Friday, August 21, 2015

But By The Grace Of God

So many times when I would see someone less fortunate then I, maybe in a crowd or on the side of the road, these very words would come to my  mind, " but by the grace of God, go I",  ICorinthians 15:10. When I would utter these words my heart would say, "that could be me, or my father or brother or son".   It both humbled and chastised me.  It reminded me to not to think of myself better or more important and also reminded me to pray for this person.  It didn't matter how they got to where they were in life because in my heart it brought me to my knees.  A profound sadness and thankfulness at the same time.  Anything that can have that kind of affect on me, deserves to have my full attention.  So then grace I felt, was a gift from God that is not earned and not deserved.  

Now let me tell you I believe we all fall short of deserving any good gift, but God can do whatever He chooses with His servants and I for one, am very happy that He is just and fair. I then put grace in a neat little box, with a big bow and checked it off my list.  So I am going along in life and things were shifting as they often do in prayer life and I was beginning to find it very hard to just naturally do the right thing.  I mean I thought I had it pretty much under control,  but lately, I was finding it difficult to do the right thing, right away. It was in the small incidents at first and then little by little I couldn't remember certain verses I memorized, I felt like my common sense wasn't making any sense. I was in a boat without an oar.  My wisdom and right thinking  seem to be flying out the window.  I wasn't happy or fulfilled, I was disgusted with myself.  To get to this age with so much water under the bridge to find out I never got rid of the old demons, to realize that they can  still can be conjured up felt very disheartening.   The good news is that I was aware of it, I mean I felt convicted. Though I must confess it just reminded me that I am totally powerless when it comes to old demons.  I cannot fight them on my own.

Then one day while watching one of my shows on TV a preacher spoke about grace and a light bulb went off.  He said that grace was the power the Holy Spirit gives you so that you don't sin, that is why you pray for it everyday in every situation where you are tempted to sin.  Wow, power to keep me from sinning, power to help me do the right thing even in spite of myself.  I felt so relieved that I had help and not just any help but the Holy Spirit who is the one Jesus left here to help us in the first place.  Why was I trying all this time to do the right thing,  when the right thing was to invite the Holy Spirit was standing in the doorway beckoning me to let Him in.  God already had Plan B in place the moment that sin (from Adam) entered the world, He knows us better than we know ourselves.    Hmmm, grace is my new best friend,  I love grace. 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

The War Within

"If Anyone is in Christ he is a new creature, the old is passed away."  2 Corinthians 5:17. So many times, I have read that passage and yet I suppose I couldn't  really understand it. It is as though my,"prayer time"  and my so called, "real life,"  fought  continuously to be kept separate.  It was a raging war, one in which I didn't  really engage in, unless they collided.  You all know that moment when your conscious decides not to be polite, it  decides to speak louder than usual and there is this struggle  in your natural body to fight for your rights, no matter what.  Well, after doing my bible study this morning,  it occurred to me that I have spent too much of my time and energy, in what I call that "dead zone".  It was a dead zone because, I never seem to win the war, temporarily I would feel great, free and wonderfully happy.  But then some little memory would enter in,  just a little bit and the process would just continue and into battle I would go. I mean really, isn't it  ridiculous to be at war with yourself?    I would go willingly in that daily battle, buckled up with God's armor.   His word in my mouth, with the knowledge that Jesus died for me and He promised me that peace and love and blessings would follow.   If  I only believed.  Well,  I do believe with all my heart,  but I think somewhere deep inside I must also believe it was  for other people in  far off lands.   If my dear Lord and Savior paid it all, why for the life of me , was I fighting this losing battle every day to keep my mind free of negative thoughts.  I mean I just couldn't understand  how to forgive, whole heartily, without  battling the memories.  Eventually the memories would fade but every once in a while those memories would come back to haunt  me.  I wanted my inside to match my outside.  Quite frankly, something was wrong, because, I knew Jesus paid it all, so why was I still paying?

