Pain, Momentary or Permanent

There are many types and causes of pain. It can be physical, emotional, and spiritual. Medical treatments often cause momentary, or temporary pain to us physically, but when the treatment, surgery, adjustment, whatever, is done, we feel much better. Childbirth can be (and usually is) incredibly painful, but the love that floods the mother when she holds her baby for the first time makes all the pain and discomfort disappear. Many millions of people have physical conditions that cause them to be in constant pain. The emotion pain of cutting a toxic person from our lives can hurt so deeply that we can’t imagine living through it. Watching a loved one suffer, or losing a loved one through death, causes us tremendous pain. It doesn’t matter who you are, how “rich” you are, how much power you hold, or where you live, pain will be your companion at some point in your life.

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” – Romans 8:18 NLT

Whether the pain is temporary, fleeting, or something to live with our entire earthly lives, there is a permanent solution. It’s an eternal cure for the deepest, most debilitating pains known to anyone on earth, and it is utterly free, no strings attached. Why, then, do people reject this cure? Who do you know that will reject a gift that is offered with nothing asked for in return? Why are we so suspicious of the gift that will free us, but we grab for the horrible and painful gifts the enemy hands us, gifts that are firmly tied to the giver? I think it’s because the true gift is offered in plain packaging, no frills….. but the enemy wraps his with beautiful wrappings and ribbons and bows and bling.

I confess that for many years I preferred the gaudy gifts. I convinced myself that the beautiful wrappings made up for the ugliness and darkness inside. If I wrapped myself up in the packaging, I could present myself to the world as impervious the the darkness and ugliness. I could hide it from myself. Wrong. There is only so much you can do to hide. EVERYTHING comes to the light, eventually. I have a huge debt of gratitude to the people God put in my path to show me the TRUE Gift. Much of the physical and emotional pain I have dealt with throughout my life could have been avoided if I had paid attention to the real Gift of Love, instead of turning and going through the muck, trying to capture that elusive feeling of “happiness”. Is that where you are today? Treading through the muck, wandering in the pain and hopelessness?

My prayer today is that you will look up, open your eyes and your hands and your life, and really SEE where you are. Reach out to the One Who is able to pull you out of the ugliness! If you can’t stand up or put one foot in front of the other, don’t despair. The One Who is capable of pulling you up will carry you until you can walk, and even then, no matter what, He will ALWAYS be with you. He will never expect you to carry on by yourself, and in fact, even when we turn our backs on us, He will NEVER leave us alone. I know this, because I experience it daily. Even in the darkest parts of my life, He never walked away or forsook me, because I accepted His Gift at a young age…. I just chose to follow the path the world (i.e. the enemy) instead of going with my Savior. I thank the LORD that He didn’t desert me!

Life on earth will never be painless. I struggle financially, I have physical issues, and it is difficult for me to come out of my shell. These will be a part of my life until I die, or until my Jesus returns, and that’s just reality. The beauty of it all is that because I accepted His Gift, l don’t face it alone. His strong Hands are with me to support me and carry me as needed. Plus, I get to spend all of eternity with NO sorrow, NO pain, NO struggles! Don’t know about you, but I would rather live my life now as if Jesus were real (and He IS real and alive), than to face an unknown and dark eternity.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” – Revelation 21:4 NLT

Discouraged, Sad?

Why do we walk around discouraged? Why are we sad? When we remind ourselves of God’s Truth, we should realize that we have no reason – none, zero, zilch! – to be anything but joyful. When I get down, whether because of circumstances or a poor choice and it’s consequences, my friend likes to say to me: “Who’s in control?” Who do you think is in control?

“The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” – Exodus 14:14 NLT

I can always answer “Not me!” because I know the Truth of Who is in control. He lets us drive until we voluntarily hand it over to Him. He’s a gentleman and won’t ever force us to choose Him.

“This is the message of Good News: There is peace with GOD through JESUS CHRIST, Who is LORD of ALL.” Acts 10:36 NLT

Life is SO much simpler when we let God “drive”!!

“Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings ; honor the LORD for His Glory and Strength. Honor the LORD for the Glory of His Name. Worship the LORD in the Splendor of His Holiness. The Voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The GOD of Glory Thunders. The LORD Thunders over the mighty sea. The Voice of the LORD is Powerful; the Voice of the LORD is Majestic. The Voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; He makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox. The Voice of the LORD strikes with bolts of lightning. The Voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The Voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In His Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as KING Forever. The LORD gives His people Strength. The LORD Blesses them with Peace.” – Psalms 29:1‭-‬11 NLT

AMEN!

History

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

No matter where we are or what we are doing, there are so many reasons to be grateful. Think about it.

