Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Don't lose hope

Don't lose hope.  There is always a God size miracle just around the corner to increase your faith.  Faith is not a gift we give to God.  But a gift He gives to us.  Keep the faith.  Ask God to make your faith bigger. Your hope is not in people, circumstances but in God, who is faithful.  He will meet your every need according to His riches in glory.

You need peace.  God will give you the peace that passes understand.  You need joy.  He will give it abundantly.  He cares about the birds in the sky.  How much more does the Father care for you.  His child.

He has a plan for your life.  Seek Jesus face.  See His plan unfold right before your very eyes.  He has a great purpose for you.  You hold a place in eternity that no one else can fill.  He chose you for a particular part of His eternal plan.  It is a good plan.  He is a good God.  He sent His one and only Son to get you.  He died on the cross to bring you to close relationship with Himself and His Father.  He won't let you go now.  Don't lose hope.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Go tell...

Have you ever felt unworthy.  Maybe a sin you have  committed.  It could be something you struggle with every day.  You might not have accomplish what you hoped you would have by now.  Socially you just don't seem to fit in.  Somewhere deep inside you cannot imagine that God loves and values you.

Mary Magdalene loved Jesus very much. She traveled with Him. She had listened to Jesus tell the story of the gospel over and over. She was a prostitute. She had no possessions. Of low social status. She was possessed with seven demons. She was mentally ill. She was a woman in a mans world. She was a broken woman. Yet Jesus picked Mary to be the very first to see and tell of Jesus being raised from the dead. The most wonderful miracle that would ever take place. Jesus picked Mary to tell the story.

Jesus valued Mary because of who she was. She was a child of the King. She would be the first to go tell the world, "Jesus is alive."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nor entered into the heart.


                                               1 Cor 2:9 But as it is written:

                                                          Eye has not seen, nor ear heard.
                                                          Nor have entered the heart of man.
                                                          The things which God has prepared for
                                                          those who love Him.

Two days ago I was so depressed I felt I could hardly get in the shower.  My feet were so heavy, I was so sluggish I drug myself to get dressed.  Burdens came in from every side.  I heard the words you are trying to let the things of this world captive your heart.  Your love instead of Jesus.  My heart was broken.  My eyes saw.  My ears heard.  My heart confessed Lord I seek others instead of you.  The Lover of my soul.

Depression is being pressed down.  The weight lifted.  I prayed Lord may I see your beauty.  I delighted in Him.  Seeing fresh flowers, beautiful sunrises and lovely music.  Once again my heart sings.  My burdens are light. 

Because of the gospel and the resurrection of Christ.  I know He lives.  He knows my future.  The future of those whom I love.  I can trust in Him.  Rest and lean into Him.  Proclain victory in Christ our risen Lord.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Freedom Fighters

There were five of us. We met together for a couple of years. There was a bond between us. That bond was Jesus. Each of us had just tasted what it meant to be free in Christ. We were excited. Enthusiastic. Young. Energetic. With a passion for Christ and all that we were in Him. We were shaking off our chains and tasting what it meant that the Father sent His Son to set us free. This, by Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. Our religion was being replaced with a deeper personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus.

Meeting at the beach, we basked in the beauty of Christ and His creation. We were honest with ourselves and each other. We counseled each other. Listened. Prayed. Meditated. Like a sponge, we soaked in new thoughts from each other.

Then a time came when I was becoming very sick. Having no idea just how sick I already was, I asked Danny to call my friends to meet me at the beach. Two came, along with another friend. I shared with one friend before the others arrived all that had been going on in my head. She was petrified. I had to escape the thoughts in my head. My magnified fears. My imagination. I felt paranoid. Both my friend's and my fears grew.

When I realized my friends were attempting to take me back home, I panicked and jumped out of the car to run away. When we did meet my husband, I found that he had been so scared, he called the police. I convinced the police that I was fine. The next day we went to the best Doctor at Mayo Hospital. I convinced the doctor I was fine. Danny and I went home, but the illness grew even worse.

I remember getting in my husband's truck and driving for what seemed forever. The windows down. Smoking cigarettes with the music playing. Although my husband would take my keys, I would find another way to try to outrun the thoughts in my mind. My family never knew if I would be there when they woke up or not. I felt so paranoid. I continually thought, I have just got to get free. Free from me.
At the time, we were no longer on the football staff, thank the Lord. Because this meant my husband was with our children. Their ages ranged from 11 to 22 then. It was only weeks later that I agreed to go to the hospital. This was a start to my journey of remission and learning to depend on God and not myself.

From the deepest part of our being we all long to be free The Bible speaks of our slavery. It took Christ dying on the cross for our sins to set us free. He took all our wrongs, and all the not-doing-what-we-should in exchange for His perfect life. He satisfied God's wrath against sin. He paid the price to give us a perfect life that we could not live. He cleansed us. So there is no more shame or guilt or fear. We are free to worship God. It is the power of Christ rising from the dead that lives in us by His Spirit. So we do not lose hope no matter how bad our circumstances are.

