2 Corinthians 12:9-10

New International Version (NIV)

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Floodgates

Flood GatesImage by mlibrarianus via Flickr
I have never really been an optimist.  I try to be, but its hard.  I guess I rather expect the worst so just in case,  I won't be let down.  I often feel forgotten, nonexistent, going through the motions.  The holidays are just a reminder of how bad it can get.  I hate the holidays.  I know, that is very blunt.  I wasn't always this way.   But it was usually around the holidays that we would get the news about my dad's cancer.  Kind of puts a damper on things.  I get really scared when this time of year comes around.  Waiting for bad news.

But this years was different.  After months of appointments my dad is cancer free :)  That is one obstacle out of the way.  The holiday expenses that usually leave us dry, didn't dry up this year.  Just when I think that God has forgotten me, He opens the floodgates.  This year I have felt it more than ever.  His forgiveness, His mercy, His love has literally consumed me.  This year I have truly been blessed.  This year I couldn't possibly ask for more.

Never underestimate God's ability to open the floodgates, at any given time.  Usually when you least expect it and when you feel least deserving of it.

Happy Holidays and God Bless!!!!

Malachi 3:10 (NIV, ©2010) 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Ride

Free Ride :)Image by Rajesh Vijayarajan Photography via Flickr
So often we see people getting what we consider a "free ride".  Maybe its a promotion that they didn't deserve (or at least we don't think they deserve.)  Maybe a vehicle or house that they can only afford because they take advantage of the system (or we believe that they are taking advantage of the system.)  Maybe even a windfall of some sort, an inheritance or something.  Regardless of what the situation may be, we consider it a "free ride."  Something that we don't think they worked hard enough to deserve, yet they get anyway.

We believe that it's not fair.  That we work so hard to barely make ends meet and yet here there is someone who doesn't do anything and gets everything.  When there is too much month left at the end of the money.  When the groceries just don't last longer enough.  When the kids clothes are worn and torn.  When the mortgage might not get paid this month and the car has been repossessed.  When our last dime is spent on a new refrigerator because the old one broke at the worst possible time. We wonder why me and what am I doing wrong?  

I said it once, but I will say it again,  life isn't fair.  But there is a free ride that we all can receive, yet non of us are entitled to.  That is eternal life though Jesus Christ.  You can't work to get, you can't earn it and you definitely don't deserve, but you get it regardless.  But there is one condition, you have to accept Jesus.

So next time you find yourself obsessing over someone elses "free ride".  Remember the one that has been given to you.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works,so that no one may boast.

Titus 3:5 (NIV, ©2010) 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 20, 2010

Trapped

017 - For the Love of GodImage by Brandon Heyer via Flickr
We can often times feel trapped when we have sinned.  We can often feel like we are stuck behind a brick wall and have no way of getting out.  We become lost and confused, and we often wonder how in the world we got there in the first place.

Sin has its way of magnifying.  It usually starts out as something small, something that we don't think is a big deal.  The next thing we know, it has taken on a life of its own.  It becomes more deviant and vial.  It becomes easier and justifiable.  We become consumed, we become trapped and can no longer see the Son.

We are not stronger enough to break away from sin by ourselves.  We think we are, we do good and then we fall back into the same routine, only to find ourselves right back where we started from.  Sin is a disease and only God can cure it, we just have to let Him.

You never have to feel trapped by sin.  You will have to fight to break through, but God will be right there beside you moving the bricks so you can get to the other side.

Psalm 142:5-7 (ESV) 5I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." 6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! 7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Someone Else

The Philospohy of LifeImage by Ehsan Khakbaz via Flickr
Don't really feel like me lately.  Feel like I am someone else. Trapped in someone else's body, someone else's life, dealing with someone else's problems.  Things aren't clear, rather blurry.  Things aren't easy, rather quite difficult. Everything is surreal. Feel like I am floating around, like I am on the outside looking in. My insanity is what keeps me sane, strange as that may sound. But my insanity keeps me from dealing with my reality. Fully functioning but unwilling to face the obstacles in my life.  Rather push them aside and pretend that they are not there. I can't see the forest for the trees.  I can't see my life because of me.

It is my crazy world that I have created.  I can feel a hand on my shoulder but I am not quite ready to reach for it.  But it doesn't leave rather just lets me know it is there when I am ready.

I often wonder how God must feel when we drift away from Him.  I often wonder how He can have so much patience with us.  How can He love us so? 

But its like the story of the prodigal son.  A son whose father gave him everything.  He left, he spent all he had and was left with nothing.  When he went back home with his head held low, ashamed and broken down.  He wasn't met with "I told you so", rather open arms.  His father spotted him a mile away, as if he were waiting forever for his return.

