Tis The Season – For a Change of Heart

I should probably preface this post by saying it is not at all strange for me to be thinking or daydreaming about all things Christmas, no matter what time of year it is. You see, I am a Christmasaholic. Even as I sit in my rocking chair on my front porch enjoying this beautiful 72 degree May evening in Kentucky; I can’t help but wish it was almost Christmas again.

My mind was repeating, the song “Pretty Paper” by Randy Travis. If you’ve ever heard it, I’m sure the unique voice of Mr. Travis is ringing through your ears with those familiar words. I slowly rock back and forth as I watch the sunset over the horses in the field, humming the holiday tune. But the rocking stopped, and I felt myself scowling as I paused on the following lyrics:

“Crowded street, busy feet, hustle by him
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh
There he sits all alone on the sidewalk
Hoping that you won’t pass him by
Should you stop? Better not, much too busy
You’re in a hurry, my how time does fly
In the distance the ringing of laughter
And in the midst of the laughter, he cries….”

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My feelings of holiday spirit quickly shifted to ones of concern and sadness. How often have I been guilty of that very thing? How many times have I been too busy or distracted to notice someone I could help? I’m flooded with conviction as I think of this morning’s drive to work. It was pouring rain; I could hardly see through the windshield. Through the rapid swiping of the wipers I could see a man riding his bike in the same direction I was headed. A raincoat synched around his face and wearing a backpack; I am confident he was doing what he could to get to the school that’s a few miles down the road. The next thing I know, I am looking at him through my rearview mirror as I drive on. I could’ve stopped. I could’ve put his bike in the back of my SUV and got him out of the rain. Yes, I would’ve gotten drenched, and I had no way of knowing if he was a good person or not (you know, all the excuses I let justify me not doing the right thing). But isn’t that the point? Sacrificing for someone else?

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:2

My heart aches at the thought that our world, or should I say, the people in it, can be described much more accurately by the lyrics of that Christmas song than by the example set by our savior.

Think about the last time someone did something nice for you that was a complete surprise. Those moments in life when people go the extra mile to encourage and lift us up really makes us feel special. Why do their actions have that effect on us? I’m sorry to say that they probably stand out because it’s so different from what we experience the rest of the time. Day in and day out, most of us are forced to deal with people who care more about themselves than they care about others.

We have allowed ourselves to become a people who are no longer willing to carry the burden for someone else. We make every excuse in the world to justify our behavior. “I’ve got my own problems; I can’t worry about them right now.” “Someone else will do it; I just don’t have time.” Or my favorite, “I just don’t feel called to do that.” So engulfed in the business and worldly things we have worked so hard for; we are suffocating from our toxic self-centeredness as we choke God out of every aspect of our lives and effortlessly make those in need around us invisible. Just look away, don’t make eye contact…the second you are out of sight, they are out of your mind.

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These quotes from Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love are spot on:
“God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” – Chan isn’t referring to how we love our families and friends. And neither is God.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43

How are you doing in that area of life? How often do you find yourself showing love, compassion, and respect for those that aren’t your favorite people in the world? One of God’s greatest commandments is for us to love our neighbor as ourselves. To regard their needs and desires as highly as we regard our own. THAT is what God measures our lives by…are we imitating the life of our savior and putting the needs of others above our own?

“It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.”

Chan is reminding us that God didn’t create you and me to merely exist and make our goal in life to get as much money as possible so we can be as comfortable as possible. He puts us where we are because He has something for each of us to do at that very moment. I passed that man on his bike and FAILED! God’s plan was still fulfilled. Someone did stop to help him. I drove right past an opportunity to serve and glorify God and be used by Him out of complete and utter selfishness. So He used someone else. That shouldn’t be a relief to anyone. I want to stand before a Holy God and hear Him say, “Well Done Daughter, Well done.” Not, “Is this all you did with the time I gave you.”

“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?” – I don’t think Mr. Chan needs my help explaining this one at all, do you?

Kindness Doesn’t Cost a Thing, yet it’s the Richest Gift You can Give.

I am always amazed at how God uses difficult situations in our lives to offer us an opportunity to stop and take a good look around and within.  Generally, in those moments, it’s much easier to become self-focused; worrying only about what we are going through and ways to overcome it.  But the more I listen to God’s Word in my life, the clearer it becomes that, that is not how He intends for us (believers) to respond.

