Mourning the Past

mourning angel

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4 NIV

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There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance

Seasons occur when the earth rotates on its axis.  Each part of the earth is affected and experiences different weather conditions depending on its distance from the sun.  As it rotates, the planet goes through physical changes in its environment.  Plants, animals, and the landscape go through changes.  These changes can be temporary or at times permanent.  Species become extinct and the earth’s surface can be marred unrecognizable. 

We also experience this existence as we live our lives.  Our seasons are ever changing and aren’t as predictable as our calendars.  Unfortunately, they at times surprise us, and even when we think we are prepared, render us unrecognizable.  

We often love the seasons of joy and comfort.  When everything is the way it should be, and routines are set in place.  

But, when fractures in our routine happen, life seems off kilter and emotions start to take on a life of their own.  If the changes are permanent, mourning begins to settle for a long winter’s nap.  It defines who we are, and may even become our new comfort. 

How often do we look back wishing life could stay in one season?  

Frozen in time, slowly aging, diverting an unfortunate event, and restoring people whom we love.

Why can’t God fix the pain, sorrow, discontent, and take away events that led us to be someone whom we don’t recognize?

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Our world will provide many times of distress and suffering, but Jesus comforts the weary soul.  

Lamentations 3:31

 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

Our God may seem distant, but he will be there listening to our cries.  He is not the author of the pain, he is the healer of the affliction.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

The current situation we may be in, can not compare to the extraordinary future of our lives in Christ.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

As we walk along our path predestined by our almighty father, taking on the pain afflicted by our world, let us not forget that we are His hands and feet.  Our pain can comfort others and our empathy can save a soul.  Take up our seasons and carry them pointing to the one that saves.  We in the fellowship with Christ, shall never be alone providing hope for a glorious future.  

Grieve not for the Lord our God is with us forevermore.

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Spiritual Instinct

baby-sea-turtles

Matthew 26: 36-38 NIV

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36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed,“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

I recently had the privilege to witness the extraordinary plight of the baby Leatherback Sea Turtle.  It begins when the adult turtle lays eggs in the sand close to the dunes and then covers up the production.  The eggs take months to hatch and when the temperature is right, they begin to pip or hatch.  Each small turtle moves its flippers to push the sand downward so that they begin to rise to the top.  Now the boil can begin.

Slowly they work as a team and when the cool sand of the night sky meets their awaited expectations, they thrash about heading for the horizon of the shimmering ocean.  Each one takes their own path pushing forward towards the vast ocean.  Some make it encountering predators and possible debris, and some veer off due to disorientation.  This occurs when another light source shines from a different direction.  One or two out of the fifty may follow this new source and never make it to their home in the sea.

Jesus knew his time was near.  He prepared his disciples and his own heart.  Just before the time he was to be taken in and persecuted, he stepped away to pray.  His prayer wrought with pain and sorrow, shows how human this man we call a savior lived.  His path was clear, his destiny set, and now it was time.  I can only imagine that his will would of had him turning from the excruciating crucifixion to a lesser end.  Turning away from the light of God’s greatness and following the path of an artificial source created by man.

We are all destined to join Him at His side in heaven.  Some will follow their instincts and go to Him.  Others will fall behind following a different path leading to their demise feeling lost and disoriented.

Our lives are so full and rich when allow ourselves to seek our destined home.  This walk will have tribulations and detours, yet the reward is the home of our God which will take away all our pain and suffering.

Follow your spiritual instincts in the darkness, seeking the true light, and bask in His never ending love.

Psalm 27: 1-5 NIV

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

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I Got Your Back

SLING & STONES/ David V Goliath - ILLUSTRATION

Republished

Psalm 81:13-14 NIV

13 “If my people would only listen to me,
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes!

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Psalms are beautifully written hymns depicting different time periods in Israel.  Each psalm is placed in a book, which has a theme or message to God’s people.  Psalm 81  is God’s message at harvest or The Feast of Tabernacles.  This feast in Jerusalem was a celebration of God’s blessings on the Israelites.  It also symbolized the Exodus and how they traveled living in tabernacles or tents.  This event is a time of joy, so why did the author have everyone singing words of correction?  

As I read these words, I began to see myself in my old bedroom during my childhood.  I am fuming, and holding back anger.  Thoughts of revenge seep in my soul and I begin to imagine myself bigger, stronger, and braver.  Conversations in my head sound like, “I’m going to take up karate.  I will learn some moves.  Then I will be able to take on anyone who messes with me.  No one will ever bother me again.”  

