Saturday, November 11, 2017

How God is Meeting Me



GOD LOVES TO SHOW HIMSELF FAITHFUL, IN SEEMINGLY, IMPOSSIBLE SITUATIONS...

THIS MORNING AS I WOKE...I felt so bad.  My head was throbbing and my body hurt. My thoughts were not clear.  My attitude stunk.  I was not thankful.   Many of the struggles were the same as they have been for a couple of weeks now.  Especially in the morning.

I searched my heart and confessed my sin...What came to me was so sweet.  I am not a burden for God.  I cast my fears and burdens to the cross.  He has brought me to a place of dependence on Him.  I am learning to rest in His promises.  Learning to trust His word is true.  Only He can rescue me.


I opened our junk drawer and thought...this is impossible.  It reminded me God loves to work in the impossible for man.  I am still working on that drawer lol.





Yesterday I was to go to a pottery class. It was really hard for me to commit and go.  I have backed out of so many things in the past.  I was looking for examples in my experience of God being the Potter and us the clay.  As I turned the wheel and pressed firmly onto the clay, to get the shape I wanted...there was a clump of clay that had worked its way up to the top.  My teacher broke it off.  She said this is dead clay.  It reminds me of dead works I have done for me and not in faith, for God's glory. Of trusting in things other than Him to save me.

I think of how the intentions of our heart move to our thoughts and actions for us to confess and repent to God.  Only God can bring true repentance.  We are told the love of God brings us to repentance.

I learned in my class, it took me pressing in with my whole body through the care of my hands.  We are to press in, lean on Jesus.   It was such fun! We can experience God in everything we do.    He delights in us.


He may not heal my broken mind,
He may not give you the marriage you always wanted,
He may not turn your rebellious teen,
Give you the job of your dreams,

 but He wants to bring worship from the heart to Himself.  It is glorifying to Him and it is where I am most happy.  The enemy cannot coexist with our worship to God.


This morning,  I ask for Jesus heart, mind, and will.  His surrender.  I have great joy, but it is His joy.  Him living through me.  Jesus calls me to give up my plans.  He has something better for me.  Himself.


It is an illusion that I can fix anyone else, let alone me.  It is my self-reliance to think otherwise.


I have prayed hard prayers.  That God would use my illness for His glory.  No matter how bad it got.  That my children would love Him no matter what it took.  Many years ago before I got sick, I prayed God I want to know you and the power of your resurrection.  What was I thinking uggh!  I believe it was Jesus prayer for me.

When I suffer, I think...How did you also suffer Jesus?  How is Jesus in this suffering.  He is always working for our good.  When the thoughts come that I don't want, I search my heart.  I ask the Spirit to search me oh Lord.  Most of the time I confess them...I resist the devil and cling to God and He draws near.  When I despair I think of the disciples that despaired over Jesus death.  I cling to His righteousness.  For it is truly all I have.  Jesus meets me.  Even when I don't feel His presence I know He is living inside me.

When I have moved from imagining who I wanted Jesus to be, to searching for the only one true God.  It was a lonely, scary place.

He is moving me beyond my comfort.  Beyond my control.  He is teaching me that I back away from doing the hard thing.  I see my part is to take a small step of faith.

As we move beyond our walls of comfort into the unknown God meets us there.  When I think of the ones in the bible like Abraham, Jonna, Mary, Ester, Joseph, the prodigal, and even Jesus Himself.  God moved them into the unknown.  Beyond their world of comfort and familiar.

I sought knowledge.  As good as this can be it is not wisdom.  God confuses the proud.  Paul, who was full of wisdom and knowledge declared to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.  The whole bible flows out of this...

These are the hands of some of the ladies in my class.








This is my first class.  I had lots of good help.






God is so faithful.  He has shown me that in my fears I sin.  I have thought I had to fight the fears.  Evil has no hold on me.   He is keeping me with His everlasting arms.  I am safe with Him.  He is purifying my worship.  He is redeeming me for His splendor.




