Hey! It’s been a while! I’m not really back…just moving my “2016 Australia” posts and captions from Instagram to here. Working towards deleting my personal Instagram so I might write here more…hmm..maybe.
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”
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, adultery 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!!
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.”
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.
-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.
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.
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!
I’m sitting here pretty baffled and 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.
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.
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