Good intentions, bad decisions.

When I’m sick (or just lazy and tired) I just want to watch movies and sleep. YouTube is a never ending source of entertainment to whittle away the hours of feverish, achy exhaustion. I open YouTube and scroll my options…unlimited, anything from edifying talks, raunchy tv shows, old westerns, modern chick flicks…you name it. 

In the process of scrolling this sentence came to mind:

When we have good intentions but make bad decisions. Hmmmm…

We do the Bible studies, go to church, buy all the new books that will help transform our existence into abundant living, join another online study that specifically targets comparison, disappointment or depression. Some of us even memorize scripture, confess our faults, go on missions, feed the hungry, fast, seek stillness and strain to cultivate intimacy. We want the more, but our lives feel more lifeless than abundant. We want to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, but the next movie coming out, our boyfriend or chocolate ice-cream seems much more exciting. 

We are all familiar with these comforting words of Jesus:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28 

We truly want to know them as reality but let’s be honest; most of the time we just don’t. 

So even with our good intentions we find ourselves choosing netflicks over solitude; we find ourselves pregnant before marriage, living in fornication but still believing in Jesus; we reach for a cookie and bypass the spinach. We say we trust Jesus but we worry about our past, our future, our health, our kids, our barrenness (spiritually or physically) our hang nails and split ends.

Why do we have such good intentions but make such bad decisions? 

Ever feel like you are dying for life -the true life, the life that it speaks about in John chapter 1 and 10.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

We believe in “Life” but our daily, moment by moment choices don’t reflect that belief. 

We will say with Paul, “to live is Christ and to die is gain”, but do we believe it? 

Do we believe that Christ is better, that Christ is enough, or even truly believe that Christ loves us? Do we as “believers” believe?

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: -John 1:12

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” -John 6:29

Could it be that we have good intentions but make bad decisions because we don’t truly believe; instead we are unbelieving believers or atheistic Christians? 

Dear Jesus, please help our unbelief and increase our understanding.

He is still saying, “Come to Me.” 

Will we listen? 

Give me the love that leads the way

The Faith that nothing can dismay

The Hope no disappointments tire

The Passion that’ll burn like fire

Let me not sink to be a clod

Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God”

Amy Carmichael

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Dear Jesus 

You are our best friend always and forever. Only You love us perfectly and completely. Only you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. Please give us more of You. Thank you for the hard things. The things the hurt, that break our hearts, so that You can put them back together to look more like You. 

Father, break our hearts with what breaks Yours! Let us die along with our desires, our wants… May we desire what You desire; may we want what You want; and may Your Kingdom come, Your will be done! Father, deliver us from ourselves! We truly want Your will above all else. 

Thank You for bearing our pain and our sorrows. Thank You that You are near to the broken hearted. Dear Jesus, may we please live this one short life for You, for Your Kingdom, for Your purpose.

Please come in all Your power and glory and clean these temples. Take the things away that are idols in our lives, that are vying for the throne of our hearts! We are Your temple, Your house! You are zealous for us. Forgive us for being consumed by lesser things.

Thank you for loving us, Jesus. Thank you for making us whole, free and in right standing before Yahweh Himself. Thank you for calling us justified, complete, Yours. 

In Your powerful name help us to go forth with grateful hearts, declaring by faith the work You finished and the new creations we are in You. Help us do battle with the enemy of our hearts. We don’t battle flesh and blood but rulers of darkness who would have us live in continual chains of doubt. We don’t walk by how we feel but by the promises of Your word! 

Thank You for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. We hear You call and we come. Break these chains that hold us down. Break the sin of comparison, selfishness, self-focus, jealousy, hypocrisy, doubt, idolatry, audultry and envy. Deliver us from lies. Thank you for healing us. In Yahshua’s name. 

When the enemy comes in like a knife in the gut, Jesus, be our shield and scatter all our enemies before us. Strengthen our faith. Teach us to war. You are our shield, our sword and our reward! You are everything. Help us come and find our rest in You and You alone. Please strengthen us to walk by faith and not by what we constantly see and feel. 

Thank you for making us overcomers. We fight from a place of already winning, from the truth of Who You are and who You say we are. We are no longer victims tossed and turned by every tempest. We are conquerors. 

