Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Little Brownie Bites

I had such a huge spiritual analogy when I was preparing snacks for my sweet and precious sister’s bridal shower.  I was responsible for providing all the tiny treats that we would need to dip into our chocolate fountain.  Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I had to dice the pound cake into bite size pieces, rinse the strawberries, plate the marsh mellows, and the brownie bites on a pretty glass serving tray.  However, while doing so, I found myself discarding all of the brownies that were not “presentable.”  I quickly tossed them to the side. Some were broken, smashed and not so perfect.  I couldn’t imagine putting those out on display.  Not for an event like this.  Not for all to see..."seriously, what would everyone think?"

WOW!  As I discarded each one, I couldn’t help but think about us (people/humans/the flesh) and how we see ourselves and one another.  We oftentimes have a way of feeling discarded and allowing others to be discarded.  It’s how the world views us, how we view others and sadly, how often we view ourselves. 

So very grateful beyond words that our Heavenly Father sees us so very differently.  He saw us before we were born and His very hands created us.  He did not make a mistake in forming one single human being.  NOT One Single Mistake!

Psalm 100:3 “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” (NIV)

Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (NIV)

We are #perfect!
Psalm 139:14  “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (ESV)

We are #chosen!
Isaiah 43:1 “…the one who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” (NLT)

We are #loved!
Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.” (KJV)

I remember feeling so inadequate and not so attractive most of my life.  I was very shy and had very few friends. I had insecurities about everything.  Never pretty enough.  Never smart enough.  Never thin enough.  Never this…never that…

PRAISE THE LORD, in walked my Sweet Savior!  He compassionately and tenderly told me that I was His.  I heard a voice unlike no other. He asked me if I could stop being so hard on myself and to see that I was made in His image?!

Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (NIV)

I know that it can be very difficult to see yourself as whole and lacking nothing.  I am speaking from experience as one who has held many misperceptions about herself and believed many, many lies over the years.  One being, I was not worthy to be loved.  No one ever told me that, it was just something that I allowed myself to believe based on my life experiences.

ALL Lies from the enemy! 
“he…does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

We continually allow negative images and negative words to dance around in our heads and we need to stop and replace them with God’s Word, God’s truth and God’s LOVE!  He is the only One who can reprogram our thinking and beliefs.  We cannot do it on our own. It will not happen overnight, but it will surely happen over time.

I received Salvation at the age of 43 and I turned 51 this year.  I still tend to beat myself up about my [weight] but that’s only because I fail to properly eat right and exercising is not my #bliss.  BUT in every other area of my life, God’s WORD has taken root and I know that I am so deeply loved, so perfectly accepted, so incredibly smart, so one-of-a-kind beautiful and so #forever HIS!

Let's make today the day that you begin to shake off the negative and replace it with the #positive!  One layer at a time.  One day at a time. One bible verse at a time.  Allow the Holy Spirit to walk with you through the scriptures and lavish His unconditional love on you.  With the HELP of the Holy Spirit, you will be and can be made new!

*NOTE: Also be very mindful of the company you keep.  Surrounding yourself with likeminded people, those who will encourage and support you will have a huge impact on how you feel as you move forward in your new journey.  Misery loves company so beware of those who have no interest in seeing you prosper in God's will.  That can even include those closest to you.
 
2 Corinthians 5:17 "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (NLT)

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
 
I hold my head high and I will walk in the belief that I lack nothing....even when the bathroom scale tells me something different :-)
 
-Yet, another day to praise Him...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Emergecny Alert Tone

This morning I was sitting in my car listening to my favorite Christian Radio program.  The guest were Francis and Lisa Chan, and the topic was about their new book, “You and Me Forever.”  Living a godly life through their marriage. 

They were talking about how they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary by going on a Mission’s trip to Africa with their friend.  They talked about how amazingly incredible it was as well as spiritually rewarding.  And just as they were about to talk about ways we (Christians) can impact the future and God's Kingdom with our marriages and our families, the program was interrupted by the “Emergency Alert Tone.”  Needless to say, it was loud and thought provoking…

1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:4 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of god, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

I immediately had an epiphany, I could so picture it:  Jesus came and He asked, (Sounding like a Father who cares) “What are you doing?  Why….that’s not what I told you to do?”

