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Surrender and Trust in God

We all have things that we are dealing with.  Some of those things are small and then some of them are large.  But those struggles can be a little easier when we just stop and take some simple steps.  I would like to say that I discovered these a couple of weeks ago, but the truth is that the bible points out time and again these are steps that we should be taking.

You say WHAT there are steps that can help in the struggles of life?  Yes there are steps that can bring peace and comfort in the middle of the struggle.  I am in the middle of a struggle to get guardianship of my Mother that has Alzheimer’s but I have had roadblock, after roadblock because of her boyfriend.  Just to understand he has been living with her for 15 years for free, so he is afraid he will lose a place to live.  So because of his fear he has not been willing to work with my sister and I on appointments that we needed our Mother to go to.

My Mother is at a point where she is very confused and does not understand things, so someone has to make appointments and take her to all of them.  It took 2 months before I was able to get her to a lawyer appointment, but I really just want you to understand some of the ongoing struggle.  Two weeks ago my husband so kindly called to talk to her boyfriend and to see if he had made a doctor appointment for her that we needed, so that we could go to court for Guardianship.  He said No, and she is not ready for that, and I am not going to do that to help you out.

When my husband got off the phone he looked at me and said he is not going to do anything to help you in this process.  I looked at my husband and said we need to pray.  He looked at me and said yes, like OK we will later on tonight.  I again looked at him and said we need to stop and pray.  My husband looks at me and said “Oh you mean now”.  I said yes NOW, God knows our hearts and God knows the situation.  This is something that we are unable to change, but God can change this situation.  I said this needs to be Gods will not our will, even though we want the best for my Mother.

At that moment we stopped everything we were doing and got down on our knees.  I prayed fervently and called out the truths of what God had shown me.  But I said I surrender this to you Lord and I trust that you will take care of everything.  I said Lord you know our hearts and I know you will do what is best in your plan for this situation.

The next day I was at a Youth Conference and the first speaker has a message about when Jesus walked on the water and Peter stepped out of the boat.  Now I have heard these verses discussed in many different ways, but that night it was different.  Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and that he would meet them on the other side.  Even though he was not in the boat he never said that he would not be with them.  Suddenly I had an aha moment.  You might say WHAT!!!   Jesus had told me to get in the boat on this journey with my Mother, and he said that he had laid my path to walk.  But he never said that it was all going to be easy, in fact the BIBLE says we will face trials and tribulations.  But that does not mean that Jesus is not walking with us and it surely does not mean that he won’t be on the other side of the lake.

The rest of the weekend and into the next week I kept thinking about these things and I would continue to talk to God and reaffirm that I trusted that God had this situation with my Mother taken care of.  Then less than 5 days later I get a message from my Mother’s boyfriend.  He is being driven by fear which I know is not of God, but I know God allows confusion just like what God did with the Egyptians when the Israelite’s were fleeing Egypt.  Suddenly he has made a doctor appointment for my Mother and he is desperate for me to go to court to get Guardianship for my Mother.  In fact he was telling me I needed to go to court as soon as possible.

The hardest thing for many of us to do is to stop and surrender what ever is going on in our life.  We want to help our kids find salvation, we want to see our families do better, the struggles of life are many.  But what if you stop struggling and stressing about those things, you start getting on your knees and surrendering them to God.  God knows your struggles, but if you are anything like me you want to fix things yourself.  It can seem really hard to just stop and surrender.   But I think that if we would all stop trying to fix things ourselves and instead we would get on our knees and surrender things to God we will see change.  Stop trying to make everything our will and instead ask God to interject his will into our struggles.  We may start to find peace and comfort.  We may start to find out that life is not as much of a struggle.  We may really discover what it means to rest in the Lord.

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Did God Create Evil?

I had a young student ask me that question the other day at our youth group.  She was being honest when she asked me “Did God create evil”.  It caused me to pause and to think carefully about how to respond so that she would understand.  God is a good and loving father.  God did not create evil and sin, those are something that our enemy Satan is responsible for.  She was trying to process when sin was introduced through the Serpent because God created everything.