Over the last week or so, I have had the unfortunate experience of having multiple kidney stones.  Several of which were too big to pass, leading to a surgical procedure to place a stent in my left ureter.  And yes, it IS as painful and uncomfortable as it sounds.  Even though I was dealing with pain and the stress of trying to make last minute plans and arrangements because penciling in a surgical procedure wasn’t on my radar, I could see God’s sovereign hand all around me. Even though it was a “last minute” procedure, everything fell right into place. Each nurse and medical professional that I came in contact with seemed to genuinely be happy.  They were very kind and accommodating.  One of the nurses even liked the snow as much as I do.  That might sound odd, but around “these parts” in Kentucky, most people don’t like the snow.  But there is a small niche of us crazies that actually pray for it.  We had a good laugh about it as they wheeled me down to the operating room.  What better way to get someone prepared for what can be a terrifying situation?  I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face and laughter still lingering in my heart.

As I woke up in recovery, I can remember opening my eyes, and the first thing I could hear the staff discussing was the opportunities for foster care and adoption.  Again, I instantly began smiling.  My husband and I have recently started the process of fostering, and it was as if God was using that moment to give me confirmation.  Still being a bit groggy from the anesthesia, I’m not at all positive what I said, but I do know that I interjected myself into the conversation.  They smiled and happily allowed me to join in.  Possibly just for entertainment purposes, nevertheless, it was very kind of them.

Once I had spent the necessary amount of time in recovery, they wheeled me up to my room where my parents were waiting for me.  At that moment, my new nurse walked in.  As she was introducing herself and starting to take my vitals, I can remember looking up at her and wondering why she looked sad.  She was never rude or cross in any way, but my mother and I could tell something just wasn’t right.  She seemed very busy and was struggling to juggle everything.  It also appeared as though she might not mesh very well with the other staff members.  It was apparent that she was the outcast and the sadness was from being lonely.  She was always surrounded by people but still felt alone.

I went out of my way to smile and talk to her.  I told her what a good job she was doing and to take her time.  I told her to go finish up whatever it was that she needed to and not to worry about me.  I wasn’t going anywhere.  She cracked the first smile I had seen from her and sighed a breath of relief.  As she would walk in and out of my room, bringing me things to sign or asking me questions, it appeared that she walked a little taller and was even beginning to laugh a little.  She thanked my mother and me for our patience and instantly tried to make us understand why she was struggling.  We again encouraged her and let her know that she has a tough job and is doing the best she can, and that’s all that matters.

God blessed me with so many compassionate people as I was going through that procedure.  Maybe He sent my mom and me there to be a blessing to that nurse.  All I know is when we left, and she wheeled me out to the truck, she hugged me and had a smile on her face.  Even if that smile only lasted a few minutes, I am thankful that God chose to use my situation to put it there.

Could I have been inpatient because I was in pain and wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible? Yep.  Could we have treated her like everyone else had been treating her, perpetuating her misery just because we were too worried about ourselves to notice? Yep.  Do people do that to her, and others, EVERY single day because we live in a society that is so consumed with self that we aren’t even able to see the pain and heartache of those around us? YEP!

We often ask how things have gotten this bad or why everything and everyone seems broken.  We live in a world that simply doesn’t show or receive enough kindness.

We go about our days with our headphones in, and instead of being aware of those around us, we often choose to exist in our own little world. Sometimes we’re just not conscious of our surroundings, but often we are entirely aware but make the conscious decision to stay introverted and ignore the fact that there are people besides ourselves on this planet.

People who are hurting.  People who may be doing just fine. People who may need a kind gesture or smile.

Despite the needs of others, we often choose to be stingy with our acts. Why are we acting as though kindness is costing us time or money?

So, to sum up these ramblings… compliment someone’s shoes if they stand out to you. Share your umbrella with the person without one. Strike up a quick, cheerful conversation with the cashier who probably feels invisible a good part of time unless someone is irritated. Reach out to those in need. It may not seem like much, but these little compliments, gestures, and conversations could go a long way in making someone’s day and changing the world.  Who else is going to do it? BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD!

”Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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Grace then Faith

Divine order

Saved by Grace: Unmerited favor of God (You can’t earn it, You can’t boast about it, It is given to every human being on this earth.

