Tag Archives: peace

Can You Relate?

I truly love this life. It’s hard, it’s messy, it’s painful and I wouldn’t change it. My early years were full of love, abandonment, pain, healing, drugs, alcohol and destruction. I led a hard life for quite a while and then I lived in the regret when I came out of it. Can any of you relate?

When I was in those hard years, I was proud of it, although not proud of the circumstances I would find myself in. I had secrets. I was a wrecking ball and did not care who I trampled while fulfilling my current desired. I was selfish and greedy. I felt entitled and thought I was strong. Can any of you relate?

I was dead against Christianity and the hypocrisy that came along with it. I threw many a Bible away and actively sought to challenge these so-called Christians before me. Most Christians I came across were shallow and were not actual followers of Jesus. They could not answer my questions, they fumbled when I confronted them, they did not know what it meant to be a Christian. Christian was a term they just threw out there, empty and meaningless. Others were knowledgeable and judgmental. These were the ones that showed me why I would never want to be a Christian. Fake, narrow, shallow, manipulative. Can any of you relate?

What about those that walk around pretending that life is perfect now that they have Jesus? Just read the Bible, go to church, tithe appropriately and swear your allegiance to us and all the pain of this world will disappear. These scared me most of all. I swore off Christianity. I believed there was a Jesus that walked this earth, I couldn’t dispute history. I had no interest in being that fake, that disillusioned, that blind. There is no escape from the harshness of this world, I have tried. Can any of you relate?

Jesus has a funny way of showing up when you want nothing to do with Him. When I look back at my story, I can see how He was trying to get my attention all along. He was right there with me, every step of the way. When I first came to believe in the Living Savior, I was ashamed. I knew how I treated Christianity, I knew how stupid it would sound to those around me……Melissa is a Christian? Her? Seriously? Was the church struck by lightning when she entered? Do they know the kind of life she has led? Would they still accept her if they did? Can any of you relate?

Not only did everyone I ever knew think and say these things, I did too. Was I crazy? Why would this Jesus dude want anything to do with me? I was a hot mess and breaking all the rules. How could I possibly clean my life up enough to do this thing called Christianity? Can any of you relate?

Today I can say that I am a child of God and a follower of Jesus. I have learned to push past the fakes, the hypocrites, the judgmental people and the doubt. I stopped looking to people and submitted to Jesus. You see, nothing else matters. Words, intentions, pasts and pain mean nothing. Jesus loves every single person who ever existed and who will come into existence. No exceptions. None. Everyone is able to be real before our mighty Creator, all we need to do is give Him a chance. Be open, be real, be accepting. Let Him love you. Life will not magically be pain-free, it will probably be harder at times, but in different ways. He does make it easier to deal with the pains of this broken world. He offers a peace that words cannot describe. He breathes life into the most broken of lives. He truly saves your very soul and offers an eternity in His presence. I hope you can relate.

It is Time

I must allow myself to cry, as much as I hate to. This is part of the release that must take place. I must let go, I must feel, I must allow You into those secret places. Those secret places that were never truly secret. You were there, You are there, You know those places better than I.

Tears are cleansing, my sobs are those of a woman giving up her control. Control that I never had.

You are so kind to me. You were there when the wounds were inflicted. You were there when I sealed those places shut, vowing to never go there again. You told me that I needed to allow them to heal, I chose to walk away instead. I fooled myself into thinking that I was alright the way I was.

You blew it all away. You showed me just how hurt I am. You showed me that it is ok to be me. You held me close while I faced those horrors from long ago. You are so kind and gentle.

I thought You would look away. I thought You would turn from me. I forget who You are.

You are the Creator of this world. You knew me before You created me in my mother’s womb. You knew who I would be and the errors I would make, yet You gave me this gift of life anyway.

I hear the lies inside my head, the whispers that tell me that You will never love me the same once You know. Yet You know, You always knew. You are nothing like me. You never waiver, You never change, You ARE Love and Grace.

