Fear Not

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “. Isaiah 41:10. NIV

Fear Not. This is harder to do than it sounds. I have learned over my fifty-nine years that there really is nothing to fear when you know who you are in, Christ. All my life I struggled to read God’s word making excuses because life always seemed hectic. Being a good wife and raising three daughters to be Godly women always seemed more than enough.

When I had my stroke at the age of 45 I suddenly had all the time in the world. I knew only that God was in control and he was good. I had a friend come to visit me that offered to read the Bible to me. I remembered how much comfort it brought and decided to read every day.

That was in 2005 and I may have missed only a few days since. They were always rough days so I learned not to forget. I put it first. Through it I learned more of my fathers love and righteousness. He became so real to me.

I learned that there is no need to fear. My God is right there always holding my hand. I used to fear the pain of dying or being hurt badly but when I had my stroke I almost died but I felt great peace. I knew I had to be strong for my family. I also knew He was able to help me in my weakness.

One day at a time I got my life back and through many trials since I have seen his had on my life. I no longer worry, he’s got it. I don’t need to have the answers but I know who does. I know he loves me and is working everything out for my best. Not what I see is best but what he knows is best.

He created this whole universe and has kept it going for thousands of years. He knows what he’s doing far better than me. He knows everything happening before it happens. My God can do the impossible and has more times than I know.

I have a picture of my granddaughter that shows how I feel.

She is walking alone in the woods this summer on her vacation. Her dad said it first but it really resonated with me as I looked at it.

She is one lone little girl heading out against a dark and often scary forest but she walks without fear she is strong, headstrong, she can take on anything. I feel the same way now. I know I am not in control but I know who is and that makes me strong.

I have learned so much about the one in control and trust him with my life and when it’s through I’ll be with him forever and can’t wait so what should I fear.

To Obey

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 NIV

The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all you are. If we truly love him we will show it by our actions. It is said they will know us by our love. Which is the part of us that comes from his spirit living in us. But keeping his commandments takes more work.

Which commandments was he referring to? All of them and there are many. The only way to do this is to read his word and put it to memory. Without knowing the Bible it is hard to know what to keep doing. There are so many. They even give us ways that we will be blessed by doing them.

For instance some are ‘long life’, ‘health’, ‘blessings’, and ‘strong bones’ just to mention a few common ones. These are things that will help us have a long and happy life.Because God is the only one who knows what is really best for us, he has given us the keys not rules to a long and blessed life.

So many people see these as laws or rules we have to keep. What a drag to be a Christian, they say. They see these things through their carnal minds as hindrances to fun. But really they keep us safe, healthy, blessed and happy. We need to be so glad he is on our side. He’s got our back, so to speak.

Well back when Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness he gave them many specific commandments. These were harder to follow to the letter. Many of these made no real sense to the people. They were there so the people could realize how holy he is and how we should hold him in great honor.

He also had so many for us to do just out of trust. There was really no way we could keep all of these commandments. We needed a savior and so he sent his one and only son to be the perfect spotless lamb once and for all. I am so glad I live after Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We now live under grace and have it so much easier.

“I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Now when we come to know the truth we have keys to help us have the full and abundant life he has promised us. So enjoy reading his word and following the way to be blessed.

Blessings and Curses

‘I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.’ Deuteronomy 30:15 NIV

God is a loving and just God. He has given us a choice. Blessings, great and awesome or curses, terrible bringing death. When God first made man he gave him knowledge to make up his own mind, His own free will to do whatever he chooses in life.

He wants very much for us to choose life and all the blessings that go along with it. He wants us happy but he loves us so much that he will not force anything on us. Not even good. I was reading in Deuteronomy the other day in chapter 28 and it just jumped off the pages at me.

Blessings and curses. He spelled it out so completely. Everything we need to do for a great blessed life and also everything to end up with death and curses. The choice is ours. The blessings part was fairly simple and straightforward, but on curses he went on and on.

With us always wanting to be sure we our getting our own way we have made a mess of our lives. We are also not very smart. We assume if He wants us to do something even if he lets us decide. There must be strings attached. Nothing could be that simple. Right!

Well after reading his words year after year I am convinced that he is good and really does want to see me happy. I have tasted and tried his ways and I have also lived through rebellion to his ways and I have seen how happy I can be doing life his way. When I did whatever I wanted I really screwed my life up. He still forgave me and let me start all over.

