Perfect People

Do you know any perfect people? I don’t! I know people who think they are perfect, and I admit to having had that attitude in the past. I know a lot about certain subjects, and I know a little about a lot of subjects, and I am easily frustrated when I know the answer but no one wants to hear it. My word is my bond, but I’m not sure I always keep my promises, especially when it hurts. I try not to gossip, and I won’t speak evil of a friend…. but I do when it comes to people I don’t like. Lending money isn’t something I do. If someone needs it, and I have it, I’d rather just give it to them. Can you relate?

“Who may worship in Your Sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter Your Presence on Your Holy Hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the LORD, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.” – Psalms 15:1‭-‬5 NLT

If we just read these verses, and then we look at professing Christians, we can pronounce without a doubt that no one (and we should include ourselves!!) should be worshipping in the Sanctuary of our LORD. So what are we supposed to do? If we don’t qualify to worship in His Sanctuary, where, then? Thank GOD that HE doesn’t require perfection! Looking back at the premise and initial question, we should remember that there is, in fact, ONE perfect person. One Who was everything that we should aspire to be like; never gossipy or cruel, One Who could not be bribed, One Who lived a perfect life. That One is JESUS, Son of the Most High GOD, the second part of the Triune GOD, the One Who sacrificed Himself so that we could worship in the Sanctuary of the LORD.

See? I was wrong to suggest I didn’t know a perfect person, because I know the single perfect person who has or will ever live on this earth. I have a real relationship with JESUS. I will never be like HIM, but because of His Love for me and His Sacrifice for me, I am washed and cleansed by His Blood, and I can worship in the Father’s Sanctuary. I’m still not perfect, I will never be perfect, and I will always be a hypocrite…. but through JESUS CHRIST, I am now imperfectly perfect, and hopefully the Light of my LORD shines out through the cracks.

Have a Fabulously Blessed day, my friends! Let His Light shine through your cracks!

Photo credit: Pinterest.

LET FREEDOM RING!

“For the Spirit GOD gave us does not make us timid, but gives us Power, Love and self-Discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our LORD or of me His prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the Gospel, by the Power of GOD. He has saved us and called us to a Holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His Own Purpose and grace. This Grace was given us in CHRIST JESUS before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our SAVIOR, CHRIST JESUS, Who has destroyed death and has brought LIFE and Immortality to light through the Gospel.” – 2 Timothy 1:7‭-‬10 NIV

Okay, you are probably asking what in the world does this scripture have to do with our celebrating the freedom of our country today? Without the Freedom of our LORD, there is no other freedom. We are Blessed to live in this great country (yes, great, despite all of her problems) where we can believe and worship and give testimony to our beliefs without fear of government retaliation. It is nearly impossible to do this in many countries around the world. It is unfortunate, though, that even in the U.S.A. many followers of CHRIST are singled out and persecuted, while any and every other belief system is tolerated, and encouraged. Our soldiers and sailors, fly-boys and marines and other maritime services have given life and limb to ensure our freedoms….. yet so many citizens spit on them and ridicule and revile them for that service.

Today, I celebrate my freedom as a citizen of this great nation, and I celebrate my freedom from death through JESUS CHRIST. Both of these freedoms came with tremendous sacrifice! Not my sacrifice, but the unbelievable and incomprehensible sacrifices of our country’s men and women, and most importantly, the sacrifice of my LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. Grace and Mercy abounds, Amen!

“If My people, who are called by MY Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I WILL Hear from heaven, and I WILL forgive their sin and WILL heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

Time to hit our knees, people!!

“A Wise Person Once Said …..”

How many times in your life have you heard a sentence that started with those words? Maybe the better question is how many times did you listen when you heard those words? Remember what GOD said:

“It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools. The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” – Ecclesiastes 7:5‭, ‬8‭ NIV

If you were like me, you didn’t like being told someone else was smarter or knew better than you (still a problem for me sometimes!). I read these verses and heard lessons and sermons on the words from Ecclesiastes. In school I learned that Abraham Lincoln, a very wise man, said “Do we not destroy our enemies when we make them our friends?” How can that even be possible? I mean, when someone hurts me, whether intentional or not, or physically or mentally, you are telling me to make that person my friend? Even JESUS teaches us:

