Tag Archives: faith

Broken Friends

 

“Confront me with the truth and I’ll shut up, show me where I’ve gone off the track. Honest words never hurt anyone, but what’s the point of all this pious bluster? You pretend to tell me what’s wrong with my life, but treat my words of anguish as so much hot air. Are people mere things to you? Are friends just items of profit and loss?
 
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Warning!  Warning!  Warning!!
What you are about to read may cause you to remember some not so nice things about your past.  I apologize up front for any emotional roller coaster I have taken you on.  
 
Just recently the Lord has been dealing on my past, as ugly as some of it was, and the things He brought to my attention were not so pretty.  My life as many of yours, has not been a bed of roses.  My parents adopted me when I was 9 months old and I was brought into a home where I was wanted and loved but the same did not ring true for my parents.  My dad drank and my mom constantly nagged him.  As I grew older I just wanted to run away to where ever I could escape the stress.
 
As I looked to friendships to fill voids in my life, I learned to confide in others very easily and I trusted.  Always trusted.  Then at age 5 my best friend Wendy moved away.  Now some say age 5??  Well I remember as if it was yesterday.  I remember waving goodbye on the curb as my only friend was driven away by her parents.  Then at age 8 my next best friend Kim moved to Texas with her family.  I still can remember the emptiness I felt as one by one they left.
 
Then the heart-breaker was when Eleanor died and went to be with Jesus.  I don’t remember how old I was but I remember waiting for her to come home on the bus (she was handi-capped) and as soon as she would get off the bus we would go lay in the grass for hours and watch the clouds in the sky.  When Jesus took her home I was just devastated.  As time went by I had friends but no one really close until just before Junior High.  My friend and I got really close and I spent more time at her house than my own.  Her sisters and brothers were like my own.
 
Then one day she confronted me and all of a sudden she did not like me anymore.  She said she did not like the way I did my hair or make up and other various things about me and it shattered my idea of what best friends were.  Through out the remainder of Junior High and High school I had friends.  Some were close and others were just fun to hang out with.  At this point I really did not want to get too close to anyone.  The rejection that I felt from my past Best Friend relationships was too much to bear repeating.
 
When I got married, my ex-husband separated me from most of my friends. As my life began to revolve itself around raising kids and taking care of my ex-husband and trying to hold down a full time job, I felt I just did not have time for any friendships.  Even when I started to go back to church I really did not see any need to seek out a best friend.  I figured God was all I had left and He would never leave me.
 
Just recently my husband and I started a class at church called Love and Respect and the facilitator was instructing the husbands to choose someone to be accountable to.  He said the wives did not need to do that because they always were talking to someone on the phone or had a circle of friends to help hold them accountable.  My immediate thought was, “Not Me!”  I no longer have a best friend.  I have no one in my life except my husband to confide in.  I don’t have someone to call at 2 am if I have a crisis that just needs a girlfriends help.  I was bestfriendless…..and to me that was just fine.
 
What I saw in all of this was rejection.  I did not even realize I had a fear of rejection until that man spoke that one sentence about finding an accountability partner other than our spouse………
God has a funny way of doing things for sure.  After class I was in the sanctuary during the opening welcome and a friend came to me with exciting news and I just looked at her with tears in my eyes and I asked her to be my best friend.  
 
Here is another prime example of how God knows exactly what we need before it’s anything we want in life and soon we come to the realization that it’s what we needed all along.  For me it is on to new beginnings.  I am searching the face of God on this new best friend relationship.  It’s been so long for me that I am not sure I even know how to be a best friend to anybody but my hubby.  
 
So now that I have bared my soul on Best Friends I hope I have not stirred up some things in you, BUT, if I did, I pray God begins a new work in you.  I pray God leads you to that perfect friendship.  A friendship that is lasting and edifying,  One that will withstand any storm it faces.  God is love and love is true friendships.  We all need that one person separate from our home life that we can trust and confide in.  Someone who will listen.  Someone who will laugh and cry with you.  But most of all someone who will hold you to that higher standard.
 
 
 
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The Pop Bottle Paper Towel Theory