About five years ago I recommitted my life to him completely and have done everything for him I can. I can not describe the indescribable peace and joy I have felt in my life lately. I would not go back to my old ways for nothing. I don’t necessarily strive for myself but the blessings just keep coming.

He really does want to bless us. He is good, good, good. He is always at work night and day for my good. Watching out for me. He never rests. He will never leave me. When rough days come and they will. He will be right there holding my hand and helping me through them.

Blessings or curses? The choice is all up to you.

Take every thought captive

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

What goes on in the human mind most often should stay there. Even the foolish look smart when they keep their mouth shut. The tongue has the power of life and death. This week I was witness to people say whatever was on their mind no matter how ugly and it really ate at me.

How can people be so hurtful. They tell themselves I have always been treated poorly so they deserve it. Nobody deserves to be treated poorly but we are all imperfect people. This is a messed up world we live in. Hate is prevalent.

We should however weigh all our thoughts, especially before verbalizing them. Is what we are thinking Christ like, will it hurt someone, would you want to hear it.? Once out of the mouth damage has been done and it is very hard to undo.

Something I always try to remember is that God loves us. This is a greatly cherished child of God I am speaking to. How would God want me to talk to them. This has helped me see others with so much love and respect. I could not hurt them intentionally.

I love people, all people and that is one reason why I love life. So many unique and different people all around me. I really like to get to know them. I also love to help others anyway I can even just encouragement.

You also need to consider thoughts about yourself and how you feel. I know we can really make ourselves down just by the things we feel. I tell myself every morning that this is the day God made for me and I will rejoice in it. I will be happy even if I feel sick , I don’t like breakfast, or someone says something harsh.

I always try to have a smile to share. My face muscles are weak so I may have a frown but I am always happy. I can get emotional at times and get touched in my heart easily. These are good kinds of sad though. This shows compassion. Hurt someone I love and it hurts me.

Things we think about ourselves can be destructive too. I’ll never be able too…

I can’t do that, bad things always happen to me, and I’m no good. We should always speak things we want as though they were. That will make them happen more times than not.

Share words of life when you speak. Do all you do as unto the Lord. These are ways to always be Christlike in action.

Complete Joy

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11. NIV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”. James 1:2. NIV

Joy! The Lord wants us to have a full and abundant life full of joy. In everything. The good and the bad. And he says he has told us how. None of us wants to struggle in this life. What Jesus is saying in John 15 is that if you keep my commandments you will remain in my love. Just as Jesus kept his father’s commands and so remained in his father’s love. Then his love will remain in us. It’s there for us to have we just need to accept it in faith and live in it.

The problem is we have learned to accept our feelings and they are not always true. We need to take every thought captive. To do this we need to make our mind do what we know is true and change our patterns of living. We need to start forming new habits.

In life we have control over our happiness. The first thing I do in the morning when I wake is thank God for the new day he has given me. Then I start my prayers. The first declaration I make. Sets my day into action. “This is the day you have made for me and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I don’t care how I feel. I first agree to make it rejoicing.

My mind already is set on joy. I keep going though as I pray thanking God for so many things going on in my life . As I start my day and choose joy I need to act in it. As I eat I thank him for hot coffee, crispy bacon, fresh fruit. I remain grateful I know he is always directing my steps and in control and this gives me peace.

I know everybody has mundane and routine things that they must get done and don’t necessarily enjoy. Cleaning, laundry, walking the dog, grocery shopping and bills. You need to have joy in those areas too. It will take a mind set.

For example.: cleaning “ Hey God thank you for my home, my apartment that I have to clean. You have blessed my with kids even though they make messes. Those I clean up after. I love them .

Laundry: I love folding my loved ones things as I note who wore what where.

How big they are growing. Even if you are single those clothes can bring back happy and joy filled memories if you look.

Walking the dog can be a wonderful time to talk to God and reflect on the world around you. As you do it over and over you are training your mind differently to see things differently.

Every minute does not have to go perfectly but you can find things of joy in every minute if you try. I have a friend who grumbles through his day thinking about every less than perfect situation with a frown on his face. Someone asked him how his day was and he thought hard. Well ok I guess. He had not even noticed. I would rather live in joy.

When someone asks me that I say blessed and smile big. I know God is in control and he loves me that makes me smile. Even bills don’t upset me because he helps me to have the money to pay them. He will provide. I will trust in him.

Now as trials and hard times come my way I am already ahead. I am leaning on him and trusting him and his goodness to see me through. I take delight in him so I can delight in where he sends me. He is in me and helping me in every situation.

