Monday, November 20, 2017

No Greater Love

No one has ever loved me greater!

No one could ever love me more!

The greatest expression of love, affection and commitment has already been given to me!

So what am I waiting for?  Why don't I believe it?

Why do I yearn for a lesser form of love, affection and commitment to be shown to me?

Why do I fret and stress about a lack of love, affection and commitment shown by man when even if man gave his very best effort, it would still pale in comparison?  It would never be enough.

I must grasp + grab a hold of + believe + receive + soak in this TRUE LOVE that I already have!

My dream has been fulfilled!  My yearning has been satisfied!  My thirst has been quenched!  My need has been met! 

John 15:13 (AMPC)
"No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends."



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

O' Man, Whoever You Are

What do I judge in others that I do myself?

Watch out!  Be careful!

Humble yourself or you will be humbled!

Holy Spirit reveal to me and convict me of this sin of passing judgement on others when I am guilty of the very thing I harshly condemn!

Lord, give me a humble heart.  Help me to see the truth about myself and not consider myself greater or better than anyone else.  Don't allow me to fool myself, to deceive myself into thinking that my heart is clean, that my mind is pure, free of guilt.

Only by YOUR GRACE am I made clean and pure!  

Only because You forgive me and cleanse me and restore me.

I have nothing to boast or brag about.  Nothing to feel proud about.  

I don't have a leg to stand on.  I can only stand on Christ - the Solid Rock!

I can't stand on my own!  (This turns out to be a gift!)

But, I can stand on Christ!  (Because as a result I get to stand truly firm.)

Romans 2:1 (AMPC)
"Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another.  For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habituallly practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce]."


"On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand."
Hymn titled "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less" by Edward Mote, 1834

Psalm 62:6-7 (ESV)
"He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Square Pegs

As a follower of Christ you don't fit in with the crowd.

You are different:  You do things they would never do and the things they do, you would never do.  You think differently.  You see things differently.

They seem carefree and unphased about many things.  They seem fun and free.

You feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round world.  You are careful and cautious and consider your steps.  You fight against your flesh; fight to make your very thoughts surrender.  You fight on a daily basis to humble and go lower. 

Sometimes it feels like you are a prisoner.  But in reality, aren't we all?  The questions isn't whether or not you are a prisoner but who you are a prisoner to.  Because in the end, voluntarily being a prisoner of Christ's is the way to freedom.  And the freedom of the world leads to being a prisoner of a different sort. 

The key is to learn to find Christ's freedom in the midst of your voluntary imprisonment.  The freedom that comes from understanding and knowing deep down that you are loved and forgiven and accepted as a son, as a daughter.  You were planned with a purpose.  You are not just some random product of an accidental universe.  Not at all! 

This amazing, mysterious and majestic universe has a Creator who is even more amazing, mysterious and majestic.

And He is the same Creator who created you!  He wants you to let Him love you and free you.  Once you understand that, you become free indeed!  Once you understand that and truly take it in, you are truly carefree. 

Because nothing else is as important as that.  There's nothing - absolutely nothing - in this life, in this world that you need more than that. 

And that most important thing that you want and need?  It's already yours!  And no one and no thing can take it away!

And once you realize that, you don't care so much anymore about being a square peg.  You actually learn to appreciate it and enjoy it.  You even revel in your squareness.  Because it reminds you of who you are and Who's you are!

You lay your cares at His feet and He frees you of the weight of them.  You choose to trust. You learn to rest.  You become carefree indeed.  He frees you from your sin.  He frees you from your cares.

And if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36 (ESV)
"So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

1 Peter 5:7 (AMPC)
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."

Romans 8:38-39 (AMPC)
"For I am pursuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Relationship or Results?

We foolishly turn our attention - our hearts - our minds - our desires - our hopes & dreams - to the things of this world.  

We exchange gold for clay.

We give up the real thing for the counterfeit.

We look for instant gratification and we try to make things happen in our own strength.