 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.







Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hope deferred...my heart was sick.




My hope was almost gone.  It was at an all time low for me and those I love.  I had no strength. I seemed to be getting no better.  The pain and the swelling, even sedation continued.  I was hard pressed on all sides, seemly no place to turn to fix myself...I had lost sight of how big God is and how small I am...

I surrendered.

The Spirit then led me to a study about hope and faith and the promise of the new earth.  It all fit together. Jesus was about to rescue me even though  I had lost faith in the things that were.  I did not realize my faith should be in the things to come.  It was a revelation and truth from Gods word.  These truths have given me life.  There is power in Gods word to His children.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Now faith is the things hoped for, the things not seen.





Have you ever heard someone say...I don't care?  It doesn't matter?  This is a 

lack of faith.  They have lost hope, lost faith.  Even as believers we can lack 

faith.  Not saving faith in that Jesus has died for our sins but faith in living for

Him.

At the time these words come to our mouths we have lost faith in our 

circumstances to be as we want them to be.  We have lost sight that our 

Story was already written before time.  That the things promised to us will

come to past.  We have lost sight that God never lies and He keeps His promise

to use all things for our good and His glory.  This is hope, faith.  God will bring

to pass all He has promised.  Our inheritance, our sanctification, us becoming

like Jesus.  

God will give us what Satan has stolen, I believe. Threefold.  Satan wants us to believe God is not good and He does not love us.  We get caught in sin and he tells us we are ok.  We are free and we can do what we want.  Then when we do sin he tells us we are defeated. That God is angry with us.  That we might even lose our eternal salvation.  All a lie from the pit of hell. The focus is always on us and not Jesus love, power and freedom that is ours to do His will.

Jesus is bringing...

 the new earth and redeeming those we love and ourselves.  He is righting 

our wrongs.  He is using it all for His glory.

He rescues us and redeems us.  He does not give us things in our lives that we 

cannot handle with His help.  No temptation is too great for our God.  At times these very 

things that seem too much for us is because we are relying on ourselves.


When we get depressed, dishearten we have gotten our eyes on ourselves and 

our circumstances.  We are sick.  Our hope is deferred.  We are at the center of our world.  

Not God.  

We don't believe how very much God loves us and desires to bless us.  We have lost sight 

of His promise to give back and make right all things in our lives and our world.  As we trust 

Him we step out in ways we never have before believing that our God is mighty 

to save.  Mighty to rescue us and deliver us from bondage.  We are not orphans

but children of the most mighty Father.  Who owns the whole world and

everything in it.  He is taking back from evil what is His.   He delights to give us good 

gifts.  Gifts of the Spirit and even things we never imagined.  He wants us content 

and happy in His presence.  He wants us living in the power of the gospel.  The 

same Spirit and its power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us.  

Empowering us to live way beyond what...

we can do on our own.  It is all ours for the asking and believing it is true.  We have not

because we ask not.  We are safe are those who trust in God.  Our faith is assured 

because of His faithfulness.  We will not turn back in the end but persevere 

because the story...

has been written...

 It is finished.  







So we look to the future. That which has not happened or been seen and this

hope is our faith.  We will receive the crown of life.  Life abundant here on 

earth and eternal life with our God.  It is His mercy and kindness that sees us 

through hard times.  He never leaves us nor forsakes us.  There is nowhere

we can run that we are not with Him.  He woos us back from harm of turning

away and going our own way to repentance and faith.  When we fall short...He

then brings us back to a greater understanding of His love, who we are in Him

and we trust Him even more.  Nothing is lost.  Nothing....Our hope is restored, redeemed

Once again we worship the King.  Our hearts are full and love overflows to Him and

to others.  We are strengthen in His might.  He is our eternal hope.








