Thursday, May 30, 2013

Everything is different with HIm

God makes the blind to see and the deaf to hear.
Luke 7:22
And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sightthe lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and thedeaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

I went to the dentist today.  I needed a root canal and my bridge had come off.  Two days ago I went and I had lost my way.  By the time I called the dentist office the circumstances were... they couldn't take me.  It is an hour and a half there and an hour and a half back.  So I had to go back today.  I was sure I would not get lost this time.  Danny got me directions and I left an hour early.  I grabbed my bag of things, book, water, but forgot my phone and money so I went back in to get these things.

I got to the dentist office an hour early sure enough.  There was a Good Will so I went there for awhile and talked to a friend afterward.  I started in and looked I couldn't find my purse.  I had left my purse at home.  It was ok.   I had some money for lunch.  I went inside and began reading my book and waiting to be called.  As my name was called and I started back, I opened the door and said OMG my bridge is in my purse and my purse is at home.  I could have died.

As I sat in the chair and they were telling the dentist, he said you forgot the most important thing.  I explained I never mess up like I mess up here.  The assistant said I think you get nervous.  I said you are right.  I have spent my life in the dentist chair. I felt like a failure.  How could I make three trips for one tooth on a 3 hour trip.   They left the room while I got numb.  I sat there while my lip got bigger than my nose reading my book.  All of a sudden I was  laughing out loud all by myself.  This isn't like me.  I am too much of a Southern Lady.  We don't cackle!  I love this book.  The name of it is Love Does by Bob Goff.  I knew it had to be good because Donald Miller did the forward.

I was in the next chapter, chapter 4.  It was talking about how God gently leads us into defeat.  How God finds us in our failures and our successes.  He teaches us a whole new way of thinking.  I quote him saying "I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me but now I'm more afraid of succeeding at things that don't matter".

My dentist came back in. I knew I was going to say something but I didn't know what to say.  Then it came to me,  I said I was just reading how Jesus died for screw ups.  He laughed.  I thought if that is the only reason I came 3 trips maybe that is enough.  My whole attitude had changed.  He said I just hate you have to come back.  I said it could be a lot worse.  On the way home I was thanking God and singing in my heart.  I was so grateful things had gone well with my tooth.  That I was able to come back.  That I could just be with Jesus all the way home and maybe make the next visit a fun trip with a friend or shopping or just enjoying being alone and the drive on such a beautiful day.

God changes everything.  The way we see things.  He is amazing.  He is a heart changer.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Do you ever have a day when everything seems to go wrong?

Do you ever have a blah day? I am having one now. It actually started last night with dinner. We had dinner guest. I tried a new recipe, even though I had a bad headache for a while yesterday. Then when the guest got here and my husband came in tired from cutting hay, I took out the meat from the oven. I just had a feeling and kept saying before I even checked the meat, this meal is going to be a bummer. Well the meat was raw. My husband got a shower. We sliced the pork loin and put it on the grill. It was fine but not what I had hoped.

I have two friends who are really struggling right now and I am so sad. I feel their pain.

Some things happened today with my thinking that kinda scared me. I thought this happened when I got sick once. Just confused. But I have been doing too much reading and thinking lately. I know what I need to do and have corrected my thinking.

I made a statement to my friends husband last night. "I don't feel like I can do anything right sometimes". He said me too. Now is that a poor me, defeated attitude and I passed the idea on to my friend. Then I felt worse about that.

Today I went to the dentist an hour and a half away. I got lost and called. Their electricity was going to be cut off in 30 min. I was going to have a root canal. No way I could get there and have time to fix it. Don't know if it was an accident or what the reasoning was for the power outage but I drove back home and have to go again Thurs.  Blahhh.

It has been a domino effect one thing going wrong after another. What do I do to get out of this funk. I remember my Savior calls me beloved. That He rejoyces over me. But I feel the pain and the disappointment of the day and go to Him for love, acceptance and understanding. He cares about everything we go through. That is where I am now. Just sitting with Him and being. It is going to be ok but I just got to be here awhile.  I got to unwind and reflect.  Think about the things that are true about Him and me.  Satan would love for me to feel defeated.  He is such a manipulator and a liar.  But God is always true and good.  Wonder what God is trying to teach me right now?  Wonder what I am suppose to learn and see?  I am going to sit here awhile and listen and just wait.

Monday, May 27, 2013

That Mountain Is You

moving out of my comfort zone into the "unknown rhythms of Grace". We are told to keep in step with the Spirit. It is a dance. A following of the leading of your Partner, the Spirit, a leaning into. It is all of grace that you have moved into this unknown territory of faith and love. Grace is not there until you need it. You may have been fearful to move into this place where you totally out of control. Where you yield the control to God. For HIm to live through you. You never know which way He will lead you. You just have to be willing to press into Him, depend on Him and trust HIm. And if you aren't ask Him to make you willing. He will do it. Have people to pray for you. Prayer moves mountains. That mountain is you!

Matthew 17:20
And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move;and nothing will be impossible to you.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

When what I fear the most happens...

When I fear the most happens.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Sometimes I say to myself, "what is the worst that can happen". Then when I accept that, I can accept whatever God sends my way. This is not exactly surrender. It is saying to myself, I have to expect the worst so I won't be disappointed. I must brace myself and be prepared for the worst. This is not trusting in God's loving provision for me.