Mark 4:3-9 "Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. "Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil."

John 15:5  "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."

How incredibly cool would that be if He came back, gave us loving correction on the things that we shouldn’t be doing and then further instructed us on the things that we should be doing and then went back to be with His Father; withholding His wrath?!!

What if He just did a “practice drill?”  What if He were to give us a chance to get it right?!

(sounds so familiar doesn't it...)

Well He does give us that chance.  It’s called today…it’s called now!  We have the chance to do what Christ has called us to do and we can be ready when He returns.  All we have to do is turn away from ourselves and turn away from our sins and OBEY the Word of the Living God.  He is the One who matters most and His coming will bring Great Rewards for those who are found Faithful and a Great Judgment for those who are not.

Acts 17:31 "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

We were not created to live a life pleasing to self.  We were created to bring glory and honor to the Most High God and to bear fruit in His name.  There are many who have not heard the gospel and many, many who still need the saving grace of our Savior.  We each have a role to play in God’s Kingdom work and we had better get busy showing the world, the lost and those who have been deceived what it looks like to be a Christian.

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

2 Timothy 4:1-2 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Timothy 4:8 "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness..."

Father, revive our hearts and start with me!  Use me in any which way you please because this life is Yours and not mine.

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

One day very soon, our Lord is returning.  However, no one knows when. We must prepare for His RETURN! (Matthew 24:36-44)

All we can do is to be found faithful in our Christian walk.  It can feel overwhelming at times and yes, there are many things in our day to day lives that pull at our attention.  There are many things that disrupt life and there are many circumstances that can attempt to steal our joy.  We have been forced to live in a world of sin because of our wicked flesh and our deceitful hearts.  We are surrounded by the enemy’s schemes to taint and tarnish our testimonies and we are battling with the will to do things our way.  And, although we live in the midst of darkness, we have a LIGHT! In Christ Jesus, we are overcomers and nothing can separate us from His loving arms unless He approves it!  AND That is something He will never do.  There are many things that He permits, (to test our faith and to strengthen us spiritually) but turning us over to the devil is something that HE WILL NEVER, EVER DO!  We however, can choose to turn away from God’s love and protection due to sin, anger, deception and pride, but those are choices of free will. (John 3:20-21)

Please don’t allow Satan to convince you that you are not loved by God, worthy to be called His and incapable of living a life of righteousness.  YOU cannot, but in Christ and with Christ you so are and you so can!  My life was one of confusion, chaos and lies.  I was wounded and alone in most of my life’s journey and JESUS so turned it #ALL into good! (Romans 8:28)  If He did it for me, HE can surely do it for you! 

Lord although we eagerly await Your arrival, please Father withhold Your wrath until all have come to know You!  In Jesus’ precious name, amen. (John 3:16-18)

Acts 3:19-21 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you - even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Revelation 1:7  Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him--even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!

-Yet, another day to praise Him…

Monday, July 20, 2015

Reciprocal and Unconditional

On July 14, by the grace of Jesus and Jesus alone, I turned 51.  In this journey of mine, I have loved and I have lost.  And in my lifetime of loving and losing, the Lord has shown me that His love is not only reciprocal but His love is the only love capable of being #unconditional.

The flesh will fail me.  The flesh will make many mistakes.  The flesh will tell me lies.  The flesh will hurt my feelings.  The flesh will break my heart.  The flesh will not meet my expectations.  The flesh will use my past against me.  The flesh will disappoint me.  The flesh will become to busy for me.  The flesh will become prideful.  The flesh will find fault with me.  The flesh will abandon me.  The flesh will break promises.  The flesh is weak and completely incapable of meeting my every need.

In walks Jesus, the lover of my soul.

His love covers all of my wrongs and all the [wrongs] that were done to me since my youth.  My upbringing was not perfect, but in my innocent little brain, I believed it to be.

Life happened and I was greatly disappointed again and again...

