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rain dropsAs with all things in this world, disappointments happen.  I refer, in part, to my aforementioned VACATION!  It was somewhat restful in that I got to stay home, but for 3 days I spent stressing over the phone and computer, trying to rectify with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs that my mother does in fact deserve her benefits, which have been temporarily suspended.  It’s a long story, and I will spare you all the gory details, but it was nonetheless a bit stressful.  I have copied blank and completed forms to my computer for future reference, made hard copies to send to the care home for their consideration, filled out forms I’d never filled out before, and had a hard time keeping track of all the papers on top of my desk.  A nightmare to be sure, but I suppose it could have been worse.  Fortunately, I discovered during my hours on the phone, waiting for a human to answer, that I have a few contacts in the city where my mom lives that have experience with this and can assist, should the need arise.

The Holy Spirit brings peace.

The Holy Spirit brings peace.

Prompted to reread the previous post, perhaps to remember why I was on vacation, I was struck by how applicable the last part was, the Scripture.  It has amazed me throughout my years as a Christian that the whole world can be a jumble, full of chaos and fear, and yet when God’s Word enters the picture, all the turmoil fades away and my peace returns.  It really is true that when Jesus enters the room, the devil, fear, anxiety, confusion, and everything else negative has to flee.  He is Peace personified.  He brings with Him comfort, solace and a sense of well-being to any environment that is fraught with negative or contentious emotion.

Speaking of contention, recently, in fact at the beginning of my vacation, I managed to get myself into the middle of a conversation on a social media site with a friend, someone who shares in loving Jesus as I do, but politically has diametrically opposing viewpoints.  Now, I usually know better than to get into these conversations, but what I shared was at the beginning of the thread and not such a big deal, until…..all of her friends with her same view point jumped in to give their two cents worth of advice and negative input.  Needless to say, my blood began to boil and it was all I could do to keep my fingers from writing what my tongue wanted to say.  My friend jumped in at the last and saved the day by calling truce and the friends all went away thinking “Boy, we sure told her!!!!  Boy, oh boy!!

It was a few days later that I read a conservative site’s conversation thread where I saw that my friend had made a comment, seemingly simple and straightforward, and she was “attacked” by those folks whose view points are similar to mine.  It was an interesting comment as to the division we have been seeing in our nation and how our very peace is coming under attack.  And WE LET IT HAPPEN by giving the enemy a foothold when we get into discussions/arguments that will never go anywhere but to divide us further.  We play right into the enemy’s hands.  In an effort to “educate” the readers, we just end up confirming to them they are right because we’re so stupid, calling names, and no one is benefitting except the enemy of our souls who walks off laughing at our stupidity for getting involved in the conversation to begin with!

I know, I know.  It is very frustrating to let things go when you know you are right and they need to know they are wrong so they can start thinking right again after you tell them what you know.  But, trust me.  If we don’t proceed with love and a lot of prayer, nobody is going to change their mind to your way of thinking!  Oftentimes we speak before we pray but we must approach the Throne first, in my opinion, before entering into these social media forums, if we should even do it at all.

Keep your peace

Keep your peace

I have gotten into enough of those conversations, with friends and with strangers, to know that it is not worth the peace I lose to take that risk.  It’s not Christ like.  Arguing my point of view is not what Jesus has called me to do, even though it makes my “flesh” feel good to knock somebody out on social media sometimes.  And I have to say, I’m usually the first one to back out of the conversation because I feel convicted and know I shouldn’t have been in it to begin with.  That really is frustrating!!!!  But is it truly pleasing to the Lord?  Am I sowing seeds of love, hope, joy?  Am I furthering the cause of Christ?  Will souls be won into the Kingdom of Heaven because of my part in the conversation? I don’t think so.  And maybe those are questions we should ask BEFORE we enter these threads of conversation.  How can I uplift the Name of Jesus and His Love to those I may speak to on this site?

Based on my experiences with these things over the years, I can’t say I won’t ever get involved in them again, but maybe I’ll have a little more insight, and hopefully go into them more prayerfully next time.  They can be treacherous depending on the subject matter, but if we keep Jesus at the forefront, waiting on Him to give us the words to say, or be obedient if He tells us to not get involved at all, we will go a long way towards keeping our peace.  And that, keeping my peace in this crazy world, is worth just about everything!

 

 

 

 

V*A*C*A*T*I*O*N!!!!!!