That is God's love for us.   When we have had our fun and are left with nothing, He is still there patiently waiting and ready to pick up the pieces. If only we could trust Him more before we fall.

Luke 15:32 (NIV, ©2010) 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Every Time I Fail

it hurts to hurt someone :(Image by TLA8 via Flickr
There is a Ray Boltz song called "Does He Still Feel The Nails."  The line that gets me is "does he still feel the nails, every time I fail."  It got me to thinking.  I know Jesus died for me, and I wonder if every time I fail, if He feels the pain all over again. 

I fail daily.  No matter how hard I try there is always something that I do that causes me to fail, again and again. Am I hurting Him over and over again?  And if I am, how in the world can He still love me?  Does He turn his back on my so He no longer has to deal with the pain?  Or is He right there ready to endure it again because He loves me that much?  Is the pain really worth it just for me?  How can I change it?  How do I stop? Will I ever be worthy?

For reasons unfathomable to me, God loves me.  NO matter what I have done or how many times I fail.  I don't know if He feels the nails every time I fail, I hope not.  But I do know that He would endure it again and again just for me.  I just hope that one day I will be worthy enough for Him.

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV, ©2010) 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 3:23-26 (NIV, ©2010) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[a] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Things I Take for Granted....

We Take So Many Things For GrantedImage by Artotem via Flickr
the roof over my head
the clothes on my back
the clothes in my closet
the shoes on my feet
the food in my kitchen
the money in my pocket
my parents
my husband
my kids
my friends
my car
my house
my Christmas tree
my job
my health
my freedom
hot water
soap
toilet paper

The list could go on and on. Today I learned about a little girl who had not much more then the clothes on her back.  It really got me to thinking about all the things that I take for granted.  It breaks my heart when this reality becomes all too clear.  We all (especially me) need to cherish all the things we have, because all the things we take for granted are all gifts from God.

John 3:27 27John answered,"A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.


1 Corinthians 4:7 7For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Selfish

The world revolves around me!Image by यश via Flickr
I find myself being really selfish lately.  I find myself acting like my problems are so much worse then anyone elses.  I have the "poor me"  attitude.  The oh, my life is so hard attitude.  The I am too tired because I have so much to do attitude.  The be glad you don't have my life attitude.  Here lately, it is like I am acting like the world revolves around me, or at least is should.  I have been acting so selfish and self centered, refusing to see the depths of other peoples problems and only focusing on my own.

We would all like to believe that the world revolves around us. That our problems are bigger than anyone elses, and that no one understands what we are going through. We would all like to believe that we have it harder than anyone else, that we are more exhausted and more time restraint. But the truth is we all have problems we all have issues. We all deal with them in different ways. To us our problems may seem like the end of the world, to someone else the may seem a piece a cake.  We also need to realize that no matter how big our problem is,  there is always someone out there who has it worse then us.

We should never minimize someone elses problems just because we think ours are greater.  But we should tell them about the ultimate problem solver.  Better yet we need to show the world what we do when our problems get to big.  Being selfish and self centered and focusing on me, me, me, will get us nowhere.  We don't want to go down that road.  We need to give all our problems to God, focus on his plans and look to His future for us. 

Psalm 127:1 (NIV, ©2010) 1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

John 16:33 (NIV, ©2010) 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Friday, December 3, 2010

When One Door Closes

The DoorImage by brad montgomery via Flickr
Today was my last appointment with my internal medicine doctor,  he is retiring.  I have been going to him for about 5 years.  He is the best doctor that I have ever gone to.  He not only practices conventional medicine, he also practices alternative medicine.  When I first started going to him I was overweight, tired, depressed.  I remember my first appointment he went over my whole life history, that is what made me like him so much.    He wanted to get to the root of my problem not just treat my symptoms.  He got me on the right supplements, the right diet and I got to be a better me.  Through the years I go back and forth, because problems come up and I need to get back on track.

I thought that I was ok with everything until his nurse gave me a big hug as I was leaving.  I got choked up and came to the realization that this door was closing.  Not just for me but for them as well.  Not only did this doctor treat me physically but spiritually as well.  Not only was he a doctor but an ordained minister.  He is the only doctor that I have ever gone to that would pray with you.  At 75 years old he is an amazing man and has led an amazing life and maintained a wonderful practice with wonderful people.  I had to quickly leave before the waterworks would start.  I am usually not that emotional.

