Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Today my son is struggling with gossip. Not him gossiping, but others about him. So what do you with this? You try to teach your child, it doesn't matter what others think or say, be yourself and don't worry about what others have to say. Its not so easy for a teenager to understand. They want to fit in, they want to have friends, they want to be loved, liked, and accepted. Many times this isn't so with so many teenagers. As parents we need to really listen, because to them, the pain is so real, and they are not yet adults, they cannot yet fathom what a forty year old will know after learning as life has taught them. Kids should be free to be themselves, they should be able to express themselves, to live out a childhood without pain, not just from children, but from adults gossiping. When I was a child in the 8th grade I was one of those popular kids, I got along with everyone, I was blessed or so I thought with many friends. In my 8th grade year all turned upside down for me. Now you have to remember, even then in 8th grade kids were not as they are today, things seem to keep getting worse. In that year a boy seemed to like me. He was the first boy ever I liked. Well, needless to say, another young girl liked him, and although he didn't like her, she began gossip about me. It was mean gossip, what other kind is there really? With her gossip, this one girl was able to turn a whole class against me, even my friends were afraid to speak to me, afraid they too would get beat up. See, for the rest of that year, I got beat up everyday, mostly in P.E, and in the hallways. They just didn't seem to care what was happening, and stayed out of all that was happening to me. I would go home daily and cry, even crying myself to sleep. I didn't understand anything that was happening, but I bet there are others out there that have felt the very same. One of the last days of school I was in P.E. and the girls surrounded me, pushing me and hitting me, they had a jug of something, and were laughing. They told me they were going to pour acid all over my pretty face so no more boys would like me. I was terrified, as they poured, I cried, for this was not acid, but coolaid, running all down my head unto my white shirt I happened to wear that day, a new shirt that my mom has just bought me. I was told, if I came back my freshman year they would kill me. As a straight A student, my grades dropped to F's and I no longer cared about school, or teachers. My life as I knew it was over. That next year I ended up going to a private school, but the damage was already done. It took me a very long time to get over that period in my life. As I was older I decided to go to Cosmetology school. Later on as I was finally working, I was getting ready at my station, and my first client comes and has a seat. It was one of the girls that helped to make my life change forever. As she looked up at me with sissors in my hand, she looked into my eyes and knew who I was right away. She quickly had tears in her eyes,(at first, I thought she was afraid, for I now had sissors in my hands above all her hair) but the tears were of regret. She asked my name, although she already knew it, as the tears were streaming down her face, she appologized for all she had done, and told me over the years she had thought about me, and how mean they were to me. She was not the only girl to come into the shop in which I worked, and she was not the last to shed tears, nor appologize. See, the pain we cause others, all the while we think we are being cool and funny, doesn't just hurt one, it also hurts the other, the one causing the pain at the time. Maybe not then, but down the road, maybe someone is mean to them and they remember, or maybe their daughter will be as I was and come home daily with tears, afraid of school. We send our children to school to grow, to learn, to have friends and experience life. Today they experience even much more than I did. We must have open ears, have open hearts and be there for our children. Don't be so as to tell them, "Its okay, its gonna blow over, or Don't worry about them, you just do your thing." Its not so easy, and kids shouldn't have to go through that pain, and they should never have to go through that pain from adults gossiping about things they have no idea of. We are to be their examples, and for my son, some of his very examples are the ones gossiping. We should remember how we want to be treated, for the kind of friends you want, you should be. Take time and listen to your children, look for the signs that something is wrong, and take the time to help them along. No child should be left to fend for themselves, or just face it to be stronger, it doesn't work out that way. As a child, as a teen, that is one of the most important times in our lives. It is a time when we are figuring out who we are, what we want to become in life. When others are against you, it changing you, and its harder than ever to love, forgive, and to receive others with open arms. May we teach our children how to love and respect others, and may we stand and be the examples they need~
We have seemed to ask why since we began to speak as children. I can remember when my little ones began asking, "Why mommy?" Everthing was "Why", and for some of those questions, I didn't have an answer then and for today, well, I still don't. We seem to ask why as adults to, it is a little three letter word that we ask daily, throughout our whole lives. There are those questions we can find the answers to, but some, we may never really understand just why. I remember asking why, when my dad died. Why did he have to get cancer, why did he have to be so sick, why did it happen to my dad, why did he have to die at 46 years old? So many questions for a young teenager to ask, and not alot of answers were given at the time. Today, the Lord has shown some of those and has given me peace for the others. Why is one of those universal words with the same meaning to all. We question just about everything, and when something goes terribly wrong, when a trial comes we seem to ask, "Why me", but instead of asking "why me", maybe should ask, "Why not me?" We may not be able to change the situation, but we can begin to change the way we look upon things. I have learned with everything that has touched my life there is a great lesson for me to learn, blessings are there, although I may not see them right off the bat, for the pain is covering all up. When we are right in the middle of a trial, all we can seem to think of is, "Why", and its the why that gets us. It takes hold of us, and we keep asking, with no apparent answer to be found, and we allow ourselves to be brought down in the depths of depression at times, for to be honest, there isn't a answer for every question that comes. When you are a child and you have fallen and scraped your knee, your momma can place a band-aid over your scrape, cover it up until it heals. When we have questions with no answers, even today as adults, we try to so hard uncover the truth of why, when at times, we just need to have faith, believe and allow God's peace to wash over us instead of trying to find a big enough band-aid to cover our pain. Can you imagine how many times God has been asked the question Why? And not just why, but why me? God loves us all the same, He doesn't love one more than the other, and when we are hurting, He too is hurting. He feels our pain, if we rememeber, He was the One feeling our pain on the cross for our sins. He could of very easily left that situation and said no way, but He knew it was the only way. In my life, now that I am older, and have been through so many different trials, I have learned that God is always there, and with each one comes seasons of blessings, some big and some little. All of my trials have not turned out the way I would like, some are still hurting, but God hasn't stopped working in those trials yet. He has given me peace to allow me to keep going, while He is still at work. Just because the trial has moved a little from my mind, doesn't mean He has forgotten the situation. On those days that I am really hurting, I know He is there, and He is not only working in me, but in others. We just don't get to see the whole picture like He does. There is no magic band-aid that we can place on our hurts and make them all go away and find all the answers as to why. I think thats the hard part, we want to know the why of things, and when we can't know, it drives us crazy, waiting to find out. God has given us verses to give us strength and to learn from our trials. He will either stop the storm, the winds and waves that seem to stir us out of control, or He will give us the strength to make it through the storm, He will be our strong rock to give us support, to be there for us to hold on to, so we don't get lost in the waves. We can if allow the why's to drive us there, thats why it is so important to trust God, trust He loves us, and to hang on to His words with all we have. Philippians 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Romans 5:3-5 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us." Romans 18:26-28 " Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows waht the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." We may not have all the answers as to why things happen, but God does have the answers, and with each of us, He has given us a purpose and a plan for our lives.(Jer.29:11) He reveals these things to us at different seasons in our lives. We may not understand all at one time, we aren't meant to. We are meant to lean upon Him, trust Him and with time we will continue to grow, to bless others who are in trials of their own and to search our hearts for the meaning of our life with Christ. So from that first little "Why" from your child, to the "Why" you are asking now, its okay not the have the answers, its okay to ask God, He wants us to lean on Him, when we are weak, He is strong in us. We don't have to stop asking, for me asking "Why" is what brought me to Christ..
