Pre-Conceived Ideas

6 Aug

Father, You alone never fail me. You alone never change. You alone love me no matter how I act or behave, or fail. I never have to fear your rejection or separation from you. I never have to wonder if you have forgiven me when I mess up. Your love is the only perfect love.

  • John 5:1  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. NIV

This morning, as I went to prayer I was thinking about some of life’s disappointments and failures. As I meditated on it God began to lead me into the words of adoration above. There is complete rest in the knowledge that God is always on our side. He fights for us and no one can stand against us. The outcome may not always be what we think we want and it may not make us feel good. God is not in the business of making us feel good. He wants us to be complete in Him and He is continually working within us to cleanse and purify us.

Sometimes we don’t even know what is deep within our hearts until it begins to come out. Don’t stop that process. God wants us to let it out. He wants us to be aware of what is within us, otherwise we’ll stay the same. God doesn’t want us to  stay the same.

Charles Stanley says that a rut is an open-ended grave. God doesn’t want us in a rut. There are times when everything around us seems to be falling apart. I call those times “transition times”. I explain it as climbing a ladder and the feel of leaving the lower step to go to the next step. It’s that “in between” step when you know something is changing and you’re not sure just what it is. You’re also not sure you want to go there. God doesn’t want us to stay where we are. It has taken me a lifetime to figure that one out.

Every time I get comfortable God puts the ladder in front of me and says, “Climb”. I sometimes sit and stare at the ladder, knowing it’s going to lead me to another rung and I like the rung I’m on. However; the ladder doesn’t go away it stays IN the way until I start to climb again.

I can assure you that God’s plan for each one of us is so much better than we can imagine or think. If we could just trust Him, blindly, and keep climbing – what a wonder we would see in our lives. It’s never bad. It’s always better. Things might get a little out of whack around us, but Psalms 91: says:

  • He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.”
    3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers,and under his wings you will find refuge;his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side,ten thousand at your right hand,but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
    9 If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the LORD, who is my refuge — 10 then no harm will befall you,no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands,so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
    14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble,I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” NIV

Look at verse 7 – it says that a thousand may fall at your side . . .  that means to me that things might get a little crazy around us but we are still in His hand and if we’ll just stay there He will protect us.

I wish I had the words to tell each one reading this how much God loves you and how good He is. All of our failures and disappointments can’t even come close to His love and His goodness – His provision and His protection.

I encourage you to keep walking – put one foot in front of the other. Don’t let fear and panic get you to turn to your own methods. Trust Him. God honors our faith. As long as we do our best (not being perfect) God will direct our path and take us through the storm. It usually isn’t immediate. But, the storm will pass and you will be in a better place.

Give Him a chance. Let Him show you His love and His power. Put aside your fears, your pre-conceived ideas and you won’t be disappointed. God is bigger than mankind. We can’t even come close to understanding His ways or just what He’ll do to deliver us.

Taking matters into our own hands is like jumping off a building and then screaming to God on the way down, “Bless this stupid thing I’m doing, God”. Then we wonder what could have possibly gone wrong.

God Alone can make things right. Try it His way – just try it. He won’t fail you.

Do You Like The Path You’re On?

16 Jul

“You would like your path more if you knew what God is saving you from and/or what He is preparing you for.” I definitely connected with this statement from Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday  It brought to my mind many things that I have experienced in life but didn’t understand at the time. However; walking with God is a walk of faith – there are many things we won’t understand.

My mind tells my heart that if I understood “why” – then I could cope a little better. But, my heart knows better. My heart knows that I serve a God who loves me so much and wants nothing but the best for me. He has proven Himself to me many times – over and over again.

Life can be hard. It has taken me a very long time to realize that the choices I make definitely take me off God’s path at times.  Making some of life’s major decisions without seeking God first cost me years of uncomfortable consequences. Had I sought God and then obeyed His direction, I could have avoided many of the hardships I have faced in my life.

