A Different Way

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I have taken the Challenge to Write for 31 Days. This will be my third year taking this challenge. It is a real challenge for me to right every day for the month of October. I was thinking of not writing this year but praying for the people that are trying to meet their goal.

However, this year they have added a new category to their list called Instagram-micro blogging! Ha! This one sounds right up my alley. I love to try to make an encouraging Instagram using scripture. So my blog for the month of October will be using my Instagram. to micro share God’s encouragement.

If you are interested in joining this wonderful, crazy group of people who are writing straight for 31 days go to Write 31 Days and check it out. See if this is something you would like to try. There are no penalties for not completing the challenge and there are no trophies for finishing. Only the feeling of accomplishment of giving the challenge your best effort. There are loads of folks to encourage you on, ask questions, and get great advice. There are so many topics, and new friends to meet along the way. Crystal Stine is our fearless leader.

Even if you don’t have a burning desire to Write for 31 Days go and check it out and see what its all about. If you have the time pray for those that have taken up the gauntlet.

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Don’t Let Me Go!

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I can remember as a child of being afraid in the lake we used to go to in the summer. My mom would never come in higher than her shins, but my dad was a whole different story. He would swim out so far I thought he was headed home by water!

He would come back for me and my sister. He would coax us to let him hold us and take us into the deep. I remember clinging to his neck so tight and saying, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!” I am not sure if he heard the panic in my voice but his answer would always be the same, “I’ve got you.”

Flash forward to now, my dad has long ago gone home to be with his Father. I am now turning to my heavenly Father and holding tightly saying the very same words, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

Those days when life just overwhelms me with grief, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

When once again I do those things that I said I would never do again, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

People reject me or let me feel let down by their unthinking words, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

This song by King and Country talks about just this thing. Have a listen.

There are so many places where God reassures us that he is always with us and he will never let us go.

NO MATTER WHAT!

Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us, Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 also reminds us, God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

There are many other places you can find in God’s Word, God is telling each of us, “I won’t let you go child, I’ve got you.”

When you are afraid, for whatever reason, be assured, God will never leave you.

Don’t believe me.

Check for yourself.

Read God’s love letter to you, The Bible.

TERRIFIED

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As I am going through this study called “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst I am learning so very much. I just can’t keep it to myself. (if you can’t do the study now consider getting the book, you won’t regret it!)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I read a word I think I know the meaning of until someone gives you the meaning in Greek or Latin. Then the light bulb turns on.

The first word that Lysa clarified for me was “hardened heart”. Well, I knew that the Pharaoh had a hardened heart. In Exodus 4:21 it says that the LORD hardened the Pharaoh’s heart. Now that didn’t seem right, until Lysa explained the word HARDEN. It means unresponsive. Ah, not what I had thought that God made his heart hard, but the Pharaoh was unresponsive! Now it was making sense to my brain.

This wasn’t the only word that she gave us the meaning. The word terrified. Now I was under the impression that was scared. But the way she shared it makes a whole lot more sense than just being scared. Terrified means to set into motion things that need to remain still!

We have God’s truths. The Bible is filled with them. Isaiah 41:10 tells us to “do not fear, for I am with you.”  Or John 16:33, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So if we become terrified of being alone, we have set into motion something that needs to remain still. We are to know and remember that God is with us. He has overcome the world! We need to keep these truths in mind so that we don’t set into motion those things that need to be still.

Do you question God’s love for  you? Do you feel like you need to DO something so that he will love you? Maybe you think he couldn’t possibly love you with all you have done!

Here is God’s truth. Ephesians 1:4, “Even before he made the world God chose you and loved you” Don’t put into motion something that needs to remain still. Even before you were, God loved you, you hadn’t done a thing nor do you need to do something now.

He loves you!

Loving you gives him GREAT PLEASURE!

Its the truth. It’s in the Bible. Check it out, Ephesians 1:4-5.

Don’t harden your heart, be unresponsive, to what God’s truth is saying.

All you need do is accept that great love and grace.

He adores you!

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Raise Our White Flag

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White Flag. What do you think of when you hear these words? Surrender? I give up? No more? You win?

This new song by King & Country is so wonderful. Watch and listen to O God Forgive us.

As you hear the words of the song do they ring true? Do we want “drive through peace and instant hope”? Is our doubt so thick we couldn’t cut it with the sharpest knife. These words are too close to the truth.

As we look at this world and where we have ended up, fighting over statues, even names of streets for goodness sakes. Yet do we tell our children there is a better way? Do we share with them that there is a God that takes away sin? Do we come to this same God EVERY day or are we too busy and want that instant hope?

The words continue with “young and old, black or white, rich or poor,  there’s no divide”. Why can’t we see this? We are all the same in God’s eyes? He created each one. We are different in the way that our own children are different. But we are the same in the same way our children are the same, they are ours.

I don’t think I can say it better than the song writers:

Run wild. To risk everything. To hold nothing back.
To lay it all on the line: your reputation, your success, your comfort.
It’s that moment when fear is overcome by faith. Live free.
It’s not the liberty to do whatever you want whenever and wherever you want,
But rather it’s living in accordance with the author of humanity
And finding freedom by connecting with the creator who conceived you.
Let the light flood into your eyes for the first time.
Feeling the blood course through your veins, finding the truest version of yourself
By knowing the one who knows you even better than you know yourself.
Love strong. Because you were first loved. Because without love we all perish.
Because the earth and the stars can and will pass away, but love, love will always remain.

1 Corinthians 13:13

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

UNINVITED!

