Father of my Father

Father of my Father

Oh, I pray this day comes soon!

  “Rise up, O GOD, and scatter Your enemies. Let those who hate GOD run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of GOD. But let the godly REJOICE. Let them be Glad in GOD’S Presence. Let them be filled with Joy. Sing Praises to GOD and to His Name! Sing loud Praises to Him Who rides the clouds. His Name is the LORD – Rejoice in His Presence! FATHER to the fatherless, DEFENDER of widows – this is GOD, Whose dwelling is Holy. GOD places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them Joy. But He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land…. Praise the LORD; praise GOD our SAVIOR! For each day He carries us in His Arms. Our GOD is a GOD Who saves! The SOVEREIGN LORD rescues us from death. But GOD will smash the heads of His enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways.” – Psalms 68:1‭-‬6‭, ‬19‭-‬21

Many of us are saying “When, LORD? When will we be free; when will we have this Joy You speak of? And when will our enemies be crushed and perish, since so many of them seem to be the ones who prosper th most in this world? ” A thousand years to us is but a day to the LORD, so consider that it has only been a couple of days since Jesus died and rose from the grave. 

  “LORD, through ALL the generations You have been our Home! Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are GOD. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For You, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” Psalms 90:1‭-‬4 

When you feel most hopeless, completely mired down with despair, you are not alone…. IF you have accepted Jesus as Savior and allowed the Holy Spirit into your life. I’ve dealt with those feelings, and it was only through the Grace of our Glorious GOD that I made it through them (with a lot of help from the doctors that the LORD has given the talent to help others). I absolutely cannot imagine experiencing all that without GOD on my side! Even when our spouse cheats or abandons us; losing our livelihood, our home, our “stuff” through experiences out of our control; losing a child or beloved family member to death…. The LORD will sustain us, IF we allow Him to. Far too often, we react to bad things by blaming GOD, when we should be looking at the enemy and swath of destruction, Satan’s joy. Satan’s excitement and satisfaction comes from us rejecting GOD; from us blaming our LORD, rather than him. When we turn away from GOD, I imagine he and his demonic beings are doing a little happy dance. BUT, he will get his just rewards:

  “Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse [see, I TOLD you there are horses in heaven!!] was standing there. Its Rider was named FAITHFUL and TRUE, for He judges fairly and wages a righteous war…. On His robe at His thigh was written this title: KING of all kings and LORD of all Lords. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast – miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” – Revelation 19:11‭, ‬16‭-‬16‭, ‬20 

  “And He (The LORD) also said, “It is finished! I AM the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the Water of Life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their GOD, and they will be my children. But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” – Revelation 21:6‭-‬8 

Have you received the Water of Life? Because if you have, we’ll get to meet in heaven with Jesus and all of the saints and our loved ones who have gone before us. HALLELUJAH!
 (All scriptures quoted  http://bible.com/NLT)

Warning…

Paul gets pretty down and dirty with his letters to the churches…. Honesty and truth can be difficult to hear.

 “(3b) Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. (16) Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (19) Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.” ” – Romans 12:3‭b,16‭,‬19 NLT

I’ve studied these verses before, but they are never easy to read when I consider how I have lived most of my life. Being the third child, I struggled with following a “perfect” older sister who did everything right (my perception – sorry, Lu!), and an older brother. Instead of being obedient and compliant, he rebelled, leaving me in a limbo of achievement (to gain approval) and rebellion, because I wanted to be accepted by him, too. It’s a weird place to be. Now, I realize that my sister had more expectations to live with as the oldest sibling than we did, but we couldn’t see it while growing up. Then to that, add the perceptions and expectations that were added on to us since we were the “pk’s” (preacher’s kids). A lot of those pressures came from outside the family, both in the church and the community. 

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not making excuses or placing blame. My parents did the best they could, and we always knew we were loved. Despite their best efforts, I – as well as several of my siblings – responded very differently than was expected. Rebellion became a big part of my life once I left home for college. A good Christian girl goes off to a respected Christian college (hmm, could be the title for a book!) and was immersed in a society that this small town, naive girl had  never really imagined. Something like going in the deep end before you learn to swim! It didn’t take long for the seduction and temptations of the the enemy swept me into the rapids of life where I was rather quickly caught up, spun out of control, and unable to escape. 

