Sunday, February 14, 2021

I Can See!

 When you are raised in a home by people who are not Christians, who are not living by Biblical principles - who are broken, sin sick, confused, lost, seeking fulfillment and happiness in all the wrong places - your view of reality tends to be very skewed.


 You are seeing the world through someone else's dark, distorted lens. You don't actually see things for what they really are. You see them as you are taught to see them, how THEY learned to see them.


 It is the perfect picture of the blind leading the blind. It's like being given a map that has been turned upside down and half of it blackened out. It makes life incredibly difficult to navigate. In fact it makes it almost impossible. And you have no idea why you're having such a hard time, especially when everybody else seems to have figured this Life thing out.


 You have been taught and given this map to guide you, so why am I floundering around so badly? Why do I find myself in deep water and drowning a lot?? You don't know that your map is bad. You don't know that the teaching you received wasn't the truth. You have no idea that you're stumbling around in the dark and that the lessons you were taught to go down the road don't actually work. In fact, they make things harder. So you spend most of your life completely confused, like you were given a machine to run but with the wrong directions;  you still try to keep making it run anyway. You don't have any choice.


 Perceptions, attitudes, fear, worry, relationships, worth, work, fun, happiness, peace are all seen in the wrong light. And this is where Jesus comes in. He says, "I am the light" and He is. When He is invited into a life, usually because you just can't stand the darkness any longer, He sheds His light everywhere. You can finally see. The good and the bad, how things really are, what the truth is.


 For some people, like Paul in the Bible, this is a blinding, life-transforming light that changes everything immediately. For others of us, this is a glowing light that God uses gently over a great deal of time, change coming slowly but surely. 


He sheds the light of His love in you, showing you how loved and treasured you are. He sheds His beautiful light in your dark places exposing sin-sickness, disease, wounds, addictions, and He then heals and delivers. He sheds His transforming light in your mind and shows you what the truth is, how to view things, people, situations as He sees them. He transforms our thought-life, giving purity and wisdom and beautiful truth. 


And then you can see, really see for the first time. You throw out the old map. You replace the incorrect teaching with The Truth, His Word. You're not stumbling or flailing or drowning anymore. You're not in darkness anymore. The path is clear and so much easier! You can now see beyond the end of your own nose and suddenly see the deep need around you and amazingly, you want to do something about it. Relationships become better, you begin to understand how you can actually love your enemies, because you now see others as God sees them - lost, confused, stumbling, in pain, with a bad map and wrong directions - and you feel such compassion because you know exactly what that's like and how hard it is.


 You want to show them The Way.


The stress and anxiety are gone. The worry and fear are gone. You finally see your Provider, your Father, your Brother, your Friend. You see Him. And you are transformed. ♡♡♡♡



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Christ's Light Shines in the Darkness


I went into my prayer time this morning with a heavy heart. I, like many of us, was grieving, disappointed, dejected and even a little fearful. 


I felt as if I was walking into a very dark dungeon, one which I knew I'd be in for quite a while, maybe for the rest of my life, and the dread and fear were real. 


But as the Lord has taught me recently, I knew I was not alone. I knew to thank God for this place He wants me to go. I knew to face it head on with His strength and courage. I knew to embrace it, knowing that the Lord promises to bring good out of seeming bad, knowing that He gives sweetness after the bitter cup. 


I walked in asking Him what He wants me to do here, how can I join Him in bringing His will to earth as it is in heaven. "Show me what to do to glorify You here, Lord." As I walked on I saw people in the shadows cowering in the darkness. "Lord, I want to help my brothers and sisters here too." 