So I decided at this stage in my life to go into this, "dead zone," so that I could gain some insight on what this scripture was saying and how I could apply it.  While in  communion with God as I was letting Him speak, I let down walls and God spoke to me in something I read,  "Cease trying to forgive those who fretted or wronged you.  It is a mistake to think about it.  Aim at killing the self now -- in your daily life, and then, not until then, you will find there is nothing that even remembers injury, because the only one injured , the self, is dead.  As long as it recurs in your mind you deceive yourself if you think it is forgiven."  Wow, "as long as it recurs in your mind you deceive yourself if you think it is forgiven."

So in a nutshell, I just thought I was forgiving, but I wasn't handing it over to God, I was still holding on to just a little bit of the hurt,  in case I needed it for future reference.  If you are battling something in your mind , you are still trying to win this battle by yourself.  You are not allowing the new creature to dominate your mind.  Your mind  becomes your battlefield.   In and of ourselves we cannot forgive, the very act of forgiving means putting our hurts into the foreground and that injury becomes more instead of less. We cannot forgive  others, until we believe that we are forgiven, we cannot give something away we don't have in our possession. The new creature, this scripture is talking about, is created in our minds, through our beliefs.  Until we rid ourselves of our old self and become a new creature , we will continue the battle, but there will always be a battle.

I decided long ago not to do battle, I choose to hold no offense towards anyone.  I believe that love is the answer, it is who God is.  So when we can accept God's love for us, we bring God into the situation and that is  that is how we win the war, God's love for us will cause us to love others and see them as God see's them. 

We all fall short and  the world is not all about me.   I will choose to find out what is on the other side of that rainbow, I will remember to continue to let it go and let God, to enjoy this wonderful life and to get rid of the old baggage, (old self).

Well,  we really can't take it with us anyway.    Happy trails.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Can We change Our Nature?

Of course a  scorpion can't resist an action that comes naturally to it.  When it feels threatened it will sting.  Sometimes I feel like we expect people to act in a certain way, even though by their very actions  we see that  they are incapable of resisting that final sting. So when the turtle cried to the scorpion, "But you promised not to sting me.".  The scorpion replied, "Yes, I know .  But I couldn't resist.  You see it is in my nature to sting."  

We are each born with our own unique nature. Our nature reveals who we are to the world and those close to us.    In fact I personally believe that  our true nature reveals itself best when we do not have time to think about how we will be judged by others.  God honors our free will.  That is why even though He loved us first, He still waits for us to invite Him in.  When we use our free will to invite Him in, it will change our nature.   If  God honors our free will, how much more will He honor Jesus's presence in us?  The more we invite the presence of Jesus into our daily lives the more our nature, becomes like His.  His will for us becomes our desire.  The words in the bible become alive. All of a sudden when you hear,  "He will give us the desires of our heart ," it becomes something we can truly believe because we are experiencing it.  This is a very intimate exchange between yourself and God.  He is allowing you to feel how He feels.  To see others as He sees them.  It opens the door for Him to share other things with you.  It literally changes your life to have that presence inside of you.  How do we become familiar with Jesus's nature and His will?  The  only way I know of, is to read His words that are found in the Bible, so that those words become a part of who we are.  I pray my words do not diminish the profoundness of this revelation.    In my opinion, when Jesus prays "thy will be done," He is praying that we experience God's will to become our will.

My hope and prayer is that we can all experience God's will for our lives.  Also that we remember we all are born with free will and our human nature,  but it is what we do with it, that  truly allows us to live this life as God designed it to be.  

The value of seeking out God's will for our lives cannot really be understood without finding out who He is through His word.  This is  how we develop a  relationship with Him and begin to recognize His voice when He speaks to us.  What are you waiting for?

  "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthian 13: 12-13

Friday, May 4, 2012

There Was An Angel In Our Midst

Do we go with the majority or do we stay in the safety of our beliefs.  Do we speak up for what we believe or do we sit quietly and try not to throw pearls among swine.  How do we separate the sin from the sinner without compromising our souls.  How do we remain loving, when we want to just shake the dust off of our sandals, never to return again.