Why did it take me so long to bring this before You? Why did I hold on to this poison so tightly? Why would I choose this pain and suffering over You?

Let this guilt subside, let this pain be felt in it’s fullest, let the healing begin. It is time.

Thank You Jesus.

Willingness

Willingness to let go is key in transformation.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

– John 3:16-17

If god did not send Jesus to condemn us, than why would we spend so much time condemning ourselves? I ask myself this question today. Why do I have such a long list of failures? Why do I carry these with me when I am free in Christ? There is no security in the baggage I choose to carry with me each day. There is a choice I make when I decide to strap on these heavy burdens. Pride comes through when I look to Jesus and tell Him that “it’s ok, I got it, I can carry this all by myself. Thank You anyway.” Take this pride and break it Lord!

Why? Why do I turn from the outreached hand of Jesus each morning and choose to walk the hard road? What will happen when I look at the heavy load I have packed and decide to leave it behind? I am sure it will feel quite strange at first, as I have become so used to the weight. I would walk differently, talk differently, smile more.

Change is hard, accepting love and grace can be too. We have a choice every moment of every day. Will I choose to burden myself or will I choose to give it all over to Jesus?

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:32

I don’t want to look to myself or to the world for approval, I will never find it there. I know the truth and I choose to let it set me free. God’s word is true and He tells us to walk in it.

How do you feel after bringing your guilt, shame and pain before God? Do you feel like you have left it all there? Do you know that when you do, He will allow it all to fade away and to no longer burden us? Do you accept what God tells us to be truth? Will you rely on Him in all things? Accept the gift being handed to you, unwrap it, open it up and use it every day. It is meant to be used, not to just sit on a mantel collecting dust. Break these chains Jesus!

Guilt Free Living

Each year I find that I grow in one or two major areas at most. This seems to be my growth pattern over the past few years. This year I am feeling a focus in the following areas:

Guilt Free Living and Freedom in Christ.

Let me elaborate a bit on each of these.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

– Romans 3:23

Guilt. Oh that dreaded guilt that creeps in so easily when I am not paying attention. Guilt comes in many forms and I am so susceptible! I experience the dreaded mommy guilt, the wife guilt, the employee guilt, christian guilt, and so on. What I am beginning to see is that guilt is useless. Feeling guilty does not motivate me, it generally tires me out as I am battling it in the midst of trying to accomplish goals.

At this point in my life, I am choosing to recognize the guilt as it sneaks up on me, and stop it from tainting my life. I am not responsible for other people’s happiness. I am not responsible when people I care about fail. I am not going to take other people’s failures  on as my own. I am not going to beat myself up for my own failures. I am going to accept each day as it is and loosen my expectations and standards. I sin and I fall short, this is part of the human condition and I need to accept that before I can move on.

This way of thinking brings me right into the Freedom in Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1

I believe in Jesus and I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I am free in Him. I can stand firm and weather the storms of life. I need to accept His never ending love and grace as my own. I am at a point where I am seeing where I am still allowing bondage. I am not walking free in Him. I may have moments where I get a taste of that freedom and it is so sweet. I know it’s there, I can see it, I can feel it. When I close my eyes I can be in it. God is so good.

The time has come, I must walk in this freedom each and every day. This is not an obligation, but a wonderful gift that I let remain unwrapped. A gift that my Lord has handed to me and I thank Him for it each day while it sits there, unused and collecting dust. I believe that I hold myself unworthy of this gift and while that is true, it is not for me to deem myself so. Jesus came to save each of us and I will not turn from that.

Society, culture, expectations, these things all get in my way. I want to deepen my reliance on Yahweh and lessen the outside world’s influences.

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

– Galatians 1:10

These are the goals that sit on my heart right now. I want to follow Jesus completely and not allow the world we walk in to distract me. I no longer want to be filled with doubt and anxiety. I choose Jesus.