This made me think about giving her a good response so that she could understand but this morning it made me think that others may be just as confused.  No God did not create evil or sin.  Evil and sin were introduced in that moment when Eve ate from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  But it was Satan that brought sin and evil into the world.

Yes God created everything including the angels.  Yes Satan was an angel that was cast out of heaven.  But this I know God is good and loving.  God is constantly fighting to win us back into relationship with him.  Just as Jesus said “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed.”  The same would be true for the Kingdom of Heaven as for the Kingdom of Darkness.  God did not create sin and evil just so that his glory could be shown when it was overcome.  No just as Jesus says “For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods?  Only someone even stronger – someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.”

Our strong and mighty God is more powerful than Satan, and it is because of this that sin and evil can be overcome.  It is the light of our powerful and mighty God that puts out the darkness that sin and evil linger in.  It was pride and a desire for power that caused Satan to be cast out of heaven.  It was not because God created evil or sin.

I may not have all the answers and the only one that does is the Holy Spirit.  But this I do know, God is Good and loving.  God created man so that he could have a relationship with us.  That relationship was broken with sin.  But ever since sin entered the world God has been trying to bring his children back into right standing with himself.  God introduced the law and the 10 commandments after rescuing the people of Israel from Egypt.  This was done to bring freedom, but as it says in Romans 8:3-4 “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.  So God did what the law could not do.  He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have.  And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.”

Yes the law of Moses was unable to bring the salvation we needed because of our sinful nature.  But when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives it leads us to life and peace.  The control of sin is broken, and we change our thinking not because we are forced to but because we are children of God, and we desire to walk in right standing with the Father.   I don’t know about you, but I know that this is true.  When I was allowing  my sinful nature to control my life it brought so much suffering into my life.  But when I started a relationship with Jesus that all started to change.  It was not anything that was forced, but a gradual change from within.  I stopped thinking about sinful things and my thoughts changed to Godly things.

I also know that God does not desire for us to be punished for doing things that are wrong or sinful, rather that is the consequence of our own actions.  God does always give us the option that will provide a better outcome and keep us in right standing but it always really comes down to our free will.  How will I handle my free will?  Will I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in making good and wise decisions with my free will, or will I allow the enemy to guide me in making poor choices and unwise decisions with my free will?  I once was a slave to sin, but now I am a child of God.  That is my declaration that I make over myself.

When you choose to follow Jesus then you have become a child of God.  Yes you are no longer a slave to fear or sin.  But you are now an heir of God’s glory.  When you choose to follow Jesus you start to change, you find that shift in your thoughts.  It is a gradual change but it can be a radical change as well.  We have a powerful and mighty Father in Heaven.  He is the God that makes impossible suddenly become possible.  He is the God of miracles.  He is a loving and caring Father that chose you and I long before anything was even created.  Yes you were chosen before creation.

Ask Holy Spirit to help you have a deeper understanding of the goodness of Father God, and the truth will be revealed to you.  Holy Spirit will take you through the word and will reveal the truth to you.  Remember those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.  But those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things.  “For the sinful nature is always hostile to God.  It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.”  But if you belong to Christ then you have the Spirit of God living in you.  The Spirit gives you life and freedom.  It is the power of Christ that helps you to overcome your sinful nature and to put your sinful nature to death.

 

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Jesus has changed my life

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog.  My life changed in 2008 because I found that there is a difference in being a believer and actually having a relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

It has been through my realtionship with Jesus and God that my life has been transformed and I have found peace and freedom that I never had before.  My bible has become a voice from God, as well as the Christian music that I listen to.  As my life has been transformed, it has opened my heart to share with others so that they can find the freedom that I found.