I look back at the hopes and dreams I had, and how I imagined how wonderful my life would be. I regret that I did not have a better understanding of the weight each of my decisions would have on my life – the present and the future. If I could have a “do-over” I wouldn’t do it. But, knowing now what it has taken me a life-time to learn, I would definitely be much more careful and deliberate about how I made my way down life’s paths.

I can see now that some of the things that caused me pain and heartache were my own fault. At the time they were happening, it didn’t seem so. I hate to admit it, but a great deal of my choices in life were decisions I made myself – not wanting advice from anyone or without seeking God first.

I did “pray” on the run – I muttered a quick prayer and told God what I wanted – after I had already jumped into whatever it was I was about to do. I thought my plan for my life was  whatever I wanted it to be. I never realized how self-absorbed I was. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t realize God had a plan for my life and had I just allowed Him to, He would have directed me into the right path.

That all being said, even when we are on God’s path there can be difficulties. God’s path is not a straight road to a problem free environment. He cares more about our relationship with Him and our spiritual growth than our comfort. Though that may not be music to our ears, God’s ways and His plan for our lives bring great rewards in ways that can’t be imagined or described.

The incredible miracle of it all is that He is with us all along. He watches over us, and is always patient with us. He uses some of the consequences of our obstinate choices to teach us that He loves us and He can still turn our situation into something good.

I am thankful, beyond words, to now have a personal relationship with the God of the universe – the God of Abraham – the way HE intended. Though my path is not always easy mentally, and/or physically – I finally have the peace that I am on His path and that if I stay on it, He will keep me at peace and He will walk with me through every valley – AND – I will overcome any obstacle as long as I put my faith and trust in Him and not try to do it by myself.

God has a plan for each one of us. Don’t waste your time trying to do anything without Him. His Word promises that he will direct our paths, but first we have to talk to Him to find out what that path is. Ps. 199:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” NIV

Keep in mind that a lamp provides just enough light on a path to see only what is right in front of us. We don’t have to know what lies ahead. We need to be content to know that when God leads us we can trust Him no matter where that path goes. As long as we let Him lead we can’t go wrong, and even when we don’t understand what is happening we can trust that as long as we are following Him the outcome with be to our benefit.

The key to it all is that His WORD (the Bible) is the lamp – without it we can’t see where we’re going!

Do You Like The Path You’re On?

16 Jul

“You would like your path more if you knew what God is saving you from and/or what He is preparing you for.” I definitely connected with this statement from Pastor’s sermon this past Sunday  It brought to my mind many things that I have experienced in life but didn’t understand at the time. However; walking with God is a walk of faith – there are many things we won’t understand.

My mind tells my heart that if I understood “why” – then I could cope a little better. But, my heart knows better. My heart knows that I serve a God who loves me so much and wants nothing but the best for me. He has proven Himself to me many times – over and over again.

Life can be hard. It has taken me a very long time to realize that the choices I make definitely take me off God’s path at times.  Making some of life’s major decisions without seeking God first cost me years of uncomfortable consequences. Had I sought God and then obeyed His direction, I could have avoided many of the hardships I have faced in my life.

I look back at the hopes and dreams I had, and how I imagined how wonderful my life would be. I regret that I did not have a better understanding of the weight each of my decisions would have on my life – the present and the future. If I could have a “do-over” I wouldn’t do it. But, knowing now what it has taken me a life-time to learn, I would definitely be much more careful and deliberate about how I made my way down life’s paths.

I can see now that some of the things that caused me pain and heartache were my own fault. At the time they were happening, it didn’t seem so. I hate to admit it, but a great deal of my choices in life were decisions I made myself – not wanting advice from anyone or without seeking God first.

I did “pray” on the run – I muttered a quick prayer and told God what I wanted – after I had already jumped into whatever it was I was about to do. I thought my plan for my life was  whatever I wanted it to be. I never realized how self-absorbed I was. I didn’t mean to be. I didn’t realize God had a plan for my life and had I just allowed Him to, He would have directed me into the right path.

That all being said, even when we are on God’s path there can be difficulties. God’s path is not a straight road to a problem free environment. He cares more about our relationship with Him and our spiritual growth than our comfort. Though that may not be music to our ears, God’s ways and His plan for our lives bring great rewards in ways that can’t be imagined or described.