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Titus 3:5
He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our own works, but by His own purpose and by the grace He granted us in Christ Jesus before time eternal.

The grace that God extended toward us through Jesus our Savior. Jesus died for all our sin past, present, future (ALL SIN) He was buried in a tomb, and God raised Him from the grave proclaiming victory.

Faith comes after we experience God’s grace we receive faith by hearing the gospel of grace and by all of the word of God. Old and New Testament.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We can not please God without faith. We can only seek Him through the Word.

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Grace and Faith combined gives us Hope in ( Jesus Christ, Yeshua, The Cornerstone)

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

This is the divine order that God established. We often try to have faith before we accept God’s grace, and it will not work in that order. We have to agree on the gift of God’s grace. The gift of God, His son Jesus, to understand that we are forgiven of all sin through Christ Jesus. All past, present, future sin, and all of the sin of the world!! We’re sinners we sin, Jesus Christ saves! He is the Savior. He is the only one perfect and blameless. I pray we take ahold of grace and then our faith increases. We live out our faith through pure grace. It is the grace of God that holds us together.

When we have a grasp on God’s grace, it propels our faith and keeps us running to Jesus through relationship. We have no terror of the wrath of God because we have been washed clean and forgiven by the blood of Jesus. We have a reverent respect and relationship with Jesus. Now when God the Father looks upon us, He see’s Jesus, the son in whom He is well pleased with. That is freedom, that is grace, that is mercy and love everlasting. That is wonderful; that is Jesus Christ.grace.jpg

Don’t be Alarmed, He is Risen

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Maybe, I am the only one that ever gets’s alarmed at times, Maybe not. I have been so disturbed and frightened at times that I have paced the floors so much, that I am sure my floors will never be the same again. There are times when I needed to be alarmed because my seven-year-old son just flipped his dirt bike. As his Mom, I just knew in my heart, that he has just broken every bone in his small precious body. I have been foolishly alarmed before causing myself to look like a floundering fool. I have been so alarmed that I isolated myself from feeling, thinking, speaking. Removing myself completely and retreating into myself deeply. So thick, that people would get caught up in the maze, lost forever, only to be blocked off and held captive. I am good at blocking and creating barriers that no human being could ever penetrate. Being alarmed is distress. You are sending a signal to those around you and sending an S.O.S for help. Being alarmed is human nature it is not our spiritual life. It suspends us helpless and in a pit of distress.Usually, this leads to two things honor or dishonor. In my experiences, honor or dishonor can follow these two powerful emotion’s, because of our reaction, not God’s. I want to give you the definition of alarmed and distress. I want you to understand the mindset that happens when these two emotions are present.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alarmed

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distress

 

Definition of alarmed

  1. :  feeling a sense of danger or alarm:  very worried or frightened <I was alarmed to see how sick she looked.>

Definition of distress

  1. 1lawa:  seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge (see 1pledge 1) or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seizedb:  something that is distrained

  2. 2a:  pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind :trouble<gastric distress><The patient showed no obvious signs of distress.><severe emotional distress><voiced their distress over the delays>b:  a painful situation :misfortune

  3. 3:  a state of danger or desperate need <a ship in distress>

Now, that you see these two words I want to introduce you to the scripture that I want to talk about. I want you to understand every single human being living and breathing on this planet deals with being alarmed and being in distress. As you see in the scripture, I want you to see even in the midst of our greatest fear and our cries of difficulty. There is One that answers our distress calls and calms our alarmed flesh down. Tender with mercies and great love, full of compassion in and through His name and presence, the name of Jesus Christ. He is risen!

Mark Chapter 16:5

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

First, I want to explain who they are referring to. Here the scripture is referring to Mary Magdalene, Mary Mother of James, and Salome. They were bringing spices to anoint Jesus’ body (Mark 16:1).

So after, seeing a colossal stone that was set over the tomb of Jesus had been rolled away (Mark 16:4), they enter the tomb. This brings us to Mark 16:5 they looked around for a body, but all they saw was a young man standing there in a long white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed or anxious and frightened.