We treat life like it's a formula:  If I do A-B-C, the outcome will be X-Y-Z.

We are not interested in relationship, we just want the result.

We want the dividends without the investment.

We trade in the Creator for the created.

Wake up!

We have access to THE IMMORTAL GOD and all the Glory and Majesty and Excellence that accompanies Him!

Don't be fooled!  Don't become complacent and indifferent!  Fight against your flesh!  Fight for Him!

He is all you really want!

He is all you really need!

Romans 1:20-23 (AMP)
20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. 21 For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

If You Let Him...

We are used to throwing away old things.  We donate them, give them away or simply throw them in the trash. 

And then we buy the newest, nicest version and start over, fresh!

Sometimes we want God to do the same thing with our lives.  

To just take away the things we don't like anymore, the things that aren't working anymore, the things we can't figure out, or think we can't handle anymore.

We just want a CLEAN SLATE!

Get rid of the hard and complicated.  Get rid of the messes we've made.  Make it all disappear.  

Bring on the new!  Yes, the new, the shiny, the modern, the easy, the comfortable, the safe, the secure!

But God is in the business of restoring, remodeling, renewing and redeeming!  

The hard work of painstakingly taking something apart and fixing, cleaning, repairing, and reshaping.

And then putting it back together again.  

Giving new life to the old one.

He doesn't just take away our problems, and rarely does He make the bad disappear.  

But He does re-purpose them!  

He is patient to do the painstaking work in us, walking with us, showing us the way through.

Correcting us.  Teaching us.  And helping us know what we should do.

So don't waste your time hoping for a lightning bolt - that finger of God to come and just ZAP your problems away.  

But get ready to take His hand instead, and let Him mentor you, tame you, change and train you.  

If you let Him, He will make you new!

Revelation 21:5(ESV)
...“Behold, I am making all things new.” ...“Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

 Romans 8:28(AMP)
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Come, Holy Spirit

I want You, Holy Spirit.  The You that makes me feel touched and tender.  The You that makes me feel listened to and understood.  The You that makes me feel strong and brave in the face of adversity.  The You that takes my worries away and makes my heart feel peace.  Yes, I want more of You, Holy Spirit!  The You that makes me FEEL.

But, Holy Spirit, what I am afraid of is the You that calls me to do. The You that asks me to die to myself and leave my comfort zone.  The You that requires self-sacrifice and self-discipline.  The You that pushes me to humble myself to a level I thought neither possible nor necessary.  The You that stretches me to the point that it hurts.  The You that wants me to reach-out and speak-out; to scoop up and love; to bow down and serve; to give and give and give.  Yes, it's true. I'm afraid I could never live up to the You that calls me to DO.

But, oh, how I do want to be useful to You.  The You that transforms, renews, and breathes new life! The You that restores and redeems and refreshes.  The You that opens blind eyes, heals hurt hearts and changes stubborn minds.  Yes, I want to be used by You!  The You that makes everything NEW.

I desperately need You, Holy Spirit.  The You that gives me guidance and wisdom to choose the right path.  The You that gives discernment to see beyond the obvious of what is being done and said.  The You that gives conviction of sin along with the desire and foresight to steer clear.  The You that patiently gives reminders of the things you have already taught me and showed me and brought me through.  The You that gives comfort to my heart and freedom to my soul.  Yes, I surely do need You. The You that gives and gives and GIVES.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Consider Your Ways

Haggai 1:5 (AMP)
Consider your ways and set your mind on what has come to you.


Are you unfruitful, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, unproductive, inefficient, lacking, and frustrated in spite of your hard work and effort?

Haggai 1:6 (ESV)
You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.


Take an honest look at yourself, your habits, your work ethics, and your character.

Haggai 1:7 (AMP)
Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) and how you have fared.


Have you been obedient and faithful to what He asked you to do?  Have you been diligent?

Or have you become distracted and focused on your own comfort and well-being.  Have you settled into building your "own house"?

