Just Beating the Odds?!

630,720,000 seconds. 10,512,000 minutes. 175,200 hours. 7,300 days. Twenty years…dual decades…dvacet rok (Czech)…twintig jaar (Dutch)…venti anno (Italian)…viginti annos (Latin). No matter how you say it, a lot can happen in 20 years…. a baby can be born and grow into a beautiful young woman, a son and another daughter can join the family, three parents, a step-parent, and 3 grandparents can be lost…and a wife can finally figure out what it means to truly love her husband after she finally allowed God to truly love her and be loved in return!

I met my husband in September of 1996 and I fell fast and hard!! He was the man of my dreams…he was tall, dark and handsome, polite and well-mannered, successful, and well-liked by my family and pretty much everyone he came in contact with! He was the whole package…the problem was he came into my life at a time when I was searching for an escape from family drama. I was 18 and my entire life had been flipped upside down…my parents marriage of over twenty years was crumbling around me…the word that Christians dare not speak, you know, the D word (!!), was now a reality to me. DIVORCE.

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Continue reading Just Beating the Odds?!

Indifferent to our Blessings

In Numbers 32:1-42 we find the account of the division of some land east of the Jordan River. In these verses, the tribes of Gad and Reuben came to Moses and said that they wanted to take the land they were currently in as their inheritance rather than continuing over the Jordan to the land God had promised them. Indifference is defined as lack of interest, concern or sympathy towards others. When I first read through this chapter I didn’t really see it as an example of indifference. All of their able-bodied men were planning to continue on with their countrymen to help in whatever battles would arise as they claimed the Promised Land, then the two tribes would return to the cities they had built for their families. Just casually reading through it may be difficult to pick up on their indifference…I didn’t really pick up on it until I studied more. Continue reading Indifferent to our Blessings

Word!!

Ok, so maybe I was late to the game or sitting in the dark but who out there chooses a word for the year?! I had never heard of doing that until this year. I have been blessed with a group of ladies that I’m able to meet with weekly (and if you’ve read any of my other posts you know that they were instrumental in pulling me back to God!!) …well through them I was introduced to the concept of a word for the year. Honestly it was slightly confusing and stressful to me at first! lol I wasn’t walking with God when we had to share our word one Friday as we met for coffee and encouragement. I had “researched” the best way to choose a word or the top words picked each year (apparently this is something people have done for years!! Where was I??!!), but the ladies wanted us to pray and seek God’s leading for our choice. Well, at that time (end of Dec) I wasn’t praying or seeking God and I didn’t really care to! Somehow I landed on the word LISTEN. It’s actually ironic seeing as how I’m deaf (legally, over 50% loss in each ear since birth)…but God knew what I needed. Even though I think I picked that word to poke fun at my hearing loss, God knew I needed to listen to Him and the godly influences He had placed in my life. Since then everything is different (read my post “Who Am I” for more details on that) and my word touches me daily! So, anytime you read my posts and you see the word listen typed in all caps, that’s why! It’s a reminder for myself.

Proverbs 1:5 “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”

Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

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Anakainosis is a change of heart and life…a heart softened by God’s truth and a life transformed by the application of God’s truth. This is what I want for my life and for you…and it only happens if we LISTEN!! Who or what are you listening to?!

Word of God Speak by Mercy Me

So…what’s your word??

 

The Destruction in the Doubt

Skepticism. If someone is skeptical we call them a skeptic…but that’s not a bad thing, is it? What could be wrong with questioning?? Skepticism is defined as an attitude of doubt in general or towards a particular object. So, I guess in some cases skepticism could be a good trait…it could keep us from being taken advantage of or used. But what about when we become skeptical of the wrong things…the God things?

Numbers 16:1-35 shows us a detailed account of the dangers of being skeptical concerning the God things in our life. In this passage the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness. Three people, Korah, Dotham and Abiram, came before Moses and Aaron with complaints. They were questioning whether God had really appointed Moses into his leadership role over them. They basically felt they were all holy and that Moses should be no better than them. They were so convinced they were in the right that they decided to bring the “big guns” with them! They rounded up 250 of the men of renown in the congregation (the well-known and respected guys) and got them on their side against Moses. So, what started as skepticism in three men has now spread like a curse through the people. Now, we have a large group questioning Moses’ leadership and God’s decision to appoint him to that role.

Moses, being a godly man, attempted to make them see that their position in the congregation, while different from his, was still important. They refused to listen to reason and blamed him for their not being in the Promised Land yet. They allowed their skepticism to totally take control of their rational thought. They became so doubtful and so questioning that they, as a result, became completely blind and deaf to God’s truth. They believed what they believed the way they wanted to believe it and there was no convincing them otherwise! Know anyone like that?! God was so angered by these skeptics He ordered Moses and Aaron to separate from the congregation so His wrath could consume them all!! Moses interceded and begged God not to punish all of the people…not to destroy everyone for the sin of a few.

Continue reading The Destruction in the Doubt

Call It What You Want??

Sin. Such a small word. It doesn’t look evil or intimidating, yet it holds the power to destroy marriages, families, even lives! But what is sin? The dictionary defines it as an immoral act considered to be a transgression against Divine law. In other words, sin is missing the mark of how God would have us live our lives.