I don’t know about you, but if I am expecting to see a dead body and I see a young man standing there I would be alarmed too! I trying to picture both Mary’s and Salome slack-jawed and trembling. Possibly, even their faces as white as the young man’s robe. Scripture doesn’t give us that detail, but I think we all have been that frightened before we were speechless, pale-faced, and paralyzed frozen or as I like to say “Scared Stiff” (Ha). I can’t help, but to go over that verse over and over today. They entered into the tomb ready to pay their last respects to a man who they had hoped was the Messiah. A man, yet fully God dwelling in the flesh that was coming to restore Israel and was their Savior. They had lost hope (ridden with distress) that He was not who He said He was. The Lamb of God, The Son of God, The Messiah. Little did they know, God was going to alarm them straight back into believing! I just giggle when God does these types of things. When I see these times of distress, then great faith is birthed in scripture because at the moment of great pain. I see Jesus point these women’s lives back to faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. God, divinely alarmed them straight back to faith. Sometimes we need a real alarming for God to show us He is True and Faithful. It is not fun, but it is precisely what we need. He means what He says, and He does what He says always.

Let’s go on to Mark 16:6

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is Risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

The angel announced to the three witnesses that they were not to be filled with fear but to seek Jesus and see that He is risen and alive. This is my favorite part in their sorrow and despair. God sent heavenly host’s to comfort and reassure them. There is no need to be frightened by their distress because He has Risen! He is alive!!

Today may be a day filled with anxiety, fear, worry, and you are in distress today. To be in trouble, or danger, maybe you are consumed with sorrow and grief. I love that being alarmed and distressed is always addressed with perfect comfort. There is just something that makes my heart skip a beat thinking about my ever-present help coming in to bring justice, righteousness, and honor for us. The enemy has many tactics, he is cunning and deceitful. He is the father of all lies (John 8:44).

 Genuine and faithful delivered a fatal fate to our enemy and defeated our foe for once and for all. Our enemy time is short, and he is desperate. You know what they say ” Desperate times calls for Desperate measures.” Satan wants nothing more for you to be distracted and dismayed by what he devises against you. There is nothing that dirty thing won’t touch. I honestly hate him with all I have. I hate him to the core. I hate him because he steals, robs, and kills. I hate him because in our great distress he tries to come in to devour us like a roaring lion. I hate him because he is death, sin, and rebellion. Even when we are alarmed or in distress at times. The Risen Savior empowers us to overcome. That’s what Jesus did for us. Oh, He gave us life eternally, but He gave us the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus to defeat our enemy face to face. What will you choose? Will you allow your enemy to keep you alarmed and distressed or Will you rise with the Holy Spirit and the word of God and make your enemy a footstool? The choice is yours. We get to choose who we don’t wanna be. We get the choice to pursue God without limits through the Holy Spirit ( John 3:34)! How awesome is our God!!

What a Beautiful Name By Hillsong

Friend, I am praying today that you will take hold of the word of God and be renewed by the transformation of your mind, heart, and soul!  In Jesus Mighty and Glorious name Amen!

Glory of God, Came Down

 

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Thank you, Lord, for coming down from your throne in Heaven. Leaving angels perplexed while your plan of redemption for mankind had begun (1 Peter 1:10-12) in your perfect time and in your perfection. Thank you, Lord, for tearing the veil from bottom to top. Paul writes in Hebrews 10:19-20 Jesus’ body was torn so all man could have an eternal life and all His power and glory could transcend to be with the Father. Because the moment when the veil of our Savior, Jesus was torn something radical happened. 

 

Jesus broke the curse of sin and death trampling the enemy with one final blow delivering defeat and handing us the keys to victory and eternity. God descended from heaven all His glory power through the womb of Mary becoming both flesh and God, and he walked wrapped in human flesh with all of God’s glory, Jesus.

 

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He even died in all of God’s glory, and power. Jesus’ body was broken and bruised with all of God’s glory. The same power and glory that was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. The same glory and power that rose Jesus from the grave on the third day. It is the same glory and power that breathed His first breath in a cold, smelly, crowded stable with a tired young mother and even more anxious father awaiting the cry of their first-born miracle son Jesus. The day that Son of God arrived in all of God’s glory and power and honor; hidden in the flesh of an infant boy born to a virgin. The angel – said His name was to be Jesus.