In Haggai, God shows his displeasure through inflation, bad crops, and bad weather because his people had not completed the construction of the Temple like He had instructed them to do.

Haggai 1:9 (AMP)
You looked for much [harvest], and behold, it came to little; and even when you brought that home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of My house, which lies waste while you yourselves run each man to his own house [eager to build and adorn it].


Sometimes God uses difficult and unpleasant circumstances to get our attention and help us get back on track.

Haggai 1:12 (AMP)
Then (they) listened to and obeyed the voice of the Lord their God [not vaguely or partly, but completely, according to] the words of Haggai the prophet, since the Lord their God had sent him, and the people [reverently] feared and [worshipfully] turned to the Lord. (Parenthesis mine)


When He helps us get back on track, we are revived and restored from the inside out and we become fruitful and productive once again.

Haggai 1:13-14 (AMP)
Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people saying, I am with you, says the Lord. And the Lord aroused (their spirits).  (Parenthesis mine)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Help Us Lord, Each One.

We all have things about our lives that we wish were different, that seem unfair, and that are hard to swallow with a smile.

We have the tendency to feel the need to help solve and fix the problems of the people we love.  And we hope other people can fix ours too. But we are looking in the wrong place.

Because only God can fix those hard-to-heal hurts.  Whether He changes our circumstances or changes our hearts - He is the only One who can take on that responsibility.

Only He is capable of molding and shaping a heart - healing it, softening it, making it more understanding and forgiving and humble and gentle.

We can love and encourage and be understanding and sympathetic.  We can offer our help and be generous and sensitive and even sacrifice ourselves.  We can apologize and forgive and agree to let go of the past.

But in the end, each heart has to look up to Him to receive the true transformation that comes from trusting Him completely, believing in His love and affection; yielding heart and mind to His will and His ways.

Help us, Lord, each one.

Hebrews 12:2 (AMP)

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Love is Kind

Kindness: [kahynd-nis] noun. The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Fighting fair.
Putting yourself in the other's shoes.
Choosing to remember all the good.
Extending the grace and forgiveness that you have already received.
Admitting your mistakes.
Choosing your words wisely.
Learning to practice patience.
Anticipating needs.
Going out of your way to bless.
Being helpful.
Listening beyond the words spoken.
Overlooking offenses.
Accepting reality vs: what might have been.
Protecting, not exposing.
Lifting up, not tearing down.
Transparency.
Giving the benefit of the doubt.

Taking the time to think about how you would like to be treated before you react or respond or confront or correct.

1 Cor. 13:4 (ESV)Love is... kind.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Love Letters from Jesus

Billowy clouds.  Deep dark blue skies. Sun rays shining through pine needles.  Colorful birds singing.  Breezes blowing.  Big white fluffy snow flakes falling.  Snowed in, all warm and snug.  The crisp scent of winter - it's cold air filling my lungs.

Green leaves budding.  New flowers popping up.  Colors everywhere. Yellow, Pink, White, Red, Purple, Blue.  New life.  Renewed hope.  Rain falling, quenching thirst.  The earth revived - refreshed.  The beauty of spring brings rest and retreat.  Squirrels playing hide and seek. Cotton-tailed bunnies hopping about.  That nostalgic smell of honeysuckle that transports me to another place and time.

The warmth of the sun.  The greenness of the grass - that invigorating aroma when it's fresh cut.  The sky so clear and bright.  Crepe Myrtles in every shade of pink and purple and red.  Lazy kitties stretched out on front porches.  Warm summer breezes warming my heart and soul.

Trees transforming before my eyes - orange, yellow and red.  Bird's nests balancing up high in their branches.  The smell of firewood burning, smoke floating up from chimneys.  Wind chimes chiming, crickets chirping. Shapes in the clouds:  a fish, a boat, a ship.  The sensational swirling of a flock of birds - a free airshow extravaganza overhead.  A cozy cappuccino in the middle of fall.  Words of encouragement from a far-away friend.