The incredible miracle of it all is that He is with us all along. He watches over us, and is always patient with us. He uses some of the consequences of our obstinate choices to teach us that He loves us and He can still turn our situation into something good.

I am thankful, beyond words, to now have a personal relationship with the God of the universe – the God of Abraham – the way HE intended. Though my path is not always easy mentally, and/or physically – I finally have the peace that I am on His path and that if I stay on it, He will keep me at peace and He will walk with me through every valley – AND – I will overcome any obstacle as long as I put my faith and trust in Him and not try to do it by myself.

God has a plan for each one of us. Don’t waste your time trying to do anything without Him. His Word promises that he will direct our paths, but first we have to talk to Him to find out what that path is. Ps. 199:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” NIV

Keep in mind that a lamp provides just enough light on a path to see only what is right in front of us. We don’t have to know what lies ahead. We need to be content to know that when God leads us we can trust Him no matter where that path goes. As long as we let Him lead we can’t go wrong, and even when we don’t understand what is happening we can trust that as long as we are following Him the outcome with be to our benefit.

The key to it all is that His WORD (the Bible) is the lamp – without it we can’t see where we’re going!

Like A Red Flag To A Bull

20 May

justrightone:

Don’t let satan steal anything else from you!

Originally posted on Today's Word From God:

I posted the following article earlier, and it needs to be repeated. I find myself in the same position time and again. Hopefully, one day I will be more prepared for the “red flag” being waved in my face by the devil. He wants to steal from me, destroy me and kill me. He keeps trying but our God is always with us as our protector. We have already won the battle and it’s important that we know God is the One we listen to – not the enemy waving a red flag in our face to upset our lives.

The Red Flag Story

Becoming a child of God does not mean we are free from adversity. We will still face major challenges in our lives. There will also be times when we assume we are in a mess because we always do everything wrong. Satan works hard at putting…

View original 615 more words

COMFORTABLE?

5 Mar

Comfortable?
by Linda Weaver  
6/26/2013 / Christian Living

As God’s children we are sometimes led by Him into uncharted waters – areas we are unfamiliar with. In the Bible there are stories of many who were called by God into unfamiliar territory or directed by Him to do things that were way out of their comfort zone.

In Genesis, Chapter 12, we read that God told Abram (later called Abraham) to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household to go to a place God would later show him.

Wait a minute — do you mean God would ask someone He loved to pick up everything and just go somewhere else without telling them where?

What in the world would you do if God placed that instruction in your heart? Oh, and did I forget to say that Abram was 75 years old at that time? So, in case you are thinking you’re too old think again.

Further, the Scripture says, “So, Abram left, as God had told him”. I mean, Abram packed up everything – his belongings, his family, his animals and left his old life behind.

Okay, I’m sure I can imagine what you may be thinking. I don’t have the space to write about it all here. However; if you think God wouldn’t ask something of you without giving you a map from beginning to end, you are mistaken, my friend. That is what faith is all about.

Besides, I’m sure God may have already directed many of you in some areas of your lives. And, if so, how did you respond? I can probably guess at many of the questions and excuses that you could come up with. (Ask me how I know.)

“God, are you talking to me?”
“I must have imagined that.”
“Where in the world did that come from?”
“Surely God wouldn’t tell me to do that.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“I can’t do that. How would I . . . ”

You see, the very lives we live follow God into many unknown areas and uncharted waters if we are truly listening to Him and letting Him direct us. It may not be about going to a “far country” as God instructed Abram. But, it may be a tug at our hearts to do something else which may take just as much faith. We can’t map out our lives like we do a vacation. When we walk with God, life gets very interesting at many levels. Besides, a “far country” is anywhere that is unfamiliar to us.

Think I’m a little out of balance? Well, it’s okay if you think that. Sometimes I’m not so sure myself. But, I do know this. I trust my God in heaven. I know His voice, and I follow His direction to the best of my ability.

