Powerful words!!

Well, being divorced twice by the time you turn twenty-three can make you realize a few things. One, divorce is a wonderful tool when you have absolutely no idea what marriage is about. Two, misinformed spouses are never there for you; but equally miserable friends are.. Three, equally miserable friends can be your closest companions; especially if they have good connections.
Well, lets take an intermission……See, after the divorce (2nd) I had written off relationships all together. So a relationship with roommates and beer, beer, beer would be much better. The mother of my sons was pulling half of my income in the form of child support, I wasn’t up for playing daddy, partying was much easier. Of course, man can not live on beer alone, for that he needs a drinking buddy or two. Don’t forget to add in the cost of living and well it just makes more sense to…

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“Why should I go to church? I can be close to God in my house”

This is an excerpt from a book that I learned about today. It was in the program for my church. The book is called, An honest look at a mysterious journey.

I can’t say that I got much out of the church services during this season of our lives, good though they may well have been. That whole concept- “getting something out of a service”- arises from a consumer mindset anyways. Yet, I believe that it was essential that we attended when we wanted to least. Our worlds, already small, would have shriveled even further without this act of discipline. Being the kind of person I am, I had to try to make some sense of why I was going to church in spite of my own desires. during my least favorite season to attend church, I recorded some reasons why I kept going anyway.

Looking back over the last few months I realize that by attending church I think thoughts that I would not otherwise think, I hear truths I would not otherwise hear, I sing songs I would not otherwise sing, I meet people I would not otherwise meet, I give offerings I may not otherwise give, I rejoice in missions’ efforts and in new followers of Jesus that i would otherwise not know about, I receive encouragement and challenges that I would not otherwise receive, I shed tears I would not have otherwise shed, I receive a blessing I would not have otherwise received, I pray prayers I would not have thought to pray, I meet God in a way that I would not have met Him had I stayed home in my chair, and perhaps, my attendance is an encouragement or testimony to someone else.

When I am there I may not like every song or agree with every word spoken. That’s not the point. I may have wrestled with Him all week; but come the weekend I publicly present myself again to acknowledge my allegiance to Him. Satan may have beaten me around during the week, but I’m going to show up in church again and declare whose side I’m on.

This passage from the book reminds me of 2 Samuel 14:14

All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. That is why God tries to bring us back when we have been separated from Him. He does not sweep away the lives of those He cares about and neither should you!

Also in 2 Samuel 22:17-18

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He delivered me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.”

For us to walk with God and remain true in our walk we must go to church. Having fellowship is one of His requirements. I don’t always get the chance to go because of work but when I do get the day off, I am there. A friend of mine describes it as a reset button from the week he’s had. I look at it, that it is a place where I feel calm, safe, and never judged. It is also a place where I go to learn and hear His message. It doesn’t matter what your reason is for going just so long as you go. Again I am guilty of not always going but I feel so much better when I do.

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade is what we have all been told. What then do you make of life when it gives you truth revealed through misery, separation, loneliness, and misuse? What do you do when you start looking so deep into humanity that you can feel the weight of all their sufferings landing on your shoulders? What do you say to the lost and hurting, when you yourself hurt too because they are lost, because they are hurting? At what point do you throw in the towel and accept defeat, because this world just continues to fall and you’re not strong enough to catch it? When should you intervene and take control, demand that the world just silences itself for two-minutes and pay attention to the wisdom you might possess?
How do you even make lemonade? Well, this life would be too easy if all we had…

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If I can be forgiven, so can you

This is the story of how I asked Jesus to come into my heart. Y’all have read my testimony so you know my greatest personal sin was that I was selfish and murdered my child by having an abortion. Pro- Choicers don’t call it that, they call it a woman’s right to choose. It is not. It’s murder plain and simple. There is no other word for it. On October 5th of 2012 my friend and I were texting back and forth that morning about a Matthew West song called The Motions, then he brought up one of his new ones called Forgiveness. His favorite part was when he says “Even when the jury and the judge say its okay to hold a grudge, it’s that voice inside that says to set it free, forgiveness”. This got me thinking about what had been on my heart for so long. The following is my statement and his response:
Me: Forgiveness is a hard thing to ask for especially when you feel you don’t deserve it and never will.

