Even HE

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When He was here, living in flesh amongst us, even Jesus – the Savior of all – even He looked up. He made communion with His Father of the utmost and primary importance in life.That causes me to wonder something in relation to what we should do ourselves:

Maybe that’d be a good idea for us…..to look up….all the time.

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will
darken their faces. Psalm 34:5 NLT

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Big God, Big Air

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

This is how I feel about Jesus. May you jump with joy for Him too!

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“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55:12

Dude looks like a Maybe

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I used to think my belief in Jesus should be kept private overall. Stepping on people’s toes by talking about Him? Well, that’s just not appetizing to everyone we come into contact with in life.

I didn’t want to be rejected or considered a Jesus Freak, for one. Secondly, I didn’t want to make people feel uncomfortable by talking about my Savior because, well…I just really liked their approval of me so much. If people aren’t comfortable with you, they don’t want to hang out with you either, so fear of being alone and shunned played into my reserved nature about sharing Christ with others as well.

Bottom Line? No matter which way you cut it…..I was ashamed of my belief in Jesus. 😦

I no longer feel this way. and I will no longer act this way.  I now see why, when truly making Christ the center of our lives, we can’t help but to want to cry out “rejoice in the Lord, I say rejoice!” (Phil 4:4)  I not only have a different outlook about being bold for Jesus, but I am finding He is giving me what I need in order to actually act upon that and proclaim His name loudly.

A big part of how He is helping me has been through growing my heart –  love – a true and genuine love for others. I never thought I’d see the day that I would have even a smidge of that kind of love in my creaky heart. I’m talking about the REAL stuff here – the TRUE kind of love that can only come from what God can fill us with through the Holy Spirit and His grace. Only His kind of love is sufficient. Only He can give it to us. And He has plenty of it to go around.

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It’s so crucial to make sure that we truly do reflect the light of Jesus and His love in unmistakable ways in our world. When there’s so much darkness around to contend with, the lights need to be turned on full force. If we look to Jesus and the way he approached people when he walked on the soil of this earth, we can see pretty clearly that His concern was not as to whether or not speaking the truth would be an imposition to others and their comfort level. At the same time, He spoke the truth in love, didn’t He? He pierced the darkness then and He still does so now, without question.

I think some of the problem is that we can often forget about the importance of that love part.  Part of being loving is being honest. I’m not talking about the kind of “honest” that people like to hide behind in order to just say whatever they want to say or do whatever they want to do – that’s actually called “no tact”, and can be quite heartless. But I am talking about the kind of honest in which we speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – His truth, in love – and then we leave others to decide for themselves how they feel about it and what they are, or aren’t going to do with that.That’s a decision that only that individual person can make.

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I thought a lot today about the days Jesus walked as a man on this earth; He walked and loved amongst men and women that sometimes cried out to Him for help and love and healing and He did the same with those who decided otherwise; they decided instead to mock Him, chastise Him, beat, spit upon, berate, ostracize, and eventually crucify Him. I wondered about how He looked as He moved amongst these people – these souls who were just like we are today?  Did He ever look confused or not sure of the truth? Did He ever look like He might love them today only to turn against them tomorrow? Did He ever portray a lack of fairness, compassion, mercy, or forgiveness?

No. Not even during His darkest hours. Jesus doesn’t withhold honest. And He doesn’t withhold love. But did this ever bother Him? Was He ever………………..

Sad?

  • “Jesus Wept”. John 11:35

Angry?

  • “And he [Jesus] said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to  do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at  them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was  restored.” Mark: 3:4,5

Sorrowful?

  • “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

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Our feelings can be maybe’s sometimes, but there is no maybe involved when it comes to Jesus and all He offers us – all the love He has for us – all that He was and is willing to do to save us from an eternal life apart from Him and the Father when He allowed Himself to be sacrificed on that cross. There is no maybe that He is risen, that He loves sinners, that only He can save us, and that He doesn’t want for one single soul to be lost to Him. There is no maybe with Jesus.

Should my life reflect any maybe’s then, in relation to professing my faith? Doing so would be akin to a slap in the face in light of all that He did for me, don’t you think? I owe it all to Him. And then some.

And like the twelve, I know I am soooooo very flawed, and I will fail when I operate in my own strength. Jesus was betrayed and denied by His very own, and He knew that He would be. So I pray all the time that He will give me the power and the faithfulness and the love for Him I need to never, ever back down and never, ever intentionally fail Him……to be willing and privileged to stand strong for Him until the very end. Because to say He deserves that from me? Well, that is a grand understatement if you ask me.

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I tried to imagine how those disciples of His all looked, acted, and spoke as they went out amongst the nations, professing that Christ is risen…that He is Lord…that we can only be saved by Him and through Him. Although these men of God had very different styles and personalities and approaches, Jesus made it abundantly clear they were to be unmistakably His and to make that known – to spread the gospel to others, no matter what the circumstances – no matter what the cost – and to do so with absolute and total reckless abandon. Aside from Judas, they did so, even to their deaths. They did so with no probably’s in the view – they did so emphatically, faithfully, and uncompromisingly. Those dudes? They weren’t maybe’s any longer. They were Jesus honest. They showed Jesus love.

I don’t want to be a maybe either. When people interact with me, I don’t want them to have any question that Jesus is my Savior and lives in me – that He is the absolute center of my life. As I mentioned, we really just can no longer afford to shine dimly in this world – and really, could we ever? Haven’t we seen this with our very own eyes?  People need to know, with no shadow of a doubt what we believe and why we believe it if we are followers of Jesus Christ. They need to know how badly we want to share this beautiful gift with them. They need to know He is alive, and that He loves them. They need to know they are invited. And they need to know with no doubt of any kind overshadowing that truth – that His love and the salvation He offers to us is the greatest gift of all.

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It’s not even about what I believe in – it’s about who I believe in! We have to have the Spirit of God living within us to reflect that clearly and boldly to the world. No action on our part could ever do it brightly enough or could ever be adequate. So that means I can’t approach my personal walk with the Lord as a maybe either. I have seen enough to be fully convinced that the Spirit grows and grows and bursts forth only when we seek diligently, dedicate the time and energy to spending time with our Savior, and allow Him and seek for Him to grow us through our obedience and desire to know Him more and more each day.