He is there, in every detail...secretly slipping me his love letters...smothering me in love, while the world goes on, oblivious around me.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thank You, Lord!

Thank you, Lord...
for speaking, for revealing, for convicting,
for redeeming, for encouraging, for correcting,
for loving, for forgiving, for comforting,
for renewing, for reminding, for teaching,
for guiding, for assuring, for FREEING!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Learning to Cast

I hate this weight I feel on my shoulders, in my chest.  I want to be free from it.  I mentally choose to cast it on You, Lord - like You say to do!  Please teach me, show me and remind me throughout the day, every day, to do this continually.  To cast it all on You.  The unknowns, the uncertainties, the mistakes, the failures, the results of my lack of discipline or wisdom or obedience.

Jesus, take all of it, please, and redeem it all -  make it into something beautiful and useful.  Help me to let it all go into Your hands.  To be responsible and diligent but not worry and fret and regret.

To be humble and able to see and recognize and admit and repent from my mistakes.  Yet be free from the weight of them because of Your grace and mercy!  It is Your promise to carry my burdens and to make all things work together for good and to make my burden light and to take care of me AFFECTIONATLY and to care about me WATCHFULLY;  your promise to sustain me. 

Guide me and give me wisdom and foresight and discernment to make good and wise decisions.  Open and close doors according to Your will and purpose.  Give me the strength and courage and the stamina I need to keep moving forward.  Teach me to walk in Your ways, casting my burdens on you yet learning and growing and maturing in the process. 

Psalms 55:22 (AMP)

Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).

 

1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Monday, May 19, 2014

If You're Going To Err...

When we put off obedience we usually wind up talking ourselves out of it; convincing ourselves that it wasn't really God speaking to us in the first place. 

I'm guilty of this; hesitant or afraid to just act on "emotion," thinking presumptuously that it was God speaking to me. 

I guess though that it would be better to err on the side of over-reacting to what we feel is God's voice than under-reacting, wouldn't it?

Matthew 4:20, 22
At once they left their nets... At once they left the boat and their father... they obeyed immediately.

Err on the side of generosity, self-sacrifice, words of encouragement, displays of affection, dying to self, humbling myself... yet remember that it is better to obey than to sacrifice.  We can't think that our sacrifices will win favor or help pay for forgiveness or earn salvation.

Hearing God's voice - discerning His prompts, commands, requests - obeying in faith without over-analyzing.  Leaving my mistakes and misunderstandings at His feet.  Leaving the results to Him. 

Remaining humble and teachable.

1 Samuel 15:22  (TLB)

Samuel replied, “Has the Lord as much pleasure in your... offerings and sacrifices as in your obedience? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. He is much more interested in your listening to him than in your offering...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Heart is in His Hands.

God loves me! 

He is with me, rooting for me, helping me, guiding me, correcting me, consoling me, picking me up, brushing me off, walking forward with me.  He is carrying me, reminding me, teaching me. 

He truly knows me - every single thing there is to know about me - even more than I know myself. 

He forgives me and cleanses me and makes me new.  He gives me second chances and new opportunities and fresh starts. 

My heart is in His hands.  My life is in His hands.  My future is in His hands.  My security is in His hands.  My happiness is in His hands. 

What seems impossible to me is possible with Him!  He is ABLE to bring to pass His purposes for my life!  He is willing and eager to work out His dreams and desires for me.  And he is powerful to do it!

Ephesians 3:20 (TLB)

Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Out of the Dark. Into the Light.

I was angry and bitter and holding a grudge.

I blamed You for everything.

No trust.  No hope.  No benefit of the doubt.

I was the victim.  YOUR victim.  Hopelessly vulnerable to Your unfair whims of justice.   I became the cynic.

I feared You enough to know that I needed You.  But if I had to have You, I'd do my best to keep You at a distance.  Maybe then I wouldn't be hurt by You.

