Who am I -the prequel 

I needed to step away to pray about some things. I’ll be sharing about that journey this week.

My purpose of this brief post is to tease my post for tomorrow. 

Pray for me, Brothers and Sisters. God is doing some big things in my heart. 

Prequel for tomorrow’s post:

Grasp

originally published January 2009, on a previous blog

I love watching a young child learning how to walk. I love the way they wrap their tiny fingers around the large fingers of their parents. It would seem, at first, that the child has the tightest grip; but any parent knows that it is the parent who grips tighter, to keep their child safe.

In your grasp

What are you holding on to?

I’m not referring to the remote control or computer mouse in your hand, although they may have something to do with it.

What ideas, thoughts and memories do you carry around with you so tightly that they have begun to embed themselves into your skin?

Maybe it is the memory of a loved one. Perhaps it is the hateful last words that you spoke to a friend, on constant replay in your mind. Do worries and fears shadow your every thought?

In my grasp

I admit: I have a death-grip on my worries about money. I can barely remember a time in my life that the sickening fear of poverty has not been with me.

I have found, though, that my money fears have not made me richer. Worrying has not balanced my checkbook or wrote out a budget. Pacing floors has never put a single penny into my pocket. It does not matter how tightly I hold on to my money fears; the fears are not helping me get by.

Giving up our grasp

So, let go.

No, you won’t fall. No, the world will not discontinue its’ revolving.

Like the wee child holding onto his parent, we will not fall when we let go of our grasp. We have a wise Father that holds onto us.

“My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand.”
~ John 10:29

If we have surrendered our lives to The LORD JESUS CHRIST, then we are in HIS grasp.

If you have not surrendered your life to The LORD JESUS CHRIST, then what is stopping you?? What good has the things you are clinging so tightly to really doing?

Do We need our Vision Checked?

glasses

Originally published November 2008, on a previous blog

Has the church of today lost its’ vision?

In Matthew 28:19-20, JESUS tells the early Christians (the early church):

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all these things whatsoever I have commanded you:…” (KJV).

Are we going?

Where is the church going? Are we going to church, to Sunday School, to Bible Studies, to Small Group Bible Studies? Are we going to our family, friends, neighbors, enemies, communities, cities, states, nations with the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST? The commission that JESUS gave to us during HIS ascension was for us to go. Stop and see where you (as a member of the body of CHRIST) are going.

Are we teaching?

Is the church teaching and what is it teaching? Are we teaching children and adults to stand firm on the truth of GOD’s Word? Are we teaching children and adults to read and study and apply the truth of GOD’s Word? Whether or not we like it or realize it, our lives may be the only Bible Lesson that some people get. Are we teaching them to “observe all things”, as CHRIST said, or just the things that are most convenient? Are we teaching new believers and seasoned believers anything that can deepen their relationship to CHRIST JESUS?

Are we Baptizing?

Are we sticking people in water without them having true understanding? Are we getting people wet and leaving them without guidance in their lives? Are we going into the church ourselves with “Clean hands and pure hearts (Psalm 24:4)

What are we doing instead?

Instead of witnessing to non-Christians, are we isolating ourselves from those who need to hear about CHRIST? Instead of ministering to others, are we only promoting and ministering to ourselves and our own families? Instead of studying GOD’s word, are we proudly proclaiming that we know it all? Instead of teaching others about CHRIST, are we teaching them how to backbite, gossip and be political? Instead of leading others to a deeper relationship with CHRIST, are we driving them away from the church and GOD HIMSELF?

Regaining our Focus (correcting our Vision)

~Focus on bringing GOD the glory.

~Focus on bringing others (everyone you come in contact with) to a relationship with CHRIST JESUS. If they already have a relationship with CHRIST JESUS, then Focus on helping that person develop a deeper relationship with CHRIST.

Focus ourselves to building up GOD’s church, not tearing it down.

Struggle not alone

This is a follow up to my post earlier today.

Suicide is a real struggle, even for the Christian. Those who have not known the paralysis of anxiety or the thick weight of depression may not understand. Those dark thoughts do invade our mind, if left unguarded.

I beg you. If there is even one drop of a thought about taking your own life, seek help. The National Suicide prevention line is 24 hours a day & 7 days a week. Their phone # is 1-800-273-8255.

If not the National prevention line, talk to a Pastor or friend. Talk to someone. Suicide leaves a pain in the survivors often times far greater than that suffered by the one whom took their own life. 

Jesus has a purpose for you. Jesus used David, and he was a mess up too. There is hope for your future, and it can be found in Christ Jesus. 