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So for me, maybe is definitely not where it’s at. I’m all the way in. I hope it shows to the world and the people I come into contact with each and every single day. I don’t want to be the dude who looks like I might be a follower of Christ at all. I want them to see Him in me in an unmistakable way. Because I want to show them Jesus love. I want to worship my Savior through this. I want for Him, through me, to bring glory to His name.

This dude – dude-ette? – She’s an emphatic and absolute “yes.” And “maybe” is a definite and total “NO”.

“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.
But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is
faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

“Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day”.  Psalm 96:2

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**All images in this post used with permission from CreationSwap.com – no attribution required or desired.

Upon this Rock.com

Upon this Rock.com

Neediness Nudges

White Chrysanthemum

Today I need.

I was thinking all day long about the fact that it is good to know that we need the help of our Savior, isn’t it?  And yet, I continue to have things come up in which I realize I am not relying upon Him to meet those needs like I should.

It’s so difficult to remember that we are always in need! The enemy, working through just our personality, circumstances, or messaging from the world, can often deceive us into thinking that we are okay – that we don’t need any help – and that in fact, self-sufficiency is what we should strive for in life. Lies!

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I like freedom – but I have come to realize that a need to feel in control is not only an illusion in regard to liberty and freedom, but a very deceitful ruse as well.  It’s a deadly trap. It’s an ambush. Self-reliance is not true freedom at all. It’s utter slavery.

We can fall into this web of lies so easily, and I will be the first to admit that I struggle immensely in this area. Sometimes, if I really look to the root of it, I start to become self-sufficient out of fear. Other times, it’s due to an underlying pride of sorts, a false idol of it’s very own! And then there’s just plain selfishness. That ugly, icky, dirty selfishness. I guess that’s not too “plain.” But all of it is then laced up and covered with a nice little layer of “goodness” on top. That’s what makes it so deceptive – it’s just a pretty little weed.

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The moment we forget our need for Jesus, we are beginning to spiral out of control whether we recognize it or not. Isn’t it ironic that the more self-sufficient we think that we are, the more deep (up to our necks, actually) in need we truly are? By the time we do figure it all out, we are in danger of drowning. And this happens over and over again. Sometimes, I figure out the trickery that has been going on in one area, only to find there are three others that have piggybacked right on top of the original one. It’s exhausting!

But, lest you think I am in a mode of self-condemnation, fear not, my dear friends. I realize that, thankfully, and ever-so graciously, the Lord can handle things for me if I can simply remember to surrender – daily. Second by second. I am asking for His help with this, because I clearly do not have a good memory. 🙂

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See, He wants to be there for us from the very beginning – to lean upon, to help, to guide and direct, to answer, and to fulfill. He wants for us to realize that we need him all of the time, not just when we perceive troubled waters and storms on the way. So often in life, I have waited until I am in the middle of the hurricane before I even think to call upon Him. You would think I would learn my lesson from these near death experiences, but stubbornness and sin breeds more, well…….. stubborn sin! But even when I mess up, and don’t call as I should have right away, He is there for me – every single time.

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So, neediness nudges us closer to Jesus doesn’t it? I often wish I could manage to truly remember my need without having to be reminded through stupid mistakes and things that show up to reflect my lack of faith. But then, that’s just me trying again to be something that I am not – not on my own, at least.

Today I need. And today I know it. Today, I remember. And I am thankful for the nudge.

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Guess what else? We are being nudged closer and closer to that day, friends of mine; that glorious day when we don’t have so many wimpy, shallow little needs. That day when we will see no more weeping,  no more crying, no more shame or violence or hatred. That day when we will not battle with the mind and the flesh. That day where we will get to live within His presence and light constantly, never overshadowed by the sin of self-sufficiency or anything else for that matter. That day where we only will be focused upon basking within His light and love, not the muck and quicksand of self  here on this earth. It will all be about worship, of Him, our One and Only, the Mighty One. Great is the Lord!

I guess, if we really think about it, every breath we take moves us one step closer to that glorious day – the one that will last forever and evermore. That’s why Jesus did what He did for us – to give us the Blessed Hope – that we will reign with Him in His kingdom forever and ever some day! I can’t wait.

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Let’s wallow in that promise instead of the muck and mire of self, shall we? Let’s listen and wait upon the Lord and revel in the nudges when we feel them within us. Let’s embrace our need for a Savior, and look forward with delight to that day in which we can continue to sing His praises, rest in His ever-present light and warm arms, and never, ever, need nudging again.

For today, I still need.

How about you?

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“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16: 23-24

 

All Images in this Post Used with Permission from Microsoft Office

Flabby or Soft?

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds (Photo credit: epSos.de)

So, I backed off a little bit on my exercise this last month or two – I decided to scale it down a little to give a muscle I had injured some time to heal. That muscle definitelly started to feel better, but the rest of me does NOT. So, that’s over now and it’s time to get back to work!

Anyway, what I have noticed is that although I still worked out about three or four times per week, I kind of let other things go too – I ate more chocolate (which I have always indulged in, but I in-DULGED!), allowed myself more treats (like torilla chips – yum!) AND didn’t do a very good job about my water and green tea intake (which is VERY important for me to not be a slacker about!).

I did a wonderful job of backing off!

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See, I am kind of one of those really interesting types who doesn’t really give stuff like that my personal best if I am not going at it pretty much full-force. Some might say that means I am an extremist, and I guess in some ways, I am. Honestly, I think it’s because I know myself pretty well – I am a slacker at  “heart ” (tee hee) and if I don’t stay focused, I can lose it pretty quickly. Sad, but true.

I think the Lord tells us, when we are seeking Him, when it is to our benefit and within His will to be extreme. For example, I believe in being an absolute and total follower of Christ – a overboard, ultra-committed, way-out-there-on-fire-for-Him full on disciple! I am a Jesus Freak and I am not ashamed to say it.