Unmet expectations.  You let me down.  I did my part but why didn't You do Yours?  What do You have to say for Yourself?  How do You explain this mess I'm in? 

You don't say anything.  You just stay silent;  confirming my suspicions that You really don't care.  Maybe on some grand level You do.  But not down here on my level.  Here, where I need You.  You turned Your back on me.

But the cracks in my façade keep me coming back to You.  Calling out to You.  Crying for You.  Daring to hope that I am dreadfully wrong.  Even though I am mad at You, I can't stay away from You.  I can't resist You. 

And Your Light shines through the cracks in my façade.  Little by little, helping me to see.  Bringing clarity as my eyes adjust from my darkness to Your Light.  I start to see glimpses of Your Truth.

And I start to see the truth about me:  Ungrateful.  Self-Pitying.  Accusing.  Distrustful.  Jealous.  Judgmental.  Pointing my finger at You.  Foolish girl I am. 

But Your Light embraces me and takes me little by little, step by step, back into Your Truth.  Back into Your Love.  Into Your amazing Grace.  It makes me feel like new. 

Looking back now, I can't remember how it all happened.  How I was lured away by cynicism.  And how You graciously brought me back...or better yet, how You graciously brought me forward...to taste Your amazing Grace.  Into a new awareness of Your Presence; a new understanding of Your Love; a new appreciation for Your Grace.

Your amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now I'm found.  Was blind but now I see.

Psalm 73:21-28 (AMP)

For my heart was grieved, embittered, and in a state of ferment, and I was pricked in my heart [as with the sharp fang of an adder].  So foolish, stupid, and brutish was I, and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.  Nevertheless I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand.  You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to honor and glory.  Whom have I in heaven but You? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength of my heart and my Portion forever.  For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You will destroy all who are false to You and like [spiritual] harlots depart from You.   But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.

 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Surrender and win... Die and live

SURRENDER...  my will, my plans, my desires, my opinions, my preferences, my expectations, my dreams, my comforts, my things, my time, my money, my security...

SURRENDER it all to God and trust Him.  Trust that His plans and intentions are for my good and my ultimate benefit; for my growth and maturity and even for my happiness and fulfillment. 

WIN God's chosen path that brings peace and joy and purpose and character development.

DIE to myself.  To my fleshly desires like physical comforts, solitude, financial freedom and security, even health and strength.  Give what you treasure the most and though you feel as if you might die, you will actually find new life, hope and meaning.

This I know in my head... in my heart, even.  I believe it to be true!  Why then do I struggle to take it to heart and make it a part of me?  Why do I resist and hesitate and make excuses and procrastinate and follow so reluctantly?  Why do I drag my heels and gripe and complain and blame and avoid the inevitable.

Take up your cross and follow me.  Take up your cross and follow me.

Mark 8:34 (NIV)

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me..."

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

On Guard, On Purpose

Guard your heart, your thoughts, your tongue, your actions. 

Submit yourself to God and His ways. 

Your opinions, your excuses,  your frustrations, your perspectives, your priorities... all submitted and surrendered to Him. 

Do all you can to let Him reign in your heart, mind, body and soul so that any suffering you do experience may be done for good and with a clean conscience. 

It's God's work in me but it requires cooperation from me.  Cooperation with His Word and His Spirit in me. 

Be proactive to let His Word and His Spirit IN so that it will be possible to OBEY. 

Purpose to DO the action words: 

LIVE... in harmony with one another
BE... sympathetic
LOVE... as brothers
BE... compassionate
REPAY... evil and insult with blessing
KEEP... your tongue from evil... your lips from deceitful speech
TURN...from evil and do good
SEEK... peace
PURSUE... peace

Be proactive...be strategic...be intentional...

1 Peter 3:8-11 (AMP)

8 Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).

9 Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].

10 For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit).

11 Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]


Friday, January 24, 2014

Old Burdens

Wanting to be with You so the stuff here won't hurt anymore.  Struggling with the same old things as two decades ago.  Why do I insist on picking up old burdens and carrying them again?

