My favorite things

For the last few years I believe Father God spoke to my spirit on various occasions about giving away something of mine to bless others. If I was to admit a small complaint, it would be that each time He asked me to give something away, it just happened to be one of my favorite things.

One such time I procrastinated for two weeks before I finally gave in and did what Father God was asking. My only copy of my favorite devotional was the item in question. That devotional meant so much to me because it got me through an extremely hard time in my life. I often told people that I highly recommend it as it saved my life. It took two weeks to open up and allow the Holy Spirit to convince me it truly was God requesting I give that devotional away.

The day I decided to finally be obedient, no sooner did I pull into the driveway, when the person to whom I was to give the book to, walked right by my car. I called out to her. As she approached my window I handed her the book and told her “ God wanted me to give this to you.” She looked at it and with a lit up face she smiled and said to me, “oh grandma just gave me this same book a few days ago.”

 As she handed the book back through my window, I knew in my spirit, grandma got my blessing. God first gave the job to me and not once did he push me or threaten me about it. No as a matter of fact he allowed me all the time I needed to settle my emotional ties to this worldly object. He was patient, understanding and gentle with me, but because the job needed done in the right timing, His timing, He asked Grandma whom happened to be mom to me, Mom then went obediently right out to do the job. As I sit in my car thinking about this, I couldn’t help but smile and tell the Lord okay I get it, I see what’s happened, I missed an opportunity to be blessed because of my emotional attachment to that book. I also chuckled with the realization that Father God worked it out so that I would see clearly that blessing was given to my mom because she acted immediately.

He was showing me that to be effective for Him it’s crucial to listen and act as quickly as I can as some jobs are time sensitive. He wouldn’t push me into obedience and He will always give me the space I need to heal or let go but at the same time the job needed done so He made sure it was. He didn’t rub it in my face, He didn’t tell me I failed, He never condemned me. He didn’t even seem slightly disappointed in me. Instead he got overjoyed along with me once the concept truly set in and I finally understood. Less than a week later someone else needed my book and that time I didn’t hesitate. That book led me closer to Father God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. During major hardship in my life I knew that book help me get to know God on a whole different level than ever before. I never thought God would want me to part with it. Oh sentimental soul that I am. The prize is the new level of relationship I gained with Father God not the book the book was just the tool God used to draw me into this new level. I unwittingly placed the value on the wrong thing.

The true value was never the book itself, but it was found in what the book brought into my life. A close, intimate, relationship with Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

The Lord is showing me how easily I can find reasons to become attached to things of this world. How  occasionally  I convince myself that my attachment is justifiable. Because of this He had been asking for my favorite things to be given to someone else.

I find the more I act in obedience giving away my favorite possessions, the easier it gets. I won’t pretend not to hesitate, or whine, or pull a Jonah kinda move hoping to avoid it all together, because I do.. I’m still a work in progress after all.

Matthew 6:19-21 NLT — “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

One of the things I have learned through all of this is, those things I have in this world that I try so hard to hold onto, once I’ve let them go, truly let them go joyfully and willingly, the weight that came off of me had been so heavy, I had no idea I carried such weight until it was lifted off me. I never noticed it until I was free of it.

This world has many treasures. It was after all designed by The Master Designer, whom  thought it, spoke it, and it was.. All for His good pleasure and as a blessing unto us. Sometimes we need a reminder that all things here are on loan, we cannot take them with us.

The enemy will help us find any and all possible reason to hold onto treasure here in order to stop us from longing for home. If he can cause us to become emotionally bound to our relationships and worldly possessions, it’s less likely for us to yearn for heaven when our hearts, everything we love, is here.

The enemy tricks us with treasures equivalent to less than a penny in comparison to the home Jesus has prepared for us once we are called home. Life doesn’t end here. This life isn’t even the dress rehearsal of eternity. It’s more like roll choosing.

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NLT — Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

This life and what we do with it will determine our place in heavens society. This less than a millisecond of time is our schooling for life in the kingdom of Almighty God!