I was so down and out as I would look at my mistakes and my depression of the past.  I 
have seen how God has used those years to restore the years the locus have eaten even
in the lives of my family but the pain of it all remains.  Jesus feels the pain I feel.  The tears are not wiped away yet.  Eventhough He meets me in the midst of it all It does not wipe away the reality of what I did not do through all those years.  The pain my family suffered because of my lack of living and not escaping reality remains with me.


Satan would love me living in shame and guilt.  But God has

used it to increase my faith that He will bless me and my family no matter what.  I live in the 

blessings of unearned favor.  In the hope of the future to live in the present and 

step out in faith; although I will go throughout my life with a limp to remind me

my Savior is not without compassion.  He came for sinners like me.  I think this 

has made me afraid to make a wrong decision because I see the consequences.

Trusting in God and not myself has nothing to do with the pain I have caused.  It will remain.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Heart for God, Out of the heart the mouth speaks











Over the last few years I became aware of the condition of my heart.  God tells us He has taken out the heart of stone and given us a heart of flesh.  We can have the heart God has for others and for Him.  Our heart of flesh can be deceitful.  But our new heart is beautiful and filled with the will of God and His goodness and beauty.

God tells us that He wants our whole heart.

He tells us that out of the heart the mouth speaks.  Even if you were like I was and stuffed many things...it will come out.  Have you ever thrown up past wrongs to someone...even someone you loved?  I have and been so sorry of it later.  It was stored up past hurts in my heart.  That had turned bitter and angry.  I tried to keep a level balance to myself and my life.  Being happy all the time.  But the things I had not worked out with others.  The things I had not taken to God.  Came out and cause damage to those I love.


I try to keep a short account wrongs done to me and the sin as a result, in my heart.  Some might even think I am in sincere because I change.  Going to the Lord and the Spirit with the wrong motives of my heart is how I live.  I have learned that I can't pretend or change my own heart.

Asking the Spirit and the Lord to search me and show me if there is any wrong ways in me it the way God has shown me this is the way, I must live.  I don't have to share everything with everyone but sharing with a wise, trusted  friend for wisdom can help.  They can show you where you are not trusting God and give you wisdom.  Even then the things that comes out of my heart to the Lord is what is stored up in my heart.


The Spirit changes us from the inside.  What you have in your heart will come out.  When I noticed that I have sin in my heart I ask for the gift of repentance.  Asking others to forgive you is healing for you both.  It changes from my flesh to the very heart of God.  I am different.  My anger and other sins of the heart is thrown as far as the east is from the west and remembered no more.  I have a love for others that I can not muster up myself.  I love even those that are different from me.  Those I struggle to see their side or what their choices are that maybe I would not chose.  My predigest are broken down and I am chief of all sinner, forgiven and loved.  I am a saint of the most High God.

We are told we should not bless and praise God and curse or yell, you might say, to others.  This just should not be so.  So what do we do?  How do we change.  I have mentioned going to the Spirit to change us but we can also do other things to help the condition of our heart,

We can self talk.  Tell ourselves who we are in Christ.  The truths of the gospel.  That Jesus loves us so much He died for us.  That the Father chose us and gave us to His Son.  We are His children.  He delights and rejoices over us.  We are to reject the thoughts of the flesh and the devil and draw near to God.  He will draw near to you.


The other thing we can do is store His word in our hearts by daily meditating on His word.  Meditating on these things...

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

  Gods word is powerful and it can change us.  Beginning and ending our day in His word is a way to keep the thoughts and words of our mouths sincere and good.  Even just a verse or two.  That usually leads me to look up more and more verses.  I love doing this.


Spending time talking to God all throughout my day helps me.  Being in His presence and the presence of the Holy Spirit.


Worship is a great way to change the heart from complaining to gratitude.  You can't worship God and complain about the live He has given you at the same time.  Being thankful in all things is the life of the christian that trust in God.  Worship can do this for you and honor God at the same time in worship.