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Just what if we worried a little less about what others were doing and just focused ourselves, would there be a change? Just what if we looked up for all our needs instead of down upon ourselves, would there be a difference? Just what if we chose to forgive today instead of holding all the anger inside, would it make a difference? Just what if, what if we chose to love today, would it begin to change us and those around us? If we can take our eyes off of ourself, and place them upon our Savior, He will show us all we need to see, and we will have a new vision, a new attitude. One person can change the world, that one person who began our change was Jesus Christ. Just what if we followed His example of living, His example of loving others, His example for being a christian? He didn't make denominations, we did, so we if we stopped seperating ourselves, and instead came together on the belief that Jesus Christ is our Savior, who died for our sins, who rose from the dead and is coming again, do you think we could make a change? Instead of trying to change those around us, just if we met them where they are, loved them and let Jesus do the changing, can you see the glory already? When we step out of the way and let Jesus do the work on others hearts He makes great changes for His kingdom, we just have to be the willing vessels, with open hearts ready to go where He sends us. If we move forward and keep our eyes upon Him, He will take care of all that is behind us. When we open our hearts to Christ He can move through us, touching all we see with His love. Today can be the day those changes begin and they must begin in our heart before they begin in others. All may be wrong in the world today, but all can be right with Jesus Christ as our Savior. Today can be all it can be, it can be a day of new beginnings, of letting the old go, and allowing the new to shine through. Today can be the day we open our hearts and lift our hearts in worship. Today can be the day you choose to make the step towards a future with Christ. What if you did that today? It will be the greatest day of your life, it will be the day your heart is filled with a joy you cannot contain, and aren't meant to. Today can be a day you fill the love of Christ wash over you. What if today you give up yourself, and live for Christ? He will show you a new way, a better way, a way to an eternal future with Him. Lord, touch us today, break our hearts for you today Lord. May we look to You today and give praise to Your holy name, Jesus, the sweetest name I know.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
As a friend and I were chating today we began talking about the status of people. Sadly, we judge others by what they do, how much money they have, what kind of house you live in, and who ya know. Has anyone ever felt that? Does it really matter what we do? To some I think it does. When you have a high paying job, if your a doctor, an attorney, have your own business, everyone wants to be your friend, but look out when you lose your job. When you lose your job, you have people asking many questions and some are judging. If someone asks, "What do you do?" and you reply, "I am layed off from my employer" you begin to hear the awe and hums from others. Now if you changed the way you stated that, and said," I have given my job to another so he could feed his family, and mine could sacrifice, that kind of puts a different spin on it, doesn't it? We tend to label people so much by what they do, where they work, or if they are a stay at home mom that you begin to try to redefine who you are, or your circumstances so they don't look so bad to others. Then you have to face those questions of, "And what is it that you do?" Your response may be,"I am a stay at home mom and have been for eighteen years", but they at times look at you like, oh, well then. They might even put their question as, "Do you work outside your home?" My response, as I sit there for a moment collecting myself is, " No, I have so many jobs at home I couldn't possibly find one outside of my home unless it was in the yard, taking care of the outside of my home!" I don't know how you stand on this subject, but for me, being a stay at home mom and homeschooling my children for eighteen years has been the hardest and most rewarding job I could ever ask for. I do not look down upon myself for being at home with my children, nor do I look down upon a woman who chooses to add on a different job to her resume'. At times I think we can lose sight of who we really are, and begin to choose our friends by what they can give us, or just how we will be accepted by others having them for a friend. We tend to look at a hard working trash collector as less of a person than a teacher. For every job there is, someone is qualified to take it, and to work as hard as they can giving 100%. But even so, our job does not define who we are. Who are friends are do not define who we are, just as how big our house is, what kind of car we drive, or what kind of clothes we wear do in no way define me. If I shop at Nordstroms or walmart, I still have to pay for my purchase. Anyone can walk around with many credit cards in their wallet, buying all they desire, but as those bills come in, they still must pay them. You can hear people trying to make themselves look better so others will accept them. But what is better, being who you are, and being proud and content, or struggling with trying to fit in? If you have to fit in, if you have to have the best, if you have to try to put up a front, girl, you don't want those kind of friends. I want a friend who loves me for who I am, not what I do. I want a friend who is going to stand by my side, whether my husband makes 70,000 a year or is layed off. Life is hard enough without others judging you and making you feel less of a person because you have a little less then them.As my daddy use to tell me, "What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger." We will all go through trials or hardships in one way or another. Jesus loved everyone, He didn't pick and chose who could give Him what He needed. He didn't seek out the wealthy to have them on His side. He sought out the prostitutes, the poor, the hungry, He sought out everyone, rich or poor. We were all made by the same God, and we are all loved by the same God who calls Himself our Savior. There isn't one who is going to be of higher class in heaven. There will be no more classes by our color, our wealth, our job, or our family name. When we are really following Christ we don't make differences in people, we don't treat some more special because they have a little more, or "Work outside the home". I am glad, I am thankful I have a Savior who sees me as His child no matter if I am poor, stumbling, or have fallen flat on my face. Shame on us for making a difference in people, for thinking we are just a little higher up because of what we do or don't do. I am defined by my Savior and no one else, I am a child of the King, a royal blue blood. That for me, is all I need~
Friday, September 25, 2009
Sadly we all think we have all the time in the world to live. Some will not come to Christ, for they say,"I will one day when I'm older and ready to settle down." Well, what if that day comes sooner than later? When we are children we seem to think time goes by so slowly, especially when we were in school, but when we are doing something fun, it seems to go by quickly. As you get older you can understand if you open your eyes, that time is always moving, it never slows down and it never stops. We can watch our children grow, and see that it seemed like yesterday when they started crawling. Some choose to work 24/7 leaving their families, so they can have more and more, thinking they will one day enjoy the time together. Many times that day never gets to come. Some choose to stay away from their families and live, doing their own thing, living their own life, but do they really see the time ticking away each minute? When we are young we think we will live forever, taking what we have for granit, as we get older we still fall into that same trap. I have always said, "I wish I was able to have one more day with my dad." One day, one day just wouldn't be enough. When a tragedy happens we often say,"I wish we had more time together." We get so caught up in our lives, in all the stuff we are doing that we forget about life, about time, and about our home that we will spend all eternity in. Are you ready? Do you know just where you will go? So many think all will go to heaven. That simply isn't true. The only way to heaven is throught the Father. When we believe upon Jesus Christ, we believe His life, His death, and His resurrection, we are on the right track, but there is more. We must believe that He died for our sins, we have to admit that we are a sinner in need of a Savior. We must ask Him to come into our hearts and to live there, allowing the Holy Spirit to reside in our hearts. We must die to ourselves, and allow Him to live through us, giving Him control of our lives, and trusting and believing in His will for us. There is none righteous among us, we are all sinners. No one is perfect and we never will be until we see our Savior's face. As my Pastor says, one out of every one die. No one gets a pass on this one, no one gets a get out of hell card after you have died, its too late then. So what can you do today? What can you do this minute? You can ask Christ into your heart, you can place your faith in Him, the Savior who chose to die for you, because HE loves you. Once we do that, we need to find a church, a New Testament church that teaches about the life of Christ, that will teach you and lead you in following Him for the rest of your life. Some like to sugar coat hell, some make it sound as though hell isn't all that bad, maybe I would rather go there instead of being with a bunch of people who think they are christians. Well my friend, that is a choice you must make. Jesus is there, knocking, He is waiting for you to accept Him as Lord and Savior, but He loves you so much He gave us freewill, and will never force Himself on anyone. But He wants all to go to heaven and spead all eternity with Him. That is one thing I cannot fathom is eternity, we know time as it is here, but to spend forever with Christ is a gift that He died for when He was only thirty-three. Time is so quick, and if we do not learn to take our eyes off of ourselves and place them on Jesus, time will pass too quickly. As a christian, we know that death is not the end for a brother or sister in Christ, it is a new beginning. But what about our family and friends who are not saved? We need to show all around just who Christ is, and share the salvation message to all that we come in contact with. It doesn't matter about our deeds, its not about how good we are to others or how much we give to a charity. It isn't being popular or funny, it all has to do with our faith in Christ and how we chose to live, with or without Him. Make that choice today. Don't go one more day without asking Him into your heart and allowing Him to mold you into the person He created you to be. Christ loves you, He gave all for you, what are you willing to do with that gift? Its up to you. John 3:16-17 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not parish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Romans 10:9-11 "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For scripture says, 'Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." Romans 8:16-17 "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." Jeremiah 29:11 "For O know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." The message of salvation was an easy choice for me. I was lost and yet I was found by Christ. He chose me, it wasn't me choosing Him, He already loved me from the moment He made me. The message of salvation gives us hope, and a future with Christ. Without Him, we have no future, and living without Him is really not living at all. Make the choice today to ask Him into your heart, and watch Him change you, create in you, and bless you with all He has. Stop thinking you have all the time in the world to make a choice. Stop and think about life, about time, and about forever where your home will be. Make the choice to follow Him. Don't miss out on all He has for you....