When you walk with Christ, you start to change from the inside out.  Actually it happens and you might not even see the changes happening, but they are.  I was someone that lived life in fear of judgement from others and so I shut myself off from people.  I was not a hermit, but I was extremely shy, and I found it hard to trust people.  But I am no longer that person, I no longer walk in fear of judgement from the people around me.  Now I walk bold and confident because I have discovered a new freedom, and that is when I live my life for God, I don’t have to worry about what people think, but I focus on what God would think.

I hope that you find this site as a way to learn more about the Jesus that I have found and love.  For Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice to save man kind.  Jesus is not just a prophet, or a good person.  Jesus was both a son of man and a son of God.  Jesus suffered and was sacrificed on the cross so that we can be made righteous by the blood that was shed.  Jesus bore all of your sin and my sin, so that we could be seen as righteous in the eyes of God, when we belive in Jesus.  Jesus died, but rose on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God, my Heavenly Father.

We now walk in a new covenant with God, and we have been given direct access to the Father through Jesus.  When Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn in the temple that separated the most Heavenly place where God was and opened up a way for us to talk directly with the Father through Jesus Christ.  Think about what this really means, it was the hand of God that tore the veil.  The veil that hung in the temple was 4 inches thick, and I read that it was 60 ft long, and it tore from the top to the bottom.  This helps you to understand the magnitude of what really happened when Jesus died, but he rose 3 days later.  Jesus has won the battle and taken the keys away from Satan.

So what does that mean!  Well it means that I don’t have to talk to a priest, who then talks to God, but rather I can talk directly to Father God.  Jesus has given us the ability to talk directly to God.  Jesus has made it so that we are washed clean and when God looks at us we are righteous.  Not because of things that we do, but because of the realtionship that we have with Jesus.  When we believe in Jesus that he was a sacrifice for our sins, that he was resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God, we get freedom.

I hope that you will enjoy my insights to living with God.

IDENTITY

Our identity is one of the single things that all the world is trying to figure out. I believe that when we are created it is built into us to seek our identity. But what I also see is that many are searching for identity in many ways. The very first thing that Satan did was focus on identity when Eve was led into sin. When Jesus was taken to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, again Satan focused on identity to tempt Jesus.

These things have helped me realize how important our identity is and I have been seeking answers on this. I now realize that our identity is the most vulnerable way that Satan can shift our thinking about anything. Jesus was strong in knowing his identity was in the Father God, knowing the authority that the Father had given to him. When Jesus was baptized he heard the Father’s words “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Many of us can one minute be strong in knowing our identity in Christ. That we are chosen and adopted into God’s family as his children. (Romans 8:15) We are wrapped in royal robes with sandals on our feet and a signet ring on our finger for we have been received into the royal family of priests. (1 Peter 2:9) We are a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

However, in the snap of your fingers that identity can change and we are believing the false, counterfeit names that we are worthless, unimportant, unwanted, etc. That is when we are our weakest for we have taken our eyes off Jesus. We have let Satan drown out the voice of God. These are the moments when depression, fear, anxiety will try to take a hold of you.

As you can see our identity can make us strong or weak, it really depends on how you see yourself. When you see yourself as God does you are strong and powerful against the evil forces of the enemy. You are able to stop Satan in his tracks and speak out as a bold and mighty warrior. But when you see yourself as broken and worthless you then feel powerless to stop anything that comes against you. In these weak moments doorways are opened even just a crack that can allow spirits of darkness to attach to us. They are the chinks in the armor.

Sets a Table in The Presence of our Enemies

In Psalm 23:5 it reads You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.  You honor me by anointing my head with oil.  My cup overflows with blessings.  This verse is just part of a beautiful Psalm that is one of my favorites.  In fact it is my go to Psalm when I need to remind myself of The Good Shepherd.

A week ago I had just come home from a great conference and as I was worshipping the Lord I got such a beautiful picture of what this really looks like.  Jesus our beloved King of Kings was sitting on a throne looking out upon millions of people that were singing praises such as Holy, Holy, Holy or We Exalt Thee.  As I was looking at Jesus I commented that he does not Lord over his people.  He then stood up and walked down among the people that were worshipping him.  He was hugging and embracing them and was prepared to eat the feast amongst his people not sitting above his people.

