Friday, March 20, 2015

He Knows

Pain has a way of making us forget God.  It does several things - but one of which that can happen is that it makes us angry.  Anger is often our first response to pain.  Anger is more powerful than hurt, so often times it is the emotion of choice.  With its power, we keep fueling it and don't recognize what's underneath.  The stronger the hurt, the nastier the anger.

Can you imagine being rejected by your best friend?  Or better yet, by your family?  This is basically what Jesus went through, His own people rejected Him.  He was belittled, rejected, called all kinds of humiliating names, and suffered horrific physical pain, then died.  All the while, He humbled Himself, gave of Himself, was kind, long-suffering, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and walked a law-perfect life.  He saw death and suffering during His lifetime, and out right betrayal.  I don't think we can even imagine the kind of circumstances that Jesus lived under and still He remained loyal to the Father.  Loyal unto death.  We cannot even Fathom that.  

Have you ever remained that loyal to anyone or thing?  I don't know if I have, even if it be inside my own mind.  Oh, I try - but I am imperfect.  I make mistakes, each and ever day.  I have to draw from outside help to stay focused, and draw neigh God to stay centered.  There were plenty of times in my life when this wasn't always true.  There are times when this is still hard.

Pain often times limits us.  It limits us in a variety of ways.  Sometimes it blocks us from seeing things clearly - or at all.  Often times it makes us completely deny things because it is just too painful to dare look.  When we feel those feelings, we can't see God.  I think it has to become so ingrained in us that He is near (so near in fact that He is our heart-center) and that we always have available to us to give that pain to Him.  We can give Him the pain.  His word says:

 Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me  all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  (NKJV)

To me it is clear that we can come to Him when we are hurting.  Those are words in red - words that Jesus spoke.  A Yoke is a harness that (in those days) an oxen wears in pulling during harvest times, as in pulling the weight of the load of the plough.  Our ploughs are our burdens.  Our burdens are many times very heavy, and often times, only Jesus knows the whole story.  Why?  Because we do not share our feelings with others.  The world that we live in is a world of secrets, and it is getting worse, day by day.  We no longer reach out.  We don't know our neighbors, we don't acknowledge each other - we've our heads in these devices.  This isn't how we were designed to live...  Life now is all about what we can acquire, now how we can help each other.  Life was never supposed to be about who gets the most stuff.  Never.  Stuff has no real value to the human spirit.  Simply attain as much of is as you can, and see how you feel... it doesn't change anything you just have a bunch of stuff, but no real worth.

Dare to be real.  Dare to feel and have a relationship with the holy spirit inside of you.  The God that lives inside of you.  Sometimes I liken myself to a "weirdo"... I may be different - but I'd rather be different than the same as the rest of the rats in the maze.  They are going nowhere.  I know where I'm going.  I have real help in times of trouble.  I have a guide in everyday life.  I have a spirit inside of me from the living God!  I know from whom my Help comes!  I used to have pain that angered me, but the holy spirit inside has softened me.  It has brought me so many things.  Things to numerous to count.  I praise God for all that He has given me!

Pain changes us - if we allow it and walk through the emotions.  It isn't always easy.  It is however, worthwhile, and transformative.  Anytime one takes on this kind of endeavor - you cannot but come out a changed being.  God moulds us.  God moulds us into His likeness.  I'm so grateful for this.  It happens one step at a time - and sometimes we can't see it, but God does.  Remember He's outside space and time.  Until one day - the pain is past, and the vision clean - clear.  Then we can't remember the pain anymore.  That's the beauty of it.  Pain has no memory.  What an amazing God we serve!!!

So the next time that you're dealing with something painful, remember - He knows.  He's been there before you.  Tell Him about it, let Him carry your burden.  He will.  I think you'll be amazed.  Jesus has a tremendous Heart...else He would have never died for us.  Just remember...


(I don't own the rights to this video- I hope it can be seen) If you cannot see it - hit the "view on youtube button!  It's AMAZING!!!!

Grace and Peace to YOU!!!!  Amen.