I felt this way because I was bullied.  Kids laughed, teased and sometimes touched me to take my confidence.  This did’t happen that often, but often enough that it stripped me of my strength.  I felt inferior, weak, and afraid.  I thought the only answer was to bring brute strength to their party.

Where was God?  As an adult and faithful believer, I now see the error of my ways.  I tried to take on my enemies all by myself.  Kept it all hidden in hopes that in a simple move, I would be David and take on Goliath (without God of course).  

In Psalm 81 it says we need to listen and follow God.  That means hear and do.  The Israelites were excited about the celebration and most likely going through the motions preparing for the day.  Did they hear God?  Did they follow God’s will?  I am sure like you and I they got caught up in the feelings of excitement, stress, and duty during the preparation.  They had difficulties and arguments over how the day should proceed.  They were human and like all of us, forgot God’s message.

God is telling them if you are with me and doing as I say, then I will take on your enemies. You will not need to worry about revenge.  I got this.

Psalm 18:30

As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.

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Your Humble Servant

signing

Repubilished

Phillipians 1: 21-24 NIV

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21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

Phillipians 2: 13-14

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

The author of these verses; Paul a hater of Christians and born again Christian.  This is the epitome of two faced.  How did this happen?  This would be called a miracle.  Can you imagine how Paul felt when those who he now followed in Christ began to fight him and constantly challenge his message.  All the letters he wrote, all the time he spent on his travels bringing God’s good news, all the people he mentored and spoke to, and all the faith he now had in Christ.  Wouldn’t he be owed something?  Wouldn’t he be entitled to grand acceptance, love by believers, and red carpet treatment?  Imprisoned many times, hated by Jews and leaders, and set to die.  Where are his just dues?

Our life is full of contracts and expectations.  We see everything as, “What will I get out of doing X?”  For example, just recently I was in a heated discussion with my son over my expectations of him after his day at camp.  He went into a long discussion about how he was exhausted and deserved time to rest and not do any work.  Work can wait.  It seemed I was being extremely unrealistic.

Unrealistic expectations can produce minimal outcomes.  I can say I have experienced this too often.

Entitlements?  

I worked hard so I deserve…

It’s my country, and I am owed…

I found it, then I should…

I have rights, and I should receive…

I loved you, so you should…

I have the right to be happy because…

As a Christians, we are provided a contract of sorts and are given entitlements from God. He grants us freedom from our sins through Christ.  This makes me want to jump up and yell, “Hallelujah!”  Wait, there’s more. We need to look closely at that contract’s fine print. We have some work to do.

This contract we have as Christians is very elusive.  One minute we can read all the fine print clearly, and next, only a few words jump out, but the rest are blurry.  The world’s view says,  “Just sign here, and all will be well. Remember God is good.”  Hmm? Sounds to good to be true.

It is. 

You see that fine print, well it reveals God’s expectations of us living in this fallen world.  It says we need to follow the path of His will, and then we will receive all the blessings bestowed to us of peace and joy.  

Romans 15:13NIV

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It also says that if you don’t follow God’s will, then the contract is rendered null and void.  What are we then entitled to?  Well, we receive hopelessness, frustration, and lack of fulfillment.  Our worldly enemy just smiles when he has so nicely gotten us to believe that contract we agreed to is working in our favor while we read it blindly.

How do we as Christians fulfill our requirements to this contract?

Jesus’s brother, James lets us know clearly what we do.

James 2: 19-24, 26

19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

We need to walk the walk and talk the talk.  Only then in our words, actions, and reactions will we benefit from our contractual obligations with God.  

Here is just a tiny glimpse of what having “real” faith will provide.

Eternal glory                                                                2 Timothy 2:10

Freedom and confidence                                            Ephesians 3:12

Forgiven                                                                         Ephesians 1:7

Blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ     Ephesians 1:3

Righteous and holy in Christ                                     1 Corinthians 1:30

Romans 8:2     because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

So, my friends in Christ we need to put on our reading glasses and dive into the truth.  This truth of how we should live our lives in this world can be found in the oldest contract; the Bible. 

As we know from Paul’s example, we can’t serve two masters.  Which will you chose?

Sign Here

_________________

(Your Humble Servant)

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Spiritual Warfare

K

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Biblegateway.com

The enemy of my mind says, “The bible contains stories”

                                        My savior says, “The bible is the truth and life.”

The enemy of my mind says, “Your sins can not be forgiven.”

                                        My savior says, “The cross took away your sin.”

The enemy of my mind says, “We should seek revenge on our enemies.”

                                         My savior says, “Love your enemy as you love me.”

