Saturday, June 23, 2018

Jesus Grief & Anxiety

Grief is defined as:
  1. keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
  2. a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.
Anxiety is defined as: noun, plural anx·i·e·ties.
  1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune:He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.
  2. earnest but tense desire; eagerness:He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.
  3. Psychiatrya state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.
In Matthew Chapter 26 starting in verse 36, we see Jesus going to the olive garden in Gethsemane to pray.
Have you ever noticed what He said in verse 38?

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

After all of these years of reading or hearing this Scripture read, I never noticed Jesus saying this.
Just to be fair, I am posting the King James Version too: 38 Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.”
When we deal with anxiety, it is usually because we know something has happened, or we are afraid something will happen.
In this particular Scripture, Jesus knew that He was going to be beaten and die for our sins.
He was literally struggling with that fact. This was a huge feeling for Him, because He describes it as “grief to the point of death”.
I’m guessing He meant, “I’m so stressed out over this, I just wish I could die so I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore.”
I don’t know about you… but this REALLY makes me feel good. No, not that Jesus was feeling this way.
BUT… because He was feeling that way, He understands when we do!!!
How huge is that?
Jesus understands anxiety. He understands grief. (Because if you remember, when He went to see His friends Mary and Martha, their brother Lazarus had died, and Jesus cried. He loved Lazarus.)
For years, I have heard people in church tell me that Jesus understands everything I’ve been through because He took it on the cross.
Guess what? He understands everything because He actually DEALT with it Himself!
That’s such a revelation for me!
When someone has experienced something, they are able to help others who struggle with the same thing. There is Scripture about that too. 2 Corinthians 1: 4 & 6 talks about us helping others and comforting them because of the troubles we’ve experienced.
Your Savior, the Creator of the Universe, Jesus KNOWS what anxiety and grief feels like.
GO TO HIM with your’s! He understands and He will help you through it.
When you struggle, get Scripture out and say it out loud.
Here are the first two that came to my mind:
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Some translations say, “Be anxious for nothing.”
We fight off the negative with God’s Word. Use it like this… over any situation. And be sure to pray! Jesus is there and He KNOWS how you feel.
God bless you today and always!

Friday, June 22, 2018

We've Been Rescued!

Colossians 1: 13 & 14 NLT “For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave us our sins.”

This past week on social media, we’ve seen many arguments over immigration issues and the children and parents being split up.
We also had the pleasure of seeing actor Chris Pratt’s acceptance speech at the MTV movie awards. Here is his speech: Chris Pratt’s Speech
Number 9, he says, ‘If you are willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. and like the freedom we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget it.”
The above Scripture was in my writing plan for today…and it really hit home with me.
We were rescued!
Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection rescued us from the kingdom of darkness. How amazing is that?
It then transferred us to God’s Kingdom!
I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful to be rescued. I love God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit!
I am thankful to be the daughter of a King and to walk in His ways. God is the best!
If you don’t know God like this, I pray that you will talk to someone about it. Realize that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to rescue you!
If you have questions or need prayer, please feel free to contact me!
God bless you today and always!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Roller Coaster of Emotions

Psalm 138:8a “The LORD will work out plans for my life- for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.”

After tomorrow, I will have attended 2 funerals and 1 wedding within 1 weeks time. Talk about a ball of emotions.
Will you please join me in prayer for the people who lost loved ones? These two men that passed went WAY too soon. They had a lot of life left, and there are many people who are grieving this loss.
I know God gave us emotions for a reason, but sometimes, they are hard to control.
I’m up one minute feeling confident and good, then down the next and my stomach is in knots.
Life is hard. Living for God does not promise us an issue free life. As a matter of fact, Jesus told us we’d have trouble in this world.
Without Him, I would be a basket case. Literally. I have had more heartache in the past 5  years than I care to remember.
I am usually pretty strong with forgiving, moving forward, & looking for the positives.
On occasion, I get bogged down.
On occasion, this huge heart that God gave me breaks in pieces and doesn’t understand why bad things happen to good people.
On occasion, I wonder about God’s plan for my life and where He is taking me, if anywhere.
It is what it is. My prayers are heard. I know that. It’s just a matter of trusting God now.
I choose to practice my free will and do my best to follow after God with it INSTEAD of living my own way. I KNOW that His plan for me is not to harm me. He wants to give me a good future.
I choose to trust, even when it’s hard. I know He is my Provider and He will see me through this month’s bills.
I choose to not beat myself up because my thoughts are all over the place. God knows my heart.
I will stand strong for the people in my life who are struggling with more than I am. I love them like family and I will never leave their side. No. Matter. What.
God is my Refuge, Strength, Strong Tower, Rock, Redeemer, and Friend. He WILL see us all through these emotional times. He promised to never leave or forsake us. And He always keeps His promises.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Handling Disappointment