There were tables that were 100-200 ft long and 4-6 ft wide, lavished with so much food.  I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful and bountiful it was.  Way off in the far distance you could see the enemy watching but unable to advance upon us as we were going to be feasting with our King Jesus.

So when you feel like the enemy  has the upper hand I pray that you can remember this.  Walk in the knowledge that when we call on Jesus we get him and heaven’s armies to fight the battles for us.  Remember we do not fight against flesh and blood.  Take time and enjoy the table that Jesus has prepared for you to feast in the presence of your enemies.  Relax and trust in Jesus, enjoy the bountiful feast and just worship Jesus and watch it all change.

Moral Compass

I have a moral compass as I walk with my best friend Jesus. The path with Jesus is narrow and the doorway is narrow. When we keep our eyes on the compass we don’t venture off the path.  However, there are pitfalls that the world tries to call us into that can detour us off the righteous and moral path with Jesus. Yet Jesus is always close by with his hand extended just waiting for you to reach out to him.

Yet my life was not always on the narrow path of walking with Jesus.  I spent over 40 years walking a path of just living life, with no real compass guiding me.  I did have one advantage over many of the younger generations today, even though I was not brought up in a Christian household.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s my parents had a good sense of right and wrong, of moral issues raising a daughter in a college town that was flooded with hippies and free love.

My parents tried to be good guides for my sister and I, trying to guide us to a good and moral life.  But as the bible tells us we don’t reach heaven and righteousness by our good works, but instead by faith.  Even though they taught me well, it was very easy in the early 80’s as a young adult to follow things going on in the world.  Not being raised around people to really teach me of the bible I made many wrong choices and at times I would have an internal struggle as I was doing things that I knew were not right but I would still do them, but with a deep fear I did not understand.

I struggled with a fear of man, so I found myself doing things trying to be accepted by others.  I had sex outside of marriage, lived with men that I was not married to, lived out of a car in a homeless situation because I could not afford rent, even while working a job.  I even used drugs trying to fit in.  But looking back I can see where God was trying to gently direct me back to where I was supposed to be.  When I was the most lost I heard a voice say this is not you, and this is not the life you are to be living.  I instantly walked away from the life of drugs and the bad situation I was in.

That was one turning point early in my life.  It was a partial start at directing me to a better life and one that would eventually be with Jesus.  I wish I could say I was instantly transformed, but I had many influences that were not from God.  But I was walking in a belief that we have a God and that Jesus died for me, just not understanding of that.

Jump forward to 2008 when I found out I had Hepatitis C and that it was because of bad choices I made when I was 18 and 19.  A life changer as I researched and find out how this would forever change my life.  However, in the darkest part of my life Jesus showed up.  I discovered what relationship with Jesus really is.  I would cry and pour out my fears and concerns as I was facing expensive treatments, fear of not having a job and the fact that I was single and did not know how I would survive.

As I dug in I started to watch my life change.  I stopped living in fear of the unknown as God gave me strength.  God healed me in the first, 6 weeks of my treatment but I still had to continue the full treatment for 6 months.  But I was blessed for I was able to work a regular 8 hour day, but would come home drained from the drugs I was taking.

Then in 2009 God brought a wonderful man in my life and we continued a journey of growing with the Lord.  We had both had failed marriages and so there was a fear of getting married again.  He had been raised a Christian, but was living in the world and I was not raised a Christian, but I was seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord.  We actually helped each other to grow as I got him to church and we would discuss things I was reading in the bible.

We made the decision to live together and I struggled with conviction as my relationship with the Lord continued.  My moral compass was changing.  I was no longer content wearing low cut shirts and clothing that was clingy and provocative.  I became aware of looking at things I put on and thinking about how it could make others view me.  Finally my husband and I got married to make that part right in our lives.  We watched God change the desires that we had as we prayed and read the bible.