– Luke 1:31-33

You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make Him a king like his father David of long ago. He will rule forever over His people, who came from Jacob’s family. His kingdom will never end.”
For to us a Child shall be born, to us, a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6

And, so it was His name is Jesus, and as Mary wrapped the cold, infant in swaddling rags. The Heavens and Earth declared and displayed that The Savior of the World, The King Of Kings, and Lord of Lord’s had indeed been born into the world; to save and restore humankind from death to life eternally. Oh, how blessed we truly are to have such a loving Creator. Thank you, Father, for the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father, and my Prince of Peace. All I have to bring is my love and a broken heart. I am grateful that is all that you ask because of Jesus Christ.  Jesus, you have appeared to us, and loved each of us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

 

 

 

Learning and Leaning 

The past couple of weeks have been downright exhausting. My Mother had surgery on November 29th, a total knee replacement. It has been a challenge, and I will spare you the details. I kind of giggle to myself as I write this because I’m right in the middle of the details, there are wildly hilarious moments and my sides hurt from laughing so hard and some when I have wanted to scream, cry, and shout. Some moments simply overwhelm us, but they are just moments, and they soon enough will pass.

I’ve learned something this week…

I’ve learned that usually during the most insane moments of our lives, ya know the kind – when everything is on pause for a family member to heal. When you lose your job of eighteen years. When you get the phone call that your loved one has passed on, we know these moments. Where life suddenly changes direction in a split second. It’s these moments that are small in time, but the crescendo in a symphony. They are fast and intense and full of drama and downright exhausting.

These mini moments don’t define us, these moments refine us.

They come out of nowhere like a hundred mile an hour curveball. We think we can just swing at it and hope like heck we nail it, but more often than not we swing and frustratingly, and miserably strikeout.

That has been me for the last two weeks. If you can imagine me ever trying to hit a baseball (insert hysterical laughter here). I thought about that for a second.  I thought about myself watching my children play sports and, wanting them to knock that ball silly and hit a home run. Not necessarily to make me proud, but to show them that they are fantastic!

Then I realized…

The fact that they are standing on home plate, ready and willing to hit that ball, no matter what came from the pitcher, the other team! That was what mattered that they showed up not just for themselves, but for their team.

Some times we need to know that even if we strike out due to frustration, anxiety, grief, and failure. We have a Father in Heaven that is wild about us! Sitting in the heavenly bleachers, cheering furiously, for us to hit that ball out of the park, and if we don’t, He still will be cheering just as loud. Proud as a peacock! That’s what we call it around here! When is the last time you even thought that God, himself is proud of you??? He’s not just cheering you on; He adores every breath you take. There is nothing, that could ever stop that love, that grace.

I’m learning He doesn’t care about how far it goes or how awesome the crowd cheers. He only cares that I show up, that I am present in the moments, and most of all NO MATTER WHAT I DON’T QUIT!

I’m learning when I do strike out, and I don’t have what it takes to hit it out of the park.  He is still cheering but, as any parent does He puts together the perfect game plan for PRACTICE.

What I’m learning is He is putting me in incredibly challenging and chaotic situations and impossible odds to challenge, to strengthen me, to mold me.

I am learning that to do what He wants I need to learn how to play in the batter’s box and as the outfielder. I need to learn how to slide, to run like a deer,  to stay on base, to be aware of the game but, keep my focus on the goal.

I need to learn how to throw the Word of God,  and I need to find out how to catch it by listening and spending time with Him. I have to know the object of the game is endurance; that is making it to home plate.

I need my forehead to be as strong as flint so, I can run with champions. I need to learn teamwork and wait for the teammates and team He drafts me to. I need to learn how to be ready and, how to catch(listen) and how to throw a ball (learn) so, I can get the other team out and us in! So we can win souls for the kingdom of God. I need to learn how to lean into the pressure instead of resisting pressure and allowing the weight to slow me down and allowing it to take me out of the game.

I am learning how to lean; when I lift my eyes and I’m coming off of third base leaning into a steep curve and, then running with all I have. I will see and hear the loudest voice saying “Run! Kim, Run!” “Run! Home!”

No matter what game we are facing, we can find strength in the leaning and not the ability

We are never without leadership even when our team has given up or, the other side has a six-point lead, and we are in the bottom of the ninth; exhausted and beaten up with no hope in sight.