The Ashes of Pachelbel

I was two decades of age.

Clothed in white.

Pachelbel playing as I walked the brown carpet path to the brown eyed man whom I adored.

I still remember that at the conclusion of the ceremony, he and I rang the church bell together.

The promises Made at 11:07 a.m.

My Dad, being a traditional Southern Baptist Minister, insisted in using a set of vows from his minister’s handbook. Those vows, of honor and love, we made to one another and to our families.

But life is such a more beautiful place when you are 20 years old, and thin and full of hopes.

With all I was that day, I fully intended to be standing still by the side of that curly topped man..

The Ashes of 19 years

Today would have been- or could have been our 19th wedding anniversary. But it isn’t. Sin and selfishness destroyed that marriage nearly 7 years ago.

Last year, it was all that I could take. In the low lights of July 10, 2016, I sat in the floor of my bedroom and penned a suicide letter.

After all, what hope was there? I was a 38 year old woman who had endured two divorces. What kind of man really wants a woman like that? After all, I was merely too broken. Shattered. A Year ago I penned the following words in my journal:

I would escape this inescapable situation.

I miss normal. I miss being romanticized. I miss being with my kids. I miss a real house. I miss loving & lavishing a mother in law. I miss my family – who now stir clear of me in shame.

Strip away my hopes. Scrape away the dreams of what I might could have had or or hopes for anything different. 

I must in part die. Bury the carefree wild girl I have been my whole life- bury the dreamer, the fairy of a girl, ….I must lower her into the ground of the past, knowing she will rot away. Be swallowed up in dark despair, sweet girl, & die.

I placed my suicide letter with a copy of both of my life insurances, and a small gold cross necklace and laid them on my dresser. I left my apartment with all full intent to never walk back in.

The very first words spoken to me that morning were by the guy I was dating at the time. Worthless, he had called me. Further confirmation I thought that I needed to end my meager existence.

My work day ended and I drove to the lake. That had been my planned route. I sat in my car, weeping. And then- my phone rang.

In a world flooded with cell phone, one little cell phone ringing doesn’t seem significant. So if you will, allow me to explain why this one phone ringing was significant. My ringer was still on silent. And I had absolutely no service.

Yes, LORD, I hear YOU

I hit my knees there and then. And I made a new commitment to The LORD- a rededication. I didn’t understand then why GOD would have spared me.. but I only knew that HE did.

A lot has happened in my life over the last year. I have changed departments in my company and through that have made some of the best, most supportive friends that I have had in 20 years. I totaled my silver car. And I got out of the destructive relationship I was in. And just recently, GOD has placed an incredible, supportive handsome gentleman into my world who GOD is using to help heal me.

I had a verse come to mind as I reflected on today.

“A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:4 NASB

I’ve weeped enough over today. What’s done is done. I can no more change the past than you can. I have seen over the last year that I need to simply surrender all the ashes of my past into The hands of JESUS CHRIST. I have mourned enough now. Now, it is time to dance.

 

 

SimplySpokn Sunday: I am Out of That Grave!

I have an odd fascination with dates. I can rattle off dates in my life that things occurred simply because those days have hammered significance on my heart.

Though I could easily (and may) reflect of numerous of those days, I want to reflect of two very significant days. Let’s call them anti-grave days.

Sunday’s child is full of Grace

I was born on a Sunday morning at 10:02 a.m. I still love hearing my Daddy & my Gran tell me the story of the miracles and messes that mark that day that I came into this world. I don’t dread the fact that with each I grow older (and greyer). I often find myself taking some time on birthday to thank GOD for the purpose HE had in me being born. I thank GOD for a GOD-fearing, faithful Daddy and two precious prayer warriors as my grandmothers.

February 27, 2011

(I must say, this isn’t easy to share)

I was blessed richly to be raised in a home where my Daddy made sure we were in church nearly every time the doors were open. And being a Daddy’s girl (and I still am), I wanted nothing more in this world than to make my Daddy proud of me.

In July 1989, I attended a small revival at my home church here in eastern Kentucky. I went forward to pray when some other youth went to pray and my Daddy asked me did I think it was time that I got baptized. ‘Sure,’ I thought. Isn’t that what a good Christian girl/kid is suppose to do? So that September at one of the milestone birthdays of my home church, my Daddy submerged me in the baptismal waters.

I attended discipleship training (shout out to all the other old schoolers who grew up in that). I went to youth events. I even read the pink leather Bible that was presented to me at my baptism. One problem.. I was no more saved than the leather on that Bible.

