Could I Wash Your Feet?

Insecure, introverted, shy, lacking confidence. These are words I would use to describe myself, but there are some who would say those traits aren’t me, and that instead I am outgoing, boisterous, and assertive. Have you heard the saying, “Fake it till you make it?” Forcing myself to interact in social situations when I really just want to be invisible; taking the lead at work; standing in front of a crowd and speaking my heart….. sometimes it feels like my heart will burst out of my chest from nerves! Left to myself, I wouldn’t choose to share my story, but my GOD had other ideas! Through the Grace and Mercy of the Living, Loving, LORD, I have shared my story of redemption in large and small groups as well as individually. I have no confidence in myself, but I have every confidence in my LORD JESUS CHRIST and His Redemptive Power. LORD, let my words always be Your Words, and my actions reflect the Love and Mercy you have shown me. Be with me when I fall short of your example, as I do every day. Let Your confidence be mine. Amen.

“Let us then approach GOD’s Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive Mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 NIV

A few years ago, our pastor and his wife demonstrated what it means to humble themselves and have a servants heart. They took people from the congregation and washed their feet, I was humbled to be a part. To have a leader, a teacher, kneel to do something so base, is difficult for me to describe because it touched me so deeply. Imagine if it was such a profound moment for me, how must the Apostles have felt when the Messiah, Saviour of the world, GOD, knelt in front of them to wash their feet? What a beautiful picture! That’s the attitude we need. Humility, and confidence in our LORD JESUS. Amen!

Listen to “My Story,” sung by Big Daddy Weave

Just Kill Me Now

“You intended to harm me, but GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20 NIV

Can you imagine being sold into slavery by your own brothers? It happened to Joseph, whose brothers were so jealous of him that they went to drastic measures to get rid of him. They thought they were sending him into a life of servitude and misery, but the Almighty LORD used that action to save millions of people’s lives. Joseph rose from horrible circumstances, a punishment he didn’t deserve, to become Second-in-Command to the Pharaoh of Egypt, who was essentially the ruler of the known world. I can testify to being treated badly, and treating others badly. I don’t claim any kind of uplifting like Joseph’s, but I do claim, and proclaim, that JESUS has lifted me from some pretty bad situations. He has saved me from my bad choices and poor decisions, and He has never forsaken me. Through Him, I have had the privilege to share my story of redemption to hundreds of people, and pray that I will have opportunities to share again and again. If my story can reach even one person, and help them find their way into Jesus’s arms, then I would have accomplished something! Even then, it’s not about me, but the Saving Grace and Mercy of our LORD.

There are been a number of instances in my life when GOD was justified to take me out of this world. I was living my life, totally out of turn with CHRIST, and He Loved me through it, never leaving me to face the enemy alone. There have been people in my life who intended harm, who deliberately hurt me, and I have returned that harm….. not something I’m proud of. Let JESUS into your heart today if you haven’t already. Remember Paul’s words to the church in Rome:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38‭-‬39 NIV

You can kill my earthly body, but you cannot kill my soul.

Who Is Your Father?

Who is your Father? No, not Darth Vader, sorry!! We laugh, and I do love hearing “Luke, I am your father” in that James Earl Jones deep, breathy voice, but that’s not my father!

Today, people all over the world celebrate the day as a time to honor their earthly father. There are millions of us who are missing our dads, and it can be due to a myriad of reasons. Of course death has taken many of them, but for entirely too many people, they can’t celebrate with their dads because he deserted them. Millions of others don’t celebrate their earthly dads because of the abuse they endured – endure – at his hands. Millions more don’t even know their father. I had a good Dad. I never doubted that he loved Mom and us kids, and he loved all of his earthly family, too. Through him, I learned about GOD the FATHER, GOD the SON, and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT. I learned from him that men should be gentlemen and women should be ladies (I failed at that 😁), and I learned about love.

