A Cozy Blanket…

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

At work I am in the process of creating tags for Christmas gifts. There are tags for items such as toys, household items, and comforters.

As I was typing these tags out to get them ready for donors I was thinking of how people will be so excited to take the tags to do with toys, since Christmas morning brings those kinds of thoughts. However, people don’t tend to think of items such as comforters as a gift because most people have them all year long and we miss out on how God can use them to show us His love.

Then I started to think of laying in bed with a cozy blanket and pillow and how much more of an impact that can make in a person’s life, than a toy.

I thought of how people are so busy trying to find something better, something that will fulfill them that a lot of us miss out on the simple things that God is using to try and show us his love.

I thought of being a child in an unstable and scary situation and how laying under a nice, new blanket brought me comfort.

I also thought of how God already knew who was going to pick the tags I was creating and how He already knows the people who will receive them.

These comforters are already chosen for specific people and they will bring them comfort at night. God tries to show us His love everyday through so many things and yet we miss it because we are worrying about tomorrow.

Worrying does not just mean that you have troubles such as finances or relationships. Worry also means thinking ahead about obtaining the things that we think will make us feel complete, worthy, or loved.

Yet, if we just thought about today and the purpose that is there for us, then maybe we could “feel” His love and see our purpose, in the warmth of a comforter.

 

 

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Sippy Cups And Crumbs…

I don’t even know where to begin… Other than to say obedience to God is amazing. Sacrifice is amazing.

God has asked me and my daughter to take in four people at different times in order to help them to have the opportunity to get on their feet, out of rough situations, and to grow to know him and we have taken them all. In return we have received so much purpose and joy in our lives that it is often overwhelming because of His goodness and just watching Him work in these people’s lives and situations.

Does everything always work out the way we wanted them to when we are obedient to God’s call? Unfortunately the answer is no.

Two of the people he had us take in went back to bad situations because they chose to walk past the open doors God gave them. However, I know seeds were planted and even though those situations didn’t work out as we had hoped we were still blessed during those seasons.

Fortunately, the very first person we experienced this with has an amazing story to tell and we are still friends to this day. Now the fourth one is on the right path and it looks really good.

However, this one has been MY most challenging mission yet because I have taken in a young mom and her toddler. I have had to learn to be extra patient and to sacrifice my comfort in so many ways.

Back story on me is that I cope with my inner chaos by having my environment completely in place, meaning clean, organized, and very routine.

Yet, when you have a toddler around that seems to go right out the window (:

My living room is no longer a show case for my candles and knick knacks, but instead it has turned into a gym or play center with a princess ball pit right in the center of it all. Instead of my sixth kitchen chair complete with matching placemat, I have a bare spot on the table because she likes to whip the placemat onto the floor, and a highchair instead of the kitchen chair. When I open my cabinet I see sippy cups where my coffee cups once were and there always seems to be crumbs on the floor because they tend to get whipped around when she is eating and no matter how much you sweep they always seem to appear.

Don’t get me wrong, it was tough on me the first couple of weeks. I felt like my world was falling apart but I worked through it and realized that candles and placemats don’t really matter when it comes down to the lives of those God wants to help.

I am so honored that God would choose me, a person who often sees herself as a complete mess, as someone He trusts with the lives of those that he places in my home.

This world and the the comfort it offers us here in America is not home. We are here to do His work for His Kingdom, which we will have the Joy of partaking in when we pass from this sad and broken world. I can’t wait to see Him and have Him tell me what a great job I did.

 

 

 

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A Veteran’s Thank You!

John 19: 16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified, and the soldiers took Him away. 17 Carrying His own cross,He went out to The Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle.…

I love how God is so real and alive that you can find Him and His Word in every situation in life. Due to this we can always find something to connect us to Him, something to relate to. Today, I am thinking about the connection between Jesus and the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us and our country.

Jesus put His life on the line when He walked to the cross knowing that He would die for us, and yes, He even did it for those who don’t want anything to do with him. He had to do this so that we could have freedom from the enemy and enter paradise one day, if we choose to accept this gift.

When somebody enlists in the military they are putting their lives on the line just like Jesus did, so that we could have freedom and be safe from our enemies. Still there are those who don’t really seem to care about what these people do for us, they say it is a choice and don’t appreciate it, yet these soldiers do it for them too.

Yes, these men, women, and Jesus chose to do these things, but does that mean it doesn’t deserve honor and respect, just because it was a choice?

Essentially, we are all in a battle everyday trying to survive and heal our wounds and we all have battle scars. Due to my own personal battle I am grateful for these men and women and understand the mental/emotional trauma that many of them experience, all because they made a choice to protect you and me.

So I just lift them and their families up and pray that they all see their special place in relation to Jesus’ own story and the life he gave for them. I pray they see the beauty in it all and will choose to let Him now protect them from the enemy. I pray the families that have lost loved ones are comforted and that those who have emotional/mental wounds are healed in Jesus’ name.

