Keep Calm

Fellow Blogger’s post today – some AWESOME insight!

GodlyDating101

You are human! I know when times get hard, the first thing we often tend to do is get worried. We all know we should pray and let God handle it, but we often try to take things into our own hands and take up unnecessary stress. We try to carry something only Jesus can fix. Not saying you doubt God, because it’s human nature to do things like that.

If you’re thrown into a pool and cannot swim, you will not keep calm. You will panic! Even if there’s a lifeguard, you will panic. If you don’t have enough money to pay for bills or take care of your family, you will sometimes be worried. These are natural human tendencies. Which is why Jesus calls us to have faith in Him. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Because you first have to believe He is…

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Eleven Nails

ImageLook at this photo that I happened to run across today…..It really has me thinking.

I have been doing a lot of praying and thinking lately about the twelve disciples of Christ. And there is a lot to be learned from Judas who betrayed Christ “with a kiss.”

When I gazed upon this image, I noticed there were eleven nails. I don’t know if the person who took it meant for it to be that way or not. But it immediately stood out to me.

Any one of us could choose to be a Judas, couldn’t we? And if not one of us reading this today, I would venture to guess we all know at least one person who is making that choice.

Yes, any one of us could make the choice not to accept Jesus Christ and His offer of forgiveness for our sins and leave it nailed into that cross that He died upon for our sakes.

To leave it with Jesus – with His blood that He shed for us – with all the love, pain, anguish, torment and utter suffering. To leave it nailed in.

To celebrate the fact that He died for us but then rose again – and we have the opportunity to live with Him forever – for all eternity – if only we leave that nail where it is supposed to be.

I am not a bible scholar, but the little I have studied in the Word about Judas indicates that he was unique in that he had, like the other disciples, a certain bond or closeness to Jesus, but then denied it.

He, in other words, didn’t sin more than the other chosen followers of Christ prior to denying Him, but did ultimately choose (while knowing the path to grace and salvation) not to accept grace. He willingly chose death instead. This breaks my heart and I cannot imagine how it broke our Savior and Lord’s heart.

Isn’t that the risk we all undertake when we play around with grace? We end up bearing bad fruit instead of accepting the beautiful and dearly paid for gift of salvation –  through the grace, mercy, and sacrifice that Jesus made – and not departing from it.

We are all going to have our struggles and our trials. We are all going to go through seasons of confidence in the Lord, as well as seasons in which we struggle, stretch, or even resist changes He is trying to bring about within us.

But we need never choose death and destruction over grace and eternal life.

Those eleven nails prove it. They prove that there’s a choice.

Don’t be the missing nail. It was meant to be right up there with all the others.

If you, or someone you know is thinking about trying to remove their nail from that blessed cross, pick up a hammer and remind them where it belongs, and where it should stay.

It should remain up there with the other 11 billion million trillion nails multiplied infinitely –  and beyond.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20
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Keep your eye on the Ball

Photo Credit 123RF.com

Photo Credit 123RF.com

Sometimes things happen that seem right, perfect even…. and then, in a very short time, it becomes clear that it’s not.Then, we have to adjust accordingly, prayerfully, and try to be balanced as we adjust (i.e. don’t act totally impulsively, yet don’t wait to long to obey if you feel the Lord calling you to action).

This can be so very, very hard to do. And it can be painful too.

Yes, God is unchanging, but we are finite little creatures. We have our strengths, as well as our certain human limitations.

And yes, God can do anything through us that He chooses to do, as He is also unlimited. But sometimes, we can get so caught up in the attribute of perseverance (after all, that’s a good thing, right?) that we end up moving over into disobedience if we are being asked to do something that seems like “giving up.”

When this happens to us, and it becomes pretty clear after searching the Word and praying a lot, I feel it means that He is asking for us to submit even further -to let go of the “perseverance” mentaility – to surrender, folks.

Then He can work within what seems like a limitation, and cause us to go down a different path entirely. Funny thing is, this happens in His timing, not ours. And at first, it can seem illogical, or like an attack from the enemy. It can be utterly confusing at times.

Photo Credit 123RF.com

Photo Credit 123RF.com

This is where I am at today…..

Over the last 72 hours, I have been squished and prodded to the point that my heart literally feels like it’s been twisted through a meat grinder. Didn’t this same thing just happen a couple of months ago, God? Did I make a mistake? Was I disobedient?

The answer is no. God showed me that He is going to give me choices sometimes that aren’t limited to one good choice, and one “bad” choice. Sometimes, there will be several options that are all good – but one might be better than the other.

The hard comes into play in the fact that I feel Him wanting to bring me into the best choice –  the hard comes into play in that we often don’t know what that best choice is until we get our feet wet and then realize “nope, this isn’t it.”

