Sometimes I just curse this world.. I’ve realized that I was beginning to let the world take control again. The everyday worry, fears, and daunting task lists grow bigger and bigger each day and sometimes it can overwhelm… I have realized that I have been living “out of focus” for a little while. I am reminded:
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
I have been focusing on my
Priority lists instead of the list that God gave me. I have focused on the piles of
bills on my table, the loads on laundry to do, the daunting task of keeping up with ‘life as usual’. Then I am reminded:
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
There is no “life as usual” anymore. I have been called away from worldly worries to focus on a heavenly mission – a bigger priority.
My new list: Focus on what God told you to focus on!
So it took me a little while to realize this but I had my breakthrough moment – rather, my break away moment. I broke away from a world that can’t hold me, a few lists that won’t mold me, and a devil that can’t hold me.
My path is clear. I see it again clearly Lord. Lord I need your help every single day. Guide me back to that straight line to walk with you. The line that is outside all worry and fear. I have come back again to focus on you and what you know is the highest priorities. You told me what’s important, and your priority list is my highest honor.
Keep me in focus Lord. My prayer today: soften my heart, peel back the layers of my existence, and show me the clarity of your will. Amen.
We should all pray that prayer today.
James 4:8 ESV
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Well ya’ll… It’s been FAR too long since I have taken the time to sit down and blog. But today, I blog. Let’s just say that I had an experience earlier in the week that was worth writing about. On this blog I have spared no expense sharing my heart. You all know that I am a sinner. The whole reason I came back around to Christ was because my life was headed in the wrong direction, and filled with sin and suffering. I am not too self-righteous to admit this. However, I want to share with you – there are a lot of people who are. I feel bad for those. My heart reaches out for those who appear to themselves “on a high horse”, and some of them – I am finding – are “Christians”. That’s not the way it was intended to be. We are called to BE THE GOOD in the world. When we see someone who has overcome sin, hurdles, and obstacles in life, it’s not up to us to judge or condemn.
I ran into a person in a restaurant the other day. To say the least, it was an unpleasant meeting. She called me by name as I was walking out, I responded and walked over, then she asked: “you’re a Christian blogger right?” To which I replied “yes.” Then the fun began! (sarcasm). Sheer attack is what I was faced with. She began yelling, pointing, causing a scene, name calling, and just downright being rude. Contrary to what I thought my reaction would be (ahem-slam her head into the wall behind her ) I was gentle, calm, and began trying to make sense of her madness, even to offer a ‘conversation’ (to no avail). I quoted scripture in rebuttal. (To which I was impressed, I didn’t even know that was in there!) This Cherish, The one who has been overtaken with the mercy and grace of God, has changed my heart of stone to a very soft ball of flesh.
It made me realize that all the things I have been saying is true. I am a changed person. God has done something INCREDIBLE through little ole me. As I left, I wondered who told her she could throw stones? When I walked away from that mess of a person, I was somewhat proud of that event that occurred. Even though it was a bash to my “ego”, I realized that I have lost my ego. I realized I have lost my “pride”(which was too big to begin with) and became solely dependent on God to fight my battles for me. It was truly amazing to walk away feeling on top of it. I had nothing to feel ashamed about – though she did. (Though probably too self-righteous to admit it.) The bible warns against this here: Romans 12:16- Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Afterall, Matt 7 says: Judge not lest ye be judged.
That experience in itself made me ponder. A hypocrite like that is the reason people don’t go to church. The reason some are afraid to go to church, and who’ don’t lik’e to go to church. It’s because a “Christian” like that is on the pew behind them! It’s Christians who call themselves Christians on Sundays and get into brawls and fits of rage that cause problems.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. If you live by those guidelines you realize everyone starts somewhere.
Let’s See What the Bible Really Says About Judging:
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Prov 31:9)
“Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt show her all her abominations.” (Ezek 22:2)
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” (1 Cor 2:15)
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (1 Cor 6:2)
I have decided that I will stand for what God wants from me in this lifetime. Though it doesn’t make worldly “sense” to me, I trust God – and my measure of faith is all I have, and it’s sufficient. 1 Corin 2:10 “But God has revealed them to us through is spirit. For the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows, the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. EVERYONE is a sinner. But it is in honestly, sincerely, wholeheartedly asking God to forgive you of it – that makes you new and forgiven.
I am forgiven.
Proverbs 18:19- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
So I thought back about what happened in the restaurant, and God led me to this. Galatians 5:19-26
Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dessentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; Of which I told you in a time past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. IF WE LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, LET US ALSO WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
So, to the lady at the restaurant… I will advise you (as a Christian) read Galations 5:19-26. As I read it, I suffer the condemnation of the flesh. (As do you.) It seems to me that you and I are just alike in Christ’s eyes. However, I walked away and WALKED IN THE SPIRIT in the face of attack.
Every Knee will bow, and every eye will close.
I don’t think a lot of people will understand what I’ve been through in the last year so, and I don’t rightfully expect them to. See, God has done a lot for me. He pulled the blinders off, he ripped me apart from my “self” and I am so thankful and greatful that he broke my heart so deeply that my perspective changed. That my world changed. I started to see the people in my life differently. I saw who my true friends were. I began to see myself at a distance. How self-centered and worldly I had become. He showed me what he offered and I realize that the world wasn’t enough for me. I was honestly ashamed of who I had become…..
I was self-centered and egotistical. I was self-righteous and unsympathetic. I was mean, crude, and even heartless in some instances. If I went back six months I would not recognize myself and that’s something only God could’ve done. I wanted what I wanted and that was it. No discussions, I didn’t need any permission, it was my life.