When I began writing my blog I started out with the premise of honoring God, and serving Him with the gifts that He has given me. I had been keeping a journal for years, so now the difference is I am able to reach many with all that Christ has done, is doing and will do for me. It is a blessing being able to share from my heart to yours. I have had so many people ask me, "When are you going to get paid for writing?" See I have had a few writings in girlsgoneGod.com an on line mag, and soon will have another. As a friend shared with me today, it takes time for a book to come about. It doesn't happen in one day, and it takes time to learn and to grow in Christ. As I have said from the very beginning, my writing is for Christ and Him alone. I want to bring honor and glory to His name and reach others to know Him on a higher level, to share the struggles I have gone through, so just maybe others can see Him in my life. We all have struggles and if we share, we can help others understand we are never alone. Although our struggles may be different, they are still struggles. Everything I do I want to bring glory to God, now, I do falter there, because I know when I have messed up and tripped, falling flat on my face before God asking Him to forgive me and change me to who He wants me to become. I read so many blogs that have touched my life, and devotionals that lift me up daily. If we are not living and doing all for Christ, then just what is the point? To see your name in lights is appealing, but that is a fleshly feeling, and its not going to bring joy as it would if we were placing God's name in lights for all to see. As a friend sent me a devotional today, thinking of me, she blessed me to tears as always. (she has the power to do that to others with her kindness) She is one who has encouraged me from the start, she is one who tells me to keep going forward, not listening to what others say, but to serve Christ in all I do. To help out here at home I began making scarves. I love to make scarves. I am going to place them in a friends shop for sale in time for fall and the holidays. My problem is that when I make one, I think its really pretty and I want to so much to keep it and wear it myself.lol But as my friend gave me advice, she said, "To pray over each one and the one who will wear the scarf." Whatever we do, we should be serving Christ and giving Him glory of all. We would have no gifts if it were not for Him. Even though the economy is hard, and my husband is still out of work, looking tirelessly, we still have to serve Christ in all we do, and I have found out, during this time, God has provided every need we have, and we may not be able to go shopping alot, we may not have steak for dinner, but we have had so many blessings from others that touch us, knowing those blessings are coming from Christ, from brothers and sisters in Christ is a blessing that cannot go unnoticed. Serving God not only blesses Him, but all that we are serving, and all who we are serving are getting a rich blessing too. When we do things for Christ's gain, for His kingdom, it gives so much more than we could ever imagine. We will not know all the people we have touched until heaven. It is on that day that we will meet those we shared with and loved Christ with. One blessing goes a long way, touching one, than other and so on until many are touched by one persons heart that is an open vessel for God. If you are writing, sewing, working in a kitchen, a highway worker, a doctor, whatever it is that God has called you to do, do it all for Him, not our gain. When we are only out to gain for ourselves, we are missing so many opportunities to bless others because we were not able to take our eyes off of ourselves. We should be serving with a cheerful heart, a giving heart, and a heart full of compassion to others. Just as every choice we make effects not only us but those around us, blessings are just the same. For every one we choose to allow for another, it not only effects them, but us. Blessings are contagious, they spread when we choose to take our eyes off our wants and think of others needs. And who doesn't need to be blessed? I can say we have not always given our tithe, but when we do, we might be thinking at times, we are going to be short, it never happens that way, we always end up right where we need to be or we end up having more. God blesses those who serve Him. A kind word, a word of encouragement to one, a card, a note, even a letter just asking how are you, is a rich blessing. And God always seems to place others on our hearts just as the right moment. "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor." John 12:25-26 "For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:45 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24 For all that we do, may we have open hearts and serve God with all we have, giving Him the glory and honor, leaving us in His shadow.
What is it today that you are grieving? Is it the loss of a spouse, the loss of a child, the loss of a job, the loss of your pet, the loss of family, the loss of your health, the loss of a friend, what is touching you today that makes you grieve so? So much touches our lives daily, so much effects our relationships with others, how we feel, how we give and receive. We grieve many things, and we all grieve in different ways. Sometimes we hold in all the pain, trying to overcome. But we must go through that pain, bring it to the surface, and face it before we can overcome. When we take our grief and store it inside, it does so much more damage to our bodies not just physically, but mentally. It begins to take a toll on your body and the way you think begins to change. There are those times when during grief, we close ourselves off to others, and we put ourself in a room, shut the door and never want to come out again.We have all grieved at one time or another, if we haven't yet, we will at some point in our lives. When our lives feel shattered, we feel broken inside, and the blame and hurt add more to our grief. We grieve loss of all that touches us. Although all our grief may be different, and we may not understand what another is grieving, for we have not gone through that pain, but we can understand grief no matter how small or big, grief hurts and takes time to heal. But the amazing thing is that God can help us overcome our grief and pain that is so real and alive in our lives. There are those times when we know we have had a loss and the pain is so deep, we don't even realize we are really grieving inside. We let the anger come, we allow the pain to take over all we do, but we cannot figure out just where the pain is coming from, until we take the time to stop and evaluate our life. For me, I have been grieving the relationship with my daughters for almost six years now. For me, this has been the longest six years of my life. Through grief we learn alot about ourselves, about others, and we learn to rely on Christ as our strength and comfort. There are days that the pain seems to be gone, but just as soon as I begin to live again the pain comes, the loss comes creeping up on me, and it is hard to face the day. I can be shopping and see something that will trigger a memory, a laughter, a feeling, and then the tears begin to fall again, just as they did almost six years ago. I have learned through my trials to give all I have to Christ. To give Him everything, is to give Him my love, my trust, and to place all I have in His hands, and believing that there is a purpose to all. I have the hope that keeps me moving each day, the hope that one day healing will touch us all, and we can move forward with a new love for Christ and praise Him for healing the hurts. For my husband, I think he has been grieving the loss of his job for a year now. Every loss touches us, and if we do not look to God for strength, we are not moving forward but staying in that pain. I know my son grieves for the loss he has felt of not having his brother and sisters here with him. It has effected him greatly in all he does. It makes him furious to hear brothers and sisters say they wish they were an only child, or fighting with one another. He realizes how blessed they are to have their siblings in their life. At the point when we are able to let go of the pain, the loss, and the anger, we can begin to heal, and we can know the freedom God has for us. We make a choice to live in our pain, or to move out of it gaining our strength from Christ. We can grieve a hug that is no longer there, a phone call that never comes, laughter that we hear no more. Grief is a word filled with many meanings, but hope gives all possibilies. If you are grieving today, turn to Jesus and allow Him to heal you and those you love. We can face anything that comes our way with Christ. On those days when the grief seems to pop back up out of no where, let your eyes seek the Lord with an open heart. He can show us understanding that we were never able to feel before. He can give us knowledge to come to the place where He wants us to be. Seek Him daily, or minute by minute to help you overcome your grief. I have learned that I am not alone in my pain, in my grief, He is there with me, showing me new ideas, and a new life, given only by Him. Don't drown in your grief, grab on to Jesus and allow Him to pull you in and save you from all that touches you today my friend. When we choose to be on our knees, we grow. The longer we stay the more He shows us. It may seem cloudy for you today, but the Son will shine on you, and bring you everlasting grace to overcome all that touches your life... "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 106:1 "My lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me." Psalm 144:2 God will not leave us in our grief, He loves us and He will move us away from our hurt, and bring joy to our hearts. "I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:1-2
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I would love to share my Tuesday evening out with my sweet friend Bobbie. She had put our names in a contest to win front row seats to hear Pastor Paul Sheppard preach. After she had told me that I really forgot all about it. See, I never win anything! So Monday I am writing and I receive a phone call. It was an unidentified number. If I don't know the number I don't pick up my phone. This time something said, pick it up girl. So after picking up, I was listening intently, and I hear the words, "You' ve won front row seats to see Pastor Paul!" I said, "Oh, wow thats great." She told me where to pick up the tickets, but in all the excitement I forgot to ask her how many tickets, what day and time. After reaching her we just knew this was a God moment. Well, that next day, things began to happen and were for sure we weren't going to get to attend. You know how satan works when God has something planned for you! As it turned out we put ourselves together and said, "We are going!" Bobbie had heard him preach before, and told me I was in store for a blessing, so I wasn't quite sure of what I was getting myself into. We had a wonderful drive there, and as I get out my tickets, we are told, "Follow me, please." We were even ushered to our seats, that had our names upon them. We sat next to two young men who were just as excited as us. As we sat down, the radio host, came and told us we needed to get our picture taken with the Pastor for the website. He was so humble, so generous, and just a nice person. He not only took pictures with those who won, but with everyone in the church. He took the time to speak to all in the church. This was a large church, a church with many hungry souls, wanting to be fed. Before he began preaching we held hands