Do I make mistakes? You can be sure of it. Will I again? I’m sure of it. Why? Because I am most certainly human. But, I have plenty to say about how faithful God has been to me in the midst of many a trial and many a storm. Most of them took me on a journey I didn’t think I was ready for with no idea of exactly how I was going to get there. My peace came from within, knowing that God would never fail me because He never has.

Each journey I take with my Heavenly Father, takes more of my trust and faith. And, each journey gets more exciting. Scary, yes, but exciting. God knows where I’m going that’s what is important. He can see around the corner — I can’t.

Walking with God doesn’t allow for being in a rut. Don’t like being uncomfortable? Neither do I, but I want what God wants for my life and that usually means being a bit uncomfortable. It also means not coming to a dead-end.

My friends, God wants you still kicking until He calls you to your mansion in the sky. If you sit down and get comfortable you’ll miss out on some exciting things.

Like A Red Flag To A Bull

26 Feb

I posted the following article earlier, and it needs to be repeated. I find myself in the same position time and again. Hopefully, one day I will be more prepared for the “red flag” being waved in my face by the devil. He wants to steal from me, destroy me and kill me. He keeps trying but our God is always with us as our protector. We have already won the battle and it’s important that we know God is the One we listen to – not the enemy waving a red flag in our face to upset our lives.

The Red Flag Story

Becoming a child of God does not mean we are free from adversity. We will still face major challenges in our lives. There will also be times when we assume we are in a mess because we always do everything wrong. Satan works hard at putting condemnation on us. But, it’s all hype.

Moses answered God’s call to deliver the Israelites. He was given instructions to go to the Pharaoh and deliver God’s message to let His people go. Now it would seem to me that if God gave me instructions to do something and I did it just as He said, I would succeed in that task. But it didn’t happen that way for Moses. The Pharaoh refused every command he was given by God (through Moses). The point being, God had a master plan. He wanted the Pharaoh and all the world – forever to come – to see His glory and His power. So, what appeared to be Moses’ failure in the eyes of the people watching, was all part of a bigger plan to exalt God’s love and provision for His people.

Just because things don’t happen the way we think they should doesn’t mean God isn’t paying attention or that His plan isn’t working. It means that God uses all things to work together for good. All we can see is what is right in front of us. God sees the big picture. That is why Scripture tells us to walk by faith and not the circumstances that we see.

We don’t always know where our trials come from. We blame a lot of them on the devil. Becoming a Christian is like a red rag to a bull! But, don’t be discouraged by that. Jesus said we are more than conquerors. He warned us that we would have trials in this life. He also told us many, many times to “fear not”. He said that “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.”

Being afraid of the devil and what he can do should not be an issue with us as Christians. God’s Word gives us promise after promise of defeating the enemy.

When you think of the red flag and the bull – see yourself as the bull – not the red flag! What power could that little red flag possibly have over that big raging bull? (An average bull weighs from 1700 to 1800 pounds. I doubt seriously if the red flag even registers on the scale.) Selah, pause and calmly think about that.

According to askville by Amazon, the bull is being provoked and tormented by the matador. That is exactly what the devil does to us. He waves a red flag in our face to taunt us and to provoke us and to torment us. The bull can charge that flag all day and accomplish nothing. The red flag is powerless. It’s a tool in the enemy’s arsenal to keep us off guard – to keep us upset – when all we are really doing is running in circles and chasing something that can in no way hurt us.

Why in the world would you let a little red flag being waved in your face taunt you and cause you so much distress? See it for what it is. It is nothing but Satan trying to cause a distraction so that he can keep you from God’s best. And, take note of the fancy matador. He struts his stuff and makes a show but once the raging bull gets past that red flag to him – well, you get the picture. Kind of puts things in a different perspective, doesn’t it?

Jesus gave His life so that we could face anything that comes our way. We may run in circles chasing red flags, but in the end the red flag is just a red flag. It is otherwise useless against a child of the King.


Are You Dragging Your Past Into Your Future?