What is the worst thing that can happen to us. It is for us to suffer. We suffer because we do not get what we want.  We do not want to suffer. We will avoid it at all cost. When we do have pain our body, mind and heart cry relief. Rescue me someone or something. We run to other people, to addictions to not feel the pain and escape, to activities like work, exercise, hobbies, so we will feel better about our selves. We even get angry. That is a way of expressing pain and trying to be in control again. It may come out in explosions of anger at others, frustration, disappointment, or discouragement, hopelessness, isolation or even sleep and depression.

Ask yourself, "what would it be like to enter into and embrace the pain?" Trust that God is in control and you can go to Him for comfort. You may not understand why something is happening this side of heaven but because of His word you can know it is for good and for His glory. He will not compromise His eternal purpose for temporary relief for you. As a matter of fact this reveals what you are trusting in, Him, others or circumstances or things. That is why it is so painful. It is like you are having to die for freedom.

Please remember all those who have served our country for our freedom. For those who have lost their lives and for those who are left behind. There is no greater love than to lay down your life one for another. Our service people are a true picture to us of the battle we are in for freedom.

 Christ fought the battle and won the war of eternity by dying and rising again for us to be with Him in relationship and freedom forever.  Don't compromise your freedom. Go ahead and die to the things that replace Christ as your life. The things that offer an illusion of peace, comfort and joy.  You can trust Him with the things, people and circumstances of life.  It may not happen like you have planned but ultimately it will be beauty from ashes for all eternity. 


Friday, May 24, 2013

The Potter and The Clay

We were off to the mountains, my friends and I.  Off to find the perfect wedding gift for our friends daughter who we were giving a shower for.  I was so excited.  A day in the mountains.  I love pottery.  Promised to even buy a piece or two for myself.

When we arrived, on this gorgeous Spring day, there was a shed before us.  It was a place for the defected pottery.  Those that were unacceptable.  That is right where I headed.  I was amazed.  Yes they were uneven.  Some of the glaze was not evenly distributed.  They were different heights and not evenly round or were too big or too small.  What I saw was they were unique.  Yes they were the cast outs.  The ones who didn't measure up to perfection of most.  But I loved them.  That was were I wanted to spend my money.  I wanted to invest in them.  I wanted them to be mine.

I loved their individual qualities.  The design and personality of the potter was there.  He was not trying to just make something out of a mold.  He was designing.  I was thrilled.  I brought these home to be mine.  To put on display.  To use and enjoy and delight in.  They were each one beautiful to me.  I loved the fact that they were different.  The defects they owned were what made them special to me.  I was so excited with my finds.  Could anyone else see their value?  They seemed uninterested.  My friends has so much already.  But I had very little.  These were a treasure to me.  Of great value.  They may have not been valuable or beautiful to anyone else but me but they were going to be mine and I was delighted to give them a home with me.

This is the love of the Father.  He is the potter.  We are the clay.  We are each uniquely designed and valued because we are a part of the Fathers hand of creativity.  We should find great joy in our uniqueness and individuality.  We are created in the image of God only He is perfect.  We are designed.  He always was and is.  We have a beginning but no end.  It is with great joy He calls us His own.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clayand You our potterAnd all of us are the work of Your hand.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can I Try Again?

  As I sit here with the rain pouring down, the sound of it hitting the dry earth, the lightening that  is flashing in the sky I think of how selfish and self centered I have been in my suffering.  It is like I want another chance.  A chance to more glorify God.  I know as weird as it sounds I see what a privilege it is to suffer for Christ.  To trust Him in the midst of it.  To bring Glory to the church and His purposes.  I know it sounds crazy but it is like I am saying lets give it another go God.  I can do this.  I can trust you.  I can make it happen.

Then I stop in my tracks.  It is not about me and my suffering.  It is about Him and HIs.  It is not about my faithfulness but His.  It is not about my sacrifice but HIs, not my love, my desire, my purposes but His.  I am but a vessel, a broken vessel that His glory shines through.  It is in my inability to serve well, to believe in the midst of hardship, to see him and believe in the midst of suffering and hardship that He shines.  

I am at peace.  My suffering was specifically designed for me for the most glory to be revealed through me to Him.  I did not ask for it or plan it but His sovereignty designed it and willed it for His greater purposes than I cannot fathom.  I do not know the future but I know who holds my future and it is in His hands.  My deepest desire is to glorify Him no matter what else that may.  He is all consuming.