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I also find that I fall into the category of being “extreme” by the world’s standards when it comes to how much I actually find that I need to exercise to stay fit. The world likes to tell us that three to four thirty minute sessions a week is just fine. But it definitely is not for me!  I lead a pretty sedentary life during the week – I have a customer service job, I blog and do a lot of computer work, and I sleep during the day as I work at night. Sure, I have errands and housework to do, but those things do not keep me fit at all ( I know some women who swear by it, but I am not one of them – it just doesn’t do enough for me – never has, never will).

Anyway, I digress. What I really meant to talk about was that I noticed that although I am not into a different size of clothing, or haven’t really gained a ton of weight (maybe five pounds, but I am not getting on that scale, no siree!) that everything has just gone – well, kind of “soft”, since I took this little “break.”  Gummies, anyone?

Hearts and Candy

Hearts and Candy (Photo credit: Rdoke)

After working for a couple of years to lose a lot of weight the healthy way, I am not about to allow that to get out of hand again – God really helped me through that endeavor and I don’t want to blow it after all of the grace He threw my way.

And soft, in this sense really isn’t just “soft”, is it? Let’s be honest; it’s just plain “flabby.” And flab is baaaaaddddd.

Yes, flab is bad, both physically and spiritually. It causes heart disease, makes one lethargic, can lead to depression, anxiety, and a whole bunch of other things that are not what I would categorize as good. One then becomes a slave to their poor health, rather than spending time focusing on the good things – like Jesus, family, friends, and enjoyment of all the blessings that God has placed around us. Like this coffee, for example!

Cappuccino with heart

Cappuccino with heart (Photo credit: litlnemo)

Uh-hem….hold the whipped cream please.  Smile.

So, let’s just assume that flabby is not okay. At least it isn’t for me.

BUT, soft is a different thing altogether. I have really been praying that Jesus would soften my hard heart and He is starting to work on me in that area. Not even a year ago, I just felt like my heart was icy in a lot of areas – especially towards people. I knew this wasn’t good and that I needed to ask God to soften it up – give me HIS heart – HIS kind of love to feel and show to others. I was scared to pray for this, let me tell you! And I still need a lot of help from Him – every single day (I always will, because I NEED Him). But, He has shown me, as He has chipped away at the black ice that had built up inside of me, that it is definitely rewarding to live with a softened heart. It’s starting to melt!

Heart outtake

Heart outtake (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

You know, I was just thinking about that difference between flabby and soft in relation to the living Spirit of God. When we are flabby, we can’t zip up our jeans the same way, things are more restrictive and tight, stuff just jiggles around and has no order to it – it is just chaotic and irritating. But when we are just a bit soft hearted, well, to me, that would be a better kind of place to live in than inside of a hard heart – because God is just so big, so vast, so without limits, He needs our hearts to be pliable – moldable to Him – movable – flexible, and certainly not rigid.

When I was a young girl, I cared about practically everyone – I would cry for others at the drop of a hat. Although that isn’t a terrible thing, when I look back on it now, I see that my motivations and intentions weren’t really pure. Sometimes it was because I truly did care about and love others. But other times, it was just because I got a sense of identity, acceptance, or satisfaction about being that care taker. That was not a soft heart, but a flabby one.

So I have been to both places, my friends. I have had the flab-ridden heart and the heart of a black iceberg – neither one is fun, and neither one is the heart of Jesus.

As good as heart can wish

As good as heart can wish (Photo credit: harold.lloyd)

I am grateful that my Savior is finally starting to soften up that heart but keep the flab out too. I know that it will be a process and look forward to him proceeding at whatever rate of speed He deems as good. I have yielded to Him and plan to continue to do so, as I know He has a lot of work to do inside there. He has taken away my fear, allowed me to embrace vulnerability once again, and reassured me that soft as it is becoming, He will not allow it to be pierced without His permission or protection.

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Isn’t it wonderful to yield ourselves to our Lord and Savior?

I have always loved hearts and what they symbolize – but now, I love them for what they always should have represented first and foremost in my life – I love hearts because they remind me of Jesus and HIS love for all of us. I love hearts because although at times they are broken, He can repair them and remind us of His wonderful power and grace. And I love that He fills mine up with all of Himself and keeps making it softer and softer by the day.

I love hearts. And I love soft.

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Thank you Jesus for living in mine.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you
your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

 

Be Still, Bro

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Need dinner on the table
Got lots of bills to pay
Three places I need to be at
Get that workout in today.

BE…………………………………….

Calendars to prioritize
And mail to sift on through
Taxes to prepare, and
Lots and lots to do!

STILL……………………………..

Need to check the schoolwork
And get over to the store
Have that other appointment
Gotta get on out the door.

AND………………………….

Get the house all clean
All that laundry still to do
Return those fifteen phone calls
That bill is coming due!

KNOW………………………….

Time to read that article
Fit in coffee with my friend
Don’t forget that application
And those pants you need to mend.

THAT…………………………..

I forgot the paper towels
And the coffee filters too!
Better make another trip
Then pick them up from school.

I………………………………..

Texts,pix and emails,
Updates, posts and tweets
Answer all those voice mails
Don’t forget to bring the treats!

AM………………………….

Cook, bake, garden, sweep
Then pick up all this mess
Consolidate goodwill basket
Don’t forget: reduce your stress!

GOD………………………………

Volunteer, attend and offer
Five more forms to get filled out
Don’t forget the plants need love
Always smile and never shout.

BE STILL……………………….

You need to put the clothes away
And the house needs to be dusted
Remind yourself that when you can
That sink is looking rusted.

AND KNOW………………………

Devotions, prayer and quiet
Spending time with Him
Set the stuff aside
Put all the lights on dim

THAT I………………………….

Drop it, let it go
Don’t let it get to you
Focus on time with Jesus
Not all you have to do.

AM GOD………………………..