Sunset on the beach

Sunset on the beach

Vacation.  That word conjures up a myriad of feelings, memories, and emotional responses for many of us like no other word in the English language, or any other language for that matter, I suppose.  Most of us take vacations after laboring for a period of time at a variety of different jobs, careers, or personal endeavors and at a point at which we think we can no longer stand the pressure of the daily grind, we manage to break away for awhile to enjoy time to ourselves.

Usually, vacations connote a time of rest, relaxation, travel, perhaps to exotic and  little known places, a time to acquaint ourselves with some of the wonders of the world in which we live.  Snorkeling in some fabulous ocean waters in the Caribbean, sitting on the beach sipping your favorite liquid while watching the sun set off in the distance.  Or, maybe slipping, sliding, skiing down the slopes of a snowy mountain is more your style.  Then, of course, there’s always hiking, sky diving, hot air ballooning, camping and a whole array of other vacation options one might indulge in.

We spend much time in the planning of our various journeys, saving money, applying for credit cards (which, if they are used, often means we’ll spend the next three years to pay them off!), purchasing clothes appropriate for our trip, and maybe even buying new and upgraded luggage to carry it all.

Or, maybe we travel to local places, spend time with family and friends we haven’t seen in a long time.  But for those of us who don’t have the funds or the desire to travel, staying at home is one of the best ways to “vacay”.  We often relax, work on projects around our homes, go out to eat, go shopping, or take care of things we just don’t have time or opportunity to take care of during the week after week after month after month merry-go-round that we are on the rest of the year.

Yup, that's how I feel!

Yup, that’s how I feel!

And this is where I find myself today.  The older I get, the more I value my times of vacation, wishing I could stay home permanently.  Oh, I know it probably would get boring after awhile, and, knowing me, I am better off to be around people.  But, truth be told, I am a hermit I think, deep down inside anyway, and being at home, enjoying doing much of nothing, is very appealing.  Oh, of course there is always laundry, housework, dishes to wash, etc., but it would be nice to enjoy months or years off with nothing that absolutely requires my attention for 8 to 10 hours every single day.

Maybe this is a “senior” moment I’m having or just a build up of something that’s been going on for years, but I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way.  I haven’t worked too many years, well, maybe 30 something, but I think because of circumstances beyond my control years ago, I was thrust into the work environment and maybe now I want to go back to where I feel I should have been to begin with?  Home.  Hmmm….something to ponder.  Then again, maybe I’m just feeling it’s time for a change?

What I do know is that God has my back, He knows who I am, how I got to this point and He has a plan for every day of my life.  He is good, faithful and full of mercy.  When I am tired, exhausted in spirit, soul and body, or lazy and don’t want to continue, He gives me strength and desire to do what He’s called me to do, whatever that might be.  But in the meantime, this week, He’s given me some time to rest and relax, and for that I am very, very grateful.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.  [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.  For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.  Matthew 11:28-30  Amplified Version

I read a daily devotional by Joel Osteen some weeks ago and decided to share with you because it meant so much to me, especially coming from an adoption back ground.  If you haven’t seen it, perhaps it will be a blessing to you as well.  The scripture reference is Jeremiah 1:5.  As you read these words of encouragement, please know that you are valued and deeply loved by the Lord.  You can have confidence in His ability to bring you through whatever turmoil you may be facing, because He made sure you are here to enjoy the life He has planned!  God bless you today!children

God knew you before you were even born. What an amazing thought! He saw your unformed substance and said, “I have a purpose for this life. I have good plans for them!” Then He breathed His life into you and sent you through your mother and father. They may have had issues, but that doesn’t have to stop you from becoming all that God intended for you to be. You have been handpicked by Almighty God to be here at this time in history!

Sometimes we hear parents say, “We weren’t expecting this child. They were a surprise. They were an accident.” No, that child may have been a surprise to the parents, but they weren’t a surprise to Almighty God. No child can be born without God breathing His life into them. You may think, “Well, I was unwanted. I was an unplanned pregnancy.” No, you wouldn’t be here if God didn’t give life to your seed.

In God’s eyes, there is no such thing as being illegitimate. Remember, He knew you before you were ever born! Find confidence in His love knowing that you are a person of destiny, and you are part of His mighty plan!

So true!

So true!