What we do with what Father God  gives us whether in abundance or small portion, including the time we are allotted here on Earth, determines what we will be in eternity.  

Friends, God does all the work for us and gives us the opportunity to be heroes for His glory. All we need to do is let go of this world and with all our heart seek Him, love Him and worship Him.

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.

 

 

Once brokenhearted

Have you ever had a real broken heart? I’m not talking about I’ll miss you, cry for a few days and be over it kind of broken heart. I’m talking about that ache deep in your core, somewhere between your lungs and above your stomach. That block, something is there but you cant get it out. No amount of tears can help you. That desperation kind of heartache. You try to keep busy so you don’t have time to dwell on it but it traps you. You cant move. You either want to die or make it go away. Have you ever had this kind of broken heart?

I used to live with this broken heart everyday. I was continually suffocated by it. Sometimes I would get relief for an hour, maybe a day, but then it would just come back to torture me again and again. It wasn’t about loosing the love of my life, he was still there right beside me, trying to understand how I could be so happy yet so utterly unhappy at the same time. It was not about loosing my children, their smiling faces would shine up at me everyday just wishing mommy had the power to smile more often. You see,  it wasn’t about loosing a loved one to the hereafter, or not having my dreams fulfilled, or being alone. No, the hardest thing  was, it was not because I had anything to be unhappy about.

           I had a wonderful life. I was surrounded by people who loved and supported me. Problems? Sure, I have lived a life of ups and downs, but who hasn’t? We all have burdens to bear. In fact, I couldn’t pinpoint one thing to be heart broken about in my life.

           There it is! An unending, unyielding, broken, shattered heart for absolutely no reason at all. How do you beat that? How do you heal that? How do you make it stop? When hurt by circumstances, it is easy enough to just change the circumstances, then just like that the hurt is gone. What could I do about this broken heart? It was just there taking over my mind and body as it pleased. How could I make it stop? How could I continue to live with the unending pain that would catch me off guard and wanted to destroy me?

 

It seems that, all around us are the devil’s lies. Most of which we haven’t even discovered are lies and so still believe them as truth. So many of us go through our days just trying to breathe, searching for hope, all while feeling tired and alone. So much of the feedback we receive from others is muddied and often hollow, for brokenness, heartache and struggle make up the true pandemic these days.

Everyone is hurting, everyone is struggling just to barely survive. Each of us in our own personal way, gasp for air as the waves carry us away.

 

Where is a hearing and listening heart?

Where is a timeless shoulder?  Where is a cheerful giver?

Where is a non-complainer?

Where is an encouraging speaker? Where is an unbiased leader?

 

Our society as a whole, it seems,  took a path that felt good and sounded right. We never saw the dividing wall through all the laughter and the smiles. Smooth and Sly the serpents invisible walls started to divide. Broken homes, broken friendships, broken families, broken countries, broken lives. Everyone must fend for themselves, no time for another’s problems and strife. What about me, what about me, what about me we all cry! None seem able to put themselves aside.

Have we, become so deceived, blind, full of wishful thinking, rose colored glasses wearing or downright truth ignoring, in today’s society?

 

Have we, in an effort to build ourself up, to love ourselves, to self motivate, really become shut off and cold to each other? Have we hardened our hearts, taking the community out of humanity?

 

Ashamed I fell to the floor and surrender my crown, asking the Lord to take the lead, when in my spirit I heard, if you want to change your heart and find the purpose to your life, all you have to do is change your mind. Fix your eyes upon Almighty God and refuse to believe the world and all its lies. It’s your choice when your confusion finally dies.

 

In this upside-down world amidst sorrow and pain, there is still a beautiful joy to be found. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

Jesus said in  John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you so My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

 

I no longer live in that almost constant state of depression. Jesus pursued me and found me thirsty! Hungry for what only He can provide, to this day He never ceases to fill me up. Even with all my sadness, my flaws, He pursued even me. Wow!