It’s human nature to try to control our situations and surroundings. When our lives spin out of control, oftentimes we react by focusing, almost with tunnel vision, on the things we do have power over. I couldn’t be honest with myself or my family, because to do so would shed light on things in my life that I couldn’t stand to see. My self worth had already been beaten up pretty well by my brother. According to him, I was ugly and stupid…. and regardless of how many times I was told the opposite by others, his comments hit me the hardest. How did I cope? Attitude, baby, pretentious attitude! I quickly discovered that men wanted me. Not only any permanent basis, but they could make me feel beautiful and desirable for a few minutes. I took advantage of this, and married the first one that asked… and egotistical, completely self-absorbed misogynist. I lost the little bit of myself that was left under his “reign.” After years of his abuse, I managed to get away, where I took on the attitudes he taught me. My hard protective shell was one of being better than others. I discovered that if I acted as though I knew the answers, people believed me. I was a snob, a know-it-all, and quick to plot revenge on anyone who did me wrong – real or perceived. 

In short, I was miserable, so I maintained a near constant “party” so I didn’t have to feel. I married my best friend, a good man who actually treated me well, and lost him because of my attitudes and inability to believe he could truly love me. It was messed up. Sadly,  after that I spiraled deeper. I was mad at God for allowing all of the abuse and garbage into my life, and determined to lay ALL the blame on Him. To prove it, I looked for another man to save me. I found another one who loved me and married me, and we continued to party together. Long story…..

Eventually, after losing him to drug addiction and death, I set out to rescue lost souls, because you know I was so healthy myself. It took two more abusive husbands to get it. Humility can be a harsh lesson to learn. As I slowly began to learn it (progress, not perfection), I also realized that over all those years of searching for Mr. Right, He was standing right next to me! Jesus provides me with all that I need. He doesn’t denigrate me or abuse me. He loves me as I am, uncompromising and unconditionally. That’s AMAZING!! Not only did Paul point out the attitudes we don’t need to carry as Christians, but John says it perfectly for me:

  “Such Love has no fear, because Perfect Love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His Perfect Love.” – 1 John 4:18 NLT

I spent years in fear, hiding behind ego and perfectionism and plotting revenge. I hurt others, and I especially hurt myself. We create these prisons in our hearts for other people, but the truth is that we are locking ourselves up instead. As Peter saysYou have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.” – 1 Peter 4:3 NLT 

Jesus made sure that we will never be alone if we accept His gift of eternal life. He has sent the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be with us as a constant. We are never alone. Jesus said: And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, Who will NEVER leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.” – John 14:16‭-‬17 NLT 

The Advocate lives with me. Thank You, Jesus!


(All scriptures quoted from  http://bible.com )

My Heart’s Desire

​  “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” – Psalms 37:4 NLT

Oh, people, how often this verse is pulled out of context! There are many preachers who preach the gospel of prosperity based on just this one verse. “… He will give you your heart’s desires… ” God isn’t saying He will make us wealthy in man’s eyes and in man’s money. As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now, the REST of the story…”

  “Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.” – Psalms 37:3‭-‬8 NLT

Key words: TRUST, COMMIT, TRUST (must be important; it’s in here twice), BE STILL…. Don’t worry, stop being angry, hold your temper…. God never promised us financial wealth. He hasn’t promised perfect health in this world. His Promise is to walk with us and to carry us when we can no longer walk on our own through our struggles. To receive the full benefits of God’s blessings, we must first do what He commands: Trust HIM, Commit to HIM. I can dream of the benefits here on earth of financial wealth and stability, but the truth is that it is highly doubtful that I will ever have it in this world. I may struggle financially in this life, but I have heaven and spending time with my LORD to look forward to! I sincerely pray that you have that to look forward to, as well.

(All scriptures quoted from  http://bible.com)

Just Not Feelin’ It….