I began to notice that as I walked further into this darkness, I began to shine like a light.  There was light coming off of me that I hadn't seen outside in the sun. The further in I walked, the more I let go and surrendered, the more obedient I became, the more I trusted, the brighter His light shone through me. It was His light of Hope and Truth and Peace. And there were others in that dark place with me whose lights were shining too. And together we shone brighter and brighter. We were lighting it up and people were drawn to that light. Hallelujah! 


~~~The light of Christ shines the brightest in the darkness. ~~~


We have a great opportunity here in the time of darkness we are now entering. It is time for us to take our place at the table. It is time for us to be Daniels. It is time to put away all compromise and rise up like the warriors we were always intended to be. It is a time to let Christ's light shine through us like never before, bringing men and women to Christ.

When I began to pray this morning, I felt grieved and fearful but I came out of that time in a way that shocked me. I rose up like a warrior, dressed in my full armor, strong, resolute, steadfast, face set like flint, prepared for what's ahead, saying, "Ok Lord. I'm ready."


Thank You Lord for this wonderful opportunity and for allowing us to work with You to bring others into the Kingdom! What an honor! I can't wait to see what You're going to do and all the good You're going to bring out of it! 😁


Sunday, November 22, 2020

First He Frees You

 "As long as it bothers you, it's going to keep happening."  A friend said this to me when I was complaining about someone in my life who was driving me crazy. 


I said, "What??" 


He repeated what he said, "As long as that person's behavior continues to bother you, God is going to let it keep happening until you learn the right way to deal with it and it doesn't bother you anymore. He's trying to free you."


I said, "Ugh. Ok. So what do I do?"


He answered, "Go to God with it. Ask Him how to cope with it. Ask Him to show you what He is trying to free you from."


And my friend was right. Every thing that bothered me, one at a time, I went to Him and asked, "Show me. Help me. Free me." And He did. 


My health was terrible for a while. I simply broke down under years of strain, worry and stress and I had several physical problems all at once, which scared me to death. I was very upset and begged God to heal me. I then heard my friend in my head saying, "As long as it bothers you..." so I prayed, "Ok this is really bothering me. How do I handle this?"


I felt like God answered me in this way, "You want good health so badly that it's become an idol to you. You worship it because you are afraid of being sick. You are bowing to fear here and as My child, that's not good enough. I want you to trust Me. Put your health in My hands and let it go. I'm trying to free you from this fear." So I did. I surrendered my health into His hands, subject to His decisions, and let it go. Over time and with practice, God freed me of that fear and, consequently, He healed me of all of those health problems. He healed me of the fear first, then once I was free, He healed my body. 


He was going to let me continue to have those problems until I surrendered. Why? Because He loved me, because He wanted me to be free and at peace.


I've applied this lesson to so many things in my life that were upsetting or frightening to me and it's worked, every time. 


And that person who was driving me crazy? Doesn't drive me crazy anymore. As soon as I gave this problem to God, He changed ME, freed me, then that other person's behavior started to miraculously change for the better. I kid you not.  First He freed me, then He took care of the problem. 


Freedom. Calm. Strength. Peace. Thank You Lord! ♡




Friday, November 20, 2020

I Trust You

 How do you give full control to Someone you don't really trust, to Someone you don't fully believe loves you? 


You can't. 


Here's a conversation I had with a pastor friend, which showed me how I really felt about God:


"Do you trust God?" 


"Sure I do."


"Do you believe He loves you?"


"Sure."


"Do you believe He's always been there for you?"


"Well.... no actually. He let a lot of bad things happen to me as a child, a lot of very, very painful things. In fact He's let me suffer, a LOT."


"How do you feel about that?"


"Well..... um......  actually? I feel angry. And hurt. He wasn't a very good Father. He didn't protect me like He should have."


"Do you believe He loves you?"


"Well.... not really, no."


"Do you fully trust that He has your best interest  in mind?"


"No. I don't. Honestly? Now that I think about it, I don't trust Him. As a matter of fact, I'm angry with Him. I'm angry. I have never forgiven God for letting me down, for not protecting me." 


"You have unforgiveness in your heart toward God?"


"YES. Actually I do. How could He? How could He let me go through all that pain as a child and no way to cope with it? It was cruel! He didn't protect me. And it hurts."


"So, how can you fully surrender to Someone who you don't trust?" 


"I..... can't."


"Exactly. And that's where we have to start, right there. I want you to tell God right now how you feel about what happened and how you feel about Him."


So I did, sobbing my little girl heart out while I did it. I said exactly what I felt. I didn't hold anything back. I got it all out.


And that's where the healing began. 


That's when He started to show me why He allowed all of that to happen, why it was necessary, why it was a severe mercy and what it did for me - how all of it made me eventually find Him, turn to Him, cling to Him, love Him. I could finally see it. I could finally understand, let go and forgive Him. I could finally see that it was Love that did all of that.