Today, after such a great morning, was a struggle.  I know.  I couldn't get started.  I was overwhelmed.  I sat down planned a list, called a friend and I began, one step at a time.  It has been a glorious day of total dependence on God.  Even though I am so well and doing so good I do not want to get to the point to where I can do this life on my own.  I want to continually lean into Him.  He is my light in the darkness, my hope in the midst of my struggle, my strength when I am weak.  He is God., My God.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm Ready

I have a restlessness about me right now.  God wants more of my heart and I do His.  I am grieving.  I see my sin. Am I just well enough I see how passive my life is.  I feel a sense of urgency. Like I have wasted so much time.  I feel God calling me to a deeper surrender, to Him, to others, to work, to rest, to pray, to meditate.  Maybe calling me away, to solitude, meditation and fasting.  An urgency to do something.  To make something happen.  I am very sensitive right now.  I feel a holy war raging.  Me needing a broken heart.  One of deeper surrender.  A humble heart.  I see my depravity and it lurks before me waiting to consume me.  It seems to be a battle within. Which is greater within me, this flesh that demands attention or the Spirit, the all consuming love of God.  I am grieving over, I don't know what, this world, sin, evil, death, the loss and pain of so many.  The cross, how it must have been for Mary to look up and see the blood running down His face from the crown of thorns on His head.  The surrender of His body to the pain and suffering of the world.  He emerged HImself into every heart that breaks, every suffering, every sin, every sickness, every desperate soul, every doubt and fear and horror known to man and spirit.  I can imagine the pain of the rejection and separation of He and the Father.  The worst of all things He suffered.  The beatings, humiliation and shame and mocking were only in the shadows.   My heart breaks.

I have a deep desire for righteousness and there is none within me. But His is mine.  I have a holy fear, an awe of Him, I am shocked, surprised and amazed.  I long for more of beauty, creativity, to enjoy God.  To see, feel, taste, smell, experience more His goodness, His heart.  I long for a quiet rest for this restless heart this morning.  A quiet place of peace within the scurrying of my soul.  A place of contentment within His very being.  I desire to know His desire.  To feel what He feels.  To love what He loves.  To hate what He hates.  To be satisfied beyond anything I have known  in Him.  To go to the highest and the deepest part of His soul.  To be, to love, to do beyond what I can do.  To know more of His power and strength and wisdom.  To share in Him.  To fellowship.  To become one with Him where He floods my very existence that His life is so lived through me that I not only lose myself but I find myself in Him.  I want to touch the hem of His garment, wash His feet with my tears, anoint Him with expensive perfume, see His smile, to love who He loves, the broken, the children, the sick, the poor, the lowly at heart, the sinner.  Set captives free, touch the wounds of the broken hearted, the sick minds, the broken spirits.  To point them to the one where they will be healed and lack nothing.  To tell of His faithfulness, goodness, and love.  To give hope to the hopeless, comfort to the hurting, grieve with the grieving, help carry the burdens of those with heavy hearts.  To be Jesus to others, His hands, His feet, His heart and mind.  To tell of His riches and glory that He shares.  Of the great mystery of Jesus in us and of His glorious inheritance we share in.  To be with Him and experience His living and breathing and being in and through me.  I want to know Him in the purity of heart.  To stand in His righteousness, forgiveness and holiness.  To honor, love and respect those who don't respect and love themselves.  To point Him as life to the oppressed, dignity to the shamed, forgiveness to the guilty and hope to the hopeless.  To pray for the lost, those who do not see and cannot hear.  To be burdened for their very lost souls.  To entertain angels and house the homeless.  To be a mother to the motherless and a friend to the lonely.  I want to be buried and raised with Him.  To identify with Him.  To have no plan of my own, no dependence of my own, no self sufficiency, but to be yielded and surrendered to the One who was yielded and surrendered.  To serve as He served to who He served.

This all is to great for me but He is mighty and able to do in and through us what we cannot do.  I want to go with Him to places in His heart I have never been.  To enjoy Him in new and exciting ways.  To glory in Him.  To love Him with more of my heart, mind and soul.  I am at peace and rest now.  In His holy presence.  Consumed with Him and ready to live this day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"I Love You"

I write to think, to pray.  I have written so much I thought I am just fillings peoples inbox.  I write prayer letters almost daily to a safe group of people.  They love, support me and counsel me.  They point me to Jesus.  I told them I was not going to write so much.  That I didn't want to wear out my welcome, sorta speak, then here I am again, I wrote...Yes he who vowed to not write again is writing again.  Believe me I do not boast in myself for there is none here for that but the peace and joy and presence of the Lord our God, tears just stream down my face.  I am so overcome and full of His mercy and grace for me I cannot contain it.  I don't know what to do with it.  I cannot imagine heaven.  How my heart could be so big to be in His presence there and the presence of the saints before and after me.  Before you, my friends.  I have never imagine a life such as this.  I shared with my friend tonight who is struggling and she is so distraught .  I had no answers for her but Jesus.  He is my life.  I am healed, whole, His grace is sufficient.  For a paralyzed woman I am walking, running and jumping for joy in this God who surrounds me with Himself in and through me.  If only I were smarter, had more education maybe I could express better this joy within my soul.  But there are no words to express adequately express His power, His glory within me.  His love and majesty that blinds me and makes me see.  His greatness and mighty Greatness that is beyond anything this life has ever seen nor will see,   We cannot fathom His love.  Oh God give me the words all I can do is weep before you and your glory.  To be in your presence in this moment is more than I can bare.  It just has to go somewhere.  Please show me where.  I feel as if I have literally been raised from the dead with Him.  I have been able to identify with His suffering and I know Him in an intimate way.  He has looked down at me and chucked, at my endless worry and strife and now He has taken me at the right hand of HIs Father and has seated me with HIm and I remain until He comes and gets me and I live with Him forever more in righteousness and love.  OMG How great thou aren't.  The first song I sang as a little child in a little white church in the wildwood.  How little did I know one day I would begin to know what that meant.  Just a taste of heaven with HIm here on earth.  Thank you for supporting me, loving me when it has been hard and pointing me to Jesus.  May your blessings be plentiful and may I be faithful to do the same to others.  Blessings my friends. I love you seems to little to say until I hear Him say to me, "I love you".