Thank you, Jesus!! 

Amen. 

Joh 2:14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.

Joh 2:15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.

Joh 2:16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

Joh 2:17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE HAS EATEN ME UP.”

Weary Of Temptation? 

Can we rejoice when tempted? 
This morning before I even crawled out of bed (A very bad habit that must be overcome. Oh! not the crawling out of bed but the things I do BEFORE crawling out of bed.) I read a quote on twitter by George Whitefield which said, 

“Poverty and temptations are no marks of your being cast off by God. Your Lord was hungered; your Lord was tempted..before you.” 

At the time no inspiration came from that quote. I just hearted it and continued scrolling (another bad habit if you ask me). But a little while later the scene had changed: I was sitting on the back porch, my spine pressed rather uncomfortably up against the brick of the house, a glass of lemon water within reach, tears in my eyes, Bible in hand. The morning was beautiful, the soft breeze proclaimed it, the humming birds spoke it, but my heart was heavy.

Do you ever wish that you could weld the whole Bible right into your heart and just get it, just be it -perminent? Instantly I realize it’s done. Jesus is the Word and He’s in my heart. 

But the temptations come…and with them the tears and the pleads for help. 

So while being tempted, and weary of the same old feelings, and doubts, and fears… (Old is key, because of course that’s the “old man” trying to resurrect herself) I began to think of the verse in James that tells us to rejoice when we are tempted. I’ve always figured “trials” was a more correct translation (maybe it is), but this morning in the face of being tempted to doubt, and to be envious, and to feel forgotten… I realized that instead of walking in the heaviness and sorrow that these temptations bring (for the temptations and darts themselves can weigh very heavy even before it becomes sin, if allowed) I can rejoice in the temptations, because they are testing my faith, (will I resist or will I succumb?) which produces patience, which given her perfect work, perfects us. Doesn’t it makes sense that the enemy would give up and move on if his bullying only made me rejoice all the more for the hope set before me?! 

For this hope we must push on and resist temptation knowing that through the testing of our faith we move on to perfection, to being and looking like Christ. 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: -Ephesians 4:13

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. -James 1:2-4 

Also incredibly important to note, God has made a way to escape! 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. -1 Corinthians 10:13 

For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. -Hebrews 2:16-18 

Scene three was breakfast which, if you are curious, was toast with peanut butter, honey, bananas and cinnamon. Just yum.

Scene four: A very warm, Big house to clean. 

Be strong in the grace upon grace that is in Christ Jesus. 

The End.

-I apologize for the confusion you may find in this post with all the parentheses and run-on sentences….(like this one ha)  sometimes my inspiration and patience to write don’t talk ahead of time. 

Zoom In

The world (with all is lies, and trash, and alluring attractions) is big and looming in our face. The Word takes effort and focus and the fight of faith. 

*Zoom in on the small white sign.* 

Zoom in on Christ today. Let the world become all dim and blurry as Christ becomes all clear and the single focus. Thank you, Jesus, for your patience and mercy! 

1Jn 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

1Jn 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

MANKIND’S SEVEN MISTRESSES

Excerpt From: “Killjoys: The Seven Deadly Sins.” Desiring God. iBooks. 

“. . . And you shall know me, the Lord” (Hosea 2:19–20). We are Hannah, each one of us. The names of our seven affairs are Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust. And the betrayed, but faithful husband is Jesus—our first love, our lost love, our new love.

Undoubtedly there are sins besides these or other ways for naming them, but the seven deadly sins have been some of the most promiscuous and prevalent in history. They form a brothel of mistresses who are all at once familiar and unfamiliar. They’re familiar because every man or woman has tasted them—either for a one-night stand or in a life-long affair. They’ve seduced the sinful in every culture on every continent through every generation. But somehow they’re also unfamiliar. Very few have looked closely enough at their faces to be able to spot them in a crowd or to study the havoc they wreak. They disguise themselves, creep into seemingly harmless situations and conversations, embed themselves deep in our love and devotion, and then giggle when everything begins to unravel and explode. They are the cruelest and most dangerous Bond girls, each beautiful and breathing her own set of lies—outrageous lies and yet they’re strangely sweet and compelling.