Surrender is another way.  Surrendering your life and your heart, those you love and struggle with is trusting God as sovereign over all.  Faith is a way to rid you of fear.  Trusting God and His promises to you keeps your heart from anxiety and depression in many cases.   If you struggle here again, surrender with the surrender of Jesus.  Ask the Spirit.

Self righteousness is a struggle I have had for years.  Seeing the sins of my heart and how dependent I am on the Spirit to change me has helped me see...I am just like the other person or worse.

We all need healing to guard our hearts.  The result of wounds and wrongs can cause sin in our heart if we are not realizing that by His wounds we are healed.  Having someone pray over and with us as we go to the Lord with our wounded, broken heart brings love and hope and joy.




I would love to hear the ways you guard your heart.  The struggles you might have in blessing and building others up.  I think of myself as an encourager.  I think it is because I need encouraging so much.  I struggle some times with having hope.  But I must remember my hope is in Jesus and not others, my circumstances or me.  God uses us in our weakness.  Confess them to Him.









Saturday, September 30, 2017

From the inside out...Gratitude



Gratitude

Being Thankful is not something that comes naturally to the person who is not happy with the life God has given them.  It could be suffering for them or the ones they love has barred them from a heart of gratitude.

 Suffering can be used for good.  It can make you more thankful than you can imagine.  Trusting God with the life you have.  Being content and thankful for the gift of your Savior and the opportunity to share His love with others.

We are told by God to be thankful in all things.  This, I believe is not only because God delights in our praise but because it is the antidote to an unhappy and discontented person.  Some of the Israelites never got out of the desert because of their grumbling and complaining, not trusting God to meet their needs.

Gratitude has the power to change the heart and the mind.  It brings about joy and peace and love to a dying world.  It is the Word of God to be grateful because God is good.  Jesus is the Word.  There is power in His word and it accomplishes what it is set out to do...change our hearts to the glory of God.

The funny thing is all you have to do is begin to say how grateful you are in meditation and prayer and you become grateful.  Faith works that way.  It produces a heart through the Spirit that you cannot do.  It is the very heart of Jesus.   It is a mighty gift of happiness in your God.  It is seeing through His eyes.  It is His will becoming yours.

Joy, Peace and Love...in a life you may not understand but know He is in control and He is good brings Glory to God and a glow in your face.  You have been in the presence of Jesus.  God inhabits the praise of His people.  He gives peace and rest.

Shine Jesus shine!















Sunday, September 3, 2017

Who is your neighbor?


Love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind, 
and with all your strength...
And
Your neighbor as yourself!





Have you wondered why we have arguments and disagreements, even with those we love?  You think... we love each other so
we should get along... all the time.  We should think alike.  We want the same things in life.  Well you did when you started this life together as husband and wife.

The same stands true with friends and children.  Who is your neighbor?  The person in your life at the moment.  

If we are honest we are always leaning toward our desires and longings.  It can be a subtle attitude of disapproval.  The silent treatment, where you don't voice what is really going on in your thoughts. It can be distance put between you and others.  You don't have to confront what you maybe struggling with.  Denial that there is even a problem.

 When others stand in the way of that coming to pass our will surfaces.  It demands its way, even if in a subtle way.  Passive or aggressive   All those you love, you and those are being refined as you rub against each other, wanting different things out of life, in life.  Demanding your way...Your wants are being stripped from your hearts hold, while you are becoming a person that loves others more than yourself. 

We are iron sharpening iron as we want different things and have different desires.  In and through the relationship our wills and desires rise to the surface.  It is a tug of war to see who gets their own way.  We are grown children in many cases in the way we handle our... constructive conflict...we think it is beneficial anyway.



You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.


So the fighting and arguing is, I want what I think will make me happy.  OK, I reason and say, I want the right thing.  I know what is best.  

I am being a mini god.   Manipulating the situations of life to get what I want.

  So we push and pull with our wills not asking God, just what is His will.  Assuming me and God want the same thing.  It is up to me to get it.  The life I think I deserve.


