Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blessing and a curse?

I have had a tooth ache recently.  I noticed when I took my meds the tooth ache went away.  Seemed strange.  Also my body has been aching.  But the same thing happened there too.

I mentioned this to the dentist and she didn't know.  I mentioned it to my doc and he knew right away.  He said the med, that deals with antidepressant tells the brain the pain is not there and to ignore it.  Hmm  He said also we couldn't decrease the med until after my tooth was taken care of because my tooth would weaken my immune system.  I suppose to have a healthy mind you need a healthy immune system.

I talked to my doc about wanting a life style change.  It is so hard, isn't it?  To be healthy.  To make changes.  Sometimes fear brings change but as soon as you get comfortable right back you go.

You know all foods and drink are good because they are a gift from God.  To enjoy God through His gift to you whether it is a Big Mac or a salad is no different, but if you want to be healthy you might want to choose the salad.  But you are not sinning to eat the hamburger unless your conscience bothers you, then you shouldn't eat it.  Also if I am with you and it bothers you, I shouldn't eat it either.  You don't want to cause someone else to stumble,  or do something you think is a sin.  But we are free in Christ and to directly enjoy Him or in directly enjoy Him through His gifts and creation is a wonderful thing.  I don't know if it is the world, the flesh or the devil but my conscience does bother me when I eat things that are not healthy.  It could be the Spirit in me.   Danny,  gets up every night and eats a little Debbie Cake and drinks milk and it doesn't bother him at all.

I have always talked to my guys about enjoying God through their gifts, whether it is sports, riding in a rodeo or farming that to be with God and realize it is a gift from God.  To let it point to Him.

I love to be creative.  I am not very much so, but I enjoy taking pictures and writing and changing up the house, walking the farm and enjoying the animals and the scenery.  How many times do you see the sun rise and think about God?  Look at the stars and wonder about Him?  Scripture says none if us are left with an excuse, because all of creation speaks that God is God and He is bigger and more wonderful than we can imagine.  It speaks of His love to us.

All through scripture God uses creation to illustrate who He is like a tree, a vine, branch, river, fruit, on and on.  Creation speaks of God so when you go for a run, or wash the clothes, watch a secular movie or sing a song about love it all points to God.  When He finished creating, He looked and said it is good.  You are His most valued creation.  Can you imagine?  So enjoy your friends, and family and people in your day, they speak of Christ.  God speaks through them in ways you can't imagine unless you ask the Spirit to help you and listen for it.  If I am talking to my husband about a dinner I am going to make, it can remind Him of the feast we will have with God in heaven or the abundant life we have now or how we commune with Him through communion, or creating, or eating or whatever we do let it point you to God.

I have experienced this and I don't know if I ever would have apart from having my mental illness.  It has been a blessing where God has used to bring me to deeper more precious moments and years with Him.  It also is a curse where a woman that loves to think and study has to fight to read a paragraph and can't most of the time without fighting her thoughts.  Or struggling just to concentrate.

We who have mi wear our hearts on our sleeve. There are many things we commonly deal with.   Just like someone with diabetes, you think they will have to watch their sugar.  There might be many things involved you don't know. Such as genetics and more.  Every illness can ask the question,  how did we not take care or look how the fall has affected me.  But it can be a blessing.  To draw near and be thankful to God than you have ever been or grumble and complain.  I have done both...Today I rejoice and thank Him that He is God and not me.  I am one more blessed crazy lady lol and I just got to tell somebody about my GOD.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Captured by Love, His for us and ours for other things.