There is much violence and protesting is taking place because of things that happened in the past. History needs to be taught as it happened, and it should be inclusive of ALL the viewpoints, not to be devisive but to pass on Knowledge. How else do we learn and keep from repeating the same mistakes over and over? People of every color and ethnicity have been through struggles throughout history. We don’t have to condone tragic events to acknowledge them. If we try to make reparations to every ethnic group that was mistreated in history, then every person alive should receive something. I’m sorry for how the tribal peoples were treated, but I had no part in it. My ancestors were maligned and mistrested, and I have been through hell, too, but no one is working on improving MY life because of it. We have history to learn from and to move forward from. Today is the day we need to live for, not all of the yesterdays. If we are AMERICAN, we should be together. Using hyphenated names is just a subtle way to promote divisive. We aren’t Irish-American or Native-American or Chinese-American or African-American. We are AMERICAN.

As a Christian nation, Americans should be leading the world in showing others how to live in harmony. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we seem to lead the way in litigation and violence. Take today, and look to JESUS to see how to live. Live like you are LOVED, because you are!

That’s my 2 cents.

All My Hope

There’s a song by an amazing artist, Crowder, called “All My Hope.” It was written for a friend that was being released from years behind bars, and who had found Jesus while incarcerated. It’s a beautiful song, speaking of redemption and being released from the bars and chains that hold us. In it, he says “All my Hope is in Jesus, Thank God that yesterday’s gone, All my sins are forgiven, I’ve been washed by the Blood…. ”

Jesus is our shelter in the storm, our Rock. He invites us to be washed of our sins so that we can share eternity with Him, and we know there is only One-Way to achieve this. All our Hope, all our Strength, all our PEACE comes from one place, one-way, from Jesus. Simple, yet hard. You say “I don’t want to give up my freedom,” or “Too many rules to follow,” or even “I’m a good person. I don’t need Jesus.” Oh, people! This is such disfunctional and error-filled thinking. Don’t you realize that by saying that Jesus was just a good man or a prophet, you are saying He was insane? Think about it. Jesus claimed to be the Son of the Immortal and Almighty GOD of the universe. How can anyone claiming to be GOD in the flesh, GOD Incarnate, the Living GOD be sane, if it is not true? Look at all of Jesus’ contemporaries who witnessed His death, who saw Him buried, and then saw Him again in the flesh after He came out of the tomb after 3 days. Our contemporaries, David Koresh and Jim Jones, both claimed to be the son of GOD, and we called them insane. They committed suicide with many of their followers…. and they are dead. No resurrection or salvation.

Followers of Jesus know that He is the True Son of GOD. We don’t just believe it, we KNOW it is true. How do we know? Aside from all the eyewitness testimonies of His contemporaries, we know it in our hearts; we feel it in His Strength, and we see His Grace in our lives (even in the bad stuff). I wish that the people who think they are “good enough” to go to heaven weren’t so misguided by the enemy. There is no “good enough” to spend eternity with our LORD, because He is the ONLY One good enough. He is the ONLY One to live a sinless life? Not “good enough,” not a “good” man, and not a prophet. He is the ONE-Way, the ONLY-Way, to GOD.

Are you washed by the Blood of Jesus?

“Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But GOD showed His GREAT LOVE for us by sending CHRIST to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” – Romans 5:7‭-‬9 NLT

AMEN!!

I Am Knit Together in Love

My Grandma, my Mother’s Mom, crocheted blankets for people she loved. I will never forget the beautifully put together blanket she made for my baby. It was knit together in love. My Mom does cross-stitch, and has made beautiful works for all of us. Mine hang throughout my house, and everytime I look at one, I am reminded of her love. Everyone does something to show their love. It may be a tangible thing, like a blanket or a cross-stitch design or a painting or other handcrafted item, or a meal or baked goods. It could be an act of service, or it could be giving up a baby or child, so that the child can have a better life. These can all be put done in love.

God showed His Love in creating us; He knitted us together. As the psalmist so beautifully said;

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your Book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” – Psalms 139:13‭-‬16 NLT

This Almighty God created a beautiful world for us to live on. He knit it together, along with the stars and the planets, for us to enjoy. He also created in us a free will, the ability to make our own decisions, and we have done our utmost to destroy our world and our lives ever since. The God of the Universe didn’t let us slide, but He did one better. He sent His Son, an integral part of Himself, to live among us and to die for us. The Ultimate Sacrifice.

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!” –
Psalms 139:17‭-‬18 NLT

What Amazing Grace! Not only did He Knit together the Universe for us, He sacrificed Himself to redeem us from our sins. Whatever other people say to you, regardless of the lies and venom Satan spews in your ears, you have been knit together by God. You are beautiful to Him, and what you do matters to Him. His hearts desire is to Love us, and for us to love Him in return. To show us mere humans the breathe and depth of His Love, Jesus – The WORD – stepped down from His Throne, His rightful place at the side of GOD, for this purpose.