28 Jan

Pastor asked us one Sunday if we were moving forward in life as we moved forward in time. Wow! That is a powerful statement and plunged my thoughts into all kinds of places. Since I’m not a spring chicken any more my first thoughts were of my physical appearance. Vain though it is, my age has been telling on me in many ways recently. I didn’t think I was a vain person but that idea has now flown right out the window! I never allowed my thoughts to linger on aging until I woke up one morning old! I know, that’s not responsible but I believed I would always be youthful even when my age continued to rise. Oops! Not good.

In my defense, I have always been tenacious, hard-working and a lover of life. I have many interests and lots of things on my life-long bucket list. The thought of aging didn’t seem like something that would affect me that much. I have always seen myself as successful with the ability to overcome any and all challenges. While I suppose that is a good attitude to have it definitely needed some adjustment a lot earlier in my life.

I always pictured myself being able to work and take care of myself right up until my Father in Heaven called me home. Then, I would just close my eyes on earth and wake up in His presence. Sounded like a plan to me. Another Oops! While a positive attitude is a good thing, it doesn’t always mean we let go of things we need to let go of. I tucked many things away in a private place of my own because the thought of letting go meant change, and I’m usually more comfortable with things staying as they are. I have certainly found that out in this particular stage of my life. I am closer to my seventh decade than my sixth. That being said, I am at a time in my life where all those thoughts I used to have about aging not being a problem for me . . . .well, let’s just leave it at Oops!

When Pastor asked us if we were moving forward in life as we moved forward in time – I had to adjust my thinking a little. I like to think I’ve moved forward in time. Part of me has definitely stayed in the past. I suppose that’s to be expected as our years keep climbing. It becomes a little more noticeable when in the latter part of our sixtieth decade our body starts to argue with our minds about what we should and should not do anymore! I can understand that when it comes to some things, but I never thought it would be applied to getting up out of a chair or not having enough hair to cover my scalp anymore! I also didn’t realize how much I was going to dislike those tiny little lines in my face and around my eyes (the word starts with a “w”). And, I certainly didn’t think that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between navy blue and black anymore. I could go on but I’ll stop there.

I don’t think that is exactly what the Pastor was referring to anyway. I think he had something completely different in mind. Actually, what he was talking about is a little more serious and a lot more harmful to our spiritual condition. I still didn’t want to deal with it but when Pastor shares what God has given him to share – it’s time to listen up.

Life itself forced me to face the aging process. I can’t ignore what the time God has given me is doing to this earthly body. On the brighter side, I definitely love the fact that when my appointed time comes to meet Him face to face – I won’t need this broken down body any more. I’ll have a completely new one – not sure what to expect  but I know it will be good.

My heart was stirred with Pastor’s question.  I had to face the sobering fact that there were a few things (maybe more than a few) that I was shielding from my past. Time passed and I had several things in tow that I didn’t want to leave behind. They had become too much a part of me, and  the idea of letting them go was never in question before now.

Let me put it like this – I can’t drive two cars at one time! If I buy a new car I either trade the old one in and enjoy the bright shiny new one, or just buy the new one and admire it in the driveway while I keep driving the old one. Doesn’t make much sense, I agree. I can keep them both if I want to. Or, I can go back and forth driving one and then the other. The truth is I need to let the old one go and begin to enjoy the new ride.

There is much more to be said on this subject – Stay tuned.

Sticks & Stones

5 Jan

Our Pastor started a new series Sunday called “Sticks & Stones” – Great message – I was so inspired by everything he said that I decided to post my own comments about some of his remarks.

He quoted a remark made by Mike Tyson – “Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face!” That “hit” home with me in a big way. While we are making an attempt to wait on God we get caught up in situations that we consider to be “the right things to do.” We can get so wrapped up in a project or a goal that we slowly move away from God’s purpose for our lives. There have probably been times in our lives that we were moving in a direction that we believed to be an amazing idea or a great adventure. The idea was great – we couldn’t wait to make it happen. Motivation took over and so many things began to look possible. Then – Oops – what happened?

Everything starts tumbling down. Possible it may be that the time has come to “back out” of something. I always say that getting into something is always easier than getting out! Another quote I like is “It can be a GOOD thing but may not be a GOD thing” I don’t know about you but I prefer to do God things.

