THY Words….

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” ~Psalm 119:105

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10

“You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” ~Isaiah 38:17,17

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ~Revelation 21:4

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” ~Isaiah 33:2

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

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” ~Isaiah 40:29

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” ~Psalm 23

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~Psalm 73:26

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” ~Jeremiah 15:16

Go deep into the Word of God. HIS Word will sustain you!

I love you but Jesus loves you more!!

 

 

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Performance vs Grace

I have been attempting to write this blog for several weeks. I would lose my thoughts and not be able to understand my scribbled notes. Last night, Tim and I were watching one of his childhood friends preaching on youtube. As I thought about that message this morning, God gave me the title and the wrap for this blog. I pray it blesses you and helps you along your journey.

As I child, I was given a manual of sorts that listed all the things I could do and could not do “according to scripture”. I believed if I kept these man-made rules, I would dodge hell. That was the goal; to not go to hell. It was the lake of fire, the place where you would burn eternally. While that part may very well be true, my goal was not appropriate. On the list of “Do’s” was to repent, be baptized in Jesus’ name, be filled with the Holy Ghost and then never do the “Don’t’s”. I repented and was baptized in Jesus’ name, received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and believed I was never going to hell. End of story.

Only, this: That was never the story. Yes, fulfilling scripture is vitally important. Having been filled with the Holy Spirit should have filled me with joy and comfort but I was never taught any other purpose other than evading hell. Last night, I had a convo with my husband about the Holy Spirit bringing about conviction. I am 62 years old and still seeking answers through scripture, prayer and counsel. When we stop growing and stretching, we begin dying. Never stop reaching for more of God.

Here’s the thang! When we create manuals for Christians for what they can and can’t do we limit God’s power in their lives. Our only job is to preach and teach the Word of God and HE will do the rest. This has been HIS will and plan for all of us all along. Why? Because we are human. HE is God!

We give our children rules. We are trying to raise them to be productive members in society so we begin teaching them social norms while they are still quite young. We begin with “No.” which evolves to “NO!” and then evolves into the “why’s” and “why not’s” when age appropriate. They are the sons and daughters God gave to us and HE entrusts us to guide and discipline them along the way. We set ground~rules and repercussions. If you do this, then this will happen. Because we are human our efforts are based in human intelligence. We reward them when they do well. Because we are human and our efforts reflect our humanity. We count on performance by our children. They must perform within the guidelines we set down for them.

We use punishment or repercussions to reinforce the rhetoric. If you do this? Then we do this! We learn at a very early age that when we do something ‘bad’ our parents are disappointed and that provokes disappointment within us. We basically set out the rules and our children abide by them in order to please us.

We are God’s sons and daughters. He left the Holy Spirit with us to comfort and guide us until we are reunited with HIM in Glory. But do we really let God, in HIS Spirit form, complete HIS purpose? Nope. Not even close.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” I Peter 5:8. How does he do this? First, through temptation. In Matthew 4:1-11 we read the story of how the devil even tried to tempt Jesus. Jesus was perfect and satan could not get to HIM through temptation. But he can get to us. The devil tempts us and when we succumb, he accuses us. (Revelation 12:10) When we believe his accusations of failure, we are filled with despair and next? We depart. We are human and satan uses human tactics, condemnation, against us. We are susceptible to them because we have been raised in humanity.

When I was brought up with a list of rules, I was constantly feeling condemned. I could not find a place of peace for all the “bad” things I constantly did, which kept me in constant fear of hell. But GRACE! When my husband and I were talking about the operation of the Holy Ghost in our lives, he mentioned that we accept the difference between conviction and “rules” based on faith.

If you have been trained in fear, you cannot find a way to behave in love. The fear, the condemnation overrides everything else. We had to throw out the rule book. We had to accept Grace as God’s continual. The gift that keeps on giving. As a child, I believed, once I was saved, I could never sin again. If I did I had to do penance before I could ever approach God again. But my Bible tell me “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Say what? BOLDY, find GRACE when in need! When do we need grace the most? When the devil has condemned us for sinning yet again. Oh yes, I am a sinner saved by grace. I will be a sinner, saved by grace until the moment I am perfected in Heaven. I struggle daily. I sin a lot! My thoughts, my mouth, my actions all fall short of HIS glory! I need HIS Grace daily, sometimes, by the minute. But HE has never given me a list. Every time I fall short, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

God does not operate through lists. HE left us the Holy Spirit instead. HE guides us through Grace. Through Love. Through Forgiveness. None of which come with an expiration or a maximum usage. HE is Omniscient, all-knowing.  HE is Omnipotent, all-powerful. Omnipresent, always here. HE knows everything before we confess, HE has the power to forgive completely, and HE will do so every time.

