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My First Blog Post

A little about me

This is new for me, but I’m excited to begin this new chapter of my life.

I turned 50 this year and boy it was something. I’m a small town girl living in a lonely world who took a midnight train going….wait that’s Journey not me. 🙂 I am a small town Illinois girl, born and raised. I would take a midnight train though and I would go back to Colorado. I love it there. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it as a new high school graduate (thank you big sister, Lisa for the gift). I looked out the plane window during the evening light and the Colorado Springs back drop took my breath away.

So much has happened in just the past 5 years that has led me to start writing, sharing and figuring out the calling God has on my life. I by no means have it all figured out, but I think my path is becoming more clear. I’m going to share a lot of Jesus and Bible with you. If you are offended or don’t agree, that’s your choice, as it is mine to express my beliefs and opinions. My faith is the largest part of my life and has shaped me into the person I am today.

I hope you enjoy this little piece of me. It’s gonna get real…fast.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Advent

This week is the start of advent season. You may wonder what advent is and why we celebrate it. It begins the 1st Sunday of 4, leading up to Christmas. Advent symbolizes the present church as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. We are waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of Christ’s kingdom; when he returns for his people.

In this light, the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the church’s cry during the Advent season:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

As this was sung in anticipation of the coming Messiah, may we sing it with remembrance and confident expectation of Christ’s 2nd coming.

With all of that being said, I want to ask you is your heart filled with hope? Do you have a confident expectation of tomorrow? What happens when the road ahead is filled with loss and stress weighs you down? When our hope dwindles what can you do? How can you walk in hope when you feel hopeless inside?

Hope in Jesus comes from more than just a belief that he was once a baby in a manger. He is our anchor for our soul. It is something deep within that secures you through the storms of life.

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf. 6:19-20a

Giving all

We are called to love and live as Christ did. He says for us to be humble and to serve. Jesus was the ultimate reflection of those humility and service. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend”. This really made me pause.

Am I willing to give all, at the highest cost, for Jesus? Is there any God fearing, bible believing Christian who would say no? When the time comes, and that day is coming, will I be strong enough to say yes?

I believe my faith is secure and that I stand on a firm foundation. I believe in Jesus Christ with all of my heart. But I have a privileged life. I live in a privileged country. I have a home, a car, a job, a wonderful family, friends, church, the freedom to worship and read my bible wherever I am. If all of that was taken from me and I had nothing, absolutely nothing, would I still stand and proclaim Christ as Lord? I think that is a question we surrendered Christians need to ask ourselves.

In the above verse, Jesus was saying to the disciples the day was coming that He would be giving His all. Would they be ready? Would they do the same for Him? If you know your Bible, you know how that went. John was the only one to stay. He was at the foot of the cross. Peter denied him. Everyone else ran away.

Isaiah 42:1a says, “This is my servant; I strengthen him, this is my chosen one; I delight in him”. In my bible I wrote “can God say that of me? Oh, that He will.” When the day comes and I stand before God, may those words be on His lips.

Lament

The holidays can be difficult, sorrowful, lonely. I hope this may help you understand that it is ok. God is there for you if only you turn to Him.

What is a lament?
It comes from the Latin word lamenta: weeping and wailing. It is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. It is a means to express regret or disappointment over something considered unsatisfactory, unreasonable, or unfair.

The Bible is filled with laments from individuals to prophets to kings. Nehemiah 1:4 records his reaction to the devastating news that the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” He lamented for days.

Job 30:20, 26, speaks of how he has been afflicted with ever increasing suffering. “I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me..But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came”. Job looks at his situation and is honest about the pain he is suffering. He talks about his dashed hopes and how the only thing left to do is weep and mourn.

Psalm 88:3, 9, 14 echoes those sentiments. The psalmist writes, “For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol…Every day I call upon you, O LORD; I spread out my hands to you…O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me?”. The psalmist starts with honesty about his life. He is close to death and his soul is full of troubles. He remarks how he has reached out to God for deliverance and yet his suffering continues. He begins to question why God has allowed his suffering. Are we not the same?

Lamentations is the only book that consists solely of laments. Chapters 1 and 2 begin by expressing deep distress. Chapter 3 shifts focus. Verses 19–23: “Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” The author turns from the distress of his situation to the goodness of God. Chapter 4 contrasts the past and present while clinging to the promises of the future. Chapter 5 ends by asking for God’s intervention, “Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old” (verse 21).

God welcomes our honest emotions. He expects us to bring our anguish and distress to Him. There is no reason to hide our disappointment or sorrow from God and no reason to rush through these emotions reaching for joy too quickly. When we bring these laments before God, we align our hearts with His. God does not delight in the suffering of His people. God is not unacquainted with deep sorrow. When we lament, we join with Him in declaring these situations as not ideal. We serve a God who rejoices in doing good to His people, who grieves when suffering comes to them, and who welcomes our laments and times of healing.