I don’t like that feeling much, do you? I don’t like letting others down when I find that a choice I made that involves them too, ends up not being right for me. It impacts them too.

God showed me this weekend that He is big enough to take care of them too – oh yah!

Duh.

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Guess what? I have clarity now about moving out of the one choice and not knowing which thing to do next (again – sheesh). I have His peace, His joy, and His constant and reassuring presence – it’s been there underneath the tears that have been shed, and shed, and shed. It’s been there under and through the struggling, the prayer, the exposing of my inadequacies, vulnerabilities, the list goes on and on.

Part of what the Lord helped me to do these last couple of days is the following:

  • Get the junk out – I had to compartmentalize the part of this that was an attack from the enemy so I could then deal with what was left. That was my blog post yesterday – the enemy and his stupid lies.
  • Once that was done, I had the other part left. At first, I honestly didn’t know if the big blob of junk was all from the enemy or only in part. Once I took out what was from Satan, I was at first a bit disappointed to see there was, indeed, still a ball of stuff leftover to contend with. (I was secretly holding out the hope that it all was just a stupid attack that I could then stand up against and persevere against with the help of the Lord and others)
  • That remaining ball of stuff is some hard truth, but it is from the Lord…I know this without question. Today and last night I have been dealing with that along with Him. After all, He is the One in charge here.
  • I had help today too – and some of the other days. My dear husband helped me immensely. Also, we sought some good solid counsel at the church from our Assistant Pastor. He confirmed what I thought the “divine ball” of stuff was indeed in line with God’s will for where my priorities should be from here. We know this because a few of the things I had shared with my husband actually came out of his mouth when we talked and we hadn’t told him any of it yet.

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Today, if you feel like the enemy is juggling you around, go ahead and allow the Lord to help you to call his little bluff. Grab the mighty hand of the Lord and stick it right smack in the middle of all the jiggly juggly balls  and cause the enemy to falter in his pristine and seemingly-faultless ability to continue juggling  and juggling away.

His games need to end – because he’s not only playing with you (that enemy), but with God, if you are one of God’s children!

I never really liked clowns and circuses much……..did you?

Think about keeping your eye on the right ball today – you should find it right inside of the One true Savior’s hand:  Jesus Christ. Master of All.

He isn’t clowning around, either.

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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. Jeremiah 29:11

Whispers from the Enemy

You can’t do it…

You aren’t worthy….

You aren’t equipped…

Cut your losses…..

There’s something better for you somewhere else….

You don’t have what it takes any more….

You can’t be good this way….

You aren’t going to be able to help anyone, including yourself….

Listen to your heart….

Run…..

Hide….

Quit…..

Stop….

Get out while you’re still ahead…..

It’s okay, you just made a mistake….

Seek what you want……

Make it easy on yourself, already…..

Why are you doing this to yourself….

Are you a glutton for punishment or what……

Be free….

You don’t fit……

Get out…..

Look, this is bringing you down…..

You’re a detriment to others this way….

Stop already…..

You are so self centered…..

If it was meant to be it would be going better……

You don’t fit in….

Recognize the signs….

Forget about it….

Stop wasting time….

Realize your limitations…

God doesn’t care either way….

Who cares, just do whatever….

Move….

Succeed…..

Be strong…

Get a backbone, will ya….

Trust in your own feelings….

Trust your own gut….

You don’t need anyone else to help you decide….

You know…

Trust yourself.

Set yourself up for success…

You deserve it.

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2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

This Week was not about Weak

via pixabay

via pixabay

Today I am proud of the weak that I saw confessed.

Let me clarify that: I am proud to see the strength that is shown by others when they are willing to expose (in trust) their “weaknesses.”

Bravery seen through a tear….

Or a flood of tears….

Or a river of them….

A barrage of streaming, stinging, and ultimately, cleansing tears.

Jesus cried. Jesus even pleaded.

I am sure He still cries for us.

While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Hebrews 5:7

I am thankful for my friends, old and new.

I am thankful for their willingness to show me their tears.

I am beyond grateful for their grace and desire to see and share in mine.

I see Jesus in the reflection of them – those tears – and those dear souls.

I see joy through the pain….the admissions.

I also see us all say “sorry” for crying. Why do we do that?

I did it yesterday too. I said “sorry” for crying when admitting my fears.

It’s a gift – To be allowed to share in such cleansing crying and sharing of that which makes us feel weak, but builds us into strong when we allow God to fill us up.

It’s a privilege to be trusted to be a part of that, friends.

But when it’s me who does it, I do the very same thing – I say “sorry.”

But deep down, I’m not really sorry.

I am fearful deep down….scared to show my vulnerability in case it causes someone else to feel uncomfortable. Scared to show that I am weak and in need. Scared to be found out that I am less than humble and still a prideful creature afraid of admitting or showing “weakness.”