I only hope that I can find a doctor as good to pick up where he left off.    I hope that his staff find jobs just as good.  I hope that he finally gets to relax, because God knows how much he deserves it.

It is hard when a chapter in your life seems to be over.  It is really hard when you don't know what is going to happen or what you are going to do about a situation.  But always remember, God doesn't close one door without opening another.  We just have to look for that open door.

Revelation 3:8 (KJV) 8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ungrateful

Grateful wall of ungrateful generations.Image by Ed Siasoco (aka SC Fiasco) via Flickr
I never really thought of myself as an ungrateful person.  I always try to be kind, help people.  I always try to go above and beyond the call of duty.  I always try to appreciate what I have in this life.  I am not materialistic, at least I don't think that I am.

But with all that aside, sometimes I catch myself, now more lately then ever, being ungrateful.  I catch myself thinking and expecting that I should get more, that I deserve more.  I work hard  and I do so much, I should be better appreciated and have more.  I even find myself getting angry about it. Sometimes I even say it out loud.  My sister kind of made the comment the other day that I was sounding ungrateful.  You know looking back she was absolutely right.

We always seem to want more, we always seem to think that we deserve more.  We think that we deserve to be treated better, respected more, make more money, have nicer things.  We all think we deserve more,  I know I do.  Sometimes,  I am completely ungrateful.  I must say I am ashamed of myself.

Whether we deserve better or not, we should still remain humble.  Once we get angry and ungrateful, then we really don't deserve it anymore.  We should do all things with no reward in mind.  Our hearts should be pure and should never be tainted  by ungratefulness.  I know its hard, but life just isn't fair, and it never will be.

Compared to God,  I count it all as lost.  There is nothing in this world that compares to Him.  There is nothing in this world worth losing Him.  Once you connect with God, the things of this world will have no substance, no measure, no bearing anymore. For Him I will give it all away, the things of this world are not enough for me.  And that is what I will remember the next time I find myself being ungrateful. I will count is all as lost.

Philippians 3:8-11 (NIV, ©2010) 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beyond Understanding

The Great BeyondImage by juandiegojr via Flickr
There are some things that we just can't explain.  There are some things that are just beyond our understanding.  We feel as humans that we have to have an explanation for everything or something is wrong.  We need specifics, we need to understand.

Last week my dad went to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona for a 3rd opinion on his condition.  He has been having severe pain in his head and neck for the past few months.  The problem is the first doctor told him his cancer was back and the second told him he was cancer free.  He was confused and didn't really know who to believe.  How could he get two completely different diagnosis? 

So he decided to go to the Mayo Clinic to see what they would say.  Every time he goes to the doctor, its like I can't breathe.  I am so afraid of what they may say.  I am so afraid that they will tell him something none of us want to hear.  But they didn't, they confirmed the second doctors diagnosis.  He was told that he is cancer free and that his problems are aftereffects from the radiation treatment that he previously received.

Although he is relieved, he is angry.  He is wondering how the first doctor gave him such a horrid diagnosis and wanted him to start getting treatment.  Treatment that according to doctors 2 and 3 is unnecessary because he doesn't have cancer.  He faith in his doctors is barely existent.  He doesn't trust them anymore.

But, what if all of the diagnosis were right?  Strange as it may sound, what if they are all right?  What if somewhere between doctors 1 and 2 a miracle happened?  My dad has so many people praying for him.  He trusts God, he asked for prayer at church.  God hears our prayers and God answers our prayers.  What if this is an answered prayer?  I believe it is.

Miracles just happen, miracles still happen.  My past post "Doubt or Disbelief"  talks about when my dad was told  by doctor number 2 that he didn't have cancer.  Why do we doubt that this is possible?  Do we forget the God that we serve?  He is the God of the IMPOSSIBLE!!!! Is it easier to say that the other doctors just messed up then say that God healed him.  Is that what we have resorted to.  We have to explain it,  we need an explanation.  Beyond our understanding  just won't do.

Don't ever think for one second that God is incapable of anything.  This  is the same God Who spoke the world into existence.  The same God who healed the sick, and rose the dead.  He walked on water, He rose from the dead,  need I say more.    We don't need an explanation for everything, some things are just beyond our understanding.  Maybe the first doctors were wrong, but maybe they were right. That is where we walk by faith, because some things we just can't see.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV, ©2010) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV, ©2010)  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moments of Clarity

In a moment of clarityImage by LaPrimaDonna via Flickr
They seem to be few and far between these days. Moments when my head isn't filled with so much insanity that I can't think straight. Moments from the stressful filled days. Moments of clarity where things make sense. Moments that stop me in my tracks and make me realize what I am doing wrong. Moments that make me realize who I have become. Moments that help me to change a bad behavior. Moments where I actually see people for who they are supposed to be instead of who they are. Little moments in time where I feel like I am seeing things, seeing people through God's eyes. In these moments I can actually breathe. In the few moments of clarity.