Trust

Matthew 6:34 (ESV)34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. The latter part of this verse means enough of the day will have its trouble. So….

Why does he say this? Is it because He knows that regardless we will worry? He knows that our trust in Him is weak? Our desire for control over our lives is too strong? Maybe because we are designed to be with Him, in eternity instead of this world of chaos?
Are you willing to glorify God in the middle of your trial instead of finding a way out? Are you will to to love God and obey Him even if He doesn’t take it from you?

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (ESV)7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul understood what it meant to have trials and for God not to remove them from his life. He understood. He pleaded, pleaded, for God to remove it but God said, No. My grace is sufficient. See that word again, sufficient? It means enough. I AM enough for you. Trust in that. Hope.

Romans 5:2-5 (ESV)2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Hope. How can we get through life without hope? Do you see that above? He will HIMSELF restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. He is our hope in dark times; when darkness is surrounding you, swallowing you up, He is there. Be confident in that promise. Be confident in Christ Jesus!

Hold onto to that hope. Believe in the hope that Christ offers. Stand firm in His words that he will not forsake you. He is coming back for you. If you place your faith in Jesus, you will be with Him forever….where there are no tears, sorrow, pain, suffering…only hope.

thanks

Giving thanks in all circumstances is especially difficult when undergoing or enduring suffering. How can you be thankful when there’s something that hurts so much?
I know it is hard to see it this way, but suffering is meant to grow our faith not make it smaller.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight in glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Focus on these word from 1 Thessalonians. Rejoice not sometimes or when you want, but always. Pray without ceasing. Never stop letting your prayers leave your lips. Give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what is going on in your life God will see you through. But you have to let Him. Give your self and give yourself to God. Stop letting the flesh keep you from living in Christ.
Rejoice, prayer and thanks exist for each other. Why? Because the source of from whom they come, Jesus.

Eternity

Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see Me, but a little while after that you will see Me again. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to Me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” – John 16:19-20

In John 16:19-20, Jesus is explaining what is about to happen to Him. The cross is on the horizon. The world, their world, is about to change. They didn’t understand though.

Jesus told them everything, but could the human mind of the disciples truly comprehend all that he was saying. This man that they have given everything up for was going to die; a cruel, horrific, terrifying death. All that he had been preaching and preparing them for was coming to a head.

Jesus’s death was an end for the disciples. They did not see it was truly the beginning; yet 3 days later their world’s changed again. Christ arose AND walked the earth 40 more days before ascending to the throne.

How do we handle challenges and adversities in our lives. Do we believe in the gospel and the promises that Christ spoke and lived for us? Do we run with our tail between our legs crying our world is over? Why is it easier to run than stand firm on the foundation of our faith?

I know how hard it is to put your life back together. We do not know each other but I’ve struggled. I’ve fought to survive. I’ve fought for my daughter to survive. I lived through a shattered heart losing the man I love to cancer. I’ve watched my family fall apart.

I’ve also witnessed God’s healing and miraculous gift of life. I’ve lived thru the agony of God putting the pieces of my heart back together sliver by sliver; holding me in His arms rocking back and forth whispering “You will be ok. I’m here.” He is my Sustainer; my sure Foundation. He is my Father, Comforter, Friend, Teacher, my Savior.

“It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed. I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.” – Philippians 1:20

We are not guaranteed anything in this life except death. We do have a choice though, on eternity. I know many people laugh and make sarcastic comments about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and heaven. I choose to believe in the hope that came for me. I choose to believe in an eternity with the One I accepted as Savior. I choose to live my life for Jesus.

You are free to believe in what you choose. Why wouldn’t you want to place your hope, choose to believe in eternal life with Christ? What hope is there in this world? What hope is their that this. is. it……

This is my choice.
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:2-4

In the midst of our grief, our heartache, and our disappointment, we can patiently expect God to bear our burdens, carry our pain, and bind our wounds. But we can also confidently and boldly expect His promised joy. God cannot and will not fail us.

Rest

Where do you find your rest? Is it in a good book? TV? Music? Wine? Sex? Conversation? Food? Do these things really provide rest or a means of escape?

Rest is the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep. It is to relieve weariness. How often to we go to bed and still wake up as tired as when we laid down? How often are we so weary and burdened down that “rest” is impossible.

True rest is that which only God can give. Although sleep is important, spiritual is needed to keep us from feeling emotionally exhausted. True rest is when our lives are packed, but peace surrounds us. We are not the ones carrying the burdens, Christ is. God gives grace and offers rest for those who would turn to Him.