The last few years have solidified my appreciation for personal responsibility and the willingness to do the right thing even if it means that you might in some way suffer emotionally, financially, or even physically — on rare occasions.  Not that I’m a pillar of responsibility myself at all times, but I like to think that I am responsible for the most part.  But, the reason this subject keeps springing up in my spirit might be an indication that it’s something God wants to work on, so I thought I’d bring you along for the ride!

He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much.  Luke 16:10

This scripture is full of meaning because it covers so many of us today.  We think we can be faithful to the Lord if we could only get our hands on the latest Power Ball winnings, or a doctorate in our chosen field, or a face lift, or successfully complete a weight loss program, or any number of other endeavors.  We’d give and give to charity after charity.  Why, we’ll do all the things we’ve wished and hoped we could do someday, but never did because we weren’t rich enough, pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, talented enough…..  But, when it comes right down to the nitty gritty of it, if we really did have all that stuff, we still wouldn’t give any of that money, time, talent, or giftings away like we thought we wanted to do.   Why?  Because, underneath all of our grandiose ideas, we are selfish, self-centered, irresponsible.  And, you could probably throw in having a little greed, pride, and fear of lack for good measure.

On the other hand, those of us who really “get it”, are already out there giving what we have, even though it isn’t much (at least not in our eyes), and are making a difference, if only in one person’s life at a time.

Years ago, I met two men.  One I’ll call “A” and one I’ll call “B”.  “A” fancied himself to be a music minister, Christian musician.  He had written a number of pretty good songs about the Lord, had a band, played a few gigs.  Very nice voice and talented enough to warrant going further in the music industry, in my opinion.  He enjoyed the “fame” that came with the life style, I guess you could say.  He managed to record a few songs but never could get off the ground with his career.  He only wanted to play his own songs and never enjoyed singing “church songs”.  He did very few, if any, private outreach types of things like sing to people in nursing homes, etc. on his own time.  When I think back on him stating he had a music ministry, I thought that odd, in light of what real ministry is all about.  I’m surmising here, but I often wondered if he thought that sharing his talent with old folks wouldn’t do much to advance his career and therefore, wasn’t worth doing.

“B” on the other hand, also a talented musician, wrote lots of songs, had some recorded, was a worship leader in his church and shared his talent with others quite willingly and fairly often, in nursing homes and other venues as he could find to sing.  He loved to sing and play the old songs and the new from any artist, not just his own. Although his musical career has not advanced as he had originally hoped, he has definitely advanced the Gospel of  Christ in the lives of many and by serving, even though his personal dreams might not have come to fruition yet, he has made a clear statement that only sharing Jesus matters.  Not knowing his personal motivations of course, I suspect that responding in such a way was much more of a music ministry.

As a result of their chosen attitudes towards the life and talents that God had given them,  “A” currently lives a very bitter existence, blaming everyone else for his lot in life.  “B” continues to serve in his church and the Lord and is pursuing other areas of interest as he trusts God to lead him.

Faithfulness, Being Responsible leads to Power

Faithfulness, Being Responsible leads to Power

In watching these two men and their differing examples of living life through the years, the idea of personal responsibility has really become much more of a focus for me.  It is very true, as the previous scripture verse tells us, that if we are not faithful, responsible, honest, with the very little things, like paying our bills on time, not running red lights, obeying the laws of the land, telling the truth about why we are calling in sick to work, taking care of our homes, being kind to others in whatever way they need kindness displayed, especially to our wives, husbands and children, going the extra mile when it means sacrificing something we think we can’t live without, then we will never be responsible to take care of the bigger things in life that we long so desperately for, no matter how much we might think we would be able to.  And, for many, those bigger things in life aren’t given to us, because God knows we wouldn’t be able to handle them in our current condition.  Our walk with Him would suffer, our families would suffer, and it might destroy us in the long run.

So, perhaps it’s time to take our personal responsibility “temperature”.  Is our behavior pleasing to the Lord?  Are there things we should be doing to become more responsible and mature?  Are there people in our lives that we’ve hurt by our lack of responsibility that we need to “man up” and admit our failures and ask for their forgiveness?  Our spouse, our children, our ex-spouses (ooooh…that one hurts!), our friends, co-workers, the guy at Starbuck’s, or the gas station attendant?  How about the Lord Himself?  How have we failed Him?  Have you asked for His forgiveness and cleansing to make you clean in this area of your life?