Now 11 years later and I am a different person then I was in 2008.  I have watched walking in relationship with Jesus transform me from the inside out.  My desires changed without even thinking about them.   I can truly testify that relationship with Jesus is what has changed my life and Jesus is my moral compass.  Even now I continue to be transformed as the rotten dead vine is removed and replaced with a living and healthy vine.

I know that just as Jesus has been the moral compass that has transformed and changed my life, he is the moral compass for the world.  The only way to find hope in the middle of struggles, or just even hopelessness of things happening in the world, is Jesus.  Jesus did not just come to give us only salvation when he died on the cross.  No he came to transform the world into a world that does not walk encumbered by the trap of comparison to others, or by feelings of insignificance, jealousy, envy, vanity or pride.  Jesus came to teach us and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit that lives in us, to transform our lives.  We have a spiritual compass that keeps us on the path of righteousness all we have to do is surrender our will and walk  under the direction and guiding of the Holy Spirit.

It does not happen by us trying, it just gradually happens and then you look back and see where you came from.  The pull of drugs, pornography, alcohol addiction, fears, etc. start to disappear.  As we realize our identity in Christ we walk in a new place.  Walking in and listening to the moral compass of Jesus is part of the walk of obedience to the Lord.

As John 3:36 says when we don’t walk in obedience with the son we don’t experience eternal life but remain under God’s judgment.  I prefer to listen to my moral compass and to walk in a different life, one that is not only of salvation but also eternal life with my loving God and Jesus.

John 3:36  And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”  NLT

Awaken Dry Bones

Father God is calling on the dry bones to awaken.  New life is being spoken over them and they are starting to stir.  I can see them coming together to form skeletons and new Godly flesh will start to replace the rotting flesh of the world.  The prodigals are coming home, they hear the Father calling.  They are tired of running and struggling under their own will, they are ready to surrender to the will of God.

Dry Bones, Dry Bones come alive, listen for the voice of the Lord.  He is calling out to you.  Muscle, sinew and flesh will start to cover the dry bones and they will start to come alive.  As a new breath of God is blown into their lungs they will begin to rejoice and dance singing praises to the Lord their God.

The hardened hearts are being stirred, the walls are starting to come down as a song awakens and quickens the beating of the heart.  Soon there will be a new song and the walls will fall just as the walls of Jericho.

There will be rejoicing and singing in the streets as a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit falls upon the hungry.  For they will thirst no more as they drink in the living water, and eat the nourishing manna from God.  The word will come alive and people will walk in the freedom that only Jesus can bring.

Chosen

I was reading my bible and I have read Psalm 139:13-14 many times but today these words caused me to stop and think about them deeply.   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.

After reading those words and really just thinking on that I began to realize how much Yahweh loves me and knows me.  I even suddenly looked at myself through eyes other than my own.  We all know how truly complex the human body is.  There are so many complex functions and things that the human body does, that I am in awe again of the works of our Heavenly Father and Creator.

As I thought of how a master craftsman works I suddenly visualized Abba creating us in our mother’s womb.  I could see Papa detailing the way our brain works, so that things we take for granted just work perfectly.  How Father God thought about how my eyes should look, how to make them work without me having to think about making them move or to see color.  Our Creator, our Heavenly Father took time and thought so well about all kinds of details to make me and you.

I could see our Heavenly Father singing and thoughtfully knitting us together to make each of us a perfect creation.  I realized that thought is put into what our personalities are going to be and we know he even thinks about how many hairs are on our heads.  Yes God’s word tells us that he knows how many hairs are on our heads.  Father God our creator loves us and adores us, for you don’t put thought into something if you don’t care about it.

In this I realized that I need to start looking deeply at myself through different lenses.  For I am a beautiful creation made in the Fathers image, just as each and every one of you are.  Take a few minutes and really think about how perfect you are.  For God loved you and sang over you as you were created.  You were wanted and you were chosen.