​  “For the LORD is good. His Unfailing Love continues forever, and His Faithfulness continues to each generation…. Praise the LORD; praise GOD our Savior! For each day He carries us in His arms.” – Psalms 100:5; Psalm 68:19 NLT 

This is true. The psalmist says it all: God IS Good. God IS Faithful. His Mercy extends to anyone who wants it. His LOVE never fails; it goes from parent to child, and so on through generations, from the first man and woman to the child being born at this very moment. He carries us when we are so tired we can’t walk or think or function. 

Does that mean that I am always grateful for Him, or that I always acknowledge Him? I’m sorry to say, no. Not only do I not praise Him and thank Him, I am ungrateful and spiteful and let anger rule my thoughts. I know – KNOW – that I am not alone in this. Sometimes I just don’t feel it. Maybe because I figured out a way to numb feelings through an addiction, or maybe because I am just tired. Scared. Scarred. Just not feelin’ it…. 

God knows we get this way. Sometimes there is something physiologically exacerbating the issues, and sometimes it is outside forces and influence that are creating the environment of despair. Sometimes, only God knows; other times, well, that’s why He has equipped doctors and counselors and psychologists and psychiatrists with the knowledge to help us. There is NO shame in seeking help!!! I know so many people who hold to their belief that they can do it on their own, and I know from personal experience that it is not possible… ON OUR OWN. We need each other, and more importantly, we NEED God. It’s that simple. 

Just because I may go through a period of not feeling His Presence doesn’t mean He isn’t with me. In Psalm 16:8-11, “King David said this about Him: ‘I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts His praises! My body rests in Hope. For You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow Your Holy One to rot in the grave. You have shown me the way of Life, and You will fill me with the Joy of Your Presence.’ ” – Acts of the Apostles 2:25‭-‬28 NLT

God never intended for us to walk alone. He created us to be companions and friends.

  “In His Kindness GOD called you to share in His Eternal Glory by means of CHRIST JESUS Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will Restore, Support, and Strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All Power to Him FOREVER! Amen.” – 1 Peter 5:10‭-‬11 NLT

Even when we aren’t feeln’ it, God is with us. Amen.

Change the World….Me?

But I CAN’T change the world! It’s too much to ask me to, God!

  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness {gentleness}, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15

Beautiful. If we would only follow these words, think how much better our lives would be! And not just ours, but our families, and our coworkers, and our classmates; our friends and our neighbors. We could change the WORLD!

I need to forgive ALL of the men who wronged me, not just the ones I find it easy to forgive. 

I should shun gossip – saying it OR speaking it.

To the people who are upset or angry or hurt by me…. I am the one who needs to mend the relationship. It isn’t up to them; it’s up to me.

I guess it really is up to me to change the world……

  “So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His Love and Compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.” Isaiah 30:18 And Jesus said: “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Isn’t the news amazing? The LORD, the Master of the Universe, waits on US to come to Him. Free will. When we choose Him, we receive His Love and His Mercy. He will NEVER leave us. He will never leave me. Hallelujah!

KING Of Kings

 “Yours, O LORD, is the Greatness, the Power, the Glory, the Victory, and the Majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One Who is over ALL things.” –1 Chronicles 29:11 NLT

Who am I to dispute this? 

C.S. Lewis, well known scholar, and author of the Narnia books, the Screwtape Letters and more, was a staunch atheist for many years. He began his study of the Bible so that he could disprove it, and instead, he was convinced of the existence of the Almighty LORD and the Sovereignty of Jesus Christ. He had disputed the validity of the scriptures, and after he studied them extensively, accepted Christ as his Savior.  Quite a change. If such a scholarly, well learned man could understand this Truth, who am I to dispute it?

Is it time you faced the truth? “EVERYTHING in the heavens and on earth” belongs to God. I belong to Him, and YOU belong to Him. I said yesterday that the idea of being a slave chafs me, but the truth of the matter is that regardless of my irritation I either belong to God or the world – i.e., Satan, the enemy. We often choose the enemy because of the illusion of beauty and power He presents to us. The idea that we can control our destiny is mesmerizing, and it is false. Throughout life, we are constantly faced with choices, and every choice has two sides. Right or wrong, God’s way or the enemy’s way. We justify our actions and decisions, but does that make them the right choices? Our human nature causes us to stumble continually because we take our eyes away from God and replace the “view” with desire for power. James says it so well:

  “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” – James 3:13‭-‬17 NLT

There will be a Judgement Day. Each one of us will stand before the throne of the Almighty LORD, and hear of our shortcomings and failures as presented by the enemy. “…. every knee shall bow…” This statement brings me such HOPE! When Paul says “EVERY knee,” I know he means that nothing; NOBODY, will remain standing. ALL of God’s creations, including Satan, because he was created when God created the angels, will bow. No matter how much he fights, he ultimately loses.