Needless to say, we tossed out the “manual” years ago. We dug deep into the Word of God and found what we longed for all along. Grace! Grace keeps your heart in line with God’s desires for you because HE IS GRACE! HE will keep you! HE will guide you into all truth! HE will convict you when you go awry. And HE will forgive and restore you!

Condemnation and conviction are displayed in Acts the second chapter. Peter, a man who failed many times, became the very man God used to establish the church. He stood up on the day of Pentecost and told the Jews of Jerusalem, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:37. Peter’s words condemned them. They knew in that moment what they had done. I can see them all hanging their heads.

But then? “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Acts 2:37

You see, condemnation shows you the problem. But conviction, reveals the answer. The devil is all about causing problems. Jesus is the Answer!!

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38, 39

Performance cannot be sustained. We cannot measure up. We use the evasion of hell to keep us in line. Condemnation will not keep us from hell, but can separate us from HIS Love, if the devil succeeds.

There is an old song: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in HIS wonderful face. And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, In the light of HIS Glory and Grace!”

I leave you with this: If you remember anything I have ever shared? Please remember this….

Set your Spiritual compass for a new Direction; Jesus and Heaven!

God’s Grace Never Fails And Never Ends.

I love you but Jesus loves you more!

 

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Pieces of Me ~ Part I

Sometimes you can be caught unaware by life in general. Loss of a job, circumstances that force you to move to another city, illness, changes in income, broken relationships, broken hearts, broken homes. You have been cruising along, your best life within your grasp, then comes a shift. This shift may bring surprise, but begins with barely noticeable changes. When that shift is big enough and fast enough, the suddenness of it can bring life revisions of macroseismic proportions. You feel as is the floor has literally fallen away. You are tumbling through space with no way to slow, much less halt, your free fall.

I was raised in the church. My father was a pastor. His father had been a pastor. One of my uncles was a pastor. One of my brothers was a pastor. One of my brothers-in-law was a pastor. So, yes, I was raised in the church. One of my first problems? I couldn’t reconcile what was taught from the pulpit with my real life. The life we lived when the doors of our home were closed was nothing like it was portrayed when the church doors were open. I never really knew Jesus. I grappled with who HE was preached to be and who actually came home with us after service. I felt as a very young child that I did not want to be a part of the double life. So, I pretty much turned off my heart to everyone.

I lost small pieces of me throughout my early years. Abuse, physical, emotional, and verbal, took several pieces. Molestation took pieces. Rape took a sizeable chunk. I was lost emotionally, without any real knowledge of what love could be, could feel like, the succor it would provide to a lost soul. I longed for an emotional connection. True love. Meeting my husband was a miracle in and of itself. He was a preacher and I had sworn off all preachers. But, God! God set it in place. God knew what I needed. God loved me even when I had no knowledge of who HE would become as my centerpiece. My husband is the most kind, loving and generous man. He is absolutely everything! He is my Love, my Best Friend, my Teacher. Watching him father our children, I finally understood the concept of our Heavenly Father. I was able to open my heart and love fiercely and completely. I no longer noticed the missing pieces of me. I had, throughout the years, attained wholeness.

I kept contact with some family members, reunions and the such, but always left in tears because of the pain of being unacceptable. Ironically enough, I was unacceptable because I wouldn’t join in while they made fun of others. I would not ridicule with the crowd, and ended up always being the one who happened to turn at the wrong time and caught them making fun of me or one of my children. The gossip filling the rooms, usually another word for lies, was heart-breaking and baseless. I would not be that person, and my husband let me know on the trip home one night that I was under no obligation to return to any family event and I did not.

It took a good twenty years, but I was emotionally and mentally healthy. God had proven HIMSELF faithful over the years. Our family was growing. My oldest son was married and having children and oh, the joy that filled me. I knew that being a mother was every dream come true for me. I never knew I had a dream of becoming a grandmother until I was one. My heart was full!

I had a few health issues, but with my beloved family at my side, I kept pushing day after day and pretty much kept it hidden from outsiders. There were days I did not feel like moving, but allowed no quarter for that behavior in my life. I was an active participant in my family’s lives and would not, could not, give in or up. I pushed past the limitations. I delighted in spending my time loving my babies.