Thursday, March 12, 2015

Agape

Agape means love.  In some definitions it means unconditional love.  I'm concerned for the pure love of God, for man.  I truly believe we can't comprehend it.  I think we only can conceive a small fraction of the love that God has for us.

When I think about this in all actuality - God is the creator of love.  He is the creator of all things.  He was the One that conceptualized love.  How vast this must be.  I can only akin it to how much I love certain people or say my beloved Gracie -- my little companion.  I'm fully aware of how silly this sounds... yet I've thought and thought about it and searched my heart.  The love that I had for my father was great indeed as well.  Yet and still I know that this pales in comparison to the way that God loves us.

Back to Gracie.  I'll use her for an example.  Her love is so unconditional.  It doesn't matter to her what I'm doing, how I look, or anything else, she just simply an unapologetically loves me - with all her little heart.  She follows me from room to room, practically every step I make, because she wants to be near me.  I realize that for most cats - this is somewhat abnormal, but Gracie isn't your normal kitty.  I don't know if having had her from a kitten matters - or if it's just her Tabby breed - she is just different.  She acts much more like a dog than a cat.  We actually play ball and she retrieves it -- all the time.  She brings it to me in the bathroom -- every time!  I taught her how to play ball when she was very little and she actually drives me nuts with it now.  However my point being... she just loves, unapologetically with such sweetness.  She's a lap kitty - and more loving than any other cat I've ever had.  I'd prayed for a cat -- and Gracie wandered up to my car.  How's that for answered prayer??  Here is Gracie:

 


She is one in a million.  I adore her...  Yes she looks like your average cat - but she is not.  The video is of her fetching ball... from youtube!!!

Now what does this have to do with love?  She has taught me much.  Although she is at best loyal and loving -- she has been a challenge also.  She is prone to running through my apartment at around what seems 30 mph... on most given days.  Full of energy and spry - prior to her getting spay she would destroy anything she felt driven to.  With the personality of a terrible two year old -- she is everywhere and into everything.  I have been unable to break her of it.  Water doesn't bother her -- she just stands there and looks at me - nor does the art of discipline.  Now she has came to understand the word said with vigor "NO!" It took  many a month.  She has chewed shoes, and boots, flowers, and other assorted novelties.  She does seem to calm down when she has plenty of toys however.

At any rate, I love this cat.  This cat loves me.  God sent me Gracie Marie.  I know that without a doubt.  God has taught me patience, tolerance, endurance, and most importantly, unconditional love.  He has broadened my understanding and conceptualization of love.  I think of how tenderly I love her -- and it makes me think about how much God must love us.  It makes me wonder with my heart.  It makes me ponder... and want to know the deep things of God.  It makes me pray and seek to know God's heart.  It makes me want to be a better friend.  This loyalty in my life has brought me such happiness -- I cannot even explain it.  It has fortified what I already known -- that love has no bounds when it comes to the true nature of it's unconditionalness.

One day we'll get to know just how much Jesus loves us.  I think we'll be able to fully feel that love.  I wait for that day with unbridled anticipation -- but we have the kingdom inside of us as well.  We have the capacity for the knowing and comprehending of the righteousness, peace, and joy with us every day, in grace.  We just have to set our minds (and hearts) to walk in it.  I've wanted peace all of my life.  I sought it out in many, many forms - chemicals, food, sex, and relationships... and even in trying to buy it.  There isn't anything on the outside that will give you peace.  It's an inside job -- I don't care what or who is telling you this.  It's not a goal, it's a way of life.

I hear the morning pre-spring birds chirping and it harkens my heart!  Life is so precious.  My life is quite small right now but I know that the Lord has great things in store for me, Jeremiah says so -- I trust what my bible says, for it's the truth of truths.  I have few friends but they are amazing.  I wouldn't trade the few that I have for a multitude of them.  I live a simple life but I have a very active mind.  I share what the holy spirit lays on my heart.