I think that’s a tool the enemy uses quite often – getting us to be afraid to be real – coercing us into pretending.

Fear is truly a tool of the ultimate liar.

But as I ponder this tonight, I am also so very thankful.

The world likes to tell us we always have to hide truth – pretend there are no tears.

The world is full of lies too – we must remember that.

Then we can cry some more. For the lies that are so often believed and bought into – yes, even by us….even by those who know better.

So tonight, I remember those precious tears I saw today for the gift that they are.

I don’t revel in the hurt part of them.

I do bask in the joy of knowing they were inspired by Jesus Christ – Savior – Lord – Friend and Redeemer.

I am so extremely grateful I got to see them – feel them – know and learn more about these beautiful souls who let them flow our of their hearts, up through their eyeballs, and down into the kleenex or upon the table around which we were sitting.

What an utter privilege.

Courage seen through the tears.

Exposing vulnerability and admitting we are all bonded by the need for our beloved Savior, His strength, His supernatural and divine power.

Beauty in it all.

Savior seen through the tears.

I’m so proud today of our weakness. I am so thankful for it and the strength of His that is made perfect through it.

God, please give us all the ability to keep on crying when You call us to – so you can keep on healing and keep on using the raw to work Your utter good in and through us.

We are being transformed into strong creatures of Christ – He lives inside of us, after all.

Crying is a purging of sorts too, you know. When the flesh enters in and tries to crowd the Spirit of the Lord out, it is a good idea to submit and allow those pieces of self to be put to death anew.

Self likes to breed, even when we think we have dispelled it from being the center of who we are….remnants of self will always be there and it hurts every time we have to submit and remove it so that HE can grow inside.

So as uncomfortable as this week was, I am very much in awe of the “weak” which is making us all the stronger.

There’s power in that weak. I’m so glad to know where it’s coming from.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:29

Matt Gruber via Creationswap

Matt Gruber via Creationswap

Roller Coasters!! Good Times????

Photo Credit 123RF.com

                       Photo Credit 123RF.com

Friends ~

Have you been on a roller coaster of sorts this week? Particularly in regard to decision-making?

If so, take heart. You have company.

I have been in prayer and the scriptures this week pretty deeply about this – I want to share with you what the Lord has impressed upon my little heart.

I don’t have all the answers – just what He has led me to know – deep, deep down within.

Here it is:

  • IF we are in a good place with the Lord and our relationship with Him….
  • And IF we are seeking His will, actively….
  • IF we are spending time with Him in the word, seeking wise counsel, praying, checking our hearts, asking ourselves if the desires on our heart are coming from HIM or from the ugly flesh……

And then…..

  • If we are still confused….
  • We have rested and “been still”, but still feel that “nudging”….
  • We don’t know what to do and we are starting to stress….

Then, for me, for my situation, it tells me to take action. Not well thought out action, but steps….investigation….openness to change.

Seeking.

This is not always the case. Sometimes, the Lord whispers to us to stay right where we are – mired in the indecision – and be still and wait.

Other times, He doesn’t clearly give us an answer – maybe because He wants for us to be active about seeking a little more as to what His will is.

God’s timing is not ours, but we have to either be still and wait, or take the steps to see what He wants for us.

Either way, it takes faith and continual self-contfrontation in order to know what is right and best for us.

You know….here is what I have concluded so far: Even if we make a mistake, He will bring us through, won’t He? I suppose we can boil it down pretty simply….

  • If all of those things are in the right place (that I listed above) and we seek….and if our hearts are in the right place (good motivations for God, for our families and good intentions), then we can’t go wrong.
  • God will do His will in us wherever we are at and whatever we do, if we submit to HIM, not what the world says or thinks we should do. Yes…even through our mistakes or failures.

I think the world tries to tell us that only one decision or choice can be the right one, so watch out! That’s a lie. And it’s garbage.

So, take heart today in your “indecision.” Be still if He asks you to and pray. Or take steps if He nudges you to, and be filled with the joy and peace of Him while you do it.

Let’s do, or not do what He leads us to do, or not do, and then be filled with the joy of Him in either state we might be in.

Blessings to you today and every day, my friends. In Jesus’ AWESOME name!

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5

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Let’s focus on the gifts that we HAVE been given!

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So, after much prayer, consideration, and exhibition of major vulnerability today, I decided that I needed to tap into the gifts that the Lord HAS provided me with in order to allow Him room to help me to overcome some of these technical obstacles I mentioned yesterday.

What is one of those gifts and how am I going to use it? Studying.

Jesus has helped me pretty much throughout my entire life to be a good student. It’s not due to intelligence at all. But He has given me motivation and helped me form good study habits, and that counts for something.

Although I am not as good at studying as I used to be, I can still do it pretty well. It takes me longer now, I don’t absorb the massive amounts of information as quickly as I used to, but I suppose that is part of what happens when we grow old. Oh well.