#John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (NIV)

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (NLT)

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (ESV)

My heart's desire is that YOU would invite Jesus into your life and see how much He loves you.  A lot of people have reservations because they don't understand the gospel, they don't want to change their lifestyles, they don't know the truth, they have brokenness and wounds from their past and a lot of you feel as though He does not exist. 
 
It can be very difficult to grasp the LOVE of a God you "cannot see" when their are those moments, seasons and years of your life when parents and guardians that you "can see" may love you and are oftentimes incapable of expressing the deep love and affection that we all crave.  I had a good childhood and when my parents divorced, it tore me apart.  I felt lost and alone.  I did not know God and I was never told about the GRACE, Salvation and Forgiveness of Jesus Christ.  I did not know that I was a sinner and that He died on the #cross to SAVE all sinners. 
 
I did not understand the bible and I did not understand His great love for me.  BUT once I received the gift of Salvation by inviting Jesus into my life and my heart, God, the Creator of the Universe made the Holy Scriptures come alive and He showed me verse by verse and day by day how I could live a life pleasing to Him.  He began to reveal with the Help and Guidance of the Holy Spirit that not only was my thinking wrong and not only was I told a lot lies about my value and worth, but that He has always been my GOD and that He has always had plans for me.  I was precious to Him before I was born. 

I once heard that God has placed a whole in our hearts that only HE can fill.  I believe it!
 
So please consider what I'm saying here and please evaluate your life, the one you're living without a Savior.  Who doesn't want to be #certain that after we leave this earth, we will get to spend eternity with the One who gave us life??!

<><   Try Jesus...
 
John 3:16-18
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son." (NIV)
 
Psalm 139
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
 
Jeremiah 31:3
"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." (NIV)
 
Jeremiah 29:11-14
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, (NIV) 
 
These are just a few promises to get your heart prepared to meet with the One True Living God.
 
Yet, another reason to praise Him...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Not In Our Own Strength

I remember my first Women's bible study at Grace Brethren Church. It was titled "John, The Beloved Disciple" by Beth Moore.  It was the fall of 2011, and I fell in love with Jesus during that season.  He was in the process of wooing me and my heart was ripe for the picking.

Although it was almost four years ago, two things still stand out as if it were yesterday.  The first being we were asked to write a letter to Jesus, telling Him our heart's desire.  I for one speak to Jesus all the time, but when I had to write Him a letter as if He were going to actually read it, that deeply touched me and my Spirit completely took over. 

In my flesh, I thought I would express to Him about the type of "things" I wanted in my future husband. However, the pen began a journey of its own, expressing the things deep within my vulnerable heart that I openly revealed to my Lord and My Lover.  I truly wanted more of Jesus.  I wanted only the things that He wanted for me and I wanted only to draw nearer to Him with each passing day.  I wanted to please Him with my life and I wanted to let Him know that He was indeed my heart's desire.

The other thing that I discovered...now this is going to sound strange, but I'm serious:  I discovered that being in control was an absolute illusion.  That truth completely burst my bubble and my way of thinking.  Being in control was my "claim to fame: and in my mind, it was the only thing that I did right!

So not the case as far as Jesus was concerned.  In order for me to trust Him and to have true intimacy, I had to be willing to let go and Let God.  That was not only [laugh out loud] funny but it was oh so freeing! #John 8:36 "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

Now seriously, who wouldn't want that?!

I write this particular post because there are many things occurring not only in my family, but in our society and in our Nation that has our flesh in a state of panic.  So many people are wrapped up in the things of this world and loosing sight of who is #STILL in control.  #HEBREWS 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (NIV)

I know that Satan is the enemy of our souls, and the Prince of the earth, but he does not know our thoughts and he has no power over those that belong to Christ JESUS!  #John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand." (ESV)

We are struggling and failing miserably because we will not relinquish control to the ONLY ONE who CAN!  Jesus wants to bear our burdens in exchange for rest and in exchange for peace.  #Psalm 55:22 "Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." (NLT)

He wants you and I to live in a state of contentment, trusting that He will meet every need, no matter how small and no matter how ginormous.  We are hamsters on a wheel trying to do it all in our own strength and that only leads to not only major disappointments, but major health concerns: diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, depression and anxiety, just to name a few.