Fun With Water Drops - 6

Fun With Water Drops – 6 (Photo credit: Cayusa)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
 I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

‘Nuff Said

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 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as
yourself.'” Luke 10:27

Wallpaper Courtesy of jesuschristwallpaper.net

Jesus Didn’t Have a Cell Phone

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“In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:6

Our pastor once said that “Jesus didn’t have a cellphone” Those words were ringing and ringing through my head all morning! Although he shared that thought with us in church months and months ago, today, it suddenly popped into my head and I couldn’t get it out. And then I realized that it was because God wanted me to really think about that long and hard  today.

Although I appreciate the way that we can use technology and social media to proclaim the gospel of Christ, as well as to stay “connected” with one another, sometimes I have to listen to the Lord as He reminds me where true connectivity really comes from. It’s far too easy to start to rely only upon our cellphones and the trappings of this world for a sense of companionship and comfort in life. My faith is not in my cellphone!

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I was one who was brought up in the generation where we didn’t have such things at our fingertips yet. I am usually behind the times and quite resistant to getting into the game every time there is something new out there to learn.

Case in Point: I set up a Twitter account some time ago because I felt I needed to in order to stay up-to-date with the times and all that the kids are up to, but I have still not set up my profile or started to use it. I am resisting that little blue bird!

via Pixabay

via Pixabay

But it is important to go where the people are, and the fact is…people use social media! We just have to be careful that it doesn’t take away from living for Christ.

I only caved in and obtained a cell phone when I started to work nights….for safety reasons – yet I have now succumbed to relying upon it for multitudes of other things. I find myself sometimes relying upon it way too much. I’m in deep.

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There are some really good things about having this nice little luxury of communication that’s the size of an Uno Deck of cards in my purse or in my pocket, no doubt. Yet it bothers me when, on that rare occassion, I leave the house without it and I feel somewhat lost, unsafe, or just plain weird. And the Lord is tugging on me about that, for sure – I am so very grateful. He always lets me know when it’s time to unplug a little from the stuff that is distracting me and plug in more to HIM!

Jesus makes it abundantly clear that solitude and time spent in quiet alone with our Father in prayer is of the highest priority! He modeled this time and time again for us when He walked the earth, and shows us not only that we need to do it, but that we should want to spend quiet time with God.

In the face of being constantly busy feeding the multitudes, seeking out sinners in need of a Savior, and healing and caring for people from all walks of life,  He still made time to go off alone and be in the presence of His Father – consistently, and without fail. He would often pray through the night, spent his final and darkest hours in prayer, went off into quiet and desolate places to do so, and didn’t rush it when He got there. The Father was first, and the rest is what He actually “made time” for.

Bernie via Fanpop

Bernie via Fanpop

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night
praying to God. Luke 6:12

“And when day came, He departed to a lonely place; and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away  from them.”   Luke 4:42

“But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”   Luke 5:16

“Very early in the morning,  while it was still dark,  Jesus withdrew to a solitary place to be alone with God and pray.” Mark 1: 35

Gazel via Pixabay

Gazel via Pixabay

“He Himself.”

That really speaks to me! If it is that high of a priority for Jesus Christ HIMSELF to put everything else aside in order to focus upon His relationship with His Father, shouldn’t it be for me?

And it certainly didn’t impact His ministry and ability to reach others and do His Father’s work! Jesus reached the multitudes over and over again and He didn’t need a cell phone to do it. He still does today. Everyone on the planet may have one by the year 2015 (is it?), but God transcends even that – He has a much further range – an infinite one, actually. He can reach us in places that no cell phone could ever go.

I know, we have a lot more people roaming around now than there were 2000 some years ago. I know that it is also a great way that we can spread the Good News across the continents, into the far-reaching deserts and jungles, and even to the isolated mountaintops of places such as Tibet. That’s not the point I wish to make at all; that we should lose the cell phones and social media so we can go back to the days in which Jesus walked the earth. But I do think we could stand to unattach ourselves at times – in fact, I think if we really do want to live a life that edifies Christ, we have to do it.

InlovewithJesus via Fanpop

InlovewithJesus via Fanpop

Part of being still before the Lord is coming to him bare – vulnerable – and without distraction. It’s about approaching Him with reverence and awe and showing Him that He is what is most important to us! This stillness and complete focus upon Him enables us to carry Him with us throughout the rest of the busy day. It helps His voice to ring out loudly from within us in the midst of the ringing of the cell phone and incoming text messages, the daily calling of the email inbox, and the tweets and status updates on facebook that are constantly begging for attention.

No, Jesus didn’t have a cell phone. I don’t think He really wants for me to carry mine with me when I come to bow down before Him in my time that is meant for Him and Him alone. And I know that it isn’t that device that is going to help me to know that I am safe and not alone. Not in this world.

cinti19 via Fanpop

cinti19 via Fanpop

The world tries to tell us that we need to take that cellphone with us wherever we go and we have a better chance of being safe. In some ways, and in certain situations, it is a tool we can indeed utilize for safety and direction. But don’t forget to remember who it is that truly offers us comfort if the lights go out or we lose signal and service. Even when we forget, He will always still be with us. He’s not just in our purses, and not just in our pockets. He is with us in our hearts.

Jesus didn’t hold a cellphone in His hand. And we don’t merely want to hold Him in ours, with our fists closed tightly to hide Him from the world. We want to show Him to everyone we encounter as He bursts from within us and out towards others! Not some of the time – not only when we think we have good “signal” – but all of the time. We never want to unplug from our Savior.

Thankfully, He does hold us in His strong and loving hands. And that’s the safest, most “connected” place we could ever be.

ibelieveinJesus via Fanpop

ibelieveinJesus via Fanpop

Are you Dangerous?

Nemo via Pixabay

Nemo via Pixabay

I’ve never been much of a risk taker. My radar has typically been on high alert when it comes to whether or not there could be danger up ahead. The fear of the unknown, the wrath that others might inflict on me if I offend them, or those things that could knock me off course? Such things were to be avoided at all costs.

Danger? Not really my thing. But I am starting to see very clearly that I am called not only to be willing to face that which might be scary or foreign to me, but also to be dangerous myself.