Life is a one shot deal.  We don't get another chance to do today again folks.  I'm as guilty (for lack of a better word) as the next when it comes to honoring the present... but I am awake in the Lord.  I truly believe it's all about being awake.  Think noble thoughts, encourage one another, and live life as fully as you know how.  Go out of your way to help someone - we live in such a shutdown world.  Fear seems to be the ruling emotion.  Faith and fear can't exist together -- not really.  I miss the days where it used to be normal to help your neighbor.  I guess I"m old fashioned like that, but I wouldn't change that part of myself.  Matter of fact, I hope that part continues to grow.  I love growth, even if it comes in a pain package... I know that my Lord is with me.  I've had a great deal of pain, and none of it's killed me yet.  It's all been transformative.  Amen.  Jesus was there the whole time.  He is my everything.  I'm learning to let Him be my friend, and what it is like to be His friend.  You know this is why God created us don't you?  Yes.  He created us, to love.  How amazing is this?  And we struggle to accept God.  His motives are pure.  It is our minds that get us into trouble.  Stop humanizing God.  He loves you so much... you cannot even fathom it.  Get your ideals out of the way and just pray for God to show you the Father -- you'll be amazed at the results is you've prayed with an earnest heart.

I hope your day is beautiful - and filled with love.  I pray that God shows you His beauty in astounding ways as He does me.  May you find your "Gracie" and learn as I have about unconditional love.  There's nothing quite like it.




Monday, March 9, 2015

The Gift.

Love.  What an amazing feeling.  I often wonder - do we ever quite grasp it fully.

Sometimes I'm simple minded.  I like this.  I aspire to be a humble person.  I seek it.  I've battled with my own inner demons many a year to become who I am.  I am at my core am as gentle as I know how to be.  I believe this is the identity that God placed inside of me.  It is where my heart-center is most at rest.  It is where I find the fullness of my faith.  That rock hard place that is unshakeable.  It is where I  know that my spirit lies, and it speaks to me.  I find comfort and aide in times of trouble.  I've learned to listen to it, and hone it - for it is from there that I love.  It is a well spring of life for me.  With this being said, I truly believe this is my Holy Spirit.  My Holy Spirit that brings me to the ever flowing essence of knowing and trusting love.

This was not always true.  When I grew up love was a dual edged entity.  Love was punishment.  I've had to relearn and reinvent my concept of what loving is.  This was no easy feat.  I'll admit that it nearly broke me.  That pain was brutal.  The admission of the truths that I had to face was enormous. However, I did not endure that pain alone.  I could not have undergone that transformation by myself.

Father God answers prayers in such amazing ways.  He brought me to Grace.  Sitting, broken, devastated, alone, and completely lost - God brought me to Grace.   How I found my church is an incredible story.  What I went through was awful.  However, what man uses for evil -- God will use for good.  God always transforms the evil that man does to us for good.  I'd been evicted out of my own Mother's house - had to move in one day.  The other details are even worse, but I'll spare you.  Out of that devastation -- God brought me to Grace, and I shook an amazing man of God's hand -- that taught me things about Jesus that I never knew.  Oh, I'd been to church my entire life - but I didn't know Jesus.  Not like I do now.  I didn't know that there was  no condemnation in Jesus Christ...  I was so condemned.  I lived in a box of shame and guilt.  Shame was the enormous emotion that I felt - it led my life, and I'd been in therapy for twenty years.  I thought that God was mad at me.  I thought that my life was just one big horrific let down to God.  I incurred problem after problem to the extent that I thought I WAS a problem to God.  I felt that when He looked at me, He just sighed.  "What a waste", must have been what He said.  Goodness knows what He felt.  Oh, I knew that He was for me, and not against me, but I thought that every time that I sinned - He turned His face from me.  Being human -- albeit a new creation, I still sinned a lot.  So I'd have this on and off again relationship with Father - God.  I really didn't think much about Jesus...  I knew that He died for me, but I really didn't know that that meant...  Until Grace.