I invite you all to join me on this journey and would love to hear from you in regards to the areas you struggle most in. We are here to lean on and learn from each other.

Wandering Soul

Lately I have struck my the thought that, although I have not gone very far physically, but I have wandered far and wide spiritually.

There are times when I would just love to erase large portions of my past and to pretend they are not part of me. I have moments of shame, disgust and sorrow when I reflect.

I cannot change who I am, I cannot change who I was, all I can do is accept each part of me and allow myself to continue to grow.

I am not perfect. I have done horrible things and wish I would go back and do it all differently. I feel a deep sorrow for so much.

When I am still before Jesus and allow Him to be with me in my sorrow, He offers a light of truth that brings such peace.

I am loved.

I struggle with opening up those deeply buried places of regret, pain and fury. Most of me wants to keep those places cut off and in darkness forever.

Gentle Jesus, powerful Spirit, Merciful God, you release me in these things and I thank You. As I open these places, face them head on with You, I am healed. They do not go away, they are not changed, the horrible things are still just as horrible, yet You allow them to be healed and transformed into strength and wisdom. These things begin to become a place of light and a means of reaching out to others that are hurting.

You show me that I am here on purpose and with purpose I am to live. I cannot let the brokenness of this world get in the way.

You are light, You are truth and You are mighty to save. These words ring true in the very core of my being.

I can feel remorse and sadness when I reflect upon the past, but i will not dwell in that place. I choose to look back at how You protected me, even when I was Your enemy. When I was in a place of actively speaking against You and all You represented, You were still there by my side. You delivered me out of darkness and the Light was too bright to comprehend.

You are amazing and I am not worthy. Each and every day I am blown away by You.

Thank You. Words cannot do justice to the peace, love and mercies poured out on this wretched soul. I know I don’t deserve it, but I accept it as the gift You offer. For I truly was lost and am now found.

God speaks

Often times I will hear people say that God does not answer them when they need Him to. That is not how our loving Father works. I find that He can be quieter than I would like at times, but that is usually because I am being too loud at the time and can’t hear Him over my own thoughts. if you stay still and silent before Him, He will speak.

Over the last few weeks I have been praying about and planning a change. I have been uncertain if it was a good move logically, but my heart has been guided towards this for some time. After a series of events that seemed to really point in the direction I have been contemplating, I decided to make some small steps. As I sat in my office, wondering if I should really make this next move, several birds few so close to the window that I thought they were going to fly into it. As I allowed my attention to drift towards the large number of birds on the ground and in the trees, a Bible verse came to mind and I knew that God was telling me to be at ease.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? – Matthew 6:26 NLT

Has my Lord not shown me over and over again that He will provide for me and for my family? Has He not worked miracles in a budget that should not have worked in theory? Has He not guided my path to places of healing and growth? Every single time I have stopped putting faith in my own abilities and have handed it over to God, He has come through. Why would this be any different?

God is faithful. Jesus loves me more than I could even begin to understand. I can rest in the fact that no matter how I may doubt my abilities and my own worth, God will provide a way for me and had great plans for this life. So long as He is at the center, nothing can touch me. I can’t go wrong when He is leading the way. Holy Spirit, fill me up and cleans me from the worries of this world!

Today I was reminded to push past the self-doubts that can be suffocating at times. He whispered to me in a moment of stillness. I know that I am moving in the right direction. I have learned to move slowly, purposely and to not allow myself to move ahead of His plans.

Once, not all that long ago, I would have heard a piece of His plan and I would have ran as fast as I could have with it. Lately, I have been able to step back, wait on Him to guide my steps, step out in faith and see where He leads me. It has been a beautiful process and I never want to forget this. Wait on the Lord and be sure to respond when the Spirit tells me to. I need to stop listening to the lies that try to keep me from moving in any direction. It can be paralyzing. I must step boldly in the direction my God has shown me.