together and prayed. It was a wonderful moment to hold the hand of a stranger, but know he was my brother in Christ. His message was titled Outlasting Your Challenges, and he was preaching from Hebrews 10:35-39. In all our excitement we forgot to bring our bibles! He gave a message of truth, of freedom, and many points that just seem to stick with you. He shared that reading God's word is quick and powerful and will reach us where we are. We can't call ourselves victors if we are not going through challenges. We can have victory through our trials and challenges. He told us that we will outlast our challenges if we follow God's word. Through our sufferings we will gain rewards from Christ. We shouldn't have confidence in ourselves, only God. We cannot place our confidence in any other person, and if we could help ourselves, Jesus would have stayed in heaven. We aren't on a self-help trip, only Christ blesses us. Without Him we have no hope. When we choose to stay in the darkness, our eyes begin to adjust and it doesn't seem as dark anymore. We get used to the dark, but Christ can light up that room with His presence and its at that moment we see just how dark the place was where we were at. Satan petisions heaven to shake us up. Sometimes we can't get to where God is taking us until we do get shaken, its then that we draw closer to God. We want our faith strengthened, not seperated from Christ and our faith. Sometimes we can choose to move away from Christ when tragedy strikes, but Christ never moves away from us. One of the points he made that really touched us was that we should never count people out because they have made mistakes and failed. We need to turn and look at those in our churches. We are full of failures and people who make mistakes daily. That is why we are in need of a Savior. I have to have the confidence that God can take me from where I am to where He wants me to be. God can make a way through no way, and if there isn't a door, He can make one. God is a finisher, we have to stop putting time limits for God to work. We have to give Him time, and stop putting limitations on Him. We must have cheerful perseverance! God will bring about what He has promised, we just have to wait cheerfully. We can't give God deadlines, who do we really think we are? God knows just what we need and when we need it. He sees the whole picture. Another one that really spoke to me was that we need to stop trying to change our circumstances and change our attitude in those circumstances. He might just be working on me through those trials and circumstances that I am facing. When we want change in those circumstances we must let God work in His way and in His time. God will keep giving us grace to make it through each day. We are not of those who shrink back, but of those who believe! I have to say, it was one of most powerful messages I have ever heard. It was a real blessing to sit with so many christian brothers and sisters. To hear people shout out glory, and praise Jesus. No one sat quiet, you could feel the spirit moving. You could hear it in songs we sang, in the message, in the voices of those who spoke out, and in those who would repeat the scripture from from their heart. Everyone was so pleasant, so kind, and you could of just stayed, wanting to know more about them, about their lives and their struggles, and just how they overcame with Christ. Pastor Paul Sheppard can be heard on the Bott Radio programs across the country, and his home church is in California. My sweet friend stood and held her hands high as she was praising God through the songs, you could simply feel the Lord moving in each person. There was humor, there was kinship between one another, and the Word was spoken to reach our hearts and to bring us to our knees. I am not quite sure what I was expecting, but God showed me so many lessons, so many places in my life that I need to change and work on. I can say without a doubt, we had CHURCH Tuesday night, and it is a night that I know God ordained, with His blessings. He knew just what we needed to hear, and the message was to reach out to everyone. When we choose to let go and to let God, He will move in wonderous ways. He is definitely taking me from where I am today and placing me just where He wants me. What an awesome night my sweet friend and I shared with the Lord. He touched our hearts, minds and souls with His word, and with His love. It was a night I will forever remember in my heart. Thank you Jesus, for putting Tuesday all together for your daughters who love You and praise Your name.
We spend so much time looking back, that we are losing what is happening right now. How do I know? Because I do this, I tend to look back at all I had, and today at what I have lost. Nothing is the same once you have lost people in your life that you love with all your heart. There were times for me that this was a daily struggle, for me to be looking back and wondering if it will ever be the same. For me, I have the hope that one day it will be even better than before. But I cannot stay in the past, I must move forward, and see what I do have today, all that Christ blesses me with each day. Not only His blessings for me, but giving His love to others and reaching out to those in need. Once we leave the past where it belongs, once we have said good-bye to the past, we can begin making our future and with that we can call upon Christ to give us the strength to let go, and the wisdom to begin a new day in Him. If we spend each day living in the hurt of the past, is we continue to stay there wondering just what did I do wrong, where did it begin, why did it happen, we lose so much of today. God is wanting to bless us with a new future, with a new freedom in Him, and in order to really feel that freedom, we must let go of the pain, the whys, the anger, the resentment, and the what if's. We must stop blaming ourselves and others for mistakes, and learn to forgive each wrong. We must remember we are not fighting others, we are fighting satan. He doesn't want us with our families, with our friends, with those who we love. He wants to destroy all we have, hoping it will destroy us. But I refuse to give that power to satan, for I know just how mighty my God is, and how powerful He is to move me and to move others. Healing comes when we let Jesus in. We have to keep hope alive in our hearts. For we cannot see what God sees, and His plan is moving all around us. We all make mistakes, and hurt comes to all. But we have to remember we cannot blame ourselves forever, and we cannot blame others for our mistakes, we must forgive, even when others are not able to forgive. I believe God works in us all at different times, and at different speeds. We cannot change what happened yesterday, we cannot go back. We can give our forgiveness, and we can ask for forgiveness and the grace to move forward, taking each remaining day as a blessing. Our lives can be full with Jesus. We all have a past, we all have today, and a future. Its up to us on how we want to move. We can stay in the past, losing much, or we can move forward gaining much. Its our choice. We cannot ever understand or even have an opinion of what someone else has gone through unless we too have walked in their shoes. Why do we want to hang on to the past? It doesn't give us power, it only keeps us from enjoying today. For all God has for you, leave the past in the past and allow your heart to receive all He has for you. Don't be afraid to let go. It isn't weak to let go, its wise to let go and let God. He is doing a mighty work in all those who chose to make Him Lord of their life. Where do you stand today? Are you still in the past, wondering about those what-ifs? When we let go of the darkness of the past we can move on to the light of the future. Don't let your past blind you of all you have today. Enjoy today, enjoy each moment, and when we decide to let go we can begin to see all that God is doing. "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be viligant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.Amen" 1 Peter 5:6-11
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Galations 5:22-23 When we are walking in the Spirit, are our days not better? Everything may not go just as we think it should, the car may break down, you may lose your phone, you might even break your leg, but the Lord has given us what we need to face whatever comes our way. To carry all these in our hearts is just what God has called us to do. Not just to those we love, but to all around us, and if we are truely living in the Spirit, others are going to see what we have, and they are going to seek just how they can get it, and right there is your open door to share and witness before all men. When we open our hearts to share with one, they also share with another, and it keeps going. Just think what would happen if we planted the seed with everyone we meet. Wouldn't that be amazing? Fruit produces fruit, not the tree, but its the fruit that keeps it going, the seeds spread, and more trees are beginning to grow, with more fruit, and it just keeps going. When are fruit is growing, when its ripe, when we feel the Spirit move in us, we must plant His seeds everywhere we go. We might not see a change right there, but it does take time for that seed to produce, and some seeds even lie dormant until its the right time of the season to begin to take and blossom. We have to stop putting limitations and time limits on God. We must allow all things to take place in His time. He knows just what to plant, just what it needs to grow, and when the great harvest will come. We have a choice when we wake, we can either crawl out of bed and be angry, or we can start our day out with saying,"Thank you Jesus." We cannot change the attitudes or actions of those around us, but we can ours. We can begin to make a difference in our lives, and when others see the changes taking place in our lives, they too will begin to seek. Only God knows what will happen in their life, and at what moment they come to know Him, the moment they call out His name. Its not always easy to wake up with a smile, but why not? I know there are many things wrong in world, in our families that hurt so badly your not sure if you can take another step, but if we choose to put on the fruit of the Spirit, God will give us all we need to face the day. The clouds may be out, it may be pouring rain, you may need His shelter, He can give it, and He will give it when we choose to call upon Him. I must share, a few nights ago I woke with one of my severe migraines along with a wonderful panic attack. I have learned to try to breathe and call upon God. I could not go to sleep, the pain was much too great, and the fear inside was taking all I had, but I had met this wonderful friend on facebook awhile back. I sat up in bed, walked the house, and nothing was calming this panic attack, so I thought I will get on the computer. As I went to my home page I saw where she had sent me a Praise Party. I received her gift. It was 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." I grabbed my bible, and read this verse over and over, until I began to feel the presence of God wash over me, I was calmed in His Spirit, and was able to go back to sleep soon. My friend was walking in the fruit of the Spirit. God was sending her a message, although she didn't know I was in need, He did. She was open to His Spirit, and it was able to touch me. Praise Jesus for those who walk in the Spirit and abide by Him. I am thankful and know no matter what comes, if we turn to Jesus, He will guide in our lives and in to touch others in their life. You never know what another is going through, but God always knows, and He is mighty and powerful in His ways. Make the choice today to put the fruit of the Spirit in your hearts, and begin to spread those seeds.