I talked to a couple of friends and they said these horrible thoughts are not from the Lord, or Deborah Ford in Christ, that I am a new creation, and they are from the world, the flesh and the devil, Eph 2:1-10.We have all kinds of thoughts in our head and we have to test the Spirits and decide where they come from.  I have a new heart of flesh that replaced my heart of stone and the mind of Christ when I accepted Christ and was adopted by God. The very Spirit of God lives in me. My friend mention Eph. 6:10-20 also and said to rebuke the thoughts and rely on the Spirit and love of Christ. I will always battle with choosing to lean into Christ way and not my way, my old man or flesh, on this earth. But I have the righteousness of Christ and I can choose to live out of that righteousness or the old man, my sinful nature. My identity before Christ in me, who saved me and is helping me live out of the rescue of slavery.  I must repent of the old man and my self reliance, depending on me and trust and depend on Christ and His righteousness and live out of that, who I now am.  The old man has died with Christ and the new creation is alive to Jesus as He lives through us.
Cling to God and resist the devil. We all are in a battle and it is not against flesh and blood. All my old things that had happen, hit me, some unknowingly and some through things that I had done through the mental illness, like attempts from the demands of the voices and how I lived in a different world, removed from life and my family who needed me.  The thoughts were so real to me for many, many years. But not now.  By Gods grace I am able to catch them sooner and i guess my mind is healthier and my beliefs are clearer.  I have a full life with hope and love and joy.  Yes, sometimes still I struggle, but when you have been swept up by the love and joy of God and begin to see it all as a gift, people and situations and you change.  But there are times when the things of this world has captured your heart instead of God.  When you see the waves that capture you one minute, drown you with selfishness the next.
It was so clear…I said, this is all paid for by the Cross of Christ. My sins are forgiven. It was like the chains seemed to fall off as my guilt and shame and fears left me.
I thought, I don’t hate me any more. Sounds strong, but when you continually have to prove your worth by pleasing people and getting their approval, you don't know who you really are.  You don't like yourself.  You are looking for it through others, instead of God, who loves you beyond measure, radically loved. When you feel guilty about sins that are forgiven... I know who I really am more today than ever before.  I thought of the commandment love others as you love yourself. I didn’t love me? I felt insecure even about Gods love for me. I saw when you do not love yourself, you need the approval, acceptance and affirmation from others to feel valuable. When you know Gods love in such a deep way and it has captured your heart, it transforms you and you over flow like waves in an ocean with love to Him and to others. You are free to be led by the Spirit and to give and enjoy love and blessings to others and are blessed by it. Perfect love cast out all fear.
I don’t know what all this means, but I never realized what a battle we all are in and how to fight and keep my eyes on Christ. I am still on my meds and don't think the only problem in my life is warfare and a guilty conscience.  My mind is weak and sick.  But God has used it all to set me free.  To show me His love and how to love myself and others.  It has been a learning experience from several friends, who I ask to pray for me. I was so overjoyed, as my friends talked about how they fight the battle but the battle has been won, and how the Lord fights for us, living in the gospel and relying on the Spirit and the love of God. How the sin and the old man died as they chose Gods way, with the power of the Spirit, brought the change and the power.  We put off our old selfish, self centered ways and chose to love God and others more than ourselves.  It just comes when you have been transformed by the gospel.  But it is not always that easy.  Sometimes it is a battle because of pride and the habit of looking out for our ways and ourselves instead of letting God do that.  It is a matter of, do I trust Him with even the things I don't understand.
A friend reminded me not to give attention to the devil but to keep my eyes on Christ and my relationship and dependence on Him. I so agree with this.
 I am new to warfare but oh so thankful, the battle has been won for us in Christ.  We can live the abundant live to the joy and glory and praise to the Lord.  We can know contentment in all circumstances, even the really hard things that come to us in this fallen world, when we are captured by His love and see His faithfulness to His children.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

In Love all over again

Sorry this is late.  I really don't know what to write so I am going to go with the flow.  My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, 45, a few weeks ago.  Some where along the way I had lost my wedding band, I had two actually I had lost, silver and gold.  They were of course too small after all these years so I wasn't wearing them anyway.  I ask Danny if I could get a new one for our anniversary.  He said yes.  He said just a band right lol.  I said yes.  Later he said I will pay for it. lol  I said oh, oh great, thanks. lol

Anyway I went looking for just a plain band like I had and I saw some ring guards I also had had made.  So I came home and ask him to open the safe and look for my guards.  They weren't there.  We went to the bank to look in the safe deposit box and they weren't there either.  So I kept saying Jesus it is ok.  It is just stuff.  I tore the house apart.  I found all kinds of things.  I had put jewelry in boxes, in purses, over the years I had just stuck it in places thinking I wouldn't forget it.  I just haven't really worn real jewelry in many years.  I had tried to give some to the girls and Lee.  But they wouldn't take it and Danny wanted me to keep it.  He use to give me some really pretty pieces.