We always have our Father in the stands seeing, knowing, and understanding the odds but whispering ” Just lean in, then mount up with wings like eagles and soar!” with the biggest, widest, smile on His glorious face.

So, when you feel like there is no hope, no team, no coach, don’t worry your Father is in the stands giving you a look to just lean. Trust that! That my friends is the perfect and safest place to be in the whole game.

Don’t be afraid just keep running!

#Lean #Learn #Trust #Practice #RunningTheRace #faith #Jesus #endurance #strength #defining #moments #not #the #end #hope #unfailing # love

The Way, The Truth, and the Light of this World

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This verse was really on my mind this morning!! So much I needed to re-read it! I knew that there was a treasure there that I needed to find! So, this is what I found! I pray, it blesses you as much as it blessed me. Gave me an entirely new perspective on one of the most quoted verses in Christianity!

John 3:16-21 HSCB

For God so loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”

What a beautiful love and promise we have in believing upon the name of Jesus Christ. I would like to start off by stating that in this verse we do see the genuine love of our God! God’s motivation for people is love. God’s love is not limited to a few or one group of individuals, but His gift is for the whole world. I would like to go over verse 16. We all know so very well. I was focused on another translation that used sent instead of gave and I just was not satisfied with the word sent. We are aware it was more than sent! So, I concentrated on another version. I came upon gave so, I looked up gave in the Greek Lexical Aid also in the Strong’s Concordance, and this is what I found reference number #1325 in Strong’s edoken (he gave) which led me to dídōmi the transliteration of edoken. The Definition which I read several times because a lot of words stood out to me. Here is the Strong’s Definition dídōmi

A prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternate in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly or by implication, literally or figuratively; greatly modified by the connection): – adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (+ with the hand), strike (+ with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.

So in Strong’s it also gives you equivalent Hebrew words and there were a lot, but I just read yârad

Strong’s Definition of yârad

A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications): – X abundantly, bring down, carry down, cast down, (cause to) come (-ing) down, fall (down), get down, go (-ing) down (-ward), hang down, X indeed, let down, light (down), put down (off), (cause to, let) run down, sink, subdue, take down

I also want to share with you the Brown-Drivers-Brigg’s Definition
to go down, descend, decline, march down, sink down

(Qal)
to go or come down
to sink
to be prostrated
to come down (to revelation)
(Hiphil)
to bring down
to send down
to take down
to lay prostrate
to let down
(Hophal)
to be brought down
to be taken down

Amazing! When you think about what God did to save us; I heard a story on the radio yesterday it was a talk show about witnessing might have even been a podcast I turned on. The man that was speaking was giving a testimony about being a young Christian. Not knowing every scripture God still enabling him through the Holy Spirit.

So the story goes there was a store that he went to every day. The clerk and this man started talking to one another. One thing leads to another, and he decided to start witnessing to the clerk. The clerk responded:

“I mean if I knew I was going to be resurrected in three days, I would willingly die! I mean how is that doing anything for us!”

The young Christian man was perplexed and bothered by the clerk’s response. He hung his head and left the store puzzled at where he went wrong. The next day the young Christian went back to the store as usual and noticed a sign in the window saying: LIVE BAIT SOLD INSIDE!

The young Christian walked in and approached the clerk again started a conversation and asked to buy some live bait. The clerk walked over to the live bait picked up a tub of earthworms. The young Christian man opened the lid and looked at the worms and said to the clerk:

“You see these worms?” “What if these worms were diseased and dying? Would you become a worm and crawl around with them? What if your coming would save them from illness and death?”

The clerk responded:

“NOOO, Why would I ever want to be a worm! There a dime a dozen; just throw them out and replace them!”

The young Christian replied:

” Well that is what Christ did when He descended from heaven to dwell with us in complete human flesh upon earth; Jesus willingly died upon the cross and in doing so took upon all  disease, curses, condemnation (sin) and defeated it for you and I. Making a way to heaven for every person who will believe.Not only that ,but also that Jesus came so that nothing could ever come and infect us again once we believe through Jesus’ Spirit. Which is the Holy Spirit of God and the only way the Holy Spirit could come is if Jesus arose and ascended in heaven seated at the right hand side of the Father! “

The clerk gazed at the young man leaving him speechless. Think about it for a moment would you be willing to do that?