When I do something wrong whether in thinking wrong or doing I am quick to tell God I am sorry and others to if God shows me. Then I don’t dwell on it. He forgives me.

He always forgives us no matter what it is.

I had an experience this morning that goes along with this. God has been working on me with trusting and I needed to be up for an appt by 10:30 to be picked up. No one came to get me up and it was almost 10:00. I was nervous but I felt God say trust me. Someone finally came and I was ready by 10:20 then my ride was late at 11:00 apt time God said trust. So I relaxed. When I got there they had to cancel on me.

I immediately thought God has other plans for me. I wonder what? I didn’t fret or get upset I just smiled. I know his plans always prevail even if I don’t understand. When I got home it was lunchtime, I was famished. Everything went like clockwork all afternoon. Amen!

Have a joyful day and God be with you!

Praise

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4. NIV

We are a passionate country and find praise in so many things we love. Singers, home sports teams, our children’s teams, all things that bring joy of which we are passionate about. Especially when they are successful in their endeavors.

We wear team colors and makeup to display our passion. Buy the new tee-shirt of the local artist or band. Have Super bowl and tailgate parties. All these things bring joy and just being excited and joining in is what makes life worth living.

Our Heavenly Father has done so much for us. He made this great world we live in with all the adversity and uniqueness around us to enjoy. He sent his one and only son to lived a perfect life with all the same things we go through so he could understand. He lived and died a criminal’s death just so we could be redeemed.

One day we have the true hope that we will be with him in a perfect place that has no sin, death, pain, and no problems. An awesome place for all eternity. Because God loves us all so very much and wants what is best for us he has called us to delight in him.

In doing this we are complete. The satisfaction we find in him as we get excited about all he has done for us makes us long to praise him and our joy has come full circle. I know the more I think about him I get excited. Praise is the way we express that joy. And by sharing that joy with others,

Try joining in to the excitement that being a Christian can be. For more info just comment on the contact page. I love to share my joy.

Happy Fathers Day

Today is a very important day. We owe so much to the fathers in our lives. Mine has gone on to be with the Lord but I miss him dearly. But I have a father who is always there. Somebody I can count on for everything. Just thinking about him every morning always makes me smile.

This morning I was in church and they were honoring fathers for the most kids, newest kid, and the oldest dad, who was 90, and talking about being a good and important part of their child’s lives.

With only 40% of children today having an active father in their home growing up. There is so much missing. I was very lucky growing up I had a great dad. He was always there for me and both parents were strong Christian supporters. I thought my life was just normal but now that I am older I see that I was blessed.

Having the love of a good father is not the norm. Someone to play ball with, someone to make sure I keep all the rules and am always in church. He taught me so many valuable lessons. Even after I had married and moved out he had good advice to give me on marriage.

When I had my stroke he came to see me all the time and was always doing things for me. I was the oldest child and we had a special bond. I remember going out for burgers on Fridays when I was a kid and we always went together just the two of us to pick up the food. It made me feel so special.

Being a really good father can be hard for many fathers. The years I was growing up dads were always at work or busy. Too busy for their kids. So much to do so little time. Leave that for mom who tended to always be there. I heard that among my friends.

This morning I thought about my Heavenly Father as we sang the song “I am a child of God”, and all he has done for me. The perfect father. The words go : In my father’s house there’s a place for me, I’m a child of God, yes I am. That just touched me so much.

I am loved in my father’s house and there are always things for me there. I love going each week and seeing so many friends. He is never too busy for any of his kids. We can come to him for anything. When we have really messed up in life his arms are open wide. Alone, scared, sad. He’s there.

My father is perfect and he loves everyone perfectly. He wants to be your father too. He is always there and always helping me in so many ways each day. I could not enjoy life without him. He wakes me up every morning and is with me when I lay my head down at night. He tells me how much he loves me every day.

What makes him happy? Seeing each of his children happy a thriving. I know in this world there is so much pain and suffering and I know that saddens God but he sees the whole picture. He knew me before I was ever born and planned out my life whole life and knew about my rebellion, my stroke, all my mistakes, but also all the triumphs in my life.

He can see it all in one moment and he smiles over the big picture and that day in the future when I will come to live with him. It is so very good. He wants us to delight in him. And when we do he smiles because we will be at our happiest.

By reading God’s word you can learn what it means to live as a child of God. But he is always drawing us closer and to himself.