The problem with these moments is when they pass, I am right back where I started from. As if the moment never happened in the first place. Back to my dreary reality and pure insanity. How quickly we forgot and go back.  How quickly turn around as if nothing ever happened.

If only we could always see beyond the smoke and mirrors of this world.  If only we could have more and more moments of clarity.  If only we could  always see everything through God's eyes.  If only we always could see the sin before we sin.  If only we could always see beyond ourselves.

I long for those moments of clarity.  Those moments where I feel human again. Its my connection to God, it is how He reminds me that he is always there.

Ephesians 4:22-23 (NIV) 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

1 Timothy 1:5 (NIV) 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 15, 2010

Control Freak

controlfreakImage by celine nadeau via Flickr
I am a control freak.  I hate when things are out of my control.  I start to panic, I get anxiety, it will literally drive me insane when I can't control a situation.  I get frustrated, overwhelmed and angry.  Needless to say I hate when things get out of control, or at least out of my control. 

That seems to be my life lately.  A whole bunch of things that I can't control.  The problem is, it is literally driving to the brink of insanity, the edge of reason.    I just can't seem to let things go.   I can't seem to willingly lose control of a situation, even when it is for my own good.  I want it my way or no way at all.  I am not willing to back down and give someone else control.  I think that I always know what is best.

It is really hard to lose control over a situation.  It is even harder placing it is someone elses hands.  Who do you trust when things are out of control?

Even when  Job was laying on his death bed, he never cursed God.  He praised him through everything.  Especially when everything was out of his control.  In the worst possible situation, when he had nothing, he knew that God was always in control.

We can always trust God, especially when things are out of control.  We don't have to be in control of any situation, we just have to remember that God is, always.  We have to trust that with Him, we have to let go of being that control freak.

1 Chronicles 29:11 (NIV) 11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

Job 42:2 (NIV)2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That Deep Dark Place

empathyImage by kygp via Flickr
I didn't tell anyone when my dad was first diagnosed with cancer.  I didn't want sympathy or even empathy, I just didn't want to acknowledge it altogether.  As if saying it out loud would make it real.  I was already fighting a raging battle inside of me from all of the fear and grief.  I didn't want people asking me about him, how he was doing.  I didn't want to be reminded or talk about it.  I wanted it to go away, I wanted it to just be a bad dream.  My refusal to acknowledge the situation led me to isolation, depression and despair.  I wasn't willing to let anybody in so therefore I wasn't letting anything out.  I kept it all inside and it took the best of me.  I stayed in that deep dark place.

I spend the next two years of my life like this,  what made it worse it that I had just had my son and because of my hormones and emotional stress I had full blown postpartum depression.  It took all I had just to care for my newborn.  I literally would throw myself out of bed and made myself get up and out.

It was a horrible life to live, not just for me but for this little person that I was responsible for.  I just hope he never remembers.  I don't want to remember me like that. Now it seems like such a long time ago.

But this was all before I knew God.  This was all before I knew about His power.  When we don't let God in, it becomes a long, lonely road.  A deep, dark place, a road filled with grief and despair.  Although God doesn't take away the pain, He gives us the strength to endure it.  He can take us out of that deep, dark place, and show us how to live again.

1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV)12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 8, 2010

When Hope Is Lost

I hope you never lose your sense of wonderImage by David Masters via Flickr
Where are you Hope?  I can't find you, I seem to have lost you in the depths of my despair.  Hope, if you are there, please come back because I need you.  I need you to give me the meaning of this life again.  I need you to give me something to hope for again.  I need you to return Faith to my soul.

Today, I just feel hopeless, I feel lost.  I could literally cry on a dime.  My mind just seems flooded with problems, more problems then I can solve.  This burden is so heavy, I can't hold it any longer. I can't think straight, I can't concentrate.  I have been getting overwhelmed easily and that is something that doesn't happen often to me.

I can literally feel the room closing in on me and I can't breathe.  I want to leave but I can't.  I can feel the anxiety building up, an attack coming on.  I just get more and more lost. I get more and more hopeless.

What do you do when it seems that hope is lost?

Sometimes I believe that God has me get to this point for a reason.  When I get to this point when I feel all hope is lost,  He reminds me that He is here and He is not letting go.  I can just feel the rush and relief coming back to me so I can hope once again.  With God, hope is never lost, we just have to know where to find her.