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You see, Jesus didn’t live a safe or comfortable life. He walked amongst those considered to be the dregs of society, shook the very foundations upon which the all-powerful leaders and lawmakers of the land stood, spoke truth that flew in the face of everything accepted as “politically correct” or culturally appropriate at the time, touched, hugged and healed lepers and others who had been shunned by everyone else, broke bread with sinners, ran off as a young child to go about His Father’s business, stayed quiet when He could have saved His own neck, spoke up when He knew it probably wouldn’t, and, all the way up to the very last breath – showed mercy and compassion  and offered salvation to the thieves, drunkards, and all the sinners of the world (uh-hem, that’s you and me) – past, present, and future.

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Danger? It is Jesus’ thing.

Not everyone is called to or equipped to go out to war-torn countries to live dangerously for the Lord. We don’t need to seek out the criminals of the world, the drug dealers, the pimps, or the people fighting brawls in every bar across the land. Danger is present all around us – we just don’t confront it enough. We hide. We stay comfortable. We play the game that the world tells us to because “safety first” and “live and let live” are the mantras of our culture, our world. It’s a world that does not embrace Jesus, that’s for sure. But we have the opportunity to proclaim his truth daily – right where we are at.

God’s truth has been viewed as dangerous for the majority of mankind’s existence. Few want to hear it, live it, or face it, much less fully embrace it. His truth entails real change if we are to walk it, talk it, and live it, and most people don’t want any part of it.  Change isn’t comfortable. Right living? Not comfortable. Living for the glory of God versus self and making the occassional sacrifice for all that is good and right in the world?

D-A-N-G-E-R!

greyerbaby via Pixabay

greyerbaby via Pixabay

I am reading a wonderful book right now written by Greg Laurie, called “Making God Known.” I absolutely love what he has to share about proclaiming the gospel. He says that we are to be “spiritually dangerous” if we desire to make an impact for the kingdom of God – and he emphasized that the Lord has asked us to be this way. And just sharing the simple, yet powerful message of the gospel with others, in whatever way that we can, makes us “spiritually dangerous” in this world in which we live. But it takes courage and a willingness to trust that the Lord will be with us every step of the way; empowering us, telling us what to say and do, carrying us through the darkness and over and through the obstacle courses that are part of the dangerous places in which we will begin to reside.

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No, we don’t have to be scared, because Jesus is at the wheel as we venture off the highway and into the sidestreets of life. He will be the light for us in the wooded, dark areas, He will give us the gas that we need to keep moving down the road, He will be our signpost when we am not sure which way to turn, and He will guide our every action, thought, and word. He doesn’t promise us that we will come out unscathed; not at all. But He does promise us that He will never leave us.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him,
but also to suffer for him Philippians 1:29

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

MattGruber via CreationSwap

MattGruber via CreationSwap

We don’t have to worry if others feel offended, because we are looking at life in the face of eternity, not just this time we spend here on earth, and how comfortable we are while we are here.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have people feel a bit angry towards now – initially offended- uncomfortable- unsettled – than to have them cry out later “why didn’t my friend tell me about Jesus? Why didn’t she share how crucial this was and that I would spend eternity apart from Him if I didn’t make a decision to accept Him as my Savior? If she only would have told me! If she only would have cared more about my soul than her comfort!”

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Mr. Laurie shares in his book, “People don’t convert people – the Holy Spirit does.”  Allow me echo that: GOD is the one who converts people – God and God alone! But He likes to use us to reach other people – He has His divine reasons for that. To do so, we have to be willing to take what the world might call risks. To do that, we must at times, be politically incorrect. To do that, we  have to be willing to take up our own cross, just as Christ has done for us, and not only carry it, but kiss it and embrace it – even when we think we can’t carry it one more step! And it can be done with the love of Christ – it can be done by speaking that truth of His in LOVE.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me’. Matthew 16:24

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If we are going to follow Jesus, there is going to be danger involved. But He is with us.

It is then up to us to obey His command – We are to share Christ with others, in love, yet boldly too. It’s up to us to proclaim the gospel and the truth. It’s up to us to be willing to live dangersouly for Jesus, and to be committed to that and faithful to Him every step of the way. And we will have to face worldly dangers in order to be “spiritually dangerous” for the Lord – lots of them!

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If you are wanting to be more of a risk taker for Jesus, listen to that inner voice and just do it!  Jump in armed with the word of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. Find the ways that you can use the gifts the Lord has given you to proclaim the good news of the gospel, to sing His praises, and to bring others to Him so that He can do His work within their hearts and souls.

And lest you are wondering if you have what it takes? God is who qualifies you to do this. You don’t need special skills or a degree in theology to do it. He chose fishermen and tax collectors to carry this out when He picked His own disciples over 2000 years ago.

Aaron Dailey via CreationSwap

Aaron Dailey via CreationSwap

Let me share something with you about  being dangerous for Jesus:  Is it going to be anxiety-producing at times? Yes. Are people going to reject you for it? Yes. Could you lose a job, a position, a special invite, a friend over it? For sure. Are people going to laugh at you, ridicule you, shun you, or even worse, beat you up for it in every way imaginable? Probably.

But again, you can take heart in this: You are not alone…….

Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If
they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching,
they will obey yours also. John 15:20

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And if you haven’t already accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, are YOU feeling led to do something dangerous, what might you do to join us in this adventurous life that God has in store for you? I will share that with you below, so PLEASE read on!  I must tell you, if you make the decision to follow after Christ NOW, you will enter into a dangerous earthly life, but, in reality, you will truly be safer than you have ever been before – because your life will now be spent eternally with Him, not apart from Him. And Hell is very real, my friends – really, it is. Hell is the ONE danger that I, personally, want to avoid at all cost!

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How do I obtain salvation through Jesus Christ and accept Him as my Lord and Savior? It’s not complicated at all. The Bible tells us that we “all fall short of the glory of God.” Because of that, we must………..

Acknowledge that you are a sinner and in need of forgiveness. Sin is anything that falls short of the mark of holy perfection. No one is perfect, and utterly holy but God – so we are all sinners. We need our sins to be forgiven so that we can no longer be separated from God.

God sent His only son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sin…………..

Believe in Jesus and recognize that he died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. He is alive and He paid the penalty for OUR sin.