The enemy of my mind says, “I deserve to have what I need and want.”

                                         My savior says, “I will provide for all of your needs.”

The enemy of my mind says, “You are unworthy, and are incapable.”

                                          My savior says, “You are loved and brave with my strength.”

The enemy of my mind says, “You are having fun, and don’t need others to be complete.”

                                           My savior says, “Stay within the body and maintain fellowship.”

The enemy of my mind says, “Say what you think, and they will just have to accept it.”

                                          My savior says, “Watch your words; they should speak love.”

The enemy of my mind says,” What you do doesn’t matter, and no one really cares.”

                                           My savior says,”Bring one person to me; you are forever saved.”

Ephesians 4: 22-32

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self,created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another,forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

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SHATTERED

plate 2

Inspired by the song “Clean” from the album Be One; Natalie Grant

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Biblegateway.com

Our life begins and then we are born.  We are created by God to do good works, yet we are born sinners.  The moment we take a breath our life will be consumed by the world.  As we discover this world, life becomes complex, full of decisions and impulsive behaviors.  This is when our almighty God steps in to make us His.

For everyone it’s different, but happens for one reason; salvation.

God picks us up like a fine porcelain plate, holds us over His head, and throws us to the ground.  Shattered our lives are now divided into experiences, emotions, thoughts, decisions, and relationships.  The plate is no longer recognizable and it’s messy, disorganized.  The pieces splinter off into many, all having their own distinct shape.  Some are microscopic and others are large and jagged.

Carefully God picks up a piece with our submission, analyzes it, smooths the edges, and then affixes it to a cast with cement.  It is secure waiting for all the other pieces to begin to create God’s design.

Matthew 11:28-30“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

As God waits, we also analyze each broken piece.  Some we give up to Him with great jubilation, others we hold tightly to, and there are ones so small they become buried from sight.  He wants each piece, but it’s ours given freely to us to release.

He never gives up with hands open and ready. Waiting.

May we look deep down and find what holds us back from full salvation.  Do we hold on to bitterness, guilt, past mistakes and hurts, work, family dysfunction, or distorted views of ourselves and the world?

If we release each of these to God fully and completely, He will be able to help us create the beautiful mosaic we were destined to become.  Secure in Him.

When the time comes and you meet God after you have released all to Him, he will smile, welcome you and say, “My work is done.  Come sit with my son and be called holy, beautiful son/daughter of the risen Lord.”

Revelation 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

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Comfortably Numb

TV 2

1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)  Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

biblegateway.com

Hanging over the mantle of a small cottage in the town of Comfortable, was a double edged dagger.  This dagger was adorned with rubies, emeralds, and other precious stones that glimmered when the sun shone through the circular window at dawn.  This was passed down through the generations of the Numb family which resided in the quaint bungalow.

Every morning the family would do their normal ritual, before heading out to their jobs in the small town.  Dad worked hard fixing cars at the local automotive shop, Mom counted money for the local bank, and the young girl went to school with all the other children whom lived nearby.

Even though this town contained all the necessary supplies and activities to live a acceptable life, the little girl yearned to see beyond the town’s borders.  All the kids at school would tell horror stories of what could happen if they left.

“I heard if you go out, you will never come back.”

“One time, Johnny left and was murdered for his gold necklace.”

“My parents told me that if you leave, you will be alone because everyone else will treat you like an outsider.  People outside of our town are evil.”

“My sister told me that all the people who live beyond the borders are manipulative, judgmental, and self-centered.  They only care about what you can do for them.”

Even though the little girl heard these words when she expressed discontent, she would fantasize about her life outside of town.  She saw flowing fountains, beautiful wildflowers draping the hillside, warm and welcoming families, and most of all freedom to live a loving life.  How could these images be wrong?

On one particular day, she did venture out after school before heading home.  As she walked through the forest up a small hill, she saw a large wall of tightly stacked bricks.  It was so high she could never climb over to the other side.  Feeling defeated she went home.

Slowly opening the wooden door of her home, she arrived to see her parents sitting quietly at the kitchen table.  Bread and lukewarm coffee between them waiting to be consumed.  The little girl knew she should sit quietly staring off and do what was expected, but she needed to brake the silence.

“Mom, Dad why is there a brick wall outside of town?”

Stunned by what they just heard, they glared her direction.

In a stern voice Dad said, “Why were you outside of town?”  Mom just waited for her response.

“Um, I just wanted to take a peek.  Didn’t you ever want to know what is out there?”

Mom teary eyed whimpered, “No, and you should NEVER want to see it.  Do you hear me?”