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Demise

the art of falling apartImage by stumayhew via Flickr
We are all responsible for our own demise.  We all have that choice.  We can choose which path to take and what decisions we make.  We know right from wrong, but most of us seem to make the wrong choice.  Why?  Maybe it is more appealing, maybe we are just stubborn.  Maybe  we are just so down and out that it is all we see.  Regardless I am responsible for my own demise. 

I have been getting caught up in a lot of things lately.  Things that could lead to my demise.  Angry at the world, frustrated at circumstances and feeling utterly alone.  Though anger, frustration and loneliness by themselves are not the problem, it is what I do because I feel this way, that is.  Sometimes we get so consumed with our feelings, it makes us do things that we regret.  We become someone that we don't want to be.  We crumble and we lose sight of things. We become consumed with our pride and our selfish desires. We fall away from God.

Falling away from God leads to our ultimate demise.  When we lose track of what He has taught us, what He has said.  When we forget all that He has done for us, all that He has given us. When we completely block out what God is trying to tell us.  When we can't see Him anymore, it leads up to our demise.

God never sets us up to fall, but He will be there to pick us up.  Only through Him we can find redemption and a reason to keep fighting and live again.  He is the only one that can build us back up when we fall.

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Matthew 22:29 (NIV) 29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets

My ShameImage by bruckerrlb via Flickr
We all have secrets.  We all have things that we keep hidden away.  Things that could hurt us, things that could humiliate us, things that ruin us.  Things that we hide in the very depths of our soul.  Embarrassing things, shameful things, spiteful things.

We all have secrets, most we think are hidden far away where no one will ever know.  No one may ever find out our dirty little secrets.  They may never see the light of day.  We can keep them hidden so the we are not judged, ridiculed or humiliated.  They can be our dirty little secrets to keep, forever.

No matter how deep and dark our secret is, or where we may think that we can hide it, we can keep nothing from God.  God knows each and every one of our dirty little secrets.  He knows everything that we have done, said, or thought.  All of the secrets that we think we can hide, can never be hidden from Him, no matter how hard we try.

But, know this, God loves us still, in spite of our dirty little secrets.  He loves regardless of what we have done or will do.  All He asks is that we confess to Him and He will wipe them away.  God is not here to ridicule or humiliate us.  He wants us to confess our sins, our dirty little secrets, so that we can be forgiven.

So what are your dirty little secrets?? Care to confess??

Proverbs 28:13 (NIV© 2010)13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

1 John 1:8-9 (KJV)8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Count Your Blessings

BLESSINGS FROM THE SKYImage by d ha rm e sh via Flickr
After reading my last few post I came to the realization that my blog seems a bit dreary lately.  All of the talk of all the bad things going on around me, despair, desperation, hurt, anguish, pain. It kind of got me feeling down, even through I always try to find a way around to see God's bigger plan, sometimes its hard to see it at all.

Never doubt that I don't see blessings around me everyday.  Even though it usually takes the darkest moments in our lives to see the true work and character of God, we cannot forget Him when the blessings flow.  We cannot forget Him when all of our dreams come true, we cannot forget Him when we think we have everything we need or want.  

So my post today will be of happy thoughts, because although this world seems more bad then good, it is because that is what we choose to see.  Without the good things, this life would be pointless.  Without love, hope and dreams, we have nothing.  

I praise God for the gifts that he has given to me. I praise him for the ability to share my feelings with you.  I praise him for the wonderful children he has given me, my husband, my home, my job.  Even though sometimes I wish I could change things, I know that things could be worse. When I hate my job, I am thankful that I have a job.  When my kids drive me crazy, I remember that they are truly blessings from God.  When the finances are getting tight, I am thankful for the roof over my head and the food on the table.  The simple things that we take for granted every single day are the things that we should be the most thankful for.

We have to choose to see the blessings in our life.  If we dwell on all the bad then we get consumed with it and that is all that we see.

So today I urge you to take a moment, take a breath and count your blessings.  Choose to see what God has done in your life.

Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)24 " ' "The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." '

Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Different Kind of Normal

Description unavailableMy dad hasn't really been himself lately.  Actually he hasn't been himself in a really long time.  I guess we thought the worst part was over with his cancer in remission, but it seems as is the worst is ahead of us.Image by *Zara via Flickr He has been in a lot of pain lately.  Pain that they think is caused not by the cancer but from the treatment for the cancer.  The aftereffects of such a harsh treatment for such a horrid disease.  He has severe headaches, pain in his head and neck.  He has been suffering from mood swings, weakness.  His blood pressure drops suddenly without any warning.  All of this is aftereffects from his treatment.  Sometimes I wonder what is worse, the disease or the treatment.  Sometimes I wonder why he has to go through any of this at all.  Sometimes I wonder how much God will allow one person to take, when it seems that they are only hanging on by a thread.