But the basics – the heart, desire, and commitment to study when I know that I need to in order to master something that’s difficult for me? That’s still there. Thanks be to God.

You know…I was thinking….

Maybe, if I remain challenged in this area and have to “study” more for a while, my brain will even become sharper?

If you feel challenged in a particular area today, go to the Lord in humility and prayer and believe that He will help you. He may reveal a gift of yours that has been buried or hidden for a long time that you can use to overcome something. Or, He may just endow you with a new gift, or His own supernatural power.

I suppose anything is possible….don’t you agree?

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 ESV

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1 X 1 X 1 = 1

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This seems to be my vision in the part of my training at my new job in regard to new “systems.”

Computer stuff, friends? Not something I learn very intuitively. Not even something I master with a bit of high level teaching and then time to practice. It takes me time…. more of it than it tends to take for the average person.

In case you haven’t guessed, I am not intuitive by nature with the technical stuff. Not my generation’s “thing” and definitely not an Annie “thing.”

I can be taught, but it takes some investment and some time. And it takes lots and lots of humility.

Once I know what I am doing, I am very efficient. If I can stick it out long enough to make it through. Most of the time I can, but there are times when the Lord nudges me and allows me to cut my losses. Thankfully, He usually speaks to me pretty clearly if and when that time does come.

But in the meantime, when I am being called to still stick it out and persevere, it looks like this….and it’s not pleasant.

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The simpler it is, the harder I seem to make it.

This is not something the Lord has gifted me with – at all. Give me something obtuse or laden with feelings and emotions to drill down about and I’m there!

Honestly, I was shocked I could even figure out how to create a blog, but I know that God helped me to do that because He wants for me to use it to spread the good news about Jesus to others. The desire to overcome the technical/systems obstacles just was so strong, and He just showed up in big ways and made my fingers and brain figure it out.

I have other gifts from the Lord, and I know that. We all do.

But today, I am frustrated. Do you ever feel that way? Where you know you should cut yourself some slack and rely upon the Lord to pull you through, but you just get so mad at yourself for being such a loser in a particular area (or feeling like one, anyway)?

So, I will leave you with this image instead….in case you feel like me sometimes when you are learning something new and you come up against such hurdles that discourage, berate, and condemn.

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If you are struggling like I am, remember to look for Him.

He will equip us. And He will show up – one way or another.

It may not be easy, but if it’s His will for us to overcome the hurdle, He will help us to do it if we look to Him.

And if it’s not His will? He will lead us to something that is.

After all, there is only ONE thing we need to focus upon – at his name is not Mr. rocket science.

His name is Jesus. Almighty God. Forever-Reigning King.

Best Friend.

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Snow, Snow

Photo Credit:Xcentric DX Winter Snow

                                       Photo Credit:Xcentric DX Winter Snow

The snow gently falling this morning reminds me of something I don’t think about often enough: And that is that Jesus really can, and really does, make all things new.

Let’s dwell upon that today and praise Him with all we have.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 ESV

Keep Praying When…

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Keep Praying….

~ when you can’t think straight any more

~ when you aren’t sure what to pray

~ when you feel like no one’s listening

~ when you feel led astray

~when you can’t praise Him enough

~when you feel all alone

~when you want the best company

~when you just need to go home

~when you need a strong shoulder

~when you long to feel loved

~when you’re lost in this world

~pray to the Mighty one, above

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Psalm 107:28-30 Then  they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their  distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then  they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired  haven

 

Jump Already!

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Venting Moment:

This week I wanted to scream!

I realize that everyone has down days and everyone has up days. I am one of those “everyone’s”, so I totally get that.

But have you ever been in situations where NO ONE in your world seems to appreciate an upbeat spirit? And I don’t mean “appreciate” as in needing to be commended for it. I mean, in all reality, being in situations where you are just truly being you, being as much of a light as you possibly can to others, being friendly, reaching out, smiling, joking, and just no one is responsive? In fact, everyone looks at you like you are an alien or something!  It stinks!

That was me a lot of this week, and I am dumbfounded right about now. I’m still pondering it all.

Encouraging Moment:

So,  I want to encourage my friends, just as I have been receiving encouragement from my dear husband for my little old self: GO AHEAD AND KEEP ON JUMPING!

Jump for Joy in Jesus…

Jump because it’s fun…

Jump because you want to…

Jump even while you run!

Man! Where’s the fun, yo?!?!

And if you feel discouraged because every which way you turn, you feel like everyone around you is intent on being a walking zombie, jump some more.

And some more, and more and more.

Just Jump Already!

You might even jump right into prayer….

Or jump into the Word to see what God has to say about it all…

Or, like I did, jump right into the arms of the one or two people in your world who can encourage you, support you, and help you to remember that regardless of the zombie-like reactions we may face when we jump for joy in Jesus, we can, and should, keep on shining our light, love, friendly disposition, cheerful and fun-loving selves all over the place.