If we are intent on going our own way, God will use whatever means to bring us back to Himself. Paul talks about this when he says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This passage is saying God will work every situation out for our good. It doesn’t mean everything will be good, but it means good can come from even our suffering.

True rest sometimes comes after suffering. No matter the reason for our suffering, it is God who offers peace in the middle of both heartache and healing.

Thank you Veterans

Today is Veterans Day. It is a day that we set aside to remember those who have served and given their lives in our Armed Forces.

Do you ever think about what it is or who they are defending? Men, women and children left England because of the tyranny of the king’s rule, the taxes and freedom of religion (generically speaking of our nation’s founding). We are still fighting for those rights today.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — The Declaration of Independence

The pursuit of these rights can’t be taken away.

Psalm 82:3 says Defend the poor and fatherless. Do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Defend is to protect from harm and danger. Do is to attend to the wants and needs of; to take care of. Justice is the conformity to truth, fact or reason; to do what is right.

By definition, that verse means that we are to protect the poor, fatherless, afflicted and needy from harm and danger by attending to their needs by doing what is right. Does that not sound like America and what this country has stood for?

We are privileged to live in this country. I am privileged to have the right to worship the Almighty God, my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am blessed that I live without fear when I attend a service on Sunday or join my fellow brothers and sisters in studying the word during the week or on this media.

Men and women have died protecting these rights and privileges that we so often take for granted. They have gone to foreign lands where these rights and privileges have no standing. Words will never repay what they witnessed, endured, lost. The same for their families.

When the call comes, who will you fight for? What will you fight for?

We are all foreigners here. Our time is borrowed. One day ALL will stand and give an account of what we have and haven’t done. Whose side will you be counted?

Psalm 139

This weekend I was witness to the beauty of life. I’ve seen it multiple times, but my eyes truly saw it again in context of Psalm 139.

You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. You saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

My great niece was born this past Wednesday weighing 3lbs. She was 11 weeks early. She is so tiny. When I looked at her, really looked at her little body, it was simply amazing. I marveled at the work of God.

It actually took me back to the death of my baby nephew. I held him in the palm of my hand after he had passed. God’s words, I have you carved in the palm of my hand went through my mind. He was not yet fully formed but still skillfully wrought. He was beautiful and I could already tell who he resembled.

There is beauty in both birth and death. You can’t have one without the other. One makes your heart burst in love; the other break.

May we praise our God through both circumstance for both are beautiful….the creation and birth of a new life; the passing and rebirth in glory of the surrendered soul to God.

Surrender

This week I want to talk about definitions of surrender and what it means for us in the kingdom of God. In general when we surrender ourselves to God we are casting all upon Him and fully trusting in Him. That’s what we initially do when we accept Jesus as Savior.

Job 12:7-10, 13, 16a, 22; 13:15a, 16a. For these verses, I want you to think of surrender in the context of giving up your will and subjecting your thoughts, ideas and works to the will and teachings of THE higher being, God. Consider who He is.

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? With him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. With him our strength and prudence. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadows of death to light. Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him. He also shall be my salvation.

He who is creator of all things is worthy of our trust to surrender ourselves fully. Oh that is so hard….to give ourselves FULLY to the One who made us and saved us.

To abandon, or to indulge oneself entirely to another. Can you say you love God with abandon? In this definition’s context have you surrendered yourself to God above all? I think many would say they’ve surrendered themselves to God but have you truly?
Think about it, to indulge in God in such away you abandon ALL things for Him.

Isaiah 64:8 says But now, O LORD; You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.

As the potter works the clay, it almost fights back against the hands trying to mold it. He keeps spinning the wheel adding water as he works to keep the clay soft. He shapes it, molds it, firmly yet delicately with his hands. Using the necessary tools, he adds touches here & there and as the clay finally yields the envisioned piece takes shape.

We are the clay. He is the potter. When we abandon self & give ourselves entirely to the One, who made us from dust & to dust we shall return (Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19); oh how different our lives would be.

What piece is the master molding of you today? Are you willing to surrender to His work?

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:34-38

What do these verses have to do with surrender? Well, it’s about consciously letting go. What do you consciously have to let go of to truly follow Christ? Possessions. Family. Money. Your life. The answer is yes to all of these things. They all may be required of you at some point in time.

If you were truly to look inside yourself today and Christ asked you to give up these four things, could you? Are we holding on to the things of the world so tightly and not even realize it?

He plainly says we are to deny ourselves, take up His cross and follow Him not the other way around. We are living in a time where we are going to have to make a decision whose side we are on. Are you on the right or the left? (And I don’t mean political party) Are you for Christ or against Him? None of us would want to say that we are against Christ, but whatever we put in place of him or before him places us on the side of the enemy.

So I ask you today have you fully cast yourself upon God? Do you trust him with your life? Can you consciously let go of self and let God control?