There is so much blame out there and truly the blame stops with you and me.  We are given a free will by the Lord and He watches to see what we do with it.  Perhaps it’s time to stop blaming others for our mistakes, our failures, the breaks we didn’t get.  Let’s stop trying to run our lives alone and trust the One who is able to bring His promises to pass, in His perfect time. We can have confidence in Him!  It’s time to take responsibility for our behavior, thoughts, and words.  We’ll be abundantly blessed when we do.  I’m willing to try…how about you?

I Declare

 

I’ve had on my heart the last few days to take a stand, to declare what I believe, to proclaim what is important and right and good, for me, and something to leave for posterity, if you will, that will show that I stood for something and wasn’t just a hunk of human flesh taking up space on this spinning blue ball of rock.

 

Perhaps no one cares but me, but that’s ok.  If no one reads this but God alone, it is sufficient to have done it at all for His eyes, if for no one else’s.  But, if someone does happen to read this someday, perhaps it will spur them on to make a declaration of their own, to draw a line in the sand so to speak, for that is really what this is about I suppose.

 

I see so much conservative and liberal lines in the sand being drawn via social networking and in the news, and it reminds me of the Scriptures that teach us that this divisiveness will happen in the end times.  Parents against children, children against parents, siblings against siblings.  I always wondered how this would come to pass as it didn’t seem possible on a grand scale all those many years ago when I thought about it.  But now, that prophetic word becomes much clearer.  God is separating the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad, the just from the unjust, and He’s making it crystal clear that we have a choice and the time has come to choose whom we will serve.

 

Drawing a line in the SandThere is so much more to it than choosing a political party, or philosophy, or clinging to a particular belief system you’ve known all your life.  It’s really more about choosing a destiny for yourself, and potentially all of those lives with whom yours has been entwined.  For you are not alone on this planet.  Your choices, your lifestyle, your belief systems affect everyone around you, everyone you care about and even those you do not.  The thoughts you think, the words you speak, the actions you take all play a part in defining who you are, at least to the outside world.  If you feel you are someone else, perhaps a change needs to take place in your thoughts, words and actions?

 

Long years ago I made a decision to follow Jesus, to ask Him into my heart to change me from the inside out, to be my Lord and Savior for all eternity.  I can truthfully say it was the best decision of my life, although walking out that decision over the last 45 years or more has not always been a piece of cake.  But, as He has worked on me, changed my heart, reigned in my desire to rebel and walk contrary to His Word at times, it still is my contention that serving the Lord is the ONLY way to know fulfillment, peace,  and satisfaction in life.  Therefore, I declare:

 

That I am, first and foremost, a child of the Most High God and Heavenly Father, and that Jesus is my Savior and Lord forever and ever.   He is above all gods, both religious and material and deserves my utmost attention and love.  He is worthy of my praise, confidence, and trust.

 

That I choose to follow His Word, to obey it as He gives me strength, grace, understanding and knowledge, and with His help and that of the Holy Spirit, I choose to walk in His abundance and life.

 

That I know I am one of billions of God’s human creations and that He loves each of us individually with an everlasting love.  I am no better than they, nor are they better than me.  I can love them, because He first loved me.   There is no room in God’s heart for hatred or racism or anything of the sort because God loves us each and every one equally.

 

That I recognize that with so many differing opinions—religious, political and otherwise–, insights, ideas, and philosophies in the world there are bound to be disagreements, but because I carry Jesus in my heart, there is no room for dissension, rivalries, strife, anger, malice and the like.  I choose to be a purveyor of peace whenever the opportunity arises.  I also recognize that I don’t know everything and am not right about everything and should not judge anyone.  That right belongs to God and God alone.

 

That because I believe God’s Word is true and right for all human life and experience, I will not shirk my responsibility to share His Truth as He gives me understanding and directs me to, but will endeavor to lean on Him for the words and right attitude in which to do so.  Just because I speak Truth, the hearer can only receive it when I speak it in love with a right attitude.  I choose to share Jesus’ love and compassion as often as I can as He works in my heart and gives me opportunities.

 

That I will stand for life, human life.  Although God has created much life in our world which should be enjoyed, cared for and protected, the most important, above all else, is the life of the humans he has formed and knit together in the womb.  We are made in His image and it is not my place to determine who lives and who dies.  That too is up to God alone.  Having been a recipient of life through adoption, I feel I have a contribution to make, a stand to take in this arena of our society.