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Am I really so "different"?

Am I really so "different" from you?

I have been in the Oval office in Washington, our nations capital.  I have personally met and conversed with two Presidents.  I have done tv, magazine, newspaper interviews.  My husband has won a "National Championship" in college football.  He is in Hall of fames all over our area, ring of honor, people here want his picture and autograph.  I have spoken to hundreds in churches and organizations in several states, at least two.  I have written articles, devotions, writing my very first book for my family and classmates.  I have traveled the world.  Met the famous in the sports world.

Am I really so "different" from you?

I have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.  Have been in the mental hospital for at least 3 times I can remember.  I have tried to commit suicide twice because of these illusions and delusions.  I have been so out of it I didn't know who was in the room with me.  I couldn't differ from an illusion and reality.  I have been full of fear and shame and condemnation.  I have been fearful, oppressed, inslaved, isolated and desperately depressed.  I have spend days of sleeping and days of seeking the face of God.

Am I really so "different" from you?

I have raised 4 children practically on my own.  I have been both mother and father.  I have grandchildren whom I love.  A family I am so proud of no matter what their struggles.  I am growing in Christ and knowing His and the Father, Spirits love for me.  I am learning to be free.  Learning there is no condemnation for me in Christ.  I am not guilty.  I am forgiven.

I want to follow Christ with my whole heart.  I want to be so surrendered to the life of Christ living and being in and through me.  I want to love others and Him as He loves me.  I want to repent and grow in faith and trust and dependence on the one who sent His One and only Son to die to come and get me.  To rescue me from myself but at the same time teach me to enjoy and accept myself as the Father accepts and loves me.  I am learning in my weakness His strength is made perfect.  I am learning to boast in the Cross of Christ and not in my own righteousness because I have none.  Everything done apart from faith and trust in Him is sin.  He is my Savior, my Lord and my King.  I dedicate my life to HIm to use me as He will in whom He will.  I love because He first loved me.  The more I accept His love for me the more I am set free to live this life of faith and hope and love.  He is my sustaining power.  He meets my every need.  He is my refuge and my strength.  He is my peace and joy.  He is my companion, my counselor.  He is my life.

Am I really so "different" than you?

I am lowly at heart and broken hearted.  I struggle with sin and pride and self-righteousness.  I have seen the Mighty God who holds my heart and future in His hands be so faithful even though I am not.  I have seen Him bring me out of fears and doubts to a life of confidence and belief.  He keeps me pressing me on toward the Prize, eternity and relationship with God the Father, Son and Spirit.  He continues to rescue me when I get trapped or run away from Him.  He woos me to His heart and arms once again.  He is the lover of my soul.  Nothing can separate me from Him and HIs love for me.  He is my master and King.  Something is going to control you.  What is it?  Is it addiction, condemnation, fear of man, or love of God.  He will bring you to the place where He is center and central to your very being.  He is the One and only true God.  Lets worship Him now.

Around the World

Thank you for partnering with me to spread the good news of the gospel and your prayers.  Together we are reaching around the world.  I would love to hear from you.  If you are indeed being blessed and what are your needs, what you want to read about.  I may not can answer your questions but I will sure try to find out.

We are reaching to the far corners of the earth together.  To God be all the glory.

United States











I want you to know I am praying for each and everyone of you, your families, your ministry. I pray He lifts you high with Him who is seated at the right hand of the Father and who lives in us.  I pray for the love of the Fathers everlasting love envelopes you and the riches of His grace.  That you enjoy Him today beyond anything you can imagine.  That you are met with His mercy this morning that is new.  That His peace and joy flood your very being.  That it is your strength.  That He is your peace, joy and strength. That you are sustained, equipped for every good work and He meets your every need according to His riches in glory.   That you have a thankful heart for His presence by faith and that He surrounds us and pours His glory through us.  That we remember our slavery to rejoice in our freedom. That we are healed, forgiven and forgive.  That your heart is filled with worship.   That you are brought to your knees by the fact that He had rather die than live with out you.

This picture was shared with me.  It is called Grace.

There was a large fountain, shooting water high and wide. Around the fountain, she saw people of all different ages, color, shapes and sizes, and walks of life. The people had come to collect water. Some held thimbles, some held cups, some held buckets, some held cardboard boxes, some held large drums...the containers were as varied as the people. There were others with no container trying to catch the water in their hands or let it splash into their mouths. Still others were standing and watching the scene from afar, afraid of coming near, not wanting to get wet.
All of a sudden, the image that crossed her mind was of a naked little girl right in the middle of the fountain splashing, jumping, skipping and dancing all through the water. She had a huge smile on her face and much laughter as she was fully enjoying, as a child would, the water falling on and around her.  She stayed there all day in the fountain of grace, singing, dancing, splashing, sitting, laughing, crying, drinking... oblivious to the others that came and went to fill up their "cups."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Need to Replenish

You will always have the poor among you but you do not always have me.  Matt 26:11, Mark 14:7, John 12:8

God calls us to be alone with Him no matter what else is going on in our world.  He wants to be first in our hearts and our lives.  He wants to be the lover of our souls, our sustainer, our strength, our wisdom and source of Love.