Learning to speak less, listen more and to be still more often has been challenging. With such small progress, I feel such powerful responses from the Holy Spirit. I wonder how much more He could accomplish in this life if I could just learn to give Him more room to work!

Today I pray that we all take time to stop and listen. Be still before Jesus and ask Him to free you from the lies that keep you from stepping out in faith. Ask Him to show you what plans He has for you. Let Him guide your steps. Let Him be a beacon in the wilderness. Do not allow us to lean on our own understanding!

In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Your face

When I left go of the worldly distractions, I can almost see Your face. I know You are always close by, I just need to slow down long enough to see and feel You.

When I open my heart in praise and worship I can feel Your face right before mine and it brings such joy. I want to stay there.

Family, work, daily living demands that I focus on them but I remember to stop and feel Your beautiful gaze upon me.

You are loving, You are ever near, I need not wonder where You are. If I can’t feel You, then it’s time to wonder where I am. Am I wrapped up in self and sin? Am I distracted by stressors out of my control? Am I battling the lies of inadequacy and defeat that are whispered in my ear? Only I can get in the way of You.

Tear down the walls I build all around me. Break my heart open and let me feel. This world around us is broken and there is pain all around. Let me be Your light in the midst of the dark. Let me bring peace to those You bring into my life, even if only for a brief moment. Let others see Your face when they see me.

Thank You for your kind heart, Your mercy, Your renewal. The words, thank You, can’t even touch the depth of my thanks. Help me to stay focused, to be still, to wait for Your prompting and Your will to be shown. When I fall in line with Your plan I get to experience miracles.

When I am broken, tired and lost, I will turn to You. I will rest in Your mighty arms and stop trying to fight. There are moments when I just need to stop, rest and give You the space to work. Help me to remember this in those moments.
I pray these things in the precious name of Jesus.

Perspective

These past few weeks I have been seeing a lesson in perspectives quite a bit. I can generally see situations from other’s perspectives and that helps to understand others in ways not possible if I chose to only process from my own.

I also try to stop often amd look at my situation, my day, my work, my life, from God’s perspective. He lives outside of time, He is the Creator of all things, He is the creator of me. He loves me right where I stand, who am I to not love myself the same? I am not worthy, however our Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ, died for us anyway. I may come in contact with people that I don’t feel are worthy of my time or resources, but that is not my call. They are God’s creation and they are in my life for a reason, it’s up to me to choose to love and give despite my human heart.

As I sit in traffic I can easily have the perspective of frustration and anxiety for the unplanned interruption. If I allow my perspective to change, I begin to think of the accident that caused the traffic. I can then choose to pray for those involved, pray for healing, peace and for the Holy Spirit to be by their side. I can then think of their loved ones and pray for their peace and love as well. In this traffic I can then look from the first responder’s perspective and pray for them to be filled with wisdom, healing and to lift them up in their most precious line of work. I can look at all the cars sitting there along side me and try to see them from God’s perspective, these are His children, these are His purposeful creations, weather they know it or not. They are loved by the living God, do they know it? I can choose to pray that they find His love and the salvation that is always right there waiting.

As I go about my day, I can easily just go through the motions and react out of emotions and selfishness. This is the easier way but God has called us higher. We are to look past the flesh, step out of our self, push past the emotions and look deeper. The beauty that can come out of those moments is beyond anything I could even begin to describe. That’s where lives are transformed.

My husband is God’s child, my children are God’s creation, this planet we walk, the solar system we stare at in amazement, they are all created purposefully by one God. Every single blade of grass, grain of sand and leaf have been thought of and created by our Lord. I am here on purpose, do I live with a purpose or do I choose to just go with the flow and live from a place of a self centered perspective?

How do you live? How can you broaden your perspective and live for a higher cause? Let us come along side one another and walk in a way that impacts this world in ways never thought possible. There is power in the Father, in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. Do I allow that power to flow through me?