I want to be a Nobody that tells Everyone about Jesus

There is a Casting Crowns song out called Nobody.  It speaks of just how I feel.  My desire is to be nobody that wants to tell everybody about Jesus that saved me.  Of a loving Father that had a plan before creation to bring us back into right standing.

We have such a loving Heavenly Father, for he thought of everyone of us before creation.  If that was not enough he laid out a plan for salvation before creation because he saw the weakness of man and that we would fall into sin.  Yet that did not stop God from creating everything we see and know, even the far reaches of the universe and beyond.  What a love that he would send his beloved son who was perfect and did not sin, to bear the sin of the world.

What love Jesus had that he knew his fate, yet he bore it and asked for us to be forgiven as he died on the cross.  He was beaten so brutally, mocked and humiliated as the people he loved cheered for him to die.  Yet even as he was hanging on the cross he still had compassion on the world.  For it is by his stripes that we are healed, it is by his blood that was shed that we are made righteous.

As if that is not enough, we discover as we read the bible that God knows us so well that he knows how many hairs are on our heads.  He cares that intimately about each and everyone of us.  On top of that we are adopted as Children of God when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.  This changes everything about us for now we are not just an average person, no we are now clothed in righteous clothing and we are celebrated.

Transformation from darkness to light

Today we had a powerful message at church about how God’s Grace transforms us from darkness to light.  As I have thought about this and what the light is I am just that much more in awe of our mighty Heavenly Father, Yahweh.  There was a time when I was not walking in the light, I was following a path guided by things of this world and the darkness around.  I was ignoring the light that was there to light my path and lead me on a safe journey through life.  Instead I stumbled along for many years banging into walls, and falling off cliffs with the challenges of life on my own without God.

But then I encountered glorious God and all his grace that covers us in a love that is beyone anything we can imagine.  I have been changed transformed into something that is beautiful, made into a new creation when I truly found my wonderful Jesus.  The light of Jesus will pierce through the darkness, pain, and protective walls of our hearts.  It begins to show grace as the lies are revealed to us and we find freedom as condemnation is removed from our lives.  The light will continue to grow brighter and brighter on our hearts to chase all darkness from us as we grow into something so beautiful that reflects all of Gods glory.

Without light nothing on this earth would survive.  Yes all life on this planet requires the light that is produced by the sun.  But the true light that is sustaining life and causing new birth is God.  We can see so easily that without light things will whither and die away like an old rotten piece of wood.  But when light shines upon anything you start to see new life as tender grass, and flowers will begin to spring to life.

The same thing happens to us, when we are shrouded in darkness we begin to shrivel up and die from the inside out.  However, the light of God can break through that darkness and can slowly and methodically peel away the layers of hurt, insecurities, even self hate.  As those layers are peeled away we are restored with confidence in who we are, boldness to share the truth with the world, we learn to walk in peace and calmness in the midst of the storms.

When the light is shining on us it reveals the danger ahead, you start to hear that voice danger, danger.  Yet it still requires you to yield to the warnings of the Holy Spirit that was sent to comfort us, and teach us.  When we yield we pass by the danger without falling off the cliff of despair.  The more we yield to the Holy Spirit the more our lives will be transformed from darkness to the light.  We will grow spiritually so that we are prepared when the battles come.

We see everyday how light overcomes the darkness from the sun rising in the East to turning on a light bulb or lighting a candle.  The darkness is chased back into the shadows.  Good things do not happen in the darkness, no in the darkness is when crimes happen because criminals feel safer because they are hidden.   But in the light you can see clearly everything around you, you can make wise decisions because you have clarity that only the light can reveal.

My prayer for you is that the light of God will transform your life, that you will be renewed in your spirit.  I pray that the Lord will reveal the beautiful person that each of you are in his eyes.  I pray that you feel the full love of the Father as you go through your day.  Amen.