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you …. ” – Matthew 5:44 NIV

I don’t want to pray for those people, let alone be friends with them! I want to take revenge. I want them to hurt more than they hurt me. I tell you the truth, if I had listened, had really heard my parents and my teachers, I could have bypassed so much of the hurt in my life. Being associated with and influenced by peers who are not Christians leads to a lifetime of pain. I never wanted to be rebuked for the things I did and said that went against the teachings of JESUS. I wanted to have ‘fun’, and to ensure that I did, I chose to listen to the siren song of fools. I was so busy having fun I didn’t have time to think about how miserable I was. Thankfully, for all of us sinners – and that term encompasses the entire human race – there is Grace and Mercy offered freely to us. We have the choice. Do we live with gratitude and love, or do we stumble and flail our way through life? Do we keep a sober mind (having a glass or 2 of wine or a beer can actually be good for you; it’s the excessive drinking that gets us into trouble)? Is it our choice to satiate our minds with excesses of ‘fun’ and business and even family to the point of putting the LORD in the background?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:8‭-‬9 NIV

Pray for your enemies. Love those people who make you angry and who hurt you. Seek out the ones you don’t want to forgive and make them your friend. Sound impossible? That’s because it is impossible in our human capacity. It is only with GOD’S Love and GOD’S help that any of this becomes possible. Pray for me that I may walk the walk. Amen.

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

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

Am I Living ‘Right’?

“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please GOD, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the LORD JESUS to do this more and more.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:1 NIV

Man, this devotion from Right From The Heart 1-Minute Devotions (day 213) really struck home. I’ve spent a lifetime searching for and choosing the wrong mate. Guess I’ve made a career of it, and quite a successful career, too. Over and over, making the same bad choices, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Oh, wait! That’s the definition of insanity! The devotion is titled “Finding The Right Mate.” Here it is:

Everybody wants to make the right choice in choosing a mate. What a nightmare if we don’t. [Side note: I can testify to the nightmare!] What a blessing if we do. If you are in a serious relationship, ask yourself these questions:
* Is this person my best friend? If not, you’re not ready.
* Do we share common faith and values? If not, you’ll have conflict and drift apart.
* Do family and friends affirm the relationship? Choosing a mate means choosing a family.
* Am I willing to make a lifetime commitment? Marriage is not for trying out. That’s a sure road to divorce.
* Do I want this person to be the parent of my children?
* Do I wake up to every day wanting to be with them versus convincing myself why I like them?
If you can say yes to each of these, you may have found the right one. If not, you may want to slow down or even call it off. But most of all, seek God’s will through prayer and be willing to follow His lead in one of life’s biggest decisions.

Out of all my relationships, and they have been many (believe me when I tell you that I am not proud of that fact!), there was one who fit all of those points. We had a good life together until an addiction to pain pills took over his brain and I was forced to leave for my physical safety. He was flawed, and so was I, but we had always worked things out and trusted and relied on each other. The enemy finds our weakest point and exploits it in every way possible, and in this the enemy succeeded in pulling us apart, but I am confident that I will see him again when I leave this physical body.

When we live according to GOD’S Law rather than submitting to our own desires, we will receive the Peace He offers us. That doesn’t mean we will always get what we want. My desire, and my husband’s desire before the drugs took him from me, was to spend our lives together doing a ministry we loved in the form of our Bed & Breakfast. There was a joy in our working together, and I was really angry for a long time at both him and GOD for allowing our dreams to be destroyed by something as stupis as drugs. Even so, I want that connection, that kind of love, again. I have made my peace with my LORD, and I have forgiven my husband for deserting me. As I live my life day to day, I strive to keep my focus on GOD’S desires rather than my own. Some days, it is really hard to trust that He really does have a plan for me, when all I can seem to do is worry about how I will survive this financial nightmare I am in. What I need to focus on is how I can serve my JESUS. Hear what He says:

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.” – Matthew 25:45 NIV
“For the SON of MAN is going to come in his FATHER’s Glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done.” – Matthew 16:27 NIV

What we do won’t save us, only accepting JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOUR will do that, but what we do does have a direct correlation to our heavenly rewards. I would be content to live in the poorest of hovels in heaven, as long as I am in the Light of His Eternal Glory. ( Although I’d really much prefer not to live in a hovel here on earth…. ) Get the focus off “me” and put the focus on HIM by spending time every day in His Word and in prayer, seeking His Will.

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???