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Whether we gather in a building, in a field, or together under a tent, we make up the church, not where we are. We can have church anywhere at anytime when we gather together to worship our Savior. We are the saints to spread the word, and to share with others what Christ is doing in our lives. Each day I am amazed at just what I learn, what Christ teaches me. Those lessons are not always easy ones. If life was perfect we would not be in need of a Savior. We live in a broken world, and Christ is the only answer to all around us, and in our hearts. So if we are the church, we should be standing together, not divided, for a church divided, is a church that is dead. We must come together with Christ, sharing the love He has placed in our hearts with others. The church is made up of failures, of sinners in need of a Savior. We have all failed, and we all struggle. So we need a confidence that God can take us from where we are to where He wants us to be. We must follow Him and trust Him in order to this. As the church we are the examples. As we sit in pews instead of wondering why Betty is crying we should stop and pray for her. When one comes to the altar to pray, we should be leaving our pews to lay our hand upon them, taking the time to pray with them. Each person comes with a past, and each one has their own burdens, but as a church we shouldn't be judging of the past of a person, but rejoicing in what Christ has done in their lives as He brought us to Him. God doesn't look at one in the church and think they are more spiritual than another, we all grow at different paces in our lives. Christ doesn't have favorites, He loves each and every one the same. It doesn't matter what you do in the church, or what your deeds are on the outside, beyond the doors, He still loves His children the same. We should be praying before church for many to be saved, for others to rededicate their lives to Him, and for our hearts to be broken for God's gain and glory. When we walk through those doors, we need to leave our attitudes outside, open our hearts and minds, and be focused, ready to worship and have a sweet time with our Savior. Too many times we take everything in those doors with us, the anger, the resentment, the jealous thoughts, the bad morning we had, the hurtful words said to us, and we can bring so much in, its hard for Christ to reach us, for us to hear His word and be changed before His eyes. We bring ourselves to the forfront, when we should be bringing God to the forefront and checking ourselves at the door. Too many times we get caught up in what others are doing, when we should realize that is exactly where satan wants us to be. He doesn't want us to focus on Christ, he wants us distracted so we do not hear all Christ has to say to our hearts. It is a blessing to be part of the church, to be called a child of God. As we come to church may we believe, may we take part, and may we let go so God can do all He has for us. To come together with other believers, to hear voices singing out, and to have fellowship brings many gifts that we can receive and that we can give. Without Christ there would be no church. So where ever you gather to worship Christ may you be blessed by Him, and by the church. We don't go to church to be served, we go to serve, and serve with a cheerful heart. Have you been to church this week? Have you felt the hand of God? If you have, share with all just what Christ is doing in your life and all around you. Take the time to share God's goodness, share those blessings you receive and just maybe someone will see Christ, and come to know Him, following Him with a new heart and a brand new attitude.
Monday, September 21, 2009
James 1 21-27 "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks himself religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." We can all hear, we hear exactly what God is telling us, the question is, are we doing what we are hearing? We tend to put away all that we don't want to hear, and just keep the things that we like to hear. We could hear God's word all day, and tattoo it on our bodies, but if we are not living it, breathing his word is it really meaningful just to hear?God did not have His word written just for us to memorize it, to read it all day, but to implant His word in our actions, in our speech, and in our daily lives for others to see Him through us. We can say we know the word, but if our actions are not showing it, is it really doing us good, or are we becoming a stumbling block for another? My mom would be a wealthy woman today if she had a dime for everytime I heard her say,"Everything I say goes in one ear and out the other!" Yes, my mom said many things to give me wisdom, but I didn't listen, I thought I knew it all, only later to find out I knew nothing at all. I think God knew all the things we would struggle with, and all the temptations right in front of us, He knew just what we needed to hear, and our flesh fights every word He has to give us.Following His word, living His word makes our lives easier when we put our faith, hope, and trust in Him. His word is not a buffet, where we can take and pick and choose what fits our needs and wants, He meant for us to take it all, and live by all. Life is hard, it throws trials our way daily, but we can overcome those trials if we are reading His word, thinking upon it, and placing it in our lives. Many think becoming a christian means you have an easier life, no trials come to face, and whatever you want is just a prayer away. Christ meets our needs as they are to His will for us. He answers each and every prayer, but it is according to His will and purpose for our lives, not ours. If we look at it that way, we have not submitted to Him and we have not given Him control of our lives. That my friends is what makes all the difference. Being a christian makes are lives better when we follow Christ in all we do. When we trust in Him and understand He knows whats best for us. Don't you see, then it takes all the power away from us and places it in His hands, the one who created us, loves us and died for us. We only think we have power in our lives, without Christ everything is out of control, but when we surrender to Him, life takes on a new meaning, joy comes when we least expect it and we begin looking at things with a new perspective. For me, this understanding came when I was trying to control situations around me, and the more I tried to fix things, the worse they got. The worse I became, I wasn't putting my faith and trust in my Savior, I was taking it back daily, picking it up and trying to fix things the way I thought they should be. Christ showed me to let go and let Him. When I let go I began to have a new peace, a peace that gave me a new understanding. I can't control situations or others actions, I can only place myself in God's hands and follow Him, knowing He is going to lead me just where I need to go. The trip there may be climbing a mountain I really don't want to climb, but through that mountain, through God's word and hearing what He has for me, is going to make me the person He created me to be and He will begin to shine through. We need to listen and act, two verbs we must put into action to follow Christ. Are you ready to be a doer of His word today? Are you ready to listen to all He has for you? Each day I stumble over something and I have learned the more I listen, the more content I am and the more solid I am in God's choices for me. Just as when we were little ones, and our Mommas told us not to touch the stove, it was hot. If we chose not to listen, we got burned from touching, when if we listened the first time, there would be no burn. God wants us to listen and He will grab our attention one way or another. I think I would rather listen the first time, instead of being punished for not listening and going my own way. May we listen to all the Lord has for us today, and may we follow through with our actions.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
We each have a story to tell. We each have stories we want to share with others, but at times writing them or sharing them on the computer is just not the place. Stories need to be told from the heart and in person at times. To sit with another and hear their story of life, of trials and blessings only brings your bond closer. Sometimes we are afraid to share our stories, we're afraid of judgement, of condemnation, and fear those who are hearing it will tell others. We all think that Judy down the road has such a better life than we do, we think the family that just moved in the neighborhood has the greatest children ever, and our new friend Connie is blessed to have such a hard working husband. We all like to assume things, when we should never assume anything. We think that what we see on the outside or what someone has told us tells the whole story, but it never does. Most things are not what they appear to be. Every family has its trials and heartaches. We all have those days where we think things are greener on the other side, well, thats not always so. Most of the time what we have others are wishing they too had. We to often look at others from a distance, and we don't see whats on the inside. A smile on ones face just might be the cover of their pain, as laughter is for another. What are stories if they cannot be told? I think as we go through trials, as we learn what God is teaching us, it is a blessing to share with others, sharing allows them to know they are not alone in what they are going through. When we can share, we are able to pray for one another and lift each other up. When someone asks how your doing, don't just smile and say, "Oh, I'm fine." Be honest, you don't have to share everything, but let them know you need prayer. No one should have to carry their burdens alone. We have Jesus and His strength, but its also a blessing to have friends to lift you up, to ask how are ya, to be involved in your life and to pray for your needs. While my husband was at church tonight a friend asked him,"How are you guys making it without you working?" He wasn't sticking his nose in, he was concerned, he was being a friend. If you have those special people in your life count yourself blessed. God knows just who we need in our lives, and just when to place them there. Is that not just amazing? Sharing with each other gives hope, it gives blessings to a broken spirit. Don't keep your stories inside to carry them alone, share with another, a trusted friend who will pray with you and for you. When we share our stories we also give praise to God for allowing us to overcome and to help another going through the same thing. I think we would all be amazed if we were just all honest instead of trying to put on a show and pretend that our lives are perfect. I don't mean trash your husband or children infront of a group of women, I mean sharing with one friend what is on your heart. There is a big difference in sharing and gossip, and at times we try to allow ourselves to think we are just sharing when in fact we are gossiping away. Share your stories, not those of another. We have no right to share stories of others. That causes pain to many and is not lifting, but tearing down what is already broken. I have shared alot here in each of my stories, in each one there is a piece of myself being unfolded before you. May we share all the burdens and praises we have with those who are close to us, and when God calls us to share with one, may we not be fearful, but open our hearts to share with another.
