Fulfillment

Aren’t we all looking for some kind of fulfillment in this life? Where do you go for it? The TV? Relationships? Food? Alcohol? Our society inundates us with these empty promises. False fulfillment. Temporary satisfaction that leaves us feeling the emptiness deepening. Our very foundations begin to crack when we rely on the things of this world.

Take a moment to stop right where you are and think about where you look to for relief in the midst of the storms.

How do we handle the unknown, the pain, the suffering, the injustices that are all around us? Who do we look to? Where can we find true peace?

Psalm 29

1 A psalm of David. Give honor to the LORD, you angels; give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength. 2 Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea. 4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull. 7 The voice of the LORD strikes with lightning bolts. 8 The voice of the LORD makes the desert quake; the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” 10 The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. 11 The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.   

 

The voice of the Lord is mightier than anything this world brings to us. He created this world, why would I think anything could be bigger than Him? How easily we forget who watches over us, who created the very air we breathe. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is mightier than the circumstances we face.

Today I choose to pause in my stressors and anxieties and bring them before my God. I choose to smile in the face of adversity, knowing that I have a mighty force before me, behind me and within me. All of this will pass, all will come to an end, but I have an eternity before me that I can look forward to. I will be in the very presence of our great Creator and will bow before Him full of joy.

All of this is temporary, I cannot stress that enough. We all know our time here is short and that we need to make the most of it, but what does that mean exactly? What am I to make the most of? Simple pleasures? Physical fulfillment? Drowning away my sorrows and numbing myself? What does God say? What is the meaning of life?

Romans 12 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Living Sacrifice to God

12 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

 

Read this, study this and apply it to your lives. Let the Lord work through you and you will truly be amazed at what comes out it. Stop searching and look to the Creator of all things. He will always lead you to a place of true fulfillment.

May God bless you today.

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Proverbs Study Day 10

Welcome to day 10 of Proverbs. I am excited to hear what God has to tell us today!

Proverbs 10
The Proverbs of Solomon
The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother. Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life. The lord will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked. Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace. The godly are showered with blessings; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away. The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces. People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.
People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace. The words of the godly are a life-giving mountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses. Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.
Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster. The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction. The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin. People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray. Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool. Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense. The blessing of the lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible. The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted. When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation. Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes. Fear of the lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing. The way of the lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked. The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land. The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

What have I taken away from this chapter today:
What strikes me the most today is that this chapter repeats the idea that the mouth of a godly person gives wise advice and wise words. Now, calling myself a godly woman has always been difficult, as I feel completely unqualified and that I fall way short. However, I can say that as I go throughout my day and when I sit here to write, I am relying on God to work through me. As I write, speak and listen, I am always hoping that there is an opportunity to bring something useful to another person. I desire to see God working in this life and just know that He will use me if I allow Him to.
I have always enjoyed writing and have always been insecure in it. When starting this blog, I struggled with publishing it and sharing. God was telling me that it was needed. My heart was telling me that we all need to share more with each other and that we are not alone in our struggles.
I look to bring joy to Jesus and to His children He brings along my path. Even if the words I publish bring a small comfort to just one person, I am happy. I don’t need to know that an impact is made. I only need to know where my heart is when I am writing and to have faith that it goes where it is needed.
I feel that I am showered with blessing each and every day. I am so imperfect and often cannot bear myself when I am in a bad place. We are all human and no one can be expected to reach the standard that Jesus met. I am glad to be instructed by my Lord and am glad to share those experiences with you all. I hope and pray that His word reaches your heart today.
My prayer for today:
Lord, hear my cry for You. My heart thirsts for You. Use me Lord, shine through me and work in my life. I pray that the people You bring to me are impacted by Your power and the transformations they see taking place. I thank You for Your Word and Your unending and underserved Grace. In the precious name of Jesus Christ, I pray these things.

Proverbs Study Day 2

God morning! Here we are on day 2! Keep praying and commenting, I love to hear from you all. The more we all share the wider each of our perspectives will become. God uses His people, will you allow Him to use you today?


Proverbs 2

The Benefits of Wisdom

My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk in integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.  Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths. They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil. Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong. Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman. She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave. The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life. Follow the step of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.


What have I taken away from this chapter today:

As I was typing this chapter, I was struck again with the reminder of our free will and that walking with God or walking away from God, is a personal choice we all make. You cannot make the choice for anyone other than yourself. We can pray for others and hope that they will open their eyes to the Holy Spirit and accept Jesus into their lives, but the choice is all theirs. This is why I think so many turn away from those that try to manipulate people into choosing. If Jesus is not forcing humanity to follow Him, then why would I think that I can? Who am I to try and force others to do anything at all? It is my job to let them know about Christ and that He is the way, the truth and the light. I am here to proclaim all that He has done and is doing in my life. I am a witness to the saving grace bestowed upon me. I am not to judge others or condemn them for anything. I uphold law as is required by me and that is all. I know that I am guilty of trying to push too hard at times. Sharing and pressuring are not the same thing. I must be sure to keep my intentions pure and to slow down in order to allow the Spirit to work through me. Again, I need to not get in the way!

God is telling me to treasure His commands. I love that. He is telling us to treasure His words, that they are truly that important. More important than any other treasure you can find here on earth. When I was first saved, I would think people were nuts when they would say stuff like that. As I have grown in Christ and my relationship deepens, I get it! As The Spirit has been opening my heart, these words written speak to me in a way I never thought possible. Sounds corny right? Well it is and it’s true!

God protects His children. That does not mean that we will lead lives free of pain or suffering. The problem is that we are so focused on the here and now. I know that I am really just beginning to grasp the concept of an eternal life. That this is not our permanent home, that the  moment my short time on this earth ends, I will instantly be in my Lord’s presence. In the past, when I thought of death, I was terrified and envisioned darkness. Now, I am beginning to see it as a continuation into eternity and I love it! Be anxious for nothing.

Today we are reminded that our Lord loves us so. He is our protector and we must truly concentrate on what He is telling us. I think of when I tell my own children to listen closely because I am telling them something that is important and that I am always coming from a place of wanting to protect them. How much more so is our Great Creator? I do not want to be the wicked that will be removed from the earth, I do not want to be the one that walks in sin away from the paths of life. I want to understand and follow my God in all things. I want to remember that perfection is impossible, but that I will forever be in a state of learning and growing in Christ. I am grateful that I have this choice and that God is patient and gracious enough to allow me the free will I have.

My prayer today:

Father, I come before You in humility and ask for You to grant me wisdom. I praise You and thank You for always protecting Your children and for the great words You have given us. I pray that my knowledge and understanding will continue to deepen as I walk with You. I pray for all that are reading this right now and ask that You wrap them in Your loving, protective light. I pray that You speak to them Lord and that they listen. I continue to pray that You soften this heart of mine and that Your  love will flow out of this life I am living. I pray that I bring peace, joy, love and kindness to all of those You put in my path. Above all else, I just pray for Your will to be done Father. In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things.

Doing Good to All

Galatians 6:1-10

New International Version (NIV)

Doing Good to All

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

As I read this portion of scripture, I can feel the pain that sin can bring into our lives. I have a heart for those that are facing that sin in their lives while having to deal with judgment from fellow believers. We are not to condone sin, we are not to brush it off as no big deal, we are commanded to come along side and to restore gently.

Who I am to pass judgment? Where does God command me to do so? He does not. I can list so many struggles I have in my own life that can easily overcome if I step out of God’s will  for just a moment. How many times have I lashed out from a place of sin and the pain that comes with it? Is it not hard enough dealing with the repercussions that follow my poor choices? Does God not warn us of this?

Matthew 7

New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Brothers and sisters, I take this time to remind us all that we need to be forgiving. We need to allow our Lord to change this hearts, to love as He loves and to forgive as He forgives. Is His grace not sufficient? Do I deserve His love? Did He deserve the wrath He accepted on all of our behalves?

Stop. Take a moment, pray, and gain perspective. Not one of us deserves this life, but our loving God gave it to us anyway. Who are we to pass judgment and condemn others for their sins? Who am I? I am a sinner who struggles to keep my eyes off self and to keep them on my Lord and Savior. I know that I have a very real enemy that is ever lurking and waiting to pounce the very moment I blink. None of us are exempt. We all fall short. Let us join in this together and ease the burden.

Today I pray for you right where you are and in whatever struggles you may be in.

Deepening

There have been many times I started writing a post on here and then closed it, unsure what to write. So I wrote nothing. This is a problem I find in many aspects if my life. I am unsure of what to say or do, so I do nothing at all, afraid of doing the wrong thing. I allow uncertainty and fear to grab hold of me and keep me in a place of inaction. This is not a place I should be in and most definitely not a place where Jesus wants me in. God tells us to step out in the Spirit in faith and love. He will do the rest. Who am I to hold back whatever it is God may be trying to do through me? It’s not my place to deem what is the right or wrong thing to do or say. It is my job to do whatever the Spirit lays on this heart of mine.

Over the past few months I have been trying to deal with the fact that I do not step out of my comfort zone enough. I don’t reach out to dig deeper, I find that I am wading in those shallow place once again. The superficial “hey, how are you” and moving along quickly happens all too often. Yes, I do have a toddler I have to chase after, yes I have children that need to be fed, but they cannot be an excuse.

I want my normal approach to life and the people surrounding me to be deeper. I have been asking God to help deepen my approach to life as He commands me to. He has been doing a work in my life that I have a hard time describing. He has been deepening my understanding and approach to people but I still drift back into the shallow business. I have to remember that I am here on this earth to do God’s work. Nothing else matters. I have heard over and over again that we do not take anything with us when we leave this earth. I face the fact that our time here is short everyday in my work. I know that I will be forgotten shortly after I die. Really, this life I am leading is a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things. Here today and gone tomorrow.

So what am I doing with the time I am given? Am I consistently reaching out to God and asking for Him to work through me every second I breathe? Do I take the time to stand in awe of all that God has created around me? Do I thank Jesus for the awesome sacrifice He made for us? Do I love each and every person I come in contact with because Jesus does and wants me to as well?

Sometimes.

Not enough.

I do these things much more than I once did and I know that I will never do them enough. I am human. I am flawed. I will never meet any mark I set. Jesus is perfection and I can only continue to accomplish His work by allowing Him in. Deeper and deeper. Like a diamond I can only reflect His love and light in this world full of hate and darkness.

The Power of Jesus

This past week has ben an interesting one…technically I guess this  started two weeks ago, I just decided to face it in the last week.

As I have mentioned previously, we have a wonderful new home that we have been moving into these past two weeks. We have waited for quite some time to be in a place where we could move and it was worth the wait, God has truly blessed our family. I have never seen my family happier than they have been in our bright new home!

From the moment we signed the lease my husband has said that the place was haunted. I never felt anything creepy so I just ignored it and assumed he was just trying to creep me out. When I fell in the basement my husband told me it was the ghost of the house tripping me to get my attention, I told him he was crazy and that it was my own fault I stepped wrong. There are no such things as haunting I kept saying.

I work with a woman who has many gifts, I may not necessarily agree with how she uses them from a Christian perspective, but there is no denying her gifts. She confirms that there is a spirit in my home during a conversation a few days ago. She tells me that he is not a malevolent soul but that he is definitely there. When she told me this, it hit me hard that I have definitely been experiencing things that I was choosing to ignore. This caused me to start thinking about my past experiences with the spirit world. I began to wonder if I was meant to communicate with this spirit, did it have something to tell me? Was this a gift that I was supposed to use in this manner? I needed more information. I spoke with the woman at work who said she would be happy to work with me on this and that I should go into my basement and hold the old cane hanging to see what I see and feel from it.

I am sure you are all reading this thinking, what is wrong with you! Don’t yo know that the Bible tells us to NOT communicate with spirits at all?!?! Well I do. I did. I was in a place of confusion and trying to put together my gifts that I know I possess and wondering if I was missing something. I knew I was missing something. In my heart of hearts, I knew that there was a missing piece to this experience and couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I prayed over it, I did not communicate with the spirit and knew that I would want to talk to my pastor before deciding anything. at one point, in the early morning I heard footsteps coming up my stairs while I was contemplating all this and I simply told it to go away and that I needed to speak with my pastor before I decided what I was going to do with it. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? I felt crazy while it was happening.

Past experiences of my imaginary friends I had when I was growing up that were only at one family members home were playing in my mind. Memories of how I would speak to the earth, the trees and rocks when I was a child, the person I spoke to at the age of 10-11, that only I could see and others made fun of me for. The Ouija board experience that scared the crap out of me and looking back at convinced me that my friend and I were speaking with a dark spirit that must have attached itself to him. He spoke to me of a spirit that followed him home that night, he swore it was sleeping next to him, his life went down hill fast from there and I never put it together. I pray for him now.

There is the fact that I just know things. I can feel other people’s feelings, I can tell the moment a lie comes out of a person’s mouth. I know when things are going to happen, i have dreams that come true. These are gifts from God that I have and I began to wonder why He would allow me to feel spirits, why would I know where they are and when they are around? What is the purpose?!

So I speak to my pastor and after telling him that I was pretty sure he would think I was crazy, I laid it all out and asked for some help! Brilliant man that he is (there is a reason he’s a pastor!), he told me that first of all the Bible tells us that a spirit is and always was a spirit, never a living being.

Hebrews 9:27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, (NLT)

Then why does this spirit portray itself as an old man who lived in the home?

Brilliance again, the spirits are all around us and watch us. They can tell many intimate details about the people they dwell among. The spirits in my life as a child can tell you much about me. This is how they can make us comfortable conversing with them and how they catch our attention. We can verify facts that they offer and that can bring a sense of comfort in this type of thing.

Why was it opening my blinds? Why was it making the sounds of footsteps? By the way, I made sure it wasn’t the cats as they were in my room and everyone else was sleeping. There is a distinct noise my stairs make when someone walks up them. My pastor reminded me of the story of the demon possessed boy.

Mark 9 25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” 29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

He brought to my attention that it was not necessary for the spirit to make the boy convulse and froth at the mouth, just like it was not necessary for the spirit in my home to make footsteps or open blinds. The reason they do these things is to creep us out and cause fear and doubt.

My pastor also reminded me that I could tell it to leave in the name of Jesus….I seemed to forget that part, I was thinking I needed to have someone else do it for me.

This was huge! The missing link! I was ignoring it and hoping it would go away. I needed to acknowledge its presence and tell it to go away. I had to dedicate that home and my family to Jesus and cleans my home. I have the power in Jesus! Jesus is power! How could I forget that? How could I allow this to bring fear into my heart? I know better!

This is why I share this with you. I do know better. I had the answers and God was working in me to show me what needed to be done, I just allowed myself to be blinded to it. This is why fellowship is so important. I felt stupid and crazy but chose to talk about it anyway. I threw it out there and shared my crazy thoughts and feelings with my pastor. I am happy that I did, otherwise I would still be living in wonder and fear.

We need to lean on and open up to each other. We need to be able to share or fears, our experiences and our doubts. We all have them. Only when we can be real and reach out can we truly support and lift each other up in the midst of these trials, both big and small.

Today I encourage us all to open and honest about our struggles. Lean on each other and seek clarity when the darkness seems to ba making it difficult to see clearly. Most of all remember that you have power in Jesus, all you need to do is call on Him and He will be there. He will work through you as powerfully as you expect Him to. The key is to expect Him to do miracles and He will!

In the Power of Jesus I pray you have a blessed day.