Why can't I just wholeheartedly accept and receive the answer you already gave me - and let it free me and bless me and strengthen me?  I see the wonder and the blessing and joy of receiving that Word from You: "It's My grace for you!"  I treasure that day and that experience with You.

And I have even learned to appreciate and accept Your "no."  Any "no" from You is a zillion times better than any earthly, fleshly "yes."  I can see the good side.

I am humbled and eternally grateful that You cared enough to intervene.  That You didn't give me what I wanted just because I begged.  It's not really a complaint on my part, just a question - just trying to understand why.

Part of me realizes that I'm better off not knowing.  Not knowing allows me to hold on to my innocence.  To keep my heart clean.  That's another gift from You.  Shake off the why's, shake off the disappointment, the sadness of what might have been and grab a hold of what is.

Treasure the what is because it came straight from Your merciful and gracious hands.  Accept that that is enough of an answer; it's the only answer I need this side of Heaven.

Refuse to look back.  To keep revisiting the pain and disappointment does no good, only harm.  Lord, help me to let go, to trust - blindly trust - and treasure and accept, being joyful that You loved me enough to intervene.

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)

 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Learning to Accept the Unacceptable

NOTE:  I wrote this one day months ago when I was processing God's (grace) gift of childlessness. "Gift?", you say? Well, I've learned/am learning that anything (even not getting what you wanted the most!), once it is submitted to God, can become a gift of His grace.

In order to accept the unacceptable you have to look at it from a different perspective.  You can't only look at the surface or take things at face value.  You have to go deeper - and higher.

You go deeper to your roots and foundation of faith and trust and surrender to WHO God is; to His love and care and promises.  You choose to remember that He is all-knowing and all-powerful and He knows why He allows what He allows.  Even when it hurts and you know you might never understand this side of Heaven.  But you trust and you accept His will because you know His love and grace and mercy.  You have tasted it and you know it is good.  In that you can find rest.

You go higher to your hope, your conviction of Eternity.  You know this life on earth is only temporary; that the things you hope for and dream of having and doing here on earth will eventually be gone and you must invest the resources of time and energy and desire wisely.  You must invest them in Him - in your relationship with Him - because when it's all said and done, He is all that matters.  You mustn't get pulled into the trap of wanting, desiring, craving what you don't have.

You learn to accept and appreciate your own lot in life and you choose to look at all the positive and the pro's and you open your eyes to see what you have gained through your loss.

That's what walking with Jesus enables you to do!  Surrendering your very self to Him, He helps you see what you couldn't see before.  He helps you understand even though you can't explain.  He helps you accept the hard things life brings.  And He even helps you to appreciate them.

And you start to understand that His grace is personalized.  "It's My grace for you" He said to me a decade and a half ago.  And I've repeated His words to myself a million times or more since then.  "It's His grace for me!"  "It's Your grace for Me!"  And I thank Him for His grace for me.

And while I don't fully understand, He has given me a glimpse and He's allowed me to see with my heart that yes, it truly is His grace for me.  And I trust and I rest in Him and His grace.  I stop my questioning and doubting and resenting and my wanting and I let go and trust and rest in Him.

I believe what He says.  And there I find rest for my troubled soul. There I find freedom and peace.  His Peace that is beyond comprehension.

And I learn that His grace is sufficient.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP)

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Love Isn't a Feeling

Love isn't a feeling!  Don't forget this:  Love is a choice.  It is an action word! 

Don't fight God's design.  Collaborate, cooperate, participate with Him. 

Adapt!  Respect!  Defer!  Revere!  Honor!  Esteem!  Appreciate!  Prize!  Adore!  Admire!  Praise!  Devote!  Love!  Enjoy!  These are all ACTION WORDS! 

Don't make excuses about feelings.  Just obey Gods' Word and DO THEM!!!

1 Peter 3:2 (AMP)

When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].