#Matthew 6:27 "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" (ESV)

#Philippians 4:12 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (NIV)

We are operating on autopilot and we don't even have to.  #Matthew 11:30 "For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." (NLT)

We are busy trying to tackle so many of life's issues without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and without wise counsel.  #John 16:7 "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." (ESV)

We can find that "thing" our heart desire's most when we GIVE it to the Lord.  #Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (KJV)

When we mediate on His truths and precepts and actually believe what we have read about Him and who we are according to His word, we will discover that no matter what our circumstances say and look like, we already have the #victory!

#Romans 8:37 "...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (NIV)

We are so loved by Him that nothing will ever separate us:  Not even our failures!!!
#Romans 8:3;8 "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." (NLT)

Thank you Father that in my own strength, I simply cannot.  BUT with You, I can do all things. #Philippians 4:13 "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (NIV)

Yet, another day to praise Him...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What Do You Expect?

I recently read a devotion from "Our Daily Bread" and it made an interesting reference a person's expectations.  I expect certain things and I, even (sad to say) had and still have feelings of entitlement.  Lord, Jesus, after reading that devotion last night, help me to see that I only have a right to ...

(pause: a little white butterfly just fluttered by my window)

But like I was saying, I only have a right to stand firm in my faith and proclaim that Jesus is Lord.  He is the only way to eternal life.  John 14:6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (NLT)

Truly, I'm not entitled to anything here on earth and as selfish as it may sound, I actually thought quite the opposite.

When I read that excerpt about how if we were to lower our expectations, we wouldn't be as hurt, disappointed or shocked for that matter, when they are not met.  In fact, some of us get down right pissed when others fail to met them.  That really got me to thinking about my own expectations.  Big and small; the ones that I held so tightly to in the past and the ones that I still hold today.  Some, I'm not so proud of and some you may not agree with. 

So here are some of the things I expected. Note: I was unaware that I was expecting them until years later.  Actually, His #gift of Salvation brought so much clarity about the things that I expected and believed that it still amazes me that GOD chose me. :-)

Expectation - "A belief that someone will or should achieve something."
I expected people to be on time.
I expected people to save their money.
I expected people to be neat and organized.
I expected my children to behave.
I expected family to get along.
I expected people to apologize.
I expected people to be polite.
I expected promises to be kept.
I expected good customer service.
I expected people to tell the truth.
I expected men to lead the household.
I expected fathers to be fathers to their children.
I expected someone to mean it when they said that they loved me.
I expected my marriage to last.

#That's just to name a few.  No judgment please

And today:

Expectation - "A strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future."
I expect everyone to come to the realization that Jesus is Lord.
I expect everyone to see that GOD is good.
I expect everyone to feel His love for them.
I expect others to share what He's given them.
I expect people to walk away from intentional sin.
I expect people to apologize.
I expect people to help the hungry and the homeless.
I expect people to love reading the bible.
I expect people to keep their word.
I expect people to stop the violence.
I expect people to forgive.
I expect people to count their blessings.
I expect people to believe that God can.
I expect people to stop being selfish.
I expect Christians to stay married.
I expect people to surrender to His will.
I expect people to let go and let God.
I expect people to accept death.
I expect people to put their hope in Jesus.
I expect people to overcome the devil.
I expect people to repent of their sins.
I expect people to deny their flesh.
I expect love to heal everything.

#And that's just to name a few.  Again, no judgment please.

As a seven year old Christian, I still have much to learn about myself, about others and about God. The main thing being that this life is not about Me and what I expect.  I'm still learning humility!!!  If I put My HOPE in The Creator, the One whom everything belongs, then I can relax and rest in who is really in control.  Surely not I. Lol

He will reveal to me what it is He wants me to know and do.  Having my expectations met is not my heart's desire.  However, knowing and growing in Christ's wisdom and knowledge is in deed what I want most.  Thank you Lord for revealing yourself to those who love and seek You.