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I am doing an online Bible study UNINVITED  

When a friend sent me the invitation the title intrigued me. So I went online and watched a short clip about this study by Lysa TerKeurst. She is so very open and she has a sense of humor I enjoyed,so I signed up and bought the book and study guide.

As I started to read I felt like she had peeked into my life. Yep, there were times others words or actions made me feel left out and unwanted-UNINVITED!

The part that has had such a profound affect on me so far (just the first week) was when she asked us to put Ephesians 1:4-5 in a personal context. Putting “Me” instead of “you”. So the passage would read:

Even before he made the world God loved ME  and chose ME in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt ME into his own family by bringing ME to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure!

The first time I read it that way it took my breath away. I had missed so many important parts when I read those two verses before. Like:

BEFORE he created the world

He LOVED me

He CHOSE me

To be WITHOUT FAULT in His eyes

God decided in ADVANCE

He WANTED to do this

it gave him GREAT PLEASURE

I don’t know if you got all that when you read Ephesians 1:4-5 but some how I had missed it. Perhaps I scurried to get to the next verse instead of letting God’s word soak in.

I can’t get over the BEFORE he made the world he loved me and chose me. Like the world and all its greatness was an after thought. I was on his mind before such beauty and splendor and complexity. Each time I read the verse, ( I put it on my phone with a reminder) I have to stop there, I don’t know that I have ever felt such love..

When I got to the part that says, “I am holy and WITHOUT FAULT”, I feel such freedom and acceptance from God. It restores the hope in me that can seemingly be snatched away with unkind words or actions. Just to know that in Christ, God sees me Holy and without fault puts things in a whole new perspective.

Then just the last two words made me pause for a long time. GREAT PLEASURE! It gives God great pleasure to see me holy, without fault, loved and chosen, and added to his family. Me? Me!!

This verse is not just for me, even though it seems so very personal. No, this verse is for you also!

Put it on your phone.

Tape it to your fridge.

Copy it to your journal.

Memorize it.

Whatever you need to do to have it deep in your heart-so you never feel left out or uninvited again.

YOU give God GREAT PLEASURE!

 

Put On Your Helmet

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We are a family of motorcycle riders. No, we are not the tattooed rough looking dudes you think of when the word motorcycle comes up. (Though two of us do have those dreaded tattoos.) My husband has always had a motorcycle. He went to work on one every day, shirt, suit-coat and tie flying in the breeze.  Not your typical rider.

It was a cheaper way to get around than 5 cars. When the children were younger I had a scooter with a sidecar. The Silver Bullet we used to call it. Two children would ride in the “bullet” and one would ride behind me and off to school we would go. It was handy that we all went to the same place.

When our kids got older they didn’t get a car but did get a motorcycle to get back and forth to work and school. They first had to take a safety course and they had to have the appropriate clothing. No one was allowed to go riding without a helmet.

Then the unthinkable happened the state we lived in said it would be ok to not wear that helmet when riding a motorcycle, WHAT? Had they lost their minds? Had they seen what happens when you crash on a motorcycle? One of the first things to hit the pavement is your Head!

So many folks wanted to have the “freedom” of not wearing that protection. They were sure it would be fine.

When it comes to our spiritual well-being we have the same protective gear we need to wear every day. It’s called the Armor of God. In Ephesians 6:10-17 it talks about all the “gear” we need to put on each and every day to protect us from the schemes of the devil. There’s the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, HELMET OF SALVATION, and our sword of God’s word.

Now these may not be the “gear” you see, but it is armor just the same. This helmet is so much more than just protecting that head of yours. It is a life changer. Salvation is for eternity, not just the next ride. You need only confess that you have sinned and ask God for his forgiveness and with his help you are turning toward him and away from sin. That Helmet is yours for eternity and NO ONE can take it from you.

Isn’t it time you decided to put on some protection? Are you sure it’s going to be fine without it?

God has the perfect “Gear” just for you! Ask him to suit you up today!

 

 

 

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Alphabet Soup

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LOL

PTA

FFA

CREFF

BBB

ADHD

It seems each people group has alphabet soup to shorten the words that they use. There should be an alphabet soup dictionary out there.

The newest one that seems to be added to the list is OMG. Now this one has me upset. Does it mean Old Men Groan? How about Odd Moms Giggle!

No, this one seems to take the Lord’s name in vain. You hear it from little children, housewives, young teens. It seems to be an exclamation that flows right off the tongue with little thought to the meaning.

I guess you could say this is something I take to the soap box quite often. As I worked with elementary kids they would say these words like it was nothing. I would tell them that it hurt my feelings because God was so special to me.

They would try to stop but it was heard so often in their homes that it seemed impossible to quit.

Now people think nothing of saying Jesus Christ to swear with. What is happening?!!!

Don’t they know the power of just that name? Don’t they understand that he is God?

It tells us NOT to take the Lord’s name in vain. Along with it there is a consequence.

Exodus 20:7

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

This is one of the 10 Commandments.

Have we come so far from God that we think it is ok to use his name in a curse or a slang to make others laugh?  Have we forgotten the power in the name Jesus? People were healed, raised from the dead, transformed. Should we take that power and toss it into the waste-bin?

Listen to Lincoln Brewster remind us.

“One name

one name can save”

One name

breaks every chain”

“One name

one name remains”

JESUS there is Power in just that name!

Would you waste that power to just make a statement, or waste that power on a curse?

Please stop and think the next time you are tempted to use OMG or Jesus Christ in a way that dishonors God. Use his name in praise and thanksgiving instead.

Alright I am going to step of my soapbox now.