We can keep jumping, even when we might be doing it all alone.

And we should jump at the chance to do so. Every.Single.Time.

Jump on these verses now already!

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Psalm 13:5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 40:16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The LORD be exalted!”

And finally, here’s a fun song to make you go jump –

Keep your eye on the prize, friends.

Jump Moment:

 

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

…You can’t WAIT to get to Friday night so that you can clean your house and organize your tasks for the upcoming week!

photo credit 123RF.com

photo credit 123RF.com

Yes, friends, that is me. Strange, alien, old me. And I kid you not – I truly AM excited about this! (If this sounds like you too, then we can be strange, old, aliens together – smile).

I have been “picking up” the clutter in the house every night in the short hour I have before going to bed, but I have been unable to clean this week with the schedule I have been keeping. And I don’t really like that. At all.

Next week will be far worse, as I have the full time training schedule M-F, then the entire weekend is packed with conferences/training, and work at the church. So I must make the most of the time I do have this weekend. And I’m a’gonna do it!

Although I could write another blog post regarding a different aspect or perspective on this – such as the need to “let go” because I have deep-seated control issues – this one will not be that way. Because I did let go! (Of that, at least – ha ha)

And, yes – we can talk later about how I have been still “working on” letting go with joy too, because although I let go of the cleaning, I truly did not “let go and like it.”

But today’s post is going to be about the fact that I get to celebrate “getting to do” these things this weekend. I get to celebrate that I did let go, with God’s help, and that He is using that to change my perspective and I get to feel like it’s even more of a treat to be given the time to clean and organize stuff. I guess that’s how it always should be, right? We should always appreciate being able to do our tasks with joy unto the Lord.

(Rubbing my little hands together right now, folks!)

Photo Credit 123RF.com

Photo Credit 123RF.com

I shall appreciate the things that sometimes, we can feel are a drudgery, a “have to” in life, or a what at other times seems like-a what-a-boring-way-to-spend-the-weekend kind of outlook.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” Colossians 3:23

Here is just a partial list of what I cannot wait to start doing tomorrow night when I get off work and complete my workout at the gym!

  • Vacuum the entire house
    Clean and polish the appliances
    Clean all the counters!
    Dust with good smelling stuff!
    Do ALL the laundry – whoo hoo!
    Teach my kids(if they are around) how to do some laundry stuff
    Organize all the mail, bills, and my appointment calendar
    Purge emails I didn’t get to read
    Catch up on emails I need to write
    Watch some of the funny you tube videos my kids like with them
    Work out at the gym with husband all three days of the weekend!
    Create a few blog post ideas and save them
    Read some in the books I have going right now.
    Read through all the training material I received this week
    Go through the women’s counseling training materials for the church
    Watch a funny show or movie with the family
    Clean the bathrooms until they sparkle
    Check facebook
    Plan out my daily devotions for next week!

There is an upside to getting “old” I guess, isn’t there? We are better able, in some ways, to find joy in the little things such as this. I love a clean house and organized stuff. I love the feel of being able to have our surroundings nice so we can de-clutter our minds, thoughts, hearts, and distractions. Let’s face it – some of us are just not those types who can fully press in to the things that are most important when all this other stuff is piling up around us.

It is true we need to let go and let God. This is especially true when we are truly pressed for time for things that take precedence over a clean house, or organized bills, and daytimers. But it is also true that we have tasks and responsiblities in our lives and things to get done outside of our lives at work. And the Lord calls us to complete those tasks as long as they don’t get in the way of our time with Him, time spent loving others, and our priorities are aligned with His will.

When the Lord does provide an opportunity for us to maximize the rest of our time by spending a bit of it on getting things into place so that we aren’t distracted by it all, I think we should jump on that and do it with joy in our hearts.

So this old gal is going to go down the list this weekend and love every minute of it. At least I’m not so old that I can’t work the vacuum any longer, right?

If you are in a similar situation this weekend, I pray that you can find joy in taking care of the little things that have piled up during the week, minimize distractions for the upcoming week, and use it as time to celebrate in Him, communicate with Him, and spend time praising Him.

We can praise the Lord in all circumstances, even while cleaning or organzing things, can’t we? And we can rest assured that to Him, that never gets “old.”

Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven, praise him from the mountaintops;  Praise him, all you his angels, praise him, all you his warriors,  Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, you morning stars; Praise him, high heaven, praise him, heavenly rain clouds;  Praise, oh let them praise the name of God –  he spoke the word, and there they were!  He set them in place from all time to eternity; He gave his orders, and that’s it! Praise God from earth, you sea dragons, you fathomless ocean deeps;  Fire and hail, snow and ice, hurricanes obeying his orders;  Mountains and all hills, apple orchards and cedar forests;  Wild beasts and herds of cattle, snakes, and birds in flight;  Earth’s kings and all races, leaders and important people,  Robust men and women in their prime, and yes, graybeards and little children.  Let them praise the name of God –  it’s the only Name worth praising. His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky; he’s built a monument – his very own people! Praise from all who love God! Israel’s children, intimate friends of God. Hallelujah! Psalm 148 The Message

Clarity in the Fuzzy

Ju-Chul Kim via imagekind

Ju-Chul Kim via imagekind

I am tired.

I am blessed.

I am weary.

But I won’t stress.

I feel fuzzy.

I receive grace.

My Jesus Loves Me.

Seeking His face.

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Soon, I will be sharing a longer post regarding my new job.

But for now, I must say, that I wish to encourage all who are weary today.

Because Jesus – my Savior – He is encouraging me today through my own kind of weary.

I am bone tired (physically) this lovely evening, and am about to go to bed (very, very early for me).

But like I stated above, I am still blessed – even through the tired.

Right now I am in training, which is full time, day hours for my new wonderful job at a Christian ministry that I love.

I am not used to this – at all. I’m kind of in a culture shock of my own, so to speak.

Yes, I always worked hard – very, very hard. Probably too hard, to be quite honest.

But for ten years, I worked nights. That had it’s own set of problems, but there were a lot of advantages to it when it came to figuring out how to “do life.” (The rest of life aside from what we do at work, I mean).

Some things I am not used to that have made me a bit weary as I am adjusting:

  • Getting up and getting ready, whilst getting the kids ready too.
  • Figuring out ahead of time what to wear for the next day, as where I work now is not a “just throw whatever you want to wear on and go out the door” kind of place.
  • Traffic, traffic, and traffic. Getting children to school, and then getting to work on time in the midst of said traffic.
  • Mean people in traffic (okay, that’s not brand new for me, but there’s just more of it to contend with at 7:30 am and 5:15 pm)
  • Not having time to look at my checkbook, online bank statement, bills, daytimer, make phone calls, or do other tasks to manage the family appointments,activities, etc.
  • Going to the store during busy and peak hours (even though we try to do that on weekends, it happens, ya know?)
  • And doing my blog posts – which I love, but have to limit to either being smaller/shorter for right now since I will not sacrifice time for my own devotions in order to blog.
  • Lots and lots of other stuff.

The good news is that this is all about growth and keeping the blessings and the peace and the joy of the Lord close to my heart during a difficult period of adjustment. I knew it was coming and what my struggle areas would be, and that the Lord is helping me, as He always and graciously does.

The better news is that this schedule is temporary (for about a month or so) and then I will be part time at this job, part time at the church job, and still get to be home with my family in the evenings and do my other volunteer activities (in limited ways, which I am still working on, friends).

The best news is that I can see Jesus through the fuzzy – because I am seeking His face. And that is so crucial for every single one of us.

Are you going through a period of fuzzy of your own right now? Or maybe, did you just have a fuzzy day today?

Seek Him, friends, if you are weary, fuzzy, or challenged in any way. Whether you are worn down physically, not getting enough rest, have too much to do – seek Him.

Nothing else is as important as that.

I am certainly no expert – that’s probably why the Lord is using me to send out this message today – because I get it – utterly, completely, and totally!

This is a problem area for me in my own life – always has been. Therefore, I understand it, have empathy in relation to this, and know the internal and physical struggles that fuzzy of many different forms can cause for us.

The motivations and intentions of our hearts can even be good, but we can still struggle with change, taking too much on, or not knowing quite where to draw my boundaries, or what our limitations are (in what the Lord would have us do, or not do) ahead of time sometimes.

Guess that’s why we have to constantly be willing to be flexible, try stuff out, and then change where needed, eh?

You just don’t always know your limitations until you pray, then try things out, always being willing to change or adjust according to how the Lord leads.

I am learning more about when to say “no”, or when to say “yes, but not right now.”

I am learning that I am going to have to leave not only the “extra” things behind at times, but even the things that seem important or pressing, if and when they get in the way of resting in the Lord and His goodness.

If it means I can’t seek His face and get enough time with family or enough rest, it has to either go, or be suspended temporarily. This new schedule is helping me not only to see that, but to be thankful that the Lord set things up to where my permanent schedule will indeed, be part time. Gracious and Merciful God!

Isn’t that what it’s all about here in this life before we go home to live with our Mighty Savior for all eternity? Relying upon Him and making loving Him first, and others next, our utmost priority is a challenge, but one that is so well worth embracing every single day!

Yes. It most certainly is.

And that, my friends, is not fuzzy at all.

That, has been made completely and totally crystal clear.