Need to replenish.

The newly planted flowers are now needing watering. I hate to water. The fresh cut flowers in my house are dying and I have to throw them away. My lovely china my family has given me and I enjoyed entertaining with this week needs to be put away. The kitchen is now in a mess. Left over lunches need to be thrown away and pots scrubbed. My clean floors have paths of mud running through them from the farm of muddy weather and the guys forgetting to take their boots off. The laundry is being done from just a few days ago is pilling up. It must be finished washing, clothes folded and put away. Ordinarily I would be overwhelmed but not this time. I know what has to be done and where my strength is to do it one step at a time. I need Jesus. I need Grace.

So is my Spiritual Life. I have had a quiet time in the morning, reading, a little worshiping, a little listening, giving out to those I love and have just met. Now I cannot go on. I need hours, days of quiet with the Lord. My life is really good right but my need for grace has not diminished. I need God and I miss Him. When I was in a suffering struggle I sought Him first. He did not get the left overs. I spent days in His presence and meditating and just being. It is so easy to go on your own strength when you are such a strong person like me. I know I am weak but deep within me I want to say I can do this. I can make this happen if I just work hard enough. I spent 17 years not being able to do a thing apart from Christ. Now for seven months I am doing well and I am ready to go it on my own. There are still people to meet with, work to be done, things to be learned. Jesus said the poor will with you always do you seek me. (my words)

I am going to church tomorrow, then to lunch with a friend. Then I am putting everything I can on hold until I hear from God I can move on except leisure time with others. I am going to soak in His presence and His love for me. I am going to be quiet as much as I can through out my day. I am going to take walks, work in the garden and take pictures and read and sleep, listen to music, writing and worship all throughout my day, catch up at home I am going to be renewed by the grace of God. He is drawing me to such a place as this. I cannot resist Him nor do I want to. I long for solitude. It may sound weird to you but the other night I stopped on my way home from an appointment and had dinner alone, just me and Jesus. I didn't know what to say to Him. I felt distant and my mind drifted. He wants me to return to my first love and I am, by His grace alone.

I think He is wanting to teach me something new, exciting and major. I thought of trying to get away just by myself and him but I am going to try it here and see. I think He wants to show me the way He wants me to go in many things. I think He wants to just enjoy me and me Him. How to love and accept myself so I can love and accept others the way God loves Himself and us both. I think He wants to heal me. I want to know His heart on this and He is calling me away. Away to a place where I can hear His heart, hear His voice and search the scripture. I am so humbled He would do this for and with me. I am excited beyond words at the anticipation of what this time will be like. I know this is where I am to be and to do. Like the times of me in the valley and drinking from the stream of grace that goes down hill. I long to be overcome, full to the fullness of God, to drink in His mercy and Grace and His love. To overflowing, abundant, refreshment, liberty, life, hope, strength, wisdom, love, joy, peace, compassion, repentance, forgiveness. Going forward to live in the present of Him being all I truly need.

I will be posting and bringing you along side me. I don't know if this will be a day or a week. Whatever it takes, resisting the pull of the world, He is coming first.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Do you like yourself? Does God?

Do you like yourself?

I will be writing this more complete as I think and pray it through some more. Just wanted to share where I am right now. Hope it speaks to you if you too struggle to like yourself.

My friend and prayer warrior Weak Dave wrote a great post on fb today. It is something the Spirit has been slowly teaching me. Things I have wondered and pushed way back in my mind. Do I love myself? Why is it so hard to do things for myself? Co dependency, fear of man, people pleasing, perfectionism, striving, self reliance, my breakdown. Is the root of it all not loving myself as my Father loves me. I wrote this post in a forum but things are still coming to my mind. THis is major for me. Maybe the root of lots of stuff. I do not know the love of God for me so therefore I do not love myself. This maybe extreme but at some level I think this is true.

I feel totally confused and blind in this area and I need some help. I know God is teaching me something I have struggled with all my life. I have this thought in the back of my mind that to do things for myself is selfish. Therefore I have neglected myself and I had a breakdown. I saw then to take care of myself was to take care of my family.
We are told in Lev 19:18, Lev 19:34, Matt 19:19, Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Ro 13:9, Ro 14:15, Gal 5:14 and James 2:8 to love others as we love ourselves. THat this is the summation of the whole law in a single commandment. So I ask myself how do I love others if I do not love and respect myself?
So here is my question…can you explain how to love yourself? What is self centeredness, selfishness and pride in comparison to this loving myself? I feel like to lose yourself you find who you truly are, Christ in you.
I always knew the Father loved me but because when He looked at me He saw Jesus. I wanted to know he really liked me and who I am, right now. My personality, the things that make me who I am, unique and individual.
I think the more I have seen the unconditional love for me that God has for me the more I am accepting of me warts and all. THe more I trust Him with the future , the more I don't beat myself up about my past. The more I see He forgave me the more I love and forgive. THe more I understand His compassion and care and faithfulness for me the more I feel safe and secure.
I don't know where I am going with this. That is all. Hope I made some sense.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fear Can Be So Breath Taking When Conquered