Our world today so confusing, so many new and unique cultures, beliefs, differences.  There must be that line that is drawn in the sand.  But I believe that line must be drawn before we reach the crossroad.  Way before we come face to face with a situation that is uncomfortable you find yourself reaching for something to take your eyes away from looking or your mouth from speaking and your feet from running.  I myself have always been a runner, I could outrun anything and everyone, I ran so fast, I even ran past myself, a couple of times.  But there are those moments that take your breath away.  Death!!!  It is so unsettling, scary, painful.  Yet how we will handle it is so much more important.  It is hard to be glib when speaking about profound loss and pain.  But this is my mom who left us and I must give her a tribute.  I want to say how much I admired her.  Her strength, innocence, little girl like qualities are forever engraved in my heart.  The violation I feel of her being taken away is so wrong, so selfish.  God needed her to come home.  I call her my angel because, she sacrificed so much for her children.  I never looked at her as a single woman taking care of four children, but that is what she was. She ran a business, she left us with more stories then we can shake a stick at.  She didn't complain, her release was playing cards, until she could no longer do that.  Ironic, even though my parents were divorced my dad did the same thing with his golf, he lost his battle for life when his game of golf got taken away, by the ravage of time.  So now we face life without them.

I am sure there will be a lesson through all of this.  Right now though, while it is still so soon since my mom's passing, here is what is working for me.  Take heart, don't loss faith, when you want to run, run to God, press in until He answers you, bang on His door until He opens it.  After you have done all of this, let Jesus comfort you and give you rest.  Death could not hold Jesus it will not hold any of His believers.  His grave is empty and our loved ones are already with Him.  What we cannot understand only needs our trust, our faith, and belief in God. God will reveal truths to us as we press into Him.  He does not tell us everything because we cannot handle everything.  Trust and believe.  What I think about most  is that, our loved ones  have wings now and will be able to go  anywhere you are as long as you carry them in your heart.  Mom and I spent the morning washing my car and watering my flowers.  Can't wait to see what we will do tomorrow. God Bless, be well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are You , "and Peter," Too?

"But go, tell his disciples and Peter, " He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him," " just as he told you."   These are the words spoken by an angel  to  Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of James, and Salome.  The women had come to anoint the body of Jesus, they were not expecting to find a resurrected body.  When I became aware of  the, "and Peter," part of this scripture, my heart began to race.  With everything going on in Jesus' life, without missing one beat He once again confirmed that He was instructing  the angel to speak on his behalf.  By instructing the women to go tell His disciples and making a point to say ,"and Peter."  Jesus knew that Peter was feeling  horrible.  Here you have a man like Peter, who was already chosen to be the rock that God was going to build his church upon, prideful, stubborn, determined, loyal, and self sufficient.  This man Peter who promised Jesus that he would never, ever deny him.  Who made a promise to Jesus, and probably meant ever word of it.  But then, at the very first crow of the cock, until the third crow of the cock, Peter denied ever  knowing  Jesus, three times.  Yet Jesus purposely mentions Peter by his name, to emphasize that He had forgiven him. It was such a personal thing to let  Peter know, that  Jesus Christ had forgiven him.  This revelation was so empowering, and yet so indescribable that I feel like it  pierces  my heart and soul just talking about it here.  To think our God  would have gotten  on that cross even if  I was the only one here to save.

 I find myself too many times in that, "and Peter," situation. where I beat myself  up, and put on those old records, you know the ones  that tell me how unimportant and insignificant I am.  But now I know better, I know that God will allow those, "and Peter", times to allow me to rely on Him and not my own self worth.  To see that I am perfectly and wonderfully made and that the closer I get to him the more He is able to use me for the purpose that I was created for.  The more I live my life according to that purpose, the more beautiful I become, inside and out.  When He speaks to me and I began  hearing what He has to say about me through His word, I no longer have to play those old records, but rather I now have a new song.  A song that is filled with a bright future and wonderful plans, enormous imagination and hope.