Thank you for your service and the choice that you made… I appreciate it…

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So AT Love…

Luke 22: 42 & 44 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

I started to research what love is for a message I am giving to my youth group. I already knew from Scripture that love is unconditional, an action no matter what, but digging into it just opened my eyes even more and it has taken root so that I can walk in it even more.

When you look up the definition of love, the first thing to come up is that it is a feeling. Then the fifth example down said that it is an action of being unselfish. Both are actually biblical but the difference is that even though God feels emotions he doesn’t let those emotions control his actions. He tells us not to sin in our anger, he doesn’t say that anger is bad but sinning in it is, letting it control your actions is what hurts us and others.

Then as I researched more, the examples of being IN Love and AT love came up. Being in love is a feeling which motivates you to do for another person. Being at love is a stand, a position saying I will love you no matter what, it is unconditional.

This is especially important in marriage. God says we are to be with one person and nothing should break that bond (except cheating, which is huge because it has sexual bonds, but that’s another blog). The feeling of love will fade but if you actually stand by your word to love somebody, you will do so through action the rest of your life.

The problem with the world is that we act based on feelings. So in a dating relationship it feels good the first couple of years and then the feeling fades away. This is when many people divorce and move on. If it gets hard then they think they must have not loved that person like they thought and there is something better out there. Just to be disappointed again and again.

In the scripture above Jesus sets a wonderful example of being AT love with others. He knew he was about to be arrested, beaten, spit on and made fun of as we walked to a cross where nails would be driven through his feet and wrists so that he could die the most excruciating death, all for people who he loved but hated him through their actions.

He told God “take this cup”, he was saying “I don’t want to do this”. He was in anguish meaning feelings of despair, torture and heartbreak. He probably felt like throwing up from the intense mental and emotional pain he was in knowing about the physical pain to come. Yet, he said “Your will be done”.

Even though he didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy like he was in love with us, he had taken a stand to love us and he followed through with it even though it didn’t feel good. This is the true example of love and what it means to stand by your word.

If we just learn to love like God loves, then lives can be changed by that love. Just like Jesus dying on the cross offers us Salvation to change not only our lives but our destiny. Imagine the comfort of knowing that the people in your life will love you no matter what but will also be honest and challenge you so that you can have the fullness you were called to. How amazing would that security be?

 

 

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The Sun Brings Pain…

John 1:5 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I don’t even know where I am going to go with this blog, and I feel it’s going to be a long one.

I usually only write when things are good but they aren’t right now… It’s not like it’s the first time things have been tough, but I usually don’t share until the change has come. You see, with God there are these times that we come to know as the dessert. It’s a dry place where you struggle, you don’t sense His presence and you may feel (like I do) that I am doing everything wrong. But then it seems like out of nowhere, everything you went through comes to fruition and you are filled with pure Joy and Peace. This is what keeps me going, that Hope of knowing that this will pass.

Every Summer I seem to go through this slump, where I crave being able to do the things I used to without conviction. People have said this is because the nice weather brings things out of us that other seasons don’t. But I have really questioned this in my life and I believe that I relate it to bad things that have happened in my life. Summer is the season when I feel I need to numb most, and when my desire for being desired is stirred up.

I feel like I start to let God down even though Scripture tells me that He loves me so much and just believing in the sacrifice he made is enough. He will let me do my thing, get angry and feel like I am falling apart yet take care of me during it and bless me abundantly after. But I can’t shake the feeling that I am betraying Him like Judas did.

I have actually seen His blessings in my life and His love since I was saved (they were always there, I just didn’t see them then) and yet I crave what brought me to Him in the first place. The things I crave made me miserable yet I want them back at times. I don’t understand, other than in that moment its gone.

The only thing I can think of is that the nicer months used to be my favorite growing up and now the memories I have (that should bring me happiness) bring me sadness. I remember being outside all the time at the park, learning how to ride a bike, my parents had people over, and I remember them sitting outside at night talking while we played ghosts in the graveyard. But that fatal night when I was changed and my innocence was taken, everything changed. My mom went from what I remember, to someone filled with despair. Even though she did nothing wrong, she felt the pain deeper than I did. Life can kick you ass at times but you may not be the blame.

Ever since then, the sun on my face and the crickets chirping have brought me pain.

 

 

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He Is Electric!!!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I watched a movie named “Lucy” tonight. It was a movie where this girl was injected with drugs that increased her brain capacity. She started being able to do and feel things normal human beings can’t. As I watched this movie I started to see Jesus (God) and what He has done in my life.

First, God protects us from things that are too much for us. Yes, I know you can’t find that exact passage in Scripture, but take all of Scripture and your experience in life and see that it is true. People in Scripture that were in His presence fell at His feet, like in Revelation 1:17 and couldn’t look directly at Him (but read all of Revelation because it is our future). Second, humans only use 10% of their brains. God protects us from His full power. And since He created our brains which is our soul, which stores memories and feelings etc, He only increases it little by little, even through our healing. Otherwise the full power of it would be too much.