 

Although I believe and try to walk in a whole lot more than has been stated here, I will stop at this point, because I know God knows the rest and is working on all of it to bring out at a later time perhaps.  But, I do encourage all of you, or one of you, or however many might read my little treatise, to make a stand.   Determine what you believe, what you really do stand for.  It’s important.  And it is indeed time to make a choice.

 

With Christmas over and most of the hustle and bustle of this busy holiday season almost over, it’s time to think about the coming New Year and what it might bring.  For some of my family, 2013 has been a very tough year, wrought with financial hardships, illness, emotional distress, and several other calamities too numerous to mention.  But, that being said, God has continued to be awesome, magnificent, and fully capable of meeting every need as we allow Him the right to take our messes and work His “magic” in our lives.

Assuming my family is not the only one who has felt some of the unsettling offerings that the world has available for us, I know there are plenty of you out there who have also gone through hard times, but have positive things to share about how the Lord has circumvented the enemy’s plans for your demise and blessed your socks off!

Although it might take a little digging into your memories of this past year, I know you’ll come across some blessings you may wish to share.  Please feel free to do so as we’d all really enjoy hearing the wonderful things God has done in your lives during 2013.  The more we share His story and miracles, the more confidence rises in our souls and spirits.  I don’t know about you, but I, for one, need more confidence, trust and faith in God, and encouragement to continue when the battles of life get hot and heavy.  We’re in this life together and need each other.

So, with that said, What’s in store for us, for you, for me during the coming year?  Well, that is a good question.  But, as Christians, we know Who holds our future, as well as our nasty, ugly pasts and our presents, and He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is able to keep us in His incredibly strong and mighty hands, to protect our eternity with Him, no matter what comes our way.

You can indeed have confidence in Jesus to continue what He’s doing, complete what He started so many, many years ago, and carry you through to a victorious end.  Don’t give up, keep on truckin’, we’re not “done” yet.  The way may seem dark, but it really isn’t when Jesus is your Light at the end of the tunnel.

Granted we have a ways to go yet before we get There so, as some might say, “pull up your big boy and girl panties”, set your sights toward Heaven, but don’t forget to bring as many with you as you possibly can.  When we reach our reward someday, we’re gonna have a HUGE party with all the angels of Heaven and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords sharing dinner with us.  Wow!  So don’t lose heart and grow weary.  The best is yet to come!

Bring it on 2014!!!

The Jeremiah Factor

 

“5 Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord.

For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

10 I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

11 Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch and sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches by unjust means and not by right. He will leave them, or they will leave him, in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.”  Jeremiah 17: 5 -11  The Amplified Version

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I hate being sick.  I’ve been sick for the better part of 4 days now with a bad cold, bronchitis, or whatever it is.  I’m getting better and spiritually I know that by Jesus’ stripes, I’m healed.  But still, it takes some diligence to fight the good fight of faith, and when you don’t feel good, it’s just too easy to give up, quit, and give in to the illness…or even bad circumstances, whatever they might entail.  Perhaps more on this later….. in the meantime, I receive the healing You bought for me on the Cross!  Sickness, be hanged!

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I’ve had the above scripture on my heart for several weeks now and wasn’t sure where to go with it nor was there any clue as to what God wanted to say to us.  You may wish to go to the Bible and read the whole context, but for brevity sake, I’ve only included a small part.  But it starts out with God being pretty perturbed with the tribe of Judah and He is quite blunt about what will happen to them if they don’t get their act together and give up their sin.  He also makes the point that the human heart is deceitful, perverse and corrupt without God being the center of the human experience.  After all, any of us could attest to that.  All we have to do is watch the evening news and recognize that what used to be very infrequent, bizarre occurrences are now much more commonplace and not bizarre at all.  We’ve become accustomed to sin.  And much of the time anymore, we don’t even recognize sin as being sin.  “We’ve come a long way, Baby!” Lion Of Judah

Now, Judah was a very treasured tribe by the Lord, the one who eventually sired the Messiah, Jesus, the Savior of the World, The Lion of Judah, through Mary, a young teenage girl.  He loved His people.  The tribe’s very name meant “the praise of God”.  How disappointing must it have been to see His people acting like a bunch of out of control children.  And, as he mentions, nothing good ever comes from relying on the arm of flesh, our own human capabilities and skills.  When we do that, we stop relying on God, become filled with pride in our own selves and accomplishments, and eventually, we’ll fall on our faces in shame and disgrace after reaching what we think we wanted only to find out, we didn’t want it after all, or it wasn’t what we thought it would be.  We must recognize that He is the One who has given us all we will ever need to survive and thrive in this world, and that those skills, gifts and talents we have are to be used for Him.  For His purposes, to benefit whoever He directs us to help.