I realized that He loved me, fully, deeply, enough to let me suffer, for my own good. 


He loves me. Really loves me. I am loved? Really loved? Oh my. I. Am. Loved.


Trust filled my heart. I surrendered my life to Him who loved me so. I gave Him control. 


And my heart filled with peace.


Thank You Father.  I love You. ♡



Monday, November 16, 2020

What Can We Do??

 "Our country is living in collective disobedience, therefore it is outside of God's will and outside of His protection and His blessings. What can we do??"


Compared to other countries in the world, our country is the teenager. We are the youngster in the group. We are going through some growing pains right now on our way to maturity, which is natural. We are trying to find out who we are.


 And as often happens in teenager's lives, we suddenly find ourselves at a fork in the road, having to make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. For a teenager the decision might be, do I take the pill or not? Do I go with those guys or not? Do I steal that thing I want or not? Etc.... 


For our country, this fork in the road, these decisions, decide our future for many generations, if not forever. Do we move towards Socialism or not? Do we remain a country that legalizes the killing of babies or not? Do we continue to promote and push unnatural lifestyles as normal, further tearing apart the God-given family unit that is part of the bedrock of our society or not? Do we continue the trend of lawlessness, being soft on crime and criminals or not? Do we continue to dishonor and not care for our elderly and not protect our children or not? 


Every one of those choices are either obedience or disobedience to God and what He told us to do in His Word. A nation which legalizes killing children in the womb,  sees pedophilia or homosexuality or transgenderism as normal, who dishonors the elderly and who doesn't protect our most vulnerable, is a nation that lives in sin and disobedience to God. 


A person or a nation which lives in disobedience, in sin, is outside of God's will and therefore outside of His protection and blessing. 


A nation that lives in sin is in direct opposition to God and is an enemy of God. This nation will be judged. 


God loves us enough to do what it takes to bring us back from a life of sin. He will let us suffer because He knows it will open our eyes and bring us back to Him, to wholeness, peace and freedom.


So to those of us who want to live in obedience to God in our personal lives and in our nation, what do we do? Some of our laws and leaders are evil and because of this, we are all collectively living in sin, even though we don't agree with it. 


This situation is a lot like a Christian woman who is unequally yoked with a man who isn't saved. Her husband isn't walking with the Lord and is living in sin, so their home is not one living in obedience to God. She has to live under his disobedience and they are collectively living in sin because of his leadership. 


What does God tell her to do? Pray for him. Be a good example. Be a witness. Love him. Take good care of him. Be patient. Trust God with the situation. Be respectful.  Let God love him through her. Let God use her in the situation for good. 


What else can we do? Be a Daniel. Stand up. Be honest. Spread the truth wherever you can. Be faithful. 'Servants be submissive to your masters, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongly. But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently this is commendable before God. For this you were called because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example.'


We pray forgiveness for our leaders for they know not what they do. They are blind and walking in darkness without God.  We continue to obey God and do what's right. We shine our light in the darkness and believe. The darker it gets, the brighter we shine.


God will use this dark, difficult time in our nation's history for our good. Many will be saved through it. And that's the most important thing of all.


Thank You Father for allowing this to happen and for all You're doing through it. Your will be done. ♡

Friday, November 13, 2020

In the Interest of Unity


One of my sisters sued me five times. FIVE times. All of those lawsuits were thrown out because they were bogus and without merit but it still cost me time and money to deal with them. A LOT of money, around ten thousand dollars. 

This same sister has lied to me, cheated me and stolen from me. She has said unspeakably cruel things to me and has caused much anguish and emotional turmoil in me over the years. I never did anything unkind to my little sister, ever. Even though I have done some pretty heinous things to a few people in my lifetime, in these cases with this sister, I have truly been the innocent party.  My own lawyer actually felt sorry for me because of the relentless persecution from this sister. 

This same sister has never acknowledged any of these things she has done nor has she ever apologized for any of it.  And I expect she never will. 

When I reached out to her a few years ago to try to mend fences - because she's my sister and because God made me - she said we could talk again but then added, and I quote, " But I don't want any drama." 😳 She acted like I had made all that trouble, she was the innocent party and had done nothing wrong.  

Well. My flesh immediately rose up in righteous anger, but just for a moment, because God and I had already dealt with all of this. He showed me that she was broken, walking in darkness without Him, needing love. He helped me to say, "Father forgive her for she knows not what she does." I wrote her back and said, "Ok, great."

