Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Detour We Didn’t Know We Took



My mind is moving so fast with the thoughts are going through my head so I hope I am clear with what I am saying. I am especially thinking about one person as I write these words (not the one I was on the phone with). This person is a very special person to me and it hurts me to know how much she's hurting right now.

I just got off the phone with a dear friend; we are talking and working through a lot of different things from the past. I don't want to sit and point and blame, nor not take responsibility nor do I desire to stay stuck where I have been, but I often find myself doing those things.  But that is completely not my goal.

I think that in our desire to follow God we took a detour we didn't know we took. I think that in living the Christian life we forgot about Christ.

My friend said something about taking the side road and turning left, when we didn't know we did. In this post, like I said, I'm not pointing fingers, I'm not blaming anyone, but I'm just kind of clarifying what's in my head and my heart.

No one can understand each person's personal journey as they continue to move forward to a better relationship with the Lord; however I think that we all share some of the same things very often.

First, I think that we need to focus ourselves on Christ. How you do this is totally up to you and between you and God. No one can tell you what it will take for you to get to a point where you finally understand his love and grace and his commitment to you.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Second, I think that we as believers need each other. I think that there is a difference between getting encouragement and gossiping. I don't know that line was ever clearly established that we would know the difference however the Bible even tells us we should get godly council.
Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Third, we will be tempted to use many different things to replace God. It's so easy for us to see the physical, here and now, but we need to focus on the eternal rather than the physical.
1 Corinthians 10:13–14 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Are you on a detour? Did your Christian walk turn into more of a wandering? I know these things were true for me and I'm sure at times will happen again. But right now, I'm focused on God and can see him working. It doesn't change what may or may not have happened, nor does it change everything about my life, but my perspective (again prospective) has changed. Focus your eyes on God and ask him to change your heart and change your mind to lineup with what He says in the Bible.

A detour is used temporarily because something needs to be straightened out, adjusted, fixed, corrected... whatever.

It's time to get back on the main highway.

To my friend whose name I am not saying, God knows. God sees. God loves you. God will use everything that you have gone through. God cares that you are hurting. God knows what you feel and think...He understands.

AND YA KNOW WHAT?

HE STILL LOVES YOU AND WANTS TO BE WITH YOU.  Turn to Him. He is our help.

JESUS is still the answer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Triumphant Reflection



My perspective has been totally focused on the past, the hurt, the trail, the resulting confusion, and even dislike of where that has me.

My world has changed. Not that change is bad...but change is change. It means adjusting to something whether it was brought on by us or someone else.

Over the past several months my prayer has been rather simple. I kept asking God to change my heart and my mind. It is all I have felt I could say. Each person has to deal with their own questions when something in life has been thrown at them and they have no answers for in their situation.

 All I knew was that I didn't really feel "safe and comfortable" like I used to.

But I have learned something.

Today is just one more day. A lifetime of things defines who we are and each day we make important steps. They've learned, although I haven't shared on my blog, that living triumphantly is simple. Simple in the fact that it does not mean I have to do anything extraordinary, spectacular, or world changing. Living triumphantly is a living through whatever we face on our journey through this life. Sometimes just the fact that we got through another day is a triumph in itself.


Living triumphantly is just doing what's hard for you.


So how my doing on my journey this year of living triumphantly? Had you asked me during those three months that I was not blogging, I would have told you I was doing a horrible job. In fact, that's why I was not was not blogging. I want to write. I want to give anyone who reads this hope in God. A glimpse of how good He is. But sometimes I get so focused on what I don't have what I don't see, how what I have that I don't want and that I can't see anything clearly enough myself to even share that with you. Above all I want to write from my heart. My heart, Jeremiah says, is desperately wicked, however when we're in God's word our hearts become godly and that we want to follow God. God the Spirit will yield the godly heart. In the flesh, I will always have a wicked heart but the triumph is overcoming by the Spirit.

I am still asking God to change my heart and mind.  I ask the Holy Spirit to lead me.  I ask to see things as spiritual battles rather than physical ones.  I get encouragement from a godly lady.  I read my Bible. 

So, how am I doing living a triumphant life this year?   

Great!  I am focusing on God and He has triumphed over it all and I just try to see that.  And when I don’t, and I am in my flesh, I turn my head again to Him… because that’s triumphant!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Faith



Don’t you just love it when you read your Bible and something you probably have read a number of times jumps off the page? I do!

That happened just the other day.  I was reading 2 Corinthians, not a book I look at a lot really but I wanted to go through 1 Corinthians and when it was over I just kept going. J  Anyway, the verse that stood out was 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.  

It struck me because Paul said he wasn’t to have dominion over their faith but help them to have joy.  Maybe most people don’t have this problem but I imagine that if I thought it, someone else has too.