We must turn away from that sin and turn towards Jesus and accept the fact that it is by “grace and grace alone” that we are forgiven………….

Repent from your sin – We must admit we have sinned and sincerely wish to turn away from it. We can ask Jesus to then forgive us of those sins, and He promises to do so.

We then need to invite Him into our hearts and lives and ask Him to save us and be the Lord of our lives………..

Pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior – you can pray something similar to this below, but realize that you can use your own words and the Lord will hear you:

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Jesus, I know that I have sinned and am in need of your gift of salvation. I realize that what I have earned of my own doing would be death and separation from You. I do believe that You died in my place instead and I ask that You forgive me for my sin.I realize that only You can save me and offer me forgiveness, I cannot do this on my own. I repent of my sin, and reject it from my life; I truly desire to turn away from it and change directions with you. Jesus, please come into my life, remove my sin, and show me how to make you the Lord of my life. I wish to live a life that is pleasing to you.

Jon Romero via CreationSwap

Jon Romero via CreationSwap

If you just prayed this with a sincere and believing heart, you are now saved by the blood of Jesus Christ! You are ready to start being spiritually dangerous. And you will spend eternity in heaven with Him!

Please go to the homepage of this blog and click on the page entitled “Salvation through Jesus Christ” for more information and suggestions on things you can do to start to grow in your personal relationship with your Savior! You need to begin to arm yourself for the wonderful adventure you are about to embark upon as you start to follow after a life with Christ!

Bruce Jennings via CreationSwap

Bruce Jennings via CreationSwap

And if you are already a Christian who loves your Savior and has made Him the Lord of your life – are you ready to start being spiritually dangerous? Take up your cross, and take the first step. There’s someone far stronger than you are that will help you to carry it if you grow weary.

Danger? Never really been my thing. Until now.

I am glad I have others to keep me company along the way.

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“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

Mama Used to Come to My House

Mama used to come to my house.
This bag, inside, she’d lug…
She’d set it by the door,
And start to give the kids their hugs.

Cancer moved it to the closet –
Stored away for rainy days –
The shadow shocks arrive,
Feeling somewhat sad and dazed.

Maybe I’ll look inside –
Memories of her to be found there?
Or will that make things worse?
Don’t know if I should dare.

I smell her mama smell –
But these are just some robes…..
Deeper, digging, hoping –
I continue to search and probe.

Out comes light and beauty,
My mama’s pretty face –
Hidden down deep inside,
Of a dark corner; it’s own space.

Is this a magic bag?
One like Mary Poppins’?
Will I keep on finding things?
Is that the way these things, they happen?

Nope. This isn’t magic.
No special tricks in here…
God sends me a special message –
That He wants for me to hear.

So back to the closet it goes.
But I think it needs more light.
I’ll make it nicer in here –
I’ll make it a bit more bright.

Mama used to come to my house.
This bag, she’d always bring –
But she’s still here and with us….
In our hearts, she hums and sings.

Revelation 21:4  “He will wipe away every tear from  their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor  crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Is there someone you love who has gone home to be with the Lord who used to come and visit you at your house? Please feel free to share your story below in the comments!

Tang Toungled!

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Whenever someone tries to say something and it comes out wrong, my husband likes to say “Is your tang toungled?” It makes me laugh every time. I always stand amazed at the fact that he can say that without getting it all mixed up –  Ha Ha! Just the other day, he was saying it to my son, whose tongue got all tangled up multiple times throughout the day. It has happened to every single one of us at one time or another.

I was thinking on this when I was reading about the power of our words in the Bible later on that evening. That power can be deadly, or it can be something quite glorious.

  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” Proverbs 18:21
  • “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit”  Proverbs 15:4

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Most of us already know that we shouldn’t speak harsh words to one another. Many of us do our best to be careful about our word choices and try not to hurt others by saying mean things. Although some don’t, a lot of people try to abide by the old saying, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is true, and it is good for us to guard our tongues in many situations. We should think twice about what is about to come out of our mouths if we think it will be something biting or hurtful. But most of the time I think we CAN think of something nice to say. I really do.

As I was praying about the power of the tongue, I couldn’t help but hear God’s voice tell me that striving not to say MEAN things just isn’t quite enough for Him – that alone won’t help us to really live out God’s command to love others to the fullest. We are actually called to do far more with our words and our communication than to simply avoid being harsh.

  • We are called to edify one another.
  • We are asked to actively build each other up,
  • God asks us to offer love and mercy to one another
  • He wants for us lend our support and help to those in need.
  • The Lord wants us to sing praises, and hymns and rejoice with one another!
  • And often, this takes opening our mouths.

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I can see clearly that I, personally, am far too conservative with coming out and sharing my uplifting and positive comments and thoughts with others!  There is a lot more of value I could say to others to help them rejoice in life – and admittedly, I have just been plain lazy about it.

NOT OKAY.

See, I don’t want to just avoid eating rotten fruit, like the verse says. I think that the Lord wants for us to partake of the good fruit that He offers to us too. If we never say anything nice, there will be no good fruit to offer to others and no good fruit for us to eat either. We just avoid the junky stuff. But we all need actual nourishment. When has starving ourselves ever been the right answer?

The beauty of using our words to edify one another, is that it yields fruit for both the receiver of the kindness as well as the giver.

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But the magnificence of it lies in the fact that it glorifies God!

  • Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV
  • Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12: 9-13 NKJV

Wow. This is going to take action. This not only means avoidance of tongue tangling, or refraining from saying harsh things, but also going out of my way to communicate goodness to others with my mouth – with a fervent spirit no less! Whoa.

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Here’s some more truth about the tang toungled times in which we live: Technology can be a good avenue for communication, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for real connections made face to face, using our words with other people, and building relationships in which we have to interact on a different level than we do in front of a computer. It takes real interaction with others to edify them, to defer to them, to show affection and brotherly love.

Our world likes to tell us that we are more connected now than we  have ever been, but I beg to differ. Sometimes when things get “easier” we have to work “harder.” I say this as I sit in front of my own computer and blog to you all, but I am more than convicted that I cannot allow this to be a counterfeit of the real and true thing. Thank you Jesus!