Be encouraged today that if life is getting fuzzy, we can always look to Jesus – He is there for us and waiting – with open and loving arms.  He will never forsake us. And He has promised that if we look, and draw near to Him, we shall see His beautiful face. What a privilege!

He shall give us rest…..peace….and a divine kind of joy that we can never find in even the clearest of moments that we can possibly experience in this fuzzy little world.

It is just a stop off, friends. It is just temporary. Keep looking towards Him and all that is eternal.

Be blessed as you seek rest in Him. Then pull out your bible, get down on your knees, and get your self into bed!

That’s what I’m a’doin’ right now. Peace out!

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As for Me and my Mouse…..

Friends ~

As we start another week, I thought it would be nice to encourage one another (again).

Let us be living examples of how to speak to others, whether face-to-face, on the telephone, or through our blogs and social media.

The world and all its trappings wants to suck us in – suck us in to play the games, sling the mud, and make us defensive for loving our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Don’t allow it to happen, friends. Watch out for those who scheme and deceive.

Remember: We can speak the truth, and we can show love.

Jesus does both, and so can we!

No matter what anyone else tells you, remember it is the Lord that we ultimately answer to for our actions – He knows our hearts.

And it is Jesus Christ, who we aspire to be likened to. We can ask Him for His power – He promises to give it to us if we only seek Him and draw near.

Be encouraged this Monday – this entire week – and reap His blessings and His peace!

Don’t forget who you are……Children of the Most High!

Our God reigns!

It’s really simple – ask for His power – ask for His wisdom – ask for His strength, His love, and His guidance and direction.

And simply ask – each and every time you venture onto social media……………

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“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4: 14-15

“Why are Christians so judgmental?”

I thought this was very good from a great blogger friend of mine. It is so important to speak the truth when called by the Lord to do so – we just need to remember that those who don’t believe upon Christ are like “blind” men. We also must remain loving at the same time. Big topic on my heart lately – grace, love AND truth are all vital!

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One of the  most widespread arguments against Christians is that they are “judgmental” or  “always imposing their views on others.” Often, this criticism comes in response  to Christians who speak out against behaviors and lifestyles that God judges as  “sin” and has declared to be an outrage to Him (see Proverbs  16:1). We live in a society where “everyone [does] what [is] right in his  own eyes” (Judges  21:25)—where people insist that there are no moral absolutes, that each man  should decide for himself what is right or wrong, and that we should “tolerate”  (meaning “celebrate”) sinful activities. Those who take seriously the biblical  warnings against sin and dare speak out against evil are written off as  religious fanatics, and all Christians are, ironically, judged as being  “judgmental.”

The Scripture that is used the most to support the idea  that Christians should not judge is Matthew 7:1

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Dad Told Me to Tell You Something

I have two brothers by blood, and they are awesome dudes.They are saved by the blood of Jesus and answer to our Abba Father.I am so grateful for this, as it means I get to keep on living with them for all eternity.Here’s a pic of them when they were young’uns.cologne

Here’s one of all three of us….at my wedding – also, “back in the day.”

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I love my brothers and their lovely families….. with all my heart!

I never had any sisters by blood. In a way, I didn’t mind it all that much, because my brothers were just so very RAD.

However, I definitely realize that there are other brothers and sisters of mine out there in this world – lost ones – ones who have left home. They number in the thousands.

They got really mad at our dad and just…..took off. I still talk to them, but they just won’t talk to my dad at all. And they won’t come back home.

This makes me so very sad.

For a long time, I just tried to keep the peace and stay out of their business. After all, it’s between them and dad, not them and me. But I have realized this is very selfish of me.

So, I have decided to start to tell them like it is.

Because I love them too – with all my heart.

They may still not decide to make peace with dad or come back home, but I have to keep on trying.

Because love? Well, it just never fails. People might, but love doesn’t.

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“Yah, Yeah..I know you say, “He’s not my dad.” You say it all the time! Whatever, bro. You know that He is, and I get it – you’re mad. But I am your sister, and you can’t even deny it. Don’t even try, because I won’t let you. He said to tell you that He knows that you’re mad and all, but that you are welcome to come back. You don’t even have to get yourself all straightened out first – He said He’d be there for you no matter what. He said he’d help you with all of it.”

“He also said that He loves you and you may not feel like He does, but it’s true. Just because He doesn’t agree with the fact that you left, and some of the stuff you’ve been doing, well, it doesn’t change that.”

“C’mon, man! You are acting like you did when we were little kids, bro. I mean, don’t you remember how mad we would get when He didn’t give us our way back then? I don’t know about you, but I am glad that He didn’t “show us He loved us” by letting us just do whatever the heck we wanted without trying to stop us. And look how messed up things get even with that help from Him that we got! I can’t even imagine how much worse it would be if He hadn’t done that. Haven’t you ever thought about that?”