We are free because God is faithful. Not because of ourselves. Sometimes our road is long. We step forward and we step backward. But we always have the hope of the Cross before us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

He Holds You

Jesus is holding you. You may think if my circumstances were just different I would be happy. That is only a temporary fix. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the Joy maker, the strength in weakness, wisdom from His heart. He may be driving you to your knees but He is the one that holds you up.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matt 5:14-16 You are the light of the world, like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all to see. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

When we do good deeds lets give Gods the glory knowing it is God in us that is doing it through us. Others receive Gods love through us.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

All for Good

“And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   (Romans 8:27-29)
It was about 6 a.m.  I had not slept for 3 days.  I had not eaten for longer than that.  The voices in my head and the visions I was seeing were preoccupying and consuming me:  There was a committee.  Like a jury.  My case was being tried.  I had done something horribly wrong which was not even clear to me at the time, nor is it now.   The verdict came in.  I was found guilty.  It was to be punishment of either my family, or me.  I would be given an opportunity to take my own life in order to save my family.  This vision seemed so real.
Everyone in the house was asleep when, without hesitation, I walked to my car.  Began to drive.  I slowly went around a curve. Then it was as if someone was in the car with me putting their foot on mine, pressing the accelerator to the floor.  I did not resist, but curved to the right to a wooded area as fast as I could.
I was stopped by one tree.  Oh no. I am still alive.  I didn’t know the tree was the only thing between me and a house.  I could have killed someone.  I couldn’t get out of the car.  It was totaled. The seat belt, also, was holding me in.  I unclasped it and rolled down the window to crawl out.  What am I going to do?
I walked into the street and stood in front of cars.  They swerved around me, drivers cussing and yelling at me.  Then I felt the gentle touch of someone’s hands on my shoulders. I looked and a man said: “It is ok.  Come over here.”
 The next thing I remember was the ambulance coming.  I looked for the man and couldn’t find him.  I was taken to a hospital and then admitted to a psychiatric hospital.  All I could think of was:  What is going to happen to my family now?
 This happened several years ago.  I tell this story now for you to see God’s faithfulness.  That is why I write.  Some people don’t survive.  God is still faithful.  For some reason He rescued me.  I have no idea why, but I know I will proclaim His faithfulness to the faithless until my dying days.  I love the Lord Jesus and the Father, and the Spirit.  My greatest desire is to love and serve God with my whole heart.
 After the wreck I began to look for God’s faithfulness in my life, my family, and the lives of others.  One of His character traits is that He is always faithful.  I have seen it, and He has proven it to me over and over.  I can’t earn it.  He freely gives it.  It is who He is:  faithful.
 I want to tell this story. I want my children and their children’s children to know of God’s faithfulness to our generation.  I pray that God continues to be glorified.  He has given me a passion for the mentally ill, the brokenhearted, and those suffering from these kinds of experiences.  People have been saved and have been ministered to.
 Whatever you have been through, God promises to use it for good if you love Him.  Our mistakes and, yes, even our sin.  Everything.  Look for it.  Expect it.  Believe it.

Dark Night of My Soul

     O God my rock, I cry,
     Why have You forsaken me?
     Why must I wander in darkness oppressed by my enemies?
     Why am I discouraged?
     Why so sad?
     I will put my hope in God.
     I will praise Him again, my Savior and my God.
There was a time when I remember hurting so badly within, I thought I might die.  I knew I should run to God, but I felt paralyzed.  Pain and heartache were at every turn.  I felt like Jesus must have felt when He said He had no place to lay his head.  I tried to seek Him, but no prayers came.  I asked others to pray.  Nothing, still.  Where could I escape this seeming dark night of my soul?  I decided to wait until morning, believing God would watch over me through the night.  He does not slumber or sleep.
But, I wondered, will anything be different?  Will I see the light of day with new hope and joy?  Will I see in color instead of black and white?
Why do I feel so listless?  Numb?  Can’t sleep?  Where is God?  I know He is here, but I can’t sense His presence.   I know He is bigger than my fear and unbelief.  I still can’t pray.  So I wait.  Is God waiting also?
Over the next couple of days the dark clouds did begin to lift.  I told myself the things I knew to be true.  That God had never left me.  That I was enveloped in His love.  That His Spirit was within me.  That He keeps His promises.  The words I said in my head slowly came to life in my heart.
Things are different now.  Better.  God has gently placed His finger on things that occupied the corners of my heart in the place of Him.  He has answered my hard prayers of:
                      Humble me
                      Whatever it takes I want to know you more 
                      I want more of you and less of me 
                      Align my heart with yours
I acknowledged pride, selfish ambition, unbelief, and false lovers.  God is the only faithful, true lover of our soul.  He will not be manipulated or controlled.  He has multiple purposes in everything He does.  He always acts out of His love in the way that is ultimately redemptive for me, and brings Him the most glory, because that is where my true happiness lies.  His concern is for my faith.
I don’t have all the answers about that dark night.  We will spend eternity growing in understanding …
Deborah Ford