1 Corinthians 1:21 "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." (NIV)

The Holy Spirit is still revealing His self to me, #But one thing that I am trying to master is this:  Not everyone has faith, but God is faithful.  Beth Moore spoke that profound truth in our last bible study of 1 and 2 Thessalonians. 

I hold tight to the fact that in the end, JESUS will return for me.  Revelation 1:7 "Look, he is coming with the clouds," and "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be! Amen. (NIV)

Because of my weak flesh, I may still hold a lot of unmet expectations deep within.  When I order a cup of coffee, I may not get it as hot as I'd like it and when I retire from law enforcement, I may not get the dream job I'm hoping for, but I am not letting go of the #PROMISES of God!

The entire Bible is for His Glory and our Salvation!! Isaiah 55:11 "...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." (NIV)

He will finish what He started in me!! Praise the Lord that I'm still a work in #progress!
Philippians 1:6 "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (NLT)

He will bring His wrath and judgment on those who refuse to #believe! Colossians 3:5-6 "Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,..." (NIV)

Thank You Father for waiting on me!

Yet, another day to praise Him...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Dread or A Delight?

Greeting the day...

“How do you feel?”

“Do you oftentimes dread another day?”

Is your demeanor similar to the famous commercial where the parakeet continually repeats after his owner stating, “Not another day…?”

“Is that how you feel too or are you even aware of how you greet the #gift of another day?”

There are so many things, many being necessary, in our day-to-day life that can demand our attention.  Starting with our morning routines: “Does yours look anything like this?”

Alarm clock...
Shower...
Breakfast...
Running late...
Traffic...
Drop kids off at school...
Demands in the workplace...
Errands...
Homework...
Dinner...
Chores, grocery, cleaners, doctors…and the list goes on and on (and not to mention the bills…)

“Where is God?  Do you include Him or even invite Him into your day?”

“How different would our morning be if we began with Him; if we were to delight in His presence first thing?”

You are not alone.  There is Someone willing to walk you through your day beginning at first light. <>< Psalm 148:3 “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” (NLT)

Try greeting the day with a #gratefulness, being reminded that many did not wake up at all.  There are even some who are in fact bedridden and unable to move about freely.  Not only that, I am quite certain that there are some who cannot leave their beds but still manage to delight in His glorious presence. 

When we allow life to get the best of us, we can easily forget that not only do we still have breath, but that we actually still have the ability to read, write, hear, taste, feel, touch, smell, create, choose, explore, dream and so much more; all because we are blessed by the Creator of the Universe and the #giver of all things good. <>< James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)

In the midst of our daily lives and all that it entails, we have a loving Savior who wants to come along.  “How cool is that?” <>< Hebrews 3:5 "... I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Not only do we have so much on our to-do list, but we often have some (people)  on that list as well.  And, some of those people are difficult and even resistant…but #praise God that Jesus is not.  He is so willing to accompany us in our activities, chores and not so pleasant tasks.  He will even make the path clear before we begin. <>< Proverbs 3:6 “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT)

We depend way too much on ourselves, our own strengths and the strengths of others before we fall into complete exhaustion.  We allow the monotony and the mundane to run us down to nothing, continuously forgetting that He is our burden bearer. <>< Psalm 55:22 “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (NLT)

<>< Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NIV)

Let's try to put away the DREAD of life and replace it with DELIGHT! He wants to give us our heart’s desire and that includes something as simple as a great cup of coffee or something even much more amazing like that "dream vacation."  All things big and small can be gifted to us as we put Him first and make Him our delight!

<>< Matthew 6:33 “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (NLT)

<>< Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (NIV)

I have learned these things over time and looking back at my life and all the times where I desperately struggled to hold it all together, I still burst into laughter.  Realizing that I did not have to do it on my own was so foreign to me.  Knowing that Jesus wants to accompany me in my daily routine and knowing that He has already made a path for me, that alone gives me reason to #delight in Him.  Even if the attendant messes up my coffee order and even if I never get the #dream vacation.

I’ll take the companionship of Jesus hands down!

Yet, another day to praise Him

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What Are You Wearing?