Then came cancer. While I was battling cancer, a virus struck my beloved husband’s heart enlarging it to four times it’s size. They did not believe it would come back. They had begun to talk about a heart-transplant. The fear that overwhelmed me was palpable. But, GOD! My rare cancer and his heart? Both healed completely by the loving hand of God. It was just another beautiful moment when God had placed HIS healing hand on our lives.

Eight short months ago, I was diagnosed with a genetic condition which caused my body to inherit COPD. First my grandfather and my mother had it and passed on. Then my sister, the one family member I have stayed attached to, was diagnosed. Finally, me. I was at the end of stage 3 of four stages when I was tested and diagnosed. It was a complete blow to my life. It was stunning for my family. I hurt more for them than for me.

There was no cure and the most they could promise us, was comfort. I knew, from those who went before me, that my death would be agonizing and slow. I grieved for my family. I had maybe one more good year. My husband did not deserve this sentence. My children did not deserve this sentence. They deserved to dance with joy and abandon all the way to Heaven. They did not deserve this detour. I begged God to heal me. I bartered with HIM. I shouted at HIM. I sobbed and pled with HIM. The only response I received was HIS Comfort and Love and the assurance that HE has me in HIS everlasting arms. It was enough and I finally began to cope. I had lost another piece of me, but I would walk on in confidence that my Lord was watching over me. I had the added blessing of being surrounded by a family I adored.

Then, my confidence started to waiver. I was beginning to have new issues. Problems that were scaring me. Scaring me to the point I would keep secrets from my family so they would not worry. I knew I needed to get back to the doctor. So, I did. I was diagnosed with something that will again take pieces of me that will never be recovered. That appointment will be covered in Pieces of Me ~ Part II as it takes a while for me to write now. Many of you know my story up to this point. I will still invite you along for the journey for if it can help one person? That makes the pilgrimage worth the effort.

Do I still believe in the healing power of Jesus? Of course, I do. I also believe in HIS keeping power while we walk in HIS will for our lives. No matter what, I’m going to trust HIM.

Remember ~ I love you but Jesus loves you more. Always and forever.

 

 

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For God So Loved

For God so loved the world, HE gave.

When we truly love someone, their needs become the priority.  God loved us so much that HE wrapped HIMSELF in flesh, came as a babe, took the life-journey to Calvary, and gave it up for us.  Even on the Cross, as HIS flesh cried out that HE felt forsaken, HE gave it all up for a plan of complete love.

Do we really grasp I Corinthians 13?

V. 1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” It matters not that we speak in other tongues, if we don’t place others ahead of our own selves. The Corinthian church placed great value on speaking in tongues, but Paul said without love, we are basically just an irritant.

V. 2 – “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.”  We can have great faith and be the one others turn to for prayer when they are in desperate need, or we can operate in the gifts, but it all loses GODly value when we don’t put others needs first. “I am nothing.”

V. 3 – “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.” We can sell everything we own and give the money to the poor, and giving of what we have is certainly important, but what is our motivation? We can become a martyr for the gospel, but still we accomplish “nothing” in the Kingdom without loving one another.

What does this love look like that we are to be showing, giving to others?

V. 4 – “Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love brags not itself, is not puffed up,” Love puts up with a lot.  Love is kind, gentle, encouraging.  Love is not jealous! (of anything). Love is not prideful, never says, “Look at me”. If we do what we do for the accolades and applause, our motives are not those promoted by love. Who do we spend most of our time talking, thinking about?  “ME”, “MYSELF” and “I”, or someone else, especially Jesus? We speak louder through our actions than with our mouths.

V. 5 – “Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;”  When we act or behave out of love, we give no one a reason to question our motives. They are pure and undefiled. Love gives credit and does not seek credit for it’s actions. Love is not temperamental and always thinks the best of others.  Love does not hurt others in effort to make our “place” in the world. And love never keeps track of our own hurts or others’ wrong-doing.

V. 6 – “Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”  Love proves that which is true and seeks that which is GODly.  Love is not content with strife.  Love is peace. Love desires truth. Searches for truth. It never rejoices in brothers and sisters who may have fallen into sin. That is nothing short of a malignancy that needs to be removed. Love encourages complete restoration, the touchstone of our faith.

V. 7 – “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love doesn’t seek an angle.  Love does not distort. Love covers the faults of others. Love will outlast any force.

This love is eternal and rests in first place.