My Dad wasn’t perfect, but I never doubted his love. I also experienced his wrath a time or two or twenty, when I strayed far from the LORD. He was gone so much of the time when we were growing up because of his calling to be a pastor, and people remember and loved ‘Bro. Bill’ for his visible, passionate love of JESUS. He was never too busy to share with anyone about how to become a Christian and a follower of JESUS CHRIST. As Pastor, this verse from the Psalms epitomized his desire to be the best pastor and leader. He wasn’t GOD, and at times he neglected his immediate family in order to minister to the needs of the church; the needs of the widows and the orphans and the sick. He witnessed to everyone, even when he was unable to get out of his bed at the end of his earthly body. There was never a doubt that he loved and followed CHRIST.

“A FATHER to the fatherless, a DEFENDER of widows, is GOD in His Holy Dwelling.” – Psalm 68:5 NIV

He’s been gone 18 years. Even though I was away from him much of my adult life, I miss his presence. I was blessed to be at his side with my Mom and most of my siblings when he passed from this world to the next. What a joyeous reunion was happening in heaven on that day! I am confident that I will see him again. Together with my Dad, I’ll see my JESUS, and I will truly experience the FATHER’S Presence. What a day that will be! Happy Father’s Day, Dad. See you soon!

Overwhelming

Nothing is too difficult for the LORD. Keep that in mind. When an inventor looks at his creations, isn’t he then the logical person to turn to if there is a problem with said invention? Do we take the invention away from the inventor and say, no, we know better than you do when it comes to your invention? Why do we do that exact thing to the Creator of the universe, the God and inventor of every thing? What conceit and arrogance we show! News flash: He’s bigger, more intimate, and more astute than anything in His creation!

“Ah, Sovereign Lord , you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” – Jeremiah 32:17 NIV

In spite of our actions, our refusal to acknowledge Him, He shows us His Love repeatedly. He doesn’t turn His back on us, but we turn ours on Him. I have a tendency to forget just how big GOD is. As I go through my accumulation of things, preparing to downsize, I am almost overwhelmed by the monumental task. To get my house ready to put on the market next week, I am decluttering and packing away photos and all the tsotchkes that have accumulated over the years. (I have a LOT of stuff!) Next week, with my house on the market, I’m going to help my mom do the same thing as she prepares to move into a smaller space. In the midst of all this chaos, I know that our GOD has it all under control….. but does that keep me from worrying about how and where I will move myself, and how I will be able to pay for it all? Nope, not at all. I’m a worrier, and even as I give it to the LORD, I’m grasping and pulling it back. I am excited for my Mom and her new place. Now to find myself a little house with a little yard close to her…. come on GOD, I really do need that miracle! This verse pops into my mind as a reminder: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9:24 NIV

Do you need a reminder of GOD’S Great, Compassionate, Reckless Love for you today?

“But GOD demonstrates His OWN Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, CHRIST died for us.” – Romans 5:8 NIV

He has a totally reckless Love for us!

Listen to Reckless Love sung by Cory Asbury

Thank You GOD, I’m Not EVER Alone!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2 NIV

I’m so glad we don’t have to do this stinkin’ life journey alone! That statement hasn’t always been true for me. I ran long and hard, trying to get away from GOD. I couldn’t get away from Him, not matter how hard I tried. Once you accept JESUS into your heart, you’ll never be alone again. (“Reckless Love”, sung by Cory Asbury really gets into how much our Creator GOD Loves us!) While I was running and rebelling against everything that is true and right, my GOD never deserted me or turned His back on me. Once His, always and forever His, Hallelujah!

I ran into flood waters and fires and all manner of dangerous situations, and through it all, through all the years I turned my back on Him – He never waivered. He pulled me out of life and death situations; He didn’t let go of me. Stop and think about this: When emergency personnel reach out to rescue a person caught in flood waters, they get wet; they risk everything to save someone who is in trouble. Firefighters run into the flames, and risk being burned or injured themselves for someone they don’t know. Military and law enforcement, firefighters, any emergency personnel – these people are all heroes in my book! If mere men put themselves in danger to rescue me, how much more will my Saviour? He Loves us that much, to save us through His sacrifice. (“I Am Not Alone” sung by Kari Jobe ….