But notice in the middle of all the discipline God speaks out to Judah, He gives the encouraging words that let the tribe know that if they will turn from their sin and trust Him again, rely on Him again, He will bless them.  He still loves them, He still is there for them.  They have not been totally abandoned.  I don’t know about you, but if I were guilty of what they were guilty of, and I’m sure I have been at some point in thought, word or deed, I would want words of comfort and a “get-out-of-jail-free-card”. The Nativity

I guess basically, this section of scripture just speaks to me of the love of my Heavenly Father.  He sees and knows our very hearts, He disciplines us for being self-centered, selfish, prideful, and a whole host of other bad things, but in the end, He extends the olive branch. “I still love you, I sent my Son this Christmas Day so you would have hope.  Just trust Me, rely on Me, have confidence in what I have planned for you.  You will be blessed beyond your wildest imaginations.”

Yes Lord, I will trust You.  I will rely on Your strength, your grace, your mercy and favor to guide me through all of life’s struggles and trials.  Help me to trust You more and use whatever gifts you’ve entrusted to me for Your Glory.
 

 

 

Missing Something?

Recently, I read this daily devotional from Joel Osteen and it made so much sense.  We often forget that God has put everything in us that we will ever need to survive and thrive in this world in which we have been placed.  We only need to believe it, and act on it in a godly and righteous way.  Just wanted to share it with you.

LACK NO GOOD THING

“…Those who seek the Lord
lack no good thing.”
Psalm 34:10, NIV

“When God created you, He put in you everything you need to fulfill your purpose in the Earth. You have the talent, the creativity and the ideas. You are full of discipline, focus and self-control. You have strength, determination and resolve. The Creator of the universe has crowned you with His favor. If you’re going to live a victorious life, you have to see yourself as a “no lack” person.

If you go around thinking, “I’ll never get out of debt. I’ll never have enough,” what you’re really saying is, “I’m lacking talent. I’m lacking ability.” Or, “I’ll never lose this weight. I’ll never break this bad habit.” You’re saying, “I’m lacking discipline. I’m lacking self-control. I don’t have enough.” If you see yourself as lacking, what does that say about God?

Deep down you have to know that because you trust in the Lord, you are a “no lack” person. Meditate on the fact that Almighty God breathed His life into you. He has already equipped and empowered you. You may have difficulties, but it’s not a surprise to God. He has equipped you, and you are well able to fulfill your destiny!”

Let us say like King David, we lack nothing in the Lord.  It is because of Him and His gracious love and mercy that we have all we will ever need.

The Devil’s Poison — Hate

Hate causes terrible consequences

Hate causes terrible consequences

Recently, a friend and I were discussing hateful feelings and she wondered how people can hate and yet share scriptures to justify their feelings and actions that are so contrary to God’s Word.  That is indeed a good question.  I certainly don’t have all the answers, but maybe I have an insight or two to share.

In the last few weeks I’ve had opportunity to reflect upon different people that have touched my life and it is with great sadness that I’ve had to realize a few of these folks have allowed themselves to be filled with hate due in part because they have chosen to believe lies, taken things out of context, talked their situations to death, made mountains out of mole hills, and in some cases just told themselves bald face lies, over and over and over again.  And yet, these same people were telling me that God had been doing so much in their lives, He was helping them move on and was healing their brokenness, they were overcomers.  Nothing was wrong with them.  “The ones who have the problem are the other people, not me!”

Not surprisingly, their bitterness, resentment, ill temper turned into such unmistakable hate and I could see it become like a poison, a cancer, in their life.  Everything they touched was black with envy, jealousy and spitefulness.  It reminded me, truthfully, of the evil Spiderman, in Spiderman 3.  (If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will know that I often talk about movies, because I can see so much that God wants to teach us right there on the big screen.  Don’t ask me why, but I guess I have a thing for movies!)