Michael: I have a sermon about that, just something I heard. To sum it up by the grace of god we are redeemed, God does not want us living in misery, he forgives whatever we ask for. As long as it comes from a passionate heart. Plus forgivness is a gift we give ourselves if we have sinned against someone else. Even if they don’t forgive you the act of admittance allows us to free ourselves from the chains that have bound us. By surrendering your sin to God. If you know you will never attempt to repeat the sin, then you can begin to release yourself from your bonds. It still may take awhile to heal and you may always feel separation, but as you pray for healing from that, time will cure that as well. Forgiveness covers all transgressions, time makes us realize the truth behind forgiveness. Healing comes through faith.

Later that night we were discussing abortion and I asked if that could ever be forgiven. I had looked it up before but hadn’t felt ready to be forgiven. I hadn’t punished myself enough. Every day I punished myself, it was never ending. I can not remember his words but essentially he told me the same thing he had texted me earlier. Something clicked and I finally accepted that I could be forgiven. I got down on my knees and talked to God. I spent over an hour just talking to Him and towards the end when I said the words that I accept Him, that I believe He sent His Son to die for us, that I am a sinner, and I want to live my life for Him I had this sense of peace just draped over me. Michael says that it was The Holy Spirit coming into me. I believe it was Him wrapping His arms around me and comforting me like my mom and grandma used to when I was little.
I regret the decisions I made but I probably would not have come to Christ the way I did if they hadn’t happened. God gave me free will to make the choices I did but like any parent He forgives us when we admit to Him that we made the wrong one. Sometimes we have to be broken down to get built up and become new again. You can be forgiven. You just have to ask for it and believe with all of your heart. You also will have to make changes in your life. You will need to do your absolute best to stop sinning. We are not perfect and God understands that; He loves us anyways. You will need to come out of the darkness and start being a light.

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Banish the darkness

Again last night I fell asleep to the tv and this morning there was a preacher talking about getting out of the darkness and into the light. I then checked my Facebook because I couldn’t fall back asleep right away and the first post was from my friend, Shirl:
“Don’t let the darkness of the past cover the brightness of the future” – unknown

Here’s God talking to me again but what is He truly telling me? I’ve risen up from the darkness that was my past. I have grown and realized that I was living a sinful life, I have accepted The Lord as my savior, acknowledged that He sent His Son to die for our sins, and I try to live a life that reflects Him and would be worthy of Him. So maybe this isn’t a message for me. I’m going to write this for everyone that is stuck in the darkness and maybe it will reach the one it’s supposed to.
When we get stuck in the past we are not able to move forward. We focus on past transgressions and on people who did us wrong even if it was only a small thing. If we continue to surround ourselves in dark eventually no light will be able to shine through and God’s light will not be able to find you. You will miss out on the infinite amount of love He has for us and forget about spending eternity in heaven. You will become so full of hate and anger that you will make the devil rub his hands in glee. He will be overjoyed at the fact that he has taken one more of God’s children. Let go of the past, learn from it, and accept it. Easier said than done I know. Forgive those who have hurt you and done you wrong. You are not responsible for their actions and remember that you don’t know what was going on in their lives while they were hurting you. They may not have realized that what they were doing was wrong or they might have had other reasons for doing it. Let God be their judge. Let God judge their actions. Have they asked for forgiveness from you? If so, then give it. Wouldn’t you expect the same when you’ve done wrong? Look at their actions since they’ve hurt you; have they repeated it or have they learned from it? Then look at your actions? Have you hurt someone or done someone wrong? If the answer is yes then go to that person and ask for forgiveness. You can’t forgive someone if you don’t also ask for forgiveness.
Each day is precious don’t waste it by wallowing in darkness. Embrace the light because there is no better place.

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What is time?

Time is…
Too slow for those who wait
Too swift for those who fear
Too long for those who grieve
To short for those who rejoice
But for those who love…
Time is eternity
This is written on an old piece of wood and belonged to my Grandma Dank. I found it in a box of her stuff after I moved back to oregon in June.
Part of it spoke to me then so I hung it up and was reminded of her and her love for me every time I looked at it.
The whole thing now speaks to me. It’s funny how time is moving too fast and too slow all at once. How is that even possible? It does though; some days it’s a good thing and others its not. What people is it for when time seems to stop? Because that’s the time frame I am in lately. My world has changed dramatically over the past 10 months, I’ve experienced so many feelings I hadn’t before. Some that left me breathless with the possibilities, others that have strengthened me, filled me hope, and some that have filled me with despair. Through these times I have learned more of who I am and what I want. They have made my convictions stronger and made me realize what is important to me. Even though time has stopped for me I’m still growing into the person I am supposed to be; the one God envisioned when He created me.

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Listen to me when I’m talking to you!