Pride -puts herself above God. She foolishly and suicidally contends for supremacy with God, opposing him and inviting his wrath. 

Envy –can’t help being unhappy at the blessing and fortune of others. She seethes as others succeed, and even secretly smiles when they fail. 

Unrighteous anger -viciously attempts to protect a flawed love. She explodes over selfish, irrelevant things, and carelessly overlooks the things that offend and dishonor God. 

Sloth -desperately attempts to control life in order to preserve her comforts, dreading being interrupted by the needs of others. She is lazy-souled—bored with God and doomed to a slow death. 

Greed -overwhelms her victim with an inordinate desire for wealth and possessions. She covets what she shouldn’t or too desperately and impatiently wants what she should.

Gluttony -looks to food to satisfy some deeper craving, whether for comfort, purpose, or control. She worships food. 

Lust -is a sexual desire that dishonors its object and disregards God. She irrationally seizes sex for selfish gain, believing its pleasure will fill the emptiness she feels.

For as long as we can remember, our souls have been exposed to and enticed by seductive, scantily-clad images of all seven of these women. They’ve schemed and lied and pled for our affections, and they’ve too often won the day, or at least the moment. But those who have believed in Jesus have been redeemed from their flirtation and infidelity with sin. We are no longer characterized by or enslaved to our former, illicit lovers. We’re forever loved, pursued, provided for, and freed by a deeper, stronger, and truer Love—a lover larger than our past, stronger than our weakness, and better than any we’ve ever known before.

If you want to read more you can download the book for free here! 

http://www.desiringgod.org/books/killjoys

#blessed 

I’m sitting here pretty baffled and ahmaZed!! (Hope that horrendous grammar and spelling sufficiently emphasizes amazed.) My Father, Yahweh, is amazing. Why? You may ask.. Yes you may. Because He withholds temporary, second best gifts to give me Himself. Wow!!! If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is!  

So this amazing wonder began as I started noticing how we (myself included) define #blessed. 

“I got a new car!” #blessed 

“I get to marry the hottest, most beautiful, chick in the world in just one month!” #blessed 

“I’m going to Australia!” #blessed 

“I have the cutest kids!” #blessed 

“My dream job is finally a reality!” #blessed 

“I own a home!” #blessed 

“I’m hitting up the gym for the 6th time this week.” #blessedbymymuscles 

(You will be too. That’s why I’m posting them on instagram!) 

“I get to go on a mission trip to Africa.” #blessed 

“My boyfriend is such a stud and godly too.” #blessed 

“Ah, my bed!” #blessed 

And in the mean time all these “blessings” may be leaving someone else feeling “not blessed.” We may look down, or around, at at our own life, which allows, the enemy to creep in (or, in some cases, dart in with a gut wrenching stab) and lies to overwhelm truth. 

“Yeah, they have been blessed with what I’ve always wanted, they are blessed, I’m not. What’s wrong with me?” 

But then we Stop! like every good Christian we cast those thoughts away and began to number our own blessings. The thing is I’ve counted blessings to 1000, literally, recording every single one and even kept going. 

“It’s how to find joy”, they said. 

Well, it didn’t work. Yeah, it showed me how many temporary blessings I do have and showed me how grateful I “should be” but it didn’t give me a truly thankful heart. 

You know what works? The only thing that works? This is what is soo amazing!! God Himself equals #blessed. What’s up?! 

Are you looking to God’s “good gifts” for happiness, for a blessed status? Beloved, don’t. We need only look to Jesus and be #blessed, truly blessed. Get a load of this! 

Be aware. It’s a little different than how we tend to view #blessed.

1Pe 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you…

1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.”

Jas 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. 

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation…

Luk 6:20 …”Blessed are you poor…

Luk 6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now…

Blessed are you who weep now…

Luk 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.

Whoa. Do you feel blessed? There’s nothing temporal about this. This it eternal! And this is where true, lasting blessing and joy is found. 

Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

Rev 22:7 “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Rev 19:9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” 

Rev 16:15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

Rev 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

Jas 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Rom 4:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;

Luk 11:28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Rom 4:8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying your girlfriend isn’t a blessing (although she may not be). What I am saying is that if we have Jesus we have everything, we are blessed beyond imagination.

