One day

Have you heard Jeremy Camp sing “There Will Be A Day”? It begins like this:

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end…..”

There are days when my head and body ache, and my eyes are gritty like they are full of sand. I’m tired. My mind wants to shut down and sleep, but instead of rest, the instant my head hits the pillow my brain is caught up in a maelstrom and swirls around in an avalanche of random thoughts. I want to get up and go and do things, but the wind sucks away all of my strength. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. My desire is to fight, but life weighs so heavily on me.

“Fight the good fight for the True Faith. Hold tightly to the Eternal Life to which GOD has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12 NLT

Am I alone in feeling this way?

All I have to do is open a social media site, or turn on the TV or radio, or pick up a paper to see the misery and anguish that permeates society. We are surrounded by complaining, grasping, whiny people, who often drown out the muffled cries of the ones dealing with real suffering and tragedy. No, I don’t count myself as someone who has real cause to cry. Most of my issues, physical and emotional, can be attributed to decisions I’ve made without waiting for GOD’s answer.

The song goes on to say But I hold on to this HOPE and the Promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering…”

I pray that when things, when life, looks and feels hopeless, you will raise your eyes and look to JESUS. He walks beside us, and He will carry us when we need it. He will take our burdens if we’ll just let go of them – picture this: your hand is gripping the handle of your baggage, then loosen your fingers and move your hand away from it…. Flex your fingers. It feels so good, not having to lug that heavy load!

I long for the day when JESUS returns and the enemy is conquered, because then we will have a new heaven and a new earth; a place where GOD Himself willwipe 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.” – Revelations 21:4 ESV

Conclusion? Life sucks sometimes. I can blame others, I can claim victim status and vie for sympathy, or I can lay myself and my burdens at the foot of the cross of JESUS, and carry on with His help. What will it be for you? What a friend we have in JESUS! Amen!

Lies, Deceits, Untruths

“Rescue me, O LORD, from liars and from all deceitful people.” – Psalms 120:2 NLT

I’m angry.

Nope. Try again.

I’m ANGRY!!

Better…..

One lie I’ve heard over and over is that we are where we are by our own choices. NO. I did NOT choose for my late husband to spiral into a pain-filled opioid addiction, exacerbated by VA doctors, which led to increasingly irrational, irresponsible, erratic, and dangerous thinking, and ultimately his death. I did NOT choose to lose our business as a result of his illness. I’m angry because he left me here alone, to deal with life on my own. I’m angry because he lied to me when he said he wouldn’t leave me, that we would face the world together. Even 20 years later, the hurt sometimes tries to overwhelm me.

Nope, it’s just not right. How can we pledge “to have and to hold … for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part,” never knowing when sickness will strike? When death will take our partner? We did them all, but death? Death is too final. When we say those vows, I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority don’t even register the ‘death’ part. I didn’t, because I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone. He pledged all those things to me, but it wasn’t true. He did leave me. I guess I lied to him, too, because I put my physical safety over him and left him to face his last year on this earth, alone. I’m angry about that, too. I deserted him when he needed me most.

Most of all, I’m angry at the serpent, the belly-dragging, dirt- eating deceitful creature we know as the enemy. The father of lies, the false accuser, adversary…. I won’t even give him the satisfaction of saying his name here. This lowest of the low, this creature introduced lies and deceits, trickery and untruths, ugliness and evil, into our world. He resorts to these tactics to pull us away from GOD. I’m angry at the illnesses, the evil, the creature has introduced into our beautiful world. The Liar has perfected his methods over the millennium to the point where he knows what to do to cause us to doubt GOD; to doubt the TRUTH that JESUS is LORD, and that the HOLY SPIRIT will carry us out the muck of lies, deceitfulness, and untruths…. IF we allow Him to.

I find the strength to forgive Ron through the work of the LORD in my life. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. Sometimes, like today, as I reflect on my life, I remember the anger and sorrow and the feeling of being deserted, even before he died, because of the illness and addiction. I miss him and the things we shared; the laughter and the adventurous spirit, the incredible talents he had. I miss his willingness (and patience!) to work with me, to answer my questions, and teach me. I miss his strength, and I miss his presence. I don’t miss the frustrations of his illness and addictions.

Jesus said, “Get away from Me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to Me….” – Matthew 16:23 NLT

Thank You, JESUS, for putting the deceiver behind me! Listen to “Point to You by” sung by We Are Messengers at https://g.co/kgs/eJqUCB

Nobody Knows…..

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2‭-‬4 NLT

There’s an old Negro Spiritual from the 1800’s that fits here:

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

Sometimes I’m up
And sometimes I’m down
Yes, Lord, you know sometimes I’m almost to the ground
Oh, yes, Lord, still

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus

We – all of humanity – love to judge people. You can deny it, but denial doesn’t make it untrue. I know I struggle with it, even after a lifetime of being judged by others, sometimes rightly, but more often they were wrong. To judge someone fairly, you need to know their bsckground and their situations intimately. Think you know me well enough to judge me and my actions? No, no more than I know you well enough to judge you. Our pasts, our troubles, may be known in generalities to those who are close to us, but nobody truly knows the troubles, the trials, you or I have endured. Like the psalmist says, “My eyes are straining to see Your Promises come true. When will You Comfort me? I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, but I have not forgotten to obey Your Decrees. How long must I wait? When will You punish those who persecute me?” – Psalms 119:82‭-‬84 NLT

Right here, right now, my mind struggles to believe my heart and my Faith in my LORD. My mind is screaming “How will things work out? What am I to do?” My heart is saying “Trust in the LORD, for He is in control. There’s no need to worry.” I KNOW this to be true, but I often have a difficult time believing it. My puny little human brain wants to grab my circumstance and situation away from the Almighty GOD, the One Who created us and Who Loves us beyond understanding….. can I solve anything that GOD can’t? No. No. And NO.