BUT…………….. I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful that God took that away from me. Once I made the decision to live for him from this point forward, and honestly made it, and meant it.. things changed.
I had begun saying “God whatever you want and I meant whatever you want, to take it- leave it- give it- hide it- break it- shake it- whatever you need- I’m there.”
My life changed, my heart changed, my focus changed, and I’ve been living in the plethora of what God wants to give me and the overflow that they talk about- I am just now seeing it my life. I can’t wait for tomorrow! I’m literally at the point my life that I can’t wait for what’s next.
Have a great week everyone!
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
We humans place a lot of stock in our own reasoning and understanding. We think that because we don’t “see” it, or can’t “imagine” it, that the probability is non-existent. I’ve learned a lot of things recently. One of those things is never doubt God or his promises to you, no matter how unworldly, or ridiculous they may seem.
I am completely different than I was. My life is completely different than it was just one year ago.
Sometimes, I just sit and think about where I was in life, who I was in life, and I see why God decided to knock me off my high horse and take me off the road to mediocrity. I write this blog post this morning with a thankful, indebted heart.
This past year has proven to me that there is something bigger and better, higher and greater than I had ever expected. I have seemingly always believed in God. As a child, I would talk to him, pray to him, ask him things. Now, looking back – I believe he was answering me – I just didn’t realize it then. I was headed in the wrong direction as an adult. I didn’t see it because I was so blinded by the business of life and all the things the world had on it’s shelf for me. Now, I crave the peace and quiet. I would rather sit alone in a coffee shop and be at peace inside, watching the world pass by in their daily routes in a tizzy. I was there. I am much calmer now. Much more sure of what life will be, and what God wants from me.
I tried to lean on my own understanding for years. I was so beat down in my circumstances and tied that I never even tried to escape them. I never even prayed for escape. I prayed for love.
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Love came to me. However, not in the form I had imagined it would. Actually, far from what my prayers intended. Nonetheless, my life was filled with love, and my cup overflowed. I do not claim to undestand. In fact, I still don’t understand what has happened to my life, or the “me” that used to live in it. I no longer desire this world or the things of it – it all seems so superficial, and dim compared to what I have known and seen.
Be careful what you pray for.
I often think that I don’t recognize anything about my life anymore. But I find a peace and happiness in knowing that I am firmly placed in God’s hand. For the first time in my life, I stopped running away from my will, my duty, my path. I fought God, but ultimately he won. Now I am ashamed to think that I even put up the fight. I will never understand God’s love fully. I can’t wrap my human brain around his mercy, forgiveness, and faithfulness. However, I do know that he has given me all those things.
It is well with my soul.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
It’s time we all get off our high horses. It’s time we realize the difference between a healthy marriage and an unhealthy marriage. It’s time that Christians stop feeling guilty about divorce, if it was founded and led through Gods will for your life. Especially if you were in an unhealthy marriage.
When I got divorced, I felt like I needed to hang my head. I felt like I had a single point of failure in my marriage and it was all my fault. All my life I was told that GOD HATES DIVORCE. Now I am not belittling or pushing aside this comment because I believe that God does hate divorce. HOWEVER, in speaking with many pastors, friends, and spiritual warriors, I have come to see that the shame I carried was unfounded. I did what God wanted me to do. God saw the relationship I had without blinders – he knew what was wrong even when I didn’t.
I will never forget the afternoon the message came to me. I was taking a shower, minding my own business and not thinking about anything in particular. My then husband was in the other room and a loud, unshaking voice said” GO, It’s time to leave”. I heard him. I knew what it was. But I wasnt ready to accept that yet.
Ultimately, it happened, i left, and the checkered flag was waved. I did what I had to do, but it wasnt easy. DIvorce is not easy. I had to talk myself out of being in love. I had to talk myself into leaving and walking out that door. I didn’t understand why I was leaving. I didn’t understand at the time – but I do understand now.
My marriage wasnt healthy. God is FOR healthy marriages. I had made my ex-husband my rock, and i was his. I made him into everything. My security, my confidante, my only. I didn’t realize all this until God made me leave. I got kicked out of my own house because I was led to leave. I don’t expect this to make sense to everyone, but I am spilling my truth.
It is true that God hates divorce, but more than that, God is a jealous God and he is just. God hates unfounded divorce! Celebrities make a mockery of marriage all day long. God hates that. My priorities were all wrong, my heart had hardened in my marriage, I was neglected and my life was going in the wrong direction because I was leaning on something that would – and did – falter./p>;;;;
“God hates divorce” is commonly being used in the church in an unbiblical manner and the result is a great deal of harm. It may not seem like a big deal for those who have not been faced with divorce or with marriages in violation of the Word, but the inaccurate handling of the Word is being used to keep people in bondage and also to cause added condemnation and rejection to people whom God has neither condemned nor rejected.
I am not ashamed. I am not guilty. I am not confused – anymore. God pulled that veil off my face before I had a chance to blink. I couldn’t hide behind my ignorance anymore, and somehow he knew that I would listen and obey his call.
Christians are in a tough spot these days when it comes to divorce. I know there are people out there that are getting married and divorced like its a fad. I was one of those that took my vows to heart, and fully expected ’til death’ with that person. I think its time however, that we realize that there are instances where God permits divorce.
Take a moment and read Malachi 2 for yourself. No matter how you look at Malachi 2, understand this passage doesn’t say “since God hates divorce it cannot be God’s will for any Christian to be divorced.” This understanding is important because this passage is killing Christians and their churches. Teachings on divorce can alienate if not based on scripture. Do not make a mockery of marriage or divorce. It takes two people to carry the weight of a healthy, successful, happy marriage.