God knew in our fear that facing it would be breath taking.  I experienced this today.  I thought I was going on a little hike and it turned out to be more of a mountain climbing experience to me, with holding on to rocks, limbs and roots and mossy wet rock just to continue to move along one foot in front of another.  I can't help but relate this to my walk with Christ.  On the way back I was thriving.  Conquering fear had produced confidence and strength. It was exhilarating.  I was ignited within my being.  It was life within me.  On the way toward the falls after every landing I would say, "I am not doing this".  My friends would go along and I would sit there and wait and think I can't let them leave me.  Surely I can do this.  I would look down, taking one step at a time, sliding and grabbing ahold of whatever was near me. 

 Then I was there.  It was breath taking.  At the point of the climax of seeing the still water, fall and hit into a pond with a never ending force that literally sprayed my face with the after effects of the impact of one dynamic water hitting and merging into another.  They had become one.  As my Father and I become one.  All I could do was lay with face up and my back down in the moss and dirt upon the huge rocks, beside the trees looking into, through the leaves into the Son and me beside the waterfall and listen.  Listen to the force that was beside me and to the whisper of His voice.  I worshiped.  How could I not?   He was so ever present.  He was in it all.  He surrounded me and enveloped me.  I was secured and comforted and loved.  I had peace.  The things and the person I had longed for was here with me.  Never leaving.  Never stop loving me and filling me with the abundance that is beyond comprehension and understand.  He just is.

He is relentless and takes my passivity and impacts my very life with suffering and shame and guilt and selfishness and turns it into love.  He brings me into places I would never go to do what I could never do.  He turns my blindness into sight, my fear into courage, my self righteousness into dying for others.  I am amazed where does this joy and peace come from.  The absolute beauty of it all, it filters my very being.  I am united.  I am grafted in.  He and I are one, never separable, never to part but to be in oneness in relationship by the Spirit never to leave me no matter how far I run.  His very being was divided, Father and Son, so that I would never be kept  from Christ, the Father, through the Spirit that lives in me, no matter what my sin, my fear, my doubt.  He is with me.  Where can I go dear Lord that you are not there?  You take my breath away.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Knowledge Puffs Up

 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge [a]makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

You mean I am puffed up?  I just thought I was smart lol.  What is the antidote to knowledge? To love God.  My two friends said, "don't over think it".  Well I am up at 4 am over thinking it.  I don't understand but it is comforting for me to understand.  That is why I am here wrestling with why I over think things.  Why it feels good to me to understand.  Why it makes me feel secure to know.  It goes back as far as to Adam and Eve who wanted to be their own God.  They sought the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.  

This passage tells me that these people were seeking to be justified by over thinking whether they could eat meat that was offered up to idols.  It goes on to say it is not the eating of meat nor the not eating of meat that is permissible.   It is to be free to eat as your conscience allows you and to love God.  It makes me feel good to understand because in my thinking, the root of it, is to justify myself rather than be justified by God.

God labored and suffered on the cross that I would not only be free, know I am loved but to give me a clear conscience.  I want to present the idea that it is a troubled conscience that keeps me digging deeper.  It is not an understanding of truth it is the knowledge that says I understand now.  It puffs up. It is arrogant.  It is a pride of the heart that seeks to understand things beyond truth.  We will understand when we see Him face to face but we will never totally or completely understand God.  We will search the mind of God throughout eternity.  Quite frankly this excites me beyond words.  To know more and understand deeper into the thoughts of God.  Well I can never fully understand.  His ways are not my ways. 

I would also like to present the idea that the arrogant is not walking by the Spirit. It is living by the law.  It is desiring to be my own God.  It is the opposite of faith, of trusting and following God not by sight, or understanding, but because I love Him.  It is to be free, to have a clear conscience, to be justified by Christ alone, to be comforted and secure in Him and to know the love of the Father, love Him in return and to have no others Gods before me.  It is to have the heart of a child, to trust my Abba Father with an innocent faith that leaps into His arms without understanding but in knowing He loves me.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I Just Keep Riding and Riding and Riding.

I cannot explain but I will not be with my daughter and she will not be with her children tomorrow on Mothers Day. The first time ever in their lives. I miss my mom and my sister. I will be with my sister soon but my mom has gone to be with the Lord. Some day I will be with her. I am so thankful for the family I will be with tomorrow.

Can I tell you how I feel? When I was a little girl my dog was sick. Dad told me he was going to have to shoot her. I didn't have anything to say. I knew my dad and this was killing him and me. We didn't know of vets and it we did we could we didn't have the money for them. I just got on my bike and starting riding as fast and as hard as I could in the opposite direction til I heart the gun shot go off. Then I kept riding and crying for awhile and I stopped. Then I started home again. Something inside me died that day. I will never forget it. When I got home I told my mom, I don't ever want a dog again. She said Deborah you have to decide if it is better to have loved and lost or never to have loved at all. It was a very long time before I got a dog again, decades. I think I am ready for another.  I think I am ready to love again.