 And ever since, we talk and behave like sisters. We're not close but we have a pleasant relationship and we get along. I even enjoyed the few times I've been with her since we got back in touch. 

I have other family members who I've had to forgive again, and again, and again for abusive, selfish, unkind behavior. Behavior they have never acknowledged or apologized for. I have forgiven way more than seventy times seven. Way more. 

Why? Because God told me to, over and over again in His Word. We who follow Christ are held to a higher standard. We are to be like Him and obey what He said to do. 

He said to forgive others. He said we cannot have ought in our heart against others. He said that before we pray, we are to forgive our brothers or He cannot forgive us. He said in I Cor. 13, to love like He loves, to keep no record of wrongs, to forgive and let it go as if they did nothing, to love unconditionally as He loved us while we were yet in our sin. 

Is this easy to do? Gosh no. It took me years to do it. It's been a very bitter pill for me to swallow time and again, but I wanted to obey. I wanted to be like Christ and be close to Him, so with His help, I did it. And continue to do it. 

Am I glad? YES. Very.  I'm glad to have unloaded those heavy burdens of anger and hate. I am thankful to be free. I am thankful there is unity where there was division before. I love being able to really love like He does. I am glad to have my sister back even if she hasn't apologized. It is good. And I'm glad. 

Where there is division in your life, relationships, family or country, it's up to us who have chosen to follow Christ to be like Him, to forgive, love, heal and bring unity back  to the situation. We are all brothers and sisters. We are family. This is our calling, our responsibility, and the world will be a better place for it. ♡




Sunday, July 26, 2020

Finally At Peace ♡


You know how sometimes you get such a CLEAR picture of some truth that it just blows your socks off? Well that happened to me a while ago and it has helped me SO much.

I've heard and read my whole life that the keys to a real Christian walk are surrender and trust. That these are the two wings we fly with.

Now I've tried to do that for years. I've 'surrendered' a million times and just never could figure out why I had such a hard time finding the peace, abundant life, strength and joy that the Bible says are ours.  I have always struggled terribly.

I was praying, asking God yet AGAIN what the deal was, why am I handling this season of difficulties SO VERY BADLY? I mean seriously, I've been a total hot mess. 🙄

And I felt like the Lord said the word 'Control'. That I still hadn't really given Him full control of my life. Really? Gosh I've tried. But I could see that I still held reserves, I still said no at times, I still wanted to make the decisions. Why? Because I'm afraid. I want to be in control to protect myself from more pain and because I don't really trust God. I have never really believed that He loves me so I couldn't trust Him to take good care of me. So I couldn't let go and let Him have it. It wasn't about obedience. It was about fear.

And having all this 'control' over my own life hasn't helped one bit or kept me from more pain or harm.  It's just made me exhausted and physically sick and miserable.

I suddenly got this image of a ship cruising in the water and me hanging on down at the front in the water trying to steer it with my bare hands. 100,000 tons of ship and I'm trying to steer this thing. All my life. And here I was bumped, bruised,  water logged, bleeding, body falling apart under the strain and utterly exhausted, ready to let go and die, because I simply could not steer this ship and I can't try anymore and yet I STILL don't understand why it's not working and why I'm so tired. I've been trying to do something I was never meant to do. Never could do. GOD IS AT THE HELM. HE is steering. Always has been.

 And He's been waiting for me to join Him, to stand beside Him shoulder to shoulder while He does the steering, working together, Him deciding where we're going.

No wonder you couldn't feel His presence or hear Him better. He couldn't get anywhere near you with your hands full of ship, being dragged through the water. He'd call down to you every now and then, "Hey honey! How you doing down there?" I'd answer, "I'm fine! Gurgle, cough!" And He yells back, "Ok, I'm up here at the helm when you're ready to join Me. Love you!"

He kept the sharks at bay and kept me from drowning but He let me get hurt, bruised, exhausted, lonely, battered and completely beaten because He knew at some point I'd get tired of it and finally just want to let go. And when that finally happened, He threw me a rope, lifted me up, hugged me and said, "I'm glad you're up here with Me. Come on, let's get you dried off and rested and then you can join Me and we'll start over. How's that sound?" And me sobbing, "That sounds guh guh goood! I'm so tired."
I'll tell you, it was such a relief to finally let go and stop trying to steer that big ship. It's like, "Yes PLEASE, You take it. I don't WANT it anymore."
 Of course I have moments where I want to throw my leg back over the side to 'help' steer or want to wrest the wheel back out of His hand or look over the side and tell Him where to go or get freaked out by the fog ahead but I remember, I don't WANT that job anymore. He's steering and He'll take care of tomorrow.

I see myself standing under His arm while He steers and I'm safe there and I'm not afraid anymore and I finally know He loves me. I'm at rest. Finally. Sigh..... It's nice.  Thank You Father. ♡♡♡