We are promised Hope and Peace and most of all, Love, through our faith in JESUS CHRIST. Paul says it so eloquently in one of his letters to his fellow followers of Christ, many of them brand-new Christians, in Rome:

“Therefore, since we have been Justified through Faith, we have Peace with GOD through our LORD JESUS CHRIST, through Whom we have gained access by Faith into this Grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the Hope of the Glory of GOD. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, HOPE. And Hope does not put us to shame, because GOD’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the HOLY SPIRIT, Who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1‭-‬5 NIV

May the Peace of our LORD JESUS CHRIST reside in your heart. Listen to “Because He Lives” sung by Matt Maher – “I’m alive, I’m alive because He Lives …. ” absolutely beautiful!

So, does this picture look like trouble, or what???

Prayer …. Genuine or Fake?

There was an elderly, hard of hearing gentleman in the church I grew up in, who, when called on to pray, would pray long and loudly. You could almost feel the collective groan that would rise from the youth group. I know he had the utmost respect for the LORD and a genuine love for the people of the church, but as teenagers, we looked at his prayers as an agonizing ordeal. We had no appreciation for the life he had lived, and we didn’t really want to hear the needs of the church itemized. Now, I honestly don’t remember if he prayed for individual people or for the state of the church, the nation, and the world. We mostly tuned him out, preoccupied as we were with who we were sitting by or where the cute boys were sitting, or how long it would be until we could get something to eat. Were his prayers genuine, or was he like the Pharisees praying on the street corners, looking to impress the passersby? I believe he was genuine in his faith and his prayers, but to me, the real question today is how his prayers impacted others. Did he bring people to a closer relationship with GOD, or push them away with his long-windedness?

How do we pray today? When asked to pray, are your prayers designed to impress people? Are they really gossip disguised as prayers? Are they intended for GOD’s ears, or for other people? I like short and sweet, and I try hard to remember what JESUS said about prayer: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your FATHER knows what you need before you ask Him.” – Matthew 6:7‭-‬8 NIV

Jesus went on to teach His disciples (and us) how to pray. He taught them: “This, then, is how you should pray:  ‘Our FATHER in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly FATHER will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your FATHER will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:9‭-‬10‭, ‬12‭-‬15 NIV (I think that last verse deserves some intense attention from us!)

Pray genuinely, with praise and supplication. Our GOD already knows what we want and, more importantly, He knows what we need. If you are in such a black hole, in such pain that you can’t think, just say ‘JESUS’. The Holy Spirit is here with us to carry even our groans and our cries of distress to the FATHER, and JESUS is there as our Advocate and SAVIOUR. Amen.

Listen to 7eventh Time Down sing “Just Say Jesus”

Should I Stay?

The line “Should I stay or should I go” from a song popped into my head this morning. I had to look it up so that I could see the rest of the words, and part of verse 1 goes like this:
If you say that you are mine
I’ll be here ’til the end of time
So you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

I know this song wasn’t written about GOD, but why shouldn’t it be? God promised through Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6,8 and again in Hebrews 13:5b, that He would never leave or forsake His people. We are His people! GOD leaves it up to each of us individually to choose Him or to reject Him; to tell Him if we want Him in our lives or not. We are free to choose GOD or the enemy, and whichever one we choose will be the one we spend eternity with, ” ’til the end of time.” I pray you will keep this verse in mind when you decide:

No one is Holy like the LORD! There is no one besides You; there is no ROCK like our GOD.” – 1 Samuel 2:2 NLT

I choose CHRIST. Why should I take a chance on spending eternity in anguish, when I have already spent a lifetime suffering the attacks of the evil one?

“For to me, living means living for CHRIST, and dying is even better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with CHRIST, which would be far better for me.” – Philippians 1:21‭,23 NLT

Listen to “Point to You” by We Are Messengers.