Anyway I didn't find the guards but I found both my wedding bands, my cross, and my initial ring my parents had given me in high school.  I was so delighted.  These pieces had sentimental value.  I showed Danny, still hoping I would find the other pieces.  He was happy.

I don't really know why I told you this story but to celebrate with me.  I don't know when I have been happier or more in love with my husband than now.  We have had ups and downs.  He could have left me many times and so I guess I could have him but we just plain didn't think it was an option.  I don't think God has used anything like my marriage to bring me to my knees and also some times that were bigger than life.  I am a very blessed woman and I know it most every day even when times are hard with medications and so forth like the other night when I was coming off some meds I was allergic to.  It was really hard.  I slept 4 hrs and was really sick and obsessed over many things.  How my friends, Danny and my children and other family have put up with me I don't know.  But I love you all.

I gave Danny the pictures he wanted framed of him and Lee, made a chocolate pie, I have about eaten all up and he ask me what I wanted and I said tulips.  I think one thing that has changed in our marriage is I am secure and he is secure in our love for each other.  What has helped is us being secure in Gods love for us.  We don't look for each other to prove anything.  That is how it is with Jesus.  We are a picture of Christ and His bride the church.  We love each other unconditionally but are always striving to love each other better.  This is all of the grace of God and I know that and I am very thankful.  It has been nothing earned but somehow along the way we began to love the other person more than we love ourselves.  As I said we don't look for each other to do for us, like make us whole or feel loved or accepted that only Jesus can do for us.  One of my friends moms said somehow along the way I quit trying to change my husband and loved him for who he was.  I miss him so much.  She had lost her husband a few years ago and was so precious talking about their marriage as she gave me wisdom in how to love Danny better.  I have learned from many of you.

So goodnight friends.  Maybe you have lost your mate, maybe you have had a previous marriage, maybe you have never married.  God has a plan for your life and Jesus is enough.  When you know that kind of love you are free to love those around you.  This is what I hope my children continue to learn as they are amazing in how they love people and I had nothing to do with it because I was one jealous, selfish wife who has learned so much over her life time.  Happiness is a choice and Jesus is our Joy!  If you are not, as the Lord how to enjoy Him more through His creation.  He communicates to us through it and we give Him glory as we allow it to point us to Him through it.

As for me...I am in love all over again.  I know and enjoy life and people more than I ever thought possible.  It truly is the abundant life in which He gives each of us.  We can find it in Him...As Jesus says...return to your first Love, Him.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Slow to speak, 70X7

Last time I wrote, I mentioned making some changes.  I have noticed several things with that remark...There is more to change than I ever imagined and two it is harder to change than I expected and three sometimes you hurt the ones who have forgiven you the most and four, Jesus grace never runs out and five, sometimes you may wonder if there is enough forgiveness for even you.

What I have discovered is what a sinner I am.  God tells us His law is to love God with your whole heart, mind and strength and your people in your life, love them as you do yourself.  I see just how far I am from keeping the law of God...from loving God perfectly and others...Sometimes you have to fail in order to see just how bad you fail.  It takes that for it to touch your self righteousness.  To see how much you love yourself more than others or God.

I am going to hope to share in the next little while, some ways the Spirit is illuminating the ways I fail in loving God and people.  Tonight is the first at recognizing again and again that sometimes it is best to say nothing.  Silence is golden.  Be still and know that He is God.  I can be blind because of the demands of my flesh to be right, important, significant, selfish, more than I love those in my life.  I think of the wounds of Jesus and then the wounds my words can cause.  I can defend and rationalize until the damage is done.  It can seem so right at the time to be right.  The problem is who is all right?  Certainly not me but I think at times I am and that seems more important than people.  I should be slow to speak instead of wanting to be first and right.  My reputation and knowledge seems to be more important than loving and obeying God.