Good things should be normal everyday occurrences and so should God things. The difference is that good things are incidental, God things are deliberate. According to the dictionary good things are things of high quality, first-class, first-rate, respectable, upright, noble, etc. God things are directives from Him. For instance,  instructions or commands – possibly even a mandate.

There are times that we get caught up in agreeing to do something that may seem like a good thing to us, but our motive is off just a little. We mean well and we want to help so we jump into something with both feet. Then, before long, we realize jumping in wasn’t such a good idea. When that happens to me it’s usually because my intentions were good and I meant to do something good but I didn’t check it out with God first to see if He was okay with my plans. God blesses what He calls us to do – big and small.

Please understand that we are not talking about the everyday good things we do when we are attempting to live godly lives. We are talking about God’s direction for our lives, God’s will and His plan for us. According to Pastor’s sermon, God is the author, not us, and we need to stop mourning over what God is no longer blessing in our lives. He added that sometimes the hardest thing to get rid of is something that no longer meets a need. That certainly includes me.

As he pointed out, we may be holding on to things we’ve had for many (many) years. We are attached to them and can’t let go. I have a big problem with this. I consider myself to be “sentimental” – that’s my reason. I have attached memories to certain things, and to let them go just isn’t easy for me.

Pastor challenged us to let go of whatever it is that we are holding on to that may be holding us back whether it be material or otherwise. God, the Holy Spirit, is our counselor. He is the one who can guide us in how to let go of the things that are keeping us from walking in the GOD things – which HIS blessing will be upon. Scripture is life’s instruction book. God speaks to us through His Word and gives us the direction we need and the peace that we are in His will.

This series is going to continue so be sure and check back.

“Thank You” Doesn’t Seem Sufficient

11 Nov

I’m not in a habit of posting my personal prayers here, but this morning my time spent with my Heavenly Father was an expression of love that I want all the world to experience. I pray that as you read this you will open your hearts to a real, approachable God who loves you and wants your love in return.

My Father – my Lord – my King, and my Friend; my Counselor – my provider – You are so good, and so kind. You are beyond earthly words. My heart overflows with love for You. You are so immersed in everything around me. I see You in all things. You are my anchor. I am tethered to You and that brings security to my heart and soul. I search for words to express my love and adoration, but I cannot find them. My  heart is filled with gratitude for the peace and joy You bring to my heart.

Thank You doesn’t seem sufficient. I am grateful that You can see my heart, and know my every thought. All I have, and all I am are because of You. I could do nothing on my own. You open my eyes to many new things – things I would not know – they are beyond my capacity and my abilities. You create in me new things each day. I want the world to know You. I want them to know You are a real, and personal God available on a level that no one else is. You give me a love the world cannot possibly give because it is beyond their ability.

Even through all my hurt and pain – my weaknesses – my faults – my mistakes – my habits – You still love me with a love I can’t understand or explain. You satisfy my every longing. My every fear melts away because I know You are there shielding me. Nothing can breach the barricade you have place around me.

In every sorrow I have experienced – in every loss – in every trial and tribulation – You rise above them. Your presence and Your Spirit engulf me. You put all the pieces of my broken heart back together. You replace all doubt and fear with faith and hope in the future.

No matter how weak and frail my mind and body might become, You hold me in the palm of your hand as I look to You, knowing You are not going to let anything touch me that will destroy my spirit. I will be with You forever, and forever – no matter the state of my body or my mind or my emotions. My Spirit is one with Yours, and nothing by any means can hurt me.

Thank You, My Father, for a love the world cannot give – for Your peace that far exceeds my understanding – for the assurance that I will spend eternity with You and all those who have gone before me, and who will come after me.

In the mighty, precious blood and name of Jesus, Your Son, I pray. Amen

NOTE: – I shared this prayer with you because I want you to know Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit. There is no other love or thing in this world that can fill any void in your life except for Him. There is no other God – no pill – no drink – no sex – no material thing – no experience that will ever satisfy you like the love, joy and forgiveness given to you by God. All you have to do is ask Him. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, your mistakes and anything that concerns you. It’s not difficult – He will meet you right where you are – just as you are. He will give you what nothing else in this world can give you – the love and acceptance you long for.