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT

If you’ve been alive for any amount of time, you have felt disappointment. Disappointment can hit on a small scale, like wishing the weather was something different; to a large scale like being betrayed by someone you love. No one is immune.
My Pastor taught an amazing message Sunday and I wanted to share my notes with you. I am currently dealing with a huge disappointment in my life, so this message was timely.
A lot of times in life, our reality doesn’t line up with our expectations. When things happen, we tend to abandon our relationship with God, instead of turning to Him for comfort.
There are 2 people paths to take when something disappoints us:
  1. Blame God. Many people do this, and part of the reason we do is because we have one mind set that is not really accurate. God is amazing, He is every where, all the time. He is in CHARGE. But He is not always in CONTROL.
Let me explain: Say you are a teacher in a classroom with 25 kids. You are in charge, right? You are the adult. But each one of those 25 kids has free will and can make choices to misbehave or not. So, 10 of them get rowdy and start acting up. Are you in control? No. They are doing their own thing. You are, however, still in charge.
It’s the same with us. God gave us FREE WILL. But He is a gentleman. He will not over ride that freedom.
Some of our disappointments come from choices we make that had nothing to do with God. Maybe we were doing things our way, and not His.  He is NOT to blame for every disappointment we face.
2. Embrace the goodness of God. Psalm 119:38 Some people take disappointments, and see the good in it. They don’t blame God because they understand the truth behind who He is. My Pastor has coined a phrase for our church, “If it’s not good, it’s not God.” God is LOVE and Goodness. It’s not what He does, it’s WHO HE IS. Bad things happen to us, yes. But God is always good and nothing can stop Him from it.
So, I can hear you now, “Well, if God is so good, why do bad things happen to good people?” I’m glad you asked.
The Bible says that we live in a fallen, sinful world. There is a “ruler’ of this world, and he is always planning things against us. God will allow us to make decisions with our free will, then we have to face the consequences. He’s a good Father. He can’t always get us out of our mess. Sometimes we have to walk through things to learn lessons and grow.
3 more things we need to embrace are: Mystery, our purpose, and worship.
In our “Google It” society, we want to know the answers to everything. We are not comfortable with mystery, but sometimes, that is how God works. He does not tell us everything we will face. He does not give us a laid out plan for our future. He wants us to trust Him, even when we don’t know what’s going to happen.
God has given us all a purpose. You are not here just to pay bills until you die. God has something He has gifted you with that He wants you to use for His glory.
We have to worship Him, even in the hard times. It sucks. Believe me, I know…but man, when we worship Him in the storm anyway, what a huge difference it makes. Your burdens lift, and you feel light. We need to worship our way through disappointment.
Listen, this is a season. It will not always be this way. Ok? I promise.
And by all means, remember the verse I posted above. God is a promise maker, and promise keeper. If He says He will turn it around for your good, He will.
God bless you today and always!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

15 Ways To Live By The Holy Spirit

We are made up of 3 parts, body, soul, and spirit. Our body is self explanatory, our soul is your emotions and will, your spirit is what will live forever.
When we give our life to Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. But first, let’s see what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you.” (John 14:26)
So, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to teach us everything and make us remember what He has told us.
Because we have free will, we are still going to sin. However, like I have talked about before, that doesn’t make you a sinNER anymore. It also does not give you free reign to think you can go around sinning the rest of your life and still get into Heaven.
The thing about it is, if you surrender your life AND your will to Christ, you will not want to sin anymore. You will want to be different. Living by the Spirit is what helps us.
I made this list from Colossians 3. I was reading it the other day and decided to study it, meditate on it, and make a list of how to live by the Holy Spirit.
  1. Keep your sights on Heaven. verse 1
  2. Think of Heavenly things-not earthly things. verse 2
  3. Real life is in Christ, you’ve died to your old life. verse3
  4. When Christ is revealed, you share in His GLORY. verse 4
  5. Put to death sinful things – sexual immorality, impurity, lust & evil desires – don’t be greedy either! verse 5
  6. Get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, & dirty language verse 8
  7. DO NOT LIE! verse 9 (Sorry, big pet peeve of mine. LOL)
  8. Use your new nature to be renewed as you learn to know your Creator & become like Him. verse 10
  9. Race/ skin color doesn’t matter- all that matters is that Christ is in you. He lives in us. verse 11
  10. Clothe yourself in tender hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, & patience. verse 12
  11. Forgive people’s faults & always forgive. verse 13
  12. Clothe yourself in love too! verse 14
  13. Let Christ’s peace rule your heart, and always be thankful. verse 15
  14. Let Christ’s rich message fill your life. Teach & counsel each other in wisdom. Sing worship songs with thankful hearts. verse 16
  15. WHATEVER you do, realize that you REPRESENT Jesus! verse 17
Please know that I am not trying to guilt anyone here. Nor am I trying to make it seem like you have to be perfect to get to Heaven.
I believe that God wants us to live like this because it is good for us. He already knows we aren’t perfect. He knows we will sin and make mistakes daily, but He wants us to yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform our lives.
Part of why I decided to write this is because in our day and age, with social media, we are NOT representing Jesus like we should. Having access, literally, to the entire world should be a positive thing. We should be using it to tell people about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
We don’t. We fight with people. We argue over stupid stuff. And we judge people.
Do you read in these 15 things anywhere that we are to judge or fight with others?
I pray that you will take this list and meditate on it yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. But if you try and live like this, you will change and the people around you will notice.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Do You Know Who God Is?