But, wait!! We can’t talk about this!! Sin is well, sinful! We are just supposed to talk about righteousness and holiness…none of the “bad” stuff because it doesn’t make us feel good. In her book, The Mended Heart, Suzanne Eller says, “Sin is a topic we tend to shy away from, especially when it’s our own. If someone else brings it up, we wonder if they are judging, or trying to fix us or shame us. But what if we could just be honest about it? What if we could be real about the deep roots of pain and regret that sin embeds in our hearts, and about how sin affects us and those we love?” So can I be honest? Can I be real with you, dear reader?? My goal is not to judge or shame anyone, rather to bring to light what so often gets tucked into the darkness in our lives. I lived for so long, suffering in silence, hiding away my sins, all the while feeling deep shame and embarrassment…NO MORE!

So, I’m becoming a huge fan of the name it and claim it approach to sin. I’m not talking about the school of thought that teaches that we can lay claim to anything we want in life, no I am instead referring to naming sin sin and claiming it for what it is. I mean recognizing sin in our lives, confessing it and refusing to hide it away like the dark secret so many Christians act like it is. Why is that? Why do we feel like we can’t admit we are anything other than perfect? I’ll let you in on a little secret…no one is perfect!! Did you catch that?! NO ONE!! Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” All means all…every man, woman and child that has ever lived or ever will live has fallen short of God’s plan.

“What if we could just be honest about it? What if we could be real about the deep roots of pain and regret that sin embeds in our hearts, and about how sin affects us and those we love?” -Suzanne Eller

 

Jesus is the only perfect, sinless person that has ever or will ever be! Jesus called sin out where it lived and He was criticized for it…for His willingness to meet sin in battle…to get right in with people and bring the things hidden in the dark into the light. Do you know what He said to those who criticized? “When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.’ Then he added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'” (Matt. 9:12-13) So what does that look like? How do we show mercy when dealing with sin? I think the first thing we do, the first thing I have to do, is stop placing levels on sin!! Stop falling for the some sins are “better” than others or what someone else is doing is so much worse than what I am doing mentality. That’s simply not true and it’s not Biblical in the least. Sin is sin is sin is sin is…I hope you get the point! Robert Noland, author of Do You Believe?, states in his devotional that, “Because God is holy, he has one standard, one plumb line, drawn across mankind. One sin+one time=death. That is exactly where the old adage originates, ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross.’ No “levels” of sin exist with God. Someone can’t be “better” than someone else when all have fallen and failed. Holiness can’t allow for any sin-neither doing the wrong thing or omitting the right thing.” building-1080599_1920cross-1448946_1920

Continue reading Call It What You Want??

Movies of the Mind

In Genesis 39:1-12, we read of Joseph’s test with an Egyptian woman. Joseph, who had been sold into slavery by his brothers, was purchased by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. When Potiphar saw that Joseph was blessed by God and a good man, he put him in charge of his household. Enter the wife of Potiphar, who looks upon Joseph and decides she must have him. She is allowing lustful imaginations in her heart to seep out and result in immoral actions.

 

 

Lady (and I use the term loosely) Potiphar approached Joseph multiple times and commands him to be with her. Joseph exemplified Spirit-led purity. His thoughts were of God and the meditations of his heart led him to have a strong sense of right and wrong as well as fierce loyalty to his master, Potiphar. One day she approaches Joseph when no one else is around. Now I would imagine that Mrs. Potiphar was an attractive woman. Potiphar is a high-up, well-to-do in Egypt so I tend to picture a trophy wife sort of woman.

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Yet she cannot persuade Joseph to sin and commit adultery with her. Why?? Is she unattractive? Like I said, I wouldn’t imagine so. Is Joseph in a relationship that is providing him physical satisfaction? No. Does he somehow not have a desire for female attention? No, I believe he is a normal, red-blooded male so I’m sure this truly was a test for him yet when she says lie with me that last time, not only does he refuse, but he removes himself from the situation by running away! Continue reading Movies of the Mind

Blessings in the Blah?!

Sick. Four little letters that make up one little word yet seem to control our lives at times. I am sick…again! For what seems like the umpteenth time since the calendar flipped to 2018 I am once again banished to the couch…a coughing, sneezing, feverish, and at times barely breathing, mess! Blah! This time diagnosed with multiple plague worthy diagnoses…the end result of each the same- stay home and rest. Stay home. Alone. Isolated. More broken plans, more disappointed friends, and more, much, much, more disappointed me!

 

But when is enough enough? Sickness? Health? Loss? Gain? Curse? Blessing? Hearing people say, “I just can’t take it”…but can they? Can I?! Why do some people seem to just glide through life problem free while others deal with so much? Problems. Illness. Pain. Death. Mine isn’t even that bad and I feel overwhelmed! Awake at 2:30am coughing into a darkened house can make you see things in a way you don’t in the light of day. Everything I am facing right now will pass, I just need time. But what about those who don’t have that reassurance?? What about…

…the father holding his 12 year old son as he goes through the pain of yet another chemo treatment?

…the man dealing with lung cancer who took care of himself, never smoked, but has it “just because”?

…the mother holding her little girl as she is immobilized due to a tricky, and very painful, surgery in hopes of fending off and slowing down a painful and rare disease?

…the pastor’s wife trying to be a faithful example as she deals with the painful disease that quite literally twists her body apart, at times, and has been passed on to her young daughter?

When is enough enough? When is it too much?

Continue reading Blessings in the Blah?!