“In the beginning The WORD already existed. The WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. GOD created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The WORD gave Life to everything that was created, and His Life brought Light to everyone. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” – John 1:1‭, ‬3‭-‬5 NLT

“So The WORD became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing Love and Faithfulness. And we have seen His Glory, the Glory of the FATHER’s One and Only SON.” – John 1:14 NLT

The point is this: we were knit together for one reason only. To share the ABSOLUTE LOVE of our Creator and Father with Him. Simple, but somehow it becomes the most difficult thing for so many people to grasp. If you have known any love in your life, multiply by a million, and you will still fall short of how much our Father in heaven LOVES us. Are you interested in a relationship with the One who created you and Who knows everything about you down to the tiniest component of your physical body (remember, He made it!), and He knows every thought you have ever had or will have…… ? I have a relationship with Him, and because of that He has made me the Daughter of the King of kings. How AWESOME is that? Your elevation from mere human-ness to being the son or daughter of THE King is just waiting for you to take a small but decisive step to Jesus.

“For this is how GOD Loved the world: He gave His ONE and ONLY Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE. GOD sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” – John 3:16‭-‬17 NLT

Have you taken that step and asked Jesus to come into your heart and your soul and your life? My prayer is that you will take that tiny step today as you are reading this. I can promise that there is NOTHING in the whole earth-world that will even come close to it!

Being knit together……

I Am In Need… or, I Am Needy

“O GOD, You are my GOD; I earnestly search for You. My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in Your sanctuary and gazed upon Your Power and Glory. Your unfailing Love is better than life itself; how I praise You! I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of Joy.” – Psalms 63:1‭-‬5 NLT

I want to be like David, satisfied with nothing more than God’s Love, but I am too much in need…… or too needy?….. to be satisfied with the best thing available in this world. And it is a GIFT; freely given to us by the Almighty, the gift of His Faithfulness and Sacrifice and His Love. A gift so rich that not all of the billionaires and millionaires joining all of their resources can even begin to compete with. And our LORD wants us to have it with zero cost. How can that be? WHY can we not be satisfied with such a priceless, unmatchable gift?

GOD saved you by His GRACE when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a Gift from GOD.” – Ephesians 2:8 NLT

I think we aren’t satisfied because it is incomprehensible to us. Bill Gates, or Donald Trump, or George Soros could gift me with mansions and property, vehicles, and a trust fund to carry me effortlessly through life, and yet all that doesn’t even come close to the Gift of GOD’S Love. Incomprehensible, incomparable, …… unbelievable? For far too many people, GOD’S incredible Gift is exactly that – unbelievable. A deity that we cannot see or touch wants to give me Life? They can’t understand it, so they reject Him.

“He was despised and rejected— a Man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” – Isaiah 53:3 NLT

Oh, for the faith of Paul, who was jailed for his faith, yet continued his testifying, and his encouraging letters to other believers, in spite of his confinement and suffering. How many of us would continue teaching and preaching while held in chains? “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!” ” – Acts of the Apostles 18:9 NLT

Will you be like Peter, whom JESUS called the Rock, or will we be as dry grass when the Judgment occurs?

“Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot and their flowers wither. For they have rejected the Law of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the HOLY ONE of Israel.” – Isaiah 5:24 NLT

Dead…. Only NOT Dead

Have you ever wondered what we will look like when we meet again in heaven? I subscribe to the belief that we will look like ourselves, only perfected by Christ’s Love. There won’t be any twisted bodies or missing parts or damaged brains. There won’t be any ugliness or sorrow, either. So, the next question is “Will we have wings, and will we all be blue-eyed and pale-skinned?” Absolutely not! God created us in our of our splendor, just as He created animals in theirs. Heaven will be a colorful and cheerful place. After all, God created color! I can’t speak for you, but I look forward to waking up in heaven and seeing Jesus in all His splendid Glory. My Daddy and my Grandma, our lost babies, and my fur babies will be waiting, vigorous and healthy and happy. All the Christ-followers that I have known, plus millions I didn’t know on earth, in all of their colors and ethnicities, will be there, too. I know that I will know them, however God sees fit to resurrect them in paradise. Sidenote: remember all of the people who have searched for the fabled Fountain of Youth and the City of Gold? They all looked in the wrong place, and WE get to spend eternity …. i.e. for-EVER ….. with both, because heaven contains them.

“But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting.

Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ( 1 Corinthians 15:35‭-‬44‭, ‬55 NLT)

Are you confident of gaining your new body, or are you still running scared from the sting of death and the enemy? It is your choice, and yours alone, whether you will have a magnificent new body in heaven with Jesus, or a tormented and deformed body in everlasting hell with the enemy.

“Thank God for His Gift too Wonderful for words!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT)