Friendship

Friendships seem to ebb and flow. One thing I have found is that true friends can be hard to find, especially the ones who will stick by your side through all the ups and downs. I guess it seems more people can find a reason not to forgive and move on to another than those who are willing to forgive and build the friendship. I know that I am forgetting that this world is not full of those who love and know Christ, but so many Christians can be first in line to rip a friendship apart. It just doesn’t seem to matter. We, I included, forget our example in Christ and how to treat each other, love each other, and serve each other. I think we all want more from people who are sinners can provide to our egos. Jesus knew this and that is why he said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Then again I don’t think I know how to love myself enough to forgive myself, so how can I forgive others. How can they forgive me?

John 15: 12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”


Of course, I know how to forgive and I try to open the door for forgiveness because I do not want to carry the burden. I want to let it go and seek reconciliation, but sometimes I just have give the burden to the Lord because “the friend” wants to carry the burden. Only God can take that burden from them if they choose to forgive and release it.

Proverbs 17:9 “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”


Just because I know how to forgive doesn’t mean that my sinful nature forgives the many times that it should the way the Lord expects. I stop sometimes and think back to how many times, I have carried the burden and expected so much from someone because I thought I was the one being hurt. I was probably the one doing the hurting and creating the separation that Jesus does not want between friends. This haunts me. Do I count others over myself, or do I make myself more important. Why is something like forgiveness so hard when in reality it is so easy. I guess I forget so often the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Instead of placing that on others we should first practice it even when we don’t think we should be the one to forgive because when I do, I really see my sin.

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

Luke 6:31 “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.


God has recently provided in my reading so much about friendship and related scriptures that I need to reflect on, but the ones that drive me are found in Proverbs. I want to be the friend that loves, that stands by a friend better than family, and shows others Christ in my life and actions. I can’t do that when I hold grudges and fail to forgive those around me, especially my friends. I am listening to you God and trying to focus on the people you place around me. I am trying to be a better friend to those new people you place in my life and those who have been in my life for so long. I realize how blessed I am to meet so many great people you have designed and created. We are all different, and sometimes we forget that you created all those differences in each of us, yet sometimes the differences shine so much we see them as imperfections not gifts.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

Proverbs 18:24 “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 12:26 “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”


So I must stop being the one in charge. I must stop trying to make people give me and do what I want. God just calls me to love. Why would someone want to be my friend if I am angry at the world and at them, but at the same time as I love others, I must also be careful of angry people in the world. God does not call me to get wrapped up with angry people who may pull me from the arms of God. As hard as it is to remember, God is the one who seeks vengeance not me, so that I can love even those who bring anger, seek hate, and desire relationships that are not of God. May I be the example of Christ in others lives. May I be the friend that Christ calls me to be. By following Christ’s example may I provide encouragement to others and lead them into your arms, Lord.

Proverbs 22: 24-25 “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”

Romans 12: 19-21 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”


Above all may I learn to live by the words of Job.

Job 6:14 “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”

I am the Resurrection and the Life

John 11: 17-44

I have read the story of Lazarus’s resurrection many times, but have never thought about it in terms of my own resurrection and life everlasting. Jesus made a choice to wait four days to show the world his purpose here and resurrection so that those who believe might have life everlasting through forgiveness of our sins.

Jesus arrives in Bethany where Lazarus has died four days ago. Mary and Martha are in mourning for their brother. When they hear that Jesus has arrived in Bethany, Martha quickly goes to meet him while Mary chooses to stay behind at the house. I know there is significance here, about how the death impacts these two women, I can see that everyone responds to death and grieving in different ways. Martha is angry as scripture soon shares, but Mary sees no reason to go ahead to Jesus and point fingers since her brother is gone and continues to mourn in her home. It is a reminder that people all grieve differently and feel the loss of loved ones from their lives in different ways.

Martha arrives to meet Jesus in what I read as upset and even angry with Jesus for not coming sooner, and tells Jesus that Lazarus would not have died had he come sooner. Yet, she believes that even now Jesus can bring Lazarus back to them. Martha has tremendous faith. This faith is one that I can quickly read over, but her belief in the resurrection of her brother is real and she is not afraid to utter the words to Jesus. Jesus responds to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha agrees that he will one day rise again in the last days, and Jesus then responds to her once again with, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me , though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believe in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Martha responds that she believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” Once again Jesus is reminding not just Martha and those with her but the world that life everlasting only comes from him. He wants to hear the words from Martha and she has no hesitation in her belief even as she mourns her brother’s death. She stands strong in her faith.

Martha returned to her sister and to tells her that Jesus was asking for her, so Mary leaves and goes to meet Jesus. She arrives and falls before Him saying as her sister that if Jesus had been here Lazarus would be alive. Mary comes to Jesus not with anger but with grief. When Jesus saw her weeping he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. The emotions of Mary move something inside of Jesus.

Mary takes Jesus to the tomb. Jesus wept. This one line in scripture is short yet powerful. Jesus wept for Lazarus for Mary and Martha, and for the world. Maybe Jesus is even weeping for himself because he knows what is about to happen in order to bring Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and me into his kingdom. Then Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. He asks his Father aloud so that others could see and believe, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” Jesus does not need to speak to his Father aloud, but he does, so that the world would see his example and the image of resurrection about the happen.

Lazarus walks out of his tomb just as Christ would soon rise from the dead and walk from his tomb to cleanse us of our sins. Such a bold move by God. Such a sacrifice of both God and Christ just to bring me into the family. I want to rise from my grave like Lazarus! I want to walk the streets of gold made for me. I want live with my Father and Christ one day!

I revisited the resurrection of Lazarus recently at a funeral. At first I found it odd for this passage to be chosen, but as the funeral continued and the story was told again in this setting, I could see how important it was to send hope to others that through Christ and Christ alone can we be saved. Lazarus was only saved by Jesus and I can only be saved by Jesus as well. What a beautiful message as we said goodbye to a beautiful young woman. She will Rise. I will Rise. Amen

I Do Not Understand

Why do I do the things that I do not want to do and can not seem to be able to do the things that I want? What is the road block inside of me? Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me and then I read this scripture and know that my sinful nature is winning over my desire to do what I feel called to do. Why am I letting Satan inside my heart.

Romans 7:15-20 – 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

These scriptures are a reminder to me that sin dwells in me just as in others. I am no better than anyone else. The only Hope that I have is God, but I must be willing to voice the sin and do the hard work to pull it from my heart. If I keep my sin hidden it only continues to hurt others and my relationship with God because he can see all that is happening inside of me. God knows when I am hiding my sinful nature, so I must always seek God and be public in asking for forgiveness from God and others that my sin affects.

If I fail to acknowledge my sin then I am deceiving myself, and Satan who is the author of deception begins to control my path. I am warned in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Hiding from sin will only cause me to reap a more sinful nature and do the things that I do not want to do. Hiding will push me further from God and his path for me. No matter how hard it is to confront my sin, I can only find peace by facing my sin and asking for forgiveness from God and others hurt by my actions.

Our world today is full of deception. As a Christian I have to examine what I believe or I will be deceived by what I think I know to be truth instead of what is truth. The world is full of deceit and deception. I see people who fiercely believe because they have been deceived by the world for so long that they can not see the truth that God has laid before us. What do my rose colored glasses see that is not the truth? Christians must examine more carefully through the lens of God and become examples for others to see truths.

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (NIV). “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (ESV).

I wrote about this verse and the heart years ago. Here is a link to that blog post “Searching for a New Heart. This was a multi-part exploration if you would like to walk back in time with me.

Part 2: Searching for a New Heart Part 2

Part 3: Searching for a New Heart Part 3

Final: Searching for a New Heart

As I read this verse again and think about my sinful nature, I am thankful that vs 9 is followed by vs 10. “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” May God search my heart and provide the spirit of discernment to overcome evil with good. I pray that my fruits be worthy of God. I pray that I am example of a Christian who walks her path and discerns truths as God sees and not as I see.

I will close with this verse from the New Testament –

1 Corinthians 10:9-14 – “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

I pray for escape from temptation and flee from the things of this world, may God always provide the way out and may I always seek his way. I push myself to learn and understand why I sin and how to live a life more Christ like in the eyes of those around me, in the eyes of those watching me.

I know that I am a sinner and will always be as I walk on this earth, but may others see a person striving to walk the path that God has laid before me and an example when temptation and sin fall into my life. May I extend the grace God gives me to others. I know that is not what others may see at this moment but may God help me walk more firmly on his path. May God show me my path more clearly as I strive to walk with him.

 Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

God’s Way, Not Mine

Soar Like an Eagle

Proverbs 16:2 – “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” NIV

Proverbs 16:2 – ” All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” ESV

My Soul Weeps

Oh, how this verse hurts down deep inside my soul. I am that person who wants to believe my actions and motives are right in the moment, but am I really able to examine my heart and find the real truth in the motives of my actions? Yes, the sinful part of me feels capable of knowing what my actions mean, but what does my heart reveal to my Heavenly Father. A Father who reveals the real truths behind my ways causes me to cry as Isaiah did in chapter 6. “Woe to me…” I am not worthy of his love and grace, yet he continues to call me his own. Thankfully, I am a child of God no matter the mistakes I make and the destruction I leave in my wake. He will graciously forgive me if I ask and know that my ways are wrong. Do others see this in me?

Although, I feel my actions and words are good, I have to realize that I am a sinner and that those actions and words may not feel so good to those around me who receive my words and actions. Sometimes, I need to weigh my heart by the Lord and not lean on or into others to carry my burdens which they are not meant to carry. Do I need to be right and justify my behavior which may lead to shaming others which is toxic? Do I reach for self-justification for my actions? If God is my defender then I do not need to justify myself. Again, sinful nature at work just like Saul in 1 Samuel 13: 8-12. Saul made decisions he was not suppose to make and then justified those decision by blaming Samuel. How many times have I made a decision that leads God to say, “What have you done?” 1 Samuel 13:11.

I don’t want to reach for Self-Justification because it is:

  • Weakness that mask itself as a strength
  • impatience
  • Shuts down any discussion
  • Arrogant
  • Lazy

These are things that I do not want to see in myself or others to see in me, and I know that sometimes my sinful pride shows off with self-justification. I pray Lord for your wisdom and strength!

Soar like an Eagle

Lord, I want to soar on your wings. I want to walk the path you designed for me. I want so much more from my life. I read this verse and feel that I have missed something that God wants from me. I want to stop and listen for his voice, so that I may soar on his wings! “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV). Lord, I place my hope and strength in you. Show me how to soar on wings like an eagle, how to run and not grow weary, and how to walk and not grow faint. Show me how to walk in the path designed for me.

Sometimes the Rocky Path is the Way

Final Thoughts

Prayer: Lord, I need you to show me a clear path and give me wisdom in my actions especially around others. Thank you for this verse, the impact is weighty and immense. What am I missing? Amen.

Romans 7:15 – “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Reach for the Honeycomb, Not the Bees

Calm After the Storm – May my words be the calming waters, the honeycomb

Proverbs 16:24 – “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

How many times have I chosen to speak out in anger and hurt the feelings of others before choosing the honeycomb and speaking kindness to diffuse the situation? How many times have I chosen pride to have the last word and cause further hurt instead of the honeycomb for those I love? Guilty here.

I certainly know there are situations that warrant someone not to continue down a path of abuse, but many times I know I have made the wrong choice with my words especially to friends and family. How easy it is to abuse them and cause more hurt and pain. Why? My sinful nature in full force.

Although, I pray for the wisdom of Solomon before such conversations, I always seem to fall short. I never stop believing that God is there and will give me the wisdom and provide the peace if I continue to follow that path even when my sinful pride takes over. I believe God’s words ” And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. And there was peace……. 1 Kings 5:12.

I am just so bad at reaching for the honeycomb only to pull out the bees. I want peace and pray not to hurt those I love, but the bees just swarm and I miss the honey. The honey from God which is always so close in His Word. Such as Psalms 119:103, “”How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” I want the sweeter than honey words from God to flow from me. I want others to see a person who puts other above herself and uses God’s words of honey first.

All people are created in the image of God, this is constant reminder to me when I meet people, disagree with people, and watch the world go round. I am not special, we are all created in his image. No one can be above another. All people are made by God. Stopping to remember this puts perspective in difficult places. I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. That is why I always can find the bees.

Friends and Family are created in God’s image which is a reminder to me no matter how trivial something is or even whether intent for pain was meant, each person receives in different ways. God made us different and I have to remember to love and reach for the honeycomb and not the bees when this happens. Let the honey drip from my lips and not the sting of the bees. This is hard remember to turn the other check. Matthew 5:39, “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

God’s light shining on calm waters. His wisdom brings you peace.

Matthew 5: 14-16, “14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[b] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Prayer: Lord give me the wisdom to find the honey before the bees.

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Goals for 2022

Mid Year Check in…..

I know it is time for a reset and to revisit the habits/goals that I created for year 2022. I spent the first part of this year reading a book that lead me to develop some life goals for the year. Pen to paper covering the four quadrants outlined in part of the book. I know that I have forgotten slowly to read them and act on them each day as I should, so time to be repeated aloud.

Core Beliefs

1 Thessalonians 5:18: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

  • Happiness is a Choice
  • Be Thankful

1 Peter 2:16: “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil, but living as servants of God.”

  • Always serve God First
  • Be Free, but a slave to God. This is how freedom not taken away.

Looking back over my core beliefs, I can at least feel good about making happiness a choice even in the toughest times, but I fail to be as thankful as I should and to remember to always serve God first above all else in this world. Reading this again does make me stop and think about the time I spend on other things each day and don’t spend with my Father in Heaven. I become a slave to the world and not to God.

Core Values

Deuteronomy 6:4-8 (vs7): “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

  • Success=To God
  • Better Relationships
  • Less Judgement
  • Love All People with Action
  • Find Happiness with Less Materialism
  • Reflection: Doing the Best You Can With What You Have, Where You Are

This is a tough one to revisit. I can see all my human mistakes with people especially people I love. The best part of this reflection is am I building better relationships, passing less judgement on others, can people see my love in my actions. Although the sinful nature that I have sometimes misses material things and I still have plenty, I have learned to live with some much less, but I need to push myself even more to rid myself of stuff.

Life Goals

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Success = For Yourself

  • Love Myself in order to Love Others Better
  • Appreciate People more that God places in our path

This is a hard one to revisit because I know that I do not love myself easily. I always say and try to begin a new and feel strong, but my daily failures only show me again and again that I need to work harder and then I listen to my weaknesses and fail to love myself fully. I just see all my mistakes. How can I love others, How can I appreciate those God places before me to bless, love, help, etc. when I see myself as so unworthy and such a failure for Him. I know all these thoughts are wrong, yet I let them win over my soul and keep me from following God’s plan for my life. I have to start living for God and not this world.

Daily Habits

Psalm 119:103: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Measurable, Meaningful, and Maintainable Commitment Devices:

  • God’s Word
  • Journaling
  • Coffee Conversations

I definitely need to work on my daily habits. As this was the focus of the book I read, which I will leave a information about at the bottom of this post. Forming habits to meet goals and bring your life in alignment to what God’s plan is in your life. I need to work harder on reading his word and applying it to my life through writing which I am at least doing right now. Finally sharing the word, this was a habit my husband and I set to share together over coffee. We need more Coffee Conversations!

Prayer

Lord, help me grow in this Journey of recognizing Your Presence with me. Help me prioritize the quiet moments to hear Your Voice through Your Word, and to believe what You placed in me ~ Amen

Closing Thoughts: So glad I stopped and did this mid year spiritual check on my soul. I know my soul needs more of God and less of the world. I need to keep reaching for Jesus. Take the time to do your own mid year spiritual check and search your soul. Have you lost your way? I think I have gotten sidetracked.

Note: See the picture below to see how I list my goals and see them each day. I got this idea and others about starting habits from the book I read first to start the year off. Do It For A Day by Mark Batterson. I highly recommend. Read it and begin some new habits today!

God is Calling Me

God’s Beauty is Everywhere

Where have I been for the past 4 years?  I believe my last post was September 2019.  During 2019 my posting was sparse, and I finally let it go for another endeavor which I will share here.  At the beginning of 2019, I retired from my job of 28 years which I loved so much.  It was a hard decision but my husband and I purchased a Power Catamaran in April, 2018 and we made plans to travel through the Caribbean.  We spend 2019 getting to know our boat, selling our home, and putting minimal into storage.  By the end of 2019 we were ready to go!  We headed to the Bahamas first.  So beautiful, so special, and I could see God’s beauty and love all around me.  As we traveled I began another blog and video blog of our travels.  All of this can be found on our website www.solmatesjourney.com. This was a huge project and I stayed behind.  But family and friends wanted to see what we were doing.  

Covid hit, early 2020 and kept us from going any further, so back to the US we came.  We spend the next year around Florida and the Keys.  We became grandparents and then the world slowly began to open in 2022 but the islands were just too irregular to start that way, so I am in Mexico!  I have been working really hard to catch up on the travel videos and blog ( which I am not but getting so close)  so I am going to try and take back a little piece of my passion which was writing and sharing how God continues to bless me.  I feel God calling my back to this.  I will not post weekly but will try to be more consistent to get back in this groove.  God has blessed me beyond what I deserve and I feel his tug. As I look back I have a few drafts that I saved, so I will revisit those and hopefully get these up as he speaks. God Bless

May God have all the Glory, Always.

May I learn to be fishers of men

Bible Verse: “How Sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103

Two things combined have me deeper and closer to him right now and is drawing me back to his word and this blog once again.  

First, My daughter gave me the study of Elijah by Priscilla Shirer for Christmas, and finally I was able to get started.  I am moving through the book slower than laid out but it is causing so much deep thinking about my life and the world around me.  I am digging into His word and hearing the words as they connect to this world.  One it scares me some, but two I am driven to learn and dig deeper knowing that I must walk to a different beat than the world and that may not always be easy, but Abba will walk with me.  I am not finished yet, but this walk with Elijah is teaching me so much not just about me and Elijah but others in the Bible and their walk.  Connections that I have not made in scripture before are being made and opening my eyes.  I am sure that I will write ever more about Elijah as I walk through may own Cherith and Zarphath.  (1 Kings 17)

Second,   I started watching the series The Chosen about Christ.  Some may not approve of the liberties taken to create this series, but I like it and yes I have questions, but seeing the stories and connection to the old testament as well as how Jesus changed the world as help to connect me once again to his word.  The absurdity watching the Pharisees care so much about rules and laws but not people.  But, I have to remember that not all Pharisees were this way. How did God’s people come to this?  How did those of such importance to God at one time become so selfish and rich and chose to care so little for what was happening in the world around them.  It is so hard to believe, but then the series takes me back and I see that God’s people are usually one to two generations away from leaving God behind for the world and other gods.  This again scares me, but I know that I must walk even stronger and closer to my Abba and love all people so that my light for him will shine to others. The Chosen has challenged me to dig even deeper into the Gospels and what lies there and how they were written.  How did Jesus choose to call his disciples and go where he went.  His time was short but purposeful and planned by his Abba.  

So I will close with the prayer I prayed this morning which is from scripture:

“We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you. Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us. Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.” Jeremiah 14: 20-22

Amen

With God I Can

Photo Credit to She is Fierce.org

Being Anxious

I recently started a 7-Day Devotional plan in the Youversion Bible app titled “7 Things The Bible Says About Anxiety”. At the end of day one a challenge was offered:

  1. spend 5 minutes in prayer with God and share what you are anxious about – Done
  2. Journal about how you feel and how it is affecting you – Here it is…..
  3. Talk to a trusted Christian friend – still need to do at this point

This is my journal entry about how I feel and how it affects me to hold my anxiety. As I was preparing to write this entry because honestly, I just wanted to put it off, I thought of this picture that I had saved months and months ago. Sometimes a picture just speaks to me and I just hold it waiting for the time I feel God asking me to share it. So here I sit typing my feelings know that I can do this entry, I can overcome anxiety in my life, and I can be honest with myself in Christ.

Life Happens

Funny how life gets in the way and this post got sidetracked, but actually that is probably what God wanted at the time. He wanted me to listen to him. He continued to share devotionals with me throughout the week, and then on Sunday a sermon that caught my attention. Yep, I am listening now God. I know that sin does not define who I am and I can walk believing that my sin can or will consume me. I can walk free and forgiven through Christ. Instead of Can’t – I will give the cross to him so that I Can!

I guess seeing this picture months ago and saving it just for this time in my life is like those little miracles that God places in your life. Just as I read in Esther 4:14 “…for such a time as this.” Thank you God for always being the one by my side.

Final Lessons

So just a few lessons that I have learned from this week about Sin and how it can affect someone – ok someone like me! Our culture today is making is so easy for me to identify with my sin. When I do that I can not see the forgiveness and put the sin in the past. I identify with it and carry the shame of the sin and worry about my future maybe even my salvation. Yet Psalms 62:1 clearly shows me that, “For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.”

One final lesson learned this week was on forgiving of others when they have sinned against me, but they have to engage in the reconciliation. Just as I have to reconcile with those that I have sinned against. Definitely provides a lot of perspective for me. The Lord’s prayer shows us the way in so many areas and sin is not lost in the prayer. “and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12.

Closing Verse: John 8:11 “And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Challenge: Do not allow sin to define who you are and who God wants you to be!

Voice of Truth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oh what I would do to have

The kind of faith it takes

To climb out of this boat I’m in

Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone

Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is

And He’s holding out His hand

Another blog post visiting an old song favorite.  I have been doing this devotional study on marriage.  I just finished up this section on fighting together.  That topic might be for another post in the future, but part of the devotion discussed God being the third party in our marriage. That if I listen to him I or (we) will be unburdened and our marriage will become stronger.  As I read this section, which I enjoyed since fighting is not a specialty I have in my marriage this song just seem to come to mind again.  Allowing God into our marriage intimately and closely can be stepping out of our comfort zone into the unknown since we really love to be in control of our lives.  Scripture does remind us that God can make it easier and our burdens lighter if we join him even in our marriage.  “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:30.

But the waves are calling out my name

And they laugh at me

Reminding me of all the times

I’ve tried before and failed

The waves they keep on telling me

Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’

‘You’ll never win!’

Although, I have failed many times in my life and know that feeling the fear of failure and how it will affect my life is just daunting to take the step out of the boat and trust in God.  Yet, I know that God is with me and holding me as I make that leap onto the water.  I Corinthians 10:13 makes this promise, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  Temptation or failure.  God will be there and not allow more than I can handle.  So bringing God close to my marriage and allowing him to see me more deeply even though I know he already sees all.  The scripture also ensures that God is on my side or the side of my marriage vow.  “What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Chorus:

But the voice of truth tells me a different story

The voice of truth says, ‘Do not be afraid!’

The voice of truth says, ‘This is for My glory’

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

If I stop and listen, I hear God’s voice telling me to that my marriage and life will be stronger and more fulfilling if he is in the center.  I hear him telling me to reach out and grab hold of his love and promises.  As long as I have God first he will be glorified. I believe that God will be glorified in my marriage because  he can show me the way to honor and glorified him in all that I do.  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Oh what I would do to have

The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant

With just a sling and a stone

Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors

Shaking in their armor

Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand

But the giant’s calling out my name

And he laughs at me

Reminding me of all the times

I’ve tried before and failed

The giant keeps on telling me

Time and time again. ‘Boy you’ll never win!’

‘You’ll never win!’

Do you hear the giant laughing,  I have heard the giant laughing at me, but I feel the strength of God telling me that I can take the next step in my life and my marriage will be stronger for it.  I can be David before what seems like Goliath!  “Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45.  I walk in the name of the Lord and he will be by my side, so I look to the future may God show me his path that I might glorify him.

But the stone was just the right size

To put the giant on the ground

And the waves they don’t seem so high

From on top of them lookin’ down

I will soar with the wings of eagles

When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus

Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

I choose to listen and believe the voice of truth, the voice of my Father and his son Jesus Christ. I will not let my heart worry and my love for him be distracted in this world, but I will know that God is in control.  “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1.  I will find my strength in the Lord on his wings.  “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31.  I will bring God to the center of my life and my marriage.  

Closing Verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Challenge:  Is God’s Voice of Truth your Center?

Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One.

Count Your Blessings

Just as I have said in an earlier post about this song sometimes a song just has impact and this one continues to linger with me as I live in a world of turmoil.  We all need to Count our Blessings.  So bear with me as I explore this song once again.  

Just as I have said in an earlier post about this song sometimes a song just has impact and this one continues to linger with me as I live in a world of turmoil.  We all need to Count our Blessings.  So bear with me as I explore this song once again.  

Count Your Blessing

Rend Collective

I was blind, now I’m seeing in color

I was dead, now I’m living forever

I had failed, but you were my redeemer

I’ve been blessed beyond all measure

Blessed

If there is one thing I am fully aware of is that I am blessed.  God has given me the time to focus on Him and all he has provided for me.    “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  James 1:17.   God is Good, and through all his blessings for me he still is asking me to really look and appreciate all that is around me.  Maybe the words “I was blind and now I see in color” reflect one being saved, for me I really see the colors of God’s world.  I see what is important.  I am living and want to continue to live both here and forever with you.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:6.

Treasure

I was lost, now I’m found by the father

I’ve been changed from a ruin to treasure

I’ve been given a hope and a future

I’ve been blessed beyond all measure

I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing

Letting go and trusting when I cannot see

I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing

Surely every season you are good to me

Oh, you are good to me

Oh, you are good to me

God is showing me the treasures he has stored up for me.  “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.” Luke 12:33.  I want to focus more on trying to live out this verse.  How do I live for God in order to experience God more and have less to distract me from His Grace and Glory all around me.  He is allowing me to taste heaven here on earth, and I am thirsty for more.  I want to experience more of his beauty and grace.  I want to not just count my blessing but enjoy my blessings.  Luke 12:34 states it best, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Strength

You were there in the valley of shadows

You were there in the depth of my sorrows

You’re my strength, my hope for tomorrow

I’ve been blessed beyond all measure

I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing

Letting go and trusting when I cannot see

I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing

Surely every season you are good to me

Oh, you are good to me

Oh, you are good to me

I have walked through valleys and across mountain tops and I know that my life will be filled with both.  Yet, I have hope in God’s strength, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13.  As I walk through the life God is giving me and count the many blessings, I know that I continue to need his strength to make decisions to walk his path.  I know that the only strength I can rely on is that which the Lord provides.  Listening to this song, I feel my Lord’s strength which I will need and promised to me in  1 Chronicles 16:11, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

Surely your goodness pursues me

Surely your heart is still for me

I will remember your mercies all my days

Through every storm and gale

Closing Verse: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

Challenge:  Count Your Blessings

Songwriters: Gareth Gilkeson / Chris Llewellyn / Bridget Herron / Ali Gilkeson / Will Herron / Steve Mitchell / Patrick Thompson

Counting Every Blessing lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group