No matter who or what you are; in the eyes of God. You are the reason He was given you are priceless. That you would never have to endure the punishment of hell which is eternal separation from The Creator. God did not create Hell to send you there; He created Hell for Satan and his evil angels that followed Satan in rebellion against God. Hell was never meant for you or me!  It was set up for Satan’s rebellion. God had to protect us against the evil one. God’s plan of redemption was always through the blood of Jesus Christ; His one and only son. Jesus is the only way to be restored in fact; it is a choice we make to believe or not to believe. I pray that you believe, because even if you don’t know that Jesus is fighting for your attention and will continually pursue you! Read the verses I placed up top the entirety of John 3:16-21 it is truly a treasure in the Holy Bible! Cry out to Jesus. He will come running with arms opened wide! He loves you beyond measure! If you have read this and wanted to know  Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, it is simple all you have to do is say….

 

” Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, fully God and fully man at the same time. I believe you took on the sin of the world and my sin to have me. I am a sinner Lord, and I need your given sacrifice Jesus Christ to forgive my sin and to turn me away from my rebellion against God; I believe on the third day you arose from the grave declaring victory! I give you my life and heart always. I ask that you would come and live within me, Lord. In Jesus mighty name Amen!”

 

If you said a prayer like that would you let me or someone know, the Bible says that the angels of God are rejoicing as a soul submits to the Holy Spirit pursuit of salvation

Luke 15:10 10In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”

I pray if you did say that prayer that you would find a local church that believes in the Bible. I pray that Jesus would guide and lead you right where you need to be. I also would love to send you a Bible! It would be my honor to serve you and pray with and for you! Also if you are a believer in Christ and you feel led to share this with someone that may not know Christ, I would be grateful and thankful that you are helping spread the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

Reluctant Relationships

Somebody asked me if I thought time changes a relationship! I had to think for a while. I think it can if we let it, but no I don’t think time changes any relationship. I think people change relationships with assumptions and feelings. If the heart is in it, then it will last. If the heart lets’s go, then the mind lets go, then the soul lets’s go then it wither’s! Love makes a relationship last, time just test’s a relationship. It takes two to communicate. You decide! You chose. I pray we don’t throw out relationships because of what we feel, but I pray we stay in long-suffering in our relationships. This might be the biggest challenge God has given me! See, I tend to be a guarded fortress when I “feel” uncomfortable. That’s not the mind of Christ or the heart of Christ! That is not healthy, and it surely is not serving anyone but old faithful misery. There are times that I get disappointed, hurt, angry, sad, depressed, happy, silly, embarrassed, humiliated in relationships; we all do, there are things we would take back in a blink of an eye because we know the outcome, and we want to avoid it at all cost! There are times that I would go back and say this better or do that this way, but we do not have that option. We have right now to be gentle with one another. We can choose to look at the bigger picture in a person’s life and understand that they are just as broken and hurting as we are. The Lord can give us compassion and will freely give us if we ask. I pray that each of us gives and bless someone else today. That we can see past the mess and see a person that is just as broken and bruised as I am. Listen, if God has called you to be a beautiful friend to someone do it with the excellence of Christ. If God has given you, a companion love them like Christ loved the church! If God gave you any relationship, then let that relationship bring glory and honor to Him! The enemy loves nothing more to divide and bring strife. He gave it all so we all could have Him but he also gave it all so that we would be a kingdom family one day. So choosing today to take my advice I am purposing my mind on heavenly things. ( Colossians 3:2). I want to fill the void of my heart with the love of Jesus Christ ( Ephesians 2:4-5) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the vast love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
I purpose in my mind, heart and soul that 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; In relationships we need to understand that there is only one that was ever meant to fill us when we are dry and wandering in the desert. I choose to purpose my mind when I feel like I am in the wilderness that He will never leave me nor forsake me. That is the only thing that has kept me going through my life. I pray that He is what pushes you forward too! If not would you please open your heart to the great love and grace and mercy God has planned for you. That perfect grace, mercy, and salvation came from His throne in Heaven made Himself flesh and fellowship with humanity so that He could become sin and take it away from humankind so that we could be restored back to the Father! He bore every curse/sin mentally, physically, spiritually so that we could be with Him forever. And He declared that on the third day when He rose from the tomb! What a mighty God we serve and such love flows from the living water! I pray with all my heart that you know that love! That you purpose the Word of God over your mind, heart, and soul. Lord, we praise you! In your mighty and holy name, Jesus let this be a balm to a hurting heart! Lord your word never goes out void! Thank you, Jesus! Amenthholding-hands

