the script for my life. Somehow, my subconscious mind thought that I had enough information to accurately lay out and orchestrate the path that I would take. Somehow I thought I possessed enough wisdom to logically predict the course of my own destiny. As I followed this train of thought, I said to myself, "Who am I? What makes me qualified to be the author of my life?" If I were to honestly review the past chapters I have lived I would probably delete the majority of them altogether. However, as the providence of God would have it, each event has fulfilled the purpose God has intended. I realize that on this day the only qualified and perfect scriptwriter for all our lives is the Lord God Almighty. He alone possesses the necessary knowledge.  He sees the whole picture from beginning to end. I thought to myself, How foolish am I?  Why not allow the perfect scriptwriter to writer and direct the course of my existence? I know that when I surrender to his control, the movie that is my life will be a five-star Blockbuster event.    

Psalms 37:23~ "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives."
 

Photo from: http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/3a/10/3a10de0b9124de4c9e63ba134abed277.jpg

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cold Steel



         While driving one day my attention was drawn to the scenery around me; it was filled with the beautiful contrast of winter. Snow covered the ground and bare trees dotted the hillside. The sky was a steel gray color with dark clouds looming in the horizon.
        It seemed to me that the color scheme display contained many shades of gray. The feeling of quiet stillness and strength filled my senses. There were no visible signs of life or movement, but I knew that under the snow, life still hummed. In the cold, steel of the day there emanated a quiet ethereal strength. From this cold, steel gray day, and many more like it, would emerge life in all of its abundance, stronger for having gone through the cold steel days of winter.

 
                                              http://www.ownapainting.com/winter-in-new-england-41345

"God  has made everything beautiful in its time."
--Ecclesiastes 3:11

Monday, January 28, 2013

It Was You All The Time



         I was in the shower this morning and I was thinking about the goodness of the Lord. How his hand was moving in my life setting many things straight. I was reflecting on my new posture of submission to Jesus as Lord, and a deep peace and joy flooded my soul.
          A thought came to mind. It said, " It was you all the time."
           In that instant I was how my constant struggling for control, or trying to fix things, was a big part of the relationship, self driven by the failure my life had become. Sure, things looked fine from the outside, but inwardly, there was no joy, peace, or contentment.
          Our society has taught us that we can do, be, and control all things. This is a lie, and we are not gods. If we desire to live a good life, one that is pleasing to the lord, we must submit to his control, direction, and leading.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RLb2PCENJDQ/S7bGb8BaSzI/AAAAAAAAAOo/nPN1kKcwq_M/s1600/silhouette20standing20chains20broken20freedom20from20slavery.jpg(http://msellwrites.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html)         

"Those who are lead by the spirit of the living God are the sons of God."
----Romans 8:14


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Glorious

I sit here on the foot of my bed, looking out the bathroom window. The sun's reflection off the snow covered hillside is a blinding sensation of white, contrasted by the tall grey forms of scattered tree trunks. Glorious! It holds my attention. I'm trying not to miss anything. Brilliant! The light quiets. My eyes are adjusting. My brain is processing, slowing, thinking, questioning, asking, seeking. Did I just behold God's glory. My soul is still, trying to hold onto this moment. A moment of absolute peace.




"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hand"
---Psalms 19:1