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing. In fact, the Father will show Him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.” John 5:19-20

I started reading a new book by Bill Johnson. I have been wanting to learn and grow in God’s Word and His gifts.
The Christian life is about a relationship. It’s not about getting saved just to get your “Get out of Hell FREE” card.
Last Sunday, my Pastor started a message series called “I AM”. It’s about Jesus telling who He is in His own words.
This first message was from John Chapter 15 where Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches.
Josh said that we CAN NOT possibly do and be like Jesus on our own. We MUST abide in Him. To abide means “to continue to be present, to be connected.”
He gave an example we can all relate to. Think of a baby growing in it’s mother’s womb.
That baby can not survive without it’s mom. They are connected by the umbilical cord. The baby gets everything it needs through that cord from the mom.
It’s the same way with Jesus. We get what we need through Him.
You have a testimony. And it is NOT just how you came to Christ. Your testimony is what God is doing right now in your life too.
In Revelation 12:11 we read, “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb
and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”
The context of this Scripture is in a battle with the enemy. We defeat the enemy with the Blood of the Lamb, which is Jesus’s sacrifice, and the WORD of our testimony.
When we tell people what God is doing in our lives, it gives them hope that He will do the same thing or something else in their lives. It’s the word of our testimony.
Now, let me show you this paragraph that just totally hit me from this book this morning:
“The testimonies of God are the key to walking in power because, in unveiling who God IS, they teach believers to pursue a relationship with Him MORE than gifts or answers to prayer. God is longing for His people to love Him along with His gifts. He is longing for them to encounter His incredible love so they will be motivated by passion more than duty. Then He can trust them with His power in unprecedented measure.”
So, getting to know God, helps us with what Jesus said here in John 14:12, ““I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I AM going to be with the Father.”
Do you know God? I don’t mean “are you saved”! I mean, are you reading His Word and listening? Are you getting to know His character and how He does things?
Because that is the only way to get through life and receive all that He has for you.
Is life perfect? NOPE. Never will be.
But man! I wouldn’t want to live ANY other way!
Feel free to post comments. I would love to discuss this further.
God bless you today and always.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

How To Silence The Voices

But in that coming day
    no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
    raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
    their vindication will come from me.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!” Isaiah 54:17 NLT

We are known for quoting only part of this Scripture. It’s become a saying in the Christian world. “No weapon formed against me will prosper.”
That is true, but check out the next line.
“You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.”
At the risk of sounding crazy, I will admit to those other voices taunting me.
“You are too fat. You are too ugly. You are not smart enough. No one will ever love you. You are not disciplined enough.” The statements go on and on. It makes me feel like I’m too much of this, and not enough of that. It’s time for it to stop!
I can silence those voices by telling them who I am in Christ and letting GOD be my vindicator.
You can too!
Being a Christian does not mean you have to live this poverty, beat down, feeling bad about yourself life.
Heck, Jesus even said He came to give us life to the FULL!
Let me show you that one verse in different versions: John 10:10
NLT, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
KJV, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
AMP, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”
NIV, “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Satisfying life, have life more abundantly, in abundance, to the full…. it’s all GOOD.
And JESUS Himself said this, that was His purpose in coming. He’s the opposite of the enemy.
The enemy is the one who tells us those lies about ourselves. He and sometimes our own thoughts, cause us to think the wrong things.
Who are you in Christ? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are God’s masterpiece created for GOOD works. And that’s just a small example of who you are.
Replace those voices, silence them with who GOD says you are! Renew your mind, because you are what you listen to! Quote Scripture out loud.
Let’s say you have a thought of, “You are ugly.” Out loud say, “Nope. God says I”m His masterpiece.” That’s how you will silence those voices and renew your mind with the truth.  Romans 12:1-2 is where God tells us to renew our mind and don’t conform to the world.
The world says you have to be skin and bones thin to be accepted. God doesn’t!
This song just came to mind, Hello My Name Is, check it out if you need a reminder of who God says you are.
God bless you today and always!