  “…. at the Name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:10‭-‬11 NLT

I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy losing. I like being on the winning team, and that’s where I choose to be. As a child, I was often picked last for teams because I wasn’t very good at sports. With God, I know I am as valuable as any of the other team members. I know this because He sent His Son to suffer and die and return to life – for ME. He did it for you, too. Which team do you choose? Take a knee for Jesus!!!

(All scriptures quoted from http://bible.com)

Wounded – And YOU Can’t Fix It

Yesterday, disciplined; today, wounded. Ugh.

  “An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” – Proverbs 27:5‭-‬6 NLT

When you are running as hard and as fast from God as you can, being disciplined and having friends and family confront you are the last things you want! Any kind of confrontation by family is, to an addict, like sandpaper and salt to an open wound. Until the addict chooses to hear, no one can reach them except the Holy Spirit. I know because I have been there, and because I have witnessed it with countless others. It isn’t just drugs or alcohol that a person can be addicted to. Add in the easy ones – cigarettes, prescription drugs, shopping, hoarding, lying. Then the “bad” things: stealing, burglary; sexual addiction, whether looking at pictures in a magazine or online; even as far as the violent, despicable crimes of rape, mutilation, murder…. did you know that God doesn’t distinguish sin? Any action can become an addiction; an escape from the real world.

Why? Why does God allow this? What causes people to do the things we know aren’t right, and what on earth could allow us to harm others?

There’s only one answer, and it isn’t one many people want to hear. Free will. God gave it to the first humans to pass down through the generations because He wants us to CHOOSE Him. Even the angels have the choice of loving God or leaving Him. 

  “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths. Everyone there will stare at you and ask, ‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble? Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’ ” – Isaiah 14:12‭-‬17 NLT

Lucifer, the Shining Star of heaven, wanted to be greater than the Almighty, the Creator. When Lucifer chose his desires over God’s desires, he was kicked out of heaven and along with him were the angels who followed him. 

  “Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” – Revelation 12:7‭-‬9 NLT

Satan has spent all of his time since being thrown out of heaven scheming to beat God. The only way he wins is by turning us away from our Creator LORD, and He is very vigilant about it. Michael threw Satan out of heaven, and it will be Michael at the side of Jesus when He returns for us. I want to live to see that day! There was a time when I dreaded the return of Jesus. I was always aware of the things I was doing that were sin in my life, and for years, I was powerless to change it. That answer to the “Why” questions, that free will, when given to Satan is impossible for us to get back on our own. The next question becomes “Why would anyone give SATAN control over their life???” 

Again, the simple answer is that he makes it look beautiful. Whatever the sin, whatever the addiction, he makes it looks pretty and easy… much easier than the “straight and narrow path” of Jesus. Even though I’ve done it, and left the path of Jesus, I still can’t explain it. It may be narrow, but His path is well lit. Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34 NLT

“Turn from your selfish ways….” And there’s the answer.

We turn away from Jesus because we are selfish and want things OUR way. There are only 2 ways to turn. Toward God, or toward the enemy, Satan. We are FOR Jesus, or we are AGAINST Jesus, and if we are against Him, we have chosen the enemy. Free will. That’s where our friends come in. When we become aware of a friend or family member slipping, getting into something we know is a bad thing, it is our duty as Christians to help them. Carefully, prayerfully, lovingly help. Being careful not to fall ourselves, or to wound unnecessarily. Remember:

  “How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” – Luke 6:42 NLT

Discipline with care. Rebuke with more care, and only after much prayer. We don’t want it to hurt the person, just to get their attention turned to God. He is the ONLY cure; our only Salvation. Amen.


(All scriptures quoted from http://bible.com)