V. 8 “Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Love doesn’t take a break. Love doesn’t stop – no matter what. These gifts were of imminent importance in the church. Yet, he says, everything else can cease. They lose value without love.

V. 9 – “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” Love is not about being a religious know-it-all.  Love understands we have not yet been perfected.

V. 10 – “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” If we make our lives about loving one another the way HE has loved us, some day perfection shall be attained, when we all get to Heaven.

V. 11- “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Children do not understand the vastness of the concept of love. Children are born into sin and have an innate selfishness. They must be taught and lead and shown love.  If we cannot even put our child’s needs ahead of our own, what have we gained in this life God has given us?

V. 12-“ For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” We cannot possibly grasp or fathom the depth of HIS love for us in our humanity with our failures and our shortcomings. Oh, but someday, when we are face to face with our Creator, we will understand. We will see HIS love and understand in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, why is was so important to share this love with others.

V. 13 -“And now stays faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” We need faith in our lives because we cannot serve HIM without it. It is impossible to please God without faith. We need hope because HE is our hope even to the ends of the earth. But the greatest of these, Love, is the most important. Why? It is the reason our Creator has done everything HE has done throughout eternity. It is HIS motivation and HE asks that it be ours, too.

This poem written by Paul is somewhat in juxtaposition of his rugged character. There is a precious tenderness in these scriptures. We get the sense that he is inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak these words and in doing so, we see his heart. If you read the preceding chapters and the chapters after, it seems almost out of context with everything else going on.

In the first three verses, Paul emphasizes the absolute need for love. We need to love one another, no matter what.  All else should fade to the background, pale in comparison to the love we all need in our lives.

In verses 4-7, he speaks of the characteristics of love, how it behaves, how we know love when we see and experience love. The rest of the scriptures directly speak to love being eternal and supreme. Love is forever, without end. It cannot be turned on and off.

Some Biblical translations use the word charity in place of love and the word “charity” here can easily be confused with giving. We think of charity in connection with giving physical items to others. Love in this chapter is all about the heart. The giving of one’s self to others. Offering forgiveness, restoration, space, kindness, gentleness. Love is defined as “God”. God is love. (I John 4:8) Love is the very nature of God! For God so loved, HE gave! Everything! How can we do any less?

These scriptures do not preclude one from taking some time for themselves to refresh and have time alone with God. These are words of encouragement to treat others with love and respect, always. Sweet and bitter cannot come from the same source. We shouldn’t be hateful to one another, even those who disagree with us. Jesus showed love and mercy to all, followers and sinners. We either love one another all the time, or maybe we should strongly consider going back for a time of refreshment.

Love – will always put a cement block around the feet of our unGODly priorities and sink them.

Love – will always lift others and their needs to the top of our list.

We are first on HIS priority list. Can we put HIM first, others second, and ourselves last?

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” I John 4:16

 

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You Are Not Alone

When you come to the Garden in the cool evening mist,

You feel so alone, don’t think you’ll be missed.

The world has withdrawn it’s love and concern,

You’ve no one to listen, nowhere you can turn.

Your heart has been torn, your nerves have been twisted.

Your arms are empty, emotions now blistered.

“Does no one hear? Does nobody care?

The pain I am in, the load that I bear?”

You sink to the ground, no strength have you left.

Totally alone in this world, completely bereft.

Your tears fall like rain in the evening still

You sob out the pain, ’til nothing you feel.

You sit so silent, shoulders slumped ‘neath the weight.

The weight of aloneness you think won’t abate.

You accept the fact that you are lonely by call

That you will never be loved by any at all.

Then, you hear the voice coming out of the mist,

“Oh, my sweet child, don’t you know you are missed?

You walked away of your own free will

And left me alone with a void I can’t fill.

I chose you, I called you, I loved you so much,

But you withdrew from my hand, away from my touch.

You hid in the world, faded into the crowd,

I whispered your name and called it aloud.

I’ve longed for our talks and long evening chats,

But you got too busy to worry about that.

I drew you here tonight to remind you of me

Will you stay now with me? Or in a moment flee?”

I realized then that folks come and go,

Friends, family, even those we love so.

But my Heavenly Father had followed me

Even though at the time, I could not see.

He was there when my hero flew home to Him.

He was there when I turned to the bottle of gin.

He was there every time I gave into sin.

He was there after I turned my back on Him.

He was there when my best friend walked out on me

He was there when I thought there was no one for me.

