Monthly Archives: October 2013

Finding Joy in Forgiveness/Letting Go.

Let me start of by saying that this is not a post about how to forgive. I’m simply sharing how holding on to ill feelings or hurt can sap our joy, productivity and blind our eyes to happiness in life.

In every way possible we must learn to experience our feelings in healthy ways. This does not mean to embody the negativity that a feeling can possess, but rather, allow ourselves to understand why we feel that way, present it to God and then leave it in his hands.

Sometimes we think even the smallest thing isn’t worth dealing with but pushing aside something we think is small or unimportant can later become a thorn under our skin. An annoying thorn that needs a doctor to remove. Even worse, it can become infected.

That’s how far I let things go. You know, when you let something fester behind the scenes for so long that you start noticing little things about yourself that doesn’t seem right. It’s that little infection screaming for attention. It’s not screaming for attention to be removed but it wants to be exalted over everything in your life, especially God.

Emotional trauma is one of the ways Satan and sin enters our lives. ( Oh no she didn’t just mention Satan. Yes folks, he’s real.)

To make a potentially long post short, God is big enough to cover everything from huge life struggles to small slight hurts from the past. We might be stubborn and say, ” well, I can just forget about it on my own” but honestly, we can’t. It’s a dangerous this to let something brood under the shadows for so long. I’m challenging myself to identify, feel, and confess all my pain to the greatest Father ever. I know with all my heart that he can help me once I stop being so stubborn and proud.

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*Pictures are from Google Images.*

Finding Joy In His Love

God’s grace is a demonstration of his love.

John 3:16-18

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Sometimes, I have trouble accepting his love completely. I do not doubt that he loves me or the world but there are times when I cannot accept his love. I have been so conditioned  by life to expect that love comes with a price. This notion is something I struggle with constantly. I figure it might be something I struggle with for a while until I allow the walls I’ve put up over the years to crumble.

It is not I that should put walls around me but God. He should be my wall of protection. If I cannot reach a place where this is the case, I will never come to fully accept his love for me. This constant wanting to please in my own strength has set me up for many set backs in  my walk with Christ.

In my last post I questioned the true definition of surrender and repentance:

According to Webster surrender means :

  1. to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed
  2. to give the control or use of (something) to someone else
  3.  to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you

With the first definition, If I keep hiding and fighting my way to my own idea of salvation without giving up and just accepting God’s love for me, I will be DOOMED to a life of hardships, pain and eventually spiritual death ( ruin).

Jonah was resistant from God’s order and fled from his duties. He was also hiding from what he was called to do. He had his own personal hang ups, he didn’t want God to forgive a nation because of his own personal grudge. However, God’s love and mercy extended even past Jonah. Sometimes our stubbornness can affect those around us, but that’s another story.

Like Jonah, I am hiding. You know, some people will say ” This person treats me so well and thus I don’t know what to do with myself. How should I respond? Feel?” Instead of just letting go and experiencing true freedom from Grace, I feel I must do everything in my power to keep it in my life.

The idea of something being free is incomprehensible. Is anything TRULY free in this life? But the more I hide or run away, the more I feel the burden of  separation and desperation. Desperate to find the love I’m hiding from.

We all have habits that we cling to. Deep rooted habits that we sometimes think are gone but when something happens we soon realize they never really left.

I warn everyone : Don’t ask God for anything you are not ready for. When I asked God to reveal every ounce of filth in my life, he readily did so. It was the scariest revelation in my life.

When you are so puffed up and not humble, you think you have all the answers and all the tools to serve God when in all honesty you don’t!

We don’t have anything that pleases God in us. We are dirty, filthy and fall short. We cannot do good. However, We can choose to surrender DAILY and accept God’s love.

The many characters in the bible all had something they struggle with and I admit that mine is accepting God’s love freely.

To enjoy the Joy of Grace we must let go and let God love us freely.

Luke 10:38-42

At the Home of Martha and Mary

 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

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Questions

Have you ever pondered the true meaning of friendship? Lately, that’s all I think about and I can not find a real, honest and pure meaning of the word.

What about the meaning of surrender? When they say SURRENDER and REPENT. What does that REALLY mean? Do I even know?

Sometimes I wonder If I, or anyone, REALLY know what anything means.

What does it mean that I’m even thinking about these things?

Endless sea of questions but I think I might be opening the door to something bigger than myself.

Suck It Up and Get It Done.

Self- Pity, complaining, procrastination are all things that can take away our joy. One part of growing up is learning how to do things we don’t like doing. For instance, today I did not want to exercise and thought of every possible excuse to give. I then realized that If I didn’t do it, I would be selling myself short. In the end,  I can happily say that I’ve completed it and feel a lot better than before.