2 Corinthians 13:5-9

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we’d rather the test showed our failure than yours. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise. We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.
faithtoovercome
Ever just been in a moment where you have exhausted every idea possible and you still don’t have a solution?  You have called 5 different friends asking for advice and followed through with some of their ideas.  You have Google searched for every answer possible and still nothing seems to be working on your issue?
Well just recently we have water leaking into our bedroom in the basement and EVERYTHING is getting soaked.  Just when we thought it was done, 2 am rude awakening when you step upon squishy carpet on your way to the bathroom.   GRRRRRR…you just want to scream, yet you know there is more to this story than just some flood running rapid in the basement!
Today I decided after we had the 15 foot snow pile removed from the side of the house and the water company had ruled it was not a burst or frozen pipe issue that I was going to find an answer to this.  After MANY loads of spinning out towels and drying them only to place them right back on the floor to soak up the water, I sought some answers.
Someone suggested a  pump but because it is not actual standing water but rather just a slow seepage of water, this would not work.  Someone suggested some plastic and duct tape…seemed doable…not so much.  See the problem is you can’t just put  a bucket under the hole in the wall where the water line comes in because it is just dripping down the wall.  So what does a girl with faith do?   She prays.
Lord, I thank you for the towels and the washer.  I thank you for the dryer and the clean basement floor.  I thank you that this is more than a physical thing but also a spiritual awakening.  I thank you for the flood of blessings that I cannot contain.  I thank you for the patience to ring out towel after towel.  Now, I ask the Holy Spirit to ignite my imagination with a solution to catch the running water.  Lord, you promised no more floods and I also know that you will replace 100 fold what the enemy destroys.  In faith I wait on you Lord.  AMEN
Within minutes I saw an image of a baggie and some duct tape along with a paper towel.  Hmmmmm..seemed strange but worth a shot.  I gathered my supplies and applied this apparatus to the wall…no luck.  I thought for a moment thinking I must have gotten the image wrong so I prayed again..waiting on the Holy Spirit…OH!  a plastic pop bottle.  I went upstairs and retrieved a 20 oz bottle and began to cut it to fit around the pipe.  Did not work.  Added the paper towel and to my amazement the water flowed right into the plastic pan I had to catch the water.
Now, water still is going on the floor but much less than before, 90% of the water is going into the pan.  Praise God!   I knew where there is a will there would be a way and it was because I waited on God.  Everyday we have to have this same faith.  We have to believe that God has a plan for every situation.  Yes, EVERY situation.  I may be battling this mess for awhile but God has made it easier to manage. What in your life would be easier to manage if you allowed God to fix the problem?

Coloring in the Lines

1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love

         ] If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.  Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. …

Life1

This week I am focusing on relationships…ya know those things filled with love and stuff?  What is a relationship? Webster defines it as follows:

re·la·tion·ship

noun \-shən-ˌship\

: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other

: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people

: the way in which two or more people or things are connected

God describes it perfectly in the scripture verse above.  Love is something we might never ever wrap our minds fully around.  This week I will share a little bit about my husband and I’s relationship in hopes of shedding light onto the subject from our perspective.  Let me begin by stating, I told God I did not want a man in my life.  Some may giggle, but I did exactly that.  After being in a very broken relationship for 22 years, I just wanted to publish a book and travel.  That’s it. No attachments. No commitment except to God.  Just me, myself and Jesus!

Funny how God had MUCH bigger plans for me.  It says a relationship is how people communicate or deal with each other.  Hmmm, deal with? It makes it sound like such a complicated, hard thing.  A true relationship built on love is easy. Yes there are some things to work out, however, I feel the secret to a successful relationship is simply God.  If God is love, then a relationship based on God is then surely based on love.  John and I know that if we ever stop letting God be the center of our marriage we will surely fall short of the intent of love.  We know that the absence of God is the absence of love.

When John and I met we both knew God.  Now, while I was content to be without man, John on the other hand was seeking for a wife.  I still laugh sometimes when I think about how sneaky God can be sometimes.  So often in life we think we have it all figured out and we are going to tell God how it’s going to go.  Wrong!  He has awesome plans for our lives.  He longs to see us happy!  So long story short, God showed up in both of our lives and though John got what he wanted all along, I had to come to the realization that often God gives us what we need in life long before we realize that we really wanted it all along anyways.

Tomorrow, I will share how things change in relationships.  I will share how we can grow stronger in not only love but our faith.  If only we could get that embedded in our brains:  God is love and love is God, the word relationship would not be such a scary one in our vocabulary.

The Seed In You

1 Corinthians 13

The Message (MSG)

The Way of Love

13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

seedknow

 

So we talked about finding seeds, receiving seeds and giving seeds to others, but what about the seed that is in you?  Remember that day when someone asked you if you knew Jesus?  Then that moment when everything just seemed to make sense about love and God?  Ah Ha!  That moment the seed took root!  That happy moment when you just knew beyond the shadow of doubt everything was going to be okay.  For me I was 6 and attending a vacation Bible school with my neighbors.  I can see it in my mind as if it was yesterday.  The day I took the seed from the man who was calling us to invite Jesus into our hearts, oh what a happy day!

 

So what did I do with that seed?  I began to go to church wherever I could.  I began to get to know God and what He was all about.  I even convinced a few friends here and there to meet my Jesus and as I got older I kinda just set that seed aside while I tried life on my own.  All along I knew God.  I knew what He did for me.  I knew that He was my provider.  I knew He loved me enough to let me go and do my own thing for awhile.  Here I am years later, divorced and remarried and I still know all those things about God.  So how did I do on my own?  Eh…it was like playing the lottery..you win and your happy so you don’t need any help but when you are losing and broke you cry out to God for help of any kind.

 

What have I learned in those lost years?  That God is a restore of all things.  Even if we make wrong choices we can be led right back to God and His ways of providing for us.  I finally learned not too long ago how to rest in Him.  If things are already planned out like it says in Jeremiah 29:11 then we just have to wait on God to direct our paths.  We need to be still and quiet to hear His still small voice.  Once we hear that voice we are off to the races!  We begin to pursue thos  things which God gave to us.  As for me, I am at a crossroads per say.  I want to move forward with my books and begin sharing the Good News by public speaking, yet I am waiting on God’s timing.  All I can say my friends is know, rest and pursue. These are the three things to a successful life!