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘CHRIST JESUS came into the world to save sinners’ – and I am the worst of them all.” – 1 Timothy 1:15 NLT

As long as I worry, I’m telling people through my words and actions that I don’t fully trust in JESUS. I am the worst of sinners, yet He Loved me so much He left heaven to cover my sins with His sacrificial blood, to save me (ME!), once and for all time. I am Forgiven, and not to be judged. Who am I to judge anyone else?

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I Hate Cancer

According to the CDC, cancer is the second highest cause of death in the United States (heart disease is number one). We can all probably name family members or someone close to us who has been diagnosed with it. Just in my immediate family, 4 of 6 siblings either have it now or have been treated for it. I don’t know how anyone can survive such a diagnosis without GOD, and the support of friends and family. Even so, it is a devastating thing to deal with. Lean on the LORD. Seek Him in His Word. Talk to Him, even if that means yelling and screaming! I promise you, He can handle whatever you throw at Him. I’m lousy at comforting someone who is hurting, and I search for the ‘right’ thing to pray for. Words fail me. One thing I can always do, even in depths of despair, is say ‘JESUS.’ The Holy Spirit carries our groans to GOD when we cannot speak. Paul wrote: “And the HOLY SPIRIT helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what GOD wants us to pray for. But the HOLY SPIRIT prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” – Romans 8:26 NLT

I don’t know how to pray for my sisters. Of course I want them cured of this horrible disease, to be well and whole, with no pain or stress. As difficult as it is to let go, I find myself back at these verses:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His Will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NLT

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident Hope of Salvation. And this Hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly GOD Loves us, because He has given us the HOLY SPIRIT to fill our hearts with His Love.” – Romans 5:3‭-‬5 NLT

Listen to ‘Miracle’ by Unspoken.

Forgiven

Listen to Crowder sing ‘Forgiven’ – Powerful!

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31 NLT

I am not perfect. I am flawed, broken, and sinful…. and I am forgiven. Forgiven for every bad thing, every sinful thought, every flawed decision I’ve made. Being human, I have followed in the footsteps of the first couple, thinking I could run my life better than the Creator GOD. I almost had it right, but I left something out. You see, when you say ‘I can run my life just fine,’ you are putting an ‘i’ in the word, making ‘run’ become ‘ruin.’ But – how can GOD find the time to deal with my issues when there are millions upon mlllions of other people who have real problems that need help? Besides all of us, there is the entire universe for Him to deal with! What can I say? The Omnipotent, omnipresent LORD, King of all kings, cares about us. He cares about me. Listen to what JESUS said:

“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only GOD, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Matthew 10:28‭-‬29‭, ‬31 NLT – In Luke 12, JESUS also says “…. the very hairs on your head are all numbered ….”

Even though I am forgiven; despite my brokenness, JESUS wants me to follow the Father’s Commandments. Does He want me to give up everything to follow Him; to be rigid in my following of the Ten Commandments given to Moses? After all, GOD gave the to us. I love how my Saviour simplified the Ten and all of the laws into Two Commandments.

“Loving GOD means keeping His Commandments, and His Commandments are not burdensome.” – 1 John 5:3 NLT

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the First and Greatest Commandment. A Second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37‭-‬40 NLT

Are you forgiven? Do you LOVE the LORD? Accept Him and Proclaim Him – Find your Freedom in CHRIST JESUS today! ☝️

Redeemed From Sin

“We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.” – 1 Corinthians 4:12‭-‬13 NLT

“Praise the LORD, the GOD of Israel, because He has visited and redeemed His people. He has sent us a Mighty Savior from the royal line of His servant David, just as He promised through His Holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering His Sacred Covenant — the Covenant He swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve GOD without fear, in Holiness and Righteousness for as long as we live. Because of GOD’s tender Mercy, the Morning Light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give Light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the Path of Peace.” – Luke 1:68‭-‬75‭, ‬78‭-‬79 NLT

The GOD of Israel, the People who are His children, aren’t just of the physical line of Abraham. GOD includes both Jew and Gentile, all who have accepted His Son as Saviour – that includes me, and I pray it includes you, as well; ALL of His children. As a follower of CHRIST JESUS, we can anticipate many trials and temptation; we know we will be treated differently, even to the point of persecution. As Paul said to the church in Corinth, we who are known as Christians will be treated like the world’s garbage. Is it fair? I want to say no, it isn’t fair. Then I remember that while the world who mocks us and treats us badly will spend eternity in agony with Satan in hell, we will spend eternity with our LORD JESUS! How’s that for fair? A lifetime of hell on earth to trade for an ETERNITY of Love and Peace and JOY with my LORD….. I am Redeemed; are YOU?

Listen to Big Daddy Weave sing “Redeemed.”


Photo by Robert Nyman on Unsplash

Fearful? Stressed Out? Traumatized?

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord : He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” – Psalms 91:1‭-‬16 NLT