He had waited in the shadows and whispered my name

And He was there in the moment of my greatest pain.

I stood and I turned to my Father’s waiting arms,

I cried repentant tears that bonded our hearts.

I lingered there in His presence so sweet,

And knew beyond doubt, I would never retreat.

I’ve stayed in the Garden, though gone on with life.

Here I find peace from the world’s daily strife.

Where ever I go, be it valley or hill,

“You are not alone,” He whispers still.

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New Adventure

The Lord reminded me this morning how just 6 short years I was battling the Beast, (a rare form of cancer I not-so-affectionately called the Beast), and my beloved hubby was, in all likelihood, facing a heart~transplant. We were exhausted emotionally, physically, spiritually, and bone-dry financially, from the life-haymakers aimed at taking us down.

In retrospect and from a “God Had That!” perspective, it was just another adventure. From about the age of 4, I already knew life was hard. I didn’t yet know that it rains on the just and the unjust, (Matt. 5:45), I just knew the force of pounding rain. That ‘just and unjust’ scripture? Life began to make sense for the first time when I truly understood it for the power those words held.

At the age of “Thank YOU, Lord, for every day” I now view these haymakers as adventures. Where the road leads? Only God knows the end. But EVERYTHING, every adventure, can be an spiritual education if we embrace it, know it will be for our good, and realize that HE never means to harm us. That’s when life-lessons become an adventure of GODly proportions!

Our church began a 21 day fast on Sunday. While the purpose of this fast is completely spiritual, it begins a new path in life for me. We had been doing some research on a list of food-lifestyles the pulmonologist gave me. He said weight loss would be a good thing for me but it would be a battle because of all the steroids, so it would take some research to find what would work. My only “know-fer-shur” was it would have to be high on protein. A couple of health issues require this. We figured the 21 day fast would be the perfect springboard into our new food-lifestyle. We will have spent a lot of time in prayer and food challenging moments.

We began at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, January 5, 2019. Hubby is doing the Daniel Fast, and I am doing a variation of it which permits everything! Except ~ no bread, pasta, sweet goods (no sugar), crackers, chips….you get my drift. Now, if you know me, you know me and my sweet tea! Parting is such sweet, sweet sorrow! (Thanks, William. I use it all the time with some variations!)

Here’s the thang! In just 48 hours? 10 pounds gone. Here’s the lens to use ~ I have been putting on 1-2 pounds a day since the steroids, and lucky to remove 5 a week WITH lasix. If I was the sort to drop the mic? Totally would! Now let me say this ~ I am under no illusions that this rapid weight loss will continue. That would not be safe for this body created by God. But this? This is good, a boon, so to speak.

I am not taking this journey alone and that helps tremendously. We have folks all over the world beginning the year with a 21 day fast and it works because of the time you spend in prayer. We have been hit with another issue this week and the first thing I thought was to give God a big thank you because we are at this time and place in this new adventure!

PUSH! Pray Until Something Happens!

I will continue to share this journey with you and if ya wanna? Jump on board! I am committed!

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God’s Plan Will…..

God’s Plan Will Come To Pass

Jeremiah 29:11  (KJV)  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

God has thought of everything when it comes to our life.  He knows the expected end! Did you know that He has a perfect plan if you are submitted to Him?  You may hope for the perfect ending for your life.  You may have dreams for the future and pray for specific things to come. But God’s ultimate plan is for our good.  Job said, “I know that your plans cannot be thwarted.”  

God’s Word tells us HE sees and holds our future in HIS hands. We lesser mortals are finding our way, day by day, and sometimes? Moment by moment.  We stub our toes if we wander in the dark. Scraped elbows and knees when we willfully try to journey alone without HIS light. We have general ideas of what God wants us to do and we have specific knowledge when HE speaks to us, but the more mundane tasks of our lives are left to us to handle.  I need to brush my teeth, but HE doesn’t remind me to do that.  I need to make dinner, but HE doesn’t tell me what to make.  HE will provide but I need to go to the store, purchase the groceries and then go home and prepare the meals.  If I accidentally pick up 2 cans of peas when I meant to get 1 can of peas and 1 can of beans, HE is not gonna switch that out for me so that when I get home, I have the cans of food I intended to purchase.  Those little things do not affect the PLAN for my life.  I will still get where HE is taking me and I will use that 2nd can of peas for another meal.

God looks at the big picture.  HE cares about the fact that I use my mistakes to learn and grow.  I may become OCD trying to make sure I get the right canned goods at the store each time and that might concern HIM, but HE really isn’t bothered with my little things. HIS PLAN is like the Road Map HE has created for my life. HE has marked my starting point, numbered my days, and a few ‘biggies’ I can’t miss along the way.  My problem is the little detours along the way.  I just want to get on the road and get where I am going, pedal to the metal all the way, baby.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, life just doesn’t cooperate with my philosophy.

What are some of those detours and when can they become problematic? Detours are all the little things that effect us every day and yes, that includes the people in our lives. Detours become problematic if we lose our focus. Before GPS, when my husband and I were on a road trip, the Atlas stayed with the one who wasn’t driving. Every little bit, we’d bring the Atlas out and we’d exchange updates on where we were, how much longer to the next stop, and “Wow, did you know there is a town called Tightwad in Missouri? Oh, and one called Unalaska in Alaska?” and “The Corvette Museum is just 30 minutes ahead on the left!” If we happened to stray off the intended route, we were gonna know pretty quickly. Without the road map, all we had was a general direction and we would be subject to errors along the way. Errors that would take up valuable time and energy. If we stayed focused, we usually arrived at our destination within an hour of our ETA.

Some detours we may want to take and they won’t hurt the PLAN.  If we are weary, hot, and tired, suffering a little with black dog syndrome, a rest stop along the way to pause and refresh is called for and permissible. It’s for our good as are all things in the long run. But what about the detours we shouldn’t take?  If someone is giving us directions and they tell us to “go up the road about 500 clicks, hang a Louie and then you are gonna come to a fork in the road” and the next words out of their mouth are “don’t take it!” what are we gonna do? Personally, I am not going to even try to figure out how far I have to go for 500 clicks. You have to ‘know’ the voice you listen to when it comes to the road map for your life. HIS voice! HIS Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. This means, HE directs each step and even which direction I should be going. If I turn back, I have just detoured of my own free will. I can’t blame God for my mistakes. I need to know that I know HIS voice in order to know the timing of where to put my feet on this life-journey.

Knowing God’s voice is your Atlas. Let HIS voice be your life-GPS. Sometimes, our schedule may change drastically, seemingly throwing us off course. Sometimes, everything we see and touch every day is suddenly out of reach. Sometimes, we are thrown for a loop because we didn’t see ‘something’ coming. Maybe there is a lesson we need to learn. Maybe HE wants us to trust HIM a little more. Maybe there is someone we need to meet and minister to or they have a Word from the Lord for us. It is all in HIS plan, even if we see it as a detour. God will place people in our lives who speak with His voice to encourage us and provide confirmation. They are using the same GPS. They can help us along our journey to provide nourishment, or a comforting embrace, a place of rest. Don’t become self-willed and refuse to listen to those folks. They are God’s gift to us.

So, how do we follow the Plan? Pray every day without ceasing. This is not optional. We wouldn’t consider someone a true friend if they only call when they are in a jam and need us to spot them some cash. We don’t want to be anyone’s personal ATM and neither does God. HE wants us to love HIM, trust HIM, and have fellowship with HIM. Jesus is here for us whether we know we need HIM or not. Why not foster a loving, constant relationship with Him?  He knows our needs before we do. He wants to be our friend. And HE can provide so much comfort as we traverse the vicissitudes of life.

Update your spiritual GPS by staying in the Word of God. Our Bible is our Heavenly Road Map. It tells us specifically how to get from Birth to Glory. Enjoy the trip. There are fascinating things along the way for you to absorb and relish. There are hazard signs and warning lights signaling dead ends and roads washed out. There are points of breath-snatching beauty in the form of revelations. Save yourself some time, energy and pain by keeping your Atlas at hand.

Don’t forget to pause and build altars along the way. These are the hallmarks of our journey. They are the thanksgiving moments. The moment HE sent us the love of our life. When our unborn child arrived safely into this world after uncertain times. When we danced our way in praise through a battle with cancer. When we received devastating news and HE assured us HE was with us every step of the way. These spiritual altars are like the landmarks we can look back on and remember when.

We can’t get where HE wants to take us all by our lonesome. At the very least, we need God and if you are anything like me, a few Godly folks placed along the way at those ever important rest stops. HIS thoughts, HIS plan, HIS WILL, is peace!

I love you but Jesus loves you even more.

Posted in Finding Your Way, Knowing Jesus, Uncategorized | 5 Comments