Building faith is a personal experience.  I can see something someone else has gone through and have my faith increased, but there is nothing like experiencing a trial to really make your faith grow.  Here are the things that I noticed most out of this verse. ..

We are to be joyful.  A joyful Christian can show a lot more of God’s love than someone who is just doing what needs to be done, no matter what their motivation.

We stand by faith.  Each one of us has decided to follow God…that is faith.  Step by step we are on a journey to get to know Him and experience Him in new ways.  Our “walk” shouldn’t be a list of things we can or cannot do but a desire to believe and see who He is.

We are to have dominion over our own faith. This one struck me the most!  I can learn something from anyone.  Learning from someone else doesn’t always mean they did it right, we can learn from other’s errors too.  But in that learning, we have to remember that each one of us has dominion!
Dominion is, according to Webster’s, to rule, supreme authority, and absolute ownership and Strong’s say, to be lord of.

I have dominion over MY faith… of course I do! Absolute ownership?! Well, of course!   I pick what I believe and what I do.  I am controlling myself.  I should, out of love for my Saviour, pick what God has shown me in the Bible and is speaking to me about, but I should never give control of my faith to anyone. 

As a Christian, we have one God. Each person has their own faith.  That faith will look different in each person. We don’t read our Bible, read books, go to a conference, or even go to church so that we can all do the same thing.  We read and go to those places so our faith can be stronger. I guess in my years of reading books, going to conferences, and even attending church, I never really got that I have dominion over my faith.  As odd as this is, I think I “gave” it to others, not really knowing I even had it in the first place or maybe it was I was waiting for faith to find me, I don’t really know.  I see it now, but I didn’t see it at all before. 

Faith that can be tried. 
Faith that can be crushed.
Faith that can be grown.
Faith that is sometimes small.
Faith that is sometimes great.
Faith in a God that loves me.   
Faith in my Saviour. 


The Lord is ruler of my life, but while walking on this journey, I have full dominion over my faith.



No matter who tells me what, my faith is mine alone to share with the One that loves me.





Friday, May 9, 2014

Confusion and Perspective

I have been struggling for years with my Christian walk and faith.

Last July, my pastor resigned. The church voted in a new pastor in September of ’13. Although I was looking forward to having a pastor and the changes that would be coming, I still struggled with the past.

I am certain that anytime a pastor leaves a church there is confusion, sadness, and a multitude of other things.
I have been struggling for this past year.  I wanted to “move forward”, but I didn’t seem to know how.  And I don’t know that anyone can answer that for anyone else.  I had so much confusion from the past… Confusion is something I know every person can relate to.  It happens all the time, something throws you off and you wonder what you could have done differently or if you could have done anything at all, or wonder if what you thought or believed was even true. 

Was anything real? Is there something better somewhere else?

I still have LOTS of questions.  They will never be answered. The doubt and confusion will always be there about certain things; but, I know that the confusion doesn’t have to HOLD me there… it can, but it doesn’t have to keep me there. There comes a point when we have to start getting back to life, and usually it is much sooner than we are ready for.  So, we get up and do what we have been doing that makes our lives go and seem normal again.  Unfortunately, there are so many people walking around with a gaping wound that don’t show there is anything wrong. 

This past Sunday, someone in my church thanked me for something I had done at a church event; I said, “You’re welcome”.  She then stated, “I think we need that”.  I replied, “It was the shot in the arm I needed; I finally feel like I am back”.  She replied, “I didn’t know you were gone”.  Something SO obvious to me and she had no idea. How could she?  It was my “plan” to keep being normal until something changed…
Something did change…But it was something IN me that changed…my perspective.

I have realized that we all go through things, things we bring about ourselves, brought on by others, or just as a result of “society moving forward”; but the only focus that matters is the one God has for each of us. But even more than that, was realizing that God’s plan and purpose for me haven’t changed based on what is going on around me, but that He really is in control of everything and can and will use everything that comes into our lives to make us stronger, better Christians.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


Oh, sounds so simple.  It took me the past year to really get something and it took work, prayer and a focus on God and most of me didn’t even “care” to try to do any of that. Except, God was still working in my heart…and I was allowing what had happened as an excused for my turning away from God.   But I ACTUALLY realize now, that we aren’t battling everyone around us, even though it often seems it is one person after another, but we are, in fact, dealing with our physical lives with a very real spiritual aspect.


Don’t get me wrong, I have not been transformed into Super Christian, no, nowhere close.  I have just decided that no matter what happens in my life, that I will still follow God.  I may get knocked down hundreds of times, but I believe that God is the one true Lord, and that no matter what I am dealing with He is still God.


And what’s my plan to keep this focus? The plan is simple enough; ask the Holy Spirit every day to help me see life with spiritual eyes rather than my physical ones.  

Will it be easy?

Nope. 

But in the end I have a hope that it sure will be worth it.