Okay, this morning I went to my closet to find something to wear to church. Ladies, I believe I had a breakdown! Yes, it was one of those fit throwing, pity parties that only I seemed to be invited to. I didn't want anyone else there but me and my little vain, pitiful self. I must have tried on six or seven outfits only to not like any of them. I just threw them all down, and said, "I need some new clothes!" I am not one of those girls who likes to window shop. If I'm not buying myself something, why do I want to be in the store, only to see something and wish I had it in my closet? I know I cannot be the only girl who does this. I can picture women all across the world at seven in the morning throwing clothes and not finding anything at all, when in reality they have a whole closet full of clothes. My husband turns to me this morning and with a smile says, "Hey, is that outfit number 4 or 5?" I could have thrown everything in my closet on him. Then he politely says,"You look really pretty this morning." Ugh, that is not want I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear, "Oh honey, why don't you go shopping and buy yourself a new outfit and a purse to go with it." Now, that would have been something great to say to a distraught woman. Why is it that we can be so vain? I remember being a teenager and waking up at four in morning to get ready for school, now it takes me an hour. Either I have gotten better with my time, or I have just gotten the attitude of I really don't care.I think it must be an hour is all I have so lets hop to it girl. I must care, cause I hate to go out of the house without a shower and my hair done. Why is this so important? I have no one to impress, and if I did, why am I even trying to impress them? We seem to think we need a new color, a new cut, a new outfit and yes, new shoes and a purse to make us complete. No amount of make-up, no amount of clothes in my closet or accessories is going to complete me. We try so hard to look our best. So who are we really dressing for, ourselves, our husbands or other women? We can either dress for ourselves, trying to make us feel better. We can try to look great for our husbands, or we can compete with other women. Which is it for you? That is kind of a hard question to think about. There is some reason we cannot seem to go out of the house without being perfect.We are fearful of who we might see. Yes, we might see Sally down the road, who has it all together and God forbid we allow her to see us in a mess. Which, ya know, Sally just might of had herself a fit this morning too. We see the billboards, the television, the movies, and we see ladies in the mags looking great, the way we wish we looked, but ladies, those mags are not real, and what we see on television and movies is not real either. It is hours spent in hair and make up, air brushed mag covers with women who seem to have the perfect figure. Nothing is real about these women. But for us, we are real, we are daughters of the King. He has sealed our future with His love, and we are created in His image. There is beauty in everyone He has created. Beauty is in our hearts,not the kind of jeans we have on, or the make up we purchase. We are not defined by the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the house we live in, or the things in our closet. We are defined by who we are in Christ and Him alone. It doesn't matter if your shopping daily, once a year, at Nordstroms or Walmart, your price tag doesn't tell who you are or how much your worth. We keep looking at the outside and we really need to be looking in, thats where are real treasure is. Matthew 6:21 says;"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." If we are walking with Christ, then His beauty is shining through us no matter what we have on. Beauty is in the love we give, the time we share, the words we speak, and the heart we allow others to see, its all those little things we do in secret for others that no one knows about. Don't look at yourself and try to compare yourself to another woman, may we begin to look at ourselves and compare us to who Christ wants us to be. If He can see the beauty within us, it will flow outward for others to see. I do know what I need to do, but yes, I do struggle just as you do. So as I wake in the morning I need to be thanking my Savior for all I do have, for all that He has given me, not having a fit right there in my closet over what I think I need to make me a better person. I need to be content with what I have, and joyful for all Christ has given me. I stopped searching for a Savior long ago, so why am I still trying to complete myself with the things of this world? Christ completes me, no one else. If we have a heart full of bitterness and jealousy we are going to look mighty ugly on the outside no matter what we put on. Clothes are not going to cover up a lieing tongue, a hateful attitude, or a selfish mind. They show through pretty easy, so instead of standing infront of my closet, I need to be standing infront of my mirror asking God,"How do you look on me today?" We need to be putting on the fruit of the Spirit and letting Him shine forth for all to see, then our real beauty will be seen by others, Christ will be seen by others. Galations 5:22-26 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." Real beauty is found in the cross~
At times we can carry so much on our hearts. So many times we stay to ourselves, we keep away from others because we are afraid to get hurt. Hurt is one of those things, those emotions that will touch us all. I can honestly say I don't fear alot, but then again I fear being hurt. When you put your heart out there for others, when you give, when you try with all your might to keep in contact, when you are giving all and you still have no response, it hurts. It hurts when you want so badly for things to work out, your trying your best to be positive, to have hope and the moment you think things have gotten better, you take a few steps backwards, and you begin to think, "Why do I keep trying?" Life brings us joy and life also brings forth hurt. If we are going to open our hearts up and love another, we have to open our hearts to the possibility to be hurt. So the Lord has been teaching me and showing me, no matter if I get a response or not, whether things work out or not, I still have to love, hope and try with all my might. In order for Christ to work through us we have to be willing to keep that door open always. In life we lose family, we lose friendships, but there is one who will never disappoint us, nor will He leave us, and that is Jesus Christ. I can't find joy in my family, my children or my friends, the only One who can fill that empty spot in my heart is Christ. Nothing or no one can take His place in my life. We want so much to be accepted and needed, and when we are not, we cannot seem to understand why. The only one who really knows my heart is Jesus, so I need not to worry about what others think or do. For me, I need to pray that God will use me to bring glory to His name. I need to pray for those family members I have lost, and the friends who are just not there anymore. God knows all circumstances, He knows the needs of each one, and He knows my heart, so for me, I need to increase my prayer life. I need to spend more time with my Savior and less time worrying about those around me and if I will be accepted and loved by others. Do you ever feel that way too? Why is it that we so need to feel accepted and loved by all around us? I think it is just natural that we want to be loved, but the kind of love that some want to give is not the kind of love I need. I don't need condisions placed on my love, I don't need friendship here and there, and I really don't need friends or family that just seem to come around when needed. That is not what love is. Love is not always taking, its giving until you have nothing left to give. Today we fear so much in our lives, when really we just need to give control over to God, with His love there is no place for fear. At times we are afraid to love out of selfishness, out of a hurt we had in the past, and at times we are just too afraid to open ourselves up to others, fearing they will not like us or they will they accept us as we are. Jesus is the one person that will not hurt me, will not say He doesnt have time for me, nor will He leave me hanging. He is the one who can bring me peace and comfort, along with laughter and lighting my face up with a smile, knowing He is there. Whether I am alone, in the car, at the store, hurting or on a new project, He is there 100% of the time. When I call Him there is never a busy signal, and He is one who calls back. He is who life is all about, He is who my life is all about and with Him there needs to be no fear. We all fear different things, what is it that you fear the most? Is it losing your child, being ill, being a widow, losing your job, losing your friends, your family? Some are fearful of storms, some snakes, some driving, and some are fearful of just about everything around them. If we are living our faith, should there be anything to fear? 1 Corinthians 13 is my favorite chapter in the bible. It speaks on love, what is and what it is not, and without Jesus we cannot have real love. But with Him, we can experience a love like no other. In verse 4 it begins like this," Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Cor. 13:4-7 Can the love in your life say these things? Is the love you are giving say these things to others? Love is also giving your time to another, its making time for those you love. So for me, this is the thing I fear, getting hurt by those I love. It has happened in the past, it is happening now, and I am sure it will happen in the future, but with Christ in my heart, I don't need to fear this, this hurt that seems to eat you alive if you do not let it go. Christ's love covers all, and His love is what I need. I need to continue to love those around me, even though I am not receiving the love I am giving. Christ paid the price for love. All that He did was out of love, nothing else. For His love of the Father, and for His love of His children. I want to be an open vessel for that kind of love, that kind of love to share, giving all I have for my Savior.