The Scattered Harvest

This morning has already been busy; I have already responded to a sweet woman that her heart is shattered. I thought to myself as I was reading her reply ” Oh Jesus, what a heart you have for people.” ” How gracious and kind you are to be so gentle with hearts.” I am amazed at some things I read and sadly, to be honest with you what I read in your; and some others replies does not surprise me at all. It is something that keeps me running to the Lord so I am grateful for the opportunities to minister when I can to people with hurts. This, also makes me realize how hard even Christians are at times instead of seeing a heart that is being tested or refined we see weak Christian (like we have it all together). Makes you ask the Lord ” Why are your people so hard and cold?” The Lord responded quickly and said bitterness! They respond to their past hurts as if I never healed them. Ouch! I knew that I had myself been guilty of the same! There have been times, Oh, times I would go back in a minute to correct my fleshy, cold uncompassionate reply! Lord, when someone needs me to make me a listener. Not just a listener but a compassionate one. Mold me into a sister that helps bear the burden along a side of my fellow brothers and sisters. Don’t let my heart become hard through any trial. Lord, guard my heart against bitterness and envy. Lord, guard my mind to walk in your freedom that you brought through Jesus. Lord, guard my eyes against focusing on anything that leads me away from your will. Lord, guard my mouth against saying something to wound a heart. Lord, guard my hands and my feet against running and holding on to things that you have already healed and set me free from. Lord guard my soul and lead me in paths of righteousness. Lord, defend me against myself mostly because without You, I can only do damage. Lord, most of all mold me into a vessel that You can use to glorify You! Lord, never let me ponder on how I am being used but let me think and reflect on the times you have rescued my heart and healed it from brokenness that the world has inflicted. In Jesus’ Mighty and Glorious name Amen!

I believe God has a message for all of us today! I said, ” God what do you want to be spoken today?” I heard “John 6:12.”

12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ” Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”

This is just beautiful God confirming to me, but speaking plainly to the body of Christ!

 

acorns-scattered-across-grass-300x192

When we are filled by our Father, who provided Jesus so we can have the Holy Spirit, we are to gather up the broken fragments that remain so that they too might be introduced to Jesus Christ The way, The truth, The life! Remember why we are here! We are not here for fame, works, money, objects we are here to be merely vessels of the Holy Spirit to bring the kingdom of heaven. When we have this perspective, our eyes are fixed on Jesus, and that my friends are exactly the place He needs us to do the purpose we were intended to do! I pray that you are growing in the Lord! I pray that you know the Lord your God as savior and the one true God! I pray that today if a lost soul is reading this somewhere that they would call on the name of the Lord. They would believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah the Savior of the World and be restored back unto the Father for eternity. That they would believe He rose from the tomb and defeated sin and death to have our hearts! He defeated our enemy and proclaimed victory over him! Then Jesus returned to the Father in Heaven so that we might receive Holy Spirit so we can live holy and righteous lives. If you are not saved, please call upon the name of Jesus Christ and proclaim and declare Him Savior then surrender your life to Him! Jesus has overcome! Let Him in your heart so that you will return to Him. He loves you so! Don’t let bitterness get in the way of eternity with Him! Hell was not created for man but for Satan and dark angels that were cast down from heaven. That is the truth and is found in Matthew 25:41 Jesus says “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. So this is the answer to so many nonbelievers saying why did a loving God create Hell. Well God created Hell for Satan and fallen angels when they were cast out of heaven because they rebelled against God thinking they were greater than Him! God is a God of love and mercy and grace, but He is a God of justice and order and standard because He is the authority!

‪#‎Hands‬ ‪#‎Feet‬ ‪#‎Jesus‬ ‪#‎Be‬ ‪#‎The‬ ‪#‎Light‬ ‪#‎Love‬ ‪#‎Work‬ ‪#‎harvest‬ ‪#‎Many‬‪#‎Called‬ ‪#‎Few‬ ‪#‎Chosen‬