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……

What Are YOU Thankful For?

“By Faith we understand that the universe was framed by the WORD of GOD, so that things that are seen were not made out of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:3 AMEN.

Today, I am thankful for the GOD of the Universe; Creator of ALL things – grateful He cares enough about ME to send His Son to save my life and to be my Advocate! I am thankful and blessed to have Faith; family, friends, house and home, food on the table and in the frig; the hundreds of thousands of service people who are serving and those who have given their all to keep me safe …. I am thankful for the country I live in, the flag we stand for, and for a President and First Lady who are real. I am thankful I can pray out loud and not be arrested, and I can attend the church of my choice.

What are YOU thankful for?

Do You CLUTCH?

From the Google dictionary:

clutch

verb : to grasp or seize (something) tightly or eagerly.
noun : a tight grasp or an act of grasping something.

To clutch the Lord … that’s what I see Paul saying in these verses.

“We should help others do what is right and build them up in the LORD. For even Christ didn’t live to please Himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult You, O GOD, have fallen on Me.” (Psalm 69:9) May GOD, who gives this Patience and Encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of CHRIST JESUS. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving Praise and Glory to GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that GOD will be given Glory. I pray that GOD, the Source of Hope, will fill you completely with Joy and Peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the Power of the Holy Spirit. I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them.” – Romans 15:2‭-‬3‭, ‬5‭-‬7‭, ‬13-14 NLT

We need to clutch our Saviour, in order to live as He would have us. Without Jesus, we are as seeds or leaves: “The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here.” – Psalms 103:16 NLT

I can only speak for myself, but I want to know that I am more valuable in the universe than just a piece of trash, blowing wherever the wind blows. I am fickle and have difficulty holding to one thing or another, and without a shadow of doubt, I recognize that the only way to survive this world is by clutching JESUS and holding Him in my heart. When I allow Him to be with me and in me, I am most valuable. It is only through Christ and the Holy Spirit that I become capable of truly helping others. We can feed people, provide jobs and shelter, and even preach to others when we are outside of GOD and His will, but in truth, we are only as a clanging symbol if we do it all without the Love of the LORD. (From Matt Redmond’s “If I Have Not Love” and I Corinthians 13:1-3)

If I don’t have the Love of Jesus clutched to my heart, then really, nothing we do matters. Tough Truth.

Thanks Giving; Giving Thanks….

There is much to be thankful for.

The turkey is in the oven, the fixin’s for the dressing and the gravy are ready to put together and finished. Condiments and sides and desserts are being prepared by my sisters and their kids; ready to share a beautiful dinner with most of my Oklahoma family, and missing all those who aren’t here.

Just a few short years ago, I struggled to be thankful for anything. I was faced with a drug addict, alcoholic, verbally abusive, unfaithful husband. The verse Paul wrote springs to mind: “And we know that GOD causes everything to work together for the good of those who love GOD and are called according to His purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28 NLT

Because my ex’s addictions, I found myself in a Christ-centered group that dealt with ALL addictions, including relationship addictions. On my own, I couldn’t see any way out. It seemed hopeless. In the process of learning what an addiction/insanity is (Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result), I found my way back to Jesus. The recovery Pastor told me several times that “When you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, you’ll do something about it.” I finally did get sick and tired of the lies and the cheating and his breaking the law. (So did the DA, and he is – hopefully! – in prison for the rest of his life.) The point is that despite the ugliness and hopelessness of tne situation, I learned that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, even if the only thing you can think of is toilet paper. It’s easy to be thankful for the simple, everyday things when our lives are full of garbage.

Today I have so much to be thankful for. Topping the list is my LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am so thankful to have a family who welcomed me back with no recriminations for my actions. I know how very blessed I am! I have a man who loves me, a warm and beautiful home, family and friends, my pups and pets, and I am surrounded by lots of good memories in my things. I was born in America, still the greates country in the world; I am an American. Yes, I am TREMENDOUSLY Blessed! There will be some who read this who are in the midst of great trials. Loss of a loved one, illnesses, incapacitated, loss of their job and/or (Me, too, 2 years ago and still unemployed 😐 )….. struggling with their own addictions, children who are lost to their parents, grief and sorrow. If tne only thing you can be thankful for is toilet paper, then HALLELUJAH, be Thankful! No shame in that! Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers that you will find something to be thankful for today, something that can lift you out of the mess.

That “something” is JESUS. When we are so far down that we cannot pick ourselves up out of the muck and the mire, He is able to pull us out and carry us. There is nothing, no sin, no situation, that is too much for Him to lift or carry. I am thankful for HIM!

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