Its hard for me to watch him go through this,  I can only imagine for my mom it must be unbearable. It is really hard watching someone you love suffer.  It is even harder when you are helpless to do anything. Its hard watching them turn into a different version of themself.  A different kind of normal.  A normal that takes so much to get used to.  A normal that you wish just didn't exist.  Wishing you could go back and get back what you once lost, but that is impossible.

But the one thing that I keep reminding myself is that he is still here!!!! And for that I know that God has him here for a reason.  I may not understand why but I have to trust that God has something great in store for him and my mom too.  I know it is their faith that keeps them going, I just hope they never forget that God does see and He does hear them and He knows just how much they can take.  They just have to trust Him, for He will give them the strength that they think is impossible.

Psalm 118:5 (NIV) 5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.


Psalm 31:7-8 (KJV) 7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; 8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Psalm 22:24 (KJV)  24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

2 Corinthians 1:5 (KJV) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 22, 2010

Never Alone

Never Alone // Hebrews 13:5Image by db photographs via Flickr
The other evening I wasn't feeling well,  actually I was in a lot of physical pain.  It was 1:00 in the morning and I couldn't take it anymore.  I told my husband that I was in a lot of pain and was going to the hospital.  I was too impatient to keep waking him until he understood, so I left and drove myself.   (He did show up later.) 

I didn't want to call my mom and scare her in the middle of the night, she has been dealing with so much lately with my dad.  I didn't want to add anything else to her already stress filled plate.  My sister had enough of her own problems and had work the next day. 

So I toughed it out and got in my car and drove myself.  I just prayed the whole way that God would keep me from passing out from the pain.  I got there ok, checked myself in and was waiting in my "room".  I felt so alone.  The drive there and now the stay.  There was nobody there.

Then I realized that I wasn't alone.  Not during my drive and certainly not during my stay.  I felt God's presence with me.  He had been there the whole time, holding my hand.  I suddenly felt overwhelmingly comforted, even though I was a little dramatic during my stay.  But through it all God never left my side.  He was there when I was terrified waiting to find out what was wrong.  While I had my blood drawn, while I had my x-rays taken.  While I was worrying, God was holding my hand.  My husband did show up shortly after I was admitted.  So I didn't spend the whole time alone.  But during those moments where my husband wasn't there I know He was.

Sometimes even "Christians" feel alone.  Sometimes it feels like there is nobody.  Nobody to count on, nobody to turn to. Nobody to lean on when things get bad.   But, no matter what our situation, no matter what is going on, always remember YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!!!!

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Will People Think?

Jesus Freak (song)Image via Wikipedia
When I first thought about becoming a "Christian" or better put, when I first thought about giving my life to God,  one of the first things that crossed my mind was "what would people think?"  I was worried about what others would say or call me behind my back, or even to my face.  I didn't want to be labeled as a "Holy Roller" or some type of "Goodie, Goodie", or even worse "Jesus Freak." I didn't want people to laugh and make fun of me. 

I guess a part of me always worried about what people thought of me.  What would happen if they didn't want to be around me anymore?  What is they stopped talking to me?

So,  I thought maybe I would just keep things to myself for awhile.  But, somethings I just couldn't hide.  I stopped drinking, I no longer wanted to go out to bars.  There were a lot of things that I just wasn't interested in doing anymore. My whole attitude started to change.  I was becoming the labels that I had dreaded.

But the closer I got to God, the less it mattered. When you give your life to God, you change.  Everything changes.  Things that were just so important to you aren't anymore.  You begin to care less and less about what people think about you.  Eventually you don't care at all what people think.  You set your sights on things above and see you life here on earth as temporary.  You begin to see people through God's eyes.  When you give your life to God, you worry less and less about this world and the labels they may give you. 

These days I will gladly wear the title of "Jesus Freak",  "Holy Roller" or what ever other label one may give me.  If that label means that they know Who I follow, and Who I have given my life to, then they can call me anything they want.

Philippians 3:20 (KJV) 20For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Worry Too Much

Worry or Prayer on 23 January 2010 - day 23 of...Image by Leonard John Matthews via Flickr
I hate going to the doctor, although I always seem to be going to the doctor.  I am a hypochondriac.  I worry about everything.  Every little ache and pain I think it is something serious.