The little girl feeling feisty and not giving into her mom’s intimidation chimed, “Well, I want to know, and I’m going to see it one day.”

Her dad stood up, placing his hands firmly on the table and yelled, “No daughter of mine will ever go beyond that wall!”  Then he turned around, walked out the door, and slammed it so hard the dagger rattled against the stone.

Mom knew she needed to talk about their lives in Comfortable, but cringed at the thought of pushing her daughter away.  She took in a deep breath and began to speak.

“My dear, I know you think that life would be better somewhere else, but you are wrong.  We have everything we need here and if we want to experience somewhere else, we have access to it through T.V. and our computer. This is where you were meant to be.”

“Mom, I don’t think this is how it was meant to be.  I just know that there is more and life can be amazing, adventurous, and joyous.  Don’t you want to be happy?  Don’t you want to be able to live without fear and worry? ”

“Ugh, that’s impossible!  If we don’t have fear and worry, how will we know what to do?  The more I know about what could possibly hurt me, the more prepared I will be if it comes.  This is how you protect yourself.”

The little girl stopped before she became angry and looked over at the mantel.  The dagger seemed to be radiating and calling her name.  She slowly moved closer with a slight out stretched hand.  As she approached it, she heard a very soft comforting whisper.  She leaned in even closer, almost pressing her check to the cold stone.

“I’m the way, the truth, and the life.”

In a trance, she stared intently at the dagger above her head.  It seemed alive.  It seemed to ask her to take it and carry it away.

She extended her hands, reached beyond her own grasp on her toes, and lifted the handle out of its resting place.  She carefully positioned it face down by her side and headed for the door.  Her mother in utter disbelief, sat motionless to what was occurring.

As the young girl took one step at a time, the dagger spoke again.

“Take me to the wall, use me to cut it down, and then you will be free from this life.”

She continued to the wall and blindly followed its instructions.  As she approached the wall this time, she lifted the dagger above her head with both hands firmly gripping its decorative handle, and aimed the sharp pointed tip towards the wall.  She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and plunged the dagger into the wall.

When she opened her eyes, she realized it broke through and caused a small portion of a brick to fall at her feet.  With exhilaration and confidence, she picked up the dagger again and again taking the wall down brick by brick.

After hours of working, she could now push her body through the small hole she created. She shimmied through, landed on the cool grass, and abruptly stood up to take in what she could now see.  Her imaginary world of grandeur was now reality.  Filled with overwhelming sense of joy and peace she wanted to forge ahead, but something made her turn around.

Through the small opening in the wall and in the darkness of the world she left behind, she saw a familiar face.  It was her mother.  Just slightly nudging her nose through the hole to see where her daughter had gone.  The little girl dropped the dagger and tried to reach in to guide her mother, but the darkness caused her not to see her mother’s hand.  Knowing that the dagger was the strength she needed, she placed it carefully handle first through the hole yelling to her mother, “Take up the sword and use it to brake the wall.”

The sharp metal scraped the sides of the brick as she heard it going to the other side.  With great anticipation she waited smiling as she heard bricks being taken away from her mother’s blows.

Just as soon as the sound started, it abruptly ended.  Why?

She knelt down at the side of the opening and heard whimpering.  It was the sound of her mother.  “Mom, pick up the sword.  Keep going.”

Exhausted, tired and worn her mother wailed, “I can’t do it.  I just can’t keep up.  I’m going back.  It’s safer there.”

The little girl became frightened and tears streamed down her face.  “Mom!  Mom!”

Just as she was about to go back towards her mother, something taped her on the shoulder. She swung around and saw a great light.  A beautiful faced man with flowing hair looked intently at her, beckoning her to His side.  She stood up, walked gingerly toward Him, and allowed a warm comforting embrace.  He took His hand and slowly moved her long bangs from her eyes.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John14:6 NIV)

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV)

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Release Me

helping-hand

Inspired by the song by Nichole Nordeman; Album The Unmaking; Song “Slow Down”

Isaiah 41:13

biblegateway.com

For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.

You and I, and me and you.  We walk along life’s path hand in hand.  In times of fear, nervousness, and excitement you’d grasp my hand knowing I would guide you through. Sometimes we’d place you in the middle, and swing you over cracks in the pavement while you shouted, “Wee!”

My sweet child where has the time gone?  How I love being by your side.  You are aging and my time holding your hand is wavering.  You barely reach for me anymore.

How do I let go of the most important and beautiful person created?  Oh, how do I say “Good bye”?

Tears sting my eyes as you begin to unravel your fingers from mine.  You begin to cry, “Mommy, release me.”