I know in my past I needed liquid courage to accomplish anything, even if it was what most would think of as trivial. But as I have grown with God, I have become more than I ever imagined and without the liquid I once needed. This doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle, it means that the power it once held is less because His power has become more. I can see people’s sin the moment I meet them, which means that I can see what holds them back from knowing Jesus (God). I can take the smallest verse and break it down to you for an hour if you would let me. I can be completely vulnerable and speak in front of others. I feel compassion for others and their pain to where I cry for those I don’t even know sometimes. These are my gifts. And they weigh a heavy burden on me sometimes which means I need to go to God more and more.

When I tell people about God, those that are still blind to Him think I am brain washing myself with Scripture like they are with words. The thing is though, that the words become alive in me before I even know they exist. For example, when I was saved I instantly stopped popping pills and smoking weed, I instantly stopped swearing, I instantly stopped having sex, an STD I had for 17 years was gone and I was instantly no longer angry. I thought what is happening to me? And I instantly knew to pick up a Bible. I found through my research that I received the Holy Spirit which is only attainable through believing that Jesus died for my wrong doing and rose so I could receive Him as a Spirit inside of my human body and go to Heaven (being Born Again).  And my love for others has been increasing, even for my enemies, ever since. And as we all know this is not the natural human response to those who have hurt you. I am also brought to my knees at times because of the overwhelming love I feel from Him.

Life is not this constant high though, even with God, because without struggle we wouldn’t see the power that we really hold within us because of Him, we wouldn’t see who He really created us to be. It is tough at times because it seems like the dessert lasts so much longer than the freedom and growth. But the feeling and the change from deep within (the Spiritual growth) during the good times is so powerful that I am willing to go through the dessert, which is how we grow.

It is like that liquid courage but sober and times 1 million. It makes me a better person, more effective for others. There is no better purpose than to help someone else to feel or see God’s love in that very moment they need it. His blood runs through our veins whether you  want to believe it or not.

When I listen to Electronica such as D2 by Hydrargyrum, I can connect with Him so deeply because so many of us connect through music that we can feel. He is deep, like electric running through your veins. But He actually becomes reality to where you know it’s not you or the words you read, but actual power that is not of yourself.

 

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He Is Literally Blowing My Mind…

I am putting a message together for my youth group this week and it is about refining us like silver.

I just started with one verse and decided to look up the definitions and God is literally blowing my mind.

The verse is Isaiah 66:10 For you God, tested us; You refined us like silver. 

You can take this one small short verse and find so much information by looking up definitions. Lets take tested for example. When you think about tested what comes to mind? No looking, just think of you own definition first…

Okay, I thought of a test in school. They give you a test to see what you have learned or to see where you are in a subject. Well, the definition brings it to life even more.

take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice.

OR

reveal the strengths or capabilities of (someone or something) by putting them under strain.

Wow, this shows being sanctified. Being set apart from the world or the norm. You see our sole purpose here on earth is to glorify God in all we do. Your work, raising your children and taking care of yourself and your home all qualify. The way you think of others and the words you speak are a huge part because it shows where your heart is, it shows the kind of person you are. But the norm is to be judgmental, fight back, curse and drink or drug to stuff you problems deep down inside. But God’s ways are the complete opposite way. However, we can’t accomplish the opposite without the Holy Spirit inside of us, changing us. And we can’t receive the Holy Spirit without accepting Jesus Christ as our connection through His sacrifice.

God wants to change us to be more like Him so He can use us in ways that we never thought possible. This takes us back to the first definition. He tests us to see where we are, our quality, our performance, our reliability (faith). He does this so He can use us to bring Christ to others, so they can also partake in this mind blowing kind of life, the free life. Free of bitterness, anger and our own harmful ways of coping. So He tests us and gives us opportunities to do things that bring peace, purpose and joy to not only ourselves but to others, a little at a time and more each time as we grow.

This takes us into the second definition. As He tests us and changes us to do His work, He reveals our strengths and capabilities. I call these hidden jewels. Whenever He changes me it hurts a bit, but not the kind of hurt we put ourselves through. His kind of hurt doesn’t linger and destroy our lives, it comes and goes quickly bringing healing and then those jewels rise.

Some of my jewels have been… Confidence, Joy, Peace, Loving others even when they are unlovable, being patient and listening, keeping my mouth shut until it’s time and enjoying public speaking (crazy I know). I recently found out I am actually a very talkative person, I am not shy like I thought, that was just all the shame I carried that made me think I had nothing worth saying. And the list goes on.

The strain in the definition is not a painful thing like your imagining either. He gives us bigger more purposeful opportunities as time goes on, but He has to mold us or train us with things that come our way in life. It’s like working out, you won’t get the muscles you want if you don’t keep adding to the weight that your lifting.

So to conclude this long blog… The enemy is also after us, he doesn’t want us stronger and making an impact in our lives or the lives of others. So next time you have a choice to make, really think it out and if it seems at all like it could harm you or your life, choose the opposite direction, even if it seems harder and you will see your jewels come.

So now I dare you to look up the other words in this verse. How about go one step further and check out how silver is refined (look up refined too). Peace

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