Well, today I had a doctors appointment.  It was a follow up appointment, but I had to have an ultrasound on my kidneys.  Last year I had a kidney infection and been having problems on and off since.  So as I am waiting for what seems to be years on my results I start worrying.  Everything and anything starts going through my head.  Worst case scenario.  Preparing myself for horrible news. 

The truth is I haven't really been having that many problems lately, it was just a routine follow up.  A just to make sure its not something more serious appointment.  An appointment that was scheduled six weeks prior because it wasn't any kind of rush or concern. Yet, there I was worrying, my heart was racing, I couldn't think straight. What was taking so long?  I felt like I was waiting forever. I just kept praying that nothing was wrong and if it was that God give me the strength to get through whatever was ahead. In the end everything was fine.  There was nothing that I needed to worry about.

I started to think what am I doing?  I kept saying it was in God's hands but that didn't really keep my from going crazy with worry.  Why didn't I trust Him enough with this little thing?  Why didn't I trust Him with something that wasn't even a concern?

Even "Christians" faith sometimes fall short.  We are good at telling others to have faith, to put it in God's hands.  But yet when it comes to us, we still worry.  And I worry about things that I don't even need to  worry about.

There is nothing that comes to us that doesn't go through God's hands first.  He is holding it in His hands and only allows enough to fall on us while He carries the rest.  We need not worry because God will always see us through, even with the little things, especially with the big things.

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)  7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 16:8 (KJV) 8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hide Away

Hiding IconImage via Wikipedia
Today was one of those days that I just wanted to hide away from the world.  It wasn't that I was having a bad day, in fact the day was pretty decent.  I got off of work early, had about half an hour of me time.

It wasn't just one thing in particular, just so many little things altogether.  So many things that have been building up with no release.

Its hard when you feel like you have no one to talk to, like there is no one who understands.  You keep things inside and try to hide away. We think that will solve our problems.  But, problems build up and sooner or later they surface and then you are not able to hide away any longer.

The truth is, we can hide away from the world.  We can stay in our own little bubble and bother no one. We can walk this earth  quietly and no one will notice. But we can't hide away from God.  There is no where, where He cannot find us.  He will never lose us, we can only run away from Him.  God is never lost, only we are.  We can try to hide, but there is no point when it comes to God.  Its a game of hide and seek that we will never win.  No matter where we hide, or how quiet we are,  He will always find us.

He knows our problems, He knows what we are keeping to ourselves. He has seen all that we have done and all we will do. He wants to take our burdens from us, if only we would let Him.  He holds us in His hands. So whats the point in hiding away?

Matthew 10:26 (KJV) 26Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

Psalm 139:15-18 (KJV)15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 8, 2010

Despair

Inside of EmptinessImage by Dude Crush via Flickr
There are moments here lately when I feel so empty, so broken beyond repair.  I feel like I just don't have it in me.  To write, to believe, to live.  I am exhausted, I am tired, I am sick of trying.  I am empty.  Between these moments there is joy, but at any given moment the emptiness sets in again and I am right back at where I started.

It is easier to pretend then to deal with what is going on.  I put a smile on my face and pretend everything is ok. I hold back the tears and literally push myself forward. 

I can barely move, every stroke of the keys takes so much effort, so much out of me.  I can barely breathe, every word I utter leaves me gasping for air, every thought leaves me exhausted.  Am I really this broken? Am I really this damaged? With so much around me, am I really this empty?

I just don't have it in me to fight, to stand my ground. The only word for my condition is despair. Despair about my life, my future, my hopes and my dreams. How did I get here Lord?  Where have you gone?

Even "Christians" have moments of despair.  More often then they would like to admit.  Moments of doubt, disbelief.  Moments of complete dismay. Moments where they just fight to  breathe.  The only difference is Who they turn to in their moments of despair.  I have nights where I literally fall asleep talking to God.  Exhausted from the day, I talk to Him through the night. He is the only one who gives me the comfort I am longing for, the peace that I need to make it through another day. 

When you are in despair, it is only God who can give you the strength to stand up again. Only He can fill the void.

2 Corinthians 4:8, 18 (NIV)- 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Loves Like A Hurricane

David Crowder: How He Loves
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
Another one for valentines day 'True Love' On ...Image via Wikipedia

I take a lot of comfort in knowing that God loves me this much.  Like a hurricane.  Have you ever been through a hurricane?  I have, I do live in South Louisiana, you know.  Hurricanes are powerful forces capable of destroying everything in its path.  When you see footage of hurricanes and they trees that can barely withstand the wind.  Some fall and some stay standing. I am the tree that stays standing, bending but standing.