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2 As I read this verse I have to ask myself am I loving with an uncondisional love, a giving love, and a love that is pure to all around me? We love to put those three little words out there for others, "I love you", but with those words are our actions showing the same thing? As a flower blooms, it grows wider, it grows deeper, and it has an aroma that just gets sweeter with each day of growth. A rose blooms with a beauty that only God could have given. Each one is different, each color unique to its own, and has a fragrance that wants you to keep smelling it, you want to see it, touch it, and it is inviting to our eyes, and all our senses. Is the love that I am showing to others as inviting as the example Christ gave me to follow? He isn't quick to judge, He isn't quick to anger, He isn't keeping score of all my wrongs, He doesn't assume things like we do when we have no idea of the whole picture. He is quick to forgive, He is quick to love, and He throws out all our wrongs without keeping score. I cannot say that I do these things daily. I can say that I need to allow Christ to love through me more, and I need to take a deeper look to Him daily to love those around me uncondisionally. We can get caught up in our lives so much, we stop paying attention to those around us. We can get so angry that life isn't going just as we would want it. We can take our deepest fears and hurts and take them out on others without a thought until after when the hurt is already there. At times we don't see our own mistakes until they are done to us, and then our eyes are opened to what we have allowed to take place in our lives. We want to be loved, we want to be accepted, but are we giving love freely, without doubt to another? Christ gave all He had for us, He gave all. That is our example to live by. As I have been hurt, a friend shared with me, not to give up, not to give up hope, but to pray each day and share with Christ my heart and search for His desires, praying in His name for all He wants in my life. We are not going to experience love to the fullest unless we are able to give all we have, and unless we are willing for our hearts to be broken. Love doesn't contain fear, or we could say there is no fear with love, real, true love. If our Savior was willing to give all at whatever cost we too, I too should be willing to follow in His steps. I need to love my brother and sister with all I have to give. That means my love, my time, my energy, my ear, my shoulder, to give of myself and open my heart to another is showing the love of Christ. I wish I could say I showed that love to all, that is something that is what Christ is showing me here, to love all those around me, not just those who love me, but even those who talk behind my back, those who judge me, those who do not show me love. But I should be willing to love them with all I have. Even when we may not like someone, we are still to love them, to show them who Christ is through us. That isn't always easy, but with Christ living in us, showing us, we too can love as He does. In love there is forgiveness, if there is no forgiveness can there really be love? Each day the Lord shows me greater things to learn and helps me to see clearly, I just need to follow Him with no fear, never giving up hope, for if we give up on hope are we not giving up on Him? I want to love, I want to be loved, if I am not willing to love than what can I expect in return? To you Lord, I say thank you for loving me, for giving all for me, and for your uncondisional love that forever will speak Your name. Love is a verb, its an action that shows what is in our hearts. So, what is in your heart today? May we look to Christ for our example of love for everyone we meet~ 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 is one that touches us all in one way or another. Each family has a lost name on their heart, each family has trials that come, and some have those prodigals who move away from what they believe in only to try to find their own way. Do we really know just how lost we are when we are in the center of our wilderness? As I have friends who were raised their whole lives with Christ, I was not. I was not taken to church or raised in the belief of a Holy Savior. My parents both had their beliefs and didn't want to impose them upon me, but allow me to make my own path. As I walked my own path, I always knew something was missing, so therefore I searched and searched to find that one thing to fill the empty spot I so needed to be filled. I didn't know I was lost in my way, for many things I thought this is how everyone lived, and thought it natural. But as I kept growing, after I had my daughters I knew I wanted more for them, I wanted them to walk a different path than me, to be on solid ground. As I met my husband, I was looking for a church to take my daughters to, and God knew exactly what He was doing by leading him to me, for it was through Him that I learned about Christ, and there began my new search on different terms, not on mine anymore, but seeking my Savior, only to learn, He was the One seeking me. As we raise our children, we always want better for them than we had, we want changes, we want the best for them. As our children grow, we teach them about Christ, we teach them all that the Lord has shown us, we take them to church and build a life for them in faith, but we cannot force our children to take the path inwhich we know is best for them. At times we have to let go and let them seek. Although that is painful as a parent, God sees and knows just where they are and what is before them. At times as young people we try to find our own path, our own road to travel. At times that is away from what we were taught as children, and we move little by little away from that deep faith that was once rooted in us, but the amazing thing is Christ never moves away, He is still there calling to us in so many ways, just as He was calling to me. We are blessed with amazing children, with five children who have to chose the path for them. We can share with them all we want, but a forced faith, is not a real faith, at times we really do have to find it on our own, and go down roads that are deep, with twists and turns, some of those turns take us away from our family, some take us away from our faith, but God promises to bring us back into His fold. In the story of the lost son, there are two sons, one who stayed and was faithful and one who left, to find his own way, only to come back, to return to his faith and his family. That is a hope of many families today, that is the hope of Christ that all His children turn from their own paths and come follow Him as twelve did so long ago. In the story as the lost son comes home, the faithful one just seems not to understand the loving welcome he is getting, but as the father explaines, I think the love shines through and God gives us the grace we need, the strength we need and the loving arms to welcome them back. There is not a parent who doesn't want the best for their child, but we must let go and let God. We must allow God to have the control that as parents we at times try to take away from Him, for we think we know what is best for our children, but God knows much more than we, for He has a glimpse into the future and knows what is ahead for each child of His and knows just what it will take to bring them back into His fold. A transformation doesn't happen without change, without trials, and without valleys to teach us and to mold us. As we so much want these things to happen over night, God knows it takes time, and all happens in His time. There are times I think, I wish I could have followed Christ my whole life, things would have been different, but as I have grown, I now know Christ came into my life just at the right moment, not in anyone's time, but only Christ's time. He was leading me, and teaching me when I didn't even realize it was Him. So as we pray for our children, we must remember all is in God's time, and even though nothing can break the love we have for our children, God's love is even stronger, so we must realize just how great His love is, and have patience, for its through the patience that we learn so much, not just about us, but about Christ and His great love. As parents we make mistakes, just as our children do, but we have to remember we have a loving God who forgives and redeems all those who love Him. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 Here we have a assurance, but with this it doesn't say he will never turn away, but that when he is old he will not depart. Time not only heals, but it teaches. God hears each prayer we have, He knows each one from our heart, and not one prayer goes unanswered. The lessons learned in childhood will last a lifetime. Just as Christ was calling me, He calls those we love to Him, but it is not our decision to make, our children must make that decision on their own of what path they choose, as parents we can only guide them and show them the way. As parents we do our best, we give all we have, through our love and mistakes God is there. If you are there today, don't give up, don't lose heart, keep your faith strong and pray. Keep your heart open and your arms wide, being there loving them even when they are not looking. What parent has not been on their knees for their child? For every parent wants to find their child in their arms, just as Christ seeks out to touch His daily. "And he said to him,'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found." Luke 15:31-32 Every parent wants to say the words, "Welcome home", so as Christ wants to hear the words,"I'm glad to be home." Sometimes in our walk we go far from home, only to see just how special it was and once we are home, the meaning has such sweetness we never forget where we came from and just where our steps have taken us, to a sweeter relationship with our Savior~