My prayer is for myself and all who reads this, that we would put our heart, soul, body and strength into seeking Him and growing in relationship with Him, into knowing Him, that we would stand in complete awe of who He is, and be satisfied with Himself alone. 

And yes, do keep being thankful for all the abundant, but temporary, good gifts God gives.  

 

Red Rose 

  

This rose speaks a love to me 

A love that will not let me go. 

It always forgives. 

It bestows grace upon grace. 

It reaches out again and again. 

___________________________

This rose speaks of pain to me 

Pain, a price Love paid. 

A life laid down.

Blood spilt out -a covering. 

A pain that bears all pain.

_________________________

This rose speaks of sacrifice,

Of thorns, of beauty, of sorrow,

Of life, of death, of finite, of infinite,

Of hope amidst tears.

It’s speaks, only believe. 

_______________________

Mat 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Mat 16:25  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

___________________________

Mom, thank you for sharing His rose and being His love, His hands, His feet to pick me up. I love you too. 

The Changed Cross 

It was a time of sadness, and my heart,
Although it knew and loved the better part,
Felt wearied with the conflict and the strife,
And all the needful discipline of life.
And while I thought on these, as given me
My trial tests of faith and love to be –
It seemed as if I could never be sure
That faithful to the end I should endure.
And thus, no longer trusting to His might
 Who says, “We walk by faith, and not by sight,”
 Doubting, and almost yielding to despair,
The thought arose ‑‑ My cross I cannot bear:
Far heavier its weight must surely be
Than those of others which I daily see.
Oh! if I might another burden chose,
Methinks I should not fear my crown to lose.
A solemn silence reigned on all around –
E’en Nature’s voices uttered not a sound;
The evening shadows seemed of peace to tell,
And sleep upon my weary spirit fell.
A moment’s pause ‑‑ and then a heavenly light
Beamed full upon my wondering, raptured sight
 Angels on silvery wings seemed everywhere,
And angel’s music filled the balmy air.
Then One, more fair than all the rest to see –
One to whom all the others bowed the knee –
Came gently to me as I trembling lay,
And, “Follow me!” He said; “I am the Way.”
Then, speaking thus He led me far above,
 And there, beneath a canopy of love,
 Crosses of divers shape and size were seen,
Larger and smaller than my own had been.
And one there was, most beauteous to behold,
 A little one, with jewels set in gold.
Ah! this, methought, I can with comfort wear,
 For it will be an easy one to bear:
And so the little cross 1 quickly took;
But, all at once, my frame beneath it shook.
 The sparkling jewels fair were they to see,
 But far too heavy was their weight for me.
“This may not be,” I cried, and looked again,
To see if there was any here could case my pain,
 But one by one, I passed them slowly by,
 Till on a lovely one I cast my eye.
Fair flowers around its sculptured form entwined,
And grace and beauty seemed in it combined.
 Wondering, I gazed; and still I wondered more
To think so many should have passed it o’er.
But oh! that form so beautiful to see
 Soon made its hidden sorrows known to me;
Thorns lay beneath those flowers and colours fair!
Sorrowing, I said: “This cross I may not bear.”
And so it was with each and all around
‑Not one to suit my need could be found;
 Weeping, I laid each heavy burden down,
 As my Guide gently said: “No cross, no crown!”
At length, to Him I raised my saddened heart:
 He knew its sorrows, bid its doubt depart.
 “Be not afraid,” He said, “but trust in me –
My perfect love shall now be shown to thee.”
And then, with lightened eyes and willing feet,
 Again I turned, my earthly cross to meet,
With forward footsteps, turning not aside,
For fear some hidden evil might betide;
And there ‑‑ in the prepared, appointed way,
 Listening to hear, and ready to obey –
A cross quickly found of plainest form,
With only words of love inscribed thereon.
With thankfulness 1 raised it from the rest,
 And joyfully acknowledged it the best –
The only one of all the many there 
That I could feel was good for me to bear.
And, while I thus my chosen one confessed,
I saw a heavenly brightness on it rest;
 And, as I bent, my burden to sustain,
 I recognized my old cross again.
But oh! how different did it seem to be
Now I had learned its preciousness to see!
No longer could I unbelieving say,
 Perhaps another is a better way.
Ah no! hence forth my own desire shall be,
That He who knows me best should choose for me
 And so, whate’er His love sees good to send,
 I’ll trust it’s best, because He knows the end.
Anon. Written prior 1865.