Our world likes to tell us lies. Sorry, but it is the truth.

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I know that if I can’t find it in within me to say something nice, that it means I need to ask God to purify that heart of mine. He will put more of HImself in there and I can draw upon that to show His love. That’s how it should be anyway – more of Him, less of me. He reminds me again how important the condition of my heart is in yet another section of His love letter to us:

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.Luke 6:45

Sometimes, there’s not abundance of goodness in my heart. Sometimes I don’t spend time making sure the stockpiles of treasure there are God’s treasure. He is the only truth, and He is the only light. Only He can fill my heart with all that I need to bring forth any good.

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I have no question that if the Lord were standing, physically in front of me, He would actually speak uplifting and kind, sincere words to me with His mouth – He would be generous too. He would tell me something to make sure I know that He knows me – better than anyone else does. He would share verbally how very much He loves me. His expressions, tone, body language, and everything about His message to me would reinforce His words. He wouldn’t be tang toungled, and no cat could ever have His tongue or prevent Him from saying what He wants to say to me – what He really wants for me to know – He would convince me. He would never give up. His actions would match His words. His words would match His actions. They already do.

And this wonderful thing He does for us? He expects us to do for others……………

 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13: 34-35

He expects us to carve this into our hearts. He gives us the power to do so.

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Thankfully, Our Father has given us His Word for us to stand upon and learn from -and it shall never pass away. Those words of HIs are worth listening to. Those words of His are worth hearing and following. Those are words of His are worthy of being  lived out – through the years, through our lives, day in, and day out.

So, rather than simply eat my words, or just stuff them back and end up choking on them, I shall ask my wonderful Savior to place HIS words in my heart and move me by the power of the Holy Spirit to share them – actively, readily, and liberally. There is always something sincere and real, that is utterly positive that we can say to someone else – yes, even our “enemies.”

And if we can’t seem to find it? Or if we are at a loss for words?

We just ask, and we shall receive.

Yes….His words are better than ours every day!

“Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” Exodus 4:12

Heart Check: Humble Pie is Joy Filling!

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Today I am doing a quick heart check on significance and humility. In my devotions, God reminded me of something that at first, comes across as kind of gut-wrenching: My Lord, My God……well, He doesn’t need me.

But guess what? That doesn’t mean that I am unwanted. And today, he is showing me just why that’s an AWESOME thing!

I am full-on aware of the fact that I am quite flawed and sinful at times. I can’t say that I always see all of my imperfections with full clarity, because if I did, I’d probably keel over on the spot out of total shock!

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My Father in heaven reveals the areas in which I need his help (uh-hem…ALL areas, mind you) gracefully and mercifully, and always exercises compassionate and divine timing in so doing. Talk about LOVE!

As only He can do, as he brings back home to me the full-on understanding that He is not a needy God, he also makes certain to assure me of what is more important; that instead, he chooses me. I think that is just glorious!

“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4

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I have spent far too much of my life trying to gain a sense of significance through being needed. I think that for some reason, I accepted that I would never be truly wanted just for who I was, and so I took the counterfeit of that and translated it into the next best thing: being someone people could count on – someone who could fill needs.

Pride can do some strange things in a person’s little heart and feeble mind sometimes. But God knows this, and in his love for us and his all-knowing wisdom, he reveals these things to us in time.

Although I now realize this is not where true joy lives – being the “need filler”,  Satan likes to deceive me with the same old trap because it has worked so frequently for him in the past. He’s been getting more and more deceitful about it in the last couple of years, has had to evolve it and be really creative and innovative, so I thank God for lending me his vision so I can keep on watch fervently.

Once again, Jesus comes to the rescue. Isn’t it great how he does that with the HUGE things (like salvation) and the smaller, earthly things – like pride?

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Our wonderful pastor once shared with us that living out humility entails knowing who we are in Christ. It is not thinking of ourselves more highly than we should, NOR is it to think of ourselves as less than all we are in Jesus. Although I now know this, I haven’t gotten much better at getting rid of all the clutter of self and letting Christ shine through me in the fullness of his glory.

I was supplementing my study of John tonight by reading about this very thing in Frank Manno’s book Spiritual Sobriety. He also shares about the need to remember that God isn’t the needy one in the relationship we have with him. He  quoted the very same part of scripture that I have been coming back to over and over these last couple of weeks………………..

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

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This is where true joy lies – in staying attached to the vine – the Lord, our God. This is where we find our significance. This is the place where we strip away self and realize that all that we are is because of him – and only him. This is where our needy-ness is married to his mighy-ness and forms an eternal relationship that yields true joy – the fullness of that joy comes from clinging to that vine with all that we have.

There truly is no greater love than this. Real joy far surpasses the happy feel-good stuff that mere happiness entails. It is lasting and fulfilling…..it won’t be cut short or interrupted…..as long as we stay attached to the true source of it all – Jesus Christ.

Psalms 63:5-7 My soul will  be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with  joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches  of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

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So today I will eat my humble pie – again. But I can and will do it with joy in my heart. We like to joke that humble pie tastes like a bitter pill. But that’s only when we judge it by our human tastes and inclinations (pride and ego, anyone?). Instead of swallowing up our pride, maybe we should just spit it right out entirely. In so doing, maybe our taste buds will change and become a little more heavenly.

That pie fills me up with the truth of the Lord and the reminder that it’s not about me. It reminds me of who I truly am in HIM, which is so much better than anything I could ever be in myself. This brings me joy – the fullness of it. That’s what I like to call “Jesus Joy”!

I am not needed by God….not really. But I am so glad to know that I am wanted.

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Visine for the Heart

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Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

Don’t get me wrong. I want 2013 to be a good year for all of us too. But I feel a bit bummed tonight.

As I checked facebook, emails, the news, and interacted with friends and family at church, work, and home throughout the day, I found myself feeling “odd”, so to speak – for pretty much the entire day of the 31st. Everyone was sending out “Happy New Year” wishes, and conveying joy and happiness all around me…about a new calendar year….about the hope that the chance for a new year holds for them….and to me, well, I just felt.. NOTHING.