I let go, knowing this is where I end and you begin.

I watch as you walk away forward looking, and only taking a moment to glance behind.

Who will take my place Lord?  Will you be there by his side?

I begin to feel a hand wipe the tears from my face, and a soft kiss on my cheek.  “Is that you Lord?”

The clarity of my answer comes into view.  I see my child walking ahead and you right there. You gingerly put your hand by his side, just touching it softly.  He feels it and takes his palm in yours in the coming darkness.  I breath again and continue down a different path still feeling your warm touch.

Oh, how you love us.  I won’t worry or fret.  You have us in the palm of your hand.  This is now his walk with you Lord.  Until we meet again seated at the right hand of our father.

My love, I release you to a good, good father.  Who is and will always be our resting place.

“I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord, and they will be nothing but spectacular.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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Convicted

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Matthew 7: 1-5

biblegateway.com

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

This was taken from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.  It is where Jesus tells his disciples the rules in which they should live by to walk with God.  It is not based on action, but more on attitude.  The attitude they should have as they serve.  A Godly heart in a very ungodly world.  But, are we not free to live a happy life and not be controlled by ancient rules handed down?

Growing up I always wanted to be a good person.  My goal was to follow the rules given by teachers and the adults so that I would be accepted by those I found important.  It wasn’t such a popular decision.  Let’s just say words like “Do Good-er” and “Goodie, Goodie” were often used to describe who I decided to become.  

In choosing this way of life, I also found my self judging everyone whom came across my path.  I would often question their actions and establish myself as superior.  How could they act and talk like that?  Why would they make that stupid decision?  

Unfortunately, I am convicted.  Convicted of a sin and walk among all other sinners. Who am I to judge the actions and the decisions of others?  To judge is a sin.  Only our Savior gets to have that job.

James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Our job is to love our neighbor, walk among the sinners and set men and women free, forgive, and pray for all.  We do this not because we are told to like a child being reprimanded.    We do this to honor and respect the great King of Kings who by His grace and mercy forgives us everyday.  If it wasn’t for Jesus, we would all be condemned and have to work for our salvation.  Once Christ spilled his blood and died, we were made clean.  Through our faith and devotion to Him, we get to be forgiven of all sin.   Because we love the one that loves us, we decide to follow His ways.  

I walk with Him not because I want to please Him, I walk with Him because I want to say, “I love you too”  in all that I do.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

2 Timothy 1:9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

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INFECTED

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Psalm 38:3  NIRV

Because of your anger, my whole body is sick.
    Because of my sin, I’m not healthy.

James 1: 13-15 NIV

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Biblegateway.com

The ways of this world are a disease and we are all infected.   It courses through our blood streams and begins to cause changes in our minds.   It starts with one experience which leads to another, and begins to seep into our thoughts. Then, taking over us and directing our path.  It can even be passed throughout generations.

It causes us to fall victim to weaknesses and repetitive destructive patterns.  As we begin to form a new identity with this disease, others begin to make incorrect labels and judgments about us and then it furthers the disease’s course.

Frustrated, scared, and alone we begin to self medicate.  Fill ourselves with worldly things, people, information, and more diseased experiences.  No matter how much we dull the pain of it’s existence, it comes back to greet us in the morning and lingers in the darkness of night.

Sometimes we realize the error of our ways and begin to look for a real cure.  We grab the cross and try desperately to hold it, but our fingers can’t clench it tight enough.  It keeps slipping and dropping.  Out of pure exhaustion, we even resort to allowing someone else to hold the cross close enough to us so that we can feel their healing.  But, when they leave, we are alone again dealing with the pain.

If the illness is left untreated for a long amount of time, it just becomes part of who we are and that is what we live with each day.  Unfortunately, severe episodes of mental anguish may set in and real help may be needed. Intravenous medication, a hospital stay, and on going pain management.

How do we as Christians find complete healing?

Exodus 15: 26 NIV

26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

Psalm 103: 2-4

2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

James 5:16

16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

1 Peter 2:24

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

If we believe God’s word and believe Christ died for our salvation, then we are healed.  We are healed by the belief that He will and will always be the one true great healer.  If our pains and infections seem too large for God, then it will be too large for God.  With strength in Him and the faith of what will be healed in Christ name, we hold the cross tightly so that the white of our knuckles glow in the darkness.  In Christ and only Him will we all be healed of every affliction,aliment,and unspeakable sin. 

Take up the cross, read God’s word, and walk in His world along side all righteous and holy sons and daughters. For I am free.

Psalm 103:2-5 NIV

Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

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