There is joy to be found when we maintain discipline and focus in our lives. I’m learning that if I want anything to happen in the future, I have to start now. If I want a good outcome, I have to put in the effort now. If I want to find peace and joy in life, I have to stop complaining, stop worrying over things I can’t control and start focusing on things that I can do to increase my talents and skills.

In my walk with God, I cannot sit and become lazy and expect growth.

Joy also comes from doing good things. Whatever they may be, do them without complaining. It might feel uncomfortable now but the rewards are worth the effort.

Finding Joy in the Highs and the Lows.

There is always something happening every moment of the day. However, it might take weeks, months or years to finally understand it. Sometimes it’s best to be still, enjoy the experience, and then reflect.

I can write a list of all I am thankful for but right now the most confusing but important is my RELATIONSHIP with God.

Relationships are not easy: days of joy, happiness, doubt and confusion.

The bible mentions so much about perseverance:

1 Thessalonians 1:3    We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 

We are to continue and persevere no matter what. Faith that despite how horrible we are, how distant God feels sometimes, how horrible life/world can be heaven is our goal. We must breathe and live it.

As I started my quest to better health, I realized I was borderline obsessed. That’s exactly how it should be. It’s hard maintaining self control or finding time to exercise, but I make time. It’s no different with how we are to live out our spiritual walk.

Yo-yo, Luke warm spiritual life that God warned us about and I’ve fallen victim to many times.

I think I’m learning something valuable here. That we can spend our whole time listing everything wonderful in our lives but only through EFFORT will things change.

It starts in the mind flows through the heart and ends in action. You have to want it more than you want it.

So if there is anything I am thankful for , it is knowing how to deal with the lows in relationships and mainly the one that matters the most.

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Wake Up-Transitioning…

I am going through a heavy transition in my life mentally, physically and lastly spiritually. I say lastly because it’s the part of me that is the most stubborn, tattered and lost.

I want to start off by saying that there is every reason for me to be happy. As I am happy, even when things are far from my idea of perfection, I know that there are miracles happening all around me.

However, the most confusing part is my spiritual life. I posted about this before – bad habits die hard. It’s not only habits but mindsets, expectations and just the way I was raised. You know, silly things that I take for granted. Letting one bad thing slip, or noticing that I think a certain way or entertain a certain feeling or attitude.

I become a busy body when I’m running away from something. AGAIN. Some of us are stubborn and need a kick to the rump before realizing that God is tugging at our hearts to look at him.

How caught up I am in my own personal goals, living life, trying to make the best of life without him being part of it.

How dare I do such a thing. You would think after all he’s done for me I’d get with the program.

What happened to the luster of worship. The passion in reading the word. The humility in bowing down in prayer. When since talking to him became a burden? Why can’t I pour out my heart to him? Why do I always feel the need to pour out my heart to others? Even though I do not, I want to more than I admit.

So many emotions, so many, too many things…

No wonder stress is common in our day and age. But is that really an excuse?

I have so much to be thankful for and yet no gratitude shown to the one who is responsible for it all.

I exclaim ” Thank God” or ” By the grace of God” But such empty words if I don’t tell him first.

“TELL HIM FIRST. ” “HIM FIRST.”

It’s not about me. Remember. It’s not a concert or one woman band. This is God’s world and I fit into it. Sounds weird to most but this is the truth. He made it and I fit into it. We are part of GOD’S PLAN! HIS PLAN.

Which means we consult him for OUR LIVES. MY LIFE.

So how dare we ( I ) think to put myself, others or anything before his plans.

The audacity. Get real. Stay true. I just have to be real. Humility is a gem. A wonderful skill, trait, personality, virtue to have. But it’s hard to come by, hard to maintain.

Humility. Knowing who you are and where you fit in. What’s my place?

I am not a god. I am not the protagonist in a book. I fit into HIS PLAN.

So who am I to take the place of the one who made the world?

Grace. I’m so thankful for it. Without it I wouldn’t have the opportunity to stand before God and speak with him without the stain of sin. Grace , the opportunity to allow God to do his job. Because sin, whether it is fornication, murder or PRIDE ( lack of humility) etc etc, destroys the bridge of communication.

 

Ever felt far away? On a distant planet away from the SUN? Felt cold and lifeless, empty, frail and afraid? Even when you think you are comfy under that blanket ( false security), not realizing it’s exactly what’s keeping you back. Not realizing that you should be doing everything in your power to lean towards the sun ( like some plants do).

Without our heavenly father we will fall. I will fall.

I don’t want to travel that path. Been there, done that and it was scary.

Scariest time. Deadly gamble of the soul. Don’t go there.

A WARNING. Danger lurks in hidden places.

Don’t let life, goals, negativity, your job…..NOTHING hinder you from making God primary!