To all the, "and Peters,"  out there,  if Jesus can personally send a message through an angel to Peter, will He not also do that for you?  No more excuses, Jesus has not forsaken or forgotten you, He is calling you to come see.  See, He has risen,  He is alive, no grave can hold him.  Now that is good news.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Take Heart We Are Living In God's Covenent

"If you are facing trouble today, TAKE HEART!  Be courageous and confident in Jesus Christ who you serve.  Because of His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead."

Where does this confidence come from?  How can we be sure we are the saints that the bible talks about?  In my constant search for God's truth and in my daily walk with Him,something extraordinary occurred to me.    Now listen because it is so delicate, I fear it might get lost, in translation.

Covenants are very important to God, everything is based on God's word.  The power, faith, promises, healing, all and everything, all beginnings, all endings.  When God actually signals someone out of a crowd and makes a covenant with them it is huge.  Not only is it of the utmost importance but it is always paving the way for the ultimate sacrificial lamb, in the person of Jesus Christ.

 Ever since Eve bit into that apple when she was deceived by the serpent, God has been busy planning a way for us to come back home to Him.  Sin causes so much wasted valuable time and resources, but then that is another article.  Okay back to covenants.  Such was the case in the beginning with Abraham.  A covenant that spoke not of things that were, but of things that were to be.  Incredible things that seemed   impossible at the time.  Abraham was 100 years old when he was promised to be the father of many nations.  Sarah was ninety.  Impossible?  Yet, one year later his son Isaac was born and from Abraham we get the twelve tribes of Israel.  All through the bible, we get to see the end of the stories, but those particular stories started with a covenant, of which the end was unknown.  In the story of David,  the people of Israel no longer wanted to have a judge over them and they begged God for a king,( like everyone else had), so God gave them what they asked for. King Saul was not a man after God's own heart and proved to be a grave disappointment.  So God  in His infinite mercy and grace chose Jesse's son David, the keeper of the sheep to be the next king.  It would be fifteen years passed before God's anointed became king.  The journey to this kingship  for David, was not only filled with battles against king Saul (who out of jealousy was trying to kill him), but also a battle within himself, as God prepared him.  In spite of David's imperfections, he became a man after God's own heart. God always knew David's heart.

The point is, whenever there is a covenant in the bible, between God and man, there are three elements  that always accompany it, an outward sign, a sacrifice and a solemn oath.  Usually it starts with love, trust and obedience.  God would speak, man would obey by supplying the sacrifice, God would give His oath.

Now here is the part I can't wait to share with you.  In the case of our Savior dying on the cross, our heavenly father made a covenant with us.  You and I have a solemn oath from God, wow!!   Not only, did He love us first, but He sent His only Son, to dye on the cross for us, (God Himself supplied the sacrifice),  rose from the dead, (our sign),  then said, "whoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life", John 3:16, our solemn oath!!!  Till next time!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Take Up Your Shield Of Faith


"No weapon formed against me shall prosper",  Isaiah 54:17. therefore, forgive what others do to you.

What others do to you has no power over you, except for the  power you allow it to have, by harboring unforgiveness.  This happens once you allow unforgiveness  to take the place of your pain.  You have no idea how much power you  give over to your enemy by doing this.   I suppose if we can remember that we are not fighting a physical enemy but a spiritual one, that maybe we can feel more compassion for the person who has hurt us.  Because,  "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"  1 Peter 5:8.  We did not earn forgiveness, don't make others have to earn it.  Don't allow them to control you by holding them accountable to you.  You choose to forgive them and then stop talking about what they did to you.  When you start thinking about what they did to you, remember what Christ did for you.  " But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:20  Whenever, we handle mistreatment with forgiveness, favor from God will show up to protect us.  Wow!

Talk to the demons that are behind the words others are speaking against you .  Recognize them, speak God's words to them, it is the only weapon that is needed to fight the principalities.  "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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

God's words, are, our shield of faith.  Don't let other people have control over you by expecting them to apologize to you, take your power back and choose to forgive by faith, and watch what happens.