But, I digress.  I think oftentimes we think of God as being like we are, maybe just a little too much.  Yes, Jesus was flesh and blood, walked the earth as a human, sang, laughed, joked with His disciples and was their best friend.  He does much the same with us when we receive Him as Lord and Savior into our hearts.  But He is, after all, the Lord of All, King of Kings, Maker of Heaven and Earth.  He’s Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, He’s so far above us that our best could never be good enough.  We are sinful to our core and could never get to Him without His sacrifice to meet us where we’re at.  He came to this Earth in a lowly form as a human, in order to show us He is loving, kind, gentle, meek and lowly as well.

Having said that, I think we get on our high horses and assume that He thinks like us and would be highly offended by the people who have offended us.  We often try to find scriptures that agree with our point of view, and then refuse to listen to anything contrary to our thought and behavior patterns.  We just don’t want to be shown to be wrong…about anything!  We want God to hate what we hate.

But being God, He has an entirely different perspective than we do and can see the end from the beginning.  He knows what He’s trying to accomplish in us, what He wants to teach us, and only He knows best how to do that.  If it means we may endure heartache, insults, grief and sorrow along the way, He has made a way for us.  Remember, He walked in those same paths as a human, yet without sin, without hate.  He alone can make the pain go away.  He alone can heal the hurts.

But if we, on our own, decide we know how God is going to work things out and allow our emotions to get angry, angrier, angriest, then bitter, resentful, and filled with hate, we have totally missed what He wants to do in our lives.  He is on our side, but His ways have been tested over millennia of time and if we refuse to do things His way, we open ourselves up to His enemy, the devil.

Speaking of which, let’s discover a little about where hate originated.  When the universe was created, one of the most beautiful angelic beings lived in Heaven with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  He was revered and, according to some scholars, was apparently given leadership over music, the angelic choir, if you will.  His very spiritual body contained tabrets and pipes to make heavenly music and song for all to hear and sing.  He was considered an angel of light, beautiful beyond all angelic beings.  But he became filled with pride, forgetting his place and Who it was that had given him such gifts, and plotted to overthrow and become greater than God Himself.  He not only deceived himself, but ultimately a third of the angels believed and followed him, jeopardizing their Home and eternal future as well.   Before long a great battle ensued, the result of which left this former beautiful, gifted angel and all his cohorts plunging to their “death”, if you will, and the fall of this being was very great, as lightening streaking through the heavens!   Banished to earth, losing his important status in Heaven, and ultimately to lose everything—will be banished to everlasting hell and torment for his great sin and mutiny against a loving and great God.  Lucifer's Fall

Enter, stage right, Adam and Eve and all their descendants–you and me,  beings of the human persuasion, a little lower than angels according to the Bible.  We were promised a place in Heaven when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives.  We are promised health, wholeness, abundance in every area of our lives if we only will believe for it.  We are blessed, redeemed, honored, forgiven, healed and rich beyond our wildest dreams…wouldn’t that make you furious, filled with rage and hatred towards the ones God has chosen to replace you with??

Satan, or Lucifer as he has often thought to have been called in his glory days, became poisoned with hatred and now is on the rampage to try to destroy God’s creation in any way he can.   Pride, fear of lack, sorrow, self-righteousness, fear of all types, greed, sickness, disease, deviancy from all that is right and holy,  and so on and so on runs rampant in our world today, but is only the outcropping of the hatred in Satan’s black heart.  For now he’s the deceiver, the destroyer, the killer of all that is good, pure and right.  His lying poison has spilled out into our world in so many ways and for so many years that it is often difficult to determine right from wrong unless we stay very close to the Lord and the Words of Life He spoke through his early followers.  These Words never change, never falter, will remain the same forever and ever, unlike the confusion that the Enemy of our souls pours forth.

If you have allowed hate, or any of its’ lesser forms–if there is such a thing–anger, resentment, malice, bitterness, etc. to rise up in your heart, please know that you have a choice.  You can side with Lucifer/Satan and potentially risk losing everything you value, or you can turn to the Lord, repent, receive forgiveness and then forgive those who have hurt you.  What you will gain by ditching the hate is immeasurably better than anything you could lose by holding on to it.  Forgiveness is always the best way to go, and your example, Jesus, will help you as you allow Him to soften your heart and let His love flow through you.  Hate is a very hard task master and a thief of joy, love and peace.  Don’t let it steal any more from you.

Have confidence in the God of mercy….give him permission to take the hate and turn it into love, joy and peace.  Please feel free to share what God is doing in your life.  I’d love to rejoice with you as He brings you into His marvelous light.  Be blessed!