High School came and with it came tremendous tragedy. I endured an event that left me wondering Where was this GOD that supposedly loved me so much?

Years flipped by and in 1997 I would meet a gentleman. In 1998, we would get married. I thought, okay, LORD.. If I just be a perfect Christian wife then I will be fine.

So I tried. And oh, how I tried at first. But all the effort in the Webster dictionary did not make me any thing but broken.

2002. The world, and all I thought to be good about it broken open and broke apart. I kept trying to tell myself that if I only tried harder, if I only read God’s Word more- if I only gave up more of the things that I liked to do or even my supportive friendships, then GOD would be happy with me and I would be happy.

And then, it only got worse. March 12, 2009, I would say my last goodbyes to the only daughter I will carry on this earth. I no longer felt I had any hope of ever finding any kind of happiness.

Yes, it got worse still. The week of Thanksgiving 2010, I was notified that my husband was divorcing me.

I just didn’t understand it. Hadn’t I gone to Bible studies? Hadn’t I given to the church and to the needy? I just didn’t understand.

January of 2011, I found myself living alone in a small incredibly cold apartment. My precious sons who I had prayed with and kissed goodnight every night were now shuffled between their divorced parents. And all I could do was simply cry.

I must be honest for a moment. Those first weeks of being in that subsidy apartment were bleak. I began to lose all desire to even want to live.

Through a childhood acquaintance, I began to hear about a church. And the more I heard, I just could not shake the urge to pay them a visit. So I did.

Through the service held on February 27, 2011, I realized two very hard things: I was not saved but only going through the churchy motions. And two: I had a vast need to be changed by The SAVIOR.

I knelt at that alter so long that Sunday that I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk again. And when I walked back out the doors of the church that Sunday I knew that I knew that I knew that JESUS CHRIST had saved my soul and that HE had set me free of the sin in my heart and life.

And then there is one other date. Today, the 9th Day of July 2017.

Did I wake up knowing today would be such a significant day? Absolutely not.

I had given my word to a friend of mine that I would attend Sunday School and church with her today. I arrived at this very large church, of which I was a member for 2 of the last 3 years, with just a desire to worship GOD and learn in HIS Word.

Worship service began. And two songs in, I heard this song:

Glorious Day

Words don’t suffice for what I began to feel standing near the front of that large sanctuary. It was as if GOD MOST HIGH, my JEHOVAH RAPHA, cupped HIS mighty hands on the sides of my scared face and firmly said “I set you free. Free not only from your own sins, but free from the pain and tears of your past.”

I simply could not sit in my seat when the invitation was given. I threw myself down on the alter and just thanked my HEAVENLY ABBA for the peace that I felt pouring out on my mind and heart.

So What about you? I would love to hear about the day that you were rescued from death and given LIFE everlasting in CHRIST JESUS. 

Smug to Sin

Smug
Many of us who have surrendered themselves to the LORDship and salvation of the LORD JESUS Christ have become smug/complacent to our sins. We (I include myself here) have become to comfortable in the fact that we have an eternal, incorruptible salvation. Because of this comfortableness/smugness, we don’t tend to deal with our sins as we should, or we treat them as normalacies.  The Smugness MUST end.

Why is this a big issue?

As Followers of CHRIST JESUS, we are servants to a HOLY and Righteous GOD (Leviticus 20:26). We must serve HIM with clean hearts (Psalm 24:4). Because we know from the Word of GOD that HE is a HOLY GOD, HE cannot be in the midst of filth. Do we desire to be close to the LORD or to be separated from HIS presence in our lives because of the iniquities of our sins?

Just a little …

Why is it of importance to deal with the little sins in our lives? We know that everyone sins, and that living a sinless life is impossible. Although these statements are true, they do not take into account the effects of sin. Sin is like yeast. In Galatians 5:9, we are told that just a tiny amount of leaven effects the whole loaf. “That makes sense,” you may think, “But what does that have to do with sin?”. The Jews of JESUS’ time would have understood the seriousness of this statement. In preparation for the feast of Unleavened Bread, they were to throw out all yeast (called leaven in the KJV translation) (See Exodus 12:15). If just a tiny bit was left lying around or somehow got into their dough, any bread baked during that time would show this. Sin, in likeness, shows up in our lives. We can try to cover it, disguise it or ignore it, but the results of the sin show up. The longer the sin festers, like yeast proofing, the more it will permeate your life.

Don’t Be Fooled

Don’t fool yourself. It may seem that your tiny sins have no effect on your life (and they do). It may seem okay to brush off tiny wrongs (and it’s not). GOD’s WORD is true and will always be true: “..be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23b)