Alone or Set Apart

Psalm 4:3

New Living Translation (NLT)

3 You can be sure of this:
    The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
    The Lord will answer when I call to him.

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I never seem to fit in I always say.  My husband actually had to push me at first to go to women’s group every other Monday night. I disliked new groups.  I felt like a not valid part of any group.  I often thought, “What difference will what I say make in any ones life?” Then of course God reminds me that we heal others and share Jesus with our testimonies. Then my mind starts telling me my testimony is not that great and who would want to hear me rambling on.  All pure lies from the enemy.

Every time I have shared my past life, someone takes notice.  Not of me, but of Jesus.  Even I sometimes ponder on what amazing things God did in my life over the last 43 years.  Sometimes my own testimony helps me get over something I am dealing with today so why wouldn’t my story help others?

Often times in life, God sets us apart for season.  Perhaps He wants us all to Himself so that He can pour into us.  Other times He many want to separate us from a disaster we have gotten ourselves into.  Or maybe He just needs our full attention so that we can get back on track with our destiny.  No matter the reason, there is a reason for being set apart.

How can we tell the difference from being alone or separated? Simple. It all comes to choosing.  If you are choosing to follow after God and are listening and obeying to what He directs then you are choosing to allow Him to set you apart.  If you are choosing to be a part of a group instead of being alone then here again it is your choice.  Perhaps it is time to begin to step out in faith and BE a part of  a group.  Begin to share your story.  Start to believe in you as the person God has created you to be. 

Brace Yourself

Job 11:13

“If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
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What do we do in preparation for a storm?  We close the windows, seek shelter and make sure our families are all accounted for.  Then we wait out the storm process until the clouds lift and it appears safe to return to whatever we were doing.  Sometimes if the storm is bad enough, repairs need to be done right away while the milder storms just remind us that we need to stay alert.  Is this not how it is concerning our spiritual walks?
I feel that when God wants to change something in us He will send a storm.  First a small one to get our attention and if the changes don’t occur then the storm gets bigger.  Now mind you these storms are not meant to harm but to heal.  God needs our foundations to be stirred sometimes so that we can awaken to a whole new process or way of thinking.  Everything we go through once we commit ourselves to Christ is meant for glorifying God and creating in us clean, pure hearts.  If we never go through the storms, then we will remain just as we are….safe but unchanged.
I welcome storms in my life because I know it will bring  me ever closer to Jesus and the way I need to live.  Storms come in many forms and intensities and so does the changing on the inside.  Sometimes there is a drastic change of character while other times just a gradual steady rain of rearranging our thought processes until they come inline with Jesus.
All in all if we never experience storms in our life, we will never know how to stretch our faith.  The stretching of our faith comes when we know God is tugging at something in our life and we have to be willing to trust that God’s ways are always better than ours.  We have to have the faith that He will see us through the storms and that we will be better for having gone through them.  We  need to stop burying our heads in the sand and waiting for the storms to pass without change.
Are you ready for a storm?  Is God preparing to change something in your heart?  Well, then brace yourself all the while knowing God is in control and you will become a new creation with every storm.  Your faith will grow and your character will ever change into a more Christlike form. And that my friends is a good thing!

Little Girl Faith

Luke 18:15-17

Jesus Blesses the Children

          One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

???????????????????????????????With open arms Jesus stands waiting for us to enter into His love, why are we so stand offish?  It says for us to come unto Him as little children, what exactly does this mean?  Well the answer is simpler than you think.  It means running towards love and embracing it  with no fear, no judgement, no wondering if we will be rejected and in complete trust that the arms will stay open until we are safely in them.  That is how simple His love is, so why do we make it so complicated?

My husband and I went to a local church tonight to watch an Easter play.  It basically began at Genesis and ended at Revelation and showed the love of God from beginning to end, things I have already learned and seen in my walk yet one part in particular just grabbed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.  I could hardly see the scene at times through the tears which flowed as I watched Jesus pick up this little lame girl, heal her and set her back down.  He had healed her.  What joy flooded my soul!  Later in the same scene He is dancing with her and enjoying her company…let me get real with you and tell you what this did to my spirit…..

This scene first took me to a place of complete rest in Jesus.  As I saw Him take that little girl from her fathers arms I could see that little girl was me.  As He held me close to His chest and prayed over me I was brought back to the many times where I had resided in the arms of Jesus just receiving my healing.  Secondly when they were dancing I felt so much joy and it showed me just how easy it is to accept Jesus and His love for us.  If only we could humble ourselves enough to run to open arms of Jesus everyday.

I encourage you to close your eyes after reading this and begin to imagine what it feels like to be held in the arms of Jesus.  Even if you feel you do not deserve it, press in.  Even if you feel you don’t have enough faith, start running.  When you see Jesus standing before you, know that He is real and means no harm.  It is safe there in His arms.  Run to Him, He is patiently waiting your arrival.