 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

— Philippians 4:4.

 

Until next time, may God bless you and keep you, as you seek Him with your whole heart.

 

 

 

Once upon a time

A crazy thing about my mind, I think, is my ability to trick myself. Nobody wants to believe they have any major faults within them. Personally I like to believe I am a pretty good person. Patient, gentle, giving, law-abiding, non-judging, practicing Christian (at least to the best of my abilities) are some of the attributes I would say could describe me.

Sure I have a less than desirable side too that comes out here and there. I’m well aware I have some imperfections, but hey, nobody’s perfect, right? So long as I’m doing my best, not hurting anybody, and not telling anyone else how to live, all is well and good it would seem.

And as long as my final destination, is what may come, from the best of my abilities here on Earth, I’d be right with such ideas as these. At least while I still live.

Therein lies the problem. The final destination I have in mind, is so far beyond my abilities, it’s almost being cruel to myself even entertaining the thoughts that I could end up there. Seriously, my chances are less than a high school dropout getting into Harvard. And to make matters worse that’s only based on who I know I am or who I believe I could be, it’s not counting those parts of me I trick myself into believing insignificant, or not even worth contemplating because they wouldn’t apply to me.

So there I was, according to me, a good person, living the best she knows how to live, all while dreaming of one day reaching a place, that short of a miracle, could never be reached. Then, I got my very own, “once upon a time” fairy tale story.

The beautiful thing about it is, I know the end is guaranteed to be happy no matter what I may run into along the road I walk getting there. For me having that guarantee is more than I could have ever hoped for or dreamed of especially as I’m known to veer off and get myself lost more frequently than I may be worth.

Once upon a time, I met Jesus!

I may have thought of myself as a good person before. That’s  When my standard was the world.

Romans 10:3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

Isaiah 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Now the standard could no longer be the world. Once I met Jesus the standard became Jesus. Now every hope of someday reaching that place was lost. No effort of mine could erase the bad things I have done and no future effort could possibly be enough to stand before Jesus and plead my case for the right to enter that place. I suppose had I not felt the unconditional, unexplainable, unmatchable love of Jesus, I would consider my chances completely hopeless at this point.

But I did! I did feel the love poured out for me like a tsunami enveloping my entire being.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5

My happy ending, yet to come is guaranteed not by my own efforts, not by my own behavior, but by His grace through His love and mercy!!

Praise Father God, Lord Jesus and Holy Spirit!!

Now my final destination will be that place and through no effort of my own!

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

In a world where nothing is free and even the basic necessities of life come only through trading time and labor for money to pay for, grace is a hard concept to swallow. It’s to good to be true, is the first thought. Even the most giving of people always seem to have a price for their giving. I’ve heard them say the gift is from the Lord but come to church or lunch or something. Sometimes it’s a gift yet they mean to choose how it will be best used in your life. All small prices to pay for sure yet a price just the same.

This gift though, grace, Jesus death in place of mine, His suffering so I wouldn’t have to suffer, and all I have to do is say yes. Yes I believe and accept this sacrifice for my guilt, my wrongs. Then I also get to go to that place in the end.

Imagine, what kind of love is this? Love that would cause one to give up everything that’s rightfully theirs including their own life just to have someone like me say yes I accept you, yes I want to be your friend, yes I want to know you. It’s a love this world has never known. God who owns it all, Who’s all powerful, Who’s the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the God who created me and created everything this Earth has to offer for me, truly loves me. Even though I took for granted the very life He gave me, even though I turned away from Him, even though I loved the world instead of Him, He loved me so much He made Himself a man so He could be the true sacrifice to save me from that which I deserved. He loved me so much He took my punishment upon himself. What kind of love is this?

Honestly I don’t have a clue what love this is but I do know that I will spend the rest of my life seeking Him to find out. And at the same time, I will spend the rest of my life, singing His praises, for loving me though lost, so much, that I’ve been found.

Until next time may God bless you and keep you as you seek Him with your whole heart.