As I confess these sins, I pray, heal my friends wounds.  I try to blame this on my illness but I am afraid it is my lack of love.  No excuses.  As I do all I can to make it right all I can do is to trust my damage made with Jesus.  By His stripes we are healed.  By our words we are scared or used to build others up and for the purposes of God.  May I please learn the difference Lord before I speak or write and not after.  It seems I am still doing the same thing.  Yes change is hard.  Please change me Lord and wash me whiter than snow as I grieve and am so broken over the pain I can and have caused others.  Let me learn to lay my life down for people and point us all to the One who laid His life down for His own.  Or just be silent and wait on Jesus who draws us all to Himself.  Please restore multiple times what I have harmed.  Forgive me 70X7 and more Jesus please.  I really cannot count them all but I don't want to forget what I have done.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Take off the old, put on the new

"Two Coats"

Two coats were before me
An old and a new
I asked my sweet master
Oh what must I do

The old coat was ugly
So tattered and torn
The other a new one
Had never been worn

I'll tell you the best thing
I ever did do
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

The first man was earthy
And made from the ground
We bore all his image
The whole world around

The next was my savior
From heaven so fair
He bought me this new coat
You now see me wear

I'll tell you the best thing
I ever did do
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

Now this coat it suits me
And keeps me warm
It's good in the winter
It's good in the storm

My savior has dressed me
In a garment so rare
He bought me this new coat
You now see me wear

I'll tell you the best thing
I ever did do
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

I'll tell you the best thing
I ever did do
I took off the old coat
And put on the new

Since Christmas I have struggled and been unstable.  I would put on my old sweat shirt and go to bed.  Talking to God, fighting the thoughts that I felt disrespect Him and tortured me.  We did med changes, tweeting them from time to time, going to dr visits and evaluating again.  No change.

I would fight the thoughts.  Go to God that Jesus is enough for me and covered my sin.  I have to tell you I felt His displeasure. Feelings are not always true.  Gods Word is true. I ask... What would happened to me if the thoughts kept being worse.  There seemed to be no end.

It came to me from friends to not fight the thoughts but to trust in God and let them so.  I tried and it was so hard not to correct them in my head and analyze them over and over as I spiraled.  I continually said I love you God, I love you.  You know my heart and I love you.  I would grow weary and tired and confused not knowing what I was saying.  I felt there must be spiritual warfare and I trusted God to fight my battle for me knowing satan was defeated at the cross and I was Gods beloved Child.

Then it occurred to me, my suffering was not wasted.  God had a plan for me before time.  That the suffering was not in vain.  That God gives and God takes away.  It was a plan for my good and I was giving Him glory by trusting in Jesus for my sin.  I could find peace and joy just in my Savior and Lord.  That no matter what was going on in my life I could be content in Christ because I was secure because I was in Christ and He was in me.  That He loved me with an everlasting love and nothing would change that or separate me from the Father, Jesus or Spirit.

So I took a shower, got dressed and went to my closet one day.  There was a bag and as I lifted it up there was a new coat.  I think of that surprise today as I have seen God is doing a new thing in me always.  That He wants me to put off the old man and on with the new.  That I am a new creature in Christ. I am sealed with the Spirit.  This is what I have been trying to learn from the Gospel Primer posted by Rick Thomas...

As long as I am stricken with the guilt of my sins, I will be captive to them, and will often find myself re-committing the very sins about which I feel most guilty. 
The Devil is well aware of this fact; he knows that if he can keep me tormented by sin’s guilt, he can dominate me with sin’s power. - The Gospel Primer

I don't know what tomorrow brings but I know this suffering is meant for me to spread the gospel of Christ.  I must seek to rest in His finished work for me and live in the moment of His grace. I have been declared NOT GUILTY.   His work will always be enough to help me, strengthen me, give me wisdom, forgive me and keep me.  So grace be to you dear friend.  Maybe your life isn't what you planned either.  There is no one greater than our God in deciding what is best.  It is not always easy but to trust Him and His righteousness for us is to put on the robe of righteousness.  Living what is not what we hope to be but who we are and He is.  Christ came to set the captives free!  You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.