God knows the separation for His child.  For the first time in all eternity He was separated from His Son on the cross as He bore my sins and he could not look on sin.  But the Father and Jesus did this for me.  For me to never be separated from Him, the Father, my Father but to live in constant communion with Him forever.

I have struggled for the last 3 days feeling like I am running away from God as fast and as hard as I can.  I am waiting for the gun shot to go off but it already has, in the very heart of my Lord.  He died, His Father and He felt the pain of the separation that had not ever been felt before, for me, so I would never feel it ever with Him.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I am weak, my energy is all gone...

I have been going, going, going. Some where along the way I lost my constant communion with the Lord. I was tired yesterday but woke at 4 am this morning exhausted. I cancelled most of my plans and just tried to be. I listened to music, took a hot bath and waited. I went for a walk with a friend, did a little running around and then back home. Found some great gifts at half price. It had been an ok day but I was dragging myself through it.

When I got home I felt myself wanting to be by myself, which can be ok, but I was doing it for comfort. I was sad and focusing on my sin. I had been depleted and was returning to my old comforts as a way of coping, a way of feeling secure and comforted.

By Gods grace I went over and picked up the phone to call a friend to point me to Jesus. I knew she would. I had tried all day but I could not inter in. It was like I was pressed against a wall. Like I had four walls around me of protection, and illusion of safety and comfort.

My friend did point me to Christ. She said you maybe disappointed but Christ is not. She offered to pray. I couldn't even do that. THen I began to pray, she prayed, I cried and my heart was still. I am waiting for God to rescue me. I am helpless as we are to go to the moon on our knees. It must be God or I am stuck here. I ask myself, as Jesus as the paralyzed man by the pool. Do you want to be healed? I too was paralyzed. He was going to have to rescue me, heal me and drag me home. My energy is gone.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

No Strings Attached

                                                 No Strings Attached

Well Mom our day is coming, Sunday, Mothers Day.  We all want to be loved and appreciated.  The last words I spoke to my Mom before she died was what a wonderful Mother she had been and how much I loved her.  My daughter wrote a post the other day about how much she appreciated me.  Even before then I began to question my motive for caring for and trying to be such a good mother to my children.  The Spirit was working in my heart.  Then my mentor mentioned strings and Paul Tripp wrote an article today about the Idol of Appreciation.  I knew that was me.  My heart was so thrilled to hear my daughter write of her amazement at what I did effortless seemingly.  Why is that?

What happens to my heart when I don't get the appreciation I think I so deserve.  Someone said you don't know an alcoholic until you take away the alcohol.  When I don't get the response I think I deserve from my children where does my peace and joy go?  

I use to always feel guilty because I couldn't go home like I wanted.  What about when they don't come home as much as you would like?  What if their words criticize you?  What if they don't do the things for you, you hoped they would?  What if they don't turn out like you planned and not appreciating their parents?

Are there strings attached to my serving and loving my family.  Do I do to get them to do what I want?  What manipulate, who me?  What is the condition of my heart?  What am I serving ultimately.  Who ultimately is doing the serving through me.  Am I doing it to the glory to God or to me?  Am I doing it because I love God or because I want, what I want, when I want it?  The praise of man.

God create in me a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within me.  The older I get the more I see this Christian life is impossible for me to live.  God calls us to do the impossible.  Not only are we called to cooperate with what He is doing but He lives it through us.  We love, serve and minister to our family and others because it is Him doing the ministering, the loving through us.  We are giving each other Jesus.  We are His hands, His feet.  It is His compassion through His heart.  We have the words and the very mind of Christ going out to others.  It is Christ in us, the hope of His magnificent glory.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bonded Hearts

It had been 30 years. She called. She would see me tomorrow. I was a little anxious. We had been friends but not particularly close. What could God be doing to bring us together after all this time? She was always so together, beautiful with a precious child. I didn't look the same. My beauty of outward appearance had changed, 17 years of a mental disorder has worn on my body. Beauty had always been so important to me. It was something I could do, be beautiful. I realize this and pray often for an inner beauty that is Christ in me. I got a couple of friends to pray for our time together and my heart.

She knocked on the door. She was as beautiful as ever. She had aged gracefully and not a pound heavier. For a moment my flesh compared the tremendous change in me and hardly any in her.

We went into the family room. She didn't notice the flowers I had picked nor was hungry for the fruit and cookies I had frantically made. Was I still trying to impress people or was I wanting her to feel Christ in my home and welcome? I am not really sure. She had just eaten and was ready to visit. She made me feel relaxed and comfortable as she gazed right into my eyes. It was as if she could see into my very heart.

We began to share our stories back and forth as a rhythm. The path we both had been on had been an equally hard one. We noted how we had both thought the other one had things all together. How no one truly has life together all their life, it is just an illusion. As we continued in this dance I could see Gods faithfulness to her through her difficult times, the blessing of a wonderful daughter, who I have also become acquainted with recently and have come to love, a precious grandchild and one on the way, a loyal husband and the blessings of her son-in-law. God had brought beauty out of ashes in her life and in mine.

I told her as glamorous as my life had been I would not go back. I appreciated the opportunities and the people in my past life but I was not the same. That I had come to know the relentless, radical, passionate love of God as I had never known it before.