If you know me at all, that’s a very strange thing. I tend to feel things quite deeply most of the time. But I felt absolutely empty in relation to celebrating another “New Year.” And for a few hours, that made me feel pretty sad about myself and what that says about me as a person.

With Permissions Microsoft Office

With Permissions Microsoft Office

I have just arrived back home after work tonight, and as I was driving here, I used that time to search my heart and pray about it. Clearly, God has something that He wishes for me to learn about through this, right? As always, He does. I thank Him for that.

I found myself thinking….”what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be like others and be positive and cheerful…happy-go-lucky…excited about starting a new year?” Where is my “celebrate good times” attitude? If others could read my thoughts right now, they would think I am the darkest party pooper the world has ever known. Maybe I am.

So I searched and prayed. Here is what I have concluded:

I want to see God NOW. This is not because I am depressed. It is not because life stinks. It isn’t due to wanting to escape my responsibilities, or the joys that life with our family and friends can hold for us here on earth. But I have grasped….I have SEEN….that this world can never compare to what we will have if Jesus returns for us to rapture us out of here today. And I want to see Him NOW.

But, the time that Christ will come back to snatch us to His bosom so we can leave this world and enter into the most blissful existence imaginable, well, that is not for me to decide. CLEARLY, this is a very good thing too, because I am not a patient person! Beyond that, I obviously don’t have a deep enough love for all those who are still lost to Jesus at this point in time. If it were up to me, the rapture would have happened yesterday! 🙂 But seriously, that is very sad. I need to fervently beseech the Lord to fill me with HIS supernatural love for others, because this has shown me just how deficient I still am in this area. (Love is a VERY important thing to God, by the way – I find it almost comical that I continue to have to remember that very important fact).

Josiah Kopp via Creationswap

Josiah Kopp via Creationswap

I told my husband several months ago that I knew the challenge for me in this gift of anticipation…of actually looking forward to the end times…being excited and hopeful about Jesus’ return, would be learning how to do that while simultaneously living life here to the fullest. You see, I am pretty much an all or nothing type-person (Big surprise, I know – ha ha – it’s okay to laugh). And I knew this would be a huge obstacle for me to overcome. How do I keep that spirit of anticipating Christ’s return while still living life to the fullest, for the glory of God, here on earth? After all, not only is this life a gift, but God has chosen in His sovereignty and wisdom NOT to come back for us yet….and that means there is more to do while we are still here. That’s exciting, isn’t it? But not as exciting as the prospect of the rapture…at least, not to me.

And I realize it comes down to my heart. Again.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

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I need to pray for patience. I need to pray for God to not only help me to stay bold for Him, but to give me a selfless and pure heart. I need to be excited about His return one day, but focus just as intently on being happy that we have at least one more day to do all we can to proclaim His glory throughout this earth! There are multitudes of people out there who have not accepted Christ as their Savior yet….and there will still be many when He comes back to rapture the church before the tribulation begins. And so often these days, I find myself thinking selfishly….I think to myself….”now that I am actually looking forward to you coming back, Lord, why don’t you just get on with it already? I am ready!”

And once again, I realize….that’s pretty selfish of me. When will I ever learn? Ug!

So on that drive home, it hit me pretty hard that I may not get to literally “see” God this year….or I might get to – but only He knows, and He knows what is best. He knows it’s not all about ME. He knows He has to remind me of this fact all-too-often too. And He still loves me anyway.

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And as this wonderful verse in His Word tells us, our hearts need to be continually purified to see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

I have a lot of heart work to do…I always have. If I am fully honest with myself, it isn’t hard to see that. It isn’t difficult to see that if my motives were always truly pure, I would be more excited about getting to be a vessel for Christ right here, right now, in this world. I would trust Him to keep me confident through that process that I will not go back to getting overly attached to this world. I would believe with all my “heart” that God is strong enough…that He is faithful enough….to keep even ME from going back to living for this world instead of for Him.

Courtesy of uponthisrock.com

Courtesy of uponthisrock.com

It IS possible to not live for this world, yet live to the fullest while we reside within it – I truly believe that. And by living to the fullest, I mean fulfilling the mission that the Lord has set before us to proclaim His name to the ends of the earth (at least as far as we are individually and collectively capable of doing).

I have been blessed to get to do that in many different ways in 2012, and 2013 just looks even more promising. I know these opportunities will continue to grow as the Lord has His mighty hand on it all. And it’s not for me….it’s for Him. It’s because He wants for everyone to have every last opportunity possible to choose Him, to choose eternal life with Him…before He comes back….because He loves us all…so very much. One day He will decide to come back, and there will be many who are still not saved. But for right now, He has not decided it’s time for that yet. Having more time to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the earth needs to be seen as a blessing more than a chore.

Photo Credit uponthisrock.com

Photo Credit uponthisrock.com

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

I pray tonight that the Lord will purify my heart. I know that thankfully, when it comes to my salvation, I am seen that way by Him already…because the blood of Jesus covers all of my sin and impurity when it comes to where I will reside for eternity. Yet while I am here, still walking this walk, and living this life, I must seek daily cleansing…for it is all-too-easy for dark shadows to prevail and block our vision.

I trust the Lord to lift the fog out of my heart on a daily basis. I will not stop asking Him to do so. And if tears must come at times as that murky cloud is lifted out, so be it. Tears can be useful. They wash away pollutants and clear out the toxins. And then we can see far more clearly.

I realize I don’t need to feel sad about who I am as a person, because it is the LORD who will fill me up and take ME out of the picture in the process of purification. That is good news, my friends….that is good news.

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So, I will chime in with everyone else and say to you all…”Happy New Year, my Friends!!!” May 2013 fill you with the love of Jesus and make your hearts overflow with a love for Him and for one another that screams “CELEBRATE” over and over again!!!!!!

I want to see God -I want to see Him NOW. And His Word….well, it tells me that I CAN.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV

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**All images not attributed in this post used with permission from royalty free websites- no attribution or link required.