God's love for us is force to be reckoned with. A love so powerful, a love so filled with grace, mercy and compassion. He sees us as we are supposed to be not as we are, imperfect I mean. His grace and glory consume me.  He is the love of my life. Sometimes I can just close my eyes and feel His presence.  I feel Him surrounding me with his love.

But He is a jealous God.  He puts nothing before us, and He only asks of us the same.  He doesn't want to come second to anything else in your life. He risked everything for us, He loves us that much.  As I type this I am taken back at the realization that God puts nothing before us.  He will move Heaven and Earth for us.  He is waiting patiently for us.  He listens to every word we speak, He holds every tear we cry.  He has always been there at our side.  He is jealous for me.

I know I keep posting over and over about God's love, but that is because its God's love.  Don't think you are not good enough.  Don't think it is impossible. Don't think that you can never be loved.  For this is the greatest love you will ever know.

Exodus 20:5-6 (NIV)5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Enhanced by Zemanta

My Very 1st Blogger Award

I wrote a post about it on Confessions of a Crazy Mommy if you would like to check it out.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Strangely Dim

Heaven is a place on earthImage by alles-schlumpf via Flickr
Here lately, I find myself feeling sorry for myself. More often then I would like to say.  You know the "poor me"  attitude.  When things never seem to go our way, when everything seems to go wrong.  When our finances look meek,  when our life looks bland.  There is always a reason for us to feel sorry for ourselves.

I don't have this, I can't afford that.  I get mistreated at work, at home, by my family.  The list goes on and on.  We love to give ourselves a pity party, it makes us feel better.

So what do you do? Well, we can spend a lot of time feeling sorry for ourselves, or we can do something about it. The truth is life isn't fair. And while we are having our little pity party there are others who have things much worse than we ever will.  Everyone has something difficult to deal with.  Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have, that we forget everything we do.

One thing we need to remember is, it is not about this life.  We need to keep our focus on things above, not things on this earth.  The things of this earth are only temporary.  But God has promised us more then we could ever imagine.  He has promised us a perfect future, an eternal life with no pain, no trouble, no sorrow.  No worrying about what we will eat, where we will sleep.  No bills, no financial issues.  God has taken care of it all.  All you have to do is believe in Him. 

Things of this earth may seem so appealing.  We want, we want, we want. Compared to what God has promised, the things of this earth look strangely dim, unappealing and unnecessary.  I've got bigger plans and I need to start investing in that.  This world has nothing for me.  I have set my sights on things above.  Now to patiently wait for Christ's return.

So what are you investing in?

Colossians 3:1-2 (KJV)1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

John 14:1-4 (NIV)1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[a]; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."

Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus, Helen H. Lemmel, 1922
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 1, 2010

Church is for Sinners

[Hitterdals Church, Telemarken (i.e, Telemark)...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
When I was growing up my mom used to always tell me that church is for sinners. It used to drive me crazy because I didn't quite understand what she was talking about. I remember an incident in particular happened with certain members of our church and I said to my mother that I couldn't believe that they were still coming to church after all of that, she  told me "Church is for sinners." Her comment made me so angry, what was that supposed to mean?

It goes back to my ideals as a child, I always thought that church was for perfect people, a place where sinless people congregate to worship a perfect God. I was way off?

However, my ideals as a child are close to  a lot of ideals of many adults.  There are a lot of people that think the way I thought when I was a child.  They talk about other's sins, turn their noses up.  Point out other's sins, other's stumbling blocks.  Then I realized that they are just sinners too.  Maybe they just don't realize it.

Church is for sinners.  It a place for imperfect people to worship a perfect God.  A God that loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, to save us.  Why is there so much controversy at church, because what else is going to happen when you get a whole bunch of self righteous sinners together?  No offense.  Not everybody is like that, but you will find some. 

Church is a place where we can meet God, where we can feel God.  A place where we gather with others like us, who share in the same burdens, the same struggles.  Its a place where we should feel at peace.  A place where we belong.  So often it is not the case.  But we much always remember that church is for sinners. That way we don't become one of those, like me when I was a child, like me now.

Faith in itself is for sinners.  The faith in Someone who can completely transform us in to the person we are supposed to be.  The faith that one day we will be sinless.  The faith that that we are loved regardless of whether we sin or not.

The truth is God hates the sin, but He loves the sinner.  He loves me. Don't not go meet Him, because you think you are not good enough.  He made this place for you.  Come as you are!!

Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Enhanced by Zemanta