When I think of the word clothe, I remember in my past when I wished that I had something, anything with a designer label on it.  I never quite fit in and in my opinion, if I wore the right clothes, at least I’d feel like “somebody.”  Most of my “friends” wore pretty clothes, pretty jewelry and some even had a car.  I on the other hand, I had a baby.  Yes, I was a young mother and I had my hands full with that responsibility alone.  Not to mention the fact that what I looked like was of very little importance being as though I was a homebody and an introvert.  Still, in my mind, if I had designer labels, I’m sure I would have at least felt pretty.

Silly to say that before my pregnancy and even years after, I still believed that having the right clothes would define me.  I don't know why I adopted that "belief" but I always noticed the “pretty girls” and the styles that were in “season” were never anything that I could afford.  Truthfully speaking, I can’t even remember going to the mall much. 

Even now that I’m fifty years old, I don’t go to the mall.  And the funny part is that now, I can if I wanted to.  How ironic that now that I have the money to buy the “designer” label, I no longer desire it?  I remember reading a book buy Eckhart Tolle, once referring to fashion, in which he stated, "If everyone could afford [it] we wouldn't want it as much." Knowing my insecurities back then, I still would have wanted them :-)

Anyway, I talk all this talk about "clothes" because whenever I read the following scripture, I’m astonished that what I wore was of no real significance in the eyes of God.

Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (NIV)

Knowing that the One who created me was much more concerned about my “Spiritual disposition” than He was about my outer appearance brings me to a complete rest.  Resting in the fact that I can wear something from Wal-mart and be pleasing in His eyes as opposed to having the best and latest fashion with no compassion, no kindness, no humility, no gentleness and on patience.

How incredible and eye-opening is that truth?

All those years of putting on clothes, shoes, jewelry and even a little make-up meant nothing to God if I were not clothe in His righteous.  All those years of wanting to impress [others] and wanting to fit in held little significance if my heart was not in alignment with His Word.

1 Samuel 16:7 "... But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height,...The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NIV)

It is so freeing knowing that I can be me and I can play “dress up” in fashions as simple as Marshalls and Target or something a bit more upscale like Lord and Taylor and #still be pleasing and acceptable not in the eyes of man, but in the eyes of my Father; the One who matters most and the One who has clothe me with His Spirit of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  I know that I am completely incapable of doing any of these without Him and knowing that I can rely on Him brings me to a complete rest in my spirit.

And to go deeper, I have to praise Him that I no longer clothe myself in the things of this world.  I am no longer clothe in relationships that are not godly and that are outside His marriage covenant.  I must admit that in the beginning, it was a lot easier to clothe myself in "Colossians" than it was to clothe myself in "Romans."  Letting go of “someone that I loved” as opposed to letting go of that designer outfit what much more difficult.  But, I clearly heard the voice of God saying that it was not only wrong, but it was not my [season] to be in a relationship.  Jesus, the #lover of my soul, wanted me all to Himself and how could a girl say no to an invitation like that?!?!

Romans 13:14 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” (NIV)
-Yet, another day to praise Him...

Monday, June 8, 2015

A New Life

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV)

I love this version of 2 Corinthians 5:17 because it includes the word [all].

With a promise like that, how could I not love Him?

My past was a complete mess.  I was all dressed up with my business suit, stilettos, and famous smile, but underneath it all, I was broken, exhausted and afraid that someone would eventually find out.

What amazes me about my journey with Jesus is that He knew.  Nothing that I did was ever hidden from Him. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

There goes that word [all] again.  Nothing I ever did was in secret.  Even when I mustered up the strength to make it through another day, reached the threshold of my door and collapsed into my deep rooted insecurities, He was there.

This blog is my way of expressing my love to Him and also in hopes that at least one other person feels the way that I did and still sometimes do.  He has indeed given me a new life and as a result of that precious gift, the enemy of my soul wants to continually remind me of who I used to be.

I draw daily from the strength that He has promised to see me through this journey to completion. "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

I have been His beloved daughter since May 4, 2008, and He has not failed me yet.  And, now that I type that very sentence, I am reminded by His Holy Spirit that He has always been there.  "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

-Yet another day to praise Him...