I pray for every soul that reads this prayer. I pray that through it you will gain a sense of God’s outrageous love for you – so much so that He really did sacrifice His one and only Son, Jesus, so that you and everyone in the world as the choice of everlasting life in heaven with Him over hell and damnation. He loves you so much that He wants you to love Him because you want to, not because He can make you do it.

This will be the most important decision you ever make. Your future depends on it.

May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with you.

You Don’t Have To Be Here To Be Here!

6 Nov

I was watching a movie the other night and was immediately inspired by a scene where a popular school teacher had died. Several children were sitting in a group, reminiscing about good times and feeling down and sad. They were interrupted by another teacher who wanted to encourage them. He said to the group,  “I know you are really sad that your teacher died but don’t you know you don’t have to be here to be here? Every time you give your knowledge away or what you have learned – every time you give something to someone – you give a little part of yourselves to them. You have a little bit of everyone who has given into your life. They are here with you, you just have to know where to look.”

Wow! So many thoughts and feelings flooded my heart and my mind. That is an awesome truth. First, I thought of my Mother who died a few years ago. I miss her so very much, yet so much of her is still with me. I  have many of her material things, but I don’t drag them around with me to keep her near me. My Mother is always – always – with me. She’s in my heart. I hear her voice when I do something I know she wouldn’t like. I hear her sweet, loving words to me when I am discouraged or hurt. I can see her face in my mind’s eye. So many of the things I learned came from watching her and listening to her. I hear many people say,  “I’m turning into my Mother.” Many of us say that as though it were a bad thing when, in fact, it can be a very good thing. That’s where the statement “. . .you just have to know where to look” comes in.

Just think about how many people have become a part of us – our parents – our siblings – our friends, and so on. We glean from each and every one of them, even if it is to determine we don’t like certain things they do, and we surely don’t want that part of them to dwell in us. More than likely, we even catch ourselves picking up certain traits of others – repeating their phrases or their reactions.

Unfortunately, deposits into our lives by others are not always positive.  Some of the deepest hurts and fears left as residue from them may  keep us bound by vows we have made as a result of the pain they have caused. They are still with us. That means we are looking at the wrong place in our hearts. (We might say, “I’ll never let anything like that happen to me again,” or “I learned my lesson – I won’t do that anymore”). Surely there are also good things deposited into us by others yet we tend to focus on the negative things and not the positive. We then begin to put walls around our hearts and push others away based on what one person did to us. Over the years, the deposits made by others can even keep us away from the destiny that God has prepared for us.

The Scriptures tell us Eccl 5:5-6 ” It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.” NIV   We should re-think any vows that we may have made and ask God to forgive us. We can’t assume that because one person has hurt us that others will. That is when it is vital that we “. . . know where to look.”

My mind races with how many ways this affects us. I’ve had a good, long life. I’ve experienced a great deal of pain and loss. (See how I mentioned the pain and loss first?) I have also been blessed with so much good – more good than bad. When I think of the pain and loss, I think of the people who are here with me, even though they aren’t here with me! On the other hand, when I say certain things or experience some feelings of fun and joy, I think of others who are with me, even though they aren’t here with me. So many of life’s experiences have made me who I am today.

The most important fact of all is that God is with me – and He is here with me even though I can’t see Him – He is here with me! There is never a time He isn’t with me. He lives in me – He never leaves me. He isn’t just a memory. He’s alive and He is with me always – at all times – good and bad. He talks with me – He listens to me – He helps me to overcome the negative things that have been deposited in my life by others. His is the influence I need to live by – nothing else – good or bad. My memories of others are part of my life forever, but they don’t make me who I am. God does that.

If you don’t know the God of Abraham, invite Him into your life. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to come and live in your heart. He is an amazing God – Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV

Only God can see to it that our  hearts are cleansed and free from everything that would keep us bound.

 

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