Remember when we were kids and our parents kept telling us the same thing over and over again and we pretty much ignored them until they had to yell at us to get our attention? Well, God yelled at me yesterday…

Friday night I questioned God’s plan for me, I got a buzz and posted that on Facebook. Drinking and Facebook are never a good mix haha. Anyways I received some good advice and a good friend sent a message to me Saturday that kept niggling at my brain:

Being saved is just the tip of the iceberg! After the salvation experience there is also justification process which is enabled by the Holy Spirit and makes us more and more Christ like. This is not easy. Sometimes God will test us in that process and sometimes he will allow the enemy to temp us in that process. The important part is the growth that results. I hope you can find the answers you are looking for and remember that He always answers but sometimes it is “wait and trust me.”

I kept trying to not think of the questions and anger that I had but then my kiddo came home from her dad’s and it all slipped my mind. That night I went to bed watching Law&Order and in the morning I heard a voice saying “If you want something so bad and it is what your heart truly desires then stop asking for it. He knows what’s in your heart and if it is of His will you will receive it.”

The Holy Spirit was definitely talking to me but I still wasn’t ready to fully listen I guess. At church later that day my pastor was on the pulpit doing his thing and he spoke of James 1.

James 1: 2-4 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:12 Blessed is the one perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

I had been questioning my feelings for someone, why the situation is the way it is, why on earth He would let me continue to feel the way I did, and I was angry that He would allow me to go through the pain I was feeling and had been feeling for months. I had said before that I was putting it all into His hands but my faith in that wasn’t strong enough and I continued to question, ask, and be angry.

Well like I said God yelled at me. Three separate times, in three separate ways, and in three separate days; He told me to put it in His hands. That these trials I am going through are for a reason and that I will survive it. It is not my job to question the trials He puts me through and why. It is not my job to question what good will come out of me hurting as badly as I am. We are not supposed to challenge Him or demand things of Him and I will be the first to admit sometimes it’s difficult but when He hollers at you, you better sit up and start listening because you don’t want Him to yell twice.

Fear becomes hope

I wrote this awhile back on my Facebook but I felt it needed to be posted here as well.

When we choose to live without God we fear everything.
We fear losing our jobs, our relationships ending, not being able to pay our bills, and not being able to provide for our families. These fears consume us and so we get stressed out, become angry and depressed. We try to make ourselves feel better by shopping, drinking, and or self-medicating. Whatever gets you through the day, right?
Here’s a better way to get you through.
Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be sincere when you do. Cry out and give Him your troubles. Let Him carry that burden.
Matthew 6:25
So, I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life- whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing?

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in The Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

We put ourselves through so much unneeded stress and curse God when times are hard. We curse each other as well. We act like so many are against us and making our lives miserable. It is all in how you look at it. If you start your day thinking negatively, your day will be filled with nothing but that. When you have Jesus in your heart and you walk with Christ you don’t start your day thinking negative thoughts; you praise Jesus for another day of breathing and being alive. When you have Him in your life and live for Him 100% your fears become hope and faith. You know that He will take care of you and He will provide all that you need.

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Why I Write

Awhile back I was asked why I like to write so much, at the time I gave what was probably the most generic answer; because I love it.

The truth is there are many reasons why I like to write.

I stutter so I don’t really like to speak very much. It comes out when I feel passion for something, when I’m tired, when I’m nervous, when I read out loud, or any ole time it feels like. It’s not as bad as the stuttering bible salesman, it’s more of I just can’t get the word out. My throat closes, then I get embarrassed and frustrated, and then it all goes downhill from there. Most times I am okay and you would never know that I have it. When I write there is no stutter, it’s the only way I can get my feelings out.

Writing also allows me to exercise my demons.  It also helps me to spread God’s message in a way that is more comfortable for me.

I would have to say though that my fear of Alzheimer’s  is why I like to write so much. I have lost three people this year to that disease. One was my Godmother who was not related by blood but by love and marriage, another was my mom’s dad, and the other was my dad’s mom. I have a greater chance of developing it because of it being on both sides of my family. It doesn’t help that I smoke and the only exercise I get is running my behind off at work.

I write everything down so when I start to lose my memory I will be able to look back at it and see who I was and who I became. I will be able to remember that I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. I am so scared of forgetting and so I write everything down; so much that I should probably buy stock in post-it notes. Sometimes I make jokes about my memory and my fear of Alzheimer’s but it is not a laughing matter.

My fear reminds me to live each day like it could be the last one that I remember and to write down everything that happened before I lay my head down each night.

 

 

http://www.alz.org/

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