As I wake this morning I find that I am full of the Spirit, and I can feel Him all around me. To feel your heart beat, to know your alive and have real life because of our loving Savior is the best feeling a child could ever have. And thats what I am, I am His child, I am loved by Him, He loves like no other. To know the freedom of life because He was willing to give His makes life all the more meaningful. All I have is because of my Father in heaven who watches out for me and keeps His eye upon me. He knows just where my path is going to take me today, and with each step I have nothing to fear. This world can take many things away from us, it can just about rob us of all we have at one time or another, but no one or nothing can take Jesus away from me. He is here to stay, He is here to live in us, He is here to show us His glory through all around us if we will just open our eyes up and see, really see what is right there in front of us. When all is a loss, when your husband is out of work, you are poor as dirt now, you don't know what direction you are going in, but God does, He know each step we take, and although this girl, who loves to shop, who loves to buy, buy, buy, has learned in a year that money can't buy happiness, it can't cover up pain, it can't make right what is wrong, it only brings temporary happiness, but long lasting joy comes from the Lord. Today I can say I have a joy in my heart that no amount of money could ever buy. I am blessed beyond measure, and blessed by a God who knows my name, knows my heart and He has shown me His glory all around me, beginning in my heart with me. This earth has nothing that we need, all we need can be found right in the love of our Savior. I could find myself in rags tomorrow, but still feel the love of God. Its not the material things of the world that gives us what we need and fills us with love, its all God. As our country goes through a recession, maybe we are just suppose to learn that its not the things we have, but the love we carry in our hearts that is important. We are a country of much, and even today as I sit before you knowing our bank account is empty, I know my heart is full, and I am rich with my Lord. As we have little today, there are those who still yet have less, but we can all have more, the most, the best if we just turn our hearts away from the material things and turn our hearts to God. He can carry the load, the pain, and all the hurt, He has the biggest shoulder of any, and is just waiting for us to come to Him. My life has never been the same since He entered, and is everchanging to make me look more like Him, so with each day when trials come, I have learned to just turn to Him and let His love cover me and lift me up with His mighty strength. Today, whatever your facing, find your peace and content in the Lord. He is our joy and He is our reason for life. There is more to this life than having much, there's having much in your heart with Christ~ "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4 "Every good gift and every perfect gift if from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1 "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:17-19
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I think you would be hardpressed to find a girl that was not in love with Patrick Swayze. Growing up in the eightes was a gift, it is was time of big hair(which I still seem to be in), leg warmers, your jeans rolled up on the bottoms to fit tight around your ankles. I remember when the movie came out. I went to see it in the theater, not just once, but five times. Who didn't come out of that movie wanting to dance? I was in love with this movie and so wanting to fall in love with that one guy who could make butterflies dance everytime you saw him. This was the movie that made you think about love, about friendship, and dancing, oh the dancing. What girl doesn't want a man who can dance, and not only dance, but stir her heart with each step. There were many movies that Patrick Swayze was in that I loved. He was not just a Hollywood actor, but he was a person, one who seemed to live out life to the fullest and not fall into the traps that many do. To be married to his beautiful wife for so many years, spending their lives together away from the Hollywood scene to give an example for others to see what love is. He seemed to be the guy you would want to get to know, the guy every girl wanted to love and the guy every guy wanted to be friends with. Time passes for us so quickly, and when one does pass, its at that time we begin to think of their lives, and the time they had here on earth, blessing others with their love or talent. Why do we wait, why do we not give roses to the living, why do we seem to take every moment for granit, that it will all be there tomorrow? Many actors have passed from this life to the next within a short amount of time, it is sad to see them go, but their memory stays with us, their talent and gift remains for others to see and at times come alive again for another generation to share in. My prayers go out to his wife, his family, and to his friends who loved him. I pray glory comes from his life, his struggle, and his death. As my father died of cancer, he was a fighter, just as Patrick Swayze was. He was a man who passed from this earth with dignity, and with a fight for life, not just hanging on for longer, but to live each day out as it was his last. What can we learn from the death of those around us? We can learn to live, to live each day to the fullest, to laugh, to share, and to open our hearts up to those around us. With each life comes a legacy, what legacy do you wish to live, to leave? To see him in movies, just as in Ghost, it wasn't the movie that told the story, it was the man who shared his talent and his heart with all to see. Some have said he never really made it to be a successful actor, well, that depends on what you call success. If we can live our lives with dignity, with a deeper meaning of life, and with each breathe we are giving to others, we are successful. Success isn't a Hollywood standard, its a standard in your heart. Its not how much money you possess, how many movies you made, or who you know, its how you lived your life, how you treated others, and how you received others. Thank you for the laughter, the stiring of the heart to desire more in life, and for your gift, your talent you gave for all to see, but more than that, you let others inside to see your heart. Goodbye Mr. Swayze
Monday, September 14, 2009
Yesterday is gone, and today is a bright new day that carries with it all the possiblities, all the opportunities that are open to us by the grace of God. What are you going to do with your new day? Its time to move forward, leaving the past behind, and starting over with Christ at our side, in our hearts, we can be born again today in His name. What has happened in yesterday we have no chance of going back to, but we can begin a new day with a new attitude, full of the Spirit of Christ, moving us forward into all He has for us here and in heaven. We can't change yesterday, but we can change right now, and make the choice to live it with the freedom that Christ gives us in His name. Where are you today? Are you waking up with sunlight streaming through the windows, or are you waking up in the dark with blinds closed? Don't allow the darkness to overtake you, open the blinds and let the Son shine in with all He is waiting to give you today. I have been in that dark room with the blinds pulled tight, keeping the hurt out of sight out of mind, or so I thought. The longer I spent in that dark room, the longer I hung on to my pain, but to let it go is a gift, to let it go is a new beginning. To let Christ in, to let the love of others in covers that pain, and brings out a new joy, only found in Christ. At times we think the day is so long, and we are only going to repeat the same day tomorrow, but I can say without a doubt, that God is good, and darkness only brings forth just how much we need the light. He is our light, He is our praise, He is our everything. In that dark room its hard to see anything but the pain, and the hurt that cuts do deeply. But being in that dark room was no ones choice but mine. Yes, the hurt sent me there, but satan was keeping me there with my own permission. But once I opened the windows and allowed the Son to shine in, satan was no longer there to keep the chains on my pain and hurt. Christ was there to give me freedom, to take my pain and hurt and replace it with His love and grace. That saying "Two's company and three's a crowd", is oh so wrong, three is complete. With our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to live inside our hearts only brings completeness to us. It takes away the past, the pain, the hurt, and brings forth to us forgiveness, love, and joy. Christ brings forth the light in our lives, nothing else can give so much in such great capacity. Don't lose yourself in that dark room today, come out and begin anew with Christ who fills you with all you need. Open your eyes, your hearts and He will bring blessings that are overflowing that we can not even comprehend why He would do such great things for us. From being in that dark room and now being in the light of the Lord is humbling, its moving, and its life changing. Five years ago I thought with each breathe it was going to be my last, the pain was too much to bare, but to be here today in God's light, to see all He is doing in my life can only bring a smile to face and a tear to my eye, and thankfulness in my heart for all He has done and is doing today. Many times we have to be broken in order to be used of our mighty God. To let go and to lose what we are so trying to control, only allows God to do what He has wanted to complete in our lives. Don't let today go by with the blinds drawn, open them to all the Son has to give, and what mighty things He has for us today as we begin anew with Him~ "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit." Psalm 51:10-12