Grace means 'carise' in the original greek.  This means "gift."  Grace is a free gift of God.  Jesus paid it all.  Praise God!!!  If you are interested at all... please go back in my blog and read "Grace 101" or "Grace Again"... or check out PaulWhiteMinistries.com - the sermons are all free.  God is not mad, He was never mad to begin with.  That's something that I did in my mind as a result of past teachings.  I'd been taught the old testament "Hell-fire and brimstone" style of God and Jesus my entire life.  I didn't even know much about the new testament.  Little alone did I know that we were IN it.  I did not know that when Jesus died, he completely, and utterly died for our sins - from birth - to - death.  Yes, what you've read is correct.  It's in the bible.  It's not taught because most don't really study.  People are afraid of that freedom, the freedom that Jesus gave us.  This is what Grace is...  It is the gift of Jesus.  When Jesus died, He said, "It Is Finished!"  Jesus meant that He abolished the law of sin and death.  We no longer have to live under the law, sin, or death.  He took away all of the requirements that were held against you, and brought you into a new covenant with God.  Jesus is the last sacrifice!  If we no longer make sacrifices, why do we think that we need to pay back God?  There just isn't anything that we can "do" to add to what Christ did.  It cheapens what Jesus did on the cross - when we try.  We don't "do good to get good"... we are the righteousness of God in Christ!  We can do anything for our right - standing, it's all in Jesus.  However, it is our standing today, because of Jesus - and what He did for us.  Amen!!!

I know that my little mind cannot explain it like my pastor... but the website is there.  I've given the basics... and I'll tell you it has transformed my life.  It can transform your as well.  It just changes everything.  Knowing that I don't have to continually beat myself up for God is amazing.  I used to think that I had to do that.  I thought that it was part of the "asking for forgiveness".. for the things that I'd done wrong.  I used to feel so badly about my past.  Even though I'd ask God to forgive me, I'd just feel horrible so much of the time trying to "feel" bad enough that God would see that I needed forgiveness.  How ridiculous?  Repent in the original greek is 'metanioa' or that is a close as I can spell it.  It means - to change one's mind.  We've been getting down on our knee's and begging God for years and it's not even what the word meant.  When we change our minds, we change our behavior.  I think it's just that simple.

I've came out of addiction and alcoholism into a life that I would have never ever dreamed.  I'm at rest and real peace.  I don't have everything figured out -- and my life isn't perfect, however, I know unequivocally who my Savior is.  I'm not alone any longer.  I do know that God is sitting at the end of my  life and He knows.  I rest and revel in that.  The rest is easy.  I know who Jesus is and what He did when He was upon this earth.  I adore Him.  I seek to be more like Him, everyday.  This is my aim.  My highest goal.  The question of sin no longer evades my thoughts, nor do I wonder if God is playing games with me. The truth is, He never was - it was my flawed thinking...  He's the center of my life.  Everything else is just not that important to me now, all that matters is Christ and Him crucified.  All that matters is that I let the light inside of me shine so that others might see...  Amen.

Philippians 3:8- 10 (NKJV)
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered loss of all things, and count them all as rubbish, that I might gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is the law, but that which is faith in Christ the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of HIs sufferings, being conformed to His death.

Be confirmed by His death and live!  Live life and see good days!!  Live a life of freedom from sin - which can only bring you closer to Jesus.  Think about what He did for us.  Apostle Paul had one heck of a pedigree - but he counted it all as "dung" in comparison to the knowledge of knowing Christ and Him crucified and what that means.  His Jewish heritage was stellar, but it brought knowledge of sin and death.  Knowing Jesus gave him faith and life.  It gave Paul grace.  It gives you grace.  Praise God!!!

Father God, I pray that I be the knowledge of Grace cover the earth.  I pray that your people see with new eyes the scriptures that they've never seen before and realize that we are under a new and wonderful covenant!  I pray that we learn to rest in the righteousness that is God given through faith - in Jesus and what Jesus did on the cross.  Don't let them be afraid of they're new found freedom, but let the joy and peace that reins in them be so great, an cause such a stirring in the soul.  Let the freedom not be taken for granted, but seen as the preciousness that it is, and held in high esteem and with true praise of the one true God.  Father, tender they're hearts, and mine -- to be like little children in the world, not of this world but to rise above it -- and let Christ live through them each and every day of the rest of their lives, as well as mine.  Amen.

This IS Amazing GRACE!!!!!