I pray that we all move through this day with a higher perspective. I pray that we bring life and healing to those our Jesus has placed in our paths. Let us be filled with awe, peace, love and wisdom.

In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 17

Good morning, let’s dive in amd see what our passage says today.

 


Proverbs 17

Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict. A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son and will share the inheritance of the master’s children. Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the lord tests the heart. Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander. Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished. Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children. Eloquent words are not fitting for a fool; even less are lies fitting for a ruler. A bribe is like a lucky charm; whoever gives one will prosper! Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. A single rebuke does more for a person of understanding than a hundred lashes on the back of a fool. Evil people are eager for rebellion, but they will be severely punished. It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to confront a fool caught in foolishness. If you repay good with evil, evil will never leave your house. Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out. Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent— both are detestable to the lord . It is senseless to pay to educate a fool, since he has no heart for learning. A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend. Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster. The crooked heart will not prosper; the lying tongue tumbles into trouble. It is painful to be the parent of a fool; there is no joy for the father of a rebel. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. The wicked take secret bribes to pervert the course of justice. Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. Foolish children bring grief to their father and bitterness to the one who gave them birth. It is wrong to punish the godly for being good or to flog leaders for being honest. A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.


 

 
What I learned from this chapter today:

What is speaking to my heart today is that we choose obedience in order to be in good standing and to walk in the ways of our Lord. This obedience must be from a place of love and honor. Should we choose to go against God’s ways, we will find darkness creeping in and destruction in our lives.

When I follow God’s will, I am changed. When I hear Him and allow Him to rebuke me, I am transformed and reap the rewards.

I have come a long way since I started walking in Christ, and I still have a long way to go. I find myself struggling in doing the right thing and remaining even tempered in times if injustice and stress.

My prayer for today:

Lord, I thank You for reminding me that Your ways are good. You love us and want the very best for us. You love me right where I am, that love has never and will never change. I choose life. Please wrap Your truth around my heart so that I always remember. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

Proverbs Study Day 11

Proverbs 10 really resonated deep in my heart and made me think about a lot of things. I am excited to jump into chapter 11 today! How has this been speaking to your heart?


Proverbs 11
The lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights. Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people. Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death. The godly are directed by honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin. The godliness of good people rescues them; the ambition of treacherous people traps them. When the wicked die, their hopes die with them, for they rely on their own feeble strength. The godly are rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead. With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous. The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the wicked die. Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart. It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet. A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers. There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt; it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt. A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. Your kindness will reward you,
but your cruelty will destroy you. Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last. Godly people find life; evil people find death. The lord detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. Evil people will surely be punished, but the children of the godly will go free. A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment. Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need. If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring. Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise. The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends. If the righteous are rewarded here on earth, what will happen to wicked sinners?

What have I taken away from this chapter today:
“Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you. Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last.” This can be difficult to remember in the midst of the storms. This also caused me to think about the fact that we are rewarded here on earth, but that we need to keep our eyes on eternity. Life here is not meant to be easy. We live in a place where sin has entered and Satan wanders. If we can experience blessings, joy and happiness here, can you imagine how much more it will be so in heaven?
As we come against the wicked people of this world, we must keep Jesus in our hearts and rely on the Spirit to work through us. We must shine wherever our Lord asks us to. He can use us if we allow Him to. Walk in His ways and you will walk straight. Look not to cause trouble, but to bring peace and to be kind. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and you will never be danger. Tempting as it may be, don’t allow yourself to react to the wicked in the same manner they approach you. Don’t think that they are successful in their dishonest ways. We have an eternal life before us and our treasure is being stored in heaven. Rest easy in that.
My prayer for today:
Jesus, I just want to thank You for all You love, peace and kindness. You amaze me. I ask that you work in this life and that I shine before the wicked. I pray that I be an instrument and that I can bring peace and truth to those struggling. I pray that You fuel me each day and protect my path as I walk this journey laid before me. I thank You for Your Word and pray that it soaks to my very core. In the precious name of Jesus I pray.