He is worthy. 

Oh my Father, my Savior, my Comforter, 

Who rides the clouds to help me

Who gives songs in the night 

Who preserves me blameless

Who qualifies me

Who has mercy on me

Who forgives all my sins

Who heals my broken heart

Who redeems my life

Who satisfies me

Who comforts the downcast

Who gives me the victory 

Who performs all things for me

Who sanctifies me

Who remembers me

Who rescues me from my enemies

Who crowns me with lovingkindness 

Who restores my joy 

Who blesses me with all spiritual blessings 

Who surrounds me with songs of deliverance 

Who enables me

Who revives me

Who causes me to thirst for Him 

Who draws me to Himself 

Who trains my hands for war 

Who directs me

Who gives me understanding 

Who strengthens me

Who counsels me

Who fills me with good things 

Who keeps promises

Who keeps me

Who is worthy of all my devotion and worship

Who listens to me

Who guides me in the paths of righteousness 

Who makes my crooked places straight 

Who calls what is not as though it is 

Who calls me a new creation 

Who makes me beautiful 

Who intercedes for me 

Thank you! 

Abandoned.

  
 Are we afraid if we abandon it ALL for Jesus that He will let us down? Like an old abandoned castle that gets over grown with vines, trees take over the court yard, the walls begin to crumble… We can’t let our appearance become so messy, we can’t let anyone see how much we struggle, we can’t expose our true colors. When we abandon ourselves to Jesus in His faithfulness He will expose us for who we really are, He will strip us of all our good intentions, He will let the walls crumble and the light shine on places that have seen only darkness. He will take off our masks and expose us for who we really are. He will let us be weak. In His faithfulness He will break us. Being abandoned to Jesus may look a whole lot worse on the outside, almost like an abandoned castle. We may find we have become the very person we have despised. We will realize that all our good efforts and intentions in our own strength are filthy rags. We have worked and worked to keep up our castle, to appear before men to thrive, to keep the walls strong and the stain glass shiny. We don’t want to be that person who is unlovable, dirty, hard to get a long with, pathetic… The one who is a downer, or the one who is way over enthusiastic about EVERYTHING. We don’t want to be too happy, nor too sad. We don’t want to be too good, nor too bad. We don’t want to be the unpopular one but nor do we want to be the over popular, spoiled one who gets all the attention. We want to be perfect and have it all together. Soo if we abandon our work to Jesus that will mess everything up; it will expose the messy. It will expose the facts that we have tried so hard to hide from the world; we are all broken, we are all desperately insecure, we are all needy, we are all sinners. We need each other. We need forgiveness. We need to love and be loved. We aren’t strong and good and capable. We are weak and bad and insufficient. Ah dearly beloved, take heart, if we abandon ourselves to Christ He gives life to the dead and calls those things that do not exist as though they did! We become strong because He is strong in weakness. We become righteous because He is our righteousness. We become sufficient because He is our sufficiency. So what if we abandoned all for Jesus? Are we afraid He will let us down? We are not even our own! How do we become so possessive of what is not even ours? Why do we think we can care more for us than He can. Why are we afraid to trust the One who not only made us but then gave up EVERYTHING for us that we might reign with Him? Are we afraid if we abandon “our work” than we will just come to ruin? If we surrender our lives we’ll just sit and wait forever? I know if we trust Him with this castle, with the spiritual and the physical, He WILL NOT let us down. It may appear to the eyes of the world that we are abandoned but have faith fearful one. The breaking down is only the seen, the perishable, that only what can NOT BE SHAKEN will remain. So let’s step into reckless abandonment even in our fear. Knowing that love is greater than fear, let’s step out onto the water. Jesus is calling, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” 

He says to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” 

1Co 1:28, 29 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.