Uganda Bound (Part 9 — Update)

As the month of October winds down, the desire to return to family and friends in the US becomes stronger as Judy’s time with her new found friends in Uganda comes to an end.  So many experiences, both uncomfortable and wonderful, remain to be told, but for now, please enjoy the latest from our traveler.Judy at the equator

“I finally made it  into my email address book after two days!

 

And now for the story:

The moment has arrived. At last I am at Twinomujuni Orphanage in Kabale, Uganda and about to meet the girl Fred and I have sponsored for ten months. Her name is Morene and she is eight years old. I have imagined this moment; anticipating her response to meeting me and opening the gifts I am bringing. I eagerly scan the group of expectant children’s faces looking for our little princess .I easily recognize her from the snapshot April had given me months before. There she is shyly glancing at me and then quickly looking away.  Mama Emily, the orphanage director calls to her to come, speaking  Rugika, her native language. Obediently she comes forward and curtsies. My heart melts!  I hold back my emotions and give her a quick hug.  There will be more time for big hugs later. The  gifts are ready to open.  She seems happy with the two new dresses but on seeing the black, curly haired  doll I get a big, big, smile on her beautiful face and a thank you!! Her eyes are shining brightly and I am further captivated by this darling .Quietly we interact as she looks at my white blue eyed grandchildren’s pictures without saying  a word. I must go now but I am looking forward to many more times of playing with and getting to know Morene in the month I will be here in Kabale. 

 

There are many more children at the orphanage that need sponsors. They ask for a 50.00 a month commitment but 100.00 is more realistic. Sometimes two people sponsor one child. That can be arranged.  Just a side note. If you want lots of love come to Uganda and sponsor a precious child.”

And yet another note followed the previous one where she shares a little of the frustration in the reality of the place she has found herself for this last month.

“To begin my report I want to mention a few miscellaneous things.  I wish it were easier for me to understand the English/Rugika accents. The children’s voices are soft too which makes it even harder. I am finding that as a rule the people are not very courteous. In the US we have seen a decline in social graces but over here I don’t think they have a clue.  Road etiquette, as in other third world nations is somewhat  lacking. Honk, honk, move out of the way, cows, bicyclists, walkers, boda bodas,  walkers, here we come.. And they drive on the wrong side of the road too! What can I say, I am an American. Drivers talk on cell phones while they drive. Hmm, sounds familiar. Oh , I saw an ambulance and it was an old beat up pickup . May I remind you of how good most of us have it in the States!!People do not understand personal space or privacy. They live inside and outside and do whatever they need to do from bathing little children, peeing (men) or nursing a baby without discretion. That may not make much sense but because I have so much to say please bear with me on grammar, spelling and typos.  Strangers are not introduced to the newbie (that happens in America too) and that is one of my pet peeves, among many. During sermons babies cry, cows moo, chickens cluck, children talk and sometimes adults. I should mention that all buildings are open to the outside because of lack of screens, windows, doors or buildings in the process of being constructed. I am going to wind this up and begin a new update about the trip before I do something wacky and delete this.  Only 5 more days and I will be on my way home!!!!”

A Facebook note:

“I am so ready to come home! Tired, stuffy nose, missing my family, food clean bathroom, privacy! But wouldn’t trade the experience and new friends for anything. God is good all of the time.I will be taking a two day trip to some more remote areas leaving tomorrow. May even see some large animals. 

And perhaps a final entry until she returns in a few days:

“I will have to finish my story after I come home. In 5 days. I had typed a lot last night and accidently deleted it. Besides when I come home I will have pictures. I really need to return the computer to Isaac anyway. I’ll just say that I spent a night with the dogs and had a minor meltdown.  This was on the trip to Musaka.  See photos on Facebook. I did get to stand on the equator. Thanks to all who have prayed for me and encouraged me with your kind words!. 

Love, Judy”

Thank you so much Judy for sharing your exciting trip to Uganda with all of us, and allowing me to put your comments, stories and pictures into my blog.  How precious the Lord is to give you the opportunity, and bless the people you were able to meet with your love and compassion.  I’m sure it will be awhile before you make that trip again, if ever, but you never know what the Lord has done or will do in the future to touch the lives of those precious people because you were brave enough to go just once.  God bless you bunches as you return to your family and friends who await more of your stories from this amazing trip.

 

 

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