She got ready to leave and I was sorry to see her go. Our hearts had bonded and had been revealed. I know her better now in the time we spent together than the five years I had known her in times past. Our time together had been rich and full. I hope to see her again and to stay in touch somehow even though we didn't make any plans. It may even be through her daughter, who knows. My faith had grown and strengthened being with her that day. God is full of blessings and surprises. What joy she left in my heart to just be with her and Jesus in our midst.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Can You Receive?

Matt 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I have been in hard suffering for about 17 years. I am not by any means perfect but I know the way home before dark. I have many days of peace and joy. God is bringing so many blessings my way. I think I don't deserve this. When is the other shoe going to drop? Does God truly love me this much to bless me in such a plentiful way? Yes I know even the suffering is a blessing but we can get where our pain has more power in our eyes than God and His goodness.

Last week I went on a hike with a new friend. As we walked through the trail to the water fall she began to point out tiny little wild flowers to me. Some were hidden under leaves. Some we facing down. She would take her hand lift their heads and tell me the names of each and every one. I posted some pictures of these beautiful creations. I thought apart from her I would not have even seen these tiny little thoughts of God.

About that time a man with his walking stick came rushing by us. He said in passing, "I bet this is pretty in the fall". I told my friend, "he has not seen the first wild flower".

The closer we got to the waterfall the more plentiful the flowers were. The more lush the green was. We got to this magnificent water fall. I took lots of pictures and all I could do was sit down on a huge rock and worship, the God who is our Living Water. What a magnificent day it was.

Do you see God in the tiny things of this world. They are huge. He is revealing HImself in everything everywhere. It is His creation. Just as you learn of an artist by his painting and a writer by his book so you learn about God in His creation. Look for Him. He is there.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Freedom Fighters

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where is your comfort, your refuge?

This is my notes on an article written by Rick Thomas on why we run from one thing to another to find comfort. This is a false gospel or an idol in our lives. We think of idols as something people had long ago but actually we have idols we look to do for us what only Christ can do for us, meet our needs. These idols can even be good things. Here are my notes.

The counselee was a man who was caught up in the internet sin and stopped that and then gained 30 pds. These are the things the counselor helped him with and the Spirit worked in His heart.

The soul that is not at rest needs an occasion to escape to a place from running our own world.

Control - The person who is needing to control a situation does not fully trust God.

Comfort - We seek comfort, rest, security and peace in something besides God. This is our comfort zone. We fight to maintain control because we don't want to lose our comfort.

fear - insecure. Low grade of insecurity motivates us to find comfort or security in things other than God.

unbelief - The biggest idol of them all and the one which leads our fears, which motives us to crave comfort and which motivates us to seize control was unbelief. This man had an unhealthy fear of God. He would never have admitted it but he had to see it.

TASTE AND SEE THE LORD IS GOOD-He saw the corruptness of his soul and how he had been in a slumber as in his relationship to God for years. He renewed his mind in who God is. God is not safe but He is good. He will challenge us in many ways but will not harm us.

The man began to have a distaste for the things of this world, cravings for personal comfort and control. He became bibically risky in the Lord. We begin to trust God in ways we never have before.

Our refuge is in prayer, bible reading, honest conversations.

We have a servants heart, we spread the love of God to others in tangible ways.

Question-Is God first and satisfying or are we finding refuge and in other things?  When things happen, when you are upset or your world is falling apart where do you run, to what for comfort?  Jesus is our comforter....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Be A Risk Taker

I was just thinking I guess I have gone from making my whole life about control, trying to make things change to being cynical, thinking things will never change. There is a third way I know. It has got to be about Christ and staying with life and loving no matter what the results. I have begun this journey but want to grow in deepening my love for people and life. 

My way has been the way of escape from business, to studying, denial, to depression, sleeping, isolation, to being in a daze and addiction. I even suspect my motives with being God are colored with a heart of wanting to be anywhere but in reality. Anywhere life does not hurt me or that I feel no pain.

This life is full of pain, suffering and heartache. Can I embrace life and all it has for me? Can I return the embrace of my Abba with my joys, delights, questions, anger, fear, pain, even cynicism... for comfort, forgiveness, answers, faith, pleasure, peace, joy, and intimacy of hearts. Can I say come Lord, God come and stop running? Instead of looking at my life like a mine field, look at it as a wonderful gift of opportunity and miracles of me changing and loving others just where and who they are, as my Father loves me, no matter what tomorrow may bring.

I wouldn't give anything for my communion with God but He wants it to be continual and my prayers never ceasing. He wants to be one with me in my body and His Spirit and to keep growing in knowing His reckless, beautiful love where He risk it all for me.

"God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing." C.S.Lewis

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Freedom of the Gospel

For some 17 years now I have been frozen. I was afraid to make a decision afraid I would make a wrong one. This maybe a bit extreme for you but are you afraid of sinning so afraid you don't attempt to follow Christ. Afraid you will do the wrong thing? I told a friend yesterday to make a decision and make the wrong one is better than making no decision at all. God uses all things for good. Martin Luther said,
“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”
Grace is free and abundant. Live in the freedom of the gospel my friend.