“I mean, don’t you remember that time when I wanted to get my curfew changed to match up to what all my friends were getting to do? I really thought it was unfair that they all got to stay out later, and here I was, perfect A student, responsible chick, the one with the good morals and values, and dad wouldn’t let me stay out later. Yeah…those kids ended up being arrested one night after I had left to come home.”

“But I was still mad about it, wasn’t I? I still translated that into “what a mean dad” and didn’t see the love in that situation at all! I wanted what I wanted and that was that. And if I didn’t get it, well, He was just the tyrant and unloving father, wasn’t he?”

“I don’t think I even thanked Him or let alone, apologized to Him after that – even after seeing quite clearly that He most definitely saved my rear by not letting me change my curfew, I treated Him like crud. And He still loved me – just like He still loves you. He didn’t hold it over my head, or use it to make me love Him better, or try to teach me a  lesson, or plead His own case. He knew it was right loving, and knew I’d hate Him for it, and that maybe, just maybe, one day I would see His love for me and embrace it.  Why do you think it would be any different for you?”

“That’s where I see you being right now, bro. And it really sucks. It sucks, as your sibling to see you doing this to dad and to yourself. Mostly, because I love you and I love Him and it breaks my heart to see you hating Him and hating yourself.”

“Here’s the kicker…and I say this as your sister in  love, man. Dad is always going to love you and so am I. But we would be a crappy family if we didn’t tell you how extremely important it is that you get your butt back home, like YESTERDAY!”

“I’m not kidding around, man. You know I have told you this before, and it is serious! That day I talked about last time we met up? Well, it’s coming and soon. I was reading those plans that Dad drew up years ago again yesterday. Dude, they are no joke! These are detailed plans, brother. There is no way this is not happening – it is! Dad can’t tell me when, but He keeps on saying “I just know, and when it happens you will not be left behind – don’t worry.” But He keeps telling me to go and get my brother. And He is getting more and more concerned, man, I am not kidding you!”

“It’s going to break His heart if you don’t get back home man. Mine too. I do not want to see you left behind. When we have to go, we have to go, and I kind of feel like Dad has only been waiting this long because He wants to give you as much opportunity to get back home with us before we leave. But, I can see it clear as day, man…He is getting more and more concerned. I can see this urgency in His face, and I can almost feel His heart breaking when I see it. And He is more concerned for you than for anything else, so don’t even try to say it’s about selfishness!”

“Plus, I don’t know if you have ever considered this, but do you realize that there are actually other people at risk here? If you would just stop being so stubborn, maybe we could all get going already! You aren’t helping the others out by being this way either. But most of all, you are hurting yourself, man.”

I know you probably don’t feel right now like you care about that much, because I can tell you don’t like yourself very much at this time  in your life. You know that I don’t say any of this to guilt trip you, just to help you see that you might want to consider that as well. I mean, you are basically throwing away a great thing here. ”

“I do know this: It is not gonna be good – at all – to be left behind, man. I know you think you are doing all right, but I can tell you don’t feel all that great about your situation. And, at least you know we are still around –  Dad, me, all of us in your family are waiting for you to come back. But when it’s time to leave, if you aren’t there, even though we will continue to love you, there will be no way for you to join us right away. You will have to hang in there by yourself – truly by yourself! And it is going to get ugly in this world.  You may think it is already, but Dad told me what is going to be happening, and He has told you too. You know deep down in your heart that He is always right about these things – I know you know it. Don’t miss out just because you are so angry!”

“Take a look around, man! Open your eyes! This isn’t just a bunch of made up dreams, man. Everything Dad said is actually happening all  around us. And I believe Him that it will get worse. I have been trying to hold back and give you time to come to your own conclusions, but now I have to get tough with you man, because I don’t want you to miss it. I wouldn’t be a very good sister if I didn’t tell you how urgent this is, now would I?”

“Please just search your heart man and act upon it right away. What do you have to lose except for this miserable existence that never fully satisfies you or brings you joy? I mean, Dad even said you don’t have to be all fixed up and perfect and put back together to come back home! Don’t you get that?”

“You may still feel a bit angry with Him, but He’s willing to work it all out. Why aren’t you?”

“You just have to come back home. We’ll all help you, man. We are messed up too, you know. We all help each other.You just have to come back home.”

“You can still not fully understand His love for you, can you? You don’t have to fully understand everything right now.  You just have to accept it and let Him back into your heart and your life. You just have to come back home.”

“Won’t you think about it, at least? You know where He is. He said He’d be there whenever you want to talk with Him about it. Any time, day or night.”

“But as your sister, I have to tell you, I wouldn’t delay any longer if I were you.”

“You don’t even need to pack anything.”

“Dad told me to tell you – He’s got all that you need at home.”

“And He loves you. He loves you so very, very much.”

“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 ESV

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