Not only do those we love stand in the way of our happiness, but we stand in the way of theirs.
by not giving them what we think we need to make us content,
happy and satisfied.

So who in your life is standing in the way of you getting the idols, the things you think will make you happy?  How is your coveting robing you and them of peace?  

Remember all people are being true to themselves.  The Spirit is bringing us out of a double life.  To be true to who we are in Christ.  






As I was meditating on these things I began to question...What in life really matters?  How am I in the will of God and working for His purposes in my life.  Surrender.  Jesus surrender is mine.  I am too self centered and strong willed to surrender on my own.  

 My real battle is with God and not the people in my life.  They are in my life for the purpose of breaking my will for one thing.  The Spirit shows me my heart.  I pray Lord don't leave me to myself.  Please break my heart and let there be no bitterness or anger.  Rescue me my Jesus.

When my will is no longer the center of my heart and life, I am then yielded to God.  Then am I able to love.  I am able to love others without being a needy person looking to others to make me happy.

God then has my heart.   Jesus is the sweetness of life,  I am after all along. Only He can satisfy the heart of man.  

So how do I live?  In His shadow.

I do good because He is living in and through me.  I am to be merciful, act justly...and walk humbly with my God.   

And the beat goes on as the dance of the Trinity is ever before me.  Left foot, right foot...repentance and faith.  The music completes me in Jesus.





Two steps left, one step right...Let the music begin and love pours from within me.  Heaven even in this life with Jesus.  I begin to weep tears of joy.  He did not leave me. Your will be done Father.  May your Kingdom come. 



Friday, August 25, 2017

I want to be like my "Daddy"



For I will remember their iniquities no more...




"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.





Several months ago I became aware of my lack of love for others unlike me.  Maybe just really

hard people to love...because of their sin.  Sin that hurt or affected me in some way.  In

our relationship.  As we rubbed shoulders and noses with each other.  The conflicts were 

unavoidable.


My concern though was my heart and my attitude that seemed to rise to the top of my feelings.  It 

affected my response to others.  I could feel the resentment and self righteous attitude.  I knew 

they could sense it also.  I could not rid myself of this heart attitude no matter what I said to

myself.  No matter how hard I prayed...Lord make me sweet.




"Now then," said the Lord, "you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.






I ask the Lord to not only give me love for people unlike me, but to help me see others as He sees
His people.  



If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.


I knew to be a follower of Jesus I was not loving as He loved.


For the next days, I prayed I would take the humble position in my relationships.  I needed a heart of grace and actions of mercy as given me.  I needed brokenness and a contorted heart over the love of Jesus for me.  Not only me but His bride, others who worshiped Him.

I needed love that I did not know how to draw on.  How to let love overflow in me, especially 
to those where there maybe a disagreement or not of like mind.


I began to see people differently.  The Father says He does not see our sin.  That He does
not condemn us.  When He looks at us He sees the perfect life of Jesus that He lived in our place, for us.  As I looked at others, I began to see the gifts of the Spirit in them.  If
they sinned I saw it as an opportunity to pray for them. To share with them my own struggle. I began to see and claim redemption in their lives.  I prayed boldly.  I believed God was up to something good no matter how difficult the situation was for me or others. 


I began to have courage and make myself 

take the next steps in faith.

I moved in areas that were unfamiliar.

I became more aware of the sweetness of Jesus.

The love of my "Abba", my "Daddy"  for me.

I saw the identity and inheritance God had given me in Jesus.

I was completely overcome.


I began to see myself as partnering with the Spirit in the lives of others.  Being in tune with

what He wanted me to do to bring about the glory of God in others lives.





As I am resting and leaning in Jesus love for others my joy is complete in Him.

Contentment is in serving Jesus by serving other.

Gratitude is healing in my own heart.   Joy and strength

found at the feet of Jesus.






The Cross.








This is friends from my church.  We had a great